DS9: S4E09: “Our Man Bashir”

In which Deep Space Nine does Bond like Galaxy Quest does Trek. 

Real spies don't flinch when they pop the bubbly, Julian.

Real spies don’t flinch when they pop the bubbly, Julian.

Someone has been thrown through an ornamental window  in a 1960’s hotel. That someone has an eyepatch. The thrower – Bashir. Julian Bashir, who finishes the job with a well-aimed champaign cork to the noggin. At which point, Garak walks in to applaud his performance – with the wine and with the blonde. Also, it’s worth noting that breaking into a holosuite while someone is in there is a felony offense. I can see the case for that, although it also makes sense to suspend that on a military vessel if the crewman inside is delinquent in this duties.

Bashir has been playing this program non-stop and not even talking about it with his best friend and lunchtime confidant, so Garak is naturally curious. I do have to wonder, though, how Garak knew to dress up in a tux, unless he just asked to be clad in a variant of whatever Bashir was wearing.

Bashir is in Kowloon, in his spy pad, complete with busty personal assistant Mona Luvsitt. To save time, let’s just assume that every trope from every Bond movie is dialed up to 11. Once Bashir explains the MI5 setup, Garak is, shall we say, fully on board with humanity’s approach to Intelligence Services.

Meanwhile, Sisko and the senior staff are coming back from a conference, Eddington having been left in charge of the station. Something goes wrong with the shuttle’s warp field, and they can’t eject the warp core, because it’s been removed. The Eddington does an emergency beamout, but the shuttle blows before it’s finished and the entire senior staff except for Bashir, Odo, and Quark are lost in transit. They have a limited amount of time to store all of the data associated with the crew until they can repair the transporter pad and reconstitute them. If you guessed they’re going to be funneled into the active holosuite program, you are good at watching Star Trek. Eddington orders the computer to wipe all memory in order to clear enough space for the crew’s neural patterns, and while Eddington doesn’t know where, the rest of us do.

Not that I'm complaining, but that's clearly the computer storing her physical pattern, not her mental pattern.

Not that I’m complaining, but that’s clearly the computer storing her physical pattern, not her mental pattern.

In his spy pad, Bashir hears a noise coming from behind a wall panel, and we have our answer. Major Kira is now Russian Colonel Komananov, and quite why she’s working with a British spy during the height of the Cold War would be anyone’s guess if this weren’t a Bond Film. When attempting to work out the holodeck malfunction (‘pause’ is offline) Bashir contacts Ops and they start drip-feeding him information. Step 1: Keep the program running, keep playing, do nothing that could jeapordize the patterns. I appreciate that this is all couched in terms of maybes and avoiding risk.

The program plotline involves a Russian collaboration to find out what madman is making artificial earthquakes, a technology that’s trivial with 24th century science. Bashir is to track down a Professor Honey Bare who’s the world’s leading expert, and also Dax. Worryingly, if the character is killed the computer will erase them, which precludes the option of plotlines involving clones and faked deaths or, for that matter, save-scumming. Apparently there’s no such thing as ‘replay value’ in the 24th century.

O’Brien has been cast as the one-eyed bad guy, Falcone. Problematically, if Bashir kills him now, O’Brien is gone forever. Philosophical question – is Miles O’Brien currently alive? Or did he die in the shuttle accident and is awaiting revival? What, when you have transporter technology, is death? In this case, Death is an excuse to get a Last Kiss from Kira and use her flashbang earring to escape. With the holodeck safeties off, Garak reminds Bashir that death is now on the table and it may not be possible to save everyone. It would be a lot easier to save four people if the main Henchman is off the table.

Rom takes Eddington and Odo on a tour of his remodified holosuite hardware. The holodeck is holding their physical patterns, as previously determined, but not their mental patterns which are all stored at the quantum level. That’s distributed across the rest of the station’s systems.

Not many people can pull off a white tux. Worf is one of the privileged few.

Not many people can pull off a white tux. Worf is one of the privileged few.

Bashir takes Garak and Anna to go see Doctor Noah, whose associate Duchamps is played by Worf’s body. Bashir is playing as a top Geologist arranging to get himself kidnapped.

Outside the holodeck, a Cardassian fringe group called the True Way has claimed responsibility for the sabotage, and they are the very model of a movement shaped by economic woes and international politics. They’re going to use the Defiant to beam the crew back in, but Rom will have to make some modifications first.

Bashir has been playing baccarat, which is a game that’s only exciting due to the insane amounts of money involved. But having secured the introduction, Duchamp knocks him out with a tranquilizer cigar and they wake up in a luxury suite, run by Doctor Hippocrates “Ben Sisko” Noah. His hideout is at 25,000 feet on Mt. Everest, and he is a Man with a Plan. This is the part where he explains his evil plan, and as it turns out, Doctor Honey Bear is his willing accomplice… maybe. He’s going to use fissures in the earth to release lava and settle the tectonic plates. Like a balloon, and something bad happens. The oceans will claim the Earth, except for Sisko’s enclave of the finest minds on Earth, from which they will repopulate.

Rom will be ready in another hour, Bashir just has to hold out until then, which is going to be difficult when he’s shackled to a drilling laser. Doctor Noah is keeping Anna Komonanov around, of course. Of course, as with any Bond movie, there’s the unnecessarily slow countdown that allows the hero to escape. By seducing the Beautiful Scientist Henchman, in this case, and pickpocketing the key, which she for-some-reason has.

"Whoever wrote this novel should DIE."

“Whoever wrote this novel should DIE.”

Garak’s running objections to the corpus of Spy Movie Tropies is, as with everything that comes out of his mouth, fantastic. Cardassian Intelligence training includes Knowing When to Quit, which is not a feature of human novels. Bashir shoots Garak in the neck rather than letting him disrupt the program. Which earns Garak’s undying respect. Eddington delivers a two minute warning shortly after Bashir and Garak confront Noah, which just raises all sorts of questions. It seems a lot like if Bashir and Garak had argued for two more minutes, or gotten a little lost in the tunnel, there wouldn’t have to be any Climactic and Risky Confrontation. Sure, the world would have ended, but the crew would all be alive.

Oh wait, right. No save points. Bashir’s going to save the crew and win the game, or he loses all the latinum he’s invested in the series. Bashir has only one option – Side with Doctor Noah. At least it gets his monologuing. And Bashir uses Garak’s exact speech to sell it. Bashir does, in fact, deliberately lose the scenario, which just barely buys enough time for the beamout.

O’Brien is, as predicted, pissed at what they’ve done to his ship, and I guess either there’s a plotline which will restore the world, or Bashir’s going to restore from backup after all.

Did we miss something awesome?