TNG. Let's do this shit.

Brikar

The Dude
Jan 1, 1970
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#41
It sounds like the original draft would've played much better. Hell, if it were a comedy, even that final scene where Picard and Riker are so goddamned confused probably would've been hilarious.
 

Brikar

The Dude
Jan 1, 1970
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#42
3x07 "The Enemy" - Geordi is trapped on a harsh, alien world that is slowly damaging his VISOR. His only companion is the Romulan survivor of a crashed shuttle. Meanwhile, Worf is the only person with compatible blood to save a second Romulan aboard the Enterprise. This episode is a pretty good take on that old 'Enemy Mine' scenario. Worf's hatred of the Romulans, and the Romulan's hatred of him back, makes for good B-story material, as does the confrontation between Picard and Tomalak.

3x08 "The Price" - Troi falls for a charismatic part-Betazoid negotiator as the Enterprise plays host to negotiations for access to what may be the galaxy's first known stable wormhole. The real problem with this episode isn't that Troi falls so hard so quickly... it's that she falls for such a smarmy douche. The guy playing Ral is just so lame, and his line readings are entirely one-note - Douche to the 11th Power. Still, there are some really hilarious bits involving the Ferengi, including the "Who gets the chairs?" gag in the beginning, and the reaction of the two poor idiots in the shuttle at the end.

3x09 "The Vengeance Factor" - As the Enterprise helps to negotiate the end of centuries of clan warfare between an alien race, a mysterious assassin could undermine it all. Another really solid episode, especially the climax. The last couple of scenes are the most powerful in the episode, and make up for some of the more groan-worthy material between Wesley and one of the alien bandits.

3x10 "The Defector" - The Enterprise rescues a Romulan defector who claims to have information about a secret plan to invade the Federation. Excellent episode all around, with a sharp, tense storyline, great performances, effects and musical score. A definite highlight of the season. I hated Andreas Katsulas as G'Kar on 'Babylon 5', but as Tomalak he's much better in these small doses. His confrontations with Picard are a lot of fun to watch, especially here. I may have actually said, "Ha! Yes!" when Picard shows his full hand at the end.

3x11 "The Hunted" - The Enterprise visits a planet hoping to become a member of the Federation and discovers that this society has condemned its veterans to a hellish life on a moon colony. This episode is pretty good, with a solid idea behind it and good performances and a few really cool action sequences. The big problem with the episode is that the action sequences take up so much of the episode, the idea behind the story doesn't get the full exploration it should. How a society treats its veterans is a fascinating story, one that has been tackled in a lot of post-Vietnam films. Still, there's a lot of cool stuff going on, so this is a pretty fun episode all around. Oh, and James Cromwell guest stars; always fun to have him around.
 

Cymro

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Nov 30, 1999
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#43
How a society treats its veterans is a fascinating story, one that has been tackled in a lot of post-Vietnam films.
I have to say I only care about it when it comes to veterans who were conscripted rather than volunteers. People who go join out of patriotism are suckers who help keep pay and conditions for soldiers down. When people here moan about their sons having to buy equipment with their own money because the stuff the Army provides isn't as good as it could be, I just can't muster up any sympathy.
 

Bean

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#44
People who go join out of patriotism are suckers.
I think I understand the point you're trying to make, but referring to every soldier who voluntarily joins the military, and voluntarily puts himself in harms way as a sucker is a bit harsh no?

I've got two friends that joined (obviously voluntarily), one of them did two tours in Afghanistan. Neither of them is a "sucker", and I count both of them at the top of my oh so very short list of people I admire a great deal.

My grandfather is a WW2 vet. He joined voluntarily and came back emotionally broken. Ruined the rest of his life. And while I can't stand the man and haven't spoken to him in over 15 years, I'll be damned if I don't at least admire what he sacrificed to help and protect others.
 

