Season 4 Episode 13
Original airdate: February 2, 1991
While answering a distress call, Picard finds himself dealing with a person who claims to be the planet’s version of the Devil.
My Brief Review
This is a very memorable episode, if not an exceptionally brilliant one, featuring a woman posing as Ardra, an all-powerful being who “saved” a planet from destroying itself 1000 years ago, with a contract that would enslave the planet’s population after a millennium.
Of course, she’s not really Ardra (who maybe never even really existed), she’s just a con artist, and Picard must prove that, with Data as the impartial arbitrator. (After all, it is against his programming to… do whatever it needs to be against his programming to do for the plot of any given episode.)
After Enterprise tracks down Ardra’s (or whoever she really is) cloaked ship and takes control of it, Picard shows off his mastery of all of her tricks — earthquakes, vanishing, transforming into the Klingon devil Fek’lhr. Of course by this time he’s already demonstrated to the leader of the planet that his own people had saved themselves through years of dedicated effort, but that wasn’t enough to persuade him.
Ensign Kellogg, sitting at Data’s ops station, certainly appeared stunned when he reappeared after Ardra had temporarily taken his place. Gee, if he weren’t a total rando, maybe Picard could have, y’know, asked him where he had been when she made him disappear and they might have tracked down her ship faster.
Distance Rating: 5K
IMDb score: 7.3/10