|I don’t know how you screw up a concept like “Klingon Ice Monastery”, but they do.|
You know, I think I’m just done listening to stories about Worf and Klingon heritage. Especially as told by Ron Moore.
Here’s another episode I vaguely remember liking that completely turned me off on the rewatch. It’s not one I have really fond memories of from back in the day-This was an episode I only caught once TNN started rerunning Star Trek: The Next Generation in the early 2000s. Consequently I’m not super broken up about having “Rightful Heir” fall flat for me as I don’t have any particularly potent nostalgia affixed to it and this season has been strong enough it can afford to give us a few duds at this point in the year….Even if we do seem to have, since “Suspicions” (and looking ahead to next week), crossed over into the Enterprise variant of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine‘s month and a half long water-treading session.
None of you need to hear my reasons for being alienated by this episode. I most certainly do not need to go into my litany of disagreements with Ron Moore’s philosophy, writing style and approach to characterization again. My issues with “Rightful Heir” are the same ones I had with “Redemption”, only magnified to an even greater extent because I no longer have the time or patience to humour them. Worf is by now cripplingly overexposed as a character and has had way, way too many showcase episodes, even just this season alone. And the only reason he is so overexposed is because he’s the only character (on either show, frankly) that Moore actually enjoys writing for because he’s also the only character Moore knows how to write for. That’s a big problem for a showrunner, and an ever-present one.
(Moore isn’t the sole showrunner of The Next Generation by a longshot, but given Rick Berman and Michael Piller’s promotion to franchise overseers, the complex web of the producer/writer relationship and Jeri Taylor’s position, he definitely is one of them. He’s certainly the most senior staff writer by this point. This does not, however, make him the best.)
I mean should I even make an attempt to derive some erudition about the Klingons from their depiction in this episode? What more is there to say? It’s Moore-type Klingons. Ridiculous cartoon Viking/Dwarf stereotypes who like to eat, drink and stab in no particular order. Even the monks. Especially the monks. There’s a ghost of an interesting idea where the Kahless clone calls out the Klingons at the monastery for forgetting the reason why they fight and it almost seems like the story is going down a kind of jihad route by framing this in terms of a righteous struggle. And then it doesn’t, because of fucking course it doesn’t. I should have given up my hopes to see non-warrior caste and non-cartoon Klingons after the first season ended.…