[Picard review starts at 05:30 / Strange New Worlds news and review starts at 43:48]
Tony and Laurie start with the latest news from Alex Kurtzman about what might be next for the franchise, straight from the gold carpet at the Strange New Worlds NYC premiere. They discuss Zachary Quinto’s comments about the new Trek movie, the upcoming Paramount+ expansion to the UK and beyond, and Gates McFadden’s comments on the “awesome” TNG reunion coming in Picard season 3.
Then they review the Star Trek: Picard season 2 finale, which was a disappointment to both of them, although they remain optimistic about season 3. After that, a quick look at Strange New Worlds news from our interviews with showrunner Henry Alonso Myers and the cast, and then a full-on review of the series premiere.
Interview: Alex Kurtzman On ‘Section 31,’ ‘Academy,’ And Expanding His Star Trek Universe Beyond Television
Zachary Quinto Unsure ‘Star Trek 4’ Will Shoot This Year
Paramount+ Launching In UK And Ireland In June, Including ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’
Gates McFadden Gives An Update On “Awesome” TNG Reunion In Season 3 Of ‘Star Trek: Picard’
Orchids in Star Trek: Picard season 1
Showrunner Promises A “Totally Different Kirk” For ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’
Interview: Henry Alonso Myers On ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Premiere, Pon Farr, And Going Big
Interview: ‘Strange New Worlds’ Co-Showrunner Henry Alonso Meyers On Updating ‘Star Trek’ Characters
Interview: Rebecca Romijn And Anson Mount On “Taking Big Swings” With ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’
Interview: Christina Chong On How La’an Is (And Isn’t) Like Khan In ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’
Let us know what you think of the episode in the comments, and should you be so inclined, please review us on Apple.
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Picard season 2 made no sense. I can’t believe I actually watched all the episodes. It was just a mess. If anything good comes out of this, it will be that Season 3 with the TNG crew coming back will be good. They say that Rafi and Seven are staying on for season 3. Hopefully they can do a spin off series with Seven as the Captain of the new Stargazer after season 3. But all in all, Picard Season 2 – a real stinker.
Season 2 wasn’t really that hard to get.
I agree with Janus. It wasn’t that it was hard to understand, it was that it made little sense regarding plot and character logic. This wasn’t deep thinky sci-fi to confuse us, it was poorly written, poorly paced nonsense (outside of some good stuff in the first two and last two episodes).
The scene between Q and Picard was wonderful. Showing real and true friendship and love between these two old friends was beautiful. He was dying alone and didn´t want that for his friend. But like you were getting at, that had nothing to do with Renée Picards mission or bringing Soong into it. The only thing linking the Renée storyline with the Yvett storyline was that here were two people who both suffered from mental illness. With Picards guilt about his actions with his mother I would have expected him to interact more with Renée. But they had just that one short scene together and that was it. Him being able to connect with her and help her could have helped him come to terms with what happened to his mother.
And speaking of Soong, what was the point of
SojiKore? We could have had Soong as an evil genius without her. And then her becoming a Traveler seemed more like fan service with Wil Wheaton playing WesleyWil Wheaton. Better to just scrap her entire character after the first episode.
I do wish they would have had something with Seven trying to come to terms with the fact that her friend was becoming, not only a Borg but a Borg Queen.
I had gotten the impression that Q had lost his powers but he could still snap his fingers and get them all back to the future.
All in all I agree with you both. The season started out very well, had some great moments but on the whole left something to be desired.
I also would’ve appreciated more talk about Agnes, both from Seven (who would have struggled with that one for sure, you’re right) and from everyone who cared about her. Now I’m imagining a hilarious scene with Borgati at the bar with them at the end…
Nice Photoshop. I’m thinking Picard should’ve settled on a heartfelt handshake for Q. What was his career homicide total? I will check Mem Alpha.
He didn’t even hug Data!
I’m always happy when someone notices the image at the top… I amuse myself greatly making them.
I love to hear your thoughts on every episode. Lately, with Picard, I found that the general feeling I had was similar to yours, but all the things I liked were the things you didn’t, and vice-versa. It was just weird until this episode, when it finally clicked!
You either buy this journey for Jean-Luc or you don’t. If you’re not invested in those, you stop looking for Star Trek: Picard, and start to look for Star Trek: Agnes Creates Her Own Little Borg Collective, or Star Trek: But Wait, Rios Is a Starfleet Captain… And, of course, you’re right, there is very, very little on this. (On Rios, I think you actually have a point, he should at least show some interest for the fate of Stargazer, although the fate was very clear — it was destroyed with all hands but them; with Agnes and her Borg Cooperative, not really. Why should we learn what Jurati has done for the last 400 years for this story to make more sense?) But the show is really, Star Trek: Picard. So, in trying to get into the mindset of “what were the writers trying to do?,” you must take this into account. Otherwise, your review becomes exactly what it was for 210: “what was interesting was small and fast, what was uninteresting was too much.”
