Star Trek: Picard


2 stars

Air date: 3/30/2023
Written by Jane Maggs
Directed by Deborah Kampmeier

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"Dominion" is a title, like "The Next Generation," which could be taken to mean something more thematically generic and specific to this episode, or refer to the larger element from Trek's history. For this episode, it's definitely a case of the former rather than the latter. The Dominion isn't actually the subject of this episode at all, although it raises the question of where exactly the Dominion is in all of this. If a rogue faction of the Founders had broken off and was now trying to wage war against the Federation, wouldn't the actual Dominion at least have something to say about that? And might an episode titled "Dominion" examine that?

Nope. And it's that sort of oversight, deliberate or not, that makes "Dominion" fall more in line with the isolated, smaller-scale thinking that has been too prevalent in the Kurtzman era of Trek, rather than using the expansive canvas of the universe to advance the universe's broader narrative. While it's good that this episode at least pays lip service to the Dominion War and the morally dubious decisions around the genetically engineered virus used to infect the Great Link, much of the plan here nonetheless boils down to one villain and her backstory, with the macro scale being almost incidental.

That backstory is finally explained in some detail, but the lack of macro plot complexity is becoming more disappointing with each episode. In a nutshell, Vadic was a Changeling who was captured and imprisoned within a biological lab where Federation scientists ran some rather nasty experiments. Those experiments are what ultimately created this new breed of Changelings; Vadic was able to adapt to these biological changes, kill her captors (and take the identity of the lead researcher) and then teach other Changelings to modify themselves based on her own adaptation. (Although, none of this explains the mysterious face that seems to be an entirely different entity altogether, and who gives Vadic her marching orders. WTF?)

All of this is explained in a lengthy scene in the middle of the episode after Picard & Co. have lured Vadic and her henchmen into a trap; they board the Titan and are neutralized behind force fields. The speech and flashbacks give Amanda Plummer some more scenes to chew up the scenery, and they at least give the villain her motivation, which is mostly vengeance for a past wrong. But it still makes the character no less unhinged than ever before, and indeed perhaps even more so.

The Vadic material is preceded by lengthy action sequences, including corridor phaser battles and hand-to-hand combat, mostly involving Jack and Sidney, and Jack's newly discovered pseudo-telepathic abilities, which first allow him to accidentally flirt with Sidney, and later allow him to fight bad guys using her as an avatar. (The question "What is Jack?" gets ratcheted back up to 10 this week, and Vadic has the answers to that question, which she intends to share, but not before the screen goes black on this week's installment. They are really pushing it with teasing out this mystery.)

After Vadic's speech, she is able to escape and subsequently take control of the Titan. This is helped in no small part by Lore, who is one half of the split Data/Lore personality that has not been internally rectified by the newfangled positronic matrix. (Lal and B-4 exist as "memory files only," simplifying the matter somewhat.) Because Lore is evil and thrives on chaos, he does exactly what's conveniently worst for our heroes. Lore's role in the plot here is a preposterous contrivance at best. He's connected to the ship's computer for who knows what reason, which allows him to take control of all the systems. This allows him to disable the transporters precisely when they are needed (the transporters being unavailable for plot reasons is a mini-theme of the season), and allows Vadic and her henchmen to stage their escape and take over the ship. It would be absurd if Vadic were able to orchestrate Lore's actions on her own and make him part of her master ship takeover plot, but even more absurd is how coincidental it all ends up being.

Vadic's capture and escape are the type of messy action plotting that would be right at home in the first two seasons of this show, and it's worrisome (albeit not entirely surprising) that they start to play into the plot here in season three as it nears the endgame. The whole Data/Lore struggle is useful from a character standpoint, I suppose, as it results in a scene where Geordi makes desperate, emotional appeals to Data that span the past and present. But after already watching this character die twice (which the story does acknowledge, to be fair), it's becoming difficult to become invested in these emotions yet again while Data/Lore is in the middle of a plot that's such a clunky apparatus.

That being said, Brent Spiner does his thing and does it well, switching between Data and Lore on a dime and doing so convincingly. There's intrigue in his split personality and in how Geordi explains it all in classic TNG fashion. Similarly, there's intrigue in the opening scene, where Seven contacts Tuvok (you can add Tim Russ to the list of characters on display in this farewell parade) and tries to suss out whether or not he has been replaced with a Changeling. (He has, although Tuvok is apparently still alive and being held somewhere.) And there's a nice scene where Jack, increasingly alarmed by his unknown nature, confides in Picard.

The things that have worked this season continue to work, and they keep this show from jumping off the rails. But the things that failed in previous seasons are starting to reveal themselves in this season as well, and were likely here all along. The longer this season goes on, the thinner and dumber the overarching plot seems. The question of why the Changelings want Picard's body and Jack's DNA is speculated here as the Changelings wanting the perfect doppelganger so they can better infiltrate the Frontier Day celebration and destroy the fleet. But this is redundant overkill when the Changelings are already (1) apparently everywhere and (2) virtually undetectable. (And the portal weapon being stolen — and deployed! — as a "cover" just to steal Picard's body makes absolutely no sense in retrospect.)

So there are definitely major fissures in this story, to put it mildly, and they are becoming much harder to ignore. The question is whether the character details and the cumulative effect of spending time with them during this journey will be enough to offset a potentially moronic plot. That remains to be seen, but this episode has its pleasures, even as large parts of it don't survive real scrutiny.

Some other thoughts:

  • Worf and Raffi are shuttled off-screen for the week with a line of throwaway dialogue.
  • Similarly, Riker and Troi are not seen (although Frakes makes an appearance as a Changeling pretending to be Riker), even though they have presumably been tortured on Vadic's ship. (At least we didn't have to sit through any torture scenes.) With only three episodes remaining, I'm wondering whether the writers will do anything to adequately service Troi's character, which has been given extremely short shrift so far this season.
  • With all the various characters popping up at different times, I wonder how much of this season came down to scheduling around actors' availability and budgetary constraints, and trying to juggle all of that into these 10 scripts.
  • Would it be too much to ask to get some DS9 players into this story, considering the Dominion was DS9's territory? Sure, there's plenty of TNG and Voyager (and the name-dropping of Admiral Janeway makes me believe we might even see her before this is all over), but no DS9 characters, settings, or species. (Even the Changelings aren't DS9 Changelings.) Typical.
  • If the Changelings are capable of such a wide, infiltration conspiracy, why do they need to destroy the fleet on Frontier Day with such urgency? Couldn't they wait? Or better yet, just take over Starfleet without blowing up ships?
  • Isn't there anyone else who can fight this conspiracy from within? Surely Ro wasn't acting alone with just Worf. There's no way such a sweeping conspiracy could still be a secret at the highest levels of Starfleet. It's another example of this series' penchant for small-world plotting.

Previous episode: The Bounty
Next episode: Surrender

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265 comments on this post

Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 2:00am (UTC -6)
Because of my schedule this week, the review for this episode, as well as this week's Mandalorian episode, will be later than usual.
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 2:25am (UTC -6)
I'd say to take a shot every time someone says "Frontier Day" in this episode, but I don't want to be responsible for alcohol poisoning.
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 2:41am (UTC -6)
Gotta say I'm still really enjoying the action, pacing and editing of this season, and this episode is almost on par with episode 4 in that department. It's actually quite incredible the quality they're coming up with in pretty much bottle episode after bottle episode. I think there's only a short scene on the Shrike, with the entire rest taking place on the Titan.

The episode standout should go to Levar Burton, who is a return to form as expected. His pleading to get through to Data was some solid stuff. Even Brent Spiner seems more inspired and subtle than his work in the prior two seasons. Really good work all around here. (I'm predicting we'll get full Data back in Episode 9 or 10.) I know last episode was full of the memberries, which didn't do much for my cynical heart, but honestly, the Geordi booting up Data scene chock full of classic technobabble was absolute perfect nostalgia right there. More of that please!

The Tuvok cameo was neat and made sense plotwise; I just hope we get some info later on that he's ok and didn't go the plot casualty way of poor old Icheb.

There's some minor nitpicking plot elements one could bring up, but it's almost not worth it. I only think they should have done the full Jack reveal this episode. Now that it's at least one more until we completely find out feels one too many stretched out.
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 2:43am (UTC -6)
Not having William Shatner voice the changeling Big Giant Head seems like a missed opportunity. Not all memberberries have to be in-universe.
Jeffrey's Tube
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 2:51am (UTC -6)
Eight episodes is too long to wait to reveal the mystery of what is going on with Jack. It's just frustrating now.

Okay so it's something biological masquerading as Irumodic syndrome. It's probably not Borg even though they like to make things Borg. It's probably not the aliens from Conspiracy at this point, but we can't rule them out completely. Anyone want to bet me it's something done by the probe from The Inner Light? Because this is TNG Greatest Hits Redux, after all.

But no. There's still the mysterious big bad to consider. The Inner Light probe wouldn't be connected to some big bad. And they're probably connected. It's probably Romulans. Shinzon II, and Sela.

. . .

The way they keep mentioning Janeway, I'm kind of beginning to expect she might actually show up!

Tuvok's a captain. Neat. Hey, they better remember to mention he got rescued . . . or died. Just don't leave it open-ended.

. . .

"Worf and Raffi are . . . okay, we didn't have enough budget to pay them this episode. But we'll pay Frakes for one scene at the beginning. It's in his contract."

Is Deanna going to get anything to do at all?
Android Dan
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 2:53am (UTC -6)
And here, finally we see what was perhaps, sadly, the inevitable…a reversion to unpleasant form for Star Trek Picard. As someone who was willing to give a lot of slack and forgiveness to the writers, directors and producers of this third season considering the good will instilled by a solid first half…it seems like I must acknowledge, regretfully that the disease that is NuTrek’s addiction to over-amplified drama, massive plot holes, incongruous characterizations and choppy editing has reared its ugly face.
The beatdown of this episode is long…
1. The cold open of the episode clearly tried to draw us in with the surprise appearance of Tuvok but when you really think about it…the narrative flow is disjointed and confusing. There should have been more context built in to what’s happened between the last episode and this one and more time to understand what’s going on. It’s cool to see Tuvok…but it’s played mostly as a “gotcha” fake-out once you realize it’s just another changeling doppelganger and there’s literally nothing in the plot that’s moved forward as a consequence.
2. The narrative and time leap between Picard and Jack discussing their lack of options to a complicated ruse and trap scenario played out instantly afterwards was beyond the realm of acceptability. So many questions and plot holes abound here. E.g. there’s the entire fabrication of the Vulcan ship message, the Vulcan ship itself (where did it come from??), the debris and damage to the interior of the Titan (did they rip up the ship just to make it look damaged?)…it goes on. This was narrative whip lash to the maximum level.
3. Using Data/Lore as some sort of central lynch pin to the plan was ridiculous considering a few scenes earlier they emphasized how dangerous and unpredictable the android’s psych was. You’re going to tie your entire plan to the stability of a nearly insane android with multiple-personality psychosis? Why did they not just unplug him from the computer? I have to assume it was because they had foolishly integrated using his brain as some sort of central part of the plan.
4. After spending a lot of the previous episode talking about the amalgamation of Lal, B4 and Soong along with Data and Lore in the new android body…in this episode they just hand wave most of that away and say…well…really, it’s just Lore and Data and all the other androids we mentioned are just memories that we don’t need to deal with.
5. Sadly, it appears Jack is some sort of “Chosen One” mythical / magical / super-powered being that can read thoughts and control other person’s physical movement. Of course it couldn’t be just a direct and simple case of inheriting his father’s genetic disorder…of course they have to hint at some mysterious, magical mystery that Picard has some other powers we have NEVER heard of or hinted at for the entirety of decades of Star Trek The Next Generation.
6. The overall pacing, editing and sequencing of this episode is a train wreck, confusing cuts, leaps, weird edits…it just didn’t work.
7. Looks like Geordi’s numbered ticket in line to profess his never-ending love and adoration for the mythical Data came up in today’s episode (are any of the Star Trek Next Generation crew NOT obsessed with Data??). I get that Geordi and Data were deep friends but the babbling emotionalism of “You made me a better father…” ugh…the dialogue did not need to be written that way. Geordi could have said something much more restrained but still emotionally resonant without going all the way to drama max factor 11.
8. Clearly, they jammed too much into this episode. Given the surprise ending of the last one with the Big Reveal of Troi captured by Vadec we should have had at least ONE scene with the two of them together and talking. Troi seems to have been shelved for most of this season and it’s bizarre to reveal her in the last episode and then do NOTHING with that reveal in the following episode.
9. Shaw has been progressively diminished over the last few episodes to where he seems like an extra to the rest of the TNG crew. Here he had just a bare handful of lines and served almost no narrative purpose other than the dramatic and cliché doors open and the person drops to the ground trope that’s been done a million times.
10. Crusher and Picard’s debate about killing Vadec felt very odd and overly self-aware as if they were told…the audience needs to know everything you’re thinking and all the context of your actions so please spell it out and narrate what you’re going to do before you do it.
11. Our previously competent crew came off like a bunch of junior ensigns. Of course the Titan would get taken over by the changelings in such a cliché and eye-rolling series of contrivances and events. I guess it’s no wonder most of Starfleet has been taken over by changelings…this crew had all the foreknowledge to know better and yet they still lost the ship!
12. Why are these changelings suddenly impervious to phaser fire after all the previous examples shown where a SINGLE shot can kill these evolved changelings? The big baddie changeling and Goo-Vadec absorbed multiple point-blank phase shots and recovered without an scratch. This breaks all continuity with the entire season so far.
13. It’s been very evident that this season is working with a very constrained budget…I understand that we can’t expect them to build a ton of new sets for a 10 episode season but I’m honestly getting very tired of so much happening on the very few Titan sets they have available. There’s that hallway again…the sickbay set again…the ready room again…too bad they couldn’t hit the set re-use bingo card and somehow have yet another conversation on the holodeck recreation of Guinan’s bar.
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 2:59am (UTC -6)
FINALLY glad to see Barclay cameo!
Colin Lindsly
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 2:59am (UTC -6)
From what people were saying, I was expecting something that was new and refreshing. I am not getting that from the series.

There are many problems here for me here. They compared this to a 10-hour movie, and it is clear they are attempting to fill out 10 episodes with content. They are dragging the conspiracy and the mystery box out to an interminable length.

I know that a certain amount of stupidity and overconfidence is needed to advance a plot. It's expected; however, the amount of it shown here by the Starfleet crew is staggering, considering that they had experience of dangers from both sides in the past.

Let's set a trap on aboard our ship to lure the enemy commander in so we can a chat with her. This commander is a loose screw, and you don't know her capabilities nor those of her crew. So, don't use your ship, the only thing that is keeping you alive and safe. Set the trap on a planet, a moon, a station, anywhere - just not the ship. And make sure that are no open ports, vents, etc. for the enemy commander to escape into.

Then, while you are entrapping the enemy commander, don't have a mentally unstable android connected into your network, allowing them to mess up the plans. Have you forgotten the times when Data took command of your ship, you know, like in "Brothers" and you could do jack-squat about it? Have that piece of machinery far away from your mission.

I still do not know what the thing with Jack is and now Picard. In one episode, he is Jack Bourne, and, in this episode, he is capable of reading people's minds. Last season, we learned that Picard had a suicidal mother and a father who was abusive. This season, we learned that he has a thing in him which mimics Irumodic Syndrome but is not Irumodic Sydrome. Whomever invented the mystery box method of storytelling, there should be a special place in Hell reserved for them.

I am bailing out on this series. I will keep up to date on the new starships that are seen in this series, for I dig starships; however, I am done with the rest.
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 3:28am (UTC -6)
"a reversion to unpleasant form for Star Trek Picard"

it was there all season...again...this episode is merely Seventh Verse, Same As The First.
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 3:34am (UTC -6)
I liked it for the most part.

Definitely happy to see the extreme fan service of last week gone again.

I do agree going from Jack's (somewhat understandable) meltdown with Picard to them orchestrating and implementing a plan to fool the Shrike was startlingly quick and extremely sudden.

The music was really good.

I literally never notice the small number of sets until someone points it out, but I kind of always liked bottle episodes anyway.

Was Tuvok's lip always so red? That looked so weird.
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 3:35am (UTC -6)
(Answer, no, Tuvok's lips weren't so red. Maybe this was meant as a hint?)
The Queen
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 3:40am (UTC -6)
I thought this was a well paced, exciting episode, well written and well acted. My main disappointment was no followup with Troi and Riker, but hopefully that will be tackled next time. There was a lot in this one and it kept me on the edge of my seat. The coolest thing was Jack's telepathic assistance to Sydney in the fight. I also liked Lore's statement that he just wanted to survive like anyone else, and I believe he mentioned Vadic in the same breath. It seemed like a setup for some kind of redemption for Lore. Vadic's clear exposition of what happened to the changelings was much needed as a backstory, and I liked the way it was done.

Tuvok looked different to me - more pointy ears? I don't much care because I never much cared for anyone on Voyager except the Doctor (my affection for Seven comes entirely from this show).

I thought the person who had not-real Irumodic syndrome was Jack, not Jean-Luc. It was a bit confusing.
Tim C
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 5:19am (UTC -6)
Liked it, especially the reveal of Vadic's backstory and the unpleasant revelation that S31's changeling virus, and Starfleet's decision not to provide the cure way back in "The Dogs of War", resulted in such bitter enmity. It also makes more sense now that we know she had been separated from the Link when Odo and the Changeleader brought back their truce. I do think there's one loose end in this story idea - did the Founders know that a bunch of them had been captured and were being held prisoner? Were there no agreements on exchanges of POWs?

Of course, given S31's history, it's not implausible they just covered it up and lied.

I'm also not sure how I feel about Picard and Beverley seemingly settling on the decision to execute Vadic before she escaped. I would expect that kind of cold, pragmatic decision from a character like Sisko, but not Picard.

Are Riker and Troi still over there on the Shrike? I guess we'll find out next week. Three episodes to go!
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 6:59am (UTC -6)
I haven't watched any of this season (having hated S1+2) but I gotta say I'm not vibing the seemingly large amount of DS9 content for a TNG send off. What's more, there seems to be no one from DS9, barring Worf, even in the show.

As a old DS9 fan this seems inappropriate at best, insulting at worst.
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 7:09am (UTC -6)
Star Trek has done the "someone takes over the ship" plot quite a lot...I mean it's a ship out in space far from any kind of help in almost 90% of scenarios in the series, so it's an easy go-to to build dramatic tension. "Space Seed" did it too.

What sets this season apart from previous NuTrek outings is that someone with a bullshitometer joined the writing staff.

I imagine the writing room, multiple times, daily, had a conversation go like this:

Person A: "So, what if it's because of x and y reasons?"

BSOM Person: "Bullshit!"

Person B: "But what if those x and y reasons are because of z and cause a?"

BSOM Person: "Also bullshit! Fans are gonna slag you to death on Jammer's Reviews!"

Person A: "Why should we take a bunch of computer nerds seriously?"

BSOM Person: "Also also bullshit! Star Trek was founded by computer nerds watching the show relentlessly in the 70s."

...And so on and so on and so on. For this reason, S3 Picard has a habit of using exposition to actually answer questions about what's going on, rather than evade them and generate more questions. Now we know who Vadic is, and indeed even who she copied for her current physical form (the scientist who programmed her and her cohorts at Daystrom), and why she continues whistling "Three Blind Mice" (cuz that scientist had an annoying habit of doing it while working). It ain't deathless prose, but it's an explanation.

So, it gives S3 a sort of grounding on something palpable, something... (sorry for this) "solid."

However, "Die Hard On A Ship" (I know the reference is anachronistic ok) has been done pretty hard in this series already. SNW seems like it might be the last bastion of idea stories in Star Trek, and of course I'm willing to bet that it's only a matter of time before it gets the axe.

But for now, I'm at least enjoying not having basic questions about the plot and characters ignored by the show until the finale.
Narissa's Bath Water
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 7:32am (UTC -6)
Jane Maggs. I knew it the second that Sydney had her odd teenage romance moment with Jack. Odd phrasing and overlong dialogue? Jane Maggs. Childish sentiment? Jane Maggs. Jane Maggs all day long.

Previous Picard writing credits: S2: "Watcher", "Two of One", "Monsters" (Jammer's average rating: 1.83 (1.5, 2, 2))

Why does this remind you of the dreck in Season 2?
Because it IS the dreck in Season 2.
Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 7:55am (UTC -6)
While it wasn't an episode without flaws, I felt it was a big step up from the nostalgia-fest last week.

There were lots of good elements this week. The episode was well shot and directed, with a tense feel and great action choreography. Amanda Plummer was finally given something of weight to do as Vadic, and she brought it home nicely. Giving us her backstory and motivation helped to provide continued forward movement for the story, as this episode had few reveals beyond this. I think the decision to not cut to either Worf/Raffi or Riker/Troi was a good one, as the tension would have been hurt too much by an A/B/C plot structure here.

That said, there were a lot of things which didn't work well for me. The most important of these was whatever was going on with Data/Lore and LaForge. Yes, I like seeing Spiner mug the camera, and the one Geordi monologue where he tells Data what he meant to him was poignant. But even if Lore is slowly taking over ship's system, the android body was essentially stationary the entire time, which gave the scenes very little dynamism when compared to the cat and mouse that Jack, Sidney, and the rest of the Titan crew were having with the Changeling mooks. Not to mention that ultimately "Lore" ends up nothing other than a 5-10 minute speedbump in the story (though presumably he will amount to more later in the season).

I also felt like the dialogue this week was once again too stilted and expositional. Characters (with a few exceptions, like Vadic) said what was needed to be said in order to move the plot forward, rather than things which were rooted in who they were as people. This is a long-running Trek issue however, not something unique to this season, or even Kurtzman Trek (it's difficult to even determine what personality Beverly had back on TNG, for example).

Put me in the camp that isn't really upset they keep stringing us along regarding what the hell is wrong with Jack/why he's so special. The season is revealing enough ancillary stuff that nothing feels like true wheel spinning. And even with Jack himself, there are important things this episode revealed. It's clearly not anything directly to do with Changelings - Vadic basically admitted that she's been sent to capture him by another (skull head dude, whoever he is) and the scene near the beginning with the two of them talking made it clear he isn't a Changeling.

I don't know what to make of Jack now having telepathy...doesn't seem to fit with the hypothesis that he's a small part Borg, and has been hearing the Collective. Someone could I'm sure do a deep dive through TNG one-off adventures and find something that happened that could have influenced Picard's DNA so profoundly.
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 8:01am (UTC -6)
This wasn't "bad" by any stretch... it was just frustratingly short and more of an unsatisfying tease, leaning into mediocre force field "corn maze" combat for much of it's run.

Plumber's scene chewing (and maybe the opening cameo with "Tuvok") were it's best parts... but hardly enough to keep this from being easily the weakest episode so far.

And that's mostly because I'm not sure the details it revealed weren't already telegraphed organically in prior episodes. Perhaps bringing some elements of the story into focus, but advancing overall narrative very little, other than moving the chess pieces around the board for the following episodes.

For instance, we knew the Changlings were 'special', just not how. We now know they're abused, weaponized prisoners of war at the hands of Section 31. That adds some sympathy and nuance to their cause, but it doesn't much change anything. At least at this stage. Maybe it will pay off later.

We also knew something was "very much wrong with Jack". While he gains yet another additional superpower this week, this episode just confirmed what fans mostly suspected, that there might be something "more" to him that even Beverly didn't know.

And finally it was almost a given that Data and Lore were going to be duking it out inside their new body. Worse, it's a bit irritating, yet unsurprising, that they've dialed it back a bit, pushing B4 and Soong out of the picture. Not even a mention of Lal now. Data and Lore have the spotlight to themselves.

On the plus side, with Vadic taking the Titan, at least the status quo seems to be definitively shook. Looking forward to next week, in light of that.


