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Wacky Reviews: Star Trek

CaptainWacky

I want to smell dark matter
Eye of the Beholder - A crewmember (Kwan) commits suicide by throwing himself into the plasma field inside the warp nacelle, despite Riker's attempt to talk him out of it. Everyone is surprised because there was no sign tha it would happen so Picard has Worf and Troi investigate his last days. Data tells Geordi that in the first months after his activation, when his brain was still forming, he found it difficult to cope with his growing brain and the possibility that it would all collapse, so he contemplated ending his existence. Worf and Trio speak to the dead crewman's girlfriend. She doesn't seem all that upset, to be honest. "It's not like Dan to take his own life," she says, which is a really bad line. Troi talks to Kwan's superior and has a look around inside the Warp nacelle. It's cool that we finally get to see inside it. She gets a weird feeling when she looks into the warp field. Riker and Crusher wonder if his death left an "empathic echo" but Troi doesn't see how. Worf and Troi have a cosy chat. Worf goes to Riker in Ten Forward and tries to ask permission to date Troi but Riker just makes fun of him. Troi goes to look inside the nacelle again and this time gets weird visions of a man and woman she doesn't know. She finds herself walking around the nacelle as it was when the Enterprise was constructed. She finds two engineers kissing and they laugh at her, but then she walks into Worf and is back in the present day.

Troi tries to find the identities of the people she saw. She finds that one of them (Pierce) serves on the Enterprise. He served with Kwan when the Enterprise was being built but doesn't remember anything useful. Worf and Troi kiss and presumably have sex (it's TNG) since they wake up together. Crusher gives Troi an injection to suppress her empathic abilities. Troi then notices Worf kind of flirting with a young officer. Troi goes to the nacelle again and sees another vision. Bone fragents are found in the wall as a result, the remains of the woman she saw in her first vision. She realises that she was seeing through the eyes of the killer in her visions. Troi asks Worf if he regrets what they did. Pierce comes to Troi's quarters and acts weird. She goes to get Worf but finds him kissing the younger officer and they both laugh at Troi. So she murders Worf with a phaser. Hey, I'm starting to think this might not be really happening! Troi runs to the nacelle to kill herself but Worf stops her and she suddenly snaps out of it. Everything happened in just the few seconds after she looked into the warp field. There's a technobabble explanation of how it happened and how Troi's mind create a series of events that mirrored what happened to Pierce eight years ago. Worf asks Troi what happened in her dream and she says "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."

It's another Braga mind-bender but it's far less successful than the likes of 'Frame of Mind' because it basically comes down to "it was all a dream." Okay you could say the same about 'Frame of Mind' but at least that put Riker through the wringer. This one is just Troi reliving the memories of someone who died eight years ago. It's entertaining to watch the first time as you try to figure out what's going on, but ultimately it's all just a bit "meh, whatever." It's also weird that there's a scene where Worf asks Riker's permission to ask out Troi but then nothing comes of it because the rest of the episode is Troi's dream? But I'm assuming that scene really happened because Troi wasn't present for it (so her dream starts the second time she goes to the nacelle) because otherwise that's a huge plothole!

SCORE: 6/10


Genesis - Barclay is in Sickbay complaining about some imagined illness. Spot is now a girl (WHAT THE FUCK) and pregnant. Did the orginal Spot die and Data get a female replacement? We'll never know. Crusher gives Barclar an injection of a "snythetic t-cell" to treat the mild flu he actually has. Ogawa is pregnant too! Maybe there's going to be a transporter accident that swaps her baby and Spot's kittens in the womb. Picard and Data take a shuttle to track down a rogue torpedo. Data has Barclay look after girl Spot as Barclay is the only crewmember she doesn't hate. Spot's even wearing a PINK COLLAR now that she's a girl. Worf gets angry because he let the torpedo escape and snaps at Riker. Worf and Troi both eat weird stuff for lunch. Something weird is going on! Worf goes completely nuts and tears his bed up. Troi gets cold, Barclay gets hyper, Geordi gets tired, Riker turns thick. Worf BITES TROI then grows a venom sack and spits in Crusher's face, severely disfiguring her (because Gates McFadden is directing this.) Riker's intellect drops to that of a Trump voter. Picard and Data come back in their shuttle and find the Enterprise a right mess. The lights are out and they can hear animal noises. They find that Troi has turned into a fishwoman. Yes. That's what they find.

