Picard, seriously wounded by a tetryon beam discharge, finds himself in a bright empty environment and he is welcomed by Q who claims that Picard is dead and he, Q, is God. After Q tells him that with a natural heart he would have survived, Picard regrets the mistake he made in his young days when his heart had to be replaced after a fight with three tall Nausicaans. Instantly, Q whisks him back to the day before the accident happened. Picard wants to do everything right this time, and he even surrenders to the desire to be more than just a friend to his classmate Marta Batanides.
Finally, he prevents his other friend Cortin Zweller from starting the fight with the Nausicaans. Back in his time, Picard has to bear the consequences: He has become a different person, one who was never willing to risk anything, and he is only a junior grade lieutenant on the Enterprise. Picard asks Q to take him back again. This time Picard allows the fight to take place, and history is reset. In the Enterprise sickbay Beverly manages to save Picard's life despite the bad damage to his artificial heart.
As Picard recovers from his injury, he wonders if his journey into the past was one of Q's tricks or merely a dream. Nevertheless, he is grateful for the insight the experience gave him.
Errors and Explanations
Internet Movie Database
Q tells Picard it's two days before his encounter with a Nausicaan sword. But its actually a knife he gets stabbed with. Q has a tendancy to exagerate!
- Adam Bomb (Abomb) on Saturday, September 29, 2012 - 2:28 pm: When Q sends Picard back to the Enterprise as a Lt. J.G., what's to say that Worf, Data or La Forge would be there? Maybe their lives would have taken different paths too. Francois Lacombe (Franc0is) on Saturday, September 29, 2012 - 3:49 pm: Because Q promised Picard that no one's life but his own would be changed Q's intervention.
Ex Astris Scientia
- We can see an Antican and a Selay in the Bonestell Recreation Facility. They were shown to be mortal enemies in the Next Generation episode "Lonely Among Us", so it is odd that they would stand almost side by side here. Either Q arranged this to see if Picard would notice, or the hatred bwtween the races wasn't a problem in this time period.
- It is doubtful that Picard, after 30 years in Starfleet, would still be a lieutenant junior grade, only because he has always been cautious.Not necessarily - as the alternat Riker actually points out to this version of Picard, his over cautious nature would lead his superiors to classify him as unsuitable for higher rank.