Please feel free to comment on my review.
In this ‘Star Trek’ episode, Captain Picard is on the verge of death. He’s then given a chance by Q to undo a mistake he made when he was stabbed in the heart to have it be replaced by an artificial heart.
This ‘TNG’ episode features a superb performance from Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard as well as John de Lancie as Q. It was interesting these two interacted with each other in ‘A Christmas Carol’ way.
The episode begins with Picard being brought back to the Enterprise after being severly wounded during a diplomatic mission. He’s rushed to sick bay, but Beverly Crusher cannot revive or restore him.
In Picard’s mind however, he wakes to find himself in a white void where he is greeted by the god-like Q. Q welcomes Picard to what he declares is ‘the afterlife’, informing him he’s dead and that he is God.
Picard doesn’t believe a word Q says. Q tells Picard the weapon that shot him damaged his artificial heart. Had Picard had a natural heart, he would have survived. It seems he didn’t with an artificial one.
It turns out Picard lost his original heart when he was a young officer. He was stabbed during a bar brawl by a Nausicaan. This was something Picard shared with Wesley in the TV tale, ‘Samaritan Snare’.
That was back in Season 2 of ‘TNG’ though. So it’s taken until Season 6 to get to reveal what happened when Picard lost his original heart. Picard getting stabbed is an event that he regrets after it occurred.
Picard’s losing his heart to gain a new own is what made him the man he is today with being disciplined and restrained. He wishes he did things differently if he could relive that moment. Q grants his request.
Picard finds himself back in time by Q to two days before the brawl with the Nausicaans. He finds himself reunited with former cadets, Ned Vaughn as Corey Zweller and J.C. Brandy as Marta Batanides.
These used to be Picard’s friends during his academy days and when they graduated from Starfleet. Corey and Marta gradually become so surprised by Picard’s change of personality during the episode.
Interesting to note that despite Picard being sent back in time to when he was younger, his physical appearance doesn’t change as he remains the same age during ‘TNG’. It makes sense for this instance.
By the way, this happens to be John de Lancie’s second appearance as Q in Season 6 of ‘TNG’. The first one was in ‘True Q’. I suppose the producers wanted to make up Q’s lack of appearance for Season 5.
It’s interesting how Picard tries to change things in the events leading up to the brawl with the Nausicaans. Picard tries to stop Corey’s revenge getting at the Nausicaans who cheated in a bar game.
Corey is astonished by Picard’s behaviour. Instead of joining the fight, Picard holds Corey back to avert tragedy, thereby humiliating him. Corey leaves Picard in disgust and does not recognise him anymore.
Also in the changed timeline, Marta becomes attracted to Picard and his unexpected mature behaviour. This leads into a one-night stance with Picard, but Marta becomes uncomfortable about it.
After Picard stops the fight and humiliates Corey, Marta leaves Picard too and says goodbye to him. With Picard losing his friends, he still retains his human heart as he never gets stabbed by a Nausicaan.
Picard then gets sent to the present by Q and he’s on board the Enterprise. But instead of being the captain, he’s now a junior science officer. Picard has led an unremarkable career as he’s taken no risks.
It seems Picard never distinguished himself in the time between averting the brawl fight and being on board the Enterprise. Picard is unhappy with his altered life and confronts Q, wanting his old life back.
Eventually, Q sends Picard back to the bar fight and events unfold as they should. Picard gets stabbed through the heart and he laughs away before he collapses to the floor. Picard then wakes up in sickbay.
This is in the present as Picard recovers from his injury. He still laughs away with his life back again and he still captain of the Enterprise. He shares his experience with Riker, unsure if it was just a dream.
‘Tapestry’ is a very good episode exploring Picard’s character and him having an interesting interaction with Q on the verge of death. I like how Picard re-examines himself into the person he turns out to be.
‘Tapestry’ (TNG) rating – 8/10
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