(written from a Production point of view)
|DS9, Episode 4x24|
Production number: 40510-497
First aired: 10 June 1996
|←||95th of 173 produced in DS9||→|
|←||95th of 173 released in DS9||→|
|←||421st of 728 released in all||→|
| Teleplay By|
Louis P. DeSantis & Robert J. Bolivar
Template:Disambiguate When Quark learns that he is dying, he auctions his vacuum-desiccated body to raise capital. Meanwhile, a shuttle accident prompts Dr. Bashir to transfer Keiko's fetus into Major Kira.
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Dax, Chief O'Brien and Worf discuss the trip that Bashir, Kira and Keiko are on in the Gamma Quadrant. In the bar, Quark treats Rom to a glass of snail juice, to celebrate his return from Ferenginar and to announce that he is dying.
The runabout with Bashir, Kira and O'Brien, Keiko returns from the Gamma Quadrant and is visibly damaged. O'Brien learns that Keiko was injured in an accident in the Gamma Quadrant and Bashir had to move the baby to Kira to save its life and that due to the short gestation period of Bajorans, Kira must carry the baby to term.
At first, it seems no one but Rom wants to buy a piece of Quark. However, Quark is overjoyed to find that an anonymous bidder wants to buy all 52 discs for 500 bars of latinum. Convinced the anonymous bidder is The Nagus and fearful that the bid will be retracted, Quark accepts the bid and sells his remains.
O'Brien is helping Keiko to recover in her quarters when Keiko expresses frustration at having to make appointments to see her own child. Keiko and O'Brien do not know what to do about the situation.
Quark begins to arrange paying off his debts and arranging his funeral when Bashir informs him that his doctor on Ferenginar had made an error and he is not going to die. Quark is excited about the prospect of suing his doctor, but when his anonymous buyer shows up to collect his purchase, Quark finds it was Brunt.
Brunt tells Quark that he considers him a menace to Ferengi society. Ferengi law obligates Ferengi to honor all contracts, so Quark is plagued with the prospect of killing himself.
Kira visits Keiko and O'Brien to show them how much the baby is kicking. They invite her to remain for dinner and initially Kira does not want to impose. But Keiko insists that since Kira is carrying her baby she is now family and that besides dinner, the O'Brien's also want to make a proposal.
Quark visits Garak's shop in order to hire him as an assassin. Rom initially believes that Quark will have Brunt assassinated, but Quark reveals he wants to be killed by Garak in order to hold up his end of the contract. Garak agrees after denying at first that he ever did such work.
However, while running through simulations of how Quark is to be assassinated they argue about how it is to be done (Breaking his neck made too much noise, he couldn't be disintegrated because he needed his body, the disruptor ruined Quark's clothing, the knife was too savage, nerve gas smelled bad, hanging took too long and Quark would not willingly eat poisoned food), and come to the arrangement that it is to be a surprise.
A jittery Quark heads to bed while trying to stave off death by yelling he won't be surprised before he enters his room. He quickly falls asleep and awakes in what looks like the Divine Treasury.
The first Grand Nagus (who looks suspiciously similar to Quark's brother Rom) comes to him and Quark realizes that he is dreaming. The Nagus (or at least Quark's conscience) tells Quark that when he authored the Rules of Acquisition, he called them such as a marketing ploy, and considers them more like "suggestions". Brunt then appears in a vision, and the three of them argue until Brunt begins strangling Quark, who wakes up in his sleep with his own hands around his throat.
The next day Quark refuses to honor the contract and Brunt smiles, as Quark has proved himself to be just another failure in a long line of weak-lobed Ferengi. However, Quark threatens that if he ever returns to his bar, he will never leave. Brunt immediately revokes Quark's business license, and slaps legal documents on the walls preventing any Ferengi business to continue and seizes all of his assets. Quark is left with no other choice but to close the bar immediately and indefinitely, and is forced to ask his customers to leave.
Kira arrives at the O'Briens' quarters where she has agreed to live for the duration of the pregnancy. Kira tells Molly O'Brien that she is her aunt Kira and that Molly is welcome to play in her room anytime.
Quark sits in the bare area on the Promenade where his bar used to be, having been left with nothing, not even the shirt on his back which needs to be returned later. Rom tries to cheer him up by offering Quark some of his old clothes, but to no avail. However Julian enters with a crate of drinks, claiming that a patient gave them to him as a gift, and, as he cannot accept them, he is willing to give them to Quark. Then Jadzia arrives with a dozen glasses she was given as a gift by her sister that she claims are too ugly to keep. Then Captain Sisko arrives and asks Quark if he can store several sets of tables and chairs from structural repair on level 2 of the habitat ring in the area, since it's currently free. Quark can scarcely believe what is happening, as the crew and residents start bringing in everything he needs to continue the bar. Rom reminds his brother that Brunt didn't take all of his assets away, as Quark still has his friends aboard the station.
