Rewatching "Peak Performance", it shows pre-TNG3 at its near finest. Witness: * Riker, again, is a standout character and, once again, proving he might make a great captain. Along in showing a privilege to just getting to be invited to play a game by a game master, he is quick to show his taking responsibility to do something he might not otherwise want to do. It's an obvious callback to "The Measure of a Man", but Riker is definitely a reason to watch this episode. * Worf - I adore his reasons for questioning the point of the exercise. The episode is a bit woolly, something doesn't feel quite right as to why and it's all almost contrived. Yet it doesn't quite fail... and then we get the Worf/Riker scene, which makes all the concerns go away. Not because they're not addressed, but because of the philosophical bent behind the episode. * Data/Pulaski have a great little subplot. Pulaski covertly gets Data to play the Stratagema game, which also involves Troi relaying him advice on how to win - to which Data asks if any other way exists. Later on, the episode - brilliantly - has Data finding another solution, though it in of itself is not a solution as such. Yet is. This is definitely a Pulaski story that has her standing out in a good way - there are others, but it's nice to see Pulaski butting in and conniving as such. * Wesley too is of interest, he's not wearing his usual save-the-day cape that he wore in season 1 and, indeed, feels like a real teenage character. He's also quick to give up, which prompts Riker to react with some clever reverse psychology. Wesley cheats, just don't ask why the transporter chief doesn't verify the coordinates of where the antimatter pod experiment thing is set to deposit the object. Oops. The story clearly cheats with this scene, but the episode is so good that it's easy to forget... and even 24th century humans might make mistakes.... Which segues; this episode has people working together using their wits as opposed to being know-it-alls, for which Data (who admits his knowledge should have him winning the game) has it the other way around. Dealing with mistakes, for which - in other episodes - it is Wesley who laments in how Captain Picard knows mistakes are made but they use persistence and work through them. It's something of a brilliant episode. One nitpick: Worf tells the Ensign where to find "opticable" - which is pretty much anywhere as he indiscriminately rips some from a conduit. It's meant to be comedic, and it is chuckle-inducing, but where were the cables intended to go and power and transmit/receive data from? Yanking out wires from a system they might actually need, it is an 80 year old ship seemingly prior to the days of the 1701-D where anything could easily be re-routed as if each screen on the ship emulates a dumb tube to dynamically control different functions... The only other nitpick might be, when the Ferengi come in - and what are they doing whizzing around in Federation space to begin with - how can Worf quickly figure out their computer systems to put in the sensor tricking gag he played on the Enterprise? (When the "Romulan" attacks, I did like how Picard gets Data to change the code, then asks if it had been changed as now a Ferengi ship appears. Worf could have anticipated Data (but didn't), the scenn has a procedural feel that feels germane.) But the episode was running out of time and it already made for a fun thrill ride. The premise may be that they are sprucing up their military strategies to beat the Borg, by engaging in games where everyone knows everyone else's strategies and ship capabilities and thus is a waste of time should the Borg genuinely arrive. But that isn't as much the main point as it is in an exercise for the crew to outwit one another as a more general exercise, of which the B-plot (Data) is, uniquely, the identical plot as the A-plot (war games for the senior crew to keep each other on their toes).