“Dax” – DS9 1X8

In my opinion, Jadzia Dax is one of the most awesome Trek women. She’s complex, wise, adventurous, and respected wherever she goes. There are a bunch of great episodes really featuring Jadzia. 

Sadly, “Dax”, while interesting and enjoyable, is more about Sisko and so isn’t really an episode where Jadzia gets a chance to show her stuff.

The teaser scene starts with Dax and Bashir are working over raktajinos in the replimat. Well, Dax is working.

Bashir leans in to talk to Dax as she reads

Bashir: Another raktajino?

Dax: It’ll keep me up all night.

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

This would annoy me if Bashir weren’t so darn pathetic at his attempts to hit on women (at least in Season 1). Dax basically rolls her eyes and pointedly gets back to work. A bit later she decides to call it a night. Bashir asks if he can escort her to her quarters.

“That’s not necessary, Julian,” she says and leaves.

He watches her go and then murmurs, “Not necessary, Julian. But not forbidden, either.” Seriously, bro, get the hint! 

At least his decision to totally ignore what she’s just said has a plot purpose: she is being followed by some alien guys and Bashir being there means there’s a witness to her attempted abduction.

Aliens try to abduct Dax

The aliens struggle with them and knock out both Dax and Bashir. They drag Jadzia away toward their ship. When Bashir comes to he hails Ops and while the aliens have put a lot of planning into their escape, the station is ultimately able to tractor their ship back, with Jadzia on board

Back on the station the leader of the aliens, a guy named Tandro, says he has a valid warrant for Dax’s arrest on the charges of treason and murder of his father.

Then comes the twist – it wasn’t Jadzia Dax but her former host, Curzon Dax who is accused of actually physically perpetrating the crime. The issue becomes whether a Trill like Jadzia can reasonably be held criminally responsible for the actions of a previous host.

Tandro talks to Sisko

Sisko is agitated and gets even more so when Jadzia clams up and refuses to tell him anything about what Curzon did or didn’t do on Klaestron IV. Dax barely says anything for most of the rest of the episode.

Nevertheless, Sisko wrangles a Bajoran hearing to determine whether Tandro can extradite Jadzia to Klaestron IV. Meanwhile, Odo goes to that planet to investigate whether Curzon did kill Tandro’s dad.

Kira and Bashir also lend a hand by researching to try to prove that Jadzia is medically separate from the symbiont, Dax, even though they can’t physically be separated without dying. 

The courtroom drama part of the episode is pretty interesting and we learn a lot about the Trill. It’s a bit “Measure of a Man”-esque, exploring what makes up an individual’s identity.  I’m also totally down with the arbiter being an 100-year-old Bajoran woman.

Bajoran arbiter

When Sisko takes the stand Kira does the questioning. Following his attempt to show Jadzia is completely different from Curzon as he knew him, the arbiter declares a recess. Sisko gets an urgent message from Odo, who says he suspects Curzon Dax had an affair with Tandro’s mother. It looks bad, like a motive for murder.

Sisko goes again to try to talk Dax into telling him what the heck this whole thing is about. 

Sisko talks to Jadzia in his quarters

Sisko: You’ve been protecting her reputation. That’s it, isn’t it? That’s why you won’t even defend yourself. There are worse things than an illicit love affair. Curzon didn’t murder anybody. He didn’t commit treason. Are you really willing to commit suicide over something done in another lifetime? That is what you’re doing, you know. My God, Dax. Young Tandro, that wouldn’t be your son?

Dax: You have an overactive imagination, Benjamin.

Sisko: Then what is it that’s holding you back? Help me. Damn it, if you were still a man. (hits a metal pillar)

This was my least-favourite scene. Seriously, Sisko? You’re saying you’d hit your oldest friend to get them to talk about something that’s obviously painful? But you can’t because she’s a woman? I was also just a bit annoyed by this point at how disempowered Dax was in this episode. I had expected her to say something to try to help herself by this point, but she stays quiet.

When the hearing resumes, Dax takes the stand. There’s a neat part where Sisko is trying to get her to outline her life before becoming joined with the Dax symbiont. Jadzia mentions she holds Premier Distinctions in exobiology, zoology, astrophysics and exo-archaology. How cool is that?

Suddenly, Enina Tandro (the widow) enters the courtroom, much to her son’s surprise.

Enina Tandro in the courtroom

She says Curzon could not have committed the murder of her husband because, at the time, he was in her bed. The arbiter dismisses the case and the ultimate question about whether a Trill would be responsible for its previous host’s crimes is never answered.

After the hearing Jadzia and Enina go for a walk and Jadzia says she felt it necessary to keep Curzon’s promise of secrecy to protect his friend, General Tandro’s memory. They agree that his memory should be cherished still by the people and that no one needs to know that the General, in fact, betrayed his people near the end.

Dax walks with Enina Tandro

It’s a bit of an odd ending and didn’t completely satisfy me. Like I said, I didn’t like to see Dax so disempowered the entire time. It also seemed like an anticlimactic secret to justify almost throwing your life away for.

But anywho, overall it’s an interesting and enjoyable episode. It’s just not on the list of my favourite Jadzia eps. 

Bechdel-Wallace Test: Pass because of Enina and Jadzia’s conversation at the end.

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