DS9: “Melora” and “Rules of Acquisition”

Date: June 16, 2020

Season 2, Episodes 6 and 7

Musical Accompaniment: More cello covers followed by some saxophone covers, I need the instrumental.

Interstellar News: Apparently I moved to Seattle or Forks, because all it does is rain here.

Favorite Quotes from “Melora”:

Bashir: Melora, no one on this station is completely independent. In space we all depend on one another to some degree.

Melora: I just want you all to know that you can depend on me.

Bashir: You’ve proven that. Now, what do the rest of us have to do to convince you?

Melora: Of what?

Bashir: That you can depend on us.

Bashir crashing through Melora’s hard exterior.

So what had happened in “Melora” was…: Melora Pazlar is a cartographer and an Elaysian, they are used to lower gravity, so O’Brien and Bashir have been making accommodations for her chair to get around the station. She’s very defensive and doesn’t want any special treatment aside from the necessary modification for her to move around. Bashir is undeterred and invites her to eat at the new Klingon restaurant, which is a great scene, and she loosens up a bit and lets him share some time in lower gravity. Unfortunately she has a minor accident the next day and moans about wanting to be more independent, so Bashir looks into research and comes up with a protocol that will help her to be so. The trade off, however, is that she can’t stay in her own gravity. Melora and Dax head to the Gamma Quadrant and discuss The Little Mermaid.

The Little Mermaid book cover, by Hans Christian Andersen
The Disney version isn’t even remotely close.

Meanwhile a man named Fallit Kot comes to the bar and shares he intends to kill Quark because eight years prior Kot served time for smuggling and Quark went free. Quark tries everything to settle the debt but when food and Dabo girls just won’t do, and Quark’s life is threatened, he offers gold-pressed latinum. Quark takes Kot along on his deal with Ashrock so Kot can take the latinum, but Kot shoots Ashrock and forces Quark to carry the latinum and the merchandise. They make Melora and Dax get back on the runabout they just exited and try to leave the station, only to be stopped by the tractor beam. Kot shoots Melora so they let the ship go and O’Brien, Sisko, and Bashir head out on another runabout to chase them. Melora isn’t dead, disables the gravity, kicks Kot’s ass, and saves the day. She does, however, decide against the treatments at the cost of her independence.

…”I’ll buy one.: Here’s the thing, I’ve seen lots of wheeled carts and other things aboard the station so why haven’t they made any structural changes since then? You’re telling me no one ever comes aboard with a lot of luggage they need to unpack? So maybe they just run everything through the transporter, but still. I do like Bashir so much more already, he’s less outlandishly flirty for one, but he seems to be interested in women for the fascination value. He’s got the hots for Jadzia Dax because she’s a Trill and has lived as both a male and female. He’s now attracted to Melora because she’s different. I get that everyone has their kinks and I would never, ever kink-shame anyone, but I can’t tell if it’s a preference, his type if you will, or if it’s because he’s a doctor who’s really married to his work but is super fascinated by female aliens. I also don’t like that his immediate thought was to “fix” her, different does not mean deficient. Also, doctors should never date their patients!

Melora in her chair surrounded by Bashir and Dax.
I will totally win in any race against you slowpokes…

When Quark goes to Odo, who already knows everything of course, the exchange between them is fantastic and the look on Odo’s face when he tells Quark he’ll buy a piece of him is so so so so good. I’ll admit I enjoyed two things: Melora opening up and the ending. The singing Klingon, Odo’s face in security, the joy on Melora’s face when she shares a moment with Bashir… they’re all lovely little moments. The ending allowed Melora to prove what she felt she needed to and also might help lead Quark to living a slightly more straight life, one can hope. However, this is Trek does a physical handicap and they really aren’t that great at it. To be honest TOS did it better in “Is There In Truth No Beauty?” and TNG did okay with La Forge (most of the time) and in a few episodes where someone had a different way of communicating (the guy with the chorus, the aliens that worked with Lwaxana, etc.), so I can’t give more than 4 orders of half dead Racht for this episode.

Favorite Quote from “Rules of Acquisition”:

Kira: Actually, I just stopped by to return this.

Zek: Why? Is something wrong with it?

Kira: No, it’s lovely. I just can’t accept it.

Zek: Then I suppose a night of wild passionate romance is out of the question?

It never hurts to ask.

So what had happened in “Rules of Acquisition” was…: Dax is playing tongo with a bunch of Ferengi and one named Pel brings Gramilian Sand Peas to Quark’s attention as the person who eats one immediately goes for a sip of their drink – it’s a way to double beverage profits. The Nagus Zek is back and wants to get the Ferengi foot in the door of the Gamma Quadrant so he offers nitrate to Bajor in order to conduct business on DS9 and then tasks Quark with being his negotiator. Zek is also super smitten with Kira and is a lecherous old man. Quark makes Pel his assistant but what he doesn’t know is that she’s a woman in disguise because Ferengi woman aren’t allowed to wear clothes, be educated, or leave the home world… pah! Dax figures out Pel is different and she admits to Dax she’s a woman.

Mulan in uniform as Ping.
Mulan would not put up with that shit and neither did Pel.

Quark and Pel try to negotiate with the Dosi but they leave the station, so they convince Zek to borrow his ship and travel to the GQ in hopes of closing the deal. Turns out they are being denied because Inglatu doesn’t have the pull to get that many vats of tulaberry wine but Zyree tells them about the mysterious Dominion which Quark realizes must have been what Zek wanted all along. They return to DS9 and Quark gives Zek the information for a share of all GQ profits. Rom ruins the moment by explaining to Quark that Pel is actually a female as he broke into her quarters and found her ears, so Quark passes out and decides no one can know. Quark gives Pel some latinum to start a new life and expects that she’s left, but Pel joins him, Rom, and Zek for dinner and takes off her fake lobes. Zek is disgusted but also was tricked by Pel, so he takes away Quark’s GQ profits and then Quark and Pel kiss goodbye.

Rom sneering at Quark while he puts his hands over Pel's small lobes.
Hide your lobes! Nothing to see here kids.

…”Stupidity is no excuse.”: 285 Rules of Acquisition, my goodness! I weirdly liked this episode for a variety of reasons. Zek is super inappropriate with Kira but he’s also a little sweet about it and takes her “no” just fine, except for all the butt grabbing which was totally not cool. Dax is shown here to be super chill and I’m sure if we all got to live for 300 years and spanned multiple different hosts we’d also be so enlightened. It’s interesting to see how Quark falls back on tradition but kind of grows up a little over the episode, but I got all sorts of Mulan vibes the entire time. I totally know what it’s like to be denied things or discouraged from pursuing them because I’m female, so I totally understand Pel’s desire to be more than what’s afforded to her on her home planet. She really did have the lobes for good business, sigh. I also know the Dominion is an important thing because that was one thing that I’ve heard over the years from those I know who have already watched all that is Trek. I’ve got the 6th rule for you here: never let family stand in the way of profit or opportunity.

TA Out!

Published by njdevil12

I'm just a big city girl living in a not so big city with my fur children and partner.

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