Recap/Review: ‘Star Trek: Picard’ Answers Some Questions In “Mercy”

“Mercy”

Star Trek: Picard Season 2, Episode 8 – Debuted Thursday, April 21, 2022
Written by: Cindy Appel & Kirsten Beyer
Directed by Joe Menendez

Things are finally starting to come together after another slow churn episode with some outstanding performances.

 

WARNING: Spoilers below!

RECAP

“Can a single life redeem a lifetime?”

This week on The X Files Star Trek: Picard, we find FBI Agent Fox Mulder Martin Wells questioning two individuals he thinks are “extraterrestrial.” Jean-Luc and Guinan try to laugh it off, but Wells has already sussed out Picard’s connection to the Europa Mission, so if they don’t figure out how to convince this agent, Renée’s impending launch will get scrubbed, dooming them to the Confederation timeline. Wells even puts the pieces together tying Picard to Rios, who gave that whole speech about a “cybernetic Queen” trying to wipe out humanity and a “crusty old admiral” who happens to also be a robot. Oh, and he has Rios’s badge too. Oops. But Guinan uses her El-Aurian bartender superpower to assess that Wells isn’t a typical agent and his alien pursuit is “personal,” getting her booted from the interrogation.

As Wells lays it on thick, threatening Picard with unseen others who will vivisect him and treat him like a “pig in a jar,” elsewhere Guinan has her own encounter with a wholly different kind of agent. Sensing something is off, she realizes it is Q, who took his “damn time” to show up after her summoning, and he calls her a “sanctimonious droning shrew,” so yeah, these two are not pals. Guinan also quickly picks up what we’ve all sort of guessed… Q is dying, which explains the delay, traffic in LA is hell when you can’t snap your way around. As he faces “the threshold of the unknowable,” Q appears to be reflecting on his existence, indicating he is looking for redemption, although perhaps not for him but for Jean-Luc. Pointing out it was Picard who trapped himself in the past, he clues us into his game saying, “The trap is immaterial, it’s the escape that counts.” As he departs he offers an insight into humans, “they’re all trapped in the past.”

“Can you be a little less happy that I am defective?”

Meanwhile, Seven and Raffi continue their ongoing relationship spat as they run around the streets of LA on the trail of Queen Jurati, who is leaving a trail of death, destruction, and drained batteries. The former drone figures the emerging Queen is desperate for connection and trying to jump-start her ability to assimilate, using the metals in the batteries to speed up her nanoprobe production. When the pair finally track her down, Jurati goes on the attack, knocking down Seven and choking Raffi, only to leave, indicating “Jurati is still in there somewhere.” Because the Borg show no mercy… hey there’s that episode title, but a bit late for the bar rando she left dead next to a dumpster.

As for Rios, he is supposed to be figuring out how much Borgifying the Queen did to La Sirena, but his real focus is playing house with Dr. Ramirez and Ricardo, including replicated cake. As the ship runs diagnostics, Cristóbal and Teresa continue their little rom-com, bonding over backstories, revealing more feelings… and of course, some smooching. The timeline’s being butterflied and everyone’s going to be assimilated but these two crazy kids have bridged the centuries to find love. Aww.

“You can’t walk away from me.”

Returning to Casa Soong we find Kore coming to grips with her dad being a mad scientist, and that she’s just his latest project. Activating a VR system to inspect Adam’s lab gives her a surprise in the form of a virtual Q who has inserted himself as a ghost in the machine, calling himself a “friend” there to help her escape. And good to his word, a vial of that magical blue liquid labeled “freedom” is delivered to her door. When Dr. Soong returns she confronts him with all she has learned about all the dozens of other (dead) little girls he created. He claims he actually loves her, but saying “you exist because I willed it” isn’t really giving her the feels, so she bails. Left alone to drink away the loss of his “legacy,” the bad doctor gets a surprise visit from a certain woman with black eyes in a red dress, talking about not needing to give “a lecture on the futility of resistance”… does she assume he has seen TNG? How meta.

“You do the work because you want to evolve.”

With Wells wearing him down, Guinan links with Picard telepathically… wait, she can do that? She offers up Q’s last comment about humans being stuck in the past as a clue for how to deal with the FBI agent. Picard knows a haunted man when he sees one and he suggests an exchange of ghost stories. Wells reveals the source of his E.T. obsession: while lost in a dark forest as a kid he ran into a bunch of aliens doing some weird sci-fi stuff, only to be chased down by a “monster in the dark” who tried to pull his “eyeballs out” through his skin before they “vanished”… just like how Picard beamed into LA. Jean-Luc pieces it together. Kid Wells must have run into some scouting Vulcans who tried to mind-meld his memory but screwed up because 20th-century Vulcans are a bunch of stooges. And good to his word, Picard reveals his truth all about the future and saving the galaxy and how he could really use some help.

And it works. Not reporting his real alien evidence gets Wells fired, but Guinan says maybe it was his destiny to be the one that let them go to save the world. After telling Jean-Luc about her weird meeting with Q, the pair return to her bar to reunite with Seven and Raffi. Rios takes time off from the smooching to brief everyone on how the Queen is in control of La Sirena’s transporter and her goal is to take the ship and use the tech to Borgify Earth. Back at Casa Soong, Queen Agnes has recruited Adam with the promise to give him a whole new legacy as the savior of the planet, if they can just stop Renée. With no moral compass and surprisingly no follow-up questions, Dr. Evil lets her use his satellite and orders up some mercenaries to become Drone Team 6 for her assault on La Sirena. She also tasks him to deal with Jean-Luc with “appropriate means to dispose of him”… so that’s ominous, and this week’s cliffhanger.

ANALYSIS

Mercy me

While suffering some of the wheel-spinning of recent episodes, “Mercy” delivers a tighter outing that starts to bring those various wheels into harmony. With a slower pace that fits with the intensity of the various character pairings, a number of the scattered elements of the season are beginning to finally take some shape, although the biggest mysteries remain in a frustrating box. The episode also holds together thematically, bringing together the season’s exploration of reconciling with the past, with each character facing their own histories and the consequences of their own choices.

The best examples of all of this come from the two interrogations. The Picard/Wells back and forth was a delight to watch and the parallel of reconciling misremembered childhood memories almost makes up for last week’s mess of an episode. While the stagecraft of Guinan’s new abilities was hokey, Aghayere’s Guinan showed a welcome arc from her introduction earlier in the season, showing how Jean-Luc’s Federation optimism has brought her back into the light. But it was de Lancie who rises above showing a whole new vulnerable and introspective layer to Q.

The Raffi and Seven storyline also continues to improve, seamlessly weaving their relationship issues with their mission. Jeri Ryan is doing some of her best work on Star Trek as she deals with Raffi and her newfound Borg-less self, even finding some time for a bit of subtle political allegory recognizing how easy it is for her to manipulate people using their trust, just like when she was Confederation President. And we finally understand – albeit a bit late – why Raffi is so affected by Elnor’s death, feeling guilt over manipulating him to stay in Starfleet. As for the Rios storyline, the writers seem determined to squeeze him into whatever shape is needed to (presumably) set him up to stay behind in the 21st century at the end of the season. The guy is so lovesick, he didn’t even pick up his badge when he was at the clinic last week.

Queen for a day

Speaking of setups, it seems a good guess that Agnes will turn out to be the hooded Borg Queen from episode one. But she is a different kind of Queen, polite enough to ask  “Who is in the mood to add their biological and technological distinctiveness to our own?” Alison Pill is nailing it as this entirely different character, even picking up on elements of Annie Wersching’s performance as the Queen. But it’s still a bit murky as to how this all fits with Q’s grand plan, because if she was actually the one to set up Soong as savior and the whole Confederation timeline, this whole thing is a crazy predestination paradox. But at least we can now sort of see how Soong is tied to the dark timeline, setting up a conflict between his evil tech and Renée’s more enlightened discovery on Europa.

And it is the slow drip of Q’s plan that remains the biggest frustration. Eight episodes in, and his motivations should be clearer. Yes, we finally got confirmation that he is dying, and de Lancie facing “the threshold of the unknowable” was captivating. But if he is seeking a kind of redemption, is it for him or for Picard, or both? Perhaps it really is as simple as Picard letting go of his past so he can find true love and connection, and this elaborate timeline spanning story was just Q’s bizarre way to teach a lesson which probably could have been wrapped up much quicker ala “Tapestry,” and that is the fundamental problem with this whole season. This is a story that didn’t need to spend seven or eight episodes in 2024 Los Angeles to tell, although that did probably save some money on the production side.

