To Boldy Sew: Star Trek Deep Space Nine S02E07: “Rules of Acquisition”

To Boldly Sew is a recap of DS9 episodes, with a specific focus on the fashions of the many aliens and other characters that make up the series. Feel free to discuss matters of plot and general Star Trek things in the comments. 

All screenshots come from trekcore.com, which is the same place as the original TNG fashion blog (http://sttngfashion.tumblr.com/).


Oh yay a Ferengi episode

Morn is sleeping on a couch on the Promenade. I didn’t know there were couches on the Promenade.

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You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.

Odo wakes him up and tells him to go home. Morn gets up and wanders over to Quark’s, but the door is closed.

Inside, some people are playing a game. Several Ferengi waiters are playing something that involves holding round playing cards, spinning a wheel, and tossing money into a pot in the center of the table.

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They’re all wearing the same boring uniform that I suppose Quark’s waiters usually wear. Green jacket, green shirts. Yawn. The cards are interesting because they’re a circle shape, but that’s not even that unusual. I think I had circle-shaped cards as a kid. They were kind of a pain to shuffle.

The wheel stops at Dax, and she is thinking. Quark tells her it’s her turn. She says she can think better if Quark takes his hand off her thigh. He plays innocent. She finally says she’s going to confront, and sets down her hand. The other Ferengi grumble, and she starts to take the latinum from the pot.

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Quark is wearing the darker paisley jacket. It kind of disappears in the dim lighting here.

“Doesn’t she ever lose?” Rom asks, and Quark asks how she got to be so good at Tongo. She says Curzon played it all the time. Rom feels better, as Curzon is beating them and not this female. Dax says she is better than Curzon ever was. Quark says she’s prettier also. Rom says he prefers Ferengi females who never wear clothes, talk back, or play Tongo.

Dax asks if that’s really how they prefer their women, naked and submissive. Quark asks if she’s volunteering for a lifestyle change. She says “you wish,” and he says “I really do.” Dax begins a new game, setting the opening bet at 5 strips of latinum.

Rom and another Ferengi begin arguing. The Ferengi is a young waiter. He offers something to Quark that he says is a way to double his beverage profits. Quark tastes it, then drinks.

“As I told you, he immediately reached for his drink,” the young waiter proclaims. Quark agrees, and asks for more of the stuff. Again he drinks right afterward. He is astonished, saying he doesn’t even realize he was thirsty, and asks for details. The waiter says they are sand peas that inhibit the secretion of the salivary glands and dry out the tissues of the tongue. He suggests replacing the complimentary dishes of lokar beans with these sand peas.

Quark asks the waiter’s name. Pel. Pel asks what he thinks of this idea. Quark quotes the 59th Rule of Acquisition – Free advice is seldom cheap. Pel quotes the 22nd rule – A wise man can hear profit in the wind. Quark is impressed he knows all the rules. Pel says he doesn’t plan to be a waiter forever.

Rom says Pel is fired, but Quark tells him to shut up and says Rom has the weak lobes of a female when it comes to business. He asks Pel why he came to the station. Pel says he wanted to learn from the best, and then he and Quark together quote the 33rd rule – It never hurts to suck up to the boss.

There’s a beeping then interrupting them. It’s Grand Nagus Zek’s personal subspace frequency. Quark runs over to answer it.

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Nothing to say about Zek except that “hideous old Ferengi” is the best way to describe him.

Zek appears on screen and asks why he is surprised, as he said he’d be back. Quark says he’s looked forward to it. Zek compliments his sucking up.

Zek says the Ferengi expansion into the Gamma Quadrant is about to begin, and he’d like Quark to be his chief negotiator. Quark is astonished.


CUE THEME

Zek is in Sisko’s office. He offers Sisko and Kira some beetle snuff, but they decline. He partakes himself, then sneezes and blows his nose while Sisko and Kira try to hide their disgust.

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One of the weirder parts of the Grand Nagus is the gold staff with the Ferengi head. It’s just creepy looking,

I remember Zek’s servant wearing more purple last time, but a quick check at that recap (The Nagusepisode 10 of season 1) reveals that it’s actually the exact same outfit. Which makes sense; they probably wouldn’t go through the trouble of making a new costume for a character who doesn’t appear often.

