Tue
Feb 4 2014 4:00pm

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: “Hippocratic Oath”

The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: Hippocratic Oath“Hippocratic Oath”
Written by Nicholas Corea and Lisa Klink
Directed by Rene Auberjonois
Season 4, Episode 3
Production episode 40514-475
Original air date: October 16, 1995
Stardate: 49066.5

Station log: Worf is in Quark’s, noticing that one of the customers is a known associate of a smuggler. Quark looks over Worf’s shoulder and makes some derogatory comments about the quality of mug shots, while insisting that everyone is welcome at Quark’s—he doesn’t discriminate. Worf obviously wants Quark to be somewhere else, and Kira’s arrival grants Worf his wish. Worf asks Kira why Odo allows “the Ferengi bartender,” a known criminal, free rein of the station. Kira insists that Odo keeps him in check, and Worf’s response is, “But not in prison.”

Bashir and O’Brien are returning from a bio-survey of Merik III in the Gamma Quadrant. (Why they’re doing a survey of a planet in the GQ when the Dominion said they’d view any travel through the wormhole as an act of war remains unclear.) They detect a magneton pulse on Bopak III. They investigate, and then are hit with a plasma field that forces the runabout to crash land. (O’Brien says he sees a clearing up ahead, and then they crash in a dense forest.)

As soon as they exit the runabout, a platoon of Jem’Hadar decloak, and First Goran’agar announces that they’re prisoners. When asked what they’re doing there, Bashir says they were investigating the magneton pulse, thinking it might be a ship in distress, causing Goran’agar to pissedly tell his subordinates to shield their ship better.

They identify O’Brien as a priority target for his experience as a chief petty officer and his skill in operations (they get this just from his uniform), but Bashir is considered a low-priority target because the sciences are less relevant. However, when Bashir identifies himself specifically as a doctor, Goran’agar changes his tune, and has both of them brought to camp.

Worf tattles to the principal—er, rather, goes to Sisko to report on Quark’s likely consorting with a smuggler. Odo insists he has everything under control and storms out. Sisko reminds Worf that he’s not a security chief anymore—his job is to coordinate Starfleet activity in the sector, not stop smugglers.

Bashir and O’Brien—imprisoned in one of the Jem’Hadar’s circular force fields of doom—have noticed that the Jem’Hadar are jumpy and probably hiding—and that they obviously need a doctor. Goran’agar takes Bashir away, leaving O’Brien imprisoned. Goran’agar and his squad have abandoned the Dominion—but in order to stay free, they need to kick their addiction to ketracel-white, the isogenic enzyme that all Jem’Hadar need to survive. But Goran’agar has kicked the addiction, which he discovered by accident the last time he was on Bopak III. He crash-landed once before years ago, the only survivor, but when he ran out of white, he continued to survive for a month. Goran’agar thinks that there’s something on Bopak III that will cure the addiction, so when he and his squad chose to defect, they came to this world.

But it isn’t working. Goran’agar is the only one who isn’t addicted to the white, the rest of his soldiers remain just as dependent on it. And they’re running out of time. Bashir is willing to try to figure out how to cure the others, but he needs O’Brien’s help, and he can’t promise results. They only have five days: the white will run out then.

The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: Hippocratic Oath

Sisko holds a briefing on the Klingon situation, and afterward Worf tries once again to butt into Odo’s job, telling him about a scanner Quark got his hands on. Odo thanks him for his help and again says that he has it under control.

Bashir and O’Brien do busywork to try to figure out a way to escape, with O’Brien putting together a plasma charger. One of the Jem’Hadar figures out what it is (by shooting another Jem’Hadar with it), and O’Brien is returned to a holding cell. Goran’agar breaks protocol by not killing the injured Jem’Hadar, because the whole point is to be free of the Dominion’s rules.

Worf sneaks into Quark’s after closing, and stakes the place out, waiting hours before Quark meets with the smuggler and inspects illegal crystals. Worf storms to Odo’s office and angrily demands to know why he hasn’t done anything. Odo, basically, tells him to screw off.

The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: Hippocratic Oath

Bashir examines Goran’agar and discovers that his body naturally produces the enzyme. Goran’agar is also disgusted with the Founders and the Dominion and the Vorta, and Bashir believes his change of heart is real. O’Brien’s a lot more skeptical, and thinks that Bashir should do nothing to help them. They’re the enemy, and helping them may grant them freedom, but that may just give them license to maraud on their own without the Dominion to exert any control over them.

