Star Trek Deep Space Nine: Let He Who Is Without Sin

Quark: “What you need is a Ferengi.”
Dax: “Maybe, but what I want is Worf.”
Bashir: “Why?”

An episode in which Worf acts like a jerk, and we wonder why Jadzia puts up with him.

In an episode that leaves little for several characters (Odo and Captain Sisko have little to do; O’Brien, Kira and Jake nothing at all), Jadzia and Worf go to Risa. The trip was originally planned as a time alone for just the two of them, but then what seems like an odd assortment tags along. Bashir and Leeta, and then, at the last minute, Quark forces his way in as well. All this is annoying for Worf because he and Jadzia “have much to discuss” – and you can’t help but wonder if Jadzia is encouraging the others to come along in order to avoid that discussion with Worf.

Worf is jealous because Jadzia recently had lunch with a former lover. In fact, Worf is often jealous, of Jadzia’s friends as well as her ex-lovers, and he wants her to act more like a Klingon woman. Not only is Jadzia not a Klingon, but she’s a joined Trill. Worf is sharing her, not just with her friends on the station, but all the other voices and personalities in the symbiont. In other words, Worf is never going to be alone with just Jadzia; she’s always part of a crowd. Worf’s jealousy doesn’t seem to extend to the personalities of the previous hosts, however.

Worf manages to ruin not just Jadzia’s vacation, who has sort of signed up for it, but pretty much everyone’s vacation, which is so mean-spirited of him that we all end up disliking Worf. Risa has the usual visitors, but also a few who have come to be party poopers. Have you ever heard street preachers, preaching doom and gloom to everyone? That’s what these guys, who call themselves the "Essentialists", are doing: complaining about the decadence and the wastefulness of everyone taking a vacation. Everyone should be doing basic training! Even those who have done it before, they should do it again!

Worf first allies himself with these Essentialists, and sabotages the weather grid, then has a good talk with Jadzia, and then he stops aligning with the Essentialists. Worf and Jadzia do make some progress in their relationship, but the scenes of Worf being such a jerk and his confession of what happened when he was a kid are awkward and unpleasant. Also, he goes too far in both cases, in the way he joins with the Essentialists and the way he stops them. This isn’t entirely inconsistent with Worf’s personality, who takes things to their literal conclusion, but still, it makes for an unpleasant, out-of-proportion episode.

Although Quark seems like an extra, his coming along isn’t so strange. Risa has always been popular with Ferengi. Quark also likes Jadzia and drives Worf crazy. He’s not exactly necessary for the plot, but his presence is logical enough and he has a few good lines.

Did this episode have any saving graces? It’s good to get an explanation for Worf’s very stiff manner, so unlike most Klingons, who know how to enjoy themselves. It was nice to see the lovely Vanessa Williams, one of the hostesses on Risa. Strangely enough, the character I liked most in this episode was Leeta. She was sweet about serving the others drinks on the runabout, and the Bajoran ritual for ending a relationship was one of the oddest and yet most sensible pieces of advice I’ve ever seen on TV (it could be given a run by the relationship agreements done by Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory). But the best bit was when she admits why she wanted to break up: because she’s interested in another man! Both Quark and Bashir are desperate to know who it is, and even more freaked out when she says the lucky guy is Rom – something we saw developing in “Bar Association”, and learned about more in “The Assignment”.

Title musings:”Let He Who Is Without Sin” is the title of the episode, and it comes from a quote from Jesus in the Bible, continuing with the words “cast the first stone.” It’s about actual stoning (ugh) of a guilty party, which is how people used to be executed when you didn’t have electric chairs, guillotines, or nooses. It allowed everyone to participate in the execution of someone. Of course, when Jesus said those words, he was telling people not to be judgmental of others. It obviously applies to Worf, who is colossal piece of judgment in this episode.

Bits and pieces

While this episode was being filmed, Nana Visitor, Alex Siddig’s partner at the time, gave birth to their son. Siddig, who wasn’t getting much sleep at the time, felt he wasn’t doing his best acting.

Quotes

Worf: The two of you dishonor each other with your actions.
Leeta: Do you know what he's talking about?
Bashir: You mean, we didn't tell you why we came here? We're conducting the Rite of Separation.
Leeta: It's an old Bajoran custom. When a couple separates, they spend several days celebrating their parting. It's a way to remember all the good times, and to seek out new opportunities.
Bashir: A very wise and ancient culture.
Leeta: You know, Julian, I don't think I've completely gotten you out of my system yet.
Bashir: I know exactly what you mean. Excuse us. We have a few details to work out.

Quark: I have seen drier days on Ferenginar, and we have a hundred and seventy eight different words for rain. Right now it's glebbening out there. And that's bad.

Dax: Because he has the courage of a berserker cat and he has the heart of a poet.

Overall Rating

The Agents of Doux does these reviews as a team, and this time I pulled the short straw and got the season's dud. One out of four horgh’ans.

Victoria Grossack loves birds, math, Greek mythology, Jane Austen and great storytelling in many forms.

2 comments:

magritte said...

Have to agree Victoria, this was definitely a weak DS9 episode. Worf was so unlikable, it made the whole premise of Jadzia wanting to have a vacation with him seem unfathomable.

CoramDeo said...

I'm so sorry you got stuck with this one, especially since I had it in the initial schedule. A great review, though.