The Great Star Trek DS9 Rewatch: The House of Quark

When a Klingon falls on his knife and dies at Quark’s, Quark decides to lie about killing him in order to boost business. But his lie has unfortunate consequences when it turns out the Klingon was the head of a great house, and that if the house is not to lose everything, Quark must marry the dead man’s widow.

Whilst this is a good episode, it’s also one that draws attention to how much sway the patriarchy still has in the 24th century. On the Klingon side, obviously we already knew it was one big testosterone party, and nowhere is this more evident than the widow Grilka having to marry Quark to keep her assets. In fact, Grilka is a strong, forthright woman, and Quark’s financial nous complements her honourable Klingon ways well, making them an excellent couple when it comes to defeating D’Ghor. Unlike the honourable Klingons of the 24th century, D’Ghor is more like his sneaky 23rd ancestors, using finance and sneaky tricks to weaken his rivals, instead of challenging them to open combat.

The B-story focusses on one bit of fallout from the Dominion threat – families no longer want to live on DS9, and so Keiko is forced to close the school, leaving her at a loose end. O’Brien tries to cheer her up with gifts and attention, but in fact it is Bashir of all people that points out that this is no substitute for a career. Yes, Keiko is a woman – not to mention a wife and mother – but she might want a career of her own as well! What a surprise!

From Qo’Nos to DS9

  • Rom is once again portrayed as a cowardly idiot, who is intimidated by D’Ghor into betraying his brother.
  • Quark is shocked when Rom says “money isn’t everything” at the end, even though earlier in the same episode he admitted that “it’s not about profit any more. It’s about respect”. Rom is only echoing Quark’s own sentiments.
  • If, as it seems from this episode, the Klingons still have a money-based economy, then Gowron’s scorn towards economics is very poor form from the guy who’s supposed to be in charge. There must be Klingon accountants somewhere balancing the books, but I guess no one likes to talk about them.
  • When Keiko says that she doesn’t want to be apart from Molly for six months, O’Brien’s immediate response is “you can take her with you”. Shouldn’t the O’Briens be arranging to share custody of their daughter whilst they’re apart?
  • Grilka uses the same Klingon “beam me up” command as Kirk did way back in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.
  • D’Ghor’s discommendation echoes that of Worf way back in Sins of the Father.
  • This episode marks Gowron’s first appearance on DS9. Expect lots more Klingon action when Worf joins in season four.
  • No one seems to care when Quark disappears from the station. This isn’t so much because no one cares, but because the scene where he contacts Rom to explain what has happened was cut from the final episode.

Summary – The House of Quark: Quark succeeds with aplomb in the world of Klingons.

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