Review: ‘Star Trek: Picard’ Explores The Dark Side In “Penance”


Star Trek: Picard Season 2, Episode 2 – Debuted Thursday, March 10, 2022
Written by Akiva Goldsman, Terry Matalas & Christopher Monfette; Story by Akiva Goldsman, Terry Matalas, Christopher Monfette & Michael Chabon
Directed by Doug Aarniokoski

The second episode of Picard’s sophomore season keeps up the pace with a strong standalone entry full of classic Star Trek moments.


WARNING: Spoilers below!


“I am not myself.”

Still, at Chateau Picard, but not Chateau Picard, Jean-Luc is not amused by the return of his old foil Q. But this isn’t any of the (yes, actually name-checked) alternate reality episodes… this time it’s personal. Q admits he “intervened” to pull Picard into this new version of the same harvest day, and with an actual slap across Picard’s face, he makes it clear this is no game, this is no whimsical lesson; this is a “penance.” Hey, that’s the name of the episode!

A tour of “General” Picard’s home reveals the dark side beneath the familiar architecture, with Romulan slaves, martial memorabilia, and a trophy room nightmare featuring the skulls of his victims… including Gul Dukat, who (conveniently) put up such a fight that this alternative version of Jean-Luc Picard also sports a “nifty synthetic body.” Here Picard is lauded as a conqueror, commanded the starship “CSSWorld Razer” for a humans-first “Confederation,” is the keynote speaker for “Eradication Day,” and—most insidiously—he drinks coffee, black. Yet Q insists this “madman” world is of Picard’s own making. But there is a choice, he can “atone,” and Q made sure he won’t have to do it alone…

“We have been deposited in a mad world, by a mad man.”

As for Seven, she awakes sans her Borg parts, now just Annika Hansen… sorry Madame President Hansen. Oh, and she has a husband. “Happy Eradication Day, dear.” That’s a lot to take in, but she’s a pro and rolls with the new reality. Her first move is to order “Colonel” Rios off the Vulcan front and back to Earth. Dr. Jurati is also at the Presidential Palace and after some fun fumbling in front of Evil Magistrate First Husband, Agnes is able to fake her way through unboxing the Borg Queen she has in underground storage. And let’s just say the Collective reunion is… awkward. This alternate Queen recognizes Seven for who she is and that “time has been broken”… and it totally freaks her out, even more than being the headline attraction (and last of her kind) for the aforementioned Eradication Day.

As for Elnor, he finds himself part of a Romulan insurgency cell pulling off some bombings in Okinawa and being hunted by Confederation security. He gets saved at the last minute by a mysterious hooded figure, dramatically revealed to be “Chief” Raffi, who takes him into custody (wink, wink). The pair shows up at the palace just as Jean-Luc arrives and helps bluff their way in with some “General Picard” bluster. Reunited with Seven, and after dismissing dubious magistrate hubby, they work out this is technically not an alternate reality, but a “divergence in time,” and their only hope may be Jurati’s babbling basement buddy.

“Well, that was all kinds of terrible.”

In Jurati’s lab, Picard also has a moment with the Queen, recognizing him as Locutus and yet not Locutus. She identifies where Q did his “temporal rescission,” as a “single change” in 2024 Los Angeles, conveniently located where (and roughly when) the show is produced. Her majesty also gives them a tip to “seek The Watcher.” As for going back in time, Picard picks the Kirk method of warp slingshot around the sun, but without Spock, they are going to need help from the crazy Queen. Seven talks to her Borg-to-Borg, promising a return to a present where the Collective aren’t extinct but happily assimilating off in the Delta Quadrant. Rios is now in orbit, but an attempt to beam up for their big trip results in alarms, with the Queen filed back into her drawer, and an inquiring visit from that nosy husband.

Looks like they are going to have to fake it until they make it to Borgnap the Queen and get out of this weird world. Picard orders the team to various tasks as he and President Seven head up to a big Eradication Day rally that would make Leni Riefenstahl proud. With the Queen awaiting execution center stage, Seven deadpans her fascist speech: “Tonight witness what awaits rebellion, insurrection… resistance.” Picard gets into character, channeling his inner Benito to whip the braying crowd into a frenzy, buying time for the rest of his team to tech and punch their way to opening up the shields. But as time drags, the bloodthirsty mob turns on Picard, as does the Magistrate and his guards. Just as the shooting starts, the heroes are beamed away to La Sirena. Rios isn’t happy as Agnes immediately starts to plug the Queen into his ship; explaining it’s all to do some time travel does little to settle him. But they have even bigger issues to deal with as the Magistrate and guards show up, shoot down Elnor, and prepare to finish the job on “traitor” Picard.


Two for two

The strong start to the second season of Picard continues with a different yet equally exciting second episode. “Penance” stands on its own as an excellent entry in the alternate Star Trek subgenre but still plays through the key plot and character arcs of the season. The first two episodes work well as companion pieces, with this second holding up a dark mirror to where we found these characters in the first episode. We have seen this kind of thing before, like the characters, all acting smartly and wasting no time with this fast-paced tightly-constructed episode. Perverting the ideals of First Contact Day into Eradication Day told you everything you needed to know about this world; meta name drops of “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” “In A Mirror, Darkly,” and the “Mirror Universe” weren’t really necessary, and feel more at home on a show like Lower Decks.

The alternate world scenario allowed for building on the themes of the season with traditional Star Trek warnings around xenophobia, environmental neglect, and greed. While the classic fascist trappings as a cautionary tale for our contemporary politics bordered on the heavy-handed, it was all fitting within the bombastic sub-genre of these kinds of alternate takes. Strong performances from the whole cast helped sell it, with Alison Pill’s Dr. Jurati the standout by injecting much-needed humor throughout. But each character had their own moment to shine.

John de Lancie and Patrick Stewart rekindled their classic chemistry and then moved to a whole new level with their powerful extended sparring match revealing much about both characters and especially how this isn’t the fun times Q of old. Sprinkled with references to Trek lore and Shakespeare, the pair laid out the mystery and stakes of the episode and the season. Annie Wersching was also impressive with a different take on a Borg Queen, which promises to be another highlight of the coming season and gives us our first hints of a menacing dynamic with Pill’s Jurati.


The alternate world was menacing but still possible, with the exception of the rally which relished in fascist rally tropes, ala Pink Floyd – The Wall. But there were many subtle touches that kept it grounded to our characters, such as Picard’s arrival at the Palace mirroring a shot from his arrival at Starfleet HQ in season one. The peaceful villa with a room full of macabre trophies tied to Star Trek lore was impactful. This was no dystopian nightmare but still a nice world with gleaming Golden Gate Bridge and all—if you’re lucky enough to be a human and an elite.

Speaking of the Golden Gate, there was a subtle but profound clue in an establishing shot that featured a holographic statue of a “Adam Soong,” saying the Confederation’s mantra, “A safe galaxy, is a human galaxy,” in the voice of Brent Spiner. It appears the new member of the Soong family is back in 2024 Los Angeles and is likely a pivotal player in the change in the timeline. What is less clear is how all of this relates to Picard. Episode one focused on how he was never able to make any lasting romantic connections, but how that relates to the other Borg Queen’s incursion on the Stargazer, let alone 2024 Los Angeles, remains an intriguing mystery.

The episode did offer some welcome temporal rules, instead of waving away all the timey-wimey stuff. They drew a clear distinction between an “alternate reality” (like the Mirror Universe), and this “divergence in time.” So, it looks like season two is playing with “City on the Edge of Forever” rules (or Back to the Future rules, if you prefer). Q “went back in time and changed the present,” with Picard and pals (and the Queen) the only ones to notice (and presumably others sensitive to such changes, like a certain El-Aurian). This focus on the rules makes sense, as co-showrunner Terry Matalas is an aficionado of the genre who not only ran the time travel series 12 Monkeys but also restored his own DeLorean time machine.

Final thoughts

“Penance” was a terrific episode of Star Trek that somehow balanced camp and consequence. The second season continues to feel like the show knows what it is now, and where it is going. It may have ended on a cliffhanger, but it still felt like a complete story. The next entry of Picard cannot come soon enough.

