Recap/Review: ‘Star Trek: Picard’ Faces Its Fear In “Monsters”

“Monsters”

Star Trek: Picard Season 2, Episode 7 – Debuted Thursday, April 14, 2022
Written by: Jane Maggs
Directed by Joe Menendez

Picard takes a personal journey to reveal more about the titular character, with mixed results.

Pictured: Patrick Stewart as Picard of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: Trae Patton/Paramount+ ©2022 ViacomCBS. All Rights Reserved.

 

WARNING: Spoilers below!

RECAP

“Once upon a time”

Still in his gala tux, Picard finds himself in a 24th-century Starfleet psych evaluation, but there is nothing “routine” about this session with a confrontational therapist – let’s call him Dr. Baltar for now – pushing to find out who Jean-Luc actually is. After being told he is not that interesting Picard starts to catch on, calling this coma-induced ordeal “highly unorthodox”… you tell ‘em JL. Pushed to tell a story to reveal his true nature, Picard takes us back to a version of his childhood with mom as a loving queen, and himself as a prince. She inspires and teaches him life lessons like “There is no better teacher than one’s enemy,” but their castle is under attack from monsters, who drag her away, leaving him lost in a labyrinth. But thanks to Tallinn doing an Inception from the clinic where he lies comatose, he isn’t exactly alone in his 1950s monster movie memory.

Picard starts to question this reality, including how something is off with Dr. Baltar who tries to end the session. The shrink diagnoses his angry patient as the perfect Starfleet captain, but lacking that one thing, “perpetually untethered in the way of the heart” due to his fear. Deeper in, kid Picard is stuck, refusing to leave without saving his mother from “the monster.” Tallinn is able to fight off the shadowy beast, breaking the boy out of his shackles and together they reenter the chateau… where they find Tux Picard and Baltar, who guards the door holding mom. The boy calls him “monster” but Picard sees who he really is… snarling “father”…Twist!

“First off, I am human”

Back in the real world, Rios tries to run interference to keep Dr. Teresa from seeing the weirdness going on with the white-eyed Watcher jacked into the old guy. And lines like “I need to explain something to you without breaking time,” aren’t helping. But once Picard starts convulsing, she pushes to send him to a hospital. Instead, Rios gets a 25th-century neural oscillator beamed in and hands it to the 21st doctor. Amazingly with a little pep talk, she sorts out the admiraldroid’s brain. But she has questions, many questions. Rios finally comes clean, using some classic Kirk smooth taking. She takes it well, and her son Ricardo is especially excited to meet a real spaceman.

“We have to find her now”

Noticing the “slightly alarming behavior” of their friend Agnes, Seven and Raffi head to La Sirena to use the tech to track down the elusive singing doctor. In between some fun banter about their “tragic” romance and imagining themselves in their dotage, they discover the ship is being controlled by the Borg Queen who is supposed to be dead but is now clearly inside their friend. Heading back to LA and debating if it is “Jurati with a side of Borg Queen or vice versa” they are terrified to imagine what she could do in the Earth of the past. They track her trail down to her last known location, a dive bar Queen Agnes visited the night before, where she didn’t order a drink, but she did break a big window, which somehow Borged her out even more. Seven warns, “We are witnessing the birth of a new Queen.” Ruh-roh.

“You can’t really want me to summon a Q?”

Back in Picard’s mind, he replays how things happened with his mom, dropping the fantasy trappings and now remembering getting stuck on a broken board in the tunnels beneath the chateau as his mother ran off. It was his father who saved him, as rain was coming and he could have drowned. Mom had some major issues and his father had to take her away to protect his son, “there was no monster chasing your mother.” Picard comes to realize he had it all wrong and perhaps he never truly understood his father, now seen as he was in civilian clothes. Tallinn is still there and notices there still may be more to this before they both awaken back in the clinic. With that sorted, Rios decides to take Teresa and Ricardo on a transporter field trip to La Sirena… screw those butterflies, he’s in love.

Picard gets briefed on Jurati and is told all is well with Renée… remember her? And with Picard’s inner demons exposed, Tallinn brings him into the circle of trust. Yep, she’s a Romulan. The whole episode has put a bit of pep into Picard’s step, he is ready to turn the tables and confront Q over all this memories mishegoss. And he knows just where to go… back to Gunian’s bar. The El-Aurian stuck around on his advice and while still a bit ornery, Guinan has mellowed a bit and she has a magical lamp old booze bottle that can summon a Q. After going through the whole ritual full of sound and fury, they find nothing. But some human guy does show up ominously striking up a conversation about sci-fi. The 25th-century Starfleet officer and alien bartender act all innocent when asked if they are “spacy types.” They realize the jig is up when he shows them a video of Picard beaming right into the alley… this guy has a sense of the dramatic as his FBI windbreaker colleagues swarm in and arrest the two new/old friends.

 

ANALYSIS

Daddy issues

As we wade deep into the mid-season the show continues to spin its wheels with a mixed bag of an episode that promises more answers than it delivers. Even elevated by impactful performances, including a slate of strong guest stars, “Monsters” is dragged down by cliché and dubious character logic. There are some welcome additions to Trek lore, however, it’s unclear how much progress, if any, has been made towards the main season arc.

Journeys into the mind of a character have been done before, in and out of Trek, but the big twist with dad not being a monster kept it somewhat fresh. Teased with flashes of these memories all season it was good to finally dig in to give us a better understanding of the character, although the absence of Picard’s overbearing brother Robert, a powerful figure in his life, is a curious omission. What gave all this even more emotional weight was the performances by Sir Patrick Stewart, Madeline Wise as his troubled mother, and James Callis as the psychologist/father Maurice. But it’s surprising that 24th-century science doesn’t have a better solution than locking someone away from their family, and leaving the final answer to where she is behind that door — to drag this storyline out — is starting to feel a bit self-indulgent.

Speaking of dads, Rios gets a bit more character development, revealing how Picard fills in a gap left behind by his own distant father. And Cristobal finally allowed himself to show his feelings for Dr. Teresa as their budding romance flourishes. However, does his passion for her explain why he seems to have brushed off his traumatic experience being detained by ICE, his apparent lack of interest in saving the USS Stargazer (his actual real ship) and crew, and his butterfly-crushing revelation of La Sirena to Teresa and son?

Things made more sense with Raffi and Seven who do a good job of juggling their relationship issues and staying on mission, as they search for Jurati, whose (apparent) journey to becoming a Borg Queen remains the most interesting part of the season.

Filling in some blanks

We finally got some answers regarding Tallinn and why she looks like Laris. Yes, after dropping all the clues (and that ear-thing she wore this episode was a bit on the nose) she is a Romulan. Apparently another distant relative with a strong resemblance. She explains how this fits in with Supervisor lore, by revealing sometimes they are assigned to watch over “similar species.” Fair enough, one mystery solved.

An unexpected bit of lore was the digging into the curious relationship between the Q Continuum and El-Aurians. Turns out their mutual distaste is the result of a long cold war, so presumably, the El-Aurians must have some kind of defense against the god-like beings. Young Guinan also did that thing she does with her hands when facing Q, here as a way to detect a Q. The whole ritual with the bottle was a bit goofy, but kind of fun, so we will ignore the question about why she is the one that keeps this obviously powerful important cultural artifact in a dive bar in LA. Q not showing up is another clue that something is wrong with him. But like with the mom mystery, they are needlessly dragging out how this journey into the past and into Picard’s fear all ties together.

