Star Trek: Deep Space Nine


2.5 stars

Air date: 10/12/1998
Written by Rene Echevarria
Directed by Les Landau

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"Now get out of here, before I say something unkind." — Garak

Nutshell: A quiet, pleasant, by-the-numbers character show.

There's nothing at all wrong with what we get from "Afterimage," a show that plays like an extended coda to the season's opening two episodes. The problem is, I'm also having trouble finding much to say in praise of this episode. It's diverting, it's a necessary piece, it's nicely acted overall, but it lacks punch and lasting significance.

This is basically an hour of "getting to know the new Dax," which I was actually looking forward to. I only wish it had contained a little more complexity and a little less of the expected.

The episode essentially picks up right where "Shadows and Symbols" left off—perhaps the following day. Dax is confused. She's not sure where she belongs—completely understandable given her situation. What makes it particularly difficult for Ezri is the Worf factor—and Worf isn't exactly making it easy for her. He's in pain over the fact that he has to deal with the memories of his dead wife floating around in another person, and Ezri is also paying the price for Worf's pain. He avoids her. When he bumps into her in the corridor, he refuses to say anything to her beyond, "I do not know you, nor do I wish to know you."

Dax doesn't intend to stay on the station because of the uneasiness that would arise between her and Worf, which is perhaps one of the predictable aspects of "Afterimage's" plot: How much would you bet that Dax will come to terms with Worf and everything else going on at the station before the episode's end? I'd lay pretty good odds on it.

Meanwhile, Quark reinitiates his pining for Dax all over again, saying to Bashir, "It's not every day you get a second chance." But Ezri's a completely different person, Bashir responds. Perhaps so, but she's still Dax.

That's sort of the point of the entire Trill condition: the same person in some ways, but different in many others. Unfortunately, I didn't feel that "Afterimage" got to the heart of this key Trill trait as much as it could've. Especially given that Ezri is not totally compatible with the Dax symbiont, I hoped maybe we'd get a bit more of a look into Ezri's mind—into the uneasy psychological imbalance. I'd hoped she would struggle with the forces inside her, which might have been an interesting challenge.

What we get instead is reasonable: a series of emotional obstacles for Dax as she rediscovers her old friends as a new person, struggling with the weight of things around her. Most of these little issues play themselves out in a fairly by-the-numbers fashion.

Take for example, the whole idea of Ezri proving herself as a competent counselor. A fine idea, but executed without the slightest hint that a formula wasn't somewhere behind the characterizations, flowing from A to B. Applied to most of "Afterimage" is a workable but unassuming formula that provides Dax with a reassurance, then a setback, and then ends by conquering the setback.

For example, there's the Garak angle. A perfectly reasonable idea, but also formulaic. Dax tries to counsel Garak, who's suffering from intense claustrophobic attacks. At first, she's helpful and Garak is able to resume work on translating Cardassian signals for the Federation. But then he realizes the psychobabble is just a sham, and in the episode's best scene, he gives Ezri a complete dress-down on why she is destined to be a failure of a host, and then says to her, "Now get out of here, before I say something unkind." (Garak can be one menacing guy.)

Dax gives up for a moment and is lost in misdirection. By the end of the episode, of course, Garak tells her he was wrong. She has even helped him face up to his intense repressed guilt for undermining Cardassia to thwart the Dominion, which proves interesting in some ways (Andrew Robinson's performance helps, as always), but kind of simplistic in others.

There's also the Sisko angle. Sisko tells Dax that she'll do fine. But when she fails with Garak and considers quitting, Sisko rattles her by essentially saying: "You're right. You won't measure up. You should quit." Dax finds herself lost in misdirection. By the end of the episode, she realizes that being rattled with the truth has helped her face up to reality. It's a reasonable tactic that makes for a good scene, but did anyone not see the turnaround coming?

The Worf angle also follows a calculated format. And while we're talking about Worf, I would like to gripe a little about his transparency. Now, I understand that Worf has always been one who lets his inner-anger get the best of him at the expense of other people's feelings, but here he doesn't do a great job as coming off as particularly interesting in the process. He got on my nerves just a little too much. One scene, where he threatens Bashir in the infirmary because Bashir had earlier talked to Dax, had me downright rooting for Bashir to come back with some sort of cutting remark to put Worf in his place. (Alas, it was not to be.)

Worf, fortunately, doesn't come off as a complete bad guy, because the episode manages to show why he's acting the way he is and lets us in on how he feels. But again, I could see it all coming several scenes in advance. Looking for subtlety in his character is tough—because there's none to be found. That's a shame, because Worf has a complex history. It's too bad that he's so transparent much of the time.

Turning back to Dax, while I wasn't as taken back here as I was by her exuberance in "Shadows and Symbols," I did empathize with Ezri's various hardships. While evidence here suggests that deBoer doesn't make a particularly good crier, she does convey bottled distress very well. And if you look under the surface, you can almost see a touch of Terry Farrell in deBoer's performance of Dax. I'm not sure how much studying deBoer did on Farrell's acting, but it's an interesting aspect to note. Some of the vocal inflections and body language are quite Jadzia-like.

What's strange about "Afterimage," though, is that I can't quite place my finger on exactly why I couldn't get wrapped up in the story. A lot of things about the it were logically conceived. I think it was a matter of every story piece falling into place at the most elementary level, even though there was much richer material beneath the surface that wasn't exploited by the possibilities inherent in the setting and what we know of Trills.

For what we got, "Afterimage" is a perfectly competent and watchable show. But by the end of the show I couldn't help but feel there should've been more challenge and struggle—and less of the inescapable feeling that Ezri Dax's obstacles are now behind her, rather than still ahead.

Next week: Deep Baseball Nine!

Previous episode: Shadows and Symbols
Next episode: Take Me Out to the Holosuite

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123 comments on this post

Sun, Aug 9, 2009, 12:00am (UTC -5)
I liked Sisko's comment to Jake about her being "300 years too old for him." A pity, though. I think he would've been a better match for her.
Mon, Dec 14, 2009, 5:31pm (UTC -5)
I really liked this one- thought it was nicely understated.
Fri, Mar 5, 2010, 3:30am (UTC -5)
Ezri had it coming, seeing how inept at counseling Garak she was, but man, he simply *destroyed* her (I think that might be the meanest thing one Trek character has ever said to another). It's lucky for her he was so close to cracking anyway, or I'm pretty sure she would've carried out her initial plan of leaving the station and would've regretted it later.

The first time I watched this episode I kinda thought of his abrupt turnaround as a deus ex machina kind of thing, but remembering "The Wire" and the fact that he used to be part of the Obsidian Order, it makes a little more sense. There is nothing so despised in Cardassian culture as a traitor, and coming from that background what he was being asked to do by Starfleet must have been nearly as trying to his convictions as what Sisko had to do in Pale Moonlight. And we know from Wire that when pushed enough, Garak can break down. An incredibly rare event, but it's consistent with the past and explains his actions without resorting to "luck" on Ezri's part.
Mon, Sep 13, 2010, 8:58pm (UTC -5)
Where did Counselor Telnorri go? You know, the one O'Brien had to consult with in "Hard Time"? If they had a counselor on the station back then (and they should considering there are 7,000 people aboard), why don't they already have one now?
Wed, Jan 26, 2011, 9:42pm (UTC -5)
This episode lays the groundwork for hating Ezri Dax as a character. The writers dug themselves in a huge hole that they never really could climb out of.
Tue, Jul 12, 2011, 1:22pm (UTC -5)
Although I can see how she's annoying, I really felt it was a shame Ezri only got one season on the show. Terry Farrell wasn't that great an actor (wasn't that clear when I watched it as a teenager but pretty obvious now!) and it would've been nice if they'd been able to do the whole "Dax/Worf-death of Jadzia" thing a little earlier and give Ezri more time. As it was she got about 3 episodes before the final DS9 wrap up arc began.

Been rewatching the entire series from the beginning for a few months now. Not sure what I'll do when it's over! :(
Wed, Apr 25, 2012, 7:40pm (UTC -5)
I hate ezri, she's a useless and unworthu character and a bad councelor. The only thing i like in that episode was Garak's line about how Jadzia owned herself and that prety mach she was awesome and that ezri was unworthy of the Dax symbiont.
Sun, Apr 29, 2012, 10:42pm (UTC -5)
Adam nails it. It's the final season. We should be closing loose ends and building for the finale, not introducing new characters. I understand why Dax died in season 6 (the actor had to leave the show), but there is no reason to reintroduce Dax. Even though we've been with Dax for six seasons she still feels like a brand new character that I don't care about.
Fri, May 4, 2012, 6:27pm (UTC -5)
Ezri sucked, she ruined the final season
Tue, May 8, 2012, 3:58am (UTC -5)
Ezri Dax must be one of the worst counselors I've ever seen. They should never allowed her stay on ds9
Sat, May 12, 2012, 11:54pm (UTC -5)
As I stated in my post for "Tears of the Prophets", I really wish that Terry could have finished the season. And I am still of the belief that season 7 stories have been affected by her departure. But that does not mean I don't like the character of Ezri Dax. In fact I really like her. Her performances as a very confused newly joined Trill were quite good.

As far as this ep is concerned I would almost give it three stars. Lightweight yes but rather well done all around. I do strongly agree with what we learned of Trill society there wasn't more exploited in terms of storytelling. But this ep is what it is and did it well. Yeah...three stars.
Sun, May 13, 2012, 12:09am (UTC -5)
I meant to say Terry should have finished the series but whatevs.

Anyway one sidenote...the one-two punch scenes between Garak/Ezri then Sisko/Ezri were very harsh and very well played out. Actually got a lump in my throat. Nicely done.
Tue, May 15, 2012, 7:21am (UTC -5)
Another boring Ezri episode. I never cared for her, she's a crap character
Sun, May 27, 2012, 7:48pm (UTC -5)
I find Ezri super annoying too. The writers dropped the ball by bring her to the series.
Wed, Jun 6, 2012, 4:07pm (UTC -5)
Ezri is the most pointless and useless character of any star trek series, yes worse than Wesley and that's not easy.
Tue, Aug 14, 2012, 3:33pm (UTC -5)
Ezri had no business counseling Garak. She has a truckload of her own personal problems, and professionally she has the presence of a psychology STUDENT rather than someone with a medical license. Garak wiped the floor with her, and just to add insult to injury, Vic Fontaine showed her up a couple episodes later. When a hologram does a better job giving therapy than the therapist does (and her only comeback was "but you're just a hologram!"), it's time to hang it up.
Wed, Aug 15, 2012, 2:50am (UTC -5)
Raider - oh c'mon now, there's a huuuge competition there, especially Voyager is chock full of boring and pointless characters. I really don't think Ezri is the worst of the bunch. Compared with such memorable bores like Kim, Chakotay, Torres, Neelix, both Crushers, pretty much the whole crew of NX01 except the least she's pretty.
Sat, Aug 25, 2012, 8:03am (UTC -5)
Ezri can't figure out who she is and she's trying to counsel Garak? I loved it when he wipped the floor with her face!
Jock Strapp
Tue, Sep 18, 2012, 11:26pm (UTC -5)
Some of you are out of your friggin' minds. Leeta is the worst and most useless character on DS9 by far. It's not even close.
Mon, Oct 1, 2012, 2:01pm (UTC -5)
Look at her. She's pathetic. A confused child, trying to live up to a legacy left by her predecessors. She's not worthy of the name, "Dax." We knew Jadzia. She was vital, alive, she owned herself. And Ezri, she doesn't even know who she is. How dare she presume to help Garak. She can't even help herself.

Score: 1.5

Now, get out of here before I say something unkind.
John (the younger)
Sat, Oct 20, 2012, 3:34am (UTC -5)
I think Ezri is quite good and breathed some much needed life into the old DS9 crew.

This episode is quite an excellent introduction for her.

And the scene where she and Sisko are discussing Worf being intimidated by him was awesome.
Fri, Nov 30, 2012, 6:11am (UTC -5)
Wow, there is a lot of hate in here.

Had the roles been reversed, the hate would have been the same because the fans are used to 6 seasons of Jadzia. Do you remember Jadzia in her first season ? Boring, monotonous, no life, very wise-ish ?

The problem is that the writers didn't have enough time to make her character grow, so they had to make it way too fast. The premise is interesting: Ezri didn't mean to be joined. In the Trill lore, it is often said that the symbiont can overcome the host if not prepared and that's exactly what's happening. I personally would have liked more than one episode to resolve the struggle, there was material for a good "self-search who Ezri Dax is" arc.
It was very much in character for Garak to undermine her; clearly she was not ready to do her job. But the fault is Sisko's who shouldn't have pushed her on the front line (with Garak no less!). Anyone should have seen that she needed time and help instead and, the further undermining from Sisko was very unwelcome (would have been right for Jadzia, not for Ezri). In a situation like this, with an already confused person, you don't add confusion. It's only the plot contrivance that makes it work. Oh, and by the way, 8 lifetimes make you experienced, not a counsellor. It's a real job that needs to be learned and assimilated, with all the subtelties that go with it. Again, the captain got it wrong by willingly erasing the right of Ezri to study, just to have Dax at his side.

