"All Good Things..." comprises the 25th and 26th episodes of the seventh season and the series finale of the syndicated science fiction television series Star Trek: The Next Generation. It is the 177th and 178th episodes of the series overall. The title is derived from the expression, "All good things must come to an end".
Capt. Jean-Luc Picard inexplicably finds his mind jumping between the present (stardate 47988) and the past just prior to the USS Enterprise-D's first mission seven years earlier at Farpoint Station and twenty-five years into the future, where an aged Picard has retired to the family vineyard in Labarre, France. These jumps occur without warning, and the resulting discontinuity in Picard's behavior frequently leaves him and those around him confused.
In the present, Picard is ordered to take the Enterprise to the edge of the Romulan Neutral Zone to investigate a spatial anomaly.
In the future, he gains passage on the USS Pasteur, which is under the command of his ex-wife, Dr. Beverly Picard, whom he convinces to find the anomaly.
In the past, despite having the Enterprise's mission to Farpoint Station cancelled by Starfleet to investigate the anomaly, Picard insists on continuing, believing the impending encounter with Q to be more important. After reaching the place where he had first encountered the Q in the form of a net near Farpoint Station and finding nothing there, Picard enters his ready room, only to find himself once again in Q's courtroom. Q reveals that the trial started seven years ago never concluded, and the current situation is humanity's last chance to prove themselves to the Q Continuum, but secretly reveals that he himself is the cause of Picard's time jumping. Q challenges Picard to solve the mystery of the anomaly, cryptically stating that Picard will destroy humanity.
As Jean-Luc Picard arrives at the anomaly in all three time periods, he discovers that the anomaly is much larger in the past, but does not exist at all in the future. As the past and present Enterprises scan the anomaly with tachyon beams, the USS Pasteur is attacked by Klingon ships, but the crew is saved due to the timely arrival of the future Enterprise under the command of Admiral William Riker. He fires on several of the attacking Klingon warships, which causes them to flee the neutral zone. It is revealed that Riker and Worf are in a feud over the late Enterprise counselor Deanna Troi, with whom both had a serious relationship. Q once again appears to Picard and takes him to billions of years in the past on Earth, where the anomaly, growing larger as it moves backwards in time, has taken over the whole of the Alpha Quadrant and has prevented the formation of life on Earth. When Picard returns to the future, he discovers the anomaly has appeared, created as a result of his orders, and the tachyon pulses from the three eras are sustaining it. Data and Geordi determine that they can stop the anomaly by having all three Enterprises fly into the centre of it and create static warp shells. Picard relays the orders to each Enterprise. Each ship suffers warp core breaches, with Q telling the future Picard that "all good things must come to an end" just before the future Enterprise explodes.
Jean-Luc Picard finds himself facing Q in the courtroom as before. Q congratulates Picard for being able to think in multiple timelines simultaneously to solve the puzzle, which is proof that humanity can still evolve, much to the surprise of the Q Continuum. Q admits to helping Picard to solve it with the time jumping since he was the one that put them in this situation, and then goes on to explain that the anomaly never actually existed and that his past and present have been restored. He then withdraws from the courtroom and bids farewell to Picard by saying "See you ... out there". Picard then returns to the Enterprise of the present and no longer jumping through time.
As the senior staff plays their regular poker game, they reflect on the future the captain told them, to prevent them from drifting apart. For the first time ever, Picard decides to join the crew's poker game, stating regret he had not done so before, saying "...and the sky's the limit," suggesting more adventures lay ahead for the crew.
"All Good Things..." was broadcast as a two-hour episode; reruns are most often shown in edited form as two one-hour episodes with the Part I/Part II break occurring immediately after Picard is returned from Q's courtroom and informs Riker of the incident.
Ronald D. Moore and Brannon Braga expected that Michael Piller or Jeri Taylor would write the finale; consequently, they wound up writing "All Good Things..." concurrently with Star Trek: Generations, oftentimes confusing aspects of the two. In the DVD commentary for Star Trek: Generations, they made the comment that "All Good Things..." was easier, since there was a stricter deadline compelling them to get it done.
During the filming of "All Good Things...," a behind-the-scenes retrospective documentary called Journey's End: The Saga of Star Trek: The Next Generation, hosted by Jonathan Frakes, was also filmed.
The episode ranked fifth in Entertainment Weekly's list of top 10 Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes. "All Good Things..." won the 1995 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. The only other episode so honored was "The Inner Light". USA Today called the two-part finale a "picture-perfect" ending to the series, giving it 3 1/2 stars out of 4.
A novelization of the episode was published by Pocket Books in June 1994. It was written by Michael Jan Friedman in two weeks.
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