Star Trek: The 10 Biggest TNG Twists & Reveals, Ranked
Star Trek: The Next Generation arrived in 1987, decades after the original series of Star Trek aired. While it was under a great deal of scrutiny from longtime fans, it had a responsibility to push the franchise in new directions. The Star Trek for a "new generation" was able to have storylines, concepts, and ideologies that were more progressive than its predecessor, and therefore deal with concerns of its time in a way that reflected the thought provoking aspects Star Trek has always been known for.
That being said, it also had a responsibility to provide the same level of high stakes melodrama that made the original so much fun to watch. With epic plot twists and reveals of every variety, it kept viewers on their toes. Some of these were favorable, and some of them spelled impending doom! Below are ten of the best plot twists and reveals, ranked.
10 WHEN PICARD GIVES WESLEY A TONGUE LASHING
Everyone knows that Captain Picard is not only not fond of children, but considers Wesley Crusher a special brand of irritation as the youngest crew member on the bridge. Even considering that, Picard's hostility to Wesley when he's implicated in the death of his fellow Nova Squadron team mate was very surprising.
Picard gave absolutely no quarter to Dr. Crusher's son, and drew a hard line where the boys culpability was concerned. Wesley couldn't earn the captain's sympathy, nor smooth talk his way out of the problem. Picard gave him a serious tongue lashing, including the stinging statement that he was, "not fit to wear a Starfleet uniform". Viewers may have expected Picard to sympathize with the boy, but this twist seemed more true to character.
9 KLINGONS SAVING THE DAY
In one of the most celebrated episodes of TNG, the Enterprise welcomes aboard a defector of the Romulan Star Empire. He is revealed to be a lauded member of the Romulan High Command, Admiral Jarok. "The Defector" episode goes on to show the begrudging respect Captain Picard gives to Admiral Jarok for his part in providing Starfleet with intelligence.
This intelligence turns out to be false, and the Federation flagship is surrounded by Romulan vessels. Admiral Tomalok rails against Picard, explaining how the armies of the Empire will unleash a volley of torpedoes on them, when suddenly Klingon war birds de-cloak to save the day.
8 WORF FINDING OUT HE HAD A SON
In the second season of TNG, Worf met a particularly alluring Klingon named K'Ehyler. She was combative, foul-tempered, and sharp-tongued - a regular bombshell by Klingon standards. She mocked him for his tempered ways aboard the Enterprise, but that didn't stop him from developing feelings for her, and them eventually performing a mating ritual.
K'Ehyler didn't appear in very many episodes, but when she appeared again, it was with the fruit of their union; a young Klingon boy. He was Worf's son, Alexander, and after his mother's unexpected death, he would live with Worf aboard the starship.
7 THE ENTERPRISE BLOWING UP
In the highly controversial episode "Cause and Effect", viewers are greeted to the Enterprise blowing up within the first few minutes of the introduction. At the time of its airing, viewers were so upset that they called into their local television stations to make sure there wasn't some sort of problem.
Over the course of the episode's narrative, it's revealed that the ship is caught in a temporal causality loop, resulting in it getting blown up four separate times. Data is eventually able to send himself a brief message with his immensely capable positronic brain, informing him how to stop the inevitable explosion from happening the final time.
6 CAPTAIN SCOTTY TRAPPED IN A TRANSPORTER BEAM
In "Relics", longtime Star Trek fans were greeted to one of the happiest reveals of the series. When the Enterprise responds to an old distress signal, an away team led by Commander Riker happens upon an abandoned ship from a century before. What's more mysterious, is that there are still genetic codes in its transporter terminal.
The genetic codes are being trapped in the feedback loop of the beam intentionally, essentially keeping alive whomever initiated the sequence. When the team initiates the final transport, who should beam into their view than Scotty from the original Star Trek!
5 PICARD GETTING STABBED
In "Suddenly Human", the Enterprise gets a distress call from a Talarian ship, except the away team makes a startling discovery; one of the wounded crew members aboard is an adolescent human male. The other Talarian boys are treated aboard the Enterprise by Dr. Crusher and will be returned to their people, but Picard feels the human should be returned to his.
At first the boy is resistant to the idea - after all, he's lived nearly his whole life among the Talarians after both of his parents were killed when he was a toddler. He later warms up to the proposal and the captain, who he seems to view as a paternal figure and worthy of respect. Which is why it was so shocking towards the end of the episode when he stabbed the captain while he lay sleeping!
4 DISCOVERING AMBASSADOR PATEL WAS A ROMULAN SPY
In "Data's Day", a fairly humorous and light-hearted episode about Data exploring human interactions over a 24 hour period aboard the Enterprise, one sub-plot takes a more sinister turn. It involves the Vulcan Ambassador T'Pel who beams to the ship as an objective intermediary between Romulans and the Federation, who are to begin negotiations towards a peace treaty.
At the conclusion of the episode, she's unexpectedly "killed" in a transporter accident beaming to a Romulan vessel who have claimed her as a prisoner lest they destroy the Enterprise. Picard feels something is amiss and his feelings are substantiated when she appears alive and well aboard the Romulan vessel, in full Romulan regalia as a spy.
3 THE CHEST BURSTING PARASITE
In one of the most chilling episodes of TNG, it's revealed that some sort of alien parasite has literally "wormed" its way into the highest levels of Starfleet command. It's using high ranking officers as "hosts" and communicating ways to send more of itself to planet Earth. Captain Picard gets wind of it through an old friend in Starfleet and sends the Enterprise to Earth to investigate.
Eventually it's revealed there's an protrusion at the base of certain Admirals' heads, revealing an insect like parasite wrapped around their brain stems and controlling them. Picard and Riker eventually fire their phasers at Admiral Remmick's head, which causes a giant mother creature to burst from his chest.
2 THE SUDDEN REAPPEARANCE OF TASHA YAR
One of the biggest reveals in the series came at the conclusion of the two-parter episode "Redemption". Worf has been torn between his duty to Captain Picard and the Enterprise and his duty to the Klingon Empire, which faces ruination at the hands of its council and Romulan interference. He ultimately leaves the ship in full battle regalia to assist the Empire.
At the end of the first episode, Denise Crosby (who played Tasha Yar in the first few seasons) steps from the shadows, inexplicably in Romulan attire. It's later revealed that she is Sela, the daughter of an alternate-universe Tasha Yar who was intercepted by Romulans in 2344.
1 PICARD BEING A BORG
In one of the most exciting season finales in science-fiction television history, Picard gets taken prisoner by the Borg and transported aboard the Borg Cube. The crew of the Enterprise desperately try to rescue him, only to make a shocking discovery once the away team infiltrates the Cube; Picard has been assimilated!
Not only did "Best of Both Worlds Part 1" reveal that horrifying truth, it also made fans wait until the following year to see what the repercussions would be in the Season 4 premier "Best of Both Worlds Part 2". Commander Riker had to make the painful decision in the eleventh hour to fire on the Borg Cube and kill his captain.