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Recap / Star Trek Deep Space Nine S 05 E 25 In The Cards

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Jake: I'm not crazy... I'm just a little obsessed.
Nog: A little?

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ds9_inthecards_363.jpg
The ultimate "Jake & Nog get into all sorts of wacky hijinks" episode.
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 (especially since Kai Winn is stopping by). 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.
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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.

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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 a Federation citizen and a Starfleet cadet, 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.

Until next week...


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This episode contains examples of

  • The 47 Society: While the number isn't mentioned, Lot Forty-Seven is the item that's being bid on when we get to the auction.
  • A Day in the Limelight: For Jake and Nog, of course.
  • Accidental Truth: Nog definitely doesn't hide his latinum under his bed as Quark jokingly says.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Kai Winn asks Sisko if the Federation would defend Bajor over Andor, Vulcan, or Earth. Sisko admits that he can't make that promise.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Interruption: Nog tells Jake that he's too fixed on the card, and that needs to get away and clear his head. They're instantly beamed onto Weyoun's ship.
  • 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 "we work to better ourselves."note 
    • And to "Rapture," when Kai Winn reminds Sisko of how he blocked Bajor's entry into The Federation.
    • Bashir wants Jake and Nog to get back "Kukulaka", his childhood teddy bear from ex-girlfriend Leeta. Bashir first mentions "Kukalaka" in "The Quickening".
  • 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.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Morn can be seen walking out of the auction with a matador painting, which would reappear in "Who Mourns For Morn?".
  • Continuity Nod: Giger's working with polaric particles? No wonder Weyoun's so antsy.
  • Determinator: Jake is going to get that card, no matter how much trouble Nog has to get in to do it!
  • Dispense with the Pleasantries: Sisko tells Weyoun to can his Affably Evil act.
    Weyoun: Captain Sisko, I can't tell you how happy I am to see you again.
    Sisko: I wish I could say the same.
    Weyoun: How delightful. You feel comfortable enough around me to make jokes. I'm so pleased to see our relationship evolving beyond the stale adversarial stage.
    Sisko: No, it's not, but 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.
    Weyoun: I can't tell you how it pains me to hear you say that, Captain. You see, I really like Deep Space Nine and I like you. And after this meeting with Kai Winn, I think you and I will be seeing a lot more of each other.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Even a self-obsessed manipulator like Winn finds Weyoun annoying. Especially when he tries claiming that they're Not So Different.
  • Fascinating Eyebrow: Jake, while questioning Giger's theory that death is the result of cellular boredom.
  • From Bad to Worse: As if Sisko's day didn't already suck, Kai Winn decides to visit.
  • 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.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: While working on a speech for Kira, Jake makes a joke about water reclamation being treated as a dry subject. Nog isn't impressed.
  • 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.
  • Little "No": When Jake tries the same line on Bashir that Nog used on O'Brien, Bashir replies with a short, flat "No." Turns out this is the first time he's had in weeks to make some headway in his own research. Nog takes over the conversation from there.
  • 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 from First Contact, "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.
    "It means...it means we don't need money."
  • Not So Different: Weyoun says that he and Kai Winn are more similar than she thinks. She quickly denies it.
  • Not What It Looks Like: When Jake tries to explain the situation to Weyoun, Weyoun points out that Giger has been running equipment with highly charged polarized particles below Weyoun's quarters, that Jake and Nog have been visiting him, that they've also been having little meetings with the station's senior staff, and that they met with Kai Winn.
  • Only Sane Man: Nog, for once.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: A rare moment of Kai Winn being in no mood to bitch at Sisko, instead genuinely wanting his advice regarding a non-aggression pact with the Dominion.
  • 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.
  • The Paranoiac: Giger is constantly worried about the "soulless minions of orthodoxy."
  • Parrot Expo-WHAT?:
    Nog: Maybe the soulless minions of orthodoxy have finally caught up with [Giger]!
    Odo: The who?
    Jake: We don't know who they are, but they were after Doctor Giger's Cellular Regeneration and Entertainment Chamber.
    Odo: The what?
  • Pet the Dog: Weyoun giving Jake and Nog the baseball card in the end.
  • Reality Ensues: A society that does not use money doesn't work so well when it has to negotiate with societies that do. This causes problems for Jake as the auction requires latinum that he doesn't have. It also means that Jake grew up not understanding the value of money, as demonstrated when he wagers all of Nog's life savings on the baseball card.
  • Series Continuity Error: "Body Parts" established the conversion rate between denominations of latinum. One bar is equal to twenty strips. During the auction, Quark raises the bid to one bar, twenty-five strips without going to two bars.
  • Something Completely Different: A rare example of a goofy A-plot and a serious B-plot.
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: Sisko disciplining Jake and Nog for what they said to Winn.
    "You both are confined to quarters until further notice. DISMISSED!!"
  • Think of the Children!: Quark says this to encourage bidding in an auction where the proceeds go to Bajoran war orphans (minus a modest commission for himself, of course).
  • Whammy Bid: As Giger starts outbidding the two, Jake bids four bars of latinum, which, remember, is nearly all of Nog's life savings. Giger bids ten bars to put an end to it.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Jake invites this trope when he first proposes the plan to Nog.
    Jake: How hard can that be?
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Kai Winn is the one conducting negotiations with Weyoun—although Shakaar is mentioned, she's basically treated as though she's in his job.
  • 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.
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