"The Pegasus" is the 12th episode of the last season and was written by Ronald D. Moore.
Captain Picard gets a message from Starfleet headquarters to head toward the neutral zone to pick up a passenger and for this mission they will be allowed to exceed the warp speed limit.
NOTE: The warp speed limit is in reference to the episode "Force of Nature."
Commander Riker and Captain Picard welcome Admiral Pressman aboard. Pressman was once Riker's captain aboard The Pegasus, a starship that was performing experiments on equipment of a secretive nature. Riker has mixed feelings about having Pressman on board, particularly when it's revealed that their new mission is to recover the Pegasus, which has been found partially embedded in an asteroid near the neutral zone.
Captain Picard doesn't like being kept in the dark, especially after he finds out that many of the Pegasus crew performed mutiny against Captain Pressman. He confronts Riker, who tells him that he can't go into details about what happened all those years ago but that he did take up arms against his fellow crewmates to defend his captain. Riker was fresh out of Starfleet Academy at the time. Picard tells him that he'll do this mission, but if he feels Riker's performance may jeopardize the ship in any way, he will have to do some reassignments with the command structure.
They find the Pegasus at the same time a Romulan ship does. Riker suggest destroying the asteroid to keep the Pegasus out of Romulan hands. Admiral Pressman gets angry at Riker in the ready room and Riker defends his suggestion by saying it was wrong then, and it's wrong now.
Later, they decide to get as close to the Pegasus as possible and the best way to do this, although it's very risky, is to go inside an opening in the asteroid and retrieve the equipment from the engineering room. The admiral decides he and Riker will board the ship.
Meanwhile, the Romulan ship destroys the opening and seals the Enterprise within the asteroid. The Romulan captain gives Captain Picard a choice, hand over the equipment and they will beam all their crew aboard their ship as a mean of rescue. With Riker and Pressman back aboard the Enterprise, Riker comes clean with Picard about the nature of the equipment, it's a proto-type of a phase shifting cloaking device. Riker suggests using it to escape the asteroid. Picard agrees and they escape the asteroid with the Romulans unaware.
Picard is a little upset and pissed that certain members of the federation council allowed this experiment to begin with since a peace treaty with the Romulans includes not developing such technology. Pressman argues that it's a stupid treaty as Picard orders engineering to uncloak the ship and contact the Romulan vessel about the treaty violation. Then he orders Worf to put Pressman under arrest for this violation. Riker says he should be put under arrest too since he participated in the cover up on The Pegasus.
Picard meets with Riker in the jail cell and tells him he will be questioned and his actions scrutinized but that he did the right thing in the end and they take that into consideration.
One highlight of the show is the opener in which Picard is reviewing children's admissions to "Captain Picard Day." Riker almost walks to the bridge with a model of Picard while mimicking him about reporting for duty. The admiral, who Picard takes the incoming message from, notices the sign "Captain Picard Day." A bit embarrassed and at a loss for words, Picard says "I'm a role model" to which the admiral says "I bet you are."
I liked this episode. It is a stand out contrast to some of the stinkers from the 7th season. It is well written and acted and offers mystery and surprises, especially not knowing what Riker is hiding until near the end of the episode. It had edge-of-your-set scenes of the Enterprise going in and through the asteroid. The special effects were top notch as well.