Note, October 7, 2019: for some reason, this post has been absolutely slammed with spam comments. No idea why this one in particular, but there it is. So, for the time being, I’m closing comments on it, just to try and cut back a bit.
So, first of all, I usually enjoy the political drama that results from the station not precisely being under Starfleet jurisdiction (or at least not solely under it), so even the little hints of that here, with the extradition treaty necessitating kidnapping Dax and the Bajoran arbiter presiding over the hearing.
In general, this is kind of a forgettable episode, though it does a decent job of doing some worldbuilding around the Trill. I do have some questions, though. Chief among them…
What even are the Trill?
No, seriously. I feel like there are some things here that they drop later in the series, mostly involving terminology. First, the language/references: do we ever hear “Trillian” used again? I feel like “Trill” is mostly used as both an adjective and a noun later. Ditto “Trills” — later it’s just “the Trill” to refer to the people/government.
But also, in this episode, “Trill” seems to be used to refer specifically to the joined being of symbiont and host. Having a specific word makes sense, but it does raise the question of what unjoined people are called. There’s mention of the selection process, and Peers discusses having to be old enough to even be considered for joining, making it clear that not everyone makes the cut. It’s later established that it’s a relatively small portion of the population that’s joined, as well, so…what’s the deal with the rest of the planet? Are they meant to be the “Trillian”, with “Trill” being reserved specifically for the joined?
I also wish we could learn more about Jadzia before she was joined. We learn a lot more about Ezri later, in large part because she was so unprepared for — and in fact uninterested in — joining, but in an episode where one of Sisko’s priorities is establishing Jadzia as her own separate person, you’d think we’d learn more about, you know, Jadzia. By the end, we don’t really know that much more about her than we did at the beginning. Enina Tandro’s farewell seems like an exhortation for her to go and be her own person, and she definitely becomes less sedate as the series continues, but we never really find out that much more about her own past pre-joining, as I recall.
That said, I still really love how they’re carrying through the thread of Sisko and Dax’s changed dynamic, and how both of them are just having to lean into the discomfort as they try to find a new one. Sometimes that just means an awkward lull in the lunch conversation, and sometimes it means an extradition hearing.
Speaking of character dynamics
I also really love how Kira and Sisko are starting to work as a team. It really shows in this episode — their barely-contained glee when he turns the initial discussion of extradition over to her and they fall into a good-cop/bad-cop routine, with him the level-headed Starfleet officer and her the hot-tempered Bajoran attaché, is a delight.
Ditto when he calls himself as a witness and has Kira question him. Lord, her “I’m just a simple caveman lawyer” routine when questioning him is amazing, the two of them have so clearly rehearsed this and it’s hilarious.
Annoyingly unchanged, however, is Bashir’s horniness for Dax. Which might have been almost bearable if it weren’t for how he proceeds to ignore her telling him she doesn’t want him to walk her home. “‘Not necessary, Julian’…but not forbidden, either,” fuck offfffffff, ugh. That he’s then able to help prevent the kidnapping, and therefore his refusal to take her polite rejection seriously is rewarded, is what really makes the grossness complete. At least he gets a good knock on the head for it rather than fighting everyone off himself, that’s something.
I do appreciate that we don’t see him again after he falls for Ilon Tandro’s trap, though (and so easily! “As a layman, there are things I don’t fully understand…” FFS Bashir have you never even heard of Columbo?). I have this vision of Jadzia taking Enina’s encouragement to live her own life as a cue to invite Bashir out for a drink or something, and whew, that would have just been too much. As with Miss Sarda, DS9 gets some things right, even if it’s not quite there.
MY verdict: gayyyyyyy
So Sisko and Curzon definitely boned, right? The way Sisko’s manner softens as he says “I think that was why I liked him so much”? GAY
“He took a raw young ensign under his wing and taught me to appreciate life in ways I’d never thought about before”? GAYYYYYYYYY, Ilon is just like
Also, the arbiter looks sort of intrigued when Enina shows up, and then as soon as she talks about her affair with Curzon immediately gets an “ugh, gross, str8s” look on her face, ALSO GAY.
- Bashir, ughhhhhhhhhhhhhh
- Sisko, for Curzon, and also JUSTICE, probably in that order