Saturday, August 4, 2012

The House of Quark

**** (4 stars out of 5)
Business is slow at Quark's. Rather than drinking their problems away, people are wallowing in terror about the Dominion somewhere else... church maybe.

That is, until a drunken Klingon falls on his own knife while trying to sheath it in Quark. The dead guy, (head of the House of Kozak) pays his hefty bill in spades as Quark regales the morbidly fascinated crowd with self-serving lies of how the bartender took Kozak down in self-defence with extreme prejudice.

And if Klingons should happen to make a scene about it? "I'll stand up, look them straight in the eye, and offer them a bribe."

The bribery plan fails utterly as Kozak's widow Grilka abducts Quark to the Klingon home world of Kronos for a knifepoint wedding. She's desperate to keep her lands and property from her House rival D'Ghor, and she can't do that without a male heir or unusual circumstances. (One prays she's gunning for 'unusual circumstances'. Their kids would be ugly enough to open rifts in space-time.)

Keiko closed the school when all the Bajoran families fled the station. Miles tries to cheer her up with romance, and, failing that, some potted plants in a disused cargo bay, but finally he proposes she go back to her career passion. She'll pack up the kid and run a botanical survey of Bajor's unexplored Janitza mountains for the next six months. (Correct. There's an UNEXPLORED mountain range on a 500,000 year old space-faring culture's home world. Must be one of those brand-new mountain ranges imported by the Cardassians? I'd much rather they'd said a nearby moon.) 

Speaking of moons, Honeymoon Quark proves D'Ghor used financial trickery to weaken Kozak's house. But Chancellor Gowron and the High Council can't follow his economics lecture on their kPhones. It comes down to a Klingon's word against a Ferengi's. Only a duel will do.

After running out on his wife in the middle of the night, Quark son of Keldar returns wielding a bat'leth. And dramatically throws it on the floor. Kneeling, he points out how dishonourable a fight this is. D'Ghor shrugs and moves to kill. Gowron has seemingly picked up a lot of honour in the years since he probably poisoned the last guy on this throne, because he turns the Imperial back on D'Ghor and gives Grilka 'unusual circumstances' status to run her own house. She quickly gives Quark a divorce with the back of her hand.

"The House of Quark", you might imagine, is for Quark fans only. And you'd be right, but thankfully I am one. DS9 was not bad at comedy but let's just say it was rare. So indulge me if my favourites tend to be the farcical ones. Additionally: it is a measure of how little anyone cares what happens to Quark that he can be abducted to the Beta Quadrant (what should be a weeks' travel AT THE ABSOLUTE MINIMUM and by all rights should be well over a month) and no one will notice, much less go looking.


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  2. Armin Shimmerman has such great comedic timing! Quark could have been a horrid character, if the Ferengi on "The Next Generation" were any indication, but Armin turned the character into comic gold, worth his weight in gold pressed latinum! Max Grodenchik as Rom was usually just as funny. However, I think they did go a bit too far with this funny Ferengi format in the episode "Profit and Lace," the one where Quark undergoes a temporary sex change.

    1. My thoughts on 'Profit and Lace' upcoming, and they are much like yours.