(written from a Production point of view)
|"The House of Quark"|
|DS9, Episode 3x03|
Production number: 40513-449
First aired: 10 October 1994
|←||48th of 173 produced in DS9||→|
|←||48th of 173 released in DS9||→|
|←||332nd of 728 released in all||→|
| Teleplay By|
Ronald D. Moore
|Arc: Quark and Grilka (1 of 2)||→|
After Quark lies about killing a Klingon in his bar, the dead man's widow abducts Quark to the Klingon homeworld to marry him.
Quark and Rom are gloomily looking over the practically deserted bar. With the bellicose threats from the Dominion, many families and officers have departed the station, and Quark's business has nose-dived. One of his few customers, a drunken Klingon, yells for another bloodwine. Quark takes out his frustration on the Klingon, demanding that he either pay his tab or get out. Enraged, the Klingon draws a dagger and attacks Quark, but stumbles and falls onto his own knife, killing himself.
While Bashir examines the corpse, Quark excitedly notes a huge crowd gathered outside the bar, curious to hear the details of what happened. Hoping to lure back customers, Quark plans to claim to have killed the Klingon in self-defense. Rom finds the idea ludicrous, until Quark informs him that if the bar's current slump continues, Rom's salary will be the first expense trimmed. Odo asks Quark what happened, and Rom quickly supports his story. Ignoring Odo's skeptical look, Quark tells a thrilling story for the benefit of the crowd, and quickly earns a great deal of notoriety.
Before long, the bar is humming again. Odo drops by and informs Quark that the Klingon was Kozak, leader of a powerful Klingon house, and warns that Kozak's relatives may come seeking vengeance. Rom is worried, but Quark refuses to back down from his story, proclaiming "It's not about profit anymore, it's about respect. You see the way they look at me now — I'm not just some venal Ferengi trying to take their money. I'm Quark, slayer of Klingons!"
D'Ghor asks how Kozak died, and threatens to kill Quark if Kozak did not die "honorably". Quark tries to tell the truth, but quickly realizes that it is not what D'Ghor wants to hear. With a dagger at his throat, Quark assures D'Ghor that his brother died honorably in battle.
Later that evening, Kozak's widow Grilka arrives in Quark's Bar, asking for him. No sooner does Quark offer her a refreshment than she lunges forward with a dagger; a terrified Quark dives over the bar and hides himself behind a serving tray. Grilka knows such a cowardly Ferengi would be no match for her late husband, drunk or not, and asks if Quark wants to revise his story. Quark admits the truth, at which point Grilka tranquilizes him with a hypospray and abducts him.
Quark regains consciousness inside Grilka's home on Qo'noS where he is greeted by Tumek, Grilka's advisor. When Quark asks who the house belongs to, the older Klingon solemnly tells him that their House "no longer has a name", since Kozak died without a male heir. Quark wonders why D'Ghor cannot inherit the House, and Tumek grows furious. Quark has been duped; D'Ghor is no relation to Kozak. Instead, he is an enemy of the house, who has been plotting to seize control of their land and property for years. Though he has been unsuccessful to date, his power and wealth have been growing, while their house's has inexplicably been dwindling. Tumek explains that Quark played into D'Ghor's hands: had Kozak died in an "accident," and not in battle, the High Council might have granted a special dispensation and allowed Grilka to inherit the House, despite the fact she is a female. Now, with Quark having endorsed D'Ghor's story that Kozak died "honorably," no dispensation will be granted and D'Ghor is poised to seize control. At that moment, Grilka barges into the room and tosses Quark a large ceremonial robe, demanding that he wear it. Tumek recites some chants, and as Grilka holds Quark by knife-point, she and Quark are wed.
