Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

"The Nagus"

3 stars

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.

Previous episode: Move Along Home
Next episode: Vortex

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33 comments on this post

Tue, Jul 24, 2012, 11:27pm (UTC -6)
Once again, I completely concur.

DS9 rescued the Ferengi, and this was a big step in the rescue effort. This is probably my favorite one-hour, self-contained episode of DS9 up to this point.

Call me schmaltzy, but I was touched by the Jake/Nog part.
Tue, Oct 9, 2012, 5:14am (UTC -6)
Difficult to add much to the summary above. The first of what would become an annual Ferengi outing and this one works better than most, if not all of its successors, with the writers' predilections for these episodes culminating in the Only episode of the series that, 13 years after it finished airing, based on Jammers Review, I refuse to watch on principle!

The Nagus is very lightweight but does at least recognise that. It moves very quickly and, as mentioned the subplot does intertwine nicely with the main one (although the Ferengi must learn quickly if Nog goes from illiteracy to potentially going to Starfleet Academy in 2 years, but that could be nitpicking)

For the main plot, Armin Shimmerman gives a very strong performance. Also worthy of note are Wallace Shawn, as Zek, who is excellent, and also Max Grodenchik as Rom, wholly admirable as the brother trying to collude in his on- screen brother's downfall. On of the greatest disappointments was that the writers, with both characters' turned them into parodies of what they were here, adding inappropriate relationships and making them two of the most annoying characters on the show. Lou Wagner (as Zek's son, Krax) is also good, and I wish they had had the nous to use him, rather than the increasingly over acted character of 'Brunt- FCA' who became arguably the worst character in the series over the last three seasons.

An amiable, eminently watchable romp - 3 stars from me.
Wed, Feb 6, 2013, 4:31pm (UTC -6)
This was first Ferengi centered episode of any Star Trek show that i didn't hate. Actualy, i enjoyed it quite a bit.
Fri, Apr 12, 2013, 6:25pm (UTC -6)
I've never cared much for the Ferengi--does anyone?--but this didn't make me want to poke my eardrums.

But not much to it, other than the nice moments between Jake and Nog. I don't think I'll remember much.

I kept waiting for the Nagus to say something like "Never get involved in an acquisition war on Bajor," though. A bit distracting.
Sun, Jun 30, 2013, 12:58pm (UTC -6)
I agree, probably the most substantial part was the Jake - Nog story, that sets the background for Nog's starfleet future.

For me there is a rather dramatic change in Rom's character throughout the series... a favourable one to be sure, but a big one, from Ferengi goon and sidekick to engineering genius married to a dabo girl
Mon, Sep 9, 2013, 12:18pm (UTC -6)
CHief: that nog is a bad influence.
Sisko: i am not going to make Jake between the 2 of us.
Chief: oh i doubt that.
Sisko: that is because your daughter is 3, wait until she turns 14.

lol, that was a great line. and i loved the look on Sisko's face!

yes, i liked the nog.jake story. it was like a bro-mance of Romeo and Juliet.

probably the best ferengi episode in Star Trek.
Mon, Oct 14, 2013, 6:15pm (UTC -6)
It works well for a Ferengi story, what always puzzled me was the fact that Quark would just forgive his brother.

2 1/2 Stars
Tue, Oct 22, 2013, 1:51pm (UTC -6)
A fun episode with some important development for the Ferengi story-lines to come.

Sun, Jan 19, 2014, 9:56pm (UTC -6)
The fire caverns Sisko wanted to visit...aren't those where the Pah Wraithes are?
Tue, Aug 12, 2014, 2:52am (UTC -6)
Teaser : ***.5, 5%

First things first : a real score!! Composer John Debney brings some real emotional subtext to the ambiance. What a difference that makes. Anyway, we are introduced to Zek and the Fire Caves via another understand Ben/Jake scene.

We are also (unfortunately) introduced to Rom 2.0, his permanent incarnation as the idiot savant, although the savant part plays a subservient rôle to the overwhelming idiot part.

We also get a laugh from Morn--who I believe is hereafter completely silent.

