Star Trek: Picard

“No Win Scenario”

4 stars.

Air date: 3/9/2023
Written by Terry Matalas & Sean Tretta
Directed by Jonathan Frakes

Review Text

"No Win Scenario" hits the sweet spot between old-school Berman-era Trek and current-generation Kurtzman-era Trek. Old-school Trek was all about the professionalism, the procedure, and the problem solving. New-school Trek weaves in the human failings and the penchant for everyone bringing their emotional baggage to work. (This is most notable on Discovery, where it's frequently taken way too far, but it has also been the case on Picard, where everyone is grappling troublingly with their past.)

In this episode, we get the best of both worlds (if you'll forgive the expression), as the two aspects are blended together into a cohesive and emotional whole that works pretty much from beginning to end. Yes, there are the usual mild annoyances that pervade this series, but I can easily get past them within this contemplative life-or-death premise that manages to get so many things right.

Would I put this among the top episodes of Star Trek all time? No; let's have some perspective here. But I can accept it into the four-star club. This managed to find that spark and make me feel the Trekkian spirit and for these characters in a way I haven't felt in a very long time. It has everyone banding together to work the problem with the professionalism that's required (along with the new-school quips and tension), while also acknowledging these people have some very real problems and very real faults they are working through. And it allows us to feel what they are feeling, both the lows and the highs. Dramatically speaking, nearly every scene works, which is something.

The episode has a framing device, with Picard having dinner at his favorite bar/restaurant five years ago, and a bunch of young officers asking him about his famous career. He imparts some wisdom about how, as long as you have your shipmates at your side, even in the worst situations, you are never without hope. It's wisdom badly needed here, where things seem beyond hope, with the Titan being pulled toward the gravity well in the center of the nebula and without the necessary power to escape.

With death looking very likely, Riker tells Picard he was right about his own risk-averseness being a side effect of his feelings about his son's death (his story about spending what felt like an eternity watching the casket being lowered into the ground was grim), and advises Picard to take some moments with his own son before it's too late. So Picard takes Jack to his favorite bar/restaurant in the holodeck (where the same goofy reason is given explaining why holodecks are functional when there's a power shortage as was given nearly 30 years ago on Voyager). Picard recounts a tale of himself and the late Jack Crusher from their younger days, when a shuttle mission gone wrong had similarly long odds for survival.

Shaw enters the holodeck and has a tale of his own ... from when he was a young engineer on a ship at the battle of Wolf 359, and how he was the 10th man assigned by a superior officer to board an escape pod with a capacity of 10, while five of his crewmates were forced to stay behind and perish. Shaw's survival guilt gives his grudge against Picard some necessary context, and I welcomed the added layer to the character, as well as his self-awareness about his own disposition. To his crew witnessing the tense exchange, he says: "Forgive me. At some point, 'asshole' became a substitute for charm." The scene also serves as a reminder that as old as Picard may live, he will never be able to escape the consequences of that day.

And, yeah, Shaw is still an asshole, but he gets some character development and is also permitted to be useful when he's recruited into Seven's mission to find the Changeling saboteur (Shaw has the useful idea to track the Changeling from residue left in its regeneration receptacle), as well as help engineer the daring escape (he's the only one with the right knowledge to quickly improvise when it comes to the inner workings of the 20-year-old ship's engines).

Beverly, utilized nicely here, notices a pattern in the energy surges coming from the center of the nebula and intuits that a spacefaring lifeform is undergoing a birth. Jack concludes they can ride the energy surges like a wave out of the nebula. We get an old-fashioned TNG-style conference room scene where the technical plan is discussed, and it makes sense. On the quibble side of things, I feel like Riker is still too much of a naysayer given the lack of other alternatives and the fact that doing nothing is still a death sentence. Also, it might be nice to recognize this ship has an entire crew of Starfleet officers aside from the non-Titan players who do so much of the heavy lifting. Still, this is a good team effort that employs a lot of characters reasonably, and Riker's doubts are part of his character arc — in this case, his hope to at least leave behind a message for Troi in death, rather than being pulverized and leaving behind nothing. Riker's struggle through this actually has a great deal of poignancy.

The tactical escape from the nebula is pretty great too. It uses good visual effects of the Titan riding the energy wave while Picard, taking command, guides the manual flight through the asteroid belt. It's pure Star Trek done well, firing on all cylinders — theatrically, technically, emotionally. This victorious escape is probably the best purely Trekkian franchise moment of the past decade, and it uses the legacy characters effectively.

To bring it all full circle, we get some resolutions that resonate. Riker talks to Troi and is able to have a conversation about his pain that is effective, and affecting, and sheds light on why he left, hoping he would find a panacea. The idea that witnessing this wondrous event in space can heal the spirit is reassuring, like nourishment for the soul. (The idea made me think back to Kirk feeling "young" again after the death of Spock, which happened alongside the birth of the Genesis planet.)

And in the episode's nicely played gut punch, we see in the flashback how Jack was at the impromptu lunch lecture with the young officers. Jack, from across the room, anonymously asked a question about whether Picard ever considered having a real family. Picard answered, possibly partially playing to the crowd, that Starfleet was the only family he ever needed. It was enough for Jack to give up on having a relationship with his father. But now he gets a second chance. This is all played with enough nuance that it feels right and complete.

Can I find things to complain about? Sure. But it would be complaining about things that don't, at the end of the day, matter. This is clearly the best episode of Picard to date and probably the best outing of the Kurtzman era. So I'm going to leave it at that and give it the benefit of the doubt. At this point, either you are on board with this season of Picard, or you're not. If "No Win Scenario" doesn't move the needle for you, I'm predicting nothing this season will. I'm on board, so please, Picard writers, keep it up and don't squander the goodwill you've engendered.

Some other thoughts:

  • I'm guessing this episode would've been called "Kobayashi Maru" if Discovery and Prodigy hadn't both already used a version of that title recently.
  • Hilariously, with power running out, the show finds an excuse to turn down the lights and make it even darker on the ship.
  • This episode feels like a turning point in the season arc. We're now out of the nebula and warping back through Federation space, so maybe we'll get a change in the narrative direction and move on to some new things.
  • Beverly exclaiming "To seek out new life!" is a perfect example of this show trying too hard to drive a point home and being too obvious about it when, yeah, we got it from having seen what just happened. Granted, I give the writers some credit, because I said the line in my head before Beverly did, so they conveyed the right sensibility. But they also get a demerit for lampshading it. Riker's follow-up line, "Maybe we should boldly get the hell out of here," lessens the revered earnestness of the moment with a lightness that feels like vintage Riker.
  • In a bizarre scene, Vadic cuts off her hand, which changes into Changeling goo and then becomes a floating face that gives her orders to follow the Titan deeper into the nebula, which she doesn't want to do, but which the face tells her she'd better. Then it turns back into her hand. What exactly is Vadic, and what are these Changelings up to?
  • Riker uses the tractor beam to throw a rock at the Shrike, dealing it a temporary defeat. Payback's a bitch. I guess that's what they call "long-term arc planning." (I kid.)
  • Jack has more strange, intense visions (red branches/tentacles, red light from a cracked door) telling him to "find" someone. Where is this going?
  • This episode benefits from keeping the narrative focused on the Titan, without Worf and Raffi taking up time and diluting the message with another plotline. It's a good choice, and gives the story a more intimate and claustrophobic feel.
  • It was also nice to have Picard's "captain's log" voice-over at the end. Nice cap to a terrific episode.

Previous episode: Seventeen Seconds
Next episode: Imposters

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Comment Section

227 comments on this post

    We get some stupid in the very first minute, because if the Hirogen brought their hunt to this quadrant, they would be make a nonstop scourge of themselves.

    The pail that Odo used was something he just began using to hold him in liquid form...this episode makes it sound like it was Dominion standard issue...more stupid.

    As for Vadik's hand turning into a Big Giant Head, words fail me for now. The gelatinous state of Changelings now looks like viscous raw meat. The nuTrek version of the planet with the changeling ocean must look like the floor of a meat processing plant. Not very conducive to the ocean becoming the drop.

    Seven calls Shaw a dick here, so let's hear no more criticism of The Orville in that regard.

    So Shaw was also at Wolf goodness the nuTrek universe is small. And he too thinks that it was somehow Picard's personal fault...even now. This is staggeringly pathetic. As if Shaw would have behaved any differently if *he* had been made into a Locutus.

    "Bob's your uncle, Fanny's your aunt"?!?!? Make it stop.

    Sidney LaForge mentions her father even more than Meghan McCain does.

    Shaw seemed more than fit by mid-episode to reassume command...but he didn't because...?

    Are...are those supposed to be the creatures from Farpoint?

    The last minute of the show, my TV seemed to have suddenly changed the channel from Picard to Poltergeist. Spooky...

    The foul language flew fast and furious in this episode. I think I'd rather have the Orvillian potty humor.

    Fifty years from now, Roddenberry's Star Trek will be, rhetorically, far less dated than nuTrek...even TOS.

    This season of Picard is disgusting me even more than the other two.

    That was the best episode of Trek I've seen in a very, very long time. Very strong character writing, paced expertly and the final escape was exciting as hell. I'm satisfied.

    We're running out of power for life support... quick, start a holodeck program so we can all have a drink!

    I could go on, but I agree with Jax. The novelty of the TNG cast is already wearing thin - as are all the easter eggs and callbacks to better Trek days - and this season is just another example of NuTrek destroying what was once a beloved franchise. I seriously question, anyone who admires this garbage.

    BTW, anyone else happy Discovery is finally being put out of our collective misery?

    An episode not without its flaws but you sense the writers producers and actors are genuinely *trying* to get things right for the characters, the action and the themes here. I think anyone can nit pick some of the modern dialogue inconsistencies seeping into the script and the variances from cannon here and there as well as some odd character choices but I was entertained and more pleased than not with this episode.

    I'm glad they kept the entire focus on the Titan which I think helped the pacing and plotting rather than cutting back and forth between Raffi and Worf.

    It might have been a bit too convenient in some viewer's minds but I like that they gave everyone a specific action to accomplish and contribute to the success of the escape from the nebula.

    A solid episode of Modern Trek (and all the caveats that implies) and I hope they can keep the quality up for the rest of the season.

    As others have mentioned, there are certainly some nits to pick (e.g., the vulgar and contemporary language; use of the holodeck in dire circumstances; and bizarre standardization of receptacles for changelings), but the episode nicely gives all the leads, perhaps most notably Dr. Crusher, meaningful parts in rescuing the crew, and, in turn, reinforces a message that typified The Next Generation: working together, any obstacle can be overcome.

    A great, great episode. One of the very best of modern Trek.

    Holodecks having independent power systems that couldn't be drawn into main ship power was actually something utilized and referenced several times in Voyager.

    First referenced VOY Season 1, Episode 3.

    Unironically, this is an example of canon being respected.

    @Daniel "Holodecks having independent power systems that couldn't be drawn into main ship power was actually something utilized and referenced several times in Voyager."

    Quite right, but it was silly then, and remains silly now.

    "Holodecks having independent power systems that couldn't be drawn into main ship power was actually something utilized and referenced several times in Voyager." What?!

    In the TNG episode "Booby Trap" (Season 3 Episode 6 for those of you keeping score at home), Geordi uses the Holodeck in dire circumstances to consult with a facsimile of Dr. Leah Brahms who designed the Galaxy Class Warp systems. When the Enterprise -D continues to lose power, the Holodeck program is automatically discontinued to conserver energy and Geordi has to ask Picard to override the computer to reinstate the program?

    "it was silly then, and remains silly now" is putting it kindly to say the least.

    The real reason they needed a Holdback scene in this episode wasn't just the absurd need for more lame story exposition before certain death, but in reality they had spent so much $$$ on that 10-forward set for S2, they kept using it to recoup their investment. Think I'm making this up? Just read any of the production Twitter accounts from Dave Blass or Liz Kloczkowski.

    @AMA - It is, but I think it's slightly less egregious than inventing something new that's equally as silly. I can see why they wanted to use the Holodeck as a storytelling advice though. It's a hack, agreed, but I found it clever that they found a canon loophole.

    More nitpicky on my part is the way they used life support systems - loss of life support doesn't mean sudden loss of oxygen. The crew could have survived for quite a bit of time until either oxygen levels drop too far, or CO2 levels exceed limits. Temps would either steadily increase or decrease, depending on proximity to heat generating systems, and one would think that gravity generators would the most power-consumptive subsystem. (I'd expect gravity loss if the show had a movie budget, but on TV, i'll give it a pass).

    Agreed on the "bucket"--that it could've been any bucket. A duplicate of Odo's was a bit on the nose.

    That all said, I loved the episode--it's probably one of the best episodes of Trek, and it avoided the modern Trek pitfall of making each episode utterly dependent on the next. Story beats had a coda, and enough questions answered so you're not trapped in a gravity well in the center of a mystery box. This episode felt like the end of a movie, with enough of lead-in to the next.

    Stop making excuses for bad writing (cursing every other sentence isn't drama it's just lazy), production values (how many people have commented about how dark the sets are) and poor character acting frequently dismissed by "these characters have changed in 20 years, so..." I've changed in 20 years too, so while I think most of NuTrek is awful, I'm still a Star Trek fan and look forward to watching each week.

    I'm simply not going to compromise my opinions because it's fashionable to do so or this is best we're going to get. Demand better! Sometimes, they actually respond to fan criticism and attempt to do so.

    Great seeing the crew come together and finally figure out how get out of this mess. For the first time in a while, for Star Trek, I am excited to see where the story goes next week.

    Anachronistic quips and cussing aside, this episode had a genuine Trekkian spirit from start to finish and I was genuinely enthralled. The final act, during which our heroes and the entire crew worked together like professionals to escape the nebula, was as close in spirit to TNG and VOY as there has been in all the years since. I was actually moved by the discovery of new life and the Picard log (the first since Nemesis) was icing on the cake.

    Why didn't Shaw resume command? It requires signing off by the Chief Medical Officer, and there was no time for that, plus he was still drugged. Why was he able to work with Seven? She was playing outside the rules.

    Why did the changeling have a pot? It is simply a convenient tool. Odo used it, Why wouldn't another changeling? Also, it is easier for the audience to follow what is happening because we know what to look for.

    Why is the Holodeck power system independent? It's Canon, I thought the toxic dudebros were all about Canon? Besides, I actually like the idea of the holodeck being used for cosmic hospice.

    Why all the "cursing"? They are grown ups in a literal life or death situation. And c'mon there were three actual "obscenities" in a 56min script, 1 F-bomb and two dipshits. The world is not ending.

    My verdict: this was easily the best episode of Picard to date, and one of the stronger Trek episodes of the recent era, though not quite as great as SNW's "Memento Mori". It was entertaining as hell to see 3/7ths of the TNG collectively Samantha Carter their way out of a losing position (if you'll pardon the cross franchise attribution).

    I thought that was the best episode yet.

    We are perilously close to the mid-season malaise that knocks the momentum out of each NuTrek season. But we are certainly tracking better than S2, which was in a downtrend from the peak of the first episode.

    I welcomed the quieter, character-focused opening. I genuinely found myself engaged throughout the episode - not often I get a chance to say that as one of the first detractors through the door, typically.

    But. But but but but ... in spite of the positives, there were *again* too many jarring bits of dialogue, such as:

    Seven: Pot? I assume you don't mean cannabis.

    Shaw: Residue ... resi-goo

    Beverly: to seek out new life ...
    RIker: let's boldly get the hell out of here

    Jack: Bob's your uncle and Fanny's ya ... (wtf?)

    Picard f-bombing? No. Sweet Jesus no.

    The scenes these were plonked in were ticking along just fine without dropping in the quips / self-referential bits. Is there some rule in NuTrek now that you can't let 4 minutes go by without someone wise-cracking or dropping an anachronistic expression to connect with the casual viewer?

    Horrible quips aside, I found Shaw's winge about Wolf 359 this episode's main offender (that I recall). I honestly thought he was the Changeling at that point. Only a prize-winning moron would think Picard had any agency in the incident; moreover, you'd have to be as thick as a plank not to realize what a horrific and traumatic experience it was for Picard - he was as much a victim of The Borg as anyone else. What a horribly contrived thing to do just to extract some "drama"; I fail to see what purpose it served.

    Oh, and before I forget - back to the pot. FFS. That is not standard Founder issue - that was specific to Odo. That it looked just like his ... yeah okay, more nostalgia.

    I'm afraid these Changelings don't seem nearly as clever as their DS9 counterparts. Lastly, they seem less, erm, durable - unless handheld phaser tech has improved dramatically (think back to the onslaught of disruptor hits the Martok changeling absorbed before going ka-boom). Lastly, can't say I'm a fan of the meat and sinew redesign. Given how insistent this show is on hitting the nostalgia notes, I'd think a simple visual upgrade to their establish ed look would suffice.

    As for the positives: somehow, I am still interested in the overarching story. I want to know more. I might also be an idiot for letting my guard down. I normally try to resist the member-berry / nostalgia bait, but in this instance, they got. Namely, Jean Luc Picard sitting his ass down in the captain's chair on board a Federation starship. As soon as he started barking coordinates, I had a stupid grin my face. God damn them.

    3 out of 5. Would've easily been a 3.5 or even a 4, had it not been for the easily avoidable weak points mentioned.

    "Bob's your uncle, Fanny's your aunt". Barf.

    Farpoint jelly babies! Yay!

    Jack + Red tree, red world. red whatever.


    I think I liked it? Especially all the focus on character. No deep allegory here so far, but the characterization feels strong. I trust that's not just nostalgia at work? I hope the conclusion of this arc pays off in a special way. Feels like we're building to something "strong." Paving new ground with the Picard and son (and Riker) material. Good! They should reference his Inner Light family experiences at some point, though, no?

    Man it's so easy to nitpick the Nu elements though, lol. Worf was still Lt. Cmdr when they inevitably visited the Delta Quadrant to get hunted by Hirogen? At that point he was an ambassador, post DS9, right? Or was he back on the Enterprise because... Nemesis, haha?

    I think the bridge crew, at least the science officer, should have been in the conference room discussing the escape plan with our "heroes." Shaw too, if he was up and functioning??? It's his ship??? It feels artificial to have our main stars just do whatever the hell they please while the bridge officers execute orders that the plot demands and emote on screen haha. Wouldn't the science officer at least want to have some input into this plan???

    And the Wolf 359 stuff--- Can the writers do something different, please? Stop mining Piller's masterworks just for 'memberberries. I mean it wasn't really Picard's fault, was it? What "evolved sensibilities" 25th century man would continue to blame him for all that, this many years later? Sisko at least lost a wife, his disdain was a little more believable to me? Idk-- feels like forced drama, typical "but my trauma runs deep!" stuff. They keep referencing Locutus but what is the point for PICARD to keep suffering that experience? Remember that face scene in SZN 1? Like, what are we trying to say about Picard there? It always feels like a cheap throw in.

    A solid episode - the best yet this season, and providing a clear closure to Act 1.

    This is easily the most "TNG" episode of Picard yet. Structurally speaking, it's very reminiscent, with the entire supporting cast working cooperatively to figure out a solution to a...well...a no-win scenario with a healthy dose of technobabble (which Bev even gets to deliver). I also appreciated the episode managed to end on something of an upbeat note, reminding us there is still hope, not only for the broader crisis, but for the characters and their personal relationships.

    The focus on character here was well-executed as well. Picard and Riker both had notable forward movement of their arcs. IMHO the reason for Shaw's resentment for Picard was telegraphed from a mile away, but at least it was well executed. I do have my wonders how a man like that would ever be allowed close to command, but I guess if they gave Sisko a command with even deeper trauma from Wolf 359, it's just something Starfleet does.

