Wed
Apr 3 2013 12:00pm
Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch: “All Good Things...”

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: All Good Things...“All Good Things...”
Written by Ronald D. Moore & Brannon Braga
Directed by Winrich Kolbe
Season 7, Episode 25
Production episode 40277-747
Original air date: May 23, 1994
Stardate: 47988.0

Captain’s Log: Worf and Troi have just finished a date on the holodeck, and their goodnight kiss is interrupted by Picard in his bedclothes wanting to know what the date is. He’s been moving back and forth in time. He can’t remember specifics—one moment he was in the past some time, before he took command of the Enterprise, talking to someone; another moment he was in the future, somewhere outdoors. His fleeting memories have such vivid sense impressions that they must be far more than a dream.

While he’s in the middle of describing it to Troi, he finds himself standing in a vineyard twenty-five years in the future. He’s interrupted in the tending of his vines by a visit from La Forge. Both men have facial hair—Picard is bearded and is retired from his ambassadorial career, La Forge has a mustache (and bionic eyes). La Forge’s wife Leah heard that Picard had been diagnosed with Irumodic Syndrome, and La Forge wanted to check in on him.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: All Good Things...

Picard and La Forge head back to the house, but then Picard sees three people in rags jumping up and down and shouting. Then he finds himself suddenly on a shuttle with Yar, heading to the Enterprise for the first time to take command shortly before “Encounter at Farpoint.” Just as the shuttle approaches the ship, he’s back in the present, telling Troi that he just saw Yar.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: All Good Things...

Crusher examines Picard and finds nothing. No indication of time travel, no indication that he’s even been off the ship. She also scans for Irumodic Syndrome, and doesn’t find it, but she does find a defect in his parietal lobe that could, down the line, lead to a disorder, including Irumodic.

Picard gets new orders from Admiral Nakamura: the Romulans have diverted 30 warbirds to the Neutral Zone, and they’ve picked up an anomaly in the Devron system in the zone. Nakamura’s sending 15 ships to respond, including the Enterprise, which is specifically tasked with examining the anomaly in Devron.

The future: Picard is back in the vineyard, insisting to La Forge that he was somewhere else with the same intensity that he insisted to Troi in the present. He wants to see Data, and La Forge agrees to, though he’s obviously worried. Picard is also still seeing the people in rags.

Data is now the Lucasian Chair at Cambridge, and La Forge and Picard visit him at his residence. Data is willing to give Picard the benefit of the doubt and will use the equipment at Cambridge to examine him.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: All Good Things...

The past: Picard is formally taking command of the Enterprise, reading his orders—but he also sees the people in rags again, this time on the upper level of the shuttle bay and in the shuttle. Various crewmembers—Troi in her miniskirt, Worf in his cloth sash, and O’Brien in a red uniform, along with Yar and others—are there for the command-taking ceremony. Then he orders the ship to red alert, confusing the hell out of everybody.

Yar and Worf perform scans that reveal nothing unusual, and Troi doesn’t sense anything. O’Brien then informs Picard that Starfleet has cancelled their mission to Farpoint Station and ordered them to report to the Neutral Zone to investigate an anomaly in the Devron system. Picard, however, will continue with the mission to Farpoint. He assigns an engineering task to O’Brien, and also meets up with Data.

The present: Picard is retaining more memories with each time shift. Crusher performs a scan, and while there’s no other physical manifestation of the time shifts, Picard’s brain has accumulated over two days worth of memories in the five minutes since she last examined him.

Picard meets with the senior staff, expressing concern, especially since the events he’s experiencing in the past don’t match what actually happened. While the Enterprise continues to prepare for whatever they might find at the Neutral Zone, Crusher orders Picard to get some rest. She’s worried about him, and actually kisses him.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: All Good Things...

The future: Picard wakes from a nap and insists that they have to get to the Devron system. The problem is, that’s not in the Neutral Zone anymore, it’s in Klingon space, ever since the Klingons conquered the Romulan Empire, and the Klingons have closed their borders to Federation ships. La Forge and Data go along with the notion. However, they need a ship. They ask Admiral Riker, but all he can do is send the Yorktown to check the system.

Data has another solution: the Klingons have allowed medical ships to cross the border since an outbreak of Terellian plague on Romulus. They contact the U.S.S. Pasteur, a medical vessel commanded by Crusher—the captain’s ex-wife.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: All Good Things...

Once Picard goes to get some rest, Crusher, Data, and La Forge admit that they don’t entirely believe him, but, as Crusher says, he’s Jean-Luc Picard, and if he wants to go on one final mission, then that’s what they’ll do.

The past: The Enterprise heads toward Farpoint Station, but Picard is annoyed to find that Q hasn’t materialized the way he did in “Encounter at Farpoint.” Data doesn’t detect Q’s force field, Troi doesn’t sense anything, and Picard is frustrated. He goes into his ready room.

The present (kinda): Picard finds himself back in the 21st-century courtroom where Q put humanity on trial back in “Encounter at Farpoint.” Q’s back in his judge’s robes and refuses to explain what’s going on—but does agree to answer any questions Picard has, as long as it has a yes or no answer.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: All Good Things...

Is he putting humanity on trial again? No. Is there a connection between the trial seven years previous and what’s happening now? Yes. Is the Devron anomaly part of what’s going on? Yes. Is it a Romulan plot to start a war? No. Did Q create the anomaly? No. Is Q responsible for Picard’s time shifts? Yes.

When Picard asks why, Q says that isn’t a yes-or-no question, and he refuses to answer any further questions.

Q reveals that the trial never ended—until now. They find humanity guilty of inferiority. And humanity will be wiped out—but not by Q. No, Picard will be responsible for the destruction of the human race. And then he adjourns the court.

Picard is back on the Enterprise, and calls for red alert. They agree not to second guess themselves and simply proceed as normal. They arrive at the Neutral Zone, alongside the Concord and Bozeman—while three warbirds are aligned on the opposite side. Picard orders Worf to hail them.

The future: Worf answers the Pasteur’s hail. He is now the governor of H’atoria, a minor planet near the Federation border, and is no longer a member of the High Council as Picard and the others had believed. Worf cannot allow them passage, as it’s too dangerous and would be against regulations. Picard plays on his sense of honor, just like he always does, and Worf gives in, just like he always does, and grants permission—but only if he comes on board.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: All Good Things...

The past: Picard has given up on finding Q and orders O’Brien to head to the Devron system. Troi expresses concern over his bizarre orders, but Picard feels he has no choice. He also contacts Riker on Farpoint Station, saying that they’ll be delayed indefinitely. Troi also takes advantage of the opportunity to tell Picard that she and Riker had a previous relationship.

The present: Picard speaks with Commander Tomalak, and they agree to each send one ship into the Zone to investigate the anomaly in Devron. (Tomalak is particularly amenable once Picard admits that the plan isn’t sanctioned by Starfleet Command.) They detect a subspace anomaly, and Picard orders it to be examined.

The past: The Enterprise arrives at the Devron system to find the same anomaly, but it’s much larger in the past than it is in the present.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: All Good Things...

The future: The Pasteur arrives at the Devron system to find—nothing. Data searches thoroughly, and comes up with a modification—an inverse-tachyon pulse—that will enable an even more thorough search. But Worf reports that some Klingon warships are headed to this system to go after a renegade Federation ship, so Crusher will only stay for six hours before leaving the system.

Q appears as an older man and reminds Picard that what he was and what he will be will inform his decision, and also reminds him that he will destroy humanity.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: All Good Things...

The present: Data reports that the anomaly is putting out tremendous energy. Picard suggests the same inverse-tachyon pulse that future-Data made on the Pasteur to more thoroughly scan the anomaly.

