Star Trek: Picard
Air date: 3/16/2023
Written by Cindy Appel
Directed by Dan Liu
Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan
"Imposters" is a tight and effective little thriller that serves as a package to reunite two characters and resolve long-simmering feelings that suddenly boil to the surface. Many of those feelings were conveyed with the final shot of Picard's grim, wordless face in TNG's penultimate episode, "Preemptive Strike." The reunion here is between Picard and Commander Ro Laren (Michelle Forbes in a surprise appearance and standout performance), who famously abandoned Starfleet to join the Maquis in that episode after she became sympathetic to their plight. It's something Picard took as a deep, personal betrayal and never got over, we learn.
Ro appears after the USS Intrepid rendezvouses with the Titan, ostensibly to take Picard and Riker into custody for their unauthorized commandeering of the ship. Make no mistake, these two have strong, unresolved feelings about each other concerning that betrayal, which, for Ro, was not a one-way street. There's also the complication that Changelings are apparently everywhere, and Picard begins to suspect Ro herself may be one.
It turns out, thankfully, she's not, which is confirmed in a memorable, superbly acted scene in the holodeck where Picard pulls out a phaser because he's not sure what to make of the sudden turn of events, where he and Riker are seemingly about to be charged with treason by someone who betrayed her own oath. In this sequence, the two have it out with some emotionally charged dialogue that lays out on the table what that betrayal meant, to each of them, on that day 30 years ago. It's an amazing scene — one that both characters have rehearsed in their heads, just in case they ever crossed paths. And it allows them to work through the pain of that fallout and reach an understanding in a classic TNG way.
In this final swan song of a season for this show (and, we presume, for many, if not all, of the TNG characters), I'm seeing now how the writers have constructed something rather clever: one last adventure where old characters can be brought briefly on stage as they come into Picard's, an our, view for one last conversation. Remember how season one, after it was over, basically felt like an unnecessary series of events to justify that amazing closing scene between Picard and Data? With Picard season three, now every episode has the potential for something like that ... and as a bonus, it has plot and characterization that also make sense! How novel!
Meanwhile, Jack is having disturbing visions where he kills everyone, and a voice in his head keeps calling him to "come home." Ed Speleers has really grown on me, and here he nicely conveys the grinding toll these increasingly nightmarish visions are having on him. No season of Picard would be complete without a mystery box, and this season it appears we have a Jack-in-the-mystery-box (har har). The question may not be who Jack is, but what Jack is, or at least how he became afflicted with whatever it is that's driving him toward insanity. But apparently it's not the first time, as Beverly says he had a stretch during early childhood where he wouldn't sleep because of such awful nightmares.
Meanwhile, the shapeshifter question takes an intriguingly bizarre turn. I was about to write in my notes, "Changelings revert to a liquid state upon being killed!" with that clone of Sidney lying on a slab in the morgue, but then Beverly says exactly that. No, these shapeshifters, when killed, somehow don't revert to a liquid until their internal organs have been cut out and sliced into minced meat. It makes the live ones virtually undetectable — despite security measures that were put in place after the Dominion War that can detect traditional Changelings. Just how did they come to be? It's a pretty decent mystery expanding on established lore. It partially explains Vadic talking to her hand-face, although why she would need to have a conversation with a part of herself is an open question. (Maybe these are shapeshifters who have somehow merged with solids?)
Worf and Raffi return this week, and Raffi is still too much of an exposition machine and needlessly hot-headed and impulsive, but Worf gets some good, deadpan, cutting remarks as they inch their part of the plot forward. The use of crime-riddled District 6 on M'Talas Prime continues as a hilariously naked example of reusing the same set to save money; apparently every shady character of any relevance to the plot happens to hang out here (in addition to Raffi's ex-husband). The show, out of budgetary constraints, seems to have forgotten that people can live on, y'know, different planets.
This week we have a showdown with a Vulcan gangster named Krinn (Kirk Acevedo) who knows something or another. This is your typical undercover procedural stuff, where Worf and Raffi run a con (although not a great one) to gain the upper hand. Nothing here to write home about, but the good news is that by the end of the episode Worf makes contact with Picard — it turns out Ro was Worf's intelligence handler — so we finally get the overarching plot to connect.
But the really good character stuff is happening back on the Titan with Picard and Ro (and also Riker). The history between them all brings this to life, and after Picard and Ro settle the past, she recruits him to help her investigate a Changeling conspiracy that goes all the way to the top of Starfleet Command. The plot generates a nice amount of tension and paranoia as we begin to see the fuller picture. And Jack, whom the Changelings are after, is somehow at the center of it for reasons no one yet knows (or is even aware of). Does Jack even know anything significant other than that he's having nightmares?
This leads the Changelings to up the ante, and they put an explosive on Ro's shuttle before they beam onto the Intrepid. Ro sacrifices herself to disable the Intrepid and give Picard a chance to escape with the Titan, which is now staffed with a skeleton crew since most everyone else was offloaded to the Intrepid. It's a hasty, too-soon exit for a beloved character just when we got her back in action. But this works because it provides an emotional underpinning for the story. I can't complain; given the limited amount of screen time for everything and everyone, I'd rather a character get a chance to come back in a strong way, make an impression, get a resolution, and then go out in heroic fashion. It's efficient storytelling if you're doing what I mentioned earlier — marching these characters on stage for their final curtain call.
Some other thoughts:
- It's almost inexplicable to me that Picard can be as consistently good as it has been this season after being so utterly mediocre-to-bad at moments in its first two seasons of wholly consistent inconsistency and unending non sequitur. It's like, what were the writers waiting for? So strange.
- The use of Ro's earring was a nice touch, and worked as a plot piece for where she stored all her investigative data to pass on to Picard.
- The conspiracy at the highest levels of Starfleet hasn't been this feared since, well, "Conspiracy." Or maybe "Homefront."
- Ro comes to the Titan on a shuttle rather than using the transporters, because the widespread Starfleet infiltration threat makes it ... too hard to trust the use of transporters because why, exactly? No, I suspect this was just a plot device to set up the return shuttle trip where Ro is killed.
- Shaw gets his command back but is mostly useless, in addition to his usual petty antagonism toward Picard and Riker. It might be nice if they made this character a little more balanced.
- Why does the Intrepid look exactly like the Titan, almost as if they were trying to make some sort of mirror-universe statement? To save money on CGI model design? Would it have killed them to create a different-style ship?
- I'm hoping the Changeling plot has a decent motivation and payoff, and isn't simply a MacGuffin for getting the TNG crew back together for these episodes. I suppose even if it's just that, it at least allowed us to revisit everyone, but it would be way better if this could provide some insights to the larger canvas in the post-DS9 Federation.
Previous episode: No Win Scenario
Next episode: The Bounty
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261 comments on this post
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 3:12am (UTC -5)
This one acted functionally as mostly a necessary bridge episode, but the surprise Ro Laren curveball gave it some real power it otherwise wouldn't have had. Kudos to the writers for keeping it coming. Who knew Patrick Stewart could find some real emotional depth here (which was purely hollow in season 2), and all he needed was Michelle Forbes as his partner.
The writers are doing a good job of anticipating all the lorekeepers constant nitpicking and hole poking, especially in this episode with the Changelings ability to pass the transporter scans, so I hope some can start giving them the benefit of the doubt. It seems like they're going to have a reasonable in-universe answer for everything.
The District 6 or 7 (or whatever it is) is working really only because of Aikido Worf. It feels like there's something a bit of cheap about it. Those scenes really do feel like we're watching the budget of a weekly tv show, rather than the big budget spectacle of a movie that, on the other hand, the Titan scenes feel like. The back and forth can be a bit jarring, but I can at least appreciate the feel of it as a throwback to the TNG tv sets of yore.
I'm still hooked and looking forward to what we have in the back half (where's Geordi???). We had the best Wrath of Khan reboot yet (after many failed attempts) with episodes 1-4, and I'm starting to think we're going to have a worthy Undiscovered Country reboot for the remainder.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 3:15am (UTC -5)
"Those scenes really do feel like we're watching the budget of a weekly tv show, rather than the big budget spectacle of a movie"
I found it hilarious how, after it's established they need to go find this mysterious Krinn guy -- so mysterious in fact that he doesn't even have a file photo, they head right back to the same 20 square foot city set that's been in every episode. It felt very 1990s TV.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 3:28am (UTC -5)
Ha yes, that's a perfect example of the old style tv budget feel of these scenes. I hope to the god at the center of the galaxy that they get off this goofy planet next episode. They seem to be setting up a trip to the Daystrom Institute? Or whatever this other Daystrom starbase is? Some good mission impossible-esque stuff with Raffi and Worf could be fun.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 4:05am (UTC -5)
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 4:41am (UTC -5)
Based on the previews for next week's episode Worf and Raffi finally make it off planet and rendezvous with the Titan. The preview image for the next Ready Room has the La Forge family on the interview couch, so it looks like we'll finally get Geordi and Alandra on board.
Also kudos for somehow keeping Michelle Forbes/Ro Laren under wraps. I really wish we had more time with her, but I really appreciated her scenes with Picard. There was a lot of short-hand between them, and I'm not sure anyone who hadn't watched the episodes of TNG would fully appreciate the interactions.
Shaw is freaking hilarious.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 4:46am (UTC -5)
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 5:18am (UTC -5)
Modern Trek's track record with long-term arcs still makes me wary that Jack Crusher's mysterious visions are going to turn out to be something stupid - but if every episode along the way can maintain this level of quality, then there's still going to be a lot of good stuff to look back on.
I was very pleasantly surprised by the return of Ro, and each of her scenes with Picard were great. Unlike season 1 and 2, where Picard's regrets were about events we were being told about after the fact, this was one we could actually relate to, because we'd seen it happen! Both actors sold the hell out of it.
I'm starting to actually love Shaw, too.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 5:26am (UTC -5)
Raffi was the weak link in this one (again) -- but it mostly all came together by the end.
I've been complaining about them stretching things out these past few episodes, but I would have liked to have seen more of Forbes.
I'm also hoping we get more from Beverly than just exposition.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 5:29am (UTC -5)
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 5:43am (UTC -5)
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 5:43am (UTC -5)
It feels too star wars to me - the music in the background. Too dark. Couldn't they have done it in daylight?
It is keeping me hooked.
I am glad there is closure for Ro. I really like how the old crew of TNG is connected in investigating this.
I really wished we could see more of Ro, as "undercover".
Ro was the character that kept this episode good
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 5:49am (UTC -5)
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 5:57am (UTC -5)
An even larger stretch would be that they need Lore to beat Moriarty, hence his reactivation. The other floating theory on Lore is that he's the mastermind. Not sure which I'd prefer.
Also, theory about the changeling variants - the variant type that is able to evade blood tests, create faux organs, and presumably low-power phaser sweeps from DS9 is the type that would look "meaty" in their liquid state vs the classic changeling, which looked 90's CG soupy when liquid. I'm willing to give the production team the benefit of the doubt that they didn't just change the look just because.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 6:05am (UTC -5)
More than fine by me.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 6:24am (UTC -5)
//Feels like they’re using the TNG cast to tell a DS9 story//
Perhaps Moriarty is the Big Bad? Going against Picard and his son
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 6:26am (UTC -5)
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 6:50am (UTC -5)
I'm so glad they concluded her arc as a hero.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 6:54am (UTC -5)
I also appreciated that the ominous visuals and music that have surrounded Jack Crusher the past two episodes are not, seemingly, indicative of some sinister pursuit.
Lastly, it was good to see Picard, Riker, and Worf connect as they did. Yes, they were likely to cross paths at some point, but the tenor of their reconnection was delightful.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 6:58am (UTC -5)
Prior to this season, I was out - not just Picard, but the whole shebang. It was only the rave reviews from early access critics that swayed me to give it a go. I'm somewhat stunned I'm finally dropping my guard - the last two episodes have gone a long way to twisting my arm.
Could I nitpick? Yes, but any nerdy critiques would inconsequential. Personally, I find I nitpick a lot more if I'm not enjoying it - it acts as a release value for my disappointment. If on the other hand something is firing on all cylinders, I'm really not bothered unless it sticks out like a sore thumb.
The key takeaway is I'm invested in this story. Ro Laren - holy ... that was a hell of a curve ball. The subtle shift in her expression after Riker left the conference room conveyed the weight of this reunion. Fantastic performances from Forbes and Stewart. As for Stewart - over the last two episodes, I've finally been able to look at Picard again and see *Picard* - not the actor.
I'm finally warming to Shaw. He's a prick, but his heart is in the right place.
Illogical AI? I'm assuming Moriarty. Guessing Lore is at the Institute as well.
Raffi / Worf - tolerable. Thankfully everyone should be together by the next episode.
As for the larger story. I really would like to know what's going on with Jack. IIRC, the whispers spoke of joining - or rejoining? Is he a Changeling? What are Changelings really up to that would be worth this effort? That is the mystery, and we can only hope that this time - finally - the pay-off is worth it.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 6:58am (UTC -5)
That is the problem with this "serialized" approach.
It is still better than season 1/2
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 7:21am (UTC -5)
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 7:22am (UTC -5)
The not knowing because of serialization is a little irritating, but maybe only because I really do want to get to the next episode. Problems with serialization overall aren't nearly as bad as in Discovery or S1/S2 of Picard. There's enough of a plot advancement payoff in each episode, or some kind of emotional catharsis that I'm really okay with how the season is being structured.
On another note, I did remember from a recent interview that Todd Stashwick did--he said that there was one member of the legacy Enterprise crew that Shaw adored and worshipped. My guess is that's Geordi, since Shaw himself was an engineer in his early career.
Assuming that next episode is when Geordi makes his appearance, we'll have that aspect of Shaw to look forward to.
** Forgot to mention last week, but I am so happy that the Titan only had sparks flying on the bridge when damaged, not twin flamethrowers.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 7:40am (UTC -5)
I thought it was hysterical when Ro herself stated that she was sent to prison *again,* then rehabilitated *again,* etc. It's as if they just repeated the same plot points from some other Trek show disguised as "Character Development."
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 7:49am (UTC -5)
Well, it is a very forgiving organization. Seven was a vigilante and then became commander. Ro becoming commander after essentially being a traitor and a terrorist is even more prove of that. As long as you don't blow up Starfleet HQ you are in and get promoted. Kind of makes me wonder even more why poor Riker is still only captain. Maybe this is Thomas Riker?? William buried somewhere behind the Pizza oven??
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 7:57am (UTC -5)
Agreed. The Shaw character, in particular, is puzzling to me. They seem to be playing the "damaged/crass soul finds his heart of gold" motif over and over and over again.
The changes in Shaw's behavior from scene to scene hasn't just strained credibility, but torn it asunder.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 7:59am (UTC -5)
I’m actually enjoying “Star Trek: Picard Season 3” at least 10 times more than “Star Wars: The Mandalorian Season 3” right now! And I’m *shocked* by that realization!!
