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Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places (episode)

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"Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places"
DS9, Episode 5x03
Production number: 40510-501
First aired: 14 October 1996
99th of 173 produced in DS9
99th of 173 released in DS9
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 173 released in DS9 Remastered  
431st of 728 released in all
Quark with batleth
Written By
Ronald D. Moore

Directed By
Andrew Robinson
Unknown (2373)
Arc: Quark and Grilka (2 of 2)  
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Worf helps Quark woo Grilka, his Klingon ex-wife.

Summary Edit

Grilka, Quark's ex-wife, shows up on Deep Space 9, and while her intentions are unknown, Worf is smitten as soon as he sees her. Grilka comes to Quark and conveniently mentions that her Great House, the House of Grilka, has suffered significant financial losses of late – but she doesn't ask for help, for Klingons do not dirty themselves with "filthy ledgers and bank accounts." Taking the hint, Quark "asks" to look at her financial records, and he helps her as she planned. The two of them spend a great deal of time together, and they genuinely seem interested in one another.

Meanwhile in the infirmary, Miles O'Brien is collecting medicine to ease Kira Nerys' pregnancy, for he views it as his duty to protect and assist the new surrogate mother of his child. O'Brien declines Bashir's invitation to the holosuites, and the ensuing conversation reveals the changing dynamics of the O'Brien household, resulting in Bashir ribbing his friend as the type of fellow who "would look" after O'Brien mentions he helped Kira out of her bath.

Later in Quark's Bar, Worf puts on a display to get Grilka's attention that includes throwing Morn out of his seat (after first apologizing in advance to Morn, sotto voce) and insulting her guard, Thopok. Tumek pulls Worf aside and informs him that Grilka is not interested in the advances of a traitor to the Empire, however; further, Worf, being raised by humans, can be excused for the trangression in his eyes because of his human upbringing, leaving him naive about Klingon mating rituals.

Quark is undoubtedly unfamiliar with Klingon mating rituals, and when Grilka invites him to a private dinner in her quarters, he seeks Dax – and Worf – for help, who are alone in the Defiant's mess hall talking about Worf's attempt to gain Grilka's favor. Worf at first remains painfully aloof as Jadzia coaches Quark, but then surprisingly offers insight.

Meanwhile, with the blessings of Keiko, Miles has been giving Kira regular massages to help relieve her pain. While giving Kira a massage in her bedroom, O'Brien and Kira discover they have feelings for each other when Kira makes a remark about how she wouldn't mind spending three weeks in Ireland with Miles. O'Brien agrees then realizes what he said and feels guilty when Keiko walks into the room catching him giving Kira a massage. Keiko doesn't care, and says, "Don't stop on my account."

Alone on the bridge of the Defiant, Worf indulges in Klingon opera. Quark disrupts his privacy and proceeds to describe how his night with Grilka went. Worf is strangely accepting of the Ferengi's intrusion, and it slowly becomes apparent that Worf is living vicariously through Quark's associations with Grilka, assuming a Cyrano de Bergerac-esque advisory role. With Jadzia, Quark's education in Klingon courtship continues in the holosuites.

After participating in a holosuite simulation with him, Grilka points out to Quark that he has just acted out one of the most romantic of Klingon operas, and she pointedly, and somewhat suspiciously, asks him, "What are your thoughts, Quark... why do you pursue me?" His answer, that she, his "object of great value", may be worth all the latinum in the quadrant, cinches it. The two of them are in love. All seems well until Thopok, Grilka's bodyguard, becomes fed up with the offensive romance and declares that he cannot work for a House where a Ferengi is welcome. He challenges Quark to mortal combat.

Later, Kira announces to Keiko and Miles that she is going to Bajor for a few days to relax in her friend's cabin. Miles is pleased, but Keiko is shocked by this news because she is worried Kira will go into labor. Keiko demands Miles go with her, and when he refuses, Keiko accuses them of fighting again and settles the debate – Miles and Kira will go to Bajor together.

