Before Sloan arrives and during the mission into his head, Bashir is reading "A Tale of Two Cities", the same book given to James T. Kirk by Spock during Star Trek II: the Wrath of Khan.
At the beginning of the episode, Odo refers to Dr. Bashir as "Julian" the one and only time in the series.
At one point, O'Brien calls Bashir "Jules." As seen in "Doctor Bashir, I Presume?" this is what his parents always called him.
O'Brien: It's the tunnel.
Bashir: What tunnel?
O'Brien: Y'know, the tunnel to the great beyond.
Bashir: It is. I must say I'm a bit disappointed. I expected it to be a bit more elaborate.
Bashir: Recognize these? Romulan mind probes. Not the most pleasant devices, but very efficient.
Sloan: They're also illegal in the Federation.
Bashir: Oh, I hope you can appreciate the irony in that statement.
Bashir: We're not going anywhere until you give us the cure.
Sloan: All right, if you insist. It's a simple nuclei type marking sequence. Radodine, um... (garbled words).
O'Brien: Would you mind repeating that? (Sloan keeps speaking in garbled words)
Bashir: (pushes Sloan against the wall) We're not playing games, Sloan!
Sloan: Believe me, I want to tell you what you need to know.
Bashir: Then tell us.
Sloan: I can't! (garbled words) You see? I suppose there's some part of me that doesn't want you to know. Well, not until you come to the ward room.
Sloan: I can't let you have the cure, Julian. Too much is at stake.
Bashir: I'm afraid the choice is no longer yours.
Sloan: I misread you. I thought you were just a misguided idealist. But you're a dangerous man. People like you would destroy the Federation if given a chance... but fortunately there are people like me who will die to protect it.
Bashir: Don't listen to him, Chief. He's playing games with you.
Sloan: Easy for him to say, he doesn't have a wife and children to worry about. But, trust me, Chief, if something were to happen to me...
Bashir: What? They'll be killed? I'm disappointed in you, Sloan. You don't usually wield such a blunt instrument.
Sloan: As I stand here, reunited with my friends and my family for one last time, I want you, the people I love, to know how sorry I am for all the pain that I've caused you. I've dedicated my life to the preservation and protection of the Federation. This duty which I carried out to the best of my ability took precedence over everything else: my parents, my wife, my children. I lived in a world of secrets, of sabotage and deceit. I spent so much time, erasing my movements, covering my tracks, that now as I look back on my life, I find nothing. It's as if I never really existed. I cheated you all out of being in my life, and what's more, I cheated myself as well. Now I know a simple apology won't change that, still I feel the need to apologize anyway. No tears please, my death isn't a tragedy, it's a celebration. In death I can finally step out of the shadows, and prove to myself that I existed, that I lived.
On the tiny pad next to the just "one more door", O'Brien taps the button labeled 47. Writer Joe Menosky began including references to the number 47 in almost every episode of Star Trek since season four of The Next Generation. It is an in-joke, referring to The 47 Society at Pomona College in California, a college which Menosky attended.
Cirroc Lofton (Jake Sisko) and Armin Shimerman (Quark) do not appear.
Last appearance of William Sadler on the series, as his character, Sloan, dies in this episode. Also marks the last appearance of Section 31 on Deep Space Nine.
This episode reveals Sloan's first name to be Luthor.
Sloan: Do you really expect me to tell you?
Bashir: No. I expect you to resist until the bitter end.
This scene parodies the scene in the James Bond film, Goldfinger. Sloan is lying on the biobed much like Bond was laid down beneath the laser. Bond asks the same thing to Goldfinger that Sloan asked Bashir, to which he replies "No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to die".
Y'know, the tunnel to the great beyond.
The tunnel that O'Brien is talking about is a common event with Near Death Experiences.
A Nightmare On Elm Street
The concept of walking around inside Sloan's mind, as well as his presenting his mind to Bashir and O'Brien as the station, bears a striking similarity to this series of films. In them, Freddy Kreuger killed children through dreams (similar to Sloan's comatose state here) and most of the murders centered around a house in the series. Concurrently, if people died in their dreams they would die in real life, same thing Bashir and O'Brien face if they don't escape from Sloan's mind in time.
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