“Star Trek: DS9” – Season 1, Episode 10 (“The Nagus”)

[Rom has returned a beautiful woman’s lost wallet]

Quark: You worthless tiny-eared fool! Don’t you know the First Rule of Acquisition?

Rom: Yes, brother.

Quark: Then say it!

Rom: “Once you have their money, you never give it back.”

This teleplay was written by Ira Stephen Behr, who wasn’t a “father” of DS9 (like Piller and Berman), but raised it into a strong/unique sci-fi series. The main story of this ep has the leader of the Ferengi, Grand Nagus Zek (veteran actor Wallace Shawn) and his son, Krax (Lou Wagner), arrive at DS9. Quark (Armin Shimerman) and his brother, Rom (Max Grodenchik), are in awe and arrange for everything Zek needs. (The face seen on the Grand Nagus’ golden staff was sculpted to resemble Shimerman’s Quark.) Zek praises Quark’s business instinct; Quark fears that Zek wants to take over his bar. However, Zek tells Quark a conference will be held in the bar, where Ferengi politicians will discuss how to exploit business opportunities in the Gamma Quadrant (the world on the other side of the wormhole). Also, Zek plans to retire and appoint his successor.

Quark: Tell me, is the Grand Nagus here on business or pleasure?

Krax: Is there a difference?

In the B-story (secondary), we see adolescent growing pains, as 14 y.o. Jake Sisko (Cirroc Lofton) prefers to spend time w/ his friend, Nog (Aron Eisenberg), than his father. Chief O’Brien (Colm Meaney) has to substitute teach (been there- ugh), since wife Keiko is spending time w/ her mom on Earth. (The screen in the school behind O’Brien includes a figure of the aliens- Korob and Sylvia- from the TOS ep “Catspaw,” and also tribbles. In the back of the classroom, there is a poster containing the five USS Enterprise vessels.) Nog’s father decides that he doesn’t need to attend school (w/ humans). We discover Jake was teaching Nog to read (aww)! Sisko (Avery Brooks) earlier told Jake that humans and Ferengi were too different culturally to be friends.

Zek: [6th Rule of Acquisition] Never allow family to stand in the way of opportunity.

The Rules of Acquisition are mentioned in this ep. The scene where Quark meets Nava is a tribute to the The Godfather. Quark’s Corvan gilvo (the alien animal he holds), the way he scratches his ear, the blinds on the windows, and the dialogue (“Yet now you call me Nagus”) allude to the film. This is a light-hearted and somewhat funny ep where we get character development of Quark, Rom, and Nog. Sisko, Jake, Odo, and even Dax get their moments.

[1] The Ferengi are essentially the exact opposite of the Federation. The Federation has abandoned all market-based activities, including commerce, acquisition of assets, and even money itself; while Ferengi society is entirely based around those things.

[2] For those that enjoy broad farce and slapstick comedy… you might find a chuckle or two. Shimerman, in the midst of outrageous comedy, manages to inject some thoughtful dramatic moments as he struggles with his new found power and the added responsibilities (and dangers) it brings.

[3] Episodes like this really fulfill the core promise of DS9 as a show… Now we follow a crew that has the unknown come to them, and the consequences of those encounters are real and must be dealt with.

-Excerpts from IMDB reviews

One thought on ““Star Trek: DS9” – Season 1, Episode 10 (“The Nagus”)

  1. I’m kind of “meh” on the Ferengi in general (I have wondered for years if they’re supposed to be or are inadvertently an anti-Semitic trope) but I do enjoy the episodes where the older Ferengi show up — there’s a DS 9 episode where Quark has to rescue his mother.

    Like

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