(written from a Production point of view)
Picard balances his Federation and Klingon duties as new Klingon Chancellor Gowron faces a civil war. Worf and his brother Kurn fight to regain their father's honor. (Season Finale)
- "Captain's log, stardate 44995.3. We are en route to the Klingon homeworld, where I will participate in the installation ceremony of Gowron, the next designated Leader of the High Council. This visit should also provide an opportunity for one of my officers to correct a grave injustice."
Captain Picard takes the USS Enterprise-D to Qo'noS so that he may fulfill his role as the Klingon Arbiter of Succession. En route, he advises Worf to take this opportunity to clear his father's name and regain his family honor. At first Worf feels that it is not yet time, but Picard reminds him that while patience is a Human virtue, this situation demands a Klingon response.
- "Mr. Worf, your discommendation is a facade to protect less honorable men. It is a lie. Lies must be challenged."
Worf does admit to Picard that he's getting tired of the dishonor. Just then, the Enterprise is unexpectedly contacted by the Klingon vessel IKS Bortas, which is a surprise since no escort was scheduled. It's Gowron, who tells Picard that they will have to move quickly to prevent a Klingon civil war.
Once on board, Gowron tells Picard in the ship's observation lounge that the House of Duras has massed a large fleet and are preparing to move against him. Although Duras died in disgrace and his family should share in that, Gowron says the Duras family's corruption is too widespread – honor will soon have no meaning.
Duras' sisters, Lursa and B'Etor, have somehow arranged a challenge to Gowron's claim to the leadership. He has no idea how they will take power because women are not allowed to serve on the Council. However he notes that most of the Council is loyal to Duras' family. Gowron asks for Federation aid, but Picard tells him he will only act according to Klingon law. Gowron tells him he fears that will not be enough.
Later, Picard requests that Worf escort Gowron to the transporter room. As Gowron is leaving, Worf approaches him and explains that he is not a traitor, but accepted discommendation to protect the Empire. When Gowron asks how, Worf tells him the truth about how it was Duras' father who betrayed their people to the Romulans at the Khitomer Massacre and not Mogh. Gowron asks if there is proof, Worf says there is, and goes on to explain about Duras' family being so powerful that if he had been exposed it would have split the Empire so the Council chose to blame Mogh, long dead, his only known son far away, serving in Starfleet (they hadn't known about Kurn).
The dual revelation of Duras' duplicity and the council's complicity in the ensuing coverup upsets Gowron. Worf requests that Gowron take the opportunity presented by the deaths of both K'mpec and Duras to restore Worf's honor. Gowron expresses his gratitude to Worf for killing Duras (something he couldn't do previously due to his perception of Worf as a traitor), but he also replies that the majority of the Council is still loyal to the Duras family and that he himself must have the support of the Council – so he can't risk exposing them either. Gowron tells Worf that he accepted this dishonor for the good of the Empire and so now he must live with that decision like a Klingon.
Worf vents steam on the phaser range, practicing at level 14. As he is about to begin, the doors open, and Guinan walks in. She claims she came because Ten Forward was slow today, so she thought she'd get in some target practice. They inspect their phasers, and begin. Guinan asks Worf why she never hears him laugh, and he replies that Klingons do not laugh. Not so, according to her.
- "Oh yes they do. Absolutely they do. You don't. But I've heard Klingon belly laughs that'll curl your hair."
Guinan points out that Alexander laughs. Worf angrily replies that he is merely a child and part Human. Using a bit of logic, she gets him to admit that perhaps he doesn't feel like other Klingons (meanwhile, he misses several targets but Guinan doesn't miss once). Talking further about Alexander and his difficulty adjusting to life on Earth, Guinan makes Worf realize that there are some things about what it means to be Klingon that he is just learning now. Shortly thereafter, Worf approaches Picard and asks for a leave of absence, which Picard grants, wishing him Qapla', victory, and good luck.
- "Lieutenant Worf, personal log, stardate 44996.1. I have located the Klingon ship on which my brother Kurn serves as captain and have arranged to meet him."
