Jake:: I'm not crazy... I'm just a little obsessed.
Nog: A little?The mood aboard DS9 has grown dark and despondent as the threat of the Dominion has intensified; not even Captain Sisko can raise his crew's spirits. But Jake has a plan to lift his father's spirits when he sees a mint-condition 1951 Willie Mays rookie baseball card is among the items in Quark's auction. He figures it'll be a simple task to show up, bid on the card and make it a gift for his father.Of course, it's not that simple. Jake is outbid by the eccentric scientist Dr. Elias Giger, who leaves with the card. Not to be outdone, Jake bargains with Giger to buy the card off him, but Giger's price sends Jake and Nog all over the station gathering seemingly random items and having to trade for them with even more favors for individual members of the crew.Just when it seems that they've got all the items they need, they return to Giger's quarters to find that he and his equipment have vanished. Jake, still obsessed the card, blames Kai Winn for the disappearance (she must have wanted the Bajoran artifact in the same auction lot!) and confronts her, barely avoiding a diplomatic incident and getting chewed out by Sisko. Almost immediately, though, Jake and Nog are abducted by the Jem-Hadar.Weyoun, it turns out, had the quarters directly above Giger's, detected the weird noises of Giger's equipment, and jumped to the conclusion that he was being spied on. After all, Giger's been visited by two Federation cadets, who've also been in conference with the station commander and the Bajoran Kai! Jake finally confesses to what he's after, and after a moment Weyoun believes him. The Vorta releases both boys and Giger, and gives Jake the card as a memento.By complete coincidence, Nog's Chain of Deals includes doing morale-boosting favors for the entire senior staff, and Giger finds an earnest fan in the form of the Vorta. So everything ends for the best.
This episode contains examples of
- A Day in the Limelight: For Jake, of course.
- Blatant Lies: The ridiculous story Jake tells Weyoun when the latter refuses to believe the truth. So ridiculous, in fact, that Weyoun decides their original story made more sense, inverting So Crazy It Must Be True.
- Breather Episode: Especially since it hits the fan in the very next episode.
- Call Back: To Star Trek: First Contact, when Jake says that humans don't need money because they "work to better [themselves]."
- Chain of Deals: What Jake and Nog go through for the card. Technically it's less of a chain than a collection of deals, since none of their deals with the crew rely on their other deals.
- Determinator: Jake is going to get that card, no matter how much Nog worries about his friend's sanity.
- Dispense with the Pleasantries: Sisko tells Weyoun to can his Affably Evil act."Before you twist that into a compliment, let me be blunt. I don't like the Dominion, I don't like what it stands for, and I don't like you. So let's dispense with the hollow pleasantries and stick to business."
- Good Times Montage: The ending montage, in which we see how all of Jake and Nog's favors have lifted the spirits of the crew (except Leeta) overlaid with Sisko's monologue about how sometimes it's the simple things that make you smile.
- Handshake Refusal: Giger refuses Jake's handshake, apparently because of germaphobia, and they seal the deal with a nod instead.
- Immortality Seeker: Giger.
- Innocuously Important Episode: The proposed non-aggression pact between Bajor and the Dominion is first brought up here. Bajor signs it in the very next episode, because Sisko convinces the Bajorans that it's the only way they'll survive.
- Lampshade Hanging: Nog points out right at the beginning that the whole situation only came up because humans inexplicably abandoned the use of currency.
- MacGuffin: The Willie Mays baseball card. Its only role in the episode is to be The Thing What Jake Wants.
- Meaningless Meaningful Words: Jake paraphrases Picard's speech about why humans don't use money, "we try to better ourselves and all of Humanity". Nog just gets confused and asks "What does that mean, exactly?"; Jake gets flustered and clearly doesn't understand it himself.
- Not So Different: Weyoun says that he and Kai Winn are more similar than she thinks. She quickly denies it.
- Only Sane Man: Nog, for once.
- Overly Prepared Gag: This exchange, as Jake tries to figure out where Giger disappeared to.Jake: Don't you see? The Vedek was bidding on that lot because there was an old Bajoran mandala in it. He must have been working for the Kai. When they lost, the Kai must have gotten angry. And we all know how dangerous she is when she's angry.
Nog: What are you saying? That in order to get the mandala she kidnapped Giger?
Jake: It all makes sense now.
Nog: Jake, I'm really starting to worry about you.
Jake: Come on.
Nog: Where're we going?
Jake: Let me introduce you to a new human expression. We're going to beard the lion in its den.
Nog: Lions, Gigers and bears.
Jake: Oh my.
- Reality Ensues: A society without money doesn't work so well when it has to negotiate with societies that do.
- What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Jake invites this trope when he first proposes the plan to Nog.Jake: How hard can that be?
- What the Hell, Hero?: Jake guilt-trips Nog into helping him. Nog sees through it immediately, but can't resist the power of Jake's ham.
- Sisko gives Jake and Nog a blistering one for accusing Kai Winn of burglary and kidnapping. Jake lying and saying that he and Nog were drunk at the time doesn't help at all.
- Willie Mays Is A Time Traveler: Jake's second attempt to explain things to Weyoun.