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Recap / Star Trek: Deep Space Nine S06 E23 "Profit and Lace"

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Butter Face doesn't even begin to cover this...

After adding a new amendment that permits females to wear clothes, Zek is deposed as Nagus and replaced by Brunt. And he and Quark devise a plan to sway a powerful Ferengi businessman: Quark's mother, Ishka, will prove to him that females can be just as shrewd as males, and thus giving them equal rights will be good for the economy. Too bad Ishka has a heart attack while getting into a screaming argument with Quark, forcing them to find a new, very offensive plan involving Quark, a dress, and radical surgery.



  • Acceptable Professional Targets: The scene with Quark, Rom, and Nog contacting all of Grand Nagus Zek's associates is essentially a spoof on telemarketing.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Despite spending much of the episode as a woman, Quark doesn't seem to be enlightened by the experience. This was a huge part of why Armin Shimerman hated this episode.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Zek describes Quark in such terms.
  • Brand X: Slug-o-Cola, the slimiest cola in the galaxy.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Brunt spends the episode gloating to Quark and company on Deep Space Nine, even though he should be on Ferenginar, because he's expected to become Nagus in less than two days.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Zek admits it was a stupid move to give Brunt his job back.
  • Disguised in Drag: Quark.
  • Easy Sex Change: Apparently you can get gender reassignment surgery in an outpatient visit, and swap back just as quickly. The hormones are a bit tricky, however; after switching back Quark's have yet to balance out and he ends up giving Odo a tearful hug.
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  • Even Quark Loves His Moogie: He takes great offense to one person's comments while trying to find allies for Zek.
    Quark: That "female" happens to be my mother!
  • Hollywood Heart Attack: Ishka collapses while arguing with Quark.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • Worf. As Strategic Operations Officer, he should have appreciated the consequences if the Dominion invaded Ferenginar. Seizing an economic powerhouse would likely help the Dominion rebuild their forces or buy peace. Instead, he brushes it off as unimportant, though this is likely due to irritation at Quark and Rom and/or Rule of Funny.
    • Quark gets his own turn at the beginning, when he attempts to extort the Ferengi equivalent of a handjob from an employee under threat of firing her, after making it clear that said employee is a significant asset to Quark's business - she gets along with the other staff, likes her job and is popular with the customers. Usually Quark is a lot better at thinking with the correct head. Doesn't hurt that Sisko explicitly forbade him from doing exactly this back in season one...
  • Insistent Terminology: It's not "Grand Nagus Brunt", it's "Acting Grand Nagus Brunt"!
  • Larynx Dissonance: Quark has trouble sounding feminine.
  • Mandatory Line: The scene where Quark and Rom speak to the DS9 crew at Ops is done solely to provide the non-Ferengi characters their screentime. Dr. Bashir gets his mandatory line after operating on Ishka, since Alexander Siddig was directing the episode, too.
  • Mood Whiplash: Goes from cross-dressing comedy to discussing the rights of women and back to comedy. This was aggravated by Alexander Siddig's direction, since he was under the impression that the piece would work better as a drama and so a number of scenes were shot to play up the dramatic side rather than be funny.
  • Parental Favoritism: Ishka prefers Rom to Quark.
    Rom: Moogie! I was so worried.
    Ishka: You're a good son.
    Quark: I was worried too.
    Ishka: And you're a good liar.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Ishka convinces Zek to promote female rights by pointing out their untapped economic potential.
    Zek: Face it, Quark. It's good business. For thousands of years, Ferenginar has allowed a valuable resource to go to waste.
    Quark: Females? A valuable resource?
    Zek: They make up 53.5% of the population and contribute virtually nothing to gross planetary income. I say it's time they started pulling their own weight!
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Rom has apparently put some thought into how a Ferengi man should walk while imitating a woman. This comes completely out of left field for him; even Leeta seems kind of weirded out by it.
  • Running Gag: "Acting Grand Nagus!"
  • Series Continuity Error: Ben Sisko flatly banned Quark from using Sexual Extortion on his female employees way back in season one. Though it's possible the employee in that episode was the only one brave enough to complain.
  • Sexual Extortion: Quark suggests Aluura should should read Oo-mox for Fun and Profit if she wants to keep her job.
  • Ungrateful Bitch: Ishka. Barely half a season ago, Quark risked his life to rescue her from the Dominion. Now, she's gone back to chastising him.


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