“[Wars are] provoked and initiated by straight economic rivalries and by swine that stand to profit from them. I believe that all the people who stand to profit by a war and who help provoke it should be shot on the first day it starts by accredited representatives of the loyal citizens of their country who will fight it.”
Ernest Hemingway ‘A Farewell To Arms’
Originally airing on April 7,1997 this is Business as Usual.
Station Log Stardate undetermined: Business As Usual
Quark is surprised with a visit from his cousin Gaila who has an offer the Ferengi can’t refuse.
Quark and Dax are playing Tongo and Dax finds Quark to be distracted. She learns that he is destitute and desperate for money. When Gaila shows up with an offer for Quark to help him sell weapons, Quark realizes that he literally has nothing left to lose.
Soon Gaila introduces Quark to his business partner, Hagath. Quark soon shows Hagath to the holosuite where he demonstrates a way to peddle weapons without actually bringing them aboard DS9. Hagath is impressed with Quark’s ingenuity allowing them to sell weapons with no legal ramifications. Hagath is pleased but warns Quark to never cross him.
Quark begins his new job as a weapons salesman demonstrating his holographic weapons in his suite showing both Hagath and Gaila how good he is in sales. Soon, however, Quark learns that Hagath has diverted Quarks profits directly to his creditors in order to get his new Ferengi partner solvent. Quark is soon pleased at the situation when Hagath gifts the Bartender with some priceless beads, making the Ferengi believe that he is finally on the right track.
Odo confronts Quark about his new business venture and, just as he is about to throw the book at the Ferengi, Quark is surprised when he is let go by Sisko and Kira. The two, however, make it clear that Quark is being watched and, should he slip up, they will come down on him. Later, Quark watches as Hagath ends business with another man showing the Ferengi that the weapons salesman is serious.
Before long Quark notices that none of the Federation personnel are visiting his bar. Disappointed at the change, Gaila mentions that he has decided to take a step back and let Quark run more of the business. Quark is delighted to learn this until Gaila informs him that the man Hagath ended business with met a explosive fate soon after.
Quark, feeling he has lost more than he gained, approaches Dax to gain some emotional support. It is clear that he is feeling guilty about his new job as a weapons merchant and wants to find a way to get back what he has lost.
With an important client visiting the station, Quark shows Hagath the food he has lined up for the Regent. Hagath acts upset at the offering but soon informs his new Ferengi Partner that they are sure to make money off of the visiting Regent.
That night, the Regent arrives and informs the weapons dealers that he wants to buy enough weapons to not only destroy his enemy but kill 28 million people in the process. When Quark shows a moment of conscious, Hagath makes it abundantly clear that there is no way out in this deal. Gaila informs Quark that, in order to make the money he was promised, Quark needs to get rid of his conscious and focus on the profits to be made. Quark, however, is having second thoughts.
That night Quark has a nightmare where all of his friends are dead and telling him that he is responsible for it. Quark, knowing what he has to do, visits Dax with a gift of her favorite Tongo wheel. She tells him to leave and he explains that he is leaving the station forever, in a way he doesn’t really want to go. Gathering his strength, he decides to sacrifice his own life in the place of the 28 million people the Reagent wants to kill.
Quark informs Hagath that he is unable to acquire the weapon that the Reagent wants but has an option for him. Quark informs Hagath that he has another weapon on hand that he can present to their client in place of the original weapon. Agreeing to the new deal, Hagath contacts the Reagent in order to set up a new buy. Quark informs Gaila that he has contacted the Reagent’s mortal enemy, General Nassuc so that they can make money from both sides. Gaila is shocked at the prospect but, seeing that they can make twice as much money, agrees to Quarks plan. Soon, however, the Reagent and the General cross paths abruptly ending the dangerous situation in a hail of phaser fire.
