In which everyone’s getting laid but Miles.
Bashir wanders the corridors, alone. He hears arguing from behind the O”Brien’s door, stops to listen, and Quark suggests a little discretion as he listens in with those ears. So far as we can tell, the argument is a run-of-the-mill one, potentially about nothing. Although in a fun twist, it’s Miles and Kira – Keiko is blissfully uninvolved. See, Miles doesn’t want Kira playing Springball while pregnant. When Keiko shows up she makes them stop shouting.
Worf and Jadzia are arguing about Klingon opera, and flirting, and in walks who but Grilka, Quark’s ex-wife. Worf is instantly smitten, and is in for an extremely unpleasant surprise. Given that he and Jadzia were just flirting, even if he didn’t know it, she does an admirable job of not gloating when she breaks the news.
Grilka is on-station because the Klingon-Federation hostilities have left her house weak, and while Quark could be insensitive and quote the 34th Rule of Acquisition, he instead quotes the 1970s-era wisdom of Earth sage Edwin Starr. Quark is pretty good at etiquette, but she’s got a wingman who’s a little… intense.
Jadzia tells Worf the whole story, and accuses him of having the Klingon equivalent of puppy love, which includes overtones of bodily harm because of course it does. At the same time, Bashir’s working up a cure for Kira’s pregnancy symptoms, and Bashir is teasing Miles about his role in helping Kira around.
To get Grilka’s attention, Worf puts on a big alpha-male display in front of her, and her old retainer gently takes him aside to tell him that while his mating display was respectful and impressive, he’s still a Klingon pariah and Grilka can’t afford to risk her position by going out with him. Also, he intimates that Worf, raised by humans, knows nothing about how Klingons actually date because basically all he knows is romance novels.
Worf is lamenting his status later with Jadzia on the Defiant, and Quark comes in to talk to her and ask her advice because Grilka’s invited him to dinner. Quark asks Jadzia for advice in Klingon manners and courtship. She tries to warn him about the intricacies, and tries to start him off, but Worf takes over and starts Cyrano de Bergeracing for Quark.
Miles is giving Kira foot massages, because that’s what O’brien men do for pregnant women. The muscle and nerve layouts between Bajorans and humans are apparently close enough, but the problem is they’re getting way too flirty, and they both realize it at the same time, even as Worf blasts Klingon opera from the Defiant’s PA system. Quark comes in to tell Worf about their date, and if you’re counting music references I’m going to call this a Grease moment. He’s all “tell me more” and continues to be willing to help Quark, if only to prove that just because he’s an exile doesn’t mean he’s bad at courting. Next, he teaches Quark the ways of the blade, a recreation of the forging of the Empire, the greatest Klingon love story ever. It’s all for the nookie.
Odo is ranting about equipment thefts from one of the upper pylons, and the lapsed maintenance that O’brien isn’t doing is enabling it. Kira comes to his defense, and Odo tries to understand the relationship. Remember, he’s got glands now, and it’s starting to show.
Grilka’s bodyguard is definitely not happy with Quark’s incrasing closeness with Grilka, although her butler reminds him to keep his place. The two of them get close to sealing the deal once Quark lets a little of himself show through, but the bodyguard snaps and issues the challenge of a duel.
All is not great in the O’Brien household – not acrimonious, but really tense between Miles and Nerys. So she’s going to Bajor for a little bit to give the steam time to simmer down. Keiko seems blisfully ignorant of the tension, and insists that O’brien go with her in a perfect Shakespearean farce.
Quark’s plan is pretty much the same as last time – throw away his weapon and darethe bodyguard to kill an unarmed Ferengi. That plan won’t work this time because nobody will stop his opponent. Quark’s only options are to show himself a coward or fight and die. Or have his body be remote-controlled by Worf. Now, consider the implications of this technology existing – pretty much anyone could be controlled by anyone. And though the receiver rig seems in this case to be voluntarily placed, I doubt there’s much but ethics stopping more nefarious uses. There’s some real body-horror potential here I’d love to see.
Worf laments, once again, the lengths he’s going to just to make Grilka happy, even if he doesn’t end up with her, and Jadzia makes fun of him for objectifying her, putting her up on a pedestal, and not-so-subtly hints that she wants the D.
But now it’s time for the challenge. Quark and Thopak enter the ring of battle, and Worf does pretty well, until the rig breaks for no reason. Dax tries to repair it, while Quark claims Ferengi customs to stall, and Grilka declares that since he’s been so respectful of their traditions, she’ll honor his. His claim is for the Rite of Proclamation, but fortunately Dax finishes up the repairs and saves him from… unnecessary theatrics. Worf ends the fight and has Quark perform the correct rituals, which nobody told him about beforehand. Worf is still brooding about Grilka going after Jadzia, and she basically has to hit him over the head with Klingon sword-boning. But, as we’ve already learned, in Klingon society it’s the women who roar.
In our wrap, Kira and O’brien are on a runabout, and she explains how romantic the house they’ll be visiting is. He’s going to claim they miscommunicated the departure time and she’ll go visit Shakaar, and they share a moment while conspiring against his wife on how to not accidentally have sex. Speaking of which, Grilka’s broken quite a lot of Quark’s bones tussling aroundk, and Worf and Dax are in a similar state of dishabille, much to Bashir’s consternation. Klingon tradition insists they get married, but for now, they’re just gonna keep it casual and see what happens.