Rewatch · Star Trek · Television shows · tv reviews

The Rewatch 214: The Nagus

Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (DS9)
Episode: 1:11 The Nagus (0215/1993)
Rating: 3/5
Redshirt Status: 0/1

Notable Guest Stars:
Max Grodenchik (Rom) – Grodenchik has played several Ferengi characters over the years, but his most lasting and most known role is that of Rom, Quark’s brother.

Aron Eisenberg (Nog) – Aron Eisenberg makes his first appearance as Rom’s son Nog in this episode.  Nog has one of the best storylines in the series, so pay attention to this character (and actor)

Wallace Shawn (Grand Nagus Zek) – Wallace Shawn of “Never fight with a Sicilian When Death is on the line!” fame has been one of my favorite guest actors.  I love him as Zek, and I also loved his roles in the aforementioned Princess Bride,  as well as Clueless and Crossing Jordan where he plays the titular character’s therapist for a few seasons.

Lee Arenberg (Gral) – Lee Arenberg more recently might recongised as Grumpy, from Once Upon a Time and as a member of Black Pearl’s crew in Pirates of the Caribbean.

Lou Wagner (Krax) – Lou Wagner has already graced our screen as Daimon Solok.

Barry Gordon (Nava)- Gordon was a actor, Talk show host, and SAG president from 1988-1995 (which would mean as this episode was made and aired).  He also did voice acting, and therefore part of my first fandom obsession:  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  He did the voice of Donatello.  He has been acting since he was three years old and continues to be active in the field.

Tiny Ron Taylor (Maihar’du) – Taylor will also appear on Star Trek Voyager.  He tends to be typecast due to his very tall height of 7 feet.  He was also a professional basketball player, even playing on the rarely known Pittsburgh Condors.  Well, that may be because they only lasted about five years.  Unfortunately, he died in 2019.

Review:

I find the Nagus, or at least this particular Nagus, to be pretty hilarious.  Wallace Shawn is always great to see on screen.  The Ferengi Culture is sometimes hard to accept, but it makes it easier having a few laughts while you watch.

In this episode the Grand Nagus decides to retire and hands the reigns over to Quark.  Quark likes the position but isn’t very sure of himself.  Hijinks ensue.  It’s a humorous and a good episode for Ferengi backstory. 

I do have to wonder though, as the B plot is that Nog doesn’t know how to read, so Jake starts teaching him.  While it shows the strength of the friendship they are developing and Jake’s character I don’t understand why Nog wouldn’t know how to read.

Ferengi culture is all about profits for oneself, so education seems like it would be a profitable choice to make.  The arguments about who the teacher was make more sense then that Nog wouldn’t know how to read or have a basic education at this point.  Keiko has been teaching these courses for a while now and I think she would have caught on by now.

Also I forgot going into this that Rom tries to kill his brother twice.  Quark is impressed but it kind of changes how I see him as a character.

Interesting Notes:

  • Written by David Livingston (Story) and Ira Steven Behr (Teleplay).  Livingston gives most of the credit to Behr, as his idea only slightly appears in the final version.
  •  Directed by David Livingston
  • This is the first time we really go exploring Ferangi culture.  Also, the first appearance of the Grand Nagus in person and the Rules of Acquisition.
  • This episode was slightly inspired by the Godfather, and in fact does an homage to the film.
  • According to Memory Alpha the word “Nagus” comes from the word “Negus” and he cited it as an Indian word but when I googled it what I could find was the term being used for King in Abyssinia/Ethiopia which is an African country not an Indian one.  And there appears to be some debate on the cultural use of it if this opinion article is anything to go by.  For context it appears to be written in 2016, so roughly 6 years ago.  I also found that it is a Hindi word for a special drink.  I suppose he could have meant that, but the comment I was reading implied otherwise.  Thoughts?

Pros

  • Wallace Shawn is always a point in the pro column
  • Godfather homages

Cons:

  • There are a few inconsistences I can’t figure out in regards to Ferangi culture.  Nog should know how to read, for example.

Screencap via CygnusX1.net

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