"It's as if I have to remind her she's pregnant!"
"Yeah. I guess the extra weight, the morning sickness, the mood swings, the medical examinations... they aren't reminders enough."
- - O'Brien and Dax
"I needed another womb for the baby, and the only two other people onboard were Major Kira and me."
"I think you made the right choice, Doctor."
- - Bashir and Sisko, talking about Bashir's "correct" choice to put the baby in Kira, not Bashir.
- - Quark
"I have Dorek Syndrome."
"But that's incurable!"
"That's right! Which explains the dying part!"
"But Dorek Syndrome, it's so rare!"
"It strikes only one out of every five million Ferengi. I finally beat the odds."
- - Quark and Rom talking about the former's illness
"Have Doctor Bashir examine you when he gets back from the Gamma Quadrant!"
"Bashir? How good could he be? He doesn't even charge."
- - Rom and Quark
"I want to hire you. Not as a tailor. As an assassin."
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"Oh yes you do. You weren't always a tailor."
"You're right. I used to be a gardener. Now if you have something you want weeded, you let me know."
- - Quark and Elim Garak
"I don't want you to kill Brunt, I want you to kill me."
- - Quark, asking Garak to assassinate him to satisfy a contract with Brunt for Quark's remains
"Wait a minute. You can't do this. I thought you were going to break the contact."
"What are the key words there? You thought."
- - Rom & Quark arguing over Quark's decision to have himself assassinated
"Garak, let's talk about death!"
- - Quark
"Snapping vertebrae is out."
"We're running out of options... You don't want to be vaporized because you need a body. The disruptor ruined your clothing, the knife was too savage, the nerve gas smelled bad, hanging took too long and poison... What was wrong with poison?"
"It doesn't work! If I know the food is poisoned, I won't eat it."
- - Quark and Elim Garak
"For a man who wants to kill himself you are strangely determined to live."
- - Elim Garak
"I'm going to die, don't you worry about that, I just want to find the right way."
"I don't want to see it coming. Or hear it or feel it or smell it. I just want to go on with my life and then *snaps his fingers* I'm dead."
"Ah, you want to be surprised!"
- - Quark and Garak, arguing over how Quark is to be assassinated
"You have my word. You'll never know what hit you."
- - Elim Garak in regards of Quark's wishes to be die without knowing how or when
"Would you buy a book called Suggestions of Acquisition?"
- - The First Grand Nagus, about the fact that the name "Rules of Acquisition" was a marketing ploy
"May I have your attention, please? Brunt, FCA. As of this moment, no further Ferengi commerce may be conducted in this bar! No Ferengi may be employed by this bar, no Ferengi may eat or drink in this bar, and no Ferengi... no Ferengi may do business with THAT MAN! Confiscation of assets will begin immediately."
"Ladies and gentlemen, this bar is closed until further notice. Thank you for your patronage."
- - Brunt and Quark
"Look, I've broken the contract, so do your job: take my assets, revoke my Ferengi business license, do whatever you have to do, then get out. And if I ever see you walk into my bar again..."
"...you won't walk out."
- - Quark and Brunt
"Look at them, brother. And you thought you had no assets."
"Sisko, Dax, Bashir, Morn? They're my assets?"
"To name a few."
"I guess you're right...I need a drink."
