Journey's End Stardate: 47751.2 Original Airdate: 28 Mar, 1994

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Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season 7, Episode 20

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Star Trek: The Next Generation

“Journey's End”

2.5 stars.

Air date: 3/28/1994 Written by Ronald D. Moore Directed by Corey Allen

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

Review Text

Wesley Crusher returns to the Enterprise during a break from Starfleet Academy while the Enterprise prepares to negotiate the details of moving a Federation colony off a planet that, as a result of a recently signed treaty changing the Federation/Cardassian border, will soon reside inside Cardassian space. It's a two-pronged storyline that ultimately comes together, albeit somewhat clumsily.

After a stretch of episodes that seemed like the series going haywire with every kitchen-sink idea it could think of (including some spectacularly bad ones), "Journey's End" is the first installment that feels like TNG entering the final leg of the series, making a point to wrap up some character threads — in this case, the story of young Wesley. That it must turn Wesley into a colossal douche in the process (by TNG standards) is something I'm torn over: On the one hand, it's a change of pace (although " The First Duty ," which already dismantled his boy-wonder image, was a much better example of that), but on the other hand it's not exactly a worthwhile change of pace, and it feels awfully ham-handed. Yeah, Wesley is struggling with doubts over who he is and where he's going, but having him lash out just makes him seem childish.

This character thread is set against the backdrop of a Federation colony — made up of American Indians who have preserved a centuries-old culture on this far-away world — being told they are being forced off their land because of political machinations larger than themselves. While the notion of "Space Indians" feels like something that would've been fodder for TOS , the writers bring a decidedly TNG sensibility to it, with Picard wistfully noting the disturbing parallels between this assignment and what happened to Native Americans hundreds of years ago. (Less effective is the contrived guilt surrounding the claim that one of Picard's ancestors was a man who participated in a massacre of Indians, which seems superfluous while indulging the show's spiritual mumbo-jumbo as somehow able to magically provide facts that most people would need books for.)

Meanwhile, the situation created by the treaty here is an interesting footnote because it would soon be the impetus for the Maquis, which would be crucial plot elements for both DS9 and Voyager . Gul Evek (Ricard Poe), the Cardassian who is the thorn in everyone's side here (and at times seems like he wants to be gasoline on a fire), makes for a strong, if sometimes excessively forced, antagonistic presence. He could've been a solid recurring character on DS9 (and indeed he was in a handful of episodes) if the show didn't already have the terrific Dukat.

The plot threads come together as Wesley is befriended by an Indian named Lakanta (Tom Jackson) and encouraged to explore his spiritual side in a ritual that I wish I cared more about, but which feels kind of perfunctory. (Wesley sees his father in this vision, which I guess technically means this episode qualifies in the season's never-ending Family Tree Theater sweepstakes.) It turns out this Indian is actually the mysterious Traveler (Eric Menyuk, last seen in fourth season's " Remember Me "), who is trying to lead Wesley to his destiny as an exceptionally rare human with the ability to transcend space and time.

While it has its moments, "Journey's End" doesn't ever jell. The political solution is too easily solved, such that Picard is able to sidestep the distasteful actions we had been told the whole episode would be unavoidable. As for the final chapter in Wesley's story, I guess it's appropriate for this character — which is part of the problem. When a character's arc is to be constantly and annoyingly exceptional (save the aforementioned "First Duty"), seeing the revelation here that he's actually superhumanly exceptional is not really getting to the crux of the guy. A lot of people have problems and wonder who they are and where they're going. Not a lot of them pull themselves outside of the space-time continuum to find the answer. I guess that's why they call it Star Trek .

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Comment Section

95 comments on this post.

It was lazy writing in this episode to not even talk briefly the events of "The First Duty" as a partial cause to Wesley's disillusionment with being at the Academy. One would think that it would be a traumatic and life changing experience as it was with Sito in "Lower Decks". One would expect more from Ronald D. Moore. Also, what's the deal with Wesley leaving Starfleet, and then 8 years later being back in uniform in Star Trek: Nemesis? There's even that deleted scene with him talking about how he's serving on the USS Titan with Captain Riker. One wonders if there's some semi-canonical story behind that.

All this time, I thought Chris Elliott was the Traveler in a cool cameo of sorts. Oh, well.

" would soon be the impetus for the Maquis, which would be crucial plot elements for both DS9 and Voyager." More precisely, the Maquis would be crucial to Voyager, and DS9 got saddled with the set-up as much as TNG did here. DS9 had to live with the Maquis as a plot element, though, unlike TNG (and, it turns out, Voyager).

I think the fact that the deal Picard strikes ends up creating the Maquis, albeit indirectly, shows that Picard didn't really sidestep the moral issues, but found a best-of-a-bad-situation compromise that creates more problems. Note that I don't think that Picard made the wrong decision -- I don't think there was a better one available -- but given that the episode was deliberately setting up the Maquis situation I think that the episode maintains the proper amount of moral ambiguity. Picard does have to suffer the consequences of the intractability of the situation, since he loses protegee Ro Laren as a result. Anyway, agree about the Wesley stuff and the episode's general quality. It's particularly frustrating to reveal that all the "Native space!" set up with Wesley and Lakanta was all fake and a trick to set up the Traveler. One of the two Native American characters of interest in the episode is the Traveler in disguise.

I understand Moore's reasons for doing this episode - that the Traveler's claims in "Where No One Has Gone Before" didn't fit with him going to the Academy at everyone else. But that only hightlights how misguided it was to have Wesley be a wonder-boy in the first place. And I didn't buy Wheaton's acting at all in the early acts of the show where he's mouthing off at everyone (though maybe it's due to a weak script). The Native Americans story, though, was top-notch, and perfectly set the stage for the Maquis arc that was to come. I'd give this a 7/10.

This episode something that really bothers me about post-Roddenberry Trek. That is the respect for religion. Roddenberry was a classical liberal (much like myself, I would hope) in that he respects all people as individuals, but he doesn't claim to respect religions and ideas. Some are stupid and false. TOS and early TNG make that abundantly clear. But I feel late TNG and DS9 to a huge extent, gave passing respect to religion in all its forms in a very post-modern "all religions are sort the same thing" kind of way. Gene respected cultures sure, but he defininetly looked at religion as a failing, not just another facet of culture as alot of modern liberals do. Oh, and btw, this episode is terrible, I have only seen it once, and never plan on seeing it again. I hate Ro, I hate the Maquis, and I hate indians in space.

This is an episode that could have worked, I think. But the Native American story was too heavy handed -- the flute music, in particular, has always bugged me -- and the Wesley stuff doesn't make sense. Wesley was TNG's worst character, but mostly because he was just laughable in season one. In seasons two and three (and early in the fourth season, before he left) he was less cloying and had grown up some. I blame his bad season one on the writing staff trying to muscle a kid into the cast. Wesley in later episodes -- "The First Duty" and even "The Game" -- was a much better character. He had grown up and he could do stuff other than always outsmarting the adults. Then, this episode came around and tried something completely different. Wesley doesn't work as a bratty asshole and the scene with Geordi is particularly bad. Instead of being sullen, they could have made him more lost, which would have worked better. Oh, and then having Wesley pop up in 'Nemesis' as a member of Starfleet? Weak sauce.

I love the parallels to Insurrection here. The secret of eternal life may not be a sufficient moral justification for moving a few hundred space elves, but we'll happily relocate this entire colony by force because of the treaty. Not that it really makes sense for the colony to choose to live under Cardassian rule, and if they did, wouldn't they just go all Bajoran occupation on them if they posed a problem? This episode seems to state that Dorvan will be out of Federation jurisdiction, like other colonies in The DMZ, yet the Maguis are still described as Federation citizens in the future. Huh? Isn't the whole point that they renounced the Federation? And it seems obvious that a few colonies can't hope to fight off a major galactic power. If the Cardassians just invaded all the Maquis worlds, are we supposed to believe they could resist it? Or would the Federation have to intervene then? Why? They aren't under their protection, as they keep saying. After all is said and done, I don't really understand the Maquis. It's hard to see their plight as anything but a problem of their own choosing, but I think that's largely an issue of the setting and the universe the idea tries to inhabit. Fighting off an occupier is one thing. Fighting off an occupier, because you refuse to leave a particular place, when there are thousands of other options and there is apparently no poverty or issue of wealth or survival, is hard to accept as a reasonable course of action, particularly against a ruthless militaristic regime. I wonder, don't any of the Maquis have children? Is it really moral to risk the lives of your children over property? I know, I know, it's a metaphor, but it really doesn't seem to stand up to scrutiny.

Michael, you make a great point about the maquis, and why they are stupid. At least the bajorans are the palestinians in space, but the Maquis have no dramatic heft. They don't have a religious reason for staying where they are. There is no monetary, sustenance issue, in fact none of the maquis we know are even natives to the planets they are trying to hold. there is no livins space issue like on modern earth because all 5 star trek repeatedly say how many available habitable worlds there are. There is just no reason to feel any sympathy for them. And you make another great point that I have also noticed about the parallel between this ep and insurrection. Picard won't protect a group due to a cardassian treaty, but an element that could CURE DEATH, and he protects the group hoarding it! What an F-face. That I think doesn't reflect much on this episode, but it shows how absurd Insurrection is.

"Journey's End" is the exact opposite of season 3's "The Ensigns of Command". I was hoping that Picard would send Data down to stun a few of the natives and destroy their water system and give that "things can be replaced" speech. I don't think political correctness works on an android. I'm with Nick P., I never had any sympathy for the Maquis even when this whole multi-series TNG-DS9-VOY arc was first run on television. The colonists were warned decades in advance that the territory was in dispute, but they're willing to plunge the civilizations into war just so they don't have to move...f*** them.

Yep...I had about as much sympathy for the Maquis as I did the Ba'ku...which is to say, none whatsoever. Selfish, myopic, and stubborn, both ran counter to Spock's "the needs of the many..."

As one of the rare people who kind of liked Wesley (I was a young nerd kid myself) I really disliked the assassination of his character and turning him into a brat as a form of closure. Oh well. I wonder how the Traveller stuff would be seen if it were written today. Certain subjects have become more touchy in society, and I'm not sure in the modern day how they'd take "older guy who has always had a bit of a shine for this young boy stalks him and then takes him on a magical adventure"

@Cloudane, I liked Wesley too, and his sulky brattiness did annoy me too. In particular, as has been mentioned before, there was an easy way to write Wesley's dissatisfaction into the story in a way consistent with his past -- say that he was more deeply affected by the death of his Nova Squadron companion and his own role in it as well as the punishment and shame that was associated with it from "The First Duty."

@Paul "But the Native American story was too heavy handed -- the flute music, in particular, has always bugged me -- and the Wesley stuff doesn't make sense." Yes, thank you! That "whistly" music, as I call it, is so annoying -- it takes you right out of the story with its in-your-face, unnecessary "We're in Indian mode now" schtick. They even did it briefly in "Endame" when Old Janeway is talking to Chakotay's headstone.

@Patrick Good point about The Ensigns of Command, for some reason I've never contrasted the two. I can't stand Picard's pandering in this episode. The Dorvan colonists and the Maquis that followed later are so ideologically bankrupt that is obnoxious and embarrassing how often they were drudged up in DS9 and VOY to try to conjure some moral ambiguity, which always falls flat.

Sigh. The Native American material probably would have worked better if they had just made up a new people that was clearly analogous to the Native American situation, and then come up with a convincing in-universe moral crisis. The problem is that there is nothing analogous about the situation presented in this episode, with the single village of Native Americans who moved to Dorvan V 20 years ago because the mountains spoke to them, and the Native Americans forced off land by conquering nations. To repeat: nothing analogous -- and the silliness of the comparison is almost insulting to the real historical atrocities the episode halfheartedly namechecks. The integrity of the Star Trek universe is compromised in order to try to push through this moral crisis. And I don't mind a little compromise to get a story across, but this bends to the point of breaking. The attempt to draw Picard into this by establishing that Picard had an ancestor who participated in a brutal attack 700 years before the episode takes place is really eye-rolling. I guess we're supposed to see it as significant that this guy has the Picard name. But really, Picard is a descendant of HOW MANY people who were alive during the 17th century? A probably-unreliable genaeology article I just looked up suggests that there is usually no repetition in ancestors within the last ten generations (but after ten generations, there's a lot of repetition in ancestors, so we can't just do the 2^n ancestors for n generations calculation), which makes about a thousand ancestors from ten generations ago, let alone the 25-30 generations ago. Picard rightly dismisses the idea that he has some responsibility for Javier Picard's actions, but then seems to take it seriously, and the script seems to expect us to at least believe in it a bit. You know, I know that people objected to Picard's hardline anti-religious stance in "Who Watches the Watchers," but I would take that, and worse, any day over the way Picard panders in this episode. He continues to repeat how much he respects these Native Americans' beliefs, and this would be less jarring if it weren't basically the first time we have seen human spiritual beliefs in practice in all of TNG. Data mentioned the Festival of Lights in "Data's Day," but a) we didn't see it, and more importantly b) this wasn't used as a reason to refuse to relocate to another settlement to avoid another war where millions of people die. The *only* reason the episode gives for why the Dorvan V colonists are so attached to this planet they have lived on for twenty years is their religious beliefs, and so the prioritization of religious beliefs is higher in this episode than any time before. This goes mostly uncommented upon, frustratingly. Similarly, Wesley seems to take the policy that I guess we are supposed to take, which is that relocating these people is wrong. But come on. This is a post-scarcity society. They settled on a planet in dispute, possibly even *during* a war (I'm never quite clear on what the timeline of the Cardassian war is). The episode's pandering is really hard to stomach after a while -- the flute, as others have mentioned above. And the fact that, in an effort to avoid any possible offense, they don't identify this tribe. They are some kind of generic "Native American Indians," who are never identified as an actual people but as some kind of halfhearted amalgam of real life tribes. The whole thing feels very condescending. Final point about the Native Americans: we spend time in which "Lakanta" shows Wesley the value of the vision quest, from this non-specific unreal Native American tribe. And then just when this wise man has shown Wesley, and us, the value of this unnamed tribe's religion -- it turns out he's actually the Traveler! So, the episode's hamfisted demonstration of the value of this tribe's religion turns out to be a fake-out, because it was the Traveler all along. Wesley says at the end that the Traveler says that he can learn a lot from "these people," as a way of reestablishing the importance of the Native Americans in this story. But Wesley has not actually interacted with them -- or hasn't, outside that one scene where he warned the villagers of Worf's attempt to start evacuations. For what it's worth, I do like the solution at the end -- that if the Dorvan V colonists really, really want to stay where they are, they can stay there and be under Cardassian jurisdiction. That's fairly classic compromise. The lead up to it, though, feels very warmed over from the brinksmanship material of earlier seasons; compare the Picard/Evek scene here to the material in "The Enemy" or "The Wounded," and, well, there's no comparison. @Patrick, great point about "The Ensigns of Command." That really shows up the problem at the core of this episode. OK, so, uh, Wesley is in this episode, right? :) The episode manages to make me angry at everyone over Wesley's behaviour here. Wesley's obnoxious behaviour to Geordi is groan-inducing. But somehow, it is even more annoying that Wesley's critical attitude toward Geordi's [tech tech tech] spreads through the ship, so that Picard has heard about what a little punk Wesley was to Geordi. One could say that it's implied that Wesley's Bad Attitude is related to the Nova Squadron incident -- especially since "Lakanta" says that he saw Wesley in a vision two years ago, and that's what happened two years ago. (Or not, since presumably he was lying?) However, despite Wesley having only three pips marking him out as a third year cadet, as he should be given that he was held back a year, everyone still refers to him as a fourth-year cadet, and Wesley describes his fundamental problem as that he got depressed and angry as graduation approached. So there is no real effort in the episode to link Wesley's anger here to an incident we've actually seen. Wesley's stopping the relocation of the Native Americans, and then the scene of Picard chewing him out, is interesting, though not really successful. I've mentioned the reasons I disagree that it's wrong to relocate these people. But if we take as read that it is wrong, and that Picard is only going along with it because of some abstract greater good thing, then the scene is a curious inversion of "The First Duty." Picard told Wesley there that the first duty of a Starfleet officer is to the truth -- and that this was above all considerations, including a false sense of loyalty. Picard revealed in "The Pegasus" that the *reason* he hired Riker was because he respected someone who defied orders when he believed it was the right thing to do. So Picard's transformation into an authoritarian figurehead basically betrays the values he wanted to instill in Wesley. Again, I don't really buy it, because I don't buy the premise of the episode -- but it is, I guess, an interesting choice. Now, that Wesley did want to be in Starfleet in part to please his father, and then his surrogate father in Picard, is pretty well-established, and so I don't mind that aspect of things so much. It's just frustrating, because "The First Duty" dealt with Wesley's succumbing to the pressure to be exceptional *so much* better than this episode did, by showing how that pressure led to Wesley making big mistakes rather than just showing him be uncharacteristically a jerk and then having him decide that he stands morally with the Dorvan V colonists because the Traveler gets him to be sympathetic to them while in disguise. So, right after Wesley resigns, we find out he HAS THE POWER TO STOP TIME! WITH HIS MIND! You know, at least in "Remember Me" and the like, Wesley *actually had a console with him*. That he has the superpower to stop time removes any real conflict from his story, because obviously he doesn't have to be in Starfleet when he has *superpowers*. It's not just a matter of "Starfleet's good for some people, but not for me"; it is now "Starfleet was pretty cool, but I AM BASICALLY A GOD, so." And a God who still is going to study what the Native Americans have to say, even though I didn't see any of them with the ability to stop time with their mind. Other things that annoyed me: the Traveler telling Wesley, "Have faith that the others can solve this problem on their own!" would be great advice if Wesley were not *directly involved in creating this situation*, by telling the colonists that Worf et al. were planning to beam them out. If Wesley was correct to interfere then, he should try to interfere again now, right? And if he was wrong to interfere then (more likely), he has some responsibility to try to fix it. But apparently Wesley's time-freezing ability suddenly changes his whole relationship to the world. There is precedent for this, I guess -- Picard telling Riker not to use his Q powers at all in "Hide and Q," e.g. -- but Picard didn't tell Riker not to use his powers to fix situations he had created. And you know, the sad thing is, I LIKE WESLEY. Not all the time, certainly, but I like "Coming of Age" and the subplot in "Pen Pals" and the shuttlecraft scenes in "Samaritan Snare" and "Evolution" and the season four material ("Family," "Remember Me," and much of "Final Mission") and aspects of "The Game," and I love "The First Duty." He has been poorly served by the show, but still. This final episode mostly removes Wesley's entire personality -- his good-natured attitude, his perfectionism, his problem-solving -- and makes him spend most of his final hour interacting with guest characters. The goodbye scene with Beverly and Picard feels very perfunctory and half-hearted, even though this is the last we see of him in the series. The episode is not wholly without merit. As I said, I like the compromise reached at the end; and I like some of the ideas of the Wesley story. I do think that it makes sense for Wesley to find a destiny outside Starfleet, and for him to realize that he has been chasing a ghost (his father, I mean, not the kind of ghost his mother was dealing with) his whole life, in addition to Picard's expectations, which he even said in "Final Mission" were the reason he did all this. That Wesley leaves Starfleet is a reasonable end to the character. The way it happened was not. I guess 1.5 stars.