There's a dead redshirt on the Bridge there's webs and shit everywhere. They find Riker in the Ready Room and he's a caveman now. Trying to eat the fish. Data finds that the crew are "de-evolving" (that isn't a real thing) due to the synthetic t-cell. They have to go to his quarters because he has a special computer and they find that Spot has turned into an iquana while her kittens are normal. Pregnancy is the key to save the day so they have to find Ogawa for her human antibodies. They go to Engineering first for some reason and spider-Barclay scares Picard (who is de-evolving into a lemur, naturally.) They go to Sickbay and Worf starts trying to break through the door. Picard figures out that Worf is trying to mate with Troi. Picard uses Troi's pheromones to draw Worf away. ProtoKlingon Worf chases Lemur Picard through the ship and Picard magnes to knock him ot Data uses Ogawa's antibodies to create a cure and releases it. THE VERY NEXT SCENE everyone is back to normal, even the severely disfigured Crusher. Crusher tells Barclay (who was hardly in this episode) she's naming the disease after him. I wonder if any of hte adults turned into predactors ate any of the small children on the ship? I mean, you'd think at least someone children would have died during this episode!

Yeah, it is terrible. Somethinks it's the worst episode of TNG and I get why. The science is embarrassingly bad. The story is literally just "The crew turn into animals and act weird." It feels like it should be a TAS episode. But I have to admit I don't really HATE it. I'd much rather watch this than something boring as shit like 'Masks'. It's realy dumb, yes, but there is some enjoyment out of Caveman Riker and Spider-Barclay and Worf biting Troi. Some. I liked it more the first time I saw it anway. Watching it now...yeah, I know it's really bad. I just don't think it's the worst ever!

SCORE: 3.5/10
 

Eggs Mayonnaise

All In With The Nuts
Riker's intellect drops to that of a Trump voter.
i LOVE YOU.

There can never be a worse episode than Shades of Gray, for obvious reasons. And Gates should get a pat on the head for all the cool visuals and makeup and set desctruction she got to play with. But yeah there are so many sub-par episodes in the last season. DS9 had this problem too, even with the long arc at the end. It's like they took all the ideas they threw out over the years and started going through them again rather than brainstorm original ideas to the end.
 

CaptainWacky

I want to smell dark matter
Journey's End - Wesley Crusher's visiting the ship. Everyone's happy to see him for some reason but he seems sad about something. Admrial Necheyev coms onboard and Picard tries to get on her good side with Earl Grey Tea, Bularion canapes and watercress sandwiches. She actually is impressed but has news about the new border with the Cardassians. Several Federation colonies are now on the Cardassian side of the border (and some Cardassian colonies on the Federation side but that's never really a thing.) The colonists on the wrong side of the border must be moved and she wants Picard to move a colony of North American Indians. Picard is naturally uncomfortable about that. Necheyev comes across more understanding and sympathetic than her previous appearances. Wesley acts like a smug jerk to Geordi so Geordi kicks him out of Engineering. Picard meets with the Indian leader who says there were spiritual reasons for his people to come to the planet so they can't leave, okay. Wesley snaps at his mum. Shut up, Wesley. The Indian leader wants to know more about Picard's family to better understand him. Another Indian gos up to Wesley and says he knew Wesley was coming for the past two years. He saw Wesley in a vision quest and says Wesley has come to find the answers that he seeks. Crusher wants Picard to talk to Wesley because she's heard from the Academy that his grades are dropping and he's being a dick. Picard says Wesley has to work it out for himself and we cut to Wesley going to see his new Indian friend. He talks to Wesley about stuff being sacred. Picard tells the Indians that he'll removed them by force if he has to. The leader says Picard won't remove them because he's researched Picard's family and one of Picard's ancestors was part of a massacre and that's why Picard has come to them. What. Usually TNG tells us not to believe any of this mystical type stuff, but because it's a native American saying it I guess we're supposed to take it more seriously than if it was a weird alien.

