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Progress (episode)

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"Progress"
DS9, Episode 1x15
Production number: 40511-415
First aired: 9 May 1993
14th of 173 produced in DS9
14th of 173 released in DS9
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 173 released in DS9 Remastered  
268th of 728 released in all
Nerys and Mullibok (2369)
Written By
Peter Allan Fields

Directed By
Les Landau
46844.3 (2369)
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An old farmer refuses to leave the moon where he lives, even though it is about to be made uninhabitable by toxic gases. Meanwhile, Jake and Nog set out to turn an inordinate amount of seemingly worthless condiments into profit.

Summary

Quark berates Broik for ordering 5,000 wrappages of Cardassian yamok sauce (with the Cardassians off the station, it is worse than worthless). Jake and Nog are playing cards nearby, and Nog overhears and, as Quark leaves the room, begins to form a scheme to make a few bars of latinum off his uncle's misfortune.

"Station log, stardate 46844.3. With the help of the Federation, Bajor is about to commence its first large-scale energy transfer – the tapping of the molten core of its fifth moon, Jeraddo."

Kira and Dax head off in a runabout to conduct a final inspection of the moon. Their scan reveals that there is a humanoid life-sign still on the planet, in spite of the fact that all the moon's inhabitants were ordered to evacuate the planet.

On the runabout, Dax mentions that Morn had asked her out.

Kira beams down to the surface to find out what is going on, and who is still on the moon. She is surprised to find herself threatened by a Bajoran man and woman holding farm implements. An older Bajoran man comes out to talk to Kira, and she tries to tell him he has to leave, but he is very dismissive of her. He and his friends don't like uniforms.

Meanwhile, Nog and Jake are trying to find a buyer for 5,000 wrappages of yamok sauce, but having very little luck finding one willing to pay latinum. They grudgingly settle for 100 gross of self-sealing stem bolts, being sold by a freighter captain because the man who ordered them could not pay.

Back on Jeraddo, the old Bajoran begins stalling for time. He invites Kira to a dinner that will take several hours to prepare, and does his best to aggravate her into leaving. The man's name is Mullibok, and he knows that the moon's core is to be tapped and Jeraddo will be uninhabitable. Mullibok has decided to stay even at the cost of his life.

Nog and Jake are now faced with the problem of obtaining Quark's yamok sauce. Fortunately, Quark is so disgusted with the whole yamok sauce fiasco that he is happy to take Nog up on his offer to dispose of it.

The old farmer tries to bore Kira into submission with the tall tale of how he got started farming on Jeraddo. She indulgently listens to his story, and later, as she begins to tell of her days in the Resistance, she realizes she is forced to admit that she survived, as did the Bajoran Resistance, by hanging on like fanatics, just as Mullibok is doing. Mullibok's mind is made up; he will not leave his home, no matter the consequence.

In a cargo bay, Jake and Nog inspect their new acquisition: 100 gross of top-quality self-sealing stem bolts. Just then, Chief O'Brien enters the cargo bay to tell them to warn Quark about bypassing proper import procedures. He begins to ask a lot of questions about why Quark needs so many self-sealing stem bolts, but fortunately he doesn't dig too deep. It does, however, seem that O'Brien, along with Jake and Nog, has absolutely no idea whatsoever as to what self-sealing stem bolts are, what they are for, what they do, or why anyone would want them.

Kira returns to the station, and tries to convince the Bajoran governmental representative in charge of the project to delay, to give her time to convince Mullibok and his friends to leave, but he refuses. If they don't leave the moon, the project will go ahead anyway. Kira is forced to return to the moon to remove Mullibok against his will, by force if necessary. The situation erupts into violence when Mullibok's friends attack a member of Kira's team. Enraged that his friends are being removed by force, Mullibok attacks one of the security officers and is shot.

Back on Deep Space 9, Jake and Nog open communications with the original buyer of the stem bolts, under the name "The Noh-Jay Consortium." They offer to sell him the merchandise for five bars of gold-pressed latinum, but he cannot pay four, or even three bars. If he'd had latinum, he could have bought the stem bolts outright. He cannot pay even one bar of latinum, but offers a trade (a less than appealing offer, from Jake and Nog's point of view). The offer is seven tessipates of land on Bajor. Nog is getting impatient; he wants latinum, and he wants it now. Jake, however, is convinced that they should take the land. With no real alternatives, they accept the land. Nog remains skeptical, but Jake is sure it will work out.

On Jerrado, Mullibok has survived. Dr. Bashir is treating him, and informs him that his friends have been evacuated to Bajor. Bashir wants to take Mullibok back to DS9 for observation, but the farmer is adamant. He will not leave. Bashir tells Kira that he will take Mullibok back without his consent; he is injured and needs to be cared for. Kira has another idea. She will stay with Mullibok and take care of his needs. Without another word, she starts to continue Mullibok's chores, building a kiln he has been working on for some time. Bashir reports back to Sisko, who, while unsure of Kira's intentions, decides to allow the situation to continue for the time being. He visits Kira on Jerrado, and discusses with her about her discomfort with the current situation. She was accustomed to being the underdog, fighting against impossible odds; now she is on the other side, and she hates herself for it. Sisko reassures her that she is on the right side, that Bajor needs people like her, and leaves her to decide how to handle the situation.

Jake and Nog have still not managed to sell their newly acquired land. Nog is upset, he thinks the bolts were better than the land; Jake takes the opposite stance: he is certain that land is better than bolts, and he cites the fact that one can build things on land. As they continue their tense and joyless card game, Quark and Odo enter the room, talking about a mysterious new business group: the Noh-Jay Consortium. Quark claims never to have heard of them, but Odo was contacted by someone in the Bajoran government planning to build on a strip of land owned by four different parties. Three of four have agreed to sell, but the fourth – the Noh-Jay Consortium – cannot be contacted. Jake's and Nog's ears prick up; the government can't build unless they agree to sell their land. Finally, the land they worked so hard to get is worth something.

