[TNG] Lynch's Spoiler Review: "All Good Things..."

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Timothy W. Lynch

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May 29, 1994, 2:47:30 AM5/29/94
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WARNING: Spoilers lie in the near future, or the present, or ... oh, the
heck with it -- not very many lines down for TNG's finale episode, "All Good
Things..." If you haven't been spoiled yet and don't want to be, avoid the
article.

Whew. So that's it. Not perfect, but very strong, and more than enough to
make me sentimental about the end of an era.

"All good things must come to an end," indeed -- but first, they get the
living hell synopsized out of them. :-) See you when it's over. Maestro:

Troi and Worf are leaving the holodeck after a romantic evening, and Worf is
becoming concerned that he may be hurting Riker's feelings. Troi reassures
him that it's more appropriate just now to deal with _their_ feelings, and
Worf bends to kiss her --

-- only to be interrupted as Picard rushes on scene in his bathrobe, urgently
asking what the date is. When Worf replies that it's stardate 47988, Picard
seems very puzzled. When pressed, he tells Troi, "I don't know how or why,
but I'm moving back and forth ... through time."

He can't describe exactly where he's been moving to and from, but he knows
he's been both in the past and the future, by a matter of years in both
instances. Troi suggests that the vagueness might mean it was a dream, but
Picard is adamant that the feelings and images were entirely too vivid to be
anything unreal. He adds that whenever he switched time periods, he briefly
felt disoriented, but that then it ended, "as though I *belonged* in that
time. But, I can't --"

Suddenly, Picard finds himself in a vineyard as an old man, where he is
tying up some vines. He hears Geordi's voice calling to him, as Geordi
strides onto the scene, complete with both a mustache and regular,
functioning eyes. "Captain, we've got a problem with the warp core, or
the phase inducers, or some other damned thing," he laughs. The two haven't
seen each other in nine years (much less the twenty-five since they were all
on the Enterprise), and catch up on old times for a short while. Then,
Picard gets down to basics: "So what brings you here?"

Geordi claims to have just dropped by for a visit, but Picard is skeptical --
it's too long a trip. "So," he muses, "you've heard." Geordi agrees: "Leah
has some friends at Starfleet Medical ... word gets around." Picard has
recently come down with Irumodic Syndrome, a neurological disorder, but is
adamant that he is *not* an invalid. He and Geordi walk and talk, discussing
both cooking styles and Geordi's recent novel, but then Picard sees something
out of the corner of his eye and turns to look. He sees vagabonds in the
field jumping up and down, pointing at him and taunting him. He stands
transfixed, as Geordi tries to get his attention. "Captain, are you all
right?"

"Captain?" It's no longer Geordi addressing him, but Tasha -- and Picard now
finds himself in a shuttlecraft en route to take command of the Enterprise.
Telling Tasha that he was distracted, Picard asks her to continue. She sings
the praises of the ship, then asks if she's done something wrong, concerned
at his distant manner. "No," he assures her, "it's just that you look very
familiar." The shuttle reaches the Enterprise, and Picard gets his first
look...

... as he finds himself back in his quarters in the present, with Troi
looking on, concerned. He tells her where he just was, then sits in a corner
of the room, worried that he's losing his mind.

In sickbay, all the evidence suggests that Picard has not hallucinated, and
has also not left the ship in quite some time. Beverly sardonically comments
that Picard just likes waking them all up in the middle of the night, and
then shoos Deanna out. Once alone, she tells Picard that although she found
no traces of Irumodic Syndrome, she did find a small defect in his parietal
lobe that would make him susceptible to that ailment. She assures him that
it's only a possibility, nothing more, but her worried look betrays her
feelings. Picard reassures her that she's "going to have to put up with me
for a long time," as Worf calls with a priority message from Admiral
Nakamura.

Picard takes it in Bev's office, and is ordered to the Neutral Zone border,
where no less than thirty Romulan warbirds are heading as well. There is
some sort of spatial anomaly in the Devron system, and both sides are
converging to the closest location they can to get a look at it. The
Enterprise is to wait at the border, but *only* wait -- they cannot cross.
Nakamura signs off, and Picard gets up to leave --

-- and finds himself back in the vineyard with Geordi, stumbling. "This is
not my time," he mumbles to himself: "I don't belong here." Geordi is now
extremely worried, but Picard scoffs at any suggestion that he's wrong: "I'm
not senile, dammit! It *did* happen!" However, when pressed, he admits that
the details are extremely hazy and growing hazier by the minute. He remains
convinced that his situation is real, however, and is convinced that they
must go see Data to find out what's happening. Geordi grudgingly agrees, and
they set off for Cambridge (though not before Picard again sees a vision of
the vagabonds he saw earlier, and discovers that Geordi sees none of this.)

In Cambridge, Picard explains the situation to Data, who now holds the
Lucasian Chair of Mathematics at the university, uses contractions fluently,
seems more human than ever, and has recently put a touch of grey into some
of his hair to lend "an air of distinction." Data listens patiently to
everything Picard has to say, but inquires about Picard's recent doctors'
visits and confesses that the possibility of this all being a delusion has
occurred to him. However, with no proof that Picard's memories are not real,
Data is willing to buy into the story, and begins to make preparations to use
the biometrics lab on campus to do some tests. Picard stands to thank
Data --

-- and promptly finds himself in the shuttle bay of the Enterprise, about to
formally assume command. He reads the text of his orders haltingly,
interrupted by more visions of the vagabonds that only he can see. When they
become too overwhelming for him to bear, he orders an immediate red alert.
Everyone stands stunned for a moment, but Yar quickly whips them in line:
"you heard him! MOVE!"

Picard decides not to inform this group about his time-hopping experiences,
not wishing to contaminate this time with knowledge of future events. At a
staff meeting, he finds that there are no signs of any alien presence (even
after he tells Troi specifically to search for signs of something "acting on
a level of intelligence far superior to our own"), and no signs of any
security problems. He orders Worf to start a security alert, then corrects
his order after Tasha notes that *she* is the security chief, not Worf.

Picard proceeds to the bridge, where Starfleet has just ordered the ship to
cancel its Farpoint mission and proceed to the Devron system to investigate a
spatial anomaly. Picard, however, is convinced the answers lie at Farpoint
and orders the ship to continue on its mission, much to the surprise of all
the officers on board. He then orders and accompanies Chief O'Brien down to
Engineering to work on a problem with the plasma inducers. There, he assures
O'Brien that he is more than capable to the task at hand. O'Brien orders
others to join him, and notes that they'll all be "burning the midnight oil."
"That would be inappropriate," notes the newly arrived Commander Data, taking
the statement far too literally. Picard greets Data enthusiastically and
puts him to work just as quickly.

