The Enterprise is boldly going to yet another starbase. On board, a poker game is beginning (I think this is the first appearance of the poker game). Riker wins the first hand. Meanwhile Picard runs into someone he knows, a Philipa Louvois, on the starbase. I rate that pre-credit teaser 2/10!
Amanda McBroom who is playing Philipa, did "additional voices" on the Smurfs cartoon. Woo. Their conversation is interrupted by Admiral Nakamura, who Picard promptly gives a tour of the Enterprise. Nakamura mentions the Romulans and then starts gushing about how cool the Enterprise line is. Then there's tense music, and the Admiral's sidekick Cmdr Bruce Maddox says he wants to disassemble Data and discover how he works so he can make more androids. There's some discussion about whether Maddox's plan is feasible, then he produces a transfer order transferring Data to the starbase.
Data interrupts Picard's brooding and makes the excellent point he's being discriminated against because he's not human (or technically, non-organic), so Picard goes to Louvois for assistance. She helpfully suggests Data could resign. Yeah, thanks lady.
Data starts packing, including a hologram of Tasha, and Maddox enters and starts messing with his stuff and making rude comments about things. Data points out he's being rude and a discussion about whether memories can be transferred, then breaks the news that he's resigning to avoid Maddox opening him up to poke around.
Maddox bitches to Picard and Louvois, who point out Data has rights, whereupon Maddox points out that they wouldn't let the Enterprise computer refuse a refit. Meanwhile, there's a going-away party for Data, and Geordi is saaaaaaad (suddenly wonders if there's Geordi/Data slash on the net, and instantly decides he'd rather not know). Picard gets Louvois to organise a hearing, and she names Picard as defense and Riker as prosecution, as she has no staff.
The hearing starts and Riker calls Data as witness, has him relate various info, bend a metal bar, demonstrates how Data's arm is removable, and finally demonstrates how Data has an off-switch. Picard requests a recess.
Cameo appearance by Whoopi! She points out to Picard that Maddox is trying to create a slave race of Datas. A light bulb appears over Picard's head. Back in the hearing, Picard goes though the stuff Data's packed and asks him about why he's packed it. He reveals he did the jiggidy jig with Tasha. Then he calls Maddox and asks him about what makes someone sentient, and argues that if they rule Data is property, it has repercussions for all androids to come. Louvois rules in Data's favour, and Picard invites her to dinner.
Riker apologises to Data, who responds Riker has nothing to apologise for, since if he didn't act as prosecutor, Maddox would have won by default. Everyone is happy, teh end!
That was one heady episode. No action whatsoever, but still riveting.