Star Trek: Picard

“Vox”

3.5 stars.

Air date: 4/13/2023
Written by Sean Tretta & Kiley Rossetter
Directed by Terry Matalas

Review Text

Resistance is futile.

That's what I realized as Picard and the entire TNG crew stepped onto the bridge of the Enterprise-D in all its perfectly restored glory. The plot doesn't really matter. The blatant manipulation in triggering the memories of my youth doesn't really matter. Spreading the Vadic storyline out over eight episodes to get to this point doesn't really matter. What matters is giving this crew an adventure to enable its proper sendoff, and doing it in the most nostalgic way possible. It's all been building to this payoff, which you might call "Relics II." It works beautifully.

In a way, it's like a much better version of Picard season one, where we had a bunch of plot that didn't much matter when, emotionally, the entire season came down to a conversation between Picard and Data. Okay, yes, the season-long story actually does matter on the broader objective scale (and we'll get to that in a second), but it's not the point of the closing moment of "Vox" — and the point of "Vox" (and the season at large) is really to get us to this moment and moments like it. It's a moment that's well worth it and wonderfully pulled off. I damn near teared up as the crew stepped onto that bridge, and it slowly lit up like a museum display, and they spoke about how right it felt to be there. It does feel right to be here. They say you can't go home again. Sometimes you can.

The even better news is that "Vox" also manages to mostly pull off the mystery of Jack Crusher so that it holds together without it being a crushing disappointment. Was it worth eight episodes of build-up to get here? No, but we fortunately had other things going on for most of those eight episodes before the momentum started to flag in the last two. (The structure of these 10-episode-arc seasons is still a major problem and a baffling, self-destructive starting point, and I don't understand why the writers insist on boxing themselves in in this way, but Picard season three has managed to mostly sidestep its own downfall in spite of this faulty foundation.)

It turns out that behind the door in Jack's mind are the Borg. The branches he's envisioned all his life were a metaphor for the intertwined connections the Borg have in their hive mind. His desire for order and for people to connect to one other came partially from this Borg influence. And Jack's Borgness was actually inherited from Picard. It turns out Picard's assimilation changed his DNA in a way that went undetected for 35 years (because detection wasn't possible in the past) — all while creating the symptoms of what was wrongly believed to be irumodic syndrome — and this was somehow passed along to Jack. He has literally inherited Borg DNA.

The reason Vadic wanted Jack is because she was working with the Borg to bring him back to the collective so they could use him to trigger a signal unlocking the rest of their plan. (Or, at least, I think that's what is explained here. It's a bit convoluted.) And the reason Vadic wanted Picard's human body was so they could weaponize this change in DNA for use against Starfleet. (That plot point is far from ironclad, but it's a much better rationale than using it to create the perfect Picard doppelganger, as was wrongly theorized by Picard a couple episodes ago. But I still don't understand why it would be necessary, considering everything else going on with the Changeling infiltration, their plans for Jack, and the transporter sabotage.)

Oh, yeah — the transporter sabotage. The Changeling infiltrators have also modified the transporters across Starfleet to recode the DNA for anyone that uses them so they also receive this modified Borg DNA, allowing the Borg, once they have Jack, to essentially switch on the nanotechnology in all the affected people. This only affects people under the age of about 25, whose frontal cortices are still developing.

This is all learned and explained in a series of refreshingly TNG-like technobabble scenes, but after Jack has already fled the ship to avoid being institutionalized and studied by the Vulcans. Jack instead takes matters into his own hands so he can seek out and confront the Borg. He follows the voices in his head to a transwarp conduit that brings him to Borg space, where he beams aboard their facility and confronts the Borg Queen. She names him "Vox," the next-generation (literally) successor to Locutus, and uses him to switch on the nanoprobes that have been put into everyone's DNA.

All of this happens on Frontier Day, where the fleet, led by the Enterprise-F and Admiral Shelby (Elizabeth Dennehy returning after 30-plus years) — has been assembled not simply for celebration, but to test the new technology taking advantage of all the ships' interconnected abilities — which the Borg then exploit. This provides a semi-plausible reason for why so much of the fleet is assembled, and makes the plan to attack Frontier Day considerably less stupid than simply blowing up a parade of starships.

In recounting all of that, it sounds positively insane. And, yes, it is. But all the plot threads that were set up in the previous episodes converge here and hold together just well enough to explain themselves and get us into this new Borg crisis. It's far better than what I was expecting an episode or two ago. Could I pick this apart and destroy it? Sure. But I'm wholly disinclined to do so. As a Trekkian sci-fi action plot, it's good enough. And by making these young Starfleet officers into Borg (including both of Geordi's daughters), it brings more gravity to the action sequences, because it's not bad guys shooting at us, but our own people, whom we don't want to harm.

Thematically, there are a couple of things going on here. One is the question around the interconnected technology being exploited by the Borg like a network being hacked. And the other is the idea of the under-25 crowd being hijacked because of their still-developing minds. Usually, it's the next generation that has to save us. Instead, the last generation will. The only people who will be able to rescue Starfleet this time are old, legacy characters using old, legacy technology. How very Star Trek VI of them. On a series called Picard, starring an octogenarian, this tracks.

It all leads to one, last desperate plan by the only people who are able to do it, using the hidden surprise Geordi has been working on for the last 20 years (though that surprise was never intended for this purpose) — the restored Enterprise-D, which is not networked like modern ships and thus impervious to the Borg's particular line of attack. We have our crew on the ship that once defined them. Now, can they save the world one last time, and do it in a way that closes out their story satisfyingly?

A lot of other thoughts:

  • Alice Krige returns to provide the voice of the Borg Queen, but does not appear in the scene physically with Jack, and the Queen is only glimpsed from behind. A body double is credited. I'm guessing this was an availability thing, where they couldn't get Krige to appear in person, or she declined.
  • Shaw gets his death scene, where he predictably comes around and finally calls his first officer "Seven of Nine." I wish writers could figure out that killing characters is usually the least creative and most expected avenue; this was pretty pedestrian. Seven and Raffi remain on the Titan, presumably to retake it in the finale.
  • Shelby gets phasered by her rogue, Borgified crew. Is she dead? Probably, but not certainly.
  • It seems to me that people under 25 would not make up the majority of a ship's crew, so shouldn't the numbers be in the non-Borgified crew members' favor?
  • I assume Vadic's hand-face was merely the Borg Queen communicating through some device that simply manifested itself in that way, as to not give away her identity for the audience.
  • Laugh line of the episode: Geordi: "Data, can you try to be more positive?" Data, with a wry smile: "I hope we die quickly!" That's how you do Data-delivered humor, folks. (Not "Mr. Tricorder.")
  • Geordi: "And, obviously, we can't use the Enterprise-E." Worf: "That was not my fault."
  • There were a lot of great little lines in this one, like Worf wishing for the weapons of the Enterprise-E, and Troi admonishing him.
  • Geordi's overview of how the Enterprise-D was restored provided the exact amount of detail needed to make this feel real. They recovered the hull from Veridian III where it had crashed, got the nacelles from another decommissioned ship, and rebuilt the rest over two decades. It's the kind of straightforward yet deliberate detail often missing on this series.
  • Would the Enterprise-D as a museum piece have active weapons? I tend to doubt it, but I also don't care.
  • Geordi calls the Enterprise-D technology "analog." Uh, no. Sure, it may be old, but it's definitely not going to be analog.
  • Will the Jurati Borg play into this at all? I'm hoping not, because it would make a likely busy finale even busier, and I'd just as soon forget the Jurati Borg ever happened, but it would make logical sense to acknowledge there are now two factions of Borg within the scope of this series.
  • "Relics" — which produced similar feelings of nostalgia by having characters step onto the bridge of a long-retired Enterprise — aired 30 years and six months ago, which is significantly longer than the time between "Relics" and the start of TOS. Man, are we getting old.
  • "Yes, but this was nothing but fan service, and [blah, blah, etc.]." Don't care. Shut up. This is fan service of the highest order, and that's the point. Yes, it's all a conceit, and I'm happy they felt the need to share it with us. Kudos especially to the production designers, who re-created the Enterprise bridge flawlessly, and the CGI modelers for the ship's exteriors.
  • Next week's finale is titled "The Last Generation." Given this week's plot, there's a lot to unpack there.

Previous episode: Surrender
Next episode: The Last Generation

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Comment Section

508 comments on this post

    Grinning again.

    SHELBY

    Yeah lots of fan stroking, but not exactly a cheap version.

    Some of the complaints from earlier about plotting... sure some is ridiculously convenient, but it should surely be considered in regards to TNG plotting. Obviously shows have become more sophisticated since TNG but TNG featured invaders (Conspiracy) that fooled the entire Starfleet in a very subtle manner, then when the D showed up at Earth, they immediately became mustache twirling villains.

    I kind of tend to presume Matalas and company are trying to be thematically consistent, more or less. DS9 even VOY plotting wouldn't fit exactly with TNG.

    Pros of Vox:

    - I'm going to predict some are going to have big issues with it, but I actually like the villain pivot to the Borg. The Changelings were just red herrings, which doesn't bother me too much. Yes, the Borg have been done to death by now, but they're the best and creepiest for a reason. They were able to really capture the horrifying nature of what the Borg are and represent in this episode, which I really appreciate. Voyager did some good stuff with the Borg character-wise, but it definitely lost those horror elements. I also thought the transporter-DNA plot was rather clever too.

    - I see now why they waited so long to reveal the Jack mystery. Since it's tied so closely to the true villain of the season, I reckon the audience shouldn't know that answer too long before that reveal. All of the main cast figuring out what was wrong with Jack and relaying it to Picard was also some classic TNG right there.

    - I liked that Troi cold-heartedly reminded Picard that Jack is a threat, and they must follow Starfleet protocols. She still has some of those command lessons learned in "Thine Own Self."

