Blood Oath (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 2, Episode 19) Glory to Dax and her three aging Klingon chums

Rewatching ST:DS9

A rowdy Klingon customer overstays his welcome reliving a battle in Quark’s holosuite, and ends up drunk in a cell, where a second Klingon leaves him with contempt.

Realizing that she’s stumbled across some of Curzon’s old friends, Dax (re)introduces herself. Kor is willing to go with the flow, but stickler Koloth believes Kang “must not have known” about Dax’s new host, and considers it a “mistake” to include her now.

Kang says he has found “the albino,” but formally releases Jadzia Dax from the blood oath that Curzon swore.

Trek nerds will of course recognize each of these Klingons as guest villains from various episodes of the original 1960s Trek, played by the same actors (but with updated makeup, including forehead prosthetics).

In Ops, a troubled Dax asks Kira about the Cardassians she killed in the resistance, and Kira gets worried when she realizes Dax’s curiosity is practical. Dax explains that 80 years ago three Klingon warships were sent to protect Klingon colonies from raiders. One raider — the aforementioned albino — swore and enacted vengeance against the firstborn sons of the three captains. Kang’s son had been named Dax, in Curzon’s honor.

Dax appeals to Kor’s role in history to get him to convince Kang to change his mind and let her fulfill Curzon’s oath. She wins Koloth’s respect by challenging him to a duel, and plays the honor card with Kang.

She doesn’t have such an easy time convincing Sisko, who confronts her as she’s packing. He stops short of ordering her not to go, but leaves open the question of whether, should she survive, she can return to in Starfleet.

On a Klingon bird of prey en route to the albino’s compound, Kang plans a direct assault. Dax realizes he intends for them all to go down fighting. Reasoning that an honorable victory is better than an honorable death, Dax suggests she technobabble the jimberjam to neutralize the enemy’s energy weapons, thus favoring old-school, TV-friendly hand-to-hand combat.

Because each of the three Klingon guest stars needed their own story arc, there’s not enough time to give the albino a satisfying arc of his own. And although Dax is distressed at the thought of theoretically acting on Curzon’s oath to kill their mark, she doesn’t seem to mind what happens to their mark’s non-theoretical guards.

The brief appearances by Quark, Odo, Kira and Sisko helped set up an engaging story. I enjoyed the “small band of scrappy, quipping infiltrators outmaneuver the villain” cliche because it involved flamboyantly choreographed bat’leth fights, regular lulls that afford good character moments, and even an epic song.

The story is a successful homage to classic adventures like The Seven Samurai and Treasure Island, and at times I felt like I was watching an episode of The A-Team. Also, Frank Lloyd Wright apparently designed the albino’s hideout. (And I’m not complaining.)