With a few days rest before leading an undercover mission on Tilonus IV, Riker takes on the demanding role of a patient in a mental hospital in Beverly's stage play "Frame of Mind", together with Data as his therapist. While he is rehearsing for the play, Riker is under psychic strain, he thinks that he is making up things but carries on. However, just after the play is over and everyone applauds, Riker finds himself in what looks like a real mental hospital on the planet Tilonus, talking to Dr. Syrus instead of Data. Riker begins to switch between the Enterprise and the mental institution, and he has no idea which of the two is real. He finally submits to the idea that he is actually mentally ill and agrees to a treatment by Dr. Syrus. When he is rescued from the hospital by Data and Worf, Riker still can't believe that he is on the ship now. He takes a phaser and destroys this illusion. Actually, he has been captured by the Tilonians who have drugged him to extract strategic information from his brain, and only after he drops both illusions he wakes up and manages to arrange for an emergency beam-out.

Errors and Explanations

Internet Movie Database

Character error

  1. When Riker is trying to escape from Worf and Data in the hospital, why does he run towards them instead of running away from them? This could be due to him thinking they are an illusion.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs

  1. Data uses a contraction in the first scene on three different occasions - something he normally doesn't do. On this occasion, he is reading lines from a play. It's not part of his normal speech pattern, just him "mimicking" another character, which is something he has done before.

Plot holes

  1. In previous Star Trek productions, including Star Trek: Patterns of Force, hypo-spray-sized tracking devices can be implanted into the away team for the purpose of emergency transporter beaming in case of danger. Why isn't this used to keep track of Riker? Was the technology abandoned by Starfleet? Perhaps repeated use could have been deemed harmful to human DNA. In any case, scanner technology could have become advanced enough for the trackers to be instantly detectable.
  2. It is never properly explained why Riker of all people has been chosen to go on that undercover mission. Neither is he known for his expertise in that kind of "jobs", nor does he seem too familiar with the environment and the circumstances on the planet (which is why he has to be briefed about those things first). A more logical choice, for instance, would have been Worf - who appeared a lot more knowledgeable about Tilonian culture and the planet's terrain anyway - or any other specially trained security officer. Of course, the actual reason for Riker's use on this mission is to set up the story. Worf would never be able to pass himself off as a member of the planet's population!

Revealing mistakes

  1. Obvious matte work when the different layers of reality break apart. This could be a side effect of the mental strain Riker is under at this point.

The Next Generation Season 6
Time's Arrow Part 2 I Realm of Fear I Man of the People I Relics I Schisms I True Q I Rascals I A Fistful of Datas I The Quality of Life I Chain of Command Part 1 I Chain of Command Part 2 I Ship in a Bottle I Aquiel I Face of the Enemy I Tapestry I Birthright Part 1 I Birthright Part 2 I Starship Mine I Lessons I The Chase I Frame of Mind I Suspicions I Rightful Heir I Second Chances I Timescape I Descent Part 1
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