**** (4 stars out of 5)
"Coming of Age" is good stuff, especially if you like Wesley Crusher, which, as I may have already explained, I do. Plus, I love aliens.
Wesley is taking his Starfleet Academy Entrance Exam on Relva VII, but his classmate Jake Kurland failed the Entrance Exam Exam. Poor handsome devil will just have to fall back on his looks.
Admiral Gregory Quinn brings in Lt. Com. Dexter Remmick of the Inspector General's office to nose around Enterprise all nosey-like. He's all up in their business, being snippy, perched on the backs of everyone's chairs.
TAC Officer Chang (way saner than Greendale Community College's Senor Chang) conducts the exam for Wes and three other hopefuls:
Oliana Mirren, who finds Wesley cute enough she'll overlook his obnoxiousness.
T'Shanik of Vulcana Regar, who finds cuteness and obnoxiousness illogical.
"The" Mordock, a Benzite. He's got a VISOR for his mouth, just for everyone who thought braces couldn't look sillier in the future.
Wes may ace hyperspace physics, but he's anxious about the Psych Test. He asks Worf for advice on how to face his deepest fear.
"Only fools have no fear." The burly Klingon still battles his fear of depending on others for his life.
Jake Kurland steals a shuttle hoping to sign on to a freighter, but imbalances the engines and nearly crashes. Picard talks him through, narrowly saving Kurland's life. Just for future reference: don't drive away from failure, especially if you failed Drivers' Ed.
Wes knows that web-handed Zaldans are infuriated by courtesy, so he responds to Rude Rondon with equal hostility... and passes an unannounced test.
Niles Crane... uh, Remmick continues to pry and pester everyone.
"You don't like me very much, do you?" sneers Remmick to Worf.
"Is it required... sir?" Worf's getting more awesome every day.
Mordock is failing Advanced TETRIS and Wes coaches him through it. You should see that kid defeating the Angry Birds!
Remmick's Report: everybody's totally perfect and their poop doth not offend the senses. In fact, he wants to work here and I was wishing the same thing. Not for Remmick, for ME.
Quinn believes the Federation is being undermined and wants Picard to be Commandant of Starfleet Academy... to keep his friends close. (And his enemies in a little suitcase.) But that's for later. Perhaps Quinn sees conspiracies everywhere...
The real Academy probably has hallways TWICE as long as Relva's! And the paintings of hallways at the end of the hallways there must be FOUR times as convincing!
Wes's greatest fear was that he would be indecisive in crisis. But when crunch time comes he 'saves' one guy out of two from 'danger'. Partial credit!
Still, Mordock scores the highest and Starfleet gets its first blue haddock with four thumbs. Take that, Admiral Ackbar! And better luck next year, Wes: as Picard confides- he failed his first exam, too.