Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by TheGodBen, Oct 16, 2011.
It's not like it's anything present-day society hasn't dealt with.
Women aren't equal, African-Americans aren't equal, Homosexuals aren't equal...we aren't doing such a great job of learning from our past in this regard.
Well the Android situation is kind of different, since Data is a more complicated program than the Holograms.
The Maquis, Part 1 (****)
Over the last few weeks I've seen stories about imaginary women, shape-shifting monsters, a racquet-ball game, a replicant assassin, and an entire micro-universe, and in that time nobody thought to mention a new treaty between the Federation and the Cardassians, Federation colonists choosing to remain in Cardassian space, or the newly-established demilitarised zone. That's pretty odd for a show set along the border of Cardassian space. I know the reason why none of this stuff was shown on DS9, it's because it was all handled on TNG in an episode that was mainly about Wesley (which meant that a good 60% of the audience turned it off and hid behind the couch). I'm not opposed to having the two shows containing interlinked story arcs, but there should have at least have been some acknowledgement on DS9 that these events were happening before using them as the foundation of a universe-altering event-episode. The result of not doing so is that this episode feels rushed and many early scenes are heavy on exposition.
That being said, thank the gods that the show has finally returned to something with a little weight to it and where the consequences wont be forgotten about the following week. The Maquis are one of those ambiguous elements of DS9 where you don't know whether you should support them or vilify them. It was a terrible thing that the Federation did, signing away their homes to a brutal oppressor, but they did do it with the intention of creating a lasting peace with the Cardassians in the hope of saving lives in the long run. Both sides have a point, but our instinct is to side with Starfleet because they've always been portrayed as the "good guys", and that's Sisko's instinct too, so much so that he goes out of his way to ignore Kira when she dares to question Federation policy.
Another great ambiguous element of DS9 is Dukat, and this is the first episode where he's shown to be on the same side as the heroes. Even then, I can't be sure that he really is on the Federation's side and it seems likely that he just wants to pin the blame for the violence on the Federation colonists and not on the Cardassian government, which is probably the real reason why he's so annoyed by signs of Cardassian aggression as that somewhat legitimises the actions of the Maquis. It is great to watch Sisko and Dukat together, especially the way that Dukat enjoys pressing Sisko's buttons while claiming to act like a friend. You can see why they later decide to do almost an entire episode with these two sitting in a cave together.
I always sided with the Maquis and never understood why the Federation were such pussies with the Cardassians. From what we saw Starfleet was more mature, richer and had more resources and powerful ships than the Cardassians...and yet they negotiate a fairly unfavorable treaty. Perhaps it was a mistake making the Cardassians out to be fairly weak in the early TNG episodes in which they appeared.
I personally supported the Maquis.
SFDebris does a really good review of "The Maquis" two-part where he points how stupid and unfair the treaty is .... you should check it out, there's a link on YT I'm sure.
Just curious, on what grounds is the treaty itself considered "unfair"? The Feds weren't the only ones to give up worlds after all.
Back when I first saw it with my teenaged eyes, I was heavily on the Federation's side - how could I be anything else when the series is centred around (mostly) Starfleet officers?
Over time of course when your views about life and the world are better informed/more cynical, then I tend to sympthise more with the Maquis. The Federation did a truly horrible thing, and it's one of the reasons that makes Voyager a little odd as a series with the crew getting on so well so quickly. How can such betrayal be forgiven so quickly?
The formation of The Maquis is a harrowing wake-up call for Starfleet, and indicates that hostilities with the Cardassians must have been pretty bad to make them resort to such a treaty. We've had some indication of what things were like through O'Brien in particular, but I agree that this episode just comes out of nowhere in DS9's universe. And yes I totally agree that Journey's End on TNG was hapless as the beginning of the Maquis arc.
But very good episodes altogether. The presence of Dukat here is welcomed, as him working with our guys muddies our expectations even further.
I've seen it (as I have all his Trek reviews) and he makes some good points, and all I can think to say is that that's realpolitik for you.
