Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Season 1, Episode 8
Original Air Date: February 13, 1993
|via Memory Alpha
Jadzia Dax is put on trial for crimes Curzon Dax is accused of committing 30 years before. This is the first important Dax episode, exploring the long-term responsibilities of a symbiotic life form: is the host responsible for the previous actions of the symbiont? While this could be dismissed as in-universe morality, the story raises questions about our own penal system. Do we punish merely as a vehicle for vengeance or a need to place blame? Is reform even a consideration?
With "Dax," you can feel DS9 beginning to find its way. Star Trek, more than most pop culture enterprises, is defined by its moral landscape, staked out by principles for how we confront the other. DS9 invites new questions for when "the other" becomes "our own." Picard still maintains an emotional detachment in considering the marginalization of Data, Worf or Troi. And there's still an uncomfortable presumption within NextGen that however much tolerance we have learned, humanness is still the ideal.
Deep Space Nine challenges all of that. It begins with Sisko, a far more openly emotional leader than Picard. His inclination to protect Dax is motivated more by personal loyalty - indeed, love - than professional responsibility. And whatever inconvenience it has brought her in the moment, Dax's pride in being a Trill is never called into question. In fact, it's celebrated.
The tenderness between Dax and Erina Tandro, a former lover of Curzon's, is genuinely touching, and provides a preview of a more important episode still to come.
Fionnula Flanagan played the role of Erina Tandro, widow of Curzon's supposed murder victim. Flanagan was born December 10, 1941 in Dublin. She trained at the Abbey Theatre.
Flanagan is one of Ireland's most celebrated actors, having won the Irish Film & Television Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award and the Maureen O'Hara Award. She is best known for her roles in James Joyce's Women and The Others, for which she won a Saturn Award. She won an Emmy for her performance in 1976's Rich Man, Poor Man. She has one other Emmy nomination and two Tony nominations.
"Dax" is Flanagan's first of three Trek appearances on three different series as three different characters.