Star Trek: Picard

"Assimilation"

2.5 stars

Air date: 3/17/2022
Written by Kirsten Beyer & Christopher Monfette
Directed by Lea Thompson

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"Assimilation" is a step down after the first two refreshingly absorbing episodes of the season, but it's still a pretty enjoyable outing despite its notable flaws, and brisk enough that it doesn't feel too much like the latest setting-resetting episode (the third in a row, no less) it primarily serves as. Its mission is to get us to the year 2024 and provide some initial things for the characters to do there, and it does that, with some threads that work to varying degrees ranging from somewhat clunky to reasonably good.

While it looked like the crew of La Sirena was going to be recaptured by Seven's husband and detained in the fascistic alternate timeline of the 25th century, this episode says "psych!" (*) and quickly dispatches all the bad guys, and the ship slingshots around the sun and arrives in the 21st century, all before the opening credits.

* If this crew can time-travel back to 2024, then I'm allowed to time-travel back to the early 1990s.

Elnor, having been shot by the Confederation forces, dies of his wounds, which sends Raffi into an emotional tailspin that's overacted by Michelle Hurd. Making Raffi so overly emotional to the point of being unprofessional (Picard even mentions she's too emotional to be going off on her own) is not a great look, and the writers are not doing the character any favors by doing this. Her lashing out and blaming Picard for "engaging in these games with Q" is even more ridiculous and forced. Just when I thought this character had been rehabilitated by being back in Starfleet's good graces, the writers have her go on this rant. Please, no more Angry Raffi.

For that matter, I'm not sure exactly why the writers felt a need to bring Elnor along on this time-travel adventure in the first place, only to immediately kill him off, unless it's to bring a (rather needless) personal stake to the storyline. The characters ponder whether restoring the timeline will bring Elnor back. (According to every time-travel story rule we know of, it shouldn't, since the "real" Elnor is here and not in the timeline he actually belongs in, but such rules are meaningless and flexible since they honestly make no sense regardless. Besides, there's also the Q factor here, which could do any number of other things.) At least this means we won't have to endure any scenes explaining away Elnor's state of being a Romulan, and whatever a 2022 equivalent of Kirk's 1967 "rice picker" explanation for Spock was in "The City on the Edge of Forever." But adding personal stakes (saving Elnor) when we already have plenty of plot ones (averting the fascist timeline) seems redundant.

The actual plot breaks down into (1) Picard and Jurati's attempt to hack into the dormant Borg Queen's mind in an effort to reactivate her and gain the crucial information about the Watcher, and (2) Seven, Raffi, and Rios beaming to Los Angeles to start looking for the Watcher, a mysterious individual who holds key information about the event that will catastrophically alter the timeline.

The hacking attempt requires someone to enter the Queen's mind in an attempt to jump-start her (or something). It's a risky endeavor that can result in the hacker becoming the hackee and being mentally overtaken and assimilated by the Queen. The risks would be far greater for Picard, who could be controlled by the Queen in a matter of seconds since she's already familiar with his mind as someone who was previously assimilated. So Jurati makes the attempt instead. This is intriguing because it presents assimilation as a psychological exercise rather than a matter of Borg technology. Agnes must go into the Queen's mind as the Queen attempts to do the same to her. The resulting scene alternates between haunting and hokey. It's also too brief to build into anything substantial. Imagine if this had been drawn out into an intense psychodrama like TNG's "Sarek" and really explored Agnes' fears at length.

The scenes in Los Angeles are pretty good, if nothing to write home about. Seven, Raffi, and Rios beam into the city and arrive at different locations. Raffi gets mugged. Seven is mistaken by a child as a superhero. They find each other and begin looking for the Watcher. They show evidence of making a solid buddy-cop team (with a romantic history that's not overplayed here).

Rios crash-lands on a balcony in a slapstick moment that at first made me laugh before I saw him lying unconscious on the ground and bleeding from the head. He ends up in a nearby clinic ("no hospitals, no police, no papers") where they treat his concussion and don't ask too many questions, especially about his immigration status. One thing of value I found here is that Rios' likability really shines through in a more relaxed setting. Maybe I'm forgetting too much of season one, but I feel like Santiago Cabrera didn't get a lot of moments to just be a solid dude. His scenes here with the doctor (Sol Rodriguez) who helps him and her young son feature an easygoing charm. Ultimately, he's arrested during an ICE raid and separated from his combadge. As a Starfleet officer, one thing you never want to do in the past is lose a piece of technology.

"Assimilation" is not going to be remembered for doing anything grand or memorable. It's an hour of setting the stage for the crew-out-of-time premise, and there are some promising things to build on here. Think of the more average moments from Star Trek IV or Voyager's "Future's End," and that's mostly what we have here.

"Don't tell me they don't use money in the 23rd century." "Well, we don't.":

  • After getting mugged (in a scene where Raffi deals with the mugger in a "gives zero F's" kind of way), Raffi seems somewhat surprised and amused at the concept of money, which suggests this season is rolling back or ignoring the first season's suggestion that money in the 24th century was very real on Earth and the reason why Raffi was all but exiled to the middle of nowhere where she stewed angrily at Picard for leaving her hanging out to dry.
  • This episode basically treats the Borg Queen like she's the same one from the real timeline, even though she's actually from the Confederation timeline and can merely see across to other timelines. I'd have preferred if the dialogue had treated her more as the latter, but it acts more like the former.
  • Did I correctly interpret the brief visual and Picard's mention of "home" that Picard crashed the ship just outside of Chateau Picard? Do the Picards still own it back in the 21st century? Are we going to meet Picard's vineyard-owning ancestors?
  • Q shows up very briefly just before the ship travels back in time. His inconclusively cryptic dialogue seems to indicate he thinks this is a bad idea.
  • "Goddamn" seems to be the expletive of choice on this show. I find that odd since TNG was always a purely atheistic landscape, at least as far as humans were concerned. I suppose many if not most people who use the term even today ascribe no religious meaning to it (I don't), but it still strikes me as weird and distracting coming from 25th-century Starfleet types.
  • Seven sees the hills outside of downtown L.A. on fire and notes the deterioration of the planet's environment, pointing toward the future where Q said the planet was on "life support." If so, this would indicate we still have at least four centuries left to slow the damage, which is not the level of urgency I imagine the writers are trying to project.
  • I suppose it seems appropriate that Lea Thompson, who directed this episode, is still in the middle of a plot with an altered timeline, just as she was nearly 40 years ago in the role she's most famous for.

Previous episode: Penance
Next episode: Watcher

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143 comments on this post

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Tim C
Thu, Mar 17, 2022, 4:19am (UTC -5)
This one maintained the pace of the previous two but didn't have me on the edge of my seat quite as much, which I think is to be expected three episodes in. We can't spend the entire season burning through major plot events every episode. That said, it was still quite entertaining and had a strong Agnes subplot, which I will never say no to.

The rest of it was standard "Trek goes back to the present day" fish-out-of-water time-travel shenanigans that we've seen a million times before, but it was executed with energy and competence. No complaints.

If I have a major gripe, it's that Raffi is meant to be a seasoned veteran, and Michelle Hurd is pushing way too hard in the emotional scenes. I get that Raffi likes Elnor, but she's undoubtedly lost people before and shouldn't be losing her shit like this. If Hurd dials it back we'd have a very powerful story thread there, but as it is, she's over-egging it and just making me want someone to slap her and say GET A GRIP.
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Daniel
Thu, Mar 17, 2022, 4:40am (UTC -5)
@Tim C

I got a similar feeling with Raffi--especially juxtaposed with Picard, who lost countless number of people under his command, close friends, and people who he's had to order to essentially sacrifice their lives. He's had decades of experience of needing to stow emotions in order to complete the mission.

That said, we aren't talking about model Starfleet(TM) officers--it's a crew of misfits and broken people. I don't know if it was on the script that way or was more of a directorial/acting choice, but at this point I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt and say this is intentional.

All that said, outside of episode context, Michelle Hurd the actress does an amazing job of not letting Picard deflect. When she says she feels an "intense, sharp, disappointment in leadership" and accuses Picard of playing into Q's games, he tries to look away but she swoops in, grabs his eyeline and drives the point home. It kind of took my breath away.

Biggest nitpick of the episode was the way Rios crashed to the ground during transport. He did a flip on the way down, but physically, there was nothing substantial for him to flip on or against. It just looked like obvious wirework and hilarious for all the wrong reasons.
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Tim C
Thu, Mar 17, 2022, 4:52am (UTC -5)
Daniel, RE: Raffi, I'm with you on the moment where she lashes out at Picard. That's what I mean by this having the potential to be a powerful story thread, I just think Hurd's playing it too intensely (whether it's her choice or a directorial thing, I'm not sure). Sure, Picard's crew is a motley one, but Raffi had a career in Starfleet Intelligence before season one, and has been welcomed back into the fleet in the years following it - she should have a better handle on "space is dangerous".

Opinions will vary of course. There's a lot else to like in this episode, so I'm not too fussed, but it stuck out in an otherwise well-told story.

I *am* loving Jeri Ryan's performance. Seven has come a long way since Voyager, and yet every now and then Ryan changes gears and you suddenly see that Borg upbringing slipping back in. It's subtle to the point of people accusing her of "not being the same character", but I think they're not watching carefully enough.
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AMA
Thu, Mar 17, 2022, 4:59am (UTC -5)
Certainly not as good as the previous two episodes, but a serviceable outing for the season-long arc. Do now wish that the previous episode did not end on the cliffhanger, as it was constructed, and instead closed on the black screen after the La Sirena slingshotted around the sun. Although that edit might have extended the previous episode a little too long for the producers, it felt like the 'proper' close for the story.

Really enjoying Santiago Cabrera's performance as Rios more and more with each passing episode. Michelle Hurd, Jeri Ryan, and Alison Pill have all been very good as well. For me, there seems to be a genuine naturalness to their performances, and chemistry between them. In general, the constructed universe feels 'right.'

I disagree some with @Tim C regarding Michelle Hurd's performance, only in that Raffi effectively lost her son last season, and has now lost her 'adopted son.' I can imagine that losing a second chance would be rather difficult, particularly after it seemed like her life was starting to come together again.

Finally, I hope the series continues to delve further into Picard's psyche vis-a-vis the Borg. There have been hints of the series doing so, and those few scenes, like Jurati talking to Picard about the experience of being assimilated, is something I would like to see more.
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Daniel
Thu, Mar 17, 2022, 5:05am (UTC -5)
Allison Pill also did an amazing job during the partial assimilation scene--it's nearly impossible to convey different emotions when you also have to keep your eyes wide open staring at nothing, and keeping your face mostly in the same position. She had to resort to subtle signals, like fluttering that one eyelid during the sequence, and modulate her voice.

The writers, I think, have a much better sense of how to use her (Pill, the actress and Jurati, the character), and we're all the better for it.
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Daniel
Thu, Mar 17, 2022, 5:27am (UTC -5)
Oh, btw, 34.0488°N 118.2518°W, the coordinates from "Shit I stole from the Borg Queen" is the intersection of 5th St and Hill St in Downtown Los Angeles. There's a Metro Red/Purple line station and Pershing Square, a park.

Pershing Square was originally Los Angeles' version of Central Park, though, a really tiny version at 5 acres.
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Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Mar 17, 2022, 8:14am (UTC -5)
Well, that was a bit of a step down...again...in quality. Not a bad episode, but not an amazing one either.

Part of the issue is, much more than the first two, this doesn't feel like an episode - it's just a collection of stuff that needs to happen in order to move the arc forward. We have a quick first act which wraps up the Confederation plot before titles role, then a bunch of shipboard scenes that establish the "mission" and the stakes, as it were, and then finally - around halfway through the episode - we finally get to 2024, and presumably the main plot arc for the season. This has been the third episode straight which is placing items on the table for a new setting, so I hope we're strapped in here for awhile and can enjoy the story.

Elnor's death didn't surprise me after he was shot last week, plus I saw he didn't appear in the promo pics for this week, and we haven't seen any shots of him in the trailers from future episodes. This might be the end of his character on the show. I've thought Evan Evagora's acting has been far and away the worst of the leads, so in a way I won't miss him. On the other hand, he seems like such a wasted opportunity, since they spent an entire episode introducing him and did jack shit with his character ever since. But my biggest issue with the death is that despite the last two episodes trying to sell me on a close relationship between Raffi and Elnor, I just don't buy it. Yes, I know that there were two years of off-camera development of their relationship, but we as viewers didn't get to see it - we saw maybe ten minutes of interactions between them. So a character we barely know/understand died, and another character who we know better is upset because they had a close relationship which developed off camera. Only maybe he's not dead after all - maybe the timeline reset will fix everything. Time will tell.

Unlike some others, I really wasn't sold on the Borg interactions this episode. The initial scene in the opener was great. The scenes with Jurati attempting to link with the Queen were...okay. But I thought this was one of those situations where maybe some more VFX could have helped (like something showing her own POV) because for the most part it's just Alison Pill with a cable stuck to her neck acting weird. The final scene when the Queen is fully awake...this is the kind of Borg Queen I hate, TBH - the kind that reminds me of Voyager. Not creepy and alien, but relatable and a bit catty. It diminishes the Borg seeing them so personified like this. Though I understand she's cut off from the collective, thus effectively an individual at the moment.

I started enjoying the episode a lot more once we finally got some of the characters in Los Angeles in 2024. Raffi and Seven don't get much to do, but they have good chemistry, and I thought their scenes worked well. But Rios's scenes were by far the highlight of the episode. I can't be the only one who's wondering now that they've plopped in down with a single, cute woman who's raising a son alone (and who happens to be Latina) that ultimately he's going to marry her and stay in the 21st century? His getting captured in an ICE raid was a bit on the nose, but Terry Matalas said they wanted to explore contemporary issues this season - I guess immigration is one of them. At least it looks like California got single-payer health insurance in the Trekverse by 2024 though.
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Andy G
Thu, Mar 17, 2022, 9:21am (UTC -5)
Well that was ok. Not as good as the first two but mostly enjoyable. While it ripped off the The Voyage Home, there are worse things to rip off. Also, I also got a Future's End vibe which isn't bad either. The assimilation plot was probably the best part of the episode where there were some genuinely good moments between Picard, Jurati, and the Queen. Raffi and Seven had good character moments and Raffi's pain was palpable. The Rios plot was where it went off the rails. I appreciate classic Star Trek message shows but this was a blunt instrument. Was this about immigration, healthcare, the environment (Seven and Raffi), or just advancing the plot. If you watch TOS or TNG, this is best done through allegory building over a whole episode, not just throw away lines. The writers missed an opportunity to pick an issue and develop it. Too bad since modern trek is generally missing this key element. I appreciate the effort but its a fail that takes away from the episode.

