|"The House of Quark"|
|Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode|
|Episode no.||Season 3|
|Directed by||Les Landau|
|Story by||Tom Benko|
|Teleplay by||Ronald D. Moore|
|Featured music||Richard Bellis|
|Original air date||October 10, 1994|
Set in the 24th century, the series follows the adventures on the space station Deep Space Nine near the planet Bajor. Many episodes of the series focus on alien races such as the Ferengi, a species whose culture is dedicated to the pursuit of profit, and the Klingons, whose warrior culture emphasizes honor. In this episode, the Ferengi bartender Quark accidentally kills a drunk Klingon at his bar on Deep Space Nine, and ends up forcibly married to the Klingon's widow.
This episode first aired on television on October 10, 1994.
On a slow day at Quark's bar, Quark is assaulted by Kozak, a drunk and belligerent Klingon. During the scuffle, Kozak accidentally stabs himself and dies. Quark pretends to have slain Kozak in self-defense, attracting more customers to his bar with his newfound notoriety. Soon, a Klingon named D'Ghor, claiming to be Kozak's brother, accosts Quark in private and intimidates Quark into maintaining his lie, claiming an accidental death would dishonor his family.
Kozak's widow, Grilka, visits Quark's bar, extracts the truth from him, and abducts him to the Klingon homeworld Qo'noS. Quark learns that Kozak left no male heir, leaving the House of Kozak leaderless. Had Kozak's death been ruled an accident, Grilka would have been granted special dispensation to take over the family, but because of Quark’s lies, everyone believes that Kozak died in combat. D'Ghor is not Kozak's brother, he is Kozak’s archenemy, to whom the House of Kozak is heavily in debt. In desperation, Grilka forcibly marries Quark, making him the new head of Kozak's family, which legally prevents D'Ghor from seizing her property.
After a rocky start, Quark and Grilka develop respect for one another. Quark inspects the family ledgers and discovers that for several years, D'Ghor has been using financial scams to weaken the House of Kozak's assets, which is dishonorable conduct for a Klingon. Quark exposes D'Ghor to the Klingon High Council. D'Ghor retaliates by exposing Quark's lie regarding the circumstances of Kozak's death, and challenges Quark to a duel to the death.
Quark tries to flee the planet, but Grilka guilt-trips him into staying to face D'Ghor. At the duel, Quark throws his weapon to the ground, denouncing the duel as no better than an execution, since Quark has no chance of winning and there is no honor in killing an unarmed Ferengi. D’Ghor is happy to kill Quark anyway, but Chancellor Gowron, disgusted by D'Ghor's conduct, aborts the duel and banishes D'Ghor. Gowron rules that there are enough "unusual circumstances" to grant Grilka special dispensation to lead her House in her dead husband's stead. Grilka gratefully grants Quark a divorce.
In a side plot back on Deep Space Nine, Keiko O'Brien feels bored and useless after the closure of her school. Her husband Miles advises her to focus on her botanical career instead, and convinces her to go on a research expedition to Bajor.
Production and writing
The concept for the episode started with Benko pitching an idea for Quark to get a reputation as a fighter after an altercation with a Klingon. Moore had a reputation among the writers for having a talent for Klingon episodes, after he worked on the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Sins of the Father". Finally, there was a longstanding desire to do a comedy episode with Klingons, and this was their chance.
The episode includes scenes set in the Great Hall, where the Klingon High Council meets. Producing this setting posed a budget challenge for the producer David Livingston. This was solved by building only half of the Great Hall set, and re-dressing the set between shots to show the other half of the hall.
In 2012, the episode was reviewed by Zack Handlen for The A.V. Club, who found it surprisingly well-written for an episode focusing on Quark.Keith R.A. DeCandido, reviewing the episode for Tor.com in 2013, gave the episode a rating of 9 out of 10, describing it as both "a good Ferengi episode" and "a good Klingon episode", with good intrigue and love stories.
In To Boldly Go: Essays on Gender and Identity in the Star Trek Universe, Zara T. Wilkinson praises the marriage of Miles and Keiko O'Brien as a well-written depiction of a healthy relationship, citing the O'Brien subplot in this episode as an example.
Home media release
The episode was released on June 3, 2003 in North America as part of the season 3 DVD box set. This episode was released in 2017 on DVD with the complete series box set, which had 176 episodes on 48 discs.
- DeCandido, Keith R. A. (2013-10-25). "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: "The House of Quark"". Tor.com. Retrieved 2021-06-25.
- Erdmann, Terry J.; Block, Paula M. (2000). Deep Space Nine Companion. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-0-671-50106-8.
- "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: "The House Of Quark"/"Equilibrium"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2021-02-19.
- Farghaly, Nadine; Bacon, Simon (2017-05-31). To Boldly Go: Essays on Gender and Identity in the Star Trek Universe. McFarland. ISBN 9781476668536.
- "TrekToday - DS9 Season 3 DVD Details Released". Retrieved 2021-02-19.
- Staff, TrekNews net (2017-02-10). "[REVIEW] Deep Space Nine Complete Series DVD Box Set". TREKNEWS.NET. Retrieved 2021-02-19.
- "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Vol. 3.2 - The House of Quark/Equilibr". www.videocollector.co.uk. Retrieved 2021-02-19.
- "LaserDisc Database - Star Trek DS9 #049/50: the House of Quark/Equilibrium [LV 40510-449]". www.lddb.com. Retrieved 2021-02-19.
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