Note: this article was written by TrekMovie contributors who have not seen advanced screeners and have only seen the first four episodes of Star Trek: Picard Season 3.
Episode four (“No Win Scenario“), along with a follow-up clarification, confirmed one of the leading fan theories that Vadic (and her gang) are Changelings, part of the larger group of shapeshifters like the one captured by Worf and Raffi on M’Talas Prime and the mole who took over Ensign Foster on the USS Titan. As described by Worf, they are all part of the splinter group of Changelings upset over the Dominion War, not aligned with the Founders in the Great Link who ended the war after being cured by Odo from the morphogenic virus manufactured by Section 31. Episode 4 also introduced a new character and mystery involving Vadic that has launched a new round of speculation. Once again, we will run through some fan theories and a few of our own, ranging from highly plausible to totally crazy. This analysis may contain potential spoilers.
Who is “The Face”?
Among the many developments (Jack’s weird vision, Shaw’s backstory, and of course space babies!) in “No Win Scenario” was the revelation that Vadic was not—as we’d been led to believe—the season’s ultimate big bad, but in fact was working for another, shadier figure. Referred to in the end credits simply as ‘The Face,” it’s a shadowy morphed version of this individual we only saw when Vadic cut her hand off (gross btw) in some form of weird Changeling communication system. The Face instructed Vadic to return to the nebula and capture Jack Crusher, regardless of any risk to the Shrike, its crew, or Vadic herself.
But who is it? And what do they want? Let’s start with the most obvious answer…
The simplest answer to this question is that Vadic’s boss is another Changeling, her superior within the terrorist faction that Worf described in episode three. As discussed in previous speculation articles, it’s possible that some members of this faction are still suffering from the morphogenic virus released by Section 31 during the Dominion War who never got the cure because they weren’t part of the Great Link. This explains the masks on some of them and Vadic’s scars; her boss could be suffering from even more of its effects. What isn’t clear is why he wants Jack Crusher alive so badly, to the point that Vadic and her crew expendable. It’s possible there is something inside Jack that can cure them. The leader could be a familiar character, like the Female Changeling that was in charge of the war effort for the Founders. For what it’s worth, though, she did get cured by Odo before being incarcerated by the Federation at the end of the war. Previously we have mentioned Laas, who was last seen leaving DS9 to seek out other members of “The Hundred” to create a new Great Link. It’s worth mentioning that Laas linked with Odo in the seventh season episode “Chimera,” which means that he was definitely infected. So if a new link was indeed formed, it would’ve infected them all as well.
The Changelings are notoriously xenophobic with a general disdain for all “solids” so the suspect list could begin and end with the Changelings. However, we know that this is a smaller splinter group and so maybe they have aligned themselves with others. The captured Changeling said he was working with other “like-minded” people who had it in for the Federation. This could include non-Changelings. It is also possible “The Face” is manipulating the Changelings or even posing as a Changeling. So with that in mind, let’s take a look at more suspects…
The ultimate TNG villains have been mentioned quite a few times in season 3. The status of the Borg in the 25th century is a bit unclear, but in season 1, Jurati said the Borg “have been effectively decimated, functionally hobbled.” Presumably, this is due to Admiral Janeway’s release of a neurolytic pathogen (in the Voyager series finale) that had a devastating effect still evident years later (as seen on Star Trek: Prodigy). The necrotic look of Vadic’s boss could be the result of Janeway’s pathogen. In episode four, Shaw indicated the Borg are still a threat, saying, “Forget all that weird shit on the Stargazer, the real Borg are still out there,” referring to the Borg faction created by the Jurati/Queen hybrid last seen on the USS Stargazer in the season 2 finale. Shaw also reminded us all that Jean-Luc Picard led the Borg at the Battle of Wolf 359 as Locutus. It could be that there is a part of Locutus inside of Jack that the Borg need (because Picard himself is now technically an android). One last clue is that the final scene of episode 4, when Jack has another “red” vision, is a copy of the opening scene of Star Trek: First Contact when Picard has a nightmare about his Borg implants returning.
Joining other players on the field of suspects are the Remans, first seen in Star Trek: Nemesis, a movie that has been referenced a few times already this season. The big new clue is the knife used by Vadic to cut off her hand was a Reman “jackal knife” which featured prominently on the Nemesis teaser poster. In the movie, Picard’s clone (and Reman leader) Shinzon uses a jackal knife to cut into his hand to provide a DNA sample. Certainly, the skull-like visage of Vadic’s boss has a resemblance to Remans. In episode three, it was revealed that two years after the events of Nemesis, Reman assassins intercepted the Enterprise-E and held a disruptor to the head of Captain Picard. Later, Picard was put in charge of helping Romulan refugees before the Romulan star went supernova in 2387, presumably also destroying the Reman home planet. While there was a lot of talk about Picard’s Romulan relocation effort, there has been no mention of the Federation coming to the aid of the Remans, so they might be holding a grudge. Also, the Changeling captured by Worf attempted to pin the entire conspiracy on the Romulans, the longtime oppressors of the Remans. There is definitely enough here to consider them a reasonable bet. If you want to look into the extended Trek universe, the Remans were (along with the Romulans) the antagonists in last year’s Star Trek: Picard Stargazer comic from IDW that bridged the gap between seasons 2 and 3. And going even deeper into non-canon territory, a short story in the 2004 collection Tales of the Dominion War describes Shinzon getting his jackal knife from a dead Jem’Hadar during the Dominion War.
