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Recap / Star Trek Deep Space Nine S 04 E 10 Our Man Bashir

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You can already hear the cool spy music in your head, can't you?
The episode opens with a sharply-dressed Bashir in the holosuites, throwing an eyepatched henchman through a pane of glass before introducing himself to his attractive lady friend as "Bashir. Julian Bashir." Their passionate kiss is broken by an excited golf clap from the other side of the room, which turns out to be Garak in a tuxedo. Bashir chides him for intruding in his privacy, but Garak is his usual persistant self. With some cajoling, he convinces Bashir to let him join in on the fun.

Garak: Don't worry, Doctor. We're going to have a wonderful time. After all, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Meanwhile, the Orinoco has just returned from a conference with Sisko, Kira, Worf, O'Brien, and Dax aboard. An engine malfunction, apparently the result of sabotage, forces Eddington in Ops to make an emergency beamout just as the runabout explodes. Feedback from the explosion shorts out the energizer coils, leaving the five crewmembers trapped with no way to rematerialize. To prevent their patterns from being lost in the buffer, Eddington makes an unprecedented move and attempts to save the patterns to the station's computer. The massive amount of storage required by their complex neural pathways causes nearly the entire station to shut down, leaving them in the dark, uncertain if the process even worked.

Oddly, Bashir's holosuite program is unaffected. As Bashir is filling Garak in on the details of the Bond spy life, they are interrupted by a friendly KGB spy, Colonel Komananov, played by none other than Kira Nerys with a bad Russian accent. After a talk with Ops, they come to the conclusion that the physical patterns of the runabout crew were stored as characters in Bashir's program. He and Garak must therefore stay in the holosuite; with the computer unstable, trying to leave or shut down the program could erase the crew's patterns.


As it turns out, neither can they sit on their hands and wait. Komananov reveals Bashir's mission, which is to investigate a series of artifical earthquakes, coinciding with the kidnapping of several leading geologists. One of them is a Dr. Honey Bare, replaced by Dax, who will suffer a plot-mandated death if Bashir and Garak don't play along with the story. And if Bare dies, Dax dies too.

The group is interrupted by Falcon, the henchman from the prologue, only he now wears O'Brien's face. After subduing him and his minions, Bashir and Garak realize that the holosuite safeties are off. When Bashir stops Komananov from finishing off Falcon, Garak points out that he now poses a mortal threat to them, but Bashir refuses to sacrifice anyone unless absolutely necessary. Outside the holosuite, Rom is MacGyvering an interface with the Defiant that will let them use its transporter to merge the crew's physical and neural patterns.


Bashir's next stop is a casino in Paris, posing as a geologist in hopes of being picked up by the same people who abducted Bare. They meet Mr. Duchamps (Worf), who takes them to a retreat high on Mt. Everest owned by his employer, Big Bad and Large Ham extraordinaire Hippocrates Noah (Sisko).

There, Noah tells Bashir the details of his Evil Plan, which is to drill into the Earth's crust with giant lasers scattered across the globe, releasing tons of magma and causing the oceans to rise. The only land mass left above sea level would be his own, where he can create a new world in his image.

Bashir: Diabolical.
Noah: Visionary.

Being a Bond villain, Noah arranges a suitably contrived execution for Bashir and Garak by handcuffing them to one of his lasers set on a 5-minute countdown. While Honey Bare is doing some final checks for the laser, Bashir manages to seduce her (despite Garak's unhelpful banter) into giving him a goodbye kiss, during which he pickpockets the key to their cuffs.

Bashir puts together a Scaramanga Special and heads back towards the control room to ensure neither Bare nor Komananov will suffer a scripted death, but by now Garak has had enough. He insists that Bashir is being foolishly idealistic, putting both of them at excessive risk trying to save everyone instead of making the pragmatic choice as a real spy would. Bashir retorts that, danger notwithstanding, the program still follows the rules of his Spy Fiction, which gives them the advantage. Garak is unconvinced and goes for the exit, so Bashir shoots him. The wound is only superficial, but Garak is so impressed by Bashir's display that he falls in line.

Garak: Doctor... I do believe there's hope for you yet.

Rom and the others are almost ready to save the crew, but Bashir and Garak need to buy them some time. In the control room, though they take Noah by surprise, they are quickly ambushed themselves by Duchamps, leaving them in a precarious situation. Bashir goes on a lengthy speech about how he's accepted the futility of his position - a speech clearly inspired by Garak's own just a moment ago - and goes so far as to trigger the Big Red Button himself, destroying the world. Noah muses about how he didn't expect to win before turning his gun on Bashir anyway, but Rom comes through at the last second and the five crewmembers are beamed out of the holosuite and onto the Defiant with both mind and body intact.

