I love this episode, it’s so funny. I’m not sure if it was meant to be humorous, but O’Brien and the others’ confusion of language tickles my funny bone. Perhaps I have a ‘warped’ sense of humour, I don’t know. Obviously the sudden aphasia is distressing to the speakers affected by it and to the people they are speaking to, who can’t understand it. But the dialog is just funny.
O’BRIEN: Major, larks true pepper.
O’BRIEN: Let birds go further loose maybe. Shout easy play.
KIRA: Chief, you’re not making any sense.
O’BRIEN: Round the turbulent quick. Well, close the reverse harbour. Ankle try sound. Reset gleaming. Dinner to bug.
KIRA: Chief, wait.
Other than the obvious illness and epidemic (and perhaps biological warfare) there are no major themes in this episode really, although Kira’s kidnapping of Surmak Ren, exposing him to the aphasia virus was a huge breach of ethics. Luckily he is able to miraculously remember the formula and cook up an antidote in double-quick time, but if such a thing were to happen in real life, Kira would have gone to prison for sure.
But what of the aphasia virus itself, as a metaphor? It makes me think of gossip actually – the way one person starts something, perhaps a half-truth or a truth they have no business to share, and all of a sudden it spreads like feathers in the wind with no hope of possible containment, the original creator having no thought of the possible consequences or results of their indiscretion. If only there were an easy remedy. I really hate gossip. I’ve been on the receiving end of it a few times, and I have also once fallen into the trap of doing Dekon Elig*’s dirty work for him, spreading a half-truth that came back to bite me. Dekon himself by that stage was well out of harm’s way. I have never made the same mistake again, and won’t do in a hurry.
The other thing that is lovely about this episode is the touching scene between Jake and Sisko, when Jake becomes aphasic too. I love that the relationship between the actors is so genuine as well – I know that Avery Brooks says that he counts Cirroc Lofton as one of his own children. You can see the tenderness in this scene.
Oh! One thing of note – Odo says that he is able to catch Quark in his lie about the replicators because he said that Rom fixed them, and Rom is an idiot. Of course, later on it is discovered that although Rom is quite useless when it comes to the things most highly prized by Ferengis, namely commerce, he is in fact a genius when it pertains to engineering. Just a clue there that the writers didn’t have it all planned out and were in fact making it up as they went along. A bit like my life really. 🙂
Anyway, time for a bit of music! I would like to introduce you to a band you may not know, Treacherous Orchestra. A lot of their tracks are wild and crazy (they’re a lot like Salsa Celtica if you know them). But I thought I would share this very gentle track as a background to Jake and Sisko’s tender moment. Enjoy!
* Dekon Elig, the original creator of the virus, along with Surmak Ren.