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With ‘Star Trek’s Q Back to Test Us All—Here Are the Very Best Q Episodes (At Least in This Timeline)

Ahhh Mon Capitan....

Picard and Q in bed

Q is back! Our favorite omnipotent, almost all-powerful super-being from a different plane of existence returned to Star Trek in the second season of Picard! And he is a silver fox! However, he also seems decidedly unwell, and under a tremendous strain that might be at the heart of him forcing Picard and his crew back in time to 2024 to stop a timeline divergence from occurring. So, let’s look back at some of the best Q episodes and reminisce about his past devilries…and obviously, them tights!

The Next Generation: “Encounter at Farpoint” 

Q sitting on his throne
Image: CBS/Paramount

Sometimes the first is the best! And this time, I’m talking about not just the first episode with Q, but the very first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation! Q puts all of humanity on trial and forces Picard and the crew of the Enterprise to defend it. Plus, he prances around in medieval tights and gives himself many different costume changes—like the diva he is. Interestingly, the writers of The Next Generation were full of trepidation when Gene Rodenberry came up with Q, and insisted, over their objections, on using him. Listening to Rodenberry paid off though because John de Lancie’s performance as Q is iconic and he quickly became a fan favorite.

The Next Generation: “Q Who”

Q whispering softly in Picard's ear
Image: CBS/Paramount

This is the introduction of Star Trek: The Next Generation’s ultimate baddy—the Borg! Q tries to convince Picard that humans are exploring the deep reaches of space before they are ready, and to prove his point, he takes Picard to a Borg cube. Unfortunately, he causes the very thing he was trying to warn them about, and now the Borg will stop at nothing to assimilate every planet in the federation! Whoopsy-daisy!

The Next Generation: “Qpid”

Q as the Sheriff of Nottingham atop his horse
Image: CBS/Paramount

I love when Star Trek gets silly. And “Qpid”—in which Q decides to try and help Picard’s love life (what a good friend) by dropping him and most of the crew into the story of Robin Hood—is the perfect example. Now, everyone is in tights! And wearing fancy, little goatees. And of course, the result of Q’s attempt at forcing Picard and Vash to act out a love story is that he becomes interested in Vash. And the two of them run off together. It is very fun and extremely ridiculous and gives us this perfect moment in GIF form:

Worf smashes Geordis lute
The best.

The Next Generation: “Tapestry”

Picard and Q in bed
Image: CBS/Paramount

This episode is excellent because it gives the audience a rare insight into the mind (and past) of Picard. At the beginning of the episode, Picard actually dies. However, in the afterlife, he meets Q, who gives him the opportunity to go back and change a critical moment in his history in order to prevent the mistakes of his youth. It’s a fantastic episode about memory, regret, and nostalgia. 

The Next Generation: “All Good Things”

Old Picard and Old Q argue nose to nose
Image: CBS/Paramount

The Next Generation began with Q putting humanity on trial, and so naturally, the final episode of the series would end the same way. And boy is it a banger. Not only does it have a classic Q vs Picard debate, but it also involves time shifts, mysteries, and of course, all of humanity might possibly be wiped from existence! It is a perfect ending note for the series as a whole.

Honorable Mentions

Honorable mentions go to Q’s appearance in Deep Space Nine, where he does not do well after his breakup with Vash (Q-Less), and his few appearances in Voyager where he makes passes at Captain Janeway. And when she continues to reject him, he does what every good f-boy does, saddles her with babysitting his kid! Unfortunately, Voyager makes the mistake of trying to show the audience the Q continuum (in a way that our puny human minds can comprehend it) and the results were…underwhelming.

But there you have it! The best of Q, and I can’t wait to see more as Star Trek: Picard season two continues!

(Images: CBS/Paramount)

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Brittany is a lifelong Californian (it's a big state, she can't find her way out!) who currently resides in sunny Los Angeles with her gigantic, vaguely cat-shaped companion Gus. If you stumble upon her she might begin proselytizing about Survivor, but give her an iced coffee and she will calm down.