(written from a Production point of view)
O'Brien and Bashir help to rid two races of their biological weapons, however both governments want to ensure no technical knowledge of the weapons can survive.
- "Chief medical officer's log, supplemental. Chief O'Brien and I are aboard a T'Lani cruiser, helping the T'Lani and the Kelleruns eliminate their stockpiles of Harvesters, deadly biomechanical gene disruptors used by both sides in their centuries-long war."
After trying for a week to identify the right frequency and combination of radiation used to destroy the Harvesters, test number 375 succeeds. Bashir and O'Brien are ecstatic, as well as the other doctors involved in their destruction. Ambassador Sharat is pleased, and grateful for their work but as he reminds them, that is only half the task. All data pertaining to them must also be destroyed, as well as the very large stockpile on each side.
Back at Deep Space 9, Commander Benjamin Sisko talks to the doctor on a monitor in his office, offering their congratulations. They are expected to be back the day after tomorrow, since there is a celebration planned on T'Lani Prime.
However, when they run the cycle on the final batch of cylinders, two Kellerun soldiers enter, and begin shooting. Bashir and O'Brien manage to disarm two of them, and get rid of all the soldiers, blowing out the genetic bath in the process. Unfortunately, all of the scientists were killed before they could react. When they cannot contact their runabout, the USS Ganges, for a beam out, O'Brien transports them to the surface and sets the system to overload thirty seconds after beam out.
Meanwhile, Sharat and Ambassador E'Tyshra arrive at the station to give their condolences. They explain that everyone in that room, including many of their greatest scientists, were killed when Chief O'Brien accidentally set off a hidden security device, and flooded the room with high-intensity radiation. Sisko doesn't believe it, but they show him the record of the internal security sensors, and ask him to extend their sincere sympathies to the families.
Down on the planet, Bashir and O'Brien find a bunker, and hide there with their assault rifles, while Bashir opens a crate of medical supplies. O'Brien still can't figure out why the Kellerun would break their treaty. Either way, the way he sees it, they have to stay put; sensors will detect them if they make it a kilometer. They also find a very old communications system, which O'Brien thinks he can get working – if Bashir will shut up and let him do his job.
Back on the station, the rest of the senior staff looks at the data clip. It shows things as they happened when the last cylinder was destroyed. But after that, O'Brien is baffled by a strange file which suddenly appears. He can't shut it down, when he tries cutting the power, a flash of radiation vaporizes them all. Odo wants to do his own investigation, Major Kira Nerys can't believe it, and Jadzia Dax tells Starfleet they need replacements for chief medical officer and chief of operations. Sisko also has to go tell Keiko O'Brien what happened to her husband.
While O'Brien is fixing the transmitter, Bashir teases him about his being married with all the T'Lani women who would be running around. Bashir says marriage isn't fair to them with the dangerous lives in Starfleet they lead. He suggested to O'Brien that his posting on DS9 had put strain on their marriage. O'Brien became agitated, prompting Bashir to stop talking. The chief, feeling cold, grabs a blanket, despite Bashir telling him that it feels quite warm. Bashir notices O'Brien's palor, and when he scans O'Brien with the medical tricorder, he finds that his blood pressure is low, and that he has a fever. O'Brien was near the genetic bath when it shattered, and he has been infected with the Harvesters. When O'Brien rolls up his right sleeve, there is a lesion that developed where the harvester compound came into contact with his skin.
When Sisko tells Keiko, he doesn't have to say much. She can read it all in his face. He agrees to give her a copy of the recording, and there isn't much else he can do. She tells Sisko she would like to be alone. Sisko tells Keiko to ask him for whatever she may need before he leaves.
When the chief's eyes get fuzzy, Bashir takes directions from him. His condition slowly worsens, almost falling asleep.