GUL EVEK shows up on the planet, wanting to know why the people haven't been removed. Wesley continues on his boring spiritual jourrney. Picard tells the Admiral that the colonists won't leave but she tells him they must be removed by force. Picard orders Worf to begin preparations to remove them. Wesley has a vision of his father who tells him he's reached the end of his journey. Wesley comes across Worf preparing to beam the Indians away and warns them. HE'S A TRAITOR. Picard tells him off but Wesley calmly states he's resigning from the Academy. Wesley tells his mum how he's felt like he doesn't belong at the Academy for a while but he didn't want to quit and disappoint her and Picard. Crusher tells him how The Traveler once told Picard that Wesley was special, like Mozart, and maybe this is the first step on his special journey. If I recall the Traveler actually told Picard not to tell anyone about that. The Indians and the Cardassians get into a fight on the planet. Wesley shouts "NO!" and time freezes. Uh huh. His Indian friend reveals that Wesley froze time and has taken his first step. He then reveals his true identity...he's the Traveler in disguise. Umm, that seems kind of problematic but let's not go into it yet. He and Wesley unfreeze time and just walk away together while everyone else fights. Picard begs Evek not to start another war. Evek tells his men to beam the troops up. He lost two of his sons in the war and doesn't want to lose any more. The Indian leader agrees to stay on the planet living under Cardassian rule. Evek says if they leave the Cardassians alone they'll leave them alone. The Indian leader tells Picard he's wiped clean the stain of blood now. Sure. I'm sure everything will be fine under the Cardassians! Wesley says a tearful goodbye to Picard and his mum and leaves for other planes of existence.

It makes sense that they'd bring back Wesley for the final season and wrap his story up. But we never had any hint that he wasn't enjoying the Academy before this, or that he only wanted to be in Starfleet because of his dad. They could have at least worked the events of 'The First Duty' into his reason for quitting, but it doesn't come up. The Traveler feels completely out of place in late season TNG. Maybe that's why he spends most of the episode disguised as an Indian. Also, what the fuck? The Traveler was disguised as an Indian on this planet for two years waiting for Wesley? He lied about seeing him in a vision? He takes Wesley on some Indian vision quest but he's not really an Indian so it's all fake really and...it just seems a bit racist or something. Or it just doesn't make much sense. The other part of the episode is more interesting and it's a good story with Picard trying to do what's right for the colonists while upholding his dusty to Starfleet. I like that Gul Evek comes across as a reasonable guy. The parts where the Indian leader talks about Picard's murdering ancestor is a bit silly though. I don't know, it's not total shit but there's a lot of shit in this episode.

SCORE: 5.5/10
 

CaptainWacky

I want to smell dark matter
First Born - Worf is rehearsing a speech about boring Klingon warrior stuff to make to Alexander, as it's the Alexander wrap up episode. He looks older and hits Worf with a water balloon. It's time for his first Rite of Ascension but Alexander isn't interested in being a warrior and doesn't want to do it. Picard notices Worf seems to be distracted and suggests he take Alexander to a Klingon festival at a nearby planet. Worf, Alexander and other crewmembers attend. Worf takes part in the festival and kind of sings! He gets Alexander to jump in too as the story of Kahless is told through song and simulated combat. Some Klingons jump Worf but another Klingon (K'Mtar, played by the always great James Sloyan, who previously played a Romulan in 'The Defector') helps him. He was sent by Kurn and Worf seems to recognise him as a family friend. He believes that the Duras sisters were responsible for the attack (Riker names drops Deep Space Nine. I guss that place is important?) K'Mtar wants to know how good of a warrior Alexander is and offers to help Worf with getting him more interested in his heritage. K'Mtar talks to Alexander about his mother. Riker speaks to Quark (from that DS9 place!) looking for information about the Duras Sisters and gives up some money Quark owes him in exchange for their location. K'Mtar seems worried that Riker has found the sister. K'Mtar recreates the assassination attempt on Worf on the Holodeck to teach Alexander how to fight but Alexander won't kill the holo Klingon.

