Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Matter of Honor

**** (4 stars out of 5)
Riker agrees to an exchange program that makes him the first human to serve on a Klingon vessel. Better him than me.

A Benzite on this exchange is working on the Enterprise bridge. Mr. Mendon is from the same geostructure as Wes's friend Mordock, but as my wife put it, he's angling for a punch. Mendon follows most of his compliments with reminders that he is very much the cleverest fish out of water around here.

Riker's new boss is Captain Kargan of the Pagh, the Captain Lou Albano of Klingons. His second officer, Lt. Klag, requires a loyalty test which consists of Riker throwing Klag into heavy machinery.

Mendon notices an unclassified microbial colony on the hull of the Pagh, but as per his culture he would've said nothing until he had a complete analysis and resolution. (How far does this go? If a Benzite notices you're about to be eaten by a bear, does he tell you or does he wait until the problem solves itself?)

When Data reports the degrading metal (which, on close examination of the computer readouts would seem to be another disaster to lay at the feet of The Lovely Angels Kei & Yuri), Mendon suffers greatly from a perceived failure. But he redeems himself with the cure: a tunnelling neutrino beam. Or possibly a wonton burrito bean? Fish lips, you understand.

Riker eats and exchanges "witticisms" about bodily functions with the Klingons. Boobs, belching, and foreign food- the universal language.

The guy playing Klag (powerful Brian Thompson) is always cast as alien thugs. You could say he brings goon things to life. Truly, he's awesome.

Klag has turned his back on his disgraced father. "I will not see him." Riker seems overly shocked about this (considering what we are about to learn about him).

Riker's getting along fine until Kargan decides the damage from microbes is the Enterprise's fault. (Curse your antics, Dirty Pair!) Kargan gets paranoid and goes on the attack. Riker tricks Kargan with the transponder Worf gave him and seizes power.

Captain Riker manages to save face as well as the Klingon's ship. The man picks his battles well and gets himself backhanded right back onto the Enterprise.

"A Matter of Honor" shows us the heart of the new generation of Klingons. No longer fascists, rather anarchists. Less a space gestapo, more a space biker gang. But it's good to learn they are men of humor as well as men of honor. (Out of respect I use the Klingon/American spelling, rather than the Canadian.)

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