This was one of the ‘major’ episodes in my memory, and I was glad to see it stood up to scrutiny after all these years. It’s not quite as subtle as I remembered – George Takei as Bester must have put on quite a few kilos with all the chewed scenery. But it’s a combination of an interesting story, some great world development, and writing that (romantic dialogue aside) is really starting to find its footing.
There is a degree of a bit of undelivered promise in the episode – Talia’s developing abilities never show up again, and there’s not really much more on the idea of developing super telepaths. Some of that is a product of the actress leaving the show, but I think it’s also a reflection that these are stories that are hard to make work on screen.
(As an aside – Bester’s namesake, Alfred Bester, has an incredible novel called “The Demolished Man”. It’s a great story, but it’s unfilmable as so much of the story relies on telepathy and the complex way that telepaths communicate).