As soon as the pulse starts, La Forge’s optic nerves start regenerating. Ogawa reports that two crewmembers have had old scars heal by themselves. Data reveals that the anomaly is an eruption of “anti-time,” a relatively new theory. The rupture is the result of a collision between time and anti-time.

The past: Picard again suggests an inverse-tachyon pulse to Data, who is unfamiliar with the theory of anti-time. Picard quickly says he doesn’t have time to explain, but orders Data to make the modifications.

The future: The Pasteur is attacked by two Klingon attack cruisers. Just before they’re destroyed, the Enterprise (with a third nacelle and with Riker in charge) decloaks and drives the Klingons off. But the Pasteur is too badly damaged, and explodes, after Riker has the entire crew beamed off. Riker takes Worf to task for letting a defenseless ship into hostile space, and Worf counters that if Riker had helped Picard when he asked him, this wouldn’t have happened.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: All Good Things...

Picard insists on staying to find out where the anomaly is, but Riker won’t hang around. Crusher sedates him to shut him up.

The present: La Forge’s eyes are regenerating, and he no longer even needs his VISOR. Unfortunately, the news is less pleasant for Ogawa—her pregnancy has miscarried. The anti-time caused the fetal tissue to revert.

Picard orders Data to try to find a way to collapse the anomaly before it starts killing the crew. Q then appears and tells Picard that it’s a ballsy decision to mess with an anomaly he knows nothing about. To ease the decision, Q takes Picard to prehistoric Earth, just before life ever formed on the planet. The anomaly is visible in the entire Earth sky, having grown to encompass much of the Alpha Quadrant.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: All Good Things...

Q shows him a pile of goo that would be where amino acids formed the first protein, thus starting the process of life on Earth—but the anomaly prevents that from happening. And, as Q keeps insisting, Picard caused it.

The past: Picard, Data, and O’Brien speculate on how to scan the anomaly more thoroughly. Data mentions a tomographic imaging scanner that is in development at the Daystrom Institute.

The present: Seven years later, Daystrom has developed it, and they have one on the Enterprise. Data uses it and discovers three tachyon pulses, all identical, all coming from the Enterprise. (Of course, one of them should be different, coming as it does from the Pasteur, but we’ll let that go.)

The future: Riker shares a drink in Ten-Forward with La Forge, Data, and Crusher. Worf sits off on his own. He and Riker have been on the outs for 20 years. Riker says he tried to reconcile at Troi’s funeral, but Worf wouldn’t even talk to him. Riker admits that in the back of his mind he always thought he’d get back together with Troi, and he admits that he got in the way of Worf and Troi truly becoming a couple.

Picard shows up in Ten-Forward, insisting that the Pasteur’s tachyon pulse caused the anomaly. Data backs him up enough that Riker is willing to go back to the Devron system to check it out. Riker also invites Worf to join them on the bridge.

Sure enough, there’s a tiny subspace anomaly: an anti-time eruption. Data theorizes that cutting off the tachyon pulses might do the trick.

The past and the present: Picard orders the tachyon pulses to be disengaged twice over, but it doesn’t have an effect.

The future: Data and La Forge theorize that the Enterprise would need to enter the anomaly and form a static warp shell, which would collapse the anomaly—but the other two Enterprises would need to do it as well.

The past: Picard orders the ship into the center of the anomaly, at which the crew balks. Yar expresses the confusion that everyone’s feeling. This new captain they don’t know has been acting beyond bizarre, and now he’s ordering the ship into a dangerous anomaly. Picard speechifies, telling the crew how awesome they are, and they go in.

The present: Picard sends the Enterprise in.

The three ships all encounter each other in the center of the anomaly, all forming their static warp shells. The anomaly starts to collapse, but not before each of the Enterprises goes boom.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: All Good Things...

Picard wakes up in the courtroom. Q assures him that he’s saved humanity. Q reveals that putting humanity through this test was under orders from the Continuum—but tossing Picard around through the timelines was Q’s idea, and Picard thanks him for it.

Q also says that the trial never ends—but the point is for humanity to explore, not star systems and nebulae, but the possibilities of existence.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: All Good Things...

Picard winds up back on the Enterprise, back in his bathrobe, asking an about-to-smooch Worf and Troi what the date is. And like Scrooge, he realizes that it was all the same night. Nobody else remembers anything that happened, and there’s no anomaly in the Devron system.

Later, Picard—who told the crew about what he saw in the future—walks in on the poker game and asks to be dealt in, saying it’s something he should have done long ago.

Data gives him the cards to deal, and Picard calls five card stud, nothing wild—“and the sky’s the limit.”

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: All Good Things...

Can’t We Just Reverse the Polarity?: Anti-time can be created by tachyon pulses being fired into things. Or, y’know, something.

Thank You, Counselor Obvious: In the past, Troi—back to the miniskirt she wore in “Encounter at Farpoint”—expresses concern over the crazy-ass orders Picard is giving, complicated by Picard’s rather peculiar refusal to take the past crew into his confidence. He claims it’s to avoid polluting the timelines, but those are pretty well filthy from the moment he shows up on the shuttle with Yar. No I think it’s more than these people don’t know him or trust him yet, which Troi points out to him more than once.

In the future, Troi died some five years after when the present part takes place, which saves Marina Sirtis from having to be dipped in latex or have gray added to her hair, or both. To be fair, she already went through that nonsense in “Man of the People.”

There is No Honor in Being Pummeled: In the future, Worf leaves Starfleet and eventually ascends to the High Council—but later descends to a planetary governorship with very little standing in the empire, which has gone ahead and conquered the Romulans.

In the past, Worf has the shorter hair and cloth sash he wore in the first season, but his makeup is the same as it is in the present and future rather than the less refined crest he had in season one.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: All Good Things...

If I Only Had a Brain...: In the future, Data is the Lucasian Chair at Cambridge. He lives in the traditional residence for the chair, going back to when Sir Isaac Newton held the post, with a cranky housekeeper and a mess of cats. He’s also put a streak of gray in his hair to make himself look more distinguished (though I’m with the housekeeper: it makes him look like a skunk), and in the intervening 25 years, he’s mastered contractions. When he declaims on how the anomaly might have been formed in Ten-Forward, he paces and gestures as if he’s lecturing a bunch of undergrads.

In the past, Data inexplicably has a junior-grade lieutenant’s pips, and he struggles with idioms and slang and also babbles a blue streak. It’s kinda fun to see that again.

No Sex, Please, We’re Starfleet: Troi and Worf’s relationship is proceeding apace, though Worf appears not to have gotten any further in consulting Riker on how he feels about it since his pathetic attempt in “Eye of the Beholder.” Riker’s disapproval will keep the relationship from developing in the future segments, leading to a rift between the two friends that will last two and a half decades.

Picard and Crusher share a kiss in the captain’s ready room. In the future we see that they’ve been married and divorced in the intervening 25 years.

Future-La Forge is married to a woman named Leah, now the head of the Daystrom Institute. It’s strongly implied that this is Leah Brahms, which is SO INCREDIBLY CREEPY....

What Happens On the Holodeck Stays on the Holodeck: Worf takes Troi to the Black Sea for a romantic barefoot walk on the beach, which Worf describes as “stimulating.” Troi takes him to task for his lack of poetry, and pushes him to be more eloquent in describing it. Worf accedes to this request by saying that it was “very stimulating.” Such a gooshy romantic, is he.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: All Good Things...

In the Driver’s Seat: In the past, O’Brien takes the conn; he was first seen as a relief conn officer in “Encounter at Farpoint.” In the present, Ensign Gates flies the Enterprise one final time, while the Pasteur’s conn officer is Ensign Chilton, who’s killed during the firefight with the Klingons.

I Believe I Said That: “You have always used your knowledge of Klingon honor and tradition to get what you want from me.”

“Because it always works, Worf!”

Worf and Picard in the future summing up their relationship.

