Star Trek: Deep Space Nine “Profit and Lace” (part 6 of 6)

Cut to Nilva and the Quark-thing arriving at Quark’s bar. Nilva orders two snail steaks and asks if “Lumba” doesn’t feel like a “deviant” in clothes. Apt choice of words, Chairman. Quark says that it’s alright because underneath the clothes, he knows he’s “totally naked.” Nilva replies, “I’ll try to remember that.” And you, my friend, are a minority of one. If ten million people saw this episode, then it’s safe to say 9,999,999 of them will not try to remember that.

Nilva demands to know how allowing females to wear clothes will make him richer. Quark begins to explain as the camera tracks up and away. Cut to a reverse angle on the whole Ferengi gang eavesdropping from a balcony overhead. Leeta is exasperated, because she can’t hear anything. The Ferengi folks just shush her. I think that’s another gag about the size of Ferengi ears, inasmuch as it gives them a keen sense of hearing, but I don’t know. And truly, I do not care. So there’s one more piece of filler to toss on the crap heap that is this episode.

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Multi-Part Article: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine "Profit and Lace"
TV Show: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

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  • Rasherx

    All the empires that had existed on Earth were composed of only one race, too!

    • Soli

      Not true. The Romans may have been mostly Italian, but citizenship was more important to them than ethnicity, so people from other places could join up as well.

      And since an empire technically includes the conquered as well as the conquerers, that means there have been others.

      • JoJo

        I guess the original poster thought of “race” as in “the human race”. We are all humans after all.

  • Matt Aranson

    Wow. This is a way seriously late addition, but I just had to comment about the ‘Hydrox’ paragraph on page 2. Oreo actually was a ripoff of Hydrox. The company that made Hydrox, their only claim to fame, was so popular, that Nabisco just had to have it too, so they made Oreo, and then used their vastly superior marketing muscle to pummel Hydrox into oblivion. It’s very sad, but it was yet another example of a Goliath company heartlessly crushing its less sizeable competition only because it could. In fact, Hydrox ran ads in the final years pointing out the fact that they were THE original, but people just didn’t know by then, and Hydrox became the ‘cheap knockoff’ cookie and faded away. I’d love to see you add a comment in the article pointing out this fact :)

    Great articles by the way. Just found this site and love your writing style

  • Soli

    I suspect that the only person who can make the eye-rolling cliche of “man in drag who has other men fall for him” funny is William Shakespeare. And he succeeded because… he was Shakespeare.

    And allow me to drop an incredibly relevant Pratchett quotation: “One of the minor laws of the narrative universe is that any homely featured man who has, for some reason, to disguise himself as a woman will apparently become attractive to some otherwise perfectly sane men with, as the ancient scrolls say, hilarious results.
    In this case the laws were fighting against the fact of Corporal Nobby Nobbs, and gave up.”

    Such is the case with Quark.

  • BuddyPup

    I find this episode disappointing for a different (though related) reason. Despite all the (at times, heavy-handed) messages about equality among races, genders, creeds, etc that people in Star Trek have dealt with, they still avoided showing any kind of relationships aside from standard man-woman pairings. To watch any of the series, you’d think gay people no longer existed in the 24th century. And they had opportunities, which the producers not only ignored, but actively resisted and denied adding any gay characters (Garak and Malcolm Reed spring to mind here). So this episode not only continues that tradition, but adds insult to injury by making crude, sexist and even at time trans- and homophobic jokes, which don’t even have the saving grace of being the least bit funny.

    I guess the Federation Utopia is only for the “normals”…

    And to be fair, yes, I know the expanded universe novels will deal with this in a positive manner by adding a more diverse cast, including gay and other “non-standard” relationship models. I just think the producers were too damned chickenshit to tackle something “controversial” in a positive way on TV. And frankly, by the time DS9 and Enterprise rolled around, gays on TV weren’t that shocking anymore.

    • Muthsarah

      Out of curiosity, because I’ve heard this argument about Trek’s showrunners’ cowardly aversion to depicting any kind of homosexuality (aside from mild sweeps-friendly les-yay) – and I agree with the criticism, mind – just how common was homosexuality depicted on TV in the 90s? I can recall specific episodes of certain shows that would have a gay character show up, usually to set up a comedy of errors around a mistaken relationship with a regular cast member, but those would just be one-offs. The events in that episode would be completely forgotten about afterwards. Which, technically Trek has done before, even if they were too afraid to commit to it or even to make a deliberate “message episode” out of it.

      How many shows back then had recurring gay characters (which Garak or Reed would have been), or dealt with homosexuality on a regular basis? Before Will & Grace, obviously, whose premise was all about homosexuality, and which premiered only a year before the end of DS9.

    • AlmightyCactuscat

      Surprisingly, there’s an excellent moment of completely casual acceptance in an earlier Ferengi episode of DS9 – Rules of Acquisition, S2E7 – when Dax realises that a Ferengi named Pel is in love with Quark, without realising that Pel is female and in disguise.

      Very occasionally the writers managed to nail these understated moments where you caught a glimpse of a future with more than one orientation, before going back to the tired old state where that doesn’t actually include any of the main characters.

      (Also I realise that it’s over two years since you commented – but it’s a little highlight of DS9 for me, that does quite well to underscore your point, so this reply is here for the interest of anyone else who comes across it…)