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DS9 3-16

DS9 3x16
"Prophet Motive"

Original airdate: 2/20/1995
Rewatch date: 8/8/2013


Grand Nagus Zek rewrites the Rules of Acquisition with an eye for philanthropy in place of greed, and Quark is determined to figure out what has happened to him.

Spoiler-free notes:

The self-sealing stem bolts is a great running gag.

Maihar'du is a lot of fun in this episode, but he is nearly identical to Mr. Homn, Lwaxana Troi's attendant.

"You embezzled money from the Nagus?" "Surprise!" "Father would be proud."

The B-story about Bashir being nominated for some prestigious award is pretty forgettable, unless you look at it as a Star Trek in-joke refering to the fact that TNG's final season was nominated for Best Dramatic Series at the previous year's Emmy Awards (which it, of course, lost).

The Ferengi are a curious paradox that appear, on the surface, to go against Roddenberry's vision. They are a species that lives for profit, greed, and hardcore free enterprise, whereas Roddenberry's utopic Federation was never supposed to value money or personal wealth (although it's interesting to note that, over time, writers couldn't figure out how to make this lack of a monetary system actually work, which is why all citizens of the Federation utilize some vaguely defined form of credit). TNG couldn't make this work--because they were unrelentingly careful not to offend Roddenberry--but DS9 fully embraces the Ferengi for what they are, and this episode, in many ways, represents the writers ultimately justifying not only the Ferengi but the positives of capitalism. They play it largely for laughs, of course, and Quark's speech about the value of greed isn't nearly as cynical or serious as Gordon Gecko's "Greed is good" speech. DS9 doesn't make the Ferengi heroes, but episodes like this one allow them a chance to make the case that they're certainly not villains either.





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