Star Trek Deep Space Nine: Blood Oath

"There's a drunk Klingon in my holding cell, must be a hundred years old, singing battle songs."

What kind of oaths are important enough to transcend family, friends, even races? The Klingons have bored me for a series or two. In this episode, they become somewhat interesting, and we learn more about their connections with the entity known as Dax.

Terry Farrell does a great job of being many people and one people at the same time. She's quite a person. At times in this episode, she's the young Jadzia, at times she's very much Curzon, and at times she's something else entirely. Is it a committee in that head, or is it an emerging, evolving individual?

I kept pondering the question while watching this episode. The Klingons figure now the old cranky Curzon is replaced by the young, flexible Jadzia, all oaths are rendered invalid, and she doesn't need to join them in taking revenge against the murderer of their children. Dax herself doesn't seem to agree, and she seems to struggle to express why. When she talks about the past with the Klingon crew, she moves between speaking about Curzon in the third person and about herself as if she was Curzon, using "I." I don't think those identities are as solidly separated as the Trill would like us to believe. I think that Dax being with Curzon means that Jadzia, maybe more and more as time goes on, is also with Curzon. And more: in "Playing God" we learned that Curzon taught Jadzia, challenged her and had a huge role in the person she is now. What are we left to think? Is this a debt of Jadzia to Curzon, or of Dax to Curzon, and Jadzia to Dax? And how much of this is Dax's simple, clear desire to do right by her Klingon friends and adopted family?

Her new adopted family, as well; Dax also goes to Kira and Sisko for advice. There's no easy, clear answers here either. Kira has experience killing, and wonders how the experience will impact Jadzia. Dax seems to convince Sisko that the Klingons have their own approach to justice which must be respected - but that doesn't change the impact of Dax's choice to kill on her relationship with the DS9 crew. The final moment, with Sisko turning away - is it a wrench I'm supposed to feel, or is he letting the whole thing slide?

I liked the expansion of Klingon culture also. The concept of Dahar fighting and being a Dahar master is new to the series in this episode, I think, and so is the notion Klingons have godfathers. The only off note in this episode was the throwaway evil known as the Albino. Is this evidence of how Klingons view in-society racial issues?

Bits and Pieces

Kang, Koloth and Kor are names which come up quite a bit in Klingon shows - and it looks like these actors are all reprising roles begun in the first Trek series!

I really love Dax here as a warrior. So many sides to this personality.


Dax: I am Dax, godfather of your son.
Koloth: You are no one's godfather.
Dax: I am Dax, godfather of your son.
Kang: So, you are the same Dax who took a blood oath with us to seek vengeance?
Dax: Don't mistake a new face for a new soul, Kang. I still feel at one with your family just as I did eight decades ago. I hope one day you will embrace me as a brother again.
Koloth: Brother! Ha!
Kor: Brother, sister, what's the difference. We're here now.


I think I'm left with more questions than answers, but I liked this episode and found it enjoyable. Four out of five perfectly balanced Klingon weapons.


Billie Doux said...

I always liked Terry Farrell's performances as Dax, and I remember this was a really good one for her. Love the photo of her you chose for the top, Joseph.

Patrick said...

Dax was such a wonderful character, and this was one of her best episodes. Terry Farrell did a great job portraying Dax as both a young woman and a very, very old soul. This episode did a great job exploring that dichotomy. On the one hand, as Dax she still feels beholden to the oath that her past self had sworn. On the other, Jadzia is struggling with the idea of taking bloody vengeance. When I go back and re-watch episodes of this show, this is often one of the episodes I choose.

Oh, and can we take a moment to admire just what an incredible voice Michael Ansara(Kang) had? He could make the phone book sound like epic literature. :)

Billie Doux said...

Michael Ansara was my absolute favorite Klingon in the original series. Loved his voice and his presence.

Juliette said...

Caught this one on TV the other day, and it's definitely one of the better and more interesting Klingon episodes (which usually bore me, too!). Though any time I hear 'Kang' I picture Kang and Konos (I think those are the names) from The Simpsons...

Mark Greig said...

Didn't Matt Groening get both names from Star Trek?