***** (5 stars out of 5)
Ensign Sonya Gomez is excited to be on the Enterprise. She is courteous to food dispensers, and when spilling hot chocolate on the Captain. I like this actress and I'm sure it isn't just because her credits include "Triple-Breasted Whore of Mars".
Q encountered Guinan two centuries ago by another name, calls her a troublesome imp. Guinan gets 'the shining' where Q is concerned. But if she were a Highlander immortal she'd have a sword, and if she were a Time Lord she'd have a TARDIS. Just one of life's mysteries. (Probably not a leprechaun.)
Q has been kicked out of the Continuum, and wants to join the crew. Picard is dubious. They really don't need an insane all-powerful janitor. They're not 'Scrubs'.
"You may not trust me, but you need me. You're not prepared for what awaits you... Terrors to freeze your soul."
Q wants to prove it, so he snaps his fingers. Hurls them 7,000 light years into the unknown. Guinan's people have been here before, and her advice is simple.
"If I were you, I'd start back now."
System J-25 is just empty roads and pock marks where cities should be. And a starship shaped like a cube. Guinan's people met them a century ago: they are called the Borg. They swarmed across her civilization and left nearly nothing behind.
Robot Zombie #1 is downed by Worf. Troi senses no single leader, a group consciousness. The Borg cut a chunk out of the saucer section: a sample that incidentally has 18 people inside.
Guinan knows the Borg have been a threat for thousands of centuries, a fusion of organic life and technology. Focused locusts.
The Borg don't especially care if an away team noses around their ship. Riker encounters infants fitted with implants. It's the logical progression of 'Toddlers In Tiaras', and just as unsettling.
The cube heals itself, adapts to torpedo fire, and gives chase.
"If we all die here... you won't be able to gloat." Picard admits he needs Q to save them.
Buttered up, the entity snaps them home again with a parting taunt. "It's not safe out here. It's wondrous-- with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross... But it's not for the timid."
"Q Who" brings us ghoulish new villains to fuel the nightmares, and as Picard puts it: 'a kick in our complacency'.