The final leg of TNG — not counting the series finale — beginning with “Journey’s End” through “Preemptive Strike” revealed that the writing staff was at least contemplating the end of the series, with four of the last five regular episodes featuring notes that hinted at some character-related closure, albeit without making any drastic changes to the series’ status quo.
Ro takes on an undercover mission out of loyalty to Picard in “Preemptive Strike.”
These episodes include a final check-in with Wesley Crusher; the last word on Worf’s son Alexander (until DS9 several years later); Picard learning that he might have a son when that possibility had been long ago been seemingly decided; and the fairly atypical (by TNG standards) turn of events surrounding Ro Laren. With the exception of that last outing, these episodes were middling endeavors that struggled to balance plot and character effectively.
Then there was the odd man out of this particular leg, “Emergence,” which seemed more like it belonged in the previous run of weak episodes alongside “Masks” and “Genesis.” Perhaps the less said about it, the better.
Anyway, dig in. My next post on TNG will wrap up this project with the two-hour series finale, which I think just about all of us can agree on.