Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"Blaze of Glory"


Air date: 5/12/1997
Written by Robert Hewitt Wolfe & Ira Steven Behr
Directed by Kim Friedman

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"[Cal Hudson] thought you were wrong about the Maquis. But he forgave you—which is ironic considering you never forgave him. You can't forgive any of us. And not because we betrayed Starfleet or the Federation, but because we betrayed you."

— Eddington to Sisko

Nutshell: Very strong. A probing tale about Sisko, Eddington, and the Maquis. Perhaps the best Maquis story yet.

The most interesting aspect about "Blaze of Glory" is that it shows how the winds of change in the Alpha Quadrant affect people, and it finally reveals a developing understanding that Sisko takes as a result of the Maquis plight. There's a lot of good stuff here—compelling dialog scenes with tough questions and probing issues, fascinating performances, all wrapped together in a slick action-adventure premise.

When the Federation and Klingons intercept a message intended for Michael Eddington, they learn of a dying effort by the Maquis to cause a large amount of damage on Cardassia—cloaked missiles with deadly weapons have been dispatched, and if the missiles reach Cardassia there could be a high death toll, sparking an all-out war between the Cardassians' Dominion allies and the Alpha Quadrant.

To prevent the possibility of war (or perhaps "delay" would be a better word considering the volatility of the Dominion situation), Sisko decides he must stop the missiles at all costs, and so he travels to Eddington's penal institution to recruit him for assistance in aborting the missiles. Needless to say, Eddington is less than thrilled to willingly form such an alliance.

It may sound like a standard formula (two arch-enemies must put aside their differences and ally themselves in the name of a larger issue), but "Blaze of Glory" is a very relevant and intelligent story that easily transcends the superficialities of such a situation. The reason: it has a plethora of meaningful dialog that plays to the strengths of DS9 as a series. The basic foundations of DS9's "larger picture" has relied on (1) the idea of long-lasting consequences that build on the existing plot threads, and (2) the ramifications of various political situations that constantly evolve and how these various aspects of political intrigue affect each other. Much of "Blaze of Glory" draws its core from these two strengths.

This episode is the best Maquis story in recent memory—perhaps the best of them all. The show does a superb job of fleshing out understandings on all playing fields—including the audience's. The episode seems to get to the heart of the Maquis by showing the way Eddington perceives himself, the Maquis, and Sisko's attitudes toward the Maquis. Similarly, the episode also conveys Sisko's feelings about Eddington's and the Maquis' motives, as well as his coming to terms with his own position on the matter. The beauty of the episode is how the dialog goes in directions that take the characters to new heights of realization. In the end, not only do the characters see things in new lights, but we, the audience, also see different aspects of all sides.

Almost all of "Blaze of Glory" works wonderfully on at least one or more levels, but there are two scenes that stand out in particular.

First is an extended dialog scene on the Runabout—extremely well done, and very strong. The strength of this scene speaks for itself, and I can't quite do justice to it short of quoting the entire argument (which I'm not going to do—I suggest you go watch it yourself). But, in short, this was not a simple example of a "hero" and a "villain"; rather, this was an example of differing mindsets, shades of grey, difficult circumstances, and two characters arguing a relevant point of view.

This is a terrific scene of debate—highlighting conflicting opinions and errors in judgment. Of particular interest is the scene's acknowledgement of Sisko's old friend Cal Hudson, who gave up Starfleet to join the Maquis—a man unheard of since the Maquis' introduction second season. Eddington explains how Hudson "expected more" of Sisko—expected more understanding of the plight of a people fighting Cardassian oppression. Eddington comments on Sisko's mistake of making the situation a personal issue of "Sisko versus the Maquis." The Maquis, as Eddington puts it, were never a real threat to the Federation; but they were a threat to Sisko's position—a stain on his record, and an injury to his ego because he'd been betrayed by people he'd trusted. Hudson recently died in a skirmish with the Cardassians, Eddington reveals, but it's interesting to see that Hudson forgave Sisko, whereas Sisko couldn't forgive Hudson for betraying Starfleet—betraying him. Eddington's point, I believe, is that the Maquis wanted more acceptance from the Federation, instead of having their backs turned on them—and more, being hunted by Sisko and the Federation—at every turn.

On the other hand is Sisko's argument that the Maquis needed leadership that strove for a negotiated peace. He sees Eddington's selling the Maquis on the false dream of armed victory as what ultimately led the Maquis "straight into their graves." The meaning behind this dialog is intriguing. One wonders exactly how much the Maquis' hostile actions toward a Cardassia headed into effeteness caused them to form the alliance with the Dominion.

The Second standout scene is the one in Eddington's prison cell, where Sisko tries to convince Eddington that he has to help or else billions of people will die as a consequence. But Eddington explains that he stopped caring about the world the day the Cardassian/Dominion alliance declared war on the Maquis and slaughtered them in a mere three days. When Sisko offers Eddington a pardon in exchange for helping him, Eddington replies with "Where would I go? What would I do?" "Anything you want," Sisko replies. "How about bringing the Maquis back from the dead?", Eddington retorts. Eddington's remarks are pointed and effective—the story demonstrates how the destruction of a cause and a people who meant everything to Eddington has led him to apathy and disgust. Life for this man has become virtually meaningless.

Such issues in "Blaze of Glory" are worthy of high praise, and they're the reason I like the Maquis. The Maquis have always been good at challenging views of the Federation that we normally accept at face value. However, this episode also benefits because it acknowledges current events, unlike the way "For the Cause" completely ignored the Klingon situation, and the way "For the Uniform" didn't quite transcend its personal vendetta premise. In a way, "Blaze of Glory" is a powerful follow-up to "By Inferno's Light"—it shows what has happened to the Maquis since the Cardassians joined the Dominion and Dukat carried out his vow to destroy the Maquis. It shows the Maquis in ruins; destroyed, helpless, and desperate—a lost cause. Hence the revenge factor: launch the missiles to kill a horde of Cardassians as a retaliatory measure for wiping out the Maquis. It explains one reason why Dukat and the Cardassians decided to join the Dominion in the first place—the Maquis were hurting the Cardassians; the Cardassian government was in chaos; the Maquis had them on the run. Sisko's remark to Eddington: "And they ran right into the arms of the Dominion."

