7 Quintessential Jean-Luc Picard Episodes Of ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’

Picard Day


Happy New Year! There’s no doubt about it: 2019 is going to be the year of Picard.

Unless you’ve been hibernating, most Star Trek fans know that the next major Star Trek show to go into production is the new Jean-Luc Picard series, which will bring us the joys of Sir Patrick Stewart reprising his classic role as the stalwart captain. We don’t have a whole lot of details yet, but we know that Star Trek: Discovery‘s Kirsten Beyer and novelist Michael Chabon are two of the creative forces behind the show, it goes into production in April, will premiere late this year, and takes place 20 years after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis. 

At the surprise announcement at STLV last August, Stewart told the crowd,

“He may not, and I stress may not be a captain anymore. He may not be the Jean-Luc that you recognize and know so well. It may be a very different individual, someone who has been changed by his experiences. Twenty years will have passed, which is more or less exactly the time between the very last movie, Nemesis, and today.”

So who IS that Jean-Luc Picard we recognize and know so well? Over seven seasons, we watched him undergo both character-defining and character-changing adventures, so we’ve selected one episode from each season as essential viewing for the fan looking to get a primer on the great man before the new series … with some extras thrown in for background color.

Season 1 – “The Battle”

The first season of TNG gave us a more uptight, rigid Picard than we would eventually get to know. But this early episode reminded viewers–via some Ferengi-induced hallucinations–that his pre-Enterprise career included being a bridge officer on the USS Stargazer, which he would later describe to Scotty (in “Relics”) as an “overworked, underpowered vessel, always on the verge of flying apart at the seams.” Picard may have become the ultimate diplomat, but on the Stargazer, he was a warrior, taking over the ship and winning the battle with an undefeatable move later dubbed “The Picard Maneuver.” So while our Captain has a reputation as a great talker, he’s also the man you want on your side in a firefight.

Star Trek: The Next Generation "The Battle"

Picard hallucinates he is back on the Stargazer

Season 2 – “Where Silence Has Lease”

TNG’s second season didn’t see that much character development for the good Captain, but we got some insights into his past in “Samaritan Snare,” when he told Wesley about his days as an impulsive cadet who got himself stabbed in the heart in his early Starfleet Academy days. But we learned more about his broader views on life and mortality in “Where Silence Has Lease.” In this very creepy episode, an alien entity named Nagilum takes control of the Enterprise and announces it’s going to learn about death by observing “every kind of dying.” Nagilum says he will need a third (or “maybe half”) of the crew, and Picard won’t have it. He sets the ship to self-destruct in 20 minutes, refusing to allow his crew to become lab rats for a curious alien. Nagilum then manifests a fake Data and Troi to question Picard about his choice, and we get a bit of his philosophy on humanity as a result, along with his thoughts on what death might bring:

“Considering the marvelous complexity of our universe, its clockwork perfection, its balances of this against that, matter, energy, gravitation, time, dimension, I believe that our existence must be more than either of these philosophies. That what we are goes beyond Euclidian and other practical measuring systems and that our existence is part of a reality beyond what we understand now as reality.”

Star Trek: The Next Generation "Where Silence Has Lease"

Nagilum has some not-very-appealing plans for the Enterprise crew

Season 3 – “Yesterday’s Enterprise”

Season three has some Picard gems in it: we see his disdain for the “Dark Ages of superstition and ignorance and fear” when a primitive culture views him as a god in “Who Watches the Watchers,” and his lighter, romantic side when he cavorts with Vash in “Captain’s Holiday.” But his biggest episode this season is “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” in which we see how deeply he values and trusts Guinan–this is a connection that is “beyond friendship, beyond family.” He accepts that history has changed based simply on her gut feeling, and his trust in her means he’s willing to accept possibilities that others would not. He’s so convinced, in fact, that Captain Rachel Garrett and her crew agree to go back into a battle that they know they will lose … because his certainty and strength are incontrovertible.

