Hey, I thought episode of the week was every Wednesday! Well, no matter.
I'm pretty mixed about Conspiracy as a whole. On one hand, it gave TNG a sense of continuity by following up on a story line set up in a previous episode. I love that. On the other hand, it does come off as downright silly at times. Having the parasite turn an old man into superman simply by using adrenaline? Looney with a capital L.
Now, that's not to say this episode doesn't have any highlights. The moment where Picard meets up with other Captains I thought was handled very well. I find it particularly important because it broadened Star Trek to be more than just the crew of the Enterprise solving every single problem ever. I was even pleasantly surprised that we got a black female captain who had this legendary status by being the youngest human ever to be promoted to the rank of Captain. Finally, Star Trek's future was looking promising and-
..... she's dead. Well, thank you for recommending the highest phaser setting Dr. Crusher. You've not only ensured that women can't have good things in TNG, you yourself are also going to get kicked out of the show after the next episode. I'm sure that Starfleet Medical will learn a lot from a doctor who believes that it is better to die than suffer from a non-lethal disease that makes you feel.... wait for it.... sick.
But again, Conspiracy wouldn't be a mixed bag if it didn't have just one other positive to counter the negative. And what better positive can we have than having an episode that doesn't feature Wesley Crusher? Yep, a potential galaxy wide take over and Wesley isn't brought in to help save the day. Kudos Conspiracy.
As for the queen parasite's reveal and execution? Yeah. If I was the writer, I wouldn't have killed it. Heck, I don't know why they didn't keep the original design from the concept art where it's head looked like the forward part of a Ferengi ship. That looked awesome and a lot more scary. AND WHO'S IDEA WAS IT TO MAKE THE SEQUENCE THAT GORY? You phaser a guy's head till it melts his skin off, revealing his muscles and eyeballs, and than make it all explode?? What were they thinking? Why even shoot the head?
I had always hoped that future series would carry on the parasite menace in some form or another. When I look at it now, it feels a lot like ENTERPRISE's "Regeneration" episode where our crew deals with an unknown alien threat, kills it, but realizes that it sent a signal out into deep space warning their own kind of this potential target. I'm still crossing my fingers that we'll see them again in the prime universe.