Final thoughts

After spending five episodes in 2024, there seems to be no end in sight as Star Trek: Picard inches forward, but also throws up new barriers and diversions. “Monsters” attempted to distract from all that by indulging in a horror movie vibe, but never really delivered on any true scares. It’s starting to feel like there wasn’t enough of the main story for this highly-serialized show to fill ten episodes, which now makes the first two (and still the best) episodes of the season feel needlessly rushed to get us to the LA of the past. Hopefully next week things get back on track as we head to the final three episodes of the season.

Random bits

  • This is the second writing credit in a row for Jane Maggs, who joined the series as a supervising producer for season two.
  • This is the first Star Trek credit for director Joe Menendez, who is a 30-year veteran including two episodes of 12 Monkeys, working for co-showrunner Terry Matalas.
  • James Callis also previously worked with Matalas in a recurring role on 12 Monkeys.
  • Jay Karnes who played FBI agent Martin Welles previously appeared in Star Trek: Voyager as the 29th-century time traveling Starfleet officer Ducane, but he also worked with Matalas on 12 Monkeys… as an FBI agent
  • For the second episode of the season, John de Lancie’s Q does not appear.
  • In Picard’s vision, Callis’ therapist wore what looked like a Starfleet uniform from the late 2370s, with the rank of Commander.
  • As Tallinn tours Picard’s subconscious she can hear moments from the Next Generation episodes “Best of Both Worlds,” “The Hunted,” “Tapestry,” and “Chain of Command.”
  • Rios telling Dr. Teresa Ramirez “I’m from Chile. I just work in outer space” was an homage to the Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home exchange with Kirk telling Dr. Gillian Taylor “I’m from Iowa. I only work in outer space.”
  • Raffi reveals Seven is very fond of coffee, a habit she likely picked up from her former captain, and famed java junkie, Kathryn Janeway.
  • Ivo Nandi, who played the spleen-losing French cop Leclerc in episode 205 is credited but it’s unclear what role he played, but possibly one of the dungeon monsters.
  • Patrick Stewart’s wife Sunny Ozell played the singer at the LA dive bar but is uncredited.

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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The scenes between Picard and the ‘therapist’ i liked and the same with the ‘flashbacks’ to picard’s past and the audio flashbacks were neat.

So he was Picard’s father interesting as we never really got any major insight to picard’s past in TNG/Movies.

Heck we got 7 seasons of TNG and 4 movies yet we never really got any good past character development of the crew except for some things here and there.

One of the things i like about DS9 and Discovery is we get a lot more past character development of the cast then we did in the other Trek shows.

So Picard’s mother suffered from some type of mental illness and his father wasn’t who picard thought he was.
It was sad to see all that and Picard’s mind covered it up with a ‘monster’ chasing him and his mother.

I liked the Rafi and 7 scenes they have great chemistry on screen and they totally act like a married couple (Wedding for them in S3 please).

Glad they found out the Borg Queen is still ‘alive’ and trying to track her down and then 7 realizing that the Queen is trying to speed up her take over of Jurati is again interesting. They seem to be causing more damage to the past then there already was before their arrival lol.

I really like the character of Tallinn and her helping kid picard was nice to see and we got confirmation that she is in fact Romulan.

The scenes with Rios and the doctor were nice as well as saying what Kirk said to 454 in THV that ‘No, I’m from Chile. I work in outer space. was a neat callback with a Rios twist.

But telling her about him and the others and showing her and her son the ship isn’t that dangerous as that could cause a big ‘butterfly’ event?

If 1 single change can cause the prime timeline to cease to exist and create the confederation timeline wouldn’t her knowing Rios and the others also cause changes too? Unless they take the doctor and her son with them to the future or they die some how.

Also having a Borg Queen controlled Jurati is also a big ‘butterfly’ event too. It seems to me that Picard and crew are causing more damage to the timeline then there was.

So Picard thinks that the lesson that Q is trying to teach him is about Q himself? Interesting and it’s nice to see Guinan again so her people and the Q had a cold war event but eventually had a truce.

The scene summoning a Q was strange but ok and the fact it didn’t work was interesting. So is this confirmation that something is up with Q and maybe the continuum?

So the police officer was played by the same actor who played Lt. Ducane in the Voyager episode Relativity. I wonder if he is playing the same character here under the guise of a local police officer? If it is him did the failed summoning of Q some how show up on the 29th century temporal sensors?

If it is him does that mean the future has been fixed but now again in danger because of the Borg Queen? Could he be the confederation version of Ducane?
Or maybe like Tallinn he is just an ancestor of some sort of Ducane? I guess we will find out next episode.

Overall i thought this episode was good. The season started so strong but decreased in quality over the last couple of episodes but this episode was better and the ending was a bit of a shock. I would give this episode a B-.

Presuming Jay Karnes is still playing Duncane, then we can presume he can just wipe their memories of their experiences. He said he would have done the same to Janeway and Seven but she didn’t see anything that would disrupt the time line.

The future time ship relativity probably has temporal shielding that protect it from changes in the time line. This is technology that Voyager could develope in the 24th century so it a certainly they have access to such things.

On Reddit, someone mentioned Jay Karnes character’s name Welles which is (or will be?) the class name of the Relativity. It could just be an easter egg for fans or he could in fact be Duncane. It is weird to have the same actor for something like this type of story and not connect to his original character, but we’ll see. It would be a wasted opportunity if they didn’t go that direction, but sadly this season is all about wasted opportunities.

The sneak peek for next week has Guinan questioning him and telling him that this is personal for him. I think he is Duncane.

NOPE! Sadly just a random FBI guy.

This season has turned into a huge disappointment…again.

As soon as I heard his voice I knew it was Karnes and wondered if it was Ducane. I really hope Ducane is back. Would be a smart connection to have a timecop from the future return to help correct the timeline. But I’m afraid it won’t be him because that would be awesome, and the last few episodes certinally haven’t been that.

Such a rambling incoherent mess.

Here’s hoping that the “FBI Agent” is actually Ducane (same actor) from the timeship Relativity there to help fix everything

If only. Unfortunately Trek has a tradition of reusing the same talent in multiple roles.

Doubtful as that would be good/fun.

Really confused as to how I feel about this season. I feel there’s a really good story in here, but just not enough for 10 episodes, and so we’ve had a protracted and overlong 2nd act where the story just hasn’t moved forward much at all. Hopefully the last three episodes can pick it up.

Yes, I’ve heard legends of when they would place two hours worth of story into two hours of television. I think they were called… TV movies?, and somehow they didn’t last ten hours. I’m not sure how they did it…

;-)

There have been elements that have been enjoyable, others a rambling, incoherent mess (to borrow from Luke Montgomery). There is just no other way to describe it.

Same. It’s feeling a lot like Discovery last season and could’ve told the story in half the episodes easily. So much of the season has felt really tedious to me. There are definitely some good moments and yes it’s still better than season one, but not by a lot.

I don’t think you need a huge story to fill 10 episodes (look at Mandalorian), it’s just the way it’s done. They should’ve made episode 1 and 2 into more, and sped up the middle of the season. Also they could’ve made better choices imo about where to focus on and where to eleborate on. It all feels a bit incoherent. And to me that has to do with (leadership of) the writers room.

I much prefer individual episodes (and the occasional 2 or 3 parter) rather than a season long story arc.

I agree…. there’s 4 episodes worth of story in this 10-episode season. This past season of Discovery had the same issue.

A magical bottle, huh? Did Barbara Eden show up?

Guinan should’ve just blinked with both eyes.

Yeah… That’s…. Just… God I don’t know what. It just left me speechless at the absurdity of it.

What a treat to see two of the best actors (Patrick Stewart and James Callis) from television sci-fi in the last 30 years on screen at the same time.

