Episode 43: Wedding traditions (LD 4×04 Something Borrowed, Something Green)

Kevin: Hello.

Welcome back to Subspace Radio,
and it's wedding day in subspace.

Rob: Happy wedding day.

It's a joyous day.

The bells can be heard
a-ringing around the subspace.

Kevin: Hi Rob, how's it going?

Rob: I am well, Kevin.

Um, what a momentous episode to
just sneak in four episodes in to

an animated version of a franchise.

Not only do we get another
wedding, but it is on a planet we

have never, ever visited before.

Kevin: We are of course talking about
Lower Decks season four episode four,

Something Borrowed, something Green, in
which D'Vana Tendi is called back to Orion

in order to attend her sister's nuptials
and, Something Borrowed, Something Green,

it was pretty clear this was going to
be a wedding to do with Orions, and I

thought, Oh, no, is it gonna be Tendi's
secret, betrothal to someone on her home

planet, just like Spock in Amok Time?

Oh yeah.

We've been engaged since children and
I, I thought for sure this was gonna

be, does Tendi get married or not?

But it was not, it was her sister.

Rob: Yeah, that was focusing more
on Tendi dealing with her connection

with her Orion heritage and with
her connection with her family.

And how, her desire to go to
Starfleet goes against everything

that she's been brought up to be.

And it's gives us a bit more of an
insight into this character who is...

a joy and a wonderful presence within
the show, but we've always been

alluded to this mysterious past of
hers, but to finally just have it

laid out before us, is was a delight.

Kevin: I'm happy we went back there
as well because we had that previous

episode where they went to the
Orion Colony and all of the Orions

there were like deferring to her
and calling her by that honorific.

And Mariner was intensely curious, but
we didn't get to learn the details, and

I'm glad now we came back and got to
learn the details, because I was worried

they were going to leave it mysterious.

So yeah, this was very satisfying,
I think, to get answers to many of

our questions about D'Vana Tendi.

Rob: Yeah, there was a little
bit of repeating for me.

It was, like, a couple of seasons ago with
where we found out Billups's past and he's

like this high ranking royal member of his

Kevin: Yeah, Mariner even called it out.

Do you live in a castle like Billups?

Rob: Calling it out doesn't really make up
the fact you're, yeah, doesn't really fix

the fact you're repeating the same thing.

A lot of different types of things, like
Billups is royalty, whereas Tendi is

more like a high ranking member of the,
a wealthy member of the Orion Syndicate.

But there was definitely
the repeated thing of...

For me, in many ways, it's just
a case of, oh, okay, just a lowly

member of the crew is, actually
has, comes from this higher stock.

But yeah, it, and again, but explains
a lot about Tendi's striving to be

humble and down to earth and focus on
the, the high principles of Starfleet.

Kevin: Lots of connections to
past like Orion stuff that has

appeared in passing in Star Trek.

I saw references to Enterprise
episodes, Borderland and Bound.

I saw some visual references to the
animated series, The Pirates of Orion,

where they were all wearing scuba suits.

Rob: Yes.

Kevin: They paid off some bits of that
and uh, even some uh, passing references

to The Cage or The Menagerie, where Pike
was bamboozled by Vina in Orion form.

Rob: In Orion belly dancing outfits.

Kevin: right.

Several of the visual features of the
"hump dungeon" in this episode were taken

directly from that scene in The Cage.

Rob: There was a particularly good moment
when they focus on like the certain

females within the Orion Syndicate can
release pheromones to bewitch the males.

And when they're cleared up by
Tendi, three of them just go, Oh

man, we're in another hump dungeon.

Kevin: Not again.

I got a lot of laughs out of this episode
just the name D'Erika was hilarious to me.

They and her father's name is B'Rt.

Just that, playing with that
Star Trek thing of your name is

a letter, an apostrophe, and then
something normal was just hilarious.

And yeah, I love that stuff.

Mariner getting stabbed repeatedly in
the same hole was a great visual gag.

It made me laugh every time.

Rob: I was about to mention that was,
that was my highlight of the whole

episode and they did the rule of three,
one, two, how is that even possible?

