We’d better get at least two new Rules of Acquisition in this episode, considering the title!
Live watch / Plot
Open to Morn sleeping on the promenade, leading into Quarks bar, closed, with an in progress Ferengi poker-type game called Tongo.
Oh, game in a TV show I should probably note. I love the round cards they have (they may actually be oval). I think they had cards like that in the old Battlestar Galactica. Dax is playing as well, and she’s winning. We find out the the Ferengi tend to like their women naked and submissive (and breed-able?). So, this new Ferengi waiter has a clever profit generating idea he shares with quark, where we learn the 59th Rule of Acquisition: Free advice is seldom cheap, and that the 22nd rule says a wise man can hear profit in the wind, and that there are 285 rules! Rule of Acquisition 33: It never hurts to suck up to the boss! Then the Grand Nagus calls and designates Quark as his Chief Negotiator! Intro.
So, I definitely remember this one. Spoiler: The Ferengi waiter is actually female, but passing as male. It’s basically a gender-swapped Tootsie situation, and I’m expect there will be some women’s lib “morals” thrown in, which at the time wouldn’t have fazed me. Let’s see if the “all cultures are equal, and this is an internal affair” stuff they just talked about when they wanted to leave Bajor to the Bajorans comes into play.
The Nagus has arrived on the station to host a business conference. He has a very amusing negotiation with Sisko. Later, he talks to Quark about is plans for the Gamma Quadrant. The next day, the new waiter, Pel, overhears Quark daydreaming about it and reminds him of the 48th rule of Acquisition: The bigger the smile, the sharper the knife. “He” explains that the reason Quark was invited was to be the fall guy in case the negotiations failed. Quark decides to ask Pel to assist him as consultant, to the chagrin of Rom, but Rom is an idiot, so it was a good decision by Quark. We follow Pel to “his” quarters, where it is revealed that “he” is actually a woman!
We are introduced to the Dosi by the first one being through through the airlock door due to a “minor” disagreement. They have red faces and big muscles, which makes them look like Oompa-Loompahs on steroids.
The negotiations go… aggressively.
Later Dax and Kira have a conversation about their opinions on the Ferengi, and I fall in line with Dax’s observation that the Ferengi are fun, because you always know where you stand with them. Interestingly, Kira uses the word “misogynistic” which I didn’t know the meaning of at the time, and I don’t recall it being used. The first time I remember hearing the word was at least a decade later. On to the Tongo game, where Pel demonstrates a show of loyalty to Quark. The next day, Dax discusses it with Pel, where she reveals to Dax that she’s a woman, and that she’s in love with Quark. Quark comes in and rushes her off to the negotiations, which don’t go so well, and the Dosi leave the station. Pel convinces the Nagus to let them borrow his ship to follow the Dosi to the Gamma Quadrant. On the way, Pel and Quark have a Feregni style heart-to-heart, where we learn the 21st rule of Acquisition: Never place friendship above profit.
Rom is having a terrible time running Quark’s bar, where through a conversation with Odo, we learn of Rom’s jealousy toward Pel. Odo perhaps eggs him on a bit and Rom ransacks Pel’s quarters, discovering her secret.
On the Dosi world, we learn that the Dosi, like the Ferengi, are very serious when it comes to profit. It’s a farcical scene where people are punching and shooting each other in a saloon-like venue. Quark persuades the Dosi to a deal of 10,000 vats of tula berry wine, but Quark must insist on 100,000 after the Nagus upped the demand for reasons unkown. They stay on the planet and don’t retire to the ship, which makes Pel nervous, since there’s only one bed. We learn a part of rule 103: Sleep can interfere with…[something], and 62: The riskier the road, the greater the profit. Pel kisses Quark but then the female Dosi from earlier walks in on them. She explains that he can’t sell them 100,000 vats because, as I suspected, there aren’t that many on the planet. She says that she knows someone who CAN sell them that many, if they are serious. The Karama, someone who is an important power in the Dominion, the big player in the Gamma Quadrant. This is the first mention of The Dominion, which plays a huge role later in he series. Quark and Pel go back to the ship, where Quark is ecstatic about what they have found out. It wasn’t about the tula berries, it was about the Dominion all along! Pel want to talk about the kiss, but Quark doesn’t. Back on the station, Quark discusses with the Nagus the situation with the Dominion and gives him the name of the Karama, probably a little too eagerly, although he did say he was going to give Quark a cut of all Ferengi business in the Gamma Quadrant. Rom along with Pel, reveals the secret to Quark, whereby Quark promptly passes out. Quark has a talk with Pel, where he explains that he wants a more traditional wife. He wants her to go, but he gives her some latinum for her troubles. Later she barges in on Quarks meeting to say goodbye to the Nagus, and reveals the truth to him. Quark gets out of the situation but loses his Gamma Quadrant profits. We have a couple more interesting denouement scenes to end it off.
Final Grade B+
All in all, I really like this episode, despite the somewhat preachy bits. I almost always enjoy a Ferengi episode, and this one had a lot of good Ferengi information in it. Also that first mention of the Dominion is important. This one is is a non-skippable episode.
Need to sum up my final thoughts here…