Star Trek – The Next Generation: 1×18 & 19 – Home Soil/Coming of Age
In Home Soil, a sentient grain of sand threatens to take over and destroy the ship. It’s like Deanna Troi looked into Anakin Skywalker’s mind, found his worst nightmare, and… made an episode of a TV show about it. It’s not bad, actually.
In Coming of Age, we get two plots for the price of one. In one of them, an Admiral Quinn orders Lieutenant-Commander to annoy the hell out of the Enterprise crew by interrogating them about Picard and the decisions he’s made. This will all become important in a later episode. Also, they really do need better security on this ship. I don’t care how much humanity has evolved in a few hundred years: children and teenagers will still be children and teenagers.
In the other plot, Wesley Crusher has to go up against three other top candidates applying for Star Fleet Academy, as apparently they’ll only admit one of them each year, which doesn’t seem like the most ideal system. Apparently, there’s this ‘psych test’ everyone has go through, in which the candidates are forced to face their greatest fears and are assessed on how they cope. Eventually Wes is shown to a room for this test, and left alone there until an alarm sounds and he runs out to find the building suddenly empty, apart from two guys who are trapped… and Wesley, who’s supposed to be a genius (remember, he’s saved the Enterprise several times already, working out things that even the adults who have had all their training failed to), doesn’t immediately see that there’s something fishy about all this?
It’s a stupid test. It seems more like the kind of experiment psychologists used to do, like electrocuting babies whenever they were shown an image of Santa. Not because there was anything valuable to learn by doing that, but because one of them thought it would be funny.