Final thoughts

Season two of Picard feels like it is finally getting somewhere, albeit a little late. The ride is slow but it is worth taking for the performances and periodic fun lines peppered in. With only two episodes to go, it looks like we are stuck in the past for at least one more, but hopefully, we are headed back to some Star Trek sci-fi space stuff soon. Until then, drink in the great acting from Brent Spiner and the rest of the cast.

Random bits

  • This is the third Star Trek writing credit for Cindy Appel, who joined the series as a producer for season two.
  • This is the third Picard episode writing credit for co-executive producer Kirsten Beyer, who is co-creator of the series.
  • Veteran director Joe Menendez returns for the second episode of his directing block and his Star Trek debut.
  • Picard denies he is an extraterrestrial saying “I can truly say I am not,” however, technically his android body was created on Coppelius, also called Ghulion IV.
  • While some fans hoped Jay Karnes’ Agent Wells was connected to his 29th century time-traveling Voyager character Ducane, his connection to Picard comes from showrunner Terry Matalas who worked with him on 12 Monkeys, where he played an FBI Agent, who was a fan of HG Wells.
  • Based on Agent Wells’ presumed age, he would have encountered the Vulcans around the late 1970s or about two decades after another Vulcan survey ship crashed in Carbon Creek, Pennsylvania, as seen in the Enterprise episode “Carbon Creek.”
  • In that episode, it was said the next Vulcan survey ship would arrive at Earth in 20 years, although it was assumed they would only do scans from orbit and not land on the planet as seen here.
  • The Vulcans using a transporter in the 21st century is the first known use of the technology, which won’t be invented by Humans until the 22nd century, as seen in the Enterprise episode “Daedalus.”
  • Seven recalls being assimilated at the age of six, as seen in flashbacks in the Voyager episode “The Raven.”
  • Did Jurati get her boots from the red beard bar guy, and if so was he chosen for his shoe-size ala Terminator 2?
  • Adam Soong’s company is called Soong Dynamics.
  • The AI assistant Kore calls up is called “Aspectus.”
  • Dr. Soong finally reveals the mystery of Kore’s “mother,” saying she was “created through somatic nuclear cell transfer and gestated in a proprietary medium.” Isn’t that sweet?
  • The bigger mystery is how Kore is going to make it in LA without money, ID, or shoes.
  • When Guinan senses Q, she again uses the same defensive hand gesture she first used in “Q Who,” and Q also first responds to Guinin in the same way as in that episode, exclaiming “You!”
  • In that episode, Q said he and Guinan had encountered each other “two centuries ago,” which would be in the 22nd century, so perhaps she is fated to run into him again before her time on the USS Enterprise-D.
  • How did La Sirena’s replicator know to make four different slices of cake from the command “four cakes”?  Also, cake is eternal.
  • When Guinan tells Picard she “almost can’t wait to meet you,” he responds in French with “Moi aussi” or “Me too.”
  • Soong’s mercenaries are from Spearhead Operations, which was also the name of a 21st century private military firm from MacGyver, first featured in a season four episode written by Terry Matalas.
  • Picard is able to demonstrate a Vulcan mind meld so well as he himself has melded with both Sarek [TNG “Sarek“] and Spock [TNG “Unification“].
  • The interrogation room had a series of boxes containing four lights, a possible homage to the “four lights” in his Cardassian interrogation from the TNG episode “Chain of Command.”

 

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.


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

Subscribe
Notify me of
159 Comments
oldest
newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Jean-Luc, blow up the damn ship!

We destroy the ship, we destroy the Borg.

No! Noooooooo!

I will not sacrifice the Enterprise

“You’re afraid. You want to run away. You coward.”
“If you were any other man, I would kill you where you stand.”
“Get TF off my bridge!”

Oooh, here’s a thought…

Picard and crew blow up the La Sirena, stranding them in 2024. The Queen is destroyed, Humanity is saved, and their future is set back on track. With no way of returning to their time of their own, they are visited by a Temporal Agent from the 29th Century: Ducane! Who looks suspiciously like Agent Wells…

Ducane informs the La Sirena crewmembers that they don’t belong in this time period, much like Braxton’s interaction with Voyager (following the defeat of Henry Starling). Ducane returns them to their proper place and time, back in 2401.

This would be cool.

I like it, but why do they blow up La Sirena?

To prevent Jurati Queen from using it.

Also – this is not happening on account of making actual sense. A concept foreign to PIC writers.

I think you have put it nicely in a nutshell.

Ok so the start of the episode was interesting (the ‘interview’ not the scenes with the kid running) this Welles character reminds me so much of Fox Mulder.

Picard realizing that they may have broken time on their own even without Q was good but everything he and the rest of the crew have done in 2024 wouldn’t of that already messed with the timeline?

The Raffi and 7 scene was ok. Raffi asking 7 to borg up didn’t go well with her which is understanding with what all 7 went through. Raffi really should be more sensitive with 7 when it comes to the Borg.

The scene with Kore and Q were interesting and Q being the master manipulator as usual what does he hope to gain my manipulating Kore?

7 describing the Queen wanting connection reminded me of how 7 was when she was disconnected from the Borg in the Voyager episode the gift and i felt sad when 7 was remembering back to when she was assimilated.

Them finding and ‘fighting’ Queen Jurati was cool to see glad Jurati is still in there and stopped the queen from killing Raffi but knew she would die. Plot armor ftw.

Cool to see Rios statement to the ice agent comeback and get used by Welles against Picard lol.

They really are causing more trouble in the past.

Speaking of causing problems i don’t know why Rios letting the kid press buttons like that was wise?

I know the ship was in diagnostic mode but still it’s a confederation ship who knows what that thing has installed in the ships computers by the Queen? and showing them the replicator really?

Unless Rios takes the doctor and her son back to the future with him it’s not a good idea to be showing them all that future tech? Again butterfly’s 1 single change caused the prime timeline to cease to exist and they are causing heck load of more butterfly’s here.

Welles really does remind me of Mulder lol and so Guinan’s summoning(a bit silly looking for Trek) worked.

So according to Q by the 21th century him and Guinan have yet to met which makes sense since Q himself said in Q Who that him and Guinan had dealings 2 centuries before. I wonder if we will

ever find out how they first met?

Q is dying huh? Kinda already figured that out by the 2nd episode to be honest with the way he was acting.

So he has lost his powers then? Still how does he come and go into the fbi field office so easily? I know he still has his intelligence but getting around like that is a bit weird imo.

What does he mean by escape is the whole point? Is he trying to help Picard move on from the event with his mother and father or that door we saw last episode? Like the prophets did with Siko and the death of his Wife?

Is these event’s are what is holding Picard back from being with Laris? Is Q trying to help
Picard ultimately find Love?

The scene between Adam and Kore were good i definitely got a mad scientist vibe from him and he deserves having Kore leave him.

It’s nice to see Elnor again even when it was just a flash back. His presence is really missed in the show and i hope they bring him back.

So Queen Jurati is after Soong? Makes sense since he would have the knowledge to help her with her plan.

So Guinan can astral project herself ok interesting and the scene with Picard and Welles about emotional Shrapnel was good. Welles is so much like Mulder and him talking about his encounter with Vulcans was interesting and Picard telling him the truth was good.

I felt sad for Welles he got it into his mind that the Vulcan’s were trying to hurt him when in fact they just wanted to erase his memory of seeing them. But what were they doing there were they some how connected to the vulcan’s in Carbon Creek which i think was in the 1950’s?

So Renee’s discovery of a micro-organism is what is the key and Adam Soong/Queen Jurati are the ones that change the future to the confederation timeline and that ending oh boy.

Overall a good episode a big step up from the last few episodes which were not great but still I’m not liking the 2024 story-line i wish it was over but it seems they are finally getting the story-line going so that is something.

“Guinan’s summoning (a bit silly looking for Trek)”

You mean because of the “I Dream of Jeannie” bottle she used?

Hahaha yeah the whole bottle thing seemed ridiculous to me but let’s remember that El Aurian’s are extradimensional life forms (time being the fourth dimension and humans existing on only a cross section of that plane) so let’s assume that the “I dream of Genie Bottle” was merely a symbolic representation of something much more sophisticated… much like the road in the desert was a symbolic representation of the Q continuum. That said I agree the Vulcans being on Earth at some point in the past was a little random. The age of the character we saw would seem to preclude the possibility that the flashback was to the 1950s. Somehow I find it hard to believe the Vulans were regularly taking survey missions to Earth during the 20th century because afterall, weren’t humans incredibly boring? I’m not really sure exactly what that detective even added to the plot of the show unless his character has a more substantial role to play in a later episode. Still we don’t have very many episodes left in the season so it better happen soon. I still can’t get used to these new shorter seasons. What happened to 23 episodes per season????