As they're leaving, Garak admits to feeling educated by the experience, and suggests they enjoy the program together again tomorrow, if Bashir still feels up to it.

Bashir: Oh, I think it's safe to say that Julian Bashir, Secret Agent, will return.

This episode provides examples of:

  • The 47 Society: Inverted for once. Dr. Noah has 74 lasers around the world.
  • Abnormal Ammo: A champagne cork. "A lot of kick for a '45 Dom."
  • Aborted Arc: The writers had hoped to keep using Agent Bashir for the occasional fun Breather Episode, but this ended up being the program's only appearance as a full episode. (It did get used once or twice for a single scene in later episodes, though, and continued to be mentioned.)
  • And the Adventure Continues: The episode ends with a Shout-Out to the film series traditional 'James Bond will return' message. Unfortunately, he didn't.
  • And You Were There: Invoked, as the DS9 crew appears as different characters in Bashir's holoprogram.
  • Affectionate Parody: Of James Bond films.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Both of the Large Ham and Hollywood Tone-Deaf varieties, especially Avery Brooks as Dr. Noah, who is even more Hammy than usual, and Nana Visitor as Anastasia Komananov, were she admitted in interviews it was a "necessity to do a bad Russian accent".
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Invoked by Bashir so that Sisko will live.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: With the holosuite safety offline, Garak thinks Bashir won't shoot him to keep him from ending the program. He's wrong.
  • The Big Board: Noah's lair has one, showing the locations of his lasers.
  • Bond One-Liner: Wouldn't be Bond without it.
    Bashir: A lot of kick for a '45 Dom.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Wouldn't be James Bond without that, either. In this case, it involves Noah leaving Bashir and Garak tied up and hoping the lava finishes them off.
  • Brick Joke: When Eddington sees Rom's jury-rigging on the Defiant, he mutters "O'Brien is gonna kill me." After our heroes materialize on the Defiant transporter pad, the first thing O'Brien says is an indignant "What'd you do to my ship?!"
  • Closed Circle: Bashir and Garak can't leave the holosuite because, with the station's computers offline, doing so might disrupt the program and erase the patterns of the runabout crew. Thus, the two must play along with the story until their friends outside can find a solution.
  • Costume Porn: According to the show's costume designer, the Monte Carlo casino required a lot of money spent in renting out period appropriate suits, evening dresses, and furs, most of which are barely visible in the background.
  • Dating Catwoman: Bashir's character seems to have a quite serious relationship with KGB operative Anastasia Komananov. Have you ever seen a Bond girl who received a gift from 007 at the last Christmas?
  • Deadpan Snarker: Garak is in rare form here at seeing the spy business portrayed so cavalierly.
  • Death Glare: Bashir gives Garak one for ruining his romantic moment with Caprice.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: Of Tuxedo and Martini-flavored Spy Fiction. The entire episode has Garak remarking on how silly or outright stupid the tropes are, but at the very end...
    Garak: There was a great deal (being a real spy) didn't teach me. Like the value of a good game of chance, or how indulging in fantasy keeps the mind creative.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Much like a previous instance, Evil Sisko (AKA Hippocrates Noah) chews the scenery with his blatant villainy. Avery Brooks is clearly having a great time as a James Bond villain.
  • Exactly What I Aimed At: Inverted, without quite being a case of Accidental Aiming Skills, when Bashir shoots at Garak and grazes his neck.
    Garak: That was awfully close. What if you'd killed me?
    Bashir: What makes you think I wasn't trying?
  • Eyepatch of Power: Falcon, the assassin played by O'Brien, has one, with a metal engraving of a falcon on it.
  • Failsafe Failure: The holosuite safeties, of course. Saving the crew wouldn't be much of a challenge if Bashir and Garak weren't in mortal danger.
  • Feng Schwing: Bashir's apartment has a bar that turns around to reveal a semi-circular bed.
  • Foreign Cuss Word: Anastasia/Kira mutters something in Russian when she wakes up in Noah's house.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Bashir displays many odd talents. He's unusually strong, has pinpoint accuracy with a jury-rigged gun, an expert gambler, an odd knowledge of geology etc. Which makes more sense with his still-secret genetic engineering background.
    • It turns out that Secret Agent Bashir will return, just not in the way he anticipates. Bashir is recruited as a real spy by Section 31. His fondness for playing a spy on the holodeck is actually one of the reasons they think he'll be interested.
  • Genre Savvy: The only reason Bashir stands a chance of bringing everyone home alive is because the program is built entirely from Bond Spy Fiction tropes, and he knows them all by heart.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Eddington uses his security code to perform a complete data dump of every bit of computer space in order to save the patterns of the runabout crew.
