One song tends to repeat itself in our minds when we watch the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Season 1 festival of nuts that is called “Move Along Home. It’s not the “Alla Maraine” ditty that Sisko and the crew are forced to sing, either.
It’s something from It’s Always Something In Philadelphia, and the repeated musical question is, “What are the rules?”
This DS9 wonderland dive has four of our heroes being trapped in a game that Quark is playing, and the game makes no sense. Quark is kind of learning as he goes, but the Gamma Quadrant guests who have brought this magical torture chamber onto the station never really explain what the hell the game is supposed to do. “Shap 6! Win some gems! Shap 2, double your winnings, lose a player, move along, move along, move along home!”
Yeah, what in the deepest depths of the fire caves does ANY of that mean?
We never find out, and the most annoying thing of all? The game is revealed to have zero stakes or consequences. No one was ever in any danger, because “it’s only a game.” Even one of the episode’s co-writers did not enjoy that the episode was changed in that way, and he’s not wrong. Utter confusion, no rules, and no stakes? Why should we care?
We care because it’s just so silly, so ridiculous, and some of us are cracked in the head. This thing is so weird, it can’t not be celebrated. Welcome back to Warp Factor, where viewers are already asking if someone lost a bet that involved coverage of this episode. No bet was necessary. We chose this.
What are the rules? Who cares. Move along home and give it a watch anyway.