Ferengi Love Songs (*)
This is yet another episode that I put off watching for far too long, but I finally worked up the courage. It's bad, it's stupid, it's annoying, and it's not funny. The episode contains a lot of the worst of DS9 while containing very little of its best, I dread to think that somewhere in the world somebody is tuning into DS9 for the first time and this episode will completely shape their opinion of the show.
Ishka is never going to show up on a list of DS9's best characters, but it's still disappointing how her portrayal has devolved between Family Business and this episode. She used to be a determined Ferengi feminist, willing to stand up against the oppression in her society and within her own family, but at the same time she still loved her family and was willing to make a sacrifice for them. She was about as good as you could expect from a female Ferengi character. which isn't saying that much, but it's something. Hardly any of that is present in this episode, here she is portrayed like a teenage girl falling for her first crush. She's whiny, over-emotional, annoyingly smitten, and just a little clueless. I don't blame the new actress for this change, that's just the way the character was written this time around.
So, why the one star? Partly because my expectations were so low going into the episode that it managed to rise slightly above them, and it's partly because of Brunt and the always watchable Jeffrey Combs. Just like Ishka, Brunt isn't a great character, but he's probably the best Ferengi villain we can ever hope to see. He can be annoying, just like all the other Ferengi characters, but he's a pretty good foil for Quark.