Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 7 Episode 20

Journey's End

Aired Unknown Mar 28, 1994 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
193 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Stardate: 47751.2 Under the terms of the new Federation/Cardassian treaty, Picard is ordered to evacuate a colony of Native Americans, but protests from Wesley hamper the process. Wesley's destiny is finally revealed to him when the Traveler returns.

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  • Not the Best, But Important to the Franchise

    The whole Wesley plot was annoying. That is what was bad about this episode to me. They should have left his loose end alone or dealt with it at another time.

    I thought the comments on forced relocation of people gave room for retrospection and actually gave power to the show.

    Love it or hate it, however, this episode served as the foundation for the later Maquis episodes. These were , of course featured heavily in DS9 and the key to establishing Voyager.moreless
  • Terrible episode REALLY bad

    Just once I wish I could be in charge of a situation like this. Stupid people that can't listen to reason, and stupid Wesley making it worse. Picard should have said to Wesley "you and your new friends have fun being dead, we won't stick our neck out for you" and just LEAVE. Watch how fast those dumb Indians send for help. I hate when TV trys to make political statements, just entertain us you fools. Worst episode of season 7 by farmoreless
  • Be sure to have clean underwear on those other planes of existence!

    TNG finishes up Wesley Crusher's story and journey with this spiritual Native American relocation episode. With an outstanding guest performance from Tom Jackson (Lakanta) and a thoughtful, new age musical score from Jay Chattaway, this character driven episode includes two plot lines which are not so much A and B stories as 1 and 1A. Threading through each other, the stories have enough character development to ensure there's never a dull moment, and the ending is deliciously unpredictable.

    At the same time, "Journey's End" does move slowly, with the Wesley plot lacking direction for much of the episode, and the Picard portion (featuring a political allegory so close to its inspiration, even Picard comments on the "disturbing historical parallels") mostly comprised of diplomatic discussions that go nowhere.

    That said, the action picks up towards the end, and it's not often on television that we get to see a mother tell her son, "Now you be sure to dress warmly on those other planes of existence." Plus, it's just plain fun to see Picard chew out Wesley, and Wesley talk back.

  • Not as bad as other reviews seem to indicate.

    Not TNG at its greatest, but I found this a satisfying and touching end to Wesley's story. His interaction with Geordi shows us exactly what we all hated about Wesley in the beginning: self-important, arrogant, snot-nosed superiority... based on actual genius. This was a glimpse of his future at Starfleet: he would have revolutionized whatever field he entered, been hailed as a genius and have been utterly bereft of emotional or spiritual fulfillment, probably killing himself not long after. We see this all the time in our society: people at the top who are unfulfilled and feel nothing but pain and self-loathing.

    Instead, the Traveler fulfills an old promise and shows Wes a different path, not only completing a character arc, but doing something remarkable: transforming a hated character into an intriguing one. New Wes is open to the future instead of simply tripping over himself to live up to expectations. He is aware of a greater purpose to his life. He is firm in his moral convictions instead of being constantly plagued by doubts. (The scene where he stands up to Picard gave me chills. Picard has repeatedly masked his own doubts throughout the episode by stressing the inevitability of following orders. In one stroke, Wes shows Picard that there is always a choice to do what is right. The guilt on Picard's face as Wes walks out on him is palpable--after all, if he had enough moral courage, couldn't he resign his own commission?)

    Sure, new Wes is going off to rain chant and smoke hookahs. But these are just symbols for enlightenment to our unenlightened society: we think spirituality is strange and other-worldly, and involves hallucinogens and prayer circles. I think the reviewers who focused on "political correctness" here missed the point. Far from preachy and moralistic, I found the use of Native Americans here to be symbolic. Wes needed to be pushed onto a spiritual path, or he was going to self-destruct. He was past the point of learning anything from anyone at Starfleet; he needed to learn from a spiritually-oriented people. (Plus it looks as though he's going to get super powers in the deal, so yeah... so long Starfleet and pass the hookah.)

    Bevs does a great job conveying a mother letting go of her baby boy, something all mothers have to go through. Most of us live a goodbye scene like this at some point in our lives: going off to college, joining the army, moving cities, etc. If it were up to mothers we'd stay under their roofs forever, but at some point we have to defy them and go off to live lives of our own. The cast did a great job conveying the bittersweet parting between parents and son.

