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Star Trek: Picard - Make It So Engage Earl Grey Hot

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
This week's guest star was a great reveal. The voice was super familiar, but at first I thought it was Alexander Siddig bringing in Bashir to Picard, but then I saw it was James Callis/Gaius Baltar, which had to be super intentional, considering what they've done with Jurati/Borg Queen. And now Baltar's another in-head version of a character, but one that we've never met, so it's Picard's version of what his dad was like.

Hah, my partner and I went through *exactly* the same reactions there!
 
We've actually met Picard's father before! Q brought him to chat with Picard when he died during "Tapestry" - which undoubtedly was a large source of inspiration for this season:


Likewise really enjoyed this episode. I was actually kind of dreading it because I was worried they'd manage to mess it up or make it awkward and give bad fans fodder to keep shitting on the show, but everything was handled really well.

One little note, the FBI officer that arrests Picard at the end of the episode: His badge reads 'Agent Wells'. He's played by Jay Karnes, who had previously played "Lt Ducane" in the franchise - a 29th Century Starfleet officer policing the timeline in the Voyager episode "Relativity" onboard the USS Relativity, itself a Wells-class vessel. None of that can possibly be a coincidence, right? I mean, it might be, but I really hope it isn't.
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
Haven't really felt the past two episodes, kinda seems like the wheels are spinning a bit. They might be able to pull it together by the end, but the cracks in the larger narrative of the first season were starting to show by this point and I fear it might be happening again.

Doesn't help that twice in one season now we've done the main cast members getting arrested by present-day authorities thing, even if Mr. FBI guy does turn out to be a Time Cop it's still a bit much.

Also, did Seven and Raffi even warn the others about the Queen messing with the ship? If they didn't that was a hell of dropped ball on their part, but if they did why on earth would Rios bring the doctor and her kid to a compromised spaceship??
 
Also, did Seven and Raffi even warn the others about the Queen messing with the ship? If they didn't that was a hell of dropped ball on their part, but if they did why on earth would Rios bring the doctor and her kid to a compromised spaceship??
Seven very clearly states that she purged the encryptions to Raffi before all that. You could waste time having her then explain it to everyone else, but that's redundant filmmaking.
 
Haven't really felt the past two episodes, kinda seems like the wheels are spinning a bit. They might be able to pull it together by the end, but the cracks in the larger narrative of the first season were starting to show by this point and I fear it might be happening again.

Doesn't help that twice in one season now we've done the main cast members getting arrested by present-day authorities thing, even if Mr. FBI guy does turn out to be a Time Cop it's still a bit much.

Also, did Seven and Raffi even warn the others about the Queen messing with the ship? If they didn't that was a hell of dropped ball on their part, but if they did why on earth would Rios bring the doctor and her kid to a compromised spaceship??
I'm in same boat. This show completely lost me, despite some great bits. "I'm from Chile, I just work in space" and of course I need more Baltar in my life. But I think I would just describe this show as messy. See how they stick the landing, as the final moments of Picard and Data in S1 were golden.
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
See how they stick the landing, as the final moments of Picard and Data in S1 were golden.
Oh yes, certainly. For all the issues of S1's messy finale those final scenes were tops. Which makes me hope that however this season ends we'll get one last scene with Picard and Q that is similarly great.
 

Sprite

(He/Him/His)
Yeah, I like this show but it’s definitely the weakest part of nuTrek. I’m glad it exists, though, as there are some brilliant bits and it’s doing a lot to expand the mythos, especially in regards to Romulans.

I have no doubt this season will make for a good send-off for Q and I look forward to whatever happens next season. I hope we get to see a lot more of the Borgia O’Keeffe ships because I love the design.
 
PIC S2 might be a little messy, but I’m enjoying it a lot. It never really ceases to be entertaining or fun. And I feel like I can see how the myriad themes and plot lines of the season will all intersect at the end too in a way that ought to feel pretty rewarding if they just manage to keep it together. Like, this week Q and Guinan basically spelled everything out to the viewer. Now, we just wait to see how Picard and his ragtag crew figure all achieve that epiphany together on their own. And I think I can already predict how that epiphany will go for all the players involved.

Picard - will get over his intimacy issues and hook up with Laris.
Seven - will begin to let go of her Borg trauma and realize she doesn't have to keep defining herself as a former Borg after realizing she was the one holding herself back after all this 21st Century immersion therapy.
Rios - will decide he doesn't have to keep chasing the approval of father figures and will drop out of Starfleet again to become a dad of his own with Dr Girlfriend.
Raffi - will let go of her fear of people leaving her behind and stop being so manipulative and just live in the moment, which will let her have healthier relationships where she stops pushing people away.
Agnes - will become more comfortable with her own identity and won't see being alone as a woeful detriment after sharing a brain with a Borg Queen.

