Overall Rating: 8.0...+1 for comedy goodness = 9.0
We recognize that many elements of this episode are well and truly corny. We recognize that it's fluffy filler after a costly (and emotionally draining) war arc. We love it anyway.
Memory Alpha has the scoop on this warm and amusing diversion.
There's a little voice in my head that keeps making me wonder whether we in the modern Western world would be better off if, in order to get married, we had to go through the living hell that Klingons do. :) DS9's writers have marriage understood far better than those of any of the other Treks. They realize that it's a marathon - a life long shared struggle with highs and lows incomparable to anything else in existence. They realize that good marriages happen when both participants prove that they're willing to dedicate themselves to something beyond their own desires (the other person, their faith, and their sacred bond). They even realize that a healthy marriage is the ultimate expression of maturity.
Although this script is as predictable and cheesy as any the DS9 writers have managed to craft, is succeeds because the team has created characters we love irrationally and want to see happy, because there is a nugget of real wisdom in the zany plot twists, and because the comedy is well done - which is weird, because Ron Moore shares some of the blame for the "humor" found in Ferengi episodes. I don't think of comedy as one of his strong suits. Not to be forgotten, it succeeds because there is tremendous chemistry in the regular cast and they really do work well together.
The one thing this episode does spectacularly wrong has essentially nothing to do with the plot. Kira and Odo attend Dax's bachelorette party and magically make up with each other... and we never understand how or why. We needed to AT LEAST see how that happened...that's at a bare minimum. That misstep aside, I have no huge complaints.
We will cheerfully concede that although the humor is good, the script is certainly not on par with other feature-worthy DS9 episodes. We love it anyway, but we do have to admit that it's a bit of a guilty pleasure.
Some of the Klingon pirate-grunting (aaaarrrgh...we're tough!) goes a little overboard. It's really the likes of Colm Meaney and Alexander Siddig who make this one enjoyable.
For a fluffy forty-five minute comedy, this one does have a nice message in there regarding the need for marriage to be about more than personal fulfillment - for truly understanding that to get it right, you have to grow up and think about someone other than yourself, and that the rewards are well worth the sacrifices.
MARTOK: You knew about this, didn't you?
SISKO: I had a pretty good idea.
MARTOK: And you did nothing to stop it?
SISKO: No. In fact, I recommended you for the position myself. Allow me to offer my congratulations to the new Supreme Commander of the Ninth Fleet.
MARTOK: Do you have any idea how much paperwork a Supreme Commander has to do?
SISKO: You're welcome. May I arrange quarters for you on the station?
MARTOK: No, I'll keep my flag aboard the Rotarran. It may be cramped, but at least I'll feel like I'm still in the war. By the way, I'd like Worf to continue functioning as my principal Intelligence Officer.
SISKO: I don't see any problem with that. He's the only officer I know who can never get enough work.
DAX: it doesn't leave much time to make all the arrangements, but fortunately there isn't that much left to do. Worf's been planning the ceremony for the last three months. He has everything figured out, right down to the colour of my shoes.
KIRA: No offence, Jadzia, but it seems like this wedding is all about what Worf wants. Habitat ring, section fifty one gamma. What about you?
DAX: A traditional Klingon wedding with all the trimmings is something Worf's been thinking about since he was a boy. It probably has something to do with being raised by human parents. In any case, when it comes to Klingon tradition, Worf is very sentimental.
DAX: All men are sentimental. They just cover it up with scowls and clenched jaws. There are times when Worf literally gets misty-eyed talking about Klingon rituals. (awww)
WORF: Thank you for coming. As you probably know by now, Jadzia and I will be married here on the station in six days.
BASHIR: There's nothing more romantic than a wedding on DS Nine in springtime.
O'BRIEN: When the neutrinos are in bloom.
WORF: By tradition, the Klingon man spends the four nights before his wedding on a mental and spiritual journey. It is called Kal'Hyah, the path of clarity. And he is accompanied by his closest male friends.
