The first episode of season two! So, some things have changed... For instance, there's a new doctor. Wait, what?
The Enterprise collects plague specimens, transporting them to Starfleet Medical in the hopes of producing a vaccine. Geordi designs a specify container for the deadly plague, but during their journey one of the specimens inexplicably begins to grow and threatens to burst out of the container. Meanwhile, a shining dot of an alien finds Troi and impregnates her. She insists on delivering the baby, has a painless birth mere days after her impregnation, and raises the rapidly growing child as her own. The Enterprise crew is pretty freaked out over the alien child, which looks human, Ian, except for the fact that one day he's a baby and the next day he's physically 4 years old. Ian informs Troi that he is the cause of the ship's trouble, which he is because he's radiating some kind of energy that's making the plague go berserk, and then he quickly and voluntarily dies right in front of Troi. After his death, his body morphs back into the glowing speck, which communicated briefly with Troi before leaving the ship. The plague stabilizes and the Enterprise is relieved. Also, there's a side story about Wesley not wanting to leave the Enterprise, so at the end of the episode, he asks Picard's permission to stay, which Picard gives.
Ok, number one, Dr. Crusher is gone. WHAT? Is this for forever? I like her! I'm not so sure I like the new doctor, although I am definitely prejudiced by the fact that I like Dr. Crusher so much. Sniff. Even if the new doctor does remind me just a teensy bit of Dr. McCoy, another character I've always liked. But, wait! Along with Dr. Crusher, they threaten to take away Wesley! But then they don't. Whew.
Secondly, this episode was clearly created just to mess with Riker. I approve. The too-cool-to-commit loser stares on sheepishly as his maybe-love has a baby, holding an android's hand. Awesome. Of course, Data is always awesome. I love how he thanks Troi for letting him participate in the birth, and also how he asks her a bunch of questions that she ends up not answering.
Speaking of the birth, man, don't we all wish it was that easy? Maybe it would be if, say, Adam and Eve had left that apple tree alone. But they didn't, so Troi's easy birth makes everyone suspicious. You get that horror movie feeling pretty much until the kid voluntarily dies to save the ship, because no matter how cute he is, he breaks the rules and humans don't like that.
And while we're talking about Troi, props to her for speaking up to say that she wanted to have the baby. Pretty cool fetus on the screen, too. Proof positive that at least it's not a brain-stealing alien in her chest. As a mother of a mostly human child myself, I can understand her getting annoyed and telling the bridge crew she's keeping the child no matter what they think of it.
And, oh, Riker. Mr., "I don't mean to be indelicate, but who is the father?" Even when he uses the right words, his tone is aggressive. You can just hear it killing any romance left between him and Troi (or, it should). The whole thing's so hilariously in character that I haven't left myself much room to talk about Wesley:
Wesley's growing up! He's staying on the ship (if his mommy will let him)!