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Let He Who is Without Sin...

Production no.: 505
Written by: Robert Hewitt Wolfe & Ira Steven Behr
Directed by: Rene Auberjonois
Stardate: not given 
First satellite airdate: November 9, 1996
Monte Markham ...................
Chase Masterson ..................
Frank Kopyc .........................
Vanessa Williams ..................
Blair Valk, Zora DeHorter .....
Risian Women

Sisko and Odo are having some morning coffee in the replimat and discussing the O'Brien's plan to name their baby Sean, which happens to mean "swamp" in Bajoran. Odo "nominates" Sisko to be the one to tell them. They are then joined by Dax, who is rubbing her neck; she's had another muscle pull, only one of several injuries both she and Worf have sustained since they became a couple. "Interspecies romance isn't without its danger," she says. "That's part of the fun. Maybe we'll have better luck on Risa." She has convinced Worf to agree to take their vacation together on Risa rather than Earth. "He must really be loosening up," Sisko observes, though neither he nor Odo have noticed a change.

"Oh no, he's still the same old Worf," says Dax, and Worf demonstrates this by coming in and ordering a prune juice before he joins them. He is not very pleased to learn that Dax has been telling their plans to Sisko and Odo. But he admits that he's looking forward to spending time alone with her. "We have much to discuss." He says it's a private matter, but Dax speaks right up -- he's upset that she had lunch with an ex-lover, Captain Boday. "We were just talking. You have to learn to trust me a little more." "I do trust you," he declares. "I do not trust Captain Boday." Sisko and Odo make a graceful exit. "The two of you'll have to tell us all about it when you get back," says Sisko. Worf mutters, "I am sure she will."

Worf and Dax argue about her "need to talk about our personal lives to other people" and his "need to control my every move". She reminds him that Sisko and Odo are her friends. Just then Bashir and Leeta come up to their table. "We've been looking for you," Bashir says. "I've been thinking about this trip you're taking to Risa." "He's a friend, too," Dax says defensively. Leeta tells them they've talked it over and would like to come along if that's all right. She assures Dax, "Once we get to Risa, you won't even see us." "There's no harm in sharing a runabout," Dax tells Worf, who unhappily concedes. "I promise, we'll keep out of your hair," Bashir says, to which Worf replies, "Good. Because we have much to discuss," he says to Dax.

After Sisko sees Worf and Dax off, they head for the runabout airlock, where they are surprised to see not just Bashir and Leeta, but Quark, sporting loud vacation wear and carrying a bag. Leeta explains sheepishly that Quark wouldn't give her time off unless they promised to take him along. Quark is raring to go, and the others all pack into the runabout. "Jadzia..." "I know, I know. We have much to discuss."

On the voyage, Leeta hands out drinks to Bashir, Dax, and Worf; when Dax reminds her she's on vacation, Leeta says it gives her something to do. But when Quark wonders where his is, Leeta says, "Get it yourself. I'm on vacation." Quark is full of complaints about the accommodations. Worf, fed up, starts to actually turn the runabout around and head back until Quark says he's going back to his cabin. First, though, he distributes little statues to everyone but Worf, keeping two for himself. The statues are horga'hns, a Risian symbol of fertility; to display one to the locals indicates that you're seeking jamaharon. Bashir tells Leeta he'll show her what that means later. Dax follows everyone else into the back, to change for their arrival.

They beam down to the Temtibi lagoon area on Risa, all of them in swimsuits and beach wear -- except Worf. Bashir and Leeta head off together, and Quark shows his horga'hns to a couple of local women who walk off with him for a nice long session of jamaharon. Worf is still in his uniform, which he says is designed for comfort in even the most extreme environments, but Dax tells him he looks out of place.

"Isn't it beautiful?" she remarks, looking around. However, spoilsport Worf points out that Risa is an artificially created paradise, maintained by the most elaborate weather control system in the Federation. "In its natural state, Risa is nothing more than a rain-soaked, geologically unstable jungle." "Maybe so," Dax says, "but the only dark cloud I can see around here is you." Worf says he did not come here to admire the scenery. "If you say so," Dax says, then she takes off her wraparound skirt, revealing the spots down her legs. Worf decides the scenery has just improved remarkably. "I've got to take you on vacation more often," she smiles.

