Latinum Lasts Longer Than Lust
"Ferengi Love Songs" Plot Summary:
Depressed over the voles infesting his bar, Quark goes home to visit his Moogie and discovers the Grand Nagus hiding in his closet. Turns out Moogie and Zek met at the Global Tonga Championships and have fallen in love! Quark sees an opportunity to get reinstated by the FCA, but the Nagus refuses to help him. Brunt, his old nemesis who got him thrown out of the business association in the first place, demands that Quark help break up Moogie and Zek if he wants to work on Ferenginar again.
Quark warns the Nagus that Moogie is only using him to overthrow male-dominated Ferengi culture, and is earning secret profits to boot; Zek is outraged, and breaks off the relationship. Moogie tells Quark that he's just destroyed Ferengi society, as Zek's memory is failing and he needs her help. Zek asks Quark to be his First Clerk, but the Ferengi Market crashes despite Quark's efforts. Brunt reveals his plan to take over the position of Nagus when Zek is ousted, but Quark helps the Nagus through a hearing and then recommends that Moogie become First Clerk, a role she's been fulfilling anyway.
Meanwhile, on the station, Rom and Leeta break up when she refuses to sign a Ferengi prenuptual agreement which would forbid her from owning property or sharing Rom's profits. Though he is unwilling to break completely with Ferengi tradition just for Leeta, Rom is devastated, and finally decides he would rather have her than profit. He donates all his savings to the Bajoran war orphans' fund so he won't have any profits for Leeta to have to give up a claim to.
Excuse me while I puke, OK?
I thought "Family Business," the episode in which Quark first caught his mother wearing clothes and earning profit, was as sexist as Ferengi society could get, but I was wrong. In that episode, at least Moogie had integrity: she was a perfect selfish Ferengi, putting her own interests and political agenda over her family and everything else. In "Ferengi Love Songs," she decides to forego her feminist principles because Zekkie-wekkie needs her. She tells him to do anything he wants with her, he whooshes her off to the bedroom, and we're supposed to buy this as happily ever after.
I can't recall at the moment whether Moogie has a name, but it's almost irrelevant, because her role for everyone in this story is Mommy...including her lover, whom she expects Quark to coddle and cuddle if necessary to maintain Zek's self-esteem. If profit is the only value the Ferengi hold dear, and Quark blames his developing conscience on Humans, what's Moogie's excuse for selflessly putting out for the Grand Nagus - hormones? She acts like the most embarrassing stereotype of a woman, perfectly willing to discard her politics and principles for her lovie-dovie. If Ferenginar mattered to her, she'd help overthrow Zek; Brunt's a far better example of ruthless Ferengism. Boy, I hope the Grand Nagus has incredible sexual prowess, because there's nothing to recommend him otherwise. I'd almost have preferred it if Moogie decided Brunt was where the power was going, and seduced him instead.
The Rom and Leeta plot was only marginally less offensive. It's hard not to be offended by Leeta's mere presence - she'd sound less stupid if she never spoke at all. Dax's announcement that Rom's enlightened just because he wants Leeta to be happy explains a lot about why she'd settle for someone as thoroughly humorless and self-absorbed as Worf. The romantic relationships on this show have pretty much all sickened me. How are we supposed to feel anything for people as stereotyped, simplistic, and flat as these characters?
The episode ended with a rather amusing slap at Trekkies, when Quark found his Ferengi super-hero action figures in his closet and Moogie informed him that they'd be worth more if he'd kept them in the original packaging. Action figures are about all these characters are good for; then we can play with them ourselves, like Quark was doing at the end of this episode. The dialogue we'd make up for them can't be worse than what the series writers come up with.
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