The Great Star Trek DS9 Rewatch: Playing God

When Trill initiate Arjin arrives at DS9, it is up to Jadzia to play the role of his ‘field docent’, and determine whether he would be a suitable candidate for joining. The Dax symbiont is infamous for giving initiates a failing grade, but this is the first time Jadzia will be acting as an advisor. Will she and Arjin see eye to eye?

This is a decent Dax episode, and one that gives us further insights into what it means to be a Trill. We get a better handle on what both Jadzia and the Dax symbiont bring to the joining, and get to see how the sum of their two parts tackles a mentoring role, relatively soon after joining. In her previous lives as Curzon and Lela, Dax was a fearsome advisor, washing candidates out of the program and setting impossibly high standards; Jadzia should know, because Curzon gave her a failing grade. And yet, whilst she wants to avoid doing the same to Arjin, she also has to face the fact that he might not yet be ready for a symbiont – and he definitely doesn’t want to hear that.

There’s also a B-plot in which Dax and Arjin accidentally bring back a pocket universe from the wormhole. As the universe expands into our own, Sisko is faced with a difficult decision – with the pocket universe seeming to support life, can he justifiably destroy it to save our own reality? It’s a vaguely interesting notion, but one which is solved all too easily, basically by doing the very thing that was vetoed earlier in the episode as being unworkable. Funny how these things suddenly work out about forty minutes into the episode, isn’t it?

Trill facts

  • Pre-joining, Jadzia was brilliant yet shy, only finding her voice after Curzon had her dropped from the program. It was this rejection that gave her the fire to stand up for herself and reapply. Yet one might assume that it’s the Dax symbiont and the memories of past hosts that make her so confident and fun-loving.
  • In the episode Dax, Selin Peers says he remembers the lives of his past hosts as if he had been there. Here, it seems as if Jadzia remembers her initiate training from her own perspective, but not from Curzon’s. She doesn’t even yet know that the reason Curzon dropped her from the program was because he fell in love with her, and that he readmitted her after realising that was unfair. Does the strength of her memories of that time as Jadzia outweigh the second-hand Curzon memories? Did the Dax symbiont not care very much about what was going on at that time, and therefore not remember it very well?
  • If a host has a weak personality, they will be completely overwhelmed by the symbiont.
  • Jadzia is a level three pilot.
  • Jadzia gets confused between memories from Curzon and Lela, and later mentions both in the same breath. As Lela was the first Dax host, and Curzon is much more recent, you’d think that it would be easier to tell between them.

Other bits and pieces

  • DS9 is suffering from an infestation of Cardassian voles.
  • Sisko finally finds out that Jake has been dating Mardah the dabo girl.
  • Dax and Arjin dine at the Klingon restaurant last seen in Melora. The chef seems to think it’s appropriate to say “she’s mine” of Dax.
  • Quark had a promising career on the Ferengi homeworld until he slept with his boss’s sister.

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