‘The Maquis’ (DS9) (TV)

     

‘THE MAQUIS’ (DS9)

Please feel free to comment on my review.

Here we are on a two-part story that will have a certain amount of significance in the ‘Star Trek’ universe. ‘The Maquis’ is a story that would set things up in ‘Star Trek: Voyager’ as well as the relationship between the Federation, the Cardassians and certain colonists disgruntled by a treaty. 😐

In ‘Part I’, a Cardassian transport ship called the Bok’nor is about to prepare for departure from DS9. But the ship gets sabotaged when a man in Starfleet uniform makes adjustments to the outer hull. Very soon, as the Bok’nor departs, it explodes with everyone on board. It causes tension and friction.

As the DS9 team investigate what happened, Sisko has a visit from Bernie Casey as Lt. Commander Calvin Hudson. Hudson has been sent by Starfleet as a Federation attaché to the new demilitarised zone along the Cardassian border. This is where Federation colonies are located in Cardassian space.

The business with the demilitarised zone along the Cardassian border is something that was set up in the ‘TNG’ episode ‘Journey’s End’. A lot of Federation colonists are reluctant to leave their homes once Cardassians wish to occupy planets inside Federation space as agreed in a treaty that got made.

Hudson is disgruntled the Federation has abandoned the colonists within Cardassian space when he talks to Sisko about it. But Sisko is determined to abide by the treaty despite the issues raised by certain colonists. This causes tensions in the friendship between Sisko and Hudson as we’ll see later.

There’s a lot of politicking going on in this ‘DS9’ two-parter, especially where the issues of Federation colonies in Cardassian space are concerned. I’m not sure I fully understand the politics going on in this situation, but it was intriguing to discover, balanced by some action scenes in space.

When Sisko returns to his quarters one evening, he receives a visit from Marc Alaimo as Gul Dukat. He’s been waiting for him as he’s on DS9 without the knowledge of the Cardassian Central Command. Dukat wishes to help Sisko learn the truth, going in a runabout to the demilitarised zone.

In space, Sisko and Dukat detect two Cardassian ships attacking a Federation merchant ship. Dukat orders the Cardassian vessels to break off their attack but they don’t respond. Before Sisko and Dukat can intervene further, an unidentified Federation ship arrives to blow up the Cardassian ships.

They eventually visit one of the colonies in the demilitarised zone to find Hudson and several colonists in a heated debate with Richard Poe as Gul Evek. Evek shares a recorded confession by the Bok’Nor’s saboteur – Michael A. Krawic as William Patrick Samuels – before his corpse is revealed. 😮

Evek claims that Samuels committed suicide. It sparks outrage from the colonists who suspect Samuels was tortured before death. Hudson privately confides to Sisko that Samuels may be guilty of sabotage but the colonists have a right to defend themselves. Sisko doesn’t entirely agree with that.

It’s intriguing how Sisko approaches the situation from his angle, abiding by certain Federation protocols according to the treaty. Sisko even has a heated discussion with Major Kira who sympathises with the colonists living in fear of the Cardassians as her people went through that also.

There’s also an issue regarding the accusation that the Bok’Nor was transporting weapons within the demilitarised zone. Dukat denies the accusation just as much as he denies knowing anything about Samuels being made to confess before death. Dukat is soon kidnapped by the group of rebels in this.

One of the rebels happens to be Bertila Damas as Sakonna, a Vulcan woman. She negotiates with Quarks, who offers her dinner, to discuss a business arrangement. She wishes a wide array of weapons. Quark, surprised by the request, eventually agrees, knowing where to get these weapons.

After Dukat’s been kidnapped as well as the weapons being acquired by Sakonna and several rebel colonists, Sisko, Kira and Bashir go out to track down the kidnappers. It’s eventually revealed that the group in the demilitarised zone who’ve been responsible for the trouble are called…the Maquis!

Once Sisko, Kira and Bashir track down the kidnappers to a planet in an area called the Badlands – a foreshadowing of the ‘Voyager’ series by the way – they find themselves surrounded by armed Maquis The leader of Maquis happens to be…Hudson…who has discarded his own Starfleet uniform.

