In which Bruce Maddox just does not know how to express his Data crush appropriately.
Memory Alpha says: The Enterprise must defend Data’s status when Starfleet demands his reassignment for study. (Please click the Memory Alpha link for detailed information.)
I should reserve judgement on ‘best episode of season two’ when I’m not even half-way through, but oh gosh, this episode, you guys. It has so many of the best things about TNG. It has Data being smart and adorable and vulnerable and a challenge to the status quo by his mere existence. It has Picard being his dad and protecting him and getting to make a fiery courtroom speech all Crusading Silver Fox DA. (The episode was written by a former attorney, and only got a chance because of the writers’ strike, so it’s an ill wind that blows no good.) It has the staff poker game. It has a goddamn admiral. It has O’Brien. It has a guy called Bruce, which is probably the name, of all names, that I find most intrinsically comical (second place probably goes to Fred). Sorry, people called Bruce. So, despite my recent lassitude and ennui, I think it deserves a full write-up and will endeavour to deliver. (If I later bail out and revert to bullet points, sorry, people called Bruce and everyone else.)