Star Trek: Picard Season 2, Episode 10 – Debuted Thursday, May 5, 2022
Written by: Christopher Monfette & Akiva Goldsman
Directed by Michael Weaver
A fast-paced but disjointed season finale rushes to wrap things up.
WARNING: Spoilers below!
“Peoples lives aren’t yours to decide.”
With Queen Riddler’s last message about “two Renées” spooking Tallinn, the team plans out how to keep the Europa Mission countdown going. Seven, Rios, and Raffi are on Soong duty, with The Watcher headed to the launch complex. Jean-Luc invites himself along to stop the Supervisor from doing anything heroic like sacrificing herself, but Tallinn sets him straight with “my fate is not yours to decide.” Tallinn reminds him he isn’t responsible for every death, including his mom’s—so she’s tired of all those flashbacks too. As for Soong, he shows up at the launch, leaving Seven and the gang in his supervillain lair to dispatch his evil backup plan drones with relative ease.
Tallinn breaks protocol to speak directly to Renée to try to enlist her trust, explaining how she has been her sort of guardian angel. Soong swoops in to help Renée when she flees the “crazy woman,” and his hand of comfort is revealed to deliver a fatal poison as he smugly declares, “Looks like you are about to create the future after all.” What a d—k. The dying astronaut stumbles around the inexplicably empty launch complex until she finds Picard and collapses, watching the Europa mission launch, with the other Renée on board. The dying one is Tallinn in disguise, but you knew that. The Watcher is happy to have had a moment with her beloved Renée, and as she dies she tells Jean-Luc to absolve himself of guilt. She really should be charging him for these little therapy sessions.
“That path leads to everything..”
With Renée Picard safely on her destined journey to Europa, Adam Soong watches his hopes of a Confederation future full of his statues fade away. He also notices all of his digital files are fading away: Kore has been busy, now remotely erasing his legacy on behalf of all her dead sisters. But as Brent Spiner’s latest Soong fades away, he has one last surprise, pulling out an old document about “Project Khan.” So that happened.
After hacking her dad/creator, Kore doesn’t have long to wait to figure out what to do next, getting a cryptic message about “Watch and Observe.” Kore meets the mysterious sender, revealing the former Wesley Crusher, now Time Lord Traveler. Turns out the Travelers are the people behind the Watcher/Supervisors, and it is their job to “protect everything,” so no pressure. And with Tallinn gone, there’s an opening. Wil Wheaton gives his recruitment speech and the pair beams off into the sunset. So that happened too.
“It’s time for me to go.”
Back at the chateau, the team regroups, preparing to spend their lives in the 21st century, and Raffi has decided their hard work fixed the timeline, so it was all worth it. The next step is to figure out what to do for the rest of their lives. Seven has found some peace and is “better than okay” with being re-Borged, and she shuts a rambling Raffi up with a big kiss to show just how chill she is. Rios too seems cool with the situation as Teresa and son are a ready-made family to keep him busy. As for Jean-Luc, the Tallinn sessions seem to have sunk in as he puts that fateful key right back where he did/will find it, accepting it leads to mom’s death. “Bravo.” Wait, that voice sounds familiar. It’s Q, sitting solemnly in the atrium, judging Picard’s season-long trial, assessing that the admiral successfully accepted his fate and forgave himself.
Looking like he is no longer carrying a burden, Picard still has questions, most importantly why did Q bother? Turns out the god-being is getting maudlin as he approaches his lonely twilight and doesn’t want the same fate for his favorite mortal. All the time travel, mayhem, death, and destruction… it was all so Jean-Luc could free himself for some lovin’. And with the game over, it’s time for parting gifts in the form trips home for everyone. Rios passes, but you knew that was coming. With “farewell mon capitan” and hugs all around–even for Q–it’s just a snap to the future.
“Better to look forward.”
And we’re back! Stargazer. Queen… Mom. But Picard stops the auto-destruct countdown to hear out the Borg. The Queen’s choice of Picard’s childhood calming song was the clue, removing her plot device mask revealing it was Agnes all along. But you knew that too. Borgati means no harm, she just needs Starfleet’s ships to stop a space thing from wiping out the quadrant. You could have just asked nicely, Agnes. Anyway, the admiral puts Seven in charge and the former Borg hands command to the Queen to do her harmonizing shield grid thing and prevent the bad thing we just learned about ten seconds ago. It works, of course, because Jurati is that new kind of nice Borg and she even volunteers to join the Federation and act as the “guardian at the gates” to keep an eye on the transwarp conduit—the big space thing just opened up.
After all that, everyone needs a drink at 10 Forward and Whoopi Guinan is happy to oblige. Of course, she knew all this would happen back in episode one but had to keep quiet, knowing they “would circle around eventually.” She fills Jean-Luc in on how life went for Rios, Teresa, Ricardo, and Renée in the 21st century, who saved lives and even the whole planet with those alien microbes brought back from Europa. Oh, and Elnor is there too; he’s Q’s bonus resurrection prize since Rios stayed behind. Jean-Luc buys his “family” one last round before heading home to face Laris, who is packed and ready to head off on adventures of her own. She can see he is a new man… a new man asking a woman for a second chance—and not even her Tal Shiar training prepared her to resist those eyes. Fade up to space and that’s a wrap on season two, folks.
Was it worth it?
There was a lot going on in this season finale. It tried to do too many things at once, with mixed results on the various plot and character arcs being tied up. Better than some of the more meandering mid-season episodes, there were a few moments of delight with some of the character beats, but ultimately “Farewell” was weighed down by uneven pacing, lapses in logic, and clumsy fan service.
