Sunday, January 13, 2013

Statistical Probabilities

**** (4 stars out of 5)
Starfleet therapist Dr. Loews separated four rare problem mental cases from 'The Institute'. Jack be very nimble indeed, with a double-helping of high-speed blurting and paranoia. Lauren be horny, very possibly an actual Hall-and-Oates-style Maneater. Patrick be childlike and bipolar. Sarina be pale and silent. It's like 'The Big Bang Theory' vs. 1989's comedy 'The Dream Team', only without the joie de vivre.

Loews hoped Bashir might find common ground with them, as a fellow genetically engineered "mutant". Seemingly, it isn't just that Voyager is pressed for living space with Seven of Nine: the mentally ill really DO live in cargo bays now. Way to go Federation! Is the only improvement in nuthatches since the 18th century that the inmates are no longer regularly beaten for the amusement of a paying audience?

Anyway, in seconds of listening to Damar speechify, the marginalized freaks have gleaned his history as the pretender to the Cardassian throne who killed the princess.

Bashir engages the geeks in studying holographic war records. Jack learns Dominion-ese in a morning. Patrick follows their body language to divine their desire to acquire the Kabrel system. Sarina draws the chemical formula for turning Kabrel fungus into part of Ketracel White. Christopher Lloyd is a patient who thinks he's a psychologist!

Sisko takes the stochastic predictions to Starfleet Command. SFC likes their ideas so much they agree to have them consult on classified battle readiness. The results are not encouraging: There is, statistically, no way to win the war. If they fight- 900 Billion Federation casualties. If they surrender- a mere five generations of Dominion rule and eventually a better, thousand-year Federation. Also potato chips will be 20% less fattening.

Bashir pushes for surrender to save more lives, but Sisko and O'Brien won't hear it. Not willing to leave it up to them, Jack attempts to leak the battle plans. The Alpha Quadrant would fall in a few weeks with 2 billion dead instead of almost everybody. Plus there'll be time left to go count Tongo cards in a Ferenginar casino!

I really like "Statistical Probabilities", especially Jack. Violent, twitchy, treasonous Jack. He's so well-meaning! Of course, his good intentions would have gotten everyone killed, but they probably should have thought of that before they made him.

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