Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 6 Episode 15


Aired Unknown Feb 15, 1993 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (11)

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out of 10
255 votes
  • 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.
  • 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 this
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Picard enters the afterlife

    *** Some SPOILERS ***

    A fine story centering on a pivotal event in Picards life onboard a starbase awaiting his first assignment with two of his closest friends.

    The story begins with Q hauling Picard into an apparent afterlife as he lies on the surgery table apparently set to die.

    The episode is heavily themed upon the dramatic situation of past regrets, what if we could go back and change things and is cleverly framed around the results of what would have happened to Picard if hed done things differently.

    Among the things that weigh on Picards mind are foremost his brash behaviour with the ladies, getting into fights and shirking conseqences. The main point is to show how a Picard aged with experience would have done things differently and we should not look back at past events with wise eyes, indeed to the level that its almost a paradox in that we can never do a better job if given a second chance. Infact that it is better to do and learn from mistakes, because ultimately we if dont be can never become the person with all that wisdom and experience to have those regrets and wishes.

    There are several key subplots to the events of the main thread, that led to Picards artificial heart which provide the basis for more Q gloating and goading of Picard which make for wonderful viewing. Afterall their relationship is one of the key ones in this franchise and if you love to see these two adversaries battle their wits against the other then youll love this story.

    Esp. so as the the setting is not from the normal timeframe and the choices Picard makes concerning the cheating of the Nausicaans and his bedding his colleague and close friend Marty Batanides turn out far worse than he could have predicted if hed done things "right". There are also moments of doubt when he tries to do the "right thing" by stopping Corey from cheating to gain his revenge.

    However, all the changes he makes lead to some uncomfortable admission from Picard as things change beyond his comprehension to the delight of Q.

    All this leads to a very dramatic and heartfelt finale. As Picard is forced to realise that the changes he made to his regretted action will lead his to live our a dreary life of unfulfilment and worse know what it should have been like.

    Loved the few scenes where the crew's perception of his alter-ego are so different than the norm. Probably the best dream type episode across the seven seasons.
  • Picard is wounded and dies on the operating table. Heaven isn't what it's cracked up to be, God turns out to be Q. Q offers Picard a chance to change the greatest mistake of his life, one that cost him his heart.

    The best Q episode of all-time. In it, we are given a great deal of insight on Captain Picard. We see that there is far more to him than his dignified exterior. The episode shows us the event that forever changed Picard. We find out that a long time ago he was a womanizing, arrogant, and cocky jerk. One that acted on impulse and was never one to shy away from a fight. In this, it provides the best backstory the series has ever had. It also fleshes out Picard's character and gives him more depth than anyone previously thought. I'm a big fan of character development episodes. This is one of the greatest in the entire series. On top of that we get another entertaining Q and Picard episode.
  • Picard gets shot... while near death in sick-bay he has a bizarre near-death experience staring the Q... Wackiness Ensues!!!

    While being a much celebrated episode of TNG, i found the episode kind of boring and uninteresting... maybe because Picard isn't one of my favored characters... Though Q was awesome as usual.
    The episode thematically centers on the decisions one makes in life and how they effect the "Big Picture" of one's life... It also gives some insight into Captain Picard's life and what motivates him... Too bad he was as uninteresting and boring back in academy as he is as captain... Not that Patrick Stewart does a bad job as an actor... but as a character he never really piqued my interest... So I guess the greatness people talk about in this episode was lost on me.
  • Whenever you need a motivational kick in the pants, watch this episode.

    A version of Its a Wonderful Life, with a Star Trek twist. This episode has two things going for it. One, Picard is the central character and two, Q shows up. In this one, Q is absolutely godly. The story shows the price that is paid by being unambitious and always choosing the safe path in life. It also gives a view into Picard's life pre-Enterprise. There is very little of the rest of the crew around during most of the story, so the main emphasis is on Picard and he is able to shoulder the responsibility well. I consider this to be the sister episode of Inner Light.
  • Picard has been injured and is dying. Picard wakes up in a bright white place, with “Q” as God. “Q” informs Picard he is dead. He does show Picard where he could have changed his life. In this episode we learn how Picard got his artificial heart.

    Picard has been injured and is dying. Picard wakes up in a bright white place, with “Q” as God. “Q” informs Picard he is dead. He does show Picard where he could have changed his life. In this episode we learn how Picard got his artificial heart. He lost his real heart in a fight with three Nausicaans. He could have changed that and would still be living today. He does change things in the past. He winds up being a astrophysics scientist. He holds the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade. He begs “Q” to give him his life back.
  • Picard dies after being attacked on an away mission. He meets Q in the 'after-life' who offers him a chance to relive his early life and change the mistakes he made.

    Patrick Stewart is absolutely outstanding again in this episode and once more flaunts his formidable acting ability in the Star Trek role. This episode is close to us all since death, regrets and the story of our life are all major thoughts for us all. Picard and Q yet again enjoy some well written dialogue and seeing the young Picard was also a pleasure. My favourite part of the episode was seeing Picard back onboard the Enterprise as a Lieutenant Junior Grade astrophysics officer. For so long, we have regarded him as the Captain that seeing him take orders and call the rest of the senior staff 'sir' allowed us to put the character into perspective. Can't help but feel Q is becoming a little soft in this episode, but then again he if was tougher on Picard he'd still be dead! Great episode.