Geordi is now the Chief Engineer – which seems like a big step up from Helmsman. Doctor Crusher has left to head Starfleet Medical, but she hated Wesley so she left him with us. Dr. Pulaski has taken her place, and she’s kind of written to be a female version of Bones, but without the compassion. We now have a bartender, Guinan, to serve us home spun wisdom along with our prune juice. And we are finally, FINALLY, introduced to the most important character of the series: Riker’s Beard.
And then there’s plot. Ugh. OK: Some random space light bulb decides to knock up a humanoid, and now Troi is pregnant with a space baby. She describes being asleep and having “what I can only describe as a presence” enter her, which sounds a lot like some space roofies and the University of Virginia. BOOM. Anyway, she’s keeping her Space Baby, which quickly becomes a Space Child, which accidentally cultivates a Space Plague, so he has to die. This is all as dumb as it sounds.
Non-humorous aside here: This episode is terrible – it’s a terrible idea and it’s written terribly. Troi is raped by an alien that has no concern for her emotions or her body or the safety of anyone on the ship, and aside from a SUPER brief conversation where Worf is the only one to point out this could be a security issue (hint: IT IS) this is treated like it’s a good thing. I’m just going to quote the AV Club here ( http://www.avclub.com/tvclub/star-trek-the-next-generation-the-childwhere-silen-41741 ) because I can’t say it better:
“What it translates to is: an alien hitches a ride without permission, rapes a woman, knocks her up, saddles her with grotesque body changes, attaches itself to her post-birth to gain information, endangers everyone on board the ship with its thoughtless selfishness, and then orchestrates an exit in the most emotionally manipulative fashion possible by forcing its “mother” to witness the death of her child. That’s not how it’s presented, of course. It’s presented as a joyous life experience, but no amount of tears and lies make this anything less than a travesty.”