Michelle Hurd Talks Raffi’s New Confidence And Love For Seven In ‘Star Trek: Picard’ Season 2

At Creation’s 55-Year Mission Las Vegas Star Trek convention, members of the Star Trek: Picard cast talked about their characters, season two, and more.

Vindication for Raffi

When we meet Raffi Musiker (Michelle Hurd) in season one of Star Trek: Picard, she is living in isolation, dismissed by Starfleet as a conspiracy theorist. But by the finale, it turns out she was right all along about the Romulans and the attack on Mars. During the panel, Hurd—appearing remotely—talked about how will affect her character as she moves into the new season:

It’s tricky, isn’t it? Because it’s the loss of lives that haunts her. So those lives of still are still lost, and it’s sort of going, “I told you, I told you, had you listened to me…” So she’s vindicated in that way. But she is sort of a walking heart and empathetic person… and she takes everything personally. And that loss of lives still resonates with her and haunts her. She was right, but she isn’t doing the happy dance. She feels a little more confident in believing in her own instincts.

This new confidence can tie into indications that Raffi rejoins Starfleet in season two.

Raffi can be seen at a Starfleet meeting in uniform in the season two teaser

Falling in love with Seven

One of the surprising elements in the last  moments of the Picard season one finale was the indication of a romance between Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) and Raffi. Responding to a question about how excited she was to explore the relationship in season two, Hurd said:

Well, first of all, Seven of Nine. Do I really need to speak on that? But for Raffi, for her to witness this woman who is powerful and strong and confident and bold and brave, and just fearless. I mean, I don’t know how everybody doesn’t just sort of want to fall in love with Seven of Nine? And Jeri Ryan is such a phenomenal person and actress and intelligent being and we get along so well. So you know, to, to explore that is, is a really cool thing. That’s all I’m gonna say.

She was asked about the scene in particular and how she and Ryan chose to play it with that subtle touch of the hands:

That was me and Jeri, because we were trying to figure out how do we make that sort of connection… We wanted it to be sort of a suggestion that these two individuals find each other, literally, and physically find each other and find a common energy and a common respect and admiration. And that touch sort of stimulated and triggered both of us to look into furthering that relationship.

Michelle Hurd appearing remotely at the 55-Year Mission convention, Las Vegas, August 15 2021 (Photo: TrekMovie.com)

Jonathan Del Arco (Hugh) told the crowd that he “would like to take credit” for the Seven/Raffi relationship, revealing he was the one who made the suggestion to the show’s producers after seeing the chemistry the two actors had together when they were promoting the show at Comic-Con 2019. He took “a really hot picture” of them together and showed it to the producers.

Jonathan Del Arco at the 55-Year Mission convention, Las Vegas, August 15 2021 (Photo: TrekMovie.com)

Hurd confirmed Del Arco’s story and said she was immediately on board:

So it was kind of organic. Once they saw that shot, there was not a discussion of like, “Do you guys feel comfortable?” We’re like, “Yes, let’s do this!”

He also posted the photo that launched Raffi/Seven on Instagram (below).

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Jonathan Del Arco (@jonathandelarco)

Jeri beams in from Picard set

Jeri Ryan wasn’t able to attend the convention in person, but during a Sunday Star Trek: Voyager panel she did appear via a recorded message from the set of Picard, where she gave a little production update:

We are still very much in production on Star Trek: Picard. According to our COVID protocols, I had to skip. So sorry to miss you guys… Hopefully we can get back to normal next year and I can see all of you again and give you my love in person.

Briones talks musical Trek

The Picard panel also included Evan Evagora and Isa Briones, but neither offered up any clues regarding season two of Picard. However, Brione—who transitioned straight from appearing on Broadway in Hamilton to Picard—responded positively to a fan suggesting a Star Trek musical:

We’ve definitely talked about making a musical episode. We definitely need to make that happen. Let’s get Lin-Manuel Miranda on the phone. He’s a Star Trek fan, so I feel we can make this happen.

Isa Briones at the 55-Year Mission convention, Las Vegas, August 15, 2021 (Photo: TrekMovie.com)

Evan Evagora at the 55-Year Mission convention, Las Vegas, August 15 2021 (Photo: TrekMovie.com)

More from Vegas

The convention wrapped up on Sunday, but there is a lot left to cover, so stay tuned to TrekMovie for more news from the Star Trek convention, including updates on Star Trek: Picard, the Voyager documentary. And don’t forget to check out the coverage we have already posted.


Find more news and analysis for Star Trek: Picard.

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Raffi’s “love” for Seven came from a photo del Arco took of the two that they all thought “was hot” and then Hurd and Ryan spontaneously holding hands in a scene? That makes sense because it clearly didn’t come from anything in the pathetic story that was season 1 of Picard.

