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Star Trek TNG - Season 4 - Episode 09

Star Trek TNG - 4x09 - Final Mission

Originally Aired: 1990-11-19

Synopsis:
Wesley is accepted to Starfleet Academy. [DVD]

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 5.65

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 16 5 4 10 10 17 21 53 16 8 9

Problems
- LaForge gives the shuttle a full safety inspection, which it passed. Minutes later the shuttle crashes. Great job Geordi!

Factoids
- The eventual periodically recurring character Boothy was first mentioned in this episode.

Remarkable Scenes
- "Dear god." Picard's reaction to the desert environment.
- Picard so patiently handling Dirgo.
- Dirgo concealing some kind of beverage.
- Dirgo slamming himself into the fountain's forcefield.
- Dirgo getting himself killed.
- Picard describes Boothby to Wesley.
- Wesley getting to the water.

My Review
This episode has a number of small highlights. One of which is the music. It's of much higher quality than that of the average episode. Another is the duality of this episode. The two plot threads were both interesting enough to hold my interest. Finally, every character had an important role in this episode, which can be a rarity. Overall, an acceptable send off for Wesley. Certainly better than Pulaski's.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Pete Miller on 2006-03-31 at 4:38pm:
    I would give this episode a higher rating (7) because of the great Picard/Wesley interactions. It certainly has continuity with respect to the earlier episode focusing on them. It was quite touching to see Wesley open up to Picard and reveal how much he looks up to him. Picard's comment "I've always been proud of you" almost made me cry. The tear jerker son/father relationship between Picard and Wesley definitely gives this episode a better rating than 5.
  • From Orion Pimpdaddy on 2006-05-08 at 1:53pm:
    Major problem:
    When they first reach the cave in this episode, they start talking about the possibility of it being a natural formation. However, there are clearly steps inside the cave, right at the entrance. How could they not notice? These are scientifically trained people too.
  • From DSOmo on 2007-08-19 at 4:49pm:
    - Riker exposes the crew to almost lethal radiation by wrapping the shields around the barge. He says he does this to protect the barge from the asteroids. But the Enterprise doesn't reach the asteroid belt until the end of the show. Why not tow the barge until it reaches the asteroids and then extend the shields?
    - Isn't it unbelievable that the main computer can count down, to the second, when lethal exposure will occur? Is there really some magic length of time when, one second earlier, you will live although you may need treatment, but one second later, you will become ill with no hope of recovery? And is this time interval exactly the same for every member of the crew?
    - After the shuttle crash, Picard makes an arrow from scrap metal and places it on the ground. He says that the arrow will let rescuers know that they've headed for the mountains. When they start walking away from the craft, they aren't lined up with the arrow! In fact, are a good distance off.
  • From Mark McC on 2008-12-27 at 7:39am:
    They really should have made the asteroid belt a bit trickier to navigate. When the Enterprise finally arrives, there's a few very small asteroids floating slowly about and the ships sail through in a perfectly straight line! If it was that simple to traverse, they could have released the derelict at any time, letting inertia and the sun's gravitational pull do the rest.

    A very clear case of one strand of the episode being unrealistically stretched out in order to allow time for some character development in the other strand. The Wesley/Picard bits are excellent, but I wish they'd thought of a better sub-plot to keep the Enterprise out of action while they bonded.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-19 at 10:49pm:
    The main plot with Wesley is reasonable, but not great. Wesley really isn't a bad character if you ignore those "Wesley saves the ship" episodes. The secondary plot about the radioactive ship is totally pointless filler. If they have to have filler, why must the solution be "we need to boost power above 100% in order to escape terrible danger at the last second" yet again?
    - I totally agree with DSOmo's first two comments. It just doesn't make sense to talk about "lethal radiation exposure in 5 seconds" as if it were a well-defined binary concept like "warp core breach in 5 seconds."
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-09-30 at 5:39pm:
    Dirgo was certainly the most annoying guest character I have seen in TNG so far. Also, Picard's handling of him was spineless. He shows him far more deference and respect than he deserves. In fact I was aching for him to die. If this was DS9, Kira would have killed him in the first 5 minutes. When he finally got killed I shouted "Yes!!!!".
  • From nokko on 2013-01-06 at 10:23am:
    There were several factual errors in this episode that really gnawed on me. Just a couple of them to name a few:

    Why did they not give the barge a nudge to allow the momentum to move it forward toward the star, instead of getting a hazardous dose of radiation while slowly tugging it behind them? That was really idiotic if you ask me, but then again, if in the world of Star Trek when you're minutes away from lethal dose, you'll be absolutely fine (not, for example vomiting blood or unconcious) if you manage to clear the area before the time is up, why bother?

    Asteroid belts (at least our own) are actually sparse, and not dense at all. You don't have to manouver carefully amidst the asteroids, as it would an astronomical coincindence to hit one accidentally. Granted, we don't know much about the belts of distant star systems. Still, it sucks as a popular assumption.

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