At that moment, a Risian woman approaches them. She is Arandis, an old friend of Dax's and now chief facilitator for the Temtibi lagoon area. Dax tells Worf that Curzon and Arandis spent a lot of time together on his last visit here. Arandis adds that they had a wonderful time, "until I killed him...Death by jamaharon. I suppose there are worse ways to go." "Trust me, he died happy," Dax assures her. She and Arandis trade compliments; Worf is clearly uncomfortable, and rebuffs Arandis' offer to show them around.

When Arandis leaves, Dax is annoyed with Worf's rudeness. She realizes that he's still angry about Captain Boday. "If I am angry, it is because you do not take our relationship seriously," he retorts, and the argument is on again. She insists that she's been loyal to him, but she won't let him run her life. And she's going to have a big glass of icoberry juice, even though Worf reminds her that it makes her spots itch. "It is my mistake to make," Dax declares, and tells him to go put on his bathing suit so they can have a swim together.

As Worf is in their room, looking dubiously at a pair of swim trunks, he gets a visit from a human man, dressed in conservative clothing. He introduces himself as Pascal Fullerton, chairman of the New Essentialists movement, which he says is dedicated to restoring the moral and cultural traditions of the Federation. He hands Worf a PADD containing their statement of principles, and tells him they're holding a rally later this afternoon. "On Risa?" Worf queries. "What better place?" asks Fullerton. "This world revels in the kind of self-indulgence that's eroding the foundations of Federation society. We intend to shut it down."

Worf reads the PADD in the solarium; Dax wishes he wouldn't. "I would not dismiss Fullerton so quickly," Worf says. "His analysis of recent Federation history is both insightful and disturbing." They come upon a subchamber where Leeta, naked, is receiving a massage from a Risian man; Bashir is nowhere in sight. But she shows absolutely no guilt, and even invites them to join her. As Dax drags him away, Worf apparently takes Leeta's dalliance personally, but Dax says it's none of their business.

They go to the Essentialists' rally, at which there is a somewhat large crowd, and see Bashir with a Risian woman. Worf wonders why he and Leeta aren't together, though Dax says she's sure there's a reasonable explanation. "This place is a bad influence on people," Worf declares as Arandis comes up. She says she finds Fullerton entertaining. "Risa receives millions of visitors every year. And all of them leave happier than when they've arrived. I don't see how one man, no matter how determined, can change that." "Kahless fought off an entire army at Three Turn Bridge, and he was only one man," Worf retorts, but Arandis smiles. "Fullerton and his Essentialists have been here for about a month. And no matter how many speeches he gives, the water is still warm, and the wind still smells sweet. But if he's enjoying himself, who are we to discourage him?"

Fullerton arrives with a small group of his followers, who look as dour and overdressed as he does. He tells the crowd that he knows he must seem to them like a ponderous academic wasting his time, but to him they are "pampered, spoiled children". With a flair for the dramatic, he goes on chiding the vacation-goers for living a life of luxury while doom and gloom gather outside their cozy Federation. "The way I see it, we've got two options. We can either turn our backs on childish things and re-embrace the hard work that built the Federation in the first place, or we can lie here, napping in the sun, until we wake up with Jem'Hadar guns to our heads. The choice is ours. Heaven help us if we make the wrong one."

Worf, Dax, and Bashir discuss the speech later. Worf happens to agree with it; there are still Klingons calling for war because they think they can beat the Federation. "All I know is I've spent lifetimes defending the Federation," Dax says, "and I deserve a vacation every now and then."

Just then, Leeta arrives and joins them; she and Bashir greet each other with smiles and kisses, as if they haven't both been spending the day doing who-knows-what with other people. It's too much for Worf, who slams down his mug. "You two dishonor each other with your actions." Bashir and Leeta are puzzled, until Bashir realizes they hadn't told the others why they came here, and says they're conducting the "Rite of Separation". Leeta explains that it's an old Bajoran custom that a couple breaks up by spending several days celebrating their parting, remembering the good times, and seeking new opportunities. "A very wise and ancient culture," adds Bashir with a smile.

