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Recap / Star Trek Deep Space Nine S 06 E 07 You Are Cordially Invited

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"Kill Worf...kill Worf...kill Worf..."
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It's been one week since the Federation returned to Deep Space Nine, and things almost feel normal again even though the war is still technically on. Worf and Jadzia find out that Alexander is going to be transferred away from the station, so Jadzia moves up their wedding plans to be held on the station so he can attend. Worf recruits Sisko, Bashir, O'Brien, Alexander and Martok for the Klingon version of a bachelor's party. Meanwhile, Martok's wife, the imperious Sirella, arrives to judge whether Jadzia is worthy to join their house.

Worf's "bachelor party" turns out to be Kal'hyah, a four-day ceremony of pain and endurance. The group is expected to fast, endure brutal heat, shed blood, and pass other tests. Bashir and O'Brien are dismayed. Alexander, who knows little about Klingon culture, is also unprepared. Only Sisko jumps in with gusto, and the others follow his lead. The men endure ordeal after ordeal, refusing to give up.

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At the same time, Dax is going through an ordeal of her own. Sirella proves to be an overbearing and harsh critic, castigating Dax for every tiny infraction and repeatedly insisting that an "alien" like her will never find a home in Klingon culture. When Dax throws a bachelorette party, she indulges in wine and revelry. Sirella breaks in on the party and demands that Dax accompany her to perform a ritual, but Dax refuses. The two argue, and Sirella pulls a knife, causing Dax to deck her. The Klingon matriarch officially denies her blessing on the marriage and storms away.

As all of this is happening, Kira and Odo have been avoiding each other. They'd postponed figuring out what their relationship is until after the station was liberated. Now that it is, both sides are hesitant about taking the first step. During Dax's party, Odo arrives to deliver a noise complaint, and Kira decides that now's finally the time. When morning dawns, Dax discovers that the two lovebirds have talked the night away. Upon realizing the time, they both rush off to start their workday.

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Worf is called away from his Kal'hyah to try to talk Dax into apologizing to Sirella, but she refuses and calls off the wedding. Sisko arrives, and Dax talks about her unlikely relationship with Worf. At the end, she realizes that she really is in love with him and wants to get married, so she vows to apologize to Sirella. Bashir and O'Brien are just about ready to break their fast when Sisko and Martok arrive to tell them that the wedding is back on, so they must complete the Kal'hyah.

In the end, Worf and Dax are married in a ceremony presided over by Sirella, who proclaims that nothing can defeat a Klingon marriage, even her. As the ceremony ends, Bashir and O'Brien perform their final responsibility as part of the Kal'hyah: attacking the bride and groom.


