I tried really hard to pick fault with this episode while watching it – it makes writing these summaries a lot easier. But I was at a loss, this is a nearly flawless piece of work.
The episode starts with as soft a reintroduction of the Borg as possible, and then simply cranks the stakes up and up through the whole episode. At the end things reach a point, with Picard assimilated and Riker giving the order to fire, that is stunning, but also spectacularly well supported through what has happened so far in the episode.
It’s easy to understate the shock value of the ‘To Be Continued’ today, when a SF show that *doesn’t* have a season ending cliff hanger is the rarity, but this was the first time it had been done since Season of The Original Series, and the first time at the end of a season. And while they’ll find the reset button for everything soon enough, it’s the first time Star Trek has flirted with real, consequential changes to the universe they operate in.
It’s too early to call this the best episode of all Star Trek, but it’s certainly the best so far.
181 down, 556 to go.