Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 6 Episode 15


Aired Unknown Feb 15, 1993 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
251 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Stardate: Unknown Picard is mortally wounded, and arrives in the afterlife, only to be welcomed by Q. Picard regrets decisions he had made earlier in his life that led to his eventual death, and Q offers him a second chance.

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Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • One of my Favorites!

    Would our lives really be better if we had the chance to do something over again?
  • John de Lancie steals the show while Patrick Stewart acts up a storm.

    This "It's Not Such a Wonderful Life" Picard episode is interesting enough for its story and action, but its message only becomes more interesting as we age and look back upon our lives. After missing the fifth season, John de Lancie makes his second (and best) sixth season appearance, with a script that takes advantage of his chemistry with Patrick Stewart. Shrewdly weaving together elements of Picard's past introduced in prior episodes, "Tapestry" maintains the viewer's interest with a uniquely structured tale that (like It's a Wonderful Life) is comprised of two parts. Each is intriguing in their own right, but together they're fantastic. Naturally John de Lancie steals the show ("Is there a 'John Luck Pickered here?'") while Patrick Stewart acts up a storm.moreless
  • Utterly Rubbish

    Picard gets the chance to avert his fight with the nausicans who skewered him as ensign.

    Unfortunately the central premise of the show is fataly flawed.This episode has you believe if picard had not fought the nausicans his life would have been

    that of an unmovivated drifter ,a 60+ junior leutentant.

    Unfortunately I DONT BUY IT

    Is this the same picard that spent his life pushing himself to get great grades at school?

    "He always won the ribbon" as his brother remembers.

    The same young man who spent his night looking at the stars and dreaming of space ships?

    The same young man who stood his girlfriend up at the eiffel tower to pursue a starfleet career?

    The same young man who won the academy marathon as a freshman.(the only fresh ever to do so ).

    And just because He Didt Get Stabbed he suddenly became a giant loser???

    not a chance Ron moore has discussed this ep

    he remebered crashing out of college and screwing up his life but it eventually put him in a position to get on star trek.Good for him.Alls well that ends well etc

    Okay buddy that your life not Picards

    Yes past mistakes and triumphs define who we are today.

    But he really should have watched an episode of star (just one) before he did thismoreless
  • Great insight into Picard!

    First off, I have to say that the final scenes where Picard is "lieutenant, junior grade, astrophysics," are so haunting. He is an absolutely defeated, pathetic person, and everyone treats him like that. Even the blue looks sad on him! It was actually quite heart-wrenching to see him ask Riker, "well, couldn't I do more? More than astrophysics, like even command?" And Riker just treats him like the village idiot (or like Barclay, even). Great acting from everyone.

    I also really liked the final fight where Picard fixes everything back to the way it was. He laughed when he got stabbed by the sword, but it was for a different reason this time - not because he was arrogant, but because he knew what he was doing was right.

    Finally, I was pretty surprised that the romance DIDN'T work out with the female ensign. But, I guess the reason she was interested in him was because he was an arrogant risk-taker, and when that was gone, she lost all interest.moreless
  • The best Q episode. John DeLancie and Patrick Stewart make for a great odd couple.

    I have more mixed feelings than most fans about the Q character, which often led to coasting by the writers and producers. "Yeah, we've got this totally over-the-top character which dominates every scene he's in - maybe we don't actually have to create an interesting story!" Both of the other Star Trek Q episodes that ran this season - "Q Less" (DS9) and "True Q" (TNG) - fall victim to that problem.

    "Tapestry" certainly does not. There's plenty of the great Q-Picard chemistry, but without the pitfalls - less overacting by John DeLancie, less of the ponderous speeches that writers gave Picard in his presence.

    Besides the fun of sending Picard to revisit his youth (and it is a lot of fun) with Q in tow, we get a thoughtful story about how each little choice matters. The scenes with Picard as a junior science officer really are heartbreaking.

    Aside from "Chain of Command", the best of the 6th season.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

Ned Vaughn

Ned Vaughn


Guest Star

J. C. Brandy

J. C. Brandy

Marty Batanides

Guest Star

Rende Rae Norman

Rende Rae Norman

Penny Muroc

Guest Star

John de Lancie

John de Lancie


Recurring Role

Majel Barrett

Majel Barrett

Computer Voice

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Trivia: Picard's artificial heart is first mentioned in episode 2-17, "Samaritan Snare."

    • Trivia: We learn in this episode that Picard graduated from Starfleet Academy in 2327.

    • Since much of this episode takes place in a mindscape either created by Q, or is a near-death hallucination by Picard which may not even involved Q, some contradictions and continuity errors may simply be the result of Picard's mental state rather than actual issues in the "real" Trek universe.

