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The Magnificent Ferengi (episode)

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"The Magnificent Ferengi"
DS9, Episode 6x10
Production number: 40510-534
First aired: 17 December 1997
132nd of 173 produced in DS9
132nd of 173 released in DS9
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 173 released in DS9 Remastered  
497th of 728 released in all
Ishka and Yelgrun
Written By
Ira Steven Behr & Hans Beimler

Directed By
Chip Chalmers
Unknown (2374)
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When Quark's mother Ishka is captured by the Dominion, Quark, Rom, and Nog lead a team of Ferengi into a meeting on Empok Nor with Keevan as their payment.

Summary

Teaser

In Quark's Bar, Quark observes an incoming shipment of Syrup of squill. It had been previously thought to be nearly unavailable due to a drought on the planet Balancar. Quark explains to his customers how he had learned there was in fact no drought and that it was merely a ruse to drive up prices. Quark had then demanded a shipment of syrup or he would "expose their deception to the entire quadrant".

Quark's customers are impressed, though his moment of glory is short-lived. Dax, Doctor Bashir, and Chief Miles O'Brien enter, having just returned from taking the USS Defiant on a mission behind enemy lines. Quark complains to Constable, or Chief of Security Odo about the Starfleet officers stealing away his audience. Odo points out they're not just Starfleet officers, they're heroes. Quark is then interrupted with a message from Ferenginar.

Quark finds Rom working in an access tube and gives him troubling news: Their mother Ishka has been captured by the Dominion. What's worse, Grand Nagus Zek wants Quark to rescue her.

Act one

Quark explains that Moogie was returning home from a lobe-lift on Vulcan when her transport was attacked by Dominion forces, taking her prisoner. He says the Nagus offered a reward of fifty bars of gold-pressed latinum. Rom suggests they hire the toughest mercenaries they can find: Nausicaans, Breen, Klingons. Quark has another idea, however: the rescue team will be made up only of Ferengi. Rom is nervous but Quark believes Ferengi can be just as tough as Klingons with the right incentive. Being a typical Ferengi himself, however, they'll say the reward is only twenty bars of latinum. With that, they seek out their first recruit.

Nog immediately declines, explaining that he's a Starfleet officer and has duties to perform. Quark, however, points out that he could be the team's Strategic operations officer, just like Commander Worf. They suggests he could train the team for combat. Nog finally agrees, with the team becoming three.

Before contacting their next recruit, Quark tells Rom that Leck is not a typical Ferengi: his priorities are different. When the two reach Leck on a secure subspace channel, Rom learns that Leck is an "Eliminator". He initially has no interest in joining the team or even in earning latinum. He does, however, enjoy testing his abilities with a challenge and agrees to join when he learns they'll be facing the Dominion. The team is now four.

Next they travel to a nearby starbase to pick up their cousin Gaila, who has fallen on hard times since they last met. The weapons dealer who was once so wealthy, he owned his own moon was recently arrested on Thalos VI for vagrancy. Gaila blames his misfortune entirely on Quark. When he learns Quark paid for his release and his offer to earn some latinum, Gaila's vengeance is overcome by greed and he too agrees to join. The team is now five.

Back at the bar on Deep Space Nine, Nog attempts to show them a schematic of a Dominion internment center, but soon gets into an argument with Leck over Leck's refusal to call him "sir" and finally quits. As Quark urges him to stay, Gaila asks how they're supposed to get to the internment center anyway, since they have no ship. As Quark tries to soothe things over, a loud clapping is heard and Brunt emerges from the other end of the bar.

Brunt initially mocks the group but quickly announces his intention to sign up as well. Having lost his job as a Liquidator for the FCA after trying to usurp Zek (again, see "Ferengi Love Songs"), he hopes that by helping to save Ishka, the Nagus would give him his job back. None of the others want him on board though; none of them like liquidators and it would mean smaller shares of the "twenty bar reward". "Fine," Brunt says, innocently. "I'll just get in my ship and leave." The team is now six.

