Image: Paramount Pictures
5 – The Best of Both Worlds Part 1 and 2
“The Best of Both Worlds” was a two-part episode that closed out the third and opened the fourth season of The Next Generation. It featured the return of the Borg as they attempt to assimilate the Earth and in the process, kidnap and assimilate Picard. As Locutus, Picard kills countless Starfleet personnel at the Battle of Wolf 359 before Riker and the Enterprise figure out a way to stop the Borg and get their captain back.
The two-parter is considered one of the greatest episodes of the series and of Star Trek as a whole and for good reason. It is filled with the kind of action and character development almost never seen in a weekly science-fiction television series. It was so good and became such am key part of the series that you can effectively split the entire run of The Next Generation into before and after “The Best of Both Worlds” as it had that kind of impact.
Even though an argument could be made that the two-parter was more of a showcase for Jonathan Frakes’ Riker, Stewart did some incredible work in the episode. But the reason for its inclusion has more to do with how it affected Picard long after it aired.
Picard dealt with the scars and trauma of his victimization by the Borg for the remaining seasons of the show’s run. It even served as the main plot point for Star Trek: First Contact, where we learned that Locutus was supposed to serve as a consort for the Borg Queen.
Picard was never the same after “The Best of Both Worlds” and the ghost of Locutus is sure to rear his ugly head once again in the new Picard series.