Review: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – “Dax”

dax014Dax is accused of murder and treason, from 30 years ago!

The episode starts with an explanation of why O’Brien won’t be seen (he and Keiko have gone to Earth to celebrate her mother’s 100th birthday) and Dr. Bashir once again being unable to woo Lt. Dax.

While she’s on her way to her quarters, three sketchy individuals (at least one of whom was keeping an eye on her while she was sitting with Bashir) kidnap her. Fortunately, Bashir decided to catch up to Dax and, though he loses a fight with the kidnappers, he is able to alert Ops before they fly away.

It turns out that 30 years ago, Curzon Dax (Jadzia’s preceding host) was assigned as a Federation mediator on Klaestron IV during the planet’s civil war. Recently unsealed military records point to Dax as the individual who gave away General Ardelon Tandro’s position to the rebels. Now his son Ilon is seeking justice.

There are arguments over whether a Trill is responsible for the actions of his or her preceding host and how the host and symbiont interact, but Jadzia refuses to help defend herself as Ilon seeks extradition.

Odo travels to Klaestron IV (cue the re-use of the cityscape matte painting first seen in TNG’s “Angel One”) to investigate. He meets with the general’s widow, who assures him Curzon is innocent, but won’t say anything more, until Odo discovers she was having an affair with Curzon. It turns out that she was with Curzon when the transmission was sent to the rebels. But more than that, it was the general himself that tried to betray his people to the rebels, who thanked him by killing him. Even though he was a traitor, his widow and Dax have been trying to protect his legacy.

The first thing to note about this episode is that the teleplay was co-written by D.C. Fontana. Fontana worked on the original Star Trek back in the 60s and did a little work on Star Trek: The Next Generation. By the way, “D.C.” stands for Dorothy Catherine. I just found out that Fontana is, according to Wikipedia, from Sussex, New Jersey.

Also worth noting is that there are at least three actors making one of their multiple Star Trek appearances in this episode. First, there is Anne Haney, who played Rishon Uxbridge in TNG’s “The Survivors.” She was great in that, but I love her her as the no-nonsense Bajoran arbiter. Then there is Fionnula Flanagan, who played Data’s mother, Juliana Tainer (well, not exactly his mother, but you know), in the TNG episode “Inheritence.” Here she plays the general’s widow – Enina. This episode actually came first. Finally, there is Richard Lineback, who previously appeared as Romas in TNG’s “Symbiosis.” Here, he plays Trill minister Selin Peers.

I love a mystery, here the reason Jadzia won’t defend herself, but the way Jadzia goes about it struck me as annoying and made Jadzia seem weak, not determined or loyal or conflicted or anything like that, just weak. At the same time, I do love learning more about Sisko’s relationship with Curzon. Deep Space Nine seems to start exploring its characters’ backgrounds far faster than The Next Generation did.

Major Kira is really fun in the scene where she and Sisko meet with Ilon Tandro in Sisko’s office. Speaking of Ilon Tandro, the model for his ship is a re-use of the model first seen as the Tamarian vessel in the TNG episode “Darmok.”

– Evan Bindelglass
evabin@gmail.com

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