To continue, the taboo against reassociation carries with it dire consequences. If two symbionts reassociate, their hosts are exiled from the Trill homeworld. This means that when the current hosts die their symbionts will not be joined to new hosts, the symbionts simply die with them. Since nothing is more important to a joined Trill than protecting the life of the symbiont, this is a life-quaking decision.
After spending time together and trying desperately to ward off feelings they both obviously share, Jadzia and Lenara succumb to their passion and… kiss. Oh boy, do they ever. I don’t actually have a top ten most passionate lesbian kisses list, but I think if I did this one would be on it. Anyway, later on aboard the Defiant, Jadzia saves Lenara’s life in a plasma-fire accident. They vow on the spot never to let anything come between them again, but Lenara’s courage fails her and she eventually decides to go back to Trill, leaving Dax heartbroken.
Part of the debate is, as veiled in metaphor as this story is, does it even count as a lesbian story anymore? Sure, the two women kiss, but it seems the “real” couple involved here are Torias and Nelani. I would say yes, and here’s why. Lenara freely admits that she’s never had so much trouble separating her feelings from those of a past host. The reason for this is obvious; the attraction between Dax and Khan isn’t the only attraction going on here. Jadzia and Lenara are obviously attracted to each other as well, and hit it off on a physical and intellectual level. That’s what makes Dax so unwilling to accept this taboo when she’s been the first to champion all matters of Trill honour and duty in the past. She’s not Torias, she’s Jadzia Dax, and she’s in love with this woman she can’t be with, simply because their symbionts have history. As Dax says, the irony is that she and Lenara have more in common than Nelani and Torias ever did. But the word irony isn’t really appropriate, it’s more of a tragedy.
The point, I’d like to think, is that fear and intolerance should never get in the way of love, regardless of who that love is between. People who try to explain away the storyline in terms of the symbiotic relationships and try to get it to fit into their limited (and often homophobic) mindset are missing the whole point. The episode also tells us a lot about Dax’s strength too, and how far she’s willing to go for love. Dax is a bit of a romantic at heart and awfully stubborn. Actually I think “Rejoined” sets the stage nicely for the interracial Klingon/Trill romance and wedding that happens later on in the series. Dax always likes to do things her own way, and we love her for it.
Susannah Thompson and Terry Farrell both do a pretty good job with this episode, especially with acting romantic tension while speaking line after line of nothing but technobabble. Thompson especially I thought was wonderful, with her luminous eyes and having the unsympathetic role of being the one who folds under social and family pressure. She despises herself for her own weakness, while she’s in absolute awe of Dax’s strength of will and moral certainty. It’s a finely nuanced performance which is so different from the passionate, raw sexuality of the Borg Queen she went on to play successfully in Star Trek: Voyager. (She’s also starred on Once & Again.)
Whether you agree that “Rejoined” was successful or not, it certainly caused a stir, and very few other episodes of DS9 are talked about with the same level of fervour as this one. As a political statement it kind of falls flat, and as a gay episode it has plenty of problems (this was one of the earliest examples of “sweeps lesbianism“), but I’m willing to forgive a lot of that simply for that kiss that I never thought I would see on Star Trek.
If people will insist on comparing Babylon 5 and DS9, with the former always coming out on top, ultimately it comes down to this: regardless of where the idea originated, at least DS9 had the guts to show the lesbian kiss that the B5 producers chickened out of showing between Ivanova and Talia. That earns a lot of lesbian brownie points in my book.
Note: The second ST: DS9 episode to deal with lesbian characters (including another onscreen kiss) was the seventh season episode “The Emperor’s New Cloak”.
Got a comment? Write to me at email@example.com
And I just want to add one more thing here in addition to the article,
With regard to good kisses and since I am a Niner & a Gater, this one caught me by surprise and it was funny as hell. Great performance from Rodney, all the way during this episode. Just a Hats off to Stargate Atlantis, a one awesome series and a one awesome franchise.
Season 2, Ep. Duet
Every season will now come with a “don’t listen to me, just watch it all” disclaimer. These are my personal favorites among a season of favorites. Seriously, by the time we get to season 7 the whole post is just going to be a video of me sobbing and hugging myself.
And pressing my cheek to this image lovingly.
4×01-2: Way of the Warrior parts 1&2:
These episodes are killer. The tone and drive of the back half of the series sharpens to a knife-point. We learn so much in these episodes, we see so much set up, so much is twisted and turned around.
We learn that “sand peas” are almost definitely watermelon Jelly Bellies. We learn that the spots do go all the way down. That Garak doesn’t bother to fold his tucked napkin when having lunch with Odo. (Perhaps the whole torture thing means those social niceties are beneath them now?)
We learn that, if you have begrudgingly made your home among aliens, if you’re isolated and plodding on through bitterness and regret in a place besieged at every side, if your friends are your enemies, and your hardscrabble pride is your dearest enemy-friend, if you are drunk and afraid, then take heart. The only time you should really start to worry is the moment you begin to like the taste of root beer.
