“Hide and Seek”
Star Trek: Picard Season 2, Episode 9 – Debuted Thursday, April 28, 2022
Written by: Matt Okumura & Chris Derrick
Directed by Michael Weaver
An action-packed episode with emotional punch ties up a lot of the loose ends.
WARNING: Spoilers below!
“You will have to find us first.”
As Queen Agnes arrives with her new little collective, Rios, Teresa, and Ricardo escape from La Sirena to Chateau Picard to rendezvous with the rest of the gang. The mercs hunt for our heroes; their green laser finders may be on-brand for Borg, but make them easy to spot. Taking a bullet to the shoulder, Cristobal is sent back to Supervisor HQ along with Dr. Girlfriend. Picard and Tallin head into the chateau with Seven and Raffi splitting off on their own. Everyone agrees… the Queen cannot use that 25th-century ship to jump-start the Borg in the 21st century.
Picard faces Borg Team 6 led by Adam Soong, who’s now fully embracing his inner supervillain complete with monologuing. The opponents outline the stakes: It’s Federation v. Confederation. Remembering playing hide and seek (episode title alert!) with mom, Jean-Luc uses a secret door down to those dangerous tunnels. Picard follows his younger self through the memory of the worst day in his life as the fantasy is stripped away, revealing a very troubled “lost” young woman endangering her own child, only to be found by a father struggling to keep his family together. Pulled back to the now, Picard fends off Soong’s squad with some conveniently placed munitions from Nazi resistance days. Vive la France!
“Let’s play keep away.”
Queen Jurati’s first move is to assimilate corpse queen’s fetish style in lieu of that red dress. Feeling herself again, her majesty proceeds to take the ship, only to be stopped by her inner human who has been “poking around in that trash dump of a mind.” Hey, words hurt, Agnes. The struggle over control of the shared brain plays out nicely as Dr. Jurati reveals she has locked the ship up tight and left the key with this week’s reason to bring back Evan Evagora, now the Elnor-y Emergency Combat Hologram, who starts effortlessly dispensing Borg.
Meanwhile, Seven and Raffi are fighting their way toward the ship while keeping up their banter and showing they are back in sync. The couple that stabs Borg together, stays together, and they even have time for some backstory about Seven being rejected by Starfleet over the whole former drone thing. On La Sirena, Holo-Elnor gives Seven control so the former drone can turn the Borg on board into wall features at Chateau Picard. Raffi uses this time to work off some of her guilt, admitting to fake Elnor how she manipulated real Elnor, with the Combat Hologram—apparently also programmed for comforting—giving her absolution.
“This moment I am so powerless to reverse.”
Only the Queen remains on the ship, immune to the transporter trick, so Holo-Elnor takes her down with some fight scene fun. But the good guys forget the Queen’s sexy corset comes with a bite in the form of tentacles that dispatch the ECH, knock down Raffi, and put a big hole in Seven. Yet even after some villain talk about how much organics suck, the Queen isn’t able to finish Seven off as her inner Agnes again asserts herself with a tear. Crying? There’s no crying in the Collective! Agnes shows the Queen visions of her eventual fate, the Borg defeated. This ship won’t make a difference: “In this or any other universe, you always lose.” But she has a counterproposal. Maybe the Borg stop with the whole “resistance is futile” schtick and try instead to ask nicely before assimilating. An open hand instead of a nano-tubule, if you will. And she can start by healing the dying former drone at her feet. You had me at “Let’s build a universe of Sevens.”
Back at the Chateau, Jean-Luc is having less luck with the mad scientist who tracks him down to the atrium. Undeterred by warnings of the evil future he is setting in motion, Soong is set to kill Picard just in time for Rios to remember he is a Starfleet captain who must put smooching behind to save the day in a perfectly timed beam-in. With time to fire off one last bad guy cliché, Soong escapes, leaving Picard (literally) holding the key to unlocking his past, finally remembering how on that fateful day he opened the door, freeing his troubled mother, which later allowed her to hang herself in this very atrium. Seeing her like that is what has kept Picard stuck all his life. Tallinn, this agent in the form of his own Laris, breaks it down for him. Love can be a “curse,” but it is also a “gift.”
“We lost a friend, but we regained ourselves.”
The Queen makes her decision and plunges nanoprobes into Seven—not to kill, but to heal. She will live, “but there was a cost.” All of Seven’s Borg implants are back… amazingly, exactly the same as they were before the timeline was changed. But Jurati isn’t really in control of the Queen, revealing, “I think we are becoming something new, something better.” The deal was Seven’s life for the ship, so Queen 2.0 is ready to go try out this whole new way to Borg. She promises to be a good Queen, so no need to come after her. Harnessing her inner Riddler, Queen Agnes leaves them with this confusing nugget: “To succeed there must be two Renées. One who lives and another who dies.” As La Sirena flies away our heroes regroup, now ready to take the fight to Soong to keep ancestor Picard on her Prime destiny.
Finally coming together
In another improvement over the doldrums of Picard’s mid-season, things ramp up with an action-filled outing that also ties up (more or less) a lot of the loose character and plot threads from the season. In between all the running, shooting and Borging, “Hide and Seek,” leaned into the season’s main theme of how fear can hold you back. All of the main characters felt like they were part of the story, with their own agency, and growing along the way. However, to keep the pace going there are some questionable shortcuts and dubious bits of the puzzle thrown in to make it all fit together.
After a long wait, this episode finally revealed the full story of Picard’s past, which has been sprinkled in all season. Patrick Stewart deftly juggles the action of the escape, the verbal jousting with Brent Spiner’s over-the-top Soong, and the heartbreaking dark journey through his childhood. This was helped along with James Callis returning as papa and Madeline Wise as maman. It can be hard to watch as suicide is a difficult subject and likely quite rare in the 24th century, but this thought-provoking revelation is one way of exploring how Picard became Picard. And hidden inside all of that darkness holding Picard back, was also a spark of the light that so defined the captain we all know and love. Orla Brady does a good job as Picard’s guide through this journey, although Tallinn’s original identity and mission as the “Watcher” seems to have been subsumed to be defined by Jean-Luc Picard and not Renee.
The other big resolution was for the Agnes/Queen storyline, which has been the most fascinating element to watch all season long. Alison Pill and Annie Wersching flawlessly revealed the complicated battle over a single body. And “Hide and Seek” cleverly wove the arc of Seven’s character journey for this season to the Queen story. While Seven’s nano-cure recreating her original Borg implants is certainly dubious, it did hammer home the point of accepting and embracing who you are. But the cavalier way she dispatched so many Borg drones did fly in the face of how she, Picard, and Jurati were all given second chances after being assimilated. And Evan Evagora returning as a combat hologram actually made sense, however also using him to also give Raffi closure was a bit much, especially how he supposedly was programmed with Elnor’s dying thoughts. And if real Elnor comes back next week, this was a total waste of time.
As for Rios, it was good to see Santiago Cabrera return to his swashbuckling ways, jumping into action to save his friends, with a nice heartbreaking goodbye as he saw his old ship fly away. Here we finally saw his struggle with his possible futures, with the 25th century and Starfleet appearing to win out over his love for Teresa… for now. But her talk of how he may be meant to be with her feels like some foreshadowing for him to stay behind.
Running out of time
With only one episode left, we should probably not expect a lot more when it comes to tying everything together. It now seems even clearer that Q’s crazy scheme was all about getting Picard to this moment of clarity. The time travel and monkeying around with an ancestor from his past was just a means to this end, he can now, presumably, find his way past his fear to love. The only thing left is for Picard to face Q and maybe help him deal with the fear of his impending death.
Sending Queen Agnes off on La Sirena to create a whole new kind of Borg Collective also appears to not only resolve Jurati’s season (and possible series) arc, but it almost certainly resolves the mystery of episode one’s masked Borg Queen. The speed of how all this happens and why everyone trusts her so completely was a bit mind-boggling, another example of how recent Star Trek rushes things at the end of serialized seasons, not leaving as much time to explore how the Queen creating a new timeline of friendly Borg and later hopping over to the Prime timeline all fits together with the creation of the Confederation timeline.
It’s possible the ludicrous mystery box riddle of the two Renees is part of these multiple possible future pretzels. The final episode will have to make sense of all of this — which doesn’t seem like enough time, especially after so much time was wasted mid-season. But it does feel like we are headed for a big reset button, otherwise, there is no excuse for the number of butterflies stepped on, especially in the form of the body count which ran up quite high this week. We can only assume this is the case as Young Picard doesn’t remember the nightmare of dead Borg adorning the walls of those tunnels in the future.
This episode also established that the Borg way of life is doomed to failure, and the Queen has always known this due to her temporal awareness. This is a profound bit of new Star Trek canon that will likely have fans debating, especially with a mention the Borg in season four of Star Trek: Discovery, but if they exist in the 32nd century, maybe they are these kinder, gentler Borg? Yet the idea of resolving a conflict through logic, empathy, and discussion and helping an old foe find a new way was still very Star Trek.
Probably the hardest thing to reconcile here is the attempt to explain Seven’s backstory. While the mention of Admiral Janeway having her back was welcome, how does her being rejecting square with Icheb joining Starfleet, which was canon set by this series in season one? The one thing this could all be serving is some foreshadowing with all the talk of Seven making a good captain potentially setting her up to be the captain of the USS Stargazer for season three, with Rios presumably left behind in the 21st century with Dr. Teresa.
“Hide and Seek” is one of the better episodes of the season, but still feels rushed after spending so much time spinning wheels for so long. It was good to finally get some closure on a number of character arcs for the season, but maybe they should have been spread around more than one episode to let them each breathe. And with only the finale left, it’s a bit disappointing that we are still stuck in the past, setting up the final battle with Adam Soong, who has turned into a clichéd big bad, even with Brent Spiner doing his best to keep it interesting. This doesn’t leave a lot of time for the return home to the 25th century and resolving the big mysteries set up in the fantastic opening episode. Hopefully, they can pull all that off next week, maybe leaving the best for last? Let’s hold on to that spark of hope for now.
- This was the first Star Trek writing credit for Matt Okumara, who joined Picard for season two as a story editor. It is only his second script credit of his career, his first credit is an episode of Smallville.
- This was also the first-ever scriptwriting credit for Chris Derrick, who joined Picard as a staff writer for season two.
- This is the first Star Trek credit for director Michael Weaver who has worked as a television director regularly for the last decade after transitioning from over a decade as a cinematographer.
- Among Young Picard’s toys was a refit version of the NX-01 Enterprise and a Miranda Class ship.
- He also had a model of Promellian Battle Cruiser in a bottle. In the TNG episode “Booby Trap,” Picard revealed he used to build model ships in bottles, including one for a Promellian Battle Cruiser. This same ship in a bottle could be seen in Picard’s 25th-century study in the season opener “The Star Gazer.”
- To explain away the vision of Yvette Picard seen in the TNG episode “Where No One Has Gone Before,” Picard says he “used to imagine seeing her, older, offering me a cup of tea, and asking for a chat.”
- One of the weapons Tallinn brought to the fight was a Romulan Disruptor Rifle like those Laris confiscated from a Romulan hit squad in the season one episode “The End is the Beginning.”
- Picard fending off Borg with a traditional firearm was not unlike how he used a machine gun to take out some Borg in First Contact.
- In another reference to Greek mythology for the season, Agnes accuses the Queen of having “Icarus-worthy arrogance,” referring to the hubris of Icarus who flew too close to the sun with wings made of wax.