Act two

In a holosuite simulation, Nog has the team engage a group of three Jem'Hadar soldiers guarding Ishka with disastrous results: Quark is shot in the leg, Gaila drops his weapon and runs away, Rom runs into a wall, Brunt tries to surrender but is shot as well. The only one to get off a shot is Leck, who instead shoots Ishka! "I saw we weren't going to rescue her so I put her out of her misery," he says. Brunt suggests starting off with something simpler like ambushing Bolians, but a frustrated Quark simply sends them all away.

Back down in the bar, Quark tells Rom they don't have a chance of rescuing their mother. As he reminisces about his impressive deal acquiring squill a few days earlier, Rom suggests perhaps instead of trying to fight the Dominion, they should negotiate instead. Quark agrees, deciding a trade is better since everyone goes home happy and alive. The two think about what they have to trade.

Quark later thanks Captain Sisko and Major Kira for talking to Starfleet on his behalf and giving him a prisoner to exchange. Kira tells him it is payback for freeing her from the Dominion (see "Sacrifice of Angels"). Kira also warns Quark not to turn his back on this prisoner; he's not to be trusted. "Neither am I," Quark says confidently.

Aboard Brunt's shuttle, Gaila questions why Quark still needs any of them now that the rescue mission has become a simple prisoner exchange. "Because he doesn't trust the Dominion, and neither do I," Leck says. Nog tells them Quark chose the deserted Cardassian space station Empok Nor as the location for the trade because it is the same design as Deep Space 9, therefore they know the layout.

Quark then enters with their prisoner: Keevan (the Vorta captured in "Rocks and Shoals"). Keevan urges them all to send final messages to their loved ones and make sure their wills are in order "because the moment we leave the station you'll have signed your death warrants."

Act Three

The shuttle arrives at Empok Nor and Nog confirms the station being empty. He tells the other to set up base camp in the station's infirmary, though they're slow to respond until Quark offers two slips of latinum for the first man who makes it to the infirmary.

Leck grumbles about the small size of the infirmary while Gaila complains about an upset stomach. Leck, noticing Keevan's glib responses, points out the Vorta doesn't seem happy at the prospect of rejoining his people. Keevan sourly informs them that, since Vorta are expected to commit suicide rather than be captured, the only things he has to look forward to upon rejoining his people are "a most unpleasant debriefing," followed by summary execution.

Hours later, five of the Ferengi are awaken by Gaila's screaming. During his shift to guard Keevan, Gaila had fallen asleep and let him escape! The Ferengi quickly rush back to the shuttle where Keevan is unsuccessfully trying to start it. Fortunately, Quark had Rom disengage the induction matrix after they arrived. He still ran, however, because "sometimes my brother gets things wrong."

Moments later, an alarm sounds, stating that a Dominion ship is approaching. The Ferengi, along with Keevan, hurry back to the infirmary and hide. After a few moments, Nog volunteers to take a look outside. Peeking out the door, he sees a legion of Jem'Hadar, their weapons all aimed at the infirmary. Immediately Nog shuts the door.

Act four

Nog finally asks the other Ferengi, still cowering in the corner why they're hiding from the Jem'Hadar. They did ask them to come, after all. Brunt agrees and tells Quark all he needs to do is negotiate the prisoner exchange. Keevan tells them their only hope to is to get back to the ship and escape, but Nog tells him they're not going anywhere without their Moogie. Quark then heads out onto the promenade with Rom and Nog in tow.

As they three step out, they see Ishka, guarded by another Vorta named Yelgrun and flanked by two Jem'Hadar guards. Quark tells them, he's willing to arrange the trade, but needs some assurance first. He wants all the Jem'Hadar off the station, though he concedes to letting Yelgrun's two guards stay. Then, he'll have their ship head back to Dominion territory at warp nine. This will leave Yelgrun stranded on the station for a few days, giving the Ferengi more than enough time to get away safely before they return.

Yelgrun threatens to have the Jem'Hadar storm the infirmary and kill them all, but Quark tells him that Keevan would be the first to die. His fate may be sealed either way but Yelgrun likely wants to know what Dominion secrets Keevan revealed to the Federation first. Yelgrun is impressed with Quark's cunning and agrees to the deal, telling them to be ready in thirty minutes. Before they leave, however, Nog wants to know how they know it is really Ishka and not a Changeling. Nog cuts her hand with a knife, proving it is her, and getting a few angry cuffs from his grandmother in the process.