What I'm trying to say, it's a shame because Ezri could have been a great character if better thought.
Sun, Jan 13, 2013, 6:08pm (UTC -5)
A definite minority on this one -- I'm touched and intrigued by Ezri. She had NO plans to become joined. Of course she's rattled and unprepared. Not every character needs to be confident and daring.
Wed, Jan 30, 2013, 3:49am (UTC -5)
I gotta agree with William, Ezri is intriguing specifically because she's not your typical god-like Starfleet officer. She actually makes mistakes, which is really refreshing. They're not Gaius Baltar-level mistakes but they're interesting enough missteps.

Take the scene with Bashir, where she says "if not for Worf, it would have been you". I just rewatched the episode for the first time in years and it was as horrific a moment as I remembered. I was thinking: On jeez, on what planet is that a good thing to say? Ezri, Ezri. Seriously. That's such a bad decision it hurts just watching it.

But I like my characters to be magnificently flawed. I think I've said horribly inappropriate things like that at one time or another. Also since Garak voices an opinion almost exactly like what is being said here, I'd say the creators made her like that specifically, and then addressed it. Her nervous, awkward, uncertain nature is the whole idea of her character.

I'll agree about Ezri's free promotion though, that was insulting to counsellors everywhere.
Sat, Jun 29, 2013, 2:58pm (UTC -5)
Receiving DAX should have made Ezri into a confident, capable person -- that's the established trill lore, and that's how it worked with that guy who stole the Dax symbiont for a few hours in 'Invasive Procedures'. Now it appears that the writers forgot everything they established about how trills and symbionts work.

Ezri pretty much ruined season 7 for me -- Jadzia Dax was one of my favorite characters, so it was tough to see her go, then there were so many episodes in season 7 featuring this dingbat Dax.

I haven't counted, but it does feel to me like there were more Ezri-centered episodes in one season than there were Jadzia-centered episodes in 6 seasons. And I cringed at all of them. Dax simply should never have been presented as existing within a goofy dingbat! A pathetic excuse for a counselor and starfleet officer.

No way would I ever go to Ezri for counseling. I agree with Garak.
Mon, Jul 22, 2013, 8:04am (UTC -5)
yeah, you Ezri-bashers are full of crap.

She is good because she is weak. She can't cry worth a damn, but I liked almost everything else she did.

Characters that fail are almost always more interesting than characters that win at everything.

deBoer did a great job of capturing a hint of Terry's persona as if it were a portion of a mix of personalities inside her, jostling around for dominance - a bit like the penultimate scene in Terminator 2. Every once in a while, it does pop through, just a little bit.

As to her competence as a counselor, I think that's reasonable and Sisko is rolling on the fact that he's quite sure she'll roll into it somewhat naturally, albeit with a few bumps here and there.

Counseling isn't exactly a hard science you know. Any time I have been to counseling, the emphasis has always been on letting the client do most of the work and giving them a chance to air out the dirty laundry.

That's probably a fairly believable reason that few counselors stay long on DS9. It's a pretty rough and risky place to hang out if your professional skillset involves getting people to open up and cry a bit.

Given the fact that the Feds are at war with a fairly powerful alliance for most of the last few seasons and DS9 is the most strategic point, that's not a particularly strong set of skills for dealing with a militant invasion.

Might as well change the Counselor's uniform to a clean, bright red shirt.

Naw, her character fits and she did a good job (again, except for the crying - couldn't they have just killed a kitten in front of her or something???).

Oh, and the character in Invasive Procedures was a personality that was quite well suited and well prepared for joining, but had a psychotic streak. Ezri is a personality that is simply not suited for it and was never prepared for joining. I think the difference in the characters matches what was shown on screen.
Wed, Aug 7, 2013, 5:03am (UTC -5)
@JimmyDee, I'd say the crying scene is completely in line with the rest of her performance. She was pretty consistent with the whole "After School Special actress" routine.
Take it easy
Thu, Sep 5, 2013, 9:18pm (UTC -5)
Totally agree with Arachnea and William. I feel sorry for the haters.
Mon, Nov 4, 2013, 9:25pm (UTC -5)
Not a good episode. It is impossible for a new character to replace one with 6 seasons of development. So far I'm left wishing they just continued the series with one less main character. She's not that good and they are wasting time trying to build her up when there's much more interesting things to be done.

Mon, Nov 11, 2013, 11:30pm (UTC -5)
I have to agree with those that think Ezri has potential.

Personally I never really liked Jadzia. Didn't like the character much - seemed like she was a kind of female Kurazon - all adventurousness, arrogance, smugness, and a know-it-all. Not much heart. I usually found her annoying and predictable - like Deanna Troi but worse. Hotness was what she had going for her.

Compounding the problem was the fact that Terry Farrell was probably the worst actress of the regular ensemble. She had 2 or 3 "looks" that she always used and not much else, generally very bad at emotion and no depth.

From this episode it's clear Nicole de Boer is a couple steps above Farrell as far as acting skill. Terry Farrell is not working as an actress anymore and I think we know why. Nicole de Boer still gets okay roles.

I also like the Ezri character - that she's vulnerable. Compared to Jadzia who seemed to never make a mistake and was oh-so in control, she's a breath of fresh air. Plus, she's attractive but not the same kind of model-hot that Jadzia was.
Sat, Jan 4, 2014, 3:32am (UTC -5)
I am one of the few that, at this point, actually like Ezri portrayal. I think acting got a million better than when we got Jadzia. The character is much more dimensional and feels alive.

The problem is, in line with what Jammer has pointed in the review, that the episode is just too shallow and predictable. And as Kotas has mentioned above, developing such a character to substitute a 6-seasons-old one seems like a lost battle. And in the last season, it seems to have been quite a waste of time.
Sat, Feb 15, 2014, 4:19am (UTC -5)
I think this was a very interesting episode. I miss Jadzia, but I don't let that stop me from liking Ezri too. Far from a waste of time, developing Ezri's character during the season was essential. Look at it this way: if they hadn't focused on her, we'd be complaining that she was just a cardboard cutout with Dax's name. THAT would have been the real insult. The writers also knew they had to make her different from Jadzia, just as Jadzia was different from Curzon--not just because they are different people, but because Jadzia trained all her life to be joined and Ezri was not prepared at all.

As for Ezri's appointment as counselor: no, it was not ideal. Evidently the old counselor who helped O'Brien was unavailable, and as an assistant counselor before her joining, Ezri was the best they had, and Sisko nudged her into the position before she was ready. Her first attempts to counsel Garak were a disaster. Anyone could see she was so distracted by the other hosts' memories that she forgot everything she learned about psychology and made a hash of it. She got Garak to open up the third time by coaxing information out of him, then standing back and listening.

I liked her interactions with Worf and Quark the best. Quark takes the change in stride better than anyone, and Worf shows that he can begin to move on. I'm still not a big fan of Bashir, but they played off each other pretty well.

Count me in as an Ezri fan, too. Terry Farrell as Jadzia had undeniable presence, physicality, and charm. But Nicole de Boer was a natural and versatile actress who brought more life and humanity to her own 'Dax', and I'm happy that we got to see it--if only for one season.
Mon, Apr 14, 2014, 2:12pm (UTC -5)
"If it wasn't Worf it'd been you." Screw you writers, Jazdia had three years/seasons to do something about Bashir and all of sudden you say she had actually liked Julian but Worf came into the picture? I call bullshit.
Sun, May 4, 2014, 5:14pm (UTC -5)
A necessary episode given the introduction of a new/replaced character, so the scriptwriters sort of had to do it. But did they have to make it so twee and predictable? Very average.

Two stars.
Nick P.
Fri, May 9, 2014, 3:07pm (UTC -5)
OMG, she is BRUTAL!!! This is hard to watch. This is my first time watching season 7 DS9, and I am so glad for dvds, because I cannot watch entire scenes with her. Farrel was a terrible actress, but at least she was hot, this actress is ugly and a bad actress, how did she even get this part.
Dave in NC
Sun, May 11, 2014, 11:15am (UTC -5)
The Dax character should have been killed off . . . it made little sense to recast the role with one season left. Besides, it would have reinforced the whole notion of the Dominion war being a dangerous thing (and not just for offscreen fleets of starships).

The actress who plays Ezri is almost cringe-worthy in her performances (especially this episode and the one where she and Worf are held captive on the Breen ship). I'd rate this episode a charitable half star- don't watch unless you have literally run out of any other Star Trek and you are very VERY bored.

(PS- after viewing Ms De Boer's terrible acting throughout the last saason, I'm not really sure why she ended up getting a prominent role on The Dead Zone series).
Dave in NC
Sun, May 11, 2014, 11:25am (UTC -5)
And if any future Star Trek pproducers/writers are watching . . .

Please don't have a character scream/cry unless they can do believably. My first urge shouldn't be to laugh when we're in the middle of a serious moment.

Case in point: Ezri's tears, Kes's screams, Troi being mentally overwhelmed, etc.
Thu, May 15, 2014, 10:39am (UTC -5)
@Dave in NC
I thought she was at least passable in Dead Zone. I agree with you, for the most part, about DS9 though.

The thing with Star Trek is, I don't know if it's the directors or what, but the acting on Star Trek often...comes across differently. It's certainly not naturalistic, put it that way. It has a very specific cadence, a bit of a slow and laboured ring. Realisations are over-emphasised, laughs are never quite convincing.

I mean I still love it, but I don't quite believe the events in front of my eyes because of it. Even Bashir and O'Brien, who have one of the more believable-looking relationships in Trek, get stung by it. In that scene in Explorers where they get drunk, it's a pretty good scene but it has this air of forced "ho ho look at this mateship!" to it.

Hopefully someone knows what I'm talking about. I've been a Trek fan for most of my 33 that I mean more than 20 of them, and it still has a really special place in my heart. But yeah, looking back, I think the actors were actually discouraged from inserting any sort of natural rhythm, inserting "uh"s, stumbling slightly on words, all that sort of thing. That's one thing I think Battlestar did well, for the most part.
Dave in NC
Sat, May 17, 2014, 12:35pm (UTC -5)
@ DDavid K

It's the people running the shows.

They told the actors not to "over-emote", they told the composers to "tone it down" and they told the writers not to write too much interpersonal drama. Mix in some technobabble, an over-reliance on time travel, deux ex machinas and a lack of episodic/character continuity and you get the disjointed result that we have: wonderfully interesting shows that could have been much much better.
Thu, Aug 21, 2014, 11:06am (UTC -5)
Poor Ezri... not only is she going to get it from the "fans" because she will be seen as replacing Jadzia, but Sisko sends her to the wolves right off the bat.

lol .... her first assignment on DS9 is GARAK!!! How's that for a lucky draw? :-)

...and she did fine didn't she, she got Garak to come clean and realize what was hurting him didn't she?

Garak does destroy her... but does she leave? Nope. Pretty strong kid here I think. Garak himself says she deserve credit at the end.

This episode starts at 3 stars simply because Garak plays such a large role. Just how awesome was his performance in this one! This is truly epic stuff here!

"EZRI: You can be very charming. You want to know something? If Worf hadn't come along, it would have been you."

lol .... damn.... glad she wasn't counseling Bashir :-)

Sisko goes from telling star fleet she can't hack it to promoting her to LTjg all in one episode? I guess she gets bonus points for straightening Garak out :-)

3 stars, not higher because Worf seems like a whiny little Klingon in this one.
Sun, Oct 12, 2014, 12:35am (UTC -5)
I like Ezri more than Jedzia.
Yes, she's vulnerable and confused. But, she's kind and strong in her own way. While it probably was a mistake to re-introduce Dax (or any main character) now, I'm glad she's there.
And I think she's more attractive than Jedzia (which is not necessarily the same as hot).

Not only was the Garak dressing down the best scene (isn't Garak always the best?), but I loved OBrien's counseling with Worf -- no one else on the station could have pulled that off.
Tue, Oct 14, 2014, 8:49am (UTC -5)
I LIKE Ezri. I still wish Jadzia had not died, made captain, transferred, not gone to Becker, whatever, but I LIKE Ezri. I just think she was severely overused in S7.

S7 is VERY short if you don't count the intro arc which continues off last season and the 10 hour finale. I enjoyed her in the final 10 (I thought she was a nice foil for Worf dealing with his feelings over Jadzia and even really helped out in a positive way in the Klingon arc). I enjoyed her in the 2 part season intro. Sisko needed his old man. It fit nicely.

That being said, let's look at the rest of the season.

7x03 - Afterimage
Ezri episode. But I won't complain here, she was the new character and we had to get to know her. Strong performance.

7x04 - Take Me Out To The Holosuite
Ensemble episode with a Sisko focus. I liked the little bits with her here, she was always good in the ensemble.

7x05 - Chrysalis
Bashir episode.

7x06 - Treachery, Faith And The Great River
Odo episode with an O'Brien/Nog B-Plot

7x07 - Once More Unto The Breach
Worf/Klingon episode

7x08 - The Siege Of AR558
Good ensemble show, Ezri was fine here.

7x09 - Covenant
Kira/Dukat episode

Ok, so far so good. We're 10 episodes into the season and her use has been about the same as everyone else, she's grown on me and while she'll never replace Jadzia I'm enjoying her fine. The actress is doing a nice job with the part.

7x10 - It's Only A Paper Moon
Excellent Nog/Vic episode with an Ezri focus.