"Jean-Luc, what's going on?", Beverly asks, snapping Picard back to the
present. He tells her he's had another time-shift, and a scan reveals that
he's picked up an extra two days of memories in just the past few minutes!
Everyone now believes he's shifting, but no one knows why -- and no one
remembers the altered past that Picard is currently living, either. As the
ship continues towards the Neutral Zone, Riker asks Deanna to join him for
dinner and is surprised to hear that she and Worf "have plans."

After returning to the bridge and instructing a distracted Riker to take
command if he becomes disoriented, Picard retreats to his ready room for a
bit, with Beverly following shortly afterward. She gets some warm milk (a
"prescription") and orders Picard to get some rest, then gets very depressed
about Picard's prognosis: after all, he's *been* to the future and knows
that he does indeed come down with Irumodic Syndrome. Picard says that he
doesn't consider that future cast in stone, and reassures her: "A lot of
things can happen in twenty-five years." Bev ponders this, then leans down
and kisses him gently. "A lot of things can happen..." she says, and
departs. Picard muses...

...and is woken by Geordi in the future. The lab is ready for Data's tests,
but Picard is no longer interested in them -- rather, he insists that they
must go to the Neutral Zone and look for the anomaly in the Devron system.
Since it's in two timelines, it must be in this one as well, he reasons, and
important. Geordi is willing to play along, but reminds Picard that there
currently *is* no Neutral Zone: the Klingons took over the Romulan Empire
and have abolished the Zone, becoming less than enchanted with the Federation
in the process. Picard acknowledges this, but wants to go anyway, and
decides to call Admiral Riker to get a ship.

Riker, however, is less than forthcoming: the borders are closed, and scans
have shown no sign of an anomaly. He bluntly says he can't help and closes
the connection. Picard gripes about Riker's current desk mentality, and
wonders where they go from here. When Data suggests hitching a lift with a
medical ship (as they are currently allowed to cross over to treat a plague
on Romulus), however, Picard cheers up, and asks Data to locate the USS
Pasteur. "I have some pull with the captain ... at least, I used to have."

The Pasteur soon arrives, commanded by Beverly: Beverly *Picard*, Jean-Luc's
ex-wife. She says his idea is absurd, "but then I never could say no to
you," and agrees to take him to the Devron system. Geordi suggests
contacting Worf, one-time member of the High Council, to get permission to
cross the border, and Picard enthusiastically seconds the idea. Picard
leaves for his quarters to rest (after a great deal of coaxing), and Bev
inquires to the others about his state of mind. She's no more sure she
believes him than the rest of his old crew, "but he's Jean-Luc Picard, and if
he wants to go on one last mission, that's what we're going to do."

Picard exits the turbolift on the Pasteur, right onto the past Enterprise,
which is nearing Farpoint station with no sign of Q or the barrier he erected
at one time. Picard, confused, orders the ship to hold position and heads
for the ready room --

-- ending up right in Q's kangaroo court, where Judge Q smugly says that he
thought Picard would never come. Q refuses to "connect the dots" for Picard,
but will allow Picard to figure out what's going on for himself; he will
answer ten questions, as long as they're yes-or-no only. Picard agrees.

"Are you putting mankind on trial again?" "No."
"Is there any connection with the trial seven years ago and what's happening
now?" "I'd have to say yes."
"The spatial anomaly in the Neutral Zone ... is it related to what's going
on?" "Most DEFINITELY yes."
"Is it part of a Romulan plot -- a ploy to start a war?" "No and no."
"Did you create the anomaly?"

Q giggles almost hysterically. "No, no, no! You're going to be so surprised
when you find out where it came from -- if you ever figure it out."

"Are you responsible for my shifting through time?"

Q becomes more serious at this question. "I'll answer that question if you
promise you won't tell anyone." He leans in closely, and stage-whispers,
"YES."

"Why?" "Sorry! That's not a yes or a no question; you forfeit the rest of
your questions!"

Q then informs Picard that the trial never ended, until now -- and that the
Continuum has found humanity guilty "of being inferior." He says that
they've had seven years to show they were capable of expansion, and have
chosen to waste those years instead with concerns on Riker's career, Data's
quests for humanity, and "Troi's pedantic psychobabble."

Q gloats once more that the end has come for "your trek through the stars."
When Picard becomes confused about what the actual sentence is to be, Q
pounces, saying that humanity is to be denied existence. Picard is shocked,
and accusatory, but Q will have none of it. After all, he points out, *he's*
not the one who destroys humanity -- PICARD is. "May whatever god you
believe in have mercy on your soul," Q says, and Picard finds himself in his
present-day ready room.

Departing, he calls for red alert and a senior staff conference. At that
conference, everyone is skeptical about Q's sincerity except Picard, who is
convinced that Q was in deadly earnest this time. After a decision not to
second-guess every action Picard takes, they theorize that Picard's
time-shifting might be Q giving him a chance to correct whatever it is that
he does. The ship approaches the Neutral Zone, and Picard returns to the
bridge. There, they find several Warbirds on the Romulan side of the Zone,
and Picard hails the flagship. They respond --

-- only now it's the future Worf that the aged Picard sees on the viewscreen.
Worf is sympathetic to their needs, but has to deny the request for their own
safety, grumbling all the while that it wouldn't be a problem had Admiral
Riker given them a cloaked ship. Picard, however, manipulates Worf's sense
of honor to shame Worf into giving them permission. Worf complains about
this, but grudgingly gives that permission -- as long as he is allowed to
come along.

Beverly makes it clear that if major opposition arrives to challenge their
presence in the Zone, the Pasteur is *leaving*, no doubt about it. They head
for the Devron system, but Beverly asks Picard to give the order, which he
does. "Engage."

"Engage to where, sir?" asks O'Brien on the past Enterprise. Picard quickly
clarifies that they are to head to the Devron system to investigate the
anomaly, despite the fact that it is *in* the Neutral Zone. Troi asks to
speak to Picard privately, and expresses her concern that the crew isn't sure
how to react to Picard's rather bizarre orders thus far. Picard is
appreciative, but says that at the moment he can't explain his reasoning.
After a brief subspace conversation with Riker (and then an interlude where
Troi tells Picard about her and Riker's prior relationship), he orders Earl
Grey tea. The computer professes ignorance of the beverage, and Picard
smiles --

-- only now he's smiling at Tomalak, who is glaring at him from across the
Neutral Zone. Picard offers that each side send one ship to investigate the
anomaly, to which Tomalak agrees. They reach the system and see the anomaly,
which is already very large. The Enterprise begins scanning...

...while in the past, the Enterprise also reaches the system and begins
scanning -- only here, the anomaly is far larger.

"On screen, on screen! Let's see it!" yells the future Picard, with the
Pasteur *also* in the Devron system. Unfortunately, this time he is
disappointed: "As you can see, Captain," says Data, "there's nothing there."