They go off to work out some "details" while Worf scowls in disapproval. "Terminating a relationship should not be taken so frivolously." "Not every relationship has to end like a Klingon opera," Dax says, but Worf pronounces, "No. Just the ones that are important." At that moment, a group of Essentialists burst into the room, armed with phaser rifles, intimidating guests and wrecking the place.

Fullerton enters and tells his people that's enough; they immediately stop. Dax grabs one of the rifles, only to realize the power cells are empty. Fullerton declares they had no intention of hurting anyone; they were proving a point. If the Essentialists had been Jem'Hadar, Klingons, or Romulans, everyone in the room would be dead, even Starfleet officers. "The sad truth is, the galaxy is a hostile place. Forget that, even for a moment, and you risk losing everything. Just something for you to think about while you wait for your desserts." Dax tells him that she can arrest him, but Fullerton says they both know the Risians won't prosecute. He asks Worf what he thought of their demonstration; Worf says he cannot condone it. "Maybe not, but I do think you understand it," Fullerton replies, and leaves.

Dax and Worf have another argument as they get ready for bed; he accuses her of being too impulsive and lacking self-control. She ends up going to bed alone. The next day, Dax is a bit melancholy when she goes back to the solarium, where repairs are already nearly complete. She runs into Arandis, who comments, "What Mr. Fullerton could use is a little jamaharon. No, a lot of jamaharon." "I'd buy him a horga'hn myself if I thought he'd take it," Dax smiles, though Arandis can see she could use some cheering up herself. "I've had better vacations," Dax admits. "...I've never known a Klingon who had a tougher time enjoying himself." She offers to give Arandis a hand with the cleanup.

Bashir and Leeta complete the Rite of Separation with a ceremony, which Quark, acting as their witness, finds disturbingly dignified. "Where's the anger, the vicious name-calling, the irrational accusations? I never would've agreed to be a witness if I'd known you were going to be so civil. It's disgusting." But Bashir and Leeta both feel good about it. "Now I can finally be honest about my feelings," Leeta says. That stops Bashir in his tracks. "What does that mean?" Leeta confesses that she's been thinking a lot lately about another man. Quark and Bashir both force a name out of her: she says it's Rom. "He's so cute. And very sexy." Leeta walks away. They're flabbergasted. "Cute?" "Sexy?" "Rom?!?" Quark hands Bashir his horga'hn. "Here. You need this more than I do."

Worf finds Dax being taught how to sculpt clay by Arandis, and the way they're sitting together makes Worf leap to the wrong conclusion. He stomps off, ignoring her as she calls out to him. Worf goes to their room, picks up Dax's horga'hn and smashes it against a wall. A little bit later, the Essentialists are plotting their next move when Worf comes in. "You want to make people leave Risa. I think I know a way."

Quark and Bashir keep Dax company. Bashir can actually see where Worf is coming from; it's not easy figuring her out at any given time. He liked that about her, which was why he chased after her for so long. But he stopped becaure "you're too much work." Quark tells her that what she needs is a Ferengi, but Dax says that what she wants is Worf. "Why?!" Bashir asks. "Because he has the courage of a berserker cat and he has the heart of a poet," Dax replies. "And the brain of a pigheaded idiot," Quark chimes in, making Dax smile ruefully. "Yeah, sometimes."

Arandis enters to tell them that no one has seen Worf. As Quark is proposing going skinny dipping, suddenly a storm breaks out. "I thought it wasn't supposed to rain in this part of Risa," Dax says. Arandis looks worried. "It's not. Something must be wrong with the weather grid."

As Arandis is reassuring the guests that they'll be able to repair the malfunction soon, Fullerton comes in and announces, "No, you won't." He says he authorized the disruption, but it wasn't his idea. "It was mine," announces Worf, coming in with a tricorder modified into an uplink, which he freely admits he has used to deactivate the weather control grid. During the three or four days it will take to restore it to normal, everyone will be experiencing the planet's natural weather. Quark asks why. "Because Risa is an illusion, created by weather control systems, industrial replicators, seismic regulators," Fullerton says. "If the Federation is going to survive, we're going to have to stop wasting our time with toys and get back to the essentials."

"I'm beginning to think there's no hope for that man," says Arandis after he leaves. "Or for you either, Mr. Worf." She too exits, and Bashir, Quark, and Dax express their disapproval of Worf's actions. Worf is firm. "If Federation citizens cannot handle a little bad weather, how will they handle a Dominion invasion?"

