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It’s a trip to Ferenginar this week on Star Trek: Lower Decks 4×06 “Parth Ferengi’s Heart Place.” We’ve got a fake marriage! We’ve got a swanky hotel with all the perks (subject to fees, terms and conditions may apply)! And we’ve got to try to bring Ferenginar into the Federation. Pack your bags for some coveted duty and let’s dive into my thoughts on Star Trek: Lower Decks 4×06 “Parth Ferengi’s Heart Place.”
A Fresh Look at Ferenginar
This is one of the first real looks we get at Feringinar in Star Trek lore. Sure, we saw a little bit of Ferenginar on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, but that was mostly Moogie’s house. Here we get to see a lot more, and as Mariner aptly describes, “Wow! This is what Heaven would look like if God were stupid!” I think she’s onto something there. Even so, this is a fascinating zoom-in on Ferengi culture. It’s capitalism on steroids. Excess. Greed. Nickled and dimed at every turn, and yet, it has the charm of an amusement park, which I rather enjoy on some level.
There are a lot of small details that had me in stitches about Ferenginar. The monument of bad deals, a “ceremonial invoice.” Proclaiming that “These young lovers are getting a great deal!” when Tendi and Rutherford check into the hotel. “Lobe’s Lodge” for the name of the hotel. It’s silly! It’s fun and delightfully hokey! I love it. I hope we get to see more of Ferenginar before we’re done.
What’s Up with Mariner?
Mariner is having a moment in Star Trek: Lower Decks 4×06 “Parth Ferengi’s Heart Place.” She’s stuffing and ignoring her emotions, like usual. The difference here is that we get to unpack some of those emotions with the help of a friend. What I enjoy about this is not just Mariner working through her issues, but it’s one of the few times that we get to see a Ferengi as something other than a greedy hyper-capitalist. That is really refreshing. This is an excellent first step for Mariner. She’s starting to let her walls down and deal with her emotions. More positive emotional health on TV, please!
Yes, I know “aggressive negotiations” is a term from that other Star franchise, but I’ve got to say, it works. While there are no physical battles here, the way the Ferengi try to push one over on the Federation is hilarious. All the extra add-ons, etc. And the Federation was willing to roll over and accept it! Until Captain Freeman steps in. She negotiated well, and Rom applauded her willingness to respect Ferengi culture in their dealings. In a culturally diverse Federation, it can be difficult to figure out how to integrate a culture that seems a bit counter-intuitive from the Federation, and yet, The Federation is willing to work with them, as long as Ferenginar will abide within the boundaries of the Federation. I hope we get to see these kinds of negotiations again.
Gimme ALL the Fanfic Tropes!
I’ve said it before, but I love me some Rutherford and Tendi. I ship the heck out of them and so when Star Trek: Lower Decks 4×06 “Parth Ferengi’s Heart Place” chooses to give me one of the best fanfic tropes, you best believe I squeed in Fangirlish delight. Fake dating, in this case, fake marriage is such a classic fanfic trope that I never would have expected to see it in an actual episode of a Star Trek show. I’m so glad Lower Decks went there.
Now, what Star Trek: Lower Decks 4×06 “Parth Ferengi’s Heart Place” does really well is keep us guessing. Rutherford and Tendi seem to have no problem thinking of compliments for each other. And let’s face it, in any other context, Rutherford and Tendi would be saying unironic complimentary things about each other anyway. Add this fake marriage on top of it though, and let’s just say our favorite duo is getting the feels! Maybe getting isn’t the right word. Perhaps it’s more of a sudden realization of “Oh crap, I have feels!” These two aren’t quite ready to come to grips with that yet. If not by the end of the season, I call season 5.
There is a lot to love in Star Trek: Lower Decks 4×06 “Parth Ferengi’s Heart Place.” We get a slightly more progressive Ferenignar under Rom and Lita’s leadership. A big one is that Ferengi women are wearing clothes! Thank Moogie for that one. We also get to see Captain Freeman at her best, being considerate of another culture, and standing up for what she thinks is right, even when the Starfleet brass doesn’t agree. Also, I’ve got to say that the whole idea of Boimler letting himself go for a weekend, eating snacks and watching trash TV is a lot of fun. Also, the guy needs to unwind more often. It’s good for him.
Finally, if you want to hear a deeper dive into Star Trek: Lower Decks 4×06 “Parth Ferengi’s Heart Place,” tune into this week’s episode of Make It So: A Star Trek Legacy Podcast where one of my co-hosts from We Are Starfleet, Craig McKenzie and I chat about this week’s Lower Decks. Craig is walking Memory-Alpha, so any recording with him is always insightful.
What did you think of Star Trek: Lower Decks 4×06 “Parth Ferengi’s Heart Place”? Leave me a comment and let’s talk Trek.