Star Trek: The Next Generation

“All Good Things...”

4 stars.

Air date: 5/23/1994
Written by Ronald D. Moore & Brannon Braga
Directed by Winrich Kolbe

"You just don't get it, do you, Jean-Luc? The trial never ends. We wanted to see if you had the ability to expand your mind and your horizons, and for one brief moment, you did. For that one fraction of a second, you were open to options you had never considered. That is the exploration that awaits you. Not mapping stars and studying nebulae, but charting the unknown possibilities of existence." — Q

Review Text

See also: My foreword for this review

And so here it is — the end of Star Trek: The Next Generation, at least in the form of a television show. When TNG premiered in the fall of 1987, it, as the future of the Star Trek franchise, was the crown jewel of Paramount's most valued properties. The need for it to succeed as a television show was so great that Paramount essentially invented a new model for getting the show on the air by bypassing the broadcast networks and selling the show syndication style directly to individual stations. A lot of shows were syndicated (talk shows, game shows), but no weekly dramas with the network-caliber production values and costs of TNG. TNG's reinvented distribution model ensured the show would be on for at least one full 26-episode season. Given how that first season was generally received, one wonders if the show would've survived on a broadcast network, at least without some serious tinkering.

But Paramount's business shrewdness paid off, TNG continued, improved, and became more popular with each season, and by the time the seventh season had arrived, the studio's plan was to cultivate Deep Space Nine and Voyager on television while turning TNG into a film franchise. In 1994, TNG as a TV series would end at the height of its popularity. But because it was transitioning into a movie franchise, the final episode of TNG could not be the final word for these characters. Indeed, the series finale would have to maintain much of the status quo that was typical of the series for much of its run.

That created an interesting conundrum: How do you end a series at the height of its popularity and deliver a finale for an audience with lofty expectations while not fundamentally changing anything on the show — while also capping off a season that many (myself included) considered to be among the show's weakest? The task fell to TNG writers Ron Moore and Brannon Braga, who, ironically, had already finished writing the script for the forthcoming Star Trek: Generations, which would launch the TNG cast onto the movie screen. (Filming for the movie would begin literally days after TNG would wrap as a TV series. That must've been a strange wrap party: "Hey, everybody! We're graduating from high school, but next week we start college in the same building!")

So it's kind of odd and miraculous — given the overall weakness of the seventh season, where creatively the show was sputtering on fumes, and where Moore and Braga had just finished writing a feature film alongside their existing TV duties, and given the constraints required of this particular finale — that "All Good Things..." somehow managed not only to work, but to be the best Star Trek series finale made. They really pulled it together.

The episode's opening scene plays on the season's oft-hinted, never-truly-explored will-they-or-won't-they involving Worf and Troi, as the two return from a holodeck date and Worf moves in for a kiss (and not one that was imagined in Troi's mind like in "Eye of the Beholder"), before they are interrupted by a frazzled Picard, who insists he has been moving back and forth through time. His time shifts are initially dreamlike and he can only remember fragments and feelings, to the degree that everyone at first asks him if perhaps it was in fact just a very realistic dream. (There is initially no observable evidence of Picard having physically left the Enterprise.)

And then, as Picard is in the middle of explaining what he remembers, the scene cuts to 25 years in the future where an old, long-retired Picard is tending to his vineyard. An older Geordi walks into the field, visiting the former captain for the first time in years. The episode is fairly graceful in its use of exposition to fill in the backstory of the future timeline. There's a throwaway line, for example, where Geordi mentions his wife Leah and their children, and it's clearly meant to be Leah Brahms; it's a detail typical of Moore and Braga's script, which is accessible to the casual viewer but filled with Easter eggs for loyal TNG fans (although, in this case, I'm not sure that I actually buy this particular detail about Leah as a likely outcome).

In the future, Picard lives with Irumodic Syndrome, a degenerative mental condition that's a sort of 24th-century dementia. This is crucial to the story because it means old Picard has less credibility when he says he's moving back and forth between time periods. Everyone assumes he's hallucinating, thus creating more narrative obstacles. (The story even gives us reasons to doubt old Picard's mental sharpness, as he sees raving people yelling at him in the vineyard, a detail that initially cannot be explained even with what we in the audience already know about his time jumps.)

In terms of pure fun, the scenes in the future are the episode's most enjoyable because they give us entertaining glimpses of a possible future for all the characters as Picard embarks on the classic storytelling mission of getting the band back together for one last concert tour. It's like doing the years-later reunion show before the show actually ends, and the script and the actors don't disappoint. It's amusing to see versions of all the characters who are grumpier and more crotchety, particularly Patrick Stewart's take on the old and defensive Picard, who is very much aware of how he is perceived when he tells people that he is traveling through time.

The story's notion of future Data is pretty much perfect. Data as a professor at Cambridge, with an artificial streak of gray hair and a snarky housekeeper named Jessel who tells him how ridiculous it looks, is laid-back comedy gold that feels like the right epilogue for this character (and far more so than the hollowly unfortunate one we got in Nemesis). Data has changed (he mentions that Jessel makes him laugh, but we wisely never see it on screen, and he uses contractions, which we see on screen but which is wisely never mentioned in dialogue), but more crucial is that Data is more the same than he is different.

To change gears (which the episode itself does frequently and without warning), there's also the matter of Picard's transitions into the past timeline circa "Encounter at Farpoint," where he is first arriving on the Enterprise as its captain via a shuttle being piloted by Yar. These scenes also contain nods for longtime fans, like the inclusion of O'Brien in a red uniform, and the more magnified, inquisitive personality of Data (which mellowed significantly after the first season). Picard discovers that the strange hallucinations of shouting people have followed him into the past, leading him to declare a red alert in the shuttle bay in the middle of his first address to the ship's crew, a fact that is important because there's no record of this having happened when he returns to the present. It's as if the three timelines exist independently and are not affected by anything Picard "currently" (is that the right word?) does in each of them.

And somewhere within this balance lies the brilliance of "All Good Things"; it has all of these character touches and details for the fans but they never get in the way of the intricately plotted story being told. Indeed, in many cases, they are in service of that plot, involving the mysterious spatial anomaly forming in the Devron system in the Romulan neutral zone. This anomaly is first established in the present timeline, and Picard uses this knowledge to investigate the possibility of its connection in the other two timelines.

I've said in the past that the distilled essence of a lot of TNG — if you put aside all the usual Roddenberry tropes of an evolved, peaceful human philosophy of seeking out new life, etc. — is about telling stories that show in detail its characters' methodical process of solving technical problems. "All Good Things" is like an embodiment of that notion. Here is the ultimate technical brain buster for Picard: Figure out what's happening in the Devron system and why and how it all connects through the three time periods. The stakes are significantly upped when Picard suddenly finds himself in the same show-trial courtroom (which explains the hallucinations of the stark raving madmen) as the one from "Encounter at Farpoint," with Q as the judge, who explains that this latest incident, which Picard is solely responsible for, will spell nothing less than the end of humanity if Picard can't solve the puzzle of the anomaly in the Devron system.

The best Q stories are the ones where Q is a complex blend of scathingly funny and malevolent, where he's trying to sincerely teach a lesson as much as he belittles humanity's best intentions. Q is also best when he's a foil for Picard, scoffing at all of Picard's speeches, which has the added effect of showing the writers poking fun at their own platitudes. Q is all of the above in "All Good Things," and reveals to Picard crucial clues including the fact Q is responsible for Picard's time shifting. Patrick Stewart and John de Lancie are great as usual in their scenes where Picard and Q joust verbally, conveying philosophical ideas right alongside plot points. As an echo back to the very first TNG episode, the idea makes for an effective and appropriate bookend for the series.

Of course, the fact that Q doesn't reveal himself until nearly the end of the first hour is solely a matter of dramatic convenience, as is the precise timing of Picard's timeline shifting. It's all for the sake of constructing a narrative rather than having a truly logical reason. But that construction is such that we always have the same information Picard does, such that we can try to solve the mystery alongside him.

In the meantime, the story continues to develop the character pieces, like the Picard/Crusher scenes in the present, where they finally seem to be addressing feelings that have long simmered under the surface — which of course sets up the reveal in the future where Picard and Crusher were married and are now divorced, and where she is now the captain of the medical starship Pasteur, which Picard arranges transport for himself, Data, and Geordi to the Devron system.

Then there's Riker being taken aback by the prospect of Worf dating Troi; he'd always thought in the back of his mind that they'd wind up together again someday. In the future, Riker and Worf are estranged and haven't spoken in decades because of Troi's unfortunate and untimely death. Riker is an admiral who commands a retrofitted version of the Enterprise, whereas Worf is in the Klingon government, which is on generally bad terms with the Federation. (In the process of investigating the Devron system, the Pasteur is attacked by Klingon vessels, and Riker must come to the rescue of the Pasteur's crew, which allows the episode some notable action.) The Pasteur's scans of the Devron system reveal that there is no anomaly, which is not at all what Picard was expecting.

Like I said, the future contains more curmudgeonly versions of everybody. It's fun watching Picard turn the screws on Worf to get him to grant him a favor (as well as watching Worf then gripe about it); meanwhile, the bad blood between Riker and Worf leads to a shouting match when they finally come face to face with each other; and Crusher puts her foot down and tells Picard not to question her orders on her own ship. Age has turned everyone into an old fart, albeit sometimes rightfully so.

"All Good Things" manages to marry the story's plot, character, and action together into a well-oiled entertainment that represents a good balance of the essence of TNG. But special mention also needs to be made of the direction by Winrich Kolbe and the assembly of the story by the editors, who make a complex narrative not only easy to follow as it jumps between its three tiers, but also a rather deft example of film editing with effective transitions and paralleling cuts, particularly as the events accelerate toward the end. Everyone brought their A-game here.

But Picard still isn't able to solve the mystery, particularly since the anomaly doesn't exist in the future, and for some reason is much larger in the past than in the present. This is where Q provides the large and revelatory hint that for my money provides the most intriguing scene in the episode. He takes Picard eons into the past on Earth, where life is about to begin in the primordial soup. But in this past the anomaly has grown so large that it occupies the entire Alpha Quadrant. This scene is simultaneously haunting and funny: Q walks Picard to the very moment life is supposed to begin on Earth, but instead: "Oh! Nothing happened. See what you've done?" This sort of larger-than-life concept is on a scale that TNG tended to avoid most of its run, but it pays off here. And especially as filtered through Q's cynical detachment, the tone of the scene feels right.

Ultimately, the Devron system sci-fi anomaly at the center of "All Good Things" is in the very typical vein of absurd TNG technobabble (and, make no mistake, this episode doesn't scrimp on the jargon), but the details are so well thought-out, the stakes are so elevated, and the plot services character so well (and vice versa) that all the technobabble works in spite of its arbitrary nature. And there's a definite gee-whiz factor in the plot converging across three time periods.

In the future, it turns out the Pasteur's scans actually created the very anomaly that Picard has been searching for in all the three time periods; the reason there was no anomaly when he went to look for it was because it hadn't been created yet. But now he convinces Admiral Riker to take the Enterprise back to the Devron system to see if the beginnings of the anomaly have been formed — which now they have. Ah, but this is the one piece of the plot that doesn't appear to follow the story's established temporal rules: Wouldn't the Enterprise actually have to go backward in time a few hours to before the Pasteur's scan in order to see the anomaly's beginnings? I quibble because I care.

Meanwhile, note how the temporal distortion is causing DNA changes in the present storyline, which results in, for example, Geordi's eyes to heal themselves. This is only a temporary effect; Crusher notes that the DNA changes may wind up actually killing everyone if the effects can't be counteracted. (This plot point acknowledges, in what plays like a rebuke to "Genesis," that DNA isn't magic and that mutations are likely to kill you before they transform you.)

The technobabble's solution is a means to an end that requires Picard to convince the crews of all three timelines that they must risk all to venture into the anomaly and create a "static warp shell" to collapse it, which may result in everyone's deaths. Everyone in the present and future are on board, but in the past, Picard, who is dealing with a new crew who has only just met him, must make a rousing speech to convince them of this crazy plan's necessity. He makes a great speech — growing from his future knowledge to say that he knows this group is "the finest crew in the fleet." (Although I gotta say that I wonder if any speech would be so quickly and easily received when it meant likely death in absence of any real explanations.)

The convergence of the three Enterprises into the anomaly is a compelling scene of sound and fury (and lots of technobabble), and the moment when the three crews can see the other Enterprises inside the anomaly on their respective viewscreens makes for a genuinely cool and slightly chilling sci-fi moment. All three ships are subsequently destroyed in what amounts to a closed-loop reset plot that is undone by either arbitrary temporal mechanics or Q's will, take your pick. (Picard later steps out of the turbolift having fixed all the timelines and been returned to a normal reality where only he remembers the events of the entire episode.) This kind of closed-off reality might have felt like a cheat if the story itself didn't resonate and the characterization weren't so well realized.

In the end, the entire exercise is revealed to have been a challenge created by the Q Continuum — but where Q played the part of wild card by opting to help Picard with hints along the way. Picard and Q have a closing discussion that's a classic examination of Star Trek themes — but in a decidedly TNG way, where the themes emphasize thinking that goes beyond our idea of linear existence rather than the more TOS-like humanistic philosophical ideas. Really, "All Good Things" works so well not simply for all the reasons I've already mentioned but because it's simply the right ending for this series. Earlier in the episode the writers had Q mocking Picard for spending so much time on trivial matters like Data's quest for humanity or Riker's career aspirations, rather than more important things like stretching the boundaries of conventional thinking when it comes to the very nature of existence.

In reality, "All Good Things" is about servicing both masters. The temporal plot is a complicated and interesting puzzle, yes, and the lofty conceptual sci-fi goals in Q's speech are worth pondering. But it's also all a device to connect with the audience on a simpler level and show us these characters from three different perspectives — to explore how they've drifted apart in one possible version of the future, and how maybe that future can be changed for the better now that Picard has returned to the present with knowledge about it. (In reality, this meant the writers weren't beholden to anything that happened in the future scenes, and in fact Moore and Braga had already written Generations, which would swiftly contradict this episode's version of the future by destroying the Enterprise, among other things.)

In the final scene, Picard joins his senior staff for the poker game, something he previously had never done. "I should've done this a long time ago," he muses. Presumably he always wanted to maintain a certain distance between himself as the captain and the rest of the crew. But in this final scene we see a makeshift family come together — just as it ultimately, reluctantly did when it had to be reassembled in the future so it could do its part in saving humanity. "All Good Things" is not afraid to think big, but it knows the story is about the people as much as the puzzle. These seven characters are the crew of the starship Enterprise, and these were its television voyages.

Previous episode: Preemptive Strike
Next: Star Trek: Generations

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Comment Section

195 comments on this post

    Solid review, these two hours hold up. They really should have gone to Q for a movie before the franchise dried up.

    Ever thought about picking up a new series such as Game of Thrones? Homeland, maybe?

    "...the distilled essence of a lot of TNG... is about telling stories that show in detail its characters' methodical process of solving technical problems."

    Exactly what I was saying just the other day!

    You know, your reviews aren't dead -- as long as we remember them.

    "I recall how you used your superior morality when we first encountered you. You put us on trial for the crimes of humanity."

    "The jury's still out on that Picard, make no mistake."
    --Q (True Q)

    That's just brilliantly serendipitous foreshadowing.

    You know, in some ways, THIS is the reason that I consider TNG a great series, even though I think that its average episode quality is one of the lowest of any show I'd apply that label to. "How do you end a show without ending it?" seems like an impossible conundrum (rather like the one facing Picard in-story) and somehow Moore & Braga made a two-hour episode which, as Jammer puts it so well, distills the essence of the series.

    While I agree that the series is about "problem solving," that isn't so different from the Roddenberry vision. Sometimes the problem solving is about technical matters, and sometimes it is about emotional/interpersonal matters. What the TNG crew in general and Picard in particular are good at, really good at, is finding the solutions to intractible problems, be they technical or interpersonal. Which is itself a way to show the Roddenberryan future without being trapped by showing the crew already perfect. Rather than being experts at *being* perfect (though they are pretty good by our standards), the crew have incredible expertise at overcoming obstacles that come toward them. What we see in all three time periods in this episode is the way Picard himself and the crew surrounding him are able to work together as a team and (gasp?) as a family, confronting The Unknown and using their wits and courage to deal with a problem that should not be solvable.

    By bookending with the (mediocre!) pilot, this episode even suggests a framework of looking at the whole of TNG -- we can view the entire series, in a way, as being a "test" of humanity, as symbolized Picard. Picard who is meant to be the best of humanity WHILE STILL BEING RECOGNIZABLY HUMAN. Jean-Luc Picard is the greatest creation of this series, by Patrick Stewart and the writing staff, and I want to emphasize how hard it is, to create a character who is both a paragon of virtue, a renaissance man, but who also, *for the most part*, remains flawed, relatable, and reconizably vulnerable. The only episodes in which this test was literally going on were in the premiere and finale, but in their own way we can view every other episode as the show as a different type of test -- of trying to explore what it means to be human, what aspects of ourselves we should strive to improve, and whether we really can imagine ourselves breaking out of the boundaries that contain us. Of course this can only be represented so abstractly; Q gives Picard a test to see if Picard can consider possibilities that never occurred to him, but the possibilities *are* ones that are more than possible for humans to think up in the 20th century, since two writers thought up this episode. But what this represents is the triumph of a belief in humanity's ability to rise to challenges that are completely unknown and alien. That sounds sappy, and perhaps even *is*, but seldom has it been represented better than in this episode, with Picard encountering a problem that he should in principle have been unable to solve, and with the tools given to him by Q he manages to do so.

    And so we have a series where Picard and the Enterprise crew fought off the Borg threat, managed to help prevent the total implosion of the Klingon Empire from civil war, stave off war with the Romulans, establish in court the value of artificial life forms, communicate with races so alien as to be impossible to relate to, discover and experience the breadth of an entire lifetime in twenty minutes.... Exploration, new possibilities, discovery. And I do think that this episode argues -- quite sincerely, despite Q's sarcasm -- that "worrying about Commander Riker's career, listening to Counselor Troi's pedantic psychobabble, indulging Commander Data in his witless exploration of humanity" are in their own way just as important as the other major contributions. If it were not for getting the crew together in all three time periods, Picard would never have *started* the anti-time anomaly, but he also would not have then stopped it, and it's partly the personal, human connection with them that allows him to reach the epiphany about the nature of the paradox. Picard entering the poker game at the end of the episode is not a contrast to Q's statement about considering new possibilities, but a confirmation of it. For Picard, who gave up personal connections to be a Starfleet captain and always maintained some respectful distance between him and his crew, as much as he cared about him, *this* is adventure, this is exploration. For Picard, making these tiny interpersonal steps, without using some excuse related to his command or the ship's mission as a cover, are harder than moving through the stars. But he makes them.

    "I should have done this a long time ago."
    "You were always welcome."

    I am babbling. This episode means a lot to me, and it gives me chills just thinking about it, and I felt my heart in my throat reading Jammer's review. For Jammer to end on THIS episode -- well, suffice it to say that this is the perfect place to end. I like Star Trek: First Contact quite a bit and Generations has its moments, but a big part of me can't help but end these characters' adventures right here.

    The best of the Trek finales (Star Trek VI notwithstanding), regardless of the four cruddy movies which followed

    "I should have done this a long time ago."
    "You were always welcome."

    My heart sinks whenever I watch this very final scene! A great ending to an outstanding series.

    Patrick Stewart did a great job as an old man, he made me think that he really WAS old. I especially enjoyed the scene in Cambridge, where the housekeeper offered tea and Picard asked "tea? Earl Grey! Hot".

    Housekeeper: "Of course it's hot! What you want in it?"

    And Picard strictly: "NOTHING"! That made my day!

    As far as I'm concerned the TNG movies never happened, and this is the last time these characters ever appeared together. It's certainly the last time they were ever written well. "All Good Things..." is a perfect send-off for the show, right down to Q being (sort of) the antagonist. Nice to see Tasha again. Loved Riker's Super-Enterprise and I actually pfrefer it to the Enterpsie-E. And finally, I really enjoyed the scene in Ten-Forward where Data actually manages to put it all together and convince Riker and Crusher and Geordi that Picard might actually be right. It was like seeing the band performing one last time.

    And of course Q got the best lines--but that's only fitting.

    Not much you can say really, this is a perfect end to characters that we grew to love, despite some of the crappy episodes.

    This was a really strong finale, no question -- and it's clearly the best of all the series. There are a few minor quibbles I've always had -- why is Data's rank wrong in the first-mission timeframe? -- but the story really does work.

    My only true gripe is what I think "All Good Things ... " caused. Voyager and Enterprise essentially became Anomaly Theater, and Voyager became filled with more tech jargon than TNG or DS9 ever were, except maybe in this episode.

    What's next for you, Jammer?

    The ending of TNG with this classic episode is bittersweet, like the ending of American Graffiti. The coda is perfect, then there's that semi-sad epilogue. In this case: The TNG characters re-appear 4 more times together on screen in 3 mediocre movies (Generations, Insurrection, and Nemesis) and one good movie(First Contact). But, all of them would "The Picard and Data Show" with the occasional bone thrown to the other actors/characters. Worf would be shoehorned into the last 4 seasons of DS9 as a shameless ratings ploy. TNG would inexplicably play a major part in the finale of Star Trek: Enterprise creating outrage of the Enterprise fandom--which is dubbed as the worst episode of the series. Q would appear three more times on Voyager, but the writers don't have the talent to write him with the nuance and subtlety of TNG, so he unfortunately becomes the Trek equivalent of Robin Williams' Genie from Aladdin.

