After a pretty intense (and revelatory) two part season opener, we get a chance to take a step back and get to know one of the newes additions to the series, Ezri Dax. Originally airing on October 14, 1998 this is Afterimage.
Station Log Stardate ~52153.6: Afterimage
Ezri Dax finds it difficult to acclimate to life on board Deep Space Nine while Garak has some issues of his own.
Ezri discusses her feelings with Morn about being back on Deep Space Nine yet never having visited the station in her life. Still adjusting to her new situation as Ezri DAX, she is finding it difficult to separate the lives of the different people that inhabit her through her symbiote. Visiting the place where Jadzia died, she soon encounters Colonel Kira where it is soon clear that she is not the only person having trouble adjusting.
Later in Quarks Bar, Ezri discusses her issues with Quark who is notes the awkwardness between her and Worf, much to Ezri’s dismay.
After her brief encounter with Worf, Ezri visits Ben desperately looking for advise. She is distraught by the lack of contact between her and Worf and worries they will not be able to work together. She is concerned by Worf’s pain and wants to do all she can to alleviate his hardship. Ezri informs Sisko that she plans to return to the USS Destiny, much to Ben’s dismay.
In Quark’s bar, Julian, Miles and Odo plan their latest holosuite program asking Garak to tailor their costumes. While talking with him, they are shocked to see him lose his patience with the other barflys as they crowd in on him. Later that evening, Garak has a a claustrophobic attack and collapses on the floor of his store.
After being taken to the infirmary by Odo, Garak indicates that his claustrophobia has gotten the best of him lately. He regretfully informs Sisko that he will not be able to decode any additional transmissions for them until he finds his center and returns to his shop to go back to tailoring.
Knowing that Ezri is an assistant Counselor, Sisko asks the Trill to use her abilities in psychiatry to help their Cardassian Tailor and spy. She reluctantly agrees and leaves to work with Garak. There she soon finds the Tailor to be less than enthusiastic about counseling but open to talk. Soon she and Garak begin talking about her past lives and Garak’s life with Enabran Tain. She soon realizes that both Garak’s Claustrophobia and her space sickness is a result of them blaming themselves for something in their respective pasts. Knowing this, Ezri sets out to find a way to help them both, but soon encounters Worf in the halls where he simply brushes her off as ‘Ensign’. He makes it clear that he does not know her, nor does he wish to know her.
Devastated, Ezri discusses the matter with Ben after he informs her that Garak has returned to work after their discussion. Soon Ben asks Ezri to stick around on the station as the space stations counselor even convincing Star Fleet to grant her the position of full Counselor and the rank of Lieutenant. Even with the offer, she remains hesitant to accept all due to how her presence affects Commander Worf.
Not long after her discussion with Ben, Ezri soon encounters Julian who immediately begins to flirt with her. Ezri calls him out from the get go and tells him that, had Worf not come along, he and Jadzia would have had a chance together. Taking his hand, Bashir finds himself without words. Soon, however, he is summoned to an airlock where they find Garak desperately trying to get off the station.
Later, In the infirmary, Julian is shocked when Worf attacks him telling the Doctor to ‘stay away’ from Ezri. The Klingon Commander threatens both Julian and Quark telling them both that, should they dishonor Jadzia’s memory, they will both regret it.
Ezri and Garak visit the Holosuite where they enjoy the open view of an endless ocean. Garak is embarrassed and has no clue how to overcome his new phobia. He soon asks her to leave allowing him to relax alone with his own thoughts. Not long after, Ezri finds Elim back in his shop, clearly upset. The young councelor tries to help but is soon verbally attacked by the tailor as he tells her that she can not even help herself. Running off, she finds herself back in the spot Jadzia died, tears running down her face.
The next day, Ezri hands in her resignation, citing to Ben Sisko that she can not handle being in the shadow of her past selves. Sisko, knowing that she is determined to quit, recommends letting herself die by letting the Symbiote Commission remove the Dax Symbiote for her. He then recommends tending the symbiote pools and spend 80 years in silence. Knowing he needs to push her, he plays hardball and finally tells her that she is right, she is not worthy of the symbiote, nor the uniform and should find a place to run and hide.