The Enterprise tracks the Duras sisters to a mine but just find an alien guy sitting down there. He was mining ore with the sister which they stole from the Pakleds, but the sisters stranded him on the planet. K'Mtar suggests to Worf that they send Alexander off to a Klingon bootcamp but Worf wants him to stay on the Enterprise as its his home (where has he been for the last season and a half then?) K'Mtar tries to teach Alexander about Klingon beliefs but Alexander questions them for being stupid. He tells Alexander that he'll never be at home with humans and tries to persuade him to go to Klingon school. The hunt for the sisters continues with Riker (Picard has been missing since his one scene with Worf) trying to find them through more mining aliens. He beams some ore into space then blows it up, revealing a cloaked Klingon Bird of Prey which he captures with a tractor beam. That's our Riker! The sisters claim to know nothing about the assassination attempt on Worf. They beam over and Worf shows them the knife bearing their house's crest that one of the assassins dropped. The knife has a symbol showing one of the sisters has a son, but the sister has only just found out she's pregnant so it's impossible. Worf finds K'Mtar about to kill Alexander and chokes him...then K'Mtar tells him to stop because he IS Alexander. Well, that took a turn. He travelled back in time forty years. He says the reason Worf recognised him is because he recongised his son (they do have similar forehead ridges if you look!) and proves it by remembering his mother's dying words. He explains that Worf was murdered in the future and Alexander was too weak to save him. He became a diplomat instead of a warrior and thinks that's the reason why Worf died as he failed to bring peace between the great houses. He staged the assassination attempt to frighten Alexander into being a warrior. He was going to kill his young self to stop himself growing up weak or whatever (this part's kind of a stretch.) Worf convinces him to let Alexander choose his own path. Alexander's in the Holodeck waiting to practice again but Worf tells him there will be plenty of time for that later.

It makes sense to bring Alexander back for the last season. I've found him annoying in the past but the actor's a bit older now and a bit better. This is an episode that is pretty weird if you think about it (Alexander travels back in time!) but it actually quite well and that's mainly down to the performances. James Sloyan is one of Trek's best guest stars and works very well with Michael Dorn. Sure it's a a siilly sci-fi story (Alexander travels back in time!) but the emtions feel real and isn't that what Star Trek's all about? Probably! It's actually one of the better season seven episodes.

SCORE: 8/10
 

CaptainWacky

I want to smell dark matter
Bloodlines - A hologram of Daimon Bok (from way back in season one's 'The Battle') appears and tells Picard that he's gong to kill Picard's son Jason Vigo. Picard admits to Riker that he did have a relationship with a woman named Miranda Vigo twenty four years ago...and it turns out she does have a twenty three year old son named Jason. The Enterprise tracks him to a planet and beams him up since he's underground and it's dangerous to be underground. Jason tells Picard he doesn't know who his father is (and conveniently his mother is dead and can't tell him.) Crusher does a test and it shows Jason is Picard's son. Picard tries to bond with Jason a bit but Jason isn't interested. A Ferengi contacts that Enterprise to tell them Bok isn't a Daimon anymore but he bought himself out of prison. Picard goes to Crusher for parenting advice. She convinces him to try to get to know him. Troi goes to talk to Jason and he hits on her. Another Bok appears to Picard in bed, promising to kill Jason. It's not a hologram so Picard wonders if Bok's messing with his brain again. Jason gets annoyed at being followed around by cute security guards. Picard wants to go rock climbing on the Holodeck with him but Jason still doesn't want anything to do with him.

Bok blows up a probe to send a message in a Ferengi code that reads "my revenge is at hand." It's kind of pointless since he just threatened Picard five minutes ago. Bok appears in Picard's Ready Room and makes more goofy threats. Jason has some kind of seizure and Crusher finds out he has a degenerative condition. Picard doesn't have it but his mother didn't either. HMM, THIS COULD BE A CLUE. Data and Geordi find that Bok is using a subspace transporter, but it's very unstable. Jason goes climbing on the Holodeck by himself and Picard joins him. They finally have a heart to heart after talking about Jason's mother and how she went to the alien planet he grew up on to look after alien orphans. Picard asks if he can be a father to Jason but Jason tells him he's a no good criminal and Picard wouldn't want him as a son. Picard says it doesn't make any difference to him and manages to make Jason laugh with a bald joke. Crusher tells some Picard some news about Jason. Bok beams Jason off the ship despite Geordi's attempt to stop the transport. Picard has Data and Geordi use the subspace transporter to send him to Bok's ship. Picard reveals that he knows Jason isn't his son and Bok resequenced his DNA (which caused Jason's illness.) The Ferengi under Bok's command didn't know he wasn't a real Daimon and turn on Bok as there's no profit in revenge. Picard and Jason have a friendly goodbye but Picard is sad after presumably because he liked the idea of having a son.

