Star Trek: The Next Generation
Episode: 74
Season: 3
First aired in: 1990
Stardate: 43989.1

When an entire Federation colony disappears, Starfleet suspects that the Borg (introduced to humanity by Q) have finally left the Delta quadrant and begun to focus on the Federation. Lt. Commander Shelby is sent to the Enterprise to assist in the investigation. Meanwhile, Commander Riker has been offered his own ship, and Shelby plans to take his place on the Enterprise.

En route to investigate the attack, the Enterprise is intercepted by the Borg. They threaten to destroy the ship unless Picard beams over, but he refuses, and they are forced to hide in a solar nebula after a narrow escape.

Shelby comes up with a plan to destroy the Borg cube with a burst of energy, and goes over Riker's head to suggest the plan to Captain Picard. Riker is none too pleased and threatens her in the turbolift. Shelby contends that he's lost his edge.

The Enterprise is forced to leave the nebula (aren't they always?) before their plan is ready. Three Borg beam over, take Picard and return to the cube. The Enterprise chases it at high warp as the cube heads for Earth.

Picard is informed by the Borg that he has been chosen as a liason of sorts, and that he will speak for them as they conquer the Earth. Back on the Enterprise, Geordi points out that the cube must be slowed to impulse power if they are to have any hope of destroying it.

Shelby leads an away team to the cube. They locate Picard's belongings, but are forced to retreat to the Enterprise after the Borg start getting irritated.

The only choice Riker has is to take a shot at destroying the cube. The deflector dish powers up, and he utters the final word of the season: "Fire."

Most fans of TNG consider The Best of Both Worlds to be one of the greatest episodes ever. The Borg are at their best. Riker's manhood is called into question. Guinan is wise. Rotating the shield harmonics is introduced as the solution to everything. And the cliffhanger is perfect: Will they destroy the cube with Picard inside? Will Commander Riker accept command of his own ship? And if Picard has become a Borg, how can they ever make him human again?

Truly, this is TNG at its finest.

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