Till Death Do Us Part
"Rejoined" Plot Summary:
Tobin Dax's former wife Lenara comes to the station in the body of a new host, and Jadzia finds herself powerfully attracted to the woman in whom the symbiont is now living. Though it is a crime for Trill to reunite with spouses from past lives - punishable by ostracism and the subsequent deaths of the symbionts involved - the two women begin a relationship and consider suffering the social consequences.
But Lenara finds that the research she has come to the station to do is difficult around Dax, who becomes protective and actually has to rescue Lenara during an accident in engineering. Lenara ultimately decides not to break with Trill tradition, leaves the station...and Dax.
I don't think I have a single criticism of this episode. I do have a couple of gripes I'd like to discuss, about gender and sex and sexual preference and taboos as they get portrayed on TV, but all of those stem from our society, not Deep Space Nine. I was really ready for "Rejoined" to be a lesbo-chic, superficial episode so the young male demographic could get to see two how women kissing without having to get their panties in a homophobic wad. I could not have been more delightfully proven wrong.
Terry Farrell has grown so much as a performer since the first season; she doesn't have as many characteristic gestures and voices as some of the other actors, but watching her here I realize that she also never falls back on character staples the way most of the others do - take Worf, for instance, muttering a typcial TNG one-liner about Klingon dreams which Michael Dorn could have phoned in his sleep. Farrell always seems present in her scenes, quiet and strong at the same time; she has a very calming presence yet never seems passive, and I believe in the tech that rolls off her tongue because she speaks it with conviction.
Dax's moments with Sisko and Bashir just keep getting better and better; the chemistry doesn't seem so forced anymore now that we've seen Sisko interact with Curzon and Bashir's gotten over his little crush. I was a little annoyed with Farrell for telling so many sources how difficult it was for her to kiss a woman in this episode - what, she was afraid that if she said it didn't bother her, it would hurt her career? - but having watched the scene, I can only say that she played it magnificently.
The sexually charged moments in this episode achieved something very unusual for television: they weren't so much erotic as genuinely romantic. I expected either to be very turned off or very turned on by the kissing--that either it would be unbelievably chasted and set me off on a TV-is-homophobic rant, or it would be one of those let's-show-off-the-girls-for-the-boys moments with the camera acting as voyeur and set me off on a feminist rampage, or the chemistry would ignite so wonderfully that I'd be totally caught up in voyeurism myself.
But Brooks managed to be both restrained and realistic at the same time, and both actresses were wonderful --and wonderful together, I believed all the looks and touches from the moment Lenara stepped off the transport. And because I knew it had to end tragically--this being serial TV, we all know they couldn't end up together--the whole episode had a lovely, sad, nostalgic feel that for the first time made me really think about what it must be like to be a Trill and keep losing lives to gain new ones. (Although how is it that Curzon, Jadzia's initiate evaluator, didn't know that she was a scientist?!) Anyway, this may be the first episode in Trek history where I didn't feel that the love-interest-of-the-week was contrived or forced.
Everything else was well-done; the scientific subplot was nominally interesting without getting in the way of the real story, the accident in engineering (they have a LOT of those on the Defiant, don't they?) didn't seem as calculated as it did in "The Visitor." I love Kira's taking it for granted that homophobia would be a non-issue for most cultures, and while I was angry when I first heard about the taboo - convenient, isn't it, that there was SOME taboo ensuring that there couldn't be any same-sex lovemaking! - it made complete sense in the context of what we know about Trills. In fact if worked a lot better than TNG's "The Outcast", where the mere reversal of taboo from homosexual to heterosexual only served to reinforce viewer stereotypes about the absoluteness of gender and the universality of prejudice.
Deep Space Nine Reviews