Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 7 Episode 20

Journey's End

Aired Unknown Mar 28, 1994 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (8)

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out of 10
196 votes
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Picard meets with Admiral Nechayev. Admiral Nechayev informs Picard new boundaries have been drawn between Federation and Cardassian space. Some Cardassian will now be in Federation space. The Federation is facing the same thing.

    Picard meets with Admiral Nechayev. Admiral Nechayev informs Picard new boundaries have been drawn between Federation and Cardassian space. Some Cardassian will now be in Federation space. The Federation is facing the same thing. Admiral Nechayev instructs Picard to evacuate a Native American colony locate on Dorvan V. The group of settlers known as Native Americans will not take kindly to being removed from their home. We welcome Wesley Crusher who is on leave from Starfleet academy. Is it me or is he turned into a jerk. Wesley's journey is about to begin when the Traveler shows up.
  • A decent germ of an idea buried in piles of junk. Painful to watch.

    There's an actual interesting germ of an idea here, one that is left for DS9 to explore - what happens when the Federation has to relocate its own citizens against their will, for a good reason? (DS9's "The Maquis" only tackles the aftermath of such a decision.)

    Unfortunately, that germ is utterly crushed by the other terrible things that happen in this episode. I suppose it's natural to start with Wesley. I've always felt that Wil Wheaton got a raw deal on TNG - he was a victim of poor writing. Certainly, it's tough to find fault with his two guest appearances on "The Game" and "The First Duty".

    But here, once again, the writers felt it necessary to jam him into the "unique" pigeonhole. Can't we just pretend that "Where No One Has Gone Before" (Season 1) never happened? It's tough not to wince when Wesley acts like an annoying twit, or when Beverly compares him to Mozart, or really every moment he's on the screen.

    Of course, in case that's not bad enough, we have the painfully preachy and new-agey American Indian story. And in case that wasn't bad enough, we discover that Picard is descended from a conquistador? Incredibly bad.

    I guess a good DS9 plot came out of this, but aside from that, I recommend skipping it.
  • Throw together some New Age glop about American Indians, a surly Wesley Crusher who is having an existential crisis at the age of 19, The Traveler and a tense situation and you've got an episode that should never have been made.

    The first bad element is the cartoonish, new age version of Native Americans. What tribe are these people from? Really, what are their beliefs? Of course there are no answers to these questions since the script is written from a generalized and distant view of Native Americans such as you'd find in the most superficial crystal shop.

    There are many tribes of American Indians and their beliefs and practices can differ significantly. Of course the writers have no idea, really, what beliefs they are "honoring" aside from some general idea that "Native Americans are close to the earth and spiritual awakening" which they've picked up from the New Age movement. The schlock is thick, even if it's supposed to be complimentary. It's stereotypical and smacks of someone who has never actually lived around Native Americans. The writers are like the kinds of people who told my brother that he was moving "to the spiritual vortex of the universe" when he moved to New Mexico.

    Wesley Crusher is as annoying as ever in this episode and has become surly at the age of 19 because he hasn't found his true calling in life just yet. He's ready to drop out of school, taunts Geordi, and acts like the spoiled brat we've suspected him to be all along. But we're supposed to believe it's all a good thing since the real reason he acts like a brat isn't because he's a brat, but because he hasn't yet found his ultimate direction in life yet at this advanced age. Awesome.

    Then there's the creepy "Child Moles . . ." er, sorry, I mean "The Traveler." He thinks the stereotypical, New Agey Native Americans will help Wesley awaken to the secrets of space and time. Or maybe he's really just planning on enticing Wesley into his clown van where who knows what will happen.

    What a terrible episode. This episode feels as though it's trying to make a meaningful statement, but just delivers on being a muddled mess.

    You'll be been better off not seeing this one.
  • Great, touching episode of another journey in a special mother-son relationship...

    One of the most poignant episodes of the entire series. Wesley's pain and low self-esteem is very well depicted here. The close mother-son bond is excellently and realistically portrayed here also. Millions of mothers worldwide and millions of sons and even young adults worldwide can truly relate to the timeless plotline of this episode.

    Beverly and Wesley broke convention in portraying a single mother who successfully raises a wonderful, caring young man without having to have some man intervene; Beverly is a strong woman and raised her son to be strong also.

    The scene where Beverly reassures Wesley of her unconditional love as both of them cry in each others' arms is just about the most poignant, deepest scenes in the entire series and one I will never forget.

    Great episode!