- Promising to behave, the Queen says Picard will not have to be a “Borg Slayer,” a title demanded by General Picard in the Confederation timeline.
- The holographic Elnor had a mobile emitter, much like the one used by The Doctor on Star Trek: Voyager.
More to come
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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.
Wow. Where was this writing during the entire middle of the season? In its penultimate episode of its penultimate season, the show comes much much closer to reaching its full potential. While last episode reinforced the theme of the only monsters are the ones we make ourselves, this one reinforces the themes of connection, love, and hope. Let’s look at this episode piece by piece: Most of this episode takes place in Chateau Picard, a place rich with memories. Picard’s struggle to stay alive and defend his crew against the Borgified mercenaries are interwoven with memories of himself and his troubled mother. This journey through Picard’s memories is done much more effectively than in episode 7. Now that he understands that his father was trying to save her, not hurt her, he can finally process his trauma. His mother was clearly mentally ill and was a danger (unintentionally) to young Picard. After a particularly bad incident, his father locks his mother in a room overnight to keep her from hurting herself or her son. She begs and pleads young Picard to let her out. Not understanding what was going on, he does, and that night she hangs herself. Picard has dealt with that trauma by avoiding it, and now that he’s allowed himself to remember (thanks Q!), he can move on. I was skeptical that this could be done well, so I was pleasantly surprised here. Seven and Raffi finally get some real screen time and attention, and are much better off for it. They make a great team as they defend the Chateau and La Sirena. We learn that Seven tried to join Starfleet after Voyager’s return, but was rejected due to their fear of Borg. Even Janeway going to bat for her didn’t help, so Seven took off and became a Ranger. This fits in really nicely with a big theme of Voyager, which was the ever present fear and distrust Humans and other species have towards the Borg. In Season 1, I was not particularly happy with what they had done with Seven’s character, but this goes a long way towards explaining it and making it fit with what we knew of Seven. Later on in the episode, Seven is saved only by restoring her normal-timeline Borg implants, which surprisingly seems to sadden her. As she says, it was nice just being Annika for a while, and being ordinary. Raffi responds by saying Borg or no Borg, Seven is always extraordinary, a sentiment I fully agree with. But then she says, what if Seven stopped running from her Borg side and embraced it? Seven has internalized the fear and disgust of Borg even as she fights for XBs, so I thought this was a really good direction to take her character. What can she become if she embraces everything she is? The highlight of this episode, and season, is the Borg Queen and Jurati. The Queen is still very weak, due to the Confederation bleeding her of nanoprobes in episode 2, so Jurati is still in a position to fight. And fight she does. It’s her fighting that keeps the Queen from killing Seven. But then we get into the best part of the episode. As Jurati says, the Borg aspire for perfection and power, but those are really just ways of getting what they absolutely need — connection. After all, that’s why the Queen kept Agnes around all season — because she needed a like mind to connect with. This also takes a page from the greatest Trek Litverse trilogy, Destiny. The Borg crave connection, but do so in a corrupted way. They forcibly assimilate entire species, brutally grafting them to the hive mind in that desperate search for connection. However, the Queen, whose ability to see alternate timelines likely comes from Guinan’s species, knows the Borg lose in every timeline — they’re desperate. So Jurati makes a proposal: instead of using corrupted force, use persuasion. Instead of forcibly assimilating entire species, offer second chances to those in need of saving. Instead of mindless brutality, use mercy. Instead of endless war, use diplomacy. Instead of crushing the weak, lift them up. The Borg Queen agrees, as she and Jurati become equal partners, something new. Although I’m skeptical the Queen would’ve agreed so easily, it was a beautiful expression of what makes Trek great. I absolutely loved it. With only one episode to go, the show has gone a long way towards righting the ship. This is what the entire season should’ve been. If the finale is as good as this episode, then I will be very happy. Although there were definitely some flaws (guys, you really don’t need to show the gorier bits), this episode will be my most rewatched of the new live action Treks.… Read more »
The episode was good better then the previous ones but again the last few felt a little bit filler imo but at least now the story is moving forward.
It was nice to see Talinn again and Picard and crew being pinned down and attacked by the ‘borg soldiers’ was cool to see. It was a mistake bringing the doctor and her son to the ship imo.
While it was great to see ‘Elnor’ again having him as a combat hologram was just silly imo i want the real Elnor back asap.
The scenes with Picard and Soong were good. Soong really is a mad man and a stupid one if he thinks the Queen is going to allow a future where humanity is a threat to the Borg. It should of dawn on him that he is being manipulated just like Q did by getting him to try to kill Renee Picard. One would think he would of learnt his lesson by now.
The fight scene between Raffi/7 and the Borg solider was cool these 2 need their own show imo.
Sad to hear that Starfleet wouldn’t let 7 join because of her being a former Borg and it was nice to hear Janeway tried to stand up for her. Starfleet should be more tolerant of former Borg imo.
Though i don’t get why they allowed Icheb into Starfleet but not her? and this sort of explains the future Borg children in that Lower Decks episode.
You would think the soldiers would run out of ammo eventually but i suppose they could be using Borg nano-probes to great new ones for infinite ammo?
I liked seeing Raffi/7 with holo Elnor(wish it was the real one) and him taking on the Borg soldiers/Queen was cool to watch. Not so much 7/Raffi getting their butts kicked but knew because of their plot armor that they would be ok.
The scenes of Jurati/Queen were interesting but i don’t like the retcon of the Borg just being lonely and wanting connection kind ruins past borg episodes imo but that said the Borg could of started out as a force of love and goodness but lost their way over the centuries.
The borg going around and saving people giving them second chances sounds interesting and i can see why the writers want to retcon the Borg this way as to stop the Borg from being a threat in the future.
Also the Borg ship in the first episode of the season makes more sense now but still a few plot holes there though but maybe they get ‘fixed’ in the last episode.
The Queen saving 7 by making her her old self again was interesting but i really started to like seeing 7 as a normal human.
Picard’s mother committed suicide? That changes things especially with him seeing her in the TNG episode ‘Where no one goes before’.
It’s going to be different and tragic watching that episode from now on knowing she did that and the Borg episodes are all going to feel different now knowing they weren’t searching for perfection as we thought but love and connection.
Overall a good episode with some bad writing in parts.
Here’s a possible explanation for the Seven/Icheb discrepancy: Icheb didn’t have a cortical node.
That is what I was going to write; In Voyager S7 E2. Seven’s Cortical Implant was malfunctioning and Icheb donated his because he wasn’t entirely Borg-matured when he was freed from the collective; therefore he adapted without his cortical implant,
But Icheb still had implants, including one on his face.
I think the issue with Seven not being allowed into Starfleet is that the events of several episodes made her slightly a liability for those who do not know her directly…. She was probably still more VOY Seven with her behavior, so they were probably put off by her personality, thinking she would not fit in well.
To be fair, Soong has no idea Ms Borg has no intention of holding up her end. We the audience know that, but he sure wouldn’t. It feels to me he is mainly going along with this because he WANTS to believe it.
And I will say it’s nice that a baseball saying like “got to bat for me” is still alive and well in the 25th century.
Loved it! Good to finally start wrapping things up.
Well, it’s been quite the journey. I’ve gone from being optimistic, even enthusiastic, about the season opener, to quite bored but still hanging on to hope with the middle section, to now actively hating this show. I don’t know where to begin. Maybe the thought that it’s almost over is enough to satisfy.
It’s a low bar just to be happy with an episode that doesn’t feel like it’s dragging things out. But we now know what was happening in Episode 1 with the Borg Queen. I have to say, I like where they’re headed with that, and such a big evolution in the Borg that does explain why they’re so different. It may be the best conceptual idea in both seasons of this show, and I really wish the journey to it could have been more interesting. I certainly think it could have been.
I salute your optimism. Wish I could share it.
Actually, it’s just my reaction to that story point. Believe me, I’m not optimistic when it comes to this show. Lol.
Except… And here comes the timey whimey stuff… If the Borg were interested in helping failed races as Jurarti may have convinced the Queen to then the entire future regarding the Borg would be different as well. The Federation would not be nearly as jumpy or scared of the Borg and it would be unlikely anything Borg related on TNG and VOY would have ever happened the way it did.
That right there. Maybe she came from a different time in that season opener.
That has to be it. Maybe somehow she is still part of the altered timeline when Picard meets them again in 2401 or they jumped ahead into the 24th century at some point. One off those or the entire story collapses. It destroys 400 years of canon.
Well.. I’m not saying there aren’t issues with the execution of the idea, and potential pitfalls it as you suggest. There’s a lot to iron through as to how Queen Jurati and the crew get back to the Stargazer. All I’m trying to say is I find the idea of the Borg evolving and taking on a different paradigm interesting and something I’d like to see explore. I have no confidence these writers can stick the landing on it, don’t get me wrong.
I don’t disagree with a different Borg take. But for me at least that feels like something better examined in a reboot or alternate universe version.
Dude all the Borg wants is a hug.
I hate hating this show as well. it hurts. But it is objectively just bad TV. The only element I liked was the call back to “Where No One Has Gone Before” with Picard saying he often pictured his mother old having him come for chat and tea. That was touching. But this show has just been cringeworthy.
Yeah, this isn’t a show I want to hate. Honestly, I really don’t. I love the character of Picard. I’m even willing to watch him going on adventures with a new crew. But not like this. If it can’t reach the basic level of good coherent storytelling, or at least have engaging (no pun intended) characters to make up for that storytelling deficit, then I can’t like what I’m watching.
Lack of coherent storytelling? I beg to differ. Anyone who has had a mentally ill parent would, too.
Uh, what? I beg to differ, because my issue is with all the jumbled storylines that have had so little room to breathe this season and have struggled to cohere into a satisfying whole.
It’s a mess, just like at this point last season.
As for the mental illness part of it, yes, that’s an important story to tell, and there are TV series that have covered it well. Star Trek Picard isn’t one of them, in my opinion.
Yeah I agree with you Thaddues, I get you are talking about the story which is a jumbled mess… man what a mess.
As Someone who did have a parent who battled alcoholism and substance abuse, I concur.
Here’s the thing. And I will preface this by saying I have been in the “mentally ill family member” boat.
The year is like 2315. Any stigma regarding mental illness will have gone the way of racism, homelessness, sexism, and all of the horrible things we’d have outgrown by then. There would be no reason to lock her in a friggin’ room. Maurice could just crank up a comm device and have a specialist beamed in to wave a light over it in a half hour.
I have a secret room in my house. I guarantee you if I was back here in 80 years, I would be able to show you EXACTLY where the door to that room is, and how to get into it. In fact it would be the first thing I’d show my friends when we beamed in.
They’re trying to frame Picard’s childhood as this 19th century period drama where their dad (a farmer) dresses like a town doctor in Victorian England. Yes, it’s established that Papa Picard didn’t like technology, but did he hold so fast to that belief that he’d rather lock the woman in her room than avail himself of the technology available?
And where the hell is Robert? He was a pretty big deal in Jean-Luc’s life. Yes, the show establishes he’s away at school. Here’s a thought. Why isn’t Jean-Luc at school? He mentioned learning about Bajor in 5th grade. Was he home-schooled? Was Robert off at Winery College?
That is a lack of coherent storytelling. Not the hallucinations, depression or other challenges faced by the mother. Perhaps if they told this story from her perspective, the disjointed narrative could be explained away. But not like this.