    At first it did seem a bit odd to me how much this episode kept telling us about past adventures (Picard vs the Hirogen, Picard and O.G. Jack Crusher's antics, Shaw's trauma) rather than actually showing us via flashbacks, but I came to understand this was because none of these stories was about the story being told, but the subtext within the story - the emotional content. Plus, this was intended as a budget-saving bottle episode, so I was fine with it.

    People are bitching about the swearing in this episode but...I honestly didn't notice it. I did think Seven referring to marijuana as pot was eye-rolling though. Terry Matalas is only four years older than I am - he should be aware that pot isn't even really used as slang for it any longer - everyone calls it weed now. It makes the line seem instantaneously dated. Yeah, I know the "joke" wouldn't work otherwise, but it wasn't funny anyway.

    I do still feel like - as with every episode this season - it would have been slightly better if they let a scriptwriter do a final edit, but even the dialogue gripes are way less here for me than the first three.

    Not an all-time classic - not the best of the best - but nearly as good of an hour of trek as you could possibly ask for.

    Nice to see Jack quoting the "Suits You" tailors from The Fast Show with that "Bob's your uncle" line.

    I'd say the best part of the episode is that this time it was Seven's turn to actually feel like Seven again. Generally, I think the characterizations are a strong suit of this season, and that alone makes it a decent watch. The overarching plot remains engaging. The holodeck issue is absolutely nonsensical (yes, I too remembered that Voyager established that nonsense, but Kirk also said Starfleet had no women captains. Some silly canon should be sweeped under the rug) but I'm sure it was 100% due to production constraints. This entire season seems predicated on reusing sets, but I'm OK with it. Budgetary constraints and Trek quality seem to have a strong positive correlation.

    And yet... this didn't quite do it for me. Not sure what it was, beyond all the usual NuTrek suspects. I think the episode simply tried too hard. Crusher saying "to seek out new life" made me eyeroll. This series (including this season) simply hasn't earned the right to pander to the cerebral side of Trek. If you won't engage with any of those themes, at least have the decency not to pretend otherwise.

    @Karl Zimmerman The difference is that Sisko was already a Lt Commander on the Saratoga, and one can infer that serving at Wolf 359 is what gets him immediately promoted to Commander an given command of DS9 (at the time, a very undesirable posting). There is no time for his trauma to affect his career, beyond the fact he snaps at Picard and ponders leaving Starfleet. And he very quickly takes all of the back.

    Meanwhile, this show is set decades after the battle of Wolf 359. Could a traumatized lower ranking officer like Shaw have had such a long successful career behaving this way? It just doesn't seem believable. I guess the show is trying to say that this is a recent behavior triggered by the ex-borg he has just encountered (Seven, Picard). But why on Earth have Seven as first officer? Surely he had SOME choice of crew. I hope that this, at least, gets explained.

    You know, every time Picard runs into a Wolf 359 survivor, he's probably secretly relieved the Borg killed so many Starfleet personnel in that battle. Less chance of running into this situation.

    I keep seeing folks complaining that Shaw would not have an ex borg on his ship. I can think of two reasons this nonsense. 1. ADMIRAL Janeway. She tells Shaw to take Seven, he bitches and moans and insists he will call her Coomander Hansen, but agrees in the end because....ADMIRAL Janeway. 2. Maybe he sees her as a victim. She was. Assimilated as a helpless child, alone the DQ. She was not present at Wolf 359. By analogy, I could see a WW2 vet on the Allied side despising Hermann Goering but being willing to work alongside some Schaub who was pressganged into the Hitlerjugend as a child with issues.

    From DS9, don't we learn that Odo and the other Changelings bodies are a unified goo? So the residue ... resi-goo...thing seems to make no sense.

    Still pretty good, though we are due for some plot advancement. Riker and Picard's conversation really made the falling-out last week more palatable to me.

    Shaw remains loathsome, though I loved the Wolf 359 story. Plausible way to explain some of his abusive behavior. BOBW may have been overused in references and memberberries in recent years, but this one still felt fresh. We've seen several stories like the one Shaw told, if not quite like it, play out. They were visual marvels, especially in Emissary. This, however, was the most chilling to me personally, as someone who is very verbally-focused. To me, because of my autism and cognitive issues, words often do speak louder than actions, and this was a fantastic instance of showing that sometimes telling is as, or even more, effective than showing.

    I lost track of how many times I was muttering to the screen "shoot him again! Remember the Martok changeling took like 50 disruptor blasts".

    I guess they wanted the changeling alive? It didn't crumble in that last shot.

    Ok, the bucket thing- my first thought was "really?" but I can make it make sense with a few assumptions.

    This Changeling schism may involve young, new changelings, like the hundred that were sent out. Perhaps some new individuals were created after the plague.

    These changelings' knowledge of the outside world would be heavily shaped by Odo's experiences.

    A key part of Changeling culture is learning to imitate objects flawlessly. This may mean that Odo's concept of "bucket" is linked to that particular style of bucket in the Changeling mind.

    With all of these assumptions, I feel it is at least plausible for new Changelings who haven't left the link before to have one particular Cardassian-style bucket as their synecdoche of buckets in general.

    The holodeck having its own independent power source is silly as always, but I honestly like that they lampshaded it. And we got some decent scenes out of it, especially with the flashbacks making the Nu10Forward actually relevant, even without Guinan. I also liked Picard's explanation of why the Holodeck would be made this way. Misguided, perhaps, but a truly humane option to include. My biggest problem here is Picard settling for replicated Chateau Picard!

    The Star Jellies were really sweet and I want one as a stuffy. The cast, especially McFadden, did a good job of showing the same wonder that the audience was meant to feel at the end of EaF.

    The downsides? Well So, we're halfway through the season, and have no answers. Not only this, but some major players have yet to emerge. I am quite concerned that there is no way we will get a satisfactory explanation for what the changelings are up to, who Vadic is, or why Jack is important. And I have no idea how they can work in Lore, Moriarty, Geordi, etc for anything more than cameos with the time they have left, which would be a great shame. And now there's the mystery woman's voice talking to Jack. AND Vadic now has Faith's, sorry, Shinzon's knife which she uses to, what remove the protoplasm serving her as a hand and as a viewscreen? Ok, that was cool, creepy, and well done, but I do want some answers.

    To end on a positive note, any episode that depicts the Enterprise C, even in model form, gets an automatic half star upgrade from me.

    I guess I say 3 on its own merits, upgrade to 3.5 for fixing some of the mistakes of last week.

    I've heard a lot of people* say this is one of the best episodes of the season. I have been waiting for this one. Woke up early to watch it. I am in a state of shock, I'm stunned, that was just irrevocably stupid. Where was the science advisor for this show?

    Visually - way too dark, even with the brightness turned all the way up.

    The ship is being destroyed and Jack is worried about going bald? This is the son of a doctor?

    Keeping a famous admiral from eating his meal... for hours? What the hell was that? Who in the world abruptly stops somebody from eating their entree in a restaurant? Truly there is no concept of good manners in nuTrek.

    It just seemed like every scene from the start failed, whether logically, canonically, scientifically, or just common sense. One of the most glaring problems in the episode is that I couldn't get invested in any character because any of them could be the changeling, and that was resolved towards the end. Or was it? It doesn't look like the changeling is dead. I guess they're going to have to stop at the One Stop Changeling Bucket Shop.

    The moment doctor Crusher started counting down the contractions I started thinking, okay - contractions. 30 minutes later: "hey these might be contractions folks!" And then the swimming in space... with tentacles... It's just daft.

    The entire situation between the elder Picard and Jack feels enormously tone deaf for me, especially as a person who had to deal with the emotions of seeking out biological parents later in life. Jack's purported age seems silly, but his terrible acting distracts from his age.

    This is just not Star Trek to me.

    Last week's episode made me cry, it was so lovely. And this week's episode made me sad and made Will Riker look like an ass. Why do they keep fucking with our heroes?

    I wish I could unsee all of Picard.

    *It's my understanding that nearly all of the YouTube commentators torrented the series weeks ago; only three that I know of got the first six episodes. This isn't a judgment; but it's not my style.

    Oh, and Picard's understanding of the desire for a peaceful environment to die in is a sign of significant growth since season 1- I think it was Angel One?- where he counsels Beverly to make sure Wesley is conscious as he freezes to death, for manhood or some such. I appreciated that.

    Since nobody has mentioned it yet, I must point out that the assumption that the "contractions" linked to mammals giving birth is somehow reflected in the creation of space-native jellyfish is dumb to the level of being insulting. What Crusher does in this episode is the opposite of science.

    Thirty comments in and no one else has mentioned the talking floating meathead yet...

    Boy, this forum sure has its share of professional naysayers and negative Nellies who will find fault with anything :-)

    Sure, some of the dialogue was a little too cutesy, I can't believe they're doubling down on Jack Crusher being 23 and yes it's hard to swallow that young Jack just happened to be in 10 Forward on the same day that Picard gave his impromptu TedTalk to the cadets.

    But these are all very minor quibbles in an overall enjoyable, well executed episode of Star Trek that doesn't use nostalgia as a crutch but rides it like the Titan out of the stellar nursery. Seeing Captain Riker shove a comet down the Shrike's throat was a wonderful pay off, Beverly Crusher has had more constructive things to do in 4 episodes than in any season of TNG.

    You may not like some of the details, but Picard season 3 has its heart in the right place.

    "Floating meathead" - I guess I just can't find a reason to care, and that goes double for all of Jack's scenes. Extremely slow plot. I kept watching the clock and I was surprised that 40 minutes in, I was thinking "Why didn't they just cover this in the first 5 minutes?” One thing is for sure, the show was a lot smarter with Geordi and Data, and it treated its audience a lot smarter.

    I find it very amusing that the YouTube commentators who stole the episodes through torrenting then go on to complain about the foul language.

    "This season of Picard is disgusting me even more than the other two. "

    I usually give space for varying opinions, but this?

    You're fucking high.

    What's with this "stole the episodes through torrenting" thing? There's no torrents out there of the season as a whole as far as I'm aware -- if there were, believe me, I'd have pirated them myself.

    Terry Matalas also went on a podcast with a group of these supposed thieves. Seems to me that they were given legit early access.

    Best episode so far
    Ignoring seasons 1 and 2
    Best episode so far
    Ignoring the profanity
    I think this is more Star Trek than the other episodes of Picard
    It does feel like Star Trek
    Solving the problem, Beverly figuring it with Picard, Jack, Seven, Shaw, Riker.
    The lighting is still a problem

    @Norvo "You may not like some of the details, but Picard season 3 has its heart in the right place."

    I agree, it has found its heart and its courage. Unfortunately, it is still missing a brain.

    //Since nobody has mentioned it yet, I must point out that the assumption that the "contractions" linked to mammals giving birth is somehow reflected in the creation of space-native jellyfish is dumb to the level of being insulting. What Crusher does in this episode is the opposite of science.//

    There are so many things unknown to science and it would be unscientific to rule out the unknown.

    Since you are talking about yourself...

    //Crusher saying "to seek out new life" made me eyeroll. //

    I liked it. I liked seeing new life "jellyfish"

    //The moment doctor Crusher started counting down the contractions I started thinking, okay - contractions. 30 minutes later: "hey these might be contractions folks!" And then the swimming in space... with tentacles... It's just daft.//

    Right, because you know ALL life can't be like that... It is not daft. It is ironic, because this make your reaction seem daft and close-minded. You never heard of a tardigrade? You would not be a suitable candidate to be an officer on a starfleet vessel.

    The darkness finally got to me in this episode. I love the series but the darkness is outrageous. Simply can’t see what’s going on especially in the first 20 minutes of this episode. The season is some of the best Trek in years but the lighting is a major major negative now.

    I've liked four episodes in a row, best run since DS9 I think (might have been four episodes in a row somewhere in one of the two Pike seasons of NuTrek, not sure).

    Swearing doesn't bother me, though I understand your mileage may vary on that. But I don't understand people's hang-ups with 'anochronistic' language. You never say worth his salt, spill the beans, cart before the horse, dressed to the nines, etc. etc.? Between "fruity as a nutcase" and "My God, Bones" Star Trek III must have killed the language purists.

    I do wish we could just accept that some of us are liking this and some of us aren't without coming up with elaborate reasons for why the other person is wrongheaded, but that's modern fandom, I guess. I'm enjoying this season, and it's not because my standards are lowered, my taste is objectively bad, I'm a nostalgia fanboy or whatever. I like it because there are more things in this that I like than things I don't. And I assume the balance is the opposite for someone who doesn't. It can really be that simple.

    So far for me:
    Ep. 1: 3
    Ep. 2: 3
    Ep.3: 3.5
    Ep.4: 3.5

    You know what or rather who were missing?
    Was this why this episode was better?
    Raffi and Worf.
    Give Raffi a better storyline, or better script or better actions.
    Nothing bad to say about Worf.

    Apparently the darkness is a glitch they’re working on fixing. Even correctly it’s still too dark but at least it will be better. The show is too good to be diminished by this issue.

    Overall 3.5/stars for the last 2 episodes together.

    I’m liking this 4 episode ARC. Reminds me somewhat of ENT s4. 🙌. Mini arcs is a great way to do semi serialized Trek!

    Dirk- "This show is awful! What can I do? If only there was some way I could stop watching!!!!"

    I hope you're eaten by a Gorn

    I really wonder why it is always the fans who attack the ones who do not like the show? What is the psychological mechanism behind that? hmmm It was the same during the earlier years. In group, out group bias maybe. Quite interesting.

    @Eric Jensen Who is talking about ruling out anything? We can't rule out that a space lifeform will be born through rythmical contractions as much as we can't rule out that it will be born by playing "La Marseilleise" through the ship's speakers. This isn't how the scientific method works.

    Crusher formulated a hypothesis based on preposterous grounds because the people writing the show don't understand anything about anything and thought this made sense as an inference. Please bring back the TNG technobabble, at least it tried to have internal logic.

    Although some parts a littele bit obscure. Much of this was good and the episode was quite/very enjoyable.

    Although I join the complants rearging the context of Picard / Shaw wolf359 the acting was good.

    Scenes with Seven entertaining as usual. I also liked the concept of involving Shaw again. Furhermore only the A plot this time. Even if Worf / Rafi thread not to bad, I am glad that this episode just was about Titan.

    I will definetely rewatch it.

    @Darmok that is liable, sir. Highly ironic considering your name.

    I was completely glad to stop watching after season 1, I don't think this will put me off entirely from season 3, but there's no excitement.

    Save the ad hominem attacks for Twitter, kids. This isn't the place for it.

    @Episodenull - Yeah my understanding is that some people who viewed (understandably) the first two seasons very negatively were given the chance to watch the whole thing to see if it would turn them around. From what I've seen, it did, not without criticism though.

    Really the most TNG-like episode of PIC and a standout among newer Trek shows.

    What made TNG strong were situations where the crew worked through their problems and performed what seemed like miracles thanks to both the strengths of the crew and the bond of the Enterprise D’s metaphorical family.

    This show is a little different because there are conflicts among the crew that we’re not used to. These disagreements are abrasive, uncomfortable, and sometimes filled with harsh words. Yet, they managed to bring even the most obstinate of characters together, working through (not around) many conflicts and hardships presented in the season thus far. And they even packaged this into a fun “beat the clock” with science scenario.

    In that sense, the episode nails the spirit of TNG. It does so with an overall uplifting message following the classic Captain’s Code. There are certainly things I could pick apart and the hook ending brings us back into the modern world of streaming TV, but these don’t affect the broad strokes of what we’re given: a TNG story for a 2023 audience.

    This feels like a 4. Well executed and genuinely moving at its best points.

    StarMan: " Lastly, can't say I'm a fan of the meat and sinew redesign."

    The Great Link would look like an enormous, unending pool of emesis now.

    If they showed a scene with this new look where Odo links with someone like Laas or the female Founder, I'd probably produce some emesis of my own.

    Another good one. Several interesting callbacks, including to Farpoint of all things. Even a touch of sci-fi wonder.

    Nice photo cameo.

    Pretty good action, tension and pacing.

    Both Riker's and Picard's story arcs worked pretty well. Shaw's and Seven's as well.



    I could do without the cursing, at least from more established characters. Picard dropping F bombs doesn't make the character seem more real, quite the opposite.

    The bucket-- that feels problematic. Does it have to look like Odo's? I don't think so, and Seven doesn't seem to think do either.

    But the big problem is the ship is huge. How in the world did she even know where to start?

    The pail looked Bajoran or perhaps Cardassian in was probably a knickknack in Dr. Mora's office that Odo started using.

    Beverly's intuitive leap that the waves were contractions of birth seemed a bit large, but I'm going to assume she just skipped the technobabble that was part of her analysis.

    (And btw, this show seems to be very light on the technobabble, at least compared to Voyager. )

    That life form reproducing like that seems to me like pretty standard TNG fantastic life forms.

    And those things swimming in space with tentacles? They're not in a deep void, they're in/near a visibly dense nebula and asteroid cluster that just broke up.

    Granted, I personally wouldn't have chosen that design for the aliens, but it's an obvious nod to the creatures at Farpoint.

    Best of the S3 episodes so far. It’s interesting to read the criticisms here because they all seem to reference the same problems. So if a bunch of random Trek fans can all see pretty much the same flaws, why the heck can’t the creators of the show??

    The most glaring is the criticism that gets leveled at so many productions from Star Trek to Star Wars to Game of Thrones: what the f*uck is this modern obsession to shoot scenes so DARK??? Realism? If you’re out in the woods at night, with no moon & no flashlight you see NOTHING. We go to the movies to see SOMETHING and audiences are ready & willing to accept the contrivances of artificial light sources in a scene so we can SEE what the hell is happening on the screen.

    I see this debated again & again online with no solid defense coming from creators and no real end of this trend insight. Which is a damn shame because, from what I CAN see, Picard S3 looks pretty damn good — but if I was a crew member of the Titan, I’d be tripping over steps & bumping into the furniture constantly trying to do my job in that dim lighting. Enough already.

    “Seth MacFarlane know show to light a starship.”
    @jax he damn sure does!

    And what I always likes about TNG is they showed how the bridge & living areas had evolved over time to include organic elements like wood, comfortable ergonomic designs, and decor that evoked beauty— necessary for the psychological wellbeing of a long term space mission. Over the years they keep throwing out more & more of that so the starship interiors look like they’ve regressed & are less hospitable. Grrr. Don’t get me started…

    The darkness is a strange thing, seemingly at odds with the primary goal of movies and such. If you can't see anything, it's not atmospheric or whatever (except in specific circumstances), you can't see anything.

    I can't believe the ship might actually be like this in real life, but the viewer still has to be able to see the characters.

    I wonder if creators just have video monitors that are so much better at "dark darks" and contrast range and the like, they're just delivering a product that most viewers' Black Friday TV can't properly display.

    If families are to live in space, they need light. Especially children.

    Are living quarters lit the same way as the bridge?

    Apparently so, because Shaw has eating his blue steak in the dark.


    There is a solid story reason the ships have become less hospitable since TNG.

    The Enterprise D was built for a time when the Federation had been a peace for a long time. (You have to ignore the Cardassian War which was later bolted on.)

    After wars with the Borg, Klingons and Dominion, a starship that looked like a luxury cruise ship with kids running around seemed absurd, and all that is thrown out with the E.

    (Can you imagine the congressional hearings about how many kids were killed at Wolf 359?)

    Not saying I like it, just saying it's kind of valid. Frankly I despised the E inside and out.