For what may be the first time in his life, Bashir pulls rank, ordering O’Brien to assist him in trying to cure the Jem’Hadar. Very very very reluctantly, and snidely, O’Brien says, “Yes, sir.”

A Jem’Hadar escorts O’Brien to the runabout to grab a component. He tells O’Brien that his escape plan was flawed, to which O’Brien replies, “Obviously—I got caught.” So he engages an escape plan that isn’t flawed, and beams himself away from the runabout, right under the Jem’Hadar’s nose.

The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: Hippocratic Oath

Bashir can’t find a single thing on Bopak III that could be responsible for killing the addiction, and he proposes an alternative: nothing happened to him on the planet. Maybe Goran’agar was never dependant on ketracel-white, maybe he had a random mutation that kept him from needing it to survive.

The other Jem’Hadar are starting to mutiny—they think that Goran’agar has become weak. Time is running out in more ways than one. The Jem’Hadar search for O’Brien, who manages to keep ahead of them, setting traps and such, before doubling back to the camp to rescue Bashir. But Bashir doesn’t want to be rescued. He tells O’Brien to go ahead and leave, but he has to try to break the addiction.

O’Brien disagrees, so he blows up Bashir’s research. Now there’s nothing keeping him there. Goran’agar then decloaks and escorts the two back to the runabout to let them go. There’s no more time—the white will run out tomorrow. Goran’agar kills his subordinate, and says that it’s better that they die in combat quickly than slowly via losing the drug. Bashir pleads with him to save himself, and Goran’agar turns to O’Brien. “You are a soldier?” “I have been.” “Then you explain.” And then he walks off, cloaking himself. O’Brien fulfills Goran’agar’s request by pointing out that he’s their commander—he can’t leave them.

Worf completely blows Odo’s sting operation, as the constable was actually working with Quark to infiltrate the smuggling ring, having disguised himself as the bag Quark handed over the payment in. Now he’s just stuck with the middle man. Worf cops to it—Odo left it out of the report, but Worf is too diligent to not report it. Sisko heard already, of course, because word gets around, and he reassures Worf that he’ll fit in eventually.

The runabout returns to the station. It’s tense in the cockpit, as Bashir feels that O’Brien ran roughshod over his judgment. They wind up cancelling that night’s darts game, as neither feels much like playing.

The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: Hippocratic Oath

The Sisko is of Bajor: When Worf reports to Sisko at the end, the captain is tinkering with something that looks like a smaller version of the clock he built while under the influence of the alien probe in “Dramatis Personae.”

The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch on Tor.com: Hippocratic Oath

Preservation of matter and energy is for wimps: Odo makes it clear that this is his beat, and Worf’s interference isn’t welcome—though he’s perfectly happy to use Worf’s off-the-clock surveillance of Quark and the smuggler work to his advantage.

There is no honor in being pummeled: This episode makes it clear that Worf isn’t going to just automatically fit into DS9’s routine, and also makes it clear that Worf is the one that’s going to have to fit into DS9 not the other way around.

Victory is life: Goran’agar has never seen a Founder—the Jem’Hadar report to the Vorta (who still haven’t been directly identified as the same species as Eris and Borath)—and he likens them to gods at one point. This episode also points up to the fact that there are occasional genetic and mental anomalies among the Jem’Hadar, as even with all the Founders’ careful genetic manipulation, some do not depend on the ketracel-white and some do rebel against the Founders.

No sex, please, we’re Starfleet: O’Brien is frustrated because Keiko is annoyed that O’Brien put a workshop together in their bedroom. She thinks he’s trying to be more like a bachelor again; Bashir, though, thinks it’s showing that he’s keeping himself in the bedroom, a place he associates with intimacy with her. O’Brien agrees with Bashir, and then has a My Fair Lady moment, wondering why she can’t be more like a man, a line Bashir has great fun with...

Keep your ears open: “Good work, Chief! Keep this up, you may make a fine officer some day.”

“Oh, thank you, Lieutenant. Coming from you, that means a lot to me.”

Bashir and O’Brien putting on a not-very-good show for the Jem’Hadar.

