Going boldly where no one has gone before, the Enterprise reaches a starbase where a bunch of relief officers beam aboard, along with an ensign Mendon on the exchange program. Wesley mistakes Mendon for one of Wesley's friends from the episode where he does the entrance exam. Then Picard and Riker do phaser practice, and Picard suggests that they could do an officer exchange with a nearby Klingon ship, whereupon Riker volunteers.
Worf says one of the duties of a Klingon first officer is to assassinate the captain if he gets senile. Sounds like fun!
Mendon wanders around the bridge making an arse of himself.
Pulaski observes Riker sampling Klingon food in Ten Forward, and Picard gives him a speech about how much he envies Riker for being able to hang out with Klingons. Surrrrrrre, I can just see him thinking "Glad it's not me." Worf gives Riker an emergency beacon, in case the Klingon ship doesn't have any toilets or something.
While the Klingon Bird of Prey is hanging about, Mendon detects some sort of macrobiotic colony of life forms on it but doesn't bother actually telling anyone. Probably because Worf was giving him looks like there was about to be violence done. Riker beams over and the two ships go their seperate ways.
The Klingon ship is called the Pagh, which sounds like someone hacking up a hairball. Riker is introduced to Captain Kargon and to Klag, who is Brian Thompson and whom Riker promptly beats up for questioning his loyalty to the Klingon captain.
Meanwhile on the Enterprise, they detect some sort of substance on the hull. Mendon says he detected it on the Klingon ship too and Picard tells him off for not telling anyone earlier. Data and Mendon set about working out WTF it is.
Hmm, odd how they went out of their way to have a scene with Pulaski, who seems to be permanently listed as a guest star, yet Troi and Geordi haven't even appeared yet.
Riker eats with the Klingons, and discovers they eat gagh live. The Klingons are much amused at his discomfort, and one of the females starts coming onto him. Riker says he's surprised Klingons have a sense of humour. This just proves Worf has a huge stick up his arse, even for a Klingon. Klag reveals that his father was captured by Romulans, escaped, and now lives without honour on the Klingon homeworld.
Data and Mendon determine the life form is eating the hull, and the Enterprise sets out to find and warn the Klingon ship.
On the Klingon ship, they've already discovered the damage set out to find and attack the Enterprise, under the assumption that it was they who caused the problem. Klag and Kargon discuss whether Riker knew about the virus or not. Then the Enterprise comes into view, and Kargon sees this as admission of guilt. Riker suggests just maybe the Enterprise is there to help and this leads to an argument over whether or not he'll reveal info they could use to attack.
Mendon reports he's worked out how to remove the organisms. Despite the Enterprise adding the info to their hails, Kargon refuses to believe it and orders the attack. Dun dun duuuuuuuuun!
Riker activates his homing device, but Kargon takes it off him and is promptly beamed aboard the Enterprise. With the captain gone, Riker assumes control of the Klingon ship and orders the cloak dropped, then orders the Enterprise to surrender.
After the damages is fixed, Riker lets Kargon belt him and throw him off the ship so the captain's honour was maintained. Teh end.
Wow, this was quite a good episode for a change. The A and B plots meshed nicely, and the Klingons spiced things up nicely. Season 2 was affected by the writer's strike, wasn't it? If so, whoever wrote this should consider a career change.