As the gang tries to figure out the “Two Renees” prophecy, Picard (Patrick Stewart) clearly has an epiphany but Tallinn (Orla Brady) tells him “later” and beams them to her place. Tallinn gives them tricorder-ish devices to try to track down Soong (Brent Spiner), and beams herself into the launch complex to watch over Renee (Penelope Mitchell), but not without a surprise Picard stowaway!
The Europa Mission is bustling with activity at 21 minutes to launch. Picard thinks Tallinn is there to sacrifice herself to save Renee and tries to talk her out of it, but she tells him that her fate is not up to him to decide.
Seven (Jeri Ryan), Raffi (Michelle Hurd), and Rios (Santiago Cabrera) beam into Soong’s home, where it sounds like he’s monitoring the launch but he’s actually at the launch itself. Meanwhile he has four drones set up at the house to destroy the Europa rocket in the instance he can’t stop the launch. And they’re booby-trapped to explode if tampered with.
Tallinn cosplays a mission tech, but Renee isn’t fooled by the uniform so Tallinn reveals her true identity as her guardian angel. All while Soong pushes his way into a private meet-and-greet with Renee.
The drones begin to launch before Raffi can override the system. Picard keeps an eye on Soong. Tallinn asks Renee to trust her.
Soong is stopped in the hallway by Renee, who babbles about a crazy woman. He touches her face and tells her to come with him. Soong tells security to get up to the suit-up room, where Renee was before, as Renee falls ill and Soong reveals that he poisoned her with a fast-acting fatal neurotoxin.
Raffi overrides one of the drones. Rios uses it to destroy the other three. “Renee” (obviously Tallinn) finds Picard and they watch the launch together. “Look up,” he tells her, and she reveals her true face and tells him to absolve himself of his guilt before she dies.
Soong, home already, watches Renee do a happy interview from space. Someone starts to mysteriously delete his files, and we see Kore (Isa Briones) at work in a library. She completes the purge “for her sisters,” but Soong has one more ace up his sleeve. He pulls out a file folder marked “PROJECT KHAN,” dated 1996.
Kore receives an anonymous message: “CURIOUS WHAT’S NEXT? WATCH AND OBSERVE.” And an address in Los Angeles. She heads there and finds – this is where I screamed out loud – WESLEY CRUSHER!
IT’S WESLEY CRUSHER! IT’S WESLEY CRUSHER! IT’S WESLEY CRUSHER!
Or more accurately these days, “a Traveler of all of space and time”. He and his fellow Travelers watch and protect everything, and they’re the ones who dispatch the Supervisors! Of course, Wesley is keeping Picard safe! He tells Kore that she has a choice: between a perfectly normal life, or becoming a Traveler herself. She chooses the latter and now I have to take a few minutes to recover.
Rios, Raffi, Seven, Teresa (Sol Rodriguez), and Ricardo (Steve Gutierrez) prepare to depart the chateau. They’ll never know if they saved the future, because they’re stuck in the past now. Rios is cool with being stuck in 2024 with Teresa, and Seven and Raffi discuss their “future” (and kiss, finally!).
Picard re-hides the skeleton key in the wall, and hears Q’s voice. He finds him sitting in the conservatory, and joins him. Q (John de Lancie) congratulates him on setting his future on the same path by placing the key for young Jean-Luc to find, while absolving himself of his terrible guilt. “This was always about forgiveness – yours.” Picard points out that Elnor and Tallinn died for it, and Q says maybe not, but that Tallinn died in every timeline anyway and this was the only one where she got to meet Renee.
“Why me?” Picard asks. Q tells him that he is dying, alone, and that he doesn’t want that for Picard. “My old friend,” he calls him. It’s his final gift, but Picard still doesn’t understand why. Q tells him “you matter to me,” and that he has one last surprise in store.
Picard introduces the gang to Q. They’re less than pleased to meet him and Raffi threatens to kill him for Elnor’s death, but he assures her that sending them home will do the job for her. Rios decides to say behind with his new family, though. Q suggests that might lead to some surplus energy, maybe a surprise…
“Farewell, mon capitaine.” THE LAST TIME HE SAYS THAT. “It’s time for me to go.” “But not alone,” says Picard, before embracing his enemy-turned-friend. “See you out there,” says Q before his final snap.
Give me a few more minutes.
Back in the future, the masked Borg Queen is seemingly attacking the Stargazer’s bridge, but the new-and-improved Picard cancels the autodestruct sequence and orders everyone to stand down so the Queen can proceed. She reveals herself as Agnes (Alison Pill), and that she was the one playing “No, I Have No Regrets” from Picard’s childhood in the hopes it would calm him.
The helmsperson (noting in passing that Captain Rios is missing) alerts them to an anomaly in the center of the quadrant that will likely destroy the entire sector. The Queen tells them that the only way to save everyone is to harmonize the fleet’s shields with the Borg’s. Admiral Picard gives Seven a field promotion to the empty captain’s chair, and she tells the rest of the fleet to allow full control by the Borg Queen.
The Queen moves the fleet into position and harmonizes the shields into one giant supershield. Excelsior, however, is having issues so Raffi hails them to tell them to recalibrate their shield emitter, and the call is picked up by ELNOR!!!! It’s Q’s final surprise. And I’m bawling again.
The whatever-it-is explodes outward but the Federation/Borg supershield does the trick. And the thingy turns blue, becoming a transwarp conduit created by no-one-knows-who – not even the Borg – but they do know it’s not friendly. The Queen requests provisional membership in the Federation so the Borg ship can remain to guard the gate.
After all the excitement, what’s left of the gang goes back to 10 Forward Avenue. Because I really haven’t cried enough this episode, Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg) says she knew that if she guided Picard carefully, he’d go down the correct path. And she thanks him for setting her straight in the past. She shows him a photo on the wall, of Rios and Teresa. They had a happily ever after, starting a medical movement together. Little Ricardo grew up to head a team that used the alien organism that Renee discovered during the Europa Mission to un-pollute the oceans and sky. They all used to visit Guinan’s bar when they were in town. She reveals that Teresa dies of old age, and Rios died in a bar fight, smoking a cigar.
Picard brings Elnor (Evan Evagora) a drink and they all toast to family. Elnor candidly says the drink is awful. Picard excuses himself and heads back to the chateau.
Laris’s bags are in the hallway, and she’s taking one last look out from the conservatory. She tells Picard that she’s going on adventures of her own. He says that while time cannot give us second chances, maybe people can, and she smiles and nods. They hold each other’s hands and continue to talk as the camera pans out of the chateau and up to space.
Wow. That was one heck of a finale, to be discussed in detail on the next Women At Warp episode! I was dreading a cliffhanger but we really just got more of a setup for Season 3, which I assume will involve whatever mysterious aliens set up the new entrance to Federation space. And I’ll miss Rios but we’ll always have his holograms, right? Now I’m going to go recover from all these FEELINGS and write Wil Wheaton a fan letter.