In the twenty-second episode of the fourth season ofÂ Deep Space Nine, this is NOTHING BUT PAIN. Intrigued? Then itâ€™s time for Mark to watchÂ Star Trek.Â
Thereâ€™s a pervasive, almost sickening dread throughout â€œFor the Cause.â€ As the evidence against Kasidy mounts higher and higher, I kept assuming the worst, right up until the worstÂ actually happened. I WOULD LIKE THIS NOT TO BE THE CASE, but alas, here we are. LETâ€™S DISCUSS.
Itâ€™s clear now that both plots in this episode are meant to mirror each other. Theyâ€™re each about paranoia, suspicion, trust, and loyalty, though they end up in completely different places. At the start of â€œFor the Cause,â€ however, IÂ didnâ€™tÂ assume the worst. I figured that weâ€™d get a story about mistaken identity or miscommunication. Perhaps Kasidy had been set up or was a dupe! Everything would be fine, right?
I theorized this for a number of reasons. The Kasidy/Sisko relationship was still fairly new, and we hadnâ€™t seen her for a while. We also hadnâ€™t had a Maquis episode in a while, and I didnâ€™t think of them as much of a threat toâ€¦ well,Â anything. But I suppose thatâ€™s the point, and in hindsight, this episode addresses how these things had been folded into the background of the narrative. The Maquis are still trying to survive, their struggle still persists, and the Federationâ€™s flaws still matter. The complicated political fabric of this part of the quadrant informs much of what we see here, too, from the Cardassian desperation to the Federationâ€™s need to constantly expand its membership.
And on top of all of this, the script makes this story intensely personal. It would have been bad enough to learn that longtime characters were willing to betray Sisko (more on that in a bit), but the fact that the show choseÂ KasidyÂ to secretly be Maquis all along stings more than anything else. Sisko had not seen anyone romantically since Jennifer, and his relationship with Kasidy has felt soÂ unique. AND PERFECT. LETâ€™S JUST SAY THAT BECAUSE IT TOTALLY IS. Good relationships are based in trust, too, so thatâ€™s why this hurts as much as it does! Sisko is trapped between his duty as a Starfleet officer and his need to treat Kasidy in good faith. Does he allow Odo and Eddington to do their jobs, even if it means distancing Kasidy in the process?
My guess â€“ since this isnâ€™t vocalized at any point â€“ is that Sisko couldnâ€™t believe that Kasidy was lying by omission this entire time. He takes that personally. And why shouldnâ€™t he? Heâ€™s the commander ofÂ Deep Space Nine, and if Odo and Eddingtonâ€™s suspicions are correct, then that means thatÂ not onlyÂ did he allow a Maquis smuggler onto his station, but he entered a relationship with her. THAT STINGS. A LOT. And yet, I kept this tiny sliver of hope alive because I wanted so badly for this to end well. Maybe Kasidy was being forced to drop off medical supplies and food to the Maquis!!! Maybe there was some extenuating circumstance!!! Maybe she found it morally just to provide those supplies to help out a suffering group even if she wasnâ€™t a part of them!!!
Nope. Kasidy is Maquis, and so isÂ Eddington. In some sense, thatâ€™s a real weird twist because I cannot see a single clue to this in the past episodes. I suspect it wasnâ€™t planned at all and instead, the writers more or less decided to change these charactersâ€™ arcs. However, Iâ€™m utterly for it when it comes to Eddington because of that blistering monologue he gives at the end of the episode. Maybe I donâ€™t remember little hints along the way, but lord, who cares when it allowsÂ Deep Space NineÂ to level such an intense criticism against the Federation? Itâ€™s a satisfying moment because the show finally states, in a definitive and undeniable way, that the Federation is not paradise for everyone. Thatâ€™s what weâ€™ve always been told about it, explicitly inÂ The Original Series, quite frequently throughoutÂ The Next Generation, and near the beginning ofÂ Deep Space Nine. But none of the other series have ever been able to be as critical of the Federation quite likeÂ DS9Â has, and I appreciate it. I appreciate it so much becauseÂ thatÂ is how this show manages to separate itself from the pack. The writers give nuance to the Maquis by showing us why people would willingly choose to leave a utopia.
Because itâ€™s not a utopia for them.
As for Kasidy? I donâ€™t know that Iâ€™d say this twist is nonsensical. She is a deeply empathetic and political person. I can see why sheâ€™d sympathize with the Maquis and even why sheâ€™d choose to join them. Her betrayal of Sisko is a lot harder to stomach, but sheâ€™s a complicated person who has an entire life outside of that man, and thatâ€™s never been more obvious than now. Her return at the end of â€œFor the Causeâ€ at least demonstrates her willingness to hold herself accountable and to stay in Siskoâ€™s life. I desperately hope sheâ€™ll return, but I donâ€™t know how the show will deal with that.
I ALREADY MISS HER.
Like the main plot in this episode, Garakâ€™s trust of Ziyal is the focus of his story. Heâ€™s got a history with Gul Dukat, soÂ anyÂ interaction with his daughter would be laced with complications. Can he trust her? Can he trust Dukat? Is he just being paranoid? In many ways, this plot was more of a humorous break than anything else, especially that scene with Quark and Garak in the shop. Is Garakâ€™s suspicion justified?
Unlike the ending to the Kssidy plot, Ziyal comes clean about her intentions, and thereâ€™s no insidious plot at work in her invitation for Garak to join her in a holosuite. Truth be told, both these characters are largely alone, separated from their people and their culture, unable to return, and Ziyal just wantsÂ company. She wants someone who can tell her what her home is like. And thatâ€™s a pretty cool thing that she can find that in Garak.
The video for â€œFor the Causeâ€ can be downloadedÂ here for $0.99.
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