Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"Invasive Procedures"

3 stars

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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104 comments on this post

Paul York
Wed, Jun 6, 2012, 12:44am (UTC -6)
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.
Thu, Jun 7, 2012, 8:14pm (UTC -6)
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.
Fri, Jun 29, 2012, 11:20am (UTC -6)
A bit of a shame, as Verad was an interesting character.
Sun, May 26, 2013, 12:17am (UTC -6)
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.
Mon, Jul 1, 2013, 5:02pm (UTC -6)
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
Thu, Sep 12, 2013, 4:02pm (UTC -6)
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.
Tue, Oct 22, 2013, 3:31pm (UTC -6)
I like Dax as a character but most Dax-centric episodes fall a bit flat for me.

Ill. Dude
Tue, Dec 17, 2013, 10:34pm (UTC -6)
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.
Tue, Jan 21, 2014, 3:23pm (UTC -6)
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.
Mon, Feb 17, 2014, 4:10pm (UTC -6)
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 (UTC -6)
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.
Fri, Apr 18, 2014, 7:00am (UTC -6)
"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!!!
Wed, Jun 25, 2014, 8:29am (UTC -6)
I watched this episode last night.

"violent plasma disruption" ..... WTF is that? Where did it origionate? Bajor's sun? I guess Bajor and her populated moons are fine...

"Just in case it doesn't, I've got the Orinoco prepped and ready at pad C." ... and I guess a runabout will hold up just fine if the Cardassian spacestation built like Fort Knox doesn't...

I guess they didn't need all the runabouts for evacuate this time. Still one left. Prepped on pad C, exposed to this violent storm. Enterprise's "The Catwalk" was more a more believable and realistic response.

Not sure why Quark would be needed to stay behind. However I can see the need for a skeleton crew.


Just more of the hearlded DS9 writing on display. (I'm so sick of hearing that)

But, on to the meat of the episode.

Poor Quark, he goes from saving the entire federation presence on the station and Bajor to getting taken advantage of all in one episode. Should he be punished? ... Sure. Should he be executed or something like that? ... No, he knew nothing about the plan to take Jadzia's symbiont. He was just being Quark and seizing an opportunity to make a substantial profit.

I thought John Glover's performance as Verad was exceptional. Megan Gallagher as Mareel was also great although obviously not as challenging as the Verad character. Tim Russ plays a pretty good Klingon :-)

I continue to be baffled by the hand to hand combat. Kira just totally leveled a Cardassian at the labor camp a couple episodes earlier and then completely gets her ass handed to her by Mareel. Whatever the plot calls for I guess.

I thought Sisko's performance in this one was very good, aside from him laughing when reminiscing with Verad Dax. It astounds me that Avery can play such a good bad ass, but when required to show any sort of emotion he's totally out of his element. I mean god, it’s horrible!

That said, I'm not sure I buy the whole "he will be a completely new individual" premise. Hell, Jadzia (Curzon) and Sisko have no problem retaining their past relationship. Why does Verad have to just forget his love for Mareel? I could see that Mareel might drift away from Verad Dax as he definitely will change, but being joined shouldn't erase his feelings for her. See "Rejoined". More superior DS9 writing.

A point I'll bring up that hasn't been mentioned is I thought Terry's performance in this episode was noteworthy (Aside from pronouncing “symbiont” “symbiANT”). This scene came across as very heartfelt and genuine.

"DAX: The symbiont. It's gone.
BASHIR: Everything went perfectly. The operation was a complete success.
DAX: I feel so alone.
BASHIR: I've got you stabilised. If only we could get the symbiont back in time.
DAX: I'm scared, Julian.
BASHIR: You're not going to die. Do you hear me? I'm not going to let you die.
DAX: I've never felt so empty."

I really felt for her when she woke up and the symbiont was gone. I also thought Bashir comes off as much more polished in season 2.

Does anyone know why it’s called a “symbiont” instead of a "symbiote"? (same in TNG)

This one just barely gets 2 of 4 stars.
Wed, Jun 25, 2014, 8:53am (UTC -6)
"Just more of the hearlded DS9 writing on display."

Come on, DS9 had flaws but in it's 1st and 2nd season it was VASTLY superior to TNG during their 1st and 2nd seasons.

Everybody's got kinks to work out.
Wed, Jun 25, 2014, 10:32am (UTC -6)
As did Voyager and Enterprise.

DS9 had lots of flaws. I'm not saying the other series didn't, but DS9 is trumpeted time and time again as having superior writing, blah, blah...

I'm just tired of hearing it and as the "niners" do with the other series, I will point out poor writing, planning etc in DS9.
Wed, Jun 25, 2014, 11:25am (UTC -6)
Actually as someone who is REALLY hard on VOY, I have to say their first season had way less growing pains than TNG or DS9.

And yes, you can feel free to point out plot holes, I had no issue with your review actually, those plot holes are all silly (although I will say that Quark probably should have gotten more jail time for letting these psychopaths on the station... but people never seem to get any jail time for horribly violating station security).

I just mean that holding up an early S2 episode's plot holes to slam the entire concept that DS9's writing is several steps above is like using a S2 episode of TNG to lay waste claims of that show being amazing.

DS9 writers are not gods, they do make mistakes and especially in the first 2 seasons of the show when they are getting their footing things are rocky. Some niners even suggest you skip straight ahead to when the Defiant shows up....

But not me... you'd miss so many great episodes. But saying the writing on DS9 is better than VOY (and even much of TNG) is, to me, a fact. But better than VOY does not mean perfection!
Wed, Jun 25, 2014, 12:22pm (UTC -6)
@Robert :

While TNG's 1st season was notoriously goofy and all over the place dramatically, what saves it, I think, were some strong performances from Stewart and Spiner as well as excellent music and some creative directing. DS9 was a little more coherent, but aired at the height of the Berman-era Beige-Trek in terms of music, soft-porn lens work, over-blocked directing, and its actors were more hit than miss at a time when the TNG crew had totally filled out their roles.

Although I don't think the relationship was causal, Voyager's premiere was the beginning of the reversal of some of those edicts: the music slowly got more interesting and thematic, the technology obviously improved--thus Voyager's run coincided directly with an overall improvement in production.

Yanks' point, I believe, is more that DS9 was not only guilty of its own sins (aren't all TV shows?) but of those *same* sins which niners often deride the other series for committing--technobabble and continuity gaffs chief amongst them.
Wed, Jun 25, 2014, 1:59pm (UTC -6)
@Elliott - I guess my problem with trying to compare early DS9 to later DS9 is that they had no idea what to DO with the stupid space station back then.

What's wrong with early TNG (the reason it's goofy) is that they were still trying to write for TOS. Once they figured out what TNG actually was... look out! I think TNG S3-S5 was probably the most consistent in quality of any 3 year period in Star Trek history... and I say that as someone who likes DS9 best. The hit to miss ratio was just incredible.

TNG S1&S2 was Roddenberry trying to shove the TNG cast into a TOS shaped box. "The Child", "Outrageous Okona", "Code of Honour", "Angel One", "The Naked Now" (literally) really all would have worked better as TOS and were silly on TNG. Not to mention the S2 attempt to bring in a female McCoy to play off the emotionless one. ::eye roll:: Once TNG figured out what it was in S3 it was a different show. Sure it showed promise ("Measure of a Man", "Pen Pals", "Q Who", etc.), glimmers of what it would eventually be... but S1/S2 might as well be a different show.

DS9 has the same issue. S1/S2 were the writers trying to bring TNG plot lines to a space station. There were glimmers there of what it could be once it embraced it's concept ("Duet", "In The Hands Of The Prophets", "Necessary Evil", "The Maquis", "The Wire")... but there were also plenty of things that just showed that the TNG writers did not make the transition well ("Paradise", "Melora", "If Wishes Were Horses", "The Storyteller", "The Passenger", "Babel", "Move Along Home").

Strictly from a writing perspective both shows spent 2 seasons learning the hard lesson that they needed to NOT be their predecessor. VOY actually kind of "got it" right out of the gate, and is, by far, the most watchable show in the first 2 years. And then they went and changed it... even though I really prefer early VOY. Sure VOY had early clunkers too... but I really think what it was doing was working.
Wed, Jun 25, 2014, 2:03pm (UTC -6)
@Elliott - Although I will agree with you that Stewart largely makes anything watchable. But TNG's 1st season was probably still in some ways the most painful freshman year of all of them.
Wed, Jun 25, 2014, 2:08pm (UTC -6)
@ Elliot

Exactly and expressed much clearer than I did. Thank you.

@ Robert

Seasons 1&2's rank like this in my book: (best to worst)


Now worst is a realative term, I love them all. :-)
Wed, Jun 25, 2014, 2:11pm (UTC -6)
@ Robert - Wed, Jun 25, 2014 - 2:03pm (USA Central)

But TNG's 1st season was probably still in some ways the most painful freshman year of all of them.

For sure and for the reasons you stated above.

