Deanna Troi is impregnated by a mysterious entity.Review
When a plague in the densely populated Rachelis System races out of control, help from the U.S.S. Enterprise is enlisted in the medical emergency. But while preparing to transport samples of a deadly plasma plague from a Federation research station to a site where a suitable antidote can be developed, the crew is stunned by an unexpected announcement: Counselor Troi is pregnant.
According to Troi, a glowing white light impregnated her while she was asleep. Dr. Katherine Pulaski, the ship's new Chief Medical Officer, confirms Troi's prognosis and reports that the fetus will reach full term within 36 hours. Not knowing the true origins or intent of this mysterious child, Picard puts the crew on security alert. But when Troi gives birth to a boy named Ian, he appears to be completely harmless - although he amazes his mother and the crew when he grows from an infant to an eight-year-old in one day.
Meanwhile, Wesley Crusher reluctantly prepares to leave the U.S.S. Enterprise and join his mother, who has departed to become head of Starfleet Medical. Full of mixed emotions, Wesley decides to stay with the ship after receiving encouragement from a new crew member named Guinan. Later, when Wesley discusses his plans with Picard, the Captain agrees to let the young ensign remain as long as his mother permits it.
However, a sudden crisis with the plasma plague puts everyone's future in doubt. It seems that a contaminated specimen of the hazardous strain has inexplicably begun to grow on the cargo deck due to radiation from an unknown source on board. Dr. Pulaski reports that, at its current growth rate, the plague could wipe out the ship's entire population within two hours.
Unknown to all, Ian is the source of the radiation. When the young boy realizes this he decides to sacrifice his life to save the crew.
As a heartbroken Troi looks on, Ian dies and his body reverts to its original state - a glowing white life-force entity, which tells Troi that Ian had come to her to learn more about humans by experiencing life among them. Once the entity leaves the ship, the threat is averted and the crew continues their humanitarian mission.
While en route to the Morgana Quadrant, the U.S.S. Enterprise is engulfed by a mysterious "hole" having no dimensions and void of all energy and matter.Review
Captain Picard is perplexed by this mysterious oddity which cannot be measured or defined in human terms, and the crew is caught in a trap which, by their standards, does not even exist.
Unable to escape from the powerful hole, Riker and Worf decide to investigate an abandoned starship also marooned in the trap. On board the ship, the officers are confounded by a series of inexplicable incidents, but return safely to the Enterprise.
The crew is then confronted by a giant human eye which peers in at them through the main view screen. The being, calling Itself Nagilum, explains that he is using the Enterprise in an experiment to study human life - specifically, the many ways in which humans die. Wishing to observe death in all of its forms, Nagilum plans to use one-third to one-half of the crew as human guinea pigs.
Unwilling to stand by and watch his crew being slaughtered, Picard makes one of the most difficult decisions of his career. With Riker's support, Picard initiates the auto-destruct system of the ship - within 20 minutes, the Enterprise and her crew will be destroyed.
But as the sands of time slip away, Troi, Data and Geordi plead with Picard to reverse his decision, pointing out the futility of killing everyone on board just to spite Nagilum. While Picard wonders whether Nagilum is bluffing, the Enterprise is suddenly freed from the black hole and the captain is able to revoke the auto-destruct command with only two seconds to spare. Nagilum tells Picard that he observed enough watching the crew prepare to die to help him understand human nature, and Picard points out that they share one characteristic: curiosity.
When the Starship Enterprise arrives three days ahead of schedule to rendezvous with the U.S.S. Victory, the crew is presented with some well-deserved free time.Review
Knowing that Data is a Sherlock Holmes aficionado, Geordi summons Data to the holodeck, where they travel back to Victorian London to solve one of the famed detective's mysteries. Geordi plays Dr. Watson to Data's Holmes, but the trip turns out to be a brief one - having memorized every one of the Sherlock Holmes books, Data can solve the crime with very little effort.
Returning to the U.S.S. Enterprise, Geordi tries to explain to Data the difference between deduction and memorization. Dr. Kate Pulaski overhears their conversation and challenges Data to solve a real crime, a la Sherlock Holmes. Geordi orders the computer to present Data with an original mystery and an opponent who could defeat him.
Kate joins Data and Geordi as they return to London, via the holodeck. But their game turns serious when Kate is kidnapped by Holmes' arch-enemy, Professor James Moriarty. Although they track down Kate's location, they are unable to retrieve her because Moriarty has taken control of the holodeck computer.
