Episode

231

Tapestry

Captain Picard is mortally wounded while on a mission, but when he walks toward the light, it’s Q on the other side! If he had it all to do over again, would a simpler, less dangerous life be a better fit for Picard? Can Q convince him to change the mistakes of his youth? Pulling the threads of life’s Tapestry on the next Mission Log.

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Discussion

  • JusenkyoGuide

    Another personal favorite!

    Though one made more confusing by Nemesis.

    • CmdrR

      Stuart Baird flipped off all of Trek continuity.

  • Dave Taylor

    Strong messages about the importance of our past in defining who we are today. Some of the greatest “hero’s” come from great tribulations.

    The only sour note I had was that once Picard was a low level no body, he wanted to kill himself. So, in Picard’s mind status is crucial.

    • I’m kind of curious as to how you came to this conclusion. I didn’t really read that as suicidal; I don’t think that’s even there as subtext. And knowing what we know about Picard, I can’t even imagine him going there.

      • Dave Taylor

        “I would rather die as the man I was, than live the life I just saw.”

        As far as Picard knew he was going back to die.

    • The glitch here is that Picard should not have had any knowledge of his prior life. Just unfair imo and not consistent w how magical time travel should have worked. I think it was less about Picard wanting to die and more about him wanting to be true to himself. This alternate option for life of Lt. jg. Picard assistant astrophysicist would have been fine for the person who made those choices all through his life…..but for this Picard it just was unacceptable.

      • Dave Taylor

        Ya. Who is to say that the alternative Picard is not happy. It would be nice to put the two Picards together and see who is happier.

        Just think back over all the stress that Captain Picard has had. (There are four lights). He is constantly being hurt physically and mentally.

  • Burstingfoam

    So the basic message of this one is ‘be pushy and make a big
    fuss and you’ll be successful’.

    Hmm. Not saying it’s not true but I’m also not sure it a
    message I’d want to push. I think this is one of those ‘unfortunate
    implications’ moments for the episode, when writing says something other than what it initially meant. At least, I hope so.

    This illustrates the one problem that I always have with
    Star Trek; it’s always about ‘the best’. Everyone in it has won marathons,
    wrestling championships, this that and the other. It’s all ‘the elite’. Which
    is fine, that’s the inevitable result of the format. But it leaves little room
    for ‘Mr Average’, and this episode seems to be implying that Mr Average just isn’t worth considering.

    Maybe I’m overreacting. Maybe you don’t get good stories out
    of Mr Average. That said, and to jump the timeline a little, one of the things I love about DS9 is that Jake Sisko gets to tell a different sort of story to being part of the Starfleet elite. But that’s a tale for a couple of years’
    time.

  • Burstingfoam

    Interestingly, John de Lancie did a very similar comic story for DC a few years earlier, in which Picard is given the chance to save the life of his brother (a different one to the one we eventually saw in Family) and creates a dystopian timeline. This offers a smaller scale story which, despite my dislike of Picard’s seeming contempt for ‘average’ people, is nicely done. Still, it begs the question, what is Q getting out of this?

    • He’s doing it for the Q-lulz.

      Seriously, though, what Q might be getting out of this takes me back to an episode of 1980s Doctor Who, where we meet a race of “eternals” who are played as flat, dull and emotionless unless there are mere mortals around, in which case the eternals become something of a mirror of their passions and emotions. Going by the analogy of the Q Continuum that we get later in Voyager, it could be that Q gets something similar from poking and prodding humans, but he really likes what he gets from poking and prodding Picard. The Q seems to grapple with big issues, again judging by some of their appearances in Voyager – free will or mob rule, mortality or immortality, but not the little stuff that makes or breaks or changes the lives of people who live, on the cosmic scale of things, in the blink of an eye. We’re like Sea Monkeys to the Q, and the John de Lancie Q really likes his Sea Monkeys.

      • I found it odd, Q had to ask how Picard lost his heart…. for us to be such lowly creatures, he sure has taken an interest in us!!

  • Pete2174

    Another great episode about a great episode.

    Have to admit that as I listened it gave me a little strength to face the things life throws at us, having 2 days ago said farewell to my brother in law (aged 49, too young) and just about to have our beloved little lady cat put to sleep (16, not old enough)…

    I guess the old adage is indeed true. Whatever doesn’t kill you does indeed make you stronger…even if it hurts like **** right now.

    Thanks guys!

    • Dave Taylor

      Tough days make us stronger.

      Peace in the days ahead

    • Sorry for your loss Pete. Yeah, this life throws us some real bummers, tragedies and challenges, but we gotta remember the good times and keep making good memories in honor of those we lost!! Never forgotten!

      • Pete2174

        Thanks.
        I love Trek fans. They’re the best.

        • During my big loss of my father last year, I let Mission Log Podcast know what a pleasant distraction they were while I was in /on my way to and from hospital. Nice little community of Trek lovers, thinkers, analyzers and critics.

    • I feel for you, Pete. Hope you are finding strength, and thank you for sharing with us.

      • Pete2174

        Getting there. Just been one thing after another for the last year. It takes its toll eventually.

