Sunday, February 5, 2012

Must Come To An End

TNG: All Good Things
Episode 7-25, #277
SD 47988.1
Written by Brannon Braga and Ronald D. Moore.

Picard is moving through time. He tells Worf and Deanna so right at a moment when the small but vocal Worf/Deanna ship meets it's moment of trumph, even though Worf worries about hurting Will. Cute. Worf and Deanna even went on a date, and they almost kissed. But all good things must come to an end.


Well, they didn't waste any time. Picard is okay but he is confused. He and Deanna talk about his feelings instead of breaking out the tricorders. I miss TNG. He was in the past, then the future.

And sudenly it's 25 years after they were on the Enterprise and Picard is tending grapes. I guess you can go home again. Geordi shows up which is when I figure out its 25 years after they were on the Enterprise. Picard has retired from being an Ambassador to somewhere. Geordi and Picard start tying up vines. BTW Geordi has eyes and is married with children to Leah, presumably Leah Brahms. I thought she was married, but I guess all good things must come to an end. And he's heard Picard has what my friend Tim would probably call SpaceAlzheimer's. And Geordi is writing novels. And Picard is seeing some raggedy looking people...

And he's with Tasha on the shuttle to take command of the Enterprise. Very cool. Poor Denise has 80s hair. And Picard can't stop staring at her. I think he remembers now what's been happening in other time periods, which he didn't seem to be aware of in the future. And there's the ship...

And he's back to Deanna, and tells her he jut saw Tasha.


Picard is okay. Again. Beverly and Will and Alyssa are running around checking things. Picard hasn't gotten off the ship in weeks, poor guy. And he might get that SpaceAlzheimer's later on, he has some defect in his brain. Picard and Beverly have a moment with some flute music. And then Starfleet calls. I guess all good things must come to an end.

Now there's this anomaly in the Devron system. Where is the Devron system? The Neutral Zone. And thirty Warbirds are headed for it. Wow, Brannon and Ron. You just jumped right in. So they have to go check out
this anomaly. Really. That's the final episode. Check out an anomaly.

Then he's back in the vineyard... moving through time maybe? He's very confused and Geordi thinks it's the SpaceAlzheimer's. Picard knows he was in sickbay, or maybe a hospital. He insists it was real. He and Geordi decide to go to see Data to check on that. And there are more jeering raggedy people.

Data is at Cambridge, and he's tried to make his hair gray by applying a paintbrush. And he can laugh now. I guess he decided to install that emotion chip after all. I remember he was afraid to because he almost killed Geordi, but I guess all good things must come to an end. And there's a lot of cats. A loooooot of cats. They make an appointment to scan Picard at some lab...

And in the past, Picard takes command of the Enterprise. And Troi looks like an intergalactic cheerleader again. As a side note, his orders to take command are signed by Admiral Norah Satie. That would be continuity. Given a choice between Brannon and Ron, I am going to assume Ron is responsible. Picard is seeing jeering spectators that look very familiar and calls red alert...


There is a meeting. Picard isn't saying anything about what's up so he won't contaminate the timeline, which in my opinion is not his brightest moment in the history of Picard's bright moments. I guess all good things must come to an end. He is actively asking about Q and also refers to Worf as security chief instead of Tasha. Oopsie. Way to gain confidence in your new command. They also have an alert about an anomaly in the Neutral Zone. Worf thinks its a trick and Starfleet wants to cancel the mission to Farpoint but Picard says no.

He and Miles head for Engineering to fix the plasma inducers that don't work. Picard fixes them no problem (so much for protecting the timeline) and we meet Data, who is being veeeeery literal. Good times. I miss that.  I guess all good things must come to an end. Picard greets him happily. They go fix things. And then he hears Beverly....

And he's in the present in Sickbay. He recounts his adventures. And Beverly says he has too many new memories... Proof!


Deanna doesn't remember any new events from seven years ago. Therefore, there is a discontinuity between events, and it might have to do with the anomaly. It also means protecting the timeline isn't an issue, but of course nothing will come of that. Will tries to invite Deanna out to dinner after the meeting but she has plans with Worf. Awkward. Picard gives some orders. Will is distracted now but says he's fine. Picard heads for his ready room and Beverly follows and makes some warm milk. She is sad about his defective brain. They have a moment. It is sweet. They kiss. All the Picard/Beverly shippers cheer. She leaves. I guess all good things must come to an end.

And he wakes up in the future, but remembers the present. They have the lab time but Picard wants to go to the Neutral Zone. But there is no Neutral Zone. Not anymore. The Klingons took over everything and they apparently hate the Federation now. Fun. I guess all good things must come to an end. So they need a ship, and they will have to call Will.

