Category Archives: Finales

“These Are the Voyages…”

"So I checked the fleet database and under the 'Forever Ensign' list and it's got 3 names: Yours, mine and someone named 'Harry Kim'"
“So, I checked the fleet database and under the ‘Forever Ensign’ list and it’s got three names: Yours, mine and someone named ‘Harry Kim.'”

It’s suddenly six years later, Enterprise is returning to Earth for a big summit setting up an alliance of planets (didn’t that just happen?) and Archer’s going to give a speech (that definitely just happened). Then, Will Riker says “freeze program” and it turns out he’s in the holodeck on the Enterprise-D, and it’s REALLY 2370. Riker’s using a historical holodeck program (at the suggestion of Deanna Troi) of the NX-01’s final mission to figure out what to do in a dilemma shown in “The Pegasus”. He resumes the program and Shran shows up asking Archer for a favor. The mechanics of it aren’t that interesting, but Archer helps Shran out with some nasty bad guys, who later catch up with Enterprise. At gunpoint, Tucker essentially sacrifices himself to save Archer. Then, Riker (posing as Enterprise’s oft-mentioned Chef) talks to Tucker (presumably, earlier in the program) and gets a key insight about coming clean to Picard. Then, Riker and Troi watch as Archer is about to give his famous speech, and Riker calls for “end program.”

Why it’s important

For the second consecutive episode, I’m unclear as to what we see established as far as Earth’s alliance with other planets — but whatever it is, it’s important. Archer’s man-of-destiny role, which was such a big part of the series, comes to full fruition here.

"Say the word Admiral..."
“Say the word, Admiral…”

What doesn’t hold up

Well, I hope you all have a few minutes.

First of all, let’s talk about the connection to “The Pegasus”. In that episode, Riker’s former captain (now an admiral) comes on board and orders Riker to continue helping with illegal experiments to build a Federation cloaking device. Riker can’t tell Picard because his old captain has him under orders. Riker eventually comes clean after seeing dead bodies on the titular (and previously assumed lost) vessel AND when use of the cloaking device will save the Enterprise-D from the Romulans. So, yes, Riker does the right thing, belatedly.

But if you watch this episode, you’d think Riker came around because his experience on the NX-01 helped him pick right from wrong — or that he was struck by Tucker’s loyalty to Archer. But that’s just not what happened.

Also, it’s odd that during the Enterprise-D’s mission, Riker would have so much time to spend on the holodeck. In the original episode, Riker actually spends time with Worf in another holodeck program (we see the after effects when Riker has to go to sickbay with a broken rib). Was Riker making Data pull all his shifts, or something? It’s not as if the Pegasus mission lasted more than a few days.

There’s also the matter of the decision to advance things on the NX-01 by six years.

Put simply, it was TERRIBLE that the main characters didn’t seem to have changed at all, other than hairstyles and uniforms. Sato and Mayweather were both STILL ensigns, for crying out loud! And apparently Tucker and T’Pol never did get together, which really makes all the third and fourth season stuff seem not just trivial but pointless. Honestly, based on the character development we see here — other than what happened to Shran — nothing interesting would have occurred on Enterprise (character-wise) for SIX MORE YEARS. Maybe the series needed to be canceled if the creators were so lacking in ideas. You could argue that the creators didn’t have enough time to show any Enterprise character developments. Of course, if they hadn’t devoted half the episode to Riker and Troi …

Then, there’s the matter of Starfleet wanting to decommission Enterprise. Consider that, 100 years later, we see Starfleet vessels in service for decades (Kirk’s first Enterprise was around, with refits, for 40 years!). Why would Starfleet — which had TWO warp-5 capable ships when the credits rolled in “Terra Prime” — want to moth ball a ship that still has to be relatively advanced?

Oh, and of course, Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis looked about 10 years older than they did in “The Pegasus” … because they were 10 years older. The Enterprise-D sets mostly look good, though the observation lounge was off.

Before we move on, Tucker’s sacrifice — while noble — sure seemed odd. He survives for a few minutes while the bad guys who were farther away from the explosion died instantly? Also, why didn’t we see Reed or any MACOs in the area after the bad guys board the ship?

