Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 6 Episode 23

Profit and Lace

Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM May 13, 1998 on Syndicado
out of 10
User Rating
133 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Stardate: Unknown

Thanks to his relationship with Quark and Rom's mother Ishka, Grand Nagus Zek announces that he will allow equal rights for women on Ferenginar. When Ishka has a heart attack, Quark poses as a convincing female in order to let the law pass.moreless

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  • Quark in Drag

    It's a Ferengi farce (not to be confused with "Profit and Loss") with DS9's Ferengis joined by Ex-Grand Nagus Zek, Quark's mom, and Acting Grand Nagus Brunt (FCA). Using the multiple characters, director Siddig cuts a swift pace with snappy dialogue and plot points thrown out fast and furious. It all leads to Quark in drag, which, as it happens, was the "high concept" that led to this episode.

    While a harmless hour, there's really not much new here, with the episode coming together like a stitched up version of "the Ferengi's greatest hits". You get Quark bickering with his mom, Rom being a lovable idiot, Zek yelling in his high pitched voice, and Brunt... well, being Brunt. Perhaps worst of all, the comedy is anchored by the misguided 20th century notions that sexual harassment is funny, a man dressed as a woman is even funnier, and sexual harassment of a man playing a woman is the most hilarious thing of all. We expect more from Star Trek and from DS9 at this point in the series, and it all feels like a step back.

  • An attempt at humor falls flat.

    Ferengi episodes were a mixed bag on DS9 - sometimes they were great, sometimes they were ok, and sometimes they sucked - like this one.

    As is typical for the genre, there's plenty of attempted humor here. However, there's little of the chemistry or interesting storyline that propelled episodes like "Family Business", "The Magnificent Ferengi", or "Little Green Men". With the mid-tier Ferengi episodes, you at least have plenty of humor to keep things humming along. But here, the gags aren't funny either, with the exception of Quark asking Odo for a hug near the end. It's a real shame that a potentially powerful cast - Armin Shimerman, Max Grodenchik, Aaron Eisenberg, Wallace Shawn and Jeffrey Combs - is utterly wasted on mediocrity.

    Feel free to skip. It's not as bad as "Melora", "Meridian" or "The Muse" - but I wouldn't be any more generous than that.moreless
  • A typical tale of Ferengi mischievious, with some hilarious scenes and great dialogue.

    If you don't like the Ferengi, this isn't an episode for you. If you do, like me, then you will find a corker of an episode. The plot isn't made of gold. This is an episode that touches on the issues of sexism, with a Ferengi slant. Nor are the stakes tremendously high. Well at least in terms of the life or death struggle going on across the Alpha Quadrant. Yet, bankruptcy and Zek losing the Grand Neguship - are high enough. If you are a Ferengi.

    So don't expect to be rocked off your sofa by a myriad of destructive battles. You wont. Nor will you be amazed at the dangerous looking hand-to-hand combat. Thats because there isnt any. Nor should you expect some deep story of deep rooted prejudice. Thats because the Ferengi, don't do serious. Yet there is something very entertaining about this episode. The characters for instance, work together so effortlessly in suspending belief and weaving an atmosphere that will make you feel at ease and really want to watch and listen to the unfolding story. Dialogue is first class here. With a host of witty lines. All of which add to the relax atmosphere in each scene. Now while the story is essentially one about the discrimination of females, the Ferengi spin on it, really provides the perfect platform for Quark to go through the journey of discriminator, to the victim of the discrimination. Taking us with him, as he gets to see the effect of such discrimination from the view of females, and his mother. But to do this, while really believing that if he fails, he is dead in the water, actually brings a sense of something being at stake. Though it may not be as important as the fate of the Alpha Quad.

    Not only does he have to convince Ferengi males that he is infact a female. He has to show them that he is more intelligent than they are. While also overcoming his own prejudices, all of this while fighting off the unwanted advances of a rich and powerful man. Sound familiar?!

    To top it all off, Brunt now "acting" Grand Negus is there at every turn to attempt to foil him plans.

    And whats more, I got the feeling that Quark actually enjoyed being a woman.

    Laugh a minute, doesnt do this episode justice. A real lighthearted episode of Ferengi fun, with a semi-serious story line, and high quality production as you'd expect in Series 6 of the show.

    This is actually an excellent candidate to watch as a one off, as there is little in the way of plot arc.moreless
  • This is Why I love the Ferengi!

    Every DS9 episode centering on the Ferengi has been "magnificent", this episode being no exception.

    Rom was howlingly funny and Quark was at his best. It was a wonderful piece of comic relief from the on-going, though riveting, trauma of the Dominion war.

    The writers seem to come into their own when penning Ferengi-centered plots and I'm so very glad DS9 expanded on this race and explored their characteristics.

    This is why I hold DS9 above any other Star Trek spin-off, they show a diverse and interesting range of alien characters and they're not afraid to push ideas that would never have been contemplated in TNG.

  • What were they thinking?

    So now I've finally seen the infamous "Profit and Lace". Let me tell you this: it lives up to its reputation as one of the worst--THE worst in my opinion--episode in DS9 history.

    I've never been a fan of the Ferengi episodes much. They are so stupid and this one isn't any better. We have yet another of the female rights episodes, except this one has a twist: Zek has made it legal for women to wear clothing, resulting in the removal of him as Grand Nagus and the appointment of Brunt. So Zek and Ishka travel to DS9 to try and gather supporters to get Zek back as Grand Nagus. Their plan is to have people see how intelligent and devious females can be by listening to Ishka speak.

