Fri
Jan 17 2014 4:00pm
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: “Facets”

The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: Facets“Facets”
Written by Rene Echevarria
Directed by Cliff Bole
Season 3, Episode 25
Production episode 40512-471
Original air date: June 12, 1995
Stardate: 48959

Station log: Nog is doing a simulation of a stress reaction test in a runabout, part of his prep for a summer class that will help him get into Starfleet Academy. Jake interrupts because they were supposed to meet half an hour earlier, leading Nog to end the program before he gets up from the shuttlecraft chair, which means he falls on his ass. Remember kids, always stand up before you end a holosuite program.

After getting encouragement from Jake and a lecture from Quark, Nog goes off to fetch Rom from the storage room to run the bar, as Quark has to go to the wardroom. Dax has asked him, Sisko, Bashir, Odo, Kira, O’Brien, and Leeta to meet with her there. Dax is going to undergo the zhian’tara ritual—the Trill ritual of closure—which allows hosts to meet all the previous hosts of their symbionts. She wishes to “borrow” the seven of them—or, more accurately, their bodies—to channel her seven previous hosts so she can speak to them for a couple of hours.

Everyone readily agrees, except for Quark who needs convincing—said convincing being Dax playing with his ears and telling him that it means she and he will grow closer. (She neglects to mention that the host she wants him to channel is female.) Bashir expresses concern about Joran, but Sisko has already agreed to be the one to channel the murderer in her past, with precautions being taken.

The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: Facets

O’Brien is proctoring Nog for his exams on the holosuite, staring with the stress reaction test—which is in Ops, not a runabout like he practiced. O’Brien points out that if they tested him on what he practiced, it wouldn’t be much of a stress reaction test, now would it? Downstairs, Rom is so worried about how Nog will do that he’s distracting Quark from doing the books.

The guardian arrives from Trill, and he reveals that the symbiosis commission has been bugging Jadzia to come home to Trill to do the ritual for months now, and they finally gave up and sent the guardian to DS9. He does the ritual with Kira first, as she channels Lela, Dax’s first host. Jadzia realizes that she got her habit of keeping her hands behind her back from Lela. She was one of the first female councilors, and she tended to gesture emphatically while talking, which was off-putting to her male colleagues, so she got in the habit of keeping her hands behind her back.

The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: Facets

O’Brien channels Tobin, who’s a bit of a nebbish. Jadzia points out that O’Brien probably won’t appreciate Tobin biting the chief’s nails.

The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: Facets

Emony is channeled by Leeta, who shows off some gymnastic moves, and then Quark channels Audrid, who waxes rhapsodic about childbearing and brushes Jadzia’s hair. As for Torias, he uses Bashir’s body to eat a lot, feeling that life is too short to deny yourself the good things in life—and while Torias never did deny himself such things, his life was too short because of the shuttle accident that killed him.

The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: Facets

Odo places Sisko in a holding cell for channeling Joran. He asks if she’s practicing her music, and then belittles her, calling her unworthy of the symbiont. Then he places both hands on the force field and bangs his head on it to hurt Sisko. The commander manages to take control of the body, but when Jadzia lowers the force field, Joran reasserts control and tries to strangle her.

The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: Facets

Belying Joran’s claim that she’s just a pretty girl with no other claim to fame besides the Dax symbiont, Jadzia then beats the crap out of Sisko until Joran again loses control to the body’s owner.

Dax admits to Sisko that the main reason why she’d been putting off the zhian’tara was because she feared that Joran was right, that she wasn’t worthy to be joined. Sisko reminds her that she has a golden opportunity to ask Curzon for his reasons for rejecting her and eventually letting her back in.

Odo channels Curzon, and to everyone’s surprise, his shapeshifting nature means that Odo’s hair changes to Curzon’s style, his face is less smooth, and he has Trill spots. It turns out to be more of a melding than the others—he’s both Curzon and Odo at the same time. He goes to talk to Sisko and catch up with him. (I’m going to refer to him as Curzon for simplicity’s sake.) They go to Quark’s, where Curzon messes with the bartender’s head, and then Jadzia shows up. Sisko goes off to do Nog’s evaluations, leaving Curzon and Jadzia to chew the fat. Curzon reveals that he got Tobin drunk during his zhian’tara—but when Jadzia brings up her time as an initiate, Curzon recognizes a tongo hustler from Odo’s bulletins, and says they should get a game going.

