“Journey’s End” is the 172nd episode of the American science fiction television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, and is the 20th episode of the seventh season.
Set in the 24th century, the series follows the adventures of the Starfleet crew of the Federation starship Enterprise-D. In this episode, Wesley Crusher questions his future as the Enterprise is under orders to forcibly remove the descendants of native North Americans, referred to as ‘Indians’ throughout the episode, from a planet being yielded to the Cardassians as part of a treaty.
The Federation has agreed to turn several colonised planets over to the Cardassians as part of a long-negotiated treaty. The Enterprise, among other Starfleet ships, is assigned the task of relocating these Federation colonists. Admiral Alynna Nechayev warns Captain Picard that the colonists of Dorvan V are Puebloan settlers that wanted to create a new home for their culture, and Picard is to remove them by any means necessary. Before the Enterprise sets off for Dorvan V, Wesley comes aboard on vacation from Starfleet Academy. However, his mother Dr. Crusher and his former crewmates find him snappish and depressed.
At Dorvan V, Picard negotiates with the tribal council, led by Anthwara. Picard suggests that they found three other nearby homeworlds with similar conditions, but Anthwara insists that they must stay at Dorvan V, as their ancestors had spent 200 years to find a world with the right spiritual properties, and believes it would take just as long to find another. Anthwara reveals that Picard’s ancestors had been involved with the Pueblo Revolt in the 17th century and that he carries some of that guilt to try to sway the Captain, a thought that troubles Picard. Wesley, meanwhile, meets Lakanta, one of the colony’s holy men, who instructs him to go on a vision quest. During this, Wesley talks to his long-dead father, Jack Crusher, who suggests that Wesley is bound for a different destiny than his own.
The Cardassians, led by Gul Evek, arrive ahead of schedule, and begin to assess the planet. Though they are peaceful, tensions among the Federation and colonists start to rise. Picard prepares his crew to transport the colonists to the Enterprise by force. Wesley overhears of the plan and incites the colonists to riot. Picard warns Wesley against his actions, prompting Wesley to quit Starfleet on the spot. Wesley has a heart-to-heart discussion with Dr. Crusher, telling her about the vision quest and that he never thought Starfleet was right for him. Dr. Crusher reminds him about the Traveller, who told her Wesley was special, and that he might be bound for better things, and regardless what he does, she will be proud of him.
On the surface, the colonists take some of the Cardassians hostage, and Picard and Gul Evek try to come to a solution. Gul Evek mentions that he has lost two sons to the war with the Federation and does not want to lose his last one. A fight breaks out on the surface and Wesley tries to stop it, but ends up freezing time. Lakanta reveals himself to be the Traveller and is ready to help mentor Wesley on his new path. Wesley agrees and the two depart; the fighting continues and the Cardassians suffer casualties. Gul Evek agrees to evacuate his people to end the fighting. Eventually, Anthwara states that the colonists have decided to forgo their Federation citizenship, and Gul Evek affirms the Cardassians will allow them to remain on the planet as their citizens. As the Enterprise returns to Federation space, Wesley says his goodbyes and leaves with the Traveller.
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Production & Filming Details
- Director(s): Corey Allan.
- Writer(s): Ronald D. Moore, Shawn Piller, and Anatonia Napoli.
- Release Date: 28 March 1994.
- Running Time: 45 minutes.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.