A past life and forbidden love is the theme of the episode that originally aired on October 30, 1995, this is Rejoined.
Station Log Stardate 49195.5 Rejoined
Jadzia Dax is reunited with the wife of one of her previous hosts and finds herself in a situation that may go up against Trill taboos.
After entertaining Quark and Julian with magic tricks, Dax is summoned to Ops where she learns from Sisko that Doctor Lenara Khan, the wife of a previous host, is arriving to work on a special project. Sisko is concerned that this will cause his friend and Science Officer suggesting she might take leave. Refusing the offer, Jadzia arrives with Kira and Worf to greet the Trill team and comes face to face with her past.
As Julian and Kira discuss the matter with Quark, we learn that in the Trill society it is taboo for Trills to interact with loved ones from their previous hosts lives, especially relationships between family and lovers. Ben is concerned that Jadzia will not be able to deal with this situation and attempts to give her a way out again in which she refuses.
Later, at the reception for the Trill scientists, she runs into Lenara Khan and it soon becomes obvious that they still have feelings for one another. After the reception, they board the Defiant and begin working on the project to create the first ‘artificial wormhole’ As they work together, they discover that their past connection is making it hard for them to work . The death of Torias Dax comes to surface when Lenara mentions that she was always nervous when Dax went out on a piloting mission. Dax apologizes on Torias’ behalf that she should have listened to her wife years before. Dax asks Lenara to dinner, lying that she had already had plans with Julian.
After begging Julian to be their ‘chaperone’ in order to keep it from being awkward, the three have dinner where Julian soon finds himself ignored. Lenara and Jadzia connect, discussing their past lives and finding connections that they have been instructed to ignore. It is’t long before they begin to have feelings for one another, seeing their old spouses in each others actions and reactions. Unfortunately, their entire interaction is witnessed by one of Lenara’s fellow scientists, Dr Pren, who clearly disapproves.
Back on the Defiant, the team continues their project, Pren observes that the two are very close that day. They continue their work and are soon able to create a stable wormhole for just over 20 seconds. After returning to the station, Lenara’s Brother, Otner pulls his sister aside and demands to know if they are breaking taboo. Lenara assures her brother that nothing is going on only to visit Dax in her quarters, before long the two join in a passionate kiss.
The next day Dax informs Sisko of her situation asking for advice from her oldest friend. He makes it clear that he is opposed to her pursuing the relationship as he remembers that Curzon had told him that the cost of re-association was too high, exile. He insists that Dax seriously consider the repercussions of her actions before she pursues a relationship with her former wife. She is in love with Lenara but is unsure if she is ready to pay the price. Sisko assures her that, if this is what she really wants, he will back her all the way.
The team continue their work on the Defiant, attempting to create the wormhole once again. Replicating their success, they are shocked when the wormhole explodes just as they launch a probe into it. Learning that the explosion has caused a plasma leak in Engineering, Dax rushes to the site to save Lenara and Eddington. Risking her life and the life of the crew, she manages to save both Lenara and Eddington. She and Lenara confess their love for one another, siting that they do not want to lose each other again.
Later, Dax visits Lenara where she gives her love a gift of Risian Perfume. When Dax learns that Lenara plans to go back to Trill to continue her work, Dax suggests that they live together on DS9 working on the project. Lenara finds herself torn and unsure if she should return to her former love, knowing that the consequences are high. Lenara wants to go back to Trill to think about her options, but Dax knows that, if she does, they will never be reunited.
The next morning the Trill scientists leave and the two part with only a longing glance between them.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
Wow, what a powerful episode.
As I have stated before, I love Star Trek the most when it tackles sociopolitical topics without being heavy handed about it and this one is one of the best. At it’s core, this is a story of two lost lovers being reunited in another time, but with their love forbidden, them must make a difficult choice should they want to stay together. Now, yes, this kind of story has been done time and again in science fiction, reincarnation being a very common topic in the genre. In this case, however, it is done in such an elegant way that it almost feels like an entirely new concept.
While the episode does feature the series first same-sex kiss on Star Trek, this is not a story about sexuality at all, it is simply about love and seeing past the physical form. Imagine being reunited with a deceased spouse and given the chance to live an entire lifetime with them again, as new people, with all of the memories you shared intact. Would it matter to you if that loved one was in the body of a male or female? Would it matter if they were even human? If you could spend a day or the rest of your life with that lost love again, would their form even matter? Our concept of love is so tied up with the physical act of sex that, for many people, the concept of being in love with anything other than something that fits in their comfort zone is frankly unfathomable to them. For Dax and Lenara, they recognize in each other the things they loved even though it was lifetimes ago.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to downplay the significance of the first same sex kiss on Star Trek. While they were not the first to have a same sex kiss on television (that honor technically lies with LA Law), Trek has always been about pushing our own social taboos and boundaries from the first televised interracial kiss on the Original Series to recently with Star Trek’s first gay male kiss on Discovery. The kiss between Jadzia and Lenara was a major shot across the bow of the status quo at the time and it was done with such elegance. What I love about it was that it wasn’t sensationalized and certainly wasn’t done for shock value. Too many times today something like that would have been used by the studios to drive people to watch the show but in this case it wasn’t and that alone was amazing. Director Avery Brooks ensured that the scene was done in a natural, loving way, conveying the adoration the two character had for each other without being anything more than a declaration of their love for one another. Additionally, the moment Sisko embraces Dax, letting her know he would support her no matter what she chose to do, wow, we could learn a lot from that single moment.
Now, let’s talk about Dax and her insistence that she does not let her past selves interfere with her present self. Man, Jadzia is really full of it. In at least two other cases, Season One episode Dax and Season two episode Blood Oath, she not only allowed her past lives to influence her, she also very nearly lost her life in the process both times! Now yes, it didn’t technically interfere with the ‘not connecting with past family or lovers’ rule but don’t you think it’s odd that Trill are allowed to keep past friendships intact? I mean, some friends are more connected to you than some family so shouldn’t Jadzia have requested a different assignment when she found out she would be under the command of her previous hosts best friend? Seems kind of hypocritical don’t you think?
This isn’t the first and certainly won’t be the last of this sort of thing with Dax. But then again, what’s the fun of having multiple past lives if you can’t exploit them for the purpose of the plot.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- This is the first appearance of the Bajoran formal uniform and, to be honest, I kind of like it better than the standard uniform.
- Eddington makes another appearance working in Engineering with the team to create the wormhole.
- Although they were working on the ‘first artificial worm hole’ no one thought to mention that the Bajoran Worm Hole is already, in fact, the first stable artificial worm hole. so what were they trying to do again?
- Sadly, we never see nor hear from Lenara Khan again.
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: Starship Down
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Late To The Game 7/31/2021 (Originally published 8/19/2019)
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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