  • Guns Akimbo: Noah tries to kill Bashir with two guns at once, probably just to make sure he dies.
  • Holodeck Malfunction: A rare case in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and it involves the extraordinary circumstances of a Teleporter Accident requiring the holosuite to save the patterns of the crew, along with Rom's often improvised repairs to the holosuites (because Quark is too cheap to buy the proper parts).
  • Hot Scientist: Dax as Honey Bare, complete with lab coat, glasses and hair bun. Bashir got her to let her hair down and let the glasses go.
  • I Ain't Got Time to Bleed: Garak has a completely nonchalant reaction to a bleeding lip, and the realization that the holosuite safeties are off.
  • I Kiss Your Hand:
    • Duchamps does this upon meeting Anastasia.
    • Noah does this with Honey Bare.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: This is downplayed, as Anastasia isn't naked when she first appears, but she is sleeping on a bed with no covers, and her sleeping pose just happens to show off her slinky nightgown and feather slippers.
  • Instant Sedation: The cigar stuff that Worf/Duchamps blows at Bashir, Garak, and Anastasia/Kira. Somewhat Justified as inhaled sedatives tend to work fairly quickly. Besides, it's a James Bond holonovel, so reality doesn't necessarily apply.
  • Irrevocable Order: According to Noah, even he can't shut down the laser countdown.
  • It Is Beyond Saving: Noah's justification for destroying the world and almost all of humanity—it's all become decadent.
  • It's a Long Story: Used twice by Eddington. Including an instance far earlier than usual for this trope.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Garak and Bashir can end the program, saving themselves and likely killing the others, or keep risking their lives trying to save everyone. Garak doesn't care for the second option, insisting that the odds are too stacked against them and they should just cut their losses.
  • Large Ham: Nana Visitor butchers that Russian accent for all it's worth.
  • Last Kiss: Falcon allows Anastasia to share one with Bashir—so he can use her explosive earrings.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: While Eddington might at least have learned about Transporter technology despite being a Security officer, what on earth Odo is doing acting as a Second in Command in Ops and then going through various technical emergency procedures is beyond explanation.
  • MacGyvering: It takes some time to get the transporter patterns out of the holosuite, because Rom, often unable to procure the proper parts, had to improvise repairs to it. This includes using a metal spatula as a plasma conductor.
  • Meaningful Echo: Garak gives Bashir a speech about how a real spy should Know When to Fold 'Em and how it's kept him alive when his associates are all dead. Bashir uses these lines (complete with wry look from Garak) when trying to convince Noah that he's given up trying to fight him.
  • Meaningful Name: A guy named Noah wants to flood the world, leaving only a few humans left on his "ark" atop Mount Everest.
  • Moment Killer: Garak cock-blocks Bashir with every woman in the program, although he does get to kiss Honey Bare.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Yeah, baby, yeah! Caprice, Mona, and Anastasia/Kira combine Impossibly-Low Neckline with She's Got Legs. Honey/Dax joins in with her Letting Her Hair Down as The Glasses Come Off. And, of course, the background dancers at the nightclub.
  • The Name Is Bond, James Bond: Bashir. Julian Bashir. Bonus points for them having the same initials.
  • Noodle Incident: The dirigible incident that Anastasia/Kira refers to.
  • Oh, Crap!: The reaction in Ops when the transporter blows out while Sisko and the others are in transit.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Bashir's shot only wounds Garak, but doesn't kill him.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: The reason Garak breaks into Bashir's program is that the Dr. is famously talkative about many things, but is surprisingly secretive about this new holosuite program he's been having fun with.
  • Plug 'n' Play Technology: Averted for once. It takes several hours for Rom to interface the holosuites with the Defiant, though it apparently has more to do with Rom's many years of budget DIY repairs than their Cardassian design. (Which makes sense. By now Starfleet must be experts at interfacing with the station's technology; they are probably less prepared to interface with a plasma-conducting spatula.)
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Dr. Noah advises Bashir to "Stay cool", as he traps Bashir and Garak in a cave about to be filled with magma.
  • Punny Name: Honey Bare and Mona Luvsitt.
  • Railroading: Being a holosuite program, the computer enforces a certain amount of railroading to keep the story on track. Bashir and Garak can't go too far Off the Rails without something bad happening, but if they let the story play out to the end, at least one of the main characters will die. The solution? Stall for as long as possible with a Shakespearean monologue.
  • Restart the World: The goal of Noah's plan.
  • Scaramanga Special: Of course Bashir would have one.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
    • Caprice gets tired of watching Bashir and Garak arguing and storms out.
