"Who Mourns For Morn?"
Airdate: February 4, 1998
134 of 173 produced
134 of 173 aired
When Morn apparently dies, Quark stands to inherit his heretofore unknown vast fortune in latinum. The only problems are Mon's past associates and their designs on the money.
Is Quark a leg man or a latinum man?
Matthew: Well, this is certainly a novel conceit for this franchise. Morn ends up being the sort of MacGuffin that gets this plot moving. In this sense, I appreciated it. But I didn't quite like all the stuff at the beginning of the show, going on about how talkative Morn is, how all of our characters had some sort of intimate friendship with him, and so on. It all ended up feeling like a bit much, and less a joke than a cheat to not show us what was supposedly such an important member of this community. I think the point it went overboard for me is when Worf declared Morn an excellent weekly sparring partner.
Kevin: I actually appreciated all the gags since it felt like they were paying off a bunch of side jokes about Morn over the course of the series. The talkative bit was well established, so it felt like they were just doubling down on an extant gag. I even found the bit about Dax having a crush on him and Worf's shock that he turned her down to be funny.
Matthew: Any criticism aside, this was a relatively decent showcase for Quark. I mean, we didn't learn anything about him, and he didn't change as a result of this story. Hmm. So maybe this was a good showcase for Armin Shimerman, but didn't do anything in particular for Quark. Which means this wasn't a terribly good story insofar as sci-fi goes, or character development. So how was it just as a mystery plot? Not all that good. I doubt anyone thought Morn was dead nor that Quark would become independently wealthy (and thus fundamentally alter his reason for being on the show), which meant that the prize of the 1,000 bricks of latinum ended up not meaning a whole heck of a lot. Speaking of which - without any idea of what a brick, let alone 1,000, is worth, it's hard to get too worked up.
Kevin: Watching Quark scheme his way into and out of and then again into trouble is just a hoot and it's what makes the episode work. I think the show has really come a long way in being able to do a "light" episode that is not painful to watch. You know Quark isn't going to end up megarich and it's Star Trek so the bad guys aren't going to get it either, but I didn't mind the trip, all things considered. All the guest characters were at least defined enough to make their conflict credible and watching everyone try to screw everyone reminds of the old school caper movies, and I enjoyed it on that basis.
Matthew: There were a number of jokes in this episode, some decent, some flat. I found the worthless gold joke a bit tiresome, first of all because the Ferengi claim gold is valuable in "The Last Outpost" (yes, I'm a nerd), but secondly because it raised more questions than it answered. Why is latinum encased in such a dense material, and why does it take a gold brick to hold what apparently is quite a bit less than even a speck of the stuff? Gold is pretty heavy, you know, and each of those bricks should weigh upwards of 60 pounds. How is this a convenient medium for the transport of hard currency? I'd have rather had all these questions answered than reach the resolution of this plot, frankly. If 1,000 bricks is so valuable, how can there be a statute of limitations on such a crime, and such a short one at that?
Kevin: I also recalled the apparent Ferengi love for pure gold from Last Outpost, but I figure the farther we take the Ferengi from that episode the happier I get. I kind of appreciated clarifying that gold itself would be worthless as currency in a world that can replicate elements en masse. Now why latinum can't also be replicate...eh, whatever. I have chose for the sake of enjoying myself just to not pierce too deeply the veil of economics in a post-scarcity society. As far as jokes go, I found myself laughing the most at "No wonder your hair fell out."
Matthew: Armin Shimerman gives this inconsequential plot just enough weight to get me through watching it. He really elevates material, which is a godsend given that he's playing a member of the most poorly written species on Trek.
Kevin: The underlying thread of Quark's character is an almost Zen-like acceptance of the capriciousness of fate. He fights hard to get on top, but when fate flicks him down, he doesn't whine for long. In a way, he really sells that he believes that this laissez faire system he espouses is the way the universe should operate, and not merely using it as rhetorical cover for just always wanting to get his own way. I think it's that commitment to Quark's point of view that really makes material like this sing.
Matthew: I thought the casting on the criminals was pretty good. Was it stereotyping? Sure. The heavies, the devious dame, the straight man... but the actors brought a certain amount of charm to it, more that the characters were written with. I'd say the best of them were Brad Greenquist as Hain, for his interesting voice and demeanor, and Bridget White, because she was attractive (and limber) but also had a fire and intelligence.
Kevin: In an odd way, the episodes I am reminded of when I think about the guest cast is Big Goodbye, for the obvious noir riffs, and Rascals for really nailing the parts so effortlessly. The episode is silly, but who cares? Watching these characters quadruple cross each other is just plain entertaining.
Matthew: I really have an issue with "worthless gold" being picked up by actors as if it's styrofoam. The whole gold-latinum thing bugged me. I appreciate that they did what was essentially CGI mercury for the latinum, but I'd have preferred some more detail insofar as how it is suspended in the gold, a better look at the bars, and so on.
Kevin: I enjoyed at least the attempt to portray the material, and a large amount of it.
Matthew: There have been a lot of bottle shows recently, and I'm getting a bit bored by them. Here, our new addition is a mud pool, which looked more like a chocolate-flavored water pool (A la Willy Wonka, as a matter of fact). The bar had a few interesting angles during the "wake" scene.
Kevin: I liked that the random guy Quark pulls to hold the first vigil in Morn's chair was Mark Allen Shepherd, the actor who plays Morn, out of make-up. That kind of in-joke just delights me.
Matthew: Try as a might, I couldn't bring myself to care about this episode. There are no stakes, and I learned nothing about the characters I care about or the world I'm interested in. There was a smattering of mildly enjoyable scenes and a pretty mundane mystery plot. I would give this a 2 but for a solid performance by Shimerman fooling me into thinking this was average or better while watching it. So I'll say it's a 3.
Kevin: Once the episode indicates we are getting a "caper" of some sort, I just kicked back and enjoyed the ride. It's not the best episode, but it remains solidly in "good" territory since I think it cleanly achieves what it set out to do, be a light piece of crime-related comedy. In lesser hands, this episode would have been insufferable I agree, but as it stands, I am always amused when it comes on. I agree with the 3 for a total of 6.