“The Maquis, Part I”
Written by Rick Berman & Michael Piller & Jeri Taylor and James Crocker
Directed by David Livingston
Season 2, Episode 20
Production episode 40512-440
Original air date: April 24, 1994
Station log: A Cardassian freighter, the Bok’Nor, is docked at one of the upper pylons. A Starfleet engineer named Samuels futzes with a control panel after all the Cardassians board it. As the freighter disengages from the pylon, it explodes, with no survivors. O’Brien and Kira examine the wreckage for signs of sabotage, but it’s Dax who figures it out from a reading she got before the explosion: a protomatter implosive device. But proving that that’s really what it was will take time, and Sisko has admirals crawling up his ass. What’s really weird is that there’s been absolutely no response from the Cardassians.
Sisko has called in Lieutenant Commander Calvin Hudson, who’s both the Starfleet attaché to the colonies in the new Demilitarized Zone, and also one of Sisko’s oldest friends. Hudson also lost his wife, and they exchange stories about Jake, about Dax, and about any number of other things before getting down to business. Hudson feels his job is a joke, and he’s angry that the Federation just abandoned their colonies to the Cardassians, especially since Central Command is doing nothing to protect them. He also thinks it’s just a matter of time before the Cardassians respond to the Bok’Nor’s destruction.
Samuels, now in civilian clothes, meets with Sakonna, a Vulcan woman, who says that quarters have been arranged for him until his ship is ready to leave. On his way to those quarters, he’s abducted. Sakonna meanwhile meets with Quark. She has a business proposition, which they agree to discuss over dinner.
Sisko finds Dukat in his quarters, having come onto the station in secret. He’s there unofficially to help Sisko find the truth—because Dukat already knows it, or so he claims. He accuses Federation citizens of sabotaging the Bok’Nor—or, rather, former Federation citizens living in the DMZ. Dukat knows that Sisko won’t take his word for it, so he asks Sisko to take him in a runabout to the DMZ—“not so demilitarized,” Dukat comments. To prove the point, they find two Cardassian ships attacking a Federation merchant vessel—a violation of the treaty on the Cardassians’ part. Dukat is as surprised as Sisko to find Cardassia violating the DMZ, but the ships are refitted shuttles that Dukat theorizes belong to the colonies in the zone, not the military. The Cardassians do not respond to Dukat’s order to disengage, nor his threat to fire on them, even though he gives them his security code.
Then a Federation civilian ship shows up, also a kitbash of some kind, as it has photon torpedoes, which it fires on the Cardassians, destroying them both. Dukat sadly points out to Sisko that, without any help from Starfleet or Central Command, they’ve started their own little war in the DMZ.
Quark has prepared a feast for Sakonna to commence their business relationship (which has less to do with business and more to do with the fact that Sakonna is hot), which turns out to be far different from what Quark was expecting from a Vulcan: she wants weapons, lots of them, in continuous supply. Sakonna also admits to Quark that she finds him intriguing, which sends Quark’s hand right to his lobe…
Sisko and Dukat arrive at a rather contentious meeting on a colony between Gul Evek and Hudson that includes colonists from both sides. The Federation colonists, led by a man named Amaros, insist that there are no organized Federation terrorist activities, as Evek claims—but then Evek provides a confession from Samuels, who has admitted to being part of an organized Federation terrorist group that is targeting Cardassians, and to destroying the Bok’Nor. When Hudson asks to speak to him directly, they bring in his body, Evek claiming that he committed suicide in his cell. This leads Amaros to attack Evek. Dukat pulls Evek away while Hudson pulls Amaros away, and everyone goes to their separate corners.
Hudson tells Sisko that Samuels was a farmer who didn’t want to give up his land to the Cardassians. But the Federation citizens who stayed behind are being harassed, attacked, assaulted, and worse. Hudson claims not to know of any organized terrorist activities on the part of the colonists, but he also admits that if they are, they probably didn’t think they had any other choice. Hudson also insinuates that the Bok’Nor may have been carrying weapons to the Cardassian colonies in the DMZ, but Dukat pokes holes in that theory on the trip back, especially since the freighter’s route didn’t take it anywhere near the DMZ. Besides, Samuels still killed 78 innocent crewmembers on that ship.
Dukat swears on the lives of his children that there were no weapons on the Bok’Nor. Sisko, for his part, is surprised to learn that Dukat has children, and Dukat says that he has seven. When they return to the station, O’Brien verifies that it was a Federation device that was used, which Sisko already knows thanks to Samuels’s confession.
Sisko tells Kira that there’s no threat to Bajor, as the attack was definitely made by Federation colonists. Kira, in turn, tells Sisko that the Cardassians are not to be trusted, that they will circumvent the treaty in any way they can.
Sakonna and a fake Starfleet security guard lure Dukat out of his quarters, where he’s kidnapped by Amaros.
