Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"Rejoined"

3.5 stars

Air date: 10/30/1995
Teleplay by Ronald D. Moore & Rene Echevarria
Story by Rene Echevarria
Directed by Avery Brooks

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"You came here for advice from a friend, and that's exactly what you're getting." — Sisko to Dax

Nutshell: A beautifully crafted love story with some intellectually astute subtexts. Very nice.

I know there are going to be people out there who are going to be watching "Rejoined," and when the moment comes when they see two female characters kissing on the screen, they're going to immediately label the show as preachy, liberal, politically correct dogma that sides with homosexual tolerance. If they don't, they'll probably say the show is trying to stir controversy in a cry for attention.

The episode really does neither of the above.

While I would have nothing at all against a Star Trek story that deals with homosexual issues, this is not really the focus of "Rejoined." This episode is a love story—plain and simple—and it's one of Trek's better love stories. It has a fresh Trill twist that proves to be a very effective storytelling conduit. (Leave all the Trill manipulation up to Rene Echevarria, DS9's resident expert on Trill customs and culture.)

A brilliant Trill scientist, Dr. Lenara Kahn (Susanna Thompson), comes to the station to test some possibly ground-breaking research: the attempted formation of an artificial wormhole. Dax knew Kahn in a previous life—they were, in fact, married. At that time, Dax was Torias Dax and Kahn was Linale Kahn. Torias, however, died in a shuttle accident, leaving Linale a widow. The Dax symbiont was passed to a new host, and Dax never saw Kahn again...until now, several host lifetimes later.

And in the present, there is room only for discomfort. One of Trill's strongest taboos forbids "reassociations"—that is, the active pursuit of reestablishing intimate relationships from past lifetimes. The taboo makes sense from what we know about Trills; since each host is supposed to lead its own life and live new experiences, it stands to reason that turning around and living and old life a second time would be counterproductive to a symbiont's interests. Furthermore, pursuing a reassociation is grounds for exile from the Trill homeworld, and means the symbiont would die with its host since it would not be able to be joined again.

So Kahn and Dax find themselves reunited for the first time in generations, and it takes neither of them much time to realize they still have feelings for one another. "Rejoined" isn't about whether or not they have these feelings, it's about what they choose to do about it. And the reason this works so well as a character show is because it feels like rational people trying to make rational decisions. There isn't excessive plot getting in the way here, which is refreshing.

From the moment the two set foot in the same room everyone is staring at them—as if to make sure they stay out of trouble. In an early formal party scene, the two can't come within five feet of each other without the entire room casting a suspicious eye in their direction. And on the bridge of the Defiant during wormhole experimentation, Lenara's aide Dr. Pren (James Noah) begins to notice what he suspects is a more-than-simply-professional relationship. Pren tells Lenara's brother Bejal (Tim Ryan) what's going on, and this leads to a very sensible and relevant scene where Bejal tries to dissuade his sister from playing with fire.

Lenara tells Bejal that there's nothing going on and that she has no intention of allowing anything to come out of her past relationship with Dax. But as she says this it's obvious she's on the fence—that she wants to succumb to her desires but hasn't decided whether she can do it or not.

Dax, on the other hand, "with that little bit of rebellious Curzon in her," barely has a doubt about what she intends to do. She wants to throw herself at Lenara even if it means being exiled from Trill and causing her symbiont to be condemned to die when she dies. Dax goes to Sisko for advice, which leads to a scene that really hits home where Sisko forcefully reminds Dax that a Trill's most important responsibility is safeguarding the best interests of the symbiont. This scene is the show's best—it highlights what an asset the Sisko/Dax relationship can be to the series. When Dax tells Sisko that she didn't come to him for a lecture, Sisko's response "You came here for advice from a friend, and that's exactly what you're getting," is perfect in both delivery and content. It goes a long way to highlighting the severity of the consequences Jadzia would face should she go through with this. When she does indeed decide to pursue it, it feels like a dynamic and refreshing turn of the character, and allows Terry Farrell to display more depth than she is often permitted in plot-driven episodes.

The question becomes whether or not Lenara is willing to face the consequences. Simply put, she isn't. She wants to be with Dax, but the price for going against the custom is just too high for her to deal with.

The interesting thing about "Rejoined" is how all of this comes together and what all of the characters represent. Dr. Pren is the character who believes in the custom. Jadzia is the one who wants to thwart it. Lenara wants the benefits of thwarting it, but can't accept the punishments. In complicated issues as such, all of these sides exist. Avery Brooks' direction of these complex characters feels right on target.

As for the much-ballyhooed kiss: It's not what this show rides on. "Rejoined" is about a situation and how the characters deal with it. Those who see the show as "my god—two women are kissing" are completely missing the point. I think the kiss was put in there simply as a contemporary metaphor to get the point across of how the reassociation is taboo in Trill culture. Obviously (as demonstrated by the dialogue between Kira and Bashir), no one in the 24th century has a problem with same-sex relationships.

"Rejoined" isn't a particularly ground-breaking hour in the way it ultimately affects the characters or the series. Instead, it's an example of plausible, compelling, character-driven storytelling. The characters drive the plot instead of the plot driving the characters. The result is an episode that feels dramatically real and believable.

Previous episode: Indiscretion
Next episode: Little Green Men

◄ Season Index

120 comments on this review

Mark Oates
Sun, Oct 12, 2008, 11:01pm (UTC -5)
Well, I certainly didn't expect this episode. It reminded me of "Plato's Stepchildren" from TOS with the interracial kiss. Also a side note, Starship Down is the next episode, then Little Green Men.
David Payne
Tue, Oct 21, 2008, 8:16pm (UTC -5)
Just watched this episode for the first time in years. Very good but I hated the long exposition scene at the start between Kira and Bashir that telegraphs the whole episode. This seemed to happen a lot after Ira Behr took the reins. Did he think we're all dumb and need everything explaining slowly?
Lenore
Mon, May 4, 2009, 9:12am (UTC -5)
It's been a while since I saw this episode, but the injunction against taking up with previous partners always seemed to me to be very contrived and irrational.

Consider the illogic of the premise: "The continuation of the symbiont is paramount to Trill society. It must not be allowed to stagnate by reassociating with previous partners. If you do this... we'll banish you. Thereby, um, killing the symbiont." What?

And if they feel so strongly about reassociating with romantic partners, why is there no injunction against reassociating with friends, as Dax and Sisko have, or as Dax does every time the Klingons show up, or as Ezri does when she basically adopts Jadzia's life? It's exile and symbiont-death to sleep with your ex, but okay-dandy-fine to hang out with all your other old buddies?

Someone did NOT think this through. Whatever other positives the episode had, the illogic just kills it for me.
Destructor
Sun, Jul 12, 2009, 8:01pm (UTC -5)
I love this episode. Quick side note, however: Lenara Khan's previous host was Nelani, not Linale.
Carl
Sat, Oct 31, 2009, 8:07pm (UTC -5)
As David states above, the exposition scene in this episode is awful. I couldn't concentrate for the next 10 minutes because I was fuming so much for being presumed dense, and by then I had lost interest in the episode completely. I can understand why clumsy exposition is sometimes necessary, but there was nothing stated in that scene which I couldn't have figured out based on the remainder of the episode. Furthermore, it really was clumsier exposition than any I have ever seen before, and I'm a 'Captain Scarlet' fan!
Sam
Fri, Nov 6, 2009, 6:21am (UTC -5)
I couldn't stand this episode. All issues aside, the soap opera acting/dialogue between Dax and Kahn in their final scene was truly cringe inducing. People who made a big deal about the lesbian kiss (including the producers, who went out of their way to mention it well in advance of the show's airing) were in my mind ranting much ado about nothing, as the whole affair was too soap opera-y to even be worthy of controversy. And unfortunately, it seemed like they did cook up this clever sci-fi concept to try and appear controversial... which seems sort of counterproductive given that homesexuality isn't supposed to be an issue in Star Trek's 24th century. Anyway, I just watched this episode again hoping I could be repersuaded. But I wasn't.
Humuna Humuna
Fri, Nov 20, 2009, 5:35am (UTC -5)
Terry Farrell is hot! Nana visitor is not!
Nic
Tue, Dec 1, 2009, 9:27pm (UTC -5)
THIS is it. THIS is the episode, in seven years of DS9 (along with "Duet") that moved me to tears. Both Farrell and Thompson deliver flawless performances (Avery Brooks too) and I think the episode managed to have its cake and eat it too by not having any character ever mention that the relationship is homosexual (thereby showing that in 24th century it is a non-issue) and by using the Trill taboo to address a 20th-century situation.

As for those who think the taboo is implausible, maybe Michael Piller (who came up with the concept in the second season) can convince you:
"I feel they'd have a very strict taboo in order to avoid an aristocracy of the joined. Otherwise, they'd only want to hang out with each other, their dear old friends from five hundred years ago, and it would become a really screwed up society."
Patrick Stewart 4 President
Fri, Dec 4, 2009, 12:31am (UTC -5)
It must be that I'm getting older or something, but upon recent viewing this episode actually moved me very much. For Dax's character, this is a tragedy of huge proportions. The first really good Dax character piece, much better than any previous attempts. And finally an opportunity for Terry Farrel to show off her acting skills. They were there all along, who knew? Agree with 3.5 stars (looses half a star for too much technobabble and some hokey scenes).
Jeff
Fri, Mar 12, 2010, 3:48pm (UTC -5)
On it's own merits this is a great episode, but the taboo of reassociation just doesn't make sense in the long run. If that were true Jadzia would never have been assigned to DS9 in the first place.

That aside, I appreciated the depth of the love story and I was pleased to see a lot of passion in their kiss. It made sense for the kiss to portrayed the way it was, because here are two souls finding each other again.

A great episode, but for the long term continuity glitch.
Nic
Mon, Nov 1, 2010, 1:23pm (UTC -5)
Why would the taboo prevent Jadzia from being assigned to DS9? Curzon and Sisko were never in an "intimate" relationship, and I don't think he knew anyone else assigned to the station. If any future episodes ignoreed the taboo (Worf/Ezri comes to mind) then that's a problem with the series and definitely not with "Rejoined."
Jacob Sisko
Tue, Dec 7, 2010, 4:39pm (UTC -5)
This episode seemed so contrived. It seemed like the writers were just looking for an excuse to be daring and controversial. Why should the symbiant's former hosts have such dominance over the current host? Shouldn't Jadzia have the freedom to pursue her own love interests? I was a big Jadzia fan in the early seasons, but lately it seems her individuality and personality have been completely buried by the symbiant. Which brings up another thought; the more hosts a symbiant has in its lifetime, the less impact each host brings relative to the total number of hosts.
jon
Fri, Feb 4, 2011, 12:13pm (UTC -5)
I think the taboo with reassociation could be read as an allegory surronding people's attidudes to homosexuality.

Incidentally it's very sad that for a show that prides on being progressive LGBT people have been ignored.
Elliott
Sat, Jul 16, 2011, 2:42am (UTC -5)
Agree with the soap opera acting comment.
Agree that the Trill Taboo is constantly in danger of collapsing on itself as a concept given the dialogue here.

The only thing making this episode watchable is Worf's line about Klingon dreams.

I think the whole character of Dax simply needed a vessel which could convince the audience of its superhuman personality, something Farrel never came close to realising.
Fortyseven
Sun, Jul 31, 2011, 7:04pm (UTC -5)
Huh. I didn't realize the kiss in this episode was a "thing". The scene came and went and I didn't really think too much about it. Well, outside of what any other straight male might think, of course. :P

I guess I just assumed this episode was aired outside of that whole "you can't show THAT on TV" era. :P
Nathan
Sun, Oct 16, 2011, 2:55am (UTC -5)
The Trill are going to be fucked in a million years after they've run through all the combinations of romantic couples.
Krysik
Thu, Oct 20, 2011, 1:37pm (UTC -5)
Ok, so how did the Trill become wormhole experts? Why is it a good idea to create an artificial wormhole? I felt a little concerned there wasn't some approval process by the Federation. I didn't buy into this love thing unless love is just another program based on memory that could be on a holosuite program. But love isn't only memory so it makes no sense to me, it was just an excuse to have girls kiss.
Rentahs
Fri, Jan 6, 2012, 11:36pm (UTC -5)
Worst. Episode. Ever.
Tom
Fri, Apr 27, 2012, 8:06pm (UTC -5)
Great episode, great acting from Terry Farrell and Susana Thompson.
Jeri
Thu, May 3, 2012, 7:05pm (UTC -5)
I love this episode. The performances were phenomenal(Terry Farrell was outstanding and so was the actress who pLAYED Kahn).
Sam
Sun, Jun 24, 2012, 5:01pm (UTC -5)
A beautiful and thought provoking episode with excellent performances. A stand out episode for the series!
TMLS
Tue, Jun 26, 2012, 11:57am (UTC -5)
Beautiful episode, and really can't believe in this day and age (and even the day and age in which it was broadcast) that it's such an issue.

But I know that it was, I was about 18 when this was first shown - and we'd had a big furore in the UK a couple of years earlier when a major continuing drama had a similar kiss.

Oh and I know that it is - I love America, but the fact that there are still so many states against same-sex unions (formalised or other) saddens me - and I say that as a straight male, have no bias forming my opinion.
Gaius Maximus
Sat, Jul 7, 2012, 8:13pm (UTC -5)
I thought this was an excellent episode. Just rewatched it and thought it was actually a lot better than I remembered.

