Love is in the air and things get complicated all around. Originally airing on October 14, 1996 this is Looking for par’Mach in All the Wrong Places.
Station Log Stardate Undetermined: Looking for par’Mach in All the Wrong Places
Worf coaches Quark in the ways of the Klingons so that the Ferengi bartender can reconcile with his ex wife Grilka.
Story A: The Courtship of Lady Grilka
Worf and Dax debate the merits of Klingon Opera when Grilka arrives on the station. Worf is immediately smitten with Grilka and is shocked when he witnesses her hug the Ferengi bartender, Quark only to learn that Grilka is Quark’s ex-wife.
Quark reacquaints with his ex-wife where he learns that, due to the hostilities between the Federation and the Empire has caused House Grilka to suffer financial losses. Quark offers to help her with her finances only to be threatened by one of her bodyguards who tells him that, should the Ferengi fail to help Grilka, the Ferengi will die.
Dax and Worf discuss Grilka and Quark’s relationship and it soon becomes obvious that Worf has a case of par’Mach and soon tries to impress Grilka with his Klingon nature. Walking into the bar, Quark challenges her bodyguard to a fight only to be pulled aside by Tumek who explains that Grilka could never mate with Worf due to his dishonor among Klingons. Worf understands the situation and leaves when he is asked to, however, it is clear he has other plans.
Soon Worf, upset with the situation, laments with Dax and asks her for help with Klingon matters. After Dax gives Quark some advice, Worf is clearly upset at the Ferengi’s luck with Grilka but decides to educate the Ferengi in matters of Klingon courting rituals. Taking his advice, Quark goes in to court the woman he loves.
On the Defiant, Quark finds Worf singing Klingon Opera. Interrupting the singing, Quark thanks Worf for his help with Grilka and Worf is pleased with the results. Quark asks Worf to help him further and the Klingon graciously accepts the challenge. Taking the bartender to the holodeck, Worf begins training Quark in battle techniques reenacting the the joining of Kahless the Unforgettable and Lady Lukara.
Quark soon finds himself back in Grilka’s good graces with his newfound Klingon education and is asked by her why he pursues her. He informs her that she may be worth all the latinum in the quadrant and, when she accepts his advances, Grilka’s bodyguard, Thopok, challenges Quark to a duel to the death in defense of Grilka’s honor.
Quark, determined find a way out, begs Worf for help. Dax comes up with a plan that will allow Worf to fight for Quark using a device that links their bodies. After Quark heads to bed, Worf explains his love for Grilka to Dax. She is unsure as to what Worf sees in the Klingon woman and subtly informs the Klingon Commander that Dax is in fact interested in him.
The next day, Quark goes in to face Thopok using Worf’s fighting ability through the device. The battle begins. It soon becomes clear that Quark has the upper-hand when Worf accidentally damages the device causing the connection to sever. Thinking fast, Quark demands the Ferengi ‘Right of Proclamation’ where he ‘must make a speech’ about Grilka. Agreeing to listen to his speech, they sit by as he rambles on until the connection is fixed. This time Worf quickly dispatches Thopok and presents his enemy’s sword to Grilka. Firmly defeated, Thopok’s weapon is returned and he is discharged from the House of Grilka. Quark and Grilka make up in the holosuite while Worf laments that Quark does not deserve her love. Not to be outdone, Jadzia challenges Worf to a fight and the two of them battle it out until it is clear that this is not a fight to the death…
Quark soon finds himself in the infirmary where Julian tries to ignore the reason for the Ferengi’s injuries. It is when Worf and Dax come in with similar injuries that he decides to ask no further questions. In the end, Dax and Worf realize that they have started down a path that neither of them can divert, so they agree to take this relationship one day at a time and see what happens.
Story B: Mixed Emotions
Julian overhears a fight in Mile’s quarters and believes it to be between Miles and his wife Keiko only to find out that it is Miles and Kira fighting about her safety with his baby. Soon Julian helps the Chief out with a medical device for Kira to help her through the pregnancy.
Soon, as Miles takes care of Kira it becomes frighteningly clear that the two may be developing feelings for each other. After discussing the matter with Odo, Kira informs the couple that she is going to Bajor for the weekend to relax. Keiko insists that she not go alone and insists that Miles accompany the Major. Kira and Miles insist that they not travel together but Keiko has other plans.
Trapped, the two decide to ignore Keiko and not accompany each other on this trip, knowing that should they stay together, nothing good will come of it.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
The story itself is a loose interpretation of the play, Cyrano de Bergerac where Cyrano helps a young man named Christian gain the heart of a mutual love named Roxanne. Of course in this version Cyrano is played by Worf and Christian is played by Quark with the role of Roxanne going to Grilka. While this serves as a sequel to The House of Quark, seeing the bartender finally get the woman of his dreams, the real story is that of the romance between Worf and Jadzia Dax.
The story of Worf and Jadzia Dax is the most enjoyable (and tragic) than has ever been seen before or since on any incarnation of Star Trek. Throughout the episode, and even some before this one, there are hints at the two having feelings for one another. Even though it is clear that Worf can see a future with this woman early on, he limits himself due to his recent disgrace with the Klingon Empire. This, of course, makes him all that more interested in Grilka seeing that she is the head of her own house and represents everything his Klingon heritage deny’s him. It is through this mindless pursuit that he finally comes to realize that his happiness is literally just under his nose and it is with this revelation that one of the greatest romances in the history of Star Trek begins. To be honest, with how deeply rooted into Klingon Culture Jadzia Dax is and how traditionally non-traditional Worf is, is it any wonder that this couple would find each other in life?
The B story bothers me to an extent. Sure, there is a certain biological truth to the matter for both Kira and Miles to start developing feelings for one another, especially with how much attention he is giving her but seeing how much of a family man Miles is, I don’t really buy that he would be tempted to give in to a romance with another woman. Sure, there is some debate as to whether Keiko is a good wife to him but when it comes down to it, they care deeply for one another and have been through quite a bit. Even though it was played for laughs, the B story rang somewhat untrue and still bothers me to this day. Thankfully this was dropped in future episodes but did they really need to do it to begin with?
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- This episode was directed by none other than Garek himself Andre Robinson, marking his television directorial debut.
- Worf lies about not pursuing a Klingon woman when he is asked by Tumek if he ever had. Not only did he pursue one but he had a kid with her. How could he forget his wife K’Ehleyr so quickly? Man, not only is Worf a terrible father but also a terrible widower.
- Quark literally quotes Edwin Starr’s classic song War ( What is it good for) when talking to Grilka.
- It is interesting to note that the signs Liquidator Brunt put up last season in Body Parts are still in place.
- Quark’s poem is epic and sadly unfinished but for those of you who want to see the poetic genius that Quark is, here is his exact words:
- ‘To this end my blade soars! Through the aquarium of my soul, seeking the kelp of discontent, which must be cut, so that the rocky bottom of love lie in waiting with fertile sand, for the coming seed of Grilka’s affection. And yet, does this explain my need for her? No. It is like a giant cave of emptiness, waiting for the bats of love to hang b…’ (cut off by Worf reactivating the device)
- We never find out what the device is that Jadzia invented and never see it used again, although something similar is used in the later episode The Magnificent Ferengi.
- This is the last time we see Grilka implying that their divorce remained intact.
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Late To The Game 10/24/2021 (Originally published 10/11/2019)
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