Random bits

  • This is the eighth time directing Trek for Doug Aarniokoski, who also helmed the season opener.
  • Like with the season opener, co-showrunners Terry Matalas and Akiva Goldsman share writing credit along with Christopher Monfette, who joined in season one as a supervising producer. Season one showrunner Michael Chabon also shares story credit.
  • At Picard’s chateau, Q triggers the same Édith Piaf song “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien” (“No, I regret nothing”) Picard heard when facing the Borg Queen at the end of episode one.
  • In addition to Gul Dukat, General Martok, and Sarek, the alternate Picard’s trophy room included skulls from a Borg, a Ferengi (with the staff of the Grand Nagus), and an unknown species.
  • Among the trophies kept by the alternate Picard was the Klingon Torchbearer suit from Star Trek: Discovery.
  • Before suggesting a report from Rios on the front, the Magistrate suggested Seven be briefed by General Sisko.
  • As Seven was looking for info on Rios a screen described how the operation against the Vulcans was to deploy the metreon cascade, a WMD from Voyager.
  • The Confederation presidential palace was shot at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles, and it was also used for Starfleet Academy last week.
  • To bluff the Magistrate, Jurati claims she was concerned about a plot from the Romulan Qowat Milat, which she said were also referred to as the “Final Stranglers.”
  • The Queen refers to Seven as “Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix 01,” which is part of her full Borg designation.
  • The Queen says Annika Hansen was assimilated in 2350, but that was the year she was born, she was actually assimilated in 2361.
  • Jurati’s virtual cat was named Spot 73, an homage to Data’s cat Spot. Spot 73 was voiced by nerdy actor and comedian Patton Oswalt, who jokes about the physics of Star Trek in his stand-up, and spoke Klingon in the Trek-themed film Please Stand By.
  • The Magistrate was played by Jon Jon Briones, father of Isa Briones (Soji), who does not appear in this episode.
  • Alex Diehl returns to play multiple A500-model synths, including “Harvey” and “335.”

More to come

Our review of Star Trek: Discovery episode 412 (“Species 10-C”) will be up later in the morning.

And every Friday, the All Access Star Trek Podcast covers the latest news in the Star Trek Universe and discusses the latest episode. The podcast is available on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPocket CastsStitcher and is part of the TrekMovie Podcast Network.

New episodes of Star Trek: Picard premiere on Thursdays on Paramount+ in the U.S. and on Fridays where Paramount+ is available around the world. In Canada, it airs on CTV Sci-Fi Channel on streams on Crave on Thursdays. Picard is also available on Fridays on Amazon Prime Video around the world.

Keep up with all the Star Trek: Picard news and analysis.

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What a great episode! The story, the pacing, the visuals. This is the first time that I feel that we are really picking up right after All Good Things. This is where I wanted to be. I am so pumped up with the story. With the Star Gazer. A new reality of what we got accustomed from Season 1. Q slapping Picard, was a totally shocker moment for me. Definitely not expected. Mentioning Sisko, I jumped out of my chair! So cool to hear from DS9 characters on this reality. Can’t wait for next week!!! :D

So agreed Jay! This feels like a stronger representation of the TNG era compared to last season. Q slapping Picard was a huge surprise. He has never been directly violent before and to do with Picard made clear he’s not messing around this time.

But really loving what they are setting up here. And nice it’s feeling a lot more like classic Star Trek again. And we haven’t had a real alternate timeline story with any of the new shows until now.

A mirror universe was bad in Discovery in your opinion but is fine for Picard??? Fascinating!!!
I’ll say one thing for Discovery, at least it was consequential and not set up for a reset.

I liked the mirror universe in Discovery and said so many times. Looks like you are confusing me with someone else.

The only thing I disliked about the Mirror Universe was that, for a story that they spent so long in, it wasn’t used to the extents it could have been to advance the characters.

So far, and especially with Q involved, this alternate dark universe, seems to be an allegory for something, though we’re not clued in to what exactly yet. Like Tapestry, QPid, etc, it has been created by Q to teach Picard a lesson.

The difference is that Q isn’t clowning around this time. But this feels more like the Q from All Good Things. The one who wants Picard to figure things out so much that when Picard has problems putting the pieces together he flat out tells him everything. I kinda feel like the moment Picard makes a wrong decision, if he even makes a wrong decision, Q will show up to point him in the right direction. Which leads to the question, why go through the whole song and dance to begin with? This is the problem with using Q for anything. Even though Q came across as mean and darker here than he has before, he still didn’t raise any real stakes nor did he feel menacing in any way. No matter what Picard does, Q will swoop in as he always does and fix everything.

It is possible something bigger is going on that is tying Q’s hands. But so far there is no indication of that. So as a viewer I’m just not seeing any real issues for our heroes to deal with.

If you need your hand held through the episode to understand it, just say so.

I don’t. So I didn’t. In the spirit of your comment, if you don’t understand simple comments then just say so. I will try to dumb it down for you.

Q in all good things knew that it was a serious situation and was kind of impatient. This Q is desperately trying to get Picard to do the right thing.

I love Jon De Lance

He seems to be more serious here than he was in All Good Things. WAY more serious. If it is so dire one might think he would just tell him like he did before. Is there some sort of rule now that says Q can’t do that anymore? Again, this is the problem with Q. And why it’s just best to stay away from him unless you want a comic foil for an episode.


My going theory is that the Borg in the regular timeline are indeed in trouble and looking to the federation for help. And Picard messed that up by blowing up the ships.

BTW I happen to agree. The Borg were serious in Ep1 about peace, they’re just not good at … diplomatic welcomes.

Was not a kind slap, it was a bloody slap in the nose, maybe a first for the new gollum body. :D

This is the first episode for me that felt like the perfect continuation of TNG. I am so impressed with the new Star Gazer Bridge. The huge LED panels, the leather seats. Is just amazing.

They have finally married the old and the new, Berman and Kurtzman. Took a while. But it seems they have been able to capture the magic of the 90s with the current production team, special effects, showrunners, etc.

Agreed! I didn’t have an issue with first season being a bit different and the Picard going rogue angle, but it’s not something you can sustain long term, at least not realistically. This season just feels more in line with TNG and why people are more excited about it.

Creating the Stargazer was the best idea they could’ve done (next to having another Enterprise ;)). And I think fans are just more excited when a show revolves around a starship because that’s what Star Trek is to most people. I love the Protostar ship and I have come to love the Cerritos, but nothing beats seeing a 25th century ship in live action again. We probably won’t see it much this season for obvious reasons but still cool it was introduced here.

Also agree about Kurtzman and Berman eras gelling more together, but I honestly felt Lower Decks has been in the middle ground from the start; but I think you mean specifically the live action shows.

Also agree!

But where are the wonderful hugs and kisses of Discovery? The cheers and tears? Are we expected to just be satisfied with a great and fast-paced STORY?

Great episode i liked it way more then The Star Gazer episode and i loved how dark the episode/alternate timeline was it gave me major mirror universe vibes.

I liked seeing the Klingon Torchbearer armor from Discovery in Picard’s Menagerie and the skulls of Gul Dukat, Sarek, Martok and the rest was shocking.

7 as president of the Earth Confederacy was unexpected and Picard being a murderous tyrant was disturbing to say the least and i liked that Jurati was still a scientist in this twisted timeline. Some things change while others stay the same.

Rios being a general and involved in an attack on Vulcan was interesting but felt it took away from the rest of the episode along with Raffi and Elnor but i get that they wanted to show how evil and anti alien the Earth Confederacy is.

As for Q he was fantastic in it i love a more mature, more unhinged Q then the comedic Q we got in previous Trek. I agree with Picard though Q did seem to be not well and borderline insane and i wonder what caused it?

Is the continuum somehow dying? Is it related to what Admiral Vance said that by the 32nd century there has been no record of a visit by a member of the Q in over 600 years.

Also the Borg Q was great i love Annie Wersching as the Queen she was great in 24 and plays the queen beautifully here. It was mentioned by 7 that this isn’t the same Borg queen from the Stargazer so i wonder if that is true then who is behind the mask? I take it we will get a reveal at the end of the season and it’s someone we know?

Can’t wait for the next episode.

Q didn’t seem insane to me at all. When Picard mentioned that I thought that was a terrible read of the situation. Q was more focused as evident by his lack of clowning. But he was hardly insane.

