Star Trek: Picard

"Mercy"

2.5 stars

Air date: 4/21/2022
Written by Cindy Appel & Kirsten Beyer
Directed by Joe Menendez

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"Mercy" is a welcome step in the direction of plot coherence, where multiple threads of what has been happening for the past few episodes begin to converge in ways that finally start to reveal a picture that may not totally make sense but at least doesn't feel completely random and haphazard. Finally we have most of the major players pointing toward a common direction, instead of isolated in their bubbles doing their own thing.

Still, though, other pieces (like Picard unlocking his mother's room in the past) are missing or deferred, and the first half of the episode had me impatient, with its interrogation scenes that felt like they were ported in from the overplayed police procedural of your choice, and the scenes aboard La Sirena with Rios, Teresa, and her son, which frankly felt like a complete waste of time, despite the easygoing efforts Santiago Cabrera.

This jigsaw-puzzle approach to storytelling doesn't suddenly become good storytelling just because the pieces are starting to come together. If the season is a jigsaw puzzle, my fear here is that the solution is just a big shape of a single color. Which is to say, it's a massive, frustrating pain in the ass to put together, and completely unsatisfying when you're staring at it in the end. At least with "Mercy" we get the, well, mercy that we've figured out that many of the pieces do in fact fit together into a larger mass. And we do get some characterization that makes some nods toward human feelings.

The emotional core of the episode is actually within FBI Agent Wells (Jay Karnes), an unappreciated Mulder-like rogue of the agency who believes in extraterrestrial life because of an event from his childhood. He now conducts "super off-the-books" investigations in basements with the cameras turned off because his superiors don't think much of his work. Wells thinks Picard is an alien and tries to get him to admit it.

That this pays off with a flashback showing us why Wells has made this connection — as a kid he saw the same sort of transporter beam when the Vulcans were visiting Earth and he discovered them in the woods; a mind meld intended to erase the memory of their presence failed — and how it has haunted him ever since. Jay Karnes and Patrick Stewart make this an actually decent standalone human story, and if this feels like a bit of a random detour given everything else going on, I will say that telling more standalone character stories like this while advancing the main plot is a more workable structure than just spinning our wheels within the main plot with pointless mechanics.

Q also returns, and de Lancie makes the most of ... whatever this is. He first appears as an interactive program that has been installed onto Kore's VR goggles, and reveals to Kore her true nature as Soong's experiment — although this is pretty redundant, because how would she have not figured this out after seeing all of Soong's videos in "Two of One"? (Leave it to this show to over-explain things that should already be obvious to certain characters while not explaining other things that leave the audience in the dark.)

Later, Q and Guinan cross paths, and we learn that he's apparently dying and looking for some semblance of meaning before it all ends. It's still not clear what Q intended Picard to do, but he didn't necessarily intend for Picard to go back into the past to correct the future. This is a step toward some sort of larger explanation, but various cards are still not revealed, and I'm not convinced this will ever make sense. But we'll see. There's cryptic dialogue that tries to get to some sort of point here, but it falls short of making this wholly worthwhile.

The central throughline about how humans are doomed by their "inability to escape the past" is at least an attempt to give this episode some sort of substance, and it ties in reasonably well to Wells' life, which has been defined by that one moment with the Vulcans in the past, and which Picard helps release him from by finally providing the explanation Wells has long sought. Wells agrees to release Picard and Guinan and help them.

Meanwhile, Raffi and Seven are on the case to find Jurati. Seven tries to put herself in Jurati's shoes as a Borg, and when they do track her down, Seven and Raffi fight the more powerful Jurati. Agnes is able to stop her inner Queen from killing them both and showing them mercy; it indicates that Agnes is still in there somewhere. Also, the writers at least try to take a run at Raffi as a character, looking at her relationship with Elnor (via flashback) and her tendency to manipulate those close to her to get them to do what she wants. Like a lot of things, this feels like too little, too late — but it's better than all the Bitter Angry Raffi that has been what the character has been about most of this season.

As for Soong and Kore — what does this have to do with anything? (And how does Soong have a bloodline if the Soongs are all mad scientists with no families?) Well, it finally kind of connects here (minus the bloodline thing) when the Agnes-Queen shows up at Soong's house and makes him an offer he can't refuse by laying out for him (and us) the fork in the road: Either he can help her stop the Europa mission launch, which would stop Renee Picard's Important Discovery and lead to an "ecological freefall" which Soong can somehow leverage into becoming a world savior (in what will become the totalitarian future). Or he can not help her, and be a meaningless failure. Soong, being the villain, chooses to be important rather than meaningless, and helps the Queen begin assimilating her army from ex-military mercs.

Look, this still doesn't make a ton of sense, and I certainly wouldn't call it "good." (Making the Europa mission a fulcrum upon which Trek history pivots — when there is still a third world war and First Contact supposedly in the future from this point — is shaky to say the least.) But this is the best episode of Picard since "Assimilation," and it manages to start fitting some of the major plotlines together just when I was getting really impatient. It remains to be seen if the last two episodes of this season can bring this home in a meaningful way. We will soon see.

Previous episode: Monsters
Next episode: Hide and Seek

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262 comments on this post

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Captain Jon
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 2:03am (UTC -5)
Now we're going somewhere! Let's just hope they keep it together these last two episodes. This was a marked improvement over the last few weeks.
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PM
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 2:14am (UTC -5)
@Captain Jon, I feel like this can be the review for this week's episode. It was timely, short and useful. You have convinced me to watch!
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Jaxon
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 2:15am (UTC -5)
More interesting this week, but still plot salad.
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Daniel
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 2:52am (UTC -5)
I just wish they didn't do the "Eleven" nosebleed trope. I'm also trying to come up with a 7-11 joke, but... too tired.
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Mike Lindell
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 2:53am (UTC -5)
I liked this episode more than the last few. The drama felt less unearned, and the plot actually advanced a fair bit. However, im starting to get a headache trying to keep the twists and turns of said plot straight in my head.
7/10 this week

Various questions:

-Were those Vulcans the Carbon Creek Vulcans?

-Why does Junati say that Soong either ushers in the confederation or dies forgotten? It's not 'confederation or be forgotten' its 'confederation or Data's forefather' right? Maybe the borg queen is just lying.
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Daniel
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 3:20am (UTC -5)
@Mike

I agree in general, though there was probably a much better way to portray the FBI agent's dismissal. Why would he be fired mid-investigation? Civil servants at the GS10-13 generally aren't summarily fired and told to clean out their desks--they're suspended pending disciplinary or dismissal proceedings. It would've made much more plausible sense if he was simply reassigned to some remote post.

- Carbon Creek episode was set in 1957, which would make Agent Wells well into his 70s if he was there. Plus those Vulcans were rescued. That doesn't mean that other teams were doing research--just kinda dumb that they didn't even try to hide the ears.

- It's not established that there's a direct lineage from Adam all the way to Noonien, rather it probably makes more sense that the Soong family and relations have the genes that predispose brilliance as well as brush up against crazy.
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Booming
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 3:36am (UTC -5)
" genes that predispose brilliance as well as brush up against crazy."
There are no brilliance/genius genes. It's more complex than that and genetically Noonien Soong would have very little in common with his great great great great great great great great grandparent Adam (less than 0.2%)
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Colin Lindsly
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 3:59am (UTC -5)
I saw the Bradbury Building in the episode. It brought back memories of the Blade Runner movies. Those were good science fiction tales. That was the highlight of the episode for me.

I don't care about the rest, anymore. I am two chapters away from completing this story, so I will slog my way through. I have given up on a satisfactory ending.
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Norvo
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 4:00am (UTC -5)
Another episode of Picard in which the titular star literally does little more than sit around. Patrick Stewart sells it, but it's not my idea of exciting.

All kidding aside: this week's installment picked up the pace considerably, though it's still full of utterly convenient plot holes. Q can leave interactive holograms in 3D glasses now? Poor Isa Briones puts them on and is stuck playing Star Trek: Borg. As if only getting to play artificial girls with fictional mothers wasn't bad enough.

Which brings me to the Queen of Red Herrings out there doing stuff. Did Seven and Raffi really leave that dead guy behind to be discovered? When he's chockfull of primitive nanoprobes? Talk about the butterfly effect.

Jurati conveniently locating Soong just to advance the plot is fine, I guess. But I can't believe Adam Soong is this self absorbed and deluded to not realize she will betray him. This is a cybernetic entity ready to take over organic life... The same organic life he's spent a lifetime trying to perfect. Why work with her?

And let's talk about Jurati remotely blocking La Sirena's transporters with Borg code. If she can do that, it means she has control over the systems. Which also means she can reach the ship without Soong or any of those soldiers.

But that's what we get because the writers decided we need a big scary zombie A.I. army to end the season. It's like Control in Discovery season 2 all over again.

So Guinan can now appear to people as a telepathic hologram? Man, that trick sure could have been convenient in TNG episodes like Rascals or Time's Arrow.

"We'll use Talinn's transporter!"... Say, where *IS* Talinn anyway? She could have helped out to get JL and Guinan free. But then we wouldn't have spent half an episode with I Can't Believe It Ain't Fox Mulder having his truth is out there moment.

One final note on Q's comment "Humans are all stuck in the past"... Call me overly sensitive, but that felt like the writers telling old Trek fans to shut the f up and get with the now. I'll politely decline.
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Daniel
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 4:02am (UTC -5)
@Booming

I meant that semi-facetiously. It's the part of science and molecular genetics that also gets hand-waved away to explain why Tallin looks identical to Laris, or why Adam Soong looks like Arik who looks like Noonien. On the Soong side, it just appears that at least Arik and Adam were too preoccupied in their work to have natural progeny. Noonien we only found out had a son over 30 years after the character was introduced in TNG.
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Daniel
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 4:10am (UTC -5)
The biggest problem I have with this episode without knowing the view from 60,000 light years is that whole FBI thing just seemed like filler. If Agent Wells isn't playing a future role (unlikely since he was canned) in the series, his interaction didn't materially transform the plot or characters. Guinan+Q could have been slippen in somewhere else.
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Alienatbar
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 4:14am (UTC -5)
Is Mercy the name of the episode or did someone read my mind? Sorry, haven’t got it yet here in Oz so I shall zip it. Sounds a little more interesting though. I’d like some bacon in that plot salad thanks.
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Booming
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 4:19am (UTC -5)
@Daniel
"why Tallin looks identical to Laris, or why Adam Soong looks like Arik who looks like Noonien."
The only logic to all this is: "Some Trekkies like Brent Spiner and Brent Spiner likes a paycheck." Same is true, to a lesser degree, for Orla Brady. Obviously the writers don't care about these things, so why should we. ;)
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Brian
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 6:26am (UTC -5)
OK. This one was FAR more palatable but it is still a shining example of why you don't let people who can't juggle try to juggle a hundred very expensive items. Essentially, they're attempting to juggle priceless heirlooms (Paramount might own the rights to Trek but we paid for it and kept it alive for decades). I think they just might have been able to do something halfway coherent if they didn't have 30 things going on at the same time.

This is sort of like the plot of First Contact only it was done extremely well in First Contact.

Still, I hope they can keep things at least as watchable as this for the rest of the season.
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Tim C
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 6:40am (UTC -5)
Awful. The pace might've picked up but at this point it's just a sprint through a nonsensical plot towards a destination I stopped caring about, by characters who aren't really characters but cardboard cut-outs, never fleshed out enough to draw more than a fleeting "huh" of interest.

I'm truly disappointed that my initial misgivings about the premise for this season turned out to be correct. I had real hopes after those first two episodes.

That's two dud seasons of Trek for me this year. God I hope Strange New Worlds can pull out of the nosedive...
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Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 7:52am (UTC -5)
That was a good episode...it came close to great, but it was held back by some really odd choices.

It is nice to have some genuine forward movement in the plot. A lot of the questions of the season were answered here, more or less, such as what actually causes the Confederation timeline to come into being, and what the hell is going on with Q. I'm not sure how an entity which was formerly immortal can die at a set time when they can travel through time at will, but I will just presume that the Q Continuum has its own flow of time he normally "lives" in. Alison Pill is incredible now that she's in Borg Queen mode. I have to say I haven't seen her in much else, and playing two distinct characters (the second of which already had an established portrayal) showcases her range. I don't get why the Borg Queen also wants to interrupt Renee Picard's voyage though - seems like assimilation.

Amazingly, almost all of the characters are used well here. They remember that Seven used to be Borg, and it has plot relevance. Raffi actually gets decent use, and a flashback scene with Elnor where he is finally more than an extra (though the actor's skill is still obviously limited). Isa Briones gets her best scenes of the season as Kore (the technobabble gives away she's a clone...but of who?). Picard gets a great inspiring Picard moment with Wells. Rios remains cute with his adoptive family, Spiner is great in his role as always. The only ones which seem a bit off to me here are Guinan and Q, who get good roles, but were better executed elsewhere.

The downside of this episode is mostly the scripting. There's some real groan-worthy lines, and even more which are...um...writerly, to put it nicely. They might work on the stage, but in a hyper-realistic fast-paced kind of modern production, they really pull me out of the experience. The attempt at cute romantic dialogue between Rios and Teresa for example - her hypothetical scenario about their being married for 10 years is just too detailed/drawn out to realistically be something that a character would come up with off the top of their head. There's little bits of that between Soong and Kore, Q and Guinan, Seven and Raffi - overwritten long-winded monologues which are just too "perfect" to be said by real people. I also thought Guinan's appearance during the brown-out when Picard was being interrogated was laughably awful - unneeded to move the plot along, and seemingly establishing an additional power that El-Aurians never had before.

Still, on the whole, it was a good outing, and makes me optimistic towards the season endgame.
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Dom
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 8:18am (UTC -5)
Much more entertaining overall, but this still feels like a plot salad. Stuff is starting to connect - like Soong and Jurati teaming up - but it doesn't feel like it's building up to anything larger or more interesting. There's no themes or interesting ideas here.
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NewBoy
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 9:37am (UTC -5)
I’m thinking Rios takes the lady and kid with him because they are going to die when Los Angeles is incinerated during World War 3.

Or… the kid ends up being an important part of human history and he has to leave them behind.
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Jason R.
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 9:39am (UTC -5)
"I’m thinking Rios takes the lady and kid with him because they are going to die when Los Angeles is incinerated during World War 3."

At least Guinan's bar survives the nuclear holocaust.
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Captain Jon
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 9:39am (UTC -5)
Anyone else think Soong is on his way to being Assimilated Meat? The Borg Queen has no interest in helping him establish his legacy since that timeline see the Borg wiped out. He's only a means to an end and I think he's gonna get a bloodstream full of nanoprobes by the time this season is done. Either way, I think he's due for a most unpleasant demise.
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Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 9:54am (UTC -5)
I'd also note that over the last two episodes, the thematic core of the season has revealed itself.

First, Picard had imagined his father as a monster - explicitly calling him one. He misunderstood his father's intentions, who was trying (and failing) to manage his mother's mental illness.

Here, Ducane carried with him childhood trauma from an encounter with a Vulcan. He imagined the Vulcan as a monster, when he was just a dude trying (and failing) to manage the situation.

I presume this is how the season will end. There are no monsters - there are no bad guys. The Borg themselves are misunderstood, and when we go full circle back before the Stargazer went all explody, Picard will make peace with the Borg. If we presume that what's "out there" is monsters, we end up in the Confederation timeline, not the Federation one.
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Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 10:52am (UTC -5)
Oh, and I think the "penance" Q talked about in the second episode is his own. He's trying to rectify the situation he created in Q Who by introducing Picard to the Borg. He now sees the "lesson" that he taught humanity (to be afraid of the unknown) as a horrible mistake. Everything they are going through is to teach them the Borg are not monsters.
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Chrome
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 11:04am (UTC -5)
One of the best in weeks. They’re finally tying up all the big plotlines introduced in episode 5, “Fly Me to the Moon”, here. Apparently, the Renee Picard mission is still in jeopardy (which makes sense considering how brief Picard’s speech was a few episodes ago) but now from an empowered Soong. Yet Soong’s not really in power, as The-Borg Queen-in-Agnes-form is calling the shots and using Soon to create a primitive collective.

What I think worked about this episode was that the solution to breaking
Picard’s FBI containment was not some sort of gun fight or future tech hax0rs but rather an enlightened discussion. Agent Wells thought he’d been violated in the past, he sought to understand the violation, and Guinan picks up on the fact that the man is driven more by curiosity than vengeance. This is the most Roddenberry-like of storylines this season has produced so far, where no one’s really the bad guy, but enough detective work leads to a win-win-win solution. Sure, Wells lost his post in the trade, but he got the answers to the questions that drove him to his job to begin with (presumably he has a pension).

We’re also given some much needed information on Q, who is evidently mortal now. Q cryptically suggests that he’s challenging Picard and his friends to evolve through this game in the past. Of course, it’s still the most confusing time travel storyline and the writers have been very miserly with giving us details. But we could at least hope for a reasonable explanation to Q’s motives and workings within the next few weeks.

Finally, a part of me feels not so keen on this season becoming “First Contact” Mark II, so hopefully they’ll surprise us with something different. Jurati is still inside the Borg Queen -controlling her on some level as we see in the form of “mercy” given to Raffi this week. What else can Jurati do? Please spice up the ending to this, at least!
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Cletus
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 11:07am (UTC -5)
"the Borg are misunderstood". Good grief, please no. But I fear your analysis is correct, fits like a glove for the overwrought touchy feely dsc and pic love wallowing in.
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Jeffrey's Tube
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 11:12am (UTC -5)
Well, I don't know about you all, but Seven telling Raffi off was a highlight of the season for me. I don't mind the Raffi character like some of you do, and yet, it was satisfying, was it not?

This remains, in the end, a story no one was asking for. Surely the talents of this cast, this setting, and a mission statement for the show of exploring the depths of a character this rich could have been put to a better end than . . . this.