Welcome Aboard: The main guests are all folks we’ve seen before for one final roundup. For the past segment, Denise Crosby returns as Yar, and Colm Meaney takes a break from Deep Space Nine to serve as O’Brien again. In the present, Patti Yasutake is back as Ogawa, Clyde Kusatsu reappears as Nakamura, and Andreas Katsulas appears for the first time since the fourth season’s “Future Imperfect” as Tomalak And of course, John deLancie brings things full circle, reappearing as Q.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: All Good Things...

In addition, Pamela Kosh is delightfully harumphy as Data’s housekeeper Jessel, while Tim Kelleher, Alison Brooks, and Stephen Matthew Garvin fill out assorted future Starfleet officer roles.

Trivial Matters: This episode was adapted not only into novel form (just like “Encounter at Farpoint,” “Unification,” “Relics,” and “Descent”), but also comic book form. Michael Jan Friedman wrote both, with the art for the latter provided by Jay Scott Pike & Jose Marzan Jr. The novelization included several additional characters, among them Wes, the Traveler, Guinan, Sam Lavelle (as Admiral Riker’s aide in the future segment), Pulaski, and Ben.

Picard’s orders to take command of the Enterprise were written by Admiral Norah Satie from “The Drumhead.”

Nobody noticed the mistake that present-Data discovered three identical tachyon pulses, even though one was from the Pasteur and should’ve been different. It was first noticed when the episode aired—by executive producer Rick Berman’s ten-year-old son. Oops.

Besides going back to the unitard uniforms, several other set changes were made to the past segments to achieve the look of the first season, including restoring some (but not all) of the bridge set design, most notably the more reclined conn and ops chairs.

Both the Pasteur and Enterprise in the future go as fast as warp 13. This contradicts what was later established in Voyager’s“Threshold,” that warp 10 is unachievable, though it does track with higher warp speeds seen on the original series’ “By Any Other Name.”

The images of past-Riker that Picard spoke to alerting him to their delay in arrival at Farpoint Station was taken from “The Arsenal of Freedom,” thus saving Jonathan Frakes having to shave. (You can see the image of Captain Paul Rice from that episode standing behind him in one shot.)

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: All Good Things...

The future-Enterprise has a cloaking device. Since the Klingons conquered the Romulans in that future, the treaty with the Romulans—established in “The Pegasus” as being the reason why Federation ships don’t have cloaks—is no longer in effect.

Future-La Forge has replaced his VISOR with what appear to be bionic implants, similar to the ones the character will wear from the movie Star Trek: First Contact forward.

Worf and Troi’s relationship is never again seen on screen. When he moves to the cast of Deep Space Nine, Worf eventually starts up a relationship with Jadzia Dax, finally marrying her in the sixth season, while Troi and Riker become a couple again in Star Trek Insurrection (amusingly, at one point in the film, Worf gives them his blessing) and they get married in Star Trek Nemesis. The novel Triangle: Imzadi II by Peter David chronicles the rise and fall of the Worf/Troi relationship in the period between Star Trek Generations and Star Trek: First Contact. (Speaking of David, there are some structural similarities between this episode and his novel Imzadi, with three time tracks, and a future where Troi is dead and Riker is an embittered old admiral.)

The Devron system is seen again in the novel Serpents Among the Ruins by David R. George III and the video game Away Team. The planet H’atoria plays a role in the plot of your humble rewatcher’s A Singular Destiny.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: All Good Things...

The events of this episode play a large role in your humble rewatcher’s Q & A, which reveals Q’s ultimate purpose in his constant meddling with the Enterprise in general and Picard in particular. Picard’s experiences in this episode serve him well during the climax of that novel.

This episode won the 1995 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, TNG’s second win in that category, having got it in 1993 for “The Inner Light.”

Ronald D. Moore & Brannon Braga wrote this script simultaneously with that of Star Trek Generations, filming of which began while this episode was being shot (the Enterprise-B prologue was lensed while “AGT” was being done). Moore & Braga wasted no time in trashing the future seen in this episode by destroying the Enterprise in the movie.

Damon Lindelof, one of the producers of the current Star Trek film series, cited this episode as the inspiration for the Lost episode “The Constant.”

When choosing a title for the 20th anniversary TNG short story anthology, editor Marco Palmieri went with The Sky’s the Limit, after the final line of the series. (Your humble rewatcher has a story in that one, “Four Lights,” a sequel to “Chain of Command Part II.”)

Make it So: “It’s time to put an end to your trek through the stars.” Star Trek’s track record with endings is notably poor. The original series’ “Turnabout Intruder” was a misogynistic disaster even by the low standards of the third season, while even the animated series’ most fervent fans (myself included) are unlikely to use “The Counter-Clock Incident” as an example of why Filmation’s efforts deserve to be counted alongside the live-action ones from Desilu.* As for the spinoffs, Deep Space Nine’s “What You Leave Behind” was a noble failure,** Voyager’s “Endgame” was an ignoble failure, and Enterprise’s “These are the Voyages...” was an embarrassment.

But man, did they get it right here.

“All Good Things...” is the perfect ending to TNG, bringing the show full circle from “Encounter at Farpoint,” giving everybody a moment in the sun, showcasing the amazing talents of the ensemble in general and Sir Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner in particular, showcasing a Roddenberrian view of humanity—being capable of greatness—while drowning us in just enough technobabble with warp fields and anomalies and time travel and other nonsense. Plus, we get TNG’s best antagonist in John deLancie’s Q.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: All Good Things...

Moore and Braga are aware not only of what makes TNG work, but also what’s wrong with it, and they don’t miss an opportunity to make fun of some of the show’s excesses. Most of those come from Q, particularly when he snarks off Picard for how much time he wasted the past seven years on mundane concerns like Riker’s career, Troi’s psychobabble, and Data’s endless quest to be more human, but others get their shots. After Data lets loose with a stream of technobabble, Crusher speaks for an entire viewership when she exasperatedly says, “English, Data,” and future-La Forge’s greeting to Picard is epic: “Captain, we’ve got a problem with the warp core or the phase inducers or some other damn thing.”

The entire cast shines in this one. LeVar Burton gives one of his best performances as the middle-aged, family-man novelist La Forge. (On the other hand, not nearly enough is done with his acquiring sight for only the second time in his life, the other being “Hide and Q.” That notion will be better used in, of all places, Star Trek Insurrection.) Michael Dorn is embittered and miserable as Governor Worf, Jonathan Frakes is cranky and crotchety as Admiral Riker, and Gates McFadden shows a Captain Beverly Picard who has gotten steelier with age, divorce, and a ship command. Denise Crosby’s guest turn is less intrusive here than it was in “Yesterday’s Enterprise” or either of her appearances as Sela because the first-season setting makes her feel like a natural part of the process, alongside Worf’s sash, Data’s babbling, and the unitards. And making use of Colm Meaney’s “Encounter at Farpoint” cameo to bring O’Brien back to the TNG for a last hurrah is a really nice touch, as is Picard making use of his knowledge of O’Brien’s future as Deep Space 9’s miracle worker. Andreas Katsulas is magnificent in his one scene as Tomalak, and deLancie is his absolute snottiest here, his banter with Stewart as sparkling as ever. As a last hurrah for TNG’s finest double-act, this is a bravura performance.

Speaking of whom, what makes this episode sing are the performances of Stewart and Spiner. A goodly chunk of TNG’s success was on the back of these two, and this final episode showcases them superbly. Stewart’s portrayal of the elder Picard is astonishing. As the oldest person in the cast, he’s lost the most in the 25 years that they’ve jumped ahead, and his struggles with space Alzheimer’s are heartbreaking. But you also see the drive and strength that lead everyone to go along with his crazy-ass notions, simply because he earned it after three decades.