Brikar

The Dude
Jan 1, 1970
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#45
3x12 "The High Ground" - Doctor Crusher is kidnapped by terrorists on an alien world. But getting her back may put the Enterprise in danger and destabilize the local government. There are some hefty discussions here about the difference between terrorists and freedom fighters. Coupled with some excellent action sequences, this is another solidly crafted episode with good ideas behind it.

3x13 "Deja Q" - While the Enterprise is attempting to save an alien world from its moon's decaying orbit, Q appears and claims to have lost all his incredible powers. The crew's mission is complicated when old enemies of Q's appear and threaten the ship to get at him. This is a great episode because John de Lancie gets to play a more 'human' side to Q, and he does a great job. The mariachi band scene at the end is totally hilarious.

3x14 "A Matter of Perspective" - After a space station explodes, Commander Riker is accused to causing it and murdering a scientist working on a new power source for Starfleet. This episode presents an intriguing 'Rashomon'-style story of differing viewpoints, but it doesn't quite work as an episode. Part of the problem is that much of the crew seems out of character. When Riker is accused of attempted rape and murder, everyone on the ship seems to start looking at him suspiciously, as though they think he might have actually done it... which is total horseshit.

3x15 "Yesterday's Enterprise" - The previous starship Enterprise, NCC-1701-C, appears through a rift in time, altering the present to one where the Federation is losing a vicious war with the Klingon Empire. What a great episode. The return of Tasha Yar is handled excellently, and Denise Crosby fits right back in with the crew as if she'd never left (which makes me think of the intriguing possibilities if she'd stayed with the show past the first season). Fascinating story, great action and performances, cool action... a dang classic.

3x16 "The Offspring" - Data creates a daughter, Lal. But her development is threatened when a Starfleet admiral wants to take her to a research facility to be studied. Although it retreads some of the same ground as season two's 'The Measure of a Man', 'The Offspring' is on its own a very fine episode. There's some excellent drama punctuated by a few cutely humorous bits, but the real highlight is the ending, which is just downright heart-breaking. Lal's final line, summing up her life in just a few words... excellent stuff.
 

Cymro

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#46
but referring to every soldier who voluntarily joins the military, and voluntarily puts himself in harms way as a sucker is a bit harsh no?
No, I completely understand it when people join to get something out of it - training, a stable career or just wanting that lifestyle. It's people who fall for the "serving our country" bullshit that are the suckers, and so are the people who think that joining the military means these people should be entitled to something that they were perfectly happy to do without when they signed up.

Despite the prevailing attitude that glamorises military service, they are little more than indentured servants, who's lives are valued in pounds and dollars and political points.

3x12 "The High Ground" - Doctor Crusher is kidnapped by terrorists on an alien world. But getting her back may put the Enterprise in danger and destabilize the local government. There are some hefty discussions here about the difference between terrorists and freedom fighters. Coupled with some excellent action sequences, this is another solidly crafted episode with good ideas behind it.
This episode pissed me off, this was part of it:

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHsoPPynIIc"]‪Star Trek- The Next Generation. Banned Clip from 'The High Ground'‬†- YouTube[/ame]

But what really bothers me is the lack of depth to the "Freedom fighter" faction. The episode never reveals what exactly is wrong with the status quo, and why it can't be changed through peaceful means. A lot of revolutionaries create more oppressive governments than the ones they overthrow, and secessionist movements don't always represent a majority of the people in that territory (like the republicans in Northern Ireland). The episode tries to create a sense of moral ambiguity by showing the terrorists resorting to extreme methods, but never gives us any reason to think that the methods aren't justified.

Contrast that with the Bajorans - we are confronted from the beginning with the fact that whatever the Bajorans did to get their freedom was completely justified, as ugly as some of it may have been.
 
