During a plasma storm Deep Space 9 is manned only with a skeleton crew, when a transport ship sends a distress call and requests to dock. The Trill Verad, a woman named Mareel and the two Klingon mercenaries T'Kar and Yeto come aboard the station. They pull weapons, confine Odo to a stasis box, injure O'Brien and take everyone else hostage. Verad's plan is to get hold of the Dax symbiont. Under the threat that otherwise everyone would be killed, but knowing that it will likely kill Jadzia once the symbiont is removed, Dr. Bashir performs the procedure. Ben Sisko attempts to convince his new "friend" Verad Dax and later Verad's lover Mareel (who is disappointed about his change) to return the Dax symbiont. In the meantime Quark and Bashir get rid of their Klingon guard dogs and free Odo. When Verad leaves in a hurry and a struggle between his aides and the crew ensues, Sisko takes a phaser and fires at Verad - allowing Bashir to return the Dax symbiont to Jadzia who now hosts a part of Verad's memories and personality.

Errors and Explanations

The Nitpickers Guide for Deep Space Nine Trekkers

Plot Oversights

  1. Once again, “heavier than he looks" Odo is carried with one hand after he pours himself into a container. Both Mareel and Bashir swing the box around with ease. Yet another example of Odo being able to adjust his density.
  2. Bringing most of the prisoners to Ops, Verad and company cluster them around the center table. O’Brien even takes a seat in front of a workstation built into the side of the table. He also places his arm over the control pad area. It almost looks like he is trying to enter some covert command code—which, of course, would be a great idea—but unfortunately, he doesn't. It may be too risky.
  3. Jadzia Dax makes the statement in this episode that only one Trill in ten is joined. Later Kira says that there are thousands of symbionts on Trill. Something is wrong here, because that would mean that the population of the entire Trill home world would be only about 100.000. (Presumably Kira would have used “tens of thousands" if there were that many—or ‘hundreds of thousands" it more. Okay, okay. For the sake of argument let’s say that there are 999,999 symbionts on Trill. That still puts the entire Trill population at just under 10 million. This seems small for an entire planet.) There may be many areas on Trill that are unsuitable for permanent habitation.
  4. Kira puts in a pitiful showing in hand-to-hand combat during this episode. She actually gets beaten up by Mareel! Let's review. Kira: Began fighting the Cardassians when she was twelve. Mareel: Grew up on the streets of Khefka IV. Worked in an “accommodation house" until Verad took her to the Trill home world. Khatka IV must have some really rock-'em, sock-‘em houses of ill repute! Mareel would have needed to learn how to fight from a very young age, in order to defend herself.
  5. This episode reveals an important aspect of Trill psychology. Evidently the symbiont has tittle or no moral constraints. Verad is killing Jadzia, and all Verad Dax can say is he feels bad about it. Obviously the symbiont Dax doesn’t feel bad enough to force him to undo the act. lt’s true that this is supposed to be a joining - a sharing - but doesn't it seem likely that if the symbiont was truly aghast at the events, the joining wouldn't take? In this episode the combined attitude of both Verad and Dex seems to be: ‘Oh, that's too bad about Jadzia. Well...on to the Gamma Quadrant!" One must assume that Verad feels some sorrow over the events. It he does, then what is the symbiont contributing to the mix of grief? (Answer: Not much at all._Evidently as long as ifs got a body with opposable thumbs, it’s happy!) The apparent lack of remorse could be due to Verad’s determination to escape!
  6. It Quark is going to take an injury, he really should remember what’s supposed to be injured. After attacking a Klingon, Quark lands on his right ear. He makes a great commotion about being injured, holding his right ear as if in pain. Verad tells Mareel to take him to the infirmary. On the way out, you can see Quark holding his left ear. (Nothing touched it in the scuffle, in case you're wondering.) Maybe the pain has travelled across the skull to the other ear.
  7. Once Verad discovers that Odo has escaped his box, he orders T’Kar - one of the Klingon hirelings - to escort him to the airlock. Inside, Verad finds a table that he ignores as he hurries to the second door. The table turns out to be Odo. Remember that Verad as Verad Dex now has Jadzia’s memories. Do work crews usually leave tables lying around inside airlocks? How can Verad - with Jadzia’s experience - not suspect that this table is Odo? Verad isn’t thinking straight at this point, possibly because the symbiont could be subconsciously impeding Verad’s senses.
  8. Verad misses another piece of vital information when walking up to the second airlock door. The transparent portions of the door clearly show that there is no ship docked there. Yet Verad seems surprised by this information moments later. He expected the ship to be there, and so didn’t bother looking out of the window when he first arrived.
  9. The transparent portions of the door also show that there is no plasma storm outside the station when there's supposed to be at least the remnants of one. Hmmm. The storm had cleared by this point.
  10. Sisko misses a prime opportunity for a good left cross at the end of this episode. Only Sisko and a phaser stand between Verad and a runabout. Verad gloats that Sisko won't shoot him, that Sisko knows the phaser might damage the symbiont. For some of this discussion, Verad stands - with weapon dropped - a few feet from Sisko. I kept yelling. “Hit him! Hit him! Knock him out into the corridor! That way the symbiont will be safe!‘ Instead. Sisko shoots him with the phaser. Sisko isn’t close enough to knock out Verad with a punch.

