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21 Years Later: "Profit and Loss"

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Quark got some lovin' in "Profit and Loss," the Deep Space Nine episode that aired on March 20, 1994—or 21 years ago today. Professor Natima Lang arrives aboard the space station with two of her students, only they're not who they initially claim to be. It's quickly revealed that Natima, once Quark's great love, is a fugitive. Her "students" are leaders of the Cardassian underground movement that is fighting the military establishment to build a non-violent future for their people. Complicating matters, Garak wants them all dead and Quark just wants to reunite with Natima. In the end, Garak does the right thing, Quark reluctantly bids farewell to Natima, and Natima promises that when they meet again it'll be worth the wait.

Some anecdotes and facts about "Profit and Loss:" 

  • Mary Crosby played Natima. The name should ring a bell. She gained internation fame years earlier for her role as Kristin Shepard on the blockbuster nighttime soap, Dallas. She was the answer to the famous question... Who shot J.R.?
  • Additionally, Crosby is the aunt of Denise Crosby, TNG's Tasha Yar and Sela. She's also the daughter of the legendary crooner Bing Crosby.
  • Quark almost revealed Rule of Acquisition #223.
  • Los Angeles was struck on January 17, 1994, by an earthquake with a 6.7 magnitude. It was 4:31 a.m. and Armin Shimerman, Crosby, Andrew Robinson and other Trek actors requiring makeup were in the makeup trailer at the time. They headed home... in makeup... to check on loved ones.
  • Trek was famous for recycling sets and props. Case in point: Quark's cloaking device. It was re-dressed and seen as Neelix's broken heating coil in "Live Fast and Prosper" and as a hunk of Xindi debris in "Exile."
  • DS9 producers Michael Piller and Ira Steven Behr did not care for this episode... at all.
  • Heidi Swedberg, who played Natima's "student" Rekelen, is best known for a very different role. She recurred on Seinfeld as Susan Ross, George's fiancee, who died after licking toxic wedding invitations. Jason Alexander, who played George, guest starred on Voyager in the episode "Think Tank."
  • "Profit and Loss," in the initial teleplay for it, originally bore much more of a resemblance to the classic film Casablanca. In fact, it was even titled "Here's Lookin' at You." However, the title and story were changed for legal reasons.
  • This was the only DS9 episode directed by Robert Wiemer, who'd previously directed eight episodes of TNG. Wiemer passed away on August 21, 2014, at the age of 76. 
  • Gul Toran was not actor Edward Wiley's first Trek role. Before he played the Cardassian on DS9 he portrayed a Klingon, Governor Vagh, in the TNG episode "The Mind's Eye."
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