In a new exchange program Riker joins the crew of the Klingon Bird-of-Prey Pagh as their first officer. His studies of Klingon culture and cuisine pay. He earns the respect of Capt. Kargan and his crew, even though this means he has to beat up the insubordinate former first officer Klag.
In the meantime, the Benzite Ensign Mendon discovers bacteria that are eating the hull of the Enterprise but remains silent about the discovery because the analysis is still pending. Picard tells him that it is his duty on a Federation ship to report anything that could be hazardous.
On the Pagh, Kargan questions Riker's loyalty when the same bacteria are found on the Klingon ship. He makes Starfleet responsible for it. When the Pagh is about to attack the Enterprise, Riker uses a secret transponder to have Kargan beamed out; he assumes command of the ship and demands the Enterprise's "surrender", which Picard does, thereby satisfying the the Klingons' thirst for revenge.
Internet Movie Database
- Riker's insistence that a father should always be honored are at odds with The Icarus Factor, where it is shown that he is on bad terms with his own father.He is actually stating the Klingon stance on the issue, not his personal opinion.
Incorrectly regarded as goofs
- In Coming of Age, in which several young students fight for a place in Starfleet Academy, the Benzite Mordock gains the honor of becoming the first of his race to enter Starfleet. In this episode, less than a year later, Mendon, another Benzite, appears not as an already graduated Starfleet ensign, but as an officer from the Benzite fleet, in the same sort of exchange program as with Riker and the Klingon ship. (IMDB) Mendon is unfamiliar with the way Starfleet does things, instead continues to quote how it is done in his own fleet, and early on, how much better their way is, which would likely not have happened if he had attended the Academy.
- Keith Alan Morgan on Monday, April 19, 1999 - 09:54 am: This Klingon idea of 'get captured alive and you're scum, even if you do escape,' makes absolutely no sense to me. Surely a warrior race would know that an escaped prisoner can do tons of damage behind enemy lines, yet they choose to ignore this avenue of attack because it's dishonorable? kerriem on Wednesday, April 23, 2003 - 12:10 pm: Also, we never do hear all the ramifications of the philosophy precisely articulated; for all we know, there is an exception made for warriors who get captured, 'do tons of damage behind enemy lines' and make it out. Or, maybe they get captured, do tons of etc. and kill themselves in the process. Given that a strictly honour-bound code of conduct is inevitably not going to cover all eventualities in an imperfect universe...I'm guessing there are quite a few 'loopholes' in The Klingon Way that they perhaps don't discuss with outsiders. :) LUIGI NOVI on Thursday, April 24, 2003 - 12:14 am: In Purgatory's Shadow established that warriors do not have to commit suicide when there are still enemies to fight, or chance of escape. constanze on Wednesday, December 01, 2004 - 11:50 am: I always thought it was an obvious rip-off of the japanese Bushido (warrior ethics), esp. if you read books like "Shogun", where the author states that it is indeed dishonorable to be captured by the enemy instead of committing ritual suicide. (Other rip-offs or signs that the "new" klingon culture is a copy of old-style japan: The tea ceremony, the sword being an important weapon, the operas => Noh-theater) LUIGI NOVI on Wednesday, December 01, 2004 - 8:28 pm: It's not a rip-off. It's simply based on it. The term "rip-off" refers to a created work that is plagarized or used heavily without credit or reference. How can you "rip-off" a real-life culture by writing a fictional one in a sci-fi story that's based on it? Lots of cultural mores and histories in Trek and other such stories are based on Earth cultures.
- Teral on Tuesday, July 24, 2001 - 3:51 pm: Shouldn't captain Kargan beat Riker senseless when he questions his decision to attack the Enterprise. Riker is basically questioning his superior rank and acusing him of acting against Klingon rules of engagement. Beating Riker - the First Officer of the Federation flagship - senseless could have seriously jepodised the Federation-Klingon alliance!