- - Rom and Quark
Story and script
- According to writer Hans Beimler there is a political metaphor behind Brunt's somewhat irrational hatred of Quark; "Quark grates Brunt because Quark has been able to do things that Brunt doesn't think of as pure or quite right. It's the way certain people view expatriate Americans who may have traveled and had a different life experience. They say, 'How could you leave America?' So he spent fifty-five years in Africa, that doesn't mean he stopped being an American, he's just an American experiencing another life. And that's what Quark is. He's gone out of the Ferengi world, but it doesn't mean he's stopped being a Ferengi." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- The O'Brien baby "transplant" storyline was created as a solution to the production problem of actress Nana Visitor becoming pregnant in real life. The producers decided that they did not wish to go down either of the two other solutions open to them; either having the character of Kira become pregnant by Shakaar, or 'hiding' the pregnancy by shooting Visitor in such a way as to never reveal her midsection, as had been done during the fourth season of The Next Generation with the character of Beverly Crusher and would be done again in most of the fourth season of Voyager with B'Elanna Torres. As such, the producers, thanks to the suggestion of Ira Steven Behr's wife, Laura Behr, came up with the idea to tie in Visitor's real pregnancy with the character Keiko O'Brien's fictional pregnancy. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- The idea of the transplant storyline was popular with both of the real parents to be: Nana Visitor and Alexander Siddig. According to Siddig, "Teleporting the baby was a great idea." Visitor is more vocal; "Suddenly my baby was part of the plot! I was very grateful that they thought of such a clever way to allow me to be pregnant on the show and not just be filmed from the neck up, which would have really limited everything I could do. I'm hugely grateful for that." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- From this episode onwards, Andrew Robinson (who plays Garak) would be credited as 'Andrew J. Robinson'. According to Robinson, the J stands for Jordt - his grandfather's first name. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- Both the writers and actor Armin Shimerman consider this to be a very important episode in terms of Quark's character. According to René Echevarria, "We really dug down to find what this episode was about, and in the process, we managed to find out who Quark is, and how Ferengi he is." Similarly, Hans Beimler says, "The substance is that Quark has a line that we will not cross. He has a very clear ethical code and lives by it. This is comedy, but it deals with some very serious business. Quark is a very complicated guy with a lot of complicated issues. He's not just a silly Ferengi. The more you explore the character, the more you see that he's very sophisticated and complex." Shimerman concurs, "Quark had always believed he's an outsider on the space station, and that the only thing that's his own are his Ferengi ways. He believes in the Ferenginess of himself. So to give that up – because a contract is a contract is a contract – is a major moral dilemma." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- The FCA notice placed on the wall by Liquidator Brunt at the end of this episode would remain in place until the fifth season episode "Ferengi Love Songs", at which time Quark has his license restored by Brunt.
- Brunt's references to Quark's mother and his union troubles refer to the episodes "Family Business" and "Bar Association" respectively.
- Rom recalls to Quark the latter's brief holding of the title of 'Grand Nagus' - a reference to the first season episode "The Nagus".
- Referenced Rules of Acquisition: #17 ("A contract is a contract is a contract... but only between Ferengi") and #239 ("Never be afraid to mislabel a product")
- This episode also introduces a new runabout, the USS Volga. The episode "By Inferno's Light" later makes it clear that this is not a replacement for one of the other three runabouts, but a fourth runabout (three runabouts are used in the defense of DS9 while another was in the Gamma Quadrant. The others would have been the Rio Grande, Rubicon and Yukon).
- The on-screen scene of the damaged Volga would later be used to depict the damaged Rio Grande in "Apocalypse Rising".
- Cirroc Lofton (Jake Sisko) does not appear in this episode.
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 4.13, 18 November 1996.
- As part of the DS9 Season 4 DVD collection.
Links and references
- Rene Auberjonois as Odo
- Michael Dorn as Lt. Commander Worf
- Terry Farrell as Lt. Commander Dax
- Cirroc Lofton as Jake Sisko
- Colm Meaney as Chief O'Brien
- Armin Shimerman as Quark
- Alexander Siddig as Doctor Bashir
- Nana Visitor as Major Kira
- Rosalind Chao as Keiko O'Brien
- Max Grodénchik as Rom and "Gint"
- Hana Hatae as Molly O'Brien
- Jeffrey Combs as Brunt
Special guest star
- Sam Alejan as a Starfleet medical officer
- Patrick Barnitt as a Bajoran officer
- Brian Demonbreun as a Starfleet science officer
- Randy James as Jones
- Mark Lentry as a Starfleet command officer
- David B. Levinson as Broik
- James Minor as a Starfleet operations officer
- Robin Morselli as a Bajoran officer
- Mark Allen Shepherd as Morn
- Armin Shimerman as the holographic Quark
- James Lee Stanley as a Bajoran security deputy
- Unknown actress as a dabo girl
Alvanian brandy; Bajor; Bajorans; Bajoran wormhole; Cardassian; Cliffs of Undalar; contract; Divine Treasury; Dorek Syndrome; estrogen; exile; Federation; Ferengi; Ferengi Alliance; Ferengi Futures Exchange; vacuum dessication; Ferenginar; fetal transport; Gaila; Gamma Quadrant; Gint; Gorad; Grand Nagus; Guild of Restaurant and Casino Employees; holosuite; humanitarian; Ishka; Jadzia Dax's sister; latinum; O'Brien, Kirayoshi; makara herb; malpractice; marketing; moogie; Nerve gas; Nog; Orpax; Pax; philanthropist; poison; progesterone; Promenade; Quark's; Registrar; runabout; snail juice; tesokine; Torad V; vole; Volga, USS; Yridians; Zek;
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