Repeated scans and alternate ideas prove equally fruitless, and with word
coming of Klingon cruisers en route to expel this "intruder", time is running
out. Data suggests that an inverse tachyon pulse *might* help locate any
temporal disturbances, but notes that modifying the deflector dish and
scanning the entire system would take fourteen hours. Bev allows six, much
to Picard's chagrin -- but when he tries to protest, Bev virtually drags him
into her ready room and informs him *never* to question her authority on her
own bridge. Once he apologizes, she acknowledges what is at stake, but also
asks Picard to acknowledge the possibility that all of this *might* simply be
a delusion created by Irumodic Syndrome. Bev leaves, and Picard tries to,
but hears a voice behind him.

It's Q, seemingly as old as this Picard is, and playing the "old and feeble"
role to the hilt until Picard becomes enraged. He then tells Picard that
there *is* an answer for everything that's been going on, but that Picard has
to find it himself. He also assures Picard that he has help: "what you
were and what you are to become will always be with you." With a final
taunt, however, Q again reminds Picard that he destroys humanity.

In the present, the Anomaly is 200 million kilometers long and a major source
of temporal energy. The sensors aren't penetrating it, so Picard orders the
tachyon pulse, which impresses Data to no end. Data and Geordi work on and
initiate the pulse, but Geordi experiences sudden pain in his VISOR and is
taken to sickbay, where Bev finds that he is miraculously growing new eyes!

Others report in that old scars are healing, and Data theorizes that the
Anomaly has something to do with it. He considers it a pocket of
"anti-time", which when colliding with normal time might cause the disruption
they are witnessing. Picard asks, "what might have caused this eruption of
time and anti-time?"

"Anti-time, sir?" queries a very confused past-Data. Picard instructs Data
to set up the tachyon pulse and also tells him what will be found, ordering
him to then theorize what could have caused the pocket to form. He
discovers that the rift is twice as big here, which he finds perplexing.
Picard heads for his ready room --

-- and emerges on the bridge of the Pasteur, currently coming under heavy
fire from two Klingon cruisers. They attempt to flee and then to surrender,
but neither works. The ship is heavily damaged, when the Enterprise decloaks
and comes to save the day, commanded by Riker himself. "We'll see if we can
get the Klingons' attention," he says with understatement, as the Enterprise
comes up from *under* the Klingon ships and punches half a dozen holes in one
until it explodes. The other ship disengages, and the Pasteur crew is beamed
off their ship as a warp-core breach becomes imminent.

Riker grumbles that he knew Picard wouldn't listen, and harshly upbraids Worf
for allowing them to cross the border in the first place. Worf will have
none of it, however, insisting that had Riker given them a good ship in the
first place and acted with honor, all would be fine. Riker prepares to leave
for Federation space, but Picard insists that they stay and investigate.
When Riker proves adamant, Picard's demands turn to raves, and Bev sedates
him. He sags --

-- and picks himself up on the present Enterprise in a corridor en route to
sickbay. In sickbay, he finds that Nurse Ogawa's fetus has reverted to less
developed tissue, in another temporal reversion. Bev says that before long,
this effect may end up killing all of them. Picard calls a conference and
orders Data to start looking for a way to collapse the Anomaly safely. Once
everyone leaves, Picard broods, only to have Q arrive and note the enormity
of the decision ahead of Picard. Q offers a different perspective...

...and whisks Picard away to the dawn of life on Earth. However, the Anomaly
is present here as well, now filling an entire quadrant; and it soon becomes
apparent that with it present, life does not and cannot form on Earth.
Humanity is not destroyed; it never exists in the first place. Picard
quickly realizes this, and Q congratulates him for it, as Picard finds
himself back on the past Enterprise.

He asks Data to find out how the Anomaly was formed, but Data says only a
tomographic imaging scanner would let them penetrate the interference around
the center -- and such a scanner is still in the theoretical stages.

In the present, however, it exists, and Picard promptly orders its use. At
the center, they then find three tachyon beams converging at a single point,
and all three bear the same features, as if all were sent by the same ship!

In the future, Picard wakes and heads for Ten-Forward to find Riker. In
Ten-Forward, the old crew are relaxing and thinking about old times -- except
for Worf, who is sulking at a distant seat. Beverly and Geordi urge Riker to
heal this rift with Worf, which began because Riker could not accept that he
would never get back together with Deanna (who is now dead).

Picard reaches Ten-Forward and tells Riker agitatedly that they must go back
to the Devron system, because he now knows that *they* caused the Anomaly in
the first place, with the tachyon pulses. "We set everything in motion ...
it's like the chicken and the egg, Will!" Riker is incredulous, but Data
sees what Picard is talking about, and discusses the paradox of their having
created the very thing they were searching for -- the three pulses in three
time-frames converged and tore a rift in subspace, creating this pocket of
anti-time, the effects of which move *backward* in time rather than forward.
Riker now agrees that they must go back and orders a course -- and asks Worf
to lend a hand to boot...

The future Enterprise reaches the Anomaly and sees it this time, in the very
early stages of forming. The first order of business is to stop the other
two pulses that are sustaining it, and Picard's time-jumping allows him to do
so in very short order. However, nothing has changed, and Geordi realizes
that the rupture must be *repaired*, and that this involves entering the rift
itself and creating a static warp-shell around it, thus collapsing it and
hopefully returning things to normal. However, it has to be done in all
three times, and as Picard notes the difficulty of this, he finds himself
ordering it done in the past.

This time, Tasha, O'Brien and others are wary of the order and want an
explanation. Picard, however, says he can't give one. "Frankly, we may not
survive," he says, "but I want you to believe that I am doing this for a
greater purpose, and that what is at stake here is more than any of you can
possibly imagine. I know you have your doubts about me, about each other,
about the ship. All I can say is that although we have only been together a
short time, I know that you are the finest crew in the fleet -- and I would
trust each of you with my life. So, I am asking you for a leap of faith; and
to trust me."

The past Enterprise plots a course and heads in.

In the present, Data suggests the same course of action. "Mr. Data, you are
a clever man -- in any time period," grins Picard as he orders it done.

All three ships enter the Anomaly, and all experience major system
fluctuations upon doing so. All three reach the center, and see their
counterparts there as well. The static shells are initiated, and begin to
work -- but the temporal battering the ships are getting takes its toll on
the warp cores.

The past Enterprise loses antimatter containment and goes up in a blaze of
glory.

The present one rapidly follows suit.

"Two down, one to go," notes Q on the future ship. The Anomaly is almost
completely collapsed, but the future Enterprise is about to explode itself.
"Goodbye, Jean-Luc; I'm going to miss you," muses Q. "You had such
potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."

The Anomaly collapses, and the Enterprise explodes -- simultaneously --

-- and Picard finds himself back in the courtroom, his head in his hands.
"The Continuum didn't think you had it in you," he hears Q say, "but I knew
you did."

When Picard presses Q, Q admits that it worked, and that humanity is saved
once again. Picard in turn thanks Q for giving him the chance to get
humanity out of this fix, but Q notes that it was the Continuum that got him
into it in the first place.