    And speaking of Q, he has a character arc to rival any single character of DS9. He goes from a 2-D mustache twirler in the pilot and "Hide and Q", to a hardcore menacing rogue teaching Picard and company a lesson in humility in "Q Who", to being taught a lesson in humility himself in "Deja Q", to a semi-rehabilitated rogue in "Qpid" and "True Q". And then comes "Tapestry" which is a brilliant prelude to "All Good Things…" Only Picard sees and interacts with Q in these last two installments. Q is trying to help Picard see things differently and to change his destiny--one on a personal level ("Tapestry") and one and a major cosmic level ("All Good Things…") "Tapestry" was the practice quiz; "All Good Things…" was the final exam. He's the perfect blend of mirth and menace in his last two TNG installments: a melding of his "Q Who" and "Deja Q" facets. And ultimately he wants Picard "to change and to grow", not just as a directive from the continuum; but I speculate as a "thank you" for Picard and Co. helping him to change and to grow too…though he would never admit it.

    What's so sad and so mind-boggling is how Braga and Moore took their time with what became the rickety, convoluted mess that was Star Trek Generations, and create this brilliant and elegant final episode to the series in a fraction of the time. This great chasm between the quality of "All Good Things…" and Star Trek: Generations can serve as no greater proof that TNG didn't translate well to the big screen (with the exception of Star Trek: First Contact--and even then it was Action-Picard!).

    Over the last couple of decades, I've wished that the last we saw of Picard and Co. was at that poker table in Riker's quarters going out on top. They sure as hell deserved better than Star Trek: Nemesis.

    4 Star Episode Tally of TNG on Jammer's Reviews:

    1. 11001001
    2. The Measure of a Man
    3. Q Who
    4. The Survivors
    5. The Defector
    6. Yesterday's Enterprise
    7. The Best of Both Worlds
    8. The Best of Both Worlds, part II
    9. First Contact
    10. The Nth Degree
    11. Cause and Effect
    12. The First Duty
    13. I, Borg
    14. The Inner Light
    15. Chain of Command, part II
    16. Frame of Mind
    17. The Pegasus
    18. Lower Decks
    19. All Good Things…

    (DS9 just edges TNG out with 23 **** episodes, while VGR trails behind both with just 8 **** episodes. That's a fair comparison for these three 7 season-long series.

    ALSO: TOS gets 6 **** episodes out of its three year mission; while ENT gets 4 **** episodes out of its four year stint.

    Lastly, Patrick has 0 life.)

    Another problem with the Pasteur creating the anomaly is that it is later implied that all three tachyon beams came from the Enterprise in three different times and their identical frequencies are why they interacted (somehow). This of course is obviously not true since it was the Pasteur, not the Enterprise, in the future timeline.

    It's such an obvious mistake by the writers in an otherwise masterpiece of a finale. Fun fact: When I first saw this episode as a kid, I didn't realize it was the finale because we didn't watch in order but rather in random re-runs. Only later did I realize and then understand how well it was suited to that role.

    @Patrick: Worf on DS9 a 'shameless ratings ploy'?

    I think that's a bit harsh. It was an attempt to improve DS9's ratings, but it was done fairly well and added something good to the series. I put it in the same category as adding Seven on Voyager -- both moves looked transparently desperate at the beginning but generally worked for the better.

    Oh, and if you're really bored, I'd love to know how many 1 star or fewer episodes each series had. My guess is Voyager leads the pack -- but the annual Ferengi crap probably puts DS9 above TNG in the losers category.

    Great review Jammer. This episode was not just about the plot, as many plotholes as it was, but it was about the people with Picard (As it should have been) serving as the center. This episode represents all that is great about TNG and why I love it as my favorite series. Yeah DS9 is awesome too, but TNG really does have that nostalgia feel and it was the trek that I grew up with.

    I do wonder, which review was longer, this or your review for What you Lave Behind. This review felt kind of like a review not just for the finale, but a look at the series as a whole, kind of like how you did the recap write ups for DS9, VOY, and Enterprise. This review was worth the wait, and I'm really happy that my favorite series finale not just of Trek, but of all time, got the 4 stars on this site.

    Thanks for Everything Jammer, and again, fantastic review.

    "Alright, we'll do it the old fashioned way. Set a course for federation space, warp 13"


    @Paul: "Oh, and if you're really bored, I'd love to know how many 1 star or fewer episodes each series had. My guess is Voyager leads the pack -- but the annual Ferengi crap probably puts DS9 above TNG in the losers category."

    Since I, like Patrick, also have 0 life, let me answer that. Interestingly enough, TNG has the most one star (*) or lower episodes.

    TNG: 14 * (+11 one-and-a-half star for a total of 25)
    VOY: 6 * (+14 *1/2, total 20)
    DS): 5 * (+only 1 *1/2, total 6)

    Somebody please shoot me.

    Shoot you with praise, I will, Paul. I once calculated Jammer's ratings for each staff writer, to figure out who had the best hit percentage. Lost the paperwork, but you can use your imagination.

    The win/loss tally for each series looks like this:
    Under 2 stars:
    TNG 27 (avg 3.9/season)
    VGR 20 (2.9)
    TNG (1-4 only) 16 (4.0)
    TOS 10 (3.3)
    ENT 9 (2.3)
    TNG (3-6 peak) 9 (2.3)
    DS9... the infamous 6 (0.9)
    BSG zero

    Including all clunkers with 2 stars and below:
    TNG 54 (7.7/season)
    VGR 53 (7.6)
    TNG (1-4 only) 31 (7.8)
    ENT 26 (6.5)
    TNG (3-6 peak) 23 (5.8)
    DS9 23 (3.3)
    TOS 21 (7.0)
    BSG... the infamous 5

    Counting winners as 3.5 and 4 stars:
    DS9 59 (8.4)
    TNG 36 (5.1)
    VGR 27 (3.9)
    TNG (3-6 peak) 25 (6.3)
    TNG (1-4 only) 22 (5.5)
    TOS 17 (5.7)
    ENT 14 (3.5)
    ...and Jammer gave BSG as many winners in 4 years as TNG for its entire run (9/season)

    I guess just for fun, it's useful to have this information (for TNG) in one place.

    Jammer's ratings:

    I will list each season and then list the number of episodes of each star rating in the order 4*, 3.5*, 3, ... down to 0 stars.

    I am going to count Encounter at Farpoint and All Good Things as two episodes each, given that they are each 2 hours. Certainly s7 needs all the help it can get ;)

    Also included is the average star rating.

    S1: 1/1/4/5/6/3/3/1/0. Average: 2.08 (2.08 if EaF counted as 1 show)
    S2: 2/2/6/4/3/2/2/0/1. Average: 2.45
    S3: 4/4/8/5/3/2/0/0/0. Average: 2.90
    S4: 3/5/6/7/3/0/2/0/0. Average: 2.81
    S5: 4/0/8/8/3/2/1/0/0. Average: 2.69
    S6: 2/4/9/4/5/1/1/0/0. Average: 2.75
    S7: 4/2/4/6/4/3/2/1/0. Average: 2.50 (2.44 if AGT counted as 1 show)

    This leads to a not entirely surprising order of average star rating (by Jammer) of 3,4,6,5,7,2,1, though seasons 2 and 7 alternate if AGT is counted as one show. That order seems to me to be pretty close to how I'd order the seasons, though I would go more for the one where s2 is better than s7.

    I suspect season five is the only Jammer-reviewed season that has no 3.5 star shows, though someone else can check up on that. Especially remarkable because it has four 4 star shows.

    It is not surprising that Encounter at Farpoint has very little effect on season one's average (it does have an effect at the third decimal place) but All Good Things is unusual for s7's quality.

    The big surprise to me was that season seven did better than s2 -- I had assumed that s2 would be the better performing year. The real difference is not in number of weak episodes, which is fairly similar, but in number of strong episodes -- s7 has many more 3.5-4 star shows than s2.

    I've posted this on another page a while ago but it bears repeated in light of this survey: those 1/2 star nuances make a very big difference and serve to demonstrate a reviewer's (any not just Jammer's) bias; if you remove a half star from every episode of DS9 except its four stars, or add a half to VOY's episodes except its zero stars, they become statistically interchangeable.

    I like your politician logic Elliott. From now on when I watch VOY I will tell myself every episode is actually half a start better than it actually is. Surely this hype will create a better viewing experience. It'll be so good I'll think I'm watching DS9.

    Elliott is not wrong that a half star up or down can make a big, big difference.

    I have not rewatched DS9 extensively in over a decade (and am just reatching TNG now), but my suspicion is that Jammer overrated DS9 in comparison to his ratings for TNG -- which is not to say that I don't like DS9 as much as TNG, but that I think the gap between them is exaggerated (though I find Elliot's criticisms very interesting and insightful, and make me wonder how I would react to the show now). This is not a surprising bias though. DS9 was being evaluated at the time it came out, TNG is being evaluating long afterward. When DS9 was cutting edge or new, Jammer was there to witness it in inception; when TNG was cutting edge or new, Jammer comes at it from the perspective of 20 or so years after it. Not to say that Sub Rosa was ever going to be getting high ratings or anything. I think that overall, Jammer's TNG ratings are about where I would put them on average (though Darmok gets 4 stars from me, as the most obvious gap) and his DS9 ones are higher than mine would probably be. TOS and Voyager are harder for me to comment on -- I honestly wouldn't know right now.

    Re: my earlier point -- I was wrong that TNG s5 is the only season with no 3.5 star episodes. Checking through, Andromeda season one has none, and has a 4 star show. (It was not the fault of my memory, since I never watched that show.) Still, that strikes me as an exceptionally neat and odd result.

    Wow, Thanks for the Review Jammer. I gotta paraphrase Scotty on this one, I like DS9, BSG, and TOS, but TNG was my first love, and I am never gonna love a series like her again. This episode was so incredible because the series had been dull for so long at that point, but in one episode it felt like the best of season 3 or 4 again. It was magical. You could feel it in the first ten minutes, like the actors were on a long vacation and they decided to come back for one really GREAT episode.

    Honestly, for most of the seventh season, I felt TNG was dying. It was so boring to watch, and the actors just weren't putting anything into their performances, and the music, OMG was that awful. But then this jewel of an episode aired, and restored my faith in the series all over again. To fall in love all over again, remember why you loved her. Man, I really wasn't expecting to love this episode, but when I first saw that last scene in Rikers quarters, and realized I wasn't gonna have these people with every week like I had since I was a kid. I lost it, I was devastated. I realized that even though I thought the last season was pretty stale, I grew up with these people.

    I am one of the few people who actually enjoyed the season 1 callback in this episode. I love the farpoint stuff. I fell in love with TNG during that season 1, and I was (and still am) very nostalgic for the innocence of that first season. I realize the writers did not do that call back just for me, but I am very glad they did nonetheless.

    God I love TNG.

    Thanks Jammer.

    I did a rating of the seasons myself, but it is too late to go find the numbers, I want to go to bed, but I remember the order, and it was from favourite to least:


    I would guess my obvious difference with most fans would be S1 and S2. S1 I admit is crap, I love it purely for Nostalgia reasons, but season 2 I think is a genuily great season. Its got some stinkers, but I think the strongest episodes are stronger than all other seasons save S3.

    Great wrap-up Jammer, makes me want to rewatch the finale as I have not seen it in some years.

    Reading this is bittersweet, both in terms of it being the final voyage of one of my favorite TV shows, but perhaps also an end to the legacy of Jammer's Reviews. I've been reading this site since it was called Star Trek Hypertext; back in college when I lived alone I perused the reviews to help me decide which episode to pull from my collection for an evening of Trek. Now, as a married man with a 16-month old son, I'm all too familiar with your change in situation and how it has a way of altering your focus. Things change, maybe we all have less time for the idle pursuits we once did. But if nothing else, the product of our work will always be here for us to re-read and remember fondly.

    Whatever you get up to next, thanks for exhaustively reviewing and organizing the entirety of Star Trek (not to mention BSG and the other goodies here). I hope one day it'll be my son combing through this site and picking which episodes he wants us to watch together, just as my dad and I used to catch new episodes of TNG together every weekend as they aired. Nerd culture begets itself!

    Sorry, error above -- there are 5 episodes with 3* in season one, not 4. I ended up miscalculating the average as a result. S1 average is 2.19 (treating Encounter at Farpoint as 2 episodes) or 2.20 (treating it as one).

    I suppose I've got some time on my hands, so for the other Trek series (including Enterprise, which I have not watched) I will post a similar breakdown in the respective series' final episodes.

    Also, TNG series breakdown is (number of episodes of 4 * / 3.5 * / 3*... so on)

    20/18/46/39/28/13/11/2/1, series average 2.62 stars

    counting EaF and AGT as 2 episodes apiece.


    All I'm saying is, that personal half a star is usually more of a reflection of a reviewer's mood or overall bias. What is the difference really between a 3 star and 3.5 star? It's all about perception. In a few individual cases it may not make a difference, but taken all together, they literally spell the perceptual difference between how the different series as a whole are evaluated.

    I suppose it isn't fair to litter this page with a bunch of inter-Trek gobbledegook without commenting on "All Good Things..." ;

    I won't deny it's a great episode, a fairly perfect capstone to the series or the best of the Trek series finales. Those facts are inescapable.

    I think what gives the episode that special feeling of being a series distillation as Jammer says is that sheer range of the episode, from the tragedy of Deanna's death to the pathos of seeing Yar again to the delightful humour of Professor Data to the bittersweet interplay between Picard and Crusher, the episode jumps around considerably and manages to maintain a philosophical focus while always keeping us guessing about the ramifications of the plot.

    Voyager's finale left us painfully wanting for more character touches like see here, DS9's finale assassinated half its cast (not only literally, but in substance as well) and we shan't speak of the Enterprise finale.

    AGT is the only finale I would ever describe as being "good" and yet it's so good in manages to be one of the best episodes of the series. Pretty remarkable.

    My own listing of TNG's seasons by preference:

    S3, S4, S2, S5, S6, S1, S7

    @William B
    Touche on the 20 year perspective gap. I didn't think about that. Ironically, when I was growing up I loved VOY. Watching it now I find it rather painful.

    I can agree that TNG had a great finale. In fact, I kinda wish the writers and director of Nemesis had gone back and watched AGT before they whizzed on the franchise. I prefer to take a "Star Wars re-release denier" approach to that and pretend Nemesis never happened... well, except for those cool space battles.

    DS9's finale I feel is a tie with AGT. They are both awesome but in different ways. AGT is a feel good-keep-on-adventuring kind of ending, whereas DS9 was darker but offered closure for most all of the characters. I found it satisfying to know where everyone was going at the end. VOY's ending was like picking up your paycheck and then getting mugged.
    "What the... wait!!... come back with the real ending!"
    I remember being profoundly upset when I watched it on TV.

    In a since this review is a closure to a piece of childhood for many of us here. I started reading the DS9 reviews on ST-Hypertext (or what ever it was called at that point) back around 95-96 at roughly the age of fifteen. It is interesting to ponder if this site will still exist twenty five years from now. I like to think it will be, if only to serve as a memory. Something tells me I'll keep passing through here, even if it's only an annual occurrence.

    @Ravo: I don't think WYLB is on par with AGT, though I'd say it's the second best finale.

    There are a lot of logical gaffes in WYLB. Dukat and Winn apparently were in the fire caves for like three weeks -- when the final battle started and after the peace treaty was signed. That makes no sense. It was REALLY poor editing.

    Worf's participation in Insurrection apparently happened in the weeks while the treaty was being negotiated and while Winn and Dukat were in the caves, for crying out loud.

    Also, the lack of footage of Jadzia in the "Worf memories" was probably reason enough not to do the montages at all. Footage of him in "Our Man Bashir"? WTF?

    Lastly -- and Jammer has pointed this out -- the fact that there's not even a throwaway line about Bajor getting into the Federation was a major missed opportunity. All they had to do was have Nog and Kira talk about it in one of the last scenes ("The Federation delegation is set to arrive tomorrow to begin the acceptance ceremonies, Colonel.")

    DS9 is actually my favorite series. But TNG had the better finale.

    I agree about was weird to have her be his wife. She was married when we saw her last, so having her be Mrs. LaForge now means that Geordi wrecked a marriage. I suppose we can assume that in the intervening years her marriage fell apart independent of Geordi, but why even go there?

    The ending poker scene always gets me. I loved that series so much.

    I rewatched all 7 seasons of TNG recently, and I have to say the finale is a fantastic piece of television, the best of all the Trek series'. I find it interesting how it's recognisably TNG and yet it's somehow different, more ambitious, cinematic even. Reminds me a bit of TOS movies and the change of tone in those.

    And yeah, that final poker party is probably up there in the pantheon of the very best Trek scenes of all time, at least where I am concerned. Watching that scene always reminds me of the time I moved away from my hometown, leaving all my friends and family behind. They'll still be there when you return, but it's the end of an era, and you can't help but feel the sadness.

    Doubly so today, as I feel the same with regards to this site. I've been coming here for countless years (in fact, Jammer made me aware of BSG, probably the best TV show I have ever watched), so reading this, a goodbye of sorts, cranks up the nostalgia factor.

    Jammer, thanks for all the fish. And those eloquently argued reviews, too.

    Great discussion, as always. Please carry on. Just a couple things I want to say quickly:

    1. Thanks, everybody, for the kind words. They have always been a welcome and highly valued part of this experience.

    2. The data breakdown of my ratings (I'm guessing an Excel spreadsheet is the next logical step) makes it look like the ratings are far more precise and scientific than they actually are. Such things should be taken with a grain of salt for entertainment purposes only, of course. But then everyone's probably heard me say that before. So I won't rain on the parade. It is sort of interesting to see the comparison.

    @Jammer -- of course, I understand that the data breakdown is not at all precise. And yet it remains interesting and fun, if perhaps ultimately meaningless. (And there may have been some Excel involved in making these up. I had insomnia and it certainly helped pass the time.)

    I agree with what everyone says about Leah Brahms. This should have been a sign to Picard that the future can't be the way things *actually* end up. Although there's another possibility, which is that Geordi ended up marrying some woman named Leah because she reminded him of Brahms, which takes the creepy obsessive vibe in Booby Trap/Galaxy's Child to a whole level. I kid, it's clearly not a moment we are supposed to hang too much on except as an Easter egg.

    @Ravo, ironically I think that enough distance probably will help TNG. I haven't rewatched Voyager, but I loved TNG as a kid, and then in my late teens I realized that I found it quite dated, pitiful, and while certainly having some good moments really not worth my time. Revisiting it as a mid-twentysomething the past few months, I can see both perspectives, but it's easy to get past the superficially dated qualities because it's not something I "just recently" got over. As an example, TNG's relative lack of serialization and things like that bothered me more a few years ago once I had first discovered the thrills of long-form arc storytelling (DS9 was a big gateway to this), but now that the long-form arc is no longer 'new' to me I don't feel as strong a need for it to be in everything I watch. The further away in our past the work is, the more its universal qualities stand out, for good and ill.

    I think TNG stands up pretty well, though I do feel like you could shave about a third of its episodes (maybe compressing or reshuffling some of the character moments or subplots that make most lesser efforts worthwhile) without losing much. Which is one advantage of episodic works over serialized works (I prefer serialized overall, personally) -- with DS9 (or BSG or what have you), because everything is so connected to everything else it is far more likely that the weak parts are baked into the Big Stories (IMHO) and are harder to ignore. Let He Who Is Without Sin and Profit and Lace, incredibly, are both "arc" episodes for some of the series' running subplots -- the various changing hookups in Let He, the Ferengi's transformation into benevolent feminist post-capitalist paradise in Profit and Lace. Certainly those subplots are relatively minor (especially the Ferengi thing), though Let He actually was meant as an important Worf/Dax episode.

    The most accurate comparison would be to compare DS9, TNG and Voyager shows since all three series had 7 full seasons unlike TOS or ENT. Overall, DS9 I felt either had better writers and superior scripts to merit more 3, 3.5 and 4 stars ratings than TNG and definitely Voyager by Jammer.

    Perhaps DS9 benefited with the involvement of more experienced sci-fi writers after the creation of TNG and the extensive involvement of Ronald D Moore. Voyager, in contrast, was a disappointment and there were almost no story arcs in its series unlike TNG or DS9...and no consequences for a past wrong decision as Jammer notes. (Everything goes back to normal and we have a happy crew again--like the ending of 'Year of Hell') Voyager's finale was a disappointment while DS9's finale was quite good but there should have been a reference to Bajor's acceptance (at least) to the Federation given its importance to this series. After all, the Cardassians had no say now here given their dire situation. So, yes TNG's finale was clearly the best of the three even though, DS9's final season was still superior to TNG's final season. Perhaps this was due to the fact that DS9's producers didn't have to turn their attention to making a future movie unlike TNG.

    @Jammer "(I'm guessing an Excel spreadsheet is the next logical step)"

    By your command!

    I'm shaken to the core by those series averages. It's a mean stat really, TNG's 178 episodes have a very wide breadth of, ahem, quality to them whereas I suppose Enterprise is quite consistent in its averageness at least.

    And I still love TNG, but when Seasons 1, 2 and 7 are all pretty bad that's going to drag your average down. I mean that's nearly half the show. In fact a friend of mine recently saw all of TNG for the first time under pressure from his girlfriend and he said the same thing, there's real gems there but you have to wade through a lot.

    (Also thanks to William B for the inspiration. I too defend my nerdiness, although I am recuperating from surgery and have a lot of time on my hands, numbers dull the pain!)

    @DavidK, you're welcome, and I approve.

    A suggestion -- you could use the standard deviation (stdev or some such) to calculate the amount of variation in the data. Shows like TNG and TOS with wide variations in quality will probably have higher ones than Enterprise and that would show up what you're suggesting numerically.

    @William B
    Oh thanks, that's a good idea. I've added that in now and you're totally right, TNG and TOS are up the back.

    Reading here keeps reminding me I want to rewatch TOS. I honestly can not remember when I last gave the series a run through. My best guess is the late 90's when we first got cable TV, if not earlier than that.

    As for the final TNG episode, something tells me I only watched it once. I'd better remedy that.

    I salute your efforts, DavidK. Twas a thing of beauty!

    Interesting thing, those numbers. Most of them expected, but some caught my eye: Jammer rated DS9's 7th season the best (sharing its top spot with Season 4), whereas Season 5 got the 4th place. Judging by his reviews, I am almost certain Jammer think S5 is the best DS9 season of them all, quite a bit ahead of the seventh.

