51. The Maquis (2.20, 2.21)

Synopsis: When a Cardassian freighter explodes at Deep Space 9, the Cardassians blame Federation colonists in the new Demilitarized Zone. Sisko tries to rescue Gul Dukat, stop the Maquis terrorists, and prevent a new war with the Cardassians.

Memory Alpha Summary: No sign yet of Chakotay

Review: A pretty blah episode as far as tension and action, but an extremely important episode as far as the direction DS9 goes. It had always bothered me that Roddenberry viewed future humans as essentially flawless. It made for very predictable and occasionally preachy scripts. This quote by Sisko made my spine tingle:

On Earth, there is no poverty, no crime, no war. You look out the window of Starfleet Headquarters and you see paradise. Well, it’s easy to be a saint in paradise, but the Maquis do not live in paradise. Out there in the Demilitarized Zone, all the problems haven’t been solved yet. Out there, there are no saints — just people. Angry, scared, determined people who are going to do whatever it takes to survive, whether it meets with Federation approval or not!

The concept of the Maquis makes perfect sense, especially since it’s well established that the Federation goes through treaties like candy. The character of Hudson is alright, though he’s a bit too smarmy for my taste. I hate the tropey “Come to the dark side” speeches that villains often give in these situations, even when they know there’s zero chance that they’ll be joined. 

Side note: I love Admiral Nechayev. I’m glad she made an appearance here, and wish she could have been used even more. 

The sideplot with Quark and the terrorist Vulcan is kind of off. While I appreciate the Vulcan (there was a similar one in The Gambit), it’s hard to buy that it takes Ferengi logic to change their mind. 

Dukat’s character also grows further, as we see him taking on a more friendly role with Sisko. It’s a natural progression of his character, as he’s always seemed a little more open to diplomacy, or at least his version of it.

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