MARTOK: You cannot imagine the experience that awaits us. Four long nights filled with song and fellowship. A time of unbridled pleasures.
O'BRIEN: Are we talking about a bachelor party?
WORF: It is a similar ritual.
BASHIR: That's good enough for me.
O'BRIEN: Me too.
SISKO: Count me in.
WORF: We will meet in the holosuite tomorrow night at twenty one hundred hours.
MARTOK: I advise you all to get plenty of rest.
BASHIR: Four nights at a Klingon bachelor party. Just think of the possibilities. (LOL!)
O'BRIEN: Thank God Keiko's not here.
MARTOK: My Lady.
SIRELLA: You've put on weight and your hair is going grey.
MARTOK: My deterioration is proceeding apace.
SIRELLA: I thought you would be in your grave by now.
MARTOK: I shall endeavour to die this year, if possible (ROTFL!!). Allow me to present Captain Benjamin Sisko, Commander of Deep Space Nine. Captain, may I present the Mistress of the House of Martok, my wife and the mother of my children, Sirella, daughter of Linkasa.
SISKO: Welcome to Deep Space Nine.
SIRELLA: Thank you, Captain. Where is she?
MARTOK: Jadzia's quarters are in the Habitat ring, section twenty five alpha. Shall I escort you? It's quite far away.
SIRELLA: I'll find my way. If you'll excuse me.
MARTOK: Magnificent, isn't she? (heh!)
WORF: Are these real var'Hama candles?
DAX: Yes, Worf. I travelled to Kronos, I captured three targs in the Hamar Mountains, made the ritual sacrifice at dawn, came back to the station, asked Quark to boil their shoulders into tallow. Then I spent two days molding them into candles with my own hands.
WORF: I was just asking. (LOL!)
SIRELLA: Your worthiness to join our House will now be judged according to the traditions of my family.
DAX: I am prepared, my lady.
SIRELLA: I doubt that. A Klingon woman would find it difficult to gain my favour. For an alien, it will most likely be impossible.
DAX: I like a challenge.
SIRELLA: I will not have my authority challenged by you.
DAX: That's not what I meant.
SIRELLA: If you cannot say what you mean, say nothing at all. The evaluation will begin tomorrow morning. Have the traditional meal prepared before I arrive. And in the future, if you cannot trouble yourself to make real var'Hama candles, try not to use such obvious fakes. (RREEEOW!)
WORF: You never told me that your wife was opposed to this marriage.
MARTOK: Sirella is a woman of strong convictions. She believes that by bringing aliens into our families we risk losing our identity as Klingons.
WORF: That is a prejudiced, xenophobic view.
MARTOK: We are Klingons, Worf. We don't embrace other cultures, we conquer them. If someone wishes to join us, they must honour our traditions and prove themselves worthy of wearing the crest of a great House.
WORF: Jadzia is worthy.
MARTOK: Of course she is. She is an honourable woman and a formidable warrior.
WORF: You should say that to Sirella.
MARTOK: That's not such a good idea. I don't want her to think that I'm interfering in her domain.
WORF: Perhaps I should speak with her. Coming from me, it would not seem like a challenge to her authority.
MARTOK: I wouldn't do that if I were you.
MARTOK: Well, the truth is, she doesn't like you that much either.
MARTOK: Don't let that bother you I had every right to bring you into the family and she's accepted the fact that there's nothing she can do about it.
WORF: How comforting.
MARTOK: And they say that you have no sense of humour. (LOL...wow)
WORF: These are Ma'Stakas.
(Worf hands out staves with big balls on the end.)
BASHIR: What do we do with them?
MARTOK: At the conclusion of the wedding ceremony, you will use them to attack Worf and Dax.
O'BRIEN: Obviously. Don't you know anything? (hee!)
WORF: There are six trials we must face on the path to Kal'Hyah. This is the first, deprivation. We now begin a fast that will continue until the day of the wedding.