It would be totally random to think that Data’s evil twin Lore is Vadic’s boss if we didn’t already know that Brent Spiner is returning for season 3 to play Lore. One of the pre-season 3 “Star Trek Logs” revealed that after the events of The Next Generation, Lore was stored at Daystrom. And in episode 3, Worf and Raffi figure out that the Changeling conspiracy stole something from Daystrom that was their real objective, with the portal weapon serving as a distraction. It’s quite plausible that somehow Lore was working with the Changelings from inside his captivity; teaming up with bad guys is kind of his thing. On TNG, he worked with the Crystalline Entity and the Borg. Now freed, he could be using this “Face” in his communications. Obscuring his identity on the show until a later reveal would be the same trick they used for Worf, who started out as Raffi’s unseen handler, “seen” only through text messages.
No list of evil suspects is complete with the Federation’s boogeymen, Section 31, who were knee-deep in the Dominion War. The (supposedly) secret covert group was mentioned by Sneed earlier in the season, before the Ferengi gangster lost his head, but what if that was a subtle warning that the shady organization is playing a part in the bigger story? This rogue group aligned with (but not controlled by) Starfleet was responsible for the virus that took down the Founders, with the cure being the key to their ultimate surrender. Could Section 31 be using that, or a new strain of it, to control Vadic and the other Changelings? Are they being used as part of a larger plan, possibly a coup? The use of “The Face” could be a way for Section 31 to obscure their involvement. Although he died in the final season of DS9, it’s possible another version of Luther Sloan himself is involved, potentially a clone, android version, or evil AI simulation, possibly linked to Section 31’s Control AI from Discovery. If the endgame is an attack on Federation Day, could they be planning to use that as a false flag attack? It’s hard to put any nefarious plan past these guys, so they are still on our radar.
A nebulous sinister figure manipulating other bad guys into attacking Starfleet? Does this all sound familiar? This whole schtick is right up the alley of “Future Guy,” aka the “Humanoid Figure” and big bad of the Temporal War arc from Star Trek: Enterprise. This season has already had some big connections to Enterprise, including the presumed planned attack coming on Frontier Day, which celebrates the launch of Jonathan Archer’s NX-01 mission. Showrunner Terry Matalas worked on Enterprise and would be very familiar with the 28th-century mystery villain that beamed back genetic information to help the Sulliban for his own nefarious (and yet unclear) purposes. His identity was never revealed and after the Temporal Cold War arc was wrapped up in Enterprise’s final season, Future Guy remains one of those unresolved Trek mysteries. We know that Terry Matalas is a time-travel aficionado and while he has said that season 3 doesn’t involve time travel like season 2, would temporal phone calls via Vadic’s “hand phone” count?
Could the master manipulator behind this season be the same one voted the ultimate Star Trek villain? Gul Dukat was integral to the Dominion War, allying himself and the Cardassian Union with the Founders. By the end of the war, Dukat had moved on to seeking even more power by aligning himself with the Pah-Wraiths, becoming their emissary, an evil counterpart to Benjamin Sisko, Emissary of the Prophets. Dukat was last seen in the Deep Space Nine finale defeated by Sisko and trapped in the Fire Caves of Bajor along with the other Pah-Wraiths. So this is sort of a “somehow Palpatine returned” theory that Dukat somehow escaped and has been plotting his revenge for over two decades. His time in the Fire Caves could have altered his appearance, or he uses “The Face” as a mask when communicating; he did use cosmetic surgery before to make himself look like a Bajoran. Dukat got a shout-out in season 2 as one of the skulls on display in General Picard’s fascist universe trophy room. Like Lore, Dukat has aligned himself with bad guys before, but maybe he’s figured out a way to turn the tables this time and has these Changelings reporting to him. It’s not the craziest theory out there, and actor Marc Alaimo is out there at age 80 (2 years younger than Sir Patrick Stewart).
One last left-field suggestion has come up from the fans. It might be a bit crazy, but doesn’t “The Face” look and sound a little like that Armus, the evil oil slick from Vagra II who killed Tasha Yar? We know he was pissed after the USS Enterprise-D destroyed the shuttle and left him stranded way back in season 1 of The Next Generation, but maybe the last straw was when the USS Cerritos ensigns crew taunted him with a submanifold casting stone more recently on Lower Decks. Has he now decided to seek revenge and destroy The Federation? Okay, probably not, but it’s fun to speculate.
What say you?
