Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"For the Cause"

2.5 stars

Air date: 5/6/1996
Teleplay by Ronald D. Moore
Story by Mark Gehred-O'Connell
Directed by James L. Conway

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"I am a Starfleet officer, the paragon of virtue."
"You're more like a parody of virtue."

— Benjamin and Kasidy

Nutshell: I can definitely see what they were going for here, but the way it's assembled feels a little too forced and sudden.

"For the Cause" is a story that almost works on so many levels, but it ultimately doesn't quite come together because the characters are at the mercy of a plot with so many collusively entangled angles that they're constantly being jerked here and there without real justification. This is too bad. I get the feeling this story would have been much stronger if it had either dropped some of the extraneous baggage or been a little more truthful about it.

Odo and Eddington come to Sisko after a staff meeting and tell him they have reason to suspect that Kasidy Yates is smuggling supplies for the Maquis. This happens, no less, after a scene that reveals to us that Ben and Kasidy have reached consummation in their relationship. So now Sisko has to deal with the emotional repercussions of finding out his lover isn't what she seems while performing the difficult duty of uncovering her motives.

Ah, the Maquis—now here's a plot line we haven't seen in any real detail since the second season. So much has happened since then—the Dominion's foreboding, the Klingons' presence, the Cardassians' woes. In fact, one thing I was hoping "For the Cause" would explain is what exactly the Maquis do now that political situations have so considerably changed. They are, after all, terrorists for a reason. Unfortunately, the show doesn't explain anything new; it just keeps the general idea in the air that the Maquis are simply not happy with their situation and that they're going to be trouble. (Wouldn't the Klingons' seizure of colonies lead to skirmishes between the Maquis and the Klingons? That would be an interesting angle, but the episode doesn't begin to ask such questions.)

The core of the episode centers around Sisko's dilemma of what to do when he discovers that the woman he loves has a hidden agenda. This part of the story is solid, believable, and empathizing. Sisko is justifiably skeptical of Eddington and Odo's suspicions at first. At the same time, it's obvious that he won't look at Kasidy again without wondering what she's hiding. The personal consequences of the events definitely make for relevant drama.

Still, there are some missed opportunities here, particularly because of Sisko's unwillingness to open up to anybody about his troubles. There's a nice scene between Sisko and his son (I thought the "Things change, but not this" bonding was quite poignant), yet I can't help thinking how much nicer the scene could've been had the writers allowed Sisko to talk to Jake about his problem. Similarly, the same goes for the scene where Dax is going to offer her ear after a briefing—Sisko's "Dismissed, Old Man" conveys his brooding state, but good dialogue could've conveyed so much more.

But there's more here than just Sisko's personal affairs. There's a plot involving some costly industrial replicators that the Federation is shipping to Cardassia as part of a relief program, and Eddington thinks the Maquis may try to obstruct such an effort. So while Eddington makes special security preparations at DS9, Sisko takes the Defiant, cloaks it, and follows Kasidy's freighter into the badlands where she's expected to rendezvous with another Maquis agent. The other agent, however, never shows up, and the Defiant ends up waiting hours for the illegal transaction to take place.

Something is fishy—as Odo points out, smugglers don't wait around if their buyers don't meet them on schedule. Sisko and crew decloak and beam over to Kasidy's freighter, and then they realize that they've been had—the whole thing was a trick to draw Sisko away from the station so someone could steal the industrial replicators.

It's about here where the plot introduces one device to many. Something about the whole thing feels off-kilter. The thief turns out to be Eddington—a Maquis spy himself—who stuns Kira and takes command of the station so he can sneak away with the replicators while half the command crew is still hours away on the Defiant. Sisko & Co. rush back to the station without Kasidy's ship but they're too late—Eddington is long gone.

This ending, alas, feels very wrong. I think the biggest problem is that all of these plot developments simply don't seem justified by the rationale of the characters. Eddington's defection is supposed to be shocking, but it isn't—it's just unwarranted. When Eddington contacts Sisko, he rants on and on about the Federation and what it represents, even calling it worse than the Borg ("At least they tell you they're going to assimilate you"). Kenneth Biller's performance seems sincere, but this does not work because it comes so far out of left field and feels so forced. (When was the last time we even saw this guy anyway? "Our Man Bashir"—which is completely irrelevant in terms of this show.) The story never explains why Eddington is so taken by the Maquis' plight, or why he's so angry at the Federation. It's as if the writers are pulling this stuff out of the air.

For that matter, the same goes for Kasidy Yates—though her role doesn't feel nearly as excessive as Eddington's does. (She doesn't rant about the evil Federation and so forth—it appears that she's just a sympathizer). While the idea of Kasidy putting Sisko in this painful situation is fine, the story's explanation of why—practically none—is far from fine. I did, however, appreciate the fact that Kasidy turns herself in for Sisko's sake, and that Sisko is able to forgive her even if he has to send her to jail.

I might take some comfort in the way this episode played out if I thought we would see any consequences of it. But the way the show is presented, I highly doubt we will see Eddington or the Maquis anytime soon—and that's irritating. The story should've stuck with the Sisko/Yates angle and considered it more deeply. By adding the thread involving Eddington, the plot shoots itself in the foot and seems like little more than a device to write out two of the series' recurring characters.

As for the B-story involving Garak and Tora Ziyal, it meanders too much without much of a point. Garak's scene with Quark where Kira threatens him is sort of amusing, but the scenes between Garak and Ziyal (who was unfortunately recast with Tracy Middendorf—a lesser performer than Cyia Batten) mostly fall flat. It's your standard filler—inoffensive but hardly compelling.

Previous episode: The Muse
Next episode: To the Death

◄ Season Index

100 comments on this review

Terence
Thu, Sep 4, 2008, 10:08am (UTC -5)
We definitely needed more background and context that would have justified the actions taken by Kasidy Yates and Eddington. Nothing leading up to this episode suggested either had reason to be Maquis sympathizers. Consequently, the episode feels contrived, as if the writers hadn't bothered to develop sensible character arcs. (And no, Eddington's conniption out of left field doesn't count.)
gimbo
Sat, Jul 4, 2009, 7:23pm (UTC -5)
I realize jammer's opinion on this is consistent with most of the fanbase, but this was one of my favorite episodes. It starts out with the possibility that kassidy is innocent and the episode could turn into a lesson about being over-suspicious, and the suspense continued to the final act as I thought the sudden Eddington reveal was well-done. It had the right amount of buildup - practically none at all, since part of the idea was that Eddington had put together a masterful plan and had given no indication as to his true motives.

It's one of the episodes that makes ds9 unique. Trusted characters whose beliefs make them do questionable things - including sisko, whose unprofessional decision-making comes back to bite him in the end, and the consequences of these will be further explored in the next season.
Jay
Sat, Aug 22, 2009, 3:41pm (UTC -5)
How would Gene Roddenberry react to the notion of the Federation even needing prisons? He seemed to think humans would be beyond interpersonal conflict...surely that includes crime.
Durandal_1707
Wed, Oct 7, 2009, 4:33pm (UTC -5)
I have to disagree on this one - there was something sort of... strange about Kasady's behavior ever since "The Way of the Warrior." The existence of this episode makes it look like they may have been planning her defection for a while, rather than it just being attributable to bad acting on her part.
Nic
Tue, Oct 27, 2009, 8:24pm (UTC -5)
Recasting should be illegal! Cyia Batten was the perfect actress to play Ziyal, and she was a year older than Ziyal is supposed to be, yet they recast her twice with an older actress. It's SORAS syndrome.
Mostly I agree with your review, except that I think Kenneth Marshall's performance is partly to blame for why the revelation doesn't work.

P.S. Yes, Michael Eddington was played by Kenneth Marshall, not Kenneth Biller :P. Kenneth Biller was a writer and two-time director on Voyager.
gion
Wed, Feb 17, 2010, 7:25pm (UTC -5)
Perhaps Yates' and Eddington's motives could have been explained better, but I think the story's main weakness is that the Maquis would so easily give up a compatriot, or at least a useful, sympathizing traficker, for the sake of tactical expediency. The writers should have brought up some sort of justification because the action is really more in tune with that of cynical bandits rather than zealous freedom fighter.

Eddington's claim the Federation dislikes the Maquis because they had left the Federation (on their own accord) also seems off mark. It may apply to himself, but not to the settlers. The Federation left them, not the other way around. That's exactly supposed to be the whole reason why we've seen Starfleet officers sympathize with the Maquis and join them.
Mal
Thu, Mar 25, 2010, 12:40am (UTC -5)
For the Cause has one of the best DS9 quotes ever, and just for that, three stars is a minimum:

"Why is the Federation so obsessed with the Maquis? We've never harmed you. And yet we're constantly arrested and charged with terrorism. Starships chase us through the Badlands, and our supporters are harassed and ridiculed. Why? Because we've left the Federation, and that's the one thing you can't accept. Nobody leaves Paradise, everyone should want to be in the Federation! Hell, you even want the Cardassians to join. You're only sending them replicators because one day, they can take their rightful place on the Federation Council. You know, in some ways, you're even worse than the Borg. At least they tell you about their plans for assimilation. You're more insidious, you assimilate people - and they don't even know it."
Caliburn
Sun, Apr 18, 2010, 8:02pm (UTC -5)
* I love what this episode does for the Sisko/Kasidy Yates relationship. It was already an above-average Trek romance (mainly because the standards there are quite low), but it seems a little deeper now, since we see in Sisko's eyes that he is reflecting on how losing Kasidy Yates will end the family dynamic that is building between himself, Kasidy, and Jake.

* Like Jammer, I do sort of wish that Sisko had confided in Jake what was going on.

* The Eddington defection is abrupt, but I don't personally have any trouble believing it. (Granted, this is my second time watching the episode, but I didn't have a problem with it the first time either.) It seems sufficiently consistent with what little we know of his character at this point, even though this episode declines the opportunity to explain his motives. For example, he's always been all-business, which means nobody really knows anything about his values (as further underlined in the scene in this episode where Eddington ducks O'Brien's question about his opinion on the Maquis). He acts like a poster boy for loyalty to the Federation, which obviously could have turned out to be legitimate, but also makes sense if this attitude was a fairly calculated put-on. Someone who has something to hide is likely to toe the party line more closely than his compatriots.

Also, as Ira Steven Behr points out, Eddington's defection does help explain Eddington's remarks to Sisko about the captain's chair back in The Adversary. I'm not clear on whether that particular subtext was really planned back during The Adversary (as opposed to just making Eddington an effective red herring in The Adversary itself), or whether it just worked out conveniently in hindsight, but either way, it works, and it shows that the writers were playing fair with the past as much as possible, instead of retconning.

I'm not saying the writers shouldn't have provided more foundation than they did; I'm just saying that, for me, the revelation worked.

* I wonder if Jammer would have gone a little easier on this episode if he had known at the time that it was not writing either Kasidy or Eddington out of the show, and that it really would receive follow-up.

* As for Gion's claim (in the Comments above) that "the Federation left [the Maquis], not the other way around": Well, that is the way Cal Hudson (Bernie Casey) made it sound back in DS9's Maquis two-parter when he explained why his sympathies were with the Maquis. But in the TNG episode Journey's End, which showed the birth of the Maquis (albeit through only a single colony), it is pretty clear that that colony decided to give up Federation membership so that it wouldn't have to move out of Cardassian territory. To quote from that episode:

PICARD
Anthwara... I want to make
absolutely sure you understand the
implications of this agreement.
By giving up your status as
Federation citizens... any future
request you or your people make
for assistance from Starfleet will
go unanswered. You will be on
your own... and under Cardassian
jurisdiction.

Yes, the Federation basically gave the colony an ultimatum (to move out of what was now Cardassian space), so some of these people who became the Maquis could very well feel that the Federation abandoned them. But some people in the Federation could also very well feel that the Maquis rejected the Federation, because they gave up their citizenship.

So what Eddington says is just as plausible an interpretation of what happened as Cal Hudson's was. Bear in mind that Ronald D. Moore also wrote Journey's End, which would further increase the likelihood that he would have the events of that episode in mind when he wrote Eddington's speech.

* Funny how so many characters in the DS9 universe (Sisko in The Maquis, the Federation President in Homefront, Eddington here) independently arrive at the same "paradise" moniker for the Federation. Writerliness, much? I blame that on the Homefront/Paradise Lost two-parter (where paradise references ran in such abundance that I grew a little weary of them), moreso than on this episode, but the re-occurence of the word "paradise" in Eddington's speech isn't my favorite touch.

* I like the Borg comparison, though. It's rather a shock on first viewing, and ultimately I don't think the comparison really holds, but it makes sense as a comparison that someone might make. People often make comparisons that are somewhat true, yet over the top. And the fact that the show even raises this question adds to its thoughtfulness.

* Jammer's desire for more info on how the Maquis fit into a changed political landscape might have been somewhat assuaged if the original subplot, which apparently involved the Klingons arming the Maquis with weapons, had been retained, instead of being replaced with the Garak/Ziyal subplot. An interesting what-if...

* For me, this episode would probably warrant 3.5/4 stars, but then, I'm partial to stories that hearken back to the political intrigue of Season Two. I might not go as high as Trek reviewer Tim Lynch's re-grade of 9.5/10, but I'm more in line with Lynch's thinking than with Jammer's here.
Elliott
Sun, Dec 26, 2010, 4:02am (UTC -5)
Whose idea was it to start calling the Federation or Earth "Paradise"? Ech. It's so contrived to make the Maquis look sympathetic (and Star Trek look naïve), but the truth is the Maquis are arrogant, immature and self-righteous in the most nauseating way. It's like hearing teenagers rave at you for becoming part of the corporate machine. Shut up and get a job.
jon
Thu, Jan 27, 2011, 6:38pm (UTC -5)
Elliot calling Earth Paradise is very close to GR's ideals so what's your problem?

Yeah I mean the maquis only were only defending their homes from the cardassians and oh wait they were supposedly a part of Voyager and incidentally a main attraction of Voyager so again's what's your problem?
Elliott
Sat, Jan 29, 2011, 6:45pm (UTC -5)
They were defending homes which were no longer theirs to defend and too immature to realise the larger ramifications of their actions.

Jon, I don't think you have the foggiest idea what you're talking about. My problem is with dishonest storytelling. And, incidentally, while I certainly to like Voyager as a series, I don't defend parts of its premise simply on that basis any more than I attack DS9's for the same reasons.
jon
Fri, Feb 4, 2011, 11:49am (UTC -5)
Elliot the maquis were designed for Voyager and were considered to be a central part of te premise and then forgetten about.