I wouldn’t say borderline insane (For insanity in Trek, one must have buggy eyes, sweaty skin and be unshaven. See: Dr. Simon Van Gelder, Capt. Ronald Tracy)

But Q wasn’t his impish self… he was haunted by something. Something that he felt he couldn’t confide in Picard. I think the continuum might be in trouble.

I’ll add Commodore Matthew Decker to that list, too, so it doesn’t look like I’m picking on actor Morgan Woodward.

Rios was a Colonel.(Army equivalent of Captain).

As expected they took a great episode with starships, workings of a galactic federation and a credible threat (and potential proactive analog to what’s happening today) and couldn’t help but throw it all away with the ship destroyed after a couple seconds for a time travel reset story with horrid political analogy. That is the TNG way I guess.
Side note – the ships in the pilot were great! Now that’s CGI put to work for a couple minutes.
I suppose more energetic now than DIS which feels out of gas, er dilithium. Good proactice analogy for gas prices today though.
The premier was pretty good though, call me for Season 3.
Also the SNW trailer was great!!!

“call me for Season 3”

It’s always so amusing when fans pretend they’re going to stop watching and make a public show of it, as though anyone actually believes them–or cares.

Everything you hate about it is what I love about it. Time travel, political allegory, that’s Trek at its finest!

Time travel is pretty much only good for comedies. Otherwise why not just go back in time again, why doesn’t Picard go back in time and save everyone killed at Wolf 359? They aren’t deserving?
As for political allegory, I’m all for that when it is good.
This is just a Discovery mirror universe rehash on the political front that has been done once already (mirror universe) and is being done concurrently (future Earth outside the Federation) and in both those cases with consequences given they weren’t going to just reset the time line.

If this was a Federation Captain who back in 2280 was some Ensign on the Yorktown when they discovered the long lost dilithium rich human-Klingon Augment colony of New Kyiv in the neutral zone and had them give up nukes with a Federation guarantee and now watches in 2322 with horror as the solar system is attacked by Brigadier Kerla and a squadron of K’tinga battle cruisers with Starfleet ordering them to stand down as they don’t want the Khitomer Accords to devolve into interstellar armageddon, I’d be in. What is he to do, leave Starfleet to help them? Black Ops that might destroy the peace? Let them die? Sanctions?!?!?!

If you think Time Travel is only good for comedies, boy, I can’t imagine what you think of “City On The Edge Of Forever” or “Past Tense,” two of the best episodes in Trek that dealt with serious drama and real issues, with almost no comedy in sight.

I liked City on the edge of forever when it’s a one time guardian of forever. Now it’s like why doesn’t Kirk just circle around the sun and save her if he loves her so much. But what about all those killed in world war 2? Or world war 1? Etc

Agreed! Time travel stories are some of my favorite Star Trek episodes and films. They are just fun and usually pretty creative. The more the merrier for me.

And no offense to anybody, but if you are looking for the day Star Trek will just stop doing time travel stories, that’s about as realistic as not seeing anymore stories dealing with first contacts, a character coming back from the dead or running into Klingons (although they been doing a lot less of that lately). It’s been a fabric of the franchise since 1966.

And right now both Picard and Prodigy current storylines are time travel based, MacMahan confirmed there will be time travel in season 3 of Lower Decks and I wouldn’t be shocked if SNW will have at least one time travel story of some kind in its first season since it will be more episodic again. Both Discovery and the Kelvin movies current premises only exist thanks to time travel. Don’t know what to say at this point. It’s pretty baked in.

Speaking of which didn’t the Bell Riots from Past Tense take place in 2024?

Yes it did. ;)

I somewhat agree. It had a promising start but they just couldn’t keep it up and instead decided to just rehash everything we have already seen. Not even a new take on an old idea. It was tired and boring.

But I am not going to claim I’m not going to watch. Like watching my losing teams I will still tune in each week and see how bad they are for sure and hope they get better but knowing they probably won’t. Fandom can suck sometimes but when your team does finally pull it together and starts winning it feels like all that suffering before was worth it.

I’m gonna go out on a limb here….as this winds through the third season, in the closing minutes of the final episode, Q is going to tell Picard “good job, mon capi-ton….the trial is over” ….and the show ends with the self destruct of the Stargazer, with our crew aboard.

Spoiler alert. You’re welcome.

I am pretty sure the show will end with Picard joining the Q. That’s what the test has been for all along.

I did say I was going out on a limb here…. :-)

I wasn’t debating you–just stating my own prediction.

Hey… I predicted that in the thread from last week!

I agree👍💯. My theory for how I think the show will end is Picard will step up onto a transporter platform to beam back down to Earth after saving the universe once again and he’s gonna look at his friends and he knows it’s for the last time, probably because the golem body is starting to break down, and he’ll say “Energize” and then he’ll rematerialize in the Continuum where Q will say “As one adventure ends, another begins, Mon Capitaine”. Then a title card should pop up and say “The Journey Continues…”. That’s my theory for how Picard is going to end.

Especially after reading Sir Patrick comments saying that he wants to leave the ending open-ended and ambiguous and that he’s arguing everyday with the writers about how to land the ending of Picard. He said that the writers told him they feel like there should be a definitive feeling of closure in the finale and he said that’s not he feels. He feels the ending should be left open and up to people’s interpretations as to what happened to Picard. So that’s why I think Picard is gonna just disappear in a transporter beam and no one will ever know what happened to him, except for him and Q of course 🙂.

Live long and prosper, Lorna Dune 🖖.

I agree. This is very likely. Even though fans will compare this with Sisko joining the Prophets.

I disagree. I don’t think the Continuum is interested in adding human ranks right now, but who knows.

Was thinking just this after the episode. Perhaps Q has been searching for his successor all along. It was hinted at the end of ‘All Good Things’ that Q wasn’t telling Picard everything. Also hinted that he’s unwell. Perhaps Q’s frustrations are due to his lessons not resonating with Picard in the way he would’ve wished.

Or maybe the Q are dying off and Q has one last lesson to impart to Picard before it’s too late for either one of them? I mean isn’t it strange that Q looks old and yet he’s not supposed to age. I know that John De Lancie has given us all types of answers and reasons for why Q looks old. But I believe he looks the way he does because something is wrong with the Q and I think that’s why he’s even acting a little unhinged.

He wouldn’t go and tell Picard that the Continuum is dying off, if that is what is happening. Q always goes the roundabout way of doing things. But I definitely believe that there will be a reason for why Q has aged and I’m staking my claim on it being the Q Continuum is dying. Plus, in Discovery, the Q have not been seen since the Picard era so that’s another clue that they may be dying.

Live long and prosper 🖖.

Pretty convenient that the altered timeline brought all the main characters together within a day and with them all in key Confederation roles as well, but I can forgive that because it feels like real Star Trek this time around. Disliked every character except Rios in season 1 (including Jean-Luc), but this season I am liking the very same characters – how can that be?

Because they now have a showrunner who actually understands the legacy of this franchise. That makes all the difference in the world.

Agreed one million percent!

++ this.

Not convenient at all. Q put them there specifically so they could meet up and work together. He does have the power to do that, even if the changes in the timeline weren’t specifically caused by him (but we also know that they were).

We know this because it’s been done before in “Tapestry” when he promised Picard that any changes he made to the timeline would affect only him.

Which means Q had the ability to make it even easier by bringing in even more people. It also suggests he could end this at any time. So I am wondering why even go though this song and dance? No stakes. No danger. That is the problem with trying to make a “serious” Q story. It worked when dealing with something small like personal growth as it did in Tapestry. But for universe level consequences? Nope.

Have you never seen an episode with Q? Where’s the ignore button on this site…

I have. Hence my comment. Q works best as a clownish comic foil. Haven’t you seen Q episodes?

Yes, and the best one is Q Who? where he isn’t clownish at all.

I feel the best, and only good, Q episode was Tapestry. Where he was pretty clownish. I honestly don’t know what Q Who was. I’m assuming that was the Borg one? Which I always felt was overrated. People like it because it introduced the Borg but it wasn’t all that good as Q was always going to snap them back. He wasn’t about to let his pet Captain bite the dust.

Not to me. I love ALL versions of Q! I think most fans do if they love the character.


It can be because they have changed them all. And Rios was a good character from the start.

Would you rather they take a whole season to accomplish 2 hours worth of story? You know, like “Discovery” has done with season 4?