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Brikar

The Dude
Jan 1, 1970
3,661
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#47
3x17 "Sins of the Father" - Worf discovers that his younger brother, Kurn, is still alive and that their father has been accused to betraying the Empire to the Romulans. What a great episode. The Klingon political machinations are pretty fascinating, and Duras is a total scumbag. It's always been one of the cooler aspects of the Worf character that, even as removed from Klingon society as he is, he is often a far better Klingon than the ones he encounters. His sacrifice at the end is evidence of that.

3x18 "Allegience" - Captain Picard is kidnapped and replaced with a doppelganger who makes decisions that force the crew to question their loyalty to him. This episode is kind of dull. The bit at the end where the crew communicates non-verbally to trap the aliens is cool, but otherwise there's nothing particularly great going on here.

3x19 "Captain's Holiday" - Picard decides to take a vacation on the resort planet Risa and becomes embroiled in a quest for an artifact from the future. A decent episode, if somewhat unremarkable. Vash is a pretty interesting charcter, and it's not like the episode is bad, it's nothing special, either.

3x20 "Tin Man" - The Enterprise races against time and the Romulans to make contact with a space-going alien creature that may be the last of its race. This is a fine episode, with an intriguing sci-fi premise and some cool special effects. The Mayor of Sunnydale does a good job with his character, selling the frustration of constantly being bombarded by other peoples' thoughts and then finally finding peace with the creature.

3x21 "Hollow Pursuits" - The crew is frustrated by the shy, unreliable Lt. Barclay, and the ship begins to suffer from strange malfunctions that no one can explain. There's a lot of fun stuff going on in this episode, but there's one thing that nearly hobbles it: How in the hell did Reg Barclay get to the rank of Lieutenant? With his laundry list of neuroses, he should've been drummed out of the fleet years earlier. La Forge even comments aloud how he made it through the Academy, and no one is able to answer that question. Sure, Barclay is a competent engineer, but you'd never know that from his behavior. He's even a likeable character, he's just not one I can really believe, y'know?

3x22 "The Most Toys" - A shifty alien collector of rare objects kidnaps Data and fakes the android's death in order to keep the Enterprise from searching for him. Another good episode; I enjoyed watching the battle of wits between Fajo and Data, who tries his best to exhibit nonviolent resistance. The end is intriguing, with the concept of whether Data is capable of murder or revenge. For all the talk about how Data doesn't feel things, it's often obvious that he's far more human than he gives himself credit.

3x23 "Sarek" - The venerable Ambassador Sarek comes aboard the ship for vital negotiations with an alien race, but spontaneous acts of violence begin to break out amongst the crew, threatening the mission. A great episode simply because it's full of excellent performances. Mark Lenard and Patrick Stewart knock it out of the park in their scenes, and the scene where Picard takes on Sarek's emotions is great. This one did hit home a bit because I've dealt with a grandparent suffering from mental degeneration, and I think a lot of other people have, too. This show is amazing when it hits you like that.

3x24 "Menage a Troi" - Lwaxana, Deanna and Riker are kidnapped by a Ferengi who has fallen in love with Lwaxana. At this point, Lwaxana Troi has become a rather annoying character. Her single-mindedness about men and sex has become grating instead of funny, and even Deanna's exasperated reactions aren't really all that amusing anymore. At least Wesley is a full Ensign now and gets a real costume instead of those awful gray pajamas.

3x25 "Transfigurations" - The Enterprise rescues an amnesiac alien from a crashed escape pod only to discover that he is being hunted by his own race. This is another good episode, though it moves a little slowly. I would have liked more exploration of the alien society's fears about moving on to a new evolutionary stage, whereas the episode mostly concerns itself with Crusher and her relationship with "John Doe".

3x26 "The Best of Both Worlds, Part I" - The Borg kidnap Picard and assimilate him into their collective, forcing him to lead a devastating attack on the Federation. Just a downright fuckin' awesome episode. The Borg seem huge and unstoppable, and every scene is loaded with dread and tension. Throw in some great action sequences and, seriously, one of TV's best cliffhangersever, and you've got yourself one of the high points of the entire franchise.
 