Of all the villains to bring back from season one for the final season they go with...Bok? Not the 'Conspiracy' aliens? Or even Armus!? He's not even the original Bok actor! It's a strange choice and his plan is really very contrived. First of all he had to find a woman who had previous had a relationship with Picard. Okay, there's probably a few of them out there. I don't know how he found out about their relationship (the episdoe never says) but maybe she told someone "I hit that" after Picard saved the Federation from the Borg. Not only that though, the woman also has to have a child (preferably a son since it was Bok's son who Picard killed) who is the right age that they could be Picard's chid. This is getting pretty unlikely! AND that child has to not know who their real father is (and not be able to ask the mother.) Then he has to resquence the child's DNA without them noticing. Wow, Bok, wow. It such a ridiculous plot that it would have actually made much more sense for Jason to really be Picard's son. I assume they didn't do that because it would be too similar to David and Kirk. Bok himself is a bad villain, just a silly cartoony "I must have revenge!" mad man with no depth. And yet the episode is actually tolerable thanks to, of course, the great acting of Patrick Stewart. You can see that part of Picard regrets never having a child and his awkwardness with Jason is played perfectly. The guy playing Jason does a good job too (though he looks older than 23 and was actually 36 when it was filmed...which is quite a bit older than 23!) So yeah this is another disappointing season seven episode in a lot of ways (and another "long lost relative!" one even though technically it isn't) but it's perfectly watchable thanks to the strong acting.

SCORE 6/10
 

CaptainWacky

I want to smell dark matter
Emergence - Data's doing 'The Tempest' in the Holodeck with Picard giving him advice. Suddenly a steam train shows up and nearly runs them over. Data reports after that it was from Crusher's Orient Exrpress program and the two merged together somehow. The ship goes into warp by itself. Geordi detects that there was some technobabble distortion around the Enterprise and it going to warp actually saved them from being blown up. Stuff that looks like coloured straws ("nodes") appears in the Enterprise's system. The Holodeck runs several programs simultaneously so Riker, Data and Worf go to investigate. They're back in the train but there's a cowboy there and a guy in a suit of armour, and girls doing a jigsaw with a picture of a node on it. The Ticket Inspector and the Engineer have a bizarre argument over our heroes not having tickets. Riker and friends have to leave the Holodeck because the safeties are offline (of course they are!) and a gangster's threatening them. Data concludes that the characters in the Holodeck were acting to defend the nodes and that the nodes are forming some kind of neural net inside the Enterprise. The Enterprise is alive! Data talks about consciousness being an emergent property. The Holodeck is the ship's imagination.

Troi, Data and Worf go to the Holodeck so she can talk to the weird characters. They talk about weird stuff. Troi and friends are kicked off because they don't have tickets but she tells them to folow a guy with a brick because "that brick might be important clue." This is played completely straight. They end up in "Keystone City" and the man puts his important birck in a hole in the wall. A taxi tries to run over Data when he's trying to shut down the nodes but he stops it with his hand. A bigger, glowly node appears in the cargo bay. This has all got very boring by the way. Troi thinks the Holodeck characters are all metaphors (of course!) and wants to try to relate to them on their own level. Troi talks to the weirdos about "Vertiform City" and Worf shovels coal. The ship starts collecting vertion particles from a star but when it runs out of particles things start to go wrong on the Holodeck. The ship flies to "New Vertiform City" instead. So really there was no point in everything that happened so far. But this new star is too far away and everyone will be dead by the time they get there. Geordi finds a new source of the particles and Troi explains to the freaks that they can help. Geordi's plan works. The big glowing node thing flies out into space...and that's it. That's all it does. After all that. Picard talks about this new lifeform came from all of the and the collected experiences they shared with the Enterprise. Would have been nice if the episode had shown that in some way!

This episode starts off very interesting! The Enterprise comes to life! The briefing scene where everyone talks about it is fascinating. What will this new lifeform do? What will it be like? Well, we never find out. It just flies away at the end. It reminds me of that episode of The Young Ones where a tiny little plane flies out of a nuclear bomb at the end. The rest of the episode is just some nonsense on the Holodeck. Troi talks about them having to interpret the metaphors but nothing interesting is done with that. And really if the ship was coming to life why couldn't it just talk to the crew using the computer's voice? That would have been easier than creating a load of retarded holograms! Braga (who came up with the story, but the teleplay was by Joe "Lesser Braga" Menosky) wanted this to be the "ultimate Holodeck" episode for the final season. As it is, it's really just pretty boring. Not as boring as 'Masks' but not far behind.