I'm very interested where they're taking things with Q too. I wouldn't put it past PIC to actually kill him off but it still feels like another shoe or two needs to drop in that front. Also, they shot S2 and S3 back-to-back, so I'm curious to see if he'll be back of S3 or not.
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
I liked this episode more than the previous couple (Q appeared in it and did not in those, coincidence????) and it helped clarify something that it seemed to be suggesting at the start (Q's dying... somehow? I guess we'll find out). It's also hilarious that they're just totally leaning in on the whole 'ancestors look exactly like the their decendents' thing. I mean, what's the tally so far? There's at least precendent for the Soongs to all look like Brent Spiner, but I'll count it anyway. Kore looking like Soji is just kind of silly but it lets the actress actually appear for most of the season. Laris's ancestor looks just like her, but there was that Carbon Creek episode of Enterprise which established that Vulcan genes are stronk like that too I guess. And it turns out that Jurati has some Soong in her ancestry? Apparently Agnes looks like... someone important to Adam Soong. Wife? Sister? Mother? And just for the hell of it, Agent Wells is probably the ancestor of that Time Cop from Voyager. It's identical family trees all the way down! At this point I expect to see one of Renee Picard's distant relatives just also played by Patrick Stewart why not?

Two biggest mysteries left, I guess, are why Q is dying, and why he decided to eff with the timeline in the first place. The season is definitely messy, though a different sort of messy than the first and I've been enjoying it more overall, but a lot is still going to hinge on how those questions are answered and it feels like this episode just threw another couple balls in the air to juggle with only two danged episodes left.
 

Sprite

(He/Him/His)
Based on Q’s monologue, his goal is to find meaning, something he’s never felt and always attributed to mortality, but now he’s mortal and meaning didn’t show up like he thought it would.

I’m guessing he may have originally gone to Picard to have an actual chat, but got so annoyed seeing how adrift Picard is now that he’s trying to jumpstart his “friend” into action. He never did figure out how to have a proper conversation.
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
Maybe, but he had already effed with the timeline by the time he started talking to Picard. Of course, he would have already done it before they went back in time too but we see his powers gone when he tries to do it himself, so he did he get to go back to the future and gloat? But that's linear thinking and he's a Q so who knows?
 
And it turns out that Jurati has some Soong in her ancestry? Apparently Agnes looks like... someone important to Adam Soong.
I either missed this or don't see what you're seeing.

Two biggest mysteries left, I guess, are why Q is dying, and why he decided to eff with the timeline in the first place.
The first one, I feel like PIC is not the kind of show to care about addressing that; it felt like Q already handwaved that one away.

The second one, I feel like Q also answered that one as well. Q is known for riddles, but if you go back and rewatch Q episodes, he's actually speaking very plainly and clearly what his intentions are. It just comes across as a riddle because he knows things the other characters don't yet. But we as genre-savy television viewers can put the themes of the season together better than the characters in-show who have hours to figure things out in high-stress scenarios versus us sitting back leisurely to ponder things for months.

So if we take Q at his word, I think Sprite is mostly on the right track regarding wanting to help his friend/love-of-his-life Picard get over his mental blocks that keep him from moving forward in his life regarding things like love and finding happiness that he's stubbornly not let himself do for almost a century. But because Q is so morose and upset, and his powers waning, his games are taking a much more dire and morbid form versus prancing about as Robin Hood.
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
I either missed this or don't see what you're seeing.
Possible I misheard. There was a moment where Seven was looking through the phone they found for clues as to what Borg Jurati is up to, and I swear that after seeing the search history she says 'She's a Soong', and then pair that with Adam Soong later reacting quite surprisingly to seeing Agnes, as if he knew her. But this kind of hinges on Seven's line and, I admit, I may have misheard.
 
Possible I misheard. There was a moment where Seven was looking through the phone they found for clues as to what Borg Jurati is up to, and I swear that after seeing the search history she says 'She's a Soong', and then pair that with Adam Soong later reacting quite surprisingly to seeing Agnes, as if he knew her. But this kind of hinges on Seven's line and, I admit, I may have misheard.
Yeah, that just didn't sound right at all, so I just rewatched that scene. It goes:

*phone buzzes*

Seven: "Search history."
Raffi: "What could she be looking for there?"
Seven: "Whatever she needs."

*cut to Soong*

Borgatti: "I assume a lecture on the futility of resistance is not going to be necessary?"
Soong: "Am I dreaming? Or is this a nightmare?"
Borgatti: "Ultimately... that's up to you."

I too thought maybe Soong recognized her or thought he recognized her, but I think it probably has more to do with the fact that he's got an entire handle of hard liquor almost completely polished off in his hand and he's completely wasted.
 
