Deep Space Nine Review: Dax (S1E08)

Original Air date: February 14, 1993

This is the first Dax-centric episode so far and, I gotta say, Dax is one of the more interesting characters on Deep Space Nine, outside of Sisko. As I rewatched this episode as well as work on the write up, I realized that this is a very female-driven episode that incidientially aired on Valentine's Day. Not only that, there was the undercurrent of love throughout this episode.

Jadzia Dax is a Trill and host to the Dax symbiont. She is an intelligent, hardworking 27 year old woman. Unfortunately, she is being charged with a 30 year old murder. Correction, the previous host Curzon Dax is being charged but he is dead. The Dax symbiont is alive and well in Jadzia. So, that begs the question, is she morally and legally culpable of a crime she did not commit but a previous host did? That's the question being explored. 

Jadzia is one of three female figures the show pivots around. Let's discuss them further.

Jadzia Dax

The frustrating aspect of this entire episode is that Jadzia is passive. She doesn't say much to defend herself either publicly during the trial or in private with Sisko. I feel Sisko's frustration but for different reasons. He sees his old friend Curzon and not the woman before him. I see, instead, a woman who holds the answers to her own defense but not saying anything. Ultimately, I get her reasons for doing so (love - after all, it is Valentine's Day) but I'm upset that we don't get to learn from Jadzia what it means to be a host or Trill. Everything we learn, we learn from others and during the course of the trial. This is the one time, thus far in season 1, where Jadzia could express her intellect but her character is cut off at the knees.

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Enina Tandro

She is a widow to a "hero" and carrying the burden of two big secrets: her affair and her husband's betrayal. Unlike Jadzia, her silence is born out of societal expectation. This is her status: to carry on the memory of her dead husband in a country obsessed with glorifying him.  I can't help but think of the weight of that on her shoulders. How it must gnaw on her. Where Jadzia does not assert her power, Enina does. At the end of the episode, she decides to reveal the truth. Curzon did not murder her husband because he was in bed with her. *shocking* She reclaims to an extent who she is. Her story. She was in love with a man that was not her husband and she will no longer carry that secret. I found it interesting that she only revealed one of her bigger secrets. She is a tragic hero. She is falling on the proverbial sword and having her reputation sullied. Is it because in some way she wants to still protect her husband's memory OR, much more realistically, she knows her people don't want to hear it. To believe that the man they worshiped as a hero actually betrayed his people? I like to believe its the latter but I can't help but shake my head at what life will be like for her now that the secret is out.

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Judge Renora

Although a minor character, Judge Renora, the Bajoran arbitrator holds a lot of power. She is the lone voice that will decide if Jadzia is culpable for murder and can be extradited back to Klaestron IV. Unlike Jadzia and Enina, Renora is a different sort of woman. First, she is much older than those two characters and that gives her a kind of "I don't give a fuck" attitude when it comes to the pontificating and grandstanding during the trial. Present her with the basic facts, your defense, your rebuttal and let's keep it moving. Even with Enina sweeping in to reveal the truth, its up to Renora to still cast a judgement. 

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Overall, I thought this was a good episode. It is the first one out of the season I distinctly remember from my childhood.. When I saw it was next up, I settled in for a good show.