Do you think Vadic’s boss is one of these suspects or do you have another suggestion? Sound off in the comments below.
The third and final season of Picard premiered on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023, exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S., and Latin America, and on February 17 Paramount+ in Europe and elsewhere, with new episodes of the 10-episode-long season available to stream weekly. It also debuted on Friday, Feb. 17 internationally on Amazon Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories. In Canada, it airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave.
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I doubt any Founder would lower themselves to be working for another species to begin with.
But if it’s the Remans anyway, then I would suspect the reason Jack Crusher is so important to them is because he’s not actually Beverly’s kid but Shinzon 2.0.
I think they wouldn’t consider negotiating “working for” another species. A fair trade – Borg get AI that eliminates the need for organic life, the Founders get the Borg to commit to destroy the Federation for them. And for the Borg, if AI = life now, who needs organics? Assimilation would be irrelevant, since they could now construct AI entities with imagination, something not even V’ger could achieve.
I don’t think a deal would be considered working for someone such as if the Borg get AI that eliminates the need for organic life, the Founders get the Borg to destroy the Federation for them.
That’s weird because I had that same thought. What if Jack is Shinzon’s son and not Picard’s?
Why’s Beverly so convinced he’s her son though? Is she a changeling? I’d think she’d remember if she had sex or been raped or artificially implanted by Shinzon.
It’s more likely she’d be a massive liar for reasons yet to be divulged.
What if Jack is a Changeling that replaced the real Jack Crusher?
If that’s true he would have to have some kind of amnesia cause he clearly does not know it.
It could explain his visions.
What if a changeling pretending to be Picard impregnated Beverly? So in essence it is her son but not Picard’s, though she believes it to be? And what if his DNA resulted in the new changeling capabilities?
how bout the guy vadic is taking orders from is “Future Guy” from Enterprise and somehow this has to play into the temporal cold war?
or did we ever figure out who the matrix like monsters were in season 1 were? that was a setup that went no where….maybe its them?
I expected the “Higher Synthetics”, or ancient synths, from PIC season one to be listed here honestly. But it seems like those higher synths wouldn’t align themselves with Changelings knowing that their original goal was to wipe out all biological lifeforms.
Cyrus Redblock. CYRUS REDBLOCK!!!
Still looking for the item after all these years.
Jack is having red creature visions…..so, Future Guy is actually a gal. Captain Burnham is time traveling again.
I would love it if they brought Michael Burnham into the TNG era and it would annoy all the Star Trek haters too.
She reunites with Georgio in the 25th century. Sit back and watch the heads of all the folks who feel that straight white men are horribly underrepresented in Trek explode.
I would love that
That would be so delicious.
If it annoys that segment of the fanbase it is, by definition, delicious.
Didn’t Ducat have red eyes when he was possessed?? I feel like the finale of DS9 with the pah wraiths and prophets and maybe even Sisco (one can hope) enters in here.
Whatever they go with is fine by me, but since season 1 focused a lot on Romulans and season 2 focused alot on the Borg, I figure the writers would want to differentiate season 3 a bit and go in a different direction.
Agreed! I think it’s something else. Probably a new old character.
What if it’s the emergent consciousness from the Enterprise D’s computer.
As the Enterprise depended on Picard for its guidance and direction; the Enterprise’s offspring may want to merge with Picard’s offspring for similar guidance and direction. It’s seeking to become the next generation of it’s ancestry in the only way it understands.
That would be cool but I don’t think they are that creative!
@amirami: Did you forget the Burn? That was a very creative idea, but I remember most people didn’t like it. And I don’t think that this Ent-D-Computer-idea would we well received. Also it just could be seen as the classic evil computer trope. And we had that a couple of times…
The source of “The Burn” was basically the only thing I liked about that season’s story. It was a very ‘Star Trek’ reveal, reminded me of the kind of thing TOS would do.
Because it sucked and was stupid. ‘Creative’ still have to make a lick of sense. Nothing about the source of the Burn did. If they at least made the alien someone with super powers like a Q would’ve at least come off more credible. A crying Kelpian kid was just dumb.
So what you’re saying is… it was classic Star Trek lol. That was the BEST idea that the season had, hands down. Perhaps even of DSC entirely as a series.
This is what happens when fans get pretentious and their rose-colored glasses get fogged up. lol
Welcome to…. The Matrix.
I’m thinking these Changeling aren’t actually ‘Rogue’ but are being controlled by another force which haven’t been seen for centuries who are also the reason why Vadic has the same red scar that Sneezy Sneed the Ferengi had too.
The other force wants revenge because of something the Federation did many years ago. This ties in with 250th anniversary of Starfleet a.k.a Captain Archers and Crew first exploration mission.
Armus infected Changeling
The most likely answer is “none of the above ” Nerdy theories are fun, but her boss is likely a new character/organization.
It’s all fan service this season, so why not “all of the above”?
