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Equilibrium (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode
Episode no.Season 3
Episode 4
Directed byCliff Bole
Story byChristopher Teague
Teleplay byRené Echevarria
Featured musicJay Chattaway
Production code450
Original air dateOctober 17, 1994 (1994-10-17)
Guest appearances
Episode chronology
← Previous
"The House of Quark"
Next →
"Second Skin"
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (season 3)
List of episodes

"Equilibrium" is the 50th episode of the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the fourth episode of the third season.

Set in the 24th century, the series follows the adventures on Deep Space Nine, a space station located near a stable wormhole between the Alpha and Gamma quadrants of the Milky Way Galaxy, near the planet Bajor. This episode is centered on the Station Ops crew, with several guest stars. It focuses on the Trill character Jadzia Dax and the mysterious occurrences that begin to happen to her. It also further explores the Trill alien species, especially the nature of their "symbionts".

It achieved a Nielsen rating of 7.4, which is an estimated percentage of viewership out of the total number of U.S. households.[1][2] It originally aired in broadcast syndication on October 17, 1994.[3]


The Trill aliens were introduced on Star Trek: The Next Generation on May 11, 1991, with the episode "The Host". "The Host" was directed by Marvin V. Rush and written by Michel Horvat. They return as one of the prime characters of Deep Space Nine, with Jadzia Dax. Dax is a symbiotic lifeform that is implanted in a living host. The symbiont has the memories of all of its previous hosts, this provides an emotional bonding of personalities linking host and symbiont and can lead to interesting social situations. On Deep Space Nine, Jadzia Dax is a joined Trill (not all Trill have a symbiont - they are rare) and many episodes explore the situation; major Trill episodes prior to "Equilibrium" include "Dax" (S1E8), "Invasive Procedures" (S2E4), and "Blood Oath" (S2E18).


At a dinner party, Jadzia Dax toys with a piano and finds herself playing an unfamiliar tune despite having no musical training in this life nor in her previous ones. Later, she experiences odd mood swings and hallucinations of a masked figure. Bashir finds that these symptoms are linked to her symbiont. According to Dax's medical history, a previous host experienced similar symptoms when he went into a six-month coma. Sisko and Bashir take Dax back to her homeworld, where Doctor Renhol of the Trill Symbiosis Commission stabilizes Dax's symptoms. But Dax relapses, and experiences a new hallucination of Trill hospital guards accosting her. Frustrated, Sisko, Bashir, and Jadzia visit the caves where unjoined symbionts are spawned to consult the caretakers. A caretaker there believes that Dax's problems stem from memories of one of her symbiont's previous hosts.

Sisko and Bashir identify the musical tune Dax heard in her hallucinations as a composition by a Trill named Joran Belar. When Dax sees his photograph, she experiences another hallucination of the masked man murdering someone, and when she rips off his mask she sees Joran's face. She then goes into neural shock and is hospitalized. Doctor Renhol plans to remove the Dax symbiont, which will kill the host Jadzia. Sisko and Bashir revisit the spawning caves, but the caretaker there has been scared into keeping quiet. Bashir finds that the Trill government deleted information on Joran Belar from its records. However, they manage to contact Joran's brother, Yolad, who says that Joran was a candidate for being joined with a symbiont. According to the official report, Joran was rejected due to his violent temper and murdered the doctor who evaluated him, and was then killed by hospital security. However, Yolad doubts this story, because he remembers Joran telling him that he had been successfully joined. Sisko and Bashir deduce that Joran was one of Dax's previous hosts, and to cover this up Joran's files were altered and Dax's memories of him were suppressed.

Sisko and Bashir confront Doctor Renhol, and accuse her of letting Jadzia die in order to protect an even bigger secret. The Trill government claims that only one in a thousand Trill are physically and psychologically fit to be joined with a symbiont. If a symbiont is placed in an unfit host, both host and symbiont will die in days. Joran's psychological problems should have disqualified him, but the doctors failed to detect them and gave him a symbiont. By the time the doctors discovered their mistake, Joran had been carrying the symbiont for months when he ought to have been dead after a few days. This proves that the official criteria for being joined are excessively stringent. Renhol admits that nearly half of all Trill are in fact fit to carry symbionts, but if the truth came out the small supply of symbionts would be fought over fiercely, jeopardizing their welfare and destabilizing Trill society. To prevent this, the government pretends that only a tiny minority of the Trill population can be joined so as to artificially lower the demand for symbionts to a manageable level.

The only way to stabilize Dax's mind would be to allow her suppressed memories of Joran to resurface. Faced with Sisko's threat to expose the secret to the entire planet if she allows Jadzia to die, Renhol removes Dax's memory blocks and Sisko agrees to keep the truth secret. Dax recovers and must come to terms with her disturbing new memories.

Arc significance

  • Joran is one of the personalities seen in "Facets" (broadcast June 12, 1995).


The episode was released on June 3, 2003 in North America as part of the season 3 DVD box set.[4] This episode was released in 2017 on DVD with the complete series box set, which had 176 episodes on 48 discs.[5]

On July 6, 1999 it was released on LaserDisc in the United States, paired with "House of Quark".[6]

The episode was released with "The House of Quark" on a VHS cassette.[7]


  1. ^ "WebTrek - Star Trek: Deep Space Nine * SEASON 3 NIELSEN RATINGS". Retrieved 2018-11-07.
  2. ^ "Nielsen TV Ratings and How Data is Collected". The Balance Careers. Retrieved 2018-11-07.
  3. ^ Zach Handlen (2012). "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: "The House Of Quark"/"Equilibrium"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2021-04-20.
  4. ^ "TrekToday - DS9 Season 3 DVD Details Released". Retrieved 2021-02-19.
  5. ^ TrekNews net Staff (2017-02-10). "[REVIEW] Deep Space Nine Complete Series DVD Box Set". TREKNEWS.NET. Retrieved 2021-02-19.
  6. ^ "LaserDisc Database - Star Trek DS9 #049/50: the House of Quark/Equilibrium [LV 40510-449]". Retrieved 2021-02-19.
  7. ^ "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Vol. 3.2 - The House of Quark/Equilibr". Retrieved 2021-02-19.

External links

This page was last edited on 6 October 2021, at 16:14
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