Worf meets with Kurn on Kurn's ship, the IKS Hegh'ta, and tells him that Gowron has refused to restore their honor. Kurn says that if the Duras family doesn't kill Gowron, Kurn intends to. He tells Worf he has the support of four squadron commanders in key sectors, that he wants to sweep away the old council and put a new one in its place. Kurn tries to get Worf to join him and that together, they can restore their family honor and bring justice to the Empire.
Worf refuses and tells Kurn that since Gowron has completed the Rite of Succession, he is the rightful leader of the Empire. Kurn is outraged that Worf would support someone who wouldn't clear their family name. Worf tells Kurn that one cannot regain honor by acting dishonorably. He reminds Kurn that he is older, and Kurn must listen to him.
Worf's idea is that the House of Mogh will support Gowron, but not yet; they will wait until Gowron is surrounded by his enemies, and then they will offer him their support and the price will be the restoration of their family name. Kurn doesn't know if the other squadron commanders will go along with this, but will try to convince them.
The Enterprise arrives at Qo'noS, and, as Picard is about to complete the Rite of Succession and install Gowron, Lursa and B'Etor interrupt and ask to speak to the council. The interim leader, K'Tal, allows them to speak. Lursa tells the council that they have discovered that Duras had a son. They present Toral, the illegitimate son of Duras. Gowron says that it is outrageous as Duras had no mate. Even if he can be proved Duras' son by genetic scan, he is illegitimate so cannot rule the High Council. K'Tal interrupts and says that the Arbiter will have to consider his validity and with that, the council session comes to a close with still no leader installed.
In their chambers on the homeworld, Lursa and B'Etor talk quietly with Movar, a Romulan general, about Toral's claim to the leadership. Toral thinks it would be simpler to kill Picard, but B'Etor cuffs him roughly, saying they don't want the Federation as their enemy. From behind her, a deep, cool woman's voice is heard from the shadows: "At least not yet. But when the time is right... we will deal with the Federation... and Captain Picard."
Kurn has been able to convince three of the squadron commanders to follow him and that the Duras family has the support of seven squadrons but that most of the fleet has yet to decide whose banner they will follow. Worf tells Kurn that Gowron is nearly out of options and that soon he will have no choice but to embrace their offer.
Worf wants to use information in the Enterprise's computer banks about the Khitomer massacre to prove that the facts were altered and has Data gather the needed information. Picard sternly reminds Worf that using information in their ship's computer banks to affect political change on his home planet is a compromise of Starfleet's core principles. Worf asks Picard not to tie his hands now, and the captain admits he's in a similar situation – although he will follow his role as arbiter according to Klingon law, he knows that allowing the Duras family to control the council would have grave repercussions both the Klingon Empire and the Federation. He agrees to make the Khitomer files available to anyone who wants them, to Worf, to the Duras family, to the Klingon High Council, anyone – but that is all he can do.
Picard gets a personal transmission from Qo'noS. It turns out that Lursa and B'Etor have invited him to their home. Serving him some Earl Grey tea, they try to convince him to judge in favor of Toral. Picard says he will have to see if it's within Klingon law. But he knows what they are planning – if he supports Toral, the sisters will gain control of the Council and Gowron will be killed. But if not, he'll be accused of serving Federation interest in Klingon matters and use it as a rallying cry for war which, if won by the Duras, would end the Klingon-Federation alliance. Picard tells the women that "they have manipulated the circumstances with the skill of a Romulan," but they'll have to wait for his decision at high-sun tomorrow, thanking them for the tea.
The next day, Picard reminds the Council of the law in which the son shares in the honors or crimes of his father. Toral is Duras' son, proven by a genetic scan. But Picard can find no precedent in Klingon law to accept as leader an inexperienced youth. Picard reaffirms Gowron to be the next Chancellor. Then, just as Picard predicted, Toral makes a blustering speech; "Does the Federation dictate Klingon destiny, or do we? Follow me, and I will show you honor!" Almost the entire council stand with Toral and the Duras sisters. Gowron accuses them of ignoring Klingon law and warns quietly, "Then go. Your blood will paint the way to the future!" The Klingon Civil War has officially begun.