That’s how things work in modern Trek. Everything is built on the juvenile “wouldn’t it be cools” of the producers and actors with none of it grounded in story-telling, character development, or science fiction.

It wouldn’t be a proper major romance for Seven if it didn’t come out of nowhere.

Touché!

But in fairness, the tentative little touch at the end of S1 seems to me like Seven and Raffi just having those little exploratory feelers out at the beginning of what becomes a relationship. While a lot of this show’s first season didn’t really work well for me, that one aspect didn’t seem to come out of nowhere; it just felt like a nice, natural early stage, and worked well, I thought. If only more of the show did… but oh well.

Call me old fashioned, but if I was doing what they were doing in that scene, there would have been a few meaningful conversations first. I had to chuckle when Anthony called that a “subtle touch of the hands.”

That’s not how my relationships worked — the physical part always happened very quickly, and the meaningful conversations (if any) would follow. So it very much did seem like a “subtle touch of the hands” to me.

Now that I think about it, I wonder if that partly explains the different reactions to this scene? I can very easily imagine two people who have been through a lot very organically begin touching this way, but I also accept that this wouldn’t immediately happen for other people. Which, I wonder, are Seven and Raffi?

This Gen-Xer is going to be the one to call you “old-fashioned” then. I have quite a few issues with modern Trek (particularly it’s over-reliance on action), but this isn’t one of them.

In real life, I’ve had relationships that unfolded after a series of conversations, and ones that essentially sprung up from physical contact very early on. And as an aside, others are not always privy to the conversations anyway.

Given the chemistry between Ryan and Hurd, this worked for me.

They shared so little screen time before that, it came out of left field for me. But I also don’t usually like the tactic of starting a tv relationship offscreen with no set up. Feels lazy to me, and it doesn’t matter if that mirrors real life when we aren’t following two people all the time – the rules are different for onscreen characters.

But that doesn’t mean it can’t be fleshed out properly, so we’ll see.

So you’re saying that you like to watch?

Indeed, indeed.

That “romance” with Chakotay….. just a whole galaxy of no. Literally no chemistry whatsoever!

No chemistry? Were we watching the same show? I guess it’s very much up to the viewer.

I am with M1701A, they had ZERO chemistry, and their romance was forced in the final batch of episodes simply so they could replicate the “lost lovers” concept from “All Good Things” with Worf and Troi (which itself was another pairing that never made sense) in their own finale.

Well, they left just about everything up to the viewer when it came to Seven and Chakotay. They never once hinted that Chakotay was interested in her. The only reason we knew Seven was open to it was because of “Human Error,” where it came out of the blue but could have worked with a little proper follow-up with the real Chakotay. But the two of them later shared “Natural Law” together and there is not a single glance or line of dialogue or suggestion that they could become a couple.

And then they are suddenly all over each other in “Endgame,” cooing cheesy lines about how they’ll be okay so long as they are in transporter range of each other. I absolutely hated everything about that, it’s terrible writing. So if there was chemistry, I was never going to be the one to look for it.

I agree. Paris and Torres had chemistry at least.

so did the 7/chakotay thing at the end of Voy.
hopefully this season of ‘picard’ will build on annika/raffi and make it seem like it was reasonable

You clearly know better than anyone involved with the show.

Boy, Mike, you really nailed it! Kudos!

Good post, Mike Stivic.

Please don’t pat him on the back for being childish. Not very constructive.

While I agree that it did seem to come out of nowhere, and the producers should be criticized for following the Brannon Braga school of “wouldn’t it be cool” story concepts– your anger, bitterness, and nasty attitude are unwelcome, and make it frustrating to be a fan around these parts.

Newsflash: You can be a fan, without having to love everything about that which you are a fan of.

So you agree with me. Criticism is OK, nastiness is not. Glad to know we see eye to eye!

Right?! And it’s especially frustrating that they keep patting themselves on the back for these choices when as a queer woman who loves that they’ve made Seven queer, I hate the way they went about it – with her shooting and killing her former girlfriend and then holding Raffi’s hand out of nowhere (did they even have a single conversation on screen?!). All we’re asking for is a little bit of actual storytelling and character development in our science fiction, but Picard season 1 made it clear that was asking too much …

I forgot she killed her former girlfriend. That’s a bit too brutal I agree.

Maybe I would have gone about the introduction to this relationship differently but it’s not the crisis some of you are blowing it up into.

Things do happen off camera.

Roddenberry was very juvenile

Although I like Raffi as a character and had no issue with any of the background developments they gave her including being in a relationship with Seven, I still felt they did all of it very badly.