Before the Klingon High Council, D'Ghor is petitioning the Council to cede Kozak's holdings to D'Ghor. Chancellor Gowron appears ready to grant this request, when Grilka drags her new husband into the Council chamber and states that, since her house now has a male head, her holdings may, for the time being, remain in her hands. Over the objections of D'Ghor, a stunned Gowron agrees, declaring that the house will, for the time being, be known as "The House of Quirk" to which he then corrects Gowron as to his name. Bewildered and scared, Quark speaks up and says that some mistake has been made, and wonders if he can reach an accommodation with the parties involved — a suggestion that repulses the Klingons there, and prompts Gowron to order a review of the situation within a few days.
Back at her home, Grilka berates Quark for opening his big, fat mouth, but he rejoins by asking her what their next move is. Grilka is lost for a response, and admits that she is making things up as she goes along. Quark asks her — since he is now her husband, after all — to at least explain to him what is going on. Grilka explains that D'Ghor is angling for a seat on the High Council, and to do that, is seeking to increase his family's power and assets at the expense of hers. Intrigued, Quark asks to examine her family's financial records. Grilka is hostile toward the idea and refuses to sully herself with "filthy ledgers," but Quark points out that she doesn't have a back-up plan, and convinces her to try things his way for the time being.
While perusing the records, Quark learns that D'Ghor has been systematically "attacking" Grilka's family for five years, using various financial strategems to devalue Grilka's property and to assume ownership of Kozak's debts. As a Ferengi, Quark expresses frank admiration for D'Ghor's cleverness; as a Klingon, Grilka is outraged at the idea of another Klingon using financial chicanery to "attack" a Great House.
Quark presents his findings to the Klingon High Council, who, like Grilka, find themselves somewhat at a loss to understand the intricacies of financial scheming. D'Ghor claims Quark is lying, and presents the abducted Rom as a witness in his defense. Declaring his honor insulted by the Ferengi, D'Ghor challenges Quark to a duel.
After returning to Grilka's home, Quark and Rom decide to beat a hasty retreat and leave the planet. Grilka stops them at the front door and is disgusted by Quark's cowardice. She decides to let them run away if they wish.
Miles O'Brien and his wife Keiko are experiencing marital troubles. Her school has been shut down, after so many families on the station relocated to Bajor in fear of a Dominion attack, and she finds herself without an occupation. At first, Miles tries to cheer her up with romantic dinners, but is unable to lift her melancholy. He asks for, and receives, Commander Sisko's permission to convert one of the empty cargo bays into an arboretum, but even that fails to satisfy Keiko. Ultimately, deciding that her happiness is the most important thing to him, he encourages her to leave the station to work on a six-month agrobiological expedition on Bajor, and she agrees.
Upon returning to the High Council, Grilka stands helpless as her husband is branded as a coward and her house is about to be handed over to D'Ghor. But Quark suddenly appears and readies himself for the duel. As both combatants raise their weapons at each other, Quark suddenly throws his bat'leth away, leaving everyone in attendance speechless. Quark points out that he has no hope of overpowering D'Ghor, and everyone there knows it; the supposed "duel" is nothing more than an execution. Quark kneels, completely unable to defend himself, and invites D'Ghor to complete his conquest of Grilka's house by slaughtering an unarmed Ferengi, taunting him to tell the "heroic" story to his children.
Grinning victoriously, D'Ghor raises his bat'leth to strike, but Gowron steps in and seizes his arm. Gowron did not want to believe Quark's earlier accusations, but D'Ghor's dishonorable willingness to kill an unarmed man is as good as a confession. Gowron discommendates him on the spot, and D'Ghor is ejected from the Council chamber. Gowron lifts Quark to his feet, commending him for a show of bravery atypical of his people. Declaring that special circumstances exist, he allows the House of Kozak to pass to Grilka. Grilka thanks Quark and asks if she can repay him in any way. Quark immediately requests a divorce, and Grilka acquiesces; she slaps him to the ground, shouts "N'Gos tlhogh cha!" ("Our marriage is done!") and spits. "You're a free man." Grilka then lifts Quark off of the floor and plants a genuine kiss on him.