When the traveller calls you special you must really be extraordinary. Not surprising that Wesley became superhuman. His attitude at the beginning of the episode was just rude and uncalled for though, no matter what he was struggling with. Nice nod to the Indians. I find it humorous how the Trek universe deals with their spirituality by saying 'they're aware of many things'; implying that their spirituality is based in science rather than the metaphysical or supernatural.

Space Indians. Ugh. Same issue I've had with Insurrection. Also selfish, selfish people. But of course they are "noble savages". Ugh again.

Ugh. I'd love to see a DS9 reference to how the Cardassians wiped out Anthwar's village a week after the Enterprise left, or sent every last Indian into a labour camp amid vacuous protests that the Cardassians' souls would be stained. Frankly, given the way the Maquis' origins and subsequent infractions are portrayed on TNG and DS9, I'm not surprised the Voyager writers didn't do much with them. What a colossal collection of idiots.

Early in the episode, Wesley just seems backed up - he needs to get laid. His ultimate decision seems drastic and rushed, with only brief minutes of material to back it up. And frankly, it just doesn't feel right. I think that's a pan flute we're hearing - very cliched. Unfortunately, the Native American material is mostly corny. Definitely a mixed bag.


I know this is way late, but Nick P, what you are describing is not at all what classical liberalism is. The definition of classical liberalism is based on the writings of John Locke (and others) and deal with the concept of natural individual ("negative") rights. It does not speak to religion or cultures as being "good" or "bad" except insofar as to whether or not they violate the individual rights. We saw no sign that these Indians were suppressing any rights, and thus there is no reason, from a classical liberal perspective, to disdain them. In fact, Picard's solution was straight out of the realm of classical liberalism. The purpose of government is to form a social contract in which people give up a bare minimum of their natural rights in order to live in a state of harmony with others. When the government demands more than that (which the Federation is demanding in this case), the people have a right to break that contract and form a new social contract. Judgment of another's culture has absolutely nothing to do with it. Sorry for the aside, but as a strong classical liberal myself, I hate to see it misconstrued. The corruption of classical liberal ideals has been occurring since the French Revolution, and has almost nothing to do with modern liberalism or leftism. Also, while The First Duty should have been brought up, I don't think it makes sense to have it be a significant reason for Wesley's current whinyness. The point of this episode was to call back to WNOHGB, which stated that Wesley had a unique gift equivalent to Mozart's ability in music. As such, then Wesley's disillusionment with Starfleet had to stem from the fact that he's destined for something bigger, not just because of other problems. More importantly, to have his whinyness be due to First Duty would cheapen the character, especially after Lower Decks. Sito Jaxa took it on the chin, redoubled her efforts, and worked hard in adverse conditions to end up getting through the hostile environment and getting posted to the Enterprise. If she could do it, why not Wesley? So clearly, we had to give him some other reason to be such a jerk. And while I know this episode is seen as being the setup for the Maquis, is it really? After all, these folks are now independent. They have no reason to attack the Federation. And the Federation explicitly has no obligation to aid them. Evek seemed to be perfectly ok with this. So this colony couldn't have caused the Maquis. Unless all the other colonists saw this and suddenly declared their own independence... But that's somewhat silly. These Indians had a deep spiritual reason for staying. We were told that these areas were in dispute for over 20 years, yet all these different colonists stayed? We saw in Ensigns of Command that most people's ties to the land evaporate pretty quickly when the phasers start firing. Really, like others said, the whole Maquis thing doesn't make too much sense. Not to mention that apparently both sides had some planets colonized in the others' territories. One would think they'd be willing to swap a few planets like that? Seriously, how important are borders when all stars are 4 light years away from each other? And with all that, I haven't even talked much about the episode itself... Which is also a mess. Wesley's mood swings were crazy, and as others have mentioned the scene in Engineering was particularly awful. And while he is feeling depressed and cynical and all that, he decides to take up the Indians' cause and starting a riot? Is that really in character? Oh, and then he can stop time because, well, reasons. And, despite the fact that he spent the first 20 years of his life as a human, caring deeply about people, and spent several years working alongside the Enterprise folks... and then he just walks away from a phase battle because now he's superior to mere mortals. For an episode that was designed to give Wesley his grand sendoff, it didn't really feel like a real person. And yes, the Indian plot was pretty awful too. Picard's handwringing was a bit much; we already saw Data dealing with a similar situation in Ensigns of Command and there was no anguish involved. I don't see this as the show not supporting its anti-religion bias, but rather not supporting its anti-racism bias. After beating us over the head in TOS about how unified the human race is, we now have this little subculture that thinks it is more important than everyone else. That's not to say they are wrong, but it does strain credulity given everything else we've seen about people working together. But at least within the community there is no dissent. So not one of these people were willing to see the Federation's side? Not one was willing to leave? Convenient. Picard's handwringing was over the top as well. The Cardassians were right, what is there to negotiate about? There are three options: they leave willingly, you kidnap them forcefully, or you leave them to the mercy of the Cardassians. There was simply no other choices here. Again, this was all done much better with Ensigns of Command, in which there was no hesitation to show the stubborn colonists exactly what the problem was. But fortunately, Picard happened to stumble across the one time the Cardassians were being reasonable and accommodating. Hooray! I don't mean to be too negative. There were good ideas here and there, and a few good scenes. The first meeting of Lakanta and Wesley (when Lakanta asks him point blank what he thinks is sacred and Wesley admits he hasn't been treating anything, including himself, as sacred lately) was great. Picard's interactions with Evek were pretty good. The tension on the ground was believable. And I like the idea of Wesley's arc ending with him leaving Starfleet. The plot just didn't seem to have enough there to sustain it.

This episode illustrates what seems to be a common mainstream American misconception, which is that entire foreign cultures exist purely to help some middle class white American male to to get his act together.

I just watched this again today after going through the entire series and really disliked it. What an awful way to wrap up the Westley character. During the first run, I just remember being happy to see him again but on my recent rewatching, the entire episode felt disingenuous. The Indian stuff was ridiculous and although I loved the Traveler tie in the episode writing was bad. I've been enjoying reading through the blog and everyone's comments as I go through episode by episode. It makes it more enjoyable.

Just a quick note on this. I'm still watching the series in order for the first time and quite honestly I found this the dumbest episode out of all seven seasons. That mainly attributed to the reasons that William B eloquently lays out earlier in this thread. American Indians… really? Where are their huge bingo parlor/tobacco shoppes that headline washed up country singers? Yes… I know… but that's where the American Indian society is at now. I'm supposed to believe they'll regress back to 1840 in the next 400 years… on a different planet after traveling at warp speed to get there? Ugh… couldn't get pass that to begin with and the episode then somehow gets even worse. As others have said, the whole "these 100 (or so) humans will cause a horrible war" should have been dealt with from the beginning exactly as it was at the end. "So… yeah, Cardissian dudes… this planet is yours now. Nothing really on it but a couple of hundred people in huts your technology could build in one day before lunch break. They want to stay. They'll be no problem. Cool?" And then… if this is the last of Wesley ... wow. What a flat out horrible way to destroy a perfectly competent character. Yes, I know he wasn't loved by most Trekkies, but I actually liked the thought of an awkward, outcast genius teenager (my only problem with the Wesley character until this episode was that they gave him the helm of the Star Fleet flag ship before he was even a cadet. That was a hard pill to swallow). But really… vision quests? Daddy says "don't follow me"? Oh… and by the way, I'm nearly God-like? Where the hell did THAT come from?!?!?! Sorry… I've loved this series so far. SO much good stuff in ST:TNG (I was in Germany in the USAF when it originally aired, so never saw it before). But the writers of THIS horrible, horrible episode should never be trusted with anything canonical ever again. Oh… and I see that Jammer has given some .5-1 star reviews earlier in this season. But I felt all of those had much more merit than this one.

Dear God. Starfleet Officers - Picard's people - work 24/7 and DIE frequently to protect these Indian bozos from Space Fascists and all kinds of other external threats that would instantly annihilate them, all so they can have a carefree life sitting around thinking about How Spritual That Mountain Is while being stoned out of their minds. And Starfleet asks nothing, NOTHING in return. And these d-bags have the gall to guilt trip Picard and compare him to a Spanish conqueror because he asks them to please-move-to-another-paradise so that THOUSANDS don't die? I like Wesley finally bucking the expectation for him to be the perfect wonderboy pet, but these Indians made me too angry to enjoy the episode.

Great solution for the Federation! Get rid of the stupid Space Indians and let the Cardassians deal with them. Now, since there was only one small village on the planet, there should still be room for further colonization. Why not relocate the space Africans ("Code of Honor"), space Irish ("Up the Long Ladder") and space scotsmen ("Sub Rosa") and turn the planet into a big theme park for racial stereotypes?

Despite much of the griping about this episode, it was much better than the previous couple of episodes. But, alas, that's not saying much. I don't have a huge of a problem with the concept of "space Indians," and I understand why they were made into generic Native Americans rather than a specific tribe. Naming a particular tribe might have offended members of that tribe -- although they come awfully close to that with the discussion of the Pueblo Uprising and an ancestral Picard's role as a Conquistador. (As an aside, Picard's family must be quite interesting...He is from a very small village in France, yet he is now revealed to have Spanish roots, and yet he speaks with a very pronounced British accent!) While I liked the solution to the standoff, I have to question how the Indians will fare under the Cardassians. I had assumed that the Cardassians are so warlike they make Klingons peaceful enough by comparison to go into alliance with the Federation. How are we to assume the Cardassians won't just phaser blast every last colonist from orbit the moment the paperwork is signed giving them jurisdiction over this planet? You would think that issue would at least be discussed before Anthwara made the decision. Instead, the Cardassian captain says, "While I can't speak for every individual Cardassian you might encounter, as a government, we tend to be inclined to leave you alone as long as you leave us alone." REALLY? That sounds pretty damn good to me. A model of government, actually. If this is true, then I'm surprised the Cardassians and the Federation even had a war in the first place. I also had an issue with the tribe's shaman being revealed to the Traveler. It would have made more sense to me if they remained separate characters who were shown to be in cahoots or something. I agree with others here that Wesley's initial surliness was handled very poorly. It just seems completely out of character for him, depressed or not. It was as if the writer of this episode was unfamiliar with the character and given just a brief overview. Similarly, I found it unbelievable that Geordi would react to Wesley's behavior by blabbing about it to the rest of the crew. If a long-time friend of mine started acting like that out of nowhere, I'd give him time to cool down and then approach him one-on-one to ask if something is bothering him. I find it hard to believe Geordi would handle it as immaturely as he did. This is not to say the episode was all bad. I liked the scenes between Beverly and Wesley, perfunctory or not. I also liked the dressing down from Picard. My main quibble was the revelation that Wesley has something like Q-like powers. Where did that come from? Yes, the Traveler has been saying he's another Mozart. That has us expecting him to make some genius breakthroughs in warp field science or somesuch -- not be able to stop time or travel to alternate dimensions on a whim. It almost makes me wonder if the last part of the episode was really happening or just imagined by Wesley as he continues to inhale the psychedelic smoke as part of the vision quest ceremony.

I remember when I saw this back in 1994 I was very annoyed and felt the show had "jumped the shark" and I was happy that season 7 was the end of it. I've mellowed on this one a little bit, but it still was a lowsy send off for Wesley as I identified with him in that I'm only a little older than Wil Wheaton. The writers should have made Wesley more sullen, rather than antagonistic. Yes it would be harder to do that in the 12 minutes or so given to that part of the story but making him a douche bother me. I also dislike how the traveler takes the form of an Indian, my question why? To teach Wesley something? Ok I get it Wesley is Roddenberry's "Mary Sue" and Wesley ends up very much like a writer/show creator who explores by opening up his mind and can transcend time and space by doing so, but he does become way to omnipotent and without paying his dues. Because even prodigies have to work at it. Others have mentioned this, but I'll mention it again: Why not use an American Indian analog? The beauty of sci-fi is that you tackle an issue without addressing it directly. (Also since the traveler was the one Indian Wesley interacted with all of them were background noise anyway) I suspect that the tie in is to the famous statue of the "End of the Trail" commemorating the trail of tears and the episode's title (for Wesley's send off) Possibly the one lesson I did like is the edict for Wesley to take his own path. Some people do end up being unhappy for trying to be what others want them to be OK so that part worked a little bit I give it 2 stars.