Yeah, this is just bad! Not just bad Star Trek, just bad television, period. It’s amazing how low the bar has fallen to the point you think it’s a good episode because something important finally happened in the story.
I don’t like feeling this way at all. I have always been critical of anything when I think its bad. But I still supported it and stayed positive that it’s still new, they have to get their sea legs yada, yada, yada! And the thing is they are listening to the complaints. They DO make adjustments. That bares out season after season on all these shows.
But maybe it’s time to accept that the people running these shows are simply not up to snuff. I have watched six seasons of new and live action Star Trek, SIX, and I haven’t personally been completely satisfied with any of them. Not hate them, but not super positive on them either. It’s really sad to feel this way. I really want to love these shows. I’m not paying for them every month and watching them religiously at midnight just to spout off about them anonymously online. I do it because I have loved this franchise for over 40 years, it’s been a big part of my life more than it probably should be and have been through the good and the bad. And frankly UP until 2017, it’s been mostly good for me (and yes I am including the Kelvin movies too). But frankly, it’s been the opposite since when it comes to the live action shows. If it wasn’t for LDS and PRO I think I would be to the point of a complete cynic by now and feel ‘NuTrek’ is just bad television when you overlook a few solid episodes here and there. And I hate feeling like this.
Welcome! You have moved closer to my side of things. I have felt that way since… The 2nd season of Star Trek Discovery. After that I wanted to give the new shows a chance but deep in my heart I just knew they would be bad. And it was because the people running the shows are, as you said, just not up to snuff. The only thing they have done that has been even slightly above mediocre has been Prodigy. And even that show isn’t great. I like it enough. It has its moments and unlike most other current Trek shows the characters are interesting enough. But to say the show that has the most heart, the most fun and is the most adult is the one they say is aimed at kids… That is a huge problem.
LOL, I guess I’ve finally fallen to the dark side! I can feel the hate surging through me! ;D
I will say something that may (or may not) surprise you, but since Voyager went off the air, I have not really been excited for any Star Trek shows or movies (well I was excited for Nemesis….yeah). Sure, I’m always happy and curious about any new Trek show, but none of it genuinely excited me. Not Enterprise (which is probably why I gave up on it so quick at the time). Not the announcement of the first Kelvin movie. And not Discovery (actually I WAS excited about it until I heard it was tens years before TOS and then a bit deflated). I had planned to watch all of it, but NONE of it really moved me other than ‘Wow, new Star Trek!’ Because I just can’t get excited about prequels and reboots. I understand why they did a lot of it, but it was really not the direction I thought the franchise should take. I still don’t in fact (but accept it).
But Picard was the first TRULY show since Voyager I was excited about. Like a lot of people it was great to have Picard back. It was even better to see Trek going into the 25th century. I didn’t care what they even did with it. If they found them all on the Enterprise, again, great! If it’s Picard teaching archaeology on Rigel IV, still excited lol. I just wanted a show of what the character represented and at least get back to the spirit of TNG even if it’s not about TNG.
And so while I was disappointed (initially) about Enterprise, some of the Kelvin movies and definitely Discovery lol, it wasn’t the end of the world. I don’t have to like everything. And as long as other fans liked it, great. But this was very different. It has really gutted me on a level I didn’t expect. I was unhappy with first season but I told myself, OK, it’s the first season, so it has time to get better. Remember we didn’t know officially when the show was going to end. They said it could in 3 seasons but then they beat around the bush and says it can just keep going until Stewart officially retires or something.
But now knowing the show is over after next season and after two AWFUL seasons makes me really depressed. Because like so many, Picard really meant so much to me as a character. I grew up with TOS, love it, but it was TNG that really made me the fan I am today even if it’s not favorite show anymore. It pisses me off THIS is what we got twenty years on.
It didn’t have to be TNG, but at least had to be in the quality and this POS is not even close. It’s a water down show that has elements of the TNG era but none of the spirit, intelligence, optimism or inspiration that show had. It’s feeling like a bad SyFy show with sadly the name ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Picard’ on it.
And yes the people behind it really shouldn’t be making Star Trek if THIS is the best they can fucking do with such an iconic character. And knowing its the same people making SNW is not exactly filling me with a lot of hope right now. I mean I’m dreading how they will treat season 3 with the entire cast back. I almost wish Mike McMahan was running Picard now. He actually knows how to write stories and characters and understands Star Trek even if you hate Lower Decks. These other people are just winging it sadly.
I’ve been rewatching Voyager. Flawed show, to be sure, but every season has nevertheless delivered a handful of masterpieces. Bona fide, “some of the best television ever written” episodes, which I’ve yet to see Picard and Discovery manage.
With one exception, I think. The first episode of Picard Season 2 was wonderful. The first TWO episodes, actually. Everything we were thirsty for and denied in season 1. And I’m not sure when it happened, but at some point I realized… there have been like 5, 6 episodes since then, and this entire story could have been told, and BETTER, in a TNG 2-parter.
I can’t tell you what happened 2 episodes ago because everything’s just a blur of Bad Soong, snarky Borg Queen devoid of menace, and Ruiz’ puppy love (Which is my favorite, actually). OH YEAH. It was that completely botched Lt. Duquesne opportunity. After Guinan did the borderline-racist voodoo ritual to “summon a Q”.
How are they going to tie up all of these dangling threads in the remaining hour? None of these storylines will be given time to breathe or resolve. They will slap together a finale episode in the same slapdash, cut-and-paste methodology of last year’s finale.
You know what I dread? Next year, the whole TNG cast is coming back. How are they going to defile that team? Whom are they going to kill off? Who else has developed tragic backstories that need resolution?
Bravo! This sums up my feelings extremely well (except I did like ENT!). I am (also) disappointed Sir Patrick allowed his iconic character to go out like this.
To be fair, I am not fan of the bulk of Secret Hideout Trek. (Prodigy is the only one so far that hasn’t sucked) But the fact is this is all subjective. The shows are not “objectively” bad. If you had just said they were flat out bad that’s fine because I think it obvious that is a subjective comment. But what you are saying by using the term “objectively” is that it is a fact the shows suck as an absolute. We know that is not the case because there are people out there who do like them.
It’s so boring.
I suggest you watch the first half of this episode in the dark, so that you can see what’s going on. One of the more acclaimed episodes of DS9 has this same problem, “The Siege of AR-558.” And it’s for the same reason, there’s a battle in caves, with pretty much only phaser fire lighting the way. But as the episode progresses, dawn breaks, shedding some light for the characters. And, though this episode is called “Hide and Seek,” this one could have been called “Mercy, Part II.”
Rios tries to bring Teresa and Ricardo to safety, gets shot in the arm, and Picard sends the three away using Tallinn’s transporter. So, the three take shelter at Tallinn’s place, while Rios instructs Teresa on how to use future tech to extract a bullet. Teresa invites Rios to stay in the 21st century. Rios admits that he’s considered it, but that he doesn’t belong there, going back to La Barre in time to save Picard. It could be said that both stake their arguments on mercy. Given what happens in the episode with Jurati, this kind of leaves the shippers in the audience with some pretty open questions.
And Jurati is definitely still fighting the Borg Queen in there. She locks the queen out of La Sirena’s controls by encoding a password into a holographic representation of Elnor, one up-to-date with Elnor’s last memories, who can combat the Borg Queen’s small army of newly assimilated drones. He’s even got a mobile emitter. Maybe we’ll see him leave the ship?
This Elnor greets a grief-stricken Raffi by reassuring her that Elnor held no sense of blame for what happened, but of love for Raffi’s guidance. Though Raffi confessed that her motives were somewhat selfish, she must have received Elnor’s statement as mercy. Seven has Elnor use his code to unlock the ship’s systems in order to beam onto the bridge and ambush the queen. He quickly dispatches her with mercy, but she takes that opportunity to turn him off and stab Seven. She’s dying on the floor.
So, Jurati reaches out to the queen, rather than use deception or hacking tricks. She uses her grief at the thought of killing Seven to point out the value of mercy, and that the Borg are repeatedly defeated because they long for connection and fear loss, but they do so without consent. What if the Borg created a more democratic collective by rescuing, rather than assimilating, embracing the strength of difference. It’s a pretty Trekkian idea. It’s also one that comes with sacrifice, as she offers herself and the ship to that end. As Rios and Seven later lament, it’s not quite her ship to give. This sacrifice also includes restoring Seven’s Borg implants, not fully Borg, but the ones we’re used to. Before Jurati/Queen takes La Sirena, she tells Seven that in order to succeed, there must be two Renées, one that lives and one who dies.
Speaking of Seven, there’s a mention that she tried to join Starfleet, but was rejected as a former Borg. It feels in line with Starfleet and the UFP’s prejudice against Odo shown over the years.
But regarding the battle, I’m no tactician, so I’m not really interested in watching the murky phaser fight, until it reveals something about the characters. And it certainly does that with Picard. As with “Monsters,” Tallinn is there to explore Picard’s mind, but from the outside, this time. We kind of get to finish off the story that Picard told through the coma in that episode. His mother, Yvette suffered from mental illness, where she found some respite in fantasy, in games with Jean-Luc. The game of hide-and-seek parallels the battle and inspires Picard and Tallinn’s escape, since it was the game Picard played when he last saw his mother. His father locked her up in her room for her own safety, but she hanged herself. Young Jean-Luc opened the door to discover that, and the present-day Jean-Luc laments to Tallinn that if he left it closed, she could have been a sort of Schrodinger’s mother. He used to imagine his mother as an old woman offering tea and a chat, which answers the question of how that vision appeared way back in TNG’s “Where No One Has Gone Before.”
Meanwhile, Adam Soong remains steadfast and unconvinced, his narcissism blinding him to the possibility that the Borg Queen or Q could be steering him wrong. He’s still hellbent on stopping the Europa Mission, so Picard, Tallinn, Rios, Seven, and Raffi have work to do…
Another episode that barely adds anything to the actual plot. Let’s run around in the catacombs a little, do some shooting and the thing with a speech about loving one another (well that last thing is at least kinda Trek-y 😁)
But mostly I found it incredibly tasteless how they used the suicide of Picards mother as a crutch for cheap drama. It does nothing to motivate the character in the old Trek shows and it adds nothing to the story of this season. You could cut it out and nothing would change. There’s thousands of reasons why Picard could be hesitant to love someone and his character didn’t need a tragic beach story tacked on after almost 40 years.
That whole “subplot” is so insulting to people suffering from mental health issues. Just mentionin offhand that therapy was/is no use and then actually locking her up in the house “for her safety” and ultimately not even having the restraint not to actually show her corpse da gelingt on screen.
I’ve said it in the first season for Rafi and it’s the same here: if you want to do a plot about mental health in the 24/25th century, then do so. But find an actual story that fits the established universe and not just tell a generic story about things happening that don’t even has a point in the end. Or what would that be? If your father locks your mother up in room, leave her there and if she shows signs of mental issues don’t call a Doctor? 🤨
For the rest of the episode it’s just the usual mix of “Why?!” And “How?!” Again:
Why change the look of Borg Drones? Was the MakeUp Budget really that slim? And why sanitize what a horrible violation an Assimilation actually looks like? They somewhat showed it in the first season. — the only thing I can think of, is so they can casually murder those drones without having the viewer feel the emotional impact such a death should have. Because if that that loves one thing more than dark and depressing backstories that just happen to matter years after the actual events, it’s the casual murder.
