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Ferengi Love Songs (episode)

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"Ferengi Love Songs"
DS9, Episode 5x20
Production number: 40510-518
First aired: 21 April 1997
116th of 173 produced in DS9
116th of 173 released in DS9
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 0 released in DS9 Remastered  
464th of 728 released in all
Zek in closet
Written By
Ira Steven Behr & Hans Beimler

Directed By
Rene Auberjonois
Unknown (2373)
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Quark discovers that Grand Nagus Zek has fallen in love with his mother.



Quark is depressed because Cardassian voles have made his bar unusable until Chief O'Brien gets rid of them. Quark also feels that he hasn't had any good luck since his Ferengi business license was revoked the previous year by the FCA. Rom announces he's marrying Leeta, then suggests that Quark visit their mother Ishka on Ferenginar. Quark arrives on Ferenginar, and his Moogie is very surprised that he has come to visit.

Act One

Rom is learning about Bajoran customs to please Leeta, but Chief O'Brien and Lieutenant Commander Jadzia Dax are teasing him about his being "the least Ferengi-like Ferengi" they have ever met. This revelation upsets Rom, despite O'Brien's and Dax's urging that it is a compliment.

On Ferenginar, Quark is explaining his distress to his mother since he lost his business license. Ishka asks him why he chose to visit her, when they have never had a very good relationship, due to Ishka's refusal to follow Ferengi traditions concerning the proper roles of females. Quark assures her that he wants to stay until he starts to feel better. When Quark goes to his childhood bedroom, he is surprised to find that his mother has moved all of his personal belongings, including his Marauder Mo action figures, from the room. Quark is even more startled to discover Grand Nagus Zek in the closet. Quark is afraid that his mother has been illegally earning profit again in violation of FCA rules, but instead Ishka and "Zekkie" proclaim they are in love.

Act Two

Ishka and Zek announce that they met during an annual tongo tournament, and that they have been seeing each other ever since, although their relationship is not public information. Although he is initially quite startled, Quark begins to surmise that he may be able to use their relationship to his advantage – to reinstate his business license. The Nagus then leaves to attend to the business of the Empire.

On the station, O'Brien appears to have rid Quark's Bar of all the menacing voles. Rom asks Chief O'Brien for an extended lunch break so that he can get Leeta to sign the Ferengi equivalent of a prenuptial agreement – the Waiver of Property and Profit, or WP&P. O'Brien appears doubtful that Leeta will agree to such a thing, but Rom feels that he must have her sign the WP&P to prove that he is still a Ferengi. As O'Brien predicted, Leeta refuses to sign the WP&P, stating that a marriage is all about sharing things, including money. Rom cites Rule of Acquisition #94: "Females and finances don't mix." Rom accuses Leeta of being just like his first wife – only after his profits. Leeta protests, saying that she loves Rom, but he replies that if she really loved him, she would prove it by signing the WP&P. Leeta and Rom decide to call the marriage off.

Quark, Ishka, and Zek are having dinner together at Ishka's home. Quark attempts to flatter the Grand Nagus, but Zek sees through his act and bluntly refuses to reinstate Quark's business license; since the FCA revoked the license, only the FCA has the power to reinstate it. Besides, contracts are the foundation of the Ferengi civilization and Quark broke a contract with another Ferengi. Ishka agrees with Zek – Quark made a mistake, and now he must suffer the consequences. As Ishka and Zek take a walk around the garden, Quark and Maihar'du clear the dinner table. As Quark returns to his bedroom, Brunt materializes in the closet.

Act Three

Brunt knows of Ishka and Zek's relationship and is disgusted by it. Quark assures Brunt that he didn't know about it until that day. Nevertheless, Brunt holds Quark responsible for the actions of his mother, a female under his control. Brunt tells Quark that he must put an end to the relationship – privately and quietly. In exchange, Brunt agrees to give Quark a new business license. Quark visits the Nagus ostensibly to pay his respects, but all the while scheming to destroy their relationship by convincing the Nagus that Ishka has not paid back all the latinum she earned and that she is only using the Nagus in her quest to end the male domination of Ferenginar and instate equal rights for Ferengi females. The Nagus falls for Quark's lies and contemplates his relationship with Ishka.

