In the episode "Ship in a Bottle", Lt. Barclay reanimates the Professor Moriarty program, who becomes incensed that Capt. Picard had forgotten his promise to bring Moriarty out of the holodeck. Barclay returns to the holodeck with Picard and Data. In an attempt to explain the issue to Moriarty, Picard calls for the holodeck exit and throws a book through it, which disappears. Moriarty then steps through the exit, to the deck of the Enterprise, surprising the three crew members, who then escort Moriarty to the sick bay. It is only later in the episode that we find out
this "exit" is not the true exit of the holodeck. Moriarty has created a holodeck within the holodeck, and this exit is the boundary between these two imaginary worlds. By stepping through it, the three crew members are now inside Moriarty's embedded holodeck.
Data discovers this at the end of act III. In the mean time, Moriarty gains control of the real Enterprise. Picard realizes that the only way to get Moriarty to give up control is to fool him into thinking he has left the holodeck. Picard does this by
creating his own embedded holodeck, inside Moriarty's embedded holodeck, and tricking Moriarty into entering it.
My question is when does Picard transfer Moriarty into this new level? Some possibilities I have considered:
Picard creates a holodeck program, and the computer immediately transfers Moriarty into it.
- This doesn't seem in the spirit of the episode.
- Moriarty has self-awareness, and can sense the passage of time outside of his holodeck existence. It is thus plausible that he would become aware of such a manipulation.
In the middle of act IV, we see Picard at a control panel outside a holodeck, saying "Resume holodeck program." He then enters the holodeck to begin a conversation with Countess Barthalomew.
- It shows Picard operating (and perhaps programming) a holodeck.
- This would be consistent with the earlier use of a holodeck exit as the boundary between embedded holodecks.
- This scene would give Picard the opportunity to enter that level.
- But this doesn't explain how Moriarty, Data, or Barclay enter that level, as they are absent from this scene.
- IMHO this is when Picard activates his program, although Moriarty enters it at a later time.
At the end of act IV, Moriarty visits the Countess on the holodeck.
- Although it is not portrayed, Moriarty would need to pass through a holodeck exit to go from the Enterprise to the holodeck. This would give Moriarty an opportunity to change levels.
- Moriarty may sense that he has changed levels, but he is expecting a level change anyway (though up, not down).
- IMHO my recent viewing of the episode has changed my mind toward this possibility.
At the start of act V, Moriarty and the Countess are beamed off the holodeck, to the Enterprise transporter room.
- This would give the Countess and Moriarty an opportunity to change levels.
- Moriarty may sense that he has changed levels, but he is desiring a level change anyway (though up, not down).
- IMHO ever since this episode first aired, this is what I always assumed was the level change, until recently.
Some other possibility.
Is there a canonical answer?
update: It seems to be the consensus among the various answers and comments that my option #2 (scene 33) shows the trap being set but not yet triggered. So let's take that as a given, and concentrate on when Moriarty actually switches levels.