So anyway, Zek makes his enigmatic entrance, requesting the use of a holosuite. End teaser on his signature goofy laughing.

Act 1 : ***, 17%

O'Brien returns, filling in at Keiko's school which has about twice as many students as last we saw. So we get a little bit of after school special sitcom bullshit with the 24th century equivalent of "the dog ate my homework" ("Vulcans stole my PADD)"). This marks another return, that of the DS9 banality indulgence (DBI) last seen in "A Man Alone." Jake is going to learn some trite lesson about honesty, blah blah blah. Moving on.

Quark continues to lick Zek's shoes, worrying all the while that he's after the bar. In spite of the blandness of the B plot, one nice aspect of the episode's structure is the interconnectedness of the two plots--already in the first act, Zek's presence begins to affect Nog's behaviour. Appearances to the contrary, Nog does want, at least on some level, to do well by O'Brien, but Ferengi cultural norms are prohibitive to such ends.

Sigh, again we get this "Federation do-gooders" line (like Q said in "Q-less"). Why do the DS9 writers see the Federation as a bunch of comic book wienies? I really don't get it.

Anyway, Zek finally reveals his purpose, holding a conference at Quark's to suggest capitalistic exploits in the Gamma Quadrant.

Act 2 : ****, 17%

In a funny bit, poor Morn is turned away from the bar. At this point it's worth mentioning that, although there's an air of levity throughout the scenes, the Ferengi are, for the first time since "The Battle," given some reasonable weight and taken seriously as a race (other than passing mention in dialogue).

One minor issue--how can school possibly be "bad for business"? Granted, Ferengi priorities are different from Federation, but surely being a good capitalist requires knowing things like, um, math, and politics, sociology, psychology. Not to mention, didn't Nog not know how to read earlier this season? How is he writing essays about "Ethics"?

In a very well-directed following scene, Zek declares in front of the leading Ferengi that Quark is to become the new Nagus.

Act 3 : ***.5, 17%

Wait, Nog really can't still read--then how is he in the same class as Jake? I can understand gaffs between episodes, but in the same episode? Anyway, there's a brief discussion between Jake and Ben about how Ferengi and human values might be prohibitive of a sustainable relationship between the two cultures (and microcosmically between Jake and Nog). There's a lot to say about this, but most of it can wait for a later episode. For now, let me say that the Ferengi, Cardassians and the Bajorans serve similar allegorical functions on DS9. All possess exaggerated traits which humanity left behind, thus becoming mirrors for the Federation in a similar way to which alien cultures in Trek had always been mirrors for modern humans. Bajorans are religious, Cardassians are militaristic and Ferengi are capitalist. Having to deal with these cultures was a brilliant bit of design on the writers' parts. It's too bad they so royally fucked most of it up in later episodes. But, for now, it works.

Quark begins parading around in Nagus robes and the visiting Ferengi begin to offer their "protection" against jealous threats (let me help you or I'll kill you). So Zek starts spouting some Ferengi-avelli in advice, only to die mid-sentence. Heh. Maybe a Medici poisoned his tube grubs.

Odo shows up at Zek's wake to investigate his death. We here learn that high-status Ferengi are desiccated, cut up and sold. It would be more "alien" to me if I hadn't once had a very uncomfortable conversation with a woman who wore her dead husband around her neck in jewel-form (yes it's a real thing). {shudder....]

So Jake and Nog patch up (we're back to the DBI sitcom mode for this unfortunately).

I must point out that the Quark/Odo banter is exceptionally funny this go 'round: full of innuendo and genuine chemistry.

There's an attempt on Quark's life, but the music lets us know it's really in good fun. Had this been scored in typical fashion of this era, we'd get the generic ominous cut to commercial. What a welcome change!

Act 4 : ****, 17%

So, Sisko and Odo begin investigating the assassination attempt and the suspects are lined up--all Ferengi and one um "Upirian?" I will say that Behr's conception of parent/child dynamics is so much better than Michael Pillar's seems to be. The Ben/Jake interaction is so very much more realistic and earnest that has been previously shown.

