Jeffrey Combs actually plays two characters in this one: Weyoun, as he usually does, and that shifty Ferengi Brunt.
It’s Jeffrey Combs, so I sure as hell don’t mind.
Last time, I mentioned that Bashir and O’Brien probably had less to do with the war effort than any other character in the main cast. That…was a bit presumptuous since, really, Quark has had far less to do with the war effort than anyone else in the main cast. Quark is a bartender, and the Ferengi are not involved in the war at all. I suppose Quark could be acting as an intelligence service or a smuggler for goods, but he’d be doing it for a profit, and he’s not much interested in putting his life on the line even for profit. The Ferengi may not be the bravest of people, but they do have a pragmatic side. And since this is the penultimate episode, then why not wrap up the Ferengi plots before getting into the big, double-sized finale next time?
And with that in mind, my thoughts on the other plotlines handled in this episode:
Ezri and Bashir’s getting together is, well, fine. It’s not exactly earth-shattering, and the two haven’t even spent a lot of time together thus far. And Ezri hasn’t been around all that long in the grand scheme of things. Plus, you know, this is the next to last episode if you don’t count the finale as a two-parter. I did like O’Brien and Worf acting as a chorus off to the side, both knowing their respective friends want something to happen and being a little impatient about it. O’Brien doesn’t get the delay. Worf sums it up by referring to Bashir as a child and Ezri as confused. Seems about right to me.
Sisko got a new Defiant, and the Dominion so does not get how the Federation operates if they think they’ll be more inclined to play it safe rather than risk their lives if the Dominion pulls back for a defensive hold, and they really don’t get it if they think the Federation is the only thing keeping the Klingons and Romulans in the war. The Romulans? Maybe. The Klingons? Have they met a Klingon before?
Oh, and Sisko and Kasidy are expecting a child, set up in a way that tells me if Sisko isn’t around at the end, it probably shouldn’t be that surprising since they did set something up here.
Meanwhile, Damar has become a legend on the Cardassian homeworld as his resistance is reduced to nothing, with only dumb luck keeping himself, Kira, and Garek alive. But somehow, Damar is a legend to his own people, to the point where I am watching at home and wondering when Damar became awesome. Yes, he probably wouldn’t have gotten this far without Kira and Garek, but he listened to Kira’s advice, let Garek do his thing, and then stepped forward when he had to. Damar is…the man? Damar? Really?
OK, back to the Ferengi, and it may be somewhat appropriate given everything else that’s happening that there’d be a comedic Ferengi episode near the end. The bottom line is Zek is retiring to Risa with Moogie, and through a static-filled connection, tells Quark that Quark will be the new Grand Negas.
Yeah, it isn’t that big a surprise that Quark was not supposed to get that message, that it was meant for Rom, and that comes about because Zek (influenced by Moogie) went and made a lot of changes to Ferengi society that did things like create a governing council, do something about labor rights, start to look at the local environment, and a bunch of other things Quark finds heretical. He’s so fuming, he doesn’t even notice right away how little he sold the bar to Rom for. Most of what he knows comes from Brunt, now in full ass-kissing mode, and since Brunt also thinks Quark is next in line, it would seem Brunt’s informants aren’t as good as he thinks they are.
But no, Rom is meant to be the new Grand Negas. Why? Because he’s the sort of Negas the new Ferengi government needs. His relationship with Leeta is proof enough of that. He’ll probably continue the reforms and not see profit as the be-all and end-all. As further proof, Rom just gives Quark the bar back and lets Quark keep the 5,000 bars of gold-pressed latinum. Quark is disgusted by all that, but he also says he loves his brother.
And thus…Ferengi society is forever changed. Probably for the better. Not bad for a race that started off as a pathetic attempt to give TNG their own ongoing nemeses until someone came up with the Borg, who actually were scary, and that the Romulans still work.