The Shuttle Pod Crew Digs For Clues In Episodes 3 & 4 Of ‘Star Trek: Picard’

In this episode of the Shuttle Pod podcast, Brian, Matt, and Kayla sit down to go over the latest two episodes of Star Trek: Picard, representing the end of Act One of the season-long story arc. The crew are enjoying this season, even more than they thought they would, and Kayla has a couple of deep cut clues she may have uncovered in these two episodes. Plus, the crew come up with a very realistic and definitely correct fan theory about the Changelings’ buckets.

Perhaps the most fun clue we uncovered is the provenance of the knife used by Vadic to turn her hand into some kind of Changeling communication device. It reminds us of a certain Reman knife, but it turns out that (at least in non-canon works) the knife isn’t Reman at all… it’s Jem’Hadar. Listen in to find out more!

Relevant images to go along with this week’s podcast:

Picard and Beverly share a moment in sick bay

Two screen grabs, one from Star Trek: Picard and one from Star Trek: Nemesis showing Picard and Beverly having a personal conversation in sick bay.

We loved this scene between Picard and Beverly, showcasing their initial separation both emotionally and physically, which mirrors their behavior from a similar scene in Nemesis.

That alien language looks familiar…

Screen grab of the bomb planted aboard the Titan by the Changeling mole

A familiar language decorates the bomb planted aboard the Titan by the Changeling mole. Namely, it appears to be Dominionese (aka the Vorta language).

Screen grab from the end credits of Picard season 3 showing a diagram of the Shrike and an alien language.

The same alien language as on the Changeling’s bomb appears on a display in the end credits, alongside a diagram of the Shrike.

The dominion emblem on a computer display from Deep Space Nine

The Dominion emblem on a computer display in Deep Space Nine’s “The Dogs of War”.

Come to think of it, so does that knife…

Screen grab from Star Trek Picard episode 4 showing the knife that Vadic used to cut off a chunk of herself

The knife used by Vadic to cut off her hand and use it as a communication device.

The jackal knife is familiar since it was featured prominently in Star Trek Nemesis. It even appeared in the poster as shown here.

Subscribe to our podcasts Podcast Network of Shows Podcast Network All podcasts Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Stitcher
The Shuttle Pod Podcast The original podcast Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Stitcher
All Access Star Trek Podcast All about the Star Trek Universe Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Stitcher

Contribute to our tip jar via Patreon!

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Really am enjoying getting the ShuttlePod crew’s different perspectives this season. The biweekly format revising two episodes is working for me.

A few reactions…

Jack’s reaction as a young teen checking out whether he wants a relationship with Picard is super realistic. I’m glad that they showed that he was trying to understand Picard as part of his own youthful search for identity. There’s a reason though why these kinds of reconnections with unknown or estranged parents and kids often fail – the emotional stakes are at the limit of a teen’s tolerance, and there’s no attachment or context to get over miscommunication.

Thank you sincerely Kayla for flagging Picard’s insistence or intransigence in pushing Riker to stay and attack the Shrike when there was no strategic reason to stay and every tactical reason to evade and escape. I really felt that Picard’s anger and arrogance was at the fore, and that it was he who was responsible for the downward spiral of bad decisions and unprofessional comportment in front of the bridge.

I’m willing to go with the ‘Movie-Picard’ interpretation. The problem is that I greatly admired ‘TNG Picard’ and never liked the change to ‘Movie Picard.’ (I found the dune-buggy scene ridiculous and an egregious waste.)

On Shaw though, I have a very different take. I totally disagree that he hasn’t had therapy or hasn’t done his work. Major PTSD is a chronic diagnosis. Therapy is iterative and new challenges and profound stress can make it resurface. Starfleet has cleared the man to captain in a more structure mission environment, but having the source of his trauma come and take him and his ship into a dangerous situation in which he is personally injured and has to hand over command is a direct hit to the heart of his original trauma.

The fact that he’s functioning at all tells us that he’s had therapy, and has cognitively processed much of his trauma. The fact that he comes to confront the source of his trauma (when under medication for pain) let’s us know he’s still, self-aware, and despite his psychological worst-case scenario, cognitively functioning and doing the work on his trauma that the moment has presented.

