The Shuttle Pod Crew Talks Through The Mid-Season Stretch Of ‘Star Trek: Picard’

Kayla and Matt climb aboard the Shuttle Pod to discuss the Star Trek: Picard episodes “Dominion” and “Surrender.” The podcasters worry about a slight mid-season slump with the seventh episode, but everything comes out on top by the end of the eighth. They praise Vadic’s interesting backstory, Marina Sirits’ and Jonathan Frakes’ chemistry, and Brent Spiner’s ability to seamlessly switch between Data and Lore. The crew discusses how Jack has become the star of these two episodes, and they talk about how they really just want to know what’s on the other side of that red door now.

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The compromise code from Riker is what did it.

Can you explain this to me like I’m 5? I thought the compromised code was the identifier code for the ship itself, not the command codes??

That what I think too. It’s like a special code that captains can use to signal that they’re compromised and forced to send a signal under duress.

The bridge crew talks about how the Shrike needed a signal to find them, so they debated risking a reply to Riker since that would allow the Shrike to locate the Titan. No talk of “oh he just handed her our override prefix code, we’re screwed”, which you’d think they would, to hammer home how serious the implications are if they respond.

I will say it’s unclear, because they call it a “compromised prefix code” which implies it’s like a normal prefix code (ala TWOK). It doesn’t make any sense that the compromise code would be a valid code to take over a ship (ideally it would appear to be legit, and then not actually do anything if used) that’s terrible operational security.

Even if we assume it was a valid prefix code, we know from TWOK you can change a ship’s prefix code to prevent a takeover (Khan didn’t know about it), so you’d think as soon as Riker sent the compromise signal, they’d have rotated the code.

I think the Changlings are a convenient tool, but I do think this whole thing will be about the Borg trying to build a new Collective, and they need Picard/Locutus brain matter and Jack’s ability to connect to others to create a new Collective. Presumably, Picard’s brain stuff would have never been exposed to the Neurolytic Pathogen that Future Janeway used to break the Collective. Then they will use all those Starfleet officers in Frontier Day to fuel a new collective.

Jack would end up being the new Borg Queen (King?)

I hope its not Borg behind the red door, it would be too obvious and theyve been overused too much now especially in the last 2 seasons. Dave Cullen did say on his recent review, the reveal to viewers will not be a big shocker, but more a “oh is that it” type of reaction. I prefer the other theories like the pah wraiths or Armus.

I think the Enterprise-D will appear even Trekyards have thought about this in their vids. Geordi will have it in Hanger Bay 12 it was noted on Memory Alpha the D’s saucer is in the museum, he’ll have repaired the saucer from Veridian 3 and attached a new stardrive section, theyll use it since all the current ships are all linked together and then using the D they cant be traced

I love how Armus started out as a joke and then fans decided “yeah we really want Armus, the villain from one of the worst episodes in the franchise.” Fans are ridiculous sometimes.

I feel the same way about fans who think Geordi has been rebuilding the E-D in his spare time in a museum hanger. No! He hasn’t!! Just stop!!

You’re a dingus Armus believer, I get it.

Nope. It’s the Horta. Silicon rules!!

Ok, fair.

But I still feel the same way about fans who think Geordi has been rebuilding the E-D.

That’s fine, but my point is how wild it is that people actually want a villain from literally one of the most derided episodes ever, who is also one of the most-mocked bad guys ever, to be the secret hidden villain of the season.

Even the Conspiracy parasites, as much as I think that episode is overrated, it’s a generally good episode that’s a fan favorite, and an open plot thread that a lot of fans have long-wanted closure for, so I get that it was one of the theories for a while.

But Armus? Really?

The Horta won my primary grade heart for the franchise (over the giant squid in Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea).

No episode or season that brings back the Horta can be anything less than beloved.