Leaving the holodeck, Geordi and Data apprise the crew of the situation with Kate. They learn that the computer didn't create an adversary worthy of Holmes' intelligence, but of Data's - which means Moriarty is very bright indeed! Picard insists upon returning to London with Data to rescue Kate.
Data leads Picard to Moriarty, who is still holding Kate hostage. Although Data offers to concede victory to his nemesis in order to end the charade, Moriarty wants more. He wants to leave the holodeck and become real. Luckily, Picard is able to convince Moriarty that he does not yet know how to convert artificially created holodeck matter into a more permanent form, and Moriarty releases Kate from captivity
While traveling through the Omega Sagitta system, the U.S.S. Enterprise aids a disabled cargo ship and plays host to its sole occupant, Captain Okona.Review
Once on board the Enterprise, the handsome, roguish Okona charms the crew - particularly the women - with his quick wit and mischievous manner. Data, however, is unable to understand Okona's jokes and looks to Guinan and the holodeck for lessons in human humor.
Meanwhile, two small interplanetary vessels lock their lasers on the U.S.S. Enterprise, demanding Okona's surrender. First, Debin accuses Okona of getting his daughter, Yanar, pregnant; then Kushell, with his son Benzan at his side, charges the dashing Captain with stealing his nation's prized Jewel of Thesia.
Knowing that releasing Okona to either Debin or Kushell would cause a war between their respective homelands, Picard agrees to help Okona make a fast getaway. However, a discussion with Wesley Crusher convinces Okona to change his mind and turn himself in.
When all of the parties are beamed aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise to discuss the matter, Okona proposes to Yanar, which prompts an outburst from Benzan, who confesses that he fathered Yanar's child and took the jewel to present to the girl as his pledge of marriage. Okona also admits that he's been acting as a go-between for the couple, whose families have been feuding for years. Once everything is out in the open, Yanar agrees to marry her beloved Benzan.
The ordeal resolved, Data returns to the Holodeck to try out some jokes he's learned in front of an audience. After a disappointing attempt, Data reaches the sad conclusion that he is incapable of being funny. But as the crew bids good-bye to Okona, Data is caught off guard by a question from Okona and delivers a response that leaves everyone on the bridge laughing.
The U.S.S. Enterprise is unexpectedly diverted to the Ramatis star system to transport a famous mediator named Riva to the site of a bitter planetary conflict on Solais V.Review
To the surprise of the away team, headed by Captain Picard, it soon becomes apparent that Riva is deaf. Although he can understand what the crew is saying by reading their lips, his only way of communicating is through the Chorus, a group of three people who not only possess a distinctive aspect of Riva's personality, but can read the mediator's thoughts telepathically and translate them into words.
En route to Solais V, Troi and Riva develop a strong mutual affection. Left alone together, Riva communicates his loving feelings toward Troi using thoughts and crude sign language.
Arriving at the war-torn planet, Riva, his Chorus and the away team prepare to meet with the leaders of the centuries-old dispute. But when the combatants face each other to begin the peace talks, a dissident soldier opens fire with his weapon, killing Riva's Chorus. The away team and Riva are quickly beamed back aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise before more harm is done.
Faced with the loss of his Chorus, Riva becomes withdrawn and loses all confidence in himself. Although Data learns several forms of sign language and is able to communicate the deaf man's thoughts, Riva refuses to return to the planet where his friends were so needlessly killed. Luckily, Troi is able to persuade Riva that he can turn his disadvantage into an advantage.
Back on Solais V, Riva dismisses Data as his translator, announcing that he plans to teach the warring leaders sign language so that they can communicate with him and, in turn, with each other.
U.S.S. Enterprise races toward a remote planet on a top priority mission to provide medical aid for Dr. Ira Graves, one of the greatest living human minds.Review
Graves' young assistant, Kareen Brianon, has summoned for help against Graves' wishes.
An away team, led by Data, beams down to assist the dying Graves. Data develops a particularly strong rapport with the brilliant scientist, who is bravely enduring the final stages of a terminal disease. Shortly after Graves tells Data of his remarkable ability to transfer human knowledge into a computer, he dies.
