349. Prophet Motive
FORMULA: Emissary + The Nagus
WHY WE LIKE IT: Good-natured fun. The award show.
WHY WE DON'T: The Prophets overstep their bounds.
REVIEW: The humor in this Ferengi episode is a bit broader than the last time, but comes short of preposterous. It does gut the Grand Nagus a little to make him a generous goofball while his manservant is reduced to tears, but the new Rules of Acquisition he writes under the Prophets' influence are assimilated by Rom, and that'll certainly have consequences later. And yet, Rom shows he has some lobes here when he embezzles money from Zek through the Ferengi Benevolent Association. There's also some humor in the sitcom set-up of having the brothers live in the same apartment, mostly because of Rom's disgusting habits (used plates on the floor? Do they have The Sims in the future?).
Never mind Zek, the Prophets are definitely acting stangely despite the call back to their meeting with the Sisko (take note, that's the first time we hear that term). They can revert beings to earlier states of existence now? That's a bit of a stretch for any being, especially ones who know so little about linearity. (Hey, could be Zek became MORE evolved, no?) Despite those misgivings, Quark's Orb experience is brilliantly directed, with odd angles and a much better sense that the Prophets are inhabiting specific moments of the story. Lovely. Quark's usually good when taking advantage of his rhetorical skills.
You know it's going to be a comedy episode as soon as you hear mention of the self-sealing stem bolts, and the subplot is a lot of fun too with plenty of good-natured ribbing on Bashir who's up for the Carrington, a lifetime achievement award he has no chance of winning. Every character has a chance to bother Julian about it, even as he tries to sweep it under the carpet (surely, because it would blow his cover), until he slowly starts to believe he DOES have a chance (oh mutant hubris!). Man, when Roget wins it, even the announcer seems disappointed. So imagine Bashir.
Oh yeah! And the dart board makes its first appearance though it won't go into Quark's until the next episode. Just thought I'd mention it.
LESSON: The award shows of the future aren't any more interesting than ours, and Trek doesn't win anything either.
REWATCHABILITY - Medium: Though some of the comedy is a bit broad and Ferengi meet Prophets isn't as funny as Ferengi meet Klingons, it's still enjoyable goofy fun, especially the Bashir subplot.