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Star Trek DS9 - Season 6 - Episode 09

Star Trek DS9 - 6x09 - Statistical Probabilities

Originally Aired: 1997-11-24

With the secret of his genetically-engineered past out in the open, Bashir is asked to work with a group of others like him. [DVD]

My Rating - 9

Fan Rating Average - 5.87

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Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- This is the first episode in which we see Damar in his new position. It also introduces Bashir's "mutant" friends who will recur later and their various predictions about the war has some intriguingly accurate foreshadowing; some of it is correct, though not all of it.



Remarkable Scenes
- The opening scene. I especially liked Jack.
- Bashir meeting the "mutants." I especially like Jack's "test" of Bashir's mental abilities.
- Bashir discussing the "mutants" with the senior staff and the debate that ensued.
- Jack: "Well why don't you fix it, dear fellow, dear fellow, well why don't you fix it before I go mad!"
- The "mutants" inferring all kinds of correct information just from Damar's speech.
- Patrick staring into Weyoun. Hilarious if you don't know it's all holographic on first viewing.
- Bashir presenting his and the mutants' predictions and analyses to Sisko.
- The whole dancing scene.
- According to Jack, O'Brien is "uncomplicated."
- Sisko's reaction to Bashir's suggestion that the Federation should surrender to the Dominion because there's no hope of winning.
- Patrick walking up to a random person and saying, "I'm Patrick!"
- Weyoun: "Odo!" Odo: "Yes, I know, I honor you with my presence."
- Morn Appearances; 1. Behind O'Brien in the bar when Bashir tries to convince O'Brien that the Federation should surrender.

My Review
This is a great episode with a remarkable set of new guest stars. A group of four genetically engineered "mutants" with mental disorders from their genetic background are taken to the station in the hopes that Dr. Bashir can help them assimilate better into society. Together, the five start working for Starfleet Intelligence, making grandiose predictions about the Dominion. As the episode progresses, their predictions get more and more grandiose to the point where they predict the Federation can never beat the Dominion. In the end, Bashir convinces them that their assumptions might have been flawed, and that they can't predict everything. The experience, however, leaves them feeling like they've finally contributed something, as some of their analyses were very useful to Starfleet. Most remarkable about the episode though was the characters. First there's Jack, an energetic, athletic, egocentric, super smart, fast talking guy unstable guy who seemed unable to control his behavior. Then there's Lauren, who seems to be sexually attracted to every man she sees... to the extreme; unable to think of anything else. Then there's Patrick. An old man who still acts like a child. And finally, Sarina, who seems unable to focus her attention on anything. She just stands and stares. All things considered, this is one of the most original and entertaining episodes I've seen in a long time.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Krs321 on 2011-08-24 at 8:38am:
    This episode offered a ton of potential but squandered it on poor writing. The idea of a bunch of intelligence savants is intriguing but used kind of foolishly. They only had 1 hour to build an arc so I can't complain too much but the conflict/resolution could've been so much better.

    Never has an existing inside joke had a better chance at being used in an episode centered around Julian (and his relationship with O'Brien): the Battle of Britain.

    Instead of having Julian get punched and released by Deus Ex Sarina (b/c of Love? lame):
    - Julian wakes up and is found by Miles.
    - Miles says he was going to find Julian to go "play" (derisive joke from earlier) the Battle of Britain in the holosuite
    - Julian has an ah-ha moment
    - Cut to Julian intercepting the augments and dropping some logic on Jack about how all their statistical methods predicted certain defeat for England in the face of a German invasion in 1940. That way we can at least give some kind of credence to the fighting spirit of humanity/the Federation rather than Julian just proving the already obvious fact that probability estimates are just estimates. Zzzzz

    I wanted to like this episode and I'm glad they stayed away from the "Julian starts to over identify with the augments and everyone gets mad at him" trope, but they left a lot on the table.
  • From John on 2011-09-24 at 2:30pm:
    I have to say I really enjoy this episode, though I do think the writing is a bit ridiculous.

    I like the way Jack is depicted as a sort of Mad Hatter, while Lauren is a genius nymphomaniac. Patrick is more along the lines of a classic, introverted autistic personality. We don't learn a lot about Sarina in this episode, but I'm glad they included her, because the later episodes will feature her more prominently.

    It's also interesting to note how the group of them become a sort of "Bletchley Park" for the Federation in the Dominion War. In case you don't know, in WW2, Bletchley Park was where the Allies had their code-breaking operation: a lot of mathematicians worked there, trying to crack the German Enigma codes -- by all accounts these analysts were brilliant, but quite quirky. Kind of neat to see the Federation with such an operation of their own.

    It does lose a point from me though, only because the savants (especially Jack) are written so over-the-top.
  • From Zorak on 2016-06-22 at 2:31am:
    I didn't read Asimov's Foundation series until I was in my 20's, well after DS9 ended. When I did read it I could tell I'd seen it's theme referenced (or simply mirrored) by something I'd previously seen or read. It seems to have been this episode. Asimov's idea of predicting the future through probability and statistical data is very interesting, but it's a bad fit for Star Trek. Aside from that annoyance (which was made more annoying by how seriously it was taken, and then completely dismissed), this was a fun episode. I enjoy the group of misfit "mutants".
  • From Armsauce on 2017-06-10 at 9:01pm:
    When Sisko dismisses Bashir's surrender proposal, he should have brought up the prophet's actions in Sacrifice of Angels. There's no way the mutants could predict something like that, and it showed that there's no real way to know how the war will turn out.

    It really seems like something Bashir would have realized himself but it seems like everyone would rather forget about it.

  • From Tooms on 2021-04-08 at 3:13am:
    A decent idea sunk by awful writing and even worse acting. Siddig wasn’t able to carry the episode and the mutant crew is just plain bad. The knockoff Twelve Monkeys Brad Pitt act is painful to watch. One of my least favorite DS9 episodes & I’m honestly puzzled that people liked it.

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