- Poor Shaw. Thankfully the Changlings decided not to be lethal in the face of someone with their name in the credits. 🙄

- Zombie Riker!

- Tim Russ is sinister as fuuuuuck.

- *points to LeVar* Get this man an Emmy.

- They are NOT taking the bridge.

- They've taken the bridge.

- I thought the whole reason Changelings avoided using transporters was to avoid detection? Considering the jig is up at this point, why did they opt for a shuttle? Hell, the Titan could have just blown the thing up mid-flight if they knew Vadic was on it. D'oh.

A reluctant 2/5.
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 8:21am (UTC -6)
the good things:
Seven and Shaw's rogue uniforms.

the bad things:
most of the rest?
they dragged everything so much
Vadic has become monotonous and boring, saying the same things again and again and again, I do not find her a good villain anymore, I just find her annoying and repetitive.
Ok, we did learn that Section 31 created the new Changelings, but we are in episode 7 or 10 and we still don't know what and why Professor X/Jack is.

But what frustrated me the MOST was the whole Data situation.
Apart from the endless scenes of Data vs Lore, I really wanted to smack Geordi in the face for not taking any safety measures while he knew Lore is also in there. "Data I know you are there...please come back cause I had a brain fart and never thought on putting restrains on you, cause you know.. Lore".. ARGH!
Narissa's Bath Water
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 8:31am (UTC -6)
I will say the scoring was very good. It even soared above the material at a few points. The quieter section when Geordi was yelling at Lore brought to mind some of Clint Mansell's work in "The Fountain".

It will be interesting to see what long-time purists think of this episode. The memberberries were stored away for a bit, and we returned to the navel-gazing and emotion-justified violence. This is nothing new to the Picard show, nor is Picard's moral supplication to it. But the idea that he would execute a prisoner solely because of the danger she represents is absurd. Is this the same man that quarantined Armus?

The constant moral drumbeat of "I act because I feel, and because I feel, it is right" is getting depressing and tiresome, but that is something that has plagued all of Nu-trek, not just this show.
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 8:54am (UTC -6)
> I really wanted to smack Geordi in the face for not taking any safety measures while he knew Lore is also in there.

They called out making sure *only* his "cognitive functions" were enabled, so they TRIED... but Geordi completely underestimated Lore's skillz, I guess. Dude should have been completely, physically isolated from the ship's systems, especially given his history and the unpredictable situation they're in.

Is that writing derp, or an allowed character derp? Eeh.
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 9:17am (UTC -6)
Writing, plotting, and characterization this week...what a waste. They have the whole gang on the show now, and we watch an hour of wheel-spinning and contrived, stilted Sci-Fi Channel-level action? All completely generic and shallow. This felt like something out of the back half of Season 2. I'm not fascinated by the mystery of Jack Crusher, just irritated that they've been teasing this out over seven hours with no new colors or wrinkles to keep us interested. The mystery box format has to end. It's insulting, and it never pays off, and it steals focus from the good stuff. This week, these could have been any characters. What an absolute waste of the goodwill generated earlier in the season. I'm feeling embarrassed about recommending this to a lot of casual fans recently. Yikes. Really hoping they can bounce partway back next week. Fun to watch Amanda Plummer chewing the scenery, and that's about it.
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 9:39am (UTC -6)
At this point it seems pretty obvious that Jack is the child of Picard and Q.
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 11:02am (UTC -6)
@Booming: LOL!
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 11:33am (UTC -6)
"the seemingly large amount of DS9 content for a TNG send off [] as a old DS9 fan this seems inappropriate at best, insulting at worst. "

Pretty much a "These are The Voyages ".
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 11:38am (UTC -6)
"We now know they're abused, weaponized prisoners of war at the hands of Section 31."

The only "POW" of the Dominion War was the Salome Jens character.

Also, Maggs lifts the backstory of Odo and Dr. Mora almost wholesale here. The only addition is that unlike Auberjonois, Plummer as a mustache to twirl.
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 11:50am (UTC -6)
I'd give this episode 3 stars. It is well executed and competantly advances the plot, but there wasn't anything I loved about the episode to rate it higher.

The Geordi scenes were great, but I wasn't a huge fan of the Beverly scenes, they felt overacted to me.

They are very clearly setting up a Janeway cameo. Looking forward to that!
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 11:59am (UTC -6)
Yeah... a typical mid season arc episode treading water.

Perfectly mediocre, but when you only get ten episodes a season, you hope they beat the story out a bit properly to avoid narrative lulls like this. At least they didn't find an excuse to drop into the Ten Forward holo program to kill some more time.

It seems odd that Section 31 could keep nine Changelings to experiment on. Wouldn't the Founders know exactly how many of them were active in the Alpha Quadrant given their very nature? You'd think the exchange of POWs would be part of the armistice.

There also seems to be a major, gaping hole in the Changelings' motives for stealing Picard's body and needing Jack's DNA. Vadic's origin story goes into great detail explaining how Section 31 forced her species to evolve so they couldn't be recognized: fingerprints, retinal scans, now even blood. More than enough to replace Picard... Hell, they've replaced most of Starfleet's brass already!

I hope this gets addressed in the next couple of episodes. But something tells me episode 8 will be spent reclaiming the Titan and maybe escaping with the Rikers. It makes sense to me that Marina Sirtis didn't go out of her way to do press for Deanna's big comeback season... She's lucky if she gets anything to do in the next three weeks.
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 12:37pm (UTC -6)
They’re almost certainly setting up an appearance by Janeway now - I’ve lost track of the number of time’s she been mentioned. And given ST: Picard has brought back the entire Next Generation cast aswell as Wesley, Guinan, Q and Ro it would be throwing some serious shade at Denise Crosby if she doesn’t turn up some point before the end.
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 1:39pm (UTC -6)
Oof, this was a rough episode. I thought the last one was really mixed, where I enjoyed most of the Titan material but did not like the absurdity of the Daystrom stuff. This episode, though, took a bit of a nose dive.

This episode was hastily and sloppily written, directed, and edited. If there's one moment to sum up how sloppy this episode was, it would be when Sidney is running away from one of the changeling minions and the latter has a rifle to her back just a foot away for several seconds but doesn't fire. And then there's some changelings being shot on lower phaser settings and others on max settings? What the...?

Why are these changelings so incompetent in close quarters combat? I was hoping the plot would explain away some new limitations or something, but we've heard nothing of the sort. Changelings should be able to wipe the floor with the skeleton crew of the Titan after the force-fields go down.

The crew's entire "plan" was confusing and ridiculous. And DataLore conveniently mucking things up at the exact right time? Come on!

About the only things I somewhat liked about this episode were Geordi's pleas to reach Data and Tim Russ' appearance as faux-Tuvok. The rest was kind of silly and ridiculous.

I mentioned this in my comments on Ep 5, but I was tiring of Jack's mystery-box problems then. The fact we're going into Ep 8/10 still not knowing what's going on is beyond tiring. Why won't Jack tell anyone about the visions!? Even worse, they are now giving him various superpowers! SO done with this plot line.

Ep 5 gave me some hope that this season was about to kick into high gear and get into the meat of the story, but it's sadly veered off into really silly plot threads with confusing and muddled writing.

Why has Shaw all but disappeared from the show? Why is the senior staff of the Titan (besides Shaw and Seven) not involved at all beyond reading out status reports? Although I still appreciate the professionalism of the senior staff, they are nobodies character-wise, which is a real disappointment.

Sadly this season is really starting to lose me. To rephrase what I said back in Ep 4 or so, there's no doubt this season clears the utter stench of the rest of NuTrek, but it's at best only mediocre still. Frankly, outside of an episode or two and a handful of quality scenes, this season has not been very good. Not trash, mind you, but still not "good" -- still not fully "Trek." It kind of feels like a janky hybrid of NuTrek and Classic Trek, with the overall result being very middling. Sadly this season has been WAY over-hyped by YouTube pundits who have been previously critical of NuTrek.

Unless the final three episodes pull off a bit of a miracle turn-around, I don't think this is a season I will ever be watching again. I'm becoming firmly convinced that the only way to save Star Trek as a franchise is for Secret Hideout to be given the boot, a franchise-manager who really understands Classic Trek to be brought in, and then have everything from Star Trek '09 onward shoved off into an alternate timeline or wiped away entirely from canon.

With the announcement today that Paramount is giving Kurtzman an entirely new Trek show to co-run, with a terrible premise, I'm officially OUT on Trek for good after this season of Picard until Secret Hideout and everything related to their stench is permanently separated from Trek.
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 1:55pm (UTC -6)
"everything from Star Trek '09 onward shoved off into an alternate timeline or wiped away entirely from canon."

I've done that already.

Picard is the on,y nuTrek I watch, and at this point its mostly the way you gape at a horrific traffic accident.
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 1:57pm (UTC -6)
Looks like the Irumodic syndrome virus theory is now busted, since Picard and Jack only have a condition or thingie that mimics it? Wut?

But the actual Changeling plot (or the disembodied meat head's plot, since it seems to have a separate agenda) can't really be what Picard, Geordi, and Beverly articulated, can it? We'll cook up an even more perfect copy of Picard than what we could already mimic even though: 1) We've already screwed Starfleet pretty good without that and 2) Picard at this point is a wanted criminal in the Federation and is therefore worthless; a perfect duplicate of him would access nothing other than an ass-kicking if it showed up at any Starfleet facility or function.
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 2:12pm (UTC -6)
2 stars

Lot of plotholes.

If Titan has metaphasic shielding why not use it to hide inside the corona of different stars t avoid detection?

Why not cloak? As far as I can tell, the cloaking device wasn’t damaged in the attack last week.

The big reveal about Vadic and her motives gets a big “meh” from me. The whole thing doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. I don’t even know how Starfleet captured her or her cohorts to experiment on in the first place. Changelings are quite wily. Also they could have easily escaped the beakers they were contained in. The only reason Odo never did when he was treated as a lab specimen by Dr. Mora was because he was a child and didn’t know of the full extent of his capabilities. And there is another wasted opportunity. Why not use Dr. Mora as the scientist in flashback?

Second, I don’t buy for one minute that Starfleet would try to create a better more dangerous Changeling through experimentation.

The big reveal for why Picard’s body was stolen was a major letdown. It just confirmed my suspicions that it was only to provide a water cooler moment with an intriguing revelation at the end of last week’s episode without the writers having in my mind a solid rationale for *why* the corpse was stolen.

Vadic doesn’t need his body. All she has to do is shapeshift to look like him.
Another plothole is the deadline to stop the plan. There was just a devastating attack on the Recruitment Center that claimed hundreds of lives. You would think that any events for Frontier Day would have been cancelled in the wake of this, including the fleet parade.

While it was nice to see Tim Russ, “Tuvok” was a totally pointless cameo. Granted it was not nearly as pointless as Moriarty’s cameo last week but still it felt like a wasted opportunity.

I didn’t mind Riker taking a break from the canvas but you would have thought dramatically it would have been more interesting to see Vadic use Troi, and presumably Kestra, as leverage to force Riker to lead them to Picard and the Titan. It would have capitalized on the idea set forth earlier in the season regarding his loss of his son and not wanting to face losing anyone else.

The whole Jack mystery has bored me since the beginning. We saw this similar kind of story play out with Boomer on BSG then the Final Five on BSG, then Soji in Season 1— the person unaware of their true nature and struggling with it. It was done to better effect in those earlier instances.

Vadic also has fallen totally flat as a villain. Before the season began, she was built up as a Khan or Chang-type villain. Instead, she's a simpering and quite pathetic figure lacking any menace or gravitas. And none of her backstory explains why she smokes. Her minions are MacGuffins without any depth, even superficially.
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 2:21pm (UTC -6)
Starting with the good: It’s not yet derailed. Unlike S2 (which at this point clearly was a giant pile of “Jeff Gold­blum quote”), the story is still co­her­ent and even en­gag­ing. Since there are some signs of com­pe­ten­cy, there’s still hope that they will bring it to a rea­son­able end (unlike S1, where the ending was at best semi-satis­facto­ry). I also like sym­pa­the­tic and re­lat­able vil­lains that have an under­stand­able cause, and I like Sydney. Lastly, I have a fair tol­er­ance for cheesy acting, and don’t mind reused sets.

On the other hand, I don’t like stupid heroes (“Sure he is half Lore, but that won’t mat­ter, will it?”), empty name­drop­ping (re­mem­ber Chin’toka? re­mem­ber when StarTrek was still good?) and a cine­ma­to­gra­phy de­signed to hide the poor quality of sets and effects by shaky camera and re­duced light­ing. Or worse, hide an en­tire plot ele­ment by edit­ing. I also dis­like char­ac­ter as­sas­si­na­tion as done with JL&Bev in this epis­ode — the Jean-Luc Picard from TNG would not con­sider exe­cut­ing some­one just out of fear, rather that’s a JL thing I guess.

Yet the worst thing is the canon mis­handling. PIC in general and par­ti­cu­lar­ly S3 spe­cia­lize in re­spect­ing canon for­mal­ly, but sub­vert­ing and twist­ing it till it be­co­mes un­recog­nize­able. The new Change­lings are very much an ex­am­ple of that.

The Founders of DS9 were mostly ra­tio­nal and un­emo­tio­nal. They in­ten­sive­ly cared for each other, and oc­casio­nal­ly could come across as al­most noble in that re­spect. Yet every­thing else was no­thing to them, and they did not even care for their own mini­ons the least (cf. how they had mes­sed with the Jem’​Hadars’ minds). En­e­mies and trai­tors were treated ut­ter­ly ruth­less­ly, wit­ness the suf­fer­ing of a pla­ne­ta­ry po­pu­la­tion by bio­logi­cal wea­pons in “The Quicken­ing” or the murder of bil­li­ons of Car­das­sian civi­li­ans in the fi­na­le. Con­se­quent­ly, the Fe­male Foun­der never com­plain­ed about the Fe­der­ation using Bio wea­pons against the Great Link; to her, that seemed just logical.

And now we come to the scene at 27:35. It’s cha­ris­ma­ti­cal­ly acted by Aman­da Plum­mer (I so much wish she’d say “I’ll ex­e­cute
every mother­fuck­ing last one of you” just one more time), but the dia­logue sucks glo­bu­lar ob­jects of any size. Vadic is a hypo­crite when she com­plains “Do not com­pare the atroc­i­ties com­mit­ted by your side to the war­fare ex­e­cut­ed by mine.” (what would Damar’s wife re­spond to that?), and she con­ti­nues with “We were barely out of the gates of war and your Fe­der­ation turned to ge­no­ci­de.” Ac­cord­ing to my me­mo­ry, the Fe­ma­le Foun­der in DS9 never even used the word ‘geno­cide’, that was just regular war busi­ness to her.

Is it possible that someone like Vadic exists in the ST universe? Ab­so­lute­ly, there are liars and hypo­crites every­where, so that’s not a canon break. But witless JL doesn’t call her out. He should have point­ed out the the Dominion has used geno­cidal bio­lo­gi­cal wea­pons in the past and can hardly claim this an im­moral prac­tice. Also, he could have re­mind­ed her that Odo had ob­tained the cure thanks to the action of Star­fleet of­fi­cers and that Sec­tion 31 was an il­le­gal group whose mem­bers had been trialed and con­vict­ed after the war and whose ac­tions are not con­don­ed by the vast ma­jo­ri­ty of both Fe­der­ation po­pu­la­tion and Star­fleet per­son­nel. In­stead, moronic JL looks as guilty as in a re­hear­sal to an S1 epis­ode. This is ironic because in the recap he very cor­rectly states “Star­fleet did, how­ever, de­liver the cure to the Change­ling home­­world”, yet his what­ever-syn­dro­me had made him for­get his own words.

This is just one ex­ample of the Bad Writ­ing™ that so much pla­gues Trek v3 in ge­ne­ral and PIC in par­­ti­­cu­­lar; many more are there, but it takes a lot of time to de­scri­be them, for they oper­ate on a more sub­tle level than the ri­di­cu­lous­ly dumb writing of DIS. Yet these flaws still make the final pro­duct feel not exactly wrong but cer­tain­ly off, like a Roque­fort cheese pro­duced in Den­mark. That’s a lot better than what was served in the past (some of which was just blue plastic infused with artificial straw­berry flavour and la­bel­led “Aveyron AOC”), but I am still disappointed.
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 2:24pm (UTC -6)

If you think of Vadic as Gru and her minions as, well, minions...and treat the season as a comedy...maybe it's more enjoyable?
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 2:36pm (UTC -6)
Oh, I forgot: Vadic says about her abilities: “I got it from Starfleet. You gave me the ability to mimic your blood, hold my form, pass every test.” (28:41) and “And I'm able to pass it on.” (32:45). What did the Change­ling on the Titan from 3x04 use his pot for?
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 2:42pm (UTC -6)
Yeah and the Dominion tried to blow up the Bajoran sun. Weyoun said that they would wipe out Earth.

The Quickening *sigh* in my opinion the best DS9 episode. Julian all high and mighty announces that he is going to cure them in a week, then makes everything worse, learns a lesson in humility and delivers a bitter sweet ending through hard work and the desire to help. *sigh again*
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 2:46pm (UTC -6)
These "new" changeling abilities are not even new.

Odo said back in DS9 that when a changeling mimics a thing, it becomes that thing in every way. A changeling in bird form could not fly if it wasn't anatomically and physiologically a bird.

In Homefront/Paradise Lost, they had to trigger changelings into gelatinous form with harsh beams - WOTW showed that mere scans would not detect them - because they have internal anatomy and physiology when in solid form. You can't see without eyes or speak without a larynx.
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 3:26pm (UTC -6)
And Changeling Martok passed a blood test in DS9's Way of the Warrior.

Another contrivance by the writers is putting Lore in the Synth golum. Why do it? In-story it makes no sense. Everyone knew how dangerous and unstable Lore was. I could buy Noonian Soong placing Lore inside the golum. As a "parent" he always wanted to see the good in Lore. Parents often do that. But Alton Soong would have known better. I know why the writers did it though. For dramatic contrivance- so it would be a random lottery which personality would pop up. And resurrecting Data guts the earlier deaths. If the writers were going to go the aged Synth golum route the perfect time to have done that was back in Season 1. Dump Alton and insert Data in place of Alton.
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 3:31pm (UTC -6)
Odo was capable of eating, but found it "messy"...presumably because when it was time to decamp to his pail, he'd have bits of food interspersed with his form.
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 4:15pm (UTC -6)
And now they decide to double down on discovery and do Hogwarts in Space. 😒

Starfleet Academy with Kurtzman as show runner will be disco 2.0

Hopefully not everyone has PTSD this time.
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 4:17pm (UTC -6)
@startrekwatcher, given all the nonsense that happened in S1 under his watch, I’m not sure that Alton Soong has the best judgement in the world.
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 4:18pm (UTC -6)

Yeah. Sure. You’re bailing out now.

Sounds like bollocks to me.

I’m Irish though. So don’t send a gunman to my schools. We don’t do killing kids. Not the guns fault though so let’s sell more guns.

America was like a dream to me growing up.
Not now
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 4:45pm (UTC -6)
FOR GOD'S SAKE GET TO FRONTIER DAY ALREADY..!!IT BETTER BE NEXT WEEK AND NOT LEFT UNTIL THE FINAL EPISODE OR EVEN EPIAODE 9..WE NEED MORE NEW ALIENS AND LIFE FORMS ALREADY!!NO NEW ALIENS SINCE EPISDE 4..What is this come on?? I expect a new alien almost every week or a new planet..that's not too much to ask.. The floating head ordering Vadic better not be a Changelijg or Pah Wraith Dukat or Reman but something new and should Jack be..I hope we get those game changing ideas Matalas promised..
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 4:59pm (UTC -6)
One thing I didn’t like about this episode was the idea that Lore is so much stronger than Data and would annihilate him if the partition were removed. Data has shown himself capable of standing up to Lore multiple times in TNG and has grown a great deal since then, so reducing him to this helpless person doesn’t feel right. Granted, the story is still playing out but Data should be at least evenly matched with Lore.
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 5:02pm (UTC -6)

It is a tad silly when you hear people claiming to bow out now when there's only like 2 and a half hours max left of this thing. It's not a huge commitment to see how it all resolves!

And I do agree with everyones' nitpicks about this episode (especially the Picard/Dr. Crusher decision to off Vadic), but ultimately, I think they can be forgiven or glossed over due to the overall quality of the season thus far. I don't think Lore being part of the synth body is enough to ruin the whole show. Seems a bit extreme lol.

Granted, if they don't stick the landing in the TNG send off a la Undiscovered Country they've promised, then sure, this season could ultimately be a net negative. I am still hopeful though!
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 5:08pm (UTC -6)
I really wonder who is going to die.
At least this time they don't have to point at a little cube thingy and say:"Look it's Data and he seems depressed."

1. Picard: Oh my.
2. Worf: A good day to dieeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Who else??
Gilligan’s Starship
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 5:31pm (UTC -6)
Serialized tv is tricky. If done right, you get something great, if not you just get soap operas that drag everything out and take forever to resolve. It’s not satisfying.

Tell me a story.That’s why older Trek (and a lot of older tv shows) remain so rewatchable to this day. We refer to our favorite episode as “the one about…” It’s so prevalent, “Friends” adopted that format for their show titles. I can invest an hour or two watching my favorite “stories” because they satisfyingly tell me a story with a beginning, middle and end. A 10-hour Trek movie? No, more like a thinly plotted episode stretched out to ten hours. Despite the fact I liked this episode (I could finally SEE all the characters clearly) this whole season feels like one of those Trek episodes where they’ve only got 5 minutes left to wrap up a complex plot and they swoop in with a good dose of hand-wavium & then roll the credits.

When I was a teen I remember watching Steven Bochco’s “Hill Street Blues”, the first episodic series I ever saw with storylines that connected. It was a massive hit at the time & different from everything else on tv. They found the perfect balance of telling a new story every week without hitting the reset button.

By the same token, I watched SNW around the time I finally decided to watch all of DS9, which I didn’t see during its original run. I was surprised that I found the “old” series to be the superior of the two. I had no nostalgia to base it on, as I had only seen the pilot & “Trials & Tribble-ations”. And despite the awesome sets, costumes, cast & VFX of SNW, it felt like empty calories compared to the full meal of DS9.

I’ll see this PIC season thru to the end, but I doubt I’ll ever rewatch the whole thing from beginning to end. I know there are good writers and showrunners out there, cuz I’ve watched their shows! But for whatever reason, two of my favorite franchises, Star Trek & Star Wars are having a tough time bringing consistent watchable entertainment to their audiences. I don’t know who is calling the shots or why they’re calling them way they are, but it just ain’t working.
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 5:47pm (UTC -6)

I don't think we're going to get any main deaths. I'm hoping Matalas fully absorbed the law of diminishing returns on that one. They are aware Data has already died twice, Ro's sacrifice, Worf had a fake-out death, Picard (at least human body) died, and before that we've had Kirk, Spock, and David all die on screen. The emotional impact isn't what it once was.

I think it's also empty drama at the end of something. The impact of death comes from knowing we're never going to see them again. When it's a swan song, we're not going to see any of these characters again anyway. The death lacks its ultimate sense of loss.
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 6:00pm (UTC -6)
@Gilligan's Starship,

I don't think we should fault Trek going serialized. Some of the best shows of all time have been (Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, Sopranos, The Wire, Twin Peaks, etc.). In spite of the criticism it's just a too stretched out movie, I think this season of Picard actually works better than the TNG movies because we actually get full scenes where all the characters get to shine like in the original tv run. In the movies, the non Picard and Data roles have no arcs and are basically glorified extras.

