“Lucky” Volunteers, S3, Episode 25, “Facets”
“Facets” gives Deep Space Nine yet another chance to spend an entire episode exploring the Trill race, and the many demands of being a symbiont host. This pattern of plots is either a kind of repeating blessing, or a curse without end, depending on how much one really wants to know about the Trill. Someone on this show’s staff is so obsessed with this symbiont-centered culture they believe Dax should endure one metaphysical voyage of self-discovery after another. And the resulting episodes have a certain innate laziness to them.
Laziness? “Isn’t that a little harsh?” you ask. I don’t think so, because I take the same issue with the show’s treatment of the Trill as I do with the Ferengi. These people should be much more than the main characteristics they’re known for. The Ferengi are interesting when they’re not greedy stereotypes. And Dax shines when the symbiont is just a facilitator for regret, insecurity, and other aspects of her personality. You don’t have to have these folks waving signs saying “I’m a fount of avarice” or “I have a worm in my chest!”. That reduces what they are to bullet points on a 3×5 index card.
To further elaborate, let’s talk about the alien this show has the most respect for: Odo. If you talk to a lot of fans, they’ll tell you they love our friendly constable. Of course they do. Because Odo never faces down an episode like this.
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