Episode 2.19: Blood Oath

Blood Oath pulls in some Klingons from TOS to create an interesting cross-generational dilemma for Dax.  I feel like this is a fairly straightforward story with few hidden elements.  Dax made an oath as Curzon with these three Klingons; Jadzia is torn by her loyalty and love for these Klingons.  To join with the Klingons, she must deny her own cultural tradition and the Federation’s rule of law.  And, of course, her own disquiet at premeditated murder.

Dax is at odds with herself, as she most often is.  Her previous host (and I suspect the symbiont as well) made a blood oath to enact revenge on the murderer of her godson if the opportunity ever arose.  This is completely acceptable within the Klingon tradition.  However, to the Federation (and the Jadzia host), this is simply premeditated murder.  I particularly appreciate the difference between the Klingons and the Federation traditions regarding an honor killing (murder?).  So much of what we believe is imported from our cultural context, and these types of stories force us to face our own traditions and interrogate what (if anything) is truly objective.  For Jadzia, she hopes to get some insight into what path she should take from Kira.  Kira is intimately familiar with the self-trauma inflicted when engaged in killing, and she dissuades Jadzia.  She even reminds Jadzia of her own Trill traditions.

Jadzia’s loyalty is stronger, and she participates in the murder (honor killing?).  To do this, she attacks each of the three Klingons on different fronts.  For Kor, his courage; for Koloth, his prowess; for Kang, his pride.  Personally, I don’t think she would have been able to strike the final blow to the Albino.  Not this early in the series.  Upon her return to DS9, she is met with silent and disapproving stares from Kira and Sisko.  Legally, Dax was not outside the law.  She followed Klingon law and (presumably) was not inside Federation territory.  I like the moral ambiguity left with the viewer.  Was she right in her actions?  Regardless of the answer to that question, she was certainly left with moral strain and the wounds upon her soul for killing in revenge.  One can be soulishly wounded, yet still be in the right.

Random Thoughts:  1) Prior to this episode, the three Klingons had not had a connection in the Star Trek universe.  They were each individually in TOS episodes for different purposes.  2) Odo is forced to assist Quark in an incident where Quark was actually wronged.  Yet, “No, he said he’ll kill you.  Shut it off.”  Hilarious.  3) Odo’s solution is the typical Old West (and small town America…) solution: put the drunk in jail for a night.  4) Odo has a fantastic headache face whenever he has himself a Klingon Afternoon.  5) John Colicos (Kor), who makes repeated appearances on DS9, is Shakespearean trained, and it shows.  6) Michael Ansara (Kang) is one of only 7 actors to portray the same character across 3 different Star Trek Series.  He also appears in a the VOY episode Flashback (Ep. 3.2) as well as TOS episode Day of the Dove (Ep 3.7).  7) Because I’m obsessed, according to IMDB, the other 6 actors are: Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, Armin Shimmerman, John de Lancie, Richard Poe, and Mark Allen Shepard.  I might come back to this in an interlude, as I find this bit of trivia fascinating.  8) I find the Klingon honor system immensely complex, yet so simple whenever one of them spells it out.  “Keep him!”  9) The usual dehumanizing helmets are on the Albino’s soldiers.  Only the Albino and his assistant have faces.  10) First major action sequence in the show for a while.

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~ by Joshua Black on October 1, 2016.

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