As Dax is being dressed down, Miles pays an unexpected visit to Worf who makes it clear that he still has feelings for Dax. He finds it difficult to accept that Jadzia is both dead and alive at the same time. Miles suggests that Worf talk to Ezri in order to find the clarity he has been looking for, that by rejecting Ezri, Worf is, in fact, dishonoring his late wife in the process.
Returning to Garak to say her farewell, she reassures Garak that his recent work with Starfleet has not been in vain. Soon she realizes that it is not his claustrophobia that has been bothering him but the fact that he is killing his own people through his work with the Federation. He has come to believe that he is now a traitor to his people and can not come to terms with his recent activities. Collapsing on the floor, Ezri takes him to the infirmary where they continue their discussion. There Garak admits that he never realized that he had been having these feelings. He tells Ezri that, if it were not for her, he would have let himself waste away under his guilt.
Returning to Sisko, she asks to be reinstated to Starfleet. Sisko refuses, explaining that he never sent in her resignation. She thanks him for rattling her cage but still makes it clear that she can not stay on the station. That evening, as she is packing to leave, she finds an unexpected visitor in the form of Commander Worf. Worf apologizes to Ezri for his treatment of her explaining that he loved Jadzia with all of his heart. Worf encourages Ezri to remain on the station and live up to the example set forth by her predecessor. He explains that it will be a while before he can fully accept her but he will no longer reject her presence.
Accepting her commission as Lieutenant and her new position as station Counselor, Ezri officially joins the crew and takes responsibility for the mental health of her fellow crew members aboard Deep Space Nine.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
Taking place literally the next day after the events of Shadows and Symbols this episode serves a solid way to introduce us all to the newest member of the Deep Space Nine crew. When it was first announced that the writers had not only killed Jadzia but were replacing her with a new actress in the form of Ezri Dax, the fans were not all that thrilled.
In many ways, the frustrated fans are represented in this one by Worf. Worf is dealing with the death of his wife and soul mate when suddenly someone new arrives claiming to have the memories of the person he just lost. To him it is not only a slap in the face but an affront to what he and his companions just went through in order to assure his wife’s place in Stovokor. While he understands the principle of Trills and how the Dax symbiont can live on no matter what, it is the fact that Jadzia is not really dead that he has trouble dealing with and, in turn, that is kinda what the fans were dealing with as well. Here is an all new actor arriving at the last minute trying to fit in with a group of people we have journeyed with for six years. In a way, it was almost like someone sliding into the final lap of a race expecting to get the same praise as the rest of the runners even though they had yet to take the same journey and that is not an an easy thing to accept. Many of us, like Worf, looked at Ezri with the thought of, ‘you don’t deserve to be here’ as the death of Jadzia was all too fresh on all of our minds.
After years of acceptance going back and re-watching this series really gives you a new perspective on Ezri and, to be honest, you kinda feel bad for hating her so much. No, she is no longer the strong determined Jadzia we had gotten to know, yes we were somewhat cheated from a promised future with her and Worf, but Ezri (along with actor Nicole de Boer) is pretty great in her own way. First off, you have to accept that she is NOT Jadzia, but she is an entirely new character that happens to have a connection beyond her physical form. I mean, this is scifi so that shouldn’t be hard to do. The other part is that Jadzia herself would not have wanted anyone to treat her next host any differently than they would have a complete stranger in the same position. Had this new member of the crew had no connection to Jadzia it would have been hard to accept them but they would never have been met with the hate and disdain Ezri did. No, they would have been accepted much like that of Worf joining the crew in season four. Before long, it was hard to imagine the station without that hard-ass Klingon as part of the crew.
As for an episode, the plot was a little contrived. How ironic that the very next day Ezri is asked to use her counseling skills on a vital member of the crew only to be promoted and offered a regular position on the crew. I mean, sure, they didn’t have much time to flesh out this character with the series winding down but still, even Harry Kim never got past Ensign after seven years in the Delta Quadrant! Oh, I’m getting ahead of myself aren’t I?
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- We revisit Garak’s convenient claustrophobia that was established earlier in the series.
- We see the first hint of a future relationship between Ezri and Julian. Personally, that felt a little forced as well.
- I do love how Morn has no clue who Ezri is, despite her conversation with him. I mean really, she could barely get a word in so it’s no surprise.
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: Take Me Out To The Holosuite
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Late To The Game 4/23/2022 (Originally published 2/10/2020)
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