Lastly, the question has to be asked where Riker’s program came from. Was it some interpretation of the NX-01’s final mission? It’s hard to believe it could be 100 percent accurate, given the personal conversations and details. Hmmmm …

We're waiting for a fan theory that the entire run of Enterprise was just a holo-fanfic in the Enterprise-D's database.
We’re waiting for a fan theory that the entire run of Enterprise was just a holo-fanfic in the Enterprise-D’s database.

Final thoughts

Now, we get to the question about what the creators were thinking, and if it worked.

Generally, the answer is “no.” This episode doesn’t really serve as a finale for Enterprise. It’s really a finale to second-generation Trek. That wasn’t an awful idea and it was billed as a “Valentine” to the fans. But it’s too bad that Enterprise got short-changed. It almost feels like the creators sort of figured that Enterprise was a failed series and threw in a TNG connection to try to make everyone happy. The best moment was probably the final montage of the three Enterprises — but that could have been done even if the previous 43 minutes had been different.

Was Enterprise a failed series, though? Certainly, it got canceled. But the third season was quite daring and the fourth — while filled with too much fan service — was an improvement over seasons one and two and quite entertaining at times. As I’ve noted before, I’ll take daring and flawed over boring and flawed. That’s why I stand firm that Enterprise is a superior show to Voyager.

Big picture, Enterprise did feel like a series that never quite clicked, but it came close while dealing with a shifting dramatic TV landscape and general Trek fatigue. I would have enjoyed watching more seasons, but ratings are ratings, I guess.

"This won't make any sense to you T'Pol. But Al said after I make this speech I'll leap!"
“This won’t make any sense to you, T’Pol. But Al said after I make this speech I’ll leap!”

Coming next week …

We’ll be back with a few wrap-up articles, but this will be our final review — at least, for a while.


Once you go hologram, you never go holoback.

The gang — most of it, anyway — is back on Earth, 26 years since we last saw them. Janeway (unbelievably) is an admiral, Kim (inexplicably) is a captain, the Doctor (finally) has a name, Torres (curiously) is a liaison to the Klingon Empire and Paris (believably) writes holonovels. But Chakotay and Seven — who end up (surprisingly) married — are dead and Tuvok (sadly) has lost his marbles, but could have been cured if he hadn’t been away from the Alpha Quadrant for so long. So, Janeway steals some Klingon and Federation technology and goes back to present-day (2377) Voyager to try to get the ship home faster and maybe save everybody (cough, Chakotay, Seven and Tuvok, cough) who died after year seven of Voyager’s journey. Present Janeway is skeptical, but caves when Future Janeway tells her about Chakotay, Seven and Tuvok (with a passing reference to other crew members who would die). Unfortunately, Future Janeway’s plan involves using a Borg transwarp hub to get the crew home, and Present Janeway decides that destroying the hub — and possibly saving billions of lives — is more important. But, of course, the two Janeways put their heads together and (sigh) find a way to “have (their) cake and eat it, too” — by having Future Janeway sacrifice herself and get assimilated while carrying a pathogen to the Borg — enabling Voyager to get home while also destroying the hub. End series.

Why it’s important

Well, this episode wraps seven years of frustrating telev — I mean, seven years of Voyager’s trip in the Delta Quadrant. It also does some major, major damage to the Borg. So, what we see has some galaxy-shaking consequences. Or, rather, it likely will.

Batmobile armor provided by Starfleet’s Bruce Wayne Research Center™

What doesn’t hold up

A friend of mine asked me what I planned to write for “Endgame”. He joked that he still has no idea how Voyager pulled off destroying the hub WHILE ALSO using it to escape. I’m not sure I get it, either — even if I put aside the fact that Future Janeway shouldn’t have existed if Voyager got home when it did in this episode. What concerns me more is how EXACTLY Future Janeway decides to play god in this episode. Let’s review:

As the episode begins, Voyager’s been back on Earth for 10 years after an additional 16 years in the Delta Quadrant (how the ship cut 14 years off the journey isn’t explained). The Federation is apparently in good shape and most of the crew seems fine (as noted above). There were some other unnamed casualties before Voyager got back, but Janeway’s biggest reasons for getting Voyager home sooner seem to be that Tuvok (her oldest friend), Chakotay (her first officer) and Seven (her de facto daughter) would be much better served by her actions here (or, at least, Janeway assumes they would be, which is a stretch). This, my friends, is really terrible and shows just how reckless and selfish Janeway became as the series dragged on. You could argue that this episode is similar to “Timeless”, in which Chakotay and Kim do something very similar. But in that episode, all of Voyager’s crew except Chakotay and Kim died 15 years earlier — meaning things were about as bad as they could get. Janeway’s actions here are a lot harder to swallow because they’re mostly about saving her besties (and also because she’s the alleged hero of the show). It’s disquieting that we don’t see the futures of the other 100-plus Voyager crew members who apparently made it back to Earth — but a strange focus on the main cast (despite Voyager’s small crew and inability to rotate in new redshirts) was always an oddity of this series.

