(written from a Production point of view)
To prevent a Maquis missile attack from reaching Cardassia, Sisko must force Starfleet traitor Eddington to lead him to the launch site.
Captain Benjamin Sisko, Jake Sisko, and Nog are having dinner together – squid, Nog's favorite Human dish. Jake also likes it until Benjamin reveals that the sauce is puree of tube grubs, saying its only fair they try Ferengi food. Sisko turns to Nog to ask about his job with security. Jake whispers something and it is revealed that Nog has problems with the Klingons who ignore him because he is a Ferengi.
Then, General Martok enters the room, interrupting the dinner and demanding to talk to Sisko alone. He explains to Sisko that his ship has intercepted an encrypted message from the Maquis. This is a surprise to both men, who believed they were completely wiped out by the Dominion. The message states that missiles have been launched heading for Cardassia. Although Martok couldn't find any missiles, he explains that the Klingon Empire had provided the Maquis with class 4 cloaking devices to aid them against Cardassia. Sisko knows that if Cardassian citizens are killed by Human terrorists, the Dominion will launch a counter strike that will surely start a war.
Commanders Worf and Jadzia Dax report back from a mission searching for signs of the missiles in the Badlands. They had problems hiding there, and Miles O'Brien explains that the warp drive of the USS Defiant is too powerful and that it ionizes the gases in the Badlands nebula. Worf states they need more information to narrow the search, and Sisko says he has an idea.
Captain Sisko visits ex-commander Michael Eddington in a Federation prison. Eddington denies that the message about the missiles involves him. He says he has nothing to do with the Maquis anymore, as they are all dead, and they cannot be reborn. Eddington insists that the missiles are completely undetectable, and that nothing can be done to stop them. Sisko offers Eddington a path to eventual freedom if he will help find and destroy the missiles, but Eddington insists that he will be perfectly happy to wait in his cell until the missiles hit their target and the Dominion destroys his prison in their inevitable counter-strike.
Back on the station, Quark is in the infirmary treated by Dr. Julian Bashir and questioned by Kira Nerys and Odo. It appears that Morn attacked Quark with a barstool. Quark claims it was unprovoked, but Kira and Odo reveal that Quark told Morn that Deep Space 9 is the first target if the Dominion attacks – and if that happens, there is no chance of survival. Thus, Morn responded with panic by running down the Promenade screaming "We're all doomed!" Later, Sisko contacts Kira on DS9 explaining that he is going to the Badlands. Kira wants to send the Defiant, but Sisko tells her he is not alone, and he reveals Eddington on board the runabout.
On the way to the Badlands, Eddington philosophizes about food and Maquis morals. He suggests that Sisko's fight against the Maquis is personally driven. Eddington says that Sisko's former old friend Cal Hudson was killed in a skirmish with the Cardassians. Sisko feels regret, and Eddington presses the point by saying that Cal thought Sisko was wrong about the Maquis, but he didn't hold that against Sisko. Eddington taunts Sisko by saying Sisko doesn't blame the Maquis for their philosophy but he blames the Starfleet officers who betrayed their oaths by joining the Maquis in the first place, telling Sisko that the Maquis were no threat to Starfleet – only a threat to Sisko's record. Sisko is quickly able to counter by saying that Eddington's leadership of the Maquis was so effective against the Cardassians that it forced them to ally with the Dominion, setting the stage for a war between the Federation and the Dominion that could lead to the deaths of millions. Eddington is clearly affected by this, and sits down with his back to Sisko in a contemplative mood.
Back on DS9, Nog and Jake are sitting in Quark's. Two Klingons are trading head blows for fun, with Martok watching and calling for more wine. Nog waits for the Klingons to get louder so he can send them to the brig for disturbance. When they exceed seventy decibels, Nog laughs and prepares to arrest them, but he falls from his chair and the Klingons laugh at him.
Sisko and Eddington enter the Badlands, and Sisko wakes Eddington up when they are approached by the Jem'Hadar. Sisko tests Eddington's death wish, calling his bluff. He takes off his handcuffs and leaves piloting the ship while he gets a raktajino. Surprised, Eddington objects but then takes the helm and is able to shake the Jem'Hadar off. Eddington doesn't appreciate the trick and finally promises to take Sisko to the launch site and deactivate the missiles if he and Sisko can fight for real, stating he intends to kill him.
Eddington continues his jovial conversation to pass the time, asking about his lucky looney he left behind when he joined the Maquis. Soon, the Jem'Hadar return. This time, Eddington plans a Maquis trick to realign the impulse flow regulators while the engine is active. Sisko is alarmed, since this is a dangerous procedure, but Eddington says the plasma exhaust can be ignited and either destroy the enemy ships or at least mask their trail. Sisko agrees and gets in the crawlspace. The ship is rocked and fired upon, but, fortunately, Sisko finishes and Eddington ignites the plasma, destroying the Jem'Hadar. Sisko, now with a head wound, comes out and berates Eddington for not keeping the ship steady, then ordering him to proceed to the missile base.
