by Michelle Erica Green

Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Who's the Greediest Of All?

"The Nagus" Plot Summary:

The leader of the Ferengi, the Grand Nagus, visits the station to check up on Quark's profits and to test his own son's worthiness to succeed him by appointing Quark as his successor. While the son schemes and Rom attempts to assassinate his brother, Quark passes with flying colors; the heir apparent does not. Jake Sisko also receives his father's blessing to spend time with Rom's son Nog.


I have always disliked the nasty, selfish, vague anti-Semitic-stereotype Ferengi, so you can imagine how less-than-thrilled I was to watch an episode about their patriarch. Now we know that Quark has a brother who's a bigger loser than he is, a nephew for whom their might be hope if Sisko gets his son to disregard the Prime Directive and force human values upon the kid, and a leader who's even more greedy, conniving, and unscrupulous than Quark himself. Is this supposed to make Quark himself more palatable? This is one of the few Trek episodes I can think of where a near-murder became a source of jokes and praise. I think the Federation should rethink any kind of diplomatic dealings with the Ferengi.

There wasn't much else to this episode, though it is astounding how disinterested Sisko seemed in having the leader of an entire planet on his station; he was more worried about Jake hanging out with The Wrong Element. Under most circumstances, his narrow-mindedness and certainty of his own position would bother me. Given that this is the Ferengi we're dealing with, however, I'm just as glad he doesn't want to risk Jake becoming a womanizing cheat like every single one of this poor caricature of a race.

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