    Of course, Jammer himself commented on that a few posts above, so it's all moot anyway. Gotta love Trk fans for their dedication!

    @William B,

    You make a great point about story arcs starting to become quaint. When i think about it, BSG, the Sopranos, DS9 are thrilling on first watch, but if I see them on TV, I can't really watch them, because I know going in there are threads involving the surrounding episodes that won't make since unless you re-watch all of them, which of course is still possible, but not as fun. Also, getting into arc shows is hard. For example, I watched the first couple episodes of Lost, 24, and the Walking Dead, loved them, but in all 3 situations I had stuff come up, missed a few weeks, and by the time I got back to them, I didn't have the energy to find out what happened in the interem. I have never seen another episode of any of those shows.

    The shows I can sit down and re-watch on a lazy saturday afternoon are TOS and TNG, and other serialized shows like that. Frankly, non-serialized TV shows take to much energy. I do have a life outside of TV (as Jammer is finding), and I wonder if TV shows will start going the way back to serialization?

    BTW, I do think it is unusual that TOS and TNG have by far the worst episodes in Sci Fi and yet those are the 2 series that are "classic". DS9 will never command the same love as the first 2 series. I don't really know what it is, but I suspect it is because the characters are so well done and lovable together.

    @Nick P.

    I think because when TOS and TNG can produce classic episodes like "The City on the Edge of Forever" and "The Inner Light", we can forgive dumb episodes like "Spock's Brain" and "Shades of Grey". In fact, even the crap of TOS and TNG is at least *memorable* and sometimes fun, Voyager had so much unmemorable, boring crap that its now relegated to the dustbin of pop culture history.

    Thanks for the wonderful memories. I am here since the beginning (around the third season of DS9 I guess).

    "See you... Out there"

    @ Nick P

    You rightly comment that "getting into [TV] arc shows is hard."

    However, a short brief story arc could be done--as TNG did for Picard when it portrayed the Captain as a Borg in the 2 episode series of 'The Best of Both Worlds' and followed up with 'Family' which showed him as a badly disfigured figure struggling to come to terms with his new experience with the Borg while also still battling with his brother. But Voyager was the worst of the 3 seven episode Trek series since there were just no consequences for the crew if Janeway made a bad decision. Its as if the Voyager producers hit the reset button at the end of an engrossing episode--and everything went back to normal. So, what was the point of the episode then if there are no consequences?

    We never see any of the Equinox crew struggle to adapt to life on Voyager--after The Equinox episode was filmed. They just disappear into thin air. There are just no consequences shown on Voyager. At least we see formerly disgraced Sito Jaxa from the TNG episode 'The First Duty' regaining her self respect and self-confidence in the season 7 episode later in 'Lower Decks' and Nick Locarno reappears on Voyager as Lt. Tom Paris. Voyager seems like a missed opportunity here in contrast.

    -A good review, Jammer, though I might argue DS9's final is better (I'd have to sit down and re-watch both before I'd want to say that definitively).

    -Glad to see I'm not the only one bothered when they say the anomaly was caused by 3 Enterprises, when it was 2 Enterprises & the Pasteur. And I roll my eyes at having 'Leah' for his wife.

    -Thanks to everyone who did math, it's interesting to look at

    -I think those who weren't put off by DS9's setting enjoyed the series more than TNG. It was more consistent in its quality, partly because the writers mad an effort to have drama that came from characters instead of technobabble. That's what I thought when it first aired and that's what I've found when I've re-watched either series.

    -But, yes, the serialization of DS9 means it's not something you drop in and just see a single episode, like you can with TNG. I'll go years without watching it, then sit down and watch it from start to finish over several months. My favorite science fiction series* are DS9, Farscape, and Babylon 5, which are all series with this quality.

    * other than TOS, which is sort of in it's own category, as I saw it so many times as a kid I actually find it hard to sit through an episode today.

    Watching this episode brought me to tears 19 years ago and so has reading this review just now, knowing it will be Jammer's last for a star trek episode. Thanks for all of the great years of great reviews,.Jammer. as Q said, and is indeed true, "All good things must come to an end." See you....out there...

    "We all live in the gutter but some of us are looking up at the stars."
    --Oscar Wilde

    I think that quote summarizes the ongoing appeal of Gene Roddenberry's two Trek series. There was an overarching vision and an underlying philosophy that made the assemblage of the best and worst and in between episodes of both series into a cohesive fictional universe unlike our pop culture has seen.

    Unfortunately, for the last almost 20 years, people have been trying to reinvent this wheel and have never been able to recapture the magic that the Great Bird set in motion with TOS and TNG. Good Trek needs more than great writing, directing, producing, acting (if that's all it takes, Deep Space Nine would be a cultural phenomenon too). It needs to be a show that lights a candle rather than curses the darkness. It needs that optimistic, humanistic vision again--along with great writing, directing, acting, producing.

    I remember my college roommates and I rationalizing the appearance of the anomaly when Riker took them back in the "future" by hypothesizing that the anomaly grew in both directions from the time it was created. I will admit that there is nothing in the episode that suggests that, but that was the explanation we came up with.

    What bugged me more was why Picard never told the crew in the past that he was timeshifting. I know he has a throw away line that he doesn't want to change the future, but I think he could have told them something similar to what he told the "present" crew. They are Starfleet after all, if he told them he couldn't discuss details about the future I am sure they would have accepted it.

    Hi there
    I've been reading your reviews for as long as you've been writing them.
    It's been an epic journey.
    Thank you for your time and effort.
    Thank you for a great final Trek review.
    I wish you well in all your endeavors.
    Be well. Cherish those you love. Take care of yourself .

    I used the spreadsheet file to compute standard deviations. Here is each season, ranked from most consistent to least consistent:

    DS9 S1 (M = 2.89, SD = 0.54)
    Ent S4 (M = 2.64, SD = 0.60)
    Voy S1 (M = 2.73, SD = 0.62)
    DS9 S2 (M = 3.00, SD = 0.63)
    Ent S1 (M = 2.68, SD = 0.64)
    TOS S1 (M = 2.84, SD = 0.66)
    Voy S7 (M = 2.63, SD = 0.66)
    DS9 S4 (M = 3.02, SD = 0.67)
    Ent S3 (M = 2.75, SD = 0.68)
    Voy S4 (M = 2.60, SD = 0.72)
    TNG S3 (M = 2.90, SD = 0.74)
    TNG S6 (M = 2.75, SD = 0.74)
    Voy S5 (M = 2.62, SD = 0.74)
    DS9 S3 (M = 2.87, SD = 0.74)
    DS9 S7 (M = 3.02, SD = 0.74)
    Voy S3 (M = 2.58, SD = 0.78)
    Voy S6 (M = 2.65, SD = 0.78)
    TOS S2 (M = 2.75, SD = 0.79)
    TNG S4 (M = 2.81, SD = 0.80)
    DS9 S6 (M = 2.90, SD = 0.82)
    Ent S2 (M = 2.48, SD = 0.84)
    Voy S2 (M = 2.54, SD = 0.85)
    TNG S1 (M = 2.20, SD = 0.85)
    DS9 S5 (M = 2.98, SD = 0.90)
    TNG S7 (M = 2.44, SD = 0.96)
    TNG S2 (M = 2.45, SD = 1.01)
    TOS S3 (M = 2.27, SD = 1.02)

    Note the inconsistency of TNG--Seasons 1, 2, and 7 are all among the most variable seasons in all of Trek. Notice also the gem that is DS9 Season 2--the third highest average of any Trek season and one of the most consistent. I watched thru DS9 a few years ago, and I agree with this analysis that DS9 S2 is an underrated treasure.

    Finally, averages and standard deviations across each series as a whole, ranked from most to least consistent:

    Ent (M = 2.63, SD = 0.70)
    DS9 (M = 2.96, SD = 0.73)
    Voy (M = 2.61, SD = 0.74)
    TOS (M = 2.63, SD = 0.86)
    TNG (M = 2.61, SD = 0.86)

    These numbers suggest that DS9 was pretty good and consistent, Ent and VOY were pretty mediocre and consistent, and TOS and TNG were pretty variable (with some really great episodes and some pretty crummy ones). That sounds about right to me.

    One more note--looking at standard deviations also solves the mystery of DS9 S5. It's one of my favorites, too--but it's also a tad inconsistent. Specifically, "Let He Who is Without Sin" and "Ferengi Love Songs" are outlier episodes in the season (that, may I suggest, many of us try to block out of our minds!) Specifically, if you drop "Sin", the average increases to 3.10 and SD decreases to 0.68 -- placing it as the best Trek season and one of the most consistent. Drop "Love Songs" and it changes to M = 3.17 and SD = 0.60.

    But, that's arguably "cheating"--the reality is that those two stinkers are in S5 and, by comparison, S2 doesn't have anything quite that bad (although I'm not going to sit down and rewatch "Melora" or "Profit and Loss" any time soon, admittedly...)

    And, I realized TNG S5 was inadvertently left off the above list (no slight intended): M = 2.69, SD = 0.78 (similar to TNG S4).

    @Tornado: And this totally makes sense:

    "These numbers suggest that DS9 was pretty good and consistent, Ent and VOY were pretty mediocre and consistent, and TOS and TNG were pretty variable (with some really great episodes and some pretty crummy ones). That sounds about right to me."

    TOS and TNG have every right to be more inconsistent than the other series. TOS was a trailblazer, as was TNG, the first second-generation series. It makes sense that, especially early in their runs, they were more all over the place. Now, you could point out that TOS season 3 and TNG season 7 were each series' worst showings. But TOS had the budget issues and the loss of Roddenberry and TNG just sort of ran out of gas.

    It also makes sense that DS9 had the strongest performance ratings and consistency (one wonders how high it would be rated without the Ferengi drek). The creators knew what they were doing after TOS and TNG and tried the sustained story runs. Now, maybe DS9 isn't the favorite series among most fans. But for folks like me and Jammer -- who like the serialized approach -- it was the most daring. So it makes sense that it's the highest rated on Jammers' site.

    Voyager was the series where Trek started to fall off. The creators decided not to use its unique premise -- or when they did, like in season 2, they failed for other reasons (bad villains, bad logic in writing). After season 2 (which I thought was better than most, though it did have problems) they went for episodic drivel that just didn't work aside from a few classics like "Living Witness" and "Timeless".

    Enterprise really was a continuation of Voyager for two seasons (with slightly better continuity but less interesting characters) before doing something no series had really done before in season 3. That season is my favorite Enterprise produced, but fundamental failings of the series -- notably, bad writing for Captain Archer, weak tertiary characters and too much time travel -- kept it from being great. Season 4 is most like DS9, but couldn't quite to great status because of some weak mini-arc resolutions.

    What Paul said, generally. I think too, with TNG, it took two seasons before the show got it right -- there was a slow increase in overall quality over the first 2.5 seasons or so, until the show peaked in (I would argue) the second half of s3. The writers continued to experiment into s4, with the Klingon Civil War arc. Then s5-7 were mostly maintaining what came before. Now, most feel those seasons represented a gradual decrease in quality, with s7 mostly dropping roughly. I would tend to agree, though I think that s5-6 maintained a level of quality very high, and had some *very* daring and original one-offs. Indeed, in s5-6 clunkers are still fairly rare -- yes there are Cost of Living, Imaginary Friend, Aquiel, maybe Suspicions, but 4 episodes in 52 aren't bad. Overall, s3-6 represent to me a pretty good run of quality, and s2 is dear to me for watching the show find its legs.

    It is interesting that (according to the Jammer scale), there are *one each* season of Enterprise and Voyager which are within the range occupied by TNG s3-6 and TOS s1-2, but otherwise there are no seasons of Voy or Ent which are in that range. The bottom seasons are all occupied by TNG s1-2, s7 and TOS s3.

    Now, I actually prefer TNG s2 to most seasons of Voyager (I basically stopped watching Enterprise), because it's the season where we can watch the show finding its legs and choose a direction that ultimately works. In terms of personal preference, I dig s7 of TNG too, though that is partly because in my head I simply boil off all the wasted episodes and am left with its top shows.

    On the stdev, the big surprise for me is how high the variability of TNG s7 is -- because that's usually remembered as consistently blah. But of course it makes sense -- "Sub Rosa," "Genesis," "Masks" on the one hand, "The Pegasus," "Lower Decks," "All Good Things" on the other.

    @Paul: I completely agree with your analysis--and with your claim that TOS and TNG had the most "right" to vary in quality from episode to episode.

    @William: Yes, TNG S7 is quite variable for just that reason. Some episodes are truly great TNG classics; others are forgettable, and others are junk (hi "Genesis"). But I'd say that variable seasons like TNG S7 are preferable to consistent mediocrity (like most of Ent and Voy).

    Just for kicks, I looked at the data for BSG--whoa boy, definitely a series that Jammer liked. Not surprising to anyone who reads this site, I suppose. But here it is:

    BSG S1: M = 3.25, SD = 0.58
    BSG S2: M = 3.10, SD = 0.58
    BSG S3: M = 3.08, SD = 0.57
    BSG S4: M = 3.36, SD = 0.52
    BSG Total: M = 3.20, SD = 0.58

    Overall, Jammer saw it as a show with remarkably high quality and consistency (and I agree--although I really didn't care for the series finale at all, but that's a much-rehashed convo for another page on this site!). And I'd agree with these ratings that S3 was the nadir for BSG. I'm surprised S2 isn't a bit more variable; but Jammer never assigned a rating below 2 for BSG, so it makes sense the SD is lower for BSG than for all of Trek (only DS9 S1 beats BSG for consistency).

    But not to digress too far from "All Good Things..." The reflective nature of the show makes it feel appropriate to me to reflect on what Trek (and Trek-influence sci-fi like BSG) has been, and perhaps what it will be. It's a beautiful episode, and the only ending to a Trek series that truly befits the show (although I think Trek VI did that well for TOS, and DS9's finale came close).

    @Tornado and William B: Basically, Jammer really likes RDM's work.

    @William B: Season 2 of TNG is unfairly maligned in my eyes, as well. In addition to being a turning point -- with some classics like "Q Who", "Measure of a Man", "Peak Performance", etc., it also suffered from a writers' strike that limited the season to 22 episodes and forced the creators to recycle "The Child" from "Star Trek: Phase II" and make a clip show for the season finale. Granted, that doesn't make some of the episodes any better, but it is context for geeks like us who know way too much about Star Trek.

    Honestly, the most interesting thing that occurred with Star Trek (behind the scenes) probably happened around 1996. That was the point where DS9 REALLY cranked up its serial direction and when Voyager really went more toward episodic. Season 2 of Voyager and Season 4 of DS9 aren't THAT different -- but for whatever reason, the two serieses really diverged after that point.

    Dear Jammer,

    I just wanted to thank you for all the fun your reviews have provided over the years. I honestly think this was the first website I ever visited regularly back when my dad's household got the internet in the mid-90s. At the time I was watching DS9 religiously and I remember how delighted I was to discover such long and satisfying reviews written by a fan who in most cases had very similar taste to mine. I've grown up over the intervening years, but have continued to return to this site when introducing my husband to DS9 and when discovering BSG for ourselves. We, too, have recently become parents, and I look forward to introducing the next generation to The Next Generation with the help of your reviews! It's been a long, fun ride and I just want to thank you for all the years of enjoyment and light-hearted debate your writing has generated. It's been a pleasure all along. My sincere best wishes to you and your family!

    A great end to the series, and to your reviews Jammer, it's all very much appreciated.

    There's lots of great details in this finale, but my favorite has to be that Data's house in the future timeline is overflowing with cats. Beautiful.

    Fitting that TNG ended with Q, albeit All Good Things is a much better script than Encounter at Farpoint, or maybe the whole bunch has just matured over time (actors, writers, all of them) and they've gotten better at what they do. Lots of things to ignore, and we do that because the story was well done and we love our heroes (all versions of them). It was mentioned that this holds up over time. True, as do all shows that are written well. There are many black and white movies that "hold up well". This is a 2 hour finale that wraps up a very successful series that benefited hugely early on as the only SCI-FI series on the air (I personally am thankful for that). It developed a large and loyal fan base over time and because of that we were fortunate enough to get some movies.

    While the card game at the end gets lots of “love” for a fitting ending, as I think it should, I’ll balk at Picard’s line. “I should have done this a long time ago.” No Captain, you shouldn’t have. You are the Captain.

    All Good Things sets the standard in which all Star Trek finales are judged.

    Well done TNG, well done.

    @Patrick (from the DS9 conversation)--you said Q "becomes a more complex wildcard character to the one who helps Picard save the universe in "All Good Things..."

    "HELPS" Picard save the Universe?!? If Q hadn't been bumping him through time, the universe wouldn't have been in danger! It was the confluence of the 3 synchronous tachyon beams that caused the rupture. That whole exercise was just Q f*&^%$# with people as usual.


    Picard also says "Thank You" to Q at the end. Q was carrying out a directive from the continuum. He offered Picard some "hints" to help him save humanity.

    As a sidenote: It's sad that "AGT" is the last time we see Q played with subtlety and nuance. On Voyager, he becomes a virtual cartoon character in "The Q and the Grey" and "Q2". Some of the old Q is still there in "Death Wish".

    I was just about to counter with that point about the Continuum. In fairness to the skeptics, there was never any evidence that anyone in said Continuum had any interest in humanity besides Q, but with such a good ep. who cares?

    Regarding his non-TNG appearances, he was perfect in Death Wish, assassinated in Q-less, mediocre in Q and the Grey (though no more than in Qpid, I'd say), and basically absent in Q2.

    Come to think if it, Q's best appearances are those in which the episode titles don't pun his name (with the exception of Q Who?): Tapestry, AGT and Death Wish. His bits in EAFP are by far the mist redeeming feature if that episode as well.


    Not to shoot-down that theory, but "Deja Q" is one of the best and most underrated Q appearances ever. In fact its one of the most underrated episodes of TNG ever. I've never seen a Trek episode (of any series) that explores the human condition with equal parts sincerity and irreverence and done with such aplomb.

    In fact, I would put "Deja Q" in the Top 10 Episodes of TNG Ever. It deserves to be in the same pantheon as "The Measure of a Man"; "Yesterday's Enterprise" and "The Inner Light"--I think it's that brilliant.


    That's a valid point. It wouldn't be fair to lump "Déjà" in with "Hide and Q", "Qpid", "Q-less", "True Q", "Q & the Grey" or "Q2". It's not a top 10 for me, but definitely one of Trek's best comedies.

    I have a similar feeling of "underratedness" about TNG's "The Most Toys," which I think is a stunning work, almost on a par with the episode which it sequels, "Measure of a Man."

    A small comment about Geordi/Leah:
    I remember "Endgame", when The Doctor comes to the arrival anniversary with his wife. So it is/will be possible for holograms to have a flesh-and-blood spouse. Now, since we know that Geordi has created a Holo-Leah...

    The sky's the limit!

    I choked up seeing the final scene of TNG, still do every time, and even did reading the last paragraph of the review.

    A beautiful ending to an amazing series.

    Thanks Jammer for all of the reviews, and everyone for all of the comments.

    One thought on Geordi/Leah: I can't disagree with the complaints of this Easter Egg, but I can't help but compare this little debate/detail vs. the "smack you in the face" telegraphed eggs of Into Darkness with WoK. Give me the subtle but somewhat problematic Geordi/Leah any day!

    I agree that the Leah line was strange, but I figured her husband was killed at Wolf 359, she and Geordi bumped into each other a few years later, and nature took its course. He didn't have to wreck anyone's marriage.

    I think the main reason this episode beats What You Leave Behind is that this one is self-contained. WYLB is the culmination of an excellent series of episodes that tell a more complex story than TNG ever would have attempted, but as a single episode it's not that special except for the parting scenes. You couldn't appreciate much of it without the context of the episodes leading up to it. AGT takes the characters we know and tells one great story that you can enjoy even if you've never seen the rest of season 7, so it truly stands out by itself.

    @ Cail

    "Galaxy's Child", the episode in which Leah said she was married, came after BOBW, and thus after Wolf 359.

    I love this episode, but here's my moment of uber nerd:
    Geordi "has heard" that Picard is ill from his "friends in starfleet medical"??? I mean...hellooo patient confidentiality ??

    I do have more to say about this episode (and season) but for now, time for my "seasonal" ratings for each episode, where the score diverges from Jammer's:

    Liaisons: 1.5 (-.5)
    Interface: 2.5 (-.5)
    The Pegasus: 3.5 (-.5)
    Thine Own Self: 2.5 (+.5)
    Eye of the Beholder: 2 (-.5)
    Journey's End: 1.5 (-1)
    Firstborn: 3 (+.5)
    Bloodlines: 2 (-.5)
    Emergence: 2 (+.5)

    Of these, I think "Journey's End" is probably the one I'm least sure about -- maybe I should go up to **, because it's probably not so terrible, but it just rubs me wrong.

    So, yes, season seven was quite a weak year, but I still very much value "All Good Things..." an incredible amount, in addition to other shows I'd classify as very good (3.5+), Parallels, The Pegasus, Lower Decks, and Preemptive Strike, as well as other good (3+) shows Phantasms, Attached, Inheritance and Firstborn. There are things I like in many of the other episodes, too, such as some of the look at Geordi in "Interface" or the Data-in-command material in "Gambit" (and, on the subject of Data, I still really value some parts of "Descent, Part II," even if the episode on the whole is a wash). With AGT counting as 2 episodes, I like 10/26, which is...again, still pretty bad, but it's enough for me to be glad that the season was made.

    Probably TNG overall might have been stronger if two seasons' worth of shows were shaved off (most of season one, most of season seven, much of season two, and some of s5-6 as well as the occasional episode of s3-4). But I guess the show wouldn't be what it is without that. Season five is in some ways the definitive season for me in terms of quality -- somehow, a show that were more tightly focused wouldn't have produced a "Cost of Living," but I doubt it would have produced a "Darmok" or "The Inner Light" either. The show's long process in s1-2 of finding itself, and the sense of wandering in much of s5-7, are part of the show; the experiments in s1-2 are what allowed Michael Piller to come onto the show with a bigger sense of what works and what doesn't than if the show had come out of nothing/nowhere, and the sense of lack of focus in s5-7 produced some of the show's best hours. One of my favourite shows.