Shortly thereafter, aboard Gowron's ship, the Bortas, Worf comes to Gowron and offers him his support as planned. Gowron thinks this is merely the support of one dishonored Klingon, but Worf explains about Kurn and his allied squadrons. Gowron, who is just now hearing that Kurn is Worf's brother, notes that Kurn has opposed him in the past; but Worf says Kurn must obey him as he's older. Gowron says that four squadrons isn't enough, they must have Federation support. He knows that Picard will listen to Worf if he requests support, and Starfleet Command will listen to Picard's recommendation. Worf tells Gowron that they will not intervene and he can't ask them for any more help. Gowron accuses Worf of boldly coming to him and demanding his honor be returned, but when it comes time to fight, he hides behind his uniform. Gowron asks Worf if he is a "Human" coward or if he is truly a warrior, hearing the cry to battle, calling him to glory.
Before Worf can answer, the Bortas is attacked by two Birds-of-Prey. When Gowron's weapons officer is killed, Worf assumes the station. Back on Enterprise, Picard orders a Red alert. Meanwhile on the Bortas, Gowron orders a distress signal sent. The Enterprise gets the Bortas' distress call, but Picard orders that Ensign Reel take the Enterprise out of the battle area, despite Riker's objections and the knowledge that Worf is on board. If they help the Bortas, they would drag the Federation into the Klingon Civil War.
Back on the Bortas, the disruptors finally come online. Gowron commands Worf to lock on target, but Worf says the enemy will detect the lock and it would be better to pretend to be helpless. The enemy will try to board the ship and then Worf can aim and fire disruptors manually when they lower the shields. Gowron approves and Worf is successful in destroying one of the ships, although the other one is able to raise its shields in time. Just before the Bortas is disabled, Kurn's ship arrives, decloaks and drives the other Bird-of-Prey off. Gowron tells Kurn to meet him and Worf in the Great Hall and then advises Enterprise that their delegation is welcome to attend his installation as leader.
In the Great Hall, the Rite of Succession is finally finished. Picard puts the Chancellor's cloak over Gowron and the fragments of the Council that remain, along with Worf and Kurn, swear their loyalty to him. Gowron calls Worf to him and tells him that he and Kurn fought as warriors and proved that their hearts are truly Klingon. Then Gowron restores Worf's family name and honor to him, all while Worf has his hand gripped around Gowron's d'k tahg, his blood covering the blade.
- "I return your family honor. I give you back that which was wrongfully taken from you. Let your name be spoken once again. You are Worf, son of Mogh."
Gowron again comes to Picard, asking for the Federation to intervene with the rebellion per the Treaty of Alliance. Worf even pleads with Picard to help, citing that they both know the Duras family has conspired with Romulans in the past and if they should be victorious in the war, they will surely form a new Klingon-Romulan alliance, causing a fundamental shift of power in the quadrant. Picard says it's an internal matter and interference would be against the Prime Directive.
Picard then recalls Worf to duty, as the Enterprise will have to leave the sector. Worf then asks Picard for an extended leave of absence to serve with the Klingons. Picard denies the request, telling Worf that his obligations as a Starfleet officer are incompatible with remaining on board a Klingon ship during a time of war. Worf decides then to resign his commission as a Starfleet officer, to the shock of Riker and Picard.
Picard comes to Worf's quarters while he packs and asks Worf if he's certain he's making the right decision. Worf says that while he's spent most of his life around Humans and respects them, in the end, he is Klingon – his heart is of that world and he does hear the cry of the warrior. He belongs with his people. Picard says Worf took the best qualities of Humanity and made them part of himself, and that Worf's training and experience as a Starfleet tactical officer will be a great asset to Gowron's loyalist forces. En route to the transporter room, Worf is surprised to see the entire hallway lined with Enterprise officers forming an honor guard. Once in the transporter room, the entire senior staff is there to see him off. Picard then bids Worf farewell Klingon style, "Qapla'!". Worf simply responds by telling all "Goodbye" and is beamed off the Enterprise.
Meanwhile, Duras' sisters and their Romulan conspirators delight in the news of the withdrawal of the Enterprise. A blond woman who is the spitting image of the slain Natasha Yar then emerges from the shadows, telling them not to celebrate just yet:
- "We should not discount Jean-Luc Picard yet. He is Human, and Humans have a way of showing up when you least expect them."
