Star Trek: Picard

"Farewell"

2 stars

Air date: 5/5/2022
Written by Christopher Monfette and Akiva Goldsman
Directed by Michael Weaver

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"Farewell" is pretty much season two of Picard in a nutshell. It's trying to do a lot of things. It puts in some decent efforts to connect to its past. And it has some character moments that do work. But on the whole, as an hour (and season) of television, it's a jumbled, anticlimactic mess that adds up to less than the sum of its many, many parts.

It's simultaneously doing too much and not enough — too much plot and not enough story. It has bizarre Easter-egg mini-detours that go nowhere, and generally flails about like Chris Farley telling you about his van down by the river. It's hard for me to hate an episode featuring Q, Guinan (the real one), and Picard reaching various emotional resolutions, but this (and the whole season) just doesn't add up.

Pursuant to the structure of the typical episode this season, we have a mini-crisis that was set up in the previous episode, which gets a swift resolution. We quickly deal with the whole Renee Picard situation, with Soong using his pull as a large donor to get access to the crew before their mission starts, with the intent of straight-up murdering Renee by poisoning her. But Tallinn pulls the old switcheroo and pretends to be Renee, thus fulfilling her role as Supervisor at the cost of her own life (and above Picard's bizarre objections that initially fail to see the larger picture).

This closes out the "one Renee will live while the other dies" riddle that Jurati posed at the end of "Hide and Seek," and in a particularly simpleminded and anticlimactic way — just when you thought various timeline shenanigans might've been afoot. The episode also again makes laughable the whole concept of a pre-mission quarantine, saying it will be broken the morning of the mission as a way of excusing why Soong would have any possible way of coming within a mile of Renee. But at least we deal with all this quickly so we can get the extended epilogue, which is of far more value.

"Farewell" doesn't have a scene as good as the Picard/Data scene at the end of season one, but the scene between Q and Picard makes a valiant try. That Q has grown an affection for Picard as Q realizes they're both on the verge of dying of old age is not an unpalatable idea, and the notion that he did all this to teach Picard to value his own fleeting existence and the relationships he has (with no cosmic agenda beyond that) is fine.

But logically, in that context, everything that has happened involving Q in these episodes has made very little sense, and makes even less so in retrospect. Why was an alternate timeline even required? Why was Q helping Soong? Why did Q appear in Kore's VR goggles? The series of Rube Goldberg events engineered in order to get Picard to accept his past and put that key behind that stone are so convoluted (and unnecessary) as to require a divine control that Q supposedly no longer has (except when he does, of course, as here when he sends everyone back to the future). A much simpler master plan would've been sufficient when you consider the entire season plot is a meaningless MacGuffin that leaks like a sieve.

It's been a long road, getting from there to here. Raffi and Seven finally get to kiss and make up after 10 episodes of bickering and quips. I guess they'll give the old relationship thing another try. Rios decides to stay in the 21st century with Teresa, which is where the entire season has been pointing for him if you haven't been paying attention. (Rios and the episode act as if the 21st century will be 2024 forever, without the vast destruction of World War III that awaits on the very looming horizon, something we're vividly reminded in Strange New Worlds' same-day-airing premiere episode. It would've been far more prudent to bring Teresa and her son to the future.) Even Wesley Friggin' Crusher shows up here, with the writers cleverly folding the lore of the Supervisors into the Travelers so he can make a pitch to Kore to join them — which is solely and nakedly an out-of-left-field matter of closing the loop on an extraneous character that had no other reason for existing except to make the already-angry Soong angrier and more isolated.

As for Soong, with his plan in tatters and his hope for world domination over, he pulls out a buried folder from a desk drawer labeled "PROJECT KHAN" in big classified-looking letters, which is another bit of too-clever-by-half Easter-egg whimsy on the writers' part as they remind us about the ominous near-future from a character whose pedigree makes the idea kind of fit, but is still just throwing Trek-lore ideas out there without doing anything meaningful with them.

Q returns us to the present, where we're back on the Stargazer as the self-destruct counts down, which Picard this time cancels. This, unfortunately, plays out exactly as most attentive viewers had already predicted from the moment Jurati was injected with the nanoprobes in "Fly Me to the Moon." The masked Borg Queen is revealed to be Jurati, who has been awaiting this moment for 380 years. The song she plays — "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien," which Picard's mother used to play — is to alert him that he can trust her. Or maybe to wake him up from a season-long dream like in Inception. (I'll never again hear that song and not think of it in that context.)

This is, of course, needless complication when she could've just unmasked herself and told Picard why she was there. There's no way of getting around it: The entire plot is a construction built upon an obvious obfuscation (the Borg aren't the bad guys here!) that's been hinted at since the first episode and now confirmed in the last, but without any plausible explanation for why that information was withheld, because there simply isn't one. It's just a sham device. The whole plot is engineered around a confrontation that shouldn't even exist, and an "attack" that is not what it seems but should never have been staged that way in the first place — unless, I guess, Jurati needed to have Picard blow up the ship the "first" time around, because she knew Q would intervene, creating an alternate timeline that would allow her to merge with the Borg Queen, which would be the only way she could exist in the first place to come with this warning disguised as an attack. If that's the case, then maybe these writers really are brilliant. That brilliance exists only in a time-loop paradox, which means either it always existed or it never existed at all. You decide.

And I guess the season wouldn't be complete without a galactic anomaly threatening at least an entire sector. That's why the Borg are actually here — to bring the Federation fleet to this one location in order to avert a catastrophe emerging from the mysterious anomaly just before it happens.

Indeed, "Farewell" is so devoid of twists and turns and plays out exactly as telegraphed that I guess I can't really complain since it's completely true to the season plan as it has unfolded. That plan, though, was just one big roundabout way of telling a movie-sized story with far too many episodes and plot mechanics designed to pad things out, and in ways that were far less entertaining and coherent than they should've been. It's the same problem as season one, but with even more messiness.

It's too bad, really, because individual character moments outside the plot work. If it's not on par with the Picard/Data scene in season one, the dialogue between Q and Picard is still pretty good, and gets the most out of John de Lancie turning Q into a sentimental softie in his old age (although Picard hugging Q was pushing it). There's something poignant about these two men, 35 years after "Encounter at Farpoint," playing one last game, but one that has primarily personal stakes instead of end-of-humanity ones.

If season one was ultimately about Picard saying goodbye to Data, then season two is about Q saying goodbye to Picard. And the scene in the bar with Guinan and the crew reminiscing on their adventure is likable stuff, and a good coda to close out the adventure. And then the season closes on Picard and Laris, with Picard having learned Q's lesson. It's an emotional beat that lands in the right place. There's something reassuring about the personal stamp to these story arcs, with aging, legacy, and death as consistent throughlines. Unfortunately, it doesn't justify half the episodes used to get there, and all the nonsense that happens in them.

"Shall we leave it at that, then?":

  • I wasn't a fan of Guinan giving us the highlights of Rios' life with Teresa in the 21st century. Better to leave that to the imagination rather than giving us the CliffsNotes summary. He dies in a bar fight over medical supplies? Sigh.
  • The Eugenics Wars, originally in 1996, have been officially retconned to the early-to-mid 21st century, as a matter of fitting the Trek timeline in our real one. "Strange New Worlds" has even more on this.
  • I have trouble believing any anomaly that could threaten an entire galactic sector could be stopped by pooling together the shields from a bunch of starships, but, hey, Trek technobabble — whatever.
  • The anomaly is a mystery that has some sort of meaning to be later revealed. If this is setup for season three, I hope it does something more original than imperiling the galaxy yet again.
  • So do two versions of the Borg now exist in this century? Is there Jurati's version, and the Classic Coke version that we've known through the years? Did they ever cross paths?
  • I must say, it's very hard to see Wil Wheaton here as his actual Wesley Crusher character and not as the official shameless-promoter company-man softball host of The Ready Room.
  • Elnor is back alive in the future. Because Q did it. No shocker there.
  • "Every butterfly I could find." — Rios, describing the trinkets of technology he's retrieved to avoid changing the timeline, despite the series of earthquakes left in the wake of our cavalier time travelers, including his own decision to stay in the 21st century.
  • "What do we do now? How does money work?" — Seven, upon knowing they're stuck in the 21st century and realizing what's truly important here.
  • As has been previously announced, the entire cast of The Next Generation will join Picard in the already-filmed-and-wrapped third and final season, whenever it eventually streams. I truly hope they face a plot more interesting and consequential and coherent than this season's, in a way that can send everybody off right. I will approach that season as a reset and begin from a position of hope, as I always do. Until then, I'll see you over in Strange New Worlds (and everything else Trek-wise that comes up between now and then).

Previous episode: Hide and Seek

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284 comments on this post

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Jaxon
Thu, May 5, 2022, 2:03am (UTC -5)
It was nice of that galactic anomoly to limit its destruction to the ten square kilometer shielded area...
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Chris Lopes
Thu, May 5, 2022, 2:22am (UTC -5)
"It was nice of that galactic anomoly to limit its destruction to the ten square kilometer shielded area..."

They hardwired the subroutines so it's all good.
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Mike Lindell
Thu, May 5, 2022, 2:47am (UTC -5)
Some nice moments with Q, but all in all, meh. Crap season, better luck next time fellas.

Also that Wil Wheaton cameo was something else.
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dave
Thu, May 5, 2022, 2:56am (UTC -5)
Sadly, a TON of unanswered questions and holes.

However, the Q scene saying goodbye to Picard was fantastic.

Wesley the Traveler was , something else to say the least.

The list of unanswered questions is LONG....
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AMA
Thu, May 5, 2022, 3:06am (UTC -5)
There were some nice moments in this episode, but the pacing of the season and story elements of past episodes made it difficult for me to appreciate all that that transpired in this finale. As evidence of the terrible pacing in this finale in particular, one set of scenes went from Renee speaking to Tallinn, to blasting off into space, to Soong being back in his lab, to Rios, Raffi, and Seven already being back at the vineyard. Just a lot of character movement without enough connective tissue between scenes.

More broadly, there were just so many plot points to tie up, and ultimately everything was given short shrift. I was left with several questions: given what we know about the Continuum, why was Q suddenly dying; why did he have the interest that he did in Picard; what was with Kore's fate; why was there any concern for a 'butterfly effect' throughout the season when everything was transpiring in alternative timeline; did the alt-Borg traverse timelines specifically to save the prime universe; what was with the cosmic event and their rationale for wanting to join the Federation; what was the point of introducing the FBI agent a couple of episodes ago; why tie Picard's self-forgiveness to a relationship with Laris. Some of these questions might have very straightforward answers in universe, but there just were so many underdeveloped and/or stray plot points.

If the writers thought it might be worthwhile to tell a story about Picard's past, I wish they just focused on that and did nuanced job of it.

As a final point, I was disappointed with Whoopi Goldberg's portrayal of Guinan here. I thought it was okay in the season premiere, but here it very much felt like Whoopi playing Whoopi rather than playing Guinan. Not a great return for the character, and it did not do much, if anything, to move her and Picard's relationship forward. What a wasted opportunity, which might be an assessment of the entire series to date.

All in all, the season hinted at offering some interesting character insights and in-universe developments, but the story was ultimately meandering and muddied.
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dave
Thu, May 5, 2022, 3:10am (UTC -5)
It would have been nice if Guinan would explain how she had a bar in the 21st century called TEN FORWARD and met a man named Picard, and centuries later, was able to end up getting a bar installed in a ship that Picard was assigned to and be able to get it on the 10th deck at the front of the ship. That is someone with some serious pull to be able to ask Starfleet to make all that happen for her.

"hey, Im not in starfleet but you know my dear Admirals, I heard this Picard fella is going to be in this brand new starship. Can you block off a piece on the 10th deck at the front of the ship so I can make a nice bar there? Thank you"


:)
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dave
Thu, May 5, 2022, 3:12am (UTC -5)
Can someone help me understand....

How was the destruction of the Stargazer leading to the alternate timeline> Who stopped Renee mission to create it in the first place, and how did that destruct lead to them all waking up there? Was that just Q saving their lives or something? I don't feel they answered that well at all.
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dave
Thu, May 5, 2022, 3:15am (UTC -5)
And jesus, Jurati Queen is making her collective for 400 years... did she stay hidden so the regular Borg didnt' meet her? How the hell did she operate for all those years and not be noticed?
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Alex
Thu, May 5, 2022, 3:58am (UTC -5)
Good Riddance!
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Jeffrey's Tube
Thu, May 5, 2022, 4:02am (UTC -5)
@dave

1) We don't know that Guinan's bar in LA in the 21st century was named Ten Forward, only that it was a #10 Forward St. And, given her species's relationship with time, she might have had a "feeling" about that space. Like a deja vu but for something that hasn't happened yet. She may have chose it based on that feeling.

2) The destruction of the Stargazer didn't lead to the alternate timeline. Q did the alternate timeline.

3) Jurati-Queen had all the memories of Prime-Queen in those 400 years, because she lived them. (And yes, I know Prime-Queen is alt-Queen and therefore should have alt-Queen memories, but she knew those alt memories were wrong and as soon as she was brought back to the 21st century before the divergence she recovered the memories she was supposed to have, so in other words, she became a version of Prime-Queen again.) So, she knew everything she'd done the first time around, and every place she'd been. Not too hard to hide when that's the case.

Why was Q suddenly dying? Even Q didn't know. All things must end, I guess.

Why did Q have the interest he did in Picard? It's guy love, that's all it is, it's guy love, between two guuuuuuuyyyyyyyssssss . . .

Everything wasn't transpiring in an alternate timeline. Kore became a Gary 7, which are apparently assigned by the Travelers and Wesley is still a Traveler. The alt-Borg have always been in the alt-timeline now. Whatever is up with the galactic anomaly we won't find out until next season, obviously. The alt-Borg are very concerned about it and want to watch it. There was no point to the FBI agent. Tying Picard's past to a relationship with Laris was just for . . . resonance.

Okay, now time for my question:

Why the hell is RAFFI trying to hack the drones when SEVEN is RIGHT THERE?! That's like passing the basketball to Wayne Gretzky to take the shot while he's standing next too a wide-open Michael Jordan. Or something like that. Sports, who cares.

. . .

Okay, it was nice to see Wesley (yes . . . I said that, and I can't believe I said that). But it was nice to know something of what he was up to, as his fate has kind of been dangling for . . . decades. Especially with that sort-of canon Nemesis scene (which now, I guess, isn't).

Soong created Khan. Yeah, we all kind of figured, but it's nice to have the tie finally cemented.

So is Seven the captain of the Stargazer now? If not . . . can she be?

So Rios and his wife and adopted kid lived through WWIII? Because . . . man, you knew that was coming, and you still stayed? Damn. Guinan just doesn't mention any of that.

Allison Pill said she isn't in season 3? Bullshit. Nice try. Whatever the plot is, her character is CERTAINLY a big part of it.

The Picard and Q scene was almost worth this mess of a season. Almost. And, as it turns out, Q was acting for benevolent reasons again. Could have been more direct about it, Q . . . but when is he ever. Could have spared a bunch of Borgified 21st century humans their fates . . . but when has he ever cared about those that aren't his favorites.

Well . . . mercifully, it's over. One more chance to get things right. Or horribly wrong! We'll see.
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Norvo
Thu, May 5, 2022, 4:05am (UTC -5)
And thus ends a season stuffed to the gills with aberrant nonsense and attempts at clever fan service that just come across as undeserved and cutesy.

Talinn telling Picard you can't save people from their own decisions and that he shouldn't care or feel guilty about what happens to others is just about the most anti-Federation message you can imagine. But hey, it naturally turns out to be the cathartic heart of the entire storyline.

Rios claims some equipment and a broken phaser are 'all the temporal butterflies' he could find. But he's the one staying behind 400 years in the past. The man is the mothra of butterflies. And he even starts an organization called 'the butterflies'. Cutesy. Wonder if he ever got around to chiseling out the Borg corpes in the basement of Chateau Picard.

What was the point of Kore's entire storyline? She had no immediate connection to the main story. Deleting Soong's research and files is something Raffi could have done as well. And how will he develop 'Project Khan' from scratch when he's well into in his 70s?

As for Wesley Crusher's cameo, offering Kore the gig as Talinn's replacement... More cutesy fan service and Will's excessive grinning got a bit creepy near the end. Also, why did some of his lines sound dubbed in? Oh. Waittaminute. Isn't there a Soong in the main cast of Strange New Worlds? Did we just witness the way Isa Briones will guest star on that show?

Minor quibbles:
- Why would Soong's poison patch even work on the decidedly non-human Talinn?
- Sure, space is big, but where did Queen Agnes hide her collective for 400 years?
- Was it just 'our' Q or did the entire Collective perish?
- Space is big. Stopping a 'galactic event' with a few dozen ships is, well... *sigh*.
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Jeffrey's Tube
Thu, May 5, 2022, 4:07am (UTC -5)
I meant to write "the alt-Borg havve always been in the prime-timeline now." And so many typos, god. It's very late and I'm very tired.
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Chris Lopes
Thu, May 5, 2022, 4:07am (UTC -5)
"Why did Q have the interest he did in Picard? It's guy love, that's all it is, it's guy love, between two guuuuuuuyyyyyyyssssss . . ."

I admit that made laugh.
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Dreubarik
Thu, May 5, 2022, 4:07am (UTC -5)
Remember when Jean Luc Picard emotionally manipulated Ensign Sito Jaxa so she would go on a secret mission that would probably cost her her life, and it did? So apparently the life lesson he needed to learn in his 90s is that "you can't always save everyone."
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AMA
Thu, May 5, 2022, 5:07am (UTC -5)
@Jeffrey's Tube

Some of my questions were more about the choices of the writers than anything else. I understood, for example, what was going on with Kore, but not why the writers would decide to have her story progress as it did. Very random. Same with Q, and his relationship with Picard. Choices, with no real rationale or explanation.

As to the timeline, I'm still, like Chief O'Brien, rather confused. For example, with this season, Guinan didn't recognize Picard in the 21st century, but suggestively, she would now recognize him in Time's Arrow, which would alter, albeit slightly, everything that followed. And the alt-Borg have either been around now for hundreds of years, or they just arrived at the start of this season, and, if it's the former, I find it hard to believe they would have no influence on the universe. And then there's Rios, who, seemingly, would now not exist in Season 1?

"I hate temporal mechanics."

No need for a response. Just expressing some confusion.
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AMA
Thu, May 5, 2022, 5:09am (UTC -5)
Correction, Guinan still wouldn't recognize Picard in Time's Arrow. My bad.
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TheRealTrent
Thu, May 5, 2022, 6:19am (UTC -5)
When the light from the anomaly strikes Picard's fleet, why is this light instantly visible to planets millions of miles away? It should take years and years for this to be visible across the galaxy.

Also, why, when-

Ah, never mind. Suffice to say this is a very bad episodes, in arguably Trek's worst season, brought to you by Akiva and Kurtzman, the makers of "Transformers", "Batman and Robin", "Cowboys and Aliens", "I, Robot", "The Da Vinci Code", "Rings", "Clarice" and "The Mummy", widely regarded as some of worst stuff in cinema/TV history.
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Skylar
Thu, May 5, 2022, 6:31am (UTC -5)
A weird ending that was more worried about adding every last cliche than closing plot threads in a satisfying way. A bomb with a count down timer, don't pull the wrong wire. Dying just slow enough to give a dramatic speech. Red herrings disguised as twists and turns.

I hate to say this because I love all Treks, even the newer series, but Picard is a lesser Trek. Saved only by familiar characters and great acting.
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Ilsat
Thu, May 5, 2022, 7:00am (UTC -5)
Jeffrey's Tube - "1) We don't know that Guinan's bar in LA in the 21st century was named Ten Forward, only that it was a #10 Forward St. And, given her species's relationship with time, she might have had a "feeling" about that space. Like a deja vu but for something that hasn't happened yet. She may have chose it based on that feeling."

Dude, there's reaching and then there's you playing Mr. Fantastic.
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Tim C
Thu, May 5, 2022, 7:03am (UTC -5)
As with the last few episodes of the show, this is so irredeemably bad I genuinely can't summon the energy to make specific criticisms. It's just awful in every possible way. Worst of all, it's insultingly dumb. Like a season-long "Threshold" or "Spock's Brain".

Thank God it's over.

Surely the third and final season of this show can't be worse than this.

Surely?
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Ilsat
Thu, May 5, 2022, 7:22am (UTC -5)
Tim, take a breath and slowly repeat after me: I'm...Not...Watching...Season...3...

You can do it!
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Karl Zimmerman
Thu, May 5, 2022, 7:31am (UTC -5)
And so Picard Season 2 ends as it was for most of this season - mediocre.

As a season finale, I actually thought this was fine. While some people are complaining about unanswered threads, I thought it wrapped up things much, much neater than I thought was possible. Yes, in a lot of cases it was done with a single throwaway line of dialogue (like finally explaining why Renee's mission ended up being important) but a tremendous amount of stuff happened this episode to draw things to a close.

Honestly, the pacing here makes no sense. We had many episodes in the middle of the season where absolutely nothing important happened. Here we get the central conflict of the season easily resolved within the first 20 minutes (more like 15 if you take into account the recap and opening credits) with the remainder of the runtime set aside for a very long series of denouements. I would argue it would have been better if this finale was split across 2-3 episodes, with Soong's final stand stretched out, then the aftereffects in 2024, and finally turning that 5-minute crisis in the 24th century into a standalone episode. But what's done is done.

The one good thing about Soong being utterly defeated so quickly is we get the worst part of the episode done with first. We know all of the tension here is artificial, and there is no question that our heroes will prevail. It's also the worst scripted portion of the episode, by far, with lots of lines where the characters say things which are completely obvious and thus unnecessary. So much more could have been done with less here.

This was not...quite...the ending I was expecting. I really believed that somehow the Confederation timeline needed to exist as well. Others predicted Tallinn standing in as Renee though, so bravo. Honestly it was a much simpler ending, where in the end there really was just one timeline, and everything they did in the past had already happened. A few things still don't make sense to me (like if it was the correct timeline, why didn't Guinan recognize Picard in 2024?) but I can forgive those because it's now come out Matalas basically abandoned the series and handed it over to Goldsman, so it was a small detail lost in the production schedule most likely.

The emotional climax of the episode was of course Picard and Q's meeting. I liked it, but I really wish they could have gone one further. It's been obvious for decades thar Q is in love with Picard, and he came so close to saying it, but backed off at the last second. I know it was implied heavily, but it could honestly be seen as queerbaiting by the type of people who like to "ship" as they say.

I have no idea why the hell they stuck that completely unnecessary Wesley scene in. Really, Wil Wheaton said for decades he wouldn't reprise Wesley, and he comes back for this??? Kore didn't need an ending as a character, so this was entirely unneeded.

I'm sounding negative, but still, I think as a finale, it worked better than Season 1 (which was garbage, aside from the amazing Data scene). I think it worked better than most of the Discovery finales as well. The problem is while it's a suitable finale for the season, which resolves all of the story issues in a satisfactory manner and (mostly) restores the status quo, it's still just an okay episode viewed on its own.
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Cristóbal
Thu, May 5, 2022, 7:56am (UTC -5)
1) Final farewell to Data
2) Final farewell to Q
3) Final farewell to rest of former crewmates?
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Maq
Thu, May 5, 2022, 7:58am (UTC -5)
well, that was a quite long boring and bumpy journey to a fair (not more) ending.
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Timmy the Tribble
Thu, May 5, 2022, 8:08am (UTC -5)
100% Team Wesley! We did it, guys! Hooray!
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StarMan
Thu, May 5, 2022, 8:16am (UTC -5)
Death Wish is one of my favourite Voyager / Q episodes.

