Betrayal, espionage and an unlikely friendship all on the episode that originally aired on May 6. 1996. This is For The Cause.
Station Log Stardate Undetermined: For the Cause
Sisko is shocked to learn that Kasidy Kates may be a Maquis smuggler. Meanwhile Garak finds newcomer Ziyal a fascinating Cardassian.
Story A: Sisko’s Delima
Kasidy wakes next to Ben Sisko and it is immediately clear that this relationship has gone to the next level. Kasidy indicates that she has to get to her ship to work with her Engineer but Ben has no desire to get out of bed. After Kasidy leaves, Sisko heads to a security briefing conducted by Commander Eddington.
Eddington indicates that the Cardassians have requested industrial replicators in order to rebuild from the damage inflicted by the Klingons and the Federation has agreed. There is only one problem, the shipment is a prime target for the Maquis and it just so happens to be passing by DS9. Sisko rallies the troops in order to protect the shipment but is surprised when both Odo and Eddington inform him that Kasidy Yates is being investigated as a potential Maquis smuggler. Sisko is not happy with the news but tells the two that, if they can find a legitimate reason to search her vessel, he would allow it.
Later, as Ben is cooking dinner, Kasidy slips when Jake asks if she has ever been to Kaveria. It seems that she is hiding something but Sisko is concerned if he is looking to deeply into the situation.
Not long after, Kasidy is upset when Odo informs her that her ship is under inspection. Sisko is torn between his duty and his relationship and informs Eddington that they will be letting her ship go. After informing Kasidy that she is free to leave, Sisko sends Worf to follow Kasidy’s ship to determine if they are up to no good. Soon Worf and crew discover the truth, Kasidy is indeed smuggling goods to the Maquis.
The next morning it is clear that Ben is concerned. Jake asks his father what the problem is and Ben makes it clear that, while things change, they will always be together. Later, Sisko attends a security briefing where they are trying to determine their best course of action. Ben is clearly struggling with how he should proceed, with his heart or with his duty.
After Kasidy returns, she tells him that she is planning a cargo run that night. Although Jake arrives with a holosuite program of a famous baseball game, Sisko insists he has duties to perform. In his office, he discusses the fate of Kasidy and her ship with Odo and Eddington. Even though they plan to pursue and arrest Kasidy and her crew should she show any signs of smuggling, Eddington insists that he remain behind on the station in order to be there when the replicators arrive. Sisko agrees to captain the Defiant on the mission to follow the Xhosa.
Desperate to give her an out, Sisko visits Kasidy and begs her to drop everything and go with him to Risa. She reluctantly refuses much to Sisko’s dismay and they part, both knowing that things are about to change for them both. After Kasidy leaves, Ben Sisko takes the Defiant out and begins his stakeout. Soon Sisko realizes that this mission is for naught as Kasidy’s ship has met with no one. It is clear that this was a diversion to get Ben away from the station. Wasting no time, the Defiant decloaks and Sisko beams aboard the Xhosa to confront Kasidy. She tells Ben that she was instructed to meet a Maquis ship in the badlands and had no plans to lead Ben out there. It turns out The Maquis set her up to be caught and Ben realizes that the Maquis are after the replicators.
Back on the station, Eddington informs the security team that their plans have changed and that they will be beaming the replicators onto a Vulcan ship instead. Kira arrives and Eddington stuns her so that he can ‘take command’ of the station. After loading the Vulcan ship, Eddington assigns a Junior officer to command of the station and departs with the ship.
Knowing something is wrong, Sisko and the crew head back to the station under full warp. Upon arrival, Eddington is long gone but soon contacts Captain Sisko to tell Sisko to leave the Maquis alone. He tells his former Captain that, should Sisko pursue them, there will be more than just hijackings. Eddington compares the Federation to the Borg as he explains that all they care about is bringing more worlds into their exclusive little club. Sisko tells his former Security Chief that he will hunt Eddington down no matter what he does.
Even though Odo believed that they would never see Kasidy nor the Xhosa again, Kasidy returns to the station alone to face her sentence. She knows that she damaged their relationship but understands that Sisko has to take her into custody. Kasidy makes it clear that she still loves Captain Sisko and, even though he has to arrest her, she wants to be with him.
Story B: Unlikely Friends
During a Springball tournament in which Kira is competing, Garak takes notice of Gul Dukat’s daughter Ziyal. Julian insists that Garak leave well enough alone but the Tailor does not seem to be listening.