I was surprised to hear that Matalas has said Seven has a bit of a nepotistic appointment. I agree that he’s going further than expected in explaining stuff or proactively shutting down fan theories. For me, figuring it out myself and speculating with others is a lot of the fun.

I thought first officer was a bit much for one year into an accelerated officer development program, but placing Seven with a by-the-book captain, who is risk averse and on a ship with a low-risk mission profile makes sense. On his side, perhaps his psychological officer thought that having an X-Borg was a final desensitizing experience he needed, and she’s certainly the kind of technically competent officer he would respect in her specialty.

Great points :-)

One last shoutout to Kayla for digging up the Jackal-knife backstory on Memory Alpha and Beta.

There’s a brief cut, when Seven leaves Shaw after he briefs her on Changings and how to find one, that this makes sense of.

He take out a knife, and starts to sharpen it. Some people on other boards have flagged it as looking like Shinzon’s knife and I think they are right.

Shaw has a Jackal-knife.

What does this tell us?

First, Shaw saw real combat in the Dominion War, and collected a Jem Hadar’s knife, as a trophy perhaps.

Second, he can be a fighter and has managed his PTSD well enough to cope with close combat, and a life or death situation.

Possibly third, perhaps Shaw decided to come clean, get out of his personal spaces (Captain’s wardroom, bridge centre seat, his quarters) to confront the source of his original trauma. He went into Picard’s space, Picard’s simulation on the Holodeck. Certainly, this is the kind of confrontation and desensitization cognitive thriller would encourage.

Originally, I thought it was just Shaw trying to make peace before a likely death, but now I wonder if it was because he understood that the Changelings are truly the threat and that he is personally experienced in confronting them.

*therapist, not thriller.


I know a lot of Starfleet in the decade fought in the Dominion War but just stay with me.

There were assumedly a lot of Starfleet personnel on DS9 that we never saw. What if they put Shaw on the station to serve under Sisko because Sisko had the same trauma and they thought that maybe having that connection would be good for him.

Also surely Ezri Dax wasn’t the only therapist on the station. Especially during the war.

Interesting thoughts!

This didn’t occur to me until now, but did anyone else find it odd to hear Worf explain to Raffi who the Changelings are? Then Shaw did likewise with Seven, elaborating on their “clay-doh” nature and the “pot.”

Shouldn’t all this be common knowledge by this time? I mean, we are talking about the people responsible for a war that cost millions of lives. I would think Raffi, an intelligence agent, and Seven, who as an ex-Borg was always proud of her knowledge of many races, would be familiar with the Changelings.

Anyway, great podcast as always. Thanks!

Agreed, Changelings seem to be common knowledge (Jack knew), gotta just chalk those moments up to “exposition for the audience who might not be up on DS9.”

I assume all that was really for the viewers, since not everybody has watched DS9 (even though they should). But who knows?

Right, though it seems like they could’ve done it with Seven explaining the Changelings to a young ensign. Although, even that might be a stretch.

Seven wasn’t in the Alpha-Beta quadrants during the Dominion War, and her Fenris Rangers experiences would have been in the stateless territories created by the collapse of the Roman Empire.

So, she may be aware of Changelings, but without either Borg files or direct experience.

If the Changelings haven’t been a threat in recent decades, it’s not surprising for Shaw (an apparent vet of that war) to give her tactical guidance and background, especially as her regular command officer.

First, “Roman Empire” made me laugh a lot.

Second, I was under the impression that the Borg didn’t really go into the gamma quadrant myself.

I hate predictive spelling! (facepalm)

I guess I now have to check for whether it retroactively changes ‘Borg’ to ‘Roman’ just because it’s followed by the word ‘Empire.’

I’m but I admit it’s hilarious.

Regardless of Borg knowledge and her distance from the war, Seven would have learned about the Changelings by this point, through her own curiosity about the AQ and simple cultural osmosis. People would be talking about the Founders, Odo, Sisko, DS9, and the war for a long time. Like WW2 and Hitler references on the internet — you will hear about these things.

All they needed to do was show Seven looking for the bucket, a young ensign asks what they’re looking for exactly, she explains, etc.