What? Another Wesley episode that is actually good? What's going on here?! Oh yeah, it's because the good parts of "Journey's End" don't revolve around Wesley. :-P This is an episode with a lot going for it. 1.) I love the fact that they show such respect to the Native culture. Yes, it's an invented tribe and isn't really based on anything real in any actual Native culture, but just put this up against some of the stupid, PC, Hollywood-Native bullshit they have Chakotay get up to over on VOY. This is downright honorary in comparison. And yes, it does lead to some rather noticeable nitpicks - how is that Troi, of all people, knows about the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 and how is it that Picard's direct male ancestor (who I can only assume was French) was serving in the Spanish army? But still, everyone's hearts were obviously in the right place. 2.) The treatment of the Native religious life. I was particularly struck my this exchange - "ANTHWARA: When I came here twenty years ago, I was welcomed by the mountains, the rivers, the sky. WAKASA: Anthwara, he's laughing at you. He thinks you're talking about old superstition and nonsense. PICARD: This is not true. I have the deepest deal of respect for your beliefs and the meaning that they hold for your people." Given that Picard later tells Riker that he absolutely does not believe in this religion (and may, in fact, actually think of it as superstition and nonsense, it's okay as far as he's concerned for other people to have a different viewpoint. It's a small point, something the episode doesn't really draw attention to, but my-oh-my how far we've come since "Who Watches the Watchers?". Now, if we could just get some practicing Christians, Jews, Hindus or the like on Trek, we'd be good to go. :-) 3.) This is a great moral conundrum with a lot of really meaty philosophical/moral/emotional issues for us to sink our teeth into. Leaving aside "The Pegasus", we haven't had an episode like this since "Rightful Heir" in Season Six. And as for where I stand - I'm firmly with the colonists on this one. In fact, the more I watch these Maquis episodes, the more I find myself siding with them against the Federation. What the Federation attempts to do here is absolutely wrong and I love the fact that Picard, while still willing to do his duty, is clearly shaken by his actions and desperate to find a third alternative. Forced relocation is wrong and not just because these are Native Americans we're talking about - it would be wrong for anybody. Oh, but the Natives had an Indian representative present at the Federation Council whose opinions were heard and discussed? So what? That's like a lamb and two wolves voting on what is for dinner and then saying the lamb has no right to object to being eaten when he gets outvoted. If they want to stay and take their chances with the Cardassians, what's the problem? Why wasn't that the first option available? The Federation sure gets awfully close to some disturbing Big Brother territory here. Just let them secede if they want to. Thankfully, that's exactly the "compromise" Picard, Evek and Anthwara come to in the end. Hmm, a story where secession from the utopian Federation is presented as a win-win scenario - I'm liking this episode more and more. 4.) World-building. This is world-building of the first order. What we have here, at the episode's bare bones, is the story of the birth of the Maquis. It's the opening shot of an arc that will cover at least five different episodes spread over two separate series all of which are build-up for a third series. I don't know what else to say except that this is phenomenal, especially by Trek standards. It's ultimately sad that VOY would piss away the Maquis plotline after TNG and DS9 so wonderfully set it up for them - especially when you consider that DS9 would end up giving the Maquis the most development they got when the DS9 showrunners initially wanted nothing to do with it. Sadly, however, there is one major drawback to "Journey's End" and it goes by the name of Wesley Crusher. What is Wesley's basic story here? That he's depressed/burned-out from the Academy and really doesn't feel at home in Starfleet anymore as a result. This really doesn't gel all that well with the world-building story of political/military manipulation and moral ambiguity. It feels so woefully out of place. It also doesn't help that Wesley's whole character story is dependent on him acting like an ass at first, when he really doesn't. Take, for example, the scene in Engineering when Wesley is completely unimpressed with LaForge's new design for.... whatever it was. The episode goes out of its way to paint Wesley's actions here as simply beyond the pale. Both Crusher and Picard refer to it as "the incident in Engineering". LaForge, in the moment, acts like he's completely disgusted with Wesley - "how dare he act this way!". What exactly did Wesley do that was so horrible? (Yes, I'm defending Wesley Crusher, that's how little sense this story makes.) He wasn't an ass. He didn't demean LaForge or outright ridicule him. He just acted a little uninterested at first and then somewhat flippant about LaForge's designs. And we're expected to agree with everyone that this is completely unacceptable? Um, no. Then there's the way this sub-plot ends. So, apparently Wesley isn't just so amazingly awesome that he's a Mozart-level genius, he's also (for all intents and purposes) a demi-god. SMH! Wesley isn't this awesome, he isn't even all that likable; STOP IT! I'm not even opposed to the idea of making someone a demi-god on Trek - I thought Sisko's transformation into one in the final seasons of DS9 was very well handled. But with Wesley.... no, just no. But, at least they didn't have him save the day again; so that's something, I guess. But, you know, I can see a way Wesley's resignation from the Academy and going off with the Traveler could work. Let me lay out an alternative idea, see what people think.... After the events of "The First Duty", Wesley begins to blame himself for the death of his friend. He blames himself for going along with the stunt so much that he begins to internalize feelings of worthlessness and self-loathing. It gets so bad that he then begins projecting those feelings outward onto others (i.e. a bad attitude) and onto Starfleet itself. He thinks "Starfleet must really be awful if it would allow people like us, people like me, a second chance after what we did." When he comes onto the Enterprise in this episode, he has nurtured these feelings for almost two years so he has started to have major problems at the Academy (his grades are slipping, he's becoming more and more withdrawn and isolated, he's in danger of being academically dismissed, etc.). Then, while on vacation among his old friends, he sees what Starfleet is asking them to do to this group of colonists who just want to mind their own business - they want to forcibly remove them from their homes all for a morally and tactically questionable treaty with the Cardassians. It's literally the straw that breaks the camel's back for Wesley. He decides "I can't be involved with an organization that would do something this outrageous" and so resigns from the Academy. That gives Picard a real kick in the gut and wakes him up from what the Federation Council and the admiral are making him do. He then does anything it takes to come to some kind of agreement with Evek and the colonists - something that all sides can live with. But Wesley has made his decision and won't return to Starfleet, saying that it wasn't just this incident but that it had been a long time coming. The Traveler than shows up (yes, I still have the problem of the Traveler basically appearing out of nowhere, just like in the actual episode but, hey, work with me a little here :-)) and offers Wesley his guidance to finding a new life for himself, one that would truly allow him to explore his genius abilities. Everyone accepts that this is what Wesley truly wants and life goes on. The Wesley sub-plot therefore lays the groundwork further for the Maquis - showing that even people the audience can (possibly) sympathize with can take the opposing side. Thoughts? In the end, "Journey's End", while it has it's problems is still a damn fine piece. Just ignore most of the Wesley bits. 8/10

Diamond Dave

Despite my issues with Wesley's character in the early years of the series I can't help thinking that he deserved to go out on a bit more of a high than this one. Yes, the resolution with the Traveler wraps up a long-running plot point and in that regard it's satisfactory. But playing Wesley as a jerk for most of the episode, and the decision when stepping out of time to just let everyone else get on with the fight, doesn't exactly endear him to the viewer. It just seems an odd choice. The rest of the story is unfortunately just deadly dull. The Native American depiction is about as hokey as it's possible to get, the Cardassians too are based in cliche, and the set up is contrived. There is a little more gravity at the conclusion, where at least Gul Evek shows some flexibility and there is groundwork laid for the future. But overall, a strangely uninvolving farewell. 2 stars.

The whole idea of Wesley as a super-human that needs "drugs" to see his father and then stop time, is really disconcerting. Magic and religion have no place in Star Trek. Nice job Rick Berman... This episode is so un-like any other episode, it really stands out as a disappointment.

I don't mind the Space Indians, but the message that Wesley isn't involved anymore is utter nonsense. Even if we accept that Wesley has moved away from Starfleet and wants to go on his own path, his mom is still on this mission. His mom's well-being in a conflict with the Cardassians is on the line. Compare this episode to S6's "True Q" where Amanda Rogers finds she's an omnipotent Q. She doesn't just leave the ship stuck in it's mission. She has even less at stake than Wesley, and she still finds the time to help the Enterprise. Bravo Amanda, you would've made a better series regular than Wesley.

I never warmed too much to this episode. not a massive Wesley fan, but there were a couple of times I thought he did a good job without being annoying. It does bug me, though that even in the future with better access to education and so forth, and surrounded by professional astronauts and clever aliens, and computers and Androids, simply being an exceptionally clever human (even by those lofty standards) isn't a sufficient reason for him to be so clever. He's got to turn out to be a once in 24 centuries ubermensch into the bargain. It bugs me for the same reason that Quantum Leap's Sam Becket character having to be in control of his own leaping bugs me. Its not enough that he's the new Einstein, the oldest boy scout, Bruce Lee and Liberace all in one, he's gotta be in control of his leaps too? (read the tie in books and tell me Ziggy isn't GTFW in charge of them all). If I was an exceptional human, I'd be even more annoyed. What does a human have to do to get credit.

To American viewers this'll seem like a nitpick but hear me out. Only the US still refers to their indigenous people as "Indians". In Mexico they're referred to by their tribe, and in Canada they're called First Nations. Even colloquially when the episode aired they were called "native". To think that they'd still be referred to by Columbus' erroneous nomenclature translated into English in the future in which Star Trek is set is the writers extension of American hubris. It dates the episode.

So Wesley's magic now. you'd think Q would mention it the couple times he visited the Enterprise D. I'll get Wesley's plot line out of the way first. Wesley visits the Enterprise acts like an insufferable jerk and befriends the Pueblo's who settled this world 200 years ago. and the weirdo Traveler makes an appearance and reveals to Wesley he can control time and other stuff. Main plot:Admiral Russian lady tells Picard that do to the peace treaty between Cardassia they need to remove a colony of native Americans(called Indians here) for some reason even though there was a Eugenics war and Nuclear holocaust there are still full tribes of native Americans who never just joined mainstream society. They meet the tribal council and the guy says Picard is uneasy and tells him he shares the same last name as a conquistador who helped smash the Pueblo revolt of 1680 700 years ago! christ that guy was grasping at straws. How the hell did he know the name of the spanish soldiers who put down the rebellion? during the chaos of ww3 and searching space for a new home you still remembered the name of 1 soldier from 1680? of course voyager reveals that native Americans have magic connections with the land so maybe the land told him.Well sadly Picard believes the guy and is now worried that he is imitating his supposed ancestor. we here a lecture on why it was wrong to move native Americans from their land(I guess in the 80's it was necessary?)The Cardassians show up asking why they haven't evacuated the colony Gul Evek has some nice scenes with Picard but the point is clear There going to settle the planet regardless of whether or not the Pueblo's are still there. Worf being a competent security officer organized a team to move the colonist but is stopped by Wesley who then stirs up the colonist who begin arming themselves. On the ship Picard chews out Wesley for being reckless and stupid but the episode is clearly on Wesley's side. 2 Cardassians have been captured and Gul Evek is going to dispatch some troops to get them back, Wesley tries to stop them a fight starts a Cardassian is shot and the rest are going to kick some Colonist ass. but before that can happen time freezes and Wesley learns that he's evolved past normal humans,If Wesley is really mankind's next step in evolution why didn't Q ever take a special interest in him. Unless Q is the traveler hmm. Gul Evek decides to delay that asswhoopin and recalls his men to his ship. The Pueblo decide to renounce there Federation citizenship and stay on the planet in Cardassian space. well I hope the planet has no natural resources the Cardassian Union could use otherwise they've condemned themselves and their children to a life of slave labor. Apparently this is one of the TNG episodes that shows the start of the Maquis a group of Rebels made for Voyager but better used in DS9. The native american plot is very dumb and its obvious what the episode is trying to do. it would have been more subtle to just have a mixed colony of Humans who have lived there for centuries like in "Ensigns of command" Picard feeling guilty for the actions of a possibly non existent ancestor is very embarrassing. If I learned that there was an Orozco who murdered a bunch of people on a different continent 200 years ago I wouldn't care unless you can show me absolute proof I'm related to him. even then I wouldn't feel guilty because my family is nothing like that guy since its been several generations. 1.5 Stars for Wesley being annoying for pretty much the whole episode "first duty" would have been a great sendoff for young crusher but they decided to wrap up the Travelers story. Picard and his contrived guilt doesn't help.

Oh my. Best laugh I had in weeks. Thank you Ivanov.

I never got the hate for Wes until now. Why let him grow up and then have him act like a teenager? Its not enough being a prodigy but he has to be super human too. Plus, Dr Crusher accepts him leaving starfleet in about thirty seconds, after having no idea he was having second thoughts. Maybe it's for the best, as no one seems to care that he left and tried to talk him round. I'm fortunate that I missed this episode the first time around. It reminds me of Voyager and its Indian spiritual preachy mumbo jumbo in every Chakotay episode. At least the captain didn't whisper at the end.

What could have been an interesting discussion of forced relocation and deconstruction of Wesley's character instead becomes that one episode where an Indian makes Wesley a god. It's like they learned nothing form that stupid Irish episode. Look, you could say Federation basically sold out their home but this isn't like what was done to Native Americans in US. They aren't kicking them out for their land, they are doing it for their safety. Cardassians are also known as "those guys who turned Bajor into Nazi Germany Planet for sixty-years". Yes, they are in this situation because of Federation's own decisions, but they did it to prevent a war (with admittedly, morally repugnant regime) and given that there is only enough of them to be evacuated by Enterprise, it's really not that awful a thing the episode paints it as. Not even Wesley gives two shits about them, given that he's fine with leaving the situation to sort itself out, even though he's the one that made it escalate as it did. Also, check out the Villain Ball on that Gul. "I don't want my son to die. So let's risk his life by sending a rescue party for no reason except they might kill few of those asshole."

Nothing dates a show to the early-mid 90's like referring to Native Americans as "Indians" :-) LOL at all the comments moaning about the colonists being selfish and relating it to Insurrection. If you live and own the land, then who is someone else to take it away from you regardless of the Greater Good..... in short..... "How many people does it take Admiral, before it becomes wrong?" Anyway for this?....... 2.5 stars

I understand not wanting to have your home taken away, especially if you have some sort of spiritual connection to it, but those people are pretty stupid if they think the Cardassians wouldn't turn them into Bajor 2.0 if they felt like it. I'd take wandering over being enslaved by one of the ugliest races seen so far in the Trekverse. Wait, didn't Picard say these people were nomadic? They have buildings and stuff. So, not nomadic. This was a pretty poor ending to Wes' story. We knew he was going to join the Traveler and "ascend to a higher plane" or whatever, but he acts so out of character throughout this, and the Traveler only shows up near the end. It's like his story was shoehorned into a completely unrelated plot. It seems really weird how they call Native Americans "Indians". Locally yes they are still called that even today but Picard as a Briti- er, Frenchman should at least be calling them Native Americans or by their tribe(s). It seems preposterous that they'd be referred to that way on another planet in the future, they're not from India! (It would be only a little less weird to call them "Native Americans" on a planet so far removed from Earth but at least it'd be more accurate.)


Hello Everyone! I'll probably catch some flak for this, but I have said American Indians since the 80's, especially after I found out they were named for the folks in India, which is where that very, very lost explorer thought he was... I was actually quite progressive at the time. I seldom say Native Americans because, heh, if we go back far enough, maybe there was another civilization before them that crashed and disappeared into dust, and they were the natives. Really, after a few billion years, it could have happened. Heck, go back just a few hundred million years, and dinosaurs ruled that area I believe. Why don't folks get mad at the North American state of Indiana? Indian(a). No one ever, Ever, ever sees that? Are we hiding it under a rug somewhere? Of course, it might be a very nice rug... Just some musings... and no offense meant to anyone, and I mean ANYONE! RT

This gets 2.5 stars??? Get real! This was a solid 1 star episode of i've ever seen one. Nothing works, the two storylines stand completely separate from each other, Wesley is just strange throughout the episode and Indians in space really suck. I was annoyed the whole episode and could barely finish it. What a Trainwreck!

The episode had the classic star trek blunder, the number of people are laughably small and the glorification of badly researched people that regress several hundred of years to fit outdated beleifs. I mean its like if you go to spain and then think all you see is heretic burning and revolutionaries fighting a fascist regime. No nuance at all.

This episode is so very, very bad. I give it 1 1/2 stars. Because the narrative that TNG "wasn't good" in its first season has entrenched itself into popular opinion, we tend to forget that later seasons -- especially the flaccid pile of bizarre boredom that is the collection of leftover scripts we call Season 7, at least prior to All Good Things -- were even worse. To be honest, TNG peaked early around Seasons 3-4, and some of my favorite episodes are even in Seasons 1-2 (the Binars, etc.) when there was an energy and freshness about the show. All of that vanishes by the time we get to the nonsensical assembly of spare parts titled "Journey's End," in which TNG attempts to weave the DS9 political backstory of a Cardassian peace treaty that incites the Maquis rebellion into the last of many "Wesley Crusher farewell shows" in which the lead "space Indian" turns out to be the Traveller for no particular reason. I give it 1 1/2 stars and feel even that rating may be overly generous to this one; Jammer's rating feels way too high. Despite the attempt to allegorize about Native American rights, this show ends in a bizarre twist revealing that it's really about How Special Wesley Is After All, reducing the political and moral issues to a personal self-affirmation story. Ron Moore seems to be caught between TNG and DS9 tonally in this one and it's all over the map; this is definitely one of his laziest and weakest writing efforts. It makes no sense that the Traveler is here other than as part of the overall weird effort of Season 7 to give closure to a few characters without actually feeling like the series is ending. The problem with TNG, to be honest, is that it's not very good: It went on for about two or three seasons too long. It's colossally boring, bland, and self-righteous, and oddly feels more dated today in 2017 than the retro-hip and napalm-brilliant TOS. Don't get me wrong, there are some brilliant moments in TNG as well, and I have a childhood love for the show, but the ratio of good-to-crap is much worse than the more tightly wound three seasons of TOS or the carefully planned story arcs of DS9. Because TNG didn't really settle into an arc or a focus, it remained episodic while draining the creative well dry, going on for season after season without really showing us anything new other than godawful stuff like "Sub-Rosa" and "Genesis." Back in the early 1990s, I watched TNG as a kid because it was the only quality thing on TV, but even then I found much of it boring and stopped watching every week after Season 5. As the cast grew more comfortble in their roles, they also grew more complacent, indulging their egos in endless character episodes that repeated old beats without adding anything new (each season had "The Klingon Family Episode,") and often repeating themselves (the near-weekly "Diplomatic Crisis Episode") in scripts that felt increasingly recycled or else lifted from a pile of dog poo rejected in earlier seasons. Yet TNG became a hit through syndication and threatened to go on endlessly for decades without purpose for one reason: It had no real competition. So even though it ran out of ideas, it kept going because the going was good. Looking back on it today, in an age where television has come to equal the quality of most theatrically released movies, it doesn't hold up as well in marathons as TOS or DS9. And if you think I'm being unfair, ask yourself this: If you were on a desert island, which episodes would you take from each season? If you're like me, there may be less than half the roughly 25 episodes in some of these later seasons you'd want to watch more than once -- maybe even less than a quarter of them, or less than 5 out of 25 -- and that's a pretty low ratio compared to TOS and DS9. Incidentally, if you've ever been to an Indian Reservation, you'll know that people there call themselves "Indians" rather than "Native Americans" -- the latter is a term that we in the rest of America have imposed on them.