As for the reassociation taboo, this is not (I think) ever spelled out, but it seems clear to me that it applies only to romantic partners and only to other Trill. It's okay for Jadzia to hang out with Sisko and Ezri with Worf because Sisko and Worf will die and not be reincarnated, so there is no danger of the symbiont going back to be with them forever, as there would be with another Trill. Furthermore, Dr. Kahn tells her brother that she and Dax are only friends, and seems to expect that to be acceptable, so it seems clear that it's only romantic relationships that are a problem, not any relations at all. It would probably be impractical to keep formerly involved symbionts from ever crossing paths again in any case, especially given that joined Trill seem to occupy the upper echelons of Trill society.
Pike
Sat, Jul 14, 2012, 8:41pm (UTC -5)
That was an excellent episode!
The Emissary
Sun, Aug 5, 2012, 11:48am (UTC -5)
Great episode! I love Jadzia Dax!
Steve
Mon, Aug 13, 2012, 11:57am (UTC -5)
The episode had its strong points (i.e. Worf's comments about Klingon dreams), but I agree with those who say that scene near the end was a little soap-operaish. Dax just comes off as completely unreasonable. Exile and death are, um, pretty big deals. No normal-thinking person would get that upset over someone else choosing to avoid those fates. Thus, the drama seems forced.

But I will stick up for this episode on one point. I noticed several posters commenting that the taboo against rejoining was implausibly "contrived and irrational." Hey uh, contrived and irrational social taboos? Wasn't that the point? Did you guys hear woosh sound as this episode went over your heads at warp speed?
Cail Corishev
Mon, Sep 17, 2012, 4:04pm (UTC -5)
I hate to agree with Elliot, but the Trill concept is always in danger of falling apart, and it would have taken a much better actress to have any chance of conveying multiple lifetimes of emotion. (To be fair to Terry Farrell, I'm not sure anyone really could.)

Star Trek done well uses alien situations to comment on the human condition. But take two humans out of their bodies and put them in two different ones -- different sex, even -- and they won't be drawn to each other. We (especially men) don't work that way; odds are we'd be too creeped out to even be around the person. Our bodies aren't hosts; they're part of who we are. So there's nothing to relate to here; it's not analogous to any human experience.

As for the hott girl-on-girl action, they could have had Dax's ex be in a male host. So they clearly chose to play it for controversy with the audience, while writing the episode as if that were irrelevant. Kinda cheap, but whatever. I suppose by today's standards, to get a rise out of the audience, the two ladies would need to have a nekkid three-way oo-max session with Quark.
Nick P.
Mon, Jan 7, 2013, 11:48pm (UTC -5)
OK, so I will say what at this point is blindingly obvious, Terry Ferrel is a terrible actress. I was really into this episode until every scene in which Dax said something. Honestly, that last scene in the quarters I started laughing and woke my wife up, that was awful. And it is too bad, that actress opposite her was actually doing a good job.

Further, why is going back to Trill for a little while to think about whether or not love is worth DYING a BAD thing? The last 10 minutes of this one sunk an already sinking ship in my opinion.
Xariann
Sat, May 18, 2013, 7:21pm (UTC -5)
I just watched the episode for the first time and it moved me very much. Maybe it was because it touched some things that are close to home for me, but I thought it was great.

I did think the exposition was a bit long. I think they were trying to spell out the reasons for the taboo and convince the audience of its validity because it was a weak point.

I don't agree with the fact that the last dialogue was bad however. But I don't really watch soap opera so I can't compare ;)
Ginger Malone
Wed, Jun 5, 2013, 4:54pm (UTC -5)
This is the episode that I realized that it was ok to be me. I knew I liked women when I was 10 years old. This episode aired my senior year of high school.

Even though the focus of this episode is not "lesbians" or bisexuality, up until this episode aired, I thought there was something wrong with me. I thought I had been born wrong.

This episode made me realize that love isn't right or wrong, it just is. And that that was ok.

And that meant that I was ok. This episode made me believe in and love myself for the first time.
ProgHead777
Mon, Jul 22, 2013, 12:09am (UTC -5)
I agree with Jammer that the scene where Dax goes to Sisko for advice is the best in the entire episode. It was especially moving when Sisko tells her that, if she decides to pursue a relationship with Kahn, he will "back [Dax] all the way." The emotion in his voice and in his eyes was completely real and put a lump in my throat. Avery goddamn Brooks, man. What an actor.
Sean
Fri, Aug 16, 2013, 4:44am (UTC -5)
@Ginger Malone:

Wow - that's awesome, Ginger!

I really, really like this episode - and now, after reading what a difference it made for you, I'll think about your story every time I think about the episode :)

Wonderful to realize that something I enjoy watching has made an ACTUAL, positive, life-changing difference in another viewers life!
ZurielSeven
Mon, Aug 19, 2013, 9:45pm (UTC -5)
So - what *do* Klingons dream about?

"Things that would send cold chills down your spine... and wake you in the middle of the night. No, no - it is better that you do not know!"

And all delivered deadpan? Michael Dorn nailed that!
eastwest101
Sat, Sep 7, 2013, 10:57pm (UTC -5)
Cringeworthy and predictable 0 out of 5
dikelove
Wed, Oct 9, 2013, 4:42pm (UTC -5)
I wanted to watch them scissor each other and I loved the episode
Kotas
Wed, Oct 23, 2013, 12:47pm (UTC -5)
A decent episode that was likely quite controversial at the time of its release.

5/10
Jack
Tue, Dec 31, 2013, 9:14pm (UTC -5)
All the breathless melodrama during the chat with Sisko about exile being a huge price to pay falls a bit flat when you consider what Jadzia was willing to do in "Meridian". I don't even think it was mentioned in that episode that she had a symbiont, and there was no indication that the guy she fell for had any idea that she did either.

As others have mentioned, the whole Trill concept is chronically on the verge of falling apart. It is stated that the symbiont is of the highest concern, but Jadzia not only was willing to self-exile in "Meridian", but she allowed herself to "have her molecules scrambled in the transporter for 6 hours", which can;t have been too healthy for the Dax symbiont.
William B
Tue, Dec 31, 2013, 10:11pm (UTC -5)
"All the breathless melodrama during the chat with Sisko about exile being a huge price to pay falls a bit flat when you consider what Jadzia was willing to do in "Meridian"."

Ah, I think I've spotted your problem. The correct answer is always: never, ever consider "Meridian." :)
K'Elvis
Fri, Jan 10, 2014, 8:28am (UTC -5)
The Trill taboo on reassociation seems like a big bluff. The number of Trill who wish to be joined is far greater than the number of available symbionts. We already know that far more people are capable of being joined than the Trill government admits. Would they really forbid the symbiont from taking a new host? And even if they did, they couldn't actually prevent the symbiont from finding a new host - there would be a great many people who would accept an unapproved joining, it's not that complicated a procedure. We've seen that there exist Trill who will steal a symbiont, there would certainly be many more who would be joined without the approval of the Trill government.

Taboos are often not wholly arbitrary, they generally make more sense the more you understand about the culture. The Trill taboo on reassociation makes sense. Reassociation would result in joined Trill becoming increasingly walled off from the rest of Trill society, which could result in an unhealthy concentration of power.
Jack
Wed, Jan 29, 2014, 11:16pm (UTC -5)
@ William B

believe me I try not to ;)
Jons
Sun, Feb 2, 2014, 12:04pm (UTC -5)
"I wouldn't have a problem with star trek dealing with homosexual issues"

Really, Jammer? You mean like episodes dealing with Black issues when we see Jake and Sisko? Having gay characters isn't being preachy or being "about homosexual issues" - it's just, you know, life.

Star trek's refusal to have characters that are also gay is ridiculous and offensive, but understandable since Bergman is a well-known homophobe who did everything he could to censor possible gay content.

I know straight people don't understand why it's important. But what would ypu say if the show only had white males in it? If in 28 seasons not a single female or non-white human had appeared? Would that be "staying neutral and family-friendly" or racist and mysogynistic? I'm sure in 1967 Mississippi the answer to this question we would now find unacceptable...
Dusty
Wed, Feb 12, 2014, 8:25pm (UTC -5)
It's really not logical to complain about soap opera acting and clumsy exposition, when Star Trek has always been a serial drama in space meant to appeal to a wide audience. Those things are going to happen. xD

Anyway, I think is a great episode that has nothing to do with gay relationships, and everything to do with love. It brings up the classic theme of forbidden attraction and explores it in the DS9 universe--successfully, I might add (unlike some other episodes I could name). Asking "why don't the Trills realize this custom is unreasonable?" is like asking "why don't the Montagues and the Capulets just kiss and make up?" It's not meant to be reasonable; it's meant to be an insurmountable obstacle that makes their relationship compelling.

Once again, the character of Jadzia is most interesting to me when she's reminiscing about past lives and showing some of that strength and defiance Curzon had, and she certainly did so here. Lenara just wasn't ready to deal with the consequences of rejoining, and that's why she left. In the long run, I think it was the best thing for both of them--not because they had that history, not because they're both women, but because both of them had far too much to lose.
Vylora
Sun, Feb 23, 2014, 1:45am (UTC -5)
Ginger, I don't know if you still view this site, but your comment really moved me. I actually feel honored to have read your post and thank you dearly for posting it. :)

As for the episode - great example of a Star Trek bottle-episode love story that can be done well. And is done very well.

3.5 stars.
Corey
Sun, Feb 23, 2014, 7:17am (UTC -5)
TNG also had a similar "homosexuality/transvestite" allegory episode, though I forget the title.

I've always viewed Dax as an attempt by the series' creators to make a statement on non-heteronormative sexuality and gender-identity. Aside from REJOINED and PRODIGAL DAUGHTER, DS9 really didn't explore this issue, which is good in a way. It simply accepted interspecies relationships and transexuality as perfectly normal.
Today's
Wed, Mar 5, 2014, 7:40am (UTC -5)
What ruins this episode for me is the casting of the two trills: both very pretty, young, slim, feminine. In other words, the stock "lesbian fantasy" of many men.

Far more daring would have been to bring back Dax's old flame in an unattractive form: a pudgy matron or a balding guy with bad teeth. It is a disturbing dishonesty that the two women fall all over each other at first sight and never admit (as the episode never admits to the audience) "Isn't it great our new hosts are physically lovely? I probably wouldn't want to break taboos with you if you were sixty, disfigured, or fat.".

We are supposed to think the ep breaks barriers by showing "gender doesn't matter" but it sure does a fine job of tacitly shows us exactly what DOES matter. This is especially jarring coming so soon after "Facets," in which a whole lotta people told Jadzia that her beauty was her major attribute.
Elliott
Wed, Mar 5, 2014, 9:27am (UTC -5)
It isn't fair to fault this episode in particular for bating the young Herero male audience as EVERY female character in the franchise (except Pulaski) is portrayed by a gorgeous woman. It's TV.
Yanks
Wed, Mar 5, 2014, 9:37am (UTC -5)
Reloined is nothing more that Hollywood liberals forcing homsexuality down our throats. The exact same story could have been told with a male.

Not ground breaking at all.
Elliott
Wed, Mar 5, 2014, 9:40am (UTC -5)
Okay, new rule : homophobes have to use a different turn of phrase to decry homosexuality than "shove it down our throats." I'm just swimming in the irony which is dripping here.
Paul M.
Wed, Mar 5, 2014, 7:22pm (UTC -5)
@Elliott: "EVERY female character in the franchise (except Pulaski) is portrayed by a gorgeous woman."

Hey, hey, hey there! Diana Muldaur is a very pretty woman. Reconsider your position or I will be forced to resort to punitive measures.

www.startrek.com/uploads/assets/articles/Diana-Muldaur1.jpg
www.fanphobia.net/uploads/actors/19584/Diana-Muldaur-in--Alex-Cord.jpg
Andy's Friend
Wed, Mar 5, 2014, 7:59pm (UTC -5)
@Elliott and Paul M.: Hehe, sorry, Elliott, but I have to agree with the M. man on this one: Muldaur was hawt back in the 60s ;)

About the gay issue: there will be no gays in the 24th century. Just like any other "abnormality", we will have eradicated it by the 22nd century at the very latest as soon as genetic engineering becomes widely available. No fat people, no short, bald guys, no albinos, nothing. The real Picard will have forgotten how to say "Vive la différence!". Such is the vanity of men. And women. And parents. Alas, future mankind will be a poorer one...
Andy's Friend
Mon, Mar 10, 2014, 7:12pm (UTC -5)
@Ginger: although I stand by my previous comment (I hope you understood that it was no criticism), I would like you to know how much I, just like Sean and Vylora above, appreciated your comment. Thanks for sharing. It warms my heart to know that the franchise I care so much for actually has meant just a little more than that to some people out there. Thank you.
Guy
Sat, Mar 15, 2014, 10:23pm (UTC -5)
"You mean like episodes dealing with Black issues when we see Jake and Sisko?"

It's most certainly important to have depictions of all kinds of people in the media, but I think the reason the word "issue" was used is because, this being Star Trek, a depiction of gay love probably WOULD be an issue - there would be some social commentary to it. Gay marriage is, unfortunately, a controversial topic in America today, even moreso in the '90's, and thus it would actually be an issue. Two guys weren't just going to kiss on DS9 as a piece of characterization; it would be politicized, even if only as a throwaway comment. That's what Star Trek does. On a different note, it would entail an actual plot point - Odo having sexual relations with another man, or other characters referencing that Odo is gay in dialogue, i.e., something that actually happens on the show. Ben and Jake's dark skin aren't a plot point because it doesn't have to be pointed out to be noticed. I think you're making way more out of the word "issue" than is warranted.

"I know straight people don't understand why it's important."

Since you made a passive aggressive on double standards in your post, I suggest you try replacing the word "straight" in the above sentence with "gay" or "black" and see how that sounds. Don't make sweeping generalizations, especially if you're just quibbling semantically over a non-issue.
Guy
Sat, Mar 15, 2014, 10:23pm (UTC -5)
passive aggressive attack*
Trekker
Sun, Mar 23, 2014, 2:12pm (UTC -5)
It's a fine episode for introducing a bisexual character to Star Trek franchise, Star Trek is not as groundbreaking with its lesbian characters as Babylon 5 in the 90's. I prefer B5 for its human stories in this regard, but liked DS9 for its racial issues point. Both had good points about religion, fanaticism, and government.

America today is moving towards tolerance and acceptance of everyone in our society, including homosexuals. If we are going to remain a free society, we can't hold double standards for one group versus another.

