When the leader of the Klingon High Council passes on, Picard finds himself in the middle of the struggle for the now-vacant position. Meanwhile, Worf reunites with a past love, only to find he now has a son.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge
Dr. Beverly Crusher
Counselor Deanna Troi
Ensign Wesley Crusher
Alexander Rozhenko (as Jon Steuer)
Security Guard
Transporter Technician Hubbell


Captain Picard overrides Lieutenant Worf's reluctance to welcome Klingon ambassador K'Ehleyr aboard, arguing his discommendation in the business of his father's inherited murder conviction makes him honorless under Klingon tradition; to Worf's surprise, she also brings Alexander, their young son she never told him about, and now wants him back by a traditional oath, only he refuses thus to make them outcasts as well. But the most important guest is a surprise: The leader of the Klingon High Council, K'mpec, who was for years the only one capable to prevent a civil war, is dying and now demands Picard to find out which of the candidates for his succession about to arrive, Gowron and Duras, is unfit on account of foul, dishonoring stealth murder. After a Romulan miniature bomb explodes at the ritual asserting K'mpec's death which kills no major player, Picard buys time by choosing an ancient, elaborate ritual presenting the contenders. Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

3 November 1990 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode takes place in 2367. See more »


Patrick Massett accidentally flubs the Klingon word Ha'DIbaH (animal). He transposes two syllables and says "ha'bidah" instead. (Michael Dorn made the same error in "Sins of the Father".) See more »


K'Ehleyr: The Klingon Empire is at a critical juncture. We may be facing civil war.
Commander William T. Riker: War over what?
K'Ehleyr: The usual excuses: tradition, duty, honor...
Lt. Commander Data: The word "excuses" implies alternative reasons for a conflict.
K'Ehleyr: I won't bore you with the intricacies of Klingon politics. Suffice it to say, two factions are trying to seize power.
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References Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Emissary (1989) See more »


Star Trek: The Next Generation Main Title
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

18 February 2017 | by See all my reviews

I'm watching all of the Next Generation series. So far, every episode that has featured Worf and the Klingons has ranged from good to outstanding. I would put this episode in the latter category.

Suzie Plakson reprises her role as Worf's half-human, half-Klingon girlfriend to perfection. I loved her first appearance as K'Ehleyr in season two. Some internet critics claimed in those reviews that she was overacting, which is nonsense. If any actress can cause you to believe that a female Klingon-- even a half-human Klingon-- is sexy then it's an outstanding performance. She adds the right amount of fiery temper and sex appeal to the role.

The story is never boring. As is the case with every Klingon-centered Next Generation episode, it combines the perfect amount of political intrigue, introspection and violence to maintain everyone's interest. However, this episode also has an unexpected and depressing tragedy.

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