Her being ousted from Starfleet was fine, but I really hated they basically fired her because Picard quit. But OK, not a huge deal. But then she drops out of society and become a drug addict, which again, I was totally fine with. Although I always love the idea of the positive future of Star Trek and how everyone can lead positive lives I never bought into the idea EVERYONE will do that, even in the 24th century. And as I point out over and over again, even in TNG, they made that clear the future wouldn’t be great for ALL humans as Tasha Yar’s background proved but generally decent if you are in the Federation. But even being in the Federation doesn’t automatically makes you an upstanding citizen with upstanding moral values and where everything is just handed to you, i.e. Tom Paris. So NOTHING that was presented with Raffi was new, it was just more defined.

But they didn’t really stick to it. She seem to have an addiction issue and it was just dropped by episode 5 I think or not really mentioned again. Her ‘conspiracy theory’ about the Romulans came to nothing more than her babbling about it. I can understand why no one took her seriously because we never saw her do any real investigating about it. I thought we would see her off gathering actual evidence or running into a ‘source’ or something that would sort of open up the story. Think of episodes with Odo going off to find something for an investigation. I thought we might see some Raffi side adventures like that. But nope! She goes to a planet to talk to her son who hates her and then everything else just falls in her lap concerning the Mars attack.

And her relationship with Seven literally came out of nowhere. Last minute of the season they are just suddenly a couple. I can’t even recall when they talked more than two minutes to each other in a room. And how long did they even know each other? A week? It just makes no sense on its head but whatever they need to do to keep Seven on the show as much as possible I’m game.

But Raffi’s background and character arc sums up why I thought the show had so many problems. Just like the story itself, the character just didn’t feel as developed as she should have or anything she did was truly earned. I really wanted to love the first season, but it just had waaaaay too many problems by the end, this character a perfect example of that.

Hoping season 2 will be a huge huge improvement!

See most of these problems you mention are basically because they only have a 10 episode season and they need to concentrate on the main plot more than any of the side plots. If this show had a classical 20-24 episode season I am sure most of what you mentioned would have been seen. This is why I don’t like shortened seasons especially if you have too many characters in a show with 10 episodes or less, some characters always get the short end of the stick in terms of a more natural development.

Yeah agreed. I think the other real problem is (and they had it with Discovery too) is just the bad pacing in general. You can really tell they rushed the ending of the show because they took a lot of time to set things up at the beginning throwing out all these clues and mysteries to basically just skim through or completely ignore total plot threads by the end because they clearly didn’t have the time to properly examine them. They needed probably a few more episodes and could’ve laid things out a lot better.

But this is the same group of people that literally needed an additional episode for Discovery in season 2 because once again they set up too much and then didn’t have enough time to resolve it all by the end.

I think I do and try to be fair with these new shows as much as possible. But people can’t ignore a lot of the inherit flaws either even if they like the shows. But they seem to always try and do waaaaay too much with the episodes they have and then when its over people feel frustrated because it’s clear there was so much more they could’ve or should’ve done to make the story feel more whole.

Its also one of the reasons I didn’t have a huge issue with LDS. They just told very simple stories with a beginning middle and end. So by the time you got to the end of the season it didn’t feel like a complete mess. You still may not like the show but at least you didn’t feel frustrated by the time it was finished. It’s not perfect either but episodic format just works a lot better or at least more of a hybrid which DS9 and later ENT did. But those shows had 20+ episodes as you said, it’s easier to build out the story any way you want.

We are in the Covfefe era. Watching these new shows sometimes reminds me of Tweets and Tik-Tok cooking videos.

Not only young writers telling the stories, but also editing the final version removes important elements to make a coherent episode.

We had (slow) sci-fi from the 50-60s. Then Star Wars Episodes 1-3 happened. Now I need to see these new productions few times to be able to process and digest the story. With Discovery and Picard especially, I need to assume and guess a lot. If I yawn and blink, I need to rewind to see if I missed something. LOL!!!

I am not the only one. Reading these posts, I realize many are in the same situation! :P

I call it the “impatient” generation. I think this is not only one of the biggest problem in entertainment but in life too these days. People are so impatient in everything. That is why it is becoming difficult to truly enjoy things. We consume everything so fast and move on to the next thing.

Wasn’t the end of the season some time later,or something?

If so, when or how was that even referenced? That was the other problem with the show, we didn’t have a sense of time of when most of these events were happening so it made it harder to understand their development better. Was it a few days, weeks, who knows? But now by the end we’re suppose to believe they are this tight knit group who are apparently going on a new adventure together. How long were they even together to believe that? Five days or five weeks? Again, no clue unless forgetting something which I could be.

True that. Don’t think they ever said so on the show,I think I just read it somewhere….maybe even on this site,lol.

Why is the Romulan Elf still in this series? One of the most useless characters in Star Trek.

Raffi suddenly being in love with Seven, came from even further left field than the sudden romance between Chakotay and Seven. At least in the case of Chakotay/Seven, they had known each other for years and gotten to know each other quite well already.

sure there was that ep with the piano and the hologram Chakotay but ‘endgame’ was out of nowhere, their hooking up not even teased in previous eps.