I think the Borg fit given they would want Picard’s tech to make organic life no longer necessary for evolution (which is why they assimilate vs. destroy). Want to make the Borg bad again, make it where the unimind was farming Picard and the Federation just waiting for the singularity.
And once they have what they want, no need for organics anymore.
As for the Ent-D hope they kamakazi that hotel and escape to the A.

The D will be around itll probably end up in the museum afterwards they wouldnt dare destroy it again. Plus I dont want to see my favourite class of ship get treated in that way, i like the A as well but it doesnt fit with TNG

In the end credits of each episode, they do show the USS Pioneer at the Fleet Museum, which as far as I know, we haven’t seen on screen yet. Could that be in Hangar 12?

No, that’s not what’s in Hanger 12 ;-)
The Pioneer is not on display right now. Dave Blass’ semi-official overview of the ships of the museum said so. The spot went to an Akira-class named the USS Wersching, what I gather was a last minute VFX change, as an homage to Annie Wersching who died of cancer recently.

Well, the TNG bridge back would be good to remind everyone just how good we’ve got it with the Strange New Worlds bridge (if only they would bring back the colored displays and lose the monochrome…)

Yep the D is my favorite ship too! :)

I really do hope we see her again. A lot of fans would love to see her back.

I think the Borg are trying to build a new Collective, so they need Picard’s brain stuff, which wouldn’t have been touched by the neurolytic pathogen. With Jack’s abilities that we have seen so far, I think they need him for the new Borg Queen/King. The Changelings seem to be a convenient tool in all of this.

The Changelings would never work with the Borg, they’re too proud. Vadic’s f-ing solids line sums up exactly what they’d think about the Borg. And the Borg have no subtlety at all.

I hope it’s not the Borg either, but I have a feeling it is. The only thing that throws me is the voice that’s been talking to Vadic; it doesn’t sound anything like the Borg, Queen or otherwise. Though I suppose it could be a completely different character/species with interest in Jack’s burgeoning Borgness. Curiouser and curiouser.

And I think you’re right about the D. Wasn’t that also in the BSG reboot? The newer ships were vulnerable to the Cylon attack while the old Galactica wasn’t? Something like that.

Another possibilty of the D appearing is remember the famous Ready Room portrait that Picard and Laris were looking at in episode 1 in his house and Picard saying it was his favourite ship

Yep, that scene very much feels like foreshadowing at this point.

I’m still inclined toward the/a pah wraith(s). They can project visions and voices into people, have no love for the Starfleet of the Prophet’s Emissary, they threatened to burn their way through the Alpha Quadrant, they’ve exhibited mental powers such as those used by the Face on Vadic, and if they are basically evil Prophets then they can possess a human being so as to conceive a remarkable child, such as Ben Sisko or Jack. (To give due credit, the last observation comes from Ryan T Husk on the 7th Rule.)

But if this is all wrong, I wouldn’t be surprised.

I had not heard the Armus theory, and now I am in love with that idea. It’s the weirdest thing they could pick.

Thanks both for the podcast and discussion. Well noted on the prefix code. My head cannon says Riker or Lore provided the necessary codes for Vadic.

I also thought that Episode 7 was the weaker of the two but I still found much to enjoy. Personally, I thought that Episode 8 was outstanding with some wonderful sequences including the resolution to Data v Lore, the resurrection of Geordie and Data’s friendship and the TNG cast getting back round the conference table. I also thought there was terrific payoff, when Shaw told Seven “you take this one”, which was followed by movie quality visuals as the Titan opened fire on the Shrike. In addition, the score during that sequence when the theme for the Titan came to orchestral prominence was in my view brilliantly effective. In fact the music throughout the series has for me been absolutely superb and I can’t recall music of that quality featuring in any TV series with which I am familiar. I will definitely be purchasing the OST when available.

Perhaps when the series wraps, the entire Shuttle Pod cast will also get back round the conference table to discuss this end of an era?

Perhaps when the series wraps, the entire Shuttle Pod cast will also get back round the conference table to discuss this end of an era?

That’s the plan!

