Star Trek Best Trek

Hide and Q

In case you skip it...

This episode sees the return of Q, continuing his role of dangerous and largely amoral tester of humanity. In this case, he’s focused on Riker, apparently offering him membership in the Q Continuum and all the powers of the Q. Unbeknownst to Riker, Q has a side bet with Picard as to whether Riker will accept - if he does, Picard relinquishes his command; if he does not, Q stays out of humanity’s path forever.

Q tempts Riker

Riker goes back and forth a bit but decides to join the Q. Before he goes, he tries to use the Q powers to give parting gifts to his crewmates and fulfill their fondest wishes. However, every single gift is rejected - it’s the journey, not the destination, that matters, and having the wishes granted instantly robs them of their value. This reminds Riker that his humanity is defined by struggle and growth, and he rejects Q’s offer.

Q, losing his bet, gets dragged back to the Continuum under his promise that he’ll stay out of humanity’s way forever. No points for guessing whether he keeps his word.