Star Trek: Picard Season 3, Episode 5 – Debuted Thursday, March 16, 2023
Written by Cindy Appel & Chris Derrick
Directed by Dan Liu
A solid episode steeped in the paranoia that has been building nicely kicks off a second arc for the season with a big assist from a returning familiar face.
WARNING: Spoilers below!
“I know what you really are.”
We pick up where we left off with another Jack vision, but those visions are getting violent as he sees himself (in Starfleet uniform) gunning down members of the Titan bridge crew. As we snap back, his eyes are glow red, so that’s a thing. The Titan has limped to the edge of Federation space as the gang ponders how the Changeling got onto the ship, so Beverly decides to investigate and do an autopsy. Rethinking old Dominion War safety protocols will be a job for Starfleet, who Shaw reports is on their way, so it is time for Riker and Picard to “go home and face the music”—but out of courtesy, Liam gives them and (now reinstated) Seven a moment to get their “BS story straight.” Jean-Luc lets everyone know he is going to take the fall for the whole shuttle-stealing operation as the USS Intrepid shows up, ordering the Titan to power down and await a security team that refuses to use the transporter and is shuttling over, which even Shaw thinks is strange. After getting in a few more gleeful digs at Riker and Picard, Shaw escorts them to face the security team, led by none other than Ro F-ing Laren. Holy Bajoran, Batman!
At the behest of Picard, Seven gets to Jack to hide him in plain sight by giving him a Starfleet uniform… the same one in his murdery vision. Uh-oh. Her security team is dispatched to hunt for Jack while Ro’s Enterprise-D reunion isn’t going well; she’s all business talking about treason and Jean-Luc is stunned the officer he took under his wing before betraying Starfleet to the Maquis is even in uniform. After he accuses her of “posing” as a commander, she fills him in on going (back) to prison and being recruited (again) into Starfleet. She also proves she isn’t a Changeling through the old-fashioned slice-of-the-hand-to-reveal-blood technique. With perfect timing, Beverly gets a message to Jean-Luc that her autopsy revealed the Changelings have figured out a way to fake blood (and organs too… yuck). As Picard and Ro spar over betrayal and honor, he notes she is no longer wearing her Bajoran earring, which used to be a big deal to her identity, and she is curiously focused on knowing more about his son Jack but fails to ask anything about Vadic or the Shrike. Hmm. On the way to sickbay, the Bajoran security officer pulls a phaser on Picard. “Change of plans, Admiral.” Ro-oh.
“Sacrifice is required again.”
Over on M’Talas Prime, it looks like Worf spent the time off from last week’s episode training Raffi, sparring with her as a way to temper her impulsiveness and show off his new warrior monk zen meditation lifestyle. Finally, his Starfleet handler contacts them, texting them a denial to the request for details on Daystrom. Told to “find another way,” Worf assumes the handler is under pressure from above, but Raffi doesn’t seem to be learning her impatience control and declares she will just break in on her own. Worf remains calm and says he has another lead, a Vulcan gangster named Krinn who is probably the guy that broke in and stole the weapon that Sneed brokered. So it’s time for the pair to hit the mean streets of District Six, where they find the locals cowering in fear due to how they took down the Ferengi gang boss. Raffi uses their new lowlife cred to declare she wants info on Krinn, and she wants it now, while Worf chooses this time to meditate and wait for the inevitable confrontation.
Eventually, Krinn and his gang show up and the Vulcan immediately starts monologuing about pride and downfall… this planet has some really dramatic criminals. Worf demands answers, claiming to have the upper hand, but Krinn responds by shooting right at (and through) Raffi. After being exposed as a hologram, the real Raffi is captured above. So, about that upper hand… Turns out Krinn considered Sneed a brother from another lowlife mother, so revenge on the two responsible for the Ferengi’s death is logical. Given a choice to both be killed or fight to the death with knives, Worf stays focused on the mission as he talks of sacrifice and picks up his blade. With neither holding back, we get some fighty fighty stuff and then stabby stabby with Worf going down, saying it was a good day to die (naturally). A triumphant Krinn lets Raffi know she works for him now, but the victory is short-lived; soon enough all his goons are dispatched from behind by Worf, who isn’t quite as dead as it appeared. That meditation stuff includes a new heart-rate-lowering trick, but he is losing a lot of blood and running out of time so Krinn sees the logic in handing over his magic key to get past the (repeatedly mentioned) super AI guarding Daystrom. What could that possibly be?
“It’s all so much worse than we thought.”
Ducking into the holodeck, which appears stuck on the 10 Forward program, Picard quickly turns off the safety protocols and pulls his own phaser on Ro. With “tell me who you really are,” the pair throws down with a history of their relationship and Ro’s eventual defection to the Maquis, which Jean-Luc took as a personal betrayal. He accuses her of being driven by ego. Ro lets him have it over his “relentless judgment.” At mutually assured gunpoint things continue to escalate until they both come full circle, agreeing the other broke their hearts. The riveting moment pivots as the heightened emotion is enough for both to agree they are who they say they are. She lets her former captain know why she is really there: She needs his help. Starfleet has been compromised at the highest level by Changelings and no one will listen to her. She thinks even the Intrepid is controlled by the shifters. All she has left are two assets that are close to the truth (gee, I wonder who). She has transferred most of the Titan crew to the Intrepid and wants him to take what is left and run while she buys him some time. Her two very shifty-looking security subordinates are not happy when she informs them they are leaving as she says a tearful goodbye to the admiral, handing him her Bajoran earring as a parting gift. Wow, that’s a lot to take in.
On the bridge, Picard quickly briefs Shaw on the growing conspiracy, imploring the skeptical captain to escape. Things come to a point as Ro’s (definitely Changeling) lieutenants beam back to the Titan, determined to find Jack, leaving her a ticking bomb as a parting gift. Ro calls the Titan to let Picard know she is using the little time she has left to give him what he gave her all those years ago… a fighting chance. Picard now sees her truth and asks for forgiveness as she flies her shuttle into one of the Intrepid’s nacelles. OMG. As the other Starfleet ship turns to attack, it becomes clear they are all being set up to take the blame. Captain Shaw finally calls for red alert as we begin yet another wait for the Titan’s warp drive to warm up or something. As for Jack, the Intrepid security goons finally locate him, but this is no problem as he becomes Action Jack(son), effortlessly taking out all four Changelings. Who is this guy? After the ship finally warps away, Riker and Picard share a moment mourning the loss of Ro, with Will recognizing the significance of her gift; the earring has all the files from her investigation. It’s in their hands now… and just in time for an incoming call from one of Ro’s assets. In another surprise (but not really) reunion, it’s Mr. Worf. We end in sickbay, where Shaw is impressed the kid took down four Changelings but Bev is more concerned about her son who confesses he didn’t even know they were shapeshifters. He comes clean about the nightmares and how “there is something very wrong” with him. You think?
The truth is out there
After last week closed up the first act of the season set around the nebula, a strong episode kicks off the second act as the team starts to dig in to the growing conspiracy. The paranoia-filled episode was full of questions and fake-outs. The title “Imposters” had many layers, literal and thematic, through both main storylines. It may also have been a time and money saver, but never seeing the bridge or captain of the Intrepid added to the ominous mystery as it faced down the Titan. This confrontation nicely starts to take the story from the frontier and back into the larger world of the Federation, Starfleet, and the growing stakes and threat posed by the Changeling conspiracy. This is all a welcome next step following the effective but more insular recent episodes.
The heart of “Imposters” was driven by surprise guest star Michelle Forbes returning to her recurring role of Ro Laren from The Next Generation with a masterful performance that should have kept the audience guessing all the way until we got another one of those pivotal confrontation scenes that are becoming a hallmark of this season. Throwing in just enough backstory exposition to catch you up with a little assist from Riker dropping in stuff from her first (“Ensign Ro“) and last (“Preemptive Strike”) appearances, the heightened emotion between Picard and Ro to complete their arc was satisfying. Unlike the way some legacy characters were treated in previous seasons, this time a sad but noble death was well-earned and even necessary to demonstrate the stakes.
With the return of Ro, picking up on the M’Talas story, and a spotlight on the mystery surrounding Jack getting top attention, most of our other characters were relegated to the background, especially Riker and Seven. Beverly did get to do some science as she has essentially taken over Titan’s sickbay (poor Dr. Ohk). After the camaraderie of the trial by fire shared by all last week, the character of Shaw was kind of reset. While Todd Stashwick remains a delight of the season, the unnecessary turbolift ride was an odd tonal shift. Sure it’s always fun to hear his twist on famous moments in TNG history, but it felt like a redo of the episode 1 dinner scene, with the same beats and dialogue. That said, Stashwick (paired with epic eye-rolling from Michelle Hurd’s Raffi) provided what little levity there was in a season that has previously found better and more organic ways to insert a bit of humor into the otherwise serious business going on.
It was good to return to the Worf and Raffi investigation storyline, and there were some nice character beats between the two with Michelle Hurd and Michael Dorn showing great chemistry in both their verbal and physical sparring. We can see growth for both characters in this new mentoring relationship. Like Sneed, Krinn was an interesting take on a familiar Star Trek alien, here presenting us with a Vulcan as a gangster. Guest star Kirk Acevedo finds a way to convey both menace and Vulcan logic. Hopefully, this is the end of the District Six storyline. The sets, of course, were spectacular, but we have gone through enough layers of this underworld and it’s time to bring these storylines together and move on to the constantly mentioned Daystrom Station; the repeated mentions of an AI security system surely hint at something familiar to come, and maybe Krinn’s key is also something (or someone) we have seen before. As a side note, it was a bit strange that Ro didn’t mention to Picard that her two operatives were Raffi and Worf, but this is one of those things the show does to set up the fun surprise call at the end of the episode.
You don’t know Jack
Once again, Ed Speleers was impressive as Jack fell deeper into his own nightmares and plays what feel like multiple versions of Jack. While not conclusive, the plot moved forward with more mysteries about Jack’s true nature: It is becoming clear there is definitely something odd about him, with more evidence for the varying theories about this coming up and likely inspiring some new ones. The voice in his head saying “Find me. Hear me. Connect us.” is definitely important, and for what it’s worth, the closed caption identified the voice as Beverly—and it does sound like Gates McFadden. What’s going on with Jack and his connection to the Changelings (and Vadic’s boss) is certainly something we will explore in an upcoming analysis on the site, but the way these new visions were woven into the show was very effective and compelling, Speleers’ performance enhanced with sharp editing and visual effects.
Beverly’s moments in sickbay, once you got past poor Sidney’s lunch returning after seeing herself as a corpse, also moved the ball forward a bit on the plot. It’s now clear these aren’t common Changelings, which possibly explains the more “meaty” look of their morphing effect. Her conclusion that they are an “evolution” is intriguing and adds to the heightened paranoia that started with her “trust no one” warning in episode one. It’s curious that Starfleet Changeling security protocols don’t scan for DNA, which is the one thing they apparently can’t replicate. (Someone should look into that.) Digging into Ro’s files should be fun, as it looks like Starfleet command is riddled with Changelings, which does bring back “Conspiracy” vibes along with the return to “we are everywhere” Dominion War paranoia. It was also good to return to the big plan, which all appears to be focused on the upcoming Frontier Day and the clearly ill-advised idea to gather the entire fleet in one place. All in all, for fans watching for the world-building and plot progression, this episode should satisfy.
Season 3 hits the midway point and is still going strong. “Imposters” isn’t the best episode of the season, but it still delivers plenty of emotion and action and progress to avoid the midseason doldrums that have previously plagued this show. Excellent production values, music, sound, and design remain consistent, but what makes this season truly rise above is the crisp writing and compelling performances, especially the guest stars and “special guest stars.” Hopefully, we won’t have long to wait for more familiar faces to show up, but even with the strong desire to see the gang all together, Picard season 3 is to be commended for playing the long game to allow each newly introduced element time to breathe and add more life to the show, even in heroic death.
- Stardate: 78186.03
- Riker’s voice authorization: Riker 3-8-Alpha-Echo.
- Captain Shaw invokes emergency order 762-Alpha, which may be a protocol related to Changeling infiltration.
- First appearance of the 25th-century USS Intrepid (NCC-79520). Production designer Dave Blass revealed it is a “Duderstadt Class” and designed in collaboration by Bill Krause and Doug Drexler (named after Drexler’s late wife). It is the fifth ship in Star Trek canon named Intrepid, although each has a different registry.
- Picard suggested they contact Admiral Janeway, indicating Kathryn Janeway from Voyager (and Prodigy) is still active in 2401 with a high position, likely Commander in Chief of Starfleet.
- He also mentioned trying to contact Chancellor Roll. Traditionally used for alien civilizations, Chancellor is a previously unknown position within the Federation, which is led by a President.
- Raffi’s hologram used a mobile emitter, first introduced on Star Trek: Voyager, which was spotted by Krinn.
- Krinn was played by Kirk Acevedo, who played José Ramse on 12 Monkeys (EP Terry Matalas’ former show). Ramse was like a brother to the lead character James Cole, played by Aaron Stanford, who played the Ferengi Sneed, described by Krinn as his “brother.”
- Worf’s search for those associated with Sneed included Brunt, Morn, and Thadiun Okona.
- Captain Shaw needled Picard and Riker on their history of saving the galaxy with a few specific digs…
- “Hot-dropped the saucer of the Enterprise-D” (Star Trek: Generations)
- “Threw the Prime Directive out the window to snog a villager on Bakku” (Star Trek: Insurrection)
- “Nearly wiped out all of humanity by creating a time paradox in the Devron system” (TNG finale “All Good Things…”)
- This is a trope not unique to Picard, but shouldn’t turning off safety protocols on the holodeck have a “Are you sure you want to do that?” prompt?
- Picard offered Ro Laren Bajoran springwine, a beverage first mentioned on Deep Space Nine.
- Picard spoke Bajoran for the first time, a language heard periodically on DS9 mostly in prayers and ceremonies.
More to come
We will discuss the episode in detail on Friday’s episode of All Access Star Trek. every Friday, the TrekMovie.com All Access Star Trek podcast covers the latest news in the Star Trek Universe. The podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts, Stitcher and is part of the TrekMovie Podcast Network.
Picard streams exclusively on Paramount+ in the Americas, Europe, the Caribbean and South Korea. It also streams 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.
Keep up with news about the Star Trek Universe at TrekMovie.com.
Before i post my detailed comments about this episode i want to say that while it was an interesting episode i found it to be the weakest one of the season so far.
To be honest I’m not really loving this season. What i mean is from the hype of all the reviews saying this was the best Star Trek made in 18 years and some going so far to say the best Trek made i sadly just don’t see it.
I love TNG i grew up watching it (i even finished my re-watch of TNG before this season started) it’s great seeing some of the TNG crew together again and I’m looking forward to more reunions but sadly I’m just not enjoying it as much as i thought i would going from all the hype. It’s a good season so far but it would not be in my top seasons of Trek.
