Star Trek 190: Final Mission

190. Final Mission

FORMULA: The Galileo Seven + Samaritan Snare + Déjà Q + That Which Survives

WHY WE LIKE IT: Wesley gets a solid farewell. The location shooting.

WHY WE DON'T: The ugliest aliens in Trek. A boring B-plot. The stagey cave-in.

REVIEW: Wesley's Final Mission as a regular member of the cast is actually a good one for Wesley, but not really for anyone else. He gets to accompany Picard on a mission that goes awry, comment on the times they've had together, save the captain's life, and have a somewhat cool confrontation with an energy creature/device. The episode also has some nice outdoor photography, with the alien desert a very welcome change from Vasquez Rocks, various botanical gardens and the cave set (which we visit nonetheless). The desert has real scope and makes the story more epic.

The story isn't all great however. Dirgo could have been made into a stronger character, for example, but he's just a fool that gets himself killed in the end. So much for the tough shuttle pilot role model. Loose ends abound as we never learn who or what put the forcefield and sentinel around the water fountain. It's all just a technical conundrum for Wesley to resolve by pushing some buttons. The cave-in, necessary to put Picard in grave danger and force Wesley to "become a man", is very badly staged and edited, with Picard pushing Wesley out of the way, then standing there looking up. This is all somewhat redeemed by a heartfelt ending that makes you feel good about Wesley, and not just because he's leaving (unlike, say, Tasha's farewell episode).

And then there's the B-plot. The Enterprise gets caught on an errand of mercy so that, conveniently, it can't save Wesley and Picard until the A-plot has run its course. TV drama is often contrived like this, but you brush it off when the results are entertaining. They aren't here. I've had a lot more fun with the CCG's Radioactive Garbage Scow card than I have watching this part of Final Mission. The runny-nose aliens are some of the ugliest to come out of the Star Trek hair & make-up trailer, and the problems and solutions are all technobabble. Dull, dull, dull.

LESSON: Korax was right - the Enterprise WOULD do well hauling garbage.

REWATCHABILITY - Medium: An episode of two parts, really. Wesley's farewell story is more than ok - it looks and feels good despite its problems. The scow story is forgettable garbage however.

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