Monday, February 3, 2014

TWITrek Character Insight No. 82: Ezri Dax

This is the latest installment in a series of "Character Insight" articles regarding the rich history of characters in the Star Trek universe.  An audio version will appear on the This Week in Trek podcast, available for direct download here.
Welcome back to Character Insight!  This week, our subject is Lieutenant Ezri Dax from DS9.

Dax serves as counselor aboard the Deep Space Nine station in the seventh and final season of the show. Ezri is a joined Trill, the ninth host of the Dax symbiont, and this provides her with the life experiences of prior joined trills, including longtime cast member Jadzia Dax.

Before joining the Dax symbiont, Ezri had decided to not undergo training to be a joined trill. However, she is forced into the duty after the Dax symbiont almost dies in the return trip to Trill following Jadzia's death during the Dominion War. Ezri struggles with the transition to being a joined trill, and her journey to find herself leads her to team with Benjamin Sisko and later become part of the DS9 crew.

Ezri was easily the focus of the most stories in Season 7, as the role of a counselor to others and the investigation of how a young person deals with integrating 8 lifetimes of experience were fresh and deep story sources to pull from. This includes a bumpy road in making and mending relationships with other crew members like Worf, who was married to Jadzia. However, Ezri ends up in love with Dr. Bashir, and the two play cat-and-mouse with one another until right before the end of the series.

One of the more interesting Trill stories comes when Ezri investigates a murder of a coworker Hector Ilario. She performs the Rite of Emergence to let Dax's sixth host Joran take over and help her track the killer, and she struggles to keep control over the violent and irrational former host who turned into a murderer while hosting Dax. Ezri makes for a compelling character because she is a counselor who has a ton of personal issues to work out herself while helping others.

Ezri is the one of the few Star Trek characters who is clearly left-handed, like Worf. Ezri is also one of only two main characters since TNG to not appear as a hologram, but she likely would have if given another season! Ezri was also the only main cast member to not be made into a Playmates action figure, but this has since been reconciled for Ezri fans.

Ezri also stars as one of three ship captains with Jean-Luc Picard and William Riker in the best Star Trek book miniseries I have ever read, the Borg epic entitled Star Trek Destiny.

Our notable quote this week comes from the episode What You Leave Behind:
Lieutenant Ezri Dax: I take it we'll be the Spartans?
Doctor Bashir: Fighting to the last man.
Lieutenant Ezri Dax: Just like the Alamo.
Doctor Bashir: Exactly.
Lieutenant Ezri Dax: Have you talked to a counselor about these annihilation fantasies?
Doctor Bashir: Do you think I should?
Lieutenant Ezri Dax: M-m. I'll set up a session for you tomorrow.
Doctor Bashir: What about tonight?
Lieutenant Ezri Dax: Tonight we defend the pass.

Actress: Nicole de Boer played Ezri, and she can also be seen in the movies Cube and Stephen King's Dead Zone.

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