Episode 5.3: Looking for par’Mach in All the Wrong Places

I enjoyed one storyline of this episode, but really disliked the second storyline. This episode is positioned between two fairly heavy episodes and is intended to be a fun diversion about life on the station. The storyline with Worf and Quark accomplishes this, I think. Watching Quark and Grilka create this completely unconventional relationship, their par’mach, was satisfying to me. It breaks norms of both cultures, and par’mach triumphs over opposition. The actors also did a good job of creating tension between them. I love it when Quark gets very passionate about something other than profit. This episode, for me, squarely lands in the category of a comedic episode that got me to smile and laugh at the characters. I found Worf’s obliviousness and how much he let his pride drive his actions amusing. And obviously, the major long-term event is that Worf and Dax begin their relationship.

Do we find ourselves more often in Worf’s shoes or in Dax’s shoes? I think that most viewers of Sci-Fi (particularly in the 90s) would find themselves relating to Dax more than Worf. Ignored by those we desire and shocked at the people they choose to pursue. She has to go so far as to actually attack him to get him to notice her interest (or show love with aggressive overtones). There are two instances when Worf’s ignorance is laid bare. First, Dax identifies Worf’s frustration at Tumek easily. Worf’s angered at Tumek thinking Worf doesn’t know Klingon women. Second, Worf utterly misses how much Dax is passionately into the holosuite battle as Lukara. I don’t think that Dax would have helped Worf, had it been Worf pursuing Grilka. She doesn’t put up with that kind of naïve foolishness. Dax was actually helping Quark pursue Grilka; she appreciates the unique ways Quark and Grilka connect. She’s confounded by Worf’s attraction to Grilka. His attraction to Grilka makes sense to me though. On the surface, Grilka is a high lady, steeped in Klingon tradition. But that’s just the external face that Grilka puts on. Worf doesn’t know that what he wants is a fanciful, unrealistic ideal. Dax is attainable, more fun, and knows him. A relationship with Dax is reality. Messy, beautiful reality.

I didn’t really like the storyline with Kira and O’Brien. I’m glad that Kira’s pregnancy opened up a unique plot for her, but the behaviors Kira and O’Brien engage in seemed so contrary to their characters. Neither of them has shown any hint of attraction to each other before, so to have them ramp themselves up here to the point of nearly kissing at the end seems very contrived to me. Also, Keiko is way too oblivious to what’s happening. She’s oblivious to the point of encouraging them. That just seems unreasonable. There aren’t many times in DS9 that I’m unimpressed, but this is one of them.

Random Thoughts: 1) Andrew Robinson, the actor who plays Garak, is the director for this episode. This is the first time in Star Trek history that an actor of a recurring character became a director. 2) Quark nearly quotes the song “War” by Edwin Starr. (“War, what is it good for? If you ask me, absolutely nothing.”) 3) Quark asks Grilka to see her financial records knowing that she would never ask him to do it, even though that is exactly why she came to DS9. 4) When I first saw this, I recall laughing out loud at “It’s the Klingon word for love, but with more aggressive overtones.” 5) Worf attacks Morn to show dominance. It’s, uh, great when Morn gets active roles such as this… 6) Odo’s insightfulness of Kira’s language is also spot on. “Which part of his family are you?” 7) At the end, Grilka does indeed jump on Quark like a crazed vole. 8) Bashir shows some immense maturity here. After pursuing and losing Dax, he can handle her moving onto another man. That’s a really hard place for many of us to get to.

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~ by Joshua Black on January 21, 2018.

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