3.25: “Facets”

Synopsis: A Trill ritual enables Jadzia to meet Dax’s past hosts, and she finally confronts Curzon about his treatment of her as an initiate. Nog prepares for the Starfleet Academy entrance exams — despite his uncle’s continued objections.

This is…actually another one where it feels a bit too short, I think — with the A plot, the real meat of the story is clearly Jadzia and Curzon, so all the other hosts end up just as a comic scene (except Joran, which…I’ll get to later). I would’ve liked to have seen more of them — on the one hand, I feel like the rest of the cast doesn’t really do as great a job of really differentiating their respective Dax from their usual character, but on the other hand, maybe given a bit more time to stretch out in the role, they could’ve.

Shimerman and Brooks do the best work — apparently they had to reshoot the Joran scenes because Brooks was even creepier initially — but we still don’t get much of them. The Audrid scene is a lot of fun because Shimerman, bless him, doesn’t try to go full drag with it, and plays Audrid pretty straight. He even mentioned that he thought the writers may have been a little disappointed, since he suspected they wanted something bigger and more comic when they gave Quark a female host, but that he didn’t see Audrid as a comic character — just Quark, which is why he only goes bigger and more comic when Quark emerges.

The original plan was to have Keiko embodying one of the hosts rather than Leeta, but Rosalind Chao was busy — hence the line at the beginning about how Leeta and Jadzia have started spending a lot of time together. Which the writers felt was awkward but necessary, to establish why a character we’ve only met once before would suddenly be one of Jadzia’s closest friends, but…she and Keiko haven’t really been established as particularly close, either, so it doesn’t feel particularly jarring to me. Though that may also be, in part, that Leeta is a character who fits so well on the station that it’s easy for me to forget that she hasn’t been there since the beginning.

I noted in “Playing God” that a lot of Sisko and Jadzia’s conversation about Curzon ends up suggesting he was…really not a great dude. And this episode really just furthers the impression of Curzon as kind of an asshole — I’d side-eye Sisko for having been friends with him anyway, despite openly acknowledging he could be a dick, except that one of the interesting things about this episode is that…I also kind of get the impression that Sisko has grown past him; a lot of his air throughout his scenes with Curzon is that of someone who’s just putting up with this because he knows it’s going to be a short visit.

It’s satisfying, now, to see Jadzia given the chance to confront him — and it’s interesting that even now, Sisko has to help bolster her confidence and nudge her into not just letting this happen. It’s also interesting that Curzon is clearly aware of having fucked up, as he’s increasingly blatant in scrambling excuses to not be alone with Jadzia.

I also would’ve liked to have seen a little more of Odo’s point of view on this. I know they tell us that the two of them have sort of…integrated, the way the symbiont does with a host, so that it’s not Odo or Curzon, but both. But perhaps before the ritual combined the two — give us some idea of why Odo would be happy to stay joined with Curzon. Does he enjoy the socializing, now that it comes easy to him? Is he thinking that perhaps Curzon’s influence will give him the nerve to approach Kira? We hear more about Curzon’s feelings, and what he gets out of this, than what Odo does, but it’s reportedly both of them who want to remain joined.

Rom and Nog and Quark though!!!

Max Grodénchik has pointed out that in this season, we see a lot of growth from Rom — in the first season, he didn’t want Nog attending classes with Keiko, and had to be talked into it. Now, here he is, bursting with pride over his son, the future Starfleet cadet.

It’s also worth noting that this season, we’ve seen Rom standing up to Quark for the first time — first, in “Heart of Stone“, when he tells Quark to back off, that it’s his decision whether or not Nog goes to the Academy; second, in “Family Business“, when, first, he confronts Quark with the fact that there’s a lot about the family that he missed after he left Ferenginar and later when he forces his mother and brother to talk their differences out; now, for the second time, he physically confronts Quark, even threatens him, when he realizes his brother has sabotaged Nog’s exam. Grodénchik felt there was a straight line between Nog deciding he wanted to join Starfleet and next season’s “Bar Association”, when Rom organizes the other employees at Quark’s and forms a union.

I’m actually a little surprised by how moved I am by the fact that Rom didn’t really ever learn to stand up to Quark on his own behalf, but refused to let Quark walk all over his son, and in standing up for Nog, eventually began to stand up for himself as well? It’s just really poignant and feels…emotionally real, maybe, that he’s not, initially, able to conceive of Quark’s treatment as something he doesn’t deserve, only as something his son doesn’t deserve. As with “Family Business”, for all the comical Ferengi trappings, there’s a lot of very real, serious stuff going on about people in a family who don’t quite fit in with their culture, and don’t always understand each other

A couple other notes

  • My roommate made me promise I would note that Rom is a DILF.
  • I love that Leeta is actually pretty well-informed on Trill customs? It helped make the idea she and Jadzia are friends seem a little more realistic, that the two of them have been talking enough to learn these things about each other and each other’s cultures.
  • I…actually really might’ve liked to have seen some more Jadzia-Odo interaction following this, the two of them striking up something of a friendship. (Or possibly being friends with benefits for awhile? I…might not have hated that? If anyone wants to write that fic, I would read it, is all I’m saying.)
  • NOG WEARS THE UNIFORM EVEN THOUGH HE’S NOT TECHNICALLY A CADET YET BECAUSE HIS DAD IS SO PROUD OF HIM, MY EMOTIONS!!!!