As to plotting something serialized, it just comes down to how the beats are developed. You can spin wheels (Lost, Walking Dead, Obi-Wan, DIS, ENT season 3), or make every moment count. This season isn't perfect in that respect (probably a B+), but it's a heck of a lot better and more efficient than anything nuTrek has done in a serialized format.
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 6:02pm (UTC -6)
Another fun episode, although I am kinda getting tired of all the super dark sets. Did they lose illumination technology in Picard's time? No more LED bulbs in the future?
Troy G
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 7:19pm (UTC -6)
Why the black leather clothing? Is this standard issue for Starfleet fugitives?
Janeways Labrat
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 7:19pm (UTC -6)
My comment on last weeks episode that we had not seen Tim Russ seems psychic at this point. I’m not sure if I like evil Tuvok though.

I noticed in the credits what seems like 9 Executive Producers and 3 co-executive producers. That explains a lot.
Colin Lindsly
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 7:27pm (UTC -6)
In this year of my life, I have
* a mother who has high grade brain cancer
* Property taxes amounting to $10,000
* Being unemployed and disabled and working to get some money to live on after she dies by selling our house
* Deaths in the family

For years, I have retreated into Star Trek for it is comfort food for me when I need a release from life. This season of Star Trek Picard is not comforting. It's torture. I came out of yesterday's episode jacked up on anxiety, distress, and frustration.

So, yeah, I am bailing out.
Daniel Prates
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 7:53pm (UTC -6)
Brent Spiner is just GOLD in this episode. The way he skids from Data to Lore....
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 7:56pm (UTC -6)
@Lovok: "With the announcement today that Paramount is giving Kurtzman an entirely new Trek show to co-run, with a terrible premise, I'm officially OUT on Trek for good after this season of Picard until Secret Hideout and everything related to their stench is permanently separated from Trek."

Oh, dear God.

Well, just when we get a sniff Kurtzman might be at the tail-end of his tenure ...

The marketing piece had the line "open again for the first time in a century" points to it being set in the 32nd century.

@Lovok, I'd already took the leap you've made before S3 of Picard. The only thing that enticed me back were the rave reviews from former detractors. While I felt reasonably assured the Picard finale would be it for me, this news is just flogging my already-dead Trek corpse. We have light, breezy and cornball Trek Karaoke (SNW), a self-referential animated comedy, a kids show and now ... Starfleet 90210.

We've just got to let it go.

Ugh - that is just so damn disappointing. Anyway, as for this episode, it was hit and miss for me. I had hoped - HOPED - this season might break the all-too-obvious NuTrek mystery box formula, but alas. I appreciate we have been getting incremental revelations and pay offs, but we're starting to see what we see in Every. Single. Season - inane narrative gymnastics to pad out the remaining runtime. If this had been an 8-episode run - with episode 6 pushing key plot points further along - episode 7 and 8 might have proved to be a solid finale. It's obvious to everyone, isn't it? We're basically all set for the conclusion, but ... we've got to spin our wheels for a few episodes before we finally learn who all the key players are and their motivations - only when we finally put the foot down into the finale.

I can't think of a single show I rate highly ('Better Call Saul' & 'The Last of Us' being recent examples) that employ this ridiculous storytelling device. When you watch quality drama, you're gripped by a compelling story and well-realized characters with depth. You tune in the following week because you *have* to know what happens next. You know the setting, the key players, along with their motivations & their objectives. With Picard seven weeks in, I'm starting to get impatient and wonder when they're going to get to the bloody point. Honestly, these types of shows work best when they're released in one hit Netflix-style.

- I thought Picard and Bev's talk of killing Vadic was a ploy to get her to talk. Man, that was legit. That whole scene was poorly written and acted, IMO.

- Picard never had Irumodic Syndrome? Okay. Might have been nice to get more follow through on that one instead of ... I know, I know. We've still got three more episodes.

- Dragging out Jack's story is really starting to bite. Why would he not disclose what's been happening to his father in the conference room scene? If he's so damn concerned about people dying because of him, start talking! Hey, I see the future, I can read minds - oh, and I can cast into other people and control their movements. It might go some ways to helping Picard and co determine what The Bad Guys really want from him.

- Big Floaty Head: Still haven't got a clue. When the reveal comes, it needs to be - dare I say it - epic. If it's a subvert expectations play and ends up being a random alien we've never heard of, or S31, or Burnham ... meh.

- On the nitpicky side: So those clicky aliens are Changelings? Vadic killed one of them for questioning orders in a previous episode, FFS. Why? I still have questions as to why there is a schism in the first place. Vadic presumably returned to The Link after her escape, considering she spoke of recruiting other Changelings to her vengeful cause. So, The Link learned of Starfleet's horrific experiments. And ... they're okay with this? Think about it: The Link learns The Solids have weaponized and perverted Changeling physiology - the same Solids who attempted genocide. I can't think of anything more offensive to The Founders. I don't buy the "it's the price of peace" argument, or that they were so affected by Odo's influence. I would think Vadic's experience permeating through The Link would be sufficient to quell any notions of a lasting peace with The Solids. I suppose I'm wrong; the schism has to be - the majority of The Link did not want another war (Odo did have a bigger impact than I give him credit for), while the minority wanted to strike back for the atrocities committed against their kind and were willing to sacrifice The Link and their longevity in order to better pass as a Solid. Hmm. So, if this is the case, then what was the plan before Giant Floaty Head entered the picture? Did The Changeling faction - knowing they couldn't take down The Federation without the backing of The Dominion - get into bed with a bigger bad? Or did the bigger bad seek them out?

See, I should know all this by now - and I wouldn't have had to have typed out the meandering mess above.

Anyway, they can still do this, but we need a strong finish - starting NEXT WEEK.
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 7:59pm (UTC -6)
OK, someone prove me wrong.

Vadic's henchmen are not Changelings.


It was nice to see Tuvok... Tim Russ never disappoints. Hopefully, we have not seen the last of him. They screwed up his ears though...

OK, a save $$$$$ episode. I get it, but it sure would have been more palatable had we learned what Jack is.

My view on Plummer hasn't changed. She sucks. Just horrible. Oh boo hoo, she and her buddies felt pain... how many millions were killed by The Dominion? .... how many were maimed? ... how many families lost mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters? To see all our heroes feel guilt and shame here is embarrassing. Beverly said "you shot first", then cowered... so did Picard... pitiful.

Are we supposed to feel pity for those poor Changelings? The same Changelings that STARTED the war and were hell-bent on "imposing order" on the entire Alpha-Quadrant? ... and most certainly would have if it weren't for the wormhole aliens?

All is fair in love and war. ... and one could definitely say Star Fleet gave the cure to the great link. They ALLOWED Odo to cure the lead Changeling (to be tried if I remember correctly) and return to the decaying puddle of murders. The decision to infect them was no different than dropping the 2 atomic bombs on Japan... it saved countless lives on the right side of the war. Both were the correct decision.

Horrible action scenes. At one point a large henchman was arm's length behind Sidney and neither shot nor grabbed her... yikes that was bad.

Another reason I don't think Vadic's crew aren't Changelings is that we've seen what comes out of Jack when he's in the presence of them. It took all of 5 seconds to kill 4 of them and Jack didn't remember WTH happened. Nothing like that in this episode.

The "take the bridge" scene was pretty lame...

Lavar's acting was awesome, but the lines were over the top for Geordi I thought. I would have expected a more calm angle from him like we'd seen many times in TNG. We just need to get in the tears I guess.

I'm not sure why a "Federation Day" would require all of Star Fleet to be in attendance.

Are Raffi and Worf still on board? ... did I miss something?

1 star... I wasn't expecting a fall from grace so sharp here.

Fingers crossed they can rebound strongly.
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 8:01pm (UTC -6)
The whole staR TREK PICARD is a disappointment written by people who don't have any idea what star trek is about. Thankfully there is star trek new worlds otherwise star trek would not be just dead ( which would be a rather good end) but a bullshit nonsense
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 8:04pm (UTC -6)
Oh, why is this episode called "Dominion"?
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 8:48pm (UTC -6)
I thought those gibberish speaking aliens might be nuTrek's attempt at Breen.
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 8:52pm (UTC -6)
This was perhaps the weakest episode of the season, and the first that made me truly feel the cinematography was too dark, the setting too confined, and the reveal of Jack's secret too belaboured/drawn out. Given that changelings have infiltrated most every level of Starfleet, it makes little sense that stealing Picard's body was central to a Frontier Day-related plot; and it was a bit unsettling to hear both Picard and Crusher explicitly abandon their ideals/morals. The best bits were the reveal of Vadik's backstory, and Amanda Plummer's acting. Everything else was largely superfluous.
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 8:59pm (UTC -6)
This was so bad. I was cringing during most of the episode and almost laughed when Geordi started crying.

diet Star Trek lite
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 9:52pm (UTC -6)

There was a huge info dump in Vadic's monologue, so it was hard to 100% follow without a rewatch, but I thought she implied her henchmen were the other 10 (or however many) Changelings in tubes being experimented on by Section 31? Why they wear those suits and masks and speak that clicking language was not explained though.

As to Tuvok, Tim Russ tweeted today that he's set to appear in another episode, so we'll likely have some answer to his ultimate fate.

As to Worf and Raffi, Picard mentioned something about what they were doing at the beginning of the episode, but I have totally forgotten it.
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 10:15pm (UTC -6)
Generally did not really like this episode and it's one of the weakest of the season for me. There are some interesting themes touched on like Bev Crusher's morality question and Vadic's desire for revenge (which reminded me a lot of Khan's motivations in TWOK) but there's really nothing special here.

As for Data or Lore -- this is just arbitrary and what Soong was up to doesn't make much sense and nor does the Changelings' desire to create some kind of Picard clone. Why can't they just mimic him like they do any other human? Yes there are Changeling detectors at Frontier Day but the Picard/Bev Crusher discussion on DNA completion for Picard seemed inconsistent with how the Changelings have evolved.

So we get a story of some Dr. Vadic experimenting on the Changelings and how they were POWs and Vadic is accusing the Federation of genocide. So how is the Federation supposed to respond (at the time of DS9) toward a more powerful foe? At least we get Vadic's perspective, but it should not cast doubt (for Bev or Picard) on what the Federation had to do. (I don't think it does.)

Jack Crusher was annoying in this one -- sometimes it was impossible to make out what he was saying. His flirting was irritating, the red eyes etc.

So there are some trustworthy old tropes trotted out here like Geordie trying to reach Data through Lore's control, and Bev supposedly about to lose her compass -- but both of these didn't have much weight.

I suppose it was worth a shot (Picard's idea) to try to trap Vadic and it nearly worked, but wouldn't they just turn off Data/Lore if they have any doubts about Lore taking control and screwing up their plans?

2 stars for "Part Seven Dominion" -- some of the plotting here should be better and most of the episode is somewhat unlikeable but at least it was singularly focused. No update on Riker and I guess Worf/Raffi are coming to the rescue after Vadic has taken over the Titan? Jack's still a mystery. PIC S3 is getting weaker...
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 10:27pm (UTC -6)
I like this. Other than some, to me theres a fundamental difference between this and the first two seasons, which I wholeheartedly hated. Is there illogical stuff to find in this season? Well duh, of course. But let's look at this with some nuance:

Is it the same level of plot stupidity as s1 and s2 of Picard or discovery in general? No. Not even close.

Is it the same level of plot stupidity that has always been kind of trek standard throughout the entire history of trek? Silly half baked plans, low security, short sightedness of what's supposed to be a super professional crew? Absolutely.

But as an old trek "proponent", I gotta own that my preferred trek wasn't better than this in that regard either. So this is a quality and quantity of plot conveniences that I am absolutely willing to deal with.
It's a perfectly acceptable requirement of suspension of disbelief. Precisely on the level of older trek series. If you don't like it, well then you'll probably have to go and disown the entirety of okdtrek too, methinks ;-)

So with that out of the way, on to the more important things: I remain entertained by this season. At this point, I flat out like it and am along for the ride like I haven't been ever since voyager ended.

Speaking of which, what a niiiice little detail, to gently weave in the voyager theme for a moment. Just a short moment, tastefully done. That's another fundamental difference this season - whoever is at the helm has an appropriately calibrated taste compass. Which is such a godsend because this entire season is by its very retro nature constantly in danger of becoming sentimental schtick. They've now held a tasteful balance for 7 episodes. The tuvok cameo, again, nicely done, served the plot, had more relevance than just being a cameo for cameos sake - very good. Time to let go and just enjoy. I am all in.

Also, what a wonderful influence the presence of the original cast has on Stewart. To me, compared to the previous seasons its a difference like night and day. He's not phoning it in anymore. For several episodes now, I feel more like watching Picard than Stewart. I had given up on that prospect after the first two seasons. Nice.

Regarding the main narrative, of course the - at this point hopelessly overused - "blame Picard and the federation" framing doesn't work at all.
The dominion started the war and didn't even bother to hide it's plans to flat out enslave the alpha quadrant at best, and commit genocide at worst. The federation acted in defense. The implications and moral dillemma associated with the methods they chose were nicely dealt with in DS9, with much more nuance than this bland "it's all the federations fault because we might have attacked, but we disapprove of the way the federation defended" crap. That might at best hold up as a personal experience story for the mustache twirling lady changeling, but as an overall attempt to give the villain more depth, it falls a bit flat.

Ah well, can't have it all. And again : it's not like the dominions motivation in DS9 had any more depth to it. Depth of that type rarely works on the level of an entire species.

Question, those aliens that accompany moustache twirl lady, are those supposed to be updated Jem Hadar?

The secret identity of Picards son needs to be revealed next episode. The mystery overstayed it's welcome now. Give us the resolution and move on, the visions and partial reveals of magic powers are becoming redundant.

No Riker this episode? Boooh. My favorite actor of the bunch in this season. Continues to amaze me because he was one of the characters I least cared about in TNG. Gimme more Frakes!

In fact, if Stewart is done with this after this season, hand this over to Frakes, keep the team that's running this season and continue. I like this. I like this a lot now. It's easily the best trek in a very very long time. Admitted, that's not saying much, but this is actually quite nice. More please.
Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 11:50pm (UTC -6)
At only about 40 minutes of actual show, this was actually hard to sit through. It was so painful to watch I had to keep taking breaks from the dumb. Gotta respect the actors for giving it their all through some of the most ridiculous dialogue and an overall cringeworthy script.

Seven: "Only the real Tuvok would know that we'd played Kalto, which means he must have told you." And then Fake Tuvok should have said: "Actually, YOU just 30 seconds ago."

But it's good to see Tim Russ again... the ship's computer was right though: his voice didn't sound quite like himself. I don't see how voice identification that would be a viable method of rooting out Changelings though since mimicking voices is kind of their specialty.

- The prefix code thing made so little sense to me that I don't even have enough to go on to properly critique it. Are we meant to glean from this Riker somehow got to a communication console and sent the Titan a warning..? Or did they mean to say "command code"? Did someone try to use his command codes but they were invalid because he'd been captured...?

- Wow..Vadic got really dumb all of a sudden. Did she seriously leave her big ship with the vastly superior firepower unmanned during that raid? Did she forget she still had such a ship that could easily disable the Titan? Also, did Picard not anticipate that she could use her ship to open fire the moment it was revealed to be a trap..?

- "Nuh-uh I'm still not gonna tell you why Jack so important to this Mystery Box because that would spoil the Mystery."

- Oohboy, again with the revisionist history of Grimdark Starfleet, and still more nefarious horrors at the acclaimed Daystrom Institute to boot...

- Wait a minute... Picard and Dr.Crusher had Vadic dead to rights and they missed... like 20 times? LOL! The only reason it doesn't look as pathetic as it should is because Lore lowered the force field, signalling that Vadic was meant to escape all along. But Picard was planning to lower the force field anyway in order to execute her with his phaser! Had he done that, things would have transpired exactly the same way! Which I honestly find pretty hilarious...

- "Why is Lore doing this?!" A better question is why you didn't at the very least manually deactivate his motor functions and not permit him to have the run of the whole ship the moment you found out that freaking LORE was in there. A better firewall for your neural interlink also couldn't hurt. I mean, it kept Locutus from taking over the Enterprise when they hooked him up to the main computer.

- The hand-to-hand combat scene with the Chanelgings is...interesting because Jack and Sydney both have phasers but they choose not to use them until it's cinematically expedient..? I also think the force fields would have had to have been lowered and raised at various points throughout the fight for things to make sense but there doesn't seem to be any visual indication of this happening.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 12:41am (UTC -6)
GUYS QUESTION!! Isn't anyone wondering WHY the WRITERS didn't have Seven reach out to the EMH as well as Tuvok..I'd almost call this a sort of plot hole..THINK ABOUT IT..CHANGELINGS CANNOT IMPERSONATE A HOLOGRAM!! So Doc has freedom no one else would to reach Janeway or help Seven investigate.Why can't Changelings impersonate a hologram accurately you ask?? Think about it: Changeling cannot fake the distortion effect of a phaser passing through a hologram's bodily projection..All they would have to to is ask the EMH in question to throw an object through his body or shoot a phaser through him and if it passes through with just distorting his image then we know he is the real EMH..(cf Voyager episodes the Phage, Flesh and Blood, Llive Fast and Prosper)Changelings cannot "phase" their forms to let phasers or objects pass through like a hologram does..not even these new advanced form-retaining isn't this almost an oversight by the writers?? The EMH Doctor is obviously still alive since he doesn't doesn'tmake any sense NOT to mention at least this possibility.Will we please SEE THE EMH in the future.??.I asked Terry Matalas this on Twitter but he hasn't responded yet. Any thoughts?
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 1:02am (UTC -6)
I just have no words for how much I hate this show. At this point, I don't even care if this is the only way I ever get to see TNG characters again. There's nothing they can do that will redeem this. Three seasons of mostly garbage.

Up until now, this season was mostly watchable but as soon as this episode started and I saw yet another Voyager character, I knew I was gonna hate it.

Muddled, dark, nihilistic, stupid. They're just trying to shoehorn their stupid ideas into the legit Star Trek world by bringing in characters we actually care(d) about.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 1:51am (UTC -6)
"The decision to infect them was no different than dropping the 2 atomic bombs on Japan... it saved countless lives on the right side of the war. Both were the correct decision."
The didn't just drop it on Japan, they dropped it on two cities, killing 200.000 civilians in the process.
The US did evaluate the impact of strategic bombing in 1946 and concluded about the A bomb:
"Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts, and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey's opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated."

Here a few quotes

"The Japanese had, in fact, already sued for peace. The atomic bomb played no decisive part, from a purely military point of view, in the defeat of Japan."

I told Stimson, it wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing."

"The atomic bomb had nothing to do with the end of the war at all."

You analogy weirdly still fits but not in the way you think. Trying to commit genocide, and let me say that again GENOCIDE, had very little to do with winning the war. It only shortened the last battle a little which was nonsense anyway.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 1:56am (UTC -6)
I'm still waiting for Colonel/Commander Kira Nerys to come in and save the day.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 2:08am (UTC -6)

Great post. I'm aligned with all your points 100%.


Don't get me started on the atomic bomb drops of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The propaganda the US tells itself is absolutely staggering and disgusting. We've really convinced ourselves it was the right thing to do, end of story, no further questions please.

As someone who's visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, they have collected ALL the receipts. Dropping the bombs on live cities was nothing more than the sole ruthless rationale to justify the largest moneyed expense the US ever made up to that point, WHICH THEY HAVE IN WRITING. Visiting that museum was one of the most sobering and heartbreaking experiences of my life.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 2:20am (UTC -6)
I think I've figured out Jack's mystery.

He is possessed by the ghost of Joshua Albert, who, unable to get revenge against Wesley as a Traveler, has decided to punish his half-brother instead. The reason Vadic wants Jack is because she's actually Joshua Albert's dad and misses his son.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 2:26am (UTC -6)
Last week I complained about too much extreme pointless/plotless fan service. This week, I just want to go back to last week.

Maybe the critics are right and I just cant be happy with anything. *shrug*

It was always too good to last. A step in the right direction over the season with restraint and some semblance of what makes Trek Trek was likely always going to have to buckle under the weight of the increasingly heavy mystery box.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 2:44am (UTC -6)
Another excellent episode.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 3:45am (UTC -6)
I really enjoyed this episode, found it compelling viewing, far more than last week's which I found quite hard work to watch (all that nostalgia, it was laid on a bit thick and made the script flabby). I'm not irritated by the slow reveal of what/who Jack really is, I find it intriguing but if we don't find out next week I'm likely to change my mind. Great work from Amanda Plummer in this episode. Yes it was bleak, and all feels hopeless BUT come on Picard and co will prevail!
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 3:48am (UTC -6)
And also great work from Brent Spiner and Levar Burton. First time I have been moved by this series. I may even have had a tear or two in my cynical old eyes.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 4:08am (UTC -6)

I've been to Hiroshima as well and yes it's quite sobering and depressing.

I don't know what receipts you saw there but I don't exactly trust that museum's objectivity. And of course I don't trust our government's objectivity either.

But the Japanese surrendered four days after the first bomb and the next day after the second. It ended the war, full stop.

It doesn't look to me like everybody just accepts US government propaganda without asking questions. There's a raging debate to this day and the public support of the bombings has decreased substantially:
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 5:14am (UTC -6)
The Data/Lore shit is almost as ridiculous as the Jack/La Forge romance, Vadic’s motivations remain compelling but it feels like the direction lacked the weight necessary for all the cynicism and hate to truly land with bite
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 6:05am (UTC -6)
"But the Japanese surrendered four days after the first bomb and the next day after the second. It ended the war, full stop."
Nagasaki happened on the 9. Japan surrendered on the 15. (Technically later but that was the day the Hirohito made that famous radio speech)

The US government itself concluded that it was unnecessary. Most of the military leadership said it was unnecessary. Before Hiroshima there were only six cities left in Japan that were not destroyed. At that point more than 500.000 Japanese civilians had already died in air raids. Do you really think that it made difference to the Japanese leadership if it was one big bomb or a million small ones?
The Japanese wanted to make peace at that point, they just had the very faint hope that the Soviets would mediate. The Soviets declared war on Japan on the same day Nagasaki happened. That's what made their situation completely hopeless and forced them to surrender.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 6:41am (UTC -6)
@ Leif

Great point about the EMH. He should probably be their best ali.


"Your analogy weirdly still fits but not in the way you think. Trying to commit genocide, and let me say that again GENOCIDE, had very little to do with winning the war. It only shortened the last battle a little which was nonsense anyway."

DS9's poor writing is not on trial here. The last huge battle isn't needed at all with the virus. Simply play hide and seek until the founders are history, then deal with the remaining Jem'Hadar by eliminating their supply of white. The Dominion was toast.


"It doesn't look to me like everybody just accepts US government propaganda without asking questions. There's a raging debate to this day and the public support of the bombings has decreased substantially"

I just love moral debates performed by those whose children aren't on the front lines dying.


"There was a huge info dump in Vadic's monologue, so it was hard to 100% follow without a rewatch, but I thought she implied her henchmen were the other 10 (or however many) Changelings in tubes being experimented on by Section 31? Why they wear those suits and masks and speak that clicking language was not explained though."

I will try and watch again... maybe turn on the subtitles

"As to Tuvok, Tim Russ tweeted today that he's set to appear in another episode, so we'll likely have some answer to his ultimate fate."

Good news!!

"As to Worf and Raffi, Picard mentioned something about what they were doing at the beginning of the episode, but I have totally forgotten it."

I missed this all together... they will most likely "come to the rescue" Maybe they beamed over to Vadic's ship...

"As someone who's visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, they have collected ALL the receipts. Dropping the bombs on live cities was nothing more than the sole ruthless rationale to justify the largest moneyed expense the US ever made up to that point, WHICH THEY HAVE IN WRITING. Visiting that museum was one of the most sobering and heartbreaking experiences of my life."

