It’s Casablanca on DS9 in the episode that originally aired on March 20,1994. This is Profit and Loss.
Station Log Stardate Undetermined. Profit and Loss
A group of Cardassians visit the station and Quark is reunited with his lost love only to discover she is involved with something dangerous.
A damaged Cardassian ship arrives at DS9 where it is towed in saving the crew. Upon boarding it is clear that they are not Cardassian military but a teacher named Natima Lang and her students Rekelen and Hogue. They claim that their ship was damaged in a meteor storm and head to the promenade to await repairs.
In Quarks bar Julian and Garak discuss the merits of a certain General in Cardassian History when Quark recognizes Natima. Rushing out to see her, she slaps him causing him to swoon for his lost love.
Quark pursues Natima through the Promenade despite her reluctance to talk with him. She clearly wants nothing to do with the the barkeeper but he will not take no for an answer. Taking them to his bar, he brings her a drink and attempts to convince Natima to come back to him. It soon becomes clear that she has feelings for Quark still but is reluctant to admit it. Soon Garak sees Natima and her students causing the trio to panic and rush out of the bar. Something is wrong.
Back at ops O’Brien informs Sisko that the ship was not hit by meteors but damaged by Cardassian weapons. Natima admits that it was and informs Sisko that she is trying to save her students from being murdered by the Cardassian Central Command. It appears that they are dissidents who believe that Cardassia should not remain in the hands of the military. They are being hunted and now that Garak has seen them, they may not be safe.
Quark pays Garak a visit and buys a dress from the simple tailor. There he learns that Garak knows more than he lets on and that Natima is in danger travelling with her students. Quark buys a dress for Natima and visits her quarters telling her that he wants to help her escape the Cardassians pursuing her. He is still in love with her and tells her that he wants her back. She is still bitter at him for using her to steal from her employer and he wants to make it right. She informs him that she is now part of the Cardassian Underground but he doesn’t care. He is willing to give up everything, even his bar, to be with her. She doesn’t believe him despite his insistence that he loves her.
Soon a Cardassian war ship appears in an attack posture just outside of the station when Garak arrives at ops to talk with Sisko. Garak informs Sisko that Natima and her companions are terrorists and need to be returned to the Cardassian government. Garak informs Sisko that if Sisko refuses to return the dissidents, things may get bad. Sisko informs Garak that if anything should happen to Natima or her companions, he will take it personally.
Quark visits Natima’s students and tries to convince them to help him get back with his lover and, if they help him, he will get them off the station safely. He explains that he has a cloaking device that will work for about 15 minutes and he will give it to them as a favor to Natima.
Just after talking with Rekelen and Hogue, Quark visits Natima who informs the Ferengi that she has no intention to stay regardless of the deal he made with her students. She soon threatens his life with a Cardassian phaser. Just as it looks like he can talk her down she shoots him, knocking him down. Rushing to his side, Natima apologizes for shooting him, telling him that she loves and misses him. Sadly she knows she can not stay with him this time as she has responsibilities with the Cardassian underground. She knows that if she has to choose between Quark and the underground, she must choose to help her people. Just as things are looking up, Odo arrives and arrests Natima. Sisko informs Natima and her companions that they will be turned over to the Cardassian Central Command as they have agreed to release Bajoran prisoners in exchange for the trio. At that same time, Garak is visited by an old friend, one Gul Toran. Toran informs Garak that, should the Tailor want to return home, Garak will need to eliminate Natima and her students.
Quark visits Odo in the Security Office and, under the guise of business, he begs Odo to free Natima and her students. Odo see right through him and knows that Quark only wants to free Professor Lang. Quark admits that he is in love with Natima and is desperate to get her to safety. Quark begs the security Chief for his help, explaining that Odo is as dear to Quark as his own brother. Odo agrees but only because it is the right thing to do, not because Quark grovelled for Odo’s help.
Making their escape, Quark and the Cardassians rush to their ship with the Cloaking device installed. Just as it looks as if they are about to get away, Garak appears, preventing their escape. Soon Gul Toran arrives and informs Garak that he has no intention to redeeming the Tailor. Just as it looks as if all is lost, Garak kills Toran, vaporizing him with his phaser. Although they have a chance at life together, Natima chooses to leave with her students leaving Quark alone again. Quark, knowing he will never see her again, lets her go.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
Heavily inspired by Casablanca, this is one of my favorite Quark episodes, really establishing the Ferengi as ‘one of the good guys’. Although he will always be a Ferengi at heart, there is a little bit of a hero in Quarks soul helping to make him one of the most three-dimensional characters on the series so far. I love a good character development and Quarks is one of the most enjoyable to watch.
We also get to learn a little more about Garak and his place in the Star Trek universe. It becomes painfully obvious that the simple tailor still has contacts on Cardassia Prime even though he is an outcast. While it is unclear whether his exile is on his own accord or a forced one, he still has hopes of returning home one day. One interesting bit is that he fully admits to Bashir that he is in fact an outcast spy, even though the Doctor quickly dismisses the notion thinking the tailor is just playing with him.
All in all, this is a great episode.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
I do find it interesting that Quark comes in possession of a Cloaking Device and it is quite small compared to the one on Star Trek the Original series. It seems the past 70 some odd years has greatly improved that technology.
We never see nor hear from Natima or her students again. I would like to think that they survived and would eventually help rebuild Cardassia after the events of the series but we never found out. Sadly, she and Quark never saw one another again.
The role of Natima is played by Mary Crosby who just happens to be Denise Crosby’s aunt. Cool little connection to Tasha there.
New Rule of Acquisition…sort of
Rule of Acquisition #227 but we don’t know what it is because Quark didn’t get to finish his sentence. BLAST IT!
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Late To The Game 3/14/2021 (Originally published 5/20/2019)
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