Guy Gardener wrote:
The Pilot is black and white.
Janeway is a Villain.
And people think she's arrogant for it.
Then you have Night
where she faces her demons and people think she's selfish or some other bad thing for it.
And then you have Endgame
where future Janeway tries to atone for some of her sins and people think she's a psycho because of it.
If Picard had made the same decision in the Pilot it would be seen as him letting his compassion and other fine Trek ideals rise above the letter of the law.
If Picard had his Night
episode it would be seen as a "broke your little ships" scenario and we would all have sagely nodded that of course Picard was in the end a man who had his struggles, and we would have forgiven him
If Picard had an Endgame
where his future self returned to save Data and Crusher or whatever it would be hailed as a great Buddy episode, the vaunted friendships of Trek, in the spirit of TOS blah blah.