Star Trek: Picard

"The Next Generation"

3 stars

Air date: 2/16/2023
Written by Terry Matalas
Directed by Doug Aarniokoski

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

"The Next Generation" is an intriguing title, because it cuts to the very heart of the matter. This is an episode singularly devoted to refocusing our attention on the idea that this final season of Star Trek: Picard will be about the Next Generation characters. It does this when these characters would be more accurately described with a title like "The Previous Generation" or maybe even "The Old Guard." If there's an actual next generation to be established in this final season of Picard, that's not yet apparent (unless the man accompanying Beverly Crusher offers a clue).

No, the title is about looking back rather than forward, and in doing so, this episode provides reason for optimism — at least as much, if not more so, than "The Star Gazer" did at the beginning of last season. Naturally, no one can blame us for being cautious, even suspicious, after season two burned us badly by trapping its characters, and us, for eight episodes in an uninspired and plodding 21st-century time-travel plot, immediately after teasing us with what seemed to be the absorbing atmosphere of the early 25th century. But now we have a storyline that promises — for real this time! — to be just that.

The opening teaser shows Beverly Crusher on a ship, with only one other person, under attack from unknown aliens who attack with fierce phaser fire. She fends off the attackers and locks her companion away for his safety before sending an urgent message to Picard — whom she hasn't spoken to in 20 years — asking for help. Her message says to Trust No One™, including Starfleet. Picard receives this message on an old Enterprise-D combadge that he has stashed away in his study in Chateau Picard, at the very moment he's packing up his stuff to move to Chaltok IV to be with Laris. (It seems like a bad idea to transmit an urgent distress call to an ancient device that very likely could've been thrown away 20 years ago, but I'll allow it on the grounds of wayback-machine fan service, along with the other TNG-era stuff in Picard's house he is determined to give away — although surely, I hope, he is not giving away the flute from "The Inner Light.")

Picard contacts Riker, and together they quickly break the code that provides them the coordinates in the Ryton System where they need to go. All they need is a ship. Fortunately, they have an avenue in through Seven of Nine, who is the first officer on the newly retrofitted USS Titan, which of course was Riker's old ship, which we never got to see in action after his promotion to captain at the end of Star Trek: Nemesis. (Unless you count the brief animated detour in Lower Decks' "Kayshon, His Eyes Open.")

What most heartens me here (for the most part) is the modulated tone this is pitched at. This is an episode that, like "The Star Gazer," works in large part because it drops us into a future version of a familiar universe and allows us to marinate in the pleasures of simply being here, while remembering the things from past Treks it parades in front of us. It's fan service, but so what? It works. The devil is in the details, and the details are right.

The production design is what we would expect of a TNG movie post-Nemesis. And although the lighting is too relentlessly dark, the look of the show is crisp and clean. The use of familiar sound effects from the shows and movies (hey, the evening chimes from Star Trek VI!), the LCARS displays, the uniforms — all of it is flawlessly rendered to add up to a world we didn't get to experience much of for Picard's first two seasons. There's a departure sequence of the Titan from the starbase that lays out the callbacks to Star Trek III (always one-quarter impulse power). And it works.

The story's stakes are mostly personal. Picard, of course, has to find Crusher. Riker is along for the ride, but welcomes the diversion, saying that Deanna and Kestra "will appreciate the time away from me." (What are they unhappy with him about? For going back to Starfleet?) Just hanging out with these two guys and their naturally played friendship is worth the time spent, aside from anything that happens.

Seven of Nine has a good arc in the episode. Serving under Captain Liam Shaw (Todd Stashwick) is no picnic. The guy is an aloof douche (an "aloosh"?) who insists Seven go by "Commander Annika Hansen," invites Picard and Riker to dinner in his quarters only to start before they even show up, and mostly acts kind of dickish. Later, he puts Picard and Riker in a shared room with bunk beds. It's fun to watch. Still, the episode doesn't overdo it, and Shaw has a good point when he refuses to take the ship to the edge of Federation space for the purposes of Picard's supposed "inspection"; he didn't get to be in his position by pulling stupid stunts.

Seven puts two and two together and figures out what Picard needs and agrees to get them to the coordinates where they can take a shuttle to make the rescue attempt, at great risk to her standing with Shaw and her career. Seven still has a huge, angry chip on her shoulder about not fitting in or being where she wants in her career, but it's a characterization that works because Jeri Ryan does such a good job playing it honestly. Most of what happens on the Titan works excellently.

The larger plot is nothing to write home about; it's early and typically inconclusive as these serial mysteries go. Why Crusher is being chased by the aliens is not to be answered here. The episode ends with Picard and Riker finding and boarding Crusher's ship and finding her enclosed in a medical stasis pod. Her companion is a young man who says she is Beverly's son, which raises many questions (and eyebrows) just before a much larger alien ship comes looming.

Meanwhile, a subplot involving Raffi working as an undercover operative for Starfleet Intelligence — where she learns how the clue of a "red lady" turns out to explain a forthcoming terrorist attack which she is unable to stop — is for now disconnected from everything else and plays with much higher stakes (an attack with a crazy superweapon on a massive Starfleet facility surely results in many, many thousands of deaths), and is somehow — predictably — the thing we care the least about. Michelle Hurd is still overacting the key emotional beats for this rather overwrought character (who is still drawn to the drugs she pretends to buy while on the job), and it's something I hope the creators will dial in so it fits with the rest of the show's tone.

But overall, this is good stuff that gives me hope for this season. Yeah, we were in similar spots with how the first two seasons started, but hope springs eternal and I'd rather be an optimist than a naysayer. We'll see how I feel after five more episodes. This season promises to stay in the 25th century where the show belongs, and we have a lot of catching up to do as we gradually get the rest of the band back together.

Some other thoughts:

  • Based on what we see here, you could very easily pick up season three of this show without having seen the first two, and not really miss much at all. It would play like the next thing in line for TNG after Nemesis. There's no mention of the mysterious anomaly that was in "Farewell" (although my guess is that will eventually play into things), and there's no "previously on Star Trek: Picard" to highlight past episodes.
  • Ensign Sidney La Forge (Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut), daughter of Geordi, is on the bridge of the Titan.
  • Raffi meets her drug-dealing information source on M'Talas Prime. The episode was written by Terry Matalas. I guess he's getting out of here with a planet named after him.
  • Raffi's ship obviously reuses the set of La Sirena, but surely it's supposed to be a different ship, since La Sirena was taken by Borg Queen Jurati 400 years ago and presumably assimilated into her collective.
  • No one wants the models of the "fat" Enterprise-D being sold at the bar for Frontier Day. I guess everyone wants the newer, sleeker models.
  • By the way, what is Frontier Day commemorating 250 years of? The founding of the Federation was my first thought, but Memory Alpha says that happened in 2161, which would make this episode take place in 2411, which is almost 10 years too late for when this realistically takes place, since last season (the parts not in 2024, that is) took place in 2401. The Enterprise NX-01 under Captain Archer was launched in 2151, and 250 years later would be 2401, so maybe that's it?
  • More callbacks: The statue of Rachel Garrett, the captain of the Enterprise-C, is the "red lady" Raffi desperately searches for and discovers is at the site of the impending attack.
  • Still more callbacks: The opening title card, "In the 25th century..." referencing the similar opening card in Star Trek II.
  • The closing titles break out the original TNG font, the Jerry Goldsmith ST:TMP/TNG and First Contact themes, and tons and tons of LCARS designs. The TNG homage is strong with this one.

Previous episode: Farewell
Next episode: Disengage

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197 comments on this post

Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 2:25am (UTC -5)
This. This is what I've wanted from Picard since day one. I'm a very happy fan tonight. I hope this continues.
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 2:42am (UTC -5)
Solid start. It's a credit to the episode that I got angry when it cut to black because I wanted more. Never felt that way during the last season.
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 3:32am (UTC -5)
The best this show has been, but that's saying scant little.

The ship at the end screamed "how do we outdo the Scimitar from Nemesis?". I literally heard it.

Considering the track record of admirals in Star Trek, I couldn't blame that captain for being skeptical and disdainful of Picard.

Can a refit turn a vessel into a new class? The Titan was Luna class, but now it's "Neoconstitution".
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 4:14am (UTC -5)
Meh. OK but not great. The endemic problems of NuTrek (dimly lit sets, characters talking as if they were in 2023, mystery box plot and excessive gritty violence) haven't gone away. Above all, however, I was struck by how bad the acting and the dialogue was. Fan film level so far.

That being said, there was nothing offensive about this. As a generic adventure plot it was fine. Some of the fan service lands. I was entertained and I can already see this will be better than the previous two seasons, which were some of the worst television has ever produced. But I struggle to see why this received a glowing recommendation from the likes of Robert Meyer Burnett. Perhaps it will improve, but so far the show remains very, very dumb.
Eric Jensen
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 6:27am (UTC -5)
Much better start
Ignoring the 1st two seasons, definitely a good start
So who are the bad guys?
What is going to happen to Seven, or rather Commander Hansen?
Eric Jensen
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 6:46am (UTC -5)
And one more thing
The opening credits? Couldn't they have put more thought into it? Assuming they are starting a new chapter, couldn't they have at least put more effort?
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 6:52am (UTC -5)
@Eric Jensen I'd be willing to bet that the credits we saw at the end (ie the first round of credits) will be the opening title for the rest of the series. And those do look awesome.
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 6:59am (UTC -5)
After Picard S2, I decided Strange New Worlds would have to be last chance saloon for me. Unfortunately, I found myself disconnected from the enthusiasm many others in the fandom expressed - it didn't strike a chord.

So, that was it for me. Haven't watched anything NuTrek since; I have no further interest in trudging through any future instalments of DISCO and I certainly wasn't going to bother with Picard after season 2 left my Inner Trekkie on life support.

So, what the hell am I doing here? Robert Meyer Burnett? Well, it was curious to see someone so vocal against NuTrek do an about-turn. But no, it wasn't that particular blow hard. Dave Cullen - another commentator whose views on NuTrek weren't so hyperbolic, but contemptuous enough to align with my own views - has also come out singing the season's praises. In fact, there has been more than one channel I've come across from former detractors now compelling me to give season 3 a chance (one even going so far as to say we MUST and that we need to get word to Paramount that THIS is the Trek we want going forward. Woah.).

Having seen episode one, I am ... unmoved. I agree with @Dreubarik in that there was nothing offensively bad about this. But at the same time, it still has the same signature to what came before.

The member-berries - I don't care. You're not going to win be over with TWOK nods in the opening credits or with the low-res Titan's space dock departure (CGI isn't terrible but damn, The Expanse was way ahead of this quality years ago).

The dialogue, the interactions ... a lot of it fell flat - even between Riker and Picard. Is it nice to see them together mucking about on a derelict ship like the good ol' days? Sure. And the writers are not shy about reminding us how nostalgic this all is.

We're also setting up yet another mystery box, it would seem. They always intrigue at the outset but grow tiresome fairly quickly as they're nudged along each week. If you're going to unpack a mystery across 10 episodes, you had better give me some quality, character-driven content to fill the space between the cursory reveal episodes. Regrettably, NuTrek has yet to deliver on this front, with cliched, shoddy and inconsistent writing being the norm.

Ultimately, the NuTrek viewing experience is a frustrating one as the serialized mystery box is drip fed across several weeks. One wonders if the early reviewers' sentiment was aided by being privy to watching the whole season (or first six - whatever the case may be) back-to-back.

Echoing @Dreubarik again - Meh. OK but not great. My expectations were non-existent until a few days ago. Having watched the season 3 premiere, there was little in this episode to raise my expectations beyond muted, I'm afraid.

Before some of those NuTrek detractors started swooning over this season, I'd said I wouldn't tune in unless Jammer gave the first 6 episodes at least 3 stars (with an allowance for one dip to 2 1/2). I'll be curious to see where this ends up - I'm thinking no higher than a 3. I'll check in next week - there's just enough to keep my interest for now. If they can improve on this and really start knocking it out of the park, I'll be thrilled. After episode one, I am unconvinced, but generous enough to give it room to expand.

** 1/2 out of 5.

Additional thoughts:

- Couldn't stand the captain. And really - painting Picard and Riker as cowboys ala, Kirk and co? He came across as an incredibly disrespectful twat.

- Seven was good.

- Bev's child. Who is your daddy, and what does he do? Although I'm wondering if he is necessarily her biological son ...
Kyle A
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 7:09am (UTC -5)
So far so good. But I also liked the first two episodes of Season 2 and then it all went downhill. Hopefully they get it right this time.
Joseph B
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 7:36am (UTC -5)
I loved every minute of this first episode!

The “beats” were *great*!

This felt like the start of a TNG movie! Even the music was there!!
(Closing credits music was from “Star Trek: First Contact”.)

The question is “Can they keep this up over 10 episodes?”
Fingers Crossed!! 🤞🤞
Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 8:23am (UTC -5)
I thought it was a good, but not great season premier. I'm going to be optimistic and say the reason why the first six episodes were dropped to the media is because the season improves over time, rather than the sharp drop in quality we saw last season.

There was a lot to like here. The pacing and direction were spot-on, IMHO, and left me itching for more. You always know that a show has done its job when you get to the last scene and are disappointed it hasn't continued. The dynamic between Picard and Riker basically carried the episode for me. I didn't find the memberberries to be all that distracting (other than the showrunner introducing a planet named after him), and I thought the dim lighting both worked well in scene (I wasn't struggling to see what the hell was going on like some recent HBO series) and was appropriate for the TOS movie vibe they're going for with this production. I watched on my tablet with headphones, so I didn't notice the low-res ship shots which others complained about.

But it wasn't a perfect episode, far from it. The main issue I have here is the script is...rough. The story beats all work well, but the dialogue is really stilted and artificial in spots, with "as you know" style of exposition which just felt unnatural, and in places overwritten. Pretty much no character gets off scot free here unfortunately, but some of Raffi and Seven's lines in particular just struck me as things normal human beings don't say. Captain Shaw is a bit overdone as a secondary antagonist as well. It's not intolerable by any means, but comparing back to the best of Season 1, you can tell not a great deal of effort has gone into establishing things like character voice with the dialogue choices - that they're just meant to go from point A to point B.

Can someone explain to me how Crusher's son has a British accent? Please tell me it's not just because they want us to think he's Picard's child.

Three stars.
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 8:36am (UTC -5)
@Karl Zimmerman Yes, the dialogue is clunky to an almost painful extreme. Perhaps this also makes the acting rougher than it would be otherwise.