Why change the motivation of the Queen. That character was never a good idea, even in First Contact. But there she was simply an avatar for the goals of the collective – at least those are the parts of that movie with her in it, that work. The Borg are so intriguing as a Villain, because they don’t really have a deeper motivation. They’re a force of Nature that can’t be reasoned with. They are the exact opposite of what the Federation strives to be. Individualism vs. Collectivism (a discussion more contemporary than ever). Changing that to: the Borg do what they do because they actually have a sad leader that makes them do it, is just so bad. And it completely undermines Jurartis speech at the end, since you shouldn’t be able to reason with the Borg. That’s the whole point of them as villains.
And another few small things:
• Man … with a field of enemies in front of you, a weapon that can shoot a beam of energy would really come in handy.
• Those have to be the worst special forces soldiers ever, the way they’re constantly giving away their positions by not turning of the lasers.
• Wait … they decide to flee/to hide and instead of using the working Transporter to the apartment (or anywhere really) they decide to run through the ctatacombs instead? 🤔
• So Janeway couldn’t help seven get into Starfleet even though as a Vice Admiral she’s pretty much the highest ranking Starfleet officer we’ve ever seen on screen? It’s not impossible I guess but it’s weird throwing this in as just a throwaway line.
• I do like that transporter effect though
• It used to be “no warp travel within solar systems” now we’re just warping from the atmosphere of a planet? 🤨
Kirk ordered warp speed in Earth’s atmosphere in Star Trek IV. Just throwing that out there.
Did he? Don’t really remember it. But they weren’t really that strict about it until the TNG Shows. And it makes sense, not using FTL Travel within a solar system, as that seems pretty damn dangerous, so I always thought it was a nice touch.
It also adds nice storytelling opportunities since you can’t just warp right in to the action.
It’s like the not beaming through shields thing. There’s plenty of episodes where that’s being ignored. But when they do, it really sticks out because it makes sense for the established universe and is a good idea from a story standpoint.
Not having shields when a ship is cloaked would be another one of those.
Yeah, I was just pointing out that Kirk both said it was a risk in TMP and then when they’re leaving 1986 Earth in TVH he orders Sulu to go to warp speed without a care while in Earth’s atmosphere.
Kira and Dax followed the logic of not engaging the warp drive within the Bajoran system in a season 5 episode of DS9.
When Rios watches the alternate version of his ship go to warp in “Hide and Seek,” I totally thought of the whole going to warp while in the solar system thing and being in Earth’s atmosphere.
The E went to warp in-system throughout TOS; in TMP, the risk is using unbalanced warp engines in-system, though the dialogue oddly doesn’t specify that.
Going to warp in atmosphere in TVH is absolutely nutso, and one of the weirdest and least necessary shots in Trek history for me, like they are trying to jump into SUPERMAN territory.
I haven’t seen any of Pic s2, but have read the last couple recaps and it sound pretty awful. The Chateau Picard stuff sounds like they took the same page SKYFALL did from HOME ALONE, and it sounds like the lousy execution may also rival SKYFALL’s.
Now explain why Dax is reluctant to go to warp after Kira orders the Defiant to warp while still within the solar system to prevent shapeshifting Bashir from blowing up the Bajoran star.
Weird how just bc the dialogue from TMP doesn’t mention the unbalanced warp engine the DS9 writers use it in that particular episode.
I’ve seen Picard season 2.
Probably the same as when Ron Moore had a ship go to warp right next to a star in order to blow up Klingon pursuers, where he was probably inspired by hard SF stories he had read (Larry Niven always has a thing in his work where it is asking for trouble aka death if you go to hyperdrive within a certain range of a gravity well.) Moore has owned up to other goofs (having somebody say the Khan war was two centuries back instead of the better part of four, which was due to repeating a gag line from TOS but treating it as holy writ), so somebody probably ought to brace him on that one too. Wolfe & Behr probably had a similarly vague memory of TMP, or else the tech advisor really screwed the poch.
Geez, DEFIANT goes to warp in-system a lot too, same as TNG and TOS. I mean, TNG actually has shots where the E does a visual cheat (not the full warp effect, just a super increase in speed) with the planet still in shot sometimes, plus plenty of shots where the cut from ‘leaving orbit, sir’ to the outside shows an immediate warp jump. There’s even a shot in late s3 TOS (ALL OUR YESTERDAYS, I think, but it might be THE EMPATH) where the ship is at warp with the local star visibly going nova behind it.
Arguing this is like trying to justify the VOYAGER loony-tunes about not being able to maneuver while in warp, when you’d see the TOS E doing banking maneuvers at warp, or you’d hear Kirk order the ship to ‘pivot at warp two and bring all tubes to bear.’ There’s a ton of visual and aural evidence to the contrary, plus it just doesn’t track with what pretty much everybody inferred to be true for decades, and with good reason.
In TMP, Scott specifically says that the ship needs a shakedown [cruise is missing from that sentence, but is inferred] and that the engines have not yet been tested at warp power — that’s while they are in the travel pod. So Kirk’s later log entry reflects (indirectly) that same concern, which is obviously borne out by the wormhole incident.
And that, along with a huge amount of other dumb things, is why nothing in that movie really should be remembered or taken seriously.
If the criteria is a huge amount of dumb things, then no Trek movie ever should be remembered or taken seriously. TMP at least manages to keep its ‘police procedural’ tone consistent throughout.
Yeah, that whole mental health angle was awful. And I hated the slapdash way they covered the bit of Picard seeing his elderly mother in “Where No One Has Gone Before.” Ugh.
Also, did this never come up with Troi? In all the times they spoke over the years? All the sessions of her helping him recover from being assimilated by the Borg and being tortured by Cardassians, nothing about his mother? You know, the most foundational level of therapy that any Freudian hack knows?
Well … that actually fits pretty well with how competent a therapist Troi was portrayed as 😁
Haha, okay, I can go along with that.
Troi never really doing a full session (or 100) with Picard is one of the reasons TNG doesn’t work for me. There’s nobody to act as Picard’s McCoy figure, because Crusher usually only pays lip service to that ideal.
Picard undergoing counseling (that wasn’t going to wrap up by episode’s end) was one of the main aspects in my pitch about a kid dying aboard ship and it triggering Picard in a bad way, but Jeri Taylor was not buying the idea that Picard would be upset about a kid dying on the ship, that he would just move on. To his credit, Ron Moore advocated for it, but he wasn’t a producer yet (this was December 1990.)
I thought the full sessions were implied (because a full episode of it might not be the most dynamic stuff). If memory serves, I think we end a couple of different episodes with characters beginning their therapy with her. Picard after his torture and LaForge after his brainwashing.
Putting that aside, you pitched to TNG back in the day? Cool!
I’ve discussed the actual pitch session here a few times in the past (the short version would be to repeat Ruben Glades’ line in PREDATOR 2 “it has not been a good day”), you can probably search and find the accounts. But it took three specs to get to the pitch stage … the first was just plain weak, kind of a TOS 2nd season show, but I think it did get the characters right (upon hearing of a sectorwide alert, Riker says ‘someone’s probably lost a tribble.’)
The second one was great, kind of TMP meets DOOMSDAY MACHINE, and could have reused a lot of TIME SQUARED VFX but put them in service to a story about a conscious black hole (this was years before Greg Benford apparently did this) but going by the script I got back, somebody stopped reading on p17, which is where the thing had a big crease int it when I got it back. The version I sent has less science in it than my outline, which got pretty TMP-ish, so basically act iv is the only part where you get some sense of wonder about the entity, leaving the resolution to be very action suspense but not cheating the science or technobabbling. I reread it a couple years back and still think it was fun.
The third one was very close to something I later found out they already had in development called IT CAN’T HAPPEN HERE by Ron Moore, which was eventually written by Jeri Taylor as THE DRUMHEAD. The third one was me just flat-out ignoring all the various aspects they said they didn’t want storywise — it casts Starfleet in a very bad light, while the conclusion leaves open the possibility that some bad people are still in place, was told in flashback … but it was very deliberately written to be filmed cheaply, and I’m thinking maybe that is what they found appealing.
It also had a great teaser, all done with exterior space shots and voiceovers, in which something is towed to spacedock and eventually revealed to be the E-D stardrive.I wrote it to indicate exactly how stock shots and stock elements from existing VFX could be used, so you’d have a brief sequence that required modest work to achieve.
Part of the reason why I think McCoy was able to get away with mouthing off to the Captain was because it always felt like the two were friends from before the Enterprise. So not only does McCoy have the medical authority to order the Captain around and point things out to him but because of a pre-existing relationship he was able to get away with it and because of said relationship Kirk trusted McCoy’s judgment. Or at least considered it. Crusher did not have that kind of relationship. There was some pining in the past but that was long gone. And she would never overstep her medical authority when it came to Picard like McCoy would for Kirk. That left Riker performing the duties as a de facto Executive Officer. But he always looked like he was too much in awe of Picard to question anything he said or did. Picard had no one close enough to him to guide him personally and as such he came across as a perfect, non flawed and unbelievable character. At least, that is how I had always viewed him.
Riker did relieve “Picard” of his command in that one episode when he was swapped for a crazy alien doppelganger.
That’s true, but that crazy alien doppelganger literally would’ve killed them if Riker didn’t act.
And they had already had the experience before of Picard being possessed by that early s1 cloud creature and everybody sat around talking about relieving him until Crusher finally said he was relieved. The one where he beams himself into space but somehow gets reassociated into a body through more gobbledygook. But yeah, Riker let Picard get away with a ton, but hey, Picard let Worf get away with literal murder, and Worf enabled Riker in various serious bustable ways that Picard ignored, like the failed attempt to rescue the no-sex character played by the chick from THE A-TEAM.
I did consider that as I was writing but as I recalled that was a rather obvious move Riker had to make. Which is different from disagreeing with a Captain’s decision or suggesting the Captain take a step back or reconsider something. It seemed to me that Riker was the only one in position to question the Captain (at least in private) and I don’t recall a time when he really did. I’ve only seen the bulk of the episodes twice so it may have happened more often than I recall. Am I wrong?
I’m in the same boat as you — I saw about 90% of the episodes first-run, and probably about 50 or 60 of them a second time, but the number of TNG shows I’ve seen 7 or 8 times drops down fast, to about a dozen or 15. I have a tendency to remember the bad stuff from s1 more than most other seasons, because it was seared into my brain when they went wrong.
I bet you all the latinum in Quark’s safe that next season Troi will have a throw-away line saying something like, “I remember those times in your ready room when you brought up your mothers suicide…blah blah blah..insert-Troi-counselor-babble-here..”
A good, thoughtful analysis, even though I don’t agree with it 100%, but well done.
A good episode. I think had the story throughout the season not appeared to be so cluttered, I might have been able to latch on to the fact that this season, while Jean Luc partially drives the story, is about the entire Picard family and history of the Picard family. There needed to be more from Patrick Stewart and less of the rest of the cast to draw out those family elements. And in a show called Star Trek, I would have thought there would have been space exploration and correlation to Picard’s past that way. Not a walk through the Chateau.
And what about Picard’s brother Robert? We have a whole episode about Robert (“Family”) and his connection to his brother and son, and he’s conspicuously absent here. The Picard relative in this past is even named Rene, just as Robert’s son is, so the writers must have been aware of Robert.