Back in the infirmary, the Ferengi are in good spirits over the success of the deal. They reminisce about going home to Ferenginar, with its torrential rains, rotting vegetation, dampness, and rivers of muck, much to Keevan's disgust. Their good mood is interrupted, however, when Rom accidentally reveals the reward money is fifty bars instead of the twenty they were promised. This infuriates Brunt, Gaila, and even Leck, who may not care about latinum but doesn't like being cheated. An enraged Gaila raises his weapon and shoots at Quark. Quark and the others duck out of the way and the blast hits Keevan instead. With a smoking hole in his chest, the fatally wounded Vorta says "I hate Ferengi" before falling to the floor, dead.

The Magnificent Ferengi

Uh-oh

The Ferengi all gather around the dead Keevan before looking back up at Gaila. "You idiot." Leck finally grumbles.

Act five

The Ferengi sit around lamenting their situation: they'll likely be killed when Yelgrun learns the truth. Gaila suggests surrendering, Brunt suggests trying to escape in his ship, and Rom suggests hiding. Quark is offended by this, reminding them of the Battle of Prexnak, the most important battle in Ferengi history, when ten Ferengi stood alone against two hundred seventy-three Lytasians. Gaila, however, points out that all ten Ferengi were slaughtered. Quark, unswayed, tell them this is their chance to prove that Ferengi are as tough as any species in the galaxy.

Leck soundly agrees, though Brunt and Gaila only join in on a condition of equal shares of the fifty bars of latinum. "Fifty bars it is," Quark says, "minus my usual finder's fee."

During all this, Nog has been examining Keevan's body, finally deciding that he can't be revived. As he places a neural stimulator on Keevan's head, Keevan's right arm swings around and hits Nog. Nog explains that the neural stimulator caused a reflexive impulse in his cerebellum. "If you think about it, medicine isn't that different from engineering," he says. "It's all about keeping things running, fixing broken parts." And the six Ferengi begin to form a plan, Yelgrun announces it is time for the exchange.

Quark hurries out and tells them he'll need a few more minutes for Rom to do a sensor scan of the station to confirm the Jem'Hadar are gone. Yelgrun is furious at this latest delay and threatens to have Ishka killed. Quark begs him not to. "And I thought the Breen were annoying." Yelgrun says. Quark also asks if they can make the exchange at the docking bay since that's where his ship is. Yelgrun has no choice but to agree.

Quark hurries back in, where Nog is using the stimulators to animate Keevan's corpse. With a signal from his tricorder, the dead Vorta suddenly sits up and opens his eyes...

In a corridor at the docking bay, Ishka and Yelgrun are discussing investing in hypocat roots when Quark arrives with the upright Keevan. They each send their prisoners walking (Keevan with help from Nog, who is off to the side, sending signals from his tricorder). Yelgrun watches Keevan's stiff movements as he walks towards him. "What have they done to him?" He asks. Ishka makes it safely into Quark's arms, but Keevan walks into a wall and keeps walking into it again and again.

Quark and Ishka rush to find cover. Yelgrun yells for his Jem'Hadar to stop them, but before they can, a door goes up, revealing Leck and Gaila. Leck flicks his knife into the chest of one of the Jem'Hadar, killing him. As Yelgrun ducks, and the remaining Jem'Hadar soldier turns on Leck and Gaila, Rom and Brunt appear at the other end of the corridor and blast him with their phaser rifles.

Ishka tells Quark the Grand Nagus will be proud of him, as she is. Quark tells them they'll take Yelgrun with them. "He'll be our gift to Starfleet. They gave us a Vorta, we'll give them one."

Leck notes this was the sloppiest, most amateurish operation he'd ever seen, then adds, "If you ever do something like this again," he says, "count me in." Rom asks his brother how it feels to be a hero. "You tell me." Quark says. "It feels good?" Rom suggests. Quark smiles. "You bet it does!"

