The Great Star Trek DS9 Rewatch: Rejoined

A team of Trill scientists who are researching the creation of artificial wormholes is coming to DS9, and it turns out that Dax has a past with lead scientist Lenara Kahn. Back when she was Torias Dax, she was married to Kahn’s previous host Nilani, until Torias died in a shuttle accident. Trill society forbids the resumption of relationships from past lives, but will Dax and Kahn really be able to ignore their feelings for each other?

Although it’s a bit disappointing that it took until Star Trek Beyond for an openly gay character to appear in Star Trek, DS9 did at least have a go at tackling sexuality issues in a roundabout way in this episode. In true Star Trek fashion, this episode examines a contemporary issue by taking a futuristic slant; technically this is not an episode about two women fancying each other – instead, it’s about two former lovers getting a second chance. In fact, when they were married, they were in a heterosexual relationship.

The Trill rule against reassociation does have its merits – given that each host is supposed to bring new experiences to the symbiont, it would get complicated and messy to get mired in old relationships. And it’s not as hard as it sounds – given that most Trills aren’t joined, most of a host’s friends and comtemporaries will have passed on by the time symbiont has started their next life. Of course, there are still the previous host’s descendants, but perhaps they seem more distant to the next host, who is a new person. It may still be difficult, but moving on is possible.

But for Dax and Kahn, things are different. They never had a long, happy life together – their relationship was cut short when Torias died in a shuttle accident. Not only that, but Dax has been carrying around the guilt for testing out an unsafe shuttle for decades – had Torias been more prudent, he might not have died so young. When you add in the fact that the hosts Jadzia and Lenara actually have a lot in common, how could they not fall in love all over again? Of course, we know that it’s unlikely that a main character of a nineties TV show will get exiled from their own homeworld for a lesbian relationship, but that just adds to the tragedy, as Jadzia watches Lenara leave the station – never to return.

Trill facts

  • Tobin Dax was skilled at sleight of hand – a useful party trick given how shy and socially awkward he was.
  • In Invasive Procedures, Verad list the Dax symbiont’s interests as science and diplomacy. Over eight lifetimes, Dax has had the following careers: legislator, scientist, gymnast, head of Symbiosis Commission, pilot, musician, ambassador and science officer. This is largely consistent, with the exceptions presumably being for variety. However, apparently neither Torias nor Curzon were interested in science, despite this being an important subject for the symbiont. Did Dax just think “what the hell, I fancy a change, let’s go with the host’s vocation”? Did neither host succumb to the symbiont’s desire to even read science articles on the galactic internet?
  • Is the reassociation rule less strict for a host’s alien friends? Sisko, Kor, Kang and Koloth were all Curzon’s friends, but there are no real Trill-based consequences for Jadzia in maintaining relationships with them. And of course Ezri returns to DS9 and more or less takes up where Jadzia left off – she even sleeps with Worf. Then again, the majority of these relationships are platonic rather than romantic.

Other points

  • This is the third episode in a row that features a magneton pulse. It was used as a way to track down the damaged warp engines of the Jem’Hadar ship and the Ravinok in Hippocratic Oath and Indiscretion respectively. In fact, in Hippocratic Oath, Bashir asked what a magneton pulse was, and now it’s appearing everywhere. If it’s that prevalent, how could Bashir, with his engineering extension qualifications, not even have heard of it?
  • Hasperat makes a reappearance, as part of the buffet to welcome the Trill scientists.

Summary – Rejoined: Star Trek’s sexiest episode. Jadzia and Lenara make a much better couple than Jadzia and Worf.

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