Whatever is happening to Jack is weird and him going ‘Jack Bauer’ on the 4 changelings was interesting and they seem to have found a way to make themselves more humanoid to pass detection.
I do wonder if what is happening to Jack is that he is being transformed into a changeling hybrid some how.
It would make sense with Jack hearing the voice saying connect us maybe they also found a way to change how the great link works and made a new type of one that is also the reason why they are after Jack.
Maybe he is the final piece in completing not an evolution as Beverly said but rather genetic engineering into a more humanoid form for their plans.
Which is why they want him so badly and the branches are something to do with a new great link they have created or maybe Odo’s faction of Changelings are responsible for Jack’s condition.
Perhaps because of their law of no Changeling harms another that they are using Jack to help Picard to identify/stop these different Changelings as a way around that law and he needs to walk through the door to fully complete what is happening to him.
Maybe Jack Crusher is destined to be the savior of not only The Federation but of the entire galaxy lol.
I loved the shot of the Titan being repaired by i assume are the Dot repair drones that Discovery/SNW has shown and It’s great to see Raffi and Worf again i missed seeing them in the previous episode and i knew Worf wasn’t really dead.
I take it that the device the Vulcan gangster(lol) used to break into the Daystrom Institute contained Moriarty as it would take another ‘AI’ to get pass the AI defenses.
Also it was cool seeing a mobile emitter again i take it that Starfleet has replicated the 29th century tech for 25th century use.
I liked Shaws callbacks to Generations, Insurrection and All Good Things though i still don’t like his character.
I knew before hand that Ro was going to be in this episode and that she was going to sacrifice herself due to a spoiler comment that was posted on facebook before i watched the episode. I think it was stupid that Terry Matalas brought back the character for 1 episode only to kill her off. It reminds a lot like Hugh back in S1.
So Starfleet again is compromised at the highest levels again not surprising given we are dealing with the Changelings once again and in S1 Commodore Oh was actually a Romulan spy. So Starfleet being infiltrated so easily is just very common thing now lol.
Though we know that in the 32nd century that Starfleet/The Federation is still there so that takes the wind out of any ‘the Federation is in danger story’ for me.
So it looks like the Titan is going to be chased once again though i hope not as I’m tired of them running and i want them to start taking action and dealing with these Changelings and not leaving it to the last episode or two.
Excellent analysis, Christopher. I concur with a lot of it.
I’m especially curious about the “Connect us” voice in his head, because it’s Beverly’s voice. What could that mean about Beverly?
Geordi La Forge is the perfect setup for explaining Lore and Daystrom AI. Trust because data is part of Lore,hence self operated defensive management probably is mistrust by Android who will assist founders in filling operations of starfleet computers and the PHYSICAL changeling impersonators in management of.
Vadic> Jem hadar
Geordi is forced to exploit the need for “retirement of Enterprise F” and the usefulness of an older starship. Not susceptible to LoreAI
Protostar is a relevant situation for the complexities of finding uncompromising assets
Enterprise and Titan
Is Jack receiving messages from Prophets/ Ben Sisko in perilous threat to Wormhole/ DS9 as gatekeeper (uncompromising and bajor is the first planet to a secure alpha quadrant)
Sisko might be providing visions if he can not be in corporeal.
Jake Sisko has a role in this story, and he might be responsible for a massacre of Temple if sparing of his father
Rene has passed away and the coup of Gamma Changelings could be part of the story.
Is Data able to shine in melded programming w/ Lore.
Not a lot to disagree with there. But I will address the Jack thing. I generally don’t like to involve myself in speculation but I was thinking Jack himself is a Changeling.
And I didn’t have a problem with Ro’s one and only appearance. She was used if not well then decently.
Yeah, I’ve been under the assumption for a while now that he’s a Changeling.
I think so, but from a “good faction”
I can only guess now that Jack’s importance is that he’s the only changeling that can perfectly pass for a solid (has DNA, doesn’t need to regenerate) and has lost himself in the part.
And he’s essentially Changeling Jason Bourne. At least, that was my first thought. I’d like to be wrong, however.
It certainly came across that way, but unlike Bourne, I haven’t become invested in Jack as a character, so this isn’t paying off the same way.
I can only hope there is another major twist on that to come.
The Great Link is calling him
I had a theory about Jack going into the episode that I haven’t heard anywhere else, but I’m avoiding fan speculation like the plague, so it’s possible it could already be out there. This episode may have eliminated that as a possibility, now. I’m finding that whole thing fun. Hope the reveal isn’t a let down, is all.
Anything can happen between the 32 century and now.. we also knew that the federation survived long into the future through Enterprise…. So this is nothing new
LOL there can’t be any drama about threats to the Federation because Disco did episodes set 8 centuries later and there’s something calling itself the Federation then. Like, when you were watching DS9, did you think there was a chance the season finale was going to be Dominion wins war, Federation destroyed, thank you for watching seven seasons.
What is the best Star Trek of the last 18 years?
Strange New Worlds.
Totally agreed on that, Alpha. I think the show gets the Gorns totally wrong, but otherwise I love everything about it.
Not to sidetrack a Picard article, but I love what they’re doing with the Gorn. They were in dire need of a retcon after TOS/ENT.
You and I are on the same page on that Alpha Predator.
The Gorn were crying out for a solution that retconned them out of being one of the silliest meme-able aliens of TOS.
Agreed. I love the new Gorn. The cheesy original version of them has not aged well.
Agreed as well. There were a couple of shows that I really disliked, but there were also at least two that I liked better than anything I’ve seen so far of ‘Picard.’
I just wish Pike acted more like a Captain and not like everyone’s buddy.
Ah the life of a killjoy, gotta love it!
It’s a legitimate complaint, sir. Not trying to be a downer, just being honest. They did so good with him in Disco S2. I want to see more of that Pike. I legitimately like the show overall.
You’re not alone in thinking the Pike of SNW is overly cutesy and quippy. He was better on Disco, no question.
I love SNW, but silly Pike is not what I was hoping for either.
Definitely some ‘what were they thinking of’ questions, of which Pike’s cutesiness is one.
It’s still the best new live-action season though.
I agree with this. I did a rewatch of most SNW episodes late last year and found him to be overly “cutesy” (the best word I can think of) as well. The best example was all the cooking when he was captured by the alien pirates. It’s as though he wasn’t taking the situation seriously.
It may be a legitimate complaint, but i didn’t bring it up to talk about your issues with it, but to celebrate the show I love. If you don’t want to be a debbie downer… don’t!
Dude why do you always have to come off so rude??? The guy just gave a very general opinion, one that has been said in other places (I have no issue with him personally). You can just disagree with him without assaulting him in the process. You do this a lot.
The guy is an obvious troll. It’s why I’ve made the decision, as I have done to a couple of others, to just ignore his posts. He makes TONS of them and ignoring them makes reading through the threads more enjoyable and take less time.
A general cranky opinion that wasn’t asked for. This offshoot thread was to talk about what we liked, not whine about what we don’t.
I think it would have to be Beyond.
Great movie, incredible to me that more people don’t appreciate everything it does so well, and choose instead to focus on the one or two minor problems. But that’s Trek fandom for ya!
Ridley Scott’s The Martian would be my snarky, out of left field answer. But I would say certain episodes of Strange New Worlds.
Ugh, that’s what Enterprise should have been, but plus some interstellar spacecraft and aliens.
It’s a low bar with Secret Hideout Trek, but to me, they’ve delivered. The biggest thing for me is how intriguing the mystery is at this point, and how they’re treating the audience. Most of the reveals are done smartly, and for good reasons. I know some will point to the reveal of Jack as Picard’s son as telegraphed, but I’m in the camp that believes the reasoning over that was clear.. Picard was in denial about what was obvious to everyone else. I thought this stuff was earned, and I liked it. Same with this episode’s reveal of who came over from the intrepid. Who that was made perfect sense, and worked for what was happening in the story. More of this kind of attention to detail.
I generally love this episode and the season in general but I can’t really disagree with you either. I can see why others are not loving this season as so many of the people who saw it early made it seem. That said, the ones who seen the whole thing have obviously a different perspective and they are saying everything ties up really well and why so many seem to love it as much as they do.
Now that doesn’t mean you or I or others will see it the same way and now that we are at the half way point I was hoping to love it more than I am frankly. Make no mistake, I think it’s been really good Star Trek, some of the stuff we haven’t gotten since Enterprise ended IMO. But so far this season wouldn’t be in my top 10 seasons as a whole. Certainly in my top 20 which is still good when you realize we now have over 40 seasons (wow) of Star Trek but yeah I was still expecting it to be higher. And by the end it may still end up in my top 10.
But in terms of the first two seasons of Picard, it’s not even a question. I was ready to give up on season 2 by this point and with this season I’m as intrigued and invested as I ever been. The story telling is just so much stronger in general and the characters all feel like themselves so that alone makes me very happy!
I think the let down for a general Star Trek audience is basically that Picard’s attention in this narrative is focused on his son, we’re not used to it. We want him to be engaged in The World. So “having a son” feels like unnecessary “character development” for a “Star Trek” story.
That said, this episode brings up a lot of questions. In the future, will people who have genetic issues of their own be careful about imparting the issues to unborn children? Isn’t it hard to believe that Beverly didn’t consider what Picard’s Borg-ness would bring? Maybe she will talk about that.
Personally, this all works. I had a grandfather who was a hardened, straight-laced Navy Boat Captain. And after he aged and retired, he softened in ways I still can’t believe. Retired Admiral Picard in this show seems damn near note perfect in how he has been written.
I definitely don’t like the son angle even now, but it’s growing on me I guess. But yeah I don’t think it was needed at all but I think they’ve handled well it given everything. I was worried it was going to come off like a cheesy melodrama as most of these story line goes.
And yes, maybe more will come out of it with whatever is going on with Jack and it’s related to Picard somehow. It does seem like a very external issue but yeah you never know. Maybe we’ll fine out all those visions he’s having is linked to the Borg or something. And yes. I also agree with Beverly being a doctor and all and knows Picard’s biological defaults like his brain disease (to lazy to look it up lol) which he literally died from, that would’ve been brought up concerning Jack.
The problem is that Picard’s son just isn’t all that interesting in himself, at least to me.
I’m not really believing he’s the Jack who was Beverly and Picard’s son at this point, or at least doubting it. And I am increasing convinced that’s by the writers’ design.
As a character, he’s a construct to advance the mystery, but my own challenges with the casting aside, I am much more invested in the legacy characters. I’m becoming worried we may end up with a Lorca-like turn.
Shaw is the only new character that has captured my interest. His passive-aggressive flawed, just can’t let go of the needling behaviour, makes us convinced that he’s the one new character who’s who he should be.
Replying to everyone in this thread: this morning, I wondered what would have happened if Guinan and Picard had a child. That would be a “very special child.” So… this makes me wonder: is there something “special” about Beverly that we don’t know? After all, she has two very special sons.
I rewatched the episode this morning, and frankly, it’s depressing, and it’s supposed to be.
That’s interesting, because that was my first impression of him, but not I feel just the opposite after seeing him and Picard for several eps. I like the character have bought into it.
Hmm … Best Star Trek in 18 years only means it has to beat the Abrams movies. Since none of the live action shows have been remotely watchable. Measured against that, it probably is the best.
But I do get what you’re saying. It is leagues better than anything Kurtzman hat his dirty hands on especially the first two seasons. But other than that it really isn’t that great. I wouln’t mind doing the “Starfleet is evil/infiltrated” storyline again if it hadn’t been done to death in new Trek and was even getting old in the TNG Show where seemingly every admiral was evil. Also: If you can’t beat DS9s “Homefront/Paradise Lost”, don’t even try with that.
All in all it’s an okay Season so far. Which is easily the best to come out of Trek on Streaming. At least it’s done by people now who don’t just say they like Star Trek but actually do. But after the reviews I get the disappointment.
Thanks for sharing. It looks like audiences don’t agree. Demand for Picard is trending up, with Parrot Analytics clocking Picard as the third-most in-demand streaming show in the USA. But I do appreciate the preamble to your detailed comments.
What was up with Ro’s nose ridges? They were less pronounced than on TNG. You could hardly distinguish them in some scenes. Wondering if that’s just the “updated” version of Bajoran make-up or if there was some deeper character reason.
The Bajoran nose evolved over the years from TNG and DS9. The bone across the top vanished.
And, who knows what impact age has on those ridges – We know from ourselves, that body parts change size with age.
‘Every inconsistency can be explained with amateurish storytelling/retcon’ is a pathetic Trek fan move that needs to be put to bed.
Given that Mura on the bridge still has a latex appliance, I suspect it was a condition of Michelle Forbes’ return. It appeared to simply be some makeup lines. Maybe she was only available for a day of shooting or something.
Right; I assumed that as well, and if that was the condition for her return, the producers wisely said, “sure thing, Michelle.”
“I don’t want to be in the makeup chair for an hour for a 6-hour shoot.” If that’s the case, I can’t blame her.
I doubt time in the makeup chair was a factor here. All of the actors would still have to sit in the hair and make-up chair for a time regardless of if they were human or alien. It’s not like Stewart, McFadden, Frakes or whoever else playing a human just gets to the studio and goes straight on set. They’d all still have to go through a process to get them looking right for camera, and for continuity if they were shooting out of order.
And Dorn said that his full Klingon makeup and wig application only took an hour and ten minutes because of all the advancements since he last had to do it, so I doubt it would’ve been anywhere near an hour for a nose application. And it is an application, if you look at shots of her in profile there is a 3-D element, not simply lines drawn on. They’re faint ridges, but they’re there. You can see it around 15:34.
Nah, PatStew shows up at 5 mins to shooting and they quickly run a cloth over his bald head then he’s good to go.
Time, specifically, yes. But when I say “the makeup chair” what I really mean is the process of having latex appliances attached to your face. She may not have wanted to spend an extra hour or two doing all that just for a day or two of work.
Purely speculation, but it’s something actors always talk about when it comes to being on Trek.
I was wondering that, too. When she first showed up, I thought she didn’t even have the ridges. It was only when the camera moved in closer that I saw them. Weird choice.
I was initially taking this as a hint that Ro was a changeling who couldn’t perfectly mimic Bajoran noses (not unlike Odo).
Yeah, that was weird. Especially since they kept showing her in profile. They were sculpted though and not mere drawn lines.
LOL, I was so caught up in how great looking she is still, I barely noticed.
I enjoyed this ep, even if the call backs were more heavy-handed than usual. But I can’t be angry at Shaw, I really love his character. He is making all the CORRECT decisions so far based on Starfleet rules and the safety of his crew. He has every right to be upset with Riker and Picard (though I am waiting for him to be nicer to Seven, and to stop dead-naming her).
Oh Ro – I had a feeling when she appeared (she wasn’t on my Se. 3 BINGO card!) that she would be the “legacy character we see die” this season. I mean, they may still knock off one of the regular cast, but I get the feeling she’s the one mentioned before this season began.
