“Rejoined” is the 78th episode of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the sixth of the fourth season.
The episode received a record volume of feedback from viewers for the series, both positive and negative, as it marked one of the first televised lesbian kisses.
Set in the 24th century, the series follows the adventures on Deep Space Nine, a space station located near a stable wormhole between the Alpha and Gamma quadrants of the Milky Way Galaxy. The plot of “Rejoined” expands on the Trill species, of which Jadzia Dax is a member. They are formed of a host and a symbiont, with the symbiont passed from host to host as the previous one dies.
In the episode, Dax is reunited with Lenara Kahn, the widow of one of its former hosts. The two struggle with their feelings for one another because of the taboo in their species against reuniting with loved ones of former hosts as they work together to experiment on wormholes.
The episode was the first that writers Ronald D. Moore and René Echevarria wrote together, and it was directed by main cast member Avery Brooks. In the first draft, Dax’s former partner was written as male, but after this was changed, the story was cleared through studio executives. The Trill taboo was intended to be an allegory for homosexuality and homophobia.
“Rejoined” received a Nielsen rating of seven percent on the first broadcast in syndication. Reviews have been mostly positive towards the episode because of its message, but there was criticism that the plot was not exciting enough and there was a negative reaction from some viewers.
Captain Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks) notifies Lieutenant Commander Jadzia Dax (Terry Farrell) that a group of Trill scientists will be arriving soon at Deep Space Nine to perform experiments related to wormhole physics. The Trill are a species formed of both a humanoid host and a symbiont, which are implanted into them. The symbionts live far longer than the hosts, and are moved into a new host when the old one dies. Jadzia is the eighth host of the Dax symbiont. Sisko tells Dax that the head scientist is Lenara Kahn (Susanna Thompson), and offers to grant Dax a leave of absence while the Trill scientists are aboard, but she turns it down. Upon Dax and Kahn’s first meeting, Major Kira Nerys (Nana Visitor) notices that they are very familiar with each other; Dax tells her that Kahn used to be her wife. Dr. Julian Bashir (Alexander Siddig) later informs Kira about the non-association rules that Trill follow regarding the family and friends of former hosts, and says that hosts of the Dax and Kahn symbionts have previously been married to each other.
A party is held for the team, and Dax and Kahn warm to one another’s company once more. Afterwards, they begin to socialise as they work together on Kahn’s wormhole experiment aboard USS Defiant. They agree to have dinner, but to also bring Bashir along as a chaperone. At the dinner, Bashir feels out of place and is effectively ignored by the two Trills. Returning to the tests, Kahn creates the first artificial wormhole in history and Dax hugs her in celebration. Kahn’s brother Bejal (Tim Ryan), who is on the science team, speaks to her separately and highlights his concerns regarding her contact with Dax. Despite this, Kahn goes to Dax’s quarters and a discussion between the two leads to a kiss; Kahn leaves before it goes any further.
Dax confides in Sisko that she knows she is in love with her former wife. He tells her that Trill customs mean that if they resumed their relationship, then they would be exiled from their homeworld and their symbionts would never be joined with a new host, but that she will have his support either way. Kahn and Dax continue to work on the experiment, but it goes wrong and Defiant is severely damaged. Kahn is injured in the explosion, but Dax rigs a force field across a plasma fire that allows her to reach Kahn, coming to the realisation that the relationship is worth exile. After returning to the station, Kahn recuperates from her injuries. She decides against resuming her relationship with Dax, and – with the experiments complete – departs with the science team, leaving Dax heartbroken.
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Production & Filming Details
- Director(s): Avery Brooks.
- Writer(s): Rene Echevarria.
- Release Date: 30 October 1995.
- Running Time: 45 minutes.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.