After Quark kicks them out following hours of tongo, Jadzia again tries to confront Curzon about her time as an initiate, this time over a bottle of something Odo confiscated from a smuggler. He claims that he didn’t object to her reapplying because he felt sorry for her, which confirms her worst fears: that she doesn’t have Curzon’s approval or respect. When Curzon’s reintegrated into her, she won’t respect herself. But that apparently won’t be a problem, because both Curzon and Odo are quite happy with this new person they’ve become, and they’re staying that way.

The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: Facets

Jadzia is content to let it lie, because she looks up to Curzon, but Sisko convinces her to confront him. Curzon was always a manipulative bastard, and sometimes he crossed the line with Sisko, and Sisko confronted him with it. Every time Sisko stood up to him, he backed off—not always happily, but he did.

Nog is upset because he failed his spatial recognition exam. Quark is unusually sympathetic, reassuring Nog that he always has a place in the bar no matter what. This makes Rom suspicious, so he investigates. Quark changed the holosuite parameters so that Nog would fail the spatial orientation test. Rom has already told Sisko, and Nog will take the test again, and Rom furiously informs Quark that if he ever hurts his son again, he’ll burn the bar to the ground. (How exactly he’ll do that to a bar in the middle of a space station is left to the viewer’s imagination, but Rom’s pissed enough that Quark’s in no position to ask.)

The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: Facets

Jadzia confronts Curzon in Odo’s quarters. Curzon tries to belittle her and intimidate her, but it doesn’t work this time, and Curzon finally admits the truth: he fell in love with her. He couldn’t let on how he felt, given the docent-initiate relationship, and he washed her out for that reason. He not only didn’t object when she reapplied, he was relieved, as it got him off the hook. Jadzia convinces him to let her have her memories back, and allow Curzon and Jadzia to be together the way they were meant to: through Dax.

The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: Facets

Nog has passed his intensives, and he’s ready to take the Starfleet Academy entrance exam, to the joy of everyone except for Quark. Nog then goes to the bar and orders a root beer, as that’s an Earth drink, and Quark shakes his head, declaring it to the be the end of Ferengi civilization.

Odo comes into the bar and joins Dax, apologizing for his behavior when he was melded with Curzon. Dax says there’s no need to apologize. They both learned a lot from it: Dax now knows how much joy Odo takes in being a changeling, and Odo understands the joys of eating, drinking, and staying up all night playing tongo.

The Sisko is of Bajor: Apparently they had to reshoot the scene with Joran because in the first take Avery Brooks was too creepy....

The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: Facets

Don’t ask my opinion next time: Lela turns out to be a tough old broad with a wide smile and a feisty attitude. Nothing at all like Kira, but Nana Visitor plays her magnificently.

The slug in your belly: We get to meet versions of all of the previous hosts of the Dax symbiont (with the exception of Verad from “Invasive Procedures,” which is never explained, though he was joined for so brief a period there may not be enough for it to work): the already-named Lela, Tobin, Torias, Joran, and Curzon, and the established-here-for-the-first-time Emony and Audrid.

Preservation of matter and energy is for wimps: The melding of Curzon and Odo proves enjoyable for both. Curzon in particular finds being in a liquid state to be liberating, and Odo gets to drink, erm, a lot.

Rules of Acquisition: In the midst of channeling Audrid, Quark re-takes control of his body long enough to bitch and moan and make Dax promise never to tell anyone about this ever.

The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: Facets

Plain, simple: Rom had Garak make a cadet’s uniform for Nog that cost him five strips of latinum. Quark points out the foolishness of this, as they’ll issue him a uniform if he gets in. However, it gives Nog something to wear in the bar when he passes the tests (though Sisko points out it’s premature; Nog apologetically says that it was for his dad, and Sisko understands).

No sex, please, we’re Starfleet: Curzon reveals to Jadzia that he was in love with her, and he also waggles his eyebrows at Sisko regarding Kasidy Yates (to Jake’s glee and Sisko’s dismay).

What happens on the holosuite stays on the holosuite: They have to use Quark’s holosuite to administer Nog’s tests, which is an issue insofar as Quark owns them and can manipulate the programs for his own ends—like keeping Nog out of Starfleet.

The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: Facets

Keep your ears open: “It just occurred to me—as soon as that kid graduates from the Academy, I’m going to have to call him ‘sir’.”

