S2E8 - A Matter of Honor

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dnaphil
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S2E8 - A Matter of Honor

Post by dnaphil »

I picked his one for two reasons.
The first was that this was a first look at the Klingons, a species that we will see a lot of going forward. Over the years the writers refine Klingon culture and build upon it, but this episode shows some of the cornerstones.

Second, I like this episode. It's a good Riker story and shows off some of that Riker swagger.

In true episodic fashion for TNG, there is a problem that resolves neatly by the end of the episode. Being someone who loves campaigns over one-shots, I often find these stories bit short or that they clean up too neatly in 45 min, but that is a personal preference. For a 45 min show, I think the writers do a good job of packing a lot into each episode.
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GMGERRYMANDER
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Re: S2E8 - A Matter of Honor

Post by GMGERRYMANDER »

Having only seen about 30 episodes of TNG, this is still one of my favorite episodes.

From the Klingon Culture, to Riker's diplomacy, to the bond he makes with the crew.

:)
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RobAbrazado
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Re: S2E8 - A Matter of Honor

Post by RobAbrazado »

I agree with everything that's been said so far. I not only enjoy this dive into Klingon culture (particularly Klingon shipboard life), but I also enjoy the look at Riker's character. It's not the first time in the series (but I think it's the first time in the Watch Club) where we really get a solid taste of Riker's cultural adaptability and just...sheer smoothness as a diplomat. Chameleon-like. Also some horny judo takes place that I greatly enjoy, when Riker reads the room and goes, "Ah, some sexual bravado will see me through this," which turns out to be correct, but then his bravado is met in kind and he's like "ohshit."

For those catching the series for the first time, I will say that for the backstory of Wesley mistaking Mendon (the visiting Benzite , a.k.a the vaping alien) for Mordok, see the season 1 episode "Coming of Age," which (firstly) shows that Wesley is not nearly as racist as that scene makes him seem without that context :lol: and (secondly) also sets up a mini-arc that eventually leads to what I think is the most visually disgusting episode of TNG ever. "Coming of Age" also gives some nice exposition on the Crushers/Picard backstory. I think it's not bad as season 1 episodes go; I could see it as maybe a "b-side" for a curated list like this. :D

I was a little put off at Pulaski (and shocked, frankly, at Picard) and all their "ew so gross" attitude about Klingon food. I've grown accustomed at this point to Pulaski having bigoted opinions, but while I feel like Picard can be snobby, I don't feel like I've seen him be overtly intolerant. (Well, except maybe about kids.) I did like that the Federation and the Klingons are depicted as still having so little contact with each other, despite being political allies. Like...the second officer on the Klingon ship just straight-up is like, "Sorry for staring; I've never seen someone from your species before," which...after applying some extrapolation, must shed some light on how bizarre it must be to have Worf on board the Enterprise. And whatever "allyship" the two powers may enjoy at the "head of state" level, it's clearly still not normalized enough overall that a ship captain won't say, "Welp, a mysterious event has occurred; clearly it was an attack and the only appropriate response is GO TO WAR IMMEDIATELY."

There is a tendency, let's say, or a trope, for belligerent warrior types to be depicted as stupid (e.g. the pilot episode where Worf is ready to phaser-blast a picture of Q on the viewscreen), and this also can scale up to a species/cultural scale. I think this episode kind of...abuts that area?...but doesn't really cross the line IMO (excepting the Klingon captain who is ready to just throw down for no reason), so I found that kinda nice, especially for the 80s. It's a thing that will crop up from time to time over the course of the franchise, but it's good to see the introduction to TNG-era Klingons didn't go super terribly.

In closing, this is an episode that always pleasantly surprises me when I go back. Like...I'll have the opportunity to watch it again and think, "Eh, I remember this being okay," but it always ends up being significantly better than I remember. Solid Watch Club choice!
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pksullivan
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Re: S2E8 - A Matter of Honor

Post by pksullivan »

I had forgotten about this episode, aside from some generalities. Riker is outstanding here and we have a real glimpse of Worf as a cunning tactician rather than a brute enforcer. He outwits the Klingons before he even knows there’s going to be a problem.
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JimLikesGames
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Re: S2E8 - A Matter of Honor

Post by JimLikesGames »

I'm no record as finding the whole Klingon project overwrought and tedious. That said, this is my favorite of the Klingon-featuring episodes. I do enjoy Riker positioned as the Anthony Bourdain of Starfleet.

And yeah, seriously, if you want us to like a new character, don't make her a massive, unrepentant speciesist. Like the problem there is that someone like her wouldn't get to her position in the Starfleet the show presents us with. It's always annoyed me.
Last edited by JimLikesGames on Thu Jul 09, 2020 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RobAbrazado
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Re: S2E8 - A Matter of Honor

Post by RobAbrazado »

JimLikesGames wrote: Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:34 am I do enjoy Riker positioned as the Anthony Bourdain of Starfleet.
Oh my god. :lol:
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JimLikesGames
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Re: S2E8 - A Matter of Honor

Post by JimLikesGames »

Heh, yeah, I'm feeling pretty smug about coming up with that.
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Jared Rascher
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Re: S2E8 - A Matter of Honor

Post by Jared Rascher »

Honestly, if nothing else this episode should really build respect for Riker. He's ambitious, but not in a ladder-climbing kind of way, and willing to do the real work of learning about others.

The only good thing about Pulaski here is that she pronounces gagh better than Riker does, but that's only because we haven't heard it said "the right way" for years at this point.

I like that O'Brien is honest about how apprehensive he would be about being on the Klingon ship. It's another one of those things where everyone in season two feels a little more natural in how they express themselves versus season one.

. . . wait . . . how would this episode have played out if Riker didn't have the beard?
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RobAbrazado
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Re: S2E8 - A Matter of Honor

Post by RobAbrazado »

Jared Rascher wrote: Fri Jul 10, 2020 6:07 pm . . . wait . . . how would this episode have played out if Riker didn't have the beard?
Oh, interesting! Klingons do appreciate a beard, huh.
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