The Great Star Trek DS9 Rewatch: Armageddon Game

With the T’Lani and the Kellerun recently having declared peace, O’Brien and Bashir are sent to help them destroy their stock of biological weapons. Just as they are about to complete their mission, they are attacked and forced to flee to the planet below. But when Sisko is informed that they both died, is there any guarantee that they will ever be rescued?

This is another episode that feels like it could well have stolen a plot from the unused story pile of TNG, with the only thing particularly marking out as a DS9 episode being the ‘bromance’ between Bashir and O’Brien. Following on from Rivals, the two are still a veritable double act, arguing and bantering with the best of them. Unfortunately, they spend far too much time in an awkward discussion about women, but overall this is a tolerable episode. As a teen, I even loved that the plot turned on the point that O’Brien never drinks coffee in the afternoon, only to discover at the end that in fact he does. These days, it feels like an uncomfortably flimsy way to reveal that Bashir and O’Brien may still be alive, when they so easily could have both died.

Bromance

  • Bashir claims that career officers often choose not to marry because they don’t want the wife and kids worrying about them whilst they do into danger. Obviously no one wants their partner to be risking their life, but can we stop with the “wife and kids safe back home” trope? Women serve in Starfleet too, after all – and that’s before getting into the whole heteronormativity of the situation. We’ve even seen our fair share of Starfleet couples, and whilst some of them haven’t lasted long, others have – take Geordi’s parents, for example.
  • I can understand why the T’Lani and Kellerun might want to erase all knowledge of such horrible weapons, but it only really works if they live in a closed system with no contact with alien races. There are plenty of aliens they could buy equally horrible biological weapons from should the war break out afresh. Also, I object to the deletion on knowledge in principle – classify it and restrict its readership, to be sure, but who’s to say that the principles behind the Harvester technology might not also be used for amazing medical advances?
  • For once on DS9, the characters get to fly off and not worry about the consequences of their actions. We never see the fallout from this episode, with lengthy negotiations between the Federation and the T’Lani/Kellerun governments.
  • Dax says she cares deeply about Bashir – I hope she just means as a friend, or his constant stalking and inappropriate behaviour might be construed as just what women like. I’ll say this a lot, but constantly pestering us in an effort to wear us down isn’t the way to a woman’s heart.
  • Bashir lent Dax his personal medical school diaries, which seems a bit odd to me.#
  • Before graduating from Starfleet Medical and leaving Earth, Bashir was in a serious relationship with a ballerina. Like Picard, he chose Starfleet over a serious relationship.

Summary – Armageddon Game: It’s the return of the Bashir and O’Brien comedy duo.

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