On the station, Jake insists to Nog that, if he has a girl over, he must call before entering their quarters. Nog doesn't care, as he knows they were only talking. Then, Nog sees Martok and two of his aides lingering on the Promenade in his and Jake's "favorite spot." For Nog, this is the last straw. To Jake's incredulity, Nog marches up to the Klingons and orders them to move on, or else he will be forced to arrest them for loitering, which is strictly prohibited by station rules. Martok bellows that the young Ferengi is either courageous or a fool to threaten him with arrest. Nog trembles, but stands his ground. Martok begins to laugh, acknowledging the young Ferengi's gumption, and he instructs his aides to move on.
Eddington pilots the runabout to Athos IV, where the launch pad is well hidden by interference, and lands the runabout on a nearby landing pad. After a few kilometers, they find someone's there – a Jem'Hadar patrol.
Sisko and Eddington soon come under fire, and Sisko decides to draw their attention with a pipe while Eddington fires at them. They're successful and hide the bodies. As they proceed, however, they find several dead Maquis members and friends of Eddington. Eddington is filled with guilt and remorse, feeling that he should have done more to help his followers and friends. Sisko sadly notes that perhaps it was the Federation who truly failed the Maquis, and maybe something could have been done to prevent this tragedy. Regardless, Sisko insists on disarming the missiles, and convinces him it's not over, and this is just the beginning. Eddington gets angry and considers killing Sisko on the spot, but isn't sure it'll make him feel better, so he continues on instead.
Coming to a seemingly empty area, Sisko stops Eddington and fires blindly, knowing that the Jem'Hadar could be invisible. Indeed, he kills two. Eddington is briefly impressed and breaks into the next room, where they find several imprisoned Maquis. Eddington introduces Sisko to Rebecca Sullivan, his wife.
Eddington immediately leads the people out, telling them there is a runabout. It is revealed that no missiles actually exist, that the encoded message just said that the Maquis arrived safely at the meeting point. It was all a ruse to get Eddington out of jail and to trick Sisko into bringing him to the chosen destination. Sisko is relieved that an all-out war is no longer imminent, but still punches Eddington for deceiving him before Sullivan breaks up their fight, intent on getting out of there. As they leave, Sisko also finds out the Jem'Hadar weren't supposed to be able to find them. Soon, they're attacked. Sisko and Eddington buy time for the others, but then Eddington is hit. More Jem'Hadar troops arrive. Eddington tells Sisko to save the people, and he stays behind to fight off the oncoming troops. He is killed in the attacks, but his sacrifice gives Sisko and the Maquis followers time enough to safely escape. The runabout leaves the Badlands, and Rebecca sits distraught at the loss of her husband.
Back on the station, Nog brings Major Kira her lost earring loop, which he found after an exhaustive search of the areas she was working on the day before. The young Ferengi's industriousness and ingenuity continue to astound his superiors; Kira congratulates him on it, and he replies, "just doing my job." Entering a turbolift, they run into Martok stepping off. Looking up from his PADD, he greets Nog, "Cadet," and Nog replies with an equally brief "General." Nog beams as he and Kira step onto the turbolift.
Dax and Sisko talk about Eddington and the Maquis. Sisko admits that Eddington is not a traitor but was loyal to what he believed in until the very end. Dax asks if that's what it is, the end of the Maquis. Sisko is unsure about that, as there may be others out there who escaped the Dominion, biding their time and waiting for their chance to strike. And besides, Sisko muses, there's always something romantic about a lost cause. Dax tells Sisko that he almost sounds hopeful and leaves. Sisko then stares out of the window, thinking about Eddington.
"Witnesses say you were talking to him [Morn] right up to the second he went berserk."
"Of course I was talking to him. That's what bartenders are supposed to do. Talk to their customers."
"And what exactly was it that you were talking to him about?"
"All I said was that the military personnel on this station were starting to look a little nervous. And when they get nervous, I get nervous."
"That's all you said?"
"Basically… I might've done a little harmless theorizing."
"Oh… something like… it was only a matter of time before the Dominion launched a full-scale assault on the Federation and that when that happened the station would undoubtedly be their first target… and I might've idly suggested that there wasn't a hope in hell of any of us getting out of here alive."
"And that's when he hit you with the barstool and ran out onto the Promenade screaming 'We're all doomed'."
"Some people just don't react well to stress."
- - Odo, Kira Nerys, Julian Bashir, and Quark
"Warning, attempting to access impulse flow regulators while engines are engaged is not recommended."
"Tell me something I don't know, Disengage safeties authorization Sisko A-471."
- - Runabout computer and Benjamin Sisko
"You are either very brave, or very stupid, Ferengi!"
"Probably a little of both."
(Laughing) "Indeed. Courage comes in all sizes. (Pointing to his missing eye) But don't tempt fate."
- - Martok and Nog
"This wasn't supposed to happen. We were winning. The Cardassian Empire was falling into chaos. The Maquis colonies were going to declare themselves an independent nation."