"I must speak with you, Picard. We will have to move quickly if we are to be successful."
"Yes... in preventing a Klingon civil war."
- - Gowron and Picard
"Honor will soon have no meaning."
- - Gowron on the prospect of having the Duras family in control of the Klingon High Council
"I've been told that patience is sometimes a more effective weapon than the sword."
"Patience is a Human virtue... one that I'm glad to see you've taken to heart. But doesn't this situation require a more... Klingon response?"
- - Worf and Picard
"I would speak with you."
"I do not hear the words of traitors."
"I am not a traitor."
"You admitted your guilt."
"I accepted discommendation to protect the Empire."
"Protect it? How?"
"It was Duras's father who betrayed our people to the Romulans, not mine."
"Duras? There is proof of this?"
- - Worf and Gowron
"Worf, you killed Duras. I consider that no small favor. But what you ask is impossible."
"But after your installation..."
"The grasp of Duras reaches up from the grave! I must have the support of the council...to survive! You chose to accept this disgrace, for the good of the Empire. Now you must live with your decision. Like a Klingon!"
- - Gowron, to Worf, on the matter of restoring his honor
"I practice at level 14."
"Mmm, guess I could come down to that level for a while. Begin program."
- - Worf and Guinan, on target practice
"Good game. Don't feel bad, I was doing this long before you were born."
- - Guinan, after easily beating Worf at target practice
"We cannot regain our honor by acting dishonorably!"
- - Worf, to Kurn, on being loyal to Gowron and the Klingon High Council
"Do we want the Federation as our enemy?"
"At least not yet. But when the time is right, we will deal with the Federation...and Captain Picard."
- - B'Etor, Toral and Sela
"This is not a threat, Captain. Just an unfortunate truth."
"So why be our enemy, when you can be our friend?"
- - Lursa and B'Etor, after explaining that Picard's refusal to support Toral could result in an end to the Treaty of Alliance.
"You have manipulated the circumstances with the skill...of a Romulan."
- - Picard to Lursa and B'Etor after they try and persuade him into supporting Toral as Chancellor
"My decision will be announced at high sun tomorrow. Excellent tea. Good day, ladies."
- - Picard, to Lursa and B'Etor
"Does the Federation dictate Klingon destiny? Or do we? Follow me, and I will show you honor!"
"Follow him, and you reject all Klingon law! Can you not see what you are doing? Are you blind to what they represent?! Then go! Your blood will paint the way to the future."
- - Toral and Gowron, to the Klingon High Council members that side with the Duras family
"What are you, Worf? Do you tremble and quake with fear at the approach of combat, hoping to talk your way out of a fight like a Human? Or do you hear the cry of the warrior, calling you to battle, calling you to glory like a Klingon?"
- - Gowron
- - Picard, on the outbreak of the Klingon civil war
"You both fought as warriors. You have proven your hearts are Klingon! I return your family honor. I give you back that which was wrongly taken from you. Let your name be spoken once again. You are Worf, son of Mogh."
- - Gowron to Worf and Kurn
"I order you to return to duty at once."
"Then I resign my commission as a Starfleet officer."
- - Picard and Worf
"I was rescued from Khitomer by Humans. Raised and loved by Human parents. I spent most of my life around Humans. Fought beside them. But I was born a Klingon. My heart is of that world. I do hear the cry of the warrior. I belong with my people."
- - Worf
"You took the best qualities of humanity and made them part of you. The result was a man who I was proud to call one of my officers."
- - Picard bidding Worf farewell
"We should not discount Jean-Luc Picard yet. He is Human. And Humans have a way of showing up when you least expect them."
- - Sela
Background information Edit
Script and story Edit
- According to Michael Piller, the "Redemption" storyline was initially conceived as the cliffhanger for the third season, but was delayed for a year to make way for "The Best of Both Worlds". (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion)
- The final draft script was submitted on 9 April 1991.
- This episode marks the 100th episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and is also the fourth season finale.
