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Old October 31 2011, 06:35 PM   #155
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Re: TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

The Nagus (**)

Ah, here we go, the first Ferengi comedy episode. The problem with this episode, and it's a problem with quite a few of the Ferengi episodes, is that it's just not all that funny. The Ferengi characters can be funny, but it's usually when they're interacting with non-Ferengi, and the problem with Ferengi comedy episodes is that it's usually about the Ferengi interacting with one another. The Ferengi by themselves aren't inherently funny, they need a straight man to work against (such as Odo), but there's no straight man to be had here, so you get repetitive jokes about profit and greed for an hour.

One noticeable problem with this episode when rewatching it is how out of character Rom is. I suppose you could make the argument that Rom evolved over time due to his interactions with Starfleet types, but it still seems like a stretch that Rom would be willing to kill Quark when such an integral part of his character later on is how important family is to him. Another issue is that Quark and the others are willing to let Rom off the hook at the end. Even if you buy into the notion that Quark forgives Rom because he's proud of the initiative he has taken, that still doesn't explain why Odo lets him get away with setting off a bomb on the promenade. It's a lazy resolution that makes this episode feel less than satisfying.

What rescues this episode is the b-story. Once again, it focuses on the Sisko/Jake relationship in a touching, realistic way, the relationship with his son is the key thing that makes Sisko stand out from Picard at this point. They're also doing a good job of keeping Jake from falling into the same pitfall that Wesley did, he's just a normal kid that more interested in being a good friend than in whatever mess the senior staff are involved in. But the best thing about this episode is the development of Nog, he's not just a stereotypical Ferengi troublemaker, he's eager to learn and improve himself. I've said it before, Nog undergoes the most impressive character transformation in Trek, and this is the first step on his journey.

Also, the first mention of Bajor's Fire Caverns. It's great how the writers took a throwaway reference like that and made it into a major location later in the show.
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