Quark, intent on getting in on this wonderful opportunity for profit, barely notices as Nog approaches him. Nog tries to propose a deal to Quark, who, certain that his nephew is just being a bother, dismisses him out-of-hand, until it dawns on him that "Noh-Jay" is Nog and Jake. He can barely believe it, but agrees to buy the land from them for five bars of gold-pressed latinum.

On Jeraddo, Mullibok has recovered enough to complete work on his kiln. Kira helps him finish, then, as the old man fires it up, comes out of the cottage with her bags packed, along with Mullibok's. He tells her that, as long as that cottage is standing, he will not leave. In response, she fires her weapon at the kiln, destroying it, and sets fire to his cottage. She tells him it is time to move on. Mullibok is devastated. He tells Kira to kill him as well; he is convinced he cannot leave, but there is nothing left on Jeraddo for him now.

Memorable Quotes

"Let's see... Who on the station is clever enough?"
"Uncle Quark?"
"Not now."
"But uncle Quark!"
"Go sweep the floor!"
"It's important!"
"Alright, make it fast!"
"I have a business opportunity that might interest you. It'll only cost you... five bars of gold pressed latinum."
(Quark looks at Jake who's sitting behind Nog at the bar, and motions between them)
"You? Nog!"

- Quark and Nog, as Quark tries to figure out who the Noh-Jay Consortium is

Background Information

Story and script

Reception

  • Rick Berman commented "I think it turned out real nice. The end is rather bittersweet. Brian Keith gave a performance that was very interesting and was in many ways better than I expected. It's a very poignant story in the relationship between Major Kira and this old man". (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p 79)
  • Writer Peter Allan Fields was not happy with how Mullibok came across in the finished episode. According to Fields, he'd written the Bajoran as a much more manipulative and less likable character; "I wanted a strong guy who did not change at the end. There are too many old guys in television dramas who start out nasty and then get meek and gentle at the end. That's not what I wanted." To help illustrate what he means, Fields cites the scene when Mullibok asks Kira for her given name. In the script, this question was specifically used to manipulate Kira ("He said it because he was trying to con her"), but in the final episode, it seems as if Mullibok feels a degree of warmth for her. Fields says he doesn't fault Brian Keith's performance, but instead Mullibok simply comes across as too sympathetic a figure; he is "less of an adversary than he ought to have been. He was less of a mountain for Kira to climb." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion) Interestingly, in the second season episode "Second Sight", the exact opposite would happen with the character of Gideon Seyetik – a character whom the writers wanted people to like and sympathize with coming across as pompous and unlikable.
  • Ira Steven Behr enjoyed the Jake/Nog B-story, commenting "I always wanted to do Milo Minderbinder from Catch-22, the guy who can acquire things and we put these two kids together as the Milo Minderbinders of Deep Space Nine and it has some nice stuff in it". (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p 79)

Trivia

  • This is the first time in DS9 where the Bajoran name order is addressed, when Major Kira says her birth-given name, or first name, is Nerys.
  • The Kira aspect of this episode has a plot similar to TNG: "The Ensigns of Command". In fact, the final resolution to destroy the kiln is much like Data's solution of destroying the aqueduct, compelling the residents to leave.
  • Michael Bofshever's costume was sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay and also worn by background actor Alan Schwartz in a different episode. [1]

Apocrypha

  • Mullinok appears briefly in the novel Warchild where he has Jadzia pass on a message to Kira, that he forgives her for her actions.

Video and DVD releases

Links and references

Starring

Also Starring

Guest Stars

Co-Stars

Uncredited Co-Stars

Stunt double

References

2329; 2351; air; Bajor; Bajoran; Bajoran farming tools; Bajoran phaser; Bajoran Provisional Government; Bajoran sector; Bajoran sun; Bajoran Militia uniform; Bajoran vegetables; baking pot; Baltrim's wine; bean; bed; bill; bird; bottle; bricklayer; butcher; carbon; Cardassian; Cardassian survey vessel; cargo bay; cargo manifest; carnivorous rastipod; chlorobicrobe; code reader; cottage; crop; cupboard; dabo; Daedalus class; day; dinner; fanatic; farm; farmer; father; Federation; fingernail; fire; first officer; flower; forehead; USS Ganges; gold-pressed latinum; gross; hair; hand barrow; hour; import procedure; inventory PADD; Jeraddo; kandipper; katterpod; kellipate; kiln; Kira Taban; labor camp; liaison officer lifeform; Lissepian; Lissepian cargo ship; lobe; lokar bean; Lussilla; Malgorian; material subsistence report; matter reclamation unit; meter; mining; minister; minute; model; molten core; moon; Morn; mute; night; Noh-Jay Consortium; nurse; paycheck; peritoneum; planetary core; playing card; Quark's; reclamation facility; replimat; Rom; root; runabout, seed; self-sealing stem bolt; sensor; shipping code; sir; soil; spoon; Starfleet; starvation; station log; subspace interference; subspace transmission; suicide; sulfur; supper; tessipate; thermologist; tooth; tree; uncle; underdog; uniform; unnamed engineering tool; unnamed medical tool; vegetable; water pump; week; window; winter; wrappage; yamok sauce; year

External links


Previous episode:
"The Storyteller"
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Season 1
Next episode:
"If Wishes Were Horses"

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