2.5/4*
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Chrome
Thu, Mar 17, 2022, 10:11am (UTC -5)
Certainly not as epic as the previous episodes, but it did have some cool moments and dived into some serious and timely issues. When the La Sirena slingshot around the sun, I thought for a moment they’d reproduce the cheesy floating 3D heads from “The Voyage Home”. Instead, they tossed those in favor of eerie focus shots on the face of the leads. The similarities to TVH are subtle, but they’re close enough to evoke the famous slingshot moment without the dated SFX.

One critique I lodge at this episode is its edginess which contrasts heavily with the light-hearted tone of “The Voyage Home”. What was great about ST: IV was the fun exchanges between Spock, Uhura and others with the contemporary San Franciscan people. Of course, *this* is Los Angeles, and instead dealing with mystifying ecological issues of the Space Whale, “Picard” hits hard on the tough on topics of poverty, pollution, and immigration here. We’re even given a glimpse of a Sanctuary District, presumably the same ones that existed in DS9’s “Past Tense”. Homelessness is a real hot button issue in LA, incidentally, and it’s not uncommon to see folks living in their cars in the streets here.

Still, there were some fun scenes and Rios took most of them. I really enjoyed Rios’ interactions with Teresa and the other Latinos at the clinic. Rios, like Kirk before him, tries to fast-talk his way out of the clinic, only to find out that he’s met his match and then some in the resident doctor. This leads to some of the best comedy of the episode, as Rios tries incredibly hard to keep his mission intact only to be thwarted every minute by streetwise Hispanics. Somewhere amid his efforts, Rios realizes that he’s found some genuinely good people. Teresa’s clinic is basically doing him a huge favor by treating his injuries for free with no questions asked. This sentiment tugs at Rios’ heartstrings and he decides to stick his neck out when Federal agents come looking for undocumented immigrants. I’m not sure I agree with how ICE agents are depicted here, but the conflict of honest workers providing services people want only to be hunted down by police is a real one.

What also works about this is that we can see a sharp contrast between Rios and Seven’s bouts with authority. Seven, who appears to the people of Earth to be a white female, can fast-talk her way out of trouble. Though I think the show was more trying to drive home the point that Seven has an easier time socializing with people now that she’s lost the Borg stigma (at least, physically). One wonders if there might be a point later where Seven might try to sabotage efforts to restore the timeline in order to remain fully human.

The encounter with the Borg is the main dramatic thrust of the episode and its chilling. Like others, I thoroughly enjoyed Pill’s performance as well as Annie Wersching playing a more animated Borg Queen. Every minute the Borg Queen has a chance to take control of something, whether it be a computer terminal, a crewmember, or the La Sirena itself filled me with deep sense of dreaded urgency. We see the fears over The Borg shown in “The Star Gazer” fleshed out here as clearly none of the crew have any patience for the Borg. Somehow, Picard presses the point that they still need to work with the Borg Queen, but his efforts to do so leads to the loss of Elnor. Q even briefly appears to promote the idea that Picard’s fear is responsible for all this. Honestly, I’d wish Q would clarify what Picard did or didn’t do because it feels like Picard’s behavior is guided by Q’s taunts.
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Jeffrey's Tube
Thu, Mar 17, 2022, 12:00pm (UTC -5)
I didn't particularly care for the Rios clinic subplot. I found it way too obvious. The writing in those scenes felt rote. That said, let's see where it all goes.

I get that the show wants to save all the best, juiciest material for Picard--it's his show, after all. But Seven also has a long, long, LONG history with the Borg Queen. We're not getting very much of that--it's "Locutus" this, "Locutus" that. We did get some bits last episode, but it just isn't feeling like enough, and it is feeling conspicuous by its absence.

You can put me firmly in the "Jeri Ryan is absolutely playing Seven as Seven" camp. She's not "five seconds out of the collective, season four of Voyager" Seven, but it's been over twenty years. She wouldn't be. I very clearly see her as an extrapolation of "season seven of Voyager" Seven given twenty years of moving in that direction. The body language, the vocal inflection, the no-nonsense way she approaches problems--it's all there.

Elnor was a badly conceived character played by a bad actor. The thing is, they actually effectively rebooted him by making him a Starfleet cadet in the season premiere. I was actually finally interested in him. And now he's dead. Maybe to avoid having to have a Romulan run around the past and it feeling even more like a retread of Star Trek IV? But if that's the case, they could have just left him in the future with Soji.

Not convinced he's forever-dead. We'll see.
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Jeffrey's Tube
Thu, Mar 17, 2022, 12:11pm (UTC -5)
Also, it remains weird that while Raffi is dressing down Picard for "him and Q playing games with all humanity and damn the consequences" (or something like that), that Seven doesn't chime in to say "yeah, I've met Q, and dude's an ass to not just Picard." I get that, thematically, the show wants it set up as an epic Q-Picard conflict, that the thing between them is something unique, but the guy pesters everybody. Hell, he even pesters the Cerritos! The thing between Picard and Q still feels different than that . . . special from it . . . but it still feels disingenuous for anyone to try to lay any of it on Picard, considering what a Starfleet Intelligence officer must know about how Q behaves.
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Captain_Porthos
Thu, Mar 17, 2022, 12:42pm (UTC -5)
Annie Werschings' reading of "You have impressed me" was the most subtly threatening line since Salome Jens said "Your opinion was NOT solicited."
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Parad0x
Thu, Mar 17, 2022, 12:53pm (UTC -5)
Prediction for 2x04 - They convince the Queen to use her nano-probes to resurrect Elnor, as per Neelix in "VOY - Mortal Coil" in exchange for giving her something she wants.

Also, during the establishing shots of Los Angeles, when I saw the observatory I immediately wondered if Rain Robinson from "VOY - Future's End" was in there.
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Daniel
Thu, Mar 17, 2022, 1:08pm (UTC -5)
I don't think Elnor is permanently dead. I scrubbed back through the official Season 2 trailer, and there's a brief clip of Elnor on the La Sirena wielding a sword, with Raffi and Seven in contemporary 21st Century garb working the transporter.

I know Seven is 20 years post separation from the collective, but somehow it felt kind of weird for her to be the one to say "funner" to the security guard. Minor quibble there.

Tonally, I think this contrasted with ST:IV in part because of the time it was being produced. The mid-80's were an economic boom period, Cold War aside. Also, I remember reading somewhere that Leonard Nimoy deliberately wanted a lighthearted movie after Star Trek II/III, so the script was written that way. Also, the script was initially written to star Eddie Murphy instead of Catherine Hicks, so the bones of the story were definitely comedic.

A nod to Star Trek Voyager, the opening montage of Los Angeles had a few shots of key locations from "Future's End", including the Griffith Observatory and the Santa Monica Pier.

During a rewatch, I noticed two more things--
1. The Borg Queen in her stasis chamber reminded me of a potted plant, especially when she tipped over.
2. I get Edith Keeler vibes regarding the doctor of the clinic. She's seen kissing Rios in another preview clip.
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silverfish
Thu, Mar 17, 2022, 1:09pm (UTC -5)
Just yesterday, I finished reading the TNG Pocket book novel Q&A and it makes me wonder if the overall theme of that book will end up being adapted somehow in this show. If you haven't read it, it ties together all of Q's appearances across TNG and VOY into a grand plan of the Continuum to prepare Picard for a universe-saving task.

Either way, the season so far has managed to get me invested in seeing how the storyline plays out, which makes it a success to me.
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Norvo
Thu, Mar 17, 2022, 1:11pm (UTC -5)
@Parad0X: Possibly, but remember, it's been over 18 years since Rain was at the observatory. Also, when they showed the pier I had to think of Future's End too ("We could have worn our Starfleet uniforms and not have stood out!")

By the by: did anyone spot the signs for the Sanctuary District? The Bell Riots took place in San Francisco, but they are also in LA it seems.
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Jaxon
Thu, Mar 17, 2022, 1:38pm (UTC -5)
I assume that they were using the Confederation weapons when they reduced Mr. Seven and his two goons to what looked like campfire embers.

But...isn't that the weapon they used on Elnor too? Shouldn't he too have been reduced to cinders?

Either he's still alive or they needed a body for Raffi to chew the scenery over...or both.
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Jeffrey's Tube
Thu, Mar 17, 2022, 2:18pm (UTC -5)
If I'm remembering the Voyager episodes correctly, didn't all of Los Angeles fall into the sea at some point? Or at least the beach. Didn't Tom Paris say that? Well, now that I think of it, Jurati did say "we can't crash into one of the most populated cities of the era" (which, you know, it isn't . . . only of America . . . but I'll let that go) and the "of the era" might imply it isn't a major city anymore, because it's mostly gone. Hmmm.
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Eric Jensen
Thu, Mar 17, 2022, 3:23pm (UTC -5)
Spoilers obviously
OMG, why did Rios get himself arrested? Contaminating the time-line... Why was he beamed into solid metal, making him fall? What is up with Jurati and the Borg queen? Inception?
Likeable episode
Very good chemistry with Seven and Raffi and yes she lost her son and now her adopted son, but of course she was emotional and it is natural.
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Jaxon
Thu, Mar 17, 2022, 3:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: Los Angeles:

The "urban area" is the most globally comparable measure of city size, and on that metric, Greater Los Angles ranks around #20, give or take a notch or two, globally...certainly enough to call it one of the most populated cities of the era.

Before the Voyager mentioned "Hermosa Quake" anyways.
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Mike Lindell
Thu, Mar 17, 2022, 4:47pm (UTC -5)
Pretty good. The absence of Terry Matalas(sp?) On writing duties was noticed, as this ep has slightly more CBS-isms (overacted drama, obvious writing), but it was still pretty good, and I'm definitely still on board.
I actually liked the Rios plot line even if it wasn't wholly original.
This ep hasen't really done anything to hurt the season long arc, it was just slightly less great than the last ep.

I like how they are handling Seven also. This season seems to be doing better with feeling like a continuation of the Berman shows.
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Jammer
Thu, Mar 17, 2022, 6:01pm (UTC -5)
Review now posted.
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Mal
Thu, Mar 17, 2022, 6:49pm (UTC -5)
Really enjoyed this one! Lots of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles vibes from this version of LA.

Seven has some hilarious lines about selfies. Even Jurarti is good. And Rios steals the show.

Nice to see Trek get it's sea-legs back. "Admiral, there be whales here."

3 1/2 stars.

"You have impressed me"

Indeed.
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Jack
Thu, Mar 17, 2022, 8:50pm (UTC -5)
Since we got to see a Sanctuary District sign in LA, I assume it's possible the writers could be hinting at Commander Sisko, Bashir, and Dax being in San Francisco at the same time, depending on the month. The DS9 folks were in SF in August/September 2024.

At this point, the timeline hasn't been changed to create the dystopian Picard future, so it shouldn't effect Sisko and company's trip to the past. Would be interesting if Picard and crew got to catch a glimpse of the Bell Riots on television and they recognize Sisko. :-)

This was a weaker episode than the first two, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
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Daniel
Thu, Mar 17, 2022, 9:04pm (UTC -5)
Just throwing it out there, but could it be possible that the Soji we see supposedly in the 21st century (in the preview clips) is not her, but a human--perhaps the daughter of the 2024-era Soong?

That would explain having Isa Briones in modern-day LA but not Soji, who didn't make the time slingshot run with the rest of the crew.
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Jeffrey's Tube
Thu, Mar 17, 2022, 10:03pm (UTC -5)
@ Jaxon

Hermosa quake! I just typed it into Memory Alpha, and apparently there was a plaque on the outside of Guinan's bar saying it was one of the few to survive the devastation of the Hermosa Quake in the season premiere. Pretty cool easter egg.

I'm not sure I agree that ~20th really qualifies, especially considering other urban areas are over twice as large in population. But, point taken. Certainly its cultural and economic power make it "one of the most important cities of the era" globally such that Jurati might naturally believe it is one of the largest in population, at any rate. Would I know if Paris or London was bigger 400 years ago? No.

@ Jammer

I think the Borg Queen IS the Borg Queen from our timeline, now. They took pains to mention that the future they were in was the same timeline, just altered, and that it isn't an alternate universe. It is something that has been imposed over what is meant to be. So, now that she's back before the altering event, she's back to what she's supposed to be. The "alternate timeline Borg Queen" that she wasn't supposed to be, that was imposed upon her, is what she was fighting and is why she was so "scattered." She knew what she should be and was resisting the change. Back before the altering event, she's herself and she's not fighting not to be her imposed self. Does that make sense? It's a lot of words, and I probably didn't pick the best ones, but I hope it gets the concept across.
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Rahul
Thu, Mar 17, 2022, 10:36pm (UTC -5)
So unfortunately (for me at least) it would seem PIC S2 will be spending a few or most episodes in 2024 LA -- maybe like dragging out "Future's End" or "Past Tense". That was also the impression I got from the preview trailer. Not much interesting here, other than maybe Jurati pulling a fast one on the Borg Queen and Raffi ripping Picard for choosing the BQ over Elnor. But at least we don't have to suffer through Evagora's acting anymore.

The whole watcher thing is a bit of a tease for now. But the plot and writing around whatever the watcher is and the cause of the temporal divergence could be the one somewhat original and interesting contribution PIC S2 makes.