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 8:00am (UTC -5)
Well, they did demote Admiral Kirk to Captain, so at least Starfleet has a little discipline in the ranks. Then again, in the Kelvin universe Kirk was kicked out of Starfleet, but still ended up commanding that abomination they still called the "Enterprise."
I wish my boss at work was this forgiving during review periods.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 8:18am (UTC -5)
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 8:23am (UTC -5)
To be fair Kelvin Kirk was also kicked into Starfleet. I'm just amazed how much NuTrek nonsense people are willing to swallow. But hey, if people enjoy it. :)
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 8:45am (UTC -5)
I will say, this was not where I expected Ro to end up. Honestly I always felt like Raffi's part in Season 1 would have worked better as Ro to begin with, as the backstory is similar in broad strokes (someone who was a young protégée of Picard but had a fall from grace due to reasons). Ro essentially repeating her arc a second time off-camera wasn't the most creative choice, but Michelle Forbes absolutely sold it. And the character arc between her and Jean Luc, moving from loathing to open admittance of pain, to only realizing what they had meant to one another at the 11th hour...what can I say, it's the sort of closure of a dangling character thread that any Trek fan would ask for.
Everything else on the Titan was good as well. The episode worked well in slowly ramping up the tension and paranoia, along with seeing Jack steadily come unglued. I'm not sure what's going on with his visuals (is he seeing into the upside-down?) but considering the show has been pretty good at quickly paying off other mysteries, I'll be forgiving of letting this one dangle for now.
Raffi and Worf's continued misadventures on planet M'Talas continue to be mid however, with Worf himself the only saving grace of this subplot. While I can appreciate the idea of a Vulcan crime lord in principle, in execution I don't think it worked, and the actor left me with little impression beyond "some dude." At least this tiresome sub-plot is now concluded, and Worf/Raffi will meet up with the Titan some time in the next episode.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 8:49am (UTC -5)
Did the writers watch the scene in Preemptive Strike where they pretend to be lovers at that bar to stay undercover on YouTube and assumed there was "something there" haha? I'm kidding, but it kinda feels like that's what happened based on the melodramatic direction they took here. Riker should have been more emotional- they were the ones to have hooked up, lol!
"I'm liking but not loving this" is pretty accurate for me, at this halfway point. It's all entertaining and somewhat nostalgic, but eh, some of the narrative choice they make these days just feel a little too forced to me :( When a show brings a character back like this, I feel like they should then make the effort to include one last look at say Vash, or Sela, or Shelby, or O'Brien, or any other guest character who made somewhat of an impact within the original TNG run. Realistically they can't do all that, I get it, but choosing to resurrect X person and not Y person based on IRL availability and budget feels arbitrary and "click baity" to me.
I get triggered a little too much by "character resurrection" choices because I remember Lost used to do that all the time, lol. They had a habit of throwing in returning characters at strange times and you'd expect it to be this huge, story-shifting event, but it ended up stacking up to nothing in the grand scheme of the story haha. Gimmicky, ya know?
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 9:13am (UTC -5)
Also, I'm guessing Admiral Janeway is CNC of Starfleet now. Everyone keeps referencing her with reverence.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 9:25am (UTC -5)
And on the budget, it is starting to show its strain a little bit. I am hopeful that is because they blew all their money on the last five episodes. It can't be cheap to build all-new digital models of the Refit Constitution, Intrepid, Defiant, Galaxy, Excelsior, Odyssey, and whatever other classes of ships we're likely to see soon.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 9:41am (UTC -5)
Not perfect, but at least we don't have the mid-season Guinan genie-style summoning of Q or a Classic Car Chase or Pat Benatar Sing-along like last season.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 9:42am (UTC -5)
Again, the characterizations and nostalgia are satisfying here. But this show has a very acute case of The Dumb that it can't manage to shake.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 9:50am (UTC -5)
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 9:59am (UTC -5)
At first I was miffed at Ro dying right after coming back- and saw it coming from the interrogation scene. Given how slow my defective autistic brain is, any twist I can see coming isn't much of a twist. However, it does grow out of the character's choices and trauma in this and previous episodes, so upon reflection, I think it works. Perfect contrast to Hugh's death in season 1, which was pointless except to end the arc on the Artifact. Honestly, Hugh's death felt like a tip of the hat to Berman's homophobia, even though he was nowhere near the episode, and that's not a good feeling. Here Ro is honored as a character and allowed to go out on her own terms, just as she was in Preemptive Strike.
Yeah, yeah, "the whole fleet"- hopefully this means the whole sector defense fleet plus the museum ships. OTOH, warp travel seems to have markedly improved in the last 20 years, with more vessels able to cruise at speeds well above warp six. Maybe a detour back to Earth isn't the time commitment it once was.
I feel the Jack mystery has been drawn out maybe one episode too long, but I admit that this episode did everything it set out to do quite well.
Hope everyone has a good Sir Patrick's Day tomorrow. And if anyone asks why you tell them to "Make It So", just remind them that "that's a stupid question"
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 10:00am (UTC -5)
Continues to be one of the biggest misses in Trek history that they let her go.
As the episode was progressing I saw myself dreaming of a spin-off with Worf, Ro, Raffi, and maybe even Georgiou. It doesn’t have to be section 31.
There seems to defintiely be an opening for a show called Starfleet: Intelligence. It would be a hybrid between Andor spy drama and CSI. ID WATCH THAT.
4 stars again on this episode!
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 10:21am (UTC -5)
I'm feeling pretty much the opposite -- that the first years of NuTrek were so bad that some people aren't giving the benefit of the doubt. Discovery's beyond hope, I think, but the other four shows - four! - are all good and sometimes great right now. And there's some rose-coloured glasses about the old shows: DS9 has been the only Star Trek show out of the 11 too have more hits than misses (about 50/50 for TOS and TNG).
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 10:29am (UTC -5)
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 10:34am (UTC -5)
Re-Introducing Ro Loren was fun, Michelle Forbes did a wonderful job. And altho it’s been enough years since I’ve seen all her TNG eps that I wasn’t quite remembering all the details of her relationship with Picard, I thoroughly believed the emotionality of her scenes with Stewart — very impactful.
The Vulcan “gangsta” was an interesting concept but bizarrely portrayed (“Yo, Mr. Klingon, I”m logikal , aight?”), and Shaw’s constant personality/mood swings are giving me whiplash. The scene where Picard expresses his annoyance with his humming, I think speaks for many of us in the audience. 😛
All in all, an enjoyable episode 👍
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 11:48am (UTC -5)
On the negative side we are still dragged down by Raffi and the drug planet, but Worf putting her in her place was excellent. Worf was awesome here. I will be very happy when the story leaves this planet behind, which looks like it might be in the next episode. Still doesn't solve the Raffi problem though.
Regarding the odd Vulcan dude, on one hand I don't like this portrayal, as it's not really consistent with what we've seen from the Vulcans in classic Trek. On the other, if I'm not mistaken, he was wearing an IDIC necklace. I always felt that if you were to take the meaning behind that symbol seriously it would allow Vulcans to participate in some really wicked stuff in the name of "infinite diversity." I was never really convinced by the IDIC philosophy, because Vulcan society's commitment to pure logic and suppressing emotions immediately contradicts it -- it's a very specific philosophy that contradicts a philosophy of "anything goes." Having some Vulcans "break bad" in the name of IDIC actually makes a certain kind of sense.
The rest of the episode on the Titan was excellent. Ro's return was handled exceedingly well. I do admit that it's a bit of a stretch that Starfleet Intelligence would have recruited her after the events of TNG's "Preemptive Strike", but the Federation has always been shown to be extremely tolerant to rehabilitation, and I have no doubt her skill set served Starfleet well.
I thought the character writing between Ro and Picard was first rate. Picard is absolutely right to suspect she isn't who she says she is, and it turns out Ro is right to suspect Picard isn't who he says he is. Having them have to work to break down their emotional barriers, confirm they are really who they are, get beyond old hurts, forgive each other, and then trust each other again was very well done.
My only disappointment here was that Ro could have been a slightly larger part of this story. It's too bad the writing team didn't find a way to have her in at least a few episodes. Nonetheless, I felt they still earned that ending and gave Ro a truly heroic end. I was genuinely moved.
I am enjoying how well the writing is addressing what appeared to be lore inconsistencies regarding the Changelings. I still don't like how Shaw didn't instruct Seven to at least try to use phaser sweeps to find the changeling, even though we know now that it probably wouldn't have worked anyway, and the bucket issue was still silly, but I do like how they are showing us that these Changelings aren't exactly the same as they were back in DS9.
Did they improve the Titan's lighting in this episode, or is it just me? Everything looked a bit brighter and I could actually make out the colors on the uniforms in this one, which was a very welcome change!
Also, as far as I can remember, this was the first episode with no g-damns and forced contemporary language! Another HUGE win. I wasn't yanked out of the 25th Century this time!
For my money this was the best episode of the season yet. Episode 4 had a lot to like as well, but this one shaved away most of the problems, with Raffi and the drug planet being the only notable issues. Worf's presence at least mitigates my annoyance with those problems.
Really excited to see more!
P.S. I'm leaning on "Pah'Wraith possession/influence" regarding Jack's issues. The red eyes during his hallucinations seem like a big hint that way. Beverley suggests this has been an issue for him since he was a child though, which is interesting. Not completely sure of this theory yet, but I'm going to run with it for now.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 11:57am (UTC -5)
I've been heavily critical of S3 so far, in many ways not really seeing it as a meaningful improvement on S1-2 despite the spacebound setting and roster of familiar faces. Too much bad dialog, bad plotting and poor characterization got in the way.
This episode is a triumph, I find it incredibly accomplished. It's intelligently written with smart, emotionally weighty dialog that rings true to the characters and the situation. It's an episode about consequences, one that takes time to look at everything that has happened in the past four episodes, what it meant and what it augurs. Picard, Riker and Seven hijacking the Titan has consequences, Worf decapitating Sneed has consequences, and the fallout from TNG's "Preemptive Strike" - which this episode is a completely unexpected yet shockingly skilful sequel to - has consequences.
No, not everything is perfect; I'm slightly frustrated that Ro was killed off at the end of the episode when it would have made more sense for her to stay on the Titan and flee with them. But I think this episode is the best marriage of plot and characterization that a NuTrek script has ever achieved, getting both so right in a way that drives the plot forward in logical, credible and thrilling ways while being deeply true to character for pretty much all players and functioning as a character study that deeply understands and cares about its players. The dumbed-down repetitive dialog of just two episodes ago feels light years away.
Huge credit to the writers of this episode. The script truly understands the events of Preemptive Strike from both Ro's and Picard's perspective and how much it cost both of them. There were many lines of dialog I was impressed with, and not just in the Picard/Ro storyline. It's clear the actors connect with the material just as much as the writers did, and it's wonderful to see Picard and Ro truly hash it out in a meaningful, realistic way that's informed by both characters' histories, before achieving resolution, healing and trust in a way that feels real and truly earned - Picard possibly truly understanding Ro, her choices and why she made them for the first time.
On other fronts, Michael Dorn is wonderful, and the changeling plot is here progressed in ways that I find logical, credible and grounded. Is it realistic that there would be a breakaway group of changelings who don't want peace with the Federation? Yes, absolutely, because the swiftness and oversimplicity with which the Dominion War plot was wrapped up was one of the weaknesses of DS9's ending. Is it realistic that changelings would evolve and become better able to mimic humans? Yes, especially as we already see indications during DS9 that changelings are learning to pass the blood test. I was also happy to hear that Starfleet has indeed kept up anti-changeling measures on board ships and facilities ever since the end of the war, something we find out from Seven in a dialog scene that brings us up to speed but doesn't remotely feel like the clunky exposition of previous episodes.
Everyone here feels like themselves. I love that the episode remembers that Shaw is in the right and allows him to be so, that what Picard, Riker and Seven did was by no means OK. His decision at the end, which brings him over onto their "side", again feels earned, realistic and non-forced - he's a pragmatic man responding practically to a rapidly changing situation.
Love love love. All of it, right down to the direction (one of the only things to have been consistently good this season), the pacing, the structure, everything. This is why I was so tough on the previous four episodes, which despite a few overtures in the right direction were still riddled with quippy wannabe-MCU dialog, huge logical oversights and soap-opera characterization. This is why I was so tough on them, because then when the show truly steps up its game, when it truly delivers an episode that excels on all fronts, that doesn't rely on appeals to nostalgia and superficial call-backs but treats Star Trek as literature and functions as a literary response to and continuation of a gritty TNG episode that no-one expected it would ever attempt let alone pull off, then I can dish out the praise it truly deserves.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 12:26pm (UTC -5)
It's the goofy hoops they'll jump through to harvest memberberries.
Any changeling story would logically be riddled with veterans from DS9...instead we get Ro for some reason.
Any changeling vengeance for the Dominion War would be focused on DS9 characters...instead Vadik and the Big Giant Head in her hand were hellbent on terrorizing...Jean-Luc Picard and a son who wasn't even alive during the Dominion War.
I just can't take any of this seriously.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 12:29pm (UTC -5)
The changes in Shaw's behavior from scene to scene hasn't just strained credibility, but torn it asunder. "
Kathryn Janeway was written more consistently than Liam Shaw.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 12:51pm (UTC -5)
We don't know that it isn't. What we are seeing is the point of view from the Titan, same as the fleets of Federation ships we saw destroyed during the Dominion war also had their own points of view that we never witnessed. We also don't know if they are the main antagonist yet nor what the significance of Jack is.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 1:05pm (UTC -5)
I think the facial acting, especially with Patrick Stewart has been stellar this season. Last episode, it's how he reacted to Shaw in the holodeck, and the episode before, his reaction to Beverly and the thought that he was going to lose his son. The show, I think does its best when it doesn't force additional dialogue and scenes and let the actors convey feelings and intent. Show, not tell.
The Vulcan "gangster" was jarring and a little off-putting, but I think that was the intent. What classic and 90's Trek seemed to emphasize was a type of monoculture among Vulcans, when in reality it wouldn't have been logical. We've been overexposed on T'Pol, Spock, and Tuvok, who were arguably among the best representatives of the Vulcan species. There are Vulcans who do not follow the teachings of Surak (or follow closely), and there are criminal Vulcans who justified their actions "logically". In DS9 there was the Vulcan who murdered other officers because they were seemingly happy, in Enterprise, there were the Vulcans who hid a communications spy station in a monastery, and a Vulcan who essentially "raped" T'pol. In Voyager, Tuvok's depiction was that Vulcans were not devoid of emotion, but rather trained lifelong to suppress it with logic. Given all that, the existence of an undisciplined Vulcan who was orphaned (?) and raised on a planet with a significant criminal element is not all that inconceivable. Did the writers gild the lilly and make him over-evil-villain-speechify a bit? Sure. But I think, like the gangster Ferrengi, it did add a dimension to these aliens that I appreciated.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 1:05pm (UTC -5)
Damaged or not, the Intrepid looked every bit as menacing as the Reliant did in Wrath of Khan. No small feat considering Federation ships seem to be designed to appear approachable.
