Friday, August 24, 2012

Prophet Motive

*** (3 stars out of 5)
Finally, the answer! Turns out self-sealing stembolts are used to make reverse-ratcheting routing planers! Which is breathlessly explained by Emi, the rich female mark... uh... investor, kneading Quark's ears like bread dough. And otherwise will never matter. It's what I do here. You're welcome.

Thanks to Dax's aging government contacts, Dr. Bashir is nominated for a prestigious Carrington Award but expects to lose: they tend to give it to doctors pushing 100 in recognition of a lifetime.

Speaking of the shining lifetime achievements of dusty old kooks, the Grand Nagus Zek has moved in with Quark, revised the Rules of Acquisition, and reduced his good and faithful servant Maihar'du to a sobbing wreck.

Exiled to Rom's filthy hovel, Quark finds it stocked and furnished from items pilfered from his bar.
But that's not as bad as The New Rules: liberal, democratic, and above all ALTRUISTIC rules.
The Nagus wants to move his people 'beyond greed'. Quark is convinced that when the Nagus goes public with the changes he (and whosoever is standing next to him) is going to get thrown from the Spire of Commerce, tallest building in the Ferengi Alliance.

Zek got religion. And, yes, it's contagious- he picked it up inside the wormhole: hoping to schmooze with the Prophets for Profit. The Prophets find GREED adversarial, and so they returned Zek to a purer, earlier stage of Ferengi evolution. Rather than have to spend any more time (or non-time?) listening to Quark complain about it, they put Zek back to normal.

Normal: a man who would just as soon blow his nose on you as steal the fillings out of your teeth. Hooray?

"Prophet Motive" is better than average, but not a favorite. The 'Carrington Award' B story never really goes anywhere, maybe because it's built around an inside joke (that ST:TNG lost an Emmy to something called Picket Fences, apparently). And yet Wallace Shawn makes everything better: even with Zek's morality on backwards. I like the bit where Zek's forgiving Quark for kidnapping him and humming loudly to himself inside the kidnap-sack.

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