(written from a Production point of view)
Sisko discovers that Kasidy Yates may be a Maquis smuggler; Garak takes an interest in Ziyal.
Kasidy Yates wakes up in Captain Sisko's bed, kisses him on the forehead and gets up to leave to go to her ship, the Xhosa. Sisko reaches out and pulls her back into bed telling her that a meeting with her engineer can wait. Kasidy finally leaves after joking about his style of command and tells him that she will see him later. He pulls her now vacant pillow over, admires her lingering scent, and switches it with his own.
In the wardroom, Commander Eddington is giving Sisko, Major Kira, Commander Worf, Commander Jadzia Dax, and Odo a briefing on very sensitive information from Starfleet Command. The Cardassian civilian government has secretly contacted the Federation Council with a request for industrial replicators to help build new power plants and factories. The Federation has agreed to provide twelve class 4 industrial replicators; however, the information must be kept secret because Starfleet Intelligence believes the Maquis may attempt to seize the replicators for themselves. Since the Klingon invasion, the Cardassian military has been unable to pay much attention to the Maquis, giving them almost free rein in the Demilitarized Zone and allowing them to build several new bases which has the possibility of driving out all Cardassian presence. Sisko orders increased security on the station until the replicators have safely passed through Deep Space 9, and has Worf take the USS Defiant to the Badlands in order to show the Maquis they're ready for any trouble.
As the other officers leave the briefing, Odo and Eddington stay behind to talk to Sisko. They tell him that they have reason to believe there is a Maquis smuggler on the station, although the evidence is circumstantial at the moment. Sisko presses them for a name, and the two reluctantly admit that the suspect is none other than Kasidy Yates.
Sisko is upset to hear the security officer's suspicions and demands evidence, as smuggling with intent to supply a terrorist organization is a very serious charge. They tell him that Yates has been suspiciously late in her normal cargo runs and that Starfleet Intelligence believes a Maquis contact had begun living on the station at about the same time that she did. Sisko believes the evidence is very slim, but tells them to look for a way to discreetly search her ship.
Doctor Bashir and Garak are sitting in a crowd of spectators watching a springball game when Bashir notices that Garak seems to be more interested in watching Ziyal (who is also in the crowd and trading glances with him) than the game, which is being won by Kira. He warns Garak that he should leave Ziyal alone considering how much Kira and Gul Dukat hate him, but Garak doesn't seem interested in the Doctor's advice.
In his quarters, Sisko is cooking a meal, Bajoran ratamba stew over spinach linguine, when the door chimes. Kasidy Yates enters, followed soon after by Jake, who asks if either of them know what a Kavarian tiger-bat smells like. He's writing a story and wants to make it as realistic as possible. Captain Sisko uses the situation to ask Kasidy about her cargo route, which is in the general vicinity of Kavaria, but drops the subject when she becomes curious about his interests in her flight plans.
Ziyal and Garak find themselves alone in a turbolift. Garak breaks their awkward silence with a joke and after a brief exchange, they part on amicable terms.
Odo and a pair of his deputies are talking to Brathaw, a Bolian crewmember of Kasidy's ship as she walks up. Odo informs her that they need to conduct a class 2 inspection of her cargo before she can leave the station due to a reported outbreak of Temecklian virus on Bajor. Kasidy contacts Sisko and tells him that if they wait the six hours needed for the inspection they will miss their rendezvous with a Tholian freighter. She promises to flood her whole cargo hold with baryon radiation as a precaution, but insists that she needs to leave immediately. Sisko temporarily closes the channel and consults with Eddington privately, who tells him they can't reduce the time to check for anything that shouldn't be there while making it look like a health check. Sisko decides that, if Kasidy is in a hurry, security won't be able to do much of a search if she's looking over their shoulders and agrees to let her go, but afterward assigns Worf to take the Defiant and follow her under cloak with orders to observe only then report back.