Meanwhile, Shimmerman does his best Marlin Brando (with a genius bit of homage directing) to hilarious effect, complete with stroking some sort of Ferengi cat.

Anyway, it's revealed that Krax and Rom are conspiring together to kill Quark. Yeesh.

Act 5 : ****, 17%

Dax and Sisko have a reasonable conversation about parenting teens, while helping herself to some dinner (this is a great way to demonstrate the familiarity between the characters, by the way). Sisko storms out to find Jake and we get a really touching scene where it's revealed he's been staying out to teach Nog to read. I can honestly say that this is the single most emotional moment of the series so far. Who'd a thunk it?

In his pursuit of Zek's manservant, Odo inadvertently discovers Zek to be alive.

Rom and Krax lure Quark into an airlock to pull a Laura Roslin on the poor Nagus only to be stopped at the last moment by Zek and Odo. Apparently, Zek was just testing Krax the whole time.

We get a bit more Ferengi-avelli from Zek and a thematic tie-in to the B plot, with a father's dissapointment juxtaposed with Sisko's well-earned pride in Jake. We also get a comedic twist wherein Quark shows Rom some genuine affection in *admiration* for Rom's ruthlessness.

Episode as Functionary : ****, 10%

Who would have guessed that the most enjoyable episode of the series so far would be a Ferengi outing? A great balance of serious thematic commentary, strong cultural and character development and superb comedic inspiration make for a truly rich hour of television. Although the B plot occasionally meanders into banal territory, the payoff is really special and provides the perfect counterweight to the raucous hilarity in the A plot. The direction is stellar--everyone puts in a great performance, even Ferrel, and the music is such a breath of fresh air in what had previously been a tremendously stuffy season. Full marks.

Final Score : ***.5
Thu, Dec 4, 2014, 9:38pm (UTC -6)
The Nagus: B-

This episode was about as good as it could have been considering the subject matter, as the Ferengi are, I think, inherently hard to take seriously. It’s definitely a lightweight affair, but far less muddled than the previous episode.

The Good:
- I really enjoyed the Jake/Nog subplot. It tackles the difficult subject of what happens when species with different core values are gathered in one place. Is it fair to hold Nog to the same standard of “ethics”, for example, as his human classmates considering that the concept of ethics may be a distinctly human one? Jake and Nog’s friendship is a bit saccharine, but both characters (and Sisko Sr.) show a deal of maturity in their handling of the situation.
- Wallace Shawn!
- The Rom we see in this episode is quite different than the one from “A Man Alone,” but I found the character kind of interesting, especially the way he channels Quark’s anger toward him into his son. And he returned the woman’s purse in the beginning, which points to him having a slightly different standard of greed than most Ferengi. It seems his decision to flush Quark at the end was inspired more by feelings of disrespect than of greed, though it strains credibility that Quark would forgive him so quickly (even considering the Sixth Rule of Acquisition).
- Dax has been a parent five times! Interesting.
- Fun to watch Quark go from nervous to arrogant to desperate, though I’m not sure if we needed another episode of Quark’s begging so soon after the last.

Noting overtly negative about this one. It interested me less than some of the other episodes, but it was a solid if trifling entry to the season.
William B
Thu, Jul 2, 2015, 9:45am (UTC -6)
This is indeed a lot of fun, and a great addition to the Star Trek universe, even if the second-order effects (i.e. most other DS9 Ferengi episodes) suffer badly. The episode functions as sort of a parody of "The Godfather," filtered through Ferengi values -- one of many occasions in which Quark is chosen to be the centre of one of the classic American films. ("Profit and Loss" -- LOSS, not Lace -- is essentially a low-quality "Casablanca"; Harry Lime's monologue from "The Third Man" is repeated to Quark close to verbatim in "Business as Usual.") The most explicit "Godfather" reference is of course in the darkly lit scene with Quark stroking the Ferengi cat thing, which sets up the pattern: Quark enjoys the feeling of power and demands personal loyalty, like the Don, but unlike Don Corleone the second a sufficient amount of profit is offered to him he drops the act, so to speak:

