While Data and Trent are off seeing the wizard, Riker gets ready to play dress up for a meeting he has with Beata. She's sent him one of the hideous twink suits, apparently unaware that body wax and muscle definition have gone out of favor in the Federation. Tasha and Troi and throw up in their mouths a little when they see it, one of the first times in TNG when we can clearly see the characters sympathizing with the audience, instead of the other way around. Riker gets really defensive about the whole thing, and essentially accuses them of being jealous, because he's putting on a Siegfried and Roy costume to go meet up with Beata, who is "a woman, and an attractive one."
Oh, brother. Can we get a tiger sent down to Angel One?
. . . what? Too soon?
Back on the Enterprise, Picard is crankier than usual, and Dr. Crusher says he's just too sick to stay in command of the Enterprise. As she escorts him to his quarters, he gives command to Geordi, who is all too happy to get away from Worf, who is about to shower Geordi and everyone in the first ten rows of the arena with a Klingon Sneeze. Turns out that those forehead ridges are just extra sinuses. Ouch.
Geordi approaches the captain's chair, and a ray of awesome breaks through the clouds of crap that have obscured most of this episode: As he sits into command, we can feel how much Geordi respects the responsibility he's been given, and just how cool it is to sit in the big chair. Worf starts his scan and quickly locates the Odin survivors.
(Personal aside: LeVar and I were the only two original cast members on TNG who were self-proclaimed Star Trek fans. I never asked him, but I wouldn't be surprised if this moment meant a lot to LeVar, personally. I know that when I got to sit in the captain's chair in Farpoint, even though it was kind of silly and lame, it still meant a lot to me. Fun fact: when we weren't rolling, nobody ever sat in the captain's chair except Patrick. Sure, we'd get visitors who would want to have their picture taken in the chair, and it was a popular stop for studio executives who wanted to impress people, but for all of us in the cast and crew, there was a very real reverence for the captain's chair.)
Okay, that wasn't as little as I thought it'd be.
That's what she said!
Oh boy. It's going to be one of those days . . .