    - The camera and lighting were much better than usual in this one. Lots of interesting shots and angles. I really liked the dramatic shot of only seeing the back of the Borg Queen. A lesser show would have done an instant full reveal.

    - I love that this episode pretty much entirely undoes season 2, almost to the point that even the franchise is treating it as not part of canon.

    - Enterprise-D. What can you say? Is it totally contrived? Absolutely. Is it magnificent? Also absolutely.

    - Worf's preference for the Enterprise-E and the Picard carpet joke genuinely gave me a good lol.

    - Kind of a meh with Shelby and was hoping for a better cameo, but it was funny that Riker still holds a grudge.

    Cons of Vox:

    - The Enterprise-F was laughably throwaway. That "bridge" looked like they put it together in an afternoon (which they probably did). I guess all the bridge budget went to recreating the D bridge, since no one would really give an F about the F.

    - Did they explain why the Changelings needed Jack so badly before the Frontier Day plot? If so, I didn't catch it. I'm not sure what they still needed him for if all of the plan had been completed weeks earlier with all the transporter-DNA recodings?

    - Did they explain how the Borg have been able to communicate with the Changelings? If so, I missed that too. Unless Vadic's hand was actually some kind of Borg?

    - They really did Shaw dirty. I think the writers probably wanted only the original cast to be on the 1701-D, and they needed a reason for Raffi and Seven to stay on board the Titan. But there's probably at least 20 good alternatives that would have allowed the 3 of them to stay without killing him off. We should have at the very least gotten some kind of reaction from him about the Borg being back, since we are all aware how formatively traumatic they were to him. Shaw's just another casualty of cliched plotting.

    - Data's "good day to die" joke genuinely gave me a good groan.

    “Computer: Lights.” FINALY!! It’s nice to SEE the bridge again (& hear Majel Barrett’s voice as the computer).

    I’m going to have to rewatch the part where they explain the changeling/Borg/jack connection cuz some of that went by so fast I’m not sure I understood all of it.

    It’s funny, earlier in the episode I was noticing the chrome chair legs reflecting in the shiny floor in the conference room and lamenting the loss of the carpet, and then Picard says his line ;)

    We wasted eight episodes on what amounts to a changeling fakeout.

    What did any of what came before this have to do with the Borg's new transporter-assimilation method.

    What does any of this have to do with the portal weapon and the original attack on the recruitment center made with it? In hindsight it seems that the Borg would want to recruit as many adolescents as possible.

    Will anything have come of the Big Giant Head as relates to this wild plot turn?

    I hope Admiral Janeway shows up in the last episode.
    Good episode, this one
    At least they sort of explained Jack using some science and not some other way - I do like the explanation, though.
    I liked the fan service
    Still a lot of questions
    This still feel rushed, since only one more episode.
    Lots of things could have been missed out.
    Seven needs more to do, what has she done recently?
    Did you see the difference in lighting?
    Different ships, different lighting. Maybe that was the point.
    The lighting towards the end was clearly better

    @Jax - yeah, I’m pretty confused right now trying to connect the dots plotwise. The Borg & the Changelings had an alliance of some sort? How does that happen?

    So did Geordi retrieve the Ressikan flute and the Kurlan naiskos that Picard unceremoniously tossed aside in Generations in favor of the scrapbook with the LED lights?

    It's well lit now, isn't it?

    This is embarrassingly wrong, but oh so right.

    No one ever noticed in routine checkups that all these people had countless nanoprobes in their bloodstream?

    And the transporter never noticed them either. We know form classic Ttrek dialogue that the transporter checks for all known foreign substances in a pattern, and Borg nanoprobes are well known. The Voyager EMH, who is presuambly a high ranking official at Starfleet Medical, is probably the foremost authority on them.

    How would the Borg have been able to access every transporter in the quadrant in order to do whatever the hell they did to them to cause...this.

    I think I prefer the less convoluted flavor of plot stupid from Season 2.

    @Jax,

    "No one ever noticed in routine checkups that all these people had countless nanoprobes in their bloodstream?"

    Although admittedly convoluted, I believe they explained that this assimilation technology does not rely on traditional nanoprobes. I think Geordi said this Borg-hybrid DNA was added to each person during a regular transport over the course of months, and no one was the wiser since it didn't affect anyone in the slightest.

    If an additional DNA nucleotide pair is added to an individual's genome, you would never notice it in a million years because it would likely express absolutely nothing, like most base pairs. Only here, it would have an ability lying dormant, only to be activated that causes some unknown biological connection to the Borg hivemind.

    Alternatively, it could function as a separate DNA structure, similar to mitochondria vs. the DNA that make up the genetic expression of our biology.

    So I am thinking this...

    The Borg found out about these POW changelings; enhanced and angry . They recruit them through the "Giant head" imagery and off they go with their instructions to put this code into the transporters.

    It's a bit clunky but it is clever to get everyone who transports on a starship to be encoded with the DNA that they can "turn on" when it's time. Although, rather convienient that anyone over age 25 (and thus our TNG heroes!!) are not affected.

    All I can think is Vadic morphed her hand into some sort of receiver for the Borg to communicate via the GIANT HEAD imagery so Vadic didn't know it was actually the Borg. Maybe she wouldn't have played ball if she knew it was them.

    Anyways, on from that. The obvious best part was the Enterprise D showing up at the end with all the crew, they even pulled out some Majel Barrett tape. A nice touch.

    Hey, we get the TNG crew saving the day in the Enterprise D. For any and all plot holes people can BE MAD about (and good lord there are a lot of them) ; this is pretty much what it should have been all along. So, I can finish this off feeling happy.

    @Jax,

    "How would the Borg have been able to access every transporter in the quadrant in order to do whatever the hell they did to them to cause...this."

    I'm pretty sure the Changelings did this part? If it was already established they had infiltrated all of Starfleet, it wouldn't seem too hard for them to add a stealth program in each ships' transporter system.

    And nothing, I mean absolutely nothing, will ever surpass the stupidity of Season 2. It reigns the supreme failure across all space and time.

    Some random thoughts:

    -50/50 with using the Borg again, but Pah Wraiths wouldn’t make sense for Picard nor have the emotional weight. I guess I’m okay with it.

    -The explanations of everything are flying by at warp speed lol.

    -Seven should’ve been with the crew in the lab.

    -The Enterprise F just looks like a bloated E.

    -The interior of the Borg cube looks like a mix of TNG/First Contact. You can even see the old nodes on the ceiling.

    -Shelby was cool, but I feel kinda meh about it.

    -Data’s got some dark humor. Or is it Lore’s?

    -Captain Shaw :(

    -I wonder if Janeway will save Seven/Raffi.

    -Enterprise D is gorgeous. Hearing Majels. voice was great. One last voyage next week…

    (Just a nitpick, the bridge is 99% perfect, there’s just something off about the piece behind Picards chair. Chairs need to be higher maybe?)

    The reactions towards the last episodes of this season are so perfectly summarized by this scene
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEdVDWC1lg0

    Excellent episode. It literally flew by. When they got to the Big D, I checked the time and was stunned to see nearly 50 minutes had elapsed. So,...terrific pacing, not a moment wasted.

    I did not have any trouble following the plot point that the Borg were using Jack to transmit the signal to the fleet to begin assimilation.

    Speaking of Jack, his rushing out to find the Borg was simultaneously aggravatingly stupid, tragic, and TOTALLY plausible and consistent with his character and awful situation. Like Odo homing in on the Omarion Nebula, the pull was irresistible.

    And as for Shaw, my hope is that he is not quite dead, and maybe we get an EMH scene on the Titan next week.

    Lastly, I suspect Janeway is on Starbase 1. I also suspect that base is a fortress, with exceptional shielding and defenses. And it is probably teaming with enough higher-ranking old timers to ensure it won't be quickly assimilated. furthermore, I predict thay the Big D crew will arrive and rescue Janeway and she will help them fend off the Borg. Shelby is dead already, which means that aside from our heroes Janeway is the best Borg fighter left in action (as far as we know), it would be criminal for her to have no involvement.

    The finale is going to be epic, I hope it goes over an hour!

    Also, this episode filled a lacuna that always bothered me. Seven could hear the Borg because of her neural implants. And because of her length of service as a drone, removing the implants would kill her. But it was never clear why Picard could hear the Borg in First Contact. In my head canon, I always imagined he still had some implants, but they were easier to cover up cosmetically. But that was never confirmed. Now we know why he could hear them. It is a nice piece of world-building.

    Spoilers obviously coming up
    Season 2 was a mess, but I had expected Jurati in some form. I was disappointed with that. That was just my expectation...
    I do think that Shaw will survive. He called her Seven, so I think Seven will save him.
    They need to explain the hand thing - Vadic and this hand is confusing. No Borg association, or is it some "DNA" thing?
    AND SPOILER if you have not seen Discovery
    They said the Borg has been absent for centuries...?

    Of two minds with this episode: on the one hand, Jack has now brought considerable death and destruction, more willingly than his father ever did, suggesting that our heroes and the Titan should have indeed been more prudent; on the other hand, or, at the very least, the ending was glorious, and the crew has been afforded one, final grand obstacle to overcome.

    My bad: Jack was not responsible for the assimilation. Quite likely, he will turn out to be everyone's saviour. Still a lot to process with all the death and destruction. Shades of modern Trek in that regard.

    Starfleet should have listened to Geordi.

    Ok, time to get real.

    There are numerous red lights on the D bridge LCARS, and the walls and carpet are far too smooth.

    Lol.

    I'm just not sure who to sue for putting me into a diabetic coma. Paramount, CBS, Matalas?

    It sure seems like I keep seeing the name "Matalas" when I see NuTrek that I like.

