Jammer's Review

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"Bar Association"


Air date: 2/19/1996
Teleplay by Robert Hewitt Wolfe & Ira Steven Behr
Story by Barbara J. Lee & Jenifer A. Lee
Directed by LeVar Burton

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"Maybe I don't know much about Ferengi culture, but I do know who holds the lease on your bar." — Sisko to Quark

Nutshell: An all-too-typical Ferengi "comedy" with a few redeeming moments.

When Quark cuts all his employees' pay, Rom takes the initiative to form a labor union and get the entire bar staff to strike. It's bad news for Quark, not to mention illegal by Ferengi customs.

Let it be said, "Bar Association" is far more entertaining and humorous than most Ferengi shows. It has a certain zip and pleasantness that was painfully absent in "Prophet Motive" and "Family Business." But, nevertheless, "Bar" is still just another Ferengi Comedy Episode—fairly diverting and occasionally worth chuckling at, but thin and generally devoid of any real substance. I'll rank a tad below "Little Green Men."

The plot, if you care, is nothing much; it centers around Rom finally getting fed up with his brother's nonstop exploitation of both him and the bar staff. Advice from O'Brien (who had a famous ancestor who was a "union man" in the early 1900s) prompts Rom to create a union, and Quark suddenly finds himself in a sticky situation with both Captain Sisko and the FCA (Ferengi Commerce Agency) breathing down his neck to resolve the situation.

The plot is merely a clothesline to hang the silly gags. Though not all of them work, a number them do.

Let's start with the ones that work. There's the idea of Quark using holographic images of himself to run the bar. I don't know why, but there's just something inherently funny about Quark talking to Odo in the foreground while three other Quarks walk around in the background. (Maybe it's the subtlety of the humor that's appealing.) The scene also features another one of Odo's hilarious double takes.

I also got a good laugh out of Worf and O'Brien's "brawl"—which ends with Bashir being hurled over a table and all three of them thrown into a holding cell. Sisko's reaction to his officers brawling on the promenade is equally amusing and appropriate: he lets them spend the night in jail. Sisko's subsequent action—persuading Quark into negotiating an end to the strike (by blackmailing him with huge back payments on his bar lease)—is a load of fun. The notion is so...Sisko.

Brunt, the FCA guy (Jeffrey Combs, reprising a stupid role from "Family Business") who threatens Quark with bodily harm unless he ends the strike, has a couple of heavies who make an unlikely comic duo in the goofily witty scene where the two play darts using each other's chests as the targets. This is simply zaniness at its best—it works magnificently.

Of course, the funny moments (and I think I covered most of them worth mentioning) are at the mercy of the usual Ferengi-show shortcomings of (A) lots of Ferengi gathering to discuss profit strategy (who is it that thinks putting a dozen Ferengi in a room together is funny by definition, anyway?); (B) Quark and Rom shouting at each other in their usual sibling rivalry cliched manner; (C) Max Grodenchik overacting in virtually every scene—making Rom look as dumb as ever, even though the writers seem to want to make him smarter than he appears.

There's also a scene that falls completely flat where a Ferengi crumbles to the ground to grovel in the face of the FCA. (Yes, ha ha; we know that Ferengi values are centered around their economy and that's supposed to be funny, but enough already.)

Leeta (Chase Masterson)—the attractive Bajoran character unseen since "Facets" some 16 episodes ago—has an agreeable role here as a Dabo Girl. But her presence, unfortunately, has practically no dramatic purpose in the episode (other than, I suppose, to provide compensation for the presence of a dozen inelegant Ferengi). She most frequently appears in the hokey and contrived union meeting scenes, which refuse to utilize the fact that she isn't a Ferengi to the plot's advantage.

While "Bar Association" is easily the weakest show DS9 has done so far this season, it still isn't that bad. I can tolerate the problems here, because they're not nearly as in-your-face annoying as they were in last season's Ferengi shows, and the episode makes up for it with some fairly original comic ideas.