I'll just quote 'davib b', as he pretty much wrote down my exact thoughts: "I'm still watching the series in order for the first time and quite honestly I found this the dumbest episode out of all seven seasons. [...] Wesley ... wow. What a flat out horrible way to destroy a perfectly competent character. Yes, I know he wasn't loved by most Trekkies, but I actually liked the thought of an awkward, outcast genius teenager [...]. But really… vision quests? Daddy says "don't follow me"? Oh… and by the way, I'm nearly God-like? Where the hell did THAT come from?!?!?!" I just hated this episode. All that Indian stuff was horrible as well; it reminded me of some really bad MacGyver episodes from the 80s...

lol @ Trekfan above. I like your description ("retro-hip and napalm-brilliant") of TOS. It's the best I've ever read.

Definitely unsatisfied with this episode -- an odd matching of 2 seemingly separate subplots: something's up with Wesley and there's the familiar plot of the Enterprise having to relocate colonists. The ending wraps up the Wesley story arc in a somewhat bizarre (but sci-fi) way and the colonists stay (although they may have some special powers to protect themselves from the Cardassians). It all plays out rather blandly. Perfectly fine with Wes not wanting to be in StarFleet but why he has to piss of Geordi and his mom is poorly conceived in the writing. So meeting the Traveler and him having some special powers is the end result -- it's just not compelling. The relocation plot plays out predictably -- I can't believe Picard would have any guilt about a Spanish ancestor relocating natives from New Mexico some 700 years ago. I started to wonder if these natives were supposed to be ones from TOS's "The Paradise Syndrome". Some wooden acting from the younger adult Indian when he attempts to voice his resistance. 2 stars for "Journey's End" - so Wesley's story arc has been wrapped up albeit clunkily and the natives relocation subplot was just dull and predictable. At least there was a little Picard/Cardassian interaction, which was probably the best part of the episode.

This was quite like “Code of Honor” in the horribly cliche Indian plot. The Wesley part wasn’t too bad, and nice to see some story closure. It’s comical that the Traveller tells Wesley to have faith the humans/Cardassians can solve their problems on their own. Wesley’s response should have been “you know how many times I’ve saved their a$$?”

Enjoyed Wes ripping into Geordi. Anyone could see the requirement for a second phase inverter. Duh and/or hello?! Shocking that Geordi is not up on Vassbinder’s recent findings. Calls into question Geordi’s fitness as Chief of Engineering.

I think I hate everything about this episode. Genesis was at least fun; this is just irritating from start to finish.

Another moralizing story, this time yet more "boo-hoo about the Natives" drivel. So now Wesley can stop time with his mind...and where does he beam to at the end of the show--another plane of existence?

So this is what I have learned after watching this episode: 1. If Your ancestor did something bad 700 years ago, You are still to be blamed. 2. If it's inconvenient for You to move to another home it's ok to put at risk a peace treaty and risk a new conflict and maybe a new war costing millions of people their lives. You have the moral high ground as long as mountains talk to you. 3. Being a dick to people and getting high on campfire smoke is vital step of human evolution.

Wow Wesley looks older. He has filled out some. He is a little old for the sullen teen persona....Wesley insufferable brat...where no confused youth has gone before...why doesn't he at least graduate? good riddance and I cant believe he doesn't apologise to Geordi or Worf. Nice tie in to the Cardassian Federation land swap and rise of the Maquis, no? Of course the solution on the planet seems well and good but then why did the Cardassians insist on that planet? or are they going to use all of it but the village? Overall blech 6/10


3 stars. Another in a small group of season 7 episodes that was pretty solid and felt like TNG TNG didn’t have a lot of things to revisit before it ended but Wesley returning was one of them. I liked the way his arc wrapped up and I found the characterization believable and true to life with regards to his overachieving then burnout I also liked seeing Native Americans brought into the 24th century and a little bit about them and how they exist in a future setting. It felt very fresh and interesting. Plus it set up the fact that we knew that year that the first officer on the next series Voyager would be Native American Another thing the episode had going for it was the feel of interactivity between TNG and DS9 in settong up things for VOY. Overall a good interesting episode Another

Cesar Gonzalez

I liked this kind of episodes. The ones who deal with a difficult situation. It had some dumb parts, but good overall.

Philip G. Brown

A much better episode than most of the reviews on here seem to state and much better than the previous four in season 7. Good solid Trek and Picard is Picard as he should be, not as he was written in Homeward which seemed like a plot device.

I'm surprised to see this episode at 2.5 stars. Usually these reviews line up pretty well with my impressions. Granted the review reads more like 1.5-2 stars to me, but honestly I think this might just be the worst TNG episode ever written, failing on every level. The failure is even more pronounced as this episode in contrast to its predecessor, Genesis, features an interesting premise. Is it justifiable to expel these people from their home for the greater good? Unfortunately this gets never examined in any serious way. Instead there is some mumbo-jumbo about Picard's ancestor (Hint: 27 generations makes for ~130 Billions ancestors, many of them duplicate entries of course, but nevertheless basically every white person in America at that point is probably an ancestor to Picard as well as in all likelihood quite a few of the Indians) and a really convenient way out, that conveniently never has to confront the dilemma. Is it even plausible, though, that an entity as morally evolved as the federation would force evacuation on a whole civilization? We have seen plenty of similar examples in human history and usually these didn't go all too well. Also is it plausible that anybody would put themselves voluntarily under Cardassian rule just a few years after the occupation of Bajor ended? Even this 'if you leave us alone we Cardassians will leave you alone as well' is completely incoherent with the way Cardassians are displayed in DS9. All the religious stuff is incoherent with Gene Roddenberry's vision for Star Trek as has been already pointed out. How does Wes fit in? Firstly, sure he can be disappointed with the Academy and maybe even be glum and depressed about it, but the way he lashes out at his old friends goes exactly nowhere. Real people could be like that, but if you do this in a script it should be set up something, but here it doesn't. Then why is this episode used as a backdrop for him finding his destiny? The problem is --even disregarding Roddenberry's views on religion-- there is no reason why Wes should have his epiphany here. The episode insinuates that he somehow connects to the ancient wisdom of the Indians, but in fact here never interacts with them, the only person he talks to is the Traveller (mostly in disguise). On top of all of this there is Gates McFadden's performance. I'm not a huge fan of the Crusher character anyway, but in this episode McFadden plays so clumsily in the few scenes she has, that it makes you cringe. To sum it up, after the intro I had high expectations for the episode, but there was no coherence within the episode and even worse a few things that I found incoherent with Star Trek canon overall.

Journey’s end from TNG (and Far Beyond the Stars) from DS9) goes against the heart of the Star Trek premise. Which is basically that humanity had gone so past racism etc. that it would be bewildering to anyone from that time. The same way it would be to us if we traveled back in time to a superstitious village. But in both those episodes it gives the impression that racism was still alive. Also it kind of makes the Native Americans look petty, which was obviously not supposed to be the point. Holding a personal grudge against Picard for something that happened hundreds of years ago?

I'm in the minority who like this one, despite some technical and story flaws. If you're thoroughly devoted to hating Wesley, then you don't get Eugene Wesley Roddenberry's reason for creating him in the first place. Others in the trekiverse have shifted planes, so that's okay too. My big letdown here is Wesley's trite "thanks for everything" to Picard. Yeah, 47 minutes and all that jazz, but they could have carved out another 30 seconds for someone who is capable of evolving to really thank the one man mostly responsible for his opportunity to do that, and who essentially his surrogate father. THat was the weakest part.

I'm in the minority who like this one, despite some technical and story flaws. If you're thoroughly devoted to hating Wesley, then you don't get Eugene Wesley Roddenberry's reason for creating him in the first place. Others in the trekiverse have shifted planes, so that's okay too. And hey, he dated Ensign Lefler, so I'm jealous! My big letdown here is Wesley's trite "thanks for everything" to Picard. Yeah, 47 minutes and all that jazz, but they could have carved out another 30 seconds for someone who is capable of evolving to really thank the one man mostly responsible for his opportunity to do that, and who essentially his surrogate father. THat was the weakest part.


The Space Indians were warned before they settled that the planet was in dispute and could very well end up in Cardassian hands (the Maquis too, for that matter). If they weren't relocated then they'd end up dead or as slaves (seriously, one glance at DS9 should tell you all you need to know about how that'd work out). This takes all the tension out of the conflict right at the outset; they knew what they had signed up for and willingly accepted the risk. And why wouldn't some other planet work just as well? Because the mountains spoke to them about where to set up a village? Yeah, turns out that's not a real thing that any Indian ever said or believed in. Sure they lived close to Nature, but this is just made up by self-righteous Hollywood types who know nothing about any native culture to score virtue points.

Strange episode. I was fairly intrigued but I can't say I particularly like it. I was irritated by Wesley being petulant and teenager-ish, which somehow didn't quite mesh with the more mature double-chin Elvis thing he has going on in this one. The idea of a pre-industrial-with-phasers native American outpost in space seems odd. So is the notion that the Federation would sell them out so easily, although I liked the ultimate solution. But most of all this preposterous notion of Wesley being able to supernaturally pull himself out of time. What? And his mum happily waves him off to visit "other planes of existence" at the end as if he was going off on a holiday to the seaside with his mates. And actually the whole notion of galactic powers like the Cardassians and the Federation carving out pieces of the galaxy between them as their own territory is questionable, when you think that there are species out there with god-like powers. I'd love to see what would happen if a Cardassian commander annoyed Q. No, I didn't like it.

Hotel bastardos

Hmm... Watching this on the day brexshit becomes a reality has some dodgy parallels. A "nation" ultimately chooses to break from a trading bloc through stubbornness to probably make life harder than it needs to be... Stereotypes abound with the native Americans, though probably not intentionally. Anyway, Wesley was never so much special- more like special needs... Besides all that, a good ending to the little pricks story arc.

Frake's Nightmare

So did Beverley tell Wesley how she had nearly left Starfleet for horny ghost orgasm possession ?


Finally an adult episode among the dross of S7. Thank God, Wesley's out of Starfleet's clutches at last. I could never imagine him turning into a Picard, he's not sufficiently duplicitous for the Federation's dubious diplomacy. Wesley isn't only super intelligent IQ wise, he has oodles of emotional intelligence, which enables him not only to see the truth, in this case how morally wrong removing these people from their home is, but to call it out loud and clear. The Indian culture and its spiritual dimension are treated with respect and without the condescension usually reserve by TNG for small races in the way of the Federation's military ambitions. Hell, this lot CAN deliver a descent episode when they put their collective minds to it. The Indian old man is superb, his calm and wisdom are so moving; Wheaton plays Wesley pitch perfect here, without the cloying cuteness of earlier episodes; the spiritual Indian/Traveler aspect is sensitively handled, he gives Wesley the way out that his combined seniors (Dr Crusher and Picard) cannot give him; even Picard is not entirely loathsome here, coming across as humble and genuinely concerned for the villagers. And the Cardassians are just superb: two sons lost in the war, who wants to lose their last one? Echoes here of the Cardassian at the end of Lowe Decks. I adore the Cardassians, they're the most complex characters in the whole ST universe. No wonder DS9 is so beloved by true ST and SciFi afficionados. They have done the Cardassians true dramatic and narrative service. And we have the foreshadowing of the background to the Maquis. Nice tie in with other ST iterations, but another aspect of the ST universe never truly developed anywhere. Just loved the pace and dignity and maturity of this episode.

Bob (a different one)

Yeah, this one is complete crap. Archide summed things up very well, imo: 1. If Your ancestor did something bad 700 years ago, You are still to be blamed. 2. If it's inconvenient for You to move to another home it's ok to put at risk a peace treaty and risk a new conflict and maybe a new war costing millions of people their lives. You have the moral high ground as long as mountains talk to you. 3. Being a dick to people and getting high on campfire smoke is vital step of human evolution. Wheaton's acting has somehow grown worse. Wes was always a dork, but they decided to turn him into an unlikable douche for his big sendoff episode. As bad as those things are the dumbest part is Picard's guilt trip plotline. Exactly what is the statute of limitations for committing the sin of having an evil ancestor?

Interesting story, crappy swan song for Wesley Crusher. Not believable that a kid obsessed with Starfleet suddenly gets PMS on the crew and throws away 7 years of hard work. Also not believable that he is some messiah. Typical of Season 7, which just made idiotic decisions with the cast.


I hate this one so much for all of the reasons given above. I can't even blame the acting. A truly atrocious story and horrible characterizations. I actually prefer Genesis over this. I'm almost near this journey's end. Just 5 more episodes to go...

Many Chins meets his dead father, High Forehead, in a vision quest and discovers a new journey that he has been subconsciously seeking. He has to say goodbye to his old friends Eyes That Hear and Pale Skin, his captain Hair Fled, and his mother She Who Never Learned Acting. For an episode that is light on action and heavy on talking, this nevertheless feels mature and in keeping with the philosophy behind all of TNG. Having Native Americans who are all wise and peaceful and in touch with nature, is perhaps a little bit of a cliche, and one that prefigures Chakotay on Voyager. However, a story centred around them is a welcome change after a host of alien races who only differ from humans by a few wrinkles on their forehead and nose. Wesley bows out in style and becomes The Boy Wonder we always dreaded he might be. Farewell, Many Chins, and perhaps we may see you again if The Traveller and Sheldon Cooper allow it. For being a grownup episode with absolutely no babble of any kind, this deserves 3 stars, perhaps even 3.5

I am a little puzzled by Anthwara's statement that it was his grandfather who led the Indians into space from Earth "two centuries ago." Given the (at least the present-day) human lifespan, it doesn’t seem likely, but I guess in a time when Dr. McCoy is still ambulatory and coherent at the age of 137, anything is possible. In this context, it’s interesting to note that as I write this, there is a man in Virginia in his nineties who is the grandson of the tenth U.S. president, John Tyler, who served from 1841 to 1845 and was born in 1790. Imagine being able to say in 2022, "When my grandfather was born, George Washington was president."

Beard of Sisko

They really should have just called this episode "Picard's White Guilt", particularly at the moment when the lead Indian brings up his ancestor who partook in a massacre of Indians centuries before. 1st off, Picard isn't taking part in a massacre. He's taking part in a relocation that has become necessary due to the current political situation. Second off, the Indians are invoking generational guilt on Picard, a concept that should be considered unacceptable by Federation values as it is blatantly racist; your ancestors are guilty, therefore you are as well. Sounds like present day Critical Race Theory. Also, the whole issue of relocation is only a conflict because the people are Indians. Had they been any other race, this episode's conflict vanishes like smoke.

They lost me at "vision quest." So, so, so much nonsense here... Mercifully, others have trod through the cesspool that is this episode so I don't have to. "Space Indians" and "Many Chins"... - you guys are hilarious! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 I have to make a perhaps tangential remark here, regarding American Indians/Native Americans. The trope, so beloved of Leftists, about Indians being all-loving, all-peaceful, in harmony with each other and with nature, who were sitting around campfires and giving each other foot rubs until the Evil White Man™ came along is stupendously ignorant. Indians were doing racism, slavery, human sacrifices, mass rape, and genocide on an industrial scale since before Europeans learned how to hew wood, let alone built the Mayflower. Give. Me. A. Break. Now, I'm not trying to do a tu quoque thing here, before anyone jumps down my throat, but merely providing some context. Few things are ever purely black and white. Also, it's curious how Star Trek never shows an orthodox Jew, evangelical Christian, practicing Moslem, or even a Hindu sporting a bindhi or a Sikh in a turban--presumably because the "enlightened" humanity of the twenty-whatever-th century had dispensed with such antiquated superstition, yet, Indians with their buffalo spirits and dream-catchers and "vision quests" are portrayed as wise, culturally valuable, and deference-worthy, no matter how ludicrous or dangerous to, literally, the galaxy kowtowing to them may be. Oh, brother... 1/2 star. Actually, for what they did to Wesley--whom I, unlike many, quite liked--ZERO stars. In fact, MINUS 1 star; give it to Genesis.

@Michael Don't worry. Leftists know history books. I guess there is some part of the left that tends to idealize naturalistic cultures, though the same is true for parts of the right. I disagree that Native Americans committed genocide on an industrial scale before Europeans knew hewing. Europeans use that technique at least since antiquity. I agree that it is a bad choice to include some form of native american religion. If religion is gone, then it should all be gone. It is also very cliched to portray Native Americans this way. Maybe including this is one of those early signs that Roddenberry's guidelines what the show was supposed to be were becoming less important.

Jeffrey Jakucyk

..."your ancestors are guilty, therefore you are as well. Sounds like present day Critical Race Theory." That's the Fox News misrepresentation of CRT, not what it actually is.

@Jeffrey Jakucyk I don't watch Fox News and never have. I reached that conclusion on my own because any honest analysis of CRT shows that it teaches collective guilt.

