Weekend Trek “The House Of Quark”

So, I saw the basic plot synopsis to this one–Quark is forced into marriage with a Klingon after accidentally killing her husband–and figured it would be a nice, silly, comedic episode involving a Ferengi trying not to get killed by an angry female Klingon.  And while there is a bit of that there, there’s also a lot more going on than that.

I’m actually rather happy that is the case.

Also, O’Brien has to deal with Keiko’s general unhappiness over a lack of anything to do until he arranges for her to go on a botany expedition to Bajor because, really, he’s that good a husband.

But the marriage thing is very much in sight in this episode.  Quark’s bar is having some problems keeping customers, and at one point, there’s just a single drunken Klingon.  Quark tries to get the guy to leave, the Klingon reacts poorly, and a knife comes out.  The Klingon, being a drunken fool, dies when he accidentally stabs himself.  The only real witness to Quark’s accidental murder is his brother Rom.

Now, sure, the episode starts off as one would expect it to:  Quark tries to make money off the Klingon’s death, telling everyone he valiantly slayed the fellow in self-defense, and there’s the usual expected antics, like when the dead Klingon’s brother shows up demanding to know if his brother died with honor in a fight, because if he died in some other way…

So, this is standard Ferengi stuff.  Some comedy about Quark doing anything for latinum, Even when the widow, a Klingon woman named Grilka, shows up and, due to the honor demands of Klingon culture, forcibly marries Quark, it sure did seem like a standard Ferengi episode, one mixing the standard Ferengi greed with Klingon honor for humorous effect.

I just didn’t expect it to go exactly the way it did when the episode, while still keeping its humorous veneer, got a lot more serious.  That comes from mostly showing Quark, while a Ferengi, wasn’t an idiot.  Because as much as the Klingons, including Gowron, might not want to admit it, there are some things a smart Ferengi can do even in Klingon society.  See, Grilka married Quark because some other Klingon had designs on the dead fellow’s family fortune, and she as a woman couldn’t inherit, but Quark as her husband’s killer could.

And no, she didn’t miss her husband.  He was a fool.

Except, marrying Quark means she has the advantage of a Ferengi…meaning he can find the irregularities in the family’s finances.  His first real impulse is to actually ask to look at the books.

Turns out a Klingon trying to overtake a rival using money is dishonorable.

Now, you’d think bringing Rom to the Klingon court to tell the truth (we don’t expect much else from Rom, truth be told) would go badly and could end with Quark being challenged to a fight to the death in the arena of death the following day.  It would be expected for Quark to turn tail and run.

What would be unexpected would be for Quark to show up a little late, but then refusing to fight because, let’s face it, of course the angry Klingon would kill the Ferengi with no combat experience.  Pointing that out only makes the Klingon look more dishonorable, and that guy gets a good ol’ fashioned exile as the Ferengi taught the Klingons about honor.

That gets Quark what he really wants, a Klingon divorce (a good slap across the face), and he can go back to the station with Rom.  All things being equal, I dug the way Quark used his natural skills and knowledge in ways to keep himself alive, and how this wasn’t just some kind of slapstick comedy episode.

But we got enough of that to still have that kind of fun.

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