QUARK: A very lucrative opportunity. Tell me Nava, when Zek announced I was to succeed him, were you pleased?
NAVA: No, Nagus.
QUARK: Did you come to me and offer your support?
NAVA: No, Nagus.
QUARK: Yet, now you call me Nagus. But is it out of true friendship? No. You only pretend to show me respect so I will grant you this immense opportunity.
NAVA: Which I'm willing to split with you. fifty-fifty.
QUARK: Well, in that case, let's hope the Gamma Quadrant develops a taste for synthehol.

Ha. The same pattern is repeated at the end of the episode. (Major spoilers for "The Godfather, Part II" in this paragraph.) Rom, as Quark's "idiot," put-upon brother, who complains that Quark has so much and he, Rom, has so little, can't help but fall into the orbit of an ambitious man who makes promises to Rom which he will likely overturn the moment Rom's usefulness has been outlived. So Rom plays Fredo Corleone to Quark's Michael. The episode ends with what seems to be the start of a "You broke my heart!" scene of Quark unleashing his anger on Rom, perhaps with some sort of threat; or maybe, like Michael, Quark would wait until their mother dies but all the time be planning to dispatch Rom. Nope: Quark sees that Rom had it in him to kill his brother, and suddenly recognizes that their relationship needs to be realigned. On the one hand, Rom is better for profits if he is put in a position where he can use some of his ruthlessness (which up until now Quark didn't even believe existed), and I think Quark also recognizes on some level that, yes, Rom's actions were extreme, but maybe Quark had it coming just a bit for the constant abuse and threats to send Rom out an airlock.

(I guess on Rom nearly killing Quark, I do find it hard to believe Odo would simply let an attempted murder slide like that, even if Quark would. And I do think that Rom's hard edge here is inconsistent with later characterizations, but it works here -- Rom as a mostly soft-hearted man who is easily manipulated and who also responds to his brother's constant mistreatment.)

Anyway, the episode's humour doesn't depend directly on the knowledge of "The Godfather," but I think familiarity with gangster narratives definitely helps. And the episode, ultimately, points to something interesting about what Ferengi society maybe has to teach us. Quark, Zek, Rom and Krax all want profit, but Zek comes out of the episode as a triumphant mastermind, Krax as a miserable failure, Rom as an idiot, and Quark as -- well, as Quark, but not much the worse for wear, and somewhat regarded by Nagus Zek as a guy with potential. Putting morality aside, I think the big difference amongst these guys has something to do with pride and ego. Quark lets the Nagus-ship get to his head, but one thing that is to his credit is that with, say, that Nava scene, Quark is either just pretending to be angry that Nava didn't show him respect, or genuinely is bothered but drops it the moment he stands to gain. Similarly, he doesn't react to Rom's betrayal by angry demands that he will destroy Rom, which one could imagine lots of other people doing -- I mean, for an example from later in series, compare Quark's reaction to Rom's betrayal to Sisko's reaction to Eddington's; by any reasonable standard, Rom's betrayal was far greater, but Sisko becomes twisted up with rage. Quark is greedy and Quark is ruthless and Quark's moral compass doesn't often point in the right direction, but Quark doesn't actually hold grudges; Quark may get angry briefly, but he gets over it and moves on to enjoying life. Quark doesn't really do that revenge thing. Quark's main downfall in this episode is his somewhat pompous behaviour as Nagus, believing the thing is legit and being unable to fully come forward to Odo out of a sense of stubborn pride, as well as his refusal to see Rom's treachery coming (or to start treating Rom better) because he is so used to being the good brother. But ultimately the ego dissipates when confronted with the possibility of major profit or loss; Quark is not so full of himself to be blind all the time, which is what distinguishes his moderate failure/moderate success to Krax's failing MISERABLY -- Krax, who seems to want the Nagus job for the prestige and out of a sense of entitlement and so makes risky, obvious plays rather than, as Zek suggests, be content to acquire profit and influence gradually and in a less flashy way. Quark's willingness to discard pride at a moment's notice means he grovels an awful lot, but it also means that he doesn't actually go out of his way to injure others when his ego is wounded; I'm reminded of the exchange in "The Battle," that there is no profit in revenge, and nor is there in a straight power-grab that is bound to backfire.