The first and most important thing to know is that CRT isn't taught to kids, it's taught at a university level, mainly to those learning to be teachers themselves. It's a method to teach about race relations, racism, and law. So all of the legislation and pearl clutching is over a straw man of what it actually is. That's a big reason why that legislation is so vague. The basic premise is that that racism is not just demonstrated by individual people with prejudices, but that racial inequality is systemically woven into legal systems and negatively affects people of color in their schools, doctors’ offices, the criminal justice system and countless other parts of life. I don't see how acknowledging that is teaching collective guilt, and even if it is, that doesn't mean it's not warranted. When you're accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.

So... the Federation Council and all of Starfleet never thought to offer the native people the choices to give up citizenship and stay on the planet at their own risk? It was only Picard who came up with this at the 11th hour due to violence that everyone knew was going to take place? It just doesn't add up. This whole episode seems very unlike the Federation. They had one representative, ONE, from the native people's world vs. the Federation Council + Cardassians + Starfleet. Yeah, seems real equitable to me. Wesley's transcendence into another plane of existence or whatever also doesn't add up. It is kept too vague.

Also... given what we know about what the Dominion did to help Cardassia make itself "whole again" pre-Dominion War, it's unlikely these native people survived.

@Jeffrey Jakucyk Thank-you for saying, "When you're accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression." As much as I hate this episode (which is a lot), my reaction to the episode itself pales by contrast with my reaction to the number of comments on this page that have brazenly advocated, over the course of years, the entitlement mentality that tries to justify taking literally EVERYTHING from a group of people because there are fewer of them than of the people who want to take it, and then dared to call the small group "selfish" for objecting. That's the kind of thing that tends to be said by people who assume they themselves will always be in the big group that gets to gerrymander everyone else into a bunch of groups individually small enough to be outvoted, one small group at a time. For those using the Vulcan "needs of the many" slogan to try to make that basic imperialism sound quintessentially Trekkian, please, recall that the slogan was only brought up in Trek in order to subvert it into "The needs of the one outweighed the needs of the many."

@Trish I too don't care for this one, but It's interesting that this episode presents the idea that no matter how inclusive, great, or grand The Federation is, there were still have and have-nots on Earth and these have-nots didn't feel represented in Federation culture. It's not clear what the Federation lacks, but The Maquis in DS9 presents the theory that the Federation detests dissenters. It's moreover implied The Federation values technology over nature preservation (your mileage may vary whether these qualms are true.) It's my observation that one may liken the Federation to the British Empire. After all, the Brits were only interested in Free Trade, industrialization, and security. It's just that the means to reach those ends were somewhat appalling at times by our standards. To that end, The Federation represents a Super-Empire, free from the tyranny of the old Earth empires with more of an emphasis on social justice. But this episode implies that there were imperfections in even that conception and perhaps the Federation itself had room to improve.

@ Trish, "For those using the Vulcan "needs of the many" slogan to try to make that basic imperialism sound quintessentially Trekkian, please, recall that the slogan was only brought up in Trek in order to subvert it into "The needs of the one outweighed the needs of the many."" It also seems to me that the many outweighing the one is meant to be a Vulcan bit of logic, whereas it's Kirk who comes back with the one outweighing the many, which is a human version, illogical in a sense, but elevating the importance of each person beyond what a 'statistical calculus' would suggest. We are each worth more than our mere fraction of the race that we represent. So yes, the motto serving to explain why Spock needed saving is, I think, the one we're supposed to take away as the grand and controversial message. Also, when Spock suggests the needs of the many outweigh his life, that's a personal choice, rather than a mandate from top-down authority instructing individuals that because they're small they don't matter.

@Chrome You are far more kind to the British Empire than I am. What the Empire was ultimately interested in was funneling the world's resources to Britain. The fact that they convinced themselves that they were doing the conquered peoples a favor by bringing them security and "free" trade does indicate that they sincerely wanted to believe they were doing something better than plundering weaker societies by force, but it doesn't mean that they were actually in the right. (By the way, I also apply this to my own country, the United States, when our own government has pushed a narrative that we were "helping" less militarily or economically powerful countries whose people didn't invite us there in the first place, and where we would not be if our government didn't think it would serve our interests.) There are times when balances have to be struck among competing needs, but the bigger and/or stronger group needs to be aware of how seductive self-serving narratives that prioritize themselves over smaller and/or weaker groups can be. The smaller, weaker groups are already well aware of this, but often can do little about it against a stronger group with an ill-formed conscience.

@Peter G. Indeed, I have often observed that some of the people who find it easiest to buy into a narrative that justifies their own group's privilege over a less powerful group can be the same people who most vociferously defend their individual right to non-interference by others, including the government. A lone individual is the ultimate "small group," as small as you can get and still exist. All of a sudden, "the needs of the many" somehow doesn't apply. As I said in my above response to Chrome, there are times when societies must strike a balance among competing needs, but if those balances are to be equitable, then there has to be an acknowledgment of the temptation that a "might makes right" system will always hold for the mighty.

"The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" is one of those statements that can be spun a number of different ways. At its face it's purely logical, but even Spock himself said "logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the end." One set of needs may outweigh another, but that doesn't necessarily make it moral. Logic would say the needs of two wolves to eat outweighs one sheep's need to not be eaten, the often used example of democracy versus liberty, tyranny of the majority, etc., and how such apparently logical conclusions can in fact be quite abhorrent. There's a concept known as the Veil of Ignorance, or Original Position, which is a thought experiment for reasoning about the principles that should structure a society. Basically, what morals, ethics, rules, laws, and social norms would you want to see in a society, the one catch being you don't know what position you might hold in that society. Your ethnicity, social status, gender, sexual orientation, physical and mental abilities, religion, and tastes are all unknown. Is the potential to be a wealthy plantation owner worth it if you could just as well end up a slave? Set up a Christian nation, but what if you turn out to be Hindu, Jewish, atheist, or the "wrong" kind of Christian? Maybe don't make your society one where being in those "out" groups is such a bad thing. Would you really want to risk being raped/tortured/enslaved/killed just to bump the dominant group's well-being from good to a little more good? I think that's the better way to analyze these situations.

For anybody who wonder that's from John Rawls.

I remember in college philosophy courses, some students who had never really experienced life in a non-privileged status had a hard time truly stepping behind the Veil of Ignorance. They would hear the question as "Is it worth the gamble?" and, because they still pictured the dice rolling their way, they easily claimed that it was. The question isn't really "Would you be willing to take the CHANCE that you MIGHT be the (fill in less fortunate group identifier)?" It's "Would you be willing to BE the (fill in said identifier) within that system?"

"Would you be willing to BE the (fill in said identifier) within that system?" I agree that's a better way to frame it.

I've been watching TNG episodes at random for the past several weeks and lurking around the forum. I haven't really posted in a while, but it seems this is the episode that made me really want to write something. I guess it is in part due to the fact that I always considered this one to be one the better season 7 outings due to its political intrigue, Cardassians and a somewhat deeper insight into Federation bureaucracy. But somehow during my latest viewing, a lot of the things that intrigued me before fell flat this time around. A lot of the comments echo my sentiments, so I will just say that the entire reasoning and philosophy behind the settlers motives really made me not care about the stakes. These people had been given fair warning before settling on the planet about the Cardassian threat, and chose to do so nonetheless; 20 years later, when that threat reared its ugly head, they demanded that their idea of the mountains and clouds and what not take primacy over difficult negotiations with a very militant and aggressive species. I am all for respecting someone's beliefs, but a line must be drawn somewhere and in this instance that isn't really hard to do. Comparing Picard's duty and what he was about to do to one of his random ancestors who supposedly pillaged and plundered native American lands is ridiculous to any non-partial party and it's ridiculous that Picard even entertained the idea of his situation being anything similar to that of his ancestor. In essence, not much sympathy for the settlers, so really not much investment on my part. As for the B story, this is where TNG's stubbornly episodic format takes its toll. The writers had ample opportunity to expand on the idea introduced by First Duty and explore Wesley's disillusionment with Starfleet which would give more weight to his behavior and choices here. Like this, his sudden change of heart doesn't really carry much meaning and seems like it was shoved in for its own sake, where once a permanent cast member's persona is dramatically changed during an episode's B plot. In short, this episode was trying to go places and it certainly isn't all bad, but it never really managed to take off and deliver a pay-off it was gunning for.

A lot of the commenters here could do with a good dose of Indigenous futurism. In relation to how Indigenous people tend to imagine *themselves* in science fiction, I'd say this episode is a real mixed bag. First of all, the idea that Indigenous people wanted to maintain an ethnic identity in the face of a hegemonic unified Earth identity is something that some people in the comments are characterizing as a negative. But the thing is, wanting to preserve your cultural identity when you've faced centuries of forced assimilation is not some foolhardy nationalism. For so many centuries, Native peoples have been told that they can survive if they only assimilate. This eventual assimilation has long been treated by colonial governments in the Americas as a tragic but inevitable consequence of "progress." But for centuries, Native people have been pushing back against this idea that a future of "progress" must regrettably leave them out. It only takes a viewing of "The Paradise Syndrome" to show that Gene Roddenberry was not exactly "with it" when it came to modern Native American intellectual thought on this matter. The Voyager writers didn't do much better since they hired a charlatan as their Native consultant, one who was already outed as a fake in actual Native American circles in the 1990s. But we can say that at least they were *trying* to acknowledge that a progressive view of humanity's future wasn't one that continued to tell Native people "You will be assimilated. Your cultural and biological distinctiveness will be added to our own. Resistance is futile." The other thing is, religion is fundamentally inextricable from Native American cultural identities. The compartmentalization of "religion" and "science" into totally separate and incompatible categories is not one that most Native American societies share. A great book on this topic for anyone interested in Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, who talks about how as a Potawotami woman who is trained as an academic (and therefore implicitly Western) biologist, she sees the approaches of Western science and her own people's science/religion as complementary and compatible. Native American religions are not evangelistic and do not teach that they are the guardians of exclusive truth. To argue that the progressive vision of Star Trek should include Indians "getting over" their religious beliefs is just as insidious as arguing that they should have "gotten over" having their own culture that was distinct to the Western cultures that dominated the creation of the Federation (e.g. the United States, their colonial oppressor!). So that being said, there are definitely a lot of problems with a) the episode itself and b) the fan reception to the episode. On the one hand, the episode does a lot better than some of the commenters here at acknowledging that erasing Indigenous identities is *not* a very progressive vision of the future of humanity. I particularly liked how the Traveller-fake-character said to Wesley that their culture may be rooted in the past but is not limited to the past, and that exposure to things like alien cultures was not seen as something to be hostile towards, but to incorporate into their existing understanding of the world. However,, the whole "mystical Indian facilitates vision quest for white boy" thing is, as Polly said above, a classic stereotype which uses Indigenous people as props for the self-realization of a white person. We see the same problem on Voyager with Chakotay taking Janeway on a vision quest to meet her spirit animal. Yikes! Another issue with this episode is that the Pueblo peoples are notoriously *very* private about their religious and cultural practices. Hell, the Hopi are so protective over their language that they don't even like Navajo kids learning it in school! The weird approximation of kachina dolls was particulary cringe-worthy in that respect. Of course, you could come up with an interesting in-universe reason as to why the Pueblo peoples had modified their opinions towards letting outsiders into private ritual spaces, but I'd much rather have that from an Indigenous futurist author than Ron D. Moore. The fact that the Indian who welcomed Wesley into this cultural tradition turned out to be a white-coded outsider masquerading as a Native shaman reallllly made the whole thing fall flat. (Plot twist... the Traveller is Voyager's "Native" consultant! The parallels are uncanny!) All in all, this episode had a few good points in it that I think went over most of the commenters' heads. That doesn't stop it from being composed of some tiresome Native stereotypes, in addition to all the problems with the Maquis setup and Wesley's arc.

"the thing is, wanting to preserve your cultural identity when you've faced centuries of forced assimilation is not some foolhardy nationalism. For so many centuries, Native peoples have been told that they can survive if they only assimilate." Can you point to an instance where The Federation forces assimilation?

Am i the only one who hears Jim Carrey doing Shatner in the famed In Living Color "Wrath of Farrkhan" parody -- 'these people are perfectly FREE to..." -- whenever Wesley delivers "these people. . . " multiple times in the episode?

@Meg Could you clarify what you meant by "Plot twist... the Traveller is Voyager's "Native" consultant!" (The actor who played the Traveler was not that person, but maybe I'm not following a more metaphorical reference.)

@Trish - Sorry, it was indeed metaphorical. The Traveller pretends to be Native and leads the white boy Wesley on a spirit quest before turning out to be white (coded, obviously is technically an alien). Highwater pretended to be Native and took the Voyager writers and white characters like Janeway on phony Native quests. @Chrome - I was referring to pre-Federation US history. The legal status of Native tribes in regards to the one world government has never been given much clarity. Other sci-fi does a better job at this. For example, I just read an original novel by Trek novelist Vonda McIntyre. In near-future Earth some Native nations gained independence from the US and Canada and the UN happens to be run by a representative of their nation. It's a side detail in the novel but one which deals with the issue better than Trek's vague handling of it. We are left with the impression that Native tribes either assimilated or developed a distrust of the Federation and rejected assimilation, like Chakotay's tribe, with no evidence of an in-between like characters from other cultural backgrounds get (e.g. Keiko's connections to Japanese culture or Picard's connection to French culture).

"I was referring to pre-Federation US history... We are left with the impression that Native tribes either assimilated or developed a distrust of the Federation and rejected assimilation, like Chakotay's tribe, with no evidence of an in-between like characters from other cultural backgrounds get (e.g. Keiko's connections to Japanese culture or Picard's connection to French culture)." I'd just stick within the confines of this episode and not try to guess what the writers thought was involved in actual formation of the Federation. Maybe human organizational evolution did involve Native Americans who were on board, maybe not. Perhaps we could agree that ideally it would! To that end, the Choctaw Nation was a part of the Federation until the end of this episode when it became clear that devotion to their beliefs was inconsistent with Federation security. Yet, and I think this is a key philosophy of TNG, there's nothing that says the Chocktaw had to conform. They got their own planet. They could stay on the planet without Federation protection if they chose. That sounds remarkably progressive and forbearing to me. I couldn't wholly imagine the United States doing the same thing.

Chudleigh Jones

This is one of those topical-social-issue-of-the-day episodes that Star Trek sporadically attempted, and like the rest of them, it ends up being horribly dated with a point that awkwardly falls flat. Don't bother trying to think up solutions to fix the plot, this episode, frankly, should never have been made.

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Star Trek: The Next Generation : “Genesis”/“Journey’s End”

“Genesis” (season 7, episode 19; originally aired: 3/19/94)

Or The One Where Worf Sprays Beverly With His Venom Sac And No I Am Not Kidding

I’m not sure if anyone’s noticed, but these reviews have been getting shorter as we approach the end of Star Trek: The Next Generation . Given that my regular review length tends to be a tad on the self-indulgent side, I really shouldn’t see this as a problem, but it does bother me a little. Partly it’s because I’ve stretched myself too thin this fall, and when I get tired, it gets that much harder for me to find clever ways of poking holes in the adventures of Captain Picard and friends. But if that was the only reason—hell, if that was even the main reason—then it wouldn’t be happening with such regularity. The real issue here is that the worse the show gets, the more difficult it is for me to find ways to comment on it without either repeating what I’ve said in the past, or just giving in to outright sarcasm. The former would be pointless, and the latter, while initially entertaining, would get old fast. (I’m just not funny enough to sustain a season-long riffing session.) Once upon a time, bad episodes could inspire as much passion in me as good ones, because it’s fascinating to understand what separates a failed hour of television from a successful, or even passably mediocre one. But with hours like “Genesis” and “Journey’s End,” I’m sorely tempted to just shrug, roll my eyes, and move on.

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Sadly for us all, I doubt my overlords would pay for me for contempt alone, so I’ve got to muster up a few words for “Genesis,” a very silly, irritatingly lazy episode of the “Crazy stuff happens to the crew!” variety. (And for what it’s worth, I don’t include the above as a complaint, or not exactly—I think it’s as much a commentary on the episodes as the reviews themselves that I’m, if not actively dreading the show now, then at least not embracing it with the excitement I once did. If I had to characterize season seven in one word, that word would be “flailing.” There have been a few good-to-great episodes in here, but for the most part, it’s almost like we’re stuck back in the first season, when no one working on the show had any idea what kind of stories they wanted to tell. Only now, it’s more a matter of creative ennui than confusion.) There are a few fun bits scattered here and there throughout the episode, but the ridiculous central concept, combined with an ending that doesn’t so much justify what just happened as it does flip off the audience and dare them to object, doesn’t make for good Trek . Or good anything, really.