Aboard the Defiant, Chief O'Brien informs Worf that Yates' ship, the Xhosa, has changed course and is heading towards the Badlands; Worf tells him to stay with it. During this, the two discuss their feelings on the Maquis and find they have very different opinions; O'Brien believes them to just be people defending their homes while Worf considers them criminals who deserve to be hunted down. O'Brien then asks Eddington his opinion, but the security officer insists he doesn't have one… he's there to serve and nothing more. Sensors soon detect the impulse signature of a Maquis raider, and the Xhosa beams over its cargo, proving without a doubt that Kasidy is smuggling supplies to Maquis.
Garak is working in his shop as Ziyal enters. She compliments him on his shop and abilities as a tailor. She eventually invites him to try a new holosuite program of a Cardassian sauna that she received from Quark. He accepts and they settle on a time.
Jake enters a room in their quarters to find his father sitting at the table. He gets breakfast from the replicator and sits down, explaining that he's having a raktajino and makapa bread with no crust recommended to him by Kasidy. Captain Sisko says he didn't get much sleep the night before and that he's in a bad mood because he has a lot on his mind. When Jake begins to lightly tease his father, Sisko snaps that he doesn't want to talk about it. Jake realizes something is wrong, but Sisko doesn't want to talk about it at the moment, but takes the chance to remind his son that the bond between them is permanent no matter what might happen in the future.
In the wardroom, Eddington goes over their surveillance of the Xhosa. They have determined that the cargo was mostly organic, probably food or medical supplies, and Dax points out that at least its not weapons but this doesn't make Sisko feel any better. Worf tells Sisko the Xhosa will return soon and Sisko dismisses the briefing. After the senior staff leave, Dax lingers by for a moment, intending to speak further with Sisko. The captain, without turning to look at her, remarks "Dismissed, old man."
Sisko is back in his quarters when Kasidy comes in smiling, and he tries to put on a good face, not letting on about what he knows. He tries again to casually ask her about her route, but is interrupted when Jake comes in and invites them to go watch a baseball game holosuite program that Nog has sent him. Sisko declines, saying he has to get back to Ops, and Kasidy protests telling him she has to leave in a few hours for another run.
He goes anyway and meets with Odo and Eddington in his office to tell them that Kasidy will be leaving to make another run later that night and will be prepared for an inspection. They agree to have the Defiant follow the Xhosa again, and Odo and Eddington point out that as the Xhosa may not make another run for months, should they observe another meeting both vessels should be seized and the crews arrested. Sisko agrees, and Eddington asks to speak to the captain alone. After Odo leaves, Eddington tells Sisko that he would rather not be aboard the Defiant for this mission because he could not guarantee the safety of Yates if there was a confrontation between the two ships, and that he and would instead like to stay aboard the station to oversee security for the shipment of replicators which are due to arrive the next day. Sisko agrees and takes command of the Defiant himself.
Sisko catches Kasidy at the airlock of her ship and invites her to leave with him for a spontaneous vacation to Risa, not even stopping to pack a bag. She says the offer is tempting but that she can't go with him and boards her ship to leave.
On board the Defiant, the crew has followed the Xhosa to the same coordinates as their last meeting with the Maquis, but this time there is no Maquis ship to meet them. Sisko decides to sit and wait.
Quark is in Garak's shop getting fitted for a new suit when Kira comes in and pins Garak against a wall, telling him that if he hurts Ziyal in any way she will make him regret it. Kira leaves, and Quark asks if he is still going to meet Ziyal in the holosuite, and Garak says he had been afraid that Ziyal was just trying to lure him there to kill him, but that now he is sure he will be safe because the Major certainly wouldn't have told him not to go if it was dangerous for him to do so. Quark points out that it might all have been part of the plan to get him there, and Garak is left unsure once again.