Thank you writers for clarifying why a member of the species portrayed in this episode was dying. God, you'd have looked like a right pack of nitwits otherwise, wouldn't you?
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Patrick
Thu, May 5, 2022, 9:13am (UTC -5)
People still watch this? Why?
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Rob
Thu, May 5, 2022, 9:50am (UTC -5)
Q actually says "Must it always have galactic import? Universal stakes? Celestial upheaval?"

Was that the writers winking at us? They haven't put out anything else since episodic Trek returned.
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Karl Zimmerman
Thu, May 5, 2022, 9:54am (UTC -5)
Q explicitly namedropped episodes earlier in the season, saying "Yesterday's Enterprise" and "Through a Mirror Darkly." Is it that surprising he could come close to breaking the fourth wall?

I still don't understand why he created this particular scenario to teach Picard to get over his own guilt though. Honestly it seems like Matalas had a high-concept SF time travel idea for the season, and then when Goldsman took over as showrunner he shafted it to bring Picard's personal trauma to the forefront.
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Li'Griv
Thu, May 5, 2022, 9:55am (UTC -5)
Patrick - because Kurtzman has kidnapped their favorite Kirk sex dolls and is holding these poor, plastic souls hostage in return for viewership.
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Jaxon
Thu, May 5, 2022, 11:57am (UTC -5)
The twin foilings of Soong's dastardly plans were so hamfisted that I almost hoped he'd pull a God from Final Frontier and go "oooooooooooooooh".
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Yanks
Thu, May 5, 2022, 11:58am (UTC -5)
That was oddly satisfying. Too bad we had to muddle through so much flotsam to get here.
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NachoPicard
Thu, May 5, 2022, 12:01pm (UTC -5)
The dumbest show I've ever watched.

Even if I wasn't a life long Trek fan of 30+ years, it was still the dumbest show I've ever watched.

Almost as bad was the acting. That Wesley/Corey scene was laughably terrible.
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NachoPicard
Thu, May 5, 2022, 12:03pm (UTC -5)
Q saying "must everything have galactic" stakes ten minutes before Raffi says "these are galactic stakes" (or something like that) was quite the something.
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Jaxon
Thu, May 5, 2022, 12:21pm (UTC -5)
I was so doubled over laughing the moment I saw Wil Wheaton that I missed the next few minutes.

I don't care enough about what I may have missed to go back and rewatch. Everything was hastily and ridiculously resolved in the first two acts and the last three was just like listening to Morris Albert's Feelings.
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Jaxon
Thu, May 5, 2022, 12:43pm (UTC -5)
The people that dumped the alien life form into Earth's oceans must not have ever googled Asian carp...
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MajorMayhem
Thu, May 5, 2022, 1:08pm (UTC -5)
Terrible finale. Had a few minor moments but all in all a galactic mess. And what's with Project Khan. We know the Eugenics Wars happened during the 1990's. Khan even mentions to Terrell in TWOK that the Botany Bay was launched in 1996. Glad its over.
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dave
Thu, May 5, 2022, 1:41pm (UTC -5)
Soong needs to get busy pro creating instead of looking for his next evil plan. Otherwise there will not be descendants that are identical replicas of him making more evil plans.
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dave
Thu, May 5, 2022, 1:44pm (UTC -5)
Anyone help me if I am getting this right or wrong...

So, when Picard is about to hit the self destruct on the Stargazer, Q goes back in time and messes with Renee Picard so Europa does not happen and a new timline is made, thus keeping Picard alive. Because Q wanted to give him the gift of dealing with his trauma.

Picard goes back in the past and puts history back on track, so the timeline is restored and he does not hit auto destruct and here we are.

So Q's plan to mess up history was simply to save Picard from the self distruct so he had time to learn about his trauma.

I think I can make sense of this. Anyone else?
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Karl Zimmerman
Thu, May 5, 2022, 1:49pm (UTC -5)
Dave,

I think that is correct. Q wants Picard to die happy and with a partner, not alone when the Stargazer went all explodey.

Why they bothered to add that two-minute crisis involving the new spatial anomaly which could wipe out an entire quadrant, I have no idea, as it directly cuts against this - unless you believe that's what happens when a Q dies, and it was unavoidable.
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Jeffrey's Tube
Thu, May 5, 2022, 2:28pm (UTC -5)
@ Dave

Q wanted Picard to deal with his mother before the end of his (Picard's) life so he'd have at least some time feeling unburdened enough to make a proper try at pursuing a relationship (with Laris). It's the one thing Q wanted to do before he (Q) died.

I also think Q wanted to create the alt-Borg to deal with whatever the anomaly is. Q always has hidden altruistic motives and is protective of humanity (like in Q Who?) despite appearances.

The anomaly isn't caused by the death of Q--at least, Borgrati's dialogue suggests otherwise. Remember she said something a massive transwarp conduit. Presumably, it's a road that's been laid by some ultrapowerful extragalactic force . . . and possibly threat.

It's entirely possible it's the Reaper knock-offs from season one. Think about it--it ties the plot of the three season show together and brings it full circle, and the half-mechanical, half-biological alt-Borg would naturally be of interest to them upon emerging from the conduit, make them hesitate, and give the alt-Borg and Picard (a former biological in an android body) the chance to plead the case of biological life in the galaxy. Soji and Adan Soong (it's "Adan," right?) would be needed, giving those characters something to do next season and keeping Spiner involved. Or something along those lines, anyway. I'm pretty sure that's the gist of what it will be.
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Dahj's Digital Ghost
Thu, May 5, 2022, 2:55pm (UTC -5)
@Jeffrey's Tube — "It's entirely possible it's the Reaper knock-offs from season one. Etc...." That makes perfect sense, but I would argue that Picard, in his new body, is essentially 'borg. He isn't a former biological in an android body, but rather a biological who has been augmented with a positronic matrix. The golem was a container in which man and machine are combined. In Soji and Dahj's case, they were complete in their powers, fully realized as man and machine, but with Picard, his powers were reduced to continue his life essentially as it was. Basically Picard is living inside of a clone that has been merged with Data's positronic matrix. In a sense, Picard is Data, Data's son, and, yet, still himself.
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Species 10-Forward
Thu, May 5, 2022, 2:56pm (UTC -5)
Well, that happened.

If the storylines had been engaging in the first place, the resolutions might have landed better as well. A lot of dutiful box checking. I have zero desire to know about all the unchecked boxes and inconsistencies - it’s like looking over someone’s work on a failed math test.

The saddest part for me is the need to regurgitate and explain every mystery of the earlier shows, to answer every question. The Borg are scary as hell because they’re the relentless specter of death that’s coming for us all. The mystery of Guinan was beautiful. They mystery of Q was mischievous and menacing.

Picard drained that away for what? To create and solve a mystery where there wasn’t one. Picard wasn’t a mystery. He was a strong captain who was amazing at his job. I did not see him on a desperate run from his demons. He could be stern and stiff, acting as some authority figures do to maintain objectivity for command decisions, but he was always a thoughtful leader.

I like that Q admitted a certain fondness for Picard - it felt right given his sustained interest. John de Lancie is so compelling that when he held Picard’s head in his hands and said even a god has favorites, I got goosebumps. Picard felt small and Q was magnetic yet compassionate. Chills. Loved it.

Picard hugging Q made me want to puke. I seriously can’t believe they hugged it out. Ridiculous and wrong.

Goodbye, Rios. You were a smart man and Cute Doctor is a lucky lady. Your cigar out-acted everyone else on the show, so I get why they underlined Every. Single. Callback.

We dumped all this supermarket psychology into Agnes Borgati for a payoff that took zero advantage of it, Edith Piaf and “We needed a friend” notwithstanding. And it is so NuTrek to set-up a season with “We’re gonna blow up a starship and kill Picard!” to “No wait, actually we’re going to blow up THE GALAXY!” to “Just kidding, Elnor’s back!”

Does anyone ever die on Star Trek anymore? Evagora is a super cute cosplayer but Jesus, 10,000 reunion beats with Elnor. I was on the floor when Q asked “Who?” and wish they’d left it at that.

I think Picard takes the cake for throwing Star Trek IP into a plot microwave and serving it to us as a show. After things completely unraveled by mid-season and it was clear they’d lost control of their narrative (again!), I joked that I was just looking for the drunk to make it out of the bar without falling down or puking out too much more story. Mission Basically Accomplished. We can now shake our heads and turn back to our drinks and conversation.

Shut up, Wesley!
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Jaxon
Thu, May 5, 2022, 3:01pm (UTC -5)
Picard in this series seems to be the equivalent of Juliana Tainer, except that unlike her, he knows it.
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Dahj's Digital Ghost
Thu, May 5, 2022, 3:02pm (UTC -5)
I think this entire story could have been told in a three-parter, and, with laser-focus, it might have even been a good story. But the way it's been presented, it has been a long road, and a boring slog.

The first two episodes were good, the finale, merely okay. But OMG, it really has been a chore to get through this!
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Jaxon
Thu, May 5, 2022, 3:03pm (UTC -5)
"Q wanted Picard to deal with his mother before the end of his (Picard's) life so he'd have at least some time feeling unburdened enough to make a proper try at pursuing a relationship (with Laris)."

But now that Picard is a robot, what's to say he cant live for centuries now?
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dave
Thu, May 5, 2022, 3:08pm (UTC -5)
@jaxon

I believe there was a line about that and his artificial body will age exactly like he would have naturally so his life is not extended due to it. He is not timeless like say Data would be
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Chrome
Thu, May 5, 2022, 3:09pm (UTC -5)
For me this had its moments, but it felt like the story ran out of gas, with the more interesting stuff happening in “Hide and Seek”. Really, the best thing to come out of the finale was the bond Picard and Q forged. Indeed, I could see Q thinking of Picard as a kindred spirit, a human holding the position of affecting millions of lives but always being alone akin to himself. While it seems like Q has the upper hand most of the time, it’s clear that Q is also learning from Picard and humanity generally. This can be seen of course by Picard sharing a human gesture like friendship with Q, but even more subtly in Q pondering one of Rios’ quips about the nature of time.

Meanwhile, the other storylines ended too pat. Tallinn standing in for Renee was obviously going to happen, as was Rios staying behind in 2024 and doing a bunch of cool things offscreen. Laris and Picard getting together in the ending was cute, but wholly predictable. Seven and Raffi also got back together rather matter-of-factly. At least Seven getting a field commission was an earned moment and fit nicely with her overall arc of being accepted for who she is.

The one thing that came completely out of left field was Wesley Crusher appearing to offer Kore a new life. While part of me likes the thought of continuing Wesley’s story and tying it all to the Supervisors, it seems really happenstance that Wesley arrives *just then* to be there just to do this thing. One would think there would be quadrillions of lost individuals in the Trek Universe, so why would Wesley be here to save Kore over anyone else and why now? It’s just too efficient using random Trek canon to save Kore, who was honestly never much of a character this season. This does set up Kore appearing in season 3, but c’mon, The Traveler is (to put it mildly) a hokey plot device and especially hokey when evoked too often.

Still, I enjoyed the Borg collaboration towards the end. Yes, it too was foreseeable, but the inherently unpredictable nature of our cybernetic frenemies kept the final act interesting. Not only did it give us a chance to see some more cool TNG-like VFX, but it left a door open for the Neo-Borg to be a sort of guardians against cosmic threats. This also could be teasing something that happens in season 3, but with it now confirmed Pill won’t be around, it’s hard to know for sure. And that’s fine, really. Basically, this season functions in part to revitalize The Borg as something new while simultaneously giving them their swan song.
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Jaxon
Thu, May 5, 2022, 3:11pm (UTC -5)
"Does anyone ever die on Star Trek anymore? Evagora is a super cute cosplayer but Jesus, 10,000 reunion beats with Elnor.

Remember back in the masterful real trek of "Q- Who?" when 18 people were gone and stayed gone?

Remember back in the still-far-better-than-this real trek of "Damage" when 18 people were gone and stayed gone?
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Jaxon
Thu, May 5, 2022, 3:14pm (UTC -5)
"I believe there was a line about that"

This show takes a helluva lot of liberties with handwaiving things with throwaway lines. The most egregious was the one that dismissed "Where No One Has Gone Before", but there were plenty of others.
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Jeffrey's Tube
Thu, May 5, 2022, 3:47pm (UTC -5)
@ DDG

All of the may be true, metaphysically. It sounds true. But I think it can still be effectively reduced down to "former biological in an android body" without missing any important context. Heh.

@ Jaxon

He asked Soong to make sure his body wouldn't do that in season one. He said something like "I wouldn't mind another decade or so, but I've no wish to live forever." Which . . . okay, man. You do you. I'd be asking Soong to make me eternally 20 years old and live forever! Plus some hair. I would definitely add some hair.

@Species 10-Forward

"Jesus, 10,000 reunion beats with Elnor. I was on the floor when Q asked “Who?” and wish they’d left it at that."

Yeah, but laugh in Trek in years. And of course De Lancie got it.

After the mean-ness of Disco season one (Culber, as one example) I feel like the new shows are too afraid to be that callous. 10,000 post-mortem reunions and goodbyes or not, his death was just something random, it wasn't the culmination of a narrative arc or his character's journey. It interrupted both (I mean, I don't know exactly what his character's journey or narrative arc is, and I don't think the writers do either, but it felt like this interrupted it rather than paid it off).
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Jeffrey's Tube
Thu, May 5, 2022, 3:48pm (UTC -5)
*best laugh. Dumb phone fingers.
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Ilsat
Thu, May 5, 2022, 4:26pm (UTC -5)
The Q and Laris scenes were beautiful. This is why we endure the awful stuff. Because, here and there, we see glimpses of what can be. Of maybe what our own world can be. If we reclaim our own honor. If we see a bright future beyond the crimson horizon. Kurtzman is awful. Trek is not. And it will persist long after he fades away.
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Leif
Thu, May 5, 2022, 5:06pm (UTC -5)
@Jeffreys Tube I thought the veiled borg queen from the first episode was a different real queen from a different tineline and not Q's invention?
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Jaxon
Thu, May 5, 2022, 5:12pm (UTC -5)
There is absolutely no logic as to why the Borg Queen would have their face covered in "The Star Gazer" other than that they didn't want us to know it was Jurati. It was quite literally plot armor.
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Jeffrey's Tube
Thu, May 5, 2022, 5:12pm (UTC -5)
@ Leif

Nope.
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TheRealTrent
Thu, May 5, 2022, 5:29pm (UTC -5)
Jaxon said: "There is absolutely no logic as to why the Borg Queen would have their face covered in "The Star Gazer" other than that they didn't want us to know it was Jurati. It was quite literally plot armor. "

Yes, the whole season is nonsensical.

Jurati has 400 years to plan this encounter, and this is what she deems the best way to make contact? Drop your mask immediately, and calmly, politely explain to Picard what is about to happen.

Am I missing something? The whole season seems to stem from this massive contrivance.
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Jaxon
Thu, May 5, 2022, 5:32pm (UTC -5)
Let's say that Juratiqueen popped her mask off way back in "the Star Gazer"...what would have happened next?

Picard presumably would have ceased the self destruct, at least for the moment.

The trip to 2024 would have been cancelled, so presumably Juratiqueen would vanish from existence. Which would eliminate the danger du jour that triggered this whole season.long escapade.
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Jaxon
Thu, May 5, 2022, 5:37pm (UTC -5)
This whole season only holds up with the tired "Q did it" crutch.

Might as well be Bob Newhart waking up next to Suzanne Pleschette or Victoria Principal finding Patrick Duffy in the shower...
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Booming
Thu, May 5, 2022, 5:42pm (UTC -5)
Yeah nothing made sense. It's really weird seeing the other people in the strange new world thread going through the whole "this is a good start. I'm hopeful" thing again. We just did this three month ago. It feels like I'm trapped in a time loop.
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Jaxon
Thu, May 5, 2022, 5:44pm (UTC -5)
That;s why I said in that forum that I think I'll wait until SNW's whole season airs before I watch any of it.
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MidshipmanNorris
Thu, May 5, 2022, 5:45pm (UTC -5)
Someone said:

“Good Riddance!”

I agree, this season was a total shitshow.
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Chris Lopes
Thu, May 5, 2022, 6:46pm (UTC -5)
"That Wesley/Corey scene was laughably terrible."

The fact that Wheaton couldn't keep that "I can't believe they're letting me act in Star Trek again" grin on his face didn't help. It took the audience right out of the moment.
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Nick
Thu, May 5, 2022, 7:29pm (UTC -5)
I really liked it. I didn’t care about the Soong stuff but the scenes with Q were great and I liked everything once they got back to the future (except Elnor coming back).

This season is weird. Episodes 1, 2 and 10 were really good and episodes 3-9 were absolute crap.
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Leif
Thu, May 5, 2022, 7:57pm (UTC -5)
@Starman what are you talking about..this episode didn't explain at all why Q was dying..unless I missed something..

WHY WAS Q DYING..QS DON'T DIE..DID THE WRITERSNOT WATCH ANY OTHER STAR TREK??

JAMMER PLEASE DON'T PSPOIL IN THE FUTURE..IT wasNOT OBVIOUS AT ALL that Jurati was tje veiled Borg Queen at the beginning so you kinda spoiled it..didn't anyone else think it was nonobvious??
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Trek fan
Thu, May 5, 2022, 8:23pm (UTC -5)
What an anticlimactic end to a season that started off great and gradually diminished. At the point, I almost wish this series would end as badly as I want Discovery to be canceled. So many of these new Treks now feel like retreads and padding that feels more assembly line than creative.
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Cian Devane
Thu, May 5, 2022, 8:25pm (UTC -5)
Total garbage of an episode and an awful season overall.

I wish they'd never started this series because they have done such a disservice to 24/25th century Star Trek.
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StarMan
Thu, May 5, 2022, 8:52pm (UTC -5)
@Leif "@Starman what are you talking about..this episode didn't explain at all why Q was dying..unless I missed something.."

Apologies. I was being facetious. No, they didn't. VOY's Death Wish examined the ramifications of an infinite existence and why living forever might not be an attractive prospect. The Q were presented as being incapable of terminating their own existence. Their immortality and permanence baked into their being. Previously, we had been shown that The Continuum was capable of terminating a Q, or changing the nature of a Q. But, an individual Q was not capable of altering their inherent nature. Further, in the Q civil war, it was revealed the Q had devised weapons capable of harming one another. A bit of a sticky development - why couldn't Quinn create such a weapon and put it to his omnipotent head?

In any event, the best Picard could do was a nebulous comment to the temporal horizon darkening. This should have been a bigger deal. Why - after billions of years of existence - was Q's time drawing to a close? Moreover, what should we infer about the rest of his species? If he were on good terms, it would stand to reason they would intervene. Why is he alone? He has a son, had a partner. We saw he had associates within The Continuum. No idea.

For Q to simply start fading from existence changes the very nature of Q as presented since '87. I can live with that. They can do that. But - to enact such a dramatic change without providing the viewer any explanation is an insult to the viewer. Basically, the writers are saying - yep, we're changing it up, but it doesn't matter to us, so it shouldn't matter to you.
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Frank A. Booze
Thu, May 5, 2022, 9:08pm (UTC -5)
The Soong stuff was completely stupid. How exactly did he get back to LA or wherever the Europa launch was before the rest of the crew? He would have had to walk from the Chateau to a city, then get transportation to an airport, then fly back to LA from France. The rest of the crew transported back in an instant.

Also, if Jurati changed the Borg collective in the past, then wouldn’t that massively change the Borg we are accustomed with? Or are we to believe the Borg we see throughout TNG and Voyager are part of a different collective?

With that being said, I did enjoy Picard’s final interactions with Q. Again, best part of the show is when two people just sit down and talk. And although a bit campy, it was kind of nice to see Wesley again. I didn’t mind it.

Overall though, the season was a mess. Let’s see if Strange New Worlds can do any better.
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Tom
Thu, May 5, 2022, 9:25pm (UTC -5)
@StarMan
"This should have been a bigger deal. Why - after billions of years of existence - was Q's time drawing to a close?"

The answer's simple - because it can't. If Q is an immortal being, then he can neither be born or die.

To go even further, Q can't even be said to exist at all.

"Exist" comes from the latin "existere" which means to stand forth, emerge, come out from. So to posit Q, a supposedly "immortal being", as a being who is separate from the rest of existence makes no sense. Existence, as a finite being, simply doesn't apply to an immortal subject like Q is supposed to be.
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Eric F
Thu, May 5, 2022, 9:30pm (UTC -5)
I am baffled why Jammer reviews these shows as highly as he does. I mean this season has been awful. Season 1 was a good story telling even if it broke with Star Trek traditions, but this season has been an awful story line along with inconsistencies and outright contradictions that break the suspension of belief. Yet, I see a bunch of 2 and 2 1/2 stars which are far, far too generous.

Oh well. I guess I'll check back to see what everyone thinks of Season 3. If it gets better, I'll renew my subscription to Paramount...
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Marc
Thu, May 5, 2022, 10:12pm (UTC -5)
An ill-conceived three parter spread across ten frustrating episodes. What a season. One or two interesting ideas, delivered in the most confounding manner possible and spread thinly amongst a lot of pointless beats.

I'm a completionist who feels compelled to watch anything with Star Trek in front of the title, and even I am really asking myself if there's a good argument for watching the last season of this.

Telling us that there are giant galactic stakes about three minutes before solving them is a new one for me.
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Nick
Thu, May 5, 2022, 10:21pm (UTC -5)
One thing I thought was funny, when Rios said he collected all the "butterflies" which consisted of a phaser and tricorder and it's like WHAT ABOUT THE 20 PEOPLE YOU BEAMED INTO A WALL???

Seriously though I think the writers genuinely didn't understand Trek's time travel rules.
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Rahul
Thu, May 5, 2022, 10:29pm (UTC -5)
Far too contrived to have everything work out so perfectly for everybody and every plot thread -- just can't lap this up and be impressed. But there are a few decent moments and 1 terrific moment when Picard hugs Q -- some feels there. The episode feels like it has a long epilogue, which isn't bad but it layers on the Maudlin, though nowhere near as bad as DSC. Also some moments where I have to bang my head against a wall -- like when Wesley Crusher shows up as a traveler and recruits Kore or when out of nowhere there's a BS galactic threat which is why the (Jurati-infected) Borg came for help in the 1st place.

There is some substance as well but it doesn't have the gravitas it needs and that is due to just the overall weight of crappiness of the season. Like Tallinn telling Renee about being on a quest for her mom felt too forced. This business of Picard absolving himself was a bit better but it was a bit heavy-handed with both Tallinn and Q saying it. But what was better was Q's conversation with Picard and how JLP is now unshackled from his past. (So he can now love Laris.) But the whole thing about Q dying is just arbitrary but because of this he can admit that Picard matters to him. So it does make one think of all these 2 characters have been through since "Encounter at Farpoint" and achieving that is commendable.

The first part with guaranteeing the Europa mission was able to keep my attention as Soong's plan got foiled and Tallinn switched places with Renee -- 1 lives, 1 dies. This is just mechanics and it was fine, but not exactly riveting. So Renee discovers an alien organism that cleans up Earth's environment. At least that thread somewhat gets tied up, albeit ridiculously for me. But what about the social welfare bit?

