(written from a Production point of view)
Quark discovers that his mother and Grand Nagus Zek have fallen in love with each other. Rom and Leeta's relationship hits a rocky patch.
Quark is depressed because Cardassian voles have made his bar unusable for three days until Chief O'Brien can get rid of them. Quark also feels that he hasn't had any good luck since his Ferengi business license was revoked the previous year by the FCA. Later, a depressed Quark sits moping in his quarters when Rom enters and announces to his brother that he's marrying Leeta, then suggests that Quark visit their mother Ishka on Ferenginar. Quark arrives on Ferenginar, and his Moogie is very surprised that he has come to visit.
Rom is learning about Bajoran customs to please Leeta, but Chief O'Brien and Lieutenant Commander Jadzia Dax are teasing him in the replimat about his being "the least Ferengi-like Ferengi" they have ever met. This revelation upsets Rom, despite O'Brien's and Dax' urging that it is a compliment.
On Ferenginar, Quark is explaining his distress to his mother since he lost his business license. Ishka asks him why he chose to visit her, when they have never had a very good relationship, due to Ishka's refusal to follow Ferengi traditions concerning the proper roles of females. Quark assures her that he wants to stay until he starts to feel better. When Quark goes to his childhood bedroom, he is surprised to find that his mother has moved all of his personal belongings, including his Marauder Mo action figures, from the room. Quark is even more startled to discover Grand Nagus Zek in the closet when he goes to put his bag away. Quark is afraid that his mother has been illegally earning profit again in violation of FCA rules, but instead Ishka and "Zekkie" proclaim they are in love.
Ishka and Zek announce that they met during an annual tongo tournament, and that they have been seeing each other ever since, although their relationship is not public information. Although he is initially quite startled, Quark begins to surmise that he may be able to use their relationship to his advantage – to reinstate his business license. The Nagus then leaves to attend to the business of running the Ferengi Alliance.
On the station, O'Brien appears to have rid Quark's Bar of all the menacing voles. Rom asks Chief O'Brien for an extended lunch break so that he can get Leeta to sign the Ferengi equivalent of a prenuptial agreement – the Waiver of Property and Profit, or WP&P. O'Brien appears extremely doubtful that Leeta will agree to such a thing, but Rom feels that he must have her sign the WP&P to prove that he is still a Ferengi. As O'Brien predicted, Leeta refuses to sign the WP&P, stating that a marriage is all about sharing things, including money. Rom cites Rule of Acquisition #94: "Females and finances don't mix." Rom accuses Leeta of being just like his first wife – only after his profits. Leeta protests, saying that she loves Rom, but he replies that if she really loved him, she would prove it by signing the WP&P. Leeta and Rom decide to call the marriage off.
Quark, Ishka, and Zek are having dinner together at Ishka's home. Quark attempts to flatter the Grand Nagus, but Zek sees through his act and bluntly refuses to reinstate Quark's business license; he is not willing to overrule the FCA. Besides, contracts are the foundation of Ferengi civilization and Quark broke a contract with another Ferengi. Ishka agrees with Zek – Quark made a mistake, and now he must suffer the consequences. As Ishka and Zek take a walk around the garden, Quark and Maihar'du clear the dinner table. As Quark returns to his bedroom, Brunt materializes in the closet.
Brunt knows of Ishka and Zek's relationship and is disgusted by it. Quark assures Brunt that he didn't know about it until that day. Nevertheless, Brunt holds Quark responsible for the actions of his mother, a female under his control. Brunt tells Quark that he must put an end to the relationship – privately and quietly. In exchange, Brunt agrees to give Quark a new business license. Quark visits the Nagus ostensibly to pay his respects, but all the while scheming to destroy their relationship by convincing the Nagus that Ishka has not paid back all the latinum she earned and that she is only using the Nagus in her quest to end the male domination of Ferenginar and instate equal rights for Ferengi females. The Nagus falls for Quark's lies and contemplates his relationship with Ishka.