Horniness rankings

  1. Quark remains deeply horny for Jadzia, and really, who can blame him?
  2. …as does Curzon, actually. I mean, Curzon is pretty horny in general, but apparently his heart was horny for Jadzia, as well.
  3. Leeta and Bashir are just…kind of charmingly horny for each other, honestly? They’re both so cheerful and unembarrassed about it, I love it.

One thought on “3.25: “Facets”

  1. A lot to unpack here.

    I love it as a concept for an episode, but I agree that trying to cram all the previous hosts into one scene didn’t really work dramatically. I am a sucker for the Trek Trope ™ of Really Old Characters From the Distant Past Who Are Still Around, and that’s what the older hosts represent, along with forming part of the Jadzia Dax character. The scene with Lelia, Torias, et al. really didn’t show us that – it *told* us that, which is sloppy writing. (Although we get a bit of it with the dialogue about why Lelia holds her hands behind her back, the Emony Dax conversation is probably the most egregious example, although that also did make me wonder how they would have written that character if Rosalind Chao had been available. Were they going to try to have her play a gymnast in her early 20s?) Torias and Tobin are one-note throwaways; Tobin’s a dork and Torias is a Top Gun-style jerk, who you would think the other hosts might be pissed off at for endangering the symbioant with his daredevil lifestyle. I didn’t actually think the Joran scenes were all that effective either, unfortunately – I think I would have preferred the original draft of Avery Brooks’ performance. He’s just a little too much of a cackling villain. (I guess “Equilibrium” never really suggested he was a genius or even a very sophisticated person, besides being musically talented, so maybe I was expecting too much Hannibal Lecter.) Also, is there some reason Odo, Bashir, and the Guardian weren’t watching a video feed of what was going on and decided to just let a fistfight erupt instead of coming in to help once things went sideways? I mean, Trill tradition is one thing, but the crazy killer has possession of the body of the station’s commanding officer.

    (No Verad? I guess they weren’t joined long enough, or maybe being un-joined takes away your seat. Would have been a boring conversation anyway.)

    Note how the Guardian states that the Symbiosis Commission sent him from Trill to “force the issue” of Jadzia having her Zhin’tara because she didn’t want to do it? Now isn’t that interesting. Why does the Commission get to *force* anything? If Jadzia wants to skip the Zhin’tara, why does she have to do it? Especially now that we know how bent the Symbiosis Commission is and how they have been lying to the Trill people for centuries about the proportion of Trill who can be joined, I would think they’d give Dax a wide berth at trying to force her to do things she didn’t want to do.

    OK – Curzon. My first interpretation of the Sisko-Curzon scenes was that Sisko was trying specifically not to make Curzon’s visit about him, but was trying to clear out after just a brief visit so Jadzia could get on with her, because the Zhin’tara is for her, not for him. I felt like that was consistent with the character’s general level of emotional intelligence, especially with Dax. Your interpretation though I think is better, now that I’ve thought about it. Sisko has grown up considerably since he and Curzon were palling around, and it does very much have the vibe that he’s giving the old guy the courtesy, but he’s not up to try to recreate the good old days. No wonder, when you think about all that’s happened in Sisko’s life over the past 3 years.

    Now when Sisko calls Curzon out for his selfishness, I liked it because it felt real, but I still feel the episode lets Curzon off too lightly. It’s not really just that he had inappropriate feelings for Jadzia, but that Jadzia was an initiate and he was in a position of power over initiates. It didn’t feel like there was enough attention paid to how egregious of an abuse of authority that was, and he kind of gets a pass for it because they focus instead on the “romance” angle instead of the coercive abuse of power angle.

    Also, perhaps I missed the explanation in the episode, but why couldn’t Jadzia Dax remember how Curzon felt once she had all of his memories and experiences? I am guessing that the joining doesn’t literally give you a verbatim record of every memory and experience every past host has ever had (that would be overwhelming and also pretty useless), but in past episodes Jadzia has spoken of remembering emotions that her past hosts had surrounding important events – pride, fear, etc. (Along with, sometimes, substantive knowledge, like when Tobin’s engineering experience helps Dax repair the Bajoran shuttle in season 2.) Since this was emotionally a *really big deal* for Curzon, it seems kind of unfathomable that Jadzia Dax wouldn’t remember or pick up on this pretty quickly once she was joined.

    Nog!! These sequences are so perfectly done.

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