143 – Birthright, Part 2

Grade: C

Birthright, Part II (1993) on IMDb


Worf has been captured and is imprisoned on a planet with several survivors from the Khitomer massacre. While there, he teaches a few of the other prisoners Klingon ideas and practices. And he falls in love with a half Romulan half Klingon woman.


This season has had more than its fair share of mediocre episodes, and this one certainly is average. Almost nothing here stands out – not the acting, the storyline, the dialogue, etc. The show had some decent potential – it should have been pretty interesting to see how Romulans and Klingons had learned to peacefully coexist. There was also a potential new love interest for Worf, and even some drama near the end. But in my opinion, it all falls flat.

First, I never bought into the peaceful coexistence that the people claimed to have. OK, so I get it that the Romulans and Klingons are not fighting each other. But in order for that to happen, the Klingons had to essentially give up everything that they consider important. They really weren’t Klingons at all. But on the other hand, the Romulans are just as Romulan as they have ever been in this series. So it was too obvious right from the beginning what would have to happen once Worf arrived.

Worf’s new love interest didn’t seem realistic either. If she loves him and he loves her, why does she decide to stay in the compound instead of leave? I never had the feeling that this could work. Worf would have to stay in the compound to be with her, and since he cared so much more about getting back to his old life than about her, it was an easy decision for him. And it was also too easy for the viewer to guess the outcome.

During the middle of the episode, Worf supposedly trains one of the younger Klingons. But the training consists of one statement here and there followed by perfect execution. It’s too simplistic and not at all realistic. If the younger Klingon had tried but failed, it would have been more palatable – and more interesting.

One other complaint I have with this episode is how it ends. So Worf is found guilty of being a Klingon, and the Romulan in charge decides he has to kill him. Oh, sorry if I’ve ruined it, but you know just as well as I did that Worf wouldn’t be dead at the end of this thing. And that’s the problem with it. It’s a cheesy ending that you could see coming from a hundred miles away. So there’s no real drama here. It’s just cheap.

But they did manage to salvage something from the episode. When Worf returns to the Enterprise, Captain Picard asks him if he found what he was looking for. Worf responds by saying that there were no survivors of the Khitomer massacre, and Picard responds by saying “I understand.” It’s a weird response, unless we are meant to believe Picard was saying “so there really are survivors, but your father wasn’t among them, and Klingon pride prevents you (Worf) from revealing this to anyone.”

Now if you think this storyline has potential, I recommend you watch the Twilight Zone episode called “Valley of the Shadow” instead of this. The two plot lines are virtually identical, but the Twilight Zone did it right.

So it all adds up in my opinion to a C. It had potential, but it just wasn’t that great.

Of Note

This is the second time Alan Scarfe has played a Romulan in this series, but different characters. The first time, he was in Data’s Day.

This is the first time that Jennifer Gatti plays a jilted girlfriend in a Star Trek series. The second time was on Voyager when Ensign Kim suddenly found himself in San Francisco.