The B-story? Something to do with Worf moving his quarters to on board the Defiant over his inability to adapt to the tone of the station. The results are sometimes amusing—though, like the rest of the show, not exactly pressing. However, I somehow doubt that Worf, being the Klingon warrior he is, would really have such a problem integrating into DS9. Like I said, we're not exactly looking at deep character material here.

Still, there is at least one lasting consequence from all this. As a result of his experience and strike victory, Rom decides to quit working for his brother and take a job as a station electronic technician. This was a long time coming, and I, for one, am sincerely glad it finally happened. Quark's constant exploitation of Rom has long since been exhausted, and has even longer since not been amusing. I guess the creators finally figured that out and acted on it.

Previous episode: Sons of Mogh
Next episode: Accession

Season Index

26 comments on this review

James - Mon, Jan 5, 2009 - 1:42am (USA Central)
I've always wondered if they intentionally named Rom that way, meaning it to be a joke on Read Only Memory. Certainly fits his character.
Vince - Sun, Aug 9, 2009 - 3:30pm (USA Central)
I'm a bit more inclined to like the Ferengi since I see their whole economic dogma as a set up, like ten pins, to be knocked down. And here we get what appears to be a lot of courage from Rom which is rewarded, and that is good to see. I like Rom's idiot/savant persona, fulfilling what Nog said, when he upbraided Sisko about his father.

Quark is again the fall guy, but that's what he's there for. I did kept hoping that Brunt's goons would run afowl of Worf, but Odo at least had the last word with them.

So, I have to give this episode at least another 1/2 or maybe even another full point.
Louie - Sat, Dec 5, 2009 - 11:35pm (USA Central)
You know, I liked this episode. I don't like most Ferengi comedies, but then this doesn't really feel like a comedy, compared to most of Quark's outings. It's got some serious issues at its heart. Actually, I felt that this episode was one of DS9's trademark "move away from Gene's vision" kind of shows, in that it brought up subjects of labor rights and exploitation that you'd think wouldn't fit into the Roddenberry ideal. Okay okay, we're not talking about the Federation here, but still, can you imagine a character on TOS quoting the Communist Manifesto?

And there were a lot of little moments that worked for me, from Sisko's scene with Quark, to O'Brien in the Infirmary: "he was more than a hero; he was a Union man!"

Yes some bits degenerated into your normal Ferengi fare, such as the mentioned groveling, but overall, I call this certainly not a classic, but a winner. Three stars.
Half-Blood Time Lord - Wed, Jan 12, 2011 - 9:14pm (USA Central)
The scene with Worf and Odo, regarding the break in to Worfs quarters, and his subsequent statement that "things like this never happened on the Enterprise", to which a smiling Odo lists things like this that happened on the Enterprise, is brilliant!
Occuprice - Wed, Apr 20, 2011 - 1:20pm (USA Central)
Just rewatched. Normally I don't mind the bad Ferengi episodes- there's something mildly entertaining in watching such cheesy, cliched, bad trainwrecks- a sort of "Only star trek..." reaction. But I've got to say I really hated this episode and couldn't enjoy it really on any level. So much of it was just cringe-inducing (chanting "union! union!") while the rest was just kind of bad. I grew to like Rom a bit later in the show once he showed some engineering skill and some believable backbone in standing up to the Dominion in early season 6.... but here I just couldn't stand him. And the backbone he grew standing up to Quark just didn't seem believable or in character. I also thought that, while the sudden cut to Worf/O'Brien/Bashir in jail was a legitimate laugh, the whole notion of them getting into a fight seemed wildly out of character and beyond the stakes which these characters seemed involved.

In short, it's an episode like this that makes me embarrassed for the show... not something that usually happens.
Justin - Wed, Mar 14, 2012 - 5:27pm (USA Central)
Victory strike limits frosted wake. Simple hesitation.

Sorry, I had to say that line I memorized from "Babel" after I read the words, "strike victory."

