Prophet Motive (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 3, Episode 16) The Nagus’s eccentricities annoy, alarm Quark

Rewatching ST:DS9

Quark is enjoying an ear massage from a humanoid woman who is clearly more interested in a business deal when they are interrupted by the arrival of Grand Nagus Zek.

In the B story, Bashir is nominated for a prestigious Federation medical award, yet he seems aggressively unenthusiastic. (Some good character bits, and in retrospect this subplot could be seen as laying groundwork for the “Bashir is genetically enhanced” storyline, but that’s a charitable reading.)

In a sitcom-worthy scene, Quark is annoyed to live in his brother’s cluttered quarters, but Rom stands his ground. Zek surprises them both by cheerfully introducing them to a revised “Rules of Acquisition,” which are so shockingly un-Ferengi they leave the Nagus’s towering bodyguard crumpled up in a heap, weeping.

Quark tries to convince himself his leader’s inexplicable rejection of greed must be part of some devious business scheme, but gives up when he finds his toady brother running the “Ferengi Benevolent Association.”

Bashir finds nothing medically wrong with the Nagus, who mentions tomorrow he will give a surprise gift for the Bajorans. With help from the bodyguard, Quark learns the gift is a Bajoran orb, which grants him a vision that leads him to conclude the Revised Rules of Acquisition are a gift from the wormhole aliens.

Zek happily uses his knowledge of commerce to do good, and even hums to himself cheerfully when he’s put in a sack and taken back through the wormhole, where Quark learns the Nagus annoyed the Prophets so much they de-evolved him to a more primitive, less-evolved state. They’re about to do the same to Quark, who delivers a Picard-worthy speech about the value of greed to motivate lazy humanoids.

On a promise from Quark that Ferengi will stop bothering them, the wormhole aliens restore Zek to his previous greedy self, and we hit the reset button.

Sort of.

Rom takes two major steps in his character arc. First, he says he remembers the revised rules of acquisition — and this is important for his future development. Second, Quark is impressed to learn his little brother had been casually embezzling from the Nagus’s non-profit. In the final shot they walk off together, Rom basking in his brother’s approval.

One thought on “Prophet Motive (#StarTrek #DS9 Rewatch, Season 3, Episode 16) The Nagus’s eccentricities annoy, alarm Quark

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