Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 4 Episode 22

For the Cause

Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM May 06, 1996 on Syndicado

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

Write A Review
out of 10
136 votes
  • Good stuff from Ron Moore

    Like a fine magic act, this Sisko/Maquis episode uses suspense and misdirection to build up anticipation and ultimately deliver a memorable finish.

    Featuring the Maquis for the first (and only) time in the season, the whodunnit story gives the group a new face and its most iconic speech, even if it takes a while to get there. But the real meat of the episode falls on Sisko's plate. Playing to Avery Brooks's strengths, "For the Cause" gives the Captain conflicting professional and personal feelings and illustrates his thoughts and decisions through action rather than words. In fact, all the major players here are tight lipped, apart from the aforementioned speech, unwilling to confide in others and let us know what's going on in their heads. It's left to us to speculate on their motivations and ruminations and fill in the blanks. It's something that limits character development, but it also heightens the mystery and suspense.

    There's also a throwaway B story that's much more simplistic: Garak and Ziyal go on a date. The premise relies upon the actors to make it work, and Andrew Robinson (Garak) is as good as ever. Unfortunately, a new actress (Tracy Middendorf) plays Ziyal and is so awful the part is subsequently recast again for her next appearance in the fifth season. (What is it with DS9 and recasting anyway? Between Ziyal and Quark's mom, they go through enough actresses to field a basketball team). Fortunately, Ziyal's part in the episode is minor, and on the whole "For the Cause" is quite fun.
  • "You know, in some ways you're worse than the Borg. At least they tell you about their plans for assimilation. You're more insidious... you assimilate people and they don't even know it."

    Although Michael Eddington's swan song would come next season, this is the episode where he goes from being a conscientious, competent security officer into a full-fledged villainous rebel. The above quote, courtesy of Eddington, shows just how far the show had come from its Star Trek forbearers--that it was not a Romulan, Cardassian, Klingon or Ferengi complaining about the Federation's cultural imperialism, but a human and, wait for it, a Starfleet Officer!

    That's not what the episode is about, though. It focuses mostly on the Sisko/Kasidy relationship. There is a suspected Maquis smuggler on board, and Sisko is told that it might be Kasidy. They proceed slowly, as the seeds of doubt begin to grow in Sisko's mind. There is one scene which particularly struck me--it's the one where Sisko asks Kasidy to drop everything and go to Risa with him. Sisko is acting out of love--he doesn't want Kasidy to get hurt and wants to give her a way out. Kasidy is acting out of duty, which trumps her love for Sisko. Sisko knows this, and knows that she could never accept. So why ask? It just tells us something about Sisko.

    However, the Sisko/Kasidy plot isn't what people remember about this episode. It's Eddington, the scheming, revolutionary Canadian security officer-turned-Maquis. His character would return for two excellent episodes in Season 5: "For the Uniform" and "Blaze of Glory".
  • Exceptionally well-written episode. Mostly an episode about the Kasidy-Sisko relationship, but there's a very nice twist near the end.

    I wonder why the writers of this episode chose to include a second sub-plot (Garak and Ziyal) -- the main plot (Eddington-Sisko-Kasidy) is so good that it could have probably been stretched into a full episode. On the plus side, this means that the main story is perfectly executed; there are no slow spots.

    Early in the episode, Sisko is informed by Odo and Eddington that his girlfriend is suspected of smuggling cargo to terrorists (the Maquis). Sisko is extremely skeptical, but grudgingly allows security to investigate. At several points through this episode, you can see Sisko bend (but not break) his duties as a Starfleet Officer on Kasidy's behalf. He waives a thorough search of her ship (but orders the Defiant to follow her ship and establish her connection to the Maquis); he tries to persuade her to forgo a second mission. I have to admit that I feel weird seeing Penny Johnson in this role, as I'm used to her playing Sherry Palmer. But she does a good job.

    The plot takes a fascinating twist when it turns out that Kasidy is small fry; Eddington uses her as a decoy while he executes a major Maquis operation on the station and defects. Whoever wrote Eddington's speech to Sisko deserves serious props; it's exceptionally well done. Ken Marshall does a great job as Eddington.

    The plot with Ziyal and Garak is OK. The writers took the opportunity to include a scene with Quark in Garak's shop -- probably the best part of the story.