Star Trek: The Next Generation "Yesterday's Enterprise"

Something is not quite right in “Yesterday’s Enterprise”

Season 4 – “The Best of Both Worlds, Part II”

Being assimilated by the Borg and forced to lead an invasion to Earth as Locutus had a permanent effect on Jean-Luc Picard. The events of this episode would be revisited again in “Family,” “I Borg,” and in the film Star Trek: First Contact, and changed Picard forever. He was rescued by his crew and helped save the quadrant, but he was also profoundly affected by being so utterly defeated and owned by the Borg. Resistance, on his part, was indeed futile. How could this experience not change him? It became a fundamental part of who he is.

Star Trek: The Next Generation "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II"

Locutus finds his way back to being Picard

There are some other key episodes this season, though: his unique understanding of the Klingon Empire is seen in “Reunion,” when he is asked to arbitrate the selection of a new Klingon Chancellor, and his impenetrable sense of justice and morality is exemplified in “The Drumhead.” We also learn some of his personal history in “Family,” complete with sibling rivalry, a fight in the mud, and reconciliation, and see the truth behind the facade: that our captain is indeed vulnerable, and will have to confront and accept that if he wants to heal.

Season 5 – “The Inner Light”

Season 5 is rich with Picard episodes, giving us “Darmok” (a classic that shows off his ability to connect with an alien he can’t even understand), “Disaster” (in which he displays and then conquers his discomfort with children), “Conundrum” (where his moral code rises above his amnesia),  and “The Perfect Mate” (in which he must choose duty over perfect love).  But the events that would shape him the most happened in “The Inner Light,” where he experiences an entire lifetime on the planet Kataan. In 20 minutes, he has a wife, raises a family, struggles to save his planet, and dies. It’s not just the Ressikan flute that stays with him long after the probe has done its job and shut down.

Star Trek: The Next Generation "The Inner Light"

Picard as Kamin, with his wife Eline

Season 6 – “Starship Mine”

Yes, Picard fell in love in “Lessons” and learned not to have a romance with someone on his crew. And yes, he was tortured by Cardassians in “Chain of Command, Part II” and came THIS close to breaking down completely. And “Tapestry” showed us the incident once described in “Samaritan Snare,” as we saw a young and cocky Picard get stabbed in the heart by Nausicans and then, thanks to Q, understand how that event shaped the man he became. That said, we learned even more about his capabilities and the inner Picard in “Starship Mine,” Star Trek: TNG‘s version of Die Hard. Alone, he thwarted an attempt to turn trilithium resin from the warp core into a weapon and sell it, taking down multiple mercenaries single-handedly. He’s stealthy, he’s resourceful, he’s not to be messed with… and he knows how to use the Vulcan neck pinch as well as a crossbow.

Star Trek: The Next Generation "Starship Mine"

He-who-will-be-Tuvok experiences Picard’s Vulcan neck pinch.

Season 7 – “All Good Things… “

In “Gambit,” Picard goes undercover as a terrorist. In “Attached,” we find out that part of his command style is pretending to know what he’s doing. But in the series finale, “All Good Things…,” Jean-Luc Picard saves the universe by expanding his mind, accepting possibilities he’d never considered before, and getting versions of himself in multiple time periods to collaborate and save the day. So no matter what has happened to him in the 20-years-post-Nemesis future, there’s reason to hope that he’ll find his way back to the Picard who was able to see the impossible, and make it so.

Star Trek: The Next Generation "All Good Things..."

All good things must come to an end … or must they?

A vision for the future

Jean-Luc Picard is a man who has been through more than most.  While Stewart’s description of Picard as someone who has been “changed by his experiences” may feel a little ominous, Chabon has encouraging words for TNG fans:

“Captain Picard is the hero we need right now. He exemplifies in some ways even more then James Kirk — and I’m not gonna get into the Kirk vs Picard argument because I love Captain Kirk, he was my first captain — but Picard is even more of an exemplar of everything that is best about Star Trek’s vision for the future.”

A changed Picard, a familiar Picard, a bold one, a silly one … everyone has their own must-see Picard episodes, so tell us what yours are in the comments. Engage!

Jean-Luc Picard


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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

I think ‘Family’ is the most underrated and underappreciated episode of TNG’s entire run.

Family was the perfect follow up for the best of two worlds two parter. It’s very rare for a non serial to go back and and show the deep damage that such an event can have on a person.

I disagree. I found Family to be amazingly dull. The old man fight was embarrassing. Much of it was just in the category of “who cares?” We could have seen Picard deal with the aftermath in a much more interesting way. Although, Picard being interesting would have not been in character. So I guess it makes sense that the a boring character would deal with a personal trauma in a boring way.

