Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Armageddon Game   Rewatch 
August 14, 2015 12:19 PM - Season 2, Episode 13 - Subscribe

Unaware they are being used as pawns, Bashir and O'Brien attempt to eliminate a biomechanical weapon used for centuries by two warring societies.

Rule of Acquisition
#57: "Good customers are as rare as latinum. Treasure them"

Notes
* Writer Morgan Gendel's original pitch for this episode involved a Federation team going to an alien civilization and demanding that they destroy their biogenic weaponry. However, the alien race encode the weapon into O'Brien's DNA, meaning that if the Federation want to destroy the weapon, they must kill O'Brien.
Michael Piller changed Gendel's original idea to the plot now seen in the finished episode (i.e . the aliens try to kill O'Brien and Bashir; O'Brien accidentally gets infected; he and Bashir escape; the aliens set out to kill them), and Gendel composed a new teleplay with instructions from Piller to make it like a 'chase movie'.
Gendel wrote his new script based upon this generic type, indeed, he even watched the films Midnight Run and North by Northwest. However, as pre-production got underway, it quickly became apparent that his script, including as it did a number of new ships, several completely new locations, and several exteriors, was financially impossible. As such, the chase aspect of the episode was removed altogether, and, as Ira Steven Behr jokes, "It became a chase movie on one set."

* This episode is generally seen as the beginning of the O'Brien/Bashir relationship which would become so important over the next few years. According to Alexander Siddig, "That was our first real 'We're stuck together. Nothing we can do about it.' And that's the crux of the relationship. It's as if these two love to hate each other, and they always seem to be stuck together, and although they voluntary walked into the bar together. But nevertheless, it's 'What am I doing stuck here with you?' 'I don't know.' I guess people have friends like that. And this is where that started off."

* Episode was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Hairstyling for a Series.
posted by zarq (10 comments total)
 
This is one of those episodes where you sort of wish the Federation engaged in punitive bombing every once in a while.



"Why, this is a nice regional capital...oops, looks our scanners detected traces of harvesters. We're going to have to bombard the city with theta radiation and then...um...blow it up. You might want to evacuate."

Or, you know- a Starfleet taskforce comes out of warp: "Hey, so you guys made peace, right? That means you totally won't be needing this shiny new fleet, either- we're going to help you dismantle it as well."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:53 PM on August 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


I was amused at the idea of a dancer with beautiful feet -- it's my understanding that professional dancers' feet get extremely gnarly. I mean, I guess with Starfleet sci-fi level medical technology that wouldn't be such an oxymoron, but all I could think was "how good of a dancer could she have been, really, if her feet were still pretty?"

I'm not generally a fan of the "incorrectly-presumed-dead" tv-trope. It's especially annoying when they're written to give the audience as little information as the mourning characters, like we're really meant to believe that they just up and killed off the star of the show, and you have to sit through interminable scenes of actors doing "oh no, how shall we go on without them?" scenes before we get the reveal of what actually happened to Not-Really-Dead person. This one wasn't egregious in that way, at least.

This episode is generally seen as the beginning of the O'Brien/Bashir relationship which would become so important over the next few years.

I am really hoping that ship sails for me, not really seeing the appeal yet.
posted by oh yeah! at 6:07 PM on August 14, 2015


This episode is kind of a mess.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:13 PM on August 14, 2015


I am really hoping that ship sails for me, not really seeing the appeal yet.

If you don't eventual grow to love the bickering rapport between these two, you have a heart of stone.

According to the Memory Alpha write-up, originally this was going to be Bashir and Dax. That could've spun the whole series in a different direction. It could have been yet another episode where Bashir pursued Dax, which wouldn't have gotten us anywhere, or perhaps it would have been the episode where they ended up falling for each other. Maybe the Bashir and O'Brien friendship wouldn't have bloomed the way it did, without this episode. We could have ended up with a show where Bashir and Dax were in love, and Bashir and O'Brien never became real pals! That would have been a major shift from what we got, and I think it would have been a weaker show for it.

(SPOILER:) I've always enjoyed the gag at the end, where Keiko was wrong about O'Brien and the coffee. It's so random, and it totally upends your expectations about how drama works. Keiko was so certain and self-righteous, the whole damn episode turned on this coffee thing... but nope, she was wrong!
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:28 AM on August 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


If you don't eventual grow to love the bickering rapport between these two, you have a heart of stone.

So, it's like the SGA McKay/Shepard (or McKay/Beckett) dynamic? Those were fun.
posted by oh yeah! at 9:25 AM on August 15, 2015


This is one of those episodes where you sort of wish the Federation engaged in punitive bombing every once in a while.


And 90% of those episodes seem to involve aliens kidnapping/torturing/attempting to kill O'Brien. It's like "Do something awful to O'Brien" was on some intergalactic Buzzfeed listicle titled "23 things every alien civilization should do before it collapses."
posted by creepygirl at 7:53 AM on August 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


Does O'brien go through more traumatic experiences than the average Star Fleet officer? Thinking about the series as a whole it sure seems that way.
posted by pseudodionysus at 6:47 PM on August 16, 2015


O'brien must suffer!
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:28 AM on August 17, 2015


I liked this episode for the Bashir and O'Brien stuff. The thing that got me was surely the data about the harvesters could be on some sort of galactic internet?
posted by marienbad at 4:10 PM on October 18, 2015


Hello again from three years in the future. This one was frustratingly hot and cold, with the O'Brien/Bashir scenes working well, the Keiko/Sisko investigation working great, and the aliens' reasons for their actions being dumber than a pile of bricks. But I also loved the Keiko bit at the end, which wasn't just funny, but also suggested that she just needed something, anything, to hang her faith on, and since Sisko didn't send her out of the room as a hallucinating grieving widow but rather just chose to respect and believe her, the boys were saved. Her being wrong all-along about the coffee just also felt, well, very lived-in. I loved that bit.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:01 PM on August 28, 2018 [3 favorites]


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