Episode

259

Journey’s End

Wesley Crusher comes back to the Enterprise for a visit, but he’s not the young man the others expect him to be. Meanwhile on Dorvan V, the Native American colonists are being forced to uproot by Starfleet in an ugly bit of history repeating. Throw in some Cardassians with itchy trigger fingers, and you’ve got Journey’s End going into this week’s Mission Log.

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Discussion

  • Dave Steph Taylor

    A nice send off for Wesley that no one was asking for. It was nice to see him again.

    John and Ken have been begging for more meatier episodes, here ya go. Could not be more bonk bonk over the head than this one.

    This episode seems very similar to the movie Insurrection, but in this one Picard is reluctantly following orders rather than what happens in the movie.

  • Bryant Burnette

    I think you mean “Indian colonists” (according to this episode which really ought to have known better).

  • CmdrR

    I want to like this episode, but there are issues. First, is the Indians. Sorry… but for some reason, it’s easier to suspend disbelief about the ‘Indians’ in “The Paradise Syndrome” than it is to believe these guys, sitting on a set, are really transplanted Lakotas or whichever. I absolutely HATE that the colonists somehow have been keeping track of their 17th century enemy’s descendants for 700 years until they can pull a ‘gotcha’ on Picard. Did the family name not change in 700 years? It’s a straight line to — nevermind. Finally, the AHA moment when the Traveler shows up is the worst deep dive I’ve seen in TNG. Also, the ending just sucks. Otherwise, great episode! Of course, you guys make it better… and thanks for that.

  • Bob Little

    John said that he did not like that the Indians left earth to find something else. My take on that was that 200 years ago the 3rd world war was ending and earth became a world government. I can understand that the Indians have been pushed off there land, had to live under the US government and now a new world government. They have the ability to leave and reclaim the identity of their tribe.

    • They kind of have a scene about how everyone from different alien races has a spirit and we are all the same. But, they are also Indian or Aboriginal American separatists at the same time. So, clans and tribes isolating and judging others based on what hill or valley they were born in is OK or not?

      Also, everything is equally sacred. But, this planet is extra special and calls to us and no other planet will do.

  • Amelie_stardust

    We discovered that the Americas were in fact not India over 700 years ago so it did irk me to hear the word Indian repeated so frequently. I just expected more from the Federation at this point. Thank you Ken for your research and discussing this. Also, the flute. Can we talk about the flute music that plays anytime an indigenous person is on screen (including Chakotay in Voyager)?
    Just no. Anyway, enough on that…

    On a lighter note, what makes Wesley so special? Was Jack Crusher perhaps hiding details about his ancestry? Is there a distant Traveller ancestor whose genes expressed themselves in Wesley and allowed him to develop “pan-dimensional” abilities? Lol

    Cheers guys and thanks for another great podcast 🙂

    • It would be cool if some light banjo music played in the background whenever I show up somewhere.

      • Amelie_stardust

        Haha :p Yes! That’s a great idea. Personally, I’d like some Spanish guitar :’D

  • Eryn Mills

    I know this is jumping the timeline, but I bet we can assume that when the Dominion wiped out the Maquis, they wiped out this colony as well.

    • Dave Steph Taylor

      Why not

  • Liam McMullin

    Great discussion as usual!

    Ugh. Ron Moore likes his magic endings. Perhaps Wesley is only magic because the Traveler modified him somehow after deciding he was special. Or does it have something to do with Beverly’s family constantly falling under the spell of candle ghost?

    I don’t like the political resolution either. You guys nailed it; they have no reason to trust Gul Evek. Even if they can trust him they can’t trust the Cardassian government. I totally believe Picard and the Federation would be willing to let a colony die for political reasons. Ken made a good point when he brought up Sarjenka: Picard will let someone die if it’s in accordance with the rules and he doesn’t have to feel bad about it. The colonists here are so stubborn they made him feel good about it. He’ll go on his merry way and forget about it unless it comes back to bite him.

    It would be interesting to see what went into the colonists’ 200-year search for a home. Have they been kicked off of planets five times? Ecological disasters? Lost in a slow ship for 50 years at a time?

    • Dave Steph Taylor

      There really is no reason for Wesley’s transition, your idea is as possible as anything we are given.

      It is a terrible quick fix. We can only hope the colonists are o.k.

      My one thought about the natives the whole time is that this is not ancestral land that the natives have been on for generations They just got there a few decades ago. Now I get that they did not want to move, but how invested could they actually be. And as was mentioned in the podcast, did every colonist feel the same way?