Tropes

  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Jadzia seems unwilling to play this trope with Sirella until Sisko convinces her otherwise.
  • Altar the Speed: Jadzia and Worf move the date of their wedding so Alexander can attend.
  • Artistic License – Economics: The existence or nonexistence of money in the Federation is once again muddled. Jake admits that he receives no money for his job as a writer, while Bashir and O'Brien are dismayed that Quark won't give them a refund for the food they ordered.
  • Battle Couple: The tale of the first Klingon marriage, in which the newlyweds killed the gods who had created them.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: When Quark explains that the couple have split because Worf's stubborn and obsessed with tradition, and Jadzia is frivolous and won't take his culture seriously, Miles and Julian agree that the problem is that they're both right.
  • Breather Episode: After 7 episodes of violence and bloodshed, this episode is a welcome bit of comical relief. Sisko lampshades this in his Captain's Log by saying the war feels very far away for the moment.
  • Call-Back: Martok again bemoaning the sole downside of having Worf on the Rotarran: He won't shut up about his impending wedding.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Not in the usual sense... but Sisko does give Dax a severe talking-to, and calls her "Old Man" as usual.
  • Charge-into-Combat Cut: Played for laughs as the episode ends on Bashir and O'Brien charging in for some righteous retribution. Cut to black and the sound of their clubs hitting Worf.
  • Cleavage Window: In Jadzia's wedding dress. Maybe it's traditional?
  • Comically Missing the Point: When Bashir and O'Brien react in shock that they'll be fasting for four days, Martok "agrees" that it's a pretty brief time.
  • Continuity Nod: The Sutherland was previously established in the "Redemption" two-parter (also written by Ronald D. Moore) on TNG. Word Of God states that it was intended for Captain Shelby of the Sutherland to be the same Shelby from "The Best of Both Worlds" two-parter.
  • Deadpan Snarker: After Worf learns that Sirella opposed him becoming a member of the House of Martok.
    Martok: I had every right to bring you into our family, and she's accepted that there's nothing she can do about that!
    Worf: How comforting.
    Martok: [laughing] And they say you have no sense of humor!
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: As Martok points out, Klingons don't embrace other cultures—they conquer them. So no matter how archaic and xenophobic Sirella is, Jadzia is going to have to play by her rules to enter her House.
  • Democracy Is Bad: The Klingons' brief flirtation with democracy is called "the dark times."
  • Disappointing Promotion: Martok doesn't like having been promoted to Supreme Commander of the Ninth Fleet because of all the paperwork involved.
  • Dojikko: Alexander has such a tendency to mess things up the other Klingons regard him as a good luck charm, figuring his mistakes use up any bad luck that's going to happen to them.
  • Easily Forgiven: Odo's actions during the Occupation arc. He and Kira talk it out off-screen. Pretty much no one working on the show liked that.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Leeta can barely break her attention from Atoa. Same with Jadzia.
  • Food Porn: All that delicious food...and nobody can eat any of it...
  • Funny Background Event: After "volunteering" Bashir for the Trial of Blood, Sisko and O'Brien are clearly smirking.
  • Get Out!: Sirella's reaction to seeing Worf in Jadzia's quarters.
    Sirella: What is he doing here?
    Worf: I meant no disrespect—
    Sirella: Then leave!
  • Got Volunteered: Bashir gets to be first for the Trial of Blood when everyone else steps backwards while he's not paying attention.
    Worf: I did not expect it to be you, Doctor.
    Bashir: Neither did I.
  • Hangover Sensitivity: Jadzia after her bachelorette party. Worf is not amused.
    Jadzia: You're mad.
    Worf: I am concerned.
    Jadzia: Yeah, well, I'm hung over.
  • Happily Married: To the other characters' surprise (not to mention the audience's), Martok and Sirella.
    "We are not accorded the luxury of choosing the women we fall in love with. Do you think Sirella is anything like the woman I thought that I'd marry? She is a prideful, arrogant, mercurial woman who shares my bed far too infrequently for my taste. And yet... I love her deeply. We Klingons often tout our prowess in battle, our desire for glory and honor above all else... but how hollow is the sound of victory without someone to share it with? Honor gives little comfort to a man alone in his home... and in his heart."
  • Hypocritical Humor: During his first scene in Sisko's office, Martok complains about Worf's single-minded focus on his wedding and Alexander...while the General's full attention is entirely on Sisko's baseball.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: As Sisko points out. Dax is not Curzon, but a young upstart with his memories who wants to marry into Sirella's ancient Klingon house, and Dax knew all along what she was getting into.
  • Kicked Upstairs: Zig-Zagged. Martok will be in the thick of things during future battles, but now that DS9 is serving as sector headquarters, he is appointed supreme commander and he's none too pleased about all the paperwork this entails.
  • Macho Masochism: Rather than throw bachelor parties, Klingon men take pride in enduring painful and unpleasant rituals.
  • Madness Mantra: "Kill Worf. Kill Worf."
