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Star Trek DS9 - Season 1 - Episode 08

Star Trek DS9 - 1x08 - Dax

Originally Aired: 1993-2-14

Synopsis:
Curzon Dax, Jadzia's former Trill identity, is accused of murder. [DVD]

My Rating - 3

Fan Rating Average - 5.57

Rate episode?

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Filler Quotient: 3, bad filler, totally skippable.
- Unless you're dying to see the first episode to mention Raktajino, there's nothing terribly notable in this one.

Problems
None

Factoids
- O'Brien is said to be visiting a 100 year old relative in this episode, to explain his absense. Interestingly, the arbiter mentions she is 100 years old as well. I wonder if the parallels between these two extreme old age mentions have anything to do with the remark about Dax' age.
- This episode marks the first mention of Raktajino, Klingon coffee.
- Jadzia is said to be 28 years old in this episode.
- Bashir says that 93 hours after a symbiote is joined to a host, they cannot be separated without killing the host.

Remarkable Scenes
- Bashir flirting with Dax again.
- Kira and Sisko finding a political loophole to keep Dax on board.
- Odo blackmailing Quark into cooperation.
- The arbiter. She's hilarious.
- Sisko making an entirely bias argument in Dax' favor.
- Odo interrogating Enina Tandro.
- Arbiter: "Lieutenant Dax, you are either 200 years older than I am or you're about the same age as my great granddaughter. At first I wondered which of those you were. But now I am bothered by the likelihood that you may be both."
- Enina Tandro showing up and admitting the embarrassing truth at the hearing, proving Dax' innocence.
- Morn appearances; 1. When Sisko and Odo are walking on the Promenade, just after Odo blackmails Quark into cooperation; 2. Can be seen behind Quark as the hearing is beginning.

My Review
I don't particularly like this one. It seems a failed attempt to reproduce TNG: The Measure of a Man. For one, we don't know Dax well enough yet to care very much. Second, the legal grounds for extradition in this episode are pretty damn solid. Sisko was defending her blindly. He didn't care if Dax was a murderer or not; he was going to save her either way. In that respect, it's good that Dax did end up being innocent for the sake of future stories. That said, I enjoyed hearing details of Curzon and Sisko's history. Really, the whole purpose of this episode was just an excuse to develop Dax' character though. Unfortunately, Dax acted like an idiot the whole time. Her blind sense of honor almost got her killed.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Roth Mantel on 2009-03-16 at 4:37am:
    One of the things that troubled me throughout watching this episode was that even if Ilon is correct in his legal claim that the relevant Federation treaty with Klaestron IV authorizes the unilateral extradition of a federation officer with no notice to her commanding officer--which seems quite odd itself--it still surely does not authorize them to use violence against federation officers (Bashir) in the process, nor does it authorize the sabotage of the station's tractor beam.

    Since the manner in which Ilon attempted to execute the warrant surely violated either Federation or Bajoran law (probably both), it seems to me that they could have held him on the charge and delayed extradition proceedings at least until Klaestron IV sent another representative to pursue the matter through the Bajoran government. Not only would it have been sensible to pursue the charge to deter future sabotage, but this would have created a much more effective delay than a mere extradition hearing with the Bajoran arbiter.

    Also, Sisko asked Kira to investigate any relevant legal precedent, but we never heard back anything. That seems odd--I can hardly imagine that the issue, or at least highly analogous issues, have not been resolved before on Trill. Perhaps we heard nothing more on the subject because it wasn't useful for Sisko. Furthermore, tThe "expert" on Trills either doesn't know or nobody bothered to ask!

    Otherwise, I though the episode was pretty average. Dax's obstinate refusal to cooperate was irritating, even if it was explained at the end. I also thought that Anne Haney did a wonderful job playing the Bajoran arbiter.
  • From Sheriff__001 on 2009-08-23 at 3:35am:
    I found the grounds for extradition entirely absent. The question is broached poorly in the episode, but the initial argument was correct: the defendant named on Tandro's warrant was already dead. Jadzia Dax is not liable for any of the actions of her previous hosts (meaning that others may believe she is, and Jadzia Dax may believe herself obligated but she is in fact not obligated).

    I cannot believe that no one thought to ask if Trill law covered such a fundamental question. If there was a Trill equivalent to the Bill of Rights, it would surely say that no joined Trill is liable for the actions of a symbiont's previous joinings.
  • From Bernard on 2009-11-22 at 7:06pm:
    An interesting episode that brings up an intriguing question about Trill society. Unfortunately the question is never really answered adequately because it turns out that Dax is innocent anyway. Luckily they return to similar themes later on, but not regarding Curzon but Joran.

    On the positive side though we learn loads more about Trill society, Dax and even Sisko.

    I find it difficult to accept criticism of the way the Jadzia character is played since she is consistantly played in her serene, relaxed manner upto this point in the series. The writers seemed to make an active decision to write her differently around the season two episode 'Playing God'. But this Jadzia came first! I found her to be within character at this point in the series and that aspect of this episode was believable. Another steady episode.
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-10-11 at 1:50pm:
    Again, speaking as an attorney, the idea of "unilateral extradition" is utterly ridiculous. If we are to accept the Federation as being a more evolved version of our own society, how much sense does it make to sign a treaty that authorizes a foreign law enforcement officer to violate the law? There is absolutely no precedent for this in any international law.

    Further, as others have pointed out, since the treaty did not apply anyway (DS9 being Bajoran, not Federation, territory), Sisko could have simply clapped Ilon in handcuffs and thrown him and his goons into the brig. Not doing exactly that is simply spineless, and does not accord with Sisko's character.
  • From Wes on 2012-11-20 at 5:20pm:
    I guess they didn't have the have the wardroom (or hadn't found it yet) by this point. Thus, they resorted to using Quark's for the trial. This was just a bit annoying, but somewhat understandable. Just interesting that this would have been a great time to introduce the wardroom, but they just didn't think of it. Another trial/hearing took place on DS9, Worf's, and it took place in the wardroom.
  • From Bronn on 2013-06-10 at 9:33pm:
    Just realized. The person turning 100 years old at the beginning of the episode is Keiko's MOTHER. That means she was at least 60, unless you buy Keiko being over 40 at the time of this episode (Rosalind Chao was 35 at the time). Medicine of the future, I guess.
  • From Dstyle on 2013-09-03 at 1:57pm:
    I can't believe all of the negative reactions to this episode! The purpose of this episode seemed pretty clear to me: a deeper exploration and explanation of what a Trill is, at least in DS9. I found it very useful in that regard, especially since the Trill species we see in DS9 is very different from the species we previously saw in TNG: The Host.
  • From Damien Bradley on 2013-10-02 at 3:59am:
    Poor Dax. Swore an oath to secrecy and bound by honor to keep it. (Later season spoiler alert: even though it's pretty annoying, but she definitely proves herself worthy of Worf, honor-wise.)

    I agree with the criticisms about the legal issues here. Unilateral extradition does not mean illegal entry/assault/kidnapping. It would mean "hello, I am so-and-so, I have come to claim so-and-so by order of this warrant." Annoying to see Sisko not throw the book at the intruders. And Trill society would have determined guidelines for legal ramifications of previous hosts' crimes long ago. And Quark's being the only appropriate venue for a hearing? Come on! There would have been dozens of conference rooms, not just the single wardroom that somehow hasn't been discovered yet.

    And yet, somehow, I still kind of liked this episode.

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