The plot wouldn’t be out of place in a Captain Planet episode: While Picard and Data are off in a shuttlecraft to pick up a rogue torpedo, the crew of the Enterprise begin acting strangely. Worf becomes more violent and intense, snapping at his fellow officers and leering at the womenfolk; Troi is convinced the temperature controls on the ship are off, as she’s constantly cold and thirsty; and Riker starts doing some third thing that, um, wait, it’s on the tip of my tongue… (He’s forgetful and slow-witted.) Also, Barclay is super-hyper. Things continue to generate, climaxing when Worf, clearly in the grip of some kind of fever, attacks Troi and bites her. Then he spews disfiguring venom in Dr. Crusher’s face. Clearly, something is amiss, but before we can find out what that something is, the story cuts to Picard and Data returning to the ship, the rogue torpedo successfully captured and deactivated. They find the Enterprise floating dead in space, the engines shut down, the computer deactivated. Riker is a caveman now, and Troi is some kind of weird frog monster; Barclay’s a spider-thing (eek!), and Worf is, well, a psycho, horny rock monster. No, really. Data and Picard have to figure out what happened to the crew, and how to cure it, before Worf kills them, or Picard himself succumbs to the disease.

All right, do I have anything nice to say about this episode? It is, after all, directed by Gates McFadden, marking the first time a female cast member directed a Trek episode, and I like McFadden (as a fellow Brandeis alum, I think we’d get on quite well). Well, I was too busy snickering and/or cringing at the writing to notice the direction much, so I’ll give it a pass in that respect. I did like the way the episode split in two, the first part showing the initial stages of the de-evolution process, the second part jumping forward in time to show us the end results through Picard and Data’s perspective. It’s a bit like “Timescape” in that respect, but just because the structure is familiar doesn’t make it any less effective. And as goofy as all of this is, the monster make-up is impressively freaky.

But man oh man is this goofy. Data’s explanation to Picard is that some kind of virus is causing inactive genetic codes called “introns” to reactivate in the crew, leading to the de-evolution. The virus is semi-random, so even people who share the same race won’t necessarily fall back into the same earlier species, which is how the episode justifies both Spider-Barclay and Will “I like rocks” Riker. And that’s it. There’s no alien intelligence running this as a test on the Enterprise (which would be dumb, but still less dumb than the explanation we eventually get), and once we get the main idea of the episode, there’s really nothing else we need to see. Data and Picard wander around for a while, Data figures out the problem, then he figures out how to solve it. There’s some suspense, both in the early goings (when characters behave strangely for no apparent reason), and later on, when Picard has to distract a hormone-addled Worf, all while suffering from a sudden attack of the scaredy-cats. But while that final chase scene isn’t awful, and gives Picard yet another opportunity to demonstrate his quick thinking in a crisis, the earlier tension isn’t really an enjoyable kind of tension, because so much of it plays on Worf’s ancestry as a dangerous, violent animal. While it’s explained (to a point) by the narrative in a way the excuses him from his behavior, that doesn’t make it less creepy to watch him leering at waitresses, snapping at Riker, or assaulting poor Troi and Beverly. Plus, there’s every indication that he murdered the ensign Picard and Data find on the bridge, and the way this is casually tossed off is troubling to say the least.

The real kicker comes in the final scene, however, when we learn that the root cause of all this trouble was a dormant gene in Barclay that someone transformed into an airborne virus when Beverly tried to reactivate it. Seriously, that’s the reason. The entire ship was thrown into chaos, people died, genetic structures were realigned, Troi turned into a freakin’ frog thing, and it’s just because oh hey, Barclay has weird genes. This is weak, weak sauce, a half-assed explanation that falls apart the moment you think about it, and makes an already dumb episode look even more foolish in retrospect. Even beyond the fact that “Oh, you just have weird genes” is a stupid reason for anything, the cavalier way Beverly handles the situation—a situation that left her severely (if temporarily) disfigured, and, again, cost the life of at least one crewman. Bad enough that the show is resorting to corny, shallow storytelling as it winds down its final hours, but it’s insult to viewers (and to the characters we’ve come to respect) to see the show implicitly acknowledge the shallowness of its writing without making any effort to correct it. Of this week’s two episodes, I was more openly frustrated with “Journey’s End,” for reasons we’ll get to shortly, but in retrospect, “Genesis” was the greater sin. At least “Journey’s End” bothered to have ambition. “Genesis” just decided to take its de-evolutionary theme too much to heart.

Stray observations:

  • Riker rolled into a cactus while hooking up in the arboretum. Awww yeah.
  • This was Barclay’s last episode on the show. Which is odd, because even though he’s technically responsible for what happens, it’s not really a Barclay episode. (Although I did like the fact that Data asked him to take care of his cat, because Barclay is the only other person on the ship Spot will tolerate.)
  • Data’s cat Spot de-evolved into a lizard. No comment here, just putting that out there.
  • Oh, and Data’s solution to the problem was to use a pregnant woman to create a cure. SCIENCE.
  • Random: Picard is supposedly spared the effects of the virus until he and Data return to the Enterprise, but he’s on the ship earlier when Worf’s new guidance system for the photon torpedoes fails. I’d assumed that this was due to Worf slowly losing his mind, but I’m not sure the timing works out: Either Picard just got lucky, or Worf is (sigh) incompetent.

“Journey’s End” (season 7, episode 20; originally aired: 3/26/1994)

Or The One Where Wesley Turns Into Jonathan Livingston Seagull

There’s an episode from the third series of the original Star Trek with Indians in it. It’s called “The Paradise Syndrome,” and judging by my review, it was rather absurd. It posits that a group of preservation-focused aliens (named, astonishingly, “the Preservers”) grabbed a sampler of Native Americans off our Earth and transported them to a sort of a planetary national park, there to be free to be all Native American-y and in touch with nature and so forth. Kirk gets zapped and starts calling himself Kirok, and he marries a local princess, and there’s an obelisk—anyway, like I said, absurd. (Man, there are only so many different words for “silly.”) But then, while TOS certainly had far, far better episodes than “Paradise,” it’s not like the silliness was unprecedented. The original Trek was a broad-stroke show, more interested in big moments and bigger emotions than in anything so subtle as “basic plausibility.” I cringed watching the horrifically stereotyped representations of Native Americans, but I wasn’t exactly surprised by it.

On the other hand, I was surprised by “Journey’s End,” because this is TNG , and things are supposed to be, if not better, than at least better thought out here. I don’t want to harp on the Indians (who are called “Indians,” not Native Americans here—probably because that term hadn’t been invented yet, but it still sounds weird) in “Journey’s End” too much, because this is tricky ground. The episode does its best to be as respectful and open-minded as possible, and should be lauded for that. But I won’t lie—something about watching men dressed in recognizable Native America-in-the-’90s garb talking about how they don’t want to leave their home because the mountains speak to them rubs me the wrong way. I’m just not sure if my reaction is one that deserve legitimate critical analysis, or if it’s just me knee-jerking at what, to my cynical eyes, looks like a lot mystical bullcrap. I’ve always appreciated how hard TNG has worked over the years to treat all cultures (except Ferengi, because ew) with respect, and it’s not like the Indians we see here act that much differently than, say, the Klingons Worf visited when he went on a spiritual retreat. But it still feels like pandering.

Worse, it feels like treating an issue that’s relevant in modern times—guilt over the way white settlers and the American government murdered and stole land from an indigenous people—as though it will still have the same level of relevancy 300 years into the future. On the major dramatic cruxes of the episode is Picard’s guilt over having to moving a group of Indians. These Indians having been living on the same planet for 20 years, but now, due to a new treaty signed by the Federation and the Cardassian empire, that planet no longer belongs to them. The Cardassians are coming, and before they arrive, Admiral Necheyev tasks Picard and the Enterprise with making sure the planet’s current inhabitants have been moved to a less diplomatically desirable location. Unfortunately, the Indians don’t want to move, because the place has a special meaning for them, so now Picard has a big case of the ol’ White Guilt blues. It certainly doesn’t improve his frame of mind when the tribal leader tells the captain he’s convinced this is all happening because one of Picard’s ancestors was involved in a massacre of Native Americans centuries before.

Actually, I don’t really see how that should affect Picard’s frame of mind in the slightest, because it is ridiculous. The idea that he would feel some kind of racial culpability for a crime someone hundreds and hundreds of years dead committed is absurd, especially seeing as how he didn’t even know of the event until this episode. I realize that people are often motivated in strange ways by their family history, but this seems like an arbitrary attempt to drum up drama at best. The episode tries to frame the re-location of the Indians as a great tragedy, and it doesn’t play. This isn’t the Trail of Tears. There’s some irony in the fact that a culture that spent a long time being jerked around and betrayed is once again being asked to leave what it thought was home, but it’s not enough irony to build an episode on. The funny thing is, the basic premise is not actually terrible. “Journey’s End” does do a decent job of trying to make sure we understand the perspectives of every side involved in the situation, and the Indians’ refusal to leave should lead to some great drama, as Picard is forced to chose between obeying his orders, or following his conscience—if he even knows which direction his conscience is tending. But it just comes off as insufferable.

Still, if that was all this episode was about, I’d probably view it more favorably than I did. Get past the irritating trappings, and the conflict is decent. Even the ending isn’t terrible, as the Indians make a deal with the Cardassians to keep living on the planet. (Although I’m not sure this is a “happy” ending, mind you. Picard unequivocally states that once the Indians agree to this deal, they will no longer be under Federation protection. Gul Evek seems like a nice enough guy for a Cardassian, but it’s hard not to wonder what will happen the first time the Indians and their neighbors come into conflict.) What makes this truly laughable is a roped-in attempt to resolve the Wesley Crusher story arc.

I’m not sure if you remember this; I sure as hell didn’t. But way back in the first season episode, “Where No One Has Gone Before,” we learned that Wesley is a Chosen One. Not the Chosen One, because that would’ve required a lot more time and attention and possibly a wand of some sort, but he is a very special boy, so special that an alien being has to make a trip to the Enterprise just to tell him how cool he is. That alien, called simply The Traveler, left at the end of the episode, before making another cameo appearance in “Remember Me,” never clarifying exactly who he was or where he was from, but just giving a lot of vague hints about destiny and possibility and other planes of existence. This couldn’t have been easy on Wesley, who’s spent his whole life having people tell him he was remarkable, without ever knowing exactly what that meant. When he returns to the Enterprise at the start of “Journey’s End,” he’s in a lousy mood, and nothing his mother or his friends say will cheer him up. It isn’t until one of the Indians finds him and tells him he was destined to appear that Wesley—

Eh? Yes, I just wrote “destined to appear.” And yes, that is what Lakana, the Indian mystic, tells Wesley. Which sounds like someone got a little too much fantasy in my sci-fi (and it tastes improbable), but on the plus side, it turns out that Lakana isn’t actually an Indian. He’s The Traveler in disguise, because I guess it was easier for him to test Wesley by pretending to be someone else. Also, Wesley can stop time now, or move to those other fabled planes of existence in such a way as to create the illusion that he’s stopping time, and really, this isn’t any less improbable than it was before The Traveler showed up, it’s just that now we can pretend continuity lends credibility. Wesley, realizing that the reason he’s been so angry and depressed is that he’s trying to fill his father’s shoes, and that he was meant for something else entirely, gives up his cadet’s uniform, drops out of Starfleet Academy, and leaves the ship, and TNG , for good.

I appreciate the writers’ desire to wrap up loose ends, I really do. But some loose ends are best left forgotten, especially when they were initially introduced on a very different show. TNG ’s first season was a mess, and while “Where No One Has Gone Before” was one of the first episodes that didn’t entirely suck, it wasn’t a classic by any stretch of the imagination, and the “Wesley Is A Very Special Boy” storyline was never a good fit for this show. It’s puts too much emphasis on the wish-fulfillment aspects of the character, and it relies to much on what is basically magic to work with the series TNG finally (thankfully) became. If the seventh season had ended without ever referencing Wesley’s destiny or The Traveler, I’m sure some detail freaks would’ve complained, but I’d prefer to believe they’d be a minority. Building a story through television is (if you’re very lucky) a long and complicated process, and the writers are not omniscient gods. They don’t always know what plots will work down the line, and which ones will be the narrative equivalent of that week you wanted to be a ballerina. (Don’t lie.) I’m willing to cut slack.

But as much as I’m impressed with the obsessive-compulsive attention to detail this episode represents, no amount of slack in the world will make it worthwhile. Wesley was often a difficult character, smarmy, irritatingly over-smart, creepily dependent on Picard (remember when he built that robot that talked in Picard’s voice? <shudder>), but in the last few seasons, he’d come into his own. He made mistakes, some of them quite serious, but he learned from them, and I was ready to assume he would do great things, and that those great things would be almost entirely off camera. And then “Journey’s End” comes along, and it’s all “You’re ready to move beyond these puny mortals,” and putting on hippy clothes, and hanging out with a paternal—if somewhat unsettling—and mysterious bald dude. (Oh my God, that’s why he trusts The Traveler—the alien looks a little like Picard!) TNG has referenced episodes from the first season before, and used that reference as a chance to make up for past mistakes. It looks like that era of smart writing is gone, sadly, and now all that’s left is to wait for the end.

  • One unequivocal good in all this is the attempted reconciliation with Admiral Necheyev. For once, she’s presented in a sympathetic light, and it’s a nice change of pace from the constant influx of jerky superior officers.

Next next week (December 1) : We spend some time with Worf’s “Firstborn” (sigh), and watch as Picard tracks down his “Bloodlines.”


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When the Federation gives the Cardassians access to a planet inhabited by Native American Indians, Picard has the unenviable task of trying to relocate them.

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Wil Wheaton

Doug Wert

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Natalija Nogulich

Natalija Nogulich

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Richard Poe

Tom Jackson

Tom Jackson

Ned Romero

George Aguilar

Cast appearances.

Captain Jean-Luc Picard

Patrick Stewart

Commander William T. Riker

Jonathan Frakes

Lieutenant Worf

Michael Dorn

Dr. Beverly Crusher

Gates McFadden

Counselor Deanna Troi

Marina Sirtis

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Brent Spiner

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Journey's End: The Saga of Star Trek: The Next Generation

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Journeys End title

Opening titles for Journey's End: The Saga of Star Trek: The Next Generation documentary

Journey's End: The Saga of Star Trek: The Next Generation was a television documentary , first broadcast the week of 15 May 1994 , before the Star Trek: The Next Generation Viewers Choice Marathon . The documentary was written by Stephen R. Wolcott and directed by Donald R. Beck .

Hosted by Jonathan Frakes from the USS Enterprise -D bridge , the special looked back at the creation of the series, went behind the scenes of creating the final episode, visited the Pasadena Grand Slam convention , investigated the phenomenon of the series, and provided answers to irrelevant but fun questions from fans, including the locations of bathrooms on the Enterprise , wherein it is revealed that there is in fact only one public place to "boldly go" on the entire Enterprise -D. In addition, the documentary presented sneak peeks of Star Trek Generations , the third season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine , and Star Trek: Voyager .

According to the Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion  (2nd ed., p. 300), the filming of the documentary created tension among the series' cast and crew. Most notably, Patrick Stewart had a "run-in" with the documentary's camera crew, as a result of his exhaustion from appearing as Jean-Luc Picard in every scene of " All Good Things... " and having directed the preceding episode, " Preemptive Strike ".

The documentary was later released on VHS in the US as a stand-alone edition, and included in a special edition release of "All Good Things" in the UK. On DVD , the documentary was included as part of the Region 2 Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Complete TV Movies collection, and an edited version formed part of the special features on the TNG Season 7 DVD . An English-language LaserDisc was released in Japan in 2000. It was also included on the TNG Season 7 Blu-ray set and made available on Netflix streaming, where it is listed as an additional season 7 episode retitled "Star Trek The Next Generation Retrospective".

The documentary was broadcast in the UK on 5 January 1997 on BBC2 .

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Recap / Star Trek The Next Generation S 7 E 19 Journeys End

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Original air date: March 28, 1994

The Enterprise picks Wesley up from Starbase 310 while he is on vacation from Starfleet Academy. Everyone welcomes him back as he gets settled into his quarters, but he doesn’t seem very enthusiastic about his return. Meanwhile, Picard has a meeting with Admiral Nechayev regarding some new border agreements with the Cardassians. A few planets have ended up changing hands in the arrangement and the colonists on those planets will have to evacuate elsewhere. Nechayev tasks Picard with overseeing the evacuation of Dorvan V. Picard recognizes that planet as the one where a settlement of North American Indians is located. That’s right, they had to leave the entire planet Earth to find some land that the government wouldn’t steal from them, and now the government is even stealing that . Picard points out that that’s a dick move, but Nechayev replies that there’s simply nothing to be done about it. The decision’s been made and all Picard can do is carry out his orders.

Picard has a meeting with the leaders of the Indian settlement. They resist his offer to find them a planet with similar environmental conditions, saying that their choice to live on Dorvan V was a spiritual decision and that it took them two centuries to find a place that was right for them. They decide to take a break and reconvene the next day. Picard invites the settlers to join him on the Enterprise, and they agree. Wesley shows up, acting uncharacteristically disgruntled, and sits alone in the corner until one of the settlers, a man named Lakanta, approaches him and says he’s had a vision of his arrival. Lakanta offers to help Wesley find some answers. The next day Wesley beams down to the planet to speak with him.

