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Just watched the "Tapestry" episode from Star Trek: The Next Generation and always loved the chemistry between Q and Picard. But is there an in-universe answer to the said question:

Does Q consider Picard a friend?

I have found some forums here and there but the responses seemed to only point to speculation.

Morning, darling!

  • 23
    I think he sees Picard more like a pet – Gaius Aug 12 '15 at 7:01
  • 16
    @Gaius Many people think of their pets as friends ... – Raidri Aug 12 '15 at 9:18
  • Don't we learn at one point that Q is considered to be a "juvenile" by other members of the Continuum? If so, perhaps Q even looks upon Picard as a father figure? – RobertF Aug 12 '15 at 15:58
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    @maguirenumber6 - Yeah, that scene made me laugh :) – user35594 May 14 '16 at 11:53
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    Well, considering how 007 was forever ruining his newest toys, he certainly didn’t consider him a friend. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 2 '16 at 15:21
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I would argue Yes

I have collected several pieces of evidence which, collectively, I think could be construed as an indication that Q considered Picard to be his 'friend' (although the feeling probably wasn't mutual).

In early 2367, Q defied orders of the Continuum and interfered with the Enterprise-Ds encounter with Locutus of Borg by keeping the make-shift deflector dish weapon developed by Geordi La Forge from overloading and destroying the Enterprise. This consequently allowed the Enterprise to later rescue Picard and save Earth from assimilation. Q felt responsible for Picard's assimilation and was willing to face any consequences the Continuum saw fit to set upon him. (TNG short story: "Civil Disobedience"; TNG episode: "The Best of Both Worlds")

(Source)

Here we have an instance (albeit non-canon) of Q putting himself in potential danger with the Q Continuum because he felt responsible for Picard's being assimilated - I would see this as an act of loyalty and friendship.

Soon after, when Picard had been critically injured, Q gave him look at his past and a chance to correct what Picard considered to be mistakes in his life. In the end, Picard realized that all of his decisions, even his mistakes, were what turned him into the man he was. (TNG episode: "Tapestry")

(Source)

One of the things about friends is that they are there to point out our mistakes but not to make fun of us. Although Picard was sure that he would have been happier had he not made the mistake of taking on the Nausicaans, Q discreetly pointed out to him that making that mistake turned out to be one of the best decisions of his life. Now, by 'discreetly' I know that you're probably thinking that sending one back in time isn't a discreet method, but when you think about how Q acted during that episode, he wasn't directly telling Picard about the importance of that 'mistake', but let him discover the truth in a conducive environment.

In 2366 the Continuum, believing that Q had stepped over the line in introducing humanity to the Borg, de-powered Q and at Q's request, sent him to live out his days as a human on the Enterprise. Q had actually requested to be sent to the ship, as its crew were, for better or worse, the only creatures in the cosmos that came remotely close to being his "friends" (TNG episode: "Deja Q")

(Source)

This is one of the best pieces of evidence that Q considered the crew as a whole to be something close to his friends. Consider, though, that Q's main interactions with the crew were with Picard up to this point, so we could interpret this as Q's 'admission', if you will, that Picard was something like a friend to him.

Later in 2367, Q returned to the Enterprise to "properly" thank Captain Picard for his role in helping him regain his standing in the Continuum. (TNG: "Qpid")

(Source)

This also suggest to me that Q felt there was a positive relationship between Picard and for Q to actually be showing that he was grateful for something like this indicates to me he saw Picard as his 'friend'.

So, in summary, yes, based on the evidence I've presented above, I would think that Q considered Picard to be his 'friend', or something close to it.

  • 3
    Accepting this answer as the evidence collected is pretty impressive! Also I always liked the idiom: Actions speak louder than words!. So thank you for this Doctor, +1! – user35594 Aug 15 '15 at 22:38
55

If we take Q at his word, then the answer is yes. He explicitly states that Picard is his friend in TNG: Deja Q

Q: Because in all the universe you're the closest thing I have to a friend, Jean-Luc.

and again in TNG: Qpid

Q: Oh, and I was hoping for something more along the lines of, welcome back, Q, it's a pleasure to see you again my old friend.

PICARD: We're not friends.

Q: You wound me, mon capitaine.

  • 11
    Normally I would take anything a character says on-screen at face value. But then we have to remember: This is Q we're talking about. – Zibbobz Aug 12 '15 at 13:03
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    @zibbobz - You tell a few fibs and all of a sudden people are calling you "the trickster god, Prince of Lies" – Valorum Aug 12 '15 at 13:42
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    @Zibbobz I don't think you can honestly deny that Q displays some kind of fondness for Picard throughout the series, and the first quote is spoken at Q's legitimately most vulnerable moment (where he's turned mortal by the Q Continuum). That lends a certain credence to his words here. – jpmc26 Aug 12 '15 at 13:58
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    @jpmc26 - Motivated self-interest. Every other 'power' we see would instantly exploit him. – Valorum Aug 12 '15 at 15:55
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    @Richard True, which is why it's important to see it in the context of the fact he does show some legitimate fondness. It is also possible that his sense of "friendship" was made much greater because of the incident. We could also point to the end of All Good Things, where Picard thanks Q for his help and Q appears to show remorse over having been involved in causing the incident. (I consider the remorse legitimate because Q did help.) By no means is Q a great guy, but I think the evidence shows he does develop a relationship with Picard that goes beyond his original mission. – jpmc26 Aug 12 '15 at 18:09
16

NO

On a level of intelligence, consciousness and all-round 'being', Q outranks Picard on a scale of a person to a flea. At best, Picard is considered as the 'most favourite pet', as observed by Data in TNG 277 'All good things'- pt2.

DATA: That is true. Q's interest in you has always been very similar to that of a master and his beloved pet. That was only an analogy, Captain

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    The key word here, I think, is "beloved". – Lightness Races in Orbit Aug 12 '15 at 16:48
  • Well, a dog (pet) can be mans best friend, so I do not see how your conclusion ('NO') follows from your quote. And the question was just asking for friend, not even 'best friend'. – David Mulder Aug 13 '15 at 16:48
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    @DavidMulder I've described the way Q must see Picard. Personally, I see friendship as a relation between equals. Surely, one can feel affection for a pet, but whether or not ypu personally classify that as friendship is ultimately up to you. I wouldn't go that far. – steenbergh Aug 13 '15 at 17:36
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    Nice first post, I like how you're answering this from the opposite perspective of the existing answers. Thank you, +1! – user35594 Aug 15 '15 at 22:32
  • Upvoting. I disagree with the answer; on the simple grounds that answers favoring the other opinion seems more correct. Yet this answer does meet criteria for up-voting (as shown by the hovertext). That criteria is not whether the answer is the most correct, but whether the answer is useful. Data's input always is. +1 – TOOGAM Feb 19 '17 at 14:19

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