What bothers me even more, I think, is that it is clunky because it's dumb. If it were clunky because the writers are trying to cram too many high-minded ideas into it and just can't make it sound natural, I'd be along for the ride. I am OK with Star Trek sounding pretencious. But it's just dumb, and I really struggle with Star Trek sounding dumb.
Keith Dalton
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 8:40am (UTC -5)
Honestly better than anything on the first two episodes except Stargazer.

I really like watching Frakes and Stewart together again.

My main disappointment was that the actor playing Shaw didn't turn to Picard and say, "Hey, it's Time Jesus!"

And he was completely meaning to be disrespectful. It was a power play. He was angry his ship was boarded for inspection by the former captain and a Star Fleet admiral. He is a by-the-book guy and they wanted him to throw the book out.
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 9:04am (UTC -5)
Certainly a step in the right direction. Miles better than the first two seasons!

But this hasn't landed as all-time great ST yet, for sure. :) Gotta balance out the hype with reality I guess, haha.

The dialogue and modern day 'member berry' writing is definitely not sharp. Riker talking to Picard about being "incapacitated" feels so wink winky. Yeah, I remember Best of Both Worlds as part of the apex of Star Trek, lol. I get it! If this were real world dialogue, he'd just come out and say "during the days of your assimilation," no??? You don't need to lead Picard on there. The whole bit about coded frequencies and computer viruses doesn't land for me-- You mean to tell me that info wasn't included in a post event report from Riker or anyone else on board the D? Picard was never ever debriefed about that over the last 30 years? Iffy plotting. You feel like this is teetering on fan fiction again, but it certainly is stronger/more recognizable overall than past seasons (and the other shows, see: Discovery). Compare all this to Insurrection though-- Is it stronger?

I dig the Frontier Day concept. I was hoping Season 1 would feature some sort of terrorist or nefarious xenophobic-esque plot centered around societal change on the eve of entering the 25th century (literally New Years Eve!). Instead they thought it was cool and wholesome to kill Data again haha.

I'm also hopeful for more characterization, which I'm presuming we'll get in the coming episodes. Episode 1 felt heavy on plot, introductions and lining things up, to be expected? But now as we move forward, we need more substance about HOW these characters are different, if that's one of the thematic backbones of this season.

Quantum portal weapons have promise here, I think.

A step in the right direction overall. Keeping the faith, for once!
Dietra Anne Tewalt
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 9:26am (UTC -5)
It was perfection!!!!
Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 9:42am (UTC -5)
@ Sid,

I was also a bit let down by the heavy plot focus here. Seasons 1 and especially 2 were rough in terms of execution, but they were fairly character driven, with clearly identifiable arcs for Picard obvious from the first episode.

Picard starts this season...fine. He's ready to while away his retirement with Laris, and then gets zapped out of paradise by the message from blazin Bev. That's a weaker start unless you're invested in the mystery box, and I'm simply not yet.
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 10:56am (UTC -5)

Dave Cullen? The anti abortion, anti-gay marriage, pro-Trump, "Feminist misandry infects Doctor Who", "The Covid pandemic is a hoax" guy?

I'm not sure I'd take a recommendation from him as anything other than a "yikes!"
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 11:07am (UTC -5)
Finally. What a great episode. Dunno about the fanficky reveal of the son. If it's Picard's kid that makes Crusher look like a jerk for keeping him a secret. And I don't think one inherits a British accent.

Plus, I was under the impression the same about of time has passed for the crew on the show is the same in real life since Nemesis was in theatres, because the son looks older than 21, but I'm sure all will be revealed.

And that Swan was a dick, but Picard didn't like it when Admiral Bald From Lost tried to keep him in the dark and run his ship, so all's fair, I guess.

Anyway, again, what a cool episode. Shoulda been like this from day one.
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 11:09am (UTC -5)

That's true. It's more of a "one last adventure"/rescue premise that hopefully will set up Picard and the rest of the old crew up to discover "who they really are now," or something like that hahaa. I did not like the "character deconstruction" choices they made in the previous seasons, but you're right, at least they were fairly pointed. We'll see, time will tell!

All in all, this series surely isn't the quiet and contemplative drama Kurtzman was touting a few years back, is it? We need more scenes like the bunkbed one from Episode 1 here- albeit longer :) Maybe I'm the only one left on planet Earth who would enjoy a 10 episode show about two old men trying to sleep in a bunkbed, hashing out all their old successes and failures in an attempt to figure out what the purpose of life is, lol.

I even liked the scene where Picard and Laris say goodbye. Feels like legit, believable character work, for a change. I'm sure we're in for more of that in the coming weeks based on the hype reports-- But I really do HOPE we get it!! The writing these days so often overemphasizes plot and excitement while just giving you bare bones--or unbelievable/unearned--characterization slivers (cuz there's no time left in the hour haha!), for obvious reasons, but it's so annoying and basic. Here's hoping. Ya just have to wait and judge a serialized effort at the end of its run! It's so easy to nitpick hour by hour as you go...
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 11:39am (UTC -5)
My interest in Star Trek is now so low, that all I'm able to muster is reading the comments to see if I should even CONSIDER giving the season a shot, while ignoring the other, what, 4? entire shows because Secret Hideout is incapable of doing anything but pounding the mediocrity drum. And so far, it looks like they continue to do so.

If Picard Season 3 manages to squeak to some level of passing decency, I guess we can take it to mean that all the rave reviews would be more a reflection on just how utterly crummy Trek has been the past several years to make passingly okay look like the Second Coming.
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 12:19pm (UTC -5)
While I get that folks here are wary and critical of Picard, I can't deny I was entertained and intrigued by this opening episode. It can all still go belly up in a few weeks time, same as last season. But for now, I'll be enjoying the ride.

TNG it'll never be, but that was never the mission.
Gilligan's Starship
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 1:00pm (UTC -5)
Hearing the soothing tones of Jerry Goldsmith's music score was a nice touch :)
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 1:13pm (UTC -5)
The highest praise I can give this is that, for all its faults, I want to see what happens next. That's a good sign.

That said, I can't disagree with the complaints, re dialog and lack of character motivation. It's a very plot-driven story so far. *This* is what drew such glowing praise from skeptics? I can only conclude that the avalanche of fan service biased them towards overlooking the shortcomings, or future episodes improve on those fronts.

Based on the first episode, this is a show I'd enjoy binging but not thinking too hard about.
Jason R.
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 1:16pm (UTC -5)
I will happily watch Season 3 of Picard when NASA announced its manned mission to Io. Seems exceedingly fair and reasonable on my part.
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 2:07pm (UTC -5)
I felt there is a huge tonal difference amongst all the familiarity. Right off the bat, Beverly Crusher is killing aliens, suffering from severe wounds, and distrusting Starfleet? It's like whatever happened between the legendary days of the Enterprise-D and the present time in this series has messed everyone up. It's interesting because it makes the show less predictable like say, an episode of Lower Decks, but damn there is some mood whiplash right off the bat.

Picard, Riker, and Seven are of course great, and some of the best scenes occurred when these characters could brush off Starfleet decorum and just talk like the real friends they've become. This comradery contrasts heavily with the show's universe though, as the Enterprise has become something of a joke and even captain of the Titan (Captain Shaw) looks down on what the audience sees as legends with contempt.

The ending sequence is terrific, though. Is that Star Trek: Generations with the classic TNG theme? Along with the old visuals, it's great for a new spin on some classic Star Trek.

3 stars is where I'd land. Looking forward to see where this goes.
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 2:13pm (UTC -5)
Happy Easter everyone!
Well I'm gonna need a week to dig into all those eggs anyway. But my favorite after one watch is Picard not remembering Sidney LaForge's name here, as he couldn't in "All Good Things ..."
Latex Zebra
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 2:34pm (UTC -5)
A good start. I'm invested.
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 2:47pm (UTC -5)

"Dave Cullen? The anti abortion, anti-gay marriage, pro-Trump, "Feminist misandry infects Doctor Who", "The Covid pandemic is a hoax" guy?"

Oh my. I've only ever watched a few of his Star Trek-related vids when they've popped up in my YT suggestions.

If the above summation of him is correct - well, that's disappointing.
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 3:10pm (UTC -5)
Just finished this episode and I gotta say it was fantastic. I enjoyed S1, and even S2 though to a far lesser extent, if this first episode is any indication, I think S3 will be the best of all.
Gilligan's Starship
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 3:12pm (UTC -5)
I'm guessing the graphic readouts in the end title sequence is chocked with clues of what's to come. Several things I thought were interesting :

•Holodeck with Security Protocols Offline
•The Mention of Voyager & older ships in the "Fleet Museum"
•USS Constance: Lost in action Stardate 44002.3

Apart from the dark cinematography, why it took them two seasons to finally get something that finally resembles Trek is a mystery.
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 3:19pm (UTC -5)
@Gilligan's Starship

Just to clarify further on the last clue of your list: Stardate 44002.3 was the Battle of Wolf 359. Interesting to see if/how that ties back in later.
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 3:41pm (UTC -5)
"Trust no one" plus "they always have different faces" plus certain scenes from the trailer plus some musical cues here make me think this season's storyline will be something TNG fans have been waiting for for 35 years, the sequel to "Conspiracy". Only artificial lifeforms (Lore, Moriarty) can be assumed to be uncompromised?
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 5:04pm (UTC -5)
One other thing: I guess Riker's bad knees preclude him from pulling The Riker maneuver. Shoddy knees in the 25th Century? A therapeutic light from one of those fancy medical devices ought to set those caps right in 30 seconds.
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 5:17pm (UTC -5)
Poor nuTrek shill Wil Wheaton...they fabricated a whole new son instead...
grey cat
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 6:04pm (UTC -5)
Loved it!

Why did they bother with season 1 and 2 at all if this is what they can do?

3.5 stars for me. Only losing half a star due to Raffi being rather dull and I was hoping we'd seen the last of her.

The only problem is that s2 started with an excellent episode so I'm a little scared this will go downhill too.. hope not.
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 6:15pm (UTC -5)
Going with a solid 3* out of 4 for this one after rewatching. I actually skipped the Raffi scenes this time and the episode flowed really well focusing just on the legacy characters. Go figure, Raffi is my least favorite new character.

Lots of Search for Spock parallels, all the way down to the music. I don’t hate that. Thought they did a good job handling Laris with this season’s plot line, though I wouldn’t have been opposed if she went with Picard. She’s probably my favorite of the new characters. Clearly the ending of the season will be Picard meeting her at the bar looking out at the sunset.

Starfleet still feels all wrong, but I’ve given up on that front. At least the other shows seem to “get it” a little more.
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 6:57pm (UTC -5)
@Gilligan's Starship

I noticed that the offline safety mode was for a Ten Forward simulation.

Also, did you notice a personnel report from Capt. Shaw regarding a *redacted* commander?
grey cat
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 7:21pm (UTC -5)
I really liked the First Contact/TNG medley for the end credits too. Well.. the First Contact theme is one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever imo anyway.

At this point I wish they'd just made season 8,9, 10 of TNG and not bothered with the whole "exploring Picard" thing. Childhood trauma was kinda dreary and seems a bit odd for a guy who's meant to be 100 or something
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 8:17pm (UTC -5)
Why is EVERYTHING so dark?

I enjoyed this, but I've enjoyed the first episode in the first two seasons as well.

So, Beverly had a kid when she went to run Star Fleet medical?
The Queen
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 9:17pm (UTC -5)
I was impressed. I like seeing evidence that over the past 20+ years these characters have done other things than sit on their butts and remember past glories. I thought the important people were introduced naturally, and appreciated the lack of Lower Decks-style Easter eggs. Have I always longed to see Dr. Crusher expertly wielding a gun? No, but I believe that she has had occasion to do so in her recent history. Am I shocked to see her second son? Not at all, and I don’t believe he’s Picard’s. In fact my hunch is that he, not she, is the real target of the assassins.

Riker comments that Deanna and Kestra need some time away from him. I appreciate this new development after their rosy glow from season one. Seven is now a First Officer in Starfleet - after only one year, this seems fast to me, but I probably don’t mind, especially because I think she’ll soon be out for good and back to Rangering. Sidney “Crash” Laforge as an ensign seems very appropriate. Raffi confused me a little as I wasn’t convinced she was actually free of drugs, but I liked the idea of her handler contacting her only nonvisually via text.

We were given a lot of hints about the direction of the season, especially in the ending credits.
- a double helix
- a neural net
- a picture or program entitled Microneurographic Scan
- the words “Do not seek blame, do not seek am…., Disengage investigation.”
- a holodeck program for 10 Forward with safety protocols off.

At a couple of different places the Borg are mentioned either verbally or visually. I think the visual clues are especially important. Could they be planning to use the new Juratified Borg somehow?

Finally, there’s the opening song, “I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire.” A few days ago I read a review of the season (can’t remember by whom) that deeply analyzed the meaning of that song for the series. It revealed that there would be many images and mentions of fire throughout the season, and we see that already in this episode, when the recruitment center disappears and then reappears through portals ringed with fire.

Finally finally, in the Ready Room interview for this episode Gates McFadden said that it's important to remember that Dr. Crusher is a scientist, and there will be a "scientific" angle to the season. I'm tying that in with the neural business, but who knows?

As far as overall quality, I don't think it makes sense to place too much weight on any one episode in a strongly serialized show like this. But I definitely enjoyed this one, thought the acting and directing were good, and the writing was perfectly fine except for two small places. Jeri Ryan especially was terrific.
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 10:37pm (UTC -5)
Mixed assessment / feelings about this one -- enjoyed the little nuggets that reminded of classic Trek and the camaraderie between Riker and Picard but it was overwhelmed by the usual formula of some mystery(ies), commandeering a ship, shady characters/settings, an asshole authority figure etc. Hard not to be cynical about nu-Trek, but PIC seems to have its strongest outing to start a season and then it's pretty much downhill from there.

So now we have to think about what made Crusher disconnect herself from the old TNG crew... Another mystery that isn't likely to pay off with a satisfying conclusion. I've always found it odd that she'd be captaining a ship -- even one for primarily medical purposes.

What I liked is how this felt like a movie with the classic music from the old TOS films (not to mention parts of the TOS theme itself). PIC S3 seems to be wrapped in a different package overall (with all the credits at the end, updated TNG theme music). Think this is more about giving the long-time fans more of what they want. But I can't stand how everything is so poorly lit -- hard to make out colors. Just not visually appealing overall.

Did not enjoy the Raffi parts -- "Red Lady" (made me think of the "Red Angel" from DSC S2) -- she's not why I'm watching PIC. But in any case, she's like a scout here and witnesses destruction of these weapons stolen from the Daystrom Inst. Just a piece to the puzzle.