They were trying to be too much like TOS while trying to look differnt doing it.
Wed, Jun 25, 2014, 4:23pm (UTC -6)
@Yanks : rankings are fun. Mine would go this way :

S1 : TOS > VOY > DS9 > TNG > ENT
S2 : DS9 > TOS > VOY > TNG > ENT
S3 : TNG > VOY > ENT > DS9 > TOS
S4 : DS9 > TNG > ENT > VOY
S5 : VOY > TNG > DS9
S6 : DS9 > VOY > TNG
S7 : VOY > DS9 > TNG
Wed, Jun 25, 2014, 4:52pm (UTC -6)
@ Elliot

I don't think I've ever seen rankings presented like that. I'd have to ponder a bit to rank them all :-)
Paul M.
Thu, Jun 26, 2014, 3:22am (UTC -6)

Do my eyes see this right? You placed three seasons of DS9 at the top compared to only TNG season? ;)

My rankings (though be warned, I'm a bit rusty with Voyager, been a very long time):

S1: TOS > DS9 > TNG = VOY > ENT
S2: DS9 > TNG > VOY = TOS > ENT
S3: TNG > DS9 = ENT > VOY > TOS
S4: DS9 = TNG > ENT = VOY
S5: DS9 > TNG > VOY (not sure about VOY here, maybe better thab TNG)
S6: DS9 = TNG > VOY
S7: DS9 > TNG = VOY

I am having trouble quantifying Voyager compared to NextGen. TNG is often more scattered, while VOY is a generally consistent show, but on the other hand even very weak TNG seasons have several wonderful episodes (like Pegasus, Parallels, Lower Decks, and the finale in S7) while Voyager very rarely moves me one way or another.
Thu, Jun 26, 2014, 8:47am (UTC -6)
@Paul - To be fair, Elliot may think that say... all shows had a weak S6 and DS9's was the least weak. The way it's presented it's impossible to tell which show is "preferred", but it gives a good indication of swings in quality.

I'll give mine, though I won't include TOS. I've seen like 95% of TOS, but scattered... so I am only aware that S3 is frowned upon, but I really don't know which episodes go with which season.



S3 - TNG, DS9 = ENT, VOY
Everyone's S3 was strong. I'll put VOY last, and TNG first, but it was REALLY, REALLY close.

S4 - DS9, ENT = TNG, VOY

S5 - DS9, TNG, VOY

S6 - DS9, VOY, TNG

S7 - DS9, TNG, VOY
(I'd probably put VOY over TNG if you didn't include the series finales, but TNG's was amazing and VOY's was really, really unfortunate)
Thu, Jun 26, 2014, 9:54am (UTC -6)
Robert is correct. The only season of DS9 that I thought was consistently good was its fourth, surpassing even TNG's which was quite strong.

Sixth and seventh seasons were generally weak on all the shows. DS9's Occupation arc and a few choice episodes near the end of the season just barely squeak it over the line, while VOY's grander outings (Flesh and Blood, Workforce), political commentary and slight continuity bump push it over for season 7.
Thu, Jun 26, 2014, 10:03am (UTC -6)
Oh, and none of the S2s were very good--ENT's was exceptionally bad and VOY's had few redeeming features. Thus, DS9's is only relatively best here.
Paul M.
Thu, Jun 26, 2014, 10:39am (UTC -6)
DS9 Season 2 has an amazing back third. I don't really agree with what seems to be a general consensus that it is a weak season.

I am also surprised how people often say that TNG sesons 3-5 are the best, while S6 is usually considered weaker by comparison. I tend to think that's the consequence of S5 having several of TNG's very best - Darmok, The Inner Light, I, Borg, The First Duty... But in my recent re-watch, I found that S5 is very uneven. As noted, it has several masterpieces, but the majority of the season is rather... unfortunate, which brings down its overall average quite a bit. Season 6, at least in my opinion, is much better week-to-week.
Thu, Jun 26, 2014, 10:39am (UTC -6)
Not with you converning your view of Enterprise Elliot :-)
Thu, Jun 26, 2014, 10:50am (UTC -6)
@Paul - I actually think DS9's S2 opened and closed REALLY strong. I like S2 a lot. And actually I would probably squeak it tied with ENT2 if I had to do my list again.

I just REALLY, REALLY liked VOY S2. (excepting Threshhold)
Thu, Jun 26, 2014, 11:58am (UTC -6)
Star Trek Season Rankings:


I’m sure this will change some day. I’ve never really ranked all the episodes and figured out a numerical average.

Looking at everyone else’s, my list appears to be pretty unique. I obviously hold Enterprise in higher standing than most here.
Thu, Jun 26, 2014, 12:00pm (UTC -6)
Let's try this again... including the 3rd season of TOS and spelling my name correctly :-)

Star Trek Season Rankings:


I’m sure this will change some day. I’ve never really ranked all the episodes and figured out a numerical average.

Looking at everyone else’s, my list appears to be pretty unique.
Thu, Jun 26, 2014, 12:53pm (UTC -6)
@Paul M.

For DS9, I do think it was a strong season, falling only behind seasons 4 and 6. That said, it did not carry the consistency in quality of TNG's 3rd-5th seasons, nor VOY's 4th-7th.

TNG's 6th season isn't exactly bad, but it's pretty monotonous. There are some standouts like Chain of Command, The Chase and Frame of Mind, but much of it feels unnecessary. I think if seasons 6&7 were condensed into one, it would have made a really strong end to the series. Something like :

1. Time's Arrow II
2. Relics
3. True Q
4. The Quality of Life
5/6. Chain of Command
7. Ship in a Bottle
8. Face of the Enemy
9. Tapestry
9. Starship Mine
10. Lessons
11. The Chase
12. Frame of Mind
13. Timescape
14. Descent (shortened to a single episode)
15. Phantasms
16. Attached
17. Force of Nature
18. Inheritance
19. The Pegasus
20. Lower Decks
21. Thine Own Self
22. Masks (I kind of like it)
23. Journey's End (too important to DS9/VOY)
24. Preemptive Strike
25/26. All Good Things

Then again, the same could be done with DS9 and VOY for better results. For example,

DS9 "6:7"

1. Time to Stand
2. Rocks and Shoals
3. Behind the Lines
4. Favour the Bold
5. Sacrifice of Angels (ideally with a better ending)
6. You are Cordially Invited
7. Statistical Probabilities
8. Waltz
9. Far Beyond the Stars
10. Honour Among Thieves
11. Change of Heart
12. Wrongs Darker than Death of Night
13. Inquisition
14. In the Pale Moonlight
15. The Reckoning (for continuity to the idiotic Pagh Wraith crap)
16. Tears of the Prophets
17. Shadows and Symbols
18. Once More Unto the Breach
19. Covenant
20. It's Only a Paper Moon
21. Chimera
22. Inter Arma Silent Leges
23. The Changing Face of Evil*
24. The Dogs of War*
25/26. What You Leave Behind*

*Obviously, the final arc would have to be rewritten to account for the different plot threads.

Voyager "6:7"

1. Equinox II
2. Survival Instinct
3. Barge of the Dead
4. Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy
5. One Small Step
6. Pathfinder
7. Blink of an Eye
8. Virtuoso
9. Memorial
10. Child's Play*
11. Good Shepherd**
12. Muse
13. Life Line
14. Unimatrix Zero (condensed)
15. Imperfection
16. Critical Care
17. Body and Soul
18. Flesh and Blood
19. Lineage
20. The Void
21/22. Workforce
23. Human Error
24. Author, Author
25. Homestead
26. Endgame

*the Borg kids' presence would need to be explained
**this would be a good spot to move Paris/Torres' marriage
Paul M.
Thu, Jun 26, 2014, 2:46pm (UTC -6)
Looking at the list of TNG episodes, I find that S6 has only several really bad episodes: Man of the People, Rascals, Aquiel (though I kinda like this one), Suspicions, and probably Birthright II.

Season 5, however, has: Redemption II, Disaster (it's not THAT bad), A Matter of Time, New Ground, Hero Worship, The Masterpiece Society, The Outcast, Cost of Living, and Imaginary Friend.

And I really LOVE Lessons. I may be in a minority there, but that's one of my favourite TNG episodes.
Thu, Jun 26, 2014, 4:02pm (UTC -6)
Does anybody not like Lessons? I thought it was a great follow up to Inner Light.
Paul M.
Thu, Jun 26, 2014, 5:04pm (UTC -6)
I get the impression it's not that people dislike Lessons, it's more that hardly anyone mentions it among TNG "greatest hits". Maybe I'm way off here, but I love that episode something fierce. 4 stars on my scale.
Thu, Jun 26, 2014, 5:04pm (UTC -6)
Paul M: I don't think Redemption II, Hero Worship or The Masterpiece Society all all that bad. Average maybe. Whereas S6 also has Fistful of Datas, Rightful Heir and the mediocre Second Chances in addition to the episodes you mentioned.
Paul M.
Thu, Jun 26, 2014, 5:13pm (UTC -6)

To each his own, of course, but I kinda liked those S6 episodes you mentioned. They're not particularly memorable, no, but I enjoyed them nonetheless.

On the other hand, I despise The Masterpiece Society - it is among the best examples of late-TNG beige blandness that started to creep in around Season 5 with 2 rooms, 3 guest characters, heavy-handed message, dreadful music, and cheap conclusion. I've elaborated a bit on Redemption II on its page, but let me say that I feel it abandoned the themes and character focus of Part I for completely unrelated material that belonged in different episodes.
Thu, Jun 26, 2014, 5:29pm (UTC -6)
Masterpiece Society had some memorable music (not that it was written by the staff)--it had that really lovely scene with Troi underscored by a child playing the Chopin E minor prélude. I also appreciated the evenhandedness of the storytelling and the quiet pace. Rightful Heir, Suspicions and, in spite of its budget, the damned cliffhanger, Descent, were all very beige in my view.

I agree that S5 was the beginning of Snooze Trek, but there are some really fine episodes, Darmok, Inner Light, Ethics, Cause and Effect, The First Duty...and the only really terrible episodes are Imaginary Friend and Cost of Living.