    There isn't an unlimited deck of nostalgia cards to play, but Matalas plays them well.

    Great job.

    Lol, it occurs to me my last post could be read as snarky sarcasm.

    Not meant like that at all, I legit think Matalas is doing a great job.

    I’m sorry: I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH STARS FOR THIS ONE!

    I’m in *TOTAL SHOCK* … and also grinning from ear-to-ear!

    Surprised at the positive tone here. Yes, the nostalgia of using all the "greatest hits" works at the primal level if you are a Star Trek fan and the excitement is competently executed... but if we try to analyze this objectively as art, surely we all realize this is hot garbage, right?

    Right?

    I enjoyed it.

    • I don't care the plot doesn't make a lick of sense and how utterly convoluted this all is.
    • I don't care how blatant and arguably in poor taste this 'memberberry assault is.
    • I don't care how dumb this gets once you start rubbing two brain cells together.

    It is what it is. I liked seeing my old favorites The Borg again - the REAL Borg. I liked all the familiar things that I recognized.

    I lapped it up unabashedly; I think I just gave in.

    After this, I might catch a bit of SNW when the mood takes me, but my days of hanging on to every Trek series are at an end. Next week is the last time I'll see this crew together and the last time I expect I'll be invested in Star Trek with anything approaching the passion I once had. So, I'll enjoy it as best I can and bid it farewell. After years of underbaked, half-arsed NuTrek, I'm glad I can sign off with something that fires off some dopamine, rather than calling it quits on something like Discovery S4.

    As was pointed out in the previous episode thread: enjoying this most certainly does not make it good Trek – or good TV period. In the hands of real talent, a TNG reunion could have been amazing & substantial, rather than an endless parade of nostalgia - maybe with a dusting of nostalgia here and there, sure.

    Anyway, I look forward to reading the more critical takes on this episode.

    The writing credits tell the story of this one. The showrunner/director knows a fair bit of Trek lore, but the writers do not. The result is a surprisingly clever story arc brought down by god-awful writing:

    "To take everything back from those who live like shattered glass."

    WAT?

    Poor Shaw. Both he and Vadic had brilliant intro sequences that let the talent shine, and after 6-7 episodes of snark and playing musical captain's chairs, he finally had his heroic moment. The possibilities were endless - callbacks to Wolf 359, etc. But alas, his death (?) is All About Seven (TM). The selfless act that re-defines his character in an interesting (if predictable) way is wasted in service of her self-absorbed twattery over her name.

    This has become just like a soap opera and we are all invested because we've watched the previous 134,065 episodes. But, just like people who watch afternoon soaps, we should have the decency to admit to the world that we are watching pure, unadulterated, guilty pleasure crap.

    Dreubarik "This has become just like a soap opera and we are all invested because we've watched the previous 134,065 episodes. But, just like people who watch afternoon soaps, we should have the decency to admit to the world that we are watching pure, unadulterated, guilty pleasure crap."

    Spot on.

    And guilty as charged, over here.

    The Borg are definitely overused at this point, but emotionally it works as long as we get some good new villains in other shows.

    I've compared this season to Doctor Who a lot. The Borg are becoming like the Daleks/Cybermen... They just keep coming back and lose some of their menace each team.

    The transporter plot reminds me a lot of some of the Master's plots.

    This episode didn't explain how there was a Borg/Changeling alliance, etc. I wish they didn't have to kill off Shaw

    But with all part 1s, it will be defined by part 2. So I'll withhold judgment overall, admitting this episode worked even with its problems.

    Everyone hated Shaw in the beginning. Until they didn't. That's a tribute to Todd Stashwick.

    Back after taking last week off from reviewing. To make a long story short, I was on vacation in the UK, and found I couldn't access Paramount Plus there - nor could I find Picard for free on Amazon Prime, despite being told it was a standard part of service there. I guess P+ thought I was a UK viewer, but Amazon still thought I was in the U.S. Regardless, didn't get to see the previous episode until Sunday, at which time my two cents would have been pointless.

    This is a stronger episode than the last one, but I still have decidedly mixed feelings here - I have to disentangle how well done the episode is from my personal feelings about it. This is the first competently-done mystery box in modern serialized Trek...but I just was kind of unimpressed with what happened to be inside of it.

    Don't get me wrong, thematically speaking, using the Borg makes great sense. TNG had lots to do with the Borg, and nothing to do with the Changelings. It's bound up in the personal trauma of Picard as well. My issue is just this is a well we've gone to in both Seasons 1 and 2. It's not Matalas's fault with the first season, but he was involved in Season 2 to some extent, so I don't understand why he told two Borg stories in a row, with this one even undoing a good deal of last season. I pretty much knew that the Borg were somehow involved, but I had hoped the Changelings and some third party (whoever was behind The Face) were working together to exploit a Borg remnant in Jack. Instead we have Crusher just declare "the Borg and the Changelings have been working together all along!" and then the half-dead queen confirm it. Thus all nuance is pretty much gone, and it's down to defeat the bad guy...again. Only I don't think it works emotionally as well as with Vadic, because the motivations of this Queen haven't been established onscreen...she's an 11th hour antagonist. I guess she was The Face, and we'll never get it explained?

    I also understand thematically what they were going for with the only under-25s getting assimilated thing (even if all the actors portraying the characters were in their late 20s or 30s). I have to say that whole sequence was hard for me to suspend disbelief on however. Shaw's entire bridge crew other than Seven were a bunch of inexperienced n00bs? That's...that's nuts. Looking online at U.S. Navy demographics, while it is true that nearly half of enlisted are under 25, only 14% of officers are - and bridge crew should be officers. If anything Starfleet should skew older, given advances in medical technology and it not being as rigorous of a job. Ships like the Titan should also be plumb assignments which tend to skew a bit older as well.

    That said, the emotional beats hit well here, and aside from some awkwardness in early-episode technobabble (and the weirdness that Deanna of all people gives a lecture about protocol) this was a well crafted, acted, paced, and even scripted episode. It did the job well. I'm just left hoping for more, and am really worried with one episode left we're going to have a pretty shallow conclusion to this arc.

    The biggest open question for me - is Jack going to die? The finale is titled The Last Generation, which could be seen as meaning "the previous generation" - how the oldsters need to save Starfleet with the youngins taken out - but there's another meaning I can parse out here. Indeed, given all good climaxes come at an emotional cost, and Matalas had said he is intentionally making a TOS movie rendition for the TNG cast...well, we know how it ended for Kirk's son.

    Absolutely loved it. Seeing them all on the D and the goosebumps that gave when it left the dock. Oh yes.

    Points:

    1. We now know why Vadic refused to use transporters. The Borg codec would have been encoded into her as well, as it was designed to infiltrate every species. I'm wondering if Ro knew *something* was happening with the transporters, but ran out of time to figure it out. She was command, not engineering.

    2. Shelby got phasered by her Borged-out crew. It's Riker's turn to be chipper now.

    3. The changelings hated the Federation so much they were willing to align with the Borg. That's some serious hate. They infiltrated Starfleet, arranged for the transporter mods, squashed any ability to investigate out-of-the-ordinary events and suspicious activity, created Frontier Day event with the ENTIRE fleet recalled back to Earth to make it happen. After that the Borg just had to flip the switch.

    Strategically, it's brilliant. They used all of society's weaknesses against us. They found an ally. They infiltrated that ally into key positions, then used a technology meant to help people to encode Borg-written DNA. They used a military-style hierarchy to help quash dissent and make sure none of the right people were asking the right questions. Further, they used citizens clearly concerned only about their self-interests - the Ferengi and Vulcan on M'Talas Prime - to help destroy the Federation from within.

    Jack was a sideshow - the Borg wanted him because he is a biological transceiver for the other Borgified Starfleet crew. That makes him valuable. Imagine if they could replicate the effect across the entire collective without implants -- which they have done on a micro scale with Starfleet.

    Also Borg and Changelings makes sense. Reaching here but maybe Changelings can't be assimilated and they have their link so the Borg might look at them as a worthy ally who have already attained perfection.
    Both want the Federation done so it makes sense, to me that they could team up. Sure the plotting to get it here as been clunky but I think if they stick the landing next week. That can be forgiven.

    @Zimmerman:

    "Shaw's entire bridge crew other than Seven were a bunch of inexperienced n00bs? That's...that's nuts. Looking online at U.S. Navy demographics, while it is true that nearly half of enlisted are under 25, only 14% of officers are - and bridge crew should be officers. If anything Starfleet should skew older, given advances in medical technology and it not being as rigorous of a job. Ships like the Titan should also be plumb assignments which tend to skew a bit older as well."

    Well, someone on the bridge has to survive if the Star Trek: Legacy idea goes to series. ;-)

    Totally missed that the signal did not get sent until Jack was plugged into the collective - so that was the primary reason for needing him. I was on the right path, but hadn't got there yet.

    There was lots of commentary on this site last week about "fans". I think there are franchise fans who push back against plots and characterizations that feel like they're in opposition to the franchise. A lot of NuTrek feels in opposition to the franchise as a whole, and that sparks backlash. I fully defend the right of franchise fans to push back on episodes and shows they have problems with. I always hope the powers that be listen to fans and calibrate the shows accordingly before they lose too much audience and cancel the show.

    I feel like every time this season of Picard starts to trend toward NuTrek's worst tendencies, it pulls itself back. This episode gives me hope they'll stick the landing.

    It's all just so profoundly cynical at this point. The entire show is just a Frankenstein's Monster of shit we liked as kids, dredged up from our collective cultural past and paraded before us once again, the writers banking entirely on us cheering when we see things we recognise. NuTrek, in both its strongest moments and its worst, has always relied on "wow, here's character/ship/situation/concept that everyone remembers!!" type stuff, but it's gotten to the stage where the entire show is just an exercise in shamelessly fitting as much fondly-remembered stuff as they can into any given episode.

