DS9: S3E03: “The House of Quark”

In which Quark kills a man, gets married, and gets respect. 

"Such a custom as yours I can have any ohgodpleasedon'tkillme."

“Such a custom as yours I can have any ohgodpleasedon’tkillme.”

Quark’s bar is empty. Even Morn, the half-man, half-toad, half-log, is off to go… ahem… chat with a Dabo girl. Quark has even made up his own Rule of Aquisition about the loss of a loyal customer. The only person present is an absolutely sotted Klingon. With the Dominion threatening the Alpha Quadrant, traffic is down and business is slow, and the only customer present is asking for credit, and winds up accidentally stabbing himself.

Bashir comes in to confirm that getting a knife through your sternum does in fact make you super dead, but Quark is just thinking about the story. And the sales. Also note that Rom is even meeker than usual and a lot of the fire he had when he tried to get Quark killed seems to be gone. Odo is not  buying the story, but Quark knows how to play to a crowd.

O’Brien comes home after an aggravating day at work. Keiko is working on her Bonsais because she’s closed the school. All the Bajoran students left, so it’s just Jake and Nog. This is probably Kai Winn’s fault. Keiko is putting it down to the Dominion and not talking about it, and Miles Knows he Has To Do Something.

Odo is back to tell Quark the results of his investigation. The drunk Klingon was Kozak, the head of a powerful Klingon House. Quark misses his chance to not be the target of a revenge killing, but Quark has tasted respect and will not be turning back, at least until someone comes to call him on it. That time comes a few short hours later, when his brother shows up.

"Let me explain to you very carefully the lie I want you to tell me."

“Let me explain to you very carefully the lie I want you to tell me.”

Quark tells the truth, but it seems there’s no honor in such a disgraceful death. Through threats and innuendo, he entices Quark to stick to the original story.

Miles has prepared a sixty-dish romantic dinner for Keiko to cheer her up, and it’s so adorable I can’t even make a joke about how she was introduced. I have to settle with pointing out that I’m not making that joke. Sadly, the good mood ends the moment he leaves for work and she has nothing particular to do but tend her plants.

Quark’s week continues on complicated when Kozak’s widow Grilka shows up to kill him. Or at least, to prove his story wrong. And it turns out she has use for his talents as a liar, and kidnaps him back to the Klingon homeworld, Quo’nos. Since Kozak died without a mail heir (and the brother was actually a sworn enemy of Kozak), the House has now fallen on hard times. Also, we get a little insight into how Houses are named – with Kozak dead under normal (for a Klingon) circumstances, no special dispensation will be granted. A Romulan Sneak Attack and the heir apparent being raised by Federation relief workers was apparently enough of a special circumstance that Worf’s family is still the House of Mogh, not the House of Worf. If Kozak had died in an accident, Grilka might have been able to become head of the family, but since that’s no t the case, the house will fall, unless Grilka’s clearly insane plan works. I like her already.

Does it count as a shotgun wedding if the bride is the one doing the threatening?

Does it count as a shotgun wedding if the bride is the one doing the threatening?

The Klingon Wedding ceremony is… let’s say short and sweet, and Quark is a newly married man.

Back on the station, O’Brien goes to chat with Sisko about his family issues. Dax is sympathetic, Kira is hilariously less so. Sisko’s always down for some man-to-man talk with his COO, though. Miles’ new idea is to convert a cargo bay into an arboritum, and Sisko has just the defunct space to fix up. You can read this as Sisko being a good manager for respecting the family of his crew and knowing that O’Brien will do better work if his wife is happy. You could also read this as Sisko hitting on Miles a little. I have decided not to find out if anyone has, however.

Before the council, Gowron is just getting ready to hand over the holdings of the former House of Kozak, when Grilka shows up to declare this whole court out of order. In minces Quark in vastly oversized robes. Literally no adult Klingon is under six feet tall. As it turns out, Klingon custom has a Right of Conquest if a warrior is slain in combat – he gets to be the one to take over the house and the wife of the slain. D’Ghor was obviously not betting on Grilka marrying a Ferengi. It’s hard to tell whether Gowron likes Grilka, hates D’Ghor, or is just amused at naming the House of Quark. Hell, maybe he even respects custom.

Grilka had no plan beyond this point. It was a good start, but it’s also fortunate for her that she married a schemer. Maybe not even a great schemer, but someone from a culture where scheming isn’t taboo. Because D’Ghor owns a lot of Kozak’s debt, Quark has another leg up. It’s a financial battle now, and again, Quark has the advantage in a culture where the very idea of finance is basically a cuss.

O’Brien shows Bashir his plans for the arboretum, and Bashir has so much experience failing with women that he plots a timetable for how long this will last. And because it’s just a hobby-sized terrarium, it won’t be enough. Bashir is of the opinion that Keiko needs to go back to being a real botanist, just like she refused to do back in the pilot. Ahhhh, there it is. I knew we’d get there eventually.

"I'm not mad, I'm just disappointed."

“I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed.”

It’s hard to say exactly how long it took Quark to figure out the D’Ghor situation. Somewhere between five minutes and an hour, let’s say. Of course, this neglects the fact that the Klingon High Council doesn’t much care about the specifics of financial trickery. It’s enough that D’Ghor used dishonorable methods. Now D’Ghor gets to demand redress in personal combat and call Quark a liar, with Rom as a witness. So Quark is out.

Since Quark hasn’t shown, the house has dishonored itself. This is, of course, leaving aside that the new evidence ought to mean that Grilka gets her special dispensation hearing and leadership of the house herself. But soft, what’s this! Quark, son of Keldar, has shown up after all to duel D’Ghor. And by ‘duel’ I mean ‘throw his bat’leth away and allow himself to be slaughtered unarmed and shaming D’Ghor into being unable to strike. D’Ghor is all for it, but he forgets that other Klingons are watching him turn aside honor, and he gets the full excommunication. It’s a pretty good moment for Quark, to get helped to his feet and a backhanded compliment from the leader of the Klingon Empire. Gowron even gives Grilka her special dispensation so she can divorce Quark.

"Ferengi better have my money."

“Ferengi better have my money.”

The Klingon divorce ceremony is even quicker than the wedding. They’re a very pragmatic people at times. Then she makes it up to him, and they part on pretty good terms. Note that Quark has a thing for aliens. Maybe it’s just that we’ve never seen him in the presence of a Ferengi woman. He might be a xenophile, or he might just not care about species boundaries.

To wrap things up, O’Brien tells Keiko about a 6-month expedition to unsurveyed Bajoran mountains that needs a chief botanist. She hardly dares believe it, but it’s such a sweet moment I even feel bad for referencing that time I made fun of her. Also, Rom seems to respect his brother now, rather than just obey him. How about that. An honest happy ending with no looming trouble. I wouldn’t get used to it, if I were you.

Did we miss something awesome?