the story: Bashir's last confrontation with Sloan.
what it's all about: I've always had a difficult relationship with "Extreme Measures." For one, it's an abruptly episodic episode in the midst of the final ten-hour arc of the series, which is ironic, because I think the arc could've used more distinctive individual material in the arc. But not like this. Especially after such a brilliant Sloan episode just before the arc, "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges," "Measures" could almost do nothing short but fail.
Of course, it's also the final Bashir/O'Brien episode, and that's as tall an order as any. Of all the bonds in the series, the one between Bashir and O'Brien was the best, one that took time to develop, but had been essential to both of them, hitting its peak in a drunken sing-along during the third season's "Explorers." They end "Measures" having shared a more embarrassing moment, having to acknowledge how important they are to each other, and it's more awkward than heartwarming, which is an odd note to end things on.
Sloan's quick suicide means they have to use technobabble to get inside his head, but there's not much interesting going on there except a few feeble mind games. It would've been nice, in hindsight, if he'd done something about the Alamo, which was used as a portent in the final episodes in the form of a model Bashir and O'Brien had. At least then one of them could've played Jim Bowie, the dying defender who still put up a fight.
Anyway, it just feels like anticlimax, and that's not really want you want to see in one of the final episodes.
franchise- General fans had a far, far better Sloan episode a few episodes earlier to savor.
- series - Technically this experience provides the cure to the illness plaguing Odo and the Founders, which becomes important in the final episode.
- character - Technically the final Bashir/O'Brien episode, and Sloan's final fate.
essential- ...Not essential.
William Sadler (Sloan)
Andrew Robinson (Garak)