Review: ‘Star Trek: Picard’ Has A Night Fit For A Queen In “Two Of One”

“Two of One”

Star Trek: Picard Season 2, Episode 6 – Debuted Thursday, April 7, 2022
Written by: Cindy Appel & Jane Maggs
Directed by Jonathan Frakes

Picard has a little fun with a focused episode that moves the season plot forward just a bit.

 

WARNING: Spoilers below!

RECAP

“The 21st century is intense”

Picking up at the Europa Mission gala we start with how the night ends badly for a black-tied Jean-Luc Picard, collapsed, bleeding, and flashing back to his childhood before snapping back to a ticking clock of 34 minutes earlier as he and the gang try to sneak into the party with bogus credentials. Agnes is in position in the security room where she knocks out the guards with a gadget and after little banter with her onboard Borg, the Queen gives her the strength to break free and hack the system. Once inside, Picard and Tallinn keep an eye on Renée to make sure she makes it through the night without quitting the program while Rios, Raffi, and Seven mingle.

As for Agnes, she doesn’t seem to be coping well with her new “houseguest,” with Queenie backbrain driving every move she makes. The Borg inside isn’t happy, complaining how her bots have to swim through all of Jurati’s stress hormones. As the night drags on Raffi notes how Seven and Rios seem to be enjoying 2024 a bit too much, each for their own reasons, while she remains haunted by the death of Elnor. The evening is getting to Renée too who starts spiraling with memories of her failure in the simulator and texting Sigmund Fraud (aka Q), who is encouraging her to give in to her fear.

“You really don’t understand who you are dealing with”

With the young Picard heading to quit, the admiral springs into action. Against The Watcher’s code, he is determined to engage with his ancestor. He needs Jurati to distract the mission commander so he can get to Renée but she is distracted herself by the Queen’s constant buzzing in her head, pushing her to live a little, including giving Rios a big kiss before running off explaining (a bit on the nose) “I’m not myself.” Picard too is waylaid, stunned to find himself blocked by an all too familiar face… until the introduction of Adam Soong makes things click with this family’s shallow gene pool. The mad scientist makes clear he is working with “Mister Q,” and he will do anything to keep Astro-Picard from going to Europa. And his first move is to use his newly bought seat on the board to get Jean-Luc kicked out of the party.

As guards close in on the admiral, the team scrambles, and Jurati tries to snap out of her mission jeopardizing internal dialog. The Queen decides to help by using Borg powers to shut down the lights, so Agnes can go full Evita, belting into song. Didn’t see that coming, but it works as a distraction to allow Picard to disguise as a guard and get close to Renée. Jurati relishes in her literal moment in the spotlight… until the Queen reveals her evil plan. Turns out she needed Agnes to have an endorphin-inducing good time to wrestle control over their shared body. “I am in control.”  Totally saw that coming.

“Even in the darkest circumstances, there is a light”

Jean-Luc approaches great-great-etc cousin, presenting himself as the Yoda of security guards to get her to open up. He sees his mother in her, including how “she too struggled.” The admiral calls to the young astronaut’s ambition with a personalized version of one of his better inspiring speeches. Her trepidation isn’t a sign she isn’t ready, it means she understands the risks… and isn’t that the business they are both in? His optimism breaks through therapist Q’s gaslighting, and now she is ready again to meet her destiny. But as he escorts the reinvigorated Renée to reunite with her fellow astronauts, Jean-Luc has to protect her again as a desperate Adam Soong tries to run her down with his car. With young Picard pushed away from the danger now we are caught up with where we started with our Picard down for the count.

“What am I?”

A dejected Adam Soong returns home to commiserate with his daughter talking about how she is the only thing that matters and why is willing to do the things he has done. She is his “life’s work.” Wait, what now? Kore decides it’s time to snoop around, discovering dear old dad has been rejected by the world for playing god with science. She is horrified to learn she is actually his latest project… the last survivor of a line of little girl experiments.

With Renée safely in quarantine, the team focus on saving their Picard, with a little help from Dr. Teresa who stabilizes him, although his android body shorts out her defibrillator, adding to her Rios weirdness list. The doctor leaves the team alone in her clinic as they use their future tech to sort out Jean-Luc is “stuck” in some kind of memory and the crazy plan is to have Tallinn use her Supervisor tech for a “jury-rigged mind meld” to get in there and sort him out… next week. They do wonder where Jurati is as we end with Queen Agnes walking the streets of LA, relishing in the many, many voices.

ANALYSIS

Let’s party

“Two of One” is a fine simple episode focused on an away mission. At times profound, and other times a bit goofy, the team has some Ocean’s Eleven-style fun with Picard and director Jonathan Frakes pulling it off much better than their last caper episode (“Stardust City Rag”) in season one. Leaning on the in media res style again gave the episode a clear focus and ticking clock, running it almost in real-time. But for an episode that was set up to play into the heist genre, there wasn’t that much action and this structure felt like a crutch to up the stakes. In between the glamor, jazz, and gags the episode spent some time exploring the season’s main theme of fear, along with some touches on mental health and addiction.

Patrick Stewart’s Jean-Luc Picard ably drove the story forward as he moved from one fascinating dynamic to another — starting with Orla Brady’s Tallinn, to Brent Spiner’s new Soong, to Penelope Mitchell’s Renée. He showed why he is the star of the show with that moment of seeing Adam Soong for the first time, with his evolving facial expressions. And Brent Spiner is at the top of his game, making Adam wholly different from his varied prior Trek characters. The scene with Renée was a beautiful moment where Stewart used his superpower of changing the world with an inspiring speech full of hope. Lines like, “fear is fear, it doesn’t speak in riddles” was classic Trek and quintessential Picard.

But it was Annie Wersching’s Borg Queen that was the biggest highlight of the episode as she chewed up the scenery as Jurati’s annoying party crasher. Together Wersching and Alison Pill continue to bring the most memorable moments in each episode, with a mix of humor and horror. Having Jurati break into song to act as a distraction was weirdly wonderful, although how she and the Queen got the band and the spotlight operator to work with them is a mystery.

And once again it was Picard and Jurati doing the lion’s share of the work, with both paying big prices to keep Renée safe. The other characters continue to have their own emotional stories, with Raffi struggling over the loss of Elnor who she continues to see in little visions. She also has the insight to see that Seven and Rios are a bit too enamored with the 21st century, with Rios smitten by Dr. Teresa. Even though Jeri Ryan’s Seven was at the party she didn’t have anything to say until a couple of fun lines back at the clinic, but the short run time could indicate there were some cut subplots. The actors are all doing fine work, however, it would be nice to see them more involved with the main story.

What’s going on?

Even with an episode focused on keeping Renée on the right timeline to fix the future, we still have no more idea about Q’s true motivation for setting all this in motion. Fear does seem to be a thematic thread connecting the astronaut and Jean-Luc’s mother, with him even evoking her line of “look up.” And there were more scary childhood flashbacks to mom, but it appears the real answers to the meaning of those will have to wait for Tallinn’s journey into Picard’s mind next week.

Speaking of Tallinn there were contradictory clues related to the big mystery of why she looks just like Laris. Early on Picard seemed to dismiss the idea she was an ancestor to a Romulan, but later (as Tallinn mumbled a curse at phone) the closed caption described it as “(speaks Romulan),” and as pointed out last week, her tablet appeared to be Romulan tech. Has anyone run a scan of her, just to check to see exactly what she is?

