Star Trek Deep Space Nine: The Nagus

The Nagus, one of the oldest Ferengi we've seen.
Quark: "I didn't think you had the lobes."

A satisfying Quark episode gives us a glimpse into the wider effects of the presence of the wormhole on the Alpha Quadrant.

Yes, the Ferengi are ridiculous, but when they're done right they're far more. And that's maybe one of the most awesome things about this race in DS9. When you compare "The Nagus" to "Move Along Home" you have to wonder what was going on with the writers. Where "Move Along Home" almost makes a mockery out of Ferengi philosophy, "The Nagus" threatens to–then gives them a depth that makes them rival the Centauri from Babylon 5. It almost makes their over-the-top nature seem natural.

I absolutely love the insights into what might make Ferengi philosophy work as a culture, how family love operates, how leaders think. And through it all, don't we get a much clearer figure of who Quark is? He's an oddity in his own culture with a sense of charity that he's turned into a financial style of his own. In some ways he's a very apt addition to the DS9 crew.

We also begin to get some depth to the extended cast. Quark's brother, Rom, his nephew, Nog, and through Nog, Sisko, Dax and even Odo. Eisenberg's acting is superb; he looked exactly like children I've seen in classes trying to lie their way out of assignments. Dax's unsuccessful history as a parent - both male and female - does inadvertently lead Sisko to some realizations about fatherhood, and his relationship with Jake. And the larger picture of the Ferengi moving in makes perfect sense, now that the stable wormhole has become a port for commerce as well as diplomacy. I love episodes like this that show the station as a nexus of personalities and events in the Trek Universe, and take time to add another line to the larger space opera.

Bits and pieces

O'Brien taking over the school while the other O'Brien is away. Way to be supportive husband, and grouchy complaining stereotypical guy. I hope they don't get into a rut with this character.

The bits of the former Nagus being passed out. And the fact that it's green–I found my morbid side wondering if the color was added afterwards.

Green Nagus Bits. Ferengi culture is awesome.
Quark complimenting Rom on his newfound duplicity.

The scene with Jake and Nog and Sisko watching the two of them was extremely powerful. The secondary plots have been slim lately; this one stood up on its own.

Quotables

Quark: Is there a particular activity he'd like to sample?
Krax: The Nagus dislikes having to choose between so many delightful possibilities.
Quark: In that case, here's a list of five programs that rank among my personal favorites. I'd be happy to select one for him.
Krax: That won't be necessary. The Nagus has decided to try all five.

Sisko: I appreciate the advice, Chief, but I trust my son. (the turbolift is working again) Besides, if I get between them now, it would become me versus Nog, and I'm not going to force Jake to choose between us.
O'Brien: Why not?
Sisko: Because I'd probably lose.
O'Brien: I doubt that, sir.
Sisko: That's because your daughter's three. Wait until she's fourteen.

Overall

Four out of four Dolbargy sleeping trances! Seriously, after the previous two episodes, this was a fun romp - and a solid episode.

9 comments:

Billie Doux said...

I've wondered more than once if the writers ended up giving the Ferengi interesting stuff solely because they wanted to write for Armin Shimerman. He's just so good, even as a Ferengi. And I never liked the Ferengi.

Otherwyrld said...

It's inconceivable that you didn't mention Wallace Shawn as the Nagus (sorry I just had to be that person)

Billie Doux said...

Well, to be fair, Otherwyrld, he's wearing just a tiny bit of obscuring make-up. :)

Joseph Santini said...

Bloody hell, it's Vizzini!!!!!!!! Otherwyrld, thanks for pointing him out! I may have to amend this review.

And yes, the tiny bit of makeup and the ginormous ears don't help! But once you know it's him, it's easy to see.

Dustin said...

Holy cow, it's Rex from Toy Story!!!! ;-)

A great first season episode that not only added Wallace Shawn's Nagus to the Star Trek universe, but the Rules of Acquisition as well. I used to love keeping track of them when the show first aired.

Otherwyrld said...

You may not be able to see his face that well, but the voice is unmistakable!

JRS said...

I have to take your word for that—closed captioning technology isn't that accurate. But thanks again for pointing it out. I might've missed him entirely!

Otherwyrld said...

Whoops sorry about that - I hadn't read your profile.

Josie Kafka said...

It'd be cool if closed captioning had a Vizzini setting.