Season 1 Episode 16: Too Short a Season
Watchability: Extra Credit
Short Answer: Decent story. Watch if you have the time.
Notables: I'm going to have be better about these...
I remember this episode (and the next one, When the Bough Breaks) as being fan favorites. I wasn't sure what to expect, because a lot of episodes from this season have surprised me. I know I have seen them before, but I don't really remember a lot about them. It was nice to watch them without knowing how they ended.
In this episode, the Enterprise is asked to escort an aging Admiral to a planet where a number of Starfleet diplomats are being held hostage. This incident is similar to one that happened 45 years ago, where Starfleet helped defuse another hostage situation. The Admiral is the same person that negotiated the previous incident. It was the first in a series of successful negotiations that made him famous.
Of course, there is more to the story. The two incidents are related in ways that are revealed over the course of the episode. I won't go too deep into the details, in case someone wants to watch it. I will say that the story is pretty good relative to others this season.
By the end of the episode it becomes clear that the two incidents are similar because the characters can't let go of the past. In some ways it reminds me of the The Last Outpost. In that episode, Picard was forced to relive his past by a Plot Device™. In this episode, they go a bit further. Instead of it being a temporary condition, the characters are unable to move past by the mistakes they have made. And instead of hallucinating the events of the past, they recreate them. I don't know if the writers intended the comparison between the two episodes, but serve as a nice foil for Picard's character.
Definitely watch it if you have the time, but it is not essential.