This was a busy episode.
Tying up so many plot threads at once feels like a missed opportunity. Although each of the plots were nicely played, I have to wonder if an overarching season-long plot about a Klingon civil war, including the Romulans and Sela as a main villain, could have been amazing. (And yes, they may have done that somewhere else, but I don't want to spoil you.)
I would have preferred to have more time resolving the "Yesterday's Enterprise" mystery, of who Sela was. We did get an appropriately tragic origin with Sela essentially killing her own mother, or at the very least justifying that loss by completely denying her human side. But really, what occurred to me while we were watching the Sela scenes was how different the show would have been if Denise Crosby hadn't chosen to leave the series. I do like that they created a new character instead of trying to do some timey wimey resurrection of Tasha herself. Nice continuity with Guinan sorta kinda remembering the events of "Yesterday's Enterprise," too.
Lursa and B'Etor were fun and cringey as usual, offering Worf the keys to the throne like Vader offering Luke a chance to rule the galaxy as father and son. In fact, Lursa also had a Lando moment as she realized Sela was just manipulating her. I also liked that Worf decided not to kill Toral and chose to request the return of his commission. It fit his character arc throughout the episode, as he kept realizing he was too civilized to fully fit into Klingon life. He was too focused on duty, on fixing the stabilizers instead of partying with his enemies like a Klingon. Of course, Worf has never been one to party. He's too stoic.
Data's arc was reminiscent of Spock's turn as captain in the original series episode, "The Galileo Seven." It showed what Data is like outside of his core group of friends and colleagues who know him very well. He didn't have time to display his kind and generous personality to his subordinates, especially Hobson, who was outright questioning every order. (Timothy Carhart, the actor who played Hobson, is good at those sorts of characters.)
In the end, though, Data saved the day, proving himself as captain, even when Picard wasn't sure about putting him in command of a ship in the first place. That moment between Data and Picard when Data questioned his choice not to put him in command of a ship was very interesting and nuanced, with their individual reactions. Data wasn't exactly hurt, but it was clear that Picard realized his mistake and was embarrassed by it. It had to be a subconscious choice, since Picard was the one who defended Data's humanity in "The Measure of a Man," one of my favorite episodes.
According to Memory Alpha, Denise Crosby was the one who came up with the character of Sela, but she was originally going to be the daughter of Yar and Castillo. The producers were the ones who changed the identity of the father to a Romulan general.
The scene where Kurn used the star's coronal energy to destroy two chasing Klingon ships was exciting and well done, but I don't know how scientifically accurate it was. Of course we're talking about fictional alien space ships, so science is already out the window here.
At the end of "Redemption, Part One" Worf was given an assignment on Gowron's ship as Tactical officer, but in this episode he is on Kurn's ship.
Data confirms he's been in Starfleet for 26 years.
While it makes sense for O'Brien to be serving as a tactical officer in Worf's place due to his experience, he is technically only an Non-Commissioned Officer so he doesn't have the necessary rank for the position.
Gowron: "Worf has been captured by the Duras sisters. I hope he dies well."
Data: "I understand your concerns... request denied."
Riker: "Nicely done. I hope we know what we're doing."
Picard: "So do I, Number One."
While the various elements of this episode were very well done, the problem was that this could have been three different episodes. They were in fact continuations of two excellent episodes (mentioned above) and the entire Klingon arc that was introduced back in season three. So as a whole, "Redemption II" felt disjointed and a little unsatisfying... but still pretty damned good.
Three out of four Klingon enemies sharing blood wine while off duty.
J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related.