And then the third one, oh no, I'm
hiding behind here, and lowering down,

and then the ricochet, and get, oh god.

Kevin: Oh, come on!

Rob: T'Lyn was welcome as well,
I think she's really, I mentioned

this a couple of episodes, three,
four episodes down and she's been

in three and she's just seamlessly
embedded herself into the crew.

Kevin: Yeah she's very much filling
that Seven of Nine role of like,

kind of a late addition, feels like
a guest star a bit, but has slotted

straight into the crew and has a
purpose in every episode she appears.

Rob: Now, my favorite moment of the
whole episode though, the stabbing of

Mariner in the same spot three times is
very good, but we have to go to our...

B plot, where we, I I got to a point
where I'm there going, what the hell

am I watching, where we have Rutherford
and Boimler, who have their perfect

existence living as flatmates is ruined
by their dealing with their bonsai tree.

So they deal with the, they deal with
it the only way they know how, going

into a holosuite and getting obsessed.

And they end up both
showing up as Mark Twain.

And both of them doing Mark Twain accents.

And that solves all their problems.

Kevin: It was so funny.

Rob: It was frigging hilarious.

Kevin: line had me in stitches.

And just the setup of, oh yeah,
of course, Mark Twain is a

recurring character in Star Trek.

How have we not played with that already?

Rob: That's right, yeah,
he appeared in Next Gen?

Kevin: Yes, absolutely.

Guinan knew Mark Twain personally.

So when we went back in time...

in Time's Arrow, we meet younger
Guinan on Earth, who is rubbing

shoulders with Samuel Clemens.

And uh, the crew of the Enterprise
have to hang out and make quick

explanations for where they're from.

Rob: I do declare um, very, very, very
funny, just absolute oddball crazy.

Kevin: I want to know who knew for
sure this was going to work this well?

Like, when they were writing it, did they
already know that those actors could...

make this level of gold out of it?

Or did it come alive
in the recording booth?

But, ah, this is a highlight
for the season for me,

this, the, the Twain scenes.

Rob: And then for that to be
brought back in to solve the uh,

Kevin: Which was ridiculous.

I know how to solve this, Captain.

Let's invite the angry alien to the
holodeck and dress him up as Mark Twain.

Rob: And he goes, you've got to
speak in the southern accent.

I am from the southern
region of my planet.

This is our southern accent.

And then of course he sees the the
bonsai tree and eats it, which is

Kevin: Yes, great.

That alien was a Chalnoth, and that is
an alien we've seen once in an episode

of The Next Generation called Allegiance,
in which Captain Picard is abducted and

put in a prison cell with a bunch of
aliens and one other Starfleet officer

who's an Andorian, if memory serves, or
Bolean, yeah, I think she's a Bolean.

But anyway, they are
being experimented on.

We could have talked about
this in our in captivity

Rob: Yeah, yeah, Yeah.

Kevin: The experiment is, will they
work together in order to escape, or

will this situation tear them apart?

Chalnoth in the room is the only
one who cannot eat the supplied

food, which is a disc of jelly.

So it is, it is a recurring theme
now that Chalnoths are picky eaters.

Rob: Yeah.

It was great.

We had a return of the, it was
a very Orion centric episode.

We had our pre title, cold opener scene.

We've had the Klingons be destroyed,
we've had the Romulans be destroyed,

and now we sadly had an Orion ship
destroyed by this mysterious ship.

Kevin: Yeah!

I didn't particularly love or
dislike that that cold open.

I thought it was another of those
and it established, for those who

might not remember, who the Orions
are and what they're like before we

go and visit them on their planet.

So it filled a uh, purpose,
but I didn't think it was.

especially strong.

Rob: The writers didn't have as much
fun as they had with the Romulans.

I think they've had the
most fun with that scene.

Kevin: Right.


The mentions of the more senior Orion
getting metal plates stuck to her

head, that's a reference to Enterprise.

Some of the Orion pirates in Enterprise
had pieces of metal stuck to their

skin and it was part of the costume.

And so yeah, they're calling back to that.

And the pirate ship that they're on
has grabby arms hanging at the bottom.

