164 – The Pegasus

Grade: A

The Pegasus (1994) on IMDb


During the Captain Picard Day festivities, Admiral Blackwell commands Picard to take the Enterprise and rendezvous with Admiral Pressman, who will have a top-secret assignment for him.


I don’t believe there are two back-to-back episodes that are of the same high quality as Parallels and The Pegasus. Best of Both Worlds 1 and 2 were outstanding, but they were the end of one season and the start of the next. Pegasus came immediately after Parallels within the same season. These two episodes are so much better than what I’ve seen recently that it’s hard to believe they both came from the same season.

Speaking of which, this is the first Next Generation episode to air in 1994. This is a great start to the final 14 episodes of this series. So far the seventh season of this series has been fairly lackluster, but maybe this is the sign of things to come.

There are three things that make this episode great. First, the acting is unbelievably good – from everyone, but particularly Terry O’Quinn, who plays Admiral Pressman, and from Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes. Everyone gives an incredible performance. I didn’t think we’d ever see anything better from Frakes than he was in Frame of Mind, but this quite possibly could be his best work of the entire series.

Second, the storyline is extremely taut and very well-written. It raises all kinds of questions that are still relevant today. Admiral Pressman wants to ignore the peace treaty with the Romulans in the name of defense and security. Meanwhile, Riker has to deal with his loyalty to his former commanding officer and his duty as a Starfleet officer. Finally, Picard also has his own dilemma to deal with – what to do about his first officer and the admiral. It is an excellent episode and one that you can tell had a lot of thought put into it. It’s not just a B-movie plot, but one that would even work as an episode of any courtroom or military drama.

Third, this episode was full of very strong character moments and powerful scenes. One of the best Star Trek scenes I’ve ever seen is when Picard is talking to Riker about this situation. You can totally sense Picard’s frustration because Riker won’t break the direct order he received 12 years earlier from Captain Pressman. And yet, you can also completely understand both of these characters. It’s truly amazing stuff. I give this episode a very high recommendation.

Of Note

I found it interesting that they’re going to Altair 3, which probably is a reference to Forbidden Planet. That takes place on Altair 4.

It’s interesting that they admit this cloaking device is illegal, but they’re still going to use it to get away from the Romulans. But the great thing is they didn’t go completely unpunished. You’ll have to watch this to see how this takes place.