The Old Mixer wrote:
This was one of the first times that the "reset button" really ruined my enjoyment of an episode, years before I was familiar with that term via the Internet. It was then that I came to the realization that episodes were far less satisfying when, at the end, it was revealed that nothing you'd seen had really happened. "It was all a dream" was an awful storytelling cliche long before Trek fans started calling it the "reset button".
So it isn't really fair to be telling my 1994 self to "get over" something that was only just bothering me for the first time.
Does the "it's all a dream" thing really effect this episode? It's still a struggle Riker went through in his mind.
For me this is one of TNG's better episodes as it's just disturbing and unsettling enough. It has always given me that uneasy feeling of delirium. Like the kind of delirium you have when running a high fever.