Q continues, however, reminding Picard that "the trial never ends. We wanted
to see if you had the ability to expand your mind and your horizons ... and
for one brief moment you *did*."

"When I realized the paradox."

"Exactly. For that one fraction of a second, you were open to options you
had never considered. THAT is the exploration that awaits you: not mapping
stars and studying nebulae, but charting the unknown possibilities of
existence."

Picard presses Q for more information, and Q nearly tells him, but then
smirks as he begins to depart. "You'll find out. In any case, I'll be
watching; and if you're very lucky, I'll drop by to say hello from time to
time. See you -- out there..."

... and Picard finds himself in the corridor near Worf and Troi, back in the
present, and back in his bathrobe. All is well, but he's the only one that
remembers any of it.

Later, the poker game is assembled, with all but Picard and Troi present.
Everyone wonders why Picard told them as much about the future as he did,
given the cautions they've always had about mucking with time. Since the
temporal nature of this crisis has already altered the future, however, Data
speculates that the future is very changeable here -- and Riker suggests that
this time they can change it "so that some things never happen."

Troi arrives for the game, and then Picard does as well, much to everyone's
surprise. "I should have done this a long time ago," he muses, as Troi
assures him that he was always welcome.

"Well," he continues on, "five-card stud, nothing wild -- and the sky's the
limit..." And as the game goes ever onward, so does the Enterprise among the
stars.

==========

Yow. After a synopsis that long, it seems the only syllable that's
appropriate. Now, onwards to commentary (and no, it won't be another 400
lines; I haven't the strength).

I have to admit that when I first heard the initial rumors of this episode's
plot, those being of the "Q returns to deliver a final verdict on the trial"
variety, I wasn't particularly impressed by them. "Encounter at Farpoint"
has always been a decent introduction to TNG's cast of characters, I've
maintained, but the "humanity on trial" theme is one that's been used far too
often for my tastes, and not one that worked all that well in EaF. As a
result, my initial expectations were a little low.

As time went on and I heard more about "All Good Things...", my appetite got
substantially more whetted, though. Picard time-jumping? A taste of what
kind of future *might* be in store for the characters we've come to know?
Ron Moore and Brannon Braga hopefully returning to form?

Fortunately, the latter was entirely true. While the episode had a couple of
minor leaps in logic that I don't think are explainable by invoking paradoxes
:-), I think "All Good Things..." was a fitting sendoff for the TNG crew, and
certainly a storyline that merited a 2-hour "event".

So, the writing first:

"All Good Things" was a character-driven piece, I think, but had one heck of
a plot driving it. Although the concept of the whole thing being Q's final
test is a very slight annoyance, the paradox and the entire way in which
Picard and company found out about it was absolutely marvelous.

First of all, in keeping with the nonlinear way in which the show ran, we
didn't start at the beginning, but in the middle, while Picard was *already*
jumping around. What's more, we could have seen that part of it from
Picard's perspective, but I think it worked better seeing it from someone
else's: Picard's frenzied manner lent an added sense of urgency to the whole
thing.

As to the Anomaly [tm] itself, I have to admit that Moore and Braga not only
came up with a great idea, but ran with it further than I was really
expecting them to. "Anti-time" isn't an idea I've seen before, but is an
interesting concept, and certainly something that's plausible-sounding enough
to work very well in an SF setting. What's more, the thought of anti-time's
effects propagating *backwards* in time rather than forwards is an excellent
one on more than a dramatic level: one of the late Richard Feynman's great
intuitive leaps was his decision to treat antimatter as a time-reversed state
of normal matter: thus, a positron can be treated in any relevant equation
or Feynman diagram as an electron that happens to be traveling back in time.
(No, I don't entirely like or understand that concept myself. That's why I'm
not in theoretical particle physics -- it's scary in there. :-) ) Given
that formulation, it makes absolutely perfect sense that "anti-time" must in
some ways be *time* propagating backwards in ... er ... time. Eep!

(It's also a nice touch that time and anti-time annihilation creates a major
disruption in *space* more than in time. Cute.)

The logic of the paradox was well thought out on nearly all points, but I see
a few points that I imagine will spark debate:

1) Why didn't the Pasteur see it initially, if it was growing as they went
back in time?

and

2) Data said the three beams were all from the Enterprise, but the future
one was created by the Pasteur.

Point (2) is undoubtedly a glitch, but I think (1) is extremely arguable.
Since the Anomaly's effects were growing as it went further and further
backwards in the timeline, I think it makes a lot of sense to propose that
the cause/effect blurring also was more and more pronounced further back in
the past. As such, the "we saw it before we created it" point may not be
true at points *very* close to the Anomaly's creation; it may be a case then
of not being able to see it until after you've made it -- which is what
happens in normal time, after all.

The whole thing's a little head-spinning, but it works for me. One thing I
would have done given the chance, however, and one thing that I think *might*
have been done and then edited out, was fix (2) above, and there's an easy
way to do it:

Suppose that the Anomaly cannot be stopped until it has been fully created --
something vaguely close to that was said anyway. In that case, no attempts
to collapse it can be made until the future Enterprise returned to the Devron
system, aimed a tachyon beam at that point for a few seconds, thus fulfilling
its role, *then* work on collapsing it. That would have required maybe
another 30-60 seconds of screen time to fix, and would have removed that
objection to the paradox issue.

No? Well, thppth; I like it anyway. :-)

In any event, the plot points less related to the paradox were also very
solid. Q's relentless taunting was its usual fun to watch (much more so here
because he was in such deadly earnest; Q is at his best when he's at his most
barbed), and the slow progress Picard made in pinpointing exactly what had
been done was frustrating only because you were rooting for him so much.
(For the record: yes, I *did* figure out that the only easy way to destroy
humanity would be back at the source, but I didn't figure out much more than
that until it was revealed.)

Q's continued reference to humanity's being tested, as I've said, were
slightly on the annoying side, but primarily because they kept reminding me
of "Encounter at Farpoint", which is not necessarily the best thing to be
reminded of. However, that was virtually all made up for by the power of the
exchanges between the two on every other matter. Q's demeanor back at the
dawn of life was fairly chilling, and his tone taken during their final
conversation was absolutely breathtaking. For once, I found myself not only
liking Q as a foil for Picard, but liking him for what he was actually
professing. The only other time I *ever* remember doing that was in "Q Who"
when he rather pointedly reminded Picard that "it's not safe out here;" here,
he made a more complex point (to me, at least), and made it in an equally
stunning way. Extremely nice work.

On a related point, I'm sure most people noticed that Q's scoffing at what
the Enterprise crew had accomplished over the past few years rather
strikingly parallels a lot of criticisms that some elements of fandom have
been lobbing TNG's way since day one: "where's the exploration? what's with
all this character development stuff?" Now, while I'd be the first to say
that some of the approaches TNG has used over the years haven't worked, I
think Q's main point at the end is an excellent one nonetheless: exploration
is *not* merely external, but can be internal as well, just as "good SF" is
not synonymous with "hard science extrapolations that can lead to lots of
gadgets going BING!"

