***** (5 stars out of 5)
Dr. Lewis Zimmerman, director of holographic imaging and programming at the Jupiter Research Station, is a towering intellect and a towering jerk. He designed the Emergency Medical Hologram in use across the Federation, and now he's chosen Dr. Bashir as the template for the Long-Term Medical Hologram or LMH.
"You'll be able to irritate hundreds of people you've never even met," O'Brien suggests.
Sisko wonders aloud whether this kook is talking about replacing all doctors.
"No of course not. Why is everyone so worried about holograms taking over the universe?"
Zimmerman responds to Bashir's uncomfortable request to leave his parents out of the interview process by contacting them immediately. Also he asks Leeta out. Leeta is so excited when Lewis offers her a job on Jupiter that she falls out of her towel. As God intended.
Richard Bashir has managed to keep a perfectly wonderful wife, but otherwise seems to have failed at everything he's ever tried. His chief success is very illegal, and very secret:
He had his son genetically engineered.
Unmodified Jules was falling behind intellectually at age 6, so his parents paid to amp up his brain and tweak his reflexes and such. Amsha Bashir tells her son it was done out of love, not shame. And no, he's not just a human Furby.
Admiral Bennett, (who loves his new holocommunicator and will use it forever and not, a week from now, get bored with it and throw it in the back of his closet like everyone else) has the task of informing Bashir's dad of his two year prison sentence. By taking all the blame, Richard saves his son's career.
Bennett reminds everyone that the stiffness of these penalties are supposed to stop people making more super-zealot Khan Singhs like they did two hundred years ago. (Bennett accidentally revealed himself to be an unmodified, imperfect human: Khan was born FOUR hundred years ago.)
I'm sure he was making some kind of point, but I was more interested in Leeta and her traitorous towel. Also more interested in Leeta is kind hearted, cowardly, beautiful-on-the-inside Rom: which is why he wins her heart from Zimmerman.
Love, ambition, secrets, lies, hard choices, and taking responsibility. All that and a sense of humor, too? Heck yeah, I love this. (And it doesn't hurt my mood any that I saw the trailer for the upcoming Trek movie today!)
So what's the verdict on "Dr. Bashir, I Presume?"? Well, the major fallout is that whenever O'Brien makes Bashir stand way back or close one eye or hobbles the doctor with broken knees, it's not cheating at darts. It's promoting FAIRNESS.