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Star Trek Deep Space Nine: Dax

Odo: "Did you know the symbiont inside the man?"

Who's Jadzia Dax? The best way to find out, it seems, is a murder trial for the most mysterious member of our crew, a la "The Measure of a Man." But in this case, it's not about whether you're human enough to not be dismembered, but about where the human ends and the alien begins.

So: We finally get an episode about Dax. So far, we know she's a Trill, and thus both a symbiont creature, a young girl, and the minds or memories of all the men and women that symbiont has bonded with. We know she resists Julian's sexual advances. We know she walks sort of like Uma Thurman in Gattaca. But who is she, really?

Apparently, a possible murderer. This makes things interesting, considering Trill biology: who is responsible? The host or the symbiont? Sisko, in his usual penetrating way, strikes at the heart of the matter the minute he gets Dax alone. After all, if his friendship didn't transfer–why should responsibility for murder? The chosen Arbiter for Dax's case is incredible. She's like a Starfleet version of Judge Judy.

Sisko's solution for the problem again cuts to the heart of it. You can't prove these two are separate. So prove they are two made one. He reinforces all of them: Curzon and Jadzia and Dax: all of them of them are real, and independent, but together. Symbiotic. In a way, Odo's solution also cuts to the heart of the problem: from a policeman's point of view, the issue here is simply that Curzon Dax has no alibi.

During the course of the trial, we get a glimpse into who Jadzia Dax is, and why perhaps she hasn't been coming to the fore. She's a highly accomplished academic and probably also highly sensitive. As a new Trill dealing with what's clearly a powerful personality, she's struggling with what must be an inevitable period, no matter how prepared you are. She's in a job with a boss who's constantly talking to her like she's a person she remembers. At the end of the show Sisko's recognized the Jadzia portion of the personality–a big change in their relationship, and perhaps one which will allow her to truly live as Jadzia Dax.

Four out of four overbearingly cool Madame Arbiters.

Bits and Pieces

Apparently every time they encounter aliens they have to stall! Another great stall here, this time with the Bajoran extradition process. It's also a clever view into how Sisko uses the little power he has.

Which also gets to show us Kira making nice to Sisko. Making up for past sins, perhaps?

The look the judge gives Tandro as she leaves the room. I think she respects the woman for what she's done. Possibly because she didn't have to make a very very difficult decision.

Bashir's now failed Dax twice in one episode. He couldn't help prevent her abduction and his testimony compromised her. Is this going to affect his pursuit?


Sisko: Are you crazy? Treason and murder. On Klaestron Four, either of those gets you the death penalty. What's the matter with you? Talk to me before I have to let these people take you.

Dax: No. I'm sorry, Benjamin, but no.
Sisko: We've got eighteen, twenty years of friendship behind us.
Dax: I'm Jadzia Dax now. That was Curzon Dax you knew for twenty years.
Sisko: So when the Dax part of you survived from one host to the next, it really didn't take our friendship along.
Dax: Benjamin, you know you're still my very dear friend. I'm sorry.

Sisko: At what age did the host, Jadzia, first want to be joined as a Trill?
Dax: I wanted it since I was a child. I worked very hard for it.
Sisko: The competition to become a Trill is very strong, then, among potential hosts.
Dax: Yes. It's considered a great honour.
Sisko: How did young Jadzia finally become a host candidate?
Dax: By winning scholarships, competing against other young people. You're tested in countless ways.
Sisko: Including psychological tests; to determine the strength of character of the prospective host. Is that true?
Dax: Yes.
Sisko: And the young Jadzia excelled in those tests of academics and character, of psychological stability.
Dax: Yes.
Sisko: (directly to Jadzia) If you can remember other things, remember that as well.


  1. I am enjoying your takes on these early episodes. I like the way they've shifted the focus from one member of the cast to another; this time it was Dax's turn. It did seem to me, however, that whether subsequent hosts could be charged with crimes committed by their predecessors seemed like something that would surely have been established by precedent.

    I'm still not really won over by Bashir. I was irritated by his decision to try a manly rescue rather than calling security.

  2. I love Sisko in these early episodes too, when he keeps finding ways around things when no path seems to exist.


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