If the Queen stops the Europa mission, then the future timeline in which the Confederation happens and the Borg are wiped out comes to pass, no? So doesn't she want to restore the original timeline? Or is she gambling everything on creating a third timeline by assimilating Earth in 2024? I suppose it's the latter, but that's a pretty big risk for a species that has repeatedly been shown to operate as pragmatists.

Then again, perhaps she cannot help herself. Assimilating things is in her nature, and she's lonely.

Someone above called this episode "plot salad." I think that's apt.
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Eric Jensen
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 12:36pm (UTC -5)
I like it, some answers!
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Eric Jensen
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 12:56pm (UTC -5)
Q *is* dying
Q needs to find some meaning, so he stops Picard from self-destruct
I do like the interaction between Guinan and Q
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Jaxon
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 1:05pm (UTC -5)
I see my "plot salad" caught on...
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Booming
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 1:12pm (UTC -5)
Salad is good for your body and brain. I demand a new metaphor!
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Dahj's Digital Ghost
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 1:21pm (UTC -5)
Agent Well's childhood experience could well have happened in Carbon Creek, PA., mid- to late-1970s. Maybe the Vulcans returned to Carbon Creek twenty years later to make certain that all technology (especially Vulcan alloys) from the survey mission of 1957 was recovered.

This episode was okay, but the season has dragged....
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Daniel
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 1:32pm (UTC -5)
So on a rewatch, I noticed that the interrogation room had these weird boxes on the walls that had four lights in them...
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Harpohara
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 3:11pm (UTC -5)
I’m starting to like Karl Zimmerman’s reviews almost as much as Jammers
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Jaxon
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 3:32pm (UTC -5)
Stewart inviting Goldberg "into Season 2 of Picard" is looking more and more like a glorified cameo.

I wonder if she expected more.
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Captain Jon
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 4:51pm (UTC -5)
Just a little observation, Kore takes off her shoes when she leaves the house. I guess she's planning on traveling LA barefoot?

Also, as a father of young children who loves Disney, I found this to be an allusion to Rapunzel who wears no shoes when she goes into the world.
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Dreubarik
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 5:20pm (UTC -5)
Maybe I missed something, but what is the connection between Soong and the Borg Queen/Jurati? Why would she go to him or need him? Why would she care about the Europa flight at all? Perhaps the discovery of alien life would trigger a long chain of events leading to the Federation if left uninterrupted, but surely that won't be the case If Earth is assimilated first. The Borg Queen should want to quietly disappear and start assimilating as many inconspicuous people as possible. Instead, she is unable to assimilate people for plot reasons until she decides to take over a rando mercenary who is doing her bidding anyway and will soon come into harm's way.

Yes, the different plot lines are intersecting... But for what logical reason beyond the writers deeming it so? None that I can see. These plot lines appeared disconnected because, apparently, they are. It is all so deeply stupid and nonsensical that even slightly more competent episodes like this one are made unpalatable.
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sj82
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 6:00pm (UTC -5)
So horrid.

I was going to say - before this episode - that this show is Diet Star Trek. It offers a Diet Captain Picard with a Diet Guinan - no calories, no substance, just a sick taste after you've finished drinking it.

Now I realize I had it wrong - this is like drinking sewage.

The plot is all over the place, the dialogue atrocious ("who wants to add some biological distinctiveness to our own" was particularly offensive as a callback to what was once a threatening and frightening phrase and is now reduced to a quip) - and the acting flat and wooden.

Laughable.
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Mike Lindell
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 6:03pm (UTC -5)
They have to know that having a trillion producers is a recipe for disaster, yet they keep doing it. Go figure.
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modulum
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 6:43pm (UTC -5)
"Oh, and I think the "penance" Q talked about in the second episode is his own. He's trying to rectify the situation he created in Q Who by introducing Picard to the Borg. He now sees the "lesson" that he taught humanity (to be afraid of the unknown) as a horrible mistake. Everything they are going through is to teach them the Borg are not monsters."

this is such a good concept for a picard-centered long-form story i wish it was attached to a better actual plot
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Henson
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 7:01pm (UTC -5)
@modulum

I dunno, man. Sure, the idea of Q admitting to fault could be interesting, especially if thematically tied into other plot events. But the Borg, from TNG onwards, have been a species whose primary feature is the removal of individuality from other species. It's pretty monstrous.
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Mike Lindell
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 7:12pm (UTC -5)
Sounds like you're being intolerant of Borg culture to me.
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Armus
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 7:30pm (UTC -5)
Eeeeeeh a bit better, but still... I feel that the narrative is all over the place and the plot is not progressing fast enough. Lots of things don't make a lot of sense, like Guinan appearing like a ghost, Jurati somehow still resisting assimilation, the whole thing with the FBI guy... so the message was that things happen for a reason and that him seeing Vulcans as a kid needed to happen because he had this important role in the future of letting Picard and Guinan go? Hahah also, Q was right - Picard and his whole crew did come to the 21st century all on their own (also knowing well that the borg Queen should not be trusted lol). Everyone has done some some serious damage to the timeline so I'm not sure how they are going to wrap up the whole thing in two more episodes. Same thing I always say: Everyhing that has happened so far could have easily been a two or three parter.
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Colin Lindsly
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 8:24pm (UTC -5)
According to the producers, Picard's Merry Band of Misfits are not in the prime timeline. They are in a separate timeline. This is their explanation for why Guinan has no memory of events from the 1890s. They are screwing up another timeline, not their timeline.

And, apparently, according to Terry Matalas, they chose to ignore the Eugenics Wars. For me, this explains why there were no references to the DY ships in the manned space flight exhibit.
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Scott
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 8:24pm (UTC -5)
It was a good episode.

All I know is the payoff with Q will either make or break this season. The last 2 eps better be good, and whatever they do with Q better be good. It all hinges on the endgame.
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Rahul
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 8:32pm (UTC -5)
Another mess of an episode in terms of structure -- just too many moving pieces but it at least seems like there's a light at the end of the tunnel with the various subplots coalescing. The experience watching this episode is again mostly frustrating but it gets somewhat interesting near the end.

I don't like the idea that Q is "dying" -- this is again going down the wrong road similar to what VOY did with its Q episodes for me (after "Death Wish"). I think this is the slapstick way these writers are trying to make a big deal about humans being stuck in the past and wanting to fix it so as to evolve. And now Q wants to learn about this somehow via Picard?? If that's the case, the whole premise for PIC S2 is just not good enough.

I wish we didn't have to introduce yet another piece to the puzzle in Wells. Now we need his backstory. And I feel this is more superficial fan service tying back to "Carbon Creek".

I like Pill's acting as the Borg Queen -- she has shown a pretty impressive range of acting in S2, not far off what Ryan did on VOY. So the BQ is trying to assimilate humans however many hundreds of years ahead of schedule. She makes a deal with Soong and La Sirena is to be the focal point with Picard's forces defending the ship from her. That's a reasonable action-adventure backdrop -- just not that interesting or profound/thought-provoking.

Thought the romance between Rios and Teresa built nicely here but it's more of a distraction at this point. Raffi/7 have their sort of catfight and Raffi admits she's a manipulator -- I couldn't really care less, especially with the flashback of Elnor...

There's still a fair amount of arbitrary/WTF moments here like how Soong can summon some special forces unit that the BQ can start assimilating, what Q can/can't do such as curing Kore or showing up as FBI but then snapping his fingers does nothing etc.

2 stars for "Mercy" -- the damage has been done to this season already and it feels just now that things are starting to come together but from a very low starting point. There's just a total lack of focus in these types of episodes, jumping from here to there etc. It's not clear what Q can and can't do, what his purpose with Kore is, and the Wells part just seems like cheap fan service once all his cards are on the table. Just more poor writing, conception, and ultimately it doesn't look like there's anything particularly intelligent here.
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mosley
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 8:50pm (UTC -5)
what can i say. sure, it was better than the last episodes. but the show lost me, likely already some episodes ago. i simply dont care anymore what happens next, because its all so completely random. it feels like they simply threw two dozen TV tropes at the wall and took everything that sticked. theres no aim, no larger vision, no tone, no heart, its just...there.

its not turned into hate watching like DSC for me, and boy did i get my hopes up after the first two episodes - finally some star trek, in the star trek universe.

but you know what this reminds me of at this point? galactica 1980.

you know, where you were promised a scifi show, but get random stuff happening in back rooms of "the present". i was fascinated by the image of the captured borg queen in the beginning. i am absolutely NOT fascinated by jurati walking around random streets doing her best to look eeeeeevil.

ridiculous crap, thats what this is. please, pretty please, someone hand this show over to ron moore or *anyone* who is willing to tell an actual story. i am so sick of this random alex kurtzman crap. he doesnt know trek, he doesnt care about trek, and he cannot tell a trek story. hand him an alias remake or some other random shit, but take him off the trek wagon asap. pretty please.

such a waste of talent. such a waste of such a great universe to tell stories within. the first two episodes looked like they were finally doing just that.

part of me still hopes that at least they will do it in S3, simply because they have to, with so many of the original cast around. but i better prepare myself now that they will again find some excuse to do anything but that.

yeah, so i dont care anymore. and in the moments where i can get myself to care, i actively dislike this. its trash.
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mosley
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 9:13pm (UTC -5)
oh and one more thing:

since someone commented, that stewart is largely spending his time sitting in some chair and talking and not much else.

you know, that would have been totally ok with me. if it had been a captains chair in his ready room. heck, they could have done a whole season of diplomatic political negotiations with deep questions and everyone just talking, not one phaser shot fired. thats how ready i am to be taken onboard.

but this does NOT work in some random backroom, with random "im from the FBI btw" guy who will be gone next episode for good. you want to tell me an FBI story? by all means, but then you have to show me, oh i dunno, the actual FBI building and countless surrounding production values. not some stupid room that could be alex kurtzmans mothers basement for all i know.

you could have gotten away with a scenario where it could all have been just a handful of sets and lots of talking. the trek universe as a backdrop would have given this enough substance to work. but you didnt want the trek universe.

so thus we get galactica 1980. boooh. just boooh.
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Jeffrey's Tube
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 9:16pm (UTC -5)
@ mosley

Man, I would be all-in on an Alias reboot. (As long as they stay away from any post-season 2 storylines, at any rate.)
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MidshipmanNorris
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 9:57pm (UTC -5)
At this point, I feel like the time has come for me to admit that Star Trek just isn’t ever going to be anything I’ll see as worth watching again.

I haven’t logged onto Paramount+ in weeks. I just don’t care anymore.

In a way, I suppose it’s almost like the whole idea of the counter culture which propped TOS up back in its early 70s syndication run; it started out passionately devoted to thinking, art, striving to entice humans to be more than they are…and descended into drug-induced paranoia, pseudo-artistic pontification, and navel-gazing self-obsession at a level at or nearing the abandonment of all its former passions.

Star Trek flew too close to the sun, and its wings have melted. As it stands now, it has (as Gates McFadden intoned sleepily in “Phantasms”) “collapsed into nothing more than a few pounds of chemicals.”

It’s a shame really. It’s been a huge part of my life for longer than I can even remember. I can certainly imagine it recovering to a degree if they’ll let ONE WRITER AT A TIME work on it (rip Michael Piller), but I don’t see that happening to the so-called “crown jewel” of Paramount. They’re too chickenshit to let anybody take their nearly Sexegenarian ‘baby’ anywhere but exactly where a fat load of studio suits say it goes.

I’m
Done.

Goodbye Star Trek. 🫡
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Mike Lindell
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 10:57pm (UTC -5)
Wait, have you not logged into Paramount+ in weeks or did this episode make you give up? Plot hole!!
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MidshipmanNorris
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 11:01pm (UTC -5)
>Wait, have you not logged into Paramount+ in weeks or did this episode make you give up? Plot hole!!

Just reading the comments at this point. It was Pat goddamn Benatar infiltrating my previously Pat Benatar-free enjoyment of one goddamn piece of pop culture that pushed me over the edge.

Seriously fuck Modern Trek. Fuck all the way off with that shit.
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Species 10-Forward
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 11:09pm (UTC -5)
Yes, this episode was an improvement over the last couple, just like a standing drunk is an improvement over a puking drunk.

The crux of Wells' backstory was the best part for me, and the most indicative of the season's shortcomings. I loved the idea that he would be driven by a traumatic experience that made him think alien "invasion" vs. "exploration," and that leading him to the truth converts him to an ally. Felt like decent Trek to me.

The shortcoming, of course, is that it's presented mostly ham-handed and underbaked, introducing and seemingly exiting a character in one shot who is strangely able to hold Pic and G in a bad X-Files basement, separating them and reuniting them only to serve the mechanics of who needs to know/hear/reveal plot info at certain points.

I'd have loved to see Wells layered into the season earlier. We could have seen him get the surveillance of Pic transporting in, then collecting other info and trying to make sense of it while we also learn Wells' backstory, so that when they finally do meet, it is more momentous and we understand the stakes for Wells going in, even why he is willing to lose his job to prove his point.

Instead, Guinan beams in and whispers "humans are stuck in the past" to Picard, who then asks, "what motivates you, guest character of the week?" and receives a detailed, direct answer. Wells had the potential to become a more plausible Gillian-like ally than Cute Doctor, helping the crew and maybe even going back to the future with them because he's dedicated his life to finding what's out there and "there's nothing for me here." (Rather than the current direction we are charting, "Cute Doctor's son likes him some replicator cake.")

Anyway, we've got the drunk standing up. Now we'll just watch him wobble toward the exit and hope that he makes it through the finale door without falling down or puking a dozen plot strands on his way out. Maybe he'll even brush the schmutz off his shirt and walk through the door with some dignity. Maybe.
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Bryan
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 11:31pm (UTC -5)
At last, a bit of payoff: some of the threads left hanging from earlier episodes are have reappeared...

- such as the kid who promised to push all the buttons on La Sirena, and push all the buttons, he has.

- I like how Not-Soji is compelled to drink a random potion from a random stranger from her VR headset just because it has the word "freedom" written on a quaint little tag as if she's Alice in Wonderland.

- I'm a little confused about how it is that Not-Soji's freedom has been taken away from her by Soong, as Q suggests. I thought her allergy to the outside world was an unintended defect that Soong was trying to cure, not part of some diabolical master plan to keep her imprisoned in his home. Maybe this was one of Q's tricks, but shouldn't Not-Soji be smarter than this?

- Someone should hire Seven for one of those CSI shows. She's knows everything from motive to capability and psychology of the killer just from one glance at a corpse.

- Pretty lucky that Anges/BQ didn't get shot. There was every opportunity to do so. Also pretty confident of her that she doesn't even kick the gun away as she turns her back to them when she casually walks away.

- None of the dialogue feels natural or real. It's like it belongs in some pseudo-literary novel: the interior monologue part of it, not the part where characters are speaking actual words to other characters.

- The Rios romance scenes rings hollow for me. This sort of interaction should be happening at the end of a romance plot to seal the deal...not here and not now. If you do this immediately after he shows her his ship, it looks like she wants to get with a spaceman from the future because...that's just so cool!

- Welcome back, Q. Your campy scenes have been missed.

- I think Raffi is being a little hard on herself about Elnor. He would have still died in her arms anyway even if he hadn't joined StarFleet Academy seeing how Q pulled all of Picard's ragtag gang in with him to the alternate timeline regardless of where they were in space. They pulled Rios in from light-years away so why not Elnor?

- I guess we can add astral projection to the new zany abilities that Kurtzman pulled out of his ass for El-Aurians to have just because a single episode in his bullshit series needed yet another ad hoc plot contrivance.

- LOL, even the random FBI guy who only now just got introduced gets his own flashback sequence...this show is all over the place.

- Also funny that he just lets Picard touch him like the Vulcans did in the past which was this huge traumatic event for him. Who's interrogating who here?

- It's probably for the best that he got fired too. Wells sucks at his job so bad that he'd believe any info an alien would freely volunteer in order to be freed. Also if he were fired, it's not as if they would just let him back in there to interact with the prisoners and open doors for them. His security clearance would be revoked immediately.

- Ahh, looks like Soong is a gullible idiot too, at least when it comes to blondes in red dresses.


Karl said "I think the 'penance' Q talked about in the second episode is his own." I guess that's what that hard slap was for? "Shut up Picard and accept MY penance!"
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Lord Garth (reg. 1999)Pi
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 11:32pm (UTC -5)
This is why they need Trek on year round.

Discovery S4: cripes, this is a pretty tedious ... STRANGE NEW WORLDS COMING MAY 5TH! Look at all the colors! The hair! Look how bright and colorful we are! Episodic stories = best Trek evar. Promise!

Picard S2: Damn - what a start! W-w-waIt-a-godamned-minute, this is nonsensic -- ALL FANS, BRACE FOR NERDGASM! WE'RE BRINGING THE TEAM BACK TOGETHER AGAIN FOR THE FINAL SEASON. Do you 'member? Yeah. So shiny.

So basically, as fans become disenchanted with what's presently on, they can keep churning out teasers and trailers to distract and feed the hope that this time will be different.

It will be different when that legendary Hollywood HACK Alex Kurtzman is ejected from the franchise. Just remember though this is what Paramount ordered. They knew this man's "talent" yet signed him up for another few years. THIS IS WHAT THEY WANT.