And that's a visual reference
to the animated series

appearance of the Orion Pirates.

But yeah a serviceable cold open, but
yeah, not as good as the Romulan one

that I'm still chuckling about from

Rob: That is, yeah, that has
been the highlight of all

those, those little scenes.

But yeah, we're four episodes down
and it's been quite solid this season

and the, there's, they're really still
keeping it very Star Trek and honouring

all that stuff, but they're throwing
in some amazing curveballs that I

never thought I would see before and
using a holodeck with not only two

Mark Twains, but four Mark Twains.

Kevin: I also enjoyed the end, the
wedding ceremony, the gender reversal

of having the groom walk down
the aisle with the father and and

have Mariner go, he looks radiant.

That was fun

Rob: There've been little hints of that.

Kevin: Yeah, there have been, yeah
they're a matriarchal society.

That is very well established now.

And seeing that play into the
wedding ceremony was nice.

I was a little worried about
that at first when it was.

Established that bridal abductions
were a thing, and I'm like, oh wow, so

leaning into the damsel in distress trope
does not feel very matriarchal to me,

but they brought it around in the end.

Rob: Many levels.

The Orions are many
different shades of green.

Kevin: Ha ha ha!

They are literally!

When they're standing next to each
other, I was like, wow, there's

a lot of different greens here.

Rob: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I noticed that
as well, going like, like the tone and

can we just talk about the drinking
game with the spider slug thing?

Kevin: The murder bug drinking

Rob: Murderbug, yeah.

Kevin: I was enjoying it.

I was, I remember laughing through
that scene at just how, again,

what the heck am I watching here?

That was what I was feeling through
that because I was going, does

this game make any sense at all?

And I'm not sure it did,
but I enjoyed it anyway.

Rob: You've gotta finish the drink
and put it back in its slot so

the protective shield comes up.

Kevin: That's right.

And, and so ultimately it is a
drinking game to the death, but what

kills you is the bug that you don't
protect your hand from in time.

Rob: And how, yeah, and how was it for
you to see this iconic species in the Star

Trek universe that sort of appeared early
on in a little bit, but then disappeared

and has only been brought back in.

Like the Lower Decks crew have really
leaned into showing a lot of Orion

stuff, like we didn't get any, we didn't
get any Orions in Deep Space Nine or

Voyager or Next Gen, I don't think.

They've definitely, and of course
they were brought back in Enterprise.

Kevin: Yeah,

Rob: But yeah, how was that,

Kevin: I agree with Boimler.

It was a treat not to be missed.

And as they were like taking the shuttle
down and we saw the planet laid out below

and there was some score going on at that
point that felt to me like an Orion motif

coming in and I thought wow it's been a
while since I've felt a new race, a new

civilization come alive in Star Trek and
get some real world building around it.

So yeah, it was a lot of fun.

Rob: and for that to happen in an
animated, uh, series shows a lot of

belief in Lower Decks, which is great.

It's no longer what it started out
to be, going, oh, come on, it's the

hokey animated thing with a bit of,
that meta humor, to going, yeah, they

do that, but they're also, fiercely
dedicated to their Star Trek lore.

Kevin: Yeah.

I still need to go back and
decipher all of the Orion script.

There were several like conspicuous signs
and the Mariner gave us a bit of a decoder

key by naming the bar and the sign was
written in Orion, but she said the bar

is slit throats or something like that.

And that gives you a whole
bunch of letters to go on.

I think from there we can decode what
the pedestal that they're carried

around on says, and yeah, I can't
wait to pull that stuff apart and

see what laughs are hiding for us.

Rob: I'm very much looking forward
to seeing what you translate.

Kevin: But we've got a topic to drill
into, and it seemed pretty obvious to

us that uh, we should be talking about
weddings and wedding traditions in Star

Rob: Most definitely.

Most definitely.

Why not?

Let's let's embrace all things
matrimonial in the world of the Trek.

Kevin: I have picked a little itty
bitty scene in Next Generation.

What have you got?

Rob: I've got an entire episode from the
greatest Star Trek TV show of all time.

Who would have thought?

