In the subplot for this episode, Nog is going for his Starfleet Academy exams to see if he even qualifies, and it turns out Quark sabotaged the test to ensure his nephew wasn’t going anywhere. Rom is the one who finds out, and it’s always nice to see Rom do what a good father should by supporting his son, even if it means threatening Quark with a violent reprisal. While Quark and Rom do often seem to be working together with Rom as the subordinate, I always get a little smile whenever the tables are turned, and it’s always because of Nog. Rom truly is a good father.
Oh, and Nog is going to the Academy, but this is another Dax-based episode so…
Oh yes, another Dax episode. As I have said for every Dax-based episode, Dax is such a vaguely-defined character and her episodes are usually the weakest. Granted, weakest for Deep Space Nine isn’t the same as bad, but so many Dax episodes end up being about, well, someone other than Dax herself. Or at least the Jadzia part of Dax. So many seem to be about other, stronger characters overshadowing Jadzia. That’s not always the case, and unless Dax is involved in a half-assed romance of the week, I usually at least get an entertaining hour of television.
But this one may be an exception, and it’s also a first look at the previous Dax, namely Curzon Dax. Curzon is the Dax we’ve, so far, only heard about. He was a friend and mentor to Sisko, and he was incredibly harsh as a judge for Jadzia, even rejecting her for the program before she ended up getting his symbiote. We’ve heard Curzon was a fun-loving rascal, someone who could throw back with Klingons and even make a blood oath with some of them. So, finally, Curzon will appear on screen…after a fashion.
See, there’s a ceremony where a Trill can meet all of the symbiote’s past hosts by letting the memories and personality inhabit someone else. Dax asked those she was closest to on the station, namely the main cast plus Leeta the new Dabo girl who only appeared for the first time a handful of episodes ago. Quark is uninterested, but even he is talked into it eventually.
This is nice as it gives the main cast a chance to play a different character. So, Kira gets an older politician, O’Brien a very shy man, and Bashir a brash libertine type. Sisko gets the homicidal one, and that means special precautions are taken. Leeta gets an acrobat, but she’s a new character so there isn’t much to see. Quark gets a mother. Quark alone surfaces long enough to grumble, but for the most part, the various appearances are all rewarding for Dax as she learns more about where many of her habits and ideas came from.
But then there’s Curzon, the one Jadzia is actually a little afraid of. Why did he reject her? Well, he gets to go into Odo, prompting the shapeshifter to grow better hair and some Trill spots, along with a more boisterous attitude. Now, the thing is, these are more composites so Odo is still in there just as Quark and the others were in the other cases. And Odo likes Curzon being in there because, it comes out eventually, Curzon makes Odo understand why food and drink are awesome, among other things. Plus, they both love to rile up Quark. The thing is, Curzon doesn’t want to go back. Curzon likes it out there, Odo doesn’t mind, and Dax herself might even get by fine.
But Dax hasn’t learned anything, and the one thing she always wanted to know was why he rejected her.
Now, as I said above, this episode does allow the actors to really show off what they can do, and I think Rene Auberjonois got the most out of it. The make-up isn’t as thick, and I don’t think it was possible to find a host more different than Odo than Curzon. True, any of them would have been interesting, but Auberjonois does show why people found Curzon a fun-loving and charismatic guy. Is it wrong Curzon won’t go back? It’s improper, and Jadzia cares, but it does seem as if it may not be the worst thing in the world.
Oh, and it turns out Curzon didn’t recommend Jadzia because he was actually in love with her, and Jadzia’s assurance that Curzon is a part of her like all the others means he’s content to go back. Granted, I still don’t understand how Trills work, or why Jadzia didn’t have access to Curzon’s reasons beforehand. The episode does play up that when a personality leaves, Jadzia loses the memories, but Jadzia never knew Curzon’s reasons, so I don’t quite get it.
Then again, this also suggests this Dax episode was, well, overshadowed by Odo.
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