The teaser opens with Worf serving on Kurn’s ship, and being scolded for second-guessing his younger brother’s aggressive tactics.
Picard convinces an admiral to agree to a blockade, to prevent or expose Romulan support of the Duras faction. LaForge’s new strategy for detecting cloaked Romulan vessels requires a network of many ships, but because the script requires it some of them are barely functional or understaffed, and so Data gets a C plot about serving as temporary captain.
Between battles, Klingons apparently spend their downtime butting heads and trading punches. Kurn, cheerfully drinking with the commander of the squadron that just tried to kill them, teases Worf for being a nerdy killjoy. Eventually Worf joins in the heavily armored fun, as the camera pulls back to show Lursa and B’Etor looking on, scheming.
During the various strategy and battle scenes, we get more than the usual glimpses of computer displays, including Klingon, Romulan and several different Federation vessels. Some of the graphics don’t hold up after 30 years (jagged lines, huge TV-friendly icons), but they are more animated than usual, and they serve the story well.
Sela’s story is handled so oddly that the scenes between Picard and Sela just didn’t do much for me. Guinan gives a somewhat distorted account of the events of Yesterday’s Enterprise. In that episode, Tasha Yar from an alternate timeline assures the Picard of that same timeline she willingly volunteered to go back in time for a dangerous mission. That alternate-timeline Yar’s actions were in part a response to the alt-Guinan’s vague sense that this “other” timeline was somehow wrong; but this episode has “our” Guinan blaming “our” Picard for sending the “other” Yar on her mission, which seems like a heavy-handed way to give Sela’s backstory added moral weight. Although she presumably reveals her backstory in order to gain a psychological advantage over Picard, during their meeting Sela seems far more upset than he.
Worf’s story arc includes pulling a Romeo during a fight between Gowron and a challenger, and being abducted by the Duras sisters. His story gets a satisfying resolution, as his actions justify the glowing assessment Picard offered in the beginning of Part 1. Just before the credits roll, Kurn and Gowron also have a well-done non-verbal moment, which seems to promise more Klingon kapers.
It’s good that this episode left me wanting to see more of the Lursa and B’Etor, but the scenes with Sela take up time I’d rather have spent with Data’s temporary bridge crew, or with LaForge as he settles into being Riker’s first officer. More Romulan back-room subterfuge or Klingon barroom shenanigans would have been welcome. Heck, to see less of Sela, I’d have been happy with more scenes of bridge officers looking at readouts and giving reports.