Regarding the El Aurian-Q truce represented as a bottle and the Q Continuum as a desert road, along with the Q Civil War looking like the U.S. Civil War, I am reminded of Clarke’s Third Law, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” (https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.159.3812.255.c).

Regarding Vulcans regularly taking survey missions to Earth, Mike pointed out that “Carbon Creek” mentioned Vulcans returning to Earth in the next survey ship in another 20 years. However, the mission of these survey ships were to run statistical scans, gathering information about humanity, from high orbit, not on the ground, much less make first contact with humans. In “Carbon Creek,” the first of these ships crashed on Earth, and because of this contingency, a second ship had to land in order to rescue the survivors of the crash. The last of these ships was probably the one in First Contact, and it only landed and made first contact, because humans had discovered how to travel faster than light. For some reason, the third ship landed in the 1970s.

I felt sad for Welles he got it into his mind that the Vulcan’s were trying to hurt him when in fact they just wanted to erase his memory of seeing them. But what were they doing there were they some how connected to the vulcan’s in Carbon Creek which i think was in the 1950’s?

The Vulcans that young Wells encountered, could’ve been those who were mentioned of returning in a survey ship “in about 20 years”, which would put the events in the 1970s. The tie-in to Carbon Creek, was young Wells looking for his dog, named Maggie… same name as the woman who Mestral befriended in Carbon Creek.

Thanks for the references to ‘Carbon Creek.” I think Wells encountering the Vulcans in the 1970s makes sense. According to IMDB, actor Jay Karnes is 58 this year, so if he played Wells as a 58 year old person in 2024, then the character would’ve been a child in the 1970s and wouldn’t have been born yet in the 1950s. In that ENT episode, the Vulcans had gone to Earth to investigate the launch of Sputnik. So if the first ship went to Earth in 1957-1959 and the second ship went there exactly 20 years later in 1977-1979, then Wells would’ve been 11-13 years old when he encountered the Vulcans.

This episode was quite good, and a significant improvement over last week, but I’m not ready to call it great. We can finally see the theme for the season: the only monsters are the ones we make ourselves. Let’s look at this episode piece by piece:

Guinan and Picard are being interrogated by Agent Welles. I thought Wells was going to be the guy from Relativity, but we get a different story. He’s paranoid about alien threats to Earth, monsters threatening humanity. We learn Welles came upon some Vulcans doing research as a child, and came away thinking they were monsters. He misinterpreted a mind meld as some kind of assault, and it’s haunted him his whole life. I really really liked Picard’s explanation and speech here, and that Welles saw things in a different light because of it and let them go. That was very in tune with Trek’s message.

I will say the Vulcan thing felt a bit random and maybe didn’t mesh as neatly as it could have, but I liked it.

Next, Guinan and Q spar, and we learn Q is dying, and trying to play one last game with humanity. But I think there’s more here. Q is far more vindictive, deranged, and cruel than he should be. Curious to see where this goes.

Seven and Raffi scour LA for Borg!Jurati, and we finally get a deeper look at what’s going on between them. Raffi is definitely manipulative and clearly emotionally damaged (not an excuse!), and we get an explanation for why Elnor was in Starfleet Academy despite it being an odd fit. Seven’s explanation for Borg!Jurati’s murder of that guy (she sought connection then lashed out when she couldn’t get it) also gives some insight into why Seven is where she is in this show, and the state of their relationship.

What is the point of the Rios subplot? He was easily the most interesting new character on this show, and now I fear they’re setting it up for him to stay behind in the past. Actually, considering they’re bringing the TNG cast back, I’m wondering if they’re using this season to get rid of Rios (stays in past) and Jurati (Borgified) to make room.

Hats off to Spiner for some incredibly villainous acting. He pulled out all the stops, and him allying with Borg!Jurati works.

Speaking of Jurati, man is Alison Pill the breakout star of this season. Just incredible acting, and the Jurati vs Borg Queen battle is by far the best and most entertaining plotline and acting of this season. Just absolutely delicious.

Some final thoughts: Now that we can see it, I like the theme for this season. However, the fact that it’s taken this long is not good, and the writers’ fault. Also that we only have two episodes left to wrap this up after wasting several episodes spinning our wheels is their fault. Again, the pacing and writing, while much better than Discovery, leave something to be desired. This season has an incredible story, but it’s been obfuscated, warped, stretched, and dulled by the writers. Stretching one story across an entire season doesn’t seem to be working on Disco or Picard. Maybe it would with better writers, I don’t know. I’d like to see a return to the mini-arcs of ENT S4.

Verdict: better than last week, but could’ve been great. 6.8/10.

Picard told Wells that the “monsters” he encountered were Vulcans. Conceivably Wells could still be alive in 2063, hear about Vulcans’ having landed on Earth — maybe see pictures of them — and make the connection.

It’s interesting that Vulcans are shown mind melding a century before Enterprise, when that was being discriminated against and melders seen as deviants (see episodes “Stigma” & Kir’Shara arc). Just something that applied to the race in the mid 22nd Century… and was accepted as normal further back in time then? I can see it as something the Romulans controlling their High Council criminalised during Archer’s time perhaps?

I loathed the way “Enterprise” handled the Vulcans during that period, and for precisely that reason. In the end, they required a human savior to help them put their society back together and rediscover their own values. What an offensive idea!

“Kir’Shara” indicated that Romulan agents like V’Las and Talok had been in high positions on Vulcan for decades. Perhaps, these agents had influenced most Vulcans into seeing mind melding as deviant behavior. Doing this would certainly help the agents blend in, as Romulans have not been shown to be telepathic without the use of technology, like the Watcher neuro-optic interceptor.

Also, in TOS: “The Conscience of the King,” McCoy indicated, perhaps half-jokingly, that the Vulcans had been conquered, although in TOS: “The Immunity Syndrome,” Spock said Vulcan had not been conquered in its collective memory, the memory going so far back that no Vulcan could conceive of a conqueror.

So Rios’ replicators have made red velvet cake that caused Juratti to puke, french fries and peppermint ice-cream that Rios said looked disgusting, and now more red velvet cake that gave the kid a stomach ache. No wonder Rios is so taken with the food in 2024, even considering that the only chance he’s probably had to eat any was while he was in ICE custody.

This episode continued with a lot of the themes that the last episode ‘Monsters’ had. The notion of know thyself first applied to Picard when he understood why the trauma in his childhood had to happen and he finally understands why his father did what he did. In that time Picard realized the complexity of what his father dealt with and gained empathy for both himself and his father. He uses that empathy in this episode to great effect. The FBI agent Wells also had a trauma in the past, what Picard called ‘shrapnel’ , and that led him to where Wells felt insignificant since he could not understand what the Vulcans did to him. Picard tells him that there is time to be someone,it reinforces the idea that everyone has something to contribute , an ethos that humanity will need if it ever does realized that we are one species. Adam Soong continues to fascinate as a villian who seems to believe himself to be ruthless but when Kore leaves his emotional facade crashes, leaving him vulnerable to the Borg Queen/Jurati entreaties to help her. While parts of Picard may have been slow I feel like it is paying off. This episode continues to the heart of who Picard is,both in his inner and outer life, and provides a unique deconstruction to this character.
BTW the Vulcan who did the mind-meld with young Wells looked a lot like Sarek. I wonder if this Vulcan was an ancestor of Sarek like maybe he is Skon or Solkar per Search For Spock.

So I can know understand for a certainty that the hooded queen from episode 1 is indeed Queen Agnes. I guess at this point in the season, I would venture to guess that she came for some reason from her succeeded alternate timeline into the prime timeline to get help from Picard?! Motive unknown at this point and how Q is tied-in into this theory… Can’t wait to see the completion of this storyline in the final 2 episodes.

I believe that as well
Are we going to end up on the bridge of the Stargazer, back to THAT moment?
Because if we do it that way, Elnor will be back.

I’m about 95% there. There might yet be some twist – Kore Soong is really the only other character I can think it could be though.

I’m also thinking 100/1 it could be Picard’s mother given she’s been called a ‘Queen’ though that’s probably really awful misdirection. God help us if they should try and retcon some historical link between the Picards and the Borg to explain Locutus.

