The issues dealt with in this episode are actually extremely interesting. When should a superior alien species make first contact, and exactly how much information should be shared? How should they gain the trust of a technologically inferior species? These are all fundamental questions that may have to be addressed by humans themselves in the distant future (perhaps as the inferior species, or as the superior one). There is great tension in this episode as one of the enterprise crew is hurt and captured by the aliens, and desperately tries to avoid exposing his true identity. The script is well done and the acting is likewise fantastic, particularly by Patrick Stewart. But this episode falls slightly short of greatness. Perhaps too much was encapsulated in a one hour period, perhaps the drama was a bit under-stated, or maybe some of the aliens were a bit too stereotyped. All in all, though, one of the best episodes of this season....
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