Colonists, terrorists and the Cardassian border. All this and more in the episode that originally aired on April 24, 1994. This is The Maquis Part I.
Station Log Stardate Undetermined: The Maquis, Part I
Tensions rise on DS9 after a Cardassian freighter explodes and Federation Colonists in the new Cardassian Demilitarized Zone are blamed.
A Cardassian Freighter is docked at DS9 when a Federation Officer plants a device on the ship. Just as the ship begins it’s departure, it explodes causing the crew of the station to go into high alert.
After scanning the debris, they soon discover some strange materials in the remnants of the ship. Soon they determine that the cause of the explosion was caused by an implosive device and now they must find out who is responsible.
Sisko meets with Commander Hudson who was sent by Starfleet as the attache in the Demilitarized Zone. He is concerned that the Federation gave away too much in the treaty with the Cardassians which caused several of their colonies to end up in Cardassian space. (See Journey’s End for details)
Quark is approached by a Vulcan woman, Sakonna, who invites him to a private meeting to conduct business. They make arrangements to meet for dinner that night. Meanwhile, the saboteur is attacked in the hallway and knocked unconscious.
Sisko enters his quarters only to find Gul Dukat waiting for him. Dukat indicates that he arrived in an unofficial capacity in order to have a private conversation with Commander Sisko. Dukat indicates that he has information that renegade Starfleet officers are responsible and can provide proof. Leaving the station together, Sisko and Dukat head out to investigate the Volan Colonies. Soon they encounter a small battle between a Cardassian vessel and an oddly modified Federation cargo vessel.
Back on the station, Quark meets with the Sakonna for dinner where he makes every attempt to get the Vulcan drunk. Once it is clear he has no chance as success, he begins his business transaction where he learns she is looking for weapons and equipment in very large quantities.
After witnessing the events, Dukat and Sisko visit the colony where they learn that the Cardassians involved has evidence that there is a new group organized by the Federation colonists. Tensions rise as it is shown that the colonist that was interrogated is dead at the hands of the Cardassians. It is clear that Sisko’s friend, Commander Hudson, is not happy about the situation, indicating that the Cardassians have no intention in following the treaty allowing the colonists to remain safely where they have lived for over twenty years.
Upon returning to the station, Sisko discusses the situation with Kira indicating that some reckless colonists caused the explosion of the Cardassian ship. Kira makes it clear that she supports the colonists who are under Cardassian rule and that Starfleet is failing them by not supplying them with weapons. Meanwhile, Gul Dukat is contacted by Dakonna and a Federation officer. Dukat comes face to face with the leader of the Colony he just visited where they stun and kidnap the Cardassian officer.
Sisko is furious and immediately begins the search for Dukat and soon get word that a group called The Maquis is taking responsibility for the Cardassian officers kidnapping. Sisko, Kira and Bashir head to the last known location of the ship that kidnapped him. Arriving near the Badlands they find an M-class asteroid only to find the leader of The Maquis himself…one Commander Hudson.
…To Be Continued.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
As somewhat of a sequel to the TNG episode Journey’s End , this marks the origin of the renegade group known as The Maquis. This also sets the stage for the new series, Voyager, which would start in the following year.
While this episode doesn’t really do anything for character building, it does manage to move the chess pieces on the board for events to come. The Maquis will prove to become one of the thorns in the Federations side when it comes to their relations with the Cardassians. Sadly, this could all have been prevented had the political nature of the Federation not come into play.
In this, we return to the conundrum of forced relocation and responsibility. Should the Federation continued to care for the colonists who elected to remain in Cardassian space or were they in their rights to leave them to their own accords? What really bothers me is that The Federation actually tries to stop their own former colonists from defending themselves even though Starfleet if very much aware of the Cardassians nature toward their own populace. Sometimes, I dont think the Federation is as enlightened as it claims to be.
If anything, this is an episode of repercussions. This shows the aftermath of a major decision from STNG regarding the Federation Colonists who refused to leave their homes when their planet became part of Cardassian space. It is rare for television series to actually allow events like this cross over into other connecting series without having a major crossover allowing this series to feel more like part of the greater whole of Star Trek, than just a spin-off doing it’s own thing.
All in all, great part one of a two part episode but as the episode isn’t technically over yet, we can dive in deeper next time.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
New Rule of Acquisition!
Rule of Acquisition #214 Never Begin a Negotiation on an Empty Stomach
We learn that Gul Dukat has seven children.
The Badlands are mentioned by Sisko as a place where they have lost a few ships recently. Could this have been due to attacks or maybe they were swept away by The Caretaker from Voyager….hmmmmm.
Thanks for reading the Retro TV Review, I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you, one episode at a time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday! Next Review: The Maquis Part II
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Late To The Game 5/24/2019
Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available. Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.
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