As usual, the actors’ performances were the highlight, especially star Patrick Stewart, who continues to be able to convey beyond what is on the page. John de Lancie, in what is likely his Star Trek farewell, was captivating as the dying Q. The pair had fantastic chemistry, even if this sudden turn to Q and Picard as family feels more like the actors and less their characters. Orla Brady is also to be commended for her double duty, especially the emotional weight she brought to Tallinn’s final scenes. Together, all of these scenes did a good job bringing closure to Picard’s arc, but how this lesson in letting in acceptance was connected to the time travel story was convoluted, and already handled better (and certainly faster) in TNG’s “Tapestry.” Yes Jean-Luc also had some regrets over not having a family, but this journey into the darkness of his childhood still feels unnecessary.
Perhaps if these scenes had been given more time and explanation, they could have held together; instead, the episode was serving so many purposes it couldn’t give each story the time required, which is ironic after wasting so much time in so many previous episodes. With the big TNG reunion coming in season three, “Farewell” is doing double duty as a season finale for some characters and (likely) a series finale for others. For example, to give Isa Briones a nice goodbye, they brought in a big TNG cameo to send her off in style. While it was nice to see Wil Wheaton in Star Trek, the character didn’t feel like either Wesley Crusher or a cool Time Lord Traveler, but more like Wheaton playing himself. And Rios staying behind for love and apparently ignoring the duty to his ship (it’s easy to forget, but he is the captain of the Stargazer) serves the changes in the cast more than honoring the character.
So with all these threads to tie up, the main story of getting Renée to her destined space flight seems like an afterthought with Brent Spiner reduced to a one-dimensional bad guy. This, along with the future space-based action, was just all too quick and predictable.
As for how this finale tied up the season’s time travel, it is almost impossible to decipher. After some meticulous crafting early in the season, the temporal mechanics just fell apart. It’s not even worth trying to figure out as it seems there was little interest to even bother to explain, leaving viewers who care about such things with frustrating questions.
The thing that will likely cause the most debate is the nature of Queen Agnes herself and what she was up to for the last 400 years. Some may come away thinking that she was (and therefore has been) the Borg Queen, which would change everything. More likely she is intended to be a Borg Queen, with her own little quiet (and totally unnoticed) collective, only to return at this exact moment when she needed some help. But without any actual explaining, answers to these profound questions are left to headcanon, post-finale interviews, and Twitter posts from the creatives.
All this doesn’t mean the Picard season finale didn’t indulge in elements of canon, but this was mostly via fan service from randomly introducing a new Khan Noonien Singh origin to dubiously connecting the lore of the Travelers of TNG to the Supervisors of TOS’ “Assignment: Earth.”
With all its faults, “Farewell” was still a better season finale than season one’s “‘Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2.” And overall, season two is still an improvement. This finale had some memorable beats like Picard and Q’s farewell, Seven and Raffi finally kissing, and Jurati revealing her whole new thing. Captain Seven was awesome, and it was nice to see Whoopi Goldberg and Wil Wheaton back too. But otherwise, the finale was a bit of a jumble without a unifying theme, which also possibly describes the latter half of the season. After starting with such promise, season two ends with frustration. There simply wasn’t story enough to fill in ten episodes and when it mattered, things got rushed at the end. Binge-watching the season should mitigate some of the issues, but not all of them.
The good news is that season three looks to be a whole new thing, under the management of one showrunner (Terry Matalas), who has a singular vision to give Jean-Luc Picard a proper send-off, with all his Next Generation friends along for the ride.
- This is the third Picard writing credit for Christopher Monfette, who joined in season two as a supervising producer.
- This is the sixth Picard writing credit for executive producer and co-showrunner Akiva Goldsman, who also directed and wrote the teleplay for the series premiere of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, which debuts the same day.
- The two-episode block (209 and 210) were the first Star Trek credits for director Michael Weaver, who has worked as a television director regularly for the last decade after transitioning from over ten years as a cinematographer.
- Picard inserting himself into Tallinn’s transporter was reminiscent of Dr. Gillian Taylor doing the same with James T. Kirk in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
- Renée was still reading The Pallid Son, the Dixon Hill novel she was enjoying in her first appearance in episode four.
- How did Soong get back from France so soon without a transporter? Or did he invent one of those too?
- Renée’s flight suit has a patch for “Earthshine Aerospace,” presumably the maker of the Shango X-1 ship.
- “Project Khan” was dated June 7, 1996. That is the same year TOS established the Eugenics Wars came to an end and Khan Noonien Singh was sent into exile; however, Picard and Strange New Worlds are establishing the Eugenics Wars actually took place after 2024.
- Q’s alone, so where are his Q wife and Q son?
- The address Wesley gave Kore was 460 Lowry Avenue, which is not a real address in Los Angeles. The meeting with Kore took place in Echo Park.
- The map around the “galactic event” included Gideon, Vega, Maxia, Inferna Prime, Fellebia, Pyrithia, 61 Cygni, Altair, Arcturus, Benzar, Teneebia, Draylax, Babel, Alpha Centauri, Sol, Veda, Yadalla, Starbase 1, and Wolf 359. Three of those systems (Maxia, Sol, and Wolf 359) were home to major battles in Picard’s history.
- The galactic event could be seen simultaneously in multiple systems, from light-years away, apparently defying the laws of physics.
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 Fridays on Amazon Prime Video around the world.