Welcome aboard: Scott MacDonald, last seen as Tosk in “Captive Pursuit,” as well as N’Vek in TNG’s “Face of the Enemy” and Rollins in Voyager’s “Caretaker,” plays Goran’agar. MacDonald will go on to have a recurring role on Enterprise as Dolim. (Originally, Robert Foxworth auditioned for the role, but he impressed the producers enough that they instead gave him the role of Admiral Leyton in the upcoming two-parter “Homefront” and “Paradise Lost.”)

The other Jem’Hadar are played by Stephen Davies (who previously played the Saratoga tactical officer in “Emissary,” and who’ll play Nakahn in Voyager’s “Darkling”), Jeremy Roberts (credited as “Jerry” here, who played Valtane in Star Trek VI, a role he’ll reprise in Voyager’s “Flashback”), Marshall Teague (he’ll play Haluk in Voyager’s “Distant Origin”), and Michael H. Bailous (a regular background extra).

Trivial matters: This episode is a melding of two pitches, one by Nicholas Corea about a group of Jem’Hadar trying to break their addiction to ketracel-white, the other by Lisa Klink about O’Brien and Bashir taking opposite sides of a conflict on an alien world. Rene Echevarria suggested mushing the two together and Klink, who had recently completed an internship with the staff, was given the assignment to write the teleplay, with Ronald D. Moore doing an uncredited polish. Klink would go on to be a regular freelancer on Voyager, becoming an executive story editor in its fourth season.

Your humble rewatcher wrote a sequel to this story, as the conflict between the two friends was never resolved on the show itself. The story “Broken Oaths” in Prophecy and Change has the friends making up and coming clean to each other, with some help from Dax, Worf, and Garak.

Bashir tells Goran’agar about the events of “The Abandoned,” which is where the doctor gained a lot of his knowledge about Jem’Hadar biology.

Once again, an Alpha Quadrant ship has gone through the wormhole, with no official response from the Dominion (Goran’agar was, after all, on a secret illegal mission), despite the insistence of Talak’talan in “The Jem’Hadar” that any incursion would be construed as an act of war.

This is the first episode to directly refer to the runabouts as being Danube-class and also the first to name the isogenic enzyme on which the Jem’Hadar depend as ketracel-white. Luther Sloan of Section 31 will throw the events of this episode into Bashir’s face in the sixth season’s “Inquisition.”

Walk with the Prophets: “He’s their commander—they trusted him.” Another episode like “Necessary Evil” that takes one of the core friendships of the show and puts a strain on it. Watching Bashir and O’Brien’s bromance develop has been tremendous fun, and I especially like how organically it’s grown.

But they’ve become such buds that it’s easy to forget the early days of the series when O’Brien did not think highly of Bashir at all. Recall the look of disgust on O’Brien’s face back in “Q-Less” when he overheard Bashir telling the story of his Starfleet Medical final in the replimat to a dewy-eyed young woman. For that matter, there’s O’Brien’s patronizing tone to Bashir in “The Siege” when the latter complains about combat rations, or his pissing and moaning to Keiko about being stuck with him in “Armageddon Game.” Yes, they’ve become friends, but they started from a place where only one party respected the other, and it wasn’t the chief doing the respecting.

As a result, for the first time, we see O’Brien disobey an order. He’s always gone out of his way to be deferential to those higher in rank than him in the past: when La Forge spilled ale on him in “The Mind’s Eye,” he refused to even get upset, and when Tom Riker, while pretending to be Will Riker, told him to screw off in “Defiant,” he screwed off without a word. O’Brien has always respected the chain of command.

But of course, Riker and La Forge were both directly linked to him on that chain. Bashir is a doctor, not part of his staff, not someone he reports to, and not someone he started out with any particular respect for, indeed someone he didn’t take entirely seriously. So when it comes time for them to act, not like friends, but like Starfleet personnel, O’Brien fails to keep his chain of command straight. He actually instructs Bashir like a child, saying he won’t help the Jem’Hadar no matter what.

It points up to a fascinating break in the friendship. We’ve been down this road before, not just in “Necessary Evil,” but to a lesser degree in “Life Support” with Jake and Nog. But in the latter episode, the friends confronted each other and worked it out, and in the former, the lie Kira told was from before they were friends, from when they’d just met. The issue was that she hadn’t told him since they became friends.