Plenty of padding in this series opener. But like the movie feel to the show, I appreciated the shots of the Titan, the starbase etc. -- reminiscent of the first Star Trek movie, which spent a lot of time on these shots. But these season-long arcs are hard to pull off and simple plot mechanics have to be stretched out.

2.5 stars for "Part One The Next Generation" -- a decent opener but nothing particularly riveting or thought-provoking. Bit of a cliff-hanger with that badass alien ship approaching. Not much substance here and I think most of the good stuff is just seeing Riker / Picard together as we just get teased with what the season's about.
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 11:16pm (UTC -5)
We live in a universe where an extremist version of Donald Trump became the U.S. President, Russia basically got away with an unprovoked, baseless invasion of a sovereign nation with next-to-no consequences, and the successful format of a Patrick-Stewart-fronted Star Trek revival took FIVE shows and TWO seasons of THIS show to materialize.
Ehh well...even TNG took until season 3 to consistently not suck. Now, it feels at last like we're skirting the edges of Wrath Of Khan/Inner Light/First Contact territory again.
This is the best Star Trek has been in decades.
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 11:21pm (UTC -5)

My episode rating for "The Next Generation"

Rating for timeliness of Jammer's review of "The Next Generation"
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 11:33pm (UTC -5)
P.P.S. I think it's hilarious that so many people say the cinematography is too dark (stop watching it on your tablet and go see it on a 65", 70" or so TV...or make friends with someone who has one.)

What I'm surprised that more people AREN'T complaining about are the hipster wide-screen bars to let us know which shows are 'Prestige TV'.
Know what's prestigious? Filling the entirety of the TV screen for a show that will only ever be seen on a HD/4K dimension home monitor (or that tablet and some swanky air pods...Good grief 😂).
Tim C
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 11:38pm (UTC -5)
I approach season 3 of this show with absolutely zero benefit of the doubt, after season 2 was such a train wreck. Right now I'll just rate this episode as "watchable" and fully expect to be let down as the season progresses, likely sooner rather than later.

Jammer noted that Michelle Hurd is still overacting, so I won't belabor the point and just agree strongly. Still one of season 2's worst decisions - of all the season 1 characters to keep, why her and not somebody fun?! (RIP, Rios, Agnes, Elnor...)

Now. I must put on my Super Nitpicky Old School Star Trek Nerd hat and rant about something that really annoyed me: the dialogue lifted straight from The Undiscovered Country when the Titan left spacedock.

Why? Because either the writer or the director (or both) obviously didn't understand what was actually happening there in that TUC scene!

Recall in TWOK, when Spock tells Saavik to take the conn - which he does purely to fuck with his old buddy Kirk - and she orders the Enterprise out of dock first with thrusters, then at 1/4 impulse, and Kirk is absolutely *on edge* about a junior officer taking them out at speed (McCoy's "Would you like a tranquilizer?" still a great line), but refuses to let Spock see it.

Then, years later in TUC, when Valeris goes to take them out with aft thrusters, Kirk says "Thank you Lieutenant, one quarter impulse power" and Valeris informs us indirectly that Saavik's taking them out at that speed way back when was actually against regs! Kirk gives Spock a big shit-eating grin like this is all just a big in-joke to them nowadays. They race the doors and barely scrape through them and you realise why they're not meant to rev the engines like that, even though all the old hands clearly find it fun as hell.

In *this* episode, the dialogue implies that "aft thrusters" and "one quarter impulse power" are the same thing, and just standard procedure, and nobody bats an eye! God dammit, show. If you're going to do deep-cut fan service you really need to pay attention.

It's a shame, because the rest of that spacedock scene, particularly the exterior shots and the music, was quite well done and *did* hit the correct nostalgia buttons. Although if you ask me, the model work in the TOS movies still looked better than the CGI here.
Tim C
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 11:46pm (UTC -5)
There's two different (wonderful) nerds on YouTube who recreated that TUC scene with external shots of the Enterprise-A leaving spacedock to illustrate just how wild their "blast out at impulse power" signature move actually is:

Something like *that* would have been great to see here. Oh well.
Peter G.
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 11:55pm (UTC -5)
@ Jammer,

I have to admit, despite myself you're tempting me to give this show another chance. I might take myself up on your advice and skip S2 and go straight to S3 (I've seen S1 already). Just a brief comment on one note you made:

"By the way, what is Frontier Day commemorating 250 years of? The founding of the Federation was my first thought, but Memory Alpha says that happened in 2161, which would make this episode take place in 2411, which is almost 10 years too late for when this realistically takes place, since last season (the parts not in 2024, that is) took place in 2401. The Enterprise NX-01 under Captain Archer was launched in 2151, and 250 years later would be 2401, so maybe that's it?"

2161 is actually cited as the birth of the Federation by Deanna in The Outcast:

TROI: All right. This hand, the game is Federation Day.
WORF: What is that?
TROI: Well, the Federation was founded in Twenty One Sixty One, so, twos, sixes, and aces are wild.
WORF: That is a woman's game.
TROI: Oh? Why is that?
WORF: All those wild cards. They support a weak hand. A man's game has no wild cards.
CRUSHER: Let me get this straight. Are you saying it's a woman's game because women are weak and need more help?
WORF: Yes.
CRUSHER: And just this afternoon I was insisting to one of the J'naii that those attitudes were but a distant memory.

It occurs to me now that the issue of wild cards in the game is probably meant as a metaphor for a given person being able to function in more than one sexual orientation; or ditto for gender. Anyhow back to your comment:

Without having seen the episode, I think Archer's inaugural mission would pretty much be the necessary candidate for what Frontier Day might be. The numbers adding up perfectly can hardly be an accident, so good pick up on that.
Peter G.
Thu, Feb 16, 2023, 11:58pm (UTC -5)
Oh, here's fun fact for any Babylon 5 fans out there: in one of his periodic attempts to poke fun at Trek in his portrayal of a very different future, JMS inserts into one episode the fact that the Psi-Corps was founded in 2161 :)
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 2:41am (UTC -5)
Forty bajillion comments in one day? Methinks this bodes well...

What I like about this episode, in terms of "Arc Trek," is that it gets shit M O V I N G.

Since Trek transitioned to this arc-based storytelling, the temptation has been to drip-feed plot developments. This does that, no question. BUT, during said drip-feed, it is interspersing very real character development moments in with its slow reveal of the plot at hand.

THAT'S what's been missing from Trek, THAT'S what I wanted, and THAT'S what has me excited for episode two.

And btw, referencing James Horner is a cheap ass shot, Picard Producers. Well played. You've got my attention. Do that more, please. I am down.
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 3:05am (UTC -5)
>Apart from the dark cinematography, why it took them two seasons to finally get something that finally resembles Trek is a mystery.

Cocaine is a hell of a drug.
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 3:07am (UTC -5)
Jean Luc was it a good idea to have the catch up chat with Riker in public (where someone shifty at the bar had clearly been tuning in) when Beverly's message told you it was all top secret stuff?!

Apart from the first five minutes trying to give me an epileptic fit I enjoyed it (especially the interplay between Riker and Picard) and found it promising but then I felt that way about the start of season 2 and look what happened... So I will reserve judgement for now.
John M.
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 4:47am (UTC -5)
Also three stars out of four for me. The best part was Capt. Shaw. The worst part is that there are two "mysteries" that I think I've already figured out. Good start, though!
Jason R.
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 5:17am (UTC -5)
"I have to admit, despite myself you're tempting me to give this show another chance."

If into this show you go, only pain will you find.
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 5:57am (UTC -5)
Jammer: "By the way, what is Frontier Day commemorating 250 years of? The founding of the Federation was my first thought, but Memory Alpha says that happened in 2161, which would make this episode take place in 2411, which is almost 10 years too late for when this realistically takes place, since last season (the parts not in 2024, that is) took place in 2401. The Enterprise NX-01 under Captain Archer was launched in 2151, and 250 years later would be 2401, so maybe that's it?"

That's my guess Jammer. Riker did say 250 years of "boldly going". Our first stint at that was Archer & Co.

@Tim C

"Jammer noted that Michelle Hurd is still overacting, so I won't belabor the point and just agree strongly. Still one of season 2's worst decisions - of all the season 1 characters to keep, why her and not somebody fun?! (RIP, Rios, Agnes, Elnor...)"

I SOOOOOO agree with this. She is a shining example of someone that has to be in the business because she's so damn good looking. Not very talented in the acting department IMO. I would have much preferred Rios. Who knows, we may see our new Borg Queen thingy this season.

Wow, I thought 'Lower Decks' pumped in tons of Easter eggs.... this episode was chocker-blocked. (in a good way). You'll never go wrong by me by incorporating Jerry Goldsmith scores. I loved the Inkspots too.

I'm not going over 3 stars... I've been fooled too many times. I'm tempering expectations. They're going to have to really EARN 3.5 or 4 star ratings from me this season.

Great review once more Jammer.
Peter G.
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 9:05am (UTC -5)
@ Jason R,

"If into this show you go, only pain will you find."

Haha, are you suggesting that Obi-Wan would have been better off not knowing who Vader was?
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 9:08am (UTC -5)
I thought this was poorly written. The show has gone from being full of cliches, to being full of the precise cliches done by its previous season premieres. And so...

1. We open with another gun fight

2. We have another season which begins with an old timey song ("Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien" in season 1, "Time is On My Side" in season 2).

3. We then jump to another on-the-nose Laris/Picard conversation in which we juxtapose the need to "settle down" with "the pull of space".

4. We then have the generic mystery box message which pulls Picard away from his chateau and into his adventure.

5. We then have the usual "Picard is a rogue now" and so "functioning outside of Starfleet" scenes, mingled with the usual "Picard assembles his team to go on his mission" tropes.

6. Like the previous two premieres, we then have the "Picard leaves Laris behind" cliche. She's the only interesting and well-acted original character on this show- why do we keep leaving her behind?

7. Meanwhile, Raffi's in her own little mystery box ("Who's the Red Woman?").

8. Elsewhere you have little cliches sprinkled about, like the generic terrorist attack (seemingly pulled from "Into Darkness"), the cliched "Blade Runner" planet, the cliched baddies with villain masks, the cliched "spies wearing cloaks" (yet blatantly stating that they're Starfleet Intelligence Agents whilst out in the open), the cheesy Bev-being-a-badass-with-a-shotgun scenes, or Bev's secret son, or the generic villain ship (huge and darkly painted, of course, and looking like Nero's ship)...and on and on it goes.

IMO classic Trek could get away with such hokiness because it was theatrical and very abstract/metaphorical in tone. The decor was as stylized as everything else. "Picard", though, is simultaneously silly and going for gritty realism. It's incongruous.

9. Meanwhile, as is typical of nuTrek, our heroes are all a mess. Riker's an alcoholic and split from his wife and kids. Beverly's not spoken to her friends in 20 years and has been hiding a child all this time. 7of9 hates her life and hates working for a Starfleet captain who is an awful bigot. Even Picard seems out of character; early in the episode he says he "misses adventure", but Picard's never been a guy interested in "adventure". He's a by-the-book Starfleet officer who cares about duty and responsibility foremost.

10. And of course, like previous seasons of "Picard", the dialogue continues to be too modern and contemporary ("I'm all in, man!", "Guess I can't expect more from a junkie!", "Tired of taking this sh*t!" etc).

This episode is over 50 minutes worth of cliches and tropes. Nothing much happens, and there's little here but teasing and nostalgia. Yes, it's all executed better than the season 1 and 2 premieres - it flows better, moves better and is less cheesy - but by dint of being 3rd it suffers from going through the very motions its predecessors did.

IMO, like the Borg scenes conned people into thinking the season 2 premiere was good, Jonathan Frakes singlehandedly makes this episode work. He personally elevates everything, has that Shatner charisma, and adds a lighthearted, jovial tone to the episode. He turns the whole episode into a lark.
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 9:37am (UTC -5)
Do Americans understand that there are more songs in France than something Edith Piaf's wrote 70 years ago?

I must say, seeing the hype train leaving the station... I will just fill my glass and watch where this is going.

Does it reach the quality of this?
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 10:11am (UTC -5)
How did Donald Trump managed to get mentioned twice in comments about this episode?

Some people are obsessed. Biden has been president since Jan 2021.... be happy (or not) and for the love of god stop going on about Trump.

American politics has no connection with this episode.
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 10:33am (UTC -5)
@Jammer I think that Raffi has La Sirena that was Rios’s ship in this timeline. The Borg Queen/Agni’s took La Sirena that was the ship in the Confederation fleet.

With all the timeline shenanigans last season, there probably is two La Sirena now. The one from the alternate Confederation reality that is now buried in the nu-Borg ship guarding the trans warp conduit and Rios’s original ship from the prime reality.
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 10:56am (UTC -5)
@Dave, good point. I also later noticed the credits for this episode listed the voice for "La Sirena Computer," so I guess this is intended to be La Sirena after all.
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 11:07am (UTC -5)
How is Annika Haaaaaanson Commander? Is that some sort of brevet thing like in the US civil war?? Do people still go to starfleet academy??? Or is it like today where you just need to know the right people??
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 11:34am (UTC -5)

"How is Annika Haaaaaanson Commander? Is that some sort of brevet thing like in the US civil war?? Do people still go to starfleet academy??? Or is it like today where you just need to know the right people??"

7 was given a field commission at the end of last season (by ADM Picard). 7 would be bored in SFA.
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 11:49am (UTC -5)
Oh, that is really not how field commissions work but alright. Admirals are not some special breed that can dish out ranks as they please. In wartime to some degree but that's it.
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 12:37pm (UTC -5)

Maybe after Voyager arrived home she breezed through the Academy because of her prior experience serving on a ship and was a serving officer for a time before leaving, (when the universe went nuts) then got reinstated like Tuvok?
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 12:40pm (UTC -5)
There was a VOY episode where Icheb suggested 7 attend the academy too, and she inquired what she would learn there that she hasn't assimilated already...
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 12:57pm (UTC -5)
Wasn't Seven in Starfleet before? Not to bring up the awful "Stardust City Rag," but wasn't she and Icheb both in Starfleet when Icheb was murdered? Then Seven, in her quest for vengeance, left Starfleet and joined the Fenris Rangers. Or maybe just Icheb had on a Starfleet uniform in that scene. I would have to go back and watch "Stardust City Rag" again, and I certainly don't want to do that.
Bok R'Mor
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 1:09pm (UTC -5)
Marginally better than the previous two seasons but that's hardly a glowing recommendation.

Still polluted with the usual NuTrek clichés, which a fusillade of sweet-spot fan detail can't distract from.