Sisko says he heard Zek is planning to host a business conference at the station. Zek says, yes, with the Dosi, a race from the Gamma Quadrant. He thinks it’ll be profitable.

Kira implies that it will only be profitable for the Ferengi. Zek says the Ferengi reputation is for honesty. Kira says if you are smart you don’t do business with Ferengi.

Sisko says she’s made her point.

Zek says it’s of no concern of theirs how they do their business. Sisko says except when they do business on the station.

Kira spells it out: If they allow him to hold negotiations on DS9 and she finds out they’re cheating the Dosi, she’ll see to it he never sets foot on the station again. Zek compliments her eyes, saying they shine like fire diamonds.

He then asks if Bajor could use Brizeen Nitrate. Kira says yes, it’s a great fertilizer. Zek says he’ll let them have the whole shipment (50,000 kilos) as appreciation for her cooperation.

Sisko says he still needs assurances the Dosi will be treated fairly. Zek gives his word.

As he’s walking out, he says that he will give them the shipment at 25% less than his usual price. Sisko points out he just said he was giving it to them. Zed agrees they are all friends and says he’ll let them have it at cost.

Sisko says how about considering it a gift. Zek says this is not profitable. Sisko says it depends on whether he wants to conduct business here or not. Zek laughs and says his negotiating skills aren’t bad for a hu-man. He tells Kira the nitrate will be delivered promptly, and if she needs anything else to contact him personally.

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As creepy as Grand Nagus Zek is, I have to admire his fashion sense. He certainly has some wild colors going on here.


Zek tells Quark that his lopes are telling him it may be the most profitable opportunity in Ferengi history. Zek’s servant (whose name I have forgotten since the last episode he appeared in) is combing his ear hair, and Quark is pulling off Zek’s boots.

Quark asks for details on the opportunity. Zek says “tulaberries.”

They’re the main ingredient in tulaberry wine. Zek wants Quark to purchase 10,000 vats from the Dosi. In a year, they’ll have made tulaberry wine the most popular drink in their entire sector.

He yells at his servant to stop messing with his ear hair, and holds a mirror up. He likes it. Very distinguished.

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I will spare you the screenshot of Zek’s ear hair because I’d like you to keep reading and instead share you this picture of Quark and show you that he is wearing his lighter upholstery jacket. He has changed clothing since the tonga game.

Quark asks how these are going to be the most profitable deal in Ferengi history. Zek says they’ll establish a Ferengi presence in the Gamma Quadrant, and once Ferengis get their foot in the door, they’ll never get it out.

Quark sees it.


 

Back at Quark’s bar, Rom wonders what tulaberries taste like. Quark says it doesn’t matter, but he’s going to make history. Rom says he is proud of Quark.

Pel comes over and quotes the 48th Rule of Acquisition – the bigger the smile the sharper the knife. He walks away with drinks for a customer. Quark wonders about this and calls Pel back over to ask what he meant by this.

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Pel is wearing the Standard Ferengi Waiter outfit. Rom’s is similar, but just different enough to distinguish him. His coat is more upholstery style, with some darker edging, and he’s got a boring striped shirt beneath. The colors of the striped shirt seem compatible with the jacket, so I give Rom points for his fashion sense, even if the overall look is dull.

Pel asks if Quark wonders why the Nagus has put him in charge of such a lucrative opportunity. Quark says it’s because Nagus obviously knows that Quark has the lobes for business. Pel says that’s part of it. But also, if the deal is profitable, Nagus becomes the greatest hero ever, but if they fail, he’ll need someone to take the blame. So be careful.

Rom thinks Pel is telling lies and is jealous of his success. He tells Quark he will need an assistant to help him in the process, and volunteers for the job. Quark says no.

Quark goes back to Pel again and says he could use some help. Pel wants to be a partner. Quark says no, he needs an assistant. They negotiate and land on Pel getting 20% of what he makes.

Rom asks what he can do to help. Quark hands him a tray of drinks and tells him table 6 is waiting.


In Pel’s quarters, Pel looks at himself in the mirror and then goes beneath his bed and opens a small case. He takes out a tool and removes a pair of prosthetic ears, revealing that his real ears are smaller. Then he removes his jacket, revealing that he’s actually a female.

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GASP!!!