Here, though, there’s no resolution, and it’s something I hate to ding the episode for because it’s actually realistic that it wouldn’t be tied up in a bow at the end—but it was never followed up on again at all. After a while, they were back to playing darts and playing on the holosuite and generally being besties again without any kind of resolution to a significant issue in their friendship. (I shouldn’t complain too much, since I got a short story out of it, one in which I got to have O’Brien call Bashir a ponce, but still...)

Still, getting there was brilliantly done, precisely because this is a real chink in the armor of this particular relationship, and it played out exactly the way you’d expect when you’ve got an argument between an idealistic officer of a Starfleet doctor and an enlisted engineer with experience on the front lines of a war.

Speaking of chinks in armor, we have the B-plot which was a pretty straightforward Worf-trying-to-fit-in story. The problem is, well, it’s a pretty straightforward Worf-trying-to-fit-in story. You can see the big neon numbers by which this plot was painted, and it’s just hard to get interested in so predictable a plot. The only thing cool about it is Odo’s general crankiness never once letting up.

 

Warp factor rating: 8


Keith R.A. DeCandido is running a Kickstarter for a new story in the Dragon Precinct universe, featuring the characters of Gan Brightblade and his friends from that novel. He hopes you’ll support it—just two bucks will get you a copy of the story itself! Details can be found here.

34 comments
Lsana
1. Lsana
About the B-Plot: I'll admit that it's always been one of my pet peeves when a character is blamed for screwing up a plan that they were never told about. Was there any good reason Odo couldn't have taken Worf somewhere private and explained about the sting operation? Yes, yes, security is Odo's responsibility, Worf should have butted out when he was told to butt out, but surely at some point it should have become obvious that Worf wasn't going to let it go. At which point, I kind of feel like if Odo continued to keep Worf in the dark, he only has himself to blame when the plan goes belly-up.
Lsana
2. Eduardo Jencarelli
"Klink would go on to be a regular freelancer on Voyager, becoming an executive story editor in its fourth season."

Jimmy Diggs was a regular freelancer.

Lisa Klink, as far as I know, was a full-time writer on Voyager's staff, for three full seasons. First, as an uncredited staff writer in the show's 2nd season, a story editor in the 3rd, and so on...

Like Bryan Fuller and Michael Taylor, Klink was tested on DS9 to gain the Voyager staff position.
Andy Holman
3. AndyHolman
I like this episode for what we learn about the Jem'Hadar, and how in-character O'Brien and Bashir are in taking their respective sides. This episode does make me wonder whether there's some sort of standing order or protocol for Starfleeters about not assisting their captors? As much as the Chief disobeys Julian's orders here, was Julian potentially disobeying a larger, broader order?

-Andy
Andy Warta
4. dragontrainer
I know Keith mentions it often, but I wasn't that bothered that there weren't explicit repercussions about ships entering the Gamma Quadrant. Part of that stemmed from the threat coming from a Jem'Hadar as opposed to a founder or Vorta - though admittedly we didn't really know who they were at the time.

As the show goes on, we see the founders have chosen a less direct (and likely more effective) method of going after the Federation. It didn't feel necessary to me that every ship that entered the Gamma Quadrant definitely needed to be attacked based on what Talak'talan said. It's possible that if the female changeling had made the threat I'd feel differently.
Keith DeCandido
5. krad
Lsana: As Odo told Worf, he doesn't share details of his undercover operations with people not involved in the operation. Nor should he. And Odo doesn't report to Worf. The important part is that security is no longer part of Worf's job, and he should've backed off when Odo told him to.

---Keith R.A. DeCandido
Lsana
6. James2
@5, Yeah, it was fun seeing Worf struggle to adapt to a new, non-security role after years as security chief aboard the 1701-D.

I've always thought Odo recounting Worf's screwups during "Bar Association" later was his own form of payback for Worf's interference here.
Christopher Bennett
7. ChristopherLBennett
I thought this was the one where Odo calls Worf out on all the security breaches that happened aboard the Enterprise, thereby putting him in his place. I guess that comes later. (EDIT: @6: Ah, okay, it was in "Bar Association.")

