It is a revolution in the House of Quark while Jake plays matchmaker. Originally aired on May, 15 1995, This is Family Business.
Station Log Stardate undetermined: Family Business
Quark is under investigation when he discovers that his own mother has broken Ferengi law and has been earning profit. Meanwhile, Jake and the crew are determined to get Ben Sisko a date.
Story A: A Profitable Parentage
Rom and Quark discuss Nog’s entry into the Federation as they tend bar when they are surprised by a visit from Liquidator Brunt who works for the Ferengi Commerce Authority.
After closing the bar, Brunt begins investigating the bar’s finances, indicating that Quark is being charged with a severe crime, violating a rare subsection of the Ferengi Trade Bylaws, After several bribes, Quark learns that he is being charged with improper supervision of a family member as their own mother, Ishka, has earned a profit.
Leaving the bar under Odo’s watchful eye, Quark and Rom head to the Ferengi homeworld with Brunt to confront their mother and force her to confess her crimes. Arriving at their childhood home, the trio are shocked to see their mother fully dressed and directly addressing the Liquidator. Brunt storms out, telling Quark he has three days to get his house in order.
Quark soon confronts his mother about her crimes, it appears that Ishka has earned three bars of latinum in a business venture and she refuses to imprint the confession that she broke the law. It is clear that there is something deeper going on and she is holding something back.
After an argument about Ishka and her situation, Rom has a discussion with his mother. There he learns that she feels that she has every right to earn profit and plans to keep it up. The next morning, Quark learns that his mother is a much better at business than he had previously thought, in fact, she has a vast fortune that will sink the family if it is discovered. Confronting his mother, Quark learns that his mother is a financial genius, and decides to expose her financial empire to the FCA. As Quark storms out, Rom stops him, informing his older brother that their father was failure at business and it was only because of their mother that they survived. After a brief fight, Ishka stops them, telling Quark to go to the FCA as she doesn’t care what is exposed.
Just after Quark arrives at the FCA, Rom appears and tells the bartender that their mother has agreed to share her profits with him in order to stop him from reporting her. Returning home, Quark apologies to his mother only to discover that Rom lied to both of them to get them to talk.
Quark and Ishka finally begin to talk, where Quark learns that he is more like his mother than he wants to admit. It seems that his father, Kalnar, didn’t have the lobes for business much like his son Rom but she is proud of them both. Reluctantly, Ishka agrees to relinquish her business ventures to the FCA if it will bring peace back to their family.
Ishka signs the confession, putting an end to the issues with the FCA. However, it seems that she has only admitted to what she was caught doing and, as Quark is heading out, Rom and Ishka discuss the fact that she only gave a third of her profits up to save the family. She has no intention to stop anytime soon.
Story B: Matchmakers in Spaaaaace!
Jake is delighted to find his father cooking Chicken Paprikash as it means Ben is in a good mood. However, when Jake mentions setting up his father on a date with Kasidy Yates, Ben makes it clear that he doesn’t need a matchmaker.
After being confronted by Dax about a date with Kasidy, Ben encounters Odo, O’Brien and Bashir attempting to break into Quarks to retrieve their dart board. As Ben leaves, he is once again confronted by his crew-mates about Kasidy, and he discovers that his son has practically informed the whole station about this potential new lover. Reluctantly, Ben finally goes to Cargo bay Four to meet with the freighter captain. While there, the two of them set up a coffee date and, to his surprise, Sisko leaves with a smile on his face.
At their date, Ben learns that Kasidy’s brother is a Baseball player on Cestus II and Kasidy invites the Commander to listen to a transmission of her brothers game. Jake is pleased to see his father happy for the first time in a while.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
This is a great character building episode that not only gives us a deeper look into the Ferengi culture but also begins establishing more of a foundation for our intrepid Commander of DS9, Benjamin Sisko by introducing someone into his life.
With what TNG did for Klingons, DS9 manages to really build the Ferengi past their feral and aggressive beginnings we saw in The Last Outpost. So far we have not only learned that they are an aggressively capitalistic society but their gender bias is pretty stringent as well.
Gender equality is practically nonexistent in Ferengi culture. Women are not only forbidden from earning a profit, they are not allowed to leave the home, not allowed to travel, not permitted to talk to strangers and, not even allowed to wear clothing. As we have seen in the past however, there are some females in the Ferengi Alliance who are tired of being oppressed and go to great lengths to do something about it. Enter Ishka aka Moogie, played by Andrea Martin.
We quickly learn that Ishka is a bit of a revolutionary on Ferenginar. Not only does she make a profit but she breaks just about every law she can think of in order to make her point. It seems that the only reason the family survived as long as it did was due to Ishka’s abilities with finances and it is a secret that she has finally decided to do away with. To her, there is no reason for females not to make profit and enjoy the freedoms males have to boot, so she begins her ‘criminal’ lifestyle much to the chagrin of her son Quark.
In many ways, Ishka and the women of Ferenginar are a great example of the Women’s Sufferage movement that started in the United States in 1848. Upset with how they were not allowed to vote, not allowed to own property and frankly treated, at best, as second class citizens, the women of the country begin a movement for equality. Taking over 70 years to be ratified as a the 19th amendment, women finally were give the right to vote in 1920. While we are still a long way from true equality, we are so much closer than we once were and far better off than the Ferengi for sure. As the series progresses we will see a lot more of Moogie as her exploits to free the women of Ferenginar are far from over.
In the secondary story we meet Kasidy Yates for the first time. Played by Penny Johnson, Kasidy is pretty much the definition of a self made woman. She is the Captain of her own freighter, a fully independent person and one that can really hold her own if needed. While she clearly doesn’t need a relationship with Ben Sisko, it would seem that our beloved Commander has a thing for strong women. This isn’t the last we will see of Kasidy either, in fact, expect to see more of her in the future as well.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- We see a glimmer of intelligence from Rom, something he has been good at hiding for most of the series so far. This is just a hint of things to come.
- It seems baseball is making a resurgence in the Star Trek universe.
- Once again we see Jeffery Combs back but this time as Brunt. Not only will Combs return, this isn’t the last we will see of Brunt.
- You might recognize Penny Johnson from another more recent series...
- This episode was directed by none other than Odo himself, Rene Auberjonois. It seems he has a thing for Ferengi.
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: Shakaar
If you would like to read more reviews I have a weekly series called Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday and for more retro TV goodness check out the rest of the Retro TV Reviews here.
As always, please feel free to comment below and share your experiences with these episodes as well. If you just happened by, tell me what you think! Don’t Forget To Follow me if you like the blog!
Late To The Game 7/3/2021 (Originally published 7/31/19
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.
“Star Trek and all related marks, logos and characters are solely owned by CBS Studios Inc. This fan production is not endorsed by, sponsored by, nor affiliated with CBS, Paramount Pictures, or any other Star Trek franchise, and is a non-commercial fan-made production intended for recreational use. No commercial exhibition or distribution is permitted. No alleged independent rights will be asserted against CBS or Paramount Pictures.”