The fact is that they were their homes if the US govt signed a treaty with a foreign power that gave your part of America away to another country and then expected you to give away your home which you'd lived in what would you do? sayok fine or no this is my home i bought it i'm not moving away and watch prempative strike and the maquis and the Cardassians armed their citizens and got them to attack the fed citizens that was how the maquis were born and that is why they acted the way they did at first out of self defence and then this. I think the problem was the writers didn't want to do the maquis and so were half hearted about them since there were meant for Voyager.
Nathan
Thu, Mar 10, 2011, 3:31pm (UTC -5)
I have to agree with Jon on this.

The Federation allowed colonies to be setup near Cardassan space. Then after the Borg almost destroyed Star Fleet the Cardassans started making aggressive moves against the Federation. The Federation to appease them pulled out of the area and tried to force the settlers out. They naturally refused. The Maquis motives are perfectly understandable. The morally superior Federation cowardly sacrificed it's land and citizens to avoid war.
Elliott
Mon, Aug 15, 2011, 12:41am (UTC -5)
In "Journey's End" we see how there may be metaphysical issues which no amount of political or economic security can account for. However, those concerns cannot justify the militant actions of of the Maquis. To say they do is to invite justification for any level of Holy War. But the DS9 portrayal of the Maquis glosses over this and just makes speeches designed to piss on Gene Roddenberry's grave. Are you really suggesting, Nathan, that avoiding a bloody and costly war over the relocation of a few settlers is really unjust and cowardly? This kind of thinking is the same behind "Insurrection" and why the premise of that movie flops on its rear end.
Elliott
Mon, Aug 15, 2011, 12:45am (UTC -5)
Remember, no one in the Federation, including the colonists, has any worry of money or property or employment. Like it or not, believe it or not, it's a premise which makes this Universe possible and considering it, there's no viable justification for the Maquis' actions. At best, as I said, it may hold some clout as a spiritual issue with the land and so forth, but at worst (and this must be said of most of the predominantly Atheist Federation), it's just immature postering and pathetic threats.
Elliott
Mon, Aug 15, 2011, 12:54am (UTC -5)
Oh, and lest we forget, because this episode is just a soap box to preach--I don't know...post-capitalist pessimism--Eddington's apparently iconic speech from the monitor is met not with a philosophical counter or anything which might draw in that coveted "grey area" polemic into his argument but with a personal vendetta from Sisko.

This show doesn't care about the grey area. It only pretends to in order to be subversive to an enlightened philosophy.
Aaron B.
Sat, Aug 27, 2011, 10:31am (UTC -5)
I get a kick out of the fact that the mighty Federation, which is supposedly so prosperous that everyone's needs are met so completely that there's no need for an internal means of exchange, can only muster up enough replicators and reclamators to give people something to fight over.
Nic
Mon, Oct 3, 2011, 8:11am (UTC -5)
"This happens, no less, after a scene that reveals to us that Ben and Kasidy have reached consummation in their relationship."

Sorry, this makes me laugh. I'd taken for granted that they'd reached consummation a long time before this episode (probably even before "Indiscretion").
Captain Tripps
Tue, Oct 11, 2011, 11:11am (UTC -5)
Did you miss all the episodes of TNG where settlers refused to leave their homes even when facing imminent war/death/destruction/assimilation? Some chose to fight, others to face certain death. That's an old theme. Well played out with the Maquis, IMO. They had complete justification for their actions, were they supposed to simply walk away from their homes because the federation chose to withdraw? I guess it's a fundamental difference in attitude that probably manifests in other ways politically and socially. The decision that's right for the Federation isn't necessarily right for the individuals it's going to most affect. Sometimes the needs of the many are outweighed by the needs of the few (or the One).
Captain Tripps
Tue, Oct 11, 2011, 11:16am (UTC -5)
I say that as someone who lives in a community that's had it's own fight with something similar, eminent domain, and a local government that decided it was in it's best interests to take privately held homes and businesses and sell them to a larger corporation, so that it could expand it's operations in the area. People were offered above market prices for the property, but many, many of them objected. And I understood, and in many cases supported those objections. On the one hand is a balance sheet, the other people's lives and livelihoods. I know which I'd choose, but then again I'm not in business or politics.
TDexter
Sat, Oct 29, 2011, 6:28pm (UTC -5)
It seems pretty clear from other episodes that it's not true that every settlement in Federation territory benefits from an endless supply of resources. Perhaps the core planets and the homeworlds are scarcity-free, but out on the "frontier," people have to fend for themselves in many ways.

I think that DS9, this episode included, has brought much-needed depth to the idea of the Federation as a Utopian force at least if not more powerful than any other league in the quadrant, and that it is only truly threatened by all-powerful enemies (Q, Borg, Dominion).

Keep in mind that Ronald Moore (of BSG) wrote this episode; it has the mark of his grittiness in terms of realpolitik and realism.

We should be able to root for the Federation without being so naive as to think that it is the only force for good in the Universe. The criticisms expressed by the Maquis are the same that are often expressed by alien races not part of the Federation (and by the earlier Vulcans): that it's dominated by humans; that it's arrogant and closed-minded; that its goal is endless (albeit peaceful and diplomatic) expansion. These are all fair criticisms.
Paul
Tue, Nov 8, 2011, 9:09am (UTC -5)
Interesting thread. I think this is a better episode than Jammer. I also think it's a very Ron D. Moore episode.

For the BSG fans in the crowd, RDM's other show had a couple examples of making round characters fit into square holes. It wasn't normally that the character had a backstory that would invalidate some new info -- it was more that the character had nothing to validate the new info. Take Adama's sudden connection with the pilot Kat.

The Kassidy Yates news in this episode, to me, didn't need that much explanation. The Eddington switch did. The fact that there were follow-up episodes certainly helped ('Blaze of Glory' is one of my favorites in the series) but I always wished that Sisko had simply asked Eddington why he turned -- or what was the turning point?

I think it's safe to assume that Eddington became a sympathizer after 'The Search'. That's some supposition, but I have a hard time seeing a spy potentially losing Sisko's trust by sabotaging the Defiant before Enabaran Tain's attack.

So, at some point between the destruction of Tain's fleet and 'For the Cause' -- and it must have been a while before, because the Maquis don't trust easy AND because Eddington presumably needed time to carry out the sabotage discovered in 'For the Uniform' -- Eddington's value structure changed. And there was nothing on-camera that we saw that would provide any insight.

I always thought a cool reason would have revolved around the Klingons' attack on DS9. We never saw Eddington in that episode (I'm guessing the guest star budget was more than tapped). What if, in 'Blaze of Glory' or even 'For the Uniform', Eddington explained his change of thinking to Sisko like this:

Eddington was on special assignment to the Badlands around the time the Klingons attacked. He witnessed first hand how the Klingons didn't discriminate between Cardassians and Maquis (even on a limited scale). And he learned, first hand, upon returning to DS9 that Sisko warned the Cardassians and not the Maquis. The explanation would have to include something about how the Maquis forces largely avoided the Klingons' attack (hid in the Badlands/they weren't the primary targets?) while still incurring some damage.

That would a) explain why Eddington became a Maquis spy b) explain why he wasn't on the station during the Klingon attack c) what was going on with the Maquis during a quadrant-shaking turn of events and d) partially explain the Maquis buildup that we saw in 'For the Uniform.' And the last point doesn't even really need explaining.

The only possible inconsistency would be that the Klingons would later give the Maquis weapons (as discussed in 'Blaze of Glory'). But, as long as the Klingons' effect on the Maquis wasn't overly pronounced -- e.g. a couple ships with children were killed in the crossfire -- the Maquis, as terrorists and pragmatists, would have still been willing to take weapons to attack Cardassia.
RStretton
Mon, Apr 9, 2012, 6:28pm (UTC -5)
I'm really beginning to disagree regularly with your reviews Jammer which is a real shame as I enjoy reading them. This is for me one of the best episodes of this season. I'm not sure how you could give the utter tripe that was Shattered Mirror a better score.

I do agree that this should have been more thoroughly handled (perhaps with a two parter) and we should have seen more of Eddington's motives however given the time constraints of a single episode I felt this was about as good as DS9 ever managed.

The Maquis were always one of the better adversaries and they were handled rather poorly by the show especially given the Federation's embarrassingly one-sided approach to them which frankly left me rooting for the Maquis and not Sisko. They have justifiable grievances which have not been settled and should be fought for. I don't see it as a Holy War type scenario but people fighting for their right to exist.

One annoying typical Trekkian inconsistency in this show was the freighter. So the Federation is shipping these huge industrial replicators able to get whole economies back on their feet and what were they to be transported in - a freighter the size of the Defiant. Why can these shows never match the effects to the story?
Eduardo
Tue, Aug 21, 2012, 10:18am (UTC -5)
@jammer

Little bit of correction:

In the review, you referred to the actor playing Eddington as Kenneth Biller, a ST-Voyager writer/producer. His actual name is Kenneth Marshall.
Arachnea
Tue, Nov 20, 2012, 10:26am (UTC -5)
The biggest problem about the Maquis is this:

The inhabitants of the DMZ were no longer Federation Citizens once the treaty was signed. They are in Cardassian space, thus making them a "Cardassian problem". The Federation claims to not interfere in internal affairs.
But they left starfleet officers in the colonies and they obviously want to take the Maquis down, thus interfering. And in this episode, being a Maquis smuggler seems to be a higher offense than other smugglers.

What I mean to say is, it was ok for the Bajorans to be terrorists, but it's not for the Maquis. In french, we say "2 poids, 2 mesures". I really don't like the way the Maquis/Federation has been written. And I'm not saying that the way the Maquis is handling things is the right one, it's just badly thought.

Having that in mind, this episode wasn't so bad (except for the "I'll get you because you made a fool of me" Sisko speech).
Kotas
Wed, Oct 23, 2013, 6:12pm (UTC -5)
I dislike Yates, but this was a decent episode.

6/10
eastwest101
Mon, Nov 4, 2013, 4:24pm (UTC -5)
I thought this was one of the better episodes of the season, the twist was well done but the B-story was a little weak.
Dusty
Tue, Feb 18, 2014, 6:57am (UTC -5)
This one was a lot better than I expected. Sisko is put in an impossible position, and the subliminal conversation between him and Kasidy is chilling. Collaborating with the Maquis was the best thing that could happen to her. If nothing else, it made her interesting. Eddington's betrayal was also a surprise,and his conversation with Sisko was memorable. This episode was a much needed reminder that the Maquis are not going away.

As for the Garak/Ziyal subplot, when did Ziyal suddenly get 5 years older? I guess they needed a different actress but they could have found a younger one. I loved Kira's warning to Garak. I'd be afraid of her too.
Vylora
Tue, Feb 25, 2014, 2:23am (UTC -5)
Despite some personal disagreements, I do actually care for the plight of the Maquis and what they're going through up to this point. The story told in the earlier DS9 eps about them were well done. It really does suck for them and it's not JUST about the Maquis either. Their are civilians in that situation, too, that probably feel trapped. Their IS reason for sympathy. But some of the things the Maquis do push too far based on what got them there in the first place. And some of the actions by certain sympathizers make no sense in that regard. Eddington in this case is way too sudden and forced whereas Yates makes sense. Ro Laren in TNG's "Preemptive Strike" made sense. I like the IDEA of Eddington joining, but there has to be some sort of build up to it. Or at least portrayed better than what was here.

I fully realize watching these stories that there's a big difference between Bajorans fighting back during the occupation and the what the Maquis are doing. Bajor was oppressed by a brutal regime. The civilians were terrorized and beyond worse in some cases. Their planet, their home, was being razed and strip-mined in places.

The planets in the demilitarized zone were chosen by these people to be colonized knowing full well that they were, or had the potential to be, contested. They started building lives there, yes, but then the treaty came and they refused to move. I don't get that, but people aren't perfect. People that have the ability to move near a semi-active volcano shouldn't do so. But some do because they love the area for one reason or another. Not the best analogy but it's close enough methinks. It doesn't give Cardassians the right to be assholes about it, though, and of course it would be great if different decisions were made on their part. But it is what it is and up to this point the civilians are not having fun to say the least. They felt abandoned by the Federation and so began the Maquis. It's a mix of good intentions and bad decisions and all the vice versa's thereof.

"It's easy to be a saint in paradise" indeed.

This episode on the whole was good but suffered from not being a two-parter. I say that because I see some genuinely great ideas here. A few worked but needed more time and one fell flat on its face (Eddington) and especially needed more time. And they could've kept the lightweight Garak/Ziyal thread.

2.5 stars seems right...maybe a guarded 3 stars for me just because their was so much potential here.
Toraya
Thu, Mar 13, 2014, 9:28am (UTC -5)
Guess I am the only one who likes the new Ziyal? I liked the previous version too, but the character was played very much as a naive ingenue - OK for a guest star but boring in a recurring character.

Given what we'd been shown of her previously, I utterly expected her to fall for Garak and end up gazing at him with big puppydog eyes while Kira did a mama-bear act. The writers' decision to give Ziyal a stronger character was a pleasant surprise. Her future relationship with Garak, Kira, and Dukat could prove interesting - as she is not necessarily going to comply with what each of them wants from her.
Yanks
Tue, Jul 29, 2014, 10:36am (UTC -5)
Just watched this episode last night.

I'll have to stray from Jammer's opinion on this one.

I thought this was an OUTSTANDING episode.

The best part about it WAS we didn't see it coming. Damn, does everything have to be thrown in your face?

I too prefer Cyia Batten. So damn sexy and her face is so expressive. I don't hate the replacement (Tracy Middendorf), she was fine (although I think I could look like a good actor alongside of Andrew Robinson :-)), but I don't know why the change had to be made. I kind of felt the same way I did with Ezri here. (Then they did it AGAIN! grrr....)

This episode has so much going on. Let's start with the "B" story. I really felt that Garak was afraid Ziyal was going to kill him! :-) I also loved how Quark put that back in his head in the tailor shop (lol). I also love the little exchange in the turbo-lift.

"GARAK: You're not going to hurt me, are you? Normally I would simply make a strategic withdrawal at the first sign of trouble, but there doesn't seem to be a way out of here.
ZIYAL: You could always call security.
GARAK: Oh, true. But it would take them a few minutes to arrive, and by then it might be too late.
ZIYAL: I don't think I'll hurt you.
GARAK: I'm gratified to hear that.
ZIYAL: In fact I think it's safe to say you have nothing to fear from me.
(They arrive at the Promenade.)
GARAK: And you, my dear, have nothing to fear from me."

:-) That scene was just perfect.

As was the last scene in the holosuite.

"GARAK: Why am I here? Am I to believe that you've invited the sworn enemy of your father simply to enjoy the heat?
ZIYAL: You really think I asked you here to kill you? Well, it did occur to me. Kira and my father both told me that you used to be an agent of the Obsidian Order. That you had my grandfather tortured and killed, and that you could easily kill me without a second thought.
GARAK: Although I seldom credit the Major or your father with being entirely trustworthy, in this case they're both telling the truth."

