After Sisko convinces Starfleet that the Defiant should continue exploring the Gamma Quadrant, they encounter a planet that seems to have appeared out of nowhere. Planet Meridian shifts between dimensions, but if nothing is done, it will destabilise within the next few shifts. As the Defiant crew work to find a solution, Dax finds herself romantically drawn to one of the Meridian inhabitants. Meanwhile, Quark tries to get holographic image of Kira to sell to an interested customer.
Meridian is definitely weaker than the last few episodes. It requires a major suspension of disbelief – not only for all the quantum matrix bollocks, but for the speed at which Dax falls for Deral and decides to put her life and career on hold for him. She claims that, unlike Curzon, Jadzia is not the sort to fall in love every five minutes, but I can’t help wondering if there isn’t a bit of Curzon directing her impulses here. Also, we know that Dax can’t possibly stay on Meridian anyway, so it’s not like there’s much in the way of real suspense about her situation.
All that being said, I actually quite enjoy this episode. Maybe it’s just nostalgia adding a rosy tint to this season, but I’m having fun revisiting the episodes that entertained me so much back in the nineties.
The enlightened future
- This episode marks the first appearance of Jeffrey Combs as a guest actor. Combs would later become well known for his recurring parts as Weyoun and Liquidator Brunt in DS9, and later Shran in Enterprise.
- The fact that Kira has to pretend that Odo is her lover just to get Tiron to back off is a sad indictment of the 24th century. Is it not enough for a woman just to say no? Admittedly, Tiron is a self-absorbed wealthy trader rather than an enlightened Federation dweller, but it’s still a poor example to set.
- Odo’s reaction to Kira having touched his hand is yet another hint as to his true feelings for her.
- Dax admits to never having climbed a tree, but mere minutes later she says “I can’t remember the last time I did this – walked through a park, climbed a tree…”. Well, in the latter case, never – don’t you remember?
- Dax’s quantum matrix is presumably incompatible with Meridian’s because she is an alien, even after all the adjustments made by the transporter (bear with me, I know this is all stupid). But the inhabitants of Meridian weren’t native to the planet, so how did they manage? Had they been on Meridian long enough before it shifted that they were able to adapt, perhaps because they had been living off the planet’s natural produce? What about equipment the original settlers brought from their home?
- In an alternate world where Dax did shift with Meridian, she returns sixty years laters to a very different Alpha Quadrant.
- A future Dax symbiont (perhaps an old Ezri) is reunited with Deral when Meridian shifts back to normal space.
Summary – Meridian: A silly romance story, but somehow still entertaining. And don’t worry, Dax, by next week you’ll have forgotten all about Deral.