    Dirk, you keep watching something you hate. You should beat yourself silly with some blunt Kiingon weapon. Don't actually off yourself because that would make me feel bad.

    Jammer; "Shaw has the useful idea to track the Changeling from residue left in its regeneration receptacle"

    They don't leave residue....or "resigoo".. Every morsel of them is retained. After Garak released Odo from the torture device and Odo was able to finally liquify again, we saw every flake that had detached from him gooify and reattach to the whole.

    When Bashir "borrowed a cup of goo" from ends up being less than an ounce but Odo still declared that he was going to want that back.

    Extremely pleased to see Jammer enjoyed this episode so much. The more I think on it, the more I love it for all the things it did right. It's truly the crown jewel of Kurtzman-era Trek to date and I'm more or less thrilled to have seen it.

    Jammer has given all 4 opening episodes a score of 3 or more which, based on a cursory check, makes this one of the strongest and most consistent starts to any season of Trek he's reviewed over all these years.

    I don’t know if in group out group bias is at work here (the terms suggest people who post here are groups. Speaking for myself, I post here because I like the forum and find it a safe haven, not to take sides). Anecdotally of course I observe that a few specific individuals who always bash the show do have the following characteristics in common: they write that those who disagree with them as stupid. That is beyond “bias.” These peopl *know( they are right - with metaphysical certitude. I would never call someone stupid because I liked an episode and they didn’t, or they did and I did not. This name-calling isn’t just bullying - it draws too much from too little. I would never call people that I disagree with names, or refer to them as sociological experiments gone awry, or what have you. Some people who like the show have told the haters that the haters have mental problems, e.g., “There is something wrong with hate-watching.” I think this too is mame-calling, as is suggesting someone who doesn’t like the show must be high or should be eaten by a Gorn. SMH. I liked this episode. If that means I am stupid and enjoy having my intelligence insulted I can live with that. At least I am not telling any my taste or morality or grey matter is better than theirs

    Great episode! The writing this season is miles ahead of S1/S2. The general quality, the attention to detail, the pacing, the plot, the character arcs, everything has improved across the board. The writers have definitely watched legacy Trek and they have clearly put in the effort and it shows.

    My question is, who is responsible? Terry Matalas was credited with the 1st two episodes of S2 (the only two good episodes of that season) and Sean Tretta is a new writer this season.

    I'm just happy to have people in the writers room who know what they are doing.

    Jammer!! Can someone PLEASE TELL ME WHY the FRAK Picard says F*CK here..I am not a prude when it comes to profanity but WHY THIS IS SO GRATUITOUS IS IT NOT?? THE GLORIOUS ALIENS AT TjE END WHY WASNT THE EPISODE COMPLETELY ABOUT THEM and PLEASE TELL ME they are NOT THE SAME SPECIES from Encounter at Farpoint?? Tell me they are NEW and ORIGINAL life forms?? Maybe just cousins of the Farpoint Jellybabies?? Jammer donyou not agree the cursing is distasteful..Seven saying dick was passable maybe but all the SHIT and this f bomb was worse than the bio electric discharges..and isn't Shaw WAY out of CHARSCTER..he should know better Picard hadn't control of his actions at Wolf 359..petty characterization..but besides that the ending was wondrous and great new plot twistd..

    @Timmy the Tribble @Silly Don't you guys think those life forms are a totally different species than the Farpoint jellyies..maybe their cosmic cousins?? These look more like a cross between octopuses and jellyfish or squids/anemones and not straight up giant Jellyfish like Farpoint. I hope so I don't want this to not be original new life forms..I couldn't bear thst since that's the main thing I need from Trek especially TNG and this supposed TNG succesor..And so far they haven't delivered..until maybe now..And that is the best thing about this I hope we don't have to file that as unoriginal least the idea of a cosmic womb thst seems like a nebula with a gravity well at the center and energy bursts ..or even a cosmic womb in itself very original is it not? I don't recall seeing that in any other Trek or sci fi I've seen or read..

    I haven't seen every episode of legacy Trek, but has a ship ever thrown an asteroid at another ship before? If not, kudos to the writers for doing something original, that's no easy feat with Trek!

    @Leif. Sisko had the same reaction to Picard. It's emotional and perhaps logical. You can't completely recover from something like that. I thought it added depth to Shaw and made him much more 3 dimensional as opposed to jerk of the week

    Terrific episode and a great capper to what looked and felt like the fifth TNG film that never was. Even the grouches at RedLetterMedia liked it!

    After the nightmares that were the first two seasons, this is a very satisfying and appreciated course correction. Clearly the new showrunners love Trek and understand both that you can't just replicate Berman-era Trek or throw it out completely with the space baby's bath water.

    There's a great sense of balance and confidence, which was so sorely lacking before. If this was the first "act" of our ten-hour TNG finale, I'm no longer cautiously optimistic but excited to see what they've saved for the rest of the season.

    Bring on Geordi and Data (or Lore/B4??) !

    All the pearl-clutching over the F bombs is hilarious. Maybe even fucking hilarious.

    People, adults use colorful language. They always have, especially when the stakes are high. They always will. This isn't network TV in the '80s anymore, it's a feature not a bug.

    Let's be honest, this only ranks as "Good", caputal G, because we all have the taste of the previous seasons in our mouths.

    I agree with the review but with a note like "allright, given all we've been fed lately, I'll greet this one with open arms".

    Also.... the sheer fucking hubris on those writers! They have put a "fucking" and a "shit" in Picard's mouth. The JLP I remember, he is not.


    I am officially going to be the first one to remember "Contagion" where Riker says "If it becomes necessary to fight, can you arrange us some rocks to throw at them?"

    I think it was contagion. Anyhoo.

    To all the naysayers who call people stupid for liking the show: They're not stupid, they are just human beings with minds of their own. Like Kivas Fajo, I'm going to say to you: "Get used to it."

    To all those who are upset by the naysayers who are calling people stupid for liking the show: They're human beings with minds of their own. Like Kivas Fajo, I'm going to say to you: "Get used to it."

    I also am a human being with a mind of my own, and my take is, this reminds me of going to see Eric Clapton in Nashville c. 2000. He'd been trading on the acoustic version of "Layla" for a while, and many of his songs from that album were performed acoustically with Andy Fairweather Low and Nathan East sitting next to him, and lots of swirly spotlights and stuff. Doyle Bramhall III opened, and "Green Light Girl" was a highlight.

    But when Clapton whipped out the electric version of Layla, I jumped out of my seat. This is like Clapton doing the original, electric version of Layla, to me. Sure, he's not 25-year-old (or whatever) Clapton performing it with Duane Allman and The Dominoes, and I'm never gonna get to see that, but it was exciting enough to make me jump out of my seat and yell "YEAAAH!"

    I felt satisfied with this episode, and it's nice that it gave some emotional payoff to this current plot thread. I don't like waiting 10 weeks to get a resolution to a story; I've watched 45-minute Star Trek Episodes for ... oh wow, 36 years now.

    Thank you for paying off the current story in a good way, Trek Crew. I'm for it.

    Now, where we go from here, remains to be seen, but I'm getting used to it.

    (don't screw up)

    Excellent episode, by far the best of the series thus far! I felt like I was watching the TNG crew from the old days facing a crisis and thinking their way through it. As Jammer pointed out, what's different this time around is they also have to deal with their own personal baggage while doing so. Very exciting to watch the expert blending of both classic TNG and modern Trek. I see some comments about the resi-goo thing. I can live with that. Perhaps in the years since DS9 they learned that all Changlings actually leave behind microscopic residue, like humans leaving discarded skin cells behind.

    Definitely 4 stars!

    Let’s be honest, this was a legitimately great episode of Star Trek. The doomers can bite their tongues until season 5 of Discovery spins up or until this season (hopefully doesn’t) go downhill.

    Picard never said the F word in the four TNG movies either and neither did anybody else. Their PG ratings were high enough to get away with one or two non sexual uses.

    I personally curse like a sailor, it just seems wrong here especially from the legacy characters.

    @Daniel Prates
    Um... actually Picard did say "merde" in at least one TNG episode, "Elementary Dear Data".

    It can be a bit startling rewatching the episode if you didn't know what it meant back in the day.

    There was never an incident of an asteroid being thrown at a ship via tractor beam in old Trek. There was sort of the reverse, where (in effect) a tractor beam pushed a ship into a stellar core fragment.

    "Oh my, they used profanity in Star Trek" is not an interesting complaint. It will never be an interesting complaint.

    Definitely the best PIC episode of S3 and the best one for me since "Nepenthe" -- did plenty right with the characters all on-point, good TNG-style problem-solving, very Trekkian in its message, but also a bit over-the-top with the emphasis on fan service. I think a better balance needed to be struck between fan service (which is what PIC S3 is primarily about) and just telling a good Trek story.

    With PIC the plots are largely inconsequential I'd say -- it's all about the characters (whose legacies are already made). They were all in good form here, including Shaw and Jack Crusher. And no Raffi is a good thing, although her partnership with Worf is tolerable. But this episode really made me appreciate once again how special some of the TNG crew were (Crusher, Riker, Troi, and of course Picard).

    Some flaws for me: I wish they'd stop with the flashback parts -- this is a bit too pedantic with establishing what lesson Picard or Riker learned way back when and what he's going to go thru in the present. I sort of feel that the writers/producers are treating the audience like idiots such that everything needs to be spelled out.

    As for Picard's F-bomb, there's no need for that at all, but at least I could see why he uttered it. Perhaps it was a way to relate better with Jack. I didn't feel it was gratuitous like it was on DSC.

    Riker using tractor beams to hurl an asteroid at the Shrike was ridiculous. It's way over the top. And I felt Bev Crusher was venturing into La Forge territory with initiating the plan of riding the waves. It's fine for her to deduce the nebula is a womb but here she is going on about gravity and waves etc. There should have been an engineer doing this.

    Of course the episode has to end with some kind of mystery -- like these apocalyptic visions Jack has. Don't think we're done with the Shrike either -- not sure what's up with Vadic. Maybe she's a merged entity with a changeling?

    3 stars for "Part Four No Win Scenario" -- really felt like a true TNG episode in many parts but felt the writers/producers tried to cram too many TNG callbacks. But it's a very good story, good tension on a number of fronts and good to see Picard being well portrayed again after how "Seventeen Seconds" ended. Give the character some respect!

    Wow, a four-star review. I was expecting 3.5, as nothing from nuTrek has gotten a full four stars before.

    Personally, I'd put it at 3.5, but either way it was a very strong episode, one of the absolute best of the streaming era.

    Star Trek: Discovery
    "If Memory Serves"
    4 stars

    Air date: 3/7/2019
    Written by Dan Dworkin & Jay Beattie
    Directed by T.J. Scott

    Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

    Though personally, nothing has come close to 4 stars unfortunately.

    Feels like Star Trek is being written by adults again. Can't believe I am enjoying a season of NuTrek. It feels like a completely different show now. Here's hoping the goodness continues.

    Also hoping we get to see the entire old TNG crew working together before the end of the season.

    The lights only go in when hit with energy (ahum).. opposite from what we usually see zD

    The writers trying to explain the functioning holodeck and a bunch of hipsters entering to join the intimate party.

    Grumpy old captain stays forever negative. Depression certainly isn't cured.

    Asteroid throwing mass speed energy something?

    The ship is all in tact at the end. Voyager style.

    One dimensional villain happens to bump into the Titan. Chances are... the one dimensional villain is helped by a stereotype low scary angry voiced meat ball. Changelings are now meatballs.

    And all Lost mysteries remain intact as were in episode 1.

    Jack Jezus is the choose One. The devil tries to convince him to switch sides.

    Anyway, again somewhat entertaining, but it still feels as a severely stretched out scifi boom boom movie with artificial emo moments.

    The very first comment here made me laugh, as I imagined its "writer" furiously typing away in anger.

    It's just astounding how some people go out of their way to nitpick anything and everything. It makes me wonder: did TOS fans who grew up with that show have the same whiny diaper baby attitude towards TNG when it was on? Were they actively finding minutiae to point out and criticize?

    I mean, seriously -- being offended by some colorful metaphors? Trek Gatekeepers, see what I did there? By the way, if those metaphors are that dire to your well being, I strongly suggest that you never watch the Deadwood series. Those delicate sensibilities won't get through one episode!

    Humans need very little to form antagonistic groups and when that has happened biases come in.

    Could you give examples of people disliking the show attacking the people who do like it? So far I have mostly noticed people who like the show attacking the ones who don't.

    Is Picard Season 3 fantastic, or is it dreadful? Both, and I'll return to this question below. Picard Season 3 is the wholesale copying of the successful "Mandalorian" formula in the Trek universe, and so far, it has been not just a success, but a stunning success.

    What is the Mando formula? Writing a deep, creative, and thoughtful show for new and old fans alike? In 2020s Hollywood? Haha, NO. It is spending as little as possible while writing a threadbare plot with Nostalgia and Emotion knobs pegged on 11. If supply of those runs low, add a Cuteness knob. If there are any aspects that fans dislike, remove them if non-central. That's it!

    The plot and spending weaknesses won't matter, because the fan reaction to the Nostalgia and Emotion knobs will drown them out. The modern Youtube critic is beholden entirely to their subscriber base, and will rarely oppose them in a review. Win the masses and you win the reviewers by proxy.

    Picard Season 3 is Mando strategy, and you don't even have to squint to see it. Limited budget, check. Nostalgia/Emotion, check. Filibuster-length conversations to kill time, check. And in nearly FOUR ENTIRE EPISODES of entertainment, you have less plotting than a single TNG episode. QED.

    Now here's a curve ball. Picard S3 is not only doing the Mando dance well, but it can OUT-Mando Mando, because it has one key advantage: it applied the Mando strategy in its FINAL season, so it doesn't need to repeat it. Mando S2 began to show the cracks in the foundation, and the "spend little, say little, throw old shit" strategy began to look obvious.

    Long time ago, when RLM were not yet hypocrites, they made a hilarious video mocking the nostalgic strategy used in Rogue One, i.e., "X-Wing, I know what that is!!". So when Mando based an entire premise on it? Crickets. When Picard S3's first four episodes clearly show the same? Crickets.

    Is Picard S3 good? YES. We want to see Riker and we do! We want to see Johnny Lou say "engage!" and he does! The internet nostalgia engine tickles our dopamine receptors, and we love to see OTHERS say they love it! OMG, its great, you're great, I'm great, we're great, and... well, them. No, they're not great at all.

    That last group are fans who attach more to Star Trek as a vehicle for science fiction than a social or entertainment phenomenon. They want to see grand narratives, thoughtful stories, and don't care if its an engineering red shirt's fever dream. Story beats fan service for these folks. And for them, Picard S3 is DREADFUL.

    TLDR, Picard is a money-making venture, end of. Enjoy it for what it is, criticize it for what it is not, and realize that lovers and haters have valid points.


    Oops, forgot to comment on your earlier note regarding groups attacking each other. My sense of the group dynamics research is that the "Likers attacking Dislikers" direction will emerge early in most situations, because humans form attachments based on similarity judgments and not from dissimilarity judgments. Forum members X and Y have something in common if they like Picard, because Picard is a stable set of features. Forum members W and Z both dislike Picard, but we can't determine if it is due to the same or different factors present or omitted. Over time, the Dislikers group may become more stable as a reaction to Liker attacks, because they now have a similarity, a defensive posture to the same external attack.

    Interesting to read these comments, and to listen to people call each other stupid.

    Can't really join in there. I've been on both sides of the debate, so if I'd ever agree with one side, I'd automatically have to label myself stupid too, and while that may be true, it's not something I'd admit just like that 😄

    My feeling after this episode now is : okay. I will let my guard down. Is there stuff to nitpick? Sure. Is there nutrek artefacts like weird lighting choices, melodrama and plot weaknesses spreaded all over the episode? Sure.

    But is the quantity of these issue anywhere near what we've come to expect from nutrek in general? Not even close. Maybe a fifth. Let's make it one seventh ;-)

    It feels kind of pointless to me to treat this in such a binary black VS white way. S3 clearly is a lot better than S1 and S2. A lot of mistakes from the past have been fixed. All of them? Certainly not. But easily enough of them that i (1) want to acknowledge this and (2) gladly caught myself in suspension of disbelief for the first time in a looooong time in trek.

    So, I don't care about the holodeck explanation being stupid (yet Canon). I got news for you guys : the holodeck has *always* been stupid. I remember myself thinking it's stupid in the late 80s when it was introduced (and instantly overused) in TNG.

    I don't care. I care about acting. It's at this very moment that I notice that probably one of the reasons why I was never thrown out of the plot was because there was no Raffi level acting in this episode. What a difference it makes.

    I continue to like the exterior shots a lot. It's probably the first time in nutrek that the CGI doesn't feel like Marvel goofyness to me. Ships move slowly and have weight. Camera angles are done with a lot of taste and don't like a computer game like in the other nutrek outings. I will even forgive this episode the stupidly low lighting because for once, there was an actual plot reason for it.

    I feel in good hands with the new tone. You can absolutely tell that whoever is in charge has a much clearer grasp of the trek vibe than Alex whose influence seems to have all but disappeared. Good. Go away Alex. You're not needed anymore. Thanks for nothing, and byyyyye.

    And when done right, those slightly shameless appeals at nostalgia actually entertain me. It's "oh no you didn't!" moments that make me smile. I'm fine with that.

    And with all due respect everybody, but complaints about 3 mild curse words, that's just ridiculous. Who cares.

    I agree with Jammer, this is a 4 star episode, and it is the best NuTrek episode so far, but no that does not mean it belongs within the ranks of the franchise greats. At this point, merely getting it right feels like a masterpiece. This episode still had issues, but the quality is clearly here, the characterization is here, the Trek spirit is here.

    I'm glad they gave Shaw his moment.

    I'm also surprised at how good Jonathan Frakes is here. Honestly, this might be his best acting that I've seen. He hits an emotional core. I am very, very impressed with him. And I always liked Riker.

    I think what helped a lot of this was not cutting away to Worf and (ugh) Raffi. Keep the action focused where it is interesting. I am not looking forward to resuming the Raffi story.

    Good points, @Mosley. And I know @Booming and others expressed similar sentiments above regarding personal attacks being pointless.

    I can't speak for others bothered by the swearing, but for me, its not the words themselves that are the problem, it is their coordinated use with the hip and quippy wink-wink-fingerguns dialogue: "I'm cool and young and hip and I fucking swear." Granted, that was a major issue with SNW, and Picard S3 is somewhat better managed.

    Just IMO, but expletives used in dialogue land better when they represent a momentary LOSS of controlled speech, not a planned intensifier, e.g. said in muttered tones at a moment of defeat or resignation.

    "did TOS fans who grew up with that show have the same whiny diaper baby attitude towards TNG when it was on? Were they actively finding minutiae to point out and criticize?"

    Oh dear lord yes. You can see a bit of it in the Reception section of the Farpoint wiki article:

    I was a teen for most of the 80s, so don't know if that counts as growing up with TOS but loved TOS. Me and my buddies watched TNG religiously. We didn't diss it but we sure weren't bragging about many great episodes for the first couple seasons.

    We were aware of the hatedom but we weren't so well connected so it was more distant.

    Well, I see the usual suspects are back to spew trash turn this into another twitter style argument thread.

    4 stars. Best episode we have been presented in a long long time; regardless of the nitpicks.

    Carry on everyone.

    There is an important difference. This is not one of the first seasons. This is the last. It is literally the last chance of delivering a good season, at least for some.