The face sort of reminds me of TNG season 2’s Nagilum from the episode Where Silence Has Lease. Long shot but when I saw it, sort of looked a bit like him.
I can see this too.
Nagilum was the stuff of nightmares. why not?
They already did Nagilum at the end of season 2 with Jurati’s horrible cgi borg face reveal.
But Nagilum wasn’t particularly upset at the end of WSHL, were they? Seems like an unlikely revenge candidate.
Definitely Armus. He was the likely the trash taken out by the Great Link anyway.
He was a Shiiiiffffffffttttttteeeeerrrrrrrr!!
I like the Armus theory (though unlikely). That could be the tie in that the show runners have said for Tasha Yar.
I’ve been always floating around the idea that Yesterday’s Enterprise Tasha never actually died and she is holding a grudge against Picard for sending her back in time with the Enterprise C. Hence the “Red Lady”.
Picard did not send her back in time. She asked to go, and she had to convince him to grant her request.
Yes. This has been a nitpick of mine for years. Fans all talk about it like he ordered her, but that’s based solely on the line from Redemption, when Guinan says “you sent her there” and places Sela’s existence as his responsibility.
But in the episode, that’s not how it goes down AT ALL.
Yeah that’s true but resentment over the decades can skew ones memory of events
I feel like we need to pay attention to the “red” element here. From the start of the season Red is extensively used in certain parts, especially regarding the bad guys or violent events. Even the changelings seem to have a red tint to them. We need to see or try to analyze which species in Trek has previously used red as extensively. The Romulans were usually associated the color green and the Borg were more metallic grey and green too. The closest to warm colors were the orange and red hues of the klingons or the red used by the Tholians. Maybe the tholians are the ultimate bad guys.
Klingon leadership appears to wear red. Remember Gorkon’s and Chang’s costumes.
It would be really out there if they somehow try to connect Amanda Plummer’s character with her fathers character of Chang in some way.
Especially since Klingons in TUC had pink blood to keep the movie from being R rated.
Red….angel? Say hello to time traveling Captain Burnham.
No no we’re all wrong. Her bosses are tribbles. (Joke)
Funny that you had to specify that you were making a joke…
People might take me seriously even though I clearly wasn’t being
Especially since it’s NOT a joke. The big bad ARE tribbles–and they’re led by Edward.
On a half serious note, how do we know that her bosses aren’t one of their former subordinate species. It’s over, Founders, the Jem’Hadar are giving the orders now.
Revenge of the Hortas….
Yes, my biggest Trek crush, a rock creature. May he get his revenge.
Yes. I. Kill.
The Horta was female. She laid eggs.
I was being sarcastic because I assumed that horta was typed instead of vorta. So when I said he, I was thinking about Weyoun.
Never assume. The Hortas are rocking and rolling and revenging across the galaxy.
Like a rock. I was strong as I could be. Like a rock. Nothin ever got to me….
Honestly I think it’s another Changeling. Someone we might of never seen before.
This isn’t an English exam. Don’t be rude.
As much as I hate it when people say that, it’s really pointless to correct grammar on anonymous message boards. You never know when someone is a non-native speaker, first of all.
There’s another commenter here who is clearly a non-English speaker, and while some of their comments can be confusing, i’ve seen some replies get downright nasty because it might not always make sense. Despicable.
Poor grammar, first of all, is not a sign of poor intelligence. At worst, it’s poor education. Other times, it’s just quick thoughtlessness. We’re not writing scholarly papers here.
Exactly. Someone can know the correct grammar but make written mistakes due to a learning disability. There’s also regional differences in English grammar, as well as classism and racism about what is “correct”. Then there’s the evolving aspect of English grammar which takes cues from how grammar is used, and not the other way around like many other languages, meaning that incorrect grammar can become correct with time. Sometimes people use incorrect grammar on purpose to set a casual tone. Commenting on someone’s grammar is derailing too (as seen here).
I might add, that in my personal experience of being corrected and then double checking the rules, about half of corrections are also wrong. People follow rules too strictly and then lord over others to make themselves feel smarter.
Pah Wraiths is a possibility. And the cut off hand gives them the ability to manifest in real form. Although it’s most likely Lore. They only have 6 episodes left and there’s already so much known stuff they have yet to introduce.
Jack being Shinzon 2.0 is something I tweeted about a long time ago. Maybe he’s a clone, stabalized with ‘mother’ DNA and implanted in Beverly.
All in all I still think the big-bad might be an Anti-Federation, comprised of several Federation ennemies, possibly led by… ?
I looked up the word “vadic” in Serbo-Croatian on Google translate, and it came back as “extractor.” Maybe there are native Serbs/Croats who can comment further. (The word sounds Serbian to me, and I keep pronouncing it “vadich.” I don’t speak Serbo-Croatian, alas.)
They did a similar trick with “Qowat Milat,” which means “strength of the nation” in Persian.
Macedonian here, with a Serbian mother. There’s no word like that in that language.
But the word Vadic, more precisely Vadich, (Вадич) is a puller/extractor in Bulgarian.
