Episode 1.16: If Wishes Were Horses

This episode finds itself near the bottom of my list.  I don’t find it objectively bad like The Passenger (Ep. 1.9), but I don’t find the story compelling nor do I see any substantive character development.  Nevertheless, I scribbled a few thoughts down, so it might be worth fleshing them out.

Of all the crew, Bashir becomes the most exposed due to the presence of these aliens.  His fantasy reforms Jadzia into his ‘ideal’ lover.  Instead of the confident, intelligent, strong woman Jadzia truly is, the faux-Dax is meek, submissive, and entirely dependent on Bashir.  Bashir finds himself constantly apologizing to Jadzia for his faux-Dax.  But Jadzia makes a keen observation.  It is Bashir who is truly violated, not herself.  Everyone around Bashir is able to look into his most closely guarded secrets.  Our fantasies are precious, personal, and private.  And as Bashir demonstrates, our fantasies do not represent our true desires.  Even in the physical presence of his faux-Dax, Bashir pursues Jadzia and is primarily concerned with Jadzia’s reactions, not faux-Dax’s.  His fantasy girl didn’t live up to reality. Fantasies are absolutely crucial to our collective existence and our personal sanity, but when our fantasies start to reform individual souls, they never are good enough.  ‘Ideal’ simply isn’t a proper descriptor.

A thought I’ve heard repeatedly in psychology conversations is that our true nature is what is underneath in our subconscious.  I find this inadequate.  Our subconscious is part of our personality, but it is not the sum total.  The claim is that our outer selves project this constant facade shielding society from our true nature.  This is a recurring theme in modernist thought, that the driving force for a situation can be boiled down to a single condition or small set.  Instead, I find our outer selves represent our conscious choices to be who we want to be.  Bashir may unconsciously desire faux-Dax, but he consciously desires Jadzia.  Thus what we would consider Bashir’s true nature is an amalgam of his outer actions and inner desires (and history and talents, etc…).  The face Bashir shows is not something he constructs; it is part of who he is because he wants to be that person.  The reality of any social situation reveals a complicated tapestry of a lot of factors.

There’s some snippets of other characters as well.  Odo and Quark go a few rounds at the beginning.  Quark tries to get Odo to loosen up by pushing Odo’s boundaries of decency (‘intermingling changelings’).  Quark also absolutely loves himself.  He loves what he loves and will revel in it.  And we clearly see his hierarchy: profit > women. Sisko takes a larger role in this episode after many where he’s been in the back seat.  He shows his love for baseball, and the bond baseball creates between him and Jake.  Why doesn’t everyone love baseball?  Seriously, it’s so fun.

Random Thoughts:  1) Bashir officially got the friend treatment from Jadzia.  She acts a bit aloof about it, in my opinion.  2) Nice crack at baseball, “What foreign tongue do they speak?”

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~ by Joshua Black on September 21, 2012.

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