    To summarise: The Borg and the Changelings are conspiring to destroy the Federation, and only Picard and a specific set of people he worked with at one time several decades ago can stop them, using the ship they served on in those days. Thanks to a distress call by Beverly, we've been on Riker's old ship the Titan until now, on which Seven serves alongside Geordi's daughter. Their captain was at Wolf-359. Ro arrived on the ship. We went to a museum to look at the Enterprise-A, the Defiant, and Voyager, and met Geordi. We called Tuvok and listened to the Voyager theme song with him. Worf arrived, having been tipped off by Odo. Troi arrived, having been captured by Changelings. We had to recover Data (and Lore) from a Section 31 blacksite that also had Kirk and a Tribble. Moriarty was the guard. When this great plot isn't unfolding, characters do things like talk to each other about their favourite famous Star Trek ships, get together to chat about their favourite TNG episodes, or just say outright "wow, with all of us sat around this table, this is like being back in TNG".

    Can't take it anymore. I don't even hate all of NuTrek, as my comment history will attest to, but this is really grating stuff.

    Here's an idea. For the finale, why not have Janeway show up on a D7 with Trelane as her first officer and Mot the Barber as her helmsman? There'll be an incredible battle against Borg-enhanced Hirogen, our new 11th-hour opponent. Then the Guardian of Forever can send Archer through to help, and he can arrive in the NX-1 with Hoshi and Bashir (quite how or why Bashir is present on the NX-1 hasn't been hashed out yet, but I'm sure the writers can whip up a great explanation for his inexplicable presence). But watch out! The Borg have salvaged and repaired the ruined Planet Killer, and it's on course for Risa (where this battle is taking place)! Can Kirk (who is also here) and Kira (who he's teamed up with) save the day by entering the Nexus? And will Goo Harry Kim (from Course Oblivion), who has arrived from the Mirror Universe, be able to turn the tide of the battle by talking the sentient missile from Voyager's "Warhead" - which has merged with Nomad - into taking out the Borg? It won't be easy - not with Khan now working for the Borg! There'll be a Horta too. Also M'Ress will walk across the screen at one point, holding a PADD on which she's having a video call with Ardra from "Devil's Due".

    No offence to people who are enjoying it, especially those above who are fans while still recognising how shameless it all is. But Jesus Christ, for me personally it's like some kind of anti-ASMR; my spine and skin not tingling with pleasure but rather crawling with disgust, shame and exasperation. I wasn't a fan of Discovery at all but I'd rather watch Burnham and chums stumble through another terrible-but-mostly-original plot than watch any more TNG actors get together to recite the titles of popular Memory Alpha pages while the movie theme songs blare out in the background.

    Sheesh, I don't know what you are looking for man. At the end of a day this is just a tv show and just a goodbye to a beloved tv series.

    Guy, Matalas just revealed that the last episode will be shot for shot recreation of Best of Both Worlds. Anonymous sources confirmed that there is not a single difference. Wow. I'm excited!!

    @Kyle A
    "Sheesh, I don't know what you are looking for man."
    Something vaguely original. I don't mind the presence of legacy characters in and of itself, and obviously this show is titled "Picard", but it's just galling to see so many spectres of pop cultural past summoned to awkwardly dance around with each other, no matter how convoluted the logic needed for it all to happen.

    I do understand that this show is billed as a TNG sendoff, but it just seems creatively bankrupt to me - the one plot I've really liked is Data integrating Lore, which did actually feel like a good, earned resolution to a recurring TNG plot point. Everything else is just Star Trek symbology; characters and concepts written decades ago regurgitated and often stripped of context.

    It's especially dispiriting given that this seems to be the way everything's going - I couldn't get through the first season of Lower Decks because, in addition to not finding any of it funny, I couldn't take the endless stream of references. I don't understand the appeal at all. We've also got Strange New Worlds, which I largely liked, but which also inexplicably mires itself in existing concepts like the Gorn (which it mishandles horribly) and the reuse of characters written in 1960s. This is what stagnation looks like to me. Using the word "masturbatory" feels vulgar but that's what it is, just a mad grabbag of shit that people remember from previous shows cynically repeated and smushed together in the hopes that people will cheer at Tuvok, cheer at the Wrath of Khan music, cheer at the Enterprise-D, because they're things we recognise.

    This all serves to mask a fairly standard NuTrek plot - a mystery box is unfolding with a Federation-ending conspiracy that has forced our heroes to go it alone, vaporising and stabbing their way through a series of thinly-drawn opponents as they work to save The Whole Galaxy from armageddon. It's the same kind of show as Discovery, only with a reskin: instead of a dumb new villain it's two things we remember from the 1990s, and instead of a new crew, it's mostly a collection of people we watched on TV as kids.

    Not the path I'd hoped it would take. In fact, it's the path I was dreading the most. The least inspired, path of least resistance.

    So to speak.

    Observations:

    - There's an unmistakable "boomers fear millennials" vibe to the whole organic zombie assimilation plot. Big cringe for me.

    - If the whole transporter thing didn't matter to anyone past a certain age (varying by species), why did they go out of their way for the main cast to tool around in shuttlecraft so often?

    - So Picard decides to take armed guards to his discussion with an emotionally unstable man with mind control powers. They should have skipped the discussion, gassed the room, and kept him sedated until they figured shit out.

    - They were on board awful fast for a crazy theory Beverly and Troi concocted over the span of 5 minutes. (And holy shit, Bev really turned into an exposition machine there for a moment.)

    - I thought Ro pulled most of the crew off the Titan? Sure were a shitload of crew.

    - You introduce Shelby just to kill her on screen?

    - The Queen's chambers were awfully messy. (I'm assuming that's on purpose, considering they decided not to show her; probably something more there.)

    - I guarantee they destroy Spacedock, since the original is now the fleet museum. Cake + eating it.

    - I understand the sentimentality for the Big-D, and we can dream up some reasons why it's important to the TNG characters. But they REALLY pushed some of that shit past the red line. Riker's "We're the crew of the USS Enterprise!" especially made me a bit squirm. Just a bit too self-aware.

    - But, above all -- and I'm not kidding -- most unforgivably: they not only killed Shaw, but did so in the laziest, boring way possible.

    I'm not going to go so far as to say this is the episode where it finally fell off a cliff for me, but it's left me hanging by a pinky off the edge. Big disappointment. (But nowhere near the active trash fire of prior seasons. Let's not get carried away. ;))

    Wow, that episode was pure fan service. Also, that was awesome.

    The Jack reveal was better than I expected. At the end of the last episode I wasn't confident they would be able to explain everything coherently but they actually did. I don't think the reveal was worth waiting most of the season but it was still pretty clever.

    Okay, even I have to ask about one major plot hole. Does Voyager still have it's Borg and Future Starfleet armor/weapons upgrades in tact? If so, surely THAT would be the ship you'd want. Or did Starfleet Intelligence/Engineering tear all that shit out before it was mothballed...because...temporal prime directive?

    Can anyone confirm that it was Alice Krige’s voice as the Borg queen? It would be nice to see the OGBQ cameo next week…

    @Timmy the Tribble,

    Yes, that was definitely Alice Krige's voice. Just double checked the end credits and she has special guest star billing as "the voice of the Borg Queen".

    I love to hear that it's Krige (it 100% sounded like her) but it also made me quite sad to remember the also incredible Annie Wershing's passing earlier this year.

    Bucktown: "I believe they explained that this assimilation technology does not rely on traditional nanoprobes"

    So instead of the deux ex machina being how the good guys save the day, it's how the bad guys did it in the first place...

    Starman: "I enjoyed it [] It is what it is."

    I readily admit that I laughed. A lot.

    @Descent
    Here's an idea. For the finale, why not have Janeway show up on a D7 with Trelane as her first officer and Mot the Barber as her helmsman? There'll be an incredible battle against Borg-enhanced Hirogen, our new 11th-hour opponent. Then the Guardian of Forever can send Archer through to help, and he can arrive in the NX-1 with Hoshi and Bashir (quite how or why Bashir is present on the NX-1 hasn't been hashed out yet, but I'm sure the writers can whip up a great explanation for his inexplicable presence). But watch out! The Borg have salvaged and repaired the ruined Planet Killer, and it's on course for Risa (where this battle is taking place)! Can Kirk (who is also here) and Kira (who he's teamed up with) save the day by entering the Nexus? And will Goo Harry Kim (from Course Oblivion), who has arrived from the Mirror Universe, be able to turn the tide of the battle by talking the sentient missile from Voyager's "Warhead" - which has merged with Nomad - into taking out the Borg? It won't be easy - not with Khan now working for the Borg! There'll be a Horta too. Also M'Ress will walk across the screen at one point, holding a PADD on which she's having a video call with Ardra from "Devil's Due".

    ---

    Sounds like the plot of every Star Trek novel, which mash unlikely characters together in unconvincing ways. And we're seeing that level of foolishness play at on our screens week after week.

    "Shaw's entire bridge crew other than Seven were a bunch of inexperienced n00bs? That's...that's nuts"

    T'Leen probably was well older than 25 (T'Pol was 66 in Enterprise S1), so maybe Vadic *did* know who she was gonna kill first all along...

    @Descent, I'm with you. I can get behind a series that attempts originality and doesn't quite make it. But, when television is so clearly made for the sole purpose of tingling people's nostalgia bones- with the intention of telling a good story as an afterthought- regardless of the level of execution, I feel like it's a minor affront to the art of storytelling. The idea that references and cameos alone are enough is belittling to an audience- "oh, they'll eat this up like flies on dung". I'm sure there are thousands of writers and actors out there who aren't getting their due chance to realize their groundbreaking ideas on film because a few executives wanted content-starved sci-fi'ers to squee money into their pockets.

