Published Apr 7, 2023
Ezri Dax's Extraordinary Anecdotes
The assistant ship's counselor made an impact in the lives of those around her during her whirlwind tenure aboard Deep Space 9.
By Jay Stobie
Jadzia Dax’s murder had a profound impact on all those who knew her. A partner to Worf, an “old” mentor to Captain Sisko, and a true friend to those she served with, Jadzia left a hole in the station’s heart. It was poetic that Ezra Tigan, the Trill who joined with the Dax symbiont in the wake of Jadzia’s death, held the position of assistant ship’s counselor aboard the U.S.S. Destiny, because Deep Space 9 proved in dire need of help when she arrived.
During her tenure at the starbase, Ezri Dax worked with numerous individuals on both professional and personal levels in ways that made significant contributions to the lives of her friends and colleagues. Let’s reflect back on that whirlwind year of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, which saw Ezri assigned to the Federation’s most exciting outpost.
The Ad Hoc Host
As explained in "Shadows and Symbols," while Ezri Tigan had no plans to become a joined Trill at the time the Destiny shuttled the Dax symbiont back to its homeworld, she nevertheless stepped up and volunteered when an emergency endangered the symbiont’s life. As we learned from Jadzia, the rigors of hosting required that Trill study and prepare for years before undertaking the process, but as the only Trill on her ship, young Ezri willingly submitted to the burden in order to save the memories and experiences of Dax’s previous hosts. It may seem oddly self-serving to consider Ezri’s own symbiont as a beneficiary of her help, but the situation exemplified the young woman’s bravery.
The Exhausted Engineer
When Captain Sisko’s team arrived on AR-558, they encountered a group of Starfleet soldiers who had undergone a great deal of trauma while holding off repeated Jem’Hadar assaults for five months. Although the active war zone never permitted Ezri to take on any soldiers as an official patient, the counselor did call upon her previous hosts’ engineering skills to make friends with an officer named Kellin. The two collaborated on repairing the communications array, fixing a tricorder, and scanning for vicious anti-personnel mines, ultimately establishing a cordial friendship. After living through hell, Kellin found some happiness in his exchanges with Ezri. While Kellin saved Ezri’s life during the battle, he himself was unfortunately killed in the process.
The Family Affair
Ezri’s mother, Yanas, as well as her brothers, Janel and Norvo, ran a large pergium mine on New Sydney. In "Prodigal Daughter," Ezri visited in search of a missing Chief O’Brien, but she found Norvo, an aspiring artist who handled the family’s bookkeeping, in a depressed state and Janel, who oversaw the labor force, trying to keep the Orion Syndicate out of their affairs. It also turned out that O’Brien had been investigating a murder, the victim of which was on the Tigans’ payroll.
Though Ezri felt she had made strides in counseling Norvo to leave the business that had saddened him, she was shocked to learn that he was the murderer. Unable to save Norvo from justice, Ezri urged Janel to move off world and find his own path. Splitting up a family is never an ideal solution, but Ezri understood it was the only way for Janel to truly find joy.
The Mysterious Murderer
While new to the station, Ezri Dax and her crewmates took a liking to Lieutenant Hector Ilario before he was tragically murdered in his quarters. The killer, who utilized a projectile weapon, struck again, forcing Sisko to assign Ezri to rely on her forensic psychology training to determine why the murderer was committing these crimes. Ezri reluctantly consults with Joran, a previous Dax host known for killing three people, through the symbiont and, despite Joran’s aggressive behavior and a third victim, the two are able to conclude that the perpetrator is a Vulcan science officer and prevent him from slaughtering a fourth person. Just as she did when she inherited Dax, Ezri risked herself in order to save others from harm in "Field of Fire."
The Lost Lovers
Despite the attraction they felt for one another, Ezri and Dr. Bashir had been avoiding any awkward alone time, that is until they finally stopped for a chat in “The Dogs of War.” Neither officer realized that their counterpart harbored romantic sentiments for them, but even this reveal could not prevent the two from agreeing to just be friends… that is, until a chance encounter in the turbolift propelled the two into a passionate kiss that kicked off their relationship. This shifted the course of both their lives, but it also helped Julian move forward and understand that he loved Ezri for who she was rather than as a memory of Jadzia.
The Klingon Conundrum
Do you recall the time Ezri Dax altered the trajectory of the Klingon Empire in "Tacking into the Wind"? Don’t worry, I do! As Gowron’s reckless actions damaged the Klingon fleet, Worf begged Martok to stand up and challenge the Chancellor for control of the Empire. When Martok declined, Worf spoke to Ezri about it, believing he had made a foolish error in asking Martok to go against Gowron.
Disclosing that he and Martok still considered Ezri to be a member of their House, he requested her opinion on the matter. Ezri stunned Worf with her answer, claiming that the leaders of Qo’noS always spoke of honor but acted with corruption, a trait that she considered would be the Empire’s downfall. Worf clearly took this observation to heart, as he chose to challenge Gowron. Worf defeated Gowron and passed the mantle of leadership to Martok, a quadrant-shaking move that was set in motion by Ezri Dax.
The Claustrophobic Cardassian
When unexpected bouts of claustrophobia prevented Garak from continuing to decode vital Cardassian military transmissions that had been intercepted by Starfleet, Captain Sisko sent Ezri to meet with him for her first assignment on DS9 in "Afterimage."
After what appeared to be an initial breakthrough, Garak was later found trying to exit an airlock in order to get into open space. Following tensions between Garak and Ezri, the Trill eventually realized that Garak’s claustrophobia stemmed from his guilt over deciphering messages that would ultimately cost Cardassian lives. This revelation freed Garak’s mind and permitted him to continue his work in the war against the Dominion, an outcome that benefitted Garak and the Federation alike.
The Wayward Worf
In "Penumbra," missing in action following a Dominion attack on his starship in the Badlands, Worf was feared to be dead by many. Fueled by visions of Jadzia’s memories with the Klingon, Ezri commandeered a runabout and undertook an unsanctioned mission to search for him.
In another display of cunning and courage, Ezri allowed her vessel to float along the region’s plasma storms so that it might follow the same path as Worf’s escape pod. The gambit succeeded, and Ezri beamed Worf aboard. Jadzia’s past may have inspired the attempt, but it was Ezri who valiantly chose to pursue it. Of course, the pair did end up getting captured by the Breen… but that’s a story in and of itself!
The Magnificent Ferengi
The details surrounding the trauma Nog felt after losing his leg in battle were explored in “It’s Only A Paper Moon,” an iconic episode about one of DS9’s most beloved characters. Ezri initially counseled Rom and Leeta about their fears regarding meeting Nog upon his return to the station, the Trill soon found herself recommending that, since Nog had been under constant psychiatric care for months, Captain Sisko provide the young officer with some time to discover his own therapeutic outlet.
Ezri’s prescription triumphed, as Nog found comfort in Vic Fontaine’s holoprogram. While Nog initially returned to his regular duties, the break from reality gave him time to recuperate and reflect on his situation. Vic’s friendship was key to unlocking Nog’s feelings, but it was Ezri who guided the pair to a healthy resolution.
Jay Stobie (he/him) is a freelance writer and consultant who has contributed articles to StarTrek.com, Star Trek Explorer, and Star Trek Magazine, as well as to Star Wars Insider and StarWars.com. Jay can be found on Twitter and Instagram at @StobiesGalaxy.