327. The Maquis, Part I
FORMULA: Journey's End + A Private Little War
WHY WE LIKE IT: Dukat and Sisko trading quips and insults.
WHY WE DON'T: Cal Hudson - I just don't like that guy.
REVIEW: DS9 has shown that there are good and bad Bajorans, and good and bad Cardassians, but The Maquis makes the Federation a bit grayer. And not just the idea that humans might become terrorists or be unhappy with Federation policy, but we've got Sisko and Dukat teaming up in this one against a common foe. So on a personal level, both our hero and our villain are painted in gray tones as well (Dukat is a family man?).
Enter Cal Hudson. Now I understand the character's role as a man a lot like Sisko, in a similar position, with a similar background, and with the same ability to bend or break the rules. Unfortunately, Bernie Casey just doesn't work for me. His mumbling, staccato delivery just sinks the character. I never quite believe him as part of this world. The rest of the Maquis aren't really very interesting either, from what we learn of them, aside from the idea. Like the Badlands effects, they have a ways to go yet. The exception might be Sakonna, the Vulcan hottie Quark takes an interest in, though even she's a little vapid. Still, Quark gets to do some nice comedy with her.
The true stars of the show are Sisko and Dukat. From the sinister scene where Ben finds Dukat in his quarters and starts asking where Jake is (and the security on the station is addressed, so it's not a "convenient plot device") to the witty repartee in the runabout and elsewhere, these two make a good pair and have proper debates about so-called evolved human morality. Sisko also has an excellent scene without him when Kira makes the Maquis' point for them and he answers by way of just opening the door for her.
Just a set-up for the next episode, of course, and in the long run, for Voyager, but it's a promising one that's strongly written. Also keep an eye out for recurring Cardassian jerk Gul Evek, and the first mention of Captain Boday and his transparent skull.
LESSON: Dissidence - it's now available in Federation Blue.
REWATCHABILITY - Medium: Very nice interplay between regulars (I include recurring guest-stars here), but the Maquis aren't very charismatic, especially the sleep inducing Hudson.