*** (3 stars out of 5)
Specialist Kosinski has improved the warp engines on starships Fearless and Ajax. Now this arrogant, gibberish spouting goober wants to do the same on the ol' NCC-1701-D. Riker and Data believe his 'improvements' are nonsense, but orders is orders.
Kosinski's alien assistant with the unpronounceable name (Eric Manook? Menyuk? Something like that.) is from Tau Alpha C (distant but a good fraternity) has a mind so alien Counselor Troi can't even sense his presence. (She does have mind-reading powers, right? Check her resume again...)
MacDougall isn't the only chief engineer, it seems. Today we have Mr. Argyle. Exactly how many vaguely Scottish engineers does it take to equal one Scotty, anyway?
Hanging around engineering being a nerd finally gets Wesley Crusher noticed. Noticed by the overlooked alien boffin who is distracted at the wrong moment and goes all see-through and wibbly wobbly.
The Enterprise is hurled first 300 years travel from home, then when Kosinski tries to reverse "his" action, they are whisked into a cloudy blue spot with streams of invisible dice zipping by. "Where No One Has Gone Before". Maybe it's God's Back Porch.
Wherever it is, it's got cats. Worf boyhood spiky pig (a targ), and Yar's more conventional kitty from her unconventional sewer of a home colony. Everything anyone thinks is made manifest. This is not the place to fiddle around- unless you want fiddles.
Picard even takes tea with his dead Maman. He didn't get his English accent from her, no ziree.
Kosinski's assistant is 'a traveller' from another place or time, or both, and he privately urges Picard to encourage Wes without interfering. The Crusher boy is a rare and special space/time/thought savant. He must not be told. (It doesn't make acne any easier, I assure you.)
Picard orders the entire crew to focus their love and good wishes on The Traveller, and the energy provides their return home (with enough goodwill left over to resurrect Tinkerbell and bake me a pie.)
For his exemplary work, Picard grants Wes the rank of Acting Ensign and the finer reward of more studying! (An unexpected bonus is the bile and hatred of thousands of jealous geeks.)