Okay, I got around to "Angel One" last night. I know it's dogged a lot around here, but after seeing it for the first time in years, it's not THAT bad. Yes you have the awkward moments, but it was cool seeing Geordi (and then Data) in command as well as Riker having to think on his feet in giving a "Picard-like" speech to Beata without the help of Picard who was incapacitated.
Some more general thoughts on Season 1: I'd forgotten how much Troi and the Doctor were relied upon so early on. By this point the Doctor has cured Picard of about three different types of diseases and Troi has really been Picard's "right-hand woman" (I'd forgotten how much she took charge in Angel One).
Coincidentally, Gates wouldn't be back next season (although for other reasons, as discussed) and Marina was marginalized/written out of about 4 or 5 episodes later in the season and feared she would get the ax too.