This episode is bad all around. The B-plot takes place on the station as Quark attempts to covertly acquire Kira’s image for a custom holosuite program commissioned by a shady client. There is some humor here, which means that this isn’t the worst B-plot of the series. The same can’t really be said for the A-plot.
The A-plot takes place on a 30-person planet called Meridian that is shifting between dimensions. As a general rule, I pretty much always hate Star Trek episodes where the entire planetary population can fit in a shuttlecraft — at this scale it’s not really a “planetary” emergency. This 30-person planet, however, is significantly lamer than most. Meant as a paradise, Meridian is actually just dull. There’s nothing of interest naturally, physically, or in the culture of the people — the writers give us nothing to care about at all. The whole is just a backdrop for Dax’s romance with Deral, Meridian’s primary scientist. Unfortunately, there is likewise nothing of interest to Deral’s character, and to make the picture perfect, the romance between Dax and Deral is likewise utterly uninteresting.
Deral initially decides he’ll leave Meridian to join Dax in the Alpha Quadrant, but when that proves inconvenient, Dax makes the absurd decision to leave Starfleet and shift into a non-corporal dimension for 60 years, in order to stay with this boring guy she hardly knows. I don’t dislike the Dax character in general, but by the time the planet starts to shift away, I’m pretty much ready to write Dax off. “Bye, Dax! If you really want to do this, good riddance.” When the planet leaves without her, I was almost sad we were left with her.
Still, as bad as this is (and it is bad), I can’t think this is TNG: “Sub Rosa” bad. So, I’m giving it a “1”.
- Remarkable dialogue: “I was admiring your markings. Are they decorative?” (Deral) – “No. Are yours?” (Dax) – “No. If you don’t mind me asking, how far down do they go?” (Deral) – “All the way.” (Dax)