Quark and Rom return to Deep Space 9, where business at the bar has returned to its previous slump. Rom is still awestruck by his brother's "magnificent" display of courage in the Great Hall, and reminds Quark that he has now earned genuine respect from many people, not the least of whom include his erstwhile wife and the Chancellor of the Klingon High Council himself. Glumly, Quark says that "respect is good, but latinum's better." Rom asks him to tell the story again; Quark says that everyone's heard the story already, and it won't do any good for business. But Rom insists, "No brother, I want to hear it again." At this, Quark perks up and begins to recount his epic confrontation with D'Ghor on Qo'noS.
"Now I know we're doomed."
"Rule of Acquisition 286: When Morn leaves, it's all over."
"There is no such rule!"
"There should be."
- - Quark and Rom
"What about Kozak's family? What if they come here for revenge?"
"If that happens, I'll stand up, look them straight in the eye...and offer them a bribe."
- - Rom and Quark
"It's not about profit anymore, it's about respect. You see the way they look at me now - I'm not just some venal Ferengi trying to take their money. I'm Quark, slayer of Klingons!"
- - Quark
"Put this on!"
"Because if you do not, I will kill you!"
- - Grilka and Quark
"The House of Kozak is gone. For the time being, it will be known as...as the House of..."
"...The House of...Quark."
- - Gowron and Quark
"Do you mean D'Ghor has been scheming and plotting like a F—; (catches herself)"
"Like a Ferengi."
- - Grilka and Quark
"I really am very grateful for all you've done, Quark. That is why I'm going to let you take your hand off my thigh, instead of shattering every bone in your body."
- - Grilka
"The charge has been made! You are accused of using... money... to bring down a Great House!"
- - Gowron, to D'Ghor
"I am Quark, son of Keldar, and I have come to answer the challenge of D'Ghor, son of... whatever."
- - Quark
"A brave Ferengi. Who would have thought it possible...?"
- - Gowron, in admiration, to Quark for his bravery in standing up to D'Ghor
"So you lied to the station security chief, to your customers, and to D'Ghor. You must be quite a liar."
"It's a gift."
- - Grilka and Quark
"D'Ghor, what are you doing? I did not want to believe the things he said about you yesterday, but if you can stand here and murder this pathetic little man, then you have no honor... and you have no place in this hall!"
- - Gowron, about to discommendate D'Ghor
"How can I ever thank you?"
"I would like a divorce, please. No offense."
"None taken. I can give it to you right away."
(Grilka slaps Quark very hard.)
"N'Gos tlhogh cha!" ("Our marriage is done!")
(She spits at him)
"You're a free man."
"A little warning would've been nice--"
(Grilka cuts off Quark with a most passionate, heartfelt kiss)
"Qapla' Quark, son of Keldar."
"Qapla' to you, too...!"
- - Grilka and Quark
"Business is dropping off again."
"Money isn't everything."
"If Father were alive, he would wash your mouth out with galcor!"
- - Quark and Rom
Story and script
- The working title of this episode was "Fight to the Death". (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion - A Series Guide and Script Library)
- One of the reasons the writers wrote Keiko out of the show for 6 months was to give them room to explore the O'Brien/Bashir friendship. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion) Indeed, this is the first episode where we see O'Brien and Bashir socialize together (technically, we saw them socialize in "The Search, Part II", but that was part of a programmed reality). However, Bashir claimed they were best friends in "Crossover".
