The New Ferengi rules of Acquisition are introduced and they are not at all what Quark expects. Originally airing on February 20, 1995, this is Prophet Motive.
Station Log Stardate Undetermined: Prophet Motive.
After Grand Nagus Zek unexpectedly becomes a philanthropist, Quark does all he can to save the very foundation of the Ferengi Alliance. Meanwhile, Bashir is nominated for an unexpected award.
Story A: Profitable Prophets
After a rude and unwelcome interruption, Quark discovers that the Grand Nagus is moving in with him. After a few days Quark finds himself being forced to live with his brother Rom, who is a complete mess. As Quark complains about his brother’s messy home, the bartender discovers that Rom has been stealing from the bar in order to stock his own home. Even though Quark orders his brother to clean the house, Rom refuses, telling Quark to find a way to get his home back from the Nagus.
Quark storms over to his old quarters and forces Rom to get Quarks home back. They are surprised to find the Nagus in high spirits and enter Quarks home to find the place completely empty. They are even more shocked to find that the Nagus has rewritten the Rules of Acquisition but they are not what they expect, in fact they are the complete opposite of what a Ferengi is, with the first rule being If they want their money back, give it to them. It only gets worse from there…
After reading the new rules, Quark is determined to see why the Nagus has written this new book. Convinced it is some kind of devious plan, Quark tells Rom that they need to distance themselves until the Grand Nagus reveals his plans to them. The next day, the Nagus arrives at Quarks bar and buys everyone drinks on his own tab. The Nagus further infuriates Quark when he ruins a business opportunity for the bartender by undercutting a sale that he had already made. The Nagus indicates that it will be only a matter of time before they get used to the new ways. Quark soon discovers that the Nagus has started the Ferengi Benevolent Association, an organization designed to help others.
Quark is shocked to learn that Rom has been informed that the Nagus will be announcing a whole new Ferengi Alliance, one that will force everyone to become a new kind of Ferengi. The Nagus has plans to announce the changes on Ferenginar making Quark realize that there is something seriously wrong with the Nagus. There Bashir finds nothing wrong with the Nagus, even though it is apparent Zek has drastically changed his ways. Zek informs the Doctor that he has plans to give a gift to the Bajoran people the next day, something he is keeping a deep secret.
Desperate to discover the source of Zek’s madness, they attempt to break into the Nagus’ shuttle to find out what this gift it. Confronted by Maihar’du, they soon discover that the Nagus has found one of the missing Bajoran Orbs. Rom attempts to open the Orb box inadvertently causing Quark to have an orb experience. While in the experience, he realizes what he needs to do, he needs to confront the prophets in the wormhole to set things right.
Kidnapping Zek, Quark steals the Nagus’ shuttle and flies it back into the wormhole in the hopes that the Prophets will fix what they did to Zek. After arriving in the wormhole, Quark opens the orb box summoning the wormhole aliens. There he discovers that Zek has traveled to the wormhole where he requested a glimpse into the future in order to make a profit. As they found this a threat to the universe, they restored Zek to an earlier version of the Ferengi in order to help him. Quark demands that they fix the Nagus and soon explains the value of acquiring profit and the need to improve themselves. After a convincing speech, the wormhole aliens finally concede to changing Zek back in order to avoid dealing with the Ferengi species again. Quark soon finds himself returned where he finds a the Nagus has been returned to his old self with plans to sell the Orb to the Bajorans instead of gifting it to them.
After leaving, Rom reveals that while Quark was fixing the Nagus, Rom had been embezzling from the Ferengi Benevolent Association, making them both a tidy profit.
Story B: And the winner is…
Bashir is summoned to the ward room where he is surprised by his crew-mates when they tell him that he has been nominated to receive the Federations highest medical award, the Carrington Award. Shocked, he flees the party acting as if he is almost embarrassed at the nomination. Dax, who submitted his name, is not pleased with is reaction but discovers that he sees this award as a lifetime achievement award, something he feels he has no chance to get.
Even though he keeps denying that he has a chance to win, after having encounters with multiple crew members concerning the nomination, Odo discovers that Julian has been working on his acceptance speech in secret. Later, gathering to see the results, the crew learn that Julian has lost to another Doctor much to Bashir’s disappointment.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
While this is a fun one, this is very much a filler episode allowing for a moment of brevity after the more serious nature of the previous episode. That being said, while it is a good episode overall, it really has no impact on the series or even the Star Trek universe in any way. Then again, sometimes it is okay to just tell a story for the sake of telling a story, huh?
The think I found the most interesting in this episode was how the Wormhole aliens were able to alter Zek to a previous evolution of the Ferengi, at least mentally. Even though they claim to not directly interfere with the outside world in previous encounters, they seemed to have no issues changing this person completely. Makes me wonder if these were the same aliens we have met before or maybe a faction that want to involve themselves a little more directly. Regardless, it is never really explored again in the series.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
This episode was directed by none other than Odo himself, Rene Aberjonois, marking his directorial debut on the series. He will have another Ferengi centric one this very season. It seems although Odo is not fond of the big eared trolls, Aberjonois has a fondness for them.
We see one of the first Dart games between Julian and O’Brien, something we will indeed see again.
Yet again we hear about more Self Sealing Stembolts. Seems that these are as popular as Spacely’s Sprockets and Cogsworth’s Cogs.
This marks the first time the Wormhole aliens refer to Ben Sisko as THE SISKO.
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Late To The Game 6/5/2021 (Originally published 7/15/19)
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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