When a Romulan ship is stranded, Geordi and Ro are apparently lost in a transporter malfunction, and the rest of the crew assume they are dead. They awaken on the Enterprise
, able to pass through solid walls due to their molecules being 'phased'.
Tropes provided by "The Next Phase":
- Big Eater: Geordi in the end. Justified since he and Ro had been out of phase for nearly two days.
- Bottle Episode: This was meant to be one, but like "Power Play", the special effects necessary wound up making this one of the more expensive episodes of the season.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: When the Romulan sent to kill Ro and Geordi is tacked by Geordi, the Romulan, being as intangible as Ro and Geordi, is sent through the bulkhead into space.
- Which leads to the Fridge Logic of why none of the out-of-phase people were falling through the floor. Perhaps the artificial gravity makes them stick there?
- Fire-Forged Friends: Though it was only a brief moment, Geordi was previously very vocal about not being happy with Ro joining the crew. The two bond in this episode, though.
- Foreshadowing: Geordi mentions rumors of the Romulans developing an interphasing cloaking device. In season 7's "The Pegasus", we'll see these rumors were very real.
- The Fun in Funeral: Ro is horrified that Data decided to make their memorial service a New Orleans-style jazz funeral.
- Ghostly Goals: Lampshaded, as Ro thinks they need to settle personal business before moving on to the afterlife.
- Intangible Man: Geordi and Ro and Romulan officer Parem.
- Karma Houdini: Even though they nearly kill the folks who saved their lives, the Romulans get away scot-free. Well, except for that one guy flung into space...
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Ro thinks that she and Geordi have become ghosts, but Geordi doesn't buy into it as easily as her.
- Recycled IN SPACE!: This episode is basically Ghost in space. Too bad Whoopi Goldberg wasn't there that particular week...
- Skeptic No Longer: As an adult, Ro stopped thinking much of Bajoran religious beliefs, but after apparently dying, becomes more appreciative and understanding of them.
- Ungrateful Bastard: The Romulans "thank" the crew for coming to their aid by sabotaging the Enterprise so that it will explode the next time it enters warp.
- The Unreveal: What was Riker going to say about Ro?
- Considering the events of Conundrum, it seems Riker's unrevealed funeral speech and Ro's interest in it are foreshadowing a possible future romance between the two. However, since Ro only appears in two more episodes after this one, no such plot development ever happens.