There needs to be change at every level for Trek to have a chance. Bezos - if you are that big of a fan, for heaven's sake pry this out of VIacom's grip.
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Dahj's Digital Ghost
Thu, Apr 21, 2022, 11:58pm (UTC -5)
@Species Ten-Forward — "Cute Doctor's son likes him some replicator cake." When I heard the boy complaining that he felt sick, I thought the Borg Queen had somehow messed with the replicators and that the boy was now infected with nanoprobes. That was my gut reaction to it.
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Armus
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 12:48am (UTC -5)
@Brian thanks for putting into words all my thoughts about this episode!
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Armus
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 12:57am (UTC -5)
@LordGarth I agree that there is just too much Trek going on right now and I think they know that fans are not too happy so that's why they announced a cast reunion - to get everyone's hopes up again. I am very dissatisfied with both DSC and PIC, so my hopes are pretty low for whatever is coming out in the future except Lower Decks. I feel Lower Decks is good only because Mike is a huge TNG fan and he gets the show and the fanbase. I will still watch until the season finale but I'm probably not going to watch anything else.
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Frank A. Booze
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 1:10am (UTC -5)
Just some random thoughts…

1. Did Vulcans have transporter technology back in the 20th century? I though the Federation was just starting to use it in Enterprise? Or was that just humans, not the Vulcans? I seem to recall the Vulcans holding back technology in Enterprise.

2. I really wish First Contact had never introduced the Borg Queen. Although I didn’t mind her in that movie, she never really worked for me in Voyager, and definitely not now with her possession of Jurati. I find it really, really lame.

3. Although this episode was better than last week’s episode, it still wasn’t very good. I enjoyed the scenes with Picard and the FBI agent (Guinan excluded), but that’s about it.

4. I was watching Unification 1 and 2 from TNG yesterday, and found it surprisingly mediocre. With that being said, I cannot believe Discovery called one of their episodes Unification 3. A horse shit show like Discovery has no business drawing any form of connection to TNG.

5. Who’s more intolerable: Burnham or Raffi? I still hate Burnham more, but Raffi is starting to get pretty close.
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Jaxon
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 3:10am (UTC -5)
The whole concept of a Borg Queen undermines everything we learned about the Borg early on...but that's hardly the only thing the crap TNG movies wrecked about the series. In the series, Picard was rather indignant about the Maquis...most notably in Preemptive Strike when Ro joined, but in Star Trek: Insurrection, Picard and company essentially became Maquis.

Unification is overrated and mediocre...I thought the Sela character was another tiresome plotline.
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Dreubarik
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 3:41am (UTC -5)
Also, since noone pointed it out: how is a geneticist supposed to solve the Earth's ecological problems?
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Booming
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 6:10am (UTC -5)
Through genetics, duh! :D
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Yanks
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 6:24am (UTC -5)
I was a little bummed that our FBI guy wasn't from the time ship Relativity... why would he be concerned about the Europa mission? Why threaten to cancel it?

Guinan now has tele-poptic abilities that make her nose bleed? Jesus... such incredibly lazy writing.

It seems that the Vulcan's love popping in on Earth before first contact...

Our new sorta Borg Queen needs an army to take over the ship? ... she controls the transporters, correct?

I like the Rios / Teresa pairing, my prediction is she will tag along to the 25h century... but they have written this kid really poorly... raise your hand if you knew the "my stomach hurts" line was coming...

The Raffi/Seven stuff was a little better than last week but is still really drab... get on with it already. I'm over the whoa is me bit with Raffi. The only remotely interesting deal with 7 is how she enjoys being seen as a person not a borg.

Allison is doing a pretty good job acting all evil and borgish, but I'm hoping we get Anne Wershing back when we get back to the ship.

We learn Q is dying... I think most of us figured that was going to be the case anyways... but we still don't know why Q flung our crew into an alternate reality... I guess it's the escape that counts, whatever the frak that means... Q does give Cara the wonder drug... not sure where this is going... or why it's even in this season...

Soong is being molded into the mustache twirling villain here? I guess he will play a part in the Eugenics war to come... Why does the BQ even care about him?

Why don't I care about any of this? My god, if you have to create a 10 episodes story (you know, to be all grown-up and non-episodic and all), please do the work and make the middle 6 episode interesting. This is a bore fest...

It's even more boring because we know it's all going to be OK, because Picard and the old crew are going to go out on one final mission next season...

2 stars I guess...
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Saavik
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 6:26am (UTC -5)
Another atrocious episode. Nothing more to add.
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Mint
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 6:35am (UTC -5)
I'll be honest, I stopped watching after Episode 4. I intend to wait until the finale comes out and then just binge most of it. I've been keeping up with reviews and clips though, and it just seems like this season isn't egregiously bad... just... meandering. It's unfortunate given how excellent of a start the season had too.

I wonder if it would be possible for someone to make an unofficial "fan cut" that chops this season up and turns it into closer to a (long) movie length. I'd also wonder how well something like that could turn out. I feel like if you trimmed a lot of the more unneccessary stuff out from the story and focused in on... whatever the main idea of this season will end up being it might at least make for a decent run.
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Karl Zimmerman
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 7:07am (UTC -5)
@ Bryan,

"Shut up and accept my penance!" sounds exactly what Q would say.

@ Dreubarik,

The shield that we saw in an earlier episode that Soong used to protect his daughter from sunlight looked like a mini version of the atmospheric shield the Confederation used in the second episode. The inference I draw is Soong's contribution is developing the atmospheric shield which allows mankind to not bother fixing the environment. Though maybe his genetic contributions also matter.
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Artymiss
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 7:08am (UTC -5)
What a load of nonsense, although it was better than last week's nonsense.
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Dreubarik
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 7:36am (UTC -5)
@Karl Zimmerman Now that you mention it I think you are correct and that's what they are going for. It didn't even ocurr to me that Soon could have built that device rather than buy it from someone else because... why would a geneticist have any comparative advantage building force fileds? Do these writers understand anything about how science works?
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Alienatbar
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 7:46am (UTC -5)
Plot salad just ended up being a plate of browning lettuce!

While we’re on food, I was waiting for a slice of cake to be evil Borg Pandan. Assimilate that ya greedy little prick.

Wouldn’t the ships onboard translators translate the Spanish into English for us, the viewer? Or it’s more romantic in Espanyol? Yes, definitely in Spanish.

‘She’s my sister and she needs mental care’.
‘Yeah, we’ll fuck you, you can pay for my window’!
‘Run Raffi’

While we’re on food, Jurati I assume is still flesh and blood? Batteries have corrosive acid do they not?

While we’re on food, the big ham de Lancie is now an FBI agent? Psychiatrist? Was that him driving the fucking ICE bus?

While we’re on big ham’s, Kores getting away SPiner, HIT HER WITH YOUR FUCKING TESLA!! She walked to the beach! She’ll be back!
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KiminAsia
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 7:48am (UTC -5)
12 minutes in and I've paused twice to top up my beer. Nothing coherent here. It is damn frustrating. Even Q's long awaited reappearance offered little. As a Trek fan, what is going on here? Someone called season 2 a salad, others a meat grinder. I will watch the last 2 eps, but I am giving up on Picard. I feel anguished.
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Alienatbar
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 7:52am (UTC -5)
Also, is France now in the Arctic? It’s been in perpetual darkness long enough to hide a starship!
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Artymiss
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 8:18am (UTC -5)
So how did Q make up that magical blue juice that cured Kore if he's lost his powers?!
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Dreubarik
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 8:33am (UTC -5)
@Artymiss Or indeed insert himself in a VR program or as a NASA psychologist or any of the things he does. Powerless Q should be completely useless as a functional human being.
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Alienatbar
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 8:37am (UTC -5)
To the.. writers? Cindy Appel wrote that to find Kores essence she really had to go incider.

When Queen sAggy started jumping bonnets and kicking arse in her army boots I couldn’t help but think it reminded me of a pasty River Tam from Firefly/Serenity. Anyone else?
The other writer Kirsty Beyer apparently writes Voyager novels but has also written for The Buffyverse.
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Alienatbar
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 8:47am (UTC -5)
Q’s actions and movements are a riddle. We are now witnessing the Q Conundrum not the Q Continuum. Maybe losing his powers means parts of him are trapped in moments of time hence why he has time to study to be a psychiatrist, slog through FBI school or get his bus license.
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Alienatbar
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 8:56am (UTC -5)
Previously on Alienatbar’s shit comments..

‘My guess is that Queen saggy Aggy will be producing plenty of endorphins next week by banging Mr 8ball from the bar. Forget chalk drawings, we’re going to see some real ‘skyrockets in flight’.

Well fuck me dead behind a dumpster!
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Eric
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 8:57am (UTC -5)
Anyone else find it funny how when they started off in their time travel excursion that they were so worried about the butterfly effect and its effect on the future? Now, it is like "ah, who cares". I get it... you've got the Borg Queen running around, but how do you ever get back to a normal future once you've disrupted it to this extent and does Picard's ancestor's space travel really even matter at this point? I mean Rios is hosting dinner parties where he shows off 24th Century technology to anyone interested. There seems to be a lack of respect for the ground rules that we have come to expect from Star Tre.

And another question: Why does Seven just stand there and watch the Queen charge her from 30 meters away right AFTER commenting about how they had to kill Agnes regardless of their feelings on the matter. She and Raffi had plenty of time but just stood there watching with mouths gaping. Definitely not the decisive Seven we know in Voyager.

And overall, still a jumbled incoherent mess of storylines. Maybe it will all come together at some point but I feel like there are too many plot holes to cover without doing a Voyager "let's reset time and no one remembers anything".
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Peter Howie
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 8:59am (UTC -5)
Michelle Hurd's acting in the "manipulation" scene with Elnor was so bad that I laughed out loud.
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Jason R.
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 9:12am (UTC -5)
"So how did Q make up that magical blue juice that cured Kore if he's lost his powers?!"

Haha watch Deja Q and ask yourself how competent Q would be to do much of anything without his powers. Well he does have an IQ if 2,000 so I guess he conjured it out of some common household chemicals he got at Walmart.

"Michelle Hurd's acting in the "manipulation" scene with Elnor was so bad that I laughed out loud."

In addition, has Raffi at any point in the past ever displayed the quality of being "manipulative" even once before this episode? Has this even been hinted at?

When Seven said that like it was this obvious character trait I was just scratching my head in befuddlement. I felt like I was being gas lighted by the writing - hey stupid viewer, didn't you notice that this character is "manipulative"? I mean it's her central character arc, didn't ya know? We surely didn't just pull that out of our asses just to fill time on this one episode!!

It's a bit like Agnus's crushing loneliness, although at least there she was always kind of geeky I guess that's a little more defensible.

Personally I am waiting on the next "character trait if the week" being Seven's raging nymphomania.
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Booming
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 9:15am (UTC -5)
I did not check for spelling errors, sue me.

Hahaha, so agent man has a lady friend who has access and the means to check any cctv camera in los angeles for aliens. Wow, that's lazy.

Kore is kind of a dumb dumb. She needed Q to explain to her that she is a clone even though she has seen videos of dozens of others who looked like her??

And Q planned for the clone daughter of Soong to use the 3D headset to set her free. Now I'm imagining Q sitting at a computer for hours and hours. He doesn't have his powers anymore so he has to write the code himself, meaning an AI who can interact with people in a specific environment. :D
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9U-f-vtXkQ

Man, Raffi and Seven have such a healthy abusive relationship...

The whole Jurati fights Raffika (Raffi Annika power couple name) was really bad B movie stuff.

Laugh out loud moment when agent man showed them the starfleet communicator. One really wonders what the agent thought who picked this up "Uh, this metal thingy looks alien!"

Still eternal darkness in Eastern France.

Oh Rios, I'm just a nice, super capable and compassionate doctor with top model looks. What man would want me... :D and I really must compliment her, the whole "space and time travel is real" thing doesn't seem to bother her at all. She has not asked a single question about the future.

Pig in a jar??? Is that a common metaphor?? Like pigs in a blanket??

Now I know what is going to happen. This season they will kill off Q. Season 3 they will kill the rest.

And the theme of the season is also now clear. Unresolved trauma aka being trapped in the past. So yeah, this season is kind of a shitty version of this.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0MK7qz13bU
(It's a pretty good song)

Daddy, do have to continue to watch...

Yikes, Kore's left thumb nail is ok looking while the one on the right is gnawed off... I'm also really distracted by how she wears her shirt.

I must admit that if this stupid show would have focused on one or maybe two of themes I maybe would have liked it but this whole scatterbrain approach is just not for me.

OMG, just noticed that Q even created a little tag for the bottle that says freedom. Hahaha.

Yes, not murdering people is a Jurati quality. Well...

Ok, let me get this straight. Raffi is such a nutcase that she thinks that she alone has tricked Elnor into staying at the academy in one short chat and is therefore responsible for his death? God damn have these writers met people???

They cannot write one simple line. "All Humans are stuck in the past" How about newborns? Could she not just say "THIS Human is stuck in the past"

As others have said. This often feels like Patrick Stewart talking to the audience, not Picard.

The whole kid Vulcan scene was very contrived. The Vulcan wanted to erase the boys memory but was beamed out without warning and then just decided "Oh well, one screwed up kid. Who cares?"??? Hahaha, what a bitch.

No idea why I never noticed it but all those pointlessly blinking lights on the Sirella really bothered me.

Oh so only Humans have trauma and grow by facing and then overcoming it.

For anybody who couldn't understand Picard "trying" to speak French.
"Et moi aussi"

Every time I see Jurati I think about how smelly she must be.

So now Jurati can assimilate people but she wants to stop our timeline from happening???????????

These writer should be stuffed in a cannon and be shot in the Helgoland Bight!

And here for anybody who struggles to accept that this is and Strange New Worlds will be trash (Strange New Worlds is made by the same exact people who made Discovery and Picard).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTVQtsIfoo8
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Alienatbar
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 9:25am (UTC -5)
All of this lack of coherence makes me think we’re going to get that Picard Alzheimers moment and this has indeed all been in his mind. The kicker is the repressed memory where Picard petit uses the key to free his imprisoned mother to find, too late, that she has hung herself in her despair. ‘Look up’.

Or

We see an electric sheep and we know it’s definitely a dream.
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Jason R.
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 9:30am (UTC -5)
By the way, let me just take a second to point out the technical incompetence of this show's writing. Concerning Jurati / Borg Queen, what is going on here? I truly have no earthly clue. I don't know what she is capable of or not capable of.

If this was the Borg Queen from First Contact of course there would be no ambiguity - she would have assimilated half the planet 3 episodes ago. So obviously it's not that. So what is it?

I mean she seems to assimilate that soldier at the end but does she? Is he a Borg? A zombie? There is no tension here because we truly don't know the rules the characters are operating under and thus can't evaluate the significance of what we are seeing on the screen. This is utter incompetence on the writing.

There are tv shows where every detail shown on screen makes sense, where nothing arbitrary happens, where you know what you are seeing and why. The Mandalorian is a good example of this. Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad are also examples of shows that are meticulous in this way.

Whether it's a gun fight or a legal argument or whatever, we understand fully what characters are doing, why, and according to what physical or other laws that govern the "universe" in those shows because the writers understand how to create tension by investing the audience in what is going on.

This is the polar opposite of that. Everything, from Q and Guinan's "powers" to the Borg Queen / Jurati, is just arbitrary. It is almost like dream logic with this show. Shit happens and you just have to go with it.
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Alienatbar
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 9:33am (UTC -5)
Yes Kore’s top. I wanted to reach in the telly and… just get that back on your shoulder there.. yup there ya go.
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Armus
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 9:40am (UTC -5)
@Alienator I like that dark theory!
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Yanks
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 9:43am (UTC -5)
"And another question: Why does Seven just stand there and watch the Queen charge her from 30 meters away right AFTER commenting about how they had to kill Agnes regardless of their feelings on the matter. She and Raffi had plenty of time but just stood there watching with mouths gaping. Definitely not the decisive Seven we know in Voyager."

No kidding. Doesn't her phasor have a stun setting? (I think there was a phasor there....)
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Alienatbar
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 9:44am (UTC -5)
If you witnessed your brother/sister in arms get stuck at in the face by some pasty varicose veined wench and turn green would you’re training not kick in and you would go all fucking Vasquez on them???
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Alienatbar
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 9:51am (UTC -5)
How smelly Jurati must be… hmmm that’s kinda kinky.

She’d smell like the Energiser Bunny.
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Alienatbar
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 9:52am (UTC -5)
@Armus

It worked for *spoiler alert*
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Jason R.
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 9:56am (UTC -5)
""And another question: Why does Seven just stand there and watch the Queen charge her from 30 meters away right AFTER commenting about how they had to kill Agnes regardless of their feelings on the matter. She and Raffi had plenty of time but just stood there watching with mouths gaping. Definitely not the decisive Seven we know in Voyager."

No kidding. Doesn't her phasor have a stun setting? (I think there was a phasor there....)"

During that 5 minute scene where Jurati is just holding Raffi by the neck with her back to Seven and with a phaser right there within arm's length of where Seven was sitting I was just saying out loud over and over PHASER her, Phaser her phaser her phaser her THERE is a fucking phaser right there you dumb bitch. Even if Seven was stunned, cone the fuck on - she didn't even seem to attempt to go for the phaser.
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Alienatbar
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 10:03am (UTC -5)
Because Seven was thinking ‘oh you manipulate bitch, get yourself strangled by the Borg Queen just to… oh you manipulate bitch’
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MajorMayhem
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 10:07am (UTC -5)
What an incoherent mess. There were several times during the episode that I just wanted to stop watching. I really don't care what happens with this story now. But I will continue to watch it to the end to see how they destroy a great franchise.
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Li'Griv
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 10:20am (UTC -5)
To all of you here -- if you dislike something yet continue to pay for it, how can you ever expect something different? I honestly pity you for this odd sort of limbo you're in.
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Booming
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 10:30am (UTC -5)
I don't know about the rest here but I get it for free through Amazon Prime and yes I as a socialist have Amazon Prime. I'm destroying the system from within. Of the last three packages I have sent two back. HA! Booming 2 : Amazon 1
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Jaxon
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 11:30am (UTC -5)
Alienatbar said:

All of this lack of coherence makes me think we’re going to get that Picard Alzheimers moment and this has indeed all been in his mind.

Maybe he'll wake up in that scene from All Good Things, and stumble to Ten Forward (the real one) where the crew is all elderly but doesn't need makeup to convey it anymore.
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Artymiss
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 11:33am (UTC -5)
@Jaxon
Maybe he'll wake up in that scene from All Good Things, and stumble to Ten Forward (the real one) where the crew is all elderly but doesn't need makeup to convey it anymore.

