Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 5 Episode 9

The Ascent

Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM Nov 25, 1996 on Syndicado
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Stardate: Unknown Odo and Quark are stranded when they crash on a planet with no communications or replicators. Their only hope to be found is if they can climb to the top of a high mountain. Back on the station, Jake and Nog are moving in together. However, it doesn't go as smoothly as they thought.moreless

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  • Quark, wake up. We've got a mountain to climb.

    Odo and Quark finally get an A story together in this dialogue driven relationship study that begins with the same basic idea as the Quark story in the fourth season episode, "Starship Down" (except with Odo in place of James Cromwell's character) before becoming a mountain story reminiscent of Frodo and Sam's ascent of Mount Doom. It provides a unique setting for Star Trek, with Shimerman and Auberjonois shot on location on an actual mountain side and gives the writers plenty of opportunity to include dialogue in the style of "Waiting for Godot". (Think of it as Vladimir and Estragon trying to destroy the Ring of Doom). The beauty of the premise is that unlike "Heart of Stone," which has danger in the form of a sci fi metaphor, the danger in "The Ascent" is much more familiar, which makes the peril seem all the more real and the dialogue all the more dramatic.

    Meanwhile, Jake and Nog move in together in the B story, leading to lifestyle clashes that are played for laughs. It's like the Star Trek equivalent of "Perfect Strangers" or maybe "Wife Swap". It's a forgettable subplot but does what the writers want it to, getting Nog back on Deep Space Nine. Unfortunately, it doesn't work with well the A story, dragging down the episode.

  • The only Quark and Odo episode?

    Hard to believe, but I think this is the only Quark and Odo episode. The story is somewhat predictable and cliche - two characters who have a love-hate relationship are stranded alone in a challenging situation and have to work together to survive. (In fact, Bashir and O'Brien had already had at least one of these in season 2!) Nevertheless, the chemistry between these two characters is to good for this episode not to work, predictable or not. The conclusion is just great, with both characters affectionately professing their undying hate for each other.

    The secondary plot - Jake and Nog moving in together, is inoffensive filler.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

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Goof: Time Index 37:03 and a few seconds after. Odo said there is no life, and Quark says he can't believe there are no bugs to eat. After Quark collapses, a fly buzzes through the shot.

    • Goof: As Odo and Quark are talking in the crashed runabout, the cockpit is on a slope towards the front of the ship. However exterior views of the runabout show the cockpit section to higher than the rest of the ship having being propped up on rocks in the crash landing.

    • Nitpick: Why would Odo give Quark free reign over the runabout knowing he might be facing a life sentence? Given how eager Odo was to see Quark's "big day" it's doubtful he would give him any opportunity to effect an escape.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Jake: A man's got to live. And sometimes living is messy.

    • Quark: Care for a game of Fizzbin?
      Odo: I don't play cards.
      Quark: I'll teach you - it's a very simple game.
      Odo: Let me put it another way: I don't want to play cards. And even if I did, I wouldn't want to play with you.

    • Quark: You know, Odo, I used to think all your problems stemmed from the fact that you were a changeling - isolated from your own kind, forced to live among strangers who didn't understand you. You couldn't eat. You couldn't drink. You couldn't sleep. You couldn't make love. Wasn't any wonder you had such a bad disposition. But you're not a changeling anymore - you're one of us. Life is your for the taking, all you have to do is reach out and grab it. But do you? No, because solid or changeling, you're still a miserable, self-hating misanthrope. That's who you are and that's who you'll always be.
      Odo: I'm still not playing cards with you.

    • Quark: There it is again!
      Odo: What?
      Quark: That buzzing noise! Don't you hear it?
      Odo: With all this lip-smacking how could I hear anything?
      Quark: Where's it coming from?
      Odo: Inside your head!

    • Quark: Let me guess: you pretended to know more than you did so I'd think I had nothing to hide, and say something to incriminate myself?
      Odo: Something like that.
      Quark: This is all your fault!
      Odo: You're the one who's the member of the Orion Syndicate!
      Quark: I'm not a member! I just know people who know people who know some other people...

    • Odo: Now we either freeze to death or starve to death - take your pick.

    • Quark: Don't you get it? I'm not trying to rescue you, I'm taking you along as emergency rations. If you die, I'm gonna eat you.
      Odo: You're joking.
      Quark: Waste not, want not.

    • Quark: Those aren't rations, they're crumbs! You can't climb a mountain on crumbs!

  • NOTES (4)


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