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Leave a Tender Mr. Worf Moment Alone

A Kinder, Gentler Worf is all part of being a Klingon.

Photo by Gage Skidmore

Lt. Worf knows how to leave a tender moment alone as well as the next guy. It's just a little hard to spot sometimes. But that doesn’t mean they should be ignored. Here’s a series of moments that makes Worf a cut above when it comes to caring.

Father knows best.

In The Cost of Living, Worf plays the doting father. Sorry, the Klingon way suffices just the same, and you know Worf understands the nuances by just showing up in Troi’s office with Alexander. Mediating the domestics, Troi lays out the ground rules. “When he's cleaned his room, for instance, then perhaps he's earned a visit to the holodeck to fight his alien monsters.”

Worf doesn’t entirely get it, though. “You suggest bribery,” Worf cuts the pyscho babble down to size.

Still, the Klingon acquiesces.

Enter Lwaxana Troi and her version of parenting. “And if you fail to perform your duties, what is the child supposed to do about it.” She ignores Mr. Woof’s unswerving allegiance to duty and honor

Talk about the tender Worf—such an accusation would leave him well within his rights to strike her down where she stands. Not only that, he doesn’t get in the way of letting Lwaxana infect Alexander with an appalling lack of structure. “I do know one marvelous thing we can do with rules,” she overrides dad’s authority and hijacks the behavior modification strategy.

So before you know it, Alexander is turning the psychology on his dad and giving Lwaxana a lesson in life. “You know that man you're going to marry? He would never come and take a mud bath, would he,” Alexander calls out Lwaxana's doubtful nuptials and brings the empath back to herself.

The spillover even reaches Worf. The warrior actually takes his place in the mud with the Troi’s and Alexander but is clearly at a loss in the finer techniques of mindful relaxation. “You're just supposed to sit here?”

It hits your right here, doesn’t it?

The Bravest Man I’ve Ever Known

Worf is the last man to run from a fight. But if there’s a tactical advantage to taking flight, he knows it falls well within the confines of being a Klingon warrior.  So tender or not, he doesn’t hesitate to let Captain Picard know that staying to fight the Borg in First Contact is grossly irrational.  “I believe you are allowing your personal experience with the Borg to influence your judgement,” Worf implores. 

But Picard’s single-mindedness blinds him from lesser considerations like Klingon honor. “You’re afraid. You want to destroy the ship and run away... You coward.” Picard stands his ground.

Yes, the brief silence you just heard was the collective gasp of the entire Klingon home world. But being bound to the vast currency Picard has built as captain, Worf must summon all his restraint. “If you were any other man I would kill you were you stand.” Worf lets it slide—so to speak.

Of course, cooler heads prevail. But Worf isn’t interested in the depths of Picard’s pain or the tactical retreat and is prepared to completely dispense his captain’s long resume.

Now Picard must do the summoning, and Worf doesn’t let him off so easy.  The look of disdain, and insubordinate retort demand more than just regret.  “As a matter of fact, I think you’re the bravest man I’ve ever known,” Picard submits.

Klingon honor now preserved, Worf lets the floodgates open. Ok, the stoic face, sincere reply and the puppy dog eyes don’t bring the house down for his briefly fallen Captain, but for Mr. Worf…

Lest Be Judged

Only Worf could teach a young woman to stand up for herself by knocking her on her ass. We remember Ensign Sito for her role in the death of a fellow cadet and the subsequent cover up at Starfleet Academy.

Now, she’s on the Enterprise and trying to make amends in Lower Decks, a tall order given that Picard and Riker both have serious misgivings about her mere presence on the flag ship. “Ensign. As far as I'm concerned, you should have been expelled for what you did. Quite frankly, I don't know how you made it on board this ship,” Picard rakes her over.

But the Warrior sees a certain honor in hanging tight with her coconspirators. However, it's more likely he admires her perseverance in the wake of institutional disdain. (He knows something of that from his burden on the Klingon home world)

Of course, a pat on the back and go get ‘em kid would never do. “I also teach an advanced class. I believe you may be ready to participate. However, before you can join the group, you must pass the gik’tal,” Worf distorts.

Before she knows it, the blindfold is on, Worf is throwing the girl across the room and berating her for failing to defend herself. I mean, how better to show how much he cares?

When she finally protests, we see exactly to what degree the kinder, gentler Worf gives a damn. “Perhaps next time you are judged unfairly, it will not take so many bruises for you protest,” Worf completes the lesson and does so matter of fact. But you just know the little Klingon inside is crying out, and if only just once there’s was someone give him a pat on the back.

Klingons in Love

Knowing what Klingons are like on the Battlefield, we can only wonder how they operate in the warfare known as love and romance. Luckily for us, Wesley is in need of advice in The Dauphin, and we are provided the insight. First belching out a love call, he instructs Wesley that is how a Klingon lures a mate. Of course, it goes over the prepubescent’s head. “Are you telling me to go yell at Salia?”

In keeping with his softer side, Worf exudes patience to the novice. “No. Men do not roar. Women roar. Then they hurl heavy objects. And claw at you.” He animates the amore from past experience.

But that doesn’t completely clue Wesley in on the male’s role, and Worf remains smitten in the recounting. “He reads love poetry.” Worf shows his feminine side.

At the same time, Worf is sure to consul on the pitfalls. “He ducks a lot.” Worf doesn’t diminish.

Remember, though, this a warrior race, and Worf is confident that this race of males have it covered. Still, Wesley isn’t so sure, and admits he needs something “a little less dangerous.”

So Worf knows that his insights have fallen on deaf ears. “Then go to her door. Beg like a human,” he condescends.

Hey, just because he failed doesn’t mean Worf doesn’t know and tough love in the instruction of romance still counts.

For more of Rich Monetti's entertainment musings

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