The Agnes/Queen storyline is fascinating with a different take on assimilation. Jurati seemed to have some level of control, even though it was clear that there are Borg nanos running around her system. Perhaps things from the alternate timeline work differently, but Jurati’s will and biochemistry seem to be playing a part in the process. It was a bit disconcerting how the gang didn’t seem all that concerned with how she was acting or her absence at the end, so hopefully soon they will clue in on what’s going on. One thing is for sure, this Queen could put a crimp into the timeline struggle between Q and our La Sirena team.

Where we did learn a bit was thanks to some snooping by Kore, making it clear she is a clone or biological creation, and sadly one of many, many girls who had died. Soong’s motivation to save her makes sense, although how this leads to him being a revered figure in the Confederation timeline remains unclear, but it could have something to do with his inventions (with a little help from Q) leading to a “safe galaxy being a human galaxy.” Those hexagonal panels in his office and those shield drones could be a connection to the wall grid around the Confederation’s future Earth. [UPDATE: Showrunner Terry Matalas has confirmed this connection]. As for why Kore never Googled her dad before, that was is inexplicable.

Final thoughts

“Two of One” was a fun little episode with some laughs, good performances, and even some character development. But now that we are past the halfway mark, the season is starting to drag a bit with too many mystery box teases going on.

Random bits

  • At 38:51, the episode runtime is the shortest of the series.
  • Following last week, this is the second Star Trek credit for writer Cindy Appel, who joined the series as a producer for season two.
  • This is the first writing credit for Jane Maggs, who joined the series as a supervising producer for season two.
  • Jonathan Frakes returns for the second of his two-episode episode block, for a total of 28 Star Trek directing credits, and fourth for Picard. (See TrekMovie interview with Frakes about directing for season two)
  • For the first time this season, John de Lancie’s Q does not appear.
  • This is the first episode of the season with no scenes set on La Sirena.
  • The Gala was primarily filmed at the Biltmore Hotel in Downtown Los Angles, with the Fox Village Theater in Westwood serving as the exterior.
  • Rios’ initial fake ID was “Karl Leonard Kelley” a 60-year-old heart surgeon from the South (and a reference to Dr. Leonard McCoy and actors Karl Urban and DeForest Kelley). After Jurati hacked the system Rios became the more believable 45-year-old “Xavier Vincente Villalobos.”
  • Rios also disguised himself as a security guard with the nametag “P. Trotter,” later giving Picard that nametag and earpiece.
  • The song Jurati sings is “Shadows of the Night,” made famous by Pat Benatar.
  • Tallinn uses a Servo device like fellow Supervisor, Gary Seven.
  • The names for Soong’s previous girls included Persephone, Despoina, Persephatta, and Artemis, all of which are from Greek mythology. Kore is another name for Persephone, Queen of the Underworld.
  • The Europa Mission spacecraft is named Shango, for the African god of thunder, lightning, and fire.
  • Renée Picard points out a model for the OV-165 Shuttle which is featured in the spaceflight history montage in the opening credits of Star Trek: Enterprise. She calls it “Spike” for the aerospike engines, like the proposed Lockheed VentureStar/X-33, which inspired the OV-165.
  • One of the spaceflight displays for the Europa Mission gala featured the Nomad probe from the TOS episode “The Changeling.” (Episode 204 featured Jackson Roykirk Plaza at a NASA facility, named for the scientist who created Nomad).

More to come

Every Friday, the TrekMovie.com 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.


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Putting the known Picard issues aside, I really enjoyed this episode as the characters got to do something and Picard felt more TNG-ish. However, I wish they’d stop making Raffi an “angry black woman” stereotype. It’s not fun to watch and certainly not woke. The doctor is bordering on “fiery latina” too.

Less Spiner was a plus too but Kore’s storyline seems like a rehash of season 1.

The season has gone from what we all wanted in episode one (and all the “professional critics” reviewed), to a mixture of cringe and low budget fan fiction in just 2 more episodes.

It’s hard to watch and I don’t hate myself enough to watch any more of it.
Now I know how the star wars fans felt.

At this rate everything will be considered as a trope or a stereotype. I don’t think we need to handicap writers anymore than they already are. As a long the tropes are used an effective way to tell a story, I don’t think we should think too much about them, now whether an effective story is told is another matter but we’ll have to watch until the end of season to see where it all goes. The Kore storyline kind of gives me the impression of the beginnings of the augments but we’ll see.

I’m certainly no expert on wokeness, but I don’t see either of those characters as the stereotypes you mention. Teresa acts like every other doctor i’ve seen on TV (“get out of my operating room” etc) and Raffi is feeling the pain of Elnor’s death, she’s certainly not the same kind of “angry black woman” you describe.

Both are behaving based on strong internal character and story logic, not stereotypes. Also not sure what you imply by “known picard issues.” Known to your griping nitpickery, sure…

“Griping nitpickery”…? Not sure why you feel the need to be rude.

The only person trading in harmful stereotypes is you- so perhaps that’s why some people are calling you out (or as you call it “rude”).

I don’t know what you mean by “trading in harmful stereotypes”. Many people have pointed out over the weeks that Raffi has done nothing but get angry at people this season. First Picard, then Seven, now Tallin. She was also the trailer living drug addict with a broken family in the first season. As for the doctor, she does have some fiery latina elements but hasn’t been on screen enough to make a fair judgement. As the other user pointed out, these are also typical doctor tropes too which I hadn’t considered.

“Angry black woman” and “firery latina” are both well established tropes. Me mentioning them doesn’t mean that I am encouraging stereotypes. Only by discussing these things can people avoid them in the future.

The “rude” comment was referring to the wording of the previous user. Accusing someone of griping and nitpicking for sharing an opinion is rude. I didn’t mean that they were rude for having a different opinion to me and I did find some of their points interesting.

Rafi was super integer in the first couple of episodes, till Elnor’s death. What do you not understand about her behavior? Ever lost someone in a circumstance where he was sacrificed for someone else? Would it make you angry? Would you be able to direct your anger, or would it be more like a shotgun spray? She even saw Elnor in the crowd at the party. You clearly follow an agenda of not just being nitpicky, but you actively try to be negative. Either that or you are unable to follow the story. If it’s the latter, then I’m sorry, we can easily explain the story threads and character development if you want.

Bingo. Not rude, reality.

Not rude. But your lack of an actual response to my points pretty much proves mine.

I didn’t counter your points because I didn’t want to start an argument with you. I did mention in a reply to someone else that I thought your points about the doctor stereotype were fair and something I hadn’t considered. I don’t agree with the rest but I don’t want to argue it either. Accusing someone of griping and nitpicking is rude though, especially when I did actually say I really liked the episode.

There are no “known Picard issues”, the show is great

Huh? It’s Marvel-tier garbage. One of the most intellectually vapid and aesthetically incompetent shows I’ve seen.

Well, maybe not that bad, but not great

They made an “interesting” decision to have the only black regular character on the show be impulsive, erratic, and unstable. No, black characters don’t need to be perfect, but you make a valid observation, especially since the characters are coming off as rather cartoonish this season. I find the doctor to be less fiery Latina and more generic Latina.

Thank you, this is what I meant. And you’re right, I confused generic latina and fiery latina.

So what you mean is “generic person.” The only thing that makes her latina, as far as I can see, is that she is one, which seems to be exposing your own personal issues with minorities. I don’t see any stereotypes, myself.

If you’re seeing something i’m not, you need to bring forth an actual argument, with a factual basis.

Given Trek’s long history of diverse black characters, I think it’s ok to have one who has issues (which by the way, there are a wealth of stories issues for).

Characters of all races and ethnicities can be portrayed with all manner of attitudes. Sure, i might acknowledge it as a problem if Raffi was the FIRST EVER black character in Trek, but come on, now. The end goal of anti-racism isn’t for all minorities to be portrayed as perfect people, but for them to be portrayed as everyone else: a diverse collection of differing people.

