Star Trek TNG - Season 6 - Episode 15
- This episode is the winner of my "Best Episode of TNG Award" and is therefore a candidate for my "Best Episode Ever Award."
- Q's declaration that he's god and Picard's reaction.
- Q: "You're lucky I don't cast you out or smite you or something."
- Picard regarding Q being god: "I refuse to believe that the universe is so badly designed!"
- Watching young Picard fight the Nausicaans. He even laughed, just like the story he told Wesley in TNG: Samaritan Snare.
- Q: "Is there a John Luck Pickerd here?"
- Picard waking up next to Q...
- Picard alienating all his friends.
- Picard passing Q's test and seeing the results of his new life.
- Q making his point about how Picard's history of risk taking shaped his life.
- Q: "That Picard never had a brush with death, never came face to face with his own mortality, never realized how fragile life is. Or how important each moment must be. So his life never came into focus."
- Picard: "I would rather die as the man I was than live as the man I saw."
This episode is absolutely perfect from beginning to end. In many ways it reminds me of TNG: Family; but with a particular emphasis on Picard. The simple, yet profoundly powerful point this episode makes is done in an articulate downright moving manner. There are many things to redeem this episode. Firstly, it doesn't waste any time on pointless action scenes; in particular we don't see how Picard was injured at the beginning of this episode. Why? Because it was completely unimportant. Next, this episode presents Q in a completely unusual manner. As the series develops, it becomes clear that Q has something of an affinity, or perhaps a sympathy for Picard. Q begins to like Picard and wants to see him succeed; despite his adversarial appearance. As it was put at the end of the episode, it's almost hard to believe Q could be so nice. Finally, this episode allows the average viewer to connect excellently with Picard. Everyone has moments of their lives they regret or would like a chance to change. But like it or not, they are a part of who we are. Pulling a single thread in the tapestry of our lives would have profound effects on who we would become later. This episode is nontraditional in terms of the issues Star Trek usually tackles, but is nonetheless completely successful and one of the most memorable and moving episodes ever written.
The following are comments submitted by my readers.
- From Wolfgang on 2006-07-10 at 9:04am:
-Lieutenant Picard !
- From JRPoole on 2008-09-18 at 11:58am:
There's not a whole lot to complain about here, but I'm not as smitten with this episode as many fans are.
It's great to see Picard's past, and his evolving relationship with Q is certainly interesting. But I find the It's-A-Wonderful-Life theme of this episode is a bit heavy-handed and explained to death. I also think they could have done a better job writing the characters of the young Picard's friends, who both seem pretty broadly drawn and never really elevate out of stereotype.
Still, this is solid, and I can definitely see the charm, but I can't list it as one of the absolute best episodes. I guess I'll have to wait until I finish the series to make that call, though.
- From Dennis on 2013-04-02 at 6:05pm:
I couldn't wait for this one to be over, and I've never felt that way about any other episode. The stupid costumes and make up. The over the top acting by Picard's adversary's, Q, all of it just stupid. The story had nothing to do with the theme of Star Trek. It could have easily been an episode of Mayberry RFD. Sorry if I'm a little heavy handed but they can flush this one.
- From dominic on 2016-08-18 at 9:04pm:
Problems: Q let Picard go back and put things back the way they were originally, so how did he end up surviving his present-day injury? A pretty glaring one IMO.
- From Cal on 2017-02-27 at 7:39am:
Q was involved, he can give and take life at any moment, so Picard's injury isn't an issue. Maybe Beverly saved him, maybe the whole injury thing was set up by Q in the first place, so it's hardly a problem. I adore the episode.