And that’s as nothing to the trifecta of awesome Spiner pulls off, giving us three distinct Datas who are all very obviously still Data, but at varying stages of development. Spiner magnificently channels his first-season persona, with the babbling, the inquisitiveness, the cluelessness. (He’s aided and abetted in his first past scene by Colm Meaney as his straight man, standing there like a deer in the headlights while Data asks for the etymology of the phrase “burning the midnight oil.”) Meanwhile, future-Data is more relaxed, uses contractions, employs less stilted gestures, and smiles more naturally. (He also has a lovely line where he says he keeps Jessel around because she makes him laugh.)

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Tor.com: All Good Things...

In the end, the human race is (of course) saved, everyone’s back in place, and we end with one of TNG’s signature tropes, the poker game, with Picard finally being dealt in.

Sure the technobabble is mostly nonsense, the test is patently ridiculous and doesn’t really prove much of anything, but who cares? It’s the perfect ending to the show, and that’s what matters.

 

* True, it did have the coolness factor of showing us Robert April, but it was still the turn-the-crew-into-little-kids plot. That trick never works.

** It had its moments, but they mistook the end of the war for the end of the show, and wasted a lot of time with Sisko-Dukat nonsense when they should’ve concluded the show with Bajor entering the Federation, which was Sisko’s mission as stated to him by Picard in “Emissary.”

 

Warp factor rating: 9


Keith R.A. DeCandido’s plan to take over the Internet continues apace, as he now also writes about the New York Yankees for the Pinstriped Bible. Look for his baseball rantings at that site every Monday.

70 comments
critter42
1. critter42
I remember two dates clearly - watching the premiere with Encounter at Farpoint and then watching AGT. I recall the amazement at the Future Enterprise battle taking place on ALL THREE AXES instead of on the same plane.

So many emotions with this, but at least DS9 was already rolling, so the sting was lessened a bit. (And we'll have to agree to disagree about "What You Leave Behind...", but that's a discussion for 2015 or 16 :) )

And this is just another example why Ronald D Moore is one of the greatest science fiction TV writer/producers. Yeah, he's had a few clunkers, but the vast majority of his stuff is intelligent and challenging, yet still honors the fans of the show.
Alan Courchene
2. Majicou
It really was a beautiful send-off. As I read this review, I listened to the soundtrack suite taken from the episode, in which Dennis McCarthy reprised themes he used for Q in "Encounter at Farpoint." That sums up the bookend feel of the episode pretty well.
critter42
3. ReggieRay
It was great to see Tomalak again, but he was not good by Katsulas' high standard, and he certainly wasn't "magnificent". The Tomalak from season 3 was calm and quietly menacing. This one screamed at Picard, and we never saw that from him before. In fact did we see any Romulan yelling in the run of this show?
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
4. Lisamarie
*sniffle*

I'm glad I'm not the only one that thinks the 'test' doesn't really make sense (I'm not sure exactly what it was testing that hasn't already been demonstrated before) but I love the episode anyway.

I'm just sad it's all over now (well, I know we get a Season 7 overview, and maybe a series overview??)...I have enjoyed the rewatch so very very much :) My husband and I have really enjoyed discussing them too!

I think I might have to check out Q&A - I am not going to let myself get sucked into a completest mindset for Star Trek books like I have with Star Wars EU - ain't nobody got time for that - but every time you mention that one I want to read it. Maybe I'll even buy it new so you actually get a royalty for it ;) (I buy almost all of my books secondhand for both monetary and environmental reasons, but it always makes me a little sad that that really doesn't benefit the authors very much).

And who knows, maybe we'll end up on the DS9 re-watch, but we have to get the DVDs first :)
Lee VanDyke
5. Cloric
I thought they aged Gates really well, and I loved that no mention was made of Geordie's bionic eyes, as it really should have been old news for everyone involved.

I did wonder why Picard was so intent on not polluting the timeline, once he determined that no one from the "Present" rememebered that first mission any differently.

And Lisamarie, if you don't want to lay out the money for the DVD's, Netflix streaming has all 6 series available for a small monthly fee.
Chris Hawks
6. SaltManZ
Anyone else remember watching the vote-for-your-favorite-episode marathon leading up to this?
critter42
7. Sanagi
The perfect final episode, honoring the series past while giving us a beautiful glimpse of the future. It hardly matters that the time travel plot has some major holes, or that Q's test hardly makes sense(thinking about it now, I wonder: Why didn't Q just make Picard play Portal?).

It's a brilliantly clever script. Details like past-Riker being marooned on Farpoint to avoid messing with The Beard show how much care went into it. But that cleverness is matched by a perfect sense and tastefulness of how the show works and how it should end, and that's where Enterprise's finale went wrong.
Mike S2
8. MikeS2
"...future-La Forge’s greeting to Picard is epic: 'Captain, we’ve got a problem with the warp core or the phase inducers or some other damn thing.'" Love it. (Quoting not working on device)

Epic, that's the word. Great review of what made this so great. Left unmentioned was the dynamic of going back to the beginning as a "if I could do it again..." Show-as-life. But so many angles in this, in the rematches it reall stands out as not just the perfect finale, but one of the best two hours in all of trek.

This rewatch has been absolutely, thoroughly enjoyable. Back for DS9? And don't mention the TNG movies, I prefer to live in the Worfian "Parallels" universe where All Good Things... (worthy of the italics) was the Next Generation curtain call.
Sam Mickel
9. Samadai
I agree this was a great ending, though it made me sad that it ended when I was watching it. My dad, brother and I would always make sure we were home Saturday night at 7 to watch this through all 7 years. My dad even went so far as to mathmatically figure out how fast all the warp speeds would have been. This was before the internet( or at least before we had it) so I was pretty impressed with him figuring that. we watched the first couple of years of DS9 but it wasn't the same. Never watched more than a few episodes of Voyager
critter42
10. Scavenger
First, congratulations on completing the TNG Rewatch. It’s been a fun journey.

Good rundown of the episode. Thanks for mentioning the 3 Enterprise/2 Enterprise+Pasteur error. That’s bugged me for almost 20 years, wondering if it was a mistake or if I missed something, so I’m glad to see others know about it.

Now, for my complaint, and one I’ve had for a while but it’s only appropriate to bring up here? What’s your deal with LaForge?
“Future-La Forge is married to a woman named Leah, now the head of the Daystrom Institute. It’s strongly implied that this is Leah Brahms, which is SO INCREDIBLY CREEPY....”

Why is it creepy? I get you don’t like “Booby Trap” but you ignore that LaForge does nothing inappropriate in the episode. When the computer generated Leah tries to give him a neck rub, he shoos her off, and at the end, after a chaste kiss, he shuts down the program for good. The episode doesn’t imply anything else happens. At worst you can accuse him of the equivalent of falling for an author based on their writings and biography. And in “Galaxy’s Child” , he again is not inappropriate. He’s again, attracted to someone, and the most powerful computer in the world has said “Hey, she’s going to be in to you.”, so other than getting his hopes up (and being awkward), what’s he done wrong? And as the episode leaves with them being friends, then them being married in the future isn’t a problem, unless every story with 2 friends becoming a couple after one is divorced or widowed is “so incredibly creepy”.

Interestingly, you give Barkley a pass for creating a Troi sex hologram, which “Hollow Pursuits” all but shows on screen.
Don’t get me wrong, “Hollow Pursuits” is a far better episode than either of the LaForge ones, but you (and other commenters) hit LaForge for things that didn’t happen and aren’t supported by the text.

Well, onto Bajor and the Wormhole!
Jenny Thrash
11. Sihaya
This is a love-it-or-hate-it episode. I'm firmly in the 'love it' camp:

"Meanwhile, future-Data is more relaxed, uses contractions, employs less stilted gestures, and smiles more naturally. (He also has a lovely line where he says he keeps Jessel around because she makes him laugh.)"

