Synopsis: Riker gets to provide “gestures of good will” to the head female of an oligarchy society, and if there’s time, save some castaways.
Memory Alpha Summary: Considering it’s written by a man, it’s not that bad
Review: This reeks of a “special episode” about sexism and does nothing at all to help it. We also learn Riker has some seriously fucked up values. First, he willingly lets himself get seduced by the leader of a planet in the name of diplomacy, when it is possibly the worst thing he could do short of murdering her. Then, he shows every intention of violating the rights and self-determination of the castaways (by beaming them up against their will) all because of his guilt complex. He saves some face by giving a decent speech about martyrdom (which, while preachy, is pretty damn accurate), but only after flipping the bird at the prime directive (which was violated many years earlier as Starfleet had met with this pre-warp civilization already). And why couldn’t this speech be given by Tasha? Now that would have been a statement (and made her useful for once).
Oh, and apparently the holodeck not only has a terrible failsafe mechanism, it can also kill the entire crew by manifesting a deadly virus. At least Wesley got to hit the captain with a snowball. After being told to shut up multiple times while trying to save Picard’s ass, I think Wesley’s revenge was beautifully understated but effective.
The only bright spot is Geordi’s awesome, emotional moment when he gets to sit in the captain’s chair for the first time.