The whole "Julian Bashir is a Changeling!" thing is ALL MANNER OF NUTS, guys, and there are all manner of questions left unanswered -- most importantly when he was replaced episode-wise. We know it was a few months (3 months, if I remember correctly), and we know it had to have been before "Rapture," because when the real Julian is found in the Gamma Quadrant, he's wearing the pre-"Rapture" uniform.
What that means, right off the bat:
1) Julian missed Kirayoshi O'Brien being born! I thought the changeling delivered the baby, which was even more !!!!!, but I just rewatched that episode and it was Random Bajoran Midwife all the way. I still feel like Miles and Kira should be the MOST freaked out by the changeling-replacement thing, though, because he was so involved with the baby's care.
2) The changeling let a baby changeling die in "The Begotten." I think it's possible that the baby changeling was beyond help, but I'm surprised that the Never Harm Another instinct didn't kick in and send the Bashir Changeling hightailing it back to the Great Link with baby!changeling in tow to try and save it.
3) Speaking of "Begotten," I realized that the Bashir Changeling manages to hide his distaste for Odo... kind of totally. Not only that, but he doesn't do anything in reaction to Odo turning back into a changeling. What could he do, I guess?
But that's just IF he was captured right before "Rapture." I mean, can we assume that Julian was still Julian in "Let He Who Is Without Sin..."? Because otherwise that changeling got laid a lot, and Julian doesn't know that Leeta broke up with him, which would be seriously awkward and crazy. And what if he's been a changling since the beginning of the season!? He wouldn't even know Dax and Worf are together until Worf shows up on the Dominion prison and tells him.
Please, opine on this! It's important fanfic-related informations.
List of the episodes around what I'm talking about in case you don't know episode titles and/or want a timeline:
- "Body Parts" - Kira is impregnated with Keiko/Miles' baby. We know she carries it for 5 months.
- "Broken Link" - Season 4 finale. Odo is turned into a solid.
- (...time passes during which Klingons attack Arkanis a lot...)
- "Apocalypse Rising" - Season 5 premiere. Sisko, Odo, Miles & Worf go try to kill Gowron.
- "The Ship" - Sisko & co. find a crashed Jem'Hadar ship. Julian spends the episode under arrest for importing flea spiders.
- "Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places" - Jadzia and Worf hook up. This is around a month before "The Begotten," since Kira says her due date is at least that far away.
- "... Nor the Battle to the Strong" - Julian & Jake help out at a hospital when Klingons invade. Julian is genuinely distraught when he thinks Jake is missing/killed.
- "The Assignment" - Keiko = Pagh Wraith, omg.
- "Trials and Tribble-ations" - Time-travel!!! I'd cry if Julian missed this joy.
- "Let He Who Is Without Sin..." - Julian, Leeta, Dax, Worf & Quark go to Risa. Julian & Leeta break up.
- "Things Past" - Odo brain-links with Sisko, Garak & Dax. Julian... stands around not being able to help them.
- "The Ascent" - Odo & Quark episode.
- "Rapture" - New uniforms, so Bashir is definitely a changeling now! Sisko = THE EMISSARY LIEK WHOA! Bajor is accepted to the Federation, but The Sisko tells them not to accept! Changeling!Julian does some surgery. Sisko's ability to see the future and Know Everything About Everyone does not extend to noticing Julian is a changeling.
- "The Darkness and The Light" - Crazy Cardassian kills all of Kira's Bajoran friends. Changeling!Julian does some more surgery. At least three weeks take place between this and the next episode, presumably, since that's how long Kira said she had to carry the baby before Julian would allow her to go into labor. This is a little wierd, since timeline-wise that means that the past 7 episodes have happened in just a few weeks. So we can just say that Julian's initial due date estimate was wrong, and more time has passed.
- "The Begotten" - Kira has a baby. Changeling baby shows up all sick-like. Changeling!Julian lets Odo play house with it, then fails to save it when its morphogenic matrix destabilizes. Baby!changeling is absorbed into Odo's body, making Odo a changeling again. Changeling!Julian doesn't care.
- "For the Uniform" -
It's an episode about holofilter viewscreens.Eddington! Sisko! Victor Hugo! Changeling!Julian doesn't do much.
- "In Purgatory's Shadow" - the audience finds out that Julian is a changeling. No one else does until...
- "By Inferno's Light" - Changeling!Julian steals runabout and tries to blow up the Bajoran sun! And then dies. Regular!Julian returns to find that he missed a bunch of stuff.
Because people like polls:
Julian was replaced by a changling...
Right before "Rapture," so he misses as little as possible.
Before "The Ascent" -- he would have had time to go to that conference where he was captured, since he wasn't doing much.
Before "Things Past" -- the changeling was the one to identify the "brain-link" between Odo & the others.
Before "Let He Who Is Without Sin..." -- the changeling broke up with Leeta.
Before "Trials & Tribble-ations" -- Julian missed the joy!
Before "The Assignment" .... why not?
Before "Nor the Battle to the Strong" -- Julian was at a medical conference, but Jake was with him. Conceivably, he and Jake could have arrived at the conference separately. In that case, Jake was doing an article on Changeling!Bashir!
Before "Looking for par'Mach" -- Julian doesn't even know Dax is taken!
At the beginning of the season -- the changling took over ASAP after "Broken Link."
Not really any of the above -- the writers probably didn't even know Julian was going to be a changeling until "In Purgatory's Shadow," and so none of this was planned out.
My "omg! a poll!!1!"-ness is weakened by your INSANE and SAD geekery.
OTHER THINGS I NEED to complete the madness: 1) A Deep Space Nine layout/header/something. How cool would it be to have a layout that look like DS9's bizarre Cardassian layouts? I THOUGHT SO. 2) Deep Space Nine moodtheme. 3) ALL MY ICONS to be replaced with DS9 ones. 4) To mainline the rest of Season 5! 5) NEW BRAIN DRUGS so that I can write fic instead of silly posts like this!