Kevin: Alright, so we'll start
at TNG before we go to DS9.

Rob: Yes.

Kevin: As I was watching this I was
thinking, Oh, it would be interesting

to talk about all the different
wedding traditions in different

alien cultures, or Star Trek.

But when I started looking, the
first one I found was this sweet

little scene between Data and Worf
in Data's Day, which is The Next

Generation Season 4, Episode 11.

In this episode, Miles O'Brien
and Keiko are getting married.

So yeah, this has a DS9 link for you, Rob.

This is when they get married.

And of course Data is playing
the role of father of the bride.

And learning a lot, learning a
lot about humanity in the process.

And one of the things he has
to do is buy a wedding gift.

He goes into...

this gift shop set that we've never seen
before or again in Next Gen, but it's kind

of a room with replicator pedestals in
the middle of it, and Worf's already there

shopping for a gift, so they trade banter,
and what they talk about is how strange,

or unusual human wedding ceremonies are.

So this Is a treat of seeing
humanity have the, mirror turned

on itself from the outside.

Data asks if he can get any
advice for picking a wedding gift

and Worf says, Oh, of course.

I have attended human weddings before.

And he's, the tone of voice is like this
strange thing called human weddings.

Don't worry, I'll guide you through it.

They go through the catalog and they
stop on a pair of crystal glasses.

And Data says this is a
traditional wedding gift?

Worf says, Yes, my adoptive parents often
give these… things at family weddings.

A human custom.

And Data asks Worf if he's
ever participated as a member

of the bridal party, and Worf
goes, No, oh god, are you crazy?

He says, It's an honor perhaps, but human
bonding rituals often involve a great

deal of talking and dancing and crying.

It's so good.

I watched this scene twice because
there's a lot of moments of them

like just quite in silence, taking
a beat and staring at each other.

It's quite a funny scene.

Um, so I recommend it highly.

And it was a reminder to me
that not to take human wedding

ceremonies as a normal baseline.

From the outside, they might
be just as weird as anything

else we might talk about.

Rob: Excellent, excellent stuff.

I of course went to um, I would go as
to say one of the most iconic weddings.

Kevin: Is this you Are Cordially Invited?

Rob: You, Mr.

Kevin Yank, are cordially invited
to my bringing up of You Are

Cordially Invited from Star Trek
Deep Space Nine Season 6 Episode 7.

That's right, Season 6.

We are firing on all cylinders.

This is Deep Space Nine
at its friggin best.

Kevin: When we were still happy.

When we could still have nice things, Rob.

Rob: We could still have nice things
before, everything went to crap.

Yep, Season 6, Episode 7 early on at
the start of Season 7, they've just

gained back control of Deep Space Nine.

Sisko is positively giddy, schoolboy
giddy, walking around, going up to Kira,

going, it's so happy and I'm so nice, it's
so good to see you, and she goes, it's

so good to see you, so much better saying
hello to you every morning as opposed

to Gul Dukat, it's so happy to be here.

He's positively giddy, it's
great seeing Sisko like that.

And Martok has been given a position
of high authority, which he, as

he says beautifully, I do not
like all the excessive paperwork.


And so we go down to see Worf and Jadzia
hanging out with Alexander, who has

become a bit of a good luck charm within
his ship with the Klingons, because

any stuff up he does means that they
survive, so he's a good luck charm.

And he's ingrained himself within the
The Klingon ships that he's working

within, which he's been finding hard
to do over the last however many years

he's been alive, poor old Alexander.

Kevin: Great, great to see
a bit of Alexander, too.

Not enough of Alexander in the canon.

Rob: And he's very good in this episode.

It's beautiful to see him here.

And Jadzia just off the top of her
head goes we should get married now.

This will probably be the last time
you'll see Alexander in a long time.

I know the war's on and stuff like that.

I know we had plans but let's do it now.

He is here.

And so they throw together a
wedding in less than a week.

Quark, obviously takes on the role
of running it all from his bar.

And the process begins, but
then the drama begins as well.

Worf wants it done a particular way.

Jadzia has to gain her approval, because
she is an outsider within the house of

Martok, from Martok's very austere wife.

