This was to me the best episode in the series so far. First, the episode keeps a powerful tension throughout, with the very real and serious promise of war between the Federation and the Romulans. The mystery on whether the defector is speaking the truth is good enough to make even ardent whodunnit fans happy, and the resolution is great.
Picard is amazing throughout, and the confrontation in the ending is very tense and entertaining. I honestly have great difficulty finding any flaw in the episode, hence my grade.
The Romulans return in this Ron Moore spy thriller that's as good (and perhaps a little better than) "The Enemy", the episode it nicely builds upon. This time, James Sloyen guest stars as the title character and is fabulous; but is his character a defector, or is he a spy? Evidence starts piling up on both sides of the question as war with the Romulans draws nearer, and the "Cuban Missile Crisis" tension is drawn out for all it's worth (with the magnificent Andreas Katsulas returning as Romulan Commander Tomalak) before a tense ending where all the cards are laid on the table.
This is definitely one of the best episodes of the more-than-solid 3rd season. It's effectively a sequel to the excellent "The Enemy" -- but in nearly every respect, improves upon its predecessor.
It's a classic premise -- the Enterprise encounters an enigmatic defector who may or may not be a double agent. As the story evolves, we find out more and more about this defector -- without actually figuring out his agenda. The final resolution is brilliant and unexpected.
The writing in this episode (Ron Moore's sophomore effort, I believe) is exceptional, with great dialogue and very little fat to trim. James Sloyan gives an impassioned, powerful performance as the defector, and Patrick Stewart does one heck of a job. A second appearance by one of TNG's best villains - Tomalak - is extremely welcome.
I stated in an earlier review that the Romulans were arguably TNG's best villain - and this may be the best Romulan episode that TNG did.
This episode was very good throughout the entire episode. It was cleverly plotted, well-acted and had interesting social and moral issues that trickled out through the plot. I am impressed by this episode and it showed some nice growth on the part of the writers. The way they crafted the 'Setal' character, one was never quite sure if he was lying or not or whether he was a spy or truly out to prevent a war. His character was interestingly written.
I rather prefer that the Romulans are back in Star Trek during that era. Its also a pleasure to see Tomalek again even though it was so soon after “The Enemy.” Tomalek makes a good adversary for Picard.
"The Defector" was a step in the right direction for TNG.
A romulan scout ship is being chased by a romulan warbird. The romulan scoutship enters the neutral zone and then crosses into federation space. The sole passenger of the romulan scout ship request to beam aboard the "Enterprise". The passenger claims to
A romulan scout ship is being chased by a romulan warbird. The romulan scoutship enters the neutral zone and then crosses into federation space. The sole passenger of the romulan scout ship request to beam aboard the "Enterprise". The passenger claims to be a defector and insist that Picard will listen to what he has to say. The passenger says his name is Setal but we later find out he is in fact Admiral Jarok. The information he has is the romulans are planning on building a base on Nelvana III. I rank this one a 8.3 for intense confrontation.
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