(*No photo of Michael Eddington or his actor Kenneth Marshall is in Getty, so enjoy Chase Masterson, who played Leeta on DS9*)
Michael Eddington only had a brief run on the show and was played marvelously by Kenneth Marshall. Eddington was a Starfleet officer who broke ranks and betrayed Starfleet by taking up with the Maquis. While Eddington wasn’t the only one within Starfleet who was associated with the terrorist cell, he was arguably the most impactful.
Unlike Ro Laren and Calvin Hudson, both officers who turned and joined the Maquis, Eddington felt more like a betrayal. Edding was portrayed as someone who was loyal and honest, despite even sabotaging his own ship on orders from a superior officer.
The big crescendo for Eddington would come near the end of season four. After largely being a C-character in the background for six episodes prior, Eddington would reveal his insidious betrayal to Benjamin Sisko in the 21st episode of season four entitled, “The Cause”. He would betray all that he should for, and side with the Maquis. Because of his closeness with the crew and serving under Sisko for nearly two entire seasons, he became Sisko’s number one enemy for a short time as Sisko’s other nemesis was going through his own arc.
Eddington would taunt Sisko by calling him Javert, a reference to Les Miserables, who in the play was a man who followed the letter of the law to it’s fullest extent. Something Sisko had lived up to until this point. Ironically, it would be Eddington who began pushing Sisko past his established line of morality, causing the Starfleet captain to use biological weapons to flush out the Maquis.
His eventual turn to the darker arts came in In the Pale Moonlight, in season six. Sisko betrayed all he was by enlisting Garak to help bring the Romulans into the Dominion War. He even did so knowing, subconsciously, that Garak would go to any means to accomplish this mission. Something Eddington became the catalyst of. Without Eddington, Sisko may not go full dark side in order to win the war.
A great villain changes you forever, even if you “win”.