Kevin: Sirella.

Rob: Yes.

And the process carries on that way.

We have a great inside look into the
the traditions of the Klingon people for

their processes that we call a buck's
night, their process, and there's a great

moment where they use the holosuites,
obviously, so it's Worf, Martok, Sisko,

O'Brien, Bashir, and Alexander go
off to do this, this rite of passage

to lead on into the, to the wedding.

And, as Jake's talking to Quark about it,
Quark goes, It's a Klingon bachelor party.

Use your imagination.

But it is the exact opposite
of what everyone expects.

Instead of drinking and partying
and beating each other up, it's a

solemn, beautiful, operatic stages of
breaking everything down and putting

yourself through pain and blood.

And beautiful singing um, Klingon
opera in two part harmony.

And while Jadzia is doing what Jadzia
does, she has dancing islanders with

flaming poles, and flirting, and all this
type of stuff, and tension of whether

Jadzia is worthy enough, and a lot of
things about you're not a Klingon, so

you'll never be accepted and it's all
wrapped up to have an extended wedding

ceremony with beautiful passages about,
love defying the gods and being more

powerful than the gods themselves.

It's, yeah, it's a beautiful episode
to, sorta like, invert what you

believe a Klingon wedding would be and
there's some wonderful stuff in there.

And it's Terry Farrell
at her absolute best.

This is like, watching it again, you
know that by the end of this season

she's gone and it's a crying shame
because she should have been able

to stay with the show to the end.

And she's just, after her initial
tension of how she starts in this

character in season one and two, this
is Jadzia firing on all cylinders.

She in, she has the Curzon elements there.

She's got the young, vibrant elements.

Her, she's got this great scene with
Sisko right at the end where they flip

back and forth where he's talking to her
like a young woman in her 20s, but then

the next sentence he's talking to her
like he's like a 60, 70 year old man that

they've known each other for decades.

And they're just flipping back and forth.

It's masterful writing by Ronald D.

Moore and it's a great insight into
more traditions about Klingons.

And we've talked about it before,
you know, Worf became like the...

Whenever it was a Worf centric
episode, it's let's give it a

little bit more about the Klingons
as opposed to him as a character.

But, it just shows how beautiful Michael
Dorn is with his characterization of

Worf and just how, deeply poetic and
soft and thoughtful he is as a character.

And how...

He's lived on the outside for so
long and he takes these traditions

so seriously because he was never
connected to it when he was young.

And yeah, just beautiful stuff in there.

Kevin: You can see why he sneered
with such disdain at those crystal

goblets, when he knows what a
real wedding tradition looks like.

Rob: Exactly.


And there's even a scene at the start
where he is drinking blood wine.



He has blood wine with his son, and
his, uh fiancé, so no prune juice there.

Kevin: I think uh, there's a, there's a
episode or two in Voyager where B'Elanna

Torres and Tom Paris are planning
their wedding, and there's mentions

of how Klingon is the wedding ceremony
going to be and B'Elanna's like, don't

worry, I'll spare you the pain sticks.

And here we get to see in, in,
a lot more grand detail exactly

what she was referring to there.

Rob: And look, the painsticks are
just like big ear buds, really.

They, they would not be, they would
not be unwelcome on the set of American

Gladiators or something like that.

And it's a great moment at the end
where just Miles and and Bashir.

They're going, do we do it now?

And Martok goes, Hold.

Do we do now?

And the final shot is fading to
black and you hear them, YAAAAH!

Whacking poor old Worf.

Kevin: Yeah, it's really good.

Both, both Worf and Jadzia, I think,
were high difficulty characters,

not just for the actor, but
for the writers to what it was.

And yeah, you're right, this is perhaps
the culmination of both of those

difficulty curves of, yes, it was
hard to get started, but the rewards

for getting to the place they were
going with both those characters is

on full display here in this episode.

Rob: And you can really see that
they didn't expect it as writers,

they didn't expect it as actors,
just how the two of them clicked,

Terry Farrell and Michael Dorn.

You just go, this is
magic, absolute magic.

