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Recap / Star Trek Deep Space Nine S 05 E 09 The Ascent

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The start of the world's most spiteful mountain climb.
Odo arrests Quark, but while transporting him to trial in a runabout they crash land on a deserted planet and are forced to depend on each other to survive and call for help. Meanwhile, Nog returns to the station. Jake moves out of Ben's quarters so he and Nog can be roommates, but Starfleet Academy has changed Nog and things don't go as smoothly as they had hoped.

Tropes Associated with this Episode

  • Call-Back: A couple.
    • Quark offers to teach Odo how to play Fizzbin.
    • The title of one of Jake's stories is Past Prologue.
  • Cassandra Truth: Given how Quark is known for complaining about any little detail, it takes Odo several minutes to realize that there is a buzzing sound on the runabout which isn't part of any onboard equipment.
  • Coming in Hot: Another runabout bites the dust. Subverted in that the Rio Grande is apparently salvaged and repaired afterwards, thanks to the writers forgetting that it was meant to have been destroyed in this episode; fortunately, it was shown to have landed reasonably intact, thus at least putting repairs within the realm of plausibility.
  • Conveniently Close Planet: The L-class planet that Quark and Odo crash on.
    Quark: How close?
    Odo: Close enough. I hope.
  • Determinator:
    • Quark, against all odds (and Odo's expectations), manages to lug the transmitter high enough to contact the Defiant. Even better, he made a fair bit of this progress while dragging Odo along as dead weight.
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    • When Quark is all but ready to lay down and die, Odo starts trying to push the transmitter up the mountain while unable to stand due to a broken leg. This display (and the realization that if he dies, Rom will inherit the bar and Nog will continue to be "corrupted" by the Federation) is enough to rouse Quark into action.
  • Distinction Without a Difference: Nog suggests that he and Jake take turns cleaning their quarters on odd and even days...
    Jake: We're going to clean every day?
    Nog: No, just the odd and even ones.
  • The Dreaded: Even Odo is wary of the Orion Syndicate, saying that if Quark had been a member, Odo wouldn't be transporting him to trial on a runabout alone, but rather, would be bringing him on the Defiant with half of Odo's deputies as guards.
  • Due to the Dead: Believing that Quark has died and that he is soon to follow, Odo takes the time in his last log entry to suggest that whoever finds them vacuum desiccate and auction off Quark's remains, in accordance with Ferengi tradition (though, true to form, Odo vocally doubts that they'd be worth much), while asking that he himself be cremated and sent back through the wormhole to return from whence he came.
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  • "Everybody Laughs" Ending: Odo and Quark find it in themselves to laugh about the whole unpleasant experience, especially after they both admitted that in their trading of insults in the middle of the episode, they both meant everything they said.
  • Grammar Nazi: While tidying up, Nog edited one of Jake's stories for grammar and spelling. Jake, like any writer, is aghast that Nog dared to change what he wrote.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: When the injured Odo tells Quark to go on without him, Quark responds that he's bringing Odo as "emergency rations". Also works as a Mythology Gag to the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, when the Ferengi were implied to be cannibals.
  • Neat Freak: Starfleet discipline has turned Nog into one; he insists that he and Jake clean their quarters daily, and puts his own father on report for keeping a sloppy tool kit.
  • Not Himself: Played for laughs with Jake surprised Starfleet has turned Nog into a rule-abiding neat freak which annoys him to no end. Meanwhile, Rom is so worried about his son's new attitude that he actually draws blood to make sure Nog isn't a Changeling.
  • Odd Couple: Jake, the laid back slob. And Nog, the stuck up Starfleet cadet.
  • Oh, Crap!: Quark and Odo get two major ones: when they find the bomb on the runabout, and when they see exactly how high they'll have to climb to call for help.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Several days of each others' company, with little food and nothing to do but climb the mountain and dwell on their miserable circumstances, gets the better of Quark and Odo about halfway through the episode. They snarl insults at each other before getting into a fight that ends with Odo breaking his leg and making their situation even worse.
    Odo: What do you hate?
    Quark: You.
    Odo: Well, that's fine with me, because I hate you, too. You're nothing but a petty thief.
    Quark: You're an arrogant prude!
    Odo: Lecher!
    Quark: Freak!
    Odo: FRAUD!
    Quark: FASCIST!
    Odo: FAILURE!
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Odo likes to read trashy romance novels. He claims they help him gain insight into crimes of passion. Quark doesn't buy it, and semi-seriously offers to loan him an erotic novel.
  • Roommate Drama: Jake and Nog, now a Starfleet Cadet, are forced to room together. Nog is now an overachiever and a neat freak, Jake is a laid back slob. They come to a resolution because there are no other quarters unless they move back in with their fathers.
  • Somebody Set Up Us the Bomb: The Orion Syndicate set up Quark and Odo's runabout the bomb, setting up the A-plot.
  • Stunned Silence: Quark leaves Odo at a loss for words with this exchange.
    Odo: Well, I guess you're not as successful a businessman as you think you are.
    Quark: Which means you spent the last ten years of your life trying to catch a nobody – with little success, I might add. So you tell me, which one of us is the bigger failure?
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: The only thing keeping Odo and Quark going is the idea of dying together.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Quark has a resigned response to seeing the bomb on the runabout, knowing what he and Odo are in for.
    Quark: Don't tell me, let me guess...
    Odo: It's a bomb.
  • Video Will: Odo sardonically dictates his will on his combadge near the end when it seems like Quark has failed. He requests that his ashes be placed in his bucket and shot through the wormhole so at least he'll end up where he started, and that Quark's remains should be auctioned off as per Ferengi tradition. "I doubt they'll be worth much!"

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