The rain keeps pouring down. Quark describes it as "glebbening", one of the 178 different Ferengi words for rain. "And that's bad." Everyone is depressed; Arandis has been trying to organize a game of indoor hoverball, with no takers except Dax. "I've never heard so much complaining in my life," she says dejectedly. "...Maybe Mr. Fullerton is right. Maybe we have forgotten how to deal with adversity."

Worf is consulting with the Essentialists, who are happy to note that guests have been leaving Risa over the last three days. Worf tells Fullerton it's a start he can build on. As for himself, he's leaving. "I have had my fill of Risa." "Mr. Worf, you've been an inspiration to us all," Fullerton says. Worf exits, leaving his uplink. Fullerton picks it up. "By tomorrow, the weather grid will be restored to normal, and no one here will remember this ever happened. But I intend to send a message they won't forget."

Dax confronts Worf in their room. She believes she knows why he really did what he did. It wasn't about Risa or the Essentialists, it was about the two of them. The argument leads into Dax asking Worf what happened to him. "You're a paragon of Klingon honor and discipline, but when it comes to the Klingon passion for life, the exuberance, the enjoyment of the moment, you are constantly holding yourself back. Why?" Worf gets quiet. "I do not wish to lose you, Jadzia." "Then talk to me," she says. "Please."

With difficulty, Worf tells her the story of how, when he was growing up on Gault, he was captain of his school soccer team. During a championship game, he was heading the ball at the same time as a human boy named Mikel. Caught up in excitement, he didn't realize at first that he had broken the neck of the other boy, who died the next day. The fact that it was an accident only makes it worse, Worf insists. That was when he realized that to live among humans, he must practice restraint. "In time, it became a part of who I was, who I am." For years, Worf has carried around the fear that if he ever again loses control, someone he cares about might get hurt.

Dax now understands a lot about him. "But you have to realize, there are some things in life you can't control. And one of them is me. But what you can do is trust me. I care about you, Worf. And I would never do anything to hurt you." "Nor would I do anything to hurt you," he agrees. She smiles. "Who knows, I may have more self-control than you give me credit for."

The moment is interrupted by a series of earthquakes. Worf realizes it's the Essentialists, and both of them go to Fullerton's room, where Fullerton and his followers have decided they're done here. Worf bursts in and demands the uplink back. Finally, Fullerton gives it to him. "I thought you were one of us." "Perhaps I was, for a time," replies Worf. "But I believe the Federation will survive the Dominion, the Borg, and people like you." Fullerton gets in his way, saying that Worf is turning his back on the Federation. "Overindulgence, lack of self-control -- they'll destroy everything we hold dear. And you will be responsible." Worf looks at him. "You say that we have to return to traditional Federation values? Well, I agree. But one of those values is trust." Fullerton isn't through. "Don't you walk away from me." He punches Worf, who tosses him across the room. "I will do as I please. I am on vacation."

"Figures. The weather improves the day we leave," remarks Quark as he walks along the once-more sunny beach with Dax, Worf, Leeta, and Arandis. Quark and Leeta leave the other three, Quark saying something about finding Bashir. "You still have a lot to learn about our people," Arandis tells Worf, and she hugs Dax goodbye, telling her Risa will be waiting.

Alone with Worf, Dax asks, "So what do we do now?" "Now, we watch the suns set," Worf replies, but Dax has a better idea: going for a swim. He starts to take off his uniform, but protests that he doesn't have a bathing suit. "I won't tell if you don't," Dax says with a smile.

  • It was during the filming of this episode that Nana Visitor gave birth to her and Alexander Siddig's son, Django. In subsequent episodes, until "The Begotten", she wore a pregnancy pad.
  • The episode was troubled by, among other things, a fact which the producers had failed to take into account: that Terry Farrell has a skin condition which makes it inadvisable for her to be in the sun. Rene Auberjonois, as director, had to have special tents built for her, under which she could shoot her outdoors scenes.
  • Frank Kopyc, a friend of Armin Shimerman's, is the man Armin modeled his portrayal of Quark after. He played Fullerton's Bolian aide.