That's so Garak... he just doesn't ever have a bad scene.

OK, on with the main story...

MAJOR screw up for Sisko here, perfectly set up by Eddington. (hook, line and sinker)

"EDDINGTON: Sir, if the Maquis put up a fight the Xhosa might get caught in the crossfire. If that happens, I can't guarantee the safety of Kasidy Yates. And to be blunt, I don't want that responsibility.
SISKO: I can't say I blame you. The security of the CFI replicators is your priority. I'll take command of the Defiant.
EDDINGTON: Thank you, Captain."

Eddington set the stage and Sisko became a willing actor in his play. He probably recruited Yates months ago once he knew she was snuggling up with the Captain.

Brilliant!! (as Odo concedes). The question is, why not let Worf command the Defiant? Oh, he didn't show very good tactical judgment before I guess :-) Don’t want that freighter to get schwacked :-)

Thank you to all above that KNOW what the REAL Maquis’ dilemma is. Damn, if you're going to complain about something at least know WTF you’re complaining about.

They AREN'T Federation Citizens!

Not siding with the almighty Federation here either. This "treaty" is and has been a steaming pile bull from the start.

The Kassidy Yates angle is an interesting one. She so sided with the Maquis that she helped them KNOWING that her boyfriend Star Fleet Captain would have a duty to perform someday. Wow. Wonder if she had family down there? Did she really think she was good enough not to get caught, ever? Does she really care about Sisko?

I will also agree that Eddington had one of the best rants ever heard on Star Trek. His blurb on the "Federation" was SPOT ON!. Right up there with Quark's "root beer" line to Garak in 'Way of the Warrior' :-)

I'm not sure I completely agree with Sisko and his response to Eddington though. He did a whole bunch of pleading and talking with his old bud Hudson, but Hudson didn't embarrass him by stealing 12 Class-4 replicators, eh? Hudson didn't lure him off the station, eh? Nope, Eddington is going to jail if it's the last thing Sisko does. No discussion necessary. No uniform left for him to come back before Sisko has to inform Star Fleet. Lesson learned, don’t embarrass the Sisko.

Couple more notes. Ken Marshall is outstanding as Eddington and as I watched this episode I still was thinking how much I wished Felecia M. Bell could have played Kassidy Yates. What a beauty.

This episode has Ron Moore written all over it.

3.5 star for me. Outstanding episode on many levels!
Yanks
Tue, Jul 29, 2014, 10:40am (UTC -5)
Maybe Sisko was so pissed at Eddington because he was starting to feel like Chakotay on voyager.

"CHAKOTAY: You were working for her. Seska was working for them. Was anyone on board that ship working for me?"

lol
Yanks
Tue, Jul 29, 2014, 12:00pm (UTC -5)
HAHA!!

Poor Kira, she gets stunned when Tom stole the Defiant and then she gets stunned again here!

I guess she's better ask for a raise, pretty dangerous being the #2.

:-)
Jack
Sun, Nov 9, 2014, 10:18pm (UTC -5)
Presumably they aged Ziyal by recasting when they decided to couple her with Garak. Garak is a middle aged man (judging by the ample backstory we've been given, plus the fact that Andrew Robinson is), so they probably figured pairing him with an adaolescent was a bit much.
Sonya
Sat, Nov 15, 2014, 4:41pm (UTC -5)
I loved this episode! It had surprising plot twists, and I thought the writing and acting ranked among the best for the show so far.

I was hoping that Garak would turn out to be more like a father figure to Ziyal. Judging from other people's comments, I'm assuming the writers will make her a love interest instead. *sigh*
MsV
Fri, Feb 13, 2015, 4:13am (UTC -5)
I really liked this episode. There were comments about the fact that it would have been better if Sisko had talked to Jake. I don't think so, Sisko acted like a very depressed man who has found out the woman he loves is a criminal. I got it, at this time he just wasn't able to talk about it. I've been there before. As for the Eddington arc, I agree, it seemed like it came from no where. As for Garak and Ziyal, I remember reading somewhere, I believe Memory Alpha, that the other 2 Ziyals were too young for Garak. I am glad they got the older actress, I didn't want Garak to look like a pedophile. I actually liked the first actress best, but she looked young enough to be his granddaughter.
Easter
Mon, Sep 28, 2015, 1:50am (UTC -5)
huh. I was SURE Kassidy was gonna be a changeling
Yanks
Wed, Sep 30, 2015, 11:17am (UTC -5)
Easter,

Now THAT would have been EPIC!!
Easter
Wed, Oct 7, 2015, 2:19pm (UTC -5)
Also. SO, Eddington makes this big speech about how "we've never done anything to you. you just hate us cuz we left" which is well said and all, but falls slightly flat considering that him, just him, acting for the maquis within this episode did ALL of the following things

-Betrayed his post and superior officer
-Aided and abetted a smuggler in federation space
-Assaulted a Bajoran Liaison working with the federation
-Stole a huge amount of goods from the federation

Which I feel completely undermines every thing he has to say here.
methane
Sun, Nov 8, 2015, 7:24pm (UTC -5)
I'm one of those who think this is a fairly strong episode. I don't have a problem with Eddington's betrayal coming suddenly. The character has never been well-defined before now, so I think it's fine that his defection is as much a surprise to us as it is to Sisko.

And his speech at the end seems typical of those who travel from abroad to join a war. While the Maquis who come from the revolting colonies talk about defending their homes, Eddington talks ideology. It's the converts to a cause that are the most passionate about dogma.

All that being said, I would have preferred a bit more discussion in later episodes explaining how Eddington became a convert.

As to Ziyal#2, the actress was clearly too old for the character. Her acting was fine, but she felt wrong for the part.
William B
Tue, Dec 1, 2015, 12:13pm (UTC -5)
For the Cause:

I think it's best to start near the end, with Eddington's big speech. So, in many respects, his speech comes basically out of nowhere. Eddington basically has almost no established personality, so it is not inconsistent per se with what we know of him. But we have no personal context for why he believes this. As far as his comments about Starfleet's attitude about the Maquis, the underlying idea that "we have done nothing to you!" and that the Maquis are unfairly persecuted by the Federation is directly countered by other Maquis episodes in DS9. The Maquis work from within Starfleet to do terrorist activities like blow up ships (the Bok'Nor) or to pirate ships (Tom Riker and the Defiant). Eddington himself assaults a Bajoran national, uses Sisko's girlfriend's sympathy for the Maquis plight as a way of ensnaring Sisko in a trap in order to steal a bunch of industrial replicators. He justifies this, when Sisko calls him on it, by saying that the Federation will continue to be robbed if they continue to give Cardassians replicators, because it is apparently an assault on the Maquis to offer Cardassians replicators for partially destroyed planets *away from the DMZ*. Eddington's persecution complex relies not just on the Federation opposing the Maquis, but by their continuing to be allies with the Cardassians and helping the Cardassians cope with the destruction from the Klingons. Eddington's willingness to play a long game and to sacrifice Yates and her crew -- he had no way of knowing that Sisko wouldn't arrest the lot of them, and indeed his plan relies on the expectation that Sisko would arrest them -- is a classic case of an extremist ideologue sacrificing the moderates in his cause for the greater good; that Kasidy has enough sympathy to help plague victims but not enough to supply weapons makes her great to use as a tool to help get replicators to make weapons, which really undermines Eddington's moral credibility.

The point that the Federation is worse than the Borg! etc. is provocative and it is pretty easy to dismiss it as meaningless ranting when Eddington goes straight into that with so little set-up. It does seem to be somewhat of a thesis statement for a certain criticism of the Federation within the show, which is/is not justified. The source is pretty discreditable at least at this point, but he raises something of the same point that Quark and Garak discussed in "Way of the Warrior," about the difficulty adapting to their fates being essentially tied to the Federation, and that ambivalence. The shifting metaphor here of the Federation as actual ideal to the Federation as something of a Western hegemony, and the dangers of Federation overreach being akin to the dangers of globalization, is not entirely thought out and has some inconsistencies...BUT that there isn't an easy answer to the conflict between individual values and the values of a benevolent but increasingly powerful interplanetary organization/nation is well taken. Eddington strikes me as reactionary, especially because there is little in this episode at least to suggest that he has any reason for siding with the Maquis besides anti-Federation sentiment; Quark and Garak, like the Klingons in "Heart of Glory" (one of the first TNG-era episodes to deal with the difficulty adjusting to "civilization" encroaching on other values), have actual values, not necessarily one I'd share (and both of whom eventually break with their own culture's traditions in significant ways), but which make their uneasiness about having to rely on Federation protection (directly or indirectly) more sympathetic and interesting. I'll have to see whether future Eddington episodes fill in his motivations besides anti-structure.

Where Eddington's rant becomes interesting is even if it's hard for me to believe he is right about the Federation, he is maybe right about Sisko. Looking at this episode in isolation, the way Eddington successfully plays Sisko is by recognizing that Sisko takes things very personally, and that hitting him where his heart is will put him off-kilter and make him unable to think straight. And so that Sisko ends up failing to stop Eddington from pulling off a major heist is because Sisko is devastated and put off his game by the possibility of a more minor betrayal by someone closer to him. I guess I am not sure what the rules actually are about smuggling food and medical supplies to the Maquis, and what exactly the situation is; maybe Kasidy is not even a sympathizer, but a samaritan who worries about people suffering and sees what she can do about it. Or maybe she actually is a sympathizer; or maybe she is in it for some sort of personal gain. Regardless, a case can certainly be made that smuggling medical supplies is not all that terrible, which characters even attempt to point out to Sisko. But Sisko takes Kasidy's smuggling too personally to be able to put it in context; he gets viscerally angry at Odo and Eddington at the suggestion that she is smuggling (before he calms down when they remind him they said it was uncertain), then refuses to listen to people trying to soften the blow of the discovery that she is smuggling to them, then even tries to talk her out of going with some sort of plausible deniability, some sort of test of whether she really means to smuggle or just, like, stumbled into it somehow. Sisko allows Eddington to recuse himself from the mission because Eddington doesn't want the responsibility of having to make the call of whether to fire on Sisko's girlfriend's ship, which on some level Eddington should not have been able to get away with -- it's his job, after all (though why would he be in charge?); Sisko accepts that he needs to be there because Kasidy is so important to him and he needs to see her betrayal himself. Sisko never does end up asking Kasidy why she smuggled, at the episode's end, which is sort of an episode flaw but also maybe is because Sisko on some level does not make distinctions based on *why* a person broke one of Sisko's cardinal rules, but only sees the personal betrayal.

All of which is to say, maybe Kasidy should go to jail because there are some reasons I can see why smuggling medical supplies to a terrorist organization are wrong. (Medical supplies can maybe be used to manufacture biological weapons, e.g.) It may be that her actions are morally wrong. It is frankly hard for me to believe that she is more deserving of jail than Dax running off to kill people in "Blood Oath," which Sisko knew about, but I digress; I find it pretty easy to believe that she broke the law and is willing to face the consequences, etc. But for Sisko it is all very deeply personal, more about her lying to him and about him not knowing what she was doing (and that their jobs bring them in opposition) than the content of what she did. And Eddington exploited that. Sisko's ability to forgive Kasidy is largely because Eddington's huge con on him, including using his feelings for Kasidy against him, gives Sisko a new place to displace his feelings of personal betrayal onto, and suddenly Eddington becomes a deeply personal revenge target despite Sisko having had barely any feelings about him at all before this moment.

For once, I have little to say about Garak in this episode. I do think that this is not the best year for the character -- while he's always a phenomenally entertaining presence, IC/TDIC put the Obsidian Order intrigue surrounding Garak to rest, at least for a while, and I think that the writers aren't quite sure what to do with him right now. (I do think that s5-7 turn this around.) His fear about Ziyal is amusing, and the notion that she would seek him out even though he is an enemy of her father's is interesting, albeit underexplored here. What *does* it mean that he is the person who killed her grandfather? Does simply being the only Cardassians on the station provide enough reason for them to interact? I guess obviously the episode answered that question with "yes," but it feels incompete somehow, particularly with Ziyal's strong-willed effort to approach Garak, which (as methane commented above) plays a little oddly given her age, which the actress' age here somewhat obscures.

To some degree, I think this interesting element of the episode is too subtextual, to the point where I'm not even positive about it. But I think it unifies the episode and makes the hard left turns the plot takes make more sense. It also makes the episode pretty interesting as a character study of Sisko. Too much is left unexplored for me to be too wild about it as a final product, but I find it pretty interesting. Probably 2.5 stars, though that's a bit provisional. (If the next Eddington and next Kasidy stories dealt with the fallout here really well, this could go up -- since, yes, the episode is self-contained, but it could also be planting seeds for later.)
MsV
Fri, Dec 11, 2015, 10:38pm (UTC -5)
@William B It is frankly hard for me to believe that she is more deserving of jail than Dax running off to kill people in "Blood Oath," which Sisko knew about,

This point is one I am in total agreement with you. I got real angry with Sisko for not reprimanding Dax for leaving to commit murder to someone she had never met; and now his heart is so heavy with Kassidy's betrayal.

Here is where we differ, Sisko's ability to forgive Kasidy is largely because Eddington's huge con on him,

Sisko forgave Kassidy when she came back to face him and to face the consequences of her action. She loved him and their relationship enough to go back.

Eddington's huge con on Sisko is part of the rage and revenge Sisko has toward him. In short everything Eddington did or does is has made him Sisko's target.
William B
Sun, Dec 13, 2015, 11:21am (UTC -5)
@MsV, you are right of course.

As you say, Kasidy does show that she cares enough about her relationship with Sisko to come back, go to jail, etc., rather than stay safely off the grid. That really does go a long way toward repairing trust. What I really meant was something more like: in my opinion, Sisko feels betrayed by Kasidy, but it is easier for him to put that betrayal into perspective after Eddington's con. Kasidy lied to Sisko and did illegal activity, but to the extent that she hurt Sisko in the process it was accidental; Eddington clearly knew that he was betraying Sisko, and calculatedly played him, which means that it's way easier for Sisko to get over what Kasidy did once he has some other, even kind of malicious guy, to compare Kasidy's actions to. I wrote it in a more Sisko-critical way, as if Sisko's changing feelings are arbitrary than they are, which I think was maybe a bit too harsh.