It might be Rios’ new love interest as the Queen….

does she assume he has seen TNG?

Villains telling people it’s useless to resist is very common and long predates TNG.

Not just seen TNG, he lived it ;)

Jeri Ryan is doing some of her best work on Star Trek

WHAT? WHAT??

Jeri Ryan is doing almost nothing this season. Some of her best work??

Yes, this is absolutely her best work on Trek. Go eat a cookie, get that blood sugar back to regular levels.

I think her best work was when she performed all the different assimilated personalities in Voyager’s “Infinite Regress“.

100%.

Playing as a Ferengi in that episode is still one of my favorite scenes from her ever lol. That and when she pretended to be the Doctor in the episode Body and Soul just shows the amazing range Jeri Ryan has and can be funny as hell on top of it.

I’m loving Seven on Picard personally but between this show and what she was given to do on Voyager isn’t even close as far as comparisons. She’s probably just sleep walking through season 2 right now.

I disagree, I don’t think she’s being challenged very much, beyond maintaining her head canon that Seven has been pretending to fit in, whereas now she doesn’t have to. This is child’s play to Ryan, the precise and subtle and mannered way Seven used to act with her humanity and need for control constantly at war was surely a better use of her skills.

It is quite a conundrum seeing Seven’s character suddenly embracing humanity in the absence of her Borg implants. I was never convinced that she would have been as discriminated against on Earth just on account of her cybernetic implants as we are now led to believe. Why would anyone have been bothered by her cybernetic implants in the 25th century? On another note I loved it when Seven says “No wonder I’m president!” at one point in this episode. Seven is pretty fucking hot. That’s why she was elected president, not from her people skills lol.

I agree Lorna Dune. I felt her performance was hammy. It wasn’t good and neither was Michelle Hurd. I’m staying around out of loyalty to Trek, but I’m just disappointed all around.

Why would you stick around “out of loyalty to Trek”? Boggles the mind. If you don’t like it, I can see no value in continuing to hate watch.

Tiny Tiny hope I might like the last two episodes….once I start something, I have to finish it…Hate is such a strong word, I would go with massively disappointing but still can’t let go of it watch.

I recognize myself in this.

Because they can bitch about the show and get attention

I can bitch about the show *without* watching it. I just read Anthony P.’s synopsis every week of the ludicrous plot developments (if you can them that); that’s really all I need.

Sadly I have to agree. Not her fault mind you. The whole storyline with Raffi feels forced and badly balanced in between the patrol-the-city-walk-and-talk-scenes.

This season is so damn frustrating. Jurati is the best thing about it but it’s hard to invest in Raffi and Seven and Rios none of whom have anything interesting to do this year.

Ok, it feels like the show is back. I absolutely hated the last episode and thought it was one of the worst episodes of modern Star Trek. It just failed for me on almost every level. I thought 2.8 was a solid episode and nothing really bothered me with it, but nothing was really outstanding either. I did think to myself that it felt like the events of this episode should have been in 2.6 or 2.7. I still think 2.7 brought the show’s narrative to a complete stop. I feel like maybe parts of 2.5-2.7 could have been combined into two stronger episodes instead of being 3 short weaker ones, but so far the look into Picard’s mind just sticks out compared to everything else in the season.

With that said, I do have a few minor nitpicks about 2.8, but nothing that really impacts my enjoyment of the episode too much. I also wish the season could have been stronger overall, but I don’t think it’s been horrible for the most part either. A lot of the Talinn / watcher stuff didn’t work for me this season. We still don’t know what Q wants with Soong or why he’s helping Kore. Still looking forward to where the season ends up and hope they built on 2.8 with very strong last 2 episodes.

Last week’s episode was slow and definitely get the criticism that it was filler (even if I don’t totally agree*), but let’s not act like it wasn’t better than nearly every episode of Discovery in spite of that.

* I think Matalas is taking his time because he’s trying to tell an emotional story and wants to give the some more breathing room to do that. Is it too slow for some? It seems so. Do I wish it would move a little quicker? Yes, I am not a huge fan of slow moving material. But I get what he’s trying to do. I also really think a lot of these shows are being written to be binged, because even if it’s released weekly, it’ll be online forever, and 80% (or more) of all viewings will be after it ends.

It is probably “sOmatic nuclear cell transfer and gestated in a proprietary medium”, and, translating from Sciencish, you can call it “cloning”.

This episode reminded me of how I miss the X-flies. What a glorious show that was in its heyday. A perfect mix of monster of the week and mythology based episodes. They would have the myth arc stuff in the beginning, middle and end of the season with slight variations here and there. That was the right way to do it, it kept things feeling fresh and exciting. Modern TV should study and take notes from this iconic series.

Just on a whim, I scanned some TV channels on Sunday and came across a whole bloc of humorous X-FILE eps, and wound up watching them (commercials and all!) for nearly 6 hours. Couldn’t believe how good nearly all of them were, and it still makes me marvel that this series could do comedy so often and so well without a credibility hit.

Good on you Kmart watching 6 hours of X-files!

Yep, they did comedy very well. The show could switch from bizarre to comedy and back again without skipping a beat. It was effortless for them.

I am only commenting because I hadn’t thought about this show until I saw your comment. I watched that show from the moment it appeared and was first in line for both movies. BUT. The recent revival of The X-Files created some of the worst pieces of filmed entertainment in human history. Bad enough to reconsider the stature of the entire series. Also, that second movie was dire. At least, to me. Glad to know that people still want to revisit it. It was influential and interesting for its time.

The second movie was exactly as you say, dire, and most of the revival was a waste, too. But the tech gone crazy show was pretty funny as I recall.

Was that the one where Mulder didn’t tip the robotic restaurant and chaos ensued? Yeah, I liked that one. And the one with Rhys Darby was pretty fun.

I think the problem with the recent revival of the X-files was that Chris Carter thought he was still living in the 90s heyday of the show and couldn’t really find an effective way to upgrade for a more “modern” tv style. There were enjoyable episodes in the revival too but nothing as memorable as the original episodes. I think he should have tried a new spin-off show with younger agents and having Scully and Mulder as mentors to them.

There’s another problem. Conspiracy theories aren’t as fun as they were in the 90s. Back then, they were a more niche hobby and had a kind of spooky tales around the campfire innocence about them. Now they’re much more widespread and often times hurtful and hateful. Plus, when you have some people in power who sound even nuttier than the Lone Gunmen, it takes a lot of the mystique out of it, y’know.

Yeah, today they can lead to people literally trying to overturn the government because they are gullible morons being lead by a crazy moron. People use to just make movies or TV shows about things like that. Now it’s broadcast live on the news.

I think it’s quite the opposite… He tried too much to moderize the story, threw out all the alien comspiracy and replaced it by fake news conspiracies… But I really, really liked some of the standalone episodes… The Sushi bar was hilarious…yum… And Mr Chuckle Teeth…

“Aspectus” essentially means “look up”.

Very unclear to me how they missed an opportunity to totally “24” the chapter-episodes this season.

The timing of the last three episodes, from scene to scene, doesn’t make sense to me. Picard worries that the launch is 15 hours away. But I thought the launch already happened. Did I misunderstand something from a previous episode?

And why isn’t Q simply trying to kill Renee himself? He seems like he can get everywhere else.

I don’t know about the scene-to-scene timing, but the launch clearly hasn’t happened yet, there’s been nothing to indicate it already launched.

I just rewatched the previous episode and I think I misunderstood how long Picard was unconscious, and assumed that because Renee wasn’t in the episode, she left from the party and launched. Which also does not make sense. My bad.

On second viewing the previous episode is def better than during first viewing.

I’d like to know if the producers originally were at least hoping to get Whoopi to do all of the Guinan scenes, not just the 25th century ones.

I wondered the same thing after 21st century guinan’s first popped up, but after seeing who she is in this era, i’d be surprised if it was ever meant to be Whoopi. I can’t imagine them writing this dialog for her to say. I don’t think she could still play that kind of energetic, sassy character.

I dunno, everything in the interrogation scenes I can picture Whoopi doing.

Glad to see the sentiments here are largely positive.
To me I am mostly indifferent – I really hope Welles has more of a role to play later on, otherwise his part in the overall narrative was just a filler in yet another filler episode.
Yes, I know it’s a only a TV show but that scene in the car park took alot of belief suspending – huge noisy fight in a car lot surrounded by apartment buildings and nobody sees a thing? The streets were empty, and not a single car has an alarm system despite them all being broken into?
I’m still hopeful there’s a worthy payoff to this season…

It seems to me Wells’ part was to parallel Picard’s statement that whatever bad things happen to us that traumatize us help us play an important role in the future. IE: when Picard says that the Vulcan encounter in his youth helped him become the man they needed to help them stay off the FBI’s radar, it’s also a message to Picard — and to the audience — that his own dark past is necessary for him to do something important in the future.