The Jake/Nog subplot is sweet, though, yes, I have a hard time understanding why Nog doesn't know how to read at his age; Rom must really be an idiot if he thinks that ability to read couldn't help Get Profit. I do like how the opening sequence gives a pretty good description of how privilege operates, with Nog's failure to do his homework being a direct result of the living conditions he has, being currently at the bottom of the food chain below Rom (below Quark), whereas Sisko's nurturing parenting gives Jake plenty of time to do homework. The subject of the paper -- "ethics" -- ties in with the main plot, in which the seemingly unethical Ferengi end up demonstrating a sort of code, wherein placing one's pride above other benefits is an automatic downfall. In general, Jake and Nog's friendship develops nicely in this episode, which is also the first show to get under Jake's skin a little bit; Jake's unwillingness to see Nog as A Ferengi whereas Sisko can't help but see Nog's uncle when he looks at him creates some nice interpersonal conflict that is delivered in an appropriately low-key way.

I think this earns 3.5.
Diamond Dave
Thu, Oct 22, 2015, 12:18pm (UTC -6)
I guess this is the first big universe building Ferengi episode - introducing the Rules of Acquisition and much else besides. It doesn't quite descend into farce - although the character of the Nagus is pretty broad from the get-go - but there's enough humour to keep things ticking along. Quark inviting Odo to kiss his sceptre is a particular highlight.

The Jake and Nog B-story would normally make me roll my eyes but there is real heart to it, and the Sisko/Jake scenes work well.

Personally I liked the vindictive Rom. And we had some good Morn moments too. 2.5 stars.
Thu, Feb 4, 2016, 3:50pm (UTC -6)
Well, I certainly did not expect this - for the most enjoyable episode thus far to be a Ferengi comedy. Did I just fall through a wormhole myself and end up in a parallel dimension?

There actually is some decent humor in this opening Ferengi outing, something that will be painfully absent in future installments. We get our first true introduction to Rom (as Nog's father he's been in the background ever since "Emissary" and has appeared a few times previously, but this is the first time he really takes a part center stage) and we get some decent character development for him. And, of course, the Jake/Nog subplot, while undeniably schmaltzy, wells work - the scene of them being caught reading is very well done.

Even Zek works somewhat. He actually projects an air of authority, competence and somewhat-menace (it's a shame he'll later be reduced to hiding in closets like a Looney Tunes character). If anything doesn't work with him it's his damn laugh - already annoying. Wallace Shawn already has a high-pitched voice so I don't know why they felt the need to exaggerate it. And, why do none of the non-Ferengi characters react, even remotely, to the visit of a foreign head-of-state? You would think that would be important, as the Ferengi are a fairly major power in the Alpha Quadrant.

But, some of the sub-text leaves me kind of confused. For instance, if the Ferengi are supposed to be the epitome of free market capitalists, then why do they even have a leader like the Grand Nagus? If they're so laissez-faire, then shouldn't they be free market anarchists, having no government at all? And, what exactly are the show-runners saying with the organized crime themes? That capitalism is like organized crime or that governmental power is? If they're saying that government is like organized crime then I can get behind it since government does have many similar traits to organized crime, especially corrupt government (which is what the Ferengi have). But, I doubt that's the angle they were going for.

Still, "The Nagus" is a surprisingly effective and funny episode.

Sun, Feb 7, 2016, 4:02pm (UTC -6)
Jim Hensen presents Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Thu, Feb 25, 2016, 9:48am (UTC -6)
I really, really liked this one. Funny, when re-watching the other day, I forgot how it ended. Oh! The Airlock! :)

Wallace Shawn really made Zek, I think. His delivery was right on, especially the aforementioned "And you FAILED!... MISERABLY! "

I think it just goes to show, it doesn't make as much difference who the episode is about, as long as it's well written and decently acted.

