So, something about this episode that had nothing to do with the plot or performances and the like occurred when I thought the episode looked kinda blurry on my TV. I tried rebooting the set since it’s one of them thar smart 4K TVs, but that didn’t seem to do much. I figure it was watching a 90s era TV show on a 2020s era TV. Unless there was some digital remastering I was unaware of, that’s probably why some scenes in this episode looked kinda crappy.
Then again, maybe it wasn’t. I sure don’t know.
That said, more importantly is this was, I suspect, the last of the Maquis episodes. At the very least, it was the last of the Michael Eddington episodes as he and Sisko had one last go-around, and once again, I wasn’t overly sure why Sisko was that bent out of shape by this guy. I don’t know if it’s just something about actor Kenneth Marshall’s portrayal of the character or what, but Eddington never registered much with me as a character. In the past, I chalked it up to how easy it was to overlook the guy made him the perfect Maquis agent. Someone like him could have easily weaseled his way into the crew because he never struck me as a character important enough to mention in these write-ups until it turned out he was a Maquis leader. Or perhaps the Maquis leader. He sure set himself up that way.
However, he surrendered when Sisko basically pulled a Maquis trick on a Maquis colony. It was, I suppose, a bit anticlimactic, but it kinda fit a character like Eddington. He was that background guy who tried to become a foreground guy and was still something of a background guy. Sisko’s obsession with him can maybe be chalked up to how much Sisko just believes in Starfleet as an organization. He takes it personally when people betray the uniform. The great friendship Sisko claims he had may have happened between episodes, but that was still between episodes. Eddington is, well, kinda just there.
So imagine my general reluctance to go back to that guy one last time in what was probably meant to be, you know, a “blaze of glory” sort of send off. Things start when General Martok reports that the Maquis is claiming to have outfitted a number of missiles with Klingon cloaking devices aimed for Cardassian space. Launching that attack will bring the Dominion back to start a war with the Alpha Quadrant as a whole since the Federation would surely be blamed for the Maquis, the Klingons would side with the Federation, god only knows what the Romulans might do, and billions would die fruitlessly. Eddington may be the only guy who can find the missing Maquis base, particularly since the Badlands section of space where the Maquis have been known to operate does something that makes the Defiant‘s cloaking device easy to spot by Jem’Hadar attack ships.
But man, did Eddington make it difficult. His platitudes were never exactly welcome, and his comparisons of himself to Jean ValJean were, well, weak. And somehow, time in a Starfleet brig have made him even more vainglorious as he at one point suggests that had he been there, the Maquis would have surely prevailed over the Cardassians or fought off the Jem’Hadar or something along those lines like he was some brilliant strategist who could have somehow done what no one else has been able to do so far on Deep Space Nine and somehow look like someone formidable enough to hold off if not outright defeat the Jem’Hadar. One on one with their warships? Sure. But the entire fleet? These guys destroyed a Galaxy-class Federation ship without trying too hard in their first onscreen space battle and routinely make it rough for the Defiant, a ship built to fight the freakin’ Borg. By this point, Eddington seems more delusional than anything else.
It probably says a lot that I found the Nog B-plot more interesting. Nog is currently working security on the station, but his short stature and Ferengi-ness means the Klingons don’t respect him. Taking a pointer from Sisko, he decides to prove himself by standing up to Martok when he’s violating station protocol. Jake, along for the ride, seems to think this is foolish, but his friend eventually does follow through on the plan, amuses Martok a bit, and everything works out.
Then again, I like Nog. Eddington, as always, is just kinda there.
However, he doesn’t make it out of this episode. The missiles were a lie to get Eddington back to his people, particularly the Marquis wife Sisko didn’t know about. But the Jem’Hadar are already there, the Maquis are losing, and Eddington takes a shot to the gut while leading the last survivors back to the runabout, after which he holds the Maquis off as long as he can.
Sisko does evacuate the others, and Eddington’s manipulations of his old commander seem to have worked one final time, leading Sisko and Dax to ponder that Eddington did hold great loyalty, just not to Starfleet but rather a set of his own ideals. They conclude that’s admirable in its own way, and I don’t think they’re wrong, but Eddington as a character was never interesting enough to me to see the character as anything more than that guy in the background. I won’t say I’m glad he’s dead and gone because that would require me to care more for the character than I am capable of actually being.