***** (5 stars out of 5)
If my reviews went to 6 stars, I'm not sure what Star Trek would earn it more. As Tasha Yar says tonight: 'You're in for a treat."
It's a temporal tossed salad or utter madness (is there a difference?) as Captain Picard becomes unstuck in time, leaping from the launch of the Enterprise-D seven years ago to his retirement a quarter century hence. And while you're delving into the fragments of a man's life, could you also take a look at the total annihilation of all humankind? When you get a second...
Is Picard off his rocker or is there something more sinister at work? No sooner do we wonder when Geordi installed those cool blue eyes and ended up father to Leah's kids, when we're back in the past admiring Troi's cheerleader skirt once again.
And while pondering what Paul Rice was doing lurking eerily behind Beardless Stud Riker at Farpoint, we're suddenly staring down the gob of Tomalak the Romulan, acting curiously Narn-ish. And when we've scarfed our Narn bread it's back to the future with Data the Crazy Cat Lady of Cambridge, and Captain Beverly Picard who got the starship Pasteur in the divorce.
Why is Picard seeing filthy shrieking hobbits? How many anti-time tachyon beams make three? Is there any possible way to stop Worf and Troi from kissing?
We know his crew in the present love Captain Picard, (and not just on Captain Picard Day, the annually mandated holiday of enforced merriment). We know they would follow him into the very maw of death, but was that always the case? And will it always be so?
I'd say SPOILERS, but this story is 18 years old, just slightly older than I was when I first saw it, more's the pity. So when I tell you the villain of the piece spells his name with a 'Q' you won't be exactly gobsmacked. The trial of humanity has reached a verdict. Paradox will be the death of us... unless the chicken and the egg that is Picard's noggin can fry us up a more satisfying denouement.
"All Good Things..." won a 1995 Hugo Award, so you can read a reserved but entirely excellent review from Ryan at Blogging The Hugos now that you've absorbed all my nonsense.
We've come to the end of the first Star Trek that was mine, all mine. So howl with me at the afterlife to let them know what to watch out for.