Series: The Next Generation
Air Date: February 18, 1991
Written by: Dennis Russell Bailey, David Bischoff, Joe Menosky, Ronald D. Moore and Michael Piller; and Marc Scott Zicree
Directed by: Cliff Bole
The Malcorians discover an alien in their midst! Riker was injured while undercover and now Picard has to get him back using his superpower of diplomacy.
Captain Picard looks into a mirror and what he sees is not himself. It's his face, but as he looks harder, a Borg implant emerges from his chee--... wait, hold on... *shuffles papers* I'm sorry, that was the movie First Contact. This is the episode... Let's start over.... A man is rushed into a hospital room unconscious. The Malcorian doctors an nurses work him over and find that he is not like them. His heart is in the wrong place, some of his ribs are missing... and his has fingers and toes! We finally get a good look at this strange alien being and find him to be familiar: it's First Officer Commander William T. Riker... with bumps on his forehead.
When Riker wakes up he claims to be a Malcorian from the southern continent which, unexplainably, has not been named. When the doctor challenges him on the surgical implants on his head, he claims to have had plastic surgery to correct a genetic defect and his doctor, Crusher, would know more about his condition, except she's on sabbatical. Clearly, he's trying to fit in, but ran into some bad luck. He can't leave the hospital until he's healed, but in that time they could very well find out who he really is. Meanwhile, the Malcorian government is planning some more space exploration, but is running into trouble from this guy:
|The Worst Person in the Galaxy|
Picard and Troi beam down to visit her and say they need her help. They bring her back up to the Enterprise to look around for a bit and then reveal their situation with Riker. That he's gone missing while gathering information on the Malcorians. Information they planned to use in first contact with them. Mirasta is ecstatic that the aliens want to help them on their journey into the stars, but she advises Picard not to tell Durkin about Riker yet, or else Krola will see him as a spy and a threat. Because Krola's a moron.
But that was before he knew about Riker. The Malcorians hold another meeting Krola brings up the fact that the humans have had spies on their planet for years influencing their young and corrupting... food pantries... or something, I dunno, Krola's a nut. But Durkin falls for it. While he talks to Picard about what's going on with Riker, Krola goes to Riker and attempts to interrogate him. The trouble here is that Riker is unconscious because of the wounds he accrued while trying to escape. In order to wake him up, Krola is going to need to use drugs that could kill him, and he's already in a bad way. But Krola being Krola, he uses the drugs and shows Riker that he discovered the phaser that he claimed earlier to be a "toy" is actually a weapon.
|So firing at random objects should be cool.|
This was a pretty great episode if for no other reason than the fact that it was from the aliens' point of view. And because Krola was made out to be a complete buffoon in the end. It's a refreshing take on the classical alien on modern-day Earth story.