Night Terrors (#StarTrek #TNG Rewatch, Season Four, Episode 17) Trapped crew grows paranoid

Rewatching ST:TNG

After discovering that the crew on a missing science vessel has met grisly deaths, the Enterprise crew gets stuck in a Space Thing of the Week, and everyone starts getting unusually irritable. Meanwhile, Troi has recurring nightmares about being suspended in a flying harness.

On my rewatch it seemed contrived that the Space Thing of the Week happens to disable all forms of propulsion, prompting a distress call that happens to affect humanoid brainwaves, except for Betazeds, another one of whom happens to be the only crew member who survived on the other ship, and, uh, something about space stuff.

Of course, the Space Thing was just an excuse for us to watch the crew crack under the pressure, and crack they do. Crusher, Riker, LaForge, and Picard all have some tension-building moments where they struggle to stay focused. A well-done scene where Troi reaches out to Worf might be an early hint at their future relationship arc.

In a scene that aptly depicts the shipboard tensions, Guinan plays an unusually active role. Instead of inventing the rando goldshirt Gillespie, I kind of wish the script had O’Brien playing his part.