On an away mission on Surata IV Riker contracts an infection that will eventually reach his brain and kill him. Dr. Pulaski begins a treatment of neural stimulation in the course of which Riker experiences pleasant dreams. Deanna senses Riker's dreams while the infection is spreading even more rapidly and concludes that negative emotions might stop the growth. She and Pulaski begin stimulating negative memories such as Tasha Yar's death and other sad moments, upon which the infection is eventually slowed down and disappears.
Errors and Explanations
Internet Movie Database
- When Geordi and Data beam back down to the jungle, Data reports that his scanner detects no animal life within 50 kilometers, despite the fact that insect and bird noises are heard in the background. He may be referring to land animals.
Errors in geography
- In one of the clips where they are orbiting the alien world, they show the state of Michigan. Perhaps it just resembles Michigan!
- Ryan on Saturday, August 11, 2001 - 3:25 am: After getting jabbed by the plant/vine thingy, Riker apparently just sits down on a rock and does nothing. LaForge has to stumble upon Riker sulking on his rock before any action is taken. This isn't right. If Riker feels that it's nothing, wouldn't he go on with the geological survey? And if he was feeling woozy, considering this is an uncharted planet, should he notify someone about this? Sitting and sulking on a rock waiting for someone to discover the scratch is silly and rather out-of-character for Riker. The shock of the plant jabbing him may have prompted him to sit and rest for a short while.
- Pulaski reports that the alien microbes' growth level is at 0%. Then, suddenly Riker's life signs pop up back to healthy ranges, and Pulaski's scans detect no more alien microbes! She rejoices by calling the captain and proclaiming "The alien microbes have been eradicated!". Dang, these microbes must have pathetically short life spans. Shouldn't an infestation as advanced as the one in Riker live for a little longer than 10 seconds after their growth level hits 0%?? The reading for growth level may not include decimal points, which means the growth level could be below 1%, but above 0%.
- LUIGI NOVI on Saturday, August 11, 2001 - 9:01 pm: After looking at the cut on Riker’s calf in the beginning of the teaser, Geordi calls O’Brien for beam out. Riker protests, dismissing the injury as just a scratch, and Geordi apologizes to him, saying that they can’t take any chances, they’re the first survey team on the planet, and they don’t know what the risks are. Somehow this didn’t feel right. It looked like Geordi was taking a leadership role, when it’s the type of thing someone like Riker should’ve said to a member of an away team. Riker could be making another attempt to assert his authority!
- Ryan on Saturday, August 11, 2001 - 9:24 pm: It's really interesting that Pulaski beams down to inspect Riker. LaForge and Data beam up with the little whatever-it-is without a second thought, "Unnatural Selection" brought a quarantined child on-board where some examination was possible. Surely Riker can be beamed up to be examined in some force field, instead of forcing Pulaski onto the surface of a dangerous planet. She needs to scan Riker in situ, to ensure that transporter usage won't exacerbate the situation.