For the Uniform
(Star Trek - Deep Space Nine episode production code 511)
written by Peter Allan Fields
Holy smokes, this is a crap episode. Considering what it tackled,
it could have and should have been a good one. We further
the story of our characters' struggles with Eddington,
and reach a number of interesting turning points.
But it becomes all about battles, while high philosophies
literally get turfed.
The episode deserves major points for bringing up high philosophies
in a unique way. Instead of adversaries of various alien races
who all look at life quite differently, today's "villain"
is former Starfleet, very well-versed in high philosophies,
and particularly those that our heroes espouse. Quite frankly,
a lot of the points he makes hit home, and very deeply.
In fact, a better resolution might have gone along the lines
of Sisko taking in what Eddington had to say, and truly
trying to better himself. This is what the core of Star Trek
should always be, but this episode not only abandons it,
but really drives hard in the opposite direction.
Part of the problem is the whole Starfleet approach to
the Maquis situation.
The Prime Directive should have a say here
in keeping them out of any war that this separate splinter group
has with the Cardassians. Which is not to say that they shouldn't
arrest Eddington for treason and put him on trial, but there
are limits to how important that is.
And the episode truly tanks when that becomes more important than
the integrity of a planet's ecosystem. Watching Sisko stoop
to his opponent's level in poisoning a planet just disengages
all my remaining emotional investment in the tale. I don't care
to root for Sisko or his crew of cohorts who didn't have the courage
to mutiny when they should have. What happened to the good
clever Star Trek solutions that bypassed all the half-baked
limiting ideas and wouldn't settle for anything less than ideal?
"I want another option!" Picard used to demand of his crew,
and ask and you shall receive, seek and ye shall find.
Sisko can't even bother, and acts instead like a bull in
china shop who has been taunted by a waving red cape and can't
control his temper. This is completely unimpressive.
"For the Uniform" is the kind of show that makes you feel like
you've just wasted an hour of your life that you'll never get back.
Star Trek's core is visibly eroded here, and the popularity of
the franchise's spin-offs furthered their tailspin dive.