Sisko sets out to bring traitor Michael Eddington in once and for all. But how far is he willing to go to settle his personal vendetta against him?
- Armor-Piercing Question:Eddington: Tell me, Captain, what is it that bothers you more: the fact that I left Starfleet to fight for a higher cause or the fact that it happened on your watch?
- The Bad Guy Wins: Discussed in the end by Sisko and Dax, as he opted to play the role of villain to Eddington's hero.Dax: Sometimes I like it when the bad guy wins.
- Cruel Mercy: In The Teaser, Eddington prevents Sisko's meeting with an informer. Eddington balks at the suggestion he killed him. He says the informer shuttle's engines were sabotaged and that he was left marooned on a planet in the Badlands. Sisko notes that all Eddington did was ensure him a slow death.
- Death Glare: Sisko gives one to Captain Sanders when he mentions how Eddington "fooled" him. Sanders tries to backspace this as a poor choice of words, but Sisko admits that it's appropriate.
- Explosive Instrumentation: The chief figures on this happening (in fact, it already has earlier in the episode) and chooses Nog as the makeshift com system because he'll be able to hear Sisko's orders over the explosions.
- Good News, Bad News: O'Brien rattles off a Long List of system failures and malfunctions before mentioning that the new holo-com is still working perfectly.
- He Who Fights Monsters: During the climax:Eddington: Can't you see what's happening to you? You're going against everything you claim to believe in. And for what? To satisfy a personal vendetta?
Sisko: YOU BETRAYED YOUR UNIFORM!
Eddington: And you're betraying yours right now! The sad part is that you don't even realize it. I feel sorry for you, Captain. This obsession with me, look what it's cost you!
- Heroic Sacrifice: This trait of heroes gets Invoked by Sisko to make Eddington surrender.
- Hidden in Plain Sight: Odo realizes this trope is in play when Eddington uses a Breen nursery rhyme as a Maquis signal. The lyrics are irrelevant—what matters is that it's Breen, and therefore a signal to rendezvous at a Breen colony.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Eddington wants to make Cardassian colonies unlivable for them? Then Sisko is going to do the same to every Maquis colony he can find.
- In a sense, by constantly referencing Les Miserables when mocking Sisko, Eddington gives him an important clue as to his worldview, which allows Sisko to turn the tables on him.
- I Shall Taunt You: Everytime he pulls one over on Sisko, Eddington calls him up on the Holo-communicator to gloat about it.
- Inspector Javert: A comparison brought up numerous times during the episode, due to Sisko's almost obsessive hunt for Eddington. Eddington even starts calling Sisko Javert, once again cherry-picking his perception of events to ignore the fact that he's done far more to wrong Sisko than Valjean ever did to Javert.
- Irony: Starfleet Security assigned Eddington because they didn't trust Odo. After reporting that he found more of Eddington's backdoor viruses in the station computer, Odo makes it a point to Sisko to remind Starfleet Security about it.
- It's All About Me: Eddington may accuse Sisko of making it personal, but he's also incapable of comprehending anything that contradicts his perceived role as a hero, just ignoring Sisko's observations that trying to fight for the lost colonies is preventing the human refugees moving on and finding their own homes and offering no real protest to Sisko's points that the treaty with Cardassia was more complex than Eddington lets himself acknowledge.
- It's Personal: Everyone knows Sisko is out for revenge against Eddington. He just doesn't care.
- Though initially, Starfleet did reassign the pursuit of Eddington to the starship Malinche because they felt Sisko was too close to the situation. Sisko bucked orders to go after Eddington, then took over the pursuit again when the Malinche was ambushed and knocked out of the fight.
- Large Ham: Sisko goes to town against Eddington, probably as a form of Obfuscating Insanity.
- Like You Would Really Do It: Invoked. Sisko threatens to unleash a biogenic weapon on a Maquis colony planet (rendering it uninhabitable for 50 years) and will continue to do so until Eddington surrenders. Eddington doesn't believe "the pride of Starfleet" would do it, but Sisko does. The rest of the crew is similarly surprised.
- Obligatory War-Crime Scene: Eddington drops chemical weapons on a Cardassian colony to drive out its inhabitants. Sisko retaliates by doing the same thing to a Maquis world.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: You know an order is hard to swallow when Worf actually has to ask for confirmation before carrying it out. He apparently thought Sisko was bluffing.
- The Only One: After being told that the Malinche is the only ship in the sector, but too far away to assist in the area where Eddington is operating, Sisko reminds his staff that there is another ship in the sector, and it's at docking bay three.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: The only way Sisko can defeat Eddington is to play himself up as the villain Eddington cast him as in his mind and use the same tactics the Maquis on Cardassian colony worlds; bombarding Maquis colony worlds with biogenic weapons and force them into becoming refugees until Eddington surrenders.
- Percussive Therapy: Sisko indulges in this with a punching bag while unloading his frustrations to Dax.
- Protagonist-Centered Morality: Eddington is the villain; you expect him to do bad things. But Sisko? The episode ends with him facing no consequences for using weapons of mass destruction on a civilian target and the displaced Maquis and Cardassian colonists simply trading planets.
- Repeat to Confirm: Necessary as many of Defiant's systems are hosed by Eddington's virus, including internal coms. As a result, Sisko has Nog relay orders from the Bridge to Engineering, as well as any responses/warnings.
- Sadistic Choice: Eddington leaves Sisko with a tough choice: rescue the ship carrying Cardassian refugees that he disabled and is about to fall into the planet's atmosphere, but let Eddington escape; or pursue Eddington, but leave innocent Cardassians to die. Sisko chooses to save the Cardassians.
- Then Let Me Be Evil: Eddington has a whole Valjean/Javert complex going on with him and Sisko. Sisko eventually realizes that to win, he must stop thinking he's the hero like Javert did.
- This Is Unforgivable!: Sisko already had a personal vendetta against Eddington specifically, but he believes the Maquis truly crossed the line by attacking the Malinche.
- Villain Has a Point: Eddington directly calls out Sisko for committing war crimes over his personal vendetta; Sisko's only real response is Appeal to Force by threatening to bomb a second planet.
- Comes up a touch ironic that Eddington sees using bioweapons on Cardassian colonies as a legitimate and humane tactic. But the moment it's used against him. It's the most horrible thing ever.
- What the Hell, Hero?/"The Reason You Suck" Speech: The whole episode is Sisko vs. Eddington.
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Eddington uses a fake distress call from a Cardassian freighter to lure in and disable the U.S.S. Malinche.