    • Garak tries to "fold 'em" despite Bashir's wishes. Bashir counters by shooting Garak.
  • Self-Insert Fic: Bashir prefers to use his real name while playing spy in the holosuite. This conveniently avoids copyright issues, since even though the program is clearly based off of James Bond, no one actually calls him Bond.
  • Sexophone:
    • When Julian approaches a pretty blonde lady in a sparkly red evening gown, there's a sexy riff as he's about to seduce her (but gets interrupted as he has to take out the bad guy).
    • Another riff plays when Anastasia appears.
    • And again when Bashir seduces Honey Bare.
  • Shoot the Hostage: Bashir does this to Garak.
  • Shout-Out: Besides the James Bond films, the title is a nod to the Bond spoof Our Man Flint.
    • Also, the plot of the holosuite program bears a striking similarity to The Man From Uncle episode "The Shark Affair," which features a villain who kidnaps experts in a variety of fields with the intention of repopulating the world with them after a global disaster.
  • Shown Their Work: Keeping someone saved in the computer would take an insane amount of memory space. One person would take 2x10^45 bits of space, as shown in this Because Science episode.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: When Garak starts deconstructing Bashir's escapist fantasy, Bashir hits back by saying that Garak doesn't like how he's treating his own profession so frivolously, and mocking it in the process.
  • Sleight of Tongue: While kissing Bashir, Honey Bare slips him the keys to his handcuffs.
  • Spiritual Successor: To the TNG episode "Qpid". Whereas "Qpid" was made to capitalize on the release of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, "Our Man Bashir" was made to capitalize on the release of GoldenEye.
  • Spy Fiction: Contrasts the holoprogram's Martini-type to Garak's Stale Beer experience in the Obsidian Order.
  • Take a Third Option: According to Bashir, the holoprogram will eventually force him to choose whether Anastasia or Honey Bare dies, per the James Bond formula. What does he do to avert this and to buy a little more time? Trigger Dr. Noah's world-ending scheme.
  • Teleporter Accident: Coupled with Holodeck Malfunction. The crux of the plot, and the reason the characters' transporter patterns need to be stored in the holosuite program.
  • This Is Reality: Garak tries to get Bashir to stop thinking like a Bond-esque spy and start thinking like an actual spy. Defied, though, as Bashir understands that despite the very real danger they're all in, the program still follows the rules of a James Bond story.
  • Troperiffic: In addition to every Star Trek cliche, this episode dabbles into every James Bond cliche.
  • Tuxedo and Martini: With an actual, much more cold-blooded agent along to snark.
  • Understatement: Garak comments that he and Bashir will be "very uncomfortable" if they get bathed in molten lava.
  • Variations on a Theme Song: The score's usual DS9 theme is jazzed up with a Bond-esque Leitmotif for several of Bashir's scenes.
  • Villain Respect: Bashir earns supplemental respect from his friend Garak by shooting him.
    Bashir: You'll be fine. It's just a flesh wound.
    Garak: That was awfully close. What if you'd killed me?
    Bashir: What makes you think I wasn't trying?
    Garak: Doctor, I do believe there's hope for you yet.
  • Wall of Weapons: Of course Bashir would have a hidden one. Garak comments on it when Mona replaces one of Bashir's weapons.
    Garak: Is she your valet or your personal assassin?
  • Watch the World Die: Subverted. Stalling for time to resolve the Holosuite/Transporter Mishap of the Week, Bashir facilitates the success of the holoprogram villain's plan, effectively destroying the virtual earth.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Said word for word by Garak at the end of the Cold Open. The answer is, quite a lot...
  • When Harry Met Svetlana: British agent Bashir, and KGB agent Anastasia, teaming up to stop Dr. Noah.
  • Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: Garak initially thinks that Bashir is playing "some kind of rich dilettante with a fascination for women and weapons." His amused/confused response when Bashir explains exactly what the genre they're in sets the tone for the entire episode.
    Bashir: Actually, my character is far more disreputable. I'm a spy.
    Garak: A spy? And you live here?
    Bashir: Yes. I work for one of the nation states of this era, Great Britain, which is battling various other nations in what is called the Cold War. This apartment, my clothes, weapons, even my valet were provided to me by my government.
    Garak: ...I think I joined the wrong intelligence service.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Garak is constantly attempting to deflate Bashir's illusion but keeps coming up short as he's trying to be a real spy, not a romantic Bond one.
    Garak: Kiss the girl, get the key. They never taught that in the Obsidian Order.

    Garak: (end of episode) Interesting. You saved the day by destroying the world.
    Bashir: I bet they didn't teach you that at the Obsidian Order.
  • You Wouldn't Shoot Me: Garak doesn't think Bashir is capable of shooting him in order to save his friends. Garak is wrong.

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