Beyond that, it’s sad that the series ends without answering any questions about what will actually happen to the crew after their return, as the future we DO see is wiped away. How will the former Maquis fare? What about Seven? Will the Voyager crew have more adventures together, or will the crew break up? What about the forgotten Equinox crew members? And most importantly, what about all the questionable decisions Janeway has made over the years?

We know that Janeway is (pfft) promoted to admiral by the time “Star Trek: Nemesis” rolls around, so I guess Starfleet shrugged all of her questionable behavior. Overall, not getting more is really disappointing, as a strong finale — hell, a 5-minute montage showing where each of the main characters really end up — would have done wonders for this series. The only character who got a decent sendoff was Neelix, who ends up on a Talaxian colony in the Delta Quadrant a couple episodes before “Endgame”. Amazingly, one of Voyager’s most-lampooned characters gets the best exit.

Let’s also talk about the Chakotay/Seven pairing. Was it rushed? Well, yes. Was it completely unbearable? I don’t think so. I would have preferred that it happened a few episodes earlier, considering the weight it apparently would go on to have, but I didn’t hate inserting it here — even though it appears it mostly happened because Robert Beltran essentially dared Brannon Braga to do it.

Oh, and one more thing actually. I’m sure it will surprise no one that the “Borg resistance” from “Unimatrix Zero” led to absolutely nothing. Because Voyager.

Last, last thing: Did Admiral Janeway give the Borg information about technology that would provide them with an advantage in the future? She equips Voyager with new shielding and weapons — and the Borg are (of course) well known for their ability to adapt. Voyager (and DS9) played pretty fast and loose with the logic of time travel, but if Voyager made it back using the advanced technology, doesn’t that mean that the Borg would have retained knowledge of it? Even if that’s not the case, Admiral Janeway’s actions are reckless, as her plan could have easily failed and the Borg would have learned and possibly assimilated those transphasic torpedoes and the weird armor. Because it’s always good to hand advanced technology to a foe intent on assimilating the galaxy.

Again, the creators made Janeway far too reckless and selfish here.

“Janeway, are you supposed to be my nemesis? Because I literally embody billions of Borg.”

Final thoughts

On a positive note, the episode does appropriately show the birth of Torres and Paris’ child. Quietly, their relationship was a strength of the series, so at least it was wrapped up effectively. It’s too bad, though, that Admiral Paris didn’t really acknowledge Tom on the viewscreen after Voyager returns home.

There’s also the matter of Voyager’s finale being an awful lot like TNG’s — an alternate future, a main character becoming a writer, a key character dying and another with mental issues, fighting with the Klingons and a rescue by a Starfleet ship by a sympathetic yet skeptical commander, etc. This is a criticism often thrown at “Endgame”, and there’s validity to it. But I think that’s about the least of this episode’s failings.

We’ll get into a larger assessment of Voyager in our next review. The 10-second version is that it was a show with a good cast and some great moments that ultimately ignored its premise and ventured into comic-book territory late in its run. Even Enterprise — which had many failings — was a better show, in the eyes of this reviewer.

Coming next week …

Our last look at Voyager.

“What You Leave Behind”

Hope you like CGI ships getting blowed up!
Hope you like CGI ships getting blowed up!