O’Brien with a disquieting revelation about Nog.

Welcome aboard: Chase Masterson is established as a recurring character with her reappearance as Leeta, following “Explorers”; she’ll be back in “Bar Association” next season. Max Grodénchik and Aron Eisenberg are back as Rom and Nog, and Jeffrey Alan Chandler plays the guardian.

Trivial matters: It had already been established how many male and female hosts Dax had, which was a problem, as there were three female hosts and only one other female regular in Kira. They decided to go for the comedy of Quark channeling a second female host. Originally writer Rene Echevarria wanted to use Keiko for the third, but Rosalind Chao was unavailable, so they brought back Leeta.

This episode’s story was inspired in part by the TV movie Sybil. Echevarria’s first draft had Jadzia channeling each host, but that didn’t give Jadzia the chance to interact with her past hosts directly, so he switched it to the crew “hosting” them.

Curzon’s rejection of Jadzia her first time through the initiate program was established in “Playing God.”

Makeup designer Michael Westmore digitally morphed a photo of Frank Owen Smith, who played Curzon in “Emissary,” onto Odo’s makeup when he was channeling Curzon.

Curzon orders tranya from Quark, a drink first seen in “The Corbomite Maneuver” on the original series.

Back in TNG’s “The Royale,” which aired in 1989, Picard muses on Fermat’s Last Theorem, which, he said, had gone unsolved for 800 years. In 1995, Andrew Wiles provided a proof for the theorem, and Jadzia makes reference to Wiles’s proof when chatting with Tobin, as a sort of shout-out and apology for the TNG reference that was superseded by reality.

All the hosts established here get stories about them told in the anthology The Lives of Dax, which includes one story each for Lela, Tobin, Emony, Audrid, Torias, Joran, Curzon, Jadzia, and Ezri. Tobin also has appeared in several Enterprise novels, including the Romulan War duology by Michael A. Martin and the Rise of the Federation books by Christopher L. Bennett.

Walk with the Prophets: “I’d like to borrow your bodies for a few hours.” Okay, before we start, I have to say that I’ve got a bit of a hard time taking the name of the ritual Dax undergoes in this episode entirely seriously, because I keep hearing “The Foeman Bares His Steel” from The Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert & Sullivan. (“When the foeman bares his steel / zhian’tara, zhian’tara / We uncomfortable feel / zhian’tara”—okay, maybe it’s just me...)

Anyhow, leaving that aside, this is a nice quiet little episode that provides some interesting insights into all the different hosts of the Dax symbiont, with the added bonus of giving the actors a chance to play around a little bit. Unfortunately, only Nana Visitor, Avery Brooks, and Rene Auberjonois really are able to do anything. The former two get entire scenes, and the latter gets most of the episode’s final two acts, leaving the rest only to do quickie vignettes. Sadly, this makes Tobin, Audrid, and Torias come across as caricatures, and Emony is totally undifferentiated from Leeta.

The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: Facets

But it’s worth it for those three. Visitor does such a wonderful job with Lela, who is very obviously a strong woman, from an earlier time when strong women weren’t as appreciated in Trill society. Brooks is incredibly creepy as Joran, and the moment when he attacks Jadzia after she lowers the force field makes you wonder if the episode is going to be a rerun of “The Passenger,” with the crew chasing Sisko down. Luckily, Joran’s claim of her just being a pretty little girl proves quite wrong—but then Joran doesn’t know about Curzon’s affinity for Klingons and Klingon martial arts, one that Jadzia has shared.

Joran’s taunting of Jadzia is useful in other ways, as Curzon tries a similar tactic—more patronizing, less threatening, but with more or less the same language—and it doesn’t work.

In general, the episode is about people overcoming obstacles, whether self-imposed or not. Lela had to overcome societal sexism, Tobin had to overcome his poor social skills, Emony had to overcome her fear that joining would ruin her career, and Jadzia had to overcome Curzon’s rejection of her application.

Not to mention the B-plot, which is about Nog overcoming his fears and his uncle’s sabotage. For the second time in three episodes, we get to see Rom lose his temper and stand up to his brother. Max Grodénchik is superb in this episode, worrying about Nog, buying him the uniform, fussing over him after he passes—and, most importantly, figuring out what Quark did and confronting him over it.

