(written from a Production point of view)
After Quark lies about killing a Klingon in his bar, the dead man's widow abducts Quark to the Klingon homeworld to marry him.
Quark and Rom are gloomily looking over the practically deserted bar. With the recent bellicose threats from the Dominion, many families and officers have departed the station, and Quark's business has nose-dived. One of his few customers, a drunken Klingon, yells for another bloodwine. Quark attempts to demand that he pay his tab, but the Klingon's anger quickly dispels his effort. Enraged, the Klingon draws a dagger and attacks Quark, but stumbles and falls onto his own knife, killing himself.
While Bashir examines the corpse, Quark excitedly notes to Rom that a huge crowd has gathered outside the bar, curious to hear the details of what happened. Hoping to lure back customers, Quark plans to claim to have killed the Klingon in self-defense. Rom finds the idea ludicrous, until Quark informs him that if the bar's current slump continues, Rom's salary will be the first expense trimmed. Odo asks Quark what happened, and Rom quickly supports his story. Ignoring Odo's skeptical look, Quark tells a thrilling story for the benefit of the crowd, and quickly earns a great deal of notoriety.
Miles O'Brien returns home after a busy day and asks Keiko how school was that day, only to be told she had to close it; due to all the Bajoran families leaving the station, the only students that were left were Jake and Nog… not enough to sustain a school. Keiko tells Miles that she has offered to tutor the boys privately, and is ok with what's happened. However Miles can tell Keiko is upset, since she has lost the school and her main focus in life.
Before long, the bar is humming again. Odo drops by and informs Quark that the Klingon was Kozak, leader of a powerful Klingon house, and warns that Kozak's relatives may come seeking vengeance. Rom is worried, but Quark refuses to back down from his story, proclaiming "It's not about profit anymore, it's about respect. You see the way they look at me now — I'm not just some venal Ferengi trying to take their money. I'm Quark, slayer of Klingons!"
D'Ghor asks how Kozak died, and threatens to kill Quark if Kozak did not die "honorably". Quark tries to tell the truth, but quickly realizes that an accidental death is not what D'Ghor wants to hear. With a dagger at his throat, Quark assures D'Ghor that his brother died honorably in personal combat.
Miles prepares Keiko a romantic dinner for the two of them, and showers his wife with praise and romantic gestures. The two have a wonderful evening, however the next morning Keiko is left miserable again as Miles has to leave for work while she is left with nothing to do but sit around their quarters all day.
Later that evening, Kozak's widow Grilka arrives in Quark's Bar, asking for him. No sooner does Quark offer her a refreshment than she lunges forward with a d'k tahg dagger; a terrified Quark dives over the bar and hides himself behind a serving tray. Grilka knows such a cowardly Ferengi would be no match for her late husband, drunk or not, and asks if Quark wants to revise his story. Quark admits the truth, at which point Grilka tranquilizes him with a hypospray and abducts him.
Quark regains consciousness inside Grilka's home on Qo'noS where he is greeted by Tumek, Grilka's advisor. When Quark asks who the house belongs to, the older Klingon solemnly tells him that their House "no longer has a name", since Kozak died without a male heir. Quark wonders why D'Ghor cannot inherit the House, and Tumek grows furious. Quark has been duped; D'Ghor is no relation to Kozak. Instead, he and his family are sworn enemies of Kozak's family, and D'Ghor has been plotting to seize control of their land and property for years. Though he has been unsuccessful to date, his power and wealth have been growing, while their house's has inexplicably been dwindling. Tumek explains that Quark played into D'Ghor's hands: had Kozak died in an "accident," and not in battle, the High Council might have granted a special dispensation and allowed Grilka to inherit the House, despite the fact she is a female. Now, with Quark having endorsed D'Ghor's story that Kozak died "honorably," no dispensation will be granted and D'Ghor is poised to seize control. At that moment, Grilka barges into the room and tosses Quark a large ceremonial robe, demanding that he wear it. Tumek recites some chants, and as Grilka holds Quark by knife-point, she and Quark are wed.
Miles decides to go and visit Commander Sisko in his office to discuss his problems with Keiko. After trying to lift her spirits with romantic dinners, visits to the holosuite and rearranging his work schedule to give him more free time during the day, he has been unable to cheer her up and wants permission to build an arboretum on the station. Commander Sisko approves the request, allowing Miles to build one in an unused cargo bay. Miles is very happy about this; as Keiko gave up her career to join him on Deep Space 9, he feels he owes her. Sisko tells O'Brien that he knows that there is nothing harder than knowing that the person they love is unhappy and the urgent feeling that one needs to do something to address it.
