Season 2, Ep7: “Rules of Acquisition”

Synopsis: We open on Odo doing what I presume to be his usual late-night hobo-check on the promenade. He finds Morn, everybody’s favorite Space Barfly, sleeping on a bench, and gently shakes him awake to send him home. Morn must still be a little disoriented about what time of day it is, though, because he staggers over to the bar just to make sure it hasn’t magically opened again. But, no such luck, the doors fail to open automatically for him, and he stares mournfully inside at the group of Ferengi engaging in some friendly after-hours cutthroat gambling.

I sort of assume that all games played by Ferengi are cutthroat, like, I wouldn’t want to play  Monopoly with these guys. Or would I? Ferengi do seem like the only group of people who could make Monopoly legitimately interesting.

The game they’re playing now seems extremely complicated, featuring dice, a spinning pot of money, and cards (which are round because we’re in SPACE). The Ferengi are playing with absolute concentration and coordination, moving like a cors d’ballet and communicating only in grunts. Suddenly, the spinning apparatus stops, and the Ferengi all look over at the offender who is taking too much time to strategize: Jadzia.

Quark leans over to helpfully remind her that it’s her turn, and she tersely responds that she could think better without his hand on her thigh. I don’t know how many times I’ve said it: Quark would be an amazing guest star on Mad Men. He could accidentally get himself transported back in time, get stuck there, and tell everyone that he was horribly deformed by some sort of depression-era farming accident, perhaps blackmailing Don and taking on the identity of Dick Whitman, thus ensuring his spot at the ad agency. I’ve given this a lot of thought, but Matthew Weiner refuses to answer any of my letters. Continue reading

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DS9 Season 1 Ep11: “The Nagus”

Synopsis: The episode opens with a covert entrance: a Ferengi waves what appears to be a large Oompa-Loompa and a short hooded figure onto the station. The short figure, incidentally, has a bitchin’ scepter, the handle of which is a Ferengi head made of gold.

This is our first of many Ferengi episodes, and let me say that, just between you and me, internet, we could not be more excited to tell you about how much we love DS9 Ferengi, and we will absolutely fight you in the parking lot of a bowling alley if you say anything disparaging about Quark and Co.

“These men are from The Original Series, Donny, there’s nothing to be afraid of.”

In Chez Sisko, Jake is all frantic looking for his shoes, and does not seem enthused by his father’s suggestion that they attend the annual Bajoran Gratitude Festival, which sounds like the last place in the galaxy they’d have weed. Sisko says Major Kira says it’ll be “pretty spectacular,” and Jake makes a face all like, isn’t that a ringing endorsement

“Li’l Sebastian made his debut at the last Gratitude Festival in 2365 and he was an instant phenomenon. For the next few years, Sebastian was the #1 boys’ name on Bajor and the #3 girls’ name.”

Sisko says that they could also swing by the fire caverns Jake’s apparently been jonesing to see, which means that they’ll be planet-side for about three days. Jake is all, “sorry, Dad, me and Nog got plans,” which apparently include going to see a ship full of space tractors dock tomorrow, and Sisko is all, how are tractors more interesting than fire caverns? Jake says, “Nog’s my friend,” – the inference being and you’re not – and we cut to Sisko’s face, which reveals quite clearly that Jake has only just today reached the age where he is no longer friends with his dad.

In the bar, Quark berates Rom for returning a lady’s wallet in one piece, and introduces us to the Rules of Acquisition, which will become ubiquitous. The RoA are effectively the Ferengi bible. It’s their code for making profit, their societal blueprint, and their revered source of truth and tradition. Needless to say, it is also hilarious.

“What’s the first Rule of Acquisition?” Quark barks, and Rom tentatively singsongs, “once you have their money, you never give it back.” This is the right answer, and Quark punishes Rom’s Rule Violation with menial labor, which Rom, in turn, passes on to Nog.

Lobes of greatness

Quark is telling a joke at the bar when the Ferengi from the beginning comes in and says that he’d like to present his father, Grand Nagus Zek. The large Oompa-Loompa throws the hood back (this is a man who can afford to pay others to produce drama around his entrance) to reveal an extremely impressive and extremely wizened Ferengi. If you’re impressed by none of the other make-up on this show, be impressed by his ear hair.

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