I second that. Although from the way he was teased/introduced I was sure it was going to be Bashir. Heck, for the first couple of minutes I though it was. LOL

I knew I recognized that guy from somewhere! Baltor!

Ashamed to say I didn’t recognize Callis until the credits, but even so, yeah, I thought those scenes were fantastic.

More depressing since it was endless babble.

There’s a lot to enjoy about PICARD, but after two strong episodes the season has largely just spun its wheels without ever advancing the lot. Meanwhile, Raffi and Seven are being completely wasted this season, Rios’s story with the doctor is dull, and Picard’s background involving his mother is dragging beyond belief. What the heck happened?

Akiva Goldsman writing happened.

There are a LOT of poor writers this season!

Yup

Michael Chabon. I wonder the way the second half of the season is going is due to Terry Matalas leaving to prep for season 3.

I suspect very much this is correct. Terry has posted on social media that Akiva took the laboring oar after the lead-off episodes, and I think that’s lead to some unevenness. Don’t get me wrong, however. I’ve enjoyed all of Season 2 quite a bit, and it is a marked improvement over Season 1.

I think Rios’ scenes are some of the strongest, but I’m partial to the actor. I think it would be cool if he took her to the future with him like Kirk did with Gillian. Though it would be uncool if she ghosted him like Gillian did with Kirk.

I’m thinking he should stay behind with her. But that would dash my hopes of a Rios spinoff show of just him on the LaSerena and his holograms.

I think a part of Rios would want to stay, because I don’t think Dr. Ramirez would leave when so many people need her help, but given that World War III starts in two years, another part of him would want to take her and Ricardo away.

If Kirk and Spock had traveled to 1930 by ship rather than the Guardian of Forever, I think Kirk would probably have been in the same dilemma with Edith Keeler.

Of course, Dr. Taylor wanted to leave 1986, because she was the only person who knew anything about George and Gracie.

Two strong episodes? Try .9 strong episodes.

This was just okay. There was nothing much to love about it save James Callis and Patrick Stewart together, which was always one of the pairings that the sci-fi fan in me wanted to see, and I very much enjoyed that.

One of the problems with the modern take on Trek that’s dominant now is that all the plot threads are the same length. There’s no plot thread that starts in episode 1 and fully resolves in episode 6. There’s no incentive to watch, like, in this season, two episodes of setup and then KEEP watching. You can effectively watch 1 and 2, then go to 8 thru 10 and not miss all that much.

I don’t see any reason to not have resolved the questions about his mother behind the white door and her mental illness and all that. Now, those answers could reverberate going forward, but it’s hard to find the motivation to keep watching if there’s going to be no honest payoff until literally the end. They could have ended the episode with at least that explanation, but, no, the whole thread of his childhood is now jumbled with the rest of every OTHER thread that has barely moved at all, so it can all be haphazardly tied off in the final 50 minutes.

It is that way to the point where I audibly groaned when everything stalled yet again with Guinan and Picard’s arrest. So we’re going to do another jailbreak?

Sigh. Okay.

I don’t hate what’s on the screen and S2 is an infinite improvement over S1, so, okay, but these writers have a serious problem when it comes to the ability to block out a season. It feels like they write for a series meant to be binged in one or two shots, not dropped weekly. This is kind of unsatisfying being dropped a piece at a time.

Look at DS9’s “Tacking into the Wind.” That episode is just full of character movement, plot movement, and arc movement to move everyone and the arc ahead, but it has a sense of finality at the end of 43 minutes. The main questions the ep poses are answered and other elements are moved along enough to get you to want to see what happens next week.

With these shows, after the first two weeks, you only really need the last two.
 

So you’re complaining that you can’t watch a 2 hour story told in a 10 hour binge? Sorry, homeboy, THAT is not logical! : D

Whoever said television was logical? LOL.

All well stated, and (sadly) I agree with every point!

Good episode. Not great. Everything just feels like it’s happening. Picard and team used to think up how to find solutions to problems. Laris did nothing but tour Picard’s mind. He then woke up on his own. And then he just manifested an idea…oh I need to do this… thing. Um ok. That came out of nowhere.

Speaking of “oh I need this”… How does the 21st century doctor know how to operate a 25th century device? Just telling her what it does won’t help. That was just crazy. Was there an exposition scene where Rios shows her but it was cut for pacing or something? And why can’t Rio’s just do it? Doesn’t look like one needs MD skills to use the thing…

Hah thought the same thing, she pushed a button and held it over his head 🤷‍♂️

After enjoying season 1 and loving the first 3 episodes of season 2, I think this show has completely lost me. I think this episode may be my least favorite of all the Star Trek episodes of the Kurtzman era. It’s made worse and more disappointing by this season starting so strong and then completely changing into whatever it is now. I enjoy every episode of Discovery and the new animated shows and have never had a really hard time getting through an episode until today.

12 Monkeys is great, as were the first few episodes this season, so I don’t know if it’s Terry Matalas, Akiva, the individual writers, but this season has just turned into a complete mess from a very great start.

It seems like they’re setting up to shed a couple of cast members for season 3. My guess is Rios stays in the past and Jurati sacrifices herself somehow as they try to get… back to the future. Clearing up space for next year’s full on TNG reunion.

I hope they keep 7 and Raffi, restore Elnor, and let Picard and Laris get some quality tim…

Jurati seems to be the Black Queen from Episode 1, so I imagine that’s her sacrifice.

Rios’s beaming himself, the doctor, and her son onto the ship didn’t seem to make sense. Rios may have decided that it’s OK to do the butterfly thing, but I doubt Seven and Raffi — who had to do the actual transporting, right? — would have gone along.

Why keep Elnor?

What has he contributed to this show, as a character, that makes him a desirable return for Season 3?

He had that one episode in S1 where they introduced him, and then he just stood around and flexed like a samurai for the rest of the season.

In S2 he’s been more useful as a corpse, giving Raffi a reason to get intensely overemotional.

I’m sure the timey-wimey-Qness of the story will have him back by the end of the season, but at that point it’s best to just to part ways. :P

This season started off strong but has really kind of fallen off the rails for me. And they have long overstayed their welcome for me in 2024 Los Angeles.

Star Trek needs… ya know… stars. Space. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Oh dear… One can only logically assume that the somewhat early TNG reunion trailer was released to try and hook fans yet again with nostalgia bait (are these the only tricks they have left now, with SNW as another example), as they’re well aware S2 is even more of a plotting & script-writing mess than the equally variable, downwards trend Season 1 was. All this incredible talent in front and behind the camera, but they forgot THE most important one: the writers… Will they never learn? Look at the writers of the most memorable Star Trek episodes over the past 5 decades. Now compare any of those with Picard. It’s very sad.

The timing of the TNG cast announcement was very strange. I wondered if viewing figures had plummeted for PIC and they decided to give it a boost.

They know their fan base well.
Nonsensical story where Picard built an evacuation fleet out of synth-slaves (or are they just robots??) and then ditched his friends …. “oh look over there. It’s RIKER on the USS GENERIC!!!! OH MAN THIS IS AWESOME!!!!!!”

Anthony P. has been very diplomatic in past reviews but I see that even he is running out of patience (I gave up after 2 and a half episodes; it seems I haven’t missed much). What surprises me is that Patrick Stewart didn’t put his foot down before this season began production to demand story / script changes (I assume he has script approval in his contract?).

An even scarier thought, maybe these are the script changes!

I am hoping against hope that none of these writers end up on SNW!!! Saying that, I realize that Goldsman has written the kickoff ep).

Goldsman is responsible for the second half of Picard season 2 as showrunner and is co showrunner of strange new worlds. Based on these latest few Picard episodes my faith in SNW has gone way down.