Later Sisko tells Quark that the Reagent has been killed and Quark is facing multiple charges including inciting a riot. Sisko and Quark come to an agreement allowing Quark to remain on the station but in debt to a certain Captain.
O’Brien finds life with Kirayoshi to be more than challenging. Unable to get sleep, he tries to get Jake to babysit but to no avail. Miles soon finds himself carrying Yoshi around at work and even during his dart games with Julian. When Julian protests Miles carrying the child everywhere, Miles demonstrates what happens when he puts him down, Yoshi is clearly unhappy.
Soon, Miles discovers that Yoshi is calm when in the Ops Pit due to the lights and sounds around him. Sisko reluctantly agrees to let Yoshi remain in Ops until he wakes up again.
Visiting Miles, Worf informs the Chief that he has repairs due on the Defiant. Handing Yoshi to Worf, Miles is shocked that Yoshi is not crying. It seems that Worf the Doula still has the magic touch. Taking advantage of the moment, Miles falls fast asleep.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
Directed by Alexander Siddig under his real name Siddig El-Fadil, this marks the Doctor’s first time in the directors chair in one of the first ‘non-humorous’ Ferengi-centric episodes. For most of the series, Quark, although like-able, has been little more than a Ferengi swindler. As with most Ferengi, he has proven time and again that it is safer to keep him at arms length than to trust him as he will likely betray you at the drop of a bar of latinum. Interestingly enough, although Quark started out as a stereotypical Ferengi, his time with humans and working with the Federation has slowly altered his perception of the universe as a whole.
Quark of old would not have thought twice about the essential extinction of a group of innocents in exchange for a vast fortune. When we first met him, he was more than willing to cheat, lie and even kill to get what he wanted from life. Now however, things have changed. Before this episode, I don’t think we, or he for that matter, realized just how much Quark had grown as a character. While he can never not be a greedy Ferengi, his time on Deep Space Nine under Federation rule has given him a chance to experience many more cultures and attitudes toward life than it seems most Ferengi get to. Through this, in many ways Quark is a much better Ferengi being able to find more profitable and lasting relationships instead of just taking advantage of everyone around him.
Like with the best of Trek, this episode has a message in it’s subtext about weapons merchants and war profiteering. It is interesting, and quite disturbing, to discover that many of the weapons used in war can be traced back to only a few sources. There is indeed money to be made in the wholesale slaughter of people and those that participate in this slaughter indirectly are just as guilty as the Generals and Politicians who incite the very wars we fight. In a subtle but genuine moment, Quark realizes the danger of participating in weapons dealing when he is asked to supply a weapon to kill 28 million people. I do find it interesting that he had no qualms over selling small arms and weapons to individuals without a care to how many died but when the number of innocents killed were to happen all at once, he pulled back realizing the enormity of the situation. This, coupled with his loss of friends due to his actions, really seemed to have an effect on the Ferengi Bartender. Interestingly enough, there are many companies today that profit off of war in a big way. I guess none of them have reached their number of deaths that would give them pause to reevaluate how they make their quarterly bonuses.
The secondary story about O’Brien and Yoshi was fun but really didn’t feel like it was needed. In a way it kinda felt out of place even though it did manage to keep this episode from becoming too dark. I did enjoy that, even though he is a pretty terrible father, Worf somehow manages to have a way with children. They love him and frankly I have no idea why.
All in all, this is a great episode that really moves Quark’s character forward while also managing to establish some important connections to the greater whole. It is clear that we are approaching a war in the near future and wouldn’t someone with experience in weapons dealing come in handy at some point?
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- The 62nd rule of Acquisition is mentioned again in this one: the riskier the road, the greater the profit.
- You might remember Quark’s Cousin Gaila mentioned previously. He was the one who gave Quark a ship with a faulty engine that resulted in a fun time travel adventure in Little Green Men.
- This isnt the last we see of Gaila, but we never hear from Hagath again.
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Late To The Game 12/18/2021 (Originally published 11/15/2019)
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