Brikar

The Dude
Jan 1, 1970
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#48
4x01 "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II" - Riker struggles with the demands of command while the crew attempts to rescue Picard from the Borg and save the Federation. A great conclusion to the first half. I know a lot of times these second parts take a lot of flak for not living up to the first, but I've never felt that way with 'Best of Both Worlds'. This episode has lots of great moments for its characters, the shows biggest and baddest action sequences, and a rockin' musical score. Also note: Geordi La Forge never interacts with another member of the main crew in the same shot in this episode; his footage appears to have been shot separately and edited in.

4x02 "Family" - While the Enterprise undergoes repairs after the Borg attack, Picard visits his family to help deal with his emotional scars of his ordeal. There's no science fiction hook to this episode, it's just straight up drama, which I've seen leading to this episode getting shit on all over the Internet, but screw that. This episode is great. The B-plot with Worf's parents is more than fine, but the A-plot is fantastic drama. The scene where Picard breaks down in the vineyard is heartbreaking, to see a character who has always been so strong suddenly crying about his weakness.

4x03 "Brothers" - While the Enterprise is transporting a young boy who desperately needs medical help, Data suddenly hijacks the ship and takes it to an uninhabited planet where he meets his creator, Dr. Soong. This is a good episode, with Brent Spiner getting to play three roles: Data, Soong and Lore. The opening sequence shows some of the potential Data is capable of as he completely overruns the ship and the crew is almost helpless to stop him. Probably the only fault of the episode is that Lore once again impersonates Data, but at the same time, it's really the only logical way the episode can go.
 

Bean

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#49
3x23 "Sarek" - The venerable Ambassador Sarek comes aboard the ship for vital negotiations with an alien race, but spontaneous acts of violence begin to break out amongst the crew, threatening the mission. A great episode simply because it's full of excellent performances. Mark Lenard and Patrick Stewart knock it out of the park in their scenes, and the scene where Picard takes on Sarek's emotions is great. This one did hit home a bit because I've dealt with a grandparent suffering from mental degeneration, and I think a lot of other people have, too. This show is amazing when it hits you like that.


4x02 "Family" - While the Enterprise undergoes repairs after the Borg attack, Picard visits his family to help deal with his emotional scars of his ordeal. There's no science fiction hook to this episode, it's just straight up drama, which I've seen leading to this episode getting shit on all over the Internet, but screw that. This episode is great. The B-plot with Worf's parents is more than fine, but the A-plot is fantastic drama. The scene where Picard breaks down in the vineyard is heartbreaking, to see a character who has always been so strong suddenly crying about his weakness.



These two episodes show without a doubt, why Patrick Stewart gets top billing in the series and the movies. He is fantastic. Something about the "break downs" he suffers in both of these episodes is absolutely heart breaking. I remember when I first saw his break down in the vineyard I actually got teared up myself. It's like you could really FEEL how utterly powerless he felt, and how that basically destroyed him emotionally. His confidence totally shattered.

I think they tried to replicate that seen somewhat in Generations and it failed miserably. Whether it's because of the "it's been done" factor, or just that the scene in question didn't really "pull it off" I don't know. But Patrick Stewart is quite possibly one the best actors to have even touched Trek. By far.
 

Cymro

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#50
It definitely makes you think that more shows should try and emulate the way Stewart was casted.

"Family" is my favourite TNG episode, and yeah, the breakdown gets me too. And Worf's dad always cracks me up.
 

Brikar

The Dude
Jan 1, 1970
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#51
I think they tried to replicate that seen somewhat in Generations and it failed miserably. Whether it's because of the "it's been done" factor, or just that the scene in question didn't really "pull it off" I don't know. But Patrick Stewart is quite possibly one the best actors to have even touched Trek. By far.
I think they knew they needed some kind of emotional hook for Picard, but didn't really know what to do. In the end they settled on killing two family members that had only been seen in one episode and referenced briefly elsewhere... and killing them off-screen at that. It doesn't really work, but I can't fault Stewart's performance in trying to make something out of it.
 