And JL the Android/Robot/Flesh-and-Blood Automaton or whatever he is now is still absolutely nothing like any Jean-Luc Picard ever.
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 1:30pm (UTC -5)
@ Nolan
Sure, sure. :)
That's one of those things. Putting in the work, accomplishments. They mean nothing to these shows. I have put in so much work to get my degrees but these guys just get them off screen without any mention. Raffi seems to pop in and out of service as she pleases. I guess after the whole Oh fiasco they thought bring us the most unstable starfleet officer for a very special mission. Somebody has to find out about the red angel/woman or something.

By the way, was it ever mentioned that a Romulan infiltrated Starfleet intelligence, became head of intelligence, murdered tens of thousands and destroyed the main shipyard of the Federation? How about those uber killer robots waiting to pop out of holes in the sky to murder all humanoids if an android shots a beam in the sky?

Ok, ok I'll stop spoiling your fun now. It feels like I have seen all this before. I'm obviously living in a very silly and pointless time loop.
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 1:35pm (UTC -5)
Don't do it. The eye scene alone haunts me to this very day. On the other hand there is eye patch Picard.
Steve McCullagh
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 1:58pm (UTC -5)
A fine start. It looks right and it feels right. Shame they had to bring back That Bloody Woman but hopefully she doesn't ruin things as much as she did the last two seasons (is Raffi the worst Star Trek character ever?). I'm cautiously optimistic, which I fully expect to pay for later.
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 2:27pm (UTC -5)
@ Booming

Eh, trying to figure out ANY logical reasoning in what I read about these shows is about the only genuine fun that isn't born from spite that I can muster withthese shoes. I've not watched them since the end of this abominations first season.

But I assume enough time passed between the end of Voyager and the start of even this season (if we would all like to pretend S1 & 2 didn't happen, which, gladly) that she'd have managed some sorta career advancement.
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 2:48pm (UTC -5)
According to Memory Alpha:" Sometime after Voyager returned from the Delta Quadrant, Seven applied to join Starfleet only to have her application rejected."
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 3:00pm (UTC -5)
Going by what reviewers who have watched more of the show seem to suggest, it will be explained at some point that Seven was put on an accelerated graduation+promotion path. Pretty silly (didn't Garak joke about this to Worf once? "Tell them they should make me a commander straight away!"), but still better than Kirk going from ensign to captain in J.J. Abrams' sacrilege of a film. And I guess it would also be silly to make someone with Seven's CV graduate next to 20 year olds and be an ensign for years, so at least there's SOME logic to it.

@TheRealTrent It's hard to argue with all of this. I was also irked by Picard's comment about wanting an adventure. His whole character is still 100% wrong, as is Seven's. I just think they are unable to write for any character who is an intellectual, because they just can't understand how intellectuals and academics think and talk.

Take this other exchange:

SEVEN: How can I inspire when all I do is take shit from someone like Shaw? How am I supposed to just ignore my gut, ignore my instincts just to follow orders?

PICARD: If you find that answer, will you let me know? 'Cause I never did.

This is not something Seven would ever say. This concern with "inspiring others" is very much a modern obsession and decidedly not a part of her core character. Above all, Seven craves knowledge and intellectual fulfillment. Her borg obsession with efficiency also makes it unlikely she'd be bothered about "taking shit from someone like Shaw." It would, of course, bother Seven very much to have a captain who ignores what she considers to be sound intellectual advice. The whole notion that she wants to "follow her gut" rather than her rational analysis is antithetical to the character.

Picard's answer is also odd. Even overlooking his use of the contraction "'cause," TNG Picard wouldn't try to address Seven's issues through emotional acknowledgement or lament outloud that he could never follow orders. TNG Picard would give advice based on his intellectual abstraction of what it means to be in a chain of command, and the personal ethical dilemmas that such a situation imposes on the individual. He would likely quote Shakespeare.

By contrast, the character of Riker does work in this episode and this series in general, because he is actually the adventurer archetype that they know how to write. I gander that Worf will be fine too. But writing a character defined by its intellect is hard for people who don't appear to have much of it.
Bok R'Mor
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 4:11pm (UTC -5)
That new Titan looks like the most God-awful incongruous kitbash since the Yeager class.

And were the clicking aliens who boarded Beverly's ship meant to be a re-imagining of the aliens from 'Schisms', or just a nod to them?

Never mind all that. We've still got what looks like Gary Oldman's character from 'Fifth Element' (Zorg, Google tells me) on the way as the main villain, according to the trailers.

I'm already giving this episode and series far more attention than either deserve.
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 4:22pm (UTC -5)
I agree with most comments here that this episode proved a solid beginning, but we've certainly been here before in the prior two seasons pretty good first episodes, but which eventually left us covered in black goo like from the Skin of Evil alien.

Very minor but I also liked that Shaw was a bit more of a realistic, normal Starfleet asshole. It feels a bit of a retcon of the admiral in season 1 who completely over-the-top called Picard a "fucking idiot" (or something akin to that). This season already feels like it doesn't seem to be trying as hard to hammer any big points. It breathes slightly easier and maybe has a bit more trust in the audience/fans.

What gives me hope though is from the "Ready Room" following this episode. The new showrunner, Terry Matalas, comes across as a real, normal dude. He's no King of Blowhards that we had with Akiva Goldsman nor Studio Shill that is Alex Kurtzman. Terry seems like he's treating this material honestly and respectfully, so at least there's that. It will all come down to whether he has the chops to deliver it effectively.

I'm also wondering whether we as a group here can deal with the annoying remnant of JJ Abrams mandated influence over NuTrek and solve the mystery box here and now before any new episodes, so we don't have to think about it any further. The clues from the trailer, first ep, and ready room interviews:

- Beverly Crusher has a son (maybe biological, maybe not), who she's seemingly trying to protect. Why?

- The big bad is a woman (human?) who is seemingly the one after Crusher and her son and also wants vengeance for some reason. On who or what? Why?

- A new quantum weapon has been stolen from the Daystrom Institute that seems to work like a giant teleportation device. Is this connected?

- Are Moriarty and Lore crucial to the plot? Or just some fun distraction down the line?

- A big aspect of the plot has to do with some loose, unresolved thread from TNG. Which aspect from what episode or movie? I can't necessarily think of any dangling plots off the top of my head other than the 1st season's Conspiracy, which would be kind of lame to pick up here.

- There's apparently some big jaw-dropping revelation during the season, which could be the make or break moment to this season's success. Any theories?
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 4:32pm (UTC -5)
POTENTIAL SPOILER QUESTION Anyone else think thst man Ed Speelers is Not really Beverly's son since he was locked up by her maybe he is a CLONE AOF A another tineline of Jack Crusher..he looks like Jack Crusher..anyone else think so..

Also isn't the statue of Rachel Garret a clue that we will be seeing Tasha Yar way back when she joined the Enterprise C in Yesterday's Enterprise??
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 4:32pm (UTC -5)
@Dreubarik: Well said. I’ve complained here and to anyone who would listen (not many people) that Seven on Picard bears no resemblance whatsoever to the character of Seven we knew from Voyager. “Listen to my gut”?? I actually yelled at the TV while watching this. That is so NOT something Seven would ever say. I’m willing to grant the writers some lee way in theat she has changed and evolved from the Borg drone trying to reconnect with her humanity over the last 20 years, but still, Jeri Ryan may as well be playing a different character.

The damage inflicted on Picards character isn’t as bad, but Picard was always an intellectual and a philosopher, his devotion to duty was tempered by a consideration of ethics and responsibility to the greater good. However, he could kick ass and be a swashbuckler in an Indiana Jones kind of way when he needed to, witness Captains Holiday or the Gambitt. So it isn’t inconceivable that Picard could be the action hero the writers want to remake him as, the problem is that the current writers and show runners neither know nor care about the last 30 years of character development and world building, or if they do they aren’t very good at their jobs.
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 4:50pm (UTC -5)
Rewatched Nepenthe from season 1, and it was nice to see Picard and Riker and Troi together again and and seeing how Riker and Troi were enjoying retirement, experiencing the joy together of having a family and enduring the pain together of losing a child. It’s also nice to see the actors inhabiting these beloved characters and bringing them back to life. I would prefer to forget the rest of that season with the tentacles coming thru the sky and all the other nonsense. Likewise, I enjoyed seeing Riker and Picard together again in this episode, but why would Troi and Kestra be happy to see him go? I hope the writers don’t decide to manufacture some dysfunctional family, child hood trauma dynamic similar to the one hoisted on Jean Luc after 30 years in season 2. But that would be typical of the grim dark lazy writing that characterizes new trek.
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 4:54pm (UTC -5)

Those are solid theories, esp the Tasha Yar one. Another item to note is that Terry Matalas's interview referred to there being other characters appearing this season that weren't announced yet, so it's highly possible. Also Denise Crosby tweeted recently being annoyed she wasn't invited to the premiere, so she's either honestly ticked off because she actually appears in the season and STILL wasn't invited, it's a coordinated effort to throw us off the scent, or she just feels like she's owed an invite from being part of the TNG family.


I don't actually mind Seven becoming more fully human. After all, we saw her for about 4 years post-Borg conversion. Even in those 4 years she made marked improvements in the humanity department. It's been over 20 years that she's been back to Earth/Alpha Quadrant. That's plenty of time to realistically recover back to "normal."

As to the character of Picard, let's be frank, he's a very old man now. I know plenty of old men who have softened to an extreme degree and let their guards down over their aged years. It's frankly one of the more honest aspects of this show.
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 4:58pm (UTC -5)
@Kyle Even back then, I always found those episodes jarring. We now know it was Patrick Stewart's influence working its way through to the writing. But the core of Picard's character was self-described in "The Perfect Mate:" "I am a boring man, I fall asleep every night with a book in my hand." In most episodes he remains a stern intellectual.

Could he have changed in 20 years? Of course! He should have. We already see a character arc in "All Good Things," suggesting that he has learned to be less emotionally closed off. It is OK for Old Picard to be gentler, kinder and more fragile. But it is inconcievable that he has become LESS of an intellectual during this time. If anything, he should appear even more learned and obsessed with academic pursuits at a time when his physical capabilities have been lessened.

One of the details I love about TNG's "Family" is how, when Picard ponders retirement, what it means for him is getting involved in a whole new ambitious project aiming to create a whole new subcontinent on Earth, which he was already up-to-date on because he is an obsessive reader. This is who Picard is: a man who already has a bunch of intellectual pursuits on the back burner, not someone who "wants a new adventure" just for the sake of it.
Top Hat
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 5:02pm (UTC -5)
Note that Michael Burnham appears to be an example of someone who served in Starfleet yet never attended Starfleet Academy (she went through the Vulcan Science Academy instead). It seems that there are other paths to officership in Starfleet, uncommon though they may be.
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 5:18pm (UTC -5)
Nothing egregiously bad here, nothing really Trekkie either, besides the reuse of characters. And no ideas that tingle any SF curiosity, just a generic chase/terrorist plot. It could go either way. Still, not throwing some real bone in the 1st episode hints at this being saved by the old characters at best with a forgettable plot.
Bok R'Mor
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 5:41pm (UTC -5)
I forgot to mention: nothing epitomises the quintessential, timeless optimism, utopianism and technological advancement of Trek more than the former chief medical officer of the Enterprise D coolly vapourising (!) monstrous attackers with a comically mechanical pump-action disruptor rifle. No stun settings in mindless NuTrek action scenes, eh, Bev! Pew-pew!
Jason R.
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 7:29pm (UTC -5)
"I don't actually mind Seven becoming more fully human. After all, we saw her for about 4 years post-Borg conversion. Even in those 4 years she made marked improvements in the humanity department. It's been over 20 years that she's been back to Earth/Alpha Quadrant. That's plenty of time to realistically recover back to "normal."

As to the character of Picard, let's be frank, he's a very old man now. I know plenty of old men who have softened to an extreme degree and let their guards down over their aged years. It's frankly one of the more honest aspects of this show."

Yes people change. For argument's sake, let's even concede that rarely, they may even change so markedly that you wouldn't even know them anymore and they might as well be completely different people. I have never ever seen this happen, but who knows anything is possible.

That's all well and good, but why in blazes would you base a show on a popular character, Jean Luc Picard, and then portray him in a manner that is nothing like his old self? I mean even the mannerisms, the facial expressions it's just gone. Everything intellectual, gone. I feel like it's a ship of Theseus where someone just dismantled the character replacing every tiny piece with something new. The same can be said of Seven. I mean do the writers even remember that she used to be a Borg? Was it even mentioned once in season 2? She certainly had exactly zero input on the matter, which is especially funny since half the season revolved around the Borg. The ex Borg who spends more time hemming and hawing about the trivialities of her stupid lesbian romance than she does about a Borg queen that spends half the season within 5 feet of her.
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 8:11pm (UTC -5)
There is also the question of who Raffi's handler is - I figure they are probably setting that up as a character reveal. Empress Georgiou?
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 8:15pm (UTC -5)
A story did say Tasha Yar would make an appearance, as well as a non-Worf DS9 character.
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 8:15pm (UTC -5)
@Jason R.

First off, let's try the best we can to erase the memory of season 1 & 2 from our databanks. The character interactions were baffling, illogical and irritating, to be kind.

So let's just take this single episode so far to define these 2 characters. Picard, very fittingly, still seems attached to objects, archeologist that he was. These belongings tell stories. Does this also imply some amount of sentimentality to his own objects that he never seemed to possess in his Enterprise D days? Perhaps. I am not old, but my grandfather who I watched grow older from about 70-94 definitely followed this same trajectory. He hated possessions but the older he got, he would get a kick out of things that would remind him of good memories of the past. He also was an avid reader until he hit about 85. I don't think I saw him pick up a book once after that (he also never had dementia, mind you). I would then argue it is a perfectly reasonable character transition. It speaks to what one values at different stages of life, rather than perfectly static beings. But I reckon I have that personal experience, where others may not.

I would also say that this Picard has been retired for some time. He has not been in work mode for years. Work was all consuming to him. It defined who he was, and we only saw him during that time. He's had time to adjust to retired life. Is he still supposed to act like the captain of a starship, with all the very serious responsibilities that come with it? Or can he let loose just a little bit? I think it's ok to allow for that change, even if it is a bit jarring to what we've always known him to be.

As far as Seven is concerned, let's just go with the idea that loyalty was a defining characteristic of her Voyager days, as seen countless times throughout that show. That is still on display here. I don't necessarily think it's reasonable she should still be speaking in a computerized way after being so totally immersed back into humanity for over 2 decades, so the idea she doesn't here is fine with me. She also was never a robot. She certainly possessed extreme emotions on Voyager.
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 8:27pm (UTC -5)

People keep complaining about that Crusher scene without asking the obvious question: “Why?”