As for the gay marriage issue; I personally have nothing against it. I also don't think we can create a "Separate, but equal" mentality in our society to give religious observances exemptions, because it creates too many holes for economic and social issues, in a way that is antithetical to free market principles and more akin to a theocratic state. Socially, I find it kind of disturbing that the same people that talk about free markets would impose restriction based on arbitrary concepts such as the word of a human intermediary interpretation of religious text and doctrine.

For the overall love story, it is fine and works well; except for the exposition.

I would give it 8/10, good episode, but nothing groundbreaking
Rivus
Mon, Apr 28, 2014, 9:30pm (UTC -5)
Welllp... While this may not be an 'obligatory politically correct gay pairing episode' in the traditional sense, it's obvious that, by the backwards and imposing Trill customs and reaction, that it's meant to be an allegory for current issues in our own society. That being said, that's not what killed it for me (quite the contrary, I thought it was a clever and novel clusterfark of an idea). It was the all-too-predictable plot and overuse of technobabble early on in the episode. Hell, I'd be the first to say that technobabble doesn't bother me in most of Trek, but in this episode it felt considerably more forced than I remember it.

Great scenes at Quark's in the early scenes, Worf not elaborating on Klingon dreams, and of course the Sisko giving advice scene, though... The latter two bringing back fond memories of TNG. I'd say this warrants 2 and 1/2 stars, but could have been more had the execution been better.

Also, re:'Terry Farrell can't act'...
She's not *terrible* (oh hi Marina Sirtis and Wil Wheaton's doofy smile), but when you look at her along with her resume that she has being a fashion model under her belt, the fact that Trills were completely redesigned for her character, AND she gets the 'lesbian' make-out scene... It's more than a little obvious why she has the part, and that's because provided eye candy. Not to mention the fact that she consistently is surrounded by broadway and shakespearean actors in Visitor, Brooks, and Rene's characters probably making her look worse in comparison.
Paul
Tue, Apr 29, 2014, 11:47am (UTC -5)
@Rivus: Sorry, it sort of IS that Terry Farrell can't act. She's by far the weakest actor in DS9 -- even deBoer was stronger, IMO.
Joseph B
Sat, Jul 26, 2014, 3:10am (UTC -5)
Just finished viewing the first season of "Arrow" which is a new super hero series based on the "Green Arrow" comics series. The show utilizes the tone of "The Dark Knight" movie to good effect and is reasonably entertaining as a result.

While viewing the eps it seemed to me that there was something hauntingly familiar about the actress playing Oliver Green's mother. Sure enough, it’s the same actress that played Lenara Kahn in this groundbreaking (at the time) DS9 ep. It seems incredible that this episode aired almost twenty years ago. And Susanna Thompson is still a very capable and attractive actress even after all this time.
Yanks
Tue, Aug 5, 2014, 2:24pm (UTC -5)
This episode is a tough one to accurately review because you will get labeled and criticized for speaking the truth.

Bashir: “So when the hosts die, the symbionts die with them. So you see, even if Dax does harbor feelings for Lenara, she can't take that risk. For a joined Trill, nothing is more important than to protect the life of the symbiont. Nothing.” – except in Meridian I’m guessing, right Jadzia?

Jammer: "I know there are going to be people out there who are going to be watching "Rejoined," and when the moment comes when they see two female characters kissing on the screen, they're going to immediately label the show as preachy, liberal, politically correct dogma that sides with homosexual tolerance. If they don't, they'll probably say the show is trying to stir controversy in a cry for attention.

The episode really does neither of the above."

That's just plain incorrect Jammer. If none of the above was applicable, why cast a female instead of a male to play Kahn?

Jammer: "Those who see the show as "my god—two women are kissing" are completely missing the point."

I'd say those that don't see it for what it is are intentionally blind to the obvious.

The exact same story could have been told with a male as Khan and/or without the kiss. Exact same story. Knowing that, just what is the point of this episode? Oh, …. A taboo… got it. (wink)

@ Elliot. I'm not a homophobe.

Let's think this through.

Moore: "Hey, I have a great idea about a trill episode. We have said that trills revisiting past love interests is taboo in the trill culture, so let’s visit it!"

Echevarria: "Yeah, that sounds great. I'll start looking for a good looking guy to play..."

Moore: "No, no , no… (snicker)... let's put Jadzia's old flame in a FEmale body!! (rubs hands together)...

Echevarria: "But that will come off as a homosexual, something Berman..."

Moore: "... don't worry. We can hide it under the guise of a "love story”... we can talk our way out of this one, let’s call it ‘reassociation’…, you know – it will be kind of like when Kirk was “forced” to kiss Uhura” All the LGBT Trek fans will finally be vilified and we won’t have to listen to them complain anymore.”

So they cast the wonderful and beautiful Susanne Thompson who acts circles around whomever she’s with in this episode (including Terry by a long shot). Totally agree with Sam above, the last scene between Dax and Khan was almost unwatchable.

This has to be considered a titillation / attention grabbing thing because as a homosexual statement it falls flat. Taboos win the day! All the LBGT community gets is a lesbo kiss! Why not add the Lenara character as a reoccurring character? Let this play out for a few episodes even if it doesn’t last? What’s another reoccurring character in DS9? ... especially one of the talent of Susanne.

This was homosexuality delivered in prime-time. Hell, they (Trill) even label the taboo “unnatural”. What upsets me is they (the writers) don’t own it and everyone else deflects/dodges the issue. Hell, they are so worried about it that Bashir and Kira all but tell us what’s coming right up front. (Here it comes…. get ready to hide the children!!) This is no different than showing T’Pol’s buttcrack in Harbinger.

Sure hope Joran doesn’t influence Jadzia so easily…

Interesting story, and Susanne was fantastic as always. The reassociation/taboo thing actually makes sense (as stated above) and should have been elaborated on in the episode; especially because of how it ended… Just how broad of an experience would being married to the same person (trill) for 250 years be? etc… hmmm….. couldn’t the argument be made that joined Trills should never marry another joined Trill?

... good thing Jadzia wasn’t a dude, eh?

3 stars because I love Susanne Thompson. Trek almost made a statement here, but again devolved to the lowest common denominator. It’s hard to believe that folks complain about Seven & T’Pol’s catsuit and can’t see that this is the same thing

P.S. ..... and Ginger, good for you.
Peremensoe
Tue, Aug 5, 2014, 4:16pm (UTC -5)
Cail Corishev: "But take two humans out of their bodies and put them in two different ones -- different sex, even -- and they won't be drawn to each other. We (especially men) don't work that way; odds are we'd be too creeped out to even be around the person. Our bodies aren't hosts; they're part of who we are. So there's nothing to relate to here; it's not analogous to any human experience."

This strikes me as a pretty narrow view, most especially for a science-fiction fan. Have you never heard of a human relationship that survived a massive, body-changing trauma to one of its members? Have you never enjoyed speculation about what the (post-biological?) future of human consciousness might be?

"As for the hott girl-on-girl action, they could have had Dax's ex be in a male host. So they clearly chose to play it for controversy with the audience, while writing the episode as if that were irrelevant."

But that's exactly what makes it clever, that it *works* both ways.

If a man had portrayed Dax's past-life love interest, it would not have been so clear that their bond was not about the bodies they presently inhabit. It would have looked like Jadzia's other dalliances (all heterosexual, though often cross-species, IIRC).

Certainly the writers were aware of their/our real-world social context at the time, but the commentary on same-sex relationships we find here operates on a different level than the significance for the characters.

Nic: "I think the episode managed to have its cake and eat it too by not having any character ever mention that the relationship is homosexual (thereby showing that in 24th century it is a non-issue) and by using the Trill taboo to address a 20th-century situation."

Exactly.


Yanks, if you're not a homophobe as you say, then how does a brief appearance of "homosexuality delivered in prime-time" constitute "Hollywood liberals forcing homsexuality down our throats"? Whatever their reasons were, then, for framing the story this way, why does it upset you so now?

Also, please check on that word "vilified" before using it again. I'm guessing you meant either "vindicated" or "mollified."
Yanks
Tue, Aug 5, 2014, 4:58pm (UTC -5)
@ Peremensoe

"Yanks, if you're not a homophobe as you say, then how does a brief appearance of "homosexuality delivered in prime-time" constitute "Hollywood liberals forcing homsexuality down our throats"? Whatever their reasons were, then, for framing the story this way, why does it upset you so now?"

I thought I was pretty clear. They didn't own it. Having their cake and eating it too is a cheat. You call it clever. To each his own.

"Also, please check on that word "vilified" before using it again. I'm guessing you meant either "vindicated" or "mollified.""

Yup, you're right. Thanks.
Peremensoe
Tue, Aug 5, 2014, 5:36pm (UTC -5)
What would "owning it" look like? Must there be bigotry expressed by a character on screen?
Yanks
Tue, Aug 5, 2014, 5:50pm (UTC -5)
Forget it, it was a Garak quote.
don joe
Sun, Nov 9, 2014, 5:28pm (UTC -5)
I see a lot of discussion of homosexuality here, but I actually thought that the strenght of "Rejoined" was that it was never mentioned. It was only about love. That's for the best in my opinion, you can't get over prejudices if you don't stop labeling some things (or people).

It did seem to me a little over the top, the kind of passion that was portrayed. I can imagine having memories of a lover from a past life, and being attracted to them even if they changed body, but, with Trills, we've been repeatedly told that it's not just about the bodies. The symbionts retain the memories and traits from their hosts, and Jadzia Dax has always been the first to say that she 'is not Curzon', and things like that. I guess this was unimportant - who says Lenara Kahn and Jadzia Dax can't feel for each other like Torias Dax and Nilani Kahn did? In any case this didn't ruin the episode for me, the message went through very clearly.

Also it occurred to me that this is something of a character trait of Jadzia: she falls fast and deeply.

As a side note. Some days ago, here in Italy, people actually protested (standing silently in the town square I understand, very civilized-like, like wasn't happening in a while) against the new laws pro homosexual unions. Yes, no gay marriage here yet.

Just think about the contrast between a story like this, about a romance outside of gender/sexual boundaries, and the reality where people actually go out of their way to prevent other human beings from gaining a right.

Was it preaching? I'm not saying. I guess it can't be denied that "Rejoined" criticized this kind of attitude, but I think it did it in a constructive manner: it showed, in fact, that it doesn't have to matter.
Brian S.
Fri, Jan 23, 2015, 6:58pm (UTC -5)
On the issue of homosexuality, while it probably would be better to see actual homosexual characters, I do at least like the fact that Star Trek seems to at least make supportive references to characters of a bisexual or asexual nature. I forget the episode, but Sisko had a bried conversation with someone where he expressed his genuine congratulations and warm wishes for a fellow male officer who had given birth.

It may involve only passing references to off-screen characters we never see, but I do like the implication that the Federation is a place of tolerance and acceptance of all sexualities, and that the differences of those sexualities (be they in aliens or human-like beings) are generally tolerated and accepted as normal by most people.

Maybe "Star Trek" the TV show wasn't willing to show an actual lesbian couple (rather than two women portraying the reincarnation of a straight couple), but there is enough shown to infer that Starfleet doesn't discriminate or denigrate based on sexual orientation.


I also find it interesting looking back now after Britney, and Katy Perry, and all the other things that have happened in pop culture over the past two decades, and remembering how this benign scene used to be such a big deal. Same with the Kirk/Uhura kiss. It's interesting to note how far we've come (and depressing to think about far behind we used to be).

++++++

As for the story itself, I go back and forth for the reasons many of you have already stated.

At first I thought the Trill taboo was an odd contrivance. If past associations are so taboo, why does Dax spend so much time around all of Curzon's old buddies? And if you actually live on the Trill planet, surely you'd come into contact with a LOT of your former spouses and children. Especially in a field like politics where you constantly negotiate with other ambitious Trills and tend to interact with many of your constituents.

On the other hand, I can kind of see the point of the taboo. If I died and was reincarnated, I'd want to go back and rejoin with my spouse, see how the lives of my children and grandchildren turned out. I'd just seek them out and try to resume my old life right where I left off. Which could be a problem for the new initiated host.

They didn't really go into this too much, but what becomes of the initiate host's family? Remember hosts are grown adults before they are joined, with their own lives and experiences and worlds to live. Lenara had a brother. Under different circumstances, does Lenara turn her back on her parents, her brother, and possibly even her own spouse or children in order to go back and re-live past lives with former spouses and siblings and children? Personally, I have a wife and 2 daughters. Once joined, do I abandon them to re-immerse myself with my former wife and children? And what if a host marries someone who used to be one of their past symbiant's former children? Taboo? Awkward? I can see the societal ramifications of such intimate and familial relationships in a way that merely re-associating with old buddies or colleagues might not present.

Now that I am a grown adult with kids of my own, this episode became a lot more powerful for me, even beyond any plot holes. I envisioned the emotional torture I might go through seeing a reincarnated version of my wife. Or even just knowing she was out there, somewhere. Especially if she were taken from me suddenly through something sudden like a plane crash, where so much was left unsaid. I really don't know what I would do. How might I react if my wife's soul was hosted in a man's body? Or my children? If I die and am reincarnated, how do I just let go of them? Never see them or contact them again? How do I just willingly leave that life behind?

Could have been better explored, and the pain and probably could have been better acted, but the story itself is very intriguing.
Icarus32Soar
Wed, Mar 4, 2015, 9:34am (UTC -5)
Who gives a toss about the chick on chick action? What a bore! Two awesome actresses wasted on a lame concept, awful soap opera dialogue, totally predictable ending. No tension, no dramatic ambiguity.Bland is not how I like my Star Trek. No stars.
Regine Pineda
Sat, May 16, 2015, 11:26pm (UTC -5)
I love to be kissed by a girl but it has to be SUSSANA THOMPSON ONLY! Omg ! She's amazingly beautiful and great actress..I so love her MOIRA QUEEN !
Tim
Sun, Jun 21, 2015, 10:41am (UTC -5)
So I've been following Jammer's reviews and reading the commentary as I make my way through this recent round of rewatching the Star Trek franchise (pardon the alliteration). And I have to comment on what I've been reading here.