Jonathan Frakes and Gates McFadden have been in every episode so far, but they're still listed as special guest stars. If that means they get more money, good for them!
Also, I can't have been the only one that got a little misty eyed when Picard and Riker got a call from Mr. Worf? It's all coming together.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 1:09pm (UTC -5)
We're still waiting on Geordi, Lore, and Moriarty's roles to become clear, and this season has moved slower than the Jovis flies away from an art gallery. Adding in another classic villain, particularly in a season lacking any Romulan involvement, would likely shortchange all three of them, ntm Geordi.
That said, with Data's death, Geordi is probably the character who would be the most interesting to see meet Sela again, not only because he had a bit of a crush on Tasha (who didn't?!) but also because Sela was the one who tortured him. Sidebar- did the crew ever find out Sela's role in the Kriosan plot?
My guesses are as follows- whoever broke into Daystrom is the same person who is employing Vadic. Moriarty is the AI running Daystrom's security, and Lore was reactivated and set loose in the breakin to cause even more distracting chaos.
Vadic herself seems like something new. Maybe the folks who have been speculating that part of a changeling has linked itself with Jack are on to something.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 1:27pm (UTC -5)
The powdery, ashy remains were commented as being odd/different, but those who remember DS9 know that when Changelings are killed at a high enough phaser or disruptor setting, they leave the same kind of residue.
My guess is that her "hand" had the contributions of all of the members of the rogue link.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 1:28pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 1:29pm (UTC -5)
You know what's bothering me? The lack of follow up scenes between Jean-Luc and Beverly so far. We've really gotten only one big confrontation in sick bay between the two elders regarding the story decisions that were made, and a couple of father/son talks. Cool. But, I hope we're in store for more?? If at the end of this run, they made time for the Ro sidebar at the expense of even more damage fallout/healing between Picard and the two Crushers (ie STRENGTHENING the main story), I think that's a miss for the narrative. God knows these plot & action heavy shows only have so much time for characterization and theme building, and I care more about the Picard and Crusher story more than I care (or ever cared) about Picard and Ro. How about Picard and Riker for that matter? They blow up at each other, cause a near-death experience, and now they're just fine again after Riker enjoys some alien birthing and a single apology? Nah man, we need more.
Agreed, maybe the Ro choice would feel stronger if it was a multiple episode thing. But, time is limited and we haven't even seen Geordi etc. yet! Why expand the narrative then when you already have enough juicy material to work with between our story leads?
Ro could have been placed in Seven's role this season. That dynamic between her and Picard/Riker across multiple episodes would have been kickass. WTF is Seven of Nine doing on a show about TNG characters anyway hahaa? NuTrek, bby.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 2:01pm (UTC -5)
So, I like they way they left it, and was not crazy that they would bring her back...but it worked. It still worked for me emotionally. Michelle Forbes is terrific.
This season is so much better. Doesn't feel forced. Dr. Crusher is actually doing science/medicine stuff not being sort of useless the way she was written in TNG. Jonathan Frakes is playing Riker as Riker in every way but an older, more wise, but more serious Riker. Seems entirely believable to me. Work is Worf and so much fun to watch. Really enjoying it.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 2:30pm (UTC -5)
@Wolfstar released a spoiler
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 2:41pm (UTC -5)
Any word on whether her goons in the first episode are Jem'hadar? They sort of have the pectoral crests on their heads, and a similar skin texture...
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 2:44pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 2:44pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 2:58pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 3:20pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 3:26pm (UTC -5)
I am not the biggest fan of Kurtzman-era Trek, but this season has been one of the most profound course changes in the right direction for a TV show that I think I have ever seen. Is it perfect? No, of course not. But TNG was never perfect either.
If you don't enjoy it (and that's your right, of course), do everyone a favor and stop watching. Your comforting reruns will never let you down, and we don't have to listen to your endless whining and complaining. Everyone wins.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 3:43pm (UTC -5)
Majel Barrett said that the people who were home Friday nights at 10 during season 3 of TOS were the “Aunt Maudes” of the world, and that the Aunt Maudes of the world “wouldn’t’ watch Star Trek if it were performed live in their living rooms.”
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 3:45pm (UTC -5)
Nothing outside of SNW has managed that for me with current live action Trek.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 4:10pm (UTC -5)
An episode of a series that only just premiered is a bit different from TOS' Charlie X. There is a spoiler below on something pretty recent. It is located in the @Wolfstar review. You may ignore this warning if you wish.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 4:17pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 4:23pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 4:31pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 4:31pm (UTC -5)
It is absolutely fair game to post spoilers about the episode if you are discussing it in the thread for that episode. That's what the thread is for and spoiler warnings aren't needed if it's *about this episode* (or a previous one). If you are reading these comments on the episode under discussion, you should expect spoilers, full stop. Don't read the comments until after you've watched the show if you don't want to be spoiled. I follow this advice myself.
Where you should refrain from spoilers (and this includes even episodes of old shows/series, because a lot of people come here after watching the shows for the first time years after the fact) is discussing in a thread for episode 20 a significant spoiler for something that happens in episode 21 or 54. If you are going to reference a plot development in a later episode, then including a spoiler warning is a courtesy you should extend.
Also, if you have read about things that are upcoming but haven't yet aired on screen, you *should* refrain from posting those as well, which is something I've seen a fair amount of lately, with the first six episodes of this series floating around out there and people reporting what they've heard.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 4:36pm (UTC -5)
We get it, you can only live in world where everybody shares your opinion about a product. Paramount Global, one of the biggest global mass media and entertainment conglomerate thanks you for your willing service.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 4:40pm (UTC -5)
I found your review worthwhile and because it was well expressed, I read the whole thing. I simply thought that it contained information that somebody might not want to see just yet. That is why I posted a warning about it.
Anecdote: About 6 months ago, in conversation with friends who were watching DS9 for the first time, I accidentally divulged that a certain character died after Season 6. My friends cried out in pain, and still torture me about it constantly.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 4:47pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 5:00pm (UTC -5)
The Vulcan riffraff was very meh. The writers also missed an opportunity to have Worf be alright from the knife wound by invoking the idea of redundant biological systems present in Klingon anatomy. Seemed like a missed opportunity for superfans.
I agree it is an ODD choice to use Changelings on TNG. I think it was a bad idea personally since there was never any history established onscreen between these characters and changelings. Also it brings up the question of why Odo didn't send along some good guy changelings to help Starfleet track down and stop the renegades.
I also don't buy the evolution of a changeling the episode presents. The changelings were able to successfully pass blood tests all the way back in DS9 starting with Martok in "The Way of the Warrior". And while it was never explicitly stated one way or the other, the impression I had was that Changelings were able to replicate internal organs based on the fact they could fool sensors and sensors would identify someone scanned as being that person or species. So, I don't think it is consistent.
Jack not being aware that he is "something more" is a definite "been there done that" most recently with Dajh and Soji in Picard season one with her whole " destroyer of all things". Even down to the idea of a switch being flipped. I think there was even a similar motif with red moons or something that Soji experienced to trigger her and then her android fighting skills kicking in like with Jack.
The season has been better than season 2 which wouldn't be hard to do. But I think they drug out the nebula thread too long and shut down momentum.
I like Riker but there has been too much Riker. I hated the idea of retconning Picard being the last of his family by magically bestowing an heir for him at the last minute. I also didn't buy Beverly running off and keeping a secret from Picard about her pregnancy. That strikes me as a very 19th/20th century notion for a teenager not something befitting Beverly Crusher.
Liam Shaw is an awful character. No endearing qualities. He's nails on a chalkboard.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 5:02pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 5:14pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 5:30pm (UTC -5)
Ah yes, Faith's knife. I mentioned how glad I was to see it again under the second episode thread, and will reiterate it here. It IS a "thing of beauty" as the slayer herself would say! I'd forgotten (or never read) where Shinzon got the knife. Was it in his story in "Tales of the Dominion War"? That's one of my books whose loss to flood damage I most regret.
I can see those numbers being Dominionese, I guess. Some of them did look klingon but on the whole were too angular for that.
What surprises me most about the changelings' new forms is the newfound ability to breathe, smell, and taste, as evidenced by Vadic's smoking. Or maybe she's just smoking to make any solid underlings she has uncomfortable. That last one sounds right.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 5:35pm (UTC -5)
"We get it, you can only live in (a) world where everybody shares your opinion about a product."
I *literally* said in my original comment that you all are entitled to your opinion. Literally wrote it. But why watch something you know you will not enjoy, just to post about how much you didn't like it?
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 6:03pm (UTC -5)
Great ep regardless, this totally won me over. I initially felt like all the usual haters had been replaced by changelings after watching the first two episodes.
I'm not sure how much of this is swayed by my love of DS9, the Dominion were my favorite villains in all of Trek but the ending of DS9 was a bit of a generic wet fart. So I'm hoping this might be a proper send off two 2 great Treks. What I'm getting now though is more than enough, whatever it ends up being.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 6:08pm (UTC -5)
As someone firmly in the detractor camp, so to speak, there are interesting aspects of a production besides it being entertaining. I would watch Picard S3 whether it was great or not, because my interest in the Trek universe extends to production decisions, writing, and reaction/influence of fans. I can't speak for others, but know that a few fellow critics also enjoy these topics.
As long as you are quoting your previous post, you also said something that may rankle a few: "if you don't enjoy it . . . do EVERYONE a favor and stop watching." (emphasis added). Are you meaning to suggest an environment of universal praise without analysis is preferred, and that nitpicky detractors are just noise that interferes with your enjoyment?
Welcome to the internet, where your ability to tune in and tune out what you want always gets a good workout.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 6:10pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 6:21pm (UTC -5)
I rarely give an inch. Perhaps at this stage, I feel it's good enough, even with the occasional dip into dumb. As I said, I could nitpick. That said, extracting some enjoyment from S3 does not change my view on the franchise as a whole, nor will it encourage me to set eyeballs on anything else coming off the production line. I can see Terry is trying to make something that appeals to me and so far, he's had some success. So, I'm willing to drop my guard and endeavor to enjoy what's left.
On the whole though, I have given up and am still out after S3. With Paramount's cost-cutting efforts, I think some fans need to temper expectations over anymore shows coming down the pipeline. It's quite possible the Kurtzman era is winding down. So yeah, unless Paramount flicks the franchise off to the highest bidder or Kurtzman, Akiva and the rest of their Executive Producer squad are given their marching orders, my inner Trekkie goes back into hibernation mode after this.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 7:09pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 7:09pm (UTC -5)
The Ro/Picard scenes are easily the highlight of the episode, it was a great send off for her.
Raffi continues to be the weak link in the show, and her sub-plot is not very interesting (though it's infinitely more tolerable with Worf in the mix). The idea of a Vulcan gangster is intriguing, but I don't think they got the casting / acting right.
I'm not a huge fan of how they retconned the changlings, if it were true that they couldn't replicate internal organs, they would be easy to detect with a medical tricorder of that era. I don't understand why changlings were undetectable in DS9, then retconned to be detectable, only to evolve to become undetectable again? What's the point of doing that? Does it somehow increase the dramatic tension? They should have just left the DS9 lore in place and it wouldn't have impacted the story very much, just add a line saying "Starfleet never found a good way to detect changlings so they could be anywhere".
Still, the highlight was the Ro/Picard scenes and they knocked those out of the park.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 7:20pm (UTC -5)
Yes...dialogue from Odo in DS9 said that when a changeling becomes that thing, it is that thing and reads in every way to every sensor *as* that thing. A changeling in bird form can fly because it is anatomically and physiologically a bird.
In TWOTW, and the Homefront/Paradise Lost episodes, they had to find a way (with Odo as guinea pig) to force a changeling *into* liquid form because no mere scan would suffice to identify them.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 7:23pm (UTC -5)
For the first time, the darkness on the Titan bothered me. Maybe only because people were mentioning it last episode and for some reason the complaint stuck. And I think someone said that Terry Matalas admitted it wasn't supposed to be so dark - which confused me, couldn't he do something about it?
Personally I think that Lore is the big baddie and Moriarity is the one who's going to outfox him - he was created to be able to outthink Data, and Lore is Data's equal. I haven't rewatched the last Moriarty episode yet, but in the first one he claimed to have outgrown his evil ways and just wanted to experience life. What I do remember of that second episode is Picard seeing to it that M. had a lifelife environment that was meant to run forever. So I don't think he would have any animus against Picard. Again, correct me if I'm wrong.
I love Captain Shaw. Love love love.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 7:34pm (UTC -5)
It's not unreasonable to think that Picard still logged his experience in 'All Good Things' and that other starship captains had access to it.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 7:37pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 7:48pm (UTC -5)
"who famously abandoned Starfleet to join the Maquis in that episode after she became sympathetic to their plight. It's something Picard took as a deep, personal betrayal and never got over, we learn."
But it rings staggeringly false and hypocritical, because in Insurrection, Picard did EXACTLY the same thing.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 7:55pm (UTC -5)
Why would they want to? Every historical indication has been the opposite.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 7:57pm (UTC -5)
This is some serious shit!!! OMG
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 8:03pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 8:08pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 8:09pm (UTC -5)
Also maybe it's just me but it seems strange that the Intrepid wouldn't be an Intrepid class, it's odd to jump a ship out of its namesake class, and I wouldn't have minded seeing a Voyager-esque ship in modern CGI.
I can't help think they're trying to tie together theat ship being a modernized USS Pioneer with Pioneer Day appearing to be the end point to a lot of this, at least just superficially.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 8:12pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 8:14pm (UTC -5)
"(Maybe these are shapeshifters who have somehow merged with solids?)"
Or at the very least maybe that is what Jack is... Maybe this conspiracy with the new "meaty" changelings goes back 20 odd years and Beverly is one of them and was one all the way back when Jack was conceived? (Ewwww!) Maybe "programmed" in some way so she doesn't even realize it? In Jack's visions, the "find me" voice sounds like Beverly, maybe the real one is out there somewhere to be found?
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 8:23pm (UTC -5)
It looks similar to the Titan, what with sharing a design language, but the layout and proportions are very different.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 8:24pm (UTC -5)
I always liked Ro and thought DS9 would have been better with her than Kira. Somewhat unfortunate she had to die.
Now I am looking forward to next episode.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 8:30pm (UTC -5)
"Feels like they’re using the TNG cast to tell a DS9 story
More than fine by me."
An elevator pitch for this season of Picard if I ever heard one.
Yknow what I'm down. This is turning out to be okay and it's got me pumped for next Thursday. What more can you ask a weekly TV series to do?
Go on with your bad self, Picard S3.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 8:31pm (UTC -5)
ETA (sans edit feature) I thought Ro's reluctance to transport seemed a decent bit of subtle continuity. The initial changeling on Titan was impersonating the transporter technician, Shaw wondered why that would be. Ro mentioned other changeling "incidents". So the bad guys like to work the transporter: Some investigator comes on board an infested ship sniffing around, then leaves like Cmdr Sonak in a "transporter accident."