I was invested into Picard’s journey, and this whole thing that there was something really scary in his past that made him who he was, and then this final episode worked very well for me (although I struggled over the season, mostly with the stuff you loved). I think it works very well with who Picard is, and it is NOT just that he never married. What always impressed me much more over the years was that Picard always was the most Vulcan of humans. He repressed his emotions. A lot. We saw him lose it a few times, mainly “Family”, “Generations,” and “First Contact,” but for the most part, Picard was always much more rational and unbreakable than regular humans are. And that ties with his intimacy issues, almost as a corollary. Jean-Luc has been repressing his emotions for many years, so that he could deal with the immense guilt of his mother’s death.
Now all of it makes sense. Before, I couldn’t get why Picard was suitable to meld with Sarek, and always he was so much in control, so serious, so “un-fun,” in every possible way, only rarely losing up (a little). So, I really bought the arc of the season, although I thought it was poorly executed at times. You, as you couldn’t care less for little Jean-Luc’s arc, yes, there is very little to commend at the end of it. It’s mostly “they could have explained this, and developed that,” and so on, everything that was not Picard in the title “Star Trek: Picard”.
With Strange New Worlds, and “Strange New Worlds,” we are pretty much on the same page. Delighted to no end! Looking forward to hearing more from you, guys, both agreeing and disagreeing! Great reviews, always!
Thanks for your feedback! I’m happy if others are enjoying the show, so it’s good to know the emotional stuff resonated with you. Tony is always good about steering us back to what the intention was and the idea that the show is indeed about Jean-Luc Picard. I’m all in for that character, but if you’re going to tell a big story at the same time, the dots have to connect, and here they didn’t. I feel like they could have told that same story in a way that was much more cohesive, but at some point decided that wasn’t a priority. I always try to go along for the ride! But for my money, you can’t have Q furious at Picard, Q pretending to be Renee’s psychiatrist to stop her from flying, Q asking Soong to take care of Renee, etc. without at some point explaining why he did all those things. In fact, I would’ve enjoyed a much longer scene with Q and Picard so we could really unravel what happened. That finale would have been better served stretched out over two episodes to let us really feel that Jean-Luc/Q connection, the history they have together, and what was behind this final shared adventure.
We did talk a lot about Jean-Luc’s arc over the course of the season.
I think your comment about “priority” is the key. For these shows (and I am including Discovery and Picard specifically), the powers that be have decided what they think is the priority. Emotional moments for Michael, or exploring a new dark backstory for Picard, or even smaller things like a scene for Tallin and Renee, or a car chase (to eat up screen time?) for Seven. The other things like plot logic, good flow to the story, interesting or in-character things for our characters to do, fitting in with Star Trek history, expressing any interest in the topics or considerations that these characters should be concerned with as Starfleet officers or lifelong “evolved” Federation citizens, or understanding how these event should have a major impact on the entire future of the Alpha quadrant – those things always take a back seat. So if a viewer lives on and for the “priority” moments, it’s great. The rest, not so much.
I think season 2 is about the same as season 1 for me. The scenes between Picard and Q, like the scenes of Picard and Data, will stick in my memory as something nice to watch, and… I’ll forget all the rest. Not just because it was bad (for a variety of reasons) but mostly because it was so muddled I genuinely struggle to remember what the heck happened. Probably due to how the writers mapped out the season.
Another great pod. You really do your best to put a positive spin, but this time you haven’t been able to do it. No one can keep saying nice things forever about something that doesn’t deserve it.
We keep trying to look at the isolated scenes which really don’t have anything to do with the whole story; “Hey, that Picard and X scene was nice.” But the overall picture is very disappointing.
I think Tony let slip what he thought of the show “That was just stupid”.
At the end of the day, especially for the “Why so negative?” group, is that if this is the quality of writing we can expect from the ST crew, they are failing badly. If the showrunners think this is going to bring new fans to the show, they are very much mistaken at the same time as if by throwing in isolated fan service and easter eggs like Wheaton, the travelers, movie theme tunes and other stuff, you are going to please legacy fans the end result will be angry ones.
But I understand, they have done it to Star Wars, Doctor Who and now ST.
Fortunately, the writing and story on SNW was much better, but since it is a reboot in all but name of TOS, it was a great throwback to the 90s.
Who was it that spoiled (or theorized) that Will Wheaton would be in the finale? I read it somewhere but can’t remember were?