That's probably the start of Picard season 3!
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Artymiss
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 11:36am (UTC -5)
Like Booming I get access via Prime. I wouldn't pay a streaming service to watch this. So no need to "pity" me thanks.
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Artymiss
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 11:38am (UTC -5)
Also if people are paying a streaming service guess what there may well be other things they want to watch on that service.
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Jaxon
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 11:40am (UTC -5)
"That's probably the start of Picard season 3! "

Star Trek Picard 3: The Search For Deanna
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Nic
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 11:42am (UTC -5)
This shouldve been like episode 4 or 5. They could have gotten them all arrested at the same time and still had their ICE subplot and get Q in the room.
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Jan
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 12:06pm (UTC -5)
@Booming that was a pretty on point summary.

" Yes, not murdering people is a Jurati quality. Well..."

Comedy gold. There must be some writer having lots of fun slipping those in on purpose. I couldn't believe what I was hearing at that moment.
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nacho Picard
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 12:12pm (UTC -5)
This show has some of the worst acting and dialogue writing I've ever seen. I'm sure there are loads of crappy TV shows on network television that are just as bad but I don't usually watch just whatever drivel is on TV. I am watching this because of the legacy of Star Trek.

What a disappointment.
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Rahul
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 12:37pm (UTC -5)
If I may say something positive about PIC S2, I think the acting talent is pretty good and oddly enough the one actor who is a letdown is Stewart himself. Perhaps it is due to high expectations but the "fact" is that he's not able to deliver the goods anymore; however, his legacy is intact from TNG. He's a top notch actor.

The supporting actors are pretty good on PIC (other than Evagora and whoever is playing young Guinan). The real issue is the crap they are given to work with. Hurd is a prime example -- I think she's a capable actress but she's just been so horribly written. Of course we know De Lancie, Spiner, Ryan are all excellent actors. And Pill has really been, for me, the acting star thus far. Cabrera is a good actor as well.

So I guess that makes it even more disappointing with this cast of actors having to work with terrible writers. One advantage PIC will always have over DSC is the caliber of the actors, although it remains to be seen which is the better series...
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Mike Lindell
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 1:52pm (UTC -5)
@nacho Picard

That's one of the problems with these new shows. I don't watch your average CBS daytime show, but somehow Picard still reminds me of one.
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Daya
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 1:54pm (UTC -5)
@Rahul: I agree with your comment about Stewart not being the wonderful actor he used to be on TNG. On the other hand, in today's episode, I found him much more in good form than in the rest of this season. I think it may have something to do with the director -- most directors would be in awe of the great Sir Patrick, and may not want to push him to deliver a great performance. This episode's director extracted a good performance, reminding at least one person (me) of the original Captain Picard.
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Eric
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 2:11pm (UTC -5)
Since we are on the subject of paying for this, I subscribed to Paramount+ so I would watch Picard and Discovery. I'm in season 2 (I think) of Discovery and have completely given up on it. With Picard becoming a train wreck, I cancelled the service and am waiting for the month I paid for to end.

On the positive, I did find the ST: The Animated Series to be somewhat enjoyable. Perhaps it is because I didn't have high expectation, but it was actually somewhat decent :)
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Brandon Adams
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 2:55pm (UTC -5)
And par for the course for Kurtzman-Trek, the best thing about Picard S2 is the recurring guest star.
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The Queen
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 4:05pm (UTC -5)
Alienatbar: Kirsten Beyer has also written three episodes of Discovery, only one of which was any good.
Dreubarik: “Do these writers understand anything about how science works?” Come on, you know the answer to that.
Mint: Binge-watching is exactly what I plan to do with the next seasons of both Picard and Disco. It would have to make the experience at least slightly better. I’d spend some time doing the “fan cut” myself if I thought there was any way to make it available.
Frank A. Booze: Raffi isn’t in the same league as Burnham. She’s at least reasonably self-aware, she can work as part of a team, and she doesn’t whisper. There are entire episodes where she doesn’t cry.

I have to wonder how satisfied Stewart is with the results of his series. I’m not sure it ever made sense to base an entire series on a character study, especially in a genre that has as many preconditions as SF. This production team certainly can’t do it. They can’t even get Picard right, even with Stewart as one of the EPs. When he said toward the end of his interrogation that he was saving the earth, yea the entire galaxy, and Wells looked impressed, Picard even smiled in a very Michael Burnham way, which made me want to throw something. Up, mostly. Picard would never say that or gloat like that.

This particular episode, to me, was a qualified success. The writers carefully picked up all the dropped threads and did their best with them. If only their best was a little better. I believe they will in fact tie everything together, but they need to be less clunky and herky-jerky about it.

Rahul, I agree with you 100% about the acting. Spiner, Ryan, and DeLancie are carrying this show, with frequent help from Pill and Carbrera (?sp). Stewart has aged out of his best, unfortunately, and only gives glimmers. But he is over 80, after all.
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Mike Lindell
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 4:22pm (UTC -5)
It's weird because Beyer was a respected trek lit author.
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Dreubarik
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 5:24pm (UTC -5)
Stewart got a lot of praise for his acting on Logan, but I think Picard has made it obvious that frail old man is the only kind of character he can convincingly portray these days. Which could be fine in the right kind of story. In a nonsensical action plot, his acting is just very unconvincing.

Fully agree with @Rahul, and it is yet another reason why Picard is a much bigger failure than Discovery. Doug Jones (and recently David Ajala) aside, the actors on Discovery are very mediocre and quite unable to elevate the poor material they are given. Picard has people like Santiago Cabrera who somehow manage to be likable and relatively convincing through layers and layers of stupid. Jeri Ryan, well utilized, could have carried this show on her own. Allison Pill manages to make her silly dialogue sound less preposterous. And the show it is STILL twice as cringeworthy as Discovery. Well done.
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Troy G
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 6:49pm (UTC -5)
I remember reading an interview with John De Lancie where he stated that he was in 6 of the 10 episodes. If true, then this is it.
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Frank A. Booze
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 6:54pm (UTC -5)
@Jaxon

The Sela character from TNG legitimately made the two parters Redemption and Unification mediocre episodes. Part 1 of each are solid. In Unification, the instant the she enters the room everything becomes stupid. She flat out tells Picard, Spock and Data what her plans are, and then expects Spock to cooperate. And then she leaves the three in her office with no guards. Wait…what? At least it was satisfying seeing Data nerve pinch her, but otherwise it is just so dumb.

As for Picard, yes, the best part of the show is Picard sitting down and having conversations with another person. You know, like he used to in TNG. But no, we need to have a confrontation between the new Borg Collective and the the rest of the crew. I have so many questions about this.

1. How did Jurati know to seek Soong out?

2. What reason does Soong have to trust her? Suddenly he just believes a person who talks about diverging timelines?

3. Where did Soong get this mini-army from?

4. Why didn’t Soong hire the mini-army to kill Renee?

5. Why would the mini-army just stand there and allow themselves to be assimilated?

6. As people have mentioned before, if Jurati has access to the transporters, why doesn’t she just transport the crew to the other side of the planet?

Ughhhhh….
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EmpressHoshiSato
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 8:34pm (UTC -5)
Missed opportunity to just have Wells be Ducane from the Federation Timeship Relativity here to help Picard.

Seven and Raffi had SO LONG to fire at Borgrati. To Stun or phaser her. It was frustrating that they didn't even fire once in the eternity of her approach. Or during the confrontation with the phaser right there.

Picard' conversation with Ducane felt Star Trek TNG like, as did Hot Doctor Lady. But the rest of the episode was painfully slow. Ten episodes to tell a story and it feels like only the first two maximised the use of screen time. It's a jumble.

The Vulcans must be from Carbon Creek, but even they don't have transporters yet according to Enterprise. Everything about Europa doesn't fit in with our universe nor the universe established by the TOS movie The Voyage Home and TNG First Contact.
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TheRealTrent
Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 11:09pm (UTC -5)
A daily reminder that the lead writer and showrunner of this season is the same guy who was the sole writing credit for Batman and Robin (1997), renowned as one of the worst big budget movies ever.
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Peter G.
Sat, Apr 23, 2022, 12:18am (UTC -5)
"A daily reminder that the lead writer and showrunner of this season is the same guy who was the sole writing credit for Batman and Robin (1997), renowned as one of the worst big budget movies ever."

Haha, wow. He also penned Transformers: The Last Knight, it would appear. And likewise turned a thoughtful Asimov novel (I, Robot) into a lowbrow action film. Mind you he does have some very successful films under his belt, like A Beautiful Mind, so maybe he has multiple personality disorder (called DID now). He's also going to be showrunner for ST: Strange New Worlds, so I can just forget about that before it even happens. The whole Kurtzman/Abrams/Goldsman crew feel like shades of the same thought process, almost like a hive mind. At this point I dare not approach anything any of them touches.

That said I still intend to try to watch PIC: S2 once it's done. But reading these reviews....oh man. Is there a word for PTSD for an event you have yet to experience?
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Mike Lindell
Sat, Apr 23, 2022, 12:41am (UTC -5)
That's why I have hope that Season 3 will be good. The best eps of this season were the first two, which were the only two Terry Matalas was involved in.
He said he stepped away as showrunner mid season 2 to work on season 3, and left the rest of 2 in the hands of Goldman.

Which is why is went down the toilet lol.
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dave
Sat, Apr 23, 2022, 1:41am (UTC -5)
It is hard to fathom at times that people who have built professional careers as writers are capable of writing things with so many holes and messes. THere will always be some plot holes, its rare to find flawless writing; but the writing here is borderline atrocious. (many would just say atrocious!).

The concepts they started with are interesting....

the Confederation

Q dying and facing mortality and that change of mind numbing boredom of seeing everything and now facing urgency to accomplish things that matter ( always enjoy the concept of how being mortal makes life so much more meaningful and special ).

Borg wanting peace

Jurati being lonely and having so much to relate to with a borg queen without a collective

a scientist willing to do anything to save his work and ultimately going mad

a man who sees an alien as a child and spends his entire life trying to seek it out to know if this was real, what their intent was, and ultimately living a life of fear because of it

I also think learning more about El Aurians is a nice idea but they seem to have misplayed this so much by having Ten Forward being an actual bar centuries before Gunian gets to end the bar on the tenth deck of a starship (makes no sense already so anything after that is less interesting), the booze bottle that summons Qs, the holographic projection was just ridiculous, etc etc.

Those are some concepts I think had potential. Instead , we get this disjointed writing that is so convoluted the viewers are WTF more than anything else. I am all for shows having a mystery that we learn as the characters solve it, but this is too WTF even for that.
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SlackerInc
Sat, Apr 23, 2022, 1:53am (UTC -5)
@Li'Griv: I pay for Paramount+ for other reasons. THE GOOD FIGHT, INSIDE THE NFL, SEAL TEAM, THE STAND, various movies, and my local news. But at least they no longer register me as viewing their nuTrek episodes.
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Booming
Sat, Apr 23, 2022, 2:36am (UTC -5)
It is somewhat fascinating how many people are still like "the next season will finally be good" after six bad NuTrek seasons. TV-Stockholm Syndrome? People are watching this and think that something must have gone wrong instead of accepting the obvious. This is how they want to do these shows.

That's also the reason why Discovery for example is full of women and minorities. They probably did lots of testing and according to the IMDB numbers both shows have huge gender imbalance. It's mostly male and mostly old. Especially the old part is problematic because you want to get young people into your streaming service. Their numbers are certainly far more fine-grained than what I can cobble together from IMDB scores. That's why these shows are so all over the place. On one hand they need to keep there current audience to not go under. That's why we have lots of explosions, action and Picard/Seven + others. On the other hand they probably did lots of focus groups or maybe even bought quantitative data about the population and looked at the interests of young women and got "pretty hair, minority rights and honest feelings" so they are stuffing both shows with that hoping that young women will flock to that because their incompetent social science team thought they might.

But my humble opinion is that they are misunderstanding both groups, the older men who watch this and younger women who could watch this. The older men aka the old male Trekkies watch this because they still hope that they can get that feeling back that Star Trek gave them when they were teenagers or young adults. Hope, inspiration and smart, ethical or scientific problems to ponder. Many here still watch this because even after six seasons who were nothing like that they hope some aspect might change and then it will be what it once was. While some of those men might like mindless action, nobody needs star Trek for that. That's why they got now basically all the legacy characters back. At least keep those old male trekkies watching.

The younger women on the other hand are driven away by the mindless violence and WAAAAAR and only because they like beautiful hair or some studies show that minority rights are very important to them doesn't mean that they will automatically watch a show that features those aspects just because. As a comparison Orange is the new black was very successful with young women and it had on the surface all the aspects discovery and to a lesser degree Picard had. But Orange had a great premise "pretty, middle class white woman in prison", really funny writing and topics like lesbianism or transgernderism were treated with real insight. There were also many great episodes about questions of gender and feminism. Oh and Kate Mulgrew... what a performance. Different from NuTrek people weren't constantly proclaiming that they felt deeply about something, to use the platitude "show, don't tell" was used effectively. The whole Raffi Seven couple thing is a great example of how to not do it. It's almost an old homophobic trope "They are homosexual so they belong together" even though they have no chemistry. Seven seems constantly annoyed or deeply worried and they often mock, almost abuse each other. Orange was witty, funny, heartwarming and heartbreaking. NuTrek is none of that. That's why young women don't watch it.
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SlackerInc
Sat, Apr 23, 2022, 3:41am (UTC -5)
@Booming Good analysis.

I do know a left wing woman (fortyish, a "geriatric Millennial", so not really young or old) who absolutely adores DISCOVERY, but she was into Trek and other "genre" stuff before it ever existed.
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Booming
Sat, Apr 23, 2022, 4:04am (UTC -5)
@SlackerInc
Interestingly, while women watch Discovery far less than men (According to IMDb 5 to 1), the women who do watch it, rate it significantly higher than the male audience. Picard has an even worse ratio (7 to 1) but here too the women who do watch it rate it higher.

So either NuTrek cannot get younger women to watch it at all or only a fairly small part of the female audience sticks around.
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Jason R.
Sat, Apr 23, 2022, 5:10am (UTC -5)
"He also penned Transformers: The Last Knight, it would appear"

The only film I have scene made definitely worse by having Anthony Hopkins in it.

And here we have a show starring Patrick Stewart where I am wishing they casted someone else.

This guy is truly a sorcerer.
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KiminAsia
Sat, Apr 23, 2022, 7:54am (UTC -5)
I'll likely get flamed for this. But after the latest discussions above about viewers' generational mindsets (I was a first run TOS watcher), I decided to give this a second watch. And, I tried to suspend disbelief and logical thought and go with the flow. And...it was not bad in places. I came away with a much better impression of Wells' performance, and Q's and 7's. I think Jammer commented about a Discovery finale that his wife enjoyed it more than he did, perhaps because she didn't have the old ST baggage. Are there any newer viewers on this site?
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Eric Jensen
Sat, Apr 23, 2022, 9:25am (UTC -5)
I wrote this on Monsters - incorrectly

Q said in this episode - he did not send them back in time - true.
Q though DID send them to the alternate time line
How do we know it is actually 2024 that there was a "divergence" in time?
It was the Borg queen that said 2024...
Now, was she lying? I don't think so...
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Brian
Sat, Apr 23, 2022, 9:50am (UTC -5)
@KiminAsia

Yeah, sure. If someone hasn't seen excellent Star Trek, they might (somehow, though I don't know how) find this satisfactory.

I don't think the declining quality of Trek is necessarily confined to Star Trek. As much as I hate to be that guy blaming the internet for everything, I've noticed that a lot of movies and TV shows seem to have been hastily written by someone with ADHD and/or serious memory impairment. Which is not me disparaging people who have difficulties. Just me saying that writers used to be (universally) better at writing.

So yeah. You could take the worst episodes of TNG or DS9 or TOS and say "Star Trek has always had it's problems". Which is true. But in the past, you could overlook the bad episodes because the good ones weren't just good. They were outstanding. There has been none of that in Picard. None.

Probably they are writing while tweeting and checking their various pointless social media pages and the result is a script that doesn't remember what happened 15 seconds ago or has elements of the dumbest internet memes known to mankind integrated into it.
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Dinterlin
Sat, Apr 23, 2022, 9:54am (UTC -5)
@KiminAsia

I suspect that newer visitors come to this site and do just that-visit or leave. The prevailing opinion, held by about 30 people or so, is that all Star Trek produced since 2005 is garbage. Newer visitors with differing viewpoints are typically ignored.l some, as you put it, are flamed. Who would want to return to a site to be treated that way? Some newer viewers who say the “right things” (e.g., “NuTrek sucks… Kurtzman evil… Goldman terrible…” (they then pause to short-circuit) are accepted. My father is a first-run TOS watcher and while he does not think Picard is great, he does enjoy watching it. A number of people on this site accuse the Picard writers of stereotyping the characters. These same people the state, with certainty, what different geographic and demographic groups like, what they don’t like, why they like or don’t like it, and why they *should * like or not like it. These folks are too enlightened to put themselves into the stereotype boxes they put others in; their judgment functions at a high plane. “Young women don’t like Star Trek because it is violent” is a statement that has a superficial and tidy appeal, but, the statement really functions as a reminder that just as still waters run deep, shallow waters are noisy. People watch things for so many reasons. I just made a list of why I like TOS, giving it some thought, and the list did not have “44 year-old white male” on it. Imagine that…
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Gorn With the Wind
Sat, Apr 23, 2022, 10:21am (UTC -5)
@dinterland

It’s factual to say that DISC is a ratings disaster for Paramount. Perhaps people have ST fatigue from the movies. Or it could be that in a market saturated with excellent sci-fi, Star Trek doesn’t command as much attention as it once did. Or maybe the show is just flaming garbage.

