Season 3 Episode 18
Original airdate: March 24, 1990
Capt. Picard is kidnapped and held with three different aliens, while an impostor takes his place aboard the Enterprise.
My Brief Review
At first I was inclined to skip this episode; for some reason the synopsis didn’t appeal to me. But I’m glad I didn’t, because this is another classic episode that I remember well from the original airing.
Picard and three other species are imprisoned in a strange room. They are four archetypes, and their differences create conflict as they try to find an escape. This part of the story has a very strong Twilight Zone vibe for me, specifically the legendary episode “Five Characters in Search of an Exit.” If this were the entire story it would be a great episode, but there’s another half…
The real Picard has been replaced with an exact replica. Well… almost an exact replica. He has Picard’s knowledge, but his behavior is… well, just a bit off. In ways that at first merely confuse but ultimately nearly kill the entire crew.
Will Riker orchestrate a mutiny to save the Enterprise? You’ll have to watch to find out. I’ll just say it was a weird feeling to watch this episode literally at the very hour that the House of Representatives is debating the second impeachment of Donald Trump.
There are plenty of memorable moments in this episode, but definitely the most lasting image for me is of Picard first discovering the “food” being offered in the prison… basically a red translucent hockey puck.
I found myself strangely aware of all of the random people just roaming the halls on the Enterprise in this episode. In particular, I found it odd that so many people would just be passing by the quarters of whichever officer hosts the poker games. But guess what… “backflip master” Crewman Martinez once again makes an appearance, apparently… I still haven’t actually figured out who he is.
Distance Rating: 4K
IMDb score: a shockingly low 7.5/10