Back on board the Enterprise, Data displays extremely uncharacteristic behavior, going so far as to accuse Picard of having lustful intentions toward Kareen. After an engineering test reveals no mechanical malfunctions with him, Troi tests Data's psychological reactions and discovers two conflicting personalities within him - Data's normal personality, along with a brilliant but irrational side which is quickly taking over his mind.
Meanwhile, Data reveals to Kareen that he is actually Graves, who transferred his dying mind and body into Data's mechanical frame. He also tells her that he intends to place her in an android body so they can be together eternally. A frightened Kareen rejects the plan, which triggers a violent reaction in Graves/Data.
Having discerned Graves' scheme, Picard confronts Data and begs Graves to vacate Data's body and mind. In response, Data knocks the captain unconscious. But when Picard is revived, he is relieved to learn that Graves' knowledge has been transferred to the ship's computer, thus returning Data back to normal.
An emergency call for help from a Federation supply ship sends the U.S.S. Enterprise racing on a course to determine the nature of the crisis.Review
Upon visually scanning the bridge of the U.S.S. Lantree, the crew is shocked to learn that everyone on the troubled vessel is dead. Dr. Pulaski determines that the crew members, who had been examined and found to be in perfect health eight weeks earlier, have all died of old age. The Lantree is immediately placed under quarantine and the U.S.S. Enterprise heads toward the ship's last port of call, the Darwin Genetic Research Station, to warn them of the potential danger.
Unfortunately, the U.S.S. Enterprise discovers that the residents of the Darwin Station are suffering from the same mysterious affliction. Picard is asked to evacuate the children of the station, who have been engineered to become super-specimens through genetic research. Although the children have been kept in isolation and show no signs of infection, a cautious Picard allows Pulaski to examine just one child until the nature of the virulent disease can be determined.
To further eliminate any danger to the crew, Data and Pulaski board a shuttlecraft and have the boy beamed to that vessel so that he can be evaluated in a safe environment. But moments after Pulaski begins to examine the boy, she is stricken by the mysterious disease, which immediately begins working its rapid aging process on her.
In a desperate attempt to save Pulaski's life, Picard orders the crew to modify the transporter unit so that it can filter out any changes in the doctor by using a sample cell of Pulaski's DNA taken before her exposure to the infection. A short time later, with Picard at the transporter controls, Pulaski is safely beamed back aboard the Enterprise and restored to her normal age.
A special exchange program brings a Benzite named Mendon aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise and gives Riker the opportunity to become the first Federation officer to serve on board a Klingon ship.Review
Riker's preparations for his assignment include a lesson from Lt. Worf about Klingons, who still maintain the barbaric view that brute strength rules. The lesson is put to immediate use on board the Klingon cruiser Pagh when First Officer Riker must overpower the Second Officer when he questions Riker's authority and loyalty.
Meanwhile, the U.S.S. Enterprise discovers that a virulent strain of bacteria is eating away at the hulls of both their ship and the Klingon vessel. As the Enterprise plots a course to intercept and warn the Pagh, the Klingons discover the bacteria and mistakenly believe the starship is responsible for it. Unable to communicate with the cloaked Pagh, the U.S.S. Enterprise becomes concerned and raises its shields, which the Klingons immediately interpret as an act of aggression.
As the Pagh prepares to attack the U.S.S. Enterprise, Riker produces and activates an emergency transponder supplied to him by Worf prior to his transfer. The captain of the Pagh seizes the device and is soon beamed aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise. Now captain of the Pagh, Riker demands the surrender of Picard and the crew, allowing the Klingons to maintain their honor as warriors.
A short time later, the Enterprise aids in removing the bacteria from the Klingon ship and beams the Pagh's captain back to his vessel. Riker immediately surrenders his authority to the Klingon captain and returns to his duties on board the U.S.S. Enterprise.
When the U.S.S. Enterprise arrives at the newly established Starbase 173, Data is ordered to serve under Captain Bruce Maddox, who wishes to disassemble and study him so that more androids can be made for Starfleet's use.Review
But after Data learns that Maddox may not be able to reassemble him, he refuses to submit to the procedure. When Captain Picard is unable to have the orders changed, Data's only option is to resign from Starfleet. His decision to resign, however, is challenged by Maddox on the basis that Data is not a person with rights, but property of the Federation.