Using another example from Irish history, because that's what I know, the Irish leaders were willing to leave behind the Irish nationalists that lived in Northern Ireland following the War of Independence because that was the price for peace. The result of that was that dissidents in both communities joined paramilitary groups and fought against one another, including a limited amount of collusion between the security services on both sides with the paramilitary factions. But while this paramilitary war waged on for decades, both the British and Irish governments officially kept the peace even though they didn't like one another, because neither side was interested in a return to full-scale war.
However bad things get with the Maquis in the DMZ, it will still cost fewer lives than it would if Starfleet and the Central Command sent in their ships to duke it out. The peace is stupid, absolutely, but acting stupid is sometimes better than losing an arm.
Don't forget that a dozen or more Federation colonies were handed over to the Cardassians, but the Cardassians had to hand over about the same number of their colonies. All of this as part of border/territory changes from the peace treaty. In an absolutetist sence the Federation didn't really lose anything and thus the treaty isn't unfair, plus they get peace. In that sense the treaty is perfect.
Only problem was many of the Federation colonists didn't want to leave their homes, thus exposing the flaw in the treaty. But looking at it from a strategic point of view, and TheGodBen alluded to this here, a few lost colonies is better than war right across the Federation/Cardassian border where many more worlds are threatened. Instead of tens of thousands of lives it becomes millions. In that respect the treaty was good for serving the needs of the majority.
Were those colonies 'betrayed' by the Federation? In all honesty yes, just because of some redrawing of the lines on the interplanetary map. Now the flaw in the Maquis strategy of attacking the Cardassians was that it would mean serious trouble for the colonies in Cardassian space. A bad situation would just get worst, the Cardassians were just looking for an excuse to exercise their brutal police state policies on those colonies, and that's what the Maquis gave them.
And then the Cardassians could claim they were maintaining 'law and order', and then pressurize the Federation into sorting out the mess to keep the peace treaty from being ripped to shreds. By attacking the Cardassians, the Maquis lost their only ally; the Federation.
Also as Sisko said to Eddington (some years later as the Maquis situation developed):
You know what I see out there, Mister Eddington? I see victims... But not of Cardassia or the Federation. Victims of you. The Maquis. You've sold these people the dream that one day, they can go back to those farms and homes and schools -- but you know they never can. And the longer you keep that hope alive, the longer they're going to suffer.
But Starfleet was strong enough to put the Cardassians in a position where they would have given away much more allowing them to keep those worlds.
Ignoring all alliances, the US would be capable of taking down France if it really wanted, but would the US government want to go through months of brutal slaughter and the deaths of tens of thousands of personnel (not to mention civilians) if there was an offer on the table that was "good enough"?
Well, we could have avoided thousands of deaths in the Middle East by minding our own damn business (a far less questionable tack than surrendering a bunch of US citizens), but decided to invade Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan instead. I wouldn't put it past the prior or current administration to pick the war option instead.
But Starfleet and the Federation Council stick to their principles and the Federation charter (for the most part, Section 31 cough cough). To simply screw the Cardassians over with an unfair treaty is not very Starfleet like, and would fly in the face of the Federation's premise of peace, justice and prosperity for all. The Federation wants to work with neighbouring planetary states and not conquer them through military or diplomatic means.
If we go that route, then I have a hard time understanding how they accept non-corporeal lifetimes as sentient and "alive." TOS goes so far as to say that certain non-corporeal aliens are full-blown members of the Federation. If they are willing to accept that they are "real" when they're essentially nothing more than energy, why not sentient holograms?
Given the fact that just about everyone in both of our major parties is gung-ho for any war they can think of (I know of only two or three exceptions - out of the 536 main players in the U.S. national government), I'd say yes they would. There's also the fact that the current administration has escalated the war in Afghanistan, massively bombarded Libya, kept troops in Iraq until the Iraqi government told them to get the hell out and sent multiple drone attacks into Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. Also, there's the fact that the media (both liberal and conservative) are more than willing to beat the drums for any war propaganda they're offered - just like the mouthpieces of the state they are.