First of all, the franchise is no stranger to controversy. TOS emerged as a groundbreaking series, not just in its portrayal of The Kiss, but in repeated social themes in its episode plots (Let That Be Your Last Battlefield comes to mind). This is certainly a product of its generation. The show's producers were always able to portray one social issue after another under the guise of Science Fiction. Because it happens to an alien race it can be written off by the general public (censors?) as fantastical rather than culturally relevant but still get its meaning across.

TNG obviously toned this down quite a bit. When they did address it, they always seemed to back down from the issue. DS9 has attempted to do the same from time to time and have come closer to making the point, no more so than in this episode. VOY tried much harder to focus on the issues at the time, such as capital punishment (Meld, Repentance). Of course, not being as strong as its predecessors, it did so badly.

The franchise always seems to hit the gray area in controversial issues, and IMO this was designed to make us think and make us talk. Forcing the interracial kiss avoided the taboo that would have been placed on it at the time. Making Ryker fall in love with a gender neutral suffering a mental illness that allowed it to identify itself as female accomplished the same result (pardon the pronoun usage). Voyager's assault on the death penalty was so convoluted that it left us all scratching our heads.

Is it about homosexuality? Of course it is! It seems that they have chosen Trill society as an analogue for alternative lifestyles and the social acceptance or taboos that come along with it. The Trill are, after all, by their very nature a transgendered race.

TNG backed down from this controversy, preferring to focus on the unrequited or love lost aspect of the episode. Beverly, being straight, couldn't stomach the shift in character of her Trill lover. DS9, on the other hand, doubled down in this episode. By making homosexuality in an of itself not an issue in the enlightened future as well as attacking the controversy head on in the nature of the Trill taboo they created an intriguing episode that stirred the pot for the public at large.

Plato's Stepchildren aired in the still racially charged 60's. Watching the episode in my youth in the 70's, I don't recall even noticing the controversial nature of the scene, but you can write that off to either innocence or upbringing. Rejoined aired in 1995, and this comment feed seems to have originated in 2008. I have to say I'm amazed at the nature of the comments. There is a great deal of acceptance for the homosexual aspects while at the same time saying that the love story would, in fact, be no different if it had been a man and a woman. And there appears to be so much less input from those who disagree with the idea entirely than I would have expected.

I honestly believe that this would have been a very different read had it begun twenty years ago. What was once a hot topic even in the Star Trek community seems to have taken on a more (I hate using this word) progressive tone. If we were to air Plato's Stepchildren now, I expect nobody would notice. Except perhaps for the demeaning attitude towards little people? But we'll let Game of Thrones take care of that.
dlpb
Sun, Jun 21, 2015, 3:51pm (UTC -5)
@Yanks

Well said. And no surprise that Elliott is pouncing with name-calling, as usual. The episode was clearly doing that story for attention and to be preachy. We all know Trek does that a lot.
humphrey
Fri, Jul 10, 2015, 2:45pm (UTC -5)
On the point of the arbitrary nature of the trill taboo against re- association being a plot hole I would disagree; rather the seemingly arbitrary nature the taboo is supposed to be analogous to the contemporary earth societies views on homosexuality which too is arbitrary.( Taboos which may have been helpful for societies in the past are often passed down and adhered too long after their relevance or usefulness). This makes sense given that this episode has been carefully and IMO skilfully crafted to talk to gay 21st century issues. (it would be a hard or stupid position to maintain that this episode could or would have been written outside of the context of ‘’the love that dare not speak its name’’ and the legacy of that.

Whilst titillation may indeed be come into on some level that does not negate from the weighty subject matter at hand. And it is clear to anyone who has considered the episode that the lesbianism going on is deliberate and integral to why the story works as contemplation on forbidden love. Which may for some be controversial….but it is not controversy for controversy’s sake.
Steve
Mon, Jul 20, 2015, 4:30pm (UTC -5)
I don't think taboo wasn't just about romantic relationships in of itself and not even about depriving the symbiotes of experience. But also about preventing an elite forming and controlling Trill society through a centuries old "good old boys" network.

As for the kiss. In the 90s lesbian kisses were often stunts and done purely for ratings. It eventually became a cliche. There were a few episodes that did more with it, but they are rare. I don't think "Rejoined" fell into the stunt trap. There was a great story here and the kiss fell naturally into it.

As for the "controversy". Again purely a time thing. Being gay was more controversial in the 90s. Both politically and socially. There were very few shows on TV that took a same-sex relationship seriously. Today that's completely different. Gay characters aren't rare and they can have long term romantic interests and families. If this were filmed today, it would be completely unremarkable.
methane
Sun, Aug 30, 2015, 10:30pm (UTC -5)
Random comments:

-A good plot, but imperfectly executed. I would agree that it gets overwrought at times, and the scene at the beginning (explaining Trills to all the viewers at home who are only tuning in to see one of the first lesbian kisses) drags on. In fact, many of the scenes seem to drag on a bit too long; this could have used a short "B story" to let them sharpen some of those scenes in editing.

-You can tell Lenara will be gone at the end of the episode (the relationship was moving way too fast to be anything but a one-episode romance), which removes some of the drama. We all know the 2 characters will end apart; we're just wondering how they will end apart. It would have been better if Lenara had spent multiple episodes at DS9, with her relationship with Dax building up in the background until finally coming to a head with Lenara deciding she should leave the station.

-Nobody's mentioned Avery Brooks' direction; there are several choices with the camera that I thought were well chosen. I wonder if he got a bit more freedom than the "normal" directors.

-there certainly does seem to be good reasons for a taboo against "reassociations" for Trills, as others have discussed above. It might have been interesting to see this discussed more than it was in season 7.

I'd suppose I'd give the episode 2.5 stars.
Christian de Jong
Tue, Sep 29, 2015, 9:52am (UTC -5)
I liked the tragic love story, but I didn't like the presumptions, and especially the take on the Taboo. First of all, most taboos does not extend to actual law, but are merely social taboos. Secondly, the reason for the taboo seems legit (that one should cast away the connections from a previous life, to prevent aristocracy and power/wealth accumulaiton in Joined Trill only), but the taboo including only lovers whilst ignoring comradeship and old family ties, makes the argument for the taboo go away, and leaves no taboo for lovers. This means for Dax not being able to pursue a romantic relationship with someone from a previous life, but being able to pursue other relationships (like with Sisko f.ex), is totally inconsistent, illogical and unrealistic.
Third, the punishment stated for pursuing love is unrealistic (that the symbiant would lose the right to be joined again, and not merely be excluded from seeking power/influence etc). Especially when reconnecting of all other kinds gives NO consequences.
Fourth, the actors did a good job and were convincing in their love and frustration. I understand why the writers wanted this to be an allegory to homosexuality in out own society, but the taboo is about aristocracy, not sexuality and making it about that made it unrealistic (although it does point out the absurdity of homophobia).
William B
Wed, Oct 28, 2015, 7:07am (UTC -5)
So, I'm not really sure about this one. It occurs to me that "Rejoined," *maybe* like "The Outcast" (though maybe not), has gone through certain cycles for me; I used to think it was awesome for portraying the forbidden love while portraying a homosexual love affair on screen, then I thought it was a failure because its forbidden love metaphor somewhat fails at the gay-rights story that it seems like they are trying to do, and now a while later I can start to appreciate the episode's metaphor on its own terms, *separate* from the gay-rights angle, partly because at least among the people I know and the shows I watch, the issues having to do with anti-gay taboos are not as widespread. Obviously the world has not sorted this out, but locally it is a different story than it was two decades ago, and even one decade ago, so it neither gets the same credit for going there at all (when it first came out) nor loses quite as much for its failures at being a "gay love story" (a decade ago).

Because, to be clear, it is not a good gay rights story. I do think we are meant to associate the forbidden love having to do with the Trill taboo as being akin to taboos against gay love. Jadzia and Lenara as scientists in love with someone they shouldn't be in love with recall people like Alan Turing (and the tragedies that befell them), among others. But as people point out, there are a lot of sensible reasons for the Trill reassociation taboo, in a way that really is not true with homosexuality. I think that the biggest argument against reassociation, for me, is the idea that this would even more strongly divide Trill into the aristocratic (joined) and proletariat (unjoined) classes, with joined Trill basically always sticking to their own, carrying on their lives-long relationships from host to host forever. Now, I could see how that civilization could work, but I can see how the Trill reassociation taboo makes sense as a way of staving off people just making their whole life about their symbiont and past lives rather than some kind of mixture of the symbiont and new host. More to the point, given how strong the temptation to fall into past patterns must be, even people who might "instrinsically" want to start a new life might feel bound by their old life if there wasn't some rule (written or unwritten) that they must start a new one. In that sense, the taboo seems not at all like homosexuality, and in many cases the closest analogue I can think of is something like incest taboos, which are not a complete analogy but have some factors in common -- the taboo being there partly to help people form their own life apart from their past, the way past royalty (pharaohs and the like) would maintain power through a close network of veru close marriages, and so on. Aspects of the Trill have often seemed to stand in for old family connections and relationships. It is not literally true at all in that, although Jadzia is related to Torias and Lenara to Nilani, Jadzia and Lenara are not related to *each other*. It's a really imperfect analogy, but what I want to stress is that the Trill reassociation taboo seems pretty far afield of homosexuality taboos and is a little closer to other ones that are even stronger.

That said, the episode's portrayal of the taboo is sort of weird all the way through. Reassociation is not illegal, says Julian, and is "more of a taboo," but it's a legal action that can get you exiled from the planet? The whole idea that exile would permanently end the possibility of being rejoined after this is also obviously silly; someone above pointed out that it's a big bluff, and, yes, obviously it is. When symbionts are such a hot property that people like Verad are willing to take over a station and kill someone to get joined, I don't really believe that not being on the homeworld and having the Symbiosis Commission's stamp of disapprovl will really end the possibility of joining...although I suppose that is maybe why the SC invented that "only a tiny proportion of people can be joined" line in Equilibrium. People all act as if Dax and Kahn even talking is the equivalent of (to quote the epically awful "The Room") sitting on an atom bomb waiting for it to go off!!! This does not really resemble most RL taboos, where it is generally assume that most people who are "not supposed to" work together can talk to each other in a normal manner without declaring their undying love for each other; in communities where homosexuality is discouraged, for example, people can still talk to members of the same gender because the presumption is that they *won't* fall in love. Given that Dax and Kahn have, it seems, not "reassociated" before, I am not sure why their interactions are treated with such intense concern from all parties, unless it is usuall proper for former marrieds never to interact at all. I guess maybe the analogy here is, say, some cultures where men and women are segregated unless they are married. Meanwhile, of course, there is the fact that Jadzia has no problem carrying over her best friend and her obligations to her dead godchild from her Curzon days, which itself seems weirdly against the grain of the fundamental reassociation issue; I get why best friends (and non-Trills) are different from lovers, but I would have appreciated talking about this more directly.

I guess the closest analogy to the emotional story, in terms of Dax and Kahn and the reactions of those around them, is to re*marriage*; Dax and Kahn were married when they were much younger, and it ended abruptly and painfully. Those who know them do not want to go down that road, and are afraid that at any point they will, like many sets of exes, start fighting or loving at any moment, and it is the job of all their friends to prevent them from falling back into the destructive marriage. Of course, this marriaged ended not because of fundamental problems in the marriage -- though there is something of that, in Torias' willingness to take the risks he did -- but because of a shuttle crash.

OK, OK, so with all that in mind: putting aside the (failed) analogy to homosexuality taboos, how does the episode measure up? And, well, it's okay. Because reassociation taboos seem like something I can understand, the conflict between whether to give into their old feelings or not has a certain edge, and we are maybe meant to ask if Jadzia really is being selfish and short-sighted rather than individualistic and seeking authentic connection to the self. I think that Susanna Thompson -- best known for playing Queens Borg in Voyager and Moira in Arrow -- is fantastic, as usual, and Farrell is...okay but kind of unconvincing, as usual. I think that this is much more successful than typical Trek one-off romances (example including, uh, Meridian) and builds the sense of connection between these two people gently and effectively; I like Jadzia roping Bashir in to chaperone and that whole scene, for example. The episode sits somewhat uncomfortably among other Dax shows; I don't mind inter-episode continuity problems *that* much if they are minor things, but Dax saying that she never let past hosts get in the way of her duty before is quite the laugh line (Dax, Blood Oath, Equilibrium -- admittedly she had good moral reason for Dax and was not consciously responsible for Equilibrium), and as has been pointed out, Dax's frequent willingness to throw her life away for causes (Dax, Blood Oath) or to leave everyone she cares about for six decades (Meridian), along with her general seeming lack of affection for Trill itelf, kind of makes the sacrifice she was willing to make here feel pretty hollow...which along with the performances does make me feel oddly much more moved by Lenara than Jadzia. At first I wondered why adzia was so certain that *this* was the past-life romance that she wanted to devote the rest of her life to, and not one of the other marriages, but then it occurred to me that not only did this marriage end very early, but it was also the last marriage, and perhaps even last serious relationship, that Dax has been in; one could even interpret Curzon's (and possibly Jadzia's -- hard to say for sure) promiscuity as a reaction to lingering feelings of regret and an inability to move on from that particular marriage, and I doubt Joran had enough time to start his own family or whatever. The whole concept of being caught up in the emotional undertow of a past life cut short is haunting and effective, and at its best the episode evokes that very touching and romantic idea.

I know that the tech plot is just a backdrop against which to place the rest of the episode, and no different in that respect from something like the soliton wave thing or whatever it was in "New Ground," for example. And...it was okay at times, and that plot is what led to Worf's great line about Klingon dreams. Still, I could not get over the continuing "tensor matrix" line (...that means nothing, guys). And I am not sure why this wormhole thing had to be done on the Defiant, besides for plot reasons; I initially assumed it was because Kahn's team wanted to do some study on the actual stable wormhole to make comparisons or something, hence their need to do it here, but then they never did that and just forgot about it. And why was Eddington in charge of engineering anyway? I also think there was at least one minute of straight technobabble with no let-up, which is bad even by Trek standards.

