(written from a Production point of view)
Alexander Rozhenko joins the crew of the Rotarran, much to the disappointment of Worf. On Terok Nor, Tora Ziyal returns to the station where Dukat intends to use her to get closer to Major Kira.
Captain Benjamin Sisko and his crew have been rescued from the uncharted planet in a dark-matter nebula deep inside Dominion space where they crashed by the IKS Rotarran which is due to drop them off at Starbase 375. Worf and Jadzia Dax kiss passionately before they separate once again. Dax makes Worf fret when she jokingly tells him she does not want to join the House of Martok which he takes very seriously. On the bridge of the Rotarran, Chief O'Brien and Doctor Bashir are looking forward to getting back to the starbase where the food doesn't move and the officers don't sing loudly long into the night. Before he disembarks, Captain Sisko makes a bet with Klingon General Martok for a barrel of bloodwine that Sisko will set foot on Deep Space 9 before Martok does. With that, the Starfleet crew disembark.
A little later, the Rotarran picks up five new crew replacements from the IKS Vor'nak (Martok had asked General Tanas for fifteen, but he could only send five). To Worf's surprise, one of these recruits is his own son, Alexander Rozhenko, having newly joined the KDF.
On Terok Nor, Kira Nerys and Odo are still gearing up for their resistance movement, but it is apparently not too much of a secret, since civilians such as Quark and Jake Sisko are well aware of it. Later, Gul Dukat surprises Kira by bringing Tora Ziyal back to the station from Bajor. Kira is happy to see Ziyal, who asks Kira to have dinner with her that night. Kira agrees, but Dukat declares that it will take place in his quarters at 2200 hours. Kira starts to protest, but Dukat and Ziyal quickly run off.
On the Rotarran, Martok receives his orders. Their next mission will be to protect a convoy headed to Donatu V. They will be the only ship protecting the convoy and, since the last three convoys headed the same way were destroyed by the Jem'Hadar, they are probably going to see some action. Martok then asks Worf why, after all they've been through together, he never mentioned he had a son. Worf explains that Alexander's mother was half-Human and disdainful of Klingon ways, and that after her death he raised him on the Enterprise for a while before returning the boy to Earth to live with his foster parents, Sergey and Helena Rozhenko. He also mentions that Alexander had never shown interest in becoming a warrior, which was something Worf eventually managed to accept and respect. Now Worf is at a loss to explain why Alexander has joined the Klingon Defense Force, and admits the two have yet to speak. Martok expresses concern for Worf's relationship with his son, but allows his friend to handle it his own way.
Later, Worf calls Alexander to his quarters and asks after his parents. Alexander, trying to act every inch the warrior, tells Worf that they weren't happy about him enlisting at first but supported him anyway. Worf wishes them to speak as father and son, but Alexander refuses telling Worf he is here as a warrior and nothing more. Worf accuses Alexander of only enlisting to please him, and when Alexander disputes this Worf harshly tells him that they both know he is not a warrior and warns that he expects twice from him that he does the rest of the crew.
Back on the station, Kira visits Ziyal in her quarters where Kira says that she can't have dinner with Dukat. The conversation moves to why Ziyal left Bajor. She says that everyone was polite, but as the daughter of Gul Dukat, she didn't have any friends. The station is her only true home, and she misses her father. Kira reminds Ziyal that the last time she defied Dukat, he left her on the station to die. Ziyal claims that Dukat has explained to her that he overreacted, and implores Kira to come that night. Kira, caught between her hatred for Dukat and her fondness for Ziyal, reluctantly agrees.
On the Rotarran, a fight breaks out in the mess hall when Ch'Targh deliberately provokes Alexander, teasing him about not being used to normal Klingon fare, insisting he have a root beer with ice cream. Alexander is increasingly annoyed and eventually provokes the fight by throwing his bregit lung at him but they can't finish it because Worf interferes to prevent his son from getting hurt when Ch'Targh prepares to stab him with a d'k tahg. Worf seems to have no more confidence in his son's fighting abilities than the last time he saw him and has difficulty controlling his emotions where Alexander is concerned.
On Terok Nor, Ziyal tells Kira and her father that she has found her way. She wants to be an artist and her talent has been recognized by the director of the Cardassian Institute of Art. Dukat thinks that her drawings resemble a Cardassian artist named Nanpart Malor, who was the founder of the Valonnan School on Cardassia Prime, and when Ziyal showed them to the director of the Cardassian Institute of Art he shared Dukat's assessment. Kira thinks that the drawing bares a striking resemblance to a Bajoran artist named Vedek Topek. Ziyal says she wants to use her art to bring people together, to show that both the Bajorans and Cardassians see the universe the same way, but she quickly realizes that that must sound silly to Kira and Dukat.