Changed Premises

  1. There are several changes concerning the implanting of the symbiont between this episode and The Host (TNG). (You may recall that in that episode, Dr. Crusher implanted a symbiont named Odan in Commander Will Riker so Odan could finish peace negotiations between two moon colonies.) When Riker was joined with Odan, Crusher told the commander that he needed to be awake during the operation. In this episode, Bashir initially insists that Verad go to sleep. >>>Crusher probably wanted Riker awake to make sure nothing went wrong with the implantation.<<<
    In The Host we get a good look at Odan‘s stomach, and it appears to be a normal humanoid stomach. In this episode, the Trill have little kangaroo pouches. (I know that Bashir later calls it an incision, but he can't fool me. I know a kangaroo pouch when I see one!) Finally, the Trill symbiont itself looks substantially different in The Host. The one in The Host is bigger. It's got a real tail, and it pulls itself into the incision. Odan and the original Odan host could be part of a small sub species of Trill.

Equipment Oddities

  1. Evidently the difficulty of evacuating the station last episode spurred Sisko to consider a more efficient method for removing the population from DS9. In this episode the station is evacuated as well, but the dialogue refers to “evacuation shuttles.” These would be new. Probably provided by the Bajoran Provisional Government, to make amends to the business with The Circle fanatics.
  2. Near the beginning, Mareel removes Odo's combadge! So, there you go. lt is a real combadge. (Because it didn't turn to goo in her hand as it should - according to The Adversary - if it was actually part of Odo. Now the question becomes: What does Odo do with his combadge when he morphs into another object? (Like a mouse, for instance, as he did in Past Prologue) He probably hides it within himself.
  3. In the infirmary, Bashir has an intriguing machine that sits near Dax. The top portion of the machine looks like the standard Bajoran/Cardassian junk that's littered around the station, while the bottom half has the sleek, clean, efficient displays of Starfleet equipment. This could be an attempt to integrate Federation and Cardassian technology.

Nit Central

  1. ScottN on Thursday, June 10, 1999 - 2:33 pm: I'm sure the chief brought this up in his book (and he did in a generic way, but on this specific one, I don't remember).
    Why didn't Starfleet have Quark arrested and tried? He engaged in illegal acts of sabotage that nearly resulted in
    1) The death of a Starfleet officer
    2) The theft/kidnapping of a respected former ambassador to the Klingon empire.
    3) Did in fact result in Assault with a Deadly Weapon against Starfleet cadre (Miles)
    4) Could have caused the destruction of DS9 had Verad and Co. wound up killing all the crew.
    Quark should have been hauled in front of a military court and thrown in the Brig for, oh... the next two natural lives of Dax, or so. Starfleet has no jurisdiction over civilians, especially those from non Federation races.
  2. Zul on Thursday, June 12, 2003 - 1:30 am: Probably mentioned many times but after watching this again on Space today...what a pitiful showing by Kira in a fight. This is someone who just a year later handles her own against much more powerful Klingons in The Way of the Warrior. She probably took extra hand to hand classes after Dax was restored to Jadzia.
  3. John A. Lang on Tuesday, October 14, 2003 - 8:10 pm: Why didn't somebody ask the Trill symbiont what he/she wanted? Don't THEY have rights? Keith Alan Morgan on Wednesday, October 15, 2003 - 2:22 am: Apparently not, as future episodes like Equilibrium & Rejoined indicate.
    Equilibrium mentions that if the population knew that most of them could accept a symbiote, symbiotes would become a commodity. If the symbionts had rights THEY would choose who they go in, not the Symbiont Commission or whomever ponyed up the most money.
    Rejoined has that whole reassociation taboo which violates the symbiotes rights to get together with another symbiote in a different body.
  4. D.K. Henderson on Tuesday, March 29, 2005 - 8:32 am: Is there any reason why Julian couldn't have placed Jadzia in a stasis chamber until they could retrieve her symbiont? That could have risked excess damage to the host.
  5. Usern Ame on Tuesday, August 09, 2005 - 8:11 pm: Why was Quark still on the station? No customers. No essential station functions. John Boy on Monday, November 21, 2005 - 10:00 am: It is said in the episode that Quark stayed behind to meet with the bad guys.

Deep Space Nine Season 2
The Homecoming I The Circle I The Siege I Invasive Procedures I Cardassians I Melora I Rules of Acquisition I Necessary Evil I Second Sight I Sanctuary I Rivals I The Alternate I Armageddon Game I Whispers I Paradise I Shadowplay I Playing God I Profit and Loss I Blood Oath I The Maquis Part 1 I The Maquis Part 2 I The Wire I Crossover I The Collaborator I Tribunal I The Jem’Hadar
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