On the station, Kira and Dax talk about Bashir all night, and even Quark gives him a toast. The next day, Keiko comes up and asks to see Commander Sisko. She shows him, Kira, and Dax a part of the recording where O'Brien is drinking coffee. According to the time index, it is late in the afternoon, and she says he never drinks coffee in the afternoon, because it keeps him up all night. She is convinced the footage has been altered. Sisko isn't sure, but he joins Lieutenant Dax to get the Ganges a day early, just to see what's going on.
Bashir finds the problem: the contacts on the sub-processor are corroded. He cleans them with a sterile pad. It is getting harder and harder for O'Brien to stay awake. Bashir tells O'Brien about a ballet dancer he fell in love with, how they would finish each other's thoughts, and were crazy about each other. Her father even offered him a job in Paris that would lead to being chief of surgery within five years, but he didn't take it, because he couldn't have a Starfleet career. When he puts it back in the unit, they get power, but the transmitter still doesn't work. When O'Brien gets up to take a look at it, he falls right down again; he can't feel his legs.
As Sisko and Dax arrive to collect the runabout, Bashir gets the transmitter working, and sets it to send a distress signal. O'Brien then gives Bashir his answer: marriage is the greatest adventure of them all. Sisko also examines the station where the accident occurred, and asks E'Tyshra about the accident, including if Sharat could have (hypothetically) modified the data clip. She doesn't see any reason why he would; the lasting peace is because both sides trust each other.
That's when Dax makes a discovery: an erased log in the Ganges computer reveals that a transport request was made three minutes after the failsafe device supposedly went off, proving they were still alive at that time.
As O'Brien's condition continues to deteriorate, Bashir hears something outside. He grabs a rifle, and is surprised to find it is Ambassador E'Tyshra. When Bashir was about to explain that the Kellerun have broken the treaty, Ambassador Sharat walks through the door, and they are both on the same side. After taking his weapon, they explain to Bashir that part of their destruction of information is killing the people who know it. Otherwise, they could be recreated by them, a risk they refuse to live with.
As they are about to fire, Chief O'Brien suddenly tells them to wait, and has Bashir help him up so he can die "on his feet." As he is saying that it has been an honor serving with Bashir, they are beamed away.
Bashir explains the situation as quickly as he can to Sisko. When Sisko wants to send out a distress call, Dax says that there is a broad band inversion in place, wiping out communications and short range sensors. Using this, Sisko plans a deception.
After refusing to release O'Brien and Bashir to the T'Lani cruiser, Sisko puts the runabout on a collision course, forcing the conspirators to destroy it. When they are about to take the other runabout in tow, they find it is gone. All they can find is a Federation warp signature. They conclude Sisko beamed aboard the runabout and piloted the first by remote.
Back on the station Bashir and O'Brien are better friends, although O'Brien has to subtly nudge Bashir into giving him some privacy. Keiko is surprised when her husband informs her that he does in fact drink coffee in the afternoon, revealing that the grounds she had for believing the recording was fake (and thereby enabling his and Bashir's rescue) were entirely baseless and they're still alive through pure luck.
"I suppose another day won't kill me."
"That's the spirit."
- - O'Brien, wanting to return to Deep Space 9 and Bashir's response
"I hope this will be a lasting peace."
- - Nydrom, shortly before being murdered by Kellerun soldiers
"Women! That's all you ever think about."
"No it isn't… though I do think about them a lot."
- - Miles O'Brien and Julian Bashir
"To our dear departed comrades… we may have had our differences, but I'll say this for them – and it's the highest tribute I can think of – they were good customers. They always paid their bar bills on time."
"I'm not done yet. At times like this, I'm reminded of the 57th Rule of Acquisition. Good customers are as rare as latinum… treasure them."
- - Quark to Kira and Dax, about Julian Bashir and Miles O'Brien when they were presumed dead
"Let him speak."
"(To Bashir) "Help me… Help me up."
"(Staring at his executioners) I wanna die on my feet."
- - Miles O'Brien, to Bashir and E'Tyshra
"It was Hell… you can see for yourself, the man never stops talking."
