Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Air date: 3/20/1993
Teleplay by Ira Steven Behr
Story by David Livingston
Directed by David Livingston
Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan
Grand Nagus Zek (Wallace Shawn), the leader of Ferengi commerce, holds a Ferengi meeting to plan business expansion of Ferengi culture into the Gamma Quadrant. But first he chooses a successor to fill his shoes when he retires: Quark.
The first of what has since become a long-standing tradition of unfortunate annual Ferengi outings proves surprisingly entertaining. It's goofy and lightweight, and it knows that without shoving the fact down our throats. As a result, the episode finds the right tone of comedy and, consequently, finds some laughs. As an establishment of the greed that has typified the Ferengi on the series, this show works. One amusing scene features a roomful of cackling Ferengi sitting around a table. I don't believe we've seen so many Ferengi at once, and this time more is merrier.
Once Quark is (temporarily) labeled the new Nagus, the show becomes a comic take on organized crime, as Quark slowly realizes that dodging assassination attempts comes with the territory. The idea of Rom conspiring to kill his own brother wryly utilizes Ferengi greed and treachery (though watching Quark grovel for the second episode in a row might've been pushing it). The show begins to lose its comic zip near the end, but Zek's unexpected reappearance is one of the show's highlights; particularly Wallace Shawn's hilarious delivery of the line, "You failed. Miserably!"
Keeping in tone with the series' evaluation of the Federation's affairs with other cultures, there's a relevant B-story featuring Jake and Nog and each of their parents' concerns about the cross-cultural friendship. The heavy-on-optimism ending to this subplot is a bit schmaltzy, but also quite respectable.