Quark whines that his mother doesn't understand how terrible his life is since he is forbidden to do business with Ferengis and earn profit. Irritated, Ishka explains that she knows exactly how it feels – she is denied such rights because she is female. Reluctantly, she agrees to speak to the Nagus on Quark's behalf.

Back on DS9, Odo, Captain Sisko, and Lieutenant Commander Worf are discussing the conduct of the Klingons who recently began living on the station. General Martok has been placed in a holding cell for tossing one of his men off the second-floor balcony of the Promenade as a "disciplinary measure." Sisko intervenes, ordering Odo to release Martok and telling Worf to advise the General that if he wants to retain his position on the station, he must abide by station regulations. Sisko and Odo find Rom sobbing while working, and Odo informs Sisko that the wedding has been called off. Rom insists that he is crying tears of joy. Meanwhile, Leeta is trying unsuccessfully to convince Major Kira that calling the wedding off was the best decision that she has ever made.

Quark returns home to find his mother crying. She tells him that the Nagus left her, accusing her of being a profit-hungry female who was only using him in her plot to overthrow the Ferengi government. Quark, obviously pleased with himself for ending their relationship and anticipating the return of his business license, assures her that everything will be fine. However, Ishka tells Quark that it is a disaster – not just for her, but for everyone. Unsure what his mother meant, Quark contacts Brunt, who gives him a valid business license in return for his service to the FCA.

Act Four

The next morning, Quark tells Ishka that he is returning to DS9. Just then, Quark receives a message from Zek, demanding to see him in the Tower of Commerce immediately. The Nagus asks Quark to be his First Clerk in thanks for warning the Nagus about Ishka's motives. Soon after accepting the position, Quark realizes that the Nagus is having memory problems, and that he will have his work cut out for him as First Clerk.

O'Brien visits Rom in his quarters, where Rom is counting his life savings of latinum. Rom is going to offer Leeta a bribe to sign the WP&P. O'Brien points out that a bribe won't work, since if she signs the waiver, she can't keep the money anyway. O'Brien reiterates to Rom that if he wants Leeta back, he must forget about the waiver. Rom then quotes Rule of Acquisition #229: "Latinum lasts longer than lust." O'Brien replies that while that may be true, lust can be a lot more fun. Rom finally admits that he wants Leeta back more than anything. To prove his loyalty to her, Rom gives his latinum to the Bajoran War Orphans Fund so that the waiver is no longer necessary, and he and Leeta make up.

Quark tells his mother that the Nagus has made Quark his First Clerk, and she states that he must have had a miserable day then. Ishka tells Quark that the Ferengi markets dropped 199 points that day. Quark realizes that his mother was well aware of Zek's memory problems, and she was helping him keep the markets together during their relationship. Ishka then realizes that Quark caused Zek to end their relationship, and that he was put up to it by none other than Brunt. Ishka admonishes Quark, telling him that she hopes his business license was worth the possible destruction of the entire Ferengi economy.

Act Five

Brunt visits Quark at the Tower of Commerce, taunting him about the 199-point decline in the markets the day before. Brunt tells Quark that the FCA has called a meeting to discuss the capabilities of the Nagus. Quark then realizes that Brunt knew about Zek's failing memory all along, and that Brunt convinced Quark to end Ishka and Zek's relationship so that Brunt could expose Zek and maneuver himself to be the new Nagus.

When Ishka asks Quark why he hasn't yet returned to DS9 with his new business license, Quark admits to his mother than his time living among Humans has caused him to develop a conscience and that he is feeling guilty about how Zek was treated and the part he played in Brunt's plan. Ishka and Quark decide that they have to prevent Brunt from becoming Nagus, so they help Zek pass Brunt's test and retain his position as Nagus.

Quark suggests that the Nagus contact the Vulcans to see if they can help improve his memory and allow him to stay in power. Zek thanks Quark for his help, and requests that Quark retain his position as the Nagus's First Clerk. However, Quark instead admits that he concocted all of the rumors about his mother, and Zek fires Quark. Now that the rumors have been exposed as false, Zek and Ishka get back together and Ishka offers to help Zek as his financial adviser.

Before Quark returns to DS9, Ishka returns Quark's Marauder Mo action figures to him, and they realize that they have more in common than either of them were willing to admit. Brunt (who expects to lose his job soon) materializes in Quark's closet again and he agrees to allow Quark to keep his new business license, if only to see him fail in the future.