But, as for The Maquis - when I first saw it, I was fully on the side of the Federation. Like TheGodBen said, they're the "good guys" after all. Now, I'm fully on the side of the Maquis. The UFP screwed these people big time. Even the Federation's justification is atrocious - they did it for the greater good. You can justify anything by saying it's for the greater good. The fact is that they sacrificed these people in order to make a pretty lousy treaty - as if peace at any price was acceptable. Even the Jem'Hadar know what a mistake the treaty was!
The episode itself, however, is excellent. One thing I'll point out, which I don't think anyone else has yet, is that I love that they had a Vulcan be one of the major Maquis players. It gives their side much more weight to see not only a non-Human but a Vulcan come to the conclusion that they are right and the UFP is wrong.
I have to wonder whether in a future of replicators and transporters and FTL drives people would really place the same value on a home that they do today. No doubt moving would still be an ordeal, but it's not like you have to wait months for a building to be constructed.
Anyway, given that the settlers chose to live on worlds that they knew were on the frontier, I found it a little unwarranted how bent out of shape they got when problems that they must have known might occur did, in fact, occur.
I don't think it was that they were economically tied to those planets, as many people would be today. Like you said, in a world with FTL drives, transporters and replicators, relocation would be fairly simply.
It was that they were emotionally tied to those homes. They built something out of nothing, raised families there and didn't want to just leave it all behind to start up again somewhere else.
But besides that, it's their property and the Federation just swooped in and ordered them to hand it over. Many people would have a problem if their own government did that to them.
The Maquis, Part 2 (****)
I suppose I should comment on the character of Cal Hudson. What a boring character. For a guy that decides to leave behind his whole life because he believes in a cause, he sure does seem disinterested in all the events that are going down. He's the least impassioned rebel I've seen on television. The only way I can explain his reasoning for joining the Maquis is that he was so distraught by his wife's death that he chose to run away from Starfleet, much like Sisko was considering doing in Emissary, and joining the Maquis was just his excuse. Even still, I find it hard to believe that this guy could have such passion for his wife that he would throw everything away out of grief. Just imagine him making love to his wife... "Oh yeah. Uh-huh. That's right. Keep going... Okay, I'm done. Goodnight dear."
But the bigger problem with Cal is that his whole arc feels artificial, especially his friendship with Sisko. Here's a guy that we never heard from before that was brought into the show to add a personal element to Sisko's dilemma and to help us see the Maquis' point of view. He's not really successful at either, and the fact that he's forgotten about until his death is referenced by another character years later makes his friendship with Sisko seem all the more artificial.
It's a good thing then that he's not in this episode much and most of it focuses on good things, such as interstellar politics and Gul Dukat. Once again, Dukat shines in this episode, he's working with the heroes because the alternatives are exile or execution. There's even something of a rapport developing between him and Sisko, and even a little begrudging respect seeps out of Kira. You've got the politicking Cardassians, Quark teaching logic to a Vulcan, some high-stakes action, this episode has a lot going for it. The ending, where Sisko fears that all he has done is delay an inevitable war is a little chilling. Sure, the war he's thinking of isn't exactly the war that happens later in the show, but the Maquis were one of the elements that drove the Cardassians into siding with the Dominion, so he's right in a roundabout way.
Sykonee's Counter: 13
Here's a fun experiment; type "admiral bitch" into Google and read the suggestions.
It's very telling that we never saw Cal Hudson again throughout the rest of the series, as he just fell a bit flat really. Therefore, you get the double impact of having the Federation/Cardassian treaty coming out of nowhere, as well as Sisko's friendship with Hudson.
Aside from this though, I love everything else about thw two-parter, as it was much more in line with what I wanted from the show.
Oh and I clicked on the first thing that came up and it didn't work. I'm useless at life!
(Unless you were referring to the Star Wars thing, which is very funny! )
However, I did find this on the image search instead! The text is small but I read it without my glasses!
I always hoped Nechayev or whatever would get shot by a Jem'Hadar (Just like I had always hoped the Intendant would take a phaser beam set to kill to the face).
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