In "Maquis II," Sisko finds that his long-time friend Cal Hudson has sided with the Maquis, intending to destroy a Cardassian weapons depot suspected of supplying the aggressive Cardassian colonies with armaments that have been used against the Federation settlements.
An extremely intelligent and often powerful continuation in the Maquis saga, the storyline benefits from solid plot developments (the dealings between Quark and the Vulcan trader are well-written and sensible) and good uses of the characters. This episode's most fascinating selling point is the way it puts Sisko in the tough bind: He finds admirals breathing down his neck to rectify the situation; he's forced into divided loyalties between his now-Maquis friend Cal and his duty to Starfleet; and the possibility of further violence erupting because of these skirmishes remains a possibility.
An early scene sets the tone when Sisko convinces himself of the reality of the Maquis' motives and frustrations—with a particularly apt observation that Starfleet's blind eye has been masked by the paradise of Earth they see every time they look out the window. Sisko's decisions here make him a complex hero—a man who has to utilize careful decision-making as his tool for dealing with the Maquis threat.
The rift between Sisko and Hudson has a strong emotional undercurrent—though it's once again somewhat undermined by Bernie Casey's wooden, dispassionate performance. On the other hand, there's always the reliable Marc Alaimo, whose turn as Gul Dukat—a man of pride, arrogance, keen observation, and sincere intensity—is a constant pleasure to watch in action. A delicious scene in a Runabout features Dukat dismantling the will of a cargo ship captain by using the sheer power of his attitude. Indeed, Dukat emerges "Maquis" as one of the most fascinating and dimensional recurring characters the series retains.
The finale is also gripping—with the unsettling sight of two Starfleet officers (Sisko and Hudson) firing on one another's ships—and it features some slick special effects. "The Maquis" is really good stuff—and not the last Maquis storyline by far.
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