Felt like some padding here, but I think certain new characters like the hispanic doctor are being set up for longer-lasting roles in the season. Must be written in Santiago Cabrera's contract that he gets to use his Spanish every now and then. The whole scene in the hospital just didn't feel like Trek. And then the ICE officers show up. 7 of 9 and Raffi atop the building doing the girlfriend routine -- just more padding, and it felt a bit like Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

I didn't like the portrayal of the Borg Queen -- she had like some kind of smug attitude and personality, but could this be a result of the partial assimilation of Jurati? But at least she is menacing and Picard/Jurati are appropriately apprehensive.

2 stars for "Assimilation" -- hard to be impressed with anything here and I'm not a fan of where this season is at right now, but I think it can only get more interesting. At least we've got some contrasting personalities with Raffi being on a mission and 7 being more level-headed. Feels like a 3rd episode of establishing a new premise with a new environment and challenges.
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Norvo
Fri, Mar 18, 2022, 12:49am (UTC -5)
Wouldn't it be something if we find out they traveled back to 2024 to make sure the Hermosa quake happens? All of Los Angeles has to go under for humanity to wake up and start making some changes that will (somehow) prevent the formation of the Confederation.

Maybe that's the lesson Q needs Picard to learn in order to prevent catastrophe in the 25th century. It'd be classic Trek in the vein of Kirk letting Edith Keeler die in City On The Edge of Forever and even a subtle, thematic continuation of Picard's botched evacuation of Romulus.

Of course, if that was the game plan you'd think Picard or the others would have gone "Of course, the Hermosa quake of 2024!" by now.
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Daniel
Fri, Mar 18, 2022, 1:24am (UTC -5)
Well, as one who lives within two miles of Hermosa Beach, kinda hoping this part of history never happens.
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Eric Jensen
Fri, Mar 18, 2022, 2:16am (UTC -5)
Raffi being emotional is justified. As some have already mentioned, she lost her son and now her adopted son. Even Rios and Seven had doubts about the Borg queen. Now this drives Raffi and that's the point.
It's kinda true that Q is playing games and Picard is doing his "penance".
What about seven losing Icheb? Should she be emotional? Double standards!
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Chrome
Fri, Mar 18, 2022, 7:30am (UTC -5)
Daniel wrote:

"Well, as one who lives within two miles of Hermosa Beach, kinda hoping this part of history never happens."

I'm not far from it, either. (⊙⊙) It's kind of strange watching this show taking place only two years from now and deciphering Trek lore from real events and places. At least I can say the Markridge Tower doesn't exist (it's really Wilshire Center) and there's nothing that resembles Sanctuary Districts (yet!).

Then again, I was really bummed when I visited San Francisco and couldn't find the The Cetacean Institute...
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Artymiss
Fri, Mar 18, 2022, 8:07am (UTC -5)
That was okay. Enjoyable but not as good as the previous two. It was full of stuff happening to set up the rest of the season.

Anyone else thinking that Borg Queen is still partly inside Agnes's brain? Definitely don't think she's finished with Agnes!
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Booming
Fri, Mar 18, 2022, 8:52am (UTC -5)
- When the ship was spinning at the beginning I thought of Anakin.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBlhgAkJBos

- Why did the bad guys go puff but elnor only had a wound??

- I still don't like Raffi's hair. She probably said to her stylist:"Give me the "Klingon". For the record, I'm not a big fan of Agnes' noodle hair, either.

- I wonder if the producers are just too stupid to understand that this Marvel action scene zinger humor only works because super hero movies are a little silly but this is supposed to be a serious situation. The murder elf is dying and the ship is under attack. Having Agnes or Rios here or later do one liners really shows that there are no actual stakes and it creates tonal dissonance.

- Nice to see that Rios little speeder can wipe out huge cruisers with ease.

- No wonder that people like Annika, she is the only one who behaves somewhat like I'd imagine somebody in these situations would. There is a certain irony to her behaving like Starfleet officer while the actual ones barely do.

- I should really stop noticing but one of the TNG demands of Roddenberry was that distance meant something but here we are again. They are at the sun, come out of warp and are immediately in Earth's gravitation.

- What's happening. Were the elf and Raffi close?? I thought Picard and Elnor were kind of close??? Must have forgotten that.

- Raffi being back to emotionally unstable, I guess. The whole the needs of the many concept is maybe too complex for her. Disappointment in leadership?! Is she doing snake juice again?? That is really doing her character a disservice. A seasoned Starfleet officer should understand Picard's decision. Then she attacks Picard for being harassed by Q. Sorry Raffi but you are close to victim blaming. The whole scene is so dumb, it is baffling. At least Picard and the others are somewhat professional. What is it with NuTrek and overemotional black women??

- again not a big fan of the sound design. The constant generic background music became slightly annoying at the half point. This is not Inception.

- The whole Jurati and the Queen scene was worked quite well.
Like this but with BOOOORG
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRUAzGQ3nSY

- The second part of the episode works quite a bit better. The suspense feels real. Even though, I'm not a fan that they are now throwing real world probs of the USA at us in short intervals. Homelessness, climate change, fires, water shortage, immigration, ice, weapons, waaaaaaaahhhh. I'm also still undecided about the Borg Queen being so sassy.

It seems we will stay in this time for a while. As I said, much cheaper to stay in the present.

I'm somewhere between 2 and 2.5 stars. The action scene at the beginning felt pointless, Elnor's death was not impactful and Raffi's short character implosion was the most insulting element. People here wrote that she lost her son and now her surrogate son but I have a hard time getting on board with that. I never understood why the son was so mad at her. Either she was going crazy or having her life destroyed because she fought for a good cause. Especially considering that she was fighting for Romulans AND HE MARRIED A ROMULAN. But whatever it was, could she not have phoned him after season one to tell him that she is a hero now, was always right about all the conspiracies and also has a respected position in Starfleet again. I guess the writer just forgot. Be that as it may, Picard is kind of like Oh well, Elnor is dead while Raffi is going full nutjob.

Most shockingly, I kind of like Annika/Seven. As I said, she is the only one who behaves like a Starfleet officer in this episode. Rios and Picard are ok. Rios is sometimes a little to rogue for me and Picard is Biden-ing. Agnes sometimes works, sometimes doesn't.

So now they have to find the watcher. NuTrek sure has talent for stupid names. The Burn, the Watcher, the Confederation, the Painfully Obvious.
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KDalton_69
Fri, Mar 18, 2022, 10:37am (UTC -5)
This episode was definitely a step down but did the job. Elnor's death was dealth with far too quickly, and the whole clinic scene ... I mean, I get it, there are people who think enforcing immigration is bad. Making ICE agents appear *almost* as heavy-handed as the jackbooted thugs of the Confederation was a little over the top.

"* If this crew can time-travel back to 2024, then I'm allowed to time-travel back to the early 1990s."

I still use "psych" in daily conversations, and I'm not afraid to say it.

I really liked the Borg Queen scenes but I doubt we've seen the last of the good doctor's interaction with her. Maybe the queen left somthing in her to aid in a later assimilation?
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Tommy D.
Fri, Mar 18, 2022, 11:19am (UTC -5)
" NuTrek sure has talent for stupid names."

The Traveler would like a word with you :)
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Booming
Fri, Mar 18, 2022, 11:37am (UTC -5)
@Tommy D.
True, ;) but for some reason on NuTrek these names are said very often which makes them stick out much more. That is especially annoying when it is the name for the main plotpoint of the season.
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Eric Jensen
Fri, Mar 18, 2022, 11:56am (UTC -5)
//Raffi being back to emotionally unstable, I guess//

No.

//What's happening. Were the elf and Raffi close?? I thought Picard and Elnor were kind of close??? Must have forgotten that.//

He is Romulan, not an elf. It is clear you hate the character. And you have forgotten that Raffi lost her biological son and then lost her adopted son. If you ACTUALLY remembered season 1, she was very upset about the loss of Romulans, that rescue attempt, the attack on Mars. Now that Elnor joined Starfleet, Raffi felt a belonging.

I think Raffi was justified in her actions and emotions when Elnor died.
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Sven
Fri, Mar 18, 2022, 12:56pm (UTC -5)
@Eric Jensen

"I think Raffi was justified in her actions and emotions when Elnor died."

At first I thought she was a bit overemotional, but when she said something along the lines of 'I had to watch him die' I totally understood. Then again, maybe the writers should have had her say that before or during the tantrum, not after. It would have felt different somehow. Maybe.
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Booming
Fri, Mar 18, 2022, 1:00pm (UTC -5)
@Eric Jensen
" It is clear you hate the character."
Which one, Raffi or the elf? Doesn't matter, I hate neither. I do not care about Elnor and Raffi is a character that should not have existed on earth. The character is kind of a mess already. First she is this elite intelligence officer, then goes of the deep end becomes a burned out drug addict and then again a commander with an important position and now back to emotionally unstable.

"And you have forgotten that Raffi lost her biological son and then lost her adopted son."
Eh, do you mean her estranged son, Gabriel Hwang? That guy is not dead. And what adopted son??

" If you ACTUALLY remembered season 1, she was very upset about the loss of Romulans, that rescue attempt, the attack on Mars."
Ok sweetheart... I will just quote myself "... or having her life destroyed because she fought for a good cause. Especially considering that she was fighting for Romulans ..."

"Now that Elnor joined Starfleet, Raffi felt a belonging."
More than Picard, who took the time to visit the elf on the refugee planet because he felt so close to him? Picard who mentioned Elnor by name during the speech at the academy? Come on!
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Karl Zimmerman
Fri, Mar 18, 2022, 1:52pm (UTC -5)
I was actually thinking about Gabriel myself. Obviously old wounds, but given his mom had been basically proven right in her "conspiracy theorizing" - and has gotten her life together/gotten clean - it's pretty plausible to me that she reached out again some time in the last two years and at least somewhat salvaged their relationship. It's not like he explicitly told her "I never want to see you again" back in Season 1 - just made it clear he was angry/resentful, and contact wasn't wanted at this time.
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Jaxon
Fri, Mar 18, 2022, 1:53pm (UTC -5)
"- I should really stop noticing but one of the TNG demands of Roddenberry was that distance meant something but here we are again. They are at the sun, come out of warp and are immediately in Earth's gravitation."

It was even more ridiculous visually.

In the same frame you could see both the limb of the sun they were still near and Earth appearing roughly the size it would look viewed from the moon.


On the "sassy" Borg Queen, we'll see, but I must say that the ""mine!...mine!...mine!...mine!" exchange that was clearly meant to be intense made me unintentionally laugh at the spectacle.
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Booming
Fri, Mar 18, 2022, 2:25pm (UTC -5)
@Jaxon
"In the same frame you could see both the limb of the sun they were still near and Earth appearing roughly the size it would look viewed from the moon."
yeah, I noticed that, too... that is what always bugs me about NuTrek. It is often unnecessarily dumb. Why make earth visible? It's not needed to explain where they are. Is the show trolling people who have a basic understanding of astronomy?

@Karl Zimmerman
" it's pretty plausible to me that she reached out again some time in the last two years and at least somewhat salvaged their relationship"
Normally I would think that they are saving it for later but considering we are barely more than 1 1/2 seasons from the ending, maybe they are just ignoring the actual son. They could have at least given us a off hand comment about them still having problems. Oh well.
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Tommy D.
Fri, Mar 18, 2022, 10:14pm (UTC -5)
@Booming

Hey I don't actually disagree, I just always thought The Traveler was a little on the nose.
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Return2Sender
Sat, Mar 19, 2022, 1:57am (UTC -5)
I don’t have a problem with swearing in films, but excessive use in Trek seems out of place. Part of the humor in ST IV was how UNFAMILIAR with profanity they were, “Double dumbass on you!” & Spock’s attempts at swearing are funny because it just not something they are used to doing.
Plus, they always gave you they impression that as a culture, they had outgrown using the a lot of the cruder expletives, like the f-bomb. Oh well! LLAP🖖
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Bryan
Sat, Mar 19, 2022, 2:21am (UTC -5)
Overall, this was an enjoyable entry...obviously not perfect (because when is NuTrek ever?) but I thought all the elements of the production gel well together and the story beats play out fairly naturally as in normal television unlike how ridiculous and forced it often feels in Discovery. I especially liked how the tense psychodrama aboard the more claustrophobic ship setting looked and felt, especially with the Borg Queen and the atmosphere cast by her eerie green lights.

- Oh Elnor.. you sure can dish out the murder, but can you take it without being a whiny little boitch?

- Having to choose between the life of the Elnor and the Borg Queen is like the Trekkian version of the Trolly Problem. Elnor has casually murdered dozens.
BQ will probably murder thousands should she ever escape captivity, but has a Singular Mind who can time travel and do other magical plot exposition stuff... Who ever shall we choose?

- I'm honestly baffled about Raffi freaking out about Elnor. I might be forgetting something crucial from season 1, but that this stuff never resonated with me must have meant that it felt too forced at the time...kinda like we're supposed to believe, just all of a sudden, that Adira is like Stammet's surrogate dau-- er, child (almost had me there!)

- Someone remind me what Raffi's area of specialization is supposed to be... Tactical? Intelligence? Drama?

- Picard is so old that it seems like any whippersnapper can cut him off, knock him down a peg, or whatever they like, and Picard is just too frail and tired to offer much protest, even when the accusations leveled at him are batshit crazy... "Aw alright, I guess I'll just shut up and hang my head in shame because we gotta Believe Women now..."

- For a moment I thought California Dreaming was the theme song to the BQ's headspace, "Okay, cool, but tonally kinda weird-- ohh, scene change. I see now."

- Heh, did Jurati just psychosomatically manifests a Borg subvocal processor during her dress rehearsal for her inevitable Borg Queen role..?

- If we're gonna do the Slingshot Manouver, I guess we gotta have a character get a concussion and end up in a fly-by-night hospital that have ICE agents chomping at the bit... the Rios scenes felt kinda contrived and didn't really work for me.

- Kudos to those who spotted all the unintentional humor: Rios wire-fuing to his doom, the "mine!" scene, and the BQ slowly tipping over like a potted plant.

- Yeah, I definitely spoke too soon. I'm sorry I contributed to the "Seven from Picard isn't Seven from Voyager" narrative. She's way more herself here in season 2 than she was in season 1. Also, I agree that her chemistry with Raffi is believable. I think I might even be willing to forgive the completely random and contrived impetus to their initial bond.

