I am happy to say that I was wrong on two counts about this episode. First of all, it bore no resemblance to "Schisms," as I feared, and secondly, Daniels did not actually rear his piss-ant time-traveling head. This episode was an improvement over last week and I really have to give Bakula props in his Humans Are Compassionate and Also Very Nice speech. However, don't you think it's a pity that he choked on all that irony? I mean, who is he to lecture on compassion? No, really. No. Really.
Two creatures that we are supposed to think are Mayweather and Reed play chess in the mess. They set up, play a few moves, and Mayweather says stuff like, "You'll win in eight games," and then they start calculating all the possible outcomes. So, really, as soon as I heard Reed calculate "ten to the one-hundred and twenty-third power," I knew something didn't smell right. Actually, there are several things that tip you off that this isn't Mayweather and Reed. First, and most obvious, Mayweather says more than two words. Secondly, they're hanging out -- we really haven't seen these two characters do that in the past. Finally, they're playing chess, and let's face it: no one on this ship (aside from maybe Phlox or T'Pol) are what I would consider mental giants. Seriously. You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. Well, maybe Hoshi.
Orga-Mayweather is surprised anyone bothers with chess since it's so predictable. Orga-Reed looks over at some red stripes getting up from their table and says, "Their average life-span's only about a hundred years -- there's no time to play all the possible games." "Now, that's a really assholish thing to say, even for an alien. Do you know how old you'd have to be to play all the 10^123 possible outcomes? Let's say that you were advanced enough to play one full game per nanosecond -- which these Organians aren't, given that it's taking them a few seconds to predict an outcome and start over -- you'd have to be one googol times as old as the life of the universe. And, as everyone knows, the universe is twenty billion years old. So, yeah. Asshole Organians," the Evil Dr. Mathra fumes. Orga-Mayweather scoffs what a waste the human lifespan is, and Orga-Reed cautions him not to get emotionally involved. "I know the rules," Orga-Mayweather grins, "observation without interference." Orga-Mayweather wonders how the humans will react to what they find on the planet. Orga-Reed explains that that's what they're there to find out, and shrugs that he expects the humans to react the same way other physical species do. "Do you think our hosts will die tonight?" Orga-Mayweather asks. "It's possible," Orga-Reed considers. "For some of the species that have come here -- I've seen the whole crew die. For others, only a few." "But somebody always dies," Orga-Mayweather presses. "Always," Orga-Reed says, and then brightly tells him it's his move. Orga-Mayweather looks like he needs his nappy changed.