- In 1991, former President Ronald Reagan visited the set during filming of this episode. After being introduced to several actors dressed in full Klingon warrior garb, Reagan was asked what he thought of the Klingons. "I like them," he said. "They remind me of Congress." wbm
- Brent Spiner and Ronald D. Moore recalled that during this visit, the ailing Gene Roddenberry dropped his cane, and the former President bent down to pick it up. ("Intergalactic Guest Stars - Presidential Visit: Ronald Reagan", TNG Season 5 DVD special feature)
- "Redemption" was filmed between Wednesday 10 April 1991 and Thursday 18 April 1991 on Paramount Stage 8, 9, and 16. The call sheet for the final day of shooting features the note "That's A Wrap! Thanks to all Cast, Staff & Crew for another "Cosmic Year"". The company resumed work for the fifth season on Monday 8 July 1991.
- According to the call sheet, publicity photos of Gene Roddenberry were shot at the transporter room set on Thursday 11 April 1991. The same photographer also made publicity shots of Ten Forward with a starfield backing.
- First UK airdate: 14 December 1994
Sets, props and costumes Edit
- The revealing costumes for the Duras sisters, designed by Robert Blackman, were quickly dubbed "Klingon kleavage" amongst fans. According to the production staff, neither actress used chest padding. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion)
- The chair in Worf's quarters was also seen in the episodes "Peak Performance", "Family", "Reunion", "New Ground", "Cost of Living", "A Fistful of Datas", "Birthright, Part I", "Parallels", "Genesis", and "Firstborn" and was used as the command chair aboard the Tarellian starship in the first season episode "Haven". It was designed by Peter Opsvik. 
Cast and characters Edit
- This episode introduces the Duras sisters, Lursa (Barbara March) and B'Etor (Gwynyth Walsh), both of whom would appear several times during the show's run. They would also appear in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Past Prologue" and are ultimately responsible for the destruction of the USS Enterprise-D in Star Trek Generations.
- The character of Sela is the daughter of Natasha Yar from an alternate timeline created in the episode "Yesterday's Enterprise". Sela is played by Denise Crosby, who played Yar in that episode and the first season of TNG. Sela first appeared in "The Mind's Eye" (she was not identified by name in that episode and her face was hidden, only her voice was heard). The character returned in "Redemption II", "Unification I", and "Unification II".
- Though Guinan mentions her bet with Captain Picard about making Worf laugh before he became a Lieutenant Commander, she had actually made him laugh in the opening scene of "Yesterday's Enterprise", after she said that there are some women aboard the Enterprise-D who might find him tame. She does, however, specifically mention that she has seen him laugh, and liked it.
- Gowron states that "women may not serve on the council", but in the same production year we see Chancellor Azetbur in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country who is the daughter of former Chancellor Gorkon. In the chronology of Star Trek, however, Azetbur had been Chancellor almost 80 years before Gowron. Also, Gowron himself had offered K'Ehleyr, both a woman and a half-Human, a seat on the Council for her support. For more on this apparent inconsistency, see Klingon High Council.
- Worf's departure scene, in which the crew stand to attention on deck as he passes through to the transporter room, is echoed in "Homestead" when Neelix leaves USS Voyager.
- Director Cliff Bole, who didn't direct its fifth season conclusion, comments, "I just wish I knew how it ends. It was the last show of the season, which is probably one of the most difficult show to do. It's like taking 12 kids to camp in a bus, stopping for a pit stop, and then trying to get them all on board the bus. They've just been working their asses off for the better part of eight or nine months, and everybody wants to go home. People think it's all fun-and-games, but it's not. They really bust their asses. By the time you get to the season's end, you're looking for a little rest and to get out. The first show's also a little difficult, just to get everybody back in gear, but it's not as tough. The last one is just trying to keep them together. Everybody likes to work and loves their job, but they want a vacation, and I just have to keep reminding them that it's still two or three days away." ("Cliff Bole - Of Redemption & Unification", The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine Vol. 17, pp. 34-35)
- A mission report for this episode by John Sayers was published in The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine Vol. 17, pp. 57-61.