The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: Facets

Ultimately, the second biggest problem this episode has is that it doesn’t have room to really do everything it needs to do to be effective. The scenes with Tobin, Emony, Audrid, and Torias just aren’t long enough, and we don’t get nearly enough of Curzon. The first thing Curzon does is go see Sisko, and there needed to be more of that—we’ve been hearing about Sisko’s relationship with the “old man” for three seasons now, it needed more of an airing than what we got. Plus, Curzon really comes across pretty one-dimensionally. He’s often been described as a hedonist, but that was only one aspect of his character—yet that’s all we really see here.

Having said that, Auberjonois plays it beautifully, with just enough of Odo’s mannerisms and tone to make it a convincing melding of two characters.

But that leads us to the biggest problem, which is that the entire episode hinges on Jadzia not knowing why Curzon washed her out of the program, and, well, why doesn’t she know that answer already? She has all of Curzon’s memories. This is stuff she should just know. The central conflict of the episode is one that makes absolutely no sense based on what we’ve seen of Dax to date. She remembers all kinds of other stuff, including some really significant things from Curzon’s life (like the emotional attachment to the blood oath she took with Kor, Kang, and Koloth), so why is this hidden from her?

The episode is still enjoyable despite this rather major logical flaw, but it’s still a pretty big flaw....

 

Warp factor rating: 6


Keith R.A. DeCandido is at Arisia 2014 this weekend in Boston. Check out his schedule here, which includes a reading from The Klingon Art of War and a panel on the state of Star Trek in 2014.

31 comments
Christopher Bennett
1. ChristopherLBennett
"The commander manages to take control of the body, but when Jadzia lowers the force field, Joran reasserts control and tries to strangle her."

I always took that as Joran just pretending to be Sisko to trick Dax into lowering the force field.

It's worth noting that Wiles's proof for Fermat's Last Theorem contained an error; while still mathematically valuable, it doesn't actually prove the theorem. So TNG was right after all.

I pretty much agree with your review -- it's a fun episode with a nice concept, and a good chance for at least some of the cast to play different characters, and Rom is awesome again, but the core conflict with Curzon doesn't make a lick of sense. Indeed, the whole ritual is implausible and contrived. Why does she need to remove the past hosts' memories from her own mind in order to get to know them better? I suppose there's something to be said for getting to see them from the outside looking in for a change, but still, it's awfully contrived. And it gives the Trill race (in the person of the guardian) a level of psychic powers they haven't been shown to possess before. I mean, two brains undergoing a physical merger into a single nervous system and thereby sharing memories is an idea that makes a fair amount of sense, but removing personalities as some kind of incorporeal essence and transferring them into other people is rather mystical by comparison. Although I guess it has abundant precedent in Trek, going as far back as "Wolf in the Fold," "Return to Tomorrow," and "Turnabout Intruder."

Leeta's inclusion in this episode, and the out-of-nowhere establishment of her "close friendship" with Jadzia, is particularly random. It underlines a perennial problem with this show, in that it was so preoccupied with its odd mix of civilian characters that it tended to give short shrift to the Starfleet and Bajoran crew other than the leads. I mean, Dax is the science officer. She presumably presides over a number of junior science officers, lab techs, etc. Why doesn't she have any friends among them? Not that I minded seeing Chase Masterson again, to be sure, but she was just so blatantly shoehorned in.
David Levinson
2. DemetriosX
You really have to give the writers some credit for not going with the tried and true transporter accident or something similar to tell this story. Making it a natural part of Trill culture allows them to focus on the actual story rather than finding a way to fix it. I'm not sure how it's supposed to work with all these different alien species, but that's always been something Trek glosses over.

Playing Joran is certainly right in Avery Brooks' wheelhouse, but it seems like an odd choice to me. I would think having Sisko channel Curzon would be the obvious choice, let him see deeper into the mind of an old friend and all that. But of course you lose the problem aspect of the plot if you do that.

Dax not being aware that Curzon was in love with her does seem odd, but it's probably not too hard to come up with something handwavy. Dax knows, but for some psychological reason keeps it hidden from Jadzia? That's just off the top of my head.

Leeta really seemed out of place here. Much later on, she would have been an obvious choice, but she's really a stranger to us at this point. This also robs us of the pleasure of seeing familiar characters act differently. Them not being able to get Rosalind Chao explains a lot, and maybe this helped Leeta become a recurring character. Lucky Chase Masterson.

