The Enterprise runs across a giant hole in space, but it's not a black hole, and Data's not sure how to describe it except that it has no dimension and no matter. Yet, the Enterprise ends up stuck inside it when they get too curious. Trying to warp out seems to run them in circles. Soon they are attacked by what appears to be a Romulan ship, but which blows up too easily and doesn't leave any debris behind. Next, the Enterprise's sister ship, the Yamato, magically appears. Riker and Worf beam aboard, having nothing better to do. The Yamato they beam unto doesn't follow the normal rules of time and space, and they find that the bridge is on the wrong floor, and once they've stepped unto the bridge, they can't step off of it, because each door leads back to the bridge, making it appear as if there are two bridges. Worf freaks out, then the Enterprise freaks out because they can't beam them back. Meanwhile, a hole appears leading to the normal universe, but Picard ignores it until the Enterprise can suddenly beam Worf and Riker back. Then, more holes appear, but each time the Enterprise tries to go for it, they're too slow and the holes reappears somewhere else. Finally a giant face appears to talk to them, and announces that its going to kill up to half of the Enterprise members in its experiments. Picard and Riker set the auto-destruct, which convinces the alien to let them go. Picard's not sure that they're really free, and waits until the last minute to cancel the self-destruct sequence.
This episode is a bit typical in its aspect of "super-powerful-being treating humans like dung." in retrospect, it makes me wonder where Q got off to for so many episodes. Not that there can't be other super powerful aliens, but lets not forget the pompous one we started the series off with.
Actually, forget Q for now because he's not in this episode. I knew this one would be a winner, though, when I saw that it started off with Worf. When such episodes are bad, they're at least laughably bad, like if you had Kirk strolling on set just long enough to yell Khan! Or, you know, the Klingon death yell. No Klingon death yell here, but we do get Worf freaking out about the space-time bending bridge. There should only be one, dang nabbit! It's the kind of freak out that makes you feel just a bit sympathetic because a tiny part of you realizes that you'd probably lose your cool and say dumb things, too. I doubt Starfleet Academy prepares you for rooms that act like the first Joust arcade game (link?).
I also liked how Picard handled the situation once they realize they're being toyed with. If he didn't know before The Skin of Evil, he definitely learned that you don't satisfy demented curiosities. If rats stopped running mazes, we'd get disappointed and experiment on squirrels or somesuch.
Lastly, I liked how Picard was so suspicious at the end and almost blew up the ship. Hey, no one's perfect, right? This episode is also not perfect. It's a bit too predictable. I can't decide if it falls into the laughably bad or awesomely awesome category.
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