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Best Episode: Star Trek The Next Generation

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This is a vote-off for the Best Episode EVAH for this series.

At issue:


Showing 29 of 29. Hide items with lower scores.

"The Inner Light", the episode where Picard is knocked unconscious by a strange object encountered by the Enterprise, and lives out an entire lifetime. Wife, kids, the works. This was a fantastic show of Patrick Stewart's acting ability, and is often referred to as "that one that made me blubber like a little girl".

Season 3/4: The Best of Both Worlds (Parts 1 and 2)

Locutus:"I am Locutus...of Borg. futile. Your life, as it has over. From this time will"

Riker: "Mr."

Star Trek's first season ending cliffhanger, these are the episodes that brought the show out of the shadow of The Original Series. One of the best Next Generation episodes, and possibly one of Star Trek's very best.

"There... are... FOUR... lights!"

"Chain of Command", where Picard is captured and tortured by the Cardassians. Notable due to Picard's performance and the shocking sight of the character actually being mentally broken.

"Darmok", from Season 5. The Enterprise encounters the Tamarians, who defy the universal translator by speaking entirely in metaphor and cultural reference. In addition to giving the Trek universe an entire race of tropers, it's an exploration of the nature of stories and myths, and how they shape the people who tell them.

"The Measure of a Man". Season 2. Riker, Picard, and Data all have crowning moments (either of Awesome or of Heartwarming) aplenty.

"All Good things..."

Last episode of the series.

"Tapestry" from season 6. Picard faces death as the result of a youthful indiscretion and is given an opportunity to change things, only to discover just how important his most shameful moment was in shaping his present. Plus probably the best use of Q ever.

"Yesterday's Enterprise"

Go back and watch this episode today, and tell me it doesn't feel ahead of its time - it feels like modern BSG. I think this was the most influential episode of the series, and one of the best.

-Not surprising since Ronald D. Moore, who created modern BSG, co-wrote this episode.

"Frame of Mind" is a 44-minute MindScrew. It keeps you guessing and wondering if what's happening to Riker is really happening or has happened, without giving any obvious clues as to what actually happened to him until the very end. It is also arguably one of Jonathon Frakes' best episodes as it pushed his acting ability to its limits in the same way "The Inner light" did for Stewart, not to mention giving the viewer an opportunity to see sides of Riker's psyche that make you wonder wether or not he'll come out of this with his mind intact.

"Lower Decks" Season 7, Episode 15.

If you haven't seen this episode DO NOT READ THE SPOILERS. Watch the episode first, it's more than worth it.

SUCH a good episode. Goes through your basic Star Trek plot (spy needs transport back across enemy lines), but sees it through the eyes of a group of ensigns. DEFINITELY better than it sounds. It's a great character study on these four people and shows sides of the main characters that we'd never had a chance to see before. On top of the great setup throughout the episode, the payoff is fantastic. It actually makes the kind of ending that we see in episodes all the time feel truly tragic. Normally, when some random ensign dies to serve Riker or Picards plan, we don't care. We barely know them. But when the Bajoran ensign dies, it's horrible. She has spent the entire episode growing as a character, we've been following her story closely, and, to top it off, she's a returning minor character from a previous episode. When she dies, it has a lot of dramatic punch. And there's no "dramatic victory". No one comes and pulls it out of the fire at the last minute. The spy gets away. The mission is a success. The body count is a single ensign that hardly anyone knew. And it feels like a HUGE failure. Easily my favorite episode of the series.

Assuming two-parters are allowed, "Time's Arrow".

"Unification". Brings so many running plots of Star Trek together into one epic two-parter. Romulans and their attempts to upset the balance of the Federation. Sela gets an appearance. Even the whole "Klingon internal politics" thing with Worf's discommendation and the rise of Gowron gets a brief nod. But of course, that's just dressing for a delicious entree of an episode, full of political intrigue (*interesting* intrigue, even), an underground movement wishing for peace in spite of Romulus' usual warlike tendencies, backstabbing, the death of Sarek, and more. Easily one of the better episodes of the series.