Memorable quotes

"Wait a minute! What's the Nagus doing in my closet?"

- Quark

"Sometimes the only thing more dangerous than a question is an answer!"

- Zek

"He said I didn't really love him! That I was just using him! That I was a scheming, profit-hungry fe-male who couldn't keep her clothes off!"

- Ishka

"Don't you think of anyone but yourself?!"
"Of course I do. I just think about myself first."

- Ishka and Quark

"What are you doing in my closet?"
"Conducting official FCA business."
"In my closet?"

- Quark and Brunt

"Congratulations, Quark. You're a Ferengi again."
"I always was."

- Brunt and Quark

"Brunt, FCA."
"But for how much longer?"

- Brunt and Quark

"I hate him."
"No, you don't."
"All he loves is latinum."
"No, he doesn't."
"Cancelling that wedding was the best thing that ever happened to me."
"No, it isn't."
"I am so glad, he's out of my life."
"No, you're not."
"Major, you haven't been listening to me."
"Yes, I have."

- Leeta and Kira

"I'll never forget what you did for me Rom."
"It's Quark!"

- Zek and Quark

"Its not over Quark!"
"Don't make me come in there after you."

- Brunt and Quark

Background Information

Story and script

Marauder Mo figures

Marauder Mo action figures



  • Ira Steven Behr was unhappy with how this episode turned out, especially in terms of how the humor was handled; "We weren't doing a cartoon. I saw the tone more along the lines of a Howard Hawks Bringing Up Baby kind of thing. But we pitched it at too high a level, and I think it's the first time that Zek got away from us. It was a show that worked well in dailies, in little snippets, but put it all together and you're saying 'Enough already!'" (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
  • Both actor Armin Shimerman and director Rene Auberjonois however disagree with Behr's assessment of the comic tone of the episode. According to Shimerman, "It was very much a cartoon. I mean, the idea that the richest, most powerful man alive is in your bedroom closet boggled my imagination. So my response to it had to be cartoony. How else can you respond to something like that? How could you take that seriously?" Similarly, Auberjonois simply argues, "I've always thought of the Ferengi as cartoon characters." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)


  • The eighteenth ("A Ferengi without profit is no Ferengi at all"), ninety-fourth ("Females and finances don't mix"), two hundred and eighth ("Sometimes the only thing more dangerous than a question is an answer"), and two hundred and twenty-ninth ("Latinum lasts longer than lust") Rules of Acquisition are mentioned.
  • This episode introduces Cecily Adams as Ishka. Andrea Martin had previously played the role in the episode "Family Business", but she found the prosthetics too much and decided not to return to the role. Adams would play Ishka for the duration of the show.
  • This episode introduces the character of Leck in a small role. Leck would return in the sixth season episode "The Magnificent Ferengi" in a more prominent role.
  • This is the sixth episode directed by Rene Auberjonois.
  • This episode was changed to its current title at nearly the last moment before airing. Many television listings during its original airing listed it as: "Of Love and Profit".
  • Quark gets back his business license in this episode, having lost it in "Body Parts" for breaking a contract with Brunt. The FCA notices which Brunt placed on the walls of Quark's remained in place for the interval between these two episodes, but they were removed prior to the following episode, "Soldiers of the Empire".

Video and DVD releases

Links and references


Also starring

Guest stars


Uncredited co-stars


arcybite; assassination; Bajoran prophecy; Bajoran War Orphans Fund; Bolian; Breen; Cardassian vole; centimeter; contract; Cupid; duranium; energy whip; Ferengi; Ferengi Commerce Authority; Ferengi Gaming Commission; Ferengi Futures Exchange; Ferengi Market Exchange; Ferenginar; Global Tongo Championship; Gowron; Horran's Seventh Prophecy; Hupyrian beetle; Hupyrian beetle snuff; Igel; jevonite; jumja; latinum; lokar bean; Marauder Mo; Prinadora; Promenade; Quark's; slug steak; Smeet; springwine; Tower of Commerce; tribbles; tricorder; Vulcan; waiver of property and profit; Writ of Accountability

External links

Previous episode:
"Ties of Blood and Water"
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Season 5
Next episode:
"Soldiers of the Empire"

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