Batman and Robin wasn’t a clue? ;)

Well to be fair Akiva had concerns with Batman and robin that were ignored by the director and WB is known to interfere with scripts, so his script may have been heavily rewritten.

Yeah but he was also responsible for that atrocious adaptation of Childhood’s End and that really uninspired, neutered version of The Dark Tower. There’s a pattern there.

On the flip side, he was involved in Titans and that wasn’t that bad at all. Certainly better put together than anything Secret Hideout has produced so far…

Yes, I have my doubts too but the episodic format should at least force the writers to tell a complete story in an hour.

Yea but that story still has to make sense and be good. Just having bad episodic episodes isn’t going to be good. And if someone writes bad scripts for other shows and movies how much faith (of the heart) can we still have at this point.

I agree wholeheartedly. I’m holding my breath (like everyone else).

Unfortunately, I think you may be right. It has been mentioned that the childhood trauma story is something that’s very close to Patrick Stewart’s heart.
So far, it just seems to be a distraction from the main story, and we still don’t know (after 7 episodes) where the main story is actually going.

The actor who played Young Picard did a very good impression of Adult Picard’s accent.

There’s a reason why one of the oldest rules in TV and film is “Do not let the actors into the writer’s room.”

Or perhaps he’s just doing it for the paycheck and doesn’t really care that much?

I’m beginning to wonder? Why else would he become involved in such tripe?

Sir Pat was already mega rich before he did Picard. He likes to work.
We don’t have to like it. It is what it is.

Regardless… When actors speak about not returning to old roles because of things like “I didn’t want to redo the same thing” or “I was waiting for the right story or script” more often than not that is code for “I was finally offered my asking price.”

I don’t blame them. If I were in a position where I could ask for a high price I’d do it too.

I think in this case his price was full creative control, and we’re being treated to yet another unfortunate demonstration that a brilliant actor can be a really lousy storyteller.

“I want to get really deep into the childhood trauma that shaped my character” is exactly the sort of thing you expect from an actor once they get control of a show. Backstory like that often informs a great performance, when it’s inside the actor’s head. When you have to find a way to FILM it, bringing the plot to a crashing halt — hoo boy.

Winner!

The writing is just so incredibly bad. To have such an excellent cast, headed up by probably the greatest TV actor ever to do it, and to have given them these scripts — the producers should be ashamed of themselves. Such a waste.

I actually somewhat enjoyed that one. I’d say it’s the best episode after the premier so far.

The scenes between Callis and Steward are fun to watch, if you ignore the nonsense backstory they’re trying to give Picard. Just tow actors on to of their game talking always works for me. But what’s with the terrible editing in this scene? It was almost disorienting. It feels like the director tried to channel Kubrick but didn’t really know how. 🤨

The other part that worked for me were the scenes between Rios, the Doctor and her Son. Again, you have to ignore the nonsense dialogue, like Rios seeing Picard as a father figure after barely knowing him or just flat out staying his character motivation (tell, don’t show, good writing!); or him handing her a futuristic medical device and expecting her to know what to do, because she’s a doctor — that’s like leading a 1950s Doctor into a room with an MRI Machine and saying “you know what to do!” 😁 — BUT … it was sooooo nice to see some Characters in Star Trek again, who are actually excited about the Future and seeing a Spaceship.

In the end it didn’t really advance the story – and I could have done without the nonsense El-Aurian Backstory – but maybe that’s why it’s a very very tolerable episode. 🤷🏻‍♂️

The writers keep doing this thing where it feels like scenes are missing from the end of the episode. Not cliffhangers as there isn’t much suspense, just plot lines that feel abandoned until next week. We find Agnes broke a window. What happens? No idea. Rios takes the doctor on the ship. What happens? No idea. Why didn’t Q show up? No idea. Etc etc. It feels like the plot is spread too thin or badly distributed between the episodes. I’ve given up on the plot making sense but I still want the characters to actually do something.

My new prediction for Rios is that he wants to stay but the doctor isn’t that into him. They maybe don’t wipe her mind and she helps contribute to making the future better.

Now I’m wondering if Anges as the Borg Queen kills the doctor and her son.

That was very weak. And I nodded off a few times as well. I kinda have lost ineterest now and want to jump ahead to season 3.

I’ll just say I think Patrick Stewart – in this episode – did some poor acting, never thought I’d say that but their you go. He’s looking frail and confused here, it’s heartbreaking. Because of his age he just hasn’t got it anymore. He’s not the mighty captain he once was. Just my opinion.

I think he looks more frail than he did last season. Occasionally he even drags down scenes he’s in.

The year long filming delay and shutdowns they had once they started probably didn’t help.

Yeah, we really have to take COVID 19 inspired delays into account.
They have have had more of an impact on a lot TV & Film productions, more than we realize.

If you’re an Orville fan, you would realize.

I hate to say it but Stewart has lost his charisma. He had it in droves on the show and in the features. But now? It’s gone. He is no longer capable of making sub par scripts watchable. He literally carried at least 80% of TNG on his personal shoulders. Now, that skill has eluded him. It happens to all of us as we age I suppose.

Brian Drew mentioned that Stewart isn’t playing Picard anymore, he is playing himself. Just like Shatner stopped playing Kirk and ended up playing himself by Generations.
Totally accurate.

Stewart has admitted that himself in the past. I just read an interview he gave to Deadline about the show a few days ago where he said he and Picard has essentially became one.

And Shatner basically played himself from TVH through Generations IMO.

Maybe it’s something actors do when they are burned out. Convince themselves it’s okay to “play” themselves. I hate to say, but is that even acting?

He was saying “I don’t know where Picard ends and Patrick Stewart begins” since the last few seasons of TNG. He backed off of that a few years after TNG ended, but it’s not surprising that it’s returned now.

I don’t think it’s that Stewart has lost it. I think it’s his voice, mainly.obviously that’s nothing he can help. In TNG he had this gloriously strong voice, and it carried so much weight and authority and nuance. Now he has a hoarse kind of whisper , making it very hard to convey the same gravitas.

He seemed to be slurring his words in a few scenes too. Concerned me to hear it so really hope he’s doing OK :/

That is a possibility. But I’ve seen his acting degrade over the last couple of decades.

Just finished watching this over lunch, it was kick ass! That is all for now, will re-watch tonight and maybe have something more interesting to say.

Oh, and thanks for the re-cap, always a pleasure to read! :)

I think the reviewer is way too harsh about the series IMHO. Season 1 started about trying to gain access to Picard’s character but it went off the rails even though I did like the Data story line. Season 2 has focused more on the layers that Picard wears and tries to get to the heart of the character. This episode brings that concept to a payoff. The layers of family relationships is really explored very well,we learn that the person we see many times comes from places of turmoil. The first half hour of this episode show the complexity of humans of how ,when young, we don’t realize what things are going on in our family. That lack of info can lead to both extraordinary character coexisting with hidden ongoing pain. This is what I like about Picard,less pew pew space battles and more complexity.

I agree. For some fans, if the episode isn’t “The Best of Both Worlds” or “Yesterday’s Enterprise” every single week, it’s guilty of “spinning wheels” and “bad writing.” This episode reminded me of Troi’s story in “Dark Page,” where you learn something surprising and tragic about a character’s background, and I think this episode worked very similarly and effectively. It also presented a twist that Picard’s family trauma was due to a young boy misunderstanding the roles of each of his parents. His father wasn’t the “bad guy,” as we were teased to believe. Instead, both Picard’s father and mother were deeply flawed individuals with both nurturing and destructive sides that impacted Picard’s development. Honestly, I saw a lot of my own family history in that, and it felt both real and earned.