Not convinced that tactics like hunting down a Changeling’s resting-state container to get the residugoo.

This is specific tactical advice/direction from à commander who’s done it previously. His jackal knife confirms this (see above.).

So, the point here isn’t just to inform unfamiliar audiences, but also to start to let us know that Shaw’s been up close and personal in a Changelin hunt before.

Also, if there’s a Changeling on board, searching the computer for tactical information would risk alerting the Changeling to the search. Same for including an ensign in the search.

The Changeling would already know a search is underway. The jig was up; it knew Jack had seen his face shift.

And if they’re searching an entire ship, they would need more than… one person, which is silly. Just do the old blood tests or whatever else they have for screening.

I am really enjoying this biweekly format, as it does fit the concept of having one director doing a pair of episodes, so you can decompress the director’s work in whole.

So one thing that I question is Shaw’s reaction to Picard versus Shaw’s reaction to a Founder on board. Shaw was really triggered by Picard’s presence due to his survivor’s guilt, and that’s okay, I think that was played quite well. I think this is the first time he really has confronted Picard. I don’t quite understand his glib remarks about a Founder, with clay-do and resi-goo and the like.

The Dominion War was like 1,000 times more devastating to the Alpha Quadrant than what the Borg ever were. The Second Battle of Chin’toka was 10 Wolf 359’s, yet a Founder being on board was like meh. Shaw must have experienced significant loss during the Dominion War, yet that’s not what triggered him, Picard did. Strange.

Another item that struck me was watching The Ready Room episode for the fourth episode. They did a recap of Changelings, and what they were. What struck me most was how conspicuous the mention of the virus, Section 31, and Dr. Bashir curing them was. I thought that they really bolded and underlined those aspects, and I noticed it so much that I wonder if those plot points have an impact in this season of Picard. I’m wondering if we will see Sid reprise his role as Julian Bashir in a small role, perhaps related to Section 31.

Great podcast and great discussion. Glad you’re all enjoying this season as much as me. I think this season has been fantastic so far and I’m gobsmacked at just how good it is. I would liken it to the much loved “All Good Things” but on STERIODS! On it’s current trajectory this could well be IMO, the best season that Star Trek has ever done. We’ll see…

Thanks Brian for calling out Jonathan Frakes. He has been amazing this season and by a country mile, the best I’ve ever seen him.

Another great podcast. This is the dream team, baby! I loved Brian’s tribute to Jonathan Frakes and agree this is the best Riker and the best Star Trek direction — from production, to blocking to the performances he’s getting from his actors.

Regarding Jack Crusher: here’s one thing I picked up that I’ve not heard on your podcast or from Mom and Dad (Tony and Laurie) on “All Access:” when Jack is (inexplicably) seated at the help and calling off the locations of the asteroids in the “Booby Trap” redux segment, he turns to Admiral Picard regarding an upcoming maneuver and says, kinda smugly, “Trust me” regarding when to fire thrusters. To me this screamed, “Oh, BTW, Dad, I’m an augment.” Which gives greater depth to understanding why Beverly kept Jack away from her colleagues and all of Starfleet. It also makes me think that one surprise cameo will be our favorite augment from Deep Space Nine, Doctor Bashir who might now be with Section 31 and anxious to recruit our man, Jack into the black badge service. Well, that’s my tinfoil hat theory anyway. Keep up your great work, as always.

Sorry late to the party with this one.

I’m surprised how many people took Picard’s lobbying, borderline desperation, to attack as dumb movie Picard’s gung-ho mentally. Picard knows Vadic has been chasing Jack and Beverly for months. Well past breaking point and now they don’t even have a ship to run in. It’s also safe to say that he taking Beverly’s assertion that Starfleet is not to be trusted at face value. He knows Vadic will keep chasing Jack after they leave the Nebula. That’s why he wants to attack while he can to remove that threat. He also knows that he’ll likely never be in the same position to help his son with Vadic again.

Sure we expect Captain Picard to put his ship and crew above everything thing else. But the Titan isn’t his ship nor is the Titan’s crew his crew. Plus if three seasons of Picard has taught us anything, Jean-Luc isn’t Captain Picard anymore