Interesting name to a Japanese Memorial, eh? Justify expenditures? ... how much $$$$ did ending the war save? again, you or your family weren't going to be asked to fight the Japanese hand to hand to end the war. Do you remember their culture? .... they demonstrated they would fight until the last man... civilians included if necessary. I'll bet China had no issues with us dropping "the bomb"...


"And also great work from Brent Spiner and Levar Burton. First time I have been moved by this series."

So true, especially Spiner... Second time for me... I choked up when 7 was talking about her time on Voyager to Jack.


This season seems to be heading into the "a childs scream blew up all operational warp drives in the galaxy" territory... I sure hope not.

Oh, and the lighting in the passageways was annoying.

I will try and decipher the command code Riker thing when I watch this again tonight...
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 7:14am (UTC -6)

The other changelings who were in captivity with Vedic are busy being changelings high up in Starfleet eg impersonating Tuvok. Her crew aren't changelings. I've read speculation they are Breen.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 7:32am (UTC -6)
I've quite enjoyed what this season has had to offer, but this was definitely a noticeable step down for me. Certainly the worst example of the story 'spinning its wheels' thus far.

The whole 'info dump' sequence with Vadic was particularly poor in its straw-manning. Picard is conspicuously quiet about how much of a hypocrite she is. He's surely aware that the Dominion were responsible for extraordinary atrocities - slaughtering hundreds of millions on Cardassia and the Teplan Blight from 'The Quickening' immediately spring to mind.

Nor does he stress that the the morphogenic virus was a Section 31 creation, the cure to which *was* ultimately disseminated to The Great Link (seriously, Section 31 is the single worst thing to come out of Berman-era Trek and it's routinely tainted the franchise ever since). Picard just stands there with a guilty expression and essentially validates her with his uncharacteristic lack of opposition. Then he and Crusher decide to be executioners just to, y'know, prove her right about how awful solids are.

Oof. Not good.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 7:52am (UTC -6)
Not a great episode by any means as others have already pointed out. I do think that Vadic’s motivations and backstory are intriguing and bring up some difficult moral dilemmas that DS9 never had a chance to dive into.

It’s hard for me to get over Data 3G not having intense security protocols, however. Wasn’t it just last season where a rogue cyborg took over the ship and jeopardized the mission? Moreover, I think the writers show a stunning lack of knowledge about CSE by just throwing two incompatible pieces of hardware next to each other and assuming one can simply hack into the other.

Beyond that, I did have fun with Sidney harnessing some of Jack’s mysterious powers of telekinesis. Jack must represent the super soldiers that Vadic mentioned in the changeling experiments, but somehow, he’s unique.

This is a 2 for me. Dumb in some parts but not without its charm.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 8:21am (UTC -6)
Like one user said, it sort of took a revisionist history turn in this episode. Overall it was a good episode I'm expecting 3/5 , yes it's a downgrade from 4,5,6 that have been stellar. It's basically the ''trap '' screwed up and now they lost the Titan narrative, again, was it a good idea to reanimate Data fully knowing Lore is somehow a part of him, I fully saw a situation like this coming in the previous episode, the Jekyll and Hyde trope.

Back to the revisionist history thing, sad story the Federation decided to experiment on the Changelings, but last I checked;
- no convention has been signed prior to the warring factions,
-atrocities were committed on both sides
-oh and '' they'' started it

and my God if only Worf was in the room with Vadek , as sad of a story Vadek's was , Worf, Garak and Bashir were stuck in a Dominion internment camp forced to fight Jem Hadar for sport .
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 8:34am (UTC -6)
I'm glad I'm not the only one this episode didn't work for. I went in expecting to like it and I kept trying to like it. One thing I've noticed in all of the episodes I don't like is the poor editing. The editing in this episode was pretty amature, and lacked pacing.

It felt like an artless conglomeration of scenes. I just kept laughing at the wrong things. There was that long scene with Plumber narrating and there was some goofy music in the background. I thought it was hilarious. But it kept going on and I actually took out my earbuds and just waited for the scene to end. If they are moving into DS9 territory, they are really messing with the fandom. And Jack seems to be living his own version of Star Trek fanfiction.

I felt like Spiner was utterly wasted, he's in the whole ep and basically did the computer who went crazy trope. Lore never worked for me, and Descent is on my list of TNG failures. Since nothing happened I guess this was a filler episode, perhaps Worf and Riker were hiding somewhere, playing cards.

I'm looking forward to the rest of the series being fan service. Please.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 8:42am (UTC -6)
"- no convention has been signed prior to the warring factions,
-atrocities were committed on both sides
-oh and '' they'' started it"
I would hope that the Federation has laws to prevent experimenting on sentient beings.
And sure the Dominion was pretty awful and yes, they started it but to make an analogy, only because Hitler was really awful doesn't mean that Roosevelt should have made a lampshade out of his skin and put it in the oval office.

Of course, you can always say they are evil and therefore you must be evil but that just means that you are evil, at best less so then the other side. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Let's not even speculate to where mixed intentions will pave the way.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 8:46am (UTC -6)
@Jeffrey's Tube
''Eight episodes is too long to wait to reveal the mystery of what is going on with Jack. ''

those same red eyes Jake Sisko had when he was possessed by a Pa Wraith (I hope it's not that and the blob on Shrek isn't some incarnation of Pa Wraith Gul Dukat )...that's one theory going around .
Timmy the Tribble
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 8:47am (UTC -6)
My Redjac theory still holds up! Muahahahahaha!
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 9:07am (UTC -6)
Best part of this episode was Amanda Plummer's tick-tock callback to her role on Hunger Games 2.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 9:12am (UTC -6)
@ Booming

I tend to think the lesson of interventionism in stimulating the economy in Germany following WW2 was a result of leaving Germany in dirt following WW1, sure they didn't parade Hitler around like a Roman triumph but they did hold a trial and even to this day Nazis who fled mostly to Latin America are still being held accountable.

My point was not who is more evil but rather....''what did you expect would happen '' decided to invade foreign space, baffle and corner an already established geo political eco system and then act surprised when doubtful practices' are being committed on POW's. It's like the gun meme from the Eric and Andre show.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 9:18am (UTC -6)
Some not so bold predictions for the final three episodes:

- In the next episode, Geordi will remove the partition seperating Data and Lori and they will combine into a new personality. This will build on what Lore said about wanting to survive, maybe Georgi will convince Lore. Fixing Data is the logical way to regain control of the Titan. This has the potential for some great scenes with Levar and Spiner, hopefully they deliver.

- I'm thinking the Janeway cameo will be in the season finale, she will appear at a pivotal moment and save the day.

- Since there are three episodes left and there has been a cameo per episode, and we are definately getting Janeway, that means there are two unknown cameos left. Any thoughts on who they could be? It's odd we haven't seen anyone from DS9 yet since the changlings are the main antagonists.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 9:47am (UTC -6)
I did not like Picard seasons 1 and 2, even though I loved TNG. I am now watching all of Voyager for the first time. I then planned to watch season 3 of Picard. However, I see in the comments that there are references to the Dominion War and Changelings. Should I watch DS9 first?

As a side note, I get that Gene Roddenberry is long gone and possibly his Utopion vision of Star Trek, but did we have to make Starfleet a dark, corrupt organization?
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 9:59am (UTC -6)
I will be sad if they don't bring Avery Brooks back, but at the same time, I respect the actor if he's over it.

Was really looking forward to more Counselor Troi, but not by zoom call. I would love for the Doctor from Voyager to come back and kick some ass. I won't forgive them if they bring Janeway back and there's no Janeway scene with Seven.

My dream list of returns would include Jeffrey Combs, and of course Andrew Robinson.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 10:14am (UTC -6)
Piew piew piew piew. All missed or somehow did not do any damage because uhm plot. Or lack thereof more specifically. Adhoc mystery box telling. Episode 7 stretches the story beyond believe. For me it already snapped few episodes ago. A movie is 2 hours, writers?
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 10:19am (UTC -6)

Quite liked your comment.

Just taking a step back, I don't think there has been much to discuss with PIC S3 thus far that goes to some of the classic themes Trek has explored. But in this case, while I think this episode is mediocre at best, it does touch on the idea of revisionist history as a motivation for conflict. Classic Trek has done this quite well in the past with "Living Witness" for example.

But getting back to your point that I like: "Picard just stands there with a guilty expression and essentially validates her with his uncharacteristic lack of opposition."

If PIC really wanted to show Picard's strength of conviction, then they really missed an opportunity here. How Picard is written here is inconsistent with who he was on TNG. I would not buy the argument of him mellowing out with old age as what Vadic is saying really tries to cast the Federation, an organization Picard has devoted his career to, in a terrible light. He should have taken a forceful tone with Vadic and denounced her version of events. But instead he's too passive and accepting.
Colin Lindsly
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 10:40am (UTC -6)
I have seen a clip for next week's show. It's sadism for sadism's sake. Vadic is playing a tune while the crew of the Titan are mercilessly hunted down and killed. This is a new level of ugliness for Trek. It's Clockwork Orange level of ugliness. She could be Alex DeLarge doing a bit of the ultraviolent while "I'm Singing in the Rain" plays.
Narissa's Bath Water
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 11:31am (UTC -6)
@Colin Lindsly

I've heard very much the same. Any time I see a review channel spout the "Terry Matalas is the Gandhi of our era" nonsense, they almost miraculously are also someone who saw the entire season. What a coincidence! Even the hardcore Matalis shills were squeamish about next week.

As I usually do, gave E7 a rewatch after reading these comments, and still Jane Maggs fingerprints on it are distracting. The telltale sign of her writing is alternating long showy expositions with simplistic personal dialogue between characters. As a writer, she says "look at me", not "look at this".

That score, though. Still quite good.
Narissa's Bath Water
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 11:41am (UTC -6)

You aren't necessarily being inconsistent. If sugar and shit are all that's on the shelf, serving sugared shit will always be received better than serving sugar followed by shit. Shit followed by sugar isn't an option in audience-draw scenarios.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 11:43am (UTC -6)
I don't know how I can manage to watch this again, but Picard did not feel like Picard, as some have mentioned. They can't beam all these intruders into space? Really? It seems like an easy thing to do, and generally would be very tempting.
Bok R'Mor
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 12:22pm (UTC -6)
Nonsensical bollocks. Dearie me.

The only decent moment was the scene with 'Tuvok' at the very start - and of course that was a fake bait and switch, predictably and bitterly, almost nastily, so. 'This is what you could have had, nerds! Haha, fuck you all!'

At least Vadic got a little more 'fleshed out' (ho ho) in this episode. Not that it makes much difference.

Can't be bothered to write a screed about the rest.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 12:27pm (UTC -6)
Again, nu-Trek ignoring its own canon (such as it is.)

Data's back?? Didn't he die? I thought his consciousness was terminated at the end of season 1? So that poignant good bye scene at the end of season1, one of the few honest and worthwhile and heartfelt elements of this series is all for naught? I guess there was another shred of his consciousness left after all, that the latest Soong forgot to tell everyone about.

So Jack is some sort of Changeling? I thought Beverly knew she got pregnant after her and JL had that last night together? I hope the writers explain what's going on with Jack in a credible fashion.

What about Lal and B4? Did the writers forget about them from last episode? So only Data and Lore are in that new android body now? And does Data still want to die? Why doesn't he mention something like "I thought I finally go to die two seasons ago?"

Wouldn't "good" Changelings like Odo reach out to the Federation? Tell them something is up?

It looks like 7 may get her own show and each Voyager character is going to get their own swan song. I hope this wasn't Tuvok's. Why wouldn't she reach out to the Doctor? They were always closer than her and Tuvok, and Changelings can't impersonate a hologram.

Daystrom Institute in season 1 was a) on earth and b) a legit center of cybernetic research, not some Section 31 Black Ops site. I guess nu-Trek is so in love with Section 31 because it is a gateway for all the dark, dystopian cliched tropes that pervade sci-fi writing today.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 12:53pm (UTC -6)
I suspect that Jack is going to be possessed by a Pah-Wraith like Jake was in "The Reckoning".

If so, the stupid escalates.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 1:35pm (UTC -6)
Everyone is predicting a Janeway return sometime this season, and they’re probably right given how she’s been name dropped already.

But I’m holding my breath for a Sisko return. Won’t happen, I know. It would just seem to connect a bit more to what’s going on and would be a nice touch to see what happened to the character after his ascension. Ah well.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 1:58pm (UTC -6)
@charles “However, I see in the comments that there are references to the Dominion War and Changelings. Should I watch DS9 first?”

That depends how invested you are in the current storyline and how much DS9 you want to watch.

IMO DS9 is worth a watch and in total I think it’s the overall strongest of the Trek shows. There are individual stand-alone episodes of TNG that are superior to DS9 for sure. What DS9 got right was an overarching plot that spanned seasons and more or less built to something. It was the start of serialization - so in that regard it’s much more of an investment to work through than say Voyager where things are a bit more siloed into weeks. To get through the dominion arc you’re looking at like 5 seasons worth of content because the story played out sporadically over time. Sometimes you’d get 1-2 dominion war episodes then it wouldn’t be revisited for a while. There are some good watch lists online if you just want to watch dominion war episodes - and while many of them are standout you’d also be missing a lot of other great stuff from DS9 that contextualizes the characters and decisions made during them.

With that said, DS9 was the true start of bending the Trek ethos into something darker. (Some might say TNG exploring interpersonal conflict was the first departure from utopian ethos but truthfully, people not getting along sometimes makes enough sense that I don’t think it runs contrary to utopian ideals)

Without spoiling too much, the Dominion war served as a test for Starfleet/federation ideals. Could they survive/should they survive in the face of total destruction. Do you take the high road if by doing so your survival is at risk? These didn’t always paint the Federation in the best light and probably run counter to the utopian fantasy of Trek. DS9 was happy to show factions within the federation were unhappy with the status quo and that the Federation bureaucracy overlooked their concerns (though some of these were first introduced in TNG). It was the first more robust exploration that all was not rosy in paradise. But with that said, with a few exceptions and moments, DS9 was never quite as cynical as NuTrek regarding its world.
Bok R'Mor
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 1:59pm (UTC -6)
@Narissa's Bath Water

As much as I usually admire and chuckle at your posts, I regret to inform you disagreement (not hate) is incoming here:

'That score, though. Still quite good.'

The score, more than I've ever noticed before, undermines itself enormously in being so heavy that it's absurdly easy to literally ('literally' in its proper meaning, kiddoes) predict the next line of dialogue or the next movement of a character.

That's a bit too much for me.

But your bath water is usually full of more wisdom than mine.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 2:02pm (UTC -6)
DS9 is the best series by far but it didn’t get good until Worf showed up in S3. It’s absolutely worth a watch. The late seasons in particular are amazing.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 2:21pm (UTC -6)
Now we only have to watch three more episodes amd the we know.

Thw first episodes had some entertaining moments and somewhow the story developped. Now it just moved sidewards although they are more up the creek at the ending.

Still, it is better than disco4 and Picard2.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 2:21pm (UTC -6)
Data, I watched you die. Twice.

Yes sir, but our fans have been dying inside for years.
Bok R'Mor
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 2:40pm (UTC -6)
What did I want from PIC?

I'll tell you what I wanted: the 'All Good Things' and 'Endgame' future but 'real'.

That's it.

Maybe catch up with what happened to the VOY and DS9 crews. Nice wee spatial anomaly. Q having the verdict in his trial, nice bookend to Farpoint.

But that's really all.

Same uniform. Same ships, or natural developments thereof (no third nacelle, please).

A nice wee send off, maybe the TNG cast's signatures on screen at the end like Undiscovered Country.

I'm a simple man, of simple pleasures. I don't hate anyone.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 2:54pm (UTC -6)
@JohnTY. At this point it seems the writers are just trying to cram in elements from TNG, DS9 and Voy, hence the amount of DS9 content in what is primarily a TNG farewell series. Fans of the other series have complained about a lack of recognition of their favourite 90s series, so this season is just one serving of fan service to fans of TNG/DS9/Voyager. I wish we actually had a DS9 character on the show though (barring Worf, of course).
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 2:59pm (UTC -6)
Yeah, a lot of people like to pin a lot of things on the so-called haters that aren't really true for the most part. They think we're impossible to please, that our demands are contradictory, or that we have forgotten how to take pleasure in the good and only know how to nitpick the bad. Actually we just want a semi-plausible coda that extends and concludes what we already know and love without necessarily getting gratuitous with memberberries that are completely extraneous to the plot. A few easter eggs scattered here and there are always welcome but you can't make a compelling story out of memberberries alone. We also don't expect amazing or highly ambitious things that would be difficult to pull off. Sometimes it's the quieter moments that work best, like Ro Laren and Picard expressing their unresolved and heartfelt feelings to each other. It rings true and isn't melodrama for melodrama's sake.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 3:18pm (UTC -6)
"like Ro Laren and Picard expressing their unresolved and heartfelt feelings to each other. It rings true and isn't melodrama for melodrama's sake. "
Still, how did they make that moment happen... through pure nonsense.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 5:35pm (UTC -6)
@Yanks Thank you and FOLLOW UP POINT Even more important. Holograms don't give off life signs but unless I'm wrong Changelings ALWAYS GIVE LIFE SIGNS so yet another reason they should recruitnte EMH..all they have to do is scan a Changeling posing as an EMH and if he registers as a life sign you know it's not a real.hologram..and by the same token the Doctor can adjust his matrix to LOOK LIKE ANYONE..sonthe EMH can pretend to be a Changeling and go undercover!! I think I can write this show honestly this part as well as the writers..Does anyone else agree..besides Janeway and the real Tuvok..they MUST BRING BACK the Doctor!! Evidence..the Viyager episode Renaissance Man the doctor literally poses as Janeway and Chakotay if not Tuvok..I don't remember
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 5:37pm (UTC -6)
And in The Voyager episode Live Fast and Prosper Voyager season 6 EMH poses as the female con artist and possibly as Tuvok don't remember..just like a Changeling nay case Seven can contact the EMH and ask him to adjust his matrix to go undercover..PLEASE tell me the writers are planning this...
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 5:39pm (UTC -6)
Dr Crusher in episode 1: Vaporized 3 changellings without blinking.
Dr Crusher in episode 7: Pointing a faiser at Vadic: "I made an oath to do no harm but I might reconsider it."
Colin Lindsly
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 5:49pm (UTC -6)
When I heard Picard say, "I see you", I cringe.

This phrase has context and meaning in the Avatar universe. In Star Trek, it feels like something pulled from somewhere else and feels out of place.

The issue I have with people who label those who criticize something they like as haters is that their response seems to come from a binary world. Lovers vs. haters. There doesn't seem to be gray in their thinking.

I don't hate this season of Star Trek: Picard; I hate how it makes me feel. I don't need these feelings in my life right now. I am in a tsunami, and I am desperately trying to hold onto anything and not be swept away. Any negative distractions lessen my focus and make it easier for the wave to take me with it. This is the nuance, the complexity, that I feel that the people who label others as haters don't seem to acknowledge or understand.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 5:50pm (UTC -6)

Henchmen never count.

In "Blood Oath" Jadzia was all conflicted about whether or not to kill a Big Bad but never mind all the countless henchmen they had to carve through just to get to him.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 5:52pm (UTC -6)
@Booming what is the pure nonsense you are referring to with Ro and Picard
.her being back in Starfleet..I didn't find that nonsensical..imo..
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 5:56pm (UTC -6)
@Ron but you would not agree what Crusher did in episode 1 was clearly self defense..those Changelings were going to take her so and probably kill or kidnap her..doesn't that justify her actions in that episode?
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 5:56pm (UTC -6)
I’ve been thinking a lot about why the dark, cynical turn of the Federation bothers me so much.

Initially, I thought it was because of the departure from “gene’s vision”. But then the more I thought about some of the best TNG, DS9 and VOY episodes, I realized that departure started long ago.

Then I thought it was because of how stark the world now feels to what Picard described in TNG: a world that shed its need for material pursuits, money, consumption. A world free from want, hunger and inequality. Where everyone had their basic needs met so that they were free to pursue the lives they wanted to and to be the best version of themselves they wanted to be. Closer to the mark, but not quite there.

No, I think the problem I have isnt so much that Gene’s utopia failed, or that Picard’s society of egalitarianism was gone. I think the problem is that from the last time we were in this time-period (ST: Nemesis) to now, we have never seen why the world got to this state.

I think I could buy into a story that examines the Federations fall from grace. All empires fall. The great and the not-so-great. That’s the way of empires. 17 year old me staying up late and watching TNG re-runs wanted to believe the march of progress meant that the Federation style of utopia would come and last forever. 42 year old me knows better. I could handle real stories about the Federation cracking, buckling and slowly succumbing.

Discovery Season 3-4, for all its faults, showed a Federation that I found somewhat compelling. It had shades of its former glory while also being remarkably different. Weaker, more insular, and not able or willing to live up to its own history. Plot contrivances aside (coughcoughtheburn), there’s something compelling about that.

ST:PIC could have been the perfect lens to grapple with the loss of golden age of the Federation from the viewpoint of one of its most stoic and ardent defenders. Jean Luc Picard didnt command the flagship vessel and his crew out of interpersonal love… he stood by the values and principles of the Federation on the grounds of philosophy, ethics and morality. As the world changed around him, an aged Picard doing his best to keep that philosophy on track despite the futility of it all could have made for a somber, but compelling send off for the TNG cast.

Instead we get beheadings, ninjas, interdimensional space squids and a telepathic love child. Ah well.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 6:06pm (UTC -6)
Well, she committed treason, probably numerous terrorist acts, turned herself in, then went to prison for at least some of these felonies, after release Starfleet let her rejoin for some reason, she made it to the rank of commander and was also recruited by Starfleet Intelligence for super secret missions.

I mean what kind of clown show is Starfleet running here. At least for treason you would definitely be dishonorably discharged which in all modern militaries would ban you from reenlisting. Obviously she would also never get another security clearance, certainly not top secret. It's just pure nonsense. Why not make her a Bajoran agent or something. That one could hand wave away somehow but this... nope.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 6:30pm (UTC -6)
@Booming I guess I disagree..mainly because what she did she did to help ppl in need the Maquis could be construed easily as nkt being terrorists. She was trying to help them as Picard finally understood..and she served honorably before that under picard..doesn't that merit a second chance?
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 6:44pm (UTC -6)
My only issue with Ro in episode 5 was she said she turned herself in. Not the R I remember from TNG. She would haven't quit whie there was still a fight to wage. She would have been one of the last Maquis and ended up in prison.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 6:58pm (UTC -6)
Only a tiny handful of Maquis avoided slaughter by the Dominion after Cardassia joined.

How convenient that Ro was one of those that did.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 8:23pm (UTC -6)
Prediction. Jack is being manipulated by a time traveling version of Control. That was the thing that tried to come into the Galaxy at the end of Picard S1. That's what the Tal Shiar were trying stop. That's what's communicating with Vadic. Control time traveled to create the Borg, and Picard passed on dormant Control infested Borg Nanoprobes to Jack. Picard's corpse is also full of them. Control wants to use Jack/Picard to infect new hosts, and to eventual open a portal to whatever region of space it is locked away in. Also, Control is the Thing that destroyed the 10-C homework, forcing them to leave. Just a hunch.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 9:21pm (UTC -6)

“I did not like Picard seasons 1 and 2, even though I loved TNG. I am now watching all of Voyager for the first time. I then planned to watch season 3 of Picard. However, I see in the comments that there are references to the Dominion War and Changelings. Should I watch DS9 first?

As a side note, I get that Gene Roddenberry is long gone and possibly his Utopion vision of Star Trek, but did we have to make Starfleet a dark, corrupt organization?”

Agreed on this. I too loved TNG and the movies. And Voyager was superb. Sadly I never got to see DS9. I am also wondering If I have and my folks need to have seen DS9 to enjoy the Picard show. I am hoping one could watch Season 3 of Picard as a kind of encore season or final movie of TNG.