I do still wish that we had gotten Kasidy's perspective in this episode, at the end. I can imagine a whole range of reasons to smuggle to the Maquis, from humanitarian impulses to help people who need help, through to specific sympathy for the Maquis' cause and perhaps a specific loved one (ala Ro), all the way to what seems to be a personal vendetta against the Federation for some ill-defined ideological reasons (ala Eddington, at least so it seems right now), or even pure profiteering (ala Quark's possible role in "The Maquis," before he started trying to talk Sakonna into peace). Her reasons aren't the only thing that matters, but it would really make a big difference, especially concerning the personal decision of whether she and Sisko should stay together -- for example, it makes a difference whether she lied to Sisko because she cannot stand by while people die of a plague, or she lied to him because she's found a great source of extra cash; or whether she fundamentally sees Sisko as The Bad Guy (the way Eddington does) or not. I also would have liked to have seen her reaction to finding out that the whole plague thing was invented by Eddington to steal replicators by throwing her under the bus.
Diamond Dave
Sun, Jan 3, 2016, 11:47am (UTC -5)
I'd agree that the huge problem with this episode is that Eddington's and Yates' links to the Maquis come pretty much entirely out of left field. Had there been some character development that hinted in this direction then fair enough - but whatever drove Eddington is simply missing and just feels out of place.

Placing some jeopardy in the Sisko-Yates relationship does make for a very strong Sisko episode, as he constantly has to reconcile his duty against his feelings. The scene where he tries to persuade her to go to Risa is masterfully written - except for any explanation of why Yates is so invested. "They said they desperately needed medical supplied" is another cop-out. But the tragedy for Sisko here is well handled indeed.

I also agree with the minority opinion given by Toraya above - this Ziyal is a much stronger character. As written she is not a cipher for others but a strong and independent person capable of making her own decisions. I really liked the final scene in the sauna.

So overall a strong episode with some real problems. 3 stars.
Luke
Tue, Apr 19, 2016, 7:39pm (UTC -5)
"For the Cause" is easily one of the best Sisko-centered episodes of the series, possibly the best one thus far. He has to balance his personal feelings, his duty, his family, and his sense of justice. And he completely fails. He allows his personal problems to distract him from the real plot going on right under his nose. As such, the Maquis manage to steal some replicators desperately needed by the Cardassians and all he gets in return is a low-level smuggler (of medical supplies no less) and the anguish of having to arrest his own girlfriend. And I love how personally Sisko takes Eddington's actions, especially as compared to Yates'. He is willing to forgive Kassidy even though she was just as guilty as Eddington not simply because she was his girlfriend but because she was a civilian. That's why, I think, he comes down so heavily on Eddington in their final conversation. It's also why Sisko goes to such extremes (which I would argue really cross the line) in "For the Uniform". Eddington betrayed Starfleet and that's something Sisko cannot let stand.

Sisko has been shown to be at least nominally sympathetic to the Maquis. He wouldn't fire on Calvin Hudson and his cell back in "The Maquis, Part II" because he couldn't justify killing people simply for defending their homes. He is even willing to offer Kassidy his forgiveness (even if she still has to do penance for her sins). And the episode even further provides sympathy for the Maquis by having the character with quite possibly the most audience credibility (O'Brien) speak up in their defense. But, Eddington wasn't a civilian and he wasn't defending his home. He betrayed the uniform which Sisko holds so dear. And, given that Sisko once thought about leaving Starfleet only to stay, I can see how that would inspire an almost blind faith and devotion to said uniform. It's a nice little piece of character work that wasn't force-fed to the audience, but grew naturally out of Sisko's previously established characteristics. Nicely done.

But, of course, what everyone remembers about "For the Cause" is Eddington's final speech. I like it. While comparing the Federation to the Borg is certainly hyperbolic in the extreme (seeking peaceful coexistence for scientific and cultural advancement is nowhere near the same as forcibly transforming people into cyborg zombies against their wills), Eddington does offer a surprisingly engaging statement on the nature of the Federation. It particularly interests me that he claims that worlds aren't allowed to leave the U.F.P. because it reminds me so much of the general feeling toward secession in the U.S. So many people out there either think that secession equals racism (because those people are stupid) or that it's just morally unconscionable because the U.S. happens to be a liberal democracy. I reject that idea completely. If a U.S. state (or any part of any other nation) wants to split off and form its own country, I say more power to them. Isn't that what democracy is supposed to be about - the will of the people? It would have been wonderful if "Deep Space Nine" had explored this aspect of the Maquis in more detail. Sadly, that didn't happen. Another interesting aspect of the speech is that Sisko never once attempts to defend the Federation's position from Eddington's rather broad indictment. He focuses solely on Eddington's betrayal of him personally and of Starfleet. This is why I like the speech so much - in some ways, he's absolutely right (hyperbolic, sure) but right all the same. The Federation has been acting like something of a hegemony over the Alpha Quadrant (and certainly within its sphere of influence in the Quadrant). It's a fairly benign hegemony, no doubt, but still a hegemony. What the Federation did to the people in the De-Militarized Zone is awfully similar to what the great powers did to the Middle East in the aftermath of World War I. They craved up the region and drew national borders with no regard for the people actually living there. And look where that has gotten us! So, Eddington's speech is one of the reasons I like this series so much - it's nuanced! We may not agree with everything he says or does. We may even find his comparison to the Borg rather ridiculous. But there are nuggets of truth in there.

As for the B-plot involving Garak and Ziyal - Jammer hits it right on the head. "Inoffensive but hardly compelling." The only stand-out scene is the one between Garak and Kira, but not for the reasons Jammer outlined. I didn't care for it. Kira just comes in, throws her weight around and threatens violence if she doesn't get her way instead of simply finding out from either Ziyal or Garak what is actually going on. This is usually the sort of thing she does to Quark. But then, he was in the scene as well, so I probably shouldn't be so surprised. As for the relationship between Garak and Ziyal - I've never had a problem with it. The one main criticism a lot of people seem to have about it is the age difference. Personally, age differences have never bothered me one way or the other. If two people of vastly different ages want to be together, that's their business not mine. Live and let live, I say. Besides, no one ever seems to have a problem with the age differences between Nana Visitor and Rene Auberjonois, or between Ethan Phillips and Jennifer Lien over on VOY.

There is one major problem with the episode, which I have to dock a point for, however. They sure have the Defiant operating under cloak an awful lot in this episode, don't they? Given that this episode takes place entirely in the Alpha Quadrant, isn't that a direct violation of the agreement with the Romulans? If they had given even one line of dialogue acknowledging the problem (like they did in "The Way of the Warrior") it wouldn't of been so bad. However, as it is, that's one major continuity flaw!

8/10
Akkal
Sun, Apr 24, 2016, 4:38pm (UTC -5)
I woud rate this episode 3 or 3,5 rather than Jammer's 2,5. It has quite a few great moments, and the surprises keep coming. I'm not too distracted by the lack of a back story for Eddington's reason to suddenly become a Maquis, because the fact that he's been hiding it so well thus far, suggests that this had to happen quickly, and doesn't need any further explanaiton for me.

The side plot with Garak was also amusing, I actually would have wanted more of the two om them in this episode.
Chrome
Sun, Apr 24, 2016, 7:47pm (UTC -5)
I think Jammer's even-handed with his review here. I too couldn't swallow Kenneth Biller's delivery of the "Federation is worse than the Borg" line. And the line itself lacks meaning. Is Eddington supposed to be familiar with the Borg? Otherwise, how the heck would he know which is worse? Also what specifically did Starfleet do to him to provoke his treason?

I suppose the writers were trying to give Eddington hyperbole here so the audience wouldn't actually *gasp* sympathize with the Maquis. Unfortunately this is really Eddington's weakness as a character. Even when he's doing heroic things, his bravado is exaggerated, ignorant, or blatantly untrue.

This reflects on this episode worst of all because the climax demands that you actually feel something for Eddington. I won't even get into the Cassidy story because it's basically forgotten by her next appearance.
Skywalker
Mon, Jul 4, 2016, 12:41am (UTC -5)
I couldn't disagree more with Jammer! Thankfully this is an RDM story, who goes on to sculpt the rest of the DS9 arcs with aplomb. He assumes none of these characters' betrayals will be revisited; had he known they would be intricate elements in stories to come, he would have better.

@Luke, I fully agree with your assessment! I also like Eddington's speech. People can get really twisted about things without anyone noticing, and his Borg hyperbole is comparable to the 20th/21st concentury fallacy Reductio ad Hitlerum : "You're worse than Hitler!" "You're worse than the Borg!" Of course we know that's not true; the Federation is nothing like the Borg. The point is that Eddington is angry, and his notion brings us to question our closely held beliefs for a moment, and at the same time see how Eddington has deluded himself into this "cause."
dave
Mon, Sep 19, 2016, 3:09am (UTC -5)
Looking back now at these reviews; Jammer was a tough man to please at times... almost seemed like he was a bit burned out on Trek and nit picky. WHo knows, maybe that is what a critic is supposed to do.

Anyways, liked this. Reading the comments here, a lot of people didn't like Eddington doing this with no back reasons shown in the series. In hindsight, they should have had him in a couple of other episodes to develop his character and lay some seeds for his turn to the Maquis. Whether it would be getting into a debate about it with Garek, to questioning some orders, something to build his character.

THe prior comment compared "Your worse than the Borg' to our fashionable use of "your worse than Hitler" today..... we have had plenty of sensational comments about Trump "being Hitler" and so I had a chuckle at this great insight. Trump is many things, however, anyone who actually studies Hitler and history knows he is not even in the same universe. However, with Eddington, his anger that the Federation wants to perhaps bring it's adversaries into the Federation one day makes him feel like they are assimilating people in a dishonorable way

This is a great stepping stone to the future Maquis episodes that so bluntly show Sisko's personal hate for Eddington leads him to making some very apalling decisions.
Robert
Mon, Sep 19, 2016, 10:26am (UTC -5)
"Trump is many things, however, anyone who actually studies Hitler and history knows he is not even in the same universe. "

Are you sure?

I don't want to get into a Trump discussion, so I'll try to stick to Hitler. If you were to equate them in time, Trump should be compared to 1932 Hitler. Until Trump has spent a day in power comparing him to anything Hitler did after that is nonsense. If you remove everything we know about Hitler after December 31st, 1932.... can you still make a compelling argument that comparing Trump to Hitler is ridiculous hyperbole?

It's merely a question, I'm hardly a history professor or anything, I don't propose to offer an answer. It's largely my understand that prior to 1933 the thing Hitler is most guilty of is inspiring a majority of Germany's population to blame their woes on a minority of Germany's population. Which in many ways fits the bill for Trump.

Now I'm hardly prepared to extrapolate that Trumpmurica in 2026 will be full of concentration camps and death chambers (which is why I said this particular conversation shouldn't be about Trump) but I do wonder if there's anything Hitler did before gaining power that makes him seem so much more demonic than Trump.
Peter G.
Mon, Sep 19, 2016, 11:02am (UTC -5)
@ Robert,

Not that the comparison between Trump and Hitler is yours, but it is odious to the extreme. Yes, Hitler was 'worse', which makes me feel silly to even say it. Despite your claim to the contrary, Trump has not blamed American's woes on anyone in particular, no less a minority in the population that was already the target of hate. If a politician in the 40's had blamed black people for all of America's problems you'd have had some basis for comparison to Hitler. Trump has never, to my recollection, blamed America's problems on any minority population, notwithstanding his proposed policies regarding illegal immigrants. But he does not blame America's economy and security issues on them in the least, nor does he assign blame to any Muslims in America who are peaceful. Which is not to say his proposals aren't alarming, but it's not even in the same ballpark as what Hitler was proposing in the early 30's. Hitler proposed banishing all Jews from Germany, full stop. You're not going to find a quote of Trump saying he wants to deport all Hispanic people. Plus there is the hidden agenda Hitler may have had at the time, which was unstated but perhaps predictable. If you cannot foresee concentration camps or wars of conquest then the comparison is nugatory.
Robert
Mon, Sep 19, 2016, 11:35am (UTC -5)
"Yes, Hitler was 'worse', which makes me feel silly to even say it."

You shouldn't have to feel silly saying so. If we went back in time to January 1st, 1933 and shot Hitler in the head he'd not even make the top 500 evil all time list :P Talking about Hitler in his "rise to power" time changes the scale of the argument considerably I think.

Which is why I was limiting it to his "pre-power" time. Obviously comparing anyone who has not had a hand in actual genocide to Hitler without qualifications is silly for sure.

I didn't say it was necessarily racial either though. We have 11.4 million illegal immigrants in this country. Regardless of our opinion on what we should do with these individuals, I feel he has blamed quite a lot of things on scary foreign others.

Economic woes, certainly not. But I feel he's certainly inspired and flirted with blaming quite a lot of our social woes on scary foreign others (be them Muslims, illegal Hispanic immigrants or refugees). He has stoked the fires of mistrust between us and "the other". Perhaps a direct comparison to Hitler is still grossly invalid (I don't actually offer a suggestion to say otherwise). I'm merely saying that sometimes a comparison to Hitler can be about something other than the Holocaust.

Saying that the nationalism that fuels Trump's rise has eerie parallels to Hitler's rise is perhaps a more apt thing to say than "Trump is the next Hitler". I guess that was the whole point of my musings. That people who are comparing Trump to Hitler may be saying something actually substantial that gets lost in translation because HITLER!

Hitler may still not be the best comparison for Trump of course. I don't actually know that much about Hitler prior to 1933 aside from that he wrote a book, spent time in jail, served in WW1, was a crappy artist and rode a wave of nationalism and bitterness to office. Which is to say that I know the "surface of the story" and nothing very much deeper.
Chrome
Mon, Sep 19, 2016, 3:14pm (UTC -5)
You know, in some ways Trump's even worse than the Borg. At least they tell you about their plans for assimilation. Trump's more insidious. He assimilates people and they don't even know it.
FlyingSquirrel
Mon, Sep 19, 2016, 3:15pm (UTC -5)
If there's a benefit to Godwin's Law, it's perhaps that it sometimes pre-empts unproductive discussions about Hitler. It's not necessary to compare Trump or anyone else to Hitler to criticize them, because the result will inevitably be a long argument about how Hitler did horrible things X, Y, and Z and Trump (or whoever) has not done anything analogous to horrible things X, Y, and Z.

I don't see the U.S. literally turning into Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia under Trump or anybody else, but I do worry that our democracy is more fragile than people might realize. I could see us ending up in a sort of limited pseudo-democracy where we still get to vote and free speech hasn't been banned outright, but where we have a "rogue presidency" that skirts the rule of law and people are intimidated into keeping their criticisms quiet.

Hitler probably tends to get mentioned a lot simply because he's the most infamous example of a dictatorship. The fact that he was also one of the most extreme means that many of the comparisons to him will inevitably come off as overwrought and hyperbolic.
Robert
Tue, Sep 20, 2016, 9:34am (UTC -5)
@FlyingSquirrel - Really well said. It's easy to draw the line to Hitler because so many people know at least the framework of the story. And yes, drawing the line to Hitler (in this case I think) is more about drawing a line to where a rogue egotistical nutjob can put cracks in Democracy. Which is again why I was talking about the rise of nationalistic nuttery to power (as opposed to making the leap to death camps).