The season started out establishing that Picard has difficulty opening himself up to deeply intimate connections, and this episode was a payoff to that setup. With this new emotional foundation, the larger plot will now have greater resonance because it is more rooted in Picard’s personal story, not just the Federation values in which he believes or the historical individuals to whom he is related. And the fact that it’s happening to a man in an artificial body adds another interesting layer.

I will agree that the “magic bottle” bit was rather nonsensical, and I’d like to know why the doctor and her son were beamed aboard ship, but I’m sure we’ll get an answer to that in the next episode or two.

Stewart is doing his best to make this a contribution. He is putting his two cents in, as it were. And for that, kudos.

I actually liked this one! Not saying a lot, but hey.

I have been pretty disappointed with the last four episodes but we finally got to some real character development with Picard and his demons and pushing the story (a little) forward with the Borg Queen quest to to assimilate downtown L.A. And finally the interesting reveal about El Aurians and the Q.

I wasn’t really looking forward to the ‘explore characters mind through crazy imagery’ trope but it worked. And it worked because it did a great job turning Picard’s psychosis on its head and his father wasn’t the monster after all. It felt a bit simple but fine. I know there will be more, but I did like how it was revealed at least.

The ending was good. I kind of thought that the guy might be a Q. I got excited when he pulled out his badge thinking he was going to reveal he was a Temporal Agent but not quite lol. But I think there is more going on there.

The episode still wasn’t perfect. The reveal that Tallinn is indeed a Romulan felt pretty anti-climatic since they spent every episode hinting at it. Was it really suppose to be some mystery? Why exactly when you used the same actor?? And I think it’s been made clear that group has seen a Romulan before, so what’s the point of hiding it from them? But maybe more will come from it. The Rios and the doctor stuff was fine but we knew where all of that was going. And showing her your SHIP Rios? Seriously? What’s the point of the Temporal Prime Directive if you’re going to just blatantly ignore every rule in it? And I still don’t care about this subplot but at least it’s going somewhere now.

While I liked it, I still have to agree with the review and overall this season has just been lacking. There is just not enough story overall and while I did like a lot of the reveals, a lot of this should’ve been done several episodes ago. This season as a whole has been widely disappointing. It can still end well but it’s a whole lot of nothing happening throughout most of it.

I really want to like Picard and Discovery more than I do but sadly they just keep letting me down season after season. Praying to Kahless SNW will be stronger out the gate at least.

Tiger, I too will pray to Kahless. And to The Great Bird of the Galaxy. Let’s hope for a great series!!!

Yeah I still hope SNW will be better at least being episodic.

If not, I still love the animated shows. I don’t understand why Lower Decks and Prodigy turned out so well but those can always turn bad too. I still want to love Picard, but with just one more season after this, not holding my breath anymore. Discovery I just accepted will never be a great show for me at this point.

I don’t think ‘Lower Decks’ will turn bad because it’s in the capable hands of a fan who ‘gets it’.

Yeah, very true thankfully!

And I hope McMahan just makes more shows in the future whenever LDS is done. It’s weird the silly animated comedy feels the most Star Trek to me since Enterprise went off the air, but here we are!

You know something similar happened with Dave Filoni and Star Wars. He created the Clone Wars animated series and now he is working on the Mandolorian series with Favreau. I can definitely see McMahan taking a more hands on approach to the live action shows in the future. In fact if it was me, I’d just replace Akiva Goldsman with McMahan and be done with it but it seems to me that Goldsman has a huge ego and kind of wants to be in charge of everything.

Yeah you’re right! McMahan really could shift into live action like Filoni did with Mandalorian. And of course, we already got a little of it with his Short Trek episode: The Escape Artist. That was the first time I ever heard his name and that was the best short on that show by a mile IMO!

Now that the TNG era is back in a big way, I would love to see more shows made by him with these characters again.

Dr. Gaius Baltar, licensed therapist.
What could possible for wrong?
( I guess Jean Luc doesn’t get the SyFy channel.)

of course the original Baltar was played by John Colicos – Klingon Commander Kor

This has been such a slow burn that I am losing interest very fast. And, is this most episodes not in space in Treks history??

they should just release them all ten episodes at once.
otherwise it’s torture and we cant possibly believe what a mess the supposedly good writers are doing. Happened with Chabon, now with Matalas. Reputed creators who seem to be making a mess of things. It should prove better binge watching it.

Maybe Chabon and Matalas aren’t the problem.

yup, thats what im implying, i refuse to believe that :'(

Agreed, I think this is the biggest problem with the show. If they insist on releasing it weekly then they should use 3-4 episode arcs, otherwise the best way to see the show would be all at the same time so it won’t feel like its spinning its wheels so much.

I’m still in shock at how bad this episode was compared to how good the premiere was. It’s one of the worst episodes of anything I’ve seen in a long time. Thank goodness there are so many other well written shows out there.

Agreed, sadly. At this point it’s only the efforts of the superb cast, plus the very high production standards, that keep this being just about watchable. They really need to start hiring solid sci-fi based writers imho. It’s turned into a shallow pop-culture impression of Star Trek, with the exception of Episode 1 that truly felt like the real deal to me. An incredible shame and waste of talent (and crazy amounts of money!).

I’ll keep watching but I’m so disappointed. This really looked like it was going to be a vast improvement on the abysmal S1 but has just fell in to lazy storytelling with so many little things that should have been picked up on and fixed again

Such a shame. Can be hyped all I want for S3 but it’s just surely going to do the same.

Trek needs to be put in the hands of McMahon and the Hagerman brothers. They get the franchise and how it should be.

I just feel the live action stuff is just awful Trek and even more awful US TV which is poor at best anyway.

Lots of great US TV shows in my opinion. Picard is not even close to being one of them.

I’m on the fence about this episode. I liked it. But is that because I decided some weeks ago to just let go of any expectation and try to enjoy it? It was exciting to watch. I’d give it 7.5 out of 10.

Yes all the things pointed out by the writer of the review are valid. But not thinking about things just makes it more fun to watch. Don’t misunderstand me, I have plenty of thoughts like I had with previous episodes. I was just tired of being so let down because I was expecting so much (based on the first to terrific episodes).

My only question has to do with the fact Terry Matalas revealed he ‘left’ mid season to work on season 3 prep. I’m thinking: are we seeing the result of that now? Because I wasn’t a big fan of Chabon’s work on season 1 and this season is going the same route.

One thing I am certain of: they need to stop telling the story mostly in episodes 1, 2, 9 and 10 and space it out more evenly. Don’t know what that is about, but the stringing us along with hardly any major developments is not a good look.

Well that’s my two cents.

I don’t know how involved Chabon still is. He had a story credit for the second episode this season I think, but hasn’t had any other story or writing credits this season. He’s still credit as Executive Producer. According to Terry Matalas, Akiva Goldsman is the one who took over in the latter half of season 2. Akiva was also heavily involved in Picard season 1.

I doubt Chabon did much of anything this season other than review or give notes on some of the episodes. He’s been completely absent with the show all season. I don’t have Instagram or twitter but I would be surprised he’s posted anything about it like he did last season.

I thought he at least wrote one of the scripts but it looks like that didn’t even happen. I think his time on Star Trek was much rockier than anyone will admit.

Why did the doctor have to use that device on Picard’s brain? Seems like Rios, as a Captain, should know how to use it – especially when operating it just amounts to pointing it at someone’s head.

I didn’t understand that either. The best I could come up with is that it works like the purple device in season 1 where you have to imagine it working and the doctor has a better understanding of the mind to do this.