After Sisko has a loud conversation with an admiral, he storms out and tells Odo to review all security procedures. Only two ships left the station in the night when Dukat was taken: one went through the wormhole, the other is quickly determined by Dax to be a fake. A group that calls itself the Maquis claims credit for kidnapping Dukat—and now we have organized terrorist activities among the colonists, just like Evek said.
Sisko takes Kira and Bashir in a runabout to track the other ship, which is discovered heading to the Badlands, an area on the Cardassian border filled with nasty-ass plasma storms. They track the ship’s warp signature to a planet that has human life signs. As soon as they beam down, they’re ambushed by a group of colonists, led by Hudson in civilian clothes.
To be continued….
The Sisko is of Bajor: Sisko and Hudson are old friends, and the two of them, and their wives, did a great deal together, particularly when they were assigned to New Berlin. The Mazurka Festival was a favorite time; Hudson recalls how hilarious Sisko looked in lederhosen, and Sisko comments that he still has the hat.
Don’t ask my opinion next time: After Sisko spends more time with Dukat than is probably healthy, Kira gets to be the antidote, pointing out that she lived under Cardassian rule for 26 years, and she knows just how much they suck at keeping their word. She also takes some relish in telling Sisko just how naïve she thinks the Federation is, which prompts Sisko to open the door, making it clear that she’s being kicked out of the office.
The slug in your belly: Hudson hasn’t seen Dax since the symbiont moved from Curzon to Jadzia. He’s taken aback by Dax’s new host to say the least. Hudson was alongside Sisko for a lot of the shenanigans he got into while Curzon’s adjutant.
Rules of Acquisition: Quark quotes Rule #214 to Sakonna: “Never begin a negotiation on an empty stomach.”
For Cardassia! While the Federation has protected Cardassian colonies that are now in Federation space, the same cannot be said for Federation colonies that are now in Cardassian space.
Dukat claims that the Cardassian education system is the best in the quadrant, though Sisko mentions mental training that starts at age four that takes all the joy out of growing up.
Preservation of mass and energy is for wimps: Odo insists that ships being blown up and people being kidnapped wouldn’t happen if he could have the security he wants: curfews, more deputies, more searches. Kira points out that that would make the place just like it was under the Cardassians, to which Odo replies that things were safer then, to which Kira retorts, “Unless you were Bajoran.” Odo doesn’t really have an answer for that.
No sex, please, we’re Starfleet: Quark hits all over a mostly uninterested Sakonna, while Hudson asks Sisko if he’s involved with Dax now that she’s a hot chick (and also comments that she knows more about him than any woman, including his wife), and Jake and Nog are sitting on the Promenade watching Bajoran women disembark.
Keep your ears open: “Education is power. Joy is vulnerability.”
“Your reaction surprises me, Commander. I thought you would understand. Of all the humans I’ve met, you strike me as the most joyless and the least vulnerable.”
“I am when I’m with you.”
Dukat and Sisko getting to know each other on the runabout.
Welcome aboard: Lotsa guests in this one, from veteran character actor Tony Plana as Amaros, to Bertila Damas as Sakonna (she’ll be back as a Bajoran-turned-Borg in Voyager’s “Survival Instinct”), Michael Krawic as Samuels (he’ll be back as a Caatati in Voyager’s “Day of Honor” and a Vulcan in Enterprise’s “Carbon Creek”), Michael Rose as Niles, and Amanda Carlin as Kobb. Marc Alaimo is back as Dukat, and Richard Poe makes his third appearance (following “Playing God” and TNG’s “Journey’s End”) as Evek; he’ll be back in “Tribunal,” in TNG’s “Preemptive Strike,” and in Voyager’s “Caretaker.” In a nice continuity touch, John Saint John, who was a member of the tribal council in “Journey’s End,” shows up as a colonist (and Maquis member) here. And finally, former pro football player Bernie Casey appears as Hudson. Casey, Plana, Damas, Rose, Carlin, and Alaimo will all be back for Part 2.
Trivial matters: This continues Trek’s first ever true multi-series story arc, set up in TNG’s “Journey’s End,” with the establishment of the Demilitarized Zone and the ceding of Federation colonies to Cardassia. It continues here with the creation of the Maquis—all of this was done to set up the status quo for Voyager’s premiere episode “Caretaker” of Starfleet chasing the Maquis. The storyline will continue in “Preemptive Strike” on TNG and “Caretaker,” and also recur throughout DS9’s third, fourth, and fifth seasons.
The Maquis is named after the French resistance group from World War II.
This episode also establishes the existence of the Badlands, which will be the location of Voyager’s disappearance in “Caretaker.” Sisko prophetically says in this episode that lots of ships have been lost there. The first shot of a planet in the Badlands is far more subdued than we’ll see in the future, with just some discoloration of the space around the planetoid on which Hudson and the gang are hiding. Future portrayals will be somewhat nastier.
