The House of Quark (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 3, Episode 3) Quark accidentally kills a deadbeat Klingon

Rewatching ST:DS9

On a slow night at the bar, Quark grumbles expositionally to Rom (reminding viewers of recent story arc developments). A drunken Klingon assaults Quark, then falls on his own knife. To attract a crowd (and customers), Quark embellishes: he killed Kozak in self-defense.

O’Brien comes home to find a pensive Keiko philosophizing expositionally about closing her school. (Afraid of The Dominon, families moved their children off the station.)

Quark is happy his tale-telling has improved business, and proud that his customers respect him as “Quark, slayer of Klingons,” not just another Ferengi stereotype. (Ironically Quark is using stereotypes of Klingons to challenge stereotypes of Ferengi.)

Sitcom-worthy confusion results when the dead man’s brother D’Ghor shows up and, instead of enacting vengeance, orders Quark to continue spreading the combat story — thus preserving the honor of Kozak’s house.

Keiko is surprised to find O’Brien cooking a romantic dinner. They flirt maritally, he promises her fireworks, and after a fadeout they come out of the bedroom, happy and in love; but when O’Brien heads off for work again, Keiko’s cheer falters.

Another mysterious figure accosts Quark; this time it’s Kozak’s widow. When Quark tells her the true story (at knifepoint), she praises his skill at lying, and abducts him.

Quark awakes on the Klingon homeworld, where the info dumps like bloodwine. If the heirless Kozak died in honorable combat, the High Council will simply let his house fall; if Kozak died in an accident, Grilka will likely be permitted to lead her late husband’s house.

Grilka orders Quark to put on a robe (“Why?” “Because if you do not, I will kill you,”) and repeat some Klingon words. When Quark complies, she suddenly kisses him, spits in disgust, and announces they are now married.

When O’Brien humbly interrupts a meeting in the commander’s office, Dax intuits he’s having “wife problems” and hints to Kira that “the boys” need to talk it over. Space Dad Sisko listens to O’Brien’s troubles and supports his proposed solution — turning an unused cargo bay into an arboretum for Keiko.

In the Klingon Great Hall, the Chancellor Gowron is about to grant D’Ghor’s claim to the property of the fallen house of Kozak, when Grilka dramatically shows up, revealing she has exercised her legal right to invite the man who defeated her husband to take his place.

Yet more info is dumped. Kozak, who squandered his family’s wealth in bad investments, owes much of his debt to D’Ghor. Grilka has married Quark to retain claim to her husband’s property. She’s humiliated to be discussing finance, but agrees to show Quark the records.

Bashir orders a pretentious meal from at the replimat (“Plomeek soup, hot. Oh, with a touch of basil.”), and looks over O’Brien’s shoulder at a blueprint for an arboretum. For some reason — and we can the gears turning behind his eyes — O’Brien asks Bashir for his opinion.

Bashir confidently predicts it will distract Keiko for about two months. O’Brien is annoyed at first, but really listens when Bashir sensibly cautions, “You can’t ask her to turn her profession into a hobby.”

Quark has put his own professional skills to use, concluding that D’Ghor has for years been targeting the House of Kozak’s holdings. She’s incensed her enemy was “scheming and plotting like a F–”  She cuts herself off, but Quark finishes the phrase for her “…like a Ferengi.”

Quark’s marginalized special interest has become very useful to Grilka. “That is why,” she croons, “I’m going to let you take your hand off my thigh instead of shattering every bone in your body.”

A row of armored Klingon dignitaries fidget and frown at their PADDs, while Quark rattles off financial terms that put D’Ghor n the proverbial soup. But the scoundrel pulls a surprise move, now alleging that Kozak actually died in dishonor. He produces a witness — a nervous and apologetic Rom.

Later, Quark and Rom try to cut and run from Grilka’s house, but they’re caught. Grilka, who thought there was more to Quark, is disgusted by what she sees as cowardice, and orders him to leave. Rom, humbly trying to comfort his brother, reminds him, “You’re a businessman. All you care about is profit,” but we can see Quark is actually troubled by Grilka’s disappointment. (The implication is, he does care about something more than profit.)

Grilka is about to give up her legal fight, when Quark shows up carrying a bat’leth, ready to accept D’Ghor’s challenge.

The scene resolves in way that’s totally on-brand for Quark — he tosses his weapon aside and verbally shames his opponent, and in the process, impresses Gowron with his bravery.

When Grilka asks Quark how she can repay him, he politely asks for a divorce. Obligingly, she strikes him and spits on him. Quark is stunned by the blow, but even more stunned when his ex-wife grabs him for a full-on kiss, which made me say “Whoa!” out loud.

The B-plot resolves when O’Brien suggests that Keiko apply to join a six-month “agrobiology expedition” on Bajor. She can take Molly, and they’ll only be three hours apart by runabout; “We can manage.”

Rom sets up the final moment, asking Quark to tell the story of the battle again. 

Quark: Everyone’s tired of hearing it, Rom. It’s not going to boost business anymore.
Rom: No, I mean… tell me. I want to hear it again.
Quark: (Wary.) All right, but I’m taking this time out of your paycheck.
(Rom nods.)
Quark: Well, when I entered the Great Hall, the first thing I noticed was that D’Ghor was about a meter taller than I remembered.

We fade out as Rom revels in his brother’s heroism.