the story: The crew becomes aware that they're being experimented on.
similar to: "Waking Moments" (Voyager)
my thoughts: The one bit of cleverness "Schisms" exhibits is when the crew pools their thoughts in a holodeck recreation (see also: "Identity Crisis"). Otherwise it's a standard franchise mystery involving aliens up to no good, and the crew struggling to catch up with the funny business.
It's a pretty ho-hum experience otherwise, generic storytelling that kind of fills episodic space without really accomplishing much other than your basic thriller material, as Riker volunteers to put himself in harm's way in order to flush out the bad guys and bring things to an end.
I'm always hoping these purely episodic stories will at least have interesting character work, because the best of them do ("Conundrum," say), or something so cool that it's irresistible ("Cause and Effect"). "Schism" lacks all of that. It's a space-filler. Perhaps it's telling that the franchise was about to expand into a third live action series (Deep Space Nine), and so maybe fewer people were paying attention to quality control than there should have been, especially this early in the season.
criteria analysis: franchise -