If you pay attention there’s a line in one of the first episodes that Robert is away at boarding school. So yes, the writers are well aware of him. In fact, if you follow Matalas and the writers on Twitter, it’s clear they know their stuff.
Thank you, I didn’t catch that line. It definitely helps.
…and it also explains some of the tension between Jean-Luc and Robert. The latter blamed his brother for his mother’s death.
As I mentioned before, it is not the first time a known family member went ignored. In Trek ’09 there was a cut scene that is on the BD where Sam has a fight with his step dad and takes off. The kid Jim passes on the road is Sam. He originally yelled his name but when the scene was cut they looped “Johnny” in instead. They knew about Sam but for some reason decided to cut it. And then, of course, there was Kirk in TFF completely forgetting about Sam. “I lost a brother once. I was luck to get him back.” I always wished the line could have been altered to “I’ve lost two brothers myself. And was lucky enough to get one of them back.”
My goodness this is awful. I could go on an on about how few plot points make sense or about how the characters and dialogue is awful, but I’ll focus on the opening of this episode. Borg beam in surrounding the ship. Then a bundle beam in right in front of Rios. He, the doctor, and kid run. We next meet them at the Chateau with the rest of the crew.
This show constantly has simple continuity disconnects that feel like a little punch to the logic center of my brain. Rios didn’t beam out, we saw him run past the transporter. The Elite Borg are literally right there, where could he run to? Did he run past all the Borg surrounding the ship? Even the smallest things don’t make sense.
Who is this show for? Why? Why are they doing this?
As an aside, all the mentions of Yvette and René didn’t half put me in mind of ‘Allo ‘Allo. I was almost expecting Officer Crabtree to turn up at Chateau Picard and greet the cast with “Good moaning.”
Some intense parallels between Jurati becoming the Queen, and Fred becoming Illyria in season 5 of Angel, right down to her acquiring an outfit from the resting place of her own former body. Even the visual of it was similar, with the outfit material snaking over the outstretched hand.
I wonder how they’re going to make it home now that Borg Queen Agnes took off with their ship.
“I wonder how they’re going to make it home now that Borg Queen Agnes took off with their ship.”
Maybe Fake Laris’s Smoky Bank Vault can transport people through time as well as through space. But I doubt it.
Probably Q, using the last embers of his power…
I feel like Q is going to do it as a last dying action.
Nothing new, really. Early TNG suffered from this a lot; it was almost as if there was a Plot Clock and when it struck :50, the whole episode would magically resolve itself.
That is TV in general… building up the tension and story just to have it resolved in that last 5 to 7 minutes.
Well at least they made the attempt to explain the sight of Picard’s elderly mom from TNG “Where no one’s gone before.”
Much better episode. I can nitpick about a lot, sure.. but it’s just nice to actually be moving forward with the plot again and not stalling out with filler episodes just to get to get to Episode 10. Ready to wrap this up.
Great episode. I suspect this season will play well binge watching once all ten are available. And all twenty, when this concludes next season.
Well, it happened, alas: I’m back to hating this series. I see no way for the finale to redeem this dud of a season.
Just sloppy writing. Who runs from machine-gun-armed Borg and then stops to reminisce? Just stupid.
Right? And that’s just one example. Almost nothing in it works, at least not for me. I simply cannot fathom the idea that, across two seasons so far, THIS is what someone decided to do in bringing back Jean-Luc Picard. Can’t wait to see how they manage to ruin the entire TNG legacy in season three. Sheesh.
True but I will say the moments here do work better and feel a little more organic than when they did the same in Star Trek Discovery. Where it was “Everyone leave the bridge! Now!” “Sure. I just want to stop and explain away my actions in a three minute speech right here in the middle of this emergency.”
I don’t know. I do this during Discovery all the time and have begun doing it in Picard as well: Yelling at the screen, “You are MILITARY OFFICERS, for God’s sake! You don’t have long conversations about your relationship or your feelings or your future WHILE THE BAD GUYS ARE LITERALLY SHOOTING AT YOU!”
I get it. And it makes sense. I just think when it happened with Picard in this episode it worked better. They happened during lulls in the action and the memories were presented as “slow motion” from what I can tell. I’m not saying it worked perfectly. I’m only saying it worked better here than it did on Star Trek Discovery.
We have not always agreed on how we feel about these shows, since you are usually more cynical about them than I am. But sadly we are in 100% agreement here. This season, minus the first two episodes, has been a total dud. I have no idea how the finale is going to turn this dumpster fire into something palatable just because they manage to end it OK. And the chances of that is very very slim going on the last season finale.
The only way I see it working is if Matalas had already written a good finale and was relying on the other writers to fill in the blanks between, say, episodes two and ten. Which they decidedly did not do. Not 100% out of the realm of possibility, but I’m not going to hold my breath in expectation of it.
Sorry it’s not working for you, either!
Funny. While I do not think the show is that good the last two episodes have moved forward and I am somewhat satisfied to get a little reasoning into why Picard always kept people at arms length. Why he never embraced people who could be friends. And while this explanation so far is a little flimsy I think it better than nothing and at least there seems to be a genuine effort here. An effort I just don’t see on the other Secret Hideout shows. Save for Prodigy.
Definitely a step up over the last 2 or 3, mainly filler, episodes. I’m actually now looking forward to the finale but dang if this season hasn’t unnecessarily been drawn out.
This season was a wasted opportunity – two 5 episode arcs would have been terrific. Ah well.
Yes. I said in my original post below that this story could have been an entire feature film rather than a drawn out 9 hour show.
I thought this episode was good. The battle scene was a bit long for my tastes and there were some silly elements like Holo Elnor and I was disappointed in the lack of Q but overall I really liked it. While I didn’t like the look inside Picard’s mind in 7 I thought the actual flashbacks were pretty well done here.
Other than episodes 4, 6, and 7 which didn’t work for me for various reasons I think this season has actually been pretty solid.
My favorite part of this episode is still all the Borg Queen stuff, well written and acted and somehow works despite the risky development they are taking with the Borg. The suicide retcon is just so hard to accept. Despite some poignancy, it just felt gratuitous and impossible to believe. I did like some of the visuals telling that story, but Stewart’s voice over was so matter-of-fact it came off as absurd. The moment needed the right gravitas and it wasn’t there to pull it off. Perhaps that’s for the best because it just doesn’t work for me at all and I may not have appreciated more manipulation. Still, Picard’s repressed trauma still doesn’t explain the Confederation timeline, and why wasn’t Q there to witness this? The last episode has some heavy lifting to do.
The notion of people being so mentally ill that they hang themselves simply does not match what I think of as Star Trek. I wish these shows were being written by people who had at least some ability to project themselves into a better future. What a wasted opportunity all of this is.
Deep Space Nine‘s “Hard Time” had Miles experience a trauma that pushed him to the point of being suicidal. I think it’s realistic that sometimes, even with all the help and technology in the world, there are still going to be situations and cases where people are pushed beyond their limits, and sometimes things might not work out.
Yes, and I don’t like that episode very much either (despite the good acting). And if I remember correctly, Miles worked very hard to keep what was going on with him secret; and also, the episode took place over a fairly short amount of time. Julian noticed what was going on and interceded.
I simply don’t believe the scenario with Mrs. Picard would happen that way in this particular future; it is not plausible to me. Sure, it’s realistic within our own culture. I have zero interest in that sort of realism being imposed upon “Star Trek.”
“Hard Time” is a phenomenal episode, it showed the anguish of trauma and how the that leads to suicidal thinking. But this show simply did not earn this at all, it build no foundation for this. It’s so incredibly bad, I’m dumbfounded to say the least.
To be fair Hard Time was from Miles’ point of view. The audience got a taste of what he went through. Here we are not seeing this from Mrs. Picard’s POV. We are getting it from JL’s POV. So it is a different thing. It’s more about how it affected a child than it was about what led Mrs. Picard to her end.
This is true, but they also had a full season to build this up bit by bit, revealing it to us and Picard with an adult’s perspective. There was potential there. The episodes have just been too compartmentalized into story blocks, rather than a story arc.
I do agree it could have been better mapped out than it was. That has been a problem with every serialized show so far. Save for Prodigy, of course.
Maurice Picard was described as something of a traditionalist in TNG. I can see him resisting contemporary 24th century mental health treatments, much as some people resist vaccines today.
I suppose. But if that’s the explanation, it needed to be in this episode. As is, I put almost no stock in the idea that the writers are reaching that deep into TNG’s lore. I mean, there’s no onscreen evidence to indicate that they even remember Robert Picard’s existence. I’d say the odds are strong that they decided to simply ignore the fact of Jean-Luc having a brother, because … well, I don’t know why, but my guess would be that they just didn’t want to deal with it, figured most viewers either wouldn’t know or wouldn’t care, and moved on.
Fine and good, but if the results are this shabby, then what was the point?
If it turned you off then I’m sorry. We are all living proof not everything in these shows work for everyone. I’m going to defend the creative decision here. And I’m someone who has not been liking this show since the very first episode. I think it worked OK because knowing that about JL’s dad won’t help sell the scene to most people. I don’t recall details like that from TNG and I think it worked well enough to get the point across. In this instance I wasn’t thinking about potential mental health advances in the next 400 years. I still think people are people and there will still be problems since eugenics were not used to make people more perfect. And a lot of things in Trek are designed to mirror things today. The effect of this sort of thing on a child very well could be one of them.
Could it have been done better? Yes. But compared to what I have seen from other Secret Hideout shows this was a deep character study!
This attitude would be way out of place even in, say, 1970, let alone 2022, let alone 2310.
I’m all confused now, because I’m thinking Maurice (whose wife, confusingly, calls “Morris”) is a psychiatrist. But no, that was Picard’s vision…
I was much more confused, James Callis has quite a striking similarity to Alexander Siddig, so when he was in the starfleet medical uniform I thought it was Bashir, and couldnt work out why a man Picard met maybe a few times would be in his mind like that
Funny you say that. At first I did not recognize Baltor and was thinking “Is that Alexander Sadig?” But figured no because he was just different enough and word probably would have gotten out if it were. It might have been better to cast someone that was not that close in appearance and voice to Mr Sadig.
I hate what this show says about mental illness. It’s very, very depressing that so far into the future of Trek people still commit suicide fuelled by their internal mental struggles.
Really doesn’t give one who has those struggles watching much hope for what’s to possibly come down the tracks in terms of psychiatric and medicinal breakthroughs in the mental health field.
I was, for that reason, offended by this episode on a nearly-physical level.
It’s a hard subject, that’s for sure, but one that is worth exploring. People committed suicide hundreds of years ago, and I doubt anything will change hundreds of years from now, alas.
Trek dealt superficially with mental illness twice on TOS, indicating some magic wand tech and serums were the key to solving problems. I don’t know why anybody would think suicide became an extinct expression of hopelessness within a century of what we saw of TREK in the 2260s.
I doubt they will, either, but if you can’t imagine something other than that even within the confines of an ostensibly optimistic piece of science fiction, then that’s a failure on your part as a viewer, just as it was a failure on the part of the writers to include it here.
I agree with your assessment. It’s outrageous!
Well that was another terrible episode. In this golden age of TV is sad to see Sir Patrick in such an ugly mess of a show. He doesn’t deserve this.
He doesn’t, but I get the feeling that at least some of this came directly from his own ideas of what the series should be, so I think he’s got to shoulder some of the blame. I’d rather it not have been made at all if this is the result.
