Recap / Star Trek Deep Space Nine S 04 E 16 Bar Association

Fed up with exploitative working conditions at Quark's Bar, Rom forms a union of Quark's employees, which is illegal according to Ferengi law. Events quickly spiral out of control as the FCA and Brunt get involved.

This episode contains examples of:

  • "Blackmail" is Such an Ugly Word: Sisko pretty much threatens Quark to solve the union issue or be made to pay back five years worth of unpaid bills, which he almost certainly can't.
  • Call Back: When Worf complains about the fact that security was lax enough to allow someone to break into his quarters and that "nothing like this ever happened on the Enterprise," Odo says, "Oh, realllly?" and relates the plots of Next Gen episodes "Rascals" and "A Matter of Time". Judging by his the big grin on his face and the quickness of pulling up the info on a padd, Odo was just waiting for Worf to start complaining about his methods again.
  • Comically Missing the Point: One of Rom's rousing speeches for the other Ferengi, trying to encourage them that forming a union helps their own standing and future capitalist ambitions, directly quotes the Communist Manifesto.
  • Continuity Nod: The thief dropping from the ceiling has just stolen Worf's stuff, including the Ferengi tooth sharpener he bought from Nog in " Little Green Men".
  • A Date with Rosie Palms:
    Rom: It's not Quark's fault that I got sick. I forgot to get my bimonthly ear scan. And besides, I've probably been getting too much oo-mox.
    Leeta: Really? Who's the lucky female?
    Rom: [sheepishly] No female. Just me.
    Leeta: [embarrassed] I'm...sorry...
    Rom: [hopeful] Sorry enough to do something about it?
    [Rom tilts his ear toward Leeta]
  • Description Cut: O'Brien and Bashir see Worf going into Quark's while the union are picketing it. An annoyed Miles goes to "talk some sense" into Worf. Cut to all three in a holding cell, Bashir sporting a nasty cut on his head, after the confrontation got physical.
  • Evil Debt Collector: Sisko briefly becomes this when he tries to force Quark to put an end to the strike in the quickest way he knows how: ignoring the Federation's "no money" policy. He then calculates five years of back rent, plus compensation for repairs and the drain on the station's power supply, and asks how much latinum that is. It's quite enough to get Quark to the negotiation table.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: Rom gets in way-way deeper than he expected and quite by accident. It only gets worse the more he tries to avoid being the hero of the unionizing employees.
  • Funny Background Event: The Nausicaans amusing themselves by throwing knives back and forth into each other's chests.
  • Grew a Spine: After standing up for his mom and standing up for his son, Rom finally stands up for himself by quitting Quarks and becoming a diagnostics officer for the station.
  • Kick the Dog: Quark says to Rom's face he wishes he were an only child.
  • Make an Example of Them: Inverted and lampshaded. Brunt has his Nausicaan thugs make an example of Quark for maximum impact.
    Quark: But I'm on your side!
    Brunt: Ironic, isn't it?
    • Brunt remarks to the employees that if they were on Ferenginar, they would have been marched to the top of the Tower of Commerce and shoved off.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: Rom stops being his brother's lackey and plays a much more important part of the series from here on in.
  • Not Helping Your Case: O'Brian and Bashir cheerfully discuss the history of unions with Rom, trying to help him gather his courage, but blissfully miss their stories involve horrible death to the people involved.
  • Oh Crap!:
    • The other Ferengi waiters instantly become fearful when Rom says the word "union."
    • Quark initially laughs off the union's demands, and stops laughing when they really do walk out.
  • Out of Character: Quark's behavior this episode goes from Jerk with a Heart of Gold to Jerk with a Heart of Jerk.
  • Pose of Supplication: Frool does this to Brunt.
    Grimp: I thought you said you weren't afraid of the FCA.
    Frool: I Lied!
  • Rousing Speech: Rom has two in this episode: One when he's forming the union, and one to keep them together after Brunt and the Nausicaans threaten them.
  • Writer on Board: As SF Debris noted, with all the union people working on this episode, there was no way Rom and his union were going to be presented as anything but blameless and noble and no way the forces of business were going to be presented with any sympathy or nuance whatsoever—to the point where Rom gloating over the sight of his brother in sickbay, having nearly been beaten to death, is presented as an unambiguously good thing.
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