Chief Miles O’Brien accompanies his wife Keiko to Earth to visit her mother for her 100th birthday. During his absence, Jadzia Dax and Julian Bashir are studying the required repair work. When Dax decides to call it a night, Bashir offers to accompany her to her quarters and she politely refuses. As she walks down the corridor, three hooded figures approach her. One of them, Ilon Tandro, asks her to confirm that she is indeed Dax, after which the two others knock her out and carry her across the corridor. They remove her combadge as she tries to tap it to call for help. Just then, Bashir, having decided to accompany Dax back anyway, arrives and tries to rescue her, but he is unsuccessful and is knocked out as well.
I notice that she went for her combadge, but it was removed by one of her assailants before she had the chance to use it. Why don’t combadges have an emergency beacon that goes off when it’s removed from the uniform without disengaging a safety first?
While Commander Sisko and Major Kira investigate an odd residual charge of the graviton generator in Ops, Bashir regains consciousness and reports the attempted kidnapping. Sisko immediately calls a full station alert and they attempt to contain them by securing turbolifts and airlocks, noting that they need one of the faster ships. The kidnappers manage to escape by avoiding Odo‘s security system – hatches and force fields – and disabling the tractor beam, the cause of the earlier residual charge. However, Sisko gets it back on line just in time to tow the ship back to the station.
Interesting that they appear to know all of the security override codes.
In order to stall for time, Sisko sends a message to Klaestron IV to confirm the warrant. Odo confirms the nature of the warrant, and that the crime was committed 30 years ago. Realizing it must have been Curzon Dax, Sisko is confused as he never mentioned being on that planet. Sisko maintains that Curzon Dax couldn’t be capable of treason, let alone murder: they were the best of friends, he knew the man. But, as Odo challenged, he may have known the man, but did he know the Symbiont inside the man?
Confined to her quarters, Jadzia refuses to reveal anything about the incident to Sisko, and blatantly says she does not expect help. He questions whether their friendship means anything to her, and suggests that perhaps his 20-year friendship with Curzon Dax didn’t transfer to Jadzia. She assures him that he is still her very dear friend.
In Sisko’s office, Tandro wishes to be on his way, now that the warrant is confirmed. However, Sisko refuses, claiming that while the Klaestrons have an extradition treaty with the Federation, Deep Space 9 is a Bajoran station and they have no such treaty with Bajor.
Moreover, Ilon knew very well that the Bajorans would object to any request for extradition, which is why he tried to kidnap Dax. Ilon blandly says there are no Bajoran interests concerned, but Major Kira speaks up and says that since Klaestron IV is allied with the Cardassians, Ilon must have obtained the station’s security codes from them – “which not only compromises Bajoran security, but also… annoys us.“
Caught between Sisko and Kira, Ilon has no choice but to agree to an extradition hearing before Dax can be lawfully released.
Sisko catches up with Odo in the Promenade, saying that he isn’t happy with Dax being transferred to Bajor for the hearing. Odo tells him that Quark has “donated” his facility for the hearing. Sisko hints that “someone” should go to Klaestron IV to find out more about this case. Odo says the hearing will be quick due to the age of the case, but Sisko would hope it might take longer than that.
Arbiter Els Renora opens the hearing in Quark’s with a very strict, no-nonsense call to order. Ilon simply restates the warrant, but Sisko’s first argument is that Jadzia Dax is not the person named in the warrant. Curzon Dax should be charged, and he is dead. Renora agrees that Tandro must prove that Jadzia Dax and Curzon Dax are the same person. Sisko is pleased with himself, but Jadzia doesn’t seem to return his look.
