Wesley's going in for Starfleet exams again. Meanwhile, Pulaski's telling Picard he needs to go get an operation done, and practically blackmails him into it. So he announced to the bridge crew that he's going to Starbase 515 in a shuttle with Wesley. Riker's annoyed because Picard won't tell him why.
Hey, there's Ensign Gomez! Shouldn't she be dead or something by now?
After the pair leave the ship, a distress call is received, and the Enterprise rushes to investigate! They find a primitive ship crewed by Pakleds. Who appear to be morons. Riker sends Geordi over, despite Worf complaining that they need more info on the Pakleds. Worf sulks.
Meanwhile, on the shuttle, Picard tells Wesley that he's going to get a new replacement heart because his existing artificial heart is faulty. Why is Wesley pressing buttons all the time? Flying to a stationary starbase requires that many course adjustments? I bet he's just playing Tetris.
Troi says Geordi is in great danger! This alarms everyone because she's finally stated something that isn't completely obvious. Worf goes into "I told you so" mode. Riker contact Geordi, who seems fine. After he performs tech support on the guidance systems, there's a power failure, and he lets Riker know fixing the problem might take longer than anticipated.
Wesley interrupts Picard's book reading in order to be emo. Picard moves to the back of the shuttle in the hopes that Wesley will get the message, but it doesn't work.
Geordi finishes his tech support and asks to be beamed back, but the Pakleds stun him with his own phaser and put up a shield so the Enterprise can't beam him off. Riker is annoyed. Worf's smugness becomes actually tangible.
Why is everyone on the "Dead Like Me" advert shiny?
Wesley claims to be a diva when it comes to the ladies. At this point one can almost hear the entire audience convulsing in laughter. Picard manages to keep himself to a restrained "Oh really?". Then he tells the story about how he got stabbed by a Nausicaan right after he graduated. Also he's drinking coffee, so this is obviously non-canonical. EVERYONE knows Picard only drinks Earl Grey.
Riker and Worf discuss how to get Geordi back. Worf thinks some torpedoes might work. Data reveals that the malfunctions were faked - it was a trick on the Pakled's part.
The shuttle reaches the starbase, and there are a couple more scenes with Picard and Wesley in which very little happens, then Picard goes in for surgery.
Riker makes more demands, so the Pakleds shoot Geordi again. They will trade the engineer for the contents of the Enterprise computer. Riker promptly calls a meeting to discuss what to do. Worf favours force. Big surprise. Riker, on the other hand, has a cunning plan.
Picard surgical update! Technobabble is occurring! Hopefully the medical surgeons know what the surgeon is talking about.
Riker and the rest of the command crew contact Geordi and give him some incredibly stilted dialogue laced with clues. Fortunately the Pakleds are as thick as posts and don't notice anything wrong.
Picard surgical update: It's all going horribly wrong! The hetrocyclic declination is in overload! They need someone with more powerful technobabble to help! Oh noes! Unfortunately the next doctor they call in is stumped too, but knows who they need.
The Pakleds try to force Geordi into improving their weapons systems, so he improvises some photon torpedoes. The Enterprise has been called to Starbase 515, but Riker won't leave without Geordi. He announces to the Pakleds that he's about to fire on them, causing panic! Red cloudy stuff emits from the Enterprise's nacelles. The Pakleds swiftly realise they're beaten and return Geordi, who congratulates Riker on his bluff. That was their cunning plan?!
After a trip to Starbase 515 at high warp, Pulaski fixes Picard up because her technobabble mojo is the strongest. He's mildly annoyed to see her. There's swiftly silenced applause when he returns to the Enterprise bridge. And also Wesley's exam results means he can continue his studies on the Enterprise (what? he failed again?). The end.
From this episode we learn: a) always listen to your doctor, and b) putting idiots in control of technology is a really bad idea (but this is inherently evident from observing the Internet).