- Not sure why but Booming's offhand remarks about people's hair has me cracking up. Probably because I was also found myself considering if Jurati might actually look better without her chow mein hair when she transitions fully into the new Borg Queeen later on. I'm envisioning a cancerous Helena Bonham Carter but I think Alison Pill can pull it off.
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Booming
Sat, Mar 19, 2022, 3:21am (UTC -5)
@Bryan
""Aw alright, I guess I'll just shut up and hang my head in shame because we gotta Believe Women now...""
To me the scene more looked like Picard tried to get out of the way of this Human Tornado. Jurati for a moment even appears to be afraid of Raffi and Rios and Seven look at her as if she has lost her marbles and when Picard say:"She is too emotional." They all seem to agree, Seven even nods. In hindsight I think this must be a set up for some later scene where Raffi can get Elnor back or has to sacrifice him for the greater good.

Forgot to mention, why did Raffi even asked Jurati if Elnor will come back? Is Jurati now also an expert of timeline changes. Another NuTrek trope. A scientist knows all the sciences.

"Not sure why but Booming's offhand remarks about people's hair has me cracking up. Probably because I was also found myself considering if Jurati might actually look better without her chow mein hair when she transitions fully into the new Borg Queeen later on."
With Jurati it's tough. She is comic relief so her hair makes sense because it's a little crazy and playful. A ponytail wouldn't work for her because she has such a round face. Maybe a side part with flat hair would make her seem a little more professional.
Like this:
https://images.mubicdn.net/images/cast_member/12006/cache-3449-1600882192/image-w856.jpg?size=800x

or this:
https://de.web.img2.acsta.net/pictures/20/04/03/11/33/3543080.jpg

hmm short doesn't look bad at all. Another option.
https://i.pinimg.com/736x/58/89/d5/5889d53510b250e91022d19b473d219e.jpg

Be that as it may, all hair looks somewhat crappy compared to Seven's hair which is at least an 8.5 on the open ended Gal Gadot scale.
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Robert
Sat, Mar 19, 2022, 4:30am (UTC -5)
This is not Star Trek.

I'm still watching, but it's not Star Trek.

The Borg Queen talks like my ex-girlfriend, not the Borg Queen.

ICE? LA forest fires? I'm just waiting for the left wing kumbaya moment when we get schooled on how badly we are doing. "So many contradictions" according to Raffi. So what does that mean, the future is one totally harmonious society with no opposing viewpoints or lifestyles?

The mention of "ID and vaccine chips" made me laugh out loud. Of course they had to mention that.

Oh well, Star Trek had a good run.
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ZeroDave
Sat, Mar 19, 2022, 4:30am (UTC -5)
Good lord this is awful. Inadvertently they may have come up with a better name for the show though:
"Shit I stole from Star Trek".
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Jason R.
Sat, Mar 19, 2022, 5:20am (UTC -5)
I am just watching this as I write this but I can't even wait to comment.

Failure in leadership?

*Q* is now Picard's fault?

Picard is being blamed for... Q?

In the words of my generation, FUCK. YOUUUU!
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Jason R.
Sat, Mar 19, 2022, 6:24am (UTC -5)
Ok a few comments. Rios is charming and likeable. Seven and Raffi have some chemistry. I am starting to dislike Jurati a little less and I even enjoyed some of her snark toward the Borg Queen. I am even enjoying sarcastic sassy Borg Queen. So let it not he said that I can't say anything nice about this show.

Now my complaints:

1. Picard at fault for *Q* Fuck no. I don't care if Raffi is mad with grief - it's one of the most idiotic things anyone has said in all of Trek. And you can tell that even though she doesn't really mean it, and we're expected to forgive her because of her grief, the writers kind of sort of do mean it. Think about it. The future timeline is Picard's penance. He failed the Romulans. He failed Raffi. He failed Data. He failed Seven. And now he's at fault for Q. Fucking fuck on this show's Picard scapegoating.

2. Wow Raffi, imagine a society with so many contradictions: shining cities and beautiful vineyards but citizens wallowing in drugs and squalor living on the fringes of society in despair.... uh remind me Raffi, how were things going with you back in Season 1? What happened to your camper trailer anyway (the irony of the writers choosing Raffi of all characters for the homeless"contradictions" scene is undoubtedly lost on the writers, who I am sure have already forgotten what happened 2 episodes ago, let alone last season.

3. Ohhhh look at those wildfires. If something isn't done about environmental despoliation, the gleaming 24th century future Gene Rodenberry envisioned might not happen! Maybe Picard needs to give a speech about climate change to save the future?

*COUGH* Eugenics War.

*COUGH* post atomic horror.

Oh hey writers, riddle me this: how's global nuclear armageddon for the environment?

Haha! Maybe I have found the key to saving the future. Q must have jammed the launch mechanism on the ICBM that accidentally launches triggering WW3 and now Picard and Raffi have to infiltrate the nuclear silo with the Borg Queen's help to make sure it launches and causes the post atomic horror - thereby saving Rodenberry's utopian future!
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Galadriel
Sat, Mar 19, 2022, 8:09am (UTC -5)
While it is certainly not perfect, I am somewhat opti­mis­tic that the sea­son can main­tain at least this le­vel of qua­li­ty till the end. Most of the pro­blems I have with New Trek are still there, in some way or an­other, but either I get de­sen­si­ti­zed, or they have been toned down. Since all of this has been dis­cus­sed to death al­ready, I won’t dwell on it.

However, there is an observation that I do not find re­fe­renc­ed in the dis­cus­sion, here or else­where: Butter­flies. They are men­ti­on­ed twice in the dia­logue, and there are nu­me­rous but­ter­fly de­co­ra­tions at the clinic (e.g., in the scene where Rios bar­gains with the child). Even the word mari­posas ‘butter­flies’ is shortly visible when the po­lice ar­ri­ves. This leads me to be­lie­ve that Te­re­sa and her cli­nic will not only be im­por­tant, but that she will per­haps chan­nel Edith Keeler in one way or another.
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Eric Jensen
Sat, Mar 19, 2022, 9:42am (UTC -5)
//Fucking fuck on this show's Picard scapegoating.//

You do know the theme for this season - why Picard has not found love... Picard is definitely at fault.
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Eric Jensen
Sat, Mar 19, 2022, 9:46am (UTC -5)
What is the difference between caffeine and cocaine, I wonder...
Jason talks about "squalor" etc, but Raffi was not unlike Janeway with her coffee addiction. It is a matter of degrees. WOW, so much hate for Raffi on this board.
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Eric Jensen
Sat, Mar 19, 2022, 10:00am (UTC -5)
Why is Picard a general in the alternate timeline? Who actually killed Elnor? Seven's husband and who *is* at fault in that timeline? General Picard. In the alternate timeline they left, General Picard had skulls as trophies... Follow the story, people. Obviously it is not Captain Picard - the point is, something changed in that timeline and Raffi blames General Picard for the whole thing. She is directing that rage. And face it, it is her determination to change the timeline that's driving the plot forwards to find this watcher - Raffi feels these emotions, but not Picard. And none of this would have happened if the Borg Queen did not come out of the spatial anomaly and Picard deciding to self-destruct. If this whole thing is a lesson, isn't the whole point of this, is to wonder what happens if Picard did not self destruct the StarGazer? Q intervened and this whole thing is some kind of "penance" and not necessarily a lesson to be learned.
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Eric Jensen
Sat, Mar 19, 2022, 10:22am (UTC -5)
//She is too emotional." They all seem to agree, Seven even nods. // The only reason they all reluctantly agreed is because they want to protect/change the time-line, not because they did not feel anything.

Re-watch that scene again, before all of that. Seven says "You should have let Rios kill her" the Borg Queen. Rios did not agree, because he was about to shoot the Borg queen at one point. Picard stopped him.
The only reason Raffi lashed out is because Picard said he felt what Raffi felt... Now, the theme of this season is Picard's motivation to Starfleet and why he did not find love. I agree with Raffi. Why didn't Picard kiss Laris? Does Picard have any children?
Seriously...
Now what Raffi says next is wrong - they "joust" and clearly they do not joust. But to Raffi, it feels like that way because they are manipulating people's emotions and lives.
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Booming
Sat, Mar 19, 2022, 10:55am (UTC -5)
@Eric Jensen
"She is too emotional." They all seem to agree, Seven even nods."
Maybe stop telling me to rewatch things when you misunderstand what I write and by the way, you were wrong the last time. They all seem to agree that she is too emotional.

"Seven says "You should have let Rios kill her" the Borg Queen."
Seven has an actual point about letting the Queen survive at all in a century were she could easily become unstoppable. Still she doesn't take a phase herself and kills the Queen. Her point is based on logic. Raffi is just an ass. Picard not only lost Elnor, a kid who was close to him, he also has his death on his conscience.

"he was about to shoot the Borg queen at one point. Picard stopped him."
Yes, by convincing him that she is too important.

"The only reason Raffi lashed out is because Picard said he felt what Raffi felt..."
Debatable, in my opinion did she lash out because Picard let Elnor die to keep the Queen alive.

"Now, the theme of this season is Picard's motivation to Starfleet and why he did not find love."
What does that have to do with him making a tactical decision about who to sacrifice. Starfleet is not a democracy and Picard is the highest officer present.

"Why didn't Picard kiss Laris? Does Picard have any children?"
1. Because his mommy was abused, or something. 2. Well, technically he had two children who were very dear to him.
Here watch from 3:10. (I'm tearing up a little watching it. It's so sad)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLQS5qFyQXE

"But to Raffi, it feels like that way because they are manipulating people's emotions and lives."
Are you calling Picard manipulative in a malevolent way?? Because if you don't then you are just describing almost any kind of Human interaction. I was talking with somebody the other day about the different reactions to this refugee crisis (I'm in a city that has taken in more than 100.000 Ukrainian refugees so far) and the Syrian refugee crisis. I explained to her several sociological factors that play into it which probably changed her view on the matter somewhat. I wouldn't call that manipulative.
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Booming
Sat, Mar 19, 2022, 11:04am (UTC -5)
@Eric jensen
Just saw your other post.
" Seven's husband and who *is* at fault in that timeline? General Picard."
More at fault than Annika, the president aka the leader of the Confederation?

"If this whole thing is a lesson, isn't the whole point of this, is to wonder what happens if Picard did not self destruct the StarGazer?"
The Borg Queen would have taken over an entire fleet of ships. If it should actually be about Picard destroying the ship being bad because the Queen just wanted peace then that would be extremely forced. Beaming on the bridge, shooting at people BUT NOT KILLING THEM and taking over fleets. Who would imagine that people would react badly to that? It's not like the Borg have killed endless billions or more likely trillions. Hundreds of species wiped out but hey let's trust the Borg Queen who tries to take over our ship.
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Robert
Sat, Mar 19, 2022, 2:22pm (UTC -5)
At this point I'm convinced that the modern writers for Star Trek lack all imagination because they simply won't tackle 25th century Trek. They keep looking backwards like so much of television these days. It's like we are trapped in utter stagnation and the past is the only thing we're allowed to see. It was bad enough that they kept rehashing TOS era non-sense (Discovery), but now they're actually in our time. HOW BORING.

These modern writers are so literal about everything. You don't have to address the problems of the 21st century by actually GOING to the 21st century. The philosophy of Trek is able to do that in any setting. It's like they have no concept of analogy like former Trek, or maybe no faith that modern audiences will get it because exposition is so common these days. They have to spoon feed us everything while recycling Trek themes (the Borg) to death because they have no creativity.

I am so sick of this garbage TV. The Federation EXPLORES NEW WORLDS AND NEW CIVILIZATIONS. There's half a galaxy untouched!
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Jaxon
Sat, Mar 19, 2022, 3:34pm (UTC -5)
Star Trek: Federation News Service

Set in the immediate aftermath of the Dominion War and the Voyager Return, it's a weekly serial and pseudo-procedural that follows journalists.

Season 1...we travel through the Bajoran wormhole and check in the Gamma Quadrant societies in the wake of the Dominion peace.

Episode 1: We travel to the Teplan system and check in on how their society is recovering from the blight which Dr. Julian Bashir developed a vaccine for seven years ago and, later, a cure for three years ago.
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WineVQA
Sat, Mar 19, 2022, 4:38pm (UTC -5)
I found this to be an enjoyable connecting episode. I am here to write about the reaction to Raffi's grief. I'm a bereaved mom, lost my 20 year old son 12 years ago. To me, Raffi has suffered two losses. Her natural son has rejected her. She found Elnor and put all of that maternal instinct onto him. Then he was shot and she couldn't protect, nor save him. The grief and pain of bereaved parents is beyond comprehension. Her desire to blame anyone is also normal. Perhaps few of you can relate to this, but be grateful you will never know this type of loss. Live long and prosper.
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Paul C
Sat, Mar 19, 2022, 4:53pm (UTC -5)
Very bad anachronism…

Raffi stripping down a handgun. She’s probably never seen one before… but all Hollywood productions have ‘strips down handgun’ as a way to communicate bad assery.

That’d be like me as an aircraft engineer taking a biplane apart.
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Bryan
Sat, Mar 19, 2022, 5:01pm (UTC -5)
@WineVQA

Before anyone starts doubling down on their hate for Raffi, I just want to add that the issue, at least for me, was not with the implicit logic that is employed to justify Raffi's reaction. What you're saying here is perfectly valid and understandable. The issue is that that argument is purely implicit and hasn't been made effectively explicit enough in the actual show for the average viewer to relate in the same way that you can relate to Raffi's grief.

And like I said earlier -- I could be wrong about that too: there may be plot and character elements in season one that I could have overlooked or forgotten about that would clearly underpin and SHOW the things that you think we need to appreciate about Raffi.

In any case, I feel for your loss and hope that you didn't find the episode or our critiques of it too triggering.
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dangerboy616
Sat, Mar 19, 2022, 5:26pm (UTC -5)
* If this crew can time-travel back to 2024, then I'm allowed to time-travel back to the early 1990s.

