FORMULA: Statistical Probabilities + Melora
WHY WE LIKE IT: The musical number.
WHY WE DON'T: Bashir never learns.
REVIEW: Bashir miraculously saves a patient from a severe handicap and falls for here, but she is fated to leave him with a broken heart. Where have I heard that one before? Yes, it's really just Melora with autism, but Chrysalis is a much better episode by virtue of 1) Sarina being a sympathetic character, 2) 6 years of added development to Bashir's character have made us care about his loneliness, and 3) the musical number.
I've seen music used as the soundtrack of a character's heart before, and it is very well used here as Bashir's. When the mutants improvise a song based on musical scales, it not only helps us fall for Sarina ourselves, but is beautiful and cleverly done regardless of context. Honestly, I've often fast-forwarded to that moment just for the song. Uplifting and even moving. So even of the rest of the story relentlessly moves towards its inevitable ending, and the mutants essentially become a background against which Sarina's new self must be contrasted (their frenetic quest to prevent the universe from collapsing in 60 trillion years is a fun moment however), that single moment of musical purity makes Chrysalis worthy of note.
Not that the performances aren't well-judged. Sarina really does seem like a different character once she's "awakened", and the classic switch moments when her condition appears to have been reversed aren't cheesily played as cliffhangers. There's very real pathos here as the poor girl commits to Bashir out of gratitude and couldn't possibly have the maturity to understand what love actually is. Out of the very loneliness she sees in him, Julian somehow decides they should be together and forgets to ask her permission. And he learns that he must respect the freedom he's just given her. It's a fact of life O'Brien already knows, no DNA-enhanced intellect required.
LESSON: Bending the laws of the universe should be entirely possible once you've kicked Heinsenberg and Einstein's faces in.
REWATCHABILITY - Medium (with one High scene): Brilliant musical interlude aside, this is still a strong, but fairly predictable, episode.