But, most importantly: Worf. Worf Worf Worf. Worf.
4×03: The Visitor:
Do you enjoy weeping freely? Has it been too long since you’ve had a good, long, snotty, blotchy, call-everyone-you-love-at-an-inappropriate-hour cry? Well, here you go, buddy. Leave those embarrassing voicemails as the credits roll.
Oh, and just go ahead and keep right on weeping. Just segue straight from tragic family story into tragic love story.
See, in addition to questionable psychiatric practices, the majority of Trill society believes it’s taboo-level improper for the new hosts of symbionts who once knew each other to “re-associate”. I’m gonna just translate that to “make out and be in love forever omg”. This is supposedly for the good of the symbiont so that it can have new and various experiences in its ages-long slug life.
Like many people would when confronted with the gorgeous new host of their ex-wife, Jadzia Dax calls bullshit on that.
Oh, does she ever.
And from this we get what’s arguably Star Trek’s most direct treatment of queer relationships. Some argue that the outcome of this episode precludes it from being pro-LGBT. For me, it only made the story hit closer to home. Trill’s taboo against re-association is as dehumanizing and insulting as any modern law that drives people in love apart, that bleeds into society and diminishes the character of any person enforcing or affirming that law. It isn’t Trek as utopia, but it is absolutely Trek as worthwhile and passionate social commentary.
4×06: Starship Down:
Like many geeks, I’m a person who loves stories about teams, about constructed families. Unlikely alliances and unexpected friendships that end up being so, so rewarding. This episode deals with that beautifully. Worf gets his in to begin really gelling with the crew, Jadzia and Julian laugh together at the expense of early-seasons-Julian, Quark makes friends with James Cromwell, and Kira and Sisko are the best.
Kira’s “holy crap I am friends with the Emissary” grin is also the best.
In addition to all these Feelings, this is just a really great spaceship episode in classic submarine storytelling style.
4×07: Little Green Men:
Look at this.
Look at it.
Good, now go watch the episode.
4×10: Our Man Bashir:
It should be clear by now that I’m a woman of offbeat tastes. I’ve always wanted to meet a nice lady with a tapeworm so that I could date someone like Jadzia. I somehow found it in my heart to love early-seasons-Bashir. Bedazzled skintight jumpsuits, disproportionately long limbs, anime eyes and all. But do you want to know what really gets my engine revving?
Oh. Hello, there.
O-o-oh. Oh, I see.
Oh God, what are these feelings inside of me? What witchcraft are you working on me, Star Trek?
OMG now he’s bleeding he’s in a tuxedo and he’s bleeding this is the most amazing thing to ever happen to me in my life what do I do with my hands how do I go on living when this is over OMGOMGOMG
I’m told that some other things happen in this episode, but frankly I never noticed.
4×16: Bar Association:
Rom: labor union organizer.
4×20: Shattered Mirror:
Subtitle: Jake Sisko goes on the Best Vacation Ever! The trend of excellent space-therapy continues as Jake spends the weekend with the body-double of his dead mom. Captain Sisko isn’t entirely convinced of the wisdom of this.
Jake and dead mom double, however, are sure that nothing could possibly go wrong.
In other news, Regent Worf got the cream of the crop from the SPCA.
I’ve had this dream so many times.
There is some subtextual evidence in the dialogue that implies Regent Worf is not a leader of well-considered opinions:
GARAK: The Intendant was bad enough. She was irrational, accusatory, unappreciative. But at least…
WORF: At least what?
GARAK: At least I was able to please her now and then.
WORF: You are not my type.
Worf, how are you even in charge of anything ,what is wrong with you, ye gods.
4×22: For the Cause:
Up until this episode, my opinion of the Maquis was “pfft, boring, they’re humans”. But then this hits and it’s like whaaaat.
Kasidy’s Maquis??! Whaaaat.
And then you’re like okay, okay I can deal with that. The Sisko will persevere. Jake will add this onto the pile of mommy issues and move on. But then!
Whoa whoa wait but Odo totally liked you what whaaaaaaaaat.
The shit: it is real. Oh, and Garak goes on a date with a teenager. To be fair, she’s pretty great.
4×24: The Quickening:
I have had this song stuck in my head since 1996.
This is the episode where I can begin to feel okay about liking Doctor Bashir in all his colonialist glory. In an apt follow-up to Eddington’s Federation-as-homogenization tirade, Bashir finds himself neck-deep in his beloved ~frontier medicine in a place we’ll call The Planet of the Lepers.
I get the impression that Julian Bashir’s internal monologue sounds a lot like the content of a long series of pulp novels with racy covers and titles like Doctor Bashir And The Girl With Five Breasts, or Doctor Bashir Investigates: Where Are My Socks?, and in this particular instance Doctor Bashir– Among the Lepers! The great thing about our little ball of Starfleet-spiffy sunshine, though, is that he’s not that guy anywhere outside the holosuites. He doesn’t get the girl, and for the moment he’s no master of espionage. Heck, he can’t even cure one measly planet full of lepers. No matter how much he’s sure that he can.
