We learn of Galen's love and loss. Allusions to his past with the Captain are posed.
Captain Gideon's dark secret is revealed. His pain may be the source of many of his future decisions. The chess board in the episode may be a symbol of his situation. This episode also coined the famed title phrase, "Who do you serve and who do you trust?"
Fiona Avery's writing creatively makes the alien the center of the story without him being the center of attention. The spotlight is clearly on the crew.
The story line of "The Path of Sorrows" is a great vehicle to examine the crew.