2.5 stars for "Farewell" -- glad to say farewell to PIC S2. For me, the worst season of Trek (aside from "Lower Decks"). Highly unsatisfactory and just insulting for me. It's basically been a big dumb romp with familiar actors and a couple of familiar characters but who are "out of character" to varying extents. Not a single episode in the season made it to 3 stars.
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Bryan
Thu, May 5, 2022, 11:11pm (UTC -5)
Whoa, how lucky are we that we get the season finale to PIC as well as the premiere of SNW all on the same day? It's an embarrassment of riches..! Or maybe just an embarrassment:

- LOL, I don't know which is funnier, that Soong thought playing a fake audio recording in his lair would throw the Picard gang off his trail, or that it actually worked.

- Way to be inconspicuous, Not-Laris. Running off with the uniform of an ACTIVE flight crew member and pretending to be someone else. Is she TRYING to scrub the launch? Also, look closely when the launch somehow miraculously goes ahead: She never gave back the uniform and ID!

- So Soong could kill just by touching? I had a feeling he was craftier than vehicular homicide. Why didn't he try that earlier with Picard or Renee at the gala?

- So Borgati just HAD to say "One Renee must live, the other must die" when she could have said "If you want to foil Soong's plan, I recommend using a decoy." This is what I hate about Nu-Trek's Mystery Box formula. They have to constantly play things up to be more mysterious and impressive than they always turn out to be.

- Kore's revenge against Soong doesn't even make any sense, especially since Soong didn't deliberately kill "her sisters". Did she forget the part where he would do anything to extend and protect their lives?

- Also, I just love how every minor character like Kore needs to have a Super Special Send Off... okay, she's a Traveler now. What did she do to earn that Golden Ticket besides be a member of the regular cast?

- I could almost feel the collective eye-roll of Trek fans all over the world when it was revealed that Soong was behind Khan. Meanwhile, those who enjoy this show and have limitless charitability to expend are probably like, "Of course! Why didn't I see it sooner?"

- "A long time ago, I was known as Wesley Crusher. But now, I am Shill Weaton: The biggest shill in all space and time."

- Also Shill Weaton: "lul, wait, I'm not done, theres moar." c:

- Rios: "I took care of every butterfly I could find..."
Rios 5 minutes later: "Fuck the timeline. I'm staying!"

- Watch as Raffi manipulates Seven with her reverse psychology right til the end. Seven doesn't seem to mind this time though.

- "Must it always have galactic stakes, celestial upheaval?" Apparently Q doesn't realize he's in Nu-Trek where it always must.

- Did anyone think Q was gonna kiss Picard's forehead like Picard kissed Not-Laris goodbye?

- Earlier, Q didn't have enough "energy" to use mere mental suggestion on Rene. Now he has enough energy, and then some, to send the gang forward in time? It's a sign of shoddy writing when characters have their powers only when it's convenient for the plot.

- LOL, so all Boragi had to do was lift her shroud and the entire disaster that is ST:Picard Season 2 could have been averted? Why the hell would she conceal her identity if she needed Picard to trust her?

- What ever urgency compelled her to forcibly take over the Stargazer rings entirely false. Despite Q's assurances, writers literally just pulled one of their "celestial upheavals" out of their collective asses mere minutes before the season's end. It's gotten so bad that "These Things", as a crew member puts it, require no set up, explanation or foreshadowing at all. Who the hell in the audience is buying this shit?

- Did anyone else laugh when that random person on the Stargazer bridge is like "Whoa, wait.. where did Captain Rios go?" As if the writers neglected the inconvenient truth that if he chose to live in the past, he'd been dead for 400 years.

- Also, if Rios isn't there, doesn't that mean Elnor should be still dead? Even Q himself was like "Sorry, Elnor kinda got himself killed, can't help ya with that one!"

- I groaned at how the Borg are now "The Guardians of the Gates" all thanks to Jurati's little "lets only assimilate people who want it" speech.

- LOL, how did I know that the alien organism mumbo jumbo would never be elaborated upon? That such a pivotal plot point would just hand-waved away is criminal.

- If Talinn was watching Renee 24/7, where did she have time to have a daughter before she died so that Laris' ancestors could be born?

- Did anyone else prefer Borgati's chrome-drome to her noodle hair? Booming?
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SammyD
Thu, May 5, 2022, 11:37pm (UTC -5)
As soon as I saw the anomaly turn blue at the end, my first thought was: VGER is back
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Shannon
Thu, May 5, 2022, 11:46pm (UTC -5)
I so wanted to like this second season, especially after the strong start. That it all turned out to be another "lesson from Q" just doesn't sit well with me. I had no problem whatsoever with bringing Q onto the series, but just felt they could have come up with something better. The plotlines just felt ambiguous in some areas, forced in others, and the overall story just never came together with any clarity or sense of purpose. There were nice moments here and there, and I did like that tender moment Jean Luc and Q had at the end. The whole Jurati is the Borg Queen ending, yeah, like, we ALL saw that one coming several episodes ago... Anyway, I could say more but why waste the time. I will watch Season 3 and hope the showrunners come up with a better story arc. In the meantime, definitely going to be focused on SNW. Pilot was a good start and shows a lot of promise.
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Jaxon
Thu, May 5, 2022, 11:47pm (UTC -5)
Bryan said:

""Must it always have galactic stakes, celestial upheaval?" Apparently Q doesn't realize he's in Nu-Trek where it always must."

The Burn says hello...
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Jaxon
Thu, May 5, 2022, 11:52pm (UTC -5)
Bryan said:

"LOL, how did I know that the alien organism mumbo jumbo would never be elaborated upon? That such a pivotal plot point would just hand-waved away is criminal. "

Didn't I hear them say that they dumped some of the alien organism into Earth's oceans to "clean it up".

I'm sure it totally won't be an invasive species like Asian carp later.
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Jeff
Fri, May 6, 2022, 12:22am (UTC -5)
All I ever wanted to see was Jean-Luc French kiss Laris, and that didn’t even happen. I’m bummed. Well, there’s always Season 3 to see some lovin’.
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Eric Jensen
Fri, May 6, 2022, 12:27am (UTC -5)
Good entertainment, poor delivery. The whole season.
1. What was the effect of the European mission?
A slight remark about the environment. By guinan. They don't make is care about Europe.
2. So this lesson or penance by Q to show he cares about picard? Only he is dying? Not the Q continuum... right...
3. So Rios going back or staying... was he meant to stay? Predestination -sigh-
4. Jurati Queen now a beacon of hope at the gates? I get jurati "taming the borg" because of prior knowledge but all that time contamination...
Poor execution, threads in and out... WHERE IS THE FBI AGENT?
5. Wesley crusher? OK. I Get the time secrecy and time agency and watching the timeline but it's too convenient.
6. Project Khan. I liked that.
7. Soong was there just to stop picard and Renee? Drones? Jurati Borg?
I think this story could have been better, told better and edited better. Better script. I get it's serialised and not episodic but the resolutions were epic failure
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Eric Jensen
Fri, May 6, 2022, 12:29am (UTC -5)
Us*

Best scene was Q and picard. No satisfactory answer to his love though...
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Eric Jensen
Fri, May 6, 2022, 12:32am (UTC -5)
And the scene with seven being captain? Let's hope seven is "captain" of sorts.
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Jaxon
Fri, May 6, 2022, 12:33am (UTC -5)
Bryan said:

"Did anyone else laugh when that random person on the Stargazer bridge is like "Whoa, wait.. where did Captain Rios go?"

No one even noticed that Agnes wasn't there anymore either.

Marcia! Marcia! Marcia!
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Kyle
Fri, May 6, 2022, 1:59am (UTC -5)
So in revisiting Picard s totally retconned traumatic childhood, where was Robert? In all the drama and conversations of “family”, a stand out TNG episode, their mother’s suicide never came up? And when Q gives Picard a do over and a chance to change the past in “Tapestry”, another stand out TNG episode, Picard never thought to prevent his mom’s suicide? Why? Oh that’s right, he totally buried those memories, he just forgot about it. And even if that were credible , wouldn’t Robert remember? Dumb. And Q telling Picard to accept himself as he is was already done in Tapestry. So I guess two all time favorite TNG episodes just blow to hell, irrelevant now.

If Picard had to deal with some dark, horrible personal tragedy, why not deal with Robert and Rene ( other Rene, his nephew ) meaningless death in a barn fire? That would make Generations, a total dud, at least more relevant.

I guess Picard can’t be the wise, noble leader, explorer and adventurer we all have known and lived for 30 years unless he has some horrible repressed childhood trauma. Like being assimilated, torhtured and losing your brother wasn’t enough. Nu trek had to up the ante. It can’t be a so called prestige TV show unless everyone is traumatized and scarred.

All that being said, Q and Picard’s heart to heart and farewell scene was nice, touching, moving, a nice moment between two long time frenemies we have known for 30 years. Too bad it didn’t have a quality story to get us to that moment. Just a lot of incoherent, unconnected scenes with manufactured drama and crazy unresolved timey wimey stuff.
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Kyle
Fri, May 6, 2022, 2:01am (UTC -5)
Wesley as a Traveller was also a good bit of continuity, feels like he could have been used way more effectively, as could have Agent Wells..
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Chris Lopes
Fri, May 6, 2022, 2:29am (UTC -5)
"Wesley as a Traveller was also a good bit of continuity, feels like he could have been used way more effectively, as could have Agent Wells.."

Wesley as Traveller was just the reward Wheaton got for shilling for Nu Trek. He couldn't even pull off that short scene without that cheesey grin.
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mosley
Fri, May 6, 2022, 3:38am (UTC -5)
Thank God, the galactica 1980 segment is over.

There were actually a remarkable maybe 15% where I cared for the story.
Had season 2 entirely been "Stewart and de Lancie in a room with two chairs", it would have been 100x better. I did like the Q stuff. Well acted. Nice trekkian resolution with the "does it always have to be about something about galactic proportions" thing - allthough, coming from *this* group of writers, that's comically ironic.

Also liked the short moment where they dated to just stay in the normal timeline for a full 5 minutes. Even though it's now completely messed up with Agnes-borg. Why, thank you for ruining the borg for this crap, but at this point, whatever...

The other 85% were me being super sad that Raffi did not die a random, slow and painful death, Rios making a joke out of any and all timeline logic, seven continuing to being criminally underused (Its. Such. A. Waste.).

So I give 2 stars for the 15% and the usual zero stars for the galactica 1980 stuff.

Oh, and then there's the Wesley crusher scene. Omg. I laughed out loud. Boy, will wheaton clearly hasn't acted in a long time. This was rough, rougher even than his early child work in TNG. I guess acting is a muscle that needs to be trained to work properly, he clearly was a lot better in later TNG seasons as a teenager. Poor guy. But I can't help but feel super happy for him. Finally, he got his bonus moment in the franchise. I am totally okay with that. Did I care for the scene? No. It was about the fate of a character I barely knew and never cared about. But I was happy for will, and if this scene was their way of writing another of these completely pointless characters out of the show, hey, that clearly makes this a good scene in my book.

So, 2 stars for the 15%, zero for the 85% galactica 1980 portion, and a flock of drunken unicorns for the Wesley Crusher stuff.
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dave
Fri, May 6, 2022, 3:44am (UTC -5)
Loved your review mosley, especially on good ol Wesley :)

I rolled my eyes when he popped out and was, whatever... it almost seemed like a troll job to the fans who disliked him all these years (both the character and Wil himself who was reviled online from what I recall back in the 90s and early 2000s). He probably had a hoot coming back and doing this and it was far better than that ridiculous deal in Insurrection where he was back in Starfleet apparently.

No idea why this clone Kore is a one in a galaxy prodigy that was picked to be a traveler, but it keeps the actress in the story. You can sure bet both her and Wesley will be in S3, along with her android version that is still out there; whom she will likely meet or something,

I wonder though, will they keep Laris as Picards love or will he fall into Beverly's arms now that he is not relationship phobic and she apparently will be in Season 3.
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NKhan
Fri, May 6, 2022, 5:26am (UTC -5)
Hi guys, just wanted to share some of my recent thoughts, excuse the length, the following comments are really me thinking out aloud.

This season of Picard was awful, the reasons why have already been covered by many people here. The question that is asked not just on this website by people on other websites where many of the comments are also criticising the show is:

“Why do watch a show you seem to hate?”

Again many commentators have answered this on brand loyalty, hey its still Star Trek. Or as Eric Jensen commented last week:

‘I support what its stands for: hope, exploration, new ideas, science fiction…the story can be awful and the way its told.”

I agree with all of the above, its Star Trek, as a fan it draws you in. Someone even gave a sports analogy. We are Manchester United fans in our household and they are really crap at the moment. What makes me angry is that I feel the producers of Picard and Discovery are taking advantage me and this loyalty that I can’t seem to shake off. However I think with the current season of Picard I have reached a turning point, I have finally been able to walk away from Star Trek. That’s a big thing for me to say.

There is a phrase used in India and Pakistan called ‘timepass’. The word is in English but the phrase I believe is only used South Asia. It basically means spending time doing some unproductive work to pass the time. If someone asks you how good a movie was you can say, it was good, rubbish or timepass, meaning it wasn’t brilliant but was good enough to pass the time. Star Trek Discovery and Picard have long become timepass viewing for me. Even Voyager or Enterprise never became timepass viewing for me. Off course there is good timepass and really bad timepass depending on how bored you are at the time. For example I rate Liam Neeson’s movies on Prime and Netflix as good timepass, you went into these movies with no expectations but came away entertained. Then there was Chris Hemsworth movie Extraction on Netflix, that was bad timepass. You went into that movie with no expectations (it’s a Chris Hemsworth movie on Netflix) but you came away thinking seriously that was bad why did I just waste the last 90 minutes of my life. But let’s try a Nicolas Cage analogy, this is someone who you know is a great actor, has made some fantastic movies, some timepass movies (National Treasure) and because of that you get yourself to watch the movie ‘Next’ and you literally come away from that thinking why….what the hell was Nicolas Cage doing in this movie, he is so much better. NuStar Trek for all its faults is still a Liam Neeson level timepass for me.

However the problem with timepass movies and TV programmes is that you are not willing to pay to watch these. I was happy to watch Picard and Discovery here in the UK while they were part of my Netflix and Prime subscription. I understand the next series of Discovery and final season of Picard will be on Paramount Plus when it finally launches in the UK next year(??). I will not be signing up to actually pay to watch these shows. However the third series of The Orville will be on Disney+. Don’t have Disney+ at the moment but will be more than willing to pay a subscription to watch The Orville.

The current series of Discovery was not on Netflix and I have just not got around to sorting out Pluto TV on Roku and I have found the show to be so awful I really can’t be bothered.

A part of me feels regret at just not being bothered anymore. Let me share some nostalgia. I remember in the 1990s Wednesday evenings at 6.45pm BBC2 used to show the latest series of TNG or DS9. I was a teenager, we had one TV (4 TV channels at the time) and everyone in the house knew that the TV was mine at that time. My Pakistani mother could never understand why I watched the programme with the people with the funny faces and masks but while there were arguments over which channel to watch there were no arguments when Star Trek was on, she knew I was obsessed. I am sharing this because the obsession is gone and I feel sadness and regret. I accept maybe its an age thing, It has been said that NuTrek is for 21st century, its for newer younger audience. But seriously things like character development, good acting (this is in reference to Discovery only, the acting on Picard despite everything has been good) and a good script can’t be an age thing.

Finally just wanted to share another experience I had recently. A few weeks ago I was ill and stuck at home for a few days and I took the opportunity to finally watch Farscape. I can’t believe it took me 20 years to watch this show. Previously I had seen the odd episode but just found it weird and the puppets made it hard to get into. But watching from the first episode and then the rest in sequence I got to know the characters and the whole it’s a living ship thing. Then came Friday and the next episode of Picard was available here in the UK. I think it was few days before I could tear myself away from Farscape to watch Picard and even then I had to watch it in 10 minute chunks as it just couldn’t keep my attention.

What I also started thinking was how serious, dark and gloomy all recent Sci-Fi shows have been. I think it all started with the re-imaged BSG. Farscape was such a fun ride, (okay it had a few stinker of episodes at the start of series 4) but BSG and The Expanse (only just starting season 3 of The Expanse) are really good shows but so serious but that is their premise I suppose. Firefly also had its humorous moments, TNG and DS9 had some light-hearted episodes. Are there any good but fun sci-fi shows out there or is everyone trying to do the whole BSG, human politics or empire building in space. I have not watched that much Sci-Fi recently because well everything just keeps getting cancelled before they can wrap up the story. I have watched the first 10 minutes of Lower Decks but found it difficult to get into but will give it another try. I tried a few episodes of Dark Matters recently but found the characters unlikeable and then when I found out it was eventually cancelled I gave up. I am not a fan of the whole Marvel or superhero trend. Every other show on Netflix is about a teenager who discovers they have super-powers or is heir to some secret cult or organisation.

There is Strange New Worlds to allegedly look forward to, Anson Mount is a good actor and you could really see this when compared to the Discovery regulars. According to the UK magazine Radio Times:

“The long-awaited trailer for the series unveiled a more light-hearted tone to what we've seen from the other live-action Star Trek shows lately, specifically the noticeably more moody Discovery and Picard. That may come as a pleasant surprise to some purists, who have complained that the latest outings haven't represented the optimistic tone of Gene Roddenberry's original Star Trek vision”

So perhaps there is hope yet…but Alex Kutzman is one of its creators and a part me is saying ‘they are going to mess this up.’


I would like to thank everyone for their comments, its always been fun to read them. TV viewing is subjective and people may disagree with my view of Picard and I know some really like the show. Fair enough. I may see you guys again if Picard season 3 is on Amazon Prime or if Strange New Worlds is a decent show otherwise I will see you all on the season 3 The Orville comments section.
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James_B
Fri, May 6, 2022, 5:48am (UTC -5)
I was really shocked they did not write in a "Monolith" regarding Europa. They WERE warned to stay away back in 2010.
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Ilsat
Fri, May 6, 2022, 6:34am (UTC -5)
Why couldn't Renée die to save Rene?
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Jan
Fri, May 6, 2022, 7:20am (UTC -5)
That was a fun analysis, @Bryan, thanks for the chuckles.

I'll add another roll-eyes moment: any scientist worth their salt will have multiple backups, in a separate cloud, in a physical archival copy...

"So Borgati just HAD to say "One Renee must live, the other must die" when she could have said "If you want to foil Soong's plan, I recommend using a decoy." This is what I hate about Nu-Trek's Mystery Box formula. They have to constantly play things up to be more mysterious and impressive than they always turn out to be."

I hate this so much. It's a constant insult to the viewership intelligence and patience. Like Laris mind-control out of Total Eclipse of the Heart.
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KDalton_69
Fri, May 6, 2022, 7:47am (UTC -5)
I just want to say, I really would like more time on the Stargazer. For some reason it just intrigues me. Maybe that itch will be scratched by SNW.

The Picard-Q scenes are iconic. Loved the Wesley cameo. I really hope there is a lot less of Brent Spiner in the final season. I am kind of done with him being shoehorned into stories just so he can keep his SAG card.

This is not TNG. I have come to terms with that. I like the dealing with Picard as a man. First dealing with Data's loss, then the loss of his mother. My bet is that he dies in Season 3.

Myabe we've just all lionized Stewart and Picard so long, we forgot that TNG wasn't as iconic as we thought it was?
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KiminAsia
Fri, May 6, 2022, 8:08am (UTC -5)
Where to start. Perhaps the last few years have deadened my heart and hopes too much, but this finale was a dull, disappointing end to a largely confusing, unorganized season. Even the hug with Q just didn't feel right. I am not even going to mention all the unanswered questions.
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grey cat
Fri, May 6, 2022, 8:14am (UTC -5)
@NKhan nice post. I couldn't agree more. I could have written that post myself since I was a teenager watching Star Trek on BBC2 at 6pm on Wednesday.

I'd always really look forward to TNG and try and get other people to watch.. every time I'd pursuade someone it would be some really boring Klingon or talky episode that personally I still enjoyed but they were like "how do you watch this boring shit?"

TNG was a mixed bag, just like most shows of the era (X-Files, Buffy etc) but since there was only a vague series arc (if at all) in those series you could dip in and out if you wanted and hopefully hit a great episode.

That's probably the worst thing for me with DSC and PIC. There is no rewatch value at all. And like you I certainly won't be paying to watch them on Paramount+.

I know what you mean about "timepass" too. There's plenty of low budjet sci-fi films that aren't great but certainly watchable and vague entertaining (most recently I watched Europa Report on Amazon - it's... ok).

SNW however has a very promising pilot (ok i downloaded it, i'll admit it). Putting it on Paramount+ is a stupid idea imo. There are already too many streaming services.

Watching the PIC finale tonight. Hopefully it ties up everything and everyone will think season 2 was a masterpiece....
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Booming
Fri, May 6, 2022, 9:07am (UTC -5)
Guys, I can't do it. The weather is nice, I just got teary eyed about the office uk (tim and dawn) He gave her a gift so that she wouldn't give up on her dream to paint... Ok, full disclosure, I drank three glasses of white wine on an empty stomach. I really don't want to watch the episode. I can't, I can't!!! *storming out*
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k01iTSvU4es
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Patrick
Fri, May 6, 2022, 9:32am (UTC -5)
"This season is weird. Episodes 1, 2 and 10 were really good and episodes 3-9 were absolute crap."

O so 3/10 is worth a watch for you? I can't stand this mud pool so avoid it. How is this stuff still going on? Destroying their own legacy. Writers who stretch story lines needlessly and just throw together different writer materials. Writers who don't know much about anything ST and throw in big events like it is nothing. Forgetting about it after it happened. Consistency out of the window. Characters do not make sense. Etc etc etc.
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TheRealTrent
Fri, May 6, 2022, 9:38am (UTC -5)
I'm still confused by this season.

Q created the Confederation future to "teach Picard a lesson", but if so, why does he blame Picard for the future, and punch him in the nose? Why did Q say he was “a suture in the wound”? Why does he believe the "time line was broken" if nothing was ever actually broken? What was the “divergence point” they were trying to stop if the timeline never actually diverged?

Also, why does the watcher look like Laris?
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Nick
Fri, May 6, 2022, 9:58am (UTC -5)
If season one was about Picard saying goodbye to Data, then season two is all Picard making peace with and saying goodbye to Q. Does it make sense that Q's moving on? Not really with what little info is given. Does it have to? I don't really feel like it does since this show seems to be more about saying goodbye to all the characters from yesteryear and little more.

All Good Things... did the finale great, but the movies undid a good deal of that with Nemesis being an absolute low point for the series. I'm just taking ST: Picard as a sappy way to see all the characters from the old series get their last hurrah before moving off into the sunset. Do I wish the middle of these seasons were better? Yeah. But I also realize this is about a finish line for the TNG crew at long last after 35 years.

In this case, as vaguely explained as it was for Q to be dying, I think they stuck the landing. I expect the final season to be more of the same with the middling middle that is just there for the sake of being there while we get the nostalgia bombs in the start and the final farewell at the end for Picard and the rest of the crew (or should I say Stewart and the rest of the TNG cast?) in this reunion series. Hopefully it's a happy one, but we'll see.
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Booming
Fri, May 6, 2022, 11:39am (UTC -5)
Guys, I'm checking out. No last episode for me.

Let me leave you with one scene that is better than everything NuTrek has every produced.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XofDSBMB9f0
That's how they chose to portray the greatest military victory of the good guys.

NuTrek. You suck.
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Daniel
Fri, May 6, 2022, 11:41am (UTC -5)
Can't be cynical, loved the last Episode. The pacing felt right, character beats felt right. Got a bit teary-eyed for Q and Tallinn. Only thing I didn't care for was Soong.