As much as I don't like Trump, truly comparing him to Hitler (the man) is ridiculous. Even if Donald Trump ended American Democracy and was the worst leader this continent has ever had he'd STILL not be in Hitler's league. I think most of us can agree on that.

As you said, the usefulness of the Hitler story is how well known it is. So it's easy to point at things and say "this is how Democracy dies" because we all know the story of that dictatorship. But on the other hand... we all know how far that story went too... so there's always going to be someone saying the comparison isn't apt (even if it is) because Holocaust. And they aren't wrong either, but I think that tends to skirt over what the person was ACTUALLY trying to say.

It's one of those situations where people talk past each other instead of to each other.
Julian
Tue, Oct 25, 2016, 5:58am (UTC -5)
I have to say it's one of the few ratings I disagree with, wanting a reason for Eddingtons Maquis support seems a little childish. The whole point of sleeper cell terrorists and undercover agents is you don't know who or why. DS9 did a great job elaborating on the reasons for Eddington's betray as the series progressed.
I also thought seeing Sisco brooding and deep in thought rather than confusing his problems to Dax or Jake seemed far more realistic than him discussing his issues with his teenage son, it really got across his inner turmoil.
Also liked the side story with Garak and Ziyal, Garak is a far cry from the cold hearted killer he used to be and it's nice to see Ziyal give such a well thought out speech about her past experiences.
NCC-1701-Z
Sat, Dec 31, 2016, 12:25pm (UTC -5)
I think this is the first time we've seen O'Brien at the helm of the Defiant.

Also, "I would not become a terrorist. It would be dishonorable" is classic Worf.
Samuel
Sun, Jul 16, 2017, 11:42pm (UTC -5)
Jammer, I think you're being too hard in the writers. If they had left breadcrumbs to point to the subterfuge of Kassidy and Eddington, it would have defeated the surprise element. It's not far fetched, as was Lee and the black market on BSG since all the pieces were already in the DS nine Lore.
Startrekwatcher
Fri, Jul 28, 2017, 4:32pm (UTC -5)
2 stars. A lot of the early stuff that would be put to greater use in the last three seasons happened to be debuted in pretty lackluster episodes. So is the case here. Nothing of any consequence happens and the B plot with garak and ziyal booooooring

I may be in the minority but I found the fourth season pretty underwhelming overall DS9 doesn't become great for me until middle season five up to the final season
Rahul
Thu, Aug 17, 2017, 3:28pm (UTC -5)
"For the Cause" just left me with a "meh" feeling -- the buildup was really slow to the payoff of Eddington being Maquis and stealing the replicators and his chastising of Ben Sisko for representing the Federation as being worse than the Borg. I did think he was making some sense with the accusation but it was really (as Jammer said) out of left field with him going off and supporting the Maquis. It was a shock but then again, hard to care much given he's a bit part character.

But it is a decent story with Eddington's deception and working in cahoots with Yates, getting Sisko to leave the station on the Defiant so that he could steal the replicators. Sisko was totally fooled and it was neat to see how this played out. Sisko has had been a number of episodes where he leaves the station and somebody else is in charge, you'd think he wouldn't get schooled so badly.

Again, I am not a fan of Brooks' acting. He's just too rigid. There are plenty of chances for him in this episode to show a range of emotions but it all comes across ineffectively.

As for the B-plot with Garak and the Cardassian/Bajoran chick -- somewhat forgettable. It's not supposed to be a romance from either one of them at the start but then it sort of goes down that road and ultimately maybe they're just supposed to be friends?

2.5 stars for this episode -- maybe eliminate the Garak B-plot and focus more on Eddington's character and why the Maquis terrorism is compelling to join. There is a good story here but it gets convoluted. It should be more powerful with Yates and Eddington as traitors but both are very minor characters and Sisko's emotions as he realizes his woman is a traitor isn't well acted.
Georgios
Sat, Sep 9, 2017, 1:42am (UTC -5)
The problem with this episode is not the unexplained justifications of Yates and Eddington, or Sisko's emotional reaction to the possibility of Yates' betrayal -- which was absolutely on point, by the way. The problem is the same as with all Maquis episodes. The Maquis are too childish and selfish to be compelling villains, or even anti-villains. They settled in contested space, and when said contest didn't go their way, they resorted to terrorism instead of responding like adults and finding somewhere else to live, which the Federation would bend over backwards to provide. Literally millions of lives are at stake, but the Maquis don't care. They place their irrational attachment to a piece of dirt above the lives that would be lost in a war against Cardassia.

This is further compounded by the Federation's unrealistic response to the Maquis threat. That they went with Wesley Crusher's idea to begin with was iffy, but that they didn't proceed with the relocations once the original plan failed borders on absurd. They have the technology to beam people into cargo holds instantly, so said relocation could be accomplished with virtually zero violence. Such a decision might have some fallout, but that would be far more interesting drama than anything we've seen of the Maquis so far.

It's just a place. Grow up and move.
Mallory Reed
Mon, Jun 11, 2018, 6:47pm (UTC -5)
Surprisingly phenomenal episode. I'm skipping around a little bit - but this is the first episode that's really blown me away and made me remember why I'm watching the series for the fourth time in my life. Brooks is stunning, few actors dream of such performance.
Iceman
Mon, Aug 20, 2018, 2:19am (UTC -5)
"For the Cause" is indeed outstanding. The twist is genuinely shocking, but the episode doesn't hinge on it like some DS9 episodes in the future. It's a meticulously constructed episode that's fun to go back and re-watch to find all of the clues you missed the first time around.

3.5 stars.
Garth of Izar
Fri, Sep 14, 2018, 7:33pm (UTC -5)
Superb episode, densely-plotted, with spot-on character interactions and a twist that hits just the right level of surprise. Many commentators have mentioned Eddington's speech, which is a fair piece of political rhetoric, but I prefer the icy fire of Sisko's personal rage in response (note to Elliott: the apparent mismatch between the two speeches is an artistic piece of characterization, not a philosophical failing):

"You know what, Mr. Eddington? I don't give a damn what you think about the Federation, the Maquis, or anything else. All I know is that you betrayed your oath, your duty and me. And if it takes the rest of my life, I will see you standing before a court-martial that'll break you and send you to a penal colony, where you will spend the rest of your days growing old and wondering whether a ship full of replicators was really worth it."
DLPB
Tue, Oct 9, 2018, 6:14pm (UTC -5)
hey resorted to terrorism instead of responding like adults and finding somewhere else to live, which the Federation would bend over backwards to provide

-------

Never been forced out of your home, have you? If entire worlds have been populated, they aren't going to accept being moved. Ever.
Walrus1701D
Tue, Oct 23, 2018, 11:40am (UTC -5)
One gaping plot hole here - where the hell is Dax?! She's not shown on the station or the Defiant during the hijacking. Eddington would have to knock her out, too, but we don't see that. Shoddy writing...
Springy
Thu, Jan 10, 2019, 7:07am (UTC -5)
I liked the Eddington surprise and I assume we didn't get sufficient explanation or build up so as not to ruin the surprise. Right along with Sisko, We're deliberately misled about Eddington. I'm good with that. It's what makes it a surprise twist.

Eddington implies he has personal reasons, but both he and Sisko agree they're irrelevant - And I agree, too.

They're pairing Garak and Ziyal? Ugh. He's too old for her and he tortured her grandfather to death and he's always seemed a bit sweet on Julian. But au contraire, I guess. This is going to take some selling. I'll try to keep an open mind.

I was surprised that the end of the ep allowed so much "life to remain," so really, in the Ben and Kasidy relationship. Yes, she came back, and that's a truly significant gesture, but can it make up for all the lies? How can he ever trust her again?

THE MAQUI: I understand their anger and desire to keep their homes and end the Cardassian harassment. But they're a tiny band of troopers against the Federation and the Cardassian Empire. Unless they've recruited an ally like . . . The Romulans or Klingons, they're absolutely doomed, they have no chance at all. But they act like they don't know this. That is what bugs me about them.

They're not like rebels here on Earth who overthrow a dictator or an imperialist conquerer in their country. I think we're meant to see them that way, but it doesn't work for me. Their mission is VASTLY more hopeless, so much so that my sympathy for their plight turns into: "This is nuts." The Klingon have weakened the Cardassians, true, but they didn't do it for the Maqui and they have no interest there, except maybe to be the next set of Warlords for the colonies. And the Cardassians still have Federation support.

There's a time to hold up, and a time to fold up. A time for fight, and a time for flight. The Maqui are going to get their homes burnt and everybody they love killed. It's one thing to fight against great odds. It's another to fight (and kill, and die) against impossible ones.
Iceman
Thu, Jan 10, 2019, 8:33am (UTC -5)
@Springy-

"They're pairing Garak and Ziyal? Ugh. He's too old for her and he tortured her grandfather to death and he's always seemed a bit sweet on Julian. But au contraire, I guess. This is going to take some selling. I'll try to keep an open mind."

They don't. But, it works more if you view it as a hopeless crush on Ziyal's part.
Chrome
Thu, Jan 10, 2019, 10:00am (UTC -5)
What is the Marquis' cause anyway? Is it to prevent assimilation by the Federation? Maybe they should align themselves with the Borg since they see as them as the lesser of two evils.
Peter G.
Thu, Jan 10, 2019, 12:10pm (UTC -5)
I don't think the Maquis care anything about the Federation, but exist mainly to oppose the DMZ Cardassian colonies from overrunning them, as shown in S2. Unlike the Federation, the Central Command seems to help their colonies and would be happy to see the ex-Federation counterparts wiped out eventually. I expect that the anti-Federation mentality expressed here evolved over time as a result of (a) the Federation refusing to help the colonies, and (b) actually interfering with their attempts to defend themselves.

Whatever philosophical Federation/Borg comparison is being made at this point, the only way to make sense of it is that they now see the Federation as unwilling to tolerate ex-Federation people who have different values, including on the topic of violence. In a way the adminition rings true, insofar as Starfleet is probably used to having its way and isn't used to rebellious humans running around with gunships. On the other hand it also plays like a something of an adolescent tantrum; "why do *they* get to fight us but we can't fight them back!?" The whole thing is reminiscent of a schoolyard.
Chrome
Thu, Jan 10, 2019, 1:03pm (UTC -5)
@Peter G.

"Whatever philosophical Federation/Borg comparison is being made at this point, the only way to make sense of it is that they now see the Federation as unwilling to tolerate ex-Federation people who have different values, including on the topic of violence."

Are you saying the Borg would tolerate people who have different values? If we take Eddington's statement as anything more than hyperbole, then the one take-away is that at least the Borg are honest about not accepting anything but their way, whereas the Federation won't openly admit that in practice they too are also stiflingly homogenous.

Although, it's kind of hard to take that sentiment seriously, since all the Trek shows (except maybe Voyager which, ironically, pacified the Marquis) have the crew bending over backwards to tolerate the quirks and cultures of non-humans.
Springy
Thu, Jan 10, 2019, 2:31pm (UTC -5)
The Maqui cause - correct me if I'm wrong, as I find it fairly confusing, but I think it's like this: The Cardassians and the Federation made a peace treaty. In it, the Federation ceded certain territory to Cardassia. There were some Federation colonies in that territory.

Star Fleet went out to relocate the colonists, but they did not want to move. The Cardassians weren't forcing it. So the Federation told the colonists, "OK, but you're in Cardassian territory, and if they decide to come after you, we can't help you. You're no longer citizens of the Federation."

The Cardassians began harassing the colonists, making life difficult, hoping to make them leave. The Maqui began fighting against the Cardassians, hoping to win their Independence.

The Federation cannot give the Maqui any help as this violates their treaty with the Cardassians. I don't think they "hunt Maqui down," as Eddington suggests, unless they are aggressive against the Federation, as in stealing replicators.

The Federation will prosecute Federation citizens like Kasidy, who help the Maqui contrary to the treaty. But . . . I don't think they hunt down or prosecute Maqui, just for being Maqui. Some of them commit crimes against the Federation, in their efforts to free themselves from the Cardassians. And they do get the Federation after them, for that.

The Maqui hate the Federation because the Federation abandoned them to the Cardassians' tender mercies and will not help them. The Federation even provides help to Cardassia after the Klingon attack. Eddington's speech . . . I can understand Maqui anger, but Eddington is full of much BS, there.

And I don't understand how the Maqui believe they even have half a prayer. That's my biggest bewilderment when it comes to the Maqui. Violent resistance? How can they think that is a possible answer when you're hundreds of chihuahuas, and the enemy is millions of Doberman Pinschers, and your millions of German Shepard (former) friends are sitting it out, and even coming after you because you take some of their dog toys?

The whole Maqui storyline is poorly developed, in all the relevant ST series.
Peter G.
Thu, Jan 10, 2019, 2:33pm (UTC -5)
@ Chrome,

"Are you saying the Borg would tolerate people who have different values? If we take Eddington's statement as anything more than hyperbole, then the one take-away is that at least the Borg are honest about not accepting anything but their way, whereas the Federation won't openly admit that in practice they too are also stiflingly homogenous."

I mean that the Federation isn't letting them do whatever they want, and are therefore "imposing their values" on the DMZ colonists; hence the comparison to the Borg. The analogy seems to be that the Federation doesn't recognize the sovereign free will of the colonists to comport themselves however they see fit in the face of danger. In a way there is one merit to this argument, which is that if the colonies are legitimately considered to no longer be part of the Federation *at all* then in theory for the Federation to impose any kind of sanctions on Maquis behavior in the slightetest would be a sort of Imperialism. By what right does the Federation tell them what to do if they're not members? But of course the answer is that the whole situation is a mess as a result of the treaty, and the Federation needs to intervene to basically prevent a resurgence of the war. In the broad strokes the Federation is in the right; but in the small details it might look like they're pushing their weight around on people that they already abandoned in a stupid treaty.
Chrome
Thu, Jan 10, 2019, 3:52pm (UTC -5)
@Springy

Yeah, I think the Marquis start out with an understandable beef, but this episode escalates their activity beyond compassion. It isn't just that they want freedom like they claim, but they also want the benefits of being in the Federation (like military protection and industrial replicators) without being a part of it. This is where they start losing credibility. And you're right, I don't think they were actively pursuing the Marquis at this point in the series.

@Peter G.

"In the broad strokes the Federation is in the right; but in the small details it might look like they're pushing their weight around on people that they already abandoned in a stupid treaty."