    One thing I want to mention: the infamous "return of family member" plot in season seven gets a lot of flack, and understandably -- many of them, especially "Dark Page" and "Homeward," and especially especially "Sub Rosa," are quite bad shows. But I think that the family theatre actually works in other cases, especially if you broaden it to something more like "visit from a formative influence on the character, or a representative of such" and thus Admiral Pressman's return for Riker counts as well. I think that, while they vary in quality, there are ways in which "The Pegasus" for Riker, "Inheritance" for Data, "Firstborn" for Worf, and "Interface" for Geordi all do sum up what I think much of their character's "central story" is for the series. I didn't talk about "Inheritance" or "The Pegasus," because they're a little hard for me to explain exactly what I see in them, but I think they do serve as effective capstones for those characters. I think "Attached," which deals with how Beverly & Picard's relationship was haunted by the (figurative!) ghost of Jack Crusher, sort of fits into the category as well, and I find that episode effective too. That covers the main cast except for poor Deanna, who so frequently got the short shrift from the writing staff.

    My season ranking, best to worst: 3,4,6,5,2,7,1.

    Another excellent review that hits on a lot of my own observations, too. Just watched this recently for the first time in years. As when I was a kid, I find the "primordial goo" scene really sticks with me, the future scenes are the most fun (though the past had plenty for fans, too). The fact that in the future they go back to see the anomaly *after* it's created really stuck out during this latest viewing.

    I think the best observation these TNG reviews make is that TNG is often about problem solving. Hadn't been to this site in a while, but that notion was still in my mind as I rewatched "Q Who" and "All Good Things" this week. Thanks.

    Picard's tone slightly changes over the course of his 7 year television voyage:

    "If we're going to be damned, let's be damned for what we really are." -- Picard ("Encounter at Farpoint")

    "We are what we are and we're doing the best we can!" -- Picard ("All Good Things...")

    Picard at the beginning is a lot more "we're going to kick some ass" and Picard near the end seems a lot more "we've had our asses handed to us a couple of times but we've learned from our mistakes. Or maybe I'm just reading way too much into those quotes.

    Speak of the devil, a Q episode! I still say he's the one who gave the Enterprise a baby just to play a joke on Picard.
    Anyway, it's fitting that the finale was time themed. An unexpected effect was that as I watched it, it took me back to the 90's. I had come back from college and discovered a satellite feed that showed STTNG days before it's scheduled air time. It was a time before scrambled feeds, so if you had a dish and a reciever you could find almost any show before it's air date.
    I used to record these commercial free shows and take the VHS tapes to my friend's comic store, It was a nice atmosphere, a few of the regular customers who were into Trek would watch the shows together and give our comments and thoughts throughout. I guess the comraderie took some of the sting out of bad episodes .
    Twenty years later, the Comic Shop is long gone and I rarely see those guys anymore. Sharing these comments here has been a nice alternative to the Comic Shop, as I revisited the STTNG universe.
    Thanks for the blog Jammer!
    As to the finale, great episode! A story that rings true as it shows the effects of time on relationships and circumstances .
    I still feel a sense of sadness as the journey comes to an end once again. As the title says."All Good Things..."
    At least it prevented any more delvings into that unholy alliance. lol
    Been fun guys! Keep the comments coming.

    Yeah, shame on you all for jumping to the conclusion that Geordi was a homewrecker. I just figured that the first husband died. I guess she didn't have any kids from the first marriage.

    Today is the 20th Anniversary that Star Trek The Next Generation signed off with this wonderful episode! Damn, I remember taping off TV first run, and now I'm waiting for the Blu ray come Fall or Winter.

    It's been a real pleasure re-watching the entire TNG series and reading these write-ups and comments. It's made me think about the series in a whole new, more literary, way. This is what the internet is all about.

    Franz Kafka wrote a short story called "Before the Law" ( that reminds me so much of Picard's relationship with Q and the Continuum he represents. It's a story about a gatekeeper that denies a man entry through a door that was specifically designed for him. Superior morality.

    The other thing I remember sending chills down my spine as a child is watching Riker's immensely powerful Enterprise come to the rescue of the Pasteur at an angle from below. To be with the old crew that is rescued by the starship we've followed for years - what a change of perspective! Still affects me!

    Just wanted to share that!


    I just re-watched the series finale on BBC America. It is, perhaps, the most fitting series finale I've ever seen. Your review was, as this episode was, very well written.


    I have been watching this series from beginning to end, reading these reviews after each episode. Very enjoyable. The stories were certainly variable in quality, but there were only a couple of real stinkers (The Perfect Mate and Sub Rosa for my money). As others have mentioned, Star Trek is at its best when the team pulls together to solve a problem. Fun to see Tasha Yar one last time - the Kenny of the Trekverse.

    Before I begin, I just want to say that I think this is my favorite review of yours, Jammer. Like the show itself, it seems you ended on the highest of notes.

    I can't believe it's been over a year since I started rewatching TNG. Actually, I can believe it, but still, that took a while...

    To me, series finales tend to be somewhat disappointing. They tend to go in (at least) one of four ways: 1) Upping the melodrama to almost absurd levels, particularly for a light or comedic show, 2) Giving a bunch of characters all some life-altering experiences (moving, marrying, dying, new jobs, whatever) all at once after being stuck in stasis for several years, 3) Unwisely throwing a huge plot twist that pisses off the fanbase (Enterprise, anyone?), or 4) just being a normal episode and the show got cancelled, thus leaving everyone hanging. All Good Things has a wee bit of melodrama, but manages to avoid all of these.

    Thankfully, because the plan was to go to movies, they couldn't do all those life altering events that come out of nowhere like most shows do. And yet, despite that, they still managed to show everyone moving on with their lives by showing the future. But instead of everyone making life-altering at the same time, we have no idea when Data became a professor or Geordi got married or Deanna died or whatever. It doesn't feel like an artificial ending to the character's lives, but rather that life goes on... much as it should. The future scenes felt natural and not artificially created. We got the best of both worlds here: we saw adequate closure in everyone's lives while not actually getting a sense that the lives ended.

    So instead of crazy plot twists or wrapping everything up or whatever, we got... a typical TNG episode. It is in the same vein as Contagion or Clues or Cause and Effect: something weird happens and the Enterprise crew solves it with technobabble. And this part of the plot was executed as well as any Trek does. Yes, there are the common complaints: why did the anomaly appear in the future? (maybe it grows in time as well as anti-time) Why did they claim the future beam came from the Enterprise and not the Pasteur? But hey, minor details. In the end, the mystery holds up nicely, and it was good to see the crew solve the problem one last time. This is especially true since it happened across three time periods.

    But it wasn't just a typical episode. It felt grander. There was some upping of melodrama, but not overboard. But the stakes were higher, and Q's presence as a way to bookend the series ended up giving it almost all of the closure the series needed. Impressive, isn't it, that a weak opening plot with a somewhat dumb premise (godlike being puts humanity on trial, and humanity succeeds due to figuring out something obvious) turned into a great premise at the end (the real trial was getting humanity to expand its consciousness, and the godlike being was secretly helping humanity)? But that's what happened. Q's presence, most importantly his secretly helping Picard, was genius. It gives his character much more weight. I don't like the idea of a nearly omnipotent and omniscient personality having a character arc over 7 seasons, but I must admit the softening of Q turned out well. The fondness for Picard and humanity was on full display here, and it helped to solidify the optimistic view of the future that even antagonistic immortals are impressed with us.

    The stakes were higher. It wasn't just the Enterprise that was threatened. It wasn't just the threat of war. The entire galaxy was threatened. The production was higher. We had guest stars: most notably Yar and Q but also O'Brien and Tomalak. We had alternate universes. We had awesome special effects (if you can remember a world before DS9's epic battle scenes, you can remember a world where the future Enterprise swooping in and firing off its massive phaser cannon was the coolest thing ever). We had lighthearted moments and drama and action. We had everything. It wasn't just a typical episode, it was an excellent one!

    One thing I really want to point out is the pacing. For a two hour long show, it never drags. Not even once. We start out with the original mystery: Picard's traveling through time. We hear about it first, and it seems weird. Then we see it. The intros are appropriately lengthy to give us time to get used to the future, and to reacquaint us with the past. We start to get introduced to the new mysteries: the spatial anomaly and Picard's visions of people jeering at him. All of this takes a while to set up, yet all of it flows quickly as we move from one oddity to the next. And when we finally meet Q (in one of the best scenes and best bits of dialogue in the show), we are understandably relieved and ready for the second half. It seems surprising, but Q doesn't actually appear until the first half is almost over.

    And so Q appears and makes it clear what the stakes are. Suddenly, the anomaly becomes much more important. The shifting between time periods becomes more natural and is simply to be expected. The stakes are increased, as the future Picard starts to look more and more like he's suffering hallucinations rather than telling the truth (to the rest of the crew, of course). Things start looking hopeless as Q keeps taunting Picard and the Pasteur is destroyed. And finally he has the epiphany... and the future crew start believing him. We then get a bunch of quick shots from each timeline as the three crews work together to collapse the anomaly, and we have the standard shaky cam as Enterprises start blowing up during the dramatic climax. And finally...

    An impressively touching ending. First we have Q and Picard sharing a bit of, well, perhaps not friendship, but at least comradery. Their conversation, with Picard thanking Q and Q admitting his appreciation of humanity, was a touching end to the roughly once-a-season antagonism of Q. And then we have the final shot of all the crew members together, enjoying some time off one last time. And Picard joins in, as the camera pans away and the Enterprise rides off into the sunset.

    This isn't just a good series finale. It's one of the best episodes of Trek. I've seen it so often I can quote practically the entire thing, and yet it's still enjoyable every single time. As sad as it may be that all good things must come to an end, I can still treasure the memory of its ending.

    If there is one complaint, the "getting the band back together" aspect of the future got a bit silly at times, especially with the drama of getting the next person on board. Worf's intro was the worst. So we need to find someone who will let us in to Klingon space. Is there any mystery who it would be? And yet, Geordi's line ("How about... Worf?) was done with such drama that it got silly. And got sillier with Picard's over the top response ("Yes! Worf! Worf is the answer!!!") At least he has the excuse of having Space Dementia...

    And to backtrack from that last comment a bit, I don't want to criticize Stewart's performance, because his acting was amazing in this episode. One minor example: at the very beginning, he is obviously frustrated as he is relating his experiences to Troi. One of his comments is that he was talking to someone, but can't remember who. Then we get to see the timeshifts. When we get back to the present, just the way he says "Tasha. I was talking to Tasha" and the look on his face was absolutely priceless. Stewart nails the performance, showing off just how emotional it would be to suddenly be talking to a dead friend, yet having it ripped away from you just as suddenly...

    I wish that Q had showed up in any of the TNG movies. He really was a great foil for Picard.

    His visits to Voyager were good, but the Q/Picard relationship was the best.

    Just watched this for the first time since the first time... so let me get this straight, the plot of the series finale is about a spatial anomaly expanding in anti-time created by an inverse tachyon pulse in a possible future and that has to be collapsed by ships from three different times creating a static warp shell? WTF? Braga writing at its absolute nadir. The series deserved so much better. Unlike many I'm not a fan of Cause And Effect, Timescape etc., but this is considerably worse drama than previously similarly-themed Braga episodes. The Q scenes are great, and Patrick Stewart's ability to transcend bad material is really on show here - he's brilliant, especially in the future scenes - but the plot is dire, and the attempts at character work (the Riker-Worf conflict, Worf/Troi, Beverly "Picard", the poker scene) are ham-fisted and don't ring true. Not to mention Riker's laughable aging-makeup and Beverly's "old lady walk". The DS9 finale had its flaws for sure, but it's in another league to this. As bad as the Voyager finale, quite possibly worse.

    It actually makes sense that Geordi and Leah would get together. At the end when they're talking you could see a connection and mutual attraction. Her marriage could have easily fallen apart and that future with Geordi and Leah is probably going to occur.

    Been re-watching all of Star Trek and reading these pages. Awesome show, awesome reviews and comments. Thank you.

    I second what Ini said above.

    Having watched the entire series with Jammer's review as a companion for the last few seasons has made the experience that much deeper. You are a great reviewer, Jammer. I've also enjoyed reading many of the other commenters here. Always new Star Trek fans are an intelligent and insightful bunch, and this site proves it.

    As a series finale, this episode did the series and characters justice. I could quibble about a time travel paradox and the introduction from out of nowhere of yet another technobabble term "statc warp shell" (I thought the way warp fields get around the speed of light speed limit of Einstein's relativity is that they warp the fabric of space, essentially allowing the vessel to remain stationary while space is moved around it. If so, all warp "shells" are static.), but the final episode deserves focus on the positives.

    I loved seeing Q back again, and his scenes with Picard were great. The two of them play off each other so well. It was great to see Tasha back, too. She could have been such a great character had she stayed in the series.

    I felt seeing Geordie sans visor (in the future scenes) was a nice tie-in with the movie were he gets a set of bionic eyes. (Not sure if that was intentional, but I imagine Burton must have been ecstatic not to have to wear part of a car's air filter on his face for once.)

    I also loved that the relationship between Picard and Crusher obviously continued, although it was regrettable they divorced and didn't explain why.) I've made no secret that I've always liked Beverly, both her personality and look. I can think of no better lovbe interest for Piacrd.

    I know most fans would disagree with me, but it would have been nice to see or at least hear about Wesley one last time. Just a couple of episodes prior, it was revealed that he has superhuman abilities to affect time and reality. Surely the Q continuum would have noticed this and taken it into account for "humanity's trial." Also, had I been Picard being taken to task by Q for not being ready to facw the true weirdness and majesty of the cosmos, I think I would have name-dropped Wesley and his tutoring by the Traveler.

    Finally, it would have been nice to see a farewell scene with Guinan. She added quite a bit to the series, and in some ways did more as a counselor than Troi. But, alas, no episode is perfect. This one did a wonderful job of capping off the series.

    Re: "Leah"(supposedly Brahms) - The message to all you geeks out there from the writers - "If you obsess over snd stalk a woman long enough, eventually she will marry you"

    This has been your completely non-contributory and useless comment of the day.

    I agree it would have been nice to have seen Guinan in the series one last time. As Jammer pointed out, they already had her planned for Generations. The movie has so much to do with her character's history. I think it would have been great product placement to set that up in some sly way

    It's always a pleasure beyond words when a much loved series smashes the last episode out of the park. That's just what we get here.

    This is a tour de force of plotting and pacing, moving the story forward on three levels and giving us cameos, callbacks and answers throughout. In a sea of quality performances Stewart's irascible and driven future Picard is the absolute standout. It's also amazing to see how far Data (and even to a lesser extent Troi) have come when we see their first series characterisations again.

    There's so much here to like it seems pointless going through it all (although I will just shout out the redesigned future Enterprise as heaven for ship tech nerds).

    And the final scene wraps it all up perfectly. "The sky's the limit" indeed. An unreserved 4 stars.


    So series 7 ends up averaging 2.39 from my reviews, placing it 5th in the list. It was clear that (with some highly notable exceptions) that quality was on the decline by this point and it strikes me this was a good place to leave. There were attempts at experimentation, which unfortunately were mostly misfires. But particularly toward the back end cruise control seemed to have set in.


    Across the series at a whole we had 3 and 5 as joint best seasons, followed by 4/6/7/2/1 and the score averaged out at 2.48 per episode. It's many years since I watched much TNG, and I have been surprised on this rewatch how few episodes I actually remembered from the 90s. It has also surprised me a little how much I have enjoyed it. Good stuff!

    Well, we come to it at last - the end of TNG.

    What can really be said in praise of "All Good Things..." that hasn't already been said by countless people. It is an extremely fitting finale, but not really a finale, for "The Next Generation" (certainly more so than "Star Trek: Nemesis" could ever hope to be). The character work and acting from everyone involved is absolutely top notch - really through the roof! It is amazing that it's so good when you consider that everyone had to play at least two (and in some cases three) different versions of the same character.

    I don't want to spend a lot of time on what makes the episode good because I would just be rehashing what other people have already said, in a lot of cases more eloquently than I could. One thing I do want to point out, however, is how much I really enjoyed the use of Q. It would have been so easy to simply pull Q into the story right from the beginning (to come out with all guns blazing, so to speak). And, even for people who have never seen this episode before, once it becomes clear that the "past" storyline takes place during the mission to Farpoint Station, everyone knows that Q is going to be involved in some fashion. Still, they waited to introduce him until almost the midway point of the episode. That is a phenomenally good narrative device - let the story build itself up, don't rush things; then, once the setting is established, bring out the big guns. So wonderfully done.

    What I do want to spend time focusing on are the problems I have with "All Good Things...", because I don't think it's perfect. There are three rather large problems with the episode that I simply can't ignore, even if everything surrounding them is so unbelievably good.

    1.) The unbelievably large plot-hole concerning the anomaly. So, apparently the anomaly was caused by "future" Picard scanning the area and it then begins to travel backwards in time. But, first it travels forward in time just a little bit in order for the plot to continue. I'm sorry, but that is one of the most egregious plot-holes in all of Trek (right up there with the one in "Clues" where Picard knows the name of the aliens before he's even told it). A lot of people, Jammer included, are willing to wink and let that slide, but I cannot. I (no bullshit here) noticed that plot-hole the very first time I watched "All Good Things..." when it first premiered in 1994. It's that noticeable! And, therefore, it's that unforgivable.

    2.) The Worf/Troi romance. So this is what all that so-called build up throughout the last two-thirds of Season Seven was all for?! So that their apparent relationship could be used to foster a damaged relationship between Worf and Riker in the "future"? Because that's all it basically led to. Almost all we've been given thus far in this department has been either in parallel universes or in hallucinations. And we're given practically nothing in terms of development of the relationship here in the final episode. Aside from the fact that Troi and Worf went on a holodeck date at the beginning of the episode, what do we get? Nothing else in the "present". Obviously we get nothing in the "past", naturally. And Troi isn't even in the "future" timeline, so.... nothing again. It really all seems like little more than a build up to a strained relationship between Riker and Worf - which itself consists of little more than one scene in Ten Forward where Riker talks about missing Troi while Worf sits stoically off alone; only to end with the two of them reconciling anyway. I said it before and I'll say it again - complete waste of time!

    3.) The basic assumption we're asked to make in relation to the "past" timeline. I make absolutely no secret of my dislike for Season One of TNG. It was fucking horrible! It was some of the worst television (not just Trek television, but television in general) I've ever experienced! And one of the main reasons for that is that all of the character were, simply put, totally unlikable. This was a crew of arrogant, pompous, preachy douchebags (Picard especially), all of whom had few redeeming qualities. That changed dramatically over the course of the series (I would say it changed rather noticeably with the start of Season Three and then slowly changed for the better onward from there). However, "All Good Things..." asks us to believe that these characters (even Yar - who wasn't around after Season One to undergo the transformation) were the same likable people in Season One as they are in Season Seven. If there was ever a time to acknowledge the fact that this transformation had taken place, this was it. "Present" Picard should have been taken aback at much he and his crew had changed over the course of time. For crying out loud, in "Encounter at Farpoint", when Picard and company stand in Q's 21st century courtroom Yar responds to Q's accusations of savagery by first kicking the shit out of someone and then screaming that Q and the crowd should get on their knees before her (and Starfleet) because of their obvious inferiority. This disconnect even harms the otherwise wonderful Picard Speech at the end of the episode - where he gets the "past" crew to go along with his plans. I'm sorry, but I honestly cannot see the Season One characters acting like this - they would, instead, act like pompous asses.

    But, like I said, all three of these problems are surrounded by material that is so unbelievably good that it almost defies description. Just look at the final poker game for proof - what a truly wonderful, and touching, way to end the series. So, while it's not perfect, it's still one of TNG's finest hours. And what better way to end it all? I can't possible give "All Good Things..." anything less than....



    Final TNG post-season number crunching. :-)

    3 - Descent, Part II
    5 - Liaisons
    6 - Interface
    8 - Gambit, Part I
    8 - Gambit, Part II
    4 - Phantasms
    8 - Dark Page
    2 - Attached
    0 - Force of Nature
    4 - Inheritance
    7 - Parallels
    10 - The Pegasus
    0 - Homeward
    3 - Sub Rosa
    7 - Lower Decks
    5 - Thine Own Self
    7 - Masks
    4 - Eye of the Beholder
    5 - Genesis
    8 - Journey's End
    8 - Firstborn
    7 - Bloodlines
    5 - Emergence
    9 - Preemptive Strike
    9 - All Good Things...

    Average Season Score: 5.680
    Final TNG Series Score: 5.136
    Final TOS Series Score: 5.150

    Best Episode: The Pegasus
    Worst Episode: Homeward

    Season Seven has been called, by many, "The Year They Run Out of Ideas". I have to disagree with that. There were a lot of good episodes in this season. Even the sub-par ones tended to at least have potential behind them. It was only the truly horrible ones ("Force of Nature" and "Homeward") that had no redeeming qualities to them. I think it's more fair to call the season "The Year of Autopilot". In all of the sub-par and below average episodes (again, except with those two exceptions) it seemed like everyone from the actors and writers on down were just going through the motions. To quote Q from "Tapestry", they "drifted for much of [the season], with no plan or agenda, going from one assignment to the next, never seizing the opportunities that presented themselves." Take "Attached" as an example - it could have been a wonderful episode that finally delved into the Picard/Crusher romance but instead only played with the issue momentarily. Even in episodes I thought were above-average (like my controversial guilty pleasure - "Masks") I thought there were opportunities that were missed.

