Good news! They just cured a plague! Now they're off to rendezvous with with USS Hood. Picard is relaxing in his quarters when a 2001 monolith appears and vaporizes him. On the bridge, the detect weird readings, and Worf goes to investigate, but Picard's in a strange room with four beds. When Worf checks Picard's quarters, Picard also answers the door. Two Picards!
Picard meets Starfleet cadet Haro and an alien named Tholl, who are all equally mystified as to why they're there. Picard impresses them with the stunning deduction that, because there are four bed, someone else might be joining them soon. I can see how he managed to graduate Star Fleet. They have food in the form of jello discs.
NotPicard diverts the Enterprise to look at a pulsar. And won't let Worf let the Hood know they'll be late.
Back in the cell, Picard taps out prime numbers on a wall panel to try to communicate with their captors. Tholl claims his race doesn't have any enemies, and Picard points out his planet has been conquered 6 times recently. A bit careless. Suddenly, another alien appears. It has lots of hair and tusks, and a knife. Fortunately Picard overcomes him with sheer screen presence.
On the Enterprise, notPicard interrupts a poker game to ask Geordi about the engine efficiency. Then asks Troi about how the crew is reacting to their change in course.
The newcomer, a Chalanoth, is called Esoqq. Esoqq is not impressed by the food on offer and starts looking hungrily at Tholl.
NotPicard visits sickbay for a checkup, and Crusher says he's in excellent health. He then invites her to dinner in his quarters (No! It's a trap!).
Picard, Haro and Esoqq set about trying to get the door open. They almost succeed, but are zapped by green light.
Over dinner, Crusher tells notPicard that she likes their relationship as is. Then he asks her to dance and they end up snogging. Then he abruptly says goodnight.
In the cell, suspicions are turning towards Tholl. Tholl attempts to deflect suspicion with limited success.
On the Enterprise, Riker's getting suspicious of notPicard, who's in Ten Forward congratulating Geordi on his engine efficiency. And calls for a round of drinks. Then starts singing. This is enough to convince everyone that something is terribly wrong. The senior crew have a meeting and discuss if Picard's gone a bit funny and what to do about it.
RealPicard gives his cellmates a speech about trust, and then sets about disabling the stun beam.
The Enterprise reaches the pulsar, and Data points out the shields will only protect them from the radiation for 18 minutes. Riker asks notPicard what their mission is there, and threatens mutiny, but notPicard talks him out of it.
The cellmates attempt another break out, and find that beyond the door is a blank wall.
NotPicard orders the ship closer to the pulsar, and Riker decides now is the time to mutiny. Dun dun duuuuuuuuuun! Picard tries to counter this by getting Worf to confine Riker to quarters, but Worf does nothing, and Riker has Wesley set course away from the pulsar.
In the cell, Picard announces the whole place is a scientific experiment, and accuses Haro of being their captor. Haro turns into three aliens, who says the captives have been replaced by replicants. Since the experiment is over, everyone's being returned home.
Picard confronts notPicard on the bridge of the Enterprise, and notPicard promptly turns into another of the aliens. The Enterprise crew trap the two aliens in a force field to teach them a lesson. After giving them a taste of imprisonment, Picard tells them to get off his ship.
Riker teases Picard about his singing, and Crusher pops onto the bridge to give him Looks. Yay, twee "this is a comedy moment" music!