It seems obvious to me that Crusher - one of the most humane Starfleet officers we’ve ever seen - would have to be really frightened of what these creatures are to a) dispose of one of them in that fashion and b) tell Picard to trust no one, not even Starfleet.

If I’m right about who the bad guys are - and to be honest I have only the clues onscreen to go on - then this is actually a brilliant set-up and great storytelling.

Unless they screw it all up in episode three, obviously.
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 8:29pm (UTC -5)

"A story did say Tasha Yar would make an appearance, as well as a non-Worf DS9 character."

If so, I'd bank on it to be O'Brien, since he also has that TNG connection. If not O'Brien, there's only a handful it could otherwise be - Jake, Quark, Kira or Julian. Maybe there's a Ferengi connection to the plot and it's possible Quark will show up? They're one of the only big alien adversary that haven't popped up in NuTrek yet (along with the Cardassians). There's also Picard's connection to Daimon Bok and his quest for revenge, which may be relevant.
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 8:30pm (UTC -5)

Care to reveal your theory who these masked baddies are? Would be interested to hear!
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 8:56pm (UTC -5)

You could have Quark dealing in information or smuggling. I can also picture Garak on this show. Ezri Dax? Nah, forget I said that =)
The Queen
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 9:56pm (UTC -5)
I just found this review of the season on Youtube by Critical Drinker. It is a rave review by someone who has seen the whole season. He avoids spoilers completely but gives a lot of fascinating teases. He also talks a lot about behind-the-scenes reasons for how the series was produced up to now. It left me feeling super excited. Go watch it and see what you think!
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 10:19pm (UTC -5)

“But I struggle to see why this received a glowing recommendation from the likes of Robert Meyer Burnett.”

Perhaps because he’s seen at least five more episodes than you have?


“Couldn't stand the captain. And really - painting Picard and Riker as cowboys ala, Kirk and co? He came across as an incredibly disrespectful twat.”

I strongly suspect Captain Shaw is a survivor of Wolf 359 (the end credits reference a USS Constance that was destroyed Stardate 44004.03) and the Dominion War which would account for his anti-Borg, overly scrupulous attitude and demeanour. He actually reminds me of early TNG no-nonsense Picard and I certainly don’t blame him for being wary of Picard/Riker given their…illustrious service record.


“Riker's an alcoholic and split from his wife and kids.”

Normally in agreement with your views on all things Trek, but this is a tad unfair. There’s no indication Riker is an ‘alcoholic’ and, despite some allusions to some unknown family issues, we’re never told he’s ‘split’ from them.

“He's a by-the-book Starfleet officer who cares about duty and responsibility foremost.”

Yes, but Picard has been retired from such duty for the better part of two decades and is nearly 100 years old. By the end of TNG, Picard was in the process of ‘loosening up’ as a character, further signs of which could be seen the movies (particularly ‘Nemesis’) with some of his interactions with the crew.


“This is not something Seven would ever say. This concern with "inspiring others" is very much a modern obsession and decidedly not a part of her core character. Above all, Seven craves knowledge and intellectual fulfillment. Her borg obsession with efficiency also makes it unlikely she'd be bothered about "taking shit from someone like Shaw." It would, of course, bother Seven very much to have a captain who ignores what she considers to be sound intellectual advice. The whole notion that she wants to "follow her gut" rather than her rational analysis is antithetical to the character.”

This is also unfair. Seven made huge strides in just four years on Voyager regaining her humanity and shedding her Borg-induced obsession with perfection and efficiency. Her experience with Unimatrix Zero in particular was a huge stepping stone in her development, precipitating her exploration of romantic connections in ‘Human Error’, appreciating less developed cultures in ‘Natural Law’, and then choosing to remove the cybernetic component that inhibited the scope of her emotions in ‘Endgame’.

Is it really that hard to see the trajectory she was on and extrapolate it to the point she’s currently at *24 years later*? I can absolutely see a Seven who would want to follow in the footsteps of a certain Starfleet captain who liberated her, who mentored her, and who inspired her to become an individual. It’s early on, but I hope to see some of Seven’s ‘rational’ and ‘intellectual’ qualities pop up, because I think the best version of the character at this point would synthesis both aspects.


“- The big bad is a woman (human?) who is seemingly the one after Crusher and her son and also wants vengeance for some reason. On who or what? Why?”

My current theory is that she’s somehow related to the events of ‘Yesterday’s Enterprise’.

@Bok R’Mor

“I forgot to mention: nothing epitomises the quintessential, timeless optimism, utopianism and technological advancement of Trek more than the former chief medical officer of the Enterprise D coolly vapourising (!) monstrous attackers with a comically mechanical pump-action disruptor rifle. No stun settings in mindless NuTrek action scenes, eh, Bev! Pew-pew!”

A reactionary criticism. Wait until you learn more about what’s been happening to her and who the villains are before ridiculing this.


“There is also the question of who Raffi's handler is - I figure they are probably setting that up as a character reveal. Empress Georgiou?”

Based on the text the handler sent and footage from the trailers, it’s very obviously Worf.
Fri, Feb 17, 2023, 11:01pm (UTC -5)
Wasn't sure I was even going to watch the third and final season after being so disappointed with Season 2. But after seeing the previews showing the old gang was getting back together for one last adventure, I decided to watch. So glad I did! Now THAT is how you start off a season! I would give it 3.5 stars.
John Harmon
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 1:30am (UTC -5)
So I watched the first episode of season 3 of Star Trek Picard. As someone who has definitely not liked any season of Nu-Trek and who thought the first two seasons of Picard were some of the worst TV I've ever seen, I have to say that, so far, season 3 of Picard was pretty damn good.

Picard actually felt like Picard! Riker actually felt like Riker! The show took its time and felt far more mature and contemplative than the past two seasons. It was quiter. There was no big stupid space battle. The music felt very Trek and adventurous! The humor was actually funny and was in character and subtle and not overdone! There was no melodrama. Even Raffi was tolerable which shocked me the most. The characters all feel smarter as does the writing. It feels like a completely different show.

I really hope the rest of the season follows suit. In my head I'm just completely dismissing the first two seasons. You can just start here and act like the characters went from Nemesis to this and you won't have missed anything. This feels like the start to a final Next Gen movie, as opposed to the final season of a TV show. It's feeling like their Undiscovered Country so I just hope it actually ends up being a good send off. All I know so far is it actually has me excited and that's the first time in a long time that a new Trek anything has done that.
Bok R'Mor
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 2:00am (UTC -5)

'A reactionary criticism. Wait until you learn more about what’s been happening to her and who the villains are before ridiculing this.'

We only have one episode to go on, so my criticism is inevitably going to be based only on what we have seen so far. You are entirely correct that I could make all sorts of pre-emptive predictions, excuses and explanations to justify why a character does this or that - but doing so is equally a form of reactionary snap judgement, is it not?

Do you think the absurdity of a mechanical pump-action disruptor rifle in such a situation will be explained in the fullness of time and creative patience you're insisting upon? It might well be; maybe the writers and producers really have thought it all out.

It was a flippant comment about a silly, superficial prop and a major shift in tone from TNG, not an attempt to traumatise the hope against hope out of anyone.
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 2:44am (UTC -5)
@B-Boy It is indeed possible that the rest of the series will indeed be able to portray intelligence, rationality and the search for knowledge both in the plot and the characters. But since this hasn't been the case since 2005, allow me the leeway to be skeptical. I was hoping for a hint of this in this episode, given the reports that the new showrunner Terry Matalas is finally changing direction. What I saw is Star Trek that is again very respectful of the past, which is good, but which remains very, very dumb.
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 3:38am (UTC -5)
Watched on a 50" screen, not an iPad, and the entire episode was definitely very dark. Even the scenes inside a 24th-century starship. Ridiculous.
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 4:19am (UTC -5)
Ok guys, please read what people wrote at the beginning of season 1 and 2? Exactly the same as they write now. It's hilarious. :)
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 6:09am (UTC -5)
@Booming I think the difference is that some bona fide NuTrek haters have watched the entire season and liked it.
Jason R.
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 6:20am (UTC -5)
"Ok guys, please read what people wrote at the beginning of season 1 and 2? Exactly the same as they write now. It's hilarious. :)"

Gotta agree with this. It's uncanny. They just keep falling for it, over and over.

Let me point something out here: thus far has there been a single bona fide 4 star episode in this series? I am going to say nope. Not even close. After two seasons that's saying something.

It's not just about ideas or tone or aesthetics or acting or being true to the characters (and every one of those things is wrong) it's about basic competence in the writing.

There's just zero reason to believe, at this point, that these writers, with these show runners, with this cast, have it in them to produce anything above mediocre. And judging from the last season, expecting mediocrity is being optimistic.

And because we know this is going to be another serialized arc, the situation is even grimmer because a serialized story demands the kind of consistency that we know this crew just can't deliver. Serialized writing is a blessing and a curse. The whole can be greater than the sum of it's parts but here it ends up being less, much less.
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 7:05am (UTC -5)
@Jason R. "Gotta agree with this. It's uncanny. They just keep falling for it, over and over."

I think this time round, it's interesting that several detractors of the series who had early access have praised it. Although said reviewers' motives are always dubious at best - even when I find myself in agreement.

It's quite possible Picard is in the good books for avoiding - as the Critical Drinker likes to put it - THE MESSAGE and happens to be replete with swashbuckling white masculinity. The same brigade trumpeting how good Picard S3 recently played their bigot card with eye-rolling takes on The Last of Us's Bill & Frank episode.

Nostalgia bait appears to have won the day. Some TWOK / Trek movie cues and a bit of ship porn and all is right in the Trek Universe, once again?

At the end of the day, we simply don't have enough data to draw any meaningful conclusions. This isn't our first rodeo; I was bouncing off the walls after S2E1. The bar has been lowered significantly, so anything bearing a semblance to what we once loved + a good smattering of member-berries will draw an over-enthused response, even if it was just okay-to-good. I'm acutely aware of the member-berry factor and find it nauseating when it's so overt. Give me subtle nods here and there, but I'm not here for Star Trek Karaoke (a phrase I used to describe SNW, funnily enough).

Perhaps Star Trek Karaoke is all Paramount has left in its arsenal, or at least is what they believe to be the winning formula after several course-corrections post-2017. I dunno - I'd like to think everyone in the "Give Me Anything With Star Trek On It" crowd would eventually wise up to repackaged leftovers.

@Booming "Does it reach the quality of this?"

Sweet Jesus, no. If you want Trek that approaches that level of dialogue, you'll need to go revisit some of DS9's greatest hits.
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 7:06am (UTC -5)
By that logic we should have given up on TNG/DS9 after season 1 or 2.

PIC has had 3 or 4 good/great episodes.. Who knows? Maybe S3 (unfortunately the last one) will be great.

At least it's not DSC.
Bok R'Mor
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 7:26am (UTC -5)
I agree with Jason R and Booming about people getting their hopes up yet again. It's fascinating to see the exact same cycle play itself out again and again.

@Jason R wrote:
'Let me point something out here: thus far has there been a single bona fide 4 star episode in this series? I am going to say nope. Not even close. After two seasons that's saying something.'

I'd go further and say there's only been one bona fide 4 star episode in all of NuTrek and that's LDS' 'wej Duj' - easily. (Someone will chime in that PIC had 'Nepenthe' and 'The Star Gazer' of course, and genuinely pretend that those two are up there with the best Trek has to offer.)

S1/S2 of TNG AND DS9 were masterpieces in comparison to PIC and DSC. Blasphemy.
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 8:21am (UTC -5)

"But writing a character defined by its intellect is hard for people who don't appear to have much of it."


I also agree with you about 7. When she spouted that complaint I said to myself she would never say that...
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 8:21am (UTC -5)
Hey, I'm not saying don't watch it or anything. It's just funny seeing this happen for the seventh or eighth time. :) I was really laughing when I saw the comments for season 1 and 2. Pretty incredible.

The Critical Drinker is one of those reviewers that is very popular with certain guys, so if that aging fratboy likes it... oh and about the Last of us, I don't like horror therefor a friend had to convince me to watch it and I loved the episode with the two guys. It was really sweet and very well made. Of course it was review bombed.
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 9:57am (UTC -5)
You can bring back Picard, Troi, Riker, Worf, Geordi and Sonya Gomez for all I care.

There is one character missing from this show. The Enterprise. The ship is as much a character as anyone. I dont care if the writers have to pull at the threads of believeabilty to get a retro fit Enterprise E if needs be.

If they can kill Picard and bring him back as a cyborg who has no cyborg benefits for some ungodly stupid reason they can bring back the Enterprise. Rant over.
The Chronek
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 10:15am (UTC -5)
That was lovely.

Plenty of memberberries, for sure, but for me, it worked without preventing things from moving forward. Picard 4-7-Alpha-Tango! Spacedock! A neo-Constitution class! Picard's log entry from BOBW part 1! The blue meat eaten by Captain Shaw that had more than a passing resemblance to the main entree served when Kirk and company hosted the Klingon delegation in The Undiscovered Country! Those wonderful musical cues, whether it was Jerry Goldsmith's First Contact and/or Motion Picture themes! Those brief allusions to James Horner's work in The Wrath of Khan and The Search for Spock! I loved all of it. Things like that have been present in Trek since The Next Generation premiered, when it used Goldsmith's TMP opening as the TNG theme and had Deforest Kelley guest star. If it has the name Star Trek on it, it has connections to things that have come before. The "memberberries," as it goes, are good ways of showing those connections as long as they don't dwell overly long upon them.

This episode moved confidently. The writers/other powers that be showed enough faith in the audience to show just enough and trust the viewer to put things together, whether the viewer is just watching for the first time or is a long-time viewer. Riker being on the outs with Deanna and Kestra is a great example. I've long felt Jonathan Frakes is severely undervalued for his acting. He sold Riker's pain at the family strain very well. But, for the long-time fan who knows that Riker's career came at the expense of his relationship with Deanna, it also works. Same thing with Picard's relationship with Crusher. This episode showed just enough to allude to their history, but long-time viewers are already familiar with the will-they-or-won't-they story from the TV show.

I like Captain Shaw. He didn't get to be captain by strictly following orders. He has an intuition, he has suspicions. Sure, I love Picard. I love Seven. But Shaw the character has many reasons to be suspicious of them. I imagine it would be difficult for the vast majority of Starfleet to trust anyone who was associated with the Borg at one time or another. And, as he said, Picard is retired and Riker is a captain without a ship. Why should he trust them when they ask him to take them to the edge of Federation space? I'm sure what was shown of Shaw in this episode is not the complete picture, but it showed me just enough to be interested in him and sympathetic to his plight.