I absolutely love Shaw. He’s a great foil to Picard and Riker because while he’s an antagonist, he’s not a villain, has reasons for being who he is directly related to the main character, and is trying to do the right thing, not his own thing.
Dude, Shaw is my favorite NuTrek character that we’ve never seen before. Stashwick is awesome in this role.
No I can’t be angry at Shaw either. He IS just doing what every Starfleet captain would’ve done. including old Picard back on the Enterprise D days. But Shaw is just more of a dick about it lol. But he isn’t wrong either. And I laughed how he brought up their past mishaps in the turbolift followed by Picard’s ‘those were the days’ response to Riker. All these guys have great chemistry between them and are fun to watch.
Oh and yes good point about Ro being killed off. Now that means everyone in the TNG cast can live lol. Maybe 1 or 2 more might die, but I’m guessing she’s the big sacrifice of the season along with possibly Lore since he’s not really part of the ‘crew’. And he’s kind of like Loki at this point, he will always find a way to be brought back if he’s killed this season.
I don’t think anyone in the main cast is dying though, not with potential spin off shows and movie possibilities to think about. ;)
Agreed. I would be very surprised if they offed any of the 6 main organic characters. In fact, I never felt they would even back when this was announced.
Same. You’re a smart fella! Always knew I liked you.
The Ro and Picard scenes were great. Probably the best of the season so far. I have to admit though that everything else left me cold. I can’t place my finger on it though. It’s good, great at some points, but something is just off for me.
No matter how hard they try, I just can’t get into Jack and whatever he has going.
Also, maybe I’m getting ahead of myself and they’ll be all of the last episodes, but the complete opposite lack of Geordi, Troi, and Lore is starting to be a bummer to me. I know this isn’t a reunion season per se, but I was hoping for a little bit more overall from the whole cast. Makes sense though why a couple of the actors seemed really down on the season on the Trek cruise a few weeks ago.
I’m not feeling the Jack story either. I think part of it is the “Picard’s unknown son” trope. Which is why I’m hoping that in the end he really isn’t his son. Regarding Lore, while we knew he was coming the instant Spiner was announced to be in the cast the less we see of him the better.
Totally 100%. Who really likes Brent Spiner or wants to see him anyway, amirite?
I agree with both of you guys — I have had enough of these force-fitted parts for Spinner every year now.
“Accusing her of posing as a commander, she fills him in on going (back) to prison and being recruited (again) into Starfleet.”
I mean no disrespect, folks, as I love this site and its reviews, but this type of grammatical snafu crops up here a lot. It would be a good idea for someone to read these articles before they’re posted, so that they can spot and fix the misplaced modifiers. Like I said, I mean no offense here. TrekMovie and its entire staff are awesome. But it knocks me out of the review every time since it’s a glaring grammar error. (To those thinking “Huh?”: The sentence above says that Ro accuses herself of posing as a commander, which is of course nonsensical. That sort of thing happens a lot in these reviews.) Again, I hope I didn’t offend anyone, as that is most assuredly not my intent.
As long as I can understand what’s being said, I usually don’t fixate on minor grammatical errors on sites like this… but this one… it’s tough to even decipher, because it almost sounds like there’s another woman involved in the scenario, if one didn’t know better.
Although we could first think that your posts pointing out grammatical errors are more pedantic than relevant, given this is not an essay but a review, I do agree with you (and your previous post a few days ago…). People can’t write anymore and it’s always a good thing to remind us what the right way is, lest we continue to stray from it.
This is a Trek site, not a grammar one. Why do you keep posting offtopic stuff here?
Normally I’d agree, but this one was egregious.
It’s an article written quickly for a free to view website. It’s not meant to be a masterpiece. I doubt anyone truly struggled to understand what the author meant. Fair enough if you notice these things but highlighting it in the comments is off topic and just plain rude.
Asking for a modicum of decent grammar doesn’t equate to asking for a “masterpiece.” It’s happened before, and it stands out more than a missing comma on page 47.
So? Stop reading here or politely email the writer personally then. Pointing out someone’s faults publicly is rude. There’s a reason Picard would speak with someone privately in his ready room when there were issues.
I frankly think all of you on both sides of this thread are getting too wound up about this. Yeah, it’s poorly written, but do I really care that much?…no, I don’t
It’s not just this post. The user does it every thread and replies to other users’ comments to make fun of their grammar (not even polite corrections). It doesn’t create a very nice atmosphere for commenting and ignores the myriad of reasons why someone might made a grammar mistake (ESL, neurodiversity, stress, poor education, etc).
She still didn’t clear up the controversy over “The Big Salad”. I guess she never will.
Ha! Nice one.
What’s “the Big Salad”?
Michelle Forbes was a guest star in that Seinfeld episode.
This was a strong episode, but not the best, as the reviewer notes. I enjoy Shaw, but he’s not the breakout character everyone involved with this show keeps claiming he is since he’s rather one-note. I think season one’s cast, particularly Soji, Rios and Agnes, were all far more interesting, and certainly more multi-faceted. Seven is wasted as a Starfleet officer, as she was much more interesting as a Fenris Ranger–for me, this development for her character makes little sense. And the Rafi-Worf scenes, while enjoyable, are redundant. They bicker, they spar, they get into trouble, they get out of trouble. Rinse, lather, repeat–and the fact that Raffi isn’t a well-written or well-acted character detracts from those scenes’ effectiveness. Gretchen, stop trying to make Raffi-fetch happen.
Also, this season, while certainly the best of the three, is really spinning in place. We’re halfway through the season, yet STILL there’s no sign of Geordi, Lore or Moriarty. Troi has done pretty much nothing except look annoyed on a viewing screen for two very short scenes. Vadic has not been given any depth of character, and neither has any member of the Titan bridge crew. Jack has had the most development, and for me the he’s the season’s highlight–though even there, I fully expect the writers to reveal that he’s not really Picard’s son, as he appears to be a Changeling detector, which means he’s likely a Changeling. And the show just keeps jumping back and forth from Titan bridge to Guinan’s bar set to sickbay to the underworld set. They’re great sets, but it’s time for the show to move the story forward. This is getting very redundant. It’s becoming a season-long bottle episode.
IDK, my only gripe about this episode is the re-use of 10-Forward set. But I’m fine with it; whatever. Not a big deal.
Now that you brought that up the moment they opened the doors and the bar was still there by first thought was “why does the computer keep programs running when no one is there?”
And I still think the concept of turning “off” safety protocols on the holodeck shouldn’t even be possible. It’s one of the reasons I was not a big fan of it.
I love Shaw, and not just because he’s a snarky jerk. This is a guy who just wants to be out there doing ordinary Starfleet work, he’s been thrust into an impossible situation against his will, and all he wants is to protect his crew, and now he’s in way over his head, yet still in charge.
Great writing, great story, great character. I don’t think the season would be nearly as successful without him.
Also agreed. Shaw is the character I don’t think any of us knew was coming but now can’t live without.
Shaw has been a kind of glue holding things together. He is embodies the Titan and is her voice.
Seven instead of challenging, seems always to be muted by Picard. Being in his orbit does nothing to advance her arc.
I have been finding Worf to be more Jedi-ish than anything.
Which is an excellent choice, and one some fans may not have unexpected (which can be both a good and bad thing).
Agreed, and I like it. But I’d like it better without Raffi there. :)
I’m a little indifferent to it myself. Let’s see if this goes somewhere.
For the record, Worf was always the only character I really cared about on TNG.
Worf was changed by his time on Borath, and there’s evidence he made repeat visits.
I really enjoyed this episode, mostly because I’m finding the evolving plot really compelling, I’m just nervous it won’t pay off in the end like other seasons of recent Star Trek. What was particularly clever about this story is that it sets us up to believe that Ro is an imposter from the start, based on what we know about her past, which gives us a BRILLIANT opportunity to flesh out the Picard/Ro story. At the same time, we are learning that the Changelings have adapted to appear more human so you remain skeptical about who Ro is until they’ve convinced each other. I just loved all of that, great storytelling and tension building. The story also does a great job building paranoia and hopelessness of their situation. We still don’t know what is up with Jack Crusher, but it now looks like he’s a Changeling scent dog, he can identify them which makes him dangerous to them and possibly why he’s wanted. Oddly enough I’m not as anxious as everybody else to see the rest of the cast joining the story, we still have tons of time left and the story is still packed to the gills with moments that are fulfilling and earned. This is in such stark contrast to other seasons of Star Trek. I will say however that this season of Star Trek does feel a little economical, sure they’ve done a beautiful job getting the basics right, but the show really does feel confined. I guess I notice this mostly after watching the latest episode of “The Mandalorian”. Still, beyond grateful for every moment of this show and I haven’t been disappointed yet.
I’ve heard – not leaking or spoiling! – that the payoff in this season is spectacular. I think that’s a safe way to say it and not have this comment deleted (because I haven’t seen anything).
Given that the plot moves have not been particularly clever so far I’m suspecting the payoff at the end will likely be underwhelming as well. But if that be the case based on the first 5 episodes this is still the best season of programming Secret Hideout has ever done.
The bar is so low for Star Trek: Picard that it can’t be any worse than the first two seasons. I know millions of people love the first two seasons of Star Trek: Picard, I just don’t think it can be reasonably argued that they had successful and satisfying endings.
“ I just don’t think it can be reasonably argued that they had successful and satisfying endings.”
Well, yeah, because at least one of those is subjective.
Were the seasons successful in telling the stories they were trying to tell?
Did these stories satisfy audiences expectations/desires for a new Picard adventure?
For me? Generally, yes, they accomplished the task of telling the stories they set out to tell. They generally satisfied my wants and needs for a new Picard adventure.
Were they great? No. Were there a lot of problems? Yes. But there was enough to keep me interested.
That’s ridiculous; plenty of people liked one, or even both, seasons. Even if you don’t share that view, they’re not remotely among TNG’s worst episodes. None of them featured Lwaxana Troi taking a mudbath with Alexander, or an imaginary friend, or Wesley playing catch.
This is an odd comment because my next sentence is “I know millions of people love the first two seasons of Star Trek: Picard.”
People can love or like flawed things. I’m sure there are even people who love or like the mudbath or imaginary friend or Wesley playing catch. True fans love everything, even when they don’t necessarily like everything about it.
The Ro story was so compellingly crafted. We think she’s an impostor. He think she’s an impostor. She thinks he’s the impostor. The episode is titled IMPOSTORS!!! And in the end what we are really looking at are two deeply wounded friends and colleagues who not only have to trust each other but WANT to trust each other despite decades of pain and hurt, which they have mere moments to forgive and process together.
Yes exactly, so well done. For a minute I did think Ro was an impostor. I knew obviously they were trying to make us think that but for a moment, I actually believed it…for at least 0.68 seconds.;)
People who seen the episodes kept hinting this episode wasn’t going to just bring in another legacy character but discussion they have had a strong impact and they were right. One of the best exchanges in a season full of them so far. Solid writing.
I agreed with everything you said EXCEPT I have faith (of the heart) we will get a compelling pay off at the end. Yes like a lot of fans I have not been happy with a lot of the endings after these massive season long stories and in fact has not been satisfied with a single Discovery or Picard season ender yet (although I will say season 4 of Discovery was the best one on that show but that still isn’t saying much ;)). But I think this will be different. Besides people who seen the entire season saying the last two episodes are massive, they say it does a great job of setting up where the show can go next if we get a spin off. So I’m pretty optimistic about it so far.
But I do agree the story is very contained so far but that’s probably a good thing. A big problem with DIS and PIC is they throw all these crazy subplots at you just to rush through them or plain ignore a lot of them by the end. Here, it’s very focused and doesn’t go into a dozen different tangents. It does sound like they are starting to repeat themselves but as long as the pay off is good I’m fine with it. And there is still a lot of mysteries they have laid out well and I’m really invested where all of it is going. Could blow up in our faces but I think the people writing this season has a clear goal and really knows what they are doing unlike the people running DIS and the first two seasons of PIC.
So far the writing has been pretty impeccable so I have some faith the pay off will be great. One of the things that I particularly love about this show is how it doesn’t take anything for granted, every little in-universe discrepancy turns out to be clues that always get addressed or acknowledged. In fact I have a feeling that any weaknesses left in the plot (like Beverly’s excuse for abandoning her friends for 20 years) hasn’t been fully explained yet. I think most of us just expect obviously flawed producing from this show with massive logic gaps. In previous seasons, I would have expected a Ro Laren cameo to happen without explanation, asking the viewers to just fill in the gaps and be happy with a cameo. Some of us even assumed the new Changling physiology was just a creative decision because it would have been in the past. Not Terry however, this whole episode is meticulous about telling this story. I just love it, such a perfectly woven thread, a huge character payoff, what a gift!
Totally agree of course! Even if you don’t like the direction the season is going, you can’t say it’s not well thought out and plotted. It’s not perfect by any means but you know every set up or question has an explanation and every character has a reason to actually be there.
It’s kind of sad in a way because these are things we should just expect in any TV show; especially serialized ones. But because PIC and DIS has done such a bad job of it for six straight seasons IMO, this season will probably be considered a hit by the masses if it just answers everything its setting up or that it all had a purpose, forget if its actually good or not.
But look at the first two seasons of Picard. Season one was not horrible but it still dropped the ball in so many ways. But season two (IMO) was horrible.. I mean the entire season started with the altered timeline Borg trying to warn Starfleet of the big hole made in space by something or someone and then we get to the ending and we learn noting about who created it or why? Like what? Seriously???? You built an entire premise around this thing and it’s just dropped worse than a hot plate. So much of season 2 just makes no sense whatsoever when it’s not contradicting itself in the process. Q said he was there to help Picard overcome his demons but spent most of the season plotting against the guy.
So compared to that drivel, season 3 may as well be written by Earnest Hemingway. It’s just night and day. Again, not perfect, but solid and well thought out. We need future seasons and shows more like this. Much more.
“ It’s kind of sad in a way because these are things we should just expect in any TV show; especially serialized ones.”
Yup, I’ve been harping on coherent character arcs and story structure as the big misses in Discovery and earlier seasons of Picard.
It should be basic in any serialized storytelling, but it’s clearly harder than it seems because SH Trek isn’t the only streaming product that’s suffered from it. It’s more that Trek fans PAY ATTENTION to more details than weak plotting can carry.
Anyway, I’m not blown away, but there’s a lot of solid stuff so far. The scenes between Ro and Picard were some of the best for me.
Yes, it looks like Jack can sniff out the changelings – but how does he do that? I am guessing he has some ability to rewind time like his brother Wesley. Notice his nightmares where he appears to shoot people and it just appears to be a nightmare? What I think is happening is that he actually shoots people dead and if he finds they are not changelings he just rewinds time so it appears like nothing happened. Remember the scene in the transporter? He shoots the transporter operator and finding him to be human just rewinds time and lets him go. Naturally, Jack remembers killing all those people even if he undoes the event – and that can’t be good for his sanity.
