A metaphor—a secret lesson, a code to slip past the guardians of culture—that can do some good. It can be necessary, and useful, and just. But a metaphor can also be all that you have left. It can be a way out. A way free. “Far Beyond The Stars” succeeds because it does have universal concerns: the desire for respect, to be free to aspire without constraint. But by refusing to cloak those concerns in pure symbol, by reminding us that these things do happen, are, in fact, still happening every day, the episode escapes the trap of message and commentary and creates something unique. Maybe somewhere, Benny Russell is dreaming. And maybe someday, he won’t need those dreams.