Now you’re just being nasty for the sake of it here.

Incorrect. The only thing nasty was your response.

Agree 100%. That kind of character development was rare for television at that point, and tbh, even a lot of television today(not because we don’t witness emotional damage in shows today but because when we see it, it is so often unearned). Seeing Picard go through this feels so real to the character and the context of the show.

Family gotta be one of my favorite episodes of any Trek

I agree. It’s an amazing episode. In fact I find it surprising that some fans don’t like it. I mean to each their own of course but it’s definitely one of my favorites.

Yes! I hated the episode as a kid, but re-watching it as an adult I was moved and impressed. Family is an excellently written (and acted) episode.

Random trivia fact, the actor that played Robert Picard was in The Last Starfighter, he was the KoDan commamder with the red powered monacle.

Wow, that was him? He got the best death scene in history!

No, a different guy who was in WHEN THE BOUGH BREAKS played STARFIGHTER’s Krill with the motorized eyepiece; the actor playing Picard’s brother was in the very hysterically funny TOP SECRET! plus other older stuff like THE BLUE MAX.

Why is it the most special episodes of the Trek series are the ones that are distinctly not following the Trek formula?

I think a lot of famous TNG episodes are VERY Trek: Measure of a Man, Yesterday’s Enterprise, Darmok, The Inner Light… but it’s true that when an episode breaks the formula and is GREAT, it is all the more memorable for it.

Stunned that Family, Perfect Mate, Darmok, Captains Holiday not on this list.

These are all fantastic episodes, but only Captain’s Holiday would be considered “character defining.” I think the list is pretty solid in giving an episode from each season that acts as a primer for new viewers.

It’s not perfect: I would swap out YE with Captain’s Holiday mostly because YE does not feature “our” Picard. I also might consider switching “Starship Mine” with “Chain of Command” and “Where Silence Has Lease” with “Measure of a Man.”

They are all mentioned those episodes as contenders… a lot of them are from the same seasons and only one episode from each season could be No 1. I agree those are all great episodes

“Family” is more of a Picard story than BOBW, Part II, which is still very much Riker’s story–can he grow beyond the shadow of Picard?

I believe that episode (BOBW) was chosen simply because it is a “must see” episode. As far as exploring the character, i’d agree it should be FAMILY as it delves into what happened in BOBW, and delivers a lot of background on his, err, family.

The larger point though is, when picking “defining” episodes, do you pick the episode that showed the defining moment (his assimilation), or the episode that actually dealt with the effects of it?

You can go either way. In fact, one could argue Family (while an incredible episode) was somewhat irrelevant: the powerful effect of seeing Picard assimilated, and his recovery at the end is almost enough to know how he must have been feeling and how the experience changed him.

The speech he gives to his brother in Family is pretty much what the audience already knew.

I appreciate your point, but I think I categorically disagree. People knew the Titanic was going to sink in “Titanic” but they still watched it, not just to see the ship go down but to witness and feel the emotional ramifications as the story unfolded.

I can’t agree that the emotional resonance in “Family” is irrelevant; I’d actually argue what I get to feel in “Family” is 10x more powerful than what I felt seeing his assimilation in BOBW because I never thought for a second Picard would end up a Borg. Sure it was exciting and hard to see, but does it compare to the pain of what he remembers in the scene during his breakdown after the fight with his brother in the vineyard? For me it’s a resounding “no.” The aftermath feels way more real because they are actual consequences on a human being.

“People knew the Titanic was going to sink in “Titanic” but they still watched it”

As I said, its still a fantastic episode, and worth watching.

“I can’t agree that the emotional resonance in “Family” is irrelevant;”

Maybe irrelevant is the wrong word. Unnecessary, perhaps, in that it’s not crucial to see in order to understand what he went through. It’s certainly powerful, emotional, and important, but my point is to say there is validity in recommending BOBW over Family if it had to be one or the other.

Yeah, I hear you.

I guess that scene never moved me because I never really cared much for Picard as a character. In order of such moments to resonate, the audience needs to truly care about the character. It truly is hard to care about someone as perfect as Jean-Luc Picard. The feature film, First Contact, worked well BECAUSE it was the first time we saw Picard succumb to a basic human frailty. He was at least 2% human in that flick. FAMILY was merely a “filler” episode.

