The Borg Queen wrote:
I mean, why were they sneaking around on the planet in the first place?
Spot on. This is the bigger question that bothers me about this episode and about the Federation's attitude toward pre-warp civilizations.
Why is it that if your civilization has achieved warp, the Federation will proceed through normal diplomatic channels (for example, contact the leaders and arrange a meeting) but if your civilization has not
achieved warp, the Federation feels it has the right to virtually invade your planet and perform clandestine spying - then have the gall to emerge and try to to get the leaders to trust the Federation after such an underhanded start!
This is the bigger question that was not addressed in the episode and that proved to be a distraction to me - not some lighthearted sex romp between Riker and an alien groupie.
This is one of the things that has always bothered me about the Federation and Starfleet.
Want to find out what a species is like? If they're that far along, technologically, surely they've got the equivalent of radio, TV, and Internet, many of the signals just beaming out into space for anyone to see! Just watch their news, for crying out loud!!