OK, I really shouldn’t, in theory, be utterly apathetic over this episode. It’s directed by Jonathan Frakes. It marks the first appearance of many by actor Jeffrey Combs in any Star Trek series. The B-plot is rather amusing, involving Quark trying to get something from Kira without Kira realizing it.
But the A-plot is so dull, I opted to use a picture from the B-plot for the banner image instead of something involving Dax in her A-plot.
Once again, I am watching a Dax episode, and maybe this time there will be something there, something that gives me a handle of this character beyond the whole “Dax is the one who will try anything once and all the boys like”. Once again, I will say yet again that I do not blame actress Terry Farrell for anything that happens here. She’s doing what she can with the material she’s given, and she seems to be really trying.
The problem is, well, it’s a Star Trek romance that works off something like “love at first sight,” and if you want to turn me off from any episode, for any series really, do “love at first sight”. The plot here is the Defiant was exploring the Gamma Quadrant for…reasons, and a planet appears before them. The 30 or so people down there apparently on a world that phases in and out of the universe every so often. In another universe, they take on a pure mental state, but back in the physical world, where nothing has changed, they get a few days before they go to the other world for something like 60 years.
Now, in and of itself, that’s not a bad concept. But then we get down to what the episode is about, namely Sisko, Dax, O’Brien, and Bashir get to enjoy “first meal” with these people (AKA the first food they get when they reappear), and Dax sits next to this guy who apparently just lost his wife and is instantly smitten with Dax. And he asks her about her markings, a question that sounded like a sci-fi version of “Does the carpet match the drapes?”
Somehow…this does not creep Dax out, as instead she gives a rather…accurate for TV answer.
So, there’s a quickie romance, and I’m there thinking, “Why is it we may finally be getting an episode that tells me something about Jadzia Dax beyond being up for anything, something where the major revelations don’t happen when other people learn stuff because Dax can’t or won’t talk, we instead get an episode where a woman falls in love?”
Anyway, there’s some efforts to stabilize the planet so it gets more than a few days in the solid world (for now), no one worries about the Dominion, and while Dax’s boyfriend with absolutely no game (and I say that as someone with no game) initially opts to go with Dax, he changes his mind later and Dax opts to stay and shift over with the planet. Obviously, it doesn’t work, but how am I supposed to feel that Dax’s romance with such a bland fellow didn’t work out? She’s not going to mention this guy again later.
Instead, the B-plot was a lot more fun as Combs’s rich alien wants a holosuite sex program with Kira after the real thing turned him down (while pretending Odo was her boyfriend). Quark does everything he can to get some holo pics of Kira. It would be easy if she just went inside a holosuite, like, ever. I mean, at one point he makes up a prize for Kira, and her reaction may be an episode highlight: a cheerful exclamation that she never won anything before.
However, Quarks is being a little too obvious this time, and Kira and Odo figure out what’s going on and sabotage the program with Quark’s head on a woman’s body, making Jeffrey Combs very upset and Quark very confused.
I could have done with a lot more of that. I mean, Kira would have taken Mr. Phasing Into Reality Every 60 Years and broken his arm if he asked her about any markings on her body…
I sure hope I get a good Dax episode that doesn’t involve Dax being quiet really soon. At least bring back those Klingons…