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JLB8
Fri, Sep 18, 2015, 8:12am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Armageddon Game

The episode suffers from several contrived plot items:

1.
It's not believable that two advanced races need outside help to just destroy some bioweapons. It's even less believable that Bashir and O'Brien are sent. An organization like the Federation has special people for that, they don't just sent stationed personnel from some station.
As civilization progresses, people need to specialize further and further, yet O'Brien is both a software and hardware genius, while Bashir seems to be an accomplished researcher in addition to being DS9's only real physician.

2.
The deadliness of the virus seems implausible. It took a couple of days to kill O'Brien, it took more than one day to actually incapacitate him. And Bashir could cure it within hours. Clearly, the 24th century has more advanced and deadly weapons than this, so why try to kill anybody with knowledge of it.
It's like us killing anybody with knowledge of how to create Sarin.
Also, there is no way to be sure that no copies of such knowledge exist anywhere. Networked computers, physical backups. It's basically IMPOSSIBLE to put the genie back into the bottle.

3.
The assumption that if the aliens interfere with the runabout's communication, it must interfere with their short range sensors. They would probably have, just for backup and such in a situation like this, optical sensors.
And if the runabout's short range sensor's are useless, how do they beam to the other runabout? Clearly you must be able to direct the transporter beam somewhere.

4.
The forged surveillance video has an Earth-like timecode, a.k.a. 15:38 was afternoon. And it has a spectral analysis attached. Sure.
But I really like the gag at the end, the sort of lamp-shading of the ridiculousness of the "Miles doesn't drink coffee late in the day" - "Okay then, let's go!"

---

Still, despite all it's flaws, I like the episode.
It's just that it would have been able to execute without all this nonsense.

There's a number of dilemmas induced by the setup:
- the impossible purging of dangerous knowledge
- the burden of creating doomsday devices and then having to get rid of them
- the destruction said devices bring upon a civilization - was completely ignored
- the risking of interplanetary warfare by killing outsiders for internal reasons

Not of them were explored.
The episode is basically just Bashir and O'Brien bonding in a dangerous situation.

My suspicion is that the writers had the idea for a grant, true Sci-Fi story about the dilemmas I mentioned, but couldn't make an episode about. So they decided to just recycle the idea as a cheap setup for a Locked In A Room kind of episode.
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