Memory Alpha Entry
This episode, despite the glaring attempt at making Wesley the clever one again, is a lot of fun. I know it's cliché elements bring it down hard, but the premise is well thought out and the execution is moderately done. splitting the crew up into teams and having them work against each other with two different ships is something that TNG really needed at this point.
Our episode opens with the appearance of Sirna Kolrami walking through the bridge to the conference room while giving everyone a judgmental look. Sirna is played by the late Roy Brocksmith, who many will probably remember from Total Recall. He's brought in to help the Enterprise and it's crew better prepare for the potential Borg threat (Continuity! YES!). Unfortunately where this episode gets predictable is how Sirna and his race are described as being total geniuses when it comes to strategy and tactics. Anyone care to guess how this bit of information is going to payoff?
And I know I harp on Wesley a lot, but I think this episode out of all the other episodes is where the "Mary Sue" enters the "text book" example on how Wesley is the idolized character to the real main characters. Wesley does something clever, and when Riker sees how they're going to have an advantage, he calls the whole thing "brilliant". Grr!
I also have to make a bit of a correction I made in an earlier episode review. I made the point that the Ferengi were such failures that I stated that they weren't shown in Season 2 at all. My apologies for forgetting about their appearance here. Not that the Ferengi being in this episode redeems it, but it's always good to see future DS9 regular Armin Shimerman. Funny how he goes through two different Ferengi characters before settling in with Quark.
So our episode ends with a goofy game with Data playing against Sirna that ends as well as you might expect. Data victorious and giving out a catch phrase.
The good parts certainly outweigh the bad parts in this one, and thankfully the good parts can be a lot of fun. Seeing newly created effects is nice because everything we've seen previously has either been stock footage with little to no newly created footage. It's nice seeing the crew preparing themselves for a possible Borg invasion while at the same time seeming to have fun with it. A stark contrast to what the real invasion will actually bring.