A magical ritual to pay our rent

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L.I. Underhill is a media critic and historian specializing in pop culture, with a focus on science fiction (especially Star Trek) and video games. Their projects include a critical history of Star Trek told through the narrative of a war in time, a “heretical” history of The Legend of Zelda series and a literary postmodern reading of Jim Davis' Garfield.


  1. K. Jones
    February 4, 2015 @ 10:45 am

    This is officially where the Klingons and Romulans trade their positions. The Romulans officially take over as "Sneaky Backstabbers" (and simultaneously sort of absorb all the Yellow Peril parallels). Klingons have already been set on a different direction but their previous role had not been filled.

    It shouldn't have been.

    It's hard for me to enjoy any Romulan story that doesn't feature a Vulcan on our side of things. (Imagine Worf's decision if the doctor tending to that Romulan and asking him for his blood was Doctor Selar!) It's inefficient storytelling.

    As for honor.

    I thought about the deterioration of meaning in words a lot earlier today. New York State just had a prominent politician ousted on massive corruption charges, and the snippet of recording I heard on the radio this morning for the swearing in of his replacement began by calling him "The Honorable So-and-So".

    And I thought to myself; "what an interesting bit of disconnected tradition, that we still refer to politicians with the word "honorable". We denote people who prove time and again to be the most corrupt humans as having "honor". It's all in the language.

    But it speaks to me thinking about Klingons now, and where Klingons are going in the years to come in these shows. Anybody can claim to be honorable. Honor can be regained, honor can be lost. But something like the Klingon high council? The Klingon warrior caste? I think we're talking about something like "Honor in name only."


  2. Marionette
    February 4, 2015 @ 7:00 pm

    Watching along, I was disproportionately amused by Captain Picard's describing Pearl Harbour as a "bloody preamble to war", as if the preceding years of conflict didn't count because the Americans hadn't joined in yet.


  3. Daru
    February 8, 2015 @ 11:13 pm

    Thanks for the exploration of the problems with Deanna's character. On the current re-watch a year back with my partner I had niggling issues with the character, I couldn't pin it down but something didn't feel like it was working often. Not having the background information from your blog that I have now, I had no idea where the problem lay – and I can see now (I agree) that the real issue is with how Sirtis was served as an actor, and she could have been given so many better opportunities in the scripts. I would have loved more of Deanna the Anthropologist.


  4. Daru
    February 8, 2015 @ 11:15 pm

    I meant also to add that your writing here make me want to go back and revisit her in the stories.


  5. Watersnake
    August 12, 2017 @ 10:27 pm

    I’m aware I’m behind here, but I’m currently watching the whole series, most of it for the first time. In this episode I was struck that today there’d be no question of the medical procedure taking place even if Worf agreed because the Romulan clearly didn’t give consent to it, and appeared to have capacity to make that decision. Would have been a better out for Worf too – then we would never have known whether he would have gone through with his refusal.


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