I also liked Lessons quite a bit, as well as Chain of Command II, Ship in a Bottle and The Chase, but little else from S6 feels like quintessential TNG the way the S5 greats do.
Paul M.
Thu, Jun 26, 2014, 5:43pm (UTC -6)
Ah yes, Descent... that was a bad episode. Though, Time's Arrow is right there with it in the Department of Bad Trek Two-Parters :)
William B
Fri, Jun 27, 2014, 7:20am (UTC -6)
I want to stick up for Descent a little bit. Or, rather, parts of it. I loved it as a kid -- and although now that I'm older, I see its flaws much more clearly, I still value quite a bit about it. In fact, I think the first half or so of Descent, Part I is genuinely very good, including Picard's genuine struggle over whether he made the right choice with Hugh (and including snapping at Riker in the Ready Room). But mostly, I love the Data material up to and including that holodeck scene with Geordi. The payoff here is that Data's hyperanalytical mind combined with his years-long quest to become human quickly turns to obsession feels very real to me, and frightening in the right ways -- as well as his sense of guilt in his scene with Troi, in which he dances around the possibility that becoming human may make him a bad person. I really think that the very end of Descent, Part II is strong as well -- the killing of Lore (even if Lore is BSing Data when he says "I love you, brother," which I think he at least partly is, the sacrifice is real) and the last Data-Geordi scene. There are some good ideas throughout, including the way Lore's stepping into the Borg leadership in the breakdown of their social order mirrors the way different cult leaders seize power whenever one oppressive regime breaks down (as in the breakup of the Soviet Union around the same time). The way Data's seduction hits on both his fundamental isolation from other humans and the possibility, hinted at in "Datalore" and "The Offspring" and "Brothers" and "The Quality of Life" that Data has a connection to other artificial intelligence that his human connections can't quite match or understand, and the fact that it is by no means certain that Data will maintain his various heroic qualities across a transition to emotions and humanity. Almost nothing *really* works between Data going back on duty in Part I and the final Data-Lore scene in Part II -- the resolution to Picard's moral crisis is underwritten to the point that it's almost impossible to find (the clue is in Picard solving his crisis by proxy, by telling Data that Lore's line about accomplishing good by doing evil doesn't make sense), Hugh is underused and doesn't even get a scene with Geordi, the Borg stuff is all over the place, Lore is too 1D in contrast to "Brothers'" interesting work, and, most importantly, once Crosis starts fiddling with Data's ethical subroutines Data not only turns on a dime but ceases to be interestingly Data until the very end of part II. I think it could have been very effective with some rewrites of part I and a complete overhaul of part II.

DS9's season 6 was indeed very good for the first 2/3 or so -- the period from A Time to Stand to In the Pale Moonlight is very strong, though there are a few clunkers like Sons and Daughters, Resurrection and (IMO) Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night. However, the season completely falls apart after ITPM. With the possible exception of the finale, no post-ITPM episodes work. TNG s6 has the opposite problem, in that its first third or so, besides Relics and Schisms and maybe True Q, is very weak. It's not until the (underrated) The Quality of Life or, if you prefer, Chain of Command that the season takes off. I agree with charges of blandness of TNG s6 -- but I still like it quite a bit. I also agree that TNG s5 seems more essential than s6, but is more variable.

I tried making a season ranking, but it's too hard -- at least, without having rewatched DS9 or Voyager recently (and only being in early s2 on TOS). Plus, I never got past s2 of ENT anyway.
Sat, Jul 5, 2014, 12:34pm (UTC -6)
@William B:

I think the big mistake with Descent is the lack of focus. Picard's dilemma, individual Borg, the return Hugh, Lore's return, Data's new emotions, Bev's turn as captain, metaphasic's just too much to deal with in 1 two-parter and thus, nothing is really properly dealt with. Luckily, some of these issues were later handled a little better (Picard in FC, Crusher in All Good Things..., the Borg in Unimatrix Zero). Of course Data's emotions were dealt with in the utter annoyance of most. Even though Time's Arrow wasn't as strong as Redemption or BOBW, I think it was sufficiently focused to work better as a season capper (Data, Clemens, the aliens, Picard-Guinan--that's it).
William B
Sat, Jul 5, 2014, 1:16pm (UTC -6)
@Elliott, I agree with that. I do like quite a few individual scenes in "Descent," but I also feel cheated because none of them get a satisfying resolution. Really too packed.

I haven't rewatched FC yet but I recall enjoying the way Data's emotions are handled there quite a bit -- much more so than Generations, anyway.
Paul M.
Sat, Jul 5, 2014, 1:33pm (UTC -6)
Bev in command of the Enterprise... oh, how mini-me--and big-me as well now that I think about it--hated that idea. Chief Medical Officer commanding the ship in a crisis? Really? In what nightmare scenario does that happen? And why? Picard takes all senior officer planet-side for a little stroll and leaves the person with no command experience whatsoever in charge? Oh how I suffered when I was a wee lad! How hard it was for my young inexperienced soul to endure this bullshit!


Let me compile an ad hoc list of chain-of-command and administrative nonsense in Trek. Strictly off the top of my head.

Bev commanding the Enterprise.

Troi commanding the Enterprise in Disaster (I spit my last breath at thee!)

O'Brien hypothetically commanding the Defiant ahead of Kira (Rules of Engagement).

Silly notion that every ship (before Defiant) has to be commanded by a captain - freighters and miscellaneous small vessels most certainly don't have an officer with the rank of captain in charge.

Everyone from Riker's Academy class is apparently a prodigy. Riker was offered his own command at the age of 28/29. His classmate, captain Paul Rice, was already in command of USS Drake at that age (The Arsenal of Freedom). In Unnatural Selection (TNG Season 2), the (dead) captain of the Lantree was also of Riker's age. What's with this nonsensical bunch of captains in their twenties?

Nog can't read in DS9 Season 1, gets admitted to the Academy in Season 3, for some reason stops going to classes and returns to DS9 in Season 5, and becomes an officer in Season 7 (or is it 6?)

Janeway returns home as captain in 2378. The very next year, during the events of Nemesis, she is already a vice admiral (three pips). She was promoted three times in a single year!

Picard had been captain for more than 45 years. Now this is utter nonsense.

Sisko, with the rank of captain, commanding the biggest fleet Federation had ever seen in Sacrifice of Angels. What is the purpose of all those admirals anyway?

Yay! I love all this nerdy stuff! That's enough from me, I'd say.
Wed, Feb 18, 2015, 9:00am (UTC -6)
I never forgave Quark for this episode, when he lost his bar and all of his assets, I was so pleased. (Body Parts). Verad was interesting but I am glad we never heard of him again, how many maniacs did DAX have to live with before she lost her mind. DS9 is the best Trek ever. This show improved each year, yes they had some shaky shows, but they improved as the show progressed. I don't look for errors in the shows, I tend to look at the characters because the writing was excellent. It took a while before I warmed up to Bashir but eventually I liked him. They wrote the character real goofy. The best doctor of all series, but a stupid character. The best term I can come up with is educated fool. I hated Kira for 2 1/2 seasons. When she stopped being a b***h, I liked her toughness but she was totally irrational. She acted as if Bajorans could do no wrong. Odo was a favorite, but he was not likeable. Loved Ben, Nog, Jake, and Jadzia.
William B
Wed, Jul 22, 2015, 7:08pm (UTC -6)
Verad wants Dax, sad to be part of the 90% of Trill who don't get to come into the elite. The Trill's Symbiosis Commission seems to be run as a meritocracy, though as with any meritocracy that makes active selections (who is it that gets the scholarship, or the big role and chance at stardom, or the Nobel Prize...) the decisions are bound to be controversial and leave a great number of people feeling left out. The aching loneliness/emptiness that both Jadzia and, at the episode's end, Verad feel is an exaggerated version of the emptiness that Verad starts the episode with, the recognition that one has failed in achieving Success, of getting Status -- and given the ways in which symbionts last across lifetimes, essentially of making a mark that will last beyond one's own (host) death, becoming immortal, part of a continuum, rather than one of the vast majority who will be largely forgotten by future generations, living on only in genes or in works.

Anyway, what bothers me a bit about the way the episode goes is this: after Verad joins with Dax, we get the chance of seeing, for the first time (except the descriptions of past hosts), what resides in Dax and what resides in Jadzia, and the episode more or less reduces it to memories, confidence and a fondness for "Benjamin." Verad flames out and forgets his girlfriend the moment he gets a taste of success or wealth or celebrity or whatever Success marker you want, like so many other people unable to handle fame; that's it, and Dax hardly matters. Verad doesn't want to go and see Jadzia out of guilt, yes, but he had guilt *before* the procedure, and if anything seems less concerned about it. Is the Dax symbiont personality really so willing to throw Jadzia under the bus? I really did enjoy the scene of Sisko playing with Verad Dax, going through bonding over Curzon before dropping the Jadzia-bomb at the end, trying to get through to him, but Sisko pretty early gives up on getting through to his Old Man friend Dax and settles into talking his girlfriend into seeing how this is hurting Verad, which is effective but basically akin to all kinds of other hostage situation stories and loses the specificity of the Trill or of Jadzia or of the Sisko/Dax relationship. So it is shaping up to be particularly interesting and ends up a generic, if decently executed, hostage-thieves-turning-on-each-other situation.

I do think someone should have pointed out to Verad Dax that by running away to the Gamma Quadrant, he is more or less ensuring that Dax's lifetimes end with Verad -- either he can't be found by the Trill at all, or they will very likely strike Dax off entirely, considering that the Trill strike off symbionts for lesser offenses (e.g. "Rejoined"). You would think that part of the appeal of the joining for a host is to be able to know that a part of oneself will live on beyond one's death, and the symbiont presumably wants to survive.

I feel like part of the problem lies with the Trill society structure; symbiont-joining is so central to their society, but 90% will be left out. I mean, it's ultimately *always* going to be true that most people won't be able to make it in the most valued fields of society, but there is a bit of a lack of sense of what Trills who don't get joined can hope for in life, when most of what we know about the Trill revolves around the joining. Verad is pitiable because he feels incomplete without something which he can never get; he is evil because he lets this overwhelm his ability to care for other people.