Still think it could be Sela, we have had a few Yesterday Enterprise references and she certainly has an axe to grind.
I know the producers already said Sela is not returning, Denise Crosby has said she is not in the season and Matalas said there is only a ‘nod’ to Tasha this season, but all the clues to me are pointing to Sela (perhaps because I’m seeing what I want to see!).
The attack on the starfleet recruitment centre coincided with the Rachel Garrett statue (the red lady), linking to Yesterdays Enterprise – Sela’s origin story.
With so many next next generation cast members (Picard and Crusher’s son, Geordi’s daughter, Riker and Troi’s loss of their son Thad has featured) the daughter of Tasha Yar would fit that thematically.
And sentimentally, bringing Denise back for the last hoorah feels correct. ,
I’m assuming that Vulcanoid (i.e. Vulcan, Romulan, or Mintakan) with a mutilated right ear in the “Imposter” trailer is a critical clue.
Maybe Vadic is suffering from a form of multiple personality disorder and for a changeling that means morphing a manifestation of that new personality. Maybe that is what the Face is.
As much as I would like representation of DID in Trek, I’m kinda tired of that trope. All of my personalities are rather cool people and they just help me cope with all of my trauma.
So, ‘tell it to the hand’ might have multiple meanings?
Redjac. :) TOS “Wolf in the Fold” has all your answers.
I think the method of communication is the giveaway that it’s a Changeling. Why would she not communicate through regular channels if it wasn’t? By cutting her own hand off, she severs that bit of her from “her” for the moment, allowing it to “become” or connect to the link. When the communication is over, she reabsorbs it, making it “her” again.
My theory is the Duras family and their Romulan friends (maybe led by Sela) are behind it. I’m presuming Toral is still alive and I remember one of the Dursa sisters was pregnant. The whole thing seems personal and they have an axe to grind with Picard as he ruled against them as arbiter of succession and thwarted their efforts to overthrow the Klingon empire. The knife that Vadic used looked Klingon and that got me thinking.
Hmm… but you DID read the article, specifically mentioning Vadic’s Reman “jackal knife,” right?
The knife is Reman.
If Shinzo got the knife from a Jem Hadar (picking up from beta-canon), then it connects back to the Dominion.
This production design team and writers room is definitely familiar with both Star Trek Online and the Relaunch Novelverse. There are many fillips of design, plot and character arcs that are being pulled into prime continuity in onscreen canon from gamma and beta.
It seems clear that the writers view the alternate universes of STO and the novels as part of an intertwined multiverse. It’s not just the alternate universe that we and Picard saw in the TNG series finale All Good Things that is being woven in.
What’s funny is that the Reman knife in question wasn’t even created for Star Trek, and was basically just a stock fantasy knife used on other shows, most notably Buffy the Vampire Slayer, well before Nemesis.
Not saying it can’t mean something to the story, but just thought it was a fun factoid.
I’d heard this too.
We’ll have to see how this plays out.
If you google “Buffy Vampire Slayer Knife” you’ll see it plenty! It was apparently a key prop throughout the series (which I never watched).
What about Moriarty? Could his simulation cube been stored at Daystrom Station and that along with mobile holo-emitter tech would allow Moriarty to finally escape into the real world. Since he was created to be able to defeat Data, he would be a real advantage to the villains. Could Lore have been reactivated by Section 31 years before and be working with (sort of) Starfleet? The early pics show him in some sort of Starfleet like uniform. Thing to think about…
I thought that Moriarty might be employed by our heros to eventually stop Lore. If he was created to be able to stop Data, why not use him against Data’s brother?!
The idea that Jack may be carrying some form of borg nano probes courtesy of Picard is intriguing. After all, the first time we see this vision he is looking up at Seven.
I’m telling you, it’s Sela. We got a Rachel Garret reference, and then a loving closeup of an Enterprise-C (or other ambassador-class) model.
Love the Reman theory! Sounds like fun. But, Occam’s Razor has a good probability of applying.
I don’t see any of these theories panning out. The most laughable one is Dukat, how big of a letdown would that be? Dukat is Sisko’s enemy, not Picard. It would be like if the Joker was finally taken down by Superman…. not satisfying.
Agreed. There is no good reason for Dukat to have a grudge against Picard or Jack. If anything he would want Jake Sisko.
You are totally right: Jack Crusher is another Picard Clone. It’s the only reasonable answer and I have seen that mentioned on here before and it is totally what happened. Beverly lied about where he came from (how the F does a 50 something year old accidently get pregnant by a 70 year old dude in the future? He’s a clone, she found him, bought him…..whatever…..and he has something in his DNA/blood/whatever that ‘they’ want.
Can we discuss the deageing the crew experienced in Insurrection?
Why, are your nipples perky?