The DS9 crew, aboard the new Defiant, sets out for Cardassia as part of a huge allied fleet set on ending the war.  Back on Bajor, Dukat (still appearing as a Bajoran) has his sight back and returns to Kai Winn, who has discovered how to release the pah-wraiths from the fire caves — and was waiting for his return to do it. Meanwhile, the Dominion learns Damar is alive on the streets of Cardassia Prime, fomenting rebellion. After Damar’s forces cut power to Dominion headquarters, the female Changeling goes bonkers and starts killing Cardassians indiscriminately. This prompts Damar, Kira and Garak to mount an assault on Dominion HQ. By this point, the Federation and its allies have pushed the Dominion and Breen fleet back into the Cardassian system — as the Cardassian ships have switched sides. As Damar’s party gets into Dominion HQ, Damar is killed — but Kira and Garak capture the female Changeling and Garak kills Weyoun. The female Changeling refuses to surrender, telling Kira that the Jem’Hadar and the Breen will fight to the last man. Kira sends a message to the Defiant, and Odo beams down to talk to the female Changeling. He links with her, she surrenders, and he cures her of the disease and promises to take the cure to the Great Link (as she is likely facing jail time for war crimes). Odo also tells Kira that he’ll be joining the Link for good.

There is... another... Weyou... No there's not!
There is… another… Weyou… No there’s not!

With 800 million more Cardassians killed, the war is over, and the papers are signed back on DS9. Worf becomes Martok’s Federation ambassador, Odo will go back to the Great Link, the O’Briens get ready to head to Earth so Miles can be an instructor at Starfleet Academy and Sisko and the gang have one last night out at Vic’s. On the dance floor with pregnant Kasidy, Sisko realizes he must head to the fire caves and stop Dukat and Winn. An empowered Dukat nearly defeats Sisko, but with a dying Winn’s help, he’s able to grab Dukat and fling both of them into the flames. The pah-wraiths are forever trapped and the Prophets save Sisko — but he must stay with them for an unknown amount of time. When the crew can’t find Sisko, he returns briefly and tells Kasidy he has to leave, but that he will return, “in a year … or, maybe, yesterday.” Worf and O’Brien leave and Kira returns from taking Odo to the Gamma Quadrant. Back on the station, Kira’s left in command, with Quark still at his bar, Nog a newly minted lieutenant and Bashir and Ezri a happy couple. The series ends as Kira hugs a mournful Jake while he looks out a window on the Promenade toward the wormhole.

Why it’s important

As the final episode of Trek’s most serial show, a lot of things happen. The war ends, Cardassia lies in ruins, peace returns, the pah-wraiths are banished, Dukat, Damar, Weyoun and Winn all die, Odo returns to the Great Link, Worf heads to the Klingon homeworld, Garak returns to Cardassia, O’Brien leaves for Earth and Sisko essentially becomes a god.

In other words, a lot of ground was covered here. Say one thing for DS9, it didn’t pull punches and closed NEARLY every open question in a whirlwind of a final two hours — and a final eight episodes.

“This one’s for my homies trying to reconcile the timing of all these events.”

What doesn’t hold up

The absolute most disappointing thing that the creators botched would have been a character moment. It’s simply inconceivable that Sisko wouldn’t say goodbye to Jake. It was a poor decision not to have a final moment with Kasidy AND Jake. The bond between the Siskos was one of the things that series got right from day one, and to not do it justice in the final episode was simply terrible. Remember that “The Visitor” — in which Jake must deal with Sisko’s sort of death —  is widely considered to be DS9’s best episode.

There are some other odd things about this episode — some of which seem like they might have been editing issues. Some of them have to do with the timing of events — particularly in concurrence with “Star Trek: Insurrection”.

As the episode begins, Sisko and the fleet head to Cardassia. If you figure the amount of time it would take to get to Cardassia Prime amid all the battles,  get the female Changeling to surrender, and get back to DS9, at LEAST a week has gone by. That’s probably overly conservative, but it’s a nice, easy number to remember and it serves our purposes. Now, keep in mind that Dukat and Winn leave for the fire caves around the time Sisko’s fleet leaves. And they’re in the caves during the battle. Stay with me on why that’s important …

After the war is over, negotiations commence and the female Changeling signs the treaty. Then, Sisko gets wind of the fire caves thing that’s happening and heads to Bajor — where Winn and Dukat are just wrapping things up. I’ve got to ask — how long were Winn and Dukat in the fire caves? Based simply on the events of this episode, it had to be at least a couple weeks. That seems just impossible. And other events in Trek make this botched sequence EVEN WORSE.

We didn’t review “Star Trek: Insurrection” as it’s a pretty inconsequential movie based on our site guidelines. But Worf’s presence on the Enterprise-E in that film is sort of explained by hinting that the Dominion and the Federation are negotiating a peace treaty while Worf’s away.

