On this week’s particularly surreal episode of Star Trek, the Enterprise crew must contend with delegates from rival alien races, as well as a marauding energy force that’s taking over key members of the crew.
Plot: The episode begins with Picard, Riker, and Yar welcoming members of the reptilian Selay race to the Enterprise, but things are off to a rocky start when the Selay demand to be moved to quarters upwind from their furry rivals, the Anticans. Both races are seeking entrance to the Federation, and have agreed to try to overcome their differences by meeting on planet Parliament for some… parliament or something, which is where the Enterprise is supposed to be taking them.
Character Development: This episode begins what will become a key piece of Data’s character, his obsession with Sherlock Holmes. Picard suggests to Data that his investigation into what is causing problems on the Enterprise makes him a “private eye” like Holmes. Logically, the android begins smoking a pipe and throwing out well-worn Sherlock Holmes references wherever possible.
Forehead of the Week: This is a close call between the Selay and Anticans, but I have to give it to the Anticans, simply because the episode ends with Yar complaining that one of the Enterprise’s cooks has been asked to boil some rather Selay-looking reptile. The rivalry between the Selay and Anticans is treated with amusing disregard by the Enterprise crew, who typically consider the murder of delegates aboard their ship as something more serious than comic relief.
Memorable Quote: “It’s elementary, my dear Riker… sir.” – Data, mid-LARPing session.