Oh, and Morn! I went to a small Star Trek convention in the late 90's, where Mark Allen Shepherd was the only speaker. It was kind of neat, and gave a different perspective on the behind-the-scenes Trek than the regular stars gave. I think a laugh was the only sound he ever made. His mask was not made to allow him to talk, and unless they did something in the final year, he never did. :)

Enjoy the Day Everyone!... RT
Greg Q
Wed, Apr 13, 2016, 12:01am (UTC -6)
So I guess attempted murder isn't illegal when it's a Ferengi. I was kind of disappointed when they didn't say "bars of gold-pressed latinum"27 times in this episode.
Sat, Mar 18, 2017, 11:20am (UTC -6)
3 stars is about right. Just the right balance of comedy and drama - it takes the characters (and, by extension, the Ferengi) seriously enough to work. The Jake/Ben/Nog B-story is superb and a great piece of writing.

On a general note, Odo's character works really well during the first half of S1, in no small part thanks to the performance.
Tue, Oct 31, 2017, 3:28pm (UTC -6)
an essay can be dictated to the computer, or even generated by the computer. In fact the concept of homework should be non existing in 24th century.
Thu, Feb 8, 2018, 4:21pm (UTC -6)
So the Ferengi/Nagus arc begins... And it is combined with a Jake/Nog B-plot -- so pretty forgettable stuff, even if it turns out Jake had started teaching Nog to read (at the expense of pissing off Ben Sisko for a bit). It's a lighthearted outing but not a very good one.

Too many Ferengi in this episode for it to be taken seriously -- I believe there is a serious story here that is meant to flesh out certain aspects of Ferengi society but I'm not sure if it is meant to come across as a comedy because I think it sort of tries, but it fails. And I can't stand Zek's laugh.

So Rom almost tosses Quark out of an airlock and Quark is impressed with his brother? Bizarre how Odo doesn't pursue justice here by arresting Rom and Zek's son after stopping the murder. Or would that be too serious for this episode?

Gotta say Jake and Nog are quite irritating as kids, but at least Jake's compassion is getting well established. As for humans and Ferengi getting along and the clash of cultures, I could hardly care less. Gotta wonder how the Ferengi got their technological advances if they don't go to school since there's no profit in it! Or what they traded to some other alien race to get it...

Some decent father/son moments between Ben/Jake -- this is another arc that really gets going here. It's realistic stuff in terms of the growing pains Ben would have to deal with although I don't know why Jake doesn't let his dad know that he's not up to some nonsense. Why, if Jake is able to care for Nog's needs, does he not consider that his Dad is worried/concerned about his behavior?

1.5 stars for "The Nagus" -- it's mostly about life on DS9 and developing a Ferengi arc and its culture, not much of a plot and definitely hard to take seriously or be entertained by. Certainly plenty of annoying things about this episode but ultimately it has some redeeming qualities.
Tue, Jul 24, 2018, 4:40pm (UTC -6)
While I do think "The Nagus" is one of the stronger episodes thus far, I still found it to be a middling affair at best. The main plot was typical Ferengi nonsense bolstered by the great Armin Shimmerman. What's really strong about this episode is the B-plot. It's really pleasant and heartwarming, unlike the A-plot.

2.5 stars.
Thu, Nov 22, 2018, 12:23am (UTC -6)
Time for bed, I have to get up early to put the turkey in the oven.

I liked the Jake and Nog story. I disliked the Ferenghi story.