I like what they’re doing so far this season, but it felt like they were just bridging to the next stage… 2024 Earth. Felt like I was waiting to get to something more interesting. The dialogue this season is so much better. So much more fun and quick. Having Q helps that.. but Agnes was so dull last season, and now I can’t wait to hear what she has to say.

A solid episode! I felt like I knew pretty much everything that was going to happen in it since a lot off the trailers footage came from this episode but still a lot of fun surprises like Seven being President of the Confederation and Picard collecting skulls of various aliens he slaughtered (Gul Dukat completely deserved it though ;)). It really does feel like another version of the Mirror Universe/Terran Empire but even a bit darker than what we seen from that place.

I smiled hearing the Sisko reference! And I can be completely wrong on this, and I know someone will correct me if I am, but I think that’s the first time his name has been said out loud since DS9 ended. We constantly get the other Captains like Kirk, Janeway, Archer and Picard name checked in various places but very rare for Sisko.

Also loved both Q and the new Borg Queen. It’s great to have them both back and playing slightly different versions last time we saw them. This episode like first episode set up a lot and didn’t slow down at all. Can’t wait for next week! I’m really hoping this season is a huge improvement over the last one.

I think it was the first time we’ve heard the word Sisko in Trek since DS9, yes. I found it unfortunate that it was mixed in among scores of other Lower Decks style audience winks however.

Not sure I follow. What do you mean?

Regarding all the Lower Decks style mentions of Trek episodes past?

What does that have to do with Sisko though? Lower Decks isn’t the first Star Trek show to name drop another character.

You misunderstand. Name dropping past characters is really more of a wink to the audience than anything else. I agree that Sisko I don’t think has been mentioned in nu-Trek. And I liked hearing the name as much as anyone else. But this episode had so very many show titles and past references that it felt more like a Lower Decks episode. Which is notorious for being little more than a vehicle to cram in as many past Trek references as possible.

I was only saying name dropping Sisko is just what every show or movie does. I understand you didn’t like the other references, but that’s not the same as discussing other characters, that’s all I’m saying.

And the producers know fans like these kinds of references. Yes, they can go too far with them at times but this is just how it is now. And LDS did it a bit less in season 2 though and maybe even less in season 3. But that’s the show.

I enjoy the the Easter Eggs as much as the next fan. But cramming in a ton of them just takes away from what you are doing to begin with. I do get a charge out of them. I like recognizing small things only major fans are going to pick up on. I admit that. But there is such a thing as overkill. And so far, Secret Hideout doesn’t seem to know where that line is.

Anthony, your reviews are always insightful, but when you insert stuff like “conveniently,” it doesn’t make you sound smart or the review more insightful. It just makes you sound churlish, like you’re baiting the trolls.

No. It doesn’t. There’s nothing wrong with the term “conveniently.”

Well, there are a lot of terms people have problems with that no one really should have a problem with. So there is that…

You seem to be making a big deal out of nothing. I don’t find anything wrong with the term and “baiting the trolls” comment here is very loaded. If you look at it that way, literally any form of negativity can be considered “baiting” and we will end up with a dishonest society where you have to like everything even if they are really crap.

BTW, to all the 12 Monkeys fans, did you catch the big reference to that show in this episode? :)

There were actually two of them, but one really stood out.

LOL NO ONE has took a shot at this! I know there are only a half a dozen 12 Monkeys fans here, but I thought someone else would catch it.

I didn’t catch it but then again I have only seen the movie and not the series…and even that I haven’t seen in many years. Sharing is caring ;)

I know this is SUPER late David, but just saw this lol.

There was a reference to ‘M-5’ in the episode which was the name of the virus from the TV show. It was never named in the movie. I guess no one caught it or just didn’t respond.

Just phenomenal, in every possible way! This feels like an upgraded version of TNG, everything sounds and feels perfect, the story is engaging end to end, and there is NO CRINGE! This show has a phenomenal cast, so much so you don’t even need Patrick Stewart to carry it. And I can’t tell you how thrilling it is to see Annika “7-Shots” Hansen’s hugely upgraded roll in this season. I can’t thank the creators behind this show enough.

Concur. Feels like TNG continues.

It’s almost like Picard can hand the torch to Seven at the end of the third season and the adventure can continue with this new cast.

This episode is the show’s best yet. Seeing Picard as a Trump-Putin brand of fascist psycho, with Earth’s easily led and fear-engulfed masses transformed into a MAGA-like group of bloodthirsty cultists, is so chilling.

Totally. Glad Stewart personally wanted to have a take on this. In several interviews, he has said that he is horrified with the current US and UK politics.

Keeping the long Star Trek tradition of using the future platform for present-day conflict, war, social and political issues.

You need to replace Trump with Biden since he’s the real psycho who usurped the oval office. That’s why the political climate has gone from optimism to despair. Picard reflects that.

Oh, lord. Red alert. Lunatic on board.

Oh, you saw only optimism during the Trump era, in your weensy little bubble?

Ahh, the guy who’s mad about the 15th and 19th amendments has logged on.

Project much, do you?

Thread closed in 3…2…1…

You’re just asking for a dogpile from this group. Dispair is where we live now, that is a fact. Biden apologists will say different, but this is the worst it’s been in 50 years.

Sorry, it’s more of a Trudeau-Ardern-Van der Bellen-Morrison brand of fascist psycho. Especially since they actually DID the things that some claimed Trump would do but didn’t.

Yeah, Trudeau is the one you’d single out as the real fascist on that list — even as compared to the guy who’s currently bombing maternity hospitals — because he wanted his countrymen to get vaccinated (what you hilariously referred to being “stabbed;” remind me not to seek your aid in anything more physically dangerous than online fanwank debates) against a deadly pandemic.

Jesus wept. But I think we know now for a certainty what your real beef is with Kurtzman Trek, and it has little to do with its quality.

This was a boring , filler episode.

How can they have a mirror, dark timeline when the regular timeline presented is already pretty dark.

Picard swearing at Q and Q hitting Picard was jarring, lazy and “edgy” writing.

They are really convinced rios is a Han Solo type, but the actor just isn’t very interesting.

Constant violence was the house style they introduced into the Star Trek format last season. It was bizarre when the queen only stunned Stargazer crewmembers and nobody was beheaded in the premiere. Glad to see Picard and co. shooting and slicing their way out of jams in this one. That’s real Star Trek!

Oh, for crying out loud. There’s always one.

Disagree on the Q hitting Picard. I think it underscores the change in Q’s mission this time around, and the sense of urgency in whatever his motive is.

But agree on Rios…they’ve taken every hack trope from the “I’m a Billy Badass” handbook, and applied it to the character. Very forced and one-dimensional.

WOW! Now that was an Incredable Episode. Finally. Star Trek is back on the right track!!!!

oof – a mirror universe…again. sigh. As if the current timeline wasn’t already disparate from the original vision enough.

Yep. Do we really need to see what is going on for real right now reflected in a Trek episode? This is so tired. At the very least it would be nice if they put an original twist on it.

I’m sure a USS Trump would make everything all right for you.

That would be awesome. And the ship would be HUGE.

LOL. As he would probably say.

And, no Michael J Hall. That would be idiotic.

Small nacelles, shrinking reflector dish.

No, it would be ‘Uge

Your comments are tired.

That didn’t stop you from responding. So how tired could they be?

A second stellar episode in what is shaping up to be a stellar season. S1 of Picard had a lot of mistakes, but Matalas seems to be doing an excellent job of righting the ship. The characters are far more likeable, dialogue snappier and more interesting, and the universe feels much more in line with TNG.
I must admit that I am frankly tired of modern Trek’s obsession with the Mirror Universe and dystopias, so I was skeptical of this episode. Turns out, this episode was fantastic, even though I still felt uncomfortable with this dystopia. What won me over was two things – excellent character work (Picard, Seven, and Q really stand out here), and that the episode was wise enough to stay away from gore.
There is definitely something very wrong with Q, and that excites me. De Lancie is as excellent as ever, and Q is incredibly interesting here. I’m curious to see where this goes. Jeri Ryan put on a bravura performance here. So even though I didn’t love yet another dystopian episode, the characters and story made it worth it for me.
Hats off to Matalas. He’s shown he truly understands what Star Trek stands for, and what makes these characters tick. I still harbor some doubts about this time travel storyline and whether it can avoid being hamfisted, but I’m increasingly confident Matalas can pull this off.