Brikar

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#52
4x04 "Suddenly Human" - When they Enterprise rescues a group of aliens from a ship suffering from reactor failure, the crew is shocked to discover a human teenager among them. This episode is a bit of a mess; it starts out making a lot of references to abusive parents and but by the end that's all dropped and Picard is more than willing to let the boy go home to an alien race that may have abused him because that's the only life he's ever known. Something about it doesn't sit right, which is disappointing because it's nice to see Stewart forced to act as a father figure to the boy.

4x05 "Remember Me" - Doctor Crusher is the only person who seems to notice that something is wrong when people aboard the Enterprise begin to disappear. Another episode that's kind of a mess, I think it tips its hand a little too soon about the nature of Crusher's predicament, and the Traveler's brief appearance at the end doesn't seem to have the same weight that it should. Crusher takes entirely too long to figure out what she's supposed to do, in a scene that Gates McFadden struggles to sell because she's basically just talking to herself in a lot of technobabble about warp bubbles and collapsing universes.

4x06 "Legacy" - The Enterprise crew teams up with the sister of the late Tasha Yar when two survivors of a damaged ship crash-land on a lawless colony world. This episode is a little better, with the crew dealing with the ghost of Tasha in a different kind of way, especially Data. There's a couple of cool action sequences and some nice special effects littered about, so this one's a bit better than the last couple episodes.
 
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Brikar

The Dude
Jan 1, 1970
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#53
4x07 "Reunion" - K'Ehleyr returns to the Enterprise, this time with Worf's young son, Alexander. Meanwhile, Picard must discover who has assassinated the Klingon Chancellor, lest the assassin assume control of the entire Klingon Empire. Like "Sins of the Father" before it, this is another great Worf-centric episode. Duras, as before, proves to be a complete scumbag and even Gowron we're not sure is worthy of being a leader, either. The political machinations of other episodes are never as fascinating as they are when we're dealing with the Klingons.

4x08 "Future Imperfect" - Riker awakes in sickbay and is told that 16 years have passed and he is now captain of the Enterprise. But certain things don't add up, and Riker suspects he may be the victim of a Romulan plot. This is a fun episode, but not a particularly remarkable one. It's the ending that bothers me; I think it would have been better if it had all been a Romulan hoax played on Riker rather than the fantasy of a lonely alien child.

4x09 "Final Mission" - Wesley Crusher and Captain Picard crash on a barren world where their only source of water is protected by an alien forcefield. Wil Wheaton's final episode as a regular cast member is one of the better efforts for the character. He shares some good scenes with Patrick Stewart, and cements Picard's relationship as a father figure for Wesley.

4x10 "The Loss" - The Enterprise is caught in a field of two-dimensional alien creatures which threatens the ship with destruction and robs Troi of her empathic powers. This episode has a good premise, but it's ruined by one thing: Deanna Troi acts like a total bitch to all her friends. The only one with the balls to stand up to her for it is Riker, but honestly what could be a good story about Troi's loss is aggravating to watch.

4x11 "Data's Day" - On the eve of Chief O'Brien's wedding, Data writes a letter to Commander Maddox about his relationships with the humans on board. This episode is kind of cutesy and warm, and therefore innocuous and easy to watch. The subplot involving a Romulan spy is treated in an almost completely unimportant manner, like a throwaway. It should be something with far-reaching consequences, but Picard and the crew basically just say "oh well" and get on with things. It's a little weird, and doesn't jive with the tone of the rest of the episode.
 