  • Mood Whiplash: Played for Laughs when we go from Jadzia's wild bachelorette party to Bashir and O'Brien hanging over hot coals and plotting to kill Worf, and then back to the party.
  • Mythopoeia
  • No True Scotsman: Sirella's Training from Hell to marry into her house despite the revelation that Sirella's claim to nobility is false, and that her mother-in-law's ancestor was not the Princess but a concubine who lived out of the royal stables.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Martok's unpleasable wife.
  • Pardon My Klingon: Jadzia and Sirella go at it with knives and words.
    Jadzia: Toruk-DOH!
    Sirella: Mok'Ta vor, kash a'VEH!
  • Passive-Aggressive Kombat: The cold war with Sirella comes to a head during the ceremonial reading of The Chronicle, a history of the Martok family. Dax did some independent research and innocently informs Sirella that her supposed unbroken descent from Klingon royalty is actually a sham.
  • Percussive Therapy:
    • Jadzia is angrily rearranging her shelves when Sisko shows up to talk to her.
    • Miles and Bashir are quite eager to start clubbing Worf at the end of his wedding ceremony after all they've endured.
  • Pet the Dog: While presiding over their wedding ceremony, Sirella acknowledges that she can't stand in the way of Dax and Worf's love, and welcomes Dax into their House as her daughter.
  • Stag Party: The guys find out that a traditional Klingon "bachelor party" is about as much fun as you can expect from anything Worf suggests. Jadzia's party is more in line with the trope: the entire station seems to have been invited, there's a shirtless fire-dancing guy, the neighbors call security about the noise, and everyone goes home hung over, especially Morn.
  • Ten Minutes in the Closet: Kira and Odo, during and after the party. They don't even notice that the party has ended until Jadzia tells them.
  • Tsundere: Sirella likes to snipe at Martok and make his life harder, but it's quite clear that the two love each other very much.
  • Unwilling Suspension: Miles and Bashir chained to a rope hanging over hot coals.
  • Uptight Loves Wild:
    • Worf worries that his relationship with Jadzia is a Deconstruction of this trope, and that they're not meant to be married. Martok convinces him otherwise.
    • During the bachelor party, Rom can be seen unsuccessfully trying to coax Leeta down from the table she's dancing on.
  • Vision Quest: Worf's "rather invigorating" bachelor party.
    Bashir: Miles... it's working. I've had a vision, about the future. I can see it so clearly.
    Miles: What is it?
    Bashir: I'm gonna kill Worf. I'm gonna kill Worf. That's what I'm gonna do. I can see it clearly now, I'm going to kill... him...
    Bashir and O'Brien: Kill Worf...kill Worf...kill Worf...
  • Waking Non Sequitur: When Alexander passes out from the heat.
    Bashir: (slapping his face) Alexander.
    Alexander: (groggy) Grandma?
    Bashir: Guess again.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Lt. Atoa.
  • Wedding Smashers: No surprise that the greatest romance in Klingon history/mythology involves the happy couple (Kahless and Lukara) being attacked by their enemies during the ceremony. This gets reenacted by having the groomsmen launch a mock attack right after the wedding vows.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Played for laughs with Martok and Sisko after the former's promotion to Supreme Commander of the Ninth Fleet. Martok is not happy to learn that not only did Sisko not try to stop the promotion, but that the Captain was the one who recommended Martok for the job in the first place. Martok's especially irritated about all the paperwork Sisko just dumped on his plate.
    • Sisko gives Dax a downplayed once after she refuses to marry Worf despite his attempts to reconcile, and her refusal to beg Sirella to allow it. Sisko points out that Dax knew perfectly well what she was getting into when she got together with Worf, so she ought to have realized this day would come. Further, while Dax is indignant at Sirella not giving her any respect and points out she helped negotiate the Khitomer Accords before Worf was even born, Sisko replies that Curzon negotiated them, Jadzia didn't, and Sirella doesn't give a damn if Jadzia has Curzon's memories, in her eyes they are different people.
  • Women Are Wiser: As stated in the Klingon marriage ceremony. The Gods created the first Klingon heart, but it was lonely. They created a female heart that beat stronger, but the male heart was jealous of its power and fought it. "Fortunately the second heart was tempered by wisdom. 'If we join together, no force can stop us'." The two hearts joined become so powerful they overthrow the Gods.
  • "You!" Exclamation: Sirella's reaction to seeing Lt. Atoa getting too close to Jadzia.
    "You! Leave her, or I'll cut your head off and hang it from my belt!"
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: The look on O'Brien's face when he and Bashir are about to dig into a huge dinner — only for Sisko to have it all taken away.
  • You Won't Feel a Thing!: Worf brandishes a huge knife at Bashir for the bloodletting ceremony and promises that the pain will only last a moment.
  • Your Mom: ...or grandma, in the case of Sirella: during the Passive-Aggressive Kombat while recounting the history of Sirella's family, Jadzia reveals that her research showed that the royal family Sirella claims to descend from had all been wiped out and that her actual grandmother was, in truth, a royal concubine.

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