Episode 7: Rules of Acquisition
Quark: [smiles] I see you know your rules.
Pel: [nods] All 285 of them. And the various commentaries as well… I don’t plan on being a waiter forever.
A group of Ferengi are playing a game of Tongo w/ Dax (Terry Farrell). Pel (Helene Udy), a new Ferengi waiter in the bar, has an idea to ensure that customers are always thirsty. Suddenly, Quark (Armin Shimerman) gets a message on subspace from Grand Nagus Zek (veteran actor Wallace Shawn), who has chosen him as the chief negotiator for new business opportunities in the Gamma Quadrant. First, Quark must prove himself by negotiating w/ the Dosi to acquire 10,000 vats of tulaberry wine. Zek believes this can be the key to opening other markets. Zek convinces Sisko (Avery Brooks) and Kira (Nana Visitor) to have this conference on DS9.
Zek: Most of my information consists of little more than hints and whispers, but it’s enough to convince me that whoever learns the secret of the Dominion, whatever that may be, will learn the secret of the Gamma Quadrant.
This ep was written by Ira Steven Behr from a story by Hilary Bader and edited by Robert Hewitt Wolfe (who started on TNG). Behr was responsible for fleshing out the Ferengi (one of his favorite aliens). It’s the first ep that mentions “the Dominion,” the Gamma Quadrant power which will dominate later on in the series. Shawn is always fun to watch; even under layers of prosthetics, he still has a big personality and twinkle in his eye. Even in his advanced age, Zek has an eye for women; he hits on Kira several times! The Ferengi were often used as comic relief, but this ep is deeper (focused on gender equality).
Episode 8: Necessary Evil
[In a flashback scene]
Kira: Unofficially or not, you’re working for the Cardassians. Sooner or later you’re gonna have to choose whose side you’re on.
Odo: I don’t choose sides.
Kira: Everyone has to choose sides, Constable.
Quark is on Bajor negotiating w/ a glamourous woman, Pallra (Katherine Moffat), who wants him to retrieve a hidden strongbox from DS9. Quark and Rom (Max Grodenchik) have no problem finding the box, but Quark’s curiosity makes him open it. He finds a list of Bajoran names, but before he can copy it, he gets shot! Odo (Rene Auberjonois) is immediately reminded of a case several yrs back, when he was forced by Gul Dukat (Marc Alaimo) to investigate the murder of the owner of a chemist’s shop, Vaatrick (husband of Pallra).
Odo: [voice-over] Nobody ever had to teach me the justice trick. That’s something I’ve always known. A racial memory from my species, I guess. It’s really the only clue I have to what kind of people they are…
This great ep was written by a veteran of TV series, Peter Allan Fields; it’s a mystery w/ elements of film noir (a genre I’ve been watching a LOT in quarantine). There is murder, a detective (Odo), a femme fatale (Pallra), and secrets to be uncovered. The elaborate costumes and headpieces worn by Pallra reminded me of the 1940s. This was Odo’s first case as a (unofficial) lawman and the first time he and Kira interact. The lighting and mood of the flashback scenes showed us how dark and depressing DS9 used to be under the Cardassian occupation.
Episode 9: Second Sight
It has been 4 yrs since Sisko’s wife died and he is a bit down lately. He’s walking late one night on the Promenade, when suddenly he gets approached by a beautiful woman, Fenna (Salli Richardson). Sisko talks w/ her, but she disappears suddenly. He sees her again the next day, but when he asks personal questions, she disappears again! Sisko asks Odo to investigate. Meanwhile, Dax is working w/ the brilliant/egotistical Prof. Gideon Seyetik (veteran actor Richard Kiley; the dad from The Thorn Birds), famous for terraforming planets. He’s on DS9 to prepare for his most ambitious project- re-igniting the dead star (Epsilon 119). Terraforming technology is based upon the Genesis Device (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan). Some viewers commented that this ep isn’t very interesting (I agree); it reminded some of TOS (not in a good way)!
Episode 10: Sanctuary
Haneek: Men are far too emotional to be leaders. They’re constantly fighting amongst themselves. It’s their favorite thing to do.
DS9 beams aboard four aliens who just traveled through the wormhole on a damaged ship. The universal translator has a hard time picking up their language, but eventually they identify themselves as Skrreeans. The female, Haneek (Deborah May), tells they are a race conquered by the T-Rogorans, who in turn were recently been conquered by the Dominion. Most of their leaders were killed; now 3 million Skrreeans are looking for a new home. According to legend, their ancestral home is located behind “the Eye of the Universe” (the wormhole). Sisko and Kira agree to help and soon hundreds of refugees visit the station. While Sisko thinks he found a fine planet to relocate them- Haneek makes a discovery of her own.
Odo: It’s gonna get awfully crowded around here, Commander.
Sisko: I know, Constable, but it’s worth it. Just look at them. They’re experiencing their first taste of freedom.
The music Varani (veteran actor William Schallert; dad of Doogie Howser, MD) is playing in Quark’s bar is a variant of the DS9 theme song. Schallert played Nilz Baris in TOS (The Trouble with Tribbles). Andrew Koenig, who plays Tumak, is the son of Walter Koenig, who played Pavel Chekov in TOS. Kitty Swink, who plays the Bajoran minister Rozahn, is Shimerman’s wife. This is also the first appearance of Leland Orser on a ST show.
This ep contains the second reference to the Dominion; the race which Haneek mentioned as having conquered the T-Rogorans were presumably the Jem’Hadar. It starts out somewhat light/comedic, but then the aliens get developed and the tension builds. I got invested in the story, which brings to mind the real refugee crisis (in our modern world). I’m not sure why it has such a low rating! Michael Piller decided to write a downbeat ending to this ep and invert the happy one in Frederick Rappaport’s teleplay. Piller felt the story would carry more resonance; Behr liked the dark conclusion.