Recap / Star Trek Deep Space Nine S 07 E 07 Once More Unto The Breach

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"Savor the fruit of life, my young friends. It has a sweet taste when it's fresh from the vine. But don't live too long. The taste turns bitter... after a time."
— Kor

The legendary Klingon warrior Kor shows up on Worf's doorstep, desperate for help. Thirty years ago, Kor rejected Martok's application to the Klingon academy, and now Martok refuses to allow Kor to serve in combat, guaranteeing a dishonorable death. Worf goes over Martok's head and grants Kor a position in the fleet, but Kor's deteriorating mind might not be up to the task. In the b-plot, Quark sets his sights on Ezri.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Quark attempts to court Ezri, and actually does a pretty decent job.
  • All for Nothing: Martok dreamed for 30 years of the day when Kor would be humiliated and destroyed. He finally sees it, but after Kor rebukes him with "The Reason You Suck" Speech, Martok realizes he can't take any pleasure from it.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Downplayed. Kor denied Martok's application to become a KDF officer for no other reason than that he wasn't of noble birth. Martok worked his way Up Through the Ranks despite this.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Kor's death gets this effect, as Kor fights the Dominion fleet—we never see his ship destroyed; we only get a play-by-play until the Rotarran gets too far away for the sensors to pick up what's happening.
    • Worf gives an analysis of the trope from his romantic perspective when discussing Davy Crockett at the Alamo: If you believe in the legend then you can simply accept he died a hero's death. If you don't then he was just a man, and it doesn't matter how he died.
  • Broken Pedestal: Kor is revered by Martok's crew until he starts acting like he has Alzheimer's.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Martok hates Kor because Kor denied his application to become an officer, delaying his career by five years. Kor doesn't even remember it because he reviewed so many applications in those days, although he admits it sounds like something he'd do.
  • Description Cut: Kor promises that Martok won't even know that he's aboard the Ch'Tang. At least, not until everyone else on the bridge starts squeeing.
  • Due to the Dead: Darok brings some blood wine onto the bridge before the final assault begins—saying that they can drink to the courage of those about to die whether they succeed or not.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Kor and a skeleton crew in a damaged Bird of Prey versus a fleet of ten Dominion fighters. They not only managed to force them all out of warp, they successfully engaged them all at once for at least ten minutes.
  • Easily Forgiven: Subverted - Martok will toast Kor's bravery, but when the crew begins to sing the Warrior's Anthem he cannot join them because of his lingering resentment.
  • Heroic Sacrifice / You Shall Not Pass: Attempted by Worf but ultimately carried out by Kor who fights a ten to one battle against the pursuing Jem'Hadar ships to give the other ships in the fleet time to reach safety.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: Martok plans a series of these behind enemy lines. Sisko even compares it to an old Earth "cavalry raid."
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: Kor towards the end of the episode; stricken with dementia, long past his prime, reduced to a laughing stock, and with nothing but Glory Days to his name.
  • Instant Sedation: Kor uses the off-button hypospray on Worf while taking his place on the Ning'tao.
  • It Has Been an Honor: Darok's goodbye to Kor:
    "It has been an honor serving with you... Kor, son of Rynar."
  • Killed Off for Real: Kor.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": Much of Martok's crew are visibly excited to serve with Kor. For a while.
  • Large Ham: It's a Klingon episode! That said, Kor's Ham is legendary.
  • Literary Allusion Title: A Shout-Out to William Shakespeare's Henry V.
  • Missed the Call: "Today was not my day to die."
  • More Expendable Than You: Why Kor takes Worf's place fighting the Jem'Hadar—Worf is still young with plenty of battles to fight, while Kor is way over the hill and won't see another battle.
    • Kor also points out that most of Worf's experience is with Federation ships, while Kor has been commanding Birds of Prey since they were introduced. He then goes on to demonstrate exactly why they call him a Master, with the observers watching the battle in awe.
  • Noodle Incident: So Curzon broke into a harem, eh?
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Kor's final moment of badassery is too epic to actually be witnessed. The play-by-play is delivered by the helmsman until they reach their sensor distance.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Kor severely rebukes Martok and his crew for ridiculing him after his bout of Klingon Alzhimer's.
  • To Absent Friends: Worf and Kor drink a toast to Jadzia.
    • Done at the end, too, when Worf, the crew, and even Martok toast Kor's sacrifice.
  • Warts and All: The crew realizes that Kor's best days are behind him when, in the middle of an attack on a Dominion outpost, he assumes command and believes he's reliving a battle he led against a Federation colony.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Martok's father wanted him to become an officer, but Kor blacklisting him meant he couldn't even become a warrior, and had to join a warbird as a civilian auxillary. By the time he earned a Field Promotion, his father was dead.
  • You Are in Command Now: Kor assumes command when Martok and Worf are briefly incapacitated. It goes badly until they're able to reassert authority.

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