- - Eddington
"I can barely see two meters in front of me. How will I know what I'm aiming at?"
"I'll be the one holding the pipe."
"Attacking two Jem'Hadar soldiers with a pipe? That's a brilliant plan."
"It could be worse."
"I know. It could be me holding the pipe."
- - Michael Eddington and Benjamin Sisko
"You have sharp eyes."
"Not really. I just waited to see which of you was knocked down first and then I shot the one still standing."
"Thank you for your vote of confidence."
- - Sisko and Eddington
- - Michael Eddington's last words
Story and script
- Ira Steven Behr decided to end the Michael Eddington/Maquis story arc because he felt that there were too many open threads leading into the sixth season, and he wanted to get some closure on at least one of them. Behr explains, "We were just desperate to finish something off. We had to finish a thread. It was necessary. We just had so many things. So I told them, 'We are going to end something and then not hear about it again'!" Indeed, Behr wanted to officially kill off every single member of the Maquis, but Rick Berman wouldn't allow him to do this in case Voyager wanted to use them at some stage in the future. As far as the Deep Space Nine writers were concerned however, the Maquis story arc was over. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- The B-story of this episode was created to reassure viewers that General Martok was still on the station after the events of "Soldiers of the Empire". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- Behr based Michael Eddington's death scene on Steve McQueen's death scene in the 1966 Robert Wise movie The Sand Pebbles. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- The way Nog rocks his bar chair in the scene in Quark's with Martok was a homage to Henry Fonda's character in My Darling Clementine. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion - A Series Guide and Script Library)
- To construct the Maquis base in this episode, production designer Herman Zimmerman used the same set as had been used in the previous episode, "Children of Time". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- The establishing shot of the starbase where Eddington is being held is re-used stock footage of the Regula I space station from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
- The holding cell where Sisko visits Eddington is a re-dress of the USS Voyager brig set, moving the cell from a point to frame right of the door to directly across from it. This version of the set would be seen again in the episode "Waltz", this time with a stretch of USS Defiant corridor erected outside to serve as the interior of the USS Honshu, and again in "The Magnificent Ferengi" as the brig of an unnamed Regula-type starbase.
- After this episode aired, and the Eddington story arc officially ended, many fans found the character of Eddington a little difficult to pin down; some loved him, some hated him, many others were a little unsure of him. This sense of uncertainty is shared by Ira Steven Behr himself, "I still haven't figured him out. Do we like him? Do you not like him? Was he good? Bad? A pain in the ass? I'm not sure." Even Sisko appears to have trouble reaching a conclusion as regards the essence of Eddington's character. The final scene in the episode, between himself and Dax as he tried to come to terms with who Eddington was and what he stood for, was written precisely to try to get to the core of Eddington's raison d'être, not just for Sisko, but for the audience and the writers as well. According to Behr, "I felt it was very important to try to make sense of the man Eddington was. We owed it to Sisko to give him some kind of closure, some kind of understanding. On top of everything else, he let the guy die, basically." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- This episode marks the death of Michael Eddington (Kenneth Marshall) and the final appearance and mention of the Maquis on the series. Eddington also states that Cal Hudson, played by Bernie Casey in "The Maquis, Part I" and "The Maquis, Part II", has been killed by the Cardassians, thus providing a degree of closure for Sisko.
- News of the destruction of the Maquis at the hands of the Dominion was later sent to former Maquis member Chakotay in VOY: "Hunters", when Starfleet used a Hirogen communications network to transmit personal letters to the crew of the USS Voyager in the Delta Quadrant.
- Based on averaging the differences of the stardates from "Children of Time" and "Empok Nor", the initial events of Star Trek: First Contact should have occurred between this episode and the next, "Empok Nor". However, Sisko's mention of "the recent Borg attack" in "In Purgatory's Shadow", actually places First Contact before that episode.
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 5.12, 29 September 1997
- As part of the DS9 Season 5 DVD collection
Links and references
- Rene Auberjonois as Odo
- Michael Dorn as Lt. Commander Worf
- Terry Farrell as Lt. Commander Dax
- Cirroc Lofton as Jake Sisko
- Colm Meaney as Chief O'Brien
- Armin Shimerman as Quark
- Alexander Siddig as Doctor Bashir
- Nana Visitor as Major Kira
- Kenneth Marshall as Michael Eddington
- J.G. Hertzler as Martok
- Aron Eisenberg as Nog
- Gretchen German as Rebecca Sullivan
- George Colucci as Maquis member
- Randy James as Jones
- David B. Levinson as Broik
- Dennis Madalone as Jem'Hadar soldier
- Dan Magee as Starfleet operations lieutenant
- Tom Morga as Jem'Hadar soldier
- Pablo Soriano as Starbase brig guard
- James Lee Stanley as Bajoran security deputy
- Chester E. Tripp III
- Debra Waters as Maquis member
- Unknown performers as
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- "Blaze of Glory" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Blaze of Glory" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Blaze of Glory" at Wikipedia
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