"Captive Pursuit" Plot Summary:
An unidentified vessel carrying a single reptilian alien comes through the wormhole from the Gamma Quadrant. The alien Tosk, who has the ability to become invisible, needs virtually no sleep or food but is desperate for repairs to his ship, so O'Brien agrees to help him. While he is incarcerated for trying to steal weapons, a group of uniformed and armed aliens come from the Gamma Quadrant, impervious to Starfleet weapons and uninterested in introductions. They declare disgust at having found Tosk a helpless prisoner, making Sisko realize that Deep Space Nine has become an arena for an alien sporting event - the struggle between the Tosk, bred to be hunted, and the race which pursues them.
Citing the Prime Directive, Sisko realizes that he must hand Tosk over to his pursuers, but when O'Brien helps Tosk escape against Sisko's direct orders, security is notably slow in pursuing. Later Sisko chews O'Brien out as he is obligated to do, but smiles once he is alone at Tosk's escape to the good hunt.
A ripoff of several similarly-themed science fiction stories about the evils of hunting, most memorably Roger Zelazny's Eye of Cat, this episode was entertaining but not particularly enlightening. It could as easily have taken place on the Enterprise as on a space station, so there was nothing which contributed to this series or to the franchise as a whole. And I really disliked Sisko using the noninterference directive as a reason for turning Tosk over to the hunters - the noninterference directive is supposed to concern infringements into other societies, particularly pre-warp societies, not with alien problems erupting on a Starfleet-run station. That was a copout answer; O'Brien's solution was much better, and I'm glad Sisko realized that even if he didn't have the werewithal to come up with it himself.
Deep Space Nine Reviews