Episode Reviews (2)
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This Klingon episode featuring Worf and Martok is most notable for being the last appearance of Kor (John Colicos), Star Trek's first Klingon, whose roots go back to the original series episode "Errand of Mercy". (He also appears in the animated series, voiced by James Doohan). Taking place largely aboard a Klingon Bird of Prey, the substance of "Once More" is hardly anything new for Klingons; we get the petty bickering, mess hall insults, a battle, and the required variation of "a good day to die". But working its way through all the old clichs, the plot is a thing of beauty that's well written by Ron Moore and nicely performed by the cast.
Like "Soldiers of the Empire", the point of the episode is to set up an underdog for an elusive victory. But this time it's more personal, because it's not about a ship, it's about Kor. John Colicos, in his third DS9 episode, does a magnificent job closing the door on the famous Dahar Master before his own passing in March of 2000. Meanwhile, J. G. Hertzler nearly steals the show, playing Martok with such gravitas you'd swear he's the one who once went toe to toe with Captain Kirk. Like in "Soldiers", Martok serves as a bit of an antagonist, but whereas there his motivation there is unclear, here he gets a well written back story that allows us to understand where he's coming from.
But it's Neil Vipond as Derok, Martok's servant, who proves the biggest surprise. Vipond doesn't have a lot of screentime early, and it's easy to dismiss him as unimportant, but he does the most with the least, setting up his importance later with a subtlety that's easy to miss the first time around.
Throw in Michael Dorn, bringing his umpteen years of experience as Worf to the table, and you get a Klingon episode that, in the spirit of Henry V, goes once more into the breach and savors the fruit of victory.
A Klingon legend, Kor, asks Worf for help in getting him a military command. After Martok angrily refuses to discuss the subject, Worf assigns Kor to Martok's ship as third officer. Once aboard, Kor desires one last honorable mission before he is too old.
The legendary Klingon hero, Kor, seeks a military command through the help of Worf. To Worf's surprise, Martok refuses to grant Kor a command due to a personal grudge. Nevertheless, Worf appoints Kor as third officer on Martok's ship, the Ch'Tang. The crew has a reverent admiration for Kor, while Martok remains angered at the presence of Kor. Kor is given a chance to prove his command ability when Martok and Worf are injured during a battle with the Jem'Hadar. Kor hallucinates that he is fighting the Federation and nearly causes the loss of the ship and its crew. Kor is now viewed by Martok and crew as a confused, crazy old man. With the Ch'Tang on the brink of destruction, Worf prepares to sacrifice himself to save everyone else. Kor, seizing the moment to become an honorable hero once again, knocks Worf unconscious and succeeds in holding off the Jem'Hadar in an unlikely attack.
Meanwhile back on Deep Space Nine, Quark and Jake Sisko believe Ezri is interested in a relationship with Worf. Concerned that Ezri and Worf are not right for each other, Quark is relieved that Ezri is uninterested in Worf afterall. Overall, this episode is a great Klingon story that fits nicely in the war-torn Season 7. It is one of the better Klingon stories of the series. It combines nostalgia and modern Trek and is excellent Klingon-lore from the past, bringing Kor from the calmer, contained "Original Series" and placing him into the heat of battle in "Deep Space Nine". In this storyline, it is difficult to not sympathize with the aging Kor, who's having flashbacks, being mocked, feeling uselss. Kor's flashbacks allow fans of "The Original Series" to recall the same nostalgic memories of the Federation and Klingon Empire being cold enemies of the 23rd century. Through Kor, we learn that we need to appreciate the fruits of youth while we are young. As a bonus, the episode also has a light-hearted subplot surrounding Quark, Jake Sisko, and Ezri Dax.moreless