Synopsis: Wesley takes the Starfleet exam, while Starfleet is on the Enterprise, interrogating everyone to try to see if Picard is unfit to lead.
Memory Alpha Summary: Also, more kids get access to key systems.
Review: I find it hilarious that they criticize Picard for bringing the Edo girl up to see her God but fail to criticize him for landing on the planet in the first place (also, is it insightful or embarrassing that the show is more or less criticizing itself so early in the series?). The interrogation subplot, though, is mainly Remmick being as over-the-top as possible in his snide treatment of the crew, which is more laughable than intimidating. However, it does a decent job setting up some dramatics for the end of season one.
Meanwhile, Wesley is given even more terrible lines as he’s made out to be a self-important, pouty douchebag as he passive-aggressively plays down his talents and then pouts when he loses. One of the girls tells Wesley that if he weren’t so cute he’d be obnoxious. Ha! Afterwards, Wes tells Picard “I failed you and I failed the Enterprise.” It takes all Picard can do to not slap the boy, but he does what he usually does, and tells him in a very polite, reaffirming way to man up. You know, despite what he said at Farpoint, Picard seems to handle children pretty damn well.
I have to say I love the Starfleet exam. Wesley has to perform two tests that are spontaneous and not even acknowledged as part of the test. What bugs me, though, is that they predetermine before the exam begins that only one out of four students will pass the exam, even if they are all qualified. This doesn’t make sense. Starfleet would seem to need an indefinite supply of members, as it’s the only military outfit in the Federation. I understand wanting high standards, but they should be competing against a baseline, not each other.
This episode may be higher on the list for being significantly better than most everything else in season one, though it’s certainly watchable. But how do kids on the Enterprise keep getting access to key systems?