The set-up with Quark is very silly, though I was glad to see that Quark "only" thought he was breaking security to, what, sell some jewelery? I actually think Quark, not Rom, is the idiot brother sometimes. (Note: what was up with that Socratic dialogue in the teaser where Quark tries to convince O'Brien that Quark can miss his brother by asking whether O'Brien has ever felt sad about saying goodbye to his bothers? Is the concept of missing one's brother so hard to understand, and the difference between saying goodbye for a few hours and goodbye for months so obscure?) The episode sort of supplies its own resolution in that Quark earns back his place on DS9 by doing brave/stupid heroics which allow him to go to the Infirmary and thus to (eventually) help Odo escape, and while I'm not exactly convinced that this evens out the stupidity of Quark's earlier actions it at least gives some explanation.

Jadzia Dax's line about how she'll always remember Verad is kind of hollow. I mean, I'm sure she will, but what of it? I guess it may be that she has a greater sense of understanding of what it is like to feel on the outside of the Inner Circle of Trill society. Or maybe she has a greater idea of what it's like to be a (near) murderer? Or...?

A low 2.5 stars.
William B
Wed, Jul 22, 2015, 7:09pm (UTC -6)
Actually, maybe a high 2.
Wed, Jul 22, 2015, 7:12pm (UTC -6)
Dammit, William B you passed me!
William B
Wed, Jul 22, 2015, 7:55pm (UTC -6)
Heh, I was thinking of adding an ELIOTT I'M COMING FOR YOU!!! to the end of The Siege :)
Tue, Aug 18, 2015, 12:19pm (UTC -6)
Apologies for anyone who gives a damn: just got married and honeymooned and eager to catch up on these. Continued gratitude to Jammer for hosting such an open and inviting conversation space for Star Trek!

Teaser : ***, 5%

I know Jammer finds the idea of the plasma disruption to be a tad too contrived, but I appreciate that at least the show's setting is being properly utilised. Unlike in episodes like “Q-less,” the station isn't interchangeable with a starship. Random anomalies (not that Starfleet are particularly apt at avoiding them anyway) must be endured rather than circumvented. I'm calling this a win. On the other hand, given how chaotic and difficult a mass evacuation of the station was shown to be...when was it...?...oh yes...the PREVIOUS episode, it retroactively sucks even more drama out of that flaccid episode when here it's all handled off-screen, and STILL there's an available runabout for the left-over senior staff.

Anyway, “Pines of Rom” Quark is discovered in a docking port doing...something. He evades explaining his presence, but the camera shows us a blinking device attached to the wall. Generic cue of ominous music and we're out.

Act 1 : ***, 17%

Ops receives a distress call from a wayward vessel and Sisko decides to let the ship dock. The crew emerges, having left their fog machine on too long, only for a Klingon Tim Russ to pull a weapon on Miles. Did Headdress just remove Odo's combadge? How does that work? If you're going to say in the same freaking camera shot that “this one must be the shapeshifter,” don't contradict that notion at the same time! Eh. Their leader, a Barclay-esque Trill has Odo contained in a thermos. The boarding party's dialogue and actions suggest they knew exactly what and whom they would find on DS9.

They seize control of Ops, remove all the combadges, and disable DS9's systems. O'Brien realises that Quark's little device is responsible for the raid's success (how many times is poor Armin Shimmerman going to get strangled by someone on this show?). And indeed it seems Quark made a deal with Verrad (that's the Trill) who also hired the Klingon mercenaries. His purpose is revealed—he wants Jadzia's symbiont : “I want Dax.”

Act 2 : **.5, 17%

It's worth bringing up the episode “Dax” at this point. In that review I wrote, “Most of the character work with Jadzia is done vicariously, with other people examining her on her behalf. In this way, it's weaker than 'Measure of a Man,' where Data did a lot of his own heavy-lifting.” Here again, Bashir and Sisko are eager to defend Jadzia from Barclay-lite's threat, but she is silent. In “Dax,” her silence was a part of the tapestry of the plot, her history with Tandro and his widow. Why would Dax be so nonplussed about being MURDERED by this dude? Rather, her first line to Barclay-lite is “[being found unsuitable for joining] is nothing to be ashamed of.” Wow, talk about Zen...

My immediate thought with this guy is that he is an allegory for the overachiever who is slighted opportunity. He worked hard, studied hard, but still didn't achieve his ultimate goal of being joined. For those troglodytes who find the idea of the Federation economy (or any communist economy) to be ludicrous on the grounds that it requires the dissolution of natural human competition, here's Exhibit A as to how competition, winning and losing are still part of the lives of human(oid)s, but not linked to the materiel of economic survival.

The overly tepid dialogue between Dax and I-can't-believe-it's-not-Barclay does a reasonable job of giving us more backstory on the Trill and the politics of a joined society. Ironically, not-Barclay has demonstrated a passionate pursuit in achieving his goal, including his clever raid on DS9, genetic and sociological research, quasi-military leadership and even finding a suitable romantic partner who supports him—yet, he is convinced that without a symbiont, his life is doomed to perpetual “mediocrity.” It's sad.

Broccolibutter shoots O'Brien to coerce Bashir into performing the surgery to remove Dax from Jadzia. There's a needless bit of padding where Bashir treats him and the crew give their expected bits.

While Bashir gets underway, Klingon Tuvok instigates another bit of padding with a brief fight where Kira actually gets her ass kicked for once. What the surgery itself requires is a scene which is richly coloured by a complex musical score. Unfortunately all we get is the usual wallpaper with the volume turned up. Take a few moments to check out the similar surgery scene in “The Host” and you'll hear (and see) exactly what I mean. Second act if you're interested.

I realise they want to push with Quark's character by giving him “bad guy” traits, but really Kira is right, he definitely “crossed the line” by sentencing at least one of his friends to death to make a buck. I'm sure there will be consequences...

Sisko points out to Verrad's mate (whose life he apparently saved—yet another example of his so-called mediocrity) that he won't be the same after joining. She shrugs it off in time for him to make his reveal, furthering his “I'm really not Barclay” arc by pulling an “Nth Degree” shoulders back, deepened-voice entrance.

Act 3 : **.5, 17%
Meanwhile, Bashir is trying to keep Jadzia alive. Klingon #2 is there to remind us how not to write Klingons; Bashir points out how Jadzia sacrificed herself to save her comrades, and the Klingon's response is to call her a fool for not defending herself? Yeah, noble sacrifice, honourable death—those sure aren't Klingon ideals are they? But Bashir pins his “fight-no-matter-what” stance as “Klingon philosophy,” so I guess we have to go with it. Bashir manages to save her life, but Jadzia is reasonably terrified and “empty” without her symbiont.

Sisko makes his expected move by appealing to his relationship(s) with Dax' previous hosts and bantering a bit with Verrad. I think we all know where this is going...Sisko will appeal to Dax' sense of ethics to convince him to give Jadzia back her symbiont. It's not a bad message, just a little easy.

I do have a technical question: aside from the metabolic issues that require joined Trills to remained joined lest they die, in which being are the memories actually stored? Did Jadzia forget all her experiences before joining? Well no, because for one thing, she knows Julian. So the memories exist permanently in host as well. So if Verrad could remove Dax and not die (presumably because the joining was so recent), would he not retain all of Dax' memories as well, thus making his need to keep the physical symbiont moot? There are only two justifications I can think of: either Verrad now needs his symbiont to survive (in which case Sisko is faced with a moral dilemma similar to Janeway's in “Phage”), or he is so consumed by his own ego that he feels the need to pass his experiences on to a new host at the end of his life. But if that's the case, how does he expect to pass Dax on when he's tens of thousands of lightyears away from the nearest Trill in the Gamma Quadrant? I suppose he will make plans to travel home when he's on his deathbed? Seems really dubious to me.

Act 4 : ***, 17%

First question: what are Verrad and his party waiting for exactly? They have what they came for, why not leave? Anyway, Sisko starts to plant his wedge, as expected (even by the characters themselves). His mate exemplifies that incredible human(oid) capacity to hold two contradictory ideas at the same time (contradictory, not simply complex); Verrad Dax is different from Verrad son of Barclay yet also somehow “nothing his different” between him and his mate. This is the essence of the argument by faith, my friends and it's not impressive.

In an attempt to save Quark's character, a clever bit follows here: Quark baits Klingon Tuvok into letting down his guard briefly so Quark can assault him. As logic requires, Quark is quickly thwarted by the Klingon BUT is able to use the event to feign an injury. Having just heard Verrad Dax state explicitly that he doesn't want to see anyone hurt, he is banking on being sent to the Infirmary. What he hopes to accomplish is anyone's guess, but he is doing a lot more trying to escape that Kira or O'Brien are managing. It's all really worth it just to see the look on Shimmerman's face when Klingon #2 snarls at him and he has to keep up his fake moaning and screaming. I definitely laughed out loud, or loled for you kids.

Hey, my question is answered! Verrad is waiting for the storm to die down. Okay, thanks episode. Of course, at this point, Mate begins to suspect that her Verrad has indeed fundamentally changed now that he has literally fundamentally changed. Sharp, this one.

Really sharp in fact because, having left Quark behind with Julian, the two manage to outwit the philosopher Klingon with the off-button hypospray (TM SFDebris), who was the only remaining guard. Quark continues his theft of the show by amusingly breaking into Odo's prison-bucket and freeing him. Verrad makes his escape taking Kira along as a hostage.

Act 5 : **.5, 17%

Verrad's mate and Sisko team up (yeah really) in order to “save them both,” that is Verrad and Jadzia. It turns out Verrad no longer needs his mate (Muriel, is that her name? Can I call her Mrs Goldman?) and in order for her to keep him, he will have to be separated from Dax. She frees Sisko and returns his combadge.

Odo and Kira manage to prevent Verrad's escape and Sisko confronts him phaser in hand. The scene is meant to be dramatic (and has some good elements, like Sisko's “don't call me Benjamin,” solidifying the disconnect between Dax and its host), but if stunning Verrad is a threat to the symbiont, why not shoot him in the leg? Also, where the hell did Odo end up that he isn't around to help out now? It's just a little contrived to sit perfectly well for me.

