As always, in the Star Trek universe, there are few phrases more redundant than “Klingon drama”.
Seriously, though, I liked this episode a lot. In addition to some solid character stuff for Jadzia (more on that shortly), I felt like the pacing was fantastic — the episode zips along, filling us in on a ton of backstory without ever feeling like it got bogged down. It doesn’t feel like one forty-odd-minute episode at all.
“Well, if Curzon Dax were here, you’d be out of luck.”
I was a bit skeptical about the idea that Jadzia should be expected to uphold an oath Curzon made. Honestly, it seemed like it might go along with the Trill laws and taboos around re-association, holding a new host accountable for a previous host’s promises seems like…kind of the opposite of what’s generally expected by Trill culture.
But what really struck me and made me rethink was the fact that Kang’s son was named Dax, not Curzon. That suggested a responsibility beyond just Curzon, and I could see why Jadzia wouldn’t immediately dismiss this. (I may be overthinking that aspect, but also, Curzon would’ve worked alliteratively with Kang, Koloth, and Kor, so going with Dax seems deliberate.)
This was also an interesting episode coming so soon after “Playing God”, where I got the sense that Jadzia may still be dealing with impostor syndrome and a lingering anger towards Curzon, and where she also warned an initiate that one needs a strong sense of self before being joined. I wonder if this was also about proving something to herself, and to Dax, as well. I liked that Dax had to take different approaches with each of the three Klingons, too. In combination with her conversation with Kira, it felt very much as if she were working through her own reservations — like it gave her a chance to figure out what this meant to her.
The episode also makes a great showcase of just how much of a shift has happened with her characterization. She gets some great one-on-one scenes in this episode — with the Klingons, with Kira, with Sisko — and this is the first time we really see Jadzia Dax, Action Hero. Or, in the words of this brilliant post:
I also loved that after Kang asked how the phasers could be disabled, and I yelled they had a dang science officer with them, Jadzia made the same point. First because I always love it when characters are on the same wavelength as me, but also, it was a lovely way to reinforce that this isn’t just Curzon or Dax’s thing — Jadzia is a vital part of it. Hell, Curzon might actually have been less helpful in getting them into the compound than Jadzia.
Time for some wild speculation
So, uhhhh…the Albino looks like he may be Klingon, but also calls them “filth” and “scum”. He’s also apparently a contemporary of three guys who were kicking around at the time of the Original Series. His death came at the hands of, in addition to those three guys, a joined Trill.
Meanwhile, season one of Star Trek: Discovery, set only ten years before the Original Series, features Voq, a Klingon with weird, pale skin who, by the end of the season, has undergone a lot of complex brainwashing of varying success and become Ash Tyler, sleeper agent, whose memories of being Klingon are blurry-to-nonexistent, but who does clearly remember being a prisoner of the Klingons. Also, the trailer for season three shows Michael Burnham — who, by the way, was in love with him before she left him nine centuries in the past — in the symbiont pools. (When the trailer first dropped I assumed this was just wishful thinking on my part, but in the course of the NYCC panel they confirmed that there’d be stuff involving the Trill and scenes on the Trill homeworld, and a little corner of my brain has been devoted to my freakout ever since.)
I’m not saying that the Albino is definitely Ash Tyler/Voq and Michael is gonna learn that Jadzia Dax was involved in his death, I’m just saying it’s a really interesting coincidence and, like Garak, I don’t trust coincidences.
And I’m also just saying that Ash Tyler’s child was kidnapped by Kol-Sha of the House of Kor.
Other things I liked
I mentioned it in passing earlier, but I really loved Jadzia’s conversation with Kira — Visitor always plays Kira’s lingering trauma and struggle to reckon with the events of the Occupation wonderfully, and she shines here, quickly slamming the door closed on it while also trying to spare someone she’s come to consider a friend the same struggles she’s endured.
I also found it interesting that Kira’s concern was such that she then went to Sisko. I know it wasn’t necessary for the story, but I have to say that I would’ve loved to see that conversation, what with my love of Sisko and Kira’s developing friendship.
- “Curzon, my old friend!” “Actually, it’s Jadzia now.” “Jadzia, my old friend!” KOR SAID TRANS RIGHTS
- Odo used a surprisingly light touch in getting Kor off to the drunk tank!
- I’m a sucker for Lingering Meaningful Gazes, so obviously I adored the ending.
There’s surprisingly little horniness in this one! That said, not gonna lie, I definitely got some Kang/Curzon vibes.