Tue, Feb 5, 2019, 2:08pm (UTC -6)
Wow, just wow. I didn't think it were possible, but this was even worse than the previous episode. You'd think that with the premise of the episode, the culture of the Ferengi might finally become fleshed out a little. But instead, it's just 45 minutes of the same, annoying, offensive one-trick pony crap we already know from their few appearances on TNG. So they're a space-faring race doing intergalactic trade, yet don't teach their kids how to read? It's obvious that a culture like the Ferengi's could never survive on a planet-wide scale, let alone develop to the point of space travel. Yet here they are, taking up a significant amount of screentime during a seven-season show, with characters who all don't have any other defining characteristics than being greedy. So at what point does DS9 actually become watchable?
Peter G.
Sun, Sep 22, 2019, 5:01pm (UTC -6)
This isn't a Nog episode per se, but I'll give my tribute to Nog with this one, which contains my favorite Nog scene, and maybe one of the subtly sadder ones, which is the scene when he claims that Vulcans stole his homework, possibly because "they have no ethics". It's kind of sad to me because the class clown thing is a sort of cover for the fact that he's struggling and that a Ferengi in a human school is out of his element. It's great that even before they started developing Nog more Eisenberg manged to make a big impression in a scene like this which could have just played for laughs.
Fri, Dec 11, 2020, 5:24pm (UTC -6)
The scene at the end with jake teaching nog how to read must rank as one of the more emotional moments of the series.... I am rewatching the series with my two boys and that scene still resonates with me today as it did all those years ago when it first aired and I was barely 14.
Mon, Aug 9, 2021, 10:17pm (UTC -6)
The Ferengi not teaching their children to read makes zero sense. I can see them not having a public education system, but they'd be absolutely obsessed with getting their sons into the best possible private schools, with the best record of producing financially successful students. Mothers especially would frantically advance the education of their sons, since those sons stipends will be the only thing between them and starvation once their husbands die.
Sat, Dec 25, 2021, 2:47am (UTC -6)
“BUSINESS… or pleasure?”

“There’s a difference?”
Lawrence Bullock
Sun, Dec 26, 2021, 11:23pm (UTC -6)
You gotta love Wallace Shawn. He always brightens a show.
Sat, Mar 19, 2022, 6:29pm (UTC -6)
I agree! TNG ferengi are awful but DS9 redeemed them perfectly imo. I love the ferengi heavy episodes, but you have to remember to not take them too serious and just enjoy it. I believe this is also the episode where quark have the nagus staff and when Zek returns, after taking his death, he has no Cane to walk with and uses his GIANT matordus arm as his cane and it's so freaking hilarious
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 2:00am (UTC -6)
It is too limited a viewpoint that business success depends on the ability to read. Does it, for example, depend on the ability to write Javascript code? No, businesspersons have programmers to do it for them. Why can't reading be similarly outsourced in the Ferengi culture? Furthermore, it can be outsourced to computers, so the question of trust does not arise.
Tue, Oct 11, 2022, 10:20pm (UTC -6)
DS9 seems bound and determined to establish that the education of children is a task requiring no particular expertise and demanding no particular respect. Keiko, with no background in childhood education and development other than rearing her own toddler, gets Sisko's full support to start a school where she is the principal, teacher, and curriculum developer (for all ages) all rolled into one. When she's gone, apparently for weeks on end, her job can be taken over by her husband in his free time from his work as the station's engineer. When push comes to shove, the kids can just teach each other in a cargo bay, no adult assistance or supervision required (and ultimately get Nog up to speed so he can gain admission to Starfleet Academy, a school so competitive that wunderkind Wesley Crusher failed the entrance exam his first try. In "Children of Time," no teachers are needed at all. The equivalent of a YouTube channel that Quark put up years earlier is sufficient.

Just how much did the writers HATE their own teachers??????
Top Hat
Wed, Oct 12, 2022, 4:41pm (UTC -6)
Aspects of DS9 were inspired by The Rifleman, and Odo was pitched as a Clint Eastwood type of character. It's easy to forget how influenced by Westerns the series is in terms of its early existence, and the plotline of bored frontier wife finding purpose in setting up a school despite having no specific qualifications is very Western-y indeed.

But yes, it is very odd that a Starfleet facility with at least a few children wouldn't be assigned a teacher from the Federation.
Wed, Oct 12, 2022, 4:46pm (UTC -6)
The Rifleman was Lucas McCane played by Chuck Connors.

Clint Eastwood's Western character role was Rowdy Yates in the show Rawhide.

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