7x11 - Prodigal Daughter
What should have been an O'Brien episode (and would have been the only one in the season) turns out to be an Ezri episode. And a mediocre one.

7x12 - The Emperor's New Cloak
Mirror Ezri stars in the S7 Ferengi episode...

7x13 - Field Of Fire
Another mediocre Ezri episode.

See, now that's where my Ezri problem ends up. The mid season focus on her (in mostly crappy episodes) instead of getting some preciously valuable last few minutes with the characters we've been with for 7 years just sucks.

7x14 - Chimera
Odo/Kira episode

7x15 - Badda Bing Badda Bang

7x16 - Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges
Bashir episode

So ya, as you can see most characters got 1 episode, Bashir got 2, Ezri got.... anywhere between 3 and 5 depending on how you look at it. I think most fans problems with Ezri is just based on how she monopolized the season. I could have used a good O'Brien episode, another Sisko episode or even something featuring Quark that wasn't "Emperor's New Cloak".
Fri, Oct 17, 2014, 1:05pm (UTC -5)
I'm pretty shocked at the comments in here. I had no idea Ezri was so disliked. I suppose it depends on how people enjoy their TV narratives. Do they value the evolving narrative of the series or prefer the reliability of the characters they've grown accustomed to doing new things each week? DS9 is kind of caught in limbo between week-to-week adventures and serialized narratives, so some of the writer's choices are always going to service one aspect of the show while being incompatible with the other.

But here's the thing: Ezri is the best thing to happen to Jadzia's story in the whole series. She was literally a character who would reincarnate after every life. How could the series *NOT* eventually utilize this element in its own narrative? A Trill character is pretty much designed to have this function.

I realize the writers, still boxed in by Trek restrictions, were probably happy to keep the crew together for the whole series (despite that series being about war). After all, Jadzia's death was due to business rather than writing. But even though they were backed into the move, the writers did the right thing - more so that Ezri is almost an anti-Jadzia. For once the viewer gets to feel the same shock at the Trill-symbiont life cycle that we've been watching the characters go through the whole series. "Rejoined" and "Facets" were both great Trill episodes, but Ezri is the Trill story in Trek.

One's enjoyment of this episode pretty much depends on how much one agrees with that, I think. If you object to Ezri in principle then you've already made up your mind.

Anyway I agree with Jammer that "Afterimage" itself is pretty well handled as an episode and has a couple of stand out moments. It's predictable but still works well. 3 stars from me.
Fri, Oct 17, 2014, 1:44pm (UTC -5)
@$G - I think you sort of hit the nail on the head with "DS9 is kind of caught in limbo between week-to-week adventures and serialized narratives, so some of the writer's choices are always going to service one aspect of the show while being incompatible with the other."

I would have had no problem narratively if the writers decided to kill Jadzia and then built the show around it that would be fine. As I mentioned about though, they rammed her down the show's throat for the final season because they didn't have enough time to "explore" the new character otherwise.

If they wanted to play reincarnate the Trill they really should have planned for it (instead of been backed into a corner) and done it earlier.
Fri, Oct 17, 2014, 2:04pm (UTC -5)

I haven't gotten to the Ezri-heavy mid-S7 on my rewatch, but I seem to remember a bit too much of her as well. I didn't mean my last comment to come off that Ezri's story is perfectly integrated in the show. It's just that it works conceptually for me and, up this point, is one of the better character moves on DS9.

The writers on this show have a tendency of being really clever but also surprisingly negligent (see also: "bad"). Odo's one of my favorite characters on the show and has a lot of great development over the series even though there are at least two enormous gaping missed opportunities that the writers seemingly just didn't feel like writing.
Fri, Oct 17, 2014, 2:50pm (UTC -5)
I'm actually not one who hated Ezri. I just feel that they introduced her too late. I think that in the end I'd would have preferred to see her get promoted to captain and sent away for all but guest appearances and Worf get his happy ending (especially given what happened with K'Ehleyr) than to have just offed her.

I wouldn't have been opposed to seeing the reincarnating thing happen, but I think that they would have needed to introduce a new character in S4/S5 like VOY did in order for it not to be a bit too much.

I think given the option I'd have liked to see Cretak and perhaps another female character be added as recurring characters to replace Dax (and of course have Jadzia recur) than to have done what they did at this point in the game.
Fri, Oct 17, 2014, 3:55pm (UTC -5)
Cretak showing up in a couple more episodes would have been neat. In fact, it would have been a cool subplot to have her live on the station and eventually butt heads mid-season with her "hospital" stunt. It would have felt like more of a betrayal, too. That was my favourite storyline from the premiere episodes.

I do agree that Jadzia should have been written off earlier in the show if a Trill storyline like this was in the cards (it clearly wasn't though). It would give us more time to get to know the replacement Trill.

That said, I think having Jadzia getting re-assigned would have been a waste of the whole Trill concept. I don't think it's worth keeping Jadzia alive just for the sake of it only to have her just be a recurring character.

They get some good stuff out of Ezri, IIRC. It's just that the writers felt the need to go overboard with it in terms of how many episodes she gets. One day I'll watch S7 and skip a couple of the mid-season Ezri shows. I have a feeling the season will hold together just as well *and* still have given Ezri enough development.
Fri, Nov 28, 2014, 2:01am (UTC -5)
I actually feel like Ezri benefitted by coming after Jadzia Dax. It's pretty obvious the writers understand the whole thrill concept and they did a great job writing it. I like the idea of an episode dealing with an unprepared thrill being joined. In away this kind of remind me of the Doctor regerating and a new doctor taking over.
Fri, Nov 28, 2014, 2:06am (UTC -5)
It took until season two for the the staff to figure out Jadzia character and race and I feel like they were able to figure out Ezir character straight off the bat. It's pretty obvious in season one of DS9 Jadzia was a spock like character.
Tue, Mar 3, 2015, 2:56am (UTC -5)
I never cared for Ezri and its the writers fault. She was not compatible with the Dax Symbiont, confused, and underdeveloped. Also, they needed and 8th season to allow people to adjust to this Dax. I wished they had just transferred Jadzia to another sector and let her make occasional appearances. I think the Powers that be, were upset with Terry for leaving and killed her off.
Sun, Jun 14, 2015, 11:08pm (UTC -5)
I always had a crush on Nicole Deboer so I of course loved the addition of Ezri Dax to DS9. Her relationship with Worf was intriguing and I was gratified later in the season to see her and Julian hook up (he finally got Dax)! I think people are way too hard on her...
Fri, Oct 16, 2015, 12:20am (UTC -5)
Ezri Dax could have worked if she'd had more than the last season to be developed. She started out cute, but the writers dropped the ball in several areas.

- she lacked confidence and was often snarky. That's not good behavior for counselors.

- nothing about her indicated that Dax was there. The symbiont clearly affects people's personalities, but Ezri acted as though she simply had memories from past lives.

- many episodes were wasted introducing her when they should have been wrapping up the rest of the cast.

You can like Ezri if you wish, but that doesn't mean her character was used properly.
Diamond Dave
Sat, Feb 20, 2016, 6:44am (UTC -5)
I enjoyed this episode, even if it's far from being a classic. For me, Ezri works here because she's a screw-up. Yes, she's a terrible counsellor. But she's been thrust into a position she's not ready for - both on DS9 and being joined - and I think the episode portrays the confusion and vulnerability of that situation really well. It all feels organic to the story.

Ironically, I actually found the Garak scenes to be a trifle histrionic - his devastating critique of Ezri notwithstanding - and it does very much feel of having to cram a new character into the existing story. I just feel that it does it well. 3 stars.
Sat, Mar 5, 2016, 12:40am (UTC -5)
I agree with this review.

I was disappointed that we didn't get to learn more about *Ezri*. We knew a lot about Jadzia Dax. We knew what Jadzia brought to the table, we had some sense of who she was before receiving Dax. Ezri is still not much more than a confused container for Dax with no discernible personality of her own.

Granted we had 6 seasons to get to know Jadzia, but given that there's only 1 season for Ezri you'd think they would have crammed a little more character development into an episode like this one.
Sat, Mar 5, 2016, 12:48am (UTC -5)
Oh, yeah, I was also disappointed by ezris reaction to garaks recovery, where she said the captain would be pleased. I was really hoping her character wouldnt fake that direction, it feels too much like a starfleet agenda than a counselors agenda.

What I was hoping is that she'd have a bit more empathy for garaks plight, and focus on how the decision to continue was his to make, showing some more obvious concern for his mental health, like bashir shows concern for the health of all his patients regardless of which side of the war they're on.

That's one thing TNG actually got right with troi, for the most part she was unbiased in her private sessions with people.

I think this also wouldve helped develop a more interesting ezri garak friendship. I always enjoyed the bashir garak interactions in earlier seasons, and when dukats daughter died it also took away from some of garaks socialization. I'd like to see him become close (not romantically) with some more characters.
Sat, Mar 5, 2016, 12:49am (UTC -5)
Wouldn't take* that direction, not "fake".
William B
Tue, Mar 8, 2016, 9:13am (UTC -5)
My number one problem with this episode (which will likely turn out to be my number one problem with the show's handling of Ezri) is that I genuinely feel like she *should not be on the station*. In Shadows and Symbols it is established that she felt out of place with her coworkers on the Destiny because of her major, traumatic life change, and I guess eventually we'll get Ezri's family in Prodigal Daughter. So Ben suggests she stay on DS9. And no. That is a bad idea. No. A year from now, maybe two, it might be possible to conclude it might be a good idea. I don't know. But lots of episodes pointed out how difficult it is for a Trill who *trained* for years not to be overwhelmed by past hosts. This is what Jadzia told Arjin in Playing God, this is what people pointed out in Rejoined, this is what was the subject of Blood Oath and Dax, and so on. New hosts are supposed to have their own lives, not repeat the previous ones, and while the reassociation taboo has become quite dogmatic in a way I don't approve of, I think that the basic point seems reasonable. Ezri Dax should have her own life apart from Jadzia Dax's, and she should not "have to" give up on Ezri Tigan's as a result.

While I found her annoying at parts, mostly in this episode I was thinking "you poor girl." Sisko, Julian and Quark basically treat Ezri as Jadzia 2.0 (Curzon 3.0 in Sisko's case) and Worf is so insistent on her being *not* Jadzia as to be rude and chilly to her. She should not be here. She is at the site of Jadzia Dax's recent traumatic death, with a station full of people who have made their minds up about her. Her job is to be an *assistant* counselor, which she has training for, and she is clearly unqualified for it at this moment. Sisko's regular argument that she is qualified to be a real counselor with promotion is based on her "eight lifetimes of experience," but we are reminded over and over again that she has not integrated these into her, and it is a bizarre idea that Starfleet somehow accepts that joining automatically confers a promotion. I didn't see anyone assuming that because Jadzia had seven lifetimes of experience she is qualified to be a station's counselor; these things require training, and Ezri needs counseling more badly than almost anyone around her. Her social instincts are such that she tells Julian, incredibly, that his dead unrequited love would have been with him if her husband hadn't come along, which, I hope to heavens that is not true (because it certainly did not fit with what I observed of Jadzia/Julian, but mostly it is a terrible, awful thing to say, and the kind of first impression that seriously undermines the (spoiler) future Julian/Ezri as being more than Julian projecting his old feelings onto the next Dax. Her counselling sessions with Garak (more on this later) similarly show some serious gaps in judgment, which I do not fault Ezri for all that much -- she is young and in turmoil -- but which demonstrate to me that she is obviously *wrong* for this job.

In particular, I viscerally disliked the way Sisko dealt with Ezri here -- insisting that she should be on DS9 when she was reluctant about it, yes, and then when she offered to resign her commission because she was traumatized and shaken, he gave her his reverse psychology speech. Yes, I get it, he was trying to rile her up to get her to see her worth, etc. But he says she did it to him in the past. *She is not Curzon. She is not Jadzia.* She is Ezri Dax, and yes she is Dax but she is also traumatized, an unwilling participant in a lineage, a young woman who has had *her own life* basically ripped away. Sisko has no idea what *Ezri* needs. And by suggesting that she has a responsibility to do Great Things as a Dax, even by reverse psychology, he is putting ridiculous pressure on her, mostly as a way of pushing her into taking his offer to stay on the station, which frankly I still think is a terrible idea for her, an obliteration of a chance for Ezri to have her own life apart from the entire social world that Jadzia had. I am totally unconvinced that anyone sees her as her own person based on their behaviour here, and while not everyone is as bald about it as Quark (who, bless him, is honest that he sees her as basically another shot at Jadzia), they mostly do regard her as a new incarnation of Jadzia, a short and neurotic one perhaps.