Quark whines that his mother doesn't understand how terrible his life is since he is forbidden to do business with Ferengis and earn profit. Irritated, Ishka explains that she knows exactly how it feels – she is denied such rights because she is female. Reluctantly, she agrees to speak to the Nagus on Quark's behalf.
Back on DS9, Odo, Captain Sisko, and Lieutenant Commander Worf are discussing on the Promenade the conduct of the Klingons who recently began living on the station. General Martok has been placed in a holding cell for tossing one of his men off the second-floor balcony of the Promenade as a "disciplinary measure." Sisko intervenes, ordering Odo to release Martok and telling Worf to advise the General that if he wants to retain his position on the station, he must abide by station regulations. After Worf leaves to speak to Martok, Sisko and Odo find Rom sobbing while working, and Odo informs Sisko that the wedding has been called off. Rom insists that he is crying tears of joy. Meanwhile, Leeta is trying unsuccessfully to convince Major Kira that calling the wedding off was the best decision that she has ever made, while Kira just tells her she means the opposite of what she says.
Quark returns home to find his mother crying. She tells him that the Nagus left her, accusing her of being a profit-hungry female who was only using him in her plot to overthrow the Ferengi government. Quark, obviously pleased with himself for ending their relationship and anticipating the return of his business license, assures her that everything will be fine. However, Ishka tells Quark that it is a disaster – not just for her, but for everyone. Unsure what his mother meant, Quark contacts Brunt, who gives him a valid business license in return for his service to the FCA.
The next morning, Quark tells Ishka that he is returning to DS9. Just then, Quark receives a message from Zek, demanding to see him in the Tower of Commerce immediately. The Nagus asks Quark to be his First Clerk in thanks for warning the Nagus about Ishka's motives. Soon after accepting the position, Quark realizes that the Nagus is having memory problems, and that he will have his work cut out for him as First Clerk.
O'Brien visits Rom in his quarters, where Rom is counting his life savings of latinum on a table. Rom is going to offer Leeta a bribe to sign the WP&P. O'Brien points out that a bribe won't work, since if she signs the waiver, she can't keep the money anyway. O'Brien reiterates to Rom that if he wants Leeta back, he must forget about the waiver. Rom then quotes Rule of Acquisition #229: "Latinum lasts longer than lust." O'Brien replies that while that may be true, lust can be a lot more fun. Rom finally admits that he wants Leeta back more than anything. To prove his loyalty to her, Rom gives away all his latinum to the Bajoran War Orphans Fund so that the waiver is no longer necessary, and he and Leeta make up. O'Brien and Bashir watch Rom and Leeta from the second level of the Promenade. Bashir says to O'Brien, "Well done, chief. Or should I call you Cupid?" O'Brien responds by telling Bashir he is just an incurable romantic.
Quark tells his mother that the Nagus has made Quark his First Clerk, and she states that he must have had a miserable day then. Ishka tells Quark that the Ferengi markets dropped 199 points that day. Quark realizes that his mother was well aware of Zek's memory problems, and she was helping him keep the markets together during their relationship. Ishka then realizes that Quark caused Zek to end their relationship, and that he was put up to it by none other than Brunt. Ishka admonishes Quark, telling him that she hopes his business license was worth the possible destruction of the entire Ferengi economy.
Brunt visits Quark at the Tower of Commerce, taunting him about the 199-point decline in the markets the day before. Brunt tells Quark that the FCA has called a meeting to discuss the capabilities of the Nagus. Quark then realizes that Brunt knew about Zek's failing memory all along, and that Brunt convinced Quark to end Ishka and Zek's relationship so that Brunt could expose Zek and maneuver himself to be the new Nagus.
Back at home, Ishka asks Quark why he hasn't yet returned to DS9 with his new business license, Quark admits his time living among Humans has caused him to develop a conscience and that he is feeling guilty about how Zek was treated and the part he played in Brunt's plan. They agree that Zek's type of greed is good for the people, but Brunt is simply out for himself. Ishka and Quark decide that they have to prevent Brunt from becoming Nagus, so they help Zek pass Brunt's test and retain his position as Nagus.
