the story: A Maquis raid pits Sisko in the middle of a potential new conflict with the Cardassians.
what it's all about: The two-part "Maquis" has a lot of things working against it: For one, it's undeniably not as impactful as Next Generation's "Preemptive Strike," which like "Maquis" was produced with the express purpose of helping set up Voyager (which as part of its premise incorporated Maquis fighters into a Starfleet crew). It's also not as good as "Defiant," which a season later also has Sisko forming an uneasy alliance with Gul Dukat to hunt the Maquis. And finally, Cal Hudson is ultimately no Eddington, a character introduced next season who eventually defects to the Maquis and makes a formidable adversary for Sisko, and a personal one in far more organic ways than what is cobbled together for "Maquis."
So that's what works against the story as a whole. For this opening chapter, much of that is still relevant; Cal Hudson is no Ro Laren. Usually I don't mind if a character is introduced for a single appearance who otherwise is important to a main character; despite what some fans may claim, Voyager pulls off such a thing nicely in "Ashes to Ashes," with one of Harry Kim's friends we'd never seen before. But the sudden introduction of Sisko's supposed good friend, whom we'd never even heard referenced before, is all the more glaring in a series that was to prove a gold mine in repeat appearances for guest characters. It may be irrelevant to say we never see Cal again after this adventure.
To say it all falls a little flat, whether comparatively or not, is about all there can be said about "Maquis, Part 1." It's like the creators who cobbled together the unsatisfying end of the season-opening three-parter also showed up for this one, having learned none of the lessons from the episodes in between. But at least it brings back Dukat, who is nonetheless forced to contend with the presence of the Cardassian character he was to completely supplant, Gul Evek, by the following season.
- franchise - As far as concept building goes, this is a minor contribution to an important Star Trek cornerstone.
- series - It's also a minor precursor to a lot of far better stories in Deep Space Nine itself.
character- Shows they still hadn't figured out Sisko. essential- Yeah, to sum it up, not essential.
Marc Alaimo (Dukat)
Richard Poe (Evek)