Was totally like "whatever" to all the episodes in-between.. If they condensed Episodes 3-8 down to two, that would have been a stronger season probably.

I assume that the lifeform Renée brought back from Europa was a microbe that's extraordinarily efficient in using up CO2. If she didn't go, it would have been up to Soong to "save the world" with his drones and shield tech and humanity wouldn't have been saved by alien life. Actually, I really like that idea.

There's still a lot of unanswered questions and I feel that this entire season could have been so much more with proper planning and a writer's room that doesn't have to churn out scripts just to have something filmable - at least that's how it feels like.
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Jaxon
Fri, May 6, 2022, 12:06pm (UTC -5)
Daniel said:

"I assume that the lifeform Renée brought back from Europa was a microbe that's extraordinarily efficient in using up CO2."

If this were to come to pass in the real world, it would , if anything, validate the Republican claim that "God will take care of" ecological, environmental, and climate problems.

The discovery of unsentient extraterrestrial life will not end religion...it will be woven into it. This particular kind of life would be custom made for that...a lifeform created explicitly to serve our needs they'll call it.
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Bryan
Fri, May 6, 2022, 12:59pm (UTC -5)
The main problem I have with the alien microbes inexplicably solving the entire mess that humanity got itself into is not that people would perceive it as god-given, but that it's a Deus ex machina that shortchanges the story and even undercuts the broader theme of Star Trek. You know, of humanity evolving enough to save themselves by eventually heeding their better natures and using science and technology to solve problems rather than create them. So it's a real shame that the guy who's championing the technological optimism alternative is a cartoonish villain, and seemingly for no good reason.

It didn't have to be this way either. Noonian, the first Soong that we were introduced to, seemed more like a Promethian figure than a true villain. He was arrogant, sure. But if one is steal fire, or in this case "life", from the Gods, one would surely have to be. So I resent this gradual Flanderization of the Soongs into pure villains without much nuance.

It also seems like Khan and the eugenics projects that led up to that was Adam Soong's "Plan B" which he dusted off and pursued only because his more lucrative plan of saving planet Earth from environmental catastrophe was no longer an option. Therefore it seems like this interference in the timeline was responsible for the Eugenics Wars. Evil triumphed for a while because technological optimism was not allowed to flourish. Who would have imagined that deleting the research of one of the world's most brilliant scientists would set humanity's progress back a bit?

Some might be thinking "Yeah, but isn't that still better than the eventual formation of the evil Confederation hundreds of years later?" I don't believe that becoming evil is foisted upon us by anyone. It must be chosen. So can you really blame Adam Soong for the choices of leaders hundreds of years later? And if you think that Soong must have done SOMETHING pretty awful for the future to be so irrevocably fuct, I would say that that argument needs to come from the story itself, and not from your headcanon. And I would have welcomed that. Because at least then, if the writers had been more specific, they would have trashed the technological optimism, the very spirit of Trek, for something more substantial than evil for the sake of evil, which isn't very Trekkian at all.
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Jaxon
Fri, May 6, 2022, 1:03pm (UTC -5)
The "Deus" in "Deus ex machina" is literally "God".
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Bryan
Fri, May 6, 2022, 1:11pm (UTC -5)
Exactly. But there's a difference between an in-world divine influence, that only the characters can appreciate, however erroneously (which isn't so bad in my mind), and, in contrast, the writers invoking divine-like solutions which is something the audience would understand as such. Maybe the latter could also include the former, but the latter case, the Deux ex machina, is still much worse from a storytelling POV.
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Jaxon
Fri, May 6, 2022, 1:18pm (UTC -5)
Well "woke" writers were certainly never going to peddle the same explanation for a magic organism falling into humanity's lap that religious types would.
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Bryan
Fri, May 6, 2022, 1:35pm (UTC -5)
I think they kinda would. But only if the characters who perceived it that way were eventually proven wrong. They could even turn it into a Mystery Box if they wanted to. Kinda like everyone talking up the Wizard of Oz only to reveal that he's a charlatan when the curtains are pulled back. Or the plot of Star Trek V.
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RobSolf
Fri, May 6, 2022, 1:45pm (UTC -5)
"Also, why does the watcher look like Laris? "

@TheRealTrent It's implied that she's a distant relative to Laris. What does that mean to Laris, Picard, or the audience? Absolutely nothing. It's like they thought that creating a Memba-berry moment for a character that's not even 2 years old would somehow create meaning from nothing. I honestly can't dismiss the idea that it's solely due to a lazy casting department that didn't want to bother finding another actress to play the role. It would at least let the writers off the hook...
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dangerboy616
Fri, May 6, 2022, 2:10pm (UTC -5)
I watch the first two eps as they came out and fast forwarded through most of eps 2-5 and then the last episode.

When that ridiculous anomaly appeared at the end of the episode with the neutrino treknobabble my first thought was "Pagh-Wraiths!". Of course I would hate to see the hatchet job the moronic showrunners and writers would do to Sisko and DS9's legacy, not that they would probably touch that part of the franchise with a 70,000 light-year long stem-bolt anyways.
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Steve McCullagh
Fri, May 6, 2022, 2:10pm (UTC -5)
"It's not the despair, Laura. I can take the despair. It's the hope I can't stand." ~ Brian Stimpson (John Cleese), Clockwise.

Which is probably why I watched it all the way to the end, and will probably watch season 3 as well, despite knowing better. Because surely it will be good eventually...

Was all the bad of this season worth the two scenes with Picard and Q here? I genuinely don't know the answer to that one, but I did actually cry when they made their farewell, and I'm not ashamed to admit that.
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Booming
Fri, May 6, 2022, 2:28pm (UTC -5)
Ok Fate intervened. I didn't get a job I really wanted (at 19.00 on a Friday...), for which I had already planned to extensively brag. So before I crawl into a hole to die, I thought this make a nice prologue.

This is obviously bad and lots of things that make no sense. I will only count my lol moments.

- When Soong appears directly where Picard is, at the launch site. Somebody even says:"Dr. Soong." I laughed and thought, wow this was easy.

- Soong demanding access to the astronauts and the admin immediately agreeing to let him in after one reminder that he gave money.

- Soong humiliating that spineless admin some more. WTF.

- Rios destroying the drones 90s video game style. beep boop boop beep.

-Soong saying:" Oh piss off." After seeing that Renee somehow was on the ship.

- Poster in the background: Open a book, open your mind. :D

- Q telling Picard that he (Picard) is now ready to be loved. Man, these two would be cute together.

- Ego Trip Patrick Stewart stage 2. After becoming Jesus in season 1, now he has a god declaring his love for him.

- Raffi mental breakdown #41247

- Ok, come on. Five minutes earlier Q said that not everything has to be a galactic threat and then there is one. Hahaha.

- Ricardo put together a team to clean the oceans and heal the sky or something. Well, and then WW3 happened... maybe he cleaned that up, too.

So, it is over. I give it one unicorn and three drops of fairy dust.

@Bryan
Yes, anything is better than her noodle hair.
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SC
Fri, May 6, 2022, 3:02pm (UTC -5)
I'm sure its heart was in the right place, but the message feels like a smack in the face to many sci-fi fans, who often have trouble dating. Don't be alone! Find a partner, don't be like Q!

I liked the hug but the season overall is still a mess. Why was Q doing what he did? Because he didn't want Picard to be alone? Why was the future a mess? Did Q cause that or was this simply one timeline?

I suppose the Borg idea was clever and Rios staying behind, a good character ending, but overall Picard season 2 wasn't much better than season 1. Shame.
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SC
Fri, May 6, 2022, 3:17pm (UTC -5)
Parody. Patrick S, "Oh, the fans didn't like it. Well, who cares? Let me count my millions..." Does anyone re-watch this? Does it seem better or worse? I've only ever seen season 1 once. Ditto season 2.
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TheRealTrent
Fri, May 6, 2022, 3:36pm (UTC -5)
Sorry about your bad news, Booming.

Meanwhile, this season still confuses me (I only watched 3.5 episodes, and relied on Jammer's reviews to follow the season). Why does Q slap Picard and refer to the Confederacy timeline as "penance"?
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Booming
Fri, May 6, 2022, 3:46pm (UTC -5)
Thanks. The whole Q thing makes no sense. Why did he hire Soong to kill Picard? Soong almost succeeded. What then? Q didn't have his powers or did he?

"Why does Q slap Picard and refer to the Confederacy timeline as "penance"?"
Foreplay?
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Bryan
Fri, May 6, 2022, 4:06pm (UTC -5)
All the things that Q did previously are not the kind of things that the showrunners would want us to remember or ask questions about.
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The Queen
Fri, May 6, 2022, 4:09pm (UTC -5)
As seems to often happen, I'm kind of on a different page from most people here. Overall I liked this episode. The acting was fine except for the Renee Picard actor, speechifying was minimal and mostly good, and I had no problem with the pacing. I loved the surprise of Wesley the Traveler and his connection to the Watchers. I was surprised (yes I was, sue me) by the substitute Renee and enjoyed that little trick. I thought the rerun scene on the Stargazer with its aftermath was satisfying.

My biggest quibble was with the whole Picard/Q resolution scene. Q's lecture to Pic seemed forced IMO, and I didn't believe Pic would hug him. I also was disappointed in the Guinan scene, which seemed even worse written to me, and Whoopi just didn't seem good in the scene, for some reason I couldn't pinpoint.

All the loose ends were tied up fairly well, though most of them were predictable. Rios stayed, of course. In fact, that explains something that bothered me in the first episode: why Captain Rios was so passive and even let Picard start the autodestruct. If he had no effect on the situation, then he didn't need to be there! I appreciated that thread a lot.

Agnes was the new queen, of course. And the Borg's new relationship with the Federation is, IMO, very Trekkish. Looking up "transwarp conduit," I found from Memory Alpha that it is specifically a Borg construct, which is an interesting angle.

Soong will develop Khan, of course (I'm puzzled that people didn't expect that).

So at the end of this season, I've personally rated it with 6 positive episodes, 2 hit-or-miss, and 2 negative - and yet I'm still disappointed in the season. The reasons are not the individual episodes but the overall theme and treatment of characters. Hands up if you ever actually wanted to see a character study of Picard highlighting all his flaws? Now, those who really can accept that this highly effective, compassionate, brave, intensely curious, diplomatic, supportive captain beloved by his crew had such intense guilt over his mother's death that it crippled him emotionally? And that it had to take an entire season to deal with it? There's an episode of ST Continues called "The White Iris" that addresses Captain Kirk's similar guilt about the women he loved that IMO did a much better job.

The other character whom I couldn't accept this season was, sadly, Q. Q seems to have gone from Zeus, or maybe Loki, to Jesus. There was no explanation of how he could die at all, let alone from what. But even if all that is allowed, how do you correlate the Q of this episode with the Q of eppies 4 and 5, where he is actively scheming to thwart Picard, stop the Europa mission, and help Soong?

Finally, the time line. I really did a rolleyes when Rios said he got all the "butterflies" but then DIDN'T MENTION HIMSELF. Pretending that he really belonged in this timeline was a huge copout. And the in-joke of "does everything have to be of galactic import?" just before having Pic handle a galactic quadrant threat was just annoying.

So, next season?

By the way, those of you who say "Seven will be back" or "Matalas abandoned it," how do you find these things out?
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Jeffrey's Tube
Fri, May 6, 2022, 4:13pm (UTC -5)
@ SC

In the first six months of 2021, I rewatched Star Trek. ALL of Star Trek. TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY, ENT. The Animated Series. All the movies, including the Kelvin ones. The first season of Lower Decks, again, and the first three seasons of Discovery, again. All the Short Treks. So literally everything. Except for the first season of Picard, again.

I either didn't feel the need to or just didn't feel like it, I guess. I can't exactly tell you why not. But for whatever reason, the fact remains: I didn't.

So that's one person's experience, for whatever it says or means about the show, if anything, you'd care to read into it.

This second season ended up being vastly worse. I can't imagine myself wanting to see it again, but we'll see if I get curious about if my memories of it are actually as bad as it is in a decade's time. Hey, I even rewatched the first two seasons of ENT last year, after all. (And, if anything, they were even worse the second time around.)
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Jaxon
Fri, May 6, 2022, 4:17pm (UTC -5)
Seven being back was just a tweet from Jeri Ryan when the TNG cast coming back announcement came. I just assumed the tweet meant she worked with them.
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SC
Fri, May 6, 2022, 4:44pm (UTC -5)
As others have pointed out, the Q storyline makes zero sense. He tells Soong to kill Picard and slaps Picard, and tells him 'penance,' yet he loves him, WTF!

@Jeffrey's Tube Wow, I'm not really sure what to say to that! You like Star Trek, a lot. I've only seen a few episodes from TOS season 1 and stopped. I've seen most of TNG, once, some favourite episodes a few times. I've seen DS9 once. I haven't seen Voyager. Enterprise, I gave up during season 1. It was fine, I just stopped watching. Lower Decks, I've seen both seasons, once. 10 short episodes certainly helps. I don't think I'd have the time to watch 22 episode seasons now, or care to.
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Jaxon
Fri, May 6, 2022, 4:49pm (UTC -5)
"He tells Soong to kill Picard and slaps Picard, and tells him 'penance,' yet he loves him"

Everyone tries to run the people they love down with a speeding automobile...don't you?
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Jaxon
Fri, May 6, 2022, 4:51pm (UTC -5)
Sure Soong was aiming for Renee, but....isn't Q omniscient?

Didn't he know what would happen?
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SC
Fri, May 6, 2022, 4:53pm (UTC -5)
"Everyone tries to run the people they love down with a speeding automobile...don't you?"

Only when I'm in a bad mood :)
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Keiren
Fri, May 6, 2022, 5:03pm (UTC -5)
Question...

Why did Patrick Stewart agree to do this show?

Do you think he is proud of it?

It would be so interesting to hear an honest interview of what he thinks and how fans feel
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Yukikaze
Fri, May 6, 2022, 5:16pm (UTC -5)
A friend's reaction to this episode mirrors mine exactly: "Picard concluded in a good spot, but damn it was laborious getting there!"
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Chrome
Fri, May 6, 2022, 5:26pm (UTC -5)
"Will wheaton clearly hasn't acted in a long time. This was rough, rougher even than his early child work in TNG. I guess acting is a muscle that needs to be trained to work properly, he clearly was a lot better in later TNG seasons as a teenager."

He played himself, or at least a version of himself, as Sheldon's nemesis on The Big Bang Theory. I thought he did great there, but unfortunately that same character doesn't translate well into this show.

It might've been better if they challenged Wheaton more. Him just showing up and doing an elevator pitch is hardly a test of his acting.

@The Queen

"By the way, those of you who say "Seven will be back" or "Matalas abandoned it," how do you find these things out?"

Trekmovie and various other sites publish tons commentary from the showrunners. I'm not really into it myself, but Google nowadays recommends such things based on your searches.
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Nick
Fri, May 6, 2022, 7:12pm (UTC -5)
I actually think that some of the overarching concepts of the season were very good. But there was only about 4 episodes of material and whoever filled in the details did a terrible job.

For example I really liked the idea that Q was dying and wanted to help Picard so he wouldn’t die alone. I also liked putting a new twist on the Borg. They are good ideas but didn’t translate into good season long story arcs. It felt like they had a good idea person but then delegated it all down to junior writers.
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Jeffrey's Tube
Fri, May 6, 2022, 7:59pm (UTC -5)
I wonder if they wrote the entire season before filming. A lot of these short serialized 10-episode series or miniseries do. If they did . . . did they stop and read what they wrote before filming, or did they run out of time? If they didn't . . . why the hell not?
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Robert
Fri, May 6, 2022, 9:56pm (UTC -5)
The ending made very little sense, but I am hardly surprised. I stopped caring about 4 episodes ago.

Q tried to have Picard killed mid-season and now they are family chums? Yeah ok.

An alternate Borg collective that nobody knew about but was always there? Never went to war with the Borg that we already knew about?

Who stopped Renee from flying in the first place, when it seems like the only people who tried to do so were doing so because Picard was there?

My most important question... why did it take TEN EPISODES to tell us anything? The spatial anomaly... it was crammed in for the last 10 minutes of the entire season.

Why would Borg Jurati not just appear on the stargazer and lower her helmet so that everyone could see she was alternate-timeline Jurati?? The curiosity of it would have stopped the fighting immediately.

This whole thing is just so hamfisted. We didn't need 8 episodes to resolve what happened in the first 2. They did a whole long song and dance that was utterly pointless.

And why the heck does future Talinn look identical to not-Talinn? Why do writers suddenly think it's okay in a sci-fi universe to surprise us with Talinn in the past only to tell us she's not actually Talinn, yet she looks identical??? In what universe is this normal? They pulled the same thing with Tasha Yar and Admiral Sela. Wow, her daughter looks identical to her! What odds!

This is crap.
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Ilsat
Fri, May 6, 2022, 11:06pm (UTC -5)
So Booming, despite your repeated promises, you watched it. This, in a nutshell, is the problem. You can't help yourself.
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Ilsat
Fri, May 6, 2022, 11:08pm (UTC -5)
Chrome -"I thought [Will Wheaton] did great there, but unfortunately that same character doesn't translate well into this show."

Even you don't believe the bullshit coming out of your mouth.
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Flipsider
Sat, May 7, 2022, 1:44am (UTC -5)
I want to make a specific criticism about the one element of this episode that people have been praising: the Q and Picard talk scene. Personally I find this scene to fall very flat.

It's not just because it wildly contradicts Q's behavior throughout the season-- this scene just simply isn't interesting. How could it be interesting when it's not only an overly simplistic examining of Picard and Q's relationship... it's redundant! Is it supposed to be a revelation that Q *likes* Picards? This was already basically spelled out back in TNG... especially in episodes like Tapestry and All Good Things.

And in fact, the plot of Picard Season 2 is basically overall a more muddled and needlessly convoluted version of Tapestry. Of *course* it all comes down to Q just simply trying to help Picard because he likes him... he has already done that before! We already KNEW those things!

Sure, the scene was well acted... and sure, it has resonance because it's great for the audience to see these two iconic characters go through the motions that we all know and love again. But that's all it's doing, going through the motions of themes already better presented in the classic show. It's a desperate immitation of classic Star Trek moments... It's hollow.
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Booming
Sat, May 7, 2022, 3:41am (UTC -5)
@Flipsider
Oh it is actually even hollower. It's a repeat of the Data death scene. People for some reason loved that scene, so they just did it again. Personally, I did not like the Data assisted suicide scene. First of all Data would have lived far longer if he wasn't trapped in a cube, they even gave Data wrinkles and all. I get it, we Humans tend to humanize other life forms but still why would an android living in some form of virtual reality develop wrinkles? Something he wouldn't get in his actual android body. Second why would an android want to die, even if he wants to experience death because people die but people don't want to die, we have to. Third, Picard talks to Data for 5 min and then is immediately ready to help Data to commit suicide. Think about it, if you meat someone after many years and that someone is completely healthy but feels old (even though he is actually not) would you, after a short conversation, agree to kill that friend, instead of, I don't know, get him a psychologist. Fourth, Data didn't even ask if Geordie was alright. His best friend.
But people loved it and so we get another scene like it. This time though it's not as powerful anymore. I guess they will kill of quite a few of the old tng crew in season 3 or have some picture frame scene where they are all together and hug or something. On a sociological level I'm somewhat interested what kind of emotional sledgehammer they will use in season 3 to make the fans say:"Ok the season was terrible but this last scene gave me all the feels."
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Bumblebert
Sat, May 7, 2022, 3:51am (UTC -5)
Well that was drivel. All over the map! These showrunners are paid millions for this crap - this is Star Dreck!
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dave
Sat, May 7, 2022, 5:25am (UTC -5)
@ Jeffreys Tube

I am not sure how you could fit in 700 hours of Trek in 6 months, but FFS good on you.

I often wish I had the time to do something like that. Im 50 now and the prospect if seeing every Trek episode again seems unlikely. Would be fun to be able to run through everything from top to bottom. Maybe in retirement.
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Eric Jensen
Sat, May 7, 2022, 5:51am (UTC -5)
//The discovery of unsentient extraterrestrial life will not end religion...it will be woven into it. This particular kind of life would be custom made for that...a lifeform created explicitly to serve our needs they'll call it.//

Not really... it is on another planet/moon, not Earth. If it was designed, why put it on another planet? Well, the need to explore. That is just curiosity. And curiosity got Eve banished from Eden...
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Eric Jensen
Sat, May 7, 2022, 6:07am (UTC -5)
Star Trek has always been woke. Uhura, for one. Though it was still "sexist" in some ways. Kirk and his womanising ways. Spock was half human and half Vulcan. Sulu was Asian! So if you think this Picard show was woke, SHUT UP.
On the whole, it was more "woke", more progressive and more "leftist".
The original series TOS was cancelled even! It moved onto the movies. Then came TNG.
Everything was progressive. Troi was half human, half Betazoid. Worf, a Klingon in Starfleet. An android Data on the Bridge!

Star Trek has always been about solving problems, within a diverse cast. It has also been political. It has always been about ethics. The kiss between Uhura and Kirk was one of the few interracial kisses on TV.

I watch the show because of what it stands for. Writers can be awful, but the message or the "moral of the story" is still there. 1. The Borg can be an ally. However stupid it may be. 2. Love can be found again 3. The right action will always come about (history is preserved). 4. Working together is what brings peace.

Star Trek will always be alive, even though it has been cancelled and will be cancelled... (hmmm?)
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Sven
Sat, May 7, 2022, 6:18am (UTC -5)
The finale was ok, most of the time. It sadly can't take away how over-complicated and often silly some of the arcs during the season were (especially Rios's). It had me and the misses thinking: Oh, well, at least we can move on now. I watched the beginning of the final season of The Expanse immediately afterward. Quite refreshing. Think I may throw in some DS9 this afternoon to further clean my palate.
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Alienatbar
Sat, May 7, 2022, 6:27am (UTC -5)
Sorry Jurati, you can’t be a sexy Borg Queen. The worst rendering since Sarah Jessica Parker in Mars Attacks. Was she supposed to be a pez dispenser, a PlayStation Move controller or Mrs Vader?
Tannin/Renee interaction horrible. 2 seconds after it whilst Tannin distracts Soong, Renee takes off in the rocket like she was leaving the house without taking out the garbage first. Was there no launch prep???
Elnor return was laughable.
Didn’t mind the Q and Picard piece except I thought they could have given Q and de Lancie a bigger send off. No, let’s shoot this in a wood around LA. Instead we get a silly random galactic event money soaker.
Best acting and lines for the season go to…..
Stargazer Helm.
‘Where’s Captain Rios?’ I’ve had my head up my arse for the last 5 minutes’?
‘That thing is about to blow’! Me study science’
‘Shields holding. I think it worked! Big blowy things me study’.
Aw.Ful.
Can auto destruct sequences be cancelled without a command code?
What was Raffi doing on the Stargazar? Wasn’t she on the Excelsior??
To repeat the mantra of this season, thee most awful fucking writing ever.
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Alienatbar
Sat, May 7, 2022, 6:38am (UTC -5)
I’m with you Sven. DS9 it is.
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KiminAsia
Sat, May 7, 2022, 7:17am (UTC -5)
I was so disappointed with my first watch that I really struggled about deciding if it was worth a second. I started with the Q meeting. It still feels very off, when he was trying to have Picard bumped off a few episodes earlier, and I still don't buy the hug. But if you just push all the questions to the back of your mind, it was not as painful, almost poignant in places. Is this NuTrek? Don't question, just let it flow?
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PaulD
Sat, May 7, 2022, 7:29am (UTC -5)
Did I hear the First Contact theme toward the end of the show?
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Chrome
Sat, May 7, 2022, 8:03am (UTC -5)
"Chrome .... Even you don't believe the bullshit coming out of your mouth."