Trying to enjoy this and hope I can make sense of it.

And I do wish that Starfleet in general was not portrayed as wholly dark. The vast majority should be optimistic and a better humanity.


Spot on. A finale encore of All good things, Endgame, Q’s final trial, that inspiration from First Contact, if they really wanted to even Kirk himself. I would add to that list the ENTERPRISE E and bringing Data back. And TNG sleek ships, Goldsmith’s music and let there be light on all decks!

I do like if we see the Voyager family. More Tuvok (the real) and yes the good old Doctor.

“Grand Admiral Janeway would never accept a cup of Earl Grey tea!”

I really hope they can do this show right and Data is back for real so this season can be watched as if it’s the first and an encore for the TNG movies. I would not mind a Legacy show if it genuinely (emphasis on genuinely) respected the story of TNG/Voyager/DS9 and aesthetic.

Not quite sure how the villains took control of the Titan bridge so fast? Was there more than one approach aside from the lift? And plenty of crew with phasers? And hadn’t Data regained control to reimplement security fields?
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 9:54pm (UTC -6)
Just my opinion, but I think there's more chance of enjoying Picard without watching DS9 first. Seeing good serialization in a well written sci-fi show tends to spoil any lesser implementations. I'd avoid Battlestar Galactica and Babylon 5 as well.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 10:02pm (UTC -6)
@Eamon what's wrong with interdimensional space squids..they were I thought one of the best things about this of thew few new alien life forms ..and that I'd one of the main reasons I love and watch Trek..I hope we get at least a few more new aliens and worlds this year..and if picard season son is a neat new alien for me that wouldn't be a bad thing..but to each his own...
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 10:05pm (UTC -6)
@AP you are a bit inaccurate..Control was in Discovery not Picard..and it was eradicated the 31st century if you watch end of season couldn't possibly come back now..and they also had nothing to do with Species 10 c..thatvwas season 4 and 10 C was trying to destroy us..
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 10:23pm (UTC -6)

That was a good episode with the EMH. Yes I’d like to see the Doctor in action. I’d say between him and Data, you’d be able to counter the Changeling plot.

@Eamon - I guess so, though didn’t Data explain the difference for instance between the Federation and the Borg in that the latter aren’t interested in bettering themselves, but to conquer.

Similarly the supposed founding ideals of the Federation (or at least Starfleet) are not about presiding over an empire nor a bureaucratic machine.

However, I’d be willing to see them explore a tired Federation going to the edge. To an extent that was shown with the conspiracy in Insurrection where its ideals were being tested by supposed orders to do a deal to benefit billions at the expense of 600 aliens.

If they really wanted “To go dark”, I suppose they’d have to pull a Papa Palpatine and show an existential crisis that required a Federation army and emergency powers and see if the Federation/Earth could truly stay true to its ideals after the crisis had abated..

The Debate on the Betazoid crisis:

“The Chair recognises Councillor Admiral Picard of Earth.”

“Distinguished members of the Council. The Chair and the Ambassador speak of the importance of peace. That to… ruffle the feathers would result in us descending into disorder and chaos, or make us no less evil than the Syndicate. But let me tell you this, and not just as a former a Captain of a Starship, nor even just as a member of this Council, but as a citizen, one of the countless billions who you all claim to represent! I will tell you what true evil is. It is to submit to our enemy. It is when we surrender our freedom, our dignity, instead of defying them.

This Council claims to acknowledge a member world’s sentience, but ignores their fundamental personal liberties and freedom. Order a planet to turn their people over to slavers merely to preserve the peace? Not while I’m a member of this Council!
We’ve made too many compromises already. Too many retreats. Not again! The line must be drawn here…THIS far, NO further!”

“Here here!” Shouted a Klingon.

—-“ The Vice chair reminds the Councillor of the subject of this emergency session which he himself called and that the time of this Council is precious.”

(After facepalming) “The subject. And time. Well let me be frank with you all. A tragedy has occurred on the peaceful world of Betazed. It has been caught in a dispute you are all well aware of, which began right here at the heart of our Federation with the taxation of trade routes, the reduction of our Starfleet, and turning a blind eye to some simply because they scratched our back in the last war and now, now this crisis is no longer a mere blockade, but has engulfed an entire member planet in the oppression of the Ferengi and Orion Syndicate. chamber) “I call upon a personal friends Ambassador Riker, recently rescued from Betazed by Captain Tuvok and Commander Hansen of the Voyager B and Fleet Admiral Janeway to speak on our behalf.”

Janeway stands to speak, but is interrupted by the Tellarite delegate. “The Federation Council runs the Federation. Not the military… or perhaps you have forgotten that Councillor Picard. Or is it Admiral Picard? You seem to switch titles to suit the occasion. We propose a Commission must be appointed to verify Councillor Picard’s outrageous claims. Not to mention what a Starfleet vessel was doing on an unsanctioned mission.”

Seven stood about to shout angrily, but Janeway stopped her. “Respectfully Councillor Temek, I was under the impression that Starfleet had a general mandate to respond to distress calls, especially from Federation worlds.”

Another delegate stands - “We concur with Delegate Temek. Surely a commission of the Representatives of… how did the Admiral say.. Citizens (said sneeringly) should be appointed to investigate such serious accusations.”

The President starts to speak “The Chair does not recognise the Romulan ambassador at this time..”

(The Ferengi ambassador and an Orion (who looks like Caprica Six) are whispering into the President’s ear)

Picard signed, sat down and turned to his companions. “The bureaucratic machine is the only constant in the universe. Enter the bureaucrats. The true rulers of the Federation. And frequent guests at the parties of the Ferengi Syndicate on Risa no less. This is where President Baltar’s strength…will begin to disappear,” he whispered to Fleet Admiral Janeway and pointedly to Ambassador Deanna Riker who remembers that the only way forth would be a vote of no confidence…
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 10:55pm (UTC -6)

That's not the sequence of events. DISCO jumped into the 31st century to keep the Sphere Data from Control. Control was in the body of Leland (in the firm of Nanites) and the the fleet of attacking ships. Georgiou extracted the Nanites from Leland and seemed to destroy them, and DISCO and Enterprise and their allies destroyed the fleet. But Gere is a scenario: some Control Nanites survived, and over Eons of time learned to reconstitute their intelligence, learning all they could about the history of the galaxy, ultimately realizing that sentient life had reached to great a level of technology for them to overcome. So Control decided to travel back in time to attack the Federation. Their first attempt was the Borg. This ultimately failed because of Q. But in the time it took to build the Borg threat, they were infesting other galaxies. One was the home of the 10-c. Thus tying everything that has happened together.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 11:05pm (UTC -6)
I think this episode was weaker for this season (but still better than the prior week), but it felt like a weak entry of a great season, not a turkey amongst worse turkeys.

I have no clue if any NuTrek has inspired philosophical debate, but this episode on its own has. To me Trek was its best when it managed that. There's plenty of versions of church for everyone, but that's not terribly thought provoking, is it?

Vadic... it's nice to see some character ... explanation.

I personally don't care about Jack's upside down thing. I mean, I don't EXPECT it to have be a satisfying mystery. Sure, there's that 1 in 200 chance. Not worth anticipating.
Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 11:47pm (UTC -6)
@Yanks: "I just love moral debates performed by those whose children aren't on the front lines dying."

You had children dying on the front lines in WW2, did you?

@Booming: "The US government itself concluded that it was unnecessary. (Etc)"

Are you aware there was an attempted coup against Hirohito when he decided to surrender?

There was no singular "US government" at the time, nor was there a similar head. There were nominal heads that made decisions. The decision Truman made was to use the bomb.

Was it "necessary"?

The US was carpet bombing Japan at the time. Was that necessary? Was it necessary for Japan to rape Nanjing? Had Japan demonstrated anything indicating capitulation?
Sat, Apr 1, 2023, 2:38am (UTC -6)
@leif sorry the space squids I was referring to were the AI inter dimensional space squid’s from S1 that were plagiarized from the Mass Effect video game franchise and used to sophomoric effect in PIC.


Yeah, I suppose the would and they have. The Dominion War was equivalent to that PapaPalpatine moment. Existential crisis and values bargaining and all that. We never really go to see much aftermath to that. How did the decision made in that war affect the Federation decades later. Empires don’t crumble instantly. It can take centuries - just ask the Brits. Even though people point to one year as the collapse of Rome, the slide took centuries.

The Federation might not have started out as a bureaucracy or empire, but they ended up expanding their ideas, control and governance across the galaxy which necessitated a huge political-military bureaucracy to maintain it. Whatever the intent, the result was outward expansion (empire) and bureaucracy (maintenance and defense). The Maquis storylines, fenris rangers, etc all point to the blind spots within that all empires are guilty of. Status Quo is a requirement of empire. Even an egalitarian empire like the Federation. What happens to people who fall outside of that status quo? What happens when that status quo gets bent or broken by internal division or external strife? Well, DS9 explore that. Picard could have as well which ironically would have told a contemporary allegory much for effectively than any of the PIC S2 current age stories.
Sat, Apr 1, 2023, 3:00am (UTC -6)
And one thought occurs to me: Starfleet/federation have never been painted in the best of light above the captain rank.

Admirals and politicians have often been portrayed as corrupt, narcissistic, incompetent, or possessed by space insects. I can remember more examples of bad Federation/Starfleet brass than good.

People will say that Jose individuals aren’t indicative of the whole. Yet, those are the individuals who rose to positions of power and influence within this giant system. That only happens if there is some level of rot within.
Sat, Apr 1, 2023, 3:31am (UTC -6)
"I just love moral debates performed by those whose children aren't on the front lines dying."
I enlisted shortly after 9/11 and had quite wild ride in the army. I'm sure your children did, too. I hope it is ok that I did not send my kids but went myself. By the way, let me congratulate you on the brilliance of that argument. I also think that pacifists should keep their mouth shut or people who do not have children. If you want to participate in a moral debate about war, make a few little soldiers and ship them off to a warzone ASAP.

"Was it "necessary"? "
Necessary in this context means, did not shorten the war? No. It did not.

"Are you aware there was an attempted coup against Hirohito when he decided to surrender?"
Yes, coups were a pretty common thing in Japan at the time.

If you are interested, this book goes into great detail about, among other things, the last days before the surrender.
The Rising Sun
The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936-1945 by John Toland

"Was that necessary? Was it necessary for Japan to rape Nanjing? Had Japan demonstrated anything indicating capitulation?"
1. Strategic bombing was deemed a failure. I did not break the will to fight of the population and for example Germany's war production actually increased sharply while the cities were turned to giant piles of rubble.
2. I guess there are some forum members here that believe that murdering civilians on mass is sometimes necessary. I see it differently.
3. Yes and the Americans knew that. As mentioned Japan tried through Moscow to surrender. The Americans had broken the Japanese codes and were therefore aware. Truman's chief of staff Adm Leahy, the first five star admiral ever, put it like this:"the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender.… In being the first to use it, we…adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children.”

I have provided numerous accounts and from my own scientific research I know that many people just flat out ignore uncomfortable facts. Yanks is a good example. Decide for yourself if you are one.
You made made this pronouncement "But the Japanese surrendered four days after the first bomb and the next day after the second. It ended the war, full stop." It is revealing that you did not even know the most basic facts about the matter and still thought that you should participate in a discussion about the pros and cons of state sanctioned mass murder. It made me angry.
Believe what you want. If that includes the believe that there are sometimes good reasons to kill 50.000 children with an atomic bomb, I guess, is up to you.

I'm done with this discussion.
Sat, Apr 1, 2023, 5:29am (UTC -6)
Tim Russ's lip is cherry red IRL.

I'm a dumb behind for noticing that about Tuvok, aren't I?
Sat, Apr 1, 2023, 5:50am (UTC -6)
By the way, did I mention that the Soviets had already conquered Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands directly north of Japan and were planning to land on Hokkaido on the 24th.
Sat, Apr 1, 2023, 7:21am (UTC -6)

"You had children dying on the front lines in WW2, did you?"

I said that?

Sat, Apr 1, 2023, 3:31am (UTC -5)

"I enlisted shortly after 9/11 and had quite wild ride in the army. I'm sure your children did, too. I hope it is ok that I did not send my kids but went myself. By the way, let me congratulate you on the brilliance of that argument. I also think that pacifists should keep their mouth shut or people who do not have children. If you want to participate in a moral debate about war, make a few little soldiers and ship them off to a warzone ASAP."

Retired 30 yr man myself with 3 currently serving. My point was that the real sacrifice of war too often gets glossed over by those with no stake in the fight. Think-head armchair quarterbacking morality aside, the bombs saved American lives. It IS that simple. At least to me it is. Do you think for a second that Japan wouldn't have used the bomb on us had they had it? I'm certain that China is glad they didn't have it. About 23 million ethnic Chinese were killed by Japan. It is a crime that in sheer numbers is far greater than the Nazi Holocaust.


This episode wasn't as bad on the rewatch. I turned the closed captions on. Worf and Raffi were off the ship heading back.

@ Leif,

Using holograms would seem to be a smart way to root out the Changelings, especially since it seems like mobile emitters are commonplace now.
Sat, Apr 1, 2023, 9:19am (UTC -6)
I haven't had a chance to read every single word written on this long thread, but the general gist I got is that, for the most part, a consensus has congealed here that this is just more awful NuTrek garbage.

And if that is so, I have to say, I am genuinely perplexed by that. I have been watching Star Trek regularly since the start of Next Generation, and I by no means see Star Trek through "rose-colored glasses," nor do I just accept things because it has the Star Trek name on it. In fact, not only has the vast majority of Star Trek been terrible since Kurtzman took over, it has been terrible since Abrams got his hands on it. Not only that, but it has been mostly terrible since DS9 went off the air. All this newfound nostalgia for Janeway and Tuvok and Voyager forgets how disappointing that series was for most of its run, and Enterprise, though never as bad as Voyager, was mostly mediocre, vanilla, and forgettable. Just go back and read Jammer's reviews for those two series - I don't agree with every review, but the overall sensation of malaise for both those shows is, I think, valid and accurate.

Given all that, it seems clear to me that Picard season 3 is the most consistent quality Star Trek we have had literally since the 7th season of Deep Space Nine. We're talking over 20 years ago. It has almost nothing in common with Picard season 1-2, Discovery, SNW, Abrams Trek, or anything else we've seen in decades. It's thoughtful, thematically resonant, well-paced, and well-characterized. It is by no means flawless, but it is entertaining and well-constructed in a way the franchise has not managed in a very, very long time.

And it is different. Yes, the bridge is not bright. Yes, the Federation does some dirty things. Yes, Picard says, "Fuck." But so what? DS9 was more different from TNG than this is from DS9. It's not THAT different. And besides, different is totally fine if it leads to good storytelling. This season is clearly, to my mind, good storytelling. Again, it's not flawless. But I suspect if we attacked episodes of DS9 and TNG with the level of nitpickery I see applied here, those shows would likely be deemed terrible too. Go read those old "Nitpicker's Guide" books, and you'll see that TNG and DS9 were FULL of plot holes, TONS of plot holes, even in the very best episodes, even in the classics. A story is not effective merely due to lack of plot holes. Hamlet has plot holes. King Lear has plot holes. Oedipus has a plot hole big enough to stuff a prophecy through.

Anyway, I am sorry, genuinely, if some old Trek fans like me aren't able to dig this season. For me, this season was like water in the dessert. I'm frankly loving it. I am happy it exists. I do not expect a satisfying resolution to the mysteries. DS9 didn't manage a satisfying resolution to many of its long-running plots. But DS9 is still a great show. And while this show is not as good as DS9 when it was at its best (not much is), it's doing great things, and it's working, and I look forward to every episode.
Sat, Apr 1, 2023, 10:56am (UTC -6)
>Odo said back in DS9 that when a changeling mimics a thing, it becomes that thing in every way.
>WOTW showed that mere scans would not detect them - because they have internal anatomy and physiology when in solid form.

Didn't the writers screw up in that episode where the changelings made Odo human? Bashir or who ever scanned Odo and said he had internal organs now. I think it was argued that Odo couldn't mimic internal organs properly but the other changelings could.
Sat, Apr 1, 2023, 11:16am (UTC -6)
Yeah I remember at the time of the episode when Bashir said "I'm reading a heart, lungs..." thinking that that shouldn't be unusual. A changeling would have to "create" real avian anatomy and physiology in order to achieve actual flight as a bird. A lump of Jello in a bird suit ain't gonna cut it.
Sat, Apr 1, 2023, 11:34am (UTC -6)
Technically, with all the air Odo ingests in a day, when he decamps to his pail to return to gelatinous form, there should probably be a sustained fart noise.
Cian Devane
Sat, Apr 1, 2023, 11:35am (UTC -6)
the first scene with picard geordi and dataloreb4soong was infuriating because they re-hashed what played out last episode -making

Picard looked a bit clueless which is never good in my book.

bit odd, I get they need exposition but this was unnecessary.

Only watched about a third of episode, got frustrated and went off to sleep.
Sat, Apr 1, 2023, 12:11pm (UTC -6)

"the general gist I got is that, for the most part, a consensus has congealed here that this is just more awful NuTrek garbage."

Just this last episode, not the season. The previous episodes have received much praise here.
Sat, Apr 1, 2023, 12:30pm (UTC -6)

I've watched Trek since before TNG. To me, Voyager is better now then it was back then.

At the time, it was released so close to TNG that it reeked of being a weak TNG rip off in a franchise that was growing tired. And that's basically what it was. It also had a lot of very weak characters: Kes, Paris, Kim in particular. Also, the Kazon were a stunningly weak adversary.

However, watching it years later, I found it a lot better with distance from TNG.

Also, it helps that I know what to expect. That is, I know that most of the premise is abandoned almost immediately. The Starfleet crew vs Maquis crew is almost completely dropped right out of the gate. And the idea of the ship being alone and extremely far from a star base wasn't terribly compelling when the ship is completely pristine every week no matter WHAT it went through.

I personally also find Voyager's last couple seasons a lot better than TNG's seventh season.

Anyway, I basically agree with you that this is the best Trek since Voyager by far.
Sat, Apr 1, 2023, 12:36pm (UTC -6)
I'll always grade VOY and ENT on a curve because they were slave to a network and its whims.

Even "These Are The Voyages" was an attempt (an admittedly piss-poor one) to compensate after finding that a Birth of the Federation storyline they thought they had three more years to tell was suddenly reduced to two months.
Sat, Apr 1, 2023, 12:55pm (UTC -6)
I was generally "with" this season up to this point, but it's really starting to lose me these last couple episodes.

I'm tired of the stupid mystery box stuff, just tell us what is going on with Jack already, and who the Big Baddie is.

And I always wanted to see a DS9 followup, but it's just weird that we're doing it with the TNG and VOY cast. And OF COURSE, the only thing Nu-Trek is really interested in is attempted genocide of the Changelings. Never mind that the Federation was in an existential war against a powerful enemy who made no secret of their intention to wipe THEM out too.

I'll watch to the end, but I'm afraid this season of Picard is starting to live up to previous seasons...which is a very bad thing.
Sat, Apr 1, 2023, 4:13pm (UTC -6)
Definitely a dropoff from the...entire rest of the season in terms of quality, but fuck it, I'm still quite optimistic. Having a bad episode at #7 is a LOT more understandable - and different - than falling off at #3. This pretty much felt like a bottle/filler episode to spin the wheels before what's presumably the finale. Now, the finale better deliver, but why not believe it can? Even if every single episode is bad after this, it's still the best season of live-action nuTrek by a margin.
Sat, Apr 1, 2023, 4:36pm (UTC -6)
This season still has many of the issues of the other nuTrek shows. There isn't enough material to successfully sustain 10 episodes. There has been a lot of filler- the stuff on M'Talas, for instance. The story spent too long inside the nebula hurting the urgency and the pacing established in the first episode.

Jack is Boomer/Soji redux. Or going further back to Scully's miracle child.

Giving Picard a lovechild hurt the poignancy of him being the last Picard set up in GEN and S2 of Picard. Crusher running off and cutting ties with everyone to hide her lovechild reeks of 19th century sensibilities and is more in line with what a teenage girl would resort to, not a 24th century mature woman like Beverly Crusher is/was. And the mental acrobatics by the writers to justify Beverly's secret was hard to watch. It was never always about one attempt after another on Picard's life. That's revisionist on the part of these writers.

The Changelings don't belong on the swansong to TNG. Q, Borg, Conspiracy aliens, Schisms monk aliens but not Changelings. I cringe each time a TNG crew member utters "Changeling". It doesn't seem natural coming out of their mouths.

Worf's "character growth" was just lipservice. All his actions have been contrary to pacifism. Beheading Sneed, hello!

Lots of plothles-not using the cloak, not using the metaphasic shielding, why did Vadic jettison the portal weapon, if Jack was so important why did the Changeling onboard Titan send it into the gravity well of the nebula, why didn't Raffi take an anti-intoxicant(established in DS9's "Apocalypse Rising" in case she was forced to engage in drug use as part of her cover, why hasn't the frontier day celebrations been cancelled after recruitment center attack etc

Vadic's minions are lame. Why do they click if they are Channgelings? Why wear masks? How did Vadic get the Shrike?
Sat, Apr 1, 2023, 5:08pm (UTC -6)
The direction of travel here is dark.
This is perhaps as morally challenging as the best DS9 and of course very obviously linked. Even uncomfortable viewing at one point.

“I didn’t know.”

Great performances delivered around those scenes.

Spiner is brilliantly ambiguous, even though I’m not sure (at this far point) if bringing Data back is justified and won’t damage what’s gone before. Having said that, it was a great moment …

“I am here Geordi. I will try”

Not too happy it had to end with a ship takeover. Not sure about the mind control stuff. But I am liking the Jack intrigue.

A very good episode for me. Looking forward to Jammers score
Dr. Andre
Sat, Apr 1, 2023, 5:55pm (UTC -6)

Well that is some historical revisionism at its finest. You can disagree with the use of the atomic weapon. It's your right to be wrong. The use of the bomb also hastened the surrender of Japan, minimised allied loses and granted a complete unconditional surrender (except the retention of the japanese emperor). It was effective. Despite what was said. All that matters was the outcome.

I would encourage you to view the world and humanity as they are rather than as you wish them to be.
Sat, Apr 1, 2023, 6:16pm (UTC -6)
@ Eamon: Well said, you regarding your past posts. Your idea of the fall of the Federation is interesting, I thought that's how Season 1 of PIC was starting out with Starfleet abandoning the Romulan rescue and refugee operations, but then it degenerated into incestuous Tal Shiar agents and space tentacles coming through a hole int he sky.

@ Jax: Jack is a pah wraith? I wouldn't be surprised int he least by that. Using lots of DS9 material for the TNG swan song? I don't know how I feel about that. And Seven seems to be the vehicle to bring in Voyager material. But with Janeway featured prominently on Prodigy it seems credible for Nu trek world building, if the writers can pull it off.
Sat, Apr 1, 2023, 6:51pm (UTC -6)
"Given all that, it seems clear to me that Picard season 3 is the most consistent quality Star Trek we have had literally since the 7th season of Deep Space Nine. We're talking over 20 years ago. It has almost nothing in common with Picard season 1-2, Discovery, SNW, Abrams Trek, or anything else we've seen in decades. It's thoughtful, thematically resonant, well-paced, and well-characterized. It is by no means flawless, but it is entertaining and well-constructed in a way the franchise has not managed in a very, very long time. "

I've only seen the first four episodes, but "thematically resonant" made me stop to think. What's the theme of S3? Could someone summarize it for me in a paragraph?
Sat, Apr 1, 2023, 7:33pm (UTC -6)
Yes DS9 S7 was the last consistently good season of Trek. But there are several seasons after that from other series I'd definitely rank about PIC S3 like

ENT Season 1 It wasn't overly ambitious but what stories it told for the most part were entertaining. Broken Bow, Fight or Flight, The Andorian Incident, Breaking the Ice, Civilization, Fortunate Son, Cold Front, Dear Doctor, Shuttlepod One, The Fallen all better than anything on Picard Season 3

Ent S3--Anomaly, Rajiin, Twilight, Azati Prime, Damage, The Council, Countdown, Zero Hour. It dealt with the same sort of mystery box format and I thought answered its mysteries solidly enough with some urgency and suspense thrown in.