    This season 3 project was pure nostalgia bait (yeah yeah, we all knew it going into it, but the internet hype had me hoping for juuuussst a little bit more). The story is preposterous fan fiction, it's unsophisticated and juvenile. There is not really a strong thematic anchor here, imo. Some nostalgia elements have been satisfying, but the macro story decisions and storytelling have been largely unsatisfying, save for some Riker and Picard/son character bits in the early episodes.

    I enjoyed Shatner's "The Return," but it would never have been put to film back in the day with all its "Borg Romulan alliance" silliness-- But fast forward to the year 2023 where we all live in our own realities (anything is possible if you feel it!!!), and that same silliness existing in Picard SZN 3 is given a pass only because it gives ya allllll the feelz!

    But hey, if Michael Okuda says this finale is the best Star Trek finale of all time, it has to be true, right? What do I know? Maybe I just hated Star Trek all along, if I don't like this!!

    The whole Picard series has been a long string of silly decisions, but SZN 3 felt oh so different/"better" because at this point, they're just pulling out all the stops for one last memberberry ride. How many facial reaction cutaways do we have to endure when everyone hits the D bridge? It's soooo cheesy! The drama and emotional payoff would be way more earned if the story had any semblance of seriousness to it. Or maybe if it had an overarching theme other than "wahhh you're my family, I'll do ANYTHING for you, let's go sacrifice ourselves to defeat the big bad Star Trek supervillains AGAIN for the sake of the new generation!" lameness. The stakes are always so artificially, melodramatically inflated.

    So this sets up Picard's sacrifice, clearly. But that's not really fair to his character. It's not like it was his choice to be assimilated in the first place, lol. What the hell kind of character study is that-- Appreciating having to sacrifice yourself and possibly your old crew compadres for a kid (and the whole of Starfleet, lol!) you didn't know existed because he was given superhuman Borg weapon powers via that forced rape assimilation event? That is some nihilistic, hopeless shit right there.

    And also, let me tell you, cameo deaths are awesome. They're such a great use of screen time. YAWN. Maybe if they spent a little more time developing Picard's growing affinity for the idea of having a legit family now that he's reached the end of his life, regrets over what happened with Bev, regrets over never marrying, etc etc etc etc, all of this would feel more earned, and more connected to what the Rikers had to endure with loss, and the idea of sacrifice?

    Decision-making in 2023: Spend all your budget on recreating the D, but let's bypass hiring a writer who could weave a tight character story in between all the nostalgia.

    One thing I appreciate about this season is they make a solid effort explaining why things are happening. For example, if this were Discovery, the Enterprise D would have just been there and nobody would have questioned it. But here, there was dialogue explaining why it was there, how it got rebuilt, and they even threw in a line about drones to explain how it can fly with no other crew. Past seasons have set the bar low, but there's a much higher level of effort and attention to detail this time around.

    And the explaination of Jack was also pretty decent and ties into legacy Trek. For example, in First Contact, Picard could still hear the collective despite not being in the Borg anymore. At the time I thought it was just his imagination but now that's been retconned into this. Neat.

    @Descent I enjoyed this post very much.

    This episode reminded me of that joke in Spinal Tap where they turn the amp "up to 11" but have no real understanding of why or for what reason. Except in this episode the amp is.....fan service.

    I didn't dislike this episode, but as @Descent mentions, this kind of feels like a Chat-GPT generated episode, mining Memory Alpha for content.

    @fortyseven

    With respect you’re watching a series you refer to as a trash fire that you clearly don’t enjoy, so it reads like you’ve written your review first and then scoured for reasons to justify it.

    “- There's an unmistakable "boomers fear millennials" vibe to the whole organic zombie assimilation plot. Big cringe for me.”

    Fear of technology moving faster than our minds is a common trope included in the best of science fiction. This is a series about a cast leaving the stage after 35+ years, and the plot is based on nostalgia. The “old are no longer useful” trope has evolved into a “due to a freak circumstance the legacy characters and the legacy ships are the only ones who can save the day, one more time.”

    “- If the whole transporter thing didn't matter to anyone past a certain age (varying by species), why did they go out of their way for the main cast to tool around in shuttlecraft so often?”

    Ro dropped the breadcrumb that something is up with the transporter, and Jack’s reaction in the transporter room and his dream sequence built on that. They escaped on a shuttlecraft because they didn’t have substance transporters.

    “- So Picard decides to take armed guards to his discussion with an emotionally unstable man with mind control powers. They should have skipped the discussion, gassed the room, and kept him sedated until they figured shit out.”

    They also could have shot him in the head. Admittedly, they needed the family drama.

    “- They were on board awful fast for a crazy theory Beverly and Troi concocted over the span of 5 minutes. (And holy shit, Bev really turned into an exposition machine there for a moment.)”

    I found it pretty organic. Beverly, Worf and Data determine that the transporter has impacted anyone under the age of 25, while Seven, Shaw and Picard are oblivious to this on the bridge. When the under 25 crowd starts attacking everyone, Seven assumes it has something to do with their age and that whatever is happening “skipped a generation,” which leans into the Picard/Jack conversation about Locutus from earlier in the episode, which has nothing to do with the transporters. Seven makes a logical leap that turns out to be wrong.

    “- I thought Ro pulled most of the crew off the Titan? Sure were a shitload of crew.”

    They’ve clearly had a skeleton crew for many episodes. They were battling the changelings, hold up in sickbay after the Intrepid incident, etc. Of a ship of 500 there were probably a few dozen left onboard.

    “- You introduce Shelby just to kill her on screen?”

    She was introduced 30 years ago. The Borg expert, killed by Borg.

    “- I guarantee they destroy Spacedock, since the original is now the fleet museum. Cake + eating it.”

    My gut is they move it back to Earth, recommission some museum ships, put older models back on the front lines to help rebuild Starfleet, and we see a more back to basics approach.

    “- I understand the sentimentality for the Big-D, and we can dream up some reasons why it's important to the TNG characters. But they REALLY pushed some of that shit past the red line. Riker's "We're the crew of the USS Enterprise!" especially made me a bit squirm. Just a bit too self-aware.”

    Most of them served there for 15 years, and like the actors it was probably the high point of each of their careers. Same could be said of Kirk’s crew, etc. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.

    “- But, above all -- and I'm not kidding -- most unforgivably: they not only killed Shaw, but did so in the laziest, boring way possible.”

    I do wonder if they would have kept him if they’d known how highly rated the character was, but the point was he ran from the Borg at Wolf 359 and never got over it. He wasn’t leaving anyone behind this time.

    “- But, above all -- and I'm not kidding -- most unforgivably: they not only killed Shaw, but did so in the laziest, boring way possible.”

    I do wonder if they would have kept him if they’d known how highly rated the character was, but the point was he ran from the Borg at Wolf 359 and never got over it. He wasn’t leaving anyone behind this time.

    Shaw's death was the only thing I didn't like about this episode. It was rushed and not necessary to advance the plot. Also, why couldn't it have been Raffi instead.

    I was thinking about how they could possibly deprogram the LaForge girls and Titan crew. And I think all they will have to do is site-to-site beam them onto the Big D, with her old transporters, that do not have the Picard gene sequence in the buffer, et voila? Right?

    I thought it was slightly jarring that Seven, who wants her chosen name used out of respect, refers to Data, whose ultimate dream is to be human, as "robot". (I know he's not human and I know he's not even entirely Data, but still, I felt the line could have been spoken by someone else.)

    I appreciate the extra large plate of delicious memberberries this penultimate episode served. Hearing Majel Barrett's voice again was especially satisfying.

    Now, on to the 'urgh' department.

    Picard's brain disease was never Irumodic syndrome but an undiagnosed organic Borg transponder? Their big secret weapon wound up killing him in season 1, not exactly a foolproof back up plan isn't it? It also makes you look at Future Picard from All Good Things... with new eyes. He's not old, he's just hearing Borg voices.

    And why would the Changelings need to chase Jack to collect him? He was bound to lose control and open the door to lead him to the Borg collective anyway. Jack isn't necessary for the whole Frontier Day take over, so why rush things along?

    Jack's escape is ludicrous. Neither Picard or Beverly bother calling the bridge to, I dunno, implement a system lockout, throw up some forcefields, teleport Jack to the brig, maybe get a tractor beam ready? It's like they want him to escape.

    But the plot and the big Borg plan don't make a lick of sense. If Locutus was always intended to have a contingency plan, why would the Borg bother returning to Earth in First Contact? "So the movie can happen!", I guess.

    As was pointed out earlier: how many crew members under 25 serve on a starship? Let's say it's 10-15 percent. You mean trained Starfleet officers can't quell an uprising? How very convenient.

    But did I enjoy the episode? Sure, apart from muttering 'oh, this is horse shit' half a dozen times I actually enjoyed it. Terry Matalas promised us a nostalgia soaked trip and he delivered. The crew is back where it all began: together on the bridge of the Enterprise-D.

    I just hope to crap they can stick the landing.

    First things first: the CGI in this season has been consistently awful. I've felt it all season, but seeing the Ent-D look so fake here in "Vox" really brought it home. Why does everyone seem to give this crappy CGI a pass? I miss real models so much!

    Sid: "The story is preposterous fan fiction, it's unsophisticated and juvenile. There is not really a strong thematic anchor here, imo. Some nostalgia elements have been satisfying, but the macro story decisions and storytelling have been largely unsatisfying, save for some Riker and Picard/son character bits in the early episodes."

    Very well stated! Bringing up Shatner's "The Return" is quite apt as well, as this story feels very Return-ish to me. Don't get me wrong: I recall having a LOT of fun with "The Return" back in the day, just as there are moment in P-S3 that have been similarly fun, but even back then -- as a teen -- I saw "The Return" as nothing more than quality fan-fiction that I would not seriously want brought to screen.