Thank goodness for Garak, though alas, his story was by-the-numbers and unconvincing. That Garak would feel tremendous guilt about helping to fight his own people I have no doubt, and it is an important story that absolutely should have been told. I am also absolutely glad that it was, even though I am disappointed in the episode as it happened. The thing is I just don't believe the story in execution; I don't believe that Garak would open himself up again and again by talking about his father, I don't believe he would get to the point of pounding on an airlock to get out (!), I don't believe that he would break down as viscerally and as violently at the mention of the Callandra system, and I don't believe that he would turn on a dime and treat Ezri as something like his saviour after the fact. (Hilarious moment: when Garak is pounding on the airlock trying to get out, Ezri yells "Garak, open the door!" That's what he was *trying* to do, Ezri....) I *do* believe that he would chew Ezri out with the rage and bile that he used against her, in what is a fantastic takedown, which I do not think is entirely deserved but which does also nicely summarize the repeated failures that Ezri makes in her counselling with Garak: she is simplistic about the depths of his difficult situation, spends most of the time going on about her own problems despite Garak's repeated signals that he is disinterested, and is clumsy in her attempts to get him to open up further. And when she finally does "succeed" in getting Garak to open up, it is purely by accident, bringing up Callandra until he breaks down. As a demonstration in the episode of Ezri's value as a counselor, it makes the Troi material with that widow in The Loss look like a masterpiece of nuance. I completely agree with JC above, too, that Ezri doesn't actually seem all that interested in how difficult it is for Garak to be "betraying" his own people like this, and fails to communicate to him that this is really his choice, not hers and not Sisko's -- though who can blame her, when Sisko more or less tells her that if she quits Starfleet she might as well go hide in a hole for eighty years and waste her life? Such is the value of freely choosing one's own life and destiny in this episode.

All that said, I love Garak and I want to salvage this story, so here is my interpretation: back in the early years, Garak was circumspect about *everything*, taking delight in his games. But that was then. Things are different now. Since Improbable Cause/The Die is Cast there is not much point pretending that he wasn't a member of the Obsidian Order, and since In Purgatory's Shadow even the secret about Tain being his father is out. We know from IPS (and, really, since The Wire, in a way) that Garak very desperately *wanted* Tain to acknowledge him, as a protege and as a son, and now that that acknowledgment happened and the Order has been destroyed, there is no point pretending any more -- and yet to admit that he badly wants his father's approval even still, even now that he is dead, is to admit to a level of neuroticism and vulnerability that he still cannot forgive himself for. And yet he's been among humans and has seen where the frankly fascistic values of the Cardassians have led (to the Dominion), so he actually *wants* to be able to open up, and so continues talking openly about his father the first chance he gets while at the same time claiming to be disinterested in Ezri's psychobabble. In fact Garak wants very desperately for Ezri to acknowledge his pain, while at the same time needing to hide from it, hence his deep ambivalence. And his feelings for his father and his feelings for Cardassia are deeply intertwined, hence his repeatedly going over and over again the fact that he is failing his father while he works to save Cardassia from itself, the thing he could never exactly do for Tain.

I wish that we had spent more time with why Garak knows the Dominion must be stopped, if it won't save his people. Does he still, ultimately, believe that what is left of Cardassia will be better than what currently exist under Dominion rule? Or is it more that he has a general partiality to the Alpha Quadrant peoples, whom he sees as morally superior to the Dominion even if he cannot believe that he is fighting for humans, Klingons and Romulans instead of Cardassians. I think that it's something of the latter, especially given (spoilers) his lines in WYLB where he tells Bashir about Cardassians betraying the Alpha Quadrant; Garak loves his people and owes them, but he also on some level knows that they are wrong, fascistic, destructive, and the Dominion is more so, and that this philosophical position is more important than anything else.

Ezri and Garak, in a sense, are similar -- it seems to me that both are "trapped" on DS9, in their bodies, with Garak's claustrophobia and Ezri's space sickness as representations of the same feelings that they are not where they should be or doing what they should be doing. The difference is that I actually do believe that in the end, DS9 is the best (only) place for Garak right now. While I don't quite believe it as a breakdown, the image of Garak pounding on the airlock trying to get out is pretty powerful -- he wants out of his whole life, yet also can't leave it behind. With Ezri, I just find myself wishing again and again that she would go back to the Destiny, finish her training, maybe transfer to a new ship or get a new job even, but build a life for *herself*; be Ezri first, Dax second. Dax will have other lifetimes, Ezri won't, and Ezri did not *want* this life. If in a year or two she still realizes that she'd rather continue being with Jadzia's social circle and Jadzia's friends rather than something unique to Ezri, well, I'd believe that she had taken enough time to believe that, but at this point I don't, and everything just seems *wrong*.

Despite my reluctance about the Garak plot, it seems to me that my biggest problems are not with the episode's execution but with the ideas behind it, which seem to me to be misguided. So I don't think it's going to get too low a rating. But...I dunno. I think I dislike it a bit more than Jammer in his review, so I will go with 2 stars.
William B
Tue, Mar 8, 2016, 9:17am (UTC -5)
Most unintentionally funny line of the episode: Worf yelling THERE IS NO WAY FOR US TO KNOW about what Jadzia would have wanted regarding how to treat Ezri, which I took as a line about how inconsistently Jadzia treated her relationships with her past hosts and how all over the place Jadzia's attitude about Trill customs was.
Tue, May 31, 2016, 10:02am (UTC -5)
For me, this episode is a surprising and jarring misfire that damages the characters that appear in it, especially Garak, Ezri and Sisko (perhaps to some extent also Worf, Bashir and Quark). The Worf/Ezri material mostly works (though not as well as it could), but the Garak material doesn't work at all (for the reasons William B outlines), and Sisko and Garak aggressively using reverse psychology on a vulnerable individual comes over as misguided in the extreme (as William B also writes above). Fortunately, Echevarria was able to fix in Penumbra/Til Death what didn't work here in terms of Ezri/Worf - I felt Penumbra did a much better job of handling the two characters and their complex situation.
Sun, Jul 17, 2016, 4:23am (UTC -5)
I came away from this seeing an episode about Sisko more than anything. He's really the puppeteer of the episode. He's a smart, authoritative man mourning his friend, and he uses all of his calculated and manipulative juice to psychologically prod and pressure everyone, including Starfleet. It wasn't good for Dax, they probably acquiesced to Sisko at Starfleet more than agree with him (the war hero wants a favor), and it was just because Sisko wanted Dax back. It's no secret how much strain he's been under, and not having Dax...when he very much could get Dax back? Nah. He's getting Dax back. At the expense of major confusion and angst of everyone of Dax's other friends and husband, and new host, and against all established idea of what is supposed to be happening. The emissary is human, and letting Dax go is personally beyond him at this point.

PS: I had no idea people were that lowly regarding Terry Farrell's acting. I always thought she was quite competent and never one of the lower level actors of the main casts. Have her pegged as more of a mid-level actor on the show.
Sun, Jul 17, 2016, 12:40pm (UTC -5)

I mean Sisko's an important driving force for Ezri and Garak, but I don't think this episode is about him. His character remains the static "Smart Boss Guy" throughout. He doesn't have an arc, his views or perspectives aren't challenged or changed. In other words, Sisko isn't the protagonist of the episode. No, this episode is about Ezri and how she fits into DS9, and to a lesser extent Garak grappling with fighting his people for the sake of his home.
Mon, Jul 18, 2016, 11:25am (UTC -5)

Same here. I always liked Dax and didn't think she was a horrible actress. If you want to talk about Trek horrible actresses I believe Kes is thataway ->

She was never on the same level as "I SENSE PAIN... GREAT PAIN!!!" Troi on the first couple seasons of TNG. And even she got a lot better as time went on.
Mon, Jul 18, 2016, 12:57pm (UTC -5)
For what it's worth (and this a completely baseless assumption) I'm not saying Marina Sirtis is the greatest actress ever to live or anything, but I feel like she was getting REALLY, REALLY bad direction in the first season.

I feel like, especially what she was doing in Episode 1, was exactly what they wanted her to be doing. She was even asked to create an interesting accent (supposedly a Betazoid accent) for the role that they then didn't make Majel copy. The whole character was BADLY knocked around S1 to the point that Marina wasn't even sure she was coming back in S2.

I love the character actually, but S1 was painful for so many of the characters.
William B
Mon, Jul 18, 2016, 1:26pm (UTC -5)
I agree with Robert about Sirits, who I think was largely hamstrung by direction that was pretty difficult to make into what we would think of as a good performance, and what (more importantly) would connect to an audience. To be fair, everyone was asked to do a kind of impossible character in season one, to various degrees, and it's worth noting that despite having to be frequently annoying Spiner managed to make Data magnetic in a sort of positive way, while also playing under a really unusual set of circumstances. That said, "act like a robot, except when you aren't supposed to" is still cooler than "make up an accent which we will immediately contradict, just feel a lot but not usefully" as a set of weird contradictory initial conditions. I think the problems with Troi (in early seasons especially) are primarily about writing rather than acting. Even in largely weak episodes, where there is good material for Sirtis to seize on I felt like she did -- like the scenes with Armus in Skin of Evil, which I liked.

By contrast, and I'm not trying to be too negative here, I feel like Terry Farrell was given a not-fully-defined, but still pretty internally consistent and interesting character to play in season one -- a kind of Spock figure with lots of lifetimes of background -- and she seemed largely uncomfortable and insincere in the role. I'm not saying there were lots of great Dax scenes that TF failed to deliver, because the writing wasn't great for Dax in season one, but still, I feel like there was enough there for her to bring a certain presence at least, without embarrassing herself too much. (Note: I cut her slack for the embarrassments of Move Along Home and If Wishes Were Horses because no one, except for maybe Shimerman in the former and definitely Meaney in the latter, comes off looking good in those.) And she was just a blank. The party-girl character established throughout season two was something that TF could bring a verve to and it largely was successful. Though even there, I think that she struggled at times when the character material went far enough away from the primary Dax mode. I'm not really saying she was *terrible*, because I don't think she was, but she was largely unconvincing when not playing certain modes of Jadzia. To some extent, I think dramatic work in Blood Oath and Rejoined managed to largely work because they played TF's discomfort outside her comfort zone to enhance the text (and Dax, the episode, was all predicated on Jadzia clamming up as much as possible), but the first time I can recall TF really bringing it dramatically was in Change of Heart. As far as the cast, I think she's in the bottom tier of the DS9 main cast, but to be fair much of that is because the cast is overall quite good.
Peter G.
Mon, Jul 18, 2016, 1:53pm (UTC -5)
"I feel like Terry Farrell was given a not-fully-defined, but still pretty internally consistent and interesting character to play in season one -- a kind of Spock figure with lots of lifetimes of background -- and she seemed largely uncomfortable and insincere in the role."

Man, there is a lot of Farrell criticism on this site. I don't recall reading one review praising her, which makes the Ezri hate all the more curious since if Terry was so bad then what was the big deal about bringing on Ezri?

I have to be honest, when I watched DS9 in its initial airing as a teenager I didn't like Dax. I found her boring for the most part. Watching it again multiple times as an adult I was surprised at how engaging I found her performance, despite the writing for her in S1 being flat at the best of times. She comes right out of the gates in Emissary swinging, doing something really interesting that I'd never seen before or since. She played an ethereal, enlightened character, so old that even the idea of flirting or adventure were childish to her. The air about her was wise, and at the same time, quietly bemused. I thought her choices were excellent, and her delivery very gentle and decisive.

Now, we know the writers didn't know what to do with her and that they (along with Terry) tried to expand on her character as the series went on. Some of what they wrote into her may seem to somewhat contradict what she did in the early episodes, since it's somewhat inconsistent to both be so wise that you aren't concerned with sex, and then to see a Dax who's a hopeless gossip, a party animal, impulsive, and with a sarcastic sense of humor that never turns off. My chosen interpretation of the progression is that Jadzia was newly joined at the start of the series and only began integrating her hosts as time went on. My observation has been that Curzon predominantly took over her personality, and this only happened after Sisko and Jadzia have discussed him several times so we know a bit about him. Maybe Farrell got inspired by those dialogue scenes and decided she wanted some Curzon in her, who knows.

When I watch the series now I always find Farrell to be among the strongest of the performers. Granted, she's rarely called upon to do the kind of firebrand explosive acting Kira is, or the tortured moments Odo routinely goes through, but I found her verve and intelligence in dialogue to be a cut above. I don't think the primary cast has any weak links (a la Beverly Crusher, Kes, Travis), and even then I feel she's around average within the group. Shimmerman is usually very engaging but I felt he occasionally fumbled the acting. Same with Bashir, who as the series progressed tended to fall into a rut of doing the same things over and over. I think Farrell is more or less a rock, always delivering the goods in her scenes, but rarely exceeding expectation. So she's not at the Picard/Data level, but maybe closer to Riker in this sense.
Mon, Jul 18, 2016, 2:06pm (UTC -5)
Dax didn't fail as hard for me as it did for William post-reboot, but I do see what he means pre-reboot.

They changed the character's centuries of experience from projecting an otherworldly intelligence and coolness (I actually think what they wanted was what Famke Janssen did what Kamala) to having her centuries of experience cause her to have a devil may care attitude to life.

The first rang more true to me as to what such a character would be like, but the second was certainly better as to the way Farrell played it. And it is interesting in a sense... are these hosts servants to the symbionts in a way, gaining immortality in exchange for giving the symbionts experiences. In that way, and it's interesting that the reboot largely occurred in the episode where she gets a Trill recruit, they made it almost part of Trill culture that the worst crime a host can be is boring.

I feel like in a lot of ways they reiterate that theme throughout, and it is in a lot of ways one of the things Ezri is anxious about. But really the reboot was necessary because writing, direction, acting or other the initial version of Dax DID NOT WORK. I personally really liked Dax and Farrell, but I didn't care for "Dax " (the episode) and that was the only one where she was serviceable in S1 and I didn't care for it.