The way Wolfe and Behr tie the Maquis into the grand scheme of things is very plausible and respectable—and something that wasn't done nearly as effectively up to this point. It's quite welcome here.

As an action-adventure, "Blaze of Glory" also works very well, featuring impressive sets and convincing production design, eye-pleasing visual effects, and good stunt work. There's a tension-filled pursuit through the Badlands as Eddington and Sisko must elude two Jem'Hadar ships using a dangerous, unconventional procedure. (The Badlands always provide a good setting for chases and explosions.) Once Eddington and Sisko reach the Maquis base with the missile launch site (where they can stop the missiles by entering the abort code), they unexpectedly encounter a squadron of Jem'Hadar soldiers, leading to some of the better phaser battles and fistfights on record.

There's plenty of testosterone in this episode. Sisko and Eddington knock each other around just enough to make it clear that this is a very uneasy alliance, but without going overboard. The dialog is also plentiful in acerbic sarcasm.

Yet the premise doesn't turn into "48 Hours plus the Jem'Hadar." The Maquis backdrop keeps Sisko's and Eddington's personalities in perspective. Once Eddington discovers that the base has been stormed by Jem'Hadar and sees the Maquis bodies littering the floor, the realization sets in that everything has gone wrong. But Sisko also comes to a realization that the Maquis were forced into many of their circumstances. Once again (as also noted for last week's "Children of Time"), this indicates that tough questions that don't have pat answers are almost always the most powerful types of questions. I'll welcome them every time.

A twist of the plot reveals that there really are no missiles headed for Cardassia; the message was a code to alert Eddington that the Maquis survivors had reached a rendezvous point and were ready for evacuation. I don't think it works against the episode that it uses this deception, hinting at the possibility of war to get us involved with the Maquis plight. In fact, I think that's the point. It shows the lack of trust between the Maquis and the Federation. Could Eddington have come to Sisko by telling him the truth about the need for the Maquis evacuation? Somehow, I don't think it would've been nearly as motivating.

It was inevitable that Eddington dies in the course of the episode—gunned down by Jem'Hadar during the evacuation of the Maquis survivors. This inevitability, however, also works to the show's favor, displaying an Eddington with no remaining purpose, giving his life for his lost cause in a fitting "blaze of glory." It makes perfect sense. I think Eddington had a good idea that he wasn't coming back the moment he saw the first Jem'Hadar soldier on the Maquis base.

I also appreciated the way the ending highlights Sisko coming to understand the Maquis—almost as if his eyes have been reopened to the reality of their struggle and the subtleties of their situation, masking the contempt he had for their betrayal—simply because it's not so cut and dry.

Kim Friedman, who has directed a number of both action-oriented and drama-oriented episodes on Trek, delivers a winner with dead-on execution. The action scenes provide excitement, and the drama scenes are even more powerful—nicely performed (Kenneth Marshall and Avery Brooks again work very well together), with compelling polemics. Naturally, I could've done without the B-story in this episode (involving Nog's need to be respected by the Klingons on the station)—not because it was bad (it was reasonable), but because it simply interrupts the infinitely more powerful main plot. That's a minor complaint, however. "Blaze of Glory" is a very good episode, ranking alongside the better episodes of this season.

Previous episode: Children of Time
Next episode: Empok Nor

◄ Season Index

47 comments on this review

Sun, Mar 1, 2009, 8:56pm (UTC -5)
I have to disagree with Jammer on this one. To have the Maquis wiped out by the Dominion, while probably logical given the way the events of seasons 4 and 5 played out, is emotionally unrewarding and lazy writing.

The Maquis represented a challenge to Federation ideals. Thus, from a narrative standpoint, the Federation should have been the entity to have a final hash-out with the Maquis, be it truce, massacre, forced relocation, whatever. To have the Maquis wiped out by the Dominion (who weren't even around when the Maquis were first introduced, and have no similar ideological conflict) simply lets the Federation off the hook from having to make any truly difficult decisions. Then it's off to the races to delve into the Dominion War some more.

It's noted in the DS9 Companion that TPTB decided to incorporate the entire Eddington/Maquis angle at the eleventh hour, without prior plotting or season storyboarding. To me, this lack of preparation shows.
Fri, Sep 4, 2009, 10:48pm (UTC -5)
I completely disagree...the Maquis, along with the Klingons, were the one-two punch that drove Cardassia to the Dominion. The slaughter of the Maquis simply had to follow, and just exactly the swift way it unfolded. That was the payoff of the lure...swift and severe.
Thu, Oct 15, 2009, 7:02am (UTC -5)
I've always thought it ironic that the Maquis were handled better and given more to do on DS9 than they were on Voyager, the show they were specifically CREATED for. Scenes like the one in the runabout between Sisko and Eddington barely ever happened between Janeway and Chakotay.
Sat, Oct 24, 2009, 5:20am (UTC -5)
Gotta love how dedicated Sisko is to stopping a war with the Dominion in this one, given what he does just three episodes later.
Sun, Apr 18, 2010, 8:34pm (UTC -5)
I agree that this is the best Maquis episode since "The Maquis" (or since "Defiant", if you count that as a Maquis episode), for the first time since Eddington's betrayal I really sympathized with his motivations and cared about him just as much as I cared about Sisko. I was actually surprised that there still seems to be some Maquis left.

The scene about Morn running around the promenade screaming "We're all doomed!!" is alone worth the price of admission.
Mon, Dec 6, 2010, 8:09pm (UTC -5)
Much of the dialogue, especially that prison cell coversation, is rendered less powerful by the knowledge that, unlike what Jammer says at the end regarding Eddington, he is in fact very much a man with something to live for: it is the entire reason he cons Sisko into this, and why his death scene didn't make as much sense as it should. Eddington is a married man and desperately wants to be reunited with his wife. Since he never intended to let Sisko *not* force him along, much of his dialogue is therefore suspect, especially as we know that in one key aspect, having nothing to live for, he is lying. He has his wife.
Sun, Jan 30, 2011, 11:59pm (UTC -5)
I always thought the Maquis were a horribly-designed component of the alpha quadrant politics. How could a tiny bunch of rag-tag colonists every be anything more than a nuisance to huge and powerful empires like the Cardassians, or the Federation? It's absurd.