BASHIR: That's four days away.
MARTOK: It is a short time, I know, but we must make the best of it.
SISKO: What are the other five trials?
WORF: Blood, pain, sacrifice, anguish and death.
BASHIR: Sounds like marriage all right. (LOL!)
O'BRIEN: How would you know? (ROTFL!!)
ALEXANDER: We're still on the
BASHIR: The road to Kal'Hyah, day five hundred.
O'BRIEN: Maybe we should turn down the heat, you know, for Alexander's sake.
ALEXANDER: No, it's okay. I just need some water.
BASHIR: Now you don't want to push yourself too hard. You know, turning down the heat might be a good idea.
MARTOK: The whole point is to push yourself to the limits of your endurance.
ALEXANDER: I will. I want to travel the entire path to Kal'Hyah. Stoke the fire again!
WORF: As you wish.
MARTOK: Of course, we cannot expect you non-Klingons to have the same stamina as we do. If you wish to quit, no one will think any less of you.
BASHIR: Who said anything about quitting?
SISKO: Not me.
O'BRIEN: I like the heat. (HA! Men...)
SIRELLA: You are straying from the saga.
DAX: Am I?
SIRELLA: Your task is to recite the complete chronicle of the women in my family.
DAX: I just thought I'd provide you with a broader historical perspective along the way.
SIRELLA: I am familiar with Klingon history. Now, return to the story of my twenty third maternal grandmother, Shenara, daughter of Emperor Reclaw in the Second Dynasty.
DAX: Well, that's where we run into a little bit of a problem. You see, I did some research and when Emperor Reclaw was killed all the members of the Imperial Family were also put to death. Including Shenara. When the Third Dynasty was founded ten years later, a new group of Klingons were given the titles and the names of the original Imperial Family to create the illusion of an unbroken line. So the woman that you think of as your twenty third maternal grandmother isn't related to you at all. Your real ancestor's name was Karana, a concubine living outside the Imperial stables.
SIRELLA: My grandmother's name was Shenara.
DAX: That may be what's been passed down from generation to generation, but it has no basis in fact. But who cares about facts? The chronicle says that you have imperial blood in your veins and that's exactly what we'll tell everyone. (oooooh!)
SIRELLA: Continue with the saga!
DAX: My pleasure.
KIRA: They look so serious.
JAKE: It's all an act. They don't want the rest of us to know what kind of debauchery they're up to.
KIRA: Like what?
JAKE: It's a Klingon bachelor party. Use your imagination.
WORF: Now begins the trial of blood.
MARTOK: Let rivers flow from our veins.
WORF: Who will be the first?
(Sisko, O'Brien and Alexander all take one step back to leave someone who is almost asleep on his feet.)
WORF: I did not expect it to be you, Doctor.
BASHIR: Neither did I.
WORF: Do not worry. The pain will last for only a moment. (LOL)
BASHIR: It's working. I've had a vision about the future. I can see it so clearly.
O'BRIEN: What is it?
BASHIR: I'm going to kill Worf. I'm going to kill Worf. That's what I'm going to do. I can see it clearly now. I'm going to kill him. Kill him.
O'BRIEN: Kill Worf. Kill Worf. (awesome!)
SIRELLA: You! Leave her or I'll cut your head off and hang it from my belt.
DAX: I'll take care of this. You weren't invited.
SIRELLA: It is time for the Bre'Nan ritual.
DAX: I'm busy.
SIRELLA: Busy acting like a Risian slut.
DAX: I'm only going to ask you to leave once.
SIRELLA: You will come with me now and perform the Bre'Nan ritual to my satisfaction or I will cancel your wedding.
DAX: Toruk-DOH! (yowza!)
WORF: You are allowing your pride blind you.
DAX: Look who's talking. You want me to go crawling to some old hag just so you can have your traditional Klingon wedding.
WORF: This is about more than just tradition. You and I have embarked on a spiritual journey, one that will bind us together through this life and into the next. You cannot turn back now.