Kevin: It's interesting to me comparing
to, we had the we had the engagement

ceremony earlier this season with Spock
in Strange New Worlds, um, where he as a

human temporarily pretending to be half
Vulcan, his, like he runs this gauntlet

of challenges to prove is he Vulcan
enough, and it's quite similar to this

episode where Dax is has to run this
gauntlet of ceremonies to prove that

she is Klingon enough to marry Worf.

It's a recurring theme of that
purity test before you marry

someone outside your species.

It's an interesting sci fi thing.

Rob: And all the levels of how physically
strong you are, how your endurance is,

and also your knowledge of the family.

And when Jadzia starts biting back,
going, well actually, this is the true

facts, oh, but you want me to just
keep up the myth, the family myth,

as opposed to what the reality is?

Oh, okay, we'll do that.

You go, ho ho ho!


Kevin: Like it's a pretty obvious
allegory to marrying across cultures,

across races you know, in human society,
of are you X enough to join our family?

Are you Jewish enough?

Are you Greek enough?

Are you, you know, pick your, pick
your social group that has its own

traditions and its own expectations
of people who join a family.

And it's, just as it is in our modern
human society, that can be a test for

a relationship that is taking that step
into a permanent form, as it were, and

getting to explore that in maybe a a safer
sci fi way through Star Trek and going,

Jadzia, can you recite the operatic verses
sufficiently to join this Klingon house?

It's a fun way to explore that stuff.

Rob: And the history of my 28th great
grandmother or something like that.

Um, Yeah, it would have been good
to have a bit more Trill tradition,

like what, it's very much Jadzia's,
yeah, Jadzia is very much a case of,

I just want to get married, I don't
care about tradition or anything

like that, let's just get this done.

Kevin: Maybe that in itself is meant
to say something about Trill society,

but we do see the Trill in Discovery,
and they have some stuff going on.

Rob: That's one of the few moments that
I really liked in Discovery as well,

the, that episode of the Trill with
all the past lives and stuff like that,

and there's, touched on it a bit within
some of the previous episodes of Deep

Space Nine, what with former lovers or
wives or husbands of Jadzia from their

past lives coming in connection with
each other, but yeah, it's very much

her… celebrations are just generic.

They have a Pacific Islander crew
member who gets leave to come and

celebrate with flaming torches,
which is amazing and incredible, but

Kevin: It's like you said, I think
her culture is whatever's sexy.

Rob: And he's a very oiled up
Islander and he is very sexy.

And she does the flirt.

And he falls asleep on Morn.

So that's a good night for him.

Kevin: Ah it was fun to revisit
these weddings with you.

There are others in Star Trek history,

Rob: Yes, we didn't get to explore
really the Betazoid wedding, which

is apparently everyone's nude.

Kevin: Yes!

Yeah, and, yeah, very prominent uh, early
memory of TNG there of Majel Barrett

insisting that everyone needs to be
naked and I think when I first saw that

as a fan, I was not across the fact
that she was Gene Roddenberry's wife.

That, that was not something that I knew.

And yeah, just in
hindsight, it's all strange.

I made a new TV show.

Do you want to get naked
in the first season, honey?

Rob: Look she was bang up for anything
in that show and god bless her.

Kevin: Yeah.

It was a fun, fun episode.


Early, early days of Troi and
Lwaxana uh, going head to head

about, mum you embarrass me because
you make everything so awkward.

Rob: So yes, we we, there's
so many wedding traditions

out there within Star Trek.

But we did want to focus
on a little bit of Klingon.

A little bit of human reflection.

And a little bit of Orion.

Not a bad way to explore Star Trek.

Kevin: Thank you, Lower Decks.

I love the journeys you're sending us on.

Every new episode is a surprise.

Rob: It's going from strength
to strength, four seasons down.

Yeah, will they go beyond
the the iconic seven seasons?

We shall see.

Kevin: Alright until next week, Rob.

Rob: Until next week, you
know what we're gonna do.

We're gonna see each other,

Kevin: around the galaxy.

Rob: Hehehehehehe.

Episode 43: Wedding traditions (LD 4×04 Something Borrowed, Something Green)
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