Conspiracy: Starfleet has been infiltrated by an unknown force which seeks to take control.
The first time this one played, allll the violent bits were cut out.
The Enterprise is on its way to Pacifica, a water planet. This isn't a Terry Nation story, is it? Geordi futilely attempts to tell Data a joke, and he proceeds to be confused by the term "moonlight swim". Worf: "Swimming is too much like... bathing." Ewwww, they don't make the Klingon take baths? He must smell pretty bad by now.
Picard gets a top-secret communication from Admiral Walker, who says they need to talk urgently and trust no one. He diverts the ship to the new destination, much to the crew's confusion. The planet they're heading for is deserted.
Once they get there, Picard beams down and is faced with a couple of phasers. Walker asks him some personal questions to verify his identity. The Admiral and two captains tell Picard that strange things have been going on in the Federation, people have been acting oddly, or dying in bizarre circumtances. He doesn't believe them entirely, but returns to the ship and has a chat to Troi, then sets Data about checking through recent Starfleet orders for oddities.
Back on course for Pacifica, they detect a disturbance in a nearby system and go to investigate, finding the debris of Admiral Walker's ship. Dun dun duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun! This is enough to convince Picard that there's something going on, and he talks to Riker about it.
Even the Enterprise computer is telling Data to shut up now! He reports to Picard and Riker that he's found some odd patterns in Starfleet records suggesting someone's taking control of vital parts of the Federation. Picard decides to nip back to Earth to say hi. Starfleet command puts them on hold before inviting Picard and Riker to dinner.
Remmick beams Admiral Quinn (see Coming of Age) up to the Enterprise with a wee greebly critter in a box. Quinn's behavior alerts Picard who tells Riker to keep an eye on him, before beaming down for dinner. Apparently tonight's a "quite night" despite it being the middle of the day in the exterior shots.
Quinn attempts to show Riker the greebly critter, and when Riker resists, Quinn starts beating him up. Remarkably spry for an old guy. When Geordi and Worf arrive, Quinn throws Geordi through the door and goes "bring it, bitch" to Worf.
Hmm, the Prime trailer for Doomsday is pretty good. Doesn't even give away the cliffhanger resolution!
Quinn tosses Worf around a bit until Crusher turns up and phasers him. Crusher > Worf. In sick bay, she locates a greebly critter in the back of his neck.
Back on Earth, they're about to sit down to dinner. Picard contacts the Enterprise and Crusher briefs him on the critters. Then he goes in and sits down to dinner. Dinner appears to be live squirmy grub things. Wow, they're really doing their best not to, y'know, raise his suspicions or anything. Riker turns up and appears to have a greebly thing in his neck. Fortunately it's all a trick, and he starts phasering the Star Fleet hierarchy. Wow, that phaser beam was so slow Picard just stepped out of the way.
Finally they find Remmick and watch a stop-motion critter climb up his chair and into his mouth. Then they make HIS HEAD ASPLODE! and the alien queen bursts out of his chest so they can phaser that too.
Admiral Quinn is now all right - Picard says the destruction of the queen seems to have killed all the rest of the critters. Data reports that Remmick sent a signal to some uncharted region of the galaxy before he died. Teh end.
Wait one cotton-picking minute! When Quinn and Remmick (OTP!) came on board the Enterprise during the previous episode, neither of them were infected by the critters, yet the conspiracy was already in full swing. So who was hosting the queen critter then? And why did it move to Remmick?
Other than that, one of the best episodes of season 1, which is almost over. There's only one more episode to go...