If you look "A Man Alone" you'll see what they were going for. And for whatever reason she does not pull it off.
Alex (in the UK)
Mon, Jul 18, 2016, 2:09pm (UTC -5)
I also liked Terry Farrell's performances. I don't really understand the frequent dislike I've seen expressed about her. She always seemed to be putting a 100% into her role and rarely was noticeably "acting". Not to mention she is one of the few Star Trek "babes" who wasn't put in ridiculous cleavage showing costumes. She more than earned her place in the cast of DS9, in my opinion.
William B
Mon, Jul 18, 2016, 2:42pm (UTC -5)
I might check out some of Dax's early scenes to see how well the ethereal, slightly bemused presence speaks to me. I rewatched the series recently, of course, but it is possible I simply was

Post-reboot, I guess I was probably a bit harsh. The reason I don't think TF "brought the dramatic goods" in Blood Oath, for instance, is because the episode very deliberately gives the emotional climax over to the Klingons, with Dax not quite crossing over into making the choice whether or not to kill the Albino. Stating that the episode works because it plays up TF's uncertainty about moving out of her comfort zone is probably an unkind assumption, so maybe I should just say that I think she does well at portraying Jadzia who is *somewhat* shaky, tempted to but not quite going over into a fundamental shift in who she is. It may be that my problems with Meridian at believing a Jadzia who really *does* go through a sudden transformation are purely writing-based rather than TF. Rejoined is somewhere between those two -- where Jadzia is on the one hand getting herself ready to abandon her life as it was and also does not *quite* have to follow through on it because Lenara makes the call she does; I know that Meridian prevented Jadzia from ditching her current life at the end, but I tend to think that in Rejoined, Jadzia was maybe not *entirely* certain that she was ready to leave her life behind, and a part of her may have been relieved by Lenara being the "voice of reason" so that she would not have to face her newfound mortality and exile. But anyway, after Rejoined, the main dramatic material for Jadzia is in her relationship with Worf, and so it's Change of Heart where that reaches its most dramatic point, IMO, even though there are non-performance-related problems I have with that. I think that TF is good in Looking for Par'Mach... and You Are Cordially Invited, but both are mostly comic (YACI does have the big scene with her and Sisko). So it's actually probably that TF didn't have many opportunities to do the "big dramatic" pieces that I'm claiming she failed at.

Moving away from TF (the rest of this has nothing to do with TF criticism or praise): Anyway, my best interpretation of Jadzia's personality change is that we know that Jadzia was an extremely shy, studious, responsible initiate. It seems as if s1 Jadzia may really have been a combination of Jadzia's early personality along with a sense of what joined Trills are supposed to be. The shift from "with all my experience, I am above flirting and other worldly things," where her favourite activity is brain teasers and her favourite food is steamed [vegetable name], to "with all my experience, I am above restraint or worrying what people think of me" where her favourite activity is ACTIVITIES in capital letters, is probably a combination of her settling into herself and, yes, basically becoming Curzon. That there is something disturbing in her basically becoming Curzon is something the show sometimes gestured to but tended to back away from, which disappoints me -- in particular, Curzon's obsession with Klingons makes aspects of the whole of Worf/Jadzia seem suspect, as if Jadzia's attraction to Worf starts entirely as a way for her to renew her Klingon cred. That Facets and Rejoined are the last major Dax stories before most of her material is about her and Worf underscores this point. It's not really that I think that badly of Jadzia, so much as that this is one character arc that seems incomplete. While I am not happy with Ezri's episodes exactly, I do like that Ezri works very hard to disentangle what she wants from what Jadzia (and, consequently, Curzon, Joran etc.) wanted. It gives the weird sense that Ezri is able to do what largely didn't occur to Jadzia, probably because she did not seek out joining the way Jadzia did.

It sort of raises the question of why someone wants to be joined in the first place. This is somewhat covered in Playing God, but not in a way I found satisfactorily. Obviously the pros are huge -- one will become effectively immortal (on humanoid time scales anyway), gain access to lifetimes of experience -- but the possibility of doing so at the cost of losing one's own identity, and effectively becoming *just* a host for another life form, is also huge. (Rejoined is *really* interesting in this regard, because the renewal of Dax/Khan suggests two contradictory consequences: Jadzia and Lenara would effectively give up their current hosts' lives to renew a previous life romance, and by agreeing to banishment for that they would effectively guarantee the death of the symbionts, thus cutting the line off.)
William B
Mon, Jul 18, 2016, 2:46pm (UTC -5)
"...possible I simply was not paying enough attention to Farrell," in the first line.
Peter G.
Mon, Jul 18, 2016, 4:08pm (UTC -5)
@ William B,

I think we're on the same page to a large extent about Jadzia and her arc, including it's incomplete telling. It's one the sad things in the series and actually I credit Farrell even more on this account since in a sense she largely had to fill in the blanks herself where she wasn't given a clear direction by the writers. In a given episode should often would be sent in a particular direction, but overall there's unevenness in how the various writers wrote her (not nearly to the scope of Janeway, though). I think Farrell brought a fairly steady through-line to her as time went on. She changed, but linearly and smoothly. There were no jagged edges or sudden reversals such as we occasionally got with Quark, Kira, and even Sisko. Farrell's character evolved but never reversed or dropped.

Part of what I like in an actor/actress is the ability to tell us a story, and while many actors feel this means being really emotional when the script calls for, I (as both a viewer and an artist) place much higher weight on bringing one's intelligence to bear and communicating *ideas* to the viewer. That, I think, is what really moves the story along, and Farrell is in my opinion one of the top 2-3 regulars on DS9 who lent her character intelligence more so than emotional verve much of the time. Even when playing scenes of indecision (like in Blood Oath) I felt Farrell portrayed the issue as being more of an intellectual crisis than an emotional one, which I like a lot. It's certainly not that common to see on TV, to be sure. Contrast with Kira, whose typical crisis involves her struggling to contain her emotions and to direct her passionate energies this way or that. Kira does face intellectual issues, but tends to deal with them emotionally. That's great if the actress can deliver (Visitor surely does), but for me, at any rate, when Dax deals with emotional issues intellectually I find that much more interesting. Kira frequently needs reassurance; she's going to do what she's going to do anyhow, but wants to confide in someone or be comforted. Dax, however, goes to Benjamin for actual guidance; to solve her problem with her mind. And I think this comes across in her regular performance, and I think that's something special. There are a couple of big exceptions to this, one of which is "Blood Oath", which I think was meant to be a problematic situation for her (i.e. she knew, and the Klingons knew too, that she wasn't really exactly feeling the call of vengeance as they were, but rather was fixated on proving she was still one of them), and the other was "You Are Cordially Invited", where she really did have to overcome herself and put her emotions aside do to what she already knew was right.

I'll agree with you right away about Meridian, and I'll just go ahead and say that I think it's a dumb-ass script. Farrell did what she could with it. There just isn't the possibility in a one-week shoot on TV to establish falling in love immediately unless maybe you have the best actors in the world. Even then it would feel rushed but maybe you could sell it anyhow. I'm willing to simply ignore this episode and pretend it never happened, both in terms of the Dax 'arc' and in terms of Farrell's work on it. You rarely come out looking good in a turkey (one reason why Colm Meaney is so good; he's unshakeable and will look solid no matter what). The episode isn't necessarily terrible to watch, but the romance is impossible to accept which makes everyone involved look incompetent. The writer's fault, 100%.
William B
Mon, Jul 18, 2016, 5:06pm (UTC -5)
@Peter G., I think I see what you are saying about the intellectual weight behind TF's performance. It is not something I have thought about. I think I went a little too negative on Dax in this latest rewatch, partly because I think I was just getting a handle on what my big frustrations were with her story in my first adult rewatch, but certainly thinking about some of my favourite moments of hers -- Blood Oath, her role as a stopper on Julian's/Quark's excesses in The Quickening and Business as Usual -- her attempt to deal with things in intellectual terms does come through, especially as you say in the contrast with Kira. It is hard to imagine Kira being able to figure out exactly what to say to Bashir in The Quickening to puncture his bubble, because Kira, as we've seen elsewhere, does not really think in terms similar to Bashir's and would not be able to put her finger on *what* fundamental errors Bashir is making, but would probably instead go at him entirely emotionally (in something like the way she attacks him in Emissary). Even in You Are Cordially Invited, Sisko successfully *reasons* with Dax to get her to do what she knows she needs to do, and as you say her emotionalism got in the way. To some degree, this is also true in Equilibrium; I do think that Jadzia's ability to take steps toward embracing Joran the way she does at the episode's end is partly an intellectual recognition that it does no one favours to shut out the violent elements in society entirely, despite what one's visceral emotional reactions of disgust might be (again, compare Kira with her mother's far less severe crimes). Interpreting her crisis as primarily intellectual also might help me appreciate Facets better, come to think of it.

In Change of Heart, one of the things that I really noticed is the way TF seems to play Dax in that last scene with Worf as...hesitant, almost, about what she should say to Worf after this huge action that he has taken. People like Yanks suggest that Jadzia mentioning Worf's career rather than the potential lives lost is a big sign of the episode's having the wrong focus, and I sort of agree...but TF really does seem to be playing it as if Jadzia is choosing her words carefully to protect Worf from the collapse of his value system, that Jadzia is thinking through how to try to ask Worf about why he did it without hurting him further now that his choice is done. She sounds grateful and sad and a little guilty that people might die because of Worf's choice but trying to hide it for his sake and for her own. It's why I singled that episode out, and looking at it it does seem to be a performance that brings Jadzia's intelligence to the fore, as well as her attempt to manage the reality of what happened. It's so subtle that I'm not positive it's all there, but the tone feels very delicate and precise. So it might just be that it took until CoH in my rewatch for me to clue in to the kind of work TF was doing and separate it from the difficulties I was having with Dax' story.
Sun, Jul 31, 2016, 3:51am (UTC -5)
@Chrome, I get that's the function of the episode and what it's intended as, but when I subject it to even the slightest analysis, it always goes back to Sisko, to me, even if it was the furthest thing from the writers' minds. He doesn't come across as the smart guy boss. He comes across (again, to me) as what I mentioned. Manipulative, self-serving, and really forcing what's going on in the episode, against the other characters. He doesn't have to have an arc; he doesn't even have to be on camera. Most of this isn't happening unless he is personally causing it, when you really look at it. His fingerprints are all over it. These characters were not going that way without Sisko pulling the strings. And it's not a leap to say why he would do that, whether it seemed correct or not. And this is one where I just don't buy wisdom as the driving force for him.

In a way, he doesn't even know who he's dealing with (neither does she) and he knows this is completely against what her people are supposed to be doing, being fully immersed into their former host's life while everyone is still mourning the loss. And he won't let her move on. I just see him wanting his friend back because he needs it. Not even saying it's a conscious motive, but how long has he had a Dax with him and how bad a shape has he been in at this time in the story, and how twisted up is everybody having to be "reunited" this way? Ben...Oh, Ben...He's in there at one point going "I'll just do a temperamental Curzon/Ben thing to this emotionally fragile, confused kid and see if it works." And the fact that it sort of does, doesn't make me think it was because he's so knowing. He threw something at the wall and it stuck. He didn't know if he'd break the wall or not but whatever. He was trying any trick in his bag. The fact that he even did this to Worf means he was either that oblivious or that selfish, I don't know which, but it doesn't speak well of him.
Sun, Jul 31, 2016, 9:20am (UTC -5)

But in order for this episode to be "about Sisko" we need to actually care about Sisko and his stake in the story. In the worst case scenario for Sisko here, his sort-of friend (he doesn't really know Ezri that well) leaves and he stops getting intelligence from Garak. So what? The episode didn't do anything to say that those two things would jeopardize Sisko's career or that he couldn't go on without Ezri. It seems like Sisko would continue doing his thing regardless of the stakes in this episode.

I'm not sure why you need to characterize Sisko's actions as manipulative and self-serving, either. I mean he's basically just doing his job as a CO. If anything, he's serving Starfleet's interests in Garak and Ezri.
Peter G.
Sun, Jul 31, 2016, 5:07pm (UTC -5)
By all rights Garak should have stopped working and Ezri should have quit. But Sisko knew they were both too valuable to squander and letting things play out 'normally', e.g. playing it safe, wasn't going to work. Garak was simply NOT going to listen to a normal therapist. Similarly, Ezri was not going to listen to her own better judgement, because she had none. So Sisko took a risk to save them both, hoping that the 8 lifetimes of experience would kick in, and similarly, that somehow Dax would invent a way to fix Garak's morale given that Garak already had some respect for Jadzia. I doubt anyone he didn't already respect would have gotten the time of day with him.

I do think the technical resolution was a bit wonky at times, but in a way Ezri f--king up completely was what led Garak to own up to what he problem was. He needed the pressure of her scrutiny to be over while yet having her listen to him as he went through the problem out loud.

So while I guess Sisko's gamble initially failed (since Ezri was going to quit) it came home for him in extra innings. Garak really did need someone he trusted to listen to him; just not anyone formidable enough for him to require having his guard up. Ezri's 'weak' presence give him the familiar yet safe environment he needed, where he could feel superior enough to not care about telling her the truth. That being said, I think I might have preferred if they had written Julian as the one to help ease the truth out of him.
Wed, Aug 3, 2016, 10:32pm (UTC -5)
In many ways I agree with William B's statement that being on DS9 is a bad place right now for Ezri, as her colleagues, by and large, have all their reactions to her colored by their relationship with Jadzia Dax. I disagree, however, with his idea that Ezri would be better off back on the Destiny, as all their reactions to her would be equally colored by their relationship with Ezri Tigan.