The J.A.G. (Judge Advocate General) officer of the starbase, Phillipa Louvois, an old acquaintance of Picard, rules that Maddox's contention is supported by a twenty-first century precedent. Picard announces that he will challenge that ruling at a hearing. Insufficiently staffed, Phillipa explains that as senior officer, Picard would have to defend Data, while the next most senior officer, Riker, would have to prosecute. A stickler for the law, Phillipa warns that if Riker does not give his best effort, she will summarily rule in favor of Maddox.
Faced with no other choice, Riker must contend in his prosecution that Data is simply a machine - the creation of man - and dramatically emphasizes his point by approaching Data from behind and switching him off, leaving him lifeless in his seat. Certain of his defeat, Picard has a discussion with Guinan and she suggests that the Federation's desire to create and own a race of disposable androids is the recreation of slavery.
Making an impassioned plea for Data's freedom, Picard declares that in a sense, all beings are created but that does not necessarily make them the property of their creator. Phillipa agrees with him, asserting that Data may be a machine, but he is owned by no one and has the right to make his own decisions regarding his life.
The U.S.S. Enterprise is assigned to escort a young girl and her guardian from the planet Klavdia III, where they have lived almost all of the girl's life, to Daled IV, the planet she was born to rule.Review
The sixteen-year-old Salia has a chance encounter with Wesley Crusher, who is instantly and obviously smitten with her, much to the dismay of the girl's overprotective guardian Anya. After a short lesson in love from Guinan and Riker, a nervous Wesley calls on Salia in her quarters, where he introduces her to Thalian chocolate mousse. All the while, Troi is concerned that the emotions she senses from the new passengers don't seem to fit who they are.
Meanwhile, during a tour of sickbay, Anya discovers that there's a contagious patient on board and insists that he be killed immediately. When no action is taken, Anya becomes a raging monster intent on murdering the patient herself. Worf is barely able to fight off the monster before security arrives. Dr. Pulaski suspects that the passengers are allasomorphs, a species rumored to possess the power to change into other life forms. In order not to provoke Anya further, Picard orders Wesley to stay away from Salia.
Disobeying Anya's wishes, Salia sneaks into Wesley's room where she exchanges a passionate kiss with the smitten ensign. When the angry monster suddenly appears, Salia herself transforms into an even more frightening creature, resulting in a tense stand-off between the girl and her guardian. After they change back to their humanoid forms, Wesley is left stunned at the discovery that the girl of his dreams is not who he thinks she is.
Nearing the end of her stay, Salia tries to apologize to Wesley for any pain she may have caused him, but her pleas are met with indifference. Telling Wesley that she loves him, Salia heads toward the transporter room. When Wesley realizes his true feelings, he bursts into the transporter room bearing a bowl of Thalian chocolate mousse just as Salia is about to be beamed down to Daled IV. The two share a last taste and a last embrace before Salia bids Wesley a fond farewell.
The Starship Enterprise enters the Neutral Zone in response to a desperate plea for aid from the U.S.S. Yamato, which has been crippled by a series of dangerous, inexplicable malfunctions on its voyage to the homeland of the Iconians, an extinct civilization.Review
When the U.S.S. Yamato's captain tries to explain his mission to Picard, the transmission breaks up and the Yamato suddenly explodes. Investigating the incident, Picard learns that a mysterious probe was launched at the starship several days earlier, emitting a burst of energy at the ship. En route to Iconia to retrace the Yamato's course, the U.S.S. Enterprise experiences system failures similar to those the doomed vessel faced prior to its destruction. La Forge informs Picard that the probe rewrote the Yamato software, causing the antimatter containment failure that destroyed the ship, and that the Enterprise computer was infected when it downloaded the Yamato log prior to the explosion.
In an effort to save the Enterprise, Picard, Data and Worf beam down to Iconia. At the same time, a Romulan vessel orders the Enterprise to leave the Neutral Zone and begins to fire photon torpedoes at the ship, whose malfunctioning shields cannot be raised. Fortunately, the Romulan weapons suddenly disarm - it becomes clear that their ship is also "infected" because of their clandestine monitoring of the infected data from the Yamato. When Riker is finally able to activate the Enterprise's shields, he orders that they be kept up to deflect another Romulan attack - even though it will prevent the away team from being beamed back aboard.
