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YMMV / Star Trek Deep Space Nine S 05 E 16 Dr Bashir I Presume

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: In light of The Reveal of Bashir being an augment, his Dogged Nice Guy behavior toward Jadzia in the early seasons takes on an entirely different light, leaving the question open as to whether his behavior was genuine and the genetic enhancements just hadn't done anything to help his social skills, or if he knew that Jadzia's multiple lifetimes of experience meant she was the crewmember most likely to see through his facade, and so piled on the Obfuscating Stupidity to throw off any suspicions she may have had.
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  • Author's Saving Throw: Bashir being genetically enhanced is a pretty obvious Retcon, but is very popular with fans and widely held up as a prime example of how to do one correctly, as it single-handedly explains the numerous inconsistencies about his background that had piled up by this time (he was lying to hide his true background), doesn't actively contradict anything we've already seen, and even takes a previous random factoid (his missing valedictorian by a single question on his final, which he should have gotten right, and it's been heavily implied that he missed it on purpose) and turns it into a killer piece of foreshadowing.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Zimmerman designing a new holographic series of doctors and possibly replacing the EMH ones that he modeled after himself. Here, it's presented as a matter of progress for long-term usage, and Zimmerman is very particular about making things perfect. A few years later on Voyager, we'd learn that Starfleet ultimately deemed the original EMHs failures ("Emergency Medical Hotheads") and reassigned them to menial duties, leaving Zimmerman deeply depressed and resentful.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Richard and Amsha Bashir. While the episode frames their decision as, while flawed, born out of genuine love for their son, and Bashir is implied to forgive them at the end of the episode, the fact remains that they still subjected their six-year-old son to an invasive and insanely risky medical procedure which puts him automatically on the wrong side of the law because he suffered from some form of developmental disorder, the exact nature of which is unclear (while Julian himself describes himself as being unable to tell the difference between a cat and a dog at the age of six, his parents only say that he was 'falling behind' and that they were saving him from 'a lifetime of remedial education and underachievement', neither of which suggests anything like as serious as what Julian claims, suggesting that they've changed their story a few times since he found out). The parallels with the curebie movement aren't exactly subtle. Even putting this aside, Richard Bashir spends most of the episode belittling and emotionally abusing his son and it is hard to take his going to prison at the end as a redemptive gesture when it's no more than he probably should have got for doing this to Julian in the first place. Made worse by the implication that, if he hadn't made this 'plea deal', Bashir would have been cashiered from Starfleet for something that was not by any stretch of the imagination his fault and Richard would have ended up a complete Karma Houdini.
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    • And, as mentioned below, with the Values Resonance, twenty years later, it's not uncommon for fans to actively wonder if Bashir's learning disabilities were blown out of proportion by his parents (especially when one considers that Mirror!Bashir is shown to be as functional as one can be expected to be after a lifetime of slavery, and was clearly in no position to be genetically modified like Prime!Bashir), which turns his parents' decision to being less about trying to help their son and more to "keep up with the Joneses," ensure that instead of being last in class, he was first.
  • Values Resonance: Oh hell yeah. Trekkies with autism, and Trekkies who have kids with autism, usually have some pretty strong feelings about this episode, and it only made Bashir fans love him more. It also resonates really hard with viewers who have suffered parental abuse in the past, particularly abuse that parents don't acknowledge is abusive at all and is "for your own good", especially as time goes on and the dynamics of abuse are better understood by the public.
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