This Bashir episode, a sequel to sixth season's "Statistical Improbabilities", is a character based story reminiscent of "Flowers for Algernon" that's predictable but sweet. The "Jack Pack" returns (with a hilarious first scene that shows how easy it is to impersonate an admiral), although Faith C. Salie had to audition all over again for Sarina, the nonspeaking member of genetically enhanced group she played the first time around who this time speaks, sings, and drives the story forward. Fortunately, she proved herself up to the task to the producers (because God knows DS9 has no reluctance to recast), and she returns to give an impressive performance. Her innocence is refreshing and her rebirth leaves a lot of territory to be mined by the writers. How will she integrate into society? How will she adapt to social situations? How will she deal with people who lie, cheat, and bully? Will Counselor Dax help her? The writers, however, choose not to dig very deep and keep the story somewhat simple, uneventful, and forgettable. It's a bit of a shame, because the actress, despite debuting in "Statistical Improbabilities" as little more than an extra, seems capable of being much more than being a plot device for lonely Dr. Bashir.
Our genetically enhanced pals from season six make their triumphant return (disguised as Federation officers) in this episode so that Dr. Bashir can perform an operation on Sarina.
Following the operation, Sarina is able to live a normal life, the kind she had never been able to dream of before the procedure. And our man Bashir quickly realizes that she is pleasant, brilliant, and something of a hottie to boot. But does she feel the same way?
Well, to quote Patrick, "that's a stupid question" and one that I will not answer in this review. A better question for a review of a DS9 episode might be, "was it worth watching?" And while I've seen much better episodes, I'd still have to answer yes.
There's little action in this episode (almost none), but if you like a little romance in your Trek, this episode may be for you. It's sort of a sweet story (in a science fiction, sort of way), and unlike Worf and Dax, Julian's feelings for Sarina never felt contrived. The scene where Sarina and the other members of team genetic enhanco sing "Do Re Mi" was among the corniest things I've seen on this show though.
The Dominion war was put on hold for another week, but on the plus side, we've discovered there's still room for some good character development seven seasons into Deep Space Nine.
I am glad Dr Bashir is looking at his love life not his work! Mined you Sarina needs someone who is not going to lead her off the straight and narrow. She needs someone and so does Julian, perfectly suited for each other for life. Good luck to both of them
A very pleasant episode as Julian develops a medical technique to assist Sarina, the autistic one, break out of her shell.
Sarina is very well cast in the form of the *exceedingly* winsome Faith Salie (this actress should appear in more shows -- many more). Her character, being highly unresponsive to external stimuli, was sort of a doorstop in the StatProb episode, but this one makes up for it and allows her to shine.
Once out of her shell, she begins to develop a relationship with Julian, and he begins to make plans for them to be together, as her intellect, bright wit and impish sense of humor make him acutely aware of how alone he is among "normals", in some ways.
Unfortunately for Julian, while she likes him and feels particularly obligated to him, she doesn't reciprocate -- but feels honor bound to respond to his feelings.
All in all, a pleasant diversion from the main season-long story arc.
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