However, as I said in my comment for the last episode, I do think it makes sense for Ezri to seek out Sisko for support. Having known both Curzon Dax & Jadzia Dax personally, he understands in a practical sense that this person will not be Jadzia Dax or Ezri Tigan in a way others on DS9 or the Destiny will not. He can provide support as pseudo-family while she comes to terms with her new self while staying in Starfleet.

In many ways she is like a teenager trying coming to terms with her new adult self, and being overwhelmed by all the unfamiliar emotions. In this episode the writers want us to see Sisko as the firm father who pushes her to do things she's capable of, even if she doesn't yet believe in herself.

The one thing we know Ezri Tigan and Jadzia Dax had in common was that they both joined Starfleet, an organization he generally holds in high regard (even if certain characters in this series have disappointed him). I believe Sisko here is relying on the sense of duty that both Ezri & Dax separately had as Starfleet officers; give her a problem that's her responsibility and count on her to put aside her own personal difficulties just long enough to solve that problem. By solving that problem, she will ultimately discover her own self-worth as this new person.

Which, of course, is how it played out. It would have come across better, however, if they had not shown her so completely incompetent at first. To be fair, it is likely that, until she better integrates herself, she's currently a worse counselor as Ezri Dax than she was Ezri Tigan. Still, it's understandable that many here have written that it's probably not the best idea for her to be working this all out while treating patients at this key outpost in the middle of a war with no other counselor helping her.

Counting against this episode is it's overall predictability. I think most viewers expect that Garak would have ambivalent feelings about helping an invasion against his people, so there is a lot of false suspense while we wait for the characters to discover that is the problem.

I'm not sure what to think of Ezri's comment to Bashir, other than it's definitely memorable. No, I don't think it's true, but it is something that this confused Ezri Dax might (wrongly) think was being kind.

Overall, I think the pros outweigh the cons here. I agree with Jammer's 2.5 star rating.
Latex Zebra
Thu, Sep 22, 2016, 4:40am (UTC -5)
Nice, after all these years, to watch an episode of DS9 I'd never seen before.
Yeah Ezri is a bit of a mess as a character... Should they have just pulled up a peripheral character instead of bringing Dax back... Maybe.

I liked this episode though and was genuinely stunned when Garak an Sisko chewed her out.
It was what was needed.

I think 2.5 is probably fair though.
Sun, Oct 23, 2016, 1:07am (UTC -5)
I think a lot of people posting about this episode don't have a clue. I thought this was a very good episode and I thought the whole Ezri Dax story line was very well thought out. What do we know of Trills? That you have to go through a huge complex and difficult screen process. Here we have a Trill who not only wasn't trained, but DIDN'T WANT to be joined, something that must be rare amongst Trills. Everything that she went through in this episode was realistic and believable. Sisko putting too much pressure on her and having too high of expectations of her. Worf's reaction to her is so understandable. In fact in reality she should never have stayed on the station because all in all, Ezri Dax needs to live her own life, not just pick up Jadzia Dax's life and continue. I liked that Jake has the hots for her, she is after all close to her age and all.
What I didn't like was Bashir rolling over meekly to Worf. Worf acted unprofessionally and insinuating threats to another officer is something that Bashir should not have taken laying down.
Tue, Jan 17, 2017, 8:51pm (UTC -5)
The character of Ezri was poor. Why didn't the writers learn their lesson regarding ship "counsellors" from TNG? She's less convincing as a counsellor than Troi was—and that's saying something. As someone else (above) pointed out, the biggest issue here is that the writers are introducing a new character in the final season of a seven season show. An galactic war is coming to an end. All characters we've known since Season 1 have to be done justice too. It's a total lame-brained idea to then start writing in a new character. I think they did it because they ran out of ideas and wrote themselves into a corner. Even the war itself fell apart—the silly Dukat Fire Monster storyline being the absolute pits.

The writers were running the clock down at this point, totally out of ideas. They also introduced the Breen to waste even more time.

Saying that, some people are calling Nicole de Boe a bad actress. She is not. Have a look at her in one of the best sci-fi episodes of all time, Quality of Mercy, from the new series of The Outer Limits. It really is Troi Syndrome all over again. A bad character, shoe-horned in with a silly dead-end job role, scripted poorly. I mean, why would DS9 need a counsellor now? Why? No-one has been missing a counsellor in any of the other episodes. Sisko explains she will now be responsible for everyone's well-being. So, until now, Starfleet saw fit to leave an entire station in the jaws of mental disorder? Bollocks. The whole "OH NO! MY CLAUSTROPHOBIA IS WORSE THAN EVERRRRR!" melodrama from Garak was simply thrown into the mix to justify her existence. It also made Garak look stupid.

I don't think any of us could have made Ezri a better character. This is all on the writers.
Wed, Jan 18, 2017, 2:00pm (UTC -5)
@DLPB - "Sisko explains she will now be responsible for everyone's well-being. So, until now, Starfleet saw fit to leave an entire station in the jaws of mental disorder? Bollocks."

And O'Brien was seeing Counselor Telnorri after his experiences in "Hard Time". And we he complained about him Julian's response implied that there were multiple other counselors on DS9.

"O'BRIEN: What for? All Telnorri ever wants to do is sit and listen to me tell stories of what it was like to be in an Argrathi prison. How often did they beat me? Was I distressed by the lack of toilet facilities? If you ask me, he's the one with the problem.

BASHIR: You can talk to a different counsellor. Someone you might like better."

Just like Troi wasn't the only counselor on ENT-D there sure as hell weren't ZERO counselors aboard DS9 in the middle of a war!! This was a very, very strange episode for some of the things it tried to imply.
Paul Allen
Wed, Feb 22, 2017, 5:12pm (UTC -5)
Ezri is a terrible character.

She's a young adult, who gets on like an absolute child. The hell is she doing as a lieutenant, and a counsellor on a station??
Wed, Mar 15, 2017, 4:27am (UTC -5)
I, too, agree with JD and Niall that it was genuinely disturbing to see Sisko using reverse psychology on Ezri, an emotionally fragile young woman with no support system whatsoever. Not sure if I would classify Garak's chewing her out as such - Garak yelling at her seemed to me more like an emotionally compromised individual lashing out because he wasn't getting the help he needed himself. That being said I do think that Ezri did an incredibly bad job of counselling him at the beginning, but that was meant to be the point - that she was a confused girl who had been thrown in at the deep end and was in way over her head, and had a lot of growing up to do and fast. Both she and Garak needed help from someone who was emotionally and professionally equipped to do so, and forcing them together was a big gamble on Sisko's part that paid off because it's TV. If anything though their scenes together revealed a fact that I found incredibly intriguing: that Garak and Jadzia were evidently on much closer terms than we were shown, and that he cared for her deeply. 'You're not worthy of the name Dax,' Garak says. 'I knew Jadzia. She was vital, alive. She owned herself.'

As far as Ezri goes, I loved her character and what she and the writers did with it. I thought she perfectly conveyed the uncertainty of a young graduate who's been put into a situation far beyond her means. Someone on this site, but another episode, commented that she had a much better understanding of her Dax than Jadzia ever did. And it was nice to see someone from Starfleet who isn't absolutely perfect for a change, and has to face the same problems we do: self doubt, regret and having to live with the choices you made in the past.
Sun, Apr 16, 2017, 6:08pm (UTC -5)
Ezri's statement to Bashir that Jadzia would have gotten together with him if Worf hadn't come along was ridiculous. There was never any indication that Jadzia thought of Bashir as anything other than a cute puppy. It supports the offensive idea from previous episodes that Bashir had the right to consider Jadzia the one who got away, or the one he lost. She never was interested, and the retcon is just male privilege rearing its ugly head.

Rant over.
Mon, May 22, 2017, 7:59am (UTC -5)
How is Worf still in star fleet? No consequences for his assaulting a fellow officer?

Screw him, his stupid sash, and his fragile little emotions. Everyone walks on eggshells around that dude.

And Ezri's comment to Bashir. Really? If an emotionally abusive, possessive 'roided up a-hole hadn't come along, it would have been Bashir? Like she only had two options in her life (three if you count Quark)? Plus, there were plenty of Klingons and Jem Hadar befor she'd ever get to Bashir. She had a type, and it wasn't Bashir.
Mon, May 22, 2017, 8:47am (UTC -5)

"And Ezri's comment to Bashir. Really? It would have been Bashir?"

Maybe Ezri's projecting her own feelings onto Jadzia. At least, I think this was the writers' attempt to foreshadow the Ezri-Bashir ship. Though, in all fairness, seasons 1 - 3 did tease a Jadzia-Bashir romance quite a bit.
Sun, Sep 3, 2017, 4:20pm (UTC -5)
The writers gave Sisko a blank check to make bad choices to win the war: the plot of Pale Moon Light, Worf killing Gowron, and here sending Ezri to Fix Garak so he'll break codes. It's a plot contrivance hushed so as to demonstrate desperation. But it's about Sisko here too.
Thu, Nov 23, 2017, 8:51pm (UTC -5)
Nothing special here, fairly standard trials of a new person facing some challenges, overcoming them (as expected) and not leaving. Ezri Dax is good for this role -- as a small woman dealing almost exclusively with large, dominant males, she can evoke the feeling of sympathy from the viewer. Surprised Kira didn't play a bigger role in acclimatizing her.

The real issue I have is Sisko promoting her to lieutenant from ensign as a counselor without testing her. She has huge issues of her own trying to manage the symbionts. She has no business trying to counsel somebody like Garak, a very complex person, who was in pretty bad shape.

Worf is an ass in this episode, but some of that can be attributed to mourning for Jadzia. Although being around humans for so long, he might try and consider how they (especially Bashir) might feel. Him coming around in the end toward Ezri was entirely predictable.

Garak's situation is crafted perfectly for Ezri to stumble her way through to a solution -- but it was weird seeing him dress her down so badly. We know what he can do (from "In the Pale Moonlight") but he's never been one to rip someone apart verbally. I'll chalk it up to his claustrophobia/guilty conscience and justifiable frustration with Ezri.

I was never a fan of Jadzia Dax. At least she had some technical skills and had earned the respect of everybody else. I wonder if there may be something about the treatment a smaller person (Ezri) gets vs. a taller one (Jadzia) at play here. A taller person gets respect more easily.

2 stars for "Afterimage" -- nothing horribly wrong but nothing great either, this type of episode is well-worn territory not just for Trek. Nevertheless, it's a needed episode to set up Ezri Dax, although I have my doubts about what she brings aside from all the symbionts.
Thu, Apr 5, 2018, 2:59am (UTC -5)
Hello Everyone!

Wow, what a great bunch of comments to go through. Thanks to everyone over the years for their insights... Now, to some thoughts, starting with the silly one:

Did the makeup change somewhat for this one? Perhaps I just don't remember seeing Garak wear a shirt like that, but he looked as if he had a form of shoulder pads on when we saw the top of his clavicle region. I just kept staring, thinking to myself "He has no neck". At the end, he looked more normal, perhaps because he had a regular shirt on, and I figure he just didn't have as much padding to imitate what would be under there. At the very least, it was distracting. And Worf, as he turned away to leave during his scene with Bashir, looked like his ridges went nearly straight up. I was reminded of some helmets in LOTRO. I always thought his forehead curved more gracefully.

Speaking of Garak. I suppose I'd thought he had come to terms with helping the Federation/Klingon alliance when he helped bring in the Romulans during "In the Pale Moonlight", and he'd also said something about wanting to be there as the first parts of Cardassia were liberated in "Tears of the Prophets". So I was surprised his underlying problem was his help was going to get Cardassians killed. He'd just been compartmentalizing it away, until it ate at him enough to burst through in a scene I watched at least twice. I thought it was quite compelling, and Very Garak.

I think I like Ezri just fine. As I've mentioned on other posts, I tend to take characters just as they are. She just... was. So I accepted her. After reading some of the comments above, I believe in hindsight Jadzia might have been relying more on the Dax symbiont in how she did things in the first season, perhaps as a result of her training. Then as time went on, melded Jadzia with the favorite parts of the previous hosts, until she played Tongo until all hours of the night, enjoyed both Ferengi and Klingons, and some days decided to just go out and have FUN (perhaps a bit more of Farrell in there as well), among other things I'm forgetting. Ezri on the other hand, had no training, so is seemingly relying on Ezri Tigan to make sense of things, and while that makes her a bit flighty, it also makes her more interesting to me. It would be worse if she was a somewhat more stoic version, acting like Jadzia in the first season.

I turned my thoughts of Sisko around from some of the other comments: Perhaps he doesn't want her there for selfish reasons, perhaps he thinks Jadzia's friends can help her with the transformation better than her old friends could on that other ship (@methane touched on this a bit above). Not only did he know two versions, but many of them helped her by hosting her previous memories in "Facets". Short of going back to Trill for a while, I think this group can help her along. In my mind anyway...