That's not how keyboards work.
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Ilsat
Sat, May 7, 2022, 8:23am (UTC -5)
Keyboards? Where you're from they don't use keyboards.
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Chrome
Sat, May 7, 2022, 8:26am (UTC -5)
Good one.
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Booming
Sat, May 7, 2022, 8:53am (UTC -5)
Hey Chrome, let me hand you my label maker. Uh wait, I just want to put a word in
T
r
o
l
l

Ok here, use it as many times as you need. ;)
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KiminAsia
Sat, May 7, 2022, 9:07am (UTC -5)
Chrome and Booming, I have been interested to read your observations in the past, but if you want to start a personal pissing match, can you please take it offline? Thanks.
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Chrome
Sat, May 7, 2022, 9:23am (UTC -5)
Lol, hey now! I liked Booming's comment. I guess I should have expected any good faith attempt to discuss Will Wheaton to get trolled.

I was thinking just in terms of Star Trek, Wheaton had "Evolution", "The Game" and "First Duty". I really don't think he's bad with the right writers.
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Ilsat
Sat, May 7, 2022, 9:48am (UTC -5)
For all of you claiming Pill will be back for Season 3:

After her assimilation as the new Borg Queen, Dr. Agnes Jurati’s story has come to an end as Alison Pill shared with MovieWeb this week that she didn’t participate in filming on Star Trek: Picard’s third and final season.

So, is she really lying? Is this all some sort of bizarre ruse?
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Booming
Sat, May 7, 2022, 9:54am (UTC -5)
I was giving the label maker to Chrome to use on others. Sorry, second language and all. I thought that was clear. :)
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Ilsat
Sat, May 7, 2022, 9:55am (UTC -5)
Will Wheaton was the most accomplished actor, certainly for American audiences, when TNG started. Chrome is spot on that he had some good performances. Which is why it is so bizarre that his career took a nosedive. It can't be his portrayal of Wesley as only so many people watched TNG at that time.

I would also point out that Wheaton looks pathetic in trying so very hard to get a cameo here. Like someone kicked out of the cool clique years ago desperately trying to get back in. And his serial killer, lunatic smile does him no favors considering the track record of these Travelers. Eric McCormack can only do so much to right those wrongs.
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Ilsat
Sat, May 7, 2022, 9:55am (UTC -5)
Lol, Booming you can't even get that right.
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Ilsat
Sat, May 7, 2022, 9:57am (UTC -5)
PaulD - I believe you did. I caught that too but it was hard to tell definitively.
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Ilsat
Sat, May 7, 2022, 10:03am (UTC -5)
Look, overall, this show creates more problems than Discovery because of the use of existing, iconic characters. Discovery at least was able to tap into Spock before his TOS timeline, giving them some latitude with the character. Here, Picard just doesn't feel like Picard any longer. Age changes a man, that I think we can all admit. But not to this level, not with the essence of Picard - his way of interacting with others, his high-mindedness, the sheer POWER of the man's presence. Inner Light gives us an aging Picard who is forced to inhabit another's life, midstream. To become him. Yet, even there, as radical as that experience was, you still saw the Picard we knew and remembered from the Enterprise Bridge.

You can do a great many things with a show like this. But one thing you can't do is sabotage the essence of one of these most iconic characters of the last 30 years.
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Booming
Sat, May 7, 2022, 10:14am (UTC -5)
@IIsat
Chrome liked it and that is all that counts because we are in love. LOVE! Which is something that you will never understand.

Oh and to you, honey, you are giving off serious David Brent vibes.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_au0UUHI2aI
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Dom
Sat, May 7, 2022, 10:23am (UTC -5)
There are so many plot contrivances in this show. The whole season could have been avoided if characters just communicated at a basic level. And it retroactively makes the first episode - easily the best of the season - much worse.

- Why when Jurati contacted Picard wouldn't she just say there's a massive galactic threat, here are the coordinates, and let's go fix it? Why wouldn't she explain what she was doing when assimilating the ship instead of acting like a threat and suddenly whipping out her tentacles?

- Why exactly does Rios like 21st century Earth when his main experience was getting detained by ICE? Dr. Teresa is cute, but their relationship just didn't seem so amazing that Rios would basically give up his life in the future.

- Would NASA or any other space agency really let a rich donor meet an astronaut uninvited minutes before the launch of a major mission? How does he just happen to have drones that can take out the spaceship (also, we don't have that tech in 2022)?

- And why is Q dying? Didn't Voyager establish that death is a foreign concept for the Q.

On the whole, this season just feels like plot salad. The writers threw some ideas at a wall and didn't bother to develop them or craft them into a narrative that flowed well. It's remarkably bad writing. I would really urge the writers to take a moment before season 3 and figure out what they want to do with this story. They have the whole TNG crew back together. Don't waste their time!
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Ilsat
Sat, May 7, 2022, 10:38am (UTC -5)
Love is a fickle thing, Booming. Don't put all of your eggs in one metal basket. You'll get a rash.
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Jaxon
Sat, May 7, 2022, 11:01am (UTC -5)
Dom said:

" I would really urge the writers to take a moment before season 3 and figure out what they want to do with this story. "

Too late.. S3 has already wrapped.
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TheRealTrent
Sat, May 7, 2022, 12:19pm (UTC -5)
If Q instigated this entire plot because he doesn't want to die alone, why does he barely interact with Picard? And doesn't he have other Q and family members he can hang with (isn't it established that he has family?)?

Also "Voyager" establishes that the Q have a non-linear view of time, and can see everything. So how is his "death" something that surprises Q?
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Jaxon
Sat, May 7, 2022, 12:32pm (UTC -5)
The "galactic level" anomaly is still the stupidest part of an otherwise stupid episode.

The anomaly's "beam" was no more than 10 km wide. At point blank range, the fleet's shields were more than a match for it, and they didn't even lose a ship to it. The power of that beam would only dissipate with distance, even if something was in its direct path. That it could destroy even a sector of space was pretty laughable.
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Bok R'Mor
Sat, May 7, 2022, 12:45pm (UTC -5)
Woeful show and a woeful season that delights in dismantling everything we loved about TNG era Trek. Truly appalling incoherent, incompetent, inconsistent plotting with everything apparently being made up as the writers go along as well.

That said, I did find the Q/Picard farewell scene very moving *solely* because I viewed it specifically as Stewart and de Lancie coming full circle after 35 years. But note I say 'Stewart and de Lancie' here as these two characters barely resemble the Picard and Q we knew previously. Seven is the same. These are the same characters in name only.

The Wheaton cameo was thoroughly bizarre and his performance was actually quite unsettling.
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Jaxon
Sat, May 7, 2022, 12:56pm (UTC -5)
Apparently if you're invited to become a Traveler you have to make the decision on the spot. No sleeping on it I guess....
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Jeffrey’s Tube
Sat, May 7, 2022, 1:57pm (UTC -5)
@ dave

Pandemic and working from home. Easy to have Star Trek going on my third monitor at all times.
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Jason R.
Sat, May 7, 2022, 2:05pm (UTC -5)
I was going to do a blow by blow on all the incredible stupidity but what's the point? Others beat me to it. That said I at least wasn't bored. And like the Picard / Data farewell, I enjoyed Q's last hurrah even if it could have been about 100 times better if it were in the service of a remotely sensible plot.
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Jason R.
Sat, May 7, 2022, 2:12pm (UTC -5)
"- Why when Jurati contacted Picard wouldn't she just say there's a massive galactic threat, here are the coordinates, and let's go fix it? Why wouldn't she explain what she was doing when assimilating the ship instead of acting like a threat and suddenly whipping out her tentacles?"

Not to mention why in blazes was she wearing a mask if her whole plan was based on the premise that Picard would know and trust her?

Roger Ebert called this the idiot plot. This is one of worst I've personally encountered.
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Cletus
Sat, May 7, 2022, 5:08pm (UTC -5)
For being a "character study", s1 and s2 have been remarkably unenlightening. Each had the seed of something interesting, s1 with Picard being disillusioned with starfleets path, s2 exploring his emotional distance, but both have been marred with such poor plotting and writing that the potential is wasted. When reflecting on the character, I doubt s1 and s2 are going to be given much weight in current or future trek fans heads, the whole project has felt like a waste (maybe s3 will miraculously save it). And as others have stated it really doesn't feel like Picard on screen but Stewart. It's not impossible for characters to return decades later and remain faithful to the original characterization while still developing them. Not many examples I can think of but the TOS films did it and Cobra Kai as cheesy as it is has done justice to all the returning OG chars.
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Jeffrey's Tube
Sat, May 7, 2022, 5:20pm (UTC -5)
@ Jason R.

The idea is that if she does that, she won't create the set of circumstances that led to her existing in the first place. Which of course begs the question of how it is she's the one who causes the set of circumstances that lead to her existence in the first place. It's the bootstrap paradox. At least in this case the writers have the "out" of "Q did it" and can just handwave all that, because Q is a being that deals with unknowable forces of the universe.

I didn't say it isn't dumb. In fact, I think it's spectacularly dumb. It's lazy storytelling by writers who aren't interested in science fiction. But, that's the rationale for why Jurati acted the way she did in the pilot that they're operating under.

(And yeah, we can "Why didn't they just _________ ?" this to death, but the answer will always be "Because this is the way it happened" or "Because Q wanted it this way (for some unknowable reason).")
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Jaxon
Sat, May 7, 2022, 5:47pm (UTC -5)
That's why I'm not a fan of any of the Q episodes where reality is altered.

That includes Tapestry. It's premise is almost as flawed as this was.

Q explicitly promises Picard that the alternate future won't affect anyone but himself, but simple logic tells us that's impossible, and it's immediately demonstrated to be untrue.

For starters, in the alternate future, the Enterprise is commanded by a Captain Thomas Halloway, so right there another person's future has been changed....Halloway's.

Also, we know from dialogue that Picard handpicked Riker for his first officer because he wanted a first officer that would stand up to him (not let him lead an away team, etc.). A Captain Halloway surely would have picked a different first officer, and yet Riker is the first officer in the alternate future...so we have a person whose future *should* have been altered but wasn't because Frakes is a series regular. This is almost as bad as the Isa Briones & Orly Brady playing several roles because they're on the payroll.

We also know from dialogue that LaForge was selected to serve on the Enterprise by Picard because he stayed up all night repairing an engine oddity because of an offhanded comment that Picard made. So, again, LaForge would not be aboard, and certainly not Chief Engineer, of an Enterprise commanded by Halloway...yet another person whose future should be altered but isn't only because Burton is a regular.

Then of course Q-Pid bent reality too, and was also stupid.
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Jaxon
Sat, May 7, 2022, 5:53pm (UTC -5)
Like PIC S2, Tapestry tried to sell us on the notion that ONE and ONLY ONE event totally shaped a future. Picard had already become teh first freshman to win the academy marathon by this point. It's absurd that someone with that drive and that was seenas a prodigy by the msot distinguished archaeology professor in the Federation would be a dreary sexagenarian junior lieutenant in...astrometrics (?!?)
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Jaxon
Sat, May 7, 2022, 6:30pm (UTC -5)
Would have been more realistic if the alternate future had Picard being the next Galen, but that and a real heart probably would have made Picard say "SOLD!"
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Dahj’s Digital Ghost
Sat, May 7, 2022, 6:45pm (UTC -5)
@Jaxon — “the next Galen, ‘SOLD!’”

And if something like that had been the premise for ST:PIC, I would have said, “SOLD!”
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Jaxon
Sat, May 7, 2022, 6:53pm (UTC -5)
Eh...I dunno...we might have gotten ten episodes of Gambit...
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Dahj’s Digital Ghost
Sat, May 7, 2022, 7:13pm (UTC -5)
Yeah, two episodes of Gambit was quite enough. But I would liked to see Picard move onto something after Starfleet that really meant something to him. S1 mentioned that he’d become a historian. Anyway….

What would you have liked to see in the first place with Picard, Jaxon?
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Jaxon
Sat, May 7, 2022, 7:36pm (UTC -5)
If Stewart was unwilling to play anything other than himself in space, I'd have passed on any Picard series.
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modulum
Sat, May 7, 2022, 7:39pm (UTC -5)
When Picard S1 first started, I was imagining it was going to build towards Picard going on a The Chase-style archaeological quest to investigate the cause of the Romulan supernova, culminating in the reveal that the Iconians were responsible. Admittedly, that's ridiculously indulgent novelverse-type shit, but I still think that would be cool.
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dave
Sat, May 7, 2022, 8:55pm (UTC -5)
MAYBE, and yes I know this is total fantasy as this point, the team making Pic Season 3 will see the significant difference in audience reception for Strange New Worlds and re-think their writing and strategy. They have to know that this season is getting ripped for the most part; and would want to be motivated to go out with the old TNG cast with something more fans will be able to accept.
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Jaxon
Sat, May 7, 2022, 9:03pm (UTC -5)
"the team making Pic Season 3"

it's made...they're committed to whatever they've already done
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Flipsider
Sat, May 7, 2022, 9:10pm (UTC -5)
You know what would have been great, for a "Picard" show? How about instead of immediately whisking Picard away with an annoying new crew, just spend a few episodes on him, establishing what his current life is. So he has a relationship with a Romulan woman? Great! Let's spend some episodes just getting to know them, how thier relationship started, and what it means to him. Let's learn about what his current friendships are, how his life has changed, and if he's happy where he is or if he has any regrets.

You know... like an *actual character study* of Picard. It honestly could have made great TV.
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dave
Sat, May 7, 2022, 9:19pm (UTC -5)
@Jaxon

I must have missed/forgot that Pic S 3 is already filmed! Ah well, I had hope! Seems some of it was even filmed concurrently with S2 which means it is going to be pretty much the exact same style of writing and storytelling :(
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Artymiss
Sun, May 8, 2022, 2:17am (UTC -5)
@Flipsider

Maybe. But how is that science fiction (apart from him having a relationship with a Romulan?) I didn't even watch the last episode, I stopped ten minutes into the previous one. Dreadful stuff. There is well written science fiction and there is badly written science fiction and this is badly written (and I'm being polite). I don't think it has to have several episodes spent on a character study of Picard to be more interesting viewing, the character aspects should be organically evolving out of the plot and/or the plot evolving out of the characters. I don't think these writers have a clue what to do with the characters. And another thing, there are too many characters!!! It worked with old ST because the seasons had so many episodes but here they have to cram all sorts of silly plot strands in at breakneck speed to give all the characters some air time.

Anyway I'm off to watch Farscape on Prime which I haven't seen since it originally aired.
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Cristóbal
Sun, May 8, 2022, 3:24am (UTC -5)
@Jaxon for that reason I always imagined Picard's alternate present in Tapestry to be a Q-contrived fabrication or simulation, rather than a "real" alternative reality/history/timeline/whatever.
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Bok R'Mor
Sun, May 8, 2022, 3:31am (UTC -5)
@Cletus
@Jaxon

PIC really is just Star Trek: Patrick Stewart. We all love Stewart (rightly so) but the indulgent self-inserts that began with the Argo in 'Nemesis' have now completely eclipsed the Jean-Luc we remember; my understanding is that Stewart only signed on for PIC on condition that Picard would be presented/explored in a radically different way (i.e. more like Stewart himself).

So we have a Picard who is not written like Picard, and who does not act or sound like Picard. He is a completely different person. It's profoundly disappointing - no matter how much I understand that Stewart was tired of the character and that he had particular topics he himself wanted to explore.

As a consequence it is hard to see PIC and actually see Picard on screen. I just see Patrick Stewart doing things that Patrick Stewart is interested in, as Patrick Stewart. The suspension of disbelief isn't there most of the time, for me at least.

As I said further up this thread: when Stewart hugs de Lancie farewell it moves me because I interpret it as two dear colleagues who've worked together for 35 years embracing and saying their goodbyes to each other. And I think back to 1987, and the passage of time, and how distant we all are from our own earlier lives. I don't actually see Picard and Q.
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Bok R'Mor
Sun, May 8, 2022, 3:33am (UTC -5)
The irony here of course is that Stewart also verges on being a bit part player in a series in which his character is actually supposed to be the lead.
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Bok R'Mor
Sun, May 8, 2022, 4:00am (UTC -5)
@Artymiss

'I don't think these writers have a clue what to do with the characters. And another thing, there are too many characters!!!'

This is a very important point. It's particularly noticeable with the Elnor (most of all) and Kore plotlines and the conspicuous shoe-horning of Laris into her not-Laris Watcher role. (I personally very much like Orla Brady, so I wasn't against finding a way of including her, but the solution chosen was ham-fisted and bizarre.)

It all feels hyper-active and slapdash, and poorly planned. Raffi's pining over Elnor, which even intrudes like some sort of soap opera intermission into moments of action and high drama, feels like nothing more than a way of giving Evan Evagora contractual screen time. It's so glaring.
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Ilsat
Sun, May 8, 2022, 5:57am (UTC -5)
You people are like gastronomic PhDs who come across a pile of dogshit. You examine the texture, color, size and location of the dogshit. You speculate jabout its origins, about the tasty treat it once was. Before it became dogshit. Some of you prostrate yourselves before it, shoving your face in it. Just to get a nice whiff of its dogshittedness. Others question if its actually dogshit at all. A few courageous cats even sample it. Just to be sure.

Meanwhile, Kurtzman comes along, walking his dog. He chuckles. He then has Rover take a nice, big dogshit next to you. And you're on to the next pile.
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KiminAsia
Sun, May 8, 2022, 7:06am (UTC -5)
https://www.jammersreviews.com/st-picard/s2/farewell.php#comment-95189

That was a very astute comment
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KiminAsia
Sun, May 8, 2022, 7:14am (UTC -5)
Sorry that did not copy over properly. This was a telling comment.

Bok R'Mor
Sun, May 8, 2022, 3:33am (UTC -5)
The irony here of course is that Stewart also verges on being a bit part player in a series in which his character is actually supposed to be the lead.
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Bok R'Mor
Sun, May 8, 2022, 7:18am (UTC -5)
@KiminAsia

Could you expand a little upon what you mean?
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Maq
Sun, May 8, 2022, 10:32am (UTC -5)
The apperance of Wesley Crusher was one of the things that irritated me least in this season. In fact I liked it. It made me smile.
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Patrick
Sun, May 8, 2022, 10:35am (UTC -5)
https://www.jammersreviews.com/st-picard/s2/farewell.php#comment-95192

PERFECT 10/10
It IS shit. Kurtzman's shit.
Or kids throwing paint at a canvas and calling it Art.

There is zero consistency or coherent structure in the story being told. And people watch this shieit? Why? Why give this company money if you can't stand it?
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dangerboy616
Sun, May 8, 2022, 1:32pm (UTC -5)
So Wesley and The Watchers (great nerdcore band name!) are basically the ceiling cats of the universe...
(minus the Prime Directive)
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Jaxon
Sun, May 8, 2022, 3:51pm (UTC -5)
Cristóbal said:

"or that reason I always imagined Picard's alternate present in Tapestry to be a Q-contrived fabrication or simulation, rather than a "real" alternative reality/history/timeline/whatever. "

I like "Fun With Reality" stories about as much as Jammer likes "Fun With DNA" stories.
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Skyelord
Sun, May 8, 2022, 5:06pm (UTC -5)
Personally I enjoy much of this episode. There was no wat they were going to make sense of that mess of plotlines in the final episode but they has a damn good try.

Some genuine touching scenes too.

If they trimmed out around 3 episodes of this season and cut out a few plots all together it would have been a pretty decent season.

3 stars.
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Tim M
Sun, May 8, 2022, 7:48pm (UTC -5)
Agree, Skyelord. I thought this episode hit most of the marks, and I really enjoyed the Q/Picard and Tallinn/Picard scenes. It was ***/**** for me.

Overall, I thought Eps 1, 2, and 10 were great, 3 and 9 good, and 4-8 varying amounts of filler that could have been condensed into two or three episodes. IMHO, if the season had been condensed to 7 episodes total, I the pacing would have been more even and the plot would have felt tighter.

I'm also pretty sure they said the alt-Queen came through some sort of interdimensional rift, so they "crossed over" from an alternate Confederation timeline vs being in hiding for 400 years. The "prime" Borg still exist, but in a decimated state thanks to (I guess) a combination of Species 8472 and Endgame-future-Janeway's virus.
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Brian
Sun, May 8, 2022, 8:24pm (UTC -5)
@Bok R'Mor

"PIC really is just Star Trek: Patrick Stewart. We all love Stewart (rightly so) but the indulgent self-inserts that began with the Argo in 'Nemesis' have now completely eclipsed the Jean-Luc we remember; my understanding is that Stewart only signed on for PIC on condition that Picard would be presented/explored in a radically different way (i.e. more like Stewart himself).

So we have a Picard who is not written like Picard, and who does not act or sound like Picard. He is a completely different person. It's profoundly disappointing - no matter how much I understand that Stewart was tired of the character and that he had particular topics he himself wanted to explore.

As a consequence it is hard to see PIC and actually see Picard on screen. I just see Patrick Stewart doing things that Patrick Stewart is interested in, as Patrick Stewart. The suspension of disbelief isn't there most of the time, for me at least.

As I said further up this thread: when Stewart hugs de Lancie farewell it moves me because I interpret it as two dear colleagues who've worked together for 35 years embracing and saying their goodbyes to each other. And I think back to 1987, and the passage of time, and how distant we all are from our own earlier lives. I don't actually see Picard and Q."

Yep. Well said. Except I don't believe for a second Patrick Stewart needed to wreck the Star Trek name just to do his own show. He could have easily gotten someone to indulge him with an actual Patrick Stewart reality show or something if he really wanted to.

I don't know what I saw when Picard hugged Q but I think it must have been a sign that Picard has dementia and that's why nothing in this show makes any sense.
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DG
Sun, May 8, 2022, 8:31pm (UTC -5)
5 Stars. This ending was incredible… I loved how it left so many possible options for movie and series spin-offs!
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Ilsat
Sun, May 8, 2022, 8:52pm (UTC -5)
5 Stars out of 20?
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Tim M
Mon, May 9, 2022, 12:44am (UTC -5)
Ilsat, people are allowed to like something you don't. Different strokes.
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Sven
Mon, May 9, 2022, 1:04am (UTC -5)
It's been said before here in one of the episode's threads, but I've had the feeling over the last weeks that the ideas were good enough, but the execution was not. Maybe they had a few too many zoom meetings and something got lost in the wire, maybe covid restrictions bound their hands too much, maybe I'm simply giving them too much benefit of the doubt. I don't know. For me the serialized approach doesn't work for a plot this complicated. They could have given each plot thread a single (maybe shorter) episode somewhere inbetween to flesh out its important elements instead of putting everything in a blunt blender at full speed. They want us there for 10 episodes anyway, so why not play with the story structure? Maybe in some alternate timeline they DID do it that way. Lucky bastards that got to watch it.
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Booming
Mon, May 9, 2022, 1:09am (UTC -5)
While I can understand that people say that they enjoyed this season to some degree, let's not fool ourselves. This season made no sense. Q first and foremost, he/it is not a character but a plot device. Even if we ignore the completely nonsensical time travel stuff. What did actually happen?

