74 – The Best of Both Worlds, Part 1

Grade: A

The Best of Both Worlds (1990) on IMDb


The Enterprise responds to a distress signal sent by one of the most remote Federation colonies. When the ship arrives, they are far too late. The entire town has been destroyed, and it looks like the Borg are on the move.


As a season-ending cliffhanger, this episode has few (if any) equals. In my opinion, this is by far the best episode of the first three seasons. It has a very interesting storyline, wonderfully-developed characters, and an excellent ending. All of the episodes with the Borg are huge fan favorites, but this one – along with Part 2 – are the best of the bunch.

One thing that really makes this episode great is the acting. Toward the end of the episode, Riker says something to Commander Shelby that the Borg can adapt, and she shoots back a really sarcastic look, as if to say, “of course they can adapt – I’m not an idiot.”

Another great scene is when Troi tells Riker that it would be inappropriate for him to leave the Enterprise. Notice how Dr. Crusher reacts to what Troi says. Also, Shelby loves what Troi says. But when she walks past her, Troi doesn’t give Shelby the satisfaction she wants. This is great acting and writing here.

One thing I thought was accidentally funny was when Captain Picard said “fire at will!” I laughed at this point because I wondered what Commander Riker had done to deserve being shot at. Well, I thought it was funny anyway.

The only thing I didn’t like much was Commander Shelby. She has always bothered me, every time I see this episode. Maybe that’s the point. She is a great character, but extremely annoying. It’s also annoying that they keep bringing up Riker and his reluctance to take a post as captain of another ship.

This episode has awesome writing. This is by far the best TNG episode up to this point. It doesn’t get any better than this. Expertly-written, well-directed, great acting, wonderful music. It’s all there. Unbelievably good.

Of Note

Michael Piller, who wrote this episode, was actually not expecting to be back for Season 4. So he wrote this episode, not knowing how it would end. Personally, I think this episode is better than it would have been if Piller knew he’d have to write the second half of it.

I liked it that the Enterprise went into the nebula to hide for a few minutes, just like Captain Kirk did in the Wrath of Khan.