The Enterprise is approached by another vessel. Although technically a warship, the ship is tiny and primitive enough to be completely harmless. Nevertheless the ship's captain, Debin, demands that Picard hand over Okona, who he claims is a wanted criminal on his planet of Altec. As Picard talks to him another vessel arrives, similarly weak. Captain Kushell, from the Straleb also demands that Okona be handed over to him as he is a wanted man.
Picard has Okona brought to the bridge - with Worf having to practically drag him there - to discuss the sitation. Okona denies any criminal acts, and a furious Debin reveals that Okona has impregnated his daughter, Yanar. Kushell in turn claims that Okona stole the Jewel of Thesia from his planet.
Realising that whoever he hands Okona to, the other Captain will start firing, Picard decides to release his guest to go his own way as soon as his ship is repaired. But after a talk with Wesley about his rootless life, okona decides that for once he is going to face the consequences of his actions, and decides to hand himself over. Picard invites both captains aboard the Enterprise and in a heated discussion, it emerges that Okona is guilty neither of theft nor sexual infidelity. In fact Kushell's son Benzan is the father of Yanar's child, and Okona was carrying the jewel to her as an engagement gift from him. Although the two Captains are initially reluctant to accept the relationship between their children, they come to accept it and start making plans for the upcoming wedding.
Data, meanwhile, has been attempting to exercise his comedy skills - but to no avail. His efforts to make his shipmates laugh end in failure, so Guinan suggests he perform a comedy routine in front of an audience on the holodeck. This seems to be going well at first, until Data realises that the computer-generated audience will quite literally laugh at anything, funny or not. The android reluctantly ends the program and admits defeat.
With Okona and the two warships heading their own ways, the Enterprise-D continues on course.
Data starts his exploration of comedy, and that makes for a nice B-story. Spiner does his usual bang-up job as Data, and manages to be both funny and ultimately sad.
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