Profit and Loss (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)

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"Profit and Loss"
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode
Episode no.Season 2
Episode 18
Directed byRobert Wiemer
Written byFlip Kobler, Cindy Marcus
Featured musicJay Chattaway
Production code438
Original air dateMarch 20, 1994 (1994-03-20)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Playing God"
Next →
"Blood Oath"
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (season 2)
List of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes

"Profit and Loss" is the 38th episode of the science fiction television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. It is the 18th episode of the second season. The episode aired on television on March 20, 1994.[1]

Set in the 24th century, the series follows the adventures on Deep Space Nine, a space station located near the planet Bajor, as Bajor recovers from a decades-long brutal occupation by the imperialistic Cardassians. In this episode, the bartender Quark is reunited with a former lover, only to discover that she is involved in dangerous political intrigue. This episode develops the storyline of the Cardassian government, and of the exiled Cardassian spy-turned-tailor Garak.[1]

This episode was being filmed when the 1994 Northridge earthquake occurred on January 17 of that year. Armin Shimerman and Edward Wiley left the Paramount Pictures lot in full Ferengi and Cardassian makeup respectively.[2]


In this episode, the main guest star is Mary Crosby, playing the role of Natima Lang. Mary is the daughter of Bing Crosby and the aunt of Denise Crosby, who had played Tasha Yar on Star Trek: The Next Generation.[1] Michael Reilly Burke, who plays the Cardassian Hogue, had also performed on Star Trek: The Next Generation, but not as the same character.[1]


A damaged ship arrives at Deep Space Nine carrying Cardassian Professor Natima Lang and her students, Rekelen and Hogue. Lang and Quark were once lovers, and he still has feelings for her, but she tells him she wants nothing to do with him.

Lang and her students are political dissidents intent on reforming the oppressive Cardassian military government. When Lang sees Garak at Quark's bar, she panics, guessing he will inform the Cardassian government of their presence. In the guise of a conversation about fashion, Garak hints to Quark that Lang's radical beliefs and companions are likely to lead to her death. Quark offers Lang his assistance, but she refuses.

Meanwhile, a Cardassian warship arrives and targets the station with its weapons. Garak explains to DS9's senior staff that Cardassian Central Command wants Hogue and Rekelen, whom he describes as terrorists, handed over.

Quark offers Hogue and Rekelen a contraband cloaking device to help them escape, on the condition that Lang stay with him. She tries to explain that she cannot stay, but after accidentally shooting a phaser at him, she declares that she still loves him. As the two reminisce, Quark finally manages to convince Lang to stay with him.

The Bajoran government agrees to turn Lang, Hogue, and Rekelen over to the Cardassians in exchange for the release of several Bajoran prisoners, and Lang and her students are arrested. A former rival of Garak's, Gul Toran, tells Garak that Central Command wants the prisoners dead; in exchange for killing them, Garak will be allowed to return to Cardassia.

Quark convinces security chief Odo to release Lang and her students. Garak greets them at their ship, where he laments that he must now kill Quark as well. Toran appears, revealing that he only used Garak to learn Hogue and Rekelen's whereabouts; the offer of a return to Cardassia was a lie. Garak shoots him and allows Lang, Hogue, and Rekelen to escape. Lang convinces Quark to let her leave, promising to return to him when her work reforming the Cardassian government is done. Quark sadly lets her go, knowing that is the right thing to do for her and his safety.

Once she leaves, Quark asks why Garak shot Toran, and Garak asks why Quark helped Lang. "I had no choice—I love her," Quark says. Garak responds that he killed Torah because he loves Cardassia.


The story takes inspiration from the film Casablanca. The initial title for the episode was "Here's lookin' at you", which was changed due to legal reasons.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d DeCandido, Keith R. A. (September 11, 2013). "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: "Profit and Loss"".
  2. ^ Erdmann, Terry J.; Paula M. Block (2010-03-29). Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion. ISBN 0-671-50106-2.
  3. ^ "21 Years Later: "Profit and Loss"". Star Trek.


  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine DVD set, volume 2, disc 5, selection 2.

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