Oh, Leeta's presence (Chase Masterson) is absolutely necessary. She has gorgeous, er, scenery. And she's a real sweetheart. I actually got a chance to meet her at a Trek convention and not only is she wonderful to her fans, but she's quite involved with charity and many other worthy activities. Did I mention she's attractive?
Nebula Nox - Fri, Mar 30, 2012 - 11:54am (USA Central)
I rather like this episode, partly because I'm fond of Rom. Even those who are unattractive and slow by our standards can play the part of heroes. I also like how living on the station is influencing the Ferengis.

Anyway, I wanted to point out the double meaning in the title. It's an association of bar workers - but it is also an attempt to bar the union.
Jock Strapp - Wed, Aug 15, 2012 - 5:31pm (USA Central)
After watching this series again on DVD after over a year since the last time I thought there wasn't a character on here that I didn't enjoy in some way or another. I was wrong.

IMO, Leeta is absolutely annoying and useless. She always was and always will be. I do care how good looking she is. She has about as much depth as a bottle cap. Why did they have to keep her around DS9? She had no purpose. And the little fling with her and Rom was completely unbelievable.
John - Sun, Aug 19, 2012 - 12:59pm (USA Central)
I also think this one is significantly better than the average Ferengi caper.

Season 4 was kind to the little buggers.
Grumpy - Sun, Dec 9, 2012 - 11:51pm (USA Central)
Hypothetically, if Ferengi society were truly based on pure greed, laborers would have every right to exploit those who purchase what they sell (that is, their employers). Instead, this episode shows Ferengi motivated not by greed but by capitalism, with legal advantages given to the owners of capital.
T'Paul - Wed, Jul 10, 2013 - 5:45pm (USA Central)
The character development for Rom made this better than the average Ferengi fare...

Plus Worf and Odo were an amusing duo as usual.
Kotas - Wed, Oct 23, 2013 - 6:01pm (USA Central)

A decent Ferengi episode. Rom finally starts to grow a spine.

K'Elvis - Mon, Dec 2, 2013 - 7:28am (USA Central)
A good episode, but it didn't seem plausible that Quark could simply agree to the striker's demands under the table without the FCA knowing about it. A more plausible solution would have been Sisko creating station regulations for workers. This would allow Quark to say "I didn't agree to their demands, Sisko forced me to give them sick time, etc."
Dusty - Sun, Feb 16, 2014 - 11:46pm (USA Central)
This deserved more than two stars, I think. Well structured, the plot holds up, the script isn't bad at all. The Ferengi are interesting when not overdone, and here they had something useful to do. Leeta is not an interesting character, but at least here she was part of something interesting; that helps. Rom's character grew more in this episode than any other. He not only got a better deal for the workers, he started a career of his own and earned Quark's respect. It wasn't 'The Visitor', but it made me care. Three stars in my book.
Vylora - Mon, Feb 24, 2014 - 3:36pm (USA Central)
My problem with DS9 Ferengi stories is the tendency to push silliness and buffoonery for its own sake and in the process ruin any opportunity to really care about the characters. Fortunately, this is not the case here. And I do appreciate the DS9 writers at least trying expand on the Ferengi mythos over the series despite some storytelling shortcomings.

I'm also not usually one to comment on the placement of episodes in terms of airing order, but this was a breath of fresh air coming after the previous ep shooting itself in the foot. That being said, I've never really faulted or praised an ep on anything other than its own merits. It's just the timing, in this case, was nice. I suppose if I saw a whole bunch of one "type" of episode in a row as it were, I may complain. I don't know and I've never seen that happen in this show.

But I digress. This was a rather pleasant outing that had some good progression for Quark and Rom and furthered some insight into Ferengi customs in an amicable way. Showcasing the idiot/savant aspect of Rom here was done well and, like Jammer, am very glad for this step forward finally happening. The bumbling aspects of Rom when around fellow Ferengi was a neat contrast to his finding his bravery in, not only starting the union, but also in pursuing what he wants out of life. No doubt an influence from his son joining Starfleet. Whether implied or not, it's logical and Roms actions are far from out of character.

Overall, not only was this better than some other Ferengi episodes - it was a good episode in its own right.