“My bad, lepers.”
There’s a wonderful moment in act four where Bashir comes face-to-face with his own recklessly optimistic arrogance. It’s beautiful stuff.
4×26: Broken Link:
My notes for this episode were just “Worf totally ruins a perfectly good plan to commit genocide.” I stand by that. Another note could be that it’s clear from this that the universe runs on a currency of charm, and Garak is a goddamn billionaire.
No, for real. Why is Garak even on this mission in the first place? There’s every reason to disallow it. But all it takes is Garak reminding Sisko how great he is. The scene goes like this:
“Check it: I’m great.”
“Damn. He’s got a point.”
Season four ends with Garak in the clink, Odo in a meatbody, the Federation and Klingon Empire kinda-sorta tapdancing around open war, Emperor Gowron a suspected pudding-person, and the death of all Cardassia foretold by the Founders.
In the next post: Wacky Emissary hijinks! An episode about Keiko that’s actually fun! The spots go all the way down! Klingons, Klingons, Klingons! Even more genocide! Doctor Bashir becomes an unwilling expert in treating injuries associated with particularly rough interspecies sex!
Plus everything is beautiful and nothing hurts.
Deep Space Nine’s resident warship was originally going to be based on a runabout-style design, but eventually took the shape of a vessel that had been intended for a completely different episode.
Concept artist Jim Martin was given the job of designing the USS Defiant NX-74205 when the producers of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine decided to introduce a new warship that could take on the Dominion. When designing the Defiant at the end of the second season, the original plan was to make it a ‘beefed up’ runabout. Martin describes designing the Defiant saying, “I started with the cockpit windows, and worked my way out, adding things on top of the runabout, making it look like they were adding systems and weapons to an existing ship.” The runabout design was abandoned after the producers saw Martin’s finished drawings and decided they needed to go a different direction. “After the idea for the runabout was shot down, it was replaced with the writers’ idea that it was going to be a full-fledged fighting starship called the USS Valiant.
“Under the supervision of Herman Zimmerman, I did a first batch of ships. The writers requested a small starship which was designed by the Federation to battle the Borg. I drew some familiar looking Starfleet designs, but also included a drawing of a small, compact ship that I had done for an entirely different episode of DS9. This is the direction that they chose, I think it was because it was so unique.” A second pass at the Defiant refined it further and helped bring it into the design realm of Starfleet, but it remains in the spirit of the initial drawing. Model maker Tony Meininger worked with Gary Hutzel to create the model as we know it.
Looking back, the Defiant is probably Martin’s biggest contribution to Star Trek. The Defiant was first major starship that didn’t have external warp nacelles. Martin recalls, “When you’re in the art department and you’re doing the job from episode to episode, you don’t really think, ‘Boy, this is really going to revolutionize Federation design.’ You’re getting a design out of the way. It’s only after the fact that you think, ‘Wow, that was a different idea.’ I’m glad we took the chance to take a little bit of a departure.” The whole idea of having twin nacalles on outriggers originated in the very first season of Star Trek; they are away from the ship because they are creating the warp bubble that the ship that the ship is inside. We were trapped in the nacelle thought and I remember turning in some things that were a little off the mark; they were runabout-ish, but they were also nacelle-ish. The final design was based on something that Zimmerman had seen tacked about my desk that I had done for a totally different episode. It was originally Sisko’s raider [in 'Crossover'], if I remember rightly.
“I think it’s a unique shape; it’s very different to what they were doing, and I can’t take sole credit on that because a lot of people worked on the Defiant.”
Models of the Defiant have been made by AMT/Ertl, Galoob‘s Star Trek Micro Machines range, and by Furuta. Corgi planned to release a model of the Defiant in 2007, however this was canceled. In 2008, the Japanese toy company F-Toys released a model of the Defiant, as well as a transparent “cloaked” version.
The USS Defiant could be seen in the Discovery Science program Ultra Science (an episode about time travel).
An unused door signage for the Defiant was sold off on the It’s A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay
The Defiant appears in all Deep Space Nine episode title sequences starting with Season 4 and beyond.
Plus the movie, First Contact
The class ship of its type is the only one produced as a compact yet heavily armed escort ship to meet the Borg threat, with no scientific or other extras save what is needed for combat.
In the video game Star Trek: Encounters, the Defiant appears in the two levels based on Deep Space 9. In addition, the Defiant appears in the game’s last level where it briefly visits an alternate timeline in which the Romulan Star Empire has conquered the Federation. The Defiant later helps the USS Enterprise-E, the USS Voyager, the USS Enterprise-A, and the Enterprise NX-01 defeat a combined Xindi, Klingon, Romulan, Dominion, and Borg fleet.
Also, the game Star Trek: Legacy features a mission depicting the Defiant‘s shakedown cruise under the command of Lieutenant Commander Benjamin Sisko. The ship encounters Romulan Tal Shiar forces preparing to ambush T’Uerell within Federation space and despite trying to evade them, is captured. The crew and the ship are rescued by a task force led by the USS Enterprise-D.