The crew of the Enterprise badgers an overworked Captain Picard until he grudgingly agrees to take a week of vacation on tropical resort planet Risa. Once there, he finds himself in the middle of a ludicrous sci-fi/archaeological/time-travel plot, a hopelessly clichéd romance with Vash (Jennifer Hetrick), and run-ins with an exceptionally annoying Ferengi named Sovak (Max Grodenchik in full moron mode, clearly in an early audition for Rom). I say Picard's time would've been better spent playing Dixon Hill in the holodeck.
Ira Steven Behr, in his first solo TNG script, plays the Ferengi card. If Ron Moore's future as "the Klingon guy" was sealed after his first script, then perhaps Behr's fate as "the Ferengi guy" is sealed here. Behr's obsession with Ferenginar is well documented, and would continue for the rest of the decade, especially on DS9.
The weak and boring "Captain's Holiday" can't release itself from its sci-fi machinations long enough to be a fun romp. Meanwhile, the sci-fi machinations are too perfunctory (and absurd) to be taken the least bit seriously on their own. The result is a constant compromise where nothing has any conviction, least of all the by-the-numbers romance between Picard and Vash (who is not without her appeal). It's a wasted opportunity. We want to enjoy seeing the lighter side of Picard, but not when he's buried in an idiotic plot with such stolid execution. Everyone's chasing the "Tox Uthat" (which can stop nuclear fusion in a star, no less), including a couple of time-traveling Vogons from the 27th century. For much of the episode, Picard takes the Vogons at their word — probably a bad idea involving any invention that can kill a solar system. If this sounds like a lame Indiana Jones wannabe, that's because it is.
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