Still, the episode as a whole is mostly just moving the pieces into place. It does so competently, certainly, but it’s frustrating to be sitting through an entire episode that’s supposed to be the first of two parts about the TNG crew encountering Spock, only to not even have the guy show up (outside of a picture) until the final seconds. I remember being annoyed by that when I watched this episode the first time in ’91, thinking, “Finally, we get Spock!” only to fade to black and see “To be continued...” and cry out, “That’s it????” Watching it now, knowing Spock wouldn’t arrive until the end just made the filler (the aforementioned bureaucratic nonsense, K’Vada’s baiting Picard and Data, Data making Picard too uncomfortable to sleep, etc.) all the more irritating to watch.