I’m all about fighting harmful stereotypes, but if you’re going to bring an accusation of one, bring a nuanced argument. Back it up with something. Let’s have an actual discussion. Something more than “well Raffi is a stereotype ugh.”

Serioulsy! Whatever the writers do they are hanged for it. We had the Burnham show ! She had all the solution and she is black! The gay latinos Doctor that kisses an albino dude. We have Transgender aliens that got on my nerves but I didn’t wine about it. They felt pushed in there only to represent a certain groupe and did not serve the story, which that to mw is annoying. Raffi is grieving and she is pissed! It’s part of her character arc. That’s it! So if the writers want to have an annoying and angry character, they better should make him a male white dude if they don’t want any backlash from every wining angry Joe on social media. Is that the solution? And the latina doctor is fine. 7 of 9 was the sexy chic hired for reviews in VOY and here she is, a fan favorite!

As a long time trek fan, I like Picard season two way more then Disco season 3-4 and even Picard season 1. I think it’s entertaining and Im always anxious to see the next episode.

Must be very hard being a writer in this day in age.

I sure hope Jeri Ryan is getting paid a ridiculous amount of money to be in this stupid show. She’s absolutely being wasted. Meanwhile, this episode was just diarrhea. Not even bad Star Trek, just awful TV.

Yeah this series is definitely less awful than S1 but i’m not excited about S3 with these writers. There’s not a chance in hell they will top All Good Things. It will be closer to “These Are The Voyages” and everyone knows it.

When someone pontificates on what “everyone knows,” it is virtually assured to be absolute rubbish. As everyone knows.

Everyone keeps calling it Two of One or Two For One, lol.

Two Girls one…. Drink?

Ughhhhh. My Prime renews the day before the final episode (May 5″. So i’m gonna end up paying a whole month just to watch the finale…  😩

If you have any curiosity about Strange New Worlds you will be able to watch the first few episodes of it.

Strange New Worlds isn’t going to be on Amazon Prime. At least, they haven’t announced anything to that effect. And with Paramount+ slowly expanding internationally, I don’t expect they will give away any further shows to Amazon or Netflix.

Well the episode interesting it gave me Ocean’s 11 vibes but personally this episode imo is the weakest of the whole season.

I again love the Jurati/Queen scenes though i do hope we have normal Jurati back when they return to 2401 and for S3.

The Picard/Tallinn scenes were nice Picard i think is really in love with Laris and i hope they get together when the crew gets back to 2401. I felt sad for Tallinn with her watching over Renee but not interacting with her over the 20 years though I’d understand why she couldn’t.

I liked the scenes with Raffi and Rios they haven’t shared many scenes in the show so it’s great to have them interact here and Rios talking about the doctor from the previous episodes i knew then that we would see here again when helping save Picard’s life.

Raffi talking about 7 getting to loosen up was great she really does love 7 and 7 loves her i hope they get back together and can we can even get a wedding for them in S3 please.

Raffi seeing Elnor again shows she is mentally not great. His death is really getting to her but I’m glad the show is not afraid to highlight ptsd just like Discovery with it’s highlight of Trauma and Culber talking to the crew. I hope we get Elnor back and have him in S3.

The scenes with Picard and Adam Soong were interesting especially with Soong called him Picard. I wonder just what Q has told him about told Adam about him and i felt kinda sorry for him as he is only doing this to give his daughter a life but not knowing he changes the future from a good one to a bad one and trying to kill Renee by running her down but getting Picard instead.

Jurati up on stage singing was cool but not so cool as the Queen seeming now to be in control.

The scenes with Picard and Renee was nice i loved the talk he had with her.

I knew we would see the doctor again and 7 saying Picard had a few transplants and Rafii saying all of them was kinda funny. When the doctor used the defibrillator on Picard and electricity shot out of his body was interesting. I take it has to do with his organic golem body.

So Kore is a clone? hmmm i wonder where they are going with this part of the story-line.

Picard being trapped in his mind due to a blocked memory of his father abusing him and his mother? I also wonder where they are going with this part of the story-line too. It will be interesting what happens when Tallinn going into his mind will do and what we will see.

The queen controlled Jurati is so going to cause a lot trouble.

Yes, I think Kore is a clone. “The Infinite Vulcan” (TAS) introduced the connection between the Eugenics Wars and cloning in the person of Stavros Keniclius, an Earth scientist from the Eugenics Wars period, and his clones Keniclius II to V. In this episode, McCoy said Keniclius would be over 250 years old, meaning he was from Kore’s generation or the next.

So Adam Soong could have been Keniclius’s mentor, as well as the ambitious scientist who, as TonyD surmised, planted the seeds for the Eugenics Wars. In fact, all of this Soong’s descendants could have been products of his work, either clones or androids.

Good Lord, was Orla Brady gorgeous in this episode! Imagine being the most beautiful woman in the room that also has Jeri Ryan in it…

Plus the fact she recently turned 60! One of the real positives of Picard has been its given front and centre roles for middle age actresses, hard to believe Jeri Ryan is 54 and Michelle Hurd is 55

Every moment of this episode was absolutely delightful. Yet another one this season that feels like an instant classic. This season is really knocking out of the park imo.

So … we get – for the most part at least – our third filler episode in a ten episode season. And it’s pretty much a “best of” of ideas done better 30 years prior in other shows or movies or that haven’t been original for even longer.

Starting with a “Yup. That’s me. You’re probably wondering how I got here” is never a good sign. And they did it for the second time in six episodes. And it’s not even that thrilling, when it’s Picard, who’s in danger, since this airs one or two days after the cast announcement for season 3 🤷🏻‍♂️ … they didn’t even even really commit to the flashback format and dropped it halfway through an already short episode.

What else do we have? … Jurarti talking to herself like a maniac and no one at a fancy party caring. The old cliché of talking to the voice in your head and someone in the room misunderstanding you. And that’s not even mentioning, that the possession/imaginary freiend trope has been done to death in SciFi. Even Discovery already did it at least once.

Seven being shown as the life of the party is weird, since she was written completely different up to here. Soong introducing himself and monologing instead of just having Picard removed from the party makes no sense.

Same with the whole hit-and-run thing: So when you’re a 90 year old guy getting hit by a car, all it needs is a defibrillator and a bed to get you stable … yet you still need open heart surgery by one person in a back room afterwards. And while “A bio bed isn’t a doctor”, it still saved the cop in the last episode and would have saved Elnor with more energy.

And next episode we can look forward to the going-into-someone’s-mind-cliché. How often has that been done on Star Trek alone? 🙄

Why spend all that money, actually hire pretty good actors for the parts (with the exception of Hurd and Brionnes) and then have people write it, who not only have no idea how to write Star Trek or interesting dialogue but obviously have no ideas in general? 🤨

Have to agree with most of this. Very interesting set up but it’s all being so squandered right now. I was hoping now that we are officially at the halfway mark, they were going to dive in and really push the story. They keep teasing that maybe Talliem for example is more than they say she is but it was just a lot of fluff talk between her and Picard all episode. Is there something more to her or is she really who she say is? If it’s the former, that shoe could’ve dropped here instead of teasing it for more episodes.

Other than learning Soong is making clones it just felt like a filler episode once again. There was just no strong twists in the story itself. Something that took the story in a different direction.

