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Star Trek DS9 - Season 2 - Episode 18

Star Trek DS9 - 2x18 - Profit and Loss

Originally Aired: 1994-3-20

When Quark is reunited with the love of his life, a Cardassian who is now a fugitive, he is ready to sacrifice everything to win her back. [DVD]

My Rating - 6

Fan Rating Average - 5.51

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# Votes: 11 3 4 2 13 7 22 22 10 10 3

Filler Quotient: 1, partial filler, but has important continuity. I recommend against skipping this one.
- Garak's conversation with Toran firmly establishes that Garak was exiled from Cardassia.



Remarkable Scenes
- Garak continuing to avoid Bashir's inquiries into the truth about Garak's past.
- Garak's meeting with Quark.
- Sisko accusing Garak of being more than "just a simple tailor."
- Natima shooting Quark.
- Natima: "Oh Quark. I've always loved you! Even when I hated you!"
- Sisko being forced by the Bajorans to turn over their Cardassian guests.
- Garak's conversation with Toran.
- Quark begging Odo to let Natima and the others go.
- Garak confronting Quark, Natima, and the others during their escape.
- Garak killing Toran.
- Rules of Acquisition; 223. (Quark is interrupted before he can cite it.)
- Morn appearances; 1. At the bar in the scene where Odo confronts Quark about the prospect of Quark procuring a cloaking device.

My Review
This is a very strange and entertaining episode with regards to Quark. It's difficult to accept Quark actually fell in true love with Natima to the point where profit (almost?) stopped mattering. But that's what fuels the greatness of this rather unusual story because as unbelievable in theory it is, it is portrayed absolutely convincingly. The story portrays two parallel plots; Quark's love for Natima and Garak's love for the state which exiled him. Garak's presence always enhances an episode; the combination of Quark's unusual behavior and Garak's involvement make this rather dry plot quite a bit better than it should have been.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From djb on 2009-02-27 at 10:31pm:
    This episode was supremely well-written and well-acted. Garak is a great character; it's good to learn more about him. Also great to get some more depth to Quark's character. Also, this episode seemed to go on much longer than 42 minutes, in a good way. I love it when I get so interested and involved with a story that I lose proper sense of time!

    I give it a 9.
  • From Mark McC on 2009-04-26 at 11:45pm:
    I really disliked this one. It's yet another case of "let's write an episode where x falls in love". Trek handles romance so much better when it does it low-key and over a longer time, such as the mostly unspoken romance between Picard and Crusher, or even Odo's feelings for Kira.

    Even episodes that do have characters falling head-over-heels in love with the alien of the week usually aren't as full of painfully overlong embraces and clich├ęd pulp fiction dialogue as this one. Much as I like Quark as a character and think Armin Shimerman does a great job playing him, I just didn't get a sense of any real spark between him and the Cardassian guest star.

    As with a lot of episodes in this season the presence of Garak makes up for the failings of the main story.
  • From Bernard on 2011-03-29 at 8:39am:
    I really enjoyed this episode and that's no small thanks to the talents of Armin Shimerman and Andrew J. Robinson plus the writing of their respective characters.

    In the hosts review the finger is pointed at how acceptable it is for Quark to forget about profit.. well there are many examples of this over the series. That is the beauty of the character, that if you burrow down deep enough beneath the surface there is quite an un-ferengi like person. Take his actions during the occupation for example, not mercenary but almost charitable. He does it again during the dominion occupation of the station in season six. what I'm trying to say is that he is complex and it is no more ridiculous than any 'lover of the week' storyline that Trek gives us.
  • From Abigail on 2019-09-25 at 5:34pm:
    I found it odd that Garak killed someone at the end, and we just all rolled along without worrying about it. It's okay to just kill someone??? Am I supposed to assume that no one knows that happened? Wouldn't an alarm go off with him having fired a phaser on kill? Or, if nothing else, the Cardassians would notice that one of their officers was missing, never to be seen again?

    I also felt like Garak had a pretty abrupt change of heart from wanting to do whatever it took to be removed from exile to wanting to do what's best for Cardassia because Cardassia is his "true love". It wasn't the most believable shift.

    Besides that, I really liked the episode. Good storyline, great character development for Garak and Quark both.

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