Picard does fencing with random crewmember #6 and wins because he is l337, then suddenly there's a minor time jump. Must be Scarlioni doing time experiments again. They check around, detect a distress transmission, and nip off at warp 8 to find out what's going on.
Data briefs them on Dr Paul Manheim's time experiments. Apparently he used to teach in Paris, which furthers the notion that Paris is the nexus of all Earth's temporal experiments. Troi talks to Picard about his personal issues because he felt a strong surge of emotion when Dr Manheim's name was mentioned.
Picard goes and cleans his saber. Then decides to go hang out on the holodeck rather than go back to the bridge. There he sets up a Paris holosim. Hmmm, they're carefully avoiding showing the balcony as they pan over the cafe... mainly because it's a studio set and the exterior is a painted wall. He spends some time perving at French women before going back to the bridge.
The Enterprise reaches Vandor 4 which looks somewhat irregular in shape, and beams up the two survivors from the base to sick bay - Dr Manheim and his wife Janice, who appears to be wearing silver curtains and is one of Picard's old girlfriends.
Janice explains about Manheim's work in trying to open windows to other dimensions to travel in time, or something. Meanwhile, Crusher looks like she's getting jealous, especially then Janice gives him a kiss. Crusher says it looks like Manheim is dying.
Picard, Riker and Data experience another time distortion, which Data explains clumsily. They really need Tom Baker. Then an away team attempts to beam down, but the temporal effects interfere with the transporter. OH NOES!
Wee, Army of Ghosts advert! They didn't give away the cliffhanger either...
Transporter control manages to get Riker, Data and Worf back. Shame about the rest of the away team!
Manheim regains consciousness and rambles on about touching other dimensions, before explaining to Data what his experiments have achieved. When Data says the time distortions are being felt over several thousand light-years, he says the experiment must be shut down and the crack closed. After the meeting, Janice turns up to chat to Picard about why he stood her up on their last date. It turns out he was afraid.
Troi visits Crusher in sick bay to talk about her deep-rooted jealousy of the Picard/Janice OTP. Manheim asks Picard to take care of Janice if anything goes wrong. Even he sees the OTP!
Picard decides to send Data down alone to shut down the experiment, so they beam him down and he proceeds into the lab, where there's a sort of vertical blind effect. There he determines he needs to add some anti-matter to the tear at the time of the next time distortion. Despite some confusion during the distortion, Data plugs the tear.
Back on the Enterprise, Manheim has recovered fully and breaks up the OTP. Picard looks saaaaaaad. The Manheims decide to stay on Vandor 4, but before they do, Janice and Picard have one last OTP moment in simParis. Did he just say "I'll do my breast" when she asked him to always come charging to her rescue? DUDE!
The Enterprise sets off for another planet for some shore leave. Teh end.
That one was quite good! The B plot with the time experiments allows the Enterprise crew to actually save the entire universe. The could totally use that as a bargaining chip with the Klingons or whoever, except for the fact it was a Federation scientist who endangered it in the first place. The A plot with Picard's romantic friction felt very Kirk. Poor Janice. I don't think we ever see her again.