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 8:56pm (UTC -5)
But let's be real.......how does Shaw know about the Devron incident??? It only happened to Picard. Did Picard, after telling his crew about his wild Q experience, decide to go play poker, then actually write a report to Starfleet about how he almost destroyed the universe? /nerd
Picard S3 still isn't quite what I'm looking for, but it's finally getting there after the huge misfires of S1 and S2. Keep it coming please.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 9:19pm (UTC -5)
The other clue is his tremendous speed and violence when attacked by the changelings. It's very much like Soji from season 1 - and I can see the producers being happy to tie that in. So I wonder if he's a synth and doesn't know it. In which case, Beverly would have to know, wouldn't she? Unless he has some missing years?
If he were a changeling, why would he attack the others? Because I think he lied to his mother and he DID know.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 9:24pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 9:31pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 9:37pm (UTC -5)
It's a classic Trekism to have our hero ship meet one of the same or nearly the same type of ship. Just remember "The Ultimate Computer" (TOS) or "Contagion" (TNG) where the other ship was literally exactly the same class as the 1701 or the 1701-D.
Though if you pay attention, the Intrepid was NOT The exact same, it was slightly different in an interesting way.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 10:17pm (UTC -5)
What bothered me were the "premonitions" that Jack kept having about killing officers here and there. I mean it's a thrilling theatrical device to use once, but when it keeps getting thrown it around, it's not that impressive.
Also irritating to me was the resurgence of the "Trust no one!" theme. I mean these characters should be trusting some people hard after what they just went through together. It's stilting at times to watch a deep emotional scene between two characters only to have it marred by the lurking possibility that one of them could be a changeling. I was relieved when DS9 sparingly used that story device.
The Raffi/Worf plot, besides being a laughable and repetitive reuse of an existing set, was fun and had its moments. I don't mind a Vulcan mobster who operates on logic (kind of reminds me of all the times Tuvok played a villain) and the fight to the death between Worf and Raffi had a TOS's "Amok Time" feel to it.
I would like to give this 2 stars, but Forbes is great so I'll bump it up to 2.5.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 10:24pm (UTC -5)
The follow-up to "Preemptive Strike" is such a great idea and it is really well acted and executed. I guess I can't get away from Michelle Forbes as I just watched her on BSG a little while ago. She's a good sci-fi guest actress.
To some extent I feel the series is lacking in originality as we've got another "Conspiracy" plot here with all of Star Fleet compromised. Also, as for the Changelings being able to mimic human biology more effectively (so that blood tests don't work), I don't see that as particularly innovative either.
It's a bit mystery box-ish with Jack's problem -- it's a constant tease at this stage. He's become some kind of super-weapon -- didn't we see this kind of thing with Dahj in PIC S1's "Remembrance"?
But overall, I appreciated the integrity of the follow-up between Picard and Ro Larin. Good scenes in the holodeck between Picard/Ro how the broke each other's hearts. I think this is what TNG fans want to see.
As for Raffi/Worf and Krinn -- more of the same here and a bit hard to rationalize Krinn, a Vulcan, pairing up with the Ferengi though Krinn did explain himself. I just don't buy it. But it's gratifying to see Worf connect with Riker/Picard via Ro's earring.
3 stars for "Imposters" -- pretty good story being told overall and I appreciate the integrity of the story arc. Yes, the writers' hearts are in the right place -- they are producing Trek that has a lot of the feel of classic Trek. PIC S3 has thus far managed to blow away my expectations which were in the dumps after S2. The elements of nu-Trek they've kept are the least annoying ones --they are not trying to tick boxes to appease the woke mob or building in excessive emotional scenes. Very eager to see the next episode.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 10:31pm (UTC -5)
My guess is that the smoking is more of an affectation than anything imbibed. I do recall that Laas, the changeling from DS9, was able to turn himself into clouds--the smoke from smoking might provide some kinds of pleasure by diffusion. Probably overthinking at this point.
Thu, Mar 16, 2023, 10:35pm (UTC -5)
and his potentially being an Augment. I’m not sure they will play that card, but part of the end credits (near where Matalas’s name appears) shows genetic sequences (ACGT each being a DNA base letters). That somehow that seems significant given the concentration of clues already uncovered in the end credits (e.g., USS Constance, Do Not Engage, etc).
I do not think they will make Jack somehow not Crusher and Picard’s kid, however. They have played the “fake son” card before in the TNG series.
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 1:01am (UTC -5)
I despise bringing back classic characters and then killing them... and oh boy they had me on edge there for a minute with that Worf fake. It just feels cheap to do this. Star Wars you lost me.
So, I am not thrilled with Ro's fate.
HOWEVER, this didn't feel quite so cheap, mainly because I had no idea Forbes was in it. AFAIK it wasn't advertised at all. And Ro was never the biggest character anyway, only in nine episodes.
Lol, I agree she feels more like Admiral Cain than Ro Laren, but she should since she's a commander now. And she was playing older in BSG.
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 1:12am (UTC -5)
And with Ro, wow, pretty good tension, misdirection, mystery. I had not one clue whether she would be a changeling or not.
I can see why Jammer thought Ro used the shuttle instead of the transporter just to get the shuttle in place for her return death.
This is probably true, but I will point out what's conspicuously (and joyously) missing-- the TECHNOBABBLE explanation. The whole season has been nice and low on technobabble.
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 1:26am (UTC -5)
The purpose of these episode threads is to discuss the plot, what is going on, give reviews, read Jammers' review, and so on.
We are all adults here, right? Grow up and have some emotional restraint to avoid A THREAD WHERE PEOPLE REVIEW WHAT HAPPENED IN AN EPISODE, until you watch said episode :)
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 1:31am (UTC -5)
I hate the senseless f-bombs.
If 10 or 20 f-bombs had to fly, one of the few times it would probably seem natural is in a "present day" encounter between Picard/Riker and Ro Larren.
(Fun fact, the Maquis were possibly the only group originated in TNG that carried through TNG, DS9, VOY, and now PIC)
If it was sans-f-bombs, even better.
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 1:42am (UTC -5)
Meh, also, I've got a lot going on this week - I'll probably forget about the Ro Larren cameo until I see it.
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 1:47am (UTC -5)
Ok, so you started that post, in which you so gracefully gave us the right to have a differing opinion, with an insult.
"I'm convinced some of you are simply anhedonic."
"You will never have 1987-1994 again, because it will never BE 1987-1994 again. "
Your second sentence is used to portray anybody who does not like this season (so far) as some nostalgia fanatic which is pretty ironic considering that this season is like a nostalgia H-bomb.
My problem are the numerous really dumb plot points. For example, Ro committed several severe crimes, all of them would come with long prison sentences. She joined the Maquis and probably did even more felonies when she was a Maquis operative. Then she went to prison for a while. Obviously Starfleet intelligence thought, you know who we should hire, give sensitive information to and entrust with important operations? A traitor. Oh and promote her to commander ASAP. No wonder the head of Starfleet Intelligence herself was a Romulan spy.
"Is it perfect? No, of course not. But TNG was never perfect either."
Honey, if you want to use a strawman, try a little harder.
"Your comforting reruns will never let you down, and we don't have to listen to your endless whining and complaining."
Well, aren't you sweet.
Here a little clip to highlight what I think of your opinion.
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 2:10am (UTC -5)
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 2:52am (UTC -5)
Fair counter-arguments, but I really wish you'd dial back the condescending language you so often employ. There's no reason to use words like 'honey' except to rankle someone.
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 3:15am (UTC -5)
Ha, excellent point. In over 20% of her episodes, she had a transporter accident.
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 3:45am (UTC -5)
Btw, the transporter thing didn't bother me. Seeing how easy it seems to disrupt a transporter beam and inconspicuously murder someone, it makes sense to avoid it.
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 4:14am (UTC -5)
I guess fans that didn't watch much TOS view Vulcans as far more noble than they really were. The first episode with Vulcans other than Spock (Amok Time) features Spock's quasi-wife behaving in an absolutely treacherous (though logical) manner. Spock is a bit of a war hawk.
Seems to me an orphan Vulcan who grew up on the streets of crapville would turn out like this, especially with a Ferengi orphan pal. (Is that racist?)
The lack of bad words! Maybe they heard or bitching. I'm glad, I just don't see language adding anything, and much worse is when it's put in legacy characters's mouths. It just pulls me out of the reality. To me, having the F word show up is as out of place as if the F bomb showed up in BSG. (For those who never watched Galactica, it had its own custom word in place of that. )
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 5:15am (UTC -5)
BSG would have certainly used it if they could have. On the other hand it gave us wonderful phrases like:"Take this you fracking Fracker!!!"
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 5:34am (UTC -5)
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 7:42am (UTC -5)
The sets are already built. Casting for the command crew is already done. I'm calling Star Trek: Titan the next series announced.
It's a shame Chris Rios didn't get a shot. I really liked the Stargazer.
Also, not once in this series has Seven's nanoprobes been used as the deux ex machina solution to a problem.
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 7:48am (UTC -5)
How did the Intrepid just let that shuttle run into its nacelle? Just impossible. Biggest issue. Also they could just have short right away with traitor nonsense excuse, especially after most of Titan crew beamed across.
Why the 2 changelings blow up the shuttle? No logic. Better silently stay behind to look for mr Crusher.
About that, mr Crusher is Superjezus. Against 4 flexible highly trained shapeshifters of all. And with no training. Wow. Imprinted Ninja memories for sure...
The Worf fake die scene is also typical stuff not thought through.
Still mildly entertaining but not Star Trek as we knew it.
Don't think, it will hurt you.
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 7:53am (UTC -5)
I'm thinking Star Trek: Janeway will be the next one!
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 7:58am (UTC -5)
Picard: "Captain, we have to get out of here fast. The changelings are concerned about spoilers."
Shaw: "Throw him in the brig."
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 7:58am (UTC -5)
"...for reasons know one yet knows..." I figure you would want to change that.
.. and the interpid and Titan aren't alike. The Titan is Neo-Constitution Class, the Interpid is Duderstadt-class.
Wow..... what a frakin great episode!! My only gripe would be that I wish they wouldn't have killed off Ro....
What a surprise!! I DID NOT see that one coming. A Master Class in acting between these two on the holedeck and late when she's on the shuttle. "You broke my heart".... sniff... What a treat... I thought she was a Changeling! (super happy she wasn't) The earring was an emotional punch.
The Jack Crusher thingy is getting really interesting. Holy crap did he handle those 4 Changelings! I'm glad that Beverly is trying to get to the bottom of what's going on with him and I'm glad he now is confiding in her.
This is like Lower Decks season 1 where every episode seemed to get better as the season progressed.
WHERE HAS THIS WRITING BEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Super easy 4 stars!! No question this is the best Picard episode to date!
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 8:05am (UTC -5)
I believe they mentioned the transporters were setup to detect a Changling presence since the Dominion War, earlier in the episode. So seeing the Intrepid inexplicably decide to send a shuttle was a big red flag to us that these aren't the good guys coming over. (And that spilled over into audience suspicions about Ro.)
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 8:17am (UTC -5)
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 9:15am (UTC -5)
I definitely miss René, he was one of the best actors I've seen, imo. I loved Odo and I felt like René put a tremendous amount of emotion and believability into that character. His final scene in DS9 makes me cry every time.
While on the subject of beloved characters, I love Ensign Ro, and was shocked to see her back. I've always enjoyed Michelle Forbes ever since seeing the film Kalifornia. Her TNG scenes with Whoopi Goldberg are priceless.
I'm glad this one works for me and I'm not trying to analyze it in order to figure out why it didn't. Honestly, it wasn't fun sitting around for a week wondering what the "you killed us all" line could imply.
I keep hearing this is "genuine TNG reunion" but that would require Geordi and Data... at least. (And as much as I love Seven, she's not Data.) Also - I haven't noticed any chemistry between Dr Crusher and Jack; but I'm going to rewatch a few episodes and see if I just missed it. I thought the big reveal would involve full disclosure from Beverly. Hopefully a debriefing is forthcoming - obviously they haven't had a lot of time to do that yet. But it might be good idea to sit her down and ask her what the heck is going on?
N.B. Unless otherwise specified, all comments are directed solely at the episode script.
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 10:00am (UTC -5)
@Yanks - "WHERE HAS THIS WRITING BEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!" - That's what I've been trying to figure out! Cindy Appel wrote this episode and obviously did a great job but she also wrote some of the really bad season 2 episodes. So is the improvement entirely because of Terry as show runner?
I'm not complaining, but it's strange that they still have some of the season 2 writers on the staff and yet the writing in season 3 is 100x better than the writing in season 2.
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 10:14am (UTC -5)
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 10:28am (UTC -5)
Thanks, that makes sense. Whoever is responsible should also sit in the Discovery writing room and show them a thing or two :)
I'm not saying this season is amazing, but it's very solid and it's so refreshing to watch a NuTrek show that actually has decent writing.
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 10:58am (UTC -5)
DS9 really benefited from the fact that Ira Steven Behr took the reins from Season 2 and took control of the narrative. He even has writing credits for over 50 of the episodes. TNG finally found its rhythm in the 3rd season when Michael Piller took control of the writing, opened things up for outside submissions, and mandated that each episode have a particular focus on one of the main characters.
I think the problem with Discovery was that it never really found its footing until too late. By then, it had already inherited too much of the dysfunctional baggage that baked itself in structurally. They went through countless showrunners, and the show itself was switched from its original conception from Bryan Fuller--an anthology type series. Shifting it to the 32nd century solved its painting-into-corners problem, but I think it severely disconnected itself from the continuity of Trek so much so it might as well be its own timeline universe. A lot of the appeal of Trek was that we could see future technology and kind of see how ours can link up to it--viewscreens, PADDs, universal translators, and even the theoretical possibility of warp drive.
With Picard, I think given that there's two seasons of immediate continuity that Matalas had to deal with, they're doing an excellent job.
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 11:56am (UTC -5)
"That's what I've been trying to figure out! Cindy Appel wrote this episode and obviously did a great job but she also wrote some of the really bad season 2 episodes. So is the improvement entirely because of Terry as show runner?"
It seems to be... maybe this season is Terry's story from the get go and the plan is better from the start?
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 12:45pm (UTC -5)
While there were (very) brief glimpses of the Picard and Ro of old in the JL-Commander Ro scene, it was mainly a complete waste of a fascinating premise, throwing vague dialogue at the wall without any real plan. And what in the Alpha Quadrant are they doing hinting that there was some bizarre romantic (?) attraction between them? Is the final PIC insult to Jean-Luc Picard to be that he was abusing his position out of sexual interest in the vulnerable Ro? Picard the pervert? Repulsive, utterly repulsive.
Another terrible thing about this episode however is how tediously predictable it all is. Everything about it right down to the faux-meaningful dialogue.
The only bright spot continues to be Michael Dorn as Worf. And perhaps Frakes as Riker if they didn't give him such a silly role.
I don't care who or what Jack Crusher or his visions are.
