This horror episode opens with a chaotic scene in sickbay that leaves no doubt who's in charge: Dr. Crusher. There's no doubt who's in charge of the rest of the episode, either: the director, Gates McFadden. The meat of this episode, which serves as her directorial debut, features Picard and Data, and like the opening teaser, the plot (which is pretty shoddy science) is carried out with over the top acting.
Like sixth season's "Timescape", the episode takes us away from the ship for a brief time (via a shuttlecraft) so we can return to it and approach the drama from a different angle to heighten the suspense and intrigue. This sets the table for frightening encounters that McFadden plays up for all their worth - and which features visually stunning transformations which are a must see.
It's just too bad that the writers didn't combine this and the previous episode, "Eye of the Beholder", into a hybrid dream episode where the broad acting and the implausible premise here would make more sense.