  • CmdrR

    A truly great hour of TV.
    Am I the only one who slipped into a cold sweat towards the beginning, when we realize that Q can conjure up the dead? Is Q faking the apparition of Picard’s dad, because Picard appears convinced… plus he’s affected by the various ‘surly’ dead. Yikes!
    The singing telegram guy is a bit from Bugs Bunny cartoons… which was lifted in ‘Blazing Saddles.’
    “That man is bereft of passion!! …and never got noticed by anyone.” <== Yet more Trek lines that echo in my mind at certain times.
    John & Ken, nice to see you're holding onto your sponsors. Yeah, sponsors!!

    • Dave Taylor

      1- This could be a moment that Picard actually is dead before Crusher revives him. A moment that Q expands upon. And yes, seeing Q in the afterlife is a jolt.

      2- Yes, the message is passion is important, but this is a bad moment to express it. So the message is, try and get revenge, get into bar fights and get a potential mortal wound? I would have preferred a moment like on the Stargaser when Picard did not step up and this changed the future.

      • Yeah, but as a rule, not all of the moments that you think are the big ones turn out to be the big ones, and vice versa – like a wise man once warbled, in a New York minute, everything can change. The fact that Picard failed to hew to any kind of wisdom or maturity led to a moment that affects everything aftereward. Mistakes and pain are powerful teachers, and young Picard made a whopper of a mistake, and then to some extent compounded it by trying to hang onto the lesson or the beneficial effect while erasing the painful cause. But you can’t have cause without effect.

        I don’t think the episode is trying to tell viewers to go forth and be stupid in their choices, but to recognize when their stupidity has taught them a lesson. Our choices – and our mistakes – make us who we are, and we can either spend life regretting them, or owning them.

        • Dave Taylor

          I get it, but is it better to make wish choices in the first place.

          Fortunately, it works out for Picard, but he easily could have died, been kicked out of Star Fleet, etc.

  • Meghanf

    As I listened, I was thinking about the origin of Logy Picard. I know Q explains that the source of Logy Picard is that he never had that near death experience, but I think the truth is almost the opposite. I think young Johnny did face death that night, in the “cowards die many times before their deaths/ The valiant never taste of death but once.” sense.

    Logy Picard starts the next morning after Picard Prime has leaped out of young Johnny and he has to face what happened. He thinks to himself “Am I really a coward?” and worse, “Am I the kind of coward who will betray his best friends just to save my own skin?”

    That’s why Deanna tells Logy Picard, “Throughout your career you’ve had lofty goals, but you’ve never been willing to do what’s necessary to attain them” and Riker says, “If you want to get ahead, you have to take chances, stand out in a crowd, get noticed.” But Logy Picard can’t take chances and can’t do what’s necessary to attain his goals because he can never overcome the crippling self-doubt born out of that horrible night on Starbase Earhart.

    • Dave Taylor

      The problem that I have is that this is a dumb moment, for bad motivations. Are we teaching that as youth we need to make bad choices that lead to mortal peril?

      Picard and friends made a terrible choice, got caught, started a fight and Picard got stabbed. I wish they had found a time in Picard’s life that making a choice had important consequences, not a stupid bar fight.

      My rewrite would be that this takes place on the Stargazer and instead of stepping up, Picard lets that moment pass.

      Now I get that it is important to take risks, to boldly go forth, but we also need to be wise in our choices of when and where we do this.

    • As an emergency room nurse who worked for Planned Parenthood and in labor and delivery…I often ruminate about how : “LIFE IS FULL OF CHOICES”….who we have sex with, whether or not we use condoms, if we break up w that person or get dumped. Buckling a seat belt, smoking…it’s all interconnected. I have dealt w so many DUIs, or assaults, physical and sexual; pregnancies w more drama than a Spanish novella soap opera and of course would wonder how will these kids turn out? Hell, how are these adults gonna turn out? I wish, like we have anti drunk driving commercials or texting etc…we had a media campaign emphasizing making good life choices. Heck even classes, outreach, mentoring….lots of people could use it….

      • Dave Taylor

        As a Foster Parent we get kids in care and we hear their life stories. The impact that their parents bad life choices affects them greatly

        • Thanks for all you do!! Yes, what a cascade effect…ripples in the timeline for real though…

  • Lt. (jr.) Picard & Lt. (jr.) Jae – the 24th century buddy cop show we didn’t even know we needed.

    This episode arrived at a time in my life when I was reeling from some stupid, *stupid* stuff I’d done, the kind of stuff you can’t just apologize to people for. I realized I needed to just let go of it and be a better person than I had been – that would really be the best way to atone. (Old radio joke: “Atone for your sins!” followed by a loud blast of 1Khz tone.) I can’t say that Tapestry alone was the life-changer, but it was a signpost on that road to that realization. I still own my dumb, dumb mistakes, because you can’t rent those.

    Anytime Q is less comical, worry. He was also less comical in Q Who…just sayin’.