So, in other words, Dukat and Winn are in the fire caves as the Federation fleet gets to Cardassia, battles the Dominion forces, gets the female Changeling to surrender and returns to the station — and while Worf has a zorch and a fun adventure with the Enterprise-E crew. Worf is present for the treaty signing and he heads off with Martok afterward. So, it’s really not a stretch to think that Dukat and Winn were in the fire caves for like a month!

There are easy ways this could have been fixed, BTW. Winn, after sort of banishing Dukat, could have decided to go to the fire caves AFTER the Federation won the war — possibly because she thought she’d never have another chance to undermine Sisko. The pah-wraiths could have had something to do with the timing, too. Or, even better, Worf could have joined the Enterprise-E crew after leaving DS9 but before officially taking over as Martok’s ambassador.

But, as it stands, the only conclusion one can draw is that Dukat and Winn were in the fire caves for at least two weeks, probably much longer. And that is just implausible.

Last minor gripe: The creators also seemed to forget one of the original points of DS9 — getting Bajor ready for Federation membership. This could have been EASILY covered by a line of dialog in the finale’s final moments about Kira getting ready for a ceremony about Federation admission. The scene with Nog and Kira in Sisko’s old office would have been perfect. Instead, that matter is left entirely unaddressed. Weird.

I've been in these clothes for like a month!!
“I’ve been in these clothes for like a month!!”

Final thoughts

OK, so the timing issue clearly bothers me a lot. I think it’s because “What You Leave Behind” was ALMOST so freaking good — and where it was bad, it was bad in places that were SO easily fixable. There’s one other item that I’d put on the list of decisions that I disagree with — though it’s more of a weird choice than a bad one: It’s too bad that the creators didn’t let Damar live and become Cardassia’s new leader. Given everything he went through in the seventh season, it would have been a nice moment to see Damar thanking Sisko, Kira, et. al and telling them Cardassians everywhere owe the Federation and its allies their thanks. Showing a somewhat dystopian Cardassia Prime was an interesting choice — but it’s not the one I would have made.

That said, the finale had some really great moments. Odo’s goodbye to Kira was incredibly well done and O’Brien and Bashir’s goodbye was nicely handled. I also liked Ezri waving goodbye to Worf, in a scene that was an obvious callback to Jadzia waving goodbye to him in “Tears of the Prophets”. (Of course, the lack of Jadzia in any of the flashback montage was pretty ridiculous. The creators probably should have spiked the idea if the best they could do for Worf’s memories was a shot of him smoking a cigar — which he shouldn’t have even remembered — in “Our Man Bashir”.)

Flawed finale and all, DS9 still gets major points for its ambition, its acting and its continuity. While it’s not the most popular Trek series and is even considered a black sheep by some, it was the only Trek show other than TOS that could be considered ahead of its time. Comparing DS9 with “Breaking Bad” or “The Wire” is not a stretch — though the latter two series are, obviously, superior. Compare Voyager with either of those series, and, well, your back might give out like mine just did.

DS9 wasn’t perfect. It had too much Ferengi crap, it was very hit-or-miss until late in the second season and it often bit off WAY more than it could chew. But, it’ll always hold a special place in this Trekkie’s heart.

Coming next week …

A final look at DS9, before we get into Voyager country.

“Extreme Measures” and “The Dogs of War”

Should we, you know, enter his mind. No I just want to do that 'sitting in a chair when you wake up thing' to him first.
“Should we, you know, enter his mind?” “No I just want to do that ‘sitting in a chair when you wake up thing’ to him first.”

Part one: Odo’s back on DS9, and he’s not doing well. Bashir and O’Brien, acting on their plan from “Tacking into the Wind”, lure Sloan (William Sadler) from Section 31. Once they capture him, he triggers a suicide implant, so Bashir and O’Brien use Romulan mind probes to enter his dying mind — which, conveniently, looks like DS9 — to see if they can find the cure to the Changeling disease (bah). The plan generally works, through a bunch of Voyager-style nonsense. But Bashir has to choose between getting all the secrets of Section 31 from Sloan’s mind or escaping in time to save Odo. Or something. What a mess of an episode.

