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Ezri Dax has trouble adjusting with the rest of the crew; Garak inexplicably collapses.



On the upper level of Deep Space 9's Promenade, Ezri Dax discusses her feelings about being back on the space station with Morn, who has no idea who she is and promptly leaves. Not soon after, Ezri decides to visit the Bajoran temple, where she runs into Kira Nerys. Ezri, flooded with memories of Jadzia's recent death in that very room, confides to Kira how strange a sensation death is – no matter how many times you go through it. Kira is obviously uncomfortable with the topic, so Ezri leaves her to her prayers.

In Quark's, Ezri is served a glass of Klingon bloodwine. Ezri is not enthusiastic about the beverage, despite Quark reminding her that it is the same vintage that was served when Jadzia married Worf, and returns it. She tells Quark that she is planning on returning to the USS Destiny to continue her duties as assistant counselor. "You're a therapist!?" a shocked Quark asks – which makes Ezri wonder why that is so surprising to everyone. Ezri notes that besides Captain Sisko, Quark is the only one of Jadzia's friends she has spoken to who do not appear to be uncomfortable around her, and the two start talking about the late night tongo games "they" used to play together. Their reminiscing is cut short by Worf, who promptly leaves after seeing Ezri in the bar.

Act One[]

The next day, Ezri goes to visit Captain Sisko in his office; coming in through the corridor rather than ops so as to avoid seeing Worf. Ezri tells Sisko about her encounter with Worf the previous day at Quark's and that she still plans to return to the Destiny. Despite Sisko's disappointment with the news, he supports his friend's decision, though he tells Dax that he will miss her.

Garak and Odo, 2375

"Odo to the infirmary. We have a medical emergency. Garak?"

Back in Quark's, Julian Bashir and Miles O'Brien, along with Odo, are planning their latest holosuite adventure. Bashir asks Garak about the status of their costumes, to which he replies that his shop is still closed due to him being so busy decoding Cardassian messages for Starfleet Intelligence. Garak becomes agitated with the crowd in the bar, which causes him to snap at them when they come too close while he is sitting at a table. Garak promptly leaves and returns to his shop, where he continues his work. However, as he does so, he begins to have an anxiety attack caused by his claustrophobia. He is discovered by Odo, who promptly calls for medical attention.

Act Two[]

In the infirmary, Odo tells Sisko about Garak's attack as Doctor Bashir finishes up his treatment. Sisko is confused about the circumstances of the attack – Garak's shop is a "good sized room," according to Sisko. Garak tells Sisko that the attack will keep him away from his intelligence work for the time being. In the meantime, Garak plans to go back to sewing, as it calms him down. After Garak leaves, Sisko asks Bashir if there is anything he can do for him, but Bashir says there isn't – "Our friend Garak needs his head examined."

Taking Bashir's words into mind, Sisko goes to visit Ezri, who is surprised at his request to counsel Garak. Sisko asks her, "What more can you learn in the next few months that you haven't already learned in the last 300 years?" Ezri has a few ideas – like not bursting into tears for no reason and resisting the urge to stand on her head. Sisko asks why she is standing on her head, to which Ezri responds that it was something Emony used to do. Finally, after some reassurance from Sisko, Ezri reluctantly agrees to try to help Garak.

Meanwhile, Bashir and Quark are talking about the new Dax in the bar. Quark asks Bashir if he has the same interest in Ezri that he did Jadzia, but Bashir insists that they are not the same woman. Quark asks if Bashir is up for a little competition, much to Bashir's apparent confusion. Quark nonetheless declares his intent to win Ezri's heart.

Ezri approaches Garak in his shop and tries to talk to him about his condition. She tries to relate her own struggle with space sickness and suggests that both she and Garak are "punishing themselves" with their respective conditions; Ezri for Torias getting himself killed in a shuttle accident, and Garak for misbehaving as a child and being subsequently locked inside a closet by his father. Ezri's speculation leads to both her and Garak feeling space sick and claustrophobic respectively. They both promise to give Ezri's words some thought, and Ezri leaves, suffering from space sickness since she brought it up.

Later, as Ezri is walking to her quarters, she runs into Worf in the habitat ring's corridor who only acknowledges her by her rank. Ezri, insulted by Worf's indifference to her, reminds him that she used to be his wife. Worf does not take kindly to Ezri's words and harshly tells her that she is not his wife, as she is in Sto-vo-kor and that he does not know her, nor does he wish to.

