Star Trek 420: The Magnificent Ferengi

420. The Magnificent Ferengi

FORMULA: Ferengi Love Songs + The Search for Spock + Rocks and Shoals + Empok Nor + Spock's Brain


WHY WE DON'T: Weekend at Keevan's. All your least favorite Ferengi.

REVIEW: Maybe this started out as a story about Quark wanting to be a hero, but that gets lost in the ridiculously broad comedy that always seems to accompany Ferengi episodes. This episode has very little to do with The Magnificent Seven and will likely bring back memories of Weekend at Bernie's instead. It's that stupid.

Not to say that Ferengi finding their place as negotiators rather than commandos isn't a good hook. It is. But there's usually a sense that nothing is taken seriously, from the various stumbles and bumbles of the Ferengi protagonists to the near bad taste of Nog chuckling as he animates a corpse. Ishka's giving skin care advice to her captors and comedy thumping Rom's head. Lots of mugging, grown adults not understanding simple concepts, and Keevan bored and aloof through it all. It's all very obvious, so not very funny. And if no one takes the dangers they face seriously, how can we?

I'll always find something to like in Quark, Rom and Nog, but the others are wastes (especially once the rescue mission becomes a prisoner exchange). I never really wanted to see Gaila again, and Brunt is ineffective when not used as a villain. Leck the Eliminator is a fairly fun new character, but written as dumb as the rest, I'm afraid. The better guest star is Iggy Pop as the Vorta Yelgren. He's cool, but a bit deliberate, slowing his scenes down to a crawl sometimes.

That all said, I like that Nog remembered Empok Nor in his plans, and the arrival of a veritable Jem'Hadar army on the station is cool, but it's not enough to dispel my boredom over what reads like the worst excesses of fanwank and camp.

LESSON: You probably shouldn't drill the words "I hate Ferengi" into the audience so many times. They'll come to make it their own.

REWATCHABILITY - Low: Far below DS9's usual standards.


Dan Sai said...

For me, Iggy Pop Vorta bumps this up to a medium with his appearance alone. Yeah, it's not that great ... but it has Iggy Pop as a vorta ... so I'm down for rewatching it from time to time.

Siskoid said...

Iggy is the one redeeming feature, I agree.

"I'd love to hear more about [skin care], but if they don't show up soon, I'm going to have to kill you!"

Matthew Turnage said...

I suppose I'll have to be the dissenting voice. I normally like Ferengi episodes, and I love this one. I find it very funny, and I love seeing the Ferengi pull one over on the Dominion.

One of the great things about DS9 is that even in the midst of all the darkness of the Dominion War, they'd take time out to do a goofy comedy on occassion. The light episodes provide a needed respite, and actually help make the dark stuff even darker by contrast. As much as I love Ron Moore's take on Battlestar Galactica, the constant dark tone of the series does begin to wear one down over time. Not so with DS9.

Siskoid said...

That's ok. Even when DS9 disappoints me, it still doesn't come off as boring, which is the case of very bad TOS, TNG and VOY.

I like the humor in DS9, but I like it better when I don't have to classify it as "caricature" if you know what I mean.

Stephen said...

so many annoying ferengis it makes me wish it was less of an homage to the magnificent seven and more an homage to the wild bunch

Buslady said...

This is one of my favorite Ferengi eps...i just watched it for like the tenth time. I liked Gaila, not all Ferengi are brilliant businessmen, he's a failure. I like Lek, he is a very different Ferengi. Brunt being on the good side is different. It's a atypical ferengi ep, good stuf.
Iggy Pop was icing on the top!


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