We all accept TNG as an episodic series, or at least much more episodic than shows of today or even DS9 and Babylon 5. However, as I watched Season 4 (And I just finished Redemption tonight), something occurred to me that really hadn't in the past. There was a ton of follow up in this season, all leading up to the Klingon Civil War. I mean consider, these are the episodes that I would say lead up to Redemption:
Heart of Glory
Sins of the Father
The Mind's Eye
Originally I thought it was only a few episodes, but this is a pretty sizable list, and then if you wanted to include Best of Both Worlds in there (Because of The Drumhead), that's two more episodes. Maybe it was the speed of which I watched the season and the series as it comes out on blu-ray, but this series almost strikes me as a transition from the episodic nature to more story arc, maybe along the same lines as a series like Farscape. Maybe I'm just looking for a way to say TNG had a story arc, but looking at the first 4 seasons at least, I could definitely see a larger scope story in there when taken as a whole.