Most terrorist operations work by causing civilians casualties often enough and random enough that the terrified population eventually demands that the government negotiates with them to reach a compromise.

But in the world of Star Trek, war is practically permanent, between large powerful races. The casualties caused by the Maquis would be barely noticed, and in any case the races involved would simply wipe them out in a few weeks.

So, all in all I just never found the Maquis concept credible, so it taints pretty much every story they are involved in.

However, in this episode in particular, I had a bigger problem with the starting premise; that if the Maquis managed to land a huge missile attack on Cardassia, that would start a huge war between the Dominion/Cardassian forces and the rest of the alpha quadrant.

Obviously, if the dominion thought that they could defeat the federation & co, they would already be doing it. And that's *with* a full-strength Cardassian empire on their side.

If the Cardassian forces were both weakened by the missile attacks, and distracted by rescuing survivors and rebuilding the damaged areas, then it's obvious the combined Dominion/Cardassian threat would be less than it already is.

So why would they attack the federation & co? To begin with, they would already know that the missiles came from the Maquis. And they would be certain to lose. Starting a war would be moronic.

The most likely outcome would be for the dominion to abandon their newly-weakened ally and retreat back to the Gamma quadrant to re-group and hatch another strategy. The Cardassians would be terrified of the Klingons and would beg the Federation to forgive them and protect them.

The missiles hitting Cardassia would be the best thing for the Federation in years. Sisko and Martok would be sitting back and watching, clinking champagne glasses as the missile strike landed.

But it gets worse, because we eventually find out that the whole thing was a plot by Eddington to lure Sisko to take him to a specific place to rescue his wife. So Eddington has to be able to predict that Sisko would think a Maquis missile attack on Cardassia would result in a huge war between everyone in the alpha quadrant. And he would have to predict that Sisko would try to avoid this by *begging* Eddington to take him to the 'launch site', alone.

The goal of getting Sisko to take Eddington into Maquis territory on their own could be acheived in a lot of ways that would be 100 times more beleiveable than this missile attack = universal catastrophe hogwash. A simple trick like a faked message from Sisko's other Maquis friend asking for help because of some old pact from the past, would be a more believable way to motivate Sisko into the exact situation Eddington wants.

So.. blech... my enjoyment of the sisko/eddington story (which I do actually enjoy) is seriously hampered by the moronic way the writers get things moving.

One more random criticism; not really about this episode but just in general... why oh why do federation ships not all have cloaking devices? The Klingons have had cloaks for as long as I can remember; definitely several hundred years by this point. Same with the Romulans. Are we supposed to believe that the scientifically advanced Federation has never been able to figure out how they work? Even with the hundreds of Klingon ships that have been captured? Even with the Romulans installing a cloak in the Defiant? It's just ridiculous. Every Federation ship should have a cloak by the time of the DS9 stories... there's just no excuse for having Sisko in a bloody little runabout with no cloak having to evade Jem-Hadar ships using technobabble of the week bollocks. The 'how do we conceal our warp trail' thing is one of those Trek tropes that is used to soak up time on every second episode. Here, it's used to show Sisko bluffing Eddington (again) into piloting the ship to prove he wants to live. But there are other ways to do that; it's just lazy for the writers to rely on such a tired old idea that shouldn't even exist because cloaking should be either common for *all* races, or not possible at all.

If only two races had the ability to cloak, they would be ruling the universe by now, because cloaking in reality would be an unbelievable tactical advantage in *any* military engagement.

Sat, Feb 5, 2011, 10:29pm (UTC -5)
@ Neil

Nominally, the reason is the Treaty of Algeron, and the TNG episode "The Pegasus" (and, atrociously, ENT's "These Are The Voyages") deals with this in some detail.

But I totally agree that the existence of the treaty itself is ridiculous, and I was almost rooting for Pressman in that episode...the Federation tying their hands in such a way strikes me to this day as incredibly shortsighted. It would be akin to the United States promising to leave space travel entirely to the Soviets after Sputnik in exchange for the promise of peaceful relations.
Mon, Feb 7, 2011, 9:39pm (UTC -5)
Thanks Jay. A quick Google search of for 'treaty of algeron' led to lots of information about it and several threads debating what a silly thing it would have been to sign such a treaty. Not much point beating a dead horse; this cloak issue seems to have been debated enough in the trek world already.

What I do think is interesting is the fact that recent technological developments has shown that a cloaking technology is actually not far off - one research team have already built a working cloak that only works for microwave wavelengths of light.

So it seems likely that if we *ever* achieve faster-than-light travel, it will almost certainly be a long, long time after various types of cloaking devices are in common use.

Of course, a visible-light cloak isn't that useful in a spaceship, because most surveying of surrounding space is done via various sensors of which visibility is only one.

The cloak would have to work with many different wavelengths of light outside the visible spectrum, as well as concealing other telltale signs of a space-ship presence, such as the gravity it would exert on other bodies, it's exhaust, it's communications, and more. It would also need to absorb and not reflect whatever is being used for radar-type sensors in the future too.

Still, it's a weird idea to agree not to *catch up* with an enemy's tech in exchange for peace. On earth we already have treaties like the bans on biological weapons and chemical weapons, where all parties agree not to develop specific technologies in exchange for peace. But it's practically inconceivable that the US today would agree not to acquire tech that an enemy already has.
Sat, Feb 12, 2011, 4:56pm (UTC -5)
Agreed, Neil. Especially a defensive technology.
Sun, Mar 27, 2011, 8:52pm (UTC -5)
I've always assumed that the Federation signed both the Treaty of Algeron and the Cardassion treaties for the same reasons. The Feds were forced to because they lost or were afraid of loosing. In the first treaty they gave up the right to get a cloaking device. In the treaty with Cardassia they gave up Territory to them or placed it within a DMZ. I don't know the circumstances of the fight with the Romulans but I assume that they must of lost or were losing. With the Cardassians the Feds were coming off of losing half of the fleet to the Borg and was having soured relations with both the Klingons, the Romulans, and Cardassia.