In this case, I think the situation with his mother is going to help him when he gets back to the 25th century and has to deal with the Borg (which at this point is very clearly going to be Jurati, right?).

I think it’s important to remember that writers include scenes for thematic purposes rather than just simple narrative ones. Look beyond the simple events in front of you, and look for the emotional story they’re trying to tell.

Is it just me, but did the aerial shot early in the episode show the Chronowerx building?

I’m quite disappointed that Jay Karns character of Wells Did not turn out to be Ducane.

I get that Star Trek reuses actors. A practice I hate unless there is makeup involved, But in this case it was inappropriate casting.

Karnes is a great actors, But why bring him back in a time travel adventure After he played a very memorable character that has the capable of time travel in a Star Trek series? Why cast him?

Because the producers don’t care about your stoopid Star Trek. They do things they consider “fun”. Haven’t you observed that already?

I’ll give them credit — it’s nice to take a break from thinking about how much I’d rather be watching TNG, and instead think about how much I’d rather be watching The X-Files

Sadly this show just reminds you of how great TNG is in a bad way because this show itself is so bad and not even close to the intelligence and quality of that show.

Not only that, but the the intelligence of the Picard character. I know people change as they age, but this Picard is not the same person as the TNG era Picard. The TNG Picard was intelligent, diplomatic, stern, formal, charismatic, curious, cultured, moral, etc. This older Picard seems to have lost almost all those qualities. The TNG Picard was a captain I looked up to and would love to have as my CO. This older Picard is nothing like that at all, except maybe for a brief few flashes we saw of him on the Stargazer in the first episode.

Sadly have to agree with that. I still like this version of Picard but he is a long long way off from the commanding, stoic and introspective one from the show. That Picard came off like a Starfleet officer of the highest esteem who is on top of everything even when he isn’t. This Picard feels more like a happy grandpa that is stumbling his way through a mission. He’s still smart of course but not as sharp as before either. And as you said you only see flashes of the old Picard once in awhile. He’s just so laid back and a free spirit now which I guess is partly due to age but also probably Stewart just playing himself more as well.

Cool observations. Notice the storage rack of old Dell computers in the hallway outside “Ducane”? Neat.

What’s the significance of that?

Also, Q talking to Kore thru the VR headset reminded me a lot of Q talking to the player in the old Star Trek: Borg game. I still have that somewhere…

Yes!!! You’re right. I loved that game!

I don’t think I’ve ever been so disappointed in a Star Trek show or season before which is saying a lot because I been disappointed with many of them in the past. But this season has turned into a tedious and incoherent mess with characters who have very little too do, really really bad plotting, so many inane nonsensical decisions and drowning the story in a lot of boring side quests giving characters just the most minimum of obstacles to justify being there. No wonder Soji and Elnor isn’t here, they would be complete dead weight right now.

I can not believe just how disappointed I am but this thing is terrible. I was convinced we were going to get a solid time travel story with some fun twists and plots and a few connections to past stories and characters. Instead I just spent an entire episode watching Picard detained in a basement trying to convince an FBI agent he’s not an alien.

Just a wasted season that had so much potential. It’s the first time since Enterprise I’m thinking about just not watching the rest of the season but it’s only two episodes to go (thankfully). These writers seem to have no clue on how to write a compelling serial season that advances the story in a meaningful way. If it wasn’t for Agnes and the Borg Queen subplot I think I would’ve given up by now.

This season is the epitome of bad writing.

I feel exactly the same way. With Q and Guinan announced and time travel expert, Back to the Future and Star Trek super-fan Terry Matalas at the helm, my expectations for this season were high and I have never been more disappointed in a TV show. 

My imagination had the crew bounce around time to fix some Q shenanigans where they would find themselves in situations familiar from previous Trek shows, like encountering a younger Picard in the first season of TNG, find themselves on Deep Space Nine, meet up with Vash for an archeological episode or visit Grand Nagus Rom on Ferenginar. I was expecting fan service and I was ready for it. They could have done so many interesting things with this. Never would I have guessed that they would spend the majority of the season in current time Los Angeles doing non-sci-fi things that have nothing to do with Star Trek. 

I have no problem with a serialized shows (I love recent shows like Severance, 1883, Moon Knight, etc), but each episode should have its own smaller story and be satisfying to watch with a beginning, middle and end, and with some overall progress in the story. The last six episodes of Picard feel like one long aimless episode where nothing is resolved.

It’s sooooo disappointing on so many levels. Yes, maybe we (per usual) over thought what we were getting this season. I saw fans saying they were expecting a 10 episode version of All Good Things or even something lighter but with depth like Tapestry. Something where they can really take Q and the concept of time travel and alternate universes but do it on a bigger scale.

But the trailers and previews was also suggesting something far more…interesting to say the least. The first teaser trailer showed off the Reckoning Tablet Sisko broke on DS9. Why was that even there then?? They showed it in the first episode of the season and it was never mentioned at all. It just felt like another call back to have fans say “Oooooooooh”. That same teaser also had the old Stargazer ship there making you think maybe we will jump to a time when Picard was commanding that ship. And then they showed stuff like Vulcans on Earth past, mysterious white eye guys behind Picard, shots of a Sanctuary District and you think they are really going to tie all this stuff in a crazy way only to learn NONE of that stuff mattered. It was just small tidbits in the story.

It didn’t have to be Picard back on the Enterprise D of course, but I did expect something more, what’s the word, imaginative. I mean you have Q, Guinan and the Borg Queen all in the same story, this is the best you can do with these characters? I think they have done good with the Queen given the situation but Picard and Guinan detained in an FBI basement for 40 minutes just feels like such a waste of potential. Q just pops up literally out of nowhere in the story to hint at things and disappears again. The guy has been here 8 episodes and we still have no clue why he’s even there? Is he trying to help or hinder Picard?? Why is he manipulating all these people? It’s so vague to the point of eye rolling now.

The story is so meandering. What happened to Tallinn? Just up and disappeared again for reasons I guess. Renee Picard is apparently the entire lynch pin to the future and she’s been gone for two episodes now. Probably because they have nothing interesting to do with the character even though she should be the Zefrum Cochrane of this story. And yeah, I really hate that the entire story seems to rest if she flies to Europa or not because it just makes no sense given the history of Earth’s past. I think continuing the story of the Bell Riots would’ve made much more sense as it’s already been established as an important part of Earth history and more socially relevant, but I digress.

All of this wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t so badly written in the first place. The story is just so wildly uneven and characters doing either ridiculous things or just nothing at all.

Although I didn’t hate this episode, in fact I enjoyed it far more than I expected I would, I can’t argue with anything you said, especially regarding the writing.
That said, a reason to look forward to next season? Enterprise and Voyager Trek veteran Terry Metalas is considered the sole show runner for S3 of Picard and from what I understand, he had little to do with the writing for S2. Looking forward to S3!

When they released the season 3 trailer on First Contact day, you had a lot of people (mostly haters of all things NuTrek) saying that they released it this early because of either complaints of the current season or worse that fans were just tuning out period and Paramount knew it. You know I usually don’t subscribe to these ridiculous conspiracy theories around the new shows and I brushed all of those off right away.

But looking at it now, I’m starting to believe maybe they are on to something? That they knew the season was a dud and didn’t want to wait until it ended to get fans motivated about the show again. I can be completely wrong but seeing how badly this season is 8 episodes in and how divisive, once again, it’s become, I wouldn’t be shocked. Even if someone personally loves this season and think it’s best Star Trek has to offer they certainly can’t deny there are many who feels the opposite.

So it could’ve been a way to rally the troops and tell them don’t despair, we got a great season 3 coming (in theory anyway ;)).

I’m still curious about next season and of course I can’t wait to just see them all standing together again. You know when that first photo gets released for promotion everyone will go crazy. But I got so excited for this season and now feel completely burnt over it even AFTER saying I should keep expectations low due to first season. I just hope the third time really is the charm. ;)

And I have a feeling there is going to be a huge tease of third season in the finale. IF that’s the case and Worf really does pop up on the Enterprise or something then it may prove people right and that the trailer was shown out of desperation because you already blown your big surprise at the end of the season—–IF someone from TNG shows up. So we’ll see! Two weeks (thankfully) and counting.