3 stars.
Eric - Thu, May 8, 2014 - 8:34pm (USA Central)
All I could think throughout this episode was: Yikes! Ferengi society is extremely repressive!
Yanks - Wed, Aug 6, 2014 - 11:27am (USA Central)

That's about it for this one.

1 star, ...... for Rom.
Nonya - Sun, Aug 10, 2014 - 10:41pm (USA Central)
This episode went back and forth from boring to insulting. DS9 has never successfully said anything intelligent about capitalism, and this is one of their worst examples.
MsV - Thu, Feb 12, 2015 - 6:57am (USA Central)
I liked this episode because Rom finally won, hands down. Quark was beaten.
Easter - Sun, Sep 27, 2015 - 4:55pm (USA Central)
I feel my problem with this episode (along with Family Business) is that's it's predicated on me not liking Quark or sympathizing with the Ferengi nearly as much as I do. I don't agree with Klingon values either but when a klingon episode shows up I accept that their values matter to them and look at the characters as part of that culture. And the writers do the same. When a Ferengi episode comes up I still try to understand their point of view but the writers don't.

Like the last Ferengi episode with his mother, Quark is a model (Ferengi) citizen stuck between a ruthless government he CANNOT win against and someone going against that government and completely willing to throw him under the bus to get what they want and then he gets thrown under the bus despite being, narratively speaking, the protagonist of the story. Rom fills the role previously played by his mom and just decides "oh hey. I don't care about my entire species' ethos and culture anymore for some reason" which causes Quark to stare down the barrel of the government's gun. Rom/Mom continues to spit in the face of their own government, Quark get's in more trouble and then Rom/Mom wins despite facing no actual adversity. This is what I mean by Quark is the protagonist. He's the one with a problem to overcome who faces obstacles. Rom's story is "Rom decides he wants to strike. Rom strikes. Rom's brother gets beaten up very badly and almost dies and then, fearing for his life at the hands of his oppressive government, gives Rom what he wants. Rom quits his job." That's not a protagonist arc, Quarks story is "Quark's staff go on strike. Quark tries to run his bar without a staff and eventually Sisko comes in and strongarms him (yet again) into settling the dispute (Side note here: DS9 has been letting Quark operate rent free this whole time? Why? How? There's no way Quark has been going 4 years without a contract and Sisko has been failing to enforce payments from him. He hates Quark. I don't accept that premise) so Quark tries to bribe Rom and fails. The FCA show up and threaten Quark's brother so, fearing for his brother's safety, he tries to get him to listen to reason but his brother refuses. Quark goes back to the FCA and they almost kill him." now, if this was an episode about literally any other character this is the part where they would come up with some solution to get out of this problem but the show doesn't like Quark so instead he just capitulates to Rom's demands and loses. That's our protagonist right there.

Sorry, I don't suscribe to this Merchant of Venice, Shylock is the villain because he's greedy, crap. You can't cast Quark as the protagonist and as the antagonist and expect me to enjoy your narrative. You can't have Rom and Moogie being randomly Federation valued for no reason and just get away with it with no explanation or consequence and expect me to room for them. If you want a character to be part of an alien culture, they need to show appropriate respect for their own culture or an appropriate arc towards change or appropriate consequences for violating their culture.
William B - Tue, Nov 24, 2015 - 8:09am (USA Central)
I think Easter hits the nail on the head here. If we are going to take Ferengi culture seriously, it cannot just be expected that not just Rom but the entire Ferengi wait staff will drop their values instantaneously and that Quark is entirely the bad guy for continuing to hold those values. In some ways the episode's implicit siding with Rom is a corrective to cultural relativism, a statement that just because something is culturally approved does not mean it is right. But things get messy once you recognize that Quark is not just being a greedy boss, but is literally in danger of being exiled, beaten up, or worse if he allows his workers to unionized, because the FCA is all-powerful. That Rom has zero qualms about continuing the strike after Quark gets badly beaten does not say particularly nice things about Rom; it is not that I think that he should capitulate immediately, but he should at least acknowledge that the FCA situation is untenable and that they have to come to some sort of solution immediately, and tell the Guild that they are *not safe*, and nor are others on the station.

