42 – Q Who?

Grade: B

Q Who (1989) on IMDb


Picard’s nemesis Q returns to the Enterprise for the first time this season. In this episode, he demands Captain Picard allow him to serve on the Enterprise. When Picard refuses, Q sends the ship deep into space, several years away from the nearest starbase.


This is the first time that we see Q in the second season, and it’s one of the best of the year, in my opinion. Along with Emissary and Measure of a Man, these are the very best episodes of the 2nd season.

Though it’s a very good episode, it just isn’t my favorite. What I do like about it, however, is that the storyline is more grown-up than what we have typically seen from this series up to this point. The acting could be better, and the characterizations are a bit weak in some places, but overall, it’s pretty good.

One reason I have to rank this one a little lower is because the writing is a bit inconsistent in some places. For example, at one point, Data says that the destruction of one of the planets is very similar to what happened in the first season episode Conspiracy. Then later, once Q sends the Enterprise into Borg space, Guinan says that the Borg now know about the Federation, and they’ll be coming to attack them shortly. The problem is that the Borg would have already known about the Federation if they really did cause the destruction that Data alludes to. On the other hand, if the destruction they saw in Conspiracy was not created by the Borg, then why bring it up?

Of Note

Originally, the Borg were supposed to be a race of insects, as depicted in the first season episode, Conspiracy. Some of the original concepts are still used in this episode, but I’m glad they scrapped the idea of showing claymation bugs. The effects in that first season episode were terrible.

In this encounter with the Borg, Riker finds out that the Borg are born as humans but they have cybernetic implants added to them almost immediately after birth. This idea seems to have been scrapped as well.

This is the first time Ensign Sonia Gomez appears in an episode of Next Generation, and she appears in the next episode as well. Originally, she was intended to be a love interest for Geordi, but this never materialized. She does appear in the Star Trek series Lower Decks, with a rank of Captain. Too bad it never worked out between her and Geordi.