4. Riker's Trick Beard
The appearance of Jonathan Frakes’ Riker in season 3 of Deep Space Nine was a welcome surprise at first, and the reveal that he was in fact Riker’s accidental evil clone Thomas Riker could potentially have been a barnstorming shock which would have kicked the episode into high gear.
If it weren’t for the way in which it’s revealed, that is.
Remember how Riker growing the beard is still referred to as an indicator of The Next Generation’s improvement as a series, to the point that many fans can guess the quality of an episode based on the actor’s facial hair?
Well, the camera turning to Riker in this episode only for him to pull off his pretend sideburns has pretty much the opposite effect, reducing a suspenseful moment to unintentional comedy—particularly for viewers unfamiliar with Thomas Riker’s sole previous appearance, who must have at first wondered why the actor pulled off half his beard with no explanation.