When Zek and Quark and his servant are alone again, Quark suggests that the Nagus contact the Vulcans to see if they can help improve his memory and allow him to stay in power. Zek says he's never liked the Vulcans because they have no interest in profit. But they do make good doctors. He tells his servant to make an appointment for him to see if there's a treatment.
Zek goes on to thank Quark for his help, and requests that Quark retain his position as the Nagus's First Clerk. However, Quark instead says he can't. Zek gets mad and says he needs Quark as his financial advisor. Quark offers to introduce Zek to his own financial advisor – and brings in his mother. Zek gets even angrier, but Quark says the Nagus deserves the best financial advisor there is, "and that's my moogie."
Ishka steps forward. She says, "I won't lie to you. I believe in equal rights for females, and I hope one day you will, too. But I'd never do anything to hurt you."
Quark then admits that he concocted all of the rumors about his mother, and Zek fires Quark. Now that the rumors have been exposed as false, Zek and Ishka get back together.
Before Quark returns to DS9, Ishka brings Quark's Marauder Mo action figures to him. She says she kept them in storage for him all these years because she knew he'd want them some day. Quark says they must be worth a lot as collectibles, though she notes that they would have been worth more if he'd kept them in the original packaging, as she'd advised. Quark says that even back then she was giving him good financial advice, and they both smile.
Ishka leaves and Quark continues packing. Brunt materializes in Quark's closet again and says he knows he can't defeat Zek now, but Quark is a different matter. Brunt agrees to allow Quark to keep his new business license, if only so he can keep track of Quark's actions and see him fail in the future. After Brunt dematerializes, Quark begins playing with the action figures.
"Who's winning the war?"
"It's too early to tell."
"It's been three days."
"Don't remind me. They found a nest."
"It's not the main nest."
"That's not so good. I thought Chief O'Brien trapped the last vole on the station months ago."
"Well, obviously he missed a couple. A married couple. They breed like tribbles."
"But they're not as cute."
- - Dax and Quark
"Wait a minute! What's the Nagus doing in my closet?"
- - Quark
"Sometimes the only thing more dangerous than a question is an answer!"
- - Zek
"He said I didn't really love him! That I was just using him! That I was a scheming, profit-hungry fe-male who couldn't keep her clothes off!"
- - Ishka
"Don't you think of anyone but yourself?!"
"Of course I do. I just think about myself first."
- - Ishka and Quark
"What are you doing in my closet?"
"Conducting official FCA business."
"In my closet?"
- - Quark and Brunt
"Congratulations, Quark. You're a Ferengi again."
"I always was."
- - Brunt and Quark
"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
"I'll never forget what you did for me, Rom."
- - Zek and Quark
"Its not over Quark!"
"Don't make me come in there after you."
- - Brunt and Quark
"Did you see their faces? They thought they had me, but we showed them. I answered all their questions, didn't I?"
"You certainly did."
"The state of the trade negotiations with the Breen, why I dumped our lokar bean investments, why I insisted we buy up every bit of jevonite we could get our hands on."
"You were brilliant. You know, for a moment there I actually thought that Brunt's head was going to explode with frustration."
"By the time I'm finished with him, he'll wish it had. Blam!"
- - Zek and Quark
Story and script
- According to Ira Steven Behr, the working title of this episode was "How Quark Acquired His Groove Back". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. ?)) It was later published in many weekly television listings, prior to its first airing, as "Of Love and Profit"; the same name also appeared on at least one script labeled as "final draft". However, the version of the script released on the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion - A Series Guide and Script Library described the correct title, "Ferengi Love Songs".
- 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." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. ?))
- A shortened scene showed that Zek gave Leck the advice to invest his money in tulaberry vineyards on Seppus III rather than in gouge mining on Feckle Prime.
