elim garak: my poor naive jube jube, you believe so absolutely in federation principles…it’s positively pathetic. be more cynical – like me!

also elim garak: i sacrificed my life to misery and discontent because the cardassian state, which can’t even hold onto its unethically occupied territories without overextending itself is the most perfect entity in all of existence 

y’know, part of what’s so interesting about the Bashir/Garak dynamic is that they’re so different and yet also kind of…the same?  Both intelligent, both outgoing, both love stories…and both deeply products of their environments.  

It becomes increasingly clear that Garak is just as idealistic as Bashir, it’s just that his ideals are different–that he’s internalized the ideals of Cardassia as much as Bashir has internalized the ideals of the federation.  They also both over the course of the show have to redefine for themselves what that idealism means–whether they are going to be loyal to the institution itself, or to the ideals that institution was meant to represent.  And they both come down on the side of idealism, for the most part.  Garak retains a certain cynicism, while Bashir has to learn his, but the parallel remains.

Add in what we learn about their complex relationships with fathers that had a very deliberate hand in shaping them, and it’s almost like we’re looking at the same basic person being shaped by different circumstances and cultures.  Which is part of what’s so fascinating–they sit across from each other, and it’s like looking at the distorted mirror image.  I almost wonder if that’s part of what draws them to each other, over and over again.  Despite their obvious differences, the can’t help but recognize something in each other.         

“Despite their obvious differences, they can’t help but recognize something in each other.“