Picard seems to be failing as well, though the evidence is more anecdotal. Star Trek Beyond was a certified flop.

I can now imagine you asking “if the shows are doing so badly, why are they getting renewed?” The answer is simple. Star Trek remains Paramount’s crown jewel (see the loving new remaster of TMP), and a crucial part of its strategy to attract users to its streaming platform. Like many other media companies they are losing money now to make money later. Hopefully it pans out so we can get another movie and a DS9 remaster.

I’m glad you seem to like NuTrek. I like it when people like things. But your theory that it’s only a collection of 30 or so cranks on this site who dislike DISC and PIC seems way off base, given the evidence.
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Booming
Sat, Apr 23, 2022, 10:34am (UTC -5)
@Dinterlin
I'm making my assumptions based on IMDb scores. I'm a social scientist, by the way. It's a scientific fact that men favor violence more than women do.

Here from a peer reviews study
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00428/full

"Empirical research on gender differences in actual movie preferences has confirmed, at least to some degree, these popular stereotypes (see Oliver, 2000; Greenwood and Lippmann, 2010, for reviews). The assumption that women prefer romantic and melodramatic movies as well as comedy, for instance, has received some empirical support (e.g., Oliver et al., 1998; Harris et al., 2000). The same is evident for the larger male than female preference for action and horror movies (e.g., Sparks, 1991; Krcmar and Kean, 2005). ... . Further results showed that men, in stark contrast to women, have a preference for programs with violent or sexual content."

When I wrote that young women don't watch this because of the violence I assumed that the people here are smart enough to know that I don't mean "a hundred percent of young women dislikes violence" but on average they like it significantly less than men do.

Ok, now please continue to insult me for stating scientific facts while I retreat back to, what you called, my high plane. I would have also accepted ivory tower.
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SlackerInc
Sat, Apr 23, 2022, 11:31am (UTC -5)
@Brian: "Just me saying that writers used to be (universally) better at writing."

Now there I must strenuously disagree. There are many very well written shows on TV nowadays. BETTER CALL SAUL, SUCCESSION, CHERNOBYL come to mind. Even if we limit it to science fiction, there is SEVERANCE, STATION ELEVEN, FOUNDATION, UPLOAD, TALES FROM THE LOOP, DEVS, THE ORVILLE.
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Nick
Sat, Apr 23, 2022, 11:32am (UTC -5)
Star Trek peaked with DS9 and every subsequent series has been incrementally worse. VOY was worse than DS9, ENT was worse than VOY, DIS was worse than ENT and so on. There have been pockets of NuTrek I’ve really enjoyed, but on the whole it’s been a disappointment.

The thing I don’t understand is that Star Trek has historically been very successful as stand alone episodes but NuTrek insists on serialized seasons despite the writers clearly not being very good at it and not having very good ideas for season long plots. I think I would be a lot more forgiving if each episode stood on its own.
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Jaxon
Sat, Apr 23, 2022, 12:27pm (UTC -5)
nuTrtek also just omes up with stupid things.

Main sequence G/K type stars not only going supernova...but suddenly.

Spore drive also strikes me as ridiculous.

I like science fiction with an emphasis on science.
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Nick
Sat, Apr 23, 2022, 1:10pm (UTC -5)
I didn’t mind the spore drive as a concept though it is a little more fantasy than it is science fiction. My biggest issue with it is that it’s too overpowered as a plot device and they never found an interesting use for it after S1.
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SlackerInc
Sat, Apr 23, 2022, 1:21pm (UTC -5)
Not only overpowered, but absurd in a prequel. If they had saved it for after they jumped forward a thousand years, that would have made a little more sense. (They also obviously should have avoided the risible "Spock's adopted human sister he never mentioned" retcon.)
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Jaxon
Sat, Apr 23, 2022, 1:25pm (UTC -5)
Both Generations and By Inferno's Light tried to tell us that you could destroy a main sequence G star with a projectile the size of a torpedo or a shuttle. Didn't really buy it.
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Jaxon
Sat, Apr 23, 2022, 1:31pm (UTC -5)
SLackderInc said:

"Not only overpowered, but absurd in a prequel."

The stupidest example of that was in ENT, when Romulans had - in Archer's time but NOT later - a vessel that could

[1] Masquerade itself as literally any other vessel

[2] Move so fast it could dodge an already fired beam weapon

[3] Be piloted remotely from Romulus

This was during the allegedly better Manny Coto-helmed 4th season.
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Tosk
Sat, Apr 23, 2022, 4:01pm (UTC -5)
Picard Season 3 is, ironically, the only season each of you should be looking forward to. Do you know why?
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nacho Picard
Sat, Apr 23, 2022, 4:17pm (UTC -5)
It will be the last (mercifully).
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Mike Lindell
Sat, Apr 23, 2022, 5:55pm (UTC -5)
I do think my logic is sound that 3 will be better. The first two eps of this season were actually good, and they were the Terry Matalas eps.
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Dreubarik
Sat, Apr 23, 2022, 7:42pm (UTC -5)
Before you place too much faith in Matalas guy, let's all remember it's this guy we are talking about: https://twitter.com/TerryMatalas/status/1507052079239421981
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Mike Lindell
Sat, Apr 23, 2022, 8:32pm (UTC -5)
Giving him the mega benefit of the doubt, the only ep he was a writer for that involved Guinan's bar took place after TNG, and I think calling it that at that point in time is fine. The stupid part is calling it that in the past.
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Tosk
Sat, Apr 23, 2022, 9:41pm (UTC -5)
None of you have figured out why Season 3 will be different.
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Armus
Sat, Apr 23, 2022, 10:56pm (UTC -5)
@Tosk why?
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Tim M.
Sun, Apr 24, 2022, 12:47am (UTC -5)
Okay, now we're cooking with gas. A definite improvement over the last 2-3 episodes and recaptures some of the momentum of the first 2-3 episodes of the season. Good character scenes all around--the Jurati-Queen was properly menacing and scary. The Elnor flashback also gives some context to why Raffi reacted so badly to his death. I retract my prior criticisms of Hurd's acting. And de Lancie continues to delight as Q--his various insults of "bipedal" life forms made me chuckle.

I think we're back on track. Ready to chart a course to next week!
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Maq
Sun, Apr 24, 2022, 2:42am (UTC -5)
Nothing has really changed more than a development of the intrigue. Although the tie perspective was quite strange. Rios in the darkness in France, mending his star ship and entertaining the guests. Raffi and Seven walking around having conversations, eventually popping into Queen Agnes. Picard and Guinan sitting in a cellar waiting, getting interrogated witing getting interrogated ad then suddenly released.

Sometimes the time limits are more exact. In discovery they could l have 4 hours and 32 minutes before control ships turned up synchronised. In Picard S1 here was something similar. Bute here did it take 4 hours or 4 days. I rarely complain about the technical inconsistencies that sometimes occur but this is storytelling and it felt strange.

In spite of that it is not really trek and a very long movie in several episodes it is still intriguing. I really hope that they get a reasonable ending and not that Picard wakes up on his vineyard where Dr Agnes Jurati just managed to fix a fault in the dream processor in his positronic brain.
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Booming
Sun, Apr 24, 2022, 2:46am (UTC -5)
@Tim M.
"The Elnor flashback also gives some context to why Raffi reacted so badly to his death."
Ok, while it's nice that they are giving us at least one scene that explains at least to some degree why Raffi reacted so emotional, isn't it strange that we get the explanation for her reaction five episodes after Elnor's death?

I didn't find the scene that effective because, as with Picard and Renee, it's a very short conversation that is then portrayed as hugely important (Renee getting over her crippling depression, Explaining why Raffi reacted like a loon) but wouldn't it have been far more impactful if we had have at least a few scenes that would have shown how close Raffi and Elnor are and why Raffi would feel responsible if Elnor is killed in the line of duty? I'm actually not sure if that flashback was included to give the audience insight into why Raffi reacted so strongly or to highlight the theme of the episode about manipulation? The whole manipulative angle was also pretty surprising for Raffi. I guess you could call a stubborn and passive aggressive person manipulative but then you could call almost all behavior manipulative because any interaction could be defined as manipulation if there is intent to achieve something.

Man, Raffi really gets a bad rep. First she is an unstable drunk, a drug addict and a bad mother, then she kind of becomes overemotional, depressed, manipulative and acts abusive towards Seven in particular. Is this a stereotype?
On the plus side, I thought the white sneakers really worked for her.
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Jason R.
Sun, Apr 24, 2022, 5:22am (UTC -5)
"I do think my logic is sound that 3 will be better. The first two eps of this season were actually good, and they were the Terry Matalas eps."

Maybe by 2024 we will have a manned mission to Io too. Anything is possible.
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Tosk
Sun, Apr 24, 2022, 7:11am (UTC -5)
Because the sheer talent of the TNG cast will overwhelm the production. Frakes, Burton, Spiner, Dorn, etc. are not going to tolerate crappy stories and dialogue undermining their iconic characters. Even Sir Patrick will need to get in line. The best parts of Picard, to date, were the scenes with Data and with Riker and Troi.
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StarMan
Sun, Apr 24, 2022, 7:52am (UTC -5)
"Because the sheer talent of the TNG cast will overwhelm the production. Frakes, Burton, Spiner, Dorn, etc. are not going to tolerate crappy stories and dialogue undermining their iconic characters. Even Sir Patrick will need to get in line."

------

Patrick: "In my youth I had a romance and lost track of my beau after she departed for the continent. So, we're going to explore Picard's previous unseen lost love. I've decided it would be delightful if my wife played the part. We'll say she was frozen in a temporal bubble, or something like that to explain how young and attractive she is. Time travel is a great --"

Marina: "No."

Patrick: "Marina, you can't play my long lost love. You're with Jonathan!"

Levar: "Patrick NO. Enough. This is our story as well. We've been talking and --"

Patrick: "Levar, I'm afraid not. Does the title card say TNG? No. It says Picard. Does it say Co-Executive Producer Levar Burton? No. It says PATRICK STEWART! Now, as I was saying! Good grief. So we go back in time and rescue my long lost love, played by my wife and - "

Gates: "Wait we're going back in time? You did that last season right? Didn't you say she was stuck in a bubble?"

Patrick: "IT'S THE SAME THING GATES. Good lord. Anyway -"

Jonathan: "Patrick - enough."

Patrick: "Ohhhh ... you too Jonathan? Listen here Director Frakes - you want anymore gigs on this cash cow? Get with the program. This is the Patrick Stewart show - no one else's!"

Jonathan: "We have to draw the line Patrick."

Patrick: "The line will NOT be drawn here! Mr Worf, get this man off my set!"

Michael: "Patrick, I told you in '87 and I'm telling you again - for the millionth time - do NOT to call me that when we're not on camera!"

< Will Wheaton walks in >

Will: "OMG guys what's happening! Fancy running into you all here! Everyone psyched for the most amazing season of television in the history of television?"

Everyone: "Shut up Will!"
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Jammer
Sun, Apr 24, 2022, 8:27am (UTC -5)
Review now posted.
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Tosk
Sun, Apr 24, 2022, 10:36am (UTC -5)
StarMan - Sir Patrick is like the Joe Biden of TV now. He's not allowed to speak unless he's given permission.
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Booming
Sun, Apr 24, 2022, 10:50am (UTC -5)
"Frakes, Burton, Spiner, Dorn, etc. are not going to tolerate crappy stories and dialogue undermining their iconic characters."
Great hypothesis Tosk if Generations, Insurrection and Nemesis wouldn't exist.
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Nick
Sun, Apr 24, 2022, 11:04am (UTC -5)
They might be able to elevate some of the crappy writing but I won’t hold my breath. The writing is really bad.
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Tosk
Sun, Apr 24, 2022, 11:39am (UTC -5)
Generations is far superior to this dreck, as is Insurrection. Yes, Nemesis is bad but it still tells a coherent and clear story.

Besides, this is basically a half season of TNG. And I'm sorry but the TNG cast is far superior to what you have here.
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RobSolf
Sun, Apr 24, 2022, 11:44am (UTC -5)
Unlike some here, I don't mind that this show isn't Trek as we know it. What I do mind is that it's a terrible show based on beloved characters from Trek as we know it.

I don't mind that it's more action oriented, but I do mind that that action is dull, forced, and uninspired. As Jammer called it, "Seven and Raffi being chased by nobody" is the ultimate example.

I don't mind that this Trek introduces highly flawed characters, but I do mind that it mostly portrays this through day drinking and excessive snark.

I don't mind that there are several layers and elements in the story they're telling, but I do mind that they are incoherent and so far have resulted in unsatisfying revelations that mean nothing to the characters involved. What emotional connection does not-Larris have with Picard or Lariss, herself? There is none. The reality is they wanted to give Orla Brady something to do in this overlong detour from what should have been the real story that began in the first episode. And seeing that this is pointless leads me to figure that the Soong/Core story will also be pointless.

And I've gotta call it: The reason this show and its characters are one dimensional is probably because the writers are one dimensional, and/or think their audience is one dimensional. As they re-overexplain many obvious things and fail to draw out any subtleties regarding the situation, I have to come to the conclusion that their aren't any, as we already have a previous season of Picard and several seasons of DSC to extrapolate that conclusion.

This is an empty show, despite having perfectly good acting talent, and far more producers than it needs. Red Letter Media does a pretty good job of analyzing the latter.

And also, Raffi is just the worst. An alcoholic, rage infested Jar Jar Binks without the charm.
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Mal
Sun, Apr 24, 2022, 12:38pm (UTC -5)
I’d like a diet Star Trek with my plot salad.

I’ll be here all night driving around in my Borgati nursing my PreTSD.

@Booming, it isn’t pig in a jar, it is a fetus in a jar, but for [various] reasons, that needed to be updated,

BARKER
Forget what you think you know.
Forget what your mother told you when
she tucked you in at night, forget
the lies of our oppressive,
cabalistic Allied governments!
Behind this curtain is the very
secret they do not want you to see --
the most astounding scientific find
in the history of humanity. Proof!
Of Alien life. That's right, go ahead and
laugh, sir, but what you see inside
this room will change your life
forever! It will haunt your dreams
and harrow -- YES -- your very soul.

SIMON
Yep. It's a cow fetus.

KAYLEE
Guess so... Does seem to have an
awful lot of limbs...
But cow? How do you figure?

SIMON
It's upside down.

KAYLEE
Oh, Yeah. Cow.

SIMON
Yup. And I'm out twelve bits. I really
know how to show a girl a...
disgusting time.

KAYLEE
Oh, it's sweet. Poor little thing
never even saw the light of day, now
it's in show business!

@StarMan, so say we all.
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Tosk
Sun, Apr 24, 2022, 1:03pm (UTC -5)
Just watched Insurrection again. It's still a pretty damn good film. Infinitely better than the Picard crap that has driven half this board, including StarMan and Mal, insane.
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Tosk
Sun, Apr 24, 2022, 1:31pm (UTC -5)
Also, you realize that ever since Nemesis many of the TNG actors and fans have been waiting for a proper send off. We haven't seen that group together in 20 years.
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Tosk
Sun, Apr 24, 2022, 1:58pm (UTC -5)
Eject the core.

I already did.

(A small grin)

One of so many examples why TNG, even the films, are just so much better.
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Jaxon
Sun, Apr 24, 2022, 2:27pm (UTC -5)
Star Trek: Insurrection might has well have been called Star Trek: Maquis.

The Maquis were treated as outlaws in TNG/DS9/VOY, and then Picard and company spend that film doing exactly what the Maquis do, and for the same reasons.
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Tosk
Sun, Apr 24, 2022, 2:46pm (UTC -5)
No they aren't Jaxon. The Maquis were people that settled in territories effectively under dispute between the Federation and Cardassia. The Ba'ku, by contrast, inhabit a planet clearly under the domain of the Federation. The Maquis were actively resisting a Treaty that the Federation negotiated with Cardassia to halt hostilities. The Ba'ku, by contrast, were pacifists that showed no resistance (other than to flee for their lives). No Treaty was necessary because there was no "war" with the Son'aa or anyone else.

The "deal" struck by Dougherty with Ru'afo sacrificed the Ba'ku to ultimately give Federation people longer life spans. It wasn't to balance the terms of an existing war or feud with Cardassia or anyone else.
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Frank A. Booze
Sun, Apr 24, 2022, 7:24pm (UTC -5)
I decided to watch Chain of Command a few nights ago, and was blown away by the Picard and Madred interactions, despite having seen the episodes many times. Any chance we’ll get acting like this in the last few episodes of Picard?
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Ixnay
Sun, Apr 24, 2022, 7:56pm (UTC -5)
Insurrection is unwatchable, imo. It's as bad as modern Trek.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Apr 24, 2022, 8:30pm (UTC -5)
IMO Insurrection is pretty good (not great) and Nemesis is just tolerable.

But I still find this:

"Frakes, Burton, Spiner, Dorn, etc. are not going to tolerate crappy stories and dialogue undermining their iconic characters."

to be laughably naive.

All of these actors have already embraced Kurtzman's butchering of the franchise. Spiner already appeared in ST:Picard in multiple roles including data. Frakes directed multiple episodes. You really think these guys will say "no, this crosses the line" just because their own characters are involved?

I think not.
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Bryan
Sun, Apr 24, 2022, 8:37pm (UTC -5)
Insurrection is my least favorite because it's just not very fun to watch...except maybe for the part where Data is going berserk and kicking ass. The whole thing has a dark sinister vibe and it's as if the characters driving the plot are in a competition about who can be the most cynical of them all. In a way it's not much different than ST:Picard so I would have a hard time deciding which hideous wet towel I'd 'prefer' if forced to choose.
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grey cat
Sun, Apr 24, 2022, 8:45pm (UTC -5)
Insurrection is fine although even when I saw it at the cinema it just felt like an extended tv episode. I slightly prefer generations (minus the rather bizarre Kirk scenes) however.

