This is it, the final episode of the series. We have come a long way together, revisiting all 176 episodes of the Star Trek series that brought the Federation back to the screen. It is hard to believe that this blog series started over a year ago on Jan 1, 2018 and is still going strong. So, join me for the last of Star Trek The Next Generation and the episode that originally aired on May 23,1994 marking an end to one of the greatest science fiction series of it’s time. This is All Good Things…
Stardate 47988.0 All Good Things…
Q returns to inform Picard that the Captain is responsible for the end of humanity. This starts a journey through space and time in which only Picard himself can save the universe.
Worf and Troi are near the end of a date when they are interrupted by Captain Picard who is desperately asking what date it is. When he learns the Stardate, he tells her that he has recently found himself travelling back and forth, through time.
Picard begins to tell Troi about his travels through time, unsure as to what is happening to him. Just as he starts to remember details he finds himself as an old man in the vineyards of France. Soon, his old Chief Engineer Geordi LaForge arrives and greets his old friend. It has been twenty Five years since they all served together on the Enterprise and LaForge is there to check on the ailing Captain. It appears that Picard has contracted Irumodic Syndrome and LaForge wanted to get a chance to talk to his old friend before he is unable to. As they begin walking back to Picard’s home, Jean luc encounters a group of people cajoling him. In moments he finds himself on a shuttle craft with none other than Tasha Yar.
It is Picard’s first visit to the Enterprise and Lt Tasha Yar is transferring Picard to the ship. As they begin the docking procedure, Picard finds himself back aboard the Enterprise with Counselor Troi where he tells her that he was just with Tasha on a shuttle. He is clearly confused.
In sick bay, Crusher indicates that he has not left the ship nor has he been travelling in time. She does, however, find early signs of something that could lead to Irumodic Syndrome in the future. As they discuss the situation, Picard receives a call from Admiral Nakamura, it appears that the Romulans are sending Warbirds to the Neutral zone and the Enterprise has been asked to investigate why the Romulans are amassing a fleet. He is instructed that he is not to cross the border unless they do.
Just as he finishes his call with Nakamura, he finds himself back with Geordi in the future. He is confused and, as far as Geordi can tell, his Captain is experiencing symptoms of Irumodic Syndrome. Picard assures La Forge that it is not a mental issue but there is something greater happening. Picard insists, that they see Data as he is the only person who can help them. Just as they begin to leave he encounters the screaming people again. Something strange is certainly going on.
Arriving in Cambridge, Picard finds Data has the distinction of holding the Lucasian Chair and, although he has his doubts in Picard’s claims, he is willing to help his former Captain figure out what is going on. Picard is elated and, just as they are about to begin their investigation, he finds himself back in time, boarding the Enterprise for the first time. While giving his acceptance speech, he begins to see the yelling people again and, in reaction, he calls the ship to Red Alert. Knowing that he risks polluting the timeline, he has chosen not to inform the crew about his time travel. As they discuss the situation, Starfleet alerts the Enterprise that there is a large fleet massing at the neutral zone similar to what has occurred in the present. Although they are ordered to report to the Neutral Zone, Picard refuses and continues his mission to Farpoint station. As they prepare their journey to Farpoint, Picard is thrown back to the present where he finds himself in sickbay. Crusher is shocked to find that in a matter of minutes, Picard has accumulated over two days of memories.
Beginning their investigation, Picard asks Riker to take command should the Captain become disoriented again. Seeing the exhaustion in her friend, Crusher orders Picard to get some rest. She finds herself concerned over Picard’s possible future of Irumodic Syndrome. He is concerned as well but he knows that the future is unwritten and his to command.
Picard awakes in Data’s Cambridge office after experiencing another time jump. He awakes and begs LaForge to get him to the Devron System in the Neutral Zone. Geordi calmly informs the Captain that there is no longer a Neutral Zone and that the relationship between the Klingons and the Federation have deteriorated a bit. They soon contact Admiral Riker where Picard asks the Admiral for assistance. Riker denies to help, dismissing Picard’s request. Although denied, Data suggests that they arrange passage aboard a medical ship, Picard contacts the Captain of the USS Pasteur for transport. After boarding the Pasteur, they are greeted by Captain Beverly Picard. Knowing that they will need assistance from the Klingon government, they contact Ambassador Worf who has since returned to his people. After Picard leaves the bridge, it becomes apparent that Beverly and his former crew do not believe he is travelling through time but they are willing to give their former Captain one last mission.
As Picard steps through the turbolift doors, he finds himself back in the past but, even though they are at the right place, he can not find Q. In moments, he finds himself in front of the man he has been searching for. Q informs Picard that judgment is upon them. Q agrees to answer any ten questions that can be answered ‘yes’ or ‘no’. There he learns that the spatial anomaly is key to what is happening and that Q is responsible for his travelling through time. Apparently the trial has never ended and the continuum has decided that humanity is guilty of being inferior and Picard will inevitably responsible for the destruction of mankind. Picard is returned to the Enterprise where he informs the crew of what he has learned. They continue their way to the Neutral Zone where they encounter Romulan ships. Just as they hail the lead Romulan ship, Governor Worf appears on the view screen. Picard has shifted again.
After convincing Governor Worf to allow the USS Pasteur into Klingon space with the caveat he be allowed to join them, Picard and crew continue their mission. Just as they get underway, Picard finds himself in the past. Contacting Riker of the delay, Picard takes the Enterprise into the Neutral Zone. Slipping to the present, Picard makes an agreement with Tomalak to allow the Enterprise into the Neutral Zone. There they find a subspace anomaly and, in the past he finds one as well. However, as he jumps back into the future he finds that the anomaly does not exist. Worried that Picard is losing his mind, Beverly instructs her crew to leave the system in six hours should they not find any sign of the anomaly.