And btw, what was up with the scene where the security was trying to stop Picard? It came off so weird to me. Were they trying to take him into custody or just there to stop him from entering rooms? Why not just detain him like they detained Dr. Jurati in all of thirty seconds when they became suspicious of her? And then we somehow have to believe they ‘lost’ him when there are a dozen security guards on the guy.

Not looking forward to next week episode either. It sounds like it’s going to be Picard wrestling with his inner demons all episode.

I like learning that Soong is making clones, because he could have been the mentor to Stavros Keniclius [“The Infinite Vulcan” (TAS)].

I’m with Red Letter Media now. This season is irretrievably muddled about the cause/threat of the time alteration and this episode was just coasting. I hope they can pull out of the dive in the remaining shows.

I agree, it does not seem like they are resolving anything. I feel like i could watch the first two episodes and the last episodes and not miss anything.

I might try that

I would pay more for a good story.

“Coasting.” That is exactly the word to describe what this show has been doing ever since they arrived in 2024. Things have happened but it doesn’t really feel like things have happened.

I haven’t seen their review of Picard this season but I can’t imagine its great lol.

I watched their review of last season and sadly I had to agree with nearly everything they said. I’m shocked they are reviewing this season because they said in one video they were giving up on the new shows completely, well definitely Discovery. I don’t think they even bothered to review LDS or PRO at all.

lol getting your opinions fed to you

Where did you remotely get that? They simply said they agreed with them. And you’re on a review thread right now which I’m guessing many people agree with Anthony’s review as well.

RLM? I’ve suffered through their “reviews” in S1… They had some good points but stylistically their reviews are so full of disrespect and cynicism… Example: Stardust City Rag… the ep was TERRIBLE and they had every right to trash it but NOT the way they did it… showing no interest in the world they are blasting… not even remembering Freecloud’s or Bjayzal’s name because they couldn’t care less. If I don’t like aspects about Trek I dislike them BECAUSE I care so much about every little detail…They on the other hand don’t seem to give a hoot…And that’s why I’ll never watch RLM ever again…

RLM is now, ironically, better drama even than nuTrek.

Agreed.

Yep! And if you dig below their humour (which is an acquired taste for some, evidently… usually those who are hopeless recognising irony or sarcasm or having their precious shows criticised) just about all their points are usually bang on. They just don’t idolise like some fans, and point out the trash which is all too often evident in modern script-writing, as they should.

“They just don’t idolise like some fans”

This is why I dislike those reviewers. Even bad Trek is larger than life…

Ugh. What a bad episode of television. And that’s what it felt like. TV. Just the worst. And this season started soooooo good. But what a wandering mess of mediocrity.

It’s really quite gutting isn’t it. I was on a high after the first episode, because it truly had that elusive ‘Trek’ quality where you just know you’re watching the real deal, and not a load of ‘Trek stuff’ put into a pop-culture blender and throw out onto the scripted page, which is what this has turned into. Appalled Sir Patrick hasn’t noticed how badly written and plotted this has become. I’d say it’s only slightly above the quality of Season 1 now. I have little hope for S3 and almost don’t want to see it, and have the rest of that crew soiled by this era of NuTrek. Easier to retcon All Good Things in my head-canon as being the true ‘end’ for the TNG crew.

This show…

I don’t know, it’s not as bad as the first season. But now it’s like one of those standard CBS action/heist dramas that would air after 60 Minutes or The Amazing Race and last one season.

Can we get back to the Stargazer? I really liked that episode. You know, Seven and Picard arguing over whether they can trust the Borg, that was great stuff. Felt like Star Trek.

Though, I suppose they could be saving that peace with the Borg storyline for season 3.

Entertaining but given that this era is supposed to present a drastic differential between have and have-nots, I see nothing solid and relatable about that in this story line. Renee could represent something a little more than a crisis of personal confidence.

Fascist dictatorship lasting centuries… Caused by depression.

And, with due respect to Patrick Stewart being the nice guy, why build Jurati’s crisis if she doesn’t get to directly meet/confront Renee when she has the chance? Isn’t that what the Queen really wants? To rewrite history from this point?

And is Laris a Romulan who, once she left Chateau Picard, is recruited by the Watchers to go back in time? And what does that mean for Season 3? Let’s imagine that Laris and Picard hookup, but then the Romulans who dislike AI tech come back in full force.

Maybe I should take a break and come back at the end of 2023!

Laris going back in time may be Qz doing, as a present to his “capitan” to have him finally realise that he can have a proper love in his life. Plus Laris/Tallin (the name of the capital city of Estonia, btw) may find out what is holding back Picard from her in the future, but all this after saving the prime universe as we know it again. The Renee role in the timeline harkens back to the role Edith Keeler had in the time line except Keeler dying kept the time line unchanged.

As Anthony pointed out, Tallinn’s tablet appeared to be Romulan tech – the written characters on it looked Romulan – and she spoke Romulan. But then, the characters on Gary Seven’s Beta Five keypad didn’t look Romulan. Perhaps, the aliens that assigned Gary Seven and Tallinn to Earth were a federation of different species.

I still won’t understand the desire to make less than 40 minute episodes when you are on a streaming channel. Also it seems to me that Frakes these days intentionally picks the weirdest episodes to direct. Not having Q in an episode also made me realise how much more John De Lancie makes anything watchable. Finally the Kore storyline might be the beginning of the augments as we know from Enterprise that another Soong was involved with those experiments maybe picking off where this Soong left off.

TV directors don’t get to choose which eps they’re directing unless, maybe, they’re producing directors for that particular show. TV directors, for the most part, are freelancers, and they get offers from the producers who assign them their episodes based on scheduling. Directors virtually never know what the episode will be about until they get a script.

“Also it seems to me that Frakes these days intentionally picks the weirdest episodes to direct.”

That’s not directing works. You’re hired as a director–you don’t choose the episodes.

As for the Augments, they were created long before the 2020s. In the 1990s, they tried to take over the world.

As for the Augments, they were created long before the 2020s. In the 1990s, they tried to take over the world.

I’m increasingly of the opinion that the Eugenics Wars haven’t happened yet in this version of reality. The word “eugenics” was briefly seen while Kore was Googling her father. Something happened (maybe Braxton/Starling from Voyager’s Future’s End) that made the Eugenics Wars and World War III (now the same thing) happen 40-ish years later than in the original history.


I think you are correct. However, the Eugenics Wars and World War III were originally meant to be the same thing. In “Space Seed,” McCoy identified the last world war as the Eugenics Wars, when Spock stated that the mid-1990s was the era of that war. As for something making it happen 40-ish years later, I think the “1990s” was the “1984” of Star Trek.

As Matalas tweeted, PIC’s writers concluded that several EMP bursts kicked everyone back decades during WW3, but if these bursts only kicked back everyone’s electronic clocks, not their memories, paper calendars, and tick marks on walls, then an Orwellian, dystopian global tyranny, perhaps during the dark ages of the Postatomic Horror completed the job of kicking everything back, by establishing a new calendar, altering every date, and implanting mind-control devices in everyone.  Perhaps, leader of this tyrant was Colonel Green, Lee Kuan, or Krotus [“Patterns of Force” (TOS) and “Whom Gods Destroy” (TOS)].

Although poverty, disease, and war would be gone within the fifty years after First Contact, they Postatomic tyranny did its damage to the dating of historical events, resulting in records of the period being fragmentary, the history of the period being wildly incomplete.

Sorry, by “they Postatomic tyranny,” I meant, “the Postatomic tyranny.”

At least for me, this season continues to get better with each episode, and the first episode was pretty good already. I think what I appreciate most is that each episode acts as a clearly distinctive beat in the overarching story.

Getting good quiet moments between the characters that doesn’t feel overwrought is why its light years better than Discovery in my opinion.