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 12:52pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 1:57pm (UTC -5)
For example, the turbolift scene at the end of season 3 of Disco was just so odd base that regardless of what else happened in the episode, it just showed fans of Star Trek that the show runner, writers and production crew have zero clue about ship design or really anything remotely canonical. When you have a staff that cares that little about a detail that big fans just tune out.
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 2:01pm (UTC -5)
Very swift and oddly personal denunciation/denial from you here.
I said romantic first, then drew it out into a hypothetical extreme based on the power dynamic at the time in TNG and various other recent real world abuses of power that may have informed the writers' intentions in tackling that dynamic in 2023, namely Weinstein et al. And no, of course I feel uncomfortable at the very insinuation, even if I have misunderstood it, that Jean-Luc Picard is capable of wilfully abusing his position of trust/professional responsibility to a female subordinate, apparently for romantic/sexual motives. (As a man, of course, I suppose he is, but it's an uncomfortable insinuation that seems out of character.)
It was a question, hence the question marks. You didn't sense it, that's fine. I stand by what I said, I simply didn't understand what the writers were implying. Not sure they did either.
Your own reaction to what I wrote is, as you would say, 'on you'. (I can play that game too.)
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 2:46pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 3:09pm (UTC -5)
"And what in the Alpha Quadrant are they doing hinting that there was some bizarre romantic (?) attraction between them? "
It didn't come across that way to me at all. I thought they were recalling an intense mentor/protege, even father/daughter thing. They 'broke each others hearts', there doesn't need to be a sexual or romantic love component for your heart to be broken.
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 3:24pm (UTC -5)
The math just isn't there on Jack Crusher.
Nemesis was only JUST twenty years ago.. We're told that in the time since, Jean-Luc and Beverly have attempted a romantic relationship FIVE times, leading to her ultimately absconding with his love child without telling him, and somehow that love child is 23 and looks 35.
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 3:39pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 3:45pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 3:45pm (UTC -5)
Changeling? Pah Wraith? Maybe HE is some kind of hologram and Moriarty is connected to him somehow? We’ve only got 5 eps left, and they still haven’t introduced Geordi or whatever character Brent Spiner is portraying ( and very little Troi)—and we’ve yet to unravel what’s going on with the characters we DO have. How is there gonna be any time to get Barclay in there?!😜
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 3:47pm (UTC -5)
Fair enough, good point. I definitely see that aspect, but my interpretation is that the writers were wheeling through several possible motives and/or connotations and hadn't settled themselves on what the underlying issue between the two characters is, so threw it all at the wall to see what would stick hoping Forbes and Stewart would sell it. Probably actually preferring to let the audience mull it over as we are doing, Soprano's ending style. Make it all seem more intelligent than it really is.
If they were going to use Ro, they should have had her taking the Beverly 'Help me, Jean-Luc, you're my only hope' role and not bothering at all with the Jack Crusher arc. Maybe Ro ended up with the Fenris Rangers when the Maquis were wiped out. Not that the Fenris Rangers make any sense at all, of course.
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 3:53pm (UTC -5)
'Changeling? Pah Wraith? Maybe HE is some kind of hologram and Moriarty is connected to him somehow? We’ve only got 5 eps left'
He's a changeling possessed by a Pah wraith who's been tricked into working on behalf of Lore and Moriarty who are chumming it up at the Daystrom Institute prison we've seem in LDS.
Also, five whole episodes left? I sense filler incoming. The five episodes so far have barely had enough story to fill out two normal TNG episodes.
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 4:08pm (UTC -5)
Feels like there was no advancement here. None of the characters want to question Picards son or his mother about what's going on.
Lots of dialogue that's just empty or not very meaningful, only to reveal the most basic of plot advances that starfleet is compromised by changlings. But we were already headed in that direction...
By now we should have some idea of what's up with Picards son, it can't be dragged out all season. Even if we don't have the full details we need something so we can invest and follow that journey :-(
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 4:08pm (UTC -5)
It’s a totally different starship design. Same nacelles perhaps but everything else is different.
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 4:10pm (UTC -5)
However, the season is clearly improved over the previous two and one lesser episode doesn't ruin the season!
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 4:11pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 4:21pm (UTC -5)
'Lots of dialogue that's just empty or not very meaningful, only to reveal the most basic of plot advances that starfleet is compromised by changlings.'
The dialogue is the worst filler of all in this series. When it's not quips and swearing it pretends to be deep but comes across stilted, unnatural, vague and unsure of itself. There's the odd line here or there that works but it's mostly just them padding out the running time with exchanges that wouldn't have made the final draft of a TNG script.
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 4:46pm (UTC -5)
Shameless fan service, but still fun :D
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 5:07pm (UTC -5)
RO: Your Bajoran has improved.
PICARD: Oh, I have been rehearsing this conversation for 30 years.
RO: You have no idea what it was like living under your relentless judgment.
PICARD: This wasn't about judgment. We had a bond based on mutual respect. Based on... you and I...
RO: You and I what?
PICARD: You betrayed everything I believed in.
RO: No. You wanted to mold me in your image. Your mentorship. Your affection. It was conditional.
I'm not disagreeing with the 'intense mentor/protege' reading (indeed, 'mentorship' is explicitly mentioned), incidentally, but I felt the 'based on... you and I' and 'your affection' definitely suggested something out of character in Ro and Picard's relationship as presented here.
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 5:14pm (UTC -5)
As far as I'm concerned, this is the only real season of Picard. It makes the previous two look like bad fan fiction. It took three season to see Patrick Stewart become Picard again but it was worth it.
I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. This is like the episode Conspiracy on a larger scale.
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 5:17pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 5:29pm (UTC -5)
Again, Insurrection makes this whole exchange reek of hypocrisy.
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 5:37pm (UTC -5)
Their relationship was close, even warm like father and daughter by the end of TNG. She betrayed him bak then and returns as prodigal to rekindle the warmth. It is a friendship (not a romance) but the way the scene progresses it seems too intense for Ro to express her deep feelings for Picard, perhaps out if fear that he would reject her.
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 5:51pm (UTC -5)
To reiterate, I am strongly against the episode suggesting there might be any kind of romance whatsoever, even implied, between Picard/'JL' and Ro/'Commander Ro'.
In the actual exchange you can clearly see, I think, the writers hedging their bets or being uncertain or outright lacking awareness about the historical nature of the two characters' 'bond'. It's most frequently parsed as mentor/protege (fine with that) or father/daughter (not fine with that) by viewers in this thread but I have argued the writers threw an insinuation of romance in as well, and it stinks.
It's badly scripted if that wasn't the writers' intent. I don't even want to have to have this type of discussion about Ro and Picard, sadly. But that's 2023 for you. We're left having to use TNG to fill in blanks left in the script, even though that was 30 years ago in-universe.
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 6:06pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 6:59pm (UTC -5)
I am happy I can watch some great new Star Trek again.
It is has been too long without it.
oh, and Michele Forbes is amazing!
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 7:00pm (UTC -5)
BSG 2003 *might* have used the real thing instead of "frack" if they could, but frack actually came from the 1978 series. There was also "feldercarb" in the original (BS), though I don't think that made it to the new show.
Holodeck safeties!! I love how they skip the pretense that safeties are hard to disable and this holodeck has a simple toggle switch!
(Though my personal theory is holodecks never actually had safeties installed even though they're supposed to.)
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 7:00pm (UTC -5)
"I have argued the writers threw an insinuation of romance in as well, and it stinks."
Agreed. I think that they cut what may have been the revealing line off mid-sentence to suggest that she had viewed him romantically. What we had with them was really master and pupil in late TNG with deep mutual esteem that such a relationship implies. In that episode (Preemptive Strike) the actors/characters were forced by circumstances to smooch around, but it was nothing more than subterfuge to keep their cover intact in the context of a spy game. I guess the present writers chose to play around with that side of things.
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 7:09pm (UTC -5)
A lot of speculation was discussed about who is in chage of Daystrom institute.
But what about these new changellings ? are they even the Dominion?
And about Jack becoming a murder machine with all the red room stuff?
It looked like when Dahj security protocols kicked-in. I am betting he was transformed in sort of human-synthetic hybrid.
Anyway, the shot with the Titan entering warp with the torpedos closing in was nice.
My only gripe is if the main bad guy turns out to be again an AI-that-will-destroy-all-biological lifeforms.
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 9:06pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 9:46pm (UTC -5)
"I have argued the writers threw an insinuation of romance in as well, and it stinks."
@Sigh2000 "Agreed. I think that they cut what may have been the revealing line off mid-sentence to suggest that she had viewed him romantically."
Do people really live in a world in which one can't feel affection for someone without it being of a romantic kind?
Wish I could post that image of Picard and Riker both doing facepalms; it certainly fits here!
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 10:14pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 11:05pm (UTC -5)
- Shaw telling them like it is in a way that only Shaw knows how
- It's particularly telling that when Shaw references all the times Picard and Riker screwed up, he mainly mentions the movies (the time paradox is from All Good Things, but he could have just as easily referred to First Contact)
- Ro Laren pointing a phaser at Picard and then telling him, “You have to trust me!” is such a Nu-Trek thing to do. Seriously, if she’s not really Faux Laren then what does she need the phaser for..?
- They’re laying it on rather thick with Jack’s visions, to the point where it looks like he’s having visions within visions
- Contrary to what Worf says, death by Raffi would have been the very least worthy death possible...I guess that was all part of the bluff!
- Once Again, the holodeck is perpetually locked on Ten Forward and the B-plot takes place either on La Sirena or District 6... I guess they're cutting corners so they can splurge on a really great Daystrom Institute set?
- The Changlings giving Ro Laren ample time to warn everyone that danger is afoot, strapping her shuttle with a ticking timebomb seems like it would be right out of an old James Bond movie. I know, storywise, why they didn’t just shoot her (kinda like why they didn’t just shoot Raffi but gave her a knife instead …oh why didn’t they just shoot her…) but it was kinda funny in light of how painstakingly covert their whole master plan has been.
Jammer says, "It's like, what were the writers waiting for? So strange."
I don't find it strange at all. It just happened to take Alex Kurtzman this long to get out of his own way. Ego is a formidable beast.
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 11:11pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 11:49pm (UTC -5)
I got a chuckle out of Shaw rattling off Picard/Riker misadventures. Really on the nose, leaning on the fourth wall there. I'm sure crashing the primary hull of the Enterprise D was quite well known, but I suspect the events of All Good Things (which didn't really happen) were classified top secret.
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 12:07am (UTC -5)
Also, Ro doesn't know if Picard is real either. She obviously suspects he's real, which is why she takes him to the holodeck.
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 12:33am (UTC -5)
I figured she took him to the holodeck not so much because she suspects Picard but because she doesn't know who else could be a changeling. That's why she locks the door tells him to turn up the music. She's about to tell him everything and she doesn't want anyone eavesdropping. Of course, the moment Picard turns a gun on her as well, she gets more defensive and turns his suspicions back on him, but only because the situation took a turn that she didn't anticipate.
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 1:51am (UTC -5)
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 1:55am (UTC -5)
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 2:08am (UTC -5)
I have a sinking feeling that Jack is gonna turn out to be one of them. Probably not knowingly, but in a really convoluted Voq sort of way.
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 2:40am (UTC -5)
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 2:45am (UTC -5)
Anyway, think whoever sees romance in there sees it very subjectively instead of there being an objective script issues. If there was an objetive script issue it would be much more pronounced. I definitley felt her respect for Picard and when she cried it was genuinley because he broke her heart. As it turned out, her rigidness and cold demeanor was just a front until she figures out if Picard is really Picard (well, if we take season 1 as canon he's not really Picard but let's all forget season 1 ever happened).
Yeah, you could nitcpick on why she lets herself goes back in thew shuttle with peoplke she don't trust, and why they in turn don't shoot her and then beam out, but the story needed that final scene between her and Picard, so it was a bit contrived in retrospect, but it didn't bother me in real time. I didn't even notice. Which means that at the very least is was a very skillful contrivance...:-)
Now I need to go and rewatch "Preemptive Strike"...
As to the people saying (wondering?) how the writing got so much better, it's a fact that this season has a completley different writing team then previous seasons and a different showrunner. So basically the entire writers room has been reset. It's not like there's anything in the IMDB filmographies of the new writers to suggest they are better writers than the previous ones, but the proof is in the pudding. At the very least someone in the writers room knows what they're doing.
The seaosn really feels like its own thing. Even how it'a stylized, with only the main title and then the name of the episode at the beginning, and then the very cool end credits...it's like the old DNA was completley scrapped and it replaced by a new body.
It looks like the old show, it smells like the old show, but it's not. And I actually like the fact that it seems more low budget and more parsed down than before. It makes it feel more intimate, and Star Trek was always in its essence an intimate show. A show where characters debated in rooms. There were always very few sets and there was something clunky and low budget about the proceedings. Star Trek always lived in the simpler world of TV, not in the gigantic world of Movies.
I always thought big special effects and action sequences were not what Star Trek is about. The Star Warsifation of the brand didn't completley end here - the vice planet Raffi and Worf are on feels straight out of Star Wars + Blade Runner, but the fantastical and overblown elements are heavilly toned down, at least so far. So I don't mind the "cheapness" at all.
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 3:00am (UTC -5)
That's what you get if writers work adhoc with no grand scheme, universe and character knowledge and just copy paste ideas from other action pieces and throw a "Big Event" right at your face once in a while to keep you awake. They treat it more like Fantasy.
The CGI is also very lacking and copies the dark looks. Some old time fans show way better stuff on YouTube.
O great how they have a big turn safety off switch in the Holodeck simulation xD. O that also doesn't let you create a nuclear or even antimatter bomb btw. Its still a simulation, a set, prop. Yeah, they misinterpreted that concept before.
These writers also frequently retcon overdramatic scenes into it. Ro and Picard... cringy.. ouch.
SuperCrusherrrr.... because of imprinted memories and skills? xD. Join the Dark Side Jack. SuperVillainAttackShipOne...
The writers write with current day thinking. A sophisticated AI should be everywhere in Star Trek (ship computer included), except when Starfleet would have banned it because of bad events in past. Every single message is Encrypted. The stun setting is no more available on phasers?
Still not much of a main story huh? It reveals as slow as possible because that is the one thing these show runners can do. Stretch a basic idea till it rips apart.
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 3:49am (UTC -5)
"it's a fact that this season has a completley different writing team then previous seasons and a different showrunner."
No, it is not. Matalas was already showrunner for season 2 and because season 2 and 3 were filmed back to back, lots of the writing staff was carried over. People also like to praise Frakes for his directing, seemingly forgetting that he also directed Stardust City Rag. Certainly the worst ST:Picard episode.
This episode was written by Cindy Appel, who also wrote two season 2 episodes, fairly mediocre ones. Actually all of the episodes of season 3 were written and directed by people who also wrote and directed for seasons 2 or 1. You guys can believe that this is now a great show but it certainly isn't because of a new writing and directing team. Seems like they only had to tweak a few things to turn garbage into gold for most. I'm pretty baffled by the different reactions to this in contrast to seasons 1 and 2.