I wonder what Ferengi female style would look like, if Ferengi females wore clothing. Would it copy the style of the men so that they could prove they were as intelligent and capable as men, as human females have occasionally tried to do?


Quark, Sisko, Kira, Zek, and Zek’s servant are gathered together. Quark is wearing the new jacket that I love. He asks how he looks. Sisko says “nervous.”

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Zek’s jacket looks like it’s made out of some thick yarn, knitted together, but probably it’s an old carpet or couch sewn together. It’s remarkably less ostentatious than Quark’s outfit.

Kira says that Zek should be nervous with Quark as his chief negotiator. Zek taps her on the bottom (or so I assume, we can’t actually see the action). Kira tells him if he does that again, he’ll stick 50,000 kilos of brizeen right up his…

The airlock opens. Someone falls to the floor.

The Dosi appear.

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Okay, so my first impression is luchador. Actually, my first impression was wrestler, but add in a bright colored face and the luchador definitely comes to mind. Form fitting clothing with bright silver trim. It’s not clear if their faces are naturally red or if they paint them, but considering the man’s chest here is not red, I’m going to assume they’re painted. Interesting pattern on the face also.

The tall one says not to worry, it’s a minor disagreement.


 

The two Dosi sit across the table from Quark and Pel. Quark nervously asks if they want anything to eat. They decline.

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This is a rather small and confined space for such an important conference. I would have expected a large table. The two Dosi are wearing similar outfits. It’s not clear if the silver bands on the arm are technology or decoration. The male, who is sitting nearer the camera, has a permanent scowl on his face. The female looks slightly more sympathetic, but maybe that’s more a function of her face markings, which are lines down from the eye like the tracks of tears.

He says that as they know, the Ferengi are interested in purchasing 10,000 vats of tulaberry wine, and in exchange they have a list of things they are offering. Pel lists some of the technological things they are offering in exchange.

The Dosi says they will give him 5,000 vats. Quark says that won’t be enough. He wants to establish a vast distribution network. The Dosi repeats that he will give 5,000 vats. Pel says that the Nagus will never agree to that. The second Dosi, who is female, says that this is a waste of time and they should speak directly to Zek.

The other agrees. Why are we talking to this insignificance, she asks.

The male is angry. He tells Quark that he has made him look foolish. Quark says he didn’t mean to. The female says to bring them Zek.

Pel says that the Nagus asked Quark to represent him. The female gets up in Pel’s face and asks if Pel is implying that Zek is too important to negotiate with them. Quark denies it. The male says that if they kill Quark, Zek will have to talk to them.

Pel says that if they want to do business with the Ferengi, they talk to Quark. There is a tense moment. The Dosi back off and sit in their seats.

Quark asks again about the 10,000 vats. The male reluctantly agrees to think about it.


Back in Ops, Zek’s servant arrives. O’Brien asks if he can help him, but he ignores him and walks over to Kira and Dax and sets a small thing on the table. Kira asks what it is. He doesn’t answer. She picks it up.

Inside the box there’s an earring with some gems on it.

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Dax says it’s beautiful. Kira realizes it’s latinum. She starts to tell the servant that she can’t accept it, but he’s already on the turbolift and leaving.

Kira wonders if Zek thought the gift would get him anywhere. Dax says probably not, but that doesn’t stop a Ferengi from trying. Kira says it sounds like she admires them for that. Dax admits that she does in a way.

Kira says she doesn’t understand her attitude toward the Ferengi. Dax says that’s because she doesn’t socialize with them the way she does. Looking back over 7 lifetimes, she can’t think of a single race she’s enjoyed more. Kira asks if anyone has ever told she has very strange taste.

Dax says she admits they place too much emphasis on profit, and their behavior toward women is primitive. Kira says they’re greedy, misogynistic, untrustworthy little trolls and she wouldn’t turn her back on one. Dax agrees, but says once you accept that, you’ll find they can be a lot of fun.


 

Back at Quark’s, the Ferengi and Dax are playing their game, this time with Zek along.

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Once again, Dax is winning. Zek tries to take back his previous move, but Dax calls him on it. Trying to diffuse the situation, Quark suggests they play the round over.

Zek asks if Quark shouldn’t be planning strategy for the next day’s meeting. Quark says he’s thought of nothing else all evening, and tomorrow he should have an agreement.