ETA: The root beer thing. Maybe they were playing off of this, but it really makes the show look incredibly US-centric. People who don't grow up with it have a real hard time getting used to the flavor of sarsparilla. I love it, but my German wife can't stand the stuff. Same with wintergreen. Germans, OTHO, love woodruff, but everybody else finds it disgusting.
Matt Stoumbaugh
3. LazerWulf
This was an interesting episode. I did take notice that they never even mentioned Verad, which I thought was weird, because at the end of that episode Jadzia had said, "I remember everything." Still, I guess I can buy that they weren't joined enough for a personality to imprint on the symbiote.

As for why she didn't know why Curzon failed her, didn't she say in "Playing God" that she was afraid to find out? As in, she could have accessed those memories, but she chose not to.

Rom is quickly becoming one of my favorite side characters. As Nog pointed out in an earlier episode, he's a mechanical genius, so it's completely plausible that he was able to figure out what Quark did, and furthermore, it was smart to go to Sisko before confronting Quark with the evidence.
Don Barkauskas
4. bad_platypus
ChristopherLBennett @1: Wiles's initial proof in 1993 did contain a flaw, true, but he corrected it in 1995. Fermat's Last Theorem has been proved. (And the final proof appeared in the May 1995 issue of the Annals of Mathematics. I don't know about lead times in writing these shows, but it's very possible the writers were referencing the corrected proof.
Christopher Bennett
5. ChristopherLBennett
On the Verad question, I would submit that they didn't need to include Verad in the zhian'tara because Verad, uniquely among former hosts, is still alive. If Jadzia wants to talk to him and get to know him, she can just make a subspace call, or go visit whatever prison or institution he's in. Perhaps drawing out a former host is strenuous, and if there's a simpler way to achieve the same result, why bother?

Although I agree the joining was brief enough that any transfer of knowledge/personality was probably minimal anyway.
Cybersnark
6. Cybersnark
Lela turns out to be a tough old broad with a wide smile and a feisty attitude. Nothing at all like Kira,

Aside from the "old" part, that actually sounds a lot like Kira. Those two probably would've gotten along wonderfully.

And I love that Sisko immediately volunteered to be Joran. Not just for Brooks' performance, but because it's exactly the type of thing a best friend would do to protect someone. He's volunteering for the most dangerous and (he expects) problematic part of this.

Rom has always had more to him than anyone realizes --his arc may not be as dramatic as Nog's, but it's just as powerful.
Cybersnark
7. Lsana
@1,

Wiles original proof had an error in it when it was first presented in 1993, but that error was corrected before the final version was submitted in 1994. Fermat's Last Theorem has been proven. This episode is right and TNG was wrong in its prediction.

@2,

I assume that the reason Sisko didn't play Curzon was that he was the only one willing to take on the Joran memories. Since the ritual seems to require different people for each host, that would preclude him from Curzon. I really wouldn't have wanted those two switched (any idea what sort of trouble Joran might have gotten up to in a shape-shifter body?)
Christopher Bennett
8. ChristopherLBennett
@6: Kira's tough with a feisty attitude, but not so big on the wide smiling. Anyway, the point is that Visitor completely transforms herself; the characters may have some personality traits in common, but you'd never mistake one's voice or expressions or body language for the other's.
Rob Rater
9. Quasarmodo
I questioned the idea of putting the killer in the body of the biggest guy on the show. Nothing possibly bad could happen from that. It's probably a good thing Worf wasn't on the show yet, or they would've put the killer in him for sure.
Matt Hamilton
10. MattHamilton
I never liked this episode much at all, despite the characterizations. The reasons for the ritual make no sense (do they do this for every host? Why?), the way they go about it makes no sense, and that that species even has that capability, while one obviously can't discount that on a sci-fi show, is still pretty weird to me.

I was more emotionally invested in the Nog testing storyline and how awesome Rom was against his brother; true evolution of the character. I want to see Avery Brooks' first version of that scene, if that was indeed true that it was that creepy.
Mike Kelmachter
11. MikeKelm
Well once again we see a starflower academy entrance exam that makes no sense. How do you get into the academy if you don't live in a star fleet facility and have access to the holo deck? What happened to academics, physical fitness and the like? What's with the reaction tests- The idea behind a service academy is to teach you how to be an officer- but based upon Wesley's test in TNG: Coming of Age and Nog's, you better be able to do it NOW! Serioualy, what if your the son of a dairy farmer on Aerilon- how do you get to be an officer then?