After the stellar first four episodes, this is the first meh of the season. It didn’t advance the story nor did it interest me.
Ro Laren is the first example here of unnecessary fan service. I rolled my eyes seeing her on screen. She wasn’t a good character before and she’s still uninteresting. I found it unnecessary to bring her back and her sacrifice did nothing for me or the story. We didn’t need closure on her.
I had hoped the captain of the Intrepid was Geordi searching for his daughter or another interesting captain. Missed opportunity to introduce a new character for the new Titan show. (Don’t pretend we all know it’s coming).
I’m worried that this is where the show starts to fall apart. If Moriarty or Lore is the AI at Daystrom, I will be disappointment. Yet, the show has been predictable so far.
Jack a super Borg or super changeling??? Where are they going with it? It’s been dragged out too much.
I disagree with Tony. This episode is an example of that mid season doldrums that plagued Disco and Picard. It’s a filler episode that should have been left on the floor of the editing room.
Hopefully next week I will be jumping for joy again but I’ll wait til after work rather than get up early to watch it. Caution Shields Up!
I think that the episode hinged on the intensity of the relationship between Ro and Picard.
For those of us who found Ro a breath of fresh air in TNG, and regretted how the character had an offstage exit from the franchise, it brought closure. I would argue that resolving her relationship with Picard very much belonged in the closing chapter of Picard’s story.
It was very well done, in terms of writing, acting and using Ro’s role in Starfleet intelligence to organically connect the A and B plot lines.
The problem would seem to be that newer viewers or a who weren’t already invested in Ro Laren’s mentee relationship with Picard would not find this so compelling, and the episode otherwise wasn’t that strong.
I see I am not the only one struggling to connect with Jack Crusher as a character. But it would seem that he is that other main character that is being set up for a follow on series.
That’s surely the new character that you’re wondering about coming forward. But the fact that you’re still looking for someone else to stand out suggests it’s not working.
I could have sworn that was Alice Krige’s voice Jack heard that last time they said “Find me”. Also, given that Geordi is in charge of the Starfleet museum and I believe both the 1701-A and the Voyager are shown in the credits, I wonder if there’ll be an epic sequence in the last episodes where those ships are used and we get to see several classic ships on screen again?😀👍📺🐕
It was Gates McFadden.
Yes, I know that’s what the credits said, but that’s not what the last one sounded like. I listened to a few times and it sounded to me like it changed subtly each time…
The end credits show the 1701-A, Voyager and the Defiant orbiting the museum, so hopefully that means we will at least get a glimpse of the past hero ships.
Flagged for approval again. LOL
You could be in to something here as the episode clearly planted the seeds for something to happen to the fleet with the majority of it being involved in the Frontier Day celebration.
What. A. Great. Episode. Michelle Forbes back; didn’t see that coming! So good.
It was even more startling for those of us who saw all 6 in one go. There’s no time to sit and digest and speculate and theorize, or even connect dots… so when she showed up, it really was a kick in the pants.
I really do think the difference in watching them weekly changes a lot of perspective, and can account for why early reviewers are so much higher on it than everyone else.
Ye lucky few!
The downside is, it means waiting more than 2 months between episodes 6 and 7. It’s honestly felt like a season-ending cliffhanger.
I actually cannot imagine how excruciating this wait has been for you and others who have seen the 6 eps!
I have spent the time rewatching episodes over and over. For example, after Ep. 1 aired, I watched 2-6 that day. When Ep. 2 aired, I watched 3-6, when ep. 3 aired, I binged 4-6… etc etc and yesterday I rewatched episode 6.
So I’ve now seen Episode 6 sooooo many times. My gut says that when people see it, it will seal the deal for people in one way or another (of course my predictions of fan reactions have been mostly wrong so far, so who knows).
I am crossing my fingers that reviewers/press will get access to 7-10 next week. It’s not necessarily likely, but possible, as its happened before (but not always).
I’m really looking forward to episode six – I’m hoping it will reveal what’s happening with Jack and we’ll have some definitive answers to the mysteries there. And you’ve probably watched it all so many times you can probably recite some of the dialogue word for word at this stage!
I think you’ve had a really unique experience because of having had early access to those episodes, and I’m sure it’s been VERY hard to bite your tongue over some things – so absolutely fair play to you on your restraint and commitment to not spoiling anything for the rest of us. I’d love if after the sixth episode you’d let us know how you’d thought the fan reactions would go versus how they actually went, and what aspects you didn’t expect fans to pick apart given the time they had to do so in between episodes. I think it’d be really interesting to see how the binge watching model impacted on the overall enjoyment of the show.
This is what I was worried about with those early reviews and hardly anyone here though it was a valid concern. Binge watching has its pros and cons, but one of the massive pros is that you can more easily disregard the weaker moments in a story because you have no time to linger on any aspect for too long as you’re already engaged in the next part of the story. That is a huge thing in regards to overall enjoyment and perception.
I think this season has been widely regarded as a great success by most fans, but I don’t think the reaction has levelled up to the hype or enthusiasm that has come from the early reviewers. And that’s because we’ve all had time to sit with the things that bother us and that obviously starts to tear away at the overall success of it over time.
I must ask, when binge watching it, did spending 3 episodes in the damn nebula still feel like way too many?
No, and it still doesn’t. Because I was focused on character growth, not the ship’s physical path through space.
I suspect you’re right about the binge bs week-by-week release experience Alpha Predator. I appreciate your acknowledgment of this.
The world of streaming has now clearly moved on, with weekly releases the norm. It’s a key way to avoid seasonal churn and build social media engagement to promote subscriber uptake.
I still think this is a very solid season of Star Trek even if with weekly release some of the flaws are more exposed and weaknesses aren’t glossed over.
More importantly, without the enthusiasm of many of those reviewers and others like you who binged the screeners, I and my spouse, and many others out there, wouldn’t be making this Thursday appointment television.
So, this season has already done its work in taking a major step forward in quality, creating a credible opportunity to move forward with a post Berman-era live action show that cuts across TNG, DS9 and Voyager.
But it’s been constrained by the need to focus on the final chapter of its principal character’s journey as well as doing the heavy lifting of a soft reboot.
I think Paramount and SH were smart to see how it plays out over its release period, to gauge audience reaction, and figure out what works and doesn’t. Which new and legacy characters spark the greatest excitement.
You may not believe in the efficacy of any specific data gathering or analytic tool (audience viewing metrics, social media monitoring, focus groups etc.), but in the end, it’s what is and needs to be used to get a read on the risks and opportunities.
Yes, it’s always possible to manipulate the analytics to produce results that serve an agenda, but it’s bad business and reputation matters in analytics as much as anything else.
(I won’t get into a debate about our resumes here, as some here would put it. Just say I know what I know and am comfortable with my academics and expertise.)
Based on what happened with SNW, and the fact that the expected May 2019 green light after the Short Treks was held back, I suspect Paramount will take its time to push Matalas and SH to do more refinement before a new show is green lit.
But it’s looking strongly as though some configuration of a Titan show is exceedingly likely.
I also got to watch Picard S2 in three-episode chunks, which may also be why I wasn’t as down on it. It was still very flawed, but the mid portion particularly, where almost nothing happens, didn’t feel quite as egregious as it must have for those waiting weekly.
I think I know where this is headed. What’s wrong with Jack, why the changelings can hold shape, all of it. It’s all connected and Beverly has suspected all along. Probably the reason why she cut everyone off all those years ago. Not to keep Jack safe, but everybody else. It has to do with Picard’s (dormant) Borg nanoprobes (back then) and the fact they’re probably part of Jack too. The Changelings can hold shape because of the same thing: they’re merged with nanoprobes too.
I’m a bit diveded about this episode. The first half was a 6 (slow, expositiony, still stuck on the ship) but the second half was a 8.5 because of the introduction of Ro and the way things developed. But I had hoped they would’ve gotten away from the ship by now. They need to change it up because it’s becoming too much of the same environment for my taste. Still no Geordi, Lore (although probably next week) and Troi (unless they’re going to hide there).
And I’m really over seeing 12 Monkeys actors popping up everywhere. It takes me out of it in a huge way, especially since they feel miscast, both the Ferengi and now the Vulcan. It was Kirk Acevedo with pointed ears.
If they’re headed to Daystrom next week we’re finally going to see Lore and Moriarty. My prediction is that Daystrom Station is run by Lore (connected to his AI) and the workaround Raffi and Worf got is Moriarty, since he was created to defeat Data.
Btw, although I don’t think this is what’s going on, the fact Jack seemed to be activating made me think of Dahj activating in season 1.
All in all I’m going to rate this episode an 8, mostly because of the story and the ending, and I can’t rate is 7.8 on IMDB LOL
I had to Google “12 monkeys” to know anything about it. It never even crossed my radar, so I have no issue at all with all the cast/producers coming in from that show. In fact, I might have to put it on my list when STP is done.
I’m a HUGE fan of the movie, but was never able to get around to the show. I’m a sucker for an awesome time travel story. But now? Definitely have to make some time for it.
Some find the first season a bit slow at points as Matalas and his co-showrunner weave together the movie with their own original Splinter concept.
Like the first act of this season of Picard, there’s a lot of set up.
The show works like plot and character clockwork over 4 seasons however, such that the payoff is extraordinary.
You should, it’s good!
I found both Krinn and Sneed well played.
My spouse who hasn’t seen 12
Monkeys found both intriguing, solid performances. (Just adding to the reasons it’s on their ‘need to watch that’ list when I mentioned the crossovers after watching.)
In all the classic series, we’ve seen regular Paramount guest actors appear as different characters and aliens repeatedly. No one has ever thought that odd. We’ve seen the same now with the Toronto pool of actors playing aliens in Discovery and SNW.
Why shouldn’t Matalas bring on actors he knows are reliable for good character performances under the alien makeup?
In terms of bringing the 12 Monkeys fans into Trek, that’s part of Matalas’ job. Paramount’s strategy for streaming specifically says that the shows are supposed to lever fandoms. It seems like Matalas is doing exactly that by bringing 12M fans over to Picard.
I’m not saying Matalas souldn’t bring in actors he knows. I’m only commenting on how it made me feel watching them.
I don’t care if it’s familiar faces and I love Acevedo, but these two took me out of the Trek universe, because their connection is so well-known and also I think they were kinda miscast for the parts they were given, especially for Krinn. Acevedo basically played himself. I didn’t see a Vulcan, I saw Kirk Acevedo like I’ve seen him on other shows. I would’ve had the same reaction with other well-known actors.
Granted, the way they looked (the Ferengi stubble and the non-Vulcan characterisation) was also a part of that.
OK. Show got back on track after last week’s weak outing.
I liked the Ro character and really wished she stayed on the crew. It did seem weird she would be back in Star Fleet with scant explanation but people change over 30 years. And her and Picard coming to terms was a bit satisfying, if not foreshadowing.
Shaw mentioning how odd using the shuttle was and then blowing it off was odd in and of itself. Why was he a bit suspicious then totally fine with things? It’s also a major clue for figuring out who’s a Changeling. There must be a reason for their reluctance to transport. At any rate, still better than the standard Secret Hideout stuff so it would seem based on the first 1/2 the early reviews, while a bit overblown, may actually be reliable.
Still a shame they didn’t return to the “Conspiracy” aliens here. With a tiny bit of evolution their return would have been welcome, I’d say.
One side note… I had never seen the Star Trek Continues show and I’ve now seen 3 episodes. While the actors aren’t the best, it’s actually pretty decent. While those 3 episodes have relied a bit more than I might like on previous TOS episodes it certainly better than what Secret Hideout has done. And for a tiny fraction of the budget. Supporting my theory that throwing tons of excess money at Trek is not necessary.
Ro says implicitly that she doesn’t trust the transporters, ie: SHE was the one who insisted on using a shuttle, not the changelings.
Kind of odd to keep harping on “Secret Hideout” though, gotta work that into every post no matter what! They hurt your dog or something?
I’ve seen all of the STC episodes, and while several of them are indeed excellent (if you’re into the retro vibe, which as a TOS fan I am), I don’t find their batting average overall to be any better than that of the current producers, or any of the shows for that matter.
Fair enough. But Secret Hideout has had a LOT of AB’s (if you count one episode as one at bat) and I’ve only seen 3 of STC’s AB’s. I’d say SH is batting around .138 while so far STC is batting 1.000.
It’s all fun fan stuff, but in terms of actual entertainment value, STC is batting .000.
But while Trek since 2017 has been a mixed bag, the past two years they’re batting .1000 (Strange New Worlds, Prodigy, and Picard Season 3).
I disagree with this; I thought most of Star Trek: Continues was very well done, and Vic Mignogna was a remarkably convincing Kirk. Some of the plots were actually quite thought-provoking, such as the episode with the aliens who couldn’t see color.
The only real dud was the episode where they tried to explain why TOS featured no female captains. I think that was one of those things best left to “society was different in the 1960s”; rather like the primitive Klingon makeup, it didn’t need explaining and was best ignored.
This is not to say that a show with retro FX would have mass appeal. It would not. But it to say that well-written Star Trek is possible.
The stories of STC are pretty good, though the actors are… not.
Yeah… That has to be the worst part of the show. Doohan has to be the bright spot in that department. But it is a bit of a hurdle. But the writing is better than the bulk of what SH has offered and it has something that very little of what nu-Trek has. One can see how much their hearts are in this and how much they respect the source material.
I keep telling myself I have to check STC out. Aren’t some of their scripts based on unused TOS scripts?
No. However, one episode, “The Child,” was based on a Phase II script that was made into a not-so-good second season TNG episode. The STC version, directed by the author of the original script, is marginally better, but still not that good.
You now confuse STC with New Voyages. “The Child” was produced by James Cawley not STC.
You’re right; thanks for the correction. I’m getting old and confused!
I honestly don’t know the ins and outs of the creating of the show. But that is a question I wouldn’t mind getting answered.
New Voyages adapted an unused script of David Gerrold for TNG “Blood and Fire” which Gerrold also directed himself.
Nope. Stating that you prefer the STC content is entirely fair. Even implying that you can read the minds and hearts of the Secret Hideout producers based on the mere fact that you don’t like their work most certainly isn’t.
Nope. I’m not reading minds here. I’m drawing conclusions based on how they have treated the source material. The mere fact that you dislike what I said certainly does not make said conclusions unreasonable.
“One can see how much their hearts are in this and how much they respect the source material.”
So, it would have struck you as reasonable for me to have informed Roberto Orci on this very website back in 2009 that his heart wasn’t in his work and that he had no respect for the source material, based solely on the fact that I didn’t like his screenplay for the J.J. Abrams film? Well, no thanks. Our exchanges got pretty contentious from time to time, no doubt about it, but I always made a conscious effort to post solely about my specific reasons for disliking the work, and not to make it personal. Seriously, always assuming the worst about the motives or talents of people you’ve never met is not a good look, and at the very least, hasn’t done much to improve the quality of life or of discourse in this society in recent years.