I think O'Brien was shortsighted here. If the Founders control the Jem'Hadar through their addiction to the white, it's clearly in the Federation's best interests to understand that addiction and seek a way to undo it, as a means of undermining the Dominion's control if it should be necessary. Sure, O'Brien may be right to point out that there are risks, but he doesn't offer any better alternative plan. And he certainly didn't have any business defying lawful orders from his superior officer. Heck, the clearest sign that their friendship wasn't badly damaged is that Bashir didn't bring him up on charges for that.

@3: I doubt there's a "don't assist your captors" protocol, because we've seen a number of episodes where the captors turned out to be decent sorts who needed help and the Starfleet leads found solutions to their problems. In this case, particularly, the captors were actually dissidents against the Dominion, so helping them would not have counted as helping the enemy.

That said, there could've been a Prime Directive issue about providing help that could change the balance of power in another civilization that they weren't actually at war with at the time. But O'Brien didn't raise any Prime Directive arguments.
Raymond Seavey
8. RaySea
I kind of thought Worf should have faced more consequences here. You don't just go shoving your nose in law enforcement business like that. Odo may well have been within his rights to make good on that threat and arrest him. At the minimum, it seems like there should have been some kind of formal reprimand.
Lsana
9. TBGH
Out of the entire series, this is one of about a dozen episodes that are the most memorable for me. As an idealistic boy scout/high school freshman when this aired, I totally sided with Bashir. Now of course, I can see both sides, but still lean toward the doctor's point of view. This group is not the dominion, but someone trying to break away. Helping them could potentially (though long odds) seriously hurt the Dominion. And no way this seriously hurts the Federation's position. Imagine the intelligence if you can convince one or all to come back to the Federation with you.

Also, this episode has incredible implications on the real status of the Jem'Hadar throughout the rest of the series. They are not only genetically designed to enjoy violence as we've seen previously, but even those that try to exercise self-determination are doomed.

The B-plot is meh and I agree that the lack of communication is a problem, though totally in character for Odo.
Dante Hopkins
10. DanteHopkins
Krad, I like that you didn't take a side over whether O'Brien was right or Bashir was right, just laying out the actions of both, but you make a strong case CLB, and that argument is definitely valid. O'Brien did disobey orders of the senior officer of the mission who had made a decision one way or the other. As for the unresolved part, I had assumed O'Brien and Bashir gave each other space for an awkward few days, maybe a week or two, then slowly went back to being besties ( ah, besties, a term I have never used until now.)

I suppose its rather impossible to pick which side was the most valid as O'Brien and Bashir made good arguments for helping the Jem'Hadar or not. All one can say really is O'Brien should have obeyed the orders of his superior officer.

Speaking of O'Brien, krad you forgot to mention O'Brien's new enlisted insignia, first seen in the previous episode but really better seen here. I thought it was kind of cool for the show to give Starfleet's enlisted corps some insignia finally, as O'Brien's previous insignia would probably be equivalent to a Chief Warrant Officer ,which, until Goran'agar said Chief Petty Officer, I assumed O'Brien to have been. A very nice touch, as enlisted personnel usually had no insignia at all, i.e. Crewman Simon Tarses in TNG's "The Drumhead."
Lsana
11. Bobby Nash
I enjoyed this episode. Bashir and O'Brien together is always a good pairing. I looked at O'Brien's actions, especially once he realized that Bashir planned to stay and try to find a cure was more about saving his friends life than anything else. Bashir would have stayed there and possibly died trying to find a cure. We will see the good doctor do this again as the series moves forward.

Bobby
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
12. Lisamarie
That wasn't me at number one, by the way :) But, thank you for spelling my name right even WITHOUT it being on the screen to copy! ;)

Anyway, I liked the episode and as a former grad student totally cringed when the research was destroyed. Low blow, O'Brien! Plus, overall, I do come down on Bashir's side here. I was hoping he could convince the Jem'Hadar to come with him for further study and help. Obviously that would be too easy though.

I kind of wonder how anybody does business with Quark any more...hasn't it been noticed that many of his contacts end up busted/investigated?
Keith DeCandido
13. krad
GAH! It's fixed. Thanks for understanding Lisamarie, and my apologies to Lsana.

---KRAD
Brendan Guy
14. bguy
@3: If Starfleet abides by something akin to the Geneva Conventions then captured medical personnel would be expected to continue to provide medical services to all who need them, so Dr. Bashir would be permitted (and indeed required) to provide medical assistance to the Jem'Hadar.

