382. The Quickening
FORMULA: Half a Life + Hippocratic Oath
WHY WE LIKE IT: A strong Bashir episode. The matte paintings.
WHY WE DON'T: Kukalaka is born.
REVIEW: The Quickening reveals just how harsh the Dominion can be, and though no member of the Dominion ever appears on screen, their shadow falls over the story quite tangibly. And though this is ostensibly Star Trek's big euthanasia episode, it's really a showcase for Doctor Bashir. DS9 is such an ensemble show, that it's rare for anyone to get so much of the spotlight, and so Kira is reduced to being a pilot, and the rest of the cast get a small, inconsequential bit about Quark's advertising. Only Dax gets anything substantial to do as Bashir's chorus.
But for Bashir, it's a great one, and helps us understand how the various pieces of his character fit together. His wide-eyed enthusiasm gives way to his professionalism as soon as a medical emergency pops up, but he's also over-confident, even arrogant, in his belief that he can find a cure for the blight, and that if he can't find it, I guess there isn't one. That confidence isn't unwarranted, especially when you know about his mutant abilities, and yet, he fails. When he does succeed, with primitive techniques to boot (the Dominion is VERY smart indeed), it's a pyrrhic victory.
Kukalaka the teddy bear is mentioned for the first time, and I must say it isn't the best of DS9's inventions. Not the teddy bear so much as the fact Bashir still has him in his quarters (although to be fair, I still have my very first stuffed animal). Still, it's a nice example of Bashir's winning bedside manner in dealing with Ekoria. Trevean and the euthanasia stuff is used well, as part of their culture more than an "issue" to make a point about. And I must mention the location work and matte paintings, which increase production values substantially.
LESSON: My mom could have been a surgeon too.
REWATCHABILITY - High: Once again, Bashir is allowed a medical episode and it solidifies his character and makes him go through many ups and downs. Ultimately, he comes out a more sympathetic character, and I think he may have become my favorite at that point in the original run.