    The NuTrek season I respected the most, even though I did not like it, was season 1 of Discovery. They tried lots of new things, most of it didn't work but at least they tried. Now it has come full circle. White guys shuffling command around. Lots of familiar details, characters are back and somewhat similar to their old selves. Seven's hair is flowing to the Nth degree. Tried and tested.

    Personally, I knew well before the start of this season that I would not like it because nostalgia or member berries do nothing for me. Quite the opposite really. Still, I'm hoping that it will be good for the others. If this season finally makes lots of people happy, then I will be happy. :)

    I feel I should clarify something in case someone felt attacked: when I call a show stupid I'm not in a million years calling people who enjoy it stupid. I enjoy tons of stupid things and people whose intellect I admire enjoy tons of stupid things too. I'm even enjoying Picard Season 3 on a primal level.

    @Narrissa's Bath Water presents an interesting division between the fans, but to a certain extant I think I'm in both groups. There is a lot here that I like and I actually look forward to the next episode. Some of the nostalgia hits home for me. Yet I can't get over the fact that this show remains fundamentally dumb, and I have reason to suspect that it because its creators aren't exactly cerebral people (again, this says nothing about the viewers). And yes, it pains me to lose my favorite outlet for intellectually satisfying episodic science fiction. There are many franchises that could be providing me with mindless fun and good characters, but only Star Trek was able to do all of it.

    It doesn't mean I hate Picard Season 3 or the people who like it, for crying out loud.

    BTW, my post may have implied that there was a huge number of TOS viewers older than me were TNG haters.

    It seems likely most of the hate would come from that age group, but I have no idea how many haters there actually were. The show was a ratings success right out of the gate which implied a small number.

    For me, the most relieving thing about this episode was that it successfully and entertainingly wrapped up a four-episode arc that felt like a complete story by itself. Even if the season eventually winds up hitting the pavement the same way season 2 did, there'll still be an entertaining TNG-reunion in this first batch to look back on fondly.

    I do feel some disconnect between Riker's story here and "Nepenthe" from season 1. The family as depicted there seemed like the loss of their son was something that still saddened them but that they had otherwise moved on from, together and stronger for it. Not a big deal. I've known plenty of families that put on a show for visitors but are all kinds of messed up behind the scenes.

    "Apparently the darkness is a glitch they’re working on fixing. Even correctly it’s still too dark but at least it will be better. The show is too good to be diminished by this issue. "

    That had to do with HDR apparently, which isn't standardized in any way anyway and I disable it on purpose since my tv is no good at it and I think it needs more maturing. Still 5his show is too dark in SDR too. Cinematic my ass. Even worse than the dramatic lighting on Generations in certain scenes. My tv is quite good with dark most stuff I throw at it. VA panel. Ok no OLED.

    You would almost think it is so dark to hide set details aka production values? It hurts the series and is totally unrealistic. Funny too how the light finally goes on whenever they get hit ;)

    After much thought, and an eye-straining rewatch, I have to say that Paramount should just be releasing the whole season. What are they waiting for? I did verify with a number of people that all 10 available online, which would explain the full season reviews that are already out.

    The reason I bring this up is because sitting around for a week with the very sour and unprofessional "you've killed us all," line up in the air did nothing for my reception of this episode. It's hard to know how you feel about a show when you don't know if the characters are real or imposters. Especially with a show that doesn't seem to be that familiar with its own characters.

    The episode had no emotional connection for me, I wish it did! I just feel like the script writers are giving us every excuse to tune out; I'm glad the magic is there for most of us. Part of my interest in TNG has always been science, and hopefully they will have some science on Picard eventually. I'll take Geordi and Data logically dissecting a problem over emotional meltdowns any day.

    @Patrick "You would almost think it is so dark to hide set details aka production values? "

    That, and also the hiding of wrinkles and other complexion flaws.

    "All the pearl-clutching over the F bombs is hilarious. Maybe even fucking hilarious.

    People, adults use colorful language. They always have, especially when the stakes are high. They always will. This isn't network TV in the '80s anymore, it's a feature not a bug."

    Thank you Joel, well said. A few others pointed out the same thing too. It would be unrealistic to not hear any profanity at this point, especially between decades-long pals.

    Nice review Jammer, your insights are always a good read. This is indeed a 4-star episode. Shaw's recount of the Wolf 359 battle, Jack's appearance at the end in that bar from 5 years ago, and Shaw and Seven outing the changeling represent the most potent moments of the episode for me, not that the rest wasn't compelling already.

    For the love of God - you're only stupid if you knowingly watch something you KNOW is bad and then you complain about it afterward. There is no debate here. Either you accept self-evident reality or live in some echo chamber of deluded souls.

    Which, Jammer, your site is unfortunately in danger of becoming.

    Re profanity:

    You mean the profanity? That's simply the way they talk here. Nobody pays attention to you unless you swear every other word. You'll find it in all the literature of the period.
    For example?
    Oh the collected works of Jacqueline Susann. The novels of Harold Robbins...
    Ah, the "Giants"


    This isn't the Kelvin timeline. Apparently, it's the Carlin timeline. Who knew.

    "I was a teen for most of the 80s, so don't know if that counts as growing up with TOS but loved TOS. Me and my buddies watched TNG religiously. We didn't diss it but we sure weren't bragging about many great episodes for the first couple seasons.

    We were aware of the hatedom but we weren't so well connected so it was more distant."

    I am in a similar age group though I was a bit younger than you. I too watched TOS and TNG religiously. But I can't say I knew anything about hatred of TNG. I mean unless someone in the schoolyard said "I hate TNG" I don't even know where you would hear such a thing. Did you attend conventions or something? Back then you wouldn't want to be seen talking about Star Trek publicly might add.

    Picard from TNG upon seeing himself portrayed in the future "Picard" series --

    "I would rather die as the man I was than live the life I just saw."

    Picard: "The test is whether the crew will follow where Commander Riker leads. His joviality is the means by which he creates that loyalty. And I will match his command style with your statistics anytime."

    Riker: "Remove yourself from the bridge. You've just killed us all."

    Picard: "I was trying to be nice. We should've stuck with Thomas. He was cooler anyways."

    Really enjoyed this and agree with the 4*. There are a few nitpicks like the on the nose “new life” and “boldly go” comments, but these are minor quibbles in the grand scheme of things. You have to wonder what they were thinking with S1 and S2.

    I do like that they gave Shaw some moments of success here. They mercifully didn’t waste time talking about his service in the Dominion War - his knowledge of changelings provided context. Good stuff. Another positive is how they show the Titan’s crew. The bridge crew seems quite competent and once they’re rolling with a plan, La Forge and the Bajoran executed Picard’s escape and Riker’s asteroid orders to perfection. The Vulcan science officer is good too. The rest of the crew is always running around, presumably doing everything they can to keep the Titan intact. Perhaps Shaw is a good captain after all.

    The only big negative is the Riker we see here and the Riker we see in S1. In Nepenthe and the finale, he’s still this bigger than life character, a loving husband and father. He leads the copy/paste armada against an equally large Romulan fleet and brings them to the brink of all-out war. That was tens of thousands of lives he randomly was given command and responsibility for.

    S3 Riker works if this was the first time we saw him in the show. His scene with Deanna at the end felt authentic. Another reason to pretend S1 and S2 never happened… with the exception of Laris. She can stay.

    A few comments:

    1. “The Darkness”.

    According to Terry Matalas on Twitter, the episode was not supposed to be as dark as it was initially. He posted a side by side of the benighted version and the correct version, and while still not flat 1980’s style network TV lighting, I don’t think it’s fair to criticize this element.

    2. “I clapped when I saw [insert nostalgic thing]”.

    Let’s be frank, no one got excited for Picard because they thought it was going to try something new. It was always expected to be a warm blanky from our younger days. There’s room enough in Trek for some shows to innovate and others to hew to familiar ways. DS9 and Voyager represented this contrast back in the 90’s. That said, nostalgia is only fun when it’s the icing on the cake. You still need a plot that facilitates character beats and leads to a satisfying conclusion. So far, PIC S3 is doing that.

    3. “We’re under attack!”

    It is genuinely funny when the same people show up in each episode’s comment section to whinge at length about every single little thing that pissed them off. I’ve been guilty of this myself (cough ST: Insurrection cough). It’s also amusing when people praise these new episodes like they’re Great Works of Art, sounding like PR flacks in the process. Maybe just cool it a little? And don’t do personal attacks.

    The darkness was there since episode 1. I do not even remember one bright scene. And that mistake was about the HDR master which you should be careful with anyway anytime. SDR at least has standards and agreed upon calibrations and that too was way too dar. It just feels all doom and gloom at the Titan. It's not that I can't follow what is happening. It's just too damn depressing. And the story is slooooooow... serial story telling. Too much time, too little to tell. Keep mysteries mysteries. See episode 4. Finally we leave the womb nebula.

    I forgot to add earlier, nice performance by the actor playing Jack. He really stood out this episode.

    I really didn't like this at all, although I'm aware that many will be hailing it as one of the most astonishingly profound things put out under the Trek banner and a fine return to form, because it has a spectacular ending and beats the audience over the head with simplistic emotional manipulation.

    I cannot express enough how much I absolutely hated, hated, hated the dialogue in this episode. The jarring swearing and 21st century quips that derailed any real emotional gravitas in any scene. The one scene that I actually thought was admirable and moving in this episode - Shaw's recounting of his experience of Wolf 359, which cleverly intercepted the all-too-saccharine and cloying would-be father-son holodeck forced bonding - was instantly undermined by Shaw himself muttering something about being an 'asshole'. I hate that the writers and producers do this. It's idiotic.

    The overall episode was padded out. It consisted of an unnecessarily slow-motion development of a plan to escape the gravity well - a plan that was so obviously going to be found and succeed that there were no real stakes. I was pleased that Shaw's experience from the Constance at Wolf 359 was the key to the success of the plan, but no, the writers and producers had to force in a false sense of urgency (two minutes and the Changeling appears, oh no!). The only pleasure I derived from this scene was Seven's reference back to 'Yes, Commander Seven' ('out of respect') from the other episode.

    And yet more quips.

    Yes, the ending was visually spectacular, and the speech from Picard sounded like it should have been impressive. But it didn't feel impressive. It felt like the writers and producers had written 'insert generic speech here' into the script, and then we get the jaw-droppingly out of place appearance of Jack in a cap taking the edge off even that attempt at a deep Starfleet moment. Because everything has to be turned into a soap opera. I don't care who Jack is. I really don't. I don't care about his relationship to the Picardbot 2000. I struggle to even care about the Picardbot 2000. I can see how important it is to Patrick Stewart to get these autobiographical confessions out for everyone to see, but I genuinely find it really uncomfortable to watch him treating this series as personal therapy.

    What a mess, even when it's self-consciously trying to puff up its chest and appear meaningful and accomplished.

    Oh, and more Red Angel-style mystery box bollocks at the end. Forgot to mention that. There must be an AI program churning these scripts out.

    "the jaw-droppingly out of place appearance of Jack"

    If I wasn't already rolling my eyes, that scene with Jack appearing in the bar would have gotten me turn off the show completely. Absolute cringe. It reminded me of Metallis imitating Woody Allen imitating Fellini. If Jack did not look so OLD, the scene could have played for laughs. Challenging to think that this script was the work of an adult mind. Please send the tawdry Star wars fantasy writers to a soap opera, so we can have all the feels and all the crying that has made post Enterprise trek so speshulll. Also the cope on this board is hilarious, if it was that good you wouldn't need to cope.

    This is probably the best Nu Trek episode I've seen. A lot of good moments reminiscent of classic Star Trek. There were still a lot of Nu Trek elements that we can't seemingly get rid of, the quips, the swearing, the dark visuals, the mystery box at the end etc. but overall an enjoyable episode that has Picard finally acting like Picard. Even Seven was acting a bit more like her old self.
    I didn't mind Shaw lashing out at Picard for Wolf 359, yeah it's been done before with Sisko and done better, but it explains why he's not a fan of Picard. I do wonder though why he has a former Borg on his crew, as his second in command no less. The "Odo pot" thing was silly. Do all Changelings carry around the exact same pot to rest in?!

    Just an OUTSTANDING 57 minutes of TREK!

    Not much to add. Everyone has hit all the outstanding stuff.

    Couple head-scratchers:

    #1. Why did that changling decide to shoot in the passageway when he walked past 7? All he did was give himself away and give 7 a change to shoot him. Why shoot the bucket? Why was it a Bajoran bucket?

    #2. Picard and Jack get to use the holodeck for drinks and a talk when the ship is starving for power? Hell, even Voyager addressed this.

    Great review Jammer.

    The foreshadowing-by-numbers is also becoming tedious in NuTrek. As soon as they mentioned Farpoint I sadly knew that the big reveal would be that the nebula womb was pregnant with Farpoint aliens. It's not subtle and it's not exciting when they do this.

    Hey Jammer! Your line about all time best ST episodes had me thinking--- maybe after Picard wraps up its run, I'd love to see how a "Jammer's Top 10 Episodes" list would stack up, factoring in ALL the series! I could go through those 4 star reviewed shows and add em up, but I wonder if your perspective and tastes have changed a bit over the decades anyway. :)

    If an existing "Top 10" is already around, apologies if I missed it!

    I have never attempted a Top 10 (or 20 or 50 or whatever) list. That would be really, really hard to do right, and I don't know that I could do it without it being halfway arbitrary. Too many blurry lines and apples to oranges, and if I did it 10 different times I would end up with 10 different lists.

    One of the high points of the episode to me was the way the second bar scene was handled. Picard tells the (rude to intrude) kids that Starfleet was all the family he ever needed. They cluelessly clap, and Picard gloats in their adoration. Back in the present, remembering, Picard's face sags and saddens. He realizes not only how he unknowingly rebuffed Jack, but what an asshole he was about it. This beautiful detail must be a result of Frakes' perceptive directing. I wish he had done all the episodes.

    Jammer, thanks for pointing out how this affected Jack, because I stupidly didn't pick up on that angle.

    How about reviewing the Expanse, or For All Mankind, or even Babylon 5?

    Well, ....

    "JANEWAY: What about alternative energy sources? Ensign Kim, have you had any luck getting power from the holodeck reactors?

    KIM: Not yet. We tried hooking them to the power grid and we ended up blowing out half the relays. The holodeck's energy matrix, it just isn't compatible with the other power systems."

    I guess this is why Jack and Picard could have some cheap whisky...

    @The Queen

    'This beautiful detail must be a result of Frakes' perceptive directing. I wish he had done all the episodes.'

    I definitely agree that Frakes' directing has been as flawless as ever in this episode and the last. Top quality directing, even in all that darkness. Love it when I see his name in the credits.

    "he family as depicted there seemed like the loss of their son was something that still saddened them but that they had otherwise moved on from"

    That's one of nuTrek's worst aspects, but to be fair it started in the TNG movies.

    After BOBW, we saw Picard trusted with command again Redemption he commanded an entire blockade fleet He even dealt with Borg again in Descent with no issues.

    But suddenly in First Contact he's a wreck again. And then there is PIC S2, which I wonlt even rehash.

    As for the bigger picture of Frakes said "action is what the fans want now".

    Well that's fine, but then STFU when old school fans criticize what passes for Trek nowadays.

    Critical discussion aside, I am wondering if all those who are claiming the picture is too dark are watching exclusively on pcs/computer monitors?

    I've been watching on my OLED with native app, and it looks consistently great.

    I liked the episode. Vadic seems like she might be some form of symbiote, and I wonder how many of her other limbs might be goo.

    The "Everybody has to be useful" thing was a bit overdone in the end, but still fun.

    Actually HAVING a reason for the holodeck to have power is something the Disco team probably wouldn't bother explaining. Also surprised they felt the need to have the Shrike jettison the portal weapon. Disco writers would be like, "They didn't use it cuz Picard has to win this time."

    The Picard/Fed cadets thing seemed a bit annoying and tacked on at first, but the interaction with Jack at the end made it all worth it. I could totally buy an answer like that from Picard... just the perfect thing to say to exactly the wrong person. Well done, & so much more thoughtfully written than literally everything from Disco.


    'Actually HAVING a reason for the holodeck to have power is something the Disco team probably wouldn't bother explaining.'

    I agree. While I think the justification for having the holodeck scene was flimsy and more dictated by the need to re-use the 'Ten Forward' bar set from the previous season (something I still don't like), I do appreciate that the writers and producers at least tried to provide a reasonably logical explanation, and that it tied into some (but not all) holodeck continuity - namely VOY.

    I was actually reminded of the final holodeck scene in VOY 'Twisted' which is much more of an unexpectedly touching scene than this episode. But in both cases I do somewhat like the idea of the holodeck as a safe room or sanctuary of final resort, as implausible or impractical as it might be - and more could have been done with that idea.

    But I found it grating when 'JL' said to Jack that the Ten Forward Bar simulation meant a lot to him. I don't mind retcons but this made no sense even within PIC. A simulation of Ten Forward on the D yes, but not Guinan's dive bar from last season. Fast and loose with emotional continuity there.

    @Bok and @Rob

    You both touched on something that is very evident this season. The writers are trying. Do they get it right every time? Certainly not. But they put effort into the writing this time around that was not evident in S1/S2 of Picard and most of Discovery.

    I am personally more forgiving when I see they are at least trying to have everything hang together and make sense.

    Another thing I really liked was the four episode mini arc. They had a story to tell and they didn’t try to stretch it out like in S2. The season has been planned out well so far.

    @Jason R: "But I can't say I knew anything about hatred of TNG. I mean unless someone in the schoolyard said "I hate TNG" I don't even know where you would hear such a thing. Did you attend conventions or something? "

    I started college late in the decade and there were more nerds, plus we had Bulletin Board Systems, Usenet, etc.

    @Bucktown "Critical discussion aside, I am wondering if all those who are claiming the picture is too dark are watching exclusively on pcs/computer monitors?

    I've been watching on my OLED with native app, and it looks consistently great."

    OLEDs are the undisputed champion for viewing blacks.

    I have a Sony x900H 65" LED TV; had very few issues with black crush (loss of fidelity in especially dark areas of an image). So far as Picard, there is noticeable crush - IMO exceeding that of Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon's notoriously gloomy episodes. It hasn't been enough to bother me, but it was evident in a few scenes. I imagine watching on an older / lower quality / lower-res screen would be problematic.

    So far as fandom and criticism: Personally, I think "it sucks" is as valid as "it's great". But in fandom, while there is often an insistence that criticism be constructive, the same standard is rarely set for praise. The media we consume passes through our own unique prism. We all articulate in a manner that reflects our personalities; some of us are very thoughtful and analytical, whereas others are more emotional / shoot-from-the-hip (I'm probably somewhere in the middle).

    Let's also remember most of us have been engaged with fandom for a LONG time. We all have our own experience and different expectations of what we want out of this. While we might not know exactly what we want, we often know what we DON'T want when we see it. For me, I don't find it easy to wipe the slate clean after two very underwhelming seasons and a lack of faith in the creative center of the franchise. I set the bar higher, whereas others might be more generous. I have a very low tolerance for quippy dialogue, unless it's well placed and / or doesn't sound stupid. Others are perfectly fine with quippy, wise-cracking characters. I compare shows like Picard to other modern shows I rate highly, whereas others keep comparisons to Trek v. other Trek. Yadda yadda ... anyway, to quote Ivanova "if you begin to approach a point, make it."

    Things are very polarized with most online venues having a strong bias one way or the other. I would say Jammer's comments section is one of the few places left that has a healthy balance. It also manages to persist without any heavy-handed moderating or overbearing groupthink shouting out dissenting voices - something we should all be grateful for. If there is one constant among us, it's that we all care about Trek, even if it frustrates the beejesus out of us at times.