Jammer, please take us with you!
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WineVQA
Sat, Mar 19, 2022, 5:42pm (UTC -5)
@Bryan. It wasn't triggering, I simply wanted to add a perspective and layer of emotions that others, thankfully, do not appreciate and they should be grateful. Posts on these boards led me to The Expanse and Naomi and Filip. The writers were much more on the mark. Thanks for your kind words!
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The Chronek
Sat, Mar 19, 2022, 5:42pm (UTC -5)
3 stars from me.

Elnor's death seemed a bit anti-climactic for me. I didn't buy it when it happened, and I hadn't known about the publicity stills mentioned in previous comments. Also not a fan of Raffi lashing out as she did against Picard, but grief does funny things. Still seems consistent with her character; she went out on a limb before for Picard and got screwed. As for stripping the gun? Heck, maybe she studied old Earth weapons previously or something.

I also enjoyed the Rios scenes. I laughed when he beamed in and fell. Also laughed when he was in the middle of his happiest childhood memory, only to get his dislocated hand readjusted once he was sufficiently distracted while telling that story.

The Raffi/Seven couple bit is growing on me. It was fun to see Seven be Seven and have Raffi correct her language.

The bit with the immigration cops crashing the clinic at the end was effective and chilling. I like that they weren't portrayed to be incompetent; that was a quick bit of observation and deduction to notice Rios' hand injury. I don't like them, but I have to admit that they were portrayed as good at their jobs.

The Picard/Jurati/Borg Queen scenes were also very well done. I think this was Alison Pill's best work to date on Picard. Great stuff from her as she and the Queen are strolling through the doorways of her mind.

I like Jeff Russo's work with the music. It was great to hear the First Contact Borg theme again in the scenes with the Queen. I prefer the season 1 Picard theme to the season 2 theme, mostly for that little TNG theme reprise on the flute at the end. Both Discovery and Picard have made efforts to connect the current shows to past Trek, and Russo's music is a big part of that.

The scenes showing the homeless encampment right in front of the LA skyscrapers was also effective and jarring. Here was all this progress, all these bridge, clean looking buildings, and here is all this misery so close by. I think those scenes hit the mark pretty accurately.

Good stuff. Looking forward to next week.
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Booming
Sat, Mar 19, 2022, 5:54pm (UTC -5)
@WineVQA
:(
I hope you are better now. Good luck!


Here is what Michelle Hurd said about the scene and her motivation:"If you think about what we learned from Raffi in Season 1, for 14 years, she felt the guilt of causing the death of a millions of Romulans. That she wore as it was her fault. So in this moment, he was shot right in front of her. She couldn’t do anything. And then there was all this chaos happening. She couldn’t help him.”

She continues, “So right now she gets that one possible suggestion that maybe changing time could bring him back and that’s it, that’s all she needs. She doesn’t need to hear anybody else’s conversation. She’s not interested in debating it. She’s going for that. And there’s moments in there that she starts to realize how irrational she is, but she’s not going to dive into that because that means that Elnor is dead and she doesn’t want to accept that. So in the moments that we’ve witnessed so far she’s absolutely driven with the passion and the desire to change time so she can bring back Elnor. That’s it.”

So maybe it isn't really about Elnor being a surrogate son, more about some kind of savior complex. As Bryan said, I cannot remember that it was established that she saw herself as a surrogate mom, considering that Elnor had numerous wise and loving nuns as surrogate moms, would he even need another one?

Maybe I just like stable and thoughtful Raffi better than unstable and irrational Raffi.
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Dom
Sat, Mar 19, 2022, 7:41pm (UTC -5)
This episode I think misses the point of Star Trek time travel stories, which is to provide a commentary on conditions in our present. The characters in Star Trek Picard already feel so contemporary to the 21st century, and the Federation is already so dark, that there isn't much tension between the Trek characters and the 21st century. These characters aren't shocked by poverty in 2024 LA the way Bashir was in DS9's "Past Tense" because poverty is apparently a problem in Picard's federation (Raffi was living in poverty and using drugs when we first saw her). These characters aren't fish out of water like Kirk & company in The Voyage Home - in fact, the seem more comfortable in the 21st century than in the 24th.
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The Chronek
Sat, Mar 19, 2022, 8:27pm (UTC -5)
@Dom, I don't think you can entirely chalk up Bashir's shock at 2024 poverty to his being from the 24th century. He was quite young when he came aboard DS9, and he was frequently portrayed as having youthful naivete. Sisko, IIRC, wasn't shocked about what he saw, as he was older, more experienced, and more versed on Earth history than Bashir was.

So far in Picard, only Rios, Raffi and Seven have dealt with 2024. Maybe we'll see more observations when other characters have to deal with the current day. I can certainly see Agnes being bothered by current-day Earth.
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TheRealTrent
Sat, Mar 19, 2022, 8:32pm (UTC -5)
I thought this episode has two interesting things. The first was the image of the limbless Borg Queen, menacing despite being a kind of paraplegic. The second was the thematic idea of our future being a nightmare because of a confluence of poorly handled events in the present (climate change, inequality, ICE agents, prejudice and so on). It's the old idea that utopia is always a double motion; progress doesn't only involve going forward, but reaching back into the past and chopping down the things which get in the way of progress. The origin of the word “radical” is itself to “strike at the root”.

Other than these two things, I thought this episode was terrible. I remember reading an interview with Philip Roth; he said great writers, for every sentence, go through hundreds and hundreds of permutations before arriving at a sentence they're happy with or deem fresh. Bad writers tend to stop at about ten or twenty permutations. Originality doesn't concern them. They're incessantly reheating things.

Nu-Trek similarly feels like reheated cliches. Kurtzman and Akiva chop things up, stretch things out, shuffle timelines and so on, but this only temporarily obfuscates the lack of imagination. This episode in particular is hackneyed on a line by line level. Aside from one scene, every comment, situation, joke and emotional beat is hacky, obvious and painfully second-hand. Seeing the swarthy Captain Rios loose his comlink and fall in love with a single mother and be swept off by ICE thugs was particularly cringey.

Elsewhere we have Mexican standoffs, cheesy gun battles, magical torpedoes which destroy huge ships in one shot, and Seven once again a wisecracking, snarky, gung-ho gal, a form of Joss Whedon/Marvelesque line delivery which infects every other character as well, including the Borg Queen, who now speaks like a contemporary American, using ill-fitting phrases (“Shall we fast forward?”) and clunky poetic speech (“A chorus of thoughts to drown the gnawing silence!”, “We must move backward to move forward!”). There's not a decent line of dialogue in this entire episode.

Then there's Nu-Trek's obsession with time-travel and alternate realities. These tropes are best avoided. They kill all sense of danger, consequence, and introduce a level of flippancy to the universe. After all, who cares if the universe is destroyed when another one's soon coming along? What's the point of anything, when you can simply fly around the sun and go back in time?

More importantly, you do not need an unwieldy time travel plot, or even planet Earth, to tell a cautionary, political tale about the times we currently live in. This is all erroneous. You have an entire galaxy of planets to set your allegory in, or aliens to assign your metaphors to. None of these time-travel tropes are needed. And I'm sure everyone would have preferred a straight tale, set in the future, of the Federation wrestling with the question of whether or not to let the Borg join the Federation. That's a great idea which can sustain an entire season. But like every season of nu-Trek, a good kernel is jettisoned for schlock wrapped in Mystery Boxes whose questions are always trite (Who is the Red Angel? What's the source of this anomaly? Who is the Watcher? What does Q want? What's the deal with Picard's mom? What caused the diversion in time? What does the Queen want?). Indeed, in this episode someone literally says “she knows more than she's letting on” and Picard counters (paraphrasing) “We'll find out some other time”. It's all needlessly cryptic.

The end result is that watching nu-Trek is like watching the slowest person in class ramble on and on, until they eventually catch up to things you've already read and places you've already been.

Ant note that when “Voyager” went back to past California, it could barely find enough material to fill its second episode. Trek was padding time-travel plots 25 years ago. You sense “Picard's” about to run into the same problem.


Robert said: “These modern writers are so literal about everything. You don't have to address the problems of the 21st century by actually GOING to the 21st century.”

It's worse than that. Look at Akiva Goldsman's ridiculous thought process:

AKIVA: The contemporary world is bad. I think I should write a series about climate change, bigotry and prejudice, and show the bad outcomes these things lead to.

(five minutes later)

AKIVA: Hang on, the future of Trek is utopian. These things led to good outcomes!

(five minutes later)

AKIVA: Therefore I need an event to change the future into something bad. That way, when my heroes go back in time, they can see the bad stuff which led to this bad future! Yay! Problem solved!
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Tim
Sat, Mar 19, 2022, 10:20pm (UTC -5)
@Dom

“Raffi was living in poverty and using drugs when we first saw her”

I share some discomfort with that scene, specifically Raffi’s envy for Picard’s chateau, but I never got the impression she was living in poverty. She had housing, food, presumably access to healthcare, other than antique oak beams what was she wanting for?
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Jeffrey's Tube
Sat, Mar 19, 2022, 10:29pm (UTC -5)
Boy, some people really have rose-colored glasses on about what "old Trek" was like compared to "new Trek" . . .

Anyway, about Raffi and the handgun: presumably Raffi has been on at least one holonovel adventure in her life that involves using a 21st-style handgun. I've never loaded a ball-and-powder musket, but I'd know how to just from reading novels about the time period--and I don't even actually act out the actions when I do that, like I would on a holodeck. Right?
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dave
Sun, Mar 20, 2022, 12:11am (UTC -5)
It was rather ridiculous to include the vaccination line, we know why they did it. We don't need more covid BS.... . we are getting hit over the head with it for 2 years and much more nonsense to come.

The real Trek timeline includes a 3rd world war and 600 million dead; I suppose they are going to try to stop climate change and let the war destroy the planet instead? I am not sure where this is going . While I have enjoyed the season so far I can smell something coming that will piss us all off during the big reveal of whatever changed the timeline.

The queen tipping over was pretty funny.
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Dom
Sun, Mar 20, 2022, 7:11am (UTC -5)
@Tim, Raffi was living in the 24th century equivalent of a trailer smoking the 24th century equivalent of pot and spouting resentment against the rich Picard. I don't know what her income was, but the show was clearly depicting her as someone in "poverty" or desperate straits.

@The Chronek, True, Bashir's shock at 21st century poverty was partly due to his youth and inexperience. But "Past Tense" and other good Trek time travel stories generally generate conflict by contrasting the 24th century Federation ideals with our present conditions or culture. Ben Sisko maybe wasn't as ignorant about 21st century conditions, but "Past Tense" still played up his disgust and outrage over conditions. The Voyage Home got a lot of mileage from "fish out of water" jokes. Chekov asking people about a "nuclear vessel" in a thick Russian accent is an implicit contrast between the geopolitical tensions of the Cold War and humanity's peaceful future. "First Contact" spent a lot of time pitting Cochrane's cynicism against TNG's ideals - and also had gags about the Enterprise-D crew not understanding expressions like "taking a leak".

I just don't think Picard set itself up to take advantage of the tension between 21st century and 24th century characters. The Federation in "Picard" has discrimination, poverty, interpersonal squabbles, and war. The way the characters talk already sounds very similar to 21st century humans. They use colloquialisms we do. The ICE raid against immigrants is less shocking to a Federation that banned androids. I'm just not sure what the show is going for by putting these characters in the year 2024.
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Booming
Sun, Mar 20, 2022, 8:31am (UTC -5)
I would also like to point out that there is quite a difference between jumping to 2024 for an episode that aired in 1995, and 2024 for a show that airs in 2022. A lot can happen in 30 years to highlight why it would be better to change but when a show more or less happens now then what can it really say? We already know the problems that exist right now and we already know that if we don't change significantly then we will pay a higher and higher price. Even in the USA less than 20% believe climate change it's not caused by Humans. Same with poverty and homelessness. Huge majorities think that those are bad and something should be done. So what is the point of highlighting things everybody knows are problems??
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Dom
Sun, Mar 20, 2022, 11:07am (UTC -5)
@Booming, that's definitely a problem. Science fiction can provide interesting commentary on social conditions through cognitive estrangement. The unfamiliar nature of the science fiction setting can help us think about social issues in a new way. But what exactly do we learn by watching Star Trek characters deal with ICE or 2024 global warming? There's no estrangement. It's all familiar. I'm sympathetic to the politics of the writers, and yet I can't help but feel this is nothing more than a clumsy exercise in virtue-signaling.
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Maq
Sun, Mar 20, 2022, 12:39pm (UTC -5)
Solid, not waste of time watching it, but also not wow.

slightly irritated over Rio's badge story. The acting around it felt very constructed. I was almost hoping for a litle bit of "First Contact" from TNG.

"You have impressed me" definetly a gem.
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Tim M.
Sun, Mar 20, 2022, 11:35pm (UTC -5)
Once again, I broadly agree with Jammer's sentiments. The episode did not quite reach the (high) bar set by the prior two, but it was entertaining nonetheless, providing necessary connective tissue to the next mini-arc of the season. My gut feeling is the next ~3 episodes will be set in LA: 2024 and the final 3-4 episodes will return to the early 25th century for a coda to the season.

I enjoyed Jurati's psychological quasi-assimilation and Pill's acting in this scene...once again, the Borg are menacing. As for the "smugness" of the Queen after this encounter, it could be the Queen absorbing some of Jurati's (deeply hidden) qualities locked in one of those emotional rooms. I agree with a prior commenter that Jurati and the Queen are not yet done with each other and not truly "disconnected." This would be consistent with Picard "hearing" the Borg in First Contact.

Rios has really grown on me. As the scruffy moody existentialist, it doesn't surprise me one bit that he was the only member of the away team to be arrested. ;)

I've also been impressed with how the Seven/Raffi (Reven? Saffi?) relationship is being handled in S2. Subtle yet substantive, and handled like something between adults who have experienced loss and hardship...a definite improvement over the shoehorned hand-holding scene that was just dropped into the S1 finale.