SCORE: 3/10


Preemptive Strike - Ro is back from tactical training! She's a full Lieutenant now and had a new haircut. The crew throw a party for her but she's not into it. Picard calls her away because he knows she wouldn't be enjoying it. Ro goes to the Bridge when there's a distress call from a Cardassian ship, being attacked by Federation ships. It's the Maquis and I guess they've already been in DS9 and I should have watched the episodes chronologically instead of series by series. Oh wel, I'll do that next time. Our old friend Gul Evek is saved by the Enterprise and complains about Starfleet not doing enough to stop the Maquis. Picard meets up with Admrial Nechayev again, who he's friends with now. She's no fan of the Cardies but says Starfleet has to put a stop to the Maquis using an undercover operative: Ro. She's conflicted, of course, and talks about an old Commander of hers who resigned from Starfleet to join the Maquis (it's a Chakotay reference! I think!) But she takes the mission to validate Picard's faith in her. Data and Worf go into a bar, pretending they're looking for Ro as she murdered a Cardassian. A Maquis operative stuns her and takes her to a safehouse. She gives them her backstory about being kicked out of Starfleet. The old man in charge of Maquis bonds with Ro over shared tales of being mistreated by the Cardies. Ro's story checks out so she's welcomed to the Maquis council. They've heard the Cardies are going to use chemical weapons on them and want to make a preemptive strike (the name of the episode!)

Ro has a daring plan to steal medical supplies from the Enterprise, involving a nebula or sun or something that means sensors don't work. Of course she lets the Enterprise in on her plan with a secret message. She gets the medical supplies and wins the respect of her Maquis co-pilot. Her Maquis mentor tells Ro she's one of them now, as he always knew in his heart. Ro goes back to the Enterprise and Picard has a plan to hurt the Maquis by giving them a false target. Ro tels the Maquis the false story that Starfleet is concerned the Cardies are building a biogenic device. Ro's old man mentor keeps being extra sweet to her so you can tell she feels extra bad about betraying him. Also he reminds her of her father who was murdered by the Cardies. Michelle Forbes does good crying acting. Cardies in cloaks attack and the old man is shot. He dies, telling Ro she will step forward and take his place. Laying it on a bit thick! Ro has a meeting with Picard at a bar where she pretends to be a prostitute. She wants to cancel the mission but Picard is confused. She admits to Picard that she's struggling big time as she doesn't want to let down Picard but she doesn't want to go ahead with the mission either. She says she'll go through with it but Picard has Riker go with her to make sure things go smoothly. Ro hold a phaser to Riker and reveals the Starfleet attack force to the Maquis. She's made her choice. Riker tells her to take care of herself and tells Picard that Ro's only regret was letting him down.

Ro is a good choice for a character to bring back and Michelle Forbes is one of the strongest actresses to appear in TNG. The episode is very good and it does make sense that Ro wiould be very sympathetic to the Maquis. Her quitting Starfleet certainly makes more sense than Wesley doing the same, though I'm not sure I buy her line about finally feeling at home with the Maquis when she always seemed to feel at home on the Enterprise to me (after her first episode.) The old man who befriends her is a bit too perfect though, the way he reminds her so much of her father and basically says everything she could possibly need to hear to join the Maquis. It almost seems like a set up, but then he dies so I guess it was genuine! Still it's a strong episode thanks to the character stuff for Ro and her interactions with Picard and Riker at the end.

SCORE: 8.5/10
 

CaptainWacky

I want to smell dark matter
All Good Things... - Worf and Troi have just been on a Holodeck date. Worf is worried what Riker might think, but they nearly kiss anyway...before Picard runs out in his bed clothes saying he's moving back and forth through time. He tries to tell Troi the details but finds them fading fast. Suddenly he's an old man in a vineyard. Geordi comes to see him, with bionic eyes. He's married to "Leah" so maybe he killed Leah Brahms' husband or he just has a thing for women with that name. Old Picard has some kind of brain condition, like future Alzheimer's, infromation he shares just before seeing dwarves yelling at him. Then suddenly he's with Tasha Yar on a shuttle going to the Enterprise for the first time. Then he's back in the future. That establishes the time periods quite nicely! Crusher can find no evidence he's time travelled, but does find a defect in his brain that means he could develop the brain disorder he had in the future. Romulans are headed to the Neutral Zone due to some kind of spatial anomaly so the Enterprise is sent too. Old Man Picard wants to see Data, who's a professor at Cambridge. He has loads of cats! And emotions! Past Picard takes command of the Enterprise, but is distracted by more jeering people and calls a Red Alert. Also O'Brien's there in red, just like in 'Farpoint.' Picard doesn't want to tell this past crew of his time travel which makes things a bit awkward. A large anomaly appears in the Neutral Zone in this time too and the mission to Farpoint is cancelled. Picard says they're going to Farpoint anyway! He has O'Brien do things the Chief Engineer can do and mentions O'Brien love of ships in bottles. And young Data's there and doesn't understand metaphors! ALSO HIS PIPS ARE WRONG AND IT NEVER COMES UP IN THE EPISODE.