    A few bullet points:

    -What a lame death for Shaw! Wow did his character just disappear after ~Ep 5.

    -Aside from Seven, the rest of the Titan crew were basically just cardboard voices -- no character depth for any of them beyond some basic Sidney/Geordi material.

    -Speaking of Seven, aside from a forced conflict between her and Shaw over her name, what has she brought to this season? She's just been a generic kind-of-angry officer and little more. I sorely miss the Seven from Voyager.

    -The Borg... again!? I thought Voyager had neutered the Borg enough, but now the Borg have become actually cheesy. This whole story is just so dang silly and over-the-top.

    -As utterly absurd and convoluted as the plot is, I do give the writing team props for explaining everything in a way that at least has a basic sense of coherence to it. They dragged out the Jack reveal about 3-4 episodes too long, and it was unsurprising and underwhelming to begin with. It's been clear the mystery was either the Pah'Wraiths or the Borg for ages now, the former only an option because of all the DS9 tie-ins.

    -The ending minutes involving the not-surprising return of the Ent-D were ultra gratuitous, but it did still elicit some legit joy and nostalgia out of me. And, hey! "LIGHTS"! The D's bridge looks a 'smidge' off to me to me still, but overall pretty well done. The ship's exterior looks, well, fake and CGI. :'(

    -At first I was kind of excited to see Shelby again. Then she was unceremoniously killed off right away and disappeared, and I was decidedly NOT happy to have seen Shelby again. The script itself even calls out that Shelby's involvement and speech is wildly out of character! Talk about breaking the 4th wall, wow. Don't bring a character like that back unless you're going to do it right.

    -"We are the crew of the Enterprise!" This terrible, cheesy, and self-referential line reminds of Beverley's similarly terrible, cheesy, and self-referential "To seek out new life..." back in Ep 4. Just awful writing.

    -I miss the time when the writers of Star Trek treated the universe with a level of maturity, weight, and seriousness to it. This season is miles away from that time. You could tell that the creators of classic Trek actually had deep and meaningful life experiences and really cared to build a believable futuristic universe that felt very different from our own. P-S3 is like a modern day cover band trying to apply the latest styles and sensibilities to a classic song. At times it's a little convincing and strikes the right bit of nostalgia, but is ultimately still a pale shell of the original.

    -At this point there's no way the final episode will elevate this season beyond being -- when at its best -- a fun pulpy corny cover of classic Trek's Greatest Hits. When all is said and done next week, I'll leave this season to the dust bin and then go back and simply rewatch Trek's ACTUAL Greatest Hits. This season gave me a little bit of hope through Ep 5, but it's gotten silly beyond measure since then.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again. No one hates Star Trek more than Star Trek fans.

    I keep re-watching Shelby getting phasered by the Borged ensigns. It's oddly satisfying.

    You know, from the sounds of it, there's a good chane I might've liked this episode, had the bit I'd seen still not gone the easy and "hip" route of eploying wide-scale overly sassy dialogue that runs against the grain of individual character voices, displaced cursing and action elements/scenes that disconnect with the themes and ideals Star Trek always tried to put forward. All films on unreasonably dark sets in order to look "cinematic." Alas, all the shit I always loved about Star Trek seems to be the shit corporate execs identified as the "problem elements" of Star Trek that needed to be discarded in order to capture new audiences. Nevermind that streaming allows new generations to watch and fall in love with older shows, something I seem to see happening a lot online, almost like new generations are actually FASCINATED by the older craftmasnship of yesteryear TV styles and writing compared to the content, content, CONTENT shovelling we find ourselves in today.

    Oh my god was that shameless fan-service. And I have to admit that I en­joyed it for the most parts. Full Dis­clo­sure: I love “Lower Decks” aka “Fan­ser­vice — The Show” most of all cur­rent Trek shows, be­cause I can live with its self-aware­ness and the meta­ness in­he­rent in the cen­tral con­cept of the show, that is, Trek­kies work­ing for Star­fleet (or cos­play­ing as Star­fleet of­fi­cers, who can tell). At the same time, I miss the in­tel­li­gent and some­times grip­ping or even haunt­ing story­tel­ling of the Trek of Yore, which LD can­not de­liver to any approximation.

    Now PIC want to be all at the same time — a nost­algia-milk­ing fan­wank and a dra­ma­tic and epic tale of sa­cri­fice and hero­ism, and may­be it wants to in­ject some in­tel­li­gen­ce also. So far, it seems the ship will fly. At least, she has not yet crashed.

    The show is a lot better written than nearly everything else in DIS or PIC to date. Some observations from begin to end:

    * Troi does some serious counseling, and though shocked be­haves pro­fes­sion­ally.
    * Thanks god it’s the Borg. I expected that and at the same time feared the writers would come up with some premium BS à la DIS S2 “tantrum child”.
    * Picard screws up by being too trusting. Very in character.
    * “cybernetic authoritarianism” — LOL, that’s a thundering fart in the general direction of the unspeakably bad S2.
    * I like the scenes when Geordi presented his findings to the rest of the team, although I think Shaw should have been present.
    * The science make no sense, like in most of Trek. But it’s not in­sul­ting­ly stupid like in DIS.
    * Frontier Day looks great with its ‘fireworks’ in space. And I am happy the NX-01 gets some love. Couldn’t care less for the NCC-1701-F, though.
    * USS Pulaski, yes! Now everyone from the opening credits of TNG got a mo­ment of fame (≪rumble in the back≫ Shut up Wesley!). I’d ab­so­lute­ly adore a re­turn of Diana Mul­daur, but that’s super-unlikely to happen.
    * Shelby presents ‘syn­chro­nistic tech­no­logy’ that reduces Star­fleet ships to Drones operat­ed re­mote­ly? I wanted to face­palm but then Picard&​Riker came up with the per­fect retort.
    * A scary Borg cube and Alice Krige. Great. I like my Borg with fangs.
    * Jack behaves like an idiot, and punish­ment comes swiftly.
    * Chilling action and high stakes are good, but there was a litt­le too much death and de­struc­tion — the latter seems a ge­ne­ral trend also found in the season finalia LD and PRO.
    * The D was a joy to behold. Which idiot claimed in the 90s that it doesn’t look good on widescreen?
    * Worf had some funny lines, but I didn’t get the “Not my fault” joke.
    * Carpets. Yes. Although he should have said “The Lightbulbs”.

    But there is also a mouthful of what I dislike or find at least doubtful:

    * “and what about the protocols of a father” sorry you entitled brat, you de­cid­ed that you don’t want con­tact to your father, now you can’t de­mand paren­tal pro­to­cols from him, espe­cially in that tense situ­ation.
    * Shaw is again mistreated by the writers and ends as a sa­crifi­ci­al lamb. He had some cool lines, though.
    * “What I see in you, what Vadic saw, an end. The vin­dica­tion of both our spe­cies. To take every­thing back from those who live like shat­tered glass”. Can some­one explain to me the gram­mar of that state­ment, and also what in means? I guess some­thing like that a ship floats but a stone sinks?
    * Why does stun setting work on as­simi­lated crew members?
    * I am not happy with theme of ‘battle of the ge­ne­ra­tions’. I re­mem­ber when TNG did ‘battle of the sexes’, and it was terrible (“Angel One”).
    * I hate legacy characters brought back to kill them off (Maddox, Hugh, Icheb, Q, Ro, Shelby; somehow also Data and Lore).
    * Oh, the writing hurts. Geordi 38:25 “We need a ship. Some­thing older, analog” and 40:18 “Computer, lights”.
    * Why does the plot remind me of “Battle­ship”, which sucked colossally?
    * How could the Borg recover so quickly after the events of VOY “Endgame”?

    I give this 3½ stars because it makes me really curious for next week’s finale. I am really opti­mis­tic that they don’t eff it up com­plete­ly (like they did in most sea­sons of DIS an PIC), and I do have some hope that it won’t be worse than this one.

    P.S.: The title of the episode is “Võx”, not “Vox”. I don’t know why.

    "new generations to watch and fall in love with older shows"

    As I've said before...because it largely steered clear of contemporary slang, sentiment, and sensibility (and wasn't overseen by an imbecile that asserts that "great science fiction isn't about the future, it's about the present"), fifty years from now, classic Trek will be much less dated than nuTrek. Even TOS.

    off topic question: Any of you ever watch Star Trek Continues? I just watched it for the first time recently. The writing and acting are nowhere near as good as classic Trek, but for what it was it was excellent, imo. The sets and costumes were top notch. As I said, I don't think the writing was always great, but at least these guys seemed to understand TOS. That's a LOT more than I can say for a lot of the official Trek media.

    Best episode: Fairest of Them All

    It’s been nearly 500 minutes of setup - nearly as long as TWOK, TSFS, TVH and TUC combined — and, arguably, not all that much has happened (plot- or character-wise).

    It’s nice to see everyone together - and I got teary, as I was meant to be, seeing them on the bridge of the D. But there’s a heck of a lot to resolve in one more episode (unless it’s a lot longer than an hour).

    Also, why isn’t the E available? Wasn’t it repaired after Nemesis? Is this some DS9 thing?

    @Galdrie l- “ 'What I see in you, what Vadic saw, an end. The vin­dica­tion of both our spe­cies. To take every­thing back from those who live like shat­tered glass.' Can some­one explain to me the gram­mar of that state­ment, and also what in means?"

    My guess is that humanoids/solids live as individuals while Changelings are more of one mind because of the great link, & the Borg because of the hive mind.

    @Jax - "As I've said before...because it largely steered clear of contemporary slang, sentiment, and sensibility (and wasn't overseen by an imbecile that asserts that "great science fiction isn't about the future, it's about the present"), fifty years from now, classic Trek will be much less dated than nuTrek. Even TOS."