Then they should have said so in the episode. That device in season 1 was also from a different reality and now Rios suddenly knows it’s on La Sirena? It conveniently couldn’t be used to save Elnor. The thing is that device thing didn’t even add anything to the plot – it just made things worse – from it instantly being beamed to Rios hands to the doctor knowing how to use it. Was it really just a device to add tension by making Picard shake?

I’m sure Rios could have used it, but he was trying to gain her trust, and allowing her handle medical tasks in her own clinic helped to do that.

A theory: the Q Guinan and Picard are trying to summon will end up being Q’s Son who wants to get revenge on his Dad.

That’s why Q senior’s powers are failing….in the Voyager episode ‘Q2’, he agreed he had to have ‘eternal custody of the boy’.

I reckon he has broken the agreement and losing his powers is the punishment.

I don’t see his son playing into this at all. That was a minor footnote most fans won’t even remember.

They’ve found and used a few things that were minor footnotes many fans don’t remember. I’m not a huge TNG fan and have only seen perhaps 95% of the episodes twice in nearly 30 years and even I recall the Q episode where he was tossed out of the continuum.

So they could beam the brain device precisely into Rios’ hands but a few episodes ago couldn’t beam Rios onto solid ground.

The ship has been on auto-repair. You would hope that they would fix the transporter after a few days since it is pretty important to their mission to be able to get around.

I’m sorry but James Callis looks too much like Alexander Siddig to me. I had to keep telling myself that this wasn’t a Dr. Bashir cameo.

Yeah, maybe if they had at least put him in a different looking uniform.

hmm. Callis is heavier-set with a squarer jaw and more prominent cheekbones. Siddig has a pointier chin and more delicate features. Callis’ family are Russian/Polish and Siddig is Sudanese/English, but granted, they do look like they might be cousins. (Sid’s uncle is Malcolm McDowell, aka Tolian Soran.)

Brief thoughts:

this episode has left me feeling very conflicted. Season 2 is miles better than Season 1, and is actually trying to fulfill the premise: a character study of Picard. We get just that in this episode, which in its pros and flaws, encapsulates this season perfectly.

We have an episode spent in someone’s head, laced with metaphors and symbolism (favorite example: TNG S7 E7 Dark Page). We learn about Picard’s childhood, under what appears to be an abusive father and battered mother (I STRONGLY suspect Sir Stewart’s writing here).

However, it just didn’t gel for me. Maybe I’m confused. The mother was mentally ill (and su*cide is implied??), and his dad was trying to protect them? I didn’t get it.

As for the rest of the crew, them splitting up felt like the season as a whole. Their stories in this episode didn’t gel for me either. It felt scattered (shattered?), with pieces of great stories with enough pieces missing to make it feel incoherent.

I’ve really enjoyed the two episodes before this — I felt the heist and party story was fun and campy and good for the show. This episode didn’t.

Final thoughts:

Picard is struggling with pacing issues, but thankfully less severe than Discovery. Dialogue also much more Human than Discovery. Only three episodes left and a lot to wrap up. I think stretching one storyline over ten episodes just isn’t working. That’s why I’ve enjoyed LD & Prodigy so much, and why I have high hopes for SNW. I think the sweet spot is mini arcs like Enterprise S4.

I would agree that the flashback resolution seemed a little incoherent and then, “there’s more to tell…” which we’ll discover who knows when? Just tell it!!! Now was the time. And that’s not even about a failure to handle delayed gratification, it’s just weird pacing and gimmicky serial storytelling.

Plus, what was coming from Maurice Picard felt like he was gaslighting Picard, but then I guess he wasn’t?

Digging into Picard was one of the few things this show finally did that I am good with. There had to be a reason why this guy was always so cold and distant to everyone. Being Captain is just not a good enough reason. It has always felt like his TNG crew were less friends and more collogues who respected him. There is a difference. It felt like they would have liked to develop a friendship with him but he never allowed it. And that aspect of this episode was one that I found interesting. But it’s just one aspect of a number of episodes that just don’t do very much. And even this bit was a long time coming.

After last week’s entry with its myriad lapses in logic I haven’t even been able to muster the interest to watch this one; reading this review doesn’t help. It seems the same problems from past seasons of Picard and Discovery have cropped up once again; namely trying to pad a 3-4 hour story into 10 episodes and inserting improbable mcguffins and events. These guys just won’t learn.

Unfortunately you’re right TonyD.

If I had better will power I probably would’ve stopped watching the season altogether and just binge watch it when it was over. The problem is I don’t want to be spoiled and its no way I can stay away from sites like these every week.But yeah these guys just can’t write a compelling 10-13 season arc to save their lives it seems like. Maybe they should’ve did what Enterprise did in its fourth season and just did mini arcs all season. This season could’ve been two mini-arcs of 5 episodes each. That probably would’ve been a better way to go.

Still I enjoyed the ep. I was hoping it would have been Ducane saying he was with Temporal Investigations.

Semi interesting episode but the show is still dragging. The idea that Laris is a Gary 7 like agent is feeling like it was forced. At this point there doesn’t seem to be a reason for the connection. And I hope they come up with more reasons why they don’t have a human doing the gig.

A bit tired of the cliché that weird stuff happens so some generic government agency “arrests” them. Not so sure that is how things would go down. But everything seems to be exaggerated in this world so, I guess… What the hell?

Gonna miss next weeks installment due to being on the road for business. No, I don’t watch TV on my phone or tablet of laptop. I like watching TV on my TV. I’m in no hurry to see how they get out of this current mess. So seems I’m going to end up seeing episodes 8&9 back to back.

You like watching TV on a big screen TV? How quaint and old fashioned! haha. I’m in your camp, brother!

I guess that ages me. My kid has no problem whatsoever watching things on his tablet. Or even phone! Same for my nieces. I’ve tried it. Clips or small videos, sure. TV shows or movies? No effing way.

It’s mentioned in passing that Tallinn is probably an ancestor of Laris. They specifically said “usually we only watch over our own race but sometimes we’re assigned to others.”

True. But it still felt forced and there doesn’t seem to be a reason yet for this amazing coincidence.

But like with the mom mystery, they are needlessly dragging out how this journey into the past and into Picard’s fear all ties together.”

I agree. As much as I like having new Star Trek to watch (“new Star Trek that isn’t Disco,” that is), I’m getting the sense that this story could have been a two-hour TV movie.

is it illegal to use a transporter in 2024 L.A.? I can understand the locals’ being puzzled by Picard’s beaming in and wanting more information about it, but sending in a squad of cops with guns drawn seemed a bit much.

I think they’re going too far with these Easter eggs. Was there anyone who upon hearing “Are you from outer space?” didn’t know what was coming next?

It would be kind of cool if the character Jay Karnes played turned out to be Ducane from the twenty-ninth century, here to help out in some way. Seven might recognize him.

The FBI agent said Picard and his guests snuck into the gala, but how did he know that? Last we saw their fake ids worked and as far as the gala was concerned Picard was run over. We knew Soong wanted Picard out, but we didn’t tell him say Picard and guests had fake ids and how would he know anyway.

And why was Guinan arrested?

Thanks, I didn’t remember “Ducane’s” saying that.

Soong could have assumed that Picard and his friends were at the gala under false pretenses, without knowing the details. Didn’t he tell one of the security guys that something (like he didn’t belong there) was up with Picard?

I don’t know why Guinan was arrested. Maybe her arrest and Picard’s are what effs up the timeline. They’d better hope that Guinan won’t need medical assistance while she’s in custody, because if they examine her they might find out that she’s not human. Even if by colossal coincidence El Aurians are mostly indistinguishable from humans, a close exam of, say, her telomeres might show that she’s at least 160 years old.

