Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Maquis (Part 2)   Rewatch 
September 9, 2015 10:48 AM - Season 2, Episode 21 - Subscribe

Sisko tries to rescue Gul Dukat, stop the Maquis terrorists, and prevent a new war with the Cardassians.

* Rule of Aquisition #3: "Never spend more for an acquisition than you have to"
* Natalija Nogulich makes her first DS9 appearance as Admiral Nechayev. She had appeared thrice as Nechayev on ST:TNG, in “Chain of Command, Part I,” “Descent,” and “Journey’s End.”
* John Shuck appears as Legate Parn. A Trek regular, Shuck played the Klingon ambassador in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. He would go on to play a member of the chorus in Star Trek: Voyager’s “Muse”; and the Klingon geneticist Antaak in the two-part Star Trek: Enterprise story “Affliction” and “Divergence.”
* This episode continues a story arc begun with the end of Star Trek: TNG's finale episode, "Journey's End." Following the signing of a new treaty with the Cardassians, the Federation has handed over several of its colonies to the Cardassians, and vice versa. The colonists chose to remain rather than evacuate, which has caused tension along the border.
* Ira Steven Behr is extremely proud of this episode and considers it to be one of the most important early episodes in establishing the darker ideology for which Deep Space Nine would become known. In particular, he refers to Sisko's speech to Kira, and the line "it's easy to be a saint in paradise", as expressing a much less optimistic view of humanity than had ever before been presented in Star Trek. Behr has said he always wanted to dig deeper into Starfleet, to see what Earth was really like and examine the paradise that Gene Roddenberry had envisioned. Indeed, he wanted to do this on The Next Generation but was never allowed; "I'd been waiting to say that line in Star Trek for a long time. We need to dig deeper and find out what, indeed, life is like in the twenty-fourth century. Is it this paradise, or are there, as Harold Pinter said, "Weasels under the coffee table." Sisko's speech in this episode was the beginning of our really starting to question some of the basic tenets of Star Trek philosophy. Because, yes, it's a paradise – but so what?"
* Robert Hewitt Wolfe commented: "It's easy to be a saint in paradise, but this ain't paradise! It's easy to be a saint on the Enterprise, but it's a little bit harder to be a saint on DS9. Sisko is still kind of a saint, but he's a saint that just has to work a lot harder".
* The first episode to introduce some ambiguity to the character of Gul Dukat. Dukat had appeared five times prior to this episode but had predominantly been depicted as a villain. In this episode, his character is fleshed out, particularly in the scene where he is speaking to the Xepolite. After his conversation, Dukat notices that Kira is looking strangely at him and he smiles to himself. This ambiguity as to Kira's attitude toward Dukat would remain a recurring theme for the duration of the show. However, despite this ambiguity, Nana Visitor herself never wavered from maintaining that there could never be any kind of romantic relationship between Kira and Dukat: "To Kira, Dukat is Hitler. She's not ever going to get over that. She can never forgive him...she will always hate Dukat."


Sisko: "On Earth, there is no poverty, no crime, no war. You look out the window of Starfleet Headquarters and you see paradise. Well, it's easy to be a saint in paradise, but the Maquis do not live in paradise. Out there in the Demilitarized Zone, all the problems haven't been solved yet. Out there, there are no saints — just people. Angry, scared, determined people who are going to do whatever it takes to survive, whether it meets with Federation approval or not!"
posted by zarq (6 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Great episode! I like that they give Dukat moments of vulnerability and sympathy even though he is such a truly dreadful person. He's a much better villain because he truly considers himself to be a deeply misunderstood hero.

I think they try to make the Maquis a more diverse group (species and skin color) and that adds another layer of interest to Sisko's speech. He's basically saying, "it's easy to be a good person when you have privilege."

I also enjoyed Quark's scene with Sukona where he uses economic principles to talk politics. The only downside to this episode is that the guy who plays Hudson is really terrible.
posted by chaiminda at 11:14 AM on September 9, 2015

Hudson is so flat! Flatter than a hu-mon's forehead.
I like this one, we get to see some people live with the choices the Federation has made, instead of jetting off in our starship.
Sisko goes out of his way to save Dukat, and he's still a smug jerk. I wonder if Kira ever
Pointed out that much trouble could have been saved if they just left him with the Maquis.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:01 PM on September 10, 2015

I wonder if Kira ever pointed out that much trouble could have been saved if they just left him with the Maquis.

Probably only every chance she gets.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:23 AM on September 11, 2015 [4 favorites]

there are no saints — just people. Angry, scared, determined people...

This is a good example of a common sentence pattern for Sisko, and one I quite like in the character. Look out for it in other episodes.
posted by biffa at 12:23 PM on September 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

Also ironic, given that he is an actual legitimate saint.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:51 PM on September 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

This is probably the episode in which Dukat reaches peak Magnificent Bastard; his merciless goading of Sakonna at failing to achieve a mind meld (and the rest of the Maquis for not having the guts to do the sort of interrogation that the Cardassians would have done, particularly the Obsidian Order--speaking of which, it's a pity that Garak didn't get a role in this two-parter) is just priceless, as is his comeuppance upon finding out that Central Command threw him under the bus. Also, Quark, no one's idea of a hard-nosed interrogator, getting Sakonna to give up her secrets through logic and the Rules of Acquisition. Plus, of course, the "saint in paradise" speech, which is a more-than-decent thumbnail description of the entire series.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:46 PM on September 16, 2015

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