    • While Picard is sitting in Ten Forward with Riker and Troi, Data calls all senior officers to the captain's ready room. However, just moments later, Geordi tells Picard over the comm system that he's still waiting for his report. Why is Geordi still in Main Engineering and not with the other senior officers?

    • The episode begins with Picard severely wounded after being attacked and shot with a "compressed terion beam". Later, while in Q's after-life, Picard says "...and I wouldn't have died from a random energy surge...". An intentional shot from a weapon is hardly a random energy surge.

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Lt.(jg) Picard: How would you evaluate me as an officer?
      Deanna: Well. Um, your performance records have always been good. You're thorough, dedicated...
      Riker: ...steady, reliable (searching for something to say) ...punctual.
      Picard: I see. What would you say if I told you I thought I was capable of being more than that.
      Riker: Frankly, Lieutenant, I don't think that's realistic.
      Picard: Why? Please. This is important to me. I know I can do more.
      Troi: Hasn't this been the problem all along? Throughout your career, you've had lofty goals. But, you've never been willing to do what's necessary to attain them.
      Picard: Would that be your evaluation as well?
      Riker: I'd have to agree with Troi. You talk about wanting more. But, when it comes to doing something about it, you hang back. If you want to get ahead, you have to take chances. Stand out from the crowd. Get noticed.

    • Picard: Having a good laugh now, Q? Does it amuse you to think of me living out the rest of my life as a dreary man in a tedious job?
      Q: I gave you something most mortals never experience: a second chance at life. And now all you can do is complain?
      Picard: I can't live out my days as that person. That man is bereft of passion and imagination! That is not who I am!
      Q: Au contraire, he is the person you wanted to be -- one who was less arrogant and undisciplined in his youth, one who is less like me? The Jean-Luc Picard you wanted to be, the one who did not fight the Nausicaans, had quite a different career from the one you remember. That Picard never had a brush with death, never came face-to-face with his own mortality, never realized how fragile life is, or how important each moment must be. So his life never came into focus. He drifted through much of his career. No plan or agenda. Going from one assignment to the next, never seizing the opportunities that presented themselves. He never led the away team on Millica 3 to save the ambassador, or take charge of the Stargazer's bridge when its captain was killed. And no one ever offered him a command. He learned to play it safe. And he never, ever, got noticed by anyone.
      Picard: You're right, Q. You gave me the chance to change, and I took the opportunity. But I admit now, it was a mistake.
      Q: Are you asking me for something, Jean-Luc?
      Picard: Give me a chance to put things back the way they were before.
      Q: Before. You died in sickbay. Is that what you want?
      Picard: I would rather die as the man I was, than live the life I just saw.

    • Picard: There are many parts of my youth that I'm not proud of. There were loose threads--untidy parts of me that I would like to remove. But when I pulled on one of those threads, it unraveled the tapestry of my life.

    • Q: (As a flower deliveryman) Is there a... John Luck... Pick-erd here?

    • (Picard has just botched an intimate encounter with Penny)
      Q: ...A Penny for your thoughts... you didn't tell me you were such a ladies' man.
      Picard: I wasn't. I was a puerile adolescent, one who allowed himself to be led by his hormones instead of his brains. I was more like... like you.
      Q: Then you must have been far more interesting. Pity you had to change.

    • Picard: (to Q) No, I'm not dead! Because I refuse to believe that the afterlife is run by you! The universe is not so badly designed!

    • Picard: What if I don't avoid the fight? What if I won't make the changes?
      Q: Then you die on the table...and we spend eternity together.
      Picard: Wonderful.

    • Picard: Q, what is going on?
      Q: I told you. You're dead, this is the afterlife, and I'm God.
      Picard: You are not God.
      Q: Blasphemy! You're lucky I don't cast you out or smite you or something.

    • (Picard worries about altering history)
      Q: Please...! Spare me your egotistical musings on your pivotal role in history. Nothing you do here will cause the Federation to collapse, or galaxies to explode. To be're not that important!

  • NOTES (1)

    • In "Yesterday's Enterprise," the crew of the Enterprise-C wears Kirk-era movie uniforms minus the turtlenecks and belts. In "Tapestry," Picard wears the same uniform, minus the turtleneck but with a belt. It seems the turtleneck was the first element of Kirk's movie uniform to go. The actors in Star Trek II-VI complained the turtlenecks were very uncomfortable, so it can be assumed the officers would feel the same way and Starfleet eliminated the turtlenecks for comfort reasons.