Character-wise, everyone was written quite well, as befits a farewell.
Although some characters had more to do than others (Picard and Data in
particular), everyone did a good job with what they had. The regular
characters all felt absolutely *right*, in any time period, right down to
Picard slipping and addressing Worf as security chief instead of Tasha, and
Bev yelling at *Picard* for challenging authority. Although some elements
(like the Worf/Troi romance, which I still think is a bit forced) were ones I
wouldn't have used, the reactions of everyone in and around the events we saw
were in top form.

Onwards from writing to directing. First of all, if I'd been in Winrich
Kolbe's position when he first saw this script, I'd probably have demanded
danger pay. :-) All those transitions between time-frames had to be just
the right combination of jarring and seamless, and had to be done just so in
order to let the audience realize a switch had occurred when the time was
right, and not before. That's not an easy task (hell, it wasn't easy to do
in my synopsis above, and I'm working with a more limited medium and a
smaller audience :-) ), and it's the sort of script that probably makes
directors break out in cold sweats at night.

Kolbe pulled it off, and how. The only transition that didn't quite come off
was the very first one, and that may have been intentionally more jarring in
order to get us used to the idea that they were happening at all. Every
other one that I can remember was utterly remarkable; while it was sometimes
a shock to go from one place to another, it was never done in such a way as
to keep the audience confused (assuming they were regular enough watches to
notice cues like costumes to help keep track of past vs. present, at least).
Excellent job on that front.

On the "regular scenes" side, Kolbe also did a good job, though not as
spectacular a one as he did with the transitions. The Picard/Q scenes have
already been mentioned as terrific, and here I'd also put in a mention of how
eerie the appearance of the courtroom flotsam was in Picard's vineyards. My
first thought was "wait a minute, when did David Lynch come in to do a guest
direction?" when they first appeared, and it took a bit of time to convince
me that that wasn't in fact the case. As for the truly "regular scenes",
where the focus is on the characters, the best thing a director can do is let
the scene speak for itself and get the hell out of the way, and from what I
can see Kolbe managed to do just that. Praise all 'round for him.

That brings us to acting. Yow. I expect a lot of the discussion and praise
will go to Stewart for his "Picard in three eras" tour de force, and rightly
so; but I want to single out Brent Spiner a bit more. Picard, despite the
years that had to jump on and off the character, is still fundamentally the
same man in all three time periods. Sure, he's a bit stiffer in the past and
a bit more crotchety (okay, a LOT more crotchety) in the future, but he's a
very recognizable Picard all three times.

Data is in many ways *not* the same character in each period, however. The
current Data is one we've gotten used to, but the past one is a throwback.
That Data is the one that was extremely android-like and forced, thinking and
acting extremely literally and being far more brazenly inquisitive than the
current one (and one that made some people wince), and Spiner had to go a
long ways back to recover that character. Meanwhile, the *future* Data is
about as human as we can ever expect Data to get: his speech is utterly
natural, his demeanor is far more relaxed, and he's one mellow 'bot. :-)
Spiner had to project the Data he's developed for seven years to its ultimate
for that role, which isn't particularly easy. He managed to do both,
seemingly without effort, and I am even more impressed with his skill here
than I've been in the past -- and I liked him a lot before, too.

All the regulars were quite good. Stewart and Spiner got the most to do, but
Frakes's future Riker was about what I'd expect the Riker in that particular
situation to be (and extremely reminiscent of the self-loathing Riker who
appears in Peter David's novel _Imzadi_, another time-travel story). Sirtis
got somewhat short shrift, but did a good job with what she had; Burton's
future Geordi was an interesting fellow; and Dorn's big scene had to be when
Picard outmaneuvered Worf *yet again* with appeals to his sense of honor.

As for Gates McFadden, I actually liked her present character a bit more than
the future one, but that's primarily because of what I was reading as the
character's _faux_ British accent in the future. I don't know if that's what
it was supposed to be, or if (as friends have suggested) McFadden was just
trying to age her delivery a bit -- but it didn't quite come off. The
character herself was wonderful, and the accent only jarred in a scene or
two; but it was enough to mar an otherwise excellent performance.

In terms of guest stars, there's not much to be said beyond the usual
plaudits for John de Lancie (except, perhaps, a wish that this is the last we
see of Q; I like the character a lot, but this is a nice way to say goodbye
to him). Q was the mixture of mirthful and menacing that makes him as fun to
watch as he is, and that's all that one really needs. Colm Meaney and Denise
Crosby were mostly there as "look who we can bring back" conceits, I think,
but both did a good job recreating their original characters back in the
Farpoint era.

That said, we have the "other stuff" section. :-) Onwards:

-- On the FX side: that was one mind-blowing battle sequence. 3-D tactics?
We've *never* seen that on television Trek, and only rarely seen it in the
films (ST2 and ST6 in particular). The tactics were impressive, and the
Enterprise's weapons systems seem ... pretty good then, too. :-) I want
one.

-- Also on the FX side, the final entrance into the Anomaly was good, as was
the destruction of all three Enterprises. (As Lisa put it, "ah, proof that
Brannon [Braga] had a hand in the show." :-) )

-- I liked the idea of Tomalak returning one final time, but this way of
doing it was one of the episode's real failures. It looked, quite honestly,
like Andreas Katsulas got the call while on a long lunch break from doing
"Babylon 5", and was rushed through the script and makeup without even
breaking character as B5's G'Kar. *Not* impressive, I'm afraid.

-- Data holding the Lucasian Chair at Cambridge was a hoot. Not only did
Newton hold the position at one time, but Hawking currently holds it now --
and given his interest in the show, I've no doubt that this was meant as a
tip of the hat to Hawking.

-- I can't decide whether I liked the way around having to shave Frakes's
beard for the "past Riker" sequences or not. As Nigel Tufnel of Spinal Tap
put it, "there's a fine line between clever and stupid," and this was
right on the border. :-) [Tufnel's sage wisdom would also apply to those
who object to the "warp 13" references in the future because warp 10 is a
limit: "these go to 11." ;-) ]

-- Denise Crosby's acting was fine, but that hairpiece needed work. In the
final frenzy as the ship was being destroyed, I expected one of her shouts to
be "and this small animal on top of my head is attacking my face, HELP!"

-- Name-dropping was very big in this episode, not too surprisingly. Here's
a list off the top of my head that will no doubt have many additions:

-- Geordi's wife is named Leah and is now head of the Daystrom
Institute. Gotta be Leah Brahms.
-- Picard's formal command orders were signed by Norah Satie. VERY
interesting, given "The Drumhead".
-- The USS Bozeman was at the Neutral Zone in the present. That's
the same ship as came through the time-rift in "Cause and
Effect". [Bozeman is also Brannon Braga's hometown.]

