(Rewatching ST:TNG after a 20-year break)
The meddlesome entity Q, stripped of his powers, throws himself at the mercy of Captain Picard: “in all the universe you’re the closest thing I have to a friend, Jean-Luc.” Lots of well-done banter and self-absorbed patter from actor John De Lancie.
While Worf and Crusher have memorable reactions to Q’s newfound mortality, the story really gets rolling when Data takes charge of Q’s adjustment to life as a human, resulting in some thoughtful dialogue that not only serves the A plot but also explores Data’s character.
A scene with a grumpy Q ordering ice cream sundaes was low-hanging comedic fruit, but I loved when another temporarily-incarnated member of the Q Continuum makes a dramatic point, and then becomes momentarily distracted by the novelty of his own waving hands.
The first Space Thing of the Week is a moon that’s about to crash into an inhabited planet, and a second Space Thing of the Week is a gas-based species that is willing to destroy the Enterprise to get to Q. Both serve the character-based plot.
The final scene on the bridge is laugh-out-loud funny in more ways than one, and Data’s final line just grabs you by the semi-organic silicone-based biofunctions.