Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places

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"Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places"
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode
Episode no. Season 5
Episode 3
Directed by Andrew J. Robinson
Written by Ronald D. Moore
Featured music David Bell
Production code 501
Original air date October 14, 1996 (1996-10-14)
Guest actors
Episode chronology
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"The Ship"
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"...Nor the Battle to the Strong"
List of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes

"Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places" is the 101st episode of the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the third episode of the fifth season. Par'Mach is revealed in the episode to be the Klingon word for love with aggressive overtones.


Grilka, Quark's Klingon ex-wife, unexpectedly shows up on Deep Space Nine and, while her intentions are unknown, Worf is smitten as soon as he sees her. She comes to Quark and obtains his help for financial dealings. Later, an interaction between Worf and Grilka leaves Worf questioning whether he has the ability and knowledge to pursue Klingon women.

In pursuing Grilka romantically, Quark finds himself completely unfamiliar with Klingon mating rituals, so he asks Jadzia for help. Worf, eager to prove himself capable of courting a Klingon woman, joins Dax in coaching Quark to win Grilka's affections. Through diligent efforts to learn Klingon culture, including the reenactment of a romantically tinged holosuite battle scene, Quark is successful with Grilka until, one day, Grilka's bodyguard challenges Quark to combat.

Completely unskilled at combat, Quark stands to either lose Grilka or be killed. Worf again helps the Ferengi; using a special device, Worf is able to control Quark's body movements and helps him defend himself. Ultimately, Quark defeats the bodyguard and the scene concludes with Grilka and Quark enamored with one another and alone.

From the holodeck, Worf opines to Jadzia that Quark is unworthy of such a great Klingon woman. Dax counters that Worf's interest in Grilka is superficial, that Grilka would be a poor match for Worf, and hints that there are better options in front of him. Observing that Worf still fails to see the subtext in her hints, Dax quotes the holosuite battle and challenges Worf with a Bat'leth, which initiates an aggressive and violent romantic scene between the two of them. In the next scene, the two couples are shown in the infirmary, with Doctor Bashir attending to their wounds, electing not to ask questions.

In a subplot, Miles O'Brien tries to deal with the awkwardness of Major Kira carrying his baby and living with him and his wife Keiko. Through Miles' interactions with Julian and Kira's discussions with Odo, Miles and Kira soon become aware of the unwelcome romantic overtones of their new relationship. The two awkwardly try to avoid getting any closer, but Keiko, whom neither is willing to tell, seems oblivious and keeps trying to push the two together. To Miles' relief, Kira announces the intention to take a brief retreat alone on Bajor, but Keiko peremptorily insists that Miles accompany Kira. As Kira's and Miles' shuttle is about to depart for Bajor, Kira reveals that the retreat cabin is a highly romantic place, which prompts Miles to opt out of the trip, telling Kira that he will concoct a lie to tell Keiko, while Kira changes her plans to visit her boyfriend Prime Minister Shakaar instead.

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