Your big mistake is that you think I drew my conclusion because of my opinion of the the low quality of the writing. That isn’t why. It’s a lot of things that are apparent in the finished product, the largest of which was mentioned in my post.
What isn’t a good look is continuing to cling to bad and incorrect assumptions even after you have been corrected about your errors. That kind of discourse is what has done nothing to improve any quality anywhere.
Further, my comment wasn’t personal. That conclusion was not a personal attack on the BTS talent employed by Secret Hideout. So that is yet another incorrect assumption you made. Please try harder to pay attention to what exactly is written and if you make a mistake make an attempt to understand the explanation. And feel free to ask questions if you aren’t understanding. That is how civil discourse works.
Agreed. Liking stuff that other people don’t? Totally fine. But pretending he knows their “hearts” is both ludicrous and delusional, and then claiming that something inherently subjective is factual and evidence based? He’s living in his own warped reality.
A very good episode once again! Until next week, I look forward to it.
Yes, I had been waiting 29 years for that scene and I can tell you… I am emotionally compromised.
Riveting. Emotional. Captivating. This episode and this season are just stellar (see what I did there?). Terry Matalas should get another Trek show.
Would love to. if he is up to this task of course
The Mix of Action, Emotions and stuff is good. But it could be soon lacking of the “Exploration” section once Boilmer from Lower Decks mentioned in some Spec Ops Mission
I know this is coming a week late, but I didn’t get to Ep4 until recently. When Vadic is speaking to “The Face”, I swear the background music is the same score as used in TNG’s “Skin of Evil” (that Armus episode). Makes me wonder if “The Face” is a version of Armus (as has been eluded to in other theories on this website).
I keep thinking that Armus managed to get off that planet and is now seeking revenge. It would fit with what I think was Troi’s voice in the season trailer saying “There’s a darkness. An all-consuming darkness”. I think I also read that there is supposed to be a mention of Tasha Yar or something this season.
However, I’m not sure what Armus would have to do with the whole Jack Crusher mystery thing.
Any Michelle Forbes interviews out there on this?
I was hoping she showed up on The Ready Room this week, but no luck.
If you don’t want spoilers, don’t watch to the end of the Ready Room this week, when they announce who will be on next week’s installment…
“I don’t like the episode or the season, but not only am I still watching, here’s 9000 words on it anyway.”
Too bad there’s no way to upvote your comment.
If your comment is a reference to my comment(you could be talking about someone else and if you are i do apologize) as i said i enjoy the season.
I just don’t love it the same as reviews were hyping the first 6 episodes to be some of the best Trek made i don’t think this season is anyway the best. It’s certainly not the worst as TNG’s first 2 seasons were bad with some good episodes here and there.
Again It’s a good season of Trek i enjoy it and i will continue to watch it.
I hope by the end of the season that if the writers can pull all the story pieces together and give a satisfying conclusion to the story-arc (with half the season over already i feel they can’t at least not convincingly anyway but i do hope I’m wrong) that i could end up loving this season. We will see.
Christopher, it was about yours in fact, but I didn’t mean it harshly. IThanks for the context.
More like: “I don’t the episode or the season, or the last 5 years and 3 movies, but I am still watching, and here’s 9,000 words on it anyway.”
Utterly baffling, but we all know at least one commenter here that speaks for.
You seem to think you made a point.
As do many people who agree with him. Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. See how that works for you too? (insert Elon Musk’s favorite emoji)
Looks like i was right about the USS Intrepid. They last Change to get their hand on Jack Crusher. But we still do not know why. But we see what it could be. he hast a “Gift” to see Changelings. So how are the Archenemy of the Changelings? Perhaps they had their hands in “creating” jack Crusher, too
or we have here some Douglas Quiad (Schwarzenegger) from “Total Recall”
Time will tell
With no disrespect intended, it’s often difficult to understand what you’re saying.
Well to be honest, that is quite disrespectful. It sounds to me like he may be a non-native English speaker. Instead of just saying “it’s difficult to understand you,” with no other point, try showing some acceptance and understanding… or just… don’t say anything.
Besides, it takes a little effort, but I can usually understand them just fine. If they are a non-native English speaker, they’re doing a damn good job expressing themselves, if you ask me.
Thanks for the help. Yes, i am from Germany and i use my School English here. Sorry for that
We still do not known the reason while they go that far sacrifice so many “founders” just to get Jack alive. They are all expandable. How stand over them?
The Gift i was saying is that Jack can somehow see the Changelings. in the memory-Alpha Wiki, the Changelings can see each other trough an Mental Link or telepathy. So that could explain a bit Jack’s Gift
And i was talking about the Archenemy’s of these Changelings. Memory-Alpha said something about their Predecessors but nothing more. it is still in the Dark. They “Did not Bow to anyone”. Also this Face of Vadic’s Hand resembles some famous Jem’Hadar.
or our Jack Crusher is an Sleeper, that somehow do not know of his origin memories like Douglas Quiad (Arnold Schwarzenegger) From “Total Recall” Movie
I hope this is now better to understand
No need to apologize! I totally get what you’re saying — it’s a fun mystery to be sure. We’ll have to see how it plays out!
Some interesting stuff Worldwidedepp.
It’s been too long since I’ve watched DS9 to recall the backstory around the Changelings own progenitors. Thanks for digging it up.
The Jem’Hadar look with the ‘talking hand’ is something I can also see now you suggest it. That would be a major reversal in relationship, but interesting.
Writing intelligibly in a second language is really tough even for those of us who have been working at it much of our lives. (I still always look for someone to check my correspondence in my other languages.)
I respect you for putting yourself out there on social media in a language you don’t use frequently. It’s great to have more people from outside North America participating here. Please feel welcome.
I liked this one. Great to see Ro again, if only for a little while. Weird to see that sort of Vulcan, but I kind of dug it. Glad they didn’t kill off Worf. I don’t think I’d be able to handle that.
As for Jack, I had the thought that maybe he’s infected with some kind of Changeling virus that’s gradually turning him into one of them or a hybrid. Or maybe just a sleeper agent? I am finding that side of the story more interesting, anyhow.
I think the reason the Jack Crusher mystery is making people nervous is that it very much feels like the kind of thing they’d do in Seasons 1 or 2 (a vague and sinister mystery, represented by cryptic clues and enigmatic visuals).
While I was not as down on those seasons as most, I obviously understand why people disliked them, and so to see a story that feels like it’s going in that kind of direction, I can see where it might make people uneasy.
That said, I see a lot of fans who’ve watched 12 Monkeys say it feels like something out of that show, too, and people laud that series, so…
Well, I don’t know if I’m nervous. Maybe mildly annoyed at the wheel-spinning. Hopefully more will be revealed next episode.
Apart from all that, this episode gave me some heavy BSG reboot vibes. Not just because Michelle Forbes was there but because of the sleeper agent suddenly opening fire visions. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. The paranoia angle here was well played, I thought.
You might not be, but a lot of folks seem to be, and while I don’t agree, I think they’re justified given the kind of story it is.
The season is strong enough for me at this point that any nervousness I might otherwise have is overridden by my willingness to let it see how it plays out. They’ve earned the benefit of the doubt at this point for me.
Matalas was able to construct a clockwork series in 12 Monkeys. So, I expect it to work plot wise.
However, that show was chock-full of complex, charismatic, marvellous and compelling characters – whether major or minor. The actors weren’t stars, but they all brought craft and chemistry.
Stashwick’s Shaw is the only one of the new characters that delivers that in Picard.
We just don’t enough lines or moments from the bridge officers or Dr Ohk to have any real dimensions come through.
I can see that Jack Crusher was written to be like a compelling 12 Monkeys type character.
Setting aside my own issues with the casting choice, I don’t hear that it’s riveting others. And that’s unfortunate because Jack Crusher seems to be the fulcrum.
I think the issue with Jack might be that, beyond the plotty-plot-plot mystery surrounding him and his lineage, he is just your basic sci-fi rogue character we’ve seen in so many things since Han Solo swaggered onto the scene. There’s not a whole lot there to get excited about with this character (so far). I mean, at least the “outrageous” Okona got to schmooze Teri Hatcher.
I like Jack fine. He’s not as unique as I’d like, but Speelers is charismatic enough that I stick up for his casting. My issue is that Jack is now a bit of a mystery box with his visions, and that’s not really my favorite way to develop a character. His backstory with Picard and Beverly mitigates that to a point at least.
As for comparing this show to 12 Monkeys and its plethora of engaging characters… Yes, the bridge crew are slight, but we’ve gotten meaty development for Picard, Riker, Crusher, Worf, Raffi, Seven, Shaw and Ro. If they can stick the landing for Jack’s relationship with his dad, and flesh out Vadic, Lore, Deanna and Geordi, then that’s a fantastic batting average to me even if nothing else changes for the rest of the characters.
I think Jack has the 25th century Intersect handed down to him. Chuck and Sarah were ancestors of Beverly.
It’s a shame that René Auberjonois is no longer with us, since with the way this season’s plot is unfolding he would probably have been invited to be part of it.
This was fantastic. This season is about 1000x better than the first two seasons. It’s fun and interesting and so much of what I want Star Trek to be. There will always be things to nitpick (of course) but I was quite surprised to come here and find the amount of complaining I did. I mean… to each their own, but I’m bummed for those who aren’t able to enjoy this season for whatever reasons.
One thing… the review and several of you have mentioned that it was Beverly’s voice in Jack’s head. The times later in the episode, I absolutely agree. However, in the earlier “visions,” it definitely sounded like Vadic. I’m going to watch again tonight, but I’m 99% sure on that.
The subtitles say “Beverly’s voice: find me”. We’ll have to see.
They say that every time he has a vision?
Well, put me down as someone for whom a Vulcan gangster didn’t prove to be an interesting take on anything. And while time spent with Michelle Forbes is always welcome, I didn’t think that her brief appearance or murky motivations (is she there to arrest Picard and Riker, ferret-out changelings, tell her surrogate father to bugger-off, or all of the above?) allowed her sacrifice to emotionally pay-off, with the whole thing just coming off as more fan service.
Still hate the cinematography, don’t care all that much about the changeling suplot so far, and hope that the Jack Crusher mystery box starts to provide some answers soon, as I’m starting to find his visions wearisome. On the plus side, the direction and dialogue are often top-notch for Trek, with Todd Stashwick being a constant delight. But after a solid episode followed by one that fell just shy of being great, I’m back to being pretty ambivalent about this show. I can appreciate from a certain perspective that it’s well-done, but in its darkness and cynicism it doesn’t much feel like Star Trek to me at all. If you’re looking for grittier space opera, BABYLON 5, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, and THE EXPANSE do that far better than Trek ever can or will. Divorced from its aspirational take on the human future, what exactly is Trek for?
Divorced from its aspirational take on the human future, what exactly is Trek for?
Product for its parent company.
Recall that Shaw brought in Starfleet, so Ro has been ordered to respond to — from her perspective — *another* unusual situation aboard a starship. She suspects Picard and Riker are Changelings because why would Jean-Luc Picard and Will Riker commandeer a ship and take it out of Federation space? And then the whole Jack Crusher part of it. So, Ro’s motivations are pretty clear and it’s Picard who pulls her into the “bugger off” part of it and, indeed, that’s how both parties figure out that they’re dealing with a real person and not a Changeling. Pretty clever!
Ro’s presence gives closure to her story in Star Trek, gives Picard a final piece of that relationship in his twilight — she could’ve been a surrogate daughter and here he is now dealing with his real son (a bummer Picard didn’t call her Laren in their last moment together, but maybe the writers just forgot that part about Bajoran names?) — and gives our TNG crew legit reason to buy into the whole Grand Conspiracy. In the overarching plot, she’s fulfilling the same role as Captain Walker Keel in “Conspiracy,” essentially, but the audience is way more familiar with that history than just a few tossed off lines of dialogue to suggest closeness. Now, our main characters know everything they need to know to put them on the path to fighting back / solving the big problem. And we get a genuine emotional payoff on top of the very small plot advancement.
That seems like a pretty good take. I’ll re-watch more carefully, thanks. As to the first point — well, of course, but I’m not a Viacom shareholder, so what’s in it for me? It’s a truism that art necessarily reflects the time in which it was made, but if Trek must do so with respect to our own faltering regard for the very institutions we once took such pride in, the franchise has lost something of great significance, regardless of how good it might be otherwise.
I also think it’s flawed thinking that Trek has no purpose without an aspirational take on the human future. End of the day, that may be what you get out of it, it may be a part of a lot of previous Trek, but it doesn’t have to have that to be good.
If you don’t see it, and need it to be pleased with Trek, that’s really your issue, not the show’s. Even when Trek isn’t aspirational, I know I can still enjoy it.
Not only did I NOT say that Trek “has to be aspirational to be good” (whatever “good” might mean in this context), that is in fact precisely the opposite of what I stated. I did go on to note that without its aspirational take on humanity I didn’t see much to distinguish Trek from several notable space operas that came after it, and which are in fact arguably superior in their realistic approach to science, or as drama and political allegory. And while millions over the decades have appreciated the franchise for its optimism — that’s just a documented fact — I never insisted that you or anyone else had to feel that way, just that I did.
Apologies, I was actually going off the response’s truncated quote, not the full comment, which I see robs it of all the context.
Divorced from its aspirational take on the human future, what exactly is Trek for?
In a general sense, I agree with that sentiment. But the season is only half-way done, and I bet by the time it ends it will be uplifting once again.
You think Trek is pointless without that? Again, I understand that it’s part of Trek’s DNA most of the time, but it’s not always. Some of the best Trek was not aspirational about our future, and in fact, was about the darkest parts of human nature.
And if Trek decides it doesn’t want to be about that anymore? That’s fine too. It doesn’t mean it has no purpose.
Obviously Michael’s statement which I quoted and responded to is a broad-brush generality with a rhetorical flourish. You shouldn’t take it so literally, and I never used the word “pointless” in any context. To the contrary, I think that any Trek at all, good, bad or indifferent, is better than no Trek, and I will eagerly watch and welcome whatever they serve up. But historically, Roddenberry’s original premise posited a hopeful future for humanity, and basically the franchise has followed through with that idea thru ten series and ten films. Yes, the franchise has certainly explored darker aspects at length, but I’m hard pressed to think of a series or film that ended on a dystopian note. They always seem to finish on the up-and-up, no matter what. Maybe someday someone will come up with a Trek concept that’s unrelentingly dark; after all, a lot of great drama and literature takes the form of tragedy in which there are no happy endings, and at that point fans can debate whether or not it feels Trekish enough. I don’t recall them trying that yet, though I admit I could be forgetting something; there are many hours of Trek out there that I haven’t viewed super recently.
All I had to go by was what he said. It didn’t sound figurative to me, but if it was, I apologize. The word “pointless” though was taken from the phrase “what’s the point.”
But totally with you on everything else.