Really though, they were just holding hands. Maybe they had just had a heart-to-heart conversation and touched hands. It’s not like it was such an over-the-top display or romantic platitudes. It hinted that they were beginning to make a connection. Hopefully, they flesh it out next season, but people don’t need to know each other for years to make a connection.

I pretty much knew my wife was the one a few weeks into it and history has shown that to be true many years later. . It’s not a unknown human experience to make an instant connection and love at first sight is a common trope. It may be cliche but them falling for each other after a few weeks is well within the range of normal human experience

Huh. That image from the teaser (of people sitting around in front of flags) kind of looks like they’re using social-distancing protocols not only on the production but in it, too. Kind of sobering and frustrating to think the COVID-19 pandemic will apparently still be a thing by the dawn of the 25th century…

They’re not. There are plenty of behind the scenes pictures showing actors in close proximity. They can afford to absorb the costs of pandemic protocols that don’t involve shooting everything like a British soap opera (kudos to them for making it work and keeping people employed, but the footage out of those soaps right now where everyone is 6 feet apart is morbidly hilarious).

less of that now cos UK casts, crew have been vaxxed

I was just joking about the distance between everybody’s chairs in the shot. I know not everyone is actually six feet apart at all times; even without behind-the-scenes stuff, plenty of scenes show actors close together. I was just riffing on the image here because I found the chair placement odd and it worked as a gag re: the current real-world situation.

Thrilled with the convention updates! First, Chakotay. Now, an open invite to Lin Manuel? Totally forgot Briones came from Hamilton. When they suggested a Star Trek Musical, I cringed. Bad idea! Have you seen the Star Wars Holiday Special!? Except Enterprise, the openings are all instrumental. We all love the openings. But sci-fi music and lyrics!? Not sure. Many of the actors can sing. Super talented. However, if they insist, I think Lin Manuel Miranda could be the only person who could really pull off a successful experiment.

I think will be a risk producing a musical. Its like a Tarantino Star Trek movie. Some will like it and some may hate it. Bringing Miranda, if he can and will accept the challenge, hope they give him the necessary time to come up with another brilliant smash hit! :P

Unless it’s a staged Klingon opera, it makes no sense to me. Even then, I’m not so sure I care to see it. On the other hand, an adapted Macbeth opera with Klingons seems like a pretty good fit.

It will be a Herculean task to produce a good Star Trek musical.

Robert Picardo would be a good fit too. While there wasn’t a full-blown musical episode in Voyager, the few numbers both Robert Picardo and Jeri Ryan did (sometimes even as a duet) were amazing. I think it can work with a good choice of the actors and songs, but it’s going to be a difficult job for such sub-par writers they have now.

They are so many ST actors who would love to sing, from all series. Jeri and Briones have beautiful voices. Shatner, Stewart, Spiner, Russ, Visitor, Darren (Vic Fontaine), among many others, also would love to participate. I read somewhere Bakula was a Broadway singer way before Enterprise. Nichols could if they give her a chance.

Hopefully no more of the terrible “J.L”🤦‍♂️ Stuff.

See, I liked that. It showed how in the years after TNG, Picard has mellowed, become more friendly with his crews. A change that frankly began in All Good Things when he sat down t play poker.

I just wish we had seen a flashback, possibly to their first meeting, a scene where he welcomes her brash attitude (perhaps comparing her to Ro), but when she calls him “JL” he says– ‘don’t push it.’ It then becomes a running joke, to see what she can get away with. This could have also helped to show their friendship more, beyond just being crewmates.

Heck, even a scene where Riker in the ‘present’ comments on her use of a nickname and he smiles and says “it may surprise you Will, but i’m not the same man I was on the Enterprise.”

I dunno. I think it was for all the reasons you say like the “All Good Things” scene, but actually liked that it went unsaid. You don’t need to spell everything out for the audience.

I agree with you completely. But I think spelling it out would have at least helped silence the naysayers, the ones who insist the whole thing is out of character.

I mean, you and I get that his character HAS changed. He HAS mellowed over the years, we even saw some of that in the later seasons of TNG and even further films (it was telegraphed pretty clearly in a few scenes, too).

But a few “spell everything out” scenes feel increasingly necessary in today’s era where Trek fans seem to have lost the ability to grasp subtlety of character.

Made more sense when you read the tie in novel. 300 pages of Picard/Raffi relationship building

Interesting. But it made plenty of sense also in the show, as long as you were willing to make inferences and understand subtext.

LOL

Let’s be honest – everything in that show came out of no where….

It would have been really nice if the writers had decided to build a relationship for them in Season 2 and see a connection / chemistry grow on screen between them. It’s great that they discovered something from the photo but they threw it in very recklessly at the end of Season 1…it didn’t make any sense. It was all very surface level and shallow.