Jammer's Review

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"Invasive Procedures"

***

Air date: 10/18/1993
Teleplay by John Whelpley and Robert Hewitt Wolfe
Story by John Whelpley
Directed by Les Landau

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

A severe plasma storm leads DS9 to be temporarily but completely evacuated, save the senior officers (of course) who remain on board. After the evacuation, an unjoined Trill named Verad (John Glover) and his small band of mercenaries gain access to the abandoned station and hold the officers hostage. Verad has come to steal the Dax symbiont from Jadzia—which he believes is rightly his—and damn the consequences that Jadzia will die within hours of the operation.

"Invasive Procedures" is an engaging character story with some surprising depth—though it also has some evident flaws. The premise that sets the episode in motion—the convenient abandoning of DS9—is totally contrived. And the idea that Quark bypasses station security and unwittingly allows these mercenaries to board the station purports to have dire consequences ("You're through here," Kira promises at one point), but ultimately comes off awfully transparent.

But the core of this episode is very strong, featuring some excellent characterizations. John Glover's portrayal of an inept, confidence-lacking Verad is brilliant. Equally brilliant is his change of personality once he steals the symbiont and joins with it, becoming an interesting blend of Verad and Dax. Sisko's response to the joining is utterly fascinating to watch, as he attempts to reason with the friend he knows resides inside the new Verad. Sisko also slowly wears down Verad's girlfriend Mareel (Megan Gallagher), who watches in dismay as the man she knows transforms into a personality who subtly reveals he doesn't "need" her anymore.

The subplotting involving Bashir, Quark, and the Klingon mercenaries (Steve Rankin and Voyager's Tim Russ) proves amusing, albeit routine. But the psychological twists and turns involving Sisko, Mareel, and the tragic Verad keeps this show in top form.

Previous episode: The Siege
Next episode: Cardassians

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12 comments on this review

Paul York - Wed, Jun 6, 2012 - 12:44am (USA Central)
Verad was a tragic character in this - as Jadzea says at the end, "so sad." He returns in some later episode, acted out by Sisko, but doesn't seem to be the same character - he is played out as a psycho. Here he has more complexity. The girlfriend was complex too. The characterizations were really well done. It would have been better had Dax told Varad that he was wrong -- had his new self been at least ambivalent about what happened, and not just a more confident Verad.
Jammer - Thu, Jun 7, 2012 - 8:14pm (USA Central)
The reason he doesn't seem to be the same character is that he's not.

The previous Dax host that shows up later and is acted out by Sisko is Joran, not Verad. Joran is established in third season's "Equilibrium." The episode where Joran is manifested through Sisko is "Facets" (also season three). And then there's the seventh season episode "Field of Fire" where Ezri Dax uses Joran to help solve a murder.

Verad was never mentioned again after this episode.
John - Fri, Jun 29, 2012 - 11:20am (USA Central)
A bit of a shame, as Verad was an interesting character.
Eric - Sun, May 26, 2013 - 12:17am (USA Central)
At the end, I was wondering what the fallout from all this would be: Do Verad & friends all end up in jail? Or do they run off? Quark's crime is forgotten about, as usual. So far I can't see why Jammer thinks this is better than TNG and Voyager.
T'Paul - Mon, Jul 1, 2013 - 5:02pm (USA Central)
Aside from Glover's acting a bit hit and miss... plus it was a shame never to hear of him again when Jadzia delved into her previous personalities
azcats - Thu, Sep 12, 2013 - 4:02pm (USA Central)
yeah, in the voyager section, all i hear is blah blah blah...resets and continuity..

it is so annoying..just because DS9 decided to do an arc later on.

but ...
1. this episode just happened after the Li Nalas trilogy. no mention of it. no mention of how things are getting back to normal.
2. quark will not be punished.
3. they never mention verad again..even though she has his memories.

i liked this show. i really liked john glover "lionel luthor" from smallville. i enjoyed this "bottle" episode very much.

Kotas - Tue, Oct 22, 2013 - 3:31pm (USA Central)

I like Dax as a character but most Dax-centric episodes fall a bit flat for me.

4/10
Ill. Dude - Tue, Dec 17, 2013 - 10:34pm (USA Central)
This episode sinks for me on the basic premise of the need to evacuate the entire station...except for the entire cast...I mean command crew. Oh ya and allowing Quark to remain on the station. He should face felony charges and spend seasons 2-7 in a Bajoran prison.
Jack - Tue, Jan 21, 2014 - 3:23pm (USA Central)
As fleeting as it was, it would still seem that Verad should count as a host in the context of a Zhin'tara. It's never stated how long the full integration of minds takes to occur. Perhaps that's part of the 93 hour deal.
Alex - Mon, Feb 17, 2014 - 4:10pm (USA Central)
Well for all those complaining about Quark not getting punished...........

Maybe this was one of the times when Sisko later proclaimed he could have come down hard on Quark but didn't. Makes sense to me.

Good episode. 3/4 Stars sounds good.
Andrew Taylor - Mon, Feb 24, 2014 - 5:31pm (USA Central)
I just watched this episode on my great DS9 rewatch yesterday, and it really bugged me how the story contrived an evacuation of the station one episode after the evacuation in The Siege. Badly positioned, really.

I didn't like how it was only the cast that was left on the station, and Quark being there was really odd. He certainly deserved punishment for what he did.

Basically, if you ignore the many misgivings, the episode is saved by John Glover's before and after performance of Verad. A very interesting character indeed.
tony - Fri, Apr 18, 2014 - 7:00am (USA Central)
"Well for all those complaining about Quark not getting punished...........

Maybe this was one of the times when Sisko later proclaimed he could have come down hard on Quark but didn't. Makes sense to me."

Well, it sure doesn't make any fucking sense to me, since Quark's actions almost got a friend of Sisko's KILLED!!!

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