This unique "fish out of water" episode was written as an homage to disaster movies, although it comes off as reminiscent of an old sitcom plot device as well. The episode has five different stories, expertly directed by Gabrielle Beaumont, making this one a very character-rich Trek installment. Picard's "stuck in the elevator" story (with children) is something new for Patrick Stewart to deal with, and he handles it wonderfully. Meanwhile, Troi finds herself the senior officer on the bridge despite having little knowledge of how to run the show, with Chief O'Brien and Ensign Ro having a better understanding of what's going on but disagreeing on what to do about it. The writers clearly struggle with this subplot, not yet having a handle on Ro's character, but Marina Sirtis (Troi) is fabulous with what she's given. Keiko, in typical television fashion, chooses this time to have her baby, which gives us our third big part of the episode, and allows Michael Dorn to shine as Worf the midwife. The D story features Riker and Data trying to get to engineering, and the E story has La Forge and Dr. Crusher in trouble in a cargo bay. Both are just there to give these characters something to do and are short and sweet. All the stories work well together, and the cutting from one to another keeps this one exciting from beginning to end.
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