Jammer's Review

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"The House of Quark"


Air date: 10/10/1994
Teleplay by Ronald D. Moore
Story by Tom Benko
Directed by Les Landau

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"I am Quark, son of Keldar. And I have come to answer the challange of D'Ghor, son of ... whatever."

Quark gets into a bar fight with a drunken Klingon who accidentally falls on his own knife and dies. In order to drum up business and his own ego, the foolish barkeep concocts an audience-pleasing story saying he killed the Klingon in self-defense. When the Klingon's family chases Quark down, the results are anything but predictable.

It's a good Klingon episode and one of the best Quark vehicles yet. I guess when the writers need a lightweight episode, they can always count on Armin Shimerman to get the job done.

The Klingon's widow Grilka (Mary Kay Adams) comes to DS9 and abducts Quark to the Klingon Homeworld, where she forces him to marry her so she can keep claim on her family house and land under Klingon territorial laws. (Sound like a contrivance? It is, but who cares?) Now Quark and Grilka must work together to convince the High Council that the land should not fall into the hands of rival Klingon D'Ghor (Carlos Carrasco), who is an honorless opportunist anyway.

Adams and Shimerman work well together due to their characters' contrasting personalities, and the laughs flow plentifully from the silly setting. (I especially liked when the pint-sized Ferengi marched into the Chamber of the High Council wearing a powerful looking cloak and announced in a powerful voice his claim to the House of Quark.) Quark's eleventh-hour display of courage is surprisingly refreshing. Also welcome is the wild-eyed presence of Robert O'Reilly as Gowron and the appearance of Max Grodenchik as Rom, who displays a brief, unexpected wave of shame over Quark's display of initial cowardice.

What is likely to be overlooked here is the well-played B-story involving Miles and Keiko O'Brien, who have some delightful scenes together. Miles tries to lift Keiko's spirits who feels useless on the station without a career. It's nice to see them in scenes where they're doing something besides arguing. Ultimately, he finds her a six-month job opening on Bajor. It's one of the most simple stories, and often it's the simple stories that are the best. Character moments like these are what really defines Deep Space Nine as the one-hour television drama it is.

Previous episode: The Search, Part II
Next episode: Equilibrium

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17 comments on this review

Dan - Fri, Jan 4, 2008 - 2:52am (USA Central)
Watched this again last night and thought it was a wonderful episode to follow on from the heavy (but neccesary) Search Two Parter.
I agree, the B Story really caught my attention and was a great part of contuinity.
Jayson - Sat, Jun 7, 2008 - 11:47pm (USA Central)
Aside from the good sense of humor DS9 had its real strength was in being able to really to use their re-occuring guest stars to great effect.
matt - Fri, Jul 4, 2008 - 10:13pm (USA Central)
this show is about love, between mother and sons, and husband and wife, and trek does it perfectly here
Nic - Tue, Oct 27, 2009 - 8:46am (USA Central)
Okay, what is the Dominion waiting for? In the previous episode the Female Changeling says they are "willing to wait until the time is right." Why? Why give the Federation time to prepare for your invasion? Why not invade now before they have a chance to prepare an adequate defense? Because the writers don't want to deal with it yet, that's why.
I think it's too bad that they closed the school, it makes the station a less desirable place to live (Jake must be disappointed too, but it's not addressed).
Other than that, it wasn't a bad episode, but I didn't think it was very funny, apart from the opening and closing scenes in the bar.
Kardinal - Tue, May 11, 2010 - 5:59pm (USA Central)
Because any kind of military mobilization takes time, because a direct assault as the first order of business goes against everything established about the Dominion - and as Quark said in this very episode, bulldozing what you wish to conquer is a bad move - because, because, because.

