You think that people would have had enough of Ferengi Love Songs, I look around me and I see it isn’t so. And what’s wrong with that? I’d Like to know… That’s how it goes right? Originally airing on April 21, 1997, this is Ferengi Love Songs.
Station Log Stardate Undetermined. Ferengi Love Songs
After his bar is shut down by a Cardassian Vole infestation, Quark returns home only to find that his mother and Grand Nagus Zek have started a relationship…and not one just for profit.
Story A: Ishka’s secret
With his bar closed due to a Vole infestation, Quark finds himself depressed without anything to do. Soon, at the suggestion of his brother, Quark decides to visit his mother on Ferenginar.
Immediately, the two of them begin fighting with one another and Ishka is shocked to learn that her son intends on living with her until he ‘feels better’. Going to his room, he soon finds that all of his things are missing and is even more surprised to find the Grand Nagus hiding in his closet. It soon becomes apparent that Ishka and Zek are in a relationship and Quark can not wrap his head around this revelation.
After telling Quark how they met, Zek and Moogie make it clear that this is a secret that can not get out into the public. Quark is dumbfounded by this turn of events and, when Zek heads off to ‘run the Empire’,
That night, when Quark tries to use his mothers relationship to help clear his name, he is shocked when Zek refuses to assist him. He is further shocked when Liquidator Brunt beams into Quarks closet on an official investigation for the FCA. Brunt makes it clear that he is there to end their relationship in order to prevent any change in Ferengi tradition. Knowing that publicly denouncing Ishka will destabilize Ferenginar, he temps Quark with a new business license if Quark breaks the happy couple up.
Quark confronts Zek about his mother and indirectly informs the Nagus about Ishka’s earning profit. Quark indicates that his mother plans to use her money to start a revolution on Ferenginar in order to change Ferengi customs. Soon Quarks words get into Zeks head and the Nagus begins to doubt his feelings for Ishka.
Back at Ishka’s house, Quark tells his Moogie that he wants to off himself due to his loss of his license. She agrees to talk to Zek and try to convince him to overturn the ruling setting Quarks plans in motion. Later that night Quark returns home to find his mother in tears only to discover that the Nagus has left her for ‘plotting to overthrow the government’. Ishka implies that, while she is upset at the breakup, what has transpired will ruin everything. Ignoring her, Quark contacts Brunt and gets his license reinstated.
The next morning, as Quark prepares to leave, he is summoned to the Tower of Commerce by the Nagus. Not sure what to expect, Quark is shocked to be asked to be the First Clerk to the Nagus. Quark graciously accepts and soon learns that Zek is not all together without Ishka. It appears that the Grand Nagus is not the business man he makes himself out to be and needs Quarks mother to keep him in line.
Returning home, Quark learns that his mother has been the power behind the throne for some time. Quark slips and reveals that he was responsible for Ishka and Zek’s breakup. Ishka informs Quark that he has caused what could be the destruction of the entire Ferengi economy and now he has to find a way to fix it.
Back at the Tower of Commerce, Quark is confronted by Brunt who informs him Quark that he has been after the throne this whole time. Brunt has known about Zeks failing memory this whole time and sends Quark home, with the Liquidator angling a hostile takeover.
Quark and Ishka begin planning a way to get Zek back on top and soon begins to see the results of their efforts. Zek admits that he is losing his memory and thanks Quark for his help in blocking the Liquidators from taking his throne. Quark insists that Zek take Ishka back as it was her advice that saved his life and the financial stability of Ferenginar. After talking it over, Zek agrees to take Ishka back after firing Quark from his position as First Clerk. As Quark heads off, his mother gives him his Marauder Mo action figures and Quark is soon visited by Liquidator Brunt. Brunt informs Quark that the bartender can keep his license as Brunt will be watching him. Quark just begins playing with his action figures.
Story B: Rom in Love
Rom is excited to announce that he and Leeta have decided to get married and soon realizes, after talking with Dax and O’Brien, that he is not a traditional Ferengi male. Spurred on by their words, Rom is shocked when Leeta refuses to sign a Waiver of Property and Profit, not allowing her to own any property or profit if their marriage fails. When Rom insists she signs, she calls off the wedding, leaving Quarks brother convinced that she is after his belongings like his first wife was. Sisko soon stumbles across a lamenting Rom as he cries over the loss of Leeta. Just above them, Leeta and Kira talk about her love for Rom and she realizes that she misses him.
Later, O’Brien visits Rom and finds his Ferengi friend trying to come up with a way to re-buy Leeta’s affections. Miles gives him advice and Rom rushes off to ask Leeta to marry him. Rom informs Leeta that he has given all of his money to the war orphans fund so that he has nothing for her to take. She accepts his romantic offer and the wedding is back on.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
I simply love the Ferengi-centric episodes and this one is no exception. These episodes serve almost as a pallet cleanser preventing things from getting too serious or just lightening the mood after a rather dark moment in the series. This one manages to lighten things up but also manage some character development in the process so it is a win win.
When we first met Quark, he was a Ferengi through and through. Every rule of acquisition was followed, every tradition was honored, this was a great example of a proper Ferengi. Over time, however, we have watched as Quark discovered that, in order to fit in, he had to acclimate to his customer base. However, With that acclimation came a slow and subtle change to his own personality and, from our perspective, it was a change for the better.
The old Quark would have never dreamed of allowing a female, let alone his own mother, date the Nagus and help run the Ferengi Alliance. (Heck, even Grand Nagus Zek would have pushed back, I guess he’s had some growth as well.) Yet in this episode we see Quark not only encourage his mother to help Zek get Ferenginar back on track but he actually helps! We have seen quite the character growth from Quark this season and this one further shows his slow adaptation to the ways of the Federation mindset. Early in the series he likens the Federation to Root Beer. To him, the drink is ‘bubbly, cloying and happy, but if you drink enough of it, you begin to like it’. It seems that he is approaching the level of ‘drinking enough’ of the Federation and it shows.
The same could be said for Rom in this one as well. Until recently, Rom has be regulated to nothing more than a comic relief, someone who has served as not only the butt of Quarks jokes but of others as well. This season, however, we have seen a real growth in his character allowing him to break free from just being ‘Quark’s brother’ and become a more complete character. Between Nog leaving the station and now his marrying Leeta, Rom has really been the catalyst for much of Quarks change as well. Like I mentioned before, Root Beer.
Overall, this episode, directed by Rene Auberjonois (who seems to have a thing for directing Ferengi episodes), is one of the most solid Ferengi-centric episodes so far. It is always a blast when Zek and Ishka appear on the show and this one is no exception.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- Rules of Acquisition mentioned!
- Rule #94: ‘Females and Finance dont mix.’
- Rule #229: ‘Latinum lasts longer than lust.’
- Rule #18 ‘A Ferengi without profit is no Ferengi at all’.
- Martok is mentioned in this one but not seen. Apparently he is having trouble acclimating to life on the station. The guy tossed one of his subordinates off of the upper level of the promenade. I mean, he probably deserved it but still!
- Two episodes with Jeffery Combs in a row! You can’t get much better than this!
- The Voles return to DS9 even though O’Brien swore they had been taken care of. I guess he needs a new exterminator.
- Notice how Zek keeps calling Quark ‘Rom’, yeah that might be important later.
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Late To The Game 12/25/2021 (Originally published 11/20/2019)
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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