The irony of course is that the Federation policy goes from "keep your land but deal with Cardassian rule on your own" to we better hunt down these Marquis because they keep stealing from us and destabilizing the peace we made. Time and time again, it's actions like Eddington's that force the Federation to push its weight around.
Peter G.
Thu, Jan 10, 2019, 8:49pm (UTC -5)
@ Chrome,

"The irony of course is that the Federation policy goes from "keep your land but deal with Cardassian rule on your own" to we better hunt down these Marquis because they keep stealing from us and destabilizing the peace we made. Time and time again, it's actions like Eddington's that force the Federation to push its weight around."

That's true. But to be fair the real problem is that the Central Command seems to keep escalating, which in turn results in the Maquis escalating in response. I really do see the Cardassian side of it as the problem, and in fact I shouldn't be surprised if the intention wasn't exactly to defeat the Maquis but rather to drive a wedge between the colonists and the Federation. That way the Cardassians could cry about this or that and get concessions out of the Federation. I don't *quite* blame the Maquis for trying to deal with all of this by themselves, even though it's clear that the Federation certainly can't do anything to aid them directly. I think the story all-told ended up missing the mark, because in theory it could have been a good political quagmire to explore. In the end I have to sort of just suspect that it was used for little more than to jumpstart Voyager and then the DS9 team was left holding the bag on a story that didn't really help the series at all.
Iceman
Sat, Jan 12, 2019, 1:08pm (UTC -5)
@Chrome-

" What is the Marquis' cause anyway? Is it to prevent assimilation by the Federation? Maybe they should align themselves with the Borg since they see as them as the lesser of two evils. "

I agree with @Peter G. that the Maquis storyline was, in general, a failure that added nothing to Voyager, TNG, or DS9, but I think the DS9 writers did a brilliant job of tying in Eddington's story-line to the Maquis. Eddington probably doesn't really care about treaties or whatnot-he's just feeling a sense of dissatisfaction with his own life, and throws himself behind this radical cause to assuage it. That's where his ideological takedown of the Federation (which maybe has good points in it but is definitely over-dramatic) comes from. His penchant for melodrama is also brought up again in "For the Uniform" and "Blaze of Glory". So I think combining Eddington with the Maquis strengthened both arcs, and was overall a great success (I loved all 3 Eddington episodes).
Chrome
Sat, Jan 12, 2019, 2:09pm (UTC -5)
@Iceman

Eddington’s a double-edged sword for the Maquis storyline. Back when Thomas Riker was the big player for the Maquis, we were shown that no matter how duplicitous and self-righteous the Maquis were, they were more keen on problems the Fedration was blissfully unaware of. I.e., the amassing of the armada on the Orias system. This tied in great with TNG’s “The Wounded” which also dealt with Cardassian military coverups as well “The Maquis” pt I and II which painted a sympathetic, if not retconned picture of the Maquis through Hudson’s desperate attempts to even the score with Cardassia.

To a degree Eddington’s character plays to his strengths here; the word is fans suspected Eddington was a Changling infiltrator and the producers caught wind of that. They decided he would absolutely not be a Changeling but gave him another duplicitous role. And well, we can kind of understand why Eddington’s fed up - he’ll never get a chance at command because he doesn’t quite mesh with Starfleet. Though, as Jammer notes even that explanation is out of left field unless you were diligently watching “The Advisary” last season and decided Eddington was unhappy with Starfleet. So anyway, Eddington has to play Mr. Exposition here to explain to the audience who he is again and why he likes the Maquis over Starfleet.

My problem is the flanderization of Eddington from here on out. He’s not merely melodramatic, he starts to believe he and others in his life are storybook characters. This in itself wouldn’t be so bad, but for all intents and purposes Eddington *is* the head of the Marquis from here on out. Instead of Thomas Rikers or even Cal Hudsons who were rebellious while objectively right in exposing the Cardassians, we get a rebel who simply hates Cardassians and his major gripes with Starfleet deteriorate into minor nitpicks like synthesized food. From a nicely nuanced Marquis we end up with this sort of flattened unsympathetic band of anti-Robin Hoods.
Peter G.
Sat, Jan 12, 2019, 2:30pm (UTC -5)
@ Chrome,

"From a nicely nuanced Marquis we end up with this sort of flattened unsympathetic band of anti-Robin Hoods."

Hey, that would make at least three steps of flanderization of the Maquis. Don't forget when TNG showed us the colonists as having some sacred ties to the land...
Chrome
Sat, Jan 12, 2019, 4:24pm (UTC -5)
@Peter G.

I think that just goes to show retcons aren’t always bad. “Journey’s End” is by all rights a terrible TNG episode with a few good ideas. The powers that be were smart to take that show and make the much more compelling “Pre-Emptive Strike” leading into a few good DS9 Maquis shows.

I think there’s some debate on who was really supposed to carry on the Maquis torch, but at least DS9 succeeded to embrace the Maquis concept while Voyager snuffed the idea out.
Iceman
Sat, Jan 12, 2019, 7:22pm (UTC -5)
@Chrome-

DS9 embraced the Maquis until, in the words of SFdebris, it wiped out the Maquis with the power of exposition in "Blaze of Glory".
Dark Kirk
Fri, Feb 8, 2019, 10:21pm (UTC -5)
I agree Eddington's betrayal seemed abrupt, although I don't know how it could have been written otherwise. Nowadays DS9 might have been written with some prequel/flashback scenes portraying the characters, like The Gifted does well. But in the 23 years since I first saw this episode, (my god, was it that long?) the paranoid/conspiracy-nut mentality he displays definitely seems more believable. And Sisko's response is more believable too. He realizes arguing with Eddington would be futile, so he basically just says "Screw you, Eddington. You betrayed your job, your oath, and me. I'm taking you down."
Star Trek Joy
Fri, Feb 15, 2019, 6:03pm (UTC -5)
I'm glad to see Yates go. I think she was poorly cast and written. She lacked affection and demanded a lot from Sisko without giving alot in return. The storyline between them never gave us any insight into what it was that added to Sisko's life as a man, as a captain. Everything about her irritates me.
Elliott
Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 2:51pm (UTC -5)
Teaser : ***.5, 5%

Kasidy slinks out of Ben Sisko's bed after what we assume was a fun night. I just hope there aren't fluid conduits running into Jake's room like there are on the Voyager. I don't know if it's just that Avery Brooks has a special affinity for the ladies or what, but as usual, his interplay with Penny Johnson (Gerald) brings out the most natural and warm side of his performance.

SISKO: I am a Starfleet officer, the paragon of virtue.
KASIDY: You're more like a parody of virtue.

You said it, not me.

Later on we are in the Wardroom where—well, look who it is! Alleged main guest star Michael Eddington is leading a briefing of the upper Senior Staff. He has a classified report to share, that the Federation is sharing some industrial replicators with the Cardassians which have been ravaged by the recent Klingon attacks. The secrecy around this event is explained by the writers' desire to talk about the Maquis again. Damn it. Starfleet is worried that the Maquis may try and steal the replicators for themselves. With the shipment passing through DS9 on its way to Cardassia, Sisko orders tightened security and has Worf take the Defiant to patrol the Badlands.

After the briefing, Eddington and Odo relay an unsubstantiated theory that they have concocted, that Kassidy Yates is a Maquis smuggler. The Shapeshifter stands nearest to Sisko, knowing that the barrage of angry punches on their way don't pose a threat to him. All in all, an intriguing set-up.

Act 1 : ***, 17%

Odo and Eddington explain their suspicions and Odo asks for permission to “step up his surveillance.” Huh, there's a first time for everything, I guess. I thought it was firmly established that Gestapo Man here had everybody's quarters bugged.

EDDINGTON: If she's really a Maquis, then she's no longer a Federation citizen.

Now there's some Galaxy-brained sophistry right there. Actually, if we go back to “Journey's End” and “The Maquis,” it is the occupants of the DMZ who are no longer citizens—by choice. The Maquis is a terrorist group composed of both non-citizens and citizens whose legal statuses are distinct. Knowing what we know, I'm actually okay with Sisko missing this fine point; he's worked up and distressed. Odo, on the other hand, should be smarter than to fall for this line. Sisko allows the two to find an excuse to search Kasidy's vessel, in much the same manner we've become accustomed to from him.

Meanwhile, Garak and Bashir and watching Kira play Springball (I think), but Garak is more interested in watching Ziyal. Don't ruin my slash fic, Garak. Ziyal has aged about 5 years since “Indiscretion” it seems because TV sucks. Anyway, Bashir warns him to leave her be, lest he invite the rage of both Dukat and Kira. And we all know Garak listens to everything Julian tells him to do.

In the Siskos' quarters, a comment from Jake gives Ben the opportunity to surreptitiously ask Kasidy about her cargo route, which is under suspicion at the moment. It's a scene reminiscent of “Paradise Lost,” when Sisko wasn't certain whether he could trust his own father. Now, he's in his own home, unsure of whether he can trust this woman he loves.

Act 2 : .5 stars, 17%

There's a brief scene where Garak and Ziyal officially introduce themselves to one another. I'm a little disappointed that Garak is so flat this week. He appears to have genuine feelings of some sort for this girl, but that's just so...obvious. We're talking about the man who couldn't ask his friend for life-saving help without stacking up a series of ruses and deceptions.

Odo has concocted his excuse to search Kasidy's ship and this leads to a confrontation in the pylon. His inspection is specifically timed to delay her run just long enough to make it impossible for her ship to make a delivery to the Badlands—if that's indeed what she's doing—before completing her route, which is what he and Eddington suspected. Clever. Well, Kasidy calls in a favour to her captain boyfriend. Sisko equivocates, while Eddington urges him to try and complete the inspection. Here's where things start to go off the rails a bit:

SISKO: You are clear to leave the station. Just remember to irradiate that cargo.
KASIDY [on monitor]: Thanks, Ben. I owe you one. See you tomorrow.
SISKO [to Eddington]: Do you have something to say, Commander?

Uhhhh....it's one thing for me to excuse Ben missing a twisted bit of gaslighting in the Wardroom because he was upset, but now he's *daring* one of his subordinates to question his probably fool-hearty decision. And Sisko obviously knows that he is letting his feelings for Kasidy override his better judgement which is why he's defensive about it. I empathise with the position he's in...it's very human. But he's the fucking captain, and it's more than a little rich for him to give Worf shit about his own emotional behaviour in “Rules of Engagement” when he's letting himself be so easily duped here. Speaking of Worf, Sisko has decided that to make up for his gelatinous command, he's going to take Worf off the important monitoring mission in the Badlands to tail Kasidy's ship instead. Well of course! I mean, he could put a tracking device on her ship, or Odo could disguise himself as a piece of cargo as he has done many times before, but this way, we get to be as useless as possible!

Oh, and in case anyone was stupid enough to think that maybe Sisko chose the Defiant option to be more ethical (tracking a citizen is still a violation of their rights as much as unlawful search), the Defiant is *cloaked*, something expressly forbidden by their treaty with Romulus. But hey, we are talking about the needs of Sisko's penis here; what's a little treaty violation? And it's only fair after all, since the Maquis violated the treaty with Cardassia, right? Sigh...Kasidy's ship does indeed make a course violation and head directly into the Badlands. Then we get this nonsense:

O'BRIEN: [The Maquis are] just fighting for something they believe in...Look at what's happened to those people. One day they're trying to eke out a living on some godforsaken colonies on the Cardassian border, the next day the Federation makes a treaty handing those colonies over to the Cardassians. What would you do?

I can barely fucking deal with this heaping mound of stupid.

No one in the Federation “ekes out a living.” There is no scarcity of need; there is no reason to colonise remote planets beyond *personal fulfilment.* That doesn't mean it's wrong to colonise new or distant worlds, but it's not as if the DMZ occupants were pilgrims or refugees looking for economic opportunities. They had a ROMANTIC notion of following their dreams and colonising these worlds. Or like Chakotay's people, they had a SPIRITUAL cause. I've gone on about this at length already in episodes like “The Maquis” and “Tattoo,” but it bears repeating: the premise of the Maquis is ludicrous.

So what would I do? I, a Federation citizen who can do literally almost anything in the vastness of space? I would fucking leave because I'm not a petulant self-important little prick. Worf has a different answer:

WORF: I would not become a terrorist. It would be dishonourable.
O'BRIEN: I wouldn't say that around Major Kira if I were you.

Oh yeah. Here's an experiment: the next time an organic weed farmer starts an armed insurrection against the government for selling his land to big agriculture, tell a Holocaust survivor or a Palestinian living in the West Bank that you finally understand their plight. I'm sure that will go over well.

Is this excrement over yet? NOPE! There's yet more shitting on Star Trek:

EDDINGTON: I do my job, Chief. Starfleet says to find the Maquis, I'll find the Maquis. They tell me to help them, I'll help them. My opinion is irrelevant. What matters to me is doing my job like a Starfleet officer. Anything else is an indulgence.

When in the actual fuck did Starfleet become the “I was only following orders” Full Metal Jacket nightmare organisation Eddington seems to think he belongs to? I'm guessing it was around the time RDM and Ira Behr starting furiously masturbating over Gene Roddenberry's grave.

Oh yeah, the plot: Kasidy is definitely helping the Maquis, as they witness her ship transporting cargo to a raider. Because the Maquis, a haphazard organisation of self-righteous renegades, have their own identifiable class of starships now. Always important to have marketable designs for your terrorist fleet.

Act 3 : **.5, 17%

On DS9, Ziyal pays a visit to Garak's shop and invites him to join her in the holosuite for some sauna time. Apparently, the #nohomo is so strong in the writers' room, that it was worth suggesting that Garak is a hebephile than live with the insinuation that he might be gay or asexual. Love to feel included!

We take a moment for the Siskos, which I think is handled pretty well.

JAKE: Something happen between you and Kasidy?
SISKO: Not exactly.
JAKE: If you want to talk.
(Sisko puts his hand on Jake's arm.)
JAKE: What?
SISKO: This is important. You and I. Things change, but not this.

I also like that Sisko has chosen to cut Dax off from her usual sage advice role (“Dismissed, Old Man.”); this is something he's going to have to grapple with on his own. And so, he puts on a happy face for Kasidy's return. He does his best to gently coax a confession out of his girlfriend—yeah this seems like standard procedure. He excuses himself and tells his security chiefs that he learned she's going on another run this evening. Odo is asked to leave so Eddington can make an additional request; he doesn't want to have to be the one to make the arrest of his captain's girlfriend or, you know, shoot her, he says. Except of course, we just heard him prattle on about how such “indulgences” are not what he's interested in, so he's clearly bullshitting Sisko yet again. Sisko volunteers to take command of the Defiant, I assume because Worf is going to be too busy sharpening his toenails or something.

Sisko makes one final attempt to avoid the inevitable; he stops Kasidy before her late-night run and practically begs her to drop everything and go to Risa with him. They can get STIs together, much more fun than baseball! But she has to refuse.