You seem to be the only person who didn’t come to care for the character. That’s your opinion, and certainly valid. But for most people, episodes like “Family” and “The Inner Light” had an emotional impact because they connected and cared about the character.

But I agree that Family was, largely, a filler episode. A quieter episode after the big budget, action fueled, thrilling intensity of BOBW P2.

The Inner Light worked pretty well but that would have worked almost no matter what because it really didn’t matter who was experiencing the lifetime. It could have been Dr. Crusher and the episode would have carried with it the same weight. It was a pretty darn neat sci-fi/Trek concept and a much less character driven episode.

I agree a quieter episode was the right move after BOBW2. But Family just didn’t work. The B story didn’t work well either, to be honest. It just was a poorly put together episode. The problem is that TNG characters on the whole are not good or interesting characters. That was why the bulk of the “quiet” or more “character” episodes were just plain dog episodes. TNG was at it’s best when it was exploring more sci-fi concepts than it was about the people manning the ship. But, they learned their lesson when it came time to creating DS9. That was an interesting bunch.

See I think it was more powerful BECAUSE it was Picard– a man who never had a family, finally getting one, only to find out it was all a programmed fantasy, essentially. Heartbreaking.

He never had a family yet he never pined for one. I can see how it might change his attitude a bit so that he could see what he was missing but that really was not the point of the probe at all. It was less about Picard and family as it was about living an entire lifetime as a member of that that society. Such a thing would affect anyone. And probably make them old souls before their time. Heartbreaking. That, in fact, should of had a VERY lasting effect on the man but it was never referred to again.

He may not have specifically pined for children, but it had been mentioned numerous times prior that he had regrets about missing out on love, and it was HEAVILY implied in “Family” that he might have had mixed feelings about choosing Starfleet over having a family.

The only time I can recall it being brought up was in Generations. When his brother had kids it sort of freed him to not pursue the family life. He never came across to the audience that he regretted missing out on a lasting relationship. He always seemed perfectly content with where he was. Again, the perfect Captain. I’m sorry but isn’t it possible that you like the show so much that you are taking one or two tiny bits and blowing them up into something they aren’t just to make the character deeper than he really is?


Q WHO should have been the most important Picard show … but he’d have had to show that he kept some humility after that, and that didnm’t happen. So TAPESTRY and CHAIN OF COMMAND for me.

Tapestry, yes, absolutely forgot that one. (And Q-Who isn’t a bad choice, either.)

Yeah, I think those two are indeed quintessential, but the inherent problem is that the article tries to pick just ONE from each season, and also tried to pick the more famous episodes like YESTERDAY’S ENTERPRISE and ALL GOOD THINGS.

I think with the restraints the article puts on itself, it does a decent job of picking 7 episodes.

When the bough breaks

Wow great list! Since they announced the Picard show I have been watching tons of TNG which I haven’t done in years. I would catch an odd rerun on TV or watch a few online a few times a year but I haven’t really watched it continually like I have the past few months and its just been a joy to watch! I forgot how many great stories that show made.

Oddly enough though, I have not watched any of these lately so there is still plenty to watch. I imagine there are going to be tons of TNG rewatches this year and a lot of Picard retrospectives. I can’t believe the new show will start production in just a few months! It feels like they just announced it last week and now they are already in pre-production. We will probably get a lot of news in the next few months as well. My god this is a dream for so many of us who wanted a post Nemesis show again and with one of the greatest Captains in Starfleet history, I can’t wait.

I agree, lots of potential for a great show here.

I’m looking at this with cautious optimism. I think the chances of this show not being good are actually quite high. Part of that is just because they are centering the show around Picard. I REALLY hope we see a disillusioned character or something like that. The man was perfect already. (Save for his one issue in “First Contact”) How do you continue a storyline around someone like that? This writing crew truly have their work cut out for them. I wish them luck. They will need it.

He was hardly perfect, and the experiences we witnessed him go through made him damaged as well. He was a man who walled himself off from relationships, and if I had to write a story about the end of his life, I’d show a man who regrets not allowing himself to be close to those around him, and perhaps even exploring why he was that way, either via through exposition or flashbacks.