Cut to post-op and the symbiont has been returned to Jadzia. Verrad is back to normal. Again, he remembers the exchanges between himself and Sisko, but not the “knowledge or the confidence.” So what, the cool stuff is remembered only by the symbiont, but the humdrum memories are shared by the host? Well that's fucking convenient.

Jadzia also recalls all of Verrad's actions post-joining and says she'll have to live with it. I guess there will be consequences...

Episode as Functionary : **.5, 10%

What I really like about the episode is its consistency with “Dax” in establishing that the lives of each Trill host are unique and separate despite their continuity as provided by the the symbiont. Just as Jadzia and Curzon are distinct individuals, so are Jadzia and Verrad. The effect is to clarify that Sisko's relationship with Jadzia is not determined by their history as Sisko and Curzon, merely initiated by it. Verrad's arc is expected, but handled and performed reasonably well. I found the idea of Muriel reducing him back to man who needs her to be perfectly in keeping with the tragedy of his existence. His obsession with joining completely blinds him to the accomplishments of his own unique life, a uniqueness which the episode emphasises with its portrayal of Verrad Dax as a man who is not Sisko's friend.

What I really don't like is the assassination of Quark's character. His cleverness at the end and Shimmerman's amusing portrayal help somewhat, but seriously, how can things go on as usual after he nearly got Jadzia killed for profit? William B. tacks it up to Quark's stupidity, and I guess in that context, it's not so offensive, but the episode makes a big deal out of how Quark ends up out-smarting everyone else. He never actually expresses any remorse or has a dialogue with Jadzia or even Kira at the end.

The seemingly arbitrary rules governing Trill memories are also rather annoying, as is Verrad's (especially after joining with Dax) lack of forethought regarding the fate of the symbiont after he flees.

My biggest gripe is that we are again denied the chance to get to know Jadzia Dax through Dax herself. Any character growth is handled vicariously, just like in Dax. That episode was so strong in other areas that we could forgive it, but here it's frustrating.

Final Score : **.5
Tue, Aug 18, 2015, 12:56pm (UTC -6)
"just got married and honeymooned and eager to catch up on these"

Congrats! Risa I hope?
Tue, Aug 18, 2015, 1:42pm (UTC -6)
@Elliott's technical question - "I do have a technical question: aside from the metabolic issues that require joined Trills to remained joined lest they die, in which being are the memories actually stored? Did Jadzia forget all her experiences before joining? Well no, because for one thing, she knows Julian. So the memories exist permanently in host as well. So if Verrad could remove Dax and not die (presumably because the joining was so recent), would he not retain all of Dax' memories as well, thus making his need to keep the physical symbiont moot? There are only two justifications I can think of: either Verrad now needs his symbiont to survive (in which case Sisko is faced with a moral dilemma similar to Janeway's in “Phage”), or he is so consumed by his own ego that he feels the need to pass his experiences on to a new host at the end of his life. But if that's the case, how does he expect to pass Dax on when he's tens of thousands of lightyears away from the nearest Trill in the Gamma Quadrant? I suppose he will make plans to travel home when he's on his deathbed? Seems really dubious to me."

Trill anatomy lesson.

Biologically speaking Verad would be fine without Dax and Jadzia would not. Equilibrium (I believe) stated that after 4 days the Trill becomes dependent on the symbiont. I imagine this is BOTH a physical dependency (in the way Kirayoshi could not be separated from Kira) and a chemical dependency. The events of Equilibrium and Dax's near death due to low isoboromine levels imply that the host will go into shock with the proper chemicals from the symbiont. I choose to actually imagine this as withdrawal of a drug, but that's fan-wanky and not a fact. Sisko also mentions that she's bleeding to death in the infirmary. But it IS a fact that Verad will be fine. So the following is not correct (but you pretty much knew that anyway - "either Verrad now needs his symbiont to survive (in which case Sisko is faced with a moral dilemma similar to Janeway's in “Phage”)"

On the other hand I do not believe "would he not retain all of Dax' memories as well, thus making his need to keep the physical symbiont moot?" is correct either. This is how I think it works.

Memories are files. A symbiont is an external hard drive. When a joined Trill experiences a memory it is copied to both host and symbiont.

Now here's where it gets tricky. IRL memories are not quite as hard coded as we think. The act of reminiscing quite literally "checks out" a file (into RAM) and then it gets "checked back in" (to HDD) later on. This is why memories become distorted over time.

I propose that the symbiont DOES NOT have a complete copy of Jadzia's childhood memories. I think it knows of the important events of her childhood because she thinks of them from time to time and it gets a loose copy when it gets checked back in. But if she hasn't thought about the boy she had a crush on in 3rd grade since she's been joined the symbiont will not be aware of this memory even though the joined Jadzia Dax will recognize him if they run into each other (because the memories still exist in one half of the joined entity).

So does Verad have a "copy" of what's stored in Dax? No, I think not. I do think Verad may share a few of Dax's memories. When he reminisced about Sisko's bachelor party I actually think Verad obtained the memory and will have it forever (just like Dax will forever have the memories of the time it was joined with Verad). But no, I don't think Verad now has a full copy of Dax's databanks.
Ben Franklin
Mon, Sep 14, 2015, 8:30am (UTC -6)
The episode was pretty solid ala Jammer's review. That being said, I'm really tired of these contrived situations with the senior staff being held hostage (this happens in many Star Trek episodes across series). In this episode, despite Mareel's fighting experience only being gained from being "in a bad situation", she's able to easily overcome Kira who spent most of her life fighting in a resistance cell against the Cardassians and who has already shown her superior abilities in hand-to-hand combat. This nearly ruined the episode for me. I would have preferred they skipped this little attempt at physical resistance rather than show Kira getting her ass handed to her by some random chick who was "in a bad situation".

2/4 for me for the contrivances. The 2 stars are awarded for good performances and a generally good story line. The contrivances, however, are a little too much for me to give a 3rd star. Particularly for having to watch Kira (my fav character) get whooped up by some floozy in order to maintain the story line.
Tue, Sep 15, 2015, 4:49am (UTC -6)
What people "forget" when they rate TV shows willy-nilly is during which time they were on. Even the best of Star Trek can't hold a candle to the writing, acting, directing and production values of contemporary stuff like True Detective or Game of Thrones. And how could they?!

Yes, VOY's first seasons weren't worse than DS9's. But they weren't better than DS9's later seasons. THAT IS THE PROBLEM. The show should have grown from where DS9 left off.

DS9 wasn't perfect. And especially not early on. But they got the hang of it. And then forgot what made the show great when they produced VOY. Almost all of the opportunities VOY had from its setup were wasted in exchange for one-off episodes.
Ben Franklin
Thu, Sep 24, 2015, 3:37pm (UTC -6)

I agree 100%! Too many people review shows from the 90s and earlier expecting the same production quality as TV from the last 10 years. It's like someone reviewing a movie from 1970 and saying "the pacing is bad". lol
Diamond Dave
Mon, Nov 9, 2015, 3:45pm (UTC -6)
Indeed it seems a little odd this episode was sequenced to have another evacuation after The Siege. Of course it's a plot device, and probably a cost saving measure too...

Good characterisation for Verad, the pre-joining version you wonder whether it's not just a little too broad but that's thrown into focus by Verad Dax and the extra confidence and depth portrayed. Sisko is strong. Actually, there are some good performances all around.

It's just that it's all a little stilted. There's a lot of sitting around and talking as we meander gently to a conclusion. Seeing Kira getting beaten up by a woman is a fun thing though. As is the Ferengi screaming. 2.5 stars.
Wed, Feb 17, 2016, 12:18pm (UTC -6)
Following on from the events of "The Siege", where the station was evacuated, everyone returns only to be immediately evacuated again on account of a really bad case of Space Fog that rolled in. Yeah, this is about as contrived as it gets.

So, we finally get an episode that focuses on Dax, the character most desperately in need of some character work and.... she spends the vast majority of the episode sedated. *slow clap* We learn virtually nothing about Dax as a character or Trill society/culture in general. I think the only thing we learn is that only 10% of Trill hosts are selected for joining (though that may have been established in "Dax", I don't remember).

Then, of course, there's the complete misuse of Quark. Could somebody tell me exactly what he did here? They say a few times that he disabled the security system but we never see Verad's gang bypass any security. In fact, from how they arrive it looks like they didn't even need Quark in the first place. They show up and take two senior officers hostage immediately with no trouble. Why did they have Quark involved at all? Then Kira comes down on him like a ton of bricks (even though he had no idea they were coming to steal the Dax symbiont). Then Quark, completely on his own initiative, saves the day by outsmarting all the villains. Seriously, if it wasn't for Quark, Dax would be dead. And yet, we're supposed to hate him?

Still, there are good things about "Invasive Procedures". John Glover's portrayal of Verad is extremely well done. As someone who has dealt with a rather severe case of social anxiety myself, I found his anxious, unconfident Verad really on the mark. He's a very tragic character in a lot of ways, especially given what we later learn about the relationship between Trill hosts and the symbionts. The interactions between him, Sisko and Mareel are also very enjoyable (even though it's odd that Mareel gets more development here than does Jadzia).

I also found this particularly funny....
ODO: And you'd betray him (Rom) in a second if it suited your interests.
Well, yeah, Quark would betray his brother. But, so would Rom, who just last episode betrayed Quark simply for a little Dabo Girl T&A.

Sat, Sep 24, 2016, 3:00pm (UTC -6)
I kept trying to figure out what some cute and bad ass chick like Mareel would see in a dufus like Verad in the first place.
Mon, Oct 17, 2016, 6:30pm (UTC -6)
Time for me to join in the rankings game! The last two seasons of TOS and ENT are not there because I haven't seen every episode from those seasons.

