Grand Nagus Zek has great news for Quark: The simple bar owner has been chosen to purchase tulaberry wine from the Dosi from the Gamma Quadrant, as a preparation for a large-scale trade agreement. When his Ferengi waiter Pel advises him to be cautious, Quark is impressed and assigns Pel to be his assistant. But Pel is actually a female, who is disguised as a man to escape the strict gender roles in the Ferengi society. The deal with the Dosi fails. However, Pel convinces Zek to let them further pursue their goals. With Zek's blessing, she and Quark head for the Gamma Quadrant where they learn of the Karemma who would bring the Ferengi in contact with the Dominion - which is ultimately more valuable than the wine. Back on the station, Quark faints when he is notified by Rom that Pel is a woman who loves him. When Pel reveals her gender to Zek as well, the Ferengi decide to remain silent about it - as it is outlawed for a businessman to take advice from a woman.

Errors and Explanations

The Nitpickers Guide for Deep Space Nine Trekkers

Plot Oversights

  1. Rom discovers that Pel is a female after he searches her quarters in a fit of jealousy. He finds the case where she keeps her extra pair of synthetic ears and the tools she uses to put them on and take them off. l wonder why she didn't take this along on her trip to the Gamma Quadrant with Quark. What if her lobes had been damaged? That would increase the risk of detection, as someone is bound to want the case searched.
  2. l guess the old saying that men sometimes marry women just like their mothers holds true. In this episode Quark falls for an independent-minded, profit-seeking Ferengi female. Though he refuses to pursue a relationship with Pel, he does give her a stake of ten bars of latinum to start a new life. Interestingly enough, in Family Business, we discover that Pel is just like Quark’s mother. (The only difference is: Quark can stand his mother!) Quark’s attitude may have changed in the interim.

Equipment Oddities

  1. Near the beginning of the episode, Zek secures Sisko’s permission to use the station for negotiations with the Dosi. Afterward Zek walks toward the doors. We hear them open. Then he stops and walks all the "way back to Sisko’s desk. Amazingly, the doors know he will be leaving soon and remain open until he does leave. The computer registered Zek’s intention to leave the office.
  2. The pattern used when Quark and Pel retum to Zek’s shuttle from the Dosi doesn’t match the transporter pattern used by the Ferengi in NextGen. For instance, in The Battle,the Ferengi transporter featured a spiraling bolt of energy that surrounded the person being transported. The transporter patterns seen in this episode are much more similar to those of a Cardassian transporter. Perhaps the Dosi beamed them back to the shuttle or Zek bought his transporter at a discount. It could also be an upgrade to the Ferengi transporter.

Continuity And Production Problems

  1. The grand nagus appears to reading his lines when he first contacts Quark over subspace. He probably wrote down what he wanted to say, to make sure he got it right.
  2. Rom’s teeth seem to be a little loose. Toward the end of the episode he chows down on what looks like a dark-colored baby crab. As he bites into it, his teeth move. They could have worn loose due to Rom constantly grinding them in frustration of the Pel situation.

Nit Central

  1. Keith Alan Morgan (Kmorgan) on Wednesday, July 26, 2000 - 12:02 am: So Rom doesn't want anyone coming between him and his brother? Wasn't it just under a year earlier (16 shows) in The Nagus that Rom tried to blow Quark out of an airlock? dotter31 on Sunday, March 25, 2007 - 5:15 pm:No one came between them. Rom took action himself, not an outside force as was done here. Rom was also very contradictory in this episode (saying he didn't want anything to come between them, but also hoping Quark died so Rom would get the bar)
  2. D.K. Henderson on Sunday, April 03, 2005 - 11:51 am: It seems to me that the Ferengi are missing out on a nice profit in - girdles! That jacket that Pel wears does not look particularly tight, yet it completely disguises attributes, which are reasonably ample. The loose fit was part of the disguise.
  3. I notice that humans do not have a monopoly on denying the obvious. Even though Pel has proven beyond all doubt that Ferengi women can be as capable as men, Quark's mother Ishka will still have a long, hard fight ahead of her. A lot of cultures traditionally (and unfairly) regard women as being less worthy than men!
  4. This episode also introduces the Ferengi game of Tongo. Possibly also beetle snuff. Pick P. Pick on Saturday, August 13, 2005 - 3:03 pm: Re: Tongo... If it's a Ferengi game, and Ferengi were unknown to the Federation before TNG, how could Curzon have played it so much? Anti-Pick P. Pick on Friday, November 25, 2005 - 11:27 am: There were 5 years between the time that the Enterprise D first encountered the Ferengi and when Curzon died before the episode of DS9. A person could play A LOT of Tongo in 5 years if they didn't have anything better to do. dotter31 on Sunday, March 25, 2007 - 5:15 pm: We know that the Ferengi entered the same space as the (soon-to-be) Federation did, as shown in Acquisition (ENT) Perhaps they left the game behind on a planet they visited, or maybe they sold it to other cultures. omnidragon on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 4:06 pm: The Ferengi did no such thing as there was no contact with them until the 24th century! ScottN on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 6:34 pm: Perhaps the Ferengi were known to the Klingons? dotter31 on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 11:53 pm: I realize that there was no contact, but both the Ferengi and humans had visited the same area of space prior to first contact. This may have allowed Tongo to be spread to the Federation without having contacted the Ferengi directly.
  5. dotter31 on Sunday, March 25, 2007 - 5:15 pm: Rom says that Ferengi women are not allowed to play Tongo. Then why is there a female division of the Global Tongo Championships, as described in Ferengi Love Songs? (tucked away in the sub-basement, as Ishka put it). The rules may have been relaxed before the events of Ferengi Love Songs.
  6. I don't know if the concept that Ferengi women can't leave Ferenginar started here, but I know it was mentioned. The Ferengi must not have any colony worlds, at least ones with families on them, if the women can't leave. This is not a wise societal policy for a spacefaring civilization, in case some disaster befell Ferenginar. Establishing colony worlds is very expensive, and would increase the risk of other races finding out about Ferengi restrictions on females.

Deep Space Nine Season 2
The Homecoming I The Circle I The Siege I Invasive Procedures I Cardassians I Melora I Rules of Acquisition I Necessary Evil I Second Sight I Sanctuary I Rivals I The Alternate I Armageddon Game I Whispers I Paradise I Shadowplay I Playing God I Profit and Loss I Blood Oath I The Maquis Part 1 I The Maquis Part 2 I The Wire I Crossover I The Collaborator I Tribunal I The Jem’Hadar
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