- Stephen Hawking visited the set during the filming of this episode. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- This was the only Star Trek episode to be scored by Richard Bellis. The recording of the score took place on 3 October 1994. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Collection booklet, p. 28)
- Perhaps unsurprisingly, this is one of Armin Shimerman's favorite episodes; "It meant a lot to me because usually Quark is at the butt of the jokes. But here was a chance to do something, still comedic, but also heroic." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)
- Mary Kay Adams commented "Working on the scene in "The House of Quark" where I tell Quark to get his hand off my thigh was great fun. The entire crew kept cracking up every time we did the take. I loved working with Joe Ruskin. I'm a huge fan of his and in the episode he's playing my servant, which was a kick". ("Courting Quark", Star Trek Monthly, issue 36)
- Ronald D. Moore was quite pleased with the finished episode. In an interview with Star Trek Monthly in 1996, he said, "it was fun to go back to the Klingons and do them with a lighter tone and some comedy. But even though we were spoofing them, they were still pure Klingon. It was a fun way to point out some of the more bizarre aspects of the Empire and the way it's run. And the idea of Klingons being confused by Quark's ledgers and accounting practices was, in itself, a funny idea." (Star Trek Monthly issue 17)
- Robert O'Reilly makes his first Deep Space Nine appearance as Chancellor Gowron in this episode.
- Mary Kay Adams and Joseph Ruskin reprised the roles of Grilka and Tumek respectively in the fifth season episode "Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places".
- Parts of this episode, particularly the scenes set in the Great Hall, deliberately echo TNG: "Sins of the Father", but with a comedic twist, bringing to mind Karl Marx's dictum that history repeats itself, "the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce".
- Tom Benko, who is credited with the story for this episode, is the only person to have written, directed and edited Star Trek.
- Cirroc Lofton (Jake Sisko) does not appear in this episode, but Miles O'Brien asks Keiko O'Brien about him.
- Grilka's beaming command while holding the unconscious Quark is the same as the one Kirk gives while holding Spock in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.
- This episode marks the only appearance of Gowron in either The Next Generation or Deep Space Nine without Worf.
- Despite the many Klingon-centric episodes of the series, this is the only episode of Deep Space Nine to feature scenes set on Qo'noS. The planet would not be depicted on screen again until "Broken Bow", the pilot episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, almost seven years later.
- One of the aliens seen outside the bar while Quark is telling the story of how Kozak died, is the same as the Ankari seen in the Delta Quadrant.
Video and DVD releases
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 3.2, 27 February 1995.
- As part of the DS9 Season 3 DVD collection.
Links and references
- Rene Auberjonois as Constable Odo
- Siddig El Fadil as Doctor Julian Bashir
- Terry Farrell as Lieutenant Jadzia Dax
- Colm Meaney as Chief Miles O'Brien
- Armin Shimerman as Quark
- Nana Visitor as Major Kira Nerys
- Rosalind Chao as Keiko O'Brien
- Mary Kay Adams as Grilka
- Carlos Carrasco as D'Ghor
- Max Grodénchik as Rom
- Robert O'Reilly as Chancellor Gowron
- Joseph Ruskin as Tumek
- Sam Alejan as a medical officer
- Michael Bailous as a Klingon High Council member
- Scott Barry as a Bajoran officer
- Ivor Bartels as a security officer
- Bill Blair as a Klingon High Council member
- Randy James as Lieutenant Jones
- Dan McGee as a command division lieutenant
- Robin Morselli as a Bajoran officer
- Mark Allen Shepherd as Morn
- Unknown performers as
agrobiology; Alpha Quadrant; arboretum; Bajor; Bajorans; basil; bat'leth; battle drill; bloodwine; botanist; Brek'tal ritual; canapé; Coverian; Coverian freighter; dabo; dabo girl; DaiMon; discommendation; d'k tahg; Dominion; Ferengi; Ferengi Alliance; galcor; Rules of Acquisition; fireworks; galcor; gambling; Great Hall; Great House; holosuite; House of D'Ghor; House of Grilka; House of Kozak; House of Quark; insurance; Irish; Janitza Mountains; Keldar; Klingon Empire; Klingon High Council; Kobheerian freighter; latinum; Markalian; meter; Milky Way Galaxy; O'Brien, Molly; Nog; ODN conduit; "Old Man"; Orok; plomeek soup; Qo'noS; Quark's; Replimat; runabout; Sisko, Jake; special dispensation; synthale; synthehol; tattoo; theft; tricorder; Tygarian
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