I have a friend who was very similar, and as he enters his late 60s he very much regrets not forming lasting loving relationships, because it prevented him from having a family– something at the time he was fine with, but now he greatly regrets.

There’s an interesting story to be told there, they touched on it briefly (and poorly) in Generations.

He was perfect at everything he tried to do. He was the perfect leader. He was the perfect statesman as well as the greatest military strategist star fleet had. Had he opted to get a relationship he would have been perfect at that as well. The ONE time he briefly succumbed to a human frailty he became interesting. That is what the show writers I hope will latch on to.

You’re seeing what you want to see because for whatever reason you don’t like the character. He was far from as perfect as you describe. If there was any one area where he excelled it was (obviously) diplomacy. I don’t recall many, if any, episodes where he showed himself to be a master military strategist– that was always Riker’s forte. Many of the crew were intimidated by him (and downright afraid of him due to his coldness), proving he wasn’t a perfect leader.

He was a flawed human being, who — as was stated many times, directly and indirectly– neglected his personal life to excel in his Starfleet career. In the few episodes that explored his romantic relationships it was illustrated time and time again he would push aside his emotional connections in favor of his Starfleet duty (“Captains Holiday”, “Tapestry”, “Lessons”).

The mistake I believe you’re making is by only looking at how he was portrayed as a Starfleet Captain. One who never seemed to fail. But he failed in other, more deeply personal ways. He was stubbornly prideful and pushed people away emotionally. This was explored more than once, and quite profoundly in the last scene of the series.

Now, to me, Kirk was far more of a perfect, flawless (and annoying) character until the movies.

There is no like or dislike of him. Only that he is uninteresting. He obviously excelled at everything he did. Diplomacy, sure. But also the Picard Maneuver wasn’t just him tugging his shirt down. And there are other examples. Riker had a total man crush on the guy. Picard out maneuvered Riker every single time. And always turned out to be right. He was the perfect leader. That lady in the movie also mentioned something about him not being aware of how good he was at it.

He was even perfect about his personal life. He did what he had to to further his Star Fleet career to the point he wanted. He pushed aside such romantic relationships in favor of something he wanted more. He was perfect in that he knew he could not have it all and was barely affected by that if at all. The man never failed at anything save the one time he felt revenge for what the Borg did to him. The final episode of the series didn’t reveal any of what you said it did. It was just Q pushing Picard around (as usual) and then telling him everything he needed to know. It was a below average episode that did nothing to dive into Picard’s character in any way whatsoever.

Kirk quite obviously hid his doubts with bravado. Many decisions he made he was not 100% behind. He would consult his friends and do what he ‘felt’ was right. And yes, quite often lucked out. (for the sake of the show continuing) He even told the Organians when he was supposed to mediate and agreement, “I’m a soldier, not a diplomat.” Picard was both and pretty much the best at either.

I think you’re in a very small minority seeing him in this way. The “final scene” I was referring to is literally the last scene of the show, when he sits down with his crew to play poker and says “I should have done this a long time ago.”

It showed how he isolated himself from the crew, never really becoming friends with them. As Spock said, there was an almost Vulcan quality to him, and it made him a flawed human being. As for Kirk asking his “friends”– Picard was probably the most open to suggestions and recommendations than any leader in Trek history, rarely going it on his hunch alone, unlike Kirk, who always had an air of “I’m right and I know it.”

I find Picard a far more interesting and soulful character than Kirk was on TOS. Now, Kirk in the films was nearly an entirely different character, and probably one of the best in Trek’s pantheon.

But Picard will always be a fan favorite, mostly due to how differently they view him than you do.

A large part of the reason for potential higher popularity is mostly a function of the fact that Picard is newer. That happens quite often. That final scene in AGT carried no weight. I just assumed that he took all of them to the cleaners because he was the best at everything he ever touched and was probably never invited back to play again because of it! Anyway, he didn’t do it because he didn’t want to. So what? Yes, the line is a nice line but it totally felt out of character for him as he was never really a “friend” of ANY of the bridge crew. And that didn’t change in the later feature films. Can anyone really see Picard and Data or Worf just hanging out off duty? No way. But Kirk, Spock and McCoy totally did. They were GREAT friends. TNG had none of that.