Back aboard the Defiant, the crew is becoming suspicious after having waited for five hours with absolutely no sign of a Maquis ship. Odo points out that terrorists don't behave in this manner… if a contact doesn't show up for a rendezvous then you leave rather than wait around. Worf suggests that the cargo may be so valuable that the Xhosa will wait around however long it takes. Odo then realizes that the Maquis may already have what they wanted and suggests that maybe they have been lured into the Badlands to get the Defiant, and namely Sisko, away from the station knowing that if it was anyone but Kasidy involved he wouldn't have commanded this mission himself. They decide to de-cloak and beam over to the Xhosa and find out what's going on. Kasidy tries playing dumb, but Sisko tells her he already knows she's been smuggling supplies to the Maquis and demands to know if they're planning to attack the station. Kasidy tells him that all she knows is that the Maquis told her the medical supplies she was meant to deliver were urgent and she had to be at the rendezvous no matter what, even when she tried to refuse having already made a lot of runs in a short space of time. Sisko realizes that the entire operation was designed to get him off Deep Space 9 and that the Maquis are going after the replicators.
In the wardroom on the station, Eddington is briefing a group of Starfleet security officers about loading the replicators onto a Vulcan freighter. He tells them they are not to discuss it even with the Bajoran security detachment, and the station is to observe radio silence. As he dismisses the security officers, Kira enters the room and asks why Eddington wanted to see her. Eddington takes out his phaser, tells her he needs to take command of the station for a few hours and immediately shoots her. He walks out of the room and locks the door.
The Defiant streaks back to the station at maximum warp, leaving Yates and the Xhosa behind as Odo points out that they'll probably never see them again. Meanwhile, back on Deep Space 9, Eddington leaves the station under the command of junior officer Lieutenant Reese and departs aboard the Vulcan freighter.
When the crew arrives back in Ops, O'Brien reports that several starships are looking for the freighter, but Odo is convinced they will not find it, seeing as how Eddington seemed to have been prepared for every contingency. They receive an incoming message from Eddington and Sisko takes it in his office. Eddington tells Sisko to leave him and the Maquis alone, saying that if they do, they'll never hear from them again. Sisko tells him that he will find him no matter how long it takes and see to it that he ends up in a penal colony, regretting what he's done.
Garak enters the holosuite to find Ziyal lying on a slab of rock under a heat lamp. He approaches cautiously, and asks why she really asked him to come. She tells him that they are both outcasts and that she had hoped they could find a bond in their mutual exile, despite his history with her family. With her motive cleared up, Garak says he won't be needing the disruptor he's brought along and sets it aside to lay on the rock and enjoy the heat with her.
With Eddington's betrayal looming in his recent past, Sisko must now deal with Yates, who has returned to the station aboard the Xhosa. She exits the airlock alone and tells him she did not see the point in bringing her crew back just to face a prison sentence and dropped them off at a Maquis colony. Sisko tells her that he still has to uphold his duty, and she tells him she understands but didn't want to throw away their relationship even if it meant turning herself in. They embrace and Sisko calls for security to take her away. She assures him she will be back someday. Sisko tells her he will still be at the station when she returns.
"The only reason I've contacted you is to ask you to leave us alone. Our quarrel is with the Cardassians, not the Federation. Leave us alone, and I promise you you'll never hear from the Maquis again."
- - Michael Eddington – file info
"I do my job, Chief. Starfleet says to find the Maquis, I'll find the Maquis. They tell me to help them, I'll help them. My opinion is irrelevant. What matters to me is doing my job like a Starfleet officer. Anything else is an indulgence."
- - Michael Eddington
"I know you. I was like you once, but then I opened my eyes. Open your eyes, Captain. Why is the Federation so obsessed with the Maquis? We've never harmed you. And yet we're constantly arrested and charged with terrorism. Starships chase us through the Badlands and our supporters are harassed and ridiculed. Why? Because we've left the Federation, and that's the one thing you can't accept. Nobody leaves paradise. Everyone should want to be in the Federation. Hell, you even want the Cardassians to join. You're only sending them replicators because one day they can take their 'rightful place' on the Federation Council. You know, in some ways you're even worse than the Borg. At least they tell you about their plans for assimilation. You're more insidious. You assimilate people and they don't even know it."