Act 4 : **, 17%

While Sisko hunts his girlfriend, we get an appearance from Quark whose trip to his tailor gives him a front-row seat to some Kira-coloured fireworks.

KIRA: I don't want to hear any of your lies. Now, that girl is here under my protection and I swear if you do anything to hurt her, I will make you regret it. Is that clear?

So we get the “twist”; Garak has only been trepidations in approaching Ziyal because he was worried she was colluding with her father to have him killed, but Kira's zeal has assured him otherwise. So now he can plunge headfirst into this river of character banality.

Meanwhile, Odo starts to get antsy as Kasidy's ship is just parked in the Badlands with no trademarked Maquis vessel to rendezvous with. Finally, Odo hits on it; the point of this run was to lure Sisko and the Defiant away from DS9. So they beam over and Sisko rakes her over the coals for potentially putting Jake in danger, but she believes she is here to make another delivery and nothing more. As Jammer alluded to, here's where the plot contrivances really start to pile on. So Eddington manipulated Sisko into taking the Defiant after Kasidy—erm, somehow, and leaving him in charge of the far more important replicator delivery. Sisko decided to take himself, Worf AND Odo on this mission to catch his girlfriend, again for *reasons*. I'd really be okay if the episode were trying to show that Sisko's vulnerability to Kasidy messes with his command decisions, but this is too far. He may be struggling, but he still managed to lie to her face and feign levity in order to set her up to be captured, so he isn't incapacitated or inept. That he would just FORGET about this important plot point (that is at the centre of this whole renewed Maquis scare) is absurd and makes Sisko and Odo look like total boobs.

So yeah, Eddington is giving secret orders to his security team, shooting Kira—meh, not like she was doing anything else—and taking command of the station.

Act 5 : .5 stars, 17%

ODO: You realise we'll probably never see the Xhosa or Captain Yates again.
SISKO: It's a possibility.
ODO: I'd say it's more than that. If I'd been allowed to leave a security detail behind
SISKO: Our priority is to get back to the station, Constable. Captain Yates is my responsibility and I will thank you to leave it at that.

Uhhhh....what? I'm pretty sure that Maquis terrorists are Starfleet's responsibility. Why are you acting like a jackass, Captain? Because of feelings? Is that all we're going to get? Okay...

Eddington manipulates a junior officer into taking command until Sisko's return. This meat-headed anachronism doesn't ask why Major Kira or Dax or Bashir can't take command because fuck you. Thus, the Maquis spy is able to make off with the replicators without a hitch. But, he isn't done making the crew look like complete fools.

He makes contact with Sisko back in his office and makes his “kill the phonies” speech. In a series replete with dishonest and subversive messages, this is one of the worst. Let's pick it apart.

-”Why is the Federation so obsessed about the Maquis?”

What are you, the Federation's ex? No one is “obsessed” with you, drama queen. You violated a treaty and engage in acts of theft and violence against the Federation and its ally. What did you expect to happen?

-”Because we've left the Federation, and that's the one thing you can't accept. Nobody leaves paradise. Everyone should want to be in the Federation.”

Oh....so, you aren't mad about the treaty anymore? You're just upset with mommy and daddy? Let's remember what actually happened, asshole:

PICARD: Anthwara, I want to make absolutely sure that you understand the implications of this agreement. By giving up your status as Federation citizens, any future request you or your people make to Starfleet will go unanswered. You will be on your own and under Cardassian jurisdiction.

In other words, the Federation was more than happy to let people leave, but if you leave, you don't get to start stealing Federation resources and technology to aid your cause. You're on your own, which is what you fucking asked for.

-”You know, in some ways you're worse than the Borg. At least they tell you about their plans for assimilation. You're more insidious. You assimilate people and they don't even know it.”

You're a HUMAN, Eddington. You were born in Canada or whatever. You weren't forcefully assimilated, you grew up in a culture. That's not insidious, that's society.

Now, if Sisko had heard all of this and told Eddington that he is a spoilt, presumptuous and arrogant little twit who has risked the lives of innocent people in a completely misguided parody of social justice, I would give this scene four stars, but instead, the only thing Sisko cares about is the fact that Eddington betrayed him and his uniform. That means that 1. Sisko hasn't learnt ANYTHING this episode; he's just as emotionally gelatinous with Eddington as he was with Kasidy, and 2. he apparently shares Eddington's view that Starfleet is an organisation of unthinking militaristic sycophants. When the “bad guy” and the “good guy” agree on something which undermines the premise of the entire franchise, that is underhanded subversion in the extreme. This is unforgivable.

Anyway, we conclude the B plot with Ziyal and Garak in the holo-sauna. A badly-performed Ziyal blithers on about backstory we already know and basically says that despite the danger, she wants a Cardassian companion and Garak is her only option. Touching.

Oh yeah, and Kasidy comes back to turn herself in because she's still in love with Ben. It's unclear (since we haven't heard anything about the Maquis for like 2 years on this series) what her impression of the Maquis is, so I can't adequately judge her choice to smuggle them medical supplies. If we assume that her understanding of their cause was super vague and she just wanted to make sure they received medical attention, we can sort of empathise, but remember that Eddington flat out used her to steal the replicators. And she and Sisko lied to each other's faces repeatedly in this story. Whosever fantasy permits a healthy relationship between these two to continue after this is delusional. It's a shame. They have such great chemistry. So, she's arrested by Lieutenant Meathead and Sisko is left to brood.

Episode as Functionary : *, 10%

Star Trek is famous for its message episodes. And sometimes, things go a little overboard because the writers, lacking confidence in their message, stack the deck to make the message completely inevitable and obvious, instead of a hard-won questions and answers. DS9 sometimes has the opposite problem; it is so intent on being “morally grey” that it takes messages which are clear and twists them around so as to appear ambiguous. There isn't a lot of ambiguity with the Maquis. The Star Trek Universe simply does not leave room for their actions to be justifiable. This episode has the gall to draw *attention* to the reason the Maquis are impossible by making its central plot about replicators, you know, that technology that eliminates scarcity, that eliminates any material or existential reason for the DMZ colonists to reject the treaty with Cardassia. But, moral ambiguity is what the big fancy grown-ups do, right? We aren't like those starry-eyed hippies who wrote for TNG, we wear leather jackets over here on DS9. We smoke in the bathroom and our dads just can't accept our alternative lifestyle that's too cool for you to understand, Phony. This episode should be called “Without a Cause.”

Even with all of the self-important bullshit being flung around here, the characterisation of Sisko was enjoyable, even if his choices were pretty pathetic. The Sisko/Kasidy relationship buoys this up for me more than I think this episode deserves.

The Garak/Ziyal stuff on the other hand is a complete waste of both characters. I seriously don't even want to talk about it; it's creepy, it's out of character, it's pedestrian (there's that good ol' DBI!) and half of it is terribly performed. Please no more.

Final Score : *.5
Chrome
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 11:59am (UTC -5)
This is the funniest review I've read of this episode, thanks Elliott! I really do wonder why Kasidy was sympathetic to the Marquis. Are we supposed to read her whole backstory from the "paragon of virtue" insult she gives Sisko when discussing Starfleet earlier? That doesn't really follow though, since a) she's just kidding and b) even if she wasn't kidding, she seems to be referring to Sisko specifically - not Starfleet.
William B
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 1:29pm (UTC -5)
I second Chrome's take -- Elliott's review was definitely hilarious.

I don't really like this episode and am not sure I disagree with Elliott's take on the intention behind the Eddington speech. However, I do think a more generous take on the episode is possible, and I've been trying to figure out how to articulate it (in between work and moving, lolol).

I think the most interesting point Eddington makes is the idea that the whole reason the Federation is helping the Cardassians is because they hope that the Cardassians are going to join the Federation someday. This is in contrast to what Eddington attributes to a personal vendetta of the Federation against the Maquis, where in Eddington's view this tiny splinter faction is taken as a Serious Threat, somehow more of an enemy than the marginally reformed space Nazis of Cardassians, because they rejected the Federation. I don't think Eddington is fair or even coherent, but it makes me think about whether this is related to the Theme of the episode. When doing any given action, how much of it is from genuine belief, and how much is from emotion and self-interest in disguise? How much can one trust not only another person, but even oneself? When are actions really "for the cause," and when are they (possibly valid, possibly misdirected) feelings? When is it appropriate to offer aid to someone -- do they have to agree with you, or even be good people, or is aid offered as grace?

So on that note, we have: Eddington portrays himself as an empty suit there to follow Starfleet orders, and this is just a ruse because he's boiling over with passion -- which I think is sort of the central idea here (there is probably no such thing as someone whose only goal in life is to do their job and nothing but -- even the Jem'Hadar, maybe). There's a question of whether Sisko and Kassidy's love is strong enough to survive them having conflicting jobs. There's the question of whether the Federation is only giving the Cardassians replicators because they want the Cardassians to agree with them, or whether it's for some other reason. There's the question (unaddressed) of whether Kassidy believes in the Maquis cause, or wants to help them because people need help? Is it good for the Maquis to (apparently) use Kassidy's goodwill to set a trap for Sisko? Is Sisko able to keep his head when his heart is being torn apart by the Kassidy situation? Is it possible for Garak and Ziyal to simply "enjoy the heat" (ew) together even though they are supposed to be enemies? Is the Maquis really trying to get the replicators for themselves, or are they only doing it out of a petty desire to hurt the Cardassians (and the Federation)? The episode suggests the possibility of betrayal, but eventual reconciliation, in its two het couples (the real one with Sisko/Kassidy, the ew fake one with Garak/Ziyal), but eventually it's Sisko/Eddington who talk to each other like an angry divorcing couple -- with Eddington attributing to Sisko all kinds of malice and Sisko responding with a death threat. How much does Eddington really care about the Maquis and how much does he like cosplaying the rebel and getting back at Sisko and the Federation for some unknown slight?

There's a tendency in DS9 to imply that a *lot* of ideological conflict is driven by emotional or spiritual needs which are unexpressed. I think it certainly marks a difference in how Sisko and Picard approach the world -- where Picard tends to believe more strongly in the ideas themselves. I think this sometimes works very well. Odo believed his need for order is some sort of higher calling, that only he understood Justice!, but he's more fallible and easily manipulated than any solid. Dukat constantly finds rationalizations for what he wants to do anyway. Garak is a True Cardassian but some of this has to do with his unresolved issues with Tain and his current isolation. I think these are good examples of the type of way that abstract political/philosophical beliefs follow personal need IRL. But with Eddington, he's such a blank slate that it's hard to know what to think of his betrayal in this episode, and Kassidy's motivations remain completely opaque. And I agree with Elliott that even if it's On Theme and in character for Sisko to respond to Eddington in kind with a promise of personal revenge rather than a considered response to Eddington's actual points, it makes it look like the show basically takes Eddington's perspective as Correct, which Sisko can only respond to with anger and threats because he has no other answer. I think DS9 maybe exaggerates the extent to which all beliefs are basically sublimations of other needs, at least in eps like this one. Even here, I don't think we need to believe that *everything* the various leads believe is some Freudian defense mechanism pushing them to do what they wanted to do anyway, but I think the ep is saying that's how it works sometimes.
Peter G.
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 2:14pm (UTC -5)
My take on the episode's title is just that "the cause" in Trek has always been the Federation, and now Eddington is making a case that there's a different but equally valid cause that people can fight for. I think the episode tries to show that Sisko is more irate about the challenge to the Federation ideal than he is to being personally betrayed, but to be fair I'm not entirely sure about this. Depending on how you interpret it, I could see a case where the betrayal is really one of the Federation, and that it's *this* that Sisko can't abide, never mind his personal feelings about being lied to. Actually he dealt pretty well before with Eddington lying to him and even sabotaging the Defiant, precisely because Eddington did it "for the cause" of following Starfleet orders. It was actually remarkable how affable Sisko was about the whole thing in The Die Is Cast. So the fact that he flies off the handle here seems to either be a result of writing inconsistency, or else the fact that it's the switching from one cause to another that is the main problem here.

And yeah, Eddington's case is weak. It's not incoherent, though, as I do fundamentally understand the objection to what we actually see a lot nowadays (far more than in 1996!) where you will be case as being basically a villain if you go agaist the group mentality on some topic. And this applies both to the left and to the right, more and more as the American partisan divide becomes a major breach in civil society. I can legitimately see an argument that "groups", or parties, or whatever, can be like the Borg, trying to increase their numbers by subsuming you into their ranks, and punishing you (usually socially) if you dissent or even diverge from their specific slogans. So while Eddington doesn't make his point that well, and indeed it's harder to accept of the Federation than it is from our modern society, I understand the concept of what he's objecting to, and I actually object to it too. The problem here is the detailing in how it applies to the Federation, which isn't fleshed out very well. But I sort of accept that in stride and fill in the blanks for him to make more sense of it. It's something of a writing flaw that I need to do that, but not a huge one, since as long as his position and Sisko's are relatively clear I'm ok with seeing how they resolve their conflict. What it would have been really nice to see would be in what ways the Federation is actually *not* how Eddington describes it, just to underline and highlight our own deficiencies today. This episode would actually be easier to write now than it was in 1996, but I thought they did latch on to a good concept despite a mediocre rendering of it. To me the problem is in the detailing, not in Eddington's fundamental position. I still think he's basically in error, but it's an error that needed exploring, to show how Starfleet really is better than us.
William B
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 8:44pm (UTC -5)
I do get why people like the Eddington speech, and I think in a different episode it could maybe work, with some modifications. I agree for example with Peter's point that there's a tendency to punish people for going against "conventional thought" or whatever, and there's a big individualist streak in the Maquis which in principle could position them well to argue that there is a downside to wanting people to get along all the time.

That said, I think the point needs to be more closely tied with the Maquis themselves to really work. One potentially interesting point is whether the Federation should be helping the Cardassians at all, which is what I talked about a bit earlier. It could be made even stronger if Eddington emphasized that the Federation was apparently willing to throw away its alliance with the Klingons to side with the Cardassians -- and for what? But once the Federation decides to give the Cardassians replicators, it's responsible for preventing them from getting stolen by some rogue agent attempting to starve the Cardassians out, just as the Federation is responsible for recovering its mega-warship when it's commandeered ("Defiant"). If Eddington is talking about that aspect of the story this week, that's sort of why I think he's incoherent -- no psychoanalysis is necessary to figure out why the Federation is so "obsessed" with the Maquis that it...attempts to not have the Maquis sabotage and rob them. It's very rich for him to claim that they just want to be left alone when he's *just* used his post to steal equipment, and done so by diverting a warship on a wild goose chase, manipulating Sisko based on his girlfriend, and phasered his commanding officer (who's Bajoran, so he's gone after another bystander!). On a personal level, his plan relied on breaking Sisko's heart in order to get his way, and on a professional level his plan relied on him using his insider access. In neither case did Eddington simply walk away, but he shot his way out while robbing the bank using his insider knowledge.

