I’ve hinted at my love for Q in my mini-list, Fi’s Five Favorite Star Trek Villains, but his relationship with Captain Picard demands its own full entry here.
With Star Trek taking place in one of the most sprawling fictional universes ever created, they’re not the most – for lack of a better word – monogamous of hero/villain pairings. Picard faces new bad guys practically every week and has a few other recurring nemeses, and Q branches out to pester the casts of Deep Space Nine and Voyager when The Next Generation is over, but the dynamic between the two of them is something special.
And in the final episode, Q is the one who ties everything together, reminding Picard of how they met and telling him, before sending him on his way again, that the trial never ends.
There’s plenty of silliness in between…
All Picard wants out of Q is to be left alone, and even though he knows Q is all-powerful and could think him out of existence in an instant, he refuses to bend an inch for him or be anything but himself.
Whenever Q shows up with his distinctive introductory sound effect, announcing that everyone is now subject to his whims for an indeterminate period of time, Picard isn’t scared or even seriously angry.
(Okay, not a direct quote, but almost)
The odd closeness this creates between them comes out in the episode when Q is banished and stripped of his powers by his own kind for being too much of a troublemaker. He can live out a mortal life as anything he wants, and he chooses the human form he’s been using to appear to the crew of the Enterprise and asks Picard to take him in.
Why? He confesses to Picard,
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