Persephone Five! The Enterprise is there to show some retired admiral a message from someone asking for diplomatic help on Mordan in recovering some hostages. Admiral Mark Jameson apparently helped established peace there some 45 years ago. Jameson beams up with his wife and informs Picard that he's now senior mission officer.
What a riveting pre-credits teaser.
They call ahead and find out about the terrorists' terms. Later in his quarters, Jameson has some sort of attack. Crusher and Picard have a chat about Jameson's health. As they're near the planet, Picard lets Jameson take the con, and he staggers over dramatically, saying that he's started a new treatment which is making him feel a lot healthier recently. Crusher is puzzled at his improvement, which should be impossible with the disease he has, but he continues to improve and is also getting younger.
After he has another attack, Crusher finds strange chemicals in his blood, and that his disease has totally disappeared. Picard goes to get some answers, and he confesses he got hold of a fountain-of-youth formula from some aliens and OD'd on it. Picard is unimpressed. His wife is pissed off he didn't tell her, and they argue.
Jameson contacts Karnas on Mordan and realises that the other man wants revenge - he himself has the hostages. He asks the Enterprise to go to warp 8 so they'll get there ahead of schedule and catch Karnas unawares.
Somewhere in New Zealand, Alden drifts peacefully off to sleep.
Jameson wants to take an armed away team to rescue the hostages. Meanwhile, his wife agonises with Crusher and Troi, who inform her that Jameson's treatment isn't stabilising, and he may die. More exposition happens. When they finally reach the planet, Picard insists on accompanying Jameson's away team.
And the episode is only half over! Oath! It feels like it's been going for an hour!
So, they beam down to alien corridor #4 and tricorder about. Yar and Worf phaser through a wall (NOOOO! DON'T CROSS THE STREAMS!) and then come under fire. When Jameson has another attack, Picard has them all beamed up.
Karnas contacts the Enterprise insisting they beam Jameson down, but in sick bay, Jameson is in a bad way. Picard, Crusher and Jameson beam down, but Karnas doesn't believe the young fellow before him is Jameson. Jameson collapses again, while Karnas rants.
Eventually they manage to convince Karnas that Jameson is Jameson, in time for Jameson to share a last moment with his wife and then die. Karnas arranges for the hostages to be freed. Teh End.