    I think not enough credit is being given to the role of Shaw.
    He's a foil for Riker.
    His Wolf 359 speech isn't (only, at least), about Picard - it serves to flesh out Shaw as a character, and more crucially to contrast with Riker.
    Both of them, in these first few episodes, struggle with personal loss and guilt; but we see Will rise above that and largely through trusting his friends and companions.
    Shaw isolates himself. He feels guilt at being one of a few to survive arbitrarily from a group of people he emphasises were his friends.
    This is a mirror to Rikers journey over these episodes.

    That's good writing.


    "Oh dear lord yes. You can see a bit of it in the Reception section of the Farpoint wiki article:

    I was a teen for most of the 80s, so don't know if that counts as growing up with TOS but loved TOS. Me and my buddies watched TNG religiously. We didn't diss it but we sure weren't bragging about many great episodes for the first couple seasons.

    We were aware of the hatedom but we weren't so well connected so it was more distant."

    I'm old enough to remember that there was some discontent about TNG not being "real Star Trek" because there was no Kirk, no Spock, no Bones, etc. But the amount of nitpicking that goes on now? I guess the lack of Internet connection is the difference.

    Despite that discontent, TNG's pilot went on to be seen by 27 million people, and I'll bet that every single person who grumped about *that* NuTrek was watching...

    ...not unlike today, where the same malcontents who are posting diatribes about what Trek is supposed to be and this ain't it *still* continue to watch the series. Why subject yourself to something you obviously don't enjoy? Is hate-watching that powerful of a drug?

    I'm not saying the Discovery-and-beyond series have been perfect, but geez.


    "Why subject yourself to something you obviously don't enjoy? Is hate-watching that powerful of a drug?"

    Speaking as someone who has watched a lot of NuTrek and not enjoyed most of it (to say the least - Picard season 2 was a most miserable experience and maybe the worst thing Trek has ever put out), I can tell you it's not so much as hate watching as it is still wanting to be connected to the Trek community and have a knowledge base about what's going on. Even if it's bad, there's still valuable discussion into why it's bad.

    If these were random sci-fi shows with no characters or connection to Trek, I guarantee you I would not continue to watch after a few awful episodes nor most of the people here. If Discovery was not Trek and just did the Orville type reconfiguration of names and makeup, I probably would have only tuned into a few episodes before dropping it. But I watched 3 full seasons and half of season 4 before throwing in the towel. It became too painful rather than just dull. And that's likely why it's gotten away with more dreck than a new idea that has to prove itself off the bat.

    With all that said, I do think history may be a little kinder to Discovery seasons 1 & 2. I think at the time of its release, given that it was the first new Trek show in over a decade, fans were expecting something more in the classic mold - a strong captain and crew exploring strange new worlds with an optimistic spirit.

    I think the latter aspect was especially crucial at the time - Trump had recently been elected in the US and a bit of optimism of the future would have been an extremely welcoming escape. Instead, the darkness in its tone right off the bat matched the tone of current geopolitical realities. Absolutely no escapism there.

    In retrospect, the plot of season 1 wasn't so bad and the existence of SNW softens the darkness. Season 2 had some stupidity but the Pike/Spock moments keep it afloat. The less said about Season 3 and 4, however, the better.

    Personally, I glanced at the NuTreks (including Picard 1&2), and quickly bailed.

    For me, it's very simple. I don't like "darker and edgier" Trek, don't want to see a beaten down depressed Picard, and I pretty much DESPISE PREQUELS.

    Didn't like the Star Wars prequels or Enterprise. Enterprise epitomized a lot of the problems. Very lifeless (largely by the future being set) and yet there would be cutesy moments ("the Borg! The Ferengi! Just don't say your names!!"). Prequels tend to be annoying cheap backfill.

    I won't dismiss them out of hand, I actually liked Better Call Saul, but the bar is very high.

    I laughed, I cried, I cheered. I'd be willing to watch this episode 15 or 20 more times (6 so far.)

    Also, thank-crap for whoever composed a real score for this season (as opposed to the dull, yawn-inducing Berman-era [sorry Rick, you're otherwise awesome] tones or Disco S1-4 or Picard S1&2 just playing their main theme over & over)

    Definitely getting the TNG feels here, with good writing, characterisations and direction (Frakes’ best) good idea to have no Raffi and I felt a Riker manoeuvre quip was coming with the asteroid trick. Interesting that Deanna is always on FaceTime- I suspect the actress is self conscious about her appearance?

    Actually worth watching again. Felt like Jack was going to tell Picard something before he was interrupted by Shaw.

    Who is Sydney’s mother?

    [ There are some clunky negatives common to nu trek that don’t really scan, but… let’s not go there].

    I wouldn't go as far as to say this is 4 stars, but its really good stuff.

    The nit-picking of continuity and "canon" is to be expected, but I don't think this is a specific criticism of ST:Picard - it's been happening throughout the history of Trek. Updating SFX of the Changlings when they get more improved? Check. (almost every species in Star Trek!) Darker interiors of the ship? Check (They've been toying with this since First Contact). Throwbacks to previous episodes/series? Check.

    I think continuity issues are not a valid criticism against a particular series, because they themselves are a feature of Star Trek in general. What matters is whether the break or change adds something to the story.

    The swearing does bug me though. It doesn't seem to add anything because all the characters seem to do it quite often, so it doesnt have any impact. I was reminded of of Wrath of Khan when Saavik says "Damn" during the Kobayashi Maru, and it really upped the tension, partly because she's vulcan and it was quite odd, but also because its so rarely heard.


    'You both touched on something that is very evident this season. The writers are trying. Do they get it right every time? Certainly not. But they put effort into the writing this time around that was not evident in S1/S2 of Picard and most of Discovery.

    I am personally more forgiving when I see they are at least trying to have everything hang together and make sense.'

    I fully agree that the current writers are trying a lot more than anything we saw in S1 and S2 of PIC or in all of DIS that I saw (I did as I was told and stopped watching it a couple of seasons ago), and it's right to give credit where credit's due there.

    In fact I'd say it's indisputable at this point that the current crop of writers are trying their best. Unfortunately for them and for us they're encumbered by being constrained by what has already been done in S1 and S2 ('JL' the flesh-and-blood robot who is nothing like Jean-Luc Picard, Seven the alcoholic who is nothing like Seven, the character of Raffi, etc etc) and even more so by NuTrek tropes of bad dialogue, nihilism, grimdark deconstruction/hatred/forgetfulness of everything that's gone before, filler, poor arc planning, mystery boxes, CGI spectacle, etc etc. The latter seem to be presribed and driven by the twenty or so producers NuTrek is constantly burdened with.

    I dare say that of the present writers had had control of PIC from the start it would have been more Trek-like and less Michael Bay Transformers-like. But unfortunately that is not what happened, and we have to relate to the reality of what has not been a very successful sequel for the most part. I think most people here would agree that it's only been this episode and the last in which PIC has come anything close to fulfilling expectations of good Trek, let alone expectations of a TNG sequel.

    Guys, do you really think that the writers for the first two seasons of the flagship show of the new Paramount+ (CBSAllAccess) streaming service didn't try?


    Odd way to play devil's advocate. One would imagine they tried, within the goals they had set themselves or that had been set for them by the producers or the company. Even failures 'try'. The more pertinent question here is not whether they 'tried' or not, but why exactly they didn't succeed.

    Why do you think they didn't succeed, Booming? What did they do right and wrong in those first two seasons? What worked and what didn't?

    "Critical discussion aside, I am wondering if all those who are claiming the picture is too dark are watching exclusively on pcs/computer monitors?

    I've been watching on my OLED with native app, and it looks consistently great."

    O my... I can see fine what's going on the screen. That does not make it well lit. It is just a dark atmosphere that has no place on a Star Trek star ship. Great darks are only great when they have a purpose. Like a scene at night, or cave, or damaged space ship, or... here you only see lights when they are hit. Can't even remember one bright seen at all. Its the night ship crew constantly or something xD

    ".not unlike today, where the same malcontents who are posting diatribes about what Trek is supposed to be and this ain't it *still* continue to watch the series."

    Not this malcontent. I really am done this time. Season 2 Picard really was The End for me watching Trek content.

    But I still love coming here to watch you all suffer. I'm kind of a bastard like that.

    @Jason R.

    'Not this malcontent. I really am done this time. Season 2 Picard really was The End for me watching Trek content.

    But I still love coming here to watch you all suffer. I'm kind of a bastard like that.'

    You're not missing much, despite the gushing relief about PIC S3 from some. My curiosity got the better of me and I am watching it, but I genuinely don't see what's got everyone so enthusiastic. NuTrek seems to have lowered the bar for what many people consider to be Trek and good Trek at that. Not me though.

    I stopped watching DSC two seasons because it was tedious, moronic rubbish. I don't regret that in the slightest.

    I don't find so-called 'malcontents' boring (their analysis is usually well-considered and persuasive). What have noticed is that there's a very pushy group of 'hater haters' on here and elsewhere who simply cannot cope with the fact that many people think DSC and PIC are a dog's dinner. Why they are so invested in trying to get people to swear shit is caviar with regards just these two series is beyond me. (They don't care about LDS or PRO, for example.) It's bizarre. I sometimes wonder if they're DSC and PIC production staff, they're that offended at people not adoring DSC and PIC they way they're supposed to.

    @Bok R'Mor
    They wanted to turn the Star Trek franchise into a more easily digestible action adventure franchise. No more long debates about philosophy and ethics in a pretty drama free world. Unfortunately for CBS NuTrek was a late comer to the stage. There were several fairly well made Sci Fi shows around. The Expanse, Black Mirror and Westworld for example. All three were far above average and there are numerous other sci fi show who were quite alright. A tough market. My opinion is that Discovery wasn't going as great as they hoped. So they started to bring in nostalgia bait like Spock, some of the TOS crew and the Enterprise.

    The ST:Picard show is obviously already a very timid idea and even more Nostalgia bait. That season 1 and 2 ended with the death of one of the most popular TNG characters is another choice that doesn't scream bold writing. But hey the Data death scene worked. Many people loved it, not me though. As I mentioned in another post. Member berries do nothing for me, I just feel emotionally manipulated by a multi billion dollar company waving old toys in front of my face.

    Back to Star Trek Picard. It was clear that it would not get many seasons. Stewart is pretty old and probably didn't want to play the role anymore. Stewart has a hundred million in the bank which means that even a sum above 15-20 million wouldn't do much for him (he got 14 million for Nemesis and 12 million for the last TNG season). In the realm of Star Trek Stewart is comparable to an oligarch. They probably said to him. You can do whatever you want. He wanted to have influence on the writing.

    Problem is that Patrick Stewart is rich and famous for decades now so he likely has the usual benevolent aristocrat view on society without really understanding what is going on or any actual will to change the system that has made him rich, famous and beloved.

    Season 1 and 2 both felt like they were talking down to the audience and in a very simplistic way. Climate change, intolerance or the ever increasing wealth gap (and for the US it is increasing for 50 years now; Germany 30 years). Those are all important topics but there is a reason why for example the wealth gap get worse and worse. That is how the system works and is supposed to work. Capitalism transforms all system be they democratic our autocratic into oligarchies but that is pretty heady and complicated so they took the cheapest way out. Climate change is baaaaad but we can solve it with a thingamabob from a moon! So easy. It is amazingly stupid, even though in a way fitting because it seems that we have kind of given up on stopping global warming and are now hoping that tech something something will save us. Still, the fact remains all the societal issues mentioned were tackled in the most shallow way. Then there was the whole Patrick Stewart personal stuff like I love my mum, certain guilty feelings and a slight Jesus complex.

    All this was then mixed up with the usual "what is popular" committee thinking and that special Kurtzman sauce (by the way, kurtz is an old way to write the german word small; Yes, Alex Kurtzman's name means small-man)

    Another important factor were expectations. People say that they like to pretend that season 1 and 2 do not exist but they are essential for the relative success of season 3. Lowered expectations are always easier to fulfill. In a way season 3 is the Force Awakens of Star Trek. Pretty good compared to what came before.

    It all wasn't going too well in the numbers department and they CBS thought, let's burn some extra cash, get the old TNG crew back and give people comfy. White guys are in command and fill 80% of the hero slots (so that the "white guys are the most discriminated" crowd doesn't complain), there is good action, a solid story that makes sense so far and all the TNG people kind of act like their original characters (not really in my opinion but the majority seems to think so). Season 3 is the safest bet imaginable and it has a good chance of bringing lots of people back for all the others shows they probably want to make. Season 3 fits perfectly into the times. The last years were confusing and depressing and this is a comfort blanket.

    Does this season challenge the audience? No. Does it have shoddy writing in parts? Yes. Is there a huge amount of Nostalgia bait? Absolutely. Do people care? No.

    And I think that is totally fine.

    To quote the philosopher Al Bundy:" I'm taking that trophy back. Not for me, but for the children. So they can look at that trophy and know that they too can peak at 17." :)
    (Sorry, I just wanted to work that quote in somehow)

    I had to watch it a 2nd time to ensure there was no Raffi. I don’t get all the dominion/changeling stuff because I always fall asleep somewhere in Season 2 of DS9. Never have completed all the episodes awake.

    Those were definitely farpoint induced alien babies.

    My biggest fear? An upcoming Hour Long episode of just Raffi and Worf.

    The first episode of new era Trek that both feels a little bit like Trek and what was promised for ST:Picard to begin with - an exploration of beloved characters years after their prime.

    Enough has been said about what’s wrong with nuTrek so I won’t add more here. My minor annoyance last episode was that they had to make our characters dumb to add tension. Riker’s tactical plan: run. Picard’s: shoot. While I can accept (and was hoping for) is that these men are no longer at the top of their game. We age, and we lose some of our skills and sharpness. But not to this degree. These men were the captain and first officer of the federation flagship. In episode 3 they showed the tactical prowess of C-student cadets.

    4 redeemed it for me to some degree. They still came across as slightly lesser than they once were -which I think is appropriate for where they are in their life. But they solved problems by…talking! And listening to each other. And working the problem. How very 90’s! Picard came across like Picard. Somewhat doubting himself, definitely struggling, but with some shade of his old self.

    It worked. And it would have worked from season 1 if they went this way. Here’s hoping they keep it up. You get the sense that this season they are at least trying. The cynicism of s1-2 seem gone and there seems to be some desire to be, at least somewhat, true to something resembling Star Trek. That includes an honest attempt at honoring who these characters are without being totally shackled to what they were. That’s good story telling and better late than never I suppose.

    @Booming “Guys, do you really think that the writers for the first two seasons of the flagship show of the new Paramount+ (CBSAllAccess) streaming service didn't try?”

    I should have expanded, I was making a specific point about nitpicking episodes and trying to say that if the writers make an effort to respect canon, operate within the rules of the Trek universe, and attempt to explain why things are happening the way they are, then I will be more forgiving with my nitpicks.

    For example, they explained why Picard and Jack were in the holodeck in a way that respected canon and made some degree of sense. It’s that attention to detail that keeps me immersed in the story.

    A good example of no effort at all in this regard is season 3 of Discovery, where nothing that happened made sense and no attempt was made to explain anything. The writers only cared about the emotional scenes. They treated it like a soap opera, not a science fiction show.

    S2 of Picard might be another example but I’m honestly not sure what the hell happened there. I actually thought the overarching concepts of the season were good, but the detailed writing and general execution were horrible. So, either no effort or the writers are just terrible?

    To your point I went into S3 with very low expectations, but I think it’s been pretty good so far. But I don’t think it’s really TNG’s successor, I’d analogize it more to Voyager.

    Hoky shit, what a ride that was. I enjoyed every minute of it, as well as reading Jammer's always astute review. On a side note, I hope Deanna will not only be seen through screen shots in the show, and will make a meaningful appearance.

    I also chuckled at the first comment. There is genuine criticism of any Star Trek series or episodes, and then, there are those whose sole purpose is to crap (without losing a minute, it seems) on a show that they hate but spend time to keep watching. To each their own.

    Booming: "Stewart is pretty old and probably didn't want to play the role anymore. Stewart has a hundred million in the bank which means that even a sum above 15-20 million wouldn't do much for him (he got 14 million for Nemesis and 12 million for the last TNG season). In the realm of Star Trek Stewart is comparable to an oligarch. They probably said to him. You can do whatever you want. He wanted to have influence on the writing."

    From what I have read, this is pretty much exactly what happened. Stewart had to be talked into playing Picard again and would only agree to a more personal, biographical look at him. The decision to go ahead with that kind of story is at the bottom of much of the frustration with the series. Most fans would not want to see their beloved, heroic, ever positive, "pure" captain wrestling with issues of old age and a traumatic childhood. Not that it's a bad story, but it's not the story everyone wanted. The thing is, I have to respect Stewart's attitude from an artistic point of view - the better the artist, the less they want to repeat themselves. So this was always going to be a hard sell to the fans regardless of how good it was, and it put the writers in a difficult position. What it looks like now is that Season One brought Picard up out of the emotional hole he had dug himself into, Season Two tried to heal the emotional wound, and Season Three is aiming to reinstate him as a whole, healthy person again, along with tying up the stories of the rest of the cast. Doing for Next Gen what the Generations movie did for TOS, in other words. If they can accomplish all that in a reasonably satisfying way, I'll be impressed. They certainly had a few flat tires along the way in the first two years, but this year, so far so good.

    How many crikey chagrined smiles for Jack Crusher? Could be a drinking game.

    The Starfleet Orchestra sure got a workout

    "NuTrek seems to have lowered the bar for what many people consider to be Trek and good Trek at that. Not me though."

    Exactly. They could have created their own universe, like The Expanse did, if they wanted to do things this differently.

    Instead they feast on Star Trek like a parasite so they can have the built in brand and cultivate memberberries and pollute canon with absurdity.

    On my, I did not expect so much confrontation about this episode.
    Take it easy people, it is art, for some it works, for some it doesn't.

    I absolutely loved it. It is a 10/10 for me.
    Imho the best ST episode of the new Trek era and a very very good ST episode in general. I cannot remember the last time it felt that good watching something Star Trek. And it is not only nostalgia, nostalgia alone is not enough, we had plenty of it in the previous seasons and it didn't work.

    This episode was just boring. It had less stupidity in it, but only because it had less things happening in it period. Literally the only thing I liked about it was the revelation at the end where we see Jack did seek out Picard and Picard said exactly the wrong thing to make him stay away.

    The rest of it was just... meh. It's really telling how people are gravitating to this as if it were fantastic, despite it having the exact same flaws they've been complaining about for 2 previous seasons. I remember people complaining about the ships in season one showdown having no apparent weight. I haven't seen anyone mention how the Shrike bounces around when hit as if it were a billiard ball.

    People just walk by all the annoying little things they harped on in previous seasons. This is clearly due to the nostalgia factor the season is pushing like dope dealers to meth heads in a trailer park.

    Booming keeps mentioning the term, member berries. I finally felt compelled to look up what the hell she was talking about. Since I hate South Park, I had no idea. I'm still not sure if that's not a misnomer, but it's as good a term as any other for why many people like this show.

    Thu, Mar 9, 2023, 7:34pm (UTC -6)
    "Jammer; "Shaw has the useful idea to track the Changeling from residue left in its regeneration receptacle"

    They don't leave residue....or "resigoo".. Every morsel of them is retained. After Garak released Odo from the torture device and Odo was able to finally liquify again, we saw every flake that had detached from him gooify and reattach to the whole. When Bashir "borrowed a cup of goo" from ends up being less than an ounce but Odo still declared that he was going to want that back."