ENT- S4 The Vulcan trilogy was solid. The Augment trilogy was fun.

Voyager S7 had a lot of good stuff--Imperfection, Flesh and Blood, Shattered Lineage, The Void, Repentance, Workforce,

I know a lot of people were over the moon with No Win Scenario but I don't see what was so great about it honestly. Petty bickering. Tired ship trapped inside a living creature plot. Shaw being an asshole. Seven trying to track down a Changeling. A thud payoff t Riker and Troi's issues via a 60 second phone call. Vadic being told by Face to go after Jack but we never saw her do that. Jettisoning the portal weapon for no good reason other than plot contrivance so Vadic couldn't send the Titan back into the nebula yet again,. There were a few nice moments like Jack reaching out to Picard years ago at the restaurant.
Sun, Apr 2, 2023, 2:26am (UTC -6)
I'm not saying that the Empire of Japan wasn't an aggressive and destructive power murdering millions, bringing endless suffering over China and Indochina. I'm just saying two things. Japan is not a monolith and the civilian population, at least in part, are essentially hostages. Is it ever ok to kill tens of thousands of children to achieve anything? How many dead children would be too much in your eyes? Can any country call itself good if it knowingly kills 50.000 children? And second, the A bombs had no or very little effect effect on the end of the war. The Japanese leadership feared nothing more than a Soviet occupation and while a US invasion was still month away, the Soviets were ready and had just easily crushed the Kwantung Army, one of the best Japanese formations, in less than a week. With the Soviet war declaration Japans last hope for keeping at least some of it's oversees possessions was gone.
While it is understandable that parts of the US public want to believe that America is a force for good and if America does something horrible, it must have good reasons that is also a very dangerous thought.

@Dr. Andre
"The use of the bomb also hastened the surrender of Japan, minimised allied loses and granted a complete unconditional surrender (except the retention of the japanese emperor). It was effective."
It's not true.

What I really find quite fascinating about people like you is that you can hold the believe that mass murder of civilians is justified without any info. I presented quotes by all the important military leaders responsible for that theater who went on record saying that it did nothing. I gave you tons of facts why the whole narrative doesn't make sense. Hey, I do you one more. As I pointed out above, the whole "The US will lose a million soldiers to conquer Japan" narrative is nonsense, because the Soviets were way ahead of the US in planning that conquest. Operation Olympic wasn't supposed to begin until December and Operation Coronet (US Invasion of Honshu) wasn't going to happen before March 1946. The Soviets on the other hand wanted to land on Hokkaido on the 24th of August 1945. So if the US wasn't planning to fight the Soviets, then losing a million soldiers was never going to happen.
But hey, I get it. I Have done lots of scientific research into Human behavior. Many people rather believe the comfortable lie, then the uncomfortable truth. It's just Human nature. Sadly.
Sun, Apr 2, 2023, 3:29am (UTC -6)
"Countless American soldiers would have been lost if we didn't drop nuclear bombs on civilians" could possibly be the mother of all copes. There are probably some copes of greater magnitude from antiquity when people were more likely to unironically bring God into the equation. But if we keep to the cold rationalism of modern history, such a justification ranks pretty high up there among the copest of copes.
Sun, Apr 2, 2023, 3:55am (UTC -6)
Good contextualization of the situation in August 1945. Nearly 3 persons in a thousand in Japan died on those two days. Memories of Sisko at his worst.

No justification. Just a failure of basic creativity.
Bok R'Mor
Sun, Apr 2, 2023, 4:52am (UTC -6)

'And Seven seems to be the vehicle to bring in Voyager material.'

My presumption about the shoehorning of (specifically) Seven into a TNG sequel was always that Trek VHS/DVD/streaming statistics must have consistently shown that VOY episodes centred around Seven ('Scorpion' and a few others) were some of, if not the, most popular in all of Berman-era Trek.

That was also my presumption why S1 and S2 of PIC focused heavily on the Borg and (S1 at least) the Picard/Data relationship - two other Berman-era Trek staples I've always understood to be highly popular with the general viewing public (i.e. not just Trek fans).

That doesn't explain why S1 and S2 focused so heavily on the Romulans ('Nemesis' shows that the Romulans don't seem to be a big draw for a wider audience) and androids, though.
Bok R'Mor
Sun, Apr 2, 2023, 4:58am (UTC -6)
I'll add that I actually quite like the idea of including Seven in any TNG sequel - I just wish they had included other characters from VOY and DS9 as well, and in a more meaningful way.

Things like the 'Tuvok' and 'Moriarty' cameo are just insulting and I feel genuinely bad for the actors. I read here that Tuvok will appear again however.

Generally PIC doesn't know how to handle old characters. Seven isn't really Seven, for example. Ryan does a great job with what she's been given but she's portraying a completely different character, of course.
Sun, Apr 2, 2023, 5:35am (UTC -6)
@Bok R'Mor

Oddly, JJ's 2009 Star Trek reused Romulans depicted in a manner very similar to Nemesis. It was surprising at the time, because Nemesis was just awful, though that wasn't due to using the Romulans.

Definitely Seven was the breakout character of Voyager, in an unusually successful attempt to do exactly that with a character added late to a show. We all know exactly why Ryan was cast, but she's also a great actress and was more than able to carry numerous heavy stories.

It's almost weird how easily Seven mixes in with the TNG cast. I'm not sure I agree that she isn't really Seven, this season at least. I mean, Seven was essentially a recovering traumatized child in her four Voyager years. I would expect her to change significantly in the years since.
Sun, Apr 2, 2023, 5:52am (UTC -6)
Countless Japanese would have died were it not for using the nukes, most likely far more than were killed in those cities.

Sure they might have been planning on surrendering the day after Nagasaki anyway, but please.

They were utterly defeated and would not yield. They HAD TO YIELD.

If it makes people happier, Hiroshima could have been carpet bombed instead, like most of the rest of Japanese cities.

Oddly, the bombing of Dresden looks quite a bit more objectively as a war crime than Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And Dresden was obliterated with conventional weapons.
Sun, Apr 2, 2023, 6:23am (UTC -6)
I'm still waiting for any of the we had to kill civilians people to present a fact why the US actually had to.

"Countless Japanese would have died were it not for using the nukes, most likely far more than were killed in those cities."
Ok, now got from "We had to do kill Japanese citizens to save US soldiers" to "We had to kill Japanese civilians to save Japanese civilians."

"Sure they might have been planning on surrendering the day after Nagasaki anyway, but please."
For the third time:"They did not surrender one day after Nagasaki" As I already mentioned: The Hirohito speech was six days after Nagasaki and the official surrender in September. Fighting stopped around August 23.
Bok R'Mor
Sun, Apr 2, 2023, 8:12am (UTC -6)

'It's almost weird how easily Seven mixes in with the TNG cast.'

Agreed. Ryan has a great and very natural chemistry with the TNG actors/actresses.
Sun, Apr 2, 2023, 11:09am (UTC -6)
Jammer:" "But the things that failed in previous seasons are starting to reveal themselves in this season as well, and were likely here all along. "

You don't say?

I did tho...
Sun, Apr 2, 2023, 11:12am (UTC -6)
"Would it be too much to ask to get some DS9 players into this story"

My respect for the DS9 cast would only soar if they saw this script and said "" despite the potential money thrown at them.
Sun, Apr 2, 2023, 11:50am (UTC -6)
Sadly, Terry Matalas said in a tweet on Feb 2nd "before anyone can get their hopes up, Janeway is exclusively on Prodigy. But there are other voyagers out there in Alpha Quadrant". He could be lying of course, but I doubt it, he simply wouldn't have said anything about it.
Sun, Apr 2, 2023, 11:51am (UTC -6)
By extension, did Will Wheaton just become the most respected member of the TNG crew by virtue of not being in this? But nah, I think he would have totally jumped at the chance had he been given a larger role...
Bok R'Mor
Sun, Apr 2, 2023, 11:59am (UTC -6)

'You don't say? I did tho..'

Consistently so, I believe. And rightly so.
Sun, Apr 2, 2023, 12:08pm (UTC -6)
The most amusing part might be that the show's nosedive was noticed just as the whole cast found itself in the same place.
Sun, Apr 2, 2023, 12:08pm (UTC -6)
"Sorry Will but our market research puts you squarely in last place in terms of popularity... what we can offer you though is a host position in our promotional interview material. Only conditions are that you can't say anything other than what we want you to say and you have to look totally stoked while saying it-- oh and this will be entirely pro bono since we will be paying you in the privilege to be part of Star Trek again."

The rest, they say, is history.
Sun, Apr 2, 2023, 12:13pm (UTC -6)
@Bryan - "By extension, did Will Wheaton just become the most respected member of the TNG crew by virtue of not being in this? But nah, I think he would have totally jumped at the chance had he been given a larger role..."

I've watched some Ready Room episodes of Discovery and Pic S1/S2 and seen him fawn over garbage episode after garbage episode. So for me, the answer is a clear no.
Sun, Apr 2, 2023, 12:14pm (UTC -6)
"he question "What is Jack?" gets ratcheted back up to 10 this week, and Vadic has the answers to that question"

If Jack has a Pagh-Wraith in him and Vadic somehow knows it already, that could be the reason they want him so bad.

Guess we'll find out next week. Um...yay I guess.
Sun, Apr 2, 2023, 12:17pm (UTC -6)
"I've watched some Ready Room episodes"

RLM makes consistent and hilarious use of clips of Wil the Shill.
Sun, Apr 2, 2023, 12:32pm (UTC -6)
Changing my theory slightly...I suspect that Jack has a Pagh Wraith in him, and only the Big Giant Head knows abut it...Vadic does not.
Sun, Apr 2, 2023, 12:36pm (UTC -6)
Big Giant Head calls Vadic "your kind" because Big Giant Head is a Pagh-Wraigh Changeling.
Sun, Apr 2, 2023, 1:06pm (UTC -6)
Thank you Jammer, I always appreciate your writing, even if I don't always agree with you. In this case, I wholeheartedly do agree with you. Unfortunately.
Sun, Apr 2, 2023, 3:15pm (UTC -6)
The FACE will probably turn out to be the villain with the personal tie to Picard - not Vadic- and his "Irumodic Syndrome" was just part of some alien takeover or tinkering. But if they go that route it will be a travesty since the condition played such a poignant role in AGT and the first season of PIC.

I have always felt that the writers missed a golden opportunity back in PIC S1 by bringing the Irumodic Syndrome to a rushed resolution.

The goodbye scene between Data and Picard is the best part of the PIC S1 finale. Well-crafted, poignant, great dialog. Exploiting the chemistry between the mentor and his pupil. Unfortunately, it sent a muddled message.

Data accepts his death and wants to die as part of the human experience yet Picard is resurrected in an android body. They feel like two separate sentiments diametrically opposing one another.

It undercuts the point by trying to have it both ways as well as wasting an interesting opportunity to watch Picard deal with his terminal illness over the course of the SERIES rather than hurriedly killing him off in
the first season. Why rush it?

It also ran counter to what we know of Picard and the man he is. As far back as the TNG season 2 episode “The Schizoid Man”, Picard explicitly states that every man has his time.

Even if you want to argue that facing his imminent mortality creates a change of heart from those earlier sentiments, I still think creatively it would be more beneficial to wait to address his potential demise later
in the series.
Sun, Apr 2, 2023, 3:38pm (UTC -6)
@JS, “Sadly, Terry Matalas said in a tweet on Feb 2nd "before anyone can get their hopes up, Janeway is exclusively on Prodigy. But there are other voyagers out there in Alpha Quadrant". He could be lying of course, but I doubt it, he simply wouldn't have said anything about it.”

I think he’s lying. It doesn’t make sense, Janeway’s involvement in Prodigy should make a cameo easier, not harder. And the continual references to her in the show would make it a huge letdown if she didn’t make an appearance.
Sun, Apr 2, 2023, 3:56pm (UTC -6)
I think this episode will ultimately be judged based on how the rest of the season unfolds. Is this a forgivable bump in the road on the way to a strong finish, or the beginning of this season falling off a cliff?

I’m nervous it may be the latter as I’m skeptical that some of the outrageous plot elements (Jacks telepathy, Picard's body, head villain, etc) can be resolved in a coherent manner. Also, NuTrek has a terrible track record of sticking the landing on their serialized story arcs.
Sun, Apr 2, 2023, 5:03pm (UTC -6)
Kinda bummed out that even this season had a bit of a stinker episode. I was really optimistic that we'd have an entire season of 3+ star outings for the first time in Trek history. Oh well. Still a great season, but the jury's still out on it. If the last 3 episodes suck, it'll be a mediocre season at best. If they stick the landing, it'll be one of Trek's all-time great seasons. Only time will tell.
Sun, Apr 2, 2023, 5:31pm (UTC -6)
I never look to do it intentionally, but almost always in today's modern arc television shows (not just Star Trek) I reach a point in the season where I say to myself, "OK enough padding. I am ready for this story to end."

Because almost always, the seasons consist of what used to be two-part episodes stretched to 10 episodes. We all know that if The Best of Both Worlds were written today, it would be a season-long affair.

Well, I reached that point in Dominion. I have had enough; time to wrap this one up. Which isn't bad, overall ... I made it to Episode #7 before thinking that.
Sun, Apr 2, 2023, 6:28pm (UTC -6)
I still can't believe they gave the big middle finger to DS9 like this. They're really going to go the whole season and not have any DS9 characters. Even if they shoehorn them in now for a cameo, it's still a disgrace.
Sun, Apr 2, 2023, 7:05pm (UTC -6)
> ...wondering whether the writers will do anything to adequately service Troi's character, which has been given extremely short shrift so far this season.

Matalas was catching verbal abuse over on Twitter from some of the more obsessive Marina Sirtis fans over her lack of visibility this season. Terry and Jeri Ryan both had to step up and basically say this was Sirtis' choice. She didn't want a large part in this, so they worked with what they had.

(That said, she's supposed to have a bigger part in the final three episodes. We'll see how that pans out.)
Colin Lindsly
Sun, Apr 2, 2023, 7:13pm (UTC -6)
I just rechecked the episode.

The positronic brain contains 4 identity matrixes. Data, Lore, Soong, B-4. Soong and B-4 exist as memory files.

Poor Lal. Her existence in the new android gets retconned out of existence by this episode.

Time stamp: 10:48 to 10:55

For when Lal was said to be a part of this new android in "Bounty", the time stamp is 30:51.
Sun, Apr 2, 2023, 7:24pm (UTC -6)
Some people, like myself, have complained that ST:Picard sucks at being consistent with its own canon from season to season, but I bet if we were to really take a microscope to it we would also find that it regularly contradicts itself from episode to episode within the same season...which is pretty remarkable considering that as serialized television it's supposed to be a single self-contained story, and there are only 10 episodes per season to keep tabs on.
Joshua Brandon
Sun, Apr 2, 2023, 9:42pm (UTC -6)
I can confirm that Marina had moved back to England when they approached her and didn't want to come back to the US for the length of the whole season, which is why she mainly features in the last few episodes.
Troy G
Sun, Apr 2, 2023, 10:16pm (UTC -6)
Initial positive reviews were based on the first six episodes provided to reviewers, not seven.
Sun, Apr 2, 2023, 10:42pm (UTC -6)
I can see now why those with early access only got to see the first six in order to shape their impressions. Only time will tell whether their positive receptions will sour with the sting of betrayal or if the cognitive dissonance created by having put their reputations on the line with such stark attitude reversals will make them cope hard and try to save face.
Sun, Apr 2, 2023, 10:58pm (UTC -6)
@ Bok Rhamor and Silly

Picard doesn’t know what to do with old characters like Tuvok or Moriarty because they don’t know the canon and don’t know or respect 50 + years of world building. I agree the Tuvok and Moriarty cameos were insulting and disrespectful to the actors, and maybe the writers had good intentions but then had no idea what to do with these old characters. And yes Seven does mix well with the TNG actors but that’s because she’s a great actress and does well with what she has. I agree Seven would be a much different person twenty five years after VOY but it feels like Ryan is playing a different person because the writers don’t know what to do with this character or her legacy. The dialogue they gave her could fit any random character, like Raffi for instance. They never really explored how Seven’s past affected her actions and choices today, like joining the Ferris’s Rangers for instance. The Fenriss Rangers were never really explained well either, come to think of it.
Sun, Apr 2, 2023, 11:56pm (UTC -6)
Sorry, too lazy to go back in the thread to see how the age old Hiroshima debate got started here, but I’d like to add something if I may. Truman as commander in chief bears sole responsible for the decision to drop the A bomb, in spite of the advice of Eisenhower and Lemay and others. Like he always said the buck stops with him. Truman thought of the atomic bomb as basically a big super bomb that could end the war in one big blast rather than in a prolonged carpet bombing campaign like Dresden or Tokyo, followed by an invasion that would take the war into 1946, maybe 1947. Once Truman felt he had the option to end the war quickly he jumped at the chance rather than continue the war to the point where it may have started to lose its popularity with the American people and become financially unfeasible. It would surely have been easier and more convenient politically and economically and good for morale then doing another DDay invasion, another year of fighting thru hostile territory and another year of dealing with the Soviets who we were already squabbling with in dividing up Germany. Yes, Truman was prepared to do that, and the Soviets were set to invade Hokkaido, but if he could avoid all that, why not? Plus we put so much time and money into building this super bomb, Truman and others wanted to use it to see how it would work and so all that work and money sunk into the Manhattan Project wouldn’t go to waste. Once the ball gets rolling, it is hard to stop, especially in government projects.

As for civilian deaths, after the fire bombings of Dresden and Tokyo, which someone else here correctly said would considered war crimes today, as well as all the other atrocities, Truman and the American public were numb to civilian deaths. What’s another one or two cities, or another million or so civilians after the last 6 years of slaughter? Truman jumped at the possibility of ending the war quickly.

Did it shorten the war? Yes, but that was a gamble that paid off. Did it save lives? Yes, the lives of American soldiers who wouldn’t have to invade Japan. The lives of Japanese civilians didn’t figure into Truman’s moral calculations. One can argue that as Commander in Chief Truman should be concerned first and foremost about American soldiers and civilians’ lives over those of the enemy nation. Truman rationalized and justified dropping the bomb to himself by saying it saved lives and shortened the war and the American people have done the same over the years. While that is partly true, it is easier than being totally honest like Oppenheimer and admit that you “have become death, the destroyer of worlds.”
Jeffrey's Tube
Mon, Apr 3, 2023, 1:41am (UTC -6)
I keep hearing people say they should have some DS9 characters. Well, like who?

Sisko? Avery Brooks wouldn't do it. But even if somehow he would, the return of Sisko is a bigger deal than Picard could devote to it.

Kira? That would be nice, but realistically, where and how would she fit in? She wouldn't be Starfleet. She'd probably be a Vedek, or even Kai. She would have left all the behind (no pun intended). Hard to see a role for her in the intrigue.

Odo? He makes the most sense, but it's impossible, of course.

Nog? He makes the second most sense, but it is also impossible, unfortunately.

Ezri Dax? Lol, no one would care.

Bashir? Admittedly, there's a role for him here. Who would be better acquainted with Changeling physiology? Especially with that physiology having been modified, calling him might make sense. But it's thin. Worf and Bashir were never close. And Alexander Siddig actually works and might not be available.

So that leaves . . .

O'Brien! To which I say, "stay tuned." I am all but convinced he'll show up given how important he was to TNG, too.

And there's always an outside chance of a Weyoun . . . even though they were all supposed to be dead . . . and Picard does not have time to explain who Vorta are to viewers who have not seen DS9 when Changelings are supposed to be the threat . . . but Jeffrey Combs, though.
Jeffrey's Tube
Mon, Apr 3, 2023, 1:43am (UTC -6)
The simple explanation for why Lal isn't a part of the new android is because Alton Soong intended to include her but wasn't able to to make it work. That and/or it is true he also died before he was finished. The message was recorded some time before that. There's no continuity error, necessarily.
Mon, Apr 3, 2023, 2:34am (UTC -6)
@Jeffrey's Tube,

Didn't Alton Soong remark in the same message that this Data/Lore/B4/Soong body was of the same exact type and technology that was used for Picard's new synth body? If so, does that mean Picard can also be hooked up with cables to the ship? If Picard CAN be hooked up electronically, can he control the ship like Lore can?

I thought the point was that these new synth bodies were pretty much completely flesh and blood and independent of any computerized tinkering? I'm a bit confused about the form and function of these advanced android bodies...
Mon, Apr 3, 2023, 3:33am (UTC -6)
With Jammer's review...

I was hesitant to hang this episode out to dry.... but yeah.

This doesn't necessarily portend disaster by any means. To me, 2 stars is still pretty darn good for a resurrected show. I would still rate this one higher than most of TNG S7.
Mon, Apr 3, 2023, 3:36am (UTC -6)
The writers don't have a clue about androids, robots, synths, golems, AI. It's all small universe everyone knows everyone fantasy to them. Do not think, it's magic and voodoo (now with tinkering with dead bodies!). It still goes nowhere after 7 episodes. The silly unimaginative mystery boxes all remain closed till the last 10 minutes of episode 10 ;)

Supposedly creating tension. Neh not for me. It's just stretching a movie like plot till it snaps.
Chuck AzEee!
Mon, Apr 3, 2023, 5:44am (UTC -6)
I am totally in agreement with your score and every one else’s gripe against this episode, this episode was by far the worst of this season yet makes everything going forward a bit anticlimactic as a deux ex machina type of ending to both this series and season is going to ruin this until then near perfect season.
Mon, Apr 3, 2023, 6:58am (UTC -6)
Ugh… after this season got off to a more than decent start and presented us with a couple of really, really good episodes, I feel like some of the bullshit, for lack of a better word, that made previous instalments such a putrid mess is starting to rear its ugly head again. Contrived and oversimplified plot decisions and characters, retconning the cannon and, last but not least, Picard being a wimp, all make a return in some way and serve no real purpose but to drive the plot forward.

The issue with leaving Lore connected to the ship’s systems and having a handful of intruders, changeling or not, capture a Starfleet’s bridge so easily is an obvious blunder that really lowers the dramatic tension and my involvement with the plot. Having a changeling be vaporized by a single shot, only for their companion to be able to take multiple hits head-on without leaving a scratch in a following scene lowers the stakes because it shows that literally anything can happen.

Picard’s “I didn’t know” was certainly dramatic for a split second, but it also tears a giant hole in the season that has thus far shown itself to be generally competent in regards to both Trek cannon and meaningful storytelling. I get that by looking at the Dominion wars through a different lens the writers are trying to create moral ambiguity as that is where all great drama comes from, but introducing brutal and callous science experiments on POWs and then equating it to Starfleet didn’t sit well with me, especially coming from a team that has up to this point shown an admirable knowledge of Trek lore. What made DS9 a stellar show was its ability to almost perfectly walk the fine line between staying true to oneself in difficult times and making great personal and moral sacrifices to do what had to be done, without ever taking it overboard. On the subject of DS9, when Vadic compared “the atrocities committed by Starfleet to Dominion’s warfare”, I honestly wanted to punch the screen. Now, she can obviously say whatever the hell she wants, but not having Picard call her out on her disgusting bullshit was, in my humble opinion, unforgivable. Should we remind ourselves of the genetic diseases unleashed on unsuspecting worlds by the Dominion as was the case in ‘The Quickening’, the attempt to destroy the Bajoran sun and its entire system, the fact that they literally razed Cardassia to the ground as a final act of punishment, or forced Worf to fight to the death in their prison camp, to name a few in no particular order of severity? And really, Picard stays silent? Give me a damn break.

