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Captain Picard incurs serious wounds in a fight, even his artificial heart is gravely damaged. While Dr. Crusher wrestles with the medical consequences, his mind meets Q, who presents him ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview:
Lt. Cmdr. Geordi La Forge (voice)
Lieutenant Worf
Dr. Beverly Crusher
Counselor Deanna Troi
Lt. Commander Data
Penny Muroc (as Rae Norman)
Clive Church ...
Maurice Picard
Young Jean-Luc Picard
Enterprise Computer (voice)


Captain Picard incurs serious wounds in a fight, even his artificial heart is gravely damaged. While Dr. Crusher wrestles with the medical consequences, his mind meets Q, who presents him to a parade of people who fell victim to Picard's actions and neglects, from his father and fellow cadets to himself, and offers him the possibility to have a 'second chance' without causing disaster by upsetting time. After Picard's initial refusal claim to have no regrets, Q forces him to acknowledge he made stupid mistakes and fix at least the adolescent one that got him stabbed and slapped in the face as an Academy graduate, or die and be stuck with Q for eternity. His error had been to help fellow Ensign Corey return the cheating at a pool game to a Naussicaan, a strong, badly tempered race, while ruining a friendship by having an affair. This time he stops Corey fighting and dying, but is deemed a coward, losing both friendships, and returned to the Enterprise an an inconspicuous Junior Grade ... Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

13 February 1993 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Star Trek: Voyager's "Death Wish" is the only other Q episode in Star Trek to not have Q in the title. See more »


This version of Picard's stabbing is different than the way he described it to Wesley in the S2 episode Samaritan Snare - in that episode there was no mention of cheating at Dom-jot is what started the fight. See more »


Nausicaan #1: Coward! Like all Starfleet, you talk and you talk, but you have no guramba!
Jean-Luc Picard: What did you say?
Nausicaan #1: I said, you are a coward.
Jean-Luc Picard: That's what I thought you said.
[jabs the Nausicaan's stomach with his elbow, and the fight begins]
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References Star Trek: The Next Generation: Samaritan Snare (1989) See more »


Star Trek: The Next Generation End Credits
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

The message is, act like a moron in youth and you'll go far
3 December 2013 | by See all my reviews

I've never been so annoyed with an episode in my life. So as long as Captain Picard gets stabbed in a stupid, pointless fight and supports his shallow friends, he'll become a Captain instead of a lowly lieutenant. Because that incident CLEARLY defines who he is as a person, and he'll never do anything bold and ambitious after that.

You know, Back to the Future had George McFly's entire future success predicated on whether he punched a guy or not, and at least that movie was funny. This episode never posits that there might have been better ways to go about the incident that DIDN'T cause you to lose a vital organ in the process. That there might have been a smart way to avoid a fight. It's all black and white, like the dreaded Star Trek V movie that says that every man's personality is based on his singular "pain."

This strikes me as an episode that screams "Picard is TOO like Kirk! Look! He's reckless and wild and stuff and that made him great!" No, it's JUDGMENT that makes the character, and perhaps exercising skilled judgment at an early age might have made him an even better captain. But this episode (and Q's sanctimonious attitude only makes it worse) states that lacking good judgment equals having the ability to take chances. Why would you take a chance on that fight if it was essentially meaningless from the start? Is Captain Picard about taking risks on trivial matters just to show that he's a bold adventurer?

This is a facile episode that's unworthy of the series as a whole. It adds to the Hollywood trend of glamorizing youthful recklessness as a rite of passage. Congratulations if you're among that minority to survive recklessness into a massively successful adulthood. The rest of you… well you may be incapacitated, miserable or dead, but at least you're not MEDIOCRE, are you?

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