    Changelings do indeed leave residue. Leaving a residue isn't the same as having a piece cut off or extracted. If he has life processes it would be strange for him NOT to leave any kind of traces behind. Odo was leaving residue behind in "The Alternate."

    Also, in "A Man Alone" Odo explicitly STATES that he leaves traces of his DNA behind wherever he goes:

    ODO: "It's a pretty neat package. His calendar shows he was planning to meet with me at the time of the murder. No one except a shape-shifter could get into the holosuite. And since I'd obviously be called there after the body was discovered, traces of my DNA wind up at the scene of the crime."

    I'm not sure the question of residue has even been addressed outside of these two episodes. But if you're basing your conclusion on the episodes where the doctor extracts material from a changeling like, for example, the season 3 finale, that's an entirely different thing than "residue."

    If there's an inconsistency it would be the amount of residue she finds, but that's merely a legitimate writer's choice to represent the evidence visually instead of filming 7 using a tricorder to detect the evidence. It doesn't change the overall function of the scene.

    Sorry for the double post.

    I meant to say I don't think what's her face is a changeling. Unless STP has seriously changed the characterization of how Changelings revere one another, then she was just treated like one of their slaves, like a Vorta or Jem Haddar, as opposed to one of the Founders. He spoke to her like, "Wench, you better have my Crusher!"

    I suppose a rival faction could just have different customs, but It really doesn't read like she's a Founder or a Changeling at all. All of that begs the question of what's up with her hand. Not a clue. But as others pointed out why did she have to cut it off instead of just separating from it naturally?

    @The Queen
    They did have to bend to Stewart's desires. And I can see him not wanting to just make more TNG. Unfortunately, as great an actor as he is, his ideas for Trek and the Picard characters are awful.

    Re Matalas:
    Is it true he was show running seasons 2&3, but stepped back from 2 to focus on 3? If true, could be knows TNG pretty well but was overloaded.

    There are SO many shows and movies made now, and it's unlikely the level of competent creators has risen as quickly. When TNG was made, there were vastly fewer scripted shows. And in TNG's first years, it was the only Trek show. The movies were still ongoing, but there was little talent overlap until Generations... which Moore said suffered in writing because they were doing too much and were more focused on the TNG finale.

    Now there's literally five Treks running and another coming soon?

    Picard picture too dark-- HDR.
    Apparently the problem is indeed partly with HDR. It was designed to look good in a dark room.

    And it increases the dynamic range of brightness, but the brightest bright can only be the brightest the TV can output. Ultimately that means the AVERAGE brightness of the image can be way less than SDR.

    (And note, I think maybe there's sometimes two "too dark" complaints getting mingled. What the characters see versus how well we see the characters.)

    It continues to build on the strengths of last week's entry, making it the best episode of the series and one of the top Nu-Trek ones too. I'm really pleasantly surprised that Shaw gets so much development and usage here. The portrayal of the much maligned white males (legacy characters notwithstanding) in Nu-Trek has been a pet peeve or sticking point for some, and subtle undertones of that tendency remain, but the trope has seen much improvement over the years by making them a little more nuanced and less like one-dimensional caricatures that seem to exist solely to be humiliated and killed off, first in the character of Tarkas (Discovery), and now with Shaw. I still expect him to die terribly at some point -- just him getting badly injured was pretty predictable -- but at least he will have proven to be not entirely worthless as a captain (and in the past you'd wonder how these types of characters managed to rise up through the ranks to captain starships even command space stations). There's even room for a little bit of sympathy for why Shaw a such an ass, even if the reason for his animosity for Pickard is kinda dumb. I attribute this mostly to the influence of Alex Kurtman waning over time, at least in terms of specific contributions to each episode.

    When people try to weigh how good or bad these ST:Picard episodes are, I believe it would be fairer not to try to weigh them against old TNG episodes, but rather against Nemesis, being the last TNG movie. If it manages to rise above Nemesis, then it is on the right track (which I realize is not a very high bar, but still better than asking the impossible) and this episode manages at least that much.

    And now back to how ST:Picard loves to make liars and bullshitters out of its cherished characters... this time I was considering the stark contrast between Riker's Nepenthe Pizza Party that was so full of love and good cheer versus what was supposedly the harsh reality all along: that Riker is an emotional wreck with Deep Existential Angst which has even dragged his whole family down since Deanna is such a great empath and all. And I realize that people often put on a brave smile in front of guests...but come on, if that were truly the case here, that could have been written in or at least acted competently enough. The truth is that the writers can't help but play fast and loose with its characters and with its own canon -- not just between series which understandably can't be completely avoided, but even between seasons of the same series.

    Also on that note, I see a lot of people complaining about the holodeck, and others complaining about the people complaining about the holodeck and I think it's only fair that people are talking about it and having an opinion about it because the show kinda forces us to, by drawing so much attention to it, whereas it could have mostly flown under the radar if the characters hadn't made such an awkward mention of it, with Picard looking rather chagrinned as he fumblingly tries to explain while Jack is like "yeeeeah, alright, whatever pops."

    And let's not forget how the central problem of the episode is that they don't have enough power to do the things they desperately need to do in order to survive... oh, if only we had more power... from what system could be possibly draw more from without turning off life-support completely. Hmmm, I wonder. If they have to go to the trouble of opening the nacelles for some crazy plan involving aliens that only has a 2% chance of success, you'd think they could transplant a mere holodeck battery, which I half-expected them to do. It's a quibble but one that's hard to ignore and cannot go without comment even if the way the holodeck works is technically within the bounds of silly 'canon'.

    So true, an all encompassing franchise top 10 would be difficult. But how about a top 10 TNG list compiled through the lens of tight, sophisticated, and impactful scriptwriting? :)

    "Changelings do indeed leave residue"

    They don't leave enough to qualify as "resigoo'. There isn't a trail of slime in their wake. If there were, it probably have been helpful in finding Odo in the opening scene of WOTW.

    "While we might not know exactly what we want, we often know what we DON'T want when we see it."

    My favorite line from an altogether insightful post. Thanks.

    The other night we started up an episode of an old Trek series. When it started to roll, I said to my wife, "I don't need the gritty urban landscape thing right now." She agreed, and we moved to the next episode.

    It's hard to do that when a show is new. You just strap yourself in and hope that you get through it without suffering some kind of betrayal.

    This just keeps getting better.

    Terry Matalas doing a podcast panel with the likes of Nerdrotic, Critical Drinker, Robert Burnett, and Dave Cullen. By the time these four are done, Terry's knob is going to be so shiny, he will see the reflection of his own smiling face in it. Props to Youtube for the bravery in broadcasting the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th live sex acts in their history.

    Whether Picard succeeds or fails, I will forever appreciate Terry and Paramount for revealing the Youtube "culture critic" class to be the craven shills they always were. And so easily!

    It seems that the Drinker finds "the message" goes down quite easily with the proper lubrication. And Nerdrotic's screeds against memberberries are suddenly . . . quieted? But the annual Jenna Jameson "Servicing of the Year" award must go to Robert Meyer Burnett. I half-expect him to claim that Picard S3 can heal family rifts, talk people off of ledges, and make the world a Better Place (TM).

    Just think, Disney could have saved themselves six years of Star Wars griefing by giving preview access to a few dudes with cameras, and telling them to bring some mouthwash and get in line.

    I absolutely love it.

    A note about/question to folks who say this show is too dark:

    I'm curious how many of those who're complaining about this are watching on a paid streaming platform (Paramount+ or Amazon, etc..) and on a screen that's the size of, well, a screen... and how many are torrenting the show onto an iPad or laptop.

    I ask because I just rewatched the S3 Ep4 nebula escape act as a clip on YouTube and it was slightly pixelated and frustratingly darker than usual.

    Lo and behold, I went back to my PVR recording of it from CTV Sci-fi Channel and it was its normal crisp, clear, bright-enough-to-see-all-the-detail-in-the-shadows self.

    My TV is big but not huge - 4K 65" (technically 67.5" 'cause it's a curved-screen) Circa 2018 and the show looks fine to me.

    Anyway, I kind of like the darkER look - it's not 1987 and starship shouldn't look like the lobby of the Hilton (except on The Orville 🤪)

    @Narissa's Bath Water:
    Stop sugar-coating everything and tell us how you really feel.

    RE "they don't have enough power to do the things they desperately need to do in order to survive... oh, if only we had more power... from what system could be possibly draw more from without turning off life-support completely. Hmmm, I wonder. If they have to go to the trouble of opening the nacelles for some crazy plan involving aliens that only has a 2% chance of success, you'd think they could transplant a mere holodeck battery,"

    This got me thinking....It would have been fine by me if they used what they thought was their last holodeck time to recreate the Great Barrier Reef or Mount Seleya or the "awesome beauty of Romulus" but they just simulate a bar. Like, a bar. Even if it was Ten Forward, the Titan probably has a bar. Couldn't they just have gone to it?


    I guess the Titan's very own Eight Forward just doesn't have the same ring to it.

    Also, maybe everyone else on the ship was patiently waiting to use the holodeck for one last bucketlist fantasy so that's why they all shuffle in there too. They're much too polite to interrupt a Starfleet Admiral so they just kinda stand there staring at him during his private father-son time, hoping he'll get the hint that they don't appreciate that valuable time they can never get back is being squandered on a bar. Picard is oblivious to this of course, so that's when they send in Shaw to say something that will hurt Picard so badly that he'll have no choice but to scram. Well their perseverance paid off in the end and once Picard and Jack left, Shaw was like "Finally! Now where we were we in that holonovel? The one with the busty Klingon skanks..."

    When they cut life support, maybe they could pack the nonessential personnel into the holodecks.

    Surely the holodecks can create basic life support. Or dozens of spacesuits.

    Heck, pack ALL personnel into the holodecks and control everything from there ;).


    I find the dynamics around the Picard show, i.e., strategy of Paramount, opinion flow over time, etc., more interesting than the show itself. Discussions centered around canon and feasibility are a Trek staple and have their place, of course, but are like marbles rolling down a hill. They may bounce and rattle about in amusing ways, but all end up in the same place.

    All the moving parts in terms of media and audience for Picard S3 look very much like Mando S1, right down to the uniformly positive opinion in Youtube space. Uniformity of opinion is an anomaly and will usually result in the communal creation of an explanatory narrative (assuming the uniformity has no causal antecedent). For Picard, we see the "Picard is back! Terry is our hero! They rejected the recent past, but made sweet love to the really past Past!" In Mando S1, it had a more personal focus, and centering praise on "the great Filoni and Favreau!" acted as a proxy rejection of Kathleen Kennedy.

    Without delving into an overlong discussion, I think judges of a show's quality after major changes of direction must ask: are you praising what is there, or simply reacting to the removal of what used to be there?

    Just IMO, horses for courses and all that.

    @Narissa's Bath Water

    One thing that's truly great about Jammer's site is that the comments section acts as a fascinating public time capsule for debates about Trek and its context.

    In a few years' time I doubt many of us will recognise the names of those YouTubers you cited - just like many of those reading this won't know who they are now. At least I hope so.

    Twitter and YouTube now seem to have a disproportionate impact on how series are produced and promoted, and the spectre of negative 'social media engagement' (despise that term) seems to have far more bearing on the creative process than any kind of coherence or actual measured viewing figures. DSC for example seemed to be written and produced entirely with an extremely niche (and ephemeral) Twitter demographic in mind.

    I completely agree the 'influencers' (despise that term too) you mention's about-face to inveterate shillism off the slightest whiff of corporate recognition and manipulation is spectacular, staggering and cringeworthy for them. (Worse even than Wil Wheaton, and that's saying something.)

    2023, eh? Not exactly the future we envisaged, is it?

    @Narissa's Bath Water

    'All the moving parts in terms of media and audience for Picard S3 look very much like Mando S1, right down to the uniformly positive opinion in Youtube space. Uniformity of opinion is an anomaly [...]'

    I agree. Paramount's move here has been a masterstroke. Instead of bleating on in a clichéd fashion about 'haters' or various types of '-ists' on social media (something that, let us not forget, only encourages them), Paramount correctly assumed that all it would take to utterly declaw this very vocal group would be a little bit of the right kind of attention (YouTubers and 'influencers' are by definition attention-seekers), also correctly assuming that several hostile YouTubers are (rightly or wrongly) bellwethers and that they could be brought massively onside to Paramount's marketing for it in the cheapest and simplest conceivable way (advance access).

    In the longer term Paramount has also completely undermined all future criticism from the same people, as they've revealed themselves to be hypocritical, weak-willed shills who'll back-track in an instant. This is a huge victory for Paramount and whoever thought it up is probably rightfully counting an enormous bonus as we speak.

    Put simply: if you can't beat 'em, bribe 'em. It works.

    The bigger problem here is however the unhealthy relationship between major corporations and social media and its impact on the creative process.

    "The bigger problem here is however the unhealthy relationship between major corporations and social media and its impact on the creative process."

    It's just the commodification of social media. Every time something entirely new comes into existence there is a short window of actual freedom which is then turned into a product bought and sold by the highest bidder. Did anybody really think that companies, who spend endless billions every year on influencing the public, would ignore these youtube influencers?! It's not a possibility that most of these people will be bought sooner or later, it's a certainty.

    A step up, if only because Picard and Riker are acting a bit more in character, plus there was no B plot with Raffi and Seven quickly outed and shot the changeling in the head, like old times, but let it get away.

    But this is not worth a 4. Too many flashbacks when they should have been working the problem, and none of the Titan's officers were in on the planning? Riker giving up? Not quite TNG. In Season 1 he stood head to head with the Romulan fleet, no hesitation there.

    And again too damn dark. I have a brand new LG Oled 55 screen, and can hardly see anything. I can't watch it all all in daytime.

    Nearly halfway through and few answers yet. I'm getting a bad feeling about this.


    'Did anybody really think that companies, who spend endless billions every year on influencing the public, would ignore these youtube influencers?! It's not a possibility that most of these people will be bought sooner or later, it's a certainty.'

    Indeed - but that wasn't my point at all.

    My point was very clear: major corporations lend far too much weight to responding to things happening on social media, a fundamentally ephemeral medium consisting of a mal-adapted baying crowd being drawn in several different directions simultaneously. Social media is impossible to satisfy. You satisfy one niche group, you'll alienate and provoke 'haterism' from the others.

    In the olden days we used to have Mike Okuda and Rick Sternbach have nice wee chats with fans long after the fact, where they explained why they did what they did, what production constraints they were under, etc. But Okuda and Sternbach and the rest, while they were aware of what the fans thought, did their own thing.

    It wasn't perfect, but as a creative process I much prefer it to today, in which writers and producers seem to be adapting their creative process (or pointedly not) in real time to tweets or YouTube videos they like or do not like.

    @Bok R'Mor
    "It wasn't perfect, but as a creative process I much prefer it to today, in which writers and producers seem to be adapting their creative process (or pointedly not) in real time to tweets or YouTube videos they like or do not like. "

    I think that is a myth. Most times creatives have fairly little freedom, with the exception of famous directors. Sometimes for a decade or two there is more freedom. The New Hollywood era, the first decade of the streaming era were times when there is more experimentation. In America these more experimental phases often coincide with major wars *fingers crossed*. Come on Iran! A great TV era is just a few cruise missiles away!! :)

    Netflix, who was very successful in creating unique shows, also highlights the problematic side of giving creatives lots of freedom. It lead to an avalanche of half thought out mediocrity. Another example would be the Last Jedi were they gave Ryan Johnson lots of artistic freedom and it did not go well.

    What I mean is that it is very hard to fabricate success in the movie and Tv sphere. While people who want more challenging or bold content might complain about the committee approach, it is done like that for a reason. It works. While giving an individual lots of creative control is a huge risk.

    Here the most watched TV events (besides sports) in the 2010s
    Undercover Boss* (CBS), Feb. 7, 2010: 38.66 million viewers
    The Voice* (NBC), Feb. 5, 2012: 37.61 million
    American Idol (Fox), Jan. 12, 2010: 29.95 million
    American Idol, May 25, 2011: 29.25 million
    Two and a Half Men (CBS), Sept. 19, 2011: 28.74 million
    American Idol, Feb. 9, 2010: 27.91 million
    This Is Us* (NBC), Feb. 4, 2018: 26.99 million
    American Idol, Jan. 20, 2010: 26.86 million
    Glee* (Fox), Feb. 6, 2011: 26.81 million
    American Idol, Jan. 13, 2010: 26.42 million

    Or here

    As you can see, it's not super creative shows that make it to the top of the list, it is save formulaic products. NCIS, Big Bang Theory and Sunday Night Football.

    Do I even have to mention Marvel/Disney movies, the most successful and most formulaic movies of our time?

    To quote the former CEO of Disney Michael Eisner:"We have no obligation to make history. We have no obligation to make art. We have no obligation to make a statement. To make money is our only objective.”


    'I think that is a myth. Most times creatives have fairly little freedom, with the exception of famous directors. Sometimes for a decade or two there is more freedom.'

    Indeed, but again that wasn't my point. My point, which certainly wasn't any myth, is that Rick Sternbach and Mike Okuda didn't have to sit and take the potential reaction of Twitter and YouTube (good and bad) into account when they and their colleagues were preparing the TNG era series. Of course they were under various production constraints - I mentioned that specifically, in fact - and corporate expectations were high, and there was interaction with the fandom (the internet existed back then) but the creative process didn't have to take social media pressure (good or bad) into account because social media simply didn't exist back then. That's not even a controversial statement, I would imagine.

    No need to try and derail the thread by mentioning US-Iran relations and pasting links no one but you will bother to read. Just *try* and stick to Trek, Booming, please?

    Good episode. Good season so far. DrasticLly better from the season 2 train derailment that Stewart should have ix-nayed.

    For you people here bloviating (often at grrrreat length) about how this didn’t meet your needs, or didn’t suckle/cradle you correctly, or how certain one-liners annoyed you, or all the other 1,000,000 things you don’t like — NEED THERAPY. For the love of all that is good, go do something else other than your masturbatory derision of “nutrek.” Yes, we heard it the 1,000th time. You don’t like it. Yes we can all agree Discovery is hot garbage with an awful initial premise. But for Pete’s sake STFU already.

    I find this to be an episode that, while not good, definitely has its heart in the right place. There are fairly significant improvements to the dialog and characterization, though the plotting is still a mess. It's a decent stab at doing a classic standalone disaster/submarine episode within the confines of the show's overall arc. What works about the episode is its tone, not the details.

    First off, the quippery is dialled back and the characters feel much more like professionals. There is much, much less of the constant paraphrasing and reiteration that littered previous episodes, especially last week's. The script trusts us to be able to follow what's going on without it constantly being re-explained to us in overtly expository dialog and vernacular analogies. This is a very low bar but I'm happy to see it cleared. The couple of moments of exposition that don't work are bad because of plotting and logic, not the way they're written and delivered.

    The Riker scenes are worthwhile and meaningful, and are actually thoughtfully written. Likewise Shaw's scene with Picard - even though I'm pretty much over the idea of Starfleet officers blaming Picard for Wolf 359 or being embittered towards "ex-Borg" generally, this was still well-written and performed. Seven and Shaw are used well and have meaningful stuff to do, as does Beverly. The main characters feel more like themselves than in previous weeks, and there's a TNG movie vibe to the episode, particularly towards the end.