He’s one of the producers and there have been photos of him with the writers so he most likely signs off on the story. Didn’t he also have some creative sway on Nemesis? Maybe he should have stuck to just acting.
Spiner I think had more to say in Nemesis than Stewart did. Although Stewart at that point had negotiated a producer credit. Which is quite common for actors in franchises. Stewart absolutely had say in Insurrection. He reportedly wanted to be more action hero-ish and less talky. He even wanted that on the show. Given that I came to the opinion that his personal ideas and wants for Picard were probably not the best ideas.
I just have a hard time believing this is what they convinced Patrick Stewart to come back to the franchise for after fifteen years? Just sloppy, half baked and frankly terrible ideas. What’s frustrating is that both season has all these great elements of what can be stellar seasons but then they squander all of it because either they don’t know what to really do with the ideas or just don’t have enough good ideas to fill up an entire season. It looks like it’s both.
It was a boring lackluster episode with a solid ending. So how do you grade that??
The part that bothered me was the writing. It felt like it was written by a 23 year old with hardly enough life experience to write these kind of emotions. Also I feel he doesn’t understand the Borg, like at all! Which makes sense if he is that young. He probably never saw the Borg episodes but only read the 10 sentence brief.
I don’t understand how they can boast about having so many veteran Star Trek crew on board, but then end up giving writing credits to a novice. It’s crazy!
One of the writers of the episode also wrote a 2003 episode of Smallville…19 years ago, so at least he isn’t 23. Granted it was a particularly shipper baiting episode called “Fever”
How in Hell do you become a staff writer without any previous writing credits?!
Some of the juxtapositions meant to create emotional moments were horrible in their timing.
The doctor and her son just witnessed a firefight that left her child in shock. For all she knows, there’s these alien things called the Borg loose on Earth, and is about to kill a group of people. But just minutes later she and Rios feel the need to talk about how much they might miss each other and make out? That just didn’t seem credible to me as to how people would react.
Same thing goes for Seven, Rafi, and holographic Elnor. It just felt so dumb to me that in the middle of trying to stop a Borg takeover of the ship that could doom everything that a trained professional would stop to confess her emotions to a hologram. When the writers do that, do they understand how much it undermines their characters?
And, uh, how does holographic Elnor have memories from the moment the real one died?
And what do those dying memories matter if he never knew the truth about Raffi’s motivations?
The same way they program personalities of people they have no idea what their personalities truly are. They are presumed by the programmer. In this case, Jurarti put in what she figured Elnor’s final moments would be. Just like Data’s emotion chip is not organic like a true life form. It is a programmed response to not like certain things and to like others. It didn’t come from him. It came from Soong.
“While the mention of Admiral Janeway having her back was welcome, how does her being rejecting square with Icheb joining Starfleet, which was canon set by this series in season one?”
Good lord, I’ll take “Spock’s Brain” or “Sub Rosa” or “Move Along Home” any and every day of the week. I’ll take “Shades of Gray” over this mess.
I know it wasn’t possible for a variety of good reasons, but it would have been hilarious if the Emergency Combat Hologram had been Picardo.
It’s good to see some progress in the plot but the pacing again seems off. They are pacing the story like they have 26 episodes when they have only 10. Or like someone else said, they could have had two 5 episode arcs. I still don’t know how Picard’s trauma ties in with Q dying or why it all this was needed.
Doesn’t the Juratti/Borg Queen story mean that whatever timeline we end up with at the end of this it’s not going to be the original one at the start?
Assuming La Sirena’s top speed is comparable to Voyager, that’ll mean they get to the Delta Quadrant around 2090-ish. If Juratti and the Queen stay true to their word and push the collective towards voluntary assimilation, wouldn’t that mean that everything, starting from around season 1 of TNG (i.e., the destroyed colonies along the Romulan Neutral Zone that the writers have implied were supposed to be the work of the Borg), would change?
Wouldn’t that mean that whatever timeline we go back to might be one where “Best of Both Worlds,” Seven and her family’s assimilation, Voyager’s Borg experiences, and “First Contact” never happened?
I wondered about that too, when the Fake Borg Queen said something like, “Set course for the Delta Quadrant.” The year that ship comes from is only 25 or 30 years after the TNG/DS9/Voyager era. I thought it takes like 75 years to get to or from the Delta Quadrant, assuming you don’t have help from transwarp hubs, Q, slipstream drives, etc. I guess maybe it depends on *where* in the Delta Quadrant. Dialogue in “Caretaker” suggests that Ocampa is 75,000 miles away. But maybe they needed to go into the Delta Quadrant only as far as, say, the place where they dropped off Neelix. Couldn’t the Fake Borg Queen get some stuff from Home Depot or Radio Shack and build one of them interplexing beacon things?
Also, as someone else pointed out, why did Starfleet discriminate against Seven but they accepted Icheb? Isn’t Starfleet an Equal Opportunity Employer?
Light-years, not miles. Oops.
Agnes using reasoned argument to convince the Queen to change her ways is reassuring classic Trek; I could practically hear the Queen respond “I shall consider it.”
Also, it occurs to me that one reason this season was so earth-bound is due to budgetary considerations. They filmed two seasons together back-to-back and season three looks like it’s going to be more of a big outer-space adventure, so perhaps they were just saving their collective bucks to spend on that. Just a thought…
Or Covid restrictions?
Splitting the cast into small teams for large parts of the story may indeed have been Covid-related. We often got Raffi and Seven on their own or Jurati and the Queen. That way, if someone did get sick, at least it wouldn’t have shut down the whole production.
I just have no words for how terrible both this season and episode has been. I am just floored how bad it is. But this episode represented how tedious, lifeless and ultimately a mess it has all been for me. I can’t even describe how disappointed I have felt from episode 4 on. At the beginning I was trying to stay positive and while I thought there were definitely a few key moments and nice surprises so much of this has been a total waste.
I have seen bad Star Trek of course and I have seen bad seasons of it, but never at this level and in so many episodes in a row. It’s like Nemesis, only they stretched it out from 2 bad hours to a full season. I can’t fathom how anyone who wrote this season thought they were making a compelling and well written show? It’s just so much wrong at this point, I don’t even have the energy to go into all of it. Last week’s episode was still worse, even realizing that the entire ‘FBI man saw Vulcans on Earth’ plot line was just a total fucking waste of time and added NOTHING to the story and just some bizarre side story to fill in an episode. My god, how did ANY of this make it to the final draft??
I will only say the scenes between our heroes and the dozens of Borgified soldiers with automatic weapons was so poorly paced, ridiculous and filmed it was like watching an episode of the A team where you have to believe that everyone was just beyond incompetent that no one in this firefight didn’t get touched except Rios. The bad guys finally caught up to Picard and Taillin although they spent ridiculous amount of time literally standing in one place and have them in kill shot only to wait, literally wait, for Rios to make his grand entrance minutes later. Horrible direction and editing.
Elnor suddenly a hologram (what???). Bad.
Agnes and the Borg Queen deciding they will only assimilate the needy or something? Bad.
Picard and his mother’s suicide reveal. Really, really bad.
I have basically given up on Discovery from ever being a good show but Picard was different. I wanted to love this show from day one. Discovery is actually the better show. I can’t believe I’m STILL saying this.
I don’t even care what happens in the finale. I’ll watch it obviously but if they said right now the show was cancelled and wouldn’t bother showing the last episode, I honestly would not care. That’s how badly this season has sunk for me.
I like how they treated Elnor showing up like the Bruce Lee of Star Trek was suddenly there. You know, everyone’s favorite badass character! That guy. Ha, ridiculous stuff.
And while we’re on the subject of violence, something about that scene with Raffi and Seven forcing a knife into that drone’s head I found odd, and a bit disturbing. I don’t know, was it supposed to be like some weird bonding moment for them as a couple? At least neither made a quip in that moment.
I also rolled my eyes how he was running and hiding from the goons as if he was still a living person or something. You are a hologram man, why are you hiding??? You can’t get killed! Finish them off already. Just soooo ridiculous.
Ha, I had the same reaction.
Yeah, they all of a sudden decided that the holograms on La Sirena needed The Doctor’s mobile emitter in order to function, and had the queen strike at it to disable ECH Elnor.
LOL that was ANOTHER thing that I was simply confused about. Not just that, but where did it even come from??? I’m not trying to nit pick, I swear and maybe I just don’t remember a line or scene explaining it beforehand, but was this thing EVER mentioned on the show until this episode? I can’t remember it being referenced at any time until it was shown.
But man,if not, this is just more proof how lazy this season has been. The mobile emitter hasn’t been seen in canon for over 20 years now. At least throw out a line on what it is or how it works. But these writers were probably like, “Eh, the nerds will know what it is! I mean who else is watching this show?” lol
That’s a good point. I thought maybe I dozed off and missed the emitter’s intro. If it just showed up, man…
If you dozed off somewhere this season, believe me, it probably wasn’t your fault. ;)
But all the holographic Rioses didn’t need mobile emitters. Nor did the Doctor, in Sickbay.
Yeah I know. That’s why its SO bizarre it’s even there. The La Siernna has holo emitters all over the ship as we seen the Rios’ EH roam all through it in both seasons.
Maybe you can argue that this one simply didn’t because it was an altered universe version of the ship, so I can buy that. I even accepted maybe that’s why there wasn’t a Rios EH who showed up because they were never programmed in this timeline. So it’s not even that hard to tell us why it’s there. You still need to explain it in some fashion; even with just a simple line. It’s just beyond lazy.
Felt similar. He’s a hologram. They strike him down he just reappears.
Interesting. I figured going in this entire story was going to be a gigantic clusterfu*k. Had 2nd thoughts durring the first episode but then when Q showed up all my fears came back. From then through episode 2 and onward until perhaps last weeks I felt this story was not just bad but bad and spinning its wheels going nowhere.
I do agree that the FBI guy seeing Vulcans felt like filler. Again, there just is not enough story here to fill out 9 hours of show. But these last two episodes at least felt like they were finally going somewhere. And we got peeks into why Picard is what he is. Which is something worth exploring to me.
The only thing that bugged me about Holo-Elnor was how could they program him with every memory and feeling of his right up to the time of death? How he feels has GOT to be what Jurarti THINKS he would have felt.
At any rate, I’m feeling like the finale may not be as bad as I originally envisioned but this is Secret Hideout so you never know. And this season, as bad as it has been, as easily been the best of any season not named Prodigy.
This episode pushed the story forward, so that was the one positive. But it’s episode #$%# nine, I mean it’s sad we had to even get to the very end to see anything happening. And yes, it’s just not enough story. That’s the real issue, they don’t have enough for their characters to do, the main plot is so embarrassingly thin (we have to make sure Picard’s ancestor flies to Europa and we save the future) and just feels so unambitious. THIS is what you set the entire season on? And a big part of the problem is they just glance over why it’s important. She discovers a new organism, explanation over. You can’t elaborate how that is such an important key to humanity not losing their shit in a ten episode story line? But let’s spend an hour working through the FBI agent issue of running into Vulcans 40 years ago that serves absolutely no purpose to the story.
It really amazes me how awfully bad this is!