Certainly better than Disco.

Recently writers seem to have developed the idea that an extended arc of their shows tells a better story, but really it seems likely that they have trouble meeting deadlines to do a quick episode start to finish.

The demise of Enterprise – the Xindi nonsense went on too long, ended poorly planned

Discovery, while a show that is good overall, fails to secure the need to watch a specific episode because each are so stitched together, a single show is always unfinished. Not everyone has the time. This approach is a lot like looking at a painting, but only focusing on an area the size of a postage stamp.

Episodes that are start-to-finish get rewatched more often, long arcs don’t, and this approach can and has killed franchises in the past.

Hopeful that Strange New Worlds is legit and will try again to do this, but the young writers of today simply lack the ability or the willingness to reinforce viewership. They want immediate praise and a paycheck, but ultimately fail the franchise and the fan base. I am not saying that all they do with beloved characters is 100 percent bad, people return to the shows because of the characters, but telling the stories in long arcs can make even the most devoted fan, uninterested and aloof.

Picard is doing the same, telling a good story, but taking too long to get to the point. It is good that Picard is only 3 seasons, they could have wrapped all of this up in just 1 season. The only real grace in this was no mirror universe nonsense, although messing with time in the way they are is very close to that concept.

It would also be super nice if stories written about time travel could really wrap their brains around the enormous complexity of messing with time. There are billions of people on the planet, each person making a decision in every second of every hour of every single day. With all of that chaos going on, every moment that the crew exist is unraveling the tapestry of time. I am not saying that as a Star Trek Snob or Nerd, but from the point of view from Physics. Copenhagen Interpretation, Heisenberg, Bohr, Schroedinger, Einstein and more. The writers are either too disinterested in understanding the nature of time or simply don’t care. Messing with time is a popular idea in science fiction, but even a basic understanding of Physics will go a long way to telling a better story when it comes to using that as a plot. Let’s see some original and deeper thinking in the writing for a change and watch how far that goes.

“Tell a story, but tell it slowly” is a trend that’s really gotten on my nerves. For example, the first, 13 episode season of Battlestar Galatica was excellent, and tightly written, but subsequent seasons really dragged. Lost was even worse. Every resolution to one question triggered three more questions. And since a lot of streaming shows are produced with the knowledge at they will be binged, this is a problem for more casual viewers.

This is consistant with TNG wanting to be Young and the Restless in Space.

But it tends to rush everything at the end too.

Then there’s the theory of time travel that the time travelers were neccassry to the timeline in the first place. I think several Star Trek shows have addressed that.

All in all a good ep, but yes, the season is dragging a bit. Still, I was eager to see more as it ended, so job well done I suppose.

This was bad.

The conceit of seeing Picard unconscious, then the time stamp of “whatever minutes ago” and then jumping back got really tedious, really fast. The singing scene was totally irrelevant, not beautifully shot or enchanting enough to merit so much screen time. Raffi’s character is such an insult to the actress. She is literally just there to be antagonistic and go against whatever option is on the table in any given scene, by whoever she’s in the scene with. It’s getting really tedious, really fast.

And ok, the idea that Renee’s anxiety and depression is keeping her from her dream, from the mission she worked so hard for and prepared for her entire life, presumable passing psych exams and evaluations along the way TO BE A BLOODY ASTRONAUT OFF COURSE ! is kinda daft to begin with (also the messaging here is kinda alarming tbh); Not saying that real life people’s mental health can’t be crippling and debilitating etc. But if we go along with what the writers are trying to have us believe – a few minutes of a conversation with a total stranger at a party cures you of all your woes? Sure, Jan.

I’m really unsure of what this is all saying about our time, or the future, or if there is even any message here at all. 2024 is bad, but has good food. Cool.

Four episodes to go and I honestly do not care what happens. Hope the Borg queen wins.

2024 is bad, but has good food. Cool.”

A security guard actually told me a few years ago that both the “greys” and the “reptilians” frequently visit earth because they like pizza and whiskey, respectively.

We make good food (and drink), we can’t help it. :D

TV writers use that in medias res hook because with so many viewing options available, the feeling is you have to be pretty aggressive and grab viewers right off the bat. It’s a natural evolution from the cold open (formerly called the teaser) that the original Star Trek employed.

Starting your story using the in medias res structure has its merits 100%, and is as valid a storytelling device as any. But the way it was used was completely unnecessary and, again, tedious.
We know Picard is not in any real fatal danger. They’ve already written and shot season three, and we’ve all just seen the teaser clip from season three of Picard writing something and wearing glasses with the VO of Geordie etc. The name if the show is Picard! Obviously he will be fine. There’s therefore no point in using that structure here as any tension it should create is moot.

Maybe if it was some other character who was laid out, presumably dead or near death, it would’ve had more impact as we don’t know the fate of anyone this season – bar Picard.

I enjoyed the episode although we need to open some mystery boxes soon. Seven needs some roles! And how Kore didn’t Google her dad could be due to the simple fact that Adam was exposed fully last week. In academia/research, a ‘mad scientist’ will have no funding if it becomes public. If the revelation happened at the meeting where Adam Soong was stripped of his license and funds, the news would go bonkers after that. At that point googling his name would give those articles..

Your explanation sounds plausible.

As for why Kore never Googled her dad before, that was is inexplicable.

Not at all. I’ve never Google’d anyone in my family. I know them, so why would I? This is the first time Kore has had any reason to Google him.

Your explanation seems plausible.

I can’t believe you guys missed the significance of Karl Leonard Kelley!

I like this show more than a lot of people here. But I have to say… this season, despite a VERY strong start, is driving in circles. This episode was a snooze-fest. There’s so much potential with this cast and these characters. Why are they wasting their time, two seasons in a row, with party-crashing scenes? In both seasons, they turned out to be the weakest episodes.

Both seasons also have a version of the same actress out finding out she wasn’t what she thought she was.

Prediction: The queen in “The Star gazer” is Jurati/Queen, who really does want to join the Federation. The Borg refer to Jean-Luc as “Locutus” not “Picard”

Not trusting the Borg is Picard’s sin that Q is mad about?

Good theory. That explains why the Stargazer queen’s identity was concealed.

It was Agnes all along.

Please reboot your Picard to install upgrades.

This show continues to get bogged down ever since Q showed up. Q appearances have traditionally meant the episode would not be good, but this is a whole new level. That first episode was pretty decent. Until Q showed up. Then the quality dropped 90 degrees straight down an miraculous speeds.

I’m still stunned at the level of security for this astronaut send off party. You’d think this was thrown by a Bond villain.

And fine… Jurarti singing was Borg influenced. But at a gathering with such tight security how is just waltzing onto a balcony and singing something that can even happen? And it only took out SOME lights?

Further, I have grown very tired of the “X time units earlier…” trope. And this episode doubled down by using that card multiple times! At least that’s new.

I’m confused about the Picard robot body. Why is it so fragile but so strong at the same time? I guess it’s as resilient as the writers need for what is happening at the time.

The bio bed repaired the French cop and would have cured Elnor had it had enough power, yet it can’t help Picard? No buying it.

But, worst of all, ever since they appeared in 2024 the show feels like it’s just been spinning its wheels. The 2nd episode was awful but at least it propelled the story forward. They have discovered stuff but overall it seems like very little is happening. This season feels very much like season 1. Which is unfortunate. 90% of the first episode was pretty good.

For some reason, TV writers nowadays love to take about one hour of story and stretch it across ten episodes. It’s been going on for a while, and I suspect the idea is to make the story so involved and convoluted that people will get invested in the characters and the mystery boxes to such a degree that they’ll feel compelled keep watching to see how it turns out.

