Season 4 Episode 15
Original airdate: February 16, 1991
A surgically altered Riker has been on an acculturation mission for months under an alias. But a serious injury threatens to blow his cover.
My Brief Review
First Contact was the name of the best of the TNG movies, but before that, it was this episode. This one is great to watch after having recently watched the entirety of Enterprise, the prequel series that focuses extensively on Vulcans’ arrival for first contact with Earth.
This is a very compelling episode, both for the inspiringly enlightened approach the Federation takes to first contact, as well as its insightful commentary on humans’ own reluctance to embrace the inevitability of change.
Most of this episode takes place on the alien planet, so let’s forget all about crew randos this time around. There is a hilarious cameo by Bebe Neuwirth as a lovestruck Malcorian who has always dreamed of “making love to an alien.” She gets her chance with Riker… at least that’s implied. Of course, Riker.
When Picard and Troi first beam down and introduce themselves to Mirasta Yale, it turns our human anxiety about the moment of arrival of space aliens on its head.
Distance Rating: 7K
IMDb score: 8.2/10