    From the “penny for your thoughts” department, you gotta love that scene where Picard is sharing the tales and lessons of his wild youth with Riker… https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8b0a9993649ae67c89a8a3a5f96bda33d32bff668d8e683bc423f10caa82376e.jpg

    • Dave Taylor

      Imagine that, Star Trek made an impact on someone’s life. 🙂

  • Toni M

    When I was graduating from college, I wanted to go on to a trade school for Audio/Visual and go into recording studio or film studio work. My parents thought I’d be better off going to college and getting a bachelor’s degree instead of the associate degree the trade school would have given me. Since they were helping me with expenses, I didn’t feel I had much choice and went to a 4-year college where I didn’t learn what I really wanted to learn and graduated with a BA in Journalism & Mass Communications. All set to be a writer except that I don’t really like writing. Took 20 years of jobs I hated and a return to school to finally wind up with a job I like (web design/development) and that pays me enough to live on. I spent a lot of that time resenting the choice I’d made that put my life on the “wrong” path. Only thing is, I eventually realized I wouldn’t live where I live, I wouldn’t have met my husband, and I would have missed out on a lot of other great experiences that I had–and that have shaped who I am today–a person who is pretty happy with life right now–if I had taken another path all those years ago. This episode speaks to me.

    • Dave Taylor

      Oh the paths we weave.

      I sometimes envy people who know what they want in High School, go for it and have a successful career. I too took a while to find my current career.

      No regrets, but I often wonder

    • Glad you found your way….yeah, my younger cousin feels the same way about being convinced by his parents regarding some educational goals…. Parents mean well, but dang it they can be toooOOoOoOoo overbearing. Conversely, I knew a gal who resented that her parents hadn’t saved enough for her to go to certain college$, ugh. Tricky life is….

    • I wound up doing what I trained to do…

      …but not in the way I expected to be doing it, and without a degree. Life’s funny sometimes. You just have to give a stern look while it’s impaling you and burst out laughing.

    • Toni M

      And no, even if given the opportunity to go back and have a redo the way I wanted it to be back then, I wouldn’t do it. I’d be giving up too much–just like Picard found out. Guess we all have our “It’s a Wonderful Life” moments.

      • yup….theres an ex gf I wonder about, but really, I was 23, and marrying too soon would have been a disaster, and I would not have the wonderful daughters I have w my lovely wife!- An alternate reality I am sure would have been drama, w divorce and stress. It’s a landmine I am glad I sidestepped…

  • Dave Taylor
    • Stabbed through the heart
      And you’re to blame
      Q gives love…a bad name!

      Okay, maaaaaaaybe not.

    • Also, not really trrying to defend Nemesis, but I was as bald as Picard by the time I was 25. The stress of living in a really bad situation does funny things to a body.

      • Dave Taylor

        I really don’t get the Nemesis hate. Sure it was not a great Star Trek movie, but it is watchable and as a popcorn movie it is fine. Much better than Star Trek 5.

    • yup…the lack of vision in executing these past relics…ugh.

  • Aaron

    In my life I’ve screwed up some,
    I’ll probably screw up some more in the years to come,
    But I’ve long since stopped wondering,
    About better things that might have been.
    -Greg Klyma – A Brother’s Code

    My wife and I often cite this episode when we think about the mistakes we made early in life. We didn’t meet until we were 32, and throughout the years we both made our fair share of mistakes and missed some opportunities along the way, We’ve both realized, that of our most glaring errors in life, making the right choice then would most likely have precluded us being in a position to meet later on in life when we did.

  • gizmochimp

    I kept waiting for a “Kirk needs his pain” moment in this M.L. episode but it never came!

  • wchmara

    Coincidentally, last week, every time I would open Firefox, a quote appeared on the home page that basically said you never know what worse luck your bad luck saved you from.
    Too many times in my recent life I’d be shaking my fists at my fate when despite my best planning and preparation everything still went south because of something that still managed to come out of left field and bean me on the noggin.
    But, as they say, one door closes, another one opens up. And I know now that I would not have gone through those doors had it not been for my “bad” luck.
    Yes, there is merit to the idea that great results can come to those who take great risks. But that’s only one side of the story. The other being, of course, that it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese. Sometimes, playing it safe does pay off.

  • Roger Birks

    This is a powerful episode. It is proof of what a great show this is. This episode. No big budget required. Its basically a bottle show, but so powerful.

    Hate to admit it. But my reality is very much like Picards alternate reality here. Im 25 though, so maybe I will turn a corner to something a little better down the road…

    • Dave Taylor

      25, still got plenty of time 😉

  • Durakken

    It’s funny that for all we know Q is telling the truth. There is no evidence against the possibility but plenty for it being true. Or some variation of him being god is true ^.^

    • Dave Taylor

      Q basically are God.

  • Steve Peters

    Hi guys! My friend Bianca and I create a comic called The Comicverse, a sci-fi comedy about a comic book shop in a space station. Lately the characters have been doing a podcast called Subspace Chatter. In this particular episode, we had the characters do a review of “Tapestry” in the Mission Log style. Hope you like it!

    https://thecomicverse.wordpress.com/2017/02/01/tapestry-page-one/

    • This is AMAZING! Thank you so much for capturing the spirit of Mission Log in your awesome comic!