It was noted in the review, but how cool was it that the dystopian version of Starfleet was still bright, lovely, pleasant looking – not typical “dystopian” at all – which I think only helps to serve this universe’s “Human First” thought.

The best episode of Star Trek ever made! I can’t believe I’m alive to see the best writing, directing, and acting ever committed to digital video and run on the most popular streaming service on planet Earth.

Is not the most popular or accessible streaming service on Earth, but definitely my favorite right now.

I agree, was a great GREAT episode in many aspects. The best in a very long time. Totally agree with Pascuale, it felt complete, I am satisfied, I am watching it again tonight.

The best episode of Star Trek ever made!

LOL. It was a good episode, a very good one in fact, but that’s a rather absurd example of hyperbole.

Let’s count how many people miss the sarcasm here.

Well played.

I’ve managed to avoid any spoilers and trailers for S2E2 of Picard, so after reading the first sentence of many of the posts, I am really looking forward to tonight’s episode. I will temper my expectationsthough, just in case I don’t agree with the majority of posts.

Btw, regarding Discovery I am crossing my fingers we might, just might, get two really good episodes of Star Trek tonight. Let’s hope Discovery can toss the last 3 episodes into the dumpster and stick the landing for S4!

Have you seen it DeanH? What did you think?

I thought Discovery was good too, with some issues, but mostly fine.

Yup got to see both by late last night, mixed in with some hockey haha!
IMHO, much to my pleasant surprise, Discovery shockingly won the night – but that isnt a slam on Picard S2E2. I am happy to say I enjoyed both.
Glad this wasn’t an another dreary alternate parrallel universe, but instead was an alternate timeline. Btw, I totally agree with your take on time travel and Star Trek.
Looking forward to another 2 episodes of excellent Trek next Thursday, as we try to shut out the real world, at least for a few hours. Oh, and as I said below – where’s Soji??

I am forced to agree. The two episodes from yesterday, as flawed as Star Trek Discovery is their episode was by FAR the better of the two. Unlike last week where Picard easily won the battle of the same day shows.

Glad you got to watch them! I agree both were pretty good and Discovery’s felt like a hard science fiction story. The entire season has felt that way, but it still has a lot of bumbling moments unfortunately. But Discovery is doing the type of story a lot of fans wanted for years, especially with the new stuff.

As for Soji, I’ll be honest, I didn’t even think about her this episode at all. I was watching a review of the episode on Youtube somewhere and someone else brought it up and I thought ‘Oh, right!’ Yeah, it’s weird, she’s the only one who is not part of the group. We know we will see again her this season but I’m starting to think either A. her role will have a big twist this season and why we see very little of her now or B. she will just be scaled back and only be in a few episodes. I guess it could be both too.

Another great episode with lots of familiar name drops. I need to stop watching the other show after Picard, because it is ending my night on a cringy note. Other show first, Picard after.

I enjoy Disco, but after last weeks ep I was thinking they should call it Star Trek: SPACE FEELINGS!!!! (insert echo effect)

I agree, need to see Discovery first. However, today, it was a surprisingly good/complete episode. I liked it. After dragging the story for so long, it was finally getting into something.

“…how Yesterday’s Enterprise of you…” gave me chills. Great job on the part of John de Lancie in this. I love the way they successfully interspersed humor in between the darker themes here, too. I think this season is simply fantastic so far. Such a commanding upgrade over season one. Already the re-watch value in just these two episodes is palpable.

Really? That was one of the many references than just made me roll my eyes.

I saw your review below, ML. You and I agree on most things on these boards, save a couple. (I’m a big fan of TVH, you’re not, for example). Like you, I’ve been heartily disappointed in most of the offerings these showrunners have given us. But these last two episodes have been some of the best we’ve seen from them, imo. Guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree when it comes to PIC s2 thus far. I do enjoy a bit of fan service when it comes to Trek, I’m just nostalgic that way. I respect your opinion. And hey, it’s only episode 2! They have plenty of time to let us down!

Fair enough. The problem I suspect I’m going to have is the overall story arc sucking. And after a promising first episode, we get into the seasonal story and the promise of the trailer is coming true. The story, so far, is terrible.

On the other hand, there are still 8 episodes left. And being the positive person I am there is time for it to turn itself around!

You are the classic debbie downer. You hate it when people enjoy things.

A poor assumption. There were no clues anywhere to suggest that. If you disagree with my assessments, fine. We can discuss. But when you make foolish unsupported assumptions like that then there is no discourse.

I am positive we’ll be seeing the Bell Riots soon. Welcome back, Avery Brooks.

Wow. The first episode was decent and even showed promise (Until Q showed up) and then came this steaming pile of hot garbage. The entire episode had a “been there done that” feel to it. Nothing was new. Nothing was original. It wasn’t even a new take on an old idea. And on top of that, despite all that was going on it was incredibly dull to watch. Honestly, I haven’t seen any Star Trek this bad since Star Trek Discovery.

And how many winks to the audience are they planning on cramming in on this show? It felt like I was watching Lower Decks except with more interesting people. And yet somehow it managed to be worse than Lower Decks.

Further, Q said he left him help. Why? Obviously because he WANTS JL to succeed at this. And if he had the ability to bring people in on this then why not include more? Why not the entire command crew of the E-D? Why not others Picard doesn’t know but are in positions of authority and could help? In all honesty using his E-D crew would make a ton more sense given Picard’s history.

So disappointing that they could go from such promise to such drivel from one episode to the next.

They only have 2-3 hours of story here so they need to be able to stretch it out to 10 while also making each one feel EPIC and AMAZING and worth the P+ subscription. As you can see from the comments, slap Star Trek on a show and throw in some references to previous shows that people enjoyed and it’s really easy to fill an hour of content to fulfill the production quota and satisfy subs.

There is something to what you say about ‘just throwing in references to previous shows and a portion of fandom will love it.’ How else can one explain people enjoying Lower Decks? That’s all that show is!

Why do you feel the need to reply to those people who like the new episodes or shows?
Can you not accept that there are people who like the current shows and should not have to put up with you replying to everyone that has a favourable view only for you to reply with a bash like comment or a lame complaint just because people don’t share the same view as you?
Perhaps you should move on and find something else to watch.

His feeling is “do as I say, not as I do.”

Me, I hate Discovery. So I don’t watch, and I don’t comment on it. I don’t “yuck anyone’s yum” as it were. Having a difference of opinion is one thing, this guy is something else entirely.

You have no idea what it is to be a fan, do you. I suspect you never become one or be around other fans. They will not understand your position.

Conversely… Why do you feel the need to reply to everyone who disagrees with your opinions? Can you not accept that there are people in places designed to solicit opinions that have different takes than you? People who wish to have honest discussions should not have to put up with those who bash others just because they are different from them. Perhaps you should avoid the internet since opposite opinions are hurtful to you.

Your vitriol is pretty sad to see. Your opinion though is an indicator that the show is doing all the right things.

Sorry you see it as “vitriol.” I admit I was harsher than usual. But a lot of that was the great disappointment at complete undercutting the promise the first episode showed. But if you think things I dislike are good and are using that as a guide, happy to help.

I am so excited!!!!! I can’t believe they name-dropped Benjamin Sisko and Gul Dukat in the same episode!!!! I really think Sisko’s coming back. First they showed the Bajoran Reckoning tablets in the trailer and now this.

I think we will see Benjamin Sisko before the end of the season. Picard probably still feels very remorseful about Sisko losing his wife due to Locutus’ actions. So it would make sense for Captain Sisko to show up sometime during the season, probably towards the end, if not during the season finale itself. Oh, yeah, and this show is all about Picard’s remorse, his regrets, and his redemption, right, so what better way for Picard to get some closure with Sisko then by bringing him back home 🙂.

I really think Captain Sisko is returning 🤞!!!!!! I can’t wait to see Avery Brooks back in Star Trek again. I really do hope he returns. Oh, and the guys with the white eyes?

Just a theory but what if they’re the Prophets on Earth in human form? We know the Prophets have visited Earth in the past, right? Because that’s how Sisko’s Mom wound up on Earth with his father. So what if they visited Earth before that.