People even seem to like the numerous mystery boxes now. Reading the reasons people give why this is now great really sound like they should be reasons why this is now kind of ok. I will give the season 1 and 2 threads a read to see if at the mid point people were still very enthusiastic.
So yeah at the Impossible box episode the majority was still fairly positive about season 1. There are even several of the "People who dislike this are anhedonic" posts. :D Man, good that Dukat said this word once because it certainly seems burnt into peoples memory. Certainly makes the sentiment "Can you not just have fun!" sound a lot fancier.
Here the tone at midpoint of seasons 1 and 2.
Comments for s2 are like this:
- Yeah, this was a big improvement and I'm willing to say we're officially back on track.
- I thought this episode was great. Last week is the weakest of the lot, but we are back on track this week.
- This episode was a real treat.
- I thought this was a big step up after a shaky (and sometimes bad) episode last week.
- The entire episode was a lot better than last time: The story flowed better, we approach more central pieces of the mystery,
Here a few comments from the impossible Box (s1). The comments for Stardust City Rag were obviously pretty negative.
- I enjoyed the episode! Not as much as "Stardust City Rag", but it's nice that they finally seem to have some momentum.
- Wow. This was riveting.
- Damn. That was good. Like good in an unqualified sense of the word.
- That was pretty good. I think the best episode of the show so far.
- A slow burner that tells a fairly effective story about Soji's realizations about herself, and Narek's methods for harvesting Soji's knowledge.
So it appears most were still fairly enthusiastic at the midpoint of seasons 1 and 2 but the sentiment for season 3 seems a lot more positive in general.
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 4:35am (UTC -5)
I've watched TNG first run so am long familiar with Ro and obviously her being in love with Picard makes no sense.
I don't know if it was intended, but if you knew nothing of these characters, absolutely it would be read as some unrequited love thing.
If it were true that Ro was in love with Picard, there's nothing in TNG pointing to that. But there's nothing that disproves it either.
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 5:22am (UTC -5)
Perhaps the writers and producers only saw a still image from that scene in 'Preemptive Strike' (say of Ro caressing Picard) and didn't bother to try and investigate the content of the actual scene. I genuinely don't know.
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 5:33am (UTC -5)
'You guys can believe that this is now a great show but it certainly isn't because of a new writing and directing team. Seems like they only had to tweak a few things to turn garbage into gold for most. I'm pretty baffled by the different reactions to this in contrast to seasons 1 and 2.'
Don't worry, no matter how slightly better this season is, it's still a terrible show full of wasted opportunities, silly premises, spectacle over substance, odd performances, shoddy mystery box bullshit writing and irritating dialogue held shakily together by memberberries.
All the effusive, fulsome praise is going to age badly, just like the effusive, fulsome praise for the previous seasons (that you rightly quote) did. Lucky we have Jammer's comments section to chronicle it all in real time!
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 5:42am (UTC -5)
'Man, good that Dukat said this word ('anhedonic') once because it certainly seems burnt into peoples memory. Certainly makes the sentiment "Can you not just have fun!" sound a lot fancier.'
I agree. It's hilarious. This sudden cohort of people who claim to not be able to fully enjoy a show unless everyone else enjoys it as much and in exactly the same way as them. Is the happiness or contentment they derive from this show that fragile, and contingent upon hearing no criticism of it?
Sounds positively anhedonic.
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 6:18am (UTC -5)
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 6:40am (UTC -5)
However, unlike Spock, I am not prepared to play the role they would have me play by watching this.
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 7:15am (UTC -5)
Shaw-Picard, Picard-Riker, Riker-computer, Picard-Jack, Picard-Beverly, Ro-Picard... oh my! Just how many one-on-one feeling dumps can be packed into one show? And it is only halftime! It is like watching a strange, futuristic version of Metallica's "Some Kind of Monster". I half expect Picard to pace around a table saying "Fuck. FUUUUCK."
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 7:54am (UTC -5)
@ Jammer "Coincidence? Yeah, right." TNG Season 1 episode: you- know -the- one.
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 8:44am (UTC -5)
Thanks. I stand corrected. I did check her credits before posting it and for some reaosn did now see that. Strange.
I still think the writing this season is much better. So something did change in the writers' room.
I suddenly had an epiphany. Do you the showrunners/writers are reading these messege boards?! (I'm only kidding. Sort of.)
For the record, I had almost nothing nice to say about season 1. It had some good bits and pieces but all in all it was dreck and it just became worse as it went along which is the opposite of the current season.
Season 2 I skipped altrogether. I didn't have the mental stamina to deal with it. I only came back for season 3 because I heard good things about it. So far I don't regeret it.
I think most of us don't expect this show to be as as good as TNG or as anything else from the Berman era. Those shows, despite their issues, felt firlmly rooted in the Star Trek universe. The new shows feel completley different and honestly let's just admit this, they are not made for us. they are made for a much more general audience who is used to serialized storytelling, season-long mysteries and heightened emotions. BUT compared to what went before this is a huge step in the right direction for this show. If you succesfully ignore the semi-modern speech (a staple by now) and ADHD style of filmmaking, it actually feels like Star Trek again. It's best to compare these shows not the old shows but to the movies, because that's what they are, really long Star Trek movies.
The only exception to that is perhaps the episodic Strange New Worlds which had a good if not great first season, unlike the horrible first seasons of Discovery and Picard.
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 8:49am (UTC -5)
The "Changelings" are puzzling me somewhat. They don't feel like they're from the Great Link at all. The Changelings from DS9 are exceptionally clever. A single one of them can cause havoc on an entire planet. The ones in Picard don't appear to be very smart at all. 4 of them killed in one go by a single person? That could never happen to a Changeling from the Great Link. Why would they evolve to have solid parts? That's not evolution, that's the opposite! Maybe the Great Link is a red herring and these are a different type of shape shifters.
We really need to see a resolution to the Jack mystery. I HATE this Nu Trek element of having a mystery box throughout the season that only gets resolved in the final episode.
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 9:41am (UTC -5)
I loved the design of the new ship btw
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 9:55am (UTC -5)
Only one data point, but writers are often active on forums, lurking or otherwise. And that was said by Kay Reindl / Ruefrex ("Millennium") on Usenet 20 years ago. She was an exception by publicly IDing herself, and dealing with the avalanche of commentary. Then again, the internet was a lot more civilized back then.
One thing that has definitely changed - and rapidly - is the sophistication in efforts to attract and maintain audiences. In a similar way that a machine learning algorithm gets trained on data, producers learned all the little tricks to tweak the dopamine receptors of viewers. I believe it was the producers of "Westworld" admitted this up front, i.e., that nonsensical writing decisions were made *solely* to generate activity among online fans. Whether this was a violation of creative purity was a matter of mild controversy at the time, but it is fairly clear that almost all shows are doing it now.
My overall feelings on Picard S3 are moderating a bit, because the budget and logistics are so very different than S1/S2 and can't be ignored. When budgets are less constrained, showrunners can take more risks, use more action, and give writers plenty of room to create. That can be judged fairly up or down. If we remove creative freedom from the equation, and consider it an exercise in raw efficiency, Terry Matalas' task isn't so much winning a chess game, but managing to salvage a draw within allotted time. And I realize that is an imperfect analogy.
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 11:12am (UTC -5)
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 8:49am (UTC -5)
"The "Changelings" are puzzling me somewhat. They don't feel like they're from the Great Link at all. The Changelings from DS9 are exceptionally clever. A single one of them can cause havoc on an entire planet. The ones in Picard don't appear to be very smart at all. 4 of them killed in one go by a single person? That could never happen to a Changeling from the Great Link. Why would they evolve to have solid parts? That's not evolution, that's the opposite! Maybe the Great Link is a red herring and these are a different type of shape shifters."
While I agree that Changelings should be far more formidable opponents than they appear to be here, your notion that Changelings evolving into partial solids is the opposite of evolution is erroneous. Evolution is just adaptation through natural selection. If an organism's environment changes and that organism's offspring adapt to the new environment then that's evolution. There's no such thing as "the opposite of evolution." We're not all evolving towards becoming energy beings or some mess like that. We're just adapting to our environments over time as a species. Just as our ancestors evolved to have legs and walk on land our descendants could conceivable discard those legs one day and return to the sea. That would still just be evolution, not "the opposite of evolution."
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 11:13am (UTC -5)
How much the budget has been slashed on Picard S3 might be overstated in our speculation, but it is an interesting question. The consistent use of the Titan as a setting is definitely working in the show's favor as a "getting back to basics" philosophy. (The goofy reuse of M'Talas Prime, not so much.)
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 11:18am (UTC -5)
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 11:18am (UTC -5)
And the fact that Jack Crusher is able to just run around Titan willy-nilly just because they put a fake Starfleet on him really strains credulity. And then when the most douchey of all the douchey captains to ever douchify the screen finds out that not only does he have free rein on his ship, but also had a phaser and also shot 4 of his crew with no explanation of how he knew they were changlings, he just says “good shooting”???? How does this guy not trust Picard and Riker to take a pee standing up, but could care less about some guy he knows nothing about?
I am liking this season much more that previous seasons, but if all the seasons of NüTrek has taught me anything, I’m telling you right now, they will totally crap the bed when it comes to the overarching mystery of Jack, and come episode 10 we’ll all be left wondering how they dropped the ball at the goal line once again .
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 11:23am (UTC -5)
In this season (and last season) of PIC however sets are re-used in oddly contrived ways instead, which actually draws attention to budget issues even more than might otherwise have been the case.
Would we even notice if there was a writers' strike on PIC?
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 11:24am (UTC -5)
I don’t think there’s really an equivalence, in Picard’s mind anyway.
Insurrection was Picard & Co. going up against Bad Admiral of the Week who was trying to pull a fast one over the Federation. Once the story got out they were the proverbial good guys.
Ro and the rest of the Maquis went against stated Federation policy and added a dose of personal betrayal on top of that. Ro and Eddington personally betrayed Picard/Sisko and I don’t think either one let it go until they died.
Contrasting the two arcs makes me wish Ro had gotten a better death scene, Eddington went out like a boss, Ro just accepts her fate without even trying to disarm the bomb/transport inhibitor/plot device. Like Hugh in S1 she’s not here to have her own satisfying story end, she’s here so her death can motivate our heroes.
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 11:56am (UTC -5)
I say that as part of the large club who pretty much hated s1 and s2, and even with the announced return of so many TNG characters, I expected to feel the same about s3, because no amount of nostalgia and beloved characters can make stupid plots go away.
But now 5 episodes in, I am finally at a point where I will just say : excellent. Unbelievable that this can come from the same place. Some really fundamental changes must have happened in key power dynamics. This is a completely different handwriting.
And I like it a lot. Bringing back Ro Laren? Nice. But bringing her back in this manner? With that excellent plot move where their anger for each other essentially assures them of their authenticity? That's not just nice. That's inspired.
Having another go at the "dominion has infiltrated star fleet" plot, I am also absolutely with, because let's face it, that was a LOT of wasted potential back in the day in DS9. Basically a two parter and then they forgot about it. I always considered that one of the main weak points of that show (next to their inexplicable obsession with stupid ferengi episodes, but i digress).
The sad thing is, obviously, that there's no way in hell that a short show like Picard with a mere 10 episodes per season can do this any justice.
But hey, I applaud them for trying, and considering how well executed s3 has been to this point, I am now happy to just lean back and be entertained.
Really such a nice surprise. I don't think I know of any other series ever that managed such a fundamental change in quality.
(well, at least not in a positive way 😅)
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 12:30pm (UTC -5)
Maybe effusive praise will age poorly, but for me the first five episodes are better than most of TNG S7, and certainly Insurrection and Nemesis.
I really don't expect a great payoff from Jack's Stranger Things mystery box and I don't care. If that were the only thing going on, that would be one thing, but this season is giving mini arcs that stand pretty well on their own. Episodes 1-4 make a nice mini movie and this episode has enough meat to make it worthwhile on its own.
Frankly, I don't much care for every show being a full season (at least) soap with a mystery box. To the degree that if I start a new show, I generally start a couple episodes toward the end of the season to see if I even want to watch it.
Realistically, what percent of serialized shows and seasons really have a great (or even good) resolution? If I were to round that off to an integer, I would say 0. Lol, ok maybe 5 to 10%.
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 12:41pm (UTC -5)
Agreed, using Ro and Picard's emotions to establish their authenticity was inspired.
BTW, regarding detecting changelings. They're not entirely consistent here with DS9, but DS9 wasn't consistent either. The blood thing made little sense even back then (pointed out by Sisko's father, no less). But also, Odo clearly stated at one point that if you scan him when he's in human form, he'll read as human, guts and all. Yet in another case... uh, avoid spoilers... a known humanoid changeling was scanned and they were surprised to find it had internal interns.
Obviously in this show they just picked a version and went with it.
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 4:10pm (UTC -5)
On the subject of joy, someone can be joyful and cautious at the same time, and someone can experience joy, be cautious, and be condescending all at once. Some may take no joy in watching current Star Trek or Star Wars but it seems evident to me that they take joy in being condescending to others. “This show’ is stupid, have fun watching it everyone!” is calling your fellow posters stupid ( as opposed to saying. “I think this is stupid’ - not claiming speech police rights here, just showing how word selection matters in terms of how hostile one can present themselves), is not cautious in the sense measured thought went into it, and is certainly belittling. What justifies such smugness, as someone once said? I was not born with perfect morals and perfect taste. I have to work at being a decent person and don’t have the Superior Wisdom needed to infallibly claim “What is Good” and “What is Bad.” Life is so much more fun when we recognize that IDIC can mean diversity of thought, of feeling, of how we process sensations. Compulsory unification of opinion (telling everyone what they must think and branding them defective f they refuse to play along)leads not to the unanimity of the graveyard-Supreme Court Justice and Nuremberg prosecutor Robert Jackson.
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 4:24pm (UTC -5)
Excep from that. Not to bad but I liked episode 4 more.
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 4:51pm (UTC -5)
I feel the need to point out that this is obviously wrong. People who are smart can enjoy things that are stupid.
Well Caloceptri let look at a few statements of yours and if they are about content or about people you disagree with:
- Yay, the mouth breathers and haters are fired up!
- The haters put so many arbitrary preconditional requirements on what constitutes good Star Trek, that by defintion (sic), they will never be satisfied.
- Hate for hate’s sake - to show one’s toxic fandom stripes and that these stripes are brighter than the neighbor’s - is counter-productive and sad.
- they write that those who disagree with them as stupid
- These peopl *know( they are right - with metaphysical certitude.
and this is really the incredible sentence of them all " I would never call someone stupid because I liked an episode and they didn’t, or they did and I did not."
No, you just call them haters, toxic, mouth breathers and many other things.
"Compulsory unification of opinion (telling everyone what they must think and branding them defective f they refuse to play along)leads not to the unanimity of the graveyard-Supreme Court Justice and Nuremberg prosecutor Robert Jackson."