Tupperfan

Forgot to bring booze...
Sep 16, 2009
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#54
Also note: Geordi La Forge never interacts with another member of the main crew in the same shot in this episode; his footage appears to have been shot separately and edited in.
Good observation. See production notes for this episode on Memory Alpha:

"When the filming of this episode began, actor LeVar Burton was in hospital for emergency surgery. Consequently, his scenes as La Forge were carefully filmed after the majority of production was concluded; this is why he only appears in close-ups and not in shots with any of the other main performers. Several of his major lines were rewritten for Colm Meaney, which is why Chief O'Brien is one of the main characters who works to restore Captain Picard."
 

Bean

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#55
4x10 "The Loss" - The Enterprise is caught in a field of two-dimensional alien creatures which threatens the ship with destruction and robs Troi of her empathic powers. This episode has a good premise, but it's ruined by one thing: Deanna Troi acts like a total bitch to all her friends. The only one with the balls to stand up to her for it is Riker, but honestly what could be a good story about Troi's loss is aggravating to watch.
I was annoyed with Troi as well when I first saw this episode. But I reconsidered later. You have to put yourself in her shoes. Imagine if you suddenly lost your sight. And everyone around you was trying to comfort you, but were completely unable to relate to what you were going through. If she had maintained the whiny bitch thing over weeks and weeks it would be one thing, but the amount of time in the episode.. she really didn't have time to even begin to adapt.

The way the other characters were expecting her to deal with it so quickly was as if you lost your sight on Monday, and on Tuesday everyone was treating you like "Well, you've had time to adapt". As bitchy and whiny as she was, you have to understand that after something like that you'd be an emotional wreck. Every single moment of your day would be completely different than it has for your entire life.

I think the major issue was the concept itself. There really wasn't enough time to flesh out the entire idea. Now had it happened over a season or so, it could have been great.
 

Brikar

The Dude
Jan 1, 1970
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#56
I'm not arguing with the logic of it, and you're right that it was a bit too big of an issue shoved into a limited runtime, but I just found it a chore to watch - regardless of how realistic it may be.
 

Brikar

The Dude
Jan 1, 1970
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#57
4x12 "The Wounded" - The Enterprise is ordered to track down a rogue Federation starship that has been attacking Cardassian ships and outposts along the border. This is a very good good episode, expanding greatly on the O'Brien character and also dealing with post-war animosity between soldiers. It introduces the Cardassians, who would become far more important on Deep Space Nine (as would O'Brien) and also even has Marc Alaimo, who would later become Gul Dukat.

4x13 "Devil's Due" - When riots break out on a world hosting a Federation science team, the Enterprise discovers a woman claiming to be the Devil has taken possession of the planet. This episode is pretty fun; it's a little silly, sure, but well-written and performed. Part of me got the sense that this episode might have originally been intended for Q, but apparently it was actually written for 'Star Trek: Phase II' like 2x01 "The Child."

4x14 "Clues" - After the crew is knocked out by a wormhole, a series of minor mysteries lead Picard to believe that Commander Data is lying to him about what happened. This is a pretty good episode overall, with a nice mystery but the climax is a little rushed. I think the show could have tipped its hand a little earlier and focused on Data's crisis of conflicting orders rather than the mystery aspect of it and it would've been a lot better.

4x15 "First Contact" - The Enterprise crew makes First Contact with an alien race on the verge of constructing its first warp drive. But paranoid conservatives threaten to derail the whole thing. This is a rather good episode, with the crew trying to convince the aliens that they really are benevolent, despite certain appearances. It tries very hard to paint the liberals as nice, kind people and the conservatives being ruled by fear. But its major failing is that, ultimately, the liberals concede to the conservatives which is frustrating to say the least.

4x16 "Galaxy's Child" - Dr. Leah Brahms comes aboard the ship, shattering La Forge's fantasy of her from 3x06 "Booby Trap". But the two must learn to work together when an alien creature attaches itself to the hull of the ship. The subplot involving the aliens is well written and played, but a lot of the stuff between Geordi and Leah is kind of annoying. In fact, Geordi's romantic woes in general are a little annoying. Still, a solid episode despite my annoyance at the execution of a premise that's pretty interesting. The differences between fantasy and reality are always a nice idea to explore.
 