-- Data's cats. 'nuff said. :-)

-- Lastly, there were a few places where we were reminded just a bit *too*
much of Stewart's "A Christmas Carol" performance to keep straight faces.
When Picard comes back and finds he's back when he started, our immediate
response was "Christmas Day! I haven't missed it!" :-)

-- The final shot, of the whirling poker table to the turning ship, was
beautiful. I wasn't quite moved to tears, but I was definitely moved.

That would seem to do it. So, a wrapup and then some final words:

Plot: A few minor logic goofs in the eye of the paradox, but a remarkably
imaginative idea in creating it in the first place, and a hell of a
triple-universe story.
Plot Handling: Utterly stunning. It'll hold up for a long time.
Characterization: Top-notch.

OVERALL: Well, objectively it's probably more like a 9 than a 10; but I've
been here since October of 1987 (and reviewing since November of '88), and
dammit, I'm allowed to be sentimental. A 10.

That's it -- and that's it for my avocation as TNG reviewer, as well. I
mean, yes, I'll be doing a season-7 wrapup in a month or two and a series
retrospective at some later time; and yes, there are movies to come -- but as
an ongoing, weekly series, this is it. I would like to thank the makers of
"Star Trek: the Next Generation" (and by that, I mean writers, actors,
directors, producers, and everyone else involved) for a wild ride. Special
thanks would go to the regular writers for the last three or four years --
Ron Moore, Brannon Braga, Rene Echevarria, and Naren Shankar -- for their
work on the show and their support and encouragement to this fan who's
egotistical enough to think he can write :-); and to Michael Piller and Rick
Berman, for keeping the show on an even keel in the past five years (or more,
in Berman's case) -- it may not always have been the keel I'd want (or, at
times, more like a keel-hauling), but you take the bad along with the good.
Thanks to you all.

And another thank-you to those netters who've been such faithful readers of
this ranting. Your comments have helped me improve my reviews over the
years, offered me thought-provoking ideas to consider and to challenge at
times, and kept me going over what's been nearly one quarter of my life, with
all the attendant good times and bad. Without you and your continued
interest, I might have stopped doing this any number of times -- with you,
I never considered it. I thank you for your interest, your tolerance, and
your enthusiasm. It means a lot.

To quote Tasha from long ago: "No goodbyes. Just good memories. Hailing
frequencies closed, sir."

Tim Lynch (Harvard-Westlake School, Science Dept.)
BITNET: tlynch@citjulie
INTERNET: tly...@juliet.caltech.edu
UUCP: ...!ucbvax!tlynch%juliet.ca...@hamlet.caltech.edu
"So ... five-card stud, nothing wild -- and the sky's the limit."
-- Picard
--
Copyright 1994, Timothy W. Lynch. All rights reserved, but feel free to ask...

Marguerite Petersen

unread,
May 29, 1994, 7:11:16 PM5/29/94
to
In article <2s9dq2$q...@gap.cco.caltech.edu>,

Timothy W. Lynch <tly...@juliet.caltech.edu> wrote:
>WARNING: Spoilers lie in the near future, or the present, or ... oh, the
>heck with it -- not very many lines down for TNG's finale episode, "All Good
>Things..." If you haven't been spoiled yet and don't want to be, avoid the
>article.

>Whew. So that's it. Not perfect, but very strong, and more than enough to
>make me sentimental about the end of an era.

I agree in part, but as I have also experienced the *supposed* end
of another era (TOS), I can be a bit more philosophical about it. :-)

Extremely immense and wonderful (as usual) synopsis deleted.

>Yow. After a synopsis that long, it seems the only syllable that's
>appropriate. Now, onwards to commentary (and no, it won't be another 400
>lines; I haven't the strength).

I can well imagine. :-)

>"All Good Things" was a character-driven piece, I think, but had one heck of
>a plot driving it. Although the concept of the whole thing being Q's final
>test is a very slight annoyance, the paradox and the entire way in which
>Picard and company found out about it was absolutely marvelous.

If we just consider Q (and the Q continuum) as representatives of *US*,
the viewers*, it puts another slant on things. TNG *has* been on trial
for the past 7 years.

>First of all, in keeping with the nonlinear way in which the show ran, we
>didn't start at the beginning, but in the middle, while Picard was *already*
>jumping around. What's more, we could have seen that part of it from
>Picard's perspective, but I think it worked better seeing it from someone
>else's: Picard's frenzied manner lent an added sense of urgency to the whole
>thing.

I agree. This was *wonderful*, IMHO. It added an additional head-spinning
aspect. At least for me.

>Onwards from writing to directing. First of all, if I'd been in Winrich
>Kolbe's position when he first saw this script, I'd probably have demanded
>danger pay. :-) All those transitions between time-frames had to be just
>the right combination of jarring and seamless, and had to be done just so in
>order to let the audience realize a switch had occurred when the time was
>right, and not before. That's not an easy task (hell, it wasn't easy to do
>in my synopsis above, and I'm working with a more limited medium and a
>smaller audience :-) ), and it's the sort of script that probably makes
>directors break out in cold sweats at night.

YES!!! I think Kolbe deserves a raise in pay or at least a paid vacation!

>Kolbe pulled it off, and how. The only transition that didn't quite come off
>was the very first one, and that may have been intentionally more jarring in
>order to get us used to the idea that they were happening at all. Every
>other one that I can remember was utterly remarkable; while it was sometimes
>a shock to go from one place to another, it was never done in such a way as
>to keep the audience confused (assuming they were regular enough watches to
>notice cues like costumes to help keep track of past vs. present, at least).
>Excellent job on that front.

I also agree. *I* had no trouble discerning what time period they were
in. The clues were there and done very well.

>In terms of guest stars, there's not much to be said beyond the usual
>plaudits for John de Lancie (except, perhaps, a wish that this is the last we
>see of Q; I like the character a lot, but this is a nice way to say goodbye
>to him). Q was the mixture of mirthful and menacing that makes him as fun to
>watch as he is, and that's all that one really needs.

Here, I disagree. I absolutely *love* the character of Q and would
welcome him back *anytime*. I tend to think of him rather like Loki,
the trickster and trouble maker, in Northern mythology and as I mentioned
above, as US, the viewers.

>That's it -- and that's it for my avocation as TNG reviewer, as well. I
>mean, yes, I'll be doing a season-7 wrapup in a month or two and a series
>retrospective at some later time; and yes, there are movies to come -- but as
>an ongoing, weekly series, this is it. I would like to thank the makers of
>"Star Trek: the Next Generation" (and by that, I mean writers, actors,
>directors, producers, and everyone else involved) for a wild ride. Special
>thanks would go to the regular writers for the last three or four years --
>Ron Moore, Brannon Braga, Rene Echevarria, and Naren Shankar -- for their
>work on the show and their support and encouragement to this fan who's
>egotistical enough to think he can write :-); and to Michael Piller and Rick
>Berman, for keeping the show on an even keel in the past five years (or more,
>in Berman's case) -- it may not always have been the keel I'd want (or, at
>times, more like a keel-hauling), but you take the bad along with the good.
>Thanks to you all.

