The Great Star Trek DS9 Rewatch: Dax

The son of a man who died thirty years ago has arrived on DS9, because he believes that his father was murdered by none other than Curzon Dax. He intends to extradite and sentence Jadzia to death for the apparent crime of her previous host, and only Sisko can put a stop to it.

After we get past the pre-credits sexual harassment, Dax is an interesting episode that not only develops the characters of both Jadzia and Curzon, but which further explores the symbiont-host relationship. Back in TNG’s The Host, we saw the symbiont as the dominant personality, with the host being merely passive, but here we see more of a blended approach. Neither Jadzia nor the Dax symbiont are quite the people they were before joining, but the personality of Jadzia Dax is a whole new entity in itself. And with that in mind, can Jadzia Dax be held accountable for the crimes of Curzon? For that matter, did Curzon even commit a crime in the first place?

Isms

I can think of better ways of keeping you up. And they’re more fun than drinking Klingon coffee.”

Someone really needs to discipline Bashir for sexual harassment. How is it at all appropriate to say this to a co-worker whom you’ve only known for a few months, and who has thus far rejected all your clumsy and creepy sexual advances? Moments later, Bashir uses the excuse that Dax didn’t expressly forbid him from walking her home to follow her back to her quarters – what do you have to do to get this guy to get the message? Of course, this means Bashir gets to witness Dax’s kidnapping in time for the Ops crew to stop it, but the attempted kidnapping is a bit pointless anyway. The writers could have found some other way to segue into the hearing.

Trill musings

  • Before joining, Jadzia was an academic, with four science degrees by the age of twenty-eight.
  • Curzon is once again described as a drinker and womaniser.
  • Do symbionts themselves have any sexual orientation? We know they reproduce in pools, but given that a symbiont needs a host in order to live once it’s been joined, is there a special breeding stock who are never allowed to join? Could symbionts ever be sexually attracted to humanoid hosts, or do those feelings emanate entirely from the host and any accumulated memories from previous hosts? How much is Jadzia’s sexuality affected by the accumulated sexualities of previous hosts? We’ll address this point a bit more in Rejoined, but for now, we must debate whether the being of Jadzia Dax has feelings for Mrs Tandro, or whether she just has the memories of Curzon Dax’s feelings.

Other points

  • The O’Briens are not seen in this episode because they’ve returned to Earth for Keiko’s mother’s 100th birthday. Given that Keiko must be in her thirties, does this mean her mother was seventy when she gave birth to Keiko?
  • This episode marks the introduction of Raktajino, or Klingon coffee, as an alternative to the regular coffee mentioned thus far. Pretty soon, everyone will be drinking Raktajino.

Summary – Dax: What is Jadzia, and what is Dax?

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