387. Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places
FORMULA: Cyrano de Bergerac + The House of Quark
WHY WE LIKE IT: Grilka returns. Dax finally loses her patience with Worf.
WHY WE DON'T: O'Brien, cheating on his wife.
REVIEW: I've always thought Grilka was a "glorious" character too, so it's great to see her return. Worf is immediately smitten, but so is Quark (who, of course, saw her first) and hilarity ensues. Casting Worf in Cyrano's role and Quark in Christian's is as inspired as it is ridiculous, and aside from a poor line here and there (chiefly, the "war, what is it good for" speech), the script is witty and fun about it.
Quark as a Klingon warrior is absurd, but he does have the heart of a poet, which he gets to show when the bat'leth fight goes awry and his has to improvise and stall. Let's just say Ferengi poetry tends to be on the wet side. But despite the fact that both Klingon and Ferengi cultures get made fun of, neither loses its inherent dignity. Quark remains fiercely patriotic regardless of what traditions he chooses to respect for her sake, and Worf isn't humiliated by Grilka's majordomo when taken aside and told to respectfully shove off.
More important to this story is Dax, whose flirting with Worf all these episodes has fallen on deaf ears. Her attraction to Worf never makes her weak, even though she's technically being jilted throughout Par'mach. She takes it in stride, teases him about Grilka, but she is disappointed, even angry. And yet, she acts like it's not that big a deal. She's no Odo, pining away for something unattainable. Eventually, her patience runs out and SHE is the aggressor. And despite the violence of the Klingon "act", their little post-coital scene was rather sweet and very natural. It's the relationship to watch.
The subplot involving O'Brien and Kira getting feelings for each other (thanks to the pregnancy) holds just as many laughs, if not more, but it does go too far eventually. It's all fun and games given the title and tone of the episode, and the more the two try to be apart, the more Keiko tries to throw them together. Odo's teasing ("WHICH part of his family are you?") is also especially funny. It's all very wrong, but the characters at least know it, and you get the feeling that they're trying to escape each other BEFORE they actually get the wrong feelings. Then, there's that ending where O'Brien actually leans in to kiss her and she has to kick him out of the runabout. Too much, Miles. This is where I can no longer suspend disbelief. O'Brien has always been the loyal family man, and there's just no way he was going to give in like that.
LESSON: Keiko is not the jealous type. At all. ("Miles, she's carrying your baby! Make beautiful sweet love to her right this instant!")
REWATCHABILITY - Medium: A lot of funny bits, but it leaves O'Brien and Kira slightly damaged as a result. Worf and Dax may be enhanced by the episode however.