Meanwhile on the surface, the away team accidentally activates an Iconian "gateway" which allows for immediate transport to distant places, such as other planets as well as both the Enterprise and the Romulan ship. When the power source which has been activating the probes attacks Data and tries to rewrite his software, Worf saves him by taking him back to the Enterprise through the gateway, while Picard stays behind to destroy the Iconian outpost to keep it from falling into Romulan hands. Geordi is unable to help Data, and the android appears to die. But then he awakes, a self-correcting mechanism having purged the memory infected by the foreign program. This gives Geordi the idea to wipe all memory from the ship's computer since downloading the Yamato logs. After Picard sets the outpost to destroy itself, he steps through the gateway and ends up on the malfunctioning Romulan ship, which is on a self-destruct sequence that its crew can't stop. By now the Enterprise systems have been restored and Picard is beamed safely back. Commander Riker informs the Romulans how to save their ship, and the Enterprise quickly retreats from the Neutral Zone.
In an unmapped solar system, the U.S.S Enterprise discovers a jagged chunk of metal bearing a United States Air Force insignia.Review
The Away Team beams down to a building on a nearby planet, hoping to find a connection between the structure and the ship fragment. When Riker, Worf and Data materialize in front of a revolving door that leads them into the casino of the Hotel Royale, their communication with the U.S.S. Enterprise is suddenly cut off. The away team is trapped by the revolving door, which continually leads back into the casino lobby, full of employees and patrons showing no signs of life.
While the Away Team searches for an exit, the drama of a bellboy preparing to fight an evil gambler for the woman he loves unfolds before them. In another one of the hotel rooms, the crew discovers the body of an American Air Force officer and among his remains, a novel titled "The Hotel Royale," the story being lived out before them. As communication with the U.S.S. Enterprise is restored, Data reads from the officer's diary that the world was created by aliens who misinterpreted the novel to reflect the preferred human way of life.
Back in the casino, Riker realizes that the key to their exit may be found in the book. Picard tells Riker that the story ends with "foreign investors" buying out the hotel, and life for the other characters going on as before. Data, calculating percentages at the crap table, quickly breaks the bank, buying the hotel and escaping with the rest of the team out of the perpetual drama.
When the U.S.S. Enterprise encounters a Federation shuttlecraft cartwheeling out of control through space, the starship pulls it into the shuttle bay.Review
Riker discovers that the shuttlecraft belongs to the U.S.S. Enterprise, and Dr. Pulaski finds an unconscious double of Picard inside. Captain Picard accompanies his double to sickbay, where Troi explains that the double really is Picard, but from another time. Data tells Picard that the shuttle's on-board clock shows it to be just six hours ahead of the U.S.S. Enterprise.
Scenes taken by the shuttle camera as it departed show the U.S.S. Enterprise surrounded by a whirlpool of energy. The double, frightened and confused in a nightmare world of his own, is unable to convey any information about the impending danger, and a scan of the area reveals nothing similar to the force filmed by the shuttle camera. Picard begins to doubt himself and worries that the judgment he made, as his double in the future, may have left him and his crew in a never-ending cycle of torment.
Suddenly, the whirlpool is upon them. Picard orders Geordi to take the U.S.S. Enterprise away at warp speed, but when it is unable to move, the U.S.S. Enterprise is forced to shut down before it is torn apart by the strain. The whirlpool lashes a tongue of energy which strikes each Picard, leading Troi to explain to Picard that the energy only wants him. Learning of his double's resolve to again leave the ship, Picard decides that they will never be able to move forward until the cycle is broken. He orders the U.S.S. Enterprise to charge directly into the vortex. After a tense moment, the double, the shuttle and the whirlpool disappear, leaving the Enterprise alone and on course again.
When Riker is offered a captain's position on the Starship Aries, the U.S.S. Enterprise heads for Starbase Montgomery so he can be briefed on the assignment.Review
Arriving at the Starbase, Riker is visibly shaken when his father, Kyle Riker, whom his son hasn't seen in 15 years, is beamed aboard to brief him. Although it immediately becomes apparent that their relationship is strained, Riker summarily rejects Kyle's efforts to reconcile with his son.
Meanwhile, Worf is showing increased hostility toward the crew for no apparent reason. Wesley's investigation into the cause of Worf's uncharacteristic behavior soon reveals that he is feeling culturally isolated because it is the tenth anniversary of his Age of Ascension, a ritual marking a new level of Klingon spiritual attainment.
To help Worf celebrate his anniversary, Data, Geordi and Wesley surprise him by recreating a Klingon ritual chamber in the holodeck. They are, in turn, surprised to learn that the ritual is a test of a Klingon's ability to endure pain at the hands of his friends.