On the Rotarran, Martok is waiting with Worf over some warnog. He casually mentions the fight in the mess hall, and berates Worf for not hearing it from him. Furthermore, that Worf should have not interfered in the fight, and that Ch'Targh would only have harmed him, not killed. It's apparent that Worf should train him a bit. Just then, an alert status one is called from the bridge. There, Alexander reports a Jem'Hadar attack is imminent, however, there's no sign of it on the viewscreen or any hits to the ship. Worf realizes the battle simulation program is still running and states Alexander forgot to erase it from the sensor display. The realization sinks in to everyone there, and a few of the crew start laughing, saying he's keeping them on their toes. Worf wants to interfere, but Martok stops him, saying they've accepted him. Worf, however, knows they consider him the ship's fool.
On Terok Nor, Dukat is giving a speech in the wardroom to a mix of Cardassians and Bajorans to announce a "new era of cooperation and understanding" with a gift of several industrial replicators to Bajor. It seems well-received, but Kira is disgusted. Delighted to leave when he finishes, Dukat calls her over to say that Ziyal's drawings have been accepted for inclusion in the Cardassian Institute's exhibition on Cardassia. Kira's happy for her, and will attend a celebration. Later, Gul Damar arrives at Kira's quarters to bring her a lovely dress as a gift from Dukat. At first, Kira seems thrilled, as she looks at herself in the mirror. Then, she brings herself back to reality, and decides to return the dress. Dukat gives the dress to Ziyal instead.
Later, Worf tries to train Alexander in hand-to-hand combat as it would be quite useful if they ever encounter real Jem'Hadar soldiers. Worf is armed with a kar'takin, a hand held weapon favored by the Jem'Hadar and Alexander is wielding a bat'leth. But Worf is not able to be objective and the training session ends in a verbal fight between the father and the son. Alexander asks if Worf is going to send him away again and says that Worf will be happy when Alexander is dead.
Martok later finds Alexander in the armory, attempting bat'leth drills; however, the blade leaves Alexander's hand and clatters across the floor, right in front of the general. Martok picks up the weapon and gives it a few experimental swings, commenting on its good balance, but remarking that it is only as effective as the warrior who wields it. He then asks Alexander point-blank why he is there. Alexander answers "to serve the Empire", but Martok dismisses that as a slogan, and demands the real answer. Alexander states that he would rather not say, for it is a personal matter, and asks for a chance to prove himself. Martok replies that he had just given him a chance, and that he failed. He informs Alexander that he will be transferred to a military transport ship, the IKS Par'tok, per Worf's request; Alexander is incensed, and claims Worf had no right, to which Martok retorts that Worf has every right, both as first officer and as Alexander's father.
Outraged, Alexander confronts his father in his quarters; however, they are interrupted by a tactical alert signaling an attack by Jem'Hadar fighters, and quickly report to the bridge.
In the following battle, the Jem'Hadar's fire causes a plasma leak; Alexander immediately volunteers to repair it, and Ch'Targh seconds him, saying it will need two to lock down properly. Worf hesitates for a moment, and then agrees. The Rotarran is able to fend off the Jem'Hadar attack, and the plasma leak is sealed off. However, Alexander managed to lock himself inside the corridor, much to the amusement of the crew. Worf claps Alexander on the shoulder, and asks him to come with him.
On Terok Nor, Ziyal is disappointed that Kira didn't turn up to the party earlier. Kira apologizes, but explains she simply cannot bring herself to have anything to do with Dukat. Ziyal begs not to be forced to choose between them, and Kira understands… Dukat is Ziyal's father, so there is no choice. Kira walks away and Ziyal stands in the corridor, saddened.
Worf realizes that Alexander is not a child anymore and that he must let him prove himself if he is to become a Klingon warrior. Worf offers to stand by Alexander's side moving forward and Alexander tells his father that they will see if he means it. Worf offers to try (again) for a new start, willing to learn how to be a good father. Alexander joins the House of Martok, as his father did, but in a ritual ceremony.
"All right, I'll be here. But I won't guarantee it'll be any fun!"
"I promise my father will behave!"
- - Kira Nerys and Tora Ziyal
"There is a bond between us."
"No. Only in your mind. You're an opportunistic, power-hungry dictator and I want nothing more to do with you."
- - Dukat and Kira Nerys
"We keep falling back… the Dominion keeps pushing forward… I tell you, Worf, war is much more fun when you're winning! Defeat makes my wounds ache."
