Love and lust in the Star Trek universe mean different things to different people. Today’s episode, originally airing on November 14, 1994, shows us the lengths people will go for both. This is Meridian.
Station Log Stardate 48423.2 Meridian
Dax falls in love with someone who’s planet shifts between our universe and a universe of pure energy while Quark is desperate to obtain a holo-image of Major Kira for one of his clients. Love (or lust) is in the air on DS9.
Story A: Love and quantum mechanics
Commander Sisko takes the Defiant into the Gamma Quadrant to continue exploring despite the ongoing threat from the Dominion. They soon encounter a strange gravimetric distortion which suddenly reveals a planet literally appearing out of nowhere. As the planet settles into a stable orbit, the ship is scanned and soon contacted by the inhabitants below. The inhabitants explain that they have emerged from another dimension and they are about to sit down for first meal, inviting the crew to attend the festivities.
While on the surface, Sisko and crew learn that the planet transitions between our dimension and a dimension of pure energy. This event occurs every 60 years with only a short time in our universe. Soon Dax meets Deral who has been studying the phenomenon. He indicates that they only reproduce when they are in corporal form but they have not been able to do so as they have less and less time between shifts, this one expected to only last 12 days. He believes that eventually the shifts will stop causing the planet to cease to exist. Sisko agrees to help find a solution to stabilize the planet’s shifting nature.
They soon find that the nearby sun may be the cause of the dimensional shifts and they begin to investigate. While they begin their study, it becomes clear that Deral and Dax have some affection for one another. Returning to the surface, Dax learns that Deral is a widower who has been pressed to find a companion among his people. He claims that he has been waiting for the right one to fall out of the sky. Before long, it seems he has found the one he has been waiting for.
Later that evening, it seems that they have not been making any headway into the cause of the dimensional shifts. Retreating more telemetry from the sun, Sisko sends the information back to the two lovebirds who can’t seem to keep their hands off each other. Studying the telemetry, they soon discover the cause of the shifts and begin formulating a plan to help keep Meridian in the physical world for a longer period of time.
Dax returns with news that they have found a way to balance the nearby suns cascade reaction giving them 30 years in between transitions but it will be sixty years before they can make it work. Upset, Deral volunteers to leave Meridian in order to join Dax in the physical world, news his people do not like.
Soon Deral realizes that he does not want to leave his people, especially now that they have a future. Understanding his situation, she volunteers to stay with him, even finding a way to survive the transition into the other dimension. Returning to the Defiant, Dax puts in a request for a 60 year leave of absence to which Sisko reluctantly agrees to. He is concerned that Jadzia is being spontaneous and doesn’t know what she is doing, however he trusts that she has weighed the options. Saying farewell to Sisko, she departs the ship to prepare for the journey.
Just as the shift begins, Jadzia soon discovers that, while she is able to make the transition, her presence is acting as an anchor to the planet, causing Meridian to be unable to move over . Soon the crew of the Defiant must beam her back, preventing her from joining Deral and his people in the other dimension.
Alone, in her quarters, she realizes that she just needs some time. Sixty years or so.
Story B: Quark’s Holo-pursuits:
After a conversation with Odo, Kira is approached by Tiron who is obviously interested in the Major. She rebukes Tiron by telling the man that she and Odo are in a relationship making Odo feel not the slightest bit uncomfortable.
After being spurned by Kira, Tiron finds himself bored and needing something to stimulate the senses. He approaches Quark for a new holo-suite program to sate his thirst for passion. He soon asks Quark for a custom program featuring none other than Major Kira herself as the main attraction. Quark finds himself trapped between a potential profit and making the Major angry at him, something he has certainly faced before. He of course, chooses the profit, but isn’t sure how he will accomplish the task.
Quark uses an imaginary contest to give Kira free use of the Holosuite claiming that she is the bar’s one millionth customer. She is excited but disappoints Quark when she gives her time in the suite to one of her junior officers.
Soon Kira and Odo discover Quark attempting to take a holo scan of Kira while she is on the promenade. Caught, Quark claims that he is working on a holographic simulation of the ops team allowing patrons to work along side of them. Not buying the lie, Kira destroys the holo-camera and storms off with Odo.
Quark finally decides to break into the stations files and accesses Kira’s personnel files. Odo informs Kira of the situation and, just as Odo is about to arrest him, Kira decides she has other plans and prepares a surprise for the Ferengi. Soon after, Quark provides Tiron the program where he finds quite the surprise, it seems that Kira and Odo did some adjustments of their own, much to Tiron’s dismay.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
This is yet another throwaway filler episode but one that has a decent story at least. You have to remember, this is around the time Star Trek Voyager was in production so the crew’s had a little bit of an attention split between the two shows. That being said, lets dive into the episode itself.
We get a little bit more about Jadzia in this one but it seems like Dax is being a little impulsive about her feelings for a guy she literally just met. Yes, in a fairy-tale world, Love at first site is a thing, but with how many lifetimes Dax has had, you would think Jadzia would be a little more level headed. In many ways this episode is very much out of character for Jadzia Dax but may be more in character with Jadzia herself, if you leave out the Dax symbiote from the equation. Although Jadzia was initially a shy and quite person, something she tried to change in order to become a joined Trill, she never really got a chance to explore herself before joining, So, in essence, this could have been her first real love as Jadzia causing her to act in the way she does. Even though she thinks she has lost the love of her life, this would only last a short time when she finally falls for a certain Klingon officer who joins the crew on a later date.
As for Quark, well. Even though he thoroughly abuses his loose friendship with Kira, he is a Ferengi who likes to make a profit. As the Rule of Acquisition number 18 states ‘A Ferengi without profit is no Ferengi at all’. But let’s be honest, Kira got him back pretty well.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- We learn Odo attempted to eat once in the past. Apparently it was not only unsatisfying but…messy.
- We see yet another moment that shows Odo’s love for Kira. Poor shape-shifting fool.
- Yet another Trek episode directed by Riker himself, Jonathan Frakes!
- This is the first episode of Star Trek with Jeffery Combs as an alien. Trust me, this is not the last we see of this actor and each time he appears, he is even better than the last time.
- We learn that Jadzia’s spots go ‘All the way’ down.
- We learn that Jadzia is afraid of heights when she climbs a tree with Deral.
- We never see nor hear from Deral or the people of Meridian again. Hopefully one of Dax’s future hosts make it back there to greet them.
Thanks for reading the Retro TV Review, I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you, one episode at a time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday! Next Review: Defiant
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Late To The Game 5/8/2021 (Originally published 6/26/2019)
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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