I give a rating for Picard season 2 a 3/10. And that’s being kind. WHAT WERE THEY THINKING???
I did the same on IMDB, Tiger. 3/10. Disgraceful.
I ended up giving the episodes (from 1-10) the following scores – 8 7 6 5 5 4 2 2 5 and 7 for an average of 5.1. Maybe my first two scores and the finale score were too high but i did actually like the finale.
As for SNW so far 9/10!
I seem to be one of the few people here who enjoyed Picard season 2. It worked for me and was the first season of a Paramount+ live action Trek that i liked all the way through. That said, it could have been 4 episodes shorter and told the same story more effectively probably.
I really agree with Tony here that given all the time that they had to craft a season of scripts due to COVID, it’s inexcusable. A coherent but poor season would have been better than a pastiche.
I find it incredible that Matalas basically checked out halfway through and moved on to season three, but also take that as a measure of his sense that he didn’t have the power to rework season two into coherence.
Meanwhile, Goldsman seems to have genuinely put his creative heart into SNW, the project he championed.
Very pleased to hear that you give SNW the thumbs up, not just for the opening episode but essentially the first half of the season and I look forward to catching the series when it becomes available here in the UK towards the end of June.
In contrast, I was initially surprised at the degree to which you were both dissatisfied with Picard, but having listened to your comments, particularly “was it all worth it”, I completely understand. For the record, I enjoyed the season overall and like almost everyone thought that the first 2-3 episodes were absolutely outstanding. I agree it did meander a bit in 2024 and some aspects of the story didn’t make sense but for me the finale was redeemed by the “why me” scene between Picard and Q. John de Lancie has been outstanding in this series and as an actor has that rare x-factor quality, in which he manages to make every scene absolutely riveting. Part of me hopes that if S3 is indeed the final voyage for the TNG cast then somehow the writers find a way to include him one more time.
This was an incredibly great review of season 2 of picard. What a mess. I was so desperate to like it. Desperate! Excusing this and excusing that, but in the end ugh. With so many good shows out there with amazing tight writing and complex deep story lines you can’t shift to this and appreciate it. Even for good old friends. I’m so frustrated that something so precious to so many of us with so mishandled. What a loss.
I get it. I really wanted to like it too.
As for SNW being analogous to today, I thought the connection was just as much about the return of the cold war between the west and Russia along with the danger of nuclear war as it was about US internal politics.
Tony (since you have tried hard to figure out their time travel mess);
Any thoughts on Guinan at the end and going back to the whole, “her not recognizing Picard in the beginning of the season because Q had altered the timeline”….yet at the end she thanks Picard for setting her straight about Humanity, but NOT anything about her encounter with Picard in Time’s Arrow?
Did that encounter now not happen in the Prime Timeline? If that is the case, it pretty much totally unravels Data’s existence after he loses his head in the 1880’s doesn’t it? Or does that two part episode just now not exist? And then what about her “special” relationship with Picard and her acknowledging it after they returned in to the 24th century in Times Arrow?
I am COMPLETELY befuddled about this. I was surprised you didn’t mention this BIG one (at least to me) because in your review after episode 3 (I think) you were trying very hard to figure that plot point out, even mentioning how the shows writer tried to explain why she didn’t recognize Picard. Now that we are in Prime Timeline, shouldn’t she remember both 21st century and 19th century encounters? Especially with her ability to “sense” across time?
I pretty much agree with everything you both said about the different things that never added up and the season as a whole. Boy am I praying hard for Season 3 to genuinely be a “Proper”-ly written send off.
I did mention that as soon as the rocket took off they were in the prime time line again. What that means is if he had the time to go to the bar in 2024 she would have remembered times arrow because the timeline had been restored.
I did catch you saying that once the rocket took off, the timeline was restored and I agree. Here is my hang up, I went back and re-watched the scene (again) to make sure I heard it right, Guinan says to Picard “I also just want to thank you for setting me straight at first”. Why would she thank him for that, if she was fully aware of everything that happened from “Time’s Arrow” at that point now in the 25th century, as Time’s Arrow was full of her awareness of how humanity turned out after the 19th century?
That is why I have an issue with what you said about if he had the time to go back to the bar in 2024 she would have remembered.
I am guessing this is a rabbit hole that is, like so many others they made, is probably not worth bothering you, or me, thinking about further.
That being said, Time’s Arrow is one of my favorite TNG Episodes that I have gone back an re-watched many times over the years, so I guess that why this does bother me so much.
Onward and forward to what I totally agree with you and Laurie about Strange New Worlds Series Premiere being right up their with DS9 and Voyager’s. Very excited about this new series. What I think, will bring lots of new fans to the Star Trek world, as it is the only Star Trek of any kind, my Partner (total non sci-fi person) has enjoyed outside of the first Kelvin movie.