The Badlands will be seen in numerous episodes of DS9 moving forward, and also be seen in a great deal of the tie-in fiction, most notably in Susan Wright’s two-book series The Badlands, which includes the origin of the region in the 23rd century involving Kirk’s Enterprise, as well as encounters by the TNG, DS9, and Voyager crews, the latter including the Maquis in some of them.
Some other tie-in fiction featuring the Maquis includes Rogue Saucer and Double Helix: Quarantine by John Vornholt; Wrath of the Prophets by Peter David, Michael Jan Friedman, & Robert Greenberger; A Weary Life by Greenberger, part of the Slings and Arrows eBook miniseries;and your humble rewatcher’s The Brave and the Bold Book 2.
This is the first of several episodes to mention Captain Boday, the Gallamite freighter captain with the transparent head. We will never actually see Boday, or any other Gallamites, onscreen, which is probably for the best, though one does show up in the Starfleet Corps of Engineers two-part eBook Invincible by David Mack & Keith R.A. DeCandido (where we kept him in a hat for the whole story).
One of Sisko and Hudson’s early adventures with Curzon Dax was seen in the short story “The Music Between the Notes” by Steven Barnes in the anthology The Lives of Dax.
Part of Quark’s feast for Sakonna is plomeek soup, a Vulcan delicacy first seen in “Amok Time” on the original series.
Sisko refers to the Cardassians’ arming of Bajoran extremists through the Yridians, though he really meant the Kressari, as revealed back in “The Circle.”
Walk with the Prophets: “One disaster after another keeps bringing us back together again.” Ah, 1994. A heady time. TNG was coming to an end, with a movie series as its next step, and a new Trek show was going to kick off a new network, as the plan was to launch UPN in early 1995 with Voyager, a show that would have built-in conflict with a Starfleet crew and a Maquis cell having to integrate in order to get back home.
To set all this up, both TNG and DS9 devoted a pair of episodes apiece to setting up the status quo that would lead to Voyager going into the Badlands to chase Chakotay’s Maquis cell. (TNG even used the conflict to help spell the end of two recurring characters’ Starfleet careers.) It was almost for naught: TNG went off the air, and aside from occasional lip-service (and one late-first-season episode) Voyager pretty much abandoned the entire crew-in-conflict notion (despite it being a major component of the pre-release hype for the show).
However, DS9 would actually take the Maquis and run with it, making it an excellent running subplot over stories in the next three seasons.
Having said that, the setup here is pretty much just that: setup. Aside from the last-second revelation that Hudson is part of the Maquis—which isn’t a huge surprise, given how he’s actually been bitching and moaning about the Cardassian treatment of colonists and the Federation abandoning them all episode—there’s no real payoff here. The treaty is just as (realistically) stupid here as it was in “Journey’s End,” only the violence that was limited to a single planet in the TNG episode has now escalated to the entire DMZ.
Where the episode shines is in various conversations:
The talks between Sisko and Dukat reveal new layers to the latter character. He’s still an oily, skeevy asshole, and in case we forget that, we have his insistence that it be Starfleet security who escort him on the station, rather than Bajoran Militia. But he’s also something like a voice of reason when Sisko starts proposing Hudson’s conspiracy theories regarding the Bok’Nor (even though we remember all the way back to “The Wounded” on TNG that we’ve seen Central Command pull this nonsense before). Revealing that he’s also got a family adds some depth, particularly in the way it forces Sisko to see him as a person rather than an opponent.
Kira and Odo’s back and forth on the subject of security restrictions is a nice, refreshingly subtle take on Benjamin Franklin’s oft-quoted line about how giving up liberty for security gives you neither.
Quark and Sakonna’s conversations are fun, if a bit lacking. Part of it is Bertila Damas’s unconvincing line readings, and part of it is that the spit-take-worthy revelation that she wants to buy weapons from Quark would be more of a holy-crap moment worthy of the bait-and-switch setup (but she’s a Vulcan!) if we hadn’t already seen Sakonna aiding the guy who blew up the Bok’Nor.
And then there’s the old-friend conversations between Sisko and Hudson, which are the only times that the wooden and generally awful Bernie Casey is in any way watchable. When Casey is marveling at how tall Jake has gotten or reminiscing about Sisko in lederhosen, he’s relaxed and fun, but the minute he starts going on about bad treaties and Cardassian duplicity, his line readings turn stilted and his emotional beats suddenly unconvincing.
As part of the growing development of Dukat as a character, and as a setup for a running subplot, this isn’t bad, but there’s not a whole lot of there there. It doesn’t help that the entire episode consists of our heroes observing and watching and commenting, but not really doing anything.
Warp factor rating: 5