Now Quark is faced with the prospect of either losing Grilka or dying (for he obviously still doesn't stand a chance against a Klingon with a bat'leth). Worf again helps the Ferengi; using a special device, Worf is able to control Quark's body movements and helps him defend himself. Despite a technical glitch that forces Quark to stall, ultimately, Quark hands the bodyguard's bat'leth to Grilka, proving his courage and sealing the deal. Quark is successful, but this leaves Worf alone.

Not as alone as he thinks, however. Jadzia Dax, who until now has pressured him about the fact that there is nothing special about Grilka, claims she would be looking for someone more fun and "attainable" if she were him. Worf, who never has done well picking up romantic subtleties, still does not get the hint. Exasperated, Dax finally takes matters into her own hands and jumps Worf, shouting something in Klingonese, and, after a very brief sparring with bat'leths, ends up beginning a mating ritual of her own with him.

About this time, Kira and Miles are meeting in a runabout to depart for the trip to Bajor. Before they can depart, Kira admits that the place she is going to relax is one of the most romantic sites on Bajor. On hearing this, Miles puts his foot down and says, "I'm not going!" They come up with a cover story to tell Keiko and Kira goes to Bajor alone.

When the two couples – Quark and Grilka and Dax and Worf – come to the infirmary with broken bones and bruises aplenty, it is enough to convince Doctor Bashir that he is best off not asking how his patients received their wounds anymore. In a private room in the infirmary, Dax and Worf talk about what happened. Dax understands that Worf is unlikely to rush into marriage, even though tradition recommends it. They do agree, however, that they ought to pursue their relationship further. Worf is uncomfortable being in a relationship with an uncertain future, but Jadzia teases him that they've established at least one thing for certain: the woman on his mind is no longer Grilka. At that, Worf throws back his head and gives one of his rare booming laughs.

Memorable Quotes Edit

"Did you see her?"
"The Klingon woman."
"She was glorious!"

- Worf and Jadzia Dax


"War! What is it good for? If you ask me, absolutely nothing."

- Quark, paraphrasing the song War


"A perfect evening."
"Mmm. Almost. Her bodyguard was giving me threatening looks all night."
"That is to be expected. The idea of a Ferengi courting a great lady is... offensive."
"You know, it's attitudes like that that keep you people from getting invited to all the really good parties."

- Worf and Quark


"This is ridiculous! I'm surrounded by corpses, my shoes are dripping in blood, and you want me to feel romantic? Why am I putting myself through this?"
"Because later that night, Kahless and Lukara jumped on each other like a pair of crazed voles. Grrr!"
"One more time..."

- Quark and Jadzia Dax


"You are a coward and a liar - and you have no honor! So tomorrow you will kill me, or I will kill you!" (growl)

- Thopok to Quark


"You people have rituals for everything except waste extraction! You must have a ceremony or secret hand-shake or something I can do!"

- Quark, facing the problem of dying, or being branded a coward and losing Grilka


"What are your thoughts, Quark? Why play out one of the most romantic scenes in Klingon literature for me? Why learn to speak Klingon and observe our customs? ... Why do you pursue me?"
"I only pursue those things I wish to acquire."
"'Acquire'...now, you sound like a Ferengi again."
"I am a Ferengi. That means I have a talent for appreciating objects of great value. And I believe...you may be worth more than all the latinum in the quadrant."
(A stunned Grilka now understands what Quark meant)
"My Kahless...."
"My Lukara...."

- Grilka and Quark, right after playing Kahless and Lukara in the holosuite


"To this end my blade soars! Through the aquarium of my soul seeking the kelp of discontent which must be cut so that the rocky bottom of love lie in waiting with fertile sand for the coming seed of Grilka's affection. And then? Does this explain my need for her? No. It is like a giant cave of emptiness waiting for the bats of love."

- Quark


"You realize that according to Klingon tradition..."
"According to tradition, we have to get married."
"But as you keep insisting, you are not a traditional woman."
"And the truth is, Worf... at heart, you're not much of a traditional man."

- Worf and Jadzia Dax


"I will apologize for this at a later time. You are in my seat! (hits the table with his fist) Bartender! Bloodwine!"

- Worf, tossing Morn off his seat to impress Grilka


"I am a fool."
"You're in love - which I suppose is the same thing."