- - Michael Eddington – file info
"Listen closely. I don't know what kind of sick game it is you're playing with Ziyal, but it'd better stop and it better stop right now."
"I can assure you, Major, I have no—"
"I don't want to hear any of your lies. Now, that girl is here under my protection, and I swear if you do anything to hurt her, I will make you regret it. Is that clear?"
"As Tabalian glass."
- - Kira and Garak – file info
"I was going to cancel. I've had visions of Ziyal presenting my head to her father as a birthday gift."
"That's a little a paranoid, wouldn't you say?"
"Paranoid is what they call people who imagine threats against their life. I have threats against my life."
- - Garak and Quark
"You know what, Mr. Eddington? I don't give a damn what you think about the Federation, the Maquis, or anything else. All I know is that you betrayed your oath, your duty, and me. And if it takes me the rest of my life, I will see you standing before a court-martial that'll break you and send you to a penal colony, where you will spend the rest of your days growing old and wondering whether a ship full of replicators was really worth it."
- - Sisko, to Eddington – file info
"I'm half-Bajoran and that means I'm an outcast back home. I can't go back and neither can you. So we can either share some time together or we can ignore each other. I spent five years in a prisoner of war camp by myself; I don't need your company. But if you'd like to stay and share the heat with me, maybe tell me something about home that I don't know, then I would welcome your company. And I get the feeling you would welcome mine."
- - Ziyal
"I'll be back."
"I'll be here."
- - Kasidy Yates and Sisko say goodbye, before she is taken away to prison (last lines)
Story and script
- Mark Gehred-O'Connell's original inspiration for this episode was the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995. Specifically, Gehred-O'Connell was surprised by the reaction of the American people; "for the first few days after the event, everyone was so sure that it was foreign terrorists. Anyone who appeared Middle Eastern suddenly was under suspicion for no reason at all." As it transpired, the bombing was carried out not by a Middle Eastern terrorist but by Timothy McVeigh, a white American. This led Gehred-O'Connell to speculate what might happen if a terrorist attack took place on Deep Space 9; "in a situation like that, who would they immediately suspect? What if it turned out to be the last person in the world to come to mind? I just wanted to play with that idea. And it ended up being a story where Kasidy Yates turns out to be the number-one suspect." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion) Only a few remnants of this idea remain in the final episode, but the notion of the perpetrator of a crime being the last person you suspect is still to be seen in the Eddington defection plot.
- When Ronald D. Moore began to compose his script from Gehred-O'Connell's story, there were actually three separate but connected Maquis stories, not two, as there are in the finished episode (not counting the Garak/Ziyal plot). The A-story focused on Yates and Sisko's situation, the B-story dealt with Eddington's defection, and the C-story was the discovery that the Klingons had begun to arm the Maquis. All three stories coalesced in Act Five, but ultimately, the Klingon element was removed, though it would later be mentioned in "Blaze of Glory".
- Michael Eddington defects to the Maquis in this episode. He later returns to butt heads with Sisko in "For the Uniform" and is killed by the Jem'Hadar in "Blaze of Glory". The idea to have Eddington join the Maquis goes back to the episode "The Adversary". According to Ira Steven Behr the subtext of the scene when Eddington and Sisko discuss rank was that Eddington knew he would never get to wear the red command-level uniform. "For the Cause" explains why. The decision to have Eddington join the Maquis was also prompted by internet rumors that Eddington was a Changeling infiltrator. When the writers heard of these rumors, they decided never to make Eddington a Changeling, but instead to do something with him which no-one would expect. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- Eddington's final speech in this episode demonstrates Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's move away from the idyllic Federation seen in both Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek: The Next Generation. This speech builds upon Sisko's line "it's easy to be a saint in paradise" from "The Maquis, Part II", Quark's speech from "The Jem'Hadar", the 'hell on Earth' of "Past Tense, Part I" and "Past Tense, Part II", and the "paradise never seemed so well armed" line from "Paradise Lost". Of special importance in Eddington's speech is the line "Nobody leaves paradise," implying nobody should have any reason to leave it, nobody should want to leave it, precisely because it is a paradise, and if somebody does want to leave, then obviously, there is a problem somewhere. This recalls Ira Steven Behr's use of the quotation from Harold Pinter and the notion that what may appear to be paradise, actually has weasels under the coffee-table (see 'Background information' for "The Maquis, Part II" for more on Pinter). Taken together, all of these examples serve to further Behr's examination of Gene Roddenberry's utopia and his idealistic view of the future. Eddington's speech however, especially his comparison with the Borg, is perhaps the harshest indictment of the Federation yet seen.