Picard rarely looked for advice from anyone. (From time to time he listened to his bartender, apparently) Picard made his decision and everyone else followed it accordingly. Even if they disagreed no one ever tried to make a case for it. The one person who did wasn’t even a member of his crew! Kirk was WAY more open to listening to council than Picard ever did. Have we even seen the same shows? Both Captains put on the face of “I’m right and I know it”. The job required it. The difference is Picard KNEW he was right every time. Kirk from time to time did it while hiding his trepidation. Not only that, Picard never seemed approachable. Kirk was eminently approachable.

You find Picard more interesting. Great. You like perfection. Nothing wrong with that. I have a friend who likes Picard over Kirk for the same reason. In fact, the reason he did not like First Contact was because it showed Picard succumbing to revenge. He liked the perfection in the Captain and felt it was something the entire crew should be looking up and and striving for. For me, as a fictional character, I find such things uninteresting. It is difficult to care about someone who is ALWAYS right. And knows it.

Ok, you can acknowledge I like Picard, but please don’t put words in my mouth that I “like perfection.” Whatever perfection you keep projecting on the character has nothing to do with my affinity for the him.

Forgive me. I drew a logical conclusion as to why you liked the character. That said, it was still a very good conclusion to make.

To throw in my two cents about the perfection discussion, “Family” revealed that it’s not so much that the character of Picard is perfect but that he’s a perfectionist. He drives himself to be perfect, over-achieves, but then blames himself when he can’t be perfect. “I wasn’t strong enough; I wasn’t good enough,” he blurts out in a moment of raw openness to his brother and himself. “Well, well, my little brother is a human being, after all,” observes Robert. No longer seeing him as arrogant, Robert is able to help Jean-Luc regain emotional equilibrium and realize he doesn’t belong under the ocean with Louis but among the perilous stars as captain of the Enterprise. Even though crammed into 42 minutes or whatever, the episode rings true about someone traumatized, which is why I think it is one of TNG’s best character episodes.

A few real clunkers in that list. In any case, bringing bwck John DeLancie as Q and Whoopi Goldberg as Guinan would be critical to making the new show as authentic as possible.

I wouldn’t hold my breath we will see any of them though. Maybe Guinan but I think the age issue of Q may be different. But yes everyone has said Q could just look older but I think its silly personally. I guess not the end of the world either if they went that route since clearly Q is one of the most popular characters in the franchise. So if they really want him they will figure it out. At this point I wouldn’t be too shocked they figured out how to bring Brent Spiner back to play Data.

Guinan only makes sense if they can cast Isis Carmen Jones again. Goldberg looks way to old for an alien that doesn’t show a bit of aging in the duration of 5 centuries. If they use a character from TNG I would prefer Lt. Jae anyway. Picard trusts her more than almost any other crew member and she is one of the most populär Star Trek characters. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like her.

Well Data was sporting white hair in the future All Good Things timeline so it’s possible.

Oh GOD no! Bringing them back would not be a good sign for the show. One character worked only as comedy relief and the other was obviously a forced in character that never had a reason to be there to begin with.

I’m not sure if its OK to post this here since its from a different site, but I loved this video!


This why so many people are excited about seeing Picard again. Reading the comments people are really excited to see that character and a return to Trek that Discovery is missing (but may get back in time).

They are quite frankly already there, and have been since day 1.

I don’t understand what you mean?


That’s a good little episode. Stewart got to play both detective Picard and crazy singing Picard.

No Captain’s Holiday or Gambit?

My favorite episodes starring Picard are Best of Both Worlds with Picard as Locutus, and Darmok.

no room for ‘lessons’ or ‘chains of command’?

I’m very excited, I think that Patrick Stewart is a classic Actor. I saw his one Man play. He is a very, very special Person!

So in other words… Picard is a perfect character. Nomad would NOT have sterilized had he run into Picard. I REALLY hope Picard becomes an interesting character in some way. In TNG, he was amazingly dull. Always doing and saying the right thing is not good character drama. It is a testimate to Stewart’s acting chops that he was able to breathe life into such a lifeless character.

