‘Rules of Acquisition’ (DS9) (TV)



Please feel free to comment on my review.

It’s time for another Ferengi episode in the ‘DS9’ series. It’s essentially a comedic episode, but it also features the first mention of something significant in the ‘DS9’ series. I will elaborate what that is later.

Anyway, this episode features the return of Wallace Shawn as Grand Nagus Zek who made his debut in the Season 1 episode ‘The Nagus’. He’s come back to DS9 to give Quark a huge business opportunity.

Zek is planning to continue establishing a Ferengi business presence in the Gamma Quadrant. He tells Quark that he wishes to purchase a large amount of tulaberry wine from an alien race called…the Dosi.

While Quark is dubious about Zek’s intentions, he nevertheless agrees as he can’t resist a business opportunity like this. He asks one of his waiters, Helene Udy as Pel, to help him during the negotiations.

Max Grodénchik as Rom, Quark’s brother is rather jealous of Pel. Both Quark and this new Ferengi waiter get on well with each other, often quoting numerous rules of acquisition throughout this story.

Yeah, this episode lives up to its title. We often hear Quark and Pel quoting many Ferengi rules of acquisition when doing business deals with the Dosi. I can’t list them all during my review of this story.

But like I said, Pel seems to be rivalling for Quark’s approval, much to Rom’s annoyance and jealously. But it turns out Pel isn’t who he seems. Pel turns out to be…a Ferengi female with false ears and boobs.

As established in the ‘TNG’ series, Ferengi females aren’t allowed to wear clothes or to earn money. They aren’t even allowed to leave Ferenginar. Therefore, Pel has to keep her female identity a secret.

Despite this, Pel proves to be a valuable assistant to Quark when meeting the Dosi during negotiations. This is in spite of the fact the Dosi are very difficult people once it comes to making bargains and deals.

The make-up design for the Dosi is interesting. They have a mixture of red and white skin that’s almost African-like. Despite having a Ferengi-like desire for profit, the Dosi also have Klingon-like tempers. 😀

Zek keeps changing the deal too which doesn’t help Quark’s negotiations with the Dosi. First, he wants 10,000 vats of wine then changes his mind to want 100,000 vats. Very soon, the Dosi leave the station.

As Zek is furious with Quark, Pel steps in and informs Zek that ‘he’ and Quark will follow the Dosi back to their homeworld to the Gamma Quadrant to get the contract. Zek adheres to let them take his ship

On the Dosi homeworld, Quark and Pel still struggle to get what Zek wants from the Dosi they’re negotiating with. Pel also becomes romantically interested in Quark which makes him uncomfortable.

They’re soon told by another Dosi that the entire planet can’t offer what Zek wants as they don’t have 100,000 vats of tulaberry wine. But she offers to put them into contact with those that can provide it.

The contact happens to be a race called the Karemma who happen to be a powerful member of the Dominion. The Dominion are the significant thing in the DS9 series I mentioned earlier. What are they?

That’s for another time. But once Quark and Pel hear the name, Quark deduces that Zek’s true intentions are to try and learn more about the Dominion. The two Ferengi head their way back to DS9.

Once back, Quark shares what he knows about the Dominion to Zek. Zek offers Quark the chance of a lifetime to make business in the Gamma Quadrant. Something that Quark is really looking forward to.

Sadly, Pel’s true identity gets revealed in the episode. Whilst Quark and Pel were gone, Rom went through Pel’s quarters to expose her. He tells Quark before his brother faints in the bar on hearing this.

Once recovered, Quark tries to keep Pel’s identity still a secret and orders Rom not to tell anyone, knowing his own career is at risk. But Pel reveals her identity to Zek, to which Zek gets totally horrified.

Quark manages to persuade Zek not to expose him and Pel by throwing them in prison as he points out he did business with Pel too. Quark and Zek keep it a secret and Pel heads to the Gamma Quadrant.

‘Rules of Acquisition’ is okay as a ‘DS9’ episode. I’m not one for Ferengi episodes but I appreciate the issue of Ferengi women addressed here and it was worth it to hear the Dominion get mentioned here.

‘Rules of Acquisition’ (DS9) rating – 7/10

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