Speaking of Vadic, it really boggles the mind that the writers who managed to piece together a deeply meaningful and universally acclaimed return of Ro Laren, the almost stellar ‘No Win Scenario’ and Riker’s both literal and figurative descent into darkness and subsequent reawakening, managed to fall for such an obvious trope and create a kind of villain that has not only been done to death over the past thirty years on TV in general, but also in literally the last TNG instalment that, lo and behold, didn’t live to expectations. It didn’t work in Nemesis, why would it work now? Now, you might say, Vadic is obviously not the final antagonist here, but what is it worth since we are seven episodes deep and we have no clue what the endgame here is? I am getting really sick of this mystery-box storytelling and like I said in one of my season one reviews, if everything that happens on screen over the course of ten episodes ultimately hinges on the big reveal, that’s not a great show. I also think this a good time to say that, in the vastly rich political landscape of post DS9, I am not a fan of the decision to take the route of glowing red eyes and disturbing premonitions about the future, but let’s see how it plays out.

Finally, I think Jammer hit the nail on the head in his review by pointing out that the “backstory is finally explained in some detail, but the lack of macro plot complexity is becoming more disappointing with each episode.” Is it possible that no other crew, department, or team in all of Starfleet never figured this out? Why is a quadrant-wide conspiracy that concerns one of the biggest powers of the galaxy locked down to a single ship? The answer is, naturally, obvious, but the writers surely didn’t figure out that they are hell out of money and screen time mid-season, did they? Why tackle such a huge theme, that took DS9 five seasons to develop, if you don’t have the resources or time to do it in a meaningful way? I can only hope they are going to get the plot back on track in at least a somewhat satisfying manner without resorting to some ludicrous twists and revelations.
Mon, Apr 3, 2023, 7:19am (UTC -6)
As I don't want my review to sound too harsh, I have to say I didn't outright hate this. Despite its deep flaws, the episode did however make logical sense, weak plot point regardless (which would be the bare minimum were this any other show, but it is what it is).

I very much liked Geordi's plea to Data and the fact that both Picard and Crusher decided to go through with their decision to kill Vadic. Too bad the plot screwed them over. The two scenes would've been even better though had it not been for the issues above mentioned.

One final remark regarding the way Titan was captured - once the forcefields dropped, wouldn't it have been much more tense and consistent had the crew of the Titan managed to secure the bridge and end up in a sort of hostage situation with Vadic and her henchmen holding Picard and Crusher, having open comm as a way of delivering hard-hitting dialogue? Maybe have Shaw say a word or two, instead of having very forgettable corridor fights, maybe even recognize Picard for the hero he is (or used to be) and come to terms with his past trauma? This would've set a stage for a much better dialogue and ultimate pay-off than what we actually got and it only took me five minutes to think of it.
Mon, Apr 3, 2023, 7:24am (UTC -6)
What a great comment, Filip.
Daniel P
Mon, Apr 3, 2023, 7:43am (UTC -6)
Honestly, I watched the episode, expecting to hate it according to what was written here, but for me, it was another solid three stars at least. Possibly three and a half.
Tense, very well-acted (Amanda Plummer is a gift that keeps on giving, LeVar Burton was great), and well-scored. Much better than last week's nostalgia overload.

All the clues start to come together and I suspect the writers want us in the position of the characters that season, not knowing at all what's going on and constantly speculating. My take is, we shouldn't take everything our heroes say at face value.

My main takeaways:

-Who is Vadic working for? Possibly the Borg? The way Vadic is afraid of that face and its apparent power to end her entire race... it's odd.
She is being used and she knows it, but she doesn't seem to have any choice. Don't think her crew (them being Breen is a good possibility) knows, for them, it's all about vengeance and grand plans, hence her over-the-top villain speech to her crew last episode.

Personally, I don't think that vengeance in itself is a particularly strong motivation for Vadic, it's a red herring and a clever undoing of audience expectations for Star Trek villains nowadays.

-Vadic's sad backstory could be partly or entirely fake, similar to the Joker in "Dark Knight". As pointed out, she told Crusher and Picard what she wanted them to know (or not know). The way she immediately tore apart the fake good cop/bad cop show of Beverly was brilliant.

-Lore was with Vadic from the beginning and was expected to become involved eventually. I suspect that Raffi and Worf were played by the entire thing with the AI key and the gangsta Vulcan.
That's why Vadic was so calm when she was on the Titan, she knew she had an ace up her sleeve. No idea if the changelings knew about DataLore before stealing stuff from Daystrom, but recruiting him surely presented itself as a great opportunity.

-Them stealing Picard's body to create a perfect double or whatever is for sure another red herring. The way Vadic looked at Picard when he went "oh we know all about your evil plan".. oh please!

-The changelings seem to have infiltrated Starfleet for quite a while already. Frontier day, the way it is planned right now with the entire fleet in one place is quite obviously orchestrated by them specifically to wipe out the fleet in one go.
Another hint at the Borg, they're planning a Wolf 359-2, this time with the entire fleet.

-Picard and hence Jack possess some special gene or abilities linked to (and possibly misidentified) as Irumodic syndrome, an evolutionary step of mankind perhaps?
I think it is possible that this is linked to what Q said to Picard in All Good Things about exploring what lies beyond human existence and could be an explanation for why the Borg Queen was so personally interested in Picard.

Possibly that "organ/brain structure/whatever" is the next step in the Borg's journey to perfection, on the biological side, that's why they want both Jack and Picard's body. If it is indeed the Borg.


Anyway, just my ramblings.
I think the writers in this season are way smarter than people like to give them credit here, but I understand where the cynicism comes from. I surely hope the last few episodes won't prove me wrong.
Mon, Apr 3, 2023, 8:33am (UTC -6)
"or forced Worf to fight to the death in their prison camp"
I have to disagree on one point. For Humans this is certainly barbaric but I believe Worf had the time of his life. :)
Mon, Apr 3, 2023, 10:21am (UTC -6)
The plots in the Picard shows are merely devices with which to have Jean-Luc confront his past (a process that includes generous dollops of fan service). I mean, that's fine, Star Trek 2 did that with Kirk, but the character examination was not laid on so thickly, and the accompanying plot and characters were interesting even if you didn't care about Kirk's personal journey. I don't find the same to be true of the Picard shows. They seem to me to be for the existing fan group only.
Mon, Apr 3, 2023, 12:20pm (UTC -6)
Nice review Jammer. I liked the episode a bit more than you apparently but your insights are always a treat.

Besides the contrivances mentioned, I thought there were a few great performances that owned certain scenes. Ryan and Russ owned the opening scene, one of the more nuanced dialogues of the season. Amanda Plummer was also fantastic in the scene describing the background of Vadic. Spiner and Burton are on top of their game here and I'll give kudos to Ed Speelers who is no slouch in portraying Jack Crusher. So for me, the performances shined in this episode rather than the somewhat lackluster plot advancements.

Interesting exchange above regarding the best season since DS9. Some mentioned that this is the best season since then, which is not so far off, but I would counter that with the fact that S3 of PIC is relying on past events and worldbuilding of Trek more than the idea of "boldly going where..." Changelings are from DS9, the main cast is mostly TNG's cast and there aren't any new species or space exploration going on here. It's just solid storytelling coupled with characters for whom we care deeply because we are familiar with most of them.

For those reasons, I would not call this season the most Trekkian since DS9 although it is an extremely entertaining one. As for remaining true to Trekkian traits of space exploration, discovering new grounds and species, as well as building connections (again: "Trekkian things," as Jammer would say), I'd put S4 and S5 of Voyager, S4 of Discovery and S1 of SNW ahead of this one. They were more classic Trek within those parameters than this season of PIC. Nonetheless, I am relishing seeing familiar faces and the overall arc here.
Mon, Apr 3, 2023, 1:29pm (UTC -6)
Oh, and it's been said elsewhere, but Jeri Ryan is dynamite. I doubt that Voyager's showrunners had any idea what they were getting when they signed her.

1) Her character is intrinsically interesting.
2) Jeri proved to be the direct opposite of mere eye candy. She's a great actress.
3) Given its background, her character had more opportunity to grow and change than has almost any other Trek character. She was largely a blank slate.
4) When you put #2 and #3 together, almost anything's possible. The writers could take the character pretty much any direction they wanted, and whatever their choice, Jeri could sell it.

Seven might be my favorite character in this show, Picard included.
Mon, Apr 3, 2023, 1:36pm (UTC -6)
@Jeffrey's Tube
Mon, Apr 3, 2023, 1:41am (UTC -5)

"I keep hearing people say they should have some DS9 characters. Well, like who?"

Avery Brooks has hinted he might be open about a return to acting. If he refuses or you can't devote the time it would take to include him, don't do that story.

They appear to be hinting that Janeway is going to make a cameo. That SHOULD be as big a deal as Sisko. Yet clearly that ain't the case. Since they seem to be making it a smaller deal ANYWAY do that with Sisko. Nothing else makes sense.

Since Odo's face was a simplification of a human face it would be much easier to realistically CGI. But lets assume they didn't have that in the budget.

O'Brien, Bashir, Garak, Jake could've all been included. If not, don't do the story.

They shoehorned Ro's rectum into the story and somehow Kira couldn't fit because she's not Star Fleet? Are you serious?

Kira is connected to all of the DS9 characters and therefore connected to Worf. There are many avenues in a "trust no one" storyline for Kira to fit into. Worf could've reached out to her because he had no one else to reach out to. In fact, Raffi's whole sequence could've been given to Kira. It would be a better sequence.

Odo could've been assassinated as a collaborator. What do you think Kira would do? Benjamin could've reached out from the wormhole to her. What would she do? These are logical conclusions of what the character would do under the current circumstances. No shoehorning necessary.

If you can't find any of the original cast to include, do a different story. It's asinine to jack DS9's main contribution to the Star Trek lore and give them the middle finger.

Since they are including Voyager characters, species 8472 gives you the same infiltration ability, as well as, the personal grudge that the Changelings have and they offer a far greater threat than the whole of the Dominion EVER did.
Mon, Apr 3, 2023, 2:22pm (UTC -6)
Alternatively, there's argument to be made about not bringing in the whole kit and caboodle beyond the core TNG cast (and not just because DS9 is DS9) because every time the writers carve out a compelling and worthy narrative space for some side character, it tends to distract from the larger story. Even if you just shoehorn them in things can start to get pretty unwieldy when you need to keep juggling cameos with plot elements every episode.

That said, if the overarching plot is pure crap then all these memberberries and cameos may be the only pleasant thing about watching the show. But personally I would much rather they aspire for something more comprehensive to be proud of and see fewer familiar faces in the process than have my Star Trek experience be like watching a Helium Balloon Parade: those bloated old faces that roughly approximate the pop cultural icons of bygone days ponderously wobble past our field of vision without rhyme or reason, but just exist to be gawked at, recalling their better days.
Mon, Apr 3, 2023, 2:55pm (UTC -6)
It doesn't even have to be DS9 characters. How about just some acknowledgement that there's a whole universe (some of it DS9 lore) out there that could play into the plot at hand? How about a jaunt to an outpost near Cardassian space (it doesn't even have to be DS9 specifically; I understand that trying to re-create the station would be a logistic/budgetary nightmare) where some part of the Starfleet investigation into this threat is working with Cardassian contacts to learn more about these Changelings? Or trying to enter the Gamma Quadrant to contact the Great Link? Or whatever?

These are just half-assed ideas off the top of my head. There are endless possibilities that could open up the canvas and make this particular story a part of the larger universe without overloading it with pointless cameos. Plus, it wouldn't feel as claustrophobic. You can warp all over the place and make the story feel less static and not spend a dime on additional sets or locations. Okay, you might need some CGI for ship/station exteriors.
Mon, Apr 3, 2023, 3:21pm (UTC -6)
Yes, there's an important difference between utilizing broader lore so that the story doesn't feel so insular, and having it jam-packed with familiar faces in order to capitalize on nostalgia. I agree that, plotwise ST:Picard feels so small and that can't be fixed merely by the quantity of fan-favourite characters we get to see, no matter how far they reach into other tangentially-related series. I thought I saw a few people negatively react to the show on the basis of, "how come we got to see Ro Laren but not [insert fan favourite from other series here]!" and think that if everyone got their way, the result would be less than the sum of its parts.
Mon, Apr 3, 2023, 4:09pm (UTC -6)
This story is simply not the TNG cast's to tell.
Jeffrey's Tube
Mon, Apr 3, 2023, 4:20pm (UTC -6)

If I have to explain this . . . Janeway's a regular on another Star Trek series at the moment. Her character hasn't been left in the same place as Sisko's. Sisko making any kind of appearance has to be a big deal because of where his character left off, narratively. Not because his "profile" as a character should be as high as Janeway's because they were both series leads.

They could CGI Odo but they would consider that disrespectful. Whether or not you agree it would be disrespectful (I don't particularly think it would be disrespectful), I just know they aren't going to do it because the current prevailing attitude towards that kind of thing is that it is disrespectful.

Ro appeared instead of Kira because of her connection to Picard. Raffi appears instead of Kira because of her connection to Picard and Seven. It's widely assumed that Kira's arc at this point in the timeline (which I hope someday we get to see somewhere, in some form, and which I mentioned in my original post) would give her no place in a story like this.

Jake? Really?

Garak's too obscure a character for a TNG audience. That will be the thinking of the producers. Sure, I would love it if he showed up too. But they would probably Icheb him.

They definitely could have done 8472. They probably think Changelings are better (and honestly, they are). Plus 8472 are tied to the Borg and they seem to want to stay away from them this season so they don't have to deal with the mess of how S2 ended. I don't blame them.

Let's also not forget that Worf is integrally DS9, too. I mean, I know no one's forgotten that, I'm just saying. They have as much "right" to use DS9 story elements through Worf's presence as they do to use Voyager story elements through Seven's. Although we can argue that the Voyager story elements have been used to service Seven's character, and the DS9 story elements haven't been used to service Worf's character. Yet.
Mon, Apr 3, 2023, 4:29pm (UTC -6)
"This story is simply not the TNG cast's to tell."

I wouldn't go that far. Didn't anyone else wonder what everyone else apart from the good people of DS9 were doing during the Dominion War? I hope to god they weren't just twiddling their thumbs and letting the remote outposts handle that tedious business, like it was somehow beneath them. This could have been our chance to find out, to reintroduce old regrets, rivalries, etc...
Mon, Apr 3, 2023, 4:51pm (UTC -6)
Picard was cosplaying as a Maquis with the Ba'ku during the Dominion War, setting up his staggering hypocrisy for his encounter with Ro Laren here.
Narissa's Bath Water
Mon, Apr 3, 2023, 6:16pm (UTC -6)
Jammer's review was one of his best, and hit all the right notes.

Odd things in the influencer space...

Most of the Youtubers shilling for Picard S3 at the start have gone silent., except for two channels: Robert Meyer Burnett and The Popcast. Both are shills to the point of policing their own chatrooms for ANY negative opinions. Which makes it even stranger that the Popcast decided to take avideo shot at the long-disgraced Youtuber "Doomcock". He hasn't been relevant in over a year, when the influencer cabal basically forgot about him, and he was scarcely relevant before that. He's a silly guy playing in a robot mask.

So the Popcast, in their infinite wisdom, decides to make an April fool video mocking Doomcock as hating Picard because..... drumroll...

because he had been repeatedly sexually assaulted by Alex Kurtzman when he was younger. (!?)

Seriously, what mind comes up with this? Why attack a barely relevant hack Youtuber in the first place, and then use a tone-deaf sexual assault skit to do it?

Stay classy, Brian and Shane. Pick your friends better, Terry.
Mon, Apr 3, 2023, 7:09pm (UTC -6)
@Narissa's Bath Water

Maybe because they're increasingly insecure?
Mon, Apr 3, 2023, 8:25pm (UTC -6)
Love how they lure in the Shrike and get its entire crew onboard and then don't undertake a rescue mission for Riker when there's a pretty good chance that's where he's being held.
Mon, Apr 3, 2023, 10:00pm (UTC -6)

Yeah, I kind of agree. I watched DS9 and... we're dancing on spoilers for that show, but a main character makes a decision and takes an action so extreme that while quite a lot of reviewers on this very board damned him, quite a lot of others (including me) argued his actions were justified. Or at least arguably justified.

Though, ST:Picard using the Dominion and other elements doesn't bother me too much. DS9 felt a bit apocryphal when the TNG movies referenced it. My continuity Nazi demands greater continuity, but in practice I certainly don't expect it.

I would be delighted to see The Sisko show up, and several others. But has been mentioned, DS9's lore is so serialized and heavy, it's very difficult to do.
Mon, Apr 3, 2023, 10:34pm (UTC -6)
The could CGI Odo but it would be disrespectful...

It would be very disrespectful.

Rene died recently, so it would be incredibly wrong.

But also, even with stratospheric budgets, CGI corpses look like CGI. Tarkin was a horribly undead Xbox abomination.

And in that particular case, the actual man they cast was fine. Nothing wrong with casting a look alike decades later. But they're just swimming in the uncanny swimming pool.
Mon, Apr 3, 2023, 10:35pm (UTC -6)
I wonder, at this point, if the kind of show that we of Star Trek Nerddom want to see is simply not the kind of show modern TV Production companies are trained or disposed to make?
Mon, Apr 3, 2023, 10:36pm (UTC -6)
Shorter version: a CGI clone must be perfect, before considerations of whether it's proper.
Tue, Apr 4, 2023, 12:07am (UTC -6)

There's some validity to that, but this board has a lot of fairness.

Had the Beatles reunited, they would have been savaged. You can't go home again, no matter how good they managed, there's no way to catch that lightning back in a bottle, nor TNG.

But on average with the commenters, and if I may suggest, my impression of Mr Jammer himself, there's consideration for that.
Tue, Apr 4, 2023, 12:25am (UTC -6)
@Jax. Honestly, why not? Yes, the original war was on a different show after TNG ended - but so what? These characters could/should have been in the thick of it.

I'm hoping this gets better. I worry that we'll see a hurried race to the finish. The Jack superpower stuff has become silly.

Also, why was the evil section 31 scientist using carts with wheels, 20th century syringes and 21st century stun guns? Budget cuts?
Tue, Apr 4, 2023, 12:29am (UTC -6)
Also, when a TNG board erupts in a legit argument about the ethics of the Bomb, that's not flippant.
Tue, Apr 4, 2023, 6:48am (UTC -6)

"I would be delighted to see The Sisko show up, and several others. But has been mentioned, DS9's lore is so serialized and heavy, it's very difficult to do."

Well, with their (The DS9 crew) experience with the Changelings you'd think it would be pretty easy to add them. Dr. Bashir's medical knowledge of them for instance...

Don't know about Sisko though... I think he's a wormhole alien now...
Tue, Apr 4, 2023, 8:48am (UTC -6)
@Narissa's Bath Water

"Most of the Youtubers shilling for Picard S3 at the start have gone silent., except for two channels: Robert Meyer Burnett and The Popcast. Both are shills to the point of policing their own chatrooms for ANY negative opinions. "

All April 1st shenanigan's aside, the Popcast fellas have seen the entire season... they haven't spoiled anything but they do say it's all good.
Tue, Apr 4, 2023, 8:53am (UTC -6)
"because he had been repeatedly sexually assaulted by Alex Kurtzman when he was younger. Seriously, what mind comes up with this?"
When mediocre minds try to be edgy...
Tue, Apr 4, 2023, 9:24am (UTC -6)
Surprised to see this many comments calling out everything wrong with the episode but no mention of the fact that Picard and Beverly casually discuss and seemingly decide to MURDER a prisoner. They even agree it’s out of character in dialogue but still seem to proceed to do it.

Lore’s hijinks conveniently give them a Get Out Of Jail Free card.

Sigh. It has now come totally off the rails.

1.5 stars.
Tue, Apr 4, 2023, 9:34am (UTC -6)
@MIdshipmanNorris -

You wrote "I wonder, at this point, if the kind of show that we of Star Trek Nerddom want to see is simply not the kind of show modern TV Production companies are trained or disposed to make?"

I thought about that, but I am simultaneously watching Netflix's "The Night Agent," which conveniently for comparison's sake is basically the same show as P3 -

1) Initial terrorist attack (although thwarted in Night Agent).

2) Larger terrorist attack that will occur in a few days, which the protagonists must discover and thwart.

3) A high-level conspiracy that leaves the protagonists unsure of whom to trust.

4) Various dangers encountered along the way, including by some who are specifically hunting the protagonists.

5) Self-discovery by the lead character, as he addresses his past beliefs and psychological damage.

Let's fact it, it's a formula. And to be honest, Night Agent executes it better. There are fewer plot holes and the pacing is superior. Unlike with P3, I haven't felt Night Agent to be padded.

Now, that doesn't mean that the show is better for me than P3. I prefer P3's characters (partly from familiarity, to be sure) and there are things that the P3 writers have done with those characters that create moments that the Night Agent's writers cannot match. But that is a side issue. The point that I am trying to convey is that, at least for me, the weaknesses of P3 are not due to my nostalgia for how shows used to be made. I am fine with the current approach, too. The problems like with P3's writers, who, as with the two previous seasons in this show, have demonstrated that they are not top notch.

All that said, yes P3 is an improvement on its predecessors, and I have (mostly) enjoyed the show. I don't want to dump on this year. It represents more of a missed opportunity than an outright failure.
Tue, Apr 4, 2023, 9:39am (UTC -6)
Also, have to say, the whole conversation equating Hiroshima and Nagasaki to the Founders virus: Gross.

Bombing civilians is horrible but not remotely in the same league as attempted genocide.

That virus would not be acceptable under 20th Century Laws of War, much less Trek philosophy, and should not be retroactively justified by Trek fandom. If you want something worthy of philosophical debate, “I, Borg”, which I think is still the most heavily commented episode on Jammer’s site. 🙂

Do have to say, one good thing has come out of this season. I finally got my partner to watch some DS9. I’ve curated a Dominion War binge watch for her, with a healthy dose of Dukat and Garak (the last being her favorite character; knew I loved her for a reason!) to prepare for all those stories merging at the end.

Up to S4 now. We’ll see if we can finish before Picard does. Would be nice to watch the whole show, I’ve had to skip a lot due to time, suspect we’ll get to do that one day now that she’s hooked!
Jason R.
Tue, Apr 4, 2023, 10:23am (UTC -6)
Ok let me play the contrarian here and explain why deploying the virus against the Founders was justified as self defense.

The Founders weren't just leaders, they were active participants in the war, and their shape shifting abilities were instrumental in that role.

But for plot armor and the needs of the story, the Founders would have single handedly, without firing a single shot:

1. Wiped out the Obsidian Order;
2. Started a war between the Federation and the Klingons:
3. And the Tsenkathi:
4. Turned Earth into a dictatorship; and
5. Wiped out a Federation, Klingon and Romulan fleet along with BAJOR (!!!) in a fiery supernova.

The virus was genocide, yes, but that was incidental to neutralizing living weapons of mass destruction that were worth more to the Dominion war effort than the 2,000 warships the Prophets disappeared.

And incidentally, there were no Founder "civilians" like the Borg they were one entity "the drop becomes the ocean the ocean becomes the drop"

So I think as far as justifications for genocide go, this is one of the better cases.
Peter G.
Tue, Apr 4, 2023, 10:42am (UTC -6)
Just to piggyback on Jason R.'s good arguments, the word "genocide" ceases to have any meaning when 100% of the population in question are combatants. There is no question of the validity of trying to wipe out an opposing army, and the Founders are fundamentally one being, an army of one and many.
Tue, Apr 4, 2023, 11:00am (UTC -6)
@MidshipmanNorris "I wonder, at this point, if the kind of show that we of Star Trek Nerddom want to see is simply not the kind of show modern TV Production companies are trained or disposed to make?"