And still, it is so crazy to imagine Data laughing that I figure he must have perfected the art of lying.
critter42
12. Lsana
I love, love, love, love, love this episode. I especially loved Q's line about "charting the unknown possibilities of existence," which is what Star Trek is about at its best, and I wish the movies had followed up with that (though to be fair, I think some of them tried and just failed).

The other thing about this episode is that it retroactively redeemed Encounter at Farpoint. I always liked Encounter better than most other Trekkies I knew, and it wasn't until recently that I figured out why: it's because I saw this episode first. When it aired, Encounter at Farpoint was just another episode about an all-powerful Space Jerk putting the crew of the Enterprise on trial, something that was done a million times on the original series. By making the trial a metaphor for everything that the crew has done, all the trials they face in their explorations, that made it into something worth paying attention to. "The trial never ends" indeed.

Don't mean to be quite such a fan girl, but I really do like this episode. I feel even if nothing else Trek had ever been made, this would still be worth watching.
critter42
13. Bob A
There are those among us who believe Moore and Braga should have made "Generations" a TV entry and saved "...All Good Things" for the theater. Still, like the"Inner Light", this is one of my favorites, a fine bookend to the series. It wrap things up without ending them, implying much more to come, but making the show a stand-alone; no requisite for the films would be needed, and should've ended right there.

In a way, I think that Roddenberry conjured up the film series as an apology for ending the original series so badly. Granted, it wasn't his fault the network killed it, but as you mentioned, "Intruder" was so dismal. "...All Good Things" saved TNG from all that. With the exception of "First Contact", none of the Next Gen movies were worth it.
Maybe execept for Worf's hangover.
Kerry Engelhardt
14. geniusscientist
I love, love, love this episode, for all the reasons you mention. Best television series finale ever, maybe?
Mordicai Knode
15. mordicai
You mentioned the end of the other Treks, & LOST, & that made me think about...other show endings. Twin Peaks! BSG! Let's rumble!

Yay tNG!
Jenny Thrash
16. Sihaya
It really has been a fun trip down memory lane to read these reviews. Thanks for the work and patience, KRAD.
Christopher Bennett
17. ChristopherLBennett
I don't rate this finale as highly as you do, Keith. Sure, as a nostalgic send-off for a television show and its cast, it works pretty well. But as a science fiction story, or even as a work of drama by its own internal standards, it's just a bunch of hollow nonsense. There's no great lesson in probing the mysteries of existence here, just an overly convoluted Braga-esque technobabble puzzle that doesn't make a lick of sense. It doesn't have any message, any statement to make beyond "Hey, this was a cool show, wasn't it?" Which I suppose is fine if you're doing a series finale, but don't pretend it's some profound cosmic life lesson, okay?

As far as the timeline issue goes, I think it's pretty clear that the past segments are either an alternate timeline to begin with or just a Q illusion. Even aside from the fact that events in that past have no effect on the present, there are several notable differences from what prior canon established. Picard doesn't seem to have met Tasha before the shuttle ride to the Enterprise, whereas "Legacy" established that he chose her for his crew after seeing her in action. Tasha has a different hairstyle. O'Brien is main-bridge conn instead of battle-bridge conn as he was in "Farpoint." And Picard officially takes command on stardate 41148 whereas "The Drumhead" said it occurred on stardate 41124.

In the epilogue of my TNG-prequel novel The Buried Age, I portray what I assume to be the "original" version of the events seen here, drawing on the "All Good Things..." past scenes but modifying them to fit what was established about the main timeline.

As for the inconsistency with the "identical" tachyon pulses, I've sometimes speculated that maybe the Pasteur inherited the E-D's old tachyon emitter when it was upgraded with a new one. Or maybe it was just part of the illusory scenario Q created. A lot of the nonsense in this episode is more palatable if you assume Q just faked the whole thing. (If the anti-time anomaly extended into the past, why didn't the Pasteur crew see it already there before they created it? And what the frinx, pardon my Ferengi, is "anti-time" supposed to be anyway? It doesn't make any damn sense. I had the darnedest time trying to come up with a non-stupid explanation for it in DTI: Watching the Clock.)
Joseph Newton
18. crzydroid
I'm sure it's accepted that the future parts are 25 years from the present part...but what is actually said on screen is that it's been 25 years since they were all last together on the Enterprise. So if they had stayed on the ship for a while, the future parts could be much farther into the future.

I actually liked "Endgame." But I'm totally with you on all the others.
critter42
20. jlpsap
I think this is a home run. This is head and shoulders above anything else in this dreadful season 7. I think this episode is even better than when it first aired because now we know that this really was it for good Star Trek.
First Contact was a really cool monster movie, but it wasn;t very good star trek. Gene would have absolutely loved this episode. I still cry every time Picard says "I really should have done this long ago".
Liz J
21. Ellisande
While I remember enjoying the finale for all the reasons you mention, I also recall my little Picard/Crusher shipper heart getting incensed at the divorce in the 'future' segment. Almost twenty years later and I remember my "nope nope nope" reaction. hee.

Thanks for the rewatch - I haven't commented much, but I've enjoyed reading along and remembering when I used to be able to name an episode by its opening scene, but have since forgotten quite a lot. Looking forward to DS9, which I stopped watching about halfway through. I didn't really drop it, so much as drift away (mostly, IIRC, for an inability to keep up at a time when the stories were getting ever more serialized), and I should really watch again and finish.
critter42
22. And Here The Wheel
I loved this episode, but it was bitter sweet. The end of something I had truly loved. How do you ever get enough of a good thing? Of course having read this rewatch from the start, I realise now my memories of some episodes have been affected by rose-tinted glasses.

Anyway thank you Keith for all the work you have put into this. every wednesday morning and every saturday night had a moment put aside for a star trek catchup. I have really enjoyed this walk down memory lane. I'm really looking forward to DS9, though it will be a different experience for me. TNG was watched as a child, DS9 as a teenager/college student. Hopefully my memory of DS9 won't be too far off the mark.
critter42
23. Gilbetron
@ 17, ChristopherLBennett: I'm with you. This is good, but not great. For some reason, everyone rates this episode highly for being a fluffy romp, but it's not much more than that if you look at it with any scrutiny.

@20, jlpsap: Along the same lines as above, would Gene really have loved this episode? As Chris said, this episode really isn't about anything beyond "Hey, this was a cool show." And if there was ever an advocate for plumbing the depths of meaning on Star Trek, it was Gene. I think he probably would have found this pretty hollow. I mean, let's be honest, this is basically a popcorn movie.

One of my pet peeves is that the big reveal states that the Devron anomaly was created by the convergence of the 2 Enterprises + Pasteur and then moved backwards in time. But if that's so, why does Admiral Riker's Enterprise-D only detect the anomaly for the first time *AFTER* it was created (a.k.a. forward in time)? If it was moving backwards in time from its point of creation, shouldn't it have been detectable in its infant form by the Pasteur right from the outset? (Of course, the whole episode would then have imploded on itself, so whatever, but still, this annoys the hell out of me.)

But I don't want to be all Debbie Downer, because episode *is* really fun. The sense of nostalgia runs deep, and this show does get a lot right. It's just that I have to disagree with KRAD -- the better finale is actually DS9's "What You Leave Behind," because that episode really felt like it was *about* something deeper than merely giving the crew a final adventure. DS9's finale wasn't perfect either, but it had a better story and (more importantly) it showed us that our characters' actions had consequences, some which would be very hard to live with. It wasn't all pink unicorms and rainbows.
critter42
24. CounselorDeannaTroi#1Fan
I remember seeing this episode when it originally aired almost 20 years ago and I don't fall into the "love it" or "hate it" camps.

I thought it was lukewarm then and I think it was lukewarm now.

I agree with Keith that the acting in it was very good and that the nuanced differences in the characters between timelines were really well done.