    It's funny, I was one of those kids that "discovered" TOS when it was in syndication in the 1970s when it was already considered "old" because it had been off the air for a few years already.

    For anyon not around during that time read (or re-read) the books "The World of Star Trek" and "Star Trek Lives!" They really dive into the blossoming of the fandom & cons, and you'll hear stories from all kinds of people who discovered it after it was cancelled & were completely enraptured with this show. Yeah, if you compare it to modern day TV, it's dated somewhat, sure, but what we fell in love with was the characters & world they created--there really was NOTHING like it on TV, especially in the realm of sci-fi.

    2.5 stars

    Much like Season 1, it would seem most of Season 3 was perfunctory serving as a perfunctory warm-up act as it were to get to the main event of the season. In season 1, it was the poignant scene between Picard and Data. Here it seems that it is the final 2 hours.

    The Borg reveal was disappointing but at least, unlike the Changelings, the Borg do have a connection to TNG so I suppose that is a step in the right direction. The writers didn't really play fair with the audience by employing a "red" motif surrounding Jack's visions. Red is associated with pah'wraiths. Green with Borg but then that would have tipped their hand.

    But after years of repeated confrontations with the Borg on Voyager and the first two seasons of PIC featuring the Borg, it's hard to get excited for round 3 here. I will admit, however, I can never tire of hearing the mesmerizing melody of Alice Krige's captivating voice. But that doesn't make up for the Borg having been played out. Between the Unimatrix Zero rebellion and Jurati's Collective joining the Federation, by the way where are they in all this?, the Borg just don't have the visceral punch they once did. And I'm not sure how I feel about the idea of revising the Irumodic Syndrome that played such a central role in AGT and in PIC S1.

    I still don't much care for Jack or his plight. It was nice seeing Shelby but can't go a season without killing of fa beloved character in an arbitrary and meaningless fashion. In S1 it was Hugh here it was poor Shelby. You would have thought she would have been one of those replaced by a Changeling.

    Also another missed opportunity was to bring in Transporter guy O'Brien given the key role transporters played in this episode.

    Probably the most talked about portion of this episode will bethe return of the Ent-D. I won't deny that it got to me as a lifelong TNG fan seeing the bridge once more but it does underscore how much better these newer series would be with better lit bridges.

    TOS is obviously *visually* very dated, but that's not what I'm talking about. The crew doesn't call "things" groovy or "far out". Compare with, say, SNW where you have a helmsmen say things like "whatever tweaks your freak".

    While I loved the Ent D scenes, anyone else notice that Data (as operations officer) set the course for Earth when it should have been Geordi (the helmsman)? Conversely, Geordi was the one who said he would find extra power for the shields when it should have been Data.

    Well this was... something. I think that for the first time since commenting here I'm at a loss for words. I don't envy Jammer's job of writing a cohesive review. A lot to unpack here, but reading your comments somewhat helped me put my thoughts together.

    I will say this though - interesting as it is to see the big D revived again, and not only as CGI but as an actual set, I have to say that I don't really think the show worked nearly hard enough for it to be able to indulge itself with what is probably the pinnacle of all the memberberries we've seen this season.


    In addition to continuing the strong tradition of the earlier seasons of bringing back old characters only to kill them moments later (I literally still can't believe that they not only killed Shelby, but did so literal seconds after evoking the great history of Starfleet and the NX-01, I mean really???) I have to echo Bucktown's sentiment: "They really did Shaw dirty. ... We should have at the very least gotten some kind of reaction from him about the Borg being back, since we are all aware how formatively traumatic they were to him. Shaw's just another casualty of cliched plotting." I think this last observation summarizes the whole season, and the character of Shaw quite nicely embodies its course - what started off as an intriguing character who, by the accounts of many Trek forum dwellers (myself included), was universally well received and seemed like he had something to say, he reached his peak in episode five only to... fade into nothingness. I literally have no reasonable explanation apart from endemic laziness to describe the shift between his compelling battle with PTSD, to not even acknowledging that his old worst enemy is back, before unceremoniously dying in a god damn hallway shoot-out. And, finally, much like the whole sequence with the Enterprise-D, him calling calling Seven... well, Seven, wasn't even remotely deserved. It was just something that had to happen since it was telegraphed from episode one, and how we got there is not as important.

    I can't tell you how much it pains me to critique a show that has just brought back the place where I spent a large part of my childhood after literally thirty years, but despite (or maybe because of?) my undying love of TNG, I can't remain blind to its many deep flaws. Let me therefore conclude this by saying that I found the most tense moment of the episode waiting to hear the voice of the Enterprise's computer once Picard activated it, any by god hearing Majel Barrett's voice again was easily one of the best things of this season.

    Lets all try to suspend the hatred next week! just chill and enjoy the old crew saving the day with the Enterprise D, likely with Janeway and maybe a rescue on the real Tuvok for a cherry on top.

    The plot holes here are not as bad as past seasons, a low bar i know. But I think this should be a nice episode to end their adventures if we turn off our caps and just cuddle up in the TNG blanket for one episode before going back to bitching :)

    @voxymandias
    Thu, Apr 13, 2023, 12:28pm (UTC -5)

    "I've said it before and I'll say it again. No one hates Star Trek more than Star Trek fans."

    "Fan is an ambiguous term." Some "fans" are lovers of a franchise, and can accept the franchise for what it is (flaws and all), and see the good in it, and the vision it has worked over many years and in many forms to promote (under the guidance of many showrunners, and writers, and directors etc). Other "fans" are just toxic, entitled, nerds, who cannot see past their own projected neuroses. They're pitiable wretched things. They hate everything, believe they could do better at everything than everyone, and they get off on rooting against the very things they false claim to value.

    " he reached his peak in episode five only to"

    It's clear the writers saw Shaw as nothing more than a catalyst to eventually assemble the TNG cast in one place.

    Once that was done, he became an albatross to be disposed of. To a lesser extent, than applies to Seven as well, but they dared not off her as well.

    By the Ent-D scene, no character created after 1987 was invited.

    It'll be weird if Janeway doesn't make a last a cameo next week. That woman knows how to fight her some Borg.

    Still think Frontier Day festivities would have been cancelled in light of the Recruitment Center massacre.

    Is THE FACE yet a 3rd Federation enemy or was it a dropped pot element the writers changed their minds on pursuing much like the weird conduit from last season and Jurati's Collective?

    The entire fleet acting in unison just looked weird visually for some reason.

    Like I said last season, it is really odd you don't ever see a Borg drone in full makeup anymore. It's been human-looking drones both times there have been assimilations.

    If there was one final Borg story to be told it would have been an origins story. But I guess that ship sailed back in season 1. And we will never get an answer about the never ending revolving door of Queens. Krige-Thompson-Thompson-Krige-Annie-Krige.

    And can the TNG crew really hope to defeat a Borg cube and an entire armada of assimilated Starfleet vessels with a 35 year old rebuilt Galaxy class ship?

    Where's Future Janeway's neurolytic pathogen and Batmobile cocoon armor?

    And can the TNG crew really hope to defeat a Borg cube.

    Maybe Kate Vernon and Tucker Smallwood will lead an 8472 armada to save the day...

    @startrekwatcher,

    Matalas confirmed on Twitter the Face was nothing but a front for the Borg Queen all along, so no mystery antagonist. Unclear to me if we'll get this answered canonically in the final episode. I guess not since there's no more changeling characters of note.

    I guess his comment about the season having "three villains" was meant to include Lore being a mild inconvenience in episodes 7/8.

    So the whole eight episode changeling distraction is basically Season 9 of Dallas or the entirety of Newhart.

    I mean, up until now, basically all of the bad shit happening is due to the Changelings. The episode seems to imply the cube is crippled in a transwarp conduit. The drones are in their alcoves, the queen can't even move. It was only the Changelings infiltrating and replacing transporter techs which allowed the imposition of the Borg DNA which allowed for the takeover to happen.

    "It was only the Changelings infiltrating and replacing transporter techs"

    Changelings willingly taking on a subservient Vorta-like role in the service of cybernetic solids...who knew?

    @startrekwatcher -

    "If there was one final Borg story to be told it would have been an origins story. But I guess that ship sailed back in season 1. And we will never get an answer about the never ending revolving door of Queens. Krige-Thompson-Thompson-Krige-Annie-Krige."

    YES, in my head lately, I was thinking that this universe needed some sort of expedition or archeological mission to find--or retrieve something on--the Borg homeworld (y'all fill in the blanks on the how haha). That would have been a daring story backdrop, but dark conspiracy plots are the only thing that seems to excite modern writers. Oh well.

    "So the whole eight episode changeling distraction is basically Season 9 of Dallas or the entirety of Newhart."

    If the show ends with Picard in bed with Vash onboard the Enterprise D I'll take back everything bad I've said about Nu-Trek.

    "Go to sleep, Vash. You know, you really should wear more catsuits."

    I won't lie, seeing the crew on the bridge of the D again made me tear up. It's blatant emotional manipulation and fanservice on behalf of the creators of the show and I am 100% fine with that, because it's exactly what I've been wanting to see.

    This episode was awesome. The pivot to the Borg doesn't feel forced or rushed to me in the slightest - it's the logical next step for this plot to take and I'm here for it. I've already enjoyed this whole season - I mean, so far it's been somewhere between "pretty good" and "great" - but this episode MAKES this season for me and firmly establishes it as a part of the true, real, honest-to-god Trek "canon" for me.

    I can only hope that the final episode next week delivers. I'm optimistic it will.

    The weakened post-Voyager Borg queen found Redjac floating in space and they formed an alliance and Jack is their love baby and that’s why the Borg are using a red door instead of their usual green in his visions.