Good to see Michelle Hurd's Raffi back, too. Good, strong performance. Again, just enough shown about her substance abuse struggles here for viewers to connect the dots. Nice for her to see her granddaughter, too, which again allows viewers to connect the dots.

I also enjoyed seeing Seven's struggles. Throughout her four years on Voyager, she absolutely struggled between her Borg nature and Janeway's desire to make her more human. I think her difficulty in adapting to be a Starfleet officer makes perfect sense here. Sure, Shaw's a bastard by insisting on her using her human name, but understandable given that, hey, the Borg wanted to enslave humanity at one point.

Great to see McFadden back as Crusher. Glad she got her wish of a few more action scenes. Same old Beverly, taking charge, assessing what needs to be done, and phasering enemies center-mass like she did when they tried to rescue Picard in BOBW part 1.

I expect friendship, loyalty and sacrifice to be ongoing themes during this 10-episode run. I don't think it's an accident that one of the trailers used music from The Search for Spock, which most definitely touched upon themes of friendship, loyalty and sacrifice. I expect that Beverly's son will be her son with Picard, echoing the Kirk-Carol Marcus bit in TWOK. I expect Vadic to somehow be related to Sela.

Maybe I'm like Charlie Brown, expecting Lucy to finally hold the ball steady. I don't know. The reviews I've seen so far for this final season of Picard have largely been very favorable; those reviewers have seen at least the first six episodes, and those same reviewers have also said they didn't care as much for Picard's first two seasons. I freely admit there were some clunkers in Picard's first two seasons. Season two was especially disappointing because it started out in such a promising fashion.

But, to paraphrase the Dude, that's just, like, my opinion, man.

YMMV. Hope y'all enjoy this run of episodes, or y'all enjoy griping about them. Whichever works.
The Chronek
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 10:21am (UTC -5)
In addition to all of the homages shown in this episode, I think it was a beautiful touch to have the "For Annie" card before the closing credits. Whatever the problems with Picard's second season were, and there were plenty, Ms. Wersching's performance as the Borg Queen was not one of them. Condolences to her loved ones and friends.
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 11:48am (UTC -5)
@ Jason R. "a serialized story demands the kind of consistency that we know this crew just can't deliver" with the small number of episodes in a season now, every single one is a load bearing support. You are not entitled to even one "Threshhold" or "Move Along Home" or "A Night In Sickbay" if you want to salvage a season.
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 11:50am (UTC -5)
"but I'm not here for Star Trek Karaoke"

I call it Star Trek Bingo.
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 11:53am (UTC -5)
Without this being a blanket endorsement of these people, it should be pointed out that The Critical Drinker among other NuTrek haters who like this season of Picard did review the Bill and Frank episode of The Last of Us very positively.
Jason R.
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 1:43pm (UTC -5)
"By that logic we should have given up on TNG/DS9 after season 1 or 2."

DS9 had the best series premiere with Emissary in the whole franchise, not to mention Duet in Season 1, a bona fide classic that many Trek fans consider one of the best in all of Trek.

There are also several fantastic and mid range episodes throughout both seasons including episodes like Jem'Hadar which were also 4 star affairs.

For TNG I think I have previously outlined why it is completely inappropriate to hold a 24 episode inaugural reboot of a franchise with a completely different setting and brand new characters to a legacy show like Picard or even DS9.

But since you mentioned it, the first season of TNG had lots of solid efforts including 11101001, Where No One Has Gone Before, Heart of Glory, the Battle and others. And oh ya, season 2 had Q Who and Measure of Man, two of the most beloved episodes in all of Trek.

You wanna hold up Riker cooking some pizza to Duet or Measure of a Man? Be my guest.

The sad fact is that after two seasons, this crew has proven, beyond a reasonable doubt, that there is an absolute ceiling on the quality they are capable of and let's just say that most of us have found ourselves squatting just to get in the door.

No further evidence is needed. We don't need to give it a chance. The verdict is in. Case closed.
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 2:22pm (UTC -5)
When I see that one of the first videos that pops up has the title "Why modern movies suck - They hate men (Part 1)." which ,when you look at major releases, is so obviously idiotic that I immediately think Nope. So yeah, the last times the straw was "This or that writer is really good." Now it is "reviewers who hated earlier seasons, liked this." I can understand that people want this to be finally be good after so much trashy NuTrek still... It's odd that several people said"Let's pretend season 1 and 2 did not happen." I mean they filmed 2 and 3 back to back. Same team. Why do people think that after 9 seasons of NuTrek that this will finally be all they dreamed of. Maybe that's just German melancholy about life being a slow death march crashing into blind American faith in the future being awesome. :)
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 2:56pm (UTC -5)
This should've been the series premiere of Star Trek: Picard, not the Season 3 premiere.
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 3:00pm (UTC -5)
How does the Titan makes it to the “edge of the Federation” in the span it take the Captain to have a short nap? And if the distance is so short, why doesn't Beverly simply warp to Earth?

Also, when Raffi figures out what the Red Lady means, why does she travel to the location and then warn the planet/building of an incoming attack? Why not transmit her warning the moment she figures out where the attack will be, thereby saving time?
Jason R.
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 3:05pm (UTC -5)
"I mean they filmed 2 and 3 back to back. Same team."

Haha I forgot about that.
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 3:42pm (UTC -5)
@Booming Filmed back to back but written and directed by different people. Hey, I'm not saying I'm not skeptical too, and this first episode didn't do much to alleviate this skepticism. I'm just saying there are many behind the scenes reasons why people are more hopeful this time around. If, for example, you had watched Season 3 in its entirety and posted here that you had liked it, it would raise my expectations, because I know your previous opinions on Trek align with mine.
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 4:08pm (UTC -5)
"How does the Titan makes it to the “edge of the Federation” in the span it take the Captain to have a short nap?"

Janeway would like to know.

She's surely still annoyed about not hearing about the ridiculous "spore drive"...
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 4:42pm (UTC -5)
Matalas was showrunner for season 2, though. ;)
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 5:05pm (UTC -5)

Matalas was showrunner for the first two episodes of season 2. Goldsman took over thereafter.
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 5:25pm (UTC -5)
It sure would make a brilliant marketing scheme - create deliberate flaws in each season and fix those flaws in the start of the next. Then introduce new flaws. Trek viewers who started to hate the show because of those flaws always return on the basis that "this time it's different".

Much easier than creating a show that lives up to the fans' enormous expectations.
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 6:21pm (UTC -5)
Picard is clearly a Trepidation Class. Let’s wait and see what’s beyond the hull.

Seven waits for Season 3 to ask ‘what the fuck is going on’?!
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 6:44pm (UTC -5)
Could work as a sequel to Nemesis/Voyager/DS9 without the need for Picard Season 1 or 2 (would probably be enjoyed better as if this was the first season). Though I’d prefer if Picard and Beverly were together. Perhaps the young man is their son.

This kinda felt more like Star Trek - a proper sequel to TNG whilst also not feeling like Star Trek. The aesthetic is much much better than the other two seasons, though not quite there (still too much JJ trek pew pew).

I’m not sure why they seem so hell bent on ignoring the Enterprise E given it was also Picard’s ship, a fine and beautiful ship and the flagship of the Federation. I also wish Data was brought back to life.

The Captain of the Titan was totally un Star Trek. No way a Starfleet Captain would act that way to an Admiral (retired or otherwise) LET ALONE someone of Jean Luc Picard’s reputation. He might check in with Starfleet command, but it once again reeked of the lunatic writers who had someone swear at Picard in Season 1. His attitude was appalling and frankly even the notion of starting dinner without the guest was basic poor etiquette and very unlike the 24th century “evolved sensibility” of the TNG era.

Seven also seemed too angry and the anti Borg aspect of Starfleet has been taken too far. This episode would have worked better had Picard and Riker - hell even Admiral Janeway - had responded to Beverly’s message by utilising a former student who is now Captain of the Enterprise E and who is more than willing to help get them there under the guise of a “test run” after a refit. Seven could have been the first officer there.

It was an intriguing episode at least. Hope they actually have a coherent story and haven’t ruined the characters and their story. And have a happy ending. Would prefer Data back and the Enterprise E back.

The music at the end for the credits was beautiful and good old quality Star Trek. It’s a shame the writers of the old show aren’t writing this and given the new special effects to showcase a quality story.

The swearing in Star Trek also needs to go. Permanently.
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 6:54pm (UTC -5)

"The Captain of the Titan was totally un Star Trek. No way a Starfleet Captain would act that way to an Admiral (retired or otherwise) LET ALONE someone of Jean Luc Picard’s reputation."

I think we'll find that Shaw has grievances that are beyond simply being contemptuous for the sake of it.
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 7:28pm (UTC -5)

To echo two comments above -

Great idea if it was the Conspiracy aliens.
Totally agreed that they needed a completely different dignified attitude from the Captain of the Titan rather than his rudeness.
And yes the Enterprise E should have starred.
The time factor of travelling from Earth - in Sector 001 - to the edge of Federation space should have been shown to be at least several days and done in a more subtle manner than instant travel.
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 7:33pm (UTC -5)

I get there might be grievances. Don’t get me wrong. But compare the way Sisko behaved to Picard at the start of DS9. Whilst there was tension, he was not so brazenly rude and ill mannered in a disrespectful manner to senior (and legendary) officers as Shaw was here. Even (Captain) Picard maintains his etiquette and decorum when dealing with snobby or lunatic Admirals in TNG.

And starting dinner early without guests was just such poor manners. Let alone the 21st century language he and others seem to keep using in the show. What Riker said to Seven later about how to talk to an Admiral applies to Shaw too. The bunk scene was ridiculous also given the Guest quarters on even the old ships like the Enterprise (any of them) or Voyager.
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 8:11pm (UTC -5)

In fairness, Sisko's tense interaction with Picard was during on-duty business whereas the dinner with Shaw was off-duty so I don't think the rudeness is quite as egregious from a professional point-of-view.
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 8:31pm (UTC -5)
Up till these new shows, there was FAR less of a distinction between on the job professionalistic courtesy and after-hours, spare time decorum than you seem to be implying. Since 2016 there has been a MAJOR shift in behaviour for humans in Star Trek than seen before. Hckl, even the Maquis terrorists showed more dignity and propriety overall than what I've seen in new Star Trek, and they gasses a panet and started a civil war.
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 8:36pm (UTC -5)
Well I rather liked this. This is what I wanted. We'll see how the season goes.

I just couldn't get into the first two seasons. Stewart is an amazing actor, but his ideas of the direction of the Picard character are just atrocious. Those are very different talents, not that unlike Shatner's ideas for Kirk.

Also, the first two seasons... I've got no problem branching out into other themes, but a sequel should feel like the same show. If you like McDonald's burger and fries and a sequel opens selling curry dipped strawberries with jalapeño soda...
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 8:45pm (UTC -5)
Sorry for double posting.

It was a little doused in fan service... this wasn't necessary for me. Heck, seeing Bevs back was enough, and Picard and Riker's "road trip" was incredible.

The most interesting fan service was employing musical themes from the movies. Not bad at all.

I loved the "refit" constitution class. The refit Enterprise introduced in TMP remains to me the most beautiful ship in Trek, and maybe the most beautiful and believable design I've seen in any sci-fi.
Gorn with the Wind
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 9:32pm (UTC -5)
The best of the season premiers by far. Felt like Picard is actually Picard and Riker the same.

If episode 2 is also good, I’ll be pleasantly astonished.
The Chronek
Sat, Feb 18, 2023, 9:48pm (UTC -5)
I think calls for "civility" are often thinly disguised attempts to silence people who are rightfully angry about something. And given how much I've heard calls for civility from the "fuck your feelings" crowd since 2016, I tend to listen to those calls a lot less than I used to.

And yeah, I think many of the people involved in Trek lean a bit more liberal as politics and social issues go. Certainly it's not the first time when real world events have influenced Star Trek.

As it pertains to this episode, other characters have been mad at my heroes before for some reason or another, and hopefully there will be at least some explanation for it. I like what I saw from this episode.
Sun, Feb 19, 2023, 2:40am (UTC -5)
And who would have thought that the only one from the season 1 main cast, besides Picard, to make it to season 3 would be Raffi. What a world...
Sun, Feb 19, 2023, 3:22am (UTC -5)
That would be like TNG dropping the entire main cast besides Picard and Wesley Crusher.
Sun, Feb 19, 2023, 6:55am (UTC -5)
I found the first 10 minutes pretty boring, but I was soldiering on with the intent to get through the first episode at least. But then when Beverly said "no Starfleet — trust no one", I was out. This is literally the exact thing Brannon Braga cautioned against in that podcast interview I listened to last week. He said there was always a lot of pressure to have stories where Starfleet was corrupt or evil, and that he always tried to resist it as much as he could. I think he was right to do so, and I'm just not interested in going down that road.
The Chronek
Sun, Feb 19, 2023, 7:24am (UTC -5)
@SlackerInc, Braga and Berman were at the helm when they crashed the franchise in 2005. As many good things as they were responsible for, they were in control when Enterprise was cancelled and stopped the streak of 7-season Trek series. Sure, you can argue it was franchise fatigue, or maybe they just failed to adapt to an already-changing landscape.

I'd take anything Braga said with a hefty grain of salt. And I like a lot of his work on Star Trek.
The Chronek
Sun, Feb 19, 2023, 7:38am (UTC -5)
Well, Coto was executive producer of Enterprise season 4, but by then, the damage had already been done. It was already something of a question in Enterprise season 3 whether or not it would be renewed for another season.
Sun, Feb 19, 2023, 8:09am (UTC -5)
Braga has done great work on THE ORVILLE.

But regardless of all that, I think his principle is a sound one. Not that every Starfleet officer has to be the ultimate paragon of virtue and heroism. But if it's evil/corrupt, rotten to the core, that's a total betrayal of what Roddenberry built, and if that's the kind of show you want to make you should just start fresh in a new universe rather than sullying this one.

