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The Emissary (episode)

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"The Emissary"
TNG, Episode 2x20
Production number: 40272-146
First aired: 29 June 1989
45th of 176 produced in TNG
45th of 176 released in TNG
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 176 released in TNG Remastered  
152nd of 728 released in all
Worf and K'Ehleyr say goodbye
Teleplay By
Richard Manning & Hans Beimler

Story By
Richard Manning & Hans Beimler and Thomas H. Calder

Directed By
Cliff Bole
42901.3 (2365)
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For the DS9 episode with a similar title, please see "Emissary".

The Enterprise crew has to deal with a Klingon sleeper ship whose occupants don't know the Federation and Klingons are at peace. On-board to help them is an emissary, who (coincidentally) is one of Worf's former love interests.



Worf plays poker

"Talk, or play: not both."

Worf, Data, La Forge, Dr. Pulaski, and Riker are playing poker. When Worf makes a big bet, Data suggests that he doesn't fully understand the nuances of the game. Riker points out that Worf has been the biggest winner that day, implying that Data shouldn't underestimate his poker skills. Data expresses doubt that Worf's success is due to anything other than random chance. Pulaski, being the only one who doesn't fold, calls Worf's hand. Worf wins. On a subsequent hand, Worf once again bets big, and La Forge says he's bluffing. Worf insists that Klingons never bluff.

The poker game is interrupted before the hand can be played out, when the Enterprise receives an urgent confidential message from Starfleet Command.

Act OneEdit

K'Ehleyr in probe

"I greet you. I am K'Ehleyr."

The crew is informed by Admiral Gromek that they are to pick up an emissary who will assist them with a very important mission. Captain Picard asks for more information, but is told that utmost secrecy is required and that he will be fully informed of the situation by the emissary.

They later rendezvous with the emissary's shuttle, a specially-converted probe capable of transporting one person at warp 9. Upon opening the probe, the emissary is revealed to be K'Ehleyr, a half Klingon, half Human woman and one of Worf's former love interests.

Act TwoEdit

K'Ehleyr and Worf argue

"You're as stubborn as ever!"

K'Ehleyr explains in the conference lounge that a Klingon battle cruiser named the T'Ong was launched from the Klingon homeworld seventy-five years ago, during the Klingon War, on a long-term mission to attack a remote Federation outpost. Ever since the launch, its crew has been in suspended animation, set to awaken only upon reaching the target. Thus, the crew of the T'Ong are unaware of the peace between the Federation and the Klingons, and will attack the outpost when they awaken.

Picard assumes that K'Ehleyr has been sent to talk with the crew, but K'Ehleyr says talking will be a waste of time; she believes there is no way of reasoning with the Klingons, and the only way to prevent loss of innocent lives is to destroy the T'Ong on sight. Picard refuses to accept this and orders her to work with Worf in developing a non-violent alternative.

Forced to work together with unresolved feelings from their previous relationship from six years prior, Worf and K'Ehleyr get into heated emotional conflicts and are unable to properly concentrate on the job at hand.

Act ThreeEdit

After a particularly vicious argument with Worf, K'Ehleyr storms back to her quarters and shatters a glass table in rage. Deanna Troi notices the destruction and tactfully suggests that she blow off some steam on the holodeck. Seeing the list of available programs, K'Ehleyr selects Worf's calisthenics routine, entering hand-to-hand combat in a primitive jungle.

Meanwhile, up on the bridge, Picard notices that Worf is taut as a drum, and likewise orders him to relax. Venturing down to the holodeck, Worf sees his program in progress, and realizes K'Ehleyr is running it. Entering the program with her, they fight and defeat holographic enemies, then give in to their desires and engage in a Klingon mating ritual.

Act FourEdit

Worf and K'Ehleyr on holodeck

"We are mated."

Afterwards, Worf initiates a vow of marriage, shouting "tlhIngan jIH" (Klingonese for "I am a Klingon"), but K'Ehleyr refuses to participate, unwilling to commit to the marriage dictated by Klingon tradition.

Captain Picard wants a peaceful solution to the Klingon battle cruiser problem, but K'Ehleyr insists the Klingons will have to be destroyed because they will never believe him if he tries to explain that they are no longer at war. When they first encounter the T'Ong, the Enterprise is immediately fired upon with no attempt made at communication. It appears K'Ehleyr's prediction is correct; the Enterprise will be forced to destroy the T'Ong.

Act FiveEdit

Worf addresses K'temoc

"I can waste no more time on you."

However, Worf has come up with a cunning plan. Clad in full traditional Klingon command uniforms, he and K'Ehleyr appear on viewscreen as captain and first officer of the Enterprise. "Captain" Worf informs Captain K'Temoc of the T'Ong that the war is over, implying with his appearance and apparent command of a Federation ship that the Klingons have been victorious. He then orders K'Temoc to lower his shields. K'Temoc hesitates to comply, unsure whether to trust Worf's explanation – but finally agrees, fooled by Worf's well-played bluff. Arrangements are made for K'Ehleyr to beam on board the T'Ong and take command until the arrival of the Klingon ship IKS P'Rang to escort them back to Qo'noS.