    The plot issues which nevertheless bring the episode down:
    - Seven is told to hunt the changeling by finding its bucket(!) and scanning the "resi-goo"(!!) so as to enable the computer to locate the changeling on the ship. She then actually finds a hidden bucket(!!!) near-identical to Odo's (!!!!), but is unable to scan it before the changeling attacks her and mercifully puts this plot thread to rest. This is facepalm-level stuff. Yes, all changelings need to regenerate but there's no reason to think they would need a bucket to do so - and we've often seen that they don't need to spend long in their liquid form, it's more just the case that they can't maintain the same solid form for more than 16 hours without reverting to a liquid, however briefly. Odo outgrew his bucket right after discovering his true nature and instead regenerated by adopting different forms and "flowing around the room", so an experienced changeling would likely do similar. If a changeling who had replaced a Starfleet officer did need to use a receptacle for whatever reason, they could simply replicate one then put it back in the replicator when finished. The idea that every changeling operative uses a secret bucket that they have to hide somewhere is nonsensical, let alone the idea that they leave a residue, which likewise goes against everything we've seen before. I could give the show some leeway on this if the residue turned out to be microscopic, but it's clearly visible.
    - The nebula turns out to be a "giant womb" for space jellyfish. How convenient, because if it hadn't, everyone would be dead. Picard, Riker and Seven hijack a starship with 500 innocent people on board and the only reason they escape is because of a completely unforeseeable fluke factor like this. It's lazy and cheesy plotting that does the characters a disservice by making them look like reckless idiots even as it simultaneously tries to portray them as heroic. They decide to "ride the wave" (sigh) not because their plan to escape the nebula makes any logical sense but for emotional reasons, because "this is what we do best". The plan is based around timing the nebula's contractions, which speaks for itself. The idea of space jellyfish was lame and cheesy in previous iterations like Farpoint and is lame and cheesy here, though it's the completely illogical escape scenario that's the problem here, not the corny jellyfish in and of themselves.

    - All this, and Jack Crusher is still the main problem, and this week it's not even because of his dialog. In the holodeck scenes, Stewart and Stashwick give emotional and grounded performances, but Speelers again kills the scene with bad line readings that are glib and without any emotional weight whatsoever. Many of his lines are good on the page and would be perfectly effective with another actor, but he delivers them as if he hasn't read the script, hasn't thought about anything he's saying, isn't listening to it or feeling it while he's saying it and his mind is on his next job. It'd be an insult to call it phoned-in. You know the audition scenes in Mulholland Drive where Betty first gives an adequate, competent, entirely conventional performance of a scene, then a sensual, knockout, explosive performance of the same scene shortly afterwards? Speelers's acting here is way, way below the "badly acted" version of that scene. Isa Briones may have been given a lot of bad material in S1-2 but she herself was consistently strong whatever else was going on around her. Speelers is the opposite.
    - The big reveal is... Jack Crusher anonymously talked to Picard a few years ago and Picard happened to say that "Starfleet is the only family I need", and that's why Jack is resentful of him. This is utter juvenilia, perhaps even worse than the big reveal in DIS S2 when we find out that the reason for the rift between Spock and Burnham is because she white-fanged him. Picard thinks he has no family, and Jack knows that, so of course he's going to say that. It's exactly what a man who had experienced a lot of loss would say. If Picard had actively chosen to leave Beverly and Jack, and then said "Starfleet is the only family I need" despite knowing he had a son, the scene would make sense.
    - Nitpick, but one that points at greater issues: when did Picard have an encounter with the Hirogen (post-Voyager) where "Lieutenant Commander Worf" (pre-S4 DS9) saved the day?

    I thought the talking head sounded like Brent Spiner.

    @Bok R'Mor
    Well alright then. Let me make this clearer because we do not seem to understand each other. My point is that you are looking at an aspect and think that if this aspect would be handled differently then things would be better. Like if Alex Kurtzman and the other showrunners were not on twitter/youtube so on they would have made better shows?

    1. You seem to believe that before the social media age producers and writers were free from interacting with the customer base and that created superior quality? Yes?
    Today there might be more information about the wishes of customers through social media but this aspect existed in various ways for a long time. Focus groups for example exist since 1940s. Test screenings and TV ratings are around for a long time as well. As are critics and fanmail. The media tour for the stars to promote the show/movie.

    In my opinion the only aspect social media highlights is how strong the influence of the customer base has always been because it made it more visible. Problem here is that customers mostly want familiar and maybe pet issues. As with politics I think the influence of social media itself is overrated.

    Could you explain in what way you think social media influence is different from the other influences like focus groups or critics in earlier times?

    That was excellent. Four stars straight.

    It gripped me from beginning to end. Brilliant acting by everyone involved, especially Jonathan Frakes, but also Patrick Stewart, Todd Stashwick, and Jeri Ryan. Seven really starts to feel like herself again, and it works effortlessly. A far cry from the rough Fenris Ranger in S1, she finally found a balance in her humanity.

    As the episode went on, it just got better and better. Loved the scene in 10 Forward, seeing Shaw with his emotional trauma, confronted with his impending doom, once again together with Picard, reliving that situation. We sometimes forget that we are at home, cosy on a sofa, while it's life and death for those on screen. It came across that way and I absolutely bought it.
    Harrowing stuff.

    Characters got proper time and well-written believable dialogue for the emotions to play out, to properly hit us, as opposed to the sometimes overacted fake over-emotion, with no room to breathe before being drowned out by mindless action, that especially plagued Discovery, but also Picard S1 and S2 at times.

    Loved all the little emotional beats, like the interaction between Shaw and Seven, Riker not knowing what message to leave to Deanna, Jack being in 10 forward with the young Starfleets, and even Vadic obviously overpainting her fear with the theatrical craziness. A lot is transported by body language and looks, and not by dialogue, and I'm all here for it.

    In the end, the episode absolutely stuck the landing, not only for this episode but also for the first act of Season 3. It makes me very very happy that we're not even in the middle of the season and there's so much more to come.

    One more thing, the score is absolutely excellent. It's so good, it truly feels like a movie scored by Goldsmith.

    And, oh boy, does the world-building and canon work and matter. Even the uniforms from 5 years ago were totally right. Thank you, Mr. Matalas, for caring - we should totally name a planet after you, if we didn't already.

    What an utter delight! I'm so very happy to be a Star Trek fan today.


    I can't speak for Bok R'Mor, but my comments weren't directed at the use of social media in traditional roles of advertising and opinion-gathering, but what appears to be Paramount's successful execution of a social gambit that could have gone very wrong. They calculated that they could easily convert a negative influence into a positive. And not at the level of "influencer", but at the level of "influencer block". It is impressive both for its boldness and what appears to be its stunning success.

    If this were a chess move, it already has a (!) notation, and may very well earn a (!!) by the end of Season 3. If Picard S3 ultimately fails with the audience, the influencer class finds themselves either defending garbage or admitting their earlier buy-off. Discovered check or pin, either way.

    Consider an alternative reality, where the reply to Paramount's offer was a dagger through the wrist, followed by shrill cries and 100 videos exclaiming "The Man tried to buy us! But we stood with you, the PEOPLE." To predict with reasonable certainty that this wouldn't happen required Paramount do enough tapping on hulls to believe they were paper thin.

    While rewatching some of her scenes, I'm starting to think the following is scribbled on the director's notes by the show-runners:

    "Jeri needs to be moving, always moving! Make sure to focus on her hair! Lots of hair shots! I don't care if you have to send her across the ship on fetch quests for silly plot items, KEEP JERI MOVING!"

    Bally, they will continue to complain about this train wreck. And you will like it.

    I stop watching. It is dragged out and slow and goes nowhere. Suggest you so the same to limit suffering. Tried giving it a fair chance. Guess either it is indeed a train wreck or I grew up. Still fancy watching TNG now and then. Nostalgia? ;)

    Strange New Worlds is the best of NuTrek. At least the episode damage is mostly contained to that one episode and they can try better next one. Long live episodic content. Forces a beginning, middle and conclusion all within reasonable time frame. Potential for greater creativity too. You remember how those 20 minute sitcoms created a whole lively situation? Frasier. Scrubs. Great Stuff.

    Yes this is best episode of Picard ever, but then the bar is pretty low. I loved when they were at the conference table making a plan, then executing it, then riding the wave. And finally, Picard in command, in the middle chair. Great action, space chase out of the nebula.

    I'm glad we find out why Shaw is such a jerk and his character is finally developed to get some back story. He is still dealing with past trauma from Wolf 359, you'd think Starfleet would have sent him to counselling by now? What's it been, 30 years? But perhaps having an ex-Borg and then Locutus on his ship triggered all the past events and sent him back to his dark place.

    I couldn't help be reminded though about how Sisko in "Emissary" resented Picard and re-lived the trauma of losing Jennifer and his shipmates at Wolf 359. Yet Sisko was professional, he was able to put his resentment aside and did his job and was reserved yet civil to Picard without the yelling and melodrama. But then the Nu Trek writers probably don't understand how to write a professional, adult, working relationship between 2 characters who don't like each other but also a job to do. They need yelling, histrionics, profanity and everyone has to wear their trauma on their sleeve. Sisko could handle seeing Locutus pretty well a few years after Wolf 359 while Shaw is being triggered and pushed over the edge 30 years later? I don't know. Maybe Sisko is just tougher or better able to process it than Shaw. Or maybe that's just the writers. Still I can let that slide, it was a great scene and developed Shaw's character.

    Questions: Are those jellyfish babies the same species as from Farpoint? Is the nebula a living organism giving birth or were the space jellyfish in the nebula somewhere giving birth?

    Nitpicks: Yes ,I loved this episode, but maybe 3 or 3 1/2 stars. There are some things that just don't ring true, but being Nu Trek I guess that shouldn't surprise me.

    I thought the lunch lecture in 10 Forward with Jack at the end felt contrived and not genuine at all. I don't see the Picard being all hammy and showboating like that, he was always reserved and business like. Maybe that is yet another way he has changed in 30 years.

    Nu trek is now ignoring their own canon. Riker has been totally retconned since Season 1 of Picard. Apparently him and Troi didn't live a peaceful life on Nepenthe with their daughter and were not leaning on each other after their son's death and trying to move past grief to still make a good life for themselves and their daughter. No, he (like everyone else in Nu trek) is tortured and broken and barely holding himself together. So he abandons his wife and daughter since, as Livia from the Sopranos said, it's all a big nothing. Typical Nu trek nihilism. This Riker is paralyzed by self doubt and indecision and could never have led the Starfleet armada against Adm. Oh and the Tal Shiar at the end of Season 1 of Picard.

    Still, he did pull himself together at the conference table when coming up with the nacelle plan, so he got his old mojo back, so I can forgive this Riker retcon and the writers.

    Relative to Discovery, this is absolutely a four-star episode. But that's like saying I prefer a pat on the head over a punch in the face.

    Ok, I' waiting for the financial meltdown tomorrow and have some time on my hand.

    So you think that NuTrek is a left wing conspiracy to destroy right wing youtubers. Yes... Yeeeees. It makes perfect sense. It goes like this.

    The plan:
    Getting rid of right wing truth heroes by constructing shows based on a beloved franchise. First you have to get mildly talented showrunner who was hurt so badly by these youtubers that he is willing to burn lots of his reputation to destroy them. Kurtzman is in! You send him to work, hire lots of talented writers. Spent big on effects.

    The trap is set:
    You write confusing plots with a black female lead. No white guys in hero roles, sprinkle in a gay couple and an overweight woman. Don't forget cringe comments from start to finish. Nihilism will attract them even more. Now you have more than enough bait in the water. The hate flows in their veins like fire. The first seasons are a trash fire but you don't stop there. You need to get them all. Throw somebody gender fluid in the mix and lots of conversations about pronouns.

    Reeling them in:
    A new show is needed. You get the most beloved one who immediately agrees because he hates those right wing douchbags. Patrick "Stewy" Stewart is in. Now that you have them all hooked, you need to get them close. You wildly overpromise. Make endless speeches about a real voyage into the character of Picard. Those youtubers will feel a little twinkle in their dark, bitter hearts. Their TV daddy is going to make it all good now.

    Weakening them:
    They are still strong, to destroy them you have to make them weak. Born is eye patch Picard jumping around in a skeezy bar with a crazy French accent. You throw all that stuff in that they love to hate. A black lady constantly berating Picard, a white Mary Sue with superpowers, mystery boxes turning into mystery canyons. In the process you also burn through the Borg and kill Data. You don't stop there. Season 2 means doubling down. Barely hidden Trump Rally's in a fascist nightmare. Poverty, climate change, evil ICE, beautiful immigrants. Everything!

    Buttering them up:
    They are ready. You invite them for a pre-screening but only six of ten episodes because the rest is sadly not finished yet. First class flight, really nice hotels. All bills payed. Meet the stars, even St. Patrick. Not just a meeting, an entire evening just chatting away with all those guys. Oh and those first six episodes are glorious. Old white guys in control, a coherent story. It has everything! Lots of promises of tours for others shows and exclusive access. Oh and before they leave a few standard NDAs. No biggie.

    The Sting:
    Now you got them. You dump the last four episodes. Anyone even worse than the one before ending in a horrible finale. You leak secretly filmed material of them, with the juiced bits put together making them look like absolute phonies. Their reputation is ruined. They lose most of their audience, get insane amounts of hate and have to go into landscape architecture.

    The other option is that CBS made a good season, knew that. Invited the harshest critics. Those liked it and said so. But how likely is that?! That is crazy talk, I tells ya!!! :)

    Wonderful, just wonderful. Whatever I start typing next just reverts back to the idea of how wonderful this was so I am going to leave it at that. Just wonderful.

    I by no way am a “Discovery” apologist, the series after season one was a pointless series. Love the characters yet the series went nowhere.

    Now on to this episode, this was the Picard I waited for since he began this limited series. While there was a reference to a TOS episode, this was well done, scripted and acted.

    They got to Jammer too. The first four episodes of S3 have a higher average rating than either S1's or S2's.

    Even more damning, Jammer has never had a four episode run of 3+ star rated episodes in Picard before this season.

    Scene showing Shaw berating Picard... "Grease monkey" doesn't quite work for an engineer, even a new one. It sorta detracts... surely some better slang had developed by the late 24th century. Plasma pumper?

    I have very conflicted thoughts about this season of Picard so far. For the record, I am definitely in the camp of trying to wash my brain free of NuTrek. Compared to the recent garbage we've been given there's no doubt that Picard S3 is a significant improvement. Thus far, I am particularly enjoying the overall story being told and am eagerly wanting to see how it all plays out.

    Yet... I've got 3 major issues with this season that continue to pull me out of the story (not listed in order of severity):


    1. The lighting. The Titan sets are so dark it looks like everyone is wearing black uniforms. I can barely even see any details on peoples' faces. It's horrible! I wasn't thrilled about the drastic lighting changes of the Ent-D in "Generations" (which looked great but were way too different from TNG), but I would take that mood-lighting over this shadow-fest any day. For the record, I am predominantly watching this show on a 32" 4K PC monitor via Prime Video. It looks like it is streaming in 720p even though it says "Best Quality" in the menu.

    2. Biggest issue: the language. It's vulgar, crass, and completely contemporary. In no way do I believe these people are speaking from 400 years into our future, in a society that is supposed to be "evolved" and to have sorted out major strife and societal issues. I grant that the writers of TNG et al *may* have *wanted* to inject modern vulgarities into the characters' mouths but were constrained by network execs and the TV standards of the day, yet I make the contention that the characters talking more consistently clean and professional was also world-building that fit perfectly in this futuristic semi-Utopian society.

    I don't like profanity much at all and never have -- it demonstrates poor decorum, laziness, and/or a lack of vocabulary -- but beyond my personal dislike of it I always appreciated how professionally and eloquently Federation personnel spoke. The language felt "elevated" and It helped me buy into the world of Star Trek to suspend my disbelief in the sci-fi of it all.

    Picard's f-bomb in this episode is loathsome enough, but it's actually all the g-damns, dipshits, pissed, "pot" being recognized as slang for cannabis, and the like that is truly taking me out of this world and ruining my suspension of disbelief. The people in Picard S3 feel exactly like people of our time, not people from a futuristic period piece where writers had to be more clever about the words they put into characters' mouths. Star Trek always used to be the cleaner, nicer, optimistic, and more professional sci-fi universe. I'd like "damn" to be about the most abrasive the language gets.

    Of all the issues I have with this season, this is the biggest. It's so very frustrating precisely because the overall story being told has been otherwise mostly fun and interesting!

    Note: In all consistency, I also wish I could edit out McCoy's few utterances of g-damn in the TOS movies, and I loathed Data's "oh, shit!" in "Generations". These problems mostly only popped up in the movies though.

    3. Characterization problems:

    -Picard/Crusher. I sure hope there's more to Jack's origin than Picard and Crusher being so irresponsible as to have conceived a child on a romantic fling. These characters are simply more responsible than that, especially Picard. I cannot believe that they would be so reckless, particularly considering the tech available in the 24th century. That being said, I must admit that Stewart and McFadden are doing wonders with the material given to them. The acting in their scenes has been stellar. I just loathe Jack's origins so far, as it taints great characters.

    -Shaw. First, I must again compliment the acting. Todd Stashwick is acting the heck out of this role, so props to him! That being said, this is a character that is deeply damaged. He is clearly mentally unstable and should never have been given the command of a starship. TNG showed us a society where mental health wasn't much of an issue anymore. Any trauma Shaw would have sustained at Wolf 359 should have been mostly dealt with before Starfleet would have ever given him a ship of his own. I can buy Shaw not liking Picard and not being warm towards him because of the past, but that incident was decades prior and Shaw should have been largely rehabilitated by now. Sisko's animosity toward Picard was (a) only 3 years later (i.e. still fresh), (b) about the loss of his wife and his son's mother, and (c) largely resolved by the end of the Pilot ep of DS9.

    In the abstract, I actually like this character, but this level of internal damage and bitterness so long after the incident that caused it isn't believable for a Starfleet Captain. Even Captain Maxwell in "The Wounded" wasn't this far off the rails, and it was implied he was relieved of duty after the episode ended.

    -Worf. "There is no good and no evil." Bull! Yes, moral complexity exists, but Worf of all people knows there is also an objective good to strive for and an evil to fight (e.g. Duras)! This criticism aside, I've otherwise liked what I've seen from Worf so far, although the graphic beheading was NOT required to get the point across.

    -Picard/Riker. Episode 3, in particular, was awful with regard to the writing of these two characters. Picard relentlessly urging to attack and Riker relentlessly shutting him down, and neither of them ever going into the Ready Room to hash out their disagreements in private was totally out of character for both of them. Riker's episode-ending line, "You've killed us all!", right in front of the bridge crew, was appalling. I understand the underlying emotions they were trying to play off of (and frankly weren't subtle about), but you can't sacrifice characterization just to tell an emotional story.

    -Raffi. Still a poor character with lots of overacting. I groan every time she's back on screen.

    -Seven. I admit this one is more personal opinion than bad characterization, but I certainly always hoped that Seven would eventually embrace her human name after fully working through her Borg trauma. At this point in her life I would have very much preferred seeing a more well-adjusted Seven, preferring to be called by her human name. The Borg enslaved her as a child, so throwing off that "slave name" would have been far more gratifying than the angle they're taking here in S3.


    I have many other nitpicks, but the above represent the major issues I have with this season. I started watching TNG at 4 years old and grew up with the TNG era of Trek. I often watched it with my dad, which was one of the few activities we bonded over. There's no way I'd ever let my kids be exposed to this vulgar version of Trek.

