So, the title spoils it some, but the Enterprise is about to get caught up in some trouble when they go to help some people. Just thought I'd spell that out for you.
Picard leaves the ship in order to have his heart replaced, a common surgery that he wishes Dr. Pulaski not to perform for unknown personal reasons. Wesley also leaves to take some kind of Academy examines, although these are never clearly explored. Back on the Enterprise, Riker receives a distress call, which he answers. The aliens that have put out the distress signal appear to have some trouble with their ship, and also appear to have limited mental capacities. Troi warns Riker that something is up, but Riker sends Geordi over any way. The aliens kidnap Geordi and nearly kill him with his own phaser. The Enterprise gets Geordi back by tricking the aliens, and just in time. Picard's surgery is going very badly, and the Enterprise returns so that Dr. Pulaski can save his life. Picard wakes up to find Dr. Pulaski there, grumbles, and everything goes back to normal.
I do like that the aliens are smarter than they first seemed, but still aren't geniuses. It is a little creepy that they look, uh... like certain humans with a certain disorder? Did anyone else catch that, or is my brain making with the crazy? In any case, I do believe that they were purposefully creepy, since they were the antagonists of the episode and all.
The thing that bothers me most about this episode is the idea that they kind of got away with it. They didn't get to keep Geordi, but they're still out there. They're not in prison, or to our knowledge have been put on any sort of social quarantine. We're not left with any sense that the Enterprise bothered to inform any one else of what happened, beyond their usual log reports. I suppose that's because Picard wasn't there to captain. Ha! Just kidding. Riker did a good enough job. He could have listened to Troi a little more, especially considering that he likes her (as in, like like!), but we're long ago convinced that he has his share of arrogance. Man, those aliens? They look totally harmless. It's just the Rabbit of Caerbannog.
Poor Troi. And poor Geordi.
Oh yeah! And Picard almost died. Except that he's Picard, so we knew that he wouldn't actually die. We got to see him look grumpy, though. That saves the episode, right? Seriously, though. The best part of this episode is Picard's crankiness, and his ability to hold it in when he's stuck with Wesley on a six hour flight in a shuttlecraft. Like all kids, Wesley sure knows how to ask questions.
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