Picard meets with the leaders of the settlement again, reminding them that none of them have a choice in the matter. They say that Picard was fated to be the one chosen to speak with them because one of his ancestors took part in a massacre following the Pueblo Revolt, and this is his chance to redeem his family for it. When Picard exits the meeting room, he finds that a team of Cardassians have beamed down to conduct a survey. They are displeased to learn that the evacuation hasn’t started yet. Picard tells them that it’s still a Federation planet for the time being and that they had better not do anything rash. He tries to persuade Starfleet to reconsider the border agreement, but fails. He reluctantly orders Worf to prepare to remove the settlers.

Latanka conducts a vision quest for Wesley, in which he has a vision of his father. Jack tells him that the journey he’s been on is over and that he should begin following his own path. When the vision is over, Wesley walks outside and sees Worf determining the transport settings necessary to beam everyone away. Wesley impulsively announces the plan to the settlers, sparking the beginnings of a riot. Picard brings Wesley back to the Enterprise and chews him out, saying that while he wears a Starfleet uniform, he will obey Starfleet’s orders. Wesley replies that he won’t be wearing the uniform any longer, and that he’s resigning from the Academy. His mother has a few things to say about that decision, of course, but he says that he’s been feeling depressed as graduation approaches and when he saw the vision of his father everything clicked. Beverly mentions The Traveler and his prediction that Wesley would go on to do special things, wondering if this is that start of that.

The settlers take several Cardassians hostage. The Cardassians captain threatens to send down troops to occupy the settlement, but Picard tells him that they can’t afford to let the situation escalate like that. Regardless, a fight breaks out on the planet, and then...

Wesley Crusher stops time with his mind. Latanka appears and reveals that he is really the Traveler in disguise. He tells Wesley that he has officially ascended to a higher plane of existence and is ready to travel around the universe with him. Wesley asks what they can do for the people on Dorvan V, and the Traveler says that he should trust them to solve their own problems.

Picard convinces the Cardassian captain to beam his men off the planet rather than firing on the settlers, as no one there wants to start a war. They come to an agreement to let the settlers give up their Federation citizenship and live autonomously on Dorvan V. The Cardassians promise that they’ll honor the agreement, but Picard warns the settlers that any further conflicts between themselves and the Cardassians will need to be resolved without Federation aid.

Tropes featured in "Journey's End":

  • Battle-Interrupting Shout : Happens literally! A battle breaks out between Cardassian soldiers and Federation colonists, and in response to Wesley's Big "NO!" , Time Stands Still , including phaser beams in mid-air.
  • Big "NO!" : Wesley's reaction to seeing a fight break out, causing time to stand still.
  • Both Sides Have a Point : The colonists are justified to object because they are once again getting kicked off land due to the political maneuverings of a distant authority in spite of their objections. The Federation is justified because the colonists don't really have any greater claim to the planet than the Cardassians, were warned that this could happen when they settled there, and kicking them off will avert an interstellar war and save millions of lives. However, we're clearly supposed to sympathize more with the colonists.
  • Call-Back : The Traveler from " Where No One Has Gone Before " returns. Beverly also recalls the Traveler's statement about Wesley being "a Mozart."
  • Clueless Aesop : The situation is supposed to uncomfortably mirror the Manifest Destiny stage of American history, when Native Americans were kicked off their land by invading colonists through force and broken treaties. However, in this situation, it's made clear that the land the Native Americans are living on was already claimed by the Cardassians when they arrived. From the Cardassians' perspective, the Native Americans are the ones colonizing land that doesn't belong to them, but this is never acknowledged in the episode.
  • Continuity Nod : Picard mentions that there's been some tension between him and Nechayev. The ass-chewing she gave him back in "Descent" no doubt contributed to that.
  • Dispense with the Pleasantries : Picard prepares tea and canapes for Nechayev when she arrives, but she immediately starts getting down to business...and it's subverted when she sees the canapes.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones : The Cardassians are twirling their mustaches throughout the episode even though they could just as easily hold as much of the moral high ground as the Native American colonists if they chose. But in spite of that, the Cardassian gul decides not to start war because he doesn't want his only remaining son to die. Previous episodes have shown that Cardassians are very family-oriented in spite of their merciless ways.
  • Follow in My Footsteps : Defied when a vision of Jack Crusher tells Wesley that he can't continue his Starfleet path.
  • Hard Truth Aesop : No matter how many generations it's been, a person can still carry a stain of blood for the actions of their ancestors.
  • In Harmony with Nature : The American Indian revivalists claim to have a spiritual connection with Dorvan V, although apparently they haven't lived there very long. Also, despite there being plenty of habitable planets around, they seem very picky about exactly what nature to be in harmony with.
  • Innocuously Important Episode : Events in this episode help pave the way for the Maquis development on DS9 , which in turn would pave the way for Voyager . Ronald D. Moore: When I was working on "Journey's End", Michael [Piller] told me quite explicitly about their plans for the role of the Maquis on Voyager and that he wanted "Journey" to show the roots of the Maquis even though they would later be named on DS9.
  • Internal Reveal : The Traveler told Picard that Wesley was a prodigy akin to Mozart, but wanted Picard to keep Wesley Locked Out of the Loop so he would discover his talents himself. Picard apparently told Beverly, however, and she now decides to tell Wesley.
  • Is That a Threat? : Gul Evek shows up to conduct a survey of the village, and Picard gives him a very stern warning. Evek: Captain, we have been sent here to perform a preliminary survey of all the buildings and equipment being left behind. I have no intention of leaving until our mission is complete. Picard: Very well. Complete your mission. But remember, this is Federation territory, Gul Evek, and until that changes, these people are under my jurisdiction and I will protect them. Evek: Is that a threat? Picard: It's a fact. Bear that in mind while you conduct your survey.
  • Just Eat Gilligan : Until the very end of the episode, no-one ever seems to think about just asking the Indians whether they would be happy to become Cardassian subjects if it meant they could remain on Dorvan V, presumably so that the Trail of Tears allegory the episode is aiming for would still hold up.
  • Magical Native American : The Indians of Dorvan V talk about being in connection with the spirits of their forefathers, and feeling a special connection to nature. The Traveler tells Wesley that he has much to learn from them.
  • Mr. Exposition : Troi handily rattles of a summary of the Pueblo Revolt.
  • The Cardassian captain beams out his troops rather than retaliate against the colonists, which would lead to war with the Federation as the Enterprise would come to their aid.
  • Admiral Nechayev finally comes across like a reasonable person. She completely understands how objectionable her orders are. When Picard finally asks to lodge a formal complaint, he discovers that she beat him to it.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right! : Wesley bucks orders to stop the relocation — but since he's made the decision to leave Starfleet, he no longer cares about following orders.
  • Sins of Our Fathers : One of Picard's ancestors took part in the massacre of Pueblo Indians. The tribal leaders believe that Picard is meant to atone for that.
  • Space Amish : The Indians seem to still adhere to the trappings of (somewhat stereotypical) American Indians from the 19th century.
  • Take This Job and Shove It : When Picard reminds Wesley, in no uncertain terms, that he is to obey all orders as a Starfleet officer, including participating in the forced relocation of the Native American colonists, Wesley immediately and pointedly resigns his commission.
  • Tastes Like Friendship : Invoked by Picard, who prepares a pot of tea and Admiral Nechayev's favorite canapes in an effort to reduce the tension between them. She appreciates the gesture.
  • Time Stands Still : Wesley stops time once the fighting breaks out, and then walks away allowing things to continue only without him having to be troubled by it at all.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass : Wesley acts uncharacteristically surly due to becoming disillusioned with his current path.
  • Took a Level in Kindness : Picard makes an attempt to make peace with the brusque Admiral Nechayev by offering her some of her favorite food . Her demeanor softens when she notices, and she even thanks him for the gesture at the end of their meeting. Later, when Picard lodges a formal objection to the distasteful state of affairs, Nechayev tells him that she already made one two days ago.
  • Vision Quest : Wesley goes on one in a sweat lodge, seeing his father tell him to quit Starfleet.
  • From his mother Beverly Crusher for his snappy attitude towards La Forge in Engineering, and what she gets is Wesley's outburst in response.
  • A rather more disciplinary one from Capt. Picard for rallying the colonists to turn against the away team from the Enterprise and sharply reminds him that he will obey orders when wearing that uniform, before Wesley announced his resignation from the academy very shortly after the lecture.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation S7E18 "Genesis"
  • Recap/Star Trek: The Next Generation
  • Star Trek The Next Generation S 7 E 20 Firstborn

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star trek journey's end

star trek journey's end

“I have a lot of pride around it”: Star Trek: Discovery Has Been Doing One Thing Right That Makes it Superior to George Lucas’ Star Wars

I t has been a long journey for the Trekkies since the original  Star Trek  series took off in 1966. Starring William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, the legend and legacy that the sci-fi series established survived through economic collapses, global wars, and one pandemic only to come out the other end better than before.

Star Trek Gets a Leg Up on Star Wars Due To One Element

Star Trek and Star Wars have always been two sides of the same coin but not in the manner that depicts good vs. evil or light vs. shadow. The two sci-fi franchises have always played out in tandem with each other, keeping a somewhat equal pace in their storyʼs progression, even if the popularity of Star Wars  snowballed out of proportion over the decades that followed.

“I didn’t even know what the word ‘Trekkie’ meant”: How a $219M Tom Hanks Movie Landed Zoe Saldaña Her Star Trek Role

Star Wars , on the other hand, has yet to expand on that facet of its narrative since heteronormative relationships have prevailed for the past 47 years even in a galaxy far, far away from the one we reside in.

Tig Notaro Addresses LGBTQ+ Representation in  Star Trek

With an active involvement in  Star Trek: Discovery since its Season 1 in 2017, actor Tig Notaro has enjoyed her fair share of screentime on the show as a genius engineer and part-time bartender, Commander Jett Reno. But it is her presence as the most highly venerated member of the LGBTQ+ community among the cast that draws the crowsʼs attention to the showʼs unbridled inclusivity.

I have a lot of pride around it. It’s really remarkable how many people it speaks to. And also, even beyond the LGBTQ community, it’s so amazing how the general public and straight men and all of these people don’t even flinch at the world in Star Trek: Discovery, where it’s just presented as a part of everybody’s life and world. And it’s just as cool of a series as the others. That’s what I find so cool about it. That it’s not only being watched and followed by one community. I feel like it just speaks across the board. So that’s really, really cool.

“We’d like to use you as much as possible”: Star Trek: Discovery Actor Was Sure Her Character Won’t Make it Past Two Episodes

Surrounded by a cast that is equally supportive and funny as their Commander, Tig Notaroʼs  Star Trek: Discovery  remains light years ahead of its contemporary franchise  Star Wars .

Star Trek: Discovery  is available for streaming on Paramount+

Star Trek: Discovery [Credit: Paramount Network]

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Journey's end (1994).

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Every Voyager Character Who Has Returned In Star Trek (& How)

Will trent season 2 ending's major twist explained by showrunners, the simpsons season 35's ending finally solved a 30-year old homer mystery.

  • Star Trek: Voyager season 3's "trilogy of terror" was a group of low-rated episodes at the end of the season.
  • The episodes lacked cohesive plots and suffered from poor execution and pacing.
  • Despite criticism, each episode had some redeeming qualities, mainly highlighting individual characters.

Star Trek: Voyager season 3 has a set of episodes that were deemed the "trilogy of terror" after their release. Like many Star Trek TV shows , Voyager struggled with episode quality in its first few seasons. For every episode that ended up becoming a hit, there were just as many that were misses, if not more. This was less true in season 3 as compared to seasons 1 and 2, but Voyager still seemed to have trouble finding its footing before the season 3 finale changed the show completely with the beginning of the Borg and Species 8472 arc.

That isn't to say that Voyager season 3 didn't have several hit episodes, surpassing previous seasons in quality overall. The two-part "Future's End" remains one of the show's best storylines, and episodes like "The Chute" or "Coda" beautifully highlighted individual people in Voyager 's cast of characters and had interesting plots. However, season 3 is the only season with the distinction of being home to the "trilogy of terror," which has become infamous among audiences since the season's release.

Star Trek: Voyager's beloved characters have returned in Star Trek: Picard, Star Trek: Lower Decks, and especially Star Trek: Prodigy.

Star Trek: Voyager’s “Trilogy Of Terror” Season 3 Episodes Explained

The "trilogy of terror" was aired at the end of season 3.

Voyager 's "trilogy of terror" was three back-to-back episodes towards the end of season 3: episodes 18, 19, and 20, "Darkling," "Rise," and "Favorite Son." The episodes had nothing in common with each other in terms of plot; all three focused on separate characters and had wildly differing storylines. However, all three were extremely low-rated in terms of quality, and according to the book Beyond the Final Frontier , by Lance Parkin and Mark Jones, some viewers took it upon themselves to give the episodes the moniker "trilogy or terror" in the years after their release.

All three episodes have plots that range from vaguely unmemorable to downright bizarre, and each episode lacked something in the execution of its storyline, mainly in terms of pacing.

When compared to some of Voyager 's better episodes, it's easy to see why "Darkling," "Rise," and "Favorite Son" were given such a demeaning title. All three episodes have plots that range from vaguely unmemorable to downright bizarre , and each episode lacked something in the execution of its storyline, mainly in terms of pacing. However, while no one would call any of them a "classic" in the pantheon of Voyager 's best episodes , none of the trilogy of terror should be written off entirely.

Voyager’s Trilogy Of Terror Isn’t As Bad As Fans Say

All three episodes have some redeeming qualities.

"Darkling," "Rise," and "Favorite Son" all had aspects that made them more interesting than the name "trilogy of terror" gives them credit for. "Darkling" was a tour-de-force for the Doctor (Robert Picardo), delving into some interesting territory with its Jekyll and Hyde premise and allowing Picardo to really chew the scenery as the darker alternate version of his character. Although the plot of "Rise" was fairly forgettable, the episode's further exploration of the complicated friendship between Tuvok (Tim Russ) and Neelix (Ethan Phillips) pushed it into interesting territory.

"Favorite Son" is perhaps the hardest to find redeeming qualities for , as the episode with the least coherent storyline and numerous issues with plot execution. However, "Favorite Son" did put Harry Kim (Garrett Wang) into uncharted territory and gave Wang a chance to truly shine as the episode's main character, something that didn’t happen often enough on Star Trek: Voyager . Although the "trilogy of terror" undoubtedly deserves the moniker, none of the episodes are entirely unable to be redeemed on some front.

Source: Beyond the Final Frontier , by Lance Parkin and Mark Jones

Star Trek: Voyager is available to stream on Paramount+.

Star Trek: Voyager

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The fifth entry in the Star Trek franchise, Star Trek: Voyager, is a sci-fi series that sees the crew of the USS Voyager on a long journey back to their home after finding themselves stranded at the far ends of the Milky Way Galaxy. Led by Captain Kathryn Janeway, the series follows the crew as they embark through truly uncharted areas of space, with new species, friends, foes, and mysteries to solve as they wrestle with the politics of a crew in a situation they've never faced before. 

Star Trek: Voyager (1995)

'Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' Anson Mount & Rebecca Romijn on ‘Season 2’ and the ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ Crossover Episode

Mount and Romijn also talk about working with Jack Quaid & Tawny Newsome and why episode 9 is their favorite in Season 2.

Showrunners Akiva Goldsman and Henry Myers ’ prequel series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds returns with Season 2 this month, premiering on Paramount+ on June 15. But before we catch back up with Captain Christopher Pike and his Number One, Collider’s Steve Weintraub spoke with the stars behind the USS Enterprise’s first and second in command, Anson Mount and Rebecca Romijn , on the upcoming episodes, and what the pair could tease for fans.

Last year, Strange New Worlds expanded the Star Trek Universe in ways new and old, taking us back a decade before Captain Kirk ( William Shatner ) helmed the Enterprise in Star Trek: The Original Series . It’s a return to the classic episodic adventures that first captured spacefaring fans so many years ago, and Season 2 is bringing new imaginative worlds, aliens, and a surprise crossover with another spinoff series, the animated Star Trek: Lower Decks . Without giving away too much, Mount admits the crossover was a world he wasn’t quite ready to boldly explore when Goldsman and Myers first revealed their plans, believing the duo may have “lost their minds," in fact.

In Collider’s interview with Mount and Romijin, which you can watch or read below, Weintraub asks how they felt about the crossover, directed by Star Trek alum and legend, Jonathan Frakes , and both have a lot to say about their temporary co-stars, Tawny Newsome and Jack Quaid . Though they have to keep it pretty mum, lest they lose their fingers, we do find out that this season will be taking some “ big swings genre-wise ,” as well as big risks, and Mount promises the journey ahead will involve “things that Star Trek has never done before,” which kept the energy up during production to the very final episode. Season 2 will see the return of Ethan Peck , Melissa Navia , Celia Rose Gooding , Paul Wesley , Jess Bush , Babs Olunsanmokun , and introduce Carol Kane as the Enterprise’s new Chief Engineer, Pelia.

