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Recap / Star Trek Deep Space Nine S 04 E 08 Little Green Men

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Not quite how first contact is supposed to go.

Quark receives a long-overdue gift from his cousin Gaila: a starship of his own. He and Rom decide to take Nog to Earth so he can enter Starfleet Academy, but something goes wrong with the ship and they are hurled into the past. They crash on Earth and have to figure out how to deal with the soldiers holding them and get their ship fixed so they can get home.

Tropes present in this episode:

  • Actor Allusion: Nog's pajama shirt Rom buys is the same shirt Sovak (both played by Max Grodénchik) wore back in TNG's "Captain's Holiday".
  • Aliens in Cardiff: Captain Wainwright is nonplussed to learn the Ferengi plan to invade...Cleveland.
  • Artistic License – Military: Wainwright's captain's bars are placed horizontally on his collar, rather than vertically.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Odo, who snuck onto Quark's ship and ends up helping the Ferengi escape. Quark promptly lampshades the trope.
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  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: During a conversation with the General wanting to know what Quark knows about earth.
    Quark: Baseball, root beer, darts, atom bombs.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Bashir and O'Brien's gift to Nog, a guide book on Earth, comes in handy throughout the episode.
  • Cigar Chomper: General Denning always has one in his mouth.
  • Conqueror from the Future: Quark decides to try and do this. He doesn't count on the paranoia of the military personnel.
  • Continuity Nod: While looking through historical records, Nog notes how Gabriel Bell looks a lot like Sisko. Quark shrugs it off, declaring that all humans look alike.
    • Who is the person Quark entrusts with running the bar during his absence? Morn! We already know that he will eventually inherit the bar in at least one possible future timeline.
    • Aside from atom bombs, which he'd just learned about, the things Quark knows about human culture are baseball (thanks to Sisko), darts (thanks to Bashir and O'Brien), and root beer (which came up for a scene in "The Way Of The Warrior", and which Nog ordered in "Facets").
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  • Deus ex Nukina: Quark and co. take advantage of a nearby nuclear test to power their return to the 24th century.
  • Everybody Smokes: Just about everyone on the military base does, shocking the Ferengi who have only dealt with humans in the No Smoking future and giving Quark ideas.
    Quark: If these people will buy poison, they'll buy anything!
  • General Ripper: General Denning and Captain Wainwright are convinced that the Ferengi are here to invade Earth, and will not accept any evidence to the contrary. Wainwright in particular is fairly bloodthirsty.
  • Giving Radio to the Romans: Once trapped in the past, Quark intends to do this... in exchange for as much money as he can get.
  • Hidden Depths: One of the first episodes to truly demonstrate Rom's mechanical genius, after Nog mentioned he could have been chief engineer of a starship in "Heart of Stone".
  • Honest John's Dealership: The hardass commander sizes Quark up pretty well by comparing him to his brother-in-law, a used car salesman.
  • Humans Advance Swiftly:
    • Nog points out that it took humans half as long as Ferengi to go from primitive to interstellar civilization. And the Ferengi didn't even develop warp drive, they bought it.
    • Subverted in that Quark is horrified to hear humans used nuclear fission, which almost no other species has done, and irridiated their own planet.
  • I Knew It!: In-universe, this is Captain Wainwright's reaction upon Nog "confessing" the Ferengi conquest plans.
  • I Want My Mommy!: Rom says he wants his Moogie when threatened with interrogation.
  • Loophole Abuse: Nog says that as a cadet in Starfleet, he'd be obligated to report Quark's attempt at smuggling—but since he's not at the Academy yet, he'll take ten percent.
  • Newspaper Dating: A slow pan over a calendar establishes the month as July 1947.
  • Not So Different: In a way, Worf and Nog. Worf mentions to Chief O'Brien that Ferengi don't belong in Starfleet Academy. O'Brien says people said the same thing about Klingons. Worf is then impressed by a Ferengi tooth sharpener and buys it from Nog.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • Turns out Odo didn't believe Quark was merely taking Nog to Earth. He busts him for kemocite smuggling.
    • Quark was also a bit surprised that the ship Gaila gave him was actually in pristine condition. That's a very un-Ferengi-like gift, one would have expected the cheapest old ship Gaila could find, instead. Of course, it soon turned out that the ship was sabotaged for killing Quark...
  • Reincarnation: The Ferengi afterlife apparently involves bidding for new lives.
  • Roswell That Ends Well: Turns out it was Quark, Rom, and Nog. And Odo.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Take That!: The day being saved by an atomic bomb was a minor one to True Lies. Specifically, the scene where Harry and Helen share a passionate kiss with a mushroom cloud in the background.
  • Too Good to Be True: Quark is convinced that the ship Gaila gives him must have something wrong with it, and has Rom go over it with a fine-tooth comb. He's surprised when it appears to be on the level, but it's actually been sabotaged to malfunction after the warp drive has been engaged.
  • Translation Convention: After they arrive on Earth in 1947, Quark, Rom and Nog's universal translators stop working due to the beta radiation in the atmosphere caused by atomic bomb tests. The audience still hears the three of them speaking in English when interacting with each other but they are heard speaking Ferengi when seen from the perspective of Faith Garland, Jeff Carlson, General Denning and Captain Wainwright. Similarly, when Jeff Carlson speaks to the three Ferengi, his speech is distorted to signify that they do not understand him. In spite of the distortion, however, it is still comprehensible to the audience. Rom later manages to get the universal translators working again.
  • Translator Microbes: It appears that the Ferengi universal translator takes the form of modules placed into the ear canal. Deep enough that a pin is required to hit the reset button.
  • Truth Serum: The military attempt to use sodium pentathol on Quark. Apparently it doesn't work on Ferengi, but he's only too willing to talk to stop these crazy humans jabbing him with painful needles.


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