And to add to your theory, I believe this might be a big reason why they are ending the show at the third season as well. If this season and the first one was met with a little more appreciation and didn’t turn out as lifeless as they did, they might have had a desire to continue the show. As it stands now, they want to go out with a bang with a reunion season. I also blame the covid pandemic for some of the issues of this season as well, not in terms of the writing, but in terms of the more static acting and bottle episodes in the season.

I can’t help but think they were writing these scenes to have as little random actor interaction as possible, due to Covid. Even with a well financed show like this, Covid protocols up a budget by 25% or more. Stewart is not young… I mean, there are so many reasons.

I will say this whole season may play better for an audience that are not fans. We have too many expectations. Not that we shouldn’t. But we do.

Yeah you can’t rule anything out at this point. On one hand, I don’t think producers or the executives care that much as long as people are watching the show. This is the same company that made five Michael Bay Transformers movies even though each movie was perceived worse than the previous one, but each one until the final one made more than the previous one as well (figure that out lol). It’s Hollywood, it will always be quantity over quality if the demand is high enough.

But I can also believe if the show is not doing as great as they expected it to then maybe they don’t have an issue moving on from it if they are paying an exorbitant amount and it’s not doing any better than something like Lower Decks is doing. NOT saying that’s the case at all, only as an example. So who knows. And I do think it probably came down to Stewart himself. They may have gone on longer if he wanted to stay but once he made up his mind they were fine with that too and decided to go out with a huge bang in season 3. End of the day the franchise isn’t going to live or die on Paramount+ over any one show.

And yes maybe the pandemic has made things extra harder to film and their main star being so much older had to find ways to contain scenes more. So there could just be things out of their hand but still doesn’t excuse how bad the writing has been either.

It didn’t have to be this way.
Seems like this is the Into Darkness for TNG fans.
I feel that like Into Darkness, Discovery and Ent (and prob Prodigy now) they had a plan at the beginning that would rock but then between a combination of having to fall back on time trek the technobabble soap generation and bad political analogies they not really on purpose self destruct the ship.
Honestly Picard Season One surprised me in that despite its flaws they could have actually set up an awesome TNG adventure I could have end up some real great Trek (and this coming from someone who thinks TNG sucks) which is the return of the Borg wanting Picard and his tech to evolve (completely replace organics). You could retooth the Borg by revealing they farm the Federation for tech given our resilience. You could have had him on the run with the USS Stargazer and the fleet trying to protect him with big issues – does he fight? Should he surrender himself? What is life? Is robo Picard the real Picard? Is a network unimind the future? What is diversity? Do the Romulans help? Do the Klingons and Romulans have to work together? Do other Fédération worlds blame Picard for the havoc? You want therapy sessions – does robo Picard now relate to Locutus more? How does the upgraded Stargazer and the new excelsior stack up against the Borg? I think that could have been grand Trek just like Ent done right, into darkness etc.
Instead they fall back into Time Trek the Technobabble Snoozefest mode and wonder why it just doesn’t resonate. Like poor marksmen they keep missing the target of having people facing the opportunities and dangers of the stars.

Poorly written and, worst of all, boring. I really don’t care what happens.

if when this is all over we find ourselves on the bridge of the Stargazer for the unmasking of Agnes as The Borg Queen, isn’t there an EARLIER version of Agnes already on the Stargazer?

I love new trek but I cannot defend this season of Picard. Episodes 4-7 hasn’t advanced the story at all. I’m just still waiting for answers. It has become cheesy, weird, borderline magical (summon of Q was just dumb), and I just don’t care about the end anymore.

Congratulations to Star Trek: Enterprise, you are no longer the worst trek series.

Looking forward to SNW.

The thing is with Enterprise, a rewatch can make that series get more appreciation. Because Picard is serialized I don’t think any form of a rewatch will help Picard in the future.

I dunno, a good serialized show can entice me back even if getting back into it is a commitment. Late DS9 and Enterprise S3 I could easily rewatch episodes or whole arcs of before Disco and Picard.

Yeah, but both DS9 and Enterprise had solid standalone stories amongst its serialized arcs. Discovery had several but I don’t see any like that in Picard, that’s why I doubt it’ll be as easier as the others to get into again. I mean don’t misunderstand me I am not saying ALL serialized shows are hard to rewatch, just ones who are not as well-made as others.

For sure!

Agreed.

I have no issues rewatching DS9 and ENT later seasons and have rewatched them countless times now. DIS and PIC are frankly just a slog to get through their seasons and it’s crazy because they are half the episodes or less of DS9 and ENT. I honestly thought I would rewatch Picard over and over again after the first season. Ten episodes seemed like nothing and yet I only rewatched it once when I did my grand rewatch last year and it really didn’t hold up well at all. Same for Discovery. Neither so far are appealing enough where I want to just go back and watch them like the classic shows. Their rewatch level are just very low for me and I don’t think either one is well written which is obviously the biggest issue when you are stretching a single story across an entire season.

I remember hearing before Picard started that it was suppose to be one grand story across 3 seasons. That sounded so appealing to me at the time. I don’t know if that was just a rumor or they switched that idea early on but I am so happy that wasn’t the case now seeing how badly the first two seasons have gone. One story for the entire show ala LOST could’ve been a real disaster.

It’s just amazing to me how both shows’ arcs come to a standstill over and over. Disco season 4 moved at a snails pace and had people calling for shorter seasons of all things. Picard season 2 has now given us an episode of Rios getting deported and two episodes of Picard sitting in a room being interviewed. They put so much emphasis on the importance of a season arc but then don’t tease it out well. It’s frustrating as all heck. We are reacting to parameters the writers have set for us!

I agree. I rewatched Enterprise for the first time about a year ago (the first time since it was canceled). The wife joined me. We really enjoyed it. But DS9 is still our favorite.

Rewatch say Stargate or TOS Balance of Terror and you realize how good Enterprise could have been. It could have been the best Star Trek series ever.
“Primitive atomic weapons and in primitive space vessels which allowed no quarter, no captives.” Earth post-WW3 with some trying to rekindle humanity by heading out to explore the stars where there is no reinforcements, no subspace comms for Starfleet Command to tell you what to do, hell no one who actually has done this before. The Vulcans thinking we are illogical. The Andorians thinking we are push overs. The Klingons wanting us conquered. The Romulans seeing us as in the way of settling old scores with the Vulcans. Can we get dilithium crystals? Lessons learned from the first contacts. No transporters for an easy out. No phasers on stun to end that hostage situation.
The pilot shouldn’t have been peace with the klingons, transporters, phasers on stun and time travel in the first hour – it should have been while trying to find the lost hero Zephram Cochrane who never made it back from his embassy negotiations with the matriarchal society on Alpha Centuri and rekindle hope on a crippled post WW3 Earth, the crew of the Bonaventure end up recieving a distress signal from a Vulcan science crusier captured by remenants of the Vegan Tyranny which once destroyed all starfaring races. The Vulcans think a rescue is impossible and illogical, but the Captain wants to prove Earth has a place in the universe and goes for it. He loses his ship in the process but rescues the crew of the Vulcan ship.. which the Vulcans then “gift” to the Federation if they can actually rebuild what’s left of it.

I agree with Balance of Terror, whenever someone accuses TOS to be dated (which yeah of course it is, its more than 50 years old) I try to get them to watch Balance of Terror. That is an immensely watchable episode and I rewatched it recently and it lost none of its suspense and watchability for me.

All I can say is that they had a starship last through 60 minutes of strategic starship combat.. now they last like what, 60 seconds before a warp core breach?
Ironically a lot of the crutches people think Star Trek needs like transporters were done not because they wanted them, but because it would be too expensive to not have them. I bet Roddenbery of the 60s would have killed to have his crew have to use shuttlecraft to go up and down from planets and potentially engage in fighter combat.

Disco is the worst Star Trek for me. The fourth season of Enterprise has some really good stuff (and bad stuff as well), but over all nowhere near as bad as Disco or most of Picard.

This most recent episode is just trash for me, the whole thing. It is SUCH a bummer because the first two episodes were quite good.

But HEY! At least the new animated stuff is pretty great, and we got our old shows just sitting there for a re-watch!

This season has turned into a real disappointment. However, it isn’t infuriating me every episode the way it was during the same stretch of the first season, so at least there’s that.

Nothing. Happened.