Act Three[]

Sisko goes to visit a down Ezri in her quarters, and he tells her that Garak is back on the job analyzing Cardassian transmissions. Ezri talks with Sisko about her earlier encounter with Worf in the corridor and Sisko offers to have a few words with him. Ezri declines, on the grounds that Worf is intimidated by Sisko. After voicing his amusement with this, Sisko offers Ezri a counselor's position on the station – with a promotion to lieutenant junior grade. Ezri is touched by Sisko's offer, but her issues with Worf cause her to decline.

Elim Garak slamming an airlock

"Let me out. Let me out!"

Later in the replimat, Ezri meets Bashir, who orders two Fanalian toddies. They sit together and talk, but Ezri quickly realizes his attempts at conversation are simply flirting, and she says she is flattered but asks him to stop. Ezri tells Bashir that Jadzia knew how to handle it but she cannot. She realizes how sad he is over the loss of Jadzia, and he admits that talking to her helps ease the pain a little. She tenderly takes his hand, which Worf notices looking down at them on the upper level of the Promenade and does not look happy about it. Bashir suddenly gets a call from Deputy Talpet saying there is a medical emergency at airlock seven – it's Garak.

Arriving on-scene, they find that Garak has entered an airlock and is trying to open the outer door – his claustrophobia has returned, and he so affected by it he does not realize that there is no ship on the other side – he will be killed if he opens the door.

Act Four[]

Ezri has taken Garak to a holosuite and the two of them sit on the edge of an outcropping of rock overlooking a vast seascape. Garak knows that it’s just an illusion, however, and is still having problems. Garak says he simply couldn’t breathe and wanted to get out. He knows that he has to get his claustrophobia under control, or he’ll have to leave the station, but he also knows that if he does he’ll have nowhere to go. Ezri offers to tell Quark to leave the holosuite available for 26 hours a day if necessary when Garak feels another attack coming on. Garak simply says he’d like to be alone for a while. Ezri leaves promising to check back on him later.

Bashir is treating Quark for an ear infection from a tympanic tickle caused by an amateur when Worf accosts him, saying “We need to talk”. He then violently pins Bashir to the wall, warning him to stay away from Ezri. Bashir says he can be friends with whomever he chooses, but Worf warns him (and Quark too) that if he dishonors Jadzia’s memory he will regret it. He storms out, leaving the other two confused and hurt.

Ezri is surprised to find Garak back in his shop instead of the holosuite. He says that work is the answer to his problems, based on what his father used to tell him. Ezri tries to get him to talk about it, but Garak asks her to “spare me your insipid psychobabble”. He tells Ezri she couldn’t possibly understand. She says she’d like to try. He begins to insult her, telling her she is a scared, confused child who has no hope of ever living up to the reputation of her predecessors, especially Jadzia. "Now get out of here, before I say something unkind," Garak sneers at her. Ezri leaves, nearly in tears, and as she heads down the promenade, she walks into the Bajoran temple and slumps against a wall inside, sobbing.

Act Five[]

Later, in Sisko’s office, Ezri gives him her resignation from Starfleet, telling him Garak was right. How can she help others when she can’t even help herself? She gets angry when he calls her “Old man”, and says she is not Curzon, or Jadzia. He says she is Ezri, and she’s been given eight lifetimes’ worth of experience, but Ezri refuses to listen. Sisko gets angry at Ezri's indifference, and asks her what it is she plans to do now. He suggests she goes back to Trill and have the symbiont removed, but she says he knows that’s impossible. He says she could become one of the Guardians deep underground where no one would talk to her. After all, her symbiont had eight great lifetimes so who cares if the ninth was a waste? He tells her she doesn’t deserve the symbiont or even the Starfleet uniform and accepts her resignation. Ezri leaves in an even worse mood.

O’Brien enters Worf’s quarters with another bottle of bloodwine. Worf says that Bashir needs to realize that Ezri is not Jadzia and treating her like Jadzia dishonors her memory. O’Brien says treating Ezri like a stranger is what is dishonoring Jadzia’s memory. Worf doesn’t know how he can honor Jadzia when she’s not really dead. O’Brien tells him that the best person to ask is the person he’s been avoiding: Ezri.

Back in Garak’s shop, Ezri shows up to say she was sorry she couldn’t help him, and that she’ll be leaving for Trill in the morning. She tells him the Destiny, her former ship, is heading to join the Seventh Fleet at Kalandra. She tells him that thanks to the information he got from the messages he decoded, Starfleet was able to determine that the Dominion was weak there. If the offensive there goes well, Starfleet will have him to thank for it. Garak grows agitated by the news. Ezri realizes that the messages he is decoding are leading to the deaths of his people. Garak finally admits to her that instead of helping his people, his actions are leading to the destruction of his race. He then collapses to the floor with another panic attack.