S1 : VOY > DS9 > TOS > ENT > TNG
S2 : DS9 > VOY > TNG > ENT
S3 : TNG > DS9 > VOY
S4 : TNG > DS9 > VOY
S5 : DS9 > TNG > VOY
S6 : DS9 > TNG > VOY
S7 : DS9 > TNG > VOY

My rankings as presented are actually quite boring. Once you get past the unevenness of the first two seasons, I find the later seasons of the three '7-season shows' quite consistent, with DS9 improving slightly and TNG going down a bit.

Some may be surprised TOS rating behind VOY and DS9, but I rate episodes based on how much I enjoy them when I watch them, not with any objective historial lens. I know TOS is a landmark without which the other series could never have existed, and that its first season is said to be its best, but there were still a lot of episodes I found painful to watch ("Mudd's Women"; "Miri"; "Shore Leave"; "The Squire of Gothos").

@Darjan: I still find 90s Trek more enjoyable to watch than either True Detective or Game of Thrones. In fact, DS9 is still my favorite sci-fi series of all time, beating out BSG and Firefly (though just barely in the latter case). And Seinfeld is still my favourite sitcom of all time, beaitng out Arrested Development and Community. It's all a matter of taste, of course.
Fri, Dec 23, 2016, 11:12am (UTC -6)
I wonder how the Trill found themselves a joined species in the first place. How was that discovery made? Who was the first Trill to look at one of these slugs and go all Fat Bastard and yell "Get In My Belly!"
Fri, Dec 23, 2016, 3:48pm (UTC -6)
I don't think the Trill humanoids invited the symbionts in. I think the symbionts opportunistically colonized the humanoids, through bodily orifices or wounds, and then mind-controlled them into liking it (indeed, coming to value the lives of symbionts above those of humanoids).
Sun, Mar 19, 2017, 2:10am (UTC -6)
I came here expecting to read comments on the episode, but instead it's turned into another 'let's rank all ST episodes' fiesta.

This episode was okay. As Diamond Dave mentioned it's a bit talky and drags a bit, but it gets there. I agree with MsV's assessment: 'Verad was interesting but I am glad we never heard of him again'. A good performance from the actor,especially his portrayal of two different people, but he wasn't charismatic enough to warrant any followups. I must admit that I cheered when Sisko clocked him one and told him never to call him Benjamin again.

Quark's shrieking was absolutely hilarious. Gotta love me some Ferengi screaming.
Thu, Mar 30, 2017, 8:22pm (UTC -6)
@Elliott -- lol--I thought of Barclay, too. So similar!

As this episode began I thought, "Symbiont theft! cool!" And then the idiocies got me so annoyed I wanted to throw things at the screen.

Yes, John Glover's performance was very good, and I too felt sorrow for Jadzia when she was violated and assaulted.

But are you telling me that Verad had so much control over Dax that Dax didn't care that he was killing Jadzia? How much IS the symbiont once joined? Y'all above seem to know more about how the host relationship works, but in this I was just furious. If Dax is a friend of Sisko (indicating Dax is a decent "person") he would have marched right back to sickbay and ordered the doctor to remove him.

Sheesh. I can't get past that.

And apparently Quark will not be punished for what he did. He only helped them when it turned out he wasn't getting paid--what scum. Throw him out an airlock.

Additionally, they hang around the station just doing nothing for long enough for the heroes to prevail. Are you kidding me? Why weren't they gone immediately? I didn't mind the storm as a conceit for getting the station evacuated until it was forgotten for the rest of the episode.

I understand that apparently everyone thinks DS9 gets better, and TNG's first season was bad. . . but TNG was bad because they were still trying to figure out who the characters were--most of the plots were decent and would have been fine if the characters hadn't been all over the place. This plot was idiotic. But I like the characters, so I'll hang in there.
Thu, Apr 13, 2017, 11:16am (UTC -6)
The best Trill episode and use of the Trill concept in the whole of Trek (as well as one of the best standalones in S1/2) - better than Equilibrium, Facets, Dax, Playing God, Field Of Fire and obviously The Host. (Only Rejoined is up on a similar level.) An excellent, intelligent script that gets all the characters right and uses the whole ensemble very well (everyone has something relevant to do), strong performances (especially John Glover and Tim Russ, plus obviously Avery Brooks) - it's pacy, thoughtful and well-realised. The fact the takeover is so precisely planned, and the fact we don't know Jadzia's the target until quite a way into the episode, really work in its favor. Once the group's motive is made clear, the character elements come to the fore - John Glover is very good playing two markedly different versions of the same person, and the way Sisko plays him and Mareel is well-written, especially the fact that both of them have anticipated it and don't fall for it; only when Mareel realises for herself that Verad is no longer interested in her does she see that Sisko was right. I too would have potentially liked some sort of follow-up or call-back in a later ep because Verad was an interesting character.
Daniel B
Sat, Jul 8, 2017, 2:34am (UTC -6)
This episode fell apart for me due to an obvious hole: Verad Dax is not Verad. He is 50% Verad, 50% Dax, yet is still 100% ok with the murder of Jadzia. Meaning Dax must be amoral at best, which has huge implications for the 50% Jadzia 50% Dax combination that are never touched on.
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 8:05pm (UTC -6)
Disclaimer: you are all entitled to your opinions, and I'm super grateful to you Jammer, for posting these reviews with comments sections where we can voice our own opinions.

That said, I'm a sad to once again be all alone in being extremely disappointed in an episode, and wondering what in Q's name everyone else sees in this episode, and in Verad.

I found Verad's performance extremely annoying at best, never mind un-convincing. Granted, I generally cannot stand people who smile nonstop even when speaking, and between speaking just stand there with their mouths half-opened in a smile with staring at you bug-eyed and unblinking, so I'd loath Verad even if he were a real person. IRL I literally cannot look people like that in the eye.
(I abhor Michael Eddington for the same reason.) In any case, Verad 100% failed to gain any sympathy from me. Same goes for his generic girlfriend.

And the episode overall was nothing but a giant failed opportunity, arguably one of the biggest in all of "Star Trek." This episode should have shown us what Dax and Jadzia are like when separated from each other, and how each contributes to the personality of the Jadzia Dax we know. Instead, the entire separation was treated as nothing more than a plot device. We see no hint at all that Dax changed Verad other than Verad no longer stammering as much, mentioning some random memories and calling Sisko "Benjamin." 90% of the "change" is just conveyed through Sisko telling us over and over, "He's changed! He's different! His girlfriend can sense it, with her, like, woman sneses or something. We won't show you, but trust us, Verad is different!"

And Jadzia just being unconscious the entire It's like the writers were absolutely determined not to develop Jadzia at all throughout all of her six seasons. I love Jadzia Dax, she's a fun character; but her entire character is just Dax. We learn virtually nothing at all about Jadzia, and what makes her different than any of the other hosts. Some have said that Ezri Dax was developed vastly more in one season than Jadzia was in six, and it's sadly true. I love both Daxes, but objectively, Ezri is a vastly superior character (in B4 Ezri haters) and this episode is a highlight as to why.
Mon, Dec 11, 2017, 9:47pm (UTC -6)
2.5 stars

I liked the idea of “ a crisis among a storm” and everything but the main story involving Dax—that was flat and boring but Quark, the Klingons etc was enjoyable
Josh D
Sun, Jan 7, 2018, 2:53pm (UTC -6)
So we have an episode where DS9 is evacuated again where it was already evacuated in the previous episode... Not so smart writing.

Quark goes unpunished for dealing with mercenaries and letting them on DS9 which lead to Dax getting her abdomen cut open and nearly killed. It's completely forgotten about and it's business as usual next episode.

This is my first time watching through DS9 and I hope it gets better.
Debra Petersen
Sat, Feb 17, 2018, 7:10pm (UTC -6)
I'm feeling like Bashir's role in this situation and his effort to save Jadzia are not getting the proper attention. This is only one of a number of episodes where he really comes through for her. He (along with Sisko) was there for her when the violent previous host emerged and the the experience threatened to destroy her. He did his best to try to help her when she decided she wanted to stay on the disappearing planet Meridian with the guy she had just met...and he was the one who comforted her when that didn't work out.

Forgive me, but I have to bring up my major DS9 "pet peeve" here. Jadzia fell for the guy on Meridian awfully fast. Worf turned up on the station and started flexing his muscles and Jadzia immediately went gaga over him. But she never gave Julian, the guy who behaved the best toward her, a real chance. I've often wondered why the writers never allowed that to happen. Instead, they put her together with Worf. I've never understood what people saw in that relationship. The pattern in that pairing seemed to be that Worf would act controlling toward Jadzia, wanting her to behave according to some Klingon norm, Jadzia would object quite strongly, and Worf would grudgingly back down. Also, Julian,with his enhanced intellect and other abilities, as well as his medical knowledge of Trill physiology might have been a better match for her in many ways. IMHO Julian and Jadzia were the ones who belonged together.
Thu, Mar 1, 2018, 5:28pm (UTC -6)
This was a weird episode and I don't think the guest actors/characters showed enough depth or put in a solid enough performance to make it compelling. The idea of a man without confidence and who feels wronged and wants the symbiont as a means of turning into a somebody is a decent one for Trek, but this episode never takes off, for me. It's a bit contrived that the perfect storm takes place for them to come to DS9 and basically hijack Jadzia Dax.

But is the point Sisko pointing out to Mareel that Verad's no longer who he used to be? Why should we care about Verad and his woman anyway? They're just the "villains" of the week. Wasn't a fan of the two guest characters. Yes, the change in Verad is distinctive, as it should be -- but both could have been more emotional (especially Mareel) in reacting to each other after the surgery.

Obviously there has to be a fightback from the DS9 crew but it takes an awful long time to unfold (Bashir to overpower the Klingon in sickbay) and finally Mareel gives into Sisko. But Kira did get beaten up by Mareel -- a female! Might be the 1st and only time that happens on DS9. Also have to wonder why Verad didn't phaser Sisko in the end, only to get phasered himself near the airlock.