I don’t think there are any wrong answers. The stories combined with Stewart’s acting made a number of episodes worthwhile watching and enlightening regarding the character of JLP. It is no wonder that a lot of my female friends who despised TOS really liked TNG, mainly because of Stewart’s portrayal of Picard. Just to throw in my two cents, in addition to all the numerous episodes already mentioned (incl my favorite The Inner Light), I will add Symbiosis, We’ll Always have Paris, Pen Pals, Darmok, I Borg, Attached and a repeat mention of the disturbing but brilliantly acted, Chain of Command.

I love the Shakespeare soliloquy in Hide and Q.
Picard“ And What he said with irony, I say with conviction; What a piece of work is man. How noble in reason how infinite in faculty. In form and in moving how express and admirable. In action how like an Angel in apprehension how like a God!

Q: You don’t really see your species that way

Picard. “I see us one day becoming that Q,is it that which worries you?”

I know that it is not an episode, but Picard almost losing it on the Enterprise E and confronting Lily in First Contact is also another favorite.

That entire sequence between Lilly and Picard was pure gold.

And I see that as hammy beyond even the limits of Shatner (plus it should have been Beverly.)

Such soliloquies were a Picard staple. But in this case, it was pretty cool to see him justify revenge. If it were TOS it certainly would have been McCoy who opened the Captain’s eyes. And it would make sense that Crusher be the one to do it in FC. However, Crusher wasn’t with Picard while he was single mindedly disposing of Borg drones and working to figure out their evil plan. Lilly was.

Great scene, I agree. For many reasons, but because it made his experience in BOBW mean something, and show how it had changed him, and made him do something he otherwise probably wouldn’t have. We saw a glimpse of it in “I, Borg.”

I think the whole point was that it was the ‘primitive’ 21st century human who awakens the supposedly enlightened Picard to the base nature of his vendetta. That wouldn’t really have worked with any of the regular characters.

That’s a good point.

Looking forward to this show in a big way. As an-old school Kirk fan, Picard slowly grew on me during TNG’s run, and in the films, and now re-watching them today I enjoy the character even more. There’s so much potential here. And the fact it’ll take place post-Nemesis leaves the showrunners an open canvas. With the exception of the last season of Game Of Thrones, this show is my must-see for 2019.

Patrick Stewart. Earl Grey tea. Warm, European…and surprisingly fruity.

And so is the tea ;)

More seriously — There are some revealing quotes in the article:

”He may not, and I stress may not be a captain anymore. He may not be the Jean-Luc that you recognize and know so well. It may be a very different individual, someone who has been changed by his experiences.”

”Captain Picard is the hero we need right now.”

Educated guess: Picard left Starfleet, went into politics, and the new show is about his time as the Federation’s President. A futuristic version of The West Wing. Exciting if true.

My fav Picard episodes by season:
1) Justice – where we see this sharp-shooting captain bend the prime directive for the 1st time
2) Q-Who? – where Picard meets his temporary future “family”, and also has to ask for help from Q
3) Yesterday’s Enterprise – great interaction with Guinan and Yar
4) Family – we get to see a very human and vulnerable Picard
5) Unification – the opportunity to work with Sarek and Spock is some of the best Trek ever!
6) Chain of Command – stealthily breaking into a Cardassian facility, being tortured, and still maintaining his dignity
7) All Good Things – recognizing that Q isn’t the demon he previously thought

Side: nobody will agree, but in “Q-pid” we see a completely different side of Picard who risks everything for the love of Vash. Fascinating!

Great list! In terms of sheer acting skill by Patrick Stewart, I’d mention his stunning performance during the mind meld in “Sarek.” And for intentional over-acting, the Shakespearean ode to Lwaxana in “Ménage a Troi.” Shall I compare thee, etc.? Not the same kind of list, of course, but something that makes me eagerly await Patrick Stewart’s return whatever has become of Jean-Luc Picard.

In my opinion, “Tapestry” should definitely be on this list. It changed the way Picard viewed his past, his identity, his strengths and weaknesses. It changed his narrative of who he was and how he became that way.

Tapestry was the only episode where I actually felt a little for this Picard fellow. That scene of him in the tubolift muttering to Q about his current life. Even I felt bad for the guy.

Interesting choice to pick Where Silence Has Lease but really not bad. I would have picked Family for Season 4 and had the Borg episodes as your Season 3.