The rest of the episode is highlighted by Sisko as Joran. The heavy eyelids, the melodious voice, the repeated use of the name, Jadzia, makes him incredibly powerful and creepy. I admit to watching that scene alone, Jadzia, just to watch the acting of Avery Brooks. I don't know the breakup of the credit, Jadzia, between the writer, the director and Brooks' choices in playing Joran, but it was fantastic. I too would like to have seen the first version.

Oh, and I'm in agreement with CLB that Joran pretended to be Sisko to get out of the cell, not that he took control back.

I sort of get the idea- that you get insight not only from having the memories but interacting with them (think a less creepy version of Leah Brahms in the holo deck) but I don't get the payoff- Jadzia should know that Curzon was in love with her already. A better payoff would be Curzon wanting to stay in Odos body and Sisko confronting his mentor while Jadzia tries to adjust without one facet of herself.

It's an interesting concept but doesn't play out as well as it could have. Terry Farrell does a good job of being introspective and it's the best way to get the characters to be someone else that we've seen (far better than the frequent body takeovers in TNG) but the realization that Dax finds out an answer she should already know sort of kicks the legs out from under the episode.
Christopher Bennett
12. ChristopherLBennett
@11: "How do you get into the academy if you don't live in a star fleet facility and have access to the holo deck?"

Why in the world would you assume that holodecks are exclusive to Starfleet facilities? That's like assuming that only the Navy has movie theaters. Besides, Nog took the test in the holosuite at Quark's, which is a civilian establishment.

Sure, early TNG gave the impression that holodecks were a new and remarkable technology, but that was discounted later on in the series. Voyager even established that Janeway had played with educational holoprograms as a child. And Enterprise established that some level of holographic technology was known even in the 22nd century. (There's also the holographic rec room in the animated "The Practical Joker," a century before TNG. I kind of figure that maybe the near-disaster there led to the technology falling out of favor for a while, and it took until the mid-24th century to become commonplace again.)
Cybersnark
13. James2
Since it hasn't been brought up, I love Curzon/Odo's brief mention of that Pelios Station before Sisko cuts him off.

Exactly what happened on Pelios Station is one of my favorite DS9 running gags -- and I know The Lives of Dax finally answered it, but I haven't read it yet.
Raymond Seavey
14. RaySea
One thing that always bothered me was the surprise when something weird happened with Odo. OK, maybe that couldn't predict exactly what would happen, but everyone's expectation that the process would just work normally on somebody who doesn’t have anything even resembling a humanoid brain or nervous system seemed a bit off.
Cybersnark
15. Bookworm1398
Agree with what matthamilton said. The whole Dax story was contrived and boring for me. Jadzia's doubts about her symbiosis were sufficiently explored in the episode where she has to evaluate the candidate, I don't think this episode added anything more.
alastair chadwin
16. a-j
I remember on my first watching thinking that obviously one of the hosts was going to want to stay in their host but did appreciate that it turned out to be Curzon/Odo and not the more obvious suspects of Torias/Bashir of Joran/Sisko.
Cybersnark
17. RobinM
The thing that always bothered me about Curzon was washing Jadzia out of the symbiot program in the first place. What reason did he originally give ? His being in love with her should have NOTHING What SO Ever to do with Jadzia's ability to be joined. Unless Curzon didn't want her to be joined to Dax and find out his feelings in the first place but apparently he got over it. It's still a stupid reason and why would the commision alow it in the first place. I did enjoy watching the various performances by the cast and was happy for Nog too.
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
18. Lisamarie
I'm anal enough that I wish they would have at least mentioned Verad even if just to explain why he wouldn't be part of the ritual (and it makes sense that he would not be).

I will be honest, I have never liked Curzon, and this just cements it...that he would keep a woman down just because of his own feelings for her that he can't handle in a mature enough fashion? Horrible. Oh, but he felt soooo bad about it, boo hoo. And it didn't seem like he was ever planning on coming clean about it, it's just that Jadzia happened to reapply.

I also felt that it doesn't make a whole lot of sense that Jadzia doesn't know this already, unless this is intending to set a present that a host can 'hide' memories from any future hosts, and maybe it's harder than we think to 'read' the previous hosts' minds (I think it was in Harry Potter where Snape talks about mind reading as NOT being like reading a book?) and get a feel for who they were individually. Maybe this IS explainable, since she didn't know about Joran until the memories broke though - although that was a bit of a special case.