- Worf and Jadzia Dax


(Quark, Grilka, Jadzia and Worf are all in infirmary with lots of bruises and mildly stressed bones, having the couples made love in Klingon's way)
"What have you been doing?"
"You mean... what have we been doing?"
(Naughty laughter by Quark and Grilka)
"Never mind... I don't need that particular image running around in my head. I'll just treat you... What happened to you two?"
"We, um..."
"Well, uh... if you must know..."
"No! No, I don't need that image either. In fact, I'm going to stop asking that question altogether. People can come in, I will treat them, and that's all."

- Bashir, Quark, Grilka (not speaking, just laughing), Worf and Jadzia Dax

Background Information Edit

Story and script Edit

  • The 1897 play Cyrano de Bergerac served as the inspiration for this episode. In the play, by Edmond Rostand, two male characters, Cyrano and Christian, fall in love with the same woman, Roxanne. Cyrano is an unattractive man, but one of great wit; Christian is very handsome, but not particularly intelligent, so Cyrano agrees to help Christian woo Roxanne. In the famous seduction scene, as Christian attempts to win Roxanne's heart, Cyrano hides in a nearby bush and whispers the right things to say to Christian. There is no real equivalent of the Jadzia Dax character in the original play. The idea of doing an episode of Deep Space Nine based upon Cyrano de Bergerac was Michael Dorn's. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion) Cyrano de Bergerac also featured prominently in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode The Nth Degree.
  • The lack of explanation for exactly how the Virtual Control Device functioned was something which writer Ronald D. Moore did purposely. He felt that in the context of the episode, stopping to explain how it worked would have slowed down the action and taken away from the comedy, so he chose to leave it purposely vague; "Dax had invented it, and I wasn't interested in explaining it to the viewers. We just buy the premise and move on." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
  • The final draft script is dated 25 July 1996. [1]

Production Edit

Reception Edit

  • Armin Shimerman commented that the episode was "a great delight for me. Although it was a comic episode, I had learned a lot about playing romance from that episode with Mary Crosby back in the second season. As an actor, I learned that I played it too much with my heart on my sleeve, and that's not true romance; it's just hokum. So I wanted to try new things in the relationship with Grilka, and that turned out much more to my satisfaction". ("The House of Quark", Star Trek Monthly, issue 36)
  • Terry Farrell commented: "What's with that title? What happened to easy names like "The Quickening" or "Defiant"? I can hardly remember those anyway! It was great to finally have my romance with Worf. The show jumped a little bit to a conclusion. I would like to have seen little indications along the way in which Worf contemplated whether or not Dax would be a good mate. As it is, it's out of the blue that he's going to go for it with me. He admits his love at the end, and that was like, 'Wow! Another jump'. Overall, I really enjoyed doing it. Michael and I got a kick out of comparing each other's bruise makeup". (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine Vol. 18)
  • Although the A-story in this particular episode was a big hit with fans, writer Ronald D. Moore is more proud of the B-story involving O'Brien and Kira. According to Moore, "that was one of the most real storylines we've ever done. They were flesh-and-blood people in a very believable situation, reacting believably." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)

Trivia Edit

Video and DVD releases Edit

Links and References Edit

Starring Edit

Also starring Edit

Guest stars Edit

Uncredited co-stars Edit

Stunt doubles Edit

References Edit

Alpha Quadrant; Bajor; Bajorans; Barak-Kadan; Basai master; bloodwine; Bolian; botanical pathology; compound fracture; D'Ghor; Ferengi; Gowron; Holana River; House of Grilka; Ireland; Kahless the Unforgettable; Keldar; kilometer; Klingons; Klingon Empire; Klingon mating rituals; Klingon opera; Kozak; latinum; Lingta; Lukara; Makara herb; Maparian ale; massage; Mekro'vak region; Musilla Province; O'Brien, Michael; O'Brien, Molly; optronic relay, Parada; pazafer; Promenade; prune juice; Qam-Chee; Qo'noS; Quark's; racket; radius (bone); rib; Right of Proclamation; runabout; Shakaar Edon; springball; Takeo herb; targ; tendon; tricorder; Tygarian; vole

External linksEdit


Previous episode:
"The Ship"
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Season 5
Next episode:
"Nor the Battle to the Strong"

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