I’ve just completed reviews from episodes 9 and 10 from season four. They seem to continue the pattern from the past several episodes of a good episode followed by a bad one.
Final Mission is good. Some folks were just happy to see Wesley leave the show I suppose, but for me it’s a great send off. Picard takes Wes with him on a final mission, and on the way they crash land on a desert moon. Along with an unpredictable shuttle captain they have to survive, and Wes is on his own with controlling the jerk they have with them and keeping his captain alive after he gets injured.
If you have the Blu Ray version this episode has a couple of deleted scenes with it, which is nice. Neither of them need to be in the episode, but I’m always curious to see that stuff. In my review I include a couple of links to interviews that cover Wil Wheaton’s feelings about leaving the show, and why for years he felt too ashamed to stay in contact with his co-stars.
The Loss isn’t that good. The Enterprise unwittingly flies into a bunch of two-dimensional beings and gets stuck, and before long we learn they’re taking the ship toward a cosmic string fragment! What ship captain hasn’t told that story? The real story is the side-effect of all this, which is that Deanna Troi loses her empathic abilities. There are one or two good scenes, but overall you just don’t care enough to emotionally invest in the story.
Evidently the producers and writers had been pitched a show about Troi losing her powers every single season, and they finally decided to do it. Watching this makes me wish they’d waited for something better. The story came from a freelance writer, and I think you can understand why she only wrote two other episodes: Hero Worship, which is decent, and Dark Page, which is terrible. Check out my review for more.