Profit and LossBy Michelle Erica Green
Posted at January 12, 2004 - 4:18 PM GMT
See Also: 'Profit and Loss' Episode Guide
The great love of Quark's life, a Cardassian radical whom he met and assisted years earlier, seeks refuge for herself and two student subversives on the station. Though he wants to keep her with him, Quark helps her escape, since it's the only way to save her work and her colleagues. The turned heads and slow responses of his crewmates, particularly Odo, help. Garak's secret ties to Cardassia are problematic for himself and his associates.
The humorous direction made this episode, since it suggested that the show was supposed to be a parody of Casablanca rather than a serious ripoff. I mean, QUARK as BOGART?! That is howlingly funny! I enjoyed hearing him spout greedy optimism, in contrast to Sam Spade's world-weary cynicism. I thoroughly enjoyed the attraction between him and Natima, too, and found it surprisingly believable, which is a credit to Armin Shimerman and especially Mary Crosby - first she shoots J.R., now him! I was also delighted when she told him she didn't want to start hearing Rules of Acquisition again.
The Garak story, which was nicely not resolved, revealed more in the ongoing evolution of the tailor who certainly seems to have been a spy and double agent. As for the other characters...I spent most of the episode assuming the stiff students were really bad guys, they were so artificial. I also thought Odo was having a bad week - justice was never THIS blind - although he and Quark were funny together in a very film noirish way.
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.