COLLIDER: I've seen the first six episodes of Season 2. My only complaint is I couldn't see seven through 10.

ANSON MOUNT: [Laughs] Good to know.

REBECCA ROMIJN: Yeah, thank you!

So you both get to do very cool things this season. What are you actually allowed to say?

ROMIJN: Nothing [laughs]. It makes it so difficult. I can't wait for you to see seven through the final four.

MOUNT: Yeah, it's in our contract, they get to remove a finger every time we make a slip-up.

It has to be interesting, though. It's hard to do press when the hands are tied behind your back. The second season is 10 episodes, which of the 10 is your favorite, and why?

MOUNT: Well, yeah, I have a clear favorite.

ROMIJN: I have a clear favorite, too, and I have a feeling it's the same one as Anson’s. It's gonna be Episode 9, but we can't say anything about it!

MOUNT: [Laughs] Yeah, it's Episode 9.

ROMIJN: Obviously, we can't discuss, but I think they'll probably be announcing something about it soon, possibly? Anyway, we obviously can't say anything about it. We took some big swings genre-wise this season, and we really got to play hard this season. It's like Season 1 but bigger and better, and we're pretty excited about it, to share it with everybody.

MOUNT: And what's cool about taking big risks, which are at the same time maybe things that Star Trek has never done before, is that the level of excitement it brings to the cast is amazing. When we were doing that episode that we've been talking about, Episode 9, obviously that was towards the end of the season’s shoot when everybody is tired. Because when you do the final episode, everybody is like, “Oh, okay, we’re almost done!” But a penultimate episode can be tough to get through. But because of the nature of the episode and what we were doing, we had to rehearse on weekends, and when people were coming in, everyone was genuinely excited to be there.

ROMIJN: Flying! Yeah, it was so exciting.

MOUNT: Which, I've never seen that before in all my days of doing television, and yeah, it came together even better than I'd hoped.

I'm just gonna throw a Hail Mary. It makes me think maybe some of this episode is a oner?

MOUNT: Well, we couldn't tell you if you're right or not.

ROMIJN: [Laughs] Because then we'd lose fingers!

MOUNT: But you are far afield, my friend.

One of the things about this season a lot of people are looking forward to, I believe it's Episode 7, which is your Lower Decks crossover episode. What was it like being able to crossover with that show because I didn't see it coming and it's just a cool idea.

MOUNT: When Akiva and Henry first told me about it, it's one of those moments where you sort of smile and nod your head, and inside your head, you're going, “Oh no, they have lost their minds” because I immediately was picturing something like [ Who Framed Roger Rabbit ], right? But once they explained to me the concept, I was like, “Oh, that is such a smart way to do it!” I had met and spent time with Jack [Quaid] before, and I had spoken with Tawny [Newsome] before, so I was really excited to have them on the set, and they didn't disappoint.

ROMIJN: And they were really smart to bring Jonathan Frakes in to direct that episode. He really added a lot to it. I also know Jack and Tawny fairly well because my husband's on Lower Decks , and they had some adjustments to make, having come from an animated Star Trek show onto our set. I mean, I think they even address it in some of the dialogue. They sort of had to adjust their energy level a little bit. It was interesting watching them, and they're so brilliant, both of them, I mean, two of the funniest people, so talented, so funny. But watching them come in and make little slight adjustments so that it still felt within the correct world was interesting.

MOUNT: Yeah, and also, I have to say, it's really tough in a lot of ways being a guest star on a show that already has its wheels turning and its tone in place. You're kind of hoping you're not disappointing anybody, but they really came in and had full ownership over what they were doing, which you have to with comedy, especially because comedy is more of a living, transformative thing at the moment of doing it.

ROMIJN: And Tawny and Jack both have great backgrounds in improv, so they were really able to play with a lot of the stuff that was given to them. I mean, a lot of it was taken off the page and they would do completely different things in every take. It was really fun to watch.

You can watch all of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 1 on Paramount+ ahead of the Season 2 premiere on June 15.

Den of Geek

Star Trek Discovery Just Brought Back a Beloved Piece of Next Generation Canon

As Discovery enters the “Labyrinths” of Captain Burnham’s mind, fans should be reminded of a Star Trek: The Next Generation classic.

star trek journey's end

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Patrick Stewart as Captain Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation

This Star Trek: Discovery article contains spoilers.

With the release of this week’s “ Labyrinths ,” Star Trek: Discovery only has two more episodes to go before its series finale, which will have to wrap up not only its season-long Progenitor mystery but multiple character arcs at the same time. It’s a lot for one of the most action-adventure-oriented Trek series ever. Still, we didn’t mind that Discovery took a second to pause with an introspective episode before jumping back into the breakneck action of what will become the final two stories. In “Labyrinths,” Captain Burnham enters inside what she thinks is an ancient Betazoid book. Instead, she ends up in a mindscape created by her own subconscious.

This is classic Star Trek stuff, an entire sci-fi adventure that happens almost exclusively in the mind of one character but is full of emotional stakes that directly impact the physical stakes in the outside world. And, for longtime fans, the method by which Burnham ends up in this mindscape should seem very, very familiar, as it’s a callback to one of the most beloved Next Generation episodes of all time.

While onboard the Eternal Gallery and Archive, Book and Burnham finally locate the manuscript called Labyrinths of the Mind , written by Marina Derex, a Betazoid scientist who lived 800 years in the past, way back in the 24th century. Book and Burnham are told that nobody else before has requested this book, and we quickly find out why. When Burnham opens it and presses a specific panel, she’s zapped unconscious. Dr. Culber explains she’s been hit by a “nucleonic emitter,” which should ring some bells in the minds of people who love The Next Generation .

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Just before the end of The Next Generation’s fifth season, on June 1, 1992, the series dropped what is almost certainly its best standalone episode, “The Inner Light.” This story, from writer Morgan Gendel, begins with a different kind of archive in space: a probe sent by an ancient civilization from the planet Kataan. As in the new Discovery episode, Picard is zapped by a nucleonic beam, and ends up on the planet Kataan, which from the point-of-view of the 24th-century timeline, life has been extinct since the 14th century.

Discovery isn’t 10 centuries in the future from The Next Generation , but it is eight centuries ahead. This is one of those strange quirks of Discovery’s time-jump from the end of season 2. By leap-frogging beyond the The Original Series timeframe where the show began, the series is also now 800 years beyond The Next Generation . For people like Burnham, Culber, and Kovich, the fact that Jean-Luc Picard was one of the first humans to discover the Progenitor tech (in “The Chase”) means very little, he’s just some guy lost to history. And yet, it’s interesting that the timespan between Picard and the death of the planet Kataan is now comparable to the timespan between Discovery’s future and the now-classic era of The Next Generation .

But, one has to wonder, did the Betazoid Dr. Derex adapt technology from the Kataan probe to use in this manuscript? We know that the various scientists hid the clues to the Progenitor tech that were created in the 24th century during the Dominion War, which would be after the events of TNG’s “The Inner Light.” So, it’s totally conceivable that the technology of the nucleonic beam was adapted by Federation scientists, and used in this book, specifically.

Burnham’s journey differs from Picard’s in “The Inner Light,” of course. She’s totally aware of what is happening, and the projections from her mind, including a representation of Book, make her aware she’s in a mindscape puzzle, and that her goal is to get out. In “The Inner Light,” the world of Picard’s other life, living as Kamin, wasn’t a puzzle for him to solve, or really a quest of any kind. Instead, Picard was encouraged just to live out his days in that world. However, there was a ticking clock on the other end, and Crusher was concerned he might die if the nucleonic beam isn’t severed. This is paralleled in “ “Labyrinths” when Dr. Culber resists beaming Burnham out until the program has run its course.

What’s really fascinating about all of this is the idea that Burnham has to deal with herself before moving onward into the rest of the mission. It’s a ruminative episode, jammed in the middle of some action episodes, which also repeats Star Trek history. In 1992, “The Inner Light” was the penultimate episode of The Next Generation season 5. The episode that followed “The Inner Light,” was the time travel cliffhanger “Time’s Arrow Part 1,” which brought together the entire TNG crew on an epic quest. 

Discovery seems to be doing something similar; right toward the end of its own season 5, the captain of the ship goes on an inward journey, right before the next two episodes kick things into maximum warp. Captain Burnham is nothing like Captain Picard, but as Discovery proves, sometimes, the farther one travels, the less one knows. And when that happens, it’s time to chill out and get nucleonic.

Star Trek: Discovery is streaming now on Paramount+.

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Ryan Britt

Ryan Britt is a longtime contributor to Den of Geek! He is also the author of three non-fiction books: the Star Trek pop history book PHASERS…

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  1. "Star Trek: The Next Generation" Journey's End (TV Episode 1994)

    Journey's End: Directed by Corey Allen. With Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn. After the Federation grants access by the Cardassians to a planet already inhabited by Native Americans, Picard has the daunting task of relocating them.

  2. Journey's End (episode)

    Arc: The Traveler (3 of 3) Written by. Ronald D. Moore. Directed by. Corey Allen. In-universe date. 47751.2-47755.3 ( 2370 ) Journey's End redirects here; for the TNG special, please see Journey's End: The Saga of Star Trek: The Next Generation. As a result of a long-disputed treaty with the Cardassians, the Federation has agreed to return ...

  3. Journey's End (Star Trek: The Next Generation)

    Star Trek: The Next Generation. ) " Journey's End " is the 172nd episode of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, and it is the 20th episode of the seventh season . Set in the 24th century, the series follows the adventures of the Starfleet crew of the Federation starship Enterprise-D.

  4. The Next Generation Transcripts

    Journey's End Stardate: 47751.2 Original Airdate: 28 Mar, 1994. Captain's log, stardate 47751.2. The Enterprise has arrived at Starbase three one zero for a meeting with Fleet Admiral Necheyev. This visit will also give us the opportunity to pick up a member of the family. [Wesley's quarters]

  5. "Star Trek: The Next Generation" Journey's End (TV Episode 1994)

    "Star Trek: The Next Generation" Journey's End (TV Episode 1994) cast and crew credits, including actors, actresses, directors, writers and more. Menu. Movies. Release Calendar Top 250 Movies Most Popular Movies Browse Movies by Genre Top Box Office Showtimes & Tickets Movie News India Movie Spotlight.

  6. Journey's End

    Journey's End. Picard is forced to relocate American Indians from a planet they have settled, while a colonist causes Wesley to re-examine his future. S7E20 45 min. Pluto TV. Movies and Shows in United States. Star Trek: The Next Generation. Stream Star Trek: The Next Generation free and on-demand with Pluto TV. Season 7, Episode 20.

  7. Star Trek: The Next Generation

    Journey's End Aired Mar 28, 1994 Sci-Fi Fantasy Adventure Drama Reviews Picard is ordered to relocate a group of American Indians from the planet on which they have settled; Wesley Crusher seeks ...

  8. "Star Trek: The Next Generation" Journey's End (TV Episode 1994)

    Summaries. After the Federation grants access by the Cardassians to a planet already inhabited by Native American Indians, Picard has the daunting task of relocating them. Wesley is on leave from Starfleet Academy, but gloomy, moody and even rude. The Federation has concluded a peace treaty with the Cardassians, which reassigns several planets ...

  9. Journey's End

    S7 E20: While Picard is forced to relocate a group of American Indians from a planet they have settled, one of the colonists causes Wesley to re-examine his future. Sci-Fi Mar 28, 1994 43 min. TV-PG. Starring Wil Wheaton, Tom Jackson, Natalia Nogulich.

  10. Journey's End

    Star Trek: The Next Generation Journey's End Sci-Fi 28 Mar 1994 43 min Paramount+ Available on Prime Video, Paramount+ S7 E20: Picard is ordered to relocate a group of American Indians from the planet on which they have settled. Sci-Fi 28 Mar 1994 43 min Paramount+ ...

  11. Star Trek: The Next Generation

    A retrospective of the series featuring cast interviews and some of the series' best moments.

  12. "Journey's End"

    Sat, Mar 16, 2013, 5:01pm (UTC -5) "Journey's End" is the exact opposite of season 3's "The Ensigns of Command". I was hoping that Picard would send Data down to stun a few of the natives and destroy their water system and give that "things can be replaced" speech. I don't think political correctness works on an android.

  13. Journey's End

    Picard is ordered to relocate a group of American Indians from the planet on which they have settled; Wesley Crusher seeks clues to his future.

  14. Journey's End

    Summary pulled from IMDB: "Your destination: the 24th century. Your mission: to voyage where few have gone before--behind the scenes of Star Trek: The Next Generation! Join Jonathan Frakes, Next Generation's Commander William Riker, for this fascinating chronicle of Gene Roddenberry's beloved, Emmy Award-winning series.

  15. How Star Trek: The Next Generation Took On Indigenous American

    Star Trek: The Next Generation's "Journey's End" explores the fallout after the Federation reaches a diplomatic agreement with the militaristic Cardassian Empire. After a great deal of strife and diplomatic maneuverings, the Federation has agreed to cede the planet Dorvan V to Cardassia.A simple enough agreement, if the planet were uninhabited, but there is a catch; a Native American ...

  16. Star Trek: The Next Generation : "Genesis"/"Journey's End"

    "Journey's End" (season 7, episode 20; originally aired: 3/26/1994) ... There's an episode from the third series of the original Star Trek with Indians in it.

  17. Journey's End

    Episode Guide for Star Trek: The Next Generation 7x20: Journey's End. Episode summary, trailer and screencaps; guest stars and main cast list; and more.

  18. Journey's End: The Saga of Star Trek

    Journey's End: The Saga of Star Trek - The Next Generation: Directed by Donald R. Beck. With Jonathan Frakes, Patrick Stewart, Denise Crosby, LeVar Burton. Your destination: the 24th century. Your mission: to voyage where few have gone before--behind the scenes of Star Trek: The Next Generation! Join Jonathan Frakes, Next Generation's Commander William Riker, for this fascinating chronicle of ...

  19. Journey's End: The Saga of Star Trek: The Next Generation

    Journey's End: The Saga of Star Trek: The Next Generation was a television documentary, first broadcast the week of 15 May 1994, before the Star Trek: The Next Generation Viewers Choice Marathon. The documentary was written by Stephen R. Wolcott and directed by Donald R. Beck. Hosted by Jonathan Frakes from the USS Enterprise-D bridge, the special looked back at the creation of the series ...

  20. Episode Preview: Journey's End

    © 2024 CBS Studios Inc., Paramount Pictures Corporation, and CBS Interactive Inc., Paramount companies. STAR TREK and related marks are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc.

  21. Recap / Star Trek The Next Generation S 7 E 19 Journeys End

    Star Trek The Next Generation S 7 E 19 Journeys End. "All I'm saying, you guys, is that there's a real chance that the Cardassians might treat you the same way your ancestors were treated." Original air date: March 28, 1994. The Enterprise picks Wesley up from Starbase 310 while he is on vacation from Starfleet Academy.

  22. Star Trek Gets a Leg Up on Star Wars Due To One Element

    It has been a long journey for the Trekkies since the original Star Trek series took off in 1966. Starring William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, the legend and legacy that the sci-fi series ...

  23. "Star Trek: The Next Generation" Journey's End (TV Episode 1994 ...

    ST:TNG:172 - "Journey's End" (Stardate: 47751.2) - this is the 20th episode of the 7th and last season of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Because of a recent peace settlement (which isn't perfect but took 3 long years to reach), Picard is ordered to evacuate a colony of Native Americans that are now in Cardassian territory.

  24. Star Trek: Voyager's Trilogy Of Terror Explained

    Star Trek: Voyager season 3's "trilogy of terror" was a group of low-rated episodes at the end of the season. The episodes lacked cohesive plots and suffered from poor execution and pacing. Despite criticism, each episode had some redeeming qualities, mainly highlighting individual characters. Star Trek: Voyager season 3 has a set of episodes ...

  25. 'Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' Anson Mount & Rebecca Romijn on 'Season

    Showrunners Akiva Goldsman and Henry Myers ' prequel series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds returns with Season 2 this month, premiering on Paramount+ on June 15. But before we catch back up with ...

  26. Star Trek Discovery Just Brought Back a Beloved Piece of Next

    Discovery seems to be doing something similar; right toward the end of its own season 5, the captain of the ship goes on an inward journey, right before the next two episodes kick things into ...

  27. The Daily Show

    South Park: The End of Obesity Trailer. ... Star Trek: very Short Treks S1 . Relive the classic vibe of "Star Trek: The Animated Series," and join Riker, Spock and more Starfleet faces on the bite-sized journeys of "Star Trek: very Short Treks," now streaming. 11/22/2023. Trailer.