Please feel free to comment on my review.
This isn’t one of my favourite ‘DS9’ episodes. I wasn’t particularly happy with how it ended and felt it was unfair that O’Brien was always going through the grinder when he had episodes dedicated to him.
The episode starts with Chief O’Brien piloting a runabout through the wormhole. He’s on his way to the Parada system. He’s running away from other DS9 members chasing him. He’s totally alone in this.
O’Brien records a personal log of recent events. We cut to flashbacks from two days ago. It was after he returned from a meeting with the Paradas for upcoming peace talks that he sensed something odd.
He woke up one morning to find his wife Rosalind Chao as Keiko and his daughter Hana Hatae as Molly dressed and eating breakfast early. They also seem rather awkward and suspicious around him in this.
I didn’t like it when O’Brien seemed to be rejected by Keiko and Molly in his home aboard DS9, with no explanation given. It did provide that really tense atmosphere in wanting to know what’s going on.
O’Brien also finds that an officer has begun work on security arrangements for the peace talks without being consulted by Sisko. He also sees Sisko and Keiko have a private conversation on the Promenade.
When O’Brien asks Sisko about it, Sisko tells him he was concerned about his son Jake’s grades in Keiko’s class. Jake later tells O’Brien that his grades were fine. O’Brien becomes suspicious about this.
O’Brien also receives an annual physical examination from Dr. Bashir, which takes too long and is invasive. O’Brien suspects something has happened to him before given a clean bill of health by Bashir.
There are also problems that O’Brien’s assigned to fix that had recently been attended to by him. He has also been obstructed to conduct other vital duties on DS9 by fellow officers aboard the station. 😦
His wife Keiko becomes more awkward when they’re together at home. She doesn’t warm to his romantic charms anymore and is suspicious over dinner. It makes O’Brien suspect Keiko is not his wife.
O’Brien soon reviews the other officers’ logs, discovering Sisko and the others have been observing his movements. This was after he found he’d been denied access to logs when he should have Level 1 access.
Instead of asking Sisko outright why he was denied access, he taps into the security net to gain access to the logs. Yeah, why didn’t O’Brien query Sisko straight out why his Level 1 access had been revoked?
I mean, I know O’Brien suspected something amiss aboard the station with everyone behaving oddly. But O’Brien should trust Sisko by this point in the series to know he would not go behind his back here.
Then again, that could tie in to what happens to O’Brien at the end of the episode, but we’ll get to that. Very soon, O’Brien acquires Odo’s help in this strange matter when he returns to the DS9 station.
But soon, O’Brien sees that Odo’s joined the conspiracy too when meeting him in his office. Sisko, Kira and Bashir soon turn up to arrest and sedate O’Brien, before O’Brien overpowers them as he escapes.
O’Brien escapes through maintenance conduits in order to get to runabout Rio Grande. I admit, seeing O’Brien escaping from DS9 via maintenance conduits in order to get to the runabout was very gripping.
After receiving no help from Susan Bay as Admiral Rollman, O’Brien pilots the runabout into the wormhole to flee from DS9. It all leads back to where we began with O’Brien recording a personal log.
Very soon, after eluding his pursuers, O’Brien finds Sisko and Kira on Parada II with a pair of Paradan rebels. After refusing to listen to their explanations, O’Brien gets shot by one of the Paradan rebels. 😦
And this is where it falls apart. It turns out O’Brien wasn’t the real O’Brien at all. The real O’Brien was behind a door, being looked after by Bashir. The fake O’Brien was a clone meant to assassinate someone.
Despite the fake O’Brien thinking he was the real one and that he genuinely loved Keiko, it would’ve been better to have O’Brien subconsciously mind-controlled than cloned. That felt very disappointing. 😦
‘Whispers’ isn’t a ‘DS9’ episode I would want to watch again and again. I appreciate it’s meant to provide tension for O’Brien, but how he was treated and how it gets resolved was really mean-spirited.
‘Whispers’ (DS9) rating – 3/10
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