Recap / Star Trek Deep Space Nine S 05 E 16 Dr Bashir I Presume
You got kids? 'Cause if so, this one's gonna hurt.
Dr. Lewis Zimmerman arrives on DS9 to take a holographic template of Dr. Bashir for use as a Long-term Medical Hologram. But when he begins to question Dr. Bashir's family about his past, some surprising, potentially dangerous information comes to light.

This episode provides examples of:

  • Accidental Public Confession: Julian Bashir's parents speak about his augmentations, not realizing they're actually speaking to the hologram based on Bashir, and that Dr. Zimmerman is in the other room listening. Up until that point, no one on the station knew or suspected anything about Julian's Bio-Augmentation except the Bashirs.
  • Adult Fear: Bashir's mother explains that this is why his parents had him genetically enhanced, since they (and by her wording, her in particular) thought they'd done something wrong when she was pregnant, and having to watch their son struggle with even the most basic things.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Richard and Amsha Bashir. Of course, his resentment goes beyond their typical stories about him. For instance, Richard has a tendency to exaggerate his many jobs; he describes his time as a third class shuttle steward as "running shuttles." Not to mention the little secret...
  • Artistic License Military: In-Universe. The admiral who rules in Bashir's case is said to be a rear admiral, but he clearly has the insignia of a full admiral.
  • Bio-Augmentation: Bashir's Dark Secret.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Bashir stays in Starfleet, but his father goes to prison. And Rom and Leeta get together.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Bashir does this to his father for turning him into a genetic design project.
  • Cannot Spit It Out:
    • Rom, for Leeta. Which is all the more problematic since she does genuinely like him, but he's just too awkward to say it. He finally manages it at the end of the episode.
    • Bashir's parents never actually explained why they had him genetically enhanced, causing him to assume they were ashamed and embarrassed of him. In truth, they did because they were ashamed of themselves, in the belief they had done something wrong that caused Bashir's deficiencies as a child. They had him enhanced because they loved him and wanted him to have every opportunity possible to succeed in life.
  • Catch-Phrase: The EMH's usual greeting is given to holo-Bashir, which he does not find amusing.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Back in "Homefront", Julian was evasive about his family on Earth. This episode clarifies why.
    • It's finally revealed why Bashir missed a question on his medical school exam, which cost him valedictorian status. He originally said that he confused a pre-ganglionic fiber with a post-ganglionic nerve (which would be the equivalent of an engineering major confusing a wrench for a screwdriver). In a previous episode, a telepathic alien suggested that Bashir deliberately answered the question wrong. Here it is finally confirmed: he DID deliberately answer the question wrong, as part of an Obfuscating Stupidity gambit to prevent his status as a genetic augment from being discovered.
  • Continuity Nod: Khan is mentioned. As are the Eugenics Wars (though due to what's either an error or a quiet attempt at a Retcon that didn't stick and was later called an error, they're mentioned to have happened in the 22nd Century instead of the 1990s).
    • Bashir and Zimmerman mention how an EMH can fully replace a ship's medical staff. At this point, no one in the Alpha Quadrant knows that this has happened on Voyager.
  • Crossover: With Star Trek: Voyager. Robert Picardo guest stars as Dr. Lewis Zimmerman and an EMH.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Quark describes Rom's failed marriage, and how his ex swindled Rom for everything he had before leaving him with Nog, finishing with a deadpan "hooray for romance".
    • After Bashir learns he's being considered as the model for a new medical hologram, O'Brien quips, "Just think. If this pans out, you'll be able to annoy hundreds of people you've never even met!"
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Really, what this episode is about is parental abuse, especially of the sort that the parents don't perceive as abusive (even if society at large would also disagree). The Bashirs did something that they thought was in their son's best interest, but left bone-deep emotional scars on him and made him forever unsure whether he truly deserves credit for anything he's done. And ultimately, society agrees with Julian, with the elder Bashir facing jail time over what he did. The whole episode is about how Bashir wants to go forward with a relationship with his parents in the face of what happened, or if he wants to.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Bashir's father accepts a prison sentence to save his son's career.
  • I Let You Win: O'Brien realizes this at the end of the episode, when he recalls that Bashir mentioned his hand-eye coordination was enhanced. Bashir was letting him win at darts for two years! O'Brien's solution to this is to make Bashir throw from twice the normal distance.
    O'Brien: And if that doesn't work, we'll try a blindfold!
  • Idiot Ball: Bashir's parents really should known better than to have openly mentioned the little secret outside of their quarters, even if they believed the LMH was their son.
    • Why doesn't Leeta just make the Love Confession?? Especially given that this is 300 years in the future and neither of them are from Earth, so there's no reason for a "the male has to be the first one to say it" rule between them. (Although given how strongly patriarchal Ferengi culture is...)
  • Interrogation Montage: We get one when Dr. Zimmerman is interviewing all of Julian's friends and workmates.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Zimmerman accepts Leeta's decision to stay with Rom.
  • Moral Dissonance: This is a similar case to "TNG: The Measure of a Man", where Starfleet seems to have the power to decide the civil rights of a person without the need to consult Federation civilian authorities. There is also an element of Fantastic Racism, since Bashir is being judged by his genetics, not his personal or career history. Starfleet has many personnel from species with Transhuman capabilities, such as Vulcans and Betazoids. But it is not generally assumed that they are a threat or will abuse their special abilities such that they should be disqualified from serving in Starfleet or working in a profession such as medicine. Then again, even if it is part of a plea bargain, Starfleet ultimately decides not to punish Bashir for something that was not really his fault, since the augmentation had been done on Bashir without his knowing consent, and the worst thing Bashir had done was to hide the secret from everyone.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Dr. Zimmerman calls on Leeta as she is getting out of the shower. He tells her she's been offered a job as the manager of a cafe on another station. She's so happy that when she comes out to talk to him, she forgets her towel.
  • No Transhumanism Allowed: Played With. They point out exactly WHY it's a thing in Star Trek. Ultimately, Bashir is not punished simply for being a transhuman. His father takes responsibility for making him one, and will have to do a prison term.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: It's revealed that Bashir has been doing this for all of his adult life, to try to hide his status as an augment. That he still comes across as a bratty know-it-all at times should tell you just how far his augs took him.
  • Oh, Crap!: Bashir's reaction when his parents show up.
  • Race for Your Love: Just when Dr. Zimmerman and Leeta are about to board the shuttle to leave DS9, Rom catches up to them and confesses his love to Leeta.
    Rom: Leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetaaa! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiit!
  • That Man Is Dead: To Bashir, he stopped being "Jules", the nickname his parents gave him when he was a child, the day he learnt he was augmented.
  • The Voiceless: Morn, as usual. During his interview, his response to Zimmerman's question is a shrug.
    Zimmerman: You're not being very helpful.
  • Title Drop: Dr. Zimmerman does this upon meeting Bashir.
  • Wham Episode: A somewhat lower-key kind of one compared to some others, but it's still one. It fundamentally realigns Bashir's entire character, throws the past several seasons-worth of his story into a completely new light, and affects almost every appearance Bashir makes afterward.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Julian to O'Brien, after he and Doctor Zimmerman accidentally cause Julian's parents to reveal his secret.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: Admiral Bennett mentions that the Eugenics Wars took place 'two hundred years before', which would be in the 22nd century when previous Star Trek canon definitively placed them occurring at the end of the 20th. Ronald Moore explained that it was an error on his part.