There are plenty of modern production companies making damn good television.

It's unfortunate that Star Trek's owners are not among them.
Tue, Apr 4, 2023, 11:01am (UTC -6)
"So I think as far as justifications for genocide go, this is one of the better cases. "
Yikes. And you are calling me a Nazi?
Always interesting to see how many people think that there are good and bad genocides. Good and bad war crimes. Good and bad mass murders of the innocent.
Jason R.
Tue, Apr 4, 2023, 11:32am (UTC -6)
"Yikes. And you are calling me a Nazi?
Always interesting to see how many people think that there are good and bad genocides. Good and bad war crimes. Good and bad mass murders of the innocent."

Please. I am addressing this question in the context of an extreme sci-fi scenario that never has and never will exist.

As Peter said, the Founders were an army. Any Founder from the Great Link, as far as we can tell, was interchangeable with any other in terms of capability and purpose, so there were no children or civilians or non combatants or dissenters. (The only exceptions to this were a handful of strays like Odo or Lal.)

The Federation used a weapon to destroy soldiers fighting in a war - and damned dangerous ones at that.
Tue, Apr 4, 2023, 11:44am (UTC -6)
I found each individual changeling in DS9 to be more of a neuron rather than a being.
Tue, Apr 4, 2023, 12:05pm (UTC -6)
"As Peter said, the Founders were an army."
That is obviously not true. They produce offspring aka children, they have divisions and almost all the info we get about the Great Link is provided by the female founder who certainly has a strong motivation to present the Changelings as totally committed to the war and united.
So what you all are doing is taking the word of one person as fact and use this as a reason to justify genocide.

When the Ottomans tried to annihilate the Armenians, the did it because the Armenians were causing them trouble for a long time and at some point and with the situation turning dire they decided, that to protect the empire, they could not let this continue. People who commit genocide always think that they are right, that what they are doing is for protection, that they have no other choice.
There are no good or bad genocides. They are always wrong. If you ever come to the point that you think that implementing a policy that aims to annihilate an entire species or race is justified then you are morally and ethically bankrupt and have obviously lost all sense of right and wrong.

I had to think of this movie. I think some would here benefit from watching it.
Jason R.
Tue, Apr 4, 2023, 12:19pm (UTC -6)
"That is obviously not true. They produce offspring aka children, they have divisions and almost all the info we get about the Great Link is provided by the female founder who certainly has a strong motivation to present the Changelings as totally committed to the war and united.
So what you all are doing is taking the word of one person as fact and use this as a reason to justify genocide."

The fact that the Founders and the Link are collectively one entity isn't propaganda, it's fact presented in a TV show, a work of fiction. And given Odo's solution to the problem in the final episode, we have every reason to believe it's correct.

Look, I am aware of the fact that all sorts of similar arguments have been used in the real world to rationalize genocide. But we aren't talking about the real world - we are talking about a science fiction story where the facts, as presented, are basically infallible.

You can argue all sorts of counterfactuals about how maybe the female changeling was lying or maybe there were dissenters in the Great Link but then you're just leaving the four corners of the story and you might as well just give up the discussion completely because it becomes a pointless exercise.

As I said, we are dealing with a sci-fi scenario that hasn't happened and will never happen. But that's the scenario. If you want to talk about something else - such as the Armenian genocide, knock yourself out.
Tue, Apr 4, 2023, 12:30pm (UTC -6)

There is no real-world parallel to a race like the Changelings. Of course there are no good genocides in real life, but in science fiction, with imaginary (and probably impossible) races of hive minds, etc, the debate becomes possible.

In real life, there are always civilians. There are also sometimes civilians who are forced into armies, which complicates the notion of wholesale killing of enemy combatants.

But in a science fiction show, there could legitimately be a race of beings where there are no civilians, or no innocents. The Borg is obviously an easy example. The Changelings MAY be such an example, though it is worthy of discussion.

Besides, I see no reason to get upset about how someone ethically interprets a science fiction narrative. Just because a person forgives, or critiques, or sympathizes with, or hates a character or an action on a television show doesn't mean that person would have the same reaction to a similar character or action in real life. Easy example: we all sort of forgive and feel sorry for Darth Vadar at the end of Jedi, just because he sees the light, kills the Emperor, and saves his son. It feels good to forgive him. In real life? Not a chance. The bastard is responsible for literally billions of deaths. We wouldn't give a crap if he killed the Emperor, saved his son, and donated his entire estate to feeding hungry children - we'd still despise him, and hope he gets executed, slowly.

So, anyway, I see the moral dilemma in sending that virus to the Changelings during the Dominion War - to me, it isn't an obviously evil and unjustifiable act. In real life, it would be. In the context of the show - it's just interestingly complex.
Tue, Apr 4, 2023, 1:21pm (UTC -6)
Within fiction, genocide committed by the protagonists (blowing up entire planets, or genetically-engineered viruses) can only happen within a very narrow set of parameters in order to prevent the audience from shouting, "What the hell, heroes?!" Typically the enemy is portrayed as relentlessly evil through and through while the heroes have to come a Last Resort or Race Against the Clock scenario where All May Be Lost if they don't do the unthinkable. But even if these factors are convincingly sold to the audience, there's always some sleight of hand going on where what is not shown is just as important than what is shown. We only ever see the predominantly adult male warrior class doing warrior things, but not the children being nurtured or educated, or civilian men and women doing their domestic things, or even what the warriors get up to when they're not on duty (do they think nothing of killing people every waking hour or do their have other hobbies or aspirations, were they drafted against their better judgment, or do they think of their families, etc). This misdirection keeps us from asking the sort of questions that would weaken the narrative logic that makes genocide seem reasonable or necessary because the closer you look, the more likely you'd see that they're not so different from us.

So the main takeaway from genocide in fiction is not "Ahh, now there's a Good Genocide if I ever did see one. This should be the benchmark for deciding to go ahead with genocide in the real world if ever those conditions arose." I think what we can learn from it is how remarkably closely the choices in narrative framing, misdirection and omission in fiction mirror the propaganda and attitudes of justification for genocide each and every time it has occurred for real. Just like in fiction, genocide is framed as the absolute worst and unjustifiable thing that the enemy could do and proof of how evil they really are, but when "we" do it, it's just an unfortunate necessity brought on by a sense of urgency that somehow always manages to coalesce the moment we have the means and the will to act upon it.
Chris L.
Tue, Apr 4, 2023, 1:42pm (UTC -6)
As to Nagasaki and Hiroshima parallels:

I'll just say that it is convenient and easy to point to the US as a bad actor for dropping the bomb, as if that was the only atrocity committed by any side during the war. Japanese and German cruelty are pretty well documented. They didn't blow up a city with a single bomb, no, but they did plenty of other horrifying things. I believe that they would have used atomic weapons if they could have. And that's an important point. It was total war. The stakes were high. Innocent people across the globe were dying every single day anyways. Moral and ethical clarity is a luxury we have in hindsight, and the questions raised are profound. They can't be glossed over simply, no matter what your views are. This is somewhat covered by "In the Pale Moonlight".

I might not be able to sleep at night afterwards, but if I am sitting in the president's chair in late July 1945, I can't say I wouldn't give the order to do it too. I don't think Truman and Groves were monsters. I think they were human beings that had been dealing with a horrifying war for a very long time, the scale of the Holocaust was just becoming publicly known, and they made a consequential human decision that we are still debating the merits of 80 years later.
Tue, Apr 4, 2023, 1:58pm (UTC -6)
You guys are not going to convince me that the genocide attempt was justifiable under modern day Laws of War, much less the supposedly evolved sensibility that Trek is supposed to personify. The modern day debate would boil down to military necessity and proportionality, neither of which would justify the attempt to exterminate the Founders, and while we have no idea how Trek law works I think it's reasonable to say it's at least as restrictive as ours.

Do keep in mind, the story as written, the virus was developed and deployed BEFORE THE WAR EVEN BEGAN! How do you defend that???

I found myself sympathizing with a lot of what Vadic said and Picard's reaction thereto. That scene could have redeemed what was otherwise a pretty cheap episode, had the writers a surface level understanding of what Trek is about. If the show was braver it would have shown Picard trying (and failing, if necessary for the narrative) to establish some sort of dialogue and mutual understanding with her.

Instead, in NuTrek fashion, we get to see him seemingly decide to murder her and only weasel out of the consequences of that choice because she conveniently escapes Just In Time™, just as the plot demands. Now we're justified in shooting at her because she's a threat again, just ignore the part where we casually discussed murder only a few moments ago.


My dream of the TNG cast getting the Star Trek VI style sendoff they deserve grows dimmer and dimmer as we run out of time to conclude this mess of a story.
Mister Darwin
Tue, Apr 4, 2023, 2:13pm (UTC -6)
I just caught up with the series and have been enjoying it greatly even though I agree with most of your criticisms.

1) I am not really invested in Jack's special purpose. Maybe it will go somewhere surprising and unexpected, but the idea that Jack (and maybe Picard) are some genetically predetermined annointed one grates on me. That's more at home to a fantasy franchise than Star Trek. To be honest, when I first saw the glowing red eyes I thought he might be harboring a Pagh wraith, and that had my interest, but I'm pretty sure that is not where they are heading. Regardless, it is clear the whole season's arc will hinge on who and what Jack is, and that worries me.

2) I am loving Plummer in the show. Scenery chewing is the best kind of acting, especially for villains.

3) DS9 is my favorite of the series and while sparse I enjoy the nods to it. I particularly liked pointing out the revisionist history of the Feds "giving" the cure that Odo and Bashir had to steal from Section 31.

4) The appearance by Tuvok was chilling. I get why they wouldn't just kill him off, but having an established cast member be replaced upped the stakes and makes any future "guest stars" suspect.

5) The transporters not working for plot contrivance is not a recurring theme in this season; it is a recurring theme throughout the franchise.

6) Is it just me or have they actually not mention Lal since Data was activated? They say there are four personalities - Data, Lore, B4, and Soong. Wasn't Lal the fifth? Given the emphasis on children (Jack, Sydney) I am expecting her to play a role in resolving Data's personality problem.
Tue, Apr 4, 2023, 2:38pm (UTC -6)
@ Chris L.

"As to Nagasaki and Hiroshima parallels:"

They aren't parallels because at no point in the war did we endeavor to exterminate the Japanese people. We can quibble over whether the bombings were justified or not (my thoughts below) but they never rose to the level of genocide.

On the bombings, they may or may not have been justified with the information available to policymakers at the time. They damn sure aren't justifiable in hindsight. Even at the time, it was a fierce debate amongst American policymakers, and many believed that it was not necessary. Japan was weeks to months away from surrender without the bombings. The real shock that finally brought them to the table wasn't the bombings, it was the Soviet entry into the war and the prospect of being under Soviet occupation. Given the choice between being occupied by 1940s America or Stalin's Soviet Union, which would you chose?

Truman was justified in using the bomb to avoid the invasion of Japan, that would have killed MILLIONS on both sides, but the invasion was (in hindsight) never going to happen anyway. Japan would have surrendered before it could have begun. They literally had no way to feed their population and army by 1945 (look up Operation Starvation). Truman didn't know this but he certainly had the option to continue the blockade without an invasion. That was the original plan for war with Japan going back decades, see War Plan Orange, however, at some point during WW2 "unconditional surrender" became the objective. This arguably worked against Allied interests, but that's a different discussion, and in any case Japan never did surrender unconditionally. They got one condition, the Emperor got to stick around, and was conveniently excluded from the war crimes trials. That's an option Hitler certainly would not have been offered if he had chosen to face the music rather than commit suicide.
Tue, Apr 4, 2023, 2:57pm (UTC -6)
@ Mister Darwin

I'm curious how you reconcile this:

"the idea that Jack (and maybe Picard) are some genetically predetermined annointed one grates on me. That's more at home to a fantasy franchise than Star Trek"

With this:

"DS9 is my favorite of the series"

DS9 is my second favorite, after TNG, and has more individual episodes in my personal Top 10 than TNG does. The weakest part of it, IMHO, the part that was least Trek, was the notion that Sisko was of divine birth and preordained from conception to be the Emissary.

There were parts of the Prophets arc that worked. It was always interesting to see Kira's faith as our viewpoint into part of the Bajoran psyche, particularly when they later contrasted it against Kai Winn's naked ambition. That was one of my favorite DS9 moments.

Sisko as the messiah and Gul Dukat as the antichrist, ugh, I hated every minute of that.
Tue, Apr 4, 2023, 3:09pm (UTC -6)
Bryan hits the nail on the head.

I have done lots of framing research and I can assure anybody here that it is pretty simple, shockingly simple, to manipulate people. Anybody. The show does this very aptly but for what purpose? It presents the genocide attempt not as absolutely horrible so that it has a moral dilemma to play with. The problem is that it has to frame the Changelings as so extremely evil that genocide does seem like an option. The reason for portraying them in such a way is really questionable because apparently a lot of people take from that episode that sometimes genocide is ok. To me seems like the most anti trek message I could think of. I never liked season 7 of DS9. In hindsight it felt more like BSG than Star Trek.

Can we be sure that because shows or movies often portray the opposition as just plain evil could have a negative effect? If you count direct death and people who died of related effects in Nagasaki and Hiroshima the death count stands at 350.000 and keep in mind that around 40% of the Japanese population were children.
Maybe Kurt Tucholsky was right:" The death of one person: that is a catastrophe. One hundred thousand deaths: that is a statistic!”
Janeways Labrat
Tue, Apr 4, 2023, 10:12pm (UTC -6)
Im ready for Star Trek Hansen
Wed, Apr 5, 2023, 1:39am (UTC -6)
"Just like in fiction, genocide is framed as the absolute worst and unjustifiable thing that the enemy could do and proof of how evil they really are, but when "we" do it, it's just an unfortunate necessity brought on by a sense of urgency that somehow always manages to coalesce the moment we have the means and the will to act upon it."

Nicely expressed but there are crossed wires here. It is true that we are talking about war crimes (mass murder) but it would be a mistake to apply the word genocide as if it is simply the taking of lives of a nation's enemies on a monumental scale. Genocide is a specific kind of crime against humanity. It was developed into a domestic policy by a certain subset of Germans, who justified its prosecution under the noxious delusion that it was a method of perfecting their own racial stock. In Germany, and in all territories it absorbed it grew in scale as a form of murderous eugenics allowing, as a special incentive to the perpetrators, immediate expropriation of the wealth of its victims.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki did not follow a genocidal model....but a communicative one. They were death signals, i.e., destructive acts of total war carried out remotely upon dehumanized victims as set-piece demonstrations of apocalyptic might.
Wed, Apr 5, 2023, 2:22am (UTC -6)
The enduring power of Trek, that a discussion this thoughtful can still be provoked even by an episode so poor
Wed, Apr 5, 2023, 4:12am (UTC -6)
I think Bryan made a general comment about portrayal of genocide in media which is related to the portrayal of the genocide in DS9. His comment can be applied to mass murder like Hiroshima and Nagasaki because for a long time the media almost exclusively portrayed dropping two a-bombs on cities full of civilians as a maybe tragic but absolute necessity against an unreasonable and murderous enemy.

"Genocide is a specific kind of crime against humanity. It was developed into a domestic policy by a certain subset of Germans, who justified its prosecution under the noxious delusion that it was a method of perfecting their own racial stock."
The Holocaust was a specific form of genocide but genocides have been around for a long time. One could add to that, that there is no fixed definition of genocide which muddies the water somewhat. For example, when Rome finally defeated Carthage in the Third Punic War, they killed all male adults and most of the women. In total more than half a million people were killed. The rest, around 50.000, were sold into slavery and the city was leveled.
Wed, Apr 5, 2023, 11:02am (UTC -6)
Point taken (re: Bryan's objective). Agree with you completely that genocidal exterminations can be traced back into remote antiquity. Research indicates that they have not been particularly rare across periods and places.
Wed, Apr 5, 2023, 12:32pm (UTC -6)
Lots of interesting commentary about how much of the DS9 material should this show use, what DS9 characters should make a cameo, etc. For me, and probably others, if you want to know what the DS9 crew has been up to, watch the documentary "What We Left Behind". Especially the imagined pilot for a season 8 of DS9. Much more compelling than anything Kurtzman and Nu Trek could do.
Wed, Apr 5, 2023, 2:34pm (UTC -6)
People! Listen!

Thu, Apr 6, 2023, 11:41pm (UTC -6)
This season should have ended in episode 4. Its deteriorating very very very quickly.
Fri, Apr 7, 2023, 1:37pm (UTC -6)
"makes absolutely no sense in retrospect"

The story of all three seasons of Picard.
Fri, Apr 7, 2023, 5:30pm (UTC -6)
@Tim: "no mention of the fact that Picard and Beverly casually discuss and seemingly decide to MURDER a prisoner."

This jumped at me immediately as further proof that these writers fundamentally don't know how to write Trek.
Fri, Apr 7, 2023, 5:56pm (UTC -6)
@Booming I had the same thought a few weeks ago about Vadic sounding like Vesdek but isn't it just a coincidence given she is not Bajoran or Cardassian and jjst a changeling even if the Oagh Wraiths are invovled?
Fri, Apr 7, 2023, 7:35pm (UTC -6)
@Jammer I think it was established Data/Lore was plugged into the computer to try to reasearch info on Picards body --qhy the Changelings wanted it and also to try to regain control of the ship when Vadic took over
Isn't thst sufficient for you in retrospect to not consider the Lore thing a contrivance here and maybe rate this a but higher eveb?
Tim M
Sat, Apr 8, 2023, 7:14pm (UTC -6)
Catching up on the recent episodes. I viewed this installment a bit more favorably than Jammer; the interest about what may be "infecting" Jack (and possibly Vadic) is holding my curiosity.

I am wondering if they're going to have Data die a third time, though. LOL.

On to next week!
Sun, Apr 9, 2023, 8:38am (UTC -6)
Plodding. A big step down from the previous ep. Why could Vladic not beam Jack aboard. It's a mess. Where is this arc going? The Frontier Day clocking tick is a hot mess.
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 10:40am (UTC -6)
What the hell was this "advantage" Picard claimed they had? I feel bad, because I've bought that, and spent a few moments wondering what Picard could've ingeniouslybe be planning. But it was just "when they beam in the ship, we are gonna inprisom them". Dude, really? It's like being in a fight, and the guy is going to throw a punch at you, and your major upheavel is like "what if I put my head in range, but when he tries to nail me, I do move it out of range, eh eh?"

Being inprisomned by forcefields in corridors while trying to board an enemy ship sounds SO BASIC one would think no one would be detained by that, right? Felt like a band of robbers entering a house and "oh-oh, I guess we've being outsmarted here boys: they've locked the doors!".

So cheap!

And on top of that, Vadic acting like it's was all according to some unavoidable master planning, but it was just a totally unrelated event of Lore sabotaging things. Argh
Thu, May 18, 2023, 7:46am (UTC -6)
I'll tell you why Troi has been sidelined for most of the season : she would be able to instantly snuff out all the Changelings in Starfleet. Even if she can't read their thoughts, she would be able to tell something's off. But that's always been a problem with her powers, it makes her presence in any story involving lies or hidden motives impossible.

Honestly, I expected half of this episode to show Riker being tortured. So, I guess it could have been worse. But what we got wasn't much better. Only the excellent cast makes this even remotely watchable.

Having Lore and Data in the golem is just a nonsensical plot device letting the writers do whatever they want. Vadic being tortured by an "evil" Federation scientist is just a nonsensical plot device which doesn't give her any more depth. Jack's (newfound?) telepathy is just a nonsensical plot device that i'm sure will only have a half-hearted nonsensical explanation. Luring Vadic and her cronies on board, which then allows her take over the ship, is just a nonsensical plot device (and where are Riker and Troi now? Alone on the Shrike?). And so on.
SpaceTime Hole
Sun, May 21, 2023, 1:05am (UTC -6)
Didn’t want a Vadic backstory - flashbacks played-out like an episode of that crappy American Horror Story.

Why are only two crew (Jack & Geordi-daughters) the only crew springing this trap!?

Oh dear.
Wed, May 31, 2023, 3:31pm (UTC -6)
Dr. Andre said: "Well that is some historical revisionism at its finest. You can disagree with the use of the atomic weapon. It's your right to be wrong. The use of the bomb also hastened the surrender of Japan, minimised allied loses and granted a complete unconditional surrender"

IMO, you're promoting revisionism. America's leading Army, Airforce and Navy Generals at the time, as well as top ranking intelligence personnel, and at least 2 US presidents, overwhelmingly disagreed with using nukes. You can find countless quotes by them stating this plainly.

And nobody in the uppermost echelons at the time thought they were dropping nukes to "avoid further bloodshed". And even if that were the case, one would be hard pressed to morally justify nuking civilians for this reason (simply drop a ring of nukes in the waters around Japan if you wish to flex your power to Russia or Japan- it's what Picard would have done).

Relevant quotes from history:

"I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of 'face'." - Dwight Eisenhower

"...the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing." - Dwight Eisenhower

"It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons. My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children." - Admiral Leahy (Chief of Staff to the President)

"The use of the atomic bomb, with its indiscriminate killing of women and children, revolts my soul. The Japanese were prepared to negotiate all the way from February 1945 up to and before the time the atomic bombs were dropped; if such leads had been followed up, there would have been no occasion to drop the bombs." - Herbert Hoover

"The Japanese had, in fact, already sued for peace. The atomic bomb played no decisive part, from a purely military point of view, in the defeat of Japan." - Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet

"Certainly prior to 31 December 1945 and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated. [...] Even without the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it seemed highly unlikely, given what we found to have been the mood of the Japanese government, that a U.S. invasion of the islands would have even been necessary." - Vice Chairman of US Strategic Bombing, Paul Nitze

"The atomic bomb had nothing to do with the end of the war at all." - Major General Curtis LeMay, XXI Bomber Command

"The first atomic bomb was an unnecessary experiment. It was a mistake to ever drop it." - Fleet Admiral William Halsey

"General MacArthur [...] saw no military justification for the dropping of the bomb. The war might have ended weeks earlier, he said, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor." - the biographer of General Douglas MacArthur

Joseph Grey (Under Secretary of State), John McCloy (Assistant Secretary of War), Ralph Bard (Under Sec of the Navy), Lewish Strauss (Special Assistant to the Sec. of the Navy), Ellis Zacharias (Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence), General Carl Spaatz (in charge of all Air Force operations in the Pacific), Brigadier General Carter Clarke (the military intelligence officer in charge of intercepting Japanese cables) and countless other high-ranking people in charge at the time, agreed that dropping the bomb was unnecessary.

You will notice intellectual defenses of the bombings tend to come from other places, usually gung-ho figures like Churchill, or various scientists, citizens, low -ranking folk and so on. But the key generals, admirals and high ranking guys in command at the time never believed the nukes were necessary.
Sat, Aug 5, 2023, 2:02pm (UTC -6)
Oppenheimer and others disagree with you. They saw the first bomb as absolutely necessary - and the second one as being too in haste. The fact is, no allied deaths happened, because the bombs ended it all. And nothing you say can change that fact.
Sat, Aug 5, 2023, 2:50pm (UTC -6)
" The fact is, no allied deaths happened, because the bombs ended it all. And nothing you say can change that fact."
That statement is obviously wrong in several points. For example, the Nagasaki bomb was dropped on the 9th, the same day the Soviets invaded Manchuria. That invasion continued until the 20th causing between 100.000 and 150.000 causalities and crushed a Japanese army more than a million strong. That's not counting the casualties in China. Fighting between the Soviets and Japan didn't end before the 25th.

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