The Star Trek: Vanguard 22nd century novel series is gritty and dark, yet it has a very loyal fan following.
Vanguard, Starbase 47, has a complex mystery at its heart and is set in a context of colonial competition for territory. At times, it makes DS9 seem lighthearted.
It takes its time to take off, but many (myself included) would like to see it adapted. So, that tells us that there’s a significant swath of fans who are dedicated enough to be into the Litverse that are ready for a darker series.
We’ve had individual epsiodes of Trek that are less-than-aspirational: “A Private Little War,” “Pre-Emptive Strike,” a lot of TNG’s Klingon stuff, etc., not to mention so much of DS9. You have to look at the totality of it. It’s not easy to build an aspirational future. Without credible challenges to the aspirational future, that future comes off as cotton candy fluff.
I’m more than happy to see how the season plays out, and I’m more optimistic about it than after “Disengage.”
True enough, which is why I won’t be evaluating the season as a whole until the end credits of episode 10 roll. Still, “individuals can act well even when the institutions around them fail” is arguably not uplifting in the sense that TOS and TNG were uplifting; in fact it’s precisely the opposite, since both of those shows posited a future where individuals were still very flawed but technology and institutions had nevertheless evolved and made things better. That may not actually be reasonable — in fact, I’ve thinking for awhile that we need better laws or economics less than we just need better people — but it is part of the show’s DNA nevertheless.
There is also the real-life social context to remember. TNG’s best seasons, and TUC, came at the height of post-Cold War euphoria. Inevitably developments like 9/11, the chaotic Trump years, and the Ukraine war will subtly impact Star Trek.
…or not-so-subtly, in some cases!
Objectively, this episode was probably around an 8/10, but the absolutely riveting dialog and acting between Picard and Ro, I’ll gladly up it to a 9 on sentimental grounds.
Ro Laren was one of my favorite TNG characters, a real highlight of the series’ later years. I wish she had been a regular, and I still wish she had made the move to DS9. Forbes’ acting, unlike Denise Crosby’s, was on a par with Stewart’s, and every episode where she appeared hit it out of the proverbial park (“Rascals” excepted, but Forbes only really appeared briefly there). We got a taste here of what DS9 might have been like had she, and not Kira, been the resident Bajoran.
Yes, you can quibble around the edges. I do find it difficult to believe that Picard never knew Ro had re-joined Starfleet, or for that matter that she hadn’t burned bridges after failing her second chance at redemption. (*Ro* accusing Picard of treason was masterfully handled, though.) She was also a bit nonchalant about her two security officers, to the point where I almost *still* wonder if she could be a changeling (the tempered nose prosthetic contributed to this). Finally, while Picard is a famous officer who undoubtedly shaped many of Starfleet’s up-and-comers, it was still a stretch for all three members of the intelligence team to have been his proteges.
But the pent-up sense of betrayal, and friendship was…masterfully done. And it makes me overlook the quibbles. And again, we saw Picard out of his element; you’d think it would have been *Picard*, not Riker, who tried to soften Ro’s record by pointing out it was 30 years in the past. Yes, from Ro’s perspective, Picard was acting thoroughly out of character, and she had every reason to think he was a changeling.
And I liked the fact that the show didn’t gloss over Picard’s and Riker’s transgressions in commandeering the Titan under false pretenses. There needed to be consequences, even if the changeling situation had never arisen. Captain Shaw continues to be the most level-headed officer on the Titan, even if he, too, showed some flawed leadership last week when lashing out at Picard over Wolf 359, where even his junior officers looked gobsmacked at the outburst.
The Word-Raffi subplot was less well executed. There was nothing particularly *wrong* with it, but I had the sense of “been there, done that”; we saw little new that we hadn’t already seen in the scenes with Sneed. The idea of a gangster Vulcan was a bit incongruous; but OTOH, it’s a big universe, there are always outliers and we’ve seen Vulcans that stray from the path of logic before. I might have liked to see Raffi and Worf express some surprise at the notion of a Vulcan gangster, but ultimately, that’s a minor quibble.
As for the idea that the season is too dystopian: well, I don’t see it any more so than DS9, and less so than, for instance, TWOK. Yes, the sense of paranoia here was on steroids; still, surely that would have been true after Changelings bombed the Antwerp Conference on DS9, or tried to sunder the Klingon alliance, or even goaded Starfleet into an attempted coup.
True, the dark cinematography doesn’t help, and the bridge continues to be a bit too blingy (Shaw injured his head by falling on those steps, which are an obvious safety hazard, not to mention a barrier to the disabled). But ultimately I care more about a compelling story and riveting acting. Ultimately, the crew jelled in “No Win Scenario,” coming together to escape the nebula despite their earlier leadership failures. That shows an ability to learn from mistakes, and as Picard once said at the zenith of TNG, “I’ve made some fine ones.” That is a traditional theme of Star Trek.
Obviously much will depend on how the second half plays out, which is always a caveat with reviewing individual episodes of a serialized season.
You make an excellent defense of what you like about this season, and this episode in particular. I agree that there have been outstanding moments — pair Michelle Forbes with some good dialogue and you’re almost guaranteed some of those — but nevertheless I’m still finding much of it dreary and cynical and difficult to relate to as Trek. (And what’s with M’Talas Prime, anyhow? A Blade Runner-ish dystopia run by Ferengi and Vulcan gangsters, and with its own Starfleet recruiting facility? Seriously, I’m more curious about that than what’s up with Jack Crusher.) Still, for all the darkness I loved that birthing scene in the nebula, where the look on the crews’ faces said it all: for all of our personal drama and trading shots with our enemies of the moment, this is why we’re here, and why we do what we do. Give me more moments akin to that one and I may yet end up a happy camper.
M’talas prime seems to be just outside Federation space, or on a neutral freeport world within Federation space.
Not every planet accepts the opportunity to join the Federation, and it would violate Federation principles to impose itself. So, how does the Federation work around that kind of anomaly that can undermine its security and values?
It’s an interesting thought experiment.
And yes, Starfleet and the Federation would have recruitment centres, intelligence and services there to manage the risk. But it could still be rough and ungovernable.
I had a friend a number of years ago (despite never having, to my knowledge, visited the UAE), boldly told me “Dubai is basically Tattoine.” Well, I dunno. But it might not be the worst analogy to M’Talas.
I still would have preferred they used Freecloud, rather than M’Talas; it would have been an appropriate callback to season one, the place where Raffi last saw her son. And visually they looked similar. Still, it’s a very minor point.
Also listed was one of Morn’s associates.
Why can’t a mobile emitter be hidden under a holo-sleeve? Would that not be possible? I had noted it before but thought it was a communicator. It was noticeably bigger than the Doctor’s.
Haven’t we known from very early on in DS9 that the blood tests were worthless?
I’m not sure. We know Joseph Sisko hypothesized that they’d be worthless, but I don’t offhand recall an instance where a blood test actually failed, as he suggested it might. I’d have to go back and rewatch.
The Martok/Martok changling thing sort of ends up being an example of outsmarting a blood screening by mistake.
Sisko was a false positive, but that was a Starfleet plot.
I thought the O’Brien changeling said something to Sisko like that it would be easy to fool a blood test, but looking it up I see I was wrong. But how hard could it be? They’d just need to store some real blood and release it.
That’s not what I mean: the whole “the changelings can get around blood screenings” first came up when Sisko’s FATHER (Joseph Sisko) told Benjamin Sisko that “there isn’t a test that’s been invented that a smart man can’t find his way around,” suggesting that a changeling could just suck up a man’s blood and spit it out on cue when tested.
But I’m not sure we ever actually saw a Changeling do that (though please do correct me, if it did happen)
Ah, Joseph, right! Now I remember. No, I don’t think we ever saw it.
IIRC, it was Joseph Sisko, Ben’s father, who made the point about changelings foiling a blood test.
When there was a changeling loose on the Defiant, they managed to defeat the blood test by becoming the person who administered it.
Not quite the same :) but as LD pointed out, the Changeling Martok got past it in Way of the Warrior, at the outset of the episode (it’s easy to forget because he passes it at the beginning of the episode, long before we find out he’s a changeling)
We saw the Martok changeling fool a blood test in Way of the Warrior.
Totally forgot about that! And that was well before Homefront, too.
Did anyone notice that when the changelings shapeshift, they let off a little steam? I wonder what the in-universe explanation was for that.
I have to admit that this show is starting to lose me again. I thought 3 and 4 were great episodes, but this was right back to the issues had with 1 and 2. It’s mostly just fine for me at this point. We’re halfway through the season and I feel like we’ve only moved about two steps in this story. Of course, five episodes in and they’re still stuck on the Titan. I guess at least Worf and Raffi are getting off that planet soon.
The Ro and Picard scenes were electric though and almost made the whole episode worth it. I just can’t care and don’t care about Jack and his visions. A real misstep for me to have him be the central point of the season.
As for the other TNG characters we haven’t seen or have barely seen, I’m starting to agree with what I’ve seen from reviewers in that the show just didn’t have any use or interest in them. At this point, I’m just hoping for something more than an episode or two with them featured and hopefully a scene of all of them together.
“ I just can’t care and don’t care about Jack and his visions.”
I am trying very hard to care for the sake of the rest of the story.
It’s not like I’m actively wishing him offscreen (as I did with Bakula’aa Archer too much of the time in Enterprise).
I just am not interested in Jack Crusher, and keep waiting for his moments to be over so t can see the other characters.
In the first dream sequence of episode 5, I was more interested in the reactions of the bridge crew than anything Jack was feeling about the dream.
I was convinced Ro was a Changeling, so when she turned out not to be and was there to help it was so moving. I always thought her story line on Next Gen was so compelling. And to see it resolved in this way, all these years later, was the kind of surprise I honestly never saw coming and didn’t know was needed until we got it. I loved it. The suspense in this episode also had me on the edge my seat. I might not have watched right before bed had I known it was going be this anxiety inducing. I loved the design of the USS Intrepid. That’s one sexy star ship.
Seperate subject: You know what is a little irritating? There are like a TON of Star Fleet ships (like in the Fed/Romulan stand off) and we keep on seeing ships with the same old names over and over. Intrepid? Titan? At least Lower Decks had a ship named the USS Corpus Christi!
Considering the entire fleet was decimated a decade or so ago (a few years after Lower Decks), it stands to reason the new ships would all carry the names of older ones.
Fair enough. Enterprise is a name with a long history of reuse in both the UK and US.
It really is time though for a few new ship names.
Titan has come out from Nemesis, but it’s Treklit and STO that built it up. I’m really glad Lower Decks and Picard are finally giving her her due.
I was happy to see the Parliament class on Lower Decks has the Vancouver, but surely it would be to the franchise’s advantage to incorporate some heroic ship names from a greater range of wet navy traditions.
Vancouver is my absolute favorite city. I’m not protesting naming ships after Canadian cities at all.
I’m really missing Rene this season. I can’t help but feel that if he was still around, this season would have provided a great opportunity for Odo to come back. Essentially, while the Federation was responsible for the illness, members of that Federation who were his friends were also responsible for saving them. It would have been a nice touch to give Odo the opportunity to return the favor, as a friend, when members of his own organization are now the ones bent on destroying the Federation. Rene was truly a gem of an actor, as was his character.
I must say, I didn’t enjoy all of the first two seasons of Picard, but season 3 is just excellent. That episode connects a lot of dots. The writing is just great. I though at one point they would fall into fan service, but no. Even when they bring back something from the past, they put it in context of this story. They justify that character, that event and they follow up on it. I am just wow by it.
Not everything is perfect, but I don’t even want to talk about negative.
Have to say overall, a great episode, if still not a perfect one. I haven’t read many of the comments yet but I assume seeing Ro was the biggest highlight and surprise of the season so far for many. It was great to see her and I have to admit, I wasn’t sure it was her at first. Not because she naturally looked older but her nose ridges did look a lot less pronounced. But the second she started talking it was definitely Ro again. The conversation between her and Picard was great. All of it done so well. I just loved it brought up the entire Maquis issue again. For people whose been begging for Trek to go forward again, characters like Ro was a big reason why. It was such a mystery to know what happened with her (I thought she was basically killed once the Dominion showed up and finished them off) but glad to know she regained her life again and even came back to Starfleet.
And yes, it was sad to see her killed off but I didn’t think she was going to stick around beyond an episode anyway. And it was a nice touch she was Worf’s handler, which I was hoping would be Bashir or Tuvok, but this was just as great of a trade off as those.
But so much to like in this episode like learning Changelings have learned to evolved into a humanoid biology. I have no clue how realistic that is but nothing about Changelings are realistic in general lol, so you just go with it. I did love the Worf/Raffi scenes dealing with the gangster Vulcan (and yes a huge 12 Monkeys actor I smiled the second I saw him) but I’m getting very tired of being on M’Talas. It’s just out stayed it’s welcome at this point. And why does it feel like everyone they need to talk to there all live on the same city block or something? So I’m really hoping we moved on finally.
Jack’s mystery is really building now and Shaw was great as usual. His deadpan delivery is just amazing. “I’ll let you guys have a moment to get your bullshit story straight” or something like that. I LOL as usual. This guy HAS to be in the spin off show assuming he doesn’t die this season.
Episode wasn’t perfect and there a few leaps in logic, but overall pretty strong IMO and every week leaves you wanting more and not nearly falling asleep out of boredom like season 2 of Picard and season 4 of Discovery felt like by their half way points.
If nothing else it’s really solid story telling so far with characters I have loved for the past 35 years. This is the Star Trek I been missing.
I’m at the point where I love Liam Shaw, he’s probably my favorite of the new characters from this season. But I can’t read what the fandom thinks about him, because most of the time the takes just make me kinda angry.
On the subject of the Titan show, I’m thinking Seven will either quit starfleet or be shuffled off to her own command or onto another ship to serve in the senior staff there. If that’s the case, I’m circling back around to wanting Shaw’s first officer to be Brad Boimler. I know people will hate that but to them I say: I don’t care. I think the duo of Shaw and Boimler would be a great one, they can learn a lot from each other probably. Plus Jack Quaid can absolutely pull off things that aren’t comedic.
I can understand why some don’t like him and most of it seems to come from how he treats Seven and the whole dead naming thing (which is a thing I never even heard of literally until this season with this character). And others didn’t like the way he treated Picard and Riker from the very start. Again,yeah, probably makes him come off like a dick but we now know why he was so put off with Picard outside of trying to steal his ship basically and how it relates to Seven too.
But now that we know why he has issues with Picard, no one still hasn’t explained why he picked Seven as his XO if her entire background bothers him so much? I assume that will be discussed at some point. So I get it, he is rough around the edges and what’s so great about the character is he admits it. He knows he has baggage and takes it out on his crew at times, but for some admitting to being a dick still doesn’t endure the character to them either.
And I WOULD like to see Boimler under Shaw lol. That would be fun. But Boimler would be much older now and a lot more confident (I’m assuming) so it wouldn’t be the same character we have today exactly but could also be more interesting and quell some of the moaning some fans have with that character.
