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Star Trek: Picard's Final Scene Comes Full Circle With The Next Generation

Contains spoilers for "Star Trek: Picard" Season 3, Episode 10, "The Last Generation"

The finale of "Star Trek: Picard" was the culmination of what began 36 years ago on "Star Trek: The Next Generation," reuniting the core cast of the beloved space exploration drama for one last adventure through the stars. After averting Earth's destruction and defeating the Borg Queen (Alice Krige) for good, Picard (Patrick Stewart) and his old friends are finally able to relax, and they do so in the most fitting way possible.

As the credits roll on the final episode of "Star Trek: Picard," Admiral Picard plays a game of poker alongside William Riker (Jonathan Frakes), Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis), Data (Brent Spiner), Worf (Michael Dorn), Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton), and Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden). The camera lingers on their game from above, as if to freeze them in the moment of their favorite pastime for posterity.

It's a fitting end for these characters, not only because poker was (with the exception of Picard) their favorite way to kill time in the dark reaches of space on "Star Trek: The Next Generation," but because the final episode of that series, too, ended with a game of cards between the senior officers of the USS Enterprise.

All good things end with a poker game

"Star Trek: The Next Generation" ran for seven seasons from 1987 to 1994, giving fans some of the most beloved entries in the "Star Trek" franchise, and the final days of "The Next Generation" were exhausting and bittersweet. Its final episode, "All Good Things," found Captain Picard adrift in time and faced with one last trial from the immortal trickster Q (John de Lancie). After facing Q and solving the time loop, Picard returns to the Enterprise, where he and his crewmates play a game of poker.

Though the crew indulged in games of five-stud throughout "Star Trek: The Next Generation," Picard never joined them until that final scene, where the captain expressed regret for not doing so sooner. The finale of "Star Trek: Picard" therefore brings these iconic characters full circle to the show that first brought them together, and it seems Jean-Luc Picard has retained his love for the game, and, of course, for spending quality time with the people (and Klingons and Betazoids) closest to him.

For a series that started with Picard isolated in his family vineyard, it's heartwarming, and even poetic, that it ends with a game of five-stud poker alongside his old friends. All good things must come to an end, but the final shots of "Star Trek: Picard" prove that, sometimes, endings are just as sweet.