Revisit Picard’s Words of Wisdom From ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ (VIDEO)
Everyone remembers “Make it so,” “Engage,” and even “Tea. Early Grey. Hot.”
But the U.S.S. Enterprise captain also had more eloquent moments throughout The Next Generation‘s seven seasons.
Here are 10 to revisit — each available to stream on CBS All Access — while you anxiously await Star Trek: Picard‘s 2020 premiere.
“Justice” (Season 1, Episode 8)
The primitive Edo people are loving but surprisingly resolute in this: The punishment for all infractions, even if unintentional, is death. Capt. Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) must show the powerful “God” ship ruling the Edo that, in life, exceptions do matter when youngest crew member Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton) faces execution over a minor accident.
Picard Says: “There can be no justice so long as laws are absolute.”
“When the Bough Breaks” (Season 1, Episode 17)
Picard is outraged when the Aldeans — who are infertile and desperate to repopulate their world — kidnap the children aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise to continue their civilization. When the cause of the sterility is found to be fixable, he persuades them to accept a less drastic course.
Picard Says: “Things are only impossible until they’re not.”
“Coming of Age” (Season 1, Episode 19)
Picard and Wesley each face tests of their mettle. The captain bristles over an investigation to decide whether his logs accurately depict the U.S.S. Enterprise‘s missions. Wesley, meanwhile, is among the finalists vying for a single open spot in Starfleet Academy. When another candidate is chosen, Wesley’s commander/mentor reminds him that doing your best is the real victory.
Picard Says: “The only person you’re truly competing against is yourself.”
“The Offspring” (Season 3, Episode 16)
Lt. Cdr. Data (Brent Spiner) uses technological advances to create an android, named Lal, based on his own neural interface. The captain is initially shocked to hear Data refer to Lal as his child, but in another instance of Picard championing open-mindedness, he refuses Starfleet’s request to remove Lal for observation, having come to see Data’s parental love.
Picard Says: “There are times, sir, when men of good conscience cannot blindly follow orders.”
“Allegiance” (Season 3, Episode 18)
A lesson about wrongful detention: Picard has been imprisoned with three others in a mysterious holding cell and replaced aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise with an imposter. After he realizes the situation is an elaborate ruse, aliens appear and explain they were using him to study leadership.
Picard Says: “Imprisonment is an injury, regardless of how you justify it.”
“The Wounded” (Season 4, Episode 12)
How can a commander who has seen the tragedy of war manage to later keep the peace? That is Picard’s dilemma when confronted with a renegade Federation captain bent on upending a new treaty with the violent Cardassians. Picard convinces the man to back down but also understands his motives, later explaining to Chief O’Brien (Colm Meaney) that some men wear their bitterness forever.
Picard Says: “When one has been angry for a very long time, one gets used to it. And it becomes comfortable, like…like old leather. And finally it becomes so familiar that one can’t ever remember feeling any other way.”
“Darmok” (Season 5, Episode 2)
Over seven encounters in 100 years, the Federation and the Tamarians have each failed to understand the other’s language. Picard is transported to a nearby planet with the Tamarian captain, who seems to offer a knife for combat. Instead of taking up arms, Picard, with time and persistence, forges a historic bond of respect between them.
Picard Says: “In my experience, communication is a matter of patience and imagination. I would like to believe that these are qualities that we have in sufficient measure.”
“The Inner Light” (Season 5, Episode 25)
For 25 minutes, a beam from a puzzling space probe renders Picard comatose. During that period, the probe also causes a confused Picard to experience, in his mind, an entirely separate adult life — love, fatherhood, and aging — as a man named Kamin on a climate-challenged planet called Kataan. Whatever the identity, though, he recognizes that every moment counts.
Picard Says: “Seize the time…. Live now! Make now always the most precious time. Now will never come again.”
“Attached” (Season 7, Episode 8)
Picard and Dr. Crusher (Gates McFadden) beam down to planet Kesprytt, looking to further their relations with the Kes people. Suspicious, the neighboring Prytts intercept the visitors and lock them up. The two are now able to read each other’s thoughts, and the ever-deductive Picard assures that things will work out.
Picard Says: “There is a way out of every box, a solution to every puzzle; it’s just a matter of finding it.”
“All Good Things” (Season 7, Episodes 25 and 26)
In the series finale, Picard is manipulated through past, present, and future experiences by the devious godlike entity Q (John de Lancie), who insists the captain will do something to destroy humanity. Picard at first refuses to be thusly tried, but with his crew’s assistance in all three periods, he finds a solution — and makes it so.
Picard Says: “We are what we are, and we’re doing the best we can. It is not for you to set the standards by which we should be judged!”
Stark Trek: Picard, Thursday, January 23, 2020, CBS All Access