Mark Watches ‘The Next Generation’: S04E07 – Reunion

In the seventh episode of the fourth season of The Next Generation, I DID NOT EXPECT THIS. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Star Trek.

JESUS CHRIST, WHAT THE HELL IS THIS EPISODE? IT’S SO GOOD AND IT HURTS SO VERY MUCH. So much of “Reunion” is unexpected. From the return of K’Ehleyr, Gowron, and Duras, to the introduction of Alexander, to THAT HORRIFYING ENDING, this entire episode is a brilliant entry into the Star Trek canon.

AND I DID NOT EXPECT A SEQUEL TO “SINS OF THE FATHER” OR “FAMILY” SO SOON. (I consider this to be a partial sequel to “Family” since it includes an addition to Worf’s family and mentions his parents.) The appearance of K’Ehleyr was incredible enough, and I was eager to see how she’d react to Worf after his discommendation. How much would this affect his life? Had the news of his dishonor spread? Given that K’Ehleyr wasn’t exactly the most dedicated Klingon we’d met, I didn’t expect her to react poorly. But then the show immediately gives us another concern, and that’s WORF’S SON. WORF. HAS. A. SON. Now, the whole trope that’s used here – a classic soap opera move – isn’t wholly interesting by itself. I think I’d also like to see an entire episode devoted to Worf interacting with Alexander because there’s like a twenty minute stretch here where the kid doesn’t even show up once. Which is fine in the long run, I think; this episode is supposed to be chaotic and represent the tumultuous things that Worf experiences.

Ultimately, that’s why it works for me. K’Ehleyr is not a traditional Klingon and never will be. (Sorry, COULD NOT RESIST.) So it makes sense that she’d avoid raising her son with Worf or that she wouldn’t raise him solely within one culture. But her appearance here is complicated for other reasons: she brings with her a Klingon conflict that might send the kingdom into civil war. Now, there’s some nice stuff here with Picard and K’mpec, but I think the major focus of the episode is on Worf. It has to be. He’s forced to interact with the culture he was ejected from. He knows it’s going to be terribly awkward and hostile, but like K’Ehleyr, he’s in the middle of two cultures. He just reacts differently to this than she does.

Still, there’s a different context to this, and K’Ehlery is able to recognize that. Worf clearly has an issue with Duras and the entire council that he’s kept from her, and it frustrates her that she won’t be honest with him. That torments Worf throughout this episode because it’s clear that Duras is a dishonorable person and ill-fitted to the job of Chancellor of the Empire. While the entire Klingon conflict is largely the background for Worf’s story, I still understood why it was necessary to have it. Worf had to be torn in multiple directions at once in order to bring himself to that final scene.

I just simply did not expect the final ten minutes of this episode. At all. For a show that frequently avoids dramatic deaths or blood, the end of “Reunion” is, relatively speaking, a bloodbath. K’Ehleyr’s murder was so shocking to me because… WHAT??? HOW ARE YOU GOING TO DO THIS AND IN FRONT OF HER SON??? It’s one of the most violent things I’ve ever seen on The Next Generation, only to be followed by Worf challenging Duras to the Right of Vengeance. Even in that moment, I had a very specific expectation for how the scene would play out. Duras and Worf would fight, he’d get close to killing him, someone would intervene, and Worf would reveal what Duras had done, shaming him before all!!! I was certain this is exactly what would happen right up to that moment where Worf raised the Klingon weapon in the air, ignored Picard’s cries, and plunged it downward.

It’s totally going to be embedded in the floor, I thought.

I’m still in shock, y’all. WORF KILLED DURAS. He killed him on the Enterprise, and THIS IS A THING THAT HAPPENED THAT I NOW HAVE TO DEAL WITH. Oh my god, how uncomfortable is that scene with Picard afterwards? Picard seems to drift between anger, confusion, and shock himself, as if he can barely believe that he has to do any of this. Y’all, when The Next Generation goes serialized, it becomes so satisfying, challenging, and interesting. While I’m going to sit here and remain uncomfortable and horrified for a while, I honestly think the show has reached new heights in terms of the storytelling and acting, and I’m so thankful for that.


The video for “Reunion” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

– The Mark Does Stuff Tour 2015 is now live and includes dates across the U.S. this summer and fall Check the full list of events on my Tour Dates / Appearances page.
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often. My next Double Features for Mark Watches will be the remainder of The Legend of Korra, series 8 of Doctor Who, and Kings. On Mark Reads, Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series will replace the Emelan books.
- Mark Does Stuff is on Facebook! I’ve got a community page up that I’m running. Guaranteed shenanigans!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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