As I said on the pod they did not tie up everything related to the time travel logic well at all. So yes this is a rabbit hole that’s probably filled more with head cannon than with real cannon and it may not be worth digging any deeper. Because I’m pretty sure there is nothing to be found in the hole. I will say this about Guinan, she has a unique form of awareness. I do believe that in the 25th century she’s aware of both timeliness. So the prime version of her probably not only remembered times arrow but also became aware of the actions of the alternate timeline and her interactions with JLP in 2024. And those could have helped with her perceptions of humanity and earth. That is what she was talking about when she said setting her straight because she had become jaded and disillusioned.
But again, if this were all a finally tuned time travel adventure we wouldn’t have been as critical of it as we were on the pod which is why we kind of didn’t dive into the hole because there’s nothing in the hole
Yeah, that is the only way I can figure this. After Picard S2, 25th century Guinan remembers both timelines. But, boy, what a mess this time travel was…
Hi Tony and Laurie,
I have no idea what the season was about. I stayed on as long as I did because your podcast attempted to make sense of the story. In fact, the no shoes and twirling mustache jokes made me laugh. I found your podcasts to be more interesting and entertaining than S2 of Picard. I am not one who has a strict definition of Star Trek, but this was not recognizable as Star Trek. It had no sense of wonder, no sci-fi mystery, and it had no coherent message. I am not considering S2 canon and I am going to ignore the entire season. But like you two, I am going to remain hopeful for S3 because Worf and Geordi are coming back. I miss those guys.
I loved it. I have watched it three times. I wasn’t able to connect emotionally with S2 Picard characters, but the premier already has me loving Pike’s crew. I was blown away. The Big E is back and she’s magnificent. The engineering deck had a lot of TAS influence. And yes TAS is canon in my head.
When they said “warp bomb”, my thought was a non technobabble way of saying, “matter-antimatter bomb” that gave off a warp signature.
Everyone kept asking how they reverse engineer warp technology from what they observed. My head canon says that they were already experimenting with matter-antimatter, so they were further inspired to push development. They must of had a telescope that can register different signatures like the Hubble Space Telescope and drew inspiration from their observations.
I like how Pike described the society of Kiley279 as at a flashpoint. I remember in TOS Spock said something about parallel development of planets. That was a nice touch and call back to TOS. .
I loved the message. It was on the nose, but TOS/TNG was too. Frankly, we need a wake up call on this planet. So, I loved how Pike put it in a blunt way.
I am not bothered by Spock and T’Pring. I know Ethan is not Nimoy Spock yet. He is still trying to evolve to that point. In S1 Disco, we saw a Vulcan extremist, Sarek married a human wife, in the Kelvin universe, Sarek told Spock he married his wife because he loved her, and ENT had the sect that embraced emotions. For me, not all Vulcans follow logic to the extremes. Some embrace their emotions at times, others are disgusted by the showing of emotions. Vulcan is a diverse place, we just do not get to see those Vulcans all the time. Maybe they are a small minority.
Spock: Captain, where are my pants?
Pike: Spock are you naked?
Spock: No captain.
T’Pring: We were about to be.
I loved this episode. It was fun, optimistic, sciency, and it had exploration. This is going to be a great ride.
Keep up the good work on the podcast.
Thank you for the very kind words You’re making us blush
No kidding! Blushing here too. So glad you’re enjoying the podcast, and overall I am really happy reading all these comments. We have struggled with the season and only wished we liked it more. Glad people are open-minded about our opinions and get where we’re coming from.
Hi Tony and Laurie,
In terms of the Picard finale, I think I liked it a little better than you both did. But, I can see your points as well. In terms of the season itself, I could follow it OK. But I’ve never been a huge fan of let’s go back to modern day earth thing. May work for an episode or two, but I don’t think it works for an entire season. Also, back in the day when you had 26 episode, you could afford some clunkers form time to time. But when you only have 10 episodes that are highly serialized it tends to stand out more. Seems like they could have done more to push the story forward in the middle of the season. Not sure why they didn’t. I wonder sometimes how much filming under COVID restrictions has an effect on this. Not being there I can’t be sure, but it wouldn’t surprise me. As far as Strange New Worlds go, I’m totally on board with that. Really enjoyed the first episode. Didn’t mind that the story was simple since they had to introduce the characters. Especially for those who have no idea as to the history of the franchise. To me, it really had TOS vibes. Brought back some old memories of watching TOS on WPIX back in the early 70’s. In black and white no less. Guess I stuck around. Anyway, keep up the good work as always. I look forward to your podcast every Friday. Take care.