SPOILER NOTE: The last scene of Jadzia looking sadly as Lenara leaves does get reflected/paid off in the finale, with Ezri and Worf -- which may or may not have been intentional but is a nice touch, both to acknowledge the similarities of the situations and, given Ezri's less-devastated face, the hint of a greater maturity about past relationships and character growth for Dax as a whole.

I make it sound like I don't like this episode, but I actually do. I feel a little like the Dax of it, the central issue, does not quite live up to what it should be, and that the material surrounding the taboo is not fully developed enough, and leads to some weird contradictory effects. I will say 2.5 stars.
Robert
Wed, Oct 28, 2015, 8:29am (UTC -5)
@William B - For what it's worth I actually don't think this episode was meant to be an allegory at all. I think it's just a Trill story.

Don't get me wrong, I think it's intentionally paying homage to the TOS episode where Kirk kisses Uhura, but that was not a story or allegory for interracial relationships either.

There are pieces in there that have a message... sure. It's quite intentional that NOBODY mentions if Jadzia is weirded out by falling for a woman. The total acceptance of that and it's lack of mention in the script is a credit.

Another piece that has a message is that we're meant to see someone we care about (Jadzia) be denied her love because of a societal taboo. That part is obviously meant to have parallels to homosexuality. How could it not?

That said, although the punishment is kind of stupid the "rule of thumb" that you shouldn't just keep remarrying your past host's spouse makes a lot of sense. Which is why I don't think it's allegory. I think it's just a Trill story with a nod towards modern issues, not parallels, but a nod. It's just not trying to do what the Outcast was.
William B
Wed, Oct 28, 2015, 9:06am (UTC -5)
@Robert, yeah, I'm...a little torn on how much I think this was intended to be an allegory. It is not quite "The Outcast," but I can't help but think that this was the message, especially with the exposition/theme-heavy Kira-Bashir scene at the beginning with the how could someone be denied their right to love someone else dialogue. That said, while I talked about it for a while I just wanted to clear why I thought this does not make a good analogy for gay love, which I do think was at least somewhat in the episode's makeup. For the most part I think the episode mostly-but-not-quite succeeds on its own merits. I liked it okay -- I could maybe go to 3, depending on the day -- but I think it has some systematic flaws that get more and more common with increasing Trill/Dax stories. I'm not sure whether it's a relief or not that the show largely moves away from Trill-centric stories for a while (until s7), because I think the Trill are a great idea and has led to some good stories ("The Host," "Dax," "Blood Oath"), but their various social structures seem pretty contradictory to me.
William B
Wed, Oct 28, 2015, 9:19am (UTC -5)
OK, here is what I don't think I fully got across in my earlier comment:

The bottom line is I don't actually believe Jadzia's willingness to give up "everything" for this relationship. Or, to some extent I do, because Jadzia has on several occasions gone off on some past-host mission (Dax, Blood Oath) or left her post for love (Meridian), but those incidents mostly make Jadzia's willingness to sacrifice Dax-the-symbiont's future seem selfish. The episode does suggest the possibility that Jadzia and Lenara could have a better marriage than Torias and Nilani did -- with the comment about how they have much more in common with each other than they did when they were married -- and that is a strong idea, which I would have liked to be explored more. But anyway, "Meridian" aside, Jadzia should not be throwing Dax's future away for someone she just met. So the whole reason Jadzia is willing to throw the future of her symbiont away is...because her symbiont brought the memories of marriage to Kahn with her. There is an interesting contradiction there. But ultimately with "Meridian," Jadzia seemed able to fall in love again (and quickly), and the idea that she falls so hard for Lenara so quickly only makes sense if Jadzia is a teenager (nope) or if she's been essentially pining for Kahn deep down all this time...which, well, maybe, but she has been able to fall for other people, to the point of being willing to ditch everyone she knows for six decades. Ignoring "Meridian" helps a bit, but not completely. And we're coming up on (SPOILER) Worf/Dax, and her ability to form a new longterm relationship.

I don't have trouble believing that Jadzia and Nilani fall for each other again to some degree, but I do have trouble with the relative ease with which Jadzia makes her decision to cut off the future of the symbiont because of...a desire to recreate the symbiont's past. I guess it's tricky, because I have argued it's in character, so what is my problem? I guess it comes down to something like: to the extent it is in character, it is representative of the flighty and mercurial nature of the character, which undermines the melodrama and the tragedy (she'll get over it soon). This is an episode that maybe could have benefited from a really extended timeframe, because if there was a sense of months passing I could maybe see Jadzia making the decision more strongly, but, as is...not really, except insofar as she is too flighty to be that invested in what she is willing to give up. Now, the episode somewhat acknowledges this; Lenara suggests that Jadzia's willingness to sacrifice comes from a Curzon-style recklessness and disregard for consequences, which is a great moment. And that being in the episode helps me a lot. Still, I feel like Lenara acts like an adult and Jadzia like something of a child in this situation. She has had multiple marriages over the years, has cut off entire families and never heard from them. I get that there is unfinished business with Kahn, and I get how love springs up, but she seems almost non-conflicted when she makes the call to leave Trill society behind at the episode's end. It all means that Dax's characterization does not fully work for me (parts of it do) and blunts the impact of the tragedy -- though I think Lenara is pretty dead-on for a one-off character.
William B
Wed, Oct 28, 2015, 9:23am (UTC -5)
To put it another way: how does Dax make sure she is following Jadzia Dax's heart, and not simply repeating Torias Dax's patterns? I don't know, and there does not have to be an answer, but I feel like there is something missing in Jadzia's soul-searching in this episode that I would need to be happier with the final result. I still like much of it though.
William B
Wed, Oct 28, 2015, 9:28am (UTC -5)
The last two comments of mine weren't in response to Robert, just more thoughts on this episode :)
Robert
Wed, Oct 28, 2015, 11:34am (UTC -5)
@William - I think I agree. Allegory or not the episode had flaws holding it back from 4 stars. Which is a shame because Dax and Khan are so good together in a rare example of a believable "Trek Hour Romance". I'd give it 3 stars. Dax's decision to cut off the symbiont's future bothered me and I wish the episode had made it all lower stakes so that it could be more about taboo and less about punishment.
Andrew
Sat, Oct 31, 2015, 9:22am (UTC -5)
I thought this episode wasn't as good as "The Outcast" even though I give them both 3 stars (this one very much barely). The main problem was that neither Dax nor Kahn seemed to ever care about the symbiont being punished, despite Dax once claiming that she does, and Kahn especially didn't seem to care about the consequences or be fearful until the end. I also hated the line near the end that declared that Kahn couldn't and wouldn't return later, that this must be a one-time thing. The acting, themes and ending were still pretty affecting.
JMT
Mon, Nov 2, 2015, 11:06am (UTC -5)
Theme of the episode aside, the problem is that Farrel simply doesn't have the chops to play her role. Jadzia's falling in love with Lenara rings every bit as false as her desire to fulfill her blood oath. On the plus side, I think Brook's performance has gotten a lot better.

I'm not a fan of the over the top melodrama writing either. In this episode as well as in "The Visitor" the dialogue was way too saccharine. The concepts are fine, but the writer's ham-handed attempts at emotional manipulation pull me out of the story.
Diamond Dave
Sat, Dec 19, 2015, 10:58am (UTC -5)
I suppose that it was always inevitable there was going to be a furore about this episode, although it is sad to see those same arguments carrying on in comments written here 20 years later.

But what's interesting about this one is that it's not really trying to be a message episode - the gender of the characters is secondary to the love story. Of course it would be obtuse to argue that there aren't parallels to our time - but those are angles we bring to the story, not those that the story inflicts on us.

That said, the story is not in itself entirely successful. The contrived nature of the set-up and the slightly melodramatic development almost try too hard. But it's very nicely played and offers something fresh to say. 3 stars.
Luke
Wed, Mar 30, 2016, 2:25am (UTC -5)
"I know there are going to be people out there who are going to be watching "Rejoined," and when the moment comes when they see two female characters kissing on the screen, they're going to immediately label the show as preachy, liberal, politically correct dogma that sides with homosexual tolerance. If they don't, they'll probably say the show is trying to stir controversy in a cry for attention.

The episode really does neither of the above."

Sorry, Jammer. But if you're going to include a female-on-female kiss in the show, especially more than twenty years ago (1995), then there's definitely an element of homosexual tolerance being presented. I don't see how anybody can think otherwise. Not that I have a problem with it. I think "Rejoined" does a great job of presenting that allegory. In fact, it's the best part of the episode. More on that in a minute.

But first, this episode has its fair share of problems. Most important of which is the fact that this is simply not a very convincing love story. Supposedly we're to believe that these two people, Dax and Khan, are having trouble accepting whether or not to break the Trill taboo about re-association. The problem is - I couldn't fucking tell! They might as well of locked lips and started sucking on each others' tonsils the very moment they meet at DS9's airlock. If they're supposed to be reluctant about the situation, don't have Dax dismiss Sisko's offer of leave out of hand, don't have Dax invite Khan to dinner, don't have them exchanging gifts, don't have them literally holding hands and caressing each others' faces, etc. These two women act like love-sick, hormone riddled teenagers almost from the instant they lay eyes on each other. They even go so far as to overtly (and openly) flirt with each other on the Defiant's bridge in full view of everyone! Does this really strike anybody as two people struggling to control themselves?! They only start to take the taboo in any way seriously once they realize people are getting suspicious or outright confronting them on the issue. And then they both, but especially Dax, act like "oh geez, where did this come from?". Well, maybe it came from the fact that they do everything short of literally stripping naked and jumping each others' bones on the Promenade for all the world to see. Maybe I'm letting my preexisting bias against Dax cloud my judgment here, but I don't think so. If I, as a member of the audience, am supposed to take this taboo seriously, a little resistant on Dax's and Khan's parts would have really, really helped. And once they do learn that they've crossed a rather important line, what is Dax's response? To basically just say "to hell with it!"!

Second problem - another Trill centered episode and what is it about, ultimately? If you guessed "the joining," then you've obviously been paying attention. This well is really starting to run dry, if it hasn't already. Even the other two Trill in the episode (Khan's brother and co-worker - who I'm assuming are unjoined since the episode gives me no information to contradict that) are almost exclusively focused on the fates of the Dax and Khan Symbionts! You know, for all the flake, some justly deserved, that Season Seven's "Prodigal Daughter" receives, I'm probably going to end up liking it more than I remember once I get to it in this re-watch for the simply fact that Ezri's family are actually unjoined Trills who aren't neurotically obsessed with the Symbionts. In fact, they actually don't seem to give a damn about the joining one way or another!

Third problem - how many times (oh, how many!) have we had it literally drilled into our heads that Jadzia is not Curzon and that each new Trill host is a separate, unique being? Wasn't that the entire point of "Deep Space Nine's" very first Trill-centric episode, "Dax"? Well, apparently that only holds true when either Jadzia or the writers want it to. This is, after all, a woman who allowed Curzon's Klingon blood oath to control her actions and then went on a cold-blooded murder spree as a result. And now, she's more than happy to let Torias Dax's life control her. What is all this talk about "I've missed you"? Or "she was my wife"? Or "all this time we've shared"? That was Torias and Nelani, not Jadzia and Lenara! It really takes me out of the supposed "love story" when both hosts are allowing past lives to utterly control them, especially when we've been told countless times that joined Trill don't do that.

At this point you probably think that I hated "Rejoined". Well, no, I actually didn't. It is a deeply flawed episode/story but, despite all those problems, I do actually think that it's a slightly above-average episode. That is almost singularly due to the way which it handles its allegory of homosexual tolerance. This episode is significantly (hell, infinitely) better in this department than TNG: "The Outcast" ever was, or could ever have hoped to be. First off, it's actually subtle about the message. "The Outcast" got out the Trusty Trek Two-by-Four of Tolerance (TM, patent pending by Luke) and beat us over the head with it. "Rejoined" doesn't do that. It allows the audience to think for themselves and see the message that the episode is trying to get across. The fact that these are two women in a potential relationship doesn't even register on any other character's radar screen - not even Quark's. That means that in the Star Trek universe, homosexuality is so tolerated and accepted that it's a complete non-issue. Bravo on that! Very nicely done! Second, they actually had the guts to make this a genuine same-sex relationship. Whereas "The Outcast" was a story about a man and a gender-less person (oh so conveniently played by a woman), "Rejoined" is actually about two female characters played by two women. Again, nicely done!

In my review of "The Outcast" I said that I couldn't dislike the episode too much since its heart was clearly in the right place and I have to say the same thing about "Rejoined". Even with it's flaws, it's a better episode than "The Outcast"; so I can't justify giving it a lower (or even similar) score. So, since I gave TNG's homosexual tolerance episode a 5/10, this one gets a 6/10.

Okay, finally I just have to get this off my chest.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvrI3wy_TGk I'm sorry. :-P

6/10
dave
Tue, Sep 13, 2016, 10:42pm (UTC -5)
Ah, I remember back then when it first aired how big of a deal this "lesbian kiss" was. It was reported all over without context of the story; just the "outrage" that 2 women were kissing on television.

Now you can have women kissing on Saturday afternoon TV and only the ultra religious would even worry about it. How times have changed.

And I remember watching this episode, and realizing in context, it was never about "two women kissing". it was two beings lifetimes apart coming together and sharing those memories. Looking back, it is quite disappointing how sensationalized it got when really it had almost nothing to do with the episode.
Peter G.
Tue, Sep 13, 2016, 11:12pm (UTC -5)
"Looking back, it is quite disappointing how sensationalized it got when really it had almost nothing to do with the episode."