  • Konservenknilch

    I never liked the new agey mysticism treatment ST gave native americans (indians, whatevs). And boy, will we get a lot of that with Chakotay. I wonder why they never committed to picking an actual tribe (yes, I’m familiar with the bogus consultant story on VOY). Picard always makes a big deal about his french heritage. French, not “Picard the european with his carpenter messiah in the sky”.

    About responsibility for past crimes. I think the closest parallel today is how Germany/Austria handle the holocaust and their relationship with Israel. Exceedingly few of the victims and perpetrators are still alive today, and “why should I be bothered about what my forefathers did” is an obvious question. Two words: Never Again. We can’t change what happened, we weren’t personally responsible for any of it, but it is our responsibility that something like this can never happen again. This feels similar to Picards situation. I think it was to the detriment of the episode that ST, as usual, made it so bonk-bonk as to implicate his actual family as opposed to the cultural heritage in general. No, Picard has no personal responsibility here. But taking over america was such a boost to western civilization that he maybe (probably) would not be in this privileged position without it, and that’s something to acknowledge.

    • Dave Steph Taylor

      Trek is fascinating. They will give all kinds of screen time and deferential treatment to all kinds of religions and beliefs, unless it is Christianity.

      • Konservenknilch

        I’m as atheist as they come, but STs handling of religion can be grating sometimes. Klingon religion has to be taken really seriously (Ron Moore did a whole VOY episode on stovokor after all), all the Bajoran stuff, but maybe a catholic, muslim, hindu officer? Hell no!

        Oddly, Babylon 5, made by an outspoken atheist, managed a much more balanced and respectful portrayal of human religiosity in the future.

        • I think atheist authors, good ones w even fair writing would/should include religious stuff just to keep it realistic. Humanity will need religion forever imo. In whatever form it takes….

      • I think it’s safe to say the original Roddenberry Trek concept was atheist/anti-religion. I think as the years, decades went by, other hands got in the pot and religion got dealt w differently. Obviously, the concept of DS9 would not have been Gene Roddenberry’s idea of Star Trek. The Klingon messiah got debunked imo, since he was a clone created for pseudo political power grab reasons. I do wonder if /how Earth religions will handle First Contact if we ever get there….I recall reading “Childhood’s End” by Arthur C. Clarke and just thinking…wOw..yeah, people would react that way…. “The Day the Earth Stood Still” “Arrival” “Contact” some of the more serious handlings of First Contact generally seem to convey a message that religion would have a hard time…I hope we get First Contact, but I hope people don’t start committing suicide etc…there’s a Netflix movie…w Robert Redford…”The Discovery” I thought was fascinating….

  • John Anderton

    Well, is this a ham fisted, bonk
    – bonk-on-the-head-episode about Native Americans, or a great character study of Wesley and Picard? Wesley, as he transcends his stock character, and Picard as he contemplates justice and morality in the Federation?

    Is this a good episode, or just a a little Oasis in the wasteland of season 7?

  • Pete2174

    I thought we said goodbye to Wesley in The
    first duty. Why did they have to bring him back???

  • DataMat

    This a difficult one to review for me.
    The over-riding feeling I get, is forgettable. It’s not very interesting, and an anti-climax for Wesley as far as his character goes (I didn’t like the sudden love-in with the Travellor here). The Picard and Admiral scenes were good though, as usual.

  • Can’t seem to get a pic of Erik Menyuk, the Traveler to upload…anyway..he got out of acting and became an attorney. I think like this episode, and “Tapestry” or “Second Chances” it is interesting to think about the road/path not traveled or what could have been? Clearly, TNG lost focus on Wesley Crusher and Wil Wheaton didn’t help matters by requesting to leave the show….I bet Gene Roddenberry wanted Wesley to stay on the ship the whole time and just be a genius Doogie Howser on the ship and well, that would have gotten old really fast…..shoulda just made him a brand new ensign on board…. I like to look up guest stars on these episodes and post a recent pic and find out how their lives turned out. Just an IMBD, Wiki curiosity I guess, but it seems more poignant w this episode, since it shows how Wesley Crusher planned his life, didn’t work out quite the way he figured…Isn’t that true for most of us? Also, his appearance in “Nemesis” deleted scene in uniform shows how the writers of TNG also didn’t know what they were doing…or where life would take them…lol

  • Figuring out why a group of people wanted to leave Earth shouldn’t be so perplexing. Sometimes the grass is greener on the other planet. Despite the 24th century’s supposed advances…there will always be some subjectivity as to what is a great place to live. Population, technology…some like it , some hate it….in southern California, transplants love to enjoy our weather, but locals here bemoan increasing traffic etc….no matter how ideal w like to think the world of Star Trek is, we do know that there will always be poverty, population and you alluded to what is coming next….WAR. Sad, but true. Hope we can get to the point where those things are rare and abnormal instead of the perennial norm.