Although I guess if I scroll up far enough I'll probabaly find some moron claiming it's not Star Trek.

As for the episode: 3 stars from me. Heading back to the levels of the excellent episode 1 but not quite.

Raffi was even almost tolerable. Guinan was just terrible again. Hopefully we've seen the last of her for this version of Trek.

The overdramatic posts on this board are getting more and more hilarious. There's so much crying it feels like a DSC episode (series?) script.

Hate watchers gotta punish themselves I guess. I never liked ENT so I gave up by early s3 (I later heard it got good and watched it in later years - It doesn't). These days would I be moaning about it on ENT forums episode after episode? Personally I'd rather spend my time doing something else but to each his own.
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Tosk
Sun, Apr 24, 2022, 8:55pm (UTC -5)
Omicron, you're under the impression Season 3 will be at the level of TNG during its original run? Of course not. My point is only that this season will be different than all the nu-Trek because Frakes, Burton, Dornan, Sirtis and so on are returning to their original roles. Sorry but Spiner's actual scenes as Data are excellent. So too are Frakes as Riker and Sirtis as Troi.

Yet, here you are bitching about the inevitable fuck up that will be Season 3 yet you're "all in" to pay for it and watch it. You spend countless hours here. You embrace that which you admittedly hate. What is wrong with you?

And don't give me the pathetic line of "well I have Amazon Prime or Paramount + already, so I'm not really paying for it." Oh yes you are. These platforms track VIEWERSHIP which, I turn, drives ad and other revenue sales as well as profit sharing.

I'm optimistic Season 3 will be different because of the TNG cast. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe not. But I'm not some hypocritical asshole spending half my waking hours complaining about something I'm simultaneously giving my time and resources to.
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Tosk
Sun, Apr 24, 2022, 8:58pm (UTC -5)
Bryan, it's overly cynical? Really, Riker and Troi rekindling their love? Geordi seeing again and taking a moment with Picard to appreciate a sunset? Worf helping Riker figure out his feelings? Data going berserk because his ETHICAL subroutine kicks in completely. The Ba'ku representing a vulnerable people that Picard is willing to fight for? And Dougherty making a deal with the devil only to realize, to late, the mistake he made.

Sorry, but your assessment is dead wrong.
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CallingBaranca
Sun, Apr 24, 2022, 9:45pm (UTC -5)
@Tosk I agree with you that hate-watching and jate-posting to THIS DEGREE is not healthy. With limited hours in the day, we choose how to spend our time, and thus, reveal what is important to us. If I called something “mind rot” after watching it (and by watching it, as you have said, I have contributed to increased viewership), then spent hours in my echo chamber discussing how mind-rotty what I saw was, what does that say about me? I’m not sure, as you appear not to be. I’d rather go for a walk or volunteer my time somewhere or engage in meditation or visit a friend. When I die I don’t want to be known as “That person who hated new Star Trek, religiously watched it, and then complained about it through the back or beyond.” Maybe at least one hater is using this forum to hone his or her writing skills? Or because the person enjoys arguing? One never knows. Arguing can be a stimulating experience in the debate context, where one must pay attention to what the other side is saying and engage it. That is not happening here. If someone is looking to hone one’s writing skills, I recommend Stephen King’s memoir of the writing craft, “On Writing.” Just as there are those who refuse to admit the 2020 election was not stolen, there are those who refuse to admit that they might like something with the word “Star Trek” to it today. Maybe for reasons of pride. Maybe because they are anhedonic. As I have said, there are so many reasons that play into why we watch things.


@Tosk I share your belief that Season 3 of Picard may be good. Also, I want it to be good. Can’t say the same for others here. Die gustibus
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Bryan
Sun, Apr 24, 2022, 10:01pm (UTC -5)
Tosk, when I called Insurrection overly cynical, I was mainly referring to character choices that drive the main plot, and not the incidental window dressing like Geordi's Beautiful New Eyes or the little side-plots like Troi & Riker, and apparently a dash of Wolf stuff that is so forgettable that I have no recollection of it...? So, namely Doughtery's motivations and the way he goes about achieving his goals, and how this plays into Ru'afo goals of settling a personal vendetta with his own ancestral line....god, I hated that twist that so much.

And I don't care in the least that Doughtery had a change of heart at the last possible minute and neither should anyone else, because he got DUPED badly by Ru'afo and humiliated by Picard when he pointed out the Admiral's sheer stupidity in failing to realize that the Son'a and the Ba'ku are the same people and what Ru'afo was really after. So it's not as if he had a crisis of consciousness that forcibly removing the Ba'ku is wrong (he had plenty of opportunities to repent when Picard explained the immorality of his ways much earlier). NO! He backtracked because if he didn't want to go down as the worst Admiral in Starfleet history, he needed to pull the plug ASAP to have any hope of salvaging his reputation.

And that's just the main plot. Now that you mention those other less significant details:

- Geordi needing to have his eyes grow back in order to reach the height of self-realization or fulfillment is kind of a slap in the face to the some fans of the show who resonated with the theme of diversity, how there's an important place on Starfleet's flagship for people with disabilities. It's cynical to erase the disability entirely so that non-disabled viewers no longer have to feel sorry for Geordi because realistically many people don't have that option and/or are habituated in such a way that they wouldn't necessarily want that part of them to be erased, depending on the nature of the disability, how long they've learned to live with it and accept their current way of being in the world, etc.

- Data needing to short-circuit back to his automatic programming that completely bypasses his higher cognitive functions and calling that an ETHICAL subroutine is about as cynical as it gets. Because ethics are completely meaningless without the capacity to rationally weigh the options before you and voluntarily choose a course of action. That the writers thought he needed such a reflexive subroutine boggles the mind when you consider that there have been times in the past when Data went against command because he could not carry out an unethical order as determined by his faculty of REASON that made him all too HUMAN, as opposed to having to become an automaton and therefore less human in order to make those same choices.

- If I have to even type the words Doughtery, Ru'afo, Son'a or Ba'ku again I think I'm going to puke.
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Tommy D.
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 12:46am (UTC -5)
2.5 Stars.

Nothing special, but at least some movement forward going into the final two episodes. Like a lot of this season, there were some good moments but overall some of the characters just seem to be stuck in the story queue waiting their turn to be propelled forward.

Seeing some talk about the TNG movies above. I pretty much love Generations and First Contact, warts and all. Generations was my first Trek movie in a theater and I saw First Contact six times on a family trip in Arizona in a dollar theater. Insurrection has moments but I felt like it was bland and Nemesis just didn't have it. I always felt the TNG crew felt way more at home on TV, whereas I think the TOS crew are perfectly comfortable on the big screen. The TOS movies are probably my favorite run of Trek just because of how much I enjoy the crew and their interaction.
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Booming
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 1:11am (UTC -5)
@Bryan
You sure have a point. Geordie, because of the visor, is truly differently abled. He can see things, that normal eyes cannot and his artificial eyes in first contact seemed to be far superior compared to normal eyes.

And what was the evil plan of the Soona? Secretly resettle the Baku and then watch them slowly age at their almost identical, beautiful new planet? Monsters!
I imagine the Soona sometimes beaming down secretly and hiding a key or moving a plate. Back on the ship they high five and laugh about all the mayhem they have caused.
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Bryan
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 1:25am (UTC -5)
@Booming

Yeah, I think early on, even when he just had his visor, Geordi seemed to take offense or at least found it tiresome when others pitied him or wondered why he didn't try other options. "I can see just fine", he reminds them, "Better, in fact."

I don't even want to think about how it would have played out between those two if the plan had succeeded. It's just icky.
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Karl Zimmerman
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 8:18am (UTC -5)
The central flaw in Insurrection in my mind was to make the Ba'ku into settlers who had access to advanced technology from another planet to make a stupid "twist" to the plot. It changed the whole dynamic from the likely intended message about the rights of indigenous peoples to make the Ba'ku into some analogues of wealthy Californians who don't want to have their mansions knocked down for a new highway, nature reserve, or something else for the public good. Particularly because they made the choice to cast them all as good looking white people without any alien makeup. So the final message of the movie was "the rights of a few hundred wealthy white people to continue living near-immortal lives in paradise trump medical advances which could positively impact billions of people."
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KDalton_69
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 8:20am (UTC -5)
Jurati is the new Borg Queen. Picard was supposed to not self destruct Stargazer and accept the Borg's application for Federation membership. By the end of the season he will be taken back to that moment and make the different choice. It's about inclusion instead of xenophobia, which is why the altered future is all about him being a general that kills non-human species.
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Alienatbar
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 8:31am (UTC -5)
Then how is Jurati also on the bridge as Jurati? Picards mama says during the gala ep ‘come find me’.
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Nick
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 8:58am (UTC -5)
@KDalton I completely agree. The reason the Borg Queen's face was hidden in the first episode is because it's Jurati. The reason Jurati was taking the power from the Stargazer was not to assimilate but for some other (presumably benevolent) purpose. Maybe it's to heal Q, who the hell knows. Picard will make the choice to trust the Borg as you said.
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Jason R.
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 9:31am (UTC -5)
"@KDalton I completely agree. The reason the Borg Queen's face was hidden in the first episode is because it's Jurati. The reason Jurati was taking the power from the Stargazer was not to assimilate but for some other (presumably benevolent) purpose. Maybe it's to heal Q, who the hell knows. Picard will make the choice to trust the Borg as you said."

Now ask yourself if there is any scenario whatsoever where beaming over and attacking the Stargazer bridge with her Doctor Octopus tentacles makes more sense than just explaining it calmly to Picard and getting his voluntary cooperation would.

And yes, I agree, the Borg Queen is Jurati and she is trying to do something benevolent, despite the fact that her actions seem designed to provoke the most hostile response imaginable. (it seems stunning, rather than killing, the crew is supposed to be the big hint that all is not what it appears)

And ya, somehow this is all going to be Picard's fault. Sigh.....
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TheRealTrent
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 11:02am (UTC -5)
Karl said: " It changed the whole dynamic from the likely intended message about the rights of indigenous peoples to make the Ba'ku into some analogues of wealthy Californians..."

"Insurrection's" not arguing for the rights of indigenous people, because neither Picard nor the "indigenous people" know what's going on for most of the film. It's arguing for "slowing down" and "debating things" to "figure out what to do".

Remember, the film carefully parcels information out to Picard. At various points, he doesn't know the planet has healing properties, he doesn't know what the Admiralty is up to, he doesn't know what the Sona want (they want to essentially nuke the planet to steal its healing radiation), and he doesn't know the relationship between the Sona and the Baku. Repeatedly throughout the film, Picard makes decisions based on partial information, and his ultimate aim throughout the film is always to simply "slow things down" so that proper decisions can be made. Picard isn't looking to solve the ethical dilemma "Insurrection" proposes. He's simply hoping to stop others making that decision behind closed doors. He's hoping to stall things so that others can gather information and weigh in on this problem. He's stopping others from hastily playing God.

The film is also careful to point out that Sona are simply impatient. Only their older leaders are at risk of death, and even then, most may survive the roughly ten years of radiation exposure needed to reverse their condition. In short, a small group of impatient Sona simply want the fountain of youth NOW, everyone else be damned. Their manic, youthful urgency is contrasted with the Baku and Picard, who want to slow things right down. Indeed, the Baku culture implicitly hinges upon the slowing of time.

The film gets painted as a techno-phobic, "rights of a few selfish hippies!" flick, but that's not what it's doing. One can easily envision Picard's success at stalling the Sona leading to a Federation outpost permanently above the planet (it's not a Federation planet; the Feds have no legal right to relocate anyone, and the Baku die if removed), working in collaboration with the Baku below, and further studying and harnessing its properties for all peoples.
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TheRealTrent
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 11:18am (UTC -5)
Bryan said: "Yeah, I think early on, even when he just had his visor, Geordi seemed to take offense or at least found it tiresome when others pitied him or wondered why he didn't try other options. "I can see just fine", he reminds them, "Better, in fact."

Yes, Geordi has a few TNG episodes where he brushes aside the idea that he is "handicapped". I always liked the way TNG handled that. Dax and Uhura get some similar scenes, which briskly brush aside the notion that "being black", or "being sexually free" or "different", is a big deal. Instead, these things are portrayed as now being utter non issues.

I like your comment on Geordi's restored sight in "Insurrection". I'd never considered the ramifications of that "sunset scene" before. I think I sorta agree with your take on the scene, though in the film's defense, Geordi never says "sunsets without a visor are better" or that "he prefers having healed eyes". He simply says "I've never seen a sunset the way you do".
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Henson
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 12:02pm (UTC -5)
@TheRealTrent

' "Insurrection's" not arguing for the rights of indigenous people, because neither Picard nor the "indigenous people" know what's going on for most of the film. It's arguing for "slowing down" and "debating things" to "figure out what to do". '

Gotta disagree. Some quotes from Picard in his scene with Dougherty:

"How can there be an order to abandon the Prime Directive?"

"We are betraying the principles upon which the Federation was founded. It's an attack upon its very soul."

Seems like a much stronger objection than just 'let's slow things down'.
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Jaxon
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 12:08pm (UTC -5)
Insurrection is more like Elysium, where the privileged few have access to rejuvinating medical technology that turns their already good health to hyper good health.

The Ba'ku are willing to share it but only a super slow acting version and to access it the So'na basically have to agree to become space Amish.
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Jaxon
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 12:10pm (UTC -5)
In short, "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" sure as hell doesn't apply in Insurrection.
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Peter G.
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 12:11pm (UTC -5)
About Insurrection, I feel like the film really is not saying anything about anything in its final product. Even the cast claim to have been baffled by the seeming lack of clarity in its moral position, to the point where some of them (for instance McFadden) thought it was wrong to fight to hoard this natural resource for just a few local inhabitans. The message is so mired in the final scripting that I doubt you could extract anything coherent from it. I still like it a lot better than Nemesis since it's at least watchable. But the story is garbled beyond recognition.
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Jaxon
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 12:31pm (UTC -5)
"Come to the land of eternal life and eternal health!"

"What's the catch?"

"You have to spend eternity livjng in Havre, Montana."

"Hmm...I'd settle for just doubling my lifespan. Is there some version of this that would let me live a life other than that of a serf?"

"Yes, but the residents of Havre will have none of it."
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Jaxon
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 1:02pm (UTC -5)
Peter G. said:

"some of them (for instance McFadden) thought it was wrong to fight to hoard this natural resource for just a few local inhabitans"

Yes, the writers knew that it was the So'na who were on the right side of "the needs of the many". That;s why they had to make them mustache twirlers in peripheral ways like having them have two subservient species and give them an overall grotesque visage. A throwaway line in DS9 S7 even had them join the Dominion, because of course.

Even so, the So'na throughout the film only sought to tag and relocate the Ba'ku...not slaughter them. And even that was their last resort.

Jammer often cites Hard Headed Aliens of The Week in these reviews. In this film, that's the Ba'ku. Any So'na stubbornness is just reactionary.
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Ixnay
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 1:31pm (UTC -5)
The biggest problem with Insurrection was the feeble attempts at comedy. I bought the novelization by J.M. Dillard a few weeks back hoping that she was able to improve the story. Nope. Still sucked.

The novelizations of some of the TOS movies are worth a read. 2, 3, and 5 all feature extra content.
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Bryan
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 1:36pm (UTC -5)
I'm not an Original Series aficionado so someone will have to back me up but I believe the original intent behind "the needs of the many" was not the cold logic of Utilitarianism that justifies forcibly taking land and other resources away from the few in order to satisfy the many, but rather a Deontological principle which serves as a guide for how a virtuous individual ought to guide his own conduct. So it worked when Spock sacrificed himself to save the crew of the Enterprise because it was his life to give. Presumably when we're talking about "the few" rather than just "the one" it would also have to be a voluntary choice.

So I completely disagree with those who would vindicate Doughtery and the Son'a if only they'd been a bit more patient. There is no Classic Trekkian principle that would justify the means they employed to achieve their ends.

IIRC no one even tried to negotiate properly with Ba'ku. Either they incorrectly assumed they were a pre-warp society hence all the sneaky covert surveillance shit, or they presumed that they wouldn't share under any arrangement without ever properly sitting down with them at the bargaining table like the Federation has always done. The fact that Doughtery wasn't acting alone, but was backed by some higher ups in Starfleet Command makes this a pretty cynical film for Star Trek.
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Jeffrey's Tube
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 2:02pm (UTC -5)
All this talk about Kurtzman has made me look up his filmography and yup, literally every single project he's ever been involved with has disappointed. Not saying they've all been disasters, but they have disappointed and never fulfilled their true potential.

Well, that was eye-opening.
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Jason R.
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 2:26pm (UTC -5)
Bryan's recollection of events squares with mine. In no way shape or for were the Baku consulted - the plan was to move in and evict them from the planet. This was basically a variation of what the Corporation was up to in Avatar.

I can't imagine Spock's "needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" could ever have been used to justify stealing.

Maybe the only thing in Insurrection that complicates this ethically was the fact that 1) The Baku were not originally native to the planet and 2) The Sonal were actually originally Baku, so arguably whatever claim the Baku had, the Sonal had as well and ergo, so did the Federation, through its Sonal allies.

But of course the Prime Directive makes it pretty open and shut that the Federation is not supposed to be inserting itself in an alien "blood feud" so bottom line it wasn't on the up and up to put it mildly.
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Flipsider
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 2:54pm (UTC -5)
"the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" applies best when you are comparing something of equal value. Anyone would say sacrificing fewer lives is better. It doesn't work if you're comparing more complicated things.
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Dahj’s Digital Ghost
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 3:02pm (UTC -5)
Funny, isn’t it, that we find one of TNG’s lesser projects, Insurrection, more interesting than ST:PIC and the 1998 film has hijacked this conversation.
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Bryan
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 4:17pm (UTC -5)
But to bring it back to the initial point of departure, I think the main contention was about whether having the full TNG cast present is supposed to be like a magical talisman that prevents whatever they're involved in from being really bad..?