    Still, Season Seven is not a bad season. I actually ended up preferring it over Season Six (which ended with a score of 5.577 compared to Season Seven's 5.680). That is due, no doubt in no small part, to an amazing run of episodes at the very end of TNG's run. The final six episode stretch from "Journey's End" to "All Good Things..." produced scores that included two 9s, two 8s and one 7. "Emergence" was the only stumble in that run. The season also gave us three episodes I would consider classics (a score of either 9 or 10) - "The Pegasus", "Preemptive Strike", and "All Good Things...". That's something TNG hadn't manged to do since Season Four, which gave us five classic episodes ("Family", "Reunion", "The Wounded", "The Drumhead", and "The Mind's Eye"). In his review for "Genesis", Jammer made the case for the stretch from "Homeward" to "Genesis" "cumulatively being the nadir of TNG." Again, I have to disagree with that. While that run of episode does contain "Homeward" (which, I'm going to go ahead and say it, is the single worst episode of the series), I still gave it an average score of 4.429. What do I think is the nadir of TNG? That would be almost the very opening of the series - the stretch between "The Naked Now" and "Justice"; six episodes which averaged a score of 1.667!

    So, Season Seven much undeservedly maligned in my humble opinion. It's certainly not the best TNG offered us, but it's nowhere near the dreck that a lot of people make it out to be.


    Post-series number crunching. :-)

    Don't worry. I'm not going to list every single episode and its score. If you're curious about that, just check out my reviews for each season finale. :-P

    Well folks, sadly, it looks as though Season Seven, as good as it turned out to be, was unable to lift TNG above TOS's final score. TNG ends with a score of 5.136 compared to TOS's 5.150. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a difference of only.... three points! If "The Next Generation" had only managed to score an additional three measly points, it would have surpassed TOS. You might be thinking "that's so ridiculously close that he planned it out that way." I assure you, in all honestly, that I did not. God's honest truth - that is exactly how the chips fell. It appears that TNG simply dug too deep a hole for itself in its first season. It was unable to fully climb it's way back out of it, try as it might. And make no mistake, it was obviously the first season that doomed TNG. If you remove that season, TNG would crush TOS in the final score - it would end with a score of 5.536. Having now crunched all the numbers, it turns out that TNG was fighting tooth, nail, and claw to reach that threshold, right up until the very end. In fact, it was the ante-penultimate (I love that word - I don't often get to use it :-P) episode that put the final nail in this particular coffin. Right up until "Emergence", TNG had a chance to surpass TOS. After that episode, however, its fate was sealed.

    I came into this re-watch of all of Trek with TOS being my less favorite series (simply because I did not grow up with it - I grew up with TNG and, to a lesser extent, DS9 and VOY). Even now, I still have a nostalgic soft spot for TNG in my heart. It was the series that really introduced me to Star Trek. It held my hand and helped me get my feet wet in the ocean of Trek. For that reason alone, I think I'll always slightly prefer TNG to TOS. But, I can admit that, objectively speaking (or would that be subjectively speaking since this is all only my opinion? :-P), TOS is a slightly superior show.


    Final Thoughts

    1.) The Defector
    2.) Reunion
    3.) Q Who?
    4.) The Pegasus
    5.) The Drumhead
    6.) The Best of Both Worlds, Part I
    7.) Rightful Heir
    8.) Preemptive Strike
    9.) The Wounded
    10.) The Mind's Eye

    167.) The Outrageous Okona
    168.) Justice
    169.) Half a Life
    170.) The Neutral Zone
    171.) Angel One
    172.) Code of Honor
    173.) Up the Long Ladder
    174.) The Last Outpost
    175.) Shades of Grey
    176.) Homeward

    Quick Final Thoughts on the Characters:
    Jean-Luc Picard - Who would win in a fight between Kirk and Picard? The answer, obviously, is Sisko! :-P All joking aside, Picard is no Kirk. I've often pointed out how unrelatable I find him as a character and I still hold to that. He's someone I can look up to, even admire. But he's not someone I can see myself as. He almost represents too lofty of an ideal (at least after the first couple of seasons - when he was just a pompous prick). He's a good character, even enjoyable for what he is, just not my favorite.

    William Thomas Riker - A likable enough character, but nothing special. Many people say that he was absolutely wasted after the events of "The Best of Both Worlds" and I really cannot argue with that. There was a vast amount of potential, even after those episodes, in the character but the writers simply let him rot on the shelf, again never seizing the opportunities that presented themselves. As a sort of big, lovable oaf, however, he's a definite good character.

    Data - Best character on the show. Not exactly a ground-breaking observation, but there it is none-the-less. He was a worthy successor to Spock as the outsider among the crew if for no other reason than that he and Spock were mirror opposites of each other - Spock struggling to control his Human side and embracing his Vulcan side and Data struggling to become more Human. And, of course, we can't ignore the warmth, humor, and general likability that Brent Spiner breathed into the character.

    Worf - Second best character on the show. Another good example of an outsider character. His episodes provided us with most of the world-building TNG offered. It's no shock that he was chosen to help boost DS9's ratings (the Trek series most comfortable with world-building). I also liked that he was presented as a rather poor parent who still struggled, if unsuccessfully, to be a better one.

    Geordi LaForge - A wasted character, more so than any of the others, sadly. As the engineer character, he wasn't really given anything to do aside from technical plots which often involve simply fixing things and lots of techno-babble (which I don't mind, but a lot people do). With a character like this you have to give him an identifiable personality to carry him (or her) along. Scotty was a likable chum of a guy (someone you would love to hang out in a bar with). O'Brien was an extraordinarily relatable everyman. Torres had her anger and relationship issues. Trip was a charming/likable good-ole-boy. LaForge had nothing like this. Aside from his pathetic love-life (which often seemed like the writers dumping on their own fans) and his friendship with Data, what did he have that was legitimately his own? Not much. Even when he was used effectively in the amazing "The Mind's Eye", he was only servicing the greater plot.

    Beverly Crusher - Another wasted character. Everyone knows I'm a Beverly Crusher fanboy, but even I'll admit that she was woefully underused. Gates McFadden often shined when given the chance to do so, but sadly she wasn't given many opportunities. Of course, it also didn't help that one of those rare opportunities involved her masturbating with a space ghost.

    Deanna Troi - A misused character. I'm still not opposed to the idea of a therapist as a main character, but Troi was never used effectively as a therapist. Often, when they actually did have her doing legitimate counseling work, she ended up looking like a fool who didn't know what she was doing. More often, they would throw her into stories that she wasn't suited for. Sometimes that would work ("Face of the Enemy") but mostly it wouldn't, like promoting her to full Commander, and would only make her look like a fool again. See the problem?

    Natasha Yar - A character who had potential. It's sad that the show-runners never utilized her in any appreciable way. I can't blame Denise Crosby for leaving when she did or for why she did (given they would treat her the same way with her new character - Sela). She did, however, give us one of Trek's best main character deaths, in my opinion. So, not a complete waste.

    Wesley Crusher - A Mary Sue, pure and simple. They treated this character like a god and then literally turned him into one (okay, a demi-god, but still...). I really could have done without this one.

    Katherine Pulaski - Annoying, irritating, McCoy-wannabe bitch! Nothing else needs to be said.

    Looking Forward:
    Something I've noticed now that I've rewatched both TOS and TNG is that both shows end up with a fairly average final score because they are both almost perfectly balanced between good episodes and bad ones. TOS had 80 episodes (I include "The Cage") - 35 were above-average, 13 were average, and 32 were below-average. TNG had 176 episodes - 79 were above-average, 27 were average, and 70 were below-average. They also both veered wildly from episode to episode. While they both managed to put together good runs of above-average episodes, there was little consistency throughout each series. In TOS, you can (for example) go from "The Alternative Factor" (0/10) immediately to "The City on the Edge of Forever" (8/10) or from "Spock's Brain" (1/10) immediately to "The Enterprise Incident" (9/10). In TNG, you can (for example) go from "Legacy" (0/10) immediately to "Reunion" (10/10) or from "The Pegasus" (10/10 - my fourth favorite episode) immediately to "Homeward" (0/10 - the rock bottom of TNG).

    As a result, TNG may very well, since it failed to overcome TOS, end up in last place after I've rewatched, reviewed, and scored all of DS9, VOY, and ENT. That's because I don't think DS9 is going to be so perfectly balanced - I suspect it will skew favorably on the side of above-average episodes, thereby ending up in first place. I also suspect VOY will be different - I don't remember it having many standout quality episodes or many standout horrible ones. It might stay perfectly balanced in the middle and could, as a result, trump both TOS and TNG's final scores without really trying. ENT is the wild card. I have no idea how it will turn out, ratings wise (I've honestly only gone through ENT from start to finish once, but I remember enjoying it - especially Seasons Three and Four). But, I could be wrong about all this, only time and the scores will tell.

    Still, TNG looks to be in serious trouble, even with my nostalgia for it.

    TOS > TNG

    This episode was definitely a great conclusion, the plot and structure and development very interestingly kept the focus on Picard while still giving strong analysis of the other characters.

    It's interesting that Jammer's average ratings for all the series, aside from DS9, are so close and kind of sad that his most highly-rated season of Voyager was the first one.

    @Andrew - Ratings are subjective and VOY was rated while it was on (while TNG was not). I've softened to VOY over the years but at the time it did NOT boldly go where I wanted it to go. My favorite episodes were probably not in S1 and the show was a bit rough in S1, but I liked what that season (as a whole) was trying to do more than I liked what later seasons were trying to do.

    Thanks for all these reviews. Like a poster way, way above this post,it made me realise again "God, I love TNG". I didn't hate S7 as much as some, but I'm a forgiving sort. I remember that, back in the day Western Australia was waaay behind in showing TNG and I would go with my mates to a local university where they would rent out a lecture theatre and (in direct contravention of copyright policy - suck it thought police) show episodes of TNG (and eventually DS9 and Voy).

    When I saw AGT, on the big screen (as it were) I was so happy and so sad. I still had regular eps of S7 to go on free to air TV, but I had seen the best episode of the season (and one of my all time faves) and so I knew they would disappoint. Worse yet, it would END.

    Josh, a mate of mine who was the only guy I knew who actually studied nuclear physics (but now can't show his face on TV because he's a dentist) said to me one night "you know, I think of all of this as real. Like it's real history that just hasn't happened yet". Couldn't agree more, even now.

    Like Neil, form the Pet Shop Boys says, the best songs can often be rubbish. It's not so much that a song (or in this case a TV show) is necessarily brilliantly written, or sung (or acted) - though some obviously are. Sometimes it's the "rubbishy pop record" that captures for you so completely what it was like for you at the time or in that place where you loved it so much, be they happy times or sad , that really stays with you. I think TNG was very strong a lot of the time and occasionally total bollocks, but the net effect is transcendant.

    Generations was the first time I went to see a Star Trek Movie with female friends. We were all so excited. And then it sucked. So, so much. But even now, when I see it (by accident, I haven't deliberately subjected myself to it for years) I am transported back to that magical night of expectation and high hopes. And, like other firsts, a group of weary, bedraggled and disappointed ladies looking at me with pity afterwards.

    Lol........... true story, sadly. :)

    Anyway, thanks Jammer. I'll be back again when I re watch the re watchable.

    Along with Inner Light, this was some of the finest Science Fiction ever produced for television. An absolute timeless classic that gets better with age, like fine wine. It's inconceivable that this episode doesn't get any notoriety for all-time best series finales. You always hear about Newhart, St. Elsewhere, Cheers, etc., but this is never, ever in the conversation, and that is a shame.

    What's hard for me to comprehend is how the writers of AGT are the same folks who brought us "Sub Rosa." I wish there was someone I could see to get that hour of my life back. Pure crap, but I digress.

    If there were two issues I had with the AGT, one is major and one is to a lesser extent. The lesser one is that while Beverly said early on, "He's Jean-Luc Picard, and if he wants to go on one final mission then that's what we'll do," the others seemed to have a hard time giving the captain that respect. Given all of the experiences the crew encountered, they seemed closed-minded that Picard could be telling the truth. They made him work for it, in my opinion. Which is OK and understandable because it seems like there is quite a bit going on in the future and it's been 25 years and he sick....but he had to earn the benefit of the doubt. They all came around (naturally, or there would have been no episode!!) but I think they could have played up Picard's illness a little more and showed that the crew had reason to believe he was delirious, such as using bad judgement prior.

    I think the biggest issue with the episode should be the final takeaway. Q had some great lines and was an asset for the entire run, and it was awesome that the series ended with him, as it began. But his line about what awaits Picard: "...That is the exploration that awaits you. Not mapping stars and studying Nebula, but charting the unknown possibilities of existence." Great line, but it is also the same storyline that was written for Wesley Crusher in Journey's visit new planes of existence that transcend space and time. The Traveler delivered that message and is guiding Wesley (assuming Wesley kept the Traveler around as his guide) on his journey. So it was a little odd to see that very same lesson being taught to Picard, plus I kind of thought that Picard was open to this kind of thinking all along anyway.

    Still, the great acting and the action were wonderful enough to make these issues more a talking point than a roadblock. I could watch this episode over and over and not get tired of it.

    Season 7 was weak. I don't know about the weakest as 1 and 2 weren't that great, but it was certainly a letdown after 3, 4, 5, and 6. TNG was clearly on it's way out and declining and probably had used up enough good ideas that it wasn't likely to get any better. But there were enough really good episodes in season 7 that it was a worthy season still, and certainly it wasn't so bad that anybody should be claiming season 6 should have been the end.

    So you know what that all adds up to? They ended TNG exactly when they should have. Not very many notable tv shows can really say that. Most get cancelled before they reached their full potential, or else drag on far too long, like a former superstar athletic who doesn't want to retire. But TNG lasted exactly the right amount of time.

    One thing not yet mentioned is the attention to detail of the Past Timeline scenes, with respect to costumes, set, and makeup. Even the bridge has the wooden brown panels on the side bulkheads instead of the later beige ones. Note also the seat design is s1 for helm and ops (those chairs were uncomfortably reclined!), and the s1 observation lounge miniature ships.

    I also think they did a good job making Picard and all the others look seven years younger again, and fairly convincingly; even if the actors don't exactly look as they did back in s1, they allowed their slightly aged appearance to show through in AGT, notably Picard, to provide contrast. The quick call to Riker with the footage from Encounter at Farpoint is also extremely well done and clean, since even shaven the s7 Jonathan Frakes no longer looked like his baby-faced self circa s1 and would have ruined the time-jumping fantasy (as would have Gates McFadden had she been pictured in this episode in the Past Timeline without dying her hair dark auburn again).

    Someone else noted this: how come Data is depicted as a lieutenant junior grade in the Past Timeline? I just rewatched Encounter at Farpoint, and he is definitely a lieutenant commander. Maybe one of his pips fell off? Or is it a nod to the fans that the writers would have preferred to rewrite Data's history and allow the mechanical man to have a decent record of promotion, rather than stagnate as a LCDR for at least 14 years?

    That transparent aluminum ceiling for androids is pretty harsh...

    Wonderful final episode, now to continue with my Trek rewatch, onward to DS9, The Jem-Hadar....

    Thanks for all the reviews!

    The TNG series had some good episodes... but...

    "Seven years ago, I said we'd be watching you, and we have been - hoping that your ape-like race would demonstrate *some* growth, give *some* indication that your minds had room for expansion. But what have we seen instead? You, worrying about Commander Riker's career. Listening to Counselor Troi's pedantic psychobabble. Indulging Data in his witless exploration of humanity."

    Well said Q, well said

    I am among the tiny few who absolutely HATED All Good Things. I've only watched it once, when it was first aired. I've never been able to bring myself to watch it again since. Back then, I could have given you a whole laundry list of the problems I had with the episode. Since it has been so long now, I only really remember the biggest gripe I had.

    Specifically, you have an anomaly that travels backwards in time. But when future Picard arrives, there's nothing there. They do their tests and leave. Hours later, Picard convinces them to return and lo-and-behold, there it is.

    Wait. What? The anomaly is spawned by their testing and travels BACKWARDS in time. But when they arrived it wasn't there and when they came back AFTER... it is there?

    That's the only specific plot hole I remember now, but it's a pretty large one. I remember writing off the whole episode as "Q is involved. Q does whatever he wants, whether it makes logical sense or not. The episode is fine. There are no plot holes. The apparent plot hole with the anomaly works fine because Q makes it appear where it "needs" to appear in order for Picard to react properly. All bow down to Q."

    Perhaps I should try to watch it again and look for all the character interactions instead. Apparently, based on the rave reviews here, if I ignore the "science" supposedly involved, the episode is great.


    Those are fair enough complaints, but mind you the episode is about Q trying to teach Picard to look beyond his limited concept of time, so it's safe to reason that applying usual linear time would not teach the lesson Q wanted.

    I'm not even sure that's a plot hole. When the Pasteur uses the inverse tachyon pulse, it may take a finite time afterwards for the anomaly to form, which would then proceed to travel backwards in time. When the Future Enterprise encounters the anomaly ~6 hours later, it's 'small' but non-zero in size. How can that be, if it was 'just formed'? Perhaps that was its starting size. Or perhaps it actually took more than 6 hours to form (i.e. formed in the future of when the Future Enterprise found it, and they encountered it after/before it grew a little already). But then you ask - what about the Pasteur why didn't they see it! Plot hole!

    Even then you don't know that. You'll note that the Enterprise in "Encounter at Farpoint" didn't see it either. Not a plot hole. It's because Q's sending Picard through time was creating an alternate timeline, and only ships in the alternate timeline would see it. The Enterprise crew in the 'regular time' didn't have memories of the events allegedly happening concurrently in the past. Also not a plot hole. Each ship in each era was independently being whisked into an alternate timeline. The point is that time isn't linear in the way we think of it. The Pasteur was originally in the 'regular' timeline, where there was no anomaly. Only once they initiated the pulse did they create a shunt into the alternate timeline. And again, if that took finite time to occur it wouldn't be instantaneous. By the time the future Enterprise finds the anomaly they're already in the new timeline; we can't know exactly when they entered it.

    I liked the part where the Enterprise got some badass upgrades. They added a lift kit and put super charged the engines resulting in a third nacelle. To a Trek fan that's kind of like adding a third breast to a beautiful woman. I also screamed at Worf when he attempted to cockblock himself when he was on the date with Troi. Then I laughed when Picard cockblocked Worf twice. Picard talking to file footage of Riker from season one was priceless.
    Too bad we never find out what happened to Laforge's mom, who built the Dyson sphere from episode Relics, what became of the mind control aliens from Conspiracy. I'm still not sure why Tasha Yar became a Romulan. Thank you Jammers reviews you've re awakened my Star Trek fandom. I'm re watching the TNG movies and DS9 and Voyager.

    It's too bad Data had the Lt. JG pips rather than those of full Lieutenant in the past scenes-I would have liked that he got a promotion just before the series but he couldn't have gotten two at once so it's just an error.

    A reason that this episode is much better than most others from season 7 may be that Berman and especially Piller trimmed away a lot, especially from the second half, and thus increased the focus.

    Good episode, fun nostalgia, and the treatment of Q is stellar. But the lack of a cohesive plot hurt it for me on rewatch. It's more of a 3-star episode than 4-star.

    A good mystery plot is one that comes together at the end and makes you say, "oh, I see—it fits together." Not so here. We can try to infer rules about how the timelines and anomaly work (Peter G. does a good job above), but the bottom line is that the story doesn't know how those things work, and instead boxes itself in with the following constraints:
    - Each time period is based on a "normal" timeline, until time-traveling Picard appears, spawning 3 paradoxical alternate timelines; you would expect the anomaly to suddenly appear at the same time as time-traveling Picard
    - Future crew has to be kept from any evidence, so that they can wonder if Picard is just imagining things
    - Past crew has to be kept in the dark about Picard's motivations, so that they can wonder if Picard is giving valid orders
    - Future crew has to create the anomaly before destroying it, even though the anomaly naturally would have to be destroyed before its creation

    The "is Picard crazy?" plot in the past and future could have been toned down a lot without doing any harm (it was quickly dismissed in the present). Maybe the future anomaly isn't observable until they get really close? Surely past Picard can say, "This anomaly is going to expand and kill a lot of people unless we stop it" rather than "Just trust me"? Or, hey, clearly the timeline is already "corrupted"—how about lay all your cards on the table?

    However, I don't think there's anything to be done about that last one—having to create the anomaly after destroying it. The story painted itself into a corner. Needed some rethinking.

    I mostly love everything else about the show, though...

    A few less-important thoughts:

    - There's a lot of similarity with "Parallels." I think these hurts the episode a bit, because we've done all this before, fairly recently.

    - This is true every 3 or 4 episodes, but to say it one more time: maybe we ought to separate the saucer section, protecting hundreds of civilian lives, before entering a dangerous situation that is likely to kill everyone?

    - Picard didn't just witness the future—he embodied his future self, with all of its memories. It's a bit like "The Inner Light"—a whole lifetime downloaded into your brain in the course of a few hours. Strategically, he probably has some useful knowledge about major future events (though it didn't help him much with the Dominion (DS9), the Borg (First Contact), or the Romulans (Nemesis)). Personally, that experience ought to mess someone up real good. At the very least, he must experience a lot of deja vu, even though many things in the "real" timeline turn out differently.

    I don't think I really need to state the obvious, do I? This finale is one of the best put to television. So far, the only TV shows I've give top marks for the finale are:

    Babylon 5
    Star Trek TNG
    Breaking Bad

    I think that's it. Firefly had a decent ending episode, but it wasn't really a proper ending, because it was stupidly cancelled.

    So, with that said, let me run down which episodes in TNG I gave a 10 rating. I'll need to watch them all again to note the 9/10 ones.

    Reunion (possibly)
    Redemption (possibly)
    Ship in a Bottle (possibly)
    Nth Degree (possibly)
    Firstborn (possibly)
    Cause and Effect
    Yesterday's Enterprise
    The Inner Light
    Chain of Command Part II
    Q Who
    All Good Things

    No. No "Best of Both Worlds". Why? Because I think it's got too many contrivances, it dumbed down the Borg (and relegated them to pure rating gatherers), and it had that god-awful unrealistic Shelby character. I will give it an 8. It was decent and entertaining, but the hype it receives is hilarious.

    Yanks, I just finished it a couple days ago. I agree-it was absolutely perfect. I'd also add The Shield's "Family Meeting", and Angel's "Not Fade Away".

