Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The House of Quark   Rewatch 
October 7, 2015 8:34 AM - Season 3, Episode 3 - Subscribe

When a Klingon warrior is accidentally killed in Quark's Bar, Quark becomes the unwilling steward of a Klingon Great House.

"I am Quark, son of Keldar! And I have come to answer the challenge of D'Ghor, son of... whatever."

* Stephen Hawking visited the set during the filming of this episode.
* First appearance of Gowron on DS9. Ron Moore: "It wasn't conscious decision to have Gowron make the transition from TNG to DS9. It was more the fact that on this show you feel all of the Star Trek universe is fair game because it's all part of the same franchise. So any element that I want to borrow legitimately seems fine."
* The only episode of the show with scenes set on Qo'noS.
* One of Armin Shimerman's favorite episodes: "It meant a lot to me because usually Quark is at the butt of the jokes. But here was a chance to do something, still comedic, but also heroic."
* Mary Kay Adams commented "Working on the scene in "The House of Quark" where I tell Quark to get his hand off my thigh was great fun. "The entire crew kept cracking up every time we did the take. I loved working with Joe Ruskin. I'm a huge fan of his and in the episode he's playing my servant, which was a kick."
* Due to the Dominion threat, all Bajoran families aboard the station relocate to Bajor. With only two students left (Nog and Jake,) Keiko decides to close the school. O'Brien convinces Keiko to go on a six-month expedition to Bajor as chief botanist. The writers wrote her absence into the show in order to explore and develop Bashir and O'Brien's friendship.

Rule of Acquisition
# 286: "When Morn leaves, it's all over." (Not a real rule.)


"I really am very grateful for all you've done, Quark. That is why I'm going to let you take your hand off my thigh, instead of shattering every bone in your body." ~Grilka
posted by zarq (12 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Well, that was delightful. Quark and Klingon intrigue. I love sexy heroic Quark.

And I think this was the first Bashir+O'Brien scene where it wasn't just Bashir being irritating and O'Brien suffering through it. Like, it started out the same way that most of their scenes have been playing out, with Bashir reading over O'Brien's shoulder, and O'Brien seemed on the verge of being annoyed at the intrusion, but then just kinda mentally threw up his hands and surrendered to the unstoppable force of Bashir's need to be best buddies.
posted by oh yeah! at 4:08 PM on October 7, 2015 [2 favorites]

There's something a bit weird to me about O'Brien and Bashir hashing out the solution, and then O'Brien presenting it to Keiko, without much in the way of input from Keiko about what the problem was and how she'd like to solve it. It just kind of has an air of "Men! Solving women's problems!"

I also wish there had been a discussion of which parent would take Molly. There are arguments both ways: DS9 is familiar to Molly, and Bajor probably doesn't have the optimal educational / social resources for a human preschooler. But then there's the Dominion threat, so Molly might be safer on Bajor. I wouldn't have had a problem if Miles and Keiko had talked it out and decided that Molly would go with Keiko. The lack of discussion feels like some baked-in sexism by writers who just assumed that OF COURSE Molly would go with her mother.

The bit with Quark and the Klingons reviewing ledgers was classic, though.
posted by creepygirl at 5:48 PM on October 7, 2015 [5 favorites]

Ahh, Gowron.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:02 PM on October 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

That was one of my favorite episodes of DS9 so far - I would certainly put it on a shortlist of "rewatch any time." I'm also starting to put Armin Shimerman near the top of my list for best actors to appear on Star Trek. I remember watching live when the Ferengis first started to appear on TNG oh so long ago and my thirteen-year-old self would never believe that a Ferengi would become one of my favorite Trek characters. I don't know that I've laughed out loud so many times at a Trek episode, either...

