57. The Defiant (3.09)

Synopsis: When Commander William T. Riker from the Enterprise-D arrives on Deep Space 9, he takes a liking to Kira, who gives him a tour of the Defiant. But Riker is revealed to be not who he claims to be when he attacks Kira and steals the Defiant.

Memory Alpha SummaryNot man-whoring should have been our first clue

Review: Unlike Q’s appearance during season one, Riker’s appearance is perfectly timed and never feels contrived. The reveal that it’s Thomas Riker is done early enough to please the audience and to avoid the trap of writing an episode where its only point is to sweep out the rug. It also develops a character that TNG failed to expand upon, though unfortunately, only does so for one episode.

The plot is quite similar to the movie Fail Safe, and hey, that’s not a bad one to emulate. We learn more about the Obsidian Order, sort of a CIA gone rogue, though the episode gets a little talky at the end. Riker ending up in a Cardassian labor camp is a realistic, if unsatisfying end to his character arc.

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