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 4:52pm (UTC -5)
"Perhaps the writers and producers only saw a still image from that scene in 'Preemptive Strike' (say of Ro caressing Picard) and didn't bother to try and investigate the content of the actual scene. I genuinely don't know."
Fiendishly clever these writers! I think the angle here may be that the table in the saloon on Ronara was actually a changeling agent all those years ago! That agent would have reported to its superiors how much Ro and Picard liked one another. The Great Link debated how to use the information for 30 years before sending changeling Ro out to trick Picard skillfully using crocodile tears!
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 5:00pm (UTC -5)
That said, because it's mere subtext and not an explicit admission, the viewer is welcome to read whatever they want into it, including one that the showrunners never intended any romantic subtext at all. That's why it doesn't bother me even that they COULD have meant it that way -- since it's ambiguous enough to completely ignore.
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 5:12pm (UTC -5)
Please accept my apologies for seeming to copy your very perceptive point about Ro and Picard undercover in 'Preemptive Strike'. I was working backwards up the thread via Comment Stream as I usually do and I didn't see you had made exactly that point already until after I had posted.
Credit where credit's due - you remembered it first! Great post too.
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 5:16pm (UTC -5)
Hey, Prodigy brought Okona back...
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 5:44pm (UTC -5)
Thanks! That's pretty interesting. By the way, love your handle!\
I think it really depends how much the producers care about making trekkies happy in more meaningful ways than simpy offer easter eggs and legacy character reuinions. In many resepcts, Trekkies are those who keep the torch of the ethos of Star Trek burning and they are very hard to please (and I'm not excluding myself from this company).
The internet is full of articles and videos about the problems in Picard, but there is also praise from the mainstream outlets (and the show is, or was, aimed squarely at the mainstream).
Season 3 is very different in that it seems to really be for the fans. The character work with the TNG cast, the recurring call backs to DS9. I mean, if you don't know who Ro Laren is and how she exited TNG, you would not get much from this episode. You would see some random woman who has some past with Picard. But you will feel nothing.
I rewatched Ensign Ro and Preemptive Strike and then rewatched this episode. They really did a wonderful job creating closure for these two characters. I am so impressed. When Ro tells Picard "you gave me a fighting chance once. Let me return the favor" (I'm paraphrasing) for the first time in this show I felt something more than "whatever". I felt extremley moved.
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 6:12pm (UTC -5)
Your provocative discussion of the issue (Ro & Picard) got me there in the first place. Hat tip! :)
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 7:23pm (UTC -5)
That picture of Ro on the main page is a major spoiler if someone is just here to see a review for a previous episode before watching this one. You really ought to consider swapping it out, man.
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 10:31pm (UTC -5)
We are one big happy fleet!
Actually, this can easily make sense. Aside from Starfleet's legendary lax security, changelings impersonating Intrepid crew shouldn't be as fast and efficient as the real crew.
@Narissa's Bath Water
"Picard S3 is shaping up to be the expected outcome of a severely-cut budget spent mostly on actor salaries. In other words, special effects and set pieces go out the window, in favor of overlong conversations dripping with saccharine emotion."
If this is the situation, *good*. TNG was always about conference meetings. Insurrection and Nemesis had big effects scenes and they were dull as insert cliche. Since then, excess fx has gotten dime a dozen and more boring.
Though, I haven't noticed a deficiency in the fx here. They seem tasteful and appropriate.
If I wasn't on this board, I probably wouldn't have noticed the limited sets being used, but I never minded bottle episodes anyway.
I guess District 6 is a bit comically small, but there's a lot of real life cities of all so sorts that can seem pretty much the same for literal miles.
Sun, Mar 19, 2023, 3:41am (UTC -5)
"Matalas was already showrunner for season 2 and because season 2 and 3 were filmed back to back, lots of the writing staff was carried over."
That's not quite right. Yes, while Matalas began season 2 as co-showrunner with Akiva Goldsman and was involved in the early writing stages, the producers learned they would be renewed for another season and Patrick Stewart's schedule (or advancing age?) mandated it be shot back-to-back with season 2. Because of the huge time crunch, Matalas broke off early on from working on season 2 to start the pre-production on season 3, leaving most of season 2's showrunning/writing/producing duties solely to Goldsman. Shows like this involve a huge amount of pre-production work, so seasons 2 and 3 are not as linear as one would probably think. It's almost as if they made 2 different shows more or less at the same time.
As to the same writing staff carrying over, I think I also mentioned it in a prior episode's comment, but showrunners often do complete uncredited rewrites of other writer's credited episodes. So, for example, if a staff writer had a poorly received episode in a prior season, you can't necessarily blame her if it was largely rewritten by (hack) Akiva Goldsman. And in the inverse, if this season's episode of the same staff writer was well-received, it may be because the different showrunner (Matalas) did a much stronger rewrite. The only shows I'm aware of where the showrunners left the staff writers' drafts alone are Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, mostly because they were so extensively plotted in advance literally scene by scene in the writers room, and they let the assigned episode's writer later have fun with the dialogue.
In Jammer's review, he asks, "It's almost inexplicable to me that Picard can be as consistently good as it has been this season after being so utterly mediocre-to-bad at moments in its first two seasons of wholly consistent inconsistency and unending non sequitur. It's like, what were the writers waiting for? So strange."
I know most fans here probably don't want to think it, but my theory is Patrick Stewart is mostly to blame for the bizarre, downright idiotic characterization and emotional takes of Picard in the first 2 seasons. Without his personal (not very good) input on the plot and character of season 3 because he was busy filming season 2, we thankfully were granted a pure Trek writer's take on the franchise.
In spite of my largest blame on Stewart for the first 2 season's total crapness, I do think Akiva Goldsman is also a total hack and personifies the guy who wants people to think he is a fan of Trek but isn't authentically one. The guy just oozes total Hollywood BS'er. Season's 3 successes thus far are likely because Goldsman and Stewart had 0% input on any story and writing process. Quite lucky it worked out this way, to be honest.
Sun, Mar 19, 2023, 4:21am (UTC -5)
This season at least gives me hope Trek can be salvaged. It sure looked like nobody at Paramount had the slightest clue who to even hire.
Worse, it looked like they had no clue they had no clue.
Sun, Mar 19, 2023, 10:31am (UTC -5)
Q was known threat. Picard would been duty bound to report the incident.
Sun, Mar 19, 2023, 11:13am (UTC -5)
I do wish we got a season 1 where Chabon had full control. He’s a life long Star Trek fan and an incredible dialogue and character writer in his novels.
I’m not sure if his literary style could have carried over to serialized television, but if it was a disaster, at least it would have been a glorious one.
Sun, Mar 19, 2023, 12:04pm (UTC -5)
Actually, this can easily make sense. Aside from Starfleet's legendary lax security, changelings impersonating Intrepid crew shouldn't be as fast and efficient as the real crew."
The shuttle was supposed to fly into the shuttle bay, meaning it had to fly right past the nacelles, so they probably didn't realize what was happening until the last few seconds. We also don't know what was happening on the Intrepid bridge, there could have been any number of distractions given the changlings were running around trying to control the ship.
@Silly "Though, I haven't noticed a deficiency in the fx here. They seem tasteful and appropriate."
My favorite part about the FX is there's no shaky cam, spinning ships, strobe lights, etc. that have plagued Discovery. I can actually see what's going on. And they have done interesting things in the FX scenes I haven't seen on Star Trek before (the portal weapon, Riker throwing an asteroid at the Shrike, etc.) so kudos to them for that.
Sun, Mar 19, 2023, 12:08pm (UTC -5)
I guess my only actual complaint about the silly scene where they are captured and forced to fight is that there was no tension, we knew there was no danger to Worf; in the previews we saw him in a transporter with Riker.
I'm not getting my hopes up but I would love to see Matalas come in for a few years and rehabilitate Trek.
Sun, Mar 19, 2023, 12:20pm (UTC -5)
Sorry, I found them terrible cartoon ideas made more terrible by doing the portal thing multiple times and inconsistent. Also, it's too magical and has no place in the ST universe. It would change it completely if indeed possible. Then again, these writers don't care. See the space bug in Discovery xD... Asteroid throwing would also be impossible considering known Star Trek tractor beam rulezzz.
Well, im sure the writers found it fantastic.
Also, just shooting phasers and the nacelle would do the trick faster with way less time to react ;)
Sun, Mar 19, 2023, 12:40pm (UTC -5)
"I do wish we got a season 1 where Chabon had full control. He’s a life long Star Trek fan and an incredible dialogue and character writer in his novels."
I very much liked the concept and story about the Borg cube and the Romulans. But when they left the cube it started to be strange.
Season 2 was just horrible. Season3 I enjoy and hope it will remain.
Sun, Mar 19, 2023, 3:43pm (UTC -5)
I'm surprised so many people are buying into this. Don't get me wrong. Third season is better than the two seasons of complete trash that came before it. But if those two seasons were trash, this one only has to be not complete trash to be better. So if I gave the first two seasons 1 star out of 5, I'd give this maybe 2.5 stars. That's if I'm rating it against the best Trek episodes of all time. And that's what we should be doing because this show is not only calling itself Star Trek. It's (supposedly) continuing the story of the characters who appeared in some of the best episodes of Star Trek ever.
But they're also putting a bunch of DS9 stuff in here. And while DS9 was the only Trek I liked at all outside of TOS and TNG, I still wasn't the biggest fan of it. And besides, there was more than enough material to work with from TNG that they shouldn't need anything else.
I'll finish watching this season and I hope it's the last season. And I hope they put Trek to rest soon because it's very obvious by now they just don't get it. They've made so many cheap ripoffs that sucked at this point.
Sun, Mar 19, 2023, 4:48pm (UTC -5)
I'm curious why you think portals are too magical and have no place in a universe that has both transporters and wormholes.
I'm also curious why you think the tractor beam thing with the asteroid wouldn't work? The only thing I can think of is a move like that would require way more calculations than what we saw on screen.
I'm not sure phasers on the nacelle would have worked. The shuttle's phasers probably weren't powerful enough and powering up the phasers would have probably been detected in advance.
Sun, Mar 19, 2023, 6:28pm (UTC -5)
"Throwing" might be the wrong word. The Titan is dragging the asteroid with the tractor beam toward the Shrike, drops the beam and gets out of the way. This would have worked with a long rope.
Sun, Mar 19, 2023, 8:10pm (UTC -5)
And given that our current computer CPUs are capable of running 4 billion instructions per second per core and we're already routinely now seeing 8 core CPUs, it's logical to assume that 400 years from now the computers will be more than advanced enough to make all those calculations in an instant.
Sun, Mar 19, 2023, 10:07pm (UTC -5)
Yeah, like changing course right into the nacelle wouldn't be detected way earlier than a phaser blast. The flight path is track real time. They can probably even override the path. It does not make sense. The ship and its hidden crew and bridge (no budget?) just waited to get hit by its own shuttle. Anyway, she could just sabotage the ship from the inside before leaving. She already knew the plan so... again last minute adhoc decision because uhm adhoc plot? Don't think. O and one would think ships always have some minimum shielding active.
Those magic portals which need massive amounts of energy unknown to the ST universe apparently were created faster than the Titan could react? No reverse? No full stop? XD. Even fast than photon torpedoes travel.. and those don't have remote detonate apparently... or too old crew on the bridge?
Btw why even "throw an asteroid" when you have photon torpedos with matter/antimatter warhead which should cause more destruction than any asteroid (Tsar Bomba). Then again, those things were never shown consistent with the power the apparently contain and shielding technology needed is magic in itself ;)
Sun, Mar 19, 2023, 10:12pm (UTC -5)
Sun, Mar 19, 2023, 11:56pm (UTC -5)
Sun, Mar 19, 2023, 11:56pm (UTC -5)
I remain curious as to what Jack's "affliction" is. The last couple of episodes has me thinking he's "infected" by a Changeling...or perhaps he has an ability to detect them like a Tribble with a Klingon. :)
I'm very much looking forward to how Lore and Moriarty tie into this. Is one of them the "weapon" stolen from Daystrom station? I look forward to finding out!
Mon, Mar 20, 2023, 2:34am (UTC -5)
Mon, Mar 20, 2023, 3:01am (UTC -5)
For perspective, the largest asteroid, Ceres, at 293.91 mi with a mass of 9.3 × 1,020 kg has a density of 2.1 grams per cubic cm. If the Enterprise can do ANYTHING AT ALL to a massive stellar core fragment besides getting dragged along with it then OF COURSE it can tow an asteroid smaller than the ship. And yes, I know the Titan is not the Enterprise, but for the purposes of this argument that's irrelevant.
Mon, Mar 20, 2023, 3:46am (UTC -5)
Mon, Mar 20, 2023, 4:00am (UTC -5)
Mon, Mar 20, 2023, 6:33am (UTC -5)
Sat, Mar 18, 2023, 2:45am (UTC -5)
"Yeah, you could nitcpick on why she lets herself goes back in thew shuttle with peoplke she don't trust, and why they in turn don't shoot her and then beam out, but the story needed that final scene between her and Picard, so it was a bit contrived in retrospect, but it didn't bother me in real time. I didn't even notice. Which means that at the very least is was a very skillful contrivance...:-)"
She did the only thing she could do to protect Picard and the Titan. I half think she would have sacrificed herself once the Changelings beamed off the shuttle. The game was up then.
"At the very least someone in the writers room knows what they're doing."
They sure do. The change is HUGE!
"In the actual exchange you can clearly see, I think, the writers hedging their bets or being uncertain or outright lacking awareness about the historical nature of the two characters' 'bond'. It's most frequently parsed as mentor/protege (fine with that) or father/daughter (not fine with that) by viewers in this thread but I have argued the writers threw an insinuation of romance in as well, and it stinks."
Absolutely not. It's clearly depicted that Ro and Picard had a bond and that Picard was very disappointed and Ro knew it. She did what she thought was right... she couldn't take Maqius dying while she was all cozy on a startship. She complains about Picard and his expectation and rules, but only because she chose not to live up to them (and she certaily had the talent to). Picard saw himself in Ro and made it his responsibility to influence and guide her in the right direction. "She broke his heart" is not a romantic geature, it's one of a mentor that was stabbed.
Worf makes Raffi palatable.
It would be great to see Combs revive his role as Brunt.
I've seen all sorts of ideas as to what Jack is... Could the Borg have figured out how to assimilate a Changeling?
Mon, Mar 20, 2023, 7:20am (UTC -5)
Also, I don't think the Changelings who beamed into the corridor when Jack was cornered weren't beaming from Intrepid. I think they were in another section of Titan, masquerading as Titan crewmen.
Mon, Mar 20, 2023, 7:46am (UTC -5)
This also opens up the option for a spin off.
Star Trek: Picard's Children
Mon, Mar 20, 2023, 12:35pm (UTC -5)
"I do wish we got a season 1 where Chabon had full control. He’s a life long Star Trek fan and an incredible dialogue and character writer in his novels."
