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Homeward (episode)

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"Homeward"
TNG, Episode 7x13
Production number: 40277-265
First aired: 17 January 1994
164th of 176 produced in TNG
164th of 176 released in TNG
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 176 released in TNG Remastered  
303rd of 728 released in all
Worf in sickbay, 2370
Teleplay By
Naren Shankar

Story By
Spike Steingasser

Directed By
Alexander Singer
47423.9 (2370)
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Worf's adoptive brother violates the Prime Directive by saving a group of villagers from a doomed planet.

Summary

Teaser

The USS Enterprise-D answers a distress call from the planet Boraal II: It is experiencing atmospheric dissipation and will be rendered uninhabitable in just a few hours. Lieutenant Worf is especially concerned with this recent development as his foster brother, Nikolai Rozhenko, is assigned to the cultural observation post on the planet. Worf asks Captain Picard for his permission to beam down and see if his foster brother is all right. Picard, concerned that Worf's visit may conflict with the Prime Directive, agrees, but says that Worf must be surgically altered to pass as a Boraalan. Worf beams down to a cave sheltered from the intense storms on the planet. Shortly after, Worf finds Rozhenko and many Boraalans inside the cave and discovers that Rozhenko has broken the Prime Directive by helping the Boraalans survive.

Act One

When Worf enters the cavern protecting the Boraalans, he is questioned by a male Boraalan named Vorin, who assumes that the storm on the surface has stopped, since Worf was able to make it to the caves alive. Worf refuses to answer the question and wants to speak to his brother. Worf asks Rozhenko why he did this. Rozhenko says that he was unable to stay at his observation post and watch the Boraalans slowly die. Worf says that the captain will want to speak with him. Back on board the Enterprise, Rozhenko explains his actions to the senior staff, including Captain Picard. Rozhenko says that he wants to save the village by creating an atmospheric bubble over a small section of the planet, which will protect the Boraalans. Picard refuses to compound the damage that Rozhenko has inflicted upon the Prime Directive and the Boraalan culture. Rozhenko is at once disappointed about Picard's decision and asks to transmit his logs back to the ship, stating that the only way he will now be able to save the Boraalan culture is by preserving it in a museum. Worf tries to heal his brother's pain by helping him to transmit the logs to the ship, but Rozhenko refuses his help.

Later on the bridge, Rozhenko goes to the science station at the back on the bridge to transmit his logs to the ship's computer. There, the crew witnesses the imminent destruction of Boraal II. Picard reminds everyone on the bridge that this is one of the few times that they must face the ramifications of the Prime Directive and to honor it. Rozhenko tells the captain that he finds no honor whatsoever in what the crew is doing and leaves before Boraal is destroyed. Then, a plasmonic burst hits the ship and causes a power drain. Worf finds out that the drain is coming from deck ten. Riker asks Worf to go down to the deck with a security team. Worf makes his way down to deck ten, and then to the holodeck. Worf attempts to enter the holodeck, but the controls have been overridden. Suddenly, the doors slide open anyway, and Worf then hears Rozhenko's voice, drawing Worf towards the mouth of a cave. Rozhenko stands at the mouth with a PADD in his hand and reveals that all of the Boraalans did not actually die, but were beamed aboard the Enterprise-D just before the destruction of their homeworld. Worf is shocked at his brother's actions, another blatant disregard of the Prime Directive.

Act Two

Rozhenko explains that he was able to make the plasmonic bursts look like they overloaded the ship's sensors so he could beam up the Boraalans without anyone on the ship noticing. The plan worked perfectly. Worf is dismayed at his brother's increasingly delinquent behavior and says during a conversation in the turbolift that he wants nothing to do with him after his actions. Rozhenko is sent to Picard's ready room and Picard begins to berate him for his actions and tells him that his career is most likely finished. Rozhenko reveals that he did not beam up the Boraalans without a plan. Instead, he plans to find a new class M planet for the Boraalans and to gradually change the terrain on the holodeck so it will appear that the Boraalans are traveling through the caves towards their new home. Seeing no other choice, Picard reluctantly agrees.