Picard retians more memories when he returns to the present and now Crusher know he isn't crazy because scans show he has new memories. Picard asks Troi if she remembers him acting crazy when he first took command but she doesn't so he isn't changing the past. Riker asks Troi to join him for dinner but she has plans with Worf and Riker's sad. Crusher makes Picard drink warm milk and orders him to bed. She's sad that Picard's going to get space dementia but he says the future isn't written yet...and they kiss! Future Picard tells Geordi they have to go to the Neutral Zone. It doesn't exist anymore because the Klingons have conquered the Romulans. WHAT ABOUT THE DOMINION. Picard goes to old man Admrial Riker for help but he seems to be an old git now and won't help. Data suggests using a medical ship as the Klingons allow them to cross the border. Luckily enough the USS Pasteur is commanded by Beverly...his ex-wife. She's still worried about his brain and her, Geordi and Data aren't convinced that he's travelling through time. In the past, Picard calls out Q saying this has gone on long enough, but he doesn't show up. But Picard then finds himself back in the courtroom from 'Farpoint' and Q arrives on his flying judge's chair. Q agrees to answer ten questions. Q admits he's responsible for Picard travelling through time. The trial never ended before, but now the Q have reached a verdict: humanity is guilty of being inferior. Q mocks the storylines of the last seven seasons. It's great, John de Lancie is great. "It's time to put an end to your TREK through the STARS." That's a reference to show's name! Humanity will be destroyed but not by Q...but by Picard.

Back in the present, Picard believes Q is giving him a chance to save humanity because he cares about Picard. Data says that's true, Q views Picard as a beloved pet. The Starfleet ships and the Romulans have a staredown in the Neutral Zone. Future Crusher contacts Future Worf (a Klingon governor) but he's about as helpful as Future Riker, until Picard insults his Klingon honour. Worf gives them permission to cross the border, but only if he can come too! Past Picard orders the Enterprise to the Neutral Zone. The crew are concerned about his growing insanity. He speaks to re-used foootage of a beardless Riker! Troi admits to Picard that she and Riker had a relationship but she doesn't think it will interfere in her duties. In the present, Tomalak(!) asks Picard how long they're going to stare at each other across the Neutral Zone and agrees for each side to allow one ship to enter. The past Enterprise arrives there too and finds the anomaly larger than in the present. But there's no anomaly at all in the future. Picard insists it should be there and Data comes up with a technobabble way to scan for it. Crusher wants to go home before the Klingons arrive. She yells at Picard in private for undermining her command. They have a tender moment after that, but Q shows up as an old man to mock Picard. Present and past Picard both suggest to Data that he uses his technobabbled ("inverse tachyon pulse") scanning technique. Geordi starts to get a headache. Crusher reports that he's growing new eyes! Data reports that the anomaly is made of ANTI TIME. THe Pasteur is attacked by Klingons. They're about to be destroyed when THE ENTERPRISE decloaks(!) with a third nacelle(!) and Old Man Riker saves the day with some cool flying (it's one of those rare times we see a ship using the three dimensions of space.) Everyone is beamed off the Pasteur before it blows up and Riker instantly blames Worf for everything. Picard gets emotional telling Riker they have to stay but Crusher sedates him. Back in the present, Ogawa loses her baby. Fucking anti time!