BorgAgnes appeared and for no reason behaved very threatening, that made Picard blow up the Stargazer (apparently any admiral can blow up any ship at any time without consent of the captain). Then Q got a Jean-Luc died Q-news alert and decided because he knew that he was dying (?) that, even though he is probably a billion years old and has met an endless amount of beings, Picard is the one he wants spend his last days with. But not really with him, no. First, he mentally tortures and even physically assaults him, you know, tough love (?) and puts him in a reality where a fascist nightmare version of the Federation exists. For support Q also transfers a fairly random group of Picard acquaintances to that nightmare. The Fed Queen then for no reason apart from the plots need it, knows the exact moment when reality was changed, even though the change was done by Q (?) for plot reasons.

Ok quick recap. At this point Q, because he wants Picard to kiss his housekeeper, has brought Picard back from a death that Q brought about, then sent Picard and some fairly random people to a nightmare version of the 25th century, where the group meets the Borg Queen who tells them a change that Q made, they then steal a ship and travel back to that place.

Q is already at that time but then for a short while has no power and therefore becomes the Nasa psychologist of Renee Picard to make her so insecure that she doesn't go on the mission which then makes Soong the savior. Q at the same time convinces Soong to murder Renee which almost succeeds but in the process Picard gets gravely injured and almost dies. That near death leads to a special coma through which Tallinn (the person, not the Estonian capital) can then access Picard's mind so that Picard can start the process of remembering that his mother killed herself at the Picard lair. Picard apparently had forgotten that fact and only by remembering it, can he love again. Agnes then becomes Agnorg/Borati willingly and because the Borg Queen literally knows everything that happens in all timelines and transferred that knowledge of everything into Jurati's brain somehow, Jurati knows (or maybe Q tells her) that Soong is responsible for the nightmare future so she goes to him to borgify a bunch of mercenaries Soong has on hand from his inhumane experiments.

Agnorg still has control of the ship, so she beams Soong and the BorgLite people to France to kill Picard, because Q told him to. After our team horrifyingly murders every last one of the mercs, Soong gets away and in the span of a few hours comes up with an entirely new plan, and a back up. Soong wants to poison Renee literally 5 minutes before the launch by shaking her hand. If that doesn't work he has constructed murder drones which can fly anywhere in less than 5 minutes. Tallinn (the person) then unknowingly (or maybe not?) sacrifices herself by shaking Soong's poison hand and Picard can then watch her slowly die. All this is still happening because of Q. Reality is restored. Sure, more than a dozen people were killed (Mercs, the guy in the alley) but that had no effect on the future. And Picard also has no problem with the fact that lots of people got killed, even Tallinn, a person that looked exactly like the one he loves, so that he could finally love Not-Tallinn. The End. Thanks Q, great plan.
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Bok R'Mor
Mon, May 9, 2022, 1:17am (UTC -5)
@Booming

That summary was more entertaining than S2 of PIC actually was.

When you list everything twist and turn like that, one really does wonder how the writers and producers could have gone through the multiple stages necessary to green light and actually write, edit, film, and post-produce such a mess.

It's like a fever dream. It really is.
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Booming
Mon, May 9, 2022, 1:22am (UTC -5)
@Bok R'Mor
And I even forgot the poor French police officer, who got his memory wiped (?) and had still no problem explaining to his superiors why he was absent for several hours or more and what happened at that abandoned old chateau.
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PM
Mon, May 9, 2022, 1:42am (UTC -5)
LOVED this season finale (and I don't need a 3,000-word multi, MULTI paragraph treatise to say so...haha.)

Was a mess for the Q goodbye ("farewell") part...."See you...out there" being a callback to "All Good Things"

I thought it was interesting that - in the end - to paraphrase "The Nth Degree" the Q (especially "Q") are a species that just "want to get to know us" humans. (Albeit through sometimes torturous challenges.)

The big Borg reveal was the worst kept secret of the season but I'm excited about the opportunities it affords for season 3.

Personally, I signed up for a TNG reunion and am glad we'll soon be getting that, albeit a piece at a time next year.
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Artymiss
Mon, May 9, 2022, 1:42am (UTC -5)
@Booming
Also one day medics will be scratching their heads trying to work out what happened to his missing pancreas!
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Flipsider
Mon, May 9, 2022, 1:44am (UTC -5)
@Booming Very entertaining summary. It's pretty amusing just simply trying to summarize what happened.

Even if the logic behind the plot made more sense, I'd still say that nothing particularly interesting happened, from a storytelling standpoint. What are the major themes supposed to be? Picard had to deal with his secret trauma so he could... love again, or something? That doesn't actually fit Picard as a character, and even if it did, it's a shallow message. Or was it supposed to just be about Q dealing with his mortality, or finally opening up to Picard? But no time was spent examining that. What about the Borg and Jurati, are we supposed to takeaway that even soulless machinations which travel the galaxy mindlessly annhilating civilizations to pillage their technology are... actually just lonely? I guess every alien race you can think of, no matter how different from us... in the end, it comes down to that they all just have basic, simplistic human emotional problems, huh?

So what is the takeaway supposed to be? Those who actually liked this season, do you mind if I ask you a question? What kind of meaning did you get out of this story?
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Jaxon
Mon, May 9, 2022, 1:51am (UTC -5)
Booming said:

"Soong gets away and in the span of a few hours comes up with an entirely new plan, and a back up."

He got the drones at the nearest Wal-Mart.
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PM
Mon, May 9, 2022, 2:07am (UTC -5)
The meaning i got out of this season was:

a) seize the moment (don't save the universe for decades, then sulk at your vinyard because your bosses are a-holes, then save it one more time and then refuse to accept a relationship you and the other person both want to be in )

b) practice empathy (to cancel the auto destruct the 2nd time around, Picard has to go through the adventure that brings Borgratti to the Stargazer, part of which involves finding empathy for both his parents in Q's roundabout way...also it seems Q is sicking Soong on Picard to force Jean-Luc to rise to the challenge , because Q [and we] know he can)

c) keep learning and growing or you will die early and/or alone (that goes for Picard AND Q)

This episode was better by far than many other Star Trek episodes including (but not limited to):
Spock's Brain
The Way To Eden
Code of Honor
Shades of Grey
Sub Rosa
Most DS9 episodes if judged only on acting quality
That stupid VOY episode where Naomi Wildman's toys come alive in the holodeck
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Flipsider
Mon, May 9, 2022, 2:31am (UTC -5)
I see. All of that stuff is a bit too fuzzy and vague to really resonate for me. I mean, empathy and learning is nice, but IMO the show doesn't communicate anything particularly meaningful about those things. But to each their own.
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Booming
Mon, May 9, 2022, 2:40am (UTC -5)
For me those reasons are also a little too fortune cookie. Does one actually need to be reminded that seizing the moment, be empathetic, keep growing is important.
Plus, where is the empathy for the dozen dead mercs, the alley guy, Tallinn or that police man's pancreas? Those people only died so Picard could work through some issues.
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Jan
Mon, May 9, 2022, 2:51am (UTC -5)
Although if the themes are nice, it's like reading about empathy in a dictionary. The series fails at eliciting feelings because the plot is nonsensical and the characters are made of cardboard.
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Costelad
Mon, May 9, 2022, 5:25am (UTC -5)
@PM

S2 has "I'm 14 and this is deep" lessons.
Humans with an evolved mindset all practise empathy.
Picard learned to "seize the day" from day 1, Q's lines in Tapestry show that.
"Keep growing or you will die alone", not sure what to take from this lesson lol.

The traits that we see Picard and co. "learning" are supposed to be baked into them from birth. They are Federation citizens, and some are senior Starfleet officers, they are in that position BECAUSE they have been seizing the day and empathising with others their whole lives.
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Ilsat
Mon, May 9, 2022, 5:29am (UTC -5)
Tim M - the post from DG reeked of an industry shill.
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Costelad
Mon, May 9, 2022, 5:37am (UTC -5)
I agree with Ilsat. DG's post there looks like classic industry manipulation.
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Ilsat
Mon, May 9, 2022, 5:39am (UTC -5)
PM - "This episode was better by far than many other Star Trek episodes including...Most DS9 episodes if judged only on acting quality."

I think Andrew Robinson, Rene Auberjonois, Nana Visitor, Armin Shimerman, Michael Dorn, Robert O'Reilly, Tony Todd, Louise Fletcher, J.G. Hertzler, Wallace Shawn and plenty of others would like to have a word with you. Even Avery Brooks, who is oft criticized for his acting style, had a strong, fleshed out character with dozens of memorable episodes.

Reconsider your thinking here.
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Sigh2000
Mon, May 9, 2022, 6:09am (UTC -5)
@Booming "Reality is restored. Sure, more than a dozen people were killed (Mercs, the guy in the alley) but that had no effect on the future."

But Booming, this is no surprise. We had already established in another thread that the subtraction of certain characters is irrelevant to the future.

In City on the Edge of Forever already we had the Hobo in the alley with the milk bottle. He is evaporated by McCoy's phaser and it didn't matter. It may be that time doesn't care about hobos, but it may be that time is allergic to bottles, to milk, or to alleys.

This suggests a plot element.....that there are things and places that function like a cloaking device against time. If you want to time travel without risking the timeline, you can a) become a hobo, b) drop and break a bottle, c) drink some milk, or d) hang out in alleys.
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Rahul
Mon, May 9, 2022, 8:46am (UTC -5)
I think it's great if somebody got something meaningful out of PIC S2 and certainly an attempt at helping people realize (as @PM says) to seize the moment, empathy, keep learning (no matter if you are a god-like being or a mere mortal) are all worthy Trekkian lessons. Classic Trek has often had its takeaways that should be mostly obvious but are probably helpful for some to be reminded of from time to time.

All that being said, I just think the writers did try to focus on certain themes but the viewer has to wade through so much padding and misdirection that the net result is overall negative for me -- it just wasn't well-conceived if this is how the producers/writers have to go about telling the story they want to tell. What I think the writers/producers feel is just by having Stewart play JLP and seeing him on your screen is probably 50% of the battle won -- they can afford to be pretty lazy as Trek fans will just lap it up. Thus it's pointless for viewers to worry about the minutiae since the writers/producers didn't put enough care and attention into it. Their calculus for PIC has not worked out for me.
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Tim M
Mon, May 9, 2022, 10:11am (UTC -5)
I agree with much of what you say here, Rahul. I found the overall season positive--largely redeemed by the first two and last episodes--but the showrunners really could have trimmed the fat from the season's midsection.
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Bok R'Mor
Mon, May 9, 2022, 10:29am (UTC -5)
@Tim M

It would be interesting to read an honest appraisal of PIC S2 from the writers and producers, explaining what practical limitations lay behind the more bizarre and incoherent twists and turns.

For example, I've read that the choice of the Picard château as a shooting location was budget-based (fewer locations, cheaper to do). I do wonder what else can be explained that way.

But in that case they had ambitions bigger than their budget. And Trek has a long history of bottle shows to save on budget planning, so it's hardly an excuse.

I find it hard to believe that any writer or producer could be genuinely proud of the mess that was released.
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RedD
Mon, May 9, 2022, 11:45am (UTC -5)
So I might have missed the explanation, but WHY did Q save Picard on the Stargazer, only to have him transported to a dystopian alternative timeline?
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Rahul
Mon, May 9, 2022, 11:48am (UTC -5)
@Tim M

I think you may well have uncovered the true intended meaning of PIC S2 -- namely, that humanity can only better itself if each one of us trims the fat from our own respective midsections.
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Flipsider
Mon, May 9, 2022, 11:49am (UTC -5)
Well I think @PM was 100% right in analyzation of the show's themes, in the sense that whatever the writers intended, what we got was very generic and surface level ideas.

I'm sure the writers probably would want to say the season was about "confronting your trauma" or some such thing. But of course, that idea is only explored in the most surface level way, the same with anything else in the show.

IMO, what is Picard Season 2 actually about? Nothing in particular. As a piece of writing, it just doesn't work as being a story about anything, in particular. It's themes are surface level and nothing is actually explored.
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Jammer
Mon, May 9, 2022, 12:35pm (UTC -5)
Review now posted.
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nacho Picard
Mon, May 9, 2022, 1:13pm (UTC -5)
This show is stupid, which is maybe the worst sin a Star Trek show can have.
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Bryan
Mon, May 9, 2022, 1:15pm (UTC -5)
It seems like this was the episode that finally broke Jammer, at least in regards to PIC season 2. With the entire season revealed and no more mystery boxes for the showrunners to hide behind, there could be no further hope that it would add up to something coherent and meaningful. Not even the pay-offs that we had all been waiting for were sufficient to lift the finale to a typical 2 1/2 star "would almost recommend, but not quite." It's an unequivocal "would not recommend" both for the finale and for the season as a whole.
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Bok R'Mor
Mon, May 9, 2022, 1:34pm (UTC -5)
'I must say, it's very hard to see Wil Wheaton here as his actual Wesley Crusher character and not as the official shameless-promoter company-man softball host of The Ready Room.'

Glad Jammer stated out loud what we were all thinking about that Wheaton cameo. Bravo.
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Jaxon
Mon, May 9, 2022, 1:40pm (UTC -5)
Bryan said:

"It seems like this was the episode that finally broke Jammer, at least in regards to PIC season 2"

Well he has always seemed to be more critical of the closing episode of a multipart arc, whether its a two parter or a ten parter.

I'm surprised he didn't see the writing on the wall (or the mercs in the wall) sooner than this.
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Jammer
Mon, May 9, 2022, 2:00pm (UTC -5)
"It seems like this was the episode that finally broke Jammer"

A TV EPISODE CANNOT BREAK ME. I AM UNBREAKABLE.

"I'm surprised he didn't see the writing on the wall (or the mercs in the wall) sooner than this."

I would argue it's not my job to prejudge or predict the future, but analyze what is before me and explain what I am thinking as it happens. I knew full well this could fall apart, but I wasn't going to let my prediction that would happen guide the episode-to-episode analysis and my enjoyment (or not).

It's another reason I'm glad Trek is still released one episode per week and not in a Netflix-style dump. A full-season dump would render the episode-by-episode discussion we have here every week pretty much pointless.
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EmpressHoshiSato
Mon, May 9, 2022, 2:04pm (UTC -5)
This show seems to be summed up by two word phrases - "Missed opportunities", "Bad writing".

Writing is such a mess. The entirety of 10 episodes feels like it could have been condensed to a 3 episode plot arc (and even then written much better). The existential crisis at the end materialised out of nowhere. It probably should have been a focal point of the Season to begin with. The ridiculous Force Awakens (a bad reboot disguised as a sequel) style lights in the sky seen instantly from lightyears away was plainly ridiculous.

It's really sad because this show could have been so great. This should be a golden age of the Federation (and Earth) in the 24/25th century. I think the TNG crew (rumoured to be coming in Season 3 according to the trailer) should have been in Picard from the start. I wished Q's "surprise" had included bringing Data back/saving him.

The whole plot made very little sense. Wasn't Q actively working against them (for reasons unexplained)? Now suddenly he's so happy they sorted everything out. It seems bizarre also that Q could be dying at all. The Q seemingly are eternal and omnipotent. Perhaps they can take out one another as shown in TNG and Voyager, but they effectively are immortal gods/goddesses with seemingly Palpatine style "Unlimited Power!" What of Q's son?

I think Cute Doctor Lady should have been brought back to the 25th century. Or else she and Rios' "future" in the 21st century should have been left at setting up their medical charity and leave it peacefully at that. Having Rios die in a bar fight? Seriously?

A lot of this season (just like the last) was so unexplained, anticlimactic and all over the place. Mediocrity instead of a deeply woven, utopian vision and gravitas it could/should have been. Thing is it seems the writers don't explain anything because they don't care, or else they don't get the lore/history that has been established not only by previous Star Trek series, but even their own previous season!

It's truly sad because you want to enjoy a Star Trek show. But it's like they are going out of their way to slowly tell a tale that is mediocre at best, and baffling at other times, downright infuriating and stupid most of the time.

The entire plot of this episode felt too obvious and lacking. I did find Soong just leaving that lady from NASA in disgust at her pessimistic attitude funny. But the notion that he would be able to get VIP access just for donating money is stupid. Astronauts would not break quarantine and interact like that. In addition, how on Earth is Soong being given such access when according to previous episodes he has been PUBLICLY condemned and disgraced for unsanctioned questionable experiments. The notion that our 24th century heroes were unable to prevent his drones from launching seemed rather silly given they have far superior technology at their disposal such as tricorders, phasers etc as well as Seven of Nine! It would have been better had those drones launched BEFORE they got there. How on Earth did Soong using 21st century transport beat them back across the Atlantic, recover from jet lag and get to the launch site in equal time to the 24th century heroes with their transporters?!

The Europa mission itself just sounds a bit crazy. Should have made this about Mars or something. The notion of bringing back alien life is also a little far fetched. I believe previous Star Trek series alluded to humanity waking up and changing its ways to save their planet. That too primarily after the Third World War and especially after First Contact. Hard to see why not going to Europa would just automatically lead to that Confederation. That would probably have been set up had their been some Alien attack on Earth. Tying Cute Doctor's son to cleaning up the oceans also felt like a massive coincidence.

Borgrati should have set off for the Beta or Gamma Quadrants back in the 21st century. Not the Delta Quadrant. Guinan in the 24th century remembers this, but doesn't remember she already met Picard back in the 1800s?! Picard's romance story would have felt much better had it been with Beverly. Or even the Baku lady. There is simply zero set up whatsoever for Laris.

The reuse of the same actors/actresses to play characters living in another timeframe is absurd. Soong's daughter being a prime example. Her involvement at all felt completely pointless. She wasn't even relevant to the plot. And deleting her father's files didn't really do anything other than remove all evidence of his experiments. Furthermore, she didn't seem to grasp that he didn't kill her "sisters". He literally created all of them. And the story just changed to him being someone desperate to save his daughter to someone who was comic book evil. Having her met at the end by Wesley Crusher... why her?

I didn't mind seeing Wesley, except that it just felt threw in randomly. Surely if he was able to monitor time, then why didn't he intervene earlier and meet his father like figure PICARD?! Why only turn up to meet Not Soji? I also think his character probably shouldn't have a beard. Half expected Picard to randomly turn up and go "Shut up Wesley!"

A massive missed opportunity to have not had the FBI agent just be 29th century Captain/Admiral Ducane from the Timeship Relativity. Indeed that entire episode seems like a complete waste of run time when you're telling a season long arc. Seven had no interaction with Q whatsoever despite having met him before. And Raffi started saying "JL" again. Should have had Wesley there to go to Picard "JL? She calls you JL?" and then "Shut up Wesley!" in response. Did Riker's successor in the Nemesis Deleted scene pull the same "trick" on Raffi when he left and say "Remember, if you want to get on his good side, call Captain Picard, "JL" Commander Raffi."

I liked Seven being given a field commission by Admiral Picard. The conduit, is that going to be part of Season 3, or just another mystery box sigh. The special effects for the Starfleet vessels at the end didn't look very good frankly when compared to older shows, or the TNG movies (though better than Season 1 of this show).

Even though Q's story made zero sense, at least his scene with Picard felt like a well acted scene and had some semblance of Star Trek about it.

The Season didn't really have much of a story to it, didn't really give a real reason for having to be set in the 21st century (unlike The Voyage Home and First Contact), didn't have that Star Trek sense of gravitas or optimistic vision about it. Feels like a waste and massive missed opportunity.

1 star for the Season (0.5 for Cute Doctor Lady). The entire Season feels like it could have been a (mediocre) 3 episode arc within a larger 25 episode Season. It also - like its previous season - has very little rewatch value versus the hundreds of episodes of Star Trek from previous shows or the movies. Sad to think of what could have been.
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Jaxon
Mon, May 9, 2022, 2:10pm (UTC -5)
Jammer said:

"It's another reason I'm glad Trek is still released one episode per week and not in a Netflix-style dump. A full-season dump would render the episode-by-episode discussion we have here every week pretty much pointless. "

Actually, now that The Orville is at Hulu, I'm hoping we get Season 3 all in one dump on June 2 rahter than one a week.
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Peter G.
Mon, May 9, 2022, 2:24pm (UTC -5)
@ Jammer,

"A TV EPISODE CANNOT BREAK ME. I AM UNBREAKABLE."

Wow you're tougher than I am. I tried to watch Andromeda a few weeks ago based on some...uh...middling recommendations, and it broke me pretty fast. I'm undergoing counseling for it now, in the form of watching TOS and Poirot.
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Jammer
Mon, May 9, 2022, 2:51pm (UTC -5)
"Actually, now that The Orville is at Hulu, I'm hoping we get Season 3 all in one dump on June 2 rahter than one a week."

I hope not. If that happens I will probably have to bow out of reviewing it.
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Jaxon
Mon, May 9, 2022, 3:01pm (UTC -5)
Have they said one way or the other yet?

The change from March to June suggests to me it's more likely to be one big drop.
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Bucktown
Mon, May 9, 2022, 4:26pm (UTC -5)
My argument is that the biggest problem plaguing all of nuTrek is what plagues all of it - the dreaded Mystery Box Formula™. This way of scriptwriting is not rooted in past Star Trek or has ever really been part of sci-fi storytelling at all.

Its modern origins are through JJ Abrams and his patented brand adapted to television and filmmaking from superhero comics designed to keep kids hooked on comics month after month.

There's not really a problem with that way of storytelling, but at its core, it's designed for children as a way to keep them engaged each month. It's since been perverted by JJ and his Band of Merry Hacks as a Borg like takeover of mainstream legacy sci-fi franchises. They believe that if they use this same formula but instead incorporate adult themes and content, it will be adored by adults. They do not understand this is immature writing to begin with. Adults do not need a Macguffined hook to keep them engaged, especially fans of franchises never accustomed to it.

What's also measurably hatable about their formula is that their modern take is specifically designed NOT for children to consume. Discovery and Picard especially are so full of cynical violence, petulant emotions, and ugliness that no parent would ever sit down with their kid to watch. Who exactly is it for? Man babies who consume no other media except Marvel/DC and JJverse, I guess?

This whole season should have been just 1 episode. Q realizes he is losing his powers and dying and says so to Picard in the cold open. Picard then says, "We've had our differences in the past Q, but I will do everything in my power to find a cure." They do some scientific research, maybe even have some philosophical discussions about death, where Q delivers some funny lines. Ultimately, no cure can be established because no one even really comprehends what a Q even is. Q ultimately gives Picard his last lesson in what life is about because he regrets not spending enough time with the people he loved and admired, believing he had all the time in the world. This prompts Picard to reach out to Dr. Crusher. Cut to: Season 3.

That is the pure essence of Season 2, which isn't necessarily bad on its own. But 10 episodes that included needless time travel, Borg (again), coma dreams, retconned childhood trauma, clunky social commentary, sitcom bickering, hollow speechifying, and who knows why a genetic manipulation plot?
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C.T Phipps
Mon, May 9, 2022, 4:57pm (UTC -5)
STAR TREK: PICARD Season Two is something that I was deeply looking forward to from the moment it was announced as I was a huge fan of Season One. My impression of that season was that it had an extremely strong start but stumbled due to episode length. We didn't get enough follow up on events and were left with more mysteries than answers. Basically, I wished they had done THE LAST BEST HOPE by Una McCormick as a two parter to open it and added an epilogue to follow up on what happened after the events of the tenth episode.

Still, I was very excited for the return of the cast and seeing how they would deal with the consequences of the first season. Unfortunately, the answer to that is generally: not at all. I think Doctor Jurati being cleared of murder charges due to mind-control was the only subject matter that got addressed. What about the Zhat Vash? What happened to them? What about Admiral Oh? Narek? Is the Federation going to work with the Romulans tracking down the terrorists who burned both of them? How about the ex-Borg?