    TNG Season 7:
    "Descent Part 2"-2
    "Gambit Part 1"-3
    "Gambit Part 2"-2.5
    "Dark Page"-2
    "Force of Nature"-3
    "The Pegasus"-4
    "Sub Rosa"-0.5
    "Lower Decks"-4
    "Thine Own Self"-2.5
    "Eye of the Beholder"-1.5
    "Journey's End"-2
    "Preemptive Strike"-4
    "All Good Things"-4
    Overall: 2.64

    Future Data using contractions? It must be Lore! Deactivate him!

    That final scene, where they all get together for poker, is just beautifully written. Everyone gets to contribute in classic form of their character. Everyone gets a moment building up to Picard's arrival -- their tensing, then exhaling -- and his benevolent, belated realization he should have joined them long ago.

    I can't say enough about the Picard character and the man who inhabited it, Patrick Stewart. From the series' shaky start, right through "... and the sky's the limit," his bearing, his delivery, his ability to sell us on the J-LP personna gave the series its credibility, it's gravitas.

    It's possible to imagine other actors could have played the other main roles (except maybe Brent Spiner as Data), but nobody else could have been so thoroughly and consistently Picard.


    I'm going through this strange thing where I can't stop binge watching TNG. I can state unequivocally that I have a very strong emotional attachment to TNG, and almost none to TOS or DS9. At every turn, I am impressed by the writers' ability to make science fiction work in the episodic format, in a way that impacts the viewer, primarily by making the protagonists so relatable, instead of say, involving itself in overwhelmingly complicated intergalactic matters. I think that this formula is the hallmark of TNG, as it matured over the seasons into a great show.

    What really stands out for me on this viewing of "All Good Things" is the absolute omnipotence of Q and consequently the "total human experience" he chooses to provide Picard with. That is to say, the writing is so unbelievably seamless from Picard's point of view, that it in effect conceals the fact that Q is in complete control of it. I have seen the TNG crew in some pickles before, but never this sophisticated expression of being taught a lesson about the meaning of life from within by an alien race. Q is God, and he totally spreads his wings in this episode. It begs the question why he chooses to do this, but of course, it's the finale, and that's all she wrote. So utterly powerful, such a correct way to end the show, and yet the ramifications of such interference go undiscussed, because the payoff is so suitable. And it is, after all, a situation perhaps we all find ourselves in. What choices do we really have in life, and how do we know if we're doing the right thing.

    But I think it's not fair to call Q God because he is more nuanced than that. To the bitter end, Q is there, taunting Picard with "Two down, one to go" as one Enterprise explodes after the other. I think a good mythological analogy for Q is the Sphinx. The gatekeeper. Who keeps her minions in a state of terror. Providing Picard with a riddle he has to solve, or otherwise the demise of all humanity.

    So I think there's a reason that Picard doesn't inform his crew of the big picture with the early Enterprise, and the bigger question of why three Enterprises are needed to create the anomaly. Which brings us to the riddle of the Sphinx, and the three stages of man. Each Enterprise expressed a different dimension of Picard's relationship with his crew, and the first Enterprise was about duty, faith and sacrifice. This is an important theme that was of course slam-dunked in "Yesterday's Enterprise" and I'm sure it's no coincidence that Yar is in both episodes ("You heard the captain! Battle stations!").

    @phaedon, great comment. Love Q as the sphinx and the connection to the three ages of Picard, the Enterprise and her crew.

    Love the Sphinx metaphor. The future enterprise even has a third warp nacel, like the old man's cane in the riddle.

    This episode stands the test of time. I watched it recently and although its densely plotted with a tad too much technobabble, the time flew by. The solution (paradox) was pure TNG and really made you think as the best episodes have always done. For 90 minutes, I was a kid again.

    I concur with the others about the Sphinx interpretation. Which in turn suggests that there is a potential prize for the correct answer just as there would be a penalty for failing. Q does strike me as a being who ultimately helps Picard in the aggregate, rather than merely being a Loki. I believe there's more method in his antics than there appears.

    4 stars.

    Brilliant. This truly felt like a series finale. This is why I watch Star Trek. This is why TNG will always be my favorite Trek series. Scotty was right. You don't ever love something the way you do your first love. That's TNG for me. In my opinion it was the most fun, it had the most consistently good run of entertaining shows, it had the right balance of character and plot with the best cast with the best chemistry

    This episode was a thoroughly entertaining action adventure with a nice balance of character with fascinating ideas and outside-the-box thinking

    The notion of anti-time was very clever. The idea of an anomaly moving backwards through time and causing cellular reversion and wiping out humanity was fresh and clever coupled with the paradox idea of the very anomaly they're investigating--well the investigation itself created the anomaly to begin with and you have some innovative sci fi stuff

    I loved the construction of the episode focusing on the PAST PRESENT and FUTURE. Liked how the writers tied the finale back to the pilot and came up with way to recreate the first season so lovingly and how they got a younger beardless riker onscreen via desktop monitor with old footage. Liked seeing Yar and worf with his short hair and gold sash. Troi in her miniskirt.

    Liked the future version of the crew as envisioned here--Picard back on Earth tending the family vineyard, Riker still onboard the Enterprise where he was always happiest, Beverly getting to be Captain of a medical vessel, Data a professor. All very plausible futures for all

    Loved the action sequences

    The pacing was perfect. Not dizzying the way unfortunately most of tv is nowadays
    Q actually was good in this episode

    liked bringing series full circle with theme of humanity on trial

    Tng should have ended here. Tng never should have done films. I regretted TNG didn't get to end its run on its own without another trek series actually on.

    But they did have the best series finale--not just out of Trek--but in television. Most tv series screw their finales up. But thankfully not TNG

    From four years in the future of this review: thank you so much Jammer for all your reviews! Enjoyed them.

    Startrekwatcher - as much as we'd all love it if television/movies could be 'art', it's economics at the end of the day. To me it's miraculous when we get episodes like "All Good Things..." in the cauldron that is Hollywood.

    The one thing about this episode that bugs me is the time shifting... Q makes out that Picard is at fault for causing the destruction of humanity.. However, the anti-time eruption is caused by Picard scanning beyond the subspace barrier in the *future*. He only does that because he knows the anomaly already exists in the past, and is only enabled by Q time shifting him..

    So Q saying that it's Picard's fault is kinda BS.. If Q didn't time shift him, it never would have happened. So Q's shifting isn't helping him, though he makes out like he's helping him (due to his fascination with humanity). Unless we're expected to believe that Picard would have done it in the future even without the time shifts? That's ludicrous though considering he's an old man with a mental syndrome and has no real power (only his story of time shifts convinces his friends to take him there in the first place).

    Also, doesn't an eruption of anti-time taking over the "past" universe destroy every other species too? That sounds kinda irresponsible.

    Basically it feels like the story was shoehorned around the desire to see the past, present and future of the TNG universe (as a finale), rather than making any coherent sense.



    One double episode in for Discovery and it's interesting to note the task they have to establish and develop believable engaging sustainable characters like TNG did.

    Also Sarek is the link ... and much that I would not like to see it happen it would not surprise to see a TNG character time travel back for an episode

    Just an outstanding series finale in so many respects. An intriguing story threatening humanity's very existence, the 3 times and the characters in them all acting in different ways that are still consistent with their characters, and of course Q and his schtick with Picard -- "All Good Things..." is a TNG classic and exemplifies what made TNG so good. I'm not sure it's not without some holes -- with time travel, you tend to have some and Q manipulating Picard and then blaming him is also a possibility.

    The best thing about TNG is when the technobabble doesn't become an impediment to understanding the plot or the solution and we are blown away by other elements of the episode -- that's the case here for sure. Here I'm not left shaking my fist at the episode because of the technobabble -- sure it's arbitrary with the solution and the beam fired into the center of the anomaly etc. but what's important is we believe in how the solution should work.

    Picard's acting is among his best TNG performances -- initially how he's so unsure about what's going on to being an impatient old fart 25 years in the future and also in his rousing speech as new captain on the Enterprise and about to take the ship and the new crew into the center of the anomaly.

    One part that really impressed me was when Q took Picard back in time 3.5 billion years to the "primordial soup" -- I have to say that would just be so awe-inspiring (of course I'm not sure there was enough oxygen etc. at that time but who cares...) The very creation of life on Earth...

    The finale uses Q in the right way -- he's not doing something stupid as in "Q-Pid" but here he's challenging Picard intellectually, giving him hints and we're along for the ride -- he has his great barbs and puts Picard in his place.

    We've obviously grown to care about the crew members and the "flashbacks" into the future are cool to see as for what Crusher, Data, Riker etc. are all doing. No idea how Troi dies. Good thing there was no Wesley here otherwise he'd have told Picard how to solve it in the 1st half hour...

    4 stars for "All Good Things..." -- what a way to end a series and really somewhat surprising that the writers came up with something so good given how shit Season 7 had been. Definitely in my top 5 TNG episodes -- a really great wrap on 7 years of TNG with Picard joining in the poker game, something specially associated with TNG.

    Such a fun, sentimental, and moving episode and perfect end to a beloved series. I’ll pretend this is how TNG properly ended, (with the promise of Data still alive 25 years hence and a professor at Cambridge University with dozens of cats), versus what we actually got with “Nemesis”.

    For me this is the real ending for TNG. I didn't really care for the movies that came after. This episode was the perfect ending for a great series.

    TNG was at its best between seasons 3 and 6, although I watched the first two seasons also with pleasure. Season 7 though was bad and I had difficulties getting through. So it was a surprise that they could come up with a terrific episode like this to end the series.

    I recently rewatched TNG in its entirety and read the reviews on this site. Thanks Jammer for your insights! It was a pleasure to read! Looking forward to reading more reviews from the new series.

    Nothing to add to all these comments but this.

    On arriving at the Enterprise he reads his orders. Given by Rear Admiral Nora Satie, the lady he destroys in The Drumhead. Now that's continuity.

    A fantastic finale which succeedes on every single level, including making me feel an aching pan of sadness and nostalgia in those final shots. Picard finally joining the game and taking a moment to fix everyone in his mind; there are unspoken statements that the crew will go on to have new adventures, and they have been warned that one day they could all split up, so this is a chance to get it right (but since we never find out what happened to Troi, how can they prevent that?); and as the Enterprise flies into the sunset, it makes me wish I was 15 again and discovering TNG for the first time when it was brand new. The late 80s and all of the 90s were a fantastic time in many respects. TNG is one of its crowning glories.

    DS9 will always remain my benchmark series for its character growth, its sense of galactic powershifts, but most importantly its emphasis that decisions have consequences; Voyager will always be my favourite premise for a show and my favourite crew for their likeable, funny personalities; Enterprise absolutely nails the strangeness of exploring the Trek galaxy for the first time (when it remembers to be a prequel); TOS is remarkable in that many of its themes and much of its appeal remain relevant, and in some cases seem almost prescient.

    And yet TNG is like flying through space in a comfortable armchair with your oldest, dearest friends. It is the show with the widest appeal. There will never be another science fiction show that will make such an impact. TNG survived an embarrassing start to become a phenomenon, a milestone not just in our culture, but personally, in our lives.

    Was it perfect? Not in the slightest. Miles too much technobabble, Worf getting beaten up and denied in every episode, the Enterprise getting owned every week, characters who don't seem to do much (Crusher and Troi), a number of tedious or utterly crap episodes, and most of the main characters aren't exactly household names (people will recognise the names and/or faces of Picard, Worf, Data and Riker, but may not know who anyone else is).

    And yet it remained true to its nature; remained true to its premise, the only Berman-led Trek show that did; gave us the Borg, the most frightening aliens of all time; and even to this day is the yardstick other science fiction is measured against.

    DS9 was darker, meaner, more threatening; Voyager was too focused on a quick fix of action; Enterprise took far too long to get going (the world was moving much quicker in the early 2000s than in the late 80s); DISC lacks any semblance of charm and is locked behind a paywall. TNG will always be the perfect compromise. And that's good enough for me.

    I think the family theme in S7 worked really well. With the exception of Interface, Sub Rosa and Emergence, the clunker episodes are mostly the ones that don't adhere to this theme (Masks, Genesis, Liaisons, Force Of Nature, and Gambit, which I'm not a fan of). In the course of one season we have Data's mom, Data's brother, Worf's adoptive brother, Worf's son as an adult, Picard's potential long-lost son, an excellent Picard-Beverly relationship episode, two Worf-Troi relationship episodes, Lwaxana's family tragedy, a great episode on Riker's relationship with his previous captain, a fantastic character-driven and densely plotted episode that focuses on the crew as a big family (Lower Decks), and good wrap-ups for Wesley and Ro, as well as (in the less good outings) Geordi's mom, Beverly's grandmother and the Enterprise's child. More of the family-themed episodes succeed than fail, and I think it was a smart idea to approach the final season in this way.

    I just watched this episode for the first time and concluded my first viewing of TNG. All Good Things is amazing. Why wasn't this episode the film? Finally seeing this episode only makes me dislike Generations even more. It's a truly awful movie, in my opinion, and neither it, or any of the movies featuring the TNG cast, wrap up the characters' journeys as well as this finale.

    Couldn't Geordi get an eye transplant?

    Picard calls Data "a man" near the end of the episode.

    Worf and Troi? Ugh.

    Troi in the Ready Room. Her stance and stare looks like a crappy porn, like she's going to say "I need the captain's 'log', on the desk, right now."

    ....and in mere months now (who the crap even dreamed it would happen) we get Picard back on the [not-so-small-anymore] screen in glorious 4K HDR.....sorry there's something in my eye watching this episode today thinking of that....

    Thank you for your review. A pleasure to read. I loved this episode, when originally screened, as well as on the few times I've re-watched it. The final scene, with Picard slowly looking at his crew, nay, his family around the card table always leaves me feeling more than a little nostalgic, sentimental. Such an excellent story to finish with.

    I've not much to add to the comments on this brilliant series finale. Though I feel that standard issue sense of mild loss associated with finishing a netflix series binge, I know I have the movies, DS9 and a bunch of TOS episodes to go (I will defer a voyager binge to some time in 2023, if netflix still exists in that timeline). With all the mucking about with Roddenberrian trek going on with STD and the uncertainty of the Orville, its been wonderful having old school Picard and co back. Please CBS, don't screw him up!

    One final note - I laughed at baby face Riker having to be edited in from Encounter at Farpoint. The amount he had changed compared with the others is just unbelievable, and just before that scene I thought "how the hell are they going to do young Riker, he looks nothing like the present one".

    I will miss "engage", but am looking forward to maybe a season of "Hit it" :)

    Bobbington Mc Bob

    "I will miss "engage", but am looking forward to maybe a season of "Hit it" :)"

    I personally liked Pike's "Punch it" better :-)


    I am looking forward to this series finale and will be sad to see my review of TNG at an end...

    Stewart does a good job of acting an aged Picard complete with the higher pitched whine old men get when they are upset (Buckle up gents, old age is coming for all of us). But with his fitness regime etc he seems more like 85(not 72). So was he 60 at the end of the 7 year run? I was thinking he was 40-47, no that isn't right is it?

    Wait! how did Picard (in the past) know Q was involved???

    We are a dangerous savage child race indeed...

    After watching seven years, there is no way humans are inferior to Ferengi, Romulans, Cardassians, Klingons, Bajorans, etc. Not better but not worse...

    I shall miss Riker shouting "Red Alert!"

    This certainly has more of a movie feel to it: where they pull in all the old bridge crew through often bizarre tangents (We're getting the band back together). For example, I hope that medical globe ship didn't have any patients in it. Hey where did they put the patients?

    I like the idea of time travelling for the series finale. It shows the past we experienced, where the ship and crew are now and then the future possibilities. But a big minus for me was how much this focussed on Picard. Yes he pulled this series along with his acting, but surely there could have been more of an ensemble plot. I know there was the Worf/Riker spat, seeing Beverly divorced from Jean Luc, Troi dead but these were minor minor vignettes.

    It wasn't even a good episode for Stewart acting besides the old man behaviours I spoke of earlier. And my god, his early behaviour asking the crew to trust him when he as taken them on a series of actions without explanation and with certain peril. He comes across as a cult leader frankly.

    I did like Q's little speech although I thought Picard was always telling Q how they were improving as species, developing as beings and not just exploring.

    I did like the poker game and I am sure it is difficult to write a series finale. This one had its good elements. The ultra focus on Picard just put me off it.


    I have done it! After so many years of wanting to see Star Trek: The Next Generation again, I have finally seen it again. I have decided instead of commenting through the series to leave my thoughts to the end, so this is a summary of my feeling of the series of a whole and not just of the last episode.
    May I say a special thanks to Jammer and all those who have commented on the website. I have found them, as Spock would say, “fascinating”.
    Worst Part: Season One
    The start of TNG was horrible. It reminded me of going to that type of party where the music is lame, the food unappetizing and everyone wants to be somewhere else. Watching Worf and Data at the beginning felt more like watching a parody rather than the characters I came to grow and love in the middle seasons. Too many stories were lame and uninspiring. How it got to have a 2nd season is beyond me.
    Best Part: Liquid Gold
    What makes a good show? I do not really know, other than an emotional connection is important to me. I want shows to made to laugh, to cry, to think, to be inspired. At it’s best, TNG does this.
    The menace of “The Best of Both Worlds”.
    The malevolence in “Chain of Command.”
    Worf’s vindication in “ Redemption”
    The bitter sweetness of “Lower Decks”.
    The interesting concepts brought up by “The Measure of a Man.”
    Wonderful, Wonderful, Wonderful. They make tv watching worthwhile.

    The Disappointing Part: The World View
    I love the show to bits, but I am not blind to several problems with the show
    Let me explain:
    1) There is poor explanation how this sort of world would work
    It is fairly obvious that a guiding premise of Star Trek is that atheism is true and a humanistic outlook in life is to be desired. However, this premise has holes in it.
    Religion in general and Christianity in particular has been a driving force for good in our society.
    It was their faith in God that inspired scientists like Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler (my scientific hero) and Louis Pasteur.
    It was faith in God that drove social reformers like William Wilberforce, Francis Nightingale and the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury.
    It was faith in God that drove thinkers like Martin Luther King, Sir Francis Bacon, Soren Kierkeggard.

    I also note that while there have been plenty noble atheists, there also have been more than enough mass murdering atheistic despots around. Therefore, it would be a stretch to say that the world will be automatically better off when it is run by scientific atheists. Don’t presume it-Prove it.
    So, how would an atheistic world improve itself if there are no religious influences to drive progress? It is really not good enough to ditch all this and say bland statements like: “The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in our lives. We work to better ourselves and the rest of humanity.” What does this really mean? How does that differ from many ways of living today that could say the same thing?
    What should have happened?
    I really wish that the show addressed religion reasonably, looking at both the good and bad it has done. I really wish that it showed more of how the societies are motivated to improve. The show would have been deeper, richer and more interesting. This is one of the reasons why I love DS9. I am not sure that DS9 got it right, but at least they made a brave attempt to look at religion and how it effects society.

    2) Its portrayal of society is anemic and unrealistic.
    I get that Star Trek wants to show the humans can get along with everyone in a mature way. I am grateful for its positive vision of the future. The reality though is that there are problems in the world of Star Trek. We even see this in episodes like “The First Duty” and “The Drumhead”. We see this in the poor or problematical relationships the crew have with their families. But instead of admitting this and dealing with it, the show just seems to pretend all is ok. The result are characters that feel plastic and shows that are filled with hollow arrogance. Episodes like “Times arrow”, “Q Who”, “Who Watches the Watchers” and “The Neutral Zone” all have examples of this.
    What should have happened?
    I really wish that the show had investigated the underbelly of society more. It would have made the program feel more real and authentic. Again, this is one of the reasons I love DS9, where “all the problems haven't been solved yet” and “those same friendly, intelligent, wonderful people will become as nasty and violent as the most bloodthirsty Klingon.”

    3) Its lack of vision
    Star Trek loves to see itself as progressive and challenging society’s boundaries. However, when it comes to the portrayal of women, TNG lets down the game. Compare the roles and characterization of Troi and Crusher on TNG to Dax and Kira in DS9 and Janeway and Torres on Voyager. Troi and Crusher lesser characters. They have little power and are not essential to many of the main story lines.
    What should have happened?
    How about Crusher taking charge of missions more often. How does a female Doctor run a starship? What mistakes do inexperienced bridge officers make and how do they improve? Now that would be interesting!
    Why not make Troi an expert at going into hostile environments and using her interpersonal skills and wits to complete her missions? Why not allow her to use her intuition to find creative solutions that the Data’s of the world cannot discover? Now that be interesting!

    Thanks again everyone. Live long and prosper

    Asher, great comment - I agree with everything you said, especially concerning the Troi and Crusher characters.

    The irony with Crusher is that it might have been the actress's fault all along. She was just incredibly weak. As soon as they brought Mulder in as Pulawski in season 2 suddenly there was just this air of authority and energy that was lacking with McFadden. I didn't always approve of Pulawski's borderline bigotry toward Data, but at least she took a stand. She believed in something! And she had character. Opinions.

    The writing in Season 2 wasn't always the strongest so we will never know what Pulawski would have become had she made it out of the desert into the prime seasons. But I personally think she would have evolved into a core character, at least as strong as Worf or Riker. But we got more of McFadden.... sigh...

    Regarding Troi, the squandered potential beggars belief. With maybe a tiny handful of exceptions, Troi barely contributed at all. At all! They had an empath on board and all they could do with her in 7 seasons is feel the obvious and spout her inane psychobabble like some 2-bit therapist charging $80 an hour. It's like if Data really was the ship's bartender (a la conundrum) and they really just kept him in Ten Forward the whole series.

    The weird thing is that Sirtis really had it in her to do better. With Troi I truly think it was a writing, rather than acting issue. They had an empath and for 7 seasons it's like no one knew what to do with her. She was the Android tending bar. Ugh.

    Asher0208 I agree with many of your favorites though I think season two had many classics like “Q Who”, “Contagion”, “Elementary, My Dear Data” and “Peak Performance”. Even clunky episodes like “Samaritan Snare” have their charm.

    “It is fairly obvious that a guiding premise of Star Trek is that atheism is true and a humanistic outlook in life is to be desired.”

