TV Weddings – Star Trek DS9: Worf and Dax
The couple: Worf, half-Klingon Strategic Operations Officer on DS9, marries Jadzia Dax, a Trill whose combined lives include five previous marriages.
The premise: Worf wants to get married on the Klingon home world after the Dominion War ends, but Dax convinces him to do it in Quark’s bar on DS9. Worf and Dax gear up for a traditional Klingon wedding, but the matriarch of the House of Martok opposes the marriage.
The inevitable sequence of mishaps: While Worf goes on his four day long bachelor party with Sisko, Martok, Bashir, and O’Brien, House of Martok matriarch Sirella judges Dax’s worthiness as a potential wife for Worf. As Dax isn’t a Klingon, Sirella finds her completely unsuitable. The bachelor party turns out to be incredibly uncomfortable, involving six trials on the path to Kal’Hyah – deprivation, blood, pain, sacrifice, anguish and death. During Dax’s bachelorette party, Sirella shows up and demands that Dax perform a ritual. Dax refuses, she and Sirella come to blows, and then Worf insists that Dax beg Sirella’s forgiveness. Of course Dax won’t do that, and she tells a depressed Worf that she won’t participate in his traditional Klingon wedding, whereupon he calls the whole thing off. Finally, Martok convinces Worf to apologize to Dax, and Sisko convinces Dax to apologize to Sirella, so the wedding goes ahead.
The clichés: Judgmental and demanding mother-in-law, obsession with details, unexpected cultural rituals, crazy bachelor party, briefly cancelled wedding, blood rituals (okay, for a Klingon it’s cliché).
The bridesmaid dresses: Klingon weddings don’t have bridesmaids, but they do have men who symbolically attack the newly married couple with clubs immediately after the ceremony. So, you know, basically the same thing.
And in the end…: Happily, Sirella accepts Dax into the House of Martok and Worf is able to have the Klingon wedding of his dreams.
The verdict: The strange thing about this episode is that while the entire wedding rests on several crucial apologies (Worf must apologize to Dax for being intolerant, Dax must apologize to Sirella for being insufficiently humble), neither of those apologies happen on screen. The big emotional payoff for each character is when someone else convinces them that apologies are in order, and then completely skips over whatever Dax actually says to Sirella to gain acceptance. Much as I enjoy the subsequent Klingon ceremony, (bride and groom ceremonially attack each other, two Klingon hearts beat as one, gods tremble, etc. etc.), I feel like the episode misses something important in skipping those apologies. Realizing you should say you’re sorry is the easy part – actually saying it is usually much harder. In any event, Worf and Jadzia Dax’s marriage goes very well until Jadzia is killed by Gul Dukat and another Trill joins the Dax symbiont. Then things get understandably awkward for a while.