Tim Russ doesn't make a good Klingon. He's not angry, forceful enough. For an accomplished actor, thought he'd play a bigger role in this episode -- heck, the other Klingon had more of a role to play.

So Quark let the enemies into DS9 -- what was in it for him? This is a loose end in the episode. Didn't Kira want to kick his ass for creating the weakness in security? In the end Quark is key for helping Bashir overpower the Klingon in sickbay -- and there is his stupid attack on Tim Russ's character. Just more annoying Quark.

2 stars for "Invasive Procedures" -- Bashir had some good moments doing his doctor thing, caring for Jadzia, and Sisko's role here is an interesting one playing Verad/Mareel, but those good moments were too few and far between. The ending surgery seemed to be successful too easily considering all the crap they made up about doing this kind of host/symbiont operation in quick succession. The big thing is the character examination should have been more focused on Jadzia Dax instead of Verad/Mareel, who we'll never hear from again.
Wed, Jul 25, 2018, 2:05pm (UTC -6)
"Invasive Procedures" is a Dax episode that doesn't really have an idea how to do interesting things with her character. How can there be any room for growth in an already infinitely wise and stable character? "Invasive Procedures" answers this by contriving the main conflict. It doesn't work, unfortunately. The episode is unsuccessful for that very reason-because it doesn't really have any interesting things about Dax, or Jadzia.

2 stars.
Fri, Jul 27, 2018, 3:43pm (UTC -6)
@Yanks-"DS9 had lots of flaws. I'm not saying the other series didn't, but DS9 is trumpeted time and time again as having superior writing, blah, blah..."

That's because the writing on DS9 is superior. Obviously that's an opinion, but in my experience, people who share that opinion can back it up with reasonable arguments, instead of picking a poor episode from a poor season of DS9, and pointing to it as an example of DS9 being just as flawed as the other shows, which it isn't.
Thu, Aug 9, 2018, 9:36pm (UTC -6)
@Elliott-Okay, I know I'm responding to a 4 year old comment, but here are my Trek season rankings:

Season 4: DS9>TNG>ENT>VOY
Season 5: DS9>TNG>VOY
Season 6: DS9>TNG>VOY
Season 7: DS9>TNG>VOY
Fri, Aug 10, 2018, 1:24pm (UTC -6)
Though, the Season 6 one if highly variable. I think TNG might actually take it. It's close, but I think It does:

Season 6: TNG>DS9>VOY
William B
Fri, Aug 10, 2018, 1:29pm (UTC -6)
@Iceman, it's funny because I think Elliott has expressed he *really* dislikes TNG s6. I agree that s6 is a wildcard though. Personally I'd give TNG the edge for consistency, and DS9 the edge for highs. Arguably, FBTS > (any of TNG s6) > Profit and Lace. I tend to like TNG s6 better than many on the board.
Sun, Aug 12, 2018, 4:00pm (UTC -6)
@William B-That's somewhat true, but I really love "Chain of Command Part 2" and "Tapestry". They're both probably in my top ten. But, DS9 might have *more* high points. Opening arc minus "Sons and Daughters", "Waltz", "Statistical Probabilities", "Inquisition", "Far Beyond the Stars", "In the Pale Moonlight", and "The Magnificent Ferengi". That's a lot of fantastic episodes in one season. In terms of consistency, there are also lots of ill-conceived episodes in DS9 S6 even before the ending fizzle-these episodes aren't bad per se in their execution, but the idea was pretty bad to begin with: A shrinking runabout, a Morn episode, bringing back Bareil, doing a Donnie Brasco "homage", ruining Gul Dukat, etc. Not every episode needed to be focused on the Dominion War, but they should have told more vital stories. TNG S6 opens pretty weakly, but not terribly, and after "A Fistful of Datas", it's a smooth ride, give or take "Aquiel". So, overall, DS9 S6 is chock full of fantastic episodes, along with 1 or 2 abominations and a fair amount of mediocrity. TNG has a couple fantastic ones, lots of very good episodes, and about 3 middling episodes ("Fistful of Datas", "Birthright Part 2", and "Suspicions") and 3 awful ones ("Man of the People", "Rascals", and "Aquiel"). So I guess you're right in that it's down to consistency vs peaks.
William B
Mon, Aug 13, 2018, 6:00pm (UTC -6)
@Iceman, yeah, I debated whether Chain of Command 2 or Tapestry could lay claim to being as good as FBTS or better, and I think it's a tough call with COC2. And for the most part your assessment matches with mine.
Thu, Oct 4, 2018, 4:07pm (UTC -6)
Poor Kira got a beat down by Mareel. Never saw Kira get beat up like that. Mareel even ask her you alright. You could tell Kira was in pain. Kira even got the first punch in but after that Mareel destroyed Kira.
Thu, Nov 15, 2018, 6:14pm (UTC -6)
A bit too simplistic. This felt like a cost saving budget effort that didn't work for me. It started good with the take-over, but after that dragged on with one-dimensional story telling. It was pretty much a stranger stealing the symbiont and getting recaptured. No clever twists or interesting details. Also too much boring reminiscing between Sisko and Dax.
Cody B
Tue, Nov 27, 2018, 9:09am (UTC -6)
I have a question for those that have seen most of ds9. I enjoyed this episode much more than the previous three episode arc and I’m wondering since this is early on in ds9, does the series get more to where the episodes are stand alone and the overall continuity of the series is more subtle, or is it more choppy like the previous three episode arc with stand alone episodes thrown in? I hope I explained that question clearly. I hope that the series is mostly stand alone episodes with more subtle continuity
Cody B
Tue, Nov 27, 2018, 9:17am (UTC -6)
I hope my last comment was understandable. What I mean is that the last two episodes of season one and then the first three episodes of season two all kind of tie together. This is the first episode that truly seems stand alone and not somehow tied to the previous five episodes. And I enjoyed this episode much more. I would prefer most of the series being completely stand alone episodes with continuity and thread of the series being more subtle. That is what I am trying to ask. I hope I’m making sense and not being long winded. I apologize if I’m confusing anyone
Thu, Nov 29, 2018, 9:33pm (UTC -6)
Guest actor was good, story was so-so, though it was good to learn more about Trills.

Predictable, with some awkward acting from Farrell and Brooks, but a solid, basic Trek offering overall.
Tue, Jan 8, 2019, 3:56pm (UTC -6)
I liked the Quark-Bashir scene.
“Odo’s in here and we have get him out.”
“Are you sure?”
I howled, lol! Then Quark turns out to have safe-cracking skills!
Sat, Jan 12, 2019, 11:59pm (UTC -6)
I agree with Daniel B (from July 2017). It's odd that the Verad Dax character is not more conflicted about the potential death of Jadzia. I think the Dax symbiont should have been given more agency in this episode.
Thu, Feb 7, 2019, 2:29pm (UTC -6)
A slightly overlooked episode, with one of the best guest performances in the whole of Trek. Sisko and Bashir are also excellent in this one, and the Klingons are no small part of why it works so well. 3*
Sat, Mar 9, 2019, 12:55pm (UTC -6)
Jadzia Dax continues to be the least-developed of the main cast (well, apart from Jake, but so far, he‘s only nominally a main cast member, while Dax at least gets plenty of screen time).

This episode could have been a great opportunity to show what part of her personality is provided by the symbiont Dax, and which by the host Jadzia. But instead, we simply get a Verad with boosted confidence and a Jadzia who feels alone without her symbiont (though I have to admit that both actors play these changes incredibly well).

What’s worse is that Dax in his new host seems completely willing to let Jadzia be killed. He doesn’t even want to visit her in sickbay! So either Dax is an immoral, egotistical ass-hat (which would explain why he’s such good friends with Sisko), or the writers just didn’t think this through. For the show‘s sake, I’ll go with the latter explanation. ;)
Thu, Jun 27, 2019, 9:45pm (UTC -6)
Generally I agree with Jammers reviews or I’m close but this episode is a real stinker. Quark sabotages the airlock to let Klingons take over the station? A female antagonist strong enough to kick Kira’s butt but so weak she pines for mr wimpy bad actor and will do anything for him? A plot so predictable I, a bad writer, could have written acts 2 and 3 in my sleep? Come on this is zero or one star.
Jamie Mann
Sun, Nov 24, 2019, 12:36pm (UTC -6)
Another odd episode in which we're expected to buy into some increasingly improbable things.

First, a storm which conveniently pulls everyone except for a few key crewmembers off the station.

Then, a raid, led by a character who seemingly has little or no charisma, but has somehow managed to persuade some Klingons to join in on a raid on Federation space which will almost certainly result in the death of at least one Starfleet officer.

And this same character - with all his professed weaknesses - has somehow earned the undying loyalty of an attractive woman, to the point where she's also willing to join in with this murderous attack.

Then, for an added bonus, Quark's betrayal of the station and implicit assistance in this murder - is hand-waved away after he plays "hero" for once.

However, perhaps the weakest element of this episode lies in the way the relationship between the Trills and their symbiants is presented; essentially, Dax acts as if Jadzia meant nothing to them, and was quite happy to walk away as she died. And equally, Dax was more than happy to pick up their relationship with Sisco as if nothing at all had happened.

There's two main ways to interpret this.

The first is that the symbiant has little or no influence over the host; it's little more than a repository for memories.

The second is that the symbiant is psychopathic by nature, and doesn't care anything for the host it lives in. Which would suggest that it's more of a parasite - or even a slave master - than a symbiant.

Sadly, we don't get to explore these possibilities further, as this is a one-off episode. Jadzia gets Dax back, and returns to her normal sweet self, and nothing more is said - not even by Sisco, despite the dramatic showdowns between Sisco and Dax in his new Trill host.

