The Cynics Corner

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"Statistical Probabilities"

by David E. Sluss

6 December 1997

 
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THE BOTTOM LINE
: The lunatics take over the asylum, both in the episode, and, apparently, at the story meetings which gave birth to the episode.

CYNICS CORNER RATING: 5.5 (F+)

EUNUCH OF THE WEEK: That would have to be poor Dumb-ar. As predicted, he hasn't the stones to stand up to Dolly the Vorta and the Dominion, and serves as nothing more than their mouthpiece. Snip, snip.

ROSE-TINTED GLASSES OF THE WEEK: Those worn by the senior staff during their discussion early in the show about the treatment of genetically-enhanced beings. Sisko: Locking them up "seemed like a good idea" at the time. O'Brien: "We just want to restrict what they can do." No one seems to question or notice how dubious the actions of the high-minded Federation are in this regard. Here is a group of people who have apparently been confined in a mental hospital for nearly all their lives. For what reason? They all exhibited some rather odd behavior, but, with the exception of Jack, who seemed prone to violence, none of them seemed to require confinement. Why doesn't anyone's "evolved sensibility" lead them to question any of this?

STARFLEET UN-INTELLIGENCE OF THE WEEK: So this group of oddball nobodies churns out a pretty book report, and now Starfleet "Intelligence" is going to give them access to classified documents dealing with fleet strength and strategy -- during wartime, yet?! Jeez, no wonder the Federation is doomed to lose. In all honesty, when Bashir announced that these humps were going to have access to that stuff, I predicted the following ending: that SF Intelligence was way ahead of the mutants, having done their own statistical analyses, and concluding that the mutants would turn the documents over to the Dominion. They therefore provided the mutants with phony battle plans, hoping to trick the Dominion into strategizing based on bogus information. When the humps learn that they've been played, they come to realize that they aren't as far above the mundanes after all and go back to the funny farm after saying goodbye to Bashir with a salty tear in their collective eye. But, alas, the suckers at Starfleet really did give the real dope to these people. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I like my ending better.

DOMINION UN-INTELLIGENCE OF THE WEEK: Dolly the Vorta gets a vague message. He doesn't know who sent it. He doesn't know what information the person has, and yet he, the top Vorta in the Alpha Quadrant, and Dumb-ar, the leader of the Cardassian Empire, go alone to a shadowy cargo bay into what could be an ambush? I guess that's the Dominion equivalent of beaming all the senior officers down to a hostile planet.

BELATED CONTINUITY OF THE WEEK: The Ketracel White shortage finally gets something resembling a mention. How long has it been since the still was blown up in the season premiere, anyway? Good thing the Jem'Hadar all filled up their extra jugs with 'shine before that happened, I guess. I still await any reaction the Dominion has to what happened to their fleet in "Crap-rifice of Angels" (formerly known, in the Cynics Corner lexicon, as "Suck-rifice of Angels") They've gotta wonder what happened.

EMPATHS OF THE WEEK: The mutants. I can buy, up to a point, this "psychohistory" method of predicting the future, but how they were able to figure out the past by way of Dumb-ar's speech remains a mystery. But I think we've found a replacement or four for Deanna "My Powers Aren't Working Today" Troi. They look at some guy on a monitor and know everything about him and his motivations; she looks at somebody and half the time sees jack, and I don't mean Jack. Is empathy part of the "package deal" these mutants got, along with Corinthian leather seats?
   

Previous: "Resurrection"
Next Review: "Inquisition"
NEXT WEEK: "The Magnificent Ferengi" (not reviewed)

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This review is copyright 1997 David E. Sluss
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