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Brikar

The Dude
Jan 1, 1970
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#59
4x17 "Night Terrors" - The ship is caught in an anomaly that is slowly draining its energy. At the same time, the crew is unable to enter REM sleep, causing the slow deterioration of their mental capacity. This is a good episode, with some creepy scenes and a good mystery for the crew to solve. Probably the most effective of the hallucinations is when Dr. Crusher is surrounded by corpses in the cargo bay. The only real problem is Troi's nightmare scenes which feature her floating through some scary storm clouds... it looks pretty lame.

4x18 "Identity Crisis" - Members of Geordi's old crew are disappearing, leaving only he and one other left to solve the mystery. Another good mystery for the crew to solve, and some nifty effects. Solidly constructed, but this isn't a particularly remarkable episode. No consideration is given to any kind of moral dilemma - since this is how the aliens reproduce, Picard's order to quarantine the planet essentially means their doom.

4x19 "The Nth Degree" - While investigating an alien probe, Reginald Barclay is hit by an energy discharge and soon his mental capacity begins to expand beyond what should be humanly possible. This is a better Barclay episode than the previous one, if only because the execution of the character doesn't seem so incompetent. And it also has a nice, warm ending that is very 'Star Trek' - peaceful contact has been made with an alien race, and everyone seems hopeful for the future.

4x20 "Qpid" - Q returns to the Enterprise and forces the crew to participate in a recreation of the adventures of Robin Hood, with Picard in the title role and Vash as Maid Marian. Another overtly silly Q episode, this one has some funny lines and cute moments. Vash once again proves a worthy romantic interest for Picard, and John de Lancie once again proves that he's the perfect actor to play Q.

4x21 "The Drumhead" - A Starfleet Admiral trying to root out Romulan spies aboard the Enterprise, but soon begins to go too far. A lot of shows do the whole 'witch-hunt episode' thing, but this one is top-tier. The dialogue is great, the performances are excellent... the climactic scene is entirely constructed to make you feel unsettled as the crew suddenly realizes they've been caught up in all this paranoia as Picard is accused of being a traitor. An excellent episode.

4x22 "Half a Life" - Lwaxana Troi falls in love with a man whose race has a custom to commit suicide at age 60. A far step up from Troi's previous appearance, here she's far less annoying. In fact, her breakdown in front of her daughter is possibly one of the most interesting scenes for the character to date. There's also an excellent look at treatment of the elderly.

4x23 "The Host" - Beverly falls for Odan, a Trill ambassador aboard the Enterprise for important peace negotiations between feuding aliens. But when Odan is injured, she discovers that the Trill are a symbiotic species, and the man she loved is not who she thought he was... at all. This is a pretty great episode, with a lot of great scenes. The difficulty between Beverly and Riker after he becomes the host for Odan is well-played by both actors. The last scene has some intriguing concepts when Odan is placed into a female host - but that wouldn't be explored until a much later DS9 episode.
 

Cymro

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#60
4x20 "Qpid" - Q returns to the Enterprise and forces the crew to participate in a recreation of the adventures of Robin Hood, with Picard in the title role and Vash as Maid Marian. Another overtly silly Q episode, this one has some funny lines and cute moments. Vash once again proves a worthy romantic interest for Picard, and John de Lancie once again proves that he's the perfect actor to play Q.
"Captain, I must protest! I am NOT a merry man!"

4x21 "The Drumhead" - A Starfleet Admiral trying to root out Romulan spies aboard the Enterprise, but soon begins to go too far. A lot of shows do the whole 'witch-hunt episode' thing, but this one is top-tier. The dialogue is great, the performances are excellent... the climactic scene is entirely constructed to make you feel unsettled as the crew suddenly realizes they've been caught up in all this paranoia as Picard is accused of being a traitor. An excellent episode.
It kicks "Litmus"'s ass.