Before the Klingon High Council, D'Ghor is petitioning the Council to cede Kozak's holdings to D'Ghor. Chancellor Gowron appears ready to grant this request, when Grilka drags her new husband into the Council chamber. She states she performed the brek'tal ritual with Quark, and, since D'Ghor has already established that Kozak died an honorable death, her house now has a male head. Her holdings may, for the time being, remain in her hands. D'Ghor objects and threatens them. Bewildered and scared, Quark speaks up and says that some mistake has been made, and wonders if he can reach an accommodation with the parties involved, speaking directly to Gowron. Gowron is stunned at the situation, but then D'Ghor openly challenges Quark, prompting Gowron to interject and silence him. Gowron orders a review of the situation within a few days, keeping the brek'tal in place. Mispronouncing Quark's name, he declares the new name of the house will, for the time being, be known as "The House of Quirk".
Back at her home, Grilka berates Quark for opening his big, fat mouth, but he rejoins by asking her what their next move is. Grilka is lost for a response, and admits that she is making things up as she goes along. Quark asks her – since he is now her husband, after all – to at least explain to him what is going on. Grilka explains that D'Ghor is angling for a seat on the High Council, and to do that, is seeking to increase his family's power and assets at the expense of hers. Intrigued, Quark asks to examine her family's financial records. Grilka is hostile toward the idea and refuses to sully herself with "filthy ledgers," but Quark points out that she doesn't have a back-up plan, and convinces her to try things his way for the time being.
Miles is working on plans for the new arboretum in the replimat and asks Doctor Bashir for his input. Bashir tells O'Brien it's a good idea and will work in the short-term but then Keiko will be miserable again. He explains that while O’Brien has been trying to provide ways to simply cheer Keiko up, he hasn't been trying to solve the actual problem but is now turning his wife's profession into a hobby. He then asks O'Brien if he would be satisfied just playing around in a workshop with simple gadgets. O'Brien admits he wouldn't, and Bashir tells him that Keiko is a botanist and until she can be one again she will never be truly happy.
While perusing the records, Quark learns that D'Ghor has been systematically "attacking" Grilka's family for five years, using various financial stratagems to devalue Grilka's property and to assume ownership of Kozak's debts. As a Ferengi, Quark expresses frank admiration for D'Ghor's cleverness; as a Klingon, Grilka is outraged at the idea of another Klingon using financial chicanery to "attack" a Great House. She wonders why D'Ghor does not instead openly challenge her house, to which Quark answers that in doing so would destroy everything he seeks to seize.
Quark presents his findings to the Klingon High Council, who, like Grilka, find themselves somewhat at a loss to understand the intricacies of financial scheming. D'Ghor claims Quark is lying, and presents the abducted Rom as a witness in his defense. Declaring his honor insulted by the Ferengi, D'Ghor challenges Quark to a duel.
After returning to Grilka's home, Quark and Rom decide to beat a hasty retreat and leave the planet. Grilka stops them at the front door and is disgusted by Quark's cowardice. She decides to let them run away if they wish.
Upon returning to the High Council, Grilka stands helpless as her husband is branded as a coward and her house is about to be handed over to D'Ghor. But Quark suddenly appears and readies himself for the duel. As both combatants raise their weapons at each other, Quark suddenly throws his bat'leth away, leaving everyone in attendance speechless. Quark points out that he has no hope of overpowering D'Ghor, and everyone there knows it; the supposed "duel" is nothing more than an execution. Quark kneels, completely unable to defend himself, and invites D'Ghor to complete his conquest of Grilka's house by slaughtering an unarmed Ferengi, taunting him to tell the "heroic" story to his children.
Grinning victoriously, D'Ghor raises his bat'leth to strike, but Gowron steps in and seizes his arm. Gowron did not want to believe Quark's earlier accusations, but D'Ghor's dishonorable willingness to kill an unarmed man is as good as a confession. Gowron discommendates him on the spot, and D'Ghor is ejected from the Council chamber. Gowron lifts Quark to his feet, commending him for a show of bravery atypical of his people. Declaring that special circumstances exist, he allows the House of Kozak to pass to Grilka. Grilka thanks Quark and asks if she can repay him in any way. Quark immediately requests a divorce, and Grilka acquiesces; she slaps him to the ground, shouts "N'Gos tlhogh cha!" ("Our marriage is done!") and spits. "You're a free man." Grilka then lifts Quark off of the floor and plants a genuine kiss on him.
