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Afterimage (episode)

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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
"Afterimage"
DS9, Episode 7x03
Production number: 40510-553
First aired: 14 October 1998
151st of 173 produced in DS9
151st of 173 released in DS9
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 173 released in DS9 Remastered  
531st of 728 released in all
Ezri and Garak
Written By
René Echevarria

Directed By
Les Landau
Unknown (2375)
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Ezri Dax has trouble adjusting with the rest of the crew; Garak inexplicably collapses.

Summary

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Teaser

On Deep Space 9's promenade, Ezri Dax discusses her feelings about being back on the space station with Morn, who has no idea who she is and promptly leaves. Not soon after, Ezri decides to visit the Bajoran temple, where she runs into Kira Nerys. Ezri, flooded with memories of Jadzia's recent death in that very room, confides in Kira how strange a sensation death is - no matter how many times you go through it. Kira is obviously uncomfortable with the topic, so Ezri leaves her to her prayers.

In Quark's, Ezri is served a glass of Klingon bloodwine. Ezri is not enthusiastic about the beverage, despite Quark reminding her that it is the same vintage that was served when Jadzia married Worf, and returns it. She tells Quark that she is planning on returning to the USS Destiny to continue her duties as assistant counselor. "You're a therapist!?" a shocked Quark asks – which makes Ezri wonder why that is so surprising to everyone. Ezri notes that besides Captain Sisko, Quark is the only one of Jadzia's friends who do not appear to be uncomfortable around her, and the two start talking about the late night Tongo games "they" used to play together. Their reminiscing is cut short by Worf, who promptly leaves after seeing Ezri in the bar.

Act One

The next day, Ezri goes to visit Captain Sisko in his office; coming in through the corridor rather than ops so as to avoid seeing Worf. Ezri tells Sisko about her encounter with Worf the previous day at Quark's and that she still plans to return to the Destiny. Despite Sisko's disappointment with the news, he supports his friend's decision.

Back in Quark's, Julian Bashir and Miles O'Brien, along with Odo, are planning their latest holosuite adventure. Bashir asks Garak about the status of their costumes, to which he replies that his shop is still closed due to him being so busy decoding messages for Starfleet Intelligence. Garak becomes agitated with the crowd in the bar, which causes him to snap at them when they come too close. Garak promptly leaves and returns to his shop, where he continues his work. However, as he does so, he begins to have a anxiety attack caused by his claustrophobia. He is discovered by Odo, who promptly calls for medical attention.

Act Two

In the infirmary, Odo tells Sisko about Garak's attack as Doctor Bashir finishes his treatment. Sisko is confused about the circumstances of the attack – Garak's shop is a "good sized room," according to Sisko. Garak tells Sisko that the attack will keep him away from his intelligence work for the time being. Sisko asks Bashir if there is anything he can do for him, but Bashir says there isn't – "Our friend Garak needs his head examined."

Taking Bashir's words into mind, Sisko goes to visit Ezri, who is surprised at his request to counsel Garak. Sisko asks her, "What more can you learn in the next few months that you haven't already learned in the last 300 years?" Ezri has a few ideas – like not bursting into tears for no reason and resisting the urge to stand on her head. Sisko asks why she is standing on her head, to which Ezri responds that it was something Emony used to do. Finally, after some reassurance from Sisko, Ezri reluctantly agrees to try to help Garak.

Meanwhile, Bashir and Quark are talking about the new Dax in the bar. Quark asks Bashir if he has the same interest in Ezri that he did Jadzia, but Bashir insists that they are not the same woman. Quark asks if Bashir is up for a little competition, much to Bashir's apparent confusion. Quark none the less declares his intent to win Ezri's heart.

Ezri approaches Garak in his shop and tries to talk to him about his condition. She tries to relate her own struggle with space sickness and suggests that both she and Garak are "punishing themselves" with their respective conditions; Ezri for Torias getting himself killed in a shuttle accident, and Garak for misbehaving as a child and being subsequently locked inside a closet by his father. Ezri's speculation leads to both her and Garak feeling space sick and claustrophobic respectively. They both promise to give Ezri's words some thought, and Ezri leaves.

Later, as Ezri is walking to her quarters, she runs into Worf, who only acknowledges her by her rank. Ezri, insulted by Worf's indifference to her, reminds him that she used to be his wife. Worf does not take kindly to Ezri's words and harshly tells her that she is not his wife and that he does not know her, nor does he wish to.

Act Three

Sisko goes to visit Ezri in her quarters, and he tells her that Garak is back on the job. Ezri talks with Sisko about her earlier encounter with Worf in the corridor and Sisko offers to speak with him. Ezri declines, on the grounds that Worf is intimidated by Sisko. After voicing his amusement with this, Sisko offers Ezri a counselors position on the station – with a promotion to lieutenant junior grade. Ezri is touched by Sisko's offer, but her issues with Worf cause her to decline.

Memorable quotes

"These pronouns are going to drive me crazy!"

- Ezri Dax


"Now wait a minute! You have no right to tell me who I can be friends with!"
"If you dishonor Jadzia's memory, you will regret it. And that goes for you, too, Ferengi!"
"What did I do?!"

- Bashir, Worf, and Quark


"It's a strange sensation, dying. No matter how many times it happens to you, you never get used to it."

- Ezri Dax


"You're a therapist?"
"Why does everyone sound so surprised when they hear that?"