I loved the scene with Rom telling off Quark though. Definitely the best part of the episode, in my opinion :)
Cybersnark
19. Crusader75
I would think the simplest explanation for Verad's absence is that he did not have Dax in him long enough to permanently imprinthis memories on the symbiont, just as removing Dax did not kill him. The Curzon thing is more difficult to handwave. Jadzia made a tremendous impression on Curzon which caused him behave unprofessionally. I suppose Curzon or Dax (though it is not clear a symbiont has any sentience beyond what it absorbs from the hosts) could have suppressed those memories out of profound embarassment of what he did. Unfortunely,they really don't offer any explanation and the idea that Curzon had a deep crush on her would touch on those memories every time Jadzia Dax looked in the mirror.
Keith DeCandido
20. krad
Just a note that I was away this weekend for a convention that went until Monday, so the rewatch for "The Adversary" is not likely to go online unitl Wednesday....

---Keith R.A. DeCandido
Mike Kelmachter
21. MikeKelm
A couple of more thoughts, well, really a t hought and a question...

As far as Verad goes, is it possible that the ceremony doesn't require a host to meet all of the previous hosts? This doesn't seem quite so formalized as say, a Klingon coming-of-age ceremony, where it has to be at such and such a time. This seems more like an option available to the host should they choose to pursue it. Maybe Jadzia decided that since she knew Verad, she didn't want to meet him. I could see her wanting to meet Joran again as they did have some sort of a reconciliation in the pools, though Joran trying to kill her probably ended that. Still, it would have been good if they had addressed it.

And my thought/question- do symbionts remember everything, or just the events- I'd almost think that as a symbiotic creature who experiences life through the host, they may not have access to every single thought that the host has. It may be that they are an observer to that life and have internal "conversations" with the host, which means that one party could hide information from the other- we already know its possible to suppress symbionts memory- maybe it's possible to just keep them from knowing. That leaves us with two possibilities- first, that Dax (the symbiont) never knew Curzon was in love with Jadzia because Curzon never "told" Dax or that Dax and Curzon "discussed" the situation and that Dax chose not to share it with Jadzia. We do know that symbionts have some level of sentience- what if Dax was deliberately not sharing with Jadzia? Is that possible, or does the Trill symbiotic relationship prevent that possibility?
Christopher Bennett
22. ChristopherLBennett
@21: If it's a matter of what the ceremony traditionally requires, I'd think Verad would be formally excluded, since he was never a rightful host. Indeed, we need to remember that he took the Dax symbiont by force. That's basically symbiont rape. And he was willing to kill Jadzia in order to do it. Not only is it unlikely that Jadzia or Dax would ever want to revisit the traumatic memory of what Verad did to them, I can't imagine that the ceremonies and traditions of the Trill people would permit the inclusion of someone who committed such a violation. True, Joran was a murderer, but at least he was a legitimately joined host, and he didn't directly harm Dax itself or any of its hosts. And yet even he was excluded from Curzon's zhian'tara.

On your second point, I think the merger of host and symbiont is more intimate than that, like the two hemispheres of a single brain rather than two separate personalities. But I suppose it is possible that Curzon Dax could've made the decision to keep this knowledge from Jadzia, and that once Curzon died and the Dax symbiont was briefly autonomous, it retained that imperative and put some sort of mental block in place, similar to the block on Joran's memories.
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
23. Lisamarie
Joe and I were talking about this but neither of us knew - is it ever established if the symbiont gets the host's pre-joining memories or not? (For example, can Jadzia Dax remember things from Curzon's childhood?)
Cybersnark
24. Ginomo
I really felt like the "Because I loved you" thing was a cop-out that took something away from Jadzia's character and made her even more Mary Sue-ish. Her having not be good enough, being washed out, but then fighting her way back back into the program was interesting and showed some personal depth. Instead, nope, she really is perfect and the only reason she didn't make the cut the first time was cause he had the hots for her. One more guy has the hots for Jadzia.

