Sunday, November 20, 2011

Primer To Star Trek Voyager, Part 2: "The Maquis, Part 2"

The Good: Conclusion, Acting, Characters
The Bad: Nothing major.
The Basics: Part of the essential Star Trek Deep Space Nine and easily accessible to the non-fan, "The Maquis, Part 2" attempts to resolve the matter of rogue colonists starting a frontier war.

The episode is "The Maquis, Part II" and it opens at the very place "The Maquis, Part I" left off. This episode is useful to fans of Star Trek Voyager for seeing where the real root of the conflict in that show comes.

"The Maquis, Part 2" opens with the identity of the Maquis leaders being revealed. They are a splinter group of Federation colonists who have declared a border war on the Cardassians due to their discontent with a treaty that gave their land away without their consent (see my review on "The Maquis, Part I" here!). The conflict between the Maquis and the Federation causes a personal division between Sisko and longtime friend, Cal Hudson. Sisko implores Hudson to stay on the right side of the law, especially when he learns the Cardassian Central Command WAS supplying weapons to its colonists.

As Quark, recently arrested for his part in the Maquis, observes, peace is easily obtainable, but the Maquis are filled with anger, not sense. Sisko, thus, embarks on a mission to rescue this Cardassian counterpart, Gul Dukat from the Maquis. The remainder of the episode is a strange teaming up of Sisko and the usually villainous Gul Dukat. Together, they work to keep the Demilitarized Zone free of weapons and conflict.

The nice thing about the episode is that it fails to solve the essential conflict. Whereas the Star Trek The Next Generation episode "Journey's End" (reviewed here!) tried to wrap the conflict up by the end of the episode, all that is resolved here is the personal conflict between two old friends. The larger political ramifications remain and legitimately so. The conflict is a significant one; there's no reason it ought to have been tied up by the end of the episode. That works.

Also notably absent from "The Maquis, Part II" is the canned character conflict between Sisko and Kira. Instead, they have a nice moment acknowledging some of the strengths and weaknesses of humanity in the 24th Century (Or in our times if you want to be allegorical). Bernie Casey's acting is less stiff. In fact, while "Part I" was more of an investigation, "Part II" is a rapid series of realizations and conflicts. After watching "The Maquis, Part I," it's almost impossible to not want to watch "Part II." And not just for the Trek fan, but for the person watching for good television.

Marc Alaimo, who plays Gul Dukat, steals this episode. Alaimo has a way of projecting his voice to convey great emotions through his heavy prosthetics. In "The Maquis, Part II," Alaimo goes from rage to a quiet sense of loss within lines and his performance is worth the price of admission alone!

So what keeps "The Maquis, Part II" from being an excellent episode? Not much. It's all minutiae: the obvious question of why the smuggler's acknowledge Gul Dukat if he's fallen so out of favor is the only one that comes immediately to mind. In short, "The Maquis, Part II" is an easily accessible conclusion to the investigation into the destruction of the Bok'Nor and the outbreak of hostilities between the Cardassian and Federation colonists in the Demilitarized Zone.

This is a fitting piece of the Cardassian plot of Star Trek Deep Space Nine and thus part of the essential Star Trek Deep Space Nine. This also marks the spawning of the Maquis subplot that will run through early in Season six. While this episode amply sets up Voyager, Star Trek Voyager failed to use the conflict that is very real here at the beginning. It's a shame; the studio said they didn't want another Star Trek Deep Space Nine. Too bad; had they kept the tension as real as in this episode, I might have stuck with Star Trek Voyager!

[Knowing that VHS is essentially a dead medium, it's worth looking into Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - The Complete Second Season on DVD, which is also a better economical choice than buying the VHS. Read my review of the sophomore season by clicking here!


For other Star Trek episode, movie or DVD set reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2011, 2007 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

| | |

No comments:

Post a Comment