83 – Final Mission

Grade: C+

Final Mission (1990) on IMDb


Wesley Crusher has been admitted to the Academy in the middle of the semester, because there is an opening for another student. Just before he is to leave for school, he travels with Captain Picard on a dangerous diplomatic mission.


When I first started watching this episode, I couldn’t remember having seen it before. Usually, when that happens, it’s because the episode isn’t very good. In this case, I can think of several episodes that are worse but have been on TV more often.

In reality, this is a pretty good episode, and one that you should probably see, for some very good performances. In all honesty, you’ll probably never see better acting from Wil Wheaton. He’s been the focus of several Next Generation episodes, but he’ll never again have a scene like he did when Captain Picard had been seriously injured and Captain Dirgo had been killed. I’m not a huge fan of Wil Wheaton’s acting, I think he does a very good job in this scene. In the rest of the episode, he’s about the same as he always is, but at least in this one scene, he does great work.

The diplomatic situation that requires Picard’s attention has something to do with miners. It seemed like a nod to the Original Series episode called the Cloud Minders. But this episode really has little to do with the miners and the Original Series episode is much worse than this one.

Finally, I’m not sure what the problem was with the water and the force field that protects it. I get the feeling that there is some kind of test that any traveler would have to pass to be able to reach it, but it’s never explained. Somehow, Wesley figures it out and is able to get to the water, but it doesn’t make sense to me that an ancient spring inside a cave would have a force field that can only be de-activated by some futuristic technology. But that’s a minor complaint. Don’t let that prevent you from seeing this episode if you haven’t yet.

One last thing – it’s interesting that we keep hearing how much Captain Picard does not like children, but time and time again, he rises to the occasion and does exactly what he needs to do in every situation. This episode is no exception.

Of Note

In this episode, Captain Picard mentions Boothby, the head groundskeeper at the Academy. He’ll make a lot more appearances in future episodes.