Zek says he’s also been thinking and is not sure that 10,000 vats is enough – he wants 100,000. Quark says he’s not sure they’ll agree to sell even 10,000. Zek says 100,000 would mean more profit for both parties, and if Quark doesn’t get it done he’ll take over the negotiations himself.

Pel leans forward and says raising the stakes is a brilliant idea. It’ll show the Gamma Quadrant they mean business. No wonder Quark says he’s a genius.

Zek appreciates the flattery, and asks Quark to bring him some fresh tube grubs. Zek says the next challenge goes to Pel, but Pel declines and leaves the table.

Zek remarks to Dax that such loyalty must be expensive. Dax says you can’t buy that kind of loyalty. Zek says you can where he comes from.

Pel goes over to Quark, who is filling the bowl for the Nagus, and asks if Zek is always that impatient. Quark says he expects results, and expects Quark to get them, but it’s not making his job easier. Pel says he’ll get them, because he’s good, and with Pel helping he’s even better.

Quark asks why Pel is being so nice to him, and Pel says it’s for 20% of his profits.

Nagus calls for his grubs, and they go back to the table.


 

Dax finds Pel eating at the replimat and sits down. She says she didn’t know the replimat had Ferengi food. Pel says it doesn’t, and he likes to try new things.

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Pel seems to be eating scallops over rice pilaf, and a roll over some peas and carrots. Considering the meal appears on screen for approximately 2 seconds (I didn’t notice it while watching), there’s a remarkable effort to make this look like real food.

Dax says this is unusual for a Ferengi.

Pel says he never heard of a Trill who could play Tongo. Dax says she was impressed by the show of loyalty to Quark the previous night. Pel says he deserves it. Dax says any other Ferengi would let Zek pick him to pieces, but Pel is different. Pel says Quark really likes Dax and talks about her all the time.

Dax says Quark once convinced her to go to a holosuite, where he recreated the bedroom she slept in as a child after he overheard her describing it to Kira. Most details were wrong but it was sweet until he tried to kiss her. Pel agrees that this sounds like Quark.

Dax says she doesn’t care what anyone says, she loves Quark. Pel says he does also. Dax says “you really do, don’t you?” Pel says to keep her voice down. Quark doesn’t even know Pel is female.

“You’re a woman?!” Dax says loudly. Pel begs for her to keep her voice down. Dax says she knew there was something different, but she’d never met a Ferengi woman before. Pel says she probably never will again. On her world, women aren’t allowed to leave the house, wear clothes, or learn to read. She wanted more. Why not, she’s as smart as any man. She made a pair of synthetic lobes and became a man.

Why come here? Dax asks. To acquire profit, of course. There’s only one thing she wasn’t counting on. Falling in love with Quark. What to do? Dax says she doesn’t know, but there’s more to life than profit.

Quark runs up looking for Pel. It’s time, and he doesn’t want to keep the Dosi waiting. They rush off together.


 

The Nagus sits on the promenade drinking from a straw and watching passers-by. Kira comes by.

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From the back, Zek looked like he was wearing a denim jacket. There are sadly no screenshots of that. I can’t quite figure out what’s going on from the front. Shiny patterns on the arms, wide lapels, some gold design. Who knows.

Zek asks if they’d gotten the shipment promised. Kira confirms. Zek invites her to sit on his lap to thank him. Kira says she’s just come by to return something, and hands him back the earing. She says she can’t accept it.

Zek asks if something was wrong with it. No, she just can’t accept it. So a night of wild, passionate romance is out of the question? That’s right. He thought he’d ask.

She leaves, and he pinches her bottom as she passes. She doesn’t yell at him, but mumbles to herself that Dax must be crazy.

Quark and Pel come up. Quark comments that the view is nice, isn’t it? Zek asks if the negotiations are over. Quark gets down on his knees and says there’s no contract. He asked for 100,000 vats, and…

They left the station. He begged them to stay but they left.

Zek is livid. This is a complete catastrophe. It was Quark’s chance and he blew it. He may have seriously harmed future opportunities.

Pel pushes Quark aside and steps between him and Zek. Pel says they said they’d get the tulaberries and that’s exactly what they’re going to do. Quark and Zek are skeptical.

Pel says they’ll follow the Dosi to the Gamma Quadrant and get them to sign the contract. How will they get there? Zek’s ship.