Not that Gene was directly involved with DS9 S4, but the same thing was done here as was done in "Plato's Stepchildren": an on-screen kiss that would shake society was placed into an episode where in context it meant nothing to do with what people would take it to mean. In the case of the Kirk/Uhura kiss they were being physically coerced by aliens, and in the case of Dax/Kahn (heh, yeah, she gets to kiss Kahn) it's two lifeforms who are reliving something from past lives in other bodies. The first wasn't 'about' an interracial relationship, and the second wasn't 'about' a lesbian relationship. And yet the physical event of each kiss was sensationalized, even while the episode itself make it clear that no cause is being lobbied for. It's quite the opposite of a show where something is introduced in order to make a splash; here the kiss was designed not to make a splash, knowing all too well it would make one anyhow. And so the episode deliberately and preemptively chastens the inevitable public reaction to something that properly should pass quietly.

I wouldn't say the sensationalism disappoints me; rather it amuses me, because the episode called it in advance and knew that no matter *what* the context of such a kiss it wouldn't matter - people would make a big deal about it, which is really the whole point. It only shows that people are not as advanced yet as they think they are.
Lt. Yarko
Thu, Mar 23, 2017, 2:29am (UTC -5)
I have a lot of the same nitpicks that others have already mentioned. However, my biggest problem with this episode is Dax's seeming immaturity. You'd think that after seven lives lived a symbiote/Trill combination would be able to handle this situation more maturely. I was irritated every time Jadzia would look lovingly into the other woman's eyes during the science experiment. I just felt like they didn't act like adults. I kept wanting to scream, "Stop staring at each other and get to work!" They kept acting like love-struck teenagers. No, they acted even worse than love-struck teenagers. This really got in the way of my enjoyment of the episode.
Peter
Fri, May 26, 2017, 4:53pm (UTC -5)
Interesting and fairly nicely written episode. And what's with that artificial wormhole's fiery color (Contrary to the Bajoran's blue)? On a more personal note: I find that to me, it feels that as I get older the more "past" I'm dragging around with me. Sometimes I get lost in thought about the pleasant and less such things I remember. Which be can be draining and distracting.

Also: I'm slowly getting over my inclination to feel as though people (e.g. episode writers) would consider me dense. Or to think that other's might be such, for that matter. At least I hope, :-)
Jasper
Wed, Jan 3, 2018, 4:27pm (UTC -5)
I liked this episode. This relationship would qualify for a 'It's difficult' status. I agree that the premise is silly. Why can she see a friend from a past life, killing the trill for this through exile is way too harsh and inconsistent with what we know of the Trolls, etc. But I still liked the episode. Until Dax started crying. That was some bad acting. Killed it. Two stars.
Sleeper Agent
Thu, Jan 11, 2018, 2:20pm (UTC -5)
For the first time ever I was turned on and crying at the same time.
3.5/4
langtonian
Sat, Mar 3, 2018, 12:39am (UTC -5)
I have to say that I'm not having the positive feelings a lot of people here are having for this episode. For me, it smacks too much of the predictable, mid-'90s "Lesbian Kiss Episode" not to be a cynical ratings grab. Let's leave aside the fact that this rule against revisiting past relationships makes no sense at all, even if the punishment was not grossly disproportionate. So nobody has any problem with homosexual relationships in the 24th century. Fair enough. So why do we never see any, then? Did the "gay gene" die out, or something?

It's another example of how Star Trek is never quite as "progressive" as it wants to think. It's just like the race issue. So there is no racism in the 24th century? Well, I would hope not. So why is it that (correct me if I'm wrong) we only see the one, single, sole relationship between people of different skin colours, namely that between O'Brien and Keiko? That the only time we see a white actor and a black actor kiss, while playing members of the same species, is when they are under alien mind control? That a character is more likely by far to end up with an alien than with someone of the same species but a different skin colour?

Nice try, but this one's a miss for me.
DLPB
Wed, Mar 7, 2018, 1:23am (UTC -5)
Now you can have women kissing on Saturday afternoon TV and only the ultra religious would even worry about it. How times have changed.
----------

And the fun doesn't stop there, of course. Currently, the left is pushing for acceptance of paedophiles, the "mentally ill" that cause heinous crimes, while also sympathizing with terrorists. The new fads.

The "progressive" movement was never anything to do with true equality or championing the downtrodden; it was everything to do with self-hate and seeking out offence. We're poorer for it. Race relations under Obama, for example, are the worst in the last 50 years.

That's what the liberal left do. Wreck everything. All under the guise of goodness. I'm just glad that Hillary's attempt at using her gender to win the presidency backfired. In the dumbo '90s, she'd have succeeded. But we're moving away from this dogshit. Slowly but surely.
Trent
Wed, Mar 7, 2018, 7:43am (UTC -5)
Paedophiles aren't people! Terrorists are monsters without a cause! Who cares what causes murder and mental illness? Deport all muslims! Kill them all! Obama made everyone hate each other! Liberals ruin culture! Liberals pervert society! Things were better when Jesus was white, women knew their place and TV didn't have lesbian kisses! Might makes right! Humans are tribal, violent brutes! Pull yourself up by the bootstraps, snowflake! Raping is okay because our caveman ancestors did it too! My rediculous understanding of history, politics and socioeconomics make lots of sense!
DLPB
Wed, Mar 7, 2018, 10:04am (UTC -5)
^This is what I am talking about. Liberal mental illness.
Chrome
Wed, Mar 7, 2018, 11:52am (UTC -5)
Guys please, if you're going to have political discussions, try to keep them on topic. Yes, two girls kissed in this episode. This was also a really boring episode that needed that kiss to make it at all memorable. Let's put that into perspective.
Bertie
Fri, Apr 6, 2018, 11:13pm (UTC -5)
DLPB: All of your comments on the various episodes make you come across as a condescending, slightly unhinged, bore. Yet it wasn’t until your comments on this episode that I realised you are an ignorant bigoted bastard as well. Try and think about how other people might feel or think or live before spouting such horrendous tripe. If your first instinct to an unknown group or group you don’t understand isn’t compassion you’re a sociopath. I pity you for the relationships with great people you will never have, all because of your prejudices. WHY are you watching Trek? It’s core values seem incongruous with yours!
Dave in MN
Fri, Apr 6, 2018, 11:50pm (UTC -5)
For what it's worth, I'm a gay person and I voted mostly Republican the last election. (Don't hate please) but I even went to a Trump rally with a home made sign. No one there made me feel unwelcome or disparaged, quite the opposite. I got lots of high fives and people wanting to hear my perspective.

In fact, you- know-who mentioned seeing my sign during his speech and I got extended applause from thousands of people!

I only mention this personal experience because I do feel people like DLPB are rapidly becoming a fringe element in society and politics .... and while I admit it is easy to tar all conservatives with a "DLPB brush", I also think that's unfair to do so.
Eli
Wed, May 2, 2018, 7:45pm (UTC -5)
I agree with those who praised the episode. It was a dazzling love story. The acting was sincere and the writing was convincing. The writers skillfully employ the science fiction genre to enhance the overarching social taboo theme. It's a story with broad application. Well done.
Rahul
Thu, May 31, 2018, 8:03pm (UTC -5)
At times, I found it hard to believe that this was DS9 that I was watching. Overall I found "Rejoined" mostly boring and probably what you'd find in some kind of lesbian romance novel (I'm guessing). No issues with the kiss as it seemed like a natural development between Dax and Kahn as their love grew -- sure it was thrown in to stir up some hype/controversy, but it wasn't gratuitous. It seemed more appropriate here than the kiss between the 2 gay doctors on DSC.

And while I find Farrell the weakest actor on DS9, she does a reasonably good job here while the guest actor for Kahn also acts well. But as far as love/romance stories go, it does not measure up at all with the best in Trek canon ("The City on the Edge of Forever" or "Metamorphosis" etc.) This episode is purely about the relationship and lacks anything tied to it.

The big detractor in the episode for me is the Trill BS. Ridiculous that Jadzia Dax and Kahn aren't supposed to get together, re-association, exile from Trill society -- who gives a shit?? It's all meant to represent the forbidden romance, or taboo romance -- and we get that about Dax/Kahn but realizing that it's only Trill taboos in the background make it hard to care. Not like Dax/Kahn are truly lesbians.

I did like yet another solid example of Sisko/Dax's true friendship -- for once Avery Brooks' huffing/puffing style of delivery worked.

The ending fell flat -- Kahn leaves, Jadzia observes from a distance...didn't have the emotional impact that it should. But it was also very predictable as Kahn wasn't going to be a recurring character. Not sure what the rescue scene accomplished either since Jadzia was already head over heels in love but Kahn still has her head screwed on right and ultimately doesn't jeopardize Trill society rules by calling off the relationship.

2 stars for "Rejoined" -- will give DS9 credit for trying to do something very different, although using Trills to do it wasn't the right choice for me. Not much of a plot here other than a building romance which ultimately can't last. Some good performances here from Farrell, Brooks and the actress playing Kahn but it was largely contrived and couldn't hold my interest.
Debra Petersen
Fri, Jun 29, 2018, 10:34pm (UTC -5)
Definitely a strong episode, but I do question Jadzia's apparent willingness to reject her responsibility to the Dax symbiont. Oh there's no question her feelings for Lenara would cause her a great deal of conflict. But if she should pursue her desire to stay with Lenara, that means her action would be directly responsible for the death of Dax. How could she deal with that? And Sisko...when Jadzia comes to him for some "friendly" advice he starts putting it to her pretty strongly about that responsibility. But he winds up going back on that and giving in to the "feelings above all" argument. So why is this aspect of the situation dismissed that way?
Jordy
Wed, Aug 15, 2018, 5:00pm (UTC -5)
Many of the comments here are criticizing 'Jadzia' for jeopardizing 'Dax's' future, as though the two are functioning separately and Jadzia is making decisions over Dax's head (figuratively speaking).

But that's not how joined Trill operate. It's Jadzia Dax, a combined being, who decided to accept the consequences of reassociation. Dax the symbiont was as much the maker of that decision as Jadzia the host.
Iceman
Sun, Aug 19, 2018, 6:09pm (UTC -5)
The central romance in "Rejoined" works really well. Unlike the couple in "Indiscretion", it feels believable and genuine. It's by far the best part of the episode, which is otherwise a bit rough around the edges. Every time it cut back to the sci-fi nonsense, I found myself wishing it would get back to the romance between Dax and Kahn.

3 stars.
CaptainBaggins
Sun, Sep 2, 2018, 2:50pm (UTC -5)
I find it hilarious that this DPLB wanker watched hundreds of hours of Star Trek and completely missed the point. What enjoyment did he even get out of it?
Elliott
Fri, Nov 9, 2018, 10:35am (UTC -5)
Teaser : **.5, 5%

We begin with Dax producing an egg in her mouth while Quark and Julian gawk at her. Lesbian porn joke...we're walking...it turns out Tobin Dax was a magician, so for no particular reason, Jadzia is showing off her skills. Overall this whole scene has major Season 1 DBI vibes and I'm not enjoying it. Sisko calls her to his office to give her some Serious News. Some Trill scientists are coming to the station to try and make artificial wormholes and Sisko is letting them use the Defiant. Can the Defiant do anything besides shoot things? The lead scientist is named KAAAAHHHNN, someone Dax recognises. Well, whoever she is, Sisko thinks it might be a good idea for Jadzia to take holiday for the time being. Kahn is someone from Dax' past life, and Jadzia recognises that Ben was trying to give the old man an easy out (that's just kind of Sisko's thing). She thanks him. The Trills arrive and we learn that Kahn used to be Dax' wife.

Act 1 : ***.5, 17%

Quark, the resident Conservative Values Man, is trying to wrap his head around this whole Trill thing, which strikes me as kind of lazy. Quark was already inhabited by one of Dax' female hosts. Why is figuring out this issue so complicated?

Alright. No use postponing it. When I was seven years old and saw this episode broadcast, hearing Lenara Kahn referred to as Jadzia's ex-wife sent shivers down my spine. As a little closeted boy, the casualness with which the cast used the term “wife” to describe a relationship between two women was astonishing, even bracing. For those who claim that this issue has nothing to do with gay representation on Trek, you're nuts. Go re-watch “The Host”; like any good Trek concept, what we see on the screen is a sci-fi analogue for something in our world. The symbionts have no gender and apparently, this means that Trill hosts are all bisexual or pansexual. I find this fascinating.

KIRA: One thing I don't understand is why Dax and Lenara can't just pick up where they left off. I mean, if they're still in love with each other.
BASHIR: Ah, now there's the rub. Even if they do harbour feelings for each other, it's strictly against the rules of Trill society for them to acknowledge it in any way.
KIRA: Rules?
BASHIR: Well, it's more of a taboo, really. Having a relationship with a lover from a past life is called re-association, and the Trill feel very strongly that it's unnatural.
KIRA: Unnatural? How can it be unnatural for a married couple to resume their marriage?
BASHIR: Well, the whole point of joining is for the symbiont to accumulate experiences from the span of many lifetimes. In order to move on from host to host, the symbiont has to learn to let go of the past, let go of parents, siblings, children, even spouses.

You can easily swap this out for a contemporary discussion of same-sex marriage:

“Well, the whole point of [marriage] is for the [humans to make babies and raise families]. In order to [keep society healthy], [gay people need to accept that marriage is meant to be between one man and one woman].”

What makes this concept so compelling is that, in-Universe, Bashir (the Trill taboo) makes sense on the surface. The point of joining is XYZ, so we frown upon behaviour that subverts these expectations. Except of course, in the end, Trill society is curtailing human(oid) rights by imposing this restriction, whether legal or social. Consenting adults have autonomy and choice. If two joined Trill feel the need/desire to re-associate [if two people of the same sex feel the need/desire to marry], then denying them that option is a violation of their rights.

But, I'm getting ahead of myself. There are severe consequences to re-association; hosts are exiled, meaning the symbionts die when the hosts die. This strikes me as exactly the kind of backward-headed conservative nonsense that permeates our own heteronormative laws and taboos. Timmy is depressed because he feels attracted to other boys? Well then, we should definitely encourage the idea that there's something fundamentally wrong with him! Then he might become suicidal! Problem solved. Likewise with the Trill; no two people are going to be in love to such a degree that they will NEVER want to end their relationship, after several lifetimes. If Kahn and Dax got back together in these iterations, they would eventually grow tired of each other. That's human(oid) nature. Part of what's at play here is the fact that their marriage was tragically cut short by Torias' accident.

