This episode was a real surprise. It starts out unassumingly, and on first viewing I assumed it was going to be another one of those 2nd/3rd tier fillers that populate much of the 5th season.
About halfway through, I realized that assessment was completely off, and in fact one of three great Picard episodes placed late in the 5th season. (The others are "I, Borg" and "The Inner Light".)
There's an offhand comment made by Worf early in the episode - "The Captain dines alone" - that subtly sets the tone for the rest of the episode. We know that Picard, the lone wolf, nevertheless craves companionship - and despite his better instincts and most valiant efforts he caves here. The ending is the ultimate irony, because Picard's perfect mate is the one who can put duty before her love for him. Kamala out-Picards Picard.
This episode is apparently not well-regarded by fans, which is a shame. Yes, it's a bottle show, and there isn't much excitement. But in terms of emotional depth, it's up near the top. Highly recommended.