Later, in the infirmary, Garak thanks her for finally figuring out what was wrong with him. He says he will continue his intelligence work, because he must even if it means the destruction of Cardassia. He says Sisko should thank her too. He asks if she’s still returning to Trill. She decides not to. She will stay in Starfleet, but then panics when she realizes that she has submitted her resignation!

In Sisko’s office, she asks to be reinstated, but he smiles and tells her he never sent her resignation in. She realizes he was simply using reverse psychology to “rattle her cage”, and he replies she used to do it to him often enough. He’s glad it worked. She still won’t stay at Deep Space 9, though.

As she is packing, Worf enters her quarters. He admits he has not treated her as Jadzia would have wanted. He loved her, and she says that Jadzia loved him. He is conflicted, with part of him happy she is not completely gone, and part of him wishing she was. He asks her to stay, knowing that is what Jadzia would have wanted. He says he will get used to her, but it will take time, and she agrees to keep her distance.

Ezri gets her promotion in the wardroom, and Sisko tells her her new job will not be easy: She will be responsible for the mental health of many people – including everyone in the room. She gets a dinner invitation from Odo and Kira. The others are also friendly to her, but Ezri is still nervous, until she sees Worf in the corner raise his cup to her in a salute.

Memorable quotes[]

"These pronouns are going to drive me crazy!"

- Ezri Dax

"Now wait a minute! You have no right to tell me who I can be friends with!"
"If you dishonor Jadzia's memory, you will regret it. And that goes for you, too, Ferengi!"
"What did I do?!"

- Bashir, Worf, and Quark

"It's a strange sensation, dying. No matter how many times it happens to you, you never get used to it."

- Ezri Dax

"You're a therapist?"
"Why does everyone sound so surprised when they hear that?"

- Quark and Ezri

"Spare me your insipid psychobabble. I'm not some quivering neurotic who feels sorry for himself because his daddy wasn't nice. You couldn't begin to understand me!"

- Elim Garak, responding to Ezri's help

"I want someone to help me get back to work. And you, my dear, are not up to this task. I mean, look at you. You're pathetic – a confused child trying to live up to a legacy left by her predecessors. You're not worthy of the name "Dax." I knew Jadzia. She was vital, alive. She owned herself, and you… you don't even know who you are. How dare you presume to help me? You can't even help yourself. Now, get out of here before I say something unkind."

- Garak, responding to Ezri's help

"Perhaps I should have a talk with him,"
"Absolutely not. You intimidate him."
"Don't tell him I told you."
"I intimidate Worf?"
"You like that, don't you?"

- Sisko and Ezri

"You are not Jadzia. Jadzia died and went to Sto-vo-kor. I do not know you, nor do I wish to know you."

- Worf

"Oh, no. Not again."

- Worf, when O'Brien enters the Klingon's quarters with bloodwine.

"Julian swears there's nothing going on between him and Ezri. There's no reason for you to be jealous."
"This has nothing to do with jealousy! I know that Doctor Bashir cared for Jadzia, but this woman is not Jadzia, and treating her as if she were dishonors her memory."
"Wrong. Treating Ezri like a stranger dishonors Jadzia's memory."

- O'Brien and Worf, about Ezri Dax

"She is cute."
"She's also about three hundred years too old for you."

- Jake Sisko and Benjamin Sisko, about Ezri

"Will you come to dinner with us?"
"Please, I don't want to intrude…"
"Honestly, it's fine. It'll take some pressure off me. All he does is sit and count how many times I chew."

- Odo, Ezri and Kira, after Odo asks Ezri to dinner.

"Stop it, Benjamin! I thought you of all people would understand."
"I do understand. And you're right. You don't deserve the Dax symbiont. Quite frankly, you don't deserve to wear that uniform! I'll pass this on to Starfleet Command. Dismissed!"