I agree with creepygirl that the assumption that Molly would have to go with Keiko was jarring. As a father to a young daughter, I was just thinking they would start discussing how Molly might go back and forth between the station and Bajor, but, yeah, Keiko has to take care of Molly... Kinda weird too since the episode had the dueling undercurrent of "it's important for women's careers to be taken seriously."
posted by Slothrop at 6:33 AM on October 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

I'm also starting to put Armin Shimerman near the top of my list for best actors to appear on Star Trek.

Have you ever watched Buffy? He's just fantastic in that as well, playing a very different type of character.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:06 AM on October 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

showbiz_liz - I have seen Buffy, although it has been awhile, and I did not see every episode or every season. I do remember Armin Shimerman's character in that mostly (a mean principal, right?).

What I like about Shimerman's Quark is that he is an antihero, but not the bland kind of "good guy who's got a problem with violence." Really, because he can be a coward, he's an anti-antihero, but not a hero and certainly not a villain within the context of a fantasy/sci-fi show. In real life, Quark would be a bit of a villain, but within the confines of the show you can root for him, or at least enjoy him.
posted by Slothrop at 9:05 AM on October 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

This episode is great for all of the little "cultural differences" details they get in to really flesh out the story. And it's not just the intricacies of Klingon inheritance law, or the fact that the Klingon aristocracy has the same problem as the English landed gentry at the end of the 18th century ("Hey, we're really rich! Ew, money- what on earth is that?). It's things like Kira's attitude when O'Brien wants to speak with Sisko about his wife: "Oh, this must be a human thing." Like, the Bajoran attitude is, "Why would gender make a difference when a friend wants to talk about his relationship with his partner?" (Of course, this might also just be indicative of a former guerrilla fighter's more pragmatic attitude towards interpersonal relationships. Maybe she's a bit socially inept on Bajor, too)

Generally an excellent episode all around, and Mary Kay Adams is outstanding. I agree that the resolution that Miles and Keiko reach is still a bit weird, though.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:30 PM on October 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

A couple of the things that I like about this episode: First, that there are immediate and unexpected repercussions to the problems with the Dominion that affect the plot of the episode; if there had been just one other customer in the bar besides Kozak, none of the other events of the A plot would have taken place. (Ditto for the B plot, in terms of the general Dominion situation, actually.) And I also like that, despite the Ferengi usually being put forth as illustrators of the deficiencies of 20th/21st-century capitalist humans, Quark's financial prowess is actually shown as an asset, and further one that post-monetary humans wouldn't really be able to duplicate. A typical Trek episode would have had a human being the one to bring good old-fashioned Yankeehuman know-how to bear to a problem where the usual Klingon obsession with honor and glory fell short.

Also, I generally agree on how weirdly one-sided the Miles/Keiko problem is portrayed and solved. Something that really stuck out was how Dax made the observation that she knew the sort of situation that Miles was in, from both sides... and then just kind of disappears, leaving Julian Bashir, of all people, Mr. Unlucky in Love (except with his patients, ha ha but really not funny), to break it all down for him. I understand that part of the reason for this plot development was to turn Miles and Julian into BFFs, but come on--they could have written a scene in which Keiko going to Bajor was more of an equitable (and delicate) negotiation between the two, then set up Miles and Julian as buds.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:12 PM on October 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

The only episode of the show with scenes set on Qo'noS

That surprises me, given how many Klingon stories the show ends up telling, especially from S4 onward.
posted by crossoverman at 4:14 AM on October 12, 2015

Oh my god, the Klingons are the best thing about Trek and I unabashedly love every moment they are on screen. So much fun!!
posted by dry white toast at 8:05 PM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

This episode has many, many delightful parts. Warning though to anyone who, like me, is watching it during quarantine. There are some parts that are too close to our current situation and so as a whole it ended up being quite depressing.
posted by tofu_crouton at 8:33 PM on March 16, 2020

The Klingon divorce might have been the hardest I’ve laughed at Star Trek (and that’s including Lower Decks!)
posted by schmod at 10:45 AM on January 31, 2021 [1 favorite]

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