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Star Trek DS9 - Season 5 - Episode 13

Star Trek DS9 - 5x13 - For the Uniform

Originally Aired: 1997-2-3

Synopsis:
Sisko encounters Michael Eddington, his former Starfleet Security Chief, who betrayed him and joined the Maquis. [DVD]

My Rating - 10

Fan Rating Average - 6.49

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 22 5 5 6 3 9 7 14 23 25 38

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- On top of being one of the finest episodes of the series, this episode also resolves the Eddington loose thread.

Problems
None

Factoids
- This episode is a candidate for my "Best Episode of DS9 Award."
- This is the first episode in which they use holo projectors instead of a viewscreen for ship communications. Holo projectors won't be used very often after this episode though.
- Odo mentions the encoded Maquis transmission is a heterophonic Breen nursery rhyme.
- Sisko says: "If anyone knows how to keep things cold, it's the Breen."

Remarkable Scenes
- Eddington and Sisko confronting one another in the teaser.
- Eddington's computer virus stunt.
- Odo: "Sir, have you ever reminded Starfleet command that they stationed Eddington here because they didn't trust me?" Sisko: "No." Odo: "Please do."
- The whole Sisko, Dax, and the punching bag scene. Sisko is an awesome character when he's angry.
- O'Brien and Dax briefing Sisko on all the stuff that doesn't work on the Defiant.
- The whole Defiant half roll thing. Cheesy but funny.
- The ambush.
- Eddington attacking a Cardassian evacuation ship forcing Sisko to save the occupants rather than go after Eddington.
- Sisko strolling onto the bridge dispensing orders to begin modifying quantum torpedos so that they can be used to poison Maquis colony atmospheres. I love the bridge crew reaction. Sheer disbelief.
- Sisko getting pissed at the end. The perfect villain.
- Dax: "Benjamin, I'm curious. Your plan to poison the Maquis planets. You didn't clear it with Starfleet first, did you?" Sisko: "I knew I'd forgotten to do something." Dax: "Big gamble." Sisko: "That's what it takes to be a good villain." Dax: "You know, sometimes I like it when the bad guy wins."

My Review
Sisko becomes the villain! And what a villain! This episode is one of many which show us how great an actor Avery Brooks can be, especially when given parts that deal excessively in anger. Avery Brooks' performance in this episode in my opinion even rivals Patrick Stewart's "Moby Dick" scene with Lily in Star Trek VIII: First Contact. The Eddington loose end is finally tied up and this episode wastes none of the showdown potential. An unexpected gem.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Remco on 2009-05-17 at 11:51am:
    So, why is Sisko not court-marshalled? Why are Dax and Sisko joking (yes, joking!) about not getting persmission to destroy Vulcan (uh, I mean, random planet X).

    What the hell was this? Should we care about Sisko's actions, if the show doesn't? Whatever... I don't get the point. This episode doesn't exist. 0
  • From JRPoole on 2009-06-23 at 2:48pm:
    My review lands squarely between the two previous ones. This is a great episode, partly because it makes us uncomfortable when Sisko becomes the villain. I like that the writers don't pull punches here--Sisko really does become the villain, willing to poison a planet to square things with Eddington. His plan, though, is rash and I can't believe that Star Fleet would be happy with it, especially since it makes an enemy of the Maquis, who up to this point don't consider the Federation their enemy. The fact that everyone is so flippant about his actions takes serious points off for me.

    Where is Cassidy Yates? She'd be a natural for this one since she, too, betrayed Sisko for the Maquis.
  • From Jaap on 2010-10-01 at 10:41am:
    Eddington is right and you have to feel sorry for him for being caught. Sisko becomes at least as wrong and perhaps worse than the maquis.

    Or did Sisko prevent escalation with the Cardassians with doing to a federation planet what the maquis did to a Cardassian planet?

    All in all, i don't feel comfortable after this episode. Eddington is right in that Sisko is betraying his uniform.
  • From John on 2011-01-14 at 12:55am:
    This episode is just badass. Sisko kind of flips out and does the wrong thing for the right reason, because his back is against the wall. We will see this taken even further in season 6's "In The Pale Moonlight". Not surprising, really, because both episodes share the same writer (Peter Allan Fields) and director (Victor Lobl), which no doubt accounts for their similar look and feel.

    I consider this episode a sort of dress rehearsal for the gripping brilliance of "Moonlight", but it stands quite well on its own.

    10/10
  • From MJ on 2011-01-21 at 6:12pm:
    Another Maquis episode, which makes it another one of my favorites.