Q comes to see Picard again. He takes him back in time to France three and a half billion years ago, when life is about to begin on Earth. The anomly now fills the sky and life is never created because of it. Picard is somehow responsible for all this, which is quite a burden. Present Data uses a device (that wasn't invented in the past, but past Data told Picard about it) to look inside the anomaly, finding three tachyon pulses inside, converging on the same point. Riker and the others have a drink in Ten Forward in the future. Riker and Worf have't talked in twenty years, since Troi died. Riker never really approved of Worf and Troi dating and they never properly got together because of it. Old Man Picard comes in and starts ranting about "the chicken and the egg." Data understands what he's talking about: the three tachyon pulses scanning for the anomaly in the same place is what caused the anomaly itself. They have to go back to the Neutral Zone now to see the initial formation of the anomaly (but surely there should be nothing there since it's moving backwards through time? But maybe when it's initially formed in moves forwards and then starts moving backwards after its initial formation there I solved that problem. But then why wasn't it there when the Pasteur looked? Err...Q did it. Let's say Q did it.) In the other time periods, Picard orders the tachyon pulses shut down, but the anomaly doesn't change. Picard knows they have to go inside the anomaly to destroy it. Yar asks for an explanation but Picard says he has no answers. He makes a speech about them being the finest crew in the fleet which convinces them to trust him. All three Enterprises enter the anomaly and create a static warp shell. All three Enterprises can see each other now. Yar's hair goes weird and the past Enterprise explodes. The present Enterprise goes next. Q tells Picard that Jean-Luc had such potential, but all good things must come to an end...

The Enterprise explodes too and Picard finds himself back in the courtroom. Picard thanks Q for his help. Q points out that he was the one who got Picard into it, on orders from the Continuum...but it was his idea to help out. Q WAS NICE ALL ALONG. Q tells Picard that exploring the possibilities of existence is the real exploration that awaits Picard. He nearly whispers some secret about the universe to him but flies away backwards instead, saying "see you out there" as his last line. It's, like, the best scene in Star Trek. Picard is back in the present, interrupted Worf and Troi again. No one else remembers what happened (if indeed it really happened and wasn't some Q simulation) but Picard does tell them all about the possible future he saw. Data says the anomaly doesn't exist so the future doesn't have to be the same and they don't all have to drift apart (Riker and Worf agree.) Picard joins the crew for their poker game for the first time and everyone's shocked but delighted. Picard admits he should have done this a long time ago. The sky's the limit.

Finales can be hard. Even great shows can have terrible finales. Doing something that wraps up all the stories, gives closure to all the characters, and is an entertaining episode in its own right is a difficult balancing act. 'All Good Things' pulls it off and spectacular fashion. This isn't just about closure, it's also a celebration of the Next Generation as a whole, showing us where things started, where they are, and a possible future (that it's hinted at will be averted.) SURE you can nitpick the plot a bit: that whole thing with the anomaly not being there when the Pasteur arrives in the Neutral Zoneand then appearing after doesn't really make sense since it's supposed to be moving backwards in time. But when you've got scenes like that last one between Picard and Q, who really cares about nitpicking? It's great having the actual serious Q back too, the Q standing in judgement of all humanity (and secretly helping them out because he likes us really.) It's a Picard centric episode, like most of the best TNG episodes, with Patrick Stewart in nearly ever scene. That could be a risk too, but luckily he's the best actor to ever be in Star Trek so it works! So yeah, this is the best finale of any Star Trek series. That's not a spoiler, I'm just pretty sure I'm not going to change my mind. On an emotional level, that final poker game is a perfect final scene. It's a great end to a great show, an episode that makes you forget that season 7 has been a bit patchy and leaves you wanting more. Fortunately there's going to be TNG movies soon. Surely they'll be just as good as this, as tv episode?

SCORE: 10/10
 
I like the idea of seeing a possible future of our main characters in the finale, as a way of maybe giving an idea of what their lives could be like after the show ended but leaving it vague enough to not be set in stone.

It's a really good idea that should only ever be done once and would probably be really shit if another Star Trek show used the exact same gimmick in their finale except shit.
 
I like the idea of seeing a possible future of our main characters in the finale, as a way of maybe giving an idea of what their lives could be like after the show ended but leaving it vague enough to not be set in stone.

It's a really good idea that should only ever be done once and would probably be really shit if another Star Trek show used the exact same gimmick in their finale except shit.
As in, for example, Enterprise...

"Theorizing that one could deliver a cockshot to a profitable franchise within his own lifetime, Dr. Scott Bakula stepped into the Berman & Braga accelerator... and sucked..."