You make a solid argument, but for this:
The Enterprise is fully staffed, not under any emergency and is just doing routine duties and analyses.
Doesn't that mean Geordi could have left the task to his subordinates and shepherded a lonely old man around?
In addition, Scotty's a captain—just short of flag rank, and almost certain to be awarded it the moment he arrives at a starbase. You don't tell a venerable officer he's "in the way." You might
excuse yourself and summon Captain Picard
to do so, but ... you don't
bitch at a man who ranks you by two grades and a century
, no matter how
irritated you are.
Which does, of course, make Geordi look very much like a douche, which I'm pretty sure was the episode's intent anyway. I'm astounded at some people (by far a vast minority) in the armed forces today who wave off the stories of WWII vets as annoying.
I like that Geordi went through pretty much a full character circle, and that this episode isn't just a Scotty story, but a Geordi story. If he foolishly didn't know of Scotty before, he definitely does now, and Scotty made sure Geordi knew his name.
My only complaint? Scotty spouting out technobabble. He don't need no stinkin' technobabble!! He didn't explain things, he just made them work.
I thought the episode handled Scotty very well. He's a popular character from the original series - which doesn't necessarily make him to be an unparalled and legendary engineer. This episode could have easily been pure fanservice with everyone on TNG simply gushing at Scotty's presence and begging him to regale them with plotlines from the sixties show, but it managed to tell a story about Scotty and how the elderly can feel obsolescent in modern society. Scotty's exactly what the title suggests - a relic; and his achievements are ancient history.
Geeze, I never realized how this episode could have been so quickly and easily been made into a clip show! Kudos to the Powers That Be for not falling for that trap (heck, Doohan probably wouldn't have signed on if that were the case).