As Braga said, if you want to tell those kinds of stories, "that's what aliens are for".
Sun, Feb 19, 2023, 8:53am (UTC -5)
FWIW the episode never said Starfleet was bad or corrupt. Beverly just requested no Starfleet. Maybe it’s a TNG “Conspiracy” scenario. It’s too soon to say.
The Chronek
Sun, Feb 19, 2023, 9:05am (UTC -5)
The Orville has also had some stinker episodes (most shows do). And I remember that the Planetary Union (humans among them) kept the Moclans as a member because of threats from the Krill and the Kaylons, even though they had issues with how Moclans treated females. Did that make the PU rotten to the core?
Sun, Feb 19, 2023, 10:50am (UTC -5)
I would call it the normal kinds of political considerations a country might juggle in wartime. And there was (spoiler alert) a certain level of conspiracy afoot with Ted Danson's admiral character. But he was still operating from a level of principle that meant he was going to turn himself in, which is what got him killed.

And ultimately the Planetary Union did the right thing, even if it was costly to them. We never got to the point where Ted had to say, well, you can't trust the PU, so we have to leave them in the dark. And I hope they never get there (if the show continues).

There are plenty of evil/corrupt government shows out there, including the currently very popular THE LAST OF US. We ought to have some that unapologetically plant a flag in an optimistic future about fulfilling the Enlightenment, which make people feel positive about what collective action through democratic governance can achieve.
The Chronek
Sun, Feb 19, 2023, 11:37am (UTC -5)
Beverly saying "no Starfleet" does not mean the entirety of Starfleet is corrupt/rotten to the core. It merely means she doesn't know who within Starfleet to trust.

For all the grief directed toward Shaw and his treatment of Picard, Riker and Seven, the fact remains that, at this time, he trusts someone he likely sees as a former enemy (ex-Borg) to be his first officer. Maybe the whole relationship isn't ideal, but there is at least that. That's former adversaries working together, which is something we've seen in previous Trek.

Heck, the little we saw of current-day, non-evil-timeline Starfleet in season 2, we saw Elnor become the first full Romulan to be accepted in Starfleet Academy.

I'd even argue that Starfleet restricting its borders and banning synths in Season 1 was done more for the protection of its existing members rather than any nefarious purpose. Synths did destroy the shipyards at Utopia Planetia. Even with that, at the end of Picard's first season, Starfleet sends a fleet of ships to defend the synth planet per Picard's request.

They may not be present all the time, but Starfleet/Federation ideals are still very much present throughout Picard.
Sun, Feb 19, 2023, 12:02pm (UTC -5)
"but Starfleet/Federation ideals are still very much present throughout Picard. " Apart from letting a few hundred million Romulans die...

Using Androids as slave labor.

Banning 7 of 9 from joining Starfleet Academy.

And letting a Romulan into Starfleet. Is that really such an admirable thing? Romulans are essentially Vulcans. They are not born evil. Why is it such an admirable thing to let one join? It is somewhat odd that he is the first to join. Oh and the Romulans let Tasha Yar's daughter into their naval academy 40 years earlier... woke Romulans?
The Chronek
Sun, Feb 19, 2023, 12:11pm (UTC -5)
Starfleet very nearly had Data declared property in The Measure of a Man.

Starfleet, through an admiral, tried to take Lal away from him, resulting in her death in The Offspring.

Was Starfleet not Starfleet then?
Top Hat
Sun, Feb 19, 2023, 12:29pm (UTC -5)
I don't really understand why Picard didn't just recruit some Klingons to take him to Crusher. Couldn't be that difficult for him, right?
The Chronek
Sun, Feb 19, 2023, 12:42pm (UTC -5)
I don't think there's been any depiction of Federation-Klingon affairs since Picard debuted.

Even after Picard was Gowron's arbiter of succession, Federation-Klingon affairs were strained. Picard essentially threatened to provide his "gratitude" to the Duras sisters had Gowron not provided him a cloaked ship in Unification 1 and 2.

And the Klingons might tell him to go scratch in much the same way that Shaw did.
Sun, Feb 19, 2023, 1:01pm (UTC -5)
I wouldn't call the Federation having a trial to determine if a machine is a life form equivalent to letting half a billion people die.

Oh and I kind of doubt that the admiral literally scared Lal to death. She was faulty or does the crew have to be very careful when Data wears his emotion chip as to not fry his brain. Plus, that's still not even close to making a slave race.

If you want to mention something really evil from the older shows then it would be trying to murder all the founders. One of those horrible decisions DS9 did when it's run came to a close.
The Chronek
Sun, Feb 19, 2023, 1:17pm (UTC -5)
All right.

The Enterprise-D crew, under direction from Picard, very nearly introduced a program that would have destroyed the collective in I, Borg.

Janeway took the Doc's modified nanoprobes and turned them into a biological weapon to destroy Species 8472 in the Scorpion two-parter. Allowing the Borg to prevail meant the collective was able to assimilate more species, all so Janeway could get home a little quicker.
Sun, Feb 19, 2023, 3:29pm (UTC -5)
Honey, if you do not understand the difference between the Federation almost using a superweapon against an overwhelmingly strong enemy whose goal is total extinction and the Federation council deciding to let half a billion innocent die then I really don't know what to tell you.

Let's not continue this. :)
The Chronek
Sun, Feb 19, 2023, 3:38pm (UTC -5)
Do you take any joy in anything other than being a condescending twat?
Sun, Feb 19, 2023, 3:40pm (UTC -5)
Okay, let's keep things civil, folks.
Sun, Feb 19, 2023, 5:02pm (UTC -5)
"Do you take any joy in anything other than being a condescending twat? "
I do. :)
Sun, Feb 19, 2023, 5:03pm (UTC -5)
I just posted in the "Tuvix" thread about how weird it was that (spoiler alert) they portrayed Janeway and the bridge crew as being kind of evil in the final scene. But they also showed Janeway crying about it at the very end when the crew's eyes were no longer on her, and she did get two crewmembers back. There were plenty of people in that comment thread who argued she did the right thing.

I just think what Braga was warning against is a whole different animal, when you have some sort of conspiracy or corruption that goes way up high into Starfleet where you can't even involve them. It's saying you can't even trust the fundamental legal structure and bureaucracy. Whereas in "Measure of a Man" (again, spoiler alert), they did trust it--and even if it was touch and go, it ended up coming through and doing the right thing. (Given how Data repeatedly had his programming taken over for nefarious purposes, some might even argue they were too soft. Same applies to Seven on VOYAGER.)

It's also worth pointing out that I found the first 10 minutes of the show before that boring. If it had instead been gripping, I might have persevered despite my qualms.

I did skip forward and watch a few more scenes today after Jammer and people in the comments piqued my curiosity. The shots of moving out of drydock were cool, although I do wonder why ship design has seemed to move backward. (It looks better than the TNG Enterprise, so I'm not really complaining.) The dinner scene with the captain had some enjoyable elements. But I was puzzled by how after he discovered where they were, he only vaguely threatened 7/Annika's career prospects and asked her to "file a complete report". Why wasn't she immediately relieved of duty and thrown in the brig for rank insubordination bordering on mutiny? Did I miss something?
Sun, Feb 19, 2023, 5:45pm (UTC -5)

I suspect Crusher's distrust and apprehension has something to do with the parasites from 'Conspiracy'.
Sun, Feb 19, 2023, 5:54pm (UTC -5)
@B-boy: OK, I haven't seen that one. I have still seen only about 10 or 20 percent of TNG, while I have seen probably the inverse--more like 80-90%--of all the other shows from TOS to ENT, plus all the movies. (It's a strange, almost unheard of, pattern, I realize. But there were just too many characters on TNG I didn't care for, which obviously doesn't help me warm to this series.)
Sun, Feb 19, 2023, 6:38pm (UTC -5)
Good solid start. Enjoyed the scenes with Picard, Riker and Seven. Not happy that Raffi is still around. Why is she still here? The character is awful and acted poorly. I'm sure the only reason they've kept her around is to continue her relationship with Seven, so the writers cam show us how progressive they are.
Sun, Feb 19, 2023, 7:34pm (UTC -5)

What you said about starting over with a new universe, I feel the same way about Discovery, they should not have called it Trek.
Sun, Feb 19, 2023, 9:41pm (UTC -5)
@EventualZen Agreed. And that also could have avoided a lot of the heated discourse we have had. People who didn't care for it could just move along, without any issue over whether it had tainted a franchise. Of course, that means no retcon about Spock's childhood adopted sister he never mentioned, but I of course think that would be a good thing.
Sun, Feb 19, 2023, 10:25pm (UTC -5)
There was a lot to like in this episode but I'm bothered mostly by highly implausible character decisionmaking. Seven makes a career-shitcanning move on behalf of Picard (whom she knows - okay?) and Riker (whom she doesn't) because, well, how else could P and R reach Crusher's ship when the Titan's captain has been written to be, as Jammer says, "dickish?" A scene was added where Seven gives us all a breakdown of her dissatisfaction with Starfleet to make her hijacking of the Titan make at least a little bit of sense, but add it up and it's all just a massive contrivance. What's not helping matters is that the character of Seven in PICARD simply isn't the same one from VOYAGER. It's not simply a matter of twenty years passing and a person going through a natural process of growth and life changes - the bearing and the personality aren't the same. Someone who hasn't seen me in 20 or 30 years wouldn't find me simply unrecognizable but this character certainly is. Same eyes, same implants...but a different person. Look, I don't need these shows to be perfect or even great; to me, part of the value of the STAR TREK fan experience is evaluating these shows on their own merits. So I'll certainly keep watching; there's plenty of room for improvement.
Sun, Feb 19, 2023, 10:25pm (UTC -5)
@Jammer - If I recall correctly they stated Janeway tried and failed to get Seven into Starfleet after they returned home, so she joined the Rangers.

Sounds like the events of Season 1 and 2 combined with Janeway AND Picard were enough to sway their opinion? Whether she remains there or not by the end of Season 3 will be interesting. ;)
Mon, Feb 20, 2023, 4:27am (UTC -5)

Rafi's handler is Worf (we can intuit that from the trailers and the fact that Michelle Hurd and Michael Dorn always got interviewed together when doing press for season 3)

The whole POINT is for the characters to have gone through change (otherwise only you and maybe 5 others would watch this show) or so the season seems to mandate.
(If I wanted everything to stay how it was I would just stick to watching TNG reruns until I die.)
Heck, Ed Speleers' character straight-up says in one of the Season 3 trailers "is any one actually still the person you knew?"

The big threat this season is that one or more individuals or groups who feel they have gotten the shaft from the Federation and/or Starfleet and maybe even specifically the Enterprise D/E crew (Lore, Holographic Moriarty, Amanda Plumber's character, that guy form the bar, Capt Shaw [who probably had a relative who was killed or assimilated by the Borg...maybe even during Picard's time as Locutus]) all come together to hunt the Enterprise D/E crew and Starfleet officers/ Federation citizens down to kill them by dropping buildings on them and other grim fates...but not before a little torture.

In the ensuing 9 episodes, Picard and crew battle for their lives, those of Starfleet officers/ Federation citizens, and probably even for "the soul of the Federation and/or Starfleet".

In the end, via Picard & co., the bad guys will be proven [mostly] wrong and Starfleet and/or the Federation will learn from their failings and return to the shining example Picard and crew always thought it was/should be - maybe even more so , allowing Jean-Luc to 'truly retire' - Cue reunion with Larris and the inspiring/teary send-off our heros have been due since 2002.

Touch-down, mic-drop
Mon, Feb 20, 2023, 4:47am (UTC -5)
I agree that this season will probably subvert expectations and show that Starfleet was good all along. But that's precisely the complaint here: "Starfleet evil" plots have become so common in NuTrek that reversing them constitutes subverting expectations. That's the difference with Old Trek.
Bok R'Mor
Mon, Feb 20, 2023, 10:33am (UTC -5)
It will be interesting to find out whether the references to 'Conspiracy' from those who've actually seen the first six episodes are due to an actual continuation of the 'Conspiracy' storyline or whether it's merely reminiscent of it (paranoia, infiltration at the heart of Starfleet Command, etc).
Mon, Feb 20, 2023, 12:46pm (UTC -5)
Also, Jean-Luc will finally drop his own f-bomb (I can't see how THAT will be in character but it'll probably happen within 4 or 5 episodes) but it may be earned (or at least quasi-earned
Mon, Feb 20, 2023, 1:29pm (UTC -5)
LAST last thought on this - and to speak to @Dreubarik - I don't think the adversity Jean-Luc & company will face this season is so much the Federation/Starfleet being "bad" again, but rather all those people and organizations the "popular kids" (i.e. the Federation and/or specifically Starfleet) treated as after-thoughts over the decades (or more) reaching a critical mass of hurt/frustration/rage etc and all that finally coming back to haunt them or straight-up bite them in the ass.
Tim M
Mon, Feb 20, 2023, 5:34pm (UTC -5)
I enjoyed this episode. The scenes between Riker and Picard were nicely done; being with other TNG cast members really seems to elevate Stewart's performance. The dark lighting and 21st-century dialogue were minor annoyances. I was left at the end of the hour wanting to see more, which I couldn't say for the midsection of S2.

I thought Seven's frustration with rules was entirely on-character. Ryan's delivery of the "lower your expectations" line felt like vintage Seven from VOY.

Oh, and definitely not a fan of Captain Shaw so far. I'm sure there may be reasons for his disrespectful attitude and anti-XB prejudice, but for now I'm just hoping he suffers a fate deserving of the color of his shirt. ;-P
Mon, Feb 20, 2023, 6:42pm (UTC -5)
I enjoyed the episode. All the scenes with Riker, Picard, and Seven were great. The writing was clunky at times, but it's refreshing to at least have top tier acting. I could have done without Raffi's scenes. Also, is anyone else unimpressed with the special effects? The ships in particular looked really basic, not much detail on them.

Not a bad start to the season.
Tue, Feb 21, 2023, 12:29am (UTC -5)
It's not even a complete episode, how could you even judge it?

The reluctant and weak kept in Picard goes to a bar with Riker and they go somewhere. Fantastic.

There were a lot of stupid things, nothing really too offensive - 7 heating the Federation was of course stupid.

And Raffi playing starter undercover seemed absurd.
Tue, Feb 21, 2023, 4:15am (UTC -5)
Tried it again. Not inclined to keep watching.
DARK. BLOOM everywhere. Is this Unreal engine or what? It starts with a blast. Then old chateau Picard, then a very sleazy outworld and undercover agent right out of Blade Runner, a plot that is simple (oooo mystery dangerrrr, another world ending weapon), starfleet is not lacking of assholes here, easy ship rerouting with noone caring except the stereotyped unlikable right from the bat captain, ...

Do they smoke on the bridge? Seems to be some myst hanging around, using a sleazy bar lid style lightning.