- - Martok
"Or perhaps the son of our illustrious first officer would prefer an Earth beverage. A glass of root beer with a lump of ice cream? Mmm…"
- - Ch'Targh, teasing Alexander
"All I ask, is a chance to prove myself."
"I just gave you one! And you failed."
- - Alexander and Martok
"Your father has requested that you be transferred off this ship."
"He has no right!"
"He has EVERY right! Both as your superior officer and as your father."
- - Martok and Alexander
"I will teach you what you need to know to be a warrior, and you will teach me what I need to know to be a father."
- - Worf
The six-episode arc
- Although this episode represents part three of the arc, it was actually filmed before part two, "Rocks and Shoals". This was because a location shoot was required for the Starfleet-story of "Rocks and Shoals", and it made more scheduling sense to leave the shoot until after "Sons and Daughters" had been completed. Obviously, this made an already complicated situation worse. As Ronald D. Moore explains, "The station storyline on "Sons and Daughters" changed while they were doing it, which meant that my station-based storyline had to reflect that change… we couldn't keep it straight in our heads and we kept stepping on each other. Had something already happened, or was it happening the following week? It became very difficult to get the whole thing under control." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
"Sons and Daughters"
- This episode was based on the 1950 John Ford film Rio Grande. The film is about a fort commander who discovers that one of his new recruits is his son, whom he hasn't seen since he divorced the boy's mother years ago. The son hates the father, but they must learn to work together. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- Many fans felt that Alexander was far older in this episode than he should have been given his age as established in Star Trek: The Next Generation, an inconsistency dubbed "Soap opera rapid aging syndrome". Ira Steven Behr has admitted they took some liberties with his age, but that there were legitimate practical reasons for this. Firstly, there was the issue of time. There are very strict laws about how long actors under eighteen can be kept on-set, laws which dictate that they cannot work past a certain hour and that they can only do so many hours a day without a break. Following these laws, and factoring in the length of time needed for an actor to get into makeup, it was determined that an under eighteen actor would only be on set for a few hours a day, thus prolonging the shoot. As well as this, the producers wanted an older character so that Worf didn't seem too harsh. If the actor was very young, Worf could be seen as abusive, but with an older character, Worf's parenting becomes, at worst, harsh. Bradley Thompson countered this argument by pointing out that it has never been established how fast Klingon children grow. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- Of the depiction of the character of Ziyal in this episode, Ira Steven Behr has said, "We set out in this arc to make her the pure innocent, to make the audience invest emotion in that innocence." Similarly, David Weddle says, "We had to get her to the point where her death would matter to the audience." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- This episode represents another important stage in the relationship between Kira Nerys and Dukat. Building on the scene between them in "A Time to Stand", Dukat's efforts to win her over are briefly successful here, until Kira steps back and realizes what she is doing, ultimately deciding that she wants nothing to do with Dukat. From this point onwards, Kira's animosity towards Dukat would never waver and there would be no further ambiguity as to how she feels towards him. Following this episode, they would have only two more significant encounters, "Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night" and "Covenant".
- This relationship, as well as that between Kira and Damar, were the subject of a deleted scene from this episode, filmed but cut for time. After Kira calls Dukat an interstellar despot, Dukat retorts that he prefers the term "tyrant". Dukat proposes to assign Damar to escort Ziyal to the opening of her exhibit. Kira points out that "He's a self-righteous sycophant who despises everything Bajoran," and notes that Damar sneers whenever he says "Bajoran". Dukat denies this just as Damar walks in, giving a report and sneering whenever Bajorans are mentioned. Kira can't help but laugh. Damar glares at Kira, but continues his report and leaves. Dukat then imitates Damar, causing Dukat and Kira to laugh together. The script for this episode, including the deleted scene, can be reviewed here. The scene also appears in the novelization of this episode. Casey Biggs commented: "There was a scene originally in one of the scripts in which Kira tells Gul Dukat, 'Damar hates me, he hates Bajorans. Every time he says "Bajoran" he sneers'. So I had to figure out how I was going to do this in order for it to look somewhat real. I decided to give it my best Jack Nicholson impression of a Cardassian. I continued to play that for the next two or three episodes. What I didn't know was that because of time they ended up cutting out that whole scene between Dukat and Kira. Here I was playing out this nice little character piece for the show and no one knew what I was doing." ("Damar's Attacks!, TV Zone special #34, p. 27)
- Ron Moore commented, "You may argue that we should've cut more from the Worf/Alexander story, but if you look at the show objectively you'll see that there's not a lot of extra material in that story to chop." (AOL chat, 1997)
- This episode marks Alexander's first appearance since Star Trek: The Next Generation's seventh season episode "Firstborn". Marc Worden reprises the role in "You Are Cordially Invited".