In ‘Part II’ of the story, Sisko confronts Hudson over his actions regarding the aggression against the Cardassians and being leader of the Maquis. Hudson accuses Sisko for siding with the Cardassians. He claims the Maquis want only peace but Sisko, from his point of view, says that he wants revenge.

After Sisko gets denied to see Gul Dukat and declines an offer to join, Hudson and the Maquis knock him; Kira and Bashir out before they depart. Sisko; Kira and Bashir soon return to DS9 where Natalija Nogulich as Admiral Nechayev is waiting for Sisko in his own office. Oh no! Not that woman again! 😦

Yeah, remember her? She was a pain in the backside for Picard and the Enterprise-D for some ‘TNG’ episodes. Now she’s a pain in the backside for Sisko when she instructs him to reason with the Maquis. She calls the Maquis ‘a bunch of irresponsible hotheads’ without knowing the true situation.

Sisko is clearly annoyed by Nechayev’s lack of understanding in this situation as well as her bureaucracy. He lets out his anger in front of Kira who comes to see him after Nechayev has gone. Kira surprisingly doesn’t argue with Sisko like the last time since she sympathises with his situation. 🙂

The second episode of this story also features John Schuck as Legate Parn of the Cardassian Central Command. John Schuck is no stranger to ‘Star Trek’ having played the Klingon ambassador in ‘Star Trek IV’ and ‘Star Trek VI’. John Schuck would go on to star in episodes of ‘Voyager’ and ‘Enterprise’.

According to Parn, weapons have been smuggled into the demilitarised zone on behalf of the Cardassians. But Central Command is putting the blame on Dukat as they claim he’s acting as a renegade. Sisko and Kira don’t believe this story as it’s clear Central Command are setting Dukat up.

Meanwhile, Odo has caught ‘one of the Vulcan’s (Sakonna) accomplices’ which happens to be Quark. Quark is put in a holding cell as he revealed he wasn’t aware of the Maquis at the time of the transaction. He shares to Sisko and Odo that Sakonna is planning an attack within the next few days.

Sisko bluntly tells Odo to leave Quark in his holding cell ‘forever’. Which doesn’t happen of course because Odo is back in his bar for the rest of the series, isn’t he? I liked it when Quark meets up with Sakonna in the same holding cell she’s put in with him and he quotes the ‘rules of acquisition’ to her.

Before that, Sakonna tried to establish a Vulcan mind meld with Dukat, which doesn’t work. Clearly Dukat’s mind is stronger for Sakonna to handle. Or is it like that for all Cardassians? Anyway, Sisko; Bashir and Odo turn to rescue Dukat from his interrogation whilst they fight off some of the Maquis.

After bringing Dukat back to DS9, Sisko shares with him that Legate Parn accused him for smuggling the weapons into the demilitarised zone. Dukat denies this of course and he helps Sisko to catch a Xepolite trader who transports weapons on behalf of Central Command. That scene was really good.

This is especially when Dukat threatened the Xepolite trader to have his ship blown up before he lets them aboard to inspect his weapons. After Quark gets Sakonna to reveal to Sisko that the Maquis are attempting to blow up a Cardassian weapons depot in 52 hours; the DS9 team plan to stop them.

Sisko tries to persuade Hudson one last time to reconsider abandoning his career as he offers his Starfleet uniform back to him. But Hudson declines as he vaporises his Starfleet uniform with a phaser. Soon, the DS9 team in runabouts with Dukat helping them try and disable the Maquis ships.

Dukat insists that Sisko fires upon Hudson’s ship to prevent him escaping, but Sisko refuses. The DS9 team manage to stop the Maquis raiders in their plans, but it’s not the end of the Maquis. Sisko knows that they’ve delayed the inevitable. It’s only a matter of time before the Maquis attack again.

The two-parter is a good introduction to the Maquis as enemies in the ‘Star Trek’ universe. You can sympathise with their position against the Cardassians, but it’s clear they can be dangerous with causing a war between the Federation and Cardassia. Who knows where all of this will lead to next?

‘The Maquis’ (DS9) rating – 8/10


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