TNG Season 7:
Aliens stare in wonder at 'the lights of La Forge.'
This entire episode is extremely dark, by the way, lighting-wise, so I couldn't find a screencap on trekcore to really reflect any of my vague "whatever" feelings about this episode. But look, Kasidy! Anyway, this one is a little like opposite-day on the holodeck crack episode marathon, because rather than our guys being trapped on an alien we-don't-know-it's-a-holodeck that they can't shut off, this time random aliens are trapped on our holodeck (without knowing it's a holodeck) and we can't keep it on. Worf's human foster brother Nikolai - apparently so legendary a xenoanthropologist that Riker has heard of him (I don't know, it always surprises me when Riker knows things) - beams some aliens on board without permission to save them from their colossally fucked planet. Because they're primitive and Prime-Directive-y, we can't just tell them they're in space. Picard orders Worf to have cosmetic surgery (twice!) to look like these aliens so he and Nikolai can march them through the malfunctioning holodeck scenery to a "new land" while Beverly and Data find them a new planet. It turns out that Nikolai has knocked up one of the natives and will be staying on their new planet with them. There are so many times in this series when I feel bad for Worf's long-suffering parents.
You never know who you'll meet on the Orient Express.
This episode is one long hilarious bender of ecstacy and WTF. It's actually a brilliant idea - the Enterprise (or, some kind of technological organism - technologism? - working through the Enterprise) has basically come alive and is using the ship's resources and library computer to gain a sort of sentience and reproduce. The crew can interact with the possessed ship via the holodeck, where a confused dream-like mishmash of different holoprograms drop clues about what's happening. Thank God this didn't happen on DS9, right? Because instead of an Orient Express full of assorted period characters we'd have the Alamo full of kinky alien porn holograms.
I really didn't used to get this episode, but that was mostly because I ignored the second half of it every time I watched to freak out that they never, ever go back to figure out what this door was that was revealed when the brick wall fell on Troi (she's fine, don't worry). What could the meaning be for 1156? Apparently Moscow was founded that year, which is probably not relevant.
Worf is going to have some serious words with whoever's holodeck program contributed this element to the Emergence holodeck salad.
Deep Space Nine, Season 1:
"Move Along Home"
Right about now, Kira is longing for the days where her whole job was to shoot Cardassians.
You know how every TNG episode, even the holodeck crack ones, always had a moral and raised deep ethical questions? Welcome to DS9. In this episode, some aliens from the Gamma Quadrant show up for some quality First Contact, but they only care about playing games. They kidnap Sisko, Dax, Kira and Bashir as players inside one of their games and Our Heroes (with a little non-help from Quark rolling the dice) have to find their way home through a bunch of dorky D&D challenges. They all die, but they're totally fine, because "it's only a game!" Then the aliens leave. Right about this time they should have called it quits on the whole Gamma Quadrant and saved themselves a lot of trouble.
There's one not-just-lolz scene where Dax gets injured and tries to convince Sisko to leave her behind. You really do get the sense that she's still Curzon and Sisko's superior as she tells him off, and then she (kind of shockingly I think) says that she would leave him to die if he were injured. Sisko did the Starfleet Captain (and Jennifer's Widower) thing and tried to save her anyway, but it turned out she was right, because his doing that got them all 'killed.' It's a bit of a throwaway ethical dilemma, but I suppose we'll count it, since this episode also gave us Dax and Sisko rocking their dress uniforms:
I can't even come up with a caption that would do justice to Sisko's expression here.
DS9, Season 2:
It's really possible that Odo & Taya are even cuter than Seven & Naomi.
I love this episode and will take any excuse to watch it. You'll be seeing it again when I marathon the next trope Das Boy hates - cute precocious children. Dax and Odo tromp to the Gamma Quadrant for some random convenient reason and stumble upon this village with a fancy reactor and a serious problem: people are disappearing, including the mother of the cute child up there. Odo gets his detective on to help solve the case. Side point: Odo and Dax are perfect together in this and I would so watch a buddy cop show with these two. They figure out that the entire village, including the people, are holograms, and their fancy reactor/projector is breaking down. The people are a little shocked to hear they're not real, but vote to allow Dax to take them offline and fix the projector. Turns out one guy - Taya's grandfather - is not a hologram, and he programmed this Sims version of his life after he was exiled from his planet 30 years earlier. He wants to shut it down and return to his homeworld to die, but Odo flips out and argues that the holograms are real because they're real to them, and Taya has a right to live. I really hope Dax and Odo sneak off to this planet every now and again to have dinner with the villagers, because they're all awesome. OMG I love this episode! (Even if, on the station, Kira and Bareil are hooking up for the first time, and their makeout scenes are always kind of awkward.)
ONWARD! Julian Bashir, International Man of Mystery!