Come on, Nog, tell me. Why is it so damned important for you to get into Starfleet?
requested by bengiyo
Thanks to the startrekds9 blog for making this gifset by my request.
Link to video of the scene. Some of the body language and inflection is important.
This is by far one of my favorite Nog scenes in all of Deep Space 9. Here, we see Nog make an important choice that I think completely exemplifies how much of Rom’s son he is. We also get to see how much courage Nog possesses. Less present, but we also get to see how much work Sisko puts into understanding people.
Rom is a nontraditional Ferengi. He marries a Bajoran woman. He becomes an engineer on the station. He gives all of his money away to be with Leeta. I think what’s important here with this scene is that it establishes how self-aware Nog is. I think many viewers, like Sisko and even Dax in this episode, dismissed Nog. If one grants that Nog is aware of his situation, and the fact that for most of his life he was just a young boy without much structure in his life, it is easy to see why Nog would pull so many pranks on the station.
Something important to note about Nog’s development is that until Keiko opened a school, Nog was pulled out of it by Rom, and was then taught in secret by Jake Sisko, he didn’t know how to read. Ferengi apparently don’t go to school, and are apparently taught necessary skills by their family, or perhaps someone they pay. If it wasn’t for Starfleet and the Bajorans taking over the station, Nog probably only foresaw his future in terms of what he might get out of working at Quark’s. We’ve also seen that in Jake and Nog episodes, Jake is a better negotiator and businessman than Nog. Nog is not dumb, and saw all of this.
That leads to the next bit. If there’s one thing we can learn from Rom, Quark, the Nagus, Brunt, and Gaila, it’s that Ferengi are an incredibly strict society about its cultural norms. That makes this scene where Nog confronts Sisko after being denied so important. Nog is fighting to leave Ferengi society. He will never be totally welcome in Ferengi society anymore for leaving a life of profit-hunting to become a Starfleet engineer.
The last thing important in this scene is Sisko’s comprehension. Sisko makes it clear that he understands Ferengi culture at least a little bit by being able to quote some of the Rules of Acquisition (which he’s done before to Quark). Sisko realized in this scene that he had underestimated Nog and changed his mind on him.
This is important for me, because Nog reminds me of a close childhood friend who also went into the military. Nog becomes a far more focused individual after joining Starfleet. He’s one of my favorite characters on the show because of how much he evolves over the course of the show.