FORMULA: Pinstriped + Vegan Anarchy + Freed Oreo Levels x Petitioner
WHY WE LIKE IT: The oddly beautiful nonsense. O'Brien vs. the station.
WHY WE DON'T: Whenever a character takes a sip from a cup, it looks like they're faking. My Special Edition would CGI major spit takes into this episode.
REVIEW: Another A-plot you might find on TNG (except they would never have given so much to do to the doctor three episodes in a row, nyuck nyuck), but it's at least tied to the Bajoran/Cardassian relationship. Seems like a booby-trapped replicator gives O'Brien an aphasia virus which, thanks to Quark's misuse of station property, gets transmitted to the entire population. Hilarity ensues.
I'm not really being facetious - there's a lot of humor here, especially in the early scenes with O'Brien fighting against an ever-malfunctioning station, and it's great fun to see him so on edge. Once the aphasia hits, Colm Meaney is probably the best at delivering the exquisite corpses produced ("Way link!!"). Others stumble and hesitate as if they realized they couldn't find the words, but it works much better when spoken fluidly. One great reveal is when Bashir looks up at the computer, and it's a free verse poem, and he knows.
The climax revolves around Kira kidnapping the virus designer's former assistant, infecting him and forcing him to find the antidote. It's well played, and I love it when these characters do what must be done, the rules be damned. However, it seems like Surmak Ren finds the answer a bit too quickly. Did he know more than he intimated? Did Bashir loosen the jar? They probably should just have skipped the stuff about the designer being dead and kidnapped him instead. It wouldn't have changed the plot much at all, and would have made a little more sense in the story's structure.
I guess I forgot to mention the stuff with Captain Jaheel trying to escape the station's quarantine. Very easy to do, though the effects are fun to look at. He's just the annoying moron who can't see reason. Dull. More interesting, once again, are the character moments. Dax liking the attention she gets as a female, probably leading to some character changes. The ethereal ice queen stuff isn't all that interesting, frankly. Odo and Quark are still dead on as well (they both enjoy torturing each other), though Rom still can't repair a bent straw, so he's no yet himself.
LESSON: Just because you're back from sick leave doesn't mean we're gonna make it easy on you.
REWATCHABILITY - Medium: A TNG-like science plot at least enjoys some originality and flair, and the characters are still developping nicely.