“Star Trek: DS9” – Season 1, Episode 4 (“Babel”)

Those of you fed up w/ quarantine life, coronavirus updates, and related topics may want to skip this one- LOL! This is the first time that Ira Stephen Behr wrote a teleplay for the series. Naren Shankar (who has a science background and started out as an intern on TNG) contributed to the story. The title is based on the biblical story of the The Tower of Babel in Genesis. Man wanted to be closer to God, so built this high tower. God was angered, destroyed the tower, and punished the men by making them speak many different languages (babbling), thus beginning the various nations and cultures.

The ep starts off comedic, then gets serious, building tension from scene to scene. Chief O’Brien is very busy as systems (built by the Cardassians) all over DS9 are failing. He has to free people stuck in an airlock and Dax wants him to repair a malfunction in the science lab. O’Brien must also repair the navigational computer for Kira, but Sisko can’t get good coffee, so wants the Ops replicator fixed ASAP. All of a sudden, he becomes aphasic- the words coming out of his mouth don’t make sense. Bashir has no clue what happened, as nothing is physically wrong w/ O’Brien. The crew works to find a cure before the entire station is effected. Eventually, Dax also turns aphasic during a meeting in Ops. People all over the station start displaying the symptoms- it’s an epidemic!

[1] Pretty unnerving though how relevant this still is in 2020.

[2] The O’Brien scenes at the start are great. I love his sarcastic comments, and Colm Meaney is such a great actor (with an awesome accent)…

[3] Some unusual partnerships are forged. Never question the strength of the Ferengi immune system.

-Excerpts from IMDB reviews

The frenemy relationship between Odo and Quark is explored further; we get moments of humor. When Odo discovers Quark accessing crew quarters illegally to make use of a replicator, Quark says: “Never ask when you can take.” This is the first example of a collection of Ferengi sayings which will later be called The Rules of Acquisition. Quark takes on responsibility when the command officers have been affected by the virus. To add to the excitement, a ship tries to break quarantine which threatens to cause an explosion (since it’s clamped to the station when the engines power up).

Odo: I need to get to Docking Port V now. That ship’s gonna explode in five minutes!

Quark: I’ll beam you over.

Odo: You?

Quark: Relax. I served on a Ferengi freighter for eight years.

Odo: All right.

[He rushes onto the transporter pad.]

Quark: I must have witnessed the procedure hundreds of times!

Odo: Witnessed? You mean to say you never handled the controls yourself?

Quark: Energizing!

[Waves Odo goodbye as he beams him away.]

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