The weird thing is that the episode even has multiple advocates for Quark's side among the main cast: Odo's propensity for order means he instinctively sides with the status quo and sees protests as unseemly and too-busy, and apparently Worf sided with management enough to get into a fight with O'Brien, though what his reasons are were never explained. The way the supporting characters react suggests that the episode is attempting to depict a split where there are reasonable differences of opinion, which means that having Quark capitulate to every one of Rom's demands, no negotiation, nothing, with the Guild remaining in all but title, after having been beaten up, is pretty odd. In fact Quark suffers indignity after indignity here; after Worf and O'Brien inexplicably get into a big brawl and Bashir gets thrown over a table somehow, Sisko blames Quark rather than his own officers, and then starts blackmailing him into settling the dispute, whereas he is noticeably absent when Quark is badly beaten later in the episode. Ha ha.

I hasten to say that even if Quark declines to press charges, having strikebreakers on the station whose sole purpose is to intimidate through violence, and even intimidating Bajoran citizens like Leeta (directly or indirectly) is probably a sign that Sisko, Kira and/or Odo should get involved. In general, just because Ferengi business practices forbid unions does not mean that unions should be banned on Federation-Bajoran joint space stations with lots of non-Ferengi employees. The whole episode relies on the idea that Big Capital from Ferenginar is so anti-union that it will start beating up managers to send a message on little bars out of Ferengi space and jurisdiction, which is dubious to begin with, though I can maybe concede that they would apply economic pressure back home (seizing people's wages). Still, once the FCA starts using violent intimidation on the Fed/Bajoran station, this starts becoming an intergovernmental issue. That Quark, Rom et al. have to balance Ferengi values with the reality of life on a Fed/Bajoran station is/should be part of the issue here, and this aspect is acknowledged (in Brunt's "we forgive you because you're away from home, but don't expect this to go too far" speech) and largely dropped. Brunt's alacrity on the station is just difficult to believe, and feels largely like a desperate dramatic advice to prevent the episode from just resolving due to the fact that ordinary economic pressures (e.g. the boycott) would probably force Quark to capitulating earlier, given that Rom went full-on union pretty early in the show.

To some degree the external FCA pressure is meant to represent the internal pressures; Quark cannot allow unionization partly because he feels sick at the idea because of his values from home. But Quark is ultimately more pragmatic than ideological, and would basically agree to whatever gave *him* the most profit in the long run; if the bar would have to close down because of the strike, he would negotiate. As a metaphor, then, the FCA exaggerates the extent to which Quark is a traditioalist. Meanwhile, Rom for whatever reason holds one of the Ferengi traditions to heart. Rom is close to his final form in the series by now, and the comic lunkhead thing is in place where he fixates on one phrase as a guiding principle ("SEAN O'BRIEN!") and we are largely meant to buy it. Nah. The episode also is sure to endear us to Rom by the episode beginning with him having an ear infection which apparently resulted from too much oo-max, because we all know that you can get an STI from too much masturbation. That said, I did find some of Quark and Rom's moments together a little moving, because I kind of like their brotherly bond, even if it's a fairly abusive one in both directions. Rom's carelessness about Quark's having been beaten actually is consistent with "The Nagus," so maybe we should view Rom as someone who loves his brother but can turn on ruthlessness rather suddenly when he becomes fixated on an idea, and when he is particularly angry at Quark's treatment of him. In that sense, Rom quitting the bar and going into engineering is a nice resolution -- Rom recognizes that the bar will always be a battlefield for him and Quark, and that they can only really be brothers once they are not locked in competition. Leeta is fairly blank; it is noteworthy that Rom/Leeta is set up pretty hard here even though she is officially with Julian, a relationship that is given no development.