Honestly we've never seen the Feds fight well in any war. Apparantly the Roms beat them and forced a bad treaty on them, In Yesterday's Enterprise the Feds are getting there asses kicked by the Klingons, (after the Roms faked a Federation attack so the Roms must have been willing to go to war at that point) and then the Borg come and then the Cardasian threat is enough to force the feds to sacrifice their own colonies. And then there is Bajor. Where the Feds stood by and watched the Cardasians enslave the planet and only when they have used up the place and the Feds give them new fresh colonies to exploit does the Morally Superior Feds come in to help Bajor. The Feds are idiots and it's a true wonder that they haven't been wiped off the map a long time ago.
Tue, Nov 8, 2011, 9:37am (UTC -5)
I must have missed something: In several threads, posters here have said that the loss of 39 ships at Wolf 359 led a weakened Federation to give up too much in the peace treaty with the Cardassians.

While that's an interesting theory -- which would seem to reflect some tidbits in episodes like "The Wounded" and "Chain of Command" -- it's far from rock solid and never really mentioned on screen. Hell, the Cardassians had just been forced off Bajor by a bunch of terrorists with sub-impulse fighters (when they become big players in TNG season 6). They were regrouping after a big loss -- just like the Federation. So I don't see why we can assume the Cardies had a clear advantage circa 2367.

IIRC, the peace treaty also put Cardassian colonies on the Federation's side of the DMZ -- and not just the other way around. I always figured the Federation's extreme efforts to reach peace combined and simple miscalculations led to the bad treaty -- but that the deal wasn't all that one sided. That's just as workable a theory as one that says the Cardassians had the Federation over a barrel after the Borg attack.

Now, I know there's a certain amount of disagreement as to why 39 lost ships at Wolf 359 was viewed as a devastating blow in the TNG years -- "We'll have the fleet back up in less than a year" -- when late DS9 shows that Starfleet is made up of thousands of ships. It's pretty clear that the writers needed to change the rules of the game for the Dominion War, and never really explained themselves. I've said before that the change could have been attributed to a post-Wolf 359 buildup along with the curtailing of exploratory missions that brought ships out from the edges of the Federation and beyond. Given that we see a lot of older starships in the Dominion war (Miranda class, Excelsior class) and that the Federation had more than two years to prepare (and were regrouping because of the Klingon war) it's a plausible, if unexplored, theory.

But that's not even that important in this debate. Unless there's something I'm not aware of, the bad treaty is just as easy to chalk up to Federation desires for peace and arrogance (Our colonists would never become terrorists!) than concessions made because of the loss of 39 ships.
Tue, Nov 22, 2011, 9:30am (UTC -5)
Really, there must be far more ships even than the thousands we've seen in one battle, since having virtually all of your ships in one place fighting one battle would leave the rest of your territory as a sitting duck.
Wed, Nov 23, 2011, 11:59am (UTC -5)
This episode is one of my favorites of the series, but it is amazing that Eddington would have come up with such a convoluted plot and assumed it would have worked so well. It kind of reminds me of the TNG episode where DaiMon Bok has the world's most complicated plan to get revenge on Picard.

This episode doesn't go that far, thankfully. But several things need to happen for the plan to work.

-- Rebecca's message would have to be recovered by someone who can decipher the meaning. Considering that Eddington was captured BEFORE the Klingon-Federation treaty was reinstated, Eddington would have had to hope that someone in Starfleet would understand what the hell Rebecca's intimating or that the Klingons would turn to Starfleet for help. That, to me, is a major plot hole.

-- Moreover, why would the Maquis need this plan if not for the Dominion alliance with Cardassia, which Eddington didn't know about when he was captured? Was this something Eddington had ready if the Cardassians had turned the tide against the Maquis? It doesn't seem all that necessary, given that the Cardassians were in such bad shape when Eddington was captured. Was this a plan to get Eddington out that was delayed by the Dominion-Cardassian alliance and the Jem Hadar's attack on the Maquis -- and then used when the Maquis survivors had the opportunity/had no other options? I guess it's possible, but the episode doesn't say.

-- That message would have to get to Sisko, and Sisko would have to be the one to contact Eddington. This is possible, but what if Sisko had been away? He and the Defiant crew were in the Gamma Quadrant around the time of this episode. Without Sisko's presence, does Eddington's plan have a shot of succeeding?

-- Sisko would have to want to stop the missiles, and he would have to decide that tracking down Eddington was the best way to do it. The first part makes some sense, the second part is questionable. Granted, Rebecca dropping the name 'Michael' in the message helps -- Sisko might have figured that Eddington was the guy to go to -- but why trust Eddington again? We know from dialog in 'Voyager' that there are other Maquis members in Federation prisons.

-- Sisko would have to buy Eddington's con initially. Eddington probably figured he could pull this off because he conned Sisko several times previously. But it's still another domino.

-- All of this would have to happen before the Maquis survivors were found by the Dominion. Another timing issue.
Fri, Jan 20, 2012, 11:14am (UTC -5)
as a Canadian, I LOVED the "lucky loonie" reference... I had to go back and check and this was done before we snuck the loonie under the ice for the Olympics