And over here is where I had my Gul Lesset Interrogation Action Playset(tm)
“And over here is where I had my Gul Lesset Interrogation Action Playset(tm)”

Part two: Kira, Damar and Garak take their stolen Jem’Hadar ship to Cardassia Prime for a meeting with some Cardies who say they want to join the rebellion, but it’s a trap, the Jem’Hadar ship is destroyed and the trio must hide in Garak’s childhood home, which had belonged to our old buddy Enabaran Tain. Shortly thereafter, they learn that the Dominion has destroyed all of Damar’s bases. With few other options, Kira, Damar and Garak take the rebellion to the streets. Back on the station, Odo’s cured and is informed that Section 31 infected him way back when to infect the other Changelings — and that the Federation Council is unwilling to share the cure with the Dominion. Oh, and Sisko gets a new Defiant-class ship, which is renamed to honor the ship destroyed earlier in the arc (and allowing existing sets and optics to be used!). At the same time, Grand Nagus Zek (Wallace Shawn, whom we first met in “The Nagus” but who has showed up in numerous Ferengi nonsense episodes) contacts Quark, through a garbled transmission, and tells him he will be the new Ferengi leader. Zek then shows up on the station and tells Quark he actually wants Rom to be the new Nagus (see the garbled transmission above). With Ferengi culture becoming more human, Quark pledges to keep his bar a staple of Ferengi tradition (meh). The episode ends as Sisko, Ross and Martok discuss strategy now that the Dominion and the Breen are pulling back as the Federation can now defend against the Breen weapon. The Federation alliance decides to go on the offensive, in hopes of finally ending the war.

"Busboy, Resistance Leader, Grand Nagus: The life and times of Rom"
“Busboy, Resistance Leader, Grand Nagus: The life and times of Rom.”

Why it’s important

As DS9 draws closer to the end, the plot summaries sort of explain the significance of the episodes. The Dominion pullback is the biggest domino here, as that emboldens the Federation and its allies to try to stick a fork in the fighting.

But getting the cure to the Changeling disease is actually a huge domino, as we’ll see in our next review. Without the efforts of Bashir and O’Brien, it’s likely the war would have lasted a lot longer — as we’ll see.

We also see the end of the Ferengi storylines (mercifully). While the Ferengi characters would often be well used in places (like Quark and Rom’s role in and around “Sacrifice of Angels”), one of DS9’s biggest failings was the thinking that at least two episodes a year had to be Ferengi-dominant, resulting in some of the worst showings the series produced. So, while it’s pretty laughable that the Nagus would have enough power — and enough desire — to change the entire Ferengi culture, apparently based on his experiences in the past seven years, it’s also sort of appropriate.

And it’s a big deal. In the span of about four episodes, DS9 will change the ruler of three major Alpha Quadrant entities — the Klingon Empire, the Cardassian Union and the Ferengi Alliance.

What doesn’t hold up

“Extreme Measures” is just a terrible, terrible episode. Colm Meaney and Alexander Siddig do what they can, as usual. But the premise and the execution are just awful. Sloan’s mind looks just like DS9? Please. Sloan has the exact formula for the cure to the disease affecting the Founders memorized? Ridiculous. Bashir and O’Brien do all of this unsanctioned (aside from some limited notification of Sisko)? Stupid. It’s too bad, because the Bashir/O’Brien friendship was a real strength of DS9, so it’s hard to figure what the creators were thinking on this one. It frankly comes across as low-rent and trite — a combination of TOS budget limitations and Voyager nonsense.

“The Dogs of War” is a better episode, but so much happens in it that it’s kind of a blur — and it doesn’t even get into the Dukat/Winn stuff. Frankly, the creators’ decision again to shoehorn the Ferengi into stories hurts things. It’s also unfortunate that the creators decided that the Ferengi should evolve to be more like humans (and in a ridiculously fast way). I remember watching this episode in 1999 and thinking that somehow, Rom would bring a bunch of Ferengi ships to help the Federation in the series finale — which would have made what happened here a stronger story. But, of course, that didn’t happen. Instead, it’s just more bad-comedy drivel — even if Max Grodenchik puts in a nice performance in his last outing as Rom.

Final thoughts

These two episodes are probably the weakest in the final arc so far, though “The Dogs of War” isn’t really awful. The finale, of course, has some issues — but we’ll get to that later this week.