Upset over the the situation, Picard challenges Beverly where she tells him that, although she believes him, she fears it may all be in his mind due to his illness. Q appears and gives him a clue, ‘what you were and what you will become will always be with you.’
Returning to the present, the Enterprise initiates a tachyon pulse to scan the anomaly. Within moments of the pulse, Geordi receives a headache only to discover that his eyes are regenerating. Upon investigating, Data discovers that the Anomaly is a rupture between time and anti-time. Picard jumps to the past and gets Data to direct a tachyon pulse into the anomaly to learn more about it. Just as he begins, Picard finds himself in the future where the USS Pasteur is under attack from Klingon ships.
Just as the Pasteur sends out their surrender, a heavily modified Enterprise arrives with Admiral Riker at the helm. Just as the USS Pasteur faces a warp core breach, Riker rescues the crew. It is immediately clear that Worf and Riker has a bad history with one another. Riker refuses to listen to Picard as his former Captain begs for the Admiral to remain in the Devron system and he is sedated by Beverly. Jumping back to the present, Picard learns that there is a temporal reversion, one that is causing things to get younger and could pose a threat to the galaxy.
Q appears and whisks Picard back to prehistoric times. There he shows Picard that the Anomaly has filled the entire quadrant of the galaxy and inevitably causes humanity to never form in the first place. There Picard learns that he is in fact responsible for the Anomaly and it is in turn responsible for the prevention of life from forming on Earth.
As Picard jumps back and forth through time, he learns that the Anomaly was formed from the convergence of three tachyon pulses connecting through three different time periods. He now knows what he must do.
Picard in the future goes to warn Riker and the crew of his discovery. Riker refuses to listen to his old Captain but Data convinces the Admiral to listen. As they leave to return to the Devron System, Riker extends an olive branch to Worf and asks for his assistance.
Jumping back through time, Picard informs his ships crew to disengage the tachyon pulse so that the Anomaly ceases to grow. La Forge proposes that, if they take the Enterprise into the Anomaly, they could disrupt the effects of it by repelling the anti-time elements of it. Picard orders each ship in each time period to take the ship into the Anomaly and, even though they have their doubts, they follow his plan. Initiating the Static Warp Shell in all three time periods, they disrupt the anomaly and ultimately save the day, well all of mankind, life etc because how could this be the series finale without the stakes being that high?
After the destruction of the three Enterprises and successfully disrupting the Anomaly, Q returns to Picard and informs him of his success. The episode ends with Picard joining his bridge crew in a friendly game of Poker. All good things….must come to an end.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
We really couldn’t have asked for a better finale to such a tremendous series. The producers made sure that we got a touch of everything in this episode from the past, present and a possible future.
Ultimately, this one is really about the trust and sense of family that has built from the beginning of the series. When we first met this crew, seven years prior, they were a rough group of people who were learning to work together to ultimately become a well oiled machine. When you think about it, we too have been a part of that journey. We have powered through every hardship the members of this crew have faced and even made it through some pretty bad episodes together. In the end it was all worth it, while it is bittersweet to see the series end, it was the journey to this point, not the destination, that matters.
I remember when this series ended, although we already had a year of DS9 under our belts, it was like losing a family member. This was a series that had been with me for nearly a decade. It was one that I could escape to every week and enjoy the adventures of a crew I had come to know as well as any real person. I can’t deny that I was heartbroken to see this series complete it’s journey but I was soon elated when I found out that a feature film was just around the corner.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
There is a tremendous moment with Data about burning the midnight oil. It is a indicative of how far Data has come as a character over the course of seven years.
It appears that not only can Data use contractions in the future but he also has since installed his emotion chip as he indicates that his housekeeper makes him laugh.
It seems that LaForge is married to Leah Brahms in the future with three kids. I guess her previous marriage didn’t work out and she finally forgave him of his holographic indiscretions. Lets hope he didn’t keep that program on file…
There is a really sweet moment in our normal timeline where Doctor Crusher kisses Picard after she learns that he may be facing a life changing illness. This shows that there may indeed be something between the two of them after all.
In the alternate timeline, we learn that, upon Deanna’s death, Riker and Worf stopped talking to one another. They have sense grown apart and this rift has formed into a bitter feud.
We get some great characters returning in the final episode including Chief Miles O’Brien, Tasha Yar and even Tomalak the Romulan!
We get a killer glimpse of a future Enterprise with three nacelles and some serious upgrades. Unfortunately we will soon learn that that future isn’t possible after the events of the first film.
When I first embarked on this journey to review every single episode of Star Trek the Next Generation, I really didn’t realize just what momentous task this was going to be. I struggled with how often these reviews should be released and if this was going to continue to be Star Trek focused once I was done with this first part. What is next? Well, All Thing Must Come To An End but not in this case, we are not quite done with the Enterprise and her crew. Next up on Retro TV review are the four feature films that will wrap up our time with Star Trek The Next Generation and then we head into new territory on the Final Frontier. See you back here in just a few days with Star Trek Generations!
Thanks for reading the Retro TV Review, I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you, one episode at a time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday!
If you would like to read more reviews I have a weekly series called Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday and for more retro TV goodness check out the rest of the Retro TV Reviews here.
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Late To The Game 10/25/2020 (Originally published 2/13/2019)
Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available. Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.
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