A formal reception for the Trill is held in the wardroom. This gives Worf the opportunity give one of his classic lines:

KIRA: What do Klingons dream about?
WORF: Things that would send cold chills down your spine and wake you in the middle of the night. It is better you do not know. Excuse me.

Hysterical. Well eventually, Kahn and Dax note that their totally non-flirtatious flirtation is the party spectacle (been there). I haven't seen Dax have this much chemistry with anyone so far on DS9, so kudos for casting Susanna Thompson.

Act 2 : ***, 17%

Kahn's very attractive brother briefs the Defiant crew on the tech tech specs...eventually Dax and Kahn are left alone on the bridge encountering tech issues. They rather quickly start manifesting familiar habits from their past selves. Jadzia feels compelled to apologise for Torias' bullheaded decision that led to his accident. And eventually, to invite her a threesome with Bashir (ahem)...for dinner.

We pick up at dinner where Bashir is bored to tears playing chaperone to these two beautiful women on their date. Eventually, Bashir allows himself to be called away for a medical problem. What emerges in this scene is summed up by:

DAX: The irony is, you and I have more in common than Torias and Nilani ever did.
...
LENARA: It's really good to see you again, Dax. That sounds so strange. I mean, I'm looking at a different face, hearing a different voice, but somehow it's still you.

The two hold hands, but their stolen moment is overseen by Dr Pren.

Act 3 : ****, 17%

On the Defiant, people are sciencing their science. Quietly, Pren tells Kahn's brother about his concerns. Their test ends up being a great success, but Jadzia's open affection for Lenara raises several eyebrows.

Well, Kahn and her brother have lunch and talk tech tech. She mentions that Dax popped by her quarters last night leading to MORE raised eyebrows. Considering we don't know either of these characters, it's remarkable how quickly their dialogue and performances flesh out their relationship, creating a suitably substantial counterweight to the Dax/Sisko dynamic. Kahn assures her brother that he has nothing to worry over, rather unconvincingly.

Dax is doing sit-ups or yoga or something. Lenara lets herself into her quarters to vent about her conversation. As with Penny Johnson and Avery Brooks, Thompson's wonderfully layered performance seems to bring out the best in Terry Ferrel's acting. The two finally break down and admit the obvious—neither of them has gotten over the other, and this leads to a surprisingly natural kiss before Kahn leaves in tears. Jadzia falls back, overwhelmed with emotion.

Act 4 : ***.5, 17%

So, we get the inverse conversation on the other side of the kiss. Dax confesses everything to Ben in his office.

SISKO: What do you want to do?
DAX: Throw myself at her. Profess my undying love and my complete disregard for Trill society.

Brooks gives an exemplary performance as the informed counsel, expressing his compassion for his friend, his empathy for her pain, and his understanding of her dilemma all while sticking hard to the tough love Dax needs at this moment. And he does it all without screaming or strangling anybody! Remarkable. This line

SISKO: But if you're sure, if this is what you really want, I will back you all the way.

put a tear in my eye in a way “The Visitor” didn't manage. There are real stakes here, and the relationship under examination has earned this degree of pathos.

We return to the Defiant, where they begin the followup experiment. This seem fine at first, but then there's an accident leading to massive damage to the ship. The Engine Room in particular is heavily damaged—and just happens to be where Dr Kahn is. Without hesitation, Dax storms down there to rescue the survivors. This has shades of “Lessons” to it, another very successful Trek romance story. Dax and the crew discover a massive plasma fire ('cuz it's green, ya know) cutting Kahn off from escape. Dax tech techs a force field and *walks* over it, which is a surprisingly effective bit of sci-fi tech weirdness. Kahn is rescued and Eddington vents the compartment to put out the inferno. This harrowing experience seems to seal the bond between Dax and Kahn as the two mutter “never again” to each other.

Act 5 : ***, 17%

We pick up in Lenara's quarters where the brother seems in on the secret and begrudgingly approves, much like Sisko, of his sister's dangerous liaison. He leaves them alone, and they tip-toe around the issue, wrapping up the tech tech plot. Dax finally makes the big move and asks Kahn to remain on DS9, breaking the taboo and condemning the symbionts to death. Kahn isn't quite as convinced as she was in the heat of the moment (no pun intended).

DAX: Ultimately, it comes down to this. If you feel about me the way I feel about you, you won't go on that transport tomorrow. And if you do leave, I think we both know you're never coming back again.

In the end, Lenara simply lacks the courage to be a scientist, a lover and an taboo-breaking martyr all at once. Jadzia watches her board the transport. It's an effective scene, but I wish Ferrel were a touch stronger here in her portrayal of grief.

Episode as Functionary : ***.5, 10%

What I find most compelling about this episode (something it shares with the final moments of “The Host”) is how the analogy for homosexuality is...homosexuality, except filtered through this Trill lens. The analogy *would* have worked even if the new Kahn had been a man, but in actually portraying the relationship between two women, it becomes all the more powerful. This is one place “The Outcast” really dropped the ball; in that story, a society of genderless people was conveyed as stereotypically lesbian, and the “subversive ((gay))” relationship was portrayed by a male actor and a female actor. “Rejoined” is kind of genius. Imagine a TOS episode in which Uruha had a relationship with a white male alien, violating an alien taboo that those aliens could not have sexual relationships with off-worlders. THIS story is pure Star Trek and I love it.

Unlike in some previous Trill episodes, I think the illogic of the taboo is quite intentional here. It doesn't bode well for Trill society, and that is the point. The consequences to hosts who re-associate are contrived because of Trill concern-trolling, which is EXACTLY the way consequences to lgbtq+ people work in our world.

On a character level, this is the best Dax episode to date. While Curzon is mentioned as being a part of Dax' overall rebellious nature, what we are finally seeing is an episode about Jadzia, about her values, her strengths and her vulnerabilities. Curzon would not have re-associated, despite his disposition to give societal norms the middle finger, because in the end, he values the integrity of symbiont lineage. Jadzia values this, too, but not so much as her own right to self-determination. For better or worse, what Jadzia values is *freedom*. Dax is afforded a story where SHE has the agency, she calls the shots and is willing to pay dearly for the consequences. Sisko and Bashir are both utilised well as supporting characters, and the brother and sister team are remarkably well characterised for one-off guest stars. Susanna Thompson's performance is standout.

The only elements that hold this back for me are that I find Brooks' directing a little heavy-handed. I'm often distracted by the camera work which doesn't always capture the heart of the scene but seems to be showing off for its own sake. Oh, and the music is dreadful. Otherwise, I'm quite impressed.

Final Score : ***.5
Chrome
Fri, Nov 9, 2018, 11:40am (UTC -5)
@Elliott

I’m glad you got something out of this episode and I would never want to take that away from you or belittle it. With that said, I don’t think portraying homosexuality on TV is immune to criticism so I’ll add a contrasting thought about its use here.

My skepticism for this episode lies in people who call this episode groundbreaking in terms portraying same gender relationships. In fact, I think there’s a good argument that DS9 was following the leader in a long line of shows in the early to mid-90s trying to cash in on lesbian kissing. There’s an interesting section on the phenomenon on Wikipedia:

https://en.m.wik https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lesbian_kiss_episode ipedia.org/wiki/Lesbian_kiss_episode

The New York Times phrases the issue well;

“[Lesbian Kisses] are eminently visual; cheap, provided the actors are willing; controversial, year in and year out; and elegantly reversible (sweeps lesbians typically vanish or go straight when the week's over), kisses between women are perfect sweeps stunts. They offer something for everyone, from advocacy groups looking for role models to indignation-seeking conservatives, from goggle-eyed male viewers to progressive female ones, from tyrants who demand psychological complexity to plot buffs.”

Not to say I think DS9 was just cashing in on the phenomenon, but it’s worth considering especially because Dax’s relationship with another woman was a one-time deal close to November sweeps. I personally remember the hype of this time well because a year earlier the tv sitcom “Roseanne” beat Star Trek to the punch and grabbed something like 30 million viewers with it.

Furthermore, it’s notable that male-to-male relationships were still very taboo in Trek at this time. You may already know that Frakes had advocated that his partner in “The Outcast” be a man but the studio quashed the idea. Paramount was very jittery about portraying homosexuality, even in Star Trek. It wouldn’t be until Star Trek: Beyond where we’d see a gay couple and Star Trek Discovery where finally a male-to-male kiss occurred.
Peter G.
Fri, Nov 9, 2018, 11:59am (UTC -5)
@ Chrome,

I'm not sure it's fair to condemn the portrayal of it because of Sweeps. Trek is a business, after all, so why shouldn't they try to time important messages in such a way that it gains them viewers at strategic times? That's not cheap, it's just keeping an eye on two things at once.

I agree with you that just having a lesbian kiss isn't meaningful in itself. We can recall that in Plato's Stepchildren the white/black kiss wasn't even an expression of love but was forced by mind control. Whereas here it's clear that they love each other, and that the kiss is an expression of something important. But more relevant than that, the kiss isn't portrayed in a sensational way that's crass or designed to titillate. If it were I'd be more inclined to agree with you. But this one is really not going to excite anyone that much sexually, although you're right that it might upset conservatives.

SPOILERS

But if the kiss had been portrayed in the over-the-top way that the Kira/Odo kiss on the Promenade was, then you'd have my full support on this objection. It would just be an attention grab. The way this episode plays, there's so much to back up the kiss and explain what Dax is going through that even if the timing of the episode's airing was for Sweeps I'd just say more power to them if they can do this *and* gain popularity as a result.
Chrome
Fri, Nov 9, 2018, 12:22pm (UTC -5)
@Peter G.

“I'm not sure it's fair to condemn the portrayal of it because of Sweeps. Trek is a business, after all, so why shouldn't they try to time important messages in such a way that it gains them viewers at strategic times? That's not cheap, it's just keeping an eye on two things at once.”

I’m not condemning Star Trek for successful business planning, but at the same time it’s interesting that Star Trek is not breaking new ground here. Paramount waited until years after L.A. Law had been daring enough to show lesbian kissing in primetime. Instead of trying to be bold on its own here, Trek just took a character (one who could easily be gender-swapped and not change anything in this episode incidentally) and made her female because it was the cool thing to do at the time. That doesn’t sound like careful planning to explore homosexuality, but rather more of a “throw it in” gesture in an episode contextually working to explore a different type of taboo.
Peter G.
Fri, Nov 9, 2018, 12:40pm (UTC -5)
@ Chrome,

"That doesn’t sound like careful planning to explore homosexuality"

Honestly I don't think it was their intention to explore homosexuality. Yes, there is a literal woman-woman kiss happening, so that may be seen as a statement on its own. But the context of the kiss is a story about people for whom it doesn't particularly matter what bodies they happen to have: they want to kiss, and that is enough. It's more an exploration of love than sexuality.
Elliott
Fri, Nov 9, 2018, 12:57pm (UTC -5)
@Chrome and Peter:

I think this episode is a successful allegory for homosexuality. Was it groundbreaking? Did it stick? Was it a ratings ploy? None of that really matters in 2018.

Let's not forget that the producers totally played up lesbian innuendo on numerous occasions for the ratings, so this would be nothing new. Chrome, your point about MM relationships NEVER been shown in any way on 90s Trek (with one, very, very small exception in "The Emperor's New Cloak") is well taken. Like I said, I think the story more than earned its conceits. However, I think that "Chimera" is a superior episode for a number of reasons, not least of which is that the homosexual allegory cannot possibly be construed in terms of audience titillation: I don't think anyone was going to tune in to see JG Hertzler and René Auberjonois go at it.
Chrome
Fri, Nov 9, 2018, 1:01pm (UTC -5)
@Peter G.

Yeah, I agree with you. Just having a woman actress paired as a partner for another woman can potentially be a statement by itself, but the episode is contextually exploring freedom of love in another form.

I actually agree with the rule that keeps Trills apart over lifetimes and think it’s probably a wise rule. It *prevents* hierarchical trill cliques at best and inbreeding at worst. You can contrast this with rules against homosexuality that don’t serve the same function, but rather define relationships for others in order to deny those groups legal rights and benefits.
William B
Fri, Nov 9, 2018, 2:30pm (UTC -5)
@Elliott, I might rewatch this one soon. I really loved it back in the day, and then in my rewatch a few years ago I found it underwhelming.

I think some of my hesitation last time through is that I kinda sorta think that the Trill-joining thing plays out as an aristocracy in other episodes (Invasive Procedures, Equilibrium) and so the taboo against reassociation seems partly like a stopgap against total "interbred" empires, and so while it's still bad to strip individuals of their rights, the argument against reassociation seems really strong in comparison to the specious arguments against homosexuality. I also think that the irony that Jadzia is forging her own path by repeating Torias' is a bit insufficiently developed. That said, the performances are good, Susanna Thompson is stunning in the role and the portrayal of organically arising, genuine love being stifled by customs whose purposes are vague if they exist at all is lovely. And the episode does have the meta kick to it that The Outcast fails at.

I should add, I wrote back in the day that I don't see the taboo being that strong when there is obviously going to be a black market for symbionts. Thinking about it though, given that my Trill theory is that a lot of joining is about social status within Trill's symbiocratic hierarchy, of course there will be significantly lower gains when banned, like being Napoleon on Elba (or Khan Singh on Ceti Alpha V). I think realistically, it's easy to imagine that Dax and Khan would be able to find new hosts, but would live on the outskirts of Trill society forever as a result, even if the symbiont's lifespan would not necessarily *actually* be cut short.