On the station, Miles tells Keiko that a six-month agrobiology expedition to an unexplored quarter of the Janitza Mountains on Bajor requires a chief botanist and he feels she should apply since he's certain she would get the job. Keiko clearly wants to take up the opportunity but doesn't want to leave Miles and Molly for that amount of time. Miles tells her that she can take Molly with her and he can visit her all the time since Bajor is only a few hours away by runabout. She still doesn't feel she should go since she made a promise to Miles when they moved to the station, but he tells her that her happiness is more important and when she isn't happy then he isn't either. He reminds Keiko that her training and passion are in botany, and implores her to go out and be the best botanist she can be. Keiko happily agrees to apply.
Quark and Rom are back on Deep Space 9 and business at the bar has returned to its previous slump. Rom is still awestruck by his brother's "magnificent" display of courage in the Great Hall, and reminds Quark that he has now earned genuine respect from many people, not the least of whom include his erstwhile wife and the Chancellor of the Klingon High Council himself. Glumly, Quark says that "respect is good, but latinum's better." Rom asks him to tell the story again; Quark says that everyone's heard the story already, and it won't do any good for business. But Rom insists, "No brother, I want to hear it again." At this, Quark perks up and begins to recount his epic confrontation with D'Ghor on Qo'noS.
"Now I know we're doomed."
"Rule of Acquisition 286: When Morn leaves, it's all over."
"There is no such rule!"
"There should be."
- - Quark and Rom
"What about Kozak's family? What if they come here for revenge?"
"If that happens, I'll stand up, look them straight in the eye…and offer them a bribe."
- - Rom and Quark
"It's not about profit anymore, it's about respect. You see the way they look at me now – I'm not just some venal Ferengi trying to take their money. I'm Quark, slayer of Klingons!"
- - Quark
"Two students are not enough to sustain a school."
"I'm really sorry, Keiko."
"It's not your fault. Everyone's just afraid of the Dominion. People aren't going to be moving their families to the station anymore. That means no more children, which means no more school. Don't look so upset. It's not like I was planning to be a teacher for the rest of my life."
- - Keiko and Miles O'Brien
"Put this on."
"Because if you do not, I will kill you."
- - Grilka and Quark
"The House of Kozak is gone. For the time being, it will be known as…as the House of…"
"…The House of…Quark."
- - Gowron and Quark
"Do you mean D'Ghor has been scheming and plotting like a F—; (catches herself)"
"Like a Ferengi."
- - Grilka and Quark
"I really am very grateful for all you've done, Quark. That is why I'm going to let you take your hand off my thigh, instead of shattering every bone in your body."
- - Grilka
"The charge has been made, that you have used… money to bring down a Great House!"
- - Gowron, to D'Ghor
"I am Quark, son of Keldar, and I have come to answer the challenge of D'Ghor, son of… whatever."
- - Quark
"A brave Ferengi. Who would have thought it possible…?"
- - Gowron, in admiration, to Quark for his bravery in standing up to D'Ghor
"So you lied to the station security chief, to your customers, and to D'Ghor. You must be quite a liar."
"It's a gift."
- - Grilka and Quark
"D'Ghor, what are you doing? I did not want to believe the things he said about you yesterday, but if you can stand here and murder this pathetic little man, then you have no honor… and you have no place in this hall!"
- - Gowron, about to discommendate D'Ghor
"How can I ever thank you?"
"I would like a divorce, please. No offense."
"None taken. I can give it to you right away."
(Grilka slaps Quark very hard.)
"N'Gos tlhogh cha!" ("Our marriage is done!")
(She spits at him)
"You're a free man."
"A little warning would've been nice--"
(Grilka cuts off Quark with a most passionate, heartfelt kiss)
"Qapla' Quark, son of Keldar."
"Qapla' to you, too…!"
- - Grilka and Quark
"Business is dropping off again."
"Money isn't everything."
"If Father were alive, he would wash your mouth out with galcor!"
- - Quark and Rom
"You can't buy respect, brother. And that's what you have now, respect! That's what you wanted, isn't it?"
"Respect is good… but latinum's better."
