I must admit something. Something that will likely mark me as a Very Bad Trekkie. Before now, I had never watched "The Inner Light". Despite all the accolades, and the praise, somehow I kept missing it, or perhaps not seeking it out. But now TNG is on Netflix, and while watching Season 5, I finally hit upon this episode. And I have just one response: Wow. Just...wow. I really can't quantify my reaction to "The Inner Light" any more substantially than that. It was a fabulous performance by Patrick Stewart, and a wonderfully different tale of how a civilization might preserve something of itself. We have sent out scientific information and popular culture on the Pioneer and Voyager probes. This civilization, while obviously a bit more advanced than us, sent out the life experience of a single man. That alone makes it so much more powerful than simply the sum total of knowledge that we've tried to preserve so far. The episode was so much, and could have been so much more, for Picard, and maybe it's why he seemed so much more open to both children and romance in the last two seasons of TNG. I also now understand the explanation of why Picard was so afraid of having children in Christopher's Greater than the Sum even better. It was an entire world created and destroyed in 44 minutes. Incredible. And I am not afraid to admit that I pretty much started bawling when Picard opened the box found on the probe which held his flute inside. Perhaps that's a bit of me having played instruments for years and a bit of the episode having played so much on my emotions, but it was still an incredibly powerful ending.