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The Trek Nation - Looking for Par´Mach in All the Wrong Places

Looking for Par´Mach in All the Wrong Places

By Michelle Erica Green
Posted at January 13, 2004 - 10:28 AM GMT

See Also: 'Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places' Episode Guide

When Quark's onetime "wife" Grilka comes to the station on business, Quark seeks the advice of Worf, who's also very attracted to the Klingon woman, about how to woo her Klingon-style. Worf explains Klingon courtship, complete with the inflicting of bodily injury, and Quark ultimately gets lucky with Grilka after helping her with her business dealings. Meanwhile, Dax gets jealous about Worf's attentions to Grilka and insists that he pay attention to her. They all wind up in the infirmary in post-coital bliss.

Kira, pregnant with the O'Briens's baby, finds herself drawn to Miles and he to her while he's giving her one of the many backrubs and pep talks Bashir has advised. Keiko isn't helping matters by encouraging them to spend more time together. Kira finally decides to go to Bajor to visit Shakaar, even though Miles had previously objected to her traveling so close to their due date, and he agrees it's a good idea.

Analysis:

Well, once again DS9 has given us an episode in which men are men of many talents and women are objects of great value - "objects" being the operative word. I've never much liked Klingon of Ferengi rituals, not even now when the Klingons are plagiarizing the Vulcans. "Challenge was given and lawfully accepted; let no one interfere" was originally T'Pau's line in TOS's "Amok Time," as I recall; much as I like these anniversary crossover homages, having a Klingon parrot it as part of a rite from his own culture merely demonstrates how little creativity the writers possess in creating alien cultures. They're mostly ceremonial, and apparently they're all sexist.

Kira and O'Brien bothered me less than they could have mostly because it's so rare for TV to acknowledge that pregnant women can be sexy or have sexual desires. I didn't much like O'Brien's proprietary desire of the body of the woman who's carrying his child; when it comes right down to it, he still doesn't know Kira well and doesn't get along with her. Keiko looked dumb and oblivious, but maybe she was simply afraid of getting pregnant again! As for Kira, I can't figure out who she is or what she wants these days, and I get the feeling she can't either. Maybe she'll figure it out while she's trying to get Shakaar to help her work off that sexual tension.

Then there's Dax. Before I say anything about her, let me state that this was a great episode for Terry Farrell; she was sharp and strong and her comic timing was delightful. Even so, I can't figure out what Dax sees in Worf, unless she's into brutalization. I'm delighted that she didn't act like a stereotypical jealous shrew, but I'm not sure why she'd want a man who'd fall in love with an image of feminine beauty from across a bar and then assist a Ferengi in adding her to his collection of valuables.

The idea of Worf playing Cyrano for Quark, at first glimpse as even less likely romantic hero than himself, would have been funnier were it not for the sexism of Klingon and Ferengi culture alike, the fact that both men treated Grilka as a prize to be won rather than a woman to learn to know and appreciate. While Dax did a terrific job holding her own, I really wanted her to stay above it all.

I don't even want to talk about the new, nasty Odo with his prurient interest in humanoid sexuality. I miss Kira and Dax from the first season, when their professional and personal lives weren't dictated by macho desires and priorities. Sisko was great in this episode, because he had the good sense not to be looking for love or anything else.

Find more episode info in the Episode Guide.


Michelle Erica Green reviews 'Enterprise' episodes for the Trek Nation, for which she is also a news writer. An archive of her work can be found at The Little Review.