143. Babel (1.05)

Synopsis: A virus infects the station’s residents, making almost everyone unable to speak coherently.

Memory Alpha SummaryAt least this virus doesn’t take away sense of smell or taste.

Review: A preliminary to the O’Brien Must Suffer campaign, we see him overworked until he accidentally sets off a booby trap virus that gives him aphasia and puts the entire station at risk of death. Other than some good screen time for O’Brien, there is virtually nothing worthwhile here. 

Similar to The Naked Now and several other TNG episodes where a virus of some sorts threatens to kill the entire crew unless an antidote can be found at the last possible second. The only unique thing about this episode is that it isn’t the doctor who winds up saving the day, but Major Kira as she manipulates a former Bajoran Underground member into helping them by infecting him as well. 

As it stands, the episode is probably twenty minutes longer than it needs to be, as a significant part is just watching the crew stand around either blindly guessing as to the problem, or mumbling incoherent speech as they become infected. 

The one thing I appreciate about the episode is that it highlights the fact that the Federation is on a Cardassian space station, and that O’Brien must learn what is essentially an alien technology on the fly.

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