Sunday, July 21, 2013

DS9: Dr. Bashir, I Presume?

Spoiler Alert: If you're on your first watch of DS9 and you've not made it through Season 5 yet, you might want to back away from this post and return to it later. If you haven't started watching DS9 yet, what are you waiting for!?

Remember that awkward kid you used to be? Remember all that embarrassing stuff you did, or said or the dumb nicknames you had? Yeah, your family remembers all that crap too and bringing them around your real, grown-up life can be super uncomfortable... especially if you were illegally genetically re-engineered as a six-year-old and now you're practicing frontier medicine on a space station next to the most important wormhole in the galaxy and a guy who engineers emergency medical holograms wants to base his next project on you and uncover all your dirty little secrets in the process. That's pretty much exactly what happens in Dr. Bashir, I Presume?
I'm almost the exact same walking tornado of spazzy nervous energy that I was as a kid. I still spend most of my time writing, making art, watching TV and reading books. I pretty much only grew out of my clothes (though approximately 65% of my shirts still have cartoon characters on them) so basically, I haven't changed all that much. And all the most embarrassing stuff, the stuff I don't talk about here, my parents (probably, I mean, they're a lot like me so who knows) remember.

As an adult, I made the best and longest-lasting friends of my life in my MFA in Creative Writing program at Spalding University. Since I'd moved around so much as a kid I never kept friends for very long but all that changed in my brief residency program. Then, the year after I graduated, my mom applied and started in the same program. I was a little terrified. I knew she'd be hanging out with everyone I knew, going to class with them, eating and staying in the same hotel, having long conversations. I could imagine her inadvertently saying things about my embarrassing childhood. But, in the end, no defamation of character ensued. I went to residency and proudly introduced my mom to everyone I knew and she ended up having a lovely time and making all her own friends because everything isn't actually about me. Contrary to what I'd thought,  my mom's first residency experience wasn't a television episode of my life.

For Bashir though, it's different. This episode--while it does feature a charming B-story with Leeta and Rom--is all about Julian. Mr. and Mrs. Bashir are earnest and kind of adorable in their hope of making Julian proud, of showing him off, of just trying to be close to him in spite of their own mistakes. Bashir's mom in particular delivers a powerful speech about why a mother would choose to genetically alter her child. As someone with wacky, bohemian parents, who might say anything to anyone at anytime, I empathize with Bashir. I wasn't genetically engineered and neither were you but I bet watching this episode would dredge up feelings for just about anyone.


  1. Dr Bashir was cool and he was good looking too........being genetically engineered just made him

  2. Did you realize that the woman playing Bashir's mom isnt even an actress? She's a professor. She'd stood in for an actress during a theater production she'd organized and someone in the audience basically offered her this role. She literally brought tears to my eyes and that doesnt happen that often.


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