the profits were guiding the writers.
Thu, Apr 5, 2012, 5:17pm (UTC -5)
Great episode that set up a another great episode, but not of DS9, of Voyager - "Extreme Risk," where B'Elanna self-harms as a way of dealing with survivor's guilt after finding out that the Maquis have been wiped out. I consider "Blaze of Glory" and "Extreme Risk" as parts I and II of the Tragedy of the Maquis. Both episodes are classics.
Latex Zebra
Wed, Apr 11, 2012, 7:08am (UTC -5)
With regards to the Federation being weak I'm reminded of Way of the Warrior when Martok says he does not wish to anger the Federation. Clearly there is respect there. Not to mention the spanking the Klingons got the same episode.
I think it is more likely a concession made by the Federation to acheieve peace, much like the DMZ with the Cardassians. You make a small concession for peace which is what the Federation values most surely.
Thu, Jun 21, 2012, 12:37am (UTC -5)
It's certainly plausible to buy the Federation being eager for peace at all costs...look at the way they tied their hands behind their backs with the Treaty of Algeron...probably the single most short-sighted, dumbest acquiescence ever...
Sat, Jul 14, 2012, 10:50pm (UTC -5)
This is a point I have made often, namely that in the TOS era the Federation was that era's USA. The wealthiest most powerful power in that part of the galaxy. In TNG it turned into a politically correct bag of mush.
Of course, that is still a political decision, the USA has had both strong and weak governments as well as made some foolish decisions, but on balance we are still a "hyperpower." rather than a just a superpower.
Somewhere along the lines it was decided to turn the Federation into a weak, constantly losing former power. It was all but stated as such in TNG.
The idea of counselors, no more cowboy diplomacy etc...
It was forgotten that ideals are wonderful, so long as you can actually defend them...
Gaius Maximus
Thu, Aug 23, 2012, 9:30pm (UTC -5)
Just a note on the Feds not using cloaks. The real problem here is that Gene Roddenberry thought that using cloaks was cowardly and 'our people don't sneak around.' Unfortunately, like a lot of Gene's later ideas, (humans not having money or religion, no conflict between Starfleet officers), it doesn't make a lot of sense if you're trying to analyze the Star Trek universe as a real, coherent setting, but the writers feel compelled to follow it anyway. I don't mean any disrespect to Gene Roddenberry, without whom none of us would be having this discussion, but he often seems to have put idealism above practicality and logic.

As for the Treaty of Algeron, we don't know enough about the situation that led to the Treaty to know if it was preceded by a defeat for the Federation, but it can't have been too crushing, or the Romulans would have abolished the Neutral Zone and resumed their expansionism, rather than settling for the cloaking ban. I suspect it can be chalked up to the Federation desire for peace at even a high price, based on Roddenberian idealism.

Similarly, it seems pretty clear to me that the first Federation-Cardassion War must have ended in a stalemate considering that both sides ceded colonies to the other, (which I always thought was a bit ridiculous considering there is little or no need for a linear, Earth-style border in space).
Wed, Dec 5, 2012, 12:30am (UTC -5)
As a 1-time African Studies minor, the fact that I haven't noticed Sisko's race, really, since Season 2 is saying something.

Then there was that bit where Eddington accused Sisko of trying to rule the world or something like that. For some reason, it just seemed so... like something nobody would ever say that way in the 21st century, even if they meant the exact same thing.

Sure, black people are in power all the time, but the fact that it's 100% obvious that Eddington probably couldn't even TELL you what race Sisko is if you asked him later, is just... interesting?
Thu, Dec 6, 2012, 8:22pm (UTC -5)
Someone wondered how the Maquis could be such a major factor in Federation affairs, internally and externally. They're like the Jewish settlers on the West Bank. A relative handful of people can affect pretty much the entire geopolitical balance of the world. The settlers drive Israeli policy. Israel drives U.S. policy. U.S. policy drives the world.

At any rate, I agree. Great episode. I don't think the various Treks utilized the Maquis as well as they could have, but overall, I enjoyed Maquis storylines.
Sun, Apr 28, 2013, 5:51pm (UTC -5)
Just rewatched this one for the first time in years. Holds up really well.

Interestingly, it's something of a bottle show, with much of the episode focusing on the interaction between Sisko and Eddington. Sisko's point about the Cardassians running right into the hands of the Dominion is telling, and strikes me as a believable consequence, perhaps precisely because it can only seem anticlimactic.

Loved Eddington's mention of his "lucky loonie". I think that's about the third or fourth mention of Canada on Trek, notwithstanding the Iconian gateway's preference for Nathan Philips Square back in "Contagion".
Wed, May 29, 2013, 1:42am (UTC -5)
If people put as much effort into debating real world issues as they do a fake treaty from an old tv show, humanity would be a step closer to the ideals represented on said show.
Sat, Oct 26, 2013, 12:52pm (UTC -5)

Another very good episode. The marquis can never catch a break.

Sun, Mar 2, 2014, 3:47pm (UTC -5)
Finally, a Maquis Eddington episode that truly works. I still vehemently disagree with the sudden plot-turn of him being Maquis in the first place. But this one is actually good despite that.

3 stars.
Wed, Jun 25, 2014, 11:15pm (UTC -5)
This episode was okay. It's strange how many episodes I find utterly indifferent that Jammer loves.

Eh, we just don't see Eddington enough on the series to really hate or like him. He's just kinda there.
Thu, Aug 14, 2014, 1:42pm (UTC -5)
The Maquis should have been a temporary thing. The Federation and Cardassia should have pulled their heads out of their asses and fixed the damn treaty.

I love every episode Eddington is in. Kenneth Marshall played the part to a tee.

While we can debate plot-holes all day, Eddington sells the part very well. It still just makes me shake my head that Sisko doesn't show more empathy for the Maquis than he does.

I loved the twist at the end. Very "Eddington"

3 stars instead of higher from me because you can really see where the writers didn't put much thought into this one.
Mon, Sep 22, 2014, 9:52am (UTC -5)
I'm not huge on this episode even though I feel like I should be.

Part of it is that I never really warmed up to the Eddington storyline. I really enjoyed "For the Cause" but that episode also had the Kasidy drama going for it as well. Eddington's plot was also a bit more palatable (to me) there. His digs at Sisko were well done and I believed him as a member of the Maquis.

But the "For the Uniform" and "Blaze of Glory" arc is just too lukewarm for me. They became more about *Eddington* than the Maquis. I guess that's partially what drives Sisko in all of it, and I suppose it was good to finally put a face to the enemy, but it also ties the Maquis too closely to this one character. Suddenly the Maquis effort all comes attached to Eddington's bravado and sense of theatricality and they seem written a little too much for the benefit of a couple of climactic episodes than for the satisfaction of the series-long arc. Compared to the Klingons, Bajorans, Cardassians, and Dominion, they just don't seem to have the same range of characters that other antagonists do. Then Eddington dies in a scene that almost seems like its a given. It didn't really impact me the way it should have.