    Are you certain? Putting Gene’s personal beliefs aside, I think Trek leaves it open to the viewer. There is a tendency for religious folks to see episodes like “Who Watch the Watchers” and come to the conclusion that Star Trek is anti-religious, when really the episode was acutely cautioning against false religion creating a Dark Age.

    Re: McFadden

    I think she’s underrated. Sure, she’s certainly no McCoy, but she did the play the voice of science and reason in a believability humanitarian way.

    Asher0208’s post touched on some long-held feelings about TNG I’ve had. If I had to describe TNG in 1 word it would be “inconsistent”.

    While TNG produced some of the worst Trek ever (Seasons 1&2 in aggregate), it also reached the highest of Trek highs (something VOY, ENT, DSC could not reach). I think what makes TNG their favorite among a lot of fans is episodes like BoBW, “The Inner Light” and “All Good Things…” — that and growing up watching it as their first intro to Trek. But it also did some world-building and told wonderful stories like the Klingon arc that starts with “Sins of the Father”. Of course, introducing the Borg was brilliant — simply the best villains Trek ever came up with. But on the other hand, its inconsistency came out in spades in Season 7.

    Asher0208’s discussion on atheism is pretty much spot on. But I do believe Trek mostly tried to be agnostic about faith in the divine/atheism overall. While TNG leaned toward atheism, DS9 (being sort of the antithesis of TNG) went the other way by presenting a more balanced argument. It wasn’t flawless but it was an attempt at balance.

    But as Asher0208 rightly says, faith in God is a driving force for good in our society while atheism mostly isn’t. I’d say it totally isn’t. Ultimately when humans don’t believe in God, they believe they should have dominion over other humans — and that is wrong. When humans don’t believe in God, they have no reason to have good morals. So we often see advanced cultures on Trek but their development is an after-thought. TNG was particularly poor in this area because it’s main thing is being science fiction — another way DS9 did a 180 from it. DS9 wasn’t great for science fiction but instead focused on world building. Ultimately, it wound up being more consistently compelling.

    And finally about Crusher and Troi — again this is TNG’s hallmark of inconsistency — inconsistency in the main cast. With a giant like Stewart and capable actors like Frakes and Spiner, TNG also had bottom-of-the-barrel McFadden and Sirtis. Admittedly the writing wasn’t great for either of these 2, but neither was the acting. I much prefer Muldaur/Pulaski over McFadden/Crusher. I like Asher0208’s idea for improving Troi.

    Omg I remember my anticipation for this episode! Sitting there in my room and pressing play on my DVD player was a moment I'll never forget. It was a little anticlimactic I think *only because it was meant to be to usher in the movies* but all in all a pretty great episode. (And let's be honest here definitely better than Nemesis ending wise. And in every aspect for that matter) I was dreading watching it because I didn't want the show to end but I knew It had to. Senile Picard was so sad, married Geordi was cute (Leah?) Captain Beverly was cool and omg Data with a dozen cats!! ^-^ I always knew he'd go down that road.

    Regarding what Asher said earlier religion really is a driving force for our society and I doubt it's just gonna go away because we met up with some aliens in the future. In fact I would think religion would be pretty popular in Star Trek time because of all the crazy stuff they've seen. They have plenty of reason to believe in a higher power. They've literally met gods before! (Q, various TOS weirdos) I'm just saying I really admire Gene R's view of the future but the "no religion" thing really bugged me.

    Also Troi and Crusher were pretty sadly underused. Troi is just the most useless annoying character I've ever seen. You could tell she really didn't have any idea what she was doing. Crusher was pretty poor as well, but not as much. And honestly, I'll take a boring Dr. Beverly over an evil Pulaski any day.

    Real quick because I cant resist:

    Picard: Sir Patrick Stewart is a real king and his character is very admirable but I think the early seasons just kinda ruined him for me. Later Picard can be downright badass but Early Picard needs to get off his high horse.

    Riker: dude, this guy. I never really liked Riker he's just so shamelessly Kirk. Although for me Kirk did have some admirable moments despite being a ladie's man but Riker was just weird. That grin of his made me want to punch him so hard too many times.

    Data: without a doubt the greatest character to ever be created right along Spock. His innocence and obvious humanity (which he is oblivious to) is just so appealing I could go on about him for hours. He is just the sweetest man. Not to mention Brent Spiner did him so much more than justice.

    Geordi: he could have been somebody but he was reduced to the nerd boy who's really awkward around girls. Idk I feel like he's really likable but they didn't really give him a chance.

    Worf: I love Worf. Maybe not as much as I love Data or Spock but Worf is runner up in the awkward outsider character field. He's funny and cool *when he's not getting his butt kicked of course* but I'm just a sucker for the outsider characters. They remind me of me.

    Beverly: yeah kind of a waste but she had potential. I think her relationship with Picard was the main thing she had going for her and it was interesting to see but she could have been given more.

    Troi: oh dear. She was just so useless! "I sense the Romulan commander is very anxious" yeah you mean because we have like all our phasers and torpedoes aimed at him? Who would have guessed.

    Tasha: she had potential. But no. All she did was wine and cry and seduce innocent Pinocchios into her bedroom and I just couldn't stand her.

    Wesley: boy am I glad they canned this little brat.

    Pulaski: she doesn't even belong on the list but if i must then she is terrible and was a horribly written and mean spirited character who made season 2 worse than season 1. Somehow.

    Wow it looks like Data really is the only reason I watch this show. I love Star Trek with a burning passion but dang, those characters. Sometimes they just disappointed beyond belief.

    0ct 2019. JAMMER lives! Found Tos at 11. Gave me interest in science and yea even sf, philospophy/religion and histoty at impressional young age. Gotme into the amazing 1880s to 1950s great sf short stories (wells to simak). And then Tos tepreats when i hit pubertly...well u can imagine....the wimminnnn...
    Then "got a life" and only saw bits and pieces of tng. But now att 55 watched all tng for fitrsytime toghether with jammer (found bu mistake) and reviewl family here :)
    Brilliant and funny pro/anti discussions and about good/bad sci, acting, resets vs arcs, religion/atheiest, and loads of interestil trivia about actors orher roles and silly mistakes.
    An honour to find an read this site.
    My humble opiion? Tos/Tng is hokum, but the best entertaining hukum thats ever been on tv, with the odd episode reaching levels of serious sf that makes up for the occasional but still entertaining dross. :) 10/10
    Any now for ds9 and voy, which ive seen the odd one before, but looked like feckin shite. But at my age, im goonna give em a try. Never too old to learn.....any good rewiew sites fot them?
    Hey Jammer and all ur repliers, "go raibh math agut", yez made tng a much better experience to watch. "Go neridh an bothar a chairde". Try the univeral transaltor on that folks. Hint its celtic Irish.

    Welcome aboard 'Smells like tng spirit'!!

    You'll find this is quite a chatty bunch and Jammer's reviews are always insightful. :-)

    And so, we come to the end - and in many ways, we find ourselves back full circle to the first episode of the first series, with characters and plot threads from the first encounter with Q returning. And Q in particular stood out, restored to the cruelly satirical omnipotent being of the first episode rather than the occasionally comedic character from later episodes.

    It all works impressively well - perhaps surprisingly so, given how weak much of series seven was, and considering that much of the studio's resources were already being ploughed into the first TNG movie.

    Quite possibly the finest TNG episode ever made.

    As ever, there are some weaknesses - such as the gaping plot hole around the way future-Enterprise returns to find the anti-time rupture growing forward in time.

    And at least personally, it's a shame the writers once more blithely ignored the civilian contingent aboard the Enterprise, not least because it could have made for a nice callback to Troi's struggle with the command exam a few episodes eaelier; where she had to sacrifice a crew mate to save a ship; Picard had to sacrifice a ship (or several versions thereof) to save humanity.

    But still, this capped TNG off near perfectly.

    I just rewatched this episode and even after 25 years it holds up remarkably well. How it came together sandwiched between a mediocre season and movie, we'll never know. A classic.

    I was never able to get in to TNG. I liked TOS, but TNG wasn't the same: no Spock, Bones or Scotty. So I never watched TNG when it first played.

    About 5 or 6 years ago, during a bout of insomnia, I rose from bed and flicked on the telly. Channel surfing in the midnight hour I found that one of the free-to-air channels was broadcasting repeats of TNG. So I watched it. This happened again a week later, and again later ... and I was hooked.

    I bought a couple of DVD box sets of the early seasons, and recorded the night-time broadcasts for later viewing. After a while the missus got a Netflix subscription and I used this to watch episodes from the later seasons on an occasional basis. Very early on I googled "Star trek reviews" and found this site. It has become my regular habit to browse this site after watching each episode to read Jammer's insightful reviews and to take in the comments made by other fans.

    Today - at last - I watched this final episode, thereby completing the entire history of the TNG series. Now I've read the final one of Jammer's reviews.

    My sincere thanks to you Jammer for your devotion to this site, your passion for the TNG series and the quality of your reviews. My further thanks to all who read this site and comment here.

    @William B: "I agree with what everyone says about Leah Brahms. This should have been a sign to Picard that the future can't be the way things *actually* end up. "


    PICARD: So, you've heard?
    LAFORGE: Leah's got a few friends at Starfleet Medical. Word gets around.'
    PICARD: (frowns).....Leah?
    PICARD: Computer, Halt Program! Computer, End Program!
    LAFORGE: Captain, you remember Leah, my wife. She's just been made director of the Daystrom Institute.
    PICARD: And people say I'M the one losing touch with reality.
    LAFORGE: No, sir, it's not like that. We're really married, we have several children together.
    PICARD: (considers Geordi's words carefully, then turns angry).....Q! This has gone on long enough! Dammit, Q, show yourself!

    A few responses to Asher's comments:

    1) "Religion in general and Christianity in particular has been a driving force for good in our society."

    -This site isn't big enough to detail all the atrocities great and small perpetuted by religious zealots, or those done supposedly in service of a religious doctrine or in the name of some deity.

    A lot of the historical people you cited for the positive reforms and scientific advancements they promoted became facmous because they themselves were suppressed, denigrated by, or driven to overcome the prevailing harsher/ignorant societal beliefs of the era which were often heavily rooted in religious dogma, and Christianity in particular.

    Your inclusion of William Wilberforce in your list is an interesting double-edged sword for this discussion. A man whose Christian faith inspired his drive to abolish slavery (and also eliminate the printing of newspapers on Sundays), a peculiar institution for which its proponents cited the same scriptures to justify (often declaring the non-Christian indigenous peoples they encoutered to be heathens). Wilberforce himself supported Church missionary activities in foreign lands and specifically worked for the religious "improvement" of the barbaric Hindus in India, exhibiting the same evangelical religious motivations in support of colonialism that those before him used in support of slavery.

    2) "I also note that while there have been plenty noble atheists, there also have been more than enough mass murdering atheistic despots around. Therefore, it would be a stretch to say that the world will be automatically better off when it is run by scientific atheists."

    -If you're referring to the mass-murdering despots I think you are referring to, I would argue they were actually quite religious, they merely sought to replace the worship of some other deity and adherence to a text with worship of themselves and their own teachings. North Korea, for example, isn't an atheistic culture....they have worked very hard to turn the Kim family into divine Gods (and demanded that they and their teachings be followed, religiously) so that the people will accept whatever their leader tells them without challenge (aka "blasphemy").

    Rather than go deeper into a "both sides" argument, or get into a pissing match over which one is worse, I will simply offer my agreement that the world will not just be automatically better off when it is run by scientific atheists. Humans are flawed beings with great potential for destruction and misery. We can certainly use religion and claims of God's support to further destructive ends; but greed, selfishness, and a desire to harm/conquer/control others are not the sole province of religion (nor does religious faith act as the sole barrier to such behaviors).

    3) "So, how would an atheistic world improve itself if there are no religious influences to drive progress?"

    -On a scientific level....either simple curiosity or necessity are fairly strong motivators to drive progress. Human scientific advancement predates any known organized religion, and there are plenty of discoveries or inventions where religion had little to no role.

    "What is the air made of?" "How can I get harvest cotton more efficiently?" "Are there any Earth-like planets around other stars?" "I want to record sounds for future use, but how?" The people who tried to answer these questions and/or invent new tools may have held varying beliefs in a deity, but I see little evidence that faith in an unseeable unknowable deity is a necessary requirement for a person in a rainstorm to be motivated to invent a functional umbrella.

    Every single one of my children noticed at an early age that objects fall to the floor when dropped. They all seemed extremely curious as to why that is, and on their omnipotent deities need apply. If anything, belief in a god and/or adherence to a religious belief which claims to alreday have the answer ("God did it!") can stunt progress (and many times has).

    As for societal progress.....the fact there are so many different societies with differing religious views should make it clear that faith in a god is not required.
    How does a religious world influence progress? Obviously, through the stories it tells through its books, myths, legends...stories with a compelling series of fictional characters whose parables are retold in ways befitting our current lives. Given that peoples from ALL socities and religious bents have found their own paths forward, it is clear that there is no one specific set of stories or faith in specific mythological characters to which one must adhere for progress to be inspired.

    Stories of spacemen traveling the stars and talking to aliens or jumping through time can be no less influential than stories of men defeating great giants or living in the belly of a whale or talking to a magical bush. Humans grow and build societies and personal values around the stories we hear as children and share and retell as adults. There are many great legends and works of literature that inspire progress, they there is no prescription for what those stories must be, nor a requirement that such inspirational stories MUST contain a deity that every reader puts blind trust in and must actively continue to worship after they close the book.

    Finding this website has been really nice on my rewatch of TNG! I could never intrest anyone i know IRL in star trek so i always felt lonely enjoying these fansastic series. But reading these reviews and the comments after each episode gave me a sence of community. So i want to thank you, Jammer, for your wonderful website and also to some of the commenters i tended to look up and read every time by their names: William B, SkepticalMI, Elliot and Luke. I cant stress enough how i enjoyed your thought out critiques and disscussions on almost every page. Thank you again.

    Favorite TNG episodes:

    10. Skin Of Evil
    9. Dark Page
    8. Conspiracy
    7. The Best Of Both Worlds
    6. Yesterday's Enterprise
    5. The Inner Light
    4. Reunion
    3. Q Who?
    2. The Offspring
    1. The Most Toys

    Least favorite TNG episodes:

    10. The Child
    9. Masks
    8. Emergence
    7. Force Of Nature
    6. The Naked Now
    5. The Royale
    4. Interface
    3. Shades Of Gray
    2. Loud As A Whisper
    1. Hide And Q

    The final scene is great, but aside from that this finale is a big snoozer IMO. This is just my personal preference but I really don't like stories where there's A Thing happening, and the protagonist knows about the Thing and the audience knows about the Thing, but nobody else believes them so 75% of the story is treading water until the other characters wise up to what the audience has known from the beginning. There is appeal in peering into the future and seeing where the TNG crew wound up, but not enough to make up for how much of a rote slog the main plot is. I'll take the DS9 finale any day, warts and all. At least I didn't know exactly where that was going to end up.

    Brilliant. I couldn't imagine a more fitting finale to the whole series. I well remember watching this back in 1994, but I'd forgotten how good it was.

    I started watching them all through again in March 2019, never having watched any of them for years, many years in some cases (and never in others). I definitely feel that my Star Trek TNG Odyssey had a good send-off this evening - and since some of the episodes in the last couple of series have been pretty awful, I'm glad about that.

    I watched this in January 2021, not much less than 27 years after it was shown - so there was a certain resonance for me in that the "future" events here were supposed to have taken place 25 years after the crew were "all together on the Enterprise", in Picard's words when he meets Geordi. Then again 'Nemesis' was supposed to have taken place 9 years after the last events of the TV series, but anyway - interesting to see how everyone had aged in real life compared to their artificially aged characters. I have to say that Future Riker doesn't look a lot like Frakes in the present day, but there's only so much you can do I guess! And that's not a complaint, although I did laugh when the old boy appeared on screen.

    They could have made Geordi's hair a bit whiter. Age is kind to him. But you know what they say - the black don't crack.

    Er, anyway - I was truly, properly drawn in to this one and the 90 minutes flew past. But as much as I was intrigued and immersed in the story, I was touched by the way it worked as a sentimental conclusion to the whole TNG TV journey - never becoming too mawkish or cloying. Even the Worf / Troi / Riker subplot didn't annoy me.

    Tasha looks a few years older than she did in the first series of course, but at the same time she'd started to look delightfully milfy by 1994, so I could certainly forgive that. And I was really happy to see her included here. I suppose it's a shame that Wesley couldn't have had another run out.

    The scenes in which Picard, as a new captain, appears to his new crew to be more or less incompetent are embarrassing, aren't they? And of course he does get them killed. But in a very good cause, of course. And I enjoyed the tension of the new crew wondering if their new captain was actually up to the job.

    The idea of bookending the whole 7 series with the Q courtroom conceit was brilliant - really gives emphasis to the finale as a retrospective. And I loved the way Q put that dramatic emphasis on the word 'trek'.

    And I loved seeing Earth at the time of the very dawn of life. I often think about that moment when the protein, or RNA molecule, or whatever, formed. And I wonder where it happened. Might even have been in my back garden.

    Beverley asks for "milk, warm, with a dash of nutmeg". But she doesn't say "cow's milk". It would have been quite funny if the replicator had given her dog's milk.

    It lasts longer than any other milk, dog's milk. No bugger'll drink it. Plus of course the advantage of dog's milk is that when it goes off, it tastes exactly the same as when it's fresh.

    A couple of nit-picks, though. I don't really buy the idea of anti-time healing people's injuries and reversing pregnancies, while life appears to go on as normal, clocks tick, conversations take place in the usual linear fashion, etc, etc. There was no real need for it as a plot device and it was nonsensical.

    It's odd that Riker is prepared to blow up Klingon warships just to help out his old captain. Really? He's supposed to be a Starfleet Admiral.

    But I readily forgive the flaws because this was a colossal 90 minutes of telly. Wonderful.

    Well I think I'll watch them all again in ten year's time, but for now - adios.

    @James G
    >It lasts longer than any other milk, dog's milk. No bugger'll drink it. .

    Classic Red Dwarf joke from Holly. Are you British?

    As for the episode: 7/10, always nice to see Q (except for that lousy DS9 one, "Q-Less").

    Don't think I'd seen it since it first aired, and shit! It was as awesome as I had recalled. And that final scene... As Monsieur Picard gazes round the poker table, the look of almost fatherly pride, admiration and love towards his crew mates.... Perfect finale. Too bad they ran the franchise into the ground with bloody Voyager and Enterprise.

    I agree that the cause of the anomaly in FuturePicard's time frame was screwed up. Not sure how they could have fixed that plot hole when each individual Picard was moving forward through time in that time frame.

    Perhaps the Pasteur could have encountered a *tiny* anomaly, probed it -- without helping to cause it, since the Pasteur's inverted tachyon pulse had a different energy signature -- and then the Riker-led Enterprise could return at Picard's insistence to see what had happened ... to find it to be even tinier. They'd then re-probe with the Enterprise's inverted tachyon beam, and cause the anomaly, while thinking (since they're moving forward through time) that they'd closed it.

    But then there'd be no point when FuturePicard would need the static warp bubble, so that still doesn't work.

    If they stole part of the plot of Time and Again, Picard's traveling could tell him that the FuturePicard's use of an inverted tachyon pulse would cause the problem he was trying to fix, so then he could decide to switch to a static warp bubble around a small, and apparently shrinking anomaly.

    Definitely worse than the end of Voyager. Time warps and Q trials and Picard tending vines and Geordie with silver eyes popping in out of the blue and Data with skunk coloured hair ( that grumpy housekeeper is the only authentic note here) a Laucasian professor at Cambridge, and Beverly with a crepe neck captaining the "Pasteur" (seriously?) and Deanna in pink like a toddler arguing with Worf about the exact feeling of their holodeck experience, yeah, that relationship is gonna go far....
    I'm gonna stop myself right here. The episode tries to be all things to all people and it ends up being nothing very much at all.
    Goodbye and good riddance to 7 years of puerile dross but for a very very very few shining moments briefer than that of Camelot.

    One of, if not the very best, final episodes in tv history. You couldn't ask for a show to go out on a higher note than this.

    Great to see your fans coming back already to post in 2021! Presumably like me, having watched Star Trek:Picard series 1 (Remembrance episode).
    Re-watched this TNG finale episode more than once on dvd past decades - always enjoyed All Good Things.
    Highlights: Picard in his vineyard, Data the Cambridge professor and card playing scene.
    Why wasn't Guinan in those Ten Forward scenes? must be a backstory to it (like why Kirsten Alley was replaced in ST movies).
    Big fan of Whoopi G.

    The mystery shouldn't be very challenging for experienced Starfleet explorers or genre-savvy viewers.

    For anyone nit-picking the anti-time plot - remember the whole thing was almost certainly a Q construct, and he was probably making up the rules as he went along.

    "The trial never ends...." - Q, from the end of this episode and now the Season 2 trailer for Star Trek


    And with a snap of his fingers .....disco and picard never happened

    One of the best Series Finales in TV history (right up there with Babylon 5).

    I really enjoyed this finale. It was a great mystery and it was also great to see all our characters future, present, and past. And then the finale scene. So bittersweet.

    Thank you for all your reviews. I read all of them but did not comment on them all. I binged watched TNG (after TOS) and now its on to DS9.

    My season rankings:


    @Matt B

    No question TNG's series finale is the best in Trek but I find it interesting that you think B5's "Sleeping in Light" is at that level. Re. the B5 series finale, I liked it and felt it did its job well, it hit all the right nostalgic notes but it almost didn't feel like an episode -- just kind of felt like an epilogue. I suppose that's one way of doing a series finale, but I was thinking there should have been some tension / plot, as is the case in "All Good Things...". I was a tad disappointed that Londo had already passed and wasn't part of the series finale. No mention of G'Kar either.