Well, that felt like the season finale, but there's still another whole episode full of plot threads to tie up. Episode 9 was pretty good! I'm really enjoying this show. A lot of what happened here in this episode was easy to predict, but I thought executed pretty well. I can pretty much assume how the finale is going to go as well, but it's nice to see them pull it off.
 

Sprite

(He/Him/His)
I kind of hate it? It hits all my pet peeves about using mental illness as a plot point and does so in the hokiest and hammiest way possible. I’m not really interested in discussing the pros and cons of the depiction here, if you liked it and/or found it cathartic, then great. I felt very othered by it and ended the episode supremely pissed off.

That said, 1000x yes to everything with Jurati. I am eating it up. Talk about rehabilitating a character. I really hope next season revolves around a Borg civil war or something.

Also Brent Spiner is living his best life. Good lord.
 

Sprite

(He/Him/His)
I do legitimately love Queenrati getting the ship in “exchange” for the life of someone she was stabbing to death. I also love that such a bizarre, lopsided “exchange” counts as legitimate character development for the Queen and a glimmer of hope for the future.
 
PLUSES
- More Baltar - though i dislike how they anglicized his name
- Hot and Cold on Picard mom trauma, but i like how he calls back to imagining her as an old woman with tea
- Jurati continues to be most improved, and best consistent part of show
- I also now somehow love Rios
- I like the three sort of climaxes all in Paragon ( Rios/Teresa [he made wrong choice btw], Picard/Soong, Jurati/Borg)

CONS:
- still like ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
- has this weird CW feels
- Plot still a GD mess, in spite of strong fleeting bits and some great performances
- why they gotta do Elnor dirty?
- Seven and Raffi continue to be a disaster
- I sort of don't like the tendency of fiction to set up heroic bloodlines. So the Picards supported the OG Maquis in WW2, Renee discovers whatever on the Europa mission. I like that in s7 TNG Anthwara traced Picard's family tree to a mercenary who helped violently retake New Mexico in the Pueblo revolts. This is a wider concern, not particular to trek or this show. That said I like that the Soongs are almost entirely shitty.

Questions
- Where is Jean-Luc's older brother?
 
I sort of don't like the tendency of fiction to set up heroic bloodlines.
Yeah, but this has always been the case with Picard. The Picard that fought at Trafalgar, the Picard that helped settle the first Martian colonies, Picard was hemming and hawing about his family's background for a long time. It's more a cultural thing for him, where he's proud of his family's background and accomplishments. I always thought it was relateable too, I grew up hearing stories from my mother about the family lineage. It's done in a way that's fairly believable imo. It's not like his grandfather was President of the Federation, and his Great Grandfather was the guy who signed the peace treaty to WWIII, etc.

- Where is Jean-Luc's older brother?
There was a throwaway line earlier in the season where Jean-Luc's mom said he was away at boarding school.
 

SpoonyBard

A Bard Named SPOONY
(He/Him)
Hmmm, still feeling unsure about the overall story this season, there were things I liked and disliked about this episode.

Picard's Mom: On the one hand I do like that they took care to bring up her hallucinated appearance in TNG, even if the delivery of the line felt very deliberately crafted to address obvious superfan complaints. Still, I'm glad for it. I'm fine when continuations of beloved series fiddle with their own history, as long as it's not disregarded entirely.

But on the other hand, well, everything Sprite mentioned re: mental illness in media. There are certainly worse depictions out there, but 'not being the worst' is a low bar. It's mainly saved due to the esoteric knowledge of Patrick Stewart's parents and how that likely influenced that story this season, so some level of care must have been employed. But it's still not great.


Borg: Overall I'm good with the developments. Honestly, I'm happy to see the Borg developed in a new direction, it gives them a chance to return in different sorts of plots in the future instead of always being brought back as these terrifying unstoppable enemies that are nevertheless defeated at every turn. Give them a chance to evolve in a different manner now instead of just turning them into the Daleks.

Loooooots of talking heads on Youtube ain't happy about it, though, especially with how 'fast' the turnaround came. And sure, the actual conversation between Jurati and Queenie wasn't all that long, but it was the result of their connection all season and nothing really contradicts any prior story. There's a lot of fans out there that just want to keep reliving First Contact and while I do love the Borg as antagonists I'm ready to see what else can be done with them.


Soong: Not much to say but I agree that Spiner is in his element getting to chew the scenery a bit and I am here for it.

Not related to any of the above points but one thing I found in the episode that was rather unsettling was Seven killing those borgified soldiers by telefragging them into the wall. Weirdly body horror-y, but also maybe kind of a reference (or a callback?) to that one TNG episode where the Enterprise was passing through Some Space Thing that caused the ship to become intangible here and there and this one unfortunate crewmember just happened to walk over an affected section and wound up falling through and merging with the floor and dying. This might be a stretch but that is exactly what that moment reminded me of.

