Episode Title: "DEATH WISH"
Production Number: 830
Original Air Date: 02-19-96
The Voyager finds an unusual comet and while taking a core sample, the crew accidentally frees a member of the Q Continuum -- called Quinn -- who was imprisoned inside the comet. Quinn requests asylum aboard the Voyager because he wants to commit suicide, but the Continuum wants to stop him. The Q who has had past contact with Starfleet appears to protest the asylum, and Captain Janeway conducts a hearing to decide the issue.
The Continuum calls as witnesses people from history who have been helped by the suicidal Quinn, including Sir Isaac Newton, who was hit by an apple when Quinn jostled the tree; Maury Ginzburg, who with Quinn's help met his future wife and got to the Woodstock concert in time to fix a loose power cable that would have delayed the concert; and Commander William T. Riker of the U.S.S. Enterprise, whose ancestor, Colonel Thaddeus Riker, was saved by Quinn during the Civil War, eventually allowing Commander Riker to be born and prevent the Borg from assimilating the Federation.
Quinn, in his argument for asylum, shows Janeway the interior of the comet where he has been confined for centuries, and the stagnant life of the Q Continuum itself; he wants to give up his immortality in order to bring new ways of thinking to the immortal Continuum.
Captain Janeway grants Quinn asylum aboard the Voyager, and he becomes mortal. Quinn subsequently kills himself with poison supplied by Q, who is inspired by Quinn's rebellious behavior. Q tells Janeway that they will meet again.
Factoid: Vulcans who reach a certain infirmity with age practice ritual suicides.
Factoid: One of the suicidal Quinn's self-destructive stunts led to the 100-year war between the Romulans and Vulcans, according to Q.
Guest Characters: Q, Commander William T. Riker, *Sir Isaac Newton, *Maury Ginzburg
Alien Races: Q
KEY: [brackets]=illusions *star=first appearance