The Great Star Trek DS9 Rewatch: For the Cause

Odo and Eddington believe that there is a Maquis smuggler aboard the station – and to Sisko’s dismay, they believe that it may well be his girlfriend, Kasidy Yates. Whilst Odo and Eddington try to find out the truth, Garak finds himself both drawn to and wary of the station’s second Cardassian inhabitant – Tora Ziyal.

It’s weird how unimportant the Maquis have felt in this rewatch. Back in the day, they felt like a really significant part of DS9, yet aside from a handful of episodes like these, they’re largely ignored. This episode is supposed to be thebig “Eddington is evil” reveal, but even if I hadn’t already read spoilers before watching the episode the first time, I’m not sure I would have cared. Much as the writers tried to weave him into the fabric of DS9, Eddington is just plain dull – his anti-Federation rant at the end of this episode is probably the most animated we’ve ever seen him. Perhaps that’s the point – by being utterly dull and unremarkable, he was able to pass under the radar.

The B-story about Garak’s interest in Ziyal seems like an obvious development – they’re both Cardassians in exile, and despite Garak’s hatred of Dukat, they are drawn to each other by mere fact of mutual proximity. The role of Ziyal was recast in this episode, and Ziyal II is a little different – less passive and starstruck by her father, and more able to show the steel under her soft exterior.

Worse than the Borg?

Does Eddington have a point when he says that the Federation is worse than the Borg? In their own way, the Federation explores the galaxy, encouraging alien species to adopt their rules and join them. Captain Kirk singlehandedly imposed his Federation beliefs and values on several planets that were arguably getting along just fine.

Other points

  • This is the first time we see the oft-mentioned Bajoran sport of springball being played. It seems quite violent, like that other 24th century sport of parrises squares.
  • Quark gets his clothes tailored at Garak’s shop.
  • “You’re a man, she’s a woman, it’s a date” is a very heteronormative attitude from Quark.
  • Why send the Defiant to follow the Xhosa when Odo could just turn into a piece of cargo and track them himself, as he has done many times before?

Summary – For the Cause: In which the Sisko family’s fashion sense seems more dubious than ever.

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