- The script for this episode makes reference to a "Panak sector", located near the Demilitarized Zone and the Rolor Nebula, and containing a stellar nursery. According to the script, one of the possible flight routes between Bajor and Dreon VII passes through the Panak sector. This information never made it to the screen, though. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion - A Series Guide and Script Library)
- In the opening scene, part of Sisko's "pillow talk" with Yates includes his description of himself as a Starfleet captain as a "paragon of virtue". This same phrase, also used to describe a Starfleet captain, was used in Star Trek: The Original Series, in "Mudd's Women".
- This episode takes place eighteen months after "The Search, Part I" and five months after "Indiscretion".
- This is Tracy Middendorf's only appearance as Tora Ziyal in the series. The role was first played by Cyia Batten in "Indiscretion" and "Return to Grace". In season five's "In Purgatory's Shadow", Melanie Smith assumed the role and appeared in five more episodes.
- Ziyal mentions (although not by name) her grandfather, Dukat's father, who was previously mentioned in the season three episode "Civil Defense", where it is implied that he and Garak knew one another.
- Among the clothes seen in Garak's tailor shop is the costume worn by Martus Mazur in "Rivals".
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 4.11, 28 October 1996
- As part of the DS9 Season 4 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
- Penny Johnson as Kasidy Yates
- Kenneth Marshall as Michael Eddington
- Tracy Middendorf as Tora Ziyal
- John Prosky as Brathaw
- Steven Vincent Leigh as Reese
Special guest star
- Sam Alejan as a Starfleet medical officer
- Randy James as Jones
- James Lee Stanley as a Bajoran security deputy
- Unknown performers as
1961; 1978; accusation; Antares; Antares-class; Badlands; Bajor; Bajorans; Bajoran sector; Bajoran security detachment; Bajoran Springball Association; baryon radiation; baseball; Borg; Boston Red Sox; camouflage field; Cardassia; Cardassian; Cardassian military; Cardassian sauna; cargo manifest; class 2 inspection; Class 4 industrial replicator; companionship; Constable; cooking; court martial; crust; USS Defiant; Demilitarized Zone; Detapa Council; Dreon VII; Dreon system; Dukat; evidence; Federation; Federation Council; Flag of the Federation; foam; foul; holosuite; hot dog; impulse signature; Invasion of Cardassia; Kavaria; Kavarian tiger-bat; Klingon-Cardassian War; makapa bread; Maquis; Maquis raider; meter; Milky Way Galaxy; month; New York Yankees; Nog; Obsidian Order; "Old Man"; parody; parson; peppermint; plasma field; prisoner of war camp; Promenade; radio silence; raktajino; ratamba stew; Risa; Rolor Nebula; runabout; security clearance; security detail; spinach linguine; springball; Starfleet Command; Starfleet Intelligence; Tabalian glass; tailor; Temecklian virus; temperature; Tholians; Tholian freighter; tricorder; Vulcan freighter (Apollo-class); Xhosa, SS
- "For the Cause" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "For the Cause" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "For the Cause" at Wikipedia
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"To the Death"