One of my favorite films growing up was a classic western called The Magnificent Seven. In it, a small town is besieged by a group of villains and they soon ask for the help of a small group of gunfighters. The story has been done a multitude of times, with the ‘original’ film actually a remake of a Kurosawa film by the name of Seven Samurai. Today’s episode is an homage to those classic films but done in a way that only Star Trek can manage, through a group of Ferengi. Originally airing on January 1, 1998, this is The Magnificent Ferengi.
Station Log Stardate Undetermined: Magnificent Ferengi
Ishka has been captured by the Dominion and it is up to Quark to form a team to rescue their mother before she is lost forever.
Quark is having a good day, It seems everything is going well for him including obtaining a rare ‘syrup of squill’ much to everyone’s delight. His good day is short-lived when his success is overshadowed by several Federation officers returning from a mission from behind enemy lines. Disappointed at being upstaged, his day gets worse when he receives a call from The Nagus and learns that Zek wants Quark to rescue Ishka (Quarks Mom) from the Dominion.
After discussing the matter with his brother, Quark begins to put together a team of the toughest Ferengi they know. Before long they find themselves with a ragtag team including Eliminator Leck, Cousin Gaila, Quark, Rom,Nog and, much to everyone’s surprise,Ex-Liquidator Brunt. It soon becomes apparent, however, that the six have no chance when they find themselves quickly defeated in a holosuite simulation. They soon figure out that they are not cut out for an all out attack, what they need is a trade. After talking with Kira and Sisko, they obtain one in the form of Keevan, the captured Vorta.
With Keevan in tow, the ragtag group make their way to Empok Nor, another abandoned Cardassian station similar to DS9. Getting there ahead of the Dominion, they setup base-camp in the infirmary and begin their plan of attack. The next morning they are surprised to find Keevan has escaped and the group rush to track down the runaway Vorta. Just as they track him down they are shocked by a proximity alarm causing the group to rush back to their base camp with the recaptured Keevan. They are soon shocked to see a small army of Jem’Hadar waiting for them, trapping them in their makeshift base.
Realizing that they set up this rendezvous, Quark, Rom and Nog venture out to meet with Yelgrun, the Vorta sent to ‘negotiate’. Quark instructs Yelgrun to send his Jem’Hadar away before they begin the prisoner exchange. After some negotiation, and confirming that Ishka is not a changeling, Yelgrun reluctantly agrees to the terms. Things are going well until Rom mistakenly mentions how much they are making on this rescue. This slight misstep results in the accidental death of their one negotiating chip, Keevan, at the hands of Cousin Gaila.
Now without a prisoner for the prisoner exchange, they are shocked when Nog discovers a way to ‘reanimate’ Keevan’s corpse using neural simulators. In a move out of weekend at Bernie’s, Quark manages the prisoner exchange using the neural simulators to walk Keevan’s corpse to Yelgrun. When it looks like things are falling apart, the rest of the Ferengi attack the Jem’Hadar and take Yelgrun captive as a gift to Star Fleet for their help. The mission is a success, despite themselves.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
This is one of my favorite stand alone episodes and certainly one of my favorite ‘Ferengi-centric’ ones. Over the course of the series we have seen some serious character development from Quark, Rom and Nog. With Quark realizing how important his actual friends are, Rom finding the courage to get out from his brother’s shadow and Nog abandoning Ferengi tradition to become the first Ferengi Officer in Star Fleet, there has been significant growth for these three. While it doesn’t really do anything to move the larger narrative forward, this as almost a culmination of everything we have been seeing so far in the Ferengi story lines bringing together nearly every major Ferengi seen on the series so far with the exception of Zek who is mentioned but does not appear.
Overall, this is a fun and enjoyable moment that calls back the lighter nature of the series before things begin to take a darker tone. The war with the Dominion is far from over but it is episodes like this that remind us just what these people are fighting for.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- This is not the last time we see Empok Nor, the wayward station will return…
- A keen eye will recognize musician Iggy Pop in the role of Yelgrun. While he does not return to the series, this role marks his place in Star Trek history.
- We also learn that the air-duct system in DS9 is a pretty easy way to get around, even leading to a certain Captain’s office.
Thanks for reading the Retro TV Review, I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you, one episode at a time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday! Next Review: Waltz
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Late To The Game 12/27/2019
Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available. Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.
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