Just noticed the season three soundtrack with track listings is now on Amazon with a release date of May 12. I don’t think I’ve been this excited about a Star Trek soundtrack in 20 years.

Nice. Yes this season’s score has been great.

I hope they keep the composer for future series.

Me too Tim. It’s been a fantastic weaving of old and new and the way in which the compositions often pay homage to Horner and Goldsmith, has been masterful.

I heard a little bit of Star Trek VI during the conference room seen when Picard states that Starfleet has been compromised. So many great musical Easter eggs.

They’ve done a really good job balancing the music and allowing conversations to breathe without it. Something I’ve seen in a lot of the current Star Trek shows is that the music seems to be perpetually continuous from beginning to end, which I have found distracting.

I’ve been pretty lukewarm towards “Picard” by the standards of these boards, but I don’t hate the show and am actually fairly invested in finding out how the whole thing pans out. Even so, when someone here called it “the best show on TV right now,” all I could think was, really? I mean, I’m glad you’re enjoying it and all, but better than, say, “Succession,” which just aired one of the finest hours in the history of television? I couldn’t agree with that even if I thought that this season of “Picard” was the best Trek ever, and IMO it’s far from that.

Still think it’s overhyped, though I’m hoping for a great payoff.

I’ve managed to never see SUCCESSION, figuring that I might binge-view it after the run is over, a la THE WIRE (which is by now a re-re-re-rebinge staple with us.) I really did want to watch the new Adam Scott show about the weird office people, but didn’t get the article, so I haven’t gotten my feet wet with that either, tho I hope I won’t have to wait til end of run there.

I’d love a podcast with just Laurie and Kayla. Nothing against the guys, but it would be cool to have just two women discuss an episode. Also, Kayla and Laurie seem like they might argue about some stuff with different opinions, but in a respectful way.

Also, Where’s Jared?

Love the idea! We have a show in the bag with Jared and John Duchak, but we didn’t want to post during the PIC run such that the podcasts are stealing each others’ thunder. Look for it in a few weeks.

My biggest issue was on episode seven. When I watched the end, I was yelling, “lock out the bridge controls.” I was waiting for Seven or Shaw to use their codes to lock out the main computer. Instead, we got blow the turbolift. A minor quibble for an amazing season.

Great discussion. I always appreciate your guys’ interest in Trek and your questions about the creative choices that go into it.

My thoughts on these two episodes:

#1. I felt while the material was good in episode 7 and outstanding in episode 8 (Geordi and Data!), the direction was pretty bad. Same director for both episodes. There were a lot a scenes where people stood around doing nothing (Geordi and Alandra) and occasional unnecessary repetition of lines. Also, the shots in the conference table scene were not great: particularly an awkward pan between Deana and Beverly when they reach to hold hands. Also, the pan across all 6 characters looking at Picard, Data is obscured by Riker in the foreground! I think these episodes could have been much better (especially 8 could have been an all-timer) with a better director.

#2. I think it makes sense that Vadic got the command codes for the Titan from the changeling infiltrators in Starfleet, but it would have been logical to show it by having her unlock the controls and take command by entering the code.

#3. I agree with Kayla and Matt that while this season has been pretty darn good (and great compared to earlier seasons of Picard), there are a lot of little issues that could be solved with a an extra second of thought, one line of dialogue, or just a little more care with the direction/plotting. Hopefully, the cast and crew of Picard will get their spinoff “Legacy” series – whatever form that takes – and they will get the time to put their experience (and maybe a little more budget) to work making tighter episodes.

Can’t wait for episodes 9 and 10!

The the epoisode Vox (spoilers!) dispoved my theory about what the secret of Jack was. But it seemed obvious to me… Not only is he the son of Picard… he’s the son of Proffessor Xavier too! That’s why he can read and control minds! I was hoping for an X-Men/TNG crossover, but I’ll have to leave that to the Comic Books.

Kayla and Matt… great show. It’s always great to hear your reviews.