I think saying Curzon didn't want to go back because he was "just being Curzon" would have been enough. From everything we have learned about Curzon, deciding to stay in Odo's body simply because it's what pleased him would have been enough. Conversely, having the confidence and charm of Curzon within him was something Odo wouldn't have wanted to let go of either. Jadzia would get to stand up to Curzon and show some backbone, to which he then admits that's why he washed her out, because she never stood up for herself. Not cause he loved her.
Cybersnark
25. NickM
@1 Mr. Bennett, you stated, "Leeta's inclusion in this episode, and the out-of-nowhere establishmentof her "close friendship" with Jadzia, is particularly random. It underlines a perennial problem with this show, in that it was so preoccupied with its odd mix of civilian characters that it tended togive short shrift to the Starfleet and Bajoran crew other than the leads. I mean, Dax is the science officer. She presumably presides over a number of junior science officers, lab techs, etc. Why doesn't she have any friends among them?"

I know this isn't a great reply, but perhaps (and this is my idea coming from 26 years in the Army) she would not choose those she is in direct command of because it is such a personal thing, and bringing a junior officer in on this would be a level of intimacy she doesn't wish to cross with someone she is in charge of. I know I would not use any of my Soldiers for something like this, but I would choose my contemporaries and friends not in the service.

Just a thought.
Cybersnark
26. Tesh
@25
I think it might be fair to say that Jadzia is no stranger to Quark's place. Regulars there would almost certainly know Leeta, and I can easily see Jadzia befriending her.

It never bothered me. I thought it nice to see someone in her inner circle that was a familiar face but not one of the regulars. That's one thing that DS9 seemed to do at least a bit better than other Star Trek shows, giving a better sense of the station and its community.
Christopher Bennett
27. ChristopherLBennett
@26: It would've bothered me less if it had been established before this episode. As it is, it's just such a blatant ploy by the writers to solve a plot problem. "We need another female! Quick, let's bring back that Dabo girl who was in one scene a few episodes ago and give Odo a clunky bit of exposition about how friendly she and Dax have gotten!" I mean, I understand why they had no choice, with Rosalind Chao being unavailable, but it's still awkward.
Cybersnark
28. McKay B
Yeah, Leeta would have worked great if this was, say, her fourth appearance rather than her second. As it was, it was jarring.

I don't have any problem believing that a host can hide specific thoughts from future hosts, at least if the symbiont consents to it. And I thought the "I had a huge crush on you" excuse, regardless of how it portrays Jadzia, was very in-character for Curzon. Near the end of his life, he's realized he's a hedonist and feels guilty about it ... and out of that guilt, he overreacts and shies away from approving Jadzia. All very believable psychology IMO. Although I'm with Lisamarie - it didn't make my already-mediocre opinion of Curzon gain any points. It would have been nice if we'd gotten to see some of his more positive character traits (although Kor showing up would have felt pretty contrived).

Agree with CLB that Joran was only pretending to be controlled by Sisko the first time (probably). Agree with KRAD that Visitor's portrayal of Lela was delightful and suprisingly memorable for how quick it was. Agree with everyone that Rom's character arc is awesome and this episode is a great step in it.

And despite it not being popular outside the USA, I absolutely LOVE Quark's ongoing relationship with root beer. :D
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
29. Lisamarie
Yeah, I actually liked Leeta's inclusion (even if a bit abrupt) simply because it shows that the crew have friends/interests outside of the senior officers and what we see. And we know Jadzia likes to hang out at Quark's and play dabo and tongo and all that, and is not the type to be elitist in whom she hangs out with. So it made sense to me, even if it would have been nice to see her a few more times previously.
Cybersnark
30. Nix
I'm a little surprised there even *was* a Wiles proof in the Star Trek universe: Wiles was working on it in the 90s, i.e. in the middle of either WWIII or the Eugenics Wars depending on who you ask.

Maybe Wiles worked a bit later -- or earlier -- in the Trekiverse, or kept working despite the minor matter of a major war.
Christopher Bennett
31. ChristopherLBennett
@30: Actually Wiles devised the proof between 1986 and 1993, when he announced it. The Eugenics Wars didn't begin until 1993 -- and really, there's no reason to believe they would've prevented his academic work. Wiles would've been 40 years old at the time, so he wouldn't have been drafted or anything. And we don't know how widespread the EW were or if they affected Oxford or Princeton University in any way. (According to the novels, they were largely a secret underground war, the truth of which didn't become known until decades later -- so that they could be reconciled with real history. The current IDW Comics Khan miniseries posits a far more massive nuclear war that pretty much devastates the US, but that's extremely hard to reconcile with Trek canon.)

"Space Seed" treated the Eugenics Wars and WWIII as equivalent, but TNG's version of WWIII was in the 2040s-50s or thereabouts.

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