All that said, this is still a fair episode on its own merits because of some decent scenes and tension. I like how it hammers home how the Maquis have affected the Alpha Quadrant. The writers began them as victims, turned them to aggressors and then led them completely to ruin - a nice, dynamic arc that fits in well with the stories of DS9's other players. Sisko has a great line about how the Maquis pushed the Cardassians right into the arms of the Dominion, a visceral line that both gave me a chill and showed off how well plotted DS9 as a series really is.

3 stars for me, but with an asterisk. It works on its own as a decent episode of this series, but never really feels like the climax it wants to be (and should be).
Fri, Jul 31, 2015, 1:39pm (UTC -5)
The writers seem to be completely oblivious to real life. Here we are presented with a situation where a renegade terrorist faction wants to commit mass murder against A CURRENT GENOCIDAL ENEMY, and the allies are upset that this may case the said genocidal enemy to become... genocidal. It makes absolutely no sense.

Let's take WWII (always a good example): Churchill gave the order to bomb German civilians by the thousands. Hitler was furious, so he intensified the bombing of English cities. This actually ended up being a good thing because the Nazis were having great success with their military targets. But Hitler could do nothing except carry on what he was doing anyway - conquering.

In the same way, that's all the Cardassian's and the Dominion could have done. This also brings up a further HUGE plot problem: The allies would be using any and all means to obliterate their enemies, and vice versa; yet, for the duration of this war, no weapons of mass destruction are ever deployed. Let's take DS9 - all you'd need to destroy that thing would be one major weapon. You wouldn't send a fleet.

But the writers suspend all logic and all reason simply to peddle this unrealistically written war.

The B story isn't any better as it concerns Nog trying to be a bad-ass.
Gul Sengosts
Mon, Aug 3, 2015, 2:10pm (UTC -5)
This review is just wrong, as always :P Its issues have been discussed to great lengths here already. I could have forgiven it for putting two people who don't like each other on a shuttle AGAIN... if it were good characters and a good combination. Sadly, Eddington is the most unsympathetic and plain annoying character in the entire series, it could only go wrong.

He's just a huge pain in the arse with his constant over-the top sarcastic self-complacency. Dukat gets away with it because he has the personality and nonchalance to back it up, Eddington just tries much too hard and makes it only worse with every word he says.

It's good that he starts talking a few non-rubbish sentences over the stretch of the episode, but this episode's greatest achievement, eventually, is that Eddington dies.
Nathan B.
Mon, Aug 10, 2015, 10:22am (UTC -5)
I loved watching, and not trusting Eddington ever since he sabotaged the Defiant on the orders of a Starfleet admiral. I wish we could have seen him not as a Maquis, but as an operative of Section 31.
Jarrot Mullen
Sat, Oct 10, 2015, 8:47am (UTC -5)
Bad episode.

Firstly, I don't like the premise. Our ever-scheming Eddington let's his lovely wife send out a fake message and obviously knows a) the Klingons will pick it up b) will relay it to Sisko and c) Sisko comes to him for help. Yeah, I believe that.

Secondly, the Dominion and the Federation ARE AT WAR already. They have repeatedly shot at each other, the Jem Hadar have repeatedly captured and imprisoned Federation personnel, changelings have repeatedly infiltrated Federation organizations. And yet for several episodes Sisko and the others are acting like it isn't a war.

Thirdly, the sarcastic back-and-forth between Eddington and Sisko gets old, quickly. When did Eddington turn so smug?

Fourthly, blaming the Maquis for the Cardassia-Dominon-alliance is stupid. The Maquis was never portrayed as anything but a thorn in Cardassia's side, it was the Klingon War that almost annihilated Cardassia and that forge the alliance.
Diamond Dave
Mon, Jan 25, 2016, 4:20am (UTC -5)
I suppose that in some ways we needed a Maquis resolution episode, but I'm not sure we needed to come back to Eddington. Most of the episode seemed to be treading over old ground and old arguments. It is a good twist to have him play Sisko yet again though.

To have Eddington go out as a martyr I suppose makes sense given the extensive exploration of that aspect of his character last time out - but he's hardly a man with nothing left to live for if he's done all this to rescue his wife. So it just doesn't quite jibe for me.

The mental image of a naked Morn screaming "We're all doomed" is almost worth the price of admission alone however. 2.5 stars.
William B
Fri, Jan 29, 2016, 11:23pm (UTC -5)
First off, I do think that the Dominion wiping the Maquis out was a good story move -- the Maquis storyline had somewhat sputtered, and it really does get at the horror of the Dominion's sudden intrusion into the quadrant that these sizeable shifts happen.

A lot of my problem with "For the Uniform" is the sense that a larger conflict is reduced not just to two men (Sisko and Eddington), but their *egos* -- that Eddington seems to have little interest in the Maquis' plight as such but wants to play tragic hero, and that Sisko is really mostly motivated by Eddington's betrayal. It is one thing to personalize the story by having avatars for different sides, but it's another for those avatars to not seem to care about what the overarching issues are supposed to be. "Blaze of Glory" doesn't have any whole planets being poisoned, so, that is to its credit, but I think that it mostly still focuses too small to tell a Maquis story, without getting me sufficiently engaged in the character story. One moment that sort of sells Eddington-as-Maquis-leader/avatar is Eddington talking about the experience of tasting his own food that he grew, etc., etc. I don't know if I fully believe it considering how many traditionalist anti-replicator types we have seen living on Earth or other Federation worlds (Robert Picard, Joseph Sisko), but I think the point is that Eddington found Federation life too stale and a lot of the Maquis breaking away was actually a certain yearning for freedom, for a place that was their own, etc. And yet this still confirms me overall impression of Eddington from this and "For the Cause," which is that he really joined and apparently led the Maquis because he had romantic notions that life was more authentic if you're a rebel and didn't seem to have that personal a reason for caring about their plight in particular as anything but a particular cause for himself to get involved in. (By contrast, Cal Hudson watched the region, Chakotay's people were on one of the planets in the DMZ, Ro became involved due to her personal connection to and sympathy for Macias....) It does eventually turn out that the idea that the Maquis are launching a massive super-secret cloaked WMD at the Dominion is just a cover for Eddington to have a reason to go rescue his wife. And in that sense, it does make me wonder if we are meant to extend this to the Maquis as a whole. Certainly we are led to believe that Eddington's warlike persona was just a cover for the mushy romantic underneath. I dunno. Anyway, some of the dialogue between Sisko and Eddington is amusing and some is pretty pointed, but a lot of it falls flat and a lot of it is devoted to the extended dance of Sisko getting Eddington to start playing his role, which as we know was what Eddington wanted all along, and...I dunno. Eddington's motivations for joining the Maquis are still so sketchy, so that the focus on him really *does* seem to be as symbol for the Maquis, to the point where his heroic noble last stand (admittedly stirring) is taken as a bit of a synecdoche of the possibility of other Maquis out there (some are maybe in the Delta Quadrant!), but...I mostly don't think Eddington is actually that representative, and what motivations are given to him are mostly shallow.