As for Elnor, I agree that he isn't really "dead." It looks like Raffi put him in a stasis chamber vs. photon torpedo casing burial, so we've not seen the last of him yet. But honestly, if it is the last we see of him, so much the better. His character is the weakest and most one dimensional, sorta the Travis Mayweather of the cast. But hey, at least he was less annoying than Narek!

Onward to Ep 4! I continue to look forward to each episode, which is a very good sign.
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Eamon
Mon, Mar 21, 2022, 2:22am (UTC -5)
Got a question…

In this timeline, is Picard fully human and no longer an android? Since the events of space tentacles on the droid world didnt happen for him, his consciousness was transferred by Q to the version of himself in this universe. So he’s back to not being synthetic right?
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Jeffrey's Tube
Mon, Mar 21, 2022, 3:38am (UTC -5)
@ Eamon

Nah, in the season premiere, Q says that one of the heads in the chateau (Dukat or Martok, I can't remember which) is "the reason you have that nifty android body in this reality."

If Picard still had his original body, he'd have died of irumodic syndrome by now. Unless the alternate reality has a cure for it. But then that might suggest the alternate reality is better in some ways, and I'm sure they don't want to open that door. Honestly, they seem to not want to deal at all with the android body thing at all anymore. And personally, I'm fine with that. Picard used to have an artificial heart. Now he has an artificial body. Whatever. It was a dumb can of worms to open for a weak thematic link in season one, but I'm 100% behind just leaving it in the past with the rest of the bad decisions of the first season, which the show pretty much has.
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Booming
Mon, Mar 21, 2022, 4:45am (UTC -5)
No, them not mentioning Picard's robot body is a set-up. In the last episode RobotPicard will fight the Borg Queen on a bridge, preferably over a volcano.In the process he finds out that he has super strength but the Borg Queen has ten arms and says stuff like:"We are not so different." then, after Picard has won and wants to slit her throat with his confederation combadge, Seven rushes in and says that we should all love each other and with that all economical, cultural and temporal problems will be solved.

UNTIL SEASON 3
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-9cN7yylU4
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Paul C
Mon, Mar 21, 2022, 3:55pm (UTC -5)
I don’t think your ‘Holodeck they’ll have seen guns’ really washes.

They can use that to go to almost anywhere in the Galaxy to any planet to do whatever they want. They appreciate peace. Why would they spend their time practicing stripping down a handgun… it’s just so low on the list.

Just lazy writing.
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Bryan
Mon, Mar 21, 2022, 4:03pm (UTC -5)
I also noticed the gun thing but wasn't inclined to add it to my nit picks because the "you've seen one gun, you've seen them all" is a common trope that doesn't surprise me, in the same way that "I instantly know how to fly anything!" is a narrative shortcut that we're all accustomed to.
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Jaxon
Mon, Mar 21, 2022, 4:47pm (UTC -5)
It's about as weird as someone from the year 1100 time travelling to the present day and immediately assuming a preeminent leadership role, but Discovery did just that.
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Tim M.
Mon, Mar 21, 2022, 5:22pm (UTC -5)
Perhaps we'll learn that Raffi was a collector of antique projectile weapons or something. I noticed it too, but it didn't bother me.

I did feel that Hurd overlplayed her hand a little with the grief over Elnor's (apparent) death, although I totally appreciate the view that he's filling in for her estraged biological son in a way. It just felt that the Shatner Quotient could have been dialed down a tad.
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Jeffrey's Tube
Mon, Mar 21, 2022, 8:51pm (UTC -5)
@ Paul C

I think you're being a bit disingenuous. There's plenty of precedent here. Heck, maybe Raffi did Dixon Hill with Picard. That'd cover it.

And I can only speak for myself, but when somebody gives me a toy (like a period-accurate replica projectile weapon on the holodeck is a toy), I play with it. It's kind of why you're on the holodeck on the first place, isn't it?

I don't know why Starfleet officers choose to play fictional 19th century hunting cap wearing detectives, or hang out in a 1950s lounge full of gangsters, or moonlight as governesses and secret agents and doomed soldiers of the Alamo . . . or spend their time shooting little green men in a black-and-white Captain Proton serial . . . when they could instead be having sex with the seven-boobed Third Empress of the long-extinct Iconian Empire, or snowboarding down a geo-accurate representation of Olympus Mons with snow overlaying it, or playing parrises squares with tweaked laws of physics on the court. But . . . they do. It's very, very clear they do.

. . .
But you know what? I also kind of do. If a holodeck existed tomorrow, among the first things I would do (AFTER the seven-boobed Empress, naturally), is I would totally "do" Moby Dick. (Not like that. Get your head out of the gutter, you gutter people.) Even with the Analects of Surak and the collected library of Klingon opera at their fingertips, we know they still read Paradise Lost and the Three Musketeers. And . . . Dixon Hill. So. You wouldn't want to visit any of those places you've read about? Whatever city you grew up in--if you could visit it a hundred years ago, two hundred years ago, three hundred years ago . . . wouldn't you?

Yeah, I'm not at all surprised many Starfleet officers have a solid working knowledge of antique firearms in a holodeck age. Bet they can all saddle a horse, too. And hail a taxi. And use a parachute. And find all six erogenous holes on an Iconian.
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Jeffrey's Tube
Mon, Mar 21, 2022, 9:16pm (UTC -5)
@ Jaxon

If Jesus's forgotten 13th disciple who could prove he was Jesus's forgotten 13th disciple time traveled two thousand years into the future with the magic jug that never ran of wine and the magic basket that never ran out of fish, proceeded to feed every starving person in Africa and hand out instructions on how to build more magic baskets and more magic jugs . . . then yeah, I bet he'd be pretty high up in the Catholic church pretty quickly. Even if he can't use an iphone and has no idea that North America exists.

I'm just saying . . . Spock's sister. Magic teleporting ship stuffed full of dilithium when no one has any dilithium and can't get from Point A to Point B as the major challenge of the times. Ya know?
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Tim
Mon, Mar 21, 2022, 9:20pm (UTC -5)
@ Dom

“Raffi was living in the 24th century equivalent of a trailer smoking the 24th century equivalent of pot and spouting resentment against the rich Picard. I don't know what her income was, but the show was clearly depicting her as someone in "poverty" or desperate straits.”

I see that scene as Raffi stewing in resentment, not poverty. You see a trailer; I see shelter with a replicator inside. I know people who would kill to set up a home in the Vasquez Rocks and they don’t get a replicator inside. :)

Poverty isn’t supposed to exist on Earth. Without penning a wall of text on what that means/looks like, I just took the scene as resentment and withdrawal. Poverty usually implies basic needs are going unmet. How does that occur in a society with replicators?
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mosley
Tue, Mar 22, 2022, 6:27am (UTC -5)
Certainly not as good as the first two, but yes, obviously episodes like these need to exist to move the pieces to where you need them.

Two major complaints :

(1) if you want me as the viewer to care for a character death, don't have that character chip other people's heads off just 20 minutes before his death. Oh, am I supposed to care for chopping peoples head off dude? Sorry, I don't. Not one single bit. Please have the character die, it was a pointless, badly written character played by a bad actor anyway.

(2) closely related, of course, the whole Raffi business. For one, her going absolutely bonkers because of this guy's death comes out of nowhere. Plus, and let me be absolutely clear on this :

If the makers intend to make her the "character that questions Picard" again, they better start to look at better reasons for her to dress down Picard, or else the audience will just hate her. Her constant blame game towards Picard already did not work at all last season, since it was essentially her saying "how dare you not take care of me" while ignoring all the things outside of anyone's (and certainly picards) control that happened in the universe that were, sorry, a lot more profound than her having to chill in some mobile vehicle home thingy.

And here it's the same : blaming Picard for "the games he is playing with cue". Oh please, please just say it out loud, that it's two white old men and its some form of privilege or something.

Obviously this is complete BS, since Picard never asked for any of these games. How dare he be stalked by a god like creature like that, how unresponsible of you,... JL!

How about this for a response: Why don't you just stfu Raffi.

That's where the writing got me as a viewer at this point. Tried to give the character a new start after the victim schtick mess of the first season, and three episodes in, im right back at hoping that she just gets as few lines as possible or gets handed a heroic death.

That certainly cannot be the intention of the writers.

So next time, if you want her to voice reasonable complaints towards Picard, find an actual reason for once. Or how about this, just give up that whole concept. People love Picard and don't give a flying F about Raffi. They will not side with her. Likely not even if she had an actual reason to throw her blame game at him, but most certainly not like this.

Anyway... Love the Borg queen. Jeri Ryan does a nicely nuanced performance of "later day seven", very smart. Patrick Stewarts age is really showing. He's not the commanding presence (neither as character nor as actor) than one is used to, but even a weaker Patrick Stewart is still more interesting to watch than most of his colleagues, so that's OK. Maybe don't additionally sabotage his presence with Raffi. Just saying.

John de Lancie continues to surprise me. I actually never cared about Q in all his deus ex machina-ness in TNG, but somehow, now I am glued to every line he says.

Sounds like an actor doing something right. How old is John de Lancie? He might look older, but his acting is every bit as energetic as it was 30 years ago.

Clearly that
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Jason R.
Tue, Mar 22, 2022, 12:26pm (UTC -5)
"John de Lancie continues to surprise me. I actually never cared about Q in all his deus ex machina-ness in TNG, but somehow, now I am glued to every line he says.

Sounds like an actor doing something right. How old is John de Lancie? He might look older, but his acting is every bit as energetic as it was 30 years ago.

Clearly that"

He is the only STNG era character that is actually recognizable in any sense as the character he played previously, other than maybe Riker / Troi who appeared in one episode.
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Tim M.
Tue, Mar 22, 2022, 12:51pm (UTC -5)
^ Oh, I'd say Data was definitely Data, and Seven is a naturally evolved version of Seven. Picard is a bit more subdued, except when Q brings out TNG-era annoyed fury.
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Jason R.
Tue, Mar 22, 2022, 1:32pm (UTC -5)
Tim, Picard may have raised his voice and made objections to Q's meddling in previous TNG outings, but even his emotional pleas were at least articulate and had some semblance of thoughtfulness.

This elderly decrepit Picard is just whiny, petulant and bordering on hysterical. I mean he claims that Q seemed "unhinged" yet he's the one who comes across like an inarticulate brat.

Waaaa! How dare you!! Waaaa! I'm too old for your bullshit!!!

Does Picard seriously think that his screeching is going to seriously move the needle with Q? Does he not know who he is dealing with? It seems not. Hence my point that this doesn't at all seem like Picard. No grace under pressure. No thoughtful deliberation or cleverness or wit. No sense of authority or wisdom. Just nothing but shrill emotionalism.
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Tim M.
Tue, Mar 22, 2022, 2:12pm (UTC -5)
Jason, your description seems more fitting to Raffi's outburst after Elnor's death than Picard's behavior, but hey, YMMV.
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Latex Zebra
Tue, Mar 22, 2022, 2:24pm (UTC -5)
Echo sentiments here. Weakest episode yet. Raffi somewhat over the top. A bit lazy with the lost com badge and arrest but I am still interested to see where it goes.
Jurati and the Borg Queen a win.
So yeah. I think this score is bang on.
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Jason R.
Tue, Mar 22, 2022, 2:39pm (UTC -5)
"Jason, your description seems more fitting to Raffi's outburst after Elnor's death than Picard's behavior, but hey, YMMV."

Rewatch the confrontation with Q. Picard says nothing at all except "damn your bullshit!!"
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Tim M.
Tue, Mar 22, 2022, 3:00pm (UTC -5)
Jason, I recall the scene. Picard says more, but with a degree of annoyed rage that only Q can elicit. I found it fitting for his character.

But again, YMMV...
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Eric Jensen
Tue, Mar 22, 2022, 4:08pm (UTC -5)
//This elderly decrepit Picard is just whiny, petulant and bordering on hysterical. I mean he claims that Q seemed "unhinged" yet he's the one who comes across like an inarticulate brat.//

So who is at fault here? Picard? Was Raffi also hysterical? Everyone is hysterical!

//Does Picard seriously think that his screeching is going to seriously move the needle with Q? Does he not know who he is dealing with? It seems not. Hence my point that this doesn't at all seem like Picard. No grace under pressure. No thoughtful deliberation or cleverness or wit. No sense of authority or wisdom. Just nothing but shrill emotionalism.//

So basically Raffi was justified...

//Maybe stop telling me to rewatch things when you misunderstand what I write and by the way, you were wrong the last time. They all seem to agree that she is too emotional.//

No, you are plain wrong. Read what I wrote. What is "too emotional" to you, hmm? Is being too emotional always wrong? A character just died! Too emotional is justified. Or maybe they should all just be robots. Act logically when someone close dies. There is more than just happy and sad.

//Debatable, in my opinion did she lash out because Picard let Elnor die to keep the Queen alive.//

NO. You re-watch it. I already explained. Her outburst was immediately AFTER Picard said he felt what he felt.
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Eric Jensen
Tue, Mar 22, 2022, 4:12pm (UTC -5)
*he felt what she felt
Raffi then says "I promise you don't - intense, sharp" etc etc
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SC
Tue, Mar 22, 2022, 4:17pm (UTC -5)
Good, but not great, unlike your review Jammer, which is very well written as always. It felt more like season one Picard, than the opening two episodes of S2. I hope it finds its way again next week.

Just wondering what other television you watch Jammer? Do you like HBO shows like Game of Thrones and The Sopranos? Or are they too bleak and brutal, unlike Trek, which is usually optimistic in its outlook, especially TNG. I find it hard but not impossible to sit through shows like Game of Thrones (as well written as it may be.)
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Booming
Tue, Mar 22, 2022, 5:04pm (UTC -5)
@Eric Jensen
I guess half of that was for me.
"What is "too emotional" to you, hmm?
Too emotional in this case is acting irrationally and because of that imperiling the future of the galaxy to get one person back. Raffi is a highly trained officer, in anything bordering on reality behaving like that would have a good chance of ending her career.

For example in the US military that would have been her punishment

1. Insubordination
"The punishment for willfully disobeying the lawful order of a warrant officer consists of a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 2 years."

2. Disrespecting a superior officer
" If the accused is found guilty of Disrespect Toward a Superior Officer in command the maximum possible punishment is a bad-conduct discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for up to 1 year."

