‘BAR ASSOCIATION’ (DS9)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
This ‘DS9’ episode is directed by LeVar Burton. It features some significant character development for Rom, Quark’s brother in the TV series. There’s also a significant character development for Worf.
In the episode, Max Grodénchik as Rom collapses whilst working at Quark’s bar from an ear infection. Whilst Chase Masterson as Leeta is concerned for Rom, Quark isn’t very bothered about it.
Quark even says he’s going to dock Rom’s pay. Wow! Quark’s a jerk in this episode. He’s not a very good employer when even his brother Rom is sick. Quark should have some better job management.
At the infirmary, Bashir is equally outraged that Quark refuses to let his employees have sick leave. He casually suggests that Rom should have a union. But even that gets forbidden is Ferengi customs!
Once Rom returns to work, Quark announces that he’s cutting the salaries of his employees. This is due to declining profits. No-one goes to Quark’s during the month-long Bajoran festival of cleansing.
Rom gets angry with his brother for mistreating him and the other members of staff at the bar. Soon, Rom calls for a secret meeting where he persuades Quark’s employees to form a union here. 🙂
Inspired by Chief O’Brien’s tales of his union-leader ancestor Sean O’Brien, Rom writes the demands for Quark to treat his staff more fairly. It includes increased pay, shorter hours, paid sick leave, etc. 🙂
Once Quark laughs these requests off, Rom declares that his new union is now on strike. Quark is still laughing before he realises what’s happening. I’m very sure Quark did not expect this to happen.
Rom and the union pay customers to stay out of Quark’s bar whilst the strike is on. The bar is practically deserted as Quark has holographic waiter versions of himself being tested to serve tables.
It goes out of hand when Worf, O’Brien and Bashir get wound up in a brawl over a difference of opinion on the issue. Sisko sees them in the brig and he agrees to let them out until next morning. 😀
Sisko later meets up with Quark himself, threatening to collect his back rent for the bar if the strike doesn’t end soon. Quark tries to offer a bribe to Rom, but Rom refuses, quoting something from Marx.
This is an intriguing character development on Rom’s part as he’s no longer being belittled by his brother anymore. Rom stands up for himself against Quark and his really traditional Ferengi ideals. 🙂
Later on, Jeffrey Combs as Liquidator Brunt, who was in ‘Family Business’, comes to see Quark about this certain strike issue caused by Rom’s union. How he got wind of this certain news, I have no idea.
Brunt promises Quark that he will put an end to the strike by any means necessary. He even has two Nausicaans joining him. They crash a union meeting and threaten the Ferengi workers in their strike.
Despite Brunt’s threats, Rom inspires the other workers once again to keep going in getting their demands met. Most of the workers, except for one Ferengi, rededicate themselves for Rom’s strike.
I like how Rom seems to have formed a close bond with Leeta, who is one of Quark’s dabo girls. Although she’s dating Dr. Bashir, she does seem rather sweet on Rom and she even gives him a kiss.
Quark once again tries to talk to Rom in giving up this strike he’s holding. Quark tries to express how worried he is about what the Ferengi Commerce Authority will do to Rom. But Rom refuses to listen.
Eventually, Brunt has his Nausicaan thugs beat up Quark even though we never see it. In the infirmary, a wounded Quark agrees to secretly honour the strikers’ demands if Rom stops the union.
Thankfully, everyone returns to work with their demands met. Rom meanwhile quite his job at the bar and works for the station as a junior repair technician. Rom is now a paying customer at Quark’s.
Meanwhile, Worf is uncomfortable with the chaos of having to live on DS9. He soon moves his quarters to the Defiant. But even Jadzia tells Worf that he will still have to work on the space station.
‘Bar Association’ is an enjoyable episode featuring Rom’s character development and when he and Quark’s workers go on strike. It’s interesting how this strike issue is satisfactorily resolved in the tale.
‘Bar Association’ (DS9) rating – 8/10
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