- Zek's throne was originally built as a Romulan command chair for "The Die is Cast", although it was not used in that episode. Laura Richarz redressed the prop for this episode. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. ?))
- 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!'" (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 444))
- 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." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 444))
- Wallace Shawn commented soon after the episode aired: "I love what they're doing with Zek. He's losing his memory now and trying to bluff his way through situations. I don't know how they'll deal with it in future episodes, but I look forward to finding out". (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 10)
- Keith DeCandido rated this episode 6\10 in his rewatch of the series.
- References Rules of Acquisition numbers eighteen, ("A Ferengi without profit is no Ferengi at all"), ninety-four ("Females and finances don't mix"), two hundred and eight ("Sometimes the only thing more dangerous than a question is an answer"), and two hundred and twenty-nine ("Latinum lasts longer than lust").
- 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.
- This is the sixth episode directed by Rene Auberjonois.
- Quark gets back his business license in this episode, having lost it in "Body Parts" for breaking a contract with Brunt. The FCA notices which Brunt placed on the walls of Quark's remained in place for the interval between these two episodes, but they were removed prior to the following episode, "Soldiers of the Empire".
- Cirroc Lofton (Jake Sisko) does not appear in this episode.
- Remastered scenes from the episode are featured in the documentary What We Left Behind.
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 5.10, 22 August 1997
- As part of the DS9 Season 5 DVD collection
Links and references
- Rene Auberjonois as Odo
- Michael Dorn as Lt. Commander Worf
- Terry Farrell as Lt. Commander Dax
- Cirroc Lofton as Jake Sisko
- Colm Meaney as Chief O'Brien
- Armin Shimerman as Quark
- Alexander Siddig as Doctor Bashir
- Nana Visitor as Major Kira
- Cecily Adams as Ishka
- Max Grodénchik as Rom
- Chase Masterson as Leeta
- Tiny Ron as Maihar'du
- Hamilton Camp as Leck
- Jeffrey Combs as Brunt
- Michael Bailous as Bajoran security deputy
- Bill Blair as Klingon officer
- Brian Demonbreun as sciences officer
- Anthony Giger as command officer
- Randy James as Jones
- Robin Morselli as Bajoran officer
- Mark Allen Shepherd as Morn
- Steph Silvestri as operations officer
- Scott Strozier as Bajoran security deputy
- Michael Wajacs as Bajoran civilian
2346; accusation; ambassador; arcybite; assassination; Bajoran prophecy; Bajoran War Orphans Fund; Bolian; blacklisting; Bolian ambassador; breed; Breen; business license; Cardassian vole; centimeter; closet; clothing; Constable; contract; cooking; crime; Cupid; DaiMon; duranium; empire; energy whip; estate; ethics; Ferengi; Ferengi Commerce Authority; Ferengi Futures Exchange; Ferengi Gaming Commission; Ferengi government; Ferengi Market Exchange; Ferenginar; financial advisor; fired; First Clerk;garden; Global Tongo Championship; Gowron; heart; hero worship; Horran's Seventh Prophecy; Hupyrian beetle; Hupyrian beetle snuff; Igel; Jellied gree-worm; jevonite; jumja; K'retok; latinum; Lobekins; lokar bean; Marauder Mo; morality; nest; open market; petitioner; Prinadora; Promenade; Quark's; sense of humor; slug steak; Smeet; Smeet's First Clerk; smile; springwine; stroke; table; thank you note; throne; tone of voice; Tower of Commerce; trade negotiation; trading cycle; tribbles; tricorder; Vulcan; Waiver of Property and Profit; wedding; Writ of Accountability; Zekkie
- "Ferengi Love Songs" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Ferengi Love Songs" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Ferengi Love Songs" at Wikipedia
- "Ferengi Love Songs" at MissionLogPodcast.com, a Roddenberry Star Trek podcast
"Ties of Blood and Water"
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"Soldiers of the Empire"