The Nog subplot seems to tie in with the main plot a little bit in that I think Nog getting Martok's respect is in some senses what Eddington wanted -- why else was Eddington so fixated on what Sisko thought of him? -- and is fairly amusing on its own. It's also actually good set-up for "In the Cards" in a way, which, more on that in a bit.

I agree with those above who said that this plot is incredibly convoluted. I'm not really sure how I feel about the episode as a whole; I think the dialogue is snappy enough that I can maybe go to 2.5 stars.

Aside: Regarding the Treaty for Algernon discussion and such above, it actually seems to me that the Federation seems in general to be more powerful and have more territory than the Romulans, especially since the Romulans seem to have retired to their own space. It may well have been that the Romulans sacrificed several star systems in order to keep their right to cloak, because they would rather have that particular kind of security over territory -- and, in fact, the choice might have made perfect tactical sense for both parties, especially since the Romulans presumably need much more cloaking technology etc. to do things like spy on their own people (which, eventually we learn about Section 31, but it does seem as if the Tal Shiar is much more openly powerful and dissent is much more strongly crushed).
Wed, Feb 24, 2016, 2:59pm (UTC -5)
By far the absolute worst episode of the season, and the bottom of the barrel for the series. This was absolutely garbage from start to finish.

First of all, thank god for the glaring plot hole of Sisko not taking the strategically sound option of just warning Dukat and handing Eddington over to the Cardassians for interrogation. And even if that is too much, the Romulans, who are now friends, have plenty of interesting ways to get secrets out of people as we have seen multiple times in the past.

Second, if you edited out every scene where Eddington talked, youd lose nothing except about 20 minutes of awful overacting. I just walked away every time he opened his mouth and it changed nothing. Marshalls delivery makes nails on a chalkboard sound like tribbles.

Third, there was no reason for any of this. The episode was completely inconsequential. The Maquis manage to fly to and land on some planet but don't have any escape plan better than sending an encoded message into space and hoping it finds its way into the hands of a prisoner in a starbase... AND IT DOES (how convenient). Sisko and Eddington have no issue escaping the Jem'Hadar after moving five wires and turning a runabout into an awesome weapon never seen before and never used again, yet the equally experienced other Maquis leaders couldn't manage to do this on their own and chose to rely on some sort of half cocked convoluted escape plan instead.

And finally, enough with the "I'll just slow you down, tell my wife I love her" joke. That didn't make Eddington a hero. That just made him a cliche, thankfully killed during a bad escape plan. And not even a mild surprise, the moment his wife said "I'm staying with you", his death was certain. I'm so glad that's the end of Marshall.

The writers tried to provide some follow up to the Maquis' destruction by the Dominion, but no follow up was needed. Nobody cares about the Maquis. And the follow up failed to show us anything anyways except how awful Marshall's character is.

Zero stars, and a facepalm for Jammer.
Thu, May 19, 2016, 3:08am (UTC -5)
Come on, people. Over seven years since the first comment was written on this episode and not one Jon Bon Jovi "Blaze of Glory" joke yet. I am disappoint!

The A-plot is indeed powerful and a very worthy story, but it's far from perfect. I simply cannot forgive the writers for completely destroying the Maquis off-screen. That was not only unforgivable, it makes no sense. The Maquis have been one of the most wonderful elements in the "Deep Space Nine" tapestry and yet their downfall isn't even shown?! WTF! But then, given that they have always been treated as little more than an afterthought by the writers (even on the series they were specifically created and designed for!), I guess it's not really surprising that their final "Deep Space Nine" appearance is also an afterthought. Though, I will point out that both "The Next Generation" and "Deep Space Nine" ended up treating the Maquis with more respect as a concept than VOY ever did! What we are told about what happened off-screen also doesn't make much sense once you stop and think about it. So Eddington was leading this guerilla campaign against the Cardassians but was also able to run his own farm and grow his own food, not to mention find the time for romance (ending in marriage)? How the hell was he able to pull all of that off? And I really could have done with the asinine scene of Eddington complaining about the replicated food. "It still tastes like replicated protein molecules to me." Oh, so it tastes like food then? Just because something was encased in dirt at one point doesn't mean it's not made of protein molecules. God, I hate it when the writers go off on their little pet project of "replicated food doesn't taste the same" nonsense!

Still, the plotline does have many more positives than negatives. Good action, good special effects, otherwise good dialogue and a nice look at the opposing sides of the Maquis situation. I've sided with the Maquis pretty much since they were first hinted at back in TNG: "Journey's End". These were good people who were forced into a desperate and ultimately hopeless situation, not by Eddington and his personal need for glory, but by the failed policies and decisions of the Federation. A negotiated peace is what royally screwed them over to begin with. I doubt they would have even been willing to consider another one. They deserved better than to have their own leaders in the Federation turn their backs on them, hound them at every turn and to be finally obliterated by the Dominion. So it's nice to see Sisko finally coming to have some sympathy for them in the end, even if it required their slaughter for that to happen.