Maybe Section 31 tried to kill the rogue Changeling faction. Lore has the ability to help them but will only do so if they capture Jack Crusher. Somehow Lore needs Jack Crusher, who is somehow tied in to the assimilation virus that the Borg Queen was developing for “highly resistant species.” Or maybe Lore is trying to contact the multi-galaxy artificial life civilization and the rogue Changelings help stop Lore when they figure out the real plan. As good a guess as any.
Paramount put a video on YouTube yesterday titled :”Founders: The History of the Changelings,” and the thumbnail shows Odo and, yes, Laas. Might be a coincidence. Might not be.
If it isn’t, Laas had better be played by J.G. Hertzler, and he’d better be credited as Garman Hertzler.
Deep cut! And I remember his alternative SAG credit naming there too!
I’m not going to speculate because I am ALWAYS wrong lol. But all these theories are fun. I would never think the Borg but that Jack looking at himself in the mirror scene did give me pause.
I still don’t get the “crack attic” look for her character with the so overdone “biker chick knife fight gone horribly wrong” ridiculously overdone scars?
Can you imagine the fan outrage here if JJA had this cardboard baddie in one of his Trek movies? Lol, Picard = Free Pass.
I do agree that there are overdone or just weak tropes that are getting a free pass for this season of Picard.
I also agree that it’s worth posing the question why.
On one hand, as a 12 Monkeys fan, I can say that Matalas can remake and rework clunky genre tropes into something coherent and amazing.
On the other hand, some of the tropes and writing mechanics that elevate the main cast (especially Picard and Jack) at the expense of the Titan crew (and even Riker) are not just transparent but undermine the overall story.
In Discovery, when Burnham or Tilly are advanced at the expense of other characters, the YouTubers cry foul, and bad writing. They were very likely the guys calling out Wesley for occasionally getting a win in TNG. When Jack keeps saving the day, and Titan’s officers are left looking like deer in the headlights, only stating what can’t work, offering no insights, ideas or solutions, we don’t hear the same.
(Personally, I strongly dislike this forced-fit to manufacture situations, where only Burnham or Tilly or Jack, having come up with the viable solution, in both shows.)
So is it the Y chromosome that makes the difference for them? Is it because he looks 35 going on 40 even though he’s playing 20 or 23?
Or, have they abandoned their distaste or dynastic ‘chosen one’ heroes just because he’s the son of Picard?
Overall, I’m enjoying this season tremendously so far, and because Matalas and some of his writers from 12 Monkeys crafted it, I have a reasonable hope they’ll land the finale. My spouse is liking too, and is in the ‘this should have been season one’ camp.
I am not going to hold it up as the epitome of Trek however, or defining the franchise. No ‘Trek is back!’ or ‘Give these guys the keys to the franchise’ from me.
No free pass from me on any this stuff, especially any unconscious bias or elevation of dynastic tropes.
Like Alpha Predator, I have a few potential concerns, I am taking notes and flagging a few things (Jack’s casting) that are getting in the way for me. I’ll probably only come to my view on the season after the finale and a rewatch.
That notwithstanding, as of the end of the first act, I can see the potential for a Titan show with Shaw and Seven as principals. I can see Worf and Raffaela in some version of a spy show. I’m feeling past done with Picard’s personal journey and don’t feel any need for another season with Patrick Stewart at the top of the call sheet. I still can’t imagine who they think the audience might be for a Jack Crusher focused show.
I still can’t believe one of the concerns that’s ruining the show for anyone is the casting of Jack – because he’s 34. If you want to be annoyed by it… I mean, fine, but it’s really getting in the way? Absolutely mind-boggling.
All I care about is story. The few flags i’ve got are story related. I’m not even terribly concerned, because the way things have played out so far, I’m confident they won’t go down the route that I fear (which is the kind of route that previous seasons would have)
…that said, if we hear that Matalas left the season after Episode 6 to start developing a Titan spin-off, and Alex Kurtzman wrote the last half of the season, i’ll start worrying. But I do believe I read somewhere that Matalas wrote (and directed) the last two episodes, so I have a lot of hope.
Dude, could you chill about my not liking the casting choice of Ed Speleers for Jack?
You’re a data point.
But so am I.
And I should be able to express my view without being condescended to. We usually get on here but this is getting irritating.
You’re not going to convince me it works by telling me it shouldn’t bother me.
That didn’t work for the guys who couldn’t deal with the visual reboot of the Klingons in Discovery. Nor did it work for those who feel the Gorn in SNW violated TOS canon.
They have their views. The important thing is whether they represent a significant portion of the audience or not.
I don’t know how many others are put off by Jack, or just not interested. I still see a lot of “Wait? what!” posts and comments out there about Jack’s in-universe age, so I’m not alone.
I’m not saying it’s never possible to cast a 10 years older actor or more, I’m just saying it’s a risk. In this case it doesn’t work, and it gets in the way for me. It is what it is. Great it doesn’t bother you, but I don’t need you or Matalas to lecture me on that.
