#DS91sttime: Season 3, Episode 16, “Prophet Motive”

May 15, 2013 in #DS91sttime, General Topics

Reaction over new Rules of Acquistion in Season 3, Ep 16: "Prophet Motive"

Reaction over new Rules of Acquistion in Season 3, Ep 16: “Prophet Motive”

Whenever Deep Space Nine allows Ferengi the chance to be more than just punchlines, the result is often enjoyable, even deep–such as Quark’s wonderful admonishment of some of humanity’s past acts way back in “The Jem’Hadar”, or Nog’s drive to do more than just seek profit, which we saw just a few episodes back.

When the show reduces the Ferengi to caricatures, however, it’s a mixed bag. And, sadly, “Prophet Motive” milks this method to the point that it becomes tiring, while also managing to betray the air of mystery surrounding the wormhole’s inhabitant race, the Prophets. If I could choose the worst way for this enigmatic species to appear on the show, it would be this one.

The Grand Nagus, played by Wallace Shawn of The Princess Bride fame, shows up on the station hinting at a great change coming to Ferengi culture. To Quark’s horror, this takes shape via a new set of “Rules of Acquistion”, revised to completely transform Ferengi values from greed to altruism.

Exactly why the Nagus has changed his outlook is explained in a slipshod plot that has something to do with him having gone through the wormhole, acquiring one of those glowing cabinets the Bajorans use to communicate with the prophets, and suffering some consequences of both acts.

To give it credit, the episode tries really hard to make this setup work, and the actors give it their best. But dragging out the Prophets to explain a comedy episode that’s all about the Ferengi not wanting to move beyond their writer-defined constraints–that made it all fall apart for me.

Rating: 2/5 stars