    The episode is awesome for reasons already pointed out. But I've read a few reviews of this episode that question why Sisko was able to get away with what he did. I think it's feasible, when you consider there are admirals in Starfleet who want to take the kid gloves off when dealing with the Maquis.

    Star Trek is about the history of the Federation, and each series portrays the Federation following the course of a typical civilizational power: there is the rise, the honeymoon stage. This is TOS, when the Federation is clearly the principled, scientifically curious organization Gene Roddenberry intended it to be. This continues into TNG, although by this time the Federation is starting to get into the business of realpolitik, playing shrewd diplomacy with its rivals. By DS9, the Federation is starting to resemble an empire, with a seedy underbelly that accompanies its noble creed.

    It's a sign of the times, too. TOS was created at the height of the Cold War, when an allegorical, future America (the Federation) needed to clearly be on the side of good. By the 1990's, with no more Cold War, the more controversial aspects of US policy were being explored, and this is reflected in DS9's Federation.
  • From Tallifer on 2011-04-12 at 5:39pm:
    Sisko just violated everything the Federation stands for! He attacked innocent civilians. Neither Kirk, nor Picard nor Janeway would ever have dne this. Eddington proved to be right about Sisko in the end (even though Eddington himself proved to be a monster using biogenic weapons also).

    I like fictional villains like Darth Vader and the Master, but I expect them to receive their just desert. I hope Sisko suffers the consequences of his action.
  • From John on 2011-09-22 at 5:00pm:
    I just watched this one again, and it's still so damn good.

    Sisko is the baddest dude in the Federation!
  • From Mario on 2012-04-20 at 3:55pm:
    Wow, what the hell was that?!!
    Sisko really became a villain here and a bully. I don't know if I can ever again route for this guy. During this episode I hoped the Maquis would win and Sisko could have overcome his petty thirst for vengeance and have some character growth. But no, he goes for revenge and the show seems to try to justify that. If the Dominion comes - or someone else - who is a bigger bully, I would not really care if they killed Sisko and his crew (allthough I know that will not happen anyway). I know that the Maquis did also poison planets, but from people who are supposed to be the "heroes" of the show I expect not to behave like the bad guys. But Sisko is even worse than them, because he does it only for himself, whereas the Maquis are fighting for a whole population.
  • From Selador on 2013-06-09 at 7:00pm:
    A very interesting episode. I like and agree with MJ's analysis of what's going on with Starfleet, but I'm not clear how the audience is supposed to feel about this.

    If we're supposed to side with Sisko against the "terrorists", even though they have a very valid point in my opinion, then I'd be very uncomfortable.

    If the idea is to sort of show that good people can do awful things and that Sisko is therefore showing he is weak by attacking the Maquis colony, then that would be more acceptable.

    But this is a smart episode and it's clear that a lot of though has gone into it. I think that the writers have left it open for the audience to decide for itself how Sisko and Eddington's actions should be judged - which is exactly what's going on here!

    I'm giving it a 9, the only reason it doesn't get a 10 is because of the 'no consequences' ending - usually in Star Trek people pay a price for their decisions.

    On a different note, in response to Kethinov - Brooks is an adaquate actor at best and never comes close to Stewart's best performances. He is great for the part though so his lack of talent doesn't really effect my enjoyent of the show at all. I agree with you that he's most believable when he's losing his temper.
  • From L on 2013-07-30 at 4:00am:
    Problem - Sisko didn't retrieve his phaser before beaming up to the Defiant at the end of the opening scene.
  • From Mandeponium on 2013-08-30 at 3:06pm:
    Lots of opinions here. Keep in mind that according to Sisko, the planet will be uninhabitable to "humans" for 50 years, presumably just like Eddinton's weapon was only harmful to Cardassians.

    So he's not wiping out an entire planet. He's forcing an evacuation, one that leads to the capture of Eddington and deals a serious blow to the Maquis who, only hours before, essentially declared war on the Federation.

    His actions may not be justified, but considering the circumstances, they are excusable (if only by the narrowest of margins!)
  • From bodner on 2014-03-10 at 7:26am:
    It is too bad Sisko never gets his "due" for this, escpecially when you consider that directly after this Cardassia forgets the entire treaty and announces all out war
  • From McCoy on 2017-02-14 at 11:11am:
    10? Really???
    For me it was "How to ruin reputation of main character in one episode". Sorry, Sisko is amoral jerk here, nothing more. The end never justifies the means! Blind obsession is always wrong. As was stated before - no other captain would behave like this. The worst part is - Sisko wasn't forced to do anything bad, he just WANTED to do it. For the uniform... Federation propaganda... Looks like they really aren't the good guys in Galaxy.

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