Yeah I mean. I do understand that part of the criticism. He is being a dick and I’m glad he’s admitting it. Because that does make him a great character.
Also as a trans person, I have a lot of complicated feelings on calling it dead naming. To me it isn’t. It was never a name that she disowned, the option to retake that name was always open for her. Unless she did and I just don’t remember it. For me, I could never go by my dead name again. If I was her, the dead name would be Seven of Nine but that’s me.
And yes exactly. I want to see that older Boimler that has matured and learned a lot from his experience. For starters I think he’d have also outgrown the purple hair stage. If he still dyes it, I could totally see him with dark blue hair, I think he’d look great with that.
Annika Hanson is a name she disowned, if I recall. When Janeway asked if she wanted to go back to her human name after joining the crew and removing her implants, she specifically said no, “Seven” was who she was now and the name she preferred, and on more than one occasion she bristles at people calling her Annika (such as when Neelix brings her a letter).
It gets a little fuzzier in Unimatrix Zero, when in the collective unconsious reality, she goes by Annika, but it’s almost against her will and they suggest pretty clearly that it makes her uncomfortable. Once she returns to Voyager, she goes back to using the name Seven.
All that said, it’s always been sort of implied that while Seven is the name given to her by the Borg, “Annika” is actually the name she associates with her trauma.
It’s obviously a complex issue, and that’s why I’d love to see it explored. The light-hearted nature of Voyager didn’t allow as much deep exploration of her trauma, nor any trans allegory, so it’s ripe for it.
You know, there is a huge taboo in Germany against naming babies “Adolf” or “Adolphus,” and with good reason. It’s not illegal to give that name, and there was even a German movie about it a few years ago, as I recall. Local governments can refuse to register the name on birth certificates if they perceive it’s being given for ideological reasons.
But you still find people given the name, or very old people who were so named before the war. (That’s before we get to foreigners with the name; the good that Adolfo Suarez did in democratizing Spain does not outweigh the historical baggage of Hitler.) They often chose to disguise their name (“Adi” or such), but even so, many Germans simply refuse to acknowledge the name. And I think rightly so.
That is the situation analogous to what Shaw sees in Seven. This is the military; part of serving in the military is that you sacrifice some of your individualism in the name of the group.
Another great angle that could be explored.
God, please no. What a way to ruin an excellent setup for a new series.
One: I don’t care.
Two: give Jack Quaid a darn chance.
I’m looking forward to seeing Jack Quaid as Richard Feynman in Oppenheimer.
I suspect that will change how people perceive his range as an actor.
A friend who watched the Scream movie that he was in said he was great in it. And I believe that even though I won’t watch it myself because not appealing to me.
Yup, could not agree more except I have to say Jack’s recent backstory and where his character is headed is really intriguing me.
It was great to see Ro again, and I reminded the writers from S1, that is how you write off a character. I know TNG wasnt perfect either writing off Tasha with a meaningless death – but c’mon with this show’s budget they could have come up with a better end for poor Icheb!
As I said below, too bad we are already 50% done with S3! Bring on E6!!
I am so confused. What decade is it? Is it the 2370s again? Where’s Jeffrey Combs? He was the best part of the 2370s for me.
How big is this rogue group? This is worse than the 2370s in ways. I feel like one the main characters at the end of one of my favorite musicals, wandering around the stage and screaming in terrified confusion because everyone around her wasn’t who they claimed to be. Especially her line “is it just a [bleeping] loop?”
Ooh Weyoun could sing the closing number of that musical to me though. Or Brunt if the mentions of him result in seeing him.
Now I’m confused…
Is it just a effing loop? Is this the 2370s again? It feels like the 2370s again! If it is the 2370s again, then where is Jeffrey Combs?
The problem with Jack Crusher realizing something isn’t right, is that there likely isn’t something right with Beverly, either. That would explain her dropping off the face of the earth twenty years earlier. She was replaced.
But isn’t Beverly the one who was doing all the warning against it being a threat from the start and has now discovered Changelings have basically become humanoid? She’s the one outing them. I really hope this isn’t another Voq/Tyler situation where she doesn’t KNOW she’s a double agent and basically working against the people who may have put her there in the first place (which is why the Voq/Tyler subplot was just idiotic to me).
Unless you mean replaced by someone else entirely.
Given all the talk of AI throughout this season I immediately thought it was just Star Trek updating terminology to match real world developments like drone use in season 2 that we had never seen in ST before. But now I’m wondering if what Jack is suffering from is some hangover from Discovery’s super AI program ‘Control’ that ultimately sent Burnham and her team to the 32nd century. Jack seems to have a similar eye ‘flash’ as the ‘needle in the eye’ victims of Control.
If Control or something like it is responsible, this could maybe tie in Lores appearance at some point. Given Lores positronic abilities, an association with a super AI intelligence would be right up his ally for the destruction of the Federation after his failed attempt in TNGs ‘Decent – Part 2’ with the Borg.
I really, really hope not. I don’t want anything Discovery tainting this season. Even if season two was Discovery’s best, it was still disappointing.
Loved this episode. My only frustration was that there wasn’t one clear line that a TNG fan would instantly recognize that Ro was who she said she was. The entire time on first watch up until she sacrificed herself, I believed she was a changeling. On second watch, I was able to digest more and see that she was indeed Ro.
I agree. On my rewatch of the episode I realised I had missed Riker speaking “Ro Laren”‘s name when we first see her. Straight after rewatching the episode I felt compelled to revisit TNG’s Season 7 penultimate episode “Preemptive Strike” which reminded me of how deeply Picard was affected by Ro’s betrayal.
Back in the Next Gen days I found myself watching nearly all the episodes 3 times at least but have never felt like that with new Trek so much until this season. A testimate, I suppose, to better writing and more engaging storytelling.
I think her pleas to Picard about the danger to Starfleet were enough, and driven home by their emotional goodbye in the corridor. What do you think would have helped you?
I agree. Also, the first hint for me that Ro might really be Ro is her touching the back of her neck. That was totally a subtle nod to Ro’s mannerisms.
This may be bad writing. And I’m no creative television storyteller. I write B2B content. But I guess I was hoping for maybe a line like, “Prove you are who you say you are. What was the last conversation you and I ever had?” Then she summarizes the conversation in the bar from “Preemptive Strike”, which leads into the emotional lines they actually say in this episode “you broke my heart.”
Maybe there were more subtle hints in the conversation that I missed watching the show at 5am. But it would have been nice if there was just something slightly more obvious to set my mind at ease so I could take in the moment more the first time.
Informationally, you’re probably right that a line might that would make logical sense and communicates who she is to the audience of Trekkies. Yet, I think dramatically that might have come across a little dry. I think it’s much more powerful that they can believe who they say they are by the strength of their emotional connection.
But I see what you’re saying. It’s a valid perspective, for sure.
I wonder if there’s any grounds to think Ro might *still* be a changeling. I’m going to ask myself that question when rewatching it.
Nah. It was utterly clear from the emotional interchange.
If anything a direct request to prove someone is themselves is more likely to bring up something researchable.
It’s the knowledge of the relationship that is confirming or not, just as Shaw demonstrated in his interaction with Seven.
“Hot Drop The Enterprise D” might be my new favorite Star Trek line
Thas was so funny!
jack’s immediate vision after dispatching the four changelings showed the red door with two old-style starfleet deltas etched into glass on either side (not part of the titan set.) there are no visual mistakes or throwaways on this show …
The old ‘Big D’ perhaps? The Ten-Forward crew lounge?
Thank goodness Picard has gotten back to doing what it does best: Introducing legacy characters and killing them. /s
This one bothers me a LOT less than Hugh. Because — while I admit I didn’t want anyone important to die this season — it really did feel like a conclusion to her story, and it served the narrative, and created emotional closure AND motivation.
Whereas, Hugh’s just felt like “oh wouldn’t it be a shock to the audience if we offed him here?”
Also, they announced and made a big deal of Hugh’s return ahead of time only to kill him off unceremoniously.
The “unceremoniously” is kind of critical, too! It felt like Tasha’s death all over again. Did they learn nothing? I’m fine with Hugh dying — like Ro, i’m not sure there’s really a future for the character (though he arguably had more of one, being an actor who genuinely seemed eager and thrilled to be back)… but still.
Yeah, Ro’s death bothered me less because they brought her back to resolve an old thread; not exactly necessary, but solid enough as a resolution. Hugh’s death was, as you point out, shock value and showed how little thought had been put into his, Elnor’s, and Seven’s arcs for the season. And also, the creatives brought Hugh back with possible story hooks and world-building attached to him, and just squandered that future potential for a moment of cheap drama. Boo.
I almost don’t blame Kurtzman or Chabon for Season 1. I really do feel like they were put in an impossible situation, because my gut tells me they were given specific direction for the show to include the likes Seven of Nine and the Borg, for example.
It’s not coincidence that 7 episodes and Borg episodes — and Voyager in particular — are the most-watched episodes on streaming (per a Netflix-released infographic).
I just get this feeling that they plotted out their season, and it was all about Data and the Romulans, and then suddenly they were handed down the directive, “include 7 and the Borg.”
Not to say that was the season’s only problem, but the uneven pacing and awkward inclusion of the Borg were glaring.
I’m astonished the surviving Maquis weren’t pardoned and sent back to the front during the Dominion War.
It’s cold comfort to them, but they were vindicated clear as day about the Cardassian War not being over.
Remember majority of the Maquis were just Federation citizens, most of them weren’t in Starfleet. It’s a big reason why I liked the Maquis story line, it’s one of the few stories in Star Trek that focused on just regular people.
We also don’t know exactly when Ro gave herself up. She could have survived the Dominion assault, and given herself up after the war.
Sending prisoners to the front. How very Putinesque. :)
Germany has both a chancellor and a president, perhaps the Federation does.
The Klingons have a system with chancellor and president similar to the Germans, I belive.
Except the President has real power in the Federation; the German president is head of state, not head of government. This is a common setup in many countries without a monarchy. The US, where the president also serves as head of state, is an outlier (and IMO we’d be well served to separate the two functions).
Personally, I’m thinking it was as reference to the Klingons.
I think here time is crucial about to know the secret of Jack. What time i am talking about? Time when Crusher and Picard became intimidated that gave birth to Jack. The Time before or after Picard become Locutus is the Key. But then why did Crusher not found anything strange about him?
and i have more question in my back of my Mind. But i do not want to overdo it here now. Perhaps Episode 06 give us the answers we seek.
I wouldn’t be disappointed if there’s a timey-wimey dimension to all this.
Things aren’t adding up, so one has to wonder.
By the way, is the free seven day, now extended to one month with a code from Twitter, promotion for Paramount+ available where you are? I think you have to sign up by March 22nd.
What a genuine surprise to see Ro again. I think I actually gasped.
I am so shocked that they were able to keep that under wraps for so long, and that it wasn’t spoiled or leaked in any way. Great stuff!
Let’s be honest, I don’t think anyone would’ve ever thought we’d get any type of resolution for the character. It was just great that Matalas gave us that here. I know a lot of people are annoyed because they introduced her and then killed her off, but for me I’m perfectly fine with that because otherwise we very probably would’ve never heard or seen her from her, and it would’ve just been one of those many unresolved mysteries from Trek. I think this is one of the great things about having Matalas involved. The scenes with Forbes and Stewart were the highlight for me. A nice bit of closure for that character and, again, something really meaty for Stewart to work with.
I was underwhelmed by the episode as a whole. I did not enjoy the Vulcan bad guy at all. I think while Matalas and co. excel with the intimate, character interaction scenes and the dialogue aspects of those (Like Bev and Picard from ep two, or Shaw and Picard from ep 4)… which is great!… they are let down by their crafting of compelling on screen villains. They’re all so….one-note, and moustache twirling. A bit predictable in other words. Even last week when that changeling literally hissed at Seven in the corridor after his arm grew back. I bet it’s fun for the actors to ham it up so much, but IDK… a bit of diversity of characterisation would be welcome. Shaw is such fun to watch as per usual, but Seven has been very underused so far which is a shame.
And I’m not sure about anyone else, but for me the world of season 3 just feels very small, overall. It’s probably down to the reuse of the same sets over and over and over, and because of the lack of physical movement of the characters in terms of place. And because of these legacy characters popping up all over the place – I think they call it small-world syndrome or something like that. I get that it is down to budgetary constraints, but the reuse of the same sets does come with its own drawbacks in terms of visual interest which then bleeds into the enjoyment of the plot development. I totally understand why people feel like not much has actually happened as visually, not a lot has. We keep seeing the same spaces again and again. But maybe they were cutting back because something visually spectacular is on it’s way towards the end? Fingers crossed!
I do wish that they had had access to a VR wall for this season to make it more visually appealing and overall more interesting.
I am onboard for the Jack stuff. I’ve actually come around to him so much. I like the actor a lot and I’m not yet tired of the visions etc. Hopefully we’ll have answers on that in the next episode, and Bev can figure out what’s going on. If the mystery does go on beyond that, I think that it would be stretching it out for too long then.
I agree with a lot of what you’re saying here: the villains have been the weakest parts of the series so far. Yet, the rest is so good, it’s just one of those things, not everything can be perfect.
I disagree however on the AR wall. It’s often glaringly obvious and more often than not i’d rather they just used a small set. SNW was hit or miss with it, but they seemed to do better than most. I don’t think the AR wall would have been right for this season.
Sorry, for some reason it made more sense in my brain for it to be called a VR wall, as in virtual reality, but it is an AR wall as you said…which I’m guessing is augmented reality. My bad.
I’m not sure though about it being glaringly obvious more often than not. I think there were definitely a few examples where it didn’t look so great in DISCO – I can think of two examples off the top of my head; at the start of season four when Michael and the president opened up Star Fleet Academy again and gave that address in that huge “space” overlooking the new Archer space dock, or later on in the season with that prisoner colony. But I think SNW faired much better, particularly with extending the engineering set. For PIC I think it would’ve just given them more options in terms of set extensions, or for different holodeck simulations.
I think the Mandalorian nailed its use for me and wasn’t ever really obvious – particularly as they used it not only to create incredibly vast interior and exterior environments, but also smaller set extensions too, so in the right hands it can be very effective. But it’s obviously extremely costly so I understand why something like that wouldn’t even have been an option.
But as I said hopefully the lack of varied sets we’ve seen so far is just because we will see some really great new sets coming up; the bridge of the Enterprise D that LeVar Burton said they shot on for example. Fingers crossed!
Lack of variety in sets just makes it more like TNG, where 90% of an episode took place on the Enterprise, or in rooms on an alien planet
I’ve just never found the AR walls that convincing. Maybe there’s times it’s done so well I didn’t notice, but even before I knew it existed, I was watching Mandalorian and thinking something was “off” about some of those exterior desert scenes.