Anyway, one episode left, so I guess this one is for all the chips. Time to see exactly what Q's deal is here and how this will all be resolved. After all, their way back to the future is gone, and Q is in no condition to help them get back either, so something's gotta happen. I wonder just how much of a return to the original status quo we're going to have? I was originally banking on a reset back to the 'Look Up' moment from the first episode at the end, but with the rather conspicuous way the Queen restored Seven's implants I'm wondering if they'll return to the future but the changes made to the crew will be kept. So, Jurati stays the new Borg Queen and, sadly, Elnor stays dead? Hard to say, but why give Seven back her implants now if she was, presumably, just going to get them back next week?

Oh, and something I've been thinking about regarding Q's condition:
There has to be a reason he's dying, but whether the story will dwell on the specifics is up in the air. But with the prominent Borg storyline this season in conjunction with Q facing death, I can't help but wonder if all this somehow has something to do with the episode Q Who? It's a reach, but if you look back at all his appearances on TNG, this was the only one that fundamentally altered things. In Encounter At Farpoint he just held the Enterprise up for a bit, and then spent time trying to goad Picard along one way or another. Then he briefly gave Riker powers to try and teach Picard somethingorother, but then he showed up and flung the Enterprise across the galaxy and gave humanity a premature encounter with the Borg. Very notably, this was NOT undone at the end of the episode like every other Q encounter, the episode ends with the Borg heading to the Alpha Quadrant as a result of the encounter. At most Q's other appearances came with a lesson for Picard specifically, but this was the only one that actually changed things on a galactic level.

Pair this with his reaction in Voyager when his son messed with the Collective ("Don't. Provoke. The Borg!") suggests that there's something about them even the Continuum doesn't want to or otherwise can't get involved with. And what else happens in Voyager? The evident death knell of the collective as we all know it, the Borg never really recovered from that event, and it's something that likely would not have happened were it not for Q introducing the Federation to the Borg before it would have otherwise naturally occurred. Think about it, how likely is it that Voyager would have survived encountering the Borg in the Delta Quadrant if they weren't already forewarned about them thanks to Q? No first encounter with the Borg, no Wolf 359, no development of defensive strategies against them, no chance Voyager survives their first encounter. And thus, no future Janeway to deal a crippling blow.

Now, I'm not sure how all this translates to Q dying, and its entirely likely I'm overthinking things and the actual answer will be much subtler. But between the prominence of the Borg this season, the Janeway namedrop this episode, and the fact that it's all the result of the ONE thing Q did that had lasting ramifications beyond Picard himself just makes me think these are the proverbial chickens coming home to roost for him, somehow.
 
I have a lot of theories about how the last episode will play out, and I feel fairly confident in them, but I've got no idea if that's how it'll play out or not because I was totally wrong about Queen Jurati so who knows.

Re: Picard's mother -- I think I can guess why some of y'all don't like how that went down, but I thought it was fine. Good, even. Pretty much the central theme of the season has been about how the entire main cast has undiagnosed/untreated mental health issues, and they either refuse to acknowledge the fact, and/or refuse to get help. And I think it's good, actually, that the show is examining this and showing its audience what these issues look like, how they manifest, how to deal with them more constructively, that it's ok to get help, that it's never too late to do so, etc.
 

ArugulaZ

Fearful asymmetry
Yeah, I like this show but it’s definitely the weakest part of nuTrek. I’m glad it exists, though, as there are some brilliant bits and it’s doing a lot to expand the mythos, especially in regards to Romulans.

I have no doubt this season will make for a good send-off for Q and I look forward to whatever happens next season. I hope we get to see a lot more of the Borgia O’Keeffe ships because I love the design.

Okay. From a scale of one to Playstation 5, how vaginal are the ships?

Wait wait, I had the rest of this in the wrong place. Let me fix that.
 
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Just finished the season finale. That went just about as I thought it might. Well, except for the completely unnecessary/perfunctory Wesley cameo that didn't need to be there but I'm glad was. I started to well up with the Q hug. On the whole, a little messy, but very enjoyable season. I'm very much looking forward to the next one. But for now, onto Strange New Worlds!
 

Sprite

(He/Him/His)
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA YESSSSSSSS

I WAS RIGHT

This whole thing was a roundabout way for Q to tell Picard to get a girlfriend. I don't think I’ve ever felt that triumphant hoping a show would do a specific thing and then watching it do it. It was as ridiculous as it was sweet.

Picard is a giant mess, and will probably stay that way, but I do love everything it’s doing with the lore and moving the setting forward. The Romulans and Borg especially have gotten a lot of cool toys for the franchise to play with. I’m hot and cold on Picard as a show but I’m definitely glad it exists.
 
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