Later, Garak finds himself alone with Ziyal on the turbo-lift where the two strike up a conversation. There is a clear connection between them and soon Garak is shocked when Ziyal visits him in his shop. There Ziyal invites him to participate in a Cardassian Sauna program in the holosuites. Shocked and delighted, Garak agrees to join her but is shocked at the turn of events.
The next day, as Garak is working on a suit for Quark, he assaulted by Kira as she informs him that he is not to see Ziyal again. After Kira leaves, Garak makes it clear that he has no plans to cancel his plans with Ziyal.
Garak arrives to visit Ziyal where he finds that she has no plans to kill him (or bed him) but just wants to share the company of another Cardassian as she and he are the only two on the station.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
Wow, talk about a character developing episode. Not only does this is one that really hits home Ben Sisko on both a personal and a professional level but it also give a little more time for us to get to know Garak.
It has taken the better part of the season but for the first time since his wife’s death, Ben Sisko is finally allowing someone into his life. He and Kasidy have a great chemistry that just works so, of course, why would the fates (writers) allow our intrepid Captain a chance at happiness? In classic dramatic fashion, it seems that Sisko must suffer alone for now and, seeing what is to come, it only makes sense as a relationship would only distract him from the tough decisions that he will be forced to make. However, viewers at the time had no clue as to whether Kasidy would return eventually or if this would be yet anther blow to Sisko’s already broken (but mending) heart.
Avery Brooks does a tremendous job in this one showing how torn Captain Sisko is about performing his duty to Starfleet vs his personal duty to the ones he loves. He, of course, chooses the side of law and allows Kasidy to be taken into custody but there is a clear struggle as he tries to make this decision throughout the episode.
Once again we see the Maquis in action and this time Eddington manages to nail the point on the head about the Federation and it’s heavy handed tactics. For so many years the Federation has been seen as this ‘Paragon of Virtue’ that reflected the most idyllic standard that everyone wanted to be a part of. To join the Federation was an honor that showed you had become the best of all others in the universe. However, with every paradise, there are shadows lurking about and this series really begins to show those dark places and rough patches even mores o than STNG ever did.
The Federation, like any other organization, is motivated by self preservation. In many ways, it has become complacent in it’s perfection and every action, from scanning blood to prevent a Changeling invasion, to abandoning it’s citizens to further diplomatic relations is slowly eroding the sanctity of this once respected organization. I think Eddington put it best when he told Sisko:
‘Open your eyes, Captain. Why is the Federation so obsessed with the Maquis? We’ve never harmed you. And yet we’re constantly arrested and charged with terrorism. Starships chase us through the Badlands and our supporters are harassed and ridiculed. Why? Because we’ve left the Federation, and that’s the one thing you can’t accept. Nobody leaves paradise. Everyone should want to be in the Federation. Hell, you even want the Cardassians to join. You’re only sending them replicators because one day they can take their rightful place on the Federation Council. You know, in some ways you’re even worse than the Borg. At least they tell you about their plans for assimilation. You’re more insidious. You assimilate people and they don’t even know it.’
This certainly gives Sisko a moment of pause and, frankly, I think it affected him in ways that even he can’t imagine. Only time will tell…
On the flip side, I felt the Garak story line to come across as a little forced and, frankly, one of the weakest B stories this season. While we did get to see a little more of Garak, it seems all we ever get from him is that he thinks ‘someone is going to kill him’ preventing him from really growing as a character. I mean, I love Andrew Robinson in the role but it seems that Garak is caught in this eternal arc where he won’t trust anyone even after he has been given plenty of opportunity to trust people. And, honestly, Kira kind-of over reacted a bit in her confrontation with the Tailor. She really needs to stop being so angry all the time. I get it, she really doesn’t like Cardassians but in order to be an effective officer on DS9 she really needs to curb her prejudice just a bit. If I were Garak, I would have filed a complaint for assault. just sayin’.
Overall, great episode that effectively moves the story along setting up more pieces for future events. The drama in this one was palpable and it is this kind of drama that really sets this series apart from any other Trek series. Good stuff all around.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- We get a rare glimpse of Garak actually doing his job as a tailor, something that seems to be little more than a front. If you ever wondered where Quark gets his flashy suits, look no further than Garak’s!
- In case you had any doubts, this is not the last time we see Kasidy Yates.
- This is also not the last time we see Eddington. Like a bad penny, he will turn up again.
- I am shocked that Quark wasn’t seen taking side bets on the Springball tournament. Maybe he was but didn’t want Kira to know…
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Late To The Game 10/2/2021 (Originally published 9/25/2019)
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