*Maybe* he has a point with Kasidy. Of course both Odo and Eddington -- while playing the role of the dutiful Starfleet security officer -- argue Sisko should stop her from smuggling to the Maquis, and that seems to represent the Bajoran *and* Starfleet perspectives. But Odo's an authoritarian and Eddington is playacting. So *maybe* you could make the case that, since Kasidy is working as a captain of a Bajoran freighter for a Bajoran route (IIRC), if she wants to smuggle to the Maquis it's not the Federation's business, if she's not stealing Federation stuff. This maybe has some traction if we take Eddington's suggestion that they aren't terrorists seriously, in which case Kasidy is "only" doing some trade with some minor neutral power. However, look, we're not talking about Quark running some scheme from Ferenginar here. Kasidy is a Federation citizen running a freighter on a Bajoran shipping route, and the Federation and Bajor have responsibilities for their citizens' behaviour or what their equipment is used for. Even if Cardassia weren't an ally, for a Federation citizen to be smuggling to an organization whose primary purpose is to fight them would be a major diplomatic problem for the Federation.

This is to say, I guess, that I don't buy that Eddington's statement follows from what we see of the Federation in this episode at all, nor does it seem to match with "Defiant." I don't think it matches with "The Maquis" either. I guess maybe he has somewhat more of a point on other series ("Preemptive Strike" and "Caretaker") where the Federation is proactive enough to start installing spies in the Maquis.

So the remaining open question is whether he has a point about Sisko and Kasidy. And I guess here we can point out that Sisko *does* start bending the rules in order to investigate Kasidy. If Sisko were *only* investigating the Maquis because it was required of him for his duty, then he would do no more than the book allowed him to. So maybe that's a way of showing that he does indeed care more about being betrayed than What's Right or whatever. Overall, I don't think that's the case, but maybe the episode is suggesting it's one possible read. In any case, what seems to distinguish between Sisko's reaction to Eddington and to Kasidy at the episode's end really does have to do with how personal the betrayal was, how violent the goal was -- starving Cardassians versus providing medical aid -- and how *deliberate* an infliction of injury it was on Sisko. That Sisko is open to making up with Kasidy may be unbelievable, but it also *is* a suggestion that Eddington is wrong about him. Sisko takes Eddington's betrayal personally because it was a personal betrayal. He is able to have peace with Kasidy hurting him and the Federation by her choices because her decisions were not designed to hurt.
William B
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 9:14pm (UTC -5)
To add:

In general I have a very dim view of Eddington in this ep. In addition to betraying Sisko/Starfleet/Kira/etc. it's worth remembering that he also betrays Kasidy and her crew, by arranging for her to be apprehended as a diversion, so that they would probably be arrested and if not possibly be consigned to living on the run. It's possible this is unintentional on the part of the writers, though.

I tend to believe that Kasidy was trying to be a good Samaritan - - that the Maquis needed medical supplies, and Kasidy supplied them because people needed them, independent of ideology. It's hard to be sure. I don't necessarily mean that she disapproves of the Maquis cause, either, just that I think it was maybe a more basic impulse than agreeing or disagreeing with them. In that sense I think she mirrors the Federation giving the Cardassians replicators for food/etc., of seeing hurting people and wanting to help. I would have liked to see this explored more, but I think that might also be why Sisko forgives her.

Finally, I think having the Garak/Ziyal plot in this episode is interesting even if it's largely flat. Cardassians, we are reminded, are still people, who have basic needs for warmth and company, and also for, you know, food. Eddington is unable to understand helping Cardassians as being anything but a cynical ploy to bend them to the Federation will, but I think he's wrong that that is all that it is, and that it's still possible to see that another being is in need and to do something about it, even if they "should" be enemies (as Garak and Ziyal are). If the episode has a central moral POV, I think it's one in which Eddington is wrong, and Sisko, Kasidy, Garak and Ziyal are flawed but kind of on the right track by the end. It's Eddington whose whole motivation that we know of as of this episode seems to be about wounded pride and anger, who weaponizes others' love, charitable inclinations and sense of duty. (This is not a comment on what we find out about him later.)
Elliott
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 9:51pm (UTC -5)
@William B: Welcome back!

Structurally, I think I agree that this one sort of kind of works if you frame it as Eddington being the antagonist who's clearly wrong and the other players as misguided but ultimately "good guys." The problem of course is the way is big speech is framed, as though he's caught Sisko, the Federation, and Star Trek in a trap of his/its own making. These two ideas are not compatible, and the directing choices in this episode lack sufficient ambiguity to seriously consider this option, in my opinion, which is why I take a dim view of the episode itself. Much like in "Paradise," the writers attempt to be edgy by giving the villain the last word on the subject, but it backfires.
William B
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 10:32pm (UTC -5)
@Elliott, thanks!

Yeah. I feel like Eddington is such a blank slate and the episode puts so little effort into coming up with any *positive* reason for Eddington to support the Maquis (as opposed to Kasidy, who seems to want to stop an outbreak) make it hard to believe we're really meant to buy him. I should add too that the only justification for Eddington's actions would be that his cause is so important that his various betrayals are dwarfed by the good he can do. I'd argue that "Defiant" had Tom make this case, but Eddington just skips over his own actions or even motivations. Even if the Federation does suck, it doesn't explain his actions. I think he can even be an antagonist who happens to make some good points, like Dukat or even Seska are at times, if we see him as having no leg to stand on but might happen to be right about Sisko. But I agree that it feels like he's meant to be basically correct, and that the direction, with the intense slow zoom on his speech, seems to split the difference. It's weird.

That's what I meant in saying Eddington's speech could work in a different scenario. If Eddington hadn't just pulled this stunt and stormed into Sisko's office and resigned and said he was renouncing the Federation because they are like the Borg, well, that'd be hard to convincingly sell maybe but at least it wouldn't be the implicit justification for a robbery, assault and betrayal.
Peter G.
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 12:07am (UTC -5)
I am in agreement that the feel of the episode is definitely that Eddington is supposed to be hitting a nerve and making some sense. I can't accept that this could be a result of the writers intending him to be flat wrong, and the director missing the memo and making a terrible mistake in interpretation. Rather, I think the director was probably spot on, and the real error lies in the details of the writing. They simply miswrote the plot, and miswrote the organization of Eddington's speech. As it's written Eddington can't be seen as other than wrong, even though bolstering his speech does render it entirely intelligible. My conclusion is that the speech comes across exactly as intended and that the writers couldn't come up with a good reason for him to say it, so they hoped his conviction would just sell it. It doesn't.
William B
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 12:21am (UTC -5)
Maybe it's worth considering the possibility that Eddington's speech serves different purposes within the episode and within the series. Within the episode, Eddington is basically the "real" antagonist, the real betrayer. His speech touches on some of the episode's themes, but mostly whatever it tells us about his motivations only reflects badly on him. However, he seems to be articulating a pov the series as a whole wants us to take seriously. It may be that it feels like a mismatch because Eddington basically is intended as an antagonist for the episode and a more nuanced figure for the series, and maybe that's because what the episode "needed" to shore up its plot and what Behr et al. wanted to say with the speech in terms of its larger implications were at cross purposes. Maybe it's neither accurate to say the speech let the episode down nor that the episode failed to set up the speech, but that for this episode the episodic versus serialized needs got in each other's way.
Peter G.
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 12:31am (UTC -5)
@ William B,

That could very well be. But in that case, with Behr wanting the speech to be about the series, they not only botch its placement in the episode, but botch its placement in the series as well, because so far we've got no reason to think that the Federation is like the Borg. If you're right, and maybe you are, it would validate Elliott's theory that DS9 was trying to talk smack about the Federation depicted in the previous Treks. And yet I don't think there's much to go on to show that there was a concerted effort over time to deliberately show the Federation as being "insidious" as Garak put it. His use of that term, if anything, is meant to be ironic, because what "insidious" means for him is that despite all his better efforts he has been somewhat converted to believing that the Federation can help matters.

On the Federation=Borg side of things, we have a scant few examples, although I do think there are some. I would say the "it's easy to be a saint in paradise" speech *could* be taken as an indictment of Picardian optimism. And I think that the parts of Paradise where Alixus may be shown to be right about some people preferring community over technology, could be seen as also pointing out a drawback to the futuristic utopia. That said, pointing out holes in the arguments presented in TNG isn't the same thing as outright denouncing them, which DS9 would have to be doing to put Federation and Borg in the same sentence and mean it. So while I think the vehemence in Eddington's speech is meant to come from somewhere real, the literal things he says come across as juvenile hyperbole unless seen as romanticized dramatics. Given what we see later I guess it might be just self-important dramatics, but if so that makes the Maquis look even dumber than Elliott already thinks they are.
Nolan
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 3:28am (UTC -5)
@ Peter G. et, al.

Admittedly haven't been following this discussion closely but for the last several posts, but thought I might weigh in with a couple of my thoughts if I may?

Eddington's invocation of the Borg is tantamount to Goodwin's law. It's an over exaggerated comparison to a defined evil of the era. It's less of an indictment of how nefarious the Federation is than it is an attempt to cause doubt through pointing out similarities of methodology of the Federation and the Borg. I.e, "The Federation expands influence via incorperating the best of cultures into itself. The Borg also expads influence by taking the best of cultures into itself. The Borg are evil, therefore the Federation is evil" it's flimsy as hell and I think it shouldn't be taken as an ernest comparison but rather as a disatisfied man lashing out and drawing this ludicrous comparison in a misguided attempt to cause doubt in Sisko about the Federation's cause.

Plus, it's also a way for Eddington to stick the heel in, compairing the organization Sisko upholds and believes in to those that killed the man wife.

Eddington's speech is less an explanation of his actions and motives, and more a demonstation of the emotions behind what he did. He's a bitter, disatisfied man who found a cause and is lashing out at "the hater" who dares question him.

As for the comparison itself, are the writers really saying the Federation is the same as the Borg? I'd say no, but I think they are pitching it over the plate to get viewers to ask the question and analyze the Federation a bit more than they might have, using the extreme of the Borg to open viewers to exploring a pillar of Trek, the Federation, rather than just taking it for granted as an important element of the mythos.

Yes? Or am I way off base?
William B
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 7:03am (UTC -5)
@Peter, agreed. The placement in the series doesn't work. In general it doesn't match with most of what we've seen of the Maquis story. I could maybe buy the Federation being overzealous in pursuing the Maquis out of resentment, but I don't think we've seen any evidence of that, so his point falls flat. I think criticisms of the Federation are fine but they have to land. But I think even there, Eddington's speech plays even worse in the context of this episode than in the context of the series so far, because Eddington's immediately preceding action and how little his rant seems to have to do with the way Sisko behaves in the ep.

@Nolan, I think you're right about Godwin's law, and Eddington largely doesn't actually mean he thinks the Federation is worse than the Borg. But I think we're meant to find his reasons understandable, and here I think the best we can do is go, "whoa, he really doesn't like the Federation," which is not really sufficient. I mean, maybe we don't need to know why, but if his motives are obscured then the ep shouldn't try to sell with writing and directing that we're learning a sensible explanation.
Nolan
Wed, Apr 24, 2019, 3:08pm (UTC -5)
Obviously individual interpretations may differ, but I'm not sure I ever saw Eddington's speech as a sensible explanation. Just a typical deflection of the logical fallacy kind. "You're mad I & the Maquis stole? But what about all the stuff you and the Fed have done? You're not perfect, your worse. Nyah, nyah!"

Now, whether the intention was for the speech to actually BE Eddington's reasons, or just a demonstration of his characterization, I can't say. But it's evident that the writers either realized it wasn't as strong as they planned or held off on his true motives as they explored Eddington and his motivations much more in "For the Uniform" where I think his reasons for what he did both here and in that episode are made much more clear. Even if it could technically be labelled a retcon.

Eddington's trilogy for me as I (perhaps erroneously) remember it is really: 1) his betrayal and his feelings behind it, 2) why he did it and why with the Maquis and 3) why he came to care about the cause so much.
William B
Fri, May 3, 2019, 1:36pm (UTC -5)
Oh yeah, I forgot to add,

Elliott:

"WORF: I would not become a terrorist. It would be dishonourable.
O'BRIEN: I wouldn't say that around Major Kira if I were you.

Oh yeah. Here's an experiment: the next time an organic weed farmer starts an armed insurrection against the government for selling his land to big agriculture, tell a Holocaust survivor or a Palestinian living in the West Bank that you finally understand their plight. I'm sure that will go over well."

Lmao. But hey, maybe O'Brien was talking about Kira's actions in Shakaar.
Bobbington Mc Bob
Sun, Jul 7, 2019, 3:35pm (UTC -5)
I never really got why we were all cool with Eddington after he sabotaged the Defiant. Sure, give him some slack to finish that one mission, but thereafter, why is he central to DS9 security? It kind of felt like a huge own goal and I was just waiting for him to do something again.

It feels a little like DS9 is sputtering right now, with a few clunker episodes in succession. I really hope there is a pickup soon, and some more meat is hung on the bones of the Dominion war.

On another note, wow this show really is as dark as people say, and becoming more so. I quite like it, as the transition from happy happy joy joy of TNG Federation has been gradual but certain and feels organic. Can the ideals of the Federation really survive extended contact with the reality of the broader Milky Way?
corsairmarks
Sun, Sep 1, 2019, 1:26am (UTC -5)
My suspension of disbelief was thrown very hard at the end of this episode / beginning of the next. Other than the whole "we have to keep all the same characters and actors" meta-reason, why did we never see any fallout on Sisko for his failure? He let his personal feelings lead him astray which lead to some (assumedly) expensive replicators being stolen by terrorists.

Even if the Federation just replicates more replicators (they are basically magic, I suppose) and the loss itself is inconsequential economically, it is still a security failure in that it supplies terrorists. I'd wager any real-world military personnel would face discipline for gross negligence (i.e. running off because of a love interest) leading to the theft of supplies by the enemy.
Booming
Sun, Sep 1, 2019, 6:55am (UTC -5)
@ corsairmarks
He left his security chief in charge of the transfer and Kira in charge of the station. Both absolutely capable of performing these tasks.
Starfleet forced Eddington on Sisko so it's kind of their fault for not noticing that the security chief of maybe the most important station in the Federation was a Maquis spy.

Submit a comment





◄ Season Index

▲Top of Page | Menu | Copyright © 1994-2019 Jamahl Epsicokhan. All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication or distribution of any content is prohibited. This site is an independent publication and is not affiliated with or authorized by any entity or company referenced herein. See site policies.