Star Trek 422: Who Mourns for Morn?

422. Who Mourns for Morn?

FORMULA: A Simple Investigation + Business as Usual

WHY WE LIKE IT: Morn's crazy life.

WHY WE DON'T: Sometimes feels like a repeat.

REVIEW: Now here's how you do a comedy episode. Quark by himself can be funny. Every member of the cast can be funny. Why drag the Ferengi circus into town for slapstick and grimaces? Who Mourns for Morn makes the humor come from the characters themselves without turning them into cartoons. Morn's wake offers a lot of good examples: Quark's eulogy being little more than a marketing ploy, Worf jealous that Jadzia had a thing for the big lug (which I remember her mentioning), and Bashir and O'Brien rather solemnly vow to keep Morn's stool occupied.

Morn himself is a comedy figure, usually used for recurring gag that he's supposed to be extremely talkative, but we've never heard him speak. And there is some of that here. But he's more than a constant subject of conversation and permanent fixture at Quark's Bar. He seems to be intimately involved in everyone's lives. He's the member of the cast we never really see do anything, but it doesn't mean he doesn't. Did you know he was Worf's weekly sparring partner? We hear a lot of new information about Morn in this episode, some of it true, some of it not, but the sheer amount of nonsense makes even the lies seem possible. He has two stomachs and had hair 10 years ago. He sleeps in a mudbath, and his only possession is that velvet painting he bought in In the Cards. He has an ex-wife, and was the crown prince of Luria.

Ok, those last two were the fakes, but what's great is that it hides the biggest lie of all - he's not dead! And it turns out, it's not all nonsense, because a few of those tidbits are part of the episode's final resolution, with latinum hidden in his spare stomach and as a result, his hair falling out. Well done. The revelation that latinum is actually a priceless liquid suspended inside the gold slips, strips, bars and bricks actually makes sense too.

Morn's secret fortune turns out to have come from a heist, and when Ocean's Idiots return for the money, he faked his own demise. The four guest-stars are funny in their own right, especially the brothers, though it seems like DS9 has done a duo like this fairly recently (A Simple Investigation). Likewise, the climax with the mexican standoff in the cargo bay is more than a little reminiscent of Business as Usual. It takes a little away from this episode that these elements are essentially reused. Still, there's some fun new stuff in there as well, like the bit with Quark's lousy lock.

LESSON: If you can do a good episode about a background extra, you can do anything (see next episode).

REWATCHABILITY - Medium-High: A lot of fun even if it is fluff, it'll keep you amused and interested.


Matthew Turnage said...

This is one of my favorite episodes of the whole series. I never get tired of watching it. I especially love Kira and Odo's reaction to Quark's "eulogy."

C Whitty said...

Hain's badge is distracting, if you follow my drift.


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