Deep Space Nine: s04 e25 – Body Parts

This is not what this episode is about

As you know by now, there’s this thing between me and Quark-episodes. I just don’t respond to them, so it doesn’t really matter how good or otherwise they are, I do not have enough interest to grade them.

According to the programme itself, ”Body Parts’ shows how deep and complex a character Quark is, and examines him as to his moral principles and self-examination. According to me, Quark is about as deep as a dried-up puddle, the worst kind of comic relief character, i.e., he isn’t remotely funny, and the story was a complete miss.

For form’s sale, I’ll outline it. Quark is diagnosed as having a rare and fatal Ferenghi disease. In order to raise money to pay off his debts, he sells his vacuum-dessicated body for 500 bars of latinum, a secret purchase by his archenemy,  Brunt, FCA. But by the time Brunt arrives to claim his merchandise, Quark has found out he was misdiagnosed and isn’t dying after all. Brunt, who despises Quark for his un-Ferenghi ways, insists on his goods. Quark hires Garak to kill him (a ‘plot-twist’ that’s left dangling by the crappy and seriously twee ending) but decides he wants to live. So he breaks the contract, causing himself to undergo complete confiscation of assets, not only for himself but his entire family but, in an ending that ignores every implication of the plot in favour of tugging at your heart-strings in the hope that whilst sobbing into whatever strong drink you’re consuming just to get through this heap of tat your brain will be on vacation, all Quark’s ‘friends’ drop by to restock the entire bar with stuff they just happen to need to story somewhere convenient, leaving the Ferenghi businessman speechless at generosity of a kind that, as a determined Ferenghi businessman, he spits on with disgust.

I’m not even going to pick this apart. It’s a crappy idea centred on a crappy characters and written so as to avoid any of the logic of the situation it sets up. It diskards it.

There is a perfunctory B story, forced upon the series by events, namely Nana Visitor’s rapidly advancing pregnancy. Ms Visitor was now at the point where either Kira had to become pregnant or she wouldn’t be filmed below the neck. Fortuitously, Keiko O’Brien was pregnant, so ingeniously the pair and Bashir are off on a brief Gamma Quadrant mission, during which there’s an explosion that injures Keiko, enough so that to save the baby, the Doctor has to transplant him from Keiko’s womb to Kira’s.

From where, Bajoran pregnancies only lasting five months, it can’t be re-transplanted.

It’s a clever device to incorporate Ms Visitor’s real-life enceinment, though given that this is the penultimate episode of season 4, I was unsure as to its necessity. I assume the pregnancy would overlap the start of season 5, in which case it makes more sense. It’s also an intriguing situation, one pregnant (heh heh) with human possibilities, as Keiko suffers from losing her baby to another woman, but the notion deserved more space than that allotted to it as padding in an otherwise turgid affair.

Next week, another season finale. It has to be better than this snorer.


4 thoughts on “Deep Space Nine: s04 e25 – Body Parts

  1. I think there is a lot more to Quark, than you give credit for and there has a been a development of his character, from hardcore Ferengi to encompassing more human traits. That’s one of the better perspectives at looking at the episode.
    That said, this episode for me falls into the average at best, even with the talented Jeffrey Combs. Though Jammer gave it a 3 out of 4, I don’t remember being that overly impressed. He viewed this as a turning point in Quark’s character and the events of the episode would have an impact upon follow up appearances. Off hand I would assume Quark wouldn’t be totally changed and the next episode would have some shenanigans, but I can’t be for certain.

  2. I’m afraid I’m too far gone with Quark by now. If he does start to grow as a character in future seasons, I’ll be as fair to him as I can be, but the drawback to the Quarks of this world is that the moment you turn them into a two-note character, what they are created to be vanishes like an exploded bubble.

    1. You’re right to a degree, as we’ve discussed previous, they turned the Ferengi into comedic fodder and most of the time it doesn’t wind up as very strong episodes. Granted I like comedy episodes, as part of well balanced Trek with action, drama, suspense and character/world building exercises.
      If you look backward at the whole, you do see some elements of the change in Quark so far. And rereading summaries/reviews, Brunt hit upon the conflict inside Quark, of trying to be such a great Ferengi, yet has a softer spot, paying vacations for employees that seems to be corrupted being in the influence of the Federation.

  3. Ah, now you’re getting objective on me!
    What Brunt draws attention to is true, but on the other hand the message is tainted by a) coming from such an obnoxious, slimy git as Brunt and b) the presence of Rom as an even less ideal Ferenghi backlighting Quark as an extreme. And overarching everything is the simple fact that, after four seasons, I CAN’T STAND QUARK! And I don’t care if his character develops, because there are no elements in his character that appeal to begin with. To me.

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