The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Thursday, July 09, 2015

DS9 episode Dax: guilty forever

I've gone back to the DS9 first-season tonight. I didn't feel like getting bored all over again by the disappointments. So, I went looking for capsule-summaries and found this set of reviews. Tonight I skipped to the courtroom-drama Dax. I wish I'd kept going.

For the non-nerds amongst us: Dax is a symbiote which has passed through several hosts already; lately Curzon, and now Jadzia. Curzon was a diplomat and had visited one planet during its civil-war. Now the victors of that civil war have uncovered some old files, and believe that Curzon committed a murder with treacherous intent. Problem: Curzon is dead. Solution: Dax is alive, in Jadzia. The murdered man's son shows up on DS9 seeking Jadzia's head.

It teased some interesting notions about whether a bearer of prior memories could, still, be responsible for those memories. In these days of inherited white privilege and battle-flags - blood libel by another name - this question is now topical.

Unfortunately in this case the weekly 45 minute crisis is resolved by the Homewrecker Ex Machina, the victim's widow. Yay slutwives! Otherwise the episode seemed mostly all about exposition, detailing the Dax physiology. We don't even get a lot about the alien race which seems to hate the Dax line so much - if you're wanting that complexity which this series delivers by way of the Bajoran and Cardassian peoples (already floated in Past Prologue), forget it. I couldn't even tell you what this episode's aliens call themselves, and I just watched it.

It's not like Trek is even bad at courtroom drama. Undiscovered Country got us a terrifying, but fair (based on the evidence) Klingon trial. Measure of a Man illustrated how three-laws AI, should it arrive, must be ruled human by human standards. The Tribunal in the next DS9 season levels a double-barrel blast of satire at Western 'justice' today. But I'm afraid that Dax fails at every level.

I'm skipping right to Duet.

posted by Zimri on 21:33 | link | 0 comments

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