35. Tribunal (2.25)

Synopsis: When Cardassians arrest Miles O’Brien for working with the Maquis, he’s put on a Cardassian trial, where the verdict is known before the trial begins: guilty.

Memory Alpha Summary: Long in the tooth

Review: We finally get to see Cardassia! While the “guilty before proven innocent” trope is overused, this is a nice twist, with “guilty and the trial is only to satisfy the public morale.”  The idea of a defense attorney just there to convince his client to admit guilt is great fun, and Kovat does the role justice. Odo being able to be at the trial is a pretty significant contrivance, but it’s needed for the story to go anywhere. His being an annoying mosquito during the proceedings makes for good drama. 

While the ending resolution (the prosecuting witness is missing his molars and therefore must be a Cardassian spy) is not quite a Deus Ex Machina, it’s a bit lazy and just seems there to give the rest of the crew something to do to save O’Brien. I would have preferred the defense attorney having some change of heart before his retirement and actually making a case for Odo while embarrassing the judge and the system. 

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