Will is no help.  I guess all good things must come to an end. Ouch. That's harsh. Picard is furious. Will, BTW, is "Admiral Riker". Data suggests a medical ship, which are an option because they are helping treat an outbreak of Madeupdiseaseitis on Romulus. So they call the USS Pasteur. Picard used to have pull with the captain.

AKA Beverly. I guess Picard used to be married to her, and divorced. I guess all good things must come to an end. The Crusher/Picard ship cries in pain. They decide to call Worf, who may be able to help them cross the border. Picard goes to rest and Geordi and Beverly worry about his condition. None of them believe the time travel thing. Stupid SpaceAlzheimer's.

And Picard knows this of course but when he leaves the turbolift, he walks into the past, about the time they ran into Q the first time. Q isn't where he should be though. It doesn't help his standing with the crew when he starts yelling at Q who isn't there and muttering "This isn't how its supposed to happen," on the Bridge. Not. His. Brightest. Day. I guess some days you just got it, and some days you just don't. So much for protecting the timeline - in the original timeline, Picard didn't act like a crazy person. But I guess all good things must come to an end.

He goes to the ready room and winds up in Qcourt in his present time uniform.


Picard and Q have an argument about the trial from before. Q, contending that it never ended, which I guess if  you don't have linear time, it didn't and thank you for DS9 to teach us about that. Q decides to let Picard guess what's going on in 10 yes or no questions.
1. Are you putting mankind on trial again? No.
2. Is there any connection between the trial 7 years ago and what's happening now? Yes.
3. The spatial anomaly in The Neutral Zone - is it related to whats going on? Yes.
4. Is it part of a Romulan plot? 5.A ploy to start a war? No and no. Mind your punctuation, Picard. This is Q.
6. Did you create the anomaly? No.
7. Are you responsible for my shifting through time? Yes.
8. Why? Forfeit all questions.

Sigh. Picard is dumb today. I guess all good things must come to an end.

Apparently the trial never ended and Picard has lost. We are about to be denied existence. "Its time to put an end to your trek through the stars." Cute. And he says Picard will cause the annihilation of mankind. He's done it before, is doing it now and will do it again. I guess all good things must come to an end.

Any sane Trekkie can connect those dots, but Picard obviously had time for a giant bowl of stupidflakes because he's not getting it.  He returns to the present and calls for a briefing and red alert. In that order. Because red alert will help in this situation.


They debate if Q is lying or not. Data latches on to Picard's info from Q and points out he can be doing whatever causes them to not exist in three time periods. Picard thinks Q is allowing Picard to fix it - Data likens their relationship to a master and his pet. Flattering.

They reach the Neutral Zone. Picard calls the Romulans...

And Worf has gotten old. He allows Picard to cross the border provided he comes along to help them. He also seems to hate Will Riker. Interesting. And where is Deanna? Bet it has to do with her. I guess all good things must come to an end. Beverly says she will run if there's trouble because they aren't well armed. She offers to let Picard give the order to get underway...

And "Engage to where, sir?" Back to the past, and he just told them to engage out of nowhere, which means they think he's crazy again. Q must be enjoying this. He heads to the Devron system, which he just said he wasn't going to, then runs to his ready room to hide from the close to mutiny crew. Deanna follows and tells him she is worried about the crew. Picard calls Riker and they use footage from "The Arsenal of Freedom" for beardless Riker. After, Deanna tells Picard she and Will used to date. She leaves. Picard can't order tea...

And then Tomalak is on the screen in the present. Picard suggests they each send one ship to investigate the anomaly, a plan not approved by Starfleet. They do.

The thing is pretty scary looking and...

There it is in the past. Bigger. They start scanning...

And in the future it isn't there.


They can't find the anomaly and the Klingons are coming so they try another method of scanning with an inverse tachyon pulse, but they only have 6 hours. Picard protests this decision but Beverly, being the captain and all, drags him into the ready room and reams him out but good for questioning her orders. Fun. She also tells him to allow for the possibility that he might be crazy, but agrees to stay six more hours. Then she says "If it was anyone else, we wouldn't even be here." Sweet? Maybe? Who knows.

She leaves, and Q appears and taunts Picard, then takes him away to...

