Shades of Gray (ST:TNG Rewatch, Season Two Episode 22) Forgettable low-budget clipshow

Rewatching ST:TNG after a 20-year break.

After routine establishing shots we open with grumpy Riker slouching in a puddle, reporting that something unseen jabbed him in the leg. That’s the most creative bit of storytelling in the episode, other than some decent camerawork as we linger on various not-all-that-impressive props.

The script is budget-friendly tribble fodder, padded with clips from previous episodes representing the memories Riker relives as Pulaski stimulates his brainwaves to fight off a neural infection.

Even the non-flashback sequences are ponderous and awkward. Scenes with Chief O’Brien taunting Pulaski’s transporter-phobia and Picard hanging around sickbay firing off questions like a Doctor Who companion were unprofessional and cringeworthy.

A few touching Will/Deanna moments and some manly banter between Picard and Riker on leadership and death caught my eye; and as usual Diane Muldar pulls off a thankless task, this time in her final outing as nobody’s favorite replacement chief medical officer.

But overall, this episode is a forgettable mess.