Somewhat better is the Worf subplot; I know that most of it is just "Worf is grumpy," which gets old quickly when it is not accompanied by good jokes, as it was in, say, "The Icarus Factor." And there is that brawl with O'Brien which still makes no sense to me. But overall it's kind of cute and it makes sense to me that Worf would find a starship more comfortable than a station, especially a warship. I like his scene with O'Brien talking about the Enterprise, and his scene with Odo talking about Worf's security failures (and Odo's glee), and Dax's thoughtful gift of opera, along with the final exchange: will he finally adapt to them, or they to him? It is lightweight (and probably needs even fewer scenes than the handful it has), but it's fine.

So the episode has a few elements I like but its basic structure relies on a bizarre series of assumptions, the FCA contrivance, setting up a conflict in which one side totally capitulates while twisting supporting characters into (off-screen) defending the other side, and so on, and has basically nothing to say about unions. For a far superior comic treatment, check out The Simpsons' classic "Last Exit to Springfield." 1.5 stars.
William B - Tue, Nov 24, 2015 - 10:40am (USA Central)
I should have mentioned, I do agree that the wait staff of holographic Quarks was cute (though it maybe makes the big to-do about the Doctor's holo-emitter being So Advanced a bit silly -- not blaming either series, it's just mildly unfortunate) and that the Nausicaans playing a game of throwing darts at each other was great. The episode has its moments.
Easter - Tue, Nov 24, 2015 - 1:59pm (USA Central)
I kind of feel it was implied from the lead in scene that the Worf thing was a case of Worf not caring about the strike one way or the other and O'Brien getting up in his face about it. something like
*Worf Goes in*
*O'Brien and Bashir follow*
O'Brien: What the hell do you think you're doing?
Worf: I am getting a drink. I am thirsty.
O'Brien: There is a strike going on! You can't eat here.
Worf: That is none of my concern, and you can not tell me where I can and cannot eat.
O'Brien: Stop being such an asshole *grabs Worf's sleeve and starts trying to lead him away*
And then the fight starts.

I never got the sense that the fight was because Worf passionately SUPPORTED the strike so much as he opposed whatever O'Brien said or did to try to shame him out of getting a drink there.
William B - Tue, Nov 24, 2015 - 2:43pm (USA Central)
Ah, that sounds likely. I did think that it may be that Worf had no opinion, but I think I was sort of hoping that Worf did have an opinion, because I somewhat liked that Odo sided with the management in that it started allowing me to imagine an alternate version of the episode in which the whole of the main cast started taking sides for very particular, personal reasons (Odo sides with management because he likes order, O'Brien sides with labour because he favours the underdog, is nostalgic, and his NCO status means he identifies with the workers, Worf sides with management because ???), which may have been more interesting to explore than what we got. The thing is, I can imagine ways in which Worf could start siding with Quark -- for example, if we push the episode's class stuff further, maybe with his House stripped, Worf pines for his aristocratic status within the Empire and projects this onto Quark's attempt to hold onto what is "his" by Ferengi tradition.

In fact, the episode sort of gestures (interestingly) to this idea -- to some degree, basically Quark and Rom's *personal* dispute, as siblings, and the labour dispute between Quark's employees and Quark, as workers and employer, get taken over by conflicting interests who get involved to defend one or two principles and then promptly lose interest. Bashir suggests unionizing and then after Rom actually unionizes, half-assedly back-pedals and suggest he didn't actually tell Rom to do that. O'Brien gets passionate about the idea of unions from his family history and gets in brawls over it, but does not do all that much to help the workers. Sisko intervenes when his officers get into a relatively minor (if inappropriate) fight, which has little to do with Quark or Rom or anyone, and then is noitceably absent when Nausicaans beat Quark badly while he no doubt begs for mercy. Brunt swoops in to protect Ferengi values, has the one person on Brunt's "side" beats up and inadvertently forces management to capitulate to *all* the union's demands. Worf has no opinion about the union at all but is in a bad mood so gets into a fight. That read strikes me as pretty funny and entertaining, particularly against the backdrop of Bajoran Space Lent starting everything up, which means that basically every element of this episode is created by conflicting ideological and quasi-religious motivations, mixed in with decades-old family resentments, to the point where it becomes basically impossible for any of the characters to deal with the conflict rationally. That is *maybe* what they were going for, and I think aspects of it are definitely in the final product, but it is pretty confused.
Andy's Friend - Wed, Nov 25, 2015 - 10:51am (USA Central)
William B,