If they do an exam of Picard they’re in for an even bigger surprise.

And why was Guinan arrested?

Guilty by association? I guess they just took her in because she was talking to Picard when they came for him.

I think Guinan was arrested because of the earthquake she induced from her summoning of a Q.

There were parts of this episode that I really liked. The interaction between Patrick Stewart and James Callis was great. But I felt it was a case of their acting elevating the material.

This was another episode where I feel like the show has lost the thread of the plot to go on another side quest. The future and everything these people care about is on the line, and you wouldn’t get that sense of urgency from this episode. We got people working through their mommy issues, and worrying about their love lives.

I also thought there were moments that were borderline ridiculous, even with the suspension of disbelief this being a TV show, namely handing a 21st century doctor future medical equipment and Guinan breaking open an El-Aurian-Q genie bottle. Giving the doctor the medical device would be the equivalent of handing a 17th century doctor a defibrillator and hoping they would be able to know how to use it.

For the genie bottle, I thought it was about one of the stupidest plot devices I’ve seen in Star Trek. It’s compounded by the fact that I find the actress playing young Guinan to be really bad. She’s just way over the top in the way she’s playing the character.

Boy, that was a chore to watch. I’m sick of the sci-fi trope of projecting someone into a comatose person mind to try to wake him up, and this episode was one of the worst written examples ever. What a mess. An episode that didn’t nothing to advance the plot. The subplot about Picard’s mom apart of being very cliché is terrible written and horribly acted. And why suddenly it seems that Jean Luc was a only child? Where is Robert? I had some hopes after the premiere, but this is turning out to be another terrible season.

It has just been garbage TV after garbage TV since the first two episodes of the season. I desperately want to love or even like every episode I watch but it seems that Star Trek: Picard is a magnet for the mediocre. Just such trite drivel. I can’t believe how anyone who even proposed going into the mind of a person in a coma would not be laughed out of the writers’ room. How does this even make it to the screen?!?? Such an embarrassment.

It is garbage that they don’t show Robert, and the only reason to me that they don’t is that Picard’s blocking out his childhood trauma or what really happened to his mother wouldn’t work. Robert could explain what really happened or they would compare memories, unless Robert agreed to keep a family secret. I dunno. I’m feeling tired of the show.

I completely forgot JL had a brother, to be perfectly honest. But it’s not the first time a brother was ignored. Kirk completely forgot about Sam in TFF. And Sam was looped out in Star Trek ’09. The kid on the road was Sam as shown in a deleted scene and they looped “Johnny” in the scene that stayed in.

Yeah it is really really strange Picard’s brother is not even mentioned. Why pretend like he doesn’t exist? Especially given the fractured relationship he and Picard had. They could’ve added to that with his parents.

Totally! In Picard’s memory, his mom could have said, “Dad sent your brother away.” (like to a boarding school) This would have made the relationships even more sad — young Picard loses his peer-protector.

It would have also been a little more… developed if what we actually saw was how his mom frightened young Picard, but his love for his mother confused him about the choices he was being asked to make.

I wondered about Robert as well. Is the idea that he’s older and therefore away at school or something? Otherwise, it’s another ill-advised non-remembrance of the show’s established mythology.

This scene in better hands might have also been a great inventive way to also address Picard’s new body. Are all the ‘rooms’ in his head as they were before, re-ordered, anything missing etc. The fact they’ve hand waved it away and even Sir Patrick has indicated in interviews he’s reluctant to go there, it seems yet another example of shallow writing to get them through The Moment, with no thought or care given to future stories addressing this rather major life-changing or life-affirming experience for Picard!

The “queen” story Picard is telling is an allegory about him, his mother, and the ‘monster’ (aka his father). It’s clearly not a real memory, it’s an interpretation of his feelings about the situation, and Robert isn’t part of it.

“Mixed bag” is right. This episode did too much. I loved the ready room scenes. I loved being in Picard’s mind, but it didn’t really finish an idea before moving to the next idea. Consequently this episode tried to accomplish too many things and felt like the next episode began before the current one ended. I’m of the mind that season 2 of Picard is meant to be binged in order to appreciate the full story. With only three episodes left, I’m not sure how they’ll be able to deliver on the promise that the first two episodes set up but am anxious to see. Maybe it’s a cliffhanger ending.

I hope it’s not a cliffhanger! Please let it end, so maybe we’ll get one last chance at an actually good story for Season 3.

So far Discovery and Picard have always wrapped up their arcs by the end of the season. So I’m optimistic that they will be back in the early 25th century when the season is over. Probably not long before, though.

I agree. I think they’ll end this arc, but I’m pretty confident that John deLancie is back next season so the Q arc may actually continue in some form.

I remember reading an article that quoted John De Lancie as saying Q wasn’t gonna be in season 3 but maybe they can bring him back for a short appearance to tie everything together or just changed their mind and got De Lancie to appear in the third season too.

A somewhat confusing and disjointed episode!
I liked the various layers of what was going on in Picard’s mind but one thing that continued to eat at me. Where was his brother throughout Picard’s younger childhood?
As for Rios and the Doctor – what type of Starfleet captain has no sense of responsibility and duty to either the prime directive or the temporal prime directive? Pretty ridiculous!!
As for Agnus and the Borg Queen plus Raffi and Seven – not much happened tonight.
Overall grade – 5/10.
The best part of Picard S2E7????? We are only 3 episodes away from the season finale and the premiere of SNW!

That’s my biggest complaint about the majority of NuTrek, the writers seem entirely oblivious to how officers are meant to act professionally within a chain of command. Are they even aware of the Prime Directive? Much of it – like Discovery – comes across as over-wrought dire fan-fic level EMO emotional characters. Or just plain stupid (the Seven and Raffi Police car chase scene still makes me utterly cringe!) actions by the characters who seem to exist to be unnaturally squeezed into each scene’s demands, rather than solid and largely consistant characterisations layered over the top of the story. It’s a hot mess, albeit a very good looking, sounding and acted (were the script allows!) one. Frankly, I wish they’d jettison the writing team on this and SNW, and get some proper sci-fi writers in that also understand solid characterisation and not pop-culture flavour of the month writing.

I always get Alexander Siddig and James Callis confused……for a bit.

Admittedly, this episode was my least favorite of the season. That doesn’t mean it was terrible, but it seems like they are trying to do too many things, and that weakens the main storyline. In a way, doing a highly serialized format makes it harder to have weaker episodes. When there were 26 episodes back in the day, there were clunkers to be sure. But they were pretty much stand-alone, so you just shrugged you shoulders and moved on. In this format, you notice whether a storyline is getting moved forward significantly, or not. I also don’t think it is an accident that the strongest characters of the season, Jurati and the Borg Queen, were pretty much absent from this episode. I’ve really appreciated the dynamic that Allison Pill and Annie Wersching have. I realize all of this is subjective. Oh well, hopefully next week will be better.

That is the big difference I think so many people are having with these new live action shows and that is if you hate the story overall even if you still get strong episodes in a season, the repeat value is almost at zero.

I can watch a repeat of TNG, TOS, ENT, VOY etc even in ‘bad’ seasons because the standalone episodes do just that and stands on their own. I have tried to rewatch certain episodes of Picard in season 1 and it really just doesn’t work outside of the first episode. And I have said this in the past, the longer we get away from these seasons, the harder it will be to watch most of them as standalone because people will start to forget all the specific elements of the season. Try watching a random episode of LOST today. If you haven’t watched or remember everything about the overall plots it doesn’t work at all. It’s been off the air for 12 years now and I forgot a lot of what happened because I never watched it since. It really just feels like a chapter in a book for that show.