Agreed on the biobed comment. “A biobed is not a doctor” no, but Dr. Jurati is. If they really needed to bring Dr. Ramirez back in to the story, I say beam her over to the ship and wipe her memory or something. I’m fully expecting her and her son to be traveling to 2401 à la Dr. Gillian Taylor in Star Trek IV anyway.

Karl urban Leonard nimoy DeForrest Kelley

Leonard McCoy

U mean Karl Urban Leonard McCoy DeForest Kelley!

Sorry but this makes me think of Leonard James Akaar.

“I think you both are going to be insufferably pleased with yourselves for at least a month.”

I haven’t watched this episode yet but i’m shocked so far he hasn’t done his trademark ‘snort’ that he does for every character that isn’t Data.

Brent I mean.

So this is about when Akiva Goldsman took over as showrunner for the rest of the season, eh?

And as usual – another season of nu-trek where all the questions will be answered in the final 2 episodes. That plus the cliffhanger endings EVERY week is just a LAZY way of making sure people come back because they have no faith in their show.

Was this a cliffhanger ending?

Nope.

I don’t binge shows but I have seen streaming shows that end episodes and I REALLY want to keep watching to find out what is coming next. They are engineered the get that kind of reaction. This show sure isn’t doing it. Neither has Star Trek Discovery. Not once has either of these shows ended an episode with me jonsing to see what comes next.

Not once.

Least favorite episode so far this season. Very meh. Seems like we’re on a downhill slide with each work getting more mundane with very little forward momentum.

Maybe Jurati, the Borg Queen AND Nomad become the Borg invader on the Stargazer!

NomadVgerBorg

Even though I was ‘cautiously optimistic’ about this season, I ended up being very excited about it once it started. But I’m sorry it’s just been pretty bad for me since they made it to past Earth. Maybe I was just expecting too much because who the show runner was and there were a lot of things I liked that was part of the show but it’s just hasn’t been very exciting or flowed very well.

There were definitely things I liked about this episode and did think was better than last weeks, mostly the interaction between the Borg Queen and Dr. Jurati. All those scenes were fun. I thought the singing was a little over the top but OK. The Borg Queen is fun to watch even if she’s ‘dead’. I am curious to see where that is going. And I did like the reveal we finally got with Soong and he’s actually making clones. Sounds about right lol.

It just comes down to teasing the mystery too long. The premise does feel intriguing because every time we do learn something, I actually like it and really want to know more. But just like Discovery last season, they are stretching everything out to a ridiculous level. And it’s still a bit weird the future is changed to such a dire degree over Renee Picard traveling to Europa or not GIVEN all the issues we know that will be happening to Earth soon. I would think there is another angle, and there is with Soong himself I guess, but the story hangs all on this so far and sorry, it’s not compelling enough IMO.

The season is definitely better than season one but it still feeling like they are setting up something and not just fully telling the story. At this point, I almost wish I could just wait until it’s over and binge watch the rest. It’s feeling too frustrating every episode instead of feeling satisfied.

I just wish there was more going on. More layers. There are no strong twists to anything so far and the way they are laying everything out just feels too pedestrian. I wasn’t expecting something like All Good Things, but I was hoping for a more twisty story like that one and we’re not even close to that level.

I thought the stuff with Borg/Jurarti, while a trope, was still the best part of the episode. I thought it was obvious the daughter was a robot. That came as no surprise whatsoever. Their reveals so far have all been telegraphed way in advance. In that sense, it is like All Good things where the audience knew what was going on well ahead of the characters. So far it’s plodding along and it feels like they just don’t have enough story to fill the full 10 episodes. But people keep saying how Matalas in his 12 Monkeys show tied everything together quite nicely in the end so I guess we are just going to have to wait till episode 10 to see if everything in these plodding episodes is relevant.

I liked the reveal about Soong making clones. He could have been the mentor to Stavros Keniclius [“The Infinite Vulcan” (TAS)], as well as the ambitious scientist who, as TonyD surmised, planted the seeds for the Eugenics Wars.

So are we laying odds that the Picard team has it wrong? That she’s really not supposed to go on the mission and they discover that later – and then have to stop the mission…

You’re probably onto something. I never believed the solution to the problem would be that simple.

Well, it’s simple mathematics – we’re only half way through the season (more or less) and if they’ve solved the problem now, then there’s not much more story to tell, right? So clearly, there’s more here than meets the eye. Not sure if it will be as simple as I laid it out, but I doubt just getting her to go on the mission corrects the timeline.

I don’t think this group of writers are that clever. I was hoping for something like that in season 1. Where Picard took a side in an issue thinking he was taking the moral stance but then later, after he learns more about the situation he then realized due to his actions he unwittingly took part in something heinous. And he would have to live with that decision. Or at the very least is able to swap sides in time to halt the whatever it might end up being. I just wanted to see him be on the wrong side of a call for once. And see how he deals with it.

They’d just have to call her and tell her the dog died or it was raining

This was bad. There was way too much of it that was either way too silly (e.g., Juratti breaking into song) or had characters acting out of character or in unbelievable ways for the situation.

The pacing of the overall story doesn’t justify 10 episodes. A lot of what has been in the past 3-4 episodes could and should have been cut, since I think the series has lost focus. I mean these are supposed to be people that are desperate to save the future, who think their chance of getting back to their time just died with the Borg Queen, trying to outwit a quasi-omnipotent being, and lost Elnor what had to have been just a day ago tops.

Yet here they are quipping about matchbooks, cigars, and worrying about their love life. It just undercuts the urgency of the crisis at the heart of the story. And instead of getting back to the main story, next week looks to be another side quest into Picard’s mommy issues.

As for the Soong story… Maybe Kore and the other children were created from unstable Augment samples that Soong acquired or created during the Eugenics Wars?

It was the same in S1

Regarding the Soong story, I think Kore and the other children were, as TonyD surmised, the seeds that Soong planted for the Eugenics Wars.

As Matalas tweeted, the writers concluded that several EMP bursts kicked everyone back decades during WW3, to the 1990s/late 20th century. However, if these bursts only kicked back everyone’s electronic clocks, but not their memories, paper calendars, and tick marks on walls, then an Orwellian, dystopian global tyranny, perhaps during the dark ages of the Postatomic Horror, completed the job of kicking everything back, by establishing a new calendar, altering every date, and implanting mind-control devices in everyone. Perhaps, leader of this tyrant was Lee Kuan, Krotus, or Colonel Green (TOS:“Patterns of Force”, TOS: “Whom Gods Destroy”, TOS: “The Savage Curtain”, ENT: “Demons”, ENT: “Terra Prime”).

Although poverty, disease, and war would be gone within the fifty years after First Contact, the Postatomic Horror still resulted in records of the period being fragmentary and the history of the period being wildly incomplete.

That is, the “1990s” was the “1984” of Star Trek.

Another solid episode. Some obvious foreshadowing. Rios’ stays/Theresa leaves the 21st century? Seven&Raffi stay? Eugenics war gets fleshed out? This is a two season arc, apparently, so we are only about a third of the way in.

I don’t think Rios will stay behind. I think that speech was just way to remind everyone that the doctor character exists. Plus Rios has huge spinoff potential so it would be really stupid to do, unless they made a present day spinoff. They also have to return to the present so the scene in the first episode can be finished. It would be a little strange if he wasn’t there.

