The Great Star Trek DS9 Rewatch: Family Business

When Quark’s bar is shut down by Liquidator Brunt of the Ferengi Commerce Authority, Quark is unsure as to what he can have done to invoke their wrath. But as he soon learns, the culprit is his mother, Ishka, who has defied Ferengi law and earned profit of her own. Can Quark persuade Ishka to sign a confession before she has to go into indentured servitude for her crimes? Or should he accept that even a woman can have the lobes for business?

We might be nearing the end of the season, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t time for another Ferengi episode. This one introduces Quark and Rom’s “moogie” Ishka, an unconventional Ferengi woman who has taken to wearing clothes and earning profit. Quark is horrified by this turn of events, but Rom is more supportive of his mother – so much so that he doesn’t mind standing up to Quark.

Unlike other Ferengi episodes thus far, this one doesn’t feel completely stupid – maybe just because Grand Nagus Zek isn’t around. The family dynamic is interesting, and fleshes out both Quark and Rom as characters – Quark is jealous of the attention Ishka gives to Rom, but in fact she is more protective of him simply because she knows Rom needs it more, whereas she and Quark are both independent spirits with the lobes for business. It’s also our first look at the Ferengi homeworld, where it rains all the time and tube grubs are a delicacy. All that being said, I still feel a bit awkward watching it, because whilst I know that Ferengi misogyny is farce taken to an extreme, I know there are men in the real world who have an equally low opinion on female intelligence.

Bits and pieces

  • Like Rom, Quark’s father never really had the lobes for business.
  • Every amenity or piece of intelligence on the Ferengi homeworld costs latinum – even a seat in the FCA waiting room.
  • Ishka tells Rom to “let Quark go”, but then is relieved when Rom catches up with Quark in time to stop him from doing anything stupid.
  • If Ferengi women aren’t supposed to wear clothing, where did Ishka get that robe? Perhaps it’s fashionable amongst Ferengi men, although we’ve only ever seen them wear business suits.
  • We meet Kasidy Yates in person for the first time. Her bonding moment with Sisko is the fact that her brother also likes baseball. Well, I assume Kasidy must like it too, otherwise it’s an odd thing for them to bond over.
  • Kasidy’s brother lives on Cestus III. A century ago, this colony was destroyed by the Gorn, leading to Kirk’s battle with the Gorn captain in Arena. Is the new colony a joint Federation-Gorn venture?
  • Jadzia claims that if she were Curzon, she would already have stolen Kasidy away from Sisko. Does Jadzia’s sexuality override that of the Dax symbiont (in all cases except Rejoined), or is she just more morally scrupulous than Curzon, and thus not inclined to sabotage Sisko’s potential relationship?

Summary – Family Business: Awkward misogynism plagues a decent family dynamic.

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