While Riker packs for his new assignment, Kyle's attempts at reconciliation are again rebuffed, prompting him to challenge his son to a punzo-gai-roku match, the ultimate martial art. The match gives Kyle the opportunity he needs to finally resolve his conflicted relationship with his son.
As the crew sullenly prepares to leave the starbase without Riker, he surprises them by appearing on the Bridge, declaring his intent to stay on as First Officer.
Unbeknownst to the crew, Data has become pen pals with a little girl named Sarjenka who lives on Drema IV, one of the planets under investigation. When Data tells Picard of his communications with Sarjenka, he learns that her planet is in danger of imminent self-destruction as a result of growing stresses beneath its surface.Review
Meanwhile, to help further Wesley Crusher's education as a Starfleet Ensign, Riker puts him in charge of the mineral surveys which will determine what's causing the quakes and volcanic eruptions on Drema IV. Against his better judgment, Wesley allows the older crew members under his command to talk him out of ordering a detailed and time-consuming analysis. Later, a discussion with Riker gives Wesley the confidence to order the tests, which soon reveal the cause of the geological disturbances.
Shortly thereafter, Picard agrees to enlist the U.S.S. Enterprise's resources to help save the inhabitants of Drema IV. When Data loses contact with Sarjenka, he beams down to the planet to guide her to a place where she can wait safely until the U.S.S. Enterprise launches probes which will save her homeland.
But soon, realizing that Sarjenka's planet will tear itself apart more quickly than anticipated, Data has the girl beamed aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise for safekeeping. After Sarjenka witnesses the launching of torpedoes which will prevent a geological disaster, she is beamed back to her now safe home.
Picard's nemesis, the powerful, extra-dimensional being named Q, hurls the U.S.S. Enterprise across the galaxy after Picard refuses to let him become a member of the crew.Review
Immediately upon arriving in this unexplored part of the galaxy, the Enterprise encounters an alien ship. Suddenly, two Borg - part organic and part artificial beings - appear in the Main Engineering room. Unfortunately, the U.S.S. Enterprise's defenses are helpless against the powerful aliens, who begin draining information from ship's computers.
Then, having surveyed the ship's weakened defensive capabilities, the Borg vessel demands the surrender of the U.S.S. Enterprise. When Picard refuses, a short but fierce battle ensues, leaving both ships badly damaged and 18 Enterprise crew members dead. Desperate to learn more about this seemingly invincible enemy, Picard sends an Away Team to investigate the Borg ship, which is controlled by the collective minds of all the Borg, rather than by an individual leader.
When Data reports that the Borg are busy repairing their vessel, Picard quickly orders the Away Team to beam back so that the U.S.S. Enterprise can make its escape while the aliens are dormant. But as soon as the ship begins moving, the Borg give chase.
With the Borg vessel gaining on the U.S.S. Enterprise, Q appears on the bridge to taunt Picard with insults about the inadequacies of the starship. As the Borg close in and prepare to finish off the ship and crew, Picard admits to Q that he needs his help. Delighted with the captain's confession, Q instantly hurls the Enterprise out of the remote part of the galaxy and back to safety.
In order for Wesley Crusher to complete his Starfleet exams, he must travel to Starbase 515 in the Scylla Sector. He is unexpectedly joined on his trip by Captain Picard, who has been ordered by Dr. Pulaski to undergo a cardiac replacement operation.Review
While Picard and Wesley are away, the crew responds to a distress call from the Pakleds, a race of lethargic humanoids. It seems that their ship, the Mondor, requires extensive repairs. To help expedite the process, Riker beams Geordi aboard the Pakled vessel. Sensing that the Pakleds' intentions are less than friendly, Troi expresses concern for Geordi's safety.
After making the necessary repairs, Geordi prepares to return to the U.S.S. Enterprise, but he is suddenly disarmed by the Pakleds, who refuse to release him until Riker surrenders all of their computer information. Hoping to buy time and outsmart the dim-witted Pakleds, Riker implies that Geordi is a weapons expert. The Pakleds then abandon thoughts of computer information and demand that Geordi upgrade their defensive capabilities.
Unable to reason with the Pakleds, the U.S.S. Enterprise crew considers a show of force to rescue Geordi. Just then, an emergency summons is received from Starbase 515 indicating that complications in Picard's heart surgery have left him near death. The Enterprise quickly fires a harmless blast of light at the Pakleds, which frightens the weak race long enough to secure Geordi's release and allow the crew to race to Picard's side.
