I didn't mean to belittle it by any means, you're points are spot on. Just taking a jab at the episode itself.
R. Star wrote:
That's more analysis than the episode deserves.
I wrote this a couple years ago when someone (don't recall who) posted wanting to know what other fans thought of the episode.
I'm not offended.
To me the biggest problem is bringing in Frakes and Sirtis at all. The finale of a series is supposed to be a celebration of the whole show that ties up all, or at least some, of the lose plot ends. Instead you have Riker and Troi stealing the show with the backdrop of a fairly average TNG episode that isn't even accurately portrayed.
The idea of a Riker/Troi crossover might be alright on it's own for a regular episode. Heck Troi and Barclay did alright with their Voyager appearances, but to do it in the finale is an injustice to the series as a whole. You take what's supposed to be Enterprise's crowning moment, the signing of the Federation Charter, and turn it into a game for Troi and Riker.
Heck if they went with that 10 years later bit, and then told some of their adventures in the forms of flashbacks, including maybe WHY Trip and T'Pol split up, that would've been better. Heck then you could've had Trip die in one of those flashbacks if you're bound and determined and have it actually mean something. If they wanted to give the fans a Valentine, the three series Trek monologue is all I'd really need. That was a nice touch all on it's own. But by then the damage was done and a band-aid isn't gonna fix the knife they shoved in the back of the whole series with that one.
I actually didn't mind seeing Jonathan and Marina in the episode. I just hated that their screen time ate up too much of an episode that was not only not epic...
All Good Things, 2 hours;
What You Leave Behind, 2 hours;
Endgame, 2 hours;
This Ain't The Valentine, 43 minutes).