Instead, the series focuses much more on an entirely new storyline. After rejecting his employee, Laris (Orla Bradly) when she attempts to start a romantic relationship, Admiral Picard (Patrick Stewart, duh) is requested by the Federation to help with a First Contact scenario: a new race wants to join the Federation. Except, it's not a First Contact scenario, it's the Borg and things end disastrously with Picard blowing himself along with the rest of the heroes up.

Like a script editor, this will not do for Q (John De Lancie) and he restores Picard as well as his merry band of miscreants to life. He proceeds to put them in what appears to be a dystopian version of the Federation and from there, Picard must take Seven (Jeri Ryan), Raffi (Michelle Hurd), Rios (Osvaldo Ríos Alonso), and Doctor Jurati (Alison Pill) to the 21st century in order to somehow prevent things. Due to contrived but entertaining circumstances, they also bring the Borg Queen (Annie Wersching). Characters Sonji (Isa Briones) and Elnor (Evan Evagora) have vastly reduced roles.

Generally, the show swerves between zany comedy reminescent of Star Trek IV (with several homages) to that story and deep traumatic introspection, which is not always consistent. Captain Picard remembers his father as an abusive monster to his mother and her as a saint but there's a trick his memory is playing on him. I feel like the episodes might have benefited from picking a lane as it sometimes feels like they undermine each other's tone. There's also some areas where the actions on screen contradict what we're later told. For example, Q seems to be trying to achieve one thing in one episode before revealing that he was doing the exact opposite later (which is, admittedly, not out of character for Q).

On the positive side of things, I think John De Lancie has lost absolutely none of his touch and preserves all the things we love about Q. He's Loki, Satan, and God all in one with a wide eyed grin as he destroys everything for the greater good or saves everyone for his own twisted amusement. The few scenes he and Patrick Stewart have are fantastic and he's also a bright spot in episodes where he deals with Adam Soong (Brent Spinner) or Kore (Isla Brione). Speaking of Soong, he is a bright spot in the show once they cast aside any moral ambiguity and just make him a straight-up Bond villain. Not every Star Trek antagonist can be misunderstood and this transformation gives some higher stakes when the story has perhaps too many moving parts.

Indeed, the storyline is a labyrinthine web akin to one of Fox Mulder's conspiracy boards and we even get an homage to said character in one episode. "We have to go back in time with the Borg Queen's help to find the astronaut who needs to be on the mission that will create the Federation but Q is causing her to doubt herself. If she doubts herself, this will create the Confederacy in which Adam Soong will be their spiritual leader. Oh and the Borg Queen is playing both sides. All of this is related to Picard's traumatic childhood. Somehow. That's not getting into every individual character's subplots." It actually is 99% explained by the final episode but weirdly reads like a George R.R. Martin plot despite being written for television not a book.

Thematically, the story is all about trauma and how we can't lose hope that things will get better. That the current troubles we face in 2022 will be things that we eventually overcome and make a better world from as long as we're understanding and willing to forgive. Except Silicon Valley tech billionaires. Don't forgive or try to understand them because they're completely awful. Borg Queens can be persuaded and negotiated with but not those guys. It's an argument that I'm actually pretty okay with.

Negatively, is just about anything to do with time travel. This is a mess even by the standards of Star Trek and I can't help the season would have benefited from stripping out a lot of the extraneous fluff. "Picard goes to bed one day with his crew and they wake up in Evil Federation. Q then meets with them and says he's let them keep his memories because it amuses him to see them try to fix things Days of Futures Past style. Someone how has gone back in time to muck with the past. Maybe another Soong creation or Borg victim. Stop him. *snaps fingers*). Ito Aghayere does a good job as young Guinan but it's confusing to explain away Whoopi Goldberg's aging but not hers. Also, the change from "Time's Arrow." I mean, it's an easy fix. "My people go through periods of aging and de-aging due to our life cycle."

Overall, I liked Picard season 2 a bit less than season 1 but still significantly more than a lot of Star Trek. The overcomplexity of the plot and "prestige television" format is something that I feel is hurting the shows, though, because they don't have enough episodes to resolve all the plots. I also was disappointed with the ending for some of the characters. While I didn't always like what they did, I say that the crew of the La Sirena is the one I like the most since Firefly's. I wanted a spin-off show with Rios or Seven as captain. Instead, most of them are very likely no longer going to be doing Star Trek by the end and that's a shame.

7.5/10
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TheRealTrent
Mon, May 9, 2022, 5:24pm (UTC -5)
Booming said: "This whole season should have been just 1 episode. Q realizes he is losing his powers and dying and says..."

Is Q really losing his powers in this season? If he's losing his powers, how does he yank everyone through time, and resurrect Elnor? He seems to be unable to do little things, but do huge things easily.
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Bryan
Mon, May 9, 2022, 5:25pm (UTC -5)
These synopses for PIC season 2, as people try to explain, justify or otherwise come to terms with what just happened is a whole lot more entertaining than watching PIC season 2.

"Like a script editor, this will not do for Q."

Good one!

I also want to add "measurably hatable" to my working vocabulary.
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SlackerInc
Mon, May 9, 2022, 5:26pm (UTC -5)
@Jaxon: "Actually, now that The Orville is at Hulu, I'm hoping we get Season 3 all in one dump on June 2 rahter than one a week."

Why? As jammer noted, that Netflix binge model (which I suspect they regret but are afraid to walk away from) destroys discourse around shows.
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Bryan
Mon, May 9, 2022, 5:35pm (UTC -5)
I feel that it would greatly diminish, but not entirely destroy discourse. We could still have a forum category spanning an entire season in which it is discussed. There could be a review of the season instead of the individual episodes.
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SC
Mon, May 9, 2022, 5:51pm (UTC -5)
Excellent review Jammer. You sure can write.
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TheRealTrent
Mon, May 9, 2022, 5:55pm (UTC -5)
Recent interview with Rick Berman (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T12A5mS3VPo): "But what was very crucial to me, and I would like to think that it remained crucial until the pathetically last premature ending of Enterprise, was to keep Gene's vision alive. Gene had a vision that dealt with his ideal of a much better future, and to tell stories using metaphor and to not turn the shows into what later would become 'Marvel' shows. I think to some degree there were those, and there are those today, who use the Star Trek concept as a vehicle to create big action movies that don't deal with the vision of humanity and the betterment of humanity that Gene wanted Star Trek to be. So I felt kind of strongly about trying to keep all of the Star Trek that we did within the realm of what Roddenberry believed in, it was his baby."
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N
Mon, May 9, 2022, 6:10pm (UTC -5)
The season's most interesting idea was a revisit/redux of "Assignment: Earth", one of TOS's best and most underappreciated episodes. I wish they had committed more to this aspect. The emotionally resonant scene between Tallinn and Renee Picard in this episode (which Orla Brady nails) gives an indication of how well a greater focus on this story element could have worked. Unfortunately, the Supervisors aspect of the season is undercut by the fact that a) it's given scant attention b) Tallinn is mainly used as a plot device to teleport people around, solve tech/medical problems and help Picard engage in soul-searching, often serving more as a Laris-proxy rather than a Supervisor (at least until the finale) c) Renee Picard, the all-important character who Tallinn has spent her life watching (and gives her life for) is completely underdeveloped as a character, poorly acted and even more poorly written. Renee only has a few lines in the entire season and those portray her not as a capable professional team member but as a middle-aged writer's idea of a #sorelatable insecure millennial who has aNxIeTy and is in touch with her feelings. It comes over as really insincere.

You know, I enjoyed the Q scene too. John de Lancie has been wonderful in his limited appearances in this season, and I was touched by Q finally dropping his acerbic, mercurial facade and actually admitting vulnerability and affection for Jean-Luc. People have been talking about the queer subtext in the Q character since TNG first aired, and what's good about this scene is it works on all levels, whether you connect with that particular subtext or not. Yet, about an hour after I'd finished watching the episode and had time to digest, I started thinking "Wasn't that scene a bit too on the nose?". It's almost the same kind of excess as Raffi and Picard saying that they love each other, and Picard saying that he loved Data, back in season 1. Those scenes were much less well written (and less justified - Raffi and Data were colleagues of Picard's, whereas Q is something else entirely), but there's something about the way NuTrek handles characters' emotions... there's no subtext, only text, and emotional content is conveyed through characters directly telling their feelings to each other, rather than emotions being implied or suggested. The most similar relationship to Picard/Q is probably Odo/Quark, and I couldn't help but think how different their farewell scene was, how warm and witty and how much it was happy to leave unsaid.

Something weird about this season is the way it contrived reasons for cast members on the payroll to appear in most episodes despite their usual character not being present:
- Most obvious example is Tallinn, who we're supposed to believe is a direct ancestor of Laris who happens to look exactly like her and be the same age. I actually find this less egregious than some of the other instances, as they at least attempt to explain it (the Supervisors/Travelers recruit from multiple races).
- Most perfunctory of all was Elnor, already a one-dimensional character, who is killed in the second episode yet appears throughout the season in the form of Raffi having flashbacks or brief hallucinations of him. At least the flashback where Raffi talks him into attending the academy attempt to give them both some development, but the other blink-and-you'll-miss-him Elnor scenes throughout the season are so perfunctory as to be pointless. Even when resurrected in the finale he only appears incredibly briefly and on a viewscreen.
- Then we have Brent Spiner, now playing his seventh character in the Star Trek franchise. Four if not five of these are easy to justify, as it's understandable that Dr. Noonien Soong created Data, Lore (and B-4, groan) in his own image... and I for one thought Enterprise's Augments trilogy was one of the best pieces of work that series did; Spiner was really enjoyable in it, plus Arik Soong not only had a distinctly different personality and motivations to Noonien Soong, but also looked different due to the latter being caked in 1990s old-age makeup. When season 1 of Picard invented another evil mad scientist Soong relative for all of two episodes then didn't develop or utilise him in any interesting way, it felt cheap and didn't work for me at all. Now after Arik and Altan, we get Adam. Look, when Enterprise did it, it was charming and felt like a one-off. Now we're getting into Big Momma's House territory. At least Adam has a little more development than Altan, but still, he's mainly here as a snarling pantomime villain for the audience to hiss at, and so that Brent Spiner can get a paycheck. There wasn't enough exploration of the father-daughter relationship here: early on it seems Adam is deeply concerned about his daughter's well-being and desperate for her to be healthy, only for it to transpire that he created her as part of his eugenics research, which Kore discovers in the laughable exposition scene where she googles him and looks through his computer files. But why should the fact that he created her in this way preclude him from feeling love (as one emotion among many) towards her? He's raised her as a single dad for the best part of two decades after seeing previous incarnations fail to thrive. There was nowhere near enough of a look at Adam's feelings towards his daughter and Kore's feelings towards her father; this should have been complex, heady and wrenching, on both sides. She walks out, deletes his research and beams off into space with Wesley Crusher(!) and that's it; meanwhile he's far more concerned with his legacy than with finding his daughter. And his interactions with Q and the Borg Queen (in control of Jurati) don't make a great deal of sense.
- Isa Briones was one of the best performers in season 1 so I don't begrudge her presence here. This is her fourth character after Dahj, Soji and Sutra - again, the first three were obviously identical as androids created by the same scientists and taking their appearance from a painting that Data once made, but why would Kore, a bioengineered human 400 years previously, happen to look identical to them? Annoyingly, Kore has more consistent characterization than Soji. Briones is great but in S1, particularly the latter episodes, her motivations were jerked around by the plot so much that the character essentially collapsed under the weight of nonsense. Kore has a much simpler through-line and is likeable and straightforward, it's a shame we see so little of her. It's less that she's here to give Briones something to do, more than she's here to give Brent Spiner something to do.
- In summary, they could have had different actors play Tallinn, Adam Soong and Kore - which would probably have made those characters work better, but would have required the writers to make more of an effort to develop said characters. And they could have had Elnor be completely absent for the seven episodes after his death, which would have made his resurrection a more emotional welcome surprise. It's hard to miss someone you only saw last week.

What about the regulars?
- I don't share the criticism of Michelle Hurd I've seen expressed a couple of places, I think the problem with Raffi is the writing, not her performance. When they did try to develop the character ("manipulative"), it came completely out of the blue and wasn't based on anything we'd seen before - in S1 Raffi seemed too chaotic, self-destructive and sad to be manipulative. Jeri Ryan is always reliable but is not playing Seven, and she wasn't utilized intelligently here either, there is basically nothing that connects her with the character she played on Voyager. In short, these could have been any two characters... the Raffi-Seven buddy-cop duo are so generically written that they're completely interchangeable, they could have been different characters played by different actors and it would have had almost no effect on the narrative.
- Rios's material is... fine, I guess? At least we didn't him (or rather, his holograms) doing bad Irish/British accents this season. But his remaining behind completely changes the timeline - his argumentation for staying is that he's a loner who likes to keep out of the way and isn't likely to interfere with things, yet he establishes a globally active medical charity together with Teresa that would have had massive timeline ramifications. Even if he hadn't done this, his mere presence in the past still greatly affects the timeline because Teresa likely would have married someone else in his absence, and her and her son's life would have thus been completely different, which would have caused huge ripples over the next 400 years even if she didn't have more kids. But then all of the timeline changes caused by Rios staying dwarf in comparison to...
- Jurati: Alison Pill had much better material this season than last, and she has range and conviction. She and Annie Wersching worked together really well, and I'm so glad they stopped giving her Tilly-style comic-relief dialog because Pill is too good an actress to be relegated to that. While her storyline was the most engaging throughout the filler episodes (3-9), I'm not sure what it adds up to - we don't yet know whether her alt-Borg have replaced the regular Borg (I'm guessing no) or exist alongside them, either in our universe or in a parallel dimension (I think episode 1 indicated Jurati's Borg ship emerged from another dimension, so that would seem to make the most sense). But what I couldn't get over after the end of episode 9 is how no-one is concerned that they traveled back to 2024 and released a Borg Queen into space with 24th century technology, with no guarantee that the Borg programming won't win out over Jurati's personality and turn her evil after all.
Never mind the ICE bus or Rios staying, this is the biggie. When they were fussing about timeline "butterflies" in episode 10, I was like "Hello? You let the Borg Queen escape into space with your ship." It even has a cloaking device.
- Picard, "JL", mon capitaine... I don't even know where to begin with this one. Actually I do... earlier this year I watched a drama miniseries starring a highly regarded British actor about a man who struggles to form close and lasting romantic relationships because he's emotionally paralysed by his traumatic childhood growing up in a chateau in France with a mentally ill mother and an abusive father. That series was "Patrick Melrose" starring Benedict Cumberbatch, and it was about a million times better than this. The nature of the abuse is different: Patrick's mother is a neglectful alcoholic and his father sexually abuses him. But it's about the way it's told - with dignity, depth and insight, never shying away from the horrors yet never sensationalized. It's all the more and realistic because of how mundane and lived-in it is. The scenes told from a child's perspective feel authentic and desolate, and when the final episode concludes with the adult Patrick finally being able to move on from his past and commit to a lasting relationship, it feels genuinely earned and cathartic. And the whole thing is wonderfully acted (with Hugo Weaving and Jennifer Jason Leigh as the abusive parents). Contrast this with Picard: I cannot overstate how incredibly low-rent the flashback scenes are. First of all, the actress playing his mother is awful, and the boy playing young Jean-Luc little better. Second, at no point is "Maman" written or depicted as anything approaching a real person - all of her few lines seem to be a collection of cliches that wouldn't be out of place on motivational Instagram memes, and her entire scant characterization is just as a "beautiful victim" stereotype, a troubling glamorization of tragedy and illness, right down to the riddles she speaks in and the angelic frilly white dress she hangs herself in. There's something really lazy and distasteful about this, the fact that the character (who is this woman?) is defined by nothing else than her mental illness, the way that she's not only presented as mysterious and wondrous partly *because* she's unstable and fragile (a sort of Manic Pixie Dead Girl) but that her personal tragedy and ultimate fate is employed as a literal mystery, doled out piecemeal to lure viewers into tuning in next week to find out what happened to her. I have no idea who this person was and I'm sure the writers don't either - presumably Jean-Luc, being at the age he was when she died, would have much more memories of her (and more complex ones) than just these? The entire scenario is like something from a bad period drama set in the 18th or 19th century, not a depiction of a family in the highly developed 2300s when we know humans have far more resources available to them. I'm not one of those who argue that no-one will be mentally ill or suicidal in the future shown by Star Trek - the idea of the Roddenberrian 23rd/24th century human can be taken too far - but locking someone in a room is like something out of Janeway's Gothic holonovel (which was much better than this). If someone is so mentally unwell that they're at risk of harming themselves, their family members get help and they're committed to a facility, prevented from harming themselves, and given support and treatment - and that's here and now in the developed world, let alone in the 2300s. The world in which we're led to believe Picard's mother kills herself is one with hyposprays, transporters, forcefields and excellent medical care, and where Picard's father could easily have asked a computer to monitor his wife's lifesigns and alert him immediately if they wavered. But what I am talking about? There is no interest here in period accuracy, just as there is no interest in exploring mental illness, its origins or ramifications - the topic is just being used as a cheap hook and carnival sideshow, right down to a haunted house and imaginary orcs representing (I guess) personal demons. Frightful!

I love you. Over and out.
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nacho Picard
Mon, May 9, 2022, 6:25pm (UTC -5)
As I look over the stupidly long list of producers that are apparently in charge of this show, I can’t believe not a one of them said “wait a minute, isn’t this whole thing just…really stupid?”

Apparently no one did.

Your enjoyment of Star Trek Picard’s second season is entirely dependent on you having the memory of a dead goldfish. It hopes you will experience it piecemeal, little by little, in weekly installments, never re-watching what came before, never asking yourself “wait, if that’s’ why, then how come…?”

It is the television equivalent of check-kiting; it just string you along from one episode to the next, each one sometimes contradicting the one before it, hoping you don’t remember the details well enough to question it. By the time you get to the end, and you realize just how dumb the whole shaggy dog story was, it’s too late. You’ve already watched it, and the carny who conned you has already moved on to the next town to do it all over again.

Here is the basic outline of what happened in season two of Star Trek Picard…

The Borg, led by Queen Jurati, discover some big bad something is on its way and they reach out to Picard to petition to join the Federation. Why? So they can remain at the spot where the big bad something will come out of and prevent it from killing everything. Picard arrives at the rendezvous point to meet the Borg Queen who promptly beams onto the bridge and starts taking over the ship. Naturally everyone freaks out and starts fighting because Queen Jurati kept her face hidden and didn’t directly tell Picard who she is or what is going on.
Fearing for the assimilation of the ship, Picard orders the auto-destruct. That’s when Q, who is dying (despite the fact that Q do not die as we learned on Star Trek Voyager) decides to save Picard’s life by sending him to an alternate universe where the Federation is evil and oppressive and basically space Nazis. The point, Q will later say, is to help Picard come to terms with some childhood trauma related to the death of his mother. Q wants to bring closure to Picard as a final gift before he dies.

He also wants a hug.

Q, however, doesn’t tell Picard any of this, despite the fact that he has already done something similar to Picard in the TNG episode Tapestry, an episode where he basically flat out tells Picard what he did and why, in order to set the Captain off on his journey of self-discovery. Here, however, Q leaves Picard wondering, which causes him to decide to go back in time to a point before the alternate history started to go bad. A Borg queen informs Picard that they must go back to 2024. This is not Q’s plan, but he goes along with it because what else is he going to do other than tell Picard to stop because that’s not the plan he has for him.

Once back in time, Q suddenly (for no explained reason) loses his powers and Picard and co. start goofing off in Los Angeles. Along the way, they discover Picard has a distant ancestor who will make a discovery on Europa that will render the work of one Adam Soong (ancestor to the creator of Data) obsolete. Q eggs Adam Soong on, essentially goading him into killing Picard, because now Q wants Picard to be run over by a Honda instead of learning a lesson before he dies.
Picard eventually comes to terms with his mother’s death, though it’s unrelated to the plot about his astronaut ancestor. And then, after he does, Q decides he has his powers again and snaps his fingers to return Picard and co. back to the Borg Queen (which is Jurati because the Borg Queen from the alternate history was brought along on the time travel mission that wasn’t Q’s plan and somehow assimilated her without assimilating her, starting a chain of events that led her to being the Borg Queen in the real present-day, not the alternate present day, which means had the crew not gone back in time Jurati would never have become Queen, so they had to go back in time, even though going back in time wasn’t Q’s plan, but going to the alternate history was, which is where they met the Borg Queen that assimilated Jurati in the past that Q did not intend for them to visit).

And then Q got a hug because this show is stupid and might actually be written by literal monkeys with typewriters like in that one Simpson’s sketch.

I am done with this show.

1/10 – I couldn’t even laugh at it.
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Sen-Sors
Mon, May 9, 2022, 6:33pm (UTC -5)
"I think Doctor Jurati being cleared of murder charges due to mind-control was the only subject matter that got addressed."

Which makes no sense because Jurati wasn't being mind-controlled or made into some kind of Manchurian candidate like Geordi was; she saw a spooky alien vision and made the choice to commit first degree murder.
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Jaxon
Mon, May 9, 2022, 7:21pm (UTC -5)
Nacho Picard said:

"Along the way, they discover Picard has a distant ancestor who will make a discovery on Europa that will render the work of one Adam Soong"

Wasn't it Io for awhile, until they couldn't even keep *that* straight?
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Flipsider
Mon, May 9, 2022, 7:55pm (UTC -5)
@TheRealTrent
Gotta say, I love that about Rick Berman. There was something consistently "Star Trek-y" about all of the shows up to Enterprise. Thanks for posting that.
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EmpressHoshiSato
Mon, May 9, 2022, 7:59pm (UTC -5)
@Bucktown

Bravo Sir! Well said. Could not have put it better. Spoken like the real Picard would have said in one of his eloquent speeches of eons past.
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Jaxon
Mon, May 9, 2022, 9:05pm (UTC -5)
Whatever else you could say about the Rick Berman era - and there is a lot that could be said - he ran a tight ship. Star Trek remained fundamentally Star Trek, even when network suits were meddling.
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Piamolan
Mon, May 9, 2022, 9:23pm (UTC -5)
Berman did what was necessary to keep his job. How was he supposed to know Roddenberry retconned Roddenberry ‘s own views of humanity?

I will give Rick Berman this, as others have: his series had quality control measures. Either that or they had Ira Steven Behr. From 2006 until now, Berman has not had any producing credits to his name.

Non, Je ne regrette ripen

Picard is French. The use of the song was trite, but at least it did not come out of left field. In Inception, it was used by Christopher Nolan as… a means of his showing us he had heard of it. Mal, Ariadne, all of these other insta-deep-thinker signalings were tiresome. The Picard writers, if forced to admit the truth, would say they did not care about why they put dreams into the season. Sloppy and lame, yes, but these writers have not said that they have pretensions to Art. Nolan is why worse. He mistakes deliberately confounding the audience for art. He might have pulled off Inception as a technical triumph, at least, were he a craftsman on the order of Kubrick (or maybe even a few orders below). The solemnity without the skill was deadening. Nolan could take a few lessons from David Lynch on how to show dreams. Of course, Lynch goes out on a limb. Nolan can’t take REAL story chances because he would run the risk that his movies might not be mistaken for Oscar bait. Whose subconscious are we entering?
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Bucktown
Mon, May 9, 2022, 9:37pm (UTC -5)
@TheRealTrent - That was actually me who wrote that one. I do recall that they did establish Q was losing his powers, however ill defined. I remember early on when he was watching Renee, he tried to do his patented snap, and absolutely nothing came of it. I think (again, however poorly written in a throwaway line) they established he had enough "power" saved up to send them back to their present, but it would be his last act before he "died." Did they explain this well and logically enough to be believable? No.