I contrast the situation with Speleers’ Jack in Picard to another character where the actor is much older, Mary Wiseman as Tilly in Discovery. Mary was nearly 30 when she first played Ensign Tilly, a character 8-10 years younger. It worked because of the actor’s looks’ makeup and performance in addition to the writing. No one ever thought Tilly and Burnham were the same age despite their actors being the same age.
I see posts saying that the character of Jack Crusher is written to lay the groundwork for a continuing major role, but unlike Seven, Shaw or Riker, I’ve yet to see anyone saying they want a Jack-focused show other than the actor himself.
So, I think that it’s fair game, just as others note for Yeoh’s Georgiou, to pose the question “Who would be the target audience?” I have yet to see an answer for Speleers’s Jack.
Look, I know you like to think your opinions are the only valid ones, but that’s just not the case.
Lol. Alpha Predator, I know I’m just one data point.
What I’m trying to say is that in the end, it will take focus groups and analysis to sort this out.
Trying to rebut me every time isn’t convincing when there are few to no voices posting how interested and exciting they are by Jack Crusher the character. If that shifts in act II or III of the season, I will be interested to see it.
If you can repeat your grievance, I can repeat my annoyance with your grievance.
Also, as someone who has worked in market research and studied statistical analysis for half a decade, I can tell you that most focus group testing is bull****. Not all, but most of it.
Lastly, I don’t need ANY analysis to absolutely flabbergasted by people who can’t enjoy a show because an actor has a few forehead lines. If you can’t see how ridiculous that is, go join a 10 person focus group.
I love it when anonymous people on the Internet float their “resumes”
The problem is that you frequently condescend when you present your viewpoint — it’s soft core gatekeeping, basically
You really need to relax. Dude, it’s OK it’s that lot of us who are saying we are enjoying this season but have a couple issues like the overdone, crackhead-looking baddie and the unrealistic age of Jack.
While I agree there is some hypocracy among the fans, as far as what they’ll accept in this vs other things (but what else is new, fans gave a pass to a lot of stuff during the ’90s that’s even worse than today), there is at least some logic to it:
In a JJ Abrams film, there is very little story. It’s action schlock. It’s REALLY WELL DONE action schlock, but it’s not what most fans are looking for, so they’re unwilling to look past anything they don’t like.
In Picard S3, there is action, but it’s not schlock, and it’s part of a well-written story, so those kinds of things are more easily given a pass.
Same thing with Ed Speleers’ age. I can easily overlook it because it doesn’t matter and everything else is so well done.
Well the jury still out on how well written the story this is. You’ve only seen the first six, so you don’t even know this yet.
Lol, yeah that was a bad misspell
Have we been watching the same movies? Virtually every Trek movie villain has been a cardboard baddie?
Precisely. Even Khan was a caricature, like a comic book villain. He was played by a brilliant actor, who chewed the scenery, but he wasn’t really that deep of a character.
…also he had the advantage of being the first Trek film villain, before repetition caused some fans to grow weary of the trope; plus the character had a built-in backstory that most fans seeing the film for the first time were already familiar with. I’ve always appreciated the 4th film for breaking with the big villain paradigm.
Agreed, but I tend to not even see it as a trope. It’s a villain. Villains are fundamental to storytelling. No, you don’t need a person to be a villain, but it’s the most common form of adversary in a hero-driven tale.
Even a revenge-driven villain, which may seem more specific… is such a common storytelling device, I’m not even sure it qualifies.
I think what most people’s problem with it is that Trek often doesn’t use individuals as sources of conflict, and so when it does, it can often seem “cheap.”
But even in Trek’s premiere there was a villain. Plenty of episodes had individuals out for revenge, or engaging in a diabolical scheme the crew had to stop.
If I were phrasing it, I’d say conflict is fundamental to storytelling. Sometimes with a villain, sometimes against nature or natural obstacles, sometimes with an idea or concept, sometimes it’s inner conflict. As you said, and I agree with you, it doesn’t need to be a person.
But he wasn’t cardboard — that character delivered in spades.
That’s part of my point — but what is missing here is the outrage we get on some of those other movies for doing this, most especially the JJ Abrams movies
I think you mean “crack addict.” I doubt she’s a attic full of crack. :)
Yeah, that was a sleep deprived misspell of epic proportions. Lol
Clearly, the villain behind everything is Badgey
Maybe that L-shaped scar in Vadic’s face means she’s working for Lore. An answer literally staring us in the face. Edit: add Vadic’s name for clarity.
Perhaps the Changeling here do had this Virus and are forced to switch Host to survive. So the Changeling here is the Parasite that need the Host Lifeforce
Space Laverne. Space Shirley will be along shortly, when her shift at the Romulan Ale bottling plant ends.
It’s for loser because they’ve all fell for a revenge plot that the Jem’Hadar and Vorta came up with and as such they were never gonna win.
>What isn’t clear is why he wants Jack Crusher alive so badly, to the point that Vadic and her crew expendable. It’s possible there is something inside Jack that can cure them.