Possible spoilers: One of the trailers showed Rios and the doctor kissing on La Sirena which suggests that he tells her who he really is. Perhaps she comes back with him or they wipe her memory or he just trusts her to keep it a secret. I also noticed that, aside from the Rios actor who is the next season of The Flight Attendant (which could be a one season part only), none of the Picard actors have any upcoming roles on IMDB Pro. This suggests that the spinoff is already confirmed or at least pending.

Thinking about this more, maybe Rios does stay but we see the combined hologram in season 3.

Regarding whether the Eugenics Wars get fleshed out, I think the wars are more like foreshadowed, given Matalas’ tweet about the writers concluding that several EMP bursts kicked everyone back decades during WW3, Spock saying in “Space Seed” that the records of the period being fragmentary and Earth being on the verge of a dark ages during that period, and Picard mentioning in TNG: “Encounter at Farpoint” the Postatomic Horror and saying in “Fly to the Moon” that the history of the period being wildly incomplete.

These filler episodes are so draining. Especially considering how short the season is. Why New Trek insists on having season long story arcs is beyond me; having two or three mini-arcs would have been perfect. I switched off Discovery for this very reason and thinking of doing the same here; will just watch the season finale for closure.
It’s great that Strange New Worlds is returning to episodic format, hoping that it will be a notch or two above.

As I feared this show is just losing steam the further it goes.

Jurati’s suddenly bursting out into a song was the kind of cringeworthy moment I hoped I would be spared from not to mention the fact that all the security people who were so serious seconds earlier are just as quickly forgotten.

Kore’s backstory is basically turning into an alternate version of Dahj’s story from season 1. Are we to surmise that this Soong is the one who plants the seeds for the Eugenics Wars?.

I also don’t understand why Picard is haunted by his childhood memories to such a debilitating degree at this particular moment of all times given all the other stressful events he’s endured in his very, very long life.

Seven of Nine was completely wasted. Raffi again served as the obligatory angry person questioning the necessary course of action.

I’m also supposed to believe that a two minute pep talk from a total stranger will suddenly cure a massive crisis of confidence and lingering depression? I hate that kind of naive armchair psychology.

I also really hated the whole “XX minutes ago” structure of the episode; it felt like a tacky attempt at drawing attention to how little happens by framing it in a time-disjointed way. And let’s not kid ourselves, is Picard really going to die here? That kind of manufactured drama always falls flat, just like when he “died” at the end of the first season.

Overall disappointed but just not surprised given the people running the show.

Been watching the Halo series and I am enjoying the more restrained and serious tone of that so much more, especially the way that it’s various plot threads are presented in a more focused and integrated fashion without forced humor or oddball scenes that just jump out of nowhere.

Yeah I don’t argue that there are a lot of problems here. However the one thing I’d disagree with you on is the manufactured drama of Picard possibly dying. That can be said about just about any manufactured drama – after all, did we really all think that ET was going to stay dead? Or that Indiana Jones wasn’t going to get the Ark from the Nazis? So it’s less about will they or won’t they, it’s more about how they get there. So, no, of course he won’t die – but the journey of keeping him from dying/rescuing him is the real story. (and no, I’m not saying it’s good story, because I don’t think it is, but it’s not about will he or won’t he die. At least not now. Not ’til next season…)

I understand where you’re coming from and agree but at the same time you’ve kind of highlighted just how uninspired the writing is. The examples you’ve cited are over 40 years old and that “will they or won’t they die” trope has been done countless times before and since, especially on Trek, all the way from TOS to the movies to the finale of Picard’s first season. At this point, whenever a show goes there, it just takes me out of the experience precisely because it’s so lazy has been done to death (no pun intended). The fact that it’s been done countless times before is precisely the reason one should try to avoid doing it again.

The examples are 40 years old…cuz I’m old. ;)

Right there with ya :)

Yes, I think we are to surmise that Adam Soong is the one who plants the seeds for the Eugenics Wars.

Agree with you on all points, well said.

Someone mentioned a “Dr. Jemison.” That could be an allusion to Dr. Mae Jemison, physician and former astronaut, who played “Lieutenant Palmer” in the NG episode “Second Chances.”

Good ear! Picard was the one who mentioned Dr. Jemison. He mentioned the name when he was trying to convince Renee to return to the gala.

This episode was a filler where it introduced side-plot complications just for the sake of drama. We know Picard is in no mortal danger. He is the main character of the show.
I’m tired of the Agnes doing her own thing plot.
We had to sit through Kore figuring out what we already know.
Seven is totally underutilised. In Voyager she was a walking database with plenty of skills. They’ve reduced her to just being this former-Ranger. I would hope that Seven would have recognised signs that Jurati has allowed herself to be assimilated by now.

Summary: Bad episode.

“We had to sit through Kore figuring out what we already know.”

??? I did not know she was a clone, only that she had a defect her father wanted to cure… Maybe you’ve supposed that, I certainly haven’t…

Honestly, I thought it was pretty obvious. The clues… Same actor that played a synth in S1. A Soong is her “father”. She has some weird defect. She’s closed off from the world. Soong’s work is considered unethical… Everything added up to her being artificial.

But then, she’s not a synth and that’s why I didn’t expect her to be a clone either. I expected these attempts at curing her to pave the way for Eugenics and eventually to Khan but not herself… I was wrong…

When Soong’s computer analyzed Kore’s DNA and concluded, “Sequence results in death of subject: 99.83%,” I got a feeling that the scientist had previous subjects, perhaps clones.

I also expected Soong’s attempts at curing Kore to pave the way for Eugenics, based on Matalas’ tweet about the writers concluding that EMPs kicked everyone back decades during WW3.

That comment about EMP’s kicking society back just doesn’t fly with me. Look at the uber tech that Soong is using and look at the insane overboard security measures for that astronaut party. It’s way beyond what could possibly be implemented in two years. If the EMP pushed everything back then that just wouldn’t be possible. Sorry Terry. You need to do better.

The EMPs would affect electronics. They might affect human brains (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arcmed.2013.03.005). Long-term exposure to low doses of high atomic number, high energy atomic (HZE) nuclei similar to those in galactic cosmic rays might affect human brains (https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.1400256), but a nuclear weapon producing such particles would have to be as powerful as at least a single supernova, supernovae being the origin of most GCRs, and distribute the HZEs globally without vaporizing the Earth.

Nevertheless, EMPs and HZEs would not be able to kick back paper calendars, tick marks scratched on walls, and positions of celestial objects. A post-atomic world-wide Orwellian totalitarian system would have to complete the job of kicking everything back, by doing such things as establishing a new calendar, altering every date, and implanting mind-control devices in everyone.

Actually, such an Orwellian system is more plausible than EMPs and HZEs in making the whole world think they were still living in the 1990s/late 20th century, although EMPs would make it easier.

TNG: “Encounter at Farpoint” and “All Good Things” showed what such a system may have looked like.

As for Soong’s uber tech and the insane security measures for the astronaut party, I saw only Soong’s protective drone field as being way beyond what could be implemented in the two between now and 2024, but for it to be plausible, it has to be based on something we already have, such as the plasma window. Perhaps, it was invented to protect interplanetary ships like the Shango as well as the Ares IV, and Charybdis (VOY: “One Small Step”, TNG: “The Royale”) from GCRs.

I can appreciate one’s desire to protect the creative decisions the show has made. But I still think you are doing some pretty incredible mental gymnastics to excuse the implausible aspects of 2024.

Actually, I wasn’t protecting the show’s creative decisions. I was saying that a series of EMPs would not be enough to kick everyone back decades during WW3, that a Orwellian dark ages would have to complete the job, and that other than the drone protective field – and the Europa mission, I should add – I did not see any other technology beyond what could be possible two years from now.

