The driving force behind the plot of this episode is the antogonist's wish to become something more than mediocre. Unfortunately, the episode doesn't seem to share the same ambition. The story has an interesting premise, but it coasts on it in such a "connect the dots" way, it's easy to guess what was said at the writers' meetings. "How about we have someone try to steal Dax's symbiont?" "Okay, he'll have to take over the station to do that. How do we make it plausible?" "How will he get Bashir to cooperate, and how do we make it personal and develop the relationships?" The episode answers these questions just fine and doesn't do anything wrong (although I do have to wonder just how weak-willed Dax is when the trill does nothing to stop its new host from carrying out his plan) but the story lacks the dash of creativity it needs to give it a spark of excitement. (Actually, an internal struggle between Dax and the trill's new host might be a welcome Devoid of any surprises, the episode is what it is: harmless, average, and forgettable.
"Invasive Procedures" is much better than I remembered - the first time I saw it, I assessed it as just another bit of solid filler. But there's a nice, tense thriller here that explores Dax's relationship with several characters while she actually spends very little time on the screen!
The episode is really Sisko's, and Avery Brooks gives a strong performance. He gets some nice backup from Armin Shimerman and Siddig. The latter in particular benefits from a more serious performance rather than behaving like a fatuous young lieutenant. And in typical DS9 fashion, even though there's a happy ending, there are consequences - a man's obsession may have destroyed him.
In this episode DS9 is hi-jacked (again! Which actually makes twice in two episodes, but who's counting?) by a slightly deranged Trill named Verad who is desperate to be joined with a symbiont. And he's decided that the symbiont he wants to join with is...Dax.
This is a solid, taut Dax story which is well-written, nicely executed and has some great performances (particularly John Glover as Verad). The hostage drama plays out surprisingly well and Quark again provides some neat comic relief in an otherwise dark and intense story. Look out for Tim Russ (Tuvok from Voyager) playing one of Verad's Klingon entourage...
Emotional response was saddened by the possible loss of Jadzia, and mad at the selfishness of the abducting Trill, Verad. I had a hard time believeing that Dax had such little control over the actions of its host.
Series Impact: Possible loss of a senior staff member. Lockup and loss of trust with Quark.
# of Nine: Drama 5, Suspense 4, Action 3, Comedy 1
Acting - good
Scenery - OPs, docking ring, airlock, Quark's, Infirmary
Sound - good
Lighting - good
Effects - very good
Costumes - typical
Props - laser scalpel, portable containment pod (for Odo), symbiant
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