Worf and K'Ehleyr discuss their feelings for one another prior to her departure, leaving open the question of whether their paths will cross again.

Log entriesEdit

Memorable quotesEdit

"nuqneH, qaleghneS" (Greetings; I am honored to see you)
"You speak Klingon!"

- Riker greeting K'Ehleyr upon her arrival on the Enterprise

"Whoever said getting there was half the fun never traveled in a class 8 probe."

- K'Ehleyr

"Whenever Starfleet gets enigmatic, I know we're about to face a challenge. Engage!"

- Picard

"Still, I am delighted to be out of that damned coffin!"

- K'Ehleyr, about her ride inside a class 8 probe

"Looks like it's just you and me, handsome."

- Pulaski, to Worf while playing poker

"You are late."
"Sorry. I had to make myself beautiful."
"I fail to understand why.

- Worf and K'Ehleyr

"Worf, we're alone now. You don't have to act like a Klingon glacier, I don't bite. Well, that's wrong, I do bite."

- K'Ehleyr to Worf

"You're not even looking at me."
"I am familiar with your appearance."

- K'Ehleyr and Worf

"Lieutenant, I order you to relax."
"I am relaxed!"

- Picard and Worf

"It's not much of a program."
"Computer! Level two."

- K'Ehleyr and Worf

"I've noted that some people use humor as a shield. They talk much, yet say little."

- Worf

"We are mated."
"Yes, I know! I was there! But..."

- Worf and K'Ehleyr

"An android chaperone."
"Android, of course, is correct, but I fail to see how 'chaperone' is appropriate."

- K'Ehleyr and Data

"Poor android. Whose behavior do you find more perplexing? Human? Or Klingon?"
"At the moment...I would find it difficult to choose."
"So would I."

- K'Ehleyr and Data

"How did you like command?"
"... Comfortable chair."

- Riker and Worf

"K'Ehleyr, I will not be complete without you."

- Worf

Background informationEdit

Story and production Edit

Plakson and Dorn

Plakson and Dorn on set

  • This episode was based on an unpublished story by Thomas H. Calder.
  • Suzie Plakson was cast as K'Ehleyr because the production staff were impressed with her performance as Doctor Selar in "The Schizoid Man". Tracy Tormé, who had written "The Schizoid Man", had wanted to develop a romance between Selar and Worf, but the idea was overruled when "The Emissary" was being planned. Tormé complained that the premise was "obvious. Had it been a Vulcan, it would have been a lot more interesting." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages)
  • Director Cliff Bole devised several of the Klingon customs seen here. He recalled, "I came up with that thing where [K'Ehleyr] digs into [Worf's] hand and there's all that blood. I did that on the set. I was wondering what these people do, and I had the image of bones breaking and felt that's what they do when they get it on." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages)
  • The final draft script was submitted on 28 March 1989.
  • First UK airdate: 18th September 1991

Continuity Edit

Reception Edit

  • Maurice Hurley remarked, "Great idea and one that worked. Hard for that one not to work, but it worked well all the way through. With the Klingons you're dealing with emotion and passion. You've got somebody who can see something. You need that balance in the show sometimes. The show gets so intellectually smug and self-serving, and you need something like that to break it off; someone willing to storm the barricades. The idea of the half-Klingon was fun." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages)
  • Cliff Bole commented, "I liked the show and thought Michael Dorn did a real good job in it. I think I let [Suzie Plakson] get overboard a little bit. She was a little too broad, but she's a talented lady. I think the Klingon shows are fun to do, because you can go a little broad with them." (Captains' Logs: The Unauthorized Complete Trek Voyages)
  • A mission report for this episode by Will Murray was published in The Official Star Trek: The Next Generation Magazine Vol. 9, pp. 51-54.

Video and DVD releasesEdit

Links and references Edit

Starring Edit

Also starring Edit

Special appearance by Edit

Guest stars Edit

Co-stars Edit

Uncredited co-stars Edit

Stunt double Edit

Stand-ins Edit

References Edit

2290; 2331; 2359; Boradis III; Boradis system; class 8 probe; class 11 emergency signal; cloaking device; cryogenic stasis; evasive maneuvers; Federation; gamma ray; Holodeck Two; Klingon calisthenics program; Klingon High Command; K't'inga-class; meter; Number one; poker; P'Rang, IKS; Qo'noS; Samrin's Planet; sleeper ship; special emissary; Starbase 153; Starbase 336; T'Ong, IKS; Troi, Ian Andrew; Troi, Lwaxana; yellow alert

Library computer references Edit

Unreferenced materialEdit

Samrin's Planet

External links Edit

Previous episode:
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 2
Next episode:
"Peak Performance"

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