- - Rom and Quark
Story and script
- The working title of this episode was "Fight to the Death". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion - A Series Guide and Script Library)
- One of the reasons the writers wrote Keiko out of the show for 6 months was to give them room to explore the O'Brien/Bashir friendship. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion) Indeed, this is the first episode where we see O'Brien and Bashir socialize together (technically, we saw them socialize in "The Search, Part II", but that was part of a programmed reality). However, Bashir claimed they were best friends in "Crossover", though, he may have been exaggerating to Smiley O'Brien in order to gain his trust.
- Mary Kay Adams praised the series, especially Armin Shimerman: "The first time that I sat in the chair and they were applying the Klingon make-up, Armin came over to me, before we were even on camera, and he said 'This is going to be a very long day, and as the day goes on, you're going to feel more and more disorientated because of all the stuff they're going to put on you. It happens to everyone. It happens to me. If there's ever a moment where you feel really unsure, or if you don't know what's going on, take me aside and we'll work through it.' I was so touched by his kindness and his honesty. Being a guest star can be kind of hard. A lot of times you walk into the middle of a well-oiled machine, and they don't know you, and they don't really want to know you and are like 'Here. Catch up.' That moment meant the world to me" 
- Robert O'Reilly makes his first Deep Space Nine appearance as Chancellor Gowron in this episode. Ron Moore commented: "It wasn't a conscious decision to have Gowron make the transition from TNG to DS9. It was more the fact that on this show you feel all of the Star Trek universe is fair game because it's all part of the same franchise. So any element that I want to borrow legitimately seems fine". Ira Steven Behr joked: "I think that Ron and Gowron have a secret pact. They've never been seen together. I think Ron might be Gowron". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- Stephen Hawking visited the set during the filming of this episode. Armin Shimerman recalled: "I remember I turned, and the smoke seemed to part, and there was Dr. Stephen Hawking, visiting the set with Rick Berman". Shimerman considers meeting Dr. Hawking as a high point of his life and has a photo of himself with Hawking. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- Laura Richarz used a platter made of shells from the Star Trek: The Original Series second season episode "The Trouble with Tribbles" as a set dressing in Grilka's home. The platter had originally been used in the bar set of Space Station K-7. (The Magic of Tribbles: The Making of Trials and Tribble-ations)
- Background performer Bill Blair plays a member of the Klingon High Council in the episode. Blair recalled: "My first memorable episode was 'The House of Quark', where I was a member of the Klingon High Council listening to Quark's explanation of the financial facts of the situation. I got the job by being available at the right time when casting called me after another actor had to cancel at the last minute. Right place, right time – and luck". 
- This was the only Star Trek episode to be scored by Richard Bellis. The recording of the score took place on 3 October 1994. Bellis commented: "["The House of Quark"] is a highly unusual episode that basically involved two relationships: one was conventional and the other was ludicrous, and both taking place far into the future. There were no shots of the ship or space really – it was in the bar and then it was in Keiko and O'Brien's quarters and on the Klingon planet in the Great Hall. I think there's eleven minutes of score in the hour episode and the longest one was where D'Ghor exited the Great Hall. The positive thing that came out of it was that day, John Williams had a date in town and was using eight French horns, and James Horner had a date and was using six French horns, and I was using four, and they were excellent – so as testimony to the depth of quality of musicians in LA, that many horn players were working and I was not the highest man on the totem pole but had an excellent section with four French horns". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Collection booklet, pp 16-17)
- Perhaps unsurprisingly, this is one of Armin Shimerman's favorite episodes; "It meant a lot to me because usually Quark is at the butt of the jokes. But here was a chance to do something, still comedic, but also heroic." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- Mary Kay Adams commented "Working on the scene in "The House of Quark" where I tell Quark to get his hand off my thigh was great fun. The entire crew kept cracking up every time we did the take. I loved working with Joe Ruskin. I'm a huge fan of his and in the episode he's playing my servant, which was a kick". ("Courting Quark", Star Trek Monthly issue 36)
- Ronald D. Moore was quite pleased with the finished episode. In an interview in Star Trek Monthly issue 17 in 1996, he said, "it was fun to go back to the Klingons and do them with a lighter tone and some comedy. But even though we were spoofing them, they were still pure Klingon. It was a fun way to point out some of the more bizarre aspects of the Empire and the way it's run. And the idea of Klingons being confused by Quark's ledgers and accounting practices was, in itself, a funny idea."
- Mary Kay Adams and Joseph Ruskin reprised the roles of Grilka and Tumek respectively in the fifth season episode "Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places".
