Spoiler Level: High
I was going to go for a typical "double Picard" shot, and I thought, y'know what? Everyone does that. I'm going to go with one of the cool ship shots that I liked. So here's the Enterprise getting sucked into the Space Funnel.
I love time travel stories, but this one's just missing something. Maybe it's the fact that being thrown out of time messes up Future-Picard and his shuttle so badly, since we've never seen time travel have that kind of effect before or since. But just to play devil's advocate, every different method of time travel in Star Trek seems to have different properties to it with different consequences, so I'll just jot down in my little notebook of Temporal Laws of the Star Trek Universe that "time travel caused by an anti-matter explosion inside a sentient space funnel reverses the polarity of the time traveler and their equipment until they return to the departure point from their timeline."
Other interesting little tidbits:
* We see Riker cooking for the first time, and he references his difficult past with his father, which is a very nice set-up for the following episode.
* Picard tells Troi to stay with Future-Picard so she can sense any change and notify him immediately, but after a two minute conversation with Pulaski she gets mad and leaves, apparently forgetting Picard's orders.
* When the Space Funnel zaps both Picard and Future-Picard, Picard leaves the bridge and heads to sickbay. Troi and Riker stay on the bridge and exchange worried looks, then Troi leaves to go after Picard. Cut to commercial break. When we come back, Picard's entering sickbay, but Troi's beat him there!
* Apparently the intelligence Troi was sensing was originally meant to be Q, and this episode would serve as a lead-in to "Q-Who," but Roddenberry nixed that. (With thanks once again to Larry Nemecek's The Star Trek: The Next Generation Compendium. Yes, I read the write-up after I watch every episode.)
I also like that Future-Picard is able to explain to Picard what's going on because, logically, in his timeline he was focused on trying to figure out what the Space Funnel was, while in our timeline Picard spent the same time trying to figure out what Future-Picard was. Neat.