DAX: Maybe you're on a spiritual journey, Worf, but I just want to get married. So why don't you go back to sweating and bleeding with your friends in the holosuite and when you're done, meet me in Benjamin's office and he'll perform the ceremony.
WORF: If that is your attitude, perhaps Sirella was right about you. There should be no wedding. (Jadzia is dead wrong...marriage IS a spiritual journey)
QUARK: Haven't you heard? The wedding's off.
O'BRIEN: Off? Why?
QUARK: She says it's because he's a pigheaded, stubborn man who puts tradition before everything else. He says it's because she's a frivolous, emotional woman who refuses to take him or his culture seriously. You can see the problem.
O'BRIEN: They're both right.
BASHIR: Well, there's only one thing for it.
QUARK: I'll get the menu. (LOL)
MARTOK: Worf, you've made a grave error.
MARTOK: Do you still love her?
WORF: Of course. However, in this case, that may not be enough. Anyone can see that we are hopelessly mismatched. She is a Trill, I am a Klingon. She has had five marriages, this would be my first. When she is laughing, I am sombre. When I am happy, she is crying. She plays tongo with the Ferengi bartender. I can barely stand him. She mocks everything, while I take everything seriously. She is nothing like the woman I thought I would marry.
MARTOK: We are not accorded the luxury of choosing the women we fall in love with. Do you think Sirella is anything like the woman I thought that I'd marry? She is a prideful, arrogant, mercurial woman who shares my bed far too infrequently for my taste. And yet I love her deeply. We Klingons often tout our prowess in battle, our desire for honour and glory above all else. But how hollow is the sound of victory without someone to share it with. Honour gives little comfort to a man alone in his home and in his heart.
DAX: Come in. Save your breath. Worf went too far and now it's over. Do you know what he wanted me to do? He wanted me to go crawling on my hands and knees to Sirella to beg her forgiveness. Beg her! Me! I was once the Federation Ambassador to the Klingon Empire. I negotiated the Khitomer Accords before Worf was even born.
SISKO: Curzon negotiated the Accords. And I've got news for you, old man. You're not Curzon anymore.
DAX: And what the hell is that supposed to mean?
SISKO: It means that you can't expect Sirella to treat you like Curzon just because you carry his memories. To her, you're just a young woman who decided to marry into her family. If it means you have to bow down and kiss her boots, that's exactly what you have to do. And you knew that. The moment you decided to marry Worf, you knew that sooner or later you'd have to bow down and show her the respect that she's due.
DAX: This is Worf's fault. Worf and his traditional Klingon wedding.
SISKO: Well, he may have let this wedding business go to his head, but you are three hundred fifty six years old. Compared to you, Worf is just a kid. And if you can't abide by Klingon traditions, then you never should have let yourself fall in love with him in the first place. And you are in love with him.
DAX: I wasn't looking to fall in love. I was perfectly happy by myself. I had friends, a career, adventure. Then one day this Klingon with a bad attitude walked into my life and the next thing I know, I'm getting married. After three hundred fifty six years and seven lifetimes, I still lead with my heart.
SISKO: You know, that is what I have always loved about you. And I think that's why Worf loves you, too.
DAX: Whatever happened to that young, callow Ensign I used to know? The one who used to turn to me for advice all the time? You know, the one with hair?
SISKO: I grew up.
DAX: I guess it's time I grew up, too.
SIRELLA: And do you swear to join with him and stand with him against all who would oppose you?
DAX: I swear.
SIRELLA: Then let all present here today know that this man and this woman are married.
(Worf kisses his bride.)
MARTOK: Not yet.
(Sirella embraces Worf.)
(Dax curtseys to Sirella.)
DAX: My lady.
SIRELLA: Welcome to the House of Martok, my daughter.
(Sirella and Dax embrace.)
MARTOK: Now, Doctor!
(Blackout for the blood-curdling screams and thumping sounds. - perfect ending!)