- - Miles O'Brien, about Julian Bashir
"You know, I wouldn't mind a cup of coffee right now."
"Miles, you never drink coffee in the afternoon."
"Sure I do."
- - Miles and Keiko O'Brien (last lines)
Story and script
- The script was originally to have featured Dax instead of O'Brien. (The Deep Space Log Book: A Second Season Companion, p. 32) "They felt they had played that beat one too many times and there were some other directions they [wanted] to go with that," explained writer Morgan Gendel. (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 33)
- Morgan Gendel's original pitch for this episode involved a Federation team going to an alien civilization and demanding that they destroy their biogenic weaponry. However, the alien race encoded the weapon into O'Brien's DNA, meaning that if the Federation wanted to destroy the weapon, they had to kill O'Brien. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- Michael Piller changed Gendel's original idea to the plot now seen in the finished episode (i.e., the aliens try to kill O'Brien and Bashir; O'Brien accidentally gets infected; he and Bashir escape; the aliens set out to kill them), and Gendel composed a new teleplay with instructions from Piller to make it like a 'chase movie'. Gendel wrote his new script based upon this generic type; indeed, he even watched the films Midnight Run and North by Northwest. However, as pre-production got underway, it quickly became apparent that his script, including as it did a number of new ships, several completely new locations, and several exteriors, was financially impossible. As such, the chase aspect of the episode was removed altogether, and, as Ira Steven Behr joked, "It became a chase movie on one set." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion) Gendel stated, "We worked out a story where you see some different shades and genuine heroism from Bashir. It's a man-on-the-lam story, and basically Bashir and O'Brien are on the lam together." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 33)
- In a scene scripted for the episode but removed from the final cut, O'Brien was given anabolic supplement after being infected by the Harvester biogenic weapon so that he could continue his work of repairing the communications system. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion - A Series Guide and Script Library)
- The stardate for this episode was 47529.4 in the script. However, it was omitted from the final televised version. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion - A Series Guide and Script Library)
Cast and characters
- Alexander Siddig highly valued "Armageddon Game", considering it to be an important episode for Bashir and his friendship with O'Brien. Siddig commented, "That was the first time I had been allowed to take a two-hander on the show. That's not done too often because you're essentially wiping out the rest of the cast; you're not giving anyone else anything to do, and you're trusting the show to a couple of actors. I really enjoyed that and it was the first time I really got to work with Colm Meaney. We built out characters' foundational relationship on that show. We got in each other's faces and bickered and had personal things to say about each other. That was one of my most important shows." (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 14, p. 22)
- Cirroc Lofton (Jake Sisko) does not appear in this episode.
- Despite Dax having been replaced with O'Brien in this episode during its development, Morgan Gendel was pleased with how the installment dealt with the relationship between O'Brien and Bashir, Gendel stating, "O'Brien and Bashir turned out wonderfully together." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 33)
- Michael Piller commented, "I thought it was an excellent show. I was very pleased with the way it worked out. Those two guys work very well together." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 68)
- Ira Steven Behr commented, "I like the show. I think it takes the Bashir and O'Brien relationship another step and Kolbe did a good job directing." (The Deep Space Log Book: A Second Season Companion, p. 32)
- This episode was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Hairstyling for a Series.
Continuity and trivia
- This episode is generally seen as the beginning of a relationship between O'Brien and Bashir which became extremely important over the next few years (even though they did have an episode together in the first season, "The Storyteller"). According to Alexander Siddig, "That was our first real 'We're stuck together. Nothing we can do about it.' And that's the crux of the relationship. It's as if these two love to hate each other, and they always seem to be stuck together, and although they voluntary walked into the bar together. But nevertheless, it's 'What am I doing stuck here with you?' 'I don't know.' I guess people have friends like that. And this is where that started off." (Crew Dossier: Julian Bashir, DS9 Season 6 DVD, Special Features)
- With this episode, the USS Ganges became the second DS9 runabout to be destroyed, after the USS Yangtzee Kiang in "Battle Lines". The Ganges was later replaced by the USS Mekong.