Oh, Zek says, and I suppose you expect Maihar’du (that’s the name of his servant) to pilot it. Quark says that won’t be necessary – he can pilot the ship himself. Pel says it’s up to Nagus – does he want the tulaberries or not?

Zek agrees to let them use the ship, but he’s warning Quark – either he gets the Dosi to sign the contract or he’ll tend the worthless little bar for the rest of his life. Quark agrees and he and Pel leave.


 

Quark tells Pel he’s been waiting his whole life for an opportunity like this. Pel agrees. But so far it hasn’t turned out like he’d hoped. Pel says it’s not over yet.

Quark doesn’t understand why the Nagus is suddenly insisting on 100,000 vats. Pel doesn’t either. Is Nagus trying to sabotage the negotiations? Why would he, Pel asks. Quark has no idea.

Pel says Zek clearly knows more than he’s letting on about the Dosi, the tulaberries, and even the Gamma Quadrant. Quark says if Pel finds out what Zek is up to, let him know. Pel agrees. Quark says the only thing he’s done right is pick Pel as his consultant.

Pel says there’s something Quark should know. Quark says it’s no secret and he knows what Pel is going to say. Pel has been a great help, but he agreed to 20% of the profits, and that’s all he’ll get.

Never place friendship above profit, Quark says. Pel recalls this is the 21st Rule of Acquisition.


Back at DS9, Rom is running the bar and is stressed out.

Odo comes in and asks if he’s overwhelmed and when is Quark due back. Rom says he doesn’t know, Quark doesn’t even make time to insult him anymore, and Pel is stealing Quark’s affections.

Odo says he’s better off. Rom says he’s his brother and would Odo let someone steal his brother? Odo says he doesn’t have a brother, at least not that he knows of. Rom says if he did?

Odo considers and says that if he had a brother, even as worthless as Quark, he wouldn’t let anyone come between them. Rom is surprised. Odo leaves.


Rom tosses Pel’s quarters, digging through clothes and searching the bedsheets. There must be something he can use against him, he decides. He looks under the bed and finds the box with the prosthetic ears.


Meanwhile, Pel and Quark arrive at the planet where the Dosi live. They have some drinks and watch the Dosi argue. The female, who Pel addresses as Zyree, asks what the place is. She says it’s where opportunities are made. Quark thought it was a party. She says it’s all about profit, and the Dosi, like the Ferengi, are very serious when it comes to profit.

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An argument breaks out and a man is shot. Zyree emphasizes that they are very serious. Then she leaves.

Pel points out to Quark that the male they were negotiating with before has showed up. He sees Quark and Pel. Quark says it’s about time to get serious about profit and crosses the room. He pats the male Dosi on the back.

The Dosi turns around and asks if he isn’t on the wrong side of the wormhole? Quark says it feels there, but all he needs is his thumb on his lucrative contract and he’ll go home. The Dosi says he had his chance and turns away.

Quark pats him on the shoulder again. He turns back and says “GO AWAY.” Quark says not until they finish their discussion. The Dosi turns away. Quark pats him again. He says Quark is starting to annoy him.

Quark turns aside and dumps a bin of liquid which I guess is water on to the ground.

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Everyone is staring at him.

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He says “Sorry” in a voice that implies he’s not at all sorry.

The male Dosi turns back to him and says he should have killed him on the station. Quark points out that he didn’t because deep down inside he recognizes a good opportunity, and holds up the thumb scanner again.

The Dosi relents and says that he can have the 10,000 vats. Quark says 100,000. He says he already told Quark that’s impossible. Quark says he’s not leaving until he gets 100,000.

Fine. Then stay, he says. Quark groans.


Pel and Quark go to a room that I guess they’ve decided to stay in for the night. Pel asks if they wouldn’t be more comfortable on the ship. Quark says he wants to be right there in case Inglatu changes his mind. I guess Inglatu is the male Dosi’s name.

Quark lies on the bed and says not to worry as he doesn’t snore. Pel is concerned that the mattress is lumpy. Quark says it’s comfortable. Quark takes off his jacket. He says he’s getting undressed to go to sleep. Pel is increasingly uncomfortable and panicky.

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I’ve never paid much attention to Quark’s shirts before. But this one looks quilted. I wonder if it’s very warm.

