“Up the Long Ladder”
Written by Melinda M. Snodgrass
Directed by Winrich Kolbe
Season 2, Episode 18
Original air date: May 22, 1989
Star date: 42823.2
This episode begins with an S.O.S. This is your only warning.
The strange signal, whose nature Riker instantly guesses despite it taking Starfleet a month, is a call for help used by Earthlings over three hundred years ago. Even though the distress call’s a month old no one has bothered to check it out yet, which winds up having been a strangely prescient move. Alas, Picard decides to save humanity’s “lost sheep,” in between healing some lepers and turning water into synthehol. Worf wants out of this episode and collapses to the floor of the bridge, thereby cementing his role as the most sensible person on this godforsaken boat.