Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Ferengi Love Songs   Rewatch 
June 9, 2016 6:04 AM - Season 5, Episode 20 - Subscribe

Quark grows despondent enough to visit his mother, only to learn she's involved (in more ways than one) with Zek. Meanwhile, cross-cultural misunderstanding threatens Rom and Leeta's wedding. ♫ Love... soft as a Ferengi's lobes...

Rule of Exposition #116: Always cite Memory Alpha...

- According to Ira Steven Behr, the working title of this episode was "How Quark Acquired His Groove Back".

- Ishka's comment to Quark about not saving the original packaging of his action figures was written by Hans Beimler as a joke at the expense of Ira Steven Behr. As Beimler explains, "Ira's one of those guys who buys all these toys and never opens them. And God forbid you should open one because it'll make it less valuable."

- The Marauder Mo action figures are re-dressed Superpatriot figures from the McFarlane "Spawn" action figure line of the mid-90s. Two of the action figures hold an Energy whip (made from pipe cleaners), seen in TNG: "The Last Outpost" and ENT: "Acquisition".

- Ira Steven Behr was unhappy with how this episode turned out, especially in terms of how the humor was handled; "We weren't doing a cartoon. I saw the tone more along the lines of a Howard Hawks Bringing Up Baby kind of thing. But we pitched it at too high a level, and I think it's the first time that Zek got away from us. It was a show that worked well in dailies, in little snippets, but put it all together and you're saying 'Enough already!'"

- Both actor Armin Shimerman and director Rene Auberjonois, however, disagree with Behr's assessment of the comic tone of the episode. According to Shimerman, "It was very much a cartoon. I mean, the idea that the richest, most powerful man alive is in your bedroom closet boggled my imagination. So my response to it had to be cartoony. How else can you respond to something like that? How could you take that seriously?" Similarly, Auberjonois simply argues, "I've always thought of the Ferengi as cartoon characters."

- This episode introduces Cecily Adams as Ishka. Andrea Martin had previously played the role in the episode "Family Business", but she found the prosthetics too much and decided not to return to the role. Adams would play Ishka for the duration of the show.

- This episode introduces the character of Leck in a small role. Leck would return in the sixth season episode "The Magnificent Ferengi" in a more prominent role.

"Wait a minute! What's the Nagus doing in my closet?"

- Quark

"Don't you think of anyone but yourself?!"
"Of course I do. I just think about myself first."

- Ishka and Quark

"Brunt, FCA."
"But for how much longer?"

- Brunt and Quark

"I hate him."
"No, you don't."
"All he loves is latinum."
"No, he doesn't."
"Cancelling that wedding was the best thing that ever happened to me."
"No, it isn't."
"I am so glad, he's out of my life."
"No, you're not."
"Major, you haven't been listening to me."
"Yes, I have."

- Leeta and Kira
posted by CheesesOfBrazil (4 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The episode may have been intended to be filed under C for Comedy, but it still has some unexpectedly heavy overtones to it. Ishka, as usual, is doing her best to change Ferengi attitudes and laws regarding females, but is finding it rough sledding, also as usual; Zek seems sincerely offended at the idea that he might get Quark's business license back just because he's been canoodling with Ishka, because Quark did, after all, break a contract; Quark is complaining that being around humans for too long has led to his developing a conscience; and Brunt, far from being the selfless defender of the Rules of Acquisition that he had claimed to be, was really pulling everyone's strings for his personal gain--the most Ferengi thing of all to do. Even Rom put his last-minute cold feet down to wanting to impose a traditional Ferengi marriage contract on Leeta, although it was really about a lot more than the latinum. (In the past, some commenters have commented on Nog's behavior toward women, and I wonder if some of that has to do with Rom's failed first marriage and some things that Nog may have picked up from his dad.) There is some genuine comedy at play here, although most of it seems to be in Quark going through the same thing that a lot of adult children of widowed or divorced parents do when their parent resumes their sex life.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:57 PM on June 9, 2016 [2 favorites]

I sometimes wonder how differently all these later Ferengi episodes would've played out if Andrea Martin stayed on as Ishka. I feel like she brought more tenderness to the role. It might've been interesting to see that combined with her burgeoning political influence, and I imagine it would've shifted the tone of this and similar episodes a bit away from madcap zaniness--perhaps even to their detriment.

I guess when you get right down to it, I don't mind a bit of madcap zaniness in my Trek. Maybe that's because I watched a fair number of TOS episodes in reruns, well before TNG came along to make it Serious.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 5:50 PM on June 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

Another Jeffrey Combs appearance, yay!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:33 PM on June 12, 2016

I am slowly catching up due to the football taking over....

This was a great episode, Shimmerman gives a superb performance as Quark, at once devious and selfish and sorta lost as well - he really doesn't understand what is going on with his moogie and the nagus, and when he realises he has sold them out to benefit Brunt...

And again, the Ferengi are a different class here to the Ferengi of TNG, so much more believable, so much more rounded. Funny how stuff from TNG just gets dropped in favour of the DS9 interpretation of how Ferengi's are.

The whole thing hung together well, the direction was excellnt, the acting was pretty much class all through (even Zek seems more realistic this time, and Shawn's portrayal of befuddlement is lovely and well done) and the idea is good as well. I really liked this episode.
posted by marienbad at 2:24 PM on June 23, 2016

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