Definitely weak.
Sat, Jan 4, 2020, 1:00am (UTC -6)
"Don't call me Benjamin" is ice cold. Nice preview of the Sisko to come
Mon, Aug 10, 2020, 8:34am (UTC -6)
I'm halfway through this episode. Star Trek hasn't exactly shone in the villain of the week aspect, and Verad is an example. His acting is terrible, the delivery of lines was stiled and I was embarrassed every time he opened his mouth. This isn't just because of how the character is written, it's how he was played - badly.
Tue, Nov 3, 2020, 8:29am (UTC -6)
Seeing alot of negative comments about this episode, I actually enjoyed it, I think this aired a week after the Gambit so I'm not sure if the theme on the writing board for both episodes was ''Mercenaries'' .
Sun, May 23, 2021, 9:57am (UTC -6)
Man - I just really do not enjoy Dax. Terry Farrell is the weakest performer on the show by far - at least to this point. I don't buy the trill concept and I don't understand Dax's complicity in Verad's plan. They've tried to make the Trill concept clear but it's one thing to understand there are personality shifts from the joining and another thing entirely to watch that same symbiote continue on with the whole 'holding the station hostage' plan only to hit the episodic TV show cast reset button at the end.

Sisko's awesome ass weird acting style is the only thing that saved this episode. Avery Brooks is a freak in the best way.
Tue, Jul 20, 2021, 2:55pm (UTC -6)
Came here to essentially comment what Crobert mentioned - I don’t buy that Dax would be so compliant with this situation just… because. The symbiote is usually the dominant personality, with all its previous incarnations’ memories, including the strong sense of duty and loyalty in all of the predecessors. And now, all of a sudden, Dax becomes a thug and is okay with it. Within a very fresh joining. Within a weak character. This seems to undermine everything how I’ve understood the symbiotic relationships - this new Dax is absolutely confirming to its host. Memories of friendship only give Dax momentary pause. Verad Dax is worse than Verad, who was a weak and confused and lost Trill. But V-Dax is just appalling, like some opportunistic, self-absorbed a**hole who can’t wait to leave everything behind, including its dying former host. I still liked this episode, but I won’t ever like Dax again. I wish I remembered how I felt about this situation when I watched DS9 for the first time, years ago, but I have a hunch that it didn’t bother me much because I totally forgot about it.
Tue, Jul 20, 2021, 2:57pm (UTC -6)
*conforming to its host (not confirming)
Sun, Aug 8, 2021, 9:41pm (UTC -6)
Heh, I'm on an anti-Dax campaign I guess. Really these are thoughts from back in the day when this first ran.

I'm not a Dax or Jadzia hater at all, but I never liked the Dax-centric episodes. I couldn't care less if this guy makes off with the worm nor if Jadzia died.

The guest acting and the side stories were pretty good.
Fri, Sep 3, 2021, 11:55am (UTC -6)
I thought the premise was kind of ridiculous. They evacuated the entire station for this seemingly not very dangerous"space storm" and not one single security officer stayed behind to protect the station? Aside from Odo but still, talk about leaving the station vulnerable. I also thought it was uncharacteristic of Odo to let Quark get away with whatever he did to disable the security checkpoint. He knew Quark was up to something but he didn't even bother to check? Also not a single other civilian besides Quark chose to stay? Sorry, it's all really absurd, and that's before we even get into the main plot which is apparently that a couple of Klingons can easily take over the station and hold everyone hostage, and the crazy Bejoran who came to steal the symbiant. This was probably one of my least favorite episodes of the series.
Tue, Dec 28, 2021, 3:22pm (UTC -6)
Having put all the illogical and stupid parts aside... l liked it.

It was more like theater than a normal episode. I also think it covers the complexity of the trill concept and society (in respect of that not everyone can join) quite well.

The logic in the acting and the plot was good.
I got the feeling that both Sisko and Jadzia Dax (instead of a successfull overmanning) played poker with very high stakes.

What happens to a trill when it's joined. Jadzias feeling when she realised Verad's memories.

Regarding Dax character and Terry Farell's acting. I had never a big problem with it. She is a supporting actor. Dax is very laid back, having been around for some you don't need to be looking for adventures. You know the come anyhow.

I have met several women like Jadzia, although without a slug in their tummy. Cute, intelligent, self aware, charming but not in the front line. If she was meant to be such character she is doing it very well.
Tue, Apr 11, 2023, 6:39am (UTC -6)
Dax is a dick. That was my takeaway, plain and simple. Now, I did enjoy the premise, but once it became clear that Dax didn't care in the least if Jadzia lived or died, the whole idea of the symbiosis struck me as instead being parasitic. And I disliked Sisko for every valuing Dax in the first place.

I never could get past that.
Sat, May 20, 2023, 12:48am (UTC -6)
Returning to this great site three years later, as I watch this episode again. I still find this to be a great character episode. One thing that baffles me though, is why did they use a "plasma storm," as their plot contrivance?
They should have played off the lack of crew from the previous three part "The Circle" arc.
Maybe the Starfleet people are still returning etc. Would have added some continuity. They showed a lean towards serialised storytelling even before this terrific episode. So why not here? I don't expect any replies but I have come to love this site and reading some of the conversations here.
Thu, May 25, 2023, 2:52pm (UTC -6)
This episode was entertaining but a missed opportunity to be something better. Truth be told, it deserved to be a multi-part episode, which could have better developed the character of Jadzia and explored the relationship between host and symbiont and the differences between them.

It's amazing to recall that we would see the personalities of all Dax's previous hosts in "Facets," but the only glimpses we saw of Jadzia herself, without Dax, were in 3 episodes: "Emissary," this episode and "Tears of the Prophets" - and in all these moments, she was on a surgery table looking very vulnerable and scared. At the end of the series, we knew more about the host Ezri - present for a single season - than Jadzia after six seasons. Think about that, and how much of a difference this episode could have made in rectifying it.

As others have pointed out, it was also curious to see Dax apparently complicit in the death of Jadzia, and more time devoted to the showcasing of an internal struggle between Verad and Dax over the moral question could have led to some interesting stuff - if there was a struggle at all. Who has dominance over personal decisions, the host or the symbiont? Or do the two always agree? There's a mine of material to explore in this character, and it was never done - and this was the episode in which to do it. The way it was handled instead here was rushed and done only for the sake of the simplistic plot, as I saw it.

On another note, and as others have pointed out, it's laughable that the Mareel could have overcome Kira. The character was essentially Tasha Yar; would Tasha have beaten Kira in a fight? Street punk versus terrorist - who comes out on top? My money is on Kira, even if it means a longer, tougher fight. Watching Kira stand stunned after one punch was pitiful and made me nearly laugh out loud.

In closing, just to throw this out there: how much more interesting would the series of been if Verad had returned in season 7 as Dax's new host, instead of Ezri? Seeing Verad walk in the door of the restaurant at the end of "Image of the Sand" would have blown my mind.
Fri, Jul 7, 2023, 2:08am (UTC -6)
Am I the only one who does not understand correctly how stasis chambers work? Once Bashir had her stable, could he not put Jadzia in one?
Fri, Jul 7, 2023, 3:57am (UTC -6)
Tue, Aug 1, 2023, 7:52am (UTC -6)
I really liked this episode. I liked seeing Varad, Jadzia, and Varad Dax and Jadzia Dax and how different they all were. I liked how tense it was - even though of course you know Dax is going to end up back in Jadzia, you don't know exactly how - will they have to force Dax out or will Varad Dax agree to let them go? I thought the relationship between Varad and his girlfriend was well-done too.
I agree Quark should have been punished for what he did - but how do we know that he wasn't? Perhaps Odo made him pay a hefty fine in gold-pressed latinum. And I read him assisting Julian as being a play for Kira's forgiveness.. I agree it would have been better if that had been made explicit, but this would still get 3.5 stars from me as a well-written character piece.
Peter G.
Fri, Oct 27, 2023, 11:05am (UTC -6)
This is such a classic S1-S2 episode. It has a startling combination of a story line with barely anything happening, but containing outstanding standalone character scenes. I could watch these scenes all day. I'll just name a few:

-Sisko with Mareel, in repeated dialogues where Brooks interestingly speaks to her not as a Starfleet Commander trying to gain an advantage, but as a friend trying to tell her the truth. His tone is really conciliatory and convincing.
-Bashir's scenes with Yeto the Klingon are comedy gold.

YETO: I'm not your nurse.
BASHIR: Look, let's not go through that again.

The way Siddig plays his line is...amazing. And of course there's Yeto's insanely and not-at-all overplayed face as he scans Quark's ear.
-The really effective transition into Varad Dax, and his conversations with Benjamin. When Sisko ends their friendship it's some of the best acting in the series IMO.

This is also the first time anyone treats Odo as such a threat that an entire plan hinges on his being incapacitated. This is the way it should be. This aspect of his capabilities tends to be underplayed through the series, even into the later seasons. Speaking of which, I found it unintentionally funny when they threatened O'Brien at the airlock, telling Odo he dies if Odo doesn't get into the container. This plan utterly hinged on Odo caring about that, because in reality he could have let O'Brien die and taken them all out. If they were so sure he could derail them single-handed, it was awful chancy to give him the option to just ignore their threat and attack them.

This is also the first time I tried to figure out what Quark had actually done wrong. I think what happened is he made a deal to let them onto the station during the storm so he could sell them some contraband material that normally would be hard to smuggle aboard. That's what the scene in the bar is about. I think Quark had no idea what they were really up to and was tricked. In that respect he's not as culpable as Kira was making him out to be, even thought he was trying to engage in an illicit sale of merchandise. In terms of the reset button, I think his act of bravery was far further in the plus column than his initial 'betrayal' was really a negative. It wasn't really worse than the usual stuff he does, but this time he was unlucky enough to have made a deal with a really crazy guy.

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