Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Who Mourns for Morn?   Rewatch 
August 11, 2016 6:36 AM - Season 6, Episode 12 - Subscribe

When the station's most lovable chatterbox dies, Quark inherits his fortune…but soon learns the truth behind the ancient Vulcan proverb: "Morn money, Morn problems."

The title of this episode is a reference to the TOS episode "Who Mourns for Adonais?"

Memory Alpha has come to bury Morn, not to praise him:

- The noise Morn makes when he regurgitates the latinum at the end of the episode took supervising sound editor Mace Matiosian several days of foley recording and over six hours of editing to complete.

- The painting of the matador that is smashed over Quark's head was purchased by Morn in the fifth season episode "In the Cards". John Eaves painted ten duplicates of the original painting.

- Rene Echevarria commented "[writer] Mark [Gehred-O'Connell] did a good job, but the comedy was too broad. Ultimately, it wasn't a Morn episode; it was a story about Quark. And the most common mistake people make in writing Quark is to make him transparently greedy. On paper, that's very funny, but Armin doesn't play Quark that way. Armin plays it real."

- Armin Shimerman was not fond of the episode, commenting "That's one of the iniquities about Mark [Allen Shepherd] still being an extra. Here's a whole episode around someone who's basically a background performer, and that's ridiculous. The definition of a background performer is someone you don't pay attention to. They're someone in the background, so how can you have an entire episode based around them? It shows one of the iniquities of what's happening over at the show that the producers are still treating Mark as though he's an extra."
[Ed.: Given that Shimerman is passionate about labor issues, I'm convinced that Memory Alpha intended for the word to be "inequities," not "iniquities," but I know better than to get into an edit war on a Wikia.]

"I wonder who came up with the idea of suspending liquid latinum inside worthless bits of gold."
"Probably someone who got tired of making change with an eyedropper."

- Quark and Dax

"I'll unload everything and use the profits to... (Sniffs) what is that smell?"
"Your inheritance: Livanian beets. Very ripe."

- Quark and Odo

"Take that gold dust of yours. It doesn't have to be a total loss. I hear there are some primitive cultures who consider it quite valuable..."

- Quark to Morn
posted by CheesesOfBrazil (7 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I love this episode, I think the situational humour works well. One thing I did think after reading the Armin Shimerman quote above is that it is 1000 Bars of Gold-Pressed Latinum. I think for that money Quark would become greedy - with Brunt gone he could start to buy influence and work his way back into Ferengi Economic Society.

I liked the way the episode centred on Quark, with everyone else in an almost speaking-extra roll, similar to what Morn is in the show (sans speaking, obvs.) The jokes about him being talkative were funny when I first saw it but not so much now.

If I was to give this marks out of then it would easily be 6.5 and then get another 1 point for Shimerman as Quark, as he is such a class actor he makes Quark such a class character.
posted by marienbad at 3:03 PM on August 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

I think a lot of the fun in Morn not talking is lost on the second viewing. There's no anticipation or mystery, no "this episode is named after him, surely he'll speak in it!" It also doesn't help that we're watching it over a period of months instead of years. You see the same gag once a week instead of once or twice in a year.

I have this crazy theory that Morn actually speaks telepathically. There is zero evidence to back that up, but it sort of fits with some episodes the same way Bashir's genetic abilities fits before they wrote it in.
posted by 2ht at 3:59 PM on August 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

Maybe this is a good episode to sing the praises of Michael Westmore. Star Trek makeup gets knocked for supposedly just being a lot of crinkly foreheads, but as the Trek series went along his work got more and more colorful and interesting and I think he peaked with DS9. He came a long way from the first season of TNG, where his characters had these stiff masks or little bits of rubber glued on their faces, to stuff like Quark and his posse of crooks here.

He's now a regular presence as an advisor on the special effects makeup competition show, Face Off. It's such a great, fun show!
posted by Ursula Hitler at 7:38 PM on August 11, 2016 [3 favorites]

I agree with 2ht that some of the juice from the original viewing doesn't carry over to the rewatch, but the second viewing does confirm that it was a good idea for them to maintain the joke. The thing with these perpetually hidden/silent/cryptic characters is that, once they're revealed, their real appeal--being able to project onto them whatever your imagination conjures up--is gone, and whatever is revealed can't really live up to what you imagined. (Compare and contrast with the red-haired girl of the Charlie Brown cartoons--that's really when the series of specials jumped the shark--and Onion from Steven Universe; even though we got to find out a bit about his family, Onion still remains the silent, cryptic, somewhat creepy little dude.) The episode played with this a bit, throwing out a lot of red herrings and false stories (Morn is a highly-sought-after lover! Worf's favorite sparring partner! A prince!) before having him successfully pull off a heist and fake his own death. I will agree somewhat with something that Mark Allen Shepherd said once, that it would have been nice for Morn to have had the last line of the series, but I'm also kind of glad that he went to the end with all his lines off-camera.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:56 PM on August 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

For some reason, the alien thugs Krit and Nahsk, particularly Krit, just slay me every time. I friggin' love those guys, and I wish they'd become regular customers at Quark's somehow.

And of course, props must be given to the great Gregory Itzin, who brings the exact right balance of humor and menace to his role as Hain.

I guess I sort of agree with some of the criticism on MA that this one shouldn't have shown up so late in the series, but for what it is—a madcap criminal romp—they orchestrated it all quite well, arguably better than the big madcap criminal romp in season 7, the Vic Fontaine casino episode.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 5:17 AM on August 12, 2016 [2 favorites]

As we've been doing this rewatch I keep wondering when Section 31 and Vic Fontaine show up. I remember them so distinctly from the original run that I would have sworn they played larger roles throughout the series. More likely is that I remember them better because I was so young in the early seasons. Weird how the mind works.

Anyway. Of all the quirky Quark goes off on a slapstick adventure episodes this one is probably my second favorite after Magnificent Ferengi. Something about how all the con artists keep showing up one after another just worked for me. It actually runs very well with Magnificent Ferengi - they're both playing off classic movie tropes. They're both just having fun and don't take themselves too seriously. Although you could argue that they really kill the mood and momentum of the season, especially stuck in between Waltz and Far Beyond the Stars.

(Little Green Men is up there too!)
posted by 2ht at 8:36 AM on August 12, 2016 [2 favorites]

I forgot that I was keeping an eye out for this but a stream of consciousness post I just did on the the blue reminded me.

I know it's quite possible zero people will ever see this comment but:

Am I the only one who thinks this is an obvious remake of Charade, the Cary Grant / Audrey Hepburn flick (which Quark in the Hepburn role)? I'm beginning to think I may be, because if it were the Shimmerman complaint is besides the point, as the corpse in that movie (Hepburn's late husband) is also a non-entity and a McGuffin. So Morn not talking is part of the joke and makes him the best character to pick. Combined with the Magnficent Seven remake I figured the writers were just filling out the season with fun remakes of classic movies, recast with Ferenghi.

Regardless I really enjoyed it.
posted by mark k at 11:29 PM on September 13, 2016 [3 favorites]

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