6 thoughts on “Episode 20: “TKO””

  1. Worf and his parents is one of the relatively few TNG character-backstory moments that I liked. About the only time when they remembered that “Raised by humans” doesn’t mean “Raised by generic, i.e. American, humans.”

  2. The best thing to come out of TKO was the name “The Mutai.” This eventually became the name of the Babylon 5 Fan Club’s no-holds barred, un-moderated message board. “Take it to the Mutai!” was the cry in the moderated board, whenever the discussion got too heated, and that’s where the combatants posts would be sent!

  3. I watched this “out of order” because it was next up on Amazon Prime (and I have enough trouble figuring out which episode I am supposed to be watching, but that’s not important right now) so I will be interested to check in with it again in the “correct” order. I did like that we got to see Ivanova deal with her grief, and while the meddlesome Rabbi may not be great, I did get touched by her performance and even cried a bit. I agree, Sinclair was great here. (And I have to say that in my own military career I had people who gave me space to grieve and encouraged me to do so when I would have preferred to stay distracted by work and deny the loss at all. So this storyline really worked for me.)
    The Martian Fight Club was less interesting, although my son was definitely amused at the choreography “Don’t hit me, this makeup took three hours!”
    The two non-related plots didn’t go great together, but I like to think that the writers wanted to represent Ivanova’s inner emotions and that’s why Martian Fight Club went here. So that’s my head canon, even if the execution wasn’t great.
    Good to know this is lowest point for the season! It definitely wasn’t Sinclair’s lowest.

  4. Wow. I was shocked when I heard you guys were dreading TKO.
    I’ve always looked back fondly on this one, and counted it among my list of “good episodes in season 1”
    Not because of the Walker Smith plot, of course. That was silly and badly written.

    But the Ivonova stuff is POWERFUL. It moved me very deeply. Her breakdown at the end felt very real to me.
    And I have absolutely no issue whatsoever with a purely character-based episode. Too often, Star Trek TNG inserted a dull “threat-of-the-week” plot to character episodes because they felt they had to. I’ll agree that the end of the season is not the right time for this, but on VHS and DVD, this was always in the middle of the season.

    Anyway, I know I’m coming in years late, but loving the podcast.

  5. I think what people miss about this episode and what ties both plots together is they both tell a story about courage.

    On one side, you have the obvious physical courage of Walker Smith to get in the ring under alien rules operating under alien cultural norms, against a physically imposing opponent. Its a fight that could be described as his last, best hope to earn his own self respect back.

    On Ivanova’s part you have the courage of the heart. At first she’s afraid, she doesn’t want to open herself to showing how fragile she really is inside, to showing real emotion. It takes courage to bare the inside to someone, even a trusted friend or family member.

    Both stories deal with courage, both stories deal with a person deciding to accept the possibility that they can fail but they’re trying anyway. In a way both stories are a battle, though one for respect and the other for forgiveness and to let go. There’s no A/B plot like a normal episode, but they’re instead a combined and intertwined A plot. This may or may not make the episode better in your eyes, its far from perfect. But hopefully thinking of it that way will make it feel less disjointed perhaps. A very late response, but I’m enjoying the podcast.

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