As a number of ensigns compete for promotions on board the Enterprise, one of them – a Bajoran female named Sito Jaxa – is asked to volunteer for a dangerous mission to escort a Cardassian spy.
This episode was written by Rene Echevarria.
This is a moving, well-written story focused around Ensign Seto (Shannon Fill), a Bajoran who, along with Wesley Crusher, originally featured in the episode The First Duty as one of the cadets who covered up the death of a colleague while performing a daredevil stunt.
Alexander Enberg (the Vulcan Ensign Taurik) later returned in a number of VOY episodes as Ensign Vorik.
When Taurik informs Geordi that he has discovered a possible way to increase warp drive efficiency, and that he has other ideas for improvements, why is Geordi so dismissive and slightly annoyed? Shouldn’t this kind of research and enthusiasm be treasured and nurtured?
During the ensigns card game, Ben has a King, Jack, Ten, Eight, and one card face down. Lavelle has two pairs showing, and one card face down. Even the most beginning poker player knows that there is no possible way that Ben can beat Lavelle, no matter what their respective hole cards are. Yet Ben makes a big point of anteing up, claiming that he knows Lavelle is bluffing, and Ben wins the hand! Meanwhile, the supposedly uber-intelligent Vulcan Taurik pulls out of the hand, stating some astronomically low odds chance that he can win. Taurik has Five, Four, Two, and One showing, and he knows what his hole card is, so either he has no chance of winning (he doesn’t have the straight) or he does have it, and he’s got a very good chance of winning.
• Picard’s almost mean-spirited verbal ‘dressing down’ of Ensign Seto (this is not only a fantastic scene, but is atypical of normal NextGen scripting)
• Simultaneous poker games (nice editing, and, again, atypical of NextGen)
"If you are unhappy sharing quarters with me, then you should put in for a new room assignment…just in case you’re not promoted."
- Taurik to Lavelle
Taurik: He’s convinced Commander Riker doesn’t like him.
Ben: Why? Did you crash the ship into something?
Seto: One thing I don’t understand: doesn’t Geek-Tal mean ‘to the death’?
Worf: You speak Klingon.
Seto: Sir, is there really such a thing as a Geek-Tal challenge?
Worf: No. There is not. But perhaps next time you are judged unfairly, it will not take so many bruises for you to protest.