What a fun episode! Smart move to push O’Brien more to the front of the show now that Wesley is gone and it’s nice to meet Keiko for the first time. This episode also successfully combines multiple story lines to tell a larger story about daily life on the Enterprise, Data’s communique with Maddox at Starfleet about his programming (from the episode Measure of a Man), and the ongoing threat match with the Romulans. Spiner, once again, nails his performance, but also manages to convey how he feels about his friends. All around fantastic episode and the show really feels as if it has hit its stride.
This has always been another one of my favorite episodes. I love how it blends the science and the human elements into a cohesive story. Troi does a very good job being the center of the action and her resolution to the two dimensional beings was something only her character would have thought of. This also has the great funny moment with Will telling Troi how far a hug can go with Worf. Fantastic episode.