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Star Trek TNG - Season 7 - Episode 20

Star Trek TNG - 7x20 - Journey's End

Originally Aired: 1994-3-28

Wesley re-examines his future. [DVD]

My Rating - 8

Fan Rating Average - 4.74

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- Beverly claims that the Traveller is from Tau Ceti. But he's actually from Tau Alpha C according to TNG: Where No One Has Gone Before and TNG: Remember Me.

- This episode marks the beginnings of the Maquis.

Remarkable Scenes
- Wesley reuniting with the crew.
- Picard arguing with the admiral, pointing out the disturbing historical parallels with forcibly removing Native Americans.
- I love the way Picard handled the admiral. He was very diplomatic.
- Wesley's "attitude" in engineering.
- Anthwara citing that Picard's ancestor participated in an atrocity against the Native American people.
- Wesley making a complete ass of himself spoiling Worf's covert transporter plans.
- Time stopping before Wesley's eyes.
- The peaceful ending.

My Review
A much needed episode to conclude Wesley's story. Offscreen, he was written out of the show due to some retarded TV show politics, but thankfully the writers gave him a nice send-off here. Additionally, this episode features a fantastic bit of irony. Picard is ordered to forcibly displace some Native Americans from their new home. Besides the great historical parallels, this episode has great implications. These events are what spark the Maquis rebellion against the Federation. The peaceful ending in this episode is awesome. But misleading. Watch the next DS9 episode to find the beginnings of the Maquis! A stellar episode.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Goblin on 2009-01-29 at 8:44am:
    I thought this episode was really boring actually. I don't think that this deserves anwhere near as high as an 8.
  • From schn on 2010-11-12 at 6:49pm:
    I get that this episode was meant to show someone walking away from Starfleet, but that is very easy to do when you have super powers.
  • From MJ on 2011-01-05 at 12:37pm:
    I hated this episode.

    What bothers me is the politically correct, New Agey brand of spirituality the episode gives the Native Americans. While trying to make them look like the good guys here, this “magical, mystical Indian” portrayal is just as racist, and just as inaccurate, as the “barbarian-savage” portrayal you got from early white sources in the Americas. The American Indian belief systems varied widely from tribe to tribe, and also the way the Indians interacted with nature was just as varied across the Americas. The notion that they were like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden before the white man’s arrival is patently ridiculous. And, now enter one of TNG’s strangest characters, the Traveler, and his vague explanations for how he taps into the raw energy of the universe to do what he does, all of which is apparently on par with what the Indians believe, and all as part of some journey of self-discovery for Wesley? Where is the usual TNG in all of this?

    Well, it’s there, actually. It’s just interwoven with all this PC stuff. It could be a really good episode that tackles a meaningful, real-world problem: whether it’s right for a government to force people from their homes for the “greater good” of a peace settlement. But that takes a backseat to the Wesley plot. I thought "The Ensigns of Command" did a much better job with this problem.

    I can appreciate what the episode was trying to do. It’s the Seventh Season, and TNG needs to tie up all the loose ends. Last we saw of Wesley, he had gotten in trouble at Starfleet Academy for participating an illegal dare-devil stunt, and was subsequently held back a year. Not exactly a good finale for a character who played a major role in several seasons of the show. And, I do like how Wesley has a bit of a chip on his shoulder here, not bouncing back all fresh and perky after a miserable year at the Academy being shunned by his classmates. I even like the idea of him becoming disillusioned with Starfleet and wanting something different. It just didn’t seem this was a good sendoff for the character.

