This episode is... well, mediocre. Instead of walking away from this episode thinking "Wow. A new life form that is truly alien in nature!", I walked away with "What is with all these aliens that tell us we're unworthy of even making contact and that we should not come back for at least a couple of centuries?".
Like a lot of season 1 and 2 episodes of TNG, "Home Soil" feels like another one of those original series stories in the wrong series. It shares a lot with "Devil in the Dark" except they decided to throw in the Metron ending from "Arena" in order to make this life form seem more awesome. It doesn't work.
And that voice. Oh, that voice. I hate that voice. No matter how funny that line "Ugly giant bags of mostly water" is, that voice just kills it. If this was the only way we could communicate with those glowing dots, I'd probably ignore them just like the Terraformers did.
If I had to choose between "Devil in the Dark" and "Home Soil", Devil wins by a landslide. At least in Devil our characters actually worked something out with the Horta that was mutually beneficial for both sides. In Home Soil, our crew just abandons the whole terraforming project completely and leaves us with this little gem of an exchange when Data asks if we'll ever contact the life form again.
"In time, Mr. Data. When we're better prepared."
Because being able to establish contact with a new life form and being able to reason with it and send it back home is certainly not an accomplishment in anyone's books. And what exactly is this life form expecting if we come back in 300 years? That humanity will be a better species? According to Gene Roddenberry, we already are! Children no longer weep for their dead parents!
Another sad reminder that this episode always brings me is that this was Walter Gotell only Star Trek role. I've always loved watching him act in everything he's in and I couldn't believe no one in Star Trek didn't use him for something else.