@4: I think that's it exactly. Based on the results of their tests on Sisko and the others in The Search part 2, the Dominion probably realizes that if they are too aggressive then the Feds will end up collapsing the wormhole. As such the Dominion is playing the long game and avoiding any overt acts of aggression for now while they quietly slip Founders into all the AQ governments and turn them against each other. (They are also probably frantically researching the way to shore up the wormhole that the changeling Bashir will end up using in In Purgatory's Shadow in order to make sure the wormhole can't be collapsed when they are ready to enter the AQ in force.)
Lsana
15. Alright Then
But O'Brien did disobey orders before. Remember Tosk? Fortunately though, Sisko was cool with it.

And speaking of that episode, good to see Scott MacDonald again. One of those actors who should be in more things, besides Star Trek.
Matt Stoumbaugh
16. LazerWulf
Having just watched this episode, I can't really say there's a lack of resolution between Bashir and O'Brien. The "Maybe in a few days" line after they cancel their weekly darts game seemed like resolution enough to me. Tempers ran high during their captivity, and they probably just needed a few days to get over it. It's a testament to their friendship that after all that happens they recognize that they're still friends. As a Relient K song once said, "No, I don't hate you/Don't wanna fight you/Know I'll always love you/But right now I just don't like you" (The song is called, amusingly, "Which to bury, us or the hatchet?")
Christopher Bennett
17. ChristopherLBennett
@15: Technically, O'Brien did not disobey orders in "Captive Pursuit." Rather, he acted on his own initiative without being given orders one way or another, and pre-emptively removed his combadge so that he could not be ordered to stop. And strictly speaking, the only order Sisko gave was for Tosk to be released as per the Hunters' request. All O'Brien did was change the manner of his release. So he bent the rules but didn't technically commit insubordination. Here, he overtly disobeyed a direct order.

@16: I always read it that way too -- that they both knew they would be okay, but just needed a little time to move past it. Still, I can buy Keith's idea that it could've taken a little more work than that.
Lsana
18. Robin Goodfellow
I agree with LazerWulf, I thought the final conversation in the shuttlepod was sufficient resolution, and I like that it wasn't belaboured - the "maybe in a few days" line showed the two are owning their disagreement, but also acknowledging that their friendship is not irrepairably damaged. Neither are particularly touchy-feely types, so after a few days to simmer down and see each other's point of view, I can easily imagine they fell back into the old routine of friendship with a mutual understanding not to rake up the argument.
Lsana
19. James2
@14, Yeah that's always been my interpretation of the Dominion's unwillingness to enforce their edict from the Season 2 finale.

So in a way, the whole AQ infiltration during Seasons 3-5 is Sisko's fault. The Dominion wouldn't be pursuing this current course of action if he hadn't tried to collapse the wormhole during the simulation back in "The Search".
Lsana
20. Alright Then
#17

Mmm, that's a narrow hair, but okay.
Lsana
21. critter42
@5 krad : "he should've backed off when Odo told him to" - more to the point, he should have backed off when his COMMANDING OFFICER told him it wasn't his business...
David Levinson
22. DemetriosX
I didn't much care for this episode when it first ran, but I can better see its strengths now. And really, the strongest thing about it is probably its refusal to take sides in the O'Brien/Bashir debate. It's a nice piece of ambiguity that Roddenberry never would have stood for. The episode also makes explicit the flaw in a tool of control like ketrecel white: others can also use that tool to take control away from you.