"Is being too emotional always wrong?"
That really depends on your definition of wrong and too emotional.

My point was that after Raffi storms out and Picard says that she is too emotional and therefore a danger to the mission, Seven nods and the others seem to agree.

"Or maybe they should all just be robots."
This doesn't sound too bad considering the constant state of emotional instability of many NuTrek characters and the lack of any kind of repercussions for breaking laws left and right.

"NO. You re-watch it. I already explained."
OMG hahaha. You are too much. :D
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Eric Jensen
Tue, Mar 22, 2022, 6:10pm (UTC -5)
//My point was that after Raffi storms out and Picard says that she is too emotional and therefore a danger to the mission, Seven nods and the others seem to agree.//

And Rios isn't in danger? Raffi did not look for the Watcher? Seven did not tag along? Picard RELUCTANTLY allowed Jurati to link with the Borg queen. How many RISKS have been taken during this mission? Are you even watching the same episode?
Any conversation with Booming is ended. If Raffi was a danger why is she still looking for the Watcher? I am too much? Do not converse with me anymore, thanks.
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Jason R.
Tue, Mar 22, 2022, 6:12pm (UTC -5)
"*he felt what she felt
Raffi then says "I promise you don't - intense, sharp" etc etc"

By the way, that line also bugged me, because Picard has definitely felt similar or worse losses. So who is Raffi to tell him he knows nothing about grief? Fuck her.
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Eric Jensen
Tue, Mar 22, 2022, 6:24pm (UTC -5)
Well, Picard did not have any children... does not have
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Jaxon
Tue, Mar 22, 2022, 6:29pm (UTC -5)
Picard experienced a lifetime of raising two children in twenty-five minutes.
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Booming
Tue, Mar 22, 2022, 6:36pm (UTC -5)
@Eric Jensen
Do you seriously not understand that the sentence "A danger to the mission" is different from "being in danger"??

"Raffi did not look for the Watcher?"
To get Elnor back.

" Seven did not tag along?"
To keep an eye on Raffi.

"I am too much?"
Yes.

"Do not converse with me anymore, thanks. "
You started talking to me.
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Eric Jensen
Tue, Mar 22, 2022, 6:54pm (UTC -5)
//Picard experienced a lifetime of raising two children in twenty-five minutes.//

And these children are alive now? Where are these children? You are referring to Inner Light where Picard learns the melody... it was not real.
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Nick Ryan
Tue, Mar 22, 2022, 8:10pm (UTC -5)
Why was Picard smiling 2 minutes after Elnor died? Have the writers forgotten his history with him? Picard's reaction should be the focus as Raffi's relationship with him was offscreen.
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Jason R.
Tue, Mar 22, 2022, 8:10pm (UTC -5)
Wait Elnore was Raffi's son now?
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Quincy
Tue, Mar 22, 2022, 9:59pm (UTC -5)
@Booming
"Too emotional in this case is acting irrationally and because of that imperiling the future of the galaxy to get one person back. Raffi is a highly trained officer, in anything bordering on reality behaving like that would have a good chance of ending her career."


Picard has been guilty of this himself on at least one occasion. I doubt he'd be inclined to court martial Raffi, especially considering they have a prior relationship that allowed her a fair bit of latitude.


@Eric Jensen
Tue, Mar 22, 2022, 6:54pm (UTC -5)

"//Picard experienced a lifetime of raising two children in twenty-five minutes.//

And these children are alive now? Where are these children? You are referring to Inner Light where Picard learns the melody... it was not real."


Lol. Picard himself said it was "absolutely real" to him:
“The enterprise encountered a probe that had been sent from the planet before it was destroyed. And it scanned me; I lost consciousness, and in the space of twenty-five minutes, I lived a lifetime on that planet. I had a wife and children. And a grandchild. And it was absolutely real to me. And when I woke, all I had left of that life was the flute I taught myself to play.” - Captain Picard

He was shook enough that it profoundly affected him: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4RR8MZOEbo

And he looked back meaningfully on his experience years afterward:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4y_oWBiwAo

Are you suggesting he just changed his mind one day?

Picard never lost anything real? He never lost subordinates who were "very dear" to him? He never lost loved ones, (actual relatives, not the surrogate son Raffi pulled out of her behind)? Never felt the crushing guilt of his own powerlessness to prevent tragedy?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DY3nY8SAnXs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nl3KZglYxfc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyy6xUk5-EQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuzoxcErOc8

Raffi being emotional is understandable. Her flipping out and blaming Picard is nonsense. That whole scene didn't ring true to me, but if "The only reason Raffi lashed out is because Picard said he felt what Raffi felt..." meaning she thinks Picard doesn't know at least as much about grief and loss as she does, then Raffi REALLY doesn't have a leg to stand on.
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Chris Lopes
Tue, Mar 22, 2022, 10:11pm (UTC -5)
"I'm sympathetic to the politics of the writers, and yet I can't help but feel this is nothing more than a clumsy exercise in virtue-signaling."

I think the social commentary was written with the previous national administration in mind. The ICE raid in particular doesn't work as well with an administration that doesn't share its predecessor's enthusiasm for over zealous enforcement of immigration law. They also don't share the last administration's antagonism and apathy towards environmental issues, so the fire in the hills seems off too. For some reason, a dystopian present just works better with Orange the Clown in charge.
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Booming
Wed, Mar 23, 2022, 3:13am (UTC -5)
@Quincy
"I doubt he'd be inclined to court martial Raffi, especially considering they have a prior relationship that allowed her a fair bit of latitude."
It's not a pirate ship. Starfleet would certainly review the logs and interview everybody. But whatever, the fact that Raffi does it, is what bothers me. It seems like a clunky set up for some later conflict where Raffi has to make a choice and if it isn't then it is just a stupid scene in which the history of the characters involved is completely ignored.
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Jason R.
Wed, Mar 23, 2022, 5:01am (UTC -5)
"Raffi being emotional is understandable. Her flipping out and blaming Picard is nonsense. That whole scene didn't ring true to me,"

The reason it doesn't ring true, I am going to suggest, is because it isn't just Raffi that's the issue here. This theme of scapegoating Picard for all the sins of the cosmos has been running through this series from Season 1.

It is not just some unhinged woman behaving crazy because of grief. You get the sense that the *writers* are implying (through Raffi as their mouthpiece) that this situation with Q is somehow Picard's fault, and by implication, so is Elnor's death. It is just batshit bonkers crazy talk. That's what is making your brain itch here. And her "you really don't" comment also seems pregnant with some kind of secondary meaning. I mean why wouldn't Picard know how she feels? Like you said, Picard knows about grief. So what the fuck is being implied here?

I don't know if this is some kind of woke thing (let's have a black lesbian character dress down the fuddy duddy white male authority figure) or just a tremendous miscalculation on their part, but it just sucks because it makes no bloody sense. And yet the writing, time and again, doubles down on this bizarre scapegoating. The last episode was called "penance"!!
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Tim M.
Wed, Mar 23, 2022, 9:32am (UTC -5)
Another interpretation of Raffi's "blame game" against Picard is that it is illustrating a character flaw. When Raffi feels overwhelmed, etc., she lashes out unfairly. She certainly wouldn't be the first person to do this, but I agree it came off a bit awkwardly, either due to the writing, Hurd's acting, or both. But it is a minor quibble IMHO.
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Bryan
Wed, Mar 23, 2022, 12:27pm (UTC -5)
So far, there are 135 mentions of Raffi in this episode's discussion. The main theme seems to be 13 Ways of Looking at a Black Lesbian Girl.
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Booming
Wed, Mar 23, 2022, 1:06pm (UTC -5)
I thought she was bisexual?
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Jason R.
Wed, Mar 23, 2022, 1:16pm (UTC -5)
"I thought she was bisexual?"

She identifies as lesbian.
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Karl Zimmerman
Wed, Mar 23, 2022, 3:21pm (UTC -5)
Pretty sure Raffi hasn't labeled her sexuality. And we know she had her son with a husband, so she's been in relationships with men in the past (similar to Seven).
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Quincy
Wed, Mar 23, 2022, 6:02pm (UTC -5)
@Booming

I hear you. Like I said that scene was atrocious for a few reasons. I'm really starting to dislike the character. Last season I could see where she was coming from. I like the actress. So it disturbs me what they're doing with the character. This season it makes no sense. And it just makes certain "interpretations" that much easier to come by, which I find annoying. I'm thinking about giving up on this season as I appear to be alone in not liking ANYTHING that's happening thus far.



@Jason R.

Don't presume to know what I'm thinking or why I don't like something until I tell you. I understood where they were going last season. This season I thought they'd do something different than Everybody Hates Picard. Maybe that's not the case and this is a continuance of that. It remains to be seen. As I've already said, this season has a lot bigger problems than that. And I appear to be alone in that assessment. I will ask you, if this is more of season one, why did everyone seem to agree with Picard that Raffi went off the rails and needed watching? In season one, they would've been like "you know, Picard, you kind of had that coming."

I tend to think that Picard's "penance" has more to do with whatever Q has always been up to than anything else, considering that "the trial never ends." Picard seems to have forgotten that the last time he saw Q, he was set up to cause the very phenomenon he was warned to go looking for. This is yet another reason all this trip to the past based on Q's prompting and a Borg Queen's navigation doesn't make a lick of sense.

Sweet Jesus, please, I'm not going to engage in any Rahulian style anti-woke conspiracy theory. I don't care either way. I can't stomach the so woke your heart pumps no doze clique anymore than I can stand the you ain't had it right till you've had it FAR Right conserva-clone nonsense. Leave me out of it.

I'm pretty sure Patrick Stewart himself is one of the main driving forces behind how Picard is being presented, according to what he originally stated before reprising his role, so I'm not sure how milk chocolate lesbians could be driving the ship. Be that as it may, if all you have to worry about is being dressed down by mocha choca latte lady lovers, then you ain't got nothing worth worrying about.
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Jason R.
Wed, Mar 23, 2022, 6:49pm (UTC -5)
"Sweet Jesus, please, I'm not going to engage in any Rahulian style anti-woke conspiracy theory. I don't care either way. I can't stomach the so woke your heart pumps no doze clique anymore than I can stand the you ain't had it right till you've had it FAR Right conserva-clone nonsense. Leave me out of it."

You will be assimilated. Resistence is futile.
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The Queen
Wed, Mar 23, 2022, 11:13pm (UTC -5)
- Chris Lopes: "I think the social commentary was written with the previous national administration in mind. The ICE raid in particular doesn't work as well with an administration that doesn't share its predecessor's enthusiasm for over zealous enforcement of immigration law. They also don't share the last administration's antagonism and apathy towards environmental issues, so the fire in the hills seems off too. For some reason, a dystopian present just works better with Orange the Clown in charge."

Yes, and this is the problem with incorporating too many current specifics into the writing. Previous Trek has avoided that for the most part and more wisely stuck with allegory.
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Chris Lopes
Wed, Mar 23, 2022, 11:24pm (UTC -5)
"you ain't had it right till you've had it FAR Right conserva-clone nonsense."

I am so stealing that.
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MidshipmanNorris
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 1:40am (UTC -5)
I haven’t read any of your guys’ comments, so please, don’t think that I’m replying at ya, this is indeed a fresh take. I watched this ep last Saturday, and I’ve been thinking about it a lot. Now I’m up at night cuz apparently my body is starting to do this to me every Spring, hehehe.

On the one hand, yes, this is a bit of a retread of the plot of Star Trek 4 and First Contact, mashed into one story, yeah. You’ve got the world being threatened by an existential crisis, and the Borg are involved (though not seemingly the primary cause of it). A certain event needs to be changed back after having been changed, so the Mains go back in time to close to our present day world. A crew member (with a pronounced foreign accent, no less) has been detained by the authorities (ruh-roh Shaggy!!) There’s a ticking clock scenario. A good looking present-day woman who is also a scientist is involved.

However, I’m gonna let Picard have this one for a number of reasons;

1. Lea fricking Thompson is on board as director. Yeah “Back To The Future” Lea Thompson. It’s hard to argue against the case that she’s a great candidate to take us on a Nostalgia Trip for a Classic 80s Time Travel Flick.

2. This idea of mashing together First Contact and The Voyage Home actually seems to work pretty well. Think about how tall of an order that is; by all rights it ought to be a complete mess, but it’s not! This is moving along at a decent clip, subplots are not being shuffled offstage clumsily, characters are all being given moments to sort of show themselves to us, and it plays well into what we already know of them from beforehand. It’s a shame to lose Elnor, but his talent definitely solves too many problems too easily and he is kind of bland as far as Trek Characters go. Sometimes there are just too many characters in a story.

3. Seeing menacing, evil Q back, after all his creeping on Janeway and “The Q and the Grey”’s ridiculous attempts to worldbuild in a world beyond any human understanding is (can’t stress this enough) the correct choice. Q is back and he’s not the nice goofy Q that made me want to retch back when VOY was out; this Q is creeping me out once more, as he should. He’s a villain, a king mixer! Cost you a fortune in breach of promise cases!

4. Picard being unable to form relationships is a very good loose thread to pick back up with his character. Season 1 felt way too meandering and I agree with Jammer that it wasn’t really about Picard at all, but about bidding farewell to Data, since obviously Brent Spiner has aged out of the role. This time, we are really getting a story that focuses squarely on Picard himself, and that is after all the title of the show. No Romulan Death Squads, no Robo-Dragons Leaping Out Of Negative Space Wedgies, just good plot. Perhaps not great or very original plot, but good plot. I’ll be interested to see how we get back to this obviously central theme of Picard's childhood being less than ideal for him, cuz we’re officially nowhere near it as far as I can tell.

Plus, 5. My wife who has never liked Star Trek or any Sci-Fi is into it.

So, yeah ok. This is good stuff. It’s nice not to be disappointed with New Trek for a change.
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mosley
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 2:29am (UTC -5)
@bryan "So far, there are 135 mentions of Raffi in this episode's discussion. The main theme seems to be 13 Ways of Looking at a Black Lesbian Girl."