Maybe these guys with the white eyes are the Prophets in human form? Or maybe the white-eyed guys can see the Prophets, similar to how Data could see the Devidians in Time’s Arrow? We’ll find out soon, right? Live long and prosper, Trekmovie 🖖

Yeah hearing both Sisko’s and Gul Dukat’s name was great! But I’m not so certain Sisko is going to pop up like others think he is. LOVE to be proven wrong, but I just have a hard time believing they managed to keep secret Avery Brooks is in this show. And Star Trek doesn’t really hide its big crossover characters like Marvel does; usually they are upfront about it, at least once the season starts. But we’ll see, maybe this will be the exception.

I love your Prophet idea though and those are the ‘watchers’ the Borg Queen is referring to. I don’t think I’ve seen that theory until now. They could also tie into the Reckoning tablet from DS9 we saw Picard studying in episode one but oddly never mentioned. I don’t know how much I believe it of course, but would certainly be game for it.

Thanks, Tiger2👍. My speculation about the Prophets possibly bring the white-eyed guys just popped into my head while thinking about Sisko showing up. Don’t lose hope about Avery Brooks showing up in Picard either. Two things to remember about the Picard show and how they handle their guest stars.

They do keep anonymity when it comes to certain characters. Remember Jeri Ryan and Jonathan Del Arco were both wearing big black robes when they were first brought on the set of Picard and no one knew who they were or why they were there so they are doing some MCU type stuff when it comes to Picard. And the second thing to remember is that if Sir Patrick Stewart filmed a scene with Avery Brooks and the scene only had Picard and Sisko in it, you can bet all the money you’ve got that Sir Patrick would never tell anyone that he filmed a scene with him, especially if it was a penultimate scene in the finale, which I think, if it happens, will be. Remember Sir Patrick never told us about Riker and Troi returning until the episode was about to air.

So don’t give up hope on seeing Captain Sisko yet. You can’t have the Prophets ( if it is them.) show up without having Captain Sisko show up too. After all, he is their Emissary 🙂. Also, this show is about the regrets that Picard has and I would imagine he still feels a lot of remorse about what he did to Captain Sisko’s wife while he was Locutus so that’s another reason to bring him back. Maybe that’s why Picard was looking at the Reckoning tablet?

To see if there was someway to bring Sisko back. What better way to atone for his past sins with Captain Sisko then by bringing him back to life. So don’t lose hope yet. Live long and prosper, Tiger2🖖.

Yeah hopefully you’re right about Brooks. But then you would think that would be marketed to get fans extra excited about the season the same way Q and the Borg Queen has been. I mean you’re right about Jeri Ryan and Del Arco, but Seven was also revealed in the first trailer and they announced Hugh was in the show as well and he showed up in the second trailer. They were kept secret but only until it was time to really reveal the show and gave it a huge impact. That’s what I mean.

But I do agree, they actually done a great job of keeping everyone a secret until they did reveal them. No one knew any of these characters from Seven to Q would be there until they announced them which is crazy since so many things get leaked online months before or at least rumored. So if they are keeping him a secret, they proved it’s possible.

My idea for who the ‘watcher’ could be might be the guy who is shown interviewing Rios during a quick scene in the series 2 trailer. It’s the same actor (Jay Karnes) who played Lieutenant Ducane aboard the federation timeship Relativity, who was essentially watching for anomalies in the timeline. Would be super cool if he’s playing the same character.

I might be wrong, but I sort of get the sense that Q is angry with Picard for technically dying at the end of season 1, and while he could have appeared right at that moment before, he stayed his hand when the golem resurrection occurred.

The “You’ve been talking a lot about second chances” line may have been with regard to Q noticing that Picard is wasting his new extension of life by reverting to familiar old patterns, and that’s what has prompting Q’s angry decision to act now rather than before.

The violence was something new though, and extremely disconcerting. Also a clear indication that this is a changed Q who may be acting more on instinct and less able to control himself.

I did wonder why Seven didn’t mention her own experiences with Q and his son in VOY “Q2” though. Maybe there was a line and it got cut, maybe it’ll come up in subsequent episodes, or maybe it’ll be completely ignored like even a hint of Lores’ existence was.

Well, what do you know….the first recent Star Trek episode worth rewatching. This was certainly an ambitious episode, considering how much they packed into it. Jeri Ryan did a nice job.
Some people here have mentioned that Avery Brooks might show up, reprising the role of Sisko. If that’s true, I hope he was on his meds the week they filmed his part. If not, yikes!

You know that’s pretty rude. Avery Brooks is a phenomenal actor! I don’t know why you think he’s crazy. The guy’s a genius and geniuses are eccentric.

He’s a professor at a university right now teaching acting, I believe. Are you a professor? I don’t think so. If Avery Brooks does return, it would be spectacular and if you don’t want to see it, then don’t watch it.

I for one want to see it. He’s the first African -American Captain in Star Trek and he deserves to be honored and recognized just like all the other Captains. His performances in Far Beyond The Stars and In The Pale Moonlight are masterclasses in great acting. If you have some type of personal problem with him, then don’t watch Picard if he does show up.

Paramount won’t care about you watching or not watching their show. I don’t want to hear about how he’s an “angry African-American man” either. If you went through some of the stuff he went through back in the civil rights era, you’d be angry too. If you witnessed half of the heinous stuff that he witnessed and had to deal with maybe you’d be angry at the injustice in this world too.

Why don’t you check out the book The Fifty Year Mission vol.2 and read a couple of incidents that Avery Brooks had to deal with while on DS9 from Paramount and Paramount security. Then, if you still feel the same way about him, chime in with your two cents afterwards. Live long and prosper 🖖.

My comments have nothing to do with the colour of Brook’s skin. Not at all. Nor does it have anything to do with his skills as an actor. None.
I am basing my observations on watching any interview he has given in the last five years. “Eccentric” is an understatement. He honestly seems to be detached from reality. There is no malice invested in this statement.

Could’ve fooled me. You’re entitled to your opinion and I’m entitled to mine. I know what you wrote and how it sounded. It’s interesting that you said any interview with him in the past 5 years has him sounding like he’s crazy.

Well, he’s pretty much stopped doing interviews. That’s one of the reasons why the DS9 documentary, What We Left Behind, was so special because Avery Brooks agreed to sit down and be interviewed for it. He hasn’t been interviewed for anything in almost ten years because he has not acted in anything. According to Cirroc Lofton, Avery Brooks has basically been blacklisted from Hollywood for some reason and neither he nor Avery Brooks knows why.

Also, according to Cirroc Lofton, Avery Brooks was being sent scripts up until 2013 and then everyone just stopped sending him scripts and it’s not because he doesn’t want to work. You should go listen to Cirroc Lofton’s podcasts. So I don’t know what interviews you’re talking about because the last convention Avery Brooks did was back in 2013. He hasn’t done one since.

Like I said, he’s a professor now at Rutgers’ Mason Gross School Of The Arts so he can’t be that crazy!!! Also, once again, geniuses are eccentric and he is a genius there’s no doubting that so he’s entitled to having some eccentricities, just like William Shatner has some eccentricities himself. Just because a man is private doesn’t mean he’s crazy. I watched his last few appearances at the conventions.

He’s just angry because of some the stuff he’s had to go through. He was pulled out of his car by a security guard at Paramount back in the ’90s when he left the lot late one night after shooting DS9. The guard didn’t know who he was but because he was African-American, he pulled him out of his car, frisked him, and searched his vehicle.

All because he was racially profiled by a security guard.Can you even begin to comprehend how embarrassing and hurtful that must’ve been for him to be the lead actor on this show in this major franchise and this security guard treats him like he’s a thief and a car jacker just because of the color of his skin. So before you run around saying that somebody is crazy maybe you should get your facts straight, dude!!!! I believe in IDIC – Infinite Diversity In Infinite Combination.

When Star Trek started, that’s what Gene Roddenberry wanted everyone to get in their head. Well, it’s in mine and that’s because I’m a Trekkie and have been for 30 years now since 1991. I was 12 and now I’m 42 and I love Star Trek with all of my heart. It’s obvious you’re not a Trekkie otherwise you wouldn’t be trying to badmouth one of our family 😡!!!

Live long and prosper 🖖.

Nobody mentioned his race, John.
Brooks is notoriously a kinda intense guy. It’s maybe not fair to speculate whether or not he has mental health issues (it’s nobody’s business but his after all) but it’s definitely something people have been doing for years – as they would speculate similarly with a performer of any ethnicity.

