The Trill species. Not much is known about this mysterious and wonderful people who get a chance to live multiple lifetimes through a symbiotic slug. We learn more in the episode that originally aired on October 17,1993. This is Invasive Procedures.
Station Log Stardate 47182.1 (finally, three episodes in and we get a proper station log) Invasive Procedures.
The Station is evacuated due to a plasma storm that has moved in, but things get worse when someone shows up and steals the Dax symbiont from Jadzia.
After evacuating the station due to a plasma storm, a cargo ship identifying itself as the Ekina arrives and requests safe harbor from the storm. Just as Odo and Miles go to greet the wayfarers, they are attacked by the survivors who insist on placing Odo in a secure container. It is not long before the crew of the Ekina make their way to Operations where they forcefully take over. It soon becomes apparent that they are not there for the station but for the Dax Symbiont itself.
The leader of the group, Verad, explains that he had been up for joining with Dax after years of preparations and was rejected. He has determined that the Dax symbiont is the best candidate for joining with Verad. Verad demands that Doctor Bashir conduct the procedure, demonstrating by shooting Miles O’Brien that the Unjoined Trill plans to take the symbiont by force in necessary. Jadzia reluctantly agrees and they go to the infirmary to complete a procedure that will mean the death of Jadzia herself. After the procedure Doctor Bashir revives Jadzia and manages to stabilize her. In order for her to survive they only have a short time to get the symbiont back and the clock is on.
With the procedure complete, Verad, now Verad Dax, returns to Ops introducing himself to his crew. It is immediately apparent that the joining has changed him. Sisko and Verad discuss his change and he refuses to acknowledge what he has done to Jadzia Dax. Sisko asks the newly joined Trill to return the Dax Symbiont to it’s rightful host. Verad’s lover,Mareel, soon sees that he is no longer the Verad that arrived with her and it is clear that she is concerned she made the wrong decision. Sisko uses this doubt and begins to manipulate her insecurities in the situation.
Quark, knowing this is entirely his fault (he arranged to let them in in the first place), seizes an opportunity to ‘get hurt’ in a fight with one of the Klingons in order to get sent to the infirmary. There he and Bashir overpower the second Klingon and free Odo from his container.
Realizing that their Klingon compatriot has been compromised, Verad and T’Kar begin their escape from the station. Sisko talks with Mareel and convinces her to side with the Commander in order to get the Verad she knew back. It is clear to her that the man she loved is no longer the man she knew. Just as Verad is attempting his escape, Odo reveals that he has released their escape ship and they have no escape. Sisko confronts Verad in the airlock where the Commander stuns the Trill returning him to sickbay where the Symbiont is returned to Jadzia. Even though the Symbiont is returned to Jadzia, a part of Verad now lives in her.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
Star Trek has an insane amount of alien cultures and creatures, many of which only ever amount to a prosthetic forehead and are never explained in any way. We were first introduced to the Trill species in the STNG episode The Host where the Trill and the Symbiont were VERY different. This is never officially explained but it really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, it’s not like the Trills had a specific look for 30 years and were changed on a whim… This episode sort of serves as a palette cleanser for the species giving us a full view into how the process of joining works and how it affects the hosts.
We learn that not all Trills are joined with a Symbiont and, because of this, there are many who feel left out and cheated. This is the case with Verad, played by the amazing John Glover. Verad is one of the unjoined and has spent his life trying to find a way to ‘right that wrong’ having already gone through the Symbiont program only to be rejected. We will learn more about that program later in the series which makes this story even more tragic but we are getting ahead of ourselves.
One aspect that really bothers me is that Quark basically betrayed the station and it’s crew by allowing Verad and his team on the ship. Sure, he thought he was just doing some side business with a Klingon and was duped himself but he is ultimately responsible for Verad being able to effectively take over the station. Yet, even though he is technically complicit in this crime and the near death of Jadzia, literally NOTHING happens to Quark in the form of punishment. At the very least Odo should have escorted the Ferengi away to the brig at the end of the episode but no, nothing. It seems that either Quark is untouchable or Odo is incompetent. I don’t believe either is true.
All in all it was a solid episode even though it could have been fleshed out a little more.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
We never see nor hear from Verad or the other members of his team. The fact that we never hear from Verad is odd as a later episode involves Jadzia exploring each of her hosts and they get a chance for each of them to manifest themselves physically. Verad is never mentioned even though another previously unknown host emerges…
Speaking of which, you might recognize Verad as actor John Glover, who was most recently in the film Shazam as Dr. Silva. He was also a regular on the tv series Smallville as Lionel Luthor.
Tim Russ, who will later go on to play Tuvok on Voyager, makes his second appearance on Star Trek this time under a prosthetic forehead because everyone wants prosthetic foreheads on their real heads!
We learn that Chief O’Brien has two brothers. We never learn any more about them.
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Late To The Game 1/24/2021 (Originally published 4/17/2019
Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available. Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.
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