Episode 3.3: The House of Quark

“I am Quark, son of Keldar, and I have come to answer the challenge of D’Ghor, son of…whatever.”  In a single line, this entire episode is summed up thematically.  Quark is as honorable as a Klingon; a Klingon acts with no honor whatsoever; and a challenge has been offered.  Definitely an episode that falls into the fun category, but it engages the honor codes of Klingons and challenges what it means to be truly honorable.  The absurdity of a Klingon marrying a Ferengi really sets the fun tone.  I enjoyed the way Quark was swept up by Grilka, both physically and romantically.  Quark’s storytelling posture and general Ferengi-ness were quite entertaining.  As a Ferengi, he constantly holds in tension opposing virtues and vices.  Here it is bravery vs cowardice and honor vs dishonor.  I find this constant tension between virtue and vice is imminently human.

Who is the most honorable?  D’Ghor?  Grilka?  Quark?  The viewer is challenged with finding the honor in this trio.  D’Ghor appears to be acting like the traditional Klingon.  He wants an honorable death for Kozak and wants a lie from Quark to keep it that way.  But D’Ghor is shrouded in lies.  His dishonor from these lies is so deep that he gets ostracized by the Klingon High Council.  Klingon honor is complex, but it is absolutely better to die than to lie.  Grilka initially appears to heap dishonor upon her house by her actions.  She marries a Ferengi!  But her honor runs so deeply that she is willing to do anything to protect her house from D’Ghor.  She repays Quark’s honorable actions with her own.  In the end, she respects him, a high honorable act for a Klingon.  Finally, Quark displays honor equal to Grilka’s, though it is unconventional.  Once married, they actually have an equitable relationship.  He navigates the financials while she navigates the labyrinth that is the Klingon honor code.  His culminating moment though is when he throws the bat’leth on the ground.  What Quark does is force D’Ghor’s actions to be dishonorable in front of the council.  He makes it an execution, and thus removes the honor in killing him.  D’Ghor acts according to his dishonorable character, and Gowron prevents such a display of dishonor in the Council Chambers.  Quark shows bravery in the face of an overwhelmingly superior opponent, which is itself an incredibly honorable act in the Klingon culture.

A few quick points on the subplot with Keiko, O’Brien, and Bashir.  The closing of the school is a sign of the diminishing of the Old West feel.  The station has become a potential warzone, which is no place for children.  The western do-anything-that-is-needed attitude of Keiko isn’t required anymore.  Her accepting the position on the botany trip leads to the solidifying of O’Brien’s and Bashir’s friendship in the upcoming year.  O’Brien reaches out to Bashir for his opinion, an unusual act.  Bashir displays some immense wisdom in seeing the true flaw in O’Brien’s plan for the arboretum.  Bashir has now shown O’Brien that he’s trustworthy in the field, specifically combat, and trustworthy in helping his family.

Random Thoughts:  1) I did not get the sense that Quark scored with Grilka at any time.  He did score with the profits, however.  Obvious jump in patronage.  2) The only unofficial Rule of Acquisition.  #286!  When Morn leaves, it’s all over.  3) Odo tries to help Quark by telling him of Kozak’s family.  He cares and warns him of danger.  4) The piles of money on Quark’s bar indicate he really is quite rich.  I’m beginning to realize that Quark’s on-screen wins as a businessman are not that rare.  5) Further confirmation that Bajor is only ~3 hours away in a runabout.  6) Gowron becomes a recurring character and, in my opinion, an excellent addition.  I think the actor is great and the type of character, a bit more renegade and unpredictable, is well used.  7) This episode does not include the Defiant.  A nice touch to reinforce how the Defiant does not become the center of this series.  8) I love how lost the Klingons look while Quark is explaining the financials.

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~ by Joshua Black on November 23, 2016.

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