With that, they board the shuttle and head out, leaving Keevan's body still walking into the wall.

Memorable quotes

"You see, I once did business with the nephew of the cousin of the stepsister of a friend of the secretary to the Consortium's chief accountant. (to himself) Um... nephew-cousin-stepsister-friend... yeah, that's right."

- Quark


"A child... a moron... a failure... and a psychopath. Quite a little team you've put together..!"

- Brunt, referring to Nog, Rom, Gaila and Leck, respectively.


"May I help you gentlemen?"
"Must've taken a wrong turn."
"It looks that way."

- Sisko and Quark, after which Quark is stared out of Sisko's office.


"We'll just use Ferengi."
"Then we'll all die!"

- Quark and Rom


"Two slips of latinum for the first man who makes it to the infirmary. I mean base camp."
"You don't pay your soldiers to do their duty!"
"You do if they're Ferengi!"

- Quark to Nog on motivating their team members.

"My son, the soldier."
"They've ruined him!"

- A proud Rom talking about his son and Quark rebuffing him.


"(Waving his hand) Hi, I'm Rom. This is Nog, Brunt..."
"Rom, he doesn't care."
"Truer words have never been spoken."

- Rom, Quark, and Keevan, upon the latter's arrival on the Ferengi shuttle.


"I hate Ferengi..."

- Keevan (his last words)


"You idiot."

- Leck at Gaila


"Family. You understand."
"Not really. I was cloned."

- Quark and Yelgrun


"This isn't a ship, it's a closet!"

- Leck, about Brunt's shuttle


"Oh, to stand once more in those rivers of muck."
"Oh, I only wish I could be there with you."

- Leck, eager to return to Ferenginar and Keevan wishing he wasn't there.


"According to these readings, this man is dead."
"Thank you, Doctor Nog."

- Nog and Quark, at least five minutes after Keevan was shot.


"(Quietly) Straighten him out. Straighten him out."
"I'm trying!"

- Quark and Nog, trying to move Keevan's dead body with neural stimulators during the trade-off


"-[Sigh], I thought the Breen were annoying."

- Yelgrun, negotiating with Quark


"(Angry) Ferengi..."
"I know, I know. You hate us."

- Yelgrun and Quark, after Yelgrun is captured


"Seventy-five hundred lots of hypocat futures?"
"The hypocat root is very versatile. It's used in certain medicines, defractive optics, and even some beauty supplies. Here, feel how smooth my head is. (After he feels her head) Cream of hypocat. I apply it twice a day. You see a diversified financial portfolio can mean greater profits and healthier looking skin."
"Fascinating! I'd love to hear more. But, if your son doesn't show up soon, I'm gonna have to kill you."

- Yelgrun and Ishka, while they're waiting in the corridor for Quark and Keevan.


"You couldn't ambush a Bolian if he were blindfolded and tied to a tree!"

- Nog

"Just be careful you don't turn your back on him, Quark. He's not to be trusted."
"Neither am I."

- Kira and Quark.

Background information

Ira Steven Behr and Iggy Pop

Ira Behr and Iggy Pop

Video and DVD releases

Links and references

Starring

Also starring

Guest stars

And:

Uncredited co-stars

References

Accountant; Agricultural Consortium; Alpha Quadrant; Balancar; Battle of Prexnak; Bolian; Breen; Cardassian; cerebellum; eliminator; Empok Nor; Federation; Ferengi; Ferengi Alliance; Ferengi Commerce Authority; Ferenginar; fine; groatcake; hipecat; holosuite; Jem'Hadar; kilometer; Klingon; landing pad; latinum; Lytasian; medical tricorder; mercenary; Milky Way Galaxy; moogie; Nausicaan; neural stimulator; Promenade; Quark's; rain slippers; squill; Starfleet Academy; strategic operations officer; suicide; synthale; syrup of squill; Thalos VI; transceiver; tricorder; Vorta; Vulcan

External links


Previous episode:
"Statistical Probabilities"
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Season 6
Next episode:
"Waltz"

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