Quark says he’s tired. Pel wonders if they should discuss strategy. Pel starts to quote the 103rd Rule of Acquisition but Quark says he’s tired and doesn’t care.

Pel offers a toast to profit. Quark agrees. They drink. Quark says he feels warm. He keeps trying to sleep but Pel keeps stopping him. Pel compliments him and quotes another Rule of Acquistion. Quark says Pel knows his rules. Pel says Quark has a nice smile and then kisses him.

Quark falls back on to the bed and Pel starts to climb over him, saying she has something very important to tell him.

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At that moment, the curtains to the room part and Zyree enters.

I’m not interrupting anything, am I? she asks. No, Quark says, definitely not, and they untangle themselves. She says she will come back tomorrow, and starts to walk away. Quark runs after her and brings her back, saying they can’t wait to hear what she has to say and could use the company. Pel agrees.

Zyree says she wants to give them some advice. Inglatu will never sell them 100,000 vats of tulaberry wine, not because he doesn’t want to, but because he can’t.

If he can’t, who can? Quark asks. No one. There aren’t 100,000 vats on the planet. Quark says they are finished. Zyree says if they really want that many vats, she can put them in touch with the right people for a price.

Quark agrees and asks who they have to see. The Karemma. Who’s that? An important power in the Dominion. What’s the Dominion? She says if you want to do business in the Gamma Quadrant, you have to do business with the Dominion.


Quark and Pel beam back to the Nagus’s ship. Quark realizes that Zek sabotaged the negotiations with the Dosi because that would get them to a more important member of the Dominion.

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Pel says they need to talk. Quark says they are talking. Pel asks if he doesn’t want to know why she kissed him. Quark says Pel never kissed him. She says yes she did. Quark doesn’t want to discuss it further.

They wish Zyree had told them more. Pel says maybe it’s a planetary alliance or trading consortium. Quark says whatever it is, it’s important and he wants a piece of it.


Back on DS9, Zek says he’s disappointed they don’t have the tulaberries. Quark says the trip was not about the tulaberries. It wasn’t? Zek asks.

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Zek is back to wearing what might be the same boring jacket from when they first met the Dosi. It looks more traditionally Ferengi and boring than his usual outlandish outfits.

Rom interrupts and says he must speak with Quark. Quark says he is busy. Rom backs off.

Quark starts to speak about the Dominion with Zek. Rom comes forward to interrupt again, and Quark physically shoves him aside.

Zek says most of his information is little more than hints and whispers, but whoever learns the secret of the Dominion will learn the secret of the Gamma Quadrant. Unfortunately the Dosi don’t know much. He was hoping they’d lead him to someone who knows more.

Quark asks how much such information would be worth to him. Zek says a lot. Quark asks what if he told him he could arrange a meeting between Zek and this powerful member. Zek says if he does that, he’ll see to it Quark earns a percentage of every Ferengi deal in the Gamma Quadrant. Quark is overjoyed.

Zek says to give him a name. Quark tells him the Karemma. Zek compliments his lobes for business.

Rom comes forward and pulls Quark back into the public area of the bar. We see him pull Pel forward and the three of them have a conversation we don’t hear. Then Quark faints.

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Quark wakes up in the infirmary. Bashir tells him he has a bump, but there doesn’t seem to be any serious damage. Quark says he’d like to rest for a few minutes. Bashir agrees. Rom is there.

Quark asks if Rom has told anyone else. About Pel? He hasn’t breathed a word and thought it would be best if Quark told Zek himself. Quark says no one will tell Zek anything.

Rom is appalled. She’s a female who wears clothes and is trying to earn profit. She even quotes from the sacred Rules of Acquisition. Such a female must be severely punished!

Quark says he knows that, but stops Rom from leaving. Rom wonders if Quark has feelings.

Quark says no, but if Zek finds out he’s been deceived by a female he’ll be ruined. Rom says if he doesn’t tell him and he finds out, he’s certain to be ruined. He tells Quark he has to tell him or he will.

Quark tells Rom to think of the bar. You still want it, don’t you? He doesn’t need it if he’s going to make himself rich in the Gamma Quadrant. Quark says he’ll transfer ownership of the bar if Rom agrees never to mention Pel to anyone. Rom plays along.


 

Quark goes to see Pel. She is not wearing the fake ears or her jacket, so she’s obviously female.