It got worse on Obi Wan, and any time a scene is set in a big circular room I groan. Exteriors that suddenly have a strange concrete floor? Ugh.
Tony Gilroy who did Andor expressed zero interest in using it because it wasn’t good enough, and went for practical sets, and it really highlights how bad AR walls are.
That would be a mistake by the art department though; choosing an appropriate ground for the setting, and not an issue that would highlight how bad the AR wall was. If the floor doesn’t match the screen that has nothing to do with the AR Wall, it is just an example of poorly devised practical integration of the technology.
This is not true – certainly not because it “wasn’t good enough”. He never said anything like that.
I think the reason he didn’t want to use it is because he had big ambitions for the show to be as epic as possible, and wanted to shoot the show on location, wanted to build massive sets and involve a huge amount of cast and extras. And he was allowed to do so using Pinewood studios in London and filming on location in Scotland and other places.
In fact he even said that “Nobody’s against the Volume — the Volume is fantastic for the things that it’s for.” Volume being the AR wall. And he even said that the technology “is extraordinary” and said that it’s going to become a larger force in all filmmaking. But he did say “The problem is right now there is no good way to do both. You kind of have to make a decision to be a Volume show or a non-Volume show.”
I think this is his way of saying that because the tech is so expensive you either have to go with the AR wall or go with actual locations / physical sets, which are also costly. And because the AR wall can only be operated in a studio setting right now there’s no way to do both AR Wall and location shooting at once, so you have to pick one or the other, and both have their merits depending on what your aims are.
Frankly, the submarine-like atmosphere enhanced the paranoia aspects of this episode for me. And quite a bit of Discovery’s effects were simply *too* grandiose, like the planet where the Kelpian kid (I don’t even recall his name) was trapped.
100%. The submarine vibe this season have been off the charts, and dare I say it, way better than TWOK.
I agree with your views, especially about the reuse of sets, but I also understand that. The special guest stars ate up a lot of the season. But while understanding it, it IS influencing my feel of the season as well. Luckily they nail the story and the acting so much, most of the time I’m not distracted by it. But whenever there’s a slow pace, or a week bit of whatever, than it’s starting to be appearant. Like right now, they really (REALLY) need to get off that ship and into open air locations.
About the AR walls, I do think SNW nailed the use of them for the most part, whereas on Disco it was indeed often very obviously they were using it. The best way to use the AR wall is whith (slightly) out of focus shots. It falls apart when the focus is on the wall, like in wide shots.
Sorry for the typos. My nanoprobes are still dormant.
I’m equally surprised Forbes agreed to portray Ro again, given her historical ambivalence towards Star Trek.
Well, yes; Chabon from season one, as well. Still, Vadic toned things down a bit after “Disengage,” so we’ll see where this goes.
Yes good point. I have a small feeling that somehow Vadic and the Titan team will end up having to work together by the end to resolve the threat, my reasoning being that if she’s just a pawn who’s life is ultimately worthless to the higher ups it might give her the chance to switch sides. But we’ll see how things go.
Jack bring a shapeshifter is so obvious at this point it can’t possibly be accurate. Can it? Always good to see Michelle Forbes and the is she or is she a Founder was done well. Is it that hard to write Vulcans that we continually see shady ones? Maybe it’s the curse of Sybok. Michael Dorn remains effortlessly cool as Worf. To quote The Godfather “our true enemy has yet to reveal himself.” The “why” behind all this is going to determine how we ultimately judge this season. I’m going to so ticked if it’s the Borg again.
I believe the Chancellor they are referring to is the Chancellor of Starfleet Acadamy, rather then a new position within the Federation Government.
I thought the title was “Commandant of Starfleet Academy.” Still, that could be. Or alternatively, perhaps Starfleet Academy also has some civilian oversight or accreditation.
I saw people speculate that Jack might have a pah-wraith somehow inside him. Before Jack went all sleeper assassin, I thought maybe the changelings wanted him to unleash the pah-wraith to collapse the wormhole. Cut the Federation off from the Gamma Quadrant and get revenge by defeating the Dominion.
I mean getting revenge for the Federation defeating the Dominion.
Would be a stone cold bummer if TNG’s last hurrah finished or advanced the story at the heart of Deep Space Nine.
Yeah, I do hope that there is something more connected with TNG at its core and the changelings are just pawns in something bigger.
It’s more of a head scratcher for marketing than for story. As a story, i’m totally fine with the Changelings being the big bad for the TNG crew. Marketing wise, it’s curious, but I’d have to imagine that if this were Season 1, and not Season 3, that the villains might have wound up being the Borg.
Marketing-wise this season has to set the stage for at most one-and-only-one early 25th century live-action show.
So whatever comes next, it will be a show that is set not only as a sequel to TNG, but also to DS9 and Voyager. That’s the direct consequence of one show following up on three.
For my part, as a fan of the Relaunch Treklitverse, I find it exasperating when these shows try to silo too much. The overarching events would have been interconnected.
I do have to say that given the paranoid atmosphere, I have found myself wishing Matalas had used the “Conspiracy” parasites, rather than Changelings.
Personally, I’d prefer not digging back to a random first season episode that nobody wants to watch (hyperbole yes).
Changelings wouldn’t have been my first choice, but it does satisfy that segment of the fanbase that wanted to know the fallout of the Dominion War, at the same time.
Especially since his reason for ditching the parasites is sort of easily dismissed.
(Dr. Crusher is able to save Admiral Quinn after stunning him.)
Still, I can see the desire to continue / honor / bring back the entire Berman era one last time and Changelings seem like the most elegant way to do that.
I have to say, kudos to the writers and Matalas. I agree with those of you who really liked this episode. The story is moving along and getting more and more complicated.
It was great to see Ro again! Message to the Picard showrunners from S1 and 2…. this is how you write off a character! Make their death worthwhile after living a life of meaning and redemption, even if they were only in TNG for a year!
I agree with those of you who like Liam Shaw. He really is a DS from Chicago, but I was happy to see him back in command of the Titan.
Everything else has already been said. All I will add is too bad we are halfway done S3 and I cant wait until next Thursday!
Btw, my initial take of last weeks episode was a little meh. I rewatched it on Monday and thoroughly enjoyed it, much more than my first take.
Yes, this was a very satisfying return, resolution of a key relationship and then heroic death.
It makes Ro’s story in TNG more meaningful.
Contrast that with the reaction of Voyager Icheb fans who can’t watch him in the late seasons of Voyager without distress/sadness after Picard S1E5.
Pulling my thoughts on something in a comment thread up here for everyone to see.
To me, as a trans person, calling it dead naming is complicated. Because to me, from a transgender perspective, Seven of Nine is her dead name. It’s the name that was forced on her just like my dead name was forced onto me. So I interpret Liam Shaw as being a well meaning ally going around in a poor fashion (so fairly typical!) and is just (again poorly) trying to tell her that she doesn’t have to go by that name anymore. Because it’s true. She doesn’t have to.
She doesn’t have to go by Annika Hansen either. She can pick a new name entirely. That’s well within her rights. If she wants to pick a first name and take Janeway for a last name, then she can absolutely go for it. I doubt Kathryn Janeway would be opposed to it.
I think deadnaming is completely the wrong term to refer to what is happening with Shaw and Seven. I’m not sure if it’s something fans started calling it, or if it was Matalas himself, but it’s not what’s happening in this specific situation, and I can understand why it could be complicated for you because of the misuse.
Deadnaming, I believe, was a term coined around ten years ago by members of the trans community online, but it came into the general lexicon around the time that Caitlyn Jenner transitioned and asked to be referred to by her new chosen name, but publications kept referring to her as Bruce Jenner. So deadnaming is a term that is intrinsically linked to trans people and how they are mistreated by those that would completely deny their identity and existence. It is not just a blanket word that refers to calling someone the wrong name purposefully.
So, as you say, technically he is not deadnaming her. He is using her original human name that she had before she was assimilated, and now that she’s regained her freedom he is calling her by her human name, and not her Borg designation. So it is a different thing altogether than deadnaming.
And I think in this specific scenario Seven wants to be called Seven. For whatever reason that’s what makes her most comfortable. Shaw not naming her in the way that she wishes is disrespectful, or at least that’s the point of it for us viewers and what we’re meant to take away from it. It’ an interesting interpretation that you have taken from it, but don’t believe it is in any way a veiled metaphor for him being an “ally” for her or her experience, or those like her. That’s why they had that scene together after Seven took out changeling LaForge, where she literally told Shaw that human LaForge calls her Seven “out of respect”. And we now know where that stems from in Shaw; his traumatic experiences with the Borg. He hates the Borg.
Deadnaming is disrespectful, and what Shaw is doing to Seven is also disrespectful. But it’s not deadnaming. We just don’t have a word for what Shaw is doing yet, so people are just misusing that term and repurposing it to fit in with what they want it to mean, which in itself is disrespectful to trans people and dilutes the impact of what it actually means for trans people’s lived experiences of being denied their existence.
That’s actually why I see him as an ally but going about it very poorly. Because allies do get it wrong and it falls to us to correct them about it.
At the end of the day he may think he’s trying to help, but by not respecting her choice, he is not an ally. An ally would say “OK, I respect your choice, but let’s talk about why you’d choose to use a name given to you by your abuser.”
Yes I know how an ally should react very very very well. Nobody needs to tell me, a trans person, how an ally should react, especially if they themselves are an ally.
But I also know super super well that that won’t always be the case. There will be people like Shaw who do genuinely mean well but go about it completely wrong. When I chose the name Aaron, there were people in my life that were opposed to it. They thought other names would fit me better and they kept thinking that. But they still supported me. That’s what I’m trying to say over and over and over again here.
Allies will not always be perfect. They will mess up, they will get things wrong and they will think that they know enough or better than you. So you just have to sigh, know that they don’t mean any harm by it and gently (or not so gently sometimes) correct them. There was a time where I felt like I had to do that here on this site.
I agree that allies won’t always be perfect. In fact, I appreciate you saying that. Because I know I am not always perfect. But…
…I just can’t call Shaw an ally when he’s not only disrespectful, but also just downright mean to her, knowingly so. He may become an ally, but at this moment, he is not. I think he actively does mean harm by it because he resents her for being Borg.
Ie: Shaw didn’t “mess up” — he’s actively and willfully mistreating her and not respecting her choices.
That said, it’s really not up to me, a cis-het white man, to decide who is or is not an ally. It’s up to the LGBTQ community.
The best thing to do here is to explain both sides of it more and then allow her to pick a new third name and move on. I don’t think Trek will do that but it’s what really needs to happen.
It’s not remotely analogous to Caitlin Jenner. It’s analogous to the taboo against naming kids “Adolf,” particularly in Germany — and particularly when she’s on duty.
Okay can you explain why you think that because it makes no sense to me
I may be wrong but I think what River Temarc is saying here that what Shaw is doing to Seven is not comparable to deadnaming. That it is more comparable to avoiding calling someone by a name that, by association, has links to something terrible and evil.
The example they use is of parents not calling their children Adolf in Germany, so to avoid the obvious connection to Adolf Hitler that that would evoke. So they’re proposing here that Shaw not calling Seven by Seven is his way of completely avoiding any links to the Borg, especially while she’s performing her duties onboard a Starfleet ship. The Borg are the enemy and have inflicted so much on the Federation, so it’s Shaw’s way of eradicating that connotation to the Borg on his ship.
I think, if I am correct by my interpretation, that that’s a really interesting take on it and one that makes a lot of sense to me.
Ohh thank you. I got really confused there.
Yes that’s also a view of it that I had been considering. I just wasn’t sure of how to put it in words. But it is interesting.
Totally see where you’re coming from. I’d love an episode exploring Seven’s identity further, because unlike real trans people, who choose their identities, the identity Seven has chosen wasn’t just forced on her, it was forced on her by her abusers/torturers/etc.
I do like the clear trans allegory here with Shaw refusing to use her chosen name… but like you say, it’s complicated. Perhaps such a story could conclude with Seven choosing a new, third identity for herself. Give her a new look, a new name, etc.
Exactly. I don’t know why Trek hasn’t just allowed her to move on and pick a new name because those are exactly the circumstances in which she got that name. She should by all means have issues and trauma with the name and that’s something that needs to be desperately acknowledged. Especially if Trek can acknowledge it for Picard who was one for not even anywhere near as long as she was. Will Trek actually do that? Unlikely. And it’s frustrating.
To be clear. I don’t think Liam Shaw is transphobic by any means. I think he would respect a trans person. The main thing that needs to be done here in this situation is explaining things from the perspective of both of them. We should have gotten that already to be completely honest.
We’d finally get our Nicole Janeway.
A few of my “little bit out-there” theories:
First off, Jack was likely conceived with Borg sperm, so he’s Locutus’ very special Borg baby that the changelings need for… “reasons.” Since Jean-Luc doesn’t have his original body anymore, they can’t use him for their needs; otherwise, they might’ve done so (finally kind of paying off the first season writers’ bad decision to give him an android body).
The rogue changelings have found a way to “assimilate” humans by somehow using the transporters (essentially making them hybrids), which would explain their new abilities to retain their “fleshy” matter (even in death). It could also explain Vadik’s scars (she could’ve been a guinea pig for the procedure). Ultimately, this might also be what Jack picked up on in his transporter room visions, through his heightened Borg senses, while the Borg Queen is calling out to him to unleash his full potential, which he gets closer and closer to.
Any takers? 😅
I tweeted about someting similar. Yes I also think Jack has (semi-dormant) nanoprobes in him. And I believe the rogue Changelings used nonoprobes as well the stablize their new bodies. Possibly theirs are not working properly, so they need Jack for his nanoprobes to fix themselves.
But it’s not the queen calling out. It was confirmed that the voice is Beverly’s. Unless that was a subtitle error.
Jack is an Augment Human mix of many Races like Dal from Prodigy and the ones calling out to him are the Jurati Borgs or he is some Thrill. But strange that Dr. Crusher did not found anything strange. No nanoborgmachines or other theories that back us up. Or She is hiding something, too
Let me say that after watching this episode, I’m starting to suspect that most of the main crew are stuck in a dreamscape. The Dominion did this to Sisko and his crew during “The Search” two-parter. All hell broke loose in part 2 and it seemed like the Dominion had gained a foothold in the Alpha Quadrant. Then we learned that it wasn’t real. It was some sort of dreamscape.
The renegade changelings might had done the same thing.
If my theory is wrong, then they’re f*cked.
Also, if this is actually happening, then I have two theories on Jack Crusher. He is either being borgified OR he is completely nuts. This wouldn’t be a surprise given that JL and his grandfather both suffered from neurological disorders that ultimately killed them. Since Jack is JL’s son, it’s possible that his neurological disorder is turning him into schizo.
I hope not. “The Search, Part 2” was a letdown of Bobby Ewing proportions.
As to “if I’m wrong, they’re f*cked”: well, this has all been scripted out in advance. :)
I understood that reference – and I agree.
Picard wakes up in bed next to Suzanne Pleshette…