Sisko orders Bashir and Kira to get to work on gathering evidence that Jadzia and Curzon are different people, medical evidence and judicial precedents, respectively. In the meantime, Sisko has sent Odo to Klaestron IV to investigate the evidence on the ground. It appears that the general and Curzon were friends, an odd situation for treason. By speaking with Ilon’s mother, Enina Tandro, Odo discovers that Curzon Dax was likely not responsible for Ardelon Tandro’s death. The charges are based on the fact that, during a civil war, a coded message informed the opposing side of his father’s location. Of the people who knew the location, Curzon was the only one without an alibi. Enina tells him that Ilon has become obsessed with finding the one who betrayed his father, and will not be satisfied until someone is punished. Tandro’s murder inspired his people to victory and he has since become a worldwide hero. However, Enina is adamant that Curzon did not betray her husband. Unfortunately, her son won’t listen to her.
Enina asks Odo how Curzon is, clearly not knowing that he died two years prior. She appears distraught by the news that Curzon is gone.
Back on Deep Space 9, the hearing continues and Dax’s fate is still uncertain. Thanks to the testimony of another Trill, Selin Peers, about the nature of the relationship between the symbiont and the host, Sisko is able to establish that Jadzia and Curzon Dax are distinct entities, but Ilon argues that failure to punish Trill symbionts for acts committed in past life times would create a perfect crime. The debate becomes heated and Renora demands a recess. Curiously, Jadzia seems complacent about the entire situation.
Julian Bashir takes the stand to explain the biological connection and interdependence between the symbiont and the host of a Trill. He insists that the two individuals are very different, eventually citing that their brain waves are unique. However, upon questioning from Tandro, is forced to admit that, if the symbiont’s brain could be isolated, there is no evidence of a change in its activity when it changes hosts. Defeated, he sits down.
Sisko himself then takes the stand, to be questioned by Major Kira, and he talks about his long-lasting friendship with Curzon Dax and his “new friend” Jadzia. He points out Curzon’s mentoring role, but his less-than-ideal habits. He also says that he doesn’t know Jadzia that well, yet. Ilon interjects to say that, as a Starfleet officer, he must agree that crimes need to have punishment. The Arbiter calls for a recess before Dax is to take the stand.
Soon afterwards, Sisko receives a message from Odo during a recess that he has discovered evidence of an affair between Dax and Enina, giving Dax a solid motive for the murder.
Odo goes back to Enina, who admits the affair to Odo; when he asks how her husband reacted, she replies cryptically that her husband was not the hero in life that he became in death. She tells him that Ardelon will always be remembered as a hero, and that it is her place to never remarry and carry on as the brave widow, representing him always. However, faced with the situation, she decides it is time for her place in history to change.
Meanwhile, Sisko confronts Dax with the new knowledge. She doesn’t deny it, but still won’t go into greater detail about it, and won’t defend herself with the revealed truth. Sisko even goes as far as to suggest that Ilon could be Curzon Dax’s son. She feels the shame of Curzon’s indiscretion, just like any Trill symbiont always feels the guilt of past crimes or failings. Sisko is again frustrated, at one point drawing his fist to lash out at Curzon, before checking himself. He promises to continue protecting one of his officers, as Curzon once taught him, even though his arguments are running out.
When the hearing resumes, Sisko establishes Jadzia’s academic achievements and psychological testing – as well as her physical and emotional capability of becoming a Trill host – though Ilon counters that she accepted the responsibility of joining with a symbiont, including past crimes. Just then, Enina enters the courtroom, much to Ilon’s shock. Enina tells the court that when the alleged transmission was sent, Curzon Dax was in her bed, and could not have sent it.
The arbiter tells Ilon he may want to re-examine his evidence for the extradition request and leaves. The question of whether a Trill is responsible for the crimes of its past hosts is now left unanswered.
After the hearing is over, Jadzia and Enina walk together along the upper level of the Promenade. Jadzia says that there is much of Curzon that is still part of her, including the desire to protect the reputation of Dax’s old friend, General Tandro. Sadly, Enina supposes that the truth will remain unknown forever – that it was General Tandro himself who sent the coded message, attempting to betray his own people, and that the rebels killed him for the favor.
Enina bids an affectionate goodbye to Jadzia, telling her to live her life to the fullest. Enina touches Jadzia fondly on her face, evoking a memory from Curzon’s past.