Oh my god, I think they’re actually role-playing again.
We’re gonna pay a quick visit to Babel, because I can’t really pass on the chance to make characters talk funny.
And I get the feeling the DS9 writers couldn’t either, is how this happened. But it ends up being an episode with like two minutes of funny dialogue peppered through a mostly sort of tedious mystery that doesn’t really do anything great with the “language virus” idea it introduces; we get mild character notes (O’Brien works harder than is good for him, Kira’s willing to be a bit ruthless to convince someone, the legacy of Bajoran resistance is complex, Bashir’s a smart doctor guy) and sort of plodding story with a rushed ending and no really surprising, tense problems brought on by the aphasia problem on the ship. (What if Bashir had been in mid-surgery when he’d gotten nonsensical? Etc.)
And one of my complaints there is that we don’t get to see any characters coping in an active, engaging way with their loss of verbal communication; when a character gets all babbly, they’re just done. Or at least the episode is done with them. There’s a weird failure of imagination there; Star Trek’s exactly the sort of show that loves to tackle things like how unjustified it is to lapse into casual ableism instead of crediting people for their resilience and adaptability, but we get basically none of that here.
Still, flame the dark true salt, so.