    I'd also that add that I almost completely agree with your TNG season rankings. The only change I'd make is to rank S5 ahead of S4. Everything else I agree with.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this double episode and found I had forgotten much of it. Now I'm a bit sad that my journey through all of TNG after many years is over. It's not something that I will probably ever repeat (especially with as many "wow, I barely remember this" moments and perhaps too many "eeks, I do remember this and wish I could skip it" moments). This website has been a great companion to my re-watch. It has enriched the experience many times over. Indeed, it's even made some of those "eeks" moments more tolerable.

    Next, perhaps, DS9. If I dare. For me that will almost be like a new series as I never got into it before (I did try way back when it was originally aired). We'll see, but after a bit of a break at least.

    Seems Jonathan was too old, chubby, and whiskery to play his Season One self...we only see him in stock footage from Season One with some dubbing when he had to say something, new..

    Jammer has said it all. Good review and only my own thoughts to add.

    1. Geordi did NOT marry Leah Brahms! She was already ‘married with kids’ and was - IIRC - quite a bit older than the young, immature Geordi. My take? He met another Leah (Lia? Li’Ah?) and the immature Geordi fell for the name, the memories. Then a more mature Geordi fell in love with the actual person, and eventually married her.

    2. I’m glad they gave some thought to reproducing the details of the early TNG - uniforms (the micro-miniskirts lol), Data being less ‘human’ and more inquisitive on a literal level, etc. It made the time shift back more convincing somehow.

    3. So glad they acknowledged fans’ obsession with the constant ‘babble’. Someone (Q?) even specifically referred to Troi’s “psychobabble”! And at another point someone (Picard?) interrupted a flow of technobabble by saying “Spare me the details - just do it”.

    4. I loved the very last line (Jammer missed this one?): Picard, referring to the poker game, says “The sky’s the limit”. But as well as the game, the line also took in the whole mission of Star Trek, and even gave a nod to NASA. Yes, the sky really is the limit and TNG gave us an ‘anything goes’ philosophy. Farewell then, Enterprise D - see you in the cinema…


    I’m also moving on to DS9. I just hope Netflix don’t cancel it like they’ve done with Discovery. 😢

    @Tidd, Paramount has been pulling Treks off streamers such as Netflix and Amazon as their licenses expire to put them on their Paramount+ service.

    They're all gone from Prime and right now Netflix still has TNG and DS9 for who knows how long.

    I'm personally rather skeptical this will work and suspect it'll actually damage Trek in the long run because its always been freely broadcast somewhere. While there is a large number of dedicated fans, I think a much larger percent of viewers are casual.

    I'm just not convinced many people will actually seek it out because the premise is actually not an easy sell.

    Aside from that, when are we going to get actual new Star Trek? TNG first broadcast 18 years after TOS ended. Since TNG ended, all we have is TNG era sequels and prequels.

    I'm not super prone to "Hollywood is out of ideas" territory because it easily gets into "when I was your age/get off my lawn territory, but that certainly seems true of Trek.

    Wow, what a journey watching this series turned out to be!

    It took me some 10 years from start to finish to finally watch all the episodes of TNG (With a pause in the middle to watch the totality of TOS and its movies) and here we are!

    I've read all of the TNG reviews and most of the comments over the years, it's been a great companion piece of entertainment, even more so when the episodes turned out to be really bad, sometimes the talk after was way more fun than the episode itself.

    So, thank you for all the discussion all of you: Jammer, of course (love your writing style!). William B, Patrick, Grumpy and a long list of other names that elude me now, but I read it all. It's been a lot of fun.

    Now, as for my rating of the whole series, I'd say Season 1 is really bad, season 2 is still not acceptable but improved a whole lot, S3 through 5 are amazing, S6 is good but started to decay a little and season 7 was almost unwatchable again. My favorite season is 4. But there are fantastic episodes all around the series.

    So, this is it!

    Now I need to watch the TNG films and start with Deep Space 9, a series I've been meaning to watch for some time now. Will read all of your reviews as I do so.


    I loved this finale as a kid, but it landed with a surprisingly dull thud as an adult.

    The entire plot is basically a section of a temporal physics textbook that Data “reads ahead” from every 30 minutes or so. I’m pretty sure there are at least 5 plot moments where all hope is lost, no options are present, and Data says “but maybe..if…”

    Deus ex machina episodes aren’t bad because of the feature, but a plot device overdone stands out as obvious. Picard didn’t save humanity at all. He just listened to an android and acted as a communicator to other time periods. The real solution here was created by the Data’s in all three timelines.

    Shared the cringe over Leah and Geordie, and sorry to say, I’m pretty sure they meant THE Leah. What are the odds that Geordie would find another Leah so brilliant to be director/chair of Daystrom or whatever. I suspect we are asked to believe that is a very prestigious position worthy of the famous Leah Brahms.

    Something I didn’t see mentioned was the odd and jarring campy acting of Romulan Commander Tomolok. It was the same actor, but his mannerism are cranked up so high to be comical. Took me way out of the scene, and I just decided it didn’t happen.

    Enjoyed the card game at the end, it was a nice coda for the series. But overall, All Good Things is up there with the worst of techno-babble episodes. The plot bounces predictably between everyone being scared and Data making a discovery, then repeat.

    Well, gosh...

    Okay, here's what: As I may have written in one of the early episode reviews, I used to worship T.N.G. It aired when I was in grade school. I even skipped a couple classes (gym, of course) to catch the latest episode. I had a silly crush on Tasha and on Troi (speaking as a 42-year-old now, I can't understand the former; DEFINITELY get the latter!). Like Rikko above, T.N.G. was my first love. I tried T.O.S. but really disliked it; after T.N.G. it seemed just... - primitive and unimaginative. I liked Voyager, probably BECAUSE of the "technobabble" (I mean, it's a sci-fi show, for crying out loud, which means FICTIONAL SCIENCE is going to take center stage...DUH!). I never tried D.S.9 although I'll give it a go in a few days. (I guess I'll just fast-forward through the scenes with Caryn "Whoopi Goldberg" Johnson). BTW, Battlestar Galactica is AWESOME: THE best sci-fi show ever made, hands-down.

    The above is by way of some kind of a personal epilogue on the matter. I'm pretty sure I'm never going to watch T.N.G. in my life again so it felt fitting to contextualize it somehow.

    Anyway, so, this finale... It was okay, but not spectacular. If it had have been a regular episode, I'd say it's a three, maybe 3-1/2, star-worthy. It was good to see Tasha and Chief O'Brien again, heartbreaking when the Japanese chick lost her baby, and delightful though with a tinge of sadness to witness our characters in old age. It was all done well, the story was good, and both the "sci" and the "fi" hit the spot. I didn't descry any deeper meaning or profound truths from it but that's fine by me. A show doesn't necessarily have to make me think and ponder higher planes of consciousness than mere entertainment.

    I guess, therefore, it's a 4-starrer, but only because it's the show's finale.

    Good bye, The Next Generation. You will always have a special place in my heart...

    Something occurred to me about the time shifting while all three Enterprises were inside the anomaly together. For one, thing, I had been thinking of the time shifting as Picard's consciousness jumping through time, which has the feeling of being quite far away. And yet when the Enterprises are together, this jumping would be almost immediately nearby. And the reason they're together is because a spatial phenomenon has rendered the 'gap' between them convergent. Or perhaps it dissolves whatever facade makes things appear to us to be a gap. Either way, the technologies used to create the anomaly seem to be actually related to the time shifting Q thrust on Picard in order for him to create the anomaly in the first place. Q gave Picard the chance to simultaneously be in three time periods at once, even in three different places at once, and presumably in each time period Picard's presence there is 'complete', meaning it's not like someone else takes over while his consciousness is away. He fully lives out all three lives during the episode. And once he's created the anomaly and brought the Enterprises into it, he's created a situation where all three times and places are in one time and place - the inverse of the time shifting. In effect, it seems that Q has helped Picard see in some sense how the Q might be able to effectively manipulate time and space. We certainly don't know anything about whatever power source the Q use, or the mechanism they use to alter reality, but even with the Enterprise's equipment Picard is able to begin to do what the Q do, in messing with time, repairing it, and seeing past the limitation of being in only one place and time. Picard needed to keep in mind three times and positions when making any decision in any of the time frames, and I imagine the Q have to do this but for near-infinite time frames and positions. The intelligence requirement is higher, but it may be analogous at least to what Picard was doing the whole time. In effect, I think what Q was doing was not just testing humanity in some arbitrary way, but in fact testing whether Picard could think specifically like a Q, and whether he could use techniques the Q use, albeit on a more simple basis. It's almost like this lesson is about the Q as much as it's about what humans are capable of, which is why it's such a vexing move on the part of the writer/director to have Q lean in to whisper the secret to Picard, only to change his mind and tell him he'll find out. And it made it sound an awful lot like Picard himself will find out, not just humanity.

    One side-note regarding the anti-time anomaly: it's true that Picard's decisions in the three time frames caused the anomaly, but in all three cases he never would have done anything had it not been for Data giving him suggestions that both ended up causing it and finally repairing it. Left to his own devices Picard would never have done any of that stuff. So maybe there's something in there regarding artificial intelligence being the supplier of both potential doom and potential salvation of humanity. Maybe it's just a quirk of the writing since Data is central to a lot of the science writing on TNG, but maybe we're also to think about the possibility that humanity gets where it finally needs to get with help, such as from AI, or even from Q. Heck, for all we know the Q aren't evolved sentient organic beings after all but in fact evolved sentient AI.

    Just watched this one again. Shame Tasha Yar‘s role wasn’t fleshed out a bit more, Denise Crosby did seem more comfortable with the part here and with what we saw in ‘Yesterday’s Enterprise’ I think given the right material Yar would’ve gone on to become a much better character. In my opinion she gets a lot of unfair criticism, yes she wasn’t the strongest in the first season but let’s face it, no one covered themselves in glory much to start with. And I doubt ‘Code of Honor’ would have been any better if it had been an Riker or Worf episode.

    Rewatched this ep after watching the first episodes of Picard Season 3 to satisfy my curiosity of some of the criticisms of that series, and I have to say the future TNG crew in All Good Things isn’t too far off from the reunited crew in Picard S3. Grumpy Jean-Luc verbally sparring with Riker, Worf with gray hair, etc. Too bad they already dealt with Q in Picard Season 2, it would have been more fun to see him interact again with the older TNG crew, especially given the ending of this series finale.

    Keep in mind that the Picard in this episode is not the one in ST:Picard. The one in all good things is already close to being senile because of that brain disease. The Picard in ST Picard season 3 is a robot who does not have the brain disease.

    @Booming, yes, of course, very true. It just seems to me they took some cues from AGT in the current incarnation of Picard S3. The whole thing’s a mess right now with the synthetic Picard—why anyone thought that was a good idea is baffling to me. But I digress… 😊

    HOW did the writers leave such an obvious flaws with the Pasteur creating the third beam in the future and NOT the Future Enterprise ?? IS THERE a way to reconcile this?? Are the proposed resolutions in the comments valid??

    I just rewatched this for the first time in over a decade. It really is an almost perfect episode, and is a perfect finale for the show. There are things I could nitpick, like the fact that they shouldn't have been able to see the anomaly after they sent it backwards through time. But time-travel plots always have holes; the key is to keep the story engaging enough that you don't mind, and this does that.

    When I saw it back in the day, I had gotten tired of the way TNG had become The Picard Show in the last few seasons. I prefered when it was more of an ensemble, and I was a Riker fan, he being closer to my age. So when this one started with Picard running around in his jammies and was clearly all about him, that soured me at first. But future-Riker was great, swooping in from beneath the Klingons and "getting their attention" by blasting them to bits.

    Now that I'm older and have more of an appreciation for the Picard character, the focus on him doesn't bug me here, so it's all good. My one remaining small sour note is that Picard and Beverly married and divorced. If you're going to throw a bone to the shippers by saying they got married in (one possible) future, why not just have them be married? Bev can still be captaining the Pasteur for short hops near Earth and coming home on weekends or whatever, and Picard still has to convince her to go on the mission. Literally nothing has to change except that one line. It just seems very 90s to make them divorced. But also very TNG, I suppose: no one ever did have a lasting romance unless you count the O'Briens.

    I say, the final episode! I've made it all the way through. I must say, the boy Picard was in fine form having to remember three sets of lines! I hope he was paid three times as much! And I'm glad to see the lovely ladies of Trek aging like a fine wine!

    I must admit to shedding a manly tear at the end, blubbed into my handkerchief and then the fur of William. Silly cat thought it was raining!

    I concur with all (including Jammer) who have said that we prefer the future vision of Data given here to what Nemesis inflicted on us. Using contractions in a way that still sounds a little artificial somehow, living in a centuries-old house with a holographic fireplace and as many cats as it will hold, a "distinguished" touch of gray in his hair, and a post as an Oxford professor. It all works for me, much better than … well, what Nemesis gave us.

    Hypothetical butterfly effect aside, I don't see how knowledge of the future given in this episode would have led instead to the future Nemesis created, the one we've had to live with.

    For those old enough to have seen TOS before TNG aired, Q's criticism of Picard is EXACTLY the grief TNG got back in its first 3 seasons, that TNG wasn't real Trek.

    It's so meta, it HAD to be intentional. The focus on Riker's career, the very existence of Deanna. Q even says the word "Trek".

    Excellent review. I've just done a rewatch of TNG, having not fully watched it all since its original airing. The whole series holds up, and then some. Thank you for the insightful and though-provoking reviews!

    >It's so meta, it HAD to be intentional.

    PICARD: Guilty of what?
    Q: Of being inferior. Seven years ago I said we'd be watching you, and we have been, hoping that your ape-like race would demonstrate some growth, give some indication that your minds have room for expansion. But what have we seen instead? You worrying about Commander Riker's career, listening to Counsellor Troi's pedantic psychobabble, indulging Data in his witless exploration of humanity.
    PICARD: We've journeyed to countless new worlds, we've contacted new species, we have expanded our understanding of the universe.
    Q: In your own paltry, limited way. You have no idea how far you still have to go. But instead of using the last seven years to change and to grow, you have squandered them.

    This seems a bit meta to me, like Q is speaking as the viewers of the show and telling the producers that they screwed up. I can easily imagine the writers/producers looking up reviews of TNG upon usenet in the early 1990s and coming across angry reviews made by some butthurt TOS fans who stated TNG failed to live up to it's potential.

    (I only just read your comment after coming to a similar conclusion).

    A lovely finale for sure. Not much to say after all the comments. I did find amusing how absolutely dependent on Data Picard became to solve this thing. This happens in several episodes but in here it got to the point where everybody else felt pretty much useless and absent for the most part, which is usually not the case. Regardless, I enjoyed this episode a great deal. And there it is, I've watched every single TNG episode. Began watching it 08/18/20 and very slowly, over the course of 3 years, went through it. Finished it last night, 12/08/23.

    Where to now? I've read very bad things about the movies so I don't feel like watching those for now. Maybe I'll try to watch the original series next.

    @ newbie86,

    It is not at all a bad idea to consider All Good Things to be the conclusion of the TNG era. You'd do better IMO to leave it at that!

    And I personally cannot recommend TOS enough.

    Jammer has a good grasp on TNG, so I’d go with the ones he likes. First Contact is good.

    But yes, if you haven’t seen TOS you’re in for a real treat!

    @Peter G.

    Thank you, I'll be watching TOS now. Just finished the first episode. Btw I forgot to say how much I appreciate Jammer's reviews and all the comments from this community. After finishing each episode I always come here to check what you guys have to say, it's an improvement on every episode to navigate years and years of commentary and personal experiences with the franchise.

    Love this episode but I keep hearing the name of the syndrome as "erotic" something or other hahaha

    I can never get over just had dazzling this series finale is. And I don't I noticed before just how many callbacks to other episodes there are.

    TROI: That was an incredible programme.
    WORF: I am glad you approve. I have always found the Black Sea at night to be a most stimulating experience.

    Callback to Worf's Russian upbringing. And of course to Parallels and Eye of the Beholder.

    (Picard is bearded and working outside on a grape vine. He looks around for a moment then carries on tying them onto their supports.)

    Callback to Family.

    LAFORGE: Hello, Captain or should I call you Ambassador?

    Possible callback to Future Imperfect (not that Picard being an ambassador is by any means hard to imagine).

    PICARD: How is Leah?
    LAFORGE: Just wonderful. Busy as ever. She's just been made director of the Daystrom Institute.

    Callback to Galaxy's Child (albeit one that everyone picks up easily).

    Of course the entire past time period is a callback to Encounter at Farpoint, which I am very happy was welcomed, or should I say reconciled into canon with the latter seasons TNG despite the goofy costume design. The S1 setting almost feels at home in the same way as S7 does, the way they do it.

    CREWMAN [OC]: Enterprise to shuttlecraft Galileo. You are cleared for arrival in shuttlebay two.

    Callback to TOS's Galileo shuttle.

    PICARD: to take command of the USS Enterprise as of this date. Signed Rear Admiral Norah Satie, Starfleet Command.

    Callback to The Drumhead. And of course getting Colm Meaney back for this one was great.

    PICARD: Mister O'Brien, will you use these specifications to bypass the secondary plasma inducer.
    O'BRIEN: You have to realise sir, this isn't exactly my area of expertise. The Chief Engineer should be making these modifications.

    Nice callback to O'Brien's later, ahem, change of career.

    PICARD: I prefer to look on the future as something which is not written in stone. A lot of things can happen in twenty five years.
    (they kiss)
    CRUSHER: A lot of things can happen.

    Not exactly a callback, but more a reference to an undercurrent throughout TNG. And perhaps pickup up where Attached left off.

    DATA: Yes, sir. There was an outbreak of Terrellian plague on Romulus. The Klingons have been allowing Federation medical ships to cross the border.

    Callback to Haven.

    PICARD: So what am I going to do? Lock myself in a room in all three different time periods?
    RIKER: Captain, maybe not acting is what causes the destruction of mankind. What if you were needed on the Bridge at a key moment, and you weren't there?
    TROI: I don't think we can start second guessing ourselves.

    Callback to Cause and Effect? The dialogue is very similar:

    WORF: Maybe we should reverse course.
    RIKER: For all we know, reversing course may be what leads us into the crash.
    PICARD: No. We can't afford to start second guessing ourselves. We'll stay on this course until we have reason to change it. But let's do everything we can to avoid the collision.

    This one is quick:

    WORF: The Federation Starships Concord and Bozeman are holding position on our side.

    Callback to Cause and Effect (reference to the Bozeman, which kept destroying the Enterprise).

    TROI: Captain, I just wanted to voice my concerns about the way the crew is responding to your unexpected orders.

    I don't think it's a callback, exactly, but it reminds me a lot of Troi's conversation with Captain Jellico in Chain of Command.

    TOMOLAK [on viewscreen]: So, Captain how long shall we stare at each other across the Neutral Zone?

    Nice callback to some earlier interactions in S2-4.

    CRUSHER: Alyssa lost the baby.

    Nice continuity with Alyssa's relationship 'arc' and with Genesis.

    Q: It's a pretty big decision, Jean-Luc. Tinkering with an anomaly you know nothing about, trying to collapse it. Isn't that risky?

    This is sort of like a meta comment about all of Trek!

    RIKER: Did I? I didn't want to admit that it was over. I always thought that we'd get together again. And then she was gone. You think you have all the time in the world, until. Yeah.

    A very nice, if sad, rejoinder to Riker and Troi's side story. This line is truly expressed in all of those scenes through TNG where one of them is having a relationship with someone else.

    PICARD: Maintain course and speed. Mister Data, how long until we reach the centre?
    DATA: At least thirty seconds, sir.

    Not a callback, but very reminiscent of Tapestry. I was struck very clearly when seeing this shot the other night of going toward "the white light", and the scene feels very much like rushing toward death itself. I feel like there is something here, not even mentioned in the dialogue with Q, about part of what Picard's mind is being tasked with. Yes, Q wants him to conceptualize time non-linearly, and existence as being more than just an assemblage of 1-2-3 connect the dots. But there's something about death which is maybe a barrier that one needs to see past as well. The Q, after all, are non-corporeal, and ever since TOS we've seen that there's something about advanced beings and becoming non-corporeal that's important. Maybe the 'death of the flesh' is a required step before having eternal life, or something to that effect. There are obvious resonances with religion here.

    Q: Goodbye, Jean-Luc. I'm going to miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end.

    Another insanely meta line, a reference to this being the series finale.

    PICARD: Q, what is it that you're trying to tell me?
    (Q nearly whispers in Picard's ear)
    Q: You'll find out.

    This isn't part of my list of callbacks, but just on the topic of Picard's lesson having to do with the barrier of death, I can't help but feel that Q's message here isn't that humanity in some collective sense will find out, but that Picard will personally find out. Maybe that each person will when they die.

    LAFORGE: Four hands in a row. How does he do it?
    RIKER: I cheat. I'm kidding.

    Somewhat silimar to the scene from Lower Decks?

    LAFORGE: I can't believe this.
    RIKER: I am your worst nightmare.

    All in all I can't think of a better sendoff than a first-rate story, and a plethora of callbacks that are put in as scenery touches, nodding to many of the things we've seen in the series, including arcs such as Geordi and Data's friendship, the Romulan arc, Riker and Troi, Picard and Crusher, Nurse Ogawa's love life, and of course Picard and Q. A great montage, without resorting to a literal montage. Awesome!

    Watching this again last night, for the first time in 10-15 years, re-triggered all of my irritation with Picard in general and Season 3 in particular. In the future scenes here, pretty much everyone suspects Picard may be senile, but they still go out of their way to help him. Nobody is angry, contemptuous, or hostile towards him. All their actions come from a place of love and respect. Sigh.

    It still stands the test of time. We both teared up at the end when Picard finally joins the poker game. In my opinion, this is the best of all the Trek finales. Admittedly a mixed record there, DS9 is the only other series that stuck its landing, and it’s obvious the people who put together these two episodes understood the characters and the shows they were working on. The contrast with much of Season 7 (and 6) is remarkable.

    One extremely amusing moment, that I did not recall from any prior watch: The scene in the future at Cambridge in Data’s house, he’s apparently become the crazy old cat person. Count the cats in this scene. There are at least eight of them. Perhaps nine. Amazing!

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