Doctor Bashir, I Presume (**½)
The writers sure have had a thing for shocking revelations recently, haven't they? All in all, this one is probably the most controversial, it completely changes the way we view a major character we thought we knew for four and a half seasons, and it requires a selective interpretation of earlier episodes in order to work. Some like the revelation, some dislike it, some hate it.
Personally, I like it, but I don't like the way it wasn't planned out in advance, and reading the background information makes me dislike the way the writers handled the situation with Siddig. Actors can get deeply involved with their roles sometimes, throwing in a game-changer like this for the character of Bashir without even consulting the actor seems like a douchey thing to do. But overall, I think that it was a net positive thing for the character, and gave him some interesting material in this episode as well as future ones. Genetic engineering is an interesting subject that Star Trek rarely touches upon, making a main character a genetically engineered individual allows the show to explore some of those subjects in greater detail. But with all that being said, it's far too late in the series to just randomly throw such a huge revelation onto an established character. It doesn't pass the smell test, it's something I have to force myself to accept because I like the concept, it doesn't come across naturally.
As an episode, it's quite enjoyable. There's a lot of good banter in this one, and Robert Picardo lending his talents to DS9 for an episode is very welcome. And it was nice to see Dr Kenneth H Shmully again, even if it wasn't the real K-Shmull. The Rom/Leeta stuff got a bit annoying (Just ask him out, already!) But Robert Picardo helped out there too. In fact, Robert Picardo should have just jumped ship and joined the DS9 cast, that would have been ideal.
Sykonee's Counter: 34