Home Featured TV Shows All TV Shows Movie Reviews Book Reviews Articles Frequently Asked Questions About Us

Star Trek Deep Space Nine: Afterimage

'Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to hem some pants.'

By nature I love brevity: A solid and much-needed introduction/adjustment episode for the final season's new (old?) character, Ezri Dax. Thanks to a good performance by Nicole DeBoer and some solid work from the rest of the cast, we have a fine outing that signals to both the crew and the audience exactly what we can expect from Ezri.

I've always been conflicted about the choice to kill off Jadzia and replace her with Ezri. On the one hand, it's pretty clear from interviews that there was a lot going on behind the scenes that led to Terry Farrell being abruptly and unceremoniously shown the door, which was probably not her fault, and it meant Jadzia as a character got a fairly unsatisfying end, one that sadly wasn't really the result of a long and clear arc. It was a shock value death. But on the other, having a new host of the Dax symbiont on the crew has a lot of storytelling potential. And this episode is a clear sign that the writers know just how to use that potential.

Ezri's arrival on the station and her continued presence there is a huge shake-up to the dynamics of the whole crew. I mean, other than Sisko and maybe O'Brien, Jadzia was easily the most connected person around. She had a strong and clearly defined relationship with almost every other character, which means almost every other character has a strong and instinctual reaction to Ezri's presence. And in the middle of it all is a young woman who clearly has no idea what she's doing.

Nicole DeBoer plays Ezri with a deep and abiding sincerity and transparency. She wears nearly everything on her sleeve, including things that maybe should be kept to herself. Here she slips up in ways both harmful and innocuous, which is a great source of both humor and drama. Nearly every character interaction is worth mentioning, so I won't bore you by recapping them all. There's two great ones I will highlight, though. I'm a huge fan of pretty much everything Avery Brooks does, but the moment he finds out that he intimidates Worf has always been a favorite of mine. There really isn't any other Captain that mixes silly and serious in quite the way he does.

The other moment belongs to Bashir. This is probably the worst thing Ezri does in this episode, and it's probably also one of the worst things anyone has ever said to Bashir. The mix of emotions that flash across his face as he digests the information, and the pain he communicates without uttering a sound, is heartbreaking. It really is remarkable just how far Alexander Siddig has come since his slow-talking 'Ra-o Van-ti-ka' days.

Of course, Ezri's most important interactions here are with Garak and Worf. Garak's claustrophobia has been an issue before, but now it serves as the perfect opportunity to make use of Ezri's counseling skills. Honestly, I think Ezri does almost as much counseling in this episode as Troi did in seven seasons of TNG. She's not perfect at it just yet, but DeBoer and Robinson build a strong screen chemistry and their interactions are definitely a highlight.

Worf's reaction to Ezri is perhaps the most affecting of all. Of course he wouldn't be able to handle her presence after being literally married to the woman she used to be. It makes total sense that it would be confusing to navigate the closeness he had with the previous Dax and the distance he now has – and is required to have by Trill law – from Ezri. I loved the way he resolved to do the right thing, though, coming to see Ezri and encourage her to stay while she was packing, just the same way that Sisko asked him to stay on Deep Space Nine four years prior. It's a beautiful full circle moment.

There's not really a B-story this episode; it all revolves around Ezri and her different relationships. It makes an admittedly crammed episode feel cohesive and complete.


-We even got a little bit of Ezri interacting with Morn, with whom Jadzia was always close.

-Ezri is left-handed after her joining, but she used to be right-handed.

-Bashir and O'Brien are beginning work on a holosuite program about the battle of the Alamo in Earth history, and they're trying to drag Odo into doing it with them.

-Another great Sisko moment in this episode: pushing Ezri to get a rise out of her and compel her to do what she needs to do.


Sisko: "Maybe I should have a talk with [Worf]."
Ezri: "Absolutely not. You intimidate him."
Sisko: "I intimidate Worf, huh?" *laughs*
Ezri: "You like that, don't you?"
Sisko, suddenly serious: "Of course not."

Garak: "Now get out of here, before I say something unkind."

Worf: "Oh no, not again."

Jake: "She is cute."
Sisko: "She is also about 300 years too old for you."

4 out of 6 lifetimes of experience.

CoramDeo wants his money back.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that the introduction of Ezri Dax opens a lot of storytelling potential. We can compare differences between newly-joined Jadzia - in the first season she was still finding her way, but she had always wanted to be joined and had prepared for it - and Ezri, who was literally thrown into the situation with a few minutes of pep talk.
    Also, this episode reminds us that Garak can be extremely cruel.
    Finally, as I always fixate on titles, we can see that the first three episodes are an arc through their titles: Image in the Sand / Shadows and Symbols / Afterimage. They all have to do with visuals.
    Thanks, CoramDeo, for your insights!


We love comments! We moderate because of spam and trolls, but don't let that stop you! It’s never too late to comment on an old show, but please don’t spoil future episodes for newbies.