I suppose my opinion of Insurrection and also Nemesis would commit me to the POV that I don't believe that's necessarily the case when it comes to future seasons of PIC. In parallel to how dark and cynical Insurrection was, we've had some pretty dark and cynical stuff predominating in PIC too. Much like the diabolical team-up and oneupmanship between Doughtery and Ru'afu, we have in this season of PIC: Q, Soong and the Borg Queen each with their own nefarious plans, at least on the surface of things, then we have Q teaming up with Soong but also betraying him, and the BQ teaming up with Soong...but probably also betraying him in the end. All while the good guys and the audience are always a few steps behind the action, passively being dragged along for the ride while not really knowing whats going on, with plenty of time for Picard to come to terms with his childhood traumas as an 80 year old, Seven to work out her relationship drama with Raffi, and Rios to chase a hot doctor lady from the distant past even though she has a really annoying stock character for a child that he -- and by extension, us -- would be saddled with for life. Adding more heirloom ingredients to this stew isn't going to make it great. You need to hire a new chef for that.

Also, what ever happened to sitting around a conference table, discussing options for how best to handle conflict resolution with diplomacy, or problem-solve mysterious stellar phenomena with science? Will bringing back the original cast necessarily mean more of that? Probably not.
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Flipsider
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 4:29pm (UTC -5)
The writers decide if the writing is bad.

What can the cast really do to stop it from being bad? Are they gonna read the script and say "this is shit, redo it"? Of course they won't do that. That would only cause unproductive drama on the set.

Having the OG cast really isn't going to do anything to make the next season of Picard better... the only way it'll get better is if the writers improve.
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Mike Lindell
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 5:27pm (UTC -5)
Once again, season 3 *will* have better writing as evidenced by the two best eps of thus season being written by the season 3 showrunner.
Now, there's a difference between better writing and good writing, but I think the first two eps of this season mostly kept the stupid to a reasonably low level.
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Chris L.
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 5:34pm (UTC -5)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
"But I still find this:

"Frakes, Burton, Spiner, Dorn, etc. are not going to tolerate crappy stories and dialogue undermining their iconic characters."

to be laughably naive.

All of these actors have already embraced Kurtzman's butchering of the franchise. Spiner already appeared in ST:Picard in multiple roles including data. Frakes directed multiple episodes. You really think these guys will say "no, this crosses the line" just because their own characters are involved?

I think not. "

Agreed on Spiner and Frakes, and Sirtis. They have already involved themselves fully in the new series, and so there is no reason to think they won't continue to do so in the future, even if the scripts get worse, not better.

McFadden and Dorn give me hope that it could be better, as I don't think Dorn in particular would sign up to be a part of it if he thought it was crap. But then again, he might, especially since everyone else was on board.

Maybe late in season 3, Picard dies and the only time all these characters actually come back is at his funeral where Worf does the warrior death scream thing. Raffi is high because she can't deal with grief, and she freaks out and starts talking gibberish and tries to pull Worf away. Also Isa Briones is there for some reason and starts babbling too. Then Worf goes into a rage and kills Raffi, Jurati, whatever character Briones is playing in season 3, and a few other of Picard's new friends for interrupting such a sacred moment with their petty BS. He gives Rios a fist bump and McFadden smiles at him while trying to pretend she's not smiling. Worf offers the deaths of the people he killed as sacrifice to Kahless so that Picard can make it into StoVoKor as an honorary Klingon. Cue credits and end series.

I might watch that, actually.

Incidentally, I kinda like Insurrection. It's not great, but it has its moments. My biggest complaint is that the federation comes off as either really dumb and/or ineffective in a almost unbelievable way.
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TheRealTrent
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 5:35pm (UTC -5)
Henson said: "Gotta disagree. Some quotes from Picard in his scene with Dougherty [...] Seems like a much stronger objection than just 'let's slow things down'. "

Picard's very next line is "Admiral, DELAY the procedure." His goal is to stall until the Federation Council is notified. All Picard knows at this point is that there's a suspicious holoship, and that the Admiral is trying to get away with something suspicious. Picard doesn't know what's going on, or fully understand the healing nature of the planet, or understand the alien technology, enough at this point in time to have an opinion on the episode's purported "needs of the many outweighs the needs of the few" dilemma. He just knows someone's trying to secretly remove a village, and he wants to stall until he knows more.

It's not a coincidence that Picard's final lines in the film are also: "I have to go back, if only to ...slow things down at the Federation Council."
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Chris L.
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 6:40pm (UTC -5)
@TheRealTrent

I agree the moral is that you shouldn't get caught up in flash and make big decisions without either understanding a situation, or thinking it through from all sides. The federation (or at least some subset of Admiralty) got caught up in the promise of a cure for ageing and made bad decisions before all the facts were known. With time, a team of federation scientists might find a way to replicate the effect without destroying the system or displacing anyone.

The federation have loads of time. It's the Sona that are on a deadline, and they could always just... go home for a few years to recover. It's a big planet with only a few hundred people on it, surely there is another nice valley on a different continent that they could live in so they don't have run-ins with their ancestors. They could even use replicators and sonic showers instead of living off the land! They make it sound like living in that system, even temporarily, would be a fate worse than death. The Enterprise crew saw benefits just from being down there part-time, so they could even come and go a bit and still be space-faring, just taking shifts spending every other month back on the planet until they recovered.

Those are a couple of the things that make Insurrection weaker in my view, but I still found it entertaining. I think you are right that that being deliberate about decision making is the main takeaway. Not the ethics of the displacement of the Baku. That fight is mostly a MacGuffin, and kind of a nonsensical and weird one at that.
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Jaxon
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 6:41pm (UTC -5)
In The Pegasus, Admiral Pressman had the head of both Starfleet Intelligence and of Starfleet Security in his corner too, but Picard second guessed them as well, and of course, even though the constraints of the Treaty of Algeron were absurd, the writers did their desperate best to declare Picard right in that scenario too. It was even more ridiculous because at the end of that episode Picard is so sure that Pressman will be in trouble even when Pressman had those two (both female, because RDM wrote it) admirals on his side.

The tiresome "Picard is always right, no matter what" schtick far predates this series.
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Cliff
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 6:43pm (UTC -5)
Star Trek maps it's own paths. We can either like it or not. All make believe. Actual aliens fly through our skies.
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Jammer
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 6:48pm (UTC -5)
Hey, if you want to discuss Insurrection, maybe do it on the Insurrection page and I will try to move all these other comments over there when I get a chance. Thanks.
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Cliff
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 6:52pm (UTC -5)
I think the most terrify thing is we will never ever know.
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grey cat
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 7:04pm (UTC -5)
@Cliff we might.
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Bucktown
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 7:06pm (UTC -5)
To all those holding out hope for a redeemed season 3 under the helm of Terry Matalas, need I remind you of literary renowned and Pulitzer Prize winning author Michael Chabon showrunning season 1? How did that turn out?

It seems to me that however well intentioned, all involved are pulled to fall into the gravitational void of Kurtzman's mystery box. The hackery is merely too great to overcome. His gibberish tears plot and character apart.

I also just discovered one of his staff writers describes herself as a "spiritualist" and visits ghostly "hot spots" in her leisure time. Good job, Alex! Just the right fit for a science based show!
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Henson
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 7:31pm (UTC -5)
@TheRealTrent

"Picard's very next line is "Admiral, DELAY the procedure." "

No, this is inaccurate. His very next line after 'How can there be an order to abandon the Prime Directive?' is "Who the hell are we to determine the next course of evolution for these people?!" His very next line after "It is an attack on its very soul" is "And it will destroy the Ba'ku, just as cultures have been destroyed in every other forced relocation throughout history."

'Admiral, delay the procedure' occurs between these sections. It's a bargaining tactic, not a starting point.

Furthermore, at this point, Picard knows damn well what the plan is, and why it's being carried out, even if he doesn't know everything about the Ba'ku and the Son'a yet.

The point is, Picard is not simply trying to slow things down, or debate the procedure, or 'figure out what to do.' He's taken a strong moral stance on what he sees as fundamentally wrong. And it's telling that his very next scene is removing the rank pips from his collar; getting ready to fight for the Ba'ku.
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Jaxon
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 7:35pm (UTC -5)
The Maquis feel that they have morality on their side too.

They feel that very strongly.

Just ask Ensign Ro in her last appearance.
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Chris L.
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 7:40pm (UTC -5)
@Bucktown

I like Chabon the novelist. He's good. Kavalier and Clay is a fantastic book. As a screenwriter, though, he has been much less successful. Aside from Picard, he also wrote heavily on the major film flop "John Carter" for Disney. He was also working with Disney on a live action martial arts version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Until he was fired from the project, which in turn got cancelled.

Anyway, most of his own writing that has been adapted for the screen has been adapted by someone else. And most of his contributions to screen projects have been scrapped. For example, he had some ideas pitched and rejected by the X-Men franchise. His biggest screen contributions to date seems to be a major contribution to Spider Man 2, John Carter, and of course, Picard. Not a hugely glowing resume if you ask me...
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Dahj’s Digital Ghost
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 7:46pm (UTC -5)
A “spiritualist” who like ghostly hot spots, eh? Sounds great. Maybe we can get a season 4 out of this where Picard and Dahj’s reunite and visit haunted places like Wolf 359, Pyras VII, and even Caldos 4, where they can interact with Jennifer Sisko, Sylvia and green Gaelic ghosts. Kurtzman would love it, and so will the fans that just need a few Easter eggs.
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Jaxon
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 7:53pm (UTC -5)
Ardra can narrate it.
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Jeffrey's Tube
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 7:59pm (UTC -5)
God forbid people, even writer, have more than one interest.
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Flipsider
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 8:57pm (UTC -5)
Well, having an anti-science interest is a little bit disconcerting for a science fiction writer. Doesn't mean they can't necessarily write great science fiction, though.
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Bucktown
Mon, Apr 25, 2022, 10:59pm (UTC -5)
@Chris L.
The point I was trying to make was that he was a highly regarded talent (regardless of past success in television), who people felt a sense of relief taking charge of such a revered character, rather than most fans' skepticism of Kurtzman. I feel the same thing is happening now with Terry Matalas, who I have even less trust in, given his involvement in season 2 (and sanctioning of the absolutely brain stabbing "10 Forward bar" in the 21st century).

@Jeffrey's Tube, @Flipsider
I agree, it's not necessarily deal breaking to have a writer who side hustles as a ghost hunter (Arthur Conan Doyle, writer of the most logical character outside of Spock, was famously one), I would argue that in this modern age, a favoritism of spiritualism over scientific inquiry is concerning to me from anyone, let alone someone hired to write stories from an IP most loved for its dedication to the mysteries rooted in science, rather than magic and the supernatural.
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Sigh2000
Tue, Apr 26, 2022, 3:20am (UTC -5)
@Chris L.
"I like Chabon the novelist. He's good. Kavalier and Clay is a fantastic book. As a screenwriter, though, he has been much less successful. Aside from Picard, he also wrote heavily on the major film flop "John Carter" for Disney."

Although I don't know Chabon's work apart from John Carter, my impression is that Chabon's writing had nothing to do with the failure of that film at the box office.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.thewrap.com/john-carter-movie-history-why-it-failed/amp/%3Futm_source%3Dpocket-newtab&ved=2ahUKEwi2zuyLnrH3AhXrlIkEHffLCLoQFnoECDsQAQ&usg=AOvVaw3FwkE6dF6wGKxLHCQfhXPb

Success is fickle.
Sometimes people of quality just happen to book passage on ships headed for trouble.

SS Arcadian April 15, 1917
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Jan
Tue, Apr 26, 2022, 5:03am (UTC -5)
@Jason

"Now ask yourself if there is any scenario whatsoever where beaming over and attacking the Stargazer bridge with her Doctor Octopus tentacles makes more sense than just explaining it calmly to Picard and getting his voluntary cooperation would."

Exactly. This kind of nonsensical in-universe happenings, which is pervasive to nuTrek, is what most irks me. You cannot apply reasoning to anything you see because the plot evolution is going to follow whatever they want to happen, internal soundness be damned. It's kind of reverse plotting, or plot dressing, I don't know.

It basically throws away both rational analysis and coherent human behavior in favor of a succession of happenings propelled by artificially propped up mysteries. There's a handful of examples of this in every episode. And this is chiefly what makes PIC a pain to go through for me, no matter how good the actors, the production values, a good reflection on the human condition along the way, or the clicking of the pieces in the end. They click (if one is generous) because they're profusely glued in nonsense.
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Alienatbar
Tue, Apr 26, 2022, 9:27am (UTC -5)
KDalton & Nick,
If the Borg Queen is to be someone still on the bridge would it not more likely be Seven? That would bring her story arc full circle. The furtherest she’s been from being Borg during this season will only make it more profound. Raffi goes with her into the collective.
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Chris L.
Tue, Apr 26, 2022, 11:52am (UTC -5)
@Bucktown

Fair enough. My point was mostly that I think maybe the enthusiasm for Chabon was unwarranted, so I am certainly on board with the idea that the new guy could be too. Paramount has fooled me into giving them money and signing up for yet another streaming service with Picard Season 1, and they won't get my money again until this board and Jammer start giving it some better reviews. I do have some hope for season 3, but it is very very tempered.

@Sigh2000

That was a really interesting read. Thanks. True, some people fail despite enormous talent. Chabon could be one of those when it comes to screenwriting, just unlucky enough to hitch up to John Carter and Picard, which were arguably doomed from the start.

I still think he might just be mediocre at it. It's a different medium, and he wouldn't be the first guy to achieve great success in one medium but not another.

He may be at a point in his career where he is unwilling to learn the subtleties of TV/movie writing, or it could be he is such a big literary name that experienced TV writers don't want to tell him when he has a bad idea or give him any tips on how to make something translate better to the screen. Could be that he has great ideas that get stomped on and drowned out by a team of other writers and Kurtzman. *shrug*

Anyways, I did enjoy that read. John Carter was completely doomed, I guess. It's a shame they threw Lynn Collins under the bus for that.
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William B
Tue, Apr 26, 2022, 7:49pm (UTC -5)
SEASON 3 CASTING SPOILER

Given that the writers have a thing for ghosts, I would be pretty worried if I were Gates McFadden right now.
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Leif
Tue, Apr 26, 2022, 9:32pm (UTC -5)
Why doesn't the borg queen want to prevent Armageddon and totalitarian future so she can get back to her time?? To assimilate this earth---is that really enough of an explanation?
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Sigh2000
Tue, Apr 26, 2022, 10:26pm (UTC -5)
@Chris L.
"John Carter was completely doomed, I guess. It's a shame they threw Lynn Collins under the bus for that."

I agree completely. She did some good work there.
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Nic
Wed, Apr 27, 2022, 9:17am (UTC -5)
I was mildly interested in the fact that Q is dying (or on the verge of a transformation or whatever), but that’s about all I have to say in favor of this episode.

I didn’t care much for Agent Wells. I briefly thought they would take him along, but no, it seems his only role in the story is to arrest them and later let them go, which makes this another pointless detour.

Guinan continues to not be Guinan. Her big revelation here is that humans are the rare species that deals with their emotions! Has she never met a Betazoid? I'm sick of characters on Star Trek saying humans are unique for X reason. Every species is unique.

The character beats (namely with Raffi and Seven) are POTENTIALLY interesting, but the fact that they happen in the middle of a crisis (and weren't properly set up beforehand) makes them feel shoehorned in.

I feel really bad for the cast having to act through this dreck, especially Alison Pill; she is a terrific actress who has been forced to gratuitously show off her cleavage for the last three episodes… Did CBS really think that would get them more subscribers? Who knows, maybe they’re right.

“It was all a dream” or “timeline erased” endings are usually unsatisfying, but in this case I’ll be happy if that turns out to be the case. I just wish my own memory could be erased along with the characters’.

@RobSolf: Thank you for your excellent summary of my thoughts on this show 😊
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Booming
Wed, Apr 27, 2022, 9:29am (UTC -5)
"I was mildly interested in the fact that Q is dying (or on the verge of a transformation or whatever), but that’s about all I have to say in favor of this episode."
I find it confusing. He/it is a "near omnipotent" being. Q can manipulate matter and time and I always thought that the Q at most died of boredom.

"I feel really bad for the cast having to act through this dreck, especially Alison Pill"
Don't worry, they earned more in a year than anybody reading this in their lifetime. I also imagine that they have really great food service.
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Flipsider
Wed, Apr 27, 2022, 1:44pm (UTC -5)
I can't help but recall that Q were specifically referred to as "immortal" in the classic series.
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Finn
Wed, Apr 27, 2022, 1:50pm (UTC -5)
Booming - "Don't worry, they earned more in a year than anybody reading this in their lifetime."

Didn't know annual salaries hover at ~ $100M
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Chris Lopes
Wed, Apr 27, 2022, 2:00pm (UTC -5)
"Don't worry, they earned more in a year than anybody reading this in their lifetime. I also imagine that they have really great food service."

I also suspect they are too far into the Kurtzman Reality Distortion Field to know that what they are doing is "suboptimal".
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Booming
Wed, Apr 27, 2022, 2:06pm (UTC -5)
"I also suspect they are too far into the Kurtzman Reality Distortion Field to know that what they are doing is "suboptimal". "
I really wonder about that. The woman who played NewGuinan said that she was crying three pages in reading about her role. Is that in their contract to say these things or is Kurtzman just the greatest schmoozer out there who can convince you of anything? Actors talking about their projects is always super fake but this really seems to take it to the next level.
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Flipsider
Wed, Apr 27, 2022, 2:08pm (UTC -5)
Yeah... it does seem REALLY weird to me when the actors talk about reading *these* scripts and being impressed by them. You do have to wonder how much of it is either fake, or feeling like you're "supposed" to say that, or whatever.