It's amazing how so many people don't realize that statements like these say a lot more about the people making them than about the people they are trying to paint as some convenient strawman.

None of the comments were about her being black or lesbian, you did. The entire discussion largely centered around how this is the umpteenth time that Raffi blamed Picard for stuff he had nothing to do with, and it makes her look bad. This has nothing to do with her skin or sexuality but with bad writing that does a disservice to the character and the actress.

But if you need to turn this into a "who's the most progressive" contest, let me just say that my slightly out of shape Euro Leftie Ass laughs in the face of pretty much anything that is considered progressive in the United States, so good luck with that 😄
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Latex Zebra
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 3:51am (UTC -5)
In other news... Seen some wild theories out there. The Borg Queen coming through the fissure is the Borg Queen trying to escape the Confederation and that Picard has to ensure World War III happens to save the future.

Sorry if this has been discussed before, it is easy to get lost in all the madness of the comments.
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Booming
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 4:10am (UTC -5)
I must admit that I found the idiotic explanation for climate change amusing.
That's the exact words from the episode

- Fire poisons the sky
- Trees gone
- Water dry
- Soon no food
- No breathable air

Hahaha. Saying "climate change bad" but without actually criticizing the system that creates it. We just have to overcome fire and climate change is solved. Damn that fire!
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Booming
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 4:46am (UTC -5)
@Quincy
The whole Picard is humiliated means woke hates this or that can be seen in a different light. Let's have a look at the writers room.

http://blog.trekcore.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/picard-crew.jpg

To me the fact that Stewart himself and a room full that is still pretty white, male and heterosexual is just another sign of how power structures very much still are. Now the group that still controls power in the USA is also doing the humiliation (Picard at the end of season 1 still became Jesus). A little like Henry II of England.

The picture almost reminds me of that famous republican staffer picture
https://imagez.tmz.com/image/67/o/2016/07/18/672960a444835debb94ff05dcbf8c8e4_md.jpg

There is a non-white in there. Can you find him/her?

So maybe that is just a fantasy of "left leaning" (mosley correctly points out that American progressive is pretty right wing for Europeans) powerful men. They still control everything but every now and then a black women can tell them that she is displeased. :D
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Bryan
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 5:07am (UTC -5)
@mosley

I wouldn't say "nobody" did, but I'm not gonna name names because pointing fingers wasn't my original intention. Some have commented on the optics of her being a woman in that situation (including myself, but only as a passing joke). More have made comments about her motherhood being a relevant factor we need to consider, even though the character motivations that the actress herself cites seem to be unrelated to that.

The point was not to call people out for doing that or to compete over who is most Woke, but to make a purely descriptive statement. I just find it interesting that "nobody cares about Raffi, they care about Picard", and yet Raffi has been dominating the conversation.

I also think it may not be entirely coincidental that the one with the most idpol badges is always the one to lambast Picard. We tend to see even more of this on DISC. But don't get the wrong impression here: unlike those on the Right, I feel that to hyperfixate or get bent out of shape about that is to play into precisely the kind of divisiveness that the writers trade upon. Even those on the Left have admitted that the identity politics of Nu-Trek is simply misguided, not flat-out wrong. The problem is in its single-minded weaponization, not that the underlying ideas like intersectionality aren't valid.

So, put another way, it's like the showrunners are overplaying their hand with Raffi (even with the less political stuff like stripping a handgun), and we're raising the stakes when we should be calling their bluff because they've got nothing. If the story was amazing and Picard was doing epic things, we all probably wouldn't even be fighting in the mud over such trifles regarding Raffi. I hope that makes sense because it feels like we're actually on the same "side" here.
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Booming
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 5:45am (UTC -5)
Yes, the comments have become suspiciously thoughtful lately.
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Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 7:41am (UTC -5)
To divert into real contemporary politics, the ICE raid is still quite timely, because the Biden Administration has for the most part kept in place the particularly harsh policies towards immigrants that Trump enacted. Biden has worked to reunite children separated from parents, and ended the detention of unaccompanied minors in DHS-run detention facilities. On the other hand, he has kept in place Title 42, a Trump-era public-health order which allows almost any adult migrants to be expelled without access to the asylum process. So if you're anyone over the age of 18 who is undocumented, there has been little change.
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Jason R.
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 7:54am (UTC -5)
I think I mentioned in my comment (to the extent that it rekindled this woke debate) that being woke was a possible explanation for some of the choices the writers made. I also said the alternative was plain bad writing.

My view is that having a black lesbian or bisexual woman dress down Picard might have been some kind of statement or maybe just in keeping with a certain zeitgeist if you will - but bottom line it's the writing that matters here, not whatever woke subtext you might want to read into it (if any).

My overall read on the whole Picard as scapegoat for the universe's sins is that it is mostly a generational thing. I do get the sense that Picard is a standin for the boomer generation and that a statement is being made against the kind of rational, non emotional, detached leadership ideal he stood for in TNG that perhaps could be seen in generational terms, what with Gen Z being far more prone to give deference to feelings, rather than cold logic.

I mean remember some episodes like Lower Decks or even the one where Troi takes the officer exam (I forget which one that was) and it is accepted that a commanding officer is not only expected to, but required, to sacrifice himself, his ship, and his crew for the greater good. That is what he kind of did (in a very contrived, totally arbitrary way) by saving the Borg Queen instead of Elnor (I think) so if I am being generous to the writing, maybe that is what Raffi was supposed to be angry about (and not just Q's general actions which is what came out)

As I said, the writing ends up botching this because firstly, it would be ridiculous to sacrifice their chance to save humanity for Elnor and in any event, what Raffi ends up actually complaining about is Picard failing to stop Q (an omnipotent entity) which is all kinds of batshit crazy nonsense.
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MidshipmanNorris
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 8:18am (UTC -5)
Learn to back off from a challenge.

To paraphrase James Kirk from the ending of “Arena”:

“All we need to do is decide…that we’re not going to pointlessly squabble…TODAY!!”

You could just forget that you read something that pissed you off yknow. The world doesn’t care that you’re mad because you think someone is wrong on the internet, guys. Don’t you have rent, bills, lives to worry about instead?
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Rahul
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 8:50am (UTC -5)
I think it's actually very fitting to compare the woke cult to the Borg -- trying to assimilate folks who simply believe in universal values or traditional or conservative thought with cancel culture, indoctrination in the educational system (critical race theory) etc.

Gotta give the wokesters credit -- they've been pretty successful thus far. But like in Trek, resistance is definitely not futile. One must always employ critical thinking and not just acquiesce to the woke Borg.
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MidshipmanNorris
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 10:24am (UTC -5)
You are behaving quite similarly to these people you seem to perversely enjoy throwing buzzwords at, Rahul.

It’s like you’ve been given a perfectly clean, fresh glass of water and you want to pour vinegar in it. Lighten up, you’re making yourself old by being pissed off.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Mar 24, 2022, 12:36pm (UTC -5)
@MidshipmanNorris
"You are behaving quite similarly to these people you seem to perversely enjoy throwing buzzwords at, Rahul."

Indeed.

Kinda funny, that a guy who repeatedly called half the people here "trolls" is complaining about "attacking universal values", conformism and cancel culture.

What's even more surreal, is that the guy who used to yell "troll!" at any person who responded to the "wokesters", is now ranting about wokesters nonstop.

By the way, Rahul is the chief reason I've stopped participating in the discussions here. It's just not fun to be repeatedly attacked by the same guy, especially when I'm trying to defend views that he agrees with.

Disclaimer: This is not an invitation to an argument of any kind. It's just a statement of frustration regarding the situation (and if anyone tries to turn this into a fight or some kind of drama-fest, I give you all my word that I won't cooperate).
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AtomEve
Tue, Mar 29, 2022, 9:54am (UTC -5)
I’ve found Jurati a far more interesting character in this season than the last one. I might be misremembering but her awkward scientist vibe shines through way more here than it ever did in season 1. Playing her off of the collected card holder was a great decision imo.

As for Elnor, one thing that confused me was that the phasers the guards used caused a standard wound when they shot him, but in then when the crew shot the guards and Seven’s “husband” they were vaporized. Did I miss something?
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EmpressHoshiSato
Wed, Apr 6, 2022, 1:51pm (UTC -5)
When they emerged from the Sun in the 21st century, they should NOT have shown us Earth so close. The ship should have been programmed to travel at high Warp speed and then finally as they awaken we see them emerging close to Earth.

Then have them having gone out of control, or the typical Trek style control panels exploding and losing control to crash. Instead, it seemed like the ship was fine with zero damage emerging near the Sun, that Earth is so close to the Sun which it isn't, then randomly loses control when they get to Earth.

I didn't think they needed to kill off Elnor either. Or that they need the Borg Queen who is unlikely to help them. Phaser her. Your job is to repair the timeline and that's it. You have no reason to think the Borg Queen can be trusted. The Borg have literally tried to prevent Humanity from progressing before in First Contact. The Line must be drawn here and no further.

Didn't think Raffi was respectful AT ALL to Picard. I thought Seven materialising in LA was nicely done. Raffi taking out the mugger nicely done. I thought the Rios thing was a joke initially, but damn. But I kept getting irritated the number of times he SHOULD have retrieved his communicator and didn't for no good real reason.

The lady doctor was Hot, so big kudos there.

I think Seven was brilliant in the episode, though ironically wasn't she meant to be more socially awkward than others? Yet it is others who are coming off as awkward, to the point of being overly crass. I do think though there isn't enough of a "out of world" vibe from the 24/25th century visitors to the 21st century in the same manner you saw in "The Voyage Home" and "First Contact".

This should be more like the former when Kirk's crew visited the 1970s. The visitors should be totally shocked by Human customs, transport, money and language of the time. To the point where they find it both hilarious, saddening and baffling/confusing to deal with.

The episode spends a little too long with Rios being stuck though. And it's frustrating the Communicator isn't retrieved.

I didn't think reviving the Borg Queen that way was sound at all, but I guess they did it. However, security seems like it's going to be a massive issue given the limited number of crew, so I say again, Phaser her.

Jurati is certainly better utilised this Season than last season. Picard also acts more like Picard. I didn't think Elnor needed to die like this though. Frankly I think it would have been better if he had been killed DURING their escape from the Alternative 25th century. E.g. have him hold ground to buy the others time to escape by taking off in a Presidential shuttlecraft or something. Than going out like this which makes 25th century medicine (even if they couldn't understand the alternative universe equipment as much) look poor.

All in all, mixed feelings about this versus the first two episodes which felt more like Star Trek (though were not perfect).
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Helmus
Thu, Apr 7, 2022, 5:18pm (UTC -5)
I did not intend to watch Star Trek Picard season 2 since I was a bit disappointed with the ending of season 1 end very disappointed with how Discovery turned out to be. But the good reviews lured me back in.

I liked the first two episodes. It was exciting and the premise was interesting. But with this episode, it went downhill again. The writing is bad. Picard is a robot. Everyone is so emotional. I'm done with it.

I was a Star Trek fan, but at this moment, I don't consider myself that anymore. There are just too many series, and the quality isn't there for me anymore. Picard was the only new series that still interested me, but that's also over now. I guess all good things come to an end. Star Trek is different now. The target audience is different. I know there are people who like this new direction it is going in, but it's just not for me anymore. I'm also not going to over romanticize the old series. They also had their good and their bad moments. The good moments made me a fan, the bad moments I just ignored (which is easy in an episodic series, not so much with the new serialized Trek).

Where I live I've always been a bit of an isolated Star Trek fan. None of my friends like it nor did they ever understand why I liked it. Star Trek was my geeky thing that I would defend, knowing everyone would find me weird. It gave me optimism, a hope for a better future, a world where I would like to live in. I hoped to still find this feeling in Picard, but it just isn't there and I don't expect it to get better in the rest of the season. It's time for me to part ways with this franchise. I have no ambition to become a hater and bash every new series or episode.

I wish you all the best and I thank Jammer for this amazing site and his reviews (I think I have read almost all of them).
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Gideon
Thu, Apr 7, 2022, 5:31pm (UTC -5)
See you again next season 🤙
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Booming
Thu, Apr 7, 2022, 5:38pm (UTC -5)
A very enlightened attitude. Best of luck.
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Jammer
Thu, Apr 7, 2022, 5:47pm (UTC -5)
@Helmus, thanks for that post, and especially your pleasant tone in expressing your disappointment. We need more of that around here. Thanks for reading!
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Ron Burgundy
Thu, Apr 7, 2022, 10:10pm (UTC -5)
And yet Helmus and the rest of you will keep watching. Enlightened you say? Go fuck yourself San Diego.
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Gerontius
Wed, Jun 8, 2022, 2:11pm (UTC -5)
I'm amused by the set of viewers who go on about wokefullness as a kind of creeping alien infection that corrupts the purity of Star Trek as it should be.

As I see it the quality of optimism about the possibility of a world in which people treat each other decently, and are free of the horrible ways of behaving that characterise our past and our present, and that both cause and reflect the many distortions of our human world is very much what lies at the heart of being "woke". (Though that is a word which I hate, since there are so many better ways of expressing the concept.)

No doubt there are ways in which fallible human beings distort or mistake the concept, and others who amplify that distortion, but that always happens with any kind of idealism.
……..
The odd thing that struck me is that the scenes in Los Angeles seemed almost as dystopian as the scenes in the 24th century. But then I live a long longways from Los Angeles
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Ilsat
Thu, Jun 9, 2022, 12:06am (UTC -5)
Gerontius, it's not the intent but the method that is a problem. Your idealism is laudable but unrealistic. Give me specifics re what you want.
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Gerontius
Fri, Jun 10, 2022, 7:04am (UTC -5)
Hi Ilsat,
My point is that the Star Trek ethos of a society which has got past the nastiest aspects of our society, the racism, the sexism, the gross inequality and corruption, is precisely the same as what lies at the heart of what gets so clumsily called being "woke".

I'm not talking about whether it's possible to get there, and how it could be achieved.
But it is absurd that people who see the ideal as admirable should rage against the no doubt flawed efforts of people to push towards it and sneering the notion. That's not the same as criticism of methods, it's attacking intent.

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