As for Q, I actually think they found a clever way to include him in the story….and then proceeded to just dangle him around through the season. It’s been 9 episodes, can you or anyone tell me why Q is involved with this story at all? What is his motive? Why is he running around manipulating all these people for? I get it’s to change the future in some way but WHY?? Why is any of this important to him? We still have no clue and the last episode is next week. He’s also ‘dying’. Does that tie into why he is doing any of this? What is the significance of it to the story? As far as I can tell, it’s basically like when Picard was ‘dying’ in first season and because it was just to add another layer, but really nothing to do with the actual story they are telling. Again, it’s amazing to me THIS is where we are?
Holo Elnor was just the icing on the cake of complete idiocy. I like how on the show, he’s presented as this ‘hell yeah’ moment when he’s turned on and I bet half the audience rolled their eyes instead because it feels so ridiculous. When the hell did Agnes have time to program an Elnor??? And why???? Did she know that the Borg Queen was going to take over her body and try to get the access codes from her? He’s just there to give the actor another bizarre way to appear in an episode.
I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but you sound much more positive about the finale than I do lol. I just don’t care. If it ends with someone from TNG showing up and start the next season, great, then maybe I will feel motivated. At this point, I just want this thing to end. I don’t care how half ass it is because that’s been most of the season anyway.
Speaking of the Europa mission and Renee…..She was one Picard told that his mom said look up? Not Agnes. I thought. Hmmm… so I wonder if the two Renees will result in one joining the “collective.” Which I don’t like by the way. This whole idea that if your lonely or have mental health isssues being assimilated will fix it is just terrible. I would have preferred if the message concerning Agnes was to work through her issues with therapy. Or get better friends that actually noticing your missing! Plus what exactly was the motivations for the production staff when talking so much about mental health? I am personally not convinced they ever achieved a cohesive message it that regards. I don’t have any problem with Picard having repressed trauma. It happens to lots of people and the future can’t fix everything. Or so one would think. Then again apparently the Federation can fix everything! They have saved the universe from the borg! This fallacy is a weak point for me this season. Not everyone or everything can be fixed! They got this right with Yvette. Unfortunately some people will still suffer and sadly we won’t be able to save them all. On the other hand, where the borg is concerned that got it wrong. They truly have “defanged the borg.” Not sure this is the best way forward for them as a species. Then again I am not sure how I would have handled them. Just that I don’t like how they did it.
Maybe it’s because I’ve just grown used to seeing this sort of thing from Secret Hideout and my expectations have been lowered to such a spectacular level that anything remotely positive I tend to latch on to. I’ve made a lot of negative posts about the SH shows but I have to say that I really do want these things to be good. I tried to force myself to like LDX during the first two episodes but that was me fooling myself. It was obvious from the first episode that show was going to disappoint. I want things to be good but if they are crap I’m going to come on here and say so. Sorry if that bugs people.
And I will say this about the last couple of episodes. They didn’t outright suck like much of Secret Hideout fare. No, they weren’t good but they are surly better than anything we’ve seen on Star Trek Discovery by light years. To use an old Eddie Murphy bit… If you are starving and someone gives you a cracker that is the best cracker you’ve ever had in your life. Only after you are no longer starving do you realize it really wasn’t that good. That it was just a regular old cracker. So if I ever rewatch this (and I don’t see myself doing that) years from now I may decide this was worse than I recall. Who knows?
Hey Tiger2, after being really dismayed by the writing mid-season, so much so that I was about as disappointed as you are currently, I think the last couple of episodes have been better.
I wont argue with any of your points about E9, but I will say that I know a few people who sadly went through extreme trauma as children so I could relate to Picard’s memory lapse – and I guess that is why we never got any info on his mother in TNG. (Btw the writers should have at least noted his brother, bad writing)
As for the mobile emitter, it was probably needed to let Elnor return to Earth which I expect next week, but killing him off to begin with seemed like bad writing again!
What is sad is that the writing team set the bar so low with E5-7, maybe I have become desensitized to the quality of the last two shows, accepting mediocrity instead of demanding excellence.
All that said, like you I will watch next week and am really looking forward to the premiere of SNW.
This season is certainly better and more focused than season 1 but still a little disappointing. This story has been dragged out for 10 episodes and really could have been wrapped up in half that much. Not nearly enough Q and I could have done with less of the Picard family trauma.
Agreed it could have been done as a full on 2 hr movie. But the Picard family trauma I think helps. Sue me. I think the character needs some explanation on why he was who he was. While this is a bit flimsy it does help explain things a tiny bit.
Well that was better than last week and much better than E6 & E7, although I have to admit those set a pretty low bar.
Since they are stranded without a ship, it will be interesting to see who saves the day next week.
If there is one thing consistent in the ST universe, it’s how easy it is to take transporters offline. Yet Rios allows this system to operate without taking its power offline, or damaging the energisers…. (and people think he is fit to be a Captain?)
Elnor hologram- how does he know what real Elnor was thinking when he died? Are they saying that we can call up a hologram of Annika’s husband (the Confed magistrate) and have a copy of his memories? Can we do the same with the Borg queen who died on this ship?
Why didn’t they use Talinns transporter to beam away the borgified troops?
Why didn’t Talinn take mind control of Soong?
Why did Rios warn Soong about the exploding phaser?
Why didn’t Raffi and Seven shoot or stun Agnes immediately?
Where is Q and Soong’s daughter this week?
Why was Picard so zoned out, indulging and reflecting on childhood issues during this battle?
Why did they have to hide underground in the tunnels, when they could have gone anywhere with Talinns transporter (e.g. into the ship)?
Badly written episode.
Jurarti programmed him in a way that she thinks he would have thought at the time of his “death”.
Good point about the Gary 7 transporter.
Good point about doing a Prof. X mind trick on Soong.
Picard was zoned out remembering stuff. And it helped them.
Yes badly written but not as badly as most of the other Secret Hideout stuff.
Much better episode. Lot at stake. Well acted. Well written, except for Soong. It’s good to see Spiner and Isa Briones but eliminating that story from the season would have been for the best. De Lancie didn’t have nearly enough screen time. Hopefully the finale will have a longer running time. The first couple episodes really had me excited but the middling, middle section has me hoping we just end up with a passable ending at this point. Still, I’ll gladly take “ok” Star Trek with Patrick Stewart than the very forced Disco.
Let me talk about the suicide of a parent at, apparently, the same age as Jean Luc.
I have been frustrated by critics that say JL is not the same Picard they knew/expected from previous iterations.
I can tell you, for a fact, that, having experienced this you are many, many “individuals” over the course of you life.
I am, at once a child AND a 63 year old. The scars don’t heal.
I couldn’t quite put my finger on why I got sooo annoyed at folks who said “Picard is not Picard ”
I guess that is all. But….give us a break (ha). Some of us are broken, at times, and maybe Patrick Stewart understands that legacy Picard is NOT what he needs to portray in THIS moment in time because (factors) aging has a very dramatic effect on who we are.
Thoughts? Go for it.
You make some valid points. A lot of us feel classic Trek could have tackled these issues a lot better. These new guys still seem to be figuring things out.
OK. Saw two episodes back to back. The show is doing better. Things are finally starting to happen. But that is a problem. They took what could have easily been done in a full feature film and expanded it to 9 hours. They still have problems mapping out seasons.
I do like digging up Picard’s past. I find it interesting why he was such a loner. Why he had such a hard time accepting not only intimate companionship but keeping people at arms length. So as to avoid full on friendships. He engenders loyalty. Not friendship. There is a difference. So digging into his past has potential to provide valuable insight. What we got was not particularly juicy but it does help explain him a little bit. I kinda wish they went a little deeper but I guess they decided shootouts and ridiculous stuff in 2024 LA was more important.
My chief complaint mainly comes from the end of the previous episode. Where Soong makes a phone call to 1-800-HENCHMN or something (joke lifted from Live Free or Die Hard) and suddenly he has an army or mercenaries in his employ. What the hell????? And they have the most idiotic laser sights on earth. Hugely thick and amazingly visible YELLOW lights. Given the extreme tech we have already seen that will be along in the next two years seems to me that their night vision and scopes would be just a tad more stealthy than that. Those newly made Borg are just as bad shots as Star Wars Stormtroopers.
And finally they did address the lack of Q’s ability to snap things but somehow he is still able to insert a Q AI into 21st century VR tech? Or infiltrate himself into the FBI??? Sorry…. Not buying it. It doesn’t fit with what we know. So all I have to say is there better be a damn good explanation for this crap next week. But given the week endings Secret Hideout has traditionally had, I have extreme doubts any of this stuff is going to get tied up nicely.
TNG was never — with maybe the exception of the first two season, Sub Rosa and Masks — dumb. There’ve been a lot of moments in Picard that have been dumb. And it has never been about empty platitudes — like the power of love.
This is melodrama.
And not even good melodrama.
It’s not as bad as Discovery with all the crying and wallowing they do on that show; but yeah it definitely got worse this season.
Mr Kurtzman, if you’re reading this, for heaven’s sake DO something about your writers, or hire a group to run over each script looking for (basic!) things that don’t make sense, plot holes and inconsistences. Or better still, get better writers full stop! Writers that actually fully understand drama, plotting, solid characterisations that make sense, then overlay your science-fiction tropes on top of that solid foundation. How many more chances do you need to do Trek right? Seems your entire tenure has been course correcting show to show, season by season. NONE of your shows stand up to any kind of critical assessment at all, and definitely not rewatches. Almost like the worst kind of soap-opera-y fan fiction in each case, just with a huge budget & professional actors doing their best. A reminder: “The power of math people!”….. streuth! Sums it up… Time for an overhaul before SNW is ruined too before it even gets its chance to shine!
When you’re right, you’re right. (see, I didn’t go on at length this time — why? Because he said it all!)
The suicide (and particularly its circumstances and the circumstances of its discovery) is jarring because this is a hundred-year old man who has reached the highest levels of military command in his time and yet someone this *never* came up? He never considered it himself, and it was never picked up on by authorities? “Did he have any trauma in his youth? Mother committed suicide? Did that affect him in any way? Oh, he suppressed it? Yeah, that’s healthy. Hey, we have literal empaths and telepaths at our service- maybe one of them can check him out before we give him command of a ship with phasers and torpedoes, not to mention a whole bunch of civilians on board?”
But more than that- in 178 episodes and four movies, there was never a *hint* of this. Never a hint of trauma from that end of things. And now…boom.
Also, Picard, of all people, should know French history. The “Resistance” wouldn’t have a “front” to communicate with because the Resistance didn’t come into existence until the Nazis were done *conquering* France. Nor would the Resistance have “shut down” the place *after* the Nazis invaded because, again, they wouldn’t have existed- but if anything, this sort of place is the type they would have *created* *after* the Nazis had taken over.
And all that to explain…the presence of one handgun later on?
That’s the problem with the suicide angle, it just doesn’t make any sense on its head. I will be fair and say it is a nice way to tie into why Picard was a troubled teenager. He was an angry and cocky kid who became distant from his family; so this would be a way to explain why. But the problem is it’s hard to believe it’s never come up during the few times we have seen him grieve. He’s talked to Troi many times over the years. Even if not her, then Beverly. Or Guinan. I mean SOMEONE he was close to.
But I’m sure there will be explanations like ‘Well Picard never really talked about his family though, so how would anyone know?’ That sounds familiar, right? ;)
That’s the problem with the suicide angle, it just doesn’t make any sense on its head. I will be fair and say it is a nice way to tie into why Picard was a troubled teenager. He was an angry and cocky kid who became distant from his family; so this would be a way to explain why. But the problem is it’s hard to believe it’s never come up during the few times we have seen him grieve. He’s talked to Troi many times over the years. Even if not her, then Beverly. Or Guinan. I mean SOMEONE he was close to.
