Bashir tries his hand at psychiatry in the episode that originally aired on November 22,1997. This is Statistical Probabilities.
Station Log Stardate Undetermined: Statistical Probabilities
Thanks to his genetic enhancement, Bashir agrees to help a group of rather eccentric genetically enhanced people so that they can use their abilities to assist in the ongoing war with the Dominion. Meanwhile, the Dominion and the Federation seem to be coming to a truce.
After a rather violent act from one of her patients, Doctor Karen Loews hands off the group of individuals to Doctor Bashir, wishing him luck. Bashir is soon introduced to four unique individuals each of whom are dealing with extreme social disabilities. In The Group is Jack (who is hyper and violent), Lauren (who is seductive and hyper-sexual), Patrick (an older man who has childlike tenancies) and Sarina (who is practically catatonic. Almost immediately Bashir realizes that he has his work cut out for him.
At a dinner with the senior staff as they await an announcement from Gul Damar concerning the Dominion front, Bashir explains the situation he is in with his friends. He explains that even though he had the benefit of having a quality DNA re-sequencing unlike these new arrivals. Doctor Loews has asked Bashir to step in to assist with these four individuals as it may give them a perspective they have never considered. After a rather intense discussion with his friends, they are interrupted by Jack who has somehow hacked the come system.
Julian returns to the patients quarters where they are all complaining about a noise no one else can hear. Bashir requests help from O’Brien and explains the situation to him. After fixing the problem, O’Brien watches Damar’s speech with Julian and the four. The four patients begin to analyse Damar’s speech and claim to have gleaned some deep information from the video transmission, gleanings that prove to be correct. Bashir soon finds himself amazed at their observations and is shocked to learn that Weyoun and Damar are visiting Deep Space Nine to negotiate peace with the Federation. Julian informs his new group that they will have ringside seats to witness the on-goings so they can glean more from their adversaries.
Using the holodeck technology, Bashir allows The Group to analyse the meetings with the Dominion. They soon inform him that the Dominion wants the Cabrel system and soon discover that they want that system in order to synthesize more Ketracel White. Despite their analysis, Julian recommends that the Federation allow the Dominion to take the system in order to set up the best future situation and soon begins to walk the Captain through their analysis.
After a brief encounter with The Group, Julian takes a moment to spend time with his friend Miles in a friendly game of darts. After a brief chat, Julian meets with his new friends where he is presented with a dark and damming set of predictions indicating that the Federation will have to surrender in order to survive.
Presenting his findings to Captain Sisko, Julian informs his commander that the only option to prevent billions of deaths is for the Federation to surrender to the Dominion. Sisko rejects Julian’s findings informing the Doctor that he will not suggest a surrender in any circumstance, causing Julian to feel hopeless in the face of this new probable future. Soon, with all of the data on hand, Julian begins to find himself wanting to find a way to help despite the Federation’s refusal to listen. The Group soon recommends they help the Dominion win in order to prevent the 900 billion casualties to come. Julian disagrees but is soon rendered unconscious and The Group begin their mission to help the Dominion win the war earlier than projected.
Contacting Weyoun, The Group offer information to the Vorta and his Cardassian friend. Leaving Sarina behind, they head off to make the deal. Back in their quarters, Julian awakes to find himself tied to a chair alone with Sarina. Explaining the situation to her, she reluctantly agrees to help allowing Julian to prevent The Group from presenting their information to the Dominion. Odo soon meets with Weyoun and Damar to inform them that their ‘contacts’ are not coming.
Julian informs The Group that, although they will not be sent to jail, they will be returned to the institute. The Group are upset at the results and Julian assures them that even though the odds are bad, they can’t predict everything. Julian, playing the odds, plays a round of Dabo proving to himself that statistics don’t always matter. The Group give their goodbyes to him and agree to work on a plan to defeat the Dominion.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
I know that this is going to be a shock to most but, frankly, I hate this episode. Okay, hate is a strong word but I really don’t like this one. Don’t get me wrong, I love the characters in The Group and I was happy to see Bashir get a chance to explore his genetic alterations further, I have always found this episode to be rather off putting. I never fully realized what it was about it either, until now, the entire premise makes no sense in that these patients would never be allowed to remain together no matter how much they ‘liked each other’.
