The coldest moment of de Lancie’s performance as Q comes at the end of “Death Wish”, with Q granting Quinn’s death wish. With Quinn granted mortality after successfully pleading her case, Q goes one step further by fatally poisoning her. After confessing to the murder, Q admits that the whole ordeal with Quinn has given him a broader perspective on his own existence. More intriguingly, Quinn’s death inspires a sense of rebellion in Q against the authority of the Continuum.
It’s a shame that Continuum’s split subplot is being resolved as quickly as it finally is, with Q ending the conflict in his next appearance on “Voyager.” For all his bluster about the annihilation of humanity, Q killing one of his Continuum brethren is as deadly as it gets. In a way, it’s a fatality; Quinn was always going to be a memorable single character from “Voyager.” However, in the future, until “Picard”, Q is back as a happy prankster, which feels like a step back in his development. As beloved as the mischievous Q is, there’s something interesting about his dive into moral ambiguity, and de Lancie balances that perfectly in “Death Wish.”