    Although these issues are not small, I must be honest and admit there's also much to like about Picard S3:

    1. The storytelling. After 4 episodes it's become obvious the new show-runner knows how to put together a compelling and competent story arc. This season has been reasonably well structured thus far and has left me wanting more. The relevant tie-ins to previous lore have been very well done. Really enjoying the DS9/Dominion tie-ins.

    2. The music. Whereas the language has gotten cheap and crass, the music has remained top-Trek with its sumptuous and beautiful orchestral tracks that hearken back to Goldsmith and Horner. It doesn't just mash together old favorites, it also brings new stuff to the table that is able to stand up to its illustrious predecessors. Kudos to the composer, Mr. Barton!

    3. Characterization. Yes, this was a negative point too. Although I have some serious issues in this department, there are some highlights as well.

    -Aside from some serious issues in Ep 3, Riker has been quite a joy to watch this season. Jonathan Frakes has never been better as an actor. He's going on a character arc that is believable and meaningful while largely retaining his vibe and charm from the TNG days.

    -Aside from that one terrible line, Worf has been great so far. I really like that the writing team is leveraging his experience on the front lines of the Dominion War.

    -Picard, sometimes. It's a bit hit or miss, but there have been some moments and lines that have indeed felt genuinely 'Jean-Luc Picard,' which is more than I can say about the first two seasons.

    4. The Titan. I'm still not wild about the secondary hull, particularly from the front, and the warp nacelles looks a bit too angular and large, but those niggles aside the look of this ship is really growing on me. Looks a heck of a lot nicer than any of the other new ships in NuTrek. I also appreciate that the ships move like they have some heft to them again -- a return to the more nautical feel of classic Trek.

    5. Titan bridge crew actually acts professional most of the time. I'm hoping we learn at least a little bit of personality about this crew, but so far they've performed their roles with professionalism and skill. They don't scream "teenagers!" and "mediocrity!" like the bridge crews on the other NuTrek shows/movies. Refreshing to see again!


    All in all, Picard S3 has been a mixed bag for me. The most frustrating thing has been the constant back-and-forth of starting to get genuinely invested in the story and the characters only for the contemporary language to pull me right back out again. I WANT to love this season, but these flaws are making it very difficult to fully enjoy. I think I will try to stick it out to the end, but this season is NOT a pure throwback to classic Trek and far from a home run. If they could create an edit of this season on the Blu-ray that cleaned up some of the worst language offenders and brightened stuff up a bit, it would do wonders for me.

    P.S. CGI still blows compared to models. :)


    I'm not inclined to believe Worf when he told the changeling "there is no good and no evil". It seemed more like he was trying to manipulate the changeling into revealing the information he desired.


    Some of the links are broken on my end - are they all Oceans movie themes? Thanks for a bit of humor to start the morning!

    But who said anything about left-wing or right-wing brick a brack? Or that Paramount had some kind of Rube Goldberg master plan? I simply said that Paramount took a single action to change the state of an existing para-social system, that on first glance would appear risky. The fact that the single action may, in turn, produce a second benefit under particular circumstances, i.e., the (!!), doesn't imply that Paramount planned in multiple stages, or viewed these circumstances as contingencies.

    In any event, it is a fun little soap opera to follow on the side.

    Oh, the links didn't work?! :(
    Where are you? North Korea??

    And about the left wing right wing thing. This has to be in there. It's just mandatory to frame anything as a left wing conspiracy these days.


    "2. Biggest issue: the language. It's vulgar, crass, and completely contemporary. In no way do I believe these people are speaking from 400 years into our future, in a society that is supposed to be "evolved" and to have sorted out major strife and societal issues"

    Couldn't agree more. ESPECIALLY Picard's f-bomb. Just pitiful.

    "I can buy Shaw not liking Picard and not being warm towards him because of the past, but that incident was decades prior and Shaw should have been largely rehabilitated by now."

    Agree again... all I could think about was that it had been over 20 years! If he is this instable, he shouldn't have been given the Captain's chair.

    "-Seven. I admit this one is more personal opinion than bad characterization, but I certainly always hoped that Seven would eventually embrace her human name after fully working through her Borg trauma. At this point in her life I would have very much preferred seeing a more well-adjusted Seven, preferring to be called by her human name. The Borg enslaved her as a child, so throwing off that "slave name" would have been far more gratifying than the angle they're taking here in S3."

    I'll part ways with you a little here. I think by retaining "7" she has confronted the truth and has accepted what she is. She isn't that little human girl any more and will never be "just" a human. I personally think they aren't using enough of her borg talents this season.

    Loved your entire post Lovok. I think I'm in the same boat. This season has some real highs but the lows can't be overlooked.


    That thought had crossed my mind as well. It's definitely a possibility I'm holding onto. Hopefully this will be better clarified later in the season.


    Thanks for your response! I can definitely see your point on Seven. I suppose I just like the idea of embracing her humanity as fully as possible again via acceptance of the name her parents gave her. As mentioned, this is purely personal opinion, not something I think the writers are doing "wrong" per se. Your thinking here is totally sensible. :)

    Beverley's conclusion that the waves buffeting the Titan are contractions riles not only because it's a stretch but also because it's not relevant at that point. The waves are rideable and their timing is predictable. Save the resultant births as a revelation for later.

    Shaw's recollection of Wolf359 would have been more consistent with his earlier remarks about Picard's supposed recklessness had the animosity come not from Picard having been transformed into Locutus but on his having (inadvertently) put the Federation on the Borg's radar to begin with.

    Nits picked, that was still better than anything in season 2.

    This episode redeemed quite a bit for me. It’s still hard to buy Riker’s trauma, or more accurately his acting out in response to it, but at least it had a satisfying ending.

    I’d nitpick the holodeck separate power supply thing. I know Voyager did it and it was equally silly there. If you had a separate power supply why wouldn’t you use it to keep life support running and/or escape your certain doom? Moreover, the scenes set there didn’t need to be in the holodeck, they could have been anywhere (does the Titan not have a Ten Forward equivalent?), it felt like real world considerations (we paid for this set, gotta use it!) driving the plot.

    Also, I’ll nitpick Riker’s tear jerker scene and say the casket was lowered two METERS into the ground, not six feet. 😜

    The above is me being petty though and I concur with Jammer, four stars!

    Now that some time has passed since seeing the episode and with my impressions settled, I wanted to outline why I think this was an impressive episode. In the original draft of this review (yes, I write drafts), I went on to compare it to season one, but seeing how this is a completely different show and how even its writers are not too subtly giving the middle finger to the dreck that came before it, I decided to rewrite the review and forget about the previous seasons.

    One of the crucial characteristics of a good fictional work is that all of its elements work together to form a cohesive unit. Nothing you see on screen and no paragraph you read is put there by accident. It serves to inform the viewer of either the greater thematic arc, to additionally bolster key characteristics of a given work or simply to move the plot going forward in a meaningful way. It’s not always easy to pull this off. In fact, it is quite difficult and becomes even more so depending on the complexity of a given plot. If this seems too abstract, let me put it in context and show you how the writers managed to pull it off so far this season, and in this episode in particular, on the example of Riker’s lost son.

    Simply put, Thaddeus’ death has become a deep-seated part of Riker’s character. The loss Riker suffered influences his decisions in key moments, relationships with people close to him and, ultimately, tells a very human story. While I was dismayed by Riker’s treatment of Picard at the end of the previous episode, I am so very glad the writers didn’t take an easy way out by explaining it away with a cheap gimmick such as Riker being a changeling or putting on a show for one reason or another. His loss is real and he is deeply, deeply hurt by the experience.

    Having this in mind, look at the way this realization works perfectly with the episode itself and the things happening on screen – much like the harrowing description of Thaddeus’ coffin being lowered into the ground, the Titan is falling into the nebula’s gravity well with certain death and unceremonious ending looming above her crew. Riker has thrown in the towel and let Picard know that despite being to the far reaches of space, he has found nothing that would ease his pain away and is only concerned with leaving the crushed hull of the Titan as a final attempt to explain his pain to Deanna.
    By the end of the episode, however, and with the joint help of his close friends, new hope is found both for Riker and the Titan. With the crew working closely together (which is a whole other subject to cherish and discuss), the ship is given new life and powers out of the nebula. With this in mind, just have a look at the bridge scene once the nebula starts feeding into the Titan’s engines, how everything is lit up and how the camera goes out of its way to show as if the energy was feeding the crew itself (this is also a good place to say that I am simply loving the score so far). Finally, once the ship is saved and the nebula is revealed to be a source of life and birth unto itself, the story comes full circle in the most Star Trek way possible and allows Riker to discover new hope and reach out to Deanna:

    “Something’s different now… We witnessed a kind of birth here and it reminded me that there is a whole universe out there, and it can be beautiful and amazing.”


    At the same time, Picard is trying to connect with his own son, and I can only praise the writers by not falling into the trap of making him an angsty adolescent bitter at the world for never having a father. Instead, despite stating that he doesn’t necessarily need Picard to bond with him, he is nonetheless open to his presence which allows Picard to come to a realization of his own that he never completely came to terms with not having a family. Yes, having Jack be a part of Picard’s flashback with the cadets is contrived, but god damn, it works wonders and that’s why I don’t even see it as an issue at all. Instead of having a lengthy exposition about Picard’s past and character which we all know has always been Starfleet inside and out, by simply placing Jack into that restaurant clearly and effectively juxtaposes Picard’s service and life decisions to the sacrifices the two entailed. And, again, by timing Picard’s realization that Jack did in fact try to seek him out with the Titan’s run from the nebula, the running theme here becomes evident and works wonders.

    With that being said, I think the very minor gripes regarding Odo’s bucket, holodeck’s power source or an off-hand remark about ‘pot’ are completely immaterial. Not to dilute the sentiment here, I am going to conclude by saying that I predict that over the course of the remaining episodes, Shaw is going to face his trauma (which both gives a middle finger to season two and is wonderfully executed by Stashwick) by working closely and coming to respect Picard, in a similar fashion to Riker’s ‘reawakening’ in the nebula.

    If the show continues in the same fashion, this could turn out to be a very satisfying goodbye to our dear friends and I am eagerly waiting for the following episodes. La Forge, gun it! Stay inside!

    "#1. Why did that changeling decide to shoot in the passageway when he walked past 7? All he did was give himself away and give 7 a chance to shoot him. Why shoot the bucket? Why was it a Bajoran bucket?"

    I rewatched this. I don't think this is an issue any longer. 7 was talking to medical about firing everything up and doing tests while carrying the bucket and she walked right by the changeling. The changeling heard her and saw the bucket.

    ha.... both my headscratchers are in the rearview mirror.

    I really do not get it, who those Youtube Reviewers are suppose to influence?
    I mean, haters are going to keep hate watching it, nitpickers are going to nitpick it, and those who just want to have a chance to enjoy it hey gonna enjoy it.
    What will really change if a reviewer declares his/her/their admiration about a show?
    Are people so in need of self-affirmation (is that the right word in English?) that need reviewers to identify with? or they are a mindless mob that just wants to go with the flow? Probably both.. and it is really pathetic.

    Major Grin on YT has some good stuff. Comments too. Let's say it's not just here we hear complaints. Just stop watching. Problem solved. Experience richer.

    Better episode. Do viewers have to have seen DS9 to understand this then? I haven’t watched all of that series yet.

    I’ve seen TNG, Voyager and all the movies.

    This episode seemed decent except the swearing by Picard.

    This is probably be best episode of Picard to date… which is to say, 3 stars.


    No you don't have to have seen DS9. They've covered the basics. There was a war arc of the Alpha quadrant versus the Dominion of the Gamma quadrant. The Dominion is run by the changelings, aka the Founders.

    The Alpha quadrant powers won.

    Changelings in DS9 had to regenerate every x number of hours or they involuntarily lose their shape.

    The Founders have two subservient races (warriors and manager/diplomats) which we haven't seen here yet.

    Really funny to think that the losers here think anyone is reading their lengthy comments. You just want your own review blog, and instead of making one, you just yell into the abyss here where maybe 1-2 people actually read it.

    Also hysterical that people like this creep Jax—who is always the first poster, here to whine about the pedantically and minutiae in bad faith—are always watching every ep.

    You people astound. Lol. Go watch things you enjoy and leave all of us you’ve been crying at for 8 years alone.

    To think it all started because folks who never understood Star Trek or its messages got mad about the change for the design of the Klingons.


    The highlight of the series so far is Amanda Plummer, who is turning in a standout performance in a limited role. Her affect is pure self-awareness of the absurdity of Trek itself, running headfirst up to mockery, but stopping just short. Case in point, her stilted "disengage portal system!", said with the clumsy enthusiasm of a 10 year old playing with action figures.

    Speaking as a "hater" who thinks the writing is mostly dreck, I look forward to any moment Vadic is on screen.

    Another superb episode, and I am entirely on the same page with Jammer's review. Looking forward to the rest of the season!

    One can argue Shaw is sorta kinda Sisko from ep. 1 of DS9 and his sentiment towards Picard.... because yes regardless if a Starfleet officer understands or not the concept of assimilation and loss of individuality this little thing called human emotion always takes over. My only critic of Shaw is the sudden change when Picard in episode 2 ''gives admiral orders'' and all of a sudden is handed over the ship, despite making it clear in episode 1 he wasn't taking unrealistic orders.

    For me the weak point of this episode continues to be Jack's story arc (surprisingly I'm okay with Worf and Rafi contrary to many) , the writers don't seem to know what to fundamentally do with him , I assume until his big reveal, aside from that he's running around the ship and questioning if he needs Papa Picard in his life or not .


    Thanks. That sounds interesting.

    I just hope I and my folks can enjoy this show still. Worried that one needs to have seen this war arc you mentioned. We’ve seen TNG and the movies.

    This epsiode was okay. Ill echo Jax's initial comments and add how much I despise how the people on the Titan talk to each other. The dialogue in this show is so bad. How does Shaw become a Captain in Starfleet behaving the way he does? He should be in a mental institution, not commanding a starship. And did Shaw not serve in the Dominion War? They lost a ship or two hundred there.

    I give this episode 4 stars solely for making Jack Crusher and Captain Shaw interesting and useful characters, given their cartoonish beginnings. Boy were their debuts unimpressive. But then the writers decided to sprinkle some nuance into their behaviors.

    It remains bizarre how passionate some people are about wanting to pretend human beings never curse, as if it turns the kindest saint into impudent scum. I genuinely have not met anyone in the last ~20 years who doesn't swear sometimes; it's part of the language, no need to form a puritanical mob because the 80 year old man said a bad word. On a side note, Picard was quite fond of saying "merde" in TNG - you may want to look up what it translates to.

    That minor grievance aside, No Win Scenario rapidly became my favorite episode of modern Star Trek. Exciting, heartfelt, tense, funny, and melancholy in equal measure. This episode constantly had me thinking, "THAT'S the version of this character that I know". Riker devises a highly irregular tactic, the confident, proud captain that Picard was for so long shines through, Beverly was relevant to the plot without engaging in ghostly copulation, and so on. Jack even began to win me over as a character rather than a familial MacGuffin.

    With regards to a complaint I read which insisted that anyone who can't understand that Picard was not in control as Locutus and was a fellow victim - knowing that does not mend or invalidate trauma and the powerful emotions stemming from it. Shaw is, indeed, a dipshit from Chicago - but so too is he a by-the-books Starfleet captain, a man who's grappled with survivor's guilt for decades of his life, a man who was told to leave his unlucky friends behind and DID. Were his ship and crew not endangered by Picard and Riker, I'd imagine he'd remain an aloof but cordial captain.

    Even with decades of the best councilors Starfleet can offer, I imagine most people would reach a breaking point if their ship was commandeered and nearly destroyed, some of their crew killed and everyone else seemingly condemned to death, all because of the embodiment of their trauma from so long ago. Shaw is clearly not handling it in a healthy manner, but he does have a right to be upset, and I find his character extremely compelling.

    Anyways, I thought the episode was good.


    Aww darn, I meant to say "With regards to a complaint I read which insisted that anyone who can't understand that Picard was not in control as Locutus and was a fellow victim is dense and/or in the wrong".

    I love that Picard takes the conn for the escape from the squid nursery, just like he does in “Booby Trap.” The nursery energy wave and the thrusters is a nice throwback to the Promellian battle cruiser maneuver.

    All right, Jack decides he has a story that may be interesting, so he were on a medical supply run to Mtalas IV —a vile place, a real dump—, he got stuck in a cargo hold with an Andorian who had a broken antenna, looked painfull, so he tries to reset it for him, turns out it's really senstive and... what? Oh crap it's fading out but wait, I mean, c'mom what happens next I would like to... ok I guess we will never know? I was hooked for nothing?

    Am I the only one who got disappointed by that? Anyone? ok =(

    Where the aliens at the end the same as the two from Encounter at Farpoint?

    I respectfully disagree with Jammer, I think this *is* an all-time classic episode of Star Trek. It's the Next Generation's Wrath of Khan moment.

    It was every bit as magical as all the feel good bits you loved in Star Trek First Contact (a film which makes little logical sense but is an absolute banger nonetheless, I think it's quite underrated).

    He is right that it's the best episode of Trek for all of the years that Trek has been in its present form though.

    "Only a prize-winning moron would think Picard had any agency in the incident; moreover, you'd have to be as thick as a plank not to realize what a horrific and traumatic experience it was for Picard - he was as much a victim of The Borg as anyone else. What a horribly contrived thing to do just to extract some "drama"; I fail to see what purpose it served."

    This seems to be how most people have understood Shaw's speech and I agree that this interpretation doesn't make any sense. However, I'm not sure that's the only way to read it.

    "Picard was a perfectly normal captain until he was assimulated, then they turned him into a monster. He claims to be recovered and full of guilt, but he's still full of Borg nanites and honestly, can we really trust these people? And if he's really so guilty then why, when this boy asks him what his worst moment was, does he skip the day he was responsible for 11,000 deaths and tell a funny story about getting lost while trying to get laid?" is just as plausible and makes a lot more sense.

    This view is clearly prevalent amongst the Federation - Hugh's ex-B aren't allowed to leave the Cube, Seven until recently wasn't allowed to join Starfleet, the Enterprise wasn't supposed to join the battle in First Contact. And actually, from Shaw's point of view, there are plenty of reasons to mistrust them. What have Seven and Picard done recently? Seven stole a Cube, plugged herself back in, woke it up at great risk to everyone and drove it halfway across the galaxy. Picard meanwhile was summoned by a Borg Queen by name, allowed her to hack into the ship using Borg tech which is probably on Shaw's ship too, handed over control of the fleet to the Borg (he claims it was to save them, but does that really sound like a Borg to you?) and then presumably supported their request to join the Federation. You can understand why factions in Starfleet would be suspicious and why Shaw might see it as necessary to warn Jack about what sort of man his father is.

    This is a running theme in Picard - Picard's inability to talk about what matters to him and its consequences. This conversation is a direct mirror of the one where Jack asks him about family and he deflects. No one in the audience really believes that shuttle story was a worse day for Picard than the events of The Best of Both Worlds, any more than we're supposed to believe his answer about family.
    Shaw here is reacting like a trauma victim when a politician gives a glib answer to "What was your worst day in office?" and fails to mention the worst day of your life, which you know damn well they were involved in because you were there. I think what he's saying is "Don't these people matter? Can't you even acknowledge their memory? How can you tell this funny story and pretend they didn't exist?" We know why Picard deflects, but I also understand why Shaw would be angry, when Picard and Seven's presence on his ship must have been bringing back some awful memories. He's behaving here like Picard did in I, Borg - acting irrationally because a trauma he's mostly managed to live with has been reawakened.

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