On Starbase 515, Picard regains consciousness and learns that his life was saved, thanks to the surgical skills of the Enterprise's own Dr. Pulaski. Wesley soon rejoins Picard on the ship, having passed his Starfleet exams with flying colors.
In response to an urgent distress signal, the U.S.S. Enterprise ventures into the Ficus Sector to save the Bringloidis, a society whose planet is about to be destroyed by stellar flares. Upon assessing the situation, Riker beams aboard the entire Bringloidi civilization, which consists of about 200 humans and animals, led by a jovial man named Danilo Odell and his head-strong but beautiful daughter Brenna.Review
Picard soon learns that the Bringloidis had traveled from earth years ago with a second colony of humans. Not interested in remaining on Bringloid, the other group dropped off Danilo and his people and moved on to an unknown destination.
Suspecting that the second colony might also be in danger, Picard engages the crew on a search, which leads to the planet Mariposa. When an Away Team beams down, they learn that the entire Mariposan society is composed of clones made from the five crew members who survived their ship's crash landing.
Suffering from a degenerative condition known as Replicative Fading, the Mariposans ask the U.S.S. Enterprise officers to donate fresh DNA so they can clone strong new citizens. When Riker and Dr. Pulaski refuse their request, the Mariposans render them unconscious and take the valuable cells from their bodies.
Upon returning to the U.S.S. Enterprise, Dr. Pulaski is shocked to discover that both she and Riker are missing cells. The two beam back down to the Mariposans' lab to destroy their clones, which have not yet fully matured. The Mariposan leader is furious, since without new DNA, his race will soon be extinct.
In an attempt to resettle the Bringloidis and help the Mariposans, Picard suggests that the two races be left alone to breed naturally, rather than by cloning. Initially reluctant, both sides agree and the group that started out together on Earth ends up together again.
While transporting delegates to a special Federation conference on Pacifica, the U.S.S. Enterprise picks up two representatives from the newly discovered planet of Antede III. Unaccustomed to space flight, the aliens arrive on the ship in a self-induced coma to deal with the trauma of their voyage.Review
En route to the conference, Picard and the crew are taken aback by the unexpected arrival of Lwaxana Troi, who also happens to be on her way to the meeting on Pacifica. Upon finding himself the object of Mrs. Troi's passions, Picard turns to Counselor Troi for advice. She explains that her mother is at "the phase," a mid-life period when a Betazoid woman's sex drive increases tenfold!
Reluctant to reject Mrs. Troi's amorous advances, Picard decides to seek refuge from her in the holodeck. As a result, she redirects her search for a mate to the other men on the U.S.S. Enterprise. Her "manhunt" ends on the Bridge when Mrs. Troi eyes Riker and announces to the crew that the two will soon be wed.
Meanwhile, when Dr. Pulaski reports that the Antedians are regaining consciousness, Riker enters the holodeck to inform Picard of the delegates' condition. He is followed by Lwaxana, who loses interest in both him and Picard after meeting Rex, the charming bartender in a Holodeck-created 1940s bar. To her chagrin, she later finds out that her dream man is only an illusion.
Returning to reality, Picard and Riker discover that the Antedians have fully awakened. They also learn, via Mrs. Troi's telepathic powers, that the Antedians are not delegates, but assassins sent to blow up the conference site using explosives hidden in the lining of their ceremonial robes.
While the Antedians are taken into protective custody, Picard thanks Mrs. Troi for saving the lives of the crew and assuring that the conference will proceed without incident. As Mrs. Troi prepares to beam down to Pacifica, she gives the captain one last playful reproach for his "lustful" thoughts as she dematerializes.
The U.S.S. Enterprise, obeying orders from the highest ranks of Starfleet Command, beams aboard a special emissary named K'Ehleyr, a half-human, half-Klingon female. The crew is pulled by Worf's coldness toward K'Ehleyr, who informs them that they must intercept the T'Ong, a Klingon vessel whose staff has been in cryogenic sleep for a century. She reveals that the Klingons began their voyage while the Federation was still at war with the Klingon Empire, and that if they awaken within striking range of key Federation outposts, the results could be devastating.Review
Worf, shunning the emissary's friendly advances, reluctantly follows Picard's orders to meet with K'Ehleyr about the volatile situation with the T'Ong. However, their meeting quickly turns personal, revealing that the two were once linked romantically. After a bitter argument, K'Ehleyr storms out.