Only good thing was the LCARS outro ;)
Keith Dalton
Tue, Feb 21, 2023, 7:05am (UTC -5)
I'm waiting for the "Shaw was right" coffee mugs to appear on Etsy.
Tue, Feb 21, 2023, 9:39am (UTC -5)
(Lore, Holographic Moriarty, Amanda Plumber's character, that guy form the bar, Capt Shaw [who probably had a relative who was killed or assimilated by the Borg’’

You forgot Marla Penny, Joe Bookman, the Soup Nazi, Babu. Picard is a very bad man.

I thought it was quick thinking by Beverly to mimic the exoskeleton masks of her assailants. Sure fooled me.

Does Crushers mysterious son have powers akin to Wesley? Is that why they are being pursued? Can he make buildings fall from the Devils Anus?
Tue, Feb 21, 2023, 10:05am (UTC -5)
I'm in the camp where I thought this episode was just, meh. An improvement over the previous seasons. I just don't really like the mystery box serialized nature of the show and I know that's how it's done nowadays so I guess I'm out of luck. The slow drip of info almost gives you the idea all of the more interesting things happened off screen many years ago. I guess I'm tired of the lazy nature of the device as if the thought is everyone loves a mystery and that's enough to keep interest. If everything's a mystery it ceases to be interesting and I was hoping for more in this case.
Tue, Feb 21, 2023, 1:51pm (UTC -5)
Thanks Jammer

That’s a spot on review and I think a decent score for a decent opener.

A show in the 25th century with great fan callbacks. I enjoyed it.
Daniel Prates
Tue, Feb 21, 2023, 3:02pm (UTC -5)
I'll just drop by a rememberance that seasons 1 and 2 started off great, then became dead-on-the-water within an episode or two. So this time I'm conserving judgement.

Also.... is it me, or thre were hommages to other stuff other than ST? When Rafi is walking about during her firts appearance, there were lots of shops and stands. One has a lady buyer holding what appears to be the dual-barrel, H-shaped hand guns from disney's THE BLACK HOLE. Is it?!?!
Tue, Feb 21, 2023, 3:11pm (UTC -5)

"DARK. BLOOM everywhere."

Agree and I don't like it. Not just Picard either... we have brighter bridges on Lower Decks and Prodigy.
Tue, Feb 21, 2023, 7:16pm (UTC -5)
@JH: Seven cares little about her starfleet career, so risking it isn't a problem for her. With her attitude, she might be perfectly happy to let it burn.

Though, that brings up its own problem... just how has she advanced as far as being First Officer on a ship with that attitude? That's an incredibly competitive job to seek.

I suppose we're just seeing her letting her hair down with Picard, so to speak, and 99.999% of the time, she's her usual brutally efficient self.
Wed, Feb 22, 2023, 6:37am (UTC -5)
@Garret "If everything's a mystery it ceases to be interesting...."

I feel your pain. :) Although, I wonder if there is a larger problem here, namely that the mysteries being "sold" all draw from a cupboard of dried up stock. The result is that the mysteries to which we are introduced all fall into the "been there multiple thousands of times" category.

My favorite entry in that category is: young heroine is raised by a proxy parent....the real ones (if they existed at all) are not around anymore (we the viewers are put into the position of having derive entertainment by pondering whether they are dead, derelict, deranged or despicable). Were they merely poor beggars or did they hold the keys to the kingdom. It's pretty old stuff. The archetype goes back to before 753 BCE and wasn't original then. Just throw a she-wolf in and be done with it.
Wed, Feb 22, 2023, 2:12pm (UTC -5)
@Nolan -

Yes exactly. The Macquis showed more decorum and respect to Starfleet officers than these new shows are showing. I think even the Klingons of the Kirk era prior to peace with the Federation showed more respect to Starfleet in their language than the humans are in these new shows.

@B-boy -

There is still the notion of a better humanity alluded to in virtually all previous Star Trek material (notably explicitly stated in the movie First Contact) and that of the franchise's creator in the first place. Picard himself in that movie mentioned for instance that humans now had a more "evolved sensibility". And in other Star Trek shows like DS9, Voyager, TNG etc, whenever crew or families are meeting outside their shift hours, they still communicate to each other with dignity, courtesy and respect to elders, senior officers etc. They do not casually dismiss an Admiral, or swear, or talk in such a dismissive manner. In the movie "The Voyage Home", Kirk mentions the use of metaphors going out of fashion to Spock. And the swearing (by 20th century humans) in that movie paled in comparison to the remarks made in the 25th century in this show!

@SlackerInc -

Exactly. Seeing one, or two Admirals or Captains having gone off the rails is one thing. Having one or two spies working for the Romulans, or having been compromised is one thing. But to have the vast majority of, or the entirety of Starfleet being corrupt, swearing, uncivilised, treasonous, acting like they are from 3 centuries ago in their slang, or borderline incompetent is indeed a betrayal of Roddenberry's original vision as well as in stark contrast to virtually all of the former Star Trek movies and shows (TNG, Voyager, DS9, TNG movies, Enterprise etc).

@Booming -

I agree about the previous Picard seasons. The entire notion of the Federation using robots (or slaves?) that could be compromised and kill sentients is weird. The idea they would then ban any form of "Data" from existing is absurd. The sacking of Captain/Admiral Picard was ridiculous. The swearing by that Admiral at him was not Star Trek. Hell it wasn't even acceptable behaviour by today's standards of basic social skills let alone at an official meeting.

This episode was much better than the previous seasons of Picard and RELATIVELY closer to what most were likely waiting to enjoy in the first season itself. But still it is sad to think of what could have been if you had the old writers writing this entire show with modern day effects. And if that had been the case from the beginning. I also think that the TNG movies or even TNG show (remastered) special effects (and also some Enterprise episodes) seem largely better when it comes to space battles, Command Bridge design and overall ship design than what they are doing now. I didn't think that TNG era ships needed to even make so many adjustments before jumping to Warp like the Kirk era.

A show with all the TNG, DS9 and Voyager crew (including the Holographic Doctor and Data) would have been nice in my view. And a next "next generation" of Starfleet to follow. And come on, the Enterprise E dammit. Why the hell would they not have the Enterprise E!

If this is about the Conspiracy aliens, then maybe it's going to be an interesting plot. We shall see. We shall see.

If they really wanted to do a show about corruption, or humanity going through a rough patch, they should have gone along the lines of the movie Insurrection. Post the Dominion War, the Federation desperate to re-energise with the promise of eternal youth, medical advancement etc. Or hell, do a Papa Palpatine and have an astute politician manipulate the Federation into the "First Sol Empire!" "For a safe, and secure... society!"
Wed, Feb 22, 2023, 4:18pm (UTC -5)
@Garrett "I guess I'm tired of the lazy nature of the device as if the thought is everyone loves a mystery and that's enough to keep interest. If everything's a mystery it ceases to be interesting and I was hoping for more in this case."

Well said. And yes, it is a lazy device. The writers can plug any idea into the formula and spit out 10 episodes of content. We ALL know the tempo: strong to strong-ish start as the board is set, mid-season malaise (as the season is drip feeding information and padded out with filler to acquire the required episodes), episode 5 or 6 drop a dramatic 'twist', episode 9 drops all remaining reveal bombs and lastly the finale, which delivers a haphazard, action-packed conclusion that hurriedly (and clumsily) wraps things up. Reset for next season's mystery box.

I love a good mystery, but not every story lends itself to being packaged as a mystery.
Thu, Feb 23, 2023, 7:18am (UTC -5)
Here you people go again, watching something you know will be mediocre, derivative and lacking any true storytelling or moral backbone. You get what you deserve.
Thu, Feb 23, 2023, 7:29am (UTC -5)
This was totally disappointing on so many levels, even the nostalgic ones. Frankly, I'm shocked.
Thu, Feb 23, 2023, 7:58am (UTC -5)
And why are the visuals so damn dark?
Fri, Feb 24, 2023, 12:29am (UTC -5)
@KimInAsia, and others:

The sets are annoyingly dark. Real life subs are apparently a bit like this, but on a starship I think they would be well lit. Submarines have that light to deal with their instrument displays, something that wouldn't be an issue in the 25th century.


I glanced at the first two seasons of the show, and at the other new Treks. It just didn't appeal.

They pulled me in with Beverly and the promise of the other TNG characters.

To me, Nemesis was so lousy, even a lousy season here could scarcely be a worse finale
Sat, Feb 25, 2023, 3:41am (UTC -5)
Had this been the first episode of Picard s1, I would probably be out of my mind and super optimistic.

Knowing what we all know, I will give this a cautious "it's OK, let's see where it goes". As so many have said : both s1 and s2 began ok before turning into a remarkable pile of whateverness.

Anyhow, a few things to point out :

- yes. Give me the classic themes. It's not fan service. It's just good music and ever since VOY, noone has truly come up with a noteworthy new main theme, so might as well stick to it. Like, nobody blames star wars for sticking to it's classic opening fanfare. A good piece of music is a good piece of music and it's good that the constant crap attempts to reinvent or one-up it have stopped and we just get to hear a nice rendition of the original.

- why, of all people, did they keep *Raffi* from the initial failed cast? Not only is her acting still as bad as ever, her characters also continues to be written with this incredibly annoying nonstop victim attitude and passive aggressiveness. Have they really learned nothing here? Doubling down on *Raffi*, really. Boooh.

Im inclined to fast forward through her scenes. It's just ridiculous. She has *one* facial expression. That "oh my, the humanity, this is all so tragic" look is so extremely annoying, it kicks me right out of the show.

- I feel bad about saying this, but yeah, Stewart is getting really old. Obviously you can't blame him for his voice cracks, but there's also surprising drops in acting quality at times. Oh well.

On the other hand, I bought Frakes' Riker within seconds. I like his acting more than Stewarts. Who would have thought it would ever come to that. And it's not because Stewart is *that* bad (he's still good), it's really because Frakes is that good. I'm buying every single thing he's saying.

Clearly the highlight for me so far.

Oh yeah, and someone please inform these guys that their "dark and gritty trek" schtick has really gotten old at this point. Someone turn on the lights on the bridge please. It's getting a bit silly at this point.

Thank you.
Sun, Feb 26, 2023, 3:42am (UTC -5)
Yup, here we go again....

Maybe third time's a charm, but there are enough NuTrekisms here already that make me think it will be more of the same. It's too soon to say anything conclusive though.

I have to imagine that constant forced smile on Will Wheaton's face slowly fading away when Dr.Crusher's SECOND SON is revealed. "That could have been me!" he'd shout in anguish, his cuckery now complete.
Mon, Feb 27, 2023, 10:25am (UTC -5)
So you admit there's no overall plot?

So why are we watching this? Why could you possibly give this a pass? Well I guess you said it was fan service I suppose right? Perhaps nostalgia?

Even if you liked a few of the characters I don't understand how anybody could say this is a good episode.

This plot is the first few minutes of The Price, or a bit of or Star Trek 3, or a few minutes of Gambit. Why would anybody care about this?
Mon, Feb 27, 2023, 11:24pm (UTC -5)
@ Bryan "I have to imagine that constant forced smile on Will Wheaton's face slowly fading away when Dr.Crusher's SECOND SON is revealed. "That could have been me!" he'd shout in anguish, his cuckery now complete."

This is unduly harsh. His character had a storyline ending in TNG, which was foreshadowed back in Season 1, and it didn't leave a lot of room for a return. They could do it, if they wanted, but unless you hand-wave away "Journey's End" it'd take up most of an episode to find an in-story excuse for it.

Without erasing Journey's End, or giving up most of an episode for a side-quest with the Traveler, you're left with a in-character cameo and he got that at the end of S2.
Jason R.
Tue, Feb 28, 2023, 5:01am (UTC -5)
"Troi in her original costume was there for this. It's one of the few parts of TNG that I don't feel has aged well."

I don't know about others but Troi was THE reason we all watched TNG growing up. As I was watching Best of Both Worlds all I could do was call up my friends after and say: "ya those Borg whatsits were neat but did you see Troi's cleavage?"

I swear sci-fi TV producers are sometimes dumber than a bunch of teenaged boys. Ya Troi was what made TNG popular
Tue, Feb 28, 2023, 12:18pm (UTC -5)

Didn't the producers repeatedly tease and promise Will Wheaton with the prospect of bringing back Wesley in some of the movies, even going so far as to shoot scenes with him that were later edited out? I don't deny that Wesley had a tidy end to his story arc though I didn't get the sense that his voyage was necessarily a one-way trip.

Anyway, it was more of a commentary on Will Wheaton's renewed desperation to be part of Star Trek again only to be spurned and given only the scantest of crumbs while forced to watch from the sidelines. He's kinda stuck in a position where he's forced to show gratitude but I wouldn't be surprised if this were the breaking point. It's one of the reasons some people call him a shill but I think there's something pitiable or sympathetic about it too.
Sat, Mar 4, 2023, 10:07pm (UTC -5)
"It seems like a bad idea to transmit an urgent distress call to an ancient device that very likely could've been thrown away 20 years ago"

It instantly reminded me of a pager from an old job I had from the 90's sitting in my junk drawer. I tossed it about 10 years ago, which is 10 years later than I should have.
Wed, Mar 8, 2023, 7:45pm (UTC -5)
Agree w/Grey Cat that the First Contact theme was one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written - I was very happy when they included it.
Wed, Mar 15, 2023, 5:41am (UTC -5)
I couldn't agree more with @TheRealTrent.

I would only add this: where is the utopia that should precede each new Star Trek story (even if each iteration is about the difficulty of fulfilling that same utopia)? I could more easily recognize the aesthetic influences of Blade Runner than TNG, even TNG-era movies (why is everything so dark and, worse, contemporary? After all, haven't we as humanity evolved at all?).

Disclaimer: after JJ Abrams' movies and a few episodes of STD I simply stopped watching nuTrek content. So I admit that there are gaps in my knowledge that may help explain this strangeness
matthew h
Sun, Apr 16, 2023, 9:17pm (UTC -5)
Best exchange:

Picard: Now, Will, you know I would not ask you to do anything to put yourself in danger.......

Riker: SInce when?
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 10:10pm (UTC -5)
Now this is more like it!

What the show should have been like from the start!!
Wed, Apr 26, 2023, 2:45am (UTC -5)
Hate the stupid 'enemy' ship at the end of this episode. My goodness, when will they stop making a spaceship look like a deadly desert creature? I miss originality.


A perfect first chapter in the final season. I LOVE the final credits and the use of the Star Trek TNG themes especially throwing in First Contact's incredibly moving score.

And bringing back TNG as the focal point? How could you go wrong?

So far so VERY good. LOVE it! 3.5 stars!
SpaceTime Hole
Sun, May 21, 2023, 1:11am (UTC -5)
Bye Laris. See you never again. Oh well.

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