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He asks where her lobes are and demands she puts them on before someone sees her. She says no one will see her. He insists, and also that she put on the jacket. She takes the box and goes to another room.

He asks if she’s done packing. Am I going somewhere, she asks. As far away from the station as possible. But you need me, Quark, she says. I’m the only one you trust. Not anymore.

She comes out dressed as a man. He says it’s too risky for her to stay there. He gives her a box with ten bars of latinum and says it’s to help her start a new life. He says if she’s going to dress like a man she should act like one, and take the profit.

It’s not about profit anymore, it’s about love, she says. Spoken like a true female, he says. She says she loves him and she knows he cares about her too.

What different does it make if I do, he asks. You’d never be happy being a Ferengi wife. Come with me to the Gamma Quadrant, she says. No one there cares if she wears clothes. He says he’d care.

She says she guesses she’d better start packing.


 

Rom and Quark eat dinner together with Zek. Quark is not hungry. Zek says he must be too busy thinking about the latinum he’s going to earn.

The door rings and Pel comes in dressed as a man. Rom and Quark are astonished, thinking she had left already. She says she couldn’t leave without saying good-bye to the Nagus.

Zek says he’s glad Pel stopped by and predicts a bright future, as Pel surely has the lobes for business.

Pel marches up to his chair. You like my lobes, she asks. Yes, Nagus says. Good, she says, then you can have them. And she rips off the prosthetics. Quark immediately puts his hands over her ears to hide them.

Zek freaks out and screams as though he’s seen a ghost. A female!

Quark tells Rom to get lost. Pel tells Zek to leave Quark out of this. Zek is appalled that she would dare speak to him never mind give him orders.

Pel says to tell her about her bright future. Zek says that she has no future and she’s going to spend the rest of her life in prison. Quark steps up to defend her, and Zek reminds him that taking business advice from a female is also a criminal offense. Quark says he didn’t know. Zek says that stupidity is no excuse. One more word and he’ll have Quark share Pel’s cell.

Quark says to make the cell big enough for three. What will his associates say when word gets out Zek allowed a female to represent him in a business negotiation. Zek didn’t know she was a female. Quark says stupidity is no excuse.

Zek says it seems Pel’s identity will remain their little secret, but it’ll cost Quark his Gamma Quadrant profits. Zek says he always said Quark was a bright fellow. He goes to leave, stopping long enough to cry “shame on you” at Pel.

Quark says he hopes Pel is satisfied and sits on the couch. Pel sits beside him. She says she’s sorry but it’s time he learned that when it comes to profit, women are as capable as men. He says not to tell anyone else.

She says she should go, and invites him to come along. He says he can’t. She says she knows. They kiss.

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She says if she can’t have him, she’ll take those ten bars of latinum after all. She rubs his ears and he kind of melts. Then she leaves.


Dax is having a drink at Quark’s. He asks if she’s up for another game of Tongo. She asks if he hasn’t lost enough for one day. He says he doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

Dax says at Pel talked to her before she left. Dax says that she’ll miss Pel and she knows Quark will, too. Quark says that he wouldn’t let anyone come between them. Dax says nice try but she knows him better than that.


Stray Thoughts:

* I think I’m going to take a hot shower now.

* Leaving aside all the issues with the Ferengi, the thing that disturbs me most about this episode is Dax. Her conversation with Kira in particular just really made me mad. Oh yes, they’re “greedy, misogynistic, untrustworthy little trolls”, but she has fun with them. Maybe if Kira just went and played a game with them and was fine having her ass smacked, she’d have fun. Seriously? No.

* And what was with Zek freaking out about seeing a woman? I mean, it’s one thing to be misogynistic, but he freaked out like he’d never seen one before and she was a ghost. It was almost hilarious.

* Aside from even that? The episode is kind of boring. Halfway through, I was wondering what the conflict in the episode was. Pel is a woman, so obviously that was going to come up and be an issue, but it really wasn’t, until she revealed herself to Zek. There’s not a lot in the episode to make us see Quark from her point of view and understand why she has feelings for him.

* I could go on and on about all the things about this episode that really annoy me. But I think this might be the first time The Dominion is mentioned, so I guess there’s some plot advancement going on. Or is this a red herring? I don’t remember enough about the series’ overall arc to recall.