It's nice to see TNG do something that is so character-based. And even with that, there are a huge amount of things getting set up here which will affect not only this show, but DS9 and Voyager. This episode establishes the Cardassian demilitarised zone and is responsible for sowing the seeds that will become the Maquis. The Native American colony is also supposed to be the home of Chakotay, so just pretend that he was in the background somewhere there.
But the heart of this episode is Wesley. Your own enjoyment is going to be completely based on whether or not you actually like his character, and I'm one of the few who does. Maybe it's because I like Wil Wheaton's geeky real life persona now, but I think ultimately that Wesley is the character I can relate to most easily. He's just a kid, surrounded by people who expected things of him and as it turns out he struggles. He had the added extra of being something of a genius, which I never will.
So, I find this a pretty great end for him. There's no denying that Wes is different here. It's strange to see him so sullen and aggressive towards others, but we can imagine that the events of 'The First Duty' really took a toll on him. I like the continuity of having the same actor reprise the role of his father, and I like that Wes is able to finally find the courage to say "no" to everyone around him and start figuring out what's best for him.
Surrounding this is a pretty decent story with the Cardassians and the Native Americans. It gets tense, and Gul Evek is a strong presence who will be used multiple times across the shows. I also found myself really loving the scene with Picard trying to make Admiral Nechayev feel welcome, and her appreciation of it. That's been a long time coming.
I still think that the Traveller is quite creepy.
Awesome episode. Wesley's new journey seemed weird in the beginning but the words of the Traveler about Wesley being something special now make sense, although I actually don't like THAT much fantastical storytelling – a bit is fine but leaving the time behind and rising up to a new meta-level is a bit too much for a quite realistic series like Star Trek, in my opinion at least.