‘Journey’s End’ (TNG) (TV)

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Please feel free to comment on my review.

This ‘Star Trek: TNG’ episode features the return of Wil Wheaton as Wesley Crusher. This is the third time Wesley has returned to the series (fourth if you are counting ‘Parallels’ but that’s another thing).

It was nice to see Wesley back proper for Season 7 of ‘TNG’. But this is an episode where we see Wesley’s journey in ‘TNG’ come to an end, hence the title. But it’s not in a way you might think it’d end.

In the episode, Wesley returns on the Enterprise to have his vacation from Starfleet Academy. His mother Beverly as well as Data and Geordi welcome him back on board, but Wesley’s not feeling happy.

Meanwhile, the Enterprise receives a visit from Natalijia Nogulich as Admiral Nechayev. Oh not her again! She was a pain in the Enterprise’s backside from the stories, ‘Chain of Command’ and ‘Descent’.

Picard however makes Nechayev feel welcome aboard the Enterprise as he provides refreshments of Earl Grey tea; watercress sandwiches and Bularian canapés. This is something she warms to very well.

Anyway, it’s business as usual when Nechayev assigns the Enterprise a mission. Apparently the colonists of Dorvan V, who happen to be Native Americans, have to be removed from what they call their planet.

This is because the Federation has agreed to turn several colonised planets of their own to the Cardassians as part of their treaty together. This is something that not everybody’s entirely happy with.

The issue of the Cardassians owning colonised planets that once belonged to the Federation has ramifications later in ‘Star Trek’. This would start off the beginning of the Maquis in the ‘DS9’ TV series.

The concept of American Indians on another planet in space is not original. It has been done before in ‘Star Trek’ in ‘The Original Series’ episode ‘The Paradise Syndrome’ where Kirk met Native Americans.

I’m not sure if the Native Americans in this episode are descended from the ones in ‘The Paradise Syndrome’ episode. It’s likely to be the case since Native Americans left Earth about the 22nd century.

Anyway, Picard needs to remove the colonists of Dorvan V because of the Cardassians. He must do it by peaceful negotiations. If that fails, then he must remove them by any means necessary. Very tricky!

Meanwhile, Wesley seems to be rather snappy and depressed around his former crewmates. When Geordi tries to impress Wesley with something he made in engineering, Wesley heavily criticises the work.

Beverly confronts her son about the attitude he’s taken on, but he demands to be left alone. I’m not entirely sure why Wesley is feeling like this as Beverly mentions to Picard that his grades are dropping.

It might have something to do with what occurred in ‘The First Duty’ where he was involved in an accident that caused the death of one of his friends. Maybe there’s more to it, but there’s something going on.

Anyway, Picard negotiates with the tribal council on Dorvan V. The negotiations don’t go well. The colonists led by Ned Romero as Anthwara are so determined about staying and not leaving their planet.

Wesley meanwhile meets Tom Jackson as Lakanta, one of the colony’s holy men, who takes him on a spiritual vision quest. In that quest, Wesley sees a vision of his dead father, Doug Wert as Jack Crusher.

Wesley is encouraged by the vision of his father to not go on the path he’s taken and go on a different destiny. Soon, Wesley overhears of the Enterprise’s plans to transport the colonists off planet by force.

Because of this, Wesley warns the colonists and encourages them to riot. This strains his relationship with Picard who warns him about his actions that’ll affect his career. At that, Wesley quits on the spot.

This is something that upsets Beverly when she confronts him about it. Wesley tells her of the vision quest he had and that he never thought Starfleet was right for him, which was interesting to discover.

Eventually, when a fight breaks out between the colonists and the Cardassians on the planet surface, Wesley tries to stop it and freezes time. He soon finds out that Lakanta is…Eric Menyuk as the Traveler.

The Traveler appeared in ‘Where No One Has Gone Before’ and ‘Remember Me’ with Wesley Crusher. This completes a trilogy of stories with Wesley and the Traveler, who now takes him on a new journey.

The episode ends with Wesley saying goodbye to his mother and Picard before going down to Dorvan V to begin a new journey with the Traveler. This is before he returns to Starfleet in ‘Star Trek: Nemesis’. 😀

‘Journey’s End’ is an interesting episode to conclude Wesley’s journey in the ‘TNG’ series. I’m not entirely happy with it as I always thought Wesley wanted to be in Starfleet. I am sad it’s changed here.

‘Journey’s End’ (TNG) rating – 7/10

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