Hey, there was a lot of rain today. Must have been the writers fucking up, that's why. I love it when informed people point out plot holes and inconsistencies in stuff they love, I hate it when witless people nitpick to show how smart and cool they are.
David - Sat, Jul 31, 2010 - 5:13pm (USA Central)
Nic, because the Dominion isn't stupid. It realizes if it wants to conquer the Alpha Quadrant, all four Empires, and not have them just collapse the Wormhole and win in five seconds it will take some time and preparation since it's only been 3 months since they've had first contact. So instead they start infiltrating, wiping out the Tal Shiar and Obsidian Order that would have posed threats, used Changeling Martok to get two empires to devastate each other in a war while breaking down quadrant unity with the end of the Federation-Klingon Alliance, finally find a strongman to make a puppet in one of the four so as to gain a foothold from whence to conquer (eventually Dukat and the Cardassians, but we see in "To the Death" that they asked Sisko to do it as well.) Eventually, the Alpha Quadrant Powers are to be week and divided before you strike. It almost worked, if it wasn't for the Prophets sealing off the Gamma Quadrant.
Jay - Mon, Nov 26, 2012 - 1:52pm (USA Central)
David's last sentence almost sounds like it be out of Scooby-Doo...
Dan - Fri, Dec 21, 2012 - 7:23am (USA Central)
Jay's sentence makes it sound like he needs grammar lessons.
Kotas - Tue, Oct 22, 2013 - 6:32pm (USA Central)

Some good Quark fun. Lighthearted, funny episode.

Eli - Fri, Feb 28, 2014 - 7:03pm (USA Central)
This is one of my favorite episodes of DS9. It's an excellent mixture of charming humor and engaging character interplay. Good fun. Great ending.
Rivus - Wed, Apr 16, 2014 - 12:39pm (USA Central)
The whole episode I was bracing myself for another display of Quark groveling at "Move Along Home" cringe levels, instead I get a thrown bat'leth and (if you'll excuse me) "COME AT ME BRO", followed by the most amusing divorce ceremony ever.

And yeah, it's good to see Keiko responding negatively with depression, as awful as that sounds now that I think of it... It gives the character more dimensionality than the usual O'Brien marital duking we've seen. Here, we see Miles instead of returning angry canned lines off in the distance, we get 'I can't see her like this' and real solution.

I agree with Nic, though... Does Jake just have to suck it up and tutor himself and everybody else now?
Yanks - Mon, Jul 14, 2014 - 12:23pm (USA Central)
As much as I don't look forward to the "Ferengi" episodes, I do enjoy this one.

Little note of trivia. Mary Kay Adamns is no stranger to performing with rubber all over her face, she also played Na’Toth in BAB5. She excelled in both characters.

Mary Kay and Armin work wonders together. I'm glad we get to see these two working together again in the future.

I'll also agree about the "B" story. I didn't want to slap Keiko in this one.

3.0 stars for me.

Jack - Thu, Oct 30, 2014 - 3:41pm (USA Central)
Q'on'os and the Klingon Empire is on the other side of the vast Federation from Bajor and Cardassia...it has to be at least a trip of several weeks. They kept Quark unconscious for that entire trip?!?
Filip - Sat, Nov 8, 2014 - 4:15pm (USA Central)
I was thinking the exact same thing Jack said the moment Quark woke up on Qo'noS.

I also wonder, does every dispute that Klingons have end up in front of the council? Sure it would make sense if the council was governing a village, but not an interstellar empire with billions of people.

Those two things do bother me a bit, but other than that an enjoyable episode.
Sawyor - Thu, Jan 15, 2015 - 1:56pm (USA Central)
This episode gave Quark some much-needed character development. One thing I love about DS9 is how it gives more depth to the more two-dimensional races from TOS and TNG.
Del_Duio - Fri, Jan 16, 2015 - 10:54am (USA Central)
^^ I agree, a very good episode! ^^

Quark is one of the best DS9 characters by far. Further, the Quark / Odo interplay is one of the main strengths of this entire show IMO.

They're much more than just lightning whips and Moogie!
DVMX - Wed, Mar 18, 2015 - 1:39pm (USA Central)
I enjoyed this ep a lot. I think of the things I liked about it was that it showed consequences for Quark's actions plus a very pleasing resolution.

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