I was giving background as to where his anger stems from. I never said the issue is skin color. This dude who wrote the original reply diagnosed him as being crazy and the guy’s not a certified medical professional so where does he derive his diagnosis from? He said there were past interviews with Avery where he looked crazy.

All I said was that he was angry and not crazy and I gave an example of why he’s angry. An example, which I would like to tell you, came from Avery Brooks’ own mouth when he was interviewed for the book, The Fifty Year Mission vol.2. At least I’m not judging anyone like the dude who wrote the reply did. So why don’t you go write to the guy and tell him he’s wrong for saying what he said about Avery Brooks.

No, you won’t do that, right? No, you attack the person who’s sticking up for someone from Star Trek, someone who’s one of my favorite actors. I watched Avery Brooks play Hawk on Spenser: For Hire back in the ’80s, did you? I loved him when he played Hawk.

I grew a goatee in high school just because my hero, Captain Sisko, did. So don’t turn this around and make me the bad guy, dude. I’m doing what any Trekkie would and I’m standing up for my hero. That guy shouldn’t have said what he said about Avery Brooks – period!!!!!

He also mentioned he saw Avery in interviews from 5 years ago and that’s where his clinical diagnosis came from. Except for What We Left Behind, Avery Brooks has not been interviewed at all for anything since 2013. His last convention appearance was 2013 and I watched it on YouTube and Avery was just fine. This guy is running his mouth off for no reason!

He has nothing to back up what he says. I believe he has a personal problem with Avery Brooks because of how angry he is. So I gave him an example for why he is angry and to act like the stuff Avery Brooks has gone through in his life isn’t because of his skin color is ridiculous!!!!! If he was white, that Paramount guard wouldn’t have stopped him or pulled him out of his car just because he was on the lot late at night and that’s a fact, dude!

To try to act like stuff like that doesn’t happen, well, you’re living in a fantasy world then. So I came at this dude logically and laid out my argument for why Avery Brooks is not crazy, he’s just angry and I used a situation that was in a book that has an interview with him in it. Now, before you just stick your nose into a conversation, why don’t you get both sides of the story first instead of just making assumptions based off of what you read!!!!!!!! Live long and prosper 🖖.

Why was the Hong Kong skyline used as Okinawa? That’s like using New York to represent Lille.

To play the devil’s advocate… It’s the future. Who knows what the skyline will look like then.

That being said… I recall a movie called “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” and it had an obvious San Francisco establishing shot, complete with cable cars. And the card on the screen read, “New York.”
(yes, the movie was a parody)

I don’t know what the skyline of Okinawa will look like in 2399 but I sure as hell know it won’t look like an exact replica of the Hong Kong skyline circa 2022.

Fair point. Just offering up an alternate take.

The “General Sisko” reference was almost certainly a throwaway line just because they could, but imagine if it had been Jake rather than Benjamin.

Or sisko’s father even

So the two MVPs for me were Seven and Q. But I also loved Jurati, the Borg Queen, and Rios. Elnor and Raffi were pretty good with what they had. Honestly, the weakest for me was Picard. He just doesn’t have the commanding presence I remember, I guess.

But I love the Name drops of past Trek characters. I also love how the Starfleet crew (& Seven) instantly figured out to fake it until they figured it out. That’s very cool.

This season is two for two so far. I just wish the titular character was, I don’t know, better.

I’m not sure it made much sense (though I’ll grant that everything which didn’t can be explained away with a simple “because Q”), but that was a lot of fun.

That single episode was better than the entire first season. I need to slingshot around the sun so I can get to next Thursday.

I thought when Picard mentioned Q to the group, Seven could have said something like “Q was on Voyager while I was there.” I don’t think they had any scenes together, but she was in at least one scene with Q Jr. and so had to know who he was. And Janeway warned the crew about Q at least once that I remember.

Loving this season so far. Kind of iffy on something being wrong with Q. I wonder what has him rattled? Jurati was the biggest surprise for me in this episode. I didn’t like her at all last season and wasn’t happy that she was cleared of all charges for killing Maddox. The excuse of her being under alien mind control was lame. Regardless, she was funny as hell in these last two episodes, especially episode 2. Can’t wait for next week.

Well they wanted to move the characters into positions that would serve the season 2 story. So people were moved, weirdly, into places that didn’t make much logical sense. It feels a little like season 2 is a soft reboot.

Wow, the Terran Empire wishes that they could be as horrifying as the Confederation.

Legate Damar, I’m curious how you feel about seeing the skull of your former mentor mounted in General Picard’s study.

Dude….too soon!

He did end up getting the statue of himself just not the one he wanted instead the statue was his skull mounted on a pike as a trophy

Wow. Bad a**. The scenes with Stewart and de Lancie are worth the cost of the Paramount + subscription alone. I was always bothered they didn’t work Q into a TNG movie but if things continue like this it’s worth the wait. Both episodes have been brilliantly paced with endings that make you eager to see what comes next. This season truly feels like Star Trek.

Fans have been waiting for a Q and Picard rematch for over 25 years. Once the films were done, I never thought we would be in a place to see them both again but here we are!

Jeri Ryan was both subtle and powerful, and lost. Good writing, directing and acting!

Agreed. I feel that Jeri was the best actor in this episode by far. She nailed the scene waking up non-Borg, figuring it out quickly, going from shock to inquisitive to defensive quickly. She is still the ex-Borg 7 of 9, but she has a better grasp on humanity since Voyager. She was awesome this episode. I honestly was never a big fan of the character until this episode. Now I am.

I like, that they managed to get the pacing to a much better place, than season one. It did not feel like almost an hour. Other than that, it was really nothing special. A look into a dystopian version of the Federation. It’s a shame that they approached it pretty much like the other times the idea was used and made it a parody of an authoritarian state instead of one that could reasonably exist. But for that you’d probably need to set the whole season there. Which would be a great way to examen the intended Idea of nemesis again: how choices determin our character and how the same person can turn out very different dpending on the choices he makes. But that’s not what they’re going for and that’s fine. As is, it’s still (another) look through the mirror. I’d rank it somewhere at the top of the middle of those kinds of episodes.

What I found kind of annoying was the constant fanservice. It feels like, they took the criticisms of long time fans concerning the last season to heart, but don’t reallly know how to tie the show in with it’s source material without using constant shoutouts and callbacks. It doesn’t ruin the show, it just feels a lot like wirters that do not trust their own creation (Lower Decks has that problem too)

It might have been a little bit easier to take had they dialed back the extremity quite a bit. However that would still not change that so far, there is nothing new or original in this plot line thus far. In fact, it feels like stuff we have already seen in Trek before.

Although IMHO Discovery shockingly (and much to my pleasant surprise) outperformed Picard, the 2nd episode of S2 was still quite good. There were many things to like about E2 and we don’t need to go over them.
The one thing I was going to seriously question with 1 minute left in the episode – how could the Confederation with its centuries of violent and horrific dictatorship under its belt, have such a poor defence system that would allow such an easy escape of the Borg Queen? It’s good the writers room must have asked the same question.

Btw, where is Soji in this timeline? Looking forward to next week!

Actually it seems like unless there were outside agencies forcing this society to stay together such a society would have crumbled in less than 400 years. This sort of society just could not survive.

Yeah, it will be interesting to see what happened back in 2024 in LA to change the timeline.

At this point, since we have no other information, the theory that is the most likely is it was caused by Q.

Okay, how do I break this down? I loved the episode but hate it at the same time.
What did I love? I am a very big fan of dark sci-fi. I loved the Walking Dead until it wore itself out. I love The Handmaid’s Tale and can continue on with more. This episode and this entire season are setting itself up to be a great dystopian turned-around show.
But as much as I loved it, I despise it as Star Trek. While there is room for a story like this in the Star Trek Universe, in my mind there is absolutely no room for our characters acting the part of their dystopian counterparts.
Last year I was furious about Agnes committing murder and now getting away with it. Just when I decided to let that go, we have Elnor slashing throats and Raffi telling him to act that way. There is no room for our “trek” heroes to act dystopian. And before someone says Elnor is Romulan, Raffi purposely allowed it. Last year Seven acted just as bad. They could so easily have written a show exactly like this but allowed our characters to act civilized and stun the others, use the neck pinch (Elnor might have learned), etc. Not slash their throats with a Starfleet officer watching and smiling.
If this show wasn’t Trek, I would really appreciate what they’re doing. As Trek, I think it is just more of the same Kurtzman crap and not Trek at all.
Just my 2 cents.