To work out her frustrations, K'Ehleyr goes to the Holodeck where she does Worf's rigorous calisthenics program. Worf joins her for the exercise, which pits them in battle against deadly alien warriors. After completing the program, an aroused Worf grabs K'Ehleyr and they consummate their passion. At dawn, Worf asks her to take the Klingon oath of marriage which traditionally follows intimacy, but she refuses.
Meanwhile, the Enterprise approaches the T'Ong, whose newly awakened crew members begin firing at the ship. To prevent a fatal face-off, Worf dresses in full Klingon Captain's regalia and presents himself to the T'Ong as the commander of the U.S.S. Enterprise and demands their surrender. He convinces the Klingon leaders that the war ended during the T'Ong's mission and that the Klingons are now peaceful members of the Federation.
Following the T'Ong's surrender, K'Ehleyr prepares to take command of the Klingon vessel and is escorted to the transporter room by Worf. There, the two finally reconcile their differences and although K'Ehleyr bids him farewell, she leaves Worf with the hope that their paths will cross again.
As part of the first Starfleet Battle Simulation program, Picard and Riker are tapped to compete against each other in a mock battle. Picard is given command of the U.S.S. Enterprise, while Riker is assigned the Hathaway, a hopelessly unequipped, 80-year-old vessel which he's given 48 hours to outfit for battle. Acting as an observer of the exercise is Kolrami, a master strategist from the Zakdorn race, which is reputed to have the greatest strategic minds in the galaxy.Review
When Riker and his team beam aboard the Hathaway, they are shocked by its dilapidated condition. It quickly becomes obvious that the outclassed ship's only hope for victory lies in outwitting the U.S.S. Enterprise crew.
Meanwhile, Dr. Pulaski challenges the arrogant Kolrami to play Data in the highly complex game of Strategema. Although Pulaski is certain that the android's skills will prove superior to the Zakdorn's, Kolrami wins. When the war games begin, the Hathaway deftly wins round one by distracting the U.S.S. Enterprise with a holographic image of a Romulan warship, thus giving Riker's crew the chance to record several electronic "hits." Moments later, when Picard mistakes a real Ferengi warship for another holograph, he's stunned when the Ferengi launch a ferocious assault. The now-crippled Enterprise is ordered to surrender the Hathaway, which the Ferengi mistakenly believe is armed with a secret weapons system. Unwilling to sacrifice the lives of his friends, Picard masterminds a plan by which the Ferengi think that the U.S.S. Enterprise has blown up the Hathaway, thus allowing the smaller ship to warp speed away to safety.
With the war games completed, Data engages Kolrami in a rematch of Strategema. When Data changes his strategy and forces the game to end in a stalemate, Kolrami storms out, humiliated by the android, as the crew cheers Data's victory.
During a routine geological survey on Surata IV, Commander Riker's thigh is pierced by a small thorn, which causes him to lose the feeling in his leg. After beaming Riker back aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise, Dr. Pulaski determines that the thorn contains an unknown organism which is rapidly spreading throughout his nervous system. If left unchecked, the microbe will soon reach Riker's brain and kill him. Ironically, Pulaski has no way of decimating the organism without destroying the nerves of the being it's inhabiting.Review
At first, Riker's affliction seems more of a nuisance than a threat. But during a visit with Counselor Troi, his vital signs suddenly plummet and Riker loses consciousness. Although Dr. Pulaski is able to stabilize his condition, she discovers that the organism has spread to Riker's brain. In a desperate attempt to keep his brain functioning, Pulaski begins electronically stimulating his memory.
Soon, Riker's mind is filled with remembrances of his experiences aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise. When a memory involving romance increases the growth rate of the organism, Pulaski surmises that if positive emotions feed the invader, negative emotions could kill it.
In an attempt to recall painful moments in Riker's past, Pulaski induces memories of Tasha Yar's death, which successfully slows the organism's growth, but only temporarily. Moments later, his vital signs plunge again.
Sensing that further stimulation of negative emotions will either kill Riker or cure him, Pulaski induces the commander's most primitive memories of survival. As his recollections grow more violent, Riker's body is wracked by a massive convulsion. Just when it appears that Pulaski will lose him, Riker's vital signs stabilize and the organism vanishes, just as quickly and mysteriously as it appeared.