Lastly, Ezri should have told Garak to take some time to think about it, instead of telling him Sisko would be happy to hear he was back on the job. That wasn't a very counselor comment, and a poor writing choice.

Thanks and have a great day... RT
Mon, Sep 17, 2018, 6:08pm (UTC -5)
I couldn't blame Garak at all for lashing out at Quark's...the people around him were virtually standing in his lap. If Julian thought Garak was so rude, he could have offered to switch seats with him and see how he liked it.
Cody B
Tue, Feb 5, 2019, 7:24pm (UTC -5)
I think they should have waited and completely introduced Ezri in this episode. Throwing her into that two-parter that already had too much going on was just bizarre and a waste. I have a hard time trying to like Worf. I felt sorry for him when he saw Bashir and Ezri touching hands and talking at Quark’s but then, very next scene, Worf is lifting Bashir up by the neck and telling him not to ever talk to “Dax” again. I’ve always had a hard time relating to Worf and I’ve always though he was unstable and violent. Even things like how he was so quick to watch o’brien’s Infant son to show jadzia he could parent. I’m thinking “why didn’t you parent Alexander you deadbeat dad”. There’s plenty of other instances I could name as well. Worf just isn’t one of my favorites. He has his moments though. I liked this episode though and I’m intrigued to see more Ezri interactions
Mon, Feb 11, 2019, 4:22pm (UTC -5)
Ezri is an ok character. I neither hate not love her.

Jadzia's death and the reintroduction of Dax was quite an opportunity for drama and character development and exploration, given that she has all of Jadzia's memories, about all the characters, but it's not Jadzia. Could make for some really interesting scenes. But I suspect the opportunity will be mostly missed with Ezri, here. We'll see.

The ep bored me a bit. I literally fell asleep now and then and had to shake myself awake. But I had no desire to rewind, so I can't give a truly fair assessment of it all.
Tue, Feb 12, 2019, 8:12am (UTC -5)
@Springy-You're fine. It's a moderately dull episode that sets out to make Ezri interesting, and basically fails. Even Garak doesn't save it. I don't hate it, but it's definitely below average DS9 for me. Season 7 doesn't start off as well as Season 6, but it doesn't fizzle out like Season 6 does either.
Debra Petersen
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 4:06pm (UTC -5)
I never went for Worf and Jadzia as a couple in the first place. He often seemed too controlling toward her, until she would assert herself and he would grudgingly back down. I always thought it was Julian that Jadzia really belonged with, that he was the one who truly cared about her the most. But she never really gave him a chance. It was a little startling to hear Ezri tell Julian that if Worf hadn't come along it would have been him. She apparently hoped that would make him feel better somehow, but the actual effect was just the opposite. The idea that it COULD HAVE BEEN, but wasn't, was clearly hard for him to take. Worf was cruel in telling Ezri he didn't want to know her. And the way he threated Julian for even talking to Ezri was way over the line.
Eric S
Thu, Jul 18, 2019, 12:29am (UTC -5)
I seriously hate how everyone has to accommodate Worf’s or the Klingons’ feelings/culture/customs etc... Worf should’ve been charged with assault. Who cares what Worf wants, if Julian wants to tap that a**, then he can. Afterwards, O’Brian goes to see “what’s bothering Worf” to make him feel better. Chief!! Worf just assaulted your best mate.
Thu, Jul 18, 2019, 3:58am (UTC -5)
Totally, bros before dead wife hoes.
Bobbington Mc Bob
Sun, Aug 4, 2019, 1:00pm (UTC -5)
No, not a fan of Ezri so far. Its ensign Tilly with Trill spots. The main problem is that she is a season one character. Recalling what a cartoon Bashir was when we first met him, and what he developed into, I feel like I don't have the patience to watch Ezri go through the same slightly forced emotional gymnastics, and the Quark angle is something I would prefer was dispensed with. I just really miss season 3, where it felt like every episode was a 3-4 star-rer. From about the middle of season 4 DS9 seemed to have a 50-50 hit / miss ratio with some undoubtedly great moments, but the introduction of a new cartoon character after all the heft of the end of season 6 just feels like work. Maybe if I had had the year's break that the viewers of 1998 had before starting a new season, I would feel differently. Perhaps this is a side effect of Netflix binge watching, IDK.
Sun, Aug 4, 2019, 3:36pm (UTC -5)
yeah Ezri never really grew on me either.
Most of the other leads had several seasons for backstory episodes but with her they had to force it all in the first part of season 7.
She is better than Tilly though.
No: "Thats the power of math,people." I still cringe because of these scenes.
Sun, Sep 1, 2019, 3:51am (UTC -5)
It's just not obvious to me that there was any need to replace Jadzia. With her departure the show had the same number of lead characters as in the first three seasons, and it managed ine then (and this was also before Rom, Kassidy, to an to an extent Garak, and various other supporting characters had become significant players). We just had Vic Fontaine added at the end of season 6, did we really need the show, in its crucial final season, to dick about trying to establish a new major character?

Oh, well. I don't particularly dislike Ezri - except insofar as I'm just not very invested in the whole Trill thing. I generally found Jadzia's early Trillcentric episodes rather boring, though she did grow in stature as a character later - it's just that it's frustrating to watch the series frittering episodes on this sort of thing just when you're dying to get back to the main story arc.

For that matter, the baseball game episode tossed into this three-episode hiatus was questionable timing. It's not like we really needed a break from anything by that stage.

Not a bad episode all the same; just question the need for this character to exist in the first place.
Tue, Jan 28, 2020, 12:50pm (UTC -5)
I think I basically fall in line with the "bit too simplistic" take here. I certainly hope this isn't the last we see of Garak's guilt, because when he finally allows himself to acknowledge it to the point where it completely overwhelms him... it doesn't end there. He's stopped running from the problem; now, he has to fight it. This is really only the beginning.

I disagree with the decision to promote Ezri, too. None of her past selves have gone through full counsellor training, and having 300 years of life experience does not equate to that. It's a discipline like any other -- you wouldn't suddenly allow her a promotion to Fully Qualified Starfleet Doctor even though Audrid Dax looked after her sick kid or something. You can live eight lives and all eight of them can be absolutely terrible at preparing you for a counselling job. Not quite the case with Dax, but then she does have Joran in the mix.

And blehh, Bashir and Quark now chasing after Ezri... Jadzia's still barely cold in her coffin, guys. Calm down. (Partner, who found Bashir's pursuit of Jadzia vomit-worthy from the moment it started, pretended to get up and leave the moment the two of them started looking a little too friendly. And was only half-joking.)

I'm probably sounding like I hated this one, but no, it was somewhere on the scale between "alright" and "fairly good" to me. 2.5 stars is pretty accurate, on that front. Having Ezri share her first focal ep with Garak is downright daylight robbery -- he steals the show. (Partner pointed out while watching that his blistering "confused child" rant to Ezri was notably out of character for him -- not in a "bad writing" way, but in a "he's seriously not in a good state right now" way. Definitely lashing out; no fear about showing the harshest and most difficult to swallow sides of emotional turmoil.) We both found ourselves liking and empathising with Ezri around this point, though.

But oh man, I do not envy her.

"Congratulations, Lieutenant. I want you to take a good look around. You have just agreed to take responsibility for the mental health of everyone in this room. You have your work cut out for you."

"Hahahaha is it too late to resign and run faaaar away from here, hey maybe I can come back when I've finally got the 'just had eight lives dumped into my brain' thing got under control, and also after proper training" -- me in Ezri's shoes

Living a life more interesting than being perpetually underground in the symbiont caves doesn't necessarily have to involve putting yourself in a situation as stressful as this, *especially* when other people will be depending on your mental health for the sake of *their* mental health. Just sayin'. She seriously needs her own damn therapist.
Jamie Mann
Sun, Mar 8, 2020, 11:24am (UTC -5)
Time to finish off the last few loose threads from the big events of the last few episodes, the most notable of which is Ezri Dax, who’s still doing her best to channel Jadzia Dax’ mannerisms.

There’s some interesting interactions in this episode - most notably when Garak dresses down Ezri for her mediocre counselling skills - but in general, there’s not really much here other than the attempt to settle Ezri firmly into a Jadzia-shaped hole...
Eric Saavedra
Tue, Jul 7, 2020, 7:19pm (UTC -5)
Worf really got on my nerves in this one, especially in the Dr Bashir scene. Seriously, why isn’t this guy ever charged with assault and removed from Starfleet. It’s not the first time he puts his hands on a fellow officer. Everyone always tries to appease Worf and and all the Klingons. In fact, I hate the Klingons. The only one I liked was Martok, and even he got my nerves occasionally.
Wed, Jul 22, 2020, 5:21pm (UTC -5)
This one is properly rated. I think Jammer nailed it... DS9's had better moments, but this is still serviceable.

As someone who's studied some psychology and been through a lot of therapy, it doesn't matter how many times I see TV writers try to portray it in a limited time format that has to make things easy to understand and wrap-up-able within the time slot; it never has the kind of impact that discussing therapy should. And that's not why people watch television in the first place.

I feel like it was a bit of a misstep to make Ezri a Ship's (or Station's) counselor, for this reason. Deanna Troi rarely worked well in her "Counselor" scenes on TNG, and was usually better utilized for her half-Betazoidness or for the fact that she could be generally a fish-out-of-water compared to the more experienced members of the crew on the Enterprise.

Nobody watches TV to hear about therapy. People watch TV to let what they talked about in therapy "cook." TV is supposed to be a diversion from our personal problems, not a case study in them.

Hence, any serious "counseling" that might be written into a script for either Troi or Ezri Dax, would go through so many rewrites that it would be weathered into something so squeaky-clean, bloodless and unrecognizable that it may as well be a commercial for an anti-depressant medication.

2 1/2 stars indeed.
Mon, Nov 30, 2020, 9:57am (UTC -5)
I really appreciated the Ezri/Garak counseling sessions actually. She does come off like an intern, and she got stuck with an ex-intelligence agent with a history of severe child abuse (which he can't even acknowledge as such)? Jesus. Aside from her oversharing I felt like she did tolerably well under the circumstances, lol.

Also his teardown of her didn't come off so much as a SICK BURN as someone projecting to an almost comical degree. You'll never live up to this great name, you're a failure who doesn't know what you're doing, blah blah. Please, tell us more about your father, Garak...
Tue, Feb 23, 2021, 10:28pm (UTC -5)
Just watched this episode. Not really liking Ezri. Adding her to the cast seemed pointless.
Mon, May 10, 2021, 5:10pm (UTC -5)
Have to agree with Jammer on this one. The episode was strangely watchable but somehow lacked the proper nutrition.

Garak's meanness toward Ezri was a tour-de-force to be sure and should be made 'required reading at the academy' should one wish to clean somebody's clock in the future. Now I for one, don't think Ezri was the best target for this geyser of vitriol. I would much rather unleash Garak on my local car dealer dude. You know the kind, the ones with framed pictures of their fake wives and fake children on their desks who smile while adding up the cost of your lease infractions.

I like Ezri. I really do. No problems with the character and I like the portrayal. Moreover, she shouldn't be blamed for Jadzia's death. Nor should Nicole De Boer (good Dutch name BTW) be harassed for the fact that she came in late. Just one of those 'Season 7 additions' set up to fail. What choice did she have? Let her make a living. Reminds me of how we hated the substitute teacher we got back in 3rd grade. But hey, somebody has to do it!

The real gem of the episode was Odo being told he gets to be Santa Anna in the Alamo holosuite program...he hasn't got a clue! 3 stars for that alone.
Mon, May 24, 2021, 9:28pm (UTC -5)
Nothing against Nicole DeBoer (who is very cute!), but Ezri Dax was a huge mistake. You don't introduce a new character in the last season, let alone an uninteresting one. It was a huge distraction from the main plot of the series and took screen time away from the main cast and the talented recurring cast.

Jadzia Dax never found a place on the series. She was the science officer who never made a single discovery, and paled in comparison to Data and Spock. An unconvincing ship's counselor is even worse. She added nothing to the show.
Tue, May 25, 2021, 5:24am (UTC -5)
I think the problem is Trills just aren't very interesting. There's not that much mileage in lines like "My third host, Milhouse, makes me feel very suspicious in situations like this!". Ok, love, you go with that instinct - let's move the story along now, eh?

Even the murderer was dull.

But Jadzia *was* interesting as a character, the moment the focus moved away from her species. Ezri wasn't.
Wed, May 26, 2021, 4:52pm (UTC -5)
@Skater777: I agree with your reasoning. It was a drain on the last season of the show to try to develop a new character...just think of what might have filled those hours with the existing cast. Once done, nothing was the same.

@Tomalak...I have also wondered what the Trill contributed to the show. ... Possibly not too much. Thanks for referring to 'My third host Milhouse' It made my day!
Thu, May 27, 2021, 11:22pm (UTC -5)
I don't buy the idea that Ezri took valuable time away from the main plot. DS9 was clearly struggling to come up with ideas by this time, and there were worse things than Ezri - the mind-numbing baseball episode, Vic and the obsession with all things 20th century Earth. I mean come on, a writing team bringing all of these things in is hardly the sign of people with a lot to say.