Video and DVD releases Edit
- Original UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 50, 8 June 1992
- In feature-length form, as part of the UK VHS release Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Full Length TV Movies: Volume 3, catalog number VHR 4103, 6 February 1995
- UK re-release (three-episode tapes, Paramount Home Entertainment): Volume 4.8, 1 October 2001
- As part of the TNG Season 4 DVD collection
- As part of the Star Trek: Fan Collective - Klingon collection
- In feature-length form, as part of the Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Complete TV Movies collection
- In feature-length form, as part of the Redemption (Blu-ray) release
Links and references Edit
Also starring Edit
- LeVar Burton as Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge
- Michael Dorn as Lieutenant Worf
- Gates McFadden as Dr. Beverly Crusher
- Marina Sirtis as Counselor Deanna Troi
- Brent Spiner as Lt. Commander Data
Guest stars Edit
- Robert O'Reilly as Gowron
- Tony Todd as Kurn
- Barbara March as Lursa
- Gwynyth Walsh as B'Etor
- Ben Slack as K'Tal
- Nicholas Kepros as Movar
- J.D. Cullum as Toral
Special guest star Edit
Uncredited co-stars Edit
- Rachen Assapiomonwait as Nelson
- Kim Bass as Klingon High Council member
- Joe Bauman as Garvey
- Karen Baxter as operations division ensign
- Thomas J. Booth as operations division officer
- R. Bruce as Klingon High Council member
- Carl David Burks as Russell
- Cameron as
- Max Cervantes as operations division officer
- Tracee Lee Cocco as Jae
- Cooper as Reel
- Nyra Crenshaw as operations division officer
- Denise Crosby as Sela
- Cusimano as Klingon High Council member
- Mitchell Danton as IKS Bortas weapons officer
- Vincent DeMaio as IKS Bortas engineer
- Keith Gearhart as science division officer
- Geletko as Klingon High Council member
- Green as Klingon High Council member
- Jim Grenon as command division officer
- Grace Harrell as operations division officer
- Hunt as operations division officer
- Clifton Jones as IKS Bortas helmsman
- Kim as operations division officer
- Beau Lotterman as Klingon High Council member
- Marin as command division officer
- Rad Milo as command division ensign
- Wilfred Moore as Klingon High Council member
- Michael Moorehead as science division ensign
- Randy Pflug as Jones
- Brandy Pickett as science division officer
- Rivolier as Klingon guard
- Denise Lynne Roberts as Patti
- Linda Robertson as McKnight (archive footage)
- Noriko Suzuki as operations division ensign
- R. Torre as Klingon High Council member
- Curt Truman as command division officer
- Guy Vardaman as Darien Wallace
- Andre Zietsman as Romulan messenger
- Michael Zurich as Klingon guard
- Unknown actors as three Klingon bystander
- Brett - stand-in for LeVar Burton
- Cameron - stand-in for Gwynyth Walsh
- Candace Crump - stand-in for Whoopi Goldberg
- Elaina - stand-in for Barbara March
- Mark Lentry - stand-in for Jonathan Frakes & Nicholas Kepros
- Nora Leonhardt - stand-in for Marina Sirtis
- Tim McCormack - stand-in for Brent Spiner, Robert O'Reilly & Ben Slack
- Lorine Mendell - stand-in for Gates McFadden & Barbara March
- Michael Moorehead - stand-in for Clifton Jones
- Moure - stand-in for Gwynyth Walsh
- Nanci - stand-in for Denise Crosby
- Randy Pflug - stand-in for J.D. Cullum
- Bill E. Rogers - stand-in for Tony Todd
- Richard Sarstedt - stand-in for Ben Slack, Jonathan Frakes & Tom Ormeny
- Dennis Tracy - stand-in for Patrick Stewart
- Guy Vardaman - stand-in for Robert O'Reilly
- James Washington - stand-in for Michael Dorn
Beta Thoridar; cha'DIch; discommendation; Earl Grey tea; Earth; Federation; House of Duras; illegitimate son; kellicam; Khitomer; Klingon; Klingon High Council; Klingonese; Mempa sector; Mogh; Number one; phaser range; Qo'noS; red alert; Romulan; Rozhenko, Alexander; Rozhenko, Helena; Rozhenko, Sergey; squadron; Starbase 24; turbolift; warp coil
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