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Star Trek Deep Space Nine: Doctor Bashir, I Presume?

"What do you want me to do?"
"Just stand there and look like a doctor... if you can."

I expected to love this episode from the title alone. I also expected it to be another homage to Bond and take place in the holosuite and focus on the aftermath of the major events that happened over the last two episodes.

Surprisingly, Bashir's replacement isn't mentioned at all. In fact, this episode feels completely divorced from the events of the last two, which is an interesting choice. I won't complain that much since I really enjoyed what we got, but it was unexpected and does feel like a bit of a wasted opportunity.

I certainly was not expecting a major character revelation like the one that we got, especially so close on the heels of the changeling reveal. We've gotten hints all along that there was something in Bashir's backstory that he wanted to avoid, but I never thought that it was going to be large scale genetic revision. Star Trek tends to not really touch on that area a lot, except for the name dropped Khan, so it's easy to forget that it's an option.

It does make a degree of sense, though. While it introduces some continuity errors, it can explain and add depth to a lot of Bashir's behavior and personality in the early seasons. He needs to be accepted and successful without bringing too much attention to his past in case his life gets completely destroyed. I won't go into this too deeply, but that feeling and fear can also apply to anything ranging from imposter syndrome to sexuality. It adds a very human dimension to the proceedings, as does his desire to simply disappear quietly as opposed to drag everything out in a legal fight.

And while all the scenes between the Bashirs were as excellent and fraught as expected, I might have enjoyed Zimmerman the most. There was just something so... acerbic about him that I found very engaging. His poorly concealed jealousy and interactions with Julian made for a surprisingly lighthearted and funny first half of an episode.

I do have one main critique. There were parts that felt like they occurred due to the demands of the story rather than being natural actions of characters. I had a hard time believing that after keeping Bashir's genetic history a secret for years, his parents would blatantly spell it out loud in depth in a public setting as a way to promise that they'll keep it a secret.

And there are no consequences for Bashir himself? Don't get me wrong, I certainly don't want him stripped of his medical license or anything like that. But for all of his condemnation of his parents for breaking the law, he knowingly broke the same law when he chose to become a doctor. It's not like he was completely ignorant of his background. That was a choice that he made. It's a shame that the hand of the screenwriter was so clear in these scenes, because they detract from what is otherwise a very excellent episode.

The B-plot was rather short and simple, but very sweet. Rom and Leeta finally manage to express their love for each other in a very romantic comedy-esque fashion: running to stop someone from leave on a plane. Or in this case, a space shuttle. It and all of the other scenes were cute. Not really a lot more to say there. I'm glad they got together.

Random Thoughts

I'll be curious to see what future dart scenes between Bashir and O'Brien look like in the future. I want at least one involving a blindfold!

Quark was very unlikable in this episode. Even more so than usual.

This is Dr. Zimmerman's first "live" appearance. The EMH using his likeness was on both Voyager and First Contact.

The interviews with the rest of the cast really show just how much Bashir has grown.

An Honest Fangirl loves video games, horror movies, and superheroes, and occasionally manages to put words together in a coherent and pleasing manner.

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