I'm sure they're doing okay moneywise, though! Sure beats working at McDonalds!
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Chris Lopes
Wed, Apr 27, 2022, 2:08pm (UTC -5)
"Raffi goes with her into the collective."

Oh great, so the entire collective gets to hear them talk about their relationship.
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Chris Lopes
Wed, Apr 27, 2022, 2:28pm (UTC -5)
"McFadden and Dorn give me hope that it could be better, as I don't think Dorn in particular would sign up to be a part of it if he thought it was crap. But then again, he might, especially since everyone else was on board."

To be honest, I don't think I would turn down a 6 or 7 or even 8 figure salary even if I thought the work was crap.
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Flipsider
Wed, Apr 27, 2022, 2:35pm (UTC -5)
Hey... acting is still a career. Can't blame em for wanting to make a paycheck!
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Booming
Wed, Apr 27, 2022, 2:43pm (UTC -5)
Yes and acting in a bad movie or show is really nothing terrible. The crew is probably/hopefully well payed. There are far worse things to make money. They are not doing triumph of the will, they are making a somewhat forgettable show. No harm done. Sure, Stewart racking in 10% of the budget is messed up but that's how it is. One more level for his mausoleum.
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Chris Lopes
Wed, Apr 27, 2022, 2:46pm (UTC -5)
"Hey... acting is still a career. Can't blame em for wanting to make a paycheck!"

Yep. That's why I don't blame Wheaton for being such a shill. I just blame him for being so bad at it.
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Booming
Wed, Apr 27, 2022, 2:57pm (UTC -5)
Yeah, the guy looks like he is dying inside.
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Jaxon
Wed, Apr 27, 2022, 3:13pm (UTC -5)
It's kind of sad when your film career peaks when you're fourteen.
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Chris L.
Wed, Apr 27, 2022, 3:53pm (UTC -5)
@Chris Lopes

I might if I truly didn't need the money and had already more or less retired the character. But yeah, hard to put myself in that position.

For a giant pile of money, would I go out on stage and take a giant turd on a character I spent a decade or more helping to create? If I'm being honest, maybe so. A million ways to easily rationalize it, and a financial incentive to do so.

I certainly wouldn't blame anyone that took a job on a crummy project because it paid super well. Heck, most of the no-name trying-to-make-it C-list actors in Hollywood take jobs on crummy projects and it doesn't even pay well, so... yeah.
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Flipsider
Wed, Apr 27, 2022, 4:11pm (UTC -5)
Also, people who *want* a project to be good can easily be blind to it's flaws. It's easy to speculate that 'they realize it's shit and are just putting on a good face,' but it could also be that they think they're doing good work. A lot of critics seem to somehow think that Picard is a well written, I just don't get it myself. It's one thing to have variation opinions, but another when the basic tenets of what is "good writing" seem to have such a wide gulf.
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Gorn With the Wind
Wed, Apr 27, 2022, 4:47pm (UTC -5)
If you want to see a current sci-fi show with airtight plotting, a coherent theme, dialogue by turns funny and moving, characters’ with compelling motivations and arcs, and all around great filmmaking, watch Severance on AppleTV+.

I’m about halfway through, and while I suppose it could all go to shit, it has yet to miss a step.
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Gorn With the Wind
Wed, Apr 27, 2022, 4:57pm (UTC -5)
@booming

Most actors are narcissistic freaks who lie for a living. You better believe they’re expert bullshitters in Hollywood, where “you’re a genius” passed for “hello”.
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Bryan
Wed, Apr 27, 2022, 5:08pm (UTC -5)
There's sort of a virtuous circle jerk between the showrunners, critics, and a large detachment of newer fans who uncritically love anything with woke messaging in it, even if it's slapped on as haphazardly as the "Freedom" tag that Q put on that random potion he expected Kore to drink. Just insert a few throwaway lines about climate change, racial discrimination, and poverty, then that group will drink it up with no questions asked.
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Jason R.
Wed, Apr 27, 2022, 6:20pm (UTC -5)
"Just insert a few throwaway lines about climate change, racial discrimination, and poverty, then that group will drink it up with no questions asked."

I gotta say I don't think that is all that likely. The Audience Tomatometer score for Season 2 stands at 32%.

What truly amazes me is the 92% critical score. That is simply dumbfounding. Do these scores get tabulated at the beginning of the season? Could they be based on just the first episode?
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Jason R.
Wed, Apr 27, 2022, 6:40pm (UTC -5)
Oh wow it looks like the critics rate each episode and almost all the episodes have a 100% fresh rating. Good. God. These critics have truly detached from any reality I occupy.
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Bryan
Wed, Apr 27, 2022, 6:54pm (UTC -5)
Don't let RT statistics fool you. In general, they tend to be overinflated with people whose sole purpose is to bring down the audience score on that site. Meanwhile, the actual numbers of fans clamoring with words of praise or condemnation are not insignificant. The fandom is fairly evenly divided with entire communities flying a banner of pure love or pure hate, and it's not clear which side would win if they brought out the bat'leths and declared conventional war on each other.

So I don't really get it when people say things like "The whole world loves this show except for the 20 or so people on Jammer's site that seem to have a problem with it for some strange neckbeard reason" or conversely, "the stats show that only a minority of real people actually like this show."
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Peter G.
Wed, Apr 27, 2022, 7:24pm (UTC -5)
@ Jason R.,

"Oh wow it looks like the critics rate each episode and almost all the episodes have a 100% fresh rating. Good. God. These critics have truly detached from any reality I occupy."

It would require reading the individual reviews, and also knowing the review history of the critic. It's a real pain. There are a few critics I follow and over time I trust them. But I suspect there is a lot of trust at premium in believing critics that goes beyond whether their assessment aligns with yours. Siskel & Ebert, for instance, gained a lot of credibility over time to the point where their statements were quasi-authoritative. There are equivalents in local arts scenes, for instance the New York theatre scene where critics like Ben Brantley could make or break a show opening. That's because of prestige and trust. At other times you'll have a critic that maybe people read for fun but won't materially affect a film or play's success likelihood.

I mention all that because I feel like the trust premium is at least partially linked to whether that critic is corrupt or honest. Critics taken out to fancy dinners, given perks, and other incentives (good treatment at festivals, etc) can perhaps be measured alongside a culture where, if I'm guessing, something like what happens in the rest of journalism happens: if you print the wrong thing too many times you mysteriously lose access, don't get invited to things, and even find yourself with professional or employment problems. For someone like Ebert that was not relevant because he could write his own ticket. For others I think they have to play the game, and in Hollywood the game is often that everything is amazing. As an actor or other person employed on a film you are almost contractually obliged not only to say the film is great, but even that your co-workers are great. I expect this trickles out to auxiliary film business like criticism.

Therefore in the absence of you finding a critics you know you can trust to be straightforward, I'd never be sure whether I was reading a bone fide analysis rather than a paid-for (or coerced) statement.
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Jason R.
Wed, Apr 27, 2022, 7:26pm (UTC -5)
"Don't let RT statistics fool you. In general, they tend to be overinflated with people whose sole purpose is to bring down the audience score on that site."

It is more the critical score that is blowing my mind. If someone tells me that this season was merely ok or mildly positive I'd disagree but I wouldn't lose it. But those scores are like "this is a classic!" level. It's nearly unfathomable.
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Gorn With the Wind
Wed, Apr 27, 2022, 7:33pm (UTC -5)
I don’t think there’s a grand conspiracy, but I do think that most critics these days are under a lot of pressure to launder the major, tent-pole shows. Critics hang by a thread with absurdly tight deadlines for little pay, and the big media/streaming companies plow advertising dollars into their sites.
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Flipsider
Wed, Apr 27, 2022, 7:34pm (UTC -5)
You know, people can't really be 'wrong' about their opinions, per se. If someone likes the show, of course that's valid.

But I really have a hard time understanding why Picard is a critical darling. It makes no sense to me. And when I try to read positive reviews of Picard, it just sounds like they're speaking a different language, like they're describing a completely different show. If that makes sense. I wish I could understand better, but I just seem to be unable to.
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Jason R.
Wed, Apr 27, 2022, 7:47pm (UTC -5)
But it doesn't seem like this with movies. It seems like for movies the reviews are more comprehensible. Like take Matrix Resurrection, which I saw recently. 63% critical rating. That seems right on to me. When they rate a movie 97% it is almost always at least slightly justified. Nobody gave Transformers Revenge of the Fallen 97%.
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The Queen
Wed, Apr 27, 2022, 8:56pm (UTC -5)
Jason R -
"Now ask yourself if there is any scenario whatsoever where beaming over and attacking the Stargazer bridge with her Doctor Octopus tentacles makes more sense than just explaining it calmly to Picard and getting his voluntary cooperation would."

You're assuming she has complete control. Let's say she doesn't, and the evil BQ is still fighting her. Maybe the evil BQ initiated the attack and Jurati is making the best of it.

I do think that the rest of the scenario is what will happen. I thought at the time that it was strange nobody addressed the "Picard, help!" combined with "only stunned" situation. And that it was Picard who did the self-destruct, in gross usurpation of Captain Rios's prerogative.
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Gorn With the Wind
Wed, Apr 27, 2022, 10:06pm (UTC -5)
It’s a good question re: movies.

For one, it’s an older and far more respected form of criticism and there are still a good number of top flight reviewers out there: Richard Brody, Anthony Lane, A.O. Scott, Tasha Robinson, etc., while on the TV front you’ve got Sepinwall and…? The old AV Club was pretty solid but it’s since been picked apart by private equity vultures.

I think tv criticism just needs to evolve into something other than poorly disguised PR. It’ll probably take a while.

ps: obviously Jammer is a top flight tv critic. Otherwise none of us would be here!
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Mike Lindell
Wed, Apr 27, 2022, 10:29pm (UTC -5)
@Jason R.

They gave Force Awakens and Last Jedi 90+ scores. Film critics are just as bad.
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Gorn With the Wind
Wed, Apr 27, 2022, 10:45pm (UTC -5)
To be fair, the audience gave Force Awakens 85% on RT
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Bryan
Wed, Apr 27, 2022, 10:55pm (UTC -5)
Also keep in mind that because RT divides all review scores into pass or fail, it obscures how much a reviewer likes or dislikes a show before the scores are aggregated. A grudging pass of 51% would be weighted equally to a 5/5 star review. Therefore if an episode had 100% positive reviews from critics, and you were to add Jammer's more nuanced 2 and 1/2 star score, the total score would still show as 100% positive. This gives the impression that critics absolutely love the show and can't get enough of it. Even if, in reality, it is gradually wearing out its welcome.
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SlackerInc
Wed, Apr 27, 2022, 11:05pm (UTC -5)
@Jammer: No one commented on your review! I thought it was well written and an engaging read as usual, and I like how you summarize the plot enough to follow what's happening even though I have not been watching the episodes.

@JasonR: There is a fundamental disconnect between the way people interpret RT percentages and what they actually mean. People think a "pretty good" movie should get 70%; a great one, over 90%. But if nine out of ten critics think it's "pretty good", B-minus entertainment, it will get a 90% even if none of them think it's anything special. While a movie that many critics think is the best film of the year may only get 60% if it's polarizing.
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Booming
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 12:20am (UTC -5)
To build on what Peter said, companies punish review publications if they print negative reviews too often. Companies even punish newspapers if the reveal a scandal. That's all well documented. We are not just talking about access, even though that is also important, far more important is ads. Mega companies like Disney or CBS can really make a dent there. Are the higher ups at a newspaper or review page willing to lose significant amounts of money for writing the truth about a movie? That is especially true since ad revenues in the newspaper business are shrinking and even reputable newspapers are shutting down left and right.

Bryan also points out that Rotten Tomatoes is a thumbs up, thumbs down rating so three of five stars could mean positive. If you look at the time these reviews were posted, many were written at the beginning of march. Normally the top critics get the first three or four episodes and write their reviews based on that. I think that is why we often have these season structures for NuTrek where the first few episodes are kind of good.

And finally I always ask myself "who becomes a critic". I always imagine many of these critics actually wanted to become great journalists like Seymour Hersh or Brian Deer but they could only get a job as a reviewer and now, instead of uncovering big scandals and changing the world for the better, you write a review about the new star wars show, movie, park, soft serve. Certified whatever.
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SlackerInc
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 1:03am (UTC -5)
Relevant to this discussion and particularly apropos given the score Jammer awarded this episode, it looks like RT is rather inconsistent on whether a 2.5 star rating is "Fresh" or "Rotten":

https://www.kansascity.com/entertainment/movies-news-reviews/article93975472.html
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Bryan
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 1:20am (UTC -5)
I'm guessing that who ever collects the ratings doesn't look very hard to see if they're based on a maximum of 4 or 5 stars.
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StarMan
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 1:21am (UTC -5)
I might be wrong, but aren't most NuTrek-related RT scores based on the first couple of episodes? The initial batch of reviews come out for the first few episodes then that's it. I don't know if this is standard for every series, or if it's the case the RT folk are aren't bothered keeping less popular series updated as individual reviews roll in as the season progresses.

On the other hand, the audience score took a nosedive about the same time as Jammer's reviews did.
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Jammer
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 1:54am (UTC -5)
The 2.5 star rating has always been tricky, and maybe sometimes misunderstood. I've always considered the 2.5 to be a near-miss in terms of getting to the 3-star threshold of "recommended," which is itself "good but not great." But even within each star rating, there's an imaginary subrange -- a "low" 2.5 or a "high" 2.5 -- with the episode having landed somewhere in there. In the end, it's probably pretty pointless to get too serious about the numbers, which of course I've said many times.

I consider 3 stars the threshold for "thumbs up" and everything else varying degrees of "thumbs down," with the 2.5 perhaps being the "thumbs sideways" but still not a recommendation. If I overall like it, it's going to get 3 stars. Anything less is just varying degrees of not getting there. I've probably not used the low end of the scale as much as I probably should (in retrospect, "Monsters" should probably have gotten a 1.5) but chalk that up to me being too nice, I guess. But I've never really graded things on a curve where a certain number of things every season need to be D's or F's (1.5 or 1 star). Ideally, I'd never give out an F, and indeed I rarely do. But again, I'm probably too nice. This is well known. See STID, TROS, etc.

As for RT, I don't know how it actually averages out for TV critics, since the high-profile critics like Alan Sepinwall who cover a lot of different TV series watch the limited screeners, write their initial review, and then are done with it and on to the next thing. Sepinwall reviewed the first three episodes of Picard season 2, wrote a fairly positive review (which I assume was put into the RT average) and that was it. So those scores I would imagine are weighted toward those first three episodes. But again, I don't know, since I've never really broken down how RT aggregates their scores.
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Jason R.
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 7:26am (UTC -5)
"@Jason R.

They gave Force Awakens and Last Jedi 90+ scores. Film critics are just as bad."

Touche.
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Flipsider
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 11:03am (UTC -5)
Yeah I tend not to trust movie critics as much these days as I used to, either. But of course, I tend to not like a lot of new movies, so my tastes have changed too.

Aside from that, there's some really weird divides between critics and fans at times, with The Last Jedi being a prominent example. To be fair, Last Jedi is a movie that I didn't mind at the time while watching it, and then as I've talked and thought about it my opinion has gone down over time. Discovery too I didn't mind in it's first season towards the beginning, when I had more illusions that it might all go somewhere and amount to something. But after awhile when you start to see the same familiar patterns emerge, your cynicism builds up.
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Extraneous
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 1:36pm (UTC -5)
@Jammer Maybe ditch the star rating system altogether and just let your reviews stand for themselves?
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SlackerInc
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 5:35pm (UTC -5)
@Extraneous With all due respect, I hate that idea (although there are critics who definitely agree with you). I have found this site an extremely useful resource in going through and finding episodes of long-running series to check out. To read through each and every review would not be practical.

@Jammer, that's interesting that you see 2.5/4 stars clearly coming down on the "thumbs down" side. That feels reasonable to me, but mathematically it's pretty weird. I say that because five-star scales are increasingly common, and I doubt anyone would dispute that 3 stars out of five is at least a mildly positive review. Yet if you convert it to a four star scale by multiplying by 0.8, it's 2.4 stars out of 4. By the same token, 2.5/4 is equivalent to 3.125/5.

(These are not the kinds of things a normal TV critic would be likely to care about, but this is after all a science fiction oriented site, so the proportion of us who like to get into the weeds of mathematics, and would have worn a pocket protector in a different era, surely must be significantly higher.)
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Daniel
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 6:30pm (UTC -5)
Thia show was on the edge of a cliff, but after this episode, it did take a firm step forward!
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Jaxon
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 6:55pm (UTC -5)
Jammer said:

"there's an imaginary subrange -- a "low" 2.5 or a "high" 2.5 -- with the episode having"

Indeed so...there's a big difference between 2.3 and 2.7, both of which round to 2.5 if half a star is the only increment.
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EmpressHoshiSato
Thu, Apr 28, 2022, 8:12pm (UTC -5)
@JasonR

Don't forget the so called critics gave TFA top ratings. Who reviews the critics?

Hope Q or the Doc and Marty can restore the timeline by preventing the sale of Star Wars to Disney.

Aside from the missed opportunity to have had an interesting assist from 29th century Admiral Ducane of the Relativity, this episode didn't really feature much urgency to take down the Borg Queen. Seemed like they were putting minimal effort and when they found her, didn't do much as try to Stun her despit ample time to fire at her whilst she approached.
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Jonas
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 11:36am (UTC -5)
Ohh shit, i watched Angry Joe review right now and they pointed out something that i haven't realized when i watched this episode...
Those Borg corpses are going to be stuck half way on the wall forever. Some time in the future, some Picard will refurbish the Chateau and find ALIEN CORPSES sticking out from the walls!!! Even if nobody goes in the basement for centurys, at least young Picard and her mother will eventually.
Heads up for those Borgs young JL!
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Jonas
Fri, Apr 29, 2022, 11:37am (UTC -5)
Ooopss, commented on the wrong episode forum!
Spoilers ahead kids!

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