LaForge becomes a pawn in a Romulan plot to disrupt the Federation-Klingon alliance, in a clever homage to The Manchurian Candidate.
LaForge’s shuttle is intercepted by Romulans while on a trip to Risa. The baddies put him through some kind of conditioning, as they report to a female superior whose face we don’t see. (*fake-cough-sounds-like-Sela*)
When LaForge returns to the Enterprise on schedule, he has no memory of his abduction, but we see that he is acting under outside influence. Mysteries start piling up, including a Federation-model phaser rifle confiscated from Klingon rebels, unusual “E-band” signals, and an intercepted shipment of more weapons.
Aa LaForge helps to investigate, he is unaware of his own involvement. While the visiting Governor Vagh is observing the Federation’s investigation, the brainwashed LaForge plots an assassination. The climax is well done, with multiple moving parts that leave Picard baffled until Data, who had been assembling the clues just a few steps behind LaForge, droidsplains it all.
Troi and LaForge share a good final scene where she helps him begin to recover his memory and process what happened. Though Riker and Crusher don’t have much to do in this episode, they were prominent in last week’s The Host. The multiple plot threads give the rest of the cast plenty to do, including Chief O’Brien. Lots of world-building plants seeds for two different upcoming two-parters.