I don’t know what else to say. It’s starting to feel less and less like Star Trek. Didn’t think the writing was particularly good and sadly the acting wasn’t really good either, especially the Seven and Raffi scenes. Felt forced (Discovery style). So much potential but sadly it’s not working for me.

Actual thought during the watching of the episode: “Not the music swelling right before the kiss”.

I didn’t really enjoy the episode as a whole, but I’m feeling more optimistic about the direction we seem to be headed going into the finale.

I know this is a strange backhanded complement, but IMO after two badly written episodes, S2E8 was better than I thought it would be.
Yeah the Rios doctor storyline is still pretty ridiculous (so much for the prime directive and the temporal prime directive), but for most of the rest of episode, I didnt hate it.
Haha, I guess the bar was so low based on E6 and E7, there was no way to go but up.
Ok just two weeks to go before SNW S1E1 and the season finale of Picard (hmmmm will Picard’s Enterprise shipmates be waiting for him when they get back to the 25th century??)

Is it just me, or are they heavily implying that humans evolve to become the Q?!

To me, this has been the implication ever since “All Good Things.”

the time has come to come up with my two theories: the first has been running in my head for years and in the last few episodes I think it has become evident. the Star Trek timeline is a parallel universe to ours. this frees us from paradoxes and from the inconsistencies between our story and that described in the various series. in fact the Star Trek universe from the beginning has always been a universe in which there is no Star Trek television series in any archive. in the last few episodes it is clear that what we see is not our 2024. second theory. all Soongs are clones of Adam Soong who cloned himself thanks to his skills. this frees us from the ridiculous idea that in 400 years these people are all the same

I’m kind of with everyone else. This season is uneven. There is much that I love about it though and I’m reserving my judgement until the season finale. It’s long form television, and any judgment is not really relevant unless we judge the season on the whole…I think. That said, I’m really struggling with my current understanding that the character of Wells existed simply to release Guinan and Picard. If Wells exists in the story to let them out of detainment, then why did we need his character at all? I thought perhaps that the he was going to continue on in the plot and that Picard on crew would continue with the aide of the FBI….nope. So what was the point?

I was just listening to the Better Caul Saul Podcast.. and Vince Gilligan said something I really loved – “You can’t make a smart character suddenly be stupid just for plot expediency”. The writers of Picard and Disco really need to figure that out.

And there we have it! Every character in this show – though less with Rios – acts inconsistantly and often stupidly scene to scene, episode to episode. The writer(s) never got a solid handle on the characters – each is just a pawn to exist within a scene. The more I watch the more I just cannot believe how insultingly STUPID this show frequently is. It just fools many because it looks great, is well made otherwise, and – hey – it’s Jean-Luc. I haven’t had the excited urge to rewatch any of this (bar S2E1) or Season 1. I have a feeling SNW is going to be just as inconsistant too, and just as prone to casual violence and 21st Century cussing (which breaks the fourth wall for me every time).

Totally agree. The actors are good, it’s not on them, although I think Patrick Stewart bears a little responsibility since he has story input. But to me, it’s no surprise… we’ve been there before with him.

Very true. Everything TNG related from Generations onwards is alt. universe for me, especially First Contact onwards, with Jean-Luc ‘Die Hard’ Picard.

That’s what they did with Picard in Star Trek Generations. When Picard got to leave the Nexus, to any time of his choosing, the Picard from the TV show would have known to return to 10 Forward (with a security detail) to capture Soran before any of the crap happened. He would not have simply returned to the planet for a challenging showdown, where he might fail.

Oh, it’s happened in all iterations of Trek over the years, I just think it’s on Steroids in these new properties. They drag out character development, then have to get the story going and just go the quick route. The conceit of the Nexus was so problematic, there was no good way to handle that.

I was rethinking the inconsistency of Guinan’s character. this woman who is not afraid of facing a Q was terrified of meeting what ultimately turned out to be simply a Romulan. in retrospect, how stupid was that scene?

And such a friendly Romulan at that! Silly Guinan. Rewatches will not be kind to that little arc.

friendliest romulan ever!

So basically, we’re now redoing First Contact. Man has this season crashed hard from a strong start.

Agreed. Such a shame as that first episode was almost universally loved by all fans, a somewhat rare occurance since 2009…

I’ve been supported of every modern Trek product since 2009 but sadly I haven’t been super happy with any of it either outside of the animated shows. And those are still very new so its no telling if they will stay good. For now I really like those at least. But the Kelvin movies and live action shows have been very up and down frankly.

But yes those instances where they have gotten those big highs like the first episode of this season when pretty much most of fandom can agree on (the sane portion of it anyway) is great. And it has happened with both DIS and PIC most seasons, but it’s been fleeting. And its usually the early episodes of a season and very rarely the final ones which tells you a lot actually.

Agree with all you’ve said here.

Agreed. My biggest issue with ‘NuTrek’ since 2009 is the quality of writing. It’s all ‘on the surface’. There’s literally nothing of substance to any of it, to date. It’s like every classic beloved Star Trek episode thrown into a blender, along with increasingly tired ‘easter eggs’, modern day cussing (which breaks my fourth wall every time, as it’s utterly inconsistant with prior shows) and sickening use of violence as they want to appeal to EVERY demographic, it seems. Audience/demographic greed doesn’t work for Trek. If you have to keep changing something to appeal to the widest net of mass audiences, then you change the very thing that originally made that thing popular, and have its own identity and ‘cult’ following. Star Trek no longer knows what it is. And its no surprise really given the guy behind all these new shows… It’s an echo of past greatness. IMHO.

Young Whoopi steals every scene she is in, shame that might be the last we ever see of her

Yeah she’s been great actually. The first episode did feel a little off putting just having a new actress in the role. But I really grew to like her in the last two episodes. I have a feeling we might see her one last time this season at least.

Honestly, I disagree. I’m not pooping on her acting ability here, but I don’t think she’s acting like Guinan at all. A lot of that is how she’s written. I’m not talking about looks either. Chris Pine as Kirk, Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, Ewan McGregor as Obi Wan… all of them made me believe they got the core of those characters in the way that matters. Combo of writing and acting. Neither seem to be doing it for me here with young Guinan.

I wasn’t so sure about her in her first episode,but Young Guinan actress is now doing a better job of capturing Guinan than Whoopi Goldberg did in episode one! Kudos to her.

I agree. I really don’t see much of Guinan in this interpretation.

what a mess of a show. i seriously hope season 3 won’t waste the TNG cast on a season long arc like we’ve gotten this season and season 1.

What’s up with the green lipstick on Fake Guinan? She looks like a freakin’ zombie.

In a strange way she plays Guinan better than Whoopi Goldberg played Guinan…paradox

This episode went nowhere… Picard is at exactly the same point he was before the arrest. Really if Q showed up at Guinan’s place (even late) it would end up the same. The showrunnners really didn’t have an idea how to make the season 10 episodes long and they’re dragging this thing out beyond reason. The story is really, at best, four episodes.

To be honest it really is inexcusable they could apparently not find a way to make 10 episodes work.

The acting is fine IMO. it’s like many others have pointed out. It’s the pacing and the writing that’s really letting things down and it’s worryingly an identical situation to what happened in Season 1. The writers aren’t learning and they keep making the same mistakes it seems.

Still I haven’t m seen Eps 6-8 so I’m not going to be too critical yet, but I pretty sure I’ll be quite aware of the weaknesses with the pacing and script if I see it.

Season 3 is going to have to step things up 300% the way things have gone. 3rd times a charm maybe? God/Q willing.

I am starting to think the novelty of a TNG reunion in season 3 will wear off very quickly and the show will once again be exposed for its writing.

And really, the solution to the “not enough story for ten episodes” was to stay in the 25th Century for two or three more episodes before the big jump to 2026. They could have done more on the Stargazer, more with Jurati, Soji, and Soong, more with Picard and Elnor at the Academy (maybe throw in a Colm Meaney cameo), built up the Picard/Laris relationship a bit more so it doesn’t just spring out of nothing. Lots of things. These writers had two years and this is what they came up with? Three or four episodes of wheel-spinning in 2026 L.A.? Ugh.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate Season 2 (Sir Patrick makes anything he does watchable). But it could have been so much better, and it really doesn’t seem that hard to me to have made it so much better.

Agreed, make the episodes about 50-55 minutes, get more development on characters, small character bits, more stuff with the Stargazer (perhaps a scene where its in spacedock and Picard is inspecting and its bringing back memories) Instead we get several 38-39 minute episodes that basically do nothing go nowhere.