...Back to the the present. Picard tells Data to use and inverse tachyon pulse to scan the anomaly. That works okay. Until Geordi collapses in pain and Data has to take him to Sickbay. So Geordi is sick. In Sickbay. And by Sick, we mean Growing New Eyes is an illness. But... VISOR! I guess all good things must come to an end. Data has figured out that the anomaly is an eruption of "anti-time" which I bet Ron or Brannon thought of while either smoking weed or working on DS9. Things near the eruption reverse themselves... like, say, eyes that never grew in the first place? Oh well, the point is made. But, you know how when matter and antimatter collide you get a big matter explosion? Well, when time and anti-time collide... you get the idea. Picard starts to ask a question and...

...Picard tells Data of the past what to scan for, impressing the heck out of poor past Data with his genius. Then he goes to his ready room, and ....

The Klingons are attacking the Pasteur. I guess all good things must come to an end.


Boom. Biiiig boom. Baa-da boom. And so on. Warp gone, big trouble, Geordi can't fix anything but he's out of practice so we won't kill him for it. Beverly tries to get the Klingons to stop attacking by telling them they're on a medical mission, then she tries to surrender, which worked for Picard in the first 10 minutes of "Encounter at Farpoint," to be fair, but I guess all good things must come to an end. The Klingons keep firing.

Then the Enterprise decloaks with a third nacelle and kicks some Klingon butt. Obviously the Treaty of Algeron was kaput at some point.

I'd like to stop for a moment and talk about this, because I grew up in the 80s to 90s with Deanna Troi and we do that. I have heard a lot of hate for the third nacelle over the last few years. In fact, it's been almost 20 years now, and I feel like there's some things I need to say, namely why is it that everyone seems to think this is stupid? Really, it's the future! It might not even be real, did you consider that? Last time we saw Q, he took Picard into his own past and none of that had any effect! Who cares if they slapped another nacelle on the Enterprise model, they're about to blow it up for good! Okay, rant over.

Anyway, so the Enterprise beams aboard the Pasteur’s crew and the Pasteur blows up while Will and Worf start yelling about whose fault this is. Picard tries to stop Will from just leaving the system but of course he won't listen, and Beverly hyposprays Picard...

And Picard stumbles in the hallway as he returns to the present. But he goes to Sickbay and Alyssa has lost her baby. The fetal tissue started to de-age because of the anomaly. Poor Alyssa. Picard orders a check on how far this effect is spreading - pretty darn far as it turns out. So there's only the one choice. He needs to collapse the anomaly unless it will make things worse. Who knows? This is pretty serious stuff. Picard is pondering the seriousness of this with all the intelligence of Sam Carter in season 1 of Stargate, which is to say none, because this stupid idiot that Picard has turned into in this episode can't even figure out what Kirk always knew - if you have a situation that sucks, undo it, it'll probably work out better.

And that's when Q shows up. He takes Picard away for some perspective. Three and a half million years of it, in the past in France. Which is dirty. "I really must speak to the maid," mutters Q. He takes Picard out into the volcanoes and the rocks and shows him a pool of gunk, and the anomaly in the sky. This far back, it fills the whole quadrant. Life is about to form for the first time - amino acids are to combine to create the first protein. And then, nothing. I guess all good things must come to an end.

No protein. No reaction. No combination. No life on Earth.

This presents an interesting question, and actually crosses a line Trek rarely crosses about the existence of God. I'd like to stop and explore that a bit.

First of all, I feel obligated to point out that this is Q. Q lies. He lies a lot. Picard believes in science, in fact there is some evidence that his background is in the hard sciences, so having him believe in science makes sense, maybe this is something targeted for Picard, to make him believe what Q is selling. The flip side of that is that the episode never happened if that is the case, meaning that the entire final episode never happened. I don't like that.

Okay, so let's say God doesn't exist, and science is all there is. Star Trek doesn't support that either, not really. Even at this point, despite Kirk's denial of our need for gods, there is some evidence to suggest that divine intervention exists in Trek, or at least vastly different life that has an interest in our well-being. The Traveller? Q, for that matter? Picard's triumph over the Borg collective? Evidence of higher powers, other types of existence we cannot begin to imagine. I would say that Star Trek does not disallow for the existence of God.

And yet, here we are, watching His hand be stilled, the existence of the human race stopped. It's like we got past light and sky and water and then there was nothing else, the anomaly stopped God? Wait a minute. God is God. This episode, on the surface, gives great problems to the Trekkies of faith. You're out there, people!

But there is another way to look at it. Most major religions show that God is benevolent. He does what is best in the long term. So, let's talk about the anomaly. It will stop normal space from forming, it will disrupt life in thousands of unknown ways for everyone for millions of years. It will degrade the quality of life of the human race, and probably many others. I think we can agree that is a bad thing. God, rather than not acting to create the human race, may be choosing not to create the human race in a less-than-optimal environment because... why? Why would He do that? Because He knows there are other realities, where this anomaly does not exist, on which he can focus His energy. It's a classic multiverse paradox, and Picard falls for it, hook, line, and sinker. I guess all good things must come to an end.