Oh, and it has Spock in it, too. That helps, right?


The episode takes place several weeks after the Borg attack on Earth shown in the episode "The Best of Both Worlds", and is sometimes considered to be a third part to the "Best of Both Worlds" story arc, although it does not include any scenes with the Borg. Considered by many to be one of the best episodes in the series.

"Remember Me" from Season 4

"Relics" from season six.

The Defector: Season 3

The one with, of course, the Romulan defector, trying to stop a war. But nothing is as it seems.

Fantastic acting from Patrick Stewart, James Sloyan (Commander Tomalak), and Andreas Katsulas (the defector), a plot that keeps you guessing, and an ending that's

Another Ron Moore one and when TNG first started to peek out from the shadow of TOS.

"Q Who", from season 2. A great Q episode, plus the first appearance of the Borg. The Borg never were more cold and machinelike and creepy than in this episode. It also introduced longer story arcs into The Next Generation, before this it had mostly been an episodic, Status Quo Is God type of show.

"The Offspring." Not only is Lal adorable, but there are any number of CMOHs and CMOFs.

"Cause and Effect" from season 5. The one where the Enterprise explodes in the teaser and then explodes before each commercial break (apocryphally, some TV stations repeated the same block of commercials too.) Each iteration gets a little stranger until the gang figures out they are caught in a "Groundhog Day" Loop.

Ship in a Bottle: The holographic Professor Moriarty from season 2's "Elementary, Dear Data" is back, but this time's he's taking over the Enterprise.

"Who Watches the Watchers," season 3; the one with the primitive people who think Picard is a god, and Picard has to convince them otherwise. A very sensitive critique of the dangers of superstition.


In this episode, the crew of the Federation Starfleet starship USS Enterprise become suspicious and mistrustful of Operations Officer Lt. Commander Data when it appears he is trying to deceive them.

An excellent mystery episode with a fulfilling conclusion.

"Disaster: Season Five. The Enterprise is dead in space, and while Picard is stuck in an elevator with some kids, Troi takes command of the ship, Data is decapitated by Riker, Geordi and Dr. Crusher take a walk in vacuum, and Worf delivers a baby!

"The Most Toys" from Season 3. The episode where Data is kidnapped by a collector of rare and valuable objects. Data spends most of the episode resisting his wishes via passive resistance. Near the end, it culminates in Data nearly shooting him with the disruptor and then lying about it. The collector was enough of a complete monster that it became a crowing moment of awesome.

"The Wounded," Season 4. The introduction of the Cardassians (and, admittedly, their regrettable headwear), and a powerful O'Brien story.

O'Brien: "It's not you I hate, Cardassian. I hate what I became because of you."

Picard: "I think when one has been angry for a very long time, one gets used to it. And it becomes comfortable like old leather. And finally it becomes so familiar that one can't remember feeling any other way."

"The Mind's Eye"

Geordi is brainwashed by the Romulans into a Manchurian Agent in order to damage the Federation/Klingon alliance.

"The Drumhead" from season 4. Admiral Norah Satie is brought out of retirement, in order to investigate an explosion that happened in Engineering, and whether there is a link between this and J'Dan, a Klingon exchange officer.

Things take a more uncomfortable turn, however, when the case is seemingly solved, but a paranoid Satie, refusing to believe there isn't conspiracy happening, continues her investigation of Enterprise crew members, including young officer Simon Tarses and his ambiguous heritage, and even Captain Picard himself.

Worf: Sir, the Federation does have enemies. We must seek them out!
Picard: Oh, yes. That's how it starts. But the road from legitimate suspicion to rampant paranoia is very much shorter than we think. Something is wrong here, Mister Worf. I don't like what we have become.

"Brothers" Season 4. Shut up Wesley.

"Brothers" Season 4. Shut up Wesley.