It’s weird for me to say right out of the box that something is overrated and then to laud it for forty minutes, but there we are. If nothing else, it’s a satisfying episode, like a Saturday afternoon earned after a particularly hard week. It’s a lot of reward, not for anything unpleasant, but it’s gratifying, like a pizza after a strict diet.
I’m not trying to make the rest of The Next Generation sound like a chore; it’s just that it’s a responsible, restrained show that’s got all kinds of ideology and knowledge that are the bran and vegetables of television so the episodes where it can be equally smart and high-minded but also indulge in canon and action scenes feel very, very, very, earned.
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