This week’s exercise in idiocy is When the Bough Breaks
In this episode with extended negotiations and a captain who’s a diplomat by reputation, nobody shows any awareness of the concept of diplomacy. The Aldeans say, “We’re taking your kids, and that’s that!” The Enterprise says, “You can’t have our kids, and that’s that!” They scold each other a lot and resort to brute force and deceit to get their ways. At no point does anybody say, “Let’s put our heads together and try some creative problem solving.” There are almost certainly win-win-wins to be had.
WESLEY: How do they cloak the planet?
DATA: The theory is simple. The shield bends light rays around the planet's contour, similar to the Romulan cloaking device.
That would make little difference to anyone looking for it. The real trick is cloaking the gravity.
RADUE: Your name? We've been monitoring your ship's communications. We must return now to Aldea. Our eyes are very sensitive to bright light. Rashella.
(They vanish again)
The lights can be dimmed, you know.
CRUSHER: Wesley! They've taken my son.
(all over the ship, children are disappearing. Alexandra while playing at her mother's feet, Katie while playing a musical instrument)
WORF: Captain, Saucer Section reports six more children are gone.
They took an odd number of kids and dealt a real-life game of Old Maid.
LEDA: Will you at least eat?
(She puts the tray on the table and leaves)
WESLEY: No, Alexandra.
WESLEY: We can't eat. I know you're hungry. We all are. But it's our way of telling them that we want to go home. Understand?
Yes? Sure. She’s what, four? Putting little children on hunger strike for reasons they can’t possibly understand is child abuse. I don’t want to be too hard on Wesley since he’s just a child himself, but the episode shows no awareness that there’s anything wrong with it. It’s creepy.
DATA: This is it, Commander. It is programmed to accept only authorised voice command.
RIKER: There's no way we can override.
Evidently, Data can fake Picard’s voice but not Wesley’s. Coincidentally, Spiner is known for his impression of Sir Patrick, but I haven’t heard of him doing Wheaton.