Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Deep Space Nine 5x20 "Ferengi Love Songs"

rating: **

the story: Quark discovers that the Grand Nagus and his mother are shacking up!

what it's all about: When fans think of "Ferengi episodes," it's actually probably this one they're thinking of.  Taking every "Ferengi episode" that came before it and playing fast and loose with the logic, and generally making as many convenient, logic-defying leaps as possible, "Ferengi Love Songs" has the dubious distinction of actually becoming the crux for every major "Ferengi episode" that followed it, including the much-loathed "Profit and Lace" a season later...

Grand Nagus Zek was kind of the Q of Deep Space Nine, a wonderfully zany character who'd show up about once a season to cause chaos, mostly for poor Quark.  Quark's mother Ishka debuted in the third season, "Family Business."  As you'll note above, the two end up in a relationship together.  It'd the definition of a farce.

This is extremely unfortunate timing, as with certain other parts of the season, as Quark had just experienced his darkest story, "Business as Usual," and this is basically its antithesis.  I'm not going to dock it as much as I suddenly feel like because it is pretty important to the rest of the series, and the notion that even hilariously backward Ferengi could be redeemed to something resembling respectable with enough radical shoves from the irrepressible Ishka.  I think all this would've worked a lot better if Quark hadn't been in the picture, for a change.  But then again, even Rom, about as opposite a Ferengi as you'll find, acts a lot like a typical Ferengi in the episode, which is equally baffling.  It would've been better, I think, to have some other character discover what Zek and Ishka have been up to.

Well, like I said, "Ferengi episode."  This is one you're either going to like or it'll just drive you nuts, not because of something obvious like Quark parading around in drag ("Profit and Lace"), but because it doesn't seem to respect what came before it.

criteria analysis:
  • franchise - One way or another, this one's strictly for fans of Deep Space Nine.
  • series - It's a "Ferengi episode," for better or worse.
  • character - I think the episode best reflects on Zek, all told, shows how far he's come since the first season.
  • essential - Because it kind of savages everyone else.
notable guest-stars:
Wallace Shawn (Zek)
Max Grodenchik (Rom)
Tiny Ron (Maihar'du)
Chase Masterson (Leeta)
Jeffrey Combs (Brunt)
Cecily Adams (Ishka)

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