Recap / Star Trek Deep Space Nine S 04 E 04 Hippocratic Oath

Bashir and O'Brien are taken prisoner by Jem'Hadar soldiers. The soldiers' leader tells them that he has freed himself of his dependance on ketracel-white, the drug the Dominion uses to control the genetically-engineered Jem'Hadar. He wants Bashir to figure out how he was able to do it so he can extend that freedom to the rest of the Jem'Hadar. Bashir agrees, but O'Brien isn't so sure that's a good idea. Meanwhile, Worf tries to adjust to life on DS9, but runs into some friction with Odo.


  • A Father to His Men (combined with The Chains of Commanding): Goran’agar remains on the planet rather than leave with Bashir and O'Brien, as he is responsible for getting his men into this situation in the first place.
  • Anti-Villain: Goran’agar, the leader of the Jem'Hadar group. He kidnaps Bashir and O'Brien for an understandable reason, and in general is more noble and less bloodthirsty than the other Jem'Hadar we've seen so far. It's suggested that being free of ketracel-white changed his personality like this.
  • And Then What?: If you free the Jem'Hadar from their addiction, what happens then? They might become a rogue army rampaging across the Alpha Quadrant.
  • Burning the Ships: Having discovered he had lost his genetic addiction to Ketracel White, the Jem'Hadar commander takes his platoon to an empty planet because he thinks the plants there have cured him, and then destroys both his ship and most of their supply of Ketracel White to get them off the stuff too. But it turns out he is the only one who is affected, and the rest of the crew develops withdrawal symptoms.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: O'Brien feels Bashir is suffering from this, while Bashir says he's merely fulfilling his duty as a doctor.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: O'Brien sabotages Bashir's work and kills several Jem'Hadar to save Bashir's life, and offers this as justification.
  • Mercy Kill: Goran’agar stays behind, intending to kill his men in battle, rather than have them die a slow and agonising death from ketracel-white withdrawal.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Goran’agar, who re-evaluates most of his beliefs over the course of the episode, and who wants his men freed from their ketracel-white addiction so that they can be the same as him. O'Brien brings up the possibility that he's lying, but Bashir believes that he's genuine, and he certainly expresses enough un-Jem'Hadar-like behaviours to turn his men against him.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Worf. He notices a known felon coming aboard the station and having dealings with Quark. He reports this to Odo, who seems indifferent. So, Worf takes it upon himself to catch the convict in the middle of a transaction... only for Odo to reveal that he was carefully following him to try to infiltrate the larger criminal organization. Also an example of Poor Communication Kills.
  • Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: Bashir and O'Brien come into heavy conflict - Bashir wants to help the Jem'Hadar because of his Inconvenient Hippocratic Oath, O'Brien just wants to abandon them because he sees them as an enemy. Eventually, Bashir has to pull rank on O'Brien to force him to help.
  • Poor Communication Kills: If Odo had simply told Worf what he was planning, Worf would never have screwed it up. However, this is fairly in-character for Odo.
  • Take That!: The episode can very easily come off as DS9 staking its claim as a more complex and nuanced show than TNG.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Goran'agar openly questions how the Founders use the Jem'Hadar.
    "To us, they are almost a myth. But everyone in the Dominion, even the Vorta, serve the Founders. I have fought against races that believe in mythical beings who guide their destinies and await them after death. They call them gods. The Founders are like gods to the Jem'Hadar, but our gods never talk to us and they don't wait for us after death. They only want us to fight for them and to die for them."