Recap / Star Trek Deep Space Nine S 01 E 11 The Nagus
The Grand Nagus is aboard DS9. The head honcho of the entire Ferengi Alliance is there to examine the possible business opportunities that the wormhole to the Gamma Quadrant can provide.

With every greedy and backstabbing Ferengi of note gathered at Quark's for a conference, Zek announces he won't be the Ferengi overseeing the new business chances the wormhole can provide. He plans to retire, and name a successor as Nagus. And much to the anger of his son and the other visiting Ferengi, he chooses Quark.

Quark is as surprised as anyone else there, but more than relishes the new found promotion... until a Ferengi named Gral approaches him and makes a thinly veiled threat against him if he doesn't give Gral a good cut of the Gamma Quadrant business. Naturally freaked out, Quark seeks advice from Zek.

Zek tells him being the Nagus comes with people threatening your life. The secret is to surround himself with loyal (but not too loyal) men and be utterly ruthless. A few seconds later, Zek keels over dead.

At Zeks funeral, Quark just ducks a homing bomb that would have left him a smear on the wall. Thanks to bending over for a coin another Ferengi dropped.

After striking a deal with a Ferengi named Nava, Quark heads off for a little rest. Leaving Rom and Krax to opine that killing such a benevolent Nagus would be suspicious. They need a new plan.

Said plan involves tricking him with a fake negotiation on Stakoron II. Arriving where his ship should be, Quark realizes he's about to be killed and usurped by Rom and Krax. As the two debate on who should do the honor, someone orders them to stop.

Turns out it's Zek! Who was never dead to start with. He'd entered a sleeping trance (taught by his loyal servant) to test his son. And he failed. As Zek puts it:

Zek: You don't grab power. You accumulate it!

Krax was supposed to subtlety seize control of Quark's from the shadows, eventually leaving him in control of a valuable hub of information. With his test over, Zek resumes his position as Nagus, and departs the station.

Back at Quark's, Rom cowers when his brother confronts him over his attempted assassination attempt...but Quark is proud! So proud, he promotes Rom to Assistant Manager for Policy and Clientele...a position he made up on the spot.

This episode provides examples of:

  • Absence of Evidence: One of the things that tips Odo off that Zek is not dead is the absence of Mairhar'du at his funeral.
  • Almighty Janitor: The Grand Nagus argues that this is what his son should have been aiming for, letting Quark think he was running things while Krax ran events from the shadows.
  • Assassin Outclassin': Clearly, you have to be good at this to be Nagus; when Quark asks him for advice after someone threatens him, Zek is surprised it hasn't happened more than once by now.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Jake mentioned that he wants to see some place on Bajor called "the fire caverns." He won't get to see them, but we'll be hearing more about these caves in Season 5...
  • Dirty Old Man: Grand Nagus Zek enjoys a marathon of Quark's five best holo sex programs as soon as he arrives.
  • A Dog Ate My Homework: Nog claims that a group of Vulcans stole his homework pad.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Rom uses Quark's temporary promotion to Nagus to try and off his brother. Turns out Quark is actually proud of such attempted treachery.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • The first and only time Morn is heard making a vocal noise of any kind. In this one-time instance, a laugh.
    • It's also hard to imagine the Rom of later seasons repeatedly attempting to murder his own brother.
    • The Ferengi repeatedly use "ears" rather than "lobes."
  • Klingon Promotion: Quark isn't Nagus for a day before someone attempts to assassinate him and assume his position. Zek calls Krax an idiot for trying this when more devious (and profitable) options were available.
  • Moral Luck: The Nagus calls Quark brilliant for opening a bar at the mouth of a stable wormhole. When his son protests that Quark had no way of knowing the wormhole was there, the Nagus says that it shows Quark had "the ears" to sense opportunity.
    • As a Rewatch Bonus, once you know Zek's plan it's obvious he was dropping hints about how Krax can undermine Nagus Quark.
  • Oh, Crap!: Quark, when he realizes that Rom and Krax are about to kill him.
  • Orphaned Punchline: Quark is telling Morn the punchline to a joke when the Nagus walks into the bar.
  • Secret Test of Character: Zek was hoping his son would be smart enough to take over Quark's after his supposed death, giving him access to all the information he would need to set up trade with the Gamma Quadrant. "And you failed! Miserably!"
  • Shout-Out: One scene of a Ferengi coming to Quark for help is shot exactly like the opening scene of The Godfather.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: Quark constantly threatens his incompetent brother with this, which comes back to bite him when Rom and Krax attempt to toss him out of one.