Bar Association

By Michelle Erica Green
Posted at January 13, 2004 - 10:20 AM GMT

See Also: 'Bar Association' Episode Guide

Rom leads a group of Ferengi workers and Dabo girls when they form a union to protest Quark's unfair treatment of his employees. Meanwhile, Worf decides to move off the station and onto the Defiant so he can get more privacy.


Rom does a good "Workers of the world unite" speech, but the Ferengi plot actually held almost none of my interest. Neither did the B plot, except for momentary hope that Worf would steal the Defiant and leave. Then we could have the old DS9 back...but I've actually been feeling sorry for poor Worf, whom the writers aren't even trying to make a full-fledged member of the crew.

What saved this episode for me, ironically, were the jibes taken at Picard's Enterprise - and, by extension, at TNG. It's helpful to be reminded that, while I have fond memories of that series, they had a lot of dud episodes as well. But I loved listening to O'Brien and Worf compare DS9 to the Enterprise, but my favorite moment was Odo running down the Enterprise's security. People accuse Sisko and Janeway of being incompetent because their crews let stupid things happen under their command, but Picard certainly had his share of lapses as well, and he was in charge of the flagship of the Fleet!

I've never been completely sure of the point of having Ferengi on DS9, other than to provide comic relief. Are we to understand that Ferengi living among humans will become hopelessly corrupted by them, resorting to reading Marx and Lenin when the Rules of Acquisition fail them? It does not say much for Sisko's respect for the Ferengi right to autonomy when he fails to intervene in what is largely a Ferengi power struggle. Yes, there are Bajorans working for Quark, but the Dabo girls in this episode served as little more than cheerleaders for Rom, so it was hard to take them seriously as full-fledged members of the strike. At least overt Ferengi misogyny was largely absent.

I'm not sure what the point of the Worf subplot was either, except to remind us (as if we needed reminding) that Worf is having trouble fitting in on DS9, and that Dax - apparently willing to complete with Kira for the role of most charming athletic partner and comforter to Important Guys - wants to help him by any means necessary.

I enjoyed seeing O'Brien looking like he was having a good time, though it sure seems out of character for him to be happy rather than whining about the Cardassian machinery, I sure would have thought he was bored on the Enterprise, but he never said so before! I'm glad they gave us a peek into his Irish-American heritage; it figures they'd make him descended from Brian Boru, a popular Irish claim, but his relations to labor leaders and coal strike martyrs was interesting and relevant to the episode.

Lastly, I wonder why we get to see Kira and Dax on the holodeck in bathing suits, but O'Brien and Bashir in heavy coats? Hmm...

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.