June 22, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Weekend Trek “Prodigal Daughter”

Ezri goes to see her family as part of a search for the missing Chief O'Brien.

Wait, what’s this?  The series did a follow-up to that episode when O’Brien of all people went undercover to infiltrate the Orion Syndicate?  I never was quite sure why O’Brien would get a job like that.  But wait, it’s also being used to explore Ezri Dax’s homelife and family?

They just tossed some unrelated ideas into a blender here to see what came out, didn’t they?

To be fair, Ezri is still a new character, and exploring her and where she came from isn’t a terrible idea.  Heck, it could be illuminating.  The series made it clear that most Trill don’t get a symbiote.  Ezri wasn’t trained to take one, but she seems to be adjusting nicely.  However, what do other Trills do?  What is their culture like?  If most Trills don’t get selected to be a symbiote host, what is their culture like?

Um, I’m not sure.  It looks a lot like every other culture.  They just have those crazy spots running down the sides of their heads.  There’s nothing really special about these guys.  Mostly, they seem to exist in this episode to be confused about what happened to Ezri and eventually come to accept it.

But that’s not the reason Ezri goes home to the family mining operation near the planet of New Sydney.  No, the Chief went missing over there somewhere, trying to find the widow of that mid-level criminal he befriended back in that episode that made no sense to me the more I thought about it.  Maybe O’Brien was trying to return Chester the cat.  It’s something of a moot point since it turns out the woman died off-screen somewhere and doesn’t even really appear in this episode.

Instead, this is Ezri going home and learning her family may have criminal ties.  Said family is her domineering mother Yanas Tigan (still unhappy Ezri had to change her name when she got Daxed) and her two brothers Norvo and Janel.  Both work for the family business under Mama Yanas, but Norvo is also a sensitive artist who questions his talent largely because Ezri seems to be the only member of the family who doesn’t, and as a Starfleet officer with a new symbiote in her body, it’s not that surprising that Ezri doesn’t come to visit very often.

Essentially, O’Brien is found by local law enforcement, and he stops to assist Janel in repairing broken mining equipment.  He knows the unseen widow was murdered, and the Orion Syndicate would never murder the widow of one of their own…not something O’Brien’s friend seemed to believe way back when as near as I can make out, but here I am.  The more O’Brien looks into the death, with Ezri’s help, the more it becomes clear that the Syndicate might have its hooks in the company and one of Ezri’s relatives is behind the actual murder.

So, who is it?  The tough-as-nails mother?  The jerk brother who seems to be mad Ezri doesn’t visit?  Or that sensitive artist type who has been destroying his old work and is clearly in a very deep funk?

Yeah, I wasn’t surprised it was Norvo either.  This guy is clearly down about something, and even Ezri notes the destruction of his art seems relatively new.  It’s a bait-and-switch.  Make one member of the family more pleased to see the prodigal daughter’s return than the others, the one Ezri seems to have the tightest bond with, and go from there.  It theoretically adds more drama to the situation by making the most seemingly sympathetic member of the family a murderer, especially when his motive turns out to be trying to protect the family from an extortionist.  The problem here, despite the recognizable trope involved, is that not only is this the final season of the series, but Ezri is still a new character who hasn’t had time to gain the audience’s affection yet, and it’s highly unlikely her extended family are going to be popping up much if at all in the final 14 or so episodes.  As nice as it is was to see Ezri and O’Brien working together–it’s not like O’Brien did much with the previous Dax–there wasn’t a whole lot going on here, and it doesn’t even work well as a distraction.

Now, send the Ferengi to the Mirror Universe, and we might have a very different story.