- Parts of this episode, particularly the scenes set in the Great Hall, deliberately echo TNG: "Sins of the Father", but with a comedic twist, bringing to mind Karl Marx's dictum that history repeats itself, "the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce".
- Tom Benko, who is credited with the story for this episode, is the only person to have written, directed and edited Star Trek.
- Cirroc Lofton (Jake Sisko) does not appear in this episode, but Miles O'Brien asks Keiko O'Brien about him.
- Grilka's beaming command while holding the unconscious Quark is the same as the one Kirk gives to Maltz while holding Spock in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.
- This episode marks the only appearance of Gowron in either The Next Generation or Deep Space Nine without Worf.
- Despite the many Klingon-centric episodes of the series, this is the only episode of Deep Space Nine to feature scenes set on Qo'noS. The planet would not be depicted on screen again until "Broken Bow", the pilot episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, almost seven years later.
- O'Brien states Bajor is three hours away from Deep Space 9, however it was previously stated to be between two (DS9: "The Storyteller") to five ("The Alternate") hours. That's not inconsistent, being DS9 stationary near the wormhole while Bajor being a planet revolving around its sun, so in its year being nearer and farther from DS9.
- One of the aliens seen outside the bar while Quark is telling the story of how Kozak died, is the same as the Ankari seen in the Delta Quadrant.
- A scene in the script for this episode, but not in the aired version, contained a conversation via subspace between Rom and Quark where Rom appeared quite unconcerned about Quark's three-day absence. Quark told of his marriage and advised Rom to stay away from the dabo girls, but said he would be back. Rom agreed, but after the conversation ended, he enjoyed the company of two dabo girls; Quark then told Grilka that he was worried about Rom ruining the bar. Grilka handed him his robe and urged him not to say a word in the Great Hall. In the finished episode action on Qo'nos jumps straight from the end of the wedding to the hearing before the High Council; Grilka's strong advice could explain her angry look when Quark does start to speak.
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 3.2, 27 February 1995
- As part of the DS9 Season 3 DVD collection
Links and references
- Rene Auberjonois as Constable Odo
- Siddig El Fadil as Doctor Julian Bashir
- Terry Farrell as Lieutenant Jadzia Dax
- Colm Meaney as Chief Miles O'Brien
- Armin Shimerman as Quark
- Nana Visitor as Major Kira Nerys
- Rosalind Chao as Keiko O'Brien
- Mary Kay Adams as Grilka
- Carlos Carrasco as D'Ghor
- Max Grodénchik as Rom
- Robert O'Reilly as Chancellor Gowron
- Joseph Ruskin as Tumek
- Sam Alejan as Human medical officer
- Michael Bailous as Klingon High Council member
- Scott Barry as Bajoran officer
- Ivor Bartels as Human security officer
- Bill Blair as Klingon High Council member
- Randy James as Jones
- Susan Lewis as Bajoran civilian
- Dan Magee as command division lieutenant
- Robin Morselli as Bajoran officer
- John St. John as Klingon High Council member
- Mark Allen Shepherd as Morn
- Unknown performers as
accusation; agrobiology; Alpha Quadrant; arboretum; Bajor; Bajorans; basil; bat'leth; battle drill; bloodwine; bribery; botanist; brek'tal ritual; businessman; cake; canapé; case; charge; column; combat; constable; Coverian; Coverian freighter; Coverian freighter captains; creditor; dabo; Devaluation of Capital Income; discommendation; d'k tahg; Dominion; drifter; drunkard; family name; Ferengi; fireworks; freighter captain; galcor; gambling; generation; Great Hall; Great House; gross adjusted assets; holosuite; honor; House of D'Ghor; House of Grilka; House of Kozak; House of Quark; I'm Married to the Most Wonderful Woman in the Galaxy Day; insurance; Irish; Janitza Mountains; Keldar; Klingon Empire; Klingon High Council; latinum; lying; Markalian; merger; meter; Milky Way Galaxy; mistress; O'Brien, Molly; Nog; noisemaker; ODN conduit; "Old Man"; paycheck; plomeek soup; Qo'noS; Quark's; Replimat; Rules of Acquisition; runabout; saying; scruples; Sisko, Jake; special dispensation; spitting; station security officer; synthale; synthehol; tab; tattoo; theft; thigh; tricorder; Tygarian; workshop
- "The House of Quark" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "The House of Quark" at Wikipedia
- "The House of Quark" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
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