Regarding the Europa mission, I should also mention that because of the distances of their targets, I would expect the Europa mission to be launched between the loss of the Ares IV in 2032 on the one hand and the Earth-Saturn mission and the launch of the Charybdis in 2037 on the other (TOS: “Tomorrow is Yesterday”, VOY: “One Small Step”, TNG: “The Royale”).

It seems like the majority of comments about the direction of Picard and this episode specifically are negative, but I am really loving this season. I think one thing that is frustrating is that these episodes are released weekly when they are really written to be binged. I think about other “prestige” shows on Netflix or Hulu that are dropped all at once and the apparent “filler” episodes aren’t as annoying because the cliffhangers can be watched immediately. I had this same thought when I watched season 1 of Picard on Blu Ray, which I binged and found much more enjoyable on the second viewing. There are so many things to like, in my opinion, about this season. The variety of genres, ranging from car chases to heists, are very fresh while at the same time being very faithful to Star Trek lore. After extreme disappointment with the direction of Discovery I am so grateful to have this version of Star Trek to enjoy. I certainly respect the views of those who don’t like it. I just wished you could have the same joy I’m having :-)

I think one thing that is frustrating is that these episodes are released weekly when they are really written to be binged

This is absolutely right. Paramount would do very well to release the season all at once.

Two weeks in a row with two super short episodes. Some nice moments and some great performances but we’re not really moving anywhere which makes me worry we are going to see a lot of plot crammed in the final episodes which will cause a lot of plot holes. I’d really like to have seen more of Q manipulating Soong. Granted, Soong is crazy but he doesn’t strike me as naive and quick to trust anyone.

Still, flaws and all, this season of Picard has me excited to see what comes next.

Definite improvement over the last few weeks. Maybe it is because of the positive momentum from the S3 cast announcement or my acceptance that this writing team just moves the story along at a glacially slow pace!
No matter what, i have to admit that I enjoyed this episode more.
Of course there are still some gaffs in the writing – i.e. so what happened to Renee Picard after the accident? That said, the story is okay, there are several intriguing open ended questions and although this wasn’t a great episode, I am still anxious to see what happens next week!

Over the decades there have been many episodes of Star Trek … and this is one of them.

Is that a play on the tag line for the MST3K movie?

“Every year Hollywood makes hundreds of movies. THIS is one of them!”

Man, they really stunk up the place with this episode. The future of humanity is at stake and they’re all acting like in a skit from Ocean’s Eleven!
Crappy writing, as usual.

“Guys, I think I’m in trouble here,” is possibly one of the least in-character lines of dialogue ever given to Jean-Luc Picard.

I am relieved I’m not the only one to think so.

Yeah… streuth! One of my biggest complaints about the way the characters have been written in season two, is there’s ZERO sense they’re playing a crew from the future. It all feels like now, and not just as it’s currently set in 2024. The way they act and the way they talk casually just scream ‘now’. Thrown in casual cussing, just breaks the fourth wall for me completely. In Star Trek IV the ‘damns’ and the ‘the hell I can’ts’ where cute and funny, and not inserted to be ‘edgy’ or drag Trek into the ‘modern era’. Here it’s just an offensive (to this middle-aged fan into Trek since 1985) attempt to pull Trek away from its ‘family friendly’ origins, as if that was offensive to them! The current writers apparently have ZERO idea of what professionals act like too, especially whoever writes Raffi, surely the WORST example of a Starfleet officer in all of Trek history to date. Just, appalling. I feel so sorry for Hurd who does her best with an appallingly realised part. My overriding opinion of modern Trek is it’s the bottom of the barrel kind of ‘fan fiction’, thinly disguised by a fantastic budget, crew, directors, and cast.

It certainly does give in to every last temptation of fan films, you’re absolutely right about that. When the Strange New Reboot trailer showed the Enterprise doing a barrel roll, that’s when it clicked for me that these are just billion-dollar fan films. Which, hey, good for the fan film community tbh.

To give credit where it is due, that is actually Alison Pill belting out that tune. Good voice. In interviews, all the other cast members rave about how spectacular Alison is as an actor.

She was excellent in Midnight in Paris.

Trek fan since 69 myself. Two veterans

al8989, it’s been a long time getting from there to here (ouch)!
We’ve been around so long, we know where the bodies are buried……funny, that’s usually just a metaphor. :-)

And another thing which astounds me is that one minute the entire security contingent was after Picard, Jurati sings a tune and then suddenly Picard is forgotten by them? He even manages to have a leisurely chat with his ancestor without anyone still sweeping the area for him. Despite all exits being blocked, he then steps outside, still very casually, gets hit by a car and there’s no fuss? Security should have been all over the scene.
I’ve co-ordinated and ran high profile events in the past and that entire sequence was just flat out mind boggling. High security threats are never forgotten that easily.
Yes I know it’s only a TV show but still…
End rant.

It’s even more unforgiveable considering the stupendously over the top security precautions being taken for a mere astronaut send off party. They acted like all the World’s heads of state were going to be there and there was a known creditable threat made against all of them.

Perhaps they could have had Jurarti just sing a song then all of our group could have just waltzed on in with no one knowing or caring?

In my opinion, combining intelligence with kindness brings out the best of humanity. But it works in the opposite direction- Stupidity combined with meanness produces terrible things.
I thought this episode was both stupid and mean. I felt my intelligence was being insulted when the band started playing with Jurati singing. I was thinking, do the writers think the viewers are morons? Maybe they are.
The daughter never googling anything about her father, given his involvement in her medical condition? Really?
One five minute talk from a stranger changes Renee’s life? Have the writers lived in this world?
Rios, a starship captain, apparently has no respect for preserving the timeline. I could go on with the stupidity in this episode.
This episode, and Picard itself to a lesser degree, are also mean spirited, I think. Sometimes I feel the writers want us to enjoy, even joke about, the Borg Queen taking over Jurati. I think it’s horrifying.

Star Trek was once full of intelligence and kindness. That’s all history now.

I don’t know about being mean, but I can’t argue with the flaws you are pointing out. It was such a short episode, there should have been time to set up scenes like Jurati singing and Picard escaping and the beginning of the chat between Picards. Both felt rushed and awkward (though Jean-Luc’s side on the latter scene was very sweet.)

All shows are a reflection of the people who make them, and the people at the top set the tone. No matter what people want to say about “network notes” or “audience tastes,” no show gets made without the people at the top driving them. So, ultimately, they set the tone.

I’ve really enjoyed this season so far but this episode felt like a filler… Again, the season-arc format fails us. This could have been great Trek if done as a 3- or 4-parter, but dragging it over 10 eps is just too much. This is why most modern TV has lost so much of its rewatchibility… I still hope the conclusion will be worth the wait but it shouldn’t be like that… So much looking forward to SNW…

When the little girl (Kore/clone), plays make believe with her lion with Dr. Soong in the video that Kore finds… she says that she lives in a “cave”. I feel that must be how Kore feels… I think that speaks to how Kore really must feel and what this relationship is. She is an experiment, something to marvel trapped in a “zoo-type” environment for her protection. However, Kore hasn’t always seen it this way… she sees her environment strictly as her shelter. It’s a fascinating story, and this relationship between father/creator and daughter/experiment has really blown my mind.

Somehow, by coincidence, Kore is alluding to Plato’s Allegory of the Cave.

Along with the names of Adam Soong’s daughters, this unintentional reference is another reference to Ancient Greek culture.

Picard season 2 is really good so far. I really enjoy it. Well written, well directed and acted.

Each time one episode ends I want to watch the other one. Unlike discovery!

Can’t wait for Strange new worlds.