I don’t think the serialization is a Star Trek problem, just the people making it today. I have rewatched ENT seasons 3 and 4 over and over again at this point because it’s just a much better written story arc and I don’t even love the Xindi story line. But I still feel satisfied with the overall story and like watching it. Nearly 6 seasons of DIS and PIC and I’m still not been satisfied with a single season as a whole. Something is wrong there.

Both Enterprise and DS9 had season long and multi season long story arcs, but the writers knew how to script character stories that would often finish at the end of each episode with very satisfying and positive conclusions.

For some reason, the show runners on Picard seem to think that each character’s (except poor Elnor) storyline must also continue when you only need the primary story to be serielized. Apparently S3 will have ONLY ONE SHOWRUNNER NEXT SEASON and hopefully that will make the show better!

Btw, earlier I said the only good thing about E7 was that only 3 episodes were left until the finale! I was mistaken. Having Baltar aka James Callis show up today was pretty cool! What a waste – considering who he represented, he should have been speaking with his natural English accent! Who was the directing genius who made that decision?

Yeah a lot of people are blaming the season being bad because apparently Akiva Goldsman took over the second half. That doesn’t exactly bold well for SNW lol. But I think it’s unfair to blame him completely and the season started going down for me well before then. I hate to say it, because I been praising Terry Matalas the day we learned he was taking over season 2 but this lays at his feet too. Maybe it is just an issue of too many cooks in the kitchen, I don’t know. But at this point we can only hope season 3 will go out with a bang; but can’t blame anyone who has doubts if they are not loving this season so far.

Yes I did like James Callis a lot in this episode and liked the scenes between him and Stewart. Ironically he also played a dad to one of the main characters in 12 Monkeys but in a much stranger way lol. I didn’t mind him being Picard’s father but it would’ve been nice he played a more straight forward role and could really appear on the show. Some were predicting he was a temporal agent from the future but I really didn’t see them going that far with it based on this season so far but could’ve been fun!

Correction, Callis played a son in 12 Monkeys.

I think one of the problems of the show could be that it has nearly 30 executive producers. One of these days I am really gonna count the number of producers in the opening credits, but the list seems to be endless. I mean it just feels unnatural to have that many producers.

I think this is partially due to a different way of crediting people than what was used in the past. Seems like a lot of the writers get some kind of producer credit now. The main VFX supervisor also has a producer title. Patrick Stewart in an executive producer on Picard, and I think Sonequa Martin Green is a producer on Discovery. In addition, they have two people from Roddenberry Entertainment as (I think) executive producers on the shows even though I can’t imagine they do more than maybe give notes on scripts, if even that.
Something that has been suggested is that Michael Chabon and Akiva Goldsman had somewhat different ideas for the show during season 1 of Picard.

And in the Xindi arc they managed to have stand alone stories that also advanced the overall season story. They gave you enough that I was genuinely curious to see what we were going to get the next episode. I’m getting none of that with Secret Hideout.

I’ve always said some of the best episodes of Enterprise was the standalone episodes in that season. Just a lot of strong and fun stories and a few of them my favorite episodes in the entire franchise.

I really wish they could get some of the writers from seasons 3 and 4 of Enterprise to work on the new live action shows. It could be a major upgrade in quality IMO.

What’s really sad for me is that I was really looking forward to it like, okay, here we go … we’ll get into Picard’s brain and learn his trauma and “fear” and get some clarity. But the reveal was confounding and apparently some “half-truth” since there’s “more to tell.” I thought going into Picard’s psyche would be a slam dunk episode but the ball just clanged of the rim.

The first two episodes of Picard this season had me saying, “make it so.” Everything since then has had me begging, “make it stop.”

LOL!

I actually enjoyed this episode more than I was expecting. I found the “diving into someone’s subconscious” trope really well done, with a bit flavor to it than past dives. A greater budget helped in this regard, as so often when you dove into someone’s subconscious, their subconscious looked shockingly like the hallways of a starship ;p. But beyond the look, the way the story was told was really interesting with the therapist session turning into a revelation about Picard’s father (and I can just point out how amazing it is that James Callis is canonically Picard’s father! Yes, he’s another English guy, but he’s perfectly cast.)

Rios’ story continues to be a bit, well, unnecessary. While it is possible something will change, his whole storyline/experience with ICE has been wasted, making the entire diversion completely unnecessary.

Seven and Jurati continue to have great banter, and while their story has been a bit unfocused, I like where it is going no with the revelation of Jurati.

Speaking of Jurati, she didn’t get a lot to do this episode, but I am so intrigued as to where they’re going to take this. All signs point to Jurati being the future Borg (as seen in the season premiere), and we know virtually nothing about that incarnation of the Queen.

Before the final scene with the FBI, I was really hoping that next week’s episode will FINALLY begin to explore what the hell is going on with Q. But with the FBI surprise, I fear we’re going to get another episode that just drags things out.

This whole season has been so frustrating. The first two episodes where great, and the third episode was a good setup for things to come, but these last four episodes have just dragged. I’m not actively disliking what is going, and I’m still optimistic that the story will finally get somewhere, but the pacing is just killing things. Discovery had a similar issue after it came back from its season 4 hiatus (though it very much recovered in its finally two episodes), it just feels like there isn’t enough story for the episode allotment, so things get unnecessarily stretched out. What I find incredibly frustrating though is that there seems to be enough story. Discovery could have easily combined at least two it’s episodes and then spent another episode focusing on communication with the 10-C. Picard seemingly has a bunch of different storylines it is weaving together, more than enough to fill out a 10 episode season, and yet we get random diversions and shockingly short episodes (last wasn’t even 40 min!)

Your reviews have been spot-on, especially this one! I love reading them.

The highlight? Sunny Ozell who CAN sing. What a remarkable, soulful voice. Sir Pat’s wife possesses great vocal talent.

Beyond that, Picard season two – and this specific episode – continue to muddle through poor writing. There is such potential here. There is also a tremendous dis-continuity between episodes, making viewers, like myself, wonder if anyone has a true vision for this second season. The writer’s homework assignment appears to have been “watch Star Trek IV” — but adopt CBS TV drama aesthetics and poor scripting.

Maybe this appeals to some. Good on you. Star Trek brand/franchise faded from glory with Enterprise, then Discovery. Both Prodigy and Lower Decks have roused the spirit of what Trek can be. Maybe Strange New Worlds will, too. Yet Picard keeps dying on the vine…

We know Picard season three is already complete. One only hopes it is a triumphant effort to carry Jean-Luc Picard over the finish line, courtesy of the announced TNG guest stars. Because Picard season two is a super-stinky garbage drama spread thick across multiple episodes with thin direction and poor execution.

Feels more like they said let’s throw in the nostalgia in the first episode that all the fans complained about lacking in s1, then how can we do this season on the cheap…set it in modern day LA, with lots and lots and lots of talking without really getting anywhere

I enjoyed it for the good bits, but on the whole I thought this was pretty lousy. The season as a whole is kind of turning into a meandering dud for me; maybe they’ll save it in these last three, but I’m not really feeling it lately.

Still twice as good as the first season, though, so at least there’s that.

Lingering trauma expressed in maudlin fashion (plus therapy) — the primary or secondary theme of every season of Secret Hideout Presents Some Kind of Star Trek, no matter the showrunner. Maybe Kurtzman should do a series about his family and his therapists and the secret hideout of his childhood and get it out of his system?

Did anybody else notice that Orla was holding Gary 7s servo pen? They sowed it a couple of times. These episodes are so uneven with highs and lows balancing them in to mediocrity. So much promise with so little delivery.