Series: The Next Generation
Air Date: March 4, 1988
Written by: Sandy Fries and Hannah Louise Shearer
Directed by: Mike Vejar
Wesley undergoes testing to get into Starfleet Academy while Picard undergoes testing to gain the trust of a conspiracy theorist.
The Enterprise pulls up to Relva VII with the intention of dropping off Wesley for his Starfleet Academy entrance exam, but Picard is surprised to find that his friend, Admiral Quinn, is requesting to come on board for a bit. So, after Wesley says good bye to his poor buddy, Jake, and goes down to the planet, Quinn beams up with Lt. Comm. Remmick and asks to speak to Picard in private. Without Riker. Which is highly irregular.
Down on the planet, Wesley is getting to know the people he'll be testing with. There's Mordock... and a couple of girls who aren't important. Mordock had invented the "Mordock Strategy" and apparently Wesley had heard of him and thought he was already in Starfleet Academy. That's how smart he is. But Wesley Crusher isn't intimidated. As soon as the professor comes in and gets them started, he jumps right on the test with fervor. Because that's what Wesley does.
|Wesley Crusher: test-taking enthusiast.|
During a break in testing, Wesley is hanging out in the holodeck trying to figure out how he can test for the psych evaluation. He needs to scare himself but he can't be sure about what would actually scare him. Worf helps him out a bit and Wesley goes back down where he bumps into a Zaldan and handles the confrontation perfectly. Yes, it was part of the test. Mordock said he would have failed. Not only that, but when they take another part of the test, Wesley helps Mordock out, losing time in the process. Looks like this Mordock guy is a hack.
|I'm betting there's marijuana in his little vaporizer thing.|
Picard finally asks Quinn what's going on and Quinn says that it was all a test. He believes there's some kind of conspiracy going on in Starfleet and he had to make sure that Picard was someone he could trust. He wants people he can trust in high positions, so he's offering Picard the position of Commandant of Starfleet Academy. Picard is honored by the promotion, and tells as much later to Riker, but ultimately ends up letting Quinn down. Picard's place is on the Enterprise.
|"Ah, Picard, my love!"|
In the end, Wesley ends up not winning acceptance into Starfleet. That honor goes to Mordock. Wesley goes back to the ship and Picard talks with him about it and confides in Wesley that he failed his first Starfleet Academy entrance exam, too, but not the second time- AND YOU MAY NOT TELL ANYONE! Wesley then feels a lot better about the outcome and everyone lived happily ever after and learned a valuable lesson about shuttle security.
This is a pretty good Wesley story. He's maybe a little bit obnoxious, but at least it's with people his own age this time. And there were some really good thematic parallels going on with Quinn's investigation which leads to the "Conspiracy" episode (which we'll cover later). The more I think about this episode, the more I admire it's storytelling as a connection to the whole. And Wesley's journey is actually pretty fascinating to me, to be honest.