    Ultimately we are left with a feeling of mystery and hope for a character, instead of loathing him. Not a bad "Journey's End" for Wes at all.moreless
  • Warning:Watch this episode if your in the mood for boring politically correct mind numbing nonsense.

    Seriousley, it is the last season and they decide to throw this junk into the mix. Didn't we move past the parallel earth cultures back in the days of Kirk. Not that I didn't love the original series. You came to expect things like glatiator fights and Greek gods. But this was just rediculous. This is the Next Generation. Emphasis on the NEXT. As in moving on. A show with so many possibilities could easily come up for a better story line. Heck, they made three more spin-offs. Now, let me get this straight, the "Native American" culture has actually survived in it's relatively primitive form for how long now? These character's don't even live in America anymore. Give me a break! Your telling me we're gonna have to listen to the whining about the fact we kicked the Indians, excuse me Native Americans, out of their land, for centuries to come? Toughen up for gods sake, your not the only ones to be relocated in the history of this Earth.

    Now excuse me for my ranting. Back to the actual story. I have a general disgust for Weasly. He adds absolutely nothing to the story. Also, for a plot caused by the Cardassians, they could have had a bit more about the Cardassians. Whoever gave this episode a 10, I sincerely hope you read this, because you desperately need a phyc evaluation. I'd rather watch that apalling "Clips" episode. And on that note, I wish writing could accurately display sarcasm.moreless
Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart

Captain Jean-Luc Picard

Jonathan Frakes

Jonathan Frakes

Cmdr. William T. Riker

Brent Spiner

Brent Spiner

Lt. Cmdr. Data

Gates McFadden

Gates McFadden

Dr. Beverly Crusher

Marina Sirtis

Marina Sirtis

Counsellor/Lt. Cmdr. Deanna Troi

LeVar Burton

LeVar Burton

Lt. Cmdr. Geordi LaForge

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • It is stated that the Traveler is from Tau Ceti, but in his previous two appearances he was from Tau Alpha C.

    • During his meeting with the locals, no one on the Enterprise bothers to call Picard and tell him that not only have the Cardassians arrived, but they've beamed down to the village and are roaming around the place.

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Picard: Inexcusable! You defied the orders of the ranking officer on the scene! You put the lives of the entire away team in jeopardy, and you've made an already tense situation worse!! Your actions reflect very badly on this ship and on that uniform. Now I want an explanation, Mr. Crusher, and I want it now!
      Wesley: What you are doing down there is wrong. These people are not some random group of colonists. They are a unique culture with a history that predates the Federation and Starfleet.
      Picard: That does not alter the fact that my orders are...
      Wesley: I know Admiral Nechayev gave you an order, and she was given an order from the Federation council, but it's still wrong.
      Picard: That decision is not yours to make, Cadet! I don't know what has gotten into you lately and frankly, right now, I don't care. But I will tell you this: while you wear that uniform, you will obey every order you are given and you will conform to Starfleet regulations and rules of conduct. Is that clear?
      Wesley: Yes, sir, it is. But I won't be wearing this uniform any longer. I'm resigning from the Academy.

  • NOTES (4)

    • This is Wil Wheaton's last performance as Wesley Crusher in the series. He will go on to make a brief cameo in the film Star Trek: Nemesis.

    • This episode is the genesis of Commander Chakotay on Star Trek: Voyager. It shows Native Americans survived into future generations and considering they have to evacuate a planet for the Cardassians, it would also explain Chakotay's role in the Maquis.

    • Gul Evek (Richard Poe) is one of only four characters to appear on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine before appearing on this series. The other three are Dr. Julian Bashir (Siddig El Fadil), Quark (Armin Shimerman) and Admiral Chekote (Bruce Gray).

    • This was the writers' (Moore's in particular) attempt to make peace with the Wesley character. After the "Wesley saves the ship" syndrome of the first season many had struggled with how to present the character. This episode both shows Wesley as having a deeper dimension and sets him on his own distinct path.


  • 10:00 pm