The Great Star Trek TNG Rewatch: Journey’s End

When a new treaty between the Federation and Cardassia puts several colonies on the wrong side of the border, the Enterprise is asked to relocate a colony of Native Americans. Aware of the unfortunate nature of the situation, Picard tries to tread carefully, but the colonists are determined to stay put. Meanwhile, Wesley is visiting from the Academy, but the once top student is now troubled and moody.

Although you wouldn’t think to look at it, this is actually an important episode for the Star Trek universe. Not because of Wesley – although we’ll return to him in a moment – but because the formation of this demilitarised zone is going to lead to the formation of the Maquis. We’ll be seeing a lot of them once I start blogging DS9 and Voyager, but for now we’re stuck with the only Native American story we ever see – forced relocation. There’s a bit shoehorned in about how one of Picard’s ancestors was an evil oppressing Spaniard, and despite the fact that Picard can’t help this, and many white people have evil oppressor ancestors, he’s apparently obliged to redeem the family name.

And then we have Wesley. By this point in the series, Wesley is in his early twenties, but here he acts like a moody teen who has just discovered masturbation. You’d think with Roddenberry gone that we’d had the end of the Wesley is super special plotline, but no, it reaches a painful conclusion here as Wesley transcends the rest of humanity and heads off with The Traveller to another plane of existence. For once, I wanted Q to come along and put humanity in its place.

Bits and pieces

  • Even though The Traveller told Picard to keep Wesley’s potential a secret, here Beverly knows all about it.
  • Unlike Sito, Wesley seems to have had no lasting ill effects from the events of The First Duty – it’s not even mentioned as a reason for his disillusionment with Starfleet.
  • Given how moral and ethical the Federation is supposed to be, forcibly beaming the colonists away is pretty low. In fact, it’s what the So’na want to covertly do to the Ba;ku in Insurrection, and Data goes rogue to stop them!

Summary – Journey’s End: In which The Traveller manipulates Wesley into joining him.

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