Desiccated Ferengi and beaming babies all on the episode that originally aired on June 10,1996. This is Body Parts.
Station Log Stardate 49930.3: Body Parts
Quark begins to auction off his body parts when he learns that he is dying while Kira must carry the O’Brien’s baby in order to prevent the child’s death.
Story A: Slightly Used Quark for Sale
Rom finds himself with a more generous than usual brother when Quark makes him a drink ‘on the house’. Soon Quark tells his little brother the truth, he is dying.
Discovering the truth from his annual insurance physical, Quark has discovered that he has Dorek Syndrome and has only six days to live. He soon realizes that he has an incredible amount of debt to clear up before his death and Rom suggests selling off desiccated remains of his body on the Ferengi Futures Exchange. After much cajoling, Quark finally agrees to let his brother sell off his remains.
Quark is dissapointed when the bids for his body parts comes in at a low rate and Rom admits that he is the only bidder so far. Quark begins to lament his life when a bid for 500 bars of Gold Pressed Latinum comes in for the entire lot of 52 disks. Convinced that he will not get a higher bid, Quark accepts the offer hoping it to be from Grand Nagus Zek himself.
Soon, Bashir arrives and informs Quark that Doctor Orpax contacted the infirmary to inform Quark that a mistake was made, he does not in fact have Dorek Syndrome. Elated, Quark is excited to have the opportunity to sue his Doctor. Later, however, Quark is shocked when Liquidator Brunt shows up to collect his 52 discs of Desiccated Quark in six days time.
Brunt makes it clear that he will not leave until he gets the remains of Quark. Brunt see’s Quark as a blight on all things Ferengi and hopes that the Bartender breaks the contract to save his own life so that Brunt can destroy him and his family financially. Now Quark must find a way to stay alive and save his financial future at the same time.
Knowing he needs help, Quark visits Garak to hire the Tailor as an assassin. Rom is shocked when Quark asks the Cardassian to kill Quark himself and not Liquidator Brunt. Despite his brother’s best attempts to stop him, Quark makes the agreement. Soon, Garak and Quark begin experimenting in the holosuites on how he will be killed. After multiple simulations, Quark insists that his death be a surprise to which Garak agrees telling the Ferengi ‘you’ll never know what hit you.’
Quark goes to sleep that night nervous that he is about to be killed and wakes up in the Divine Treasury. Quark is greeted by Gint, who happens to look like his brother Rom, and realizes that he is dreaming. Gint tells Quark that he needs to break the contract with Brunt, revealing that the rules were just made-up and are just guideposts and suggestions. The book itself was a marketing ploy to sell copies. Quark realizes that if Gint comes to him in a vision and tells him to break the rules then he has no excuse. Brunt appears and begins to strangle Quark to cause him to die in his sleep. Quark awakes and realizes that he must live, no matter the consequences.
The next morning, Quark breaks the contract much to Brunt’s pleasure. Brunt announces to the bar that Quark’s assets have been confiscated and the bar is closed. Quark is clearly upset but at least he is alive.
With the bar emptied out with everything confiscated, Rom visits Quark. Quark is soon surprised when friends of his begin arriving with ‘gifts’ to help him get his bar back together. It is only when Sisko and his staff show up with extra furniture claiming to use the bar as ‘storage’. Quark is surprised to learn that his assets are more than just the bar and latinum but the friends and family he has made on Deep Space Nine.
Story B: Fetal Error
Chief O’Brien is lamenting his pregnant wife deciding to go to the Gamma Quadrant to study plant life. His fears are realized when the shuttle returns to DS9 damaged with Kira and Keiko hurt in the event. He is soon shocked to learn that it is Kira that is now carrying his child.
Bashir explains that an asteroid hit the runabout and he had to act quickly to save Keiko’s child. Unfortunately, due to the short gestation period of Bajorans. Kira must carry the baby to full term. Soon, Kira goes to visit Keiko and the two must learn to deal with the new situation.
Soon, Keiko and Miles ask Kira to move in with them to which she agrees on a temporary basis. Molly soon accepts the change by referring to Kira as Aunt Nerys.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
Director Avery Brooks manages to make a filler episode feel like something far more important than it really is and that alone is pretty amazing. At it’s core, this is a pretty throw-a-way story but who doesn’t love a good Ferengi tale and this one certainly is one. It is rare we get a story that centers around Quark himself, with most of the Ferengi episodes involving more than just the bartender, but this time we get to see deeper into Quarks life and feelings about being a Ferengi business man.
For Quark, the Rules of Acquisition are everything. They are the cornerstone of his life and, when his vision of Gint tells him that he needs to accept his fate and lose everything in order to save his own life, he is shaken to his core. In many ways, Brunt was right claiming that Quark had been influenced by the ‘hooomons’ and that the bartender had gone ‘starfleet’. Since the beginning of the series we have seen the character of Quark go from a truly criminal deviant to someone who is starting to see the benefit of working with others instead of just charging them for everything. While he will never fully give up his Ferengi ways, he has become much more of an enlightened Ferengi, something that will certainly have some affects later in the series.
The secondary story was literally written to explain actor Nana Visitor’s pregnancy. Usually when an actor becomes pregnant show writers either try to, awkwardly, film around it or include it in the narrative causing some unwanted story changes. Since Keiko was already having a child and this is a scifi show, there was a much easier solution, just transfer the baby to Kira. This event will have far more ramifications in future episodes but it also saved the filming crew from the struggle of finding unique ways around Visitor’s pregnancy. It was either that or have Kira have a child of her own and, honestly, that would have made matters much more difficult.
All in all, this was a fun, lighthearted episode before the much darker season finale.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- Two Rules of Acquisition are named in this episode:
- Rule #17: A Contract is a contract but only between Ferengi.
- Rule #239: Never be afraid to mislabel a product.
- Apparently Jadzia has a sister who has poor taste in glassware.
- Quark never called off the assassination agreement he made with Garak. I am sure Garak will not forget this in the future.
- We learn that Bajoran women sneeze when pregnant instead of getting morning sickness.
- Once again, Jeffrey Combs nails it as Liquidator Brunt, showing the range this actor has having just appeared as Weyoun just a few episodes before.
- It is interesting that Rom appears as Grand Nagus Gint in Quark’s dream. This might just be a little foreshadowing…
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Late To The Game 10/10/2021 (Originally published 10/2/2019)
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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