But my point still stands, a standalone episode of Q dying wouldn't necessarily be a bad one. But they handled the concept so poorly, they completely ruined it. I put to the writers, why is a 10 hour disjointed "movie" better than 10 standalone episodes exploring each of the season's plots? Why not a time traveling episode? A Q episode? A Borg episode? Etc? Why have them all mishmashed into one storyline with absolutely no cohesive plot connecting them? Does Akiva Goldsman have ADD? It's truly maddening and a waste of Patrick Stewart. Season 2, as Season 1, chalks up as a total failure.

@EmpressHoshiSato - Thanks!
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PM
Mon, May 9, 2022, 9:39pm (UTC -5)
I loved this but am shocked it got 2/4 review. Would have guessed it would get a solid 1/4 at best 😂
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Bucktown
Mon, May 9, 2022, 10:14pm (UTC -5)
@Piamolan - "I will give Rick Berman this, as others have: his series had quality control measures. "

Although who has done a better job? Berman, who ran multiple 22+ episode seasons plus feature length films at the same time? Or Kurtzman running two 10+ episode seasons plus some cartoons? Which has had overall more success, given the demands? Hands down Berman to me. Each Berman series had some clunker episodes (even DS9, despite what people now say). Only Enterprise could be considered a failure in retrospect. Discovery and Picard, meanwhile, have been total failures altogether. (Lower Decks and Prodigy are so trite to not even be worth discussing in the same conversation.)
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Jaxon
Mon, May 9, 2022, 10:21pm (UTC -5)
Bucktown siad:

"(Lower Decks and Prodigy are so trite to not even be worth discussing in the same conversation.) "

I'm not even dignifying their existence. I have no interest in watching Star Trek: Urkel or Star Trek: Scooby Doo.
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C.T Phipps
Tue, May 10, 2022, 12:58am (UTC -5)
[[Which makes no sense because Jurati wasn't being mind-controlled or made into some kind of Manchurian candidate like Geordi was; she saw a spooky alien vision and made the choice to commit first degree murder. ]]

I mean, its an alien vision that kills Romulans and caused the Borg to disconnect an entire Cube. Some real Lovecraftian mind-assault stuff ala Mass Effect's markers.

I think that's worthy of Second Degree Murder, which in the Federation according to Kirk is worthy of a sentence to maybe three months in a nice country club and hospital. I mean, it's not like mutiny or genetic engineering where they will throw the book at you.
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TheRealTrent
Tue, May 10, 2022, 9:35am (UTC -5)
Bucktown said: "That was actually me who wrote that one."

Oh, sorry, I think my brain saw the big B in your name and associated with someone else.
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Ilsat
Tue, May 10, 2022, 10:18am (UTC -5)
Sorry but 24th century science is sophisticated enough to probe Jurati's mind to ascertain whether she was traumatized to an extent sufficient to permit her an affirmative defense (likely some form of insanity). If she isn't, she's tried and likely convicted, though the trauma may be a factor in the underlying charge and the ultimate sentence.
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EmpressHoshiSato
Tue, May 10, 2022, 1:48pm (UTC -5)
@Bucktown @TheRealTrent

Berman, Roddenberry, George Lucas - these were visionaries before the dark times.

As far as Enterprise goes, it still had that Star Trek ethos. And by the sounds of that superb interview shared above, it looks like they had a wider story panned out regarding the Romulans and the establishment of the Federation. But were given short notice to wrap up not only the season, but the entire series. The way humanity behaves in Enterprise is in line with the development of humanity post First Contact.

Ungentlemanly conduct by studios without regards for the story and franchise. Yet today, a carte blanche is given to destructive series which not only lack a story, but trample upon the ethos and vision of the franchise itself and established history established by shows/films of the franchise.

The 22nd/23rd/24th/25th century were not meant to be just what we have today. That was not what the utopian Star Trek vision was. Even in the long and seemingly impossible journey home in Voyager, or the depths of despair "on the frontier" in DS9, Star Trek stuck to that vision we saw in TNG. TNG movies too stuck to that.

It's sad to think of what could have been if Enterprise had been finished off properly. Same with Voyager. And to think of this show - Picard - had it had the TNG cast and actually followed on the ethos and story, ships etc we saw before and respectfully built upon the legacy - Oh what could have been!
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Bok R'Mor
Tue, May 10, 2022, 1:59pm (UTC -5)
@EmpressHoshiSato

Well put. Great post.
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Jaxon
Tue, May 10, 2022, 4:28pm (UTC -5)
On BLM adn Januaray 6, BLM never asserted that what they did was actuallly done by someone else, even know we know that their ranks were infiltrated by white supremicists and other (Umbrella Man, et al) that were interested in instigating and/or framing others for violent behavior.

The January 6 insurrectionists, on the other hand, were prancing about the Capitol, fillming themselves doing and/or confessing to the very things they would later find themselves charged with, but then when they failed to stop the EC vote, and realized what shitstorm they were in for, the strategy hilariously became to claim it wasn't; them at all, but that "antifa did it".

Like I said above...lots of the January 6 crowd are now pleading guilty to crimes as serious as sedition (something that even the worst of BLM's actions don't remotely come close to rising to), and prosecutors are batting a thousand on getting guilty verdicts on those that were dumb enough to go to trial.
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Bucktown
Tue, May 10, 2022, 6:20pm (UTC -5)
@EmpressHoshiSato,

Yes, I agree completely. I've always felt that the humans of Star Trek's future were a bit alien, but that's in the best way possible. I think they're meant to seem alien, just as humans of the Renaissance would probably be to us.

Kurtzman Trek basically transplants humans of the 2020s 250-400 years into the future. There's absolutely no cultural difference. I love in 90s Trek that the humans didn't act like us. That was part of the appeal.

Why do we need to see our current culture reflected? I constantly see Kurtzman and the writers say that is the whole point of sci-fi. While yes, there's some aspect of sci-fi that reflects current issues, it should be mostly forward looking with some timeless moral/ethical issues. They seem to believe it's 100% social commentary, nothing more than an allegory (which sucks).
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Bucktown
Tue, May 10, 2022, 6:24pm (UTC -5)
@EmpressHoshiSato,

And yes, I would agree with you that Enterprise still had that "ethos." But the show to me was mostly boring. It significantly dragged. Honestly, I preferred the first 2 seasons (at least when the episodes were good, which was no more than half). The 3rd and 4th seasons, while more consistent, just added up to some dull action plotlines, kind of what we're getting with modern Trek.
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Bok R'Mor
Wed, May 11, 2022, 12:16am (UTC -5)
@Bucktown

'Kurtzman Trek basically transplants humans of the 2020s 250-400 years into the future. There's absolutely no cultural difference. I love in 90s Trek that the humans didn't act like us. That was part of the appeal.'

Yes, I strongly agree with this, and thank you for putting this point into words. Back in the 1990s watching TNG, DS9 and VOY, the way virtually all characters were written so as to have a timeless quality and maturity to them, embodied in dialogue that specifically *did not* copy the way people spoke or acted at the time, definitely contributed to the sense of better and more optimistic times ahead for humanity - albeit in a few centuries' time. I always greatly admired the almost literary dialogue and performances.

This was explicitly referenced in several episodes and films - VOY's 'Future's End' AND 'The Voyage Home' off the very top of my head - where the differences in speech and mores are played for laughs, but also in DS9's 'Past Tense' - again off the top of my head - where it is presented as deeply tragic ('Whoosh! I'm invisible!'). In 'The Neutral Zone' it is pushed too far, but one definitely gets a crystal clear sense of how far humanity in TNG has come from our own ways.

By contrast, snarky quips and some performances from e.g. DSC S1 probably already seem outdated now, just five years later (I am not going back to check). Every single time a character spouts some contemporary slang or terminology in DSC or PIC I don't just feel my suspension of disbelief snap, I also feel disappointed, because one of the most fundamental aspects of Trek - its timelessness - is being cast aside for a bitterly cheap and poorly thought-out writer's cliché. It is very sad to see.

That's before we even get into things like Seven and Raffi misusing well-known phrases like 'Divide and conquer' because, shockingly, the writers don't know what such phrases mean and there is no quality control to catch such errors.
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Tom
Wed, May 11, 2022, 12:31am (UTC -5)
Even the aliens act and sounds like 2020s humans. This can be seen in the SNW pilot where the Enterprise crew have no trouble fitting in after an injection to give them bumpy foreheads.
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Bok R'Mor
Wed, May 11, 2022, 1:15am (UTC -5)
@Tom

Off the top of my head (again) the most glaring moment of it in SNW pilot is where Pike gives the 'where no one has gone before' speech and Uhura giggles 'Cool!'

'Cool!' has been around since the time of TOS of course, but the fourth wall-breaking interjection - and Pike's knowing, happy indulgence of it - is pure NuTrek.

Even LDS, which generally does a more or less respectable job of reining in the worst excesses of NuTrek, is thoroughly littered with contemporary slang and turns of phrase - to the extent that entire scenes consist of little else. It should therefore be no surprise that the best episode of LDS, 'wej Duj', has little to none of this. 'wej Duj' was written by one of NuTrek's younger writers (born 1984), so there is perhaps cause for hope. We'll see.

(I do get the sense that the 2020s dialogue etc in DIS and PIC may be a symptom of immature writers and producers who are in their very late forties and fifties wanting to be seen to be 'down with the kids' - to use a very 1990s turn of phrase.)
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Flipsider
Wed, May 11, 2022, 1:26am (UTC -5)
Yeah... this is one reason why I'm not really excited about Strange New Worlds. Despite the seeming return to things like episodic exploration and a more positive conception of the future, the writing is still off. That moment when Uhura says "cool" was in the trailer for the show (!) and it was an instant turn-off for me.

I REALLY miss that timeless quality of the Berman era Trek writing.
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P Car
Wed, May 11, 2022, 7:05am (UTC -5)
When I think about how humans are developing as a species, it makes me realise how much work we have to do to even get anywhere near the future painted in TNG. 30 years on from it and we've gone backwards if anything. That was what TNG was all about, painting it as normal that we would evolve and become better.

Now we can't even make a TV series properly - about this very thing. PIC (and DISC) are the proof really that we haven't progressed. Because we can't even do that right. Most of the season was set in present time (so gave no hope for the future) and what was in the future was a galaxy ending event, which had no stakes and we all knew wouldn't work.

What is also noticeable is that the writers and producers of TNG and their like, were adults. They brought a maturity to their stories and a pride in their work. They took responsibility. In modern Trek everyone is happy to claim credit (8 ex producers) but no one takes responsibility. They have to talk it into being good rather than just... make it that way.

PIC 2 was yet another disappointment. It wasn't even consistent with itself. At the end of S1 they were all on a plucky independent ship, start of S2 and they're all in Starfleet, except of course, Seven, who wasn't admitted due to bigotry. What now?

Then they're effectively civilians in a strange new world in itself - today. This has all been done so you've got to compete against ST IV, and even VOY for Christ's sake. And they got nowhere near.

Poor storylines included:
FBI agent saw a vulcan
ICE guys are all dicks
Raffi is guilty
The Borg and Jurati are lonely
Picard's mum hanged herself
Picard's dad was distant
Janeway didn't support Seven
Guinan has a bar called 10 forward, and cries about humans today
All of that Spiner stuff

and.. the

Timeline... so they changed the future by:
Killing about 12 people (leave them in a wall, it's fine)
Allowing immigrants to escape
Stealing a car
Smashing bar windows (never got that one, for fun. How is this fun?)
Killing more people (oh well! guess we'll leave him in an alleyway)
Caused days of unexplained darkness in France
Security guards at party...

Anyway, I think if you've got Picard, you just do more TNG. Just do that.
S1 could have been - retired Admiral decides to be archaeologist, gets caught up on planets where they need help... kind of a Knight Rider for the galaxy. Moral issues would come to the fore, it could be episodic, or two parters. He could get help from old crew mates...

No... we get
Mum's hanged herself
Daddy doesn't care
Q is not immortal
Borg are here for hugs

There was no mystery, wonder, life to aspire to... would people watch PIC and say 'that's inspiring?'

PIC didn't have to be a comic book story - god knows we have enough of those churned out (how many Spidermans and Batmans are we on now?) it always sat alone as a vision... that was what made it popular!

Only good thing... Seven was made a Captain (maybe, if it goes through). But she should be one anyway... passing by a planet that Picard was helping out. How cool would that be?

Bring on the Orville.
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Nic
Wed, May 11, 2022, 9:47am (UTC -5)
So, here we are. The end of my new least favorite season of Star Trek. Worse than TNG’s first season, worse than Discovery’s first season*, worse even than Lower Decks’ first season.

After “The Star Gazer”, I mentioned that I felt the setup was mostly average. Well, given that the rest of the season has been less than average, I would have preferred a story (ANY story) that had actually built on that setup rather than taking a pointless detour to 2024. The whole season could have dealt with forging an alliance between the Federation and these Borg and I would have been fine with that.

And why did they bother to reintroduce Soji at the beginning of the season, seeing as we saw her zero (0) times afterwards? What has the “nice” Borg collective been doing for the last 380 years? Did they try to stop the other collective from attacking Earth and other worlds? How can Admiral Picard give Seven a field commission when Admiral Janeway didn’t have enough pull to get her into Starfleet? I have many more questions, but I'll stop here.

Rios decides to spend the rest of his life four centuries in the past to stay with a woman he met three days ago (I know it feels like longer to us, but only because this season has been such a slog). I’m disappointed because he’s my third-favorite character after Picard and Seven (though that’s not saying much).

*Caveat: I haven’t seen seasons 2-4 of Discovery.
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EmpressHoshiSato
Wed, May 11, 2022, 5:52pm (UTC -5)
@Bucktown @Bok R'Mor Thanks!

Yes Bucktown, agreed. Thing is all the older series and movies had that Star Trek ethos. Most of the series were episodic in nature with occasional multi episode arcs or an overall season theme (Voyager for instance about the journey of getting back home). They all shared that Roddenberry vision.

The key is just like you said. The 23rd/24th century humans are alien to us and that's what Star Trek was about. An optimistic utopian future. There were those fabulous lines from First Contact which probably sums it up best:

"It unites humanity in a way no one ever thought possible. When they realize they're not alone in the universe, poverty, disease, war - they'll all be gone within the next fifty years."

"Your theories on warp drive allow fleets of starships to be built and mankind to start exploring the Galaxy."

Similarly Kirk in the Voyage Home mentioning "These people are still using money!" or how humans used to use colourful metaphors when they talked in the 20th century.

There's even a clip of excerpts of Captain Picard's speeches on Youtube posted by a fan. Eloquence, meaning, gravitas. That's what Star Trek was about.

I totally agree on the notion that the future should not be inserting a tiny section of 21st century people/problems/views into the 24th century. It just doesn't make any sense at all. Earth is meant to be a paradise by that point. Old Star Trek episodes explored themes by telling it within a story.

As mentioned above, the world in 50-90 years time, to 100-150 years time to 300 years time across Enterprise, TOS, TNG, DS9, Voyager was shown to be a much better place. "We work to better ourselves. And the rest of humanity."
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Tommy D.
Wed, May 11, 2022, 6:13pm (UTC -5)
I enjoyed the scenes with Picard and Q. Great stuff from De Lancie. The rest is mediocre at best.

Ultimately a disappointment for me as a season. I think it ends in the right place, but I agree with Jammer I'm not sure much of the story to get there is satisfying at all.

I might be so disappointed with this season I would rank a season of ENT ahead of it. Well, perhaps not :)
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Leif
Wed, May 11, 2022, 7:14pm (UTC -5)
Jammer, I'm surprised you didn't address this in the review so could you PLEASE ADDRESS the hole of Why Q was dying in the first place?? Don't youbthinknthat was too big of a plot hole??

And don't most ppl agree it was NOT OBVIOUS at all until maybe this the last episode that Jurati would be the veiled Borg queen..since that queen came through a rift..anyone agree?
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Jammer
Wed, May 11, 2022, 7:30pm (UTC -5)
Q dying is one of those things I can accept as "it's just happening." The why isn't really important, and any explanation would likely be inadequate and unsatisfying anyway. In terms of plot holes from this season ranked on a 1-10 scale, this would be about a 3.

As for the Jurati Borg coming through the rift in space-time, I guess she really should already have been in this space-time universe, so I guess that's a loose end and/or plot hole. It kind of made sense back when the Borg Queen was from the alternate Confederation timeline, but I guess it doesn't now that the Confederation timeline was averted in 2024. Let's rate that a 7 on the PIC S2 plot hole scale.
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Flipsider
Wed, May 11, 2022, 7:51pm (UTC -5)
The thing with Q dying, it's not even so much that it's a "plot hole." Sure it doesn't fit the character's established lore, but the idea in a vacuum is not a bad one. However, it does feel very uncreative since it's pretty much the same character revelation as with Data in season 1, complete with the same kind of scene.

"People sure liked that Data scene from season 1, right? Let's just do that again."

I can't wait till season 3 where the final episode has Picard sit around in a room with the entire remaning Enterprise crew who are all dying. I'm sure it'll hit all the feels!
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Mike Stoklasa
Wed, May 11, 2022, 9:35pm (UTC -5)
Yikes this finale and the show in general are all over the place. I just don't know... I think I'll stick with reruns of TOS, TNG and DS9 moving forward. Stargate is supposed to be pretty good. This stuff they're calling Star Trek is just hard to watch anymore.
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Bok R'Mor
Thu, May 12, 2022, 1:18am (UTC -5)
@EmpressHoshiSato replying to @Bucktown

'Thing is all the older series and movies had that Star Trek ethos. Most of the series were episodic in nature with occasional multi episode arcs or an overall season theme (Voyager for instance about the journey of getting back home).'

These are really key points, I think, as to why NuTrek mostly doesn't work. Arcs based on mystery boxes where the writers and producers forget or simply lose interest in what they themselves have set up only a couple of episodes previously simply haven't proven successful.

But there's a wider issue here that I often come back to which is that the very premise of each NuTrek series is all too vague. This lack of clear series concepts creates an uncertainty about what stories are to be told that ultimately ends up as the lurching incoherence we see particularly in S2 of PIC.

Take Berman-era Trek: the series concepts are very strong, grounding each series in an extremely clear premise:

TNG: TOS updated for the 1980s
DS9: TNG on a space station
VOY: TNG does Lost in Space
ENT: the first ever Trek prequel.

We can of course quibble over how successful each of these series was in its self-defined remit, but I think it's fair to say they used their concepts mostly well, ENT being perhaps the weakest for myriad reasons.

Anyway, what strong concepts does NuTrek have? Very few. DIS and SNW (!) are another prequel to TOS, and partly actually overlap with TOS. PIC is meant to be a sequel to TNG but acts more like a completely different series. Only LDS and PROD are successfuø in my opinion, and that's because they have the most distinctive concepts of the new series: LDS is TNG lower decks (literally) while PROD is a sort of reverse VOY seen through children's eyes (and a kids' show).

DIS should have probably been a 'Lost in time' story from the very start to give it a clear niche and, well, PIC was not well thought through in any regard.
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Quinton
Thu, May 12, 2022, 2:17am (UTC -5)
"...official shameless-promoter company-man softball host of The Ready Room."

C'mon, man.

I love your reviews (even if I only agree with them like 60/40, they're still well-written) but I think this is doing a tremendous disservice to Wheaton. Not because there's no chance you're right, but because there's also a chance he truly is that enthusiastic all the time, you know? And, if that's the case, then I don't think it's cool to go insulting the guy on the supposition that it isn't.
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Flipsider
Thu, May 12, 2022, 2:20am (UTC -5)
@Quinton
We may not be able to know what's going on in people's heads, but it's fair to comment about how people come off.
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Bucktown
Thu, May 12, 2022, 2:29am (UTC -5)
@Mike Stoklasa,

If this really is Mike, lololol. Gold star comment.
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Quinton
Thu, May 12, 2022, 2:48am (UTC -5)
@Flipsider

I suppose. I don't know. It just felt weirdly over-the-top to me, especially since I tend to find Jammer pretty nice in most cases!
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Bucktown
Thu, May 12, 2022, 3:09am (UTC -5)
@Quinton,

"...official shameless-promoter company-man softball host of The Ready Room."

I mean Jammer puts it crassly, but isn't that exactly what Wheaton is? It's not like he was hired to be some hard hitting independent journalist. They hired him to be a nerd hype man, not some 60 Minutes reporter grilling Akiva Goldsman on the inanities of his maddening plots. Whoever has that job has to play along.
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Nothing but the Tears
Thu, May 12, 2022, 5:36pm (UTC -5)
Thanks, Jammer, for the reviews. I’ve really enjoyed reading them and following some of the conversations here in the comments.

I do wish things has turned out differently, though. I really do. At the end of S1, I decided I wouldn’t be back for S2. However, the return of Q and Guinan, plus the generally positive response to the first episode, made me give it a try.

I think I started and stopped watching the first episode two or three times before I saw all of it. It was a stark reminder of how little I’d connected with the new characters, plus I really disliked the handwaving with regards to Zhaban and Jurati. The idea of a relationship between Picard and Laris really irked me since the bond the three of them appeared to share in S1 was so much more interesting and possibly unique in Trek.

So I stopped watching after the first episode. And, honestly, based on everything I’ve read here, I’m happy I did. I honestly don’t know how the production or writing teams on this show actually work, but it’s safe to say the end result is not for me. Like S1 and Discovery before it, S2 seems intent on chasing down the least interesting avenues for reasons I honestly cannot comprehend.

I feel that it’s such a shame considering some of the great actors they’ve got (Stewart, in particular), plus a great VFX team, from what I can tell.

I saw that the first episode of Strange New Worlds appears to have been well received. With the same people at the helm as Picard and Discovery, unfortunately, I know I won’t be tuning in.
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RobSolf
Thu, May 12, 2022, 7:06pm (UTC -5)
"I wasn't a fan of Guinan giving us the highlights of Rios' life with Teresa in the 21st century. Better to leave that to the imagination rather than giving us the CliffsNotes summary. He dies in a bar fight over medical supplies? Sigh."

They basically pulled a "Poochie" on him.
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Mike
Sun, May 15, 2022, 8:31am (UTC -5)
It was disappointing. Between vilifying ICE, and cops, and the forced Seven and Raffi thing, which btw they have zero chemistry. This season was a hot mess of jumbled up story-lines. The young Guinan was horrible at best. Jammer's review says it all. Those stories were so convoluted and to me, geez what a mess. I did enjoy Wesley's guest appearance. I felt like it fit the canon, and it make me smile too. I am in the middle of a rewatch of TNG, and he got the shaft in many of those episodes. Like, omg who thought that weird sweater top was good idea. The clothes! Of course I am watching some truly dreadful episodes in season one and two. Stinkers.
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MarkG
Sun, May 15, 2022, 2:30pm (UTC -5)
This season would be better to have been 5 episodes or so.

The childhood trauma thing became repetitive quite quickly. First, it was Picard, then it was the FBI officer, then Renee herself.
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mosley
Sun, May 15, 2022, 9:58pm (UTC -5)
Haven't read all the comments, so I am likely not the first to say this, but it does say a lot about this series that the part that I enjoyed the most about it was the RLM episodes where they masterfully tear it all apart with the perfectly appropriate amount of seriousness (or lack thereof).

Finale Review is yet another gem in the category of celebrated absurdity (and let's face it, that's really all that this season deserves).

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