The reason why is because it seemed incredibly anticlimactic. It was merely another time-travel story like "Time's Arrow" in which the characters learn more about themselves by travelling in time, which seemed like a cliché after 7 years. The events in this episode seemed to have little or no relevance and impact to the Trek universe as a whole in so far as much as what was going on in DS9 or what was about to happen in Voyager the following year.

I was really anticipating a more climactic ending in which the characters of this series sort of 'passed the torch' (cliché intentional) to a conflict or a story line in the following series. I think a traumatic and nearly deadly introduction to the Dominion or a huge conflict with the Borg would have been a much more exciting send-off to this series than a bland time-travel story.

Those would have been stories that could have been continued and further expanded upon by the crews of DS9 and Voyager.
critter42
25. CounselorDeannaTroi#1
In fact, one of my biggest issues with these series is that there was so little crossover between characters (besides Worf and O'Brien) that it almost seemed like events in one series had very little bearing on events in the others. With Voyager, it's more understandable because the ship was stranded in a different part of the galaxy, but I thought it would have been nice to have ended this series with a crossover to DS9 episode.
critter42
26. Lsana
@23,

I noticed the whole "if it's really moving backward in time, it should be small when the Pasteur first arrives, then non-existent when the Enterprise arrives later" but I rationalized it as part of Q's test: the anomoly isn't moving through time linearly, and while "backwards" is a better description than "forwards," neither is perfectly accurate.
Keith DeCandido
27. krad
Thanks, everyone! There'll be a 7th season overview on Friday, and then the next two weeks will be spent on the four TNG movies, before I kick in with DS9.

Scavenger: The answers to your questions can be found in my writeup of "Galaxy's Child." La Forge's actions in that episode were reprehensible.

---Keith R.A. DeCandido
Rob Rater
28. Quasarmodo
LaForge probably just stalked her relentlessly, possibly even having a hand in her husband's death. What's so creepy about that??

Or maybe Q showed up at some point again offering the crew their greatest wishes, and he again offered LaForge sight, to which Geordi responded "Screw my eyes! MAKE LEAH BRAHMS LOVE ME!!!!"

Orrrrrrr.... 25+ years into the future, it's now legal to marry a holodeck character. Or it's not legal, but Geordi did it anyway.
critter42
29. Eben Brooks
Bravo, mon ami! I don't know why I waited as long as I did to start reading these, but I've positively devoured them over the course of the last three weeks. I even decided to go back and watch some episodes (thank you, Netflix streaming!) based on your high reviews of them, and wow! I had forgotten how good they were. Thank you. I look forward to the writeups of the movies and to your rewatch of DS9. I hope that I may see you again in person some time. Do let me know if you ever make it out to this coast, and I will do my very best to meet come see you.
critter42
30. MDS
Keith - thank you so much for your epic work!! It was highly enjoyable.

Was anybody at the Toronto Skydome (with over 30,000 people in the stadium) watching this finale? When the future Enterprise decloaked with its triple nacelles, the roar of the crowd was unbelievable.
critter42
31. Ashcom
@23 (&26) - In fact it does make sense that the Pasteur doesn't see the anomaly when it arrives. As they have not yet set off the Tachyon beam, it does not yet exist, regardless of which direction in time it is moving. However, what does not make sense is that when the Enterprise-D goes back to the location they find it, as at this point it should be moving backwards in time from a point in the past, and therefore should not be there any more.

That's a niggle though. I also thought this was "good but not great". It was fun to see everyone, and I think it hit the right level of people to bring back, such as having Tomalak appear as a kind of representative of "all past adversaries" (it could have got silly if they had tried to fit too many in).

(One more niggle. Data looked more like a badger than a skunk!)
critter42
32. Gilbetron
@31. Okay. Maybe. But if your explanation holds (that the anomaly didn't exist until after it was created), then why is the anomaly visible in the other two time periods, *in the past*?

Like you said, though, it's a niggle. Because otherwise I think we're relatively on the same page regarding the overall effect of the episode.
Mike S2
33. MikeS2
@17, ChristopherLBennett, also @23, Gilbetron. @17:
an overly convoluted Braga-esque technobabble puzzle that doesn't make a lick of sense.
This is on-target. But then:
It doesn't have any message, any statement to make beyond "Hey, this was a cool show, wasn't it?" Which I suppose is fine if you're doing a series finale, but don't pretend it's some profound cosmic life lesson, okay?
Look closer, at the relationship of a TV series to life. They started at a certain point, had seven years and 170-something episodes, some they made the effort and it paid off, some they phoned it in, some they had constraints they couldn't work around, other times they missed opportunities. Now it's over and done. The metaphor couldn't be clearer than Picard being at the end of his life. And the past can't be changed. Except this is a TV show, and with Q they can. Also, TV shows end (some people argue that's why they are enjoyable) but life goes on, and we're not going to see these people day-to-day anymore, if they would real they would go on to have full lives as we see in the 25-years-on segment, but we just got this one seven-year window into their lives. The meaning was there. Forget who fired what tachyon pulse or whatever damn thing. Just beautifully rich focus on characters, not just by the standards of the show but by the standards of anything.
Mike S2
34. MikeS2
Actually, it would be remiss to mention my one hair-pulling objection to this episode, which is that Picard got Captain Beverly's ship blown up, which is a mandatory court-marshal, which probably isn't going to go well because she was doing something extremely risky as a favor for her ex-husband. But in the next scene she's just sipping a drink like nothing happened.
Joe Vondracek
35. joev
@4. Lisamarie:
Hulu currently has the first season of DS9 available for free.
critter42
36. Ashcom
@32 - Hard to explain, but it makes sense in my head. The way I see it, the past, present and future are three entirely separate timelines (which is why events in one cannot be recalled in the others.) The only thing linking them together is Picard travelling between them. In the past and present timelines the anomaly exists because it has already been created, albeit in the future. In the future timeline, the anomaly is only a potential until the moment at which the Pasteur sends the tachyon beam, as that is what creates it. The tachyon beam scans beyond the subspace barrier therefore it isn't a huge leap in logic (or at least no bigger than that leap itself) to assume that it can scan beyond a single timeline into "all possible timelines".
critter42
37. perplyone
I'm with Chris on this one. The technobabble mucking up the time continuum didn't work for me, but at least it wasn't Voyager -_-. Wake me when we get there! I was sad when the show went off, but we had DS9 already in full swing. For finales, I thought DS9's was much better in the execution. I'll read your thoughts about the movies, but I'm chomping at the bit for DS9. Bring on the Bajorans!
Jay Hash
38. JYHASH
Keith, you made it buddy! Good work, and I must say this has been a highlight of my internet life for awhile now. I await your DS9 re-watch with anticipation.

As for the episode, I am overcome by waves of nostalgia concerning it as I was 11 when it aired, and ANYTHING Trek was the paragon of entertainment for me. I remember being entranced by the finale and hanging on its every moment, and even crying at the end when Picard is content playing poker with the rest of his crew, his friends.

Yeah, in the end it doesn't quite pass muster as a fully realized endeavor that is a bit fraught with bad science (yet nowhere near as bad science as we have seen from prior episodes, or will see from VOY), the script is tightly acted, and the showrunners try to do their best to get everyone together for one last hurrah. As for certain continuity errors, it is to be expected, but for all our assumptions (e.g. O'Brien is the Battle Bridge Conn Officer and ONLY the Battle Bridge Conn Officer) it was nice to have that inclusion and see the rapport that all the actors, even those that had been away from the series for a long time, were able to have with the script. Worf talking to Yar as if they had been working together for years, Data and O'Brien debating the finer points of maddening euphemisms: it still was great entertainment. And yeah, we may come back to it years later and when our nostalgia wears off see those flaws, but for what it was, it was an excellent send off.

