Following the brilliant 'Q Who?', TNG's second season slumped quite dramatically as it began to spiral toward the abysmal season finale, 'Shades of Grey'.
'Samaritan Snare' is very much a filler episode. It's not bad per se, but it never moves beyond impulse power. The two disparate plots are servicable but lack interest or excitement. The Geordi/Packled storyline is all rather pointless and ultimately quite irritating (thanks to the Packleds themselves, whose portrayal was not only grating but actually mildly offensive). It was certainly hard to get too worked up about the supposed 'danger' Geordi was in when the adversaries were such bumbling simpletons. At one point Riker intones gravely "we're all scared" and I just about burst out laughing. That's probably an indicator that I just couldn't take this episode and its supposed jeopardy seriously.
The Picard subplot is a little pointless other than it sets up the vastly superior sixth season episode 'Tapestry'. The seemingly endless Picard/Wesley scenes aboard the shuttle are only sporadically interesting but most the time just seem dull and talky. I'm not entirely sure what purpose this subplot served other than to show how egotistical Picard can be at times when it comes to maintaining his aura of invulnerability.
Overall, a mediocre episode and not one I would particularly recommend.