I think in retrospect, hiring Chabon was likely a mistake. Because he was a complete newbie in TV, he didn't have 100% confidence in running a big budget show. He likely leaned a little too heavily on Kurtzman for guidance, so we basically got the sloppy Kurtzman junk anyway, who then roped in the even sloppier Akiva Goldsman to help with the day-to-day stuff. They probably should have found a Trek fan with a TV resume and strong leadership skills, which ironically, is what we have now this season with Terry Matalas.
I do recall though in a post-season interview, Chabon made an off-hand reference that his pure, unadulterated idea for "Picard" would have been for a retired Jean-Luc to just be investigating small village mysteries near his chateau each episode, a la Hercule Poirot. That would have been amazing, but I can see why Paramount, Patrick Stewart, Paramount, etc. all balked at that.
Even without all of that, Patrick Stewart had the most demands to even be brought back. His biggest story demand was that he wanted Picard to basically be the Star Trek version of Logan. He apparently loved that movie and thought the same type of style could be adapted for Jean-Luc Picard. That's ultimately why Season 1 is so drab and dark, which certainly suits X-Men futuristic dystopias, not so much Star Trek's history of an optimistic utopia.
Season 1 is no person's singular vision, but a mishmash of corporate demands, an actor's bad idea, and producers with bad instincts and even worse writing talent. Some of Chabon's skills shine through the clouds in Nepenthe and the Data scene at the end, but it's few and far between to rise above the utter schlock.
Mon, Mar 20, 2023, 3:23pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Mar 20, 2023, 3:51pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Mar 20, 2023, 4:25pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Mar 20, 2023, 7:46pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Mar 20, 2023, 9:29pm (UTC -5)
Dude. Go get some dvds, only watch TOS, and break your keyboard. You’re on here because nobody in real life likes you.
Mon, Mar 20, 2023, 9:43pm (UTC -5)
Nice of Michelle Forbes to return to the fold. Her episode-long arc is typical of the season: some effective set ups and payoffs, an unresolved conflict with Picard, and dialogue that rings true enough.
Wish the season didn’t hew so close to the TNG ‘Conspiracy’ episode, but I’m still invested in the story and characters. 3/4 stars.
Mon, Mar 20, 2023, 11:19pm (UTC -5)
But I'm always tickled pink when others assume their gender and Americanisity.
Star Trek was, has and always will attract socially awkward, overly intellectual focused dorks that'll glady engage in pedantic debates about anything it brings up, fictional or otherwise in ways others may find emotionally off-putting. For years it was a refuge for people with high functioning Autism, or just those who say "fuck off" to the social constructs surrounding them. It bewilders me that there are Trek fans out there, either new or old that find this surprising, considering the zeitgeist opinion Star Trek fans carried for decades. They made TWO documentary films about Star Trek fans for criminy's sake. What'd they think, that just because Star Trek was "cool" now, these types of fans would go away? Get with the program. The nerdy, intellectual fostering and attracting program - these types of fans were here first, and after Star Trek fades from popularity again, if it already hasn't, they will remain here long after the crowds disperse. So no point complaining, cause those fans'll be around the IP f o r e v e r.
Tue, Mar 21, 2023, 12:23am (UTC -5)
I'll echo Nolan's comment - "But I'm always tickled pink when others assume their gender and Americanisity."
I'm certainly no mega-commenter here, but from my memory, I'm pretty sure Booming is a person (woman?) from Germany who does some kind of applied data analysis science for a living. I also recall they're certainly no fan of reactionary, MAGA-like politics and usually backs up any political claims with real world data.
Booming's probably not the one to have a bone to pick with here, and furthermore, your snide last comment is certainly slinging ad hominem attacks much worse than anything you could come up with on Booming's end (of which I don't recall any). For shame.
Tue, Mar 21, 2023, 2:59am (UTC -5)
I'm actually the complete opposite of MAGA. :D
Socialist, totally into science and advancements, accept all the genders, bi, kumbaya, love and peace. I have been on Nutter a lot lately but mostly to laugh about crypto bros and point out serious problems with their graphs and of course to see THE ELON implode again and again.
Oh and buying DVD's would do nothing for me. I do not have a DVD player anymore. Even if I had one, I would not watch TOS.
" sometimes I don't have the energy to read their long posts and just scroll on by."
Oh no... :(
Quite a few disagreements are at least partly my fault, though. I'm a warm and funny person (to tout my own horn) but spoken humor really doesn't translate to written text. I rarely mean anything here dead serious but it often comes across harsh or mean spirited, I guess.
I want to say though that I'm getting angry when people come here just to attack people. Totally can understand that people love this show and I can understand the opposite.
Oh and thanks Nolan and Bucktown. :)
Tue, Mar 21, 2023, 5:44am (UTC -5)
Tue, Mar 21, 2023, 3:44pm (UTC -5)
I thought it was fun and Trekky. Liked the portal weapon, too.
Tue, Mar 21, 2023, 7:29pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Mar 21, 2023, 7:41pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Mar 21, 2023, 9:27pm (UTC -5)
Picard felt like Picard.
CGI of the Intrepid looked poor. The ships also seem TOS era not 24th century sleek.
Worf reunion with the Admiral. Beautiful.
Intriguing episode and I guess Lore is the AI defence? The conspiracy is interesting. Wish we had the Enterprise E and Data back though.
Does the Changeling stuff make sense for those who have only seen TNG and NOT seen DS9? I find it interesting, but no idea about the DS9 stuff since sadly I haven’t seen that show.
Do you have to have seen DS9?
Wed, Mar 22, 2023, 3:36am (UTC -5)
Tue, Mar 21, 2023, 9:27pm (UTC -5)
"Does the Changeling stuff make sense for those who have only seen TNG and NOT seen DS9? I find it interesting, but no idea about the DS9 stuff since sadly I haven’t seen that show. Do you have to have seen DS9?"
I don't think the Dominion War is mentioned in TNG tv show at all. I think the show was over when season 3 started. Odo would've been the only Changeling around when TNG was on the air and he wasn't mentioned. I think the movie Star Trek TNG Insurrection mentioned the Dominion War, but I don't recall what was said.
I'm pretty sure Star Trek Picard is doing it's own thing so you don't have to watch DS9 to understand what's going on. The Changelings in STP are different to the original ones. I don't think watching DS9 will tell you much about them, except how they're different. Only if they plan to get into what happened after the Dominion War or the Great Link would there be a benefit to watching DS9 IMO.
Wed, Mar 22, 2023, 10:06am (UTC -5)
Third man in. You're lucky this isn't hockey. :)
The relative validity of comments ascribed to Newguy vs Booming should be obvious to any reader with little explanation. I've scrapped with Booming on occasion, as any closeted paleocon in academia would, but have not found him/her insulting or demeaning.
If this forum were a room full of people, a newcomer would see 90% of the group smiling and cheering, while 10% gaze on in horror and exchange disappointed glances at the state of modern media propaganda. These 10% then realize they may never have agreed with each other on much else than this.
Note that if someone attacks again, I'm going to join Booming's axis, simply because I've always wanted to be part of an axis. So there.
Wed, Mar 22, 2023, 1:55pm (UTC -5)
"BTW, regarding detecting changelings. They're not entirely consistent here with DS9, but DS9 wasn't consistent either. The blood thing made little sense even back then (pointed out by Sisko's father, no less). But also, Odo clearly stated at one point that if you scan him when he's in human form, he'll read as human, guts and all. Yet in another case... uh, avoid spoilers... a known humanoid changeling was scanned and they were surprised to find it had internal interns.
Obviously in this show they just picked a version and went with it. "
There was definitely a bit of inconsistency with DS9's portrayal of the changelings, but I think that we are supposed to accept that Odo is not as good at appearing humanoid as his brethren. I could see that extending to not bothering or being able to mimic internal organs well, so it may have been something unusual for him in that particular scene.
Agreed that the blood tests were not the ideal test, expecially for exclusive usage. It beats phasering everyone on stun at every greeting to see if they revert to a gelatinous state I guess. Still, for high profile meetings, that may actually be the most foolproof thing. Maybe make everyone clip their fingernails or cut their hair at the beginning of a meeting? Pee in a cup? Something different every time so it would be hard for a changeling to prepare for all contingencies.
Wed, Mar 22, 2023, 2:50pm (UTC -5)
That reminds me of a famous CIA failure. The CIA in the 50s airdropped thousands of people into the soviet union and china. All were quickly found and killed. For years they just continued, changing command and methods around. Nothing helped.
Decades later they found out that the soviets had infiltrated the school where the agents learned to parachute.
Point being is that any system can be compromised. If you come up with a test, how do you find out if the people who come up with the tests have not been comprised. Make another group that comes up with tests for the group that comes up with the tests? :)
Wed, Mar 22, 2023, 4:38pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Mar 22, 2023, 5:55pm (UTC -5)
@Booming Thx for giving us lots to think about. As usual. : )
In Blade Runner, the society of the time had developed a psych test to sniff out Replicants. Scenarios designed to cause instability worked well. -iirc- a sentence like 'a turtle on its back on a hot desert highway...' eventually freaked one of the less sophisticated versions out.
I think the writers should have developed a changeling Rohrschach Test long ago. E.g., Humans see inkblot #123a27 as a pelvis But changelings can't see that, because they don't have a real bone in their bodies. To them it's always a bat or an entrance to a cave or so on. : )
Wed, Mar 22, 2023, 6:39pm (UTC -5)
I have to assume Mulgrew is in the wings, even if for a Star Trek Zoom meeting over coffee. Or is it tea in this future?
Wed, Mar 22, 2023, 7:14pm (UTC -5)
Thinking about this too hard can be fun, but admittedly silly, and Trek has been terribly inconsistent. If asking questions of changelings can detect them, then it doesn't comport with changelings being perfect replications, down to brain chemistry. Response to stimuli is encoded structurally, so a perfect simulacrum would respond identically.
An escape hatch to wiggle out of this is that somehow changelings model structure but not neurochemical charge, so that the electrical state of the brain being replicated won't be the same, perhaps - hand wave hand wave - from neuroelectric disturbance from the polymorph process itself?
I think the changeling is Shaw, to be revealed when he starts vomiting after taking his medication for multiple personality disorder. :)
Wed, Mar 22, 2023, 8:08pm (UTC -5)
I think there's a fair bit of merit for a block button on this site.
Wed, Mar 22, 2023, 9:57pm (UTC -5)
True about all the inconsistencies. Nice conjecture concerning Shaw. Lol. And
Your neurochemical disturbance idea is really interesting. Nothing is perfectly hidden. The changeling signature might even become more pronounced based on the frequency of its transitions, Or perhaps from poor mimicry in assimilating the form of particularly difficult substances.
Even just touching certain stuff might confuse a changeling brain. Imagine what could be discovered by subjecting them to peanut butter, or bubble gum. :)
DS9's Odo used get tired and begin to fall apart. He just couldn't stay in suspension indefinitely. He would need to enter his little spitoon for a short spell. Make one think of Dracula needing to return to the soil of his native land to regenerate. Of course, while Odo never really needed to feed on anybody, the voraciousness of some polymorphs was already covered in earlier Trek.
In TOS' Obsession, the polymorphic culprit was that creature which was always transitioning between solid and gaseous states. It was difficult to detect, but human hemoglobin proved to be an effective lure.
Sat, Mar 25, 2023, 8:16pm (UTC -5)
Thanks. I do recall a mention of the Dominion War briefly in Insurrection. Hopefully I’ll be able to enjoy this season.
Though I do wish we had Data and the beautiful Enterprise E and a little more of the 24th century evolved sensibilities in the dialogue!
Sun, Mar 26, 2023, 11:49pm (UTC -5)
The scene where Picard kills Data? Yeah...that was riveting and so touching.......
Mon, Mar 27, 2023, 3:51pm (UTC -5)
-closure with Ro Laren, check (and in a very impactful way, Michelle Forbes must be relieved she doesn't have to play that character for us geeks) .
- Don't know what to do with Jack Crusher , except make him look like a killing machine like Soji from season 1, check
-Shaw making it more implausible of being a starfleet captain , check
Aside from that would of given it 4/5
Wed, Mar 29, 2023, 7:33am (UTC -5)
1) The show finally connected the two plot threads, and the result is interesting.
2) Picard's reunion with Ro was believable (in terms of their mutual wariness, given the Changeling situation), well acted on both sides, and touching.
3) Ro's sacrifice for Starfleet was the perfect and appropriate round trip for her character arc.
4) The tension remained gripping. Picard show does that well.
5) The Jack and Shaw characters have improved leaps and bounds since their absurd introductions. They now have depth and are believable.
On the downside, I still don't want to see the Worf/Raffi subplot, despite Worf's wonderful presence. The dark world is boring and the plots ridiculous. The sequence on this show depended upon that oh-so-common writers' crutch, rampant stupidity on both sides. (Raffi never suspecting that somebody might be onto her trick, and the idiot Vulcan Batmaning Worf rather than killing him on sight.)
Also, Picard sometimes does cross into Discovery territory, wherein the characters are constantly having impromptu therapy sessions while (allegedl) doing their jobs. A little of that goes a long way.
But overall, bravo.
Wed, Mar 29, 2023, 3:11pm (UTC -5)
It was, even in the TNG days, clearly a wound that Jean-Luc allowed to fester into bitterness. It's difficult to say whether he was unwilling or unable to understand Ro's decision, or if he simply didn't care what her reasons were; this was a complete betrayal of his trust and, to him, a rejection of the multiple massive leaps of faith he took because he was the only captain in Starfleet who saw more than a criminal whose insubordination cost eight people their lives. Picard saw her potential, and he tried to help her realize it; in some ways, Ro joining the Maquis must have felt like losing a daughter.
This episode faced Picard with some hard truths. He attempted to make Ro into someone she couldn't be, not without years of effort and reflection. Ro was never a venomous ingrate, she was a young woman still struggling to come to terms with her past. Most of all, Ro simply was not ready for what would become her final mission from Picard. He can't be blamed for believing in her too much, but the idea that his putting too much faith in her may have been the deciding factor in her departure would have been a hard pill to swallow.
They had some tense, rough scenes together, but in that final exchange Picard's heart of stone melts. In those few moments, he understood just how deeply loyal she was and how much they still cared about each other despite their anger. So, after all these years, after rehearsing all of the things he would say to hurt her and vent his rage at her, Picard finally saw former-ensign Ro for who she really was for the first (and last) time.
They didn't need to bring Ro back for Picard, but I'm extremely glad they did. It was a cathartic, tragic epilogue to her story that I never thought we'd see. Thus far, this season is doing what the first two fumbled over and over - having Picard face his demons in a meaningful way, and finally learning some long overdue lessons. This season's handling of the human, emotional plot elements is a far cry from the strained whispers intermingled with tears that has largely defined the drama of modern Trek thus far.
It's good to truly see that much like Worf, Picard is working on himself.
I thought I'd have something to say about the rest of the episode, but Ro's scenes are what really made this one worthwhile to me.
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