As for the B-plot, it's serviceable. Nothing particularly good or bad about it either way. I suppose it makes sense that Nog would be so paranoid and desperate for respect from the Klingons, given how aggressive they are and how most people view the Ferengi. Still, while it's not bad, it probably didn't need to go on as long as it did - as it does detract from the much more important and enjoyable A-plot. The only truly stand-out scene in it is the confrontation between Nog and Martok, and then only because it shows how great a character Martok is. He is not the usual clumsy, oafish Klingon we've seen so many times in so many episodes. Nog stands up to him and he offers respect in return because he sees what Nog is doing. That was nicely handled.

Thu, May 19, 2016, 8:14am (UTC -5)
@Luke - Do you think that's what the writers were trying to say? I thought they were just painting him as eccentric. Like people who think food tastes better when you cook it yourself (just because of the effort/mental association... not taste).

Or you know, people who swear they can taste the pesticides on their non-organic fruit or how people think "all natural" food tastes better, etc. I personally just took it that he was a spoiled little mental brat.

Sorry for any offense I'm giving to anybody like that! And I'm not saying that nothing organic tastes better or anything like that (I actually particularly like the organic milk brand that I buy...), but I swear you could stick an organic label on something and there is a subset of the population who would fawn over it.
Thu, May 19, 2016, 9:45am (UTC -5)

Well organic food wouldn't be quite analogous, because truly organic food would be free of hormones and other harmful additives. From my understanding of replicated food, it's actually *healthier* than non-replicated because it's the same product right down to the atom, and hasn't been sitting around potentially rotting in storage.

I agree though, Eddington's line about grown food sounds quite spoiled. I can't imagine Kira making the same complaint while she was fighting in the Resistance; she just wouldn't have had time to worry about such things. Maybe spending too much time farming and not enough time planning escape is what led to the Maquis downfall?
Thu, May 19, 2016, 10:09am (UTC -5)
"Because truly organic food would be free of hormones and other harmful additives"

I'm not saying organic food is bad, as I said, I buy some. My point was that #1 some of it DOESN'T taste better, it just has less garbage in it, #2 some of it may actually TASTE worse because some of that garbage is supposed to make meat juicier and whatnot and #3 the definition (in the US) as to what is organic is bizarrely unregulated. But a lot of being human is in the mind and some people will SWEAR that stuff tastes better if you stick an organic sticker on it!

That's the phenomenon I was getting at. Not that organic food is bad. My food isn't all organic, but some of it is. And all food is organic in the other sense of the word anyway :P
Thu, May 19, 2016, 11:33am (UTC -5)

I'm not sure if I've ever heard people say organic food tastes better. In fact, I've heard the reverse (likely because additives are often preservatives that maintain taste). And I'm not getting into national definitions, as we can reach an understanding here that organic means no additives.

So yes, it's a psychological preference. Which is fine. There's a huge difference between people here in the U.S. who have the luxury of time to choose and eat organic and Eddington who has *neither* but decides to anyway.
Thu, May 19, 2016, 11:49pm (UTC -5)

" Do you think that's what the writers were trying to say? I thought they were just painting him as eccentric."

I don't think so. Eddington isn't the first character to mouth this sentiment. Admiral Leyton says practically the same thing in "Paradise Lost". Joseph Sisko virtually lives by the dictum that "real" food tastes better. Even Sisko himself is seen countless times cooking his own food. Hell, you can even go as far back as TNG Season Two when Riker cooks eggs for the others in "Time Squared".

I agree that it does make Eddington look like a spoiled brat, but I honestly get the impression that the writers are trying to say that replicated food isn't as good a "fresh grown" food. If they're not, then why do they have others (even characters we're supposed to sympathize with) mouthing the exact same thoughts?
Fri, May 20, 2016, 8:19am (UTC -5)
If I had unlimited funds I could go to a restaurant for every meal (or just have a chef). But cooking can be fun. Sisko in particular likes to cook.

But seriously, shouldn't you be able to take whatever barrel of blood wine is a really good year, scan it, and then make a million more? After all... if the transporter can make 2 William T Rikers why can't the computer replicate my blood wine? I think it should! So let's assume it can.

But then think about something spicy, like Yamok sauce? Presumably they use peppers in there. Anyone who's ever had a really good homemade hot sauce knows there's some interesting variety the peppers. But what if the computer's synthetic peppers are all the same. Every bottle of Yamok sauce and every glass of blood wine would be identical.

Would you really want your hot sauce and wine to be exactly the same every time? That'd be boring. On the other hand you say... well then program in every vintage and variation of bloodwine! If Spot can have 47 feline supplements why can't I have 47 blood wines! And then I wouldn't have to pay that Ferengi a finders fee for it!

Ok well, you'd probably be right. So I'll counter with Gagh! Gagh is best when served live after all. And besides, maybe Janeway's senior thesis involved programming all of the replicators and so everybody's food is always burnt unless they cook it themselves.

That said though, I just always assumed Sisko liked to cook and most of his ingredients were replicated. Who the hell has time to grow fresh peppers when there's a war to fight?
Fri, May 20, 2016, 8:20am (UTC -5)
I apologize for the above post, I'm not even sure what it's about anymore.... nothing to see here, just haven't had my coffee yet, move along people.
Fri, May 20, 2016, 9:16am (UTC -5)
If Yamok sauce is spicy, I'd take a bottle. It has to be cheaper than that syrup of Squill they're selling down at Whole Foods.
Fri, May 20, 2016, 9:25am (UTC -5)
I know a guy who can get you a case of syrup of squill at cost if you can ply him with a box of self-sealing stem bolts....
Sat, Oct 1, 2016, 3:12am (UTC -5)
We don't have replicators so hard to know. However, enjoyment of food has a lot to do with the brain. If you THINK this tomato from your garden will taste better than the one from your friends garden; you will likely taste it and feel that way. Replicated wine or chicken may be 100% identical; however, the knowledge that it is 'not real", can affect perception when tasting it

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