"Congratulations," says Q as Picard figures it out. And...

Picard wakes up an old man in the future, after being hyposprayed by Beverly. He leaves his quarters and tries to find his crew.

The crew are in Ten-Forward, discussing old times and why it is that Will and Worf are not speaking, which turns out to be because Deanna died and nothing ever happened between her and Worf, probably because of Will. The small but vocal Worf/Deanna ship is very sad.

Picard gets in a turbolift and can't figure out how to use it. Oh dear.

He eventually, after a wrong deck incident, does make it to Ten Forward and starts babbling about how "the future is in the past" which no one believes is anything even when he says it was the tachyon beams converging that did it. "It's the chicken and the egg, Will, the chicken and the egg!" And then Data gets it. A paradox! Data assumes that everything Picard has been saying is true, and then Geordi clues in too. They are finally all on the same page and back in sync. And they will return to the Devron system.

On the way out, Will recruits Worf to help.


When they arrive in the Devron system, they find a teeny tiny eensy bitty anomaly barely worth mentioning. I guess it gets bigger on both sides? Or something. Data says they should shut down the tachyon pulses, which makes sense, since they want to seal this thing. Picard stands up, and...

Picard orders the tachyon pulse turned off in the present, and...

Picard order the tachyon pulse turned off in the past, but there is no change, he frowns and...

Data has a new plan, which involves flying into the anomaly using a static warp shell, which would have to be done in all three time periods. This is the last bit of technobabble of TNG. I guess all good things must come to an end. Picard reacts...

And Picard in the past announces his plan to fly into the anomaly and create a static warp shell to collapse it. The crew objects to the point of mutiny, and why would they not? This guy seems nuts.

I know all of you have doubts about me... about each other...about the ship. All I can say is that even though we've only been together for a short time... I know that you are the finest crew in the fleet... and I would trust each of you with my life.

And that does it, he wins them over and it's really that simple. They initiate the static warp shell and...

Data in the present has the idea to initiate a static warp shell and Picard is already there with him.  Data is surprised. "Mr. Data, you're a clever man. In any time period." Lol. Picard sits down, and...

Picard tells the future crew that the other two ships are coming. Will orders them to go in, and...

In the past, they have some trouble getting in, and...

In the present, They have some power problems and ...

In the future, they enter, the anomaly, and...

In the past, they initiate the static warp shell, and...

In the present, they initiate the static warp shell, and...

In the future, they can see that it is working, and...

In the past, they can see the other two Enterprises, and...

In the present, they can see the other two Enterprises, and...

In the future, they see the other two Enterprises, and...

In the past, the ship is struggling to stay intact but the plan is working. Suddenly...

The past Enterprise explodes. It is working. They're gonna be destroyed, but it is working. And...

The present Enterprise explodes. Q appears on the bridge in the future. The anomaly is almost gone. Q tells Picard,
Goodbye, Jean-Luc. I'll miss you. You did have so much potential. But I guess... all good things must come to an end.
And at that moment, for me, it was really ending.

Warp core containment is critical. The ship explodes, and as it does, the anomaly collapses.

The screen is white for a moment.

Picard is back in the courtroom in his present uniform, holding his head in his hands. Q tells him it worked, and that the Continuum changed their minds about humanity because Picard discovered the paradox, he opened his mind for an instant. Never mind he was crazy when he did that.

Picard thanks Q for helping. I guess all good things must come to an end.

"Remember," says Q, "The trial never ends..." His chair recedes from the platform and...

Picard is running around the ship in his pajamas again, interrupting the kiss we now know is doomed on Stardate 47988. Again. And Picard goes back to bed.

Captain's Log, supplemental. Starfleet Command reports no unusual activity along the Neutral Zone and there is no sign of a temporal anomaly. It would appear that I am the only member of the crew to retain any knowledge of the events I experienced.
The last log. I guess all good things must come to an end.

The final scene. I guess all good things must come to an end.

At the poker game, they have the usual banter. Will is winning like always. Beverly tells them she doesn't want to drift apart. Will thinks Picard told them about the future he saw because he didn't want certain things to happen. He looks at Worf as he says that. Worf agrees.

Deanna arrives. And then Picard, for the first time ever. They let him deal.

"I should have done this a long time ago," he says, as he looks around the table.

The camera shows the scene from overhead.

"Five card stud, nothing wild, and the sky's the limit."

I guess all good things must come to an end.

And that's the end.

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