**** (4 stars out of 5)
Not so reliable today.
Jadzia Dax doesn't seem to know who she is yet. Last episode: steamed veggies and celibacy, today: pudding and flirtation. Dax has the best excuse for character tweaks- she's probably still integrating her Trill symbiont.
Quark is much less dour, too, and I bet his excuse is also a good one- Bajorans are probably better customers when they aren't under martial law.
Impatient for his own eats, Quark steals from the fixed replicators on the command level. Which, unfortunately, were full of plague.
O'Brien and Dax have contracted a virus that re-routes their brains, producing more gibberish per minute than a Star Trek review blog.
Odo and Quark's antagonistic relationship is off and running nicely. As Odo proves while disparaging Quark's brother:
"You said Rom fixed your replicators."
"Rom's an idiot. He couldn't fix a straw if it was bent."
The aphasia plague is getting past the replicator bio-filters, but soon it doesn't matter because it mutated and got airborne.
As the crew drop like flies, Odo and Quark are left to run Operations. They manage to foil a panicked space trucker who breaks quarantine and starts a launch pad fire with a botched take-off.
Kira finds the culprit, a device built by a genius Bajoran and meant to be used 18 years ago on the Cardassians as the station was being built. Who has since passed on.
Kira kidnaps the dead guy's lab assistant, Surmak Ren (named for the cartoon chihuahua) and forces him to invent a cure. By breathing the plague into his face. Nice one! SPACE MADNESS!
"Babel" is like 'Journey To Babel' except it's got no journey. The strength and weakness of station DS9 it that it's stationary. Nobody likes anybody, but they're not going anywhere so they're gonna have to live with it. (This is also an uncomfortable episode title for a program that needs to prove it isn't Babel-on-Five.)