Friday, September 22, 2023

Star Trek: Profit and Loss

Episode: "Profit and Loss"
Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Season 2, Episode 18
Original Air Date: March 20, 1994

Garak episode!

A mysterious, damaged Cardassian ship is brought into the station via tractor beam.  The pilot, Natima Lang, is a professor traveling with her two students, Rekelen and Hogue.  Lang claims their ship was damaged by a meteor shower.  The plot thickens when the visitors arrive at Quark's where we learn Lang is the proprietor's long-lost girlfriend.  He's over the moon to see her.  She's not so thrilled.

Garak, enjoying his regular lunch with Dr. Bashir, recognizes the travelers as well though it's not immediately apparent why.  Meanwhile, Chief O'Brien determines that the damage to their ship was caused by Cardassian phaser fire.  Clearly, there's a bigger story here.  Lang reveals that Rekelen and Hogue are no mere students.  They are well-known leaders of the Cardassian dissident movement.  Garak goes so far as to call them terrorists.

The Quark/Natima love story is sweet but for me, the real treat (surprise, surprise), is the Garak sub plot.  We learn a bit about our favorite tailor in "Profit and Loss."  Questions about his past are answered - partially.  The answers invite further questions.  His loyalty is to Cardassia - but clearly that means something different to him than it would to those in power on his home world.  There's a particularly delicious encounter between Garak and Commander Sisko, the former seemingly playing the role of negotiator between the Cardassians and the Federation regarding the fates of the dissidents.  I watched that scene over again immediately after finishing the episode.  So good.

An interesting production note: during filming of the episode, there was a 6.7-magnitude earthquake in southern California.  Several actors, including Armin Shimerman (Quark) and Mary Crosby (Natima) rushed home to check on their families without bothering to remove their makeup, inspiring memorable reactions from other drivers on the road.

Acting Notes

Mary Crosby was born September 14, 1959 in Los Angeles.  Her parents were actress Kathryn Grant and Hollywood titan Bing Crosby.  Mary Crosby is the aunt of Denise Crosby, who played Tasha Yar on Star Trek: The Next Generation.  Mary Crosby graduated from high school at 15, then attended the University of Texas, though she didn't graduate.  

Mary Crosby is best known for her portrayal of Kristin Shepard in the TV series Dallas.  In fact, assuming we're past the statute of limitations for spoilers for this one, her character is the one who shot J.R. in that series's most famous story line.  Other television appearances include guest appearances on The Love Boat, Murder, She Wrote and CHiPs.  Film credits include Midnight Lace (1981), The Ice Pirates and Tapeheads.