In an era when TV Shows end and they get absolutely abysmal endings (BSG's "it was all in the past" ending, Enterprise's "Holodeck Simulation", Doctor Who's "The next doctor is Matt Smith", etc.) it was great to see that something like TNG which refreshed the fan base, and kept Trek relevant for almost another decade, went out like a champ. With a bang, not a whimper: that's why this episode is great.

I'd also make an argument that DS9's "What You Leave Behind" is even better than this episode in terms of catharsis and epic scope. Sure it didn't end with Bajor being inducted into the Federation, but it got there eventually in the 8th season from Pocket Books.

Bravo! Onto DS9!
critter42
39. Jeff R.
I think it's fairer to consider "Terra Prime" the series finale of Enterprise, and "These Are the Voyages" as a franchise finale for all Modern trek. Both episodes are considerably more successful viewed in that light, although TAtV is never going to be great in any context.
critter42
40. Nick. S
I really liked this episode but the thing I didn't understand was Q claiming it was the Continuum that ordered the test, but it was Q's idea to send him through time, and Picard thanked him. However, if Q never sent him through time, the anomaly would never have formed in the first place. Does Q mean that he decided the parameters of the test and Picard thanked him because of the new perspectives it gave him? Or was he thanking him for sending him through time because it helped him solve the anomaly?
Phil Parsons
41. Yakko
On the Moore/Braga commentary track for Star Trek: Generations the writers talk at length about how much effort and time went into the script for that movie and how rushed they were on the teleplay for "All Good Things" and how, in the end, they decided that "All Good Things" was much better.
Sara H
42. LadyBelaine
.... and scene.

Yay!

Thanks for the entire project, Keith. It was really very entertaining and enjoyable and will throw you particular props, snaps and kudos for responding to comments and engaging your readers.

I will always love future Data, remain aghast, lo these twenty-some-odd years later, at the notion of Leah Brahm's marrying her cyber-stalker(you know what I mean) - I mean, I was less creeped out when Laura married her rapist Luke on General Hospital, for peetsakes, and I always grooved to the idea that Beverly gets command her own medical vessel (then again, wasn't she shunted off to head Starfleet Medical during her second season absence? What an oddly twisting career she's had). I loved the whole Shakespearean ups and downs of Worf's post Starfleet political career and I love the fact that the Klingons conquered and absorbed the Romulan Empire, when I always got the feeling that it was the Klingons who were in retrenchment and the Romulans ascendant.

I will also nod approvingly at the future uniforms sported by Beverly and the Pasteur's crew which looked somewhat cheaper (budget concerns, no doubt) but still conveyed a trim, spartan military aesthetic and was a nice continuation of the TNG ones. I will quibble that Beverly was wearing command red and not sciences blue, though.

Lastly I will commend to your attention that the design of the Pasteur, a large globe, instead of a saucer, affixed to the base with nacelles model, is a definite allusion to an earlier, original concept design for the TOS Enterprise. I would include a linked reference but then Tor-bot blocks the post as spam.

Bravo, Keith. Looking forward to DS9 next!
critter42
43. MDS
Having viewed all of the TNG episodes in the last few months, I realize that the captain that I would most want to work for in Trek is...Crusher.

For the longest time it had been Picard, and then more recently, Pike (Greenwood version). But having re-watched Crusher as captain recently in Descent and here in the finale, she would be my choice. She has a calm, non-stressful and respectful style on the bridge. And she's very supportive of the junior officers.
critter42
44. ChrisG
Thanks for all the hard work and great summaries, Keith. I really enjoyed it, and I'm looking forward to more.
Phil Parsons
45. Yakko
Keith it's an impressive two years of work and it's been a blast to read your opinions and summaries as well as those of all the posters. Thanks for everything and like many here I'm looking forward to revisiting DS9 with you.
critter42
46. RobinM
Great Job Keith this has been fun and I'm looking forward to the movies and DS9 rewatches too.
I'm always torn by this episode it's great that it goes full circle and the gangs all here including Yar and Q but I hate time travel episodes they give me a headache. Q's test makes no sense at all because how exactly did going through all this timey whimey stuff save humanity? I liked the future bits with Geordi, Data and Crusher. It always drove me crazy that they never explained how Troi DIED! The best part was the end when Picard joined the poker game and it ended on a happy note. This episode will always have a special place in my heart because it aired the night of my college graduation. The champaign is gone the house is quiet, and I sat alone in the living room at 2 a. m. to wired to sleep; watching the end of something that I loved getting ready to start on a new voyage of my own.
critter42
47. Erik Dercf
This episode was a pleasant bookend to Farpoint but I'm so glad movies followed and spin off shows conltinued. Having gone through all of this makes it clear to me that while I enjoy reboots I do not crave them. The writers and actors created characters that I would like see develop more because I care about what happens to them.
critter42
48. Edgar Governo
I still think this is one of the greatest television series finales of all time. The beauty of an episode like this is that I am completely aware of all the nitpicks people have mentioned, but it doesn't matter.

Encapsulating all of the feelings and personal attachment one has for the show is far more important, which is why I can wave off the anti-time stuff here but can't forgive something like the lack of Jadzia footage in the "What You Leave Behind" montages. (Yes, I know why that happened, but it's one of the reasons I'll never care much for that finale.)

The test always made sense to me: Can humanity think outside the box? Can Picard function the way Q does? Moving between time periods and acting in them "simultaneously" is the only way to both deduce and solve the episode's crisis; Picard's ability to do this, while also accepting the paradox that he is the cause of it, is the proof that humanity might just be able to operate on that next level.

I also think Keith is overstating the case with La Forge (who I also thought was more awkward than creepy), but it's been a while since I've watched "Galaxy's Child."
critter42
49. Erik Dercf
On a further note I think this Trek ending isn't so profound but self centered. The original series didn't get a proper ending. Voyager and DS9 did get proper endings. Enterprises ending was more a Next Gen episode than a Enterprise episode and it served to resolve a problem for Riker and Troi than it did for the Enterprise crew. But of all the endings I think the ending in DS9 has the most value for meaning and is truest to Star Trek's vehicle for social discussion. What do you guys think?
Christopher Bennett
50. ChristopherLBennett
@48: "The test always made sense to me: Can humanity think outside the box? Can Picard function the way Q does? Moving between time periods and acting in them "simultaneously" is the only way to both deduce and solve the episode's crisis; Picard's ability to do this, while also accepting the paradox that he is the cause of it, is the proof that humanity might just be able to operate on that next level."
But how is that "next-level" thinking? It's frankly a very easy puzzle to solve. Particularly with Q making it blindingly obvious by making Picard's awareness jump between timeframes so that he is experiencing them almost simultaneously. That's just what I find so lame about it. It's presented as this profound insight that requires some great leap of consciousness to grasp, but it's so damn obvious and simplistic. Anyone who's studied relativity has encountered more difficult challenges to our assumptions of causality, so this should've been elementary to the captain of a science vessel that travels faster than light, particularly a captain that already has so much firsthand experience with time travel.
critter42
51. scifisiren
I love this episode with unabashed affection. I get emotional just thinking about it. A great moment for TNG.

My main take from this rewatch: TNG needed more Dr. Crusher.

This rewatch has been awesome, KRAD. Can't wait for DS9.
critter42
52. TribblesandBits
I have to agree that this was the strongest finish of any Trek series, and it did a lot of things well.

