Memory Alpha summary
|via Cygnus X1; most illogical...|
Oh, and speaking of Next Generation, "Joker" is pretty similar, all told, to "Emergence" as well.
That and it's a Romulan episode.
No, not Romulan episode as in "Balance of Terror," but more like, and you just knew there would be another Next Generation reference, "The Neutral Zone," which is an episode you might not typically think of as a Romulan episode (you may even consider the third element of that one, the first hint of the later Borg invasion, more significant!), yet there they are all the same.
And that's the kind of episode "Practical Joker" is. Equal parts relevant and complete nonsense, it's not exactly "Trouble with Tribbles" hilarious in humor, but probably that's another association you can make in terms of what they were thinking when it was made.
You can, ah, inflate or deflate the episode's worth at your own risk. (There's an in-joke in the preceding sentence. Yeah.)
four quarter analysis
franchise * series * essential * character