Synopsis: Quark tries to solve the mystery of Grand Nagus Zek’s sudden turn to philanthropy, and realizes that he’s had an encounter with the Prophets. Meanwhile, Bashir is nominated for a major Starfleet Medical award.
Remember last week, when I said that a couple of my go-to “comfort food”-type episodes were coming up? Well, this was one of the ones I meant. (It’s not at the very top of my list — that’s not for another few weeks — but still pretty high up there. Maybe as high as #2, even.)
This episode is interesting for me, because while it does its job — having Our Heroes encounter the Dominion directly for the first time, and making it clear that the Dominion will be a direct threat in the future — those parts aren’t actually what I enjoy most about it.
Y’all, I love this one. I just adore it. Admittedly, as previously established, I generally don’t mind (or at least have a high tolerance for) the Ferengi episodes, and I love Cardassian drama, so “Quark’s ex is prominent figure in the Cardassian dissident movement, also Garak is there” is an easy sell for me.
OK, I know they are a divisive topic in the fandom, so I’m gonna come out with what may be one of my spicier Deep Space Nine takes: I…actually enjoy a lot of the Ferengi episodes? I know I complain a lot about the fact that, while conceived as parodies of 80s-style capitalist excess, a la Steve Castle/That Guy from Futurama, the decision to portray them physically as short troll-like people with oversized facial appendages means they also end up being really unfortunate antisemitic caricatures. But Nog, Quark, and Rom have such great arcs over the course of the show, in no small part due to the phenomenal performances given by Aron Eisenberg (ז״ל), Armin Shimerman, and Max Grodénchik, that, much like Dax, I really do enjoy the time we spend with them. (Also, Wallace Shawn as Zek is positively inspired.)
So, having said that, yes, I actually rather enjoyed this episode!
All right, y’all, season two! Let’s do this!
To start: my notes for this episode contain many, many repetitions of “LET LI NALAS LIVE”. Continue reading “2.01: “The Homecoming””
This was a surprisingly engaging episode, actually? LOL that sounds harsh, but a lot of the first season just kinda leaves me cold. We’re already reaching a point where both writers and cast are starting to get more of a handle on the characters, though, which helps to liven things up a lot. Additionally, this is an interesting episode in terms of the groundwork it lays for later developments.
The fact that Croden considers the shapeshifters a legend is interesting, as is the fact that there’s some truth to what he says about their having been persecuted by the solids. He’s also bang on in his comments about the shapeshifters’ general personalities: the Founders are later established as having a strong sense of justice that can very easily become too rigid, even turn into fascism; they have very little trust in other species, which can also turn, as Quark points out, into paranoia.
This is also the first time we see Odo’s weird smile and okay, I admit I’m not the biggest Odo fan, but I love his awkward smile so much.
Shout-out to the props team
I really like both the shiny purple mug Quark is drinking out of in the opening, and the bottle Rom brings on the tray. And the glimpse we get of the Vulcan ship, too, actually.
On the subject of Quark, I feel like it’s a very interesting little characterization thing that he’s got a drawer full of security clearance widgets? It struck me as a subtle way of telling us that, like Garak, he actually has the means to do some serious damage to the station. You can argue that he wouldn’t just out of self-interest, since that’s where he lives, but he could also sell them to someone who does want to fuck things up on the station and disappear into the Gamma Quadrant or something.
The climactic scenes though
First, I have some questions: why would Odo be knocked unconscious by rocks? He doesn’t have bones. Or a brain, for that matter. And doesn’t he revert to his liquid state when he’s unconscious, anyway? I watched this episode with my mother, who initially thought that he was faking it as a test for Croden, and frankly, that might have made more sense.
That aside, apparently the writers and producers were concerned about the reveal of Croden’s daughter being too sappy. Instead, I’ll let my mother, with whom I watched the episode, explain why it resonated pretty hard:
Odo, preparing to transport them both to the Vulcan ship: Don’t thank me, I already regret it.
Mom: …but of course he’s helping them anyway, BECAUSE WHAT KIND OF MONSTER WOULD SEPARATE A PARENT AND CHILD TO SEND THE PARENT BACK TO CERTAIN DEATH?
So, yeah, ouch.
There is very little horniness in this episode, although Quark and Odo are basically Kate Beaton’s Nemesis comics. Like several other duos on this show, actually (Sisko and Eddington, Dukat and Sisko, Dukat and Kira, some hints at it with Dukat and Garak…let’s be real, pretty much Dukat and anyone he interacts with more than once), which might be why it has such a special place in my heart.