- Quark and Ezri


"Spare me your insipid psychobabble. I'm not some quivering neurotic who feels sorry for himself because his daddy wasn't nice. You couldn't begin to understand me!"

- Elim Garak, responding to Ezri's help


"I want someone to help me get back to work. And you, my dear, are not up to this task. I mean, look at you. You're pathetic – a confused child trying to live up to a legacy left by her predecessors. You're not worthy of the name "Dax." I knew Jadzia. She was vital, alive. She owned herself, and you... you don't even know who you are. How dare you presume to help me? You can't even help yourself. Now, get out of here before I say something unkind."

- Garak, responding to Ezri's help


"You are not Jadzia. Jadzia died and went to Sto-vo-kor. I do not know you, nor do I wish to know you."

- Worf


"Oh, no. Not again."

- Worf, when O'Brien enters the Klingon's quarters with bloodwine.


"She is cute."
"She's also about three hundred years too old for you."

- Jake Sisko and Benjamin Sisko, about Ezri


"Will you come to dinner with us?"
"Please, I don't want to intrude..."
"Honestly, it's fine. It'll take some pressure off me. All he does is sit and count how many times I chew."

- Odo, Ezri and Kira, after Odo asks Ezri to dinner.


"Stop it, Benjamin! I thought you of all people would understand."
"I do understand. And you're right. You don't deserve the Dax symbiont. Quite frankly, you don't deserve to wear that uniform! I'll pass this on to Starfleet Command. Dismissed!"

- Ezri Dax and Benjamin Sisko

Background information

Story and script

  • Obviously, the primary function of this episode was to introduce Ezri Dax into Deep Space Nine. As Ira Steven Behr explains, "We knew we had to be bold and not just try to sneak her into the show. Maybe we could have if this had been Season 2 or 3, but by this point, we only had one season, so we just had to go for it." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
  • René Echevarria was scripting this episode before Nicole de Boer had actually shot any scenes for either "Image in the Sand" or "Shadows and Symbols". Indeed, Echevarria was half-way through his first draft before he even found out who was going to be playing Ezri (this recalls Kurt Michael Bensmiller's situation when he was composing the teleplay for the first season episode "The Storyteller" – he was working several weeks before filming even began on the pilot, "Emissary"). (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
  • René Echevarria's original draft of this episode focused more on Garak than it did on Ezri. Garak had gone on a dangerous mission for Starfleet, and at one point, to avoid capture by the Jem'Hadar, he had to lock himself inside a torpedo tube. As a result, when he gets back to Deep Space 9 and is being debriefed, he suffers a breakdown and forgets the information he was sent to retrieve. This is when Ezri comes into the story. The problem with this structure however, as Echevarria explains, was that "Ezri would have to be a very, very effective counselor. And that would make the scenes between her and Garak more about psychotherapy than about Ezri's character. The plotlines were fighting each other. This person who didn't know who she was would not be an effective therapist – and that was a major part of the story. So I radically simplified Garak's problem in my second draft. And by that time, I'd seen Nicole, which gave me more ideas. She became more quirky, standing on her head and stuff like that. We decided to let her almost stumble onto the solution to Garak's problem, and allow her vulnerability to bring it about." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
  • In relation to Garak's role in this episode, Andrew J. Robinson comments, "Garak is Cardassian, and I think of them as really working from the reptilian part of their brain. They're very suspicious when anyone tries to interfere or pry or get inside their very carefully constructed perimeters. So although Garak was suffering this terrible anxiety that was affecting his breathing, he was driven to fence with Ezri, daring her to get inside him, and trying to stop her. But finally his anxiety overwhelms him and he realizes that he does need her help. And in the end, he is grateful." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion) This is not the first time that Robinson has likened the Cardassian brain to the reptilian brain; see the Background Section for the second season episode "Tribunal".

Reception

  • René Echevarria was not entirely happy with how this episode turned out; "Ezri helps Garak sort of by serendipity, and that gives her confidence. That was the intent, although I'm not sure we pulled it off. I talked to some professional therapists after they saw the episode and they told me, 'That was just bunk.' That was disappointing to hear, that we'd missed the mark. But I still think it was a good introduction to Ezri." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)

Trivia

Video and DVD releases

Links and references

Starring

Also starring

Guest star

Uncredited co-stars

Stand-ins

References

antibiotic; Bajor; Bajoran shrine; bat'leth; bloodwine; Bolians; Cardassia; Cardassians; claustrophobia; coffee; counselor; Crockett, Davy; Dax, Emony; Dax, Jadzia; Dax, Tobin; Dax, Torias; Destiny, USS; Dominion; Dominion War; Fanalian toddy; Ferengi; holosuite; I'danian spice pudding; inertial dampers; Infirmary; Kalandra sector; kilm steak; latinum; Obsidian Order; "Old Man"; Promenade; Quark's; Raymer; Saltah'na clock; Santa Anna; Seventh Fleet; space sickness; Starfleet Command; Starfleet Intelligence; Starfleet Medical; Sto-vo-kor; symbiont; Symbiosis Commission; Tain, Enabran; Talpet; tongo; Travis, William B.; Trill; Trills; Tympanic tickle; vegetarian; Vulcans

External links


Previous episode:
"Shadows and Symbols"
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Season 7
Next episode:
"Take Me Out to the Holosuite"

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