Star Trek: The Next Generation Episode Review: Time Squared

by StevenHelmer

A review of the season 2 television episode that first aired in April 1989.

Synopsis: The Enterprise crew rescues a derelict shuttle and quickly discover the shuttle was piloted by an unconscious Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) doppelganger. They quickly determine the unconscious Picard is from 6 hours in the future, when the Enterprise is apparently destroyed by an unknown force, and must race against the clock to figure out what happened and how to prevent it.


At some point in my life, I am sure I took the time to watch this episode in its entirety. However, when I began watching it at lunch earlier today, I realized I didn't remember a whole lot about it, just bits and pieces. After seeing it again, I have to say this is one of my favorite season 2 episodes from this series.

There were a couple things I found I really liked about this episode. The big one had to be the mystery surrounding the future Captain Picard. What happened to the Enterprise? How did he end up in the past? And, most importantly, why did he seemingly abandon the ship before it exploded, leaving everyone else on board to die?

This mystery did lead to some interesting potential twists. Maybe the future Picard wasn't really the captain and it was all an elaborate ploy to deceive everyone. Or, perhaps there was some other explanation for the limited information they received from the shuttle logs. And, you know me, I love a good mystery.

Another thing I found I really liked about this episode was the way Picard reacted to seeing himself, mostly because it was unexpected. He's a character that is normally calm and collected even under the most stressful circumstances. But, this time around, it was obvious he was effected and the way he kept second guessing himself did make me wonder if he'd be able to step up at the end.

My only real complaint about this episode had to be Dr. Pulaski (Diana Muldaur). Yes, she wasn't wrong about her authority to remove the captain if she felt he wasn't fit to command and maybe there were some reasons for concern with that. But, I also felt she was jumping the gun a bit with that, especially since, in the end, she really didn't even bother to do much even when the captain seemed to be losing his wits. Of course, to be fair, I never really liked that character anyway and was glad she only lasted one season.

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Final Opinion

This is an intriguing episode that managed to have a good mystery and show a rarely-seen, darker side of Picard. I would recommend watching it if you haven't seen it.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 11/20/2018, StevenHelmer
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DerdriuMarriner on 03/02/2022

StevenHelmer, Thank you for product lines, pretty pictures and practical information.
The Next Generation series falls among the Star Trek films and series that I don't know. The library system here has the second season so I look forward to watching it.

Was the vortex destroyed with Enterprise going straight through it or will it show up in a future episode?

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