"The thing is, I can imagine ways in which Worf could start siding with Quark -- for example, if we push the episode's class stuff further, maybe with his House stripped, Worf pines for his aristocratic status within the Empire and projects this onto Quark's attempt to hold onto what is "his" by Ferengi tradition."

I think you're quite right:

A traditional, aristocratic warrior ethos values honour, tradition, law, and order, and will therefore almost always side with authority. Almost any authority.

The only exception to this is the importance given to *justice* in a given ethos. To a mediaeval, chivalrous, Christian knight, for instance, the notion of justice was much more important than to a Roman patrician, or a Japanese samurai. While all three would expect servants to obey their masters, the Christian knight would also expect the masters to treat their servants with a certain minimum of fair treatment as good Christians, and might even go so far as to support a revolt against a tyrannous lord as a just cause. This is indeed at the very core of the mediaeval Christian concept of 'bellum iustum, or 'just war'.

We know that the Klingon ethos also values justice; in fact, it is at the very heart of Klingon mythology: Kahless the Unforgettable rose to fight the tyrant Molor. But would this be enough to make Worf support Quark's workers?

I don't believe so. Unlike the Roman patricians, who had little or no regard for human life but were often undistinguishable from great merchants, always involved in trading, the Klingon ethos seems to much more resemble the Japanese one, with a much more profound divide between land and commerce, nobility and money. In a Roman perspective, much more pragmatic, a pennyless patrician would no longer be a patrician. In the Japanese worldview, utterly dogmatic, all a samurai needed was his sword, and his word, to be noble.

In "The House of Quark" we see hints of the economic workings of a Klingon noble house. And unlike the Romans, it is clear that the Klingons have little or no respect for that part of the administration of noble estates: it is a necessary evil, best to be avoided by the lords themselves. This is again consistent with the administration of Japanese noble houses, in which the lords would be expected to master calligraphy, and poetry, and would spend their time in other such noble occupations: not accounting.

So while I can imagine a Klingon warrior supporting a rebellion against a tyrannous lord, the rebellion must *not* be about... money. The workers' cause at Quark's, in the eyes of a samurai or a Klingon warrior, would seem dishonorable: they are not beaten, raped, or otherwise mistreated by their master. All they want is more money, and other trivial things. To a Ferengi this is of course of great importance; but to a Klingon, the importance is next to none: a Klingon would not recognize the workers' claims.

So it makes sense that Worf wouldn't really be interested in Quark's and the workers' quarrels over trivial matters; but must he take sides, it would be with Quark: not out of sympathy for his cause, but as a natural, visceral defence of tradition. Because in the eyes of his ethos, tradition is inherently good. Klingon tradition is good for Klingons; Cardassian tradition is good for Cardassians; Romulan tradition is good for Romulans; and Ferengi tradition is good for the Ferengi. As a Jem'Hadar would say: "It is the order of things".
Andy's Friend - Wed, Nov 25, 2015 - 11:05am (USA Central)

"when a klingon episode shows up I accept that their values matter to them and look at the characters as part of that culture. And the writers do the same. When a Ferengi episode comes up I still try to understand their point of view but the writers don't."

William B is right: you hit the nail on the head here.

Submit a comment

Above, type the last name of the captain on Star Trek: TNG
Notify me about new comments on this page
Hide my e-mail on my post

Season Index

Copyright © 1994-2015, Jamahl Epsicokhan. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction or distribution of any review or article on this site is prohibited. Star Trek (in all its myriad forms), Battlestar Galactica, and Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc., NBC Universal, and Tribune Entertainment, respectively. This site is in no way affiliated with or authorized by any of those companies. | Copyright & Disclaimer