Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Worst of Star Trek TNG---Journey's End

"Journey's End" was from the last season. It was Wil Wheaton's last appearance on the show, which had only a few shows left in the series.

This episode had a promising beginning, but fell flat and delved into the mystical and painted Wesley Crusher has a superbeing who was evolving into a higher spiritual/cosmic being. The Traveler returns as a guide to usher him into this new realm.

This is one of two plots. The other is a conflict involving the federation and a group of Native American settlers on a planet that were given to the Cardassians in a peace treaty and now they've come to collect.

Admiral Nechayev gives Captain Picard the order to remove the colonists from the planet according to the terms of the treaty agreement. Picard recognizes that it's history repeating itself, with a peoples being forced to move from their homeland once again. The issue is how will Starfleet agree to the terms of the treaty in order to keep the peace with the Cardassians and avoid a violent confrontation between them and the Cardassians.

That portion of the show was engaging and brought up issues of race, cultural identity, and settlement rights. Fortunately, alls well that ends well when Picard hosts a discussion between the native tribal leader and the Cardassian captain that leads to the two factions deciding to share the planet under Cardassian law. The Cardassian captain agrees they can coexist by staying out of each other's way. Fair enough.

The plot that spoiled the story was when Wesley boards the Enterprise as a mini vacation to visit his mother. He's sullen, grumpy, and downright rude, especially to Geordi, who shows him work he's done on the engine propulsion system. He criticizes the work in such a way as to practically make Geordi look stupid. "You're excused, cadet" Geordi tells him. Wesley walks off in a huff.

Wesley goes down to the planet and gets involved with one of the natives, or so we're lead to believe. There, Wesley has visions of his father telling him to let go of his current path and follow a new one not connected to Starfleet. He also tells the natives that the Enterprise is planning to remove the settlers by force for refusing to leave. This gets him in trouble with the captain, who reads him the riot act and tells him his actions were not of one worthy of the uniform. Wesley agrees and takes of his badge and walks out of the captain's' ready room.

He explains to his mother, Dr. Crusher, that he no longer wants to live up to everyone's expectations but follow his own path. He goes back down to the planet where the native reveals his true identity--The Traveler. How much the traveler influenced Wesley's visions isn't clear, but it is suggested that he helped him along to see his true potential.

At one point, tensions on the planet are escalating and Wesley tries to intervene when the action stops frozen in time. Wesley turns to see the traveler who tells Wesley it isn't he that stopped time, but Wesley himself.

He was able to pull himself out of another plane of existence. Huh? Then the traveler tells Wesley to let the lowly humans solve their own problems. To that I say...

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