I would like to add my thanks to the above as well. It has been one
helluva ride!

>And another thank-you to those netters who've been such faithful readers of
>this ranting. Your comments have helped me improve my reviews over the
>years, offered me thought-provoking ideas to consider and to challenge at
>times, and kept me going over what's been nearly one quarter of my life, with
>all the attendant good times and bad. Without you and your continued
>interest, I might have stopped doing this any number of times -- with you,
>I never considered it. I thank you for your interest, your tolerance, and
>your enthusiasm. It means a lot.

I have been reading (and saving) your reviews for 2 1/2 years and I would
like to thank YOU for presenting us with these synopses and thought-
provoking reviews. I have not always agreed with them :-) but I have
always been interested in them. I will miss your reviews as much as I
will miss TNG. Thanks Tim!

>To quote Tasha from long ago: "No goodbyes. Just good memories. Hailing
>frequencies closed, sir."

Agreed.

>Tim Lynch (Harvard-Westlake School, Science Dept.)

Marg

--
"Insufficient facts always invites danger, Captain."-Spock in Space Seed
Member PSEB Captain's Yeoman (First Shift) JLP SoL
Marg Petersen pet...@csos.orst.edu

Phil Cordier

unread,
May 30, 1994, 12:42:31 AM5/30/94
to
Ponder the words of tly...@juliet.caltech.edu ...
>2) Data said the three beams were all from the Enterprise, but the future
>one was created by the Pasteur.

Arrgh. I've seen this point brought up enough now that I have to jump in and
say: please watch it again. He says 'the amplitude of the three beams are
identical, as if they all came from the same ship' - the _amplitude_. In
my mind, this is easily explained by the fact that it was Data that configured
the beam in all three timelines, so even though the third beam was from the
Pastuer it makes perfect sense (to me) that it could "appear" to come from
the Enterprise.

Phil
--
Phil Cordier -=- ph...@netcom.com -=-

Desiree Sy

unread,
May 31, 1994, 9:45:49 AM5/31/94
to
In article <2s9dq2$q...@gap.cco.caltech.edu> tly...@juliet.caltech.edu writes:
>WARNING: Spoilers lie in the near future, or the present, or ... oh, the
>heck with it -- not very many lines down for TNG's finale episode, "All Good
>Things..." If you haven't been spoiled yet and don't want to be, avoid the
>article.

>The logic of the paradox was well thought out on nearly all points, but I see
>a few points that I imagine will spark debate:
>
>1) Why didn't the Pasteur see it initially, if it was growing as they went
>back in time?

And the corollary: how did the future Enterprise get back to the
anomaly if it was growing back in time? (That is, they figured
out what it was after it formed.)

>-- Lastly, there were a few places where we were reminded just a bit *too*
>much of Stewart's "A Christmas Carol" performance to keep straight faces.
>When Picard comes back and finds he's back when he started, our immediate
>response was "Christmas Day! I haven't missed it!" :-)

Here, too. In fact, someone piped up with, "Go replicate the
largest turkey you can find, boy!"

And about five voices in chorus chanted right after Q's parting
line, "I'll see you...." "... in the movies."

>That's it -- and that's it for my avocation as TNG reviewer, as well.

>To quote Tasha from long ago: "No goodbyes. Just good memories. Hailing
>frequencies closed, sir."

s'long, Tim, and thanks for all the work.

-desiree

Brent and Render

unread,
May 31, 1994, 6:53:26 PM5/31/94
to
d...@psych.toronto.edu (Desiree Sy) scribes:

>>The logic of the paradox was well thought out on nearly all points, but I see
>>a few points that I imagine will spark debate:
>>
>>1) Why didn't the Pasteur see it initially, if it was growing as they went
>>back in time?
>
>And the corollary: how did the future Enterprise get back to the
>anomaly if it was growing back in time? (That is, they figured
>out what it was after it formed.)

I think you all are thinking too linearly. For Tim, they didn't see
it simply because they hadn't done their part to create it yet.

My theory for the corollary is that maybe the third tachyon pulse
"created it" but not at the moment of the actual beginning of the
anomaly. If the present and past enterprises saw it in the middle
of it's existence, then why not the future as well? They created
the *existence* of the anomaly, not the *inception*. Which means
that it is perfectly possible for it to exist a few minutes later
for the crew (earlier for the anomaly).

Here's one that is bothering me more:
Why were they even there in the first place once it was created?
The whole end of this episode made it seem like it was some sort
of race against time to contain the anomaly. They were all hurrying,
which is extremely silly. They were moving *forward*; what were *they*
racing against? If the creation of the force led to the interference
of creation in the past, then they should have blinked out of
existence the instant the last ship turned on its tachyon beam.

As for the other point that Tim brought up (Data referring to the
Pasteur as the Enterprise), I really do think it's a glitch. It
has an ok explanation of the same guy making the pulse, but it still
doesn't quite make it seem fluid in the plot.

--
In The Buff | THE GLOB | Beware: The Korp |sif...@rtt.colorado.edu
Men's A Cappella | Emailing List | Mail The State | Finger me @rtt, @spot,
Sing, Biff, Sing! | Administrator |fin...@colorado.edu| @ucsu, or @rastro!
==I HAVE THUMBS==(Mail mae...@colorado.edu for automatic reply!)==OF THUNDER!==

Kenton L. Campbell

unread,
May 31, 1994, 10:25:14 AM5/31/94
to
In article <2s9dq2$q...@gap.cco.caltech.edu>, tly...@cco.caltech.edu (Timothy W. Lynch) writes:
> WARNING: Spoilers lie in the near future, or the present, or ... oh, the
> heck with it -- not very many lines down for TNG's finale episode, "All Good
> Things..." If you haven't been spoiled yet and don't want to be, avoid the
> article.
>
> -- Name-dropping was very big in this episode, not too surprisingly. Here's
> a list off the top of my head that will no doubt have many additions:
>
> -- Geordi's wife is named Leah and is now head of the Daystrom
> Institute. Gotta be Leah Brahms.
> -- Picard's formal command orders were signed by Norah Satie. VERY
> interesting, given "The Drumhead".
> -- The USS Bozeman was at the Neutral Zone in the present. That's
> the same ship as came through the time-rift in "Cause and
> Effect". [Bozeman is also Brannon Braga's hometown.]

-- The disease on Romulus that called for Federation assistance was
Tarellian plague. That's the same disease that Deanna's fiance
Wyatt vowed to cure in the 1st-season episode "Haven".

