Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s Terra Incognita series from IDW is wrapping up with the sixth and final issue. Written by Scott and David Tipton, the series has seen the Mirror Universe version of Reg Barclay seemlessly slip into the Enterprise crew to assist on missions across the galaxy. Now, in the final book, Mirror Data has discovered Mirror Barclay and his brief vacation to our universe is over.
Mirror Data is not one for subtley — he announces his intentions immediately and phsycial incapacitates Barclay, dragging him down the halls of the Enterprise. That’s probably what tips Riker off that something’s amiss (why would Data, of all people, be attacking someone like that?), and then there’s the whole “Data is currently on the bridge” thing. The Enterprise crew knows almost immediately there’s another doppelgänger situation on their hands and spring into action.
While Worf and the security team give chase to the Mirror crew, Riker decides to investigate Barclay’s chambers, and finds the REAL Barclay who has been trapped in stasis for what I assume has been months. Fortunately, he’s still alive and is easily revived.
After a chase and a shootout, Mirror Data and Picard have managed to give the Enterprise crew the slip and confront Mirror Barclay. They think he’s a traitor and deserves to be punished, back on their ship. The three manage to escape before Worf can get to them. Back in the Mirror-verse, Picard tortures Barclay for abandoning their crew and spending his time on the Enterprise seemingly helping instead of sabotaging or destroying. Barclay manages to negotiate for his life though, by letting Picard know he gathered information while there, and the Mirror crew could potentially find their own fleet.
Back on the Enterprise, everyone feels slightly embarassed that they let a stranger infiltrate their ranks for a ridiculously large amount of time. There were at least five missions, and it’s not like one happened every day, so Mirror Barclay was working alongside everyone for longer than they’d probably care to admit. Even worse, they agree that this Barclay was better than the original!
The fact that this was literally laughed off is a little disappointing. Having the real Barclay angry or hurt by the fact that his coworkers didn’t notice he was replaced would have been an interesting and more realistic way to end the series, even if it’s a little darker. Since many said they prefered Mirror Barclay, and the revelation that while aboard the Enterprise he seemingly had no ulterior motive, could make them a little sad and wistful for ‘that’ Barclay. That’s probably not the all-wrapped-up ending the Tipton’s were probably aiming for, but it would have been a bold choice.
But are things all wrapped up? Terra Incognita and the story of Reg Barclay are done for now, but the Mirror selves are on the move again and could easily pop up in another story.
Star Trek: The Next Generation – Terra Incognita #6 is now available from IDW Publishing.