The Worf subplot is rather lame. Yes, we have the advantage of knowing all the characters involved, so it's pretty obvious to us that Odo has something going on. But Worf should also be smart enough to see that himself. And as @21 points out, his CO told him to back off and he should have done so.
Lsana
23. Erik Dercf
This is a bromance episode that I like because we see friendship come in conflict with perspectives in duty not just between Bashir and Chief but there captor too. For an hour long episode it has exciting tension that reminds me of the TNG episode HUE with the captored borg that the Enterprize and crew debate what to do it/him. Both Bashir and the Chief are justified in their actions but I also feel for the their captor's commander who is forced to hunt down his own men in order to give them an honorable death. He is the sort of character that would be interting to find survived some how.
Lsana
24. Erik Dercf
Now that I've read some comments I'd like to add that I think Bashir's motives were those of a doctor willing to see the big picture because it supports his agenda to be a doctor, but the Chief was thinking like a grunt in combat where the rule is to kill the enemy before he kills you period. The imperatives of the two men were so different what might have Bashir done if he were the the man with the gun when the Chief came to destroy his work?
Robin Goodfellow
25. RobinGoodfellow
@DemetriosX Yes, I like the ambiguity very much too, which ties into my liking of the non-resolution - both men remain convinced they are right,
and neither is prepared to compromise even for the sake of their friendship. "Talking it out" would have involved one or the other conceding to the other's viewpoint, at least to a certain degree. "I don't agree with you at all but I still want to be your friend (when I can stand to look at you again)" seems to me to be a very satisfactory way forward.
Christopher Bennett
26. ChristopherLBennett
@22: Roddenberry would never have stood for ambiguity? That depends on which Roddenberry you mean. The Roddenberry who produced the original series had no problem with morally ambiguous endings, as "A Private Little War" makes clear. It was only the TNG-era Roddenberry who saw himself as a preacher rather than a storyteller.
Robert Dickinson
27. ChocolateRob
Of course the sensible thing for Bashir to do next would be to hang around in orbit looking for life signs then once he has them just wait a day or two for them to stop then retrieve gorythingy's body for further medical testing.
Joseph Newton
28. crzydroid
I kind of liked the end of the Odo investigation, since it helped solidify some of the reasons that they DO keep Quark around...in order to infiltrate other criminal rings. And maybe also to bring business to the bar.
Lsana
29. McKay B
I love Goran'agar's character and all the changes he single-handedly makes to the way we see the Jem'Hadar.

The B-plot could have been better, but compared to other anticlimactic B-plots, at least this one has the virtue of showing a necessary bump in the road in characters' relationships. If Worf had never had an episode like this, with friction with Odo and others, it would have been a little too easy to be believed. So at least I can appreciate this B-plot for what it does for the episodes that come after it.

O'Brien sure pisses me off in this episode. I don't know if I would have had Bashir's restraint in not getting O'Brien in trouble after his insubordination here. @27: that's a good point.

@12 Lisamarie: Kinda makes you wonder how many MORE of Quark's shady associates are trafficing through the station and NOT getting caught, huh? ;-)
Lsana
30. Eduardo Jencarelli
Something I've never realized up until now. Julian Bashir is very much the most Roddenberry-esque character DS9 could possibly have. The most idealistic human there is, despite his early arrogance (I'll even go far as saying the whole genetic background plot point that shows up on season 5 was Ira's way of challenging humanity's 24th century 'perfection').

O'Brien is the polar opposite. One of the reasons Ira and Michael always pushed towards using the character, even back on TNG, is because he grounds the action in reality, thanks to his everyman demeanor.

Hippocratic Oath is essentially a conflict between Roddenberry's humanistic ideal towards O'Brien's pragmatism. I think that's why it works so well, as well as a challenge for the Bashir/O'Brien friendship.
Lsana
31. tortillarat
Meh, I'd completely forgotten this one existed to the point it was like watching a brand new episode. To me it's the quintessential average episode; nothing stands out, good or bad. It just...exists. I will probably completely forget about it again and then be perplexed in a couple months should anyone reference it.
Lsana
32. AndrewV
Anyone who has had an argument with a close friend will know the resolution to Bashir/O'Brien's situation rings true. This is sort of like a friendship of one conservative and one liberal person on election day. They may fight with much anger about the issues today, but in a week or so they will enjoy each other's company again.
Roger Dalton
33. RogerDalton
I disliked this episode. It was all around just another "Starfleet officers act like idiots" episode, except for Bashir who was totally right (hiding behind the fact that there ARE arguments on both sides doesn't make both sides EQUALLY right). Odo was dumb for usual Odo reasons, Worf was dumb for usual Worf reasons, and O'Brien was dumb for O'Brien reasons. I guess the good thing is that at least the reasons were fitting with their characters. All around, I found it pretty mediocre and annoying, and I give it a warp 4.

I almost got whiplash watching this after The Visitor, from the dramatic change in quality.
Stefan Raets
34. Stefan
My highlight from this episode is the final bit of dialogue between Sisko and Worf, with Sisko explaining how things are different on DS9 and how there are more shades of gray. It's a perfect little encapsulation of what makes DS9 so much more interesting than the other Trek series (for me, at least.)

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