- The fifty-seventh Rule of Acquisition ("Good customers are as rare as latinum. Treasure them") is mentioned in the episode.
- One of the containers in Bashir and O'Brien's hideout has a sticker bearing a Ferengi symbol.
- Several costumes and props from this episode were sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay, including the stunt costume for Dennis Madalone. 
- When informing Keiko of the death of her husband Commander Sisko remarks, "Miles was a fine officer." As Chief of Operations, Miles O'Brien was not in fact a commissioned officer, but a senior non-commissioned officer. Later in the series, it was revealed that even Nog, when earning the rank of ensign, would outrank him.
- The comm unit O'Brien and Bashir attempt to repair requires work on the chambers coil, which is the same component the USS Reliant claims is damaged as part of Khan's plot to attack the USS Enterprise in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
- The rifles used by the Kelleruns in the attack on the lab seem to be the same props later used for Jem'Hadar plasma rifles. Those, however, had additional details and components added on, especially along the top. Other times modified versions of the prop were used include 22nd century Starfleet plasma rifles and crossbow-like weapons seen in "Captive Pursuit".
- The O'Briens were previously shown drinking coffee together well into the evening (after Molly's bedtime) in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Rascals". That was, of course, an unusually stressful evening, as Keiko had just been physically transformed into a pre-adolescent.
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 17, 11 July 1994
- As part of the DS9 Season 2 DVD collection
Links and references
- Rene Auberjonois as Constable Odo
- Siddig El Fadil as Doctor Julian Bashir
- Terry Farrell as Lieutenant Jadzia Dax
- Cirroc Lofton as Jake Sisko
- Colm Meaney as Chief Miles O'Brien
- Armin Shimerman as Quark
- Nana Visitor as Major Kira Nerys
- Rosalind Chao as Keiko O'Brien
- Darleen Carr as Ambassador E'Tyshra
- Peter White as Ambassador Sharat
- Larry Cedar as Nydrom
- Nicole Bukky as a T'Lani scientist
- Christopher Doyle as a Kellerun soldier
- Dieter Hornemann as a Kellerun scientist
- Debbie King as a T'Lani scientist
- David B. Levinson as Broik
- Tom Morga as a Kellerun soldier
- Kara Nichols as a T'Lani soldier
- Douglas Price as a T'Lani soldier
- Unknown performers as
act of war; Alterian chowder; arch; "a slice of-"; ballerina; bar bill; Bashir, Amsha; Bashir, Richard; biomechanical gene disruptor; blindness; blood pressure; boarding party; booby trap; broadband inversion; caffeine; Cardassians; carrier frequency; chambers coil; chief of surgery; coffee; computer log; corrosion; cup; cylinder; dancer; data clip; data banks; Delon, Palis; Delon's father; distress signal; Earth; engineering extension course; extension course; fail-safe device; fear of failure; Federation; fever; Ganges, USS; genetic bath; green; Harvester; hypospray; Kellerun; Kellerun assault rifle; kilometer; latinum; lesion; marriage; medkit; medical complex; memorial service; muon; muon charge; muon frequencies; muon generator; muon influx; muon ray; nano-biogenic weapon; O'Brien, Molly; officer of the line; optical data net service access; Paris; power supply; pressure grenade; pressure grenade victims; Quark's; RF oscillator; remote transport command; Rio Grande, USS; Rules of Acquisition; runabout; spectroscopic analysis; Starfleet; Starfleet Medical; sterile pad; subprocessor; subspace frequency; subspace transmitter; synchronous orbit; T'Lani III; T'Lani cruiser; T'Lani Prime; T'Lani; time index; toast; tricorder; uttaberry crêpe; vegetable-based oils
- "Armageddon Game" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Armageddon Game" at Wikipedia
- "Armageddon Game" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Armageddon Game" at MissionLogPodcast.com, a Roddenberry Star Trek podcast
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