I rewatched 'What You Leave Behind' recently and I can sum up what was great about it in one word..."Minsk!"
Chin Bawambi
53. bawambi
Thanks for all the hard work Keith and I very much look forward to DS9 but I always have and always will detest this episode. Chris @50 sets the main problem with this episode up but I also had major problems with several other aspects of it. Since I could never get past the setup and actually thought the Q part of it was mailed in by deLancie the episode really irked me. Ugh 3 at best because the main cast was pretty good with what they were presented which will always be hot garbage in my mind.
critter42
54. tottman
Couldn't disagree more. This was an awful episode and probably the worst of an admittedly bad bunch of Star Trek universe finales. They tried to be nostalgic and give everyone a moment in the sun but they failed to tell an interesting story in the process. Not only that, but I was completely uninterested in the futures of all the characters. Sometimes it's better to just leave that to the imagination. This episode was a disaster on all fronts for me and I prefer to pretend it doesn't exist.
critter42
55. CounselorDeannaTroi#1Fan
Did anyone ever play "A Final Unity" for the PC back in the mid 1990s? I thought the story of that game would have also made a good ending.
critter42
56. perplyone
@ 55. I played that, but upgraded windows not long after. It didn't work right under Win98, IIRC. Looked like a good game though.
Dylan Maddalena
57. Thor-roboT
I dont' cry. Not a cryer. But something about the circle of life in this episode makes me well up every time. Crusher's make-up really was amazing. She runs a theatre company in LA and truly... that is EXACTLY what she looks like. Maybe slightly softer, but still. Amazing.

The test everyone keeps talking about - am I wrong here, or wasn't it them trying to scan the interior of the anomoly to figure out how to close it? And once all 3 beams were converging, THAT was the point where Q really spells it out for Picard in the (alternate, anomoly filled) distant past. And since both ships were Starfleet, couldn't they use the same frequency for the Pasteur's beam too? Bottom line, I didn't have a problem with that.

I always felt a little strange having Worf date Troi. SO MANY TIMES we hear Worf mention how he'd rip a human female apart and so we give him the softest, gentlest human(ish) female? Maybe Troi's hinted-at sexual appetite makes it work. I dunno. Either way, I'm glad Rike and Troi finally bit the bullet and got back together. They just know each other too well, and have been through too much together at this stage to marry anyone else.

I'm truly sorry I came to this rewatch party so late. I watch the show on Netflix as I'm falling asleep a lot of nights anyway, so I was able to follow along without a hitch. But what fun to have a whole community of people who enjoy this show - one of the best television experiences ever. In a world where most tv sucks badly, I can't get enough of TNG, even having seen it probably WAY too many times. It just never gets old. When I watch, i feel like "I...can fly anywhere. take a look. Its in a book..." Wait. What I mean is, "See you...OUT THERE"
Alan Brown
58. AlanBrown
I wholly agreed with Mr. Bennett above when he said, "There's no great lesson in probing the mysteries of existence here, just an overly convoluted Braga-esque technobabble puzzle that doesn't make a lick of sense." From the very first time I saw this episode, I thought it was a bunch of nice character moments wrapped together with one of the stupidest and illogical central premises that I had ever seen.
Dylan Maddalena
59. Thor-roboT
Robin M(comment 46): Thats almost as powerful as the last moments of the show. Count your lucky stars... My college memory is Grease. They produced it in college just as we were graduating and thats also about the future and friends. Problem is its a John Travolta musical. Im not going to lie, it hold a spot in my heart anyway.

I really am re-commenting because I neglected to thank you, Keith, for this undertaking. You were knowledgable, insighful, and I often scrolled straight to your review section (just because I know all the shows so well) and you were thoughtful and dead-on pretty much all the time. Just, thanks.
Christopher Bennett
60. ChristopherLBennett
@59: Well, Travolta played the lead in the movie version of Grease, but the role was originated on Broadway by Barry Bostwick six years earlier (and played by others off-Broadway before then, but Wikipedia doesn't name them), and has been played on stage by dozens of others since then (including Treat Williams, Patrick Swayze, David Hasselhoff, Greg Evigan, Jeff Conaway, and Richard Gere). So it's not really "a John Travolta musical."
critter42
61. Edgar Governo
@50: Can you describe a challenge that would've been more difficult and in keeping with that theme--but still easy enough to follow that it would work in the context of a television episode?
critter42
62. Lance Sibley
@30: "Was anybody at the Toronto Skydome (with over 30,000 people in the stadium) watching this finale?"

*waves*

I was there with my ex-husband and a couple of friends. And, as you said, 30,000 other people (some of whom, no doubt, I've since met and become friends with via fandom). Now *that's* how you watch a Star Trek episode! :)
critter42
64. MDS
@62
Glad you were there! It was an incredible, communal experience, when Trek had just entered the peak of its popularity. A privilege to have attended.
Christopher Bennett
65. ChristopherLBennett
@61: If I were being paid for coming up with such a story idea, and if I had time to think about it, I'm sure I could. Heck, Braga himself has come up with more challenging enigmas in other episodes. It wouldn't exactly be difficult to come up with a puzzle less simplistic and obvious than this one. It's not as if something happening backwards in time is an unprecedented idea -- it's been part of our culture since the legend of Merlin living backwards, at least. (I'm reminded of all those TV shows and comics and such where the hero is challenged with an "insoluble" riddle and it's just one of the age-old riddles everyone knows, like the Riddle of the Sphinx or the one about the one guard who always tells the truth and the other guard who always lies.)
Bridget McGovern
66. BMcGovern
JLP @63: You know, I was perfectly willing to let you come back and join the discussion as long as you were willing to respect the rules outlined in the moderation policy--which is why I haven't been deleting your recent comments. But if you insist on acting like a child, you will continue to be banned, and your comments deleted. It's as simple as that.
Dante Hopkins
67. DanteHopkins
Keith, I am very glad we could end this rewatch with you and I agreeing. This was a great finish to TNG, and I watched in rapt attention at 14 years old when this first aired in 1994, and I watch in rapt attention every time I see "All Good Things..." Im always a bit sad after I watch this, even back in '94, knowing full well the TNG cast was gonna be in the next movie, DS9 was still airing, and Voyager was coming up the following January. And I still feel a little sad each time after,even knowing full well I can watch it all again. But this was the end of an extraordinary chapter in Trek, one that was never quite duplicated. I loved loved Deep Space Nine and Voyager, and Enterprise, but TNG always has a special place in my heart.

Though I was late to the party, much as I was late in watching TNG during its original run, coming in at Season 5 (to be fair, I was 11 years old at the time) thank you Keith for this rewatch, and it has been fun talking with other Trek-minded folks. Much like its original run, I'm glad I'll be able to partake in the DS9 rewatch from the top, and look forward to the trivia and insights, and to agreeing and disagreeing (from this rewatch, probably mostly disagreeing, but hey) with your reviews. Agree or not you gave amazing insights and I look forward to DS9.
Phil Parsons
68. Yakko
@30 and 62

Do you guys remember if the crowd had a reaction to Picard's reveal that the Klingons had conquered the Romulan Empire in the alternate future? I always imagined that an assembled group of Trekkies in Klingon garb would bellow out "Qapla!" at such a moment....
critter42
69. Lance Sibley
@68: my recollection is that everyone was pretty much watching in rapt attention. I don't recall any specific reactions to any particular scenes. (Mind you, that was nearly 19 years ago...)
critter42
70. Josh L
After leaving no opportunity to mention it, it's clear those Brahms episodes made you REALLY not like La Forge.
critter42
71. JohnC
After reading the comments, a few quibbles - I have to take issue with those who suggest Crusher is some sort of born captain. Rubbish. In this episode alone, she endangers an entire ship and, but for Ryker's prescience, everyone would be vaporized. More important, she has the gall to take her ex to task claiming the past Picard never would have stood for the rash insubordination of the older one. Really? Does she not forget that years ago she blatantly ignored the explicit command of her Captain on an away mission, which ultimately led to her ridiculous Stockholm-syndrome love affair with a terrorist, the death of several people, and the near death of her son and destruction of the Enterprise itself? Crusher is a menace. Watch her attitude throughout the series and it's a wonder she wasnt court martialed several times over.....

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