Coming later this week …

The finale. Duh. I just said that.


“All Good Things …”

“Tea. Earl Grey. … Spot?”

Picard starts to jump around in time, back to when the Enterprise launched and 25 years into the future. Q is responsible for the jumping — and seems to reconvene the trial from “Encounter at Farpoint” — which somehow relates to an anomaly in the Neutral Zone. Past Picard must convince the new Enterprise crew of his decision to defy orders and take the ship to investigate the anomaly. Present Picard (naturally) has the loyalty of his crew, but Future Picard is an old man who’s slowly losing his mind. He must convince his former senior staff — who have all lost touch — to rejoin and find the anomaly. When they all find it, they learn it was actually caused by a specialized scan looking for the anomaly in all three time periods, a paradox Picard realizes in a key moment. The three ships work together — with Picard coordinating in all three timelines — and collapse the anomaly, but all three ships are destroyed. Then, Q (apparently) reverses everything, as Picard passed the test when he recognized the paradox to show that he was capable of real growth. Back on the ship in present day, Picard joins the senior staff during their poker game for the first time — with the idea that the crew now won’t grow apart — and the Enterprise-D goes off into the sunset.

“Good finale, everyone. Let’s not mess it up with a really bad movie in a few months.”

Why it’s important

Picard, essentially, saves the human race in this episode. So, he’s got that going for him (which is nice). Beyond that, this is a finale — and we plan to review every TRUE series premier and series finale (“Turnabout Intruder” being the last episode of TOS but not a true finale).

“Captain, why is Chief O’Brien an important character this time around?”

What doesn’t hold up

The ending of this episode has always made me pause. I guess the idea is that Picard saved humanity and that Q reversed the destruction of the three Enterprises because Picard passed the test. But, then, was humanity ever really in danger, or was the whole ordeal one of Q’s illusions? It doesn’t matter THAT much, I guess. If the anomaly and what happened to Picard were part of an illusion, the Q Continuum could have wiped out humanity for not passing the test.

Bigger picture, I’ve always thought “All Good Things … ” was overrated. It’s just SO full of technobabble and there are some clear editing/writing mistakes. I also didn’t really buy that the crew would have drifted so far apart. If nothing else, Geordi and Data would have kept in touch more.

Meanwhile, this episode is the culmination of one of the dumbest things Trek ever did — pairing up Worf and Troi. The relationship had been hinted at earlier in the season, but we never saw the two of them doing much of anything (other than alt-reality stuff) until the TNG finale. The idea that Troi would be able to deal with a Klingon who is rather rough in the sack — based on everything we saw in the first six seasons of TNG and on DS9 — never made even a little bit of sense. It required making Worf much too human. As noted in other reviews, the seventh season of TNG is really pretty odd — and the Troi/Worf stuff is a prime reason why. It might be the most prime example, actually.

Oh, and what the hell happened to the Romulans in this episode? Picard gets them to agree to send one ship to investigate the anomaly — but it never shows up!

Finally, while it’s cool to see the Enterprise just prior to “Encounter at Farpoint”, a LOT of the details are off — beyond the fact that the actors clearly looked a lot older. O’Brien — who was barely in “Encounter at Farpoint” and didn’t have a name for another full season — is retconned into being a big player on the ship. Beyond that, it’s weird that Data — who was second in command of the ship, as Riker hadn’t been picked up yet — wasn’t in the shuttle bay to greet Picard and didn’t attend the staff meeting after Picard called for red alert. Is the idea that Picard promoted him to the senior staff on the way to Farpoint? The pips on Data’s collar were wrong in this episode, as they show him as being a second lieutenant and not a lieutenant commander. At one point, with Data on the bridge, Picard apparently leaves Yar in command, which would mean Yar outranked Data.

Final thoughts

Taking a look at the possible futures of the characters was fun. The Crusher/Picard pairing that we saw in the seventh season apparently culminated in them getting hitched and subsequently divorced. I never really liked that Picard would end up being with Crusher in late TNG — it ran counter to a lot of what we saw about Picard’s stance on romance with the crew — but it at least wasn’t as stupid and pointless as the Troi/Worf stuff.

Coming later this week …

We tell you which episodes you should watch that we don’t think are part of the tapestry, and we mention one that we really should have reviewed on its own.