The Great Star Trek DS9 Rewatch: Shadows and Symbols

Convinced that the Orb of the Emissary awaits him on the planet Tyree, Sisko and his family head there to find it – accompanied by Ezri, the newest host of the Dax symbiont. Meanwhile, Worf and his friends embark on a dangerous mission to ensure Jadzia’s place in Sto-Vo-Kor, and Kira sets up a blockade to protest the Romulans’ use of a Bajoran moon to house weapons.

Given that the season opener set three storylines in motion, it’s no wonder that it takes another episode to finish them all off. As with the previous episode, there’s enough going on here that it all hangs together as a decent hour of entertainment, even though the individual stories aren’t all that amazing.

Kira’s stand-off against the Romulans is the most subdued of the three storylines, most consistently of Kira boldly standing her ground against powerful Romulan warbirds in nothing more than some old Bajoran fighters. Nonetheless, it gives Kira the chance to take the bold negotiator role usually reserved for a series’ captain – and she certainly excels at it. This is a Kira who has all the strength she always had, but with an added maturity to not just throw herself at something with all guns blazing.

Meanwhile, Worf, Bashir, O’Brien and Quark all join General Martok for a daring raid to destroy a Dominion shipyard, in typical sci-fi “one small ship and a cunning plan can easily destroy a superior foe” style. It’s fairly standard stuff, with some Worf-angst thrown in for good measure. Of course, we know that immediately after Worf attains some sort of closure with this mission, he’s going to have to deal with the arrival of Ezri.

Finally, Sisko drags his family on a trek though the desert to find the Orb of the Emissary, the magical missing orb that will restore the wormhole and bring back the Prophets. Joining him is Ezri Dax in her first full episode, and so far, I don’t hate her. Yes, she talks too much and she’s no Jadzia, but she still seems acceptable for now.

Introducing…Ezri Dax

Formerly an assistant ship’s counsellor, Ezri never wanted to be joined. But when the Dax symbiont didn’t look like it was going to make it back to Trill, joining with Ezri was the only way to save its life. Hence Ezri has all of the knowledge and memories of eight previous lifetimes, with none of the training to handle it. Her tastes and personality have changed, and her brain is basically on full time information overload from all those memories of past lives.

Ezri’s joining is clear evidence of the Symbiosis Commission’s big secret – that at least half the population can be successfully joined. I guess they’ll cover it up by either not telling the general populace about Ezri, or just by claiming that it was an amazing coincidence that she happened to be suitable for joining. After all, when the alternative was the death of Dax, joining was surely worth a try.

Other points

  • The Sarah Prophet says that the Pah-wraith that possessed Dukat was Kosst’Amojan – but this was the name of the Pah-wraith that possessed Jake in The Reckoning. Given that Dukat’s Pah-wraith had been sealed in a statue, and Kosst’Amojan had already been freed from a completely different stone tablet, were they not different trapped Pah-wraiths? Or are statues and tablets simply a convenient way to travel, and Pah-wraiths just embed themselves in such things at will, hoping to be transported by a humanoid carrier? Either that, or Kosst’Amojan is just a generic name for “evil Pah-wraith” – or perhaps even they all share consciousness somehow.
  • Was one Pah-wraith in the wormhole really enough to cause such havoc amongst the Prophets that they had to close the wormhole? How were all the Prophets living in the wormhole not able to cast out one Pah-wraith when the Sarah-Prophet was easily able to do so? What was she doing in the Orb of the Emissary anyway? She must have got there at some point between leaving Earth and heading back to the wormhole.
  • In the Benny Russell vision, Damar becomes Dr Wykoff, the doctor who tries to get Benny to erase his DS9 stories.
  • Why do Klingon rituals always involve cutting the palm of the hand? I guess 24th century healing is good enough to remove the scarring, as scar tissue on the palm from self-inflicted wounds doesn’t seem like a desirable thing to have.

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