Soldiers of the Empire: The Best Dax Episode

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by Bad Thoughts, Jan 23, 2015.

  1. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Let me praise Terry Farrell as best I can: she was vastly better in her last three seasons as Dax than her first three; she helped to build the Dax-Worf relationship, which is unique for a romantic relationship in Star Trek; and if I had that chance to cast my own series with original actors in their roles, I would be hard pressed to pass her up.

    Despite the acrimony, hurt feelings, accusations, and apologies from various sides, Jadzia Dax is still among the better female characters in Star Trek. This is partially true because the writers and producers, I believe, were not content to let the character fall into obscurity (like Chakotay and Kim). Terry Farrell also got better at the role, in part by being the romantic lead, but also becoming a character that could facility understanding and translate experiences between cultures.

    Soldiers of the Empire highlights how much Farrell and Dax could contribute to an episode. At times referred to as "Star Trek: Klingon," it could have been "A Matter of Honor redux." The presence of Dax helps to anchor the episode. On the one hand, the character helps prevent the story from devolving into another Worf is not a real Klingon affair, another variation of a fish out of water scenario. Worf experiences Martok's doubt while Dax keeps the temperature of the crew. On the other, Dax translates the experiences of the crew with great fluidity, becoming the outsider perspective (like Spock and Data), but to a group of people who are obviously an alien culture. All the explanations are clear and nuances, as if we were hearing from an expert. Her concern and anxiety feels real. The humor is delivered with a dryness that is perfect. And even if it is obvious that Dax is trying to look tougher than she normally is, it seems natural that the crew would respect that. When she says, "I carry [Curzon Dax's] memories," it feels like the character is assured about her identity.

    If Farrell was limited in her acting skills, what little she did she did very well, and Trek was enriched by it. There were other actresses who either never got the opportunity to shine or were pidgeon-holed (Nichols, Dawson). And if it was a struggle for Farrell (and for those around her) to get the character down, I can't dismiss the final results.
     
  2. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's a decent episode, but Trek had made Klingon culture so one-dimensional and boring by this point that I find the episode uninteresting. Good performance by Farrell, though, I agree.
     
  3. Kobayshi Maru

    Kobayshi Maru Commodore

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    I agree, they had beaten that honor-horse to a bloody pulp by then. It would have been nice to see another aspect of klingon culture, if only ONE! Plus it's kinda disturbing that Martok was so stupid that he didn't see that Worf was trying to help him out in front of the crew and almost killed him. But then again Martok is an expert in stupid aphorisms: "When a father and son don't speak, it means that there is trouble between them."

    Oh really?:rolleyes:
     
  4. Leviathan

    Leviathan Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Ah the Klingon Kobayashi Maru episode....

    Would have worked better with Martok being overly aggressive due to his time in the camp....then getting more tactical.

    Dax played "yeah - I'm way older than all of you" well here...
     
  5. Kobayshi Maru

    Kobayshi Maru Commodore

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    I find hard to believe that Martok never realized that each of his decisions before Worf's challenge, was cowardly, and not only by Klingon standards.
     
  6. dub

    dub Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Oh my gosh, man. That is so well stated. And very much needed after all of the hating on her (Terry and Jadzia) lately. Thank you so much! I'm not sure what I feel her best episode is, but I agree with the sentiment and pretty much everything you said about her.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I am Farrell's main critics on this forum, but I am not her chief detractor. It does seem that the hate is getting out of hand. The problem with appreciating things that she did right is that her great performances tended to be overshadowed by others. I think that many would consider her best episode to be Pale Moonlight.
     
  8. dub

    dub Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ^Oh trust me, I know! :cool: Which is why I appreciate your balanced and thoughtful post so much. I usually describe my feelings about Jadzia's time on DS9 as the writers discovering who Jadzia is over time and Terry improving all the while. But the way you write it is really much more insightful. Anyway, thanks for the post.
     
  9. kkt

    kkt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I agree with Bad Thoughts... this is a good episode that I look forward to each time i rewatch the series, and Farrell does well in her scenes.

    Farrell is an okay actress, but DS9's ensemble is excellent so it's hard to look good next to them. And in fairness, it took the writers a while to figure out Jadzia's character.
     
  10. Kobayshi Maru

    Kobayshi Maru Commodore

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    I am not hating this episode as DS9 is a very good series an so even when it's bad it's still pretty damn good.:)

    But I wouldn't characterize it as one of the best of the series, not by a long shot.
     
  11. garaks the best

    garaks the best Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I have to say that i liked Jadzia, i know she wasn't the best character by a distance but she was funny and likeable. She also developed strong friendships with Sisko,Quark,Bashir and Kira, then obviously there was her relationship with Worf which i thought was great. Her biggest weakness was probably the Trill episodes not being as strong as the other alien characters cultural back stories.
     
  12. Kobayshi Maru

    Kobayshi Maru Commodore

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    She didn't seem very convincing when emotions were involved.
     
  13. Leviathan

    Leviathan Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Exactly. Being overly aggressive woulda been in character and shown an interesting Klingon PTSD...
     
  14. Kobayshi Maru

    Kobayshi Maru Commodore

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    Definitely, I find it strange that in one moment Martok goes from being a scaredy cat to a fearless warrior that will even fight against the odds when crazy Gowron will order him to.
     
  15. kirkfan

    kirkfan Commodore

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    I thought the crew were very good too! I like the old guy who would repeat "Martok fears them!" until he was attacked by the other one.