While I’m pretty impressed by this season so far, you make very good points, David. This certainly isn’t the Star Trek we grew up with.

I think you make some good points but that said, much of the last three seasons of DS9 were extremely dark, violent and far from hopeful. At the time it was first run, I didn’t like it at all.
Years later, I watched it again and now it is actually my 2nd favorite series after TNG.

I am not enamored with this story line myself. I find it tired and repetitive. But I do agree that our heroes collective “humanity” would keep them from spilling blood if they could avoid it. I saw no good reason why Elnor had to so graphically dispose of the guards. While the so called “Borg discetion” scene bothered many, it didn’t bother me at all as it was integral to 7’s motivations. The wonton slashing of the throats by Elnor was way over the top and not necessary. And Raffi seemed perfectly fine with the entire thing. Which I find to be just as horrific.

Whilst adoring episode 1, and enjoying episode 2, I agree with your points. The throat slashings were utterly unnecesary, and just there to look cool (one can only suppose) to a certain demographic out there. I’d expect it were this Verhoeven or Tarantino, but Star Trek’s greatest strength for me was the fact it was cool for ALL age groups, and they’d fine a way to avoid scenes like that. There’s been a few violent moments in Trek since the 80s, but they were earned and shocking (Wrath of Khan) and not about glorifying a knife wielding ‘hero’ (one who casually beheaded a man in season 1…..). Frankly, it spoiled what was otherwise a terrific and scary episode. I am apprehesive about how much more of this kind of thrown-in violence there’s yet to come. Will they respect the boundaries of family friendly Trek, or will they pander to the lowest denominator to appear ‘edgy’ and ‘cool’ to get away from the ’Trek is for thoughtful squares’ stereotype of old….. Here’s hoping we won’t be ashamed as the season progresses.

I don’t think you have to ask that question. We know the answer… they abandoned the family friend in favor of shock and awe. And as I said before, I am okay with this modernization as long as it is not our characters dropping their more mature ideals. This episode would not have suffered one bit if those characters would have been stunned versus their throats cut. And Raffi allowing and smiling during it makes it that much worse.

It’s rated 16+ so that’s what the show is aiming at really. In all honesty most kids older than 12 nowadays wouldn’t find any issue in the violence. Its not that shocking. And it is fiction afterall made for high tempo entertainment.
It doesn’t bother me enough to complain that much but it is not really necessary. I though the head decapitation and eye ball thing in S1 was far more graphic than what is seen here.

You’ve missed the point DataMat. This is an indirect continuation of TNG. It’s the continuing adventures of Picard, there’s a link there. Those that grew up with TNG naturally expect a few changes in boundaries that can be crossed now, but not to the extent that Starfleet officers are cool with throat slittings and then a joke! I’m sorry, but that betrays a lot of what Trek used to be. It used to be something safe to watch with the kids too, and God knows kids need some inspiring role models AND shows right now. Raffi has very quickly dropped off my liked characters radar, ditto. So a drugged up (in S1) Starfleet officer, reformed perhaps between seasons, is now also cool with mindless violence. As David said above, this scene would have worked ‘in universe’ with them being stunned instead, or neck-pinched or something. Instead two men have their throats slit open, and its immediately laughed off… That so many seem to either have missed this entirely, or are cool with NuTrek violence standards, I find rather depressing and a bleak indicator of where we’re headed to be honest. I imagine there’ll be an f-bomb waiting in the wings too. Ohhh Trek, what have you become…

Another solid episode, which left me wanting for more. Keep it up Season 2 of Picard!

What I really like about the Easter Eggs here is how they feel like they have a place… are organic. It could have been “Gul Glocken” and “General G’Tok” and the point would have been the same.

Finally, the producers are looking for moments that work and add a reference to it, rather than looking for references that work and adding a moment for it.

In thinking more about it, the skull collection is the perfect example of why the easter eggs actually add to the moment:

If it had been anyone else, it’s just saying that Picard defeated some enemies. But by showing that he defeated the likes of Dukat, Martok, and even Sarek, it shows just how powerful and ruthless he really is, because these are characters we know. We know how vicious and formidable Dukat and Martok are, and we know how noble Sarek is.

Even if we don’t know THESE versions of those characters, it’s an emotional connection to the audience that tells you “wow, this Picard is an effing MONSTER.”

I disagree. I think the point could have been made if there was one known character mentioned and then two other unknowns. The reason for all the name dropping was done solely for the audience. Picard would have had the same reaction whether the audience knew the names or not. And for newbies (and I seriously doubt there are all that many watching this) the names ring hollow anyway.


John has not lost a single step as Q. His time on the episode was some of his most captivating work playing that character. I want to like this show so much. I really do. Picard is my favorite trek character, and Patrick Stewart is just the absolute best. However this show just not working for me due to the supporting cast. Was not a fan in season 1, and it’s sadly carrying over to season 2. I hope I can get more into it.

I am in a middle of moving; so I took a break this afternoon to watch this episode. All I can say is Wow and Wow. The acting, writing, directing, props and the mood was impressive. I can not wait until next week. Hopefully settled in my new place.

Enjoyed this. Good pacing. Jeri Ryan was really captivating. I still think Patrick Stewart may be too old to act these days. You can see him struggling to emote, but willing to look past it for the joy of just seeing him.

One nit pick; wish the Borg queen was slimier. That gave her a certain inherent ickiness to look at that’s completely missing.

A second superb episode, with a single caveat, which really did feel like more of a motion picture than ‘just’ a TV episode, both in its pacing, acting, scripting, filming, scoring and effects. Outstanding. In particular the chemistry in those scenes between Picard and Q was a pure joy to watch. I could watch those two spar together for an entire episode! I love that they’ve made the Borg both unnerving and intriguing again. No small feat. Makes a nice change to the ‘really done to death at this point’ Klingons. Will be fascinating to see where they go with this, and I hope it’s been very solidly plotted in advance, unlike the increasingly patchwork quality of Season 1 as it progressed. My only negative – and this makes me both cross and disappointed after the ‘chemistry’ of ‘for all ages to enjoy’ Star Trek was successfully captured in the previous episode, they had to suddenly throw in two throat slittings by Elnor, and then have him make a wise crack afterwards as if (as with Tarantino) it’s OK violence is cool. No, not cool. This scene would have worked just as well without that. I’m going to be so disappointed and angry if this is the norm, and there’s f-bombs to come too. For heaven’s sake, show some restraing and some class. Star Trek WAS/IS for all age groups, families. Don’t pander to the teens and up only crowds. But having said all that, I’d give this a solid 8/10, with episode one being a 9.5. Intrigued, excited, though apprehensive too about how dark they’re going to go. I pray they’re well aware of the anger many felt towards Season 1’s infamous torture-prn episode, and the sheer f-in hubris too, and they’ll stay firmly within the family friendly arena this time around, albeit First Contact-like in darkness, but no further. We need some optimism back in Trek, to feel good about in this current screwed up world of ours. Trek should be the entertainment beacon others seek to emulate. Thank you.

Well at least in this totalitarian alt-timeline humanity has overcome it’s own internal divisions 😝. But in all seriousness, I wonder if our internal issues (i.e. racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia…the list goes on and on) will be explored much, if any, once the crew travels to 2024. It would make for an interesting exploration and juxtaposition that even in a totalitarian nightmare, humanity has somehow overcome it’s differences, yet in the hear and now, where democracy [mostly – and I can not emphasize mostly enough] reigns supreme, humanity is still divided amongst itself for some truly stupid reasons.

Great episode – shaping up to be an almighty season so far.

Anyone else spot the Goldsmith music cue for The Borg when Picard came face-to-face with the Queen? Moments like that give me chills.
I also spotted three or four notes that sounded remarkably like the ‘First Contact’ suite when Picard was talking to Raf before she went off to the Excelsior in episode 1. That could be be me ‘wanting’ to hear it on the latter, of course!

Also, Picard mentioning ‘Kirk’s Enterprise’ is the sort of call-back I love!


I’m impressed with this episode. Really enjoyable watch. Sir PatStew is back on form here too which is nice to see. DeLancie is perfect. What a great start to S2. God willing more of this please!