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The Trek Nation - For the Uniform

For the Uniform

By Michelle Erica Green
Posted at January 13, 2004 - 10:34 AM GMT

See Also: 'For the Uniform' Episode Guide

Sisko pursues a personal vendetta against Eddington, now fancying himself Jean Valjean to Sisko's Javert. Eddington tries and fails to make his former captain understand what the Maquis are fighting for. When he realizes that the Maquis plan to make a disputed planet uninhabitable to Cardassians, he launches a torpedo which will make a Federation planet uninhabitable to humans, and sets up a planet-swap in order to keep the peace between the Federation and the Cardassian Empire. Eddington escapes again and warns Sisko that it's not over between them.

Analysis:

This was by no means a perfect episode, but there were many aspects of it I really liked...starting with Peter Allan Fields' name in the writing credits. We've kind of gotten the old Kira back, we've kind of gotten the old Odo back, we've kind of gotten the old Maquis back...now, if we could have Fields writing regularly, maybe we could kind of get the old SHOW back. The Les Miz connection was pompous and reminded me too much of Khan in The Wrath of Khan spouting Moby Dick, but it gave the show thematic unity, and created a nice gimmick to set up the ludicrous ending - also reminiscent of The Wrath of Khan, though it was surprising to see Sisko as the guy with the torpedo.

I'm not sure I'd call this a good Sisko outing - he didn't seem consistent with his usual character, and we never got a good explanation for why he took Eddington's betrayal so personally, other than the fact that he'd judged him wrong. But he judged Kasidy wrong too, and she's sharing his bed again! I don't even want to ask why she wasn't the first person Sisko went to with questions about Eddington; I understand that he doesn't want to mix work and romance, but she is probably THE authority about what Eddington was up to while serving in Starfleet, and, dammit, she owes Ben an explanation.

As for Sisko's new, Kirkian persona, that scene on the Defiant where he was playing should-have-dones with Dax reminded me so much of Kirk and McCoy that I shrieked for joy. Dax had a very fine episode; she made intelligent scientific contributions, demonstrated while holding Sisko's bag that she can hold her own during all those punching sessions she must have with Worf, and I loved the crack about Victor Hugo's heroines being two-dimensional. Meanwhile, Sisko talked like Kirk, got a vendetta like Kirk, and made the amazingly Kirklike decision to wreck a planet in a game of intergalactic political poker. I can't believe his crew followed that order, which just shows how much Trek has changed since Kirk's era; I am trying to imagine Picard or even Janeway making a similar decision and failing.

In fact I'm having trouble explaining to myself why Sisko's not going to get courtmartialed right alongside Eddington. That swapping planets business was WAAAAY too convenient, and it's ridiculous to think the Maquis went for it - if they wouldn't leave their homes in the DMZ for new planets when the treaty was signed in the first place, why in the world would they agree to take a planet the Cardassians didn't want anymore?

But that's a plot point in a character episode. I liked Sisko's interaction with the other captain, I thought Eddington was superb - and to think I always found him one-dimensional back when we all suspected he was a changeling! I enjoyed Odo's crack about how Sisko should remind Starfleet that Eddington got his job because they didn't trust Odo, and I loved the holographic communications gizmo. I'm not sure where they're going with Sisko, but I'll grant them this: he's not boring.

Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.


Michelle Erica Green reviews 'Enterprise' episodes for the Trek Nation, for which she is also a news writer. An archive of her work can be found at The Little Review.