    Maybe what bothers me the most is that Wesley will actually be exploring the Galaxy in a far more significant way than Picard and crew, which takes something away from their mission and storyline. Their ship, with all its technology and its highly trained crew, won’t get nearly as far as this boy wonder hopping around higher existence with the Traveler and possibly some Indians. It’s ultimately unsettling because at the end of “All Good Things” we’re told that amazing new discoveries are what await Picard; seems Wesley’s the one actually having all the fun. I never liked the Traveler to begin with. As superior life forms go, the Q Continuum was TNG’s stroke of genius. This Traveler just gets in the way of the whole plot and adds a “feel-good” element that TNG would be better off leaving alone. Science fiction is not science, but one of the things I’ve always appreciated about TNG is that at least they have plausible explanations for some of what goes on.
  • From Trekstar on 2011-01-31 at 12:31am:
    This episode makes me cringe. I never actually hated Wesley Crusher, but every so often he would say or do something so lame and so cheesy. I think the character wasn't fully developed because the writers didn't know what the hell they wanted from him. Not only do they give him the dumbest lines in this ep., but they give everyone else dumb lines when they are around him. Like the eye rolling crap that Data says when he sees Wesley for the first time. I personally wish they would have made Wes angrier and angrier in each ep he did, then have him(with the help of his time traveler friend) become a Darth Vader type bad guy. Sweet lil Anakin becomes Darth Vader; sweet nerdy Wesley Crusher becomes...something! Oh well, they instead wrote this masterpiece. One last thing, the traveler really bugs me. I guess they are going for a mystical feel to this guy, but to me he seems too creepy, like a pedophile who's been lurking in the shadows, watching Wesley grow into a man so they can skip off into other realities together. The point: I hate this episode, and I hate the way they said good bye to Wesley Crusher!!!
  • From John on 2011-02-06 at 6:30pm:
    I have to agree with others that this episode definitely exploits a stereotype to tell its story. One thing I hate about this episode (and this extends to Voyager episodes about Chakotay) is the cheesy flute music. Why has this one musical form been used as a meme for all Native Americans? Are we supposed to believe that all the people who first populated the Americas listened to one style of crappy music? It's utter nonsense, and basely false.

    Another thing for which the writers ought to be ashamed is referring to the settlers as "Indians". This happens repeatedly, and each time it makes me cringe. This is the 24th century -- by all other indications, humanity has moved beyond these dated and racist terms. Why not just call them "settlers"? That is, after all, what they are.

    I really don't like this episode. The only thing that redeems it at all for me is that Wesley finally goes away.
  • From Dorvan on 2013-08-11 at 8:59pm:
    This episode was written as my 13th birthday present by Ron Moore. Most of it was based on a conversation my mother had with him about Star Trek failure to include Native American characters. For the most part I liked it and it was a good send-off for Wesley...However I did have a huge problem with the cliche Native American stereotype. Picking on Picard because of something his ancestor did. I am sure that with any good research you can link anyone to a bloodthirsty ancestor. Dumb. That flute is annoying…vision quest is the answer to everything…we speak to the bear...all they need was a catch phrase like Hackuchimoya…

    This episode would have been better off with some actual research into Native culture.
  • From Keefaz on 2017-02-21 at 5:15am:
    A pretty feeble episode. Amazingly ham-fisted treatment of Native American culture. I thought we'd agreed not to refer to them as 'Indians' decades ago, so how this slipped into the script is beyond me. And the episode works on two different levels of bullsht in that the quasi-Native American rubbish about spirit animals (incidentally, how could a Klingon or Vulcan be a spirit animal, no different to a parrot, as claimed here?) turns out to be a fabrication by The Traveller.

    Best scene: a fight breaks out which could, potentially, reignite a Federation-Cardassia war and Wes and The Traveller just stroll off, beatifically, into the sunset.
  • From Mike on 2017-07-29 at 7:08pm:
    After Nechayev's first meeting with Picard, she walks out of the observation lounge, stops, and thanks Picard for making her feel welcome. I was kind of hoping she'd slink back to the table, grab some Valarian canopies, say, "just going to take a few of these for the road" and then leave. I mean she didn't eat a single one after Picard went to all that trouble!

    Wesley's douchebaggery is a little hard to stomach in this episode because at times it felt very overdone. But, it's fitting for his character after we last saw him get reprimanded for a daredevil stunt at the Academy. The scenes with him and the Traveler were also a little tough to get through, and the one where they casually stroll away from the battle in the village was just awkward. As mentioned above, it feels like the Enterprise's experiences will pale in comparison to Wesley and the Traveler.

    That aside, the rest of this episode was well done and explored a relevant issue. In the 1990's, with the production of "Dances With Wolves", mainstream U.S. society was starting to take a look at the country's history of dealings with American Indians. The historical undertones of this episode reflect that effort and give us yet another example of Star Trek's forward thinking on these issues.

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