In general I don't like time travel stories. They are against my religion. Traveling backwards in time just isn't acceptable in my opinion. But there are so many in science fiction they are almost unavoidable.
How much did you see your favorite character?
No Garak didn't turn up in Visionary and I don't have a fave character in TNG.
Was the antagonist strong? Good argument? Evil?
The Romulans were the antagonists in DS9 and they are always strong. Weakness is unRomulan. The Universe itself was the antagonist in Cause and Effect. Rather like The Cold Equations by Tom Godwin.
I put these two stories, DS9: Visionary and TNG: Cause and Effect, together because of their underlying similarity. Time travel and using knowledge of the future to change the future.
In Visionary Miles O'Brien has an occupational accident which gives him a dose of some peculiar radiation. This causes him to have what he thinks are visions and then pass out. But then it seems they are not really visions. He is jumping into the future and seeing what happens and coming back. The cool thing about this story is that it becomes rather creepy because O'Brien "dies" three times. It was really confusing to watch the first time. But it is an enjoyable story. And of course the entire Deep Space Nine station blows up one time.
But who did it? Was it the Romulans or the Klingons?
Cause and Effect is a bit shocking too. At the very start of the show you see the Enterprise blow up and then everybody is sitting around playing poker and you go, "What the Hell?" This story mostly follows Dr. Beverly Crusher as she notices weird things and collects data for Data to analyze. But we see the Enterprise go through 3 time loops and get blown up each time. For some reason this story does not come across as creepy like Visionary. I guess the death of one well known character has more of an impact than massive fictional death.
But finally Data figures out how to avoid the problem. But there is one thing kind of phony about this problem. One would think Picard would have ordered the use of the tractor beam a lot sooner instead of asking for suggestions. That quicker use of the beam might have avoided the entire time loop business. But then there wouldn't be a story. It is bit annoying when the situation looks too contrived.
Live long and don't time travel!
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"Cause and Effect" is the 18th episode in the ...