Wesley finally gets dispatched ("Journey's End"), but everyone was waiting for that anyway. Some continuity was attempted, such as a sequel to Season 1's "The Battle" ("Bloodlines"), Alexander following the Klingon soap saga through ("Firstborn"), the Maquis and the Cardassians being mentioned several times and final instalments being provided for Lwaxana Troi, Barclay, Lore, Guinan and Ro Laren. None of this brings any form of resolution, however.
The one-off storylines seem to throw out ideas that beg for development. "Force of Nature" suggests frequent high-warp travel is damaging the very fabric of space-time. "Parallels" has Worf experiencing multiple realities including one where The Borg won at Wolf 359. "Lower Decks" finally introduces some secondary crew from the more than a thousand supposedly supporting Picard and co. There are even hints at some romance at long last between Dr Crusher and Picard as well as Worf and Troi.
In the long run, even after terrific guest spots from Trek alumni Armin Shimerman and Robin Curtis, or from Paul Sorvino and Kirsten Dunst, there's one thing for which the final year is remembered: "All Good Things..." is a near-perfect denouement for the show. With terrific production values and FX, not to mention standout performances from all concerned, it was an amazing surprise to have Q suggest there'd been a story arc right from the get-go. If only this final script had been fully conceived earlier on, The Next Generation might not have been overshadowed by the glut of TV SF that followed in its wake. --Paul Tonks