Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (DS9)
Episode: 2.4 Invasive Procedures (October 18, 1993)
Redshirt Status: 0/1/3.5
Notable Guest Stars:
John Glover (Verad) – I love John Glover. I know him best as Lionel Luther, Lex Luther’s father from the CW series Smallville. He does an excellent job every time I see him, and this episode is not a variation. He is also known for being the voice of the Riddler and Max Brodsky in Twist of Fate.
Megan Gallagher (Mareel) – Gallagher has an award winning theater career, but has several television and film credits to her name. She appears on ER, Voyager, The Mentalist, and Suits (as Meghan Markle’s mother oddly enough).
Tim Russ (T’Kar) – Tim Russ has appeared on Star Trek before, and yet we are still not at his main character for the Franchise. He stars in Voyager as Tuvok. Tuvok and T’Kar would probably not get along. For a recent role, he played a curator bringing old Earth artifacts onboard the Orville in, well, The Orville.
Steven Rankin (Yeto) – Steven Rankin appears on DS9 twice, once as Yeto and a second time as a Cardassian Officer. He will appear again in Voyager and Enterprise (where he plays the detestable Colonel Green). He has a credit in my favorite film Apollo 13 as Pad Rat which I’m guessing he plays one of the people on the launch pad. Other appearances include X-files, Millennium, Sliders, West Wing, JAG, Providence and more recently, Veronica Mars and Leverage.
This episode is perhaps one of my favorite of the early seasons of DS9. Not only is it because I loved seeing John Glover on my screen outside of being Lionel, but it also has really good pacing to the story and there are so many facets to explore.Read more: The Rewatch 235: Invasive Procedures
Unlike many episodes of Trek in the 90s, there is only an A plot for this episode. Verad, a disgruntled unjoined Trill takes over the station during a plasma storm (therefore easy as they had only a skeleton crew) and demands to have Dax. The Symbiote, not Jadzia. He is accompanied by two Klingons named Yeto and T’Kar (AKA the muscle) and Mareel, a young woman who has fallen for him. The show uses vague wording, but funnily enough Wikipedia does not mince words and outright calls her a former prostitute. It sounds like they had a space version of Pretty Woman.
In any case, she is devoted to him and what he wants is to be joined. He figures he will gain the confidence and knowledge that was denied him by the joining committee.
This episode explores the re-imagined Trill culture, which as we have mentioned before, was reset for DS9 and takes very little from the original episode TNG’s The Host. It does a few key things. The main thing is it explores a little about the Trill process of symbiosis. We find out there is a committee that reviews each applicant and decides who is suitable for symbiosis. I keep thinking of this in relation to organ donation. Usually there is a committee who reviews everyone on the list to see how likely it is that the person will be able to handle receiving the new organ, and then doing the necessary tasks associated with having an organ replaced.
Verad was deemed unsuitable, for reasons unknown, and is bitter about it. Jadzia doesn’t see this as a insult, as she has family who never had symbiotes. However, she is willing to give up Dax if it means saving the rest of the crew on the station. Also we do see a moment of just Jadzia when she wakes up after the symbiote is removed.
Another keynote to the episode is Julan Bashir character development. He has a strong sense of ethics and refuses until both Jadzia and Sisko tell him to go through with it. He has also seemingly lost some of his obliviousness in this episode, being more astute and coming up with a plan on the go to get Yeto distracted till he can subdue him. While I don’t think this shows Julian to be “advanced” it does show he’s not the oblivious man he was in season one who made you wonder how he made it this far in Starfleet.
This also brings up the discussion of ethical medical treatments and can someone be forced to give up an organ (say a kidney or a lobe of their liver) to someone else if there is a need? I personally don’t think so, as I believe body autonomy is a basic right, but what do you think?
As I mention below, the only mar on this episode is that Quark is never given any sort of consequence for the actions he takes.
- Story by John Whelpley, who wrote the Teleplay with Robert Hewiit Wolfe.
- Directed by Les Landau
- This episode is a favorite of many of the production crew and the actors. However Armin Shimerman is one of those who didn’t like it, and I don’t blame him. He believes his character should have seen consequences for his actions which crossed a line. I agree with him. Quark often gets away with crimes he shouldn’t, but this one was caught early on and Kira even promises that he is “Done”. I half wonder if maybe Dax decided to speak in his behalf, saying he wasn’t aware they were coming for Dax.
- Exploration of Trill Culture and the act of Symbosis
- Development of characterization for Jadzia, Dax itself, Bashir and Sisko.
- Why is Cirroc Lofton given Regular credit status if they don’t plan on actually using him?
- No punishment for Quark
Screencap via CygnusX1.net (reuse of a season 1 screencap as they don’t have any further then season 1)