Watching through it the first time I was basically wanting to put it out of its misery by this point, and grateful it didn't go on to a Season 8, which as I understand was in the works. If we did get a S8, then I imagine the development of Ezri would have been one of the few redeeming things about the show at this stage. And it's funny that B5's final season was labeled a disaster by many and yet schooled S7 DS9 in a lot of ways about how to close out a show.
Mon, Nov 1, 2021, 11:00pm (UTC -5)
I liked Ezri Dax as a character, and the actress is amiable.

What I didn't like was the extreme amount of attention ultimately paid to this character over season seven, ESPECIALLY since the bulk of it was Ezri's relationships with Julian and Worf.

*BLEH*. Wtf?

However, this episode certainly had its moments and Garak utterly ripping Ezri to shreds was an extremely powerful scene. With Garak, I'm not sure if he secretly admired Jadzia from afar, or simply pulled out every dagger he could think of to destroy Ezri.

Garak's breakdown was also powerful. It almost felt a bit contrived, but Garak has been on the station for years, drinking Starfleet's root beer...

Also, Worf's crisis of dealing with Jadzia Dax being dead but not dead is very good, because it's a direct affront to his belief system. He just literally went to war to get Jadzia into heaven.

But, with Worf in DS9, this would all be far more impactful if he wasn't glum the whole series through with whatever he was whining about in every episode.
Mon, Dec 20, 2021, 1:59pm (UTC -5)
I like Ezri - the actress preserves some of Terry Farrel's tics and mannerisms - but agree with others who believe that DS9's final season was an awkward time to introduce another major character.

The writers seem aware of this, though, and do hard work to sell the new Dax. As a result there are a couple tender conversations here - between Bashir/Ezri and Worf/Ezri in particular - which elevate a somewhat dull episode.
Tue, Feb 1, 2022, 10:48pm (UTC -5)
This episode should've been entitled "Everybody Hates Ezri." Everybody and their mama came down on her. I'm shocked a Founder, a Prophet, and a Pah-wraith didn't walk into a Promenade and $#!% all over Ezri's feelings then tell her it was snow. I never liked Ezri the first time I watched season 7, but damn, that was brutal.

I much preferred Jadzia. I hated when they killed her off. She should've been allowed to finish off the series in whatever capacity she wanted. It's nonsense to fire her just because she didn't want to appear in every episode. The studio needs its anus whooped for that.
Thu, Mar 17, 2022, 6:43am (UTC -5)
I found Ezri tolerable, especially her introduction to Sisko on Earth and when they went looking for the Orb of the Emissary. The moments I found difficult in her acting were likely the result of DeBoer not having enough time to develop depth and nuance in her connection with the character.

Her reintroduction to DS9 was highly grating... it was the worst of all episodes featuring Ezri. Like Jammer, I had a hard time feeling for the episode, even though there wasn't anything particularly wrong with it.

I liked Jadzia a lot better, mainly because she was effortlessly extroverted, wise, and she "owned herself" like Garak said. I would have preferred that they did not bring another Dax onto the show, but it might have left a weird gap in the cast that would be hard to fill with a totally new character. At least Ezri was a repackaged version of an old character, so there was some transference. The only thing that really didn't work was that Ezri was a Counsellor and there was no important place for her in the context of the war. She was just 'there'.

What I don't understand at all is that we were formerly told that Trill society has very strict laws about reassociation between joined Trills and people from their former hosts' lifetimes, yet Ezri just goes back to living on DS9 like it's no big deal... even getting close to her former marriage partner. This is never really addressed, ever. Meanwhile Jadzi and Lenara Khan were practically almost ex-communicated from Trill society just for wanting to stay in pro-longed contact.
Sun, Mar 27, 2022, 3:15pm (UTC -5)
I'll say it again: Introducing a new Dax, if it HAD to be done (it didn't), should have been done with a male host. That would have been a lot more interesting, both for the times (90s) and the series.

Ezri would have been a decent side character if she'd been around a lot earlier. The unjoined Trill counselor that shows up occasionally to help main characters deal with issues. Maybe has some kind of camaraderie with Jadzia. Then, it would have been a lot easier to swallow that she picked up the symbiont and she would have a lot of pre-existing relationships.

This, though? Ick, sorry. Just fell flat from the get-go, and got a LOT worse (worf, bashir, etc).
Sat, Jul 16, 2022, 11:17pm (UTC -5)
"we were formerly told that Trill society has very strict laws about reassociation between joined Trills and people from their former hosts' lifetimes"

Probably those laws would be considerably relaxed for Ezri considering she didn't go to the symbiont academy.
Thu, Sep 29, 2022, 10:57am (UTC -5)
Good gracious, what has this show turned into...? So, so sad.

Dax v.8 is officially super annoying. The Gilmore-Girls vibes I got from her in the last episode totally came to the fore in this one. Not everyone needs to be a Worf or Tuvok, but this chick is just WAY too ditzy and hyper. There's a time and a place for that, but a military institution ain't it. There is NO WAY she'd have passed basic training, especially psych eval.

Come to think of it, what is she doing in a uniform anyway? Surely she'd have to go through the entire admissions and training (or at least testing) process again. Having memory and knowledge of your training in a different body and semi-different brain doesn't mean you still pass muster! What is this clownassery, seriously!?!

The inane chitchats--so overdone, predictable, and prosaic--don't help one bit. And the entire "I want to leave! I want to leave D.S.9! No, I want to leave Starfleet! No, I don't want to leave Starfleet but I want to leave D.S.9! No, okay, I'll stay on D.S.9! Waah! Waah! Waah!" routine... STFU!!!

That said, I feel bad for her. She comes across as a sweet girl (not just the character but the actress, too), and I don't want to add to everyone piling on her.

Also not sure what in tarnation happened to Garak all of a sudden. His onset of claustrophobia, supposedly stemming from his childhood, after EVERYTHING he's been through, is implausible in the extreme. So is his transformation into a dark menace, not because he's incapable of it--we've seen him do it--but because he turned on a dime and for no apparent reason. His sudden (that word again!) pangs of conscience about his work ending up costing Cardie lives is not convincing either.

So, yet again, after spending 45 minutes watching this, I ask myself: What the hell was this about??

Very bad.
Jason R.
Thu, Sep 29, 2022, 2:00pm (UTC -5)
"Come to think of it, what is she doing in a uniform anyway? Surely she'd have to go through the entire admissions and training (or at least testing) process again. Having memory and knowledge of your training in a different body and semi-different brain doesn't mean you still pass muster! What is this clownassery, seriously!?!"

Ezrin was already a Starfleet officer.
Thu, Sep 29, 2022, 2:35pm (UTC -5)
@Jason R.
Ah, thanks for looping me in; makes a soupcon more sense. I still think she's way too over the place to be a credible Starfleet...anything.

Maybe she got on my nerves because she was the focus here. In the baseball eppy that followed, she was cool.
Mon, Mar 27, 2023, 3:31pm (UTC -5)
This episode worked for me because of the way Nicole de Boer projects vulnerability due to her size and age (and pixie haircut). It was quite gripping to see everyone (especially Garak but also Work and even Sisko) cut her to ribbons.
Mon, Mar 27, 2023, 3:36pm (UTC -5)
Added: it's almost as though she's a transplanted organ - not unlike how a symbiont is integrated into its trill host - which is being rejected by its host body.
Sun, Apr 9, 2023, 7:53am (UTC -5)
I didn't really feel like there was any urgency in this episode.

The supposed "stakes" were that if Garak didn't get his claustrophobic attacks under control, he wouldn't be able to decode Cardassian messages. But there are a few flaws to this premise which deflate it quite a bit.

1. At this point why can't he just create some kind of decipher guide? In all seriousness, why hasn't he already? Surely, in an interstellar war, there must be more encoded communications than one man could decode in a lifetime. Instead of dedicating his time to each communication, at a snails pace, he should just dedicate his time to creating a guide so that Starfleet inelegance can take it from there. Much faster and more efficient, and would allow Garak to take a break.

2. Hypothetically, let's say that (despite the dialogue implying otherwise) Garak was actually cracking new codes with each message he was being handed. So it wasn't his knowledge of an existing code that was being utilized, it was his proficiency with codes in general. But in that case, I find it hard to believe he would be the only one, in the whole war, serving this function. There must be other code specialists between the Federation, Klingon, and Romulans. And if there are, then there really is no huge problem with Garak taking a little time off. The urgency is gone in this case.
Sun, Apr 9, 2023, 9:47am (UTC -5)
People are away too hard on Ezri. I agree that there were a lot of annoying characteristics about the her at first, but there were definite signs that the writers were finding the right tone for her. They just ran out of time. If the character had been introduced a season or two earlier, she would probably have left a much more positive impression.

Now with all that being said, I think the writers made a few mistakes that made things a lot more difficult then they had to be. Just for fun, I'll suggest things that I think would have made Ezri's character easier to accept.

First, I just want to state why Ezri was introduced. In case anyone doesn't already know, she was introduced because Terry Ferrel was leaving and they didn't want the male characters to outnumber the female characters any more than they already did. Without Dax, the only main female character was Kira. Not only is that pretty flimsy representation, but writers generally want two or more female characters to be able to interact once in a while. This is also why they couldn't make the new character male and why they couldn't just end the series without a new character.

Now let's get to my thoughts on what could have made Ezri more accepted.

1. Don't introduce her in the last season. I know their hands were kinda tied there. I don't know how much notice Terry Ferrel gave about leaving. But if possible, they should have introduced Ezri BEFORE Jadzia died. Get the awkward introduction faze out of the way before the final season. It would have made her character seem a little less tacked on.

2. Don't make her a Dax. Heck, don't make her a Trill. You're just asking for her to be compared to Jadzia / Terry Ferrel, which the audience has had several seasons to get to know. I can understand the writers reason for making her a Dax host. It comes with inherent motivations to come to DS9, inherent drama to have with Worf, etc. So, in theory, it sounds like it writes itself. But at the same time, it seems kinda schlocky and predictable. And it makes Ezri seem like more of a plot device than a character.

3. Don't make her a councilor. Not that a good character can't be a councilor, but it doesn't lend itself to a lot of exposure in the final season. A councilor would make more sense as a secondary character, more at Leeta's level of screen time. We already ran into the problem of Ezri showing up when it made no sense for her to be there. She was frequently at senior staff meetings, and on the bridge of the Defiant, etc. That makes no sense for a crew councilor that just showed up on DS9 recently. And that's because the writers needed to shoehorn her into episodes. you know what would have made it work a lot smoother? MAKE HER THE REPLACEMENT SCIENCE OFFICER. To my knowledge, they never assigned a replacement science officer on DS9. Not one they bothered to tell us about anyway.

So with all these thoughts, this is my ideal hypothetical introduction of Ezri (and I don't actually hold anything against the writers for not doing it this way. I don't know what situation they were in with Terry Ferrel leaving and hindsight is 20/20)

Ezri would be introduced as soon as possible in season 6, in small doses. Take the same approach they used to introduce Garak. Just a small handful of well written episodes to make us like her, but not shove her in our faces.

She's NOT Trill. She's some other Federation species. I don't really care what. She is a Starfleet officer with a specialization in the sciences. She could either be brought onto the station along with a bunch of new assignees, or they could even say she has been on the station for a while and we just never saw her. It's not like we see everyone. It doesn't really matter.

And one major difference is that the frantic identity confusion she suffered from early in season 7 would be gone. That's what people think of when they think of ANNOYING EZRI. When she got over that she was much more likable, it's just that the season was practically over at that point.

She and Jadzia form a bond as a result of one of the first episodes she's on. Just to make it a little more tragic when Jadzia dies and...

... In season 7 Ezri is promoted to and made the new station science officer to replace the deceased Jadzia.

Ezri has never been promoted as a result of a dead superior officer. The person who steps forward to give her guidance is Worf, who has been promoted under these circumstances before, and his Klingon culture accepts it readily. This helps the two form a friendship as she struggles to fill Jadzia's shoes.

Most of Ezri's impact on season 7 would have to be rewritten. Primarily anything that involves past lives, and the confused affair with Worf. But I honestly think that would be for the best.

Now, whether they took these steps or not, it would still be the same writers writing it. So maybe the character would still end up annoying people in entirely different ways. But we will never know. I'm just providing my thoughts on what made the character difficult to accept, and what might have made it easier. :)
Sun, May 21, 2023, 4:02pm (UTC -5)
I really appreciate Jammer's reviews of DS9, great writing man, always on point. But for this episode, also very sad. I kept wondering, is it me, or is this really boring?

The gaping plot hole for me was that Ezri / Dax didn't respect Trill tradition, which would have invalidated all of the dumb drama with Worf. (Wouldn't Jadzia have wanted her next host to respect the Trill traditions?)

It's impossible to respect Worf after this one. It always felt like a running joke that he could just resign temporarily and go kill a Klingon, but here it's a lot different. This is the CMO. Worf should be locked up, at the very least. Just why did the writers have to write that scene? And once again, where is Odo? WHY wasn't he informed? I have no pity for bullies, and if I was in Julian's place, I would have relieved Worf of duty on the spot and confined him for evaluation. And probably cooked up a virus - just for him - that gives eternal Klingon jock itch.
Sun, May 21, 2023, 4:07pm (UTC -5)
It really says something about a script that prominently features my favorite character, Garak, yet I've apparently managed to forget about his scenes despite many rewatches. Ezri and Garak don't make a good pair. I can't ever see Garak opening up to a traditional talk therapist.

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