Do not tell me, that Jack Crusher is an Changeling + Human Hybrid. You know, some Changeling disguised as Human fell in Love with some real Human and Jack Crusher where born. The real Human part gave this Infant as act to save his Life to Crusher or She saved this Infant out of the Body of his dying Mother and She made some sort of surrogate mother because their Biological compatible where the best match to continue the Pregnancy
If this would be an Vampire, then we have Jack Crusher as Daywalker :) (Hi Blade!)
I don’t think it’s possible for that to happen unless it’s in a lab.
“Life finds it’s own way”, as some Famous Dinosaur’s Scientist said
The truth is, we still know very little about Changelings, their physiology, history, etc. They’re ripe for exploration.
It’s pretty obvious the mastermind behind this insidious plot is none other Sirna Kolrami, strategist extraordinaire.
He teamed up with the shifters.
Klim Dokachin’s still mad about his name being mispronounced. It’s all a ruse to get to Riker.
SWALLOW IT! (same actor as the guy from Total Recall)
I don’t think it’s likely, but my theory remains that it’s Gul Dukat via the Pah Wraiths, partly because the imagery that Jack keeps seeing is all red, which reminds me of the Pah Wraith domain we’ve seen on DS9. This is reinforced somewhat but the unusual communication method they are using to talk to the bigger bad. Gul Dukat is widely considered one of Star Trek’s best villains so I could see Terry finding a way to bring him back, but Gul Dukat wasn’t specifically out to get the Federation so that isn’t a convincing theory. Still, it’s hard to miss an opportunity to resurrect Dukat and possibly Garak. There are some clues that the Cardassians play a roll this season because it’s brought up in some the Paramount+ primer material. I have to say speculation is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the show.
Similarly, there are some clues that it could be Armus, with the acknowledgement that Tasha Yar will be peripheral in some way to this season (according to Denise Crosby). The convoluted communication method and the voice also fits. I can’t say this theory excites me because again, it’s not like Armus was out to get the Federation. But he is another Changeling and perhaps they merged with it and that could explain their change in appearance and their more aggressive maniacal behavior.
I can’t imagine it being either Dukat or Armus. No way.
Why assume Picard makes Jack Crusher special? Beverly’s other son ascended to be a Traveler which they reminded us of last season. Maybe Beverly has something in her DNA that gives her children the potential to evolve into higher lifeforms. If some nefarious character has figured out how to tap into that potential, they would chase Jack Crusher across the universe to gain the powers of a Traveler.
Something in the Howard DNA…something like Candle Ghost DNA perhaps.
I’d love it if it was Armus. But I think changlings effected by morphogenic virus and Borg effected by neurolytic pathogen (both inflected on them by the federation). Well the Borg adding the changling biological distinctivness to their own could be very exciting.
What if Armus was discarded by the Changelings? It would make perfect sense.
My memory is foggy on this, but didn’t Matalas claim that the Borg are not part of Season 3?
Harry Mudd is the ultimate baddie!
I have a horrible suspicion that the Changelings have made contact, or had relations, with another shape-shifting species out there who are bigger and worse than they are. Don’t forget, Vladic’s people were mentioned during the “hand-phone” communication conversation, so theoritically her people (splinter group?) are being held hostage by this Face persona.
Changelings assimilated by the Borg?
Wouldn’t that be CONTROL from Disco season? I mean Control was somehow related to the Borg and had the ability to shapeshifting.
I think it would’ve been cool it would be Sela who is working with the Changelings as a way to make Romulans a dominant force in the alpha quadrant again after Romulus went ka-boom.
But that theory is dead on arrival since Matalas ruled out Sela is not in the season months ago. But it’s something I would’ve loved to seen personally and would be a great tie in to one of the few TNG villains from that show although I guess it could be Lore as well.
For those who’ve seen the first six episodes, does this get revealed eventually?
(No spoilers, please – just wondering how long this gets dragged out. And if that’s a spoiler, er, then never mind). :)
Even to say yes or no to that would be a spoiler itself. If it hasn’t been officially addressed by anyone involved in the production, or in an official synopsis — even if someone else has spoiled it or leaked intel has gotten out about it — my lips are sealed.
Late to the party on this one, but to further the Reman theory. Jack may be experiencing telepathic attacks from a Reman, similar to what Troi experienced in Nemsis
Has anyone considered that “The Face” could be Moriarity? We know he is set to make an appearance and he has a score to settle with Picard who tricked him twice using his desire to leave the holodeck. Maybe he got hold of a mobile emitter similar to the one used by The Doctor on Voyager. He is also a mastermind who could have organized all of these shenanigans. Having Jack would be the perfect way to get back at Picard for some slight…..maybe he could only get one mobile emitter and lost the Countess in the process.
Obviously it’s Vic Fontaine. Whaddya think of that, pally?
(Second guess is Nurse Ogawa.)
Nurse Ogawa going ultra dark would be a treat to watch! 😁
Seriously. Like how is this even a mystery?