Seven Swans a Swimming wrote:
Ooh, Harvesters popped up in Elite Force II!!!1! Well, not these
Harvesters. But it was a decent enough game!
I preferred Elite Force 1, which is weird considering I'm a Voyager semi-hater. Other than that mission on the abandoned Excelsior class, I barely even remember that game.
is an episode that's aided by the fact that Star Trek has done a number stories about conspiracies or personality-altering infections in the past, because that makes you think you know what's going on and that O'Brien will save the day with some sort of psionic wave pulse, or whatever bullshit science usually saves the day. Well I did the first time I saw the episode at any rate. I didn't cop on to the fact that O'Brien wasn't O'Brien until I was told so by the episode, which didn't just provide a shocking twist at the end, it made the whole episode into a series escalating twists. At first I thought that Keiko was possessed by some sinister alien (which she later would be). Then it seemed like Sisko might be involved, leading me to suspect an affair for a little while. Then Kira seems to be involved. Then O'Brien's own staff. Then Odo. Then Jake. By the time that it was revealed that an admiral was involved, I began to lose faith in the magical ability of the psionic wave pulse to solve all problems and figured that the episode either didn't know what it was doing or was heading for a two-parter. So the fact that the O'Brien I had been watching for the last hour was actually a replicant, and the "bad guy" of the story at that, took me completely by surprise.
Even knowing the twist, the episode is still enjoyable. The progression of O'Brien's state of mind from confusion to paranoia to seemingly-justified fear was well handled, and it's helped greatly by the fact that O'Brien is the most normal, and arguably the most likeable person in the cast. Watching someone unravel a conspiracy is always a fun experience, especially one that is as far-reaching as this one appears. The idea that these aliens could create a perfect replica of a human being, including all his memories, is a little hard to swallow, but the rest of the episode acts as the sugar that helps it go down. (I'm fighting the instinct to do a bj joke right now.) Sadly, the final scene is rushed and is very heavy on exposition, which undermines the tragic ending a little. But it doesn't hurt the episode too badly and it remains one of my favourite episodes of the first two seasons.