    The plot is OK at this point. There are some funny parts. But here's where it starts getting weird...

    Quark and Ishka have a fight, resulting in Ishka having a heart failure of some sort. She has to rest for a few days, but Nilva, the only person who agreed to hear her speak, is going to be at the station in a day or so. So Zek, needing a female Ferengi, has Quark change his gender. The episode just spirals downhill from there. All the attempts at humor--such as Leeta and Rom trying to teach Quark how to be a female--come out as not funny, but weird. And things start to get disturbing when Nilva comes aboard Deep Space Nine and forces Quark into his quarters alone.

    I can only end my review the same way I started: What were they thinking?moreless
Armin Shimerman

Armin Shimerman


Terry Farrell

Terry Farrell

Lt./Lt. Commander Jadzia Dax (Season 1-6)

Michael Dorn

Michael Dorn

Lt. Commander Worf (Season 4-7)

Rene Auberjonois

Rene Auberjonois

Constable Odo

Nana Visitor

Nana Visitor

Major/Colonel/Commander Kira Nerys

Avery Brooks

Avery Brooks

Commander/Captain Benjamin Sisko

Henry Gibson

Henry Gibson


Guest Star

Cecily Adams

Cecily Adams


Guest Star

Sylvain Cecil

Sylvain Cecil


Guest Star

Tiny Ron

Tiny Ron


Recurring Role

Wallace Shawn

Wallace Shawn


Recurring Role

Max Grodenchik

Max Grodenchik


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (16)

    • Quark: She's not going to die. She gonna get better.
      Zek: I hope so for her my sake, her sake and the sake of the entire Ferengi Alliance Quark, because if she doesn't...
      Quark: What did I do?
      Zek: That's exactly the question I keep asking myself - what did you do to her?

    • Rom: Boy, when things go wrong....
      Brunt: The only thing to do is, to get down on your knees and beg for mercy.

    • Ishka: But that's only the beginning lobekins. I predict that one day a female will enter the Tower of Commerce, climb the forty steps of stairs to the Chamber of Oppotunity, and take her rightful place as Grand Negus of the Ferengi Alliance.
      (Zek gives Quark a willful stare)
      Quark: (to Zek) Don't look at me! It was your amendment.

    • Zek: (Addesses Rom and Quark) Boys, together we're going to reconquer an empire, or die in the attempt!

    • Brunt: Would someone please tell that female to take off those clothes. It's disgusting!
      Ishka: Get used to it limplobes. This is the future.
      Brunt: Over my dead body!
      Zek: If that's what it takes!

    • Rom: I don't think Slug-a-Cola has changed it's advertising slogan in two hundred years! (Starts to sing) Drink Slug-a-Cola. (Quark, Nog, Ishka and Zek join in) The slimiest cola in the galaxy!

    • (Rom enters Quark's quarters and proudly announces)
      Rom: Negus, you remember my son Nog, don't you? He's the first Ferengi to join Starfleet.
      Zek: I'll try not to hold that against him!
      Rom: And this is my wife Leeta.
      Leeta: I've heard so much about you.
      Zek: Would you like to hear more?!
      Ishka: Remember she's Rom's wife.
      Zek: Meaning what?
      Ishka: Meaning she's broke.
      (Zek turns to face Leeta)
      Zek: She doesn't look broke to me!

    • Nilva: (To Zek) A clothed female Ferengi, and with your approval no less. Either you've been inhaling too much beetlesnuff, or you're the greatest visionary ever to sit atop the Tower of Commerce.

    • (Zek receives a slap from Quark, after feeling the inside of his thigh)
      Zek: I'm sorry! You know, you may walk like a man, but you make a very attractive female. Confusing, isn't it?!
      Quark: Not to me it isn't!

    • Leeta: Would you stop staring at your chest!
      Quark/Lumba: I'm not staring at my chest, I'm staring at my hips. (Quark turns to Zek) Are they big?
      Zek: Your hips are fine!

    • Zek: Forget it Quark. Rom may make a better female that you, but when it comes to business, you're the better Ferengi.
      Quark: Looks like your stupidity has saved you again.
      Rom: It comes in handy sometimes.

    • Rom: (seeing his mother arrive) Mooooooogie! I was so worried!
      Ishka You're a good son.
      Quark: I was worried, too.
      Ishka: And you're a good liar.

    • Nilva: Tell me something. Doesn't wearing all those clothes make you feel like a deviant?
      Lumba/Quark: Not really. And you know why? Because under all these clothes, I know I'm totally naked.

    • Sisko: A Dominion invasion of Ferenginar?
      Rom: Think of the terrible repercussions to the Alpha Quadrant.
      Worf: I cannot think of any.

    • Brunt: (points to Quark) I tell you, that is not a female.
      Nilva: She's close enough for me. (to Quark) Come, my dear, let's go tell Zek that I'm going to do everything in my power to see that he remains Grand Nagus.
      Brunt: But why?
      Nilva: Because that's what Lumba wants.
      (Quark blows Brunt a kiss, and then they exit Quark's quarters)
      Brunt: (insistent) His name's Quark!

    • Ishka: He wants to play tongo; I want to have a night snack; you want to lie here feeling sorry for yourself - we all deal with stress in different ways. Any fresh tube grubs around?
      Quark: How can you eat at a time like this?!
      Ishka: It's simple, you put one end of the tube grub between your front teeth and you suck 'em right up!

  • NOTES (3)


    • Slug-a-cola

      The drink that is mention in this episode, called "Slug-a-cola" is probably an allusion to the world-known Coca-Cola brand, that has a mass wide production.