First off, while these patients are high functioning individuals, in many ways two of them could be considered criminally insane, specifically Jack and Lauren. Jack, while not evil, is a very dangerous and volatile man who not only starts the episode by assaulting his psychiatrist but actually threatens another patient with a knife at one point. Frankly, I am shocked they allowed this guy to have such anatomy. On the other side we have Lauren who, to be honest, has a sever case of sexual addiction. I have to wonder what it was her parents were trying to enhance in her to end up with the over sexualized woman she has become. Maybe they were trying to make her a pageant queen, come to think of it does the Federation even have beauty pageants any more? Sure gives the Miss Universe pageant a whole new meaning. Anyhow, I get the feeling that she is more of a Black Widow than she lets on. I wonder if that overly sexualized seduction only leads to something more sadistic when she finally convinces someone to fall for her. Then again, maybe she just likes sex and who am I to argue, regardless, I am shocked she is allowed to sleep in the open with the other three seeing that she is constantly looking to score. Seems irresponsible to me.
Then we come to Patrick and Sarina, the only two who honestly seem pretty harmless. Patrick is a child trapped in an adults body. That being said he is a very intelligent child but still has all of the emotions and control of a six year old. For the most part he is harmless so it is very odd to see him allowed to interact with Jack and Lauren unattended. I would be worried that either Jack or Lauren would take advantage of the older man-child even if they didn’t realize they were doing it. Sarina seems the most innocent of them all. Practically catatonic, Sarina spends most of the episode in a mute complacency that gives her a very strong air of mystery. We don’t learn much about her in this one but again, this innocence seems very easily abused if left in the wrong hands.
Now, yes you can argue that none of these characters would harm one another and they establish that during the episode but in fact, they kinda show the opposite. Not only are they all far too intelligent to be left alone, they don’t seem bound by any set of moral or legal obligation to anyone making them dangerous not only to themselves but to the Federation as a whole. Heck, they nearly manage to hand the Federation over to the Dominion with a data padd!
Say what you want about them, their psychiatrist, Doctor Karen Loews, seriously needs to reconsider her approach in how she is treating them. I mean, I get involving Bashir in their treatments but to literally hand them over to his care seems irresponsible at best. First off, Julian is not a Psychiatric Doctor, he is a medical Doctor who joined the crew of DS9 in order to practice ‘frontier medicine’.
This guy’s only qualification to help with The Group is his own genetic modifications and, while Loews reasoning is that it would do her patients good to see a balanced genetically modified person in action, it certainly doesn’t mean she should literally abandon them with him! How the heck is she even their doctor if she literally drops them off with a comment of ‘good luck’ when she hands them over?! Somehow she even manages to come back in a later episode. I am not sure how she kept her job to be honest.
So, what about the predictions the Group made? In a way, yes, most of it. If not for certain events the Federation was in fact doomed to failure in the face of the Dominion. I won’t go into details as to how this plays out, you’ll have to follow along with me on that, but man do things get bleak. Heck, even their prediction about the Romulans joining the fight came true.
Okay, with that out of the way, the sub story about the Dominion declaring peace. Do you really believe that the Dominion wants peace? No? Good. You are officially smarter than a large part of Starfleet at the moment because they shouldn’t buy it either. Yes, I am sure it is a matter of ‘we have to explore every option of a peaceful resolution’ but seriously, these guys can’t be trusted.
All in all, this was a ‘fun’ episode but boy was it ever so messy. I can’t say it was bad per say but it was certainly not one of the best when you peel back the edges. Bashir did get a chance to grow a little and this was the first time he really embraces his mutant abilities. So, bottom line, Poorly written story, great character development, interesting moments. That is about it.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- We hear the Vorta language without a translator for the first time in the series and who better to present it to us than Jeffery Combs himself as Weyoun!
- The Group returns in Chrysalis
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Late To The Game 2/12/2022 (Originally published 12/25/2019)
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