I thought it was Riker on the USS Generic. Look it’s Riker you see!!!
I suppose they kind of did that with the trailer – look, everyone from Time Reset Trek The Technobabble soap opera generation is going to show up.

Also agree. That would’ve been the better approach, especially since the Stargazer was a big hit and people want more of Starfleet in the 25th century. 2024 has been mostly a bust so far.

Hopefully we will get more of 25th century ships and characters next season as they keep hinting at.

Having worked with writers (some of which who write in Hollywood) and having been in one or two writers rooms I can tell you this, flip chart and pens are out, they manage to grab large bits of data about the characters, storylines and most beautifully map out everything that needs to be done. however problems start when they try and condense it into 45 min EPs with limited episodes and producer interference, they panic, shred, simplify and edit the hell out of things and have no choice but to play it safe and also pretend that some soft plot holes will go unnoticed. It’s a sad trait that’s running in many action,adventure shows at the moment.

Picard isn’t all that bad actually. It’s enjoyable but my god it’s missed massive opportunities to do so much more.

Sounds like you just described the reasons why we were served up, and had to suffer through, the dog’s dinner of Star Trek Into Darkness. What a fiasco. The writers of that turd should hang their heads in shame.

So its the nearly 30 executive producers of the show to blame then? I also don’t get the argument of condensing episodes into 45 mins. Aren’t they on a streaming network? Shouldn’t they be able to make longer episodes without time restrictions?

I felt the episode to be very strong with a good flow to each part and each story. Alison Pill was not my favourite in Season 1, but she has been knocking it out of the park with her performance this season. And she is playing this new, combined character incredibly well. Jeri Ryan finally had the scene to make her shine and allow her to really get into this new Seven. It has to be one of her strongest performances to date as Seven. Can’t wait until next week!

I dunno, watching Rios and the doctor has been the one redeeming feature of this whole dreary mess.

Someone give that man a show!

Agreed! The only character that seems relatively consistant episode to episode. He’s a very expressive actor, it’s all in the eyes. He’s the only one who seems to act like a real believable human being too.

Update. Latest trailer for Episode 9 shows Elnor is back. Jurati covertly using nanoprobes perhaps?

Looks like he blipped in as a hologram. I’m guessing Anges used some of those coding skills mentioned in the first couple of episodes to whip up a one-Romulan army to go against Soong’s goon squad.

The TPTB really just grab things from Star Trek past not to build on it, not to expand the mythology, not to give us a new spin, they do it for easter eggs, and that’s it. There’s no depth to anything they do, oh look we’ll hire the same actor as Ducane, no connection whatsoever, get the fans into theory mode but that’s it

Spot on. An imposter wearing a convincing outfit and mask. No more. There’s none of the depth or intelligence of older Trek, at its best, or even at its average. The new writers are better suited to writing soaps, not sci-fi and certainly not Star Trek.

Congratulations guys on again putting a positive spin on an average episode of an average show.

As everyone else is saying. If it were “trek”, not “nutrek”, they wouldn’t defend La Sirena, they would destroy it, and thus save the past.

It used to be about sacrifice for the greater good in the past, the needs of the few, and all that…Where has it gone?

This show is all over the place, the writing is really poor. it has gone downhill from ep4+

I am starting get anxious on SNW, it has a lot riding on it.

I used to post everynow and then a few years back. I always read this site. It’s the best for all things trek. Love Reading all the articles.

I feel compelled to post for the first time in ages, because I have a theory about the hooded Queen. Everyone assumes it’s Jurrati, but as the season is progressing to the end, I’m beginning to have doubts. I’m starting to wonder if we are going to get a major twist in the coming final episodes.

For me, Juratti is done for. There’s no coming back or saving her at this point. So she either remains and survives as the Queen, or she is stopped and killed. So if the 2nd point happens, who is the Queen?

I think it may well be 7. She’s the only one who can potentially stop her, and from an arc, character point of view it would make So much sense. For her to go from “kill them, destroy them at all costs in episode 1, to then sacrifice herself for the greater good and become the Queen… Wow. Plus the initial message from the Borg was “We want peace.” What if this is actually true? And the Queen connecting herself to the Stargazer is somehow tied into Picard returning to the Prime Time line, and therefore saving the Galaxy? Queen 7ccould actually being an end to everything she’s hated about the borg and been terrified about all her life

I’m starting to think it might be someone else too. My guess is Raffi because I can’t understand any other reason for them to make her character so awful, especially with the thing about her being manipulative. She has addiction and relationship issues too which might being part of the collective appealing.

What is actually happenig this Season. I mean, what is the story?
What is being set up by this episodes?

Q is diyng. He wants Picard to do… what excactly?
The Space Missions needs to start, if not = Evil Universe.
The Borg Queen Wants to assimilate the universe…
Raffi and Seven are talking about this and that.
Rios is … having a romance…
The Soong guy is a mad scientist.

I mean… this is all very, very basic stuff. More a set of premises.

A rudimentary story and thats how far we are this season, basicly. And … just 2 Episodes left.

It’s somewhat entertaining but I dont get it, where is the drama, the real twists, the interesting, deep stuff…

So much stuff is there, teased as twisty but in the end after it happens it doesnt matter much anymore.

Talin, for example, she was introduced as a Garry Seven Character… but after the reveal that wasn’t of any particular importance.

It feels like none of it is of any importance, let’s just keep throwing things into the mix, won’t matter, everything back to normal by the end

Instead of wheel spinning for 4 episodes, wasting time, they could have actually shown Raffi and Elnor developing their relationship in the first episode. Would have made his “death” (if he really is) far more emotional, and her reaction to it. They could have shown Raffi and 7 having relationship problems, without suddenly between seasons turning Raffi into this near constantly bitching and sarcastic emotional mess of a 2D character (the actress is superb, what a waste). They could have shown how Rios got himself back to a far better place, and got his command. They could have shown Picard coming to terms with being in a new body – that would have made for superb character building, perhaps chatting to Soji about what being human really is vs. the body one inhabits etc. (would have made for some classic thought-provoking Trek!). Instead they hand-wave it ALL away between seasons. All this IMPORTANT stuff. It’s truly baffling, and infuriating. All that wasted story and character building potential! They could have cleverly linked (retconned) Q back to the dream Picard had in S1 playing cards with Data, with the Q on the cards being a clue to both the Queen, and Q. But no….. This show is a waste of talent, because the foundation – the writing – upon which everything depends, is simply haphazard. I can only assume SNW is unfortunately in for the same issues, though I live in hope.

At least SNW is going to do it on an Episode to episode Basis and could hit the mark from time to time.

This would have made a much more interesting season.

One of the greatest disappointments in the history of television. I honestly do not understand how Patrick Stewart thought this was a good idea. In any imaginable way. It doesn’t work as a money grab, it doesn’t work as a generic tv show, it certainly doesn’t work as Star Trek. There’s barely been any trekking among the stars at all in this season. Even the miss of an opportunity that the last season was still presented us with some acceptable generic television amusement. This season though… filler after filler, no real substance, no atmosphere, no really likable or interesting characters.

I have to say, I don’t really have a problem with a show like Picard, not adhering to the usual format of a sci-fi property. I am fine with this being more of a character driven piece about the man himself. He doesn’t need some big crisis to handle. So why are they trying to make it an action adventure story? The biggest problem is no one can decide what they want this series to be, and they’re jumping all over the place as a result. This whole series could have been a six episode mini-series event.. not 3 seasons.

That too. But let us be perfectly honest here. What most fans of TNG really want is Picard and his crew doing what they’ve always done – exploring strange new worlds, seeking out new life and new civilizations, encountering anomalies, solving unsolvable problems, fighting impossible battles, teaching us morals and ethics as they venture the vast expanse of the universe in some fun, episodic storytelling. So, basically, something very similar to the original show but with upgraded CGI, cinematography etc. But, what exactly can you do with such iconic characters and stories that would be both NEW and the same good as before? It’s an impossible task , really.
The younger generations would definitely be more interested in a flashy sci-fi show filled with lots of exciting action, cool battle suits, funny one-liners, etc. or a rather complex, darker story (GoT style) set in a vast fantastical universe, with lots of gore, nudity, backstabbing and intrigue.
ST Picard is neither while it’s not really an interesting show on its own. It really doesn’t know what it wants to be and ends up being totally forgettable, generic television. I dare say it’s better that some stories and characters in pop-culture are never expanded upon or brought back if what you do with them ends up being mediocre at best and doesn’t work as any kind of fun not to mention a decent continuation to their legacy.