Actually -- and I don't criticize the episode not going into this, because this is getting wildly speculative and Not The Episode's Point -- I think Equilibrium is also helpful in seeing the difference between Dax and Khan's reactions. Dax *knows* that the Symbiosis Commission's party line is bullshit, that there are many more potential hosts, that the Commission basically lies to the populace in order to maintain power. So her willingness to defy the taboo is partly related to a knowledge that the whole social institution in place in Trill society regarding joining ethics is corrupt. Khan doesn't necessarily know that. Now, in practice, Khan decides not to go for it not because she's a True Believer but because she is not enough of a firebrand to accept the huge social cost, but I could imagine the story going in this direction in an interesting way. (Again, not a criticism of the episode, which is already packed.) I could imagine some real world analogues to it, where (say) there is a closeted gay couple who belong to (or are forced to belong to) a religious organization with an anti-gay ideology, and one of the two has already had a disillusionment with the organization and thus is more willing to openly defy them, whereas the other has more or less accepted the organization up to this point and so it's a bigger intellectual leap for them to jump to open defiance.
Peter G.
Fri, Nov 9, 2018, 2:50pm (UTC -5)
Upon reflection, Rejoined probably has more in common with TNG's The Host, which despite being retconned out of existence in other respects, has a very similar contextual story: two "people" are in love, where that relationship seems to not be dependent on which bodies they occupy. The more I think about it the more weird it is, because for this to be a serious topic in its own right we need to be able to understand what a "person" is when divorced from being defined as occupying a particular body. In the episode Dax we seem to have been told that Jadzia Dax is a completely different person from Torias Dax, in which case we might well ask who the heck it is that's continuing a relationship from the past. I guess it's the symbiont itself - Dax is the one carrying on a past relationship? When seen in this light I have to concur that the Trill rule sounds good, and not just for the reasons mentioned already about preventing an entrenched oligarchy: it seems that it's also necessary to prevent symbionts from bypassing the needs of the current host and satisfying its own needs. I know we're told that these needs are entwined and can't be separated...but is that really so? Jadzia certainly has no feelings for Khan, so one of two things is happening: She's mistaking memories of a relationship for a relationship, *or* Dax is continuing its own part of that relationship with the symbiont in Khan. If the former is what's happening maybe there are implications with the new host getting lost in memory vs reality sort of thing, like what Ezri has to deal with; but if it's the latter then the rule might well be there to make sure the symbionts mind their place and don't try to become dominant, just using hosts as vessels to live forever.
Elliott
Fri, Nov 9, 2018, 3:02pm (UTC -5)
Thanks William B and Peter G

I feel I should repeat that, in my view, the party line about the dangers of re-association is totally bogus. Kahn and Dax are not going to live on in host after host as a married couple ad infinitum, thus denying the symbiont the chance to have "new" experiences (although this is also bunk, since, as has been pointed out, each new joining *is* a new experience, so even if Dax and Kahn were together for ever, the symbionts are still gaining new experiences, which is supposed to be the point).

Now, the Trill aristocracy theory is interesting, and I don't dismiss it out of hand, but from what we've seen, the only advantage afforded joined Trill is the experience of joining. There's no economic or political advantage per sae (although, I guess you could argue that all joined Trill must be super geniuses in some capacity--but this is never really depicted on screen). I still think that the matter boils down to choice. If Lenara had met Curzon, you *know* he would have wanted to sleep with her, but he would never have acted on the impulse. Ezri? I can see that going either way. The point being that the idea that granting joined Trill the freedom to re-associate if that's what their hearts and minds tell them they need to do to be happy does not *set the precedent* for all joined Trill. There is no slippery slope. The fear of the slippery slope is exactly why I think the gay analogy holds up so well (people will marry horses and children!).
Iceman
Fri, Nov 9, 2018, 8:29pm (UTC -5)
@Elliott-

Thanks for sharing your experiences. It will probably increase my enjoyment of this episode even more.
11001001
Wed, Nov 21, 2018, 11:55pm (UTC -5)
I did something different and jotted down thoughts *as I was watching the episode*. I also haven't read any of the other comments yet, only Jammer's review. So I guess after submitting them, I'll see how similar they are to the thoughts other people had:

- Why does a Trill science team need to be at *DS9* to run field tests on creating
artificial wormholes? Does being in proximity to a real wormhole help somehow with creating artificial ones? And how is this a good use of the Defiant?

- "I've never let my past lives interfere with my job before, and I'm not about to start now." Honestly, I think the episodes "Blood Oath" and "Playing God" would both beg to differ, Jadzia.

- Why is Sisko trying to get the only person on DS9 who would actually be useful
to this project to take a leave of absence? Giving her head's up that Kahn is coming, sure. But as her CO, shouldn't *he* be the one requiring her to be professional and do her job, rather than giving her an "out"?

- If Trill culture encourages breaking all ties with past lives (a central source of
the conflict in this episode), then why does Lenara Kahn shake hands with Jadzia at the airlock (and with no one else) and say "it's been a long time?" Wouldn't it be more appropriate to say "it's a pleasure to meet you Jadzia? and treat her like the distinct, new individual that she is supposed to be, rather than like someone she already knows?


- This whole conversation between Kira and Bashir in Quarks presupposes that the same symbionts in new hosts would still be likely to be in love with each other. This is at odds with the idea that every new host brings a slightly different personality that combines with that of the symbiont, thus every new Dax is a different person.

- Kira makes it sound like it is always the case that the new joined Trill is *unjustly* being forced away from his/her old loves by a silly taboo, when in reality, there is no guarantee that that new Trill still has the same feelings. I get that the lack of freedom of choice is the underlying issue, but I do see the benefit of encouraging people to let go of past lives so that they aren't bogged down in centuries worth of baggage. What I don't agree with it is this dissociation being _forced_. Which leads to my next point:

- Ugh, the "manufactured jeopardy" of reassociation leading to exile and hence death is so annoying and clumsy. To shoehorn jeopardy into a Dax plot, the writers end up constructing a Trill society that does not have _any_ regard for life. In Equilibrium they were willing to let Jadzia die just to protect their secret that more than half of Trill hosts are suitable for joining. This severe penality for reassociation is just as contrived and illogical as that was.

- Dress uniform scene: "Stop worrying about me Benjamin, I'll be fine!" What's the point of this? The audience knows you won't be fine, else there would be no episode. And who are you really trying to convince? You'd think that someone with 300+ years of experience would know "above all else, to thine own self be true." Jadzia is obviously nervous and emotional *already* at this point. WHY? Sorry for harping on this point, but if we are truly supposed to believe that joined Trill with same symbiont + new host are supposed to be wholly different people, then why is it _already_ seemingly an issue? You don't *know* Lenara yet. And she doesn't know you. She doesn't look the same, talk the same, have the same personality, or the same career, or the same priorities and outlook as Nilani Kahn did. Why are you acting like you're about to be reunited with an old flame? You've been through this 7 times! You know better than to assume it would be at all like a rekindling of your past love. The fact that the episode is going to make it *inevitably* lead to such a rekindling, to the point of foreshadowing it this early, is a flaw in the construction of the episode. As I said before, this is all very contrived.


- Dinner scene: so one conversation between them leads to longing stares across the room? Again, contrived, manufactured, implausible.

- Engine room scene: O'Brien says we will have to do some technobabble rerouting in order to generate enough power to create the "tensor matrix"** that is needed to open an artificial wormhole. Then he says, "But I think we can do it." Umm, how about you decide whether or not the starship in question can be reconfigured to carry out your experiment *before* selecting it and travelling all the way to where it's located and springing a bunch of requirements on its engineer? In other words, wouldn't this conversation with O'Brien/Starfleet have happened a long time ago?

**(meanwhile mathematicians everywhere who are watching the show wince at this misuse of terminology)

- Torias/shuttle apology. Good. Unresolved issues needing closure, still hanging between them, at least make it *slightly* more believable that they could feel emotional in each other's presence.

- Dinner at Quarks after Julian leaves: "It's weird, I'm looking at a different face, and somehow it's still you!" Imagine that. Perhaps because the writers have contrived to make it that way? "Every time I start to think of you as just Lenara, you'll smile or laugh, and somehow it's you." Really? This other person somehow reminds you of Nilani when she smiles? Confirmation bias? Next, she grabs her hand looks into her eyes, and with typically-poor Terry Farrell delivery says "I'm *really* glad you're here." Well, that escalated quickly.

- So Dr. Pren is creepily spying on them from the upstairs level of Quarks? Give me a break.

- "I just had the most unpleasant conversation with my brother. He thinks that there's something going on between us!" So the first thing I did was run to your quarters to vent to you and get sympathy, while interrupting your sexy yoga. Contrived.

- Dax trying to "dissuade" Kahn from acting on their feelings. "And what about now? Are your eyes open? Do you know what the risks are?" Just to make sure you do, I'm going to stand really close to you and brush my fingers against your face. At this point, I was rolling my eyes.

- That having been said, once the inevitable kissing started, it was passionate and heartfelt, and Dax reeling from it afterward was pretty convincing. So for all the contrivances to get them into this situation, at least it was well-acted once they got there.

- Geez, I don't drink, but I feel like the phrase "I'm not Curzon" would feature prominently in a DS9 drinking game. It comes up in every single Dax episode, sometimes multiple times.

- Sisko says that if Dax is sure she's making the right decision in purusing Lenara he'll back her all the way. Just like he did in Meridian. I like this bit of consistency. I think his support is understandable here, but hard to fathom in Meridian, where she was making a really bad choice to stay behind for a man she had just met.

- Ending Dax/Lenara scene: another contrivance. Dax issues an ultimatum for Lenara to stay because "if you leave, with both know you won't be coming back." This doesn't necessarily follow. Yeah if she goes to Trill her feelings will wane and she'll likely bow to societal pressure. But I didn't like the ultimatum as an ending.
Startrekwatcher
Sun, Dec 2, 2018, 3:22am (UTC -5)
This episode depended on The chemistry between the two and terri Farrell’s acting and neither were yo to par for me to care about the romance or “love” story

The scientific mission was also rather dull

2 stars. I much preferred TNG’s the Host to this
Springy
Sat, Dec 29, 2018, 11:07pm (UTC -5)
Watching and commenting:

--Past Dax spouse on DS9. Oh! Isn't that Agent Gibbs's former gf? Well . . . where are we going with this? It reminds me of Beverly Crusher falling in love with that Trill.

--Jadzia Season 4 had the best Jadzia hair so far. Kira has the worst make up to date.

--Loads and loads and loads of technonabble, and loads and loads and loads of reminisceno-babble, with longing looks in between. Julian, I know how you feel, as I, too, am wishing for an emergency phone call about now.

--Oh, wow, real kissing. Nicely done.

--Jadzia once again ready to throw it all away, but at least, this time, she actually knows (sort of . . .) the person she wants to throw it all away for.

--Jadzia ready to risk the lives of everyone aboard the Defiant, too. Wow.

--No, Jadzia is wrong, it's not just the two of them that would be living with the consequences of what they would be doing. And she's certainly wrong in insisting, over and over, that it's "how they feel" that should count above all. Really? Why, Dax?

--Kudos for tackling a tricky subject in a straightforward, non-preachy, simple way.

- An average episode overall. Not much goes on, dialogue fairly cheesy and simplistic. Lost love briefly reignites, and is gone, as we knew it would be. Re-set.
Springy
Sun, Dec 30, 2018, 11:54am (UTC -5)
Read comments and review:

--The only thing that bothered me about the Kira and Bashir exposition scene was that it seemed bisexuality was taken for granted. It's one thing to believe homosexuality and bisexuality is no longer taboo in the 24th century. Easy to believe. It's another to believe everyone is so casually bisexual that neither Bashir nor Kira wonder if the change in sexuality for the Trill couple would be a problem. Or maybe everyone knows, and we're meant to believe, that all the joined-Trills are bisexual?
Ruth
Mon, Jan 7, 2019, 5:12am (UTC -5)
I liked this episode. Dax and her ex wife had good chemistry - better than with that man she was going to live on the ghost planet with. Susanna Thompson is a good actress, I thought she was a good Borg queen too.

I don’t think anyone mentioned that the stuff about being exiled, the death of the symbiont, only makes partial sense because it’s supposed to be about gay couples not having children. That’s the immortality we non trills access and it’s been an argument against gay marriage and so on. But like in real life there are ways for gay couples to have children, and more for a lesbian couple like in the episode - there are more ways for the symbiont to be given to someone else than officially through the symbiosis commission and we’ve seen two of those ways already in Dax (the one who wasn’t suitable and the one who nicked it off Jadzia temporarily - both of which would be types of people who don’t care if the symbiont is naughty).

This is aside from the fact that some people don’t want children and some symbionts don’t seem into the thing where the host is meant to die for them and they mustn’t ever be allowed to die (for example, Jadzia turning herself into a ghost did not trigger the Dax symbiont to attempt to detach, neither did letting herself be abducted and executed far from her home world)

I agree that you can understand it also as a way for the symbiont to not dominate the host and for joined trills to meet new people and not just stay around other joined trills forever but I don’t think it was the true intention and that’s why it doesn’t seem quite right and you have to invent reasons for them that they never really showed.

But I find poor Dax’s heartbreak enough to outweigh that plot weakness.
Casey Argall
Mon, May 20, 2019, 8:07pm (UTC -5)
Trills are parasites and would never gain entry to the federation.
Bobbington Mc Bob
Sun, Jun 30, 2019, 4:37am (UTC -5)
I really liked the episode. To pick up on Farrell's acting, yes for me it is rather wooden, but rather than coming across as wooden acting it actually makes Jadzia seem *manipulative*, especially as here she is very much acting in her own interests (something we understand is typical of curzon).

I am not convinced that is how she is meant to appear, and the lack of believability of the actor's emotions makes them seem manufactured on behalf of the character. I think in reality Farrell, at this stage in her career, needed a lot of development in her abilities.

On the kiss, I just felt angry at Dax for once again initiating the contact and putting Lenara in a difficult position, being as she clearly has less emotional resilience than Dax. That and seeing any ST characters snogging always feels like watching your parents kissing. FAST FORWARD THE AWKWARD

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