Top 10 Captain Picard Episodes!

Happy Captain Picard Day, everyone!!

Every June 16th we take time to celebrate one of the great characters in Star Trek (and all of Sci Fi for that matter): Captain Jean Luc Picard. 🙂  tradition is based on a scene in the episode “The Pegasus” where we learn that the children on the Enterprise have an art contest where they celebrate Captain Picard Day.  Later it was decided that this day is June 16th.    So– how else to celebrate then by watching the best Picard episodes in an all day marathon!  With that goal in mind, here is my list of the top 10 Picard episodes!!

1. The Big Goodbye.  Season 1, Episode 12.  This is a good start in our examination of Picard. We can learn a lot about a person by looking at his or her hobbies and interests.  In this episode we learn of the good captain’s fascination with detective mysteries.   It’s also just a fun romp in the Holodeck and an easy way to start a marathon.  🙂

2 & 3. Best of Both Worlds Parts 1 & 2.  Season 3/4, Episodes 26/1.  After starting off easy we get busy with the heavy hitting stuff.  Arguably, the best 2 episodes of Star Trek TNG, we see Picard’s humanity stripped away as he is used by the Borg as an instrument of destruction.  It’s easy to watch this two parter and not really think about the psychological impact of something like that.  That’s why you have to also watch…

4. Family. Season 4, Episode 2.  One of my favorite episodes, Picard goes home to France for some shore leave / re-evaluate his life time.  There’s some really great character stuff in this episode.  I can’t watch it without crying.  I also have to point out what an amazing actor Patrick Stewart is in this piece.

5. The Inner Light.  Season 5, Episode 25.  Also a fan favorite, in this episode Picard lives out a whole other life!  Crazy, right?   The best part is that his experiences in this other life help mold his character from here on out.  I wish the writers had gone a little farther with this idea– but still we get a sense that he is wiser after this experience.  The easiest way they show this is with his flute— which he now knows how to play.
6 & 7. The Chain of Command Parts 1 & 2.  Season 6, Episodes 10/11.  The best Picard stuff is in part 2, but you need to see part 1 to understand it.  This goes back to the “brutally breaking down the man” kind of story that Best of Both Worlds gave us– only this time it’s a painfully human experience.  Just try to watch this episode and not gain respect and empathy for Picard.
8. Tapestry.  Season 6, Episode 15.  One of John deLance’s favorite episodes, Q gives Picard the chance to go back and fix the “mistakes” that he’s made in his life.  Kind of like It’s A Wonderful Life, Star Trek style– we learn that the choices we make shape who we are– for good or bad– and if we were to change them, we change ourselves.  Heavy.
9. Lessons. Season 6, Episode 19.  Remember that flute from #5 on our list.  Yeah, he still plays it!  That might seem silly, but what I think really resonates in this episode is that his “other life” really did leave an impact on him.  We also get to see him fall in love.  It’s really a good episode. 🙂
10. All Good Things.  Season 7, Episode 25/26.  Ok- technically this is another 2 parter.  But it was shown as a one long episode so I counted it as one.  The series finale– and another contender for the best episodes of Trek– ever.  We see Picard at 3 stages in his life… kind of.  It’s a thrill to watch every time.  🙂
That’s it!  I hope you enjoy your Captain Picard Day Marathon!!  Let me know what you think of my list. 🙂
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