--
--
-- Kenton L. Campbell ---------------------- 01klca...@leo.bsuvc.bsu.edu --
-- Ball State University, Muncie IN ----------- 01klca...@BSUVAX1.BITNET --

Dennis F. Hefferman

unread,
Jun 1, 1994, 1:02:00 PM6/1/94
to
In <2s9dq2$q...@gap.cco.caltech.edu> tly...@cco.caltech.edu (Timothy W. Lynch) writes:

Spoilers:


|On a related point, I'm sure most people noticed that Q's scoffing at what
|the Enterprise crew had accomplished over the past few years rather
|strikingly parallels a lot of criticisms that some elements of fandom have
|been lobbing TNG's way since day one: "where's the exploration? what's with
|all this character development stuff?" Now, while I'd be the first to say
|that some of the approaches TNG has used over the years haven't worked, I
|think Q's main point at the end is an excellent one nonetheless: exploration
|is *not* merely external, but can be internal as well, just as "good SF" is
|not synonymous with "hard science extrapolations that can lead to lots of
|gadgets going BING!"

Feh. The crew has dealt with at _least_ one temporal paradox in
each season. Starfleet apparently offers a course in "temporal logic"
at the acadamy. Wesely Crusher did what Q wanted less than a month ago.
Stupid, stupid, stupid.

--
Dennis Francis Heffernan IRC: FuzyLogic heff...@pegasus.montclair.edu
Montclair State University #include <disclaim.h> Computer Science/Philosophy
"For god so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever
would believe in him would believe in anything." -- anonymous

Lloyd R. Parker

unread,
Jun 1, 1994, 11:32:33 AM6/1/94
to
Brent and Render (sif...@benji.Colorado.EDU) wrote:
: d...@psych.toronto.edu (Desiree Sy) scribes:

: >>The logic of the paradox was well thought out on nearly all points, but I see
: >>a few points that I imagine will spark debate:
: >>
: >>1) Why didn't the Pasteur see it initially, if it was growing as they went
: >>back in time?
: >
: >And the corollary: how did the future Enterprise get back to the
: >anomaly if it was growing back in time? (That is, they figured
: >out what it was after it formed.)

: I think you all are thinking too linearly. For Tim, they didn't see
: it simply because they hadn't done their part to create it yet.

: My theory for the corollary is that maybe the third tachyon pulse
: "created it" but not at the moment of the actual beginning of the
: anomaly. If the present and past enterprises saw it in the middle
: of it's existence, then why not the future as well? They created
: the *existence* of the anomaly, not the *inception*. Which means
: that it is perfectly possible for it to exist a few minutes later
: for the crew (earlier for the anomaly).

But if it wasn't "created" until some time in the future, the
Pasteur should have seen it after using their tachyon beam, and the
Enterprise should have seen it when it came to their rescue,
because these ships would have been in the past relative to when
the anomaly was created.

Paul Fritschle

unread,
Jun 1, 1994, 3:46:40 PM6/1/94
to
Spoiler protection re-inserted--

sif...@benji.Colorado.EDU (Brent and Render) writes:
>d...@psych.toronto.edu (Desiree Sy) scribes:

[hmm... the attribution on this is missing, but I think it was from
Tim Lynch]

Star Trek has always seemed tosubscribe to the theory of parallel time
lines. If you look at the anomaly in light olf this, it makes a bit
more sense (at least to me! (-8 )
It is established early on that the 3 time periods that Picard is
jumping between are not linearly connected (Troi's recollection of
Picard's first meeting on the Shuttle Deck doesn't include him calling
for a red alert). So, he is actually hopping between timelines, and so
the anomaly is also appearing at earlier points in these different
lines. Imagine all the different timelines as a stack of papers, and
the anomaly as a burn hole. Rather than the anomaly burning backwards
along a single sheet of paper, instead it is burning down *through*
the stack of papers (timelines), and growing larger as it goes down.

'future sheet' -----------------------------/\--
----------------------------/ \----
:
:
'present' ---------------------/ \-----
'past' --------------------/ \----
etc.

So, you can see that the reason that the Pastuer doesn't see the
anomaly is that *in that particular timesheet* it simply does not
exist at all.
Btw.. another arguement in support of this is the fact that when Q
takes Picard back to the distant past, life never develops on earth.
This must be a separate time sheet, otherwise Picard and company
wouldn't exist.
--

Paul Fritschle pfri...@skid.PS.UCI.EDU
Puritanism--The haunting fear that someone, somewhere may be happy.
-H.L. Mencken (1880-1956)

Timothy W. Lynch

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Jun 4, 1994, 8:24:53 PM6/4/94
to
pet...@CSOS.ORST.EDU (Marguerite Petersen) writes:
>In article <2s9dq2$q...@gap.cco.caltech.edu>,
>Timothy W. Lynch <tly...@juliet.caltech.edu> wrote:

>>WARNING: Spoilers lie in the near future, or the present, or ... oh, the
>>heck with it -- not very many lines down for TNG's finale episode, "All Good
>>Things..." If you haven't been spoiled yet and don't want to be, avoid the
>>article.

>>In terms of guest stars, there's not much to be said beyond the usual
>>plaudits for John de Lancie (except, perhaps, a wish that this is the last we
>>see of Q; I like the character a lot, but this is a nice way to say goodbye
>>to him). Q was the mixture of mirthful and menacing that makes him as fun to
>>watch as he is, and that's all that one really needs.

>Here, I disagree. I absolutely *love* the character of Q and would
>welcome him back *anytime*. I tend to think of him rather like Loki,
>the trickster and trouble maker, in Northern mythology

I see him as a Loki figure as well -- but one specifically attuned to causing
trouble for *Picard*, and excellent in that role most of the time. However,
without Picard as a straight man, Q gets more tiresome -- look at DS9's
"Q-Less", which I thought was terrible. Let's leave him be here, I say.

Tim Lynch

Timothy W. Lynch

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Jun 4, 1994, 8:28:16 PM6/4/94
to
sif...@benji.Colorado.EDU (Brent and Render) writes:
>d...@psych.toronto.edu (Desiree Sy) scribes:
I write:

Spoilers for AGT ahead...



>>>The logic of the paradox was well thought out on nearly all points, but I
>>>see a few points that I imagine will spark debate:
>>>
>>>1) Why didn't the Pasteur see it initially, if it was growing as they went
>>>back in time?
>>
>>And the corollary: how did the future Enterprise get back to the
>>anomaly if it was growing back in time? (That is, they figured
>>out what it was after it formed.)

> I think you all are thinking too linearly.

Don't make the mistake of thinking I considered point (1) above a flaw. I
referred to it as a likely debating point, and it was -- but I go on in the
review to list possible explanations myself for that seeming oddity.

Tim Lynch

Marguerite Petersen

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Jun 4, 1994, 9:27:30 PM6/4/94
to
In article <2sr60l$l...@gap.cco.caltech.edu>,

You make a very good point here. The Q character plays off Picard
very well. I liked the DS9 episode somewhat better than you did :-), but
I agree Q fell somewhat flat when played against Sisko. And of course,
we *could* see Q at some later date in a TNG movie. *I* certainly
wouldn't mind that at all.

>Tim Lynch

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