Picard, Geordi La Forge, Dr. Crusher, and Data meet in stellar cartography to find a new home for the Boraalans. However, La Forge finds out that the holodeck is malfunctioning, its image processor destroyed by the atmospheric dissipation, and that is not a question of how the holodeck will cease to function, but when. Picard asks Worf to take Rozhenko back into the holodeck, to be surgically altered to look like a Boraalan and for him to keep a close eye on his brother.

Act Three

Rozhenko and Worf return to the holodeck simulation and announce to the Boraalans that their village was destroyed and there is nothing left. The Boraalans are dismayed to hear this, but Rozhenko says that they will be able to find a new home and that it is a great distance from their present location and they must hurry. Worf says that even the stars in their new home may even look different. Vorin asks why they would be different and how Worf knows that they will be safe at their new home. Rozhenko backs up Worf by saying that he knows that they will be safe. Suddenly, a woman screams because she sees the holodeck grid flashing in a pool of water. Worf tries to calm down the Boraalans by saying that it is an omen, the Sign of La Forge. La Forge understands Worf's predicament and fixes the problem. Rozhenko announces that their journey to their new home is blessed. He later goes over to Worf and says that they make quite a team. Worf says bluntly that they are not a team.

Meanwhile, in stellar cartography, Data and Dr. Crusher are looking for a new homeworld for the Boraalans. They come up with two solutions, Draygo IV in the Draygo system or Vacca VI in the Vacca system. The Draygo system is located only three light years away from Cardassian space and there are constant border disputes in the area, which rules it out, so Data and Dr. Crusher choose Vacca VI. The Enterprise will reach the planet in 42 hours. In the holodeck, Worf notices that Rozhenko has become close with a Boraalan named Dobara. As he is noticing them, Vorin is drawing a chronicle, which documents the history of his village, including Worf and Rozhenko leading them to safety. Worf then announces that they must leave now. Vorin then realizes that he is missing one of his chronicles. Worf asks him to leave it behind, but Vorin says that without it, the village's future means nothing. Worf allows him to go. An elder Boraalan asks Worf to help him with his gear and asks him that if he does not make it to the Boraalans' new home, he wants Worf to become his daughter's husband. Worf assures the elder that they will make it.

Vorin

Vorin makes a shocking discovery.

Vorin finds his scroll, but just as he is about to leave, he sees the holodeck arch half hidden in a cavern of rocks. He puts his hand into it, which dissolves the holo-image surrounding the door. Vorin opens the door and steps out into the Enterprise's corridors, shocked by what he sees.

Act Four

Vorin, afraid and confused, makes his way to Ten Forward, where a group on onlookers begin to crowd around him. Fortunately, Deanna Troi and Commander Riker are in the lounge, and they quickly realize what has occurred. They ask everyone else to back away from Vorin. Troi explains that they are both friends of Rozhenko and Worf. Vorin asks where he is and he is subsequently brought to sickbay, where Dr. Crusher announces to Captain Picard that his neuro-physiology is too complicated that she cannot do a memory wipe. Picard is now forced to explain that Vorin and the rest of his village has spent the last two days on the Enterprise and not on their homeworld.

In the holodeck, Worf finds out that Vorin was able to exit the holodeck, and informs Rozhenko that Vorin will have to make a choice: if he wants to stay on the Enterprise, or to return to the holodeck and forever keep his knowledge a secret. Worf then accuses Rozhenko again of never thinking things through and that everywhere he goes, he creates chaos. Rozhenko argues that Worf was the perfect son and that he has become too involved in Starfleet protocols to think of others. Soon after, Worf realizes that the holodeck malfunctions are increasing and talks to La Forge through his combadge. Later, Dobara approaches Worf while he is alone to tell him that Rozhenko is deeply distraught from their arguments. Dobara then informs Worf that she wishes to consider Worf a part of her family, as Dobara is carrying Rozhenko's child.

