- Bizarro Episode: The crew of the Enterprise is schmoozing with what appears to be a pre-warp culture, when Wesley knocks over an outdoor decoration and is sentenced to death. And even though the Prime Directive didn't prevent them from making contact with this planet, all of a sudden it prevents Picard from saving Wesley. For no plot-relevant reason whatsoever, the inhabitants of this planet all dress in barely-there loincloths and have a preoccupation with sex. Rumor has it that Gene Roddenberry added this to the plot after they changed the planet from a floating military fortress housing incredibly xenophobic aliens to an idyllic paradise. Because naturally Paradise means Everyone Has Lots of Sex.
- Harsher in Hindsight:
- When he explains himself, Wesley says "I'm with Starfleet. We don't lie." In "The First Duty", after he'd officially entered Starfleet Academy, Wesley gets reprimanded for trying to cover-up an accidental death.
- Picard's decision to get involved with the Edo and fight their legal system to save Wesley, remarking that letting a member of his ship die was never what the Prime Directive intended. This makes him look like a huge hypocrite in later episodes when he preaches that the Prime Directive means that they don't get involve with pre-warp civilization, not even to save them from mass extinction.
- Older viewers and those who are athletically inclined will notice this one: The Edo are in "perfect physical condition" because they run everywhere (a common misconception: doctors say brisk walking and/or swimming are better). They're wearing slippers with absolutely no support, and they're running on hard surfaced pathways. Yeah, that's gonna bite 'em in the butt in a few years.
- Hilarious in Hindsight:
- The episode's moral that laws cannot be treated as absolute and unerring without themselves becoming unjust comes across this way when in later years Picard (along with Janeway) would frequently insist that the Prime Directive is absolutely immutable and cannot be broken under any circumstances whatsoever.
- There is a scene in which an Edo woman starts to consider Captain Picard to be a god, because the Enterprise is sharing its orbit with their god. Picard then makes it very clear that no, he is not a god. Flash forward to "Who Watches the Watchers" in season 3, in which Picard has a decisively harder time to convince the members of a pre-warp civilization that he is in fact not a god.
- Worf tells Riker rather emphatically how he could only ever have a Klingon woman as a Love Interest. Then DS9 happened.
- The crew skirting around the subject of sex.
- "I'm with Starfleet. We don't lie." sounds ridiculously naive even for The Wesley in a first season ST:TNG episode.
- Paranoia Fuel: The Edo's law practically operates on this. Since one never knows if where they are is currently a punishment zone, natives and visitors alike are effectively scared into obeying the law at all times, and it works. And no, exceptions are not made for people who don't know about the law, as Wesley finds out the very hard way.note
- Theiss Titillation Theory: Taken to its logical extreme. In fact, Gene Roddenberry apparently wanted the Edo to wear even less clothing, but Theiss said that he couldn't make it any skimpier without the risk of it falling off altogether.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
- The finished episode's message is a good one, but wrapped up in an absolutely ridiculous story.
- Earlier drafts of the script were, at least if the synopses are anything to go by, far more interesting than what made it to air. Instead of the bizarre TOS-throwback story that we actually got, it was a grim and gritty tale about a planet torn apart by civil war, that had been forced to adopt an All Crimes Are Equal system of law to maintain any semblance of order.
- Unfortunate Implications: As pointed out by SF Debris, just a few weeks prior, the episode "Code of Honor" aired, which depicted an all black planet that was a Darkest Africa dystopia filled with greed and corruption. Here, the paradise planet is populated entirely with blonde-haired blue-eyed white people whose only flaw is that they're so pure and simple that they need others to handle ethical issues for them.
YMMV / Star Trek: The Next Generation S1E7 "Justice"