- Benjamin Sisko later wins his bet with Martok to be the first one on to Deep Space 9. However, he tells Martok they will drink the bloodwine together. ("Sacrifice of Angels")
- Katogh appears to be the son of Ch'Pok, the Klingon advocate who attempted to extradite Worf in "Rules of Engagement".
- Although it is not widely known, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) cut this episode by approximately 25 seconds. In the last scene, as Martok initiates Alexander Rozhenko into the House of Martok, there is a ritual performed which involves Martok placing the insignia of his house into a chalice. He then slides a knife across his palm and lets the blood drip into the chalice. In the UK version of the episode, he then pours in some bloodwine and sets the mixture alight, but in the uncut version, he hands the knife to Alexander and Worf, whom both also cut their palm and let their own blood drip into the chalice. Although, visually, there is no evidence of the edit, if you listen closely, you can hear a slight jump in the music key at the moment of the cut. The reason given by the BBFC for the censorship was that because the show was aimed primarily at teenagers, they felt that a scene in which two characters mix blood could encourage viewers to do likewise, hence increasing the risk of HIV transfer.   Strangely, an almost identical scene involving Martok and Gowron occurs in the seventh season episode "When It Rains...", but this scene was passed uncut by the BBFC. 2016 airings of the episode on CBS Action have reinstated the scene.
- As for the ceremony itself, it is far different from the R'uustai seen in TNG: "The Bonding", not the least because the ceremony here involved an adult Alexander cutting his hand, whereas the R'uustai involved a then-12 year old Jeremy Aster simply lighting candles.
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 6.2, 2 March 1998
- As part of the DS9 Season 6 DVD collection
- The Region 2 release of this episode has approximately 25 seconds cut from the final scene.
Links and references
- Rene Auberjonois as Odo
- Michael Dorn as Lt. Commander Worf
- Terry Farrell as Lt. Commander Dax
- Cirroc Lofton as Jake Sisko
- Colm Meaney as Chief O'Brien
- Armin Shimerman as Quark
- Alexander Siddig as Doctor Bashir
- Nana Visitor as Major Kira
- Marc Worden as Alexander Rozhenko
- Marc Alaimo as Dukat
- J.G. Hertzler as Martok
- Melanie Smith as Ziyal
- Casey Biggs as Damar
- Sam Zeller as Ch'Targh
- Gabrielle Union as N'Garen
- John Lendale Bennett – stand-in for Avery Brooks
- Uriah Carr – stand-in for Casey Biggs
- Cathy DeBuono – stand-in for Terry Farrell
- Mark Lentry – stand-in for Marc Alaimo
- James Minor – stand-in for Michael Dorn
- Robin Morselli – stand-in for Melanie Smith
- Randy Pflug – stand-in for Colm Meaney
- Brenda Jean Wright – stand-in for Nana Visitor
alert status one; applause; Bajor; Bajorans; bat'leth; battle drill; battle simulation; battle stations; bearing; bekk; bloodwine; bregit lung; Cardassia; Cardassians; Cardassian Institute of Art; Cardassian Institute of Art director; Cardassian military freighter; Ch'Pok; conference room; convoy duty; d'k tahg; despot; Donatu V; drawing; Drex; Dukat's shuttle; Earth; Earth beverage; emergency lockdown; Emissary of the Prophets; Enterprise, USS; evasive action; Excelsior-class (starships); Ferengi; foster parent; founder; freeze drying; gagh; Galor-class (Galor warships); grapok sauce; grip; heart; holosuite; impulse injector; industrial replicator; Internment Camp 371; Jem'Hadar; K'Ehleyr; kar'takin; Klingon; Klingon Defense Force; Klingon Empire; Klingon High Council; Larna; Malor, Nanpart; medical ward; mek'leth; Nane; Norpin falcon; path; peach; plasma leak; Quark's; Qu'vatlh; ramufta; resistance cell; Ross, William; Rozhenko, Helena; Rozhenko, Sergey; Sabbatical; ship's fool; slogan; Starbase 375 (Starbase 375-type); Tanas; temperature; Topek; Tse'Dek; Valonnan School; vedek; Vor'cha-class; Vor'nak, IKS; W'mar; warnog; weapons control; wedding; Yridian
- "Sons and Daughters" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Sons and Daughters" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Sons and Daughters" at Wikipedia
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