Act Five

Vacca VI

Vacca VI, the new homeworld of the Boraalans

The Enterprise arrives at Vacca VI, but it will be a few hours before the transporter will be able to beam down the Boraalans, and Picard has one more problem to take care of: Vorin. Picard goes to Vorin's quarters and asks him what he wants to do. Vorin announces that he wants to go back to his people, but he does not know what to tell them. Picard asks Vorin if he intends to tell the truth, and reminds him that his fellow villagers might think that he was hallucinating or that he is insane. Vorin knows that he cannot tell the truth, but he thinks that he cannot be able to live with a secret. Picard offers Vorin to stay on the Enterprise but Vorin tells Picard that he will need more time.

Worf and Rozhenko get into yet another argument, this time about Rozhenko's upcoming fatherhood. They are about to physically attack each other when the holodeck begins to malfunction and is about to fail. Worf contacts Commander La Forge and asks him to generate lightning storms and thunder, so it looks like a massive storm. After all the Boraalans have been herded into their tents by Rozhenko, Worf tells La Forge to beam down the Boraalans to Vacca VI. A few seconds later, the Boraalans, including Worf and Rozhenko, beam down in an identical spot on Vacca VI, where the "storms" have suddenly stopped. Picard notes that the mission was a success, but their success has come at a high price; Vorin, utterly unable to make a choice, committed an apparently ritualistic suicide. Picard states that he wishes Vorin could have bridged the gap between their two cultures.

Worf returns to Vacca VI to say goodbye to his brother. Rozhenko announces that he will replace Vorin as the new village chronicle and he will stay with the Boraalans. Worf smiles and jokes that Rozhenko was never an artist, and they share a small laugh. Rozhenko laments that their parents would probably not understand his actions, but Worf promises he will explain to them that he was happy. Worf and his brother embrace, and the Enterprise-D warps away from Vacca VI, the new homeworld of the Boraalans.

Memorable Quotes

"This is one of those times when we must face the ramifications of the Prime Directive and honor those lives which we cannot save."
"I find no honor in this whatsoever captain."

- Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Nikolai Rozhenko


"I wasn't going to let those people die just because your captain started quoting Federation dogma."

- Nikolai Rozhenko


"Duty? That's all that really matters to you isn't it? I refuse to be bound by an abstraction."

- Nikolai Rozhenko


"This is my brother, Worf! He's come to help us."

- Nikolai Rozhenko, to the Boraalans


"Worf, very good work. Apparently we don't make such a bad team after all."
"We are not a "team"!"

- Nikolai Rozhenko and Lieutenant Worf


"It is the sign of La Forge."

- Lieutenant Worf, in the role of a Boraalan seer, explains a holodeck malfunction as an omen


"If I had been more like you... We wouldn't have had so many problems.'"
"No. If you had been more like me, these people would not be here now. You gave them a chance at a new life."

- Nikolai Rozhenko and Lieutenant Worf


"'The village will need a new chronicler. Someone has to begin it. My child will need a father. My place is here, I'm finally taking responsibility."

- Nikolai Rozhenko


"I will have to explain this to mother and father."
"They won't understand."
"They may. I will tell them that you are happy."

- Lieutenant Worf and Nikolai Rozhenko, saying farewell

Background information

Story and production

Continuity

Cast and characters

Boraalan background performers

Ten of the Boraalan background performers

Apocrypha

Video and DVD releases

Links and references

Starring

Also starring

Guest stars

Special appearance by

Co-stars

Uncredited co-stars

Stand-ins

References

47, atmospheric dissipation; Boraalan; Boraal II; Boraal system; Cabral sector; chef; class M; Draygo IV; Draygo system; Federation; Gault; Gault colony; holodeck; hologrid; holo-programs; interspecific reproduction; ion storm; memory wipe; neurophysiology; plasmonic burst; Prime Directive; Rozhenko, Helena; Rozhenko, Sergey; seer; Sign of La Forge; Starfleet Academy; stratosphere; Starbase 87; suicide; troposphere; Vacca system; Vacca VI


Previous episode:
"The Pegasus"
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 7
Next episode:
"Sub Rosa"

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