- Ezri Dax and Benjamin Sisko

Background information[]

Story and script[]

  • Obviously, the primary function of this episode was to introduce Ezri Dax into Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. As Ira Steven Behr explains, "We knew we had to be bold and not just try to sneak her into the show. Maybe we could have if this had been Season 2 or 3, but by this point, we only had one season, so we just had to go for it." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 605)
  • René Echevarria was scripting this episode before Nicole de Boer had actually shot any scenes for either "Image in the Sand" or "Shadows and Symbols". Indeed, Echevarria was half-way through his first draft before he even found out who was going to be playing Ezri (this recalls Kurt Michael Bensmiller's situation when he was composing the teleplay for the first season episode "The Storyteller" – he was working several weeks before filming even began on the pilot, "Emissary"). (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 606)
  • René Echevarria's original draft of this episode focused more on Garak than it did on Ezri. Garak had gone on a dangerous mission for Starfleet, and at one point, to avoid capture by the Jem'Hadar, he had to lock himself inside a torpedo tube. As a result, when he gets back to Deep Space 9 and is being debriefed, he suffers a breakdown and forgets the information he was sent to retrieve. This is when Ezri comes into the story. The problem with this structure however, as Echevarria explains, was that "Ezri would have to be a very, very effective counselor. And that would make the scenes between her and Garak more about psychotherapy than about Ezri's character. The plotlines were fighting each other. This person who didn't know who she was would not be an effective therapist – and that was a major part of the story. So I radically simplified Garak's problem in my second draft. And by that time, I'd seen Nicole, which gave me more ideas. She became more quirky, standing on her head and stuff like that. We decided to let her almost stumble onto the solution to Garak's problem, and allow her vulnerability to bring it about." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 606)
  • In relation to Garak's role in this episode, Andrew J. Robinson comments, "Garak is Cardassian, and I think of them as really working from the reptilian part of their brain. They're very suspicious when anyone tries to interfere or pry or get inside their very carefully constructed perimeters. So although Garak was suffering this terrible anxiety that was affecting his breathing, he was driven to fence with Ezri, daring her to get inside him, and trying to stop her. But finally his anxiety overwhelms him and he realizes that he does need her help. And in the end, he is grateful." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 607) This is not the first time that Robinson has likened the Cardassian brain to the reptilian brain; see the Background Section for the second season episode "Tribunal".
  • The shooting script ends with Ezri trying to explain to Morn who she is.




  • Andrew Robinson commented "["Afterimage"] was a difficult episode because I'm also somewhat claustrophobic and having to go to that place is always tough. It was a very emotional trip but an important one because it shows the passion Garak has for his race and his planet and the agony he's experiencing by having to betray both. The Cardassian military transmissions he's been deciphering for Starfleet have helped its forces destroy even more enemy warships and subconsciously, he blames himself for the deaths of his fellow countrymen. The way in which the writers tied that in with Garak's claustrophobia was superb and it made the episode that much more interesting to do. I also liked how they set up the relationship between the older, experienced spymaster Garak and the young, inexperienced counselor Dax, so that was a lot of fun as well". ("I, Spy", TV Zone special #34)
  • René Echevarria was not entirely happy with how this episode turned out; "Ezri helps Garak sort of by serendipity, and that gives her confidence. That was the intent, although I'm not sure we pulled it off. I talked to some professional therapists after they saw the episode and they told me, 'That was just bunk.' That was disappointing to hear, that we'd missed the mark. But I still think it was a good introduction to Ezri." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 606)

Remastered version[]

Video and DVD releases[]

Links and references[]


Also starring[]

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Uncredited co-stars[]



Alamo, Battle of the; amateur; antibiotic; assistant ship's counselor (aka assistant counselor); Bajor; Bajoran shrine; bat'leth; bloodwine; Bolians; Cardassia; Cardassians; Caves of Mak'ala; claustrophobia; closet; coffee; commission; costume; counselor; Crockett, Davy; Dax, Curzon; Dax, Emony; Dax, Jadzia; Dax, Tobin; Dax, Torias; Dominion; Dominion War; Fanalian toddy; Ferengi; Guardian; heart; hemming; holosuite; I'danian spice pudding; inertial dampers; Infirmary; Kalandra sector; kilm steak; latinum; meter; Obsidian Order; "Old Man"; Orb box; Promenade; pronoun; Quark's; Raymer; right handed; Saltah'na clock; Santa Anna; Seventh Fleet; sewing; space sickness; spouse; Starfleet Command; Starfleet Intelligence; Starfleet Medical; Sto-vo-kor; symbiont; symbiont pool; Symbiosis Commission; Tain, Enabran; Talpet; therapist; "To the bitter end"; tongo; traitor; Travis, William B.; Trill; Trills; tympanic tickle; vegetarian; Vulcans; waiver

Starship references[]

Akira-class (unnamed); Bajoran interceptor (unnamed); Destiny, USS; Miranda-class (unnamed); Saber-class (unnamed); Steamrunner-class (unnamed); workbee (unnamed)

External links[]

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"Shadows and Symbols"
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Season 7
Next episode:
"Take Me Out to the Holosuite"