But I’m sure there will be explanations like ‘Well Picard never really talked about his family though, so how would anyone know?’ That sounds familiar, right? ;)
Ha! Yeah, there’s also always the “Well, we only saw about a hundred hours of his life” angle. But that’s too easy an out.
Something else bugged me, at the very end: Seven repeats a cryptic line from the Queen and Picard just *blows it off* with a cliche. Come on, it’s *obviously* important. What’s his problem?
And Spock never mentioned a half brother, nor a foster sister. It’s very convenient when writers suddenly pull these life-altering circumstances out of thin air.
I disagree with your initial assessment. Picard was always a loner as long as we the audience has known him. He has never really let anyone into his life. The weird thing I think is more that no one has ever questioned THAT. That no one questioned how he could be so amazingly perfect. I think exploring his past was definitely a worthwhile endeavor.
Are there weird and illogical bits? Sure. Like Picard knowing exactly how to handle a 400 year old firearm. I don’t buy it but he handled it like he has been firing them his whole life. At least when Sulu found the gun in Shore Leave he explained that he had a fascination with ancient weapons so it made sense he knew something about them and that he had handled them before. But here Picard just handles it like an old pro. So yeah… This show is inconsistent.
Wow, the comments here. I haven’t had the time or feeling of urgency to watch this week’s episode yet, and now I’m certainly not going to hurry. Maybe I’ll make it a two-parter with next week’s finale.
I really hope they brought in different, better writers for SNW. Or we’re just in for more of the same, imo.
The writing on these shows never ceases to amaze me. It’s as if the writers only come up with a basic storyline, bang out a first draft, pat themselves on the back and call it done without any consideration about how it may or may not line up with established canon or even basic common sense.
The Borg have assimilated civilizations for thousands of years, have technology no race can match, have never been able to be reasoned with, yet a 20 second pep talk causes the queen to rethink their entire philosophy that spans millenia?
Picard has come close to reaching the century mark and has endured his share of traumatic experiences (being assimilated, captured and tortured by the Cardassians, living out another man’s life, seeing his brother and nephew die thus leaving him the only living Picard, relived the moment when he got stabbed thru the heart) yet somehow his mother’s suicide never comes up? By the way, where was his brother Robert in all of this?
Rios, supposedly a trained officer, flaunts prime directive, temporal directive and just plain old basic common sense protocols at every turn?
Technology that is introduced mere scenes before which can make short work of a situation is conveniently ignored so we can have a big violent action scene complete with joint eye stabbing.
Maybe I’m being unfair but I hold Trek to a higher standard compared to the usual drek that is on TV and the problem for me with these shows is that they can get so downright stupid at times that it becomes impossible to look past it.
I feel like I may be more open to what is going on in this show because I never deified Picard to begin with. I never thought him an interesting character. In fact, I saw him as an impossible character. He was too perfect. He was a human with elements of Vulcan stoicism. I thought it worth an effort to see why he never had any close friends. I’ve said this in the thread but here again, this explanation is a little flimsy but it does help explain why he is what he is.
About his brother, I have forgotten he ever had one. Which is probably the attitude of most who are not immersed in Picard’s personal history. I mean Kirk’s brother was ignored a couple of times, too in instances where he absolutely warranted a mention. So this is nothing new.
Rios, you have to remember he was drummed out of Star Fleet to begin with, So his behavior is not exactly surprising. To me the question was why he was suddenly back to captaining a Star Ship in the first episode!
And people forgetting about tech is quite common in Trek. We could go down a list of instances where Trek people came up with clever solutions to problems and that new idea was NEVER followed up on or used again at times when it absolutely could have.
I can’t believe I have found myself on the side of defending the show more than ripping it. I still don’t think it’s good. But here we are…
There was an entire episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation about Picard and his brother. It’s the entire reason Secret Hideout knows there’s a Chateau Picard to exploit, as the vineyard was introduced in this episode (Season four’s “Family,” which comes RIGHT AFTER “The Best of Both Worlds, Part II”). Picard’s emotional pain in Star Trek: Generations is based on the death of his nephew AND HIS BROTHER. It’s, like, not some arcane bit of trivia.
And, they certainly did some bit of research into Picard’s backstory because they remembered to include the line about how he sometimes sees his mother offering him tea. That was a hallucination he had in the sixth episode of Star Trek: TNG EVER, “Where No One Has Gone Before.” That IS some arcane bit of trivia.
I don’t subscribe to the interpretation that because Star Trek has been bad and inconsistent in the past that it’s fine when it’s similarly bad and inconsistent in the present. Otherwise, why bother to improve? The people making these shows sure believe they are making the best versions of Star Trek to exist at this point and they’re not shy about scouring Memory Alpha for random callbacks. Missing key bits of backstory for a character they’ve built an entire show around seems… dumb?
I’ve mentioned before that there was an entire episode of TOS that included Kirk’s brother. Yet he gets forgotten later. As I said elsewhere, Trek ’09 knew about it and there is a deleted scene involving Sam they cut. My guess is introducing Kirk’s brother who we never see again didn’t really serve the overall story. But it does happen.
I agree it is odd that they put in such mundane references such as Jackson Roykirk plaza showing they at least looked stuff up and then just ignore other more obvious things. The way I feel about that is if the story is good I can forgive a plot hole or two or forgetting about something they did in an episode 30+ years ago. And again, I’m not saying Picard is good. But these last couple of episodes have risen to mediocre. So I’ll give them that.
Purely for clarification, I’m not a Picard worshipper. TOS is my Star Trek and Kirk has always been my favorite captain by a country mile. I actually always found it a little hard to identify with most of the 24th century characters because they were, as you say, just a little too perfect. My comments on Picard are just cherry picked examples of what I see as an endemic problem with the writing across all the NuTrek shows. The handling of Q, who seems pretty much unrecognizable to me and downright bland (something I would have never said of the character) here, is another example.
Fair enough. And I can relate.
Great recap! I just wanted to mention that the thing Picard’s mom says about starlight taking billions of years to reach earth is wrong. The visible stars in the sky are less than 1000 light years away, so it takes less than a 1000 years for their light to reach us. None of these stars are gone. One day Betelgeuse will explode, and it will take 650 years for us to see the explosion, so maybe that’s already occurred, but probably not. The milky-way galaxy is only 100,000 light years across, the Andromeda galaxy is only 2.5 million light years away. You get my point. You need a very powerful telescope to see galaxies or quasars more than 1 billion light years away. You get my point. It makes me crazy when I see this misinformation on a show. The writers should get some fact-checkers!
Picard sitting down for the poker game at the end of “All Good Things…” was a more meaningful emotional change and cap to his emotional journey than anything this ragtag group of writers tried to do this season with Patrick Stewart. That showed him finally opening up to people close to him. The movies more or less continued with this idea (he gave the toast at Troi & Riker’s wedding!) and I like how all of that was foreclosed on just so Patrick Stewart & co. could do some network TV-level trauma drama.
Anyway, I could not think of a show less qualified to discuss parental suicide than Star Trek: Picard. The one consistent thing throughout the course of Secret Hideout’s stewardship of the IP is that they will always do the least interesting versions of their own ideas. Fairytale-styling Picard’s loopy mom’s descent into madness and Picard using a magic key to unlock her death is just silly garbage. If you’re doing a show about darkness, then be dark.
And hey, thanks for showing the mom twitching as she hanged there, too. Extremely cool! Not graphic just to be graphic at all! Absolutely nothing sensitive about this “storyline.” It was sensational nonsense from start to finish. And when NotLaris hugged Picard at the end (after she spewed out whatever prattle that was written for her) Patrick Stewart’s acting was unconvincing. He wasn’t moved at all! Nothing looked resolved. It’s a cheap show in all the ways that could mean. A dark, ugly mess made by cynical people.
Agreed. Cheap, and nasty, masquerading as quality entertainment. Breaks my heart the people currently in charge of Star Trek. All surface gloss, and echos of Trek’s past when it was great, and knew what it was. I find it offensive in its frequent stupidity, lowest common denominator violent panderings, 21st century cussing and ‘hip’ colloquialisms, and a criminal waste of a truly superb cast, and all who laboured hard to make the show look and sound far better than its truly mediocre scripting.
First off, this episode was much better than some of the more recent episodes. Really did a good job of wrapping up some of the storylines. A couple of thoughts. Jurati/Borg Queen may bide their time in the Delta quadrant to help preserve the timeline before introducing herself to the collective. As for the two Renees, my thought is that somehow both timelines need to be preserved. A Renee needs to be successful in order for the Federation (prime timeline) to exist. However, a Renee needs to die in order for these events in season 2 to ever happen. One Easter egg that I saw almost immediately was the callback to “Where No One Has Gone Before” when Picard talks about how he imagined his mother growing old and having tea with her.
dear god, only one episode left and everything remains a big mess. where’s q? elnor with his dying memory as a battle holo? and, oh my, more plot holes than one could count. i wanted to like this season so much. it started strong and bold. and now. totally disappointed. not sure if i want to watch next week…
How does holo Elnor have the real
Elnor’s memories up to his last breath?
Straight up that was one of the best single episodes of Star Trek in a while. It was beautiful and meaningful, there was a symmetry of action. And it had some interesting psychology at play. We had fun watching it.
Sorry, this is shit. It is not good Star Trek, it is not even good television. Episode 9 was a complete vandalism of Star Trek.
Yep. Seems obvious they know it too, hence dropping the news about S3 featuring the TNG cast early. And I fully expect they’ll end S2 on a ‘cliffhanger’ in another feeble attempt to (desperately) keep viewers hooked, perhaps well aware now they know the majority see this as a terribly written show. Can’t believe I’ve flipped from full-on enthusiasm after S2 E1 to the utter depths of pessimism for modern Trek. I’d gladly settle for a reduction in production quality/budget, and a greater focus on solid writing at this point…
I didn’t even think about the Icheb contradiction. Yeah, how did he get in to StarFleet, but she didn’t?
I just didn’t buy that backstory, that StarFleet would have rejected her after everything they went through on Voyager. There’s just no way they would have done that. And, did Janeway bluff when she said she’d quit, too? That doesn’t sound like her, either. She wouldn’t bluff. Unless, Seven fell on the sword and talked her out of resigning.
Again episode is very jarring, great bits and not so great bits. Some bmovie level dialogue and sequences to some rather nice scenes of Picard’.
AND WHAT IS IT WITH AMERICANS THINKING ALL BRITS SPEAK HAWTY TAWTY AND DRINK TEA AND DRESS LIKE THEY ARE IN THE VICTORIAN ERA EVEN IN FRANCE??? Cringeworthy and embarrassing.
Be nice to see them spin things a bit. In one of Fleming’s 007 books, Bond HATES tea, and suggest scornfully that it is responsible for the downfall of the empire, calling it ‘a cup of mud.’ Picard’s xmas in the nexus is cornball retro to the point that I was surprised they didn’t offer a tie-in with plum pudding manufacturers when GEN came out.
Two Rene’s simply means if this Rene succeeds, the future will be restored and Picard’s nephew Rene will die.
In the flashbacks of Picard as a kid, and his Mom and Dad, I have to wonder: Where on earth is Picard’s brother???