    It could happen. ;)

    @Noni

    "It's blatant emotional manipulation and fanservice on behalf of the creators of the show and I am 100% fine with that, because it's exactly what I've been wanting to see."

    Bravo! Someone being honest about what they enjoy, and being honest *to* what they enjoy.

    And it is as legitimate to want to see this, as it is to want to see overintellectualization acted out on a screen. I keep thinking of what Roger Ebert wrote, in his review of the first "Halloween": We see movies for a lot of reasons. Sometimes we want to be amused. Sometimes we want to escape. Sometimes we want to laugh, or cry, or see sunsets. And sometimes we want to be scared.I'd like to be clear about this. If you don't want to have a really terrifying experience, don't see “Halloween.”" He was right about the movie being terrifying, but even more right about there not being "good" and "bad" reasons for wanting to be entertained, self-anointed cultural commissars be damned.

    No FRAK DAMMIT FRAK F**K NO WHY THE BORG AGAIN..Are not a lotnof other ppl posted its the Borg rehashed AGAIN..Even the pagh wraiths or Slecies 8472 wouodve been better..this is so unoriginal and unsatisfying and deflating..I don't even want to watch the last episode now..Wjat a WASTE..Whiners is so disappointed and pissed..this could've been a great episode with a neat new alien or something less used and explored like the Iconians or Caeliar or Armus but WE JUST HAD THE BORG IN SEASONS 1 AND 2 OF PICARD..and inbPRODIGY and VOYAGER OVERUSED THEM 2 decades ago!! DO the writers have short term memory loss?? They couldn't stick the landing..I seriously am thinking of not watching episode 10..And now of they do a VOYAGER reboot, are they going to bring back the Borg yet again?? Jesus NO MORE BORG!! Use your imaginations thst you have writers! The Discovery writers should've written this --they came up with Species 10 C and the Sphere and other cool aliens..or Kirsteb Beyer who wrote many great VOYAGER novels all Borg free and with wonderful new aliens..

    Brent Spiner and the return of Data overshadow everything else I've seen under the name Star Trek Picard. I did not hate the episode at all. However, it blows my mind that they didn't make most of this season about Data, if they had Spiner. I never got the original cast of vibe because most of the time it felt like a body missing it's most reliable limbs.

    @Noni, I'm glad you liked it for your sake but aren't you sick and tired of the borg? Even finthe clues were there and it is logical it is still so hoary and predictable goesbtky..but hey if that floats your boat, good fornyou..I just wish they could have fiven us something more creative and memorable in that sense..like some new alien working with the Borg to really make it unpredictable and creative and , for me, actually memorable.

    And Iin retrospect, the clues were WAY TOO OBVIOUS! If you go back to episode 1 of this season, they play Picards captains log of the Borg wanting him and they mention Locutus, a WAY TOO OBVIOUS foreshadowing..that log playing and the mention of Locutus should've been the full extent of the Borg presence and influence on this.lseason. But no, let's beyond beat this WAY Beyond dead horse and trot out on hobbled legs the Borg again..and why don't the Borg just send one of those massive cubes that appear in this episode to Earth and assimilate it and take out that whole fleet with 2 or 3 cubes?..is there really a need for this elaborate transporter virus crap or alliance with rogue Changelings just to beat Earth or acquire Jack? I don't think so like not at all..These plot holes arem't addressed either..and are the Borg still recovering from the virus pathogen Janeway infected them with in Endgame and the aftermath of Unimatirx Zero? That might make sense but then why does the Borg Cube look pristine and strong and so does the Queen...they should've at least addressed this or, again, not used the Borg at all! Or have them be a small part but the main villain is the Iconians or some new alien life form..

    @KarlZimmerman,
    "Matalas confirmed on Twitter the Face was nothing but a front for the Borg Queen all along, so no mystery antagonist. Unclear to me if we'll get this answered canonically in the final episode. I guess not since there's no more changeling characters of note."

    Well that demonstrates a profound lack of imagination. The Queen as The Face makes no sense. Why did it not look more like the Queen? How and why was it a part of Vadic's body? How did it control and cause Vadic to wither momentarily back in episode 7? If it was the Queen what happened when Vadic shattered? Why need a knife to cut her had off and float?

    If you boil this season down it was perfunctory faceless changelings spend episodes chasing down Jack who is Trek's version of BSG's Hera,/TXF Scullybaby, PIC's Soji. The Face mystery fell flat. PIC S2 said that the Collective was all but decimated.

    And whybdoes Beverly say in this episode no one has heard from the Borg in 10nor 20 years..Hello what about AGNES JURATI LAST SEASON..those count as Borg even if theybare from.an alternate timeliness and past..and also why hasn't Agnes of Borg come to our aid since they were allies and provisional Federation members at end of last season?? WHY have the writers botched this ending so much? Itnrukns the one good scene in this episode where they board the Enterpuse D yes blah blah nostalgia..we could've easily kept that scene in a plot that had nothing to do with the Borg..like agsin the Iconians or something new..

    It's amusing that Terry Matalas' Twitter account has to continually act as a "Captain's Log, Supplemental" to explain all the things the actual plot doesn't.

    There's a surprising amount of sense that all this is making.

    Of course it was the Borg. I just didn't process the season's hints that way because I didn't expect Matalas to go that fanwanky with the big reveal (I rolled my eyes when the cube appeared).

    But within a few scenes I started piecing a LOT together and appreciated how not only have the breadcrumbs have been laid throughout the season, but they've done respectable dot-connecting of a number of loose ends dating all the way back to All Good Things. I have to hand it to Matalas and his team, they've really put in the hours to make sure this ties together, and on top of that, they're revealing a reasonant theme (and making it somewhat hilariously literal in the plot): the inevitable guilt of the parent, the wishing that we all could have done better with our kids, the trying to find a way to help. If they've earned it, they earn it.

    * You could almost imagine someone on this writing team as they're first breaking the season going "Hey...why COULD Picard still hear the Borg afterwards?", remembering that Picard manifested a brain defect four years later, and deciding to connect some dots.

    * In retrospect, I should have guessed the identity of the BGH - its dialogue was quite Borg queen-like.

    * The loose hosing around and the decrepit nature of the queen suggests that the Borg were in no shape to simply attack, that they needed a right hand for their mission. It also makes sense that the rogue Changelings would seek out the entity that gave the Federation the biggest run for its money.

    * Of course Geordi would spend twenty years restoring the Big D, and it makes sense why they'd pull the saucer out of Veridian. That was actually one of my biggest qualms watching the ending of Generations - wouldn't leaving the saucer there be a huge cultural contamination risk? Gee, I hope none of those Veridian IV preindustrial societies ever develop any telescopes.

    * The vines and connection themes needed to be red-tinged to avoid a premature giveaway, I suppose, but they were just subtle enough and pervasive enough to constitute a valid twist. At least for me.

    * The symbolism of Jack being the son of two mothers - the best of both worlds - was striking for me, bringing things home in just the right way.

    * Now we know why Ro eschewed the transporter and why Jack saw horror in the beams in his visions.

    * I'm glad Shaw went out using his brain and his phaser. His dialogue really runs at right angles with the TNG ethos, but Stashwick sells it so well I don't really mind.

    * The writers are really doing justice to Gates McFadden and Marina Sirtis this year, and in doing so they've fixed one of TNG's few injustices. In fact, all of them have gotten their moments of the sun this year, and each actor has brought their A-game. Absolute triumph in that category.

    * Picard insisting the assimilees be stunned only - ANOTHER major flaw of the TNG era repaired, this one being Picard's bloodthirstiness towards the lost crew members of the E.

    * Ah, the Big D and its bridge. I laughed and grinned. Couldn't help it. Beautiful.

    * The lampshading of the Fleet Formation gag didn't help much, but I suppose Shelby of all people would try to reverse-engineer something she saw in the Borg.


    Then it hit me. This isn't about fixing the flaws of the first two seasons. This is about fixing the flaws of the four TNG movies. So many of the fans' greatest gripes and eyebrow-raises about Generations, addressed and sealed here, in just one episode. And the ending was the happiest surprise I've ever had in Trek. Who saw that coming?

    @Brandon Adams

    I think nearly everyone? Of course that's what Geordi was working on and hiding in that hangar.

    @Leif

    I am happy it was the Borg and not Armus, Redjack, AGIMUS or what ever obscure third-rated villain can be lifted from past episodes. I am also happy it wasn’t the Pagh-Wraiths (because I hated them in DS9, they severely soured the other­wise great S7) or Spe­cies 8472, which were OK in Vo­ya­ger but have al­ready been dealt with in “Into the Flesh”.

    The Borg have a connection to Picard, they are scary and a wor­thy ad­ver­sary. And while you are right that there has been an ab­un­dan­ce of bad Borg stories, I still crave for good ones, be­cause the precious four good ones (“Q Who”, “Best of Both Worlds”, “First Con­tact”, “Scor­pi­on”, maybe also “Re­gene­rati­on”) really rocked, and the rest is easily for­got­ten, like “Descent” in TNG or all the nu­me­rous bland epis­odes VOY did. Last time they were seen in PRO (“Let Slee­ping Borg Lie”), and I had to look up the name of the epis­ode be­cause I already forgot it. And don’t let me rant about what pre­vious PIC sea­sons did to the poor Borg, that was more de­vastat­ing than Jane­way’s ridi­cu­lous time-travel­ling trans­phasic tor­pe­does in “Endgame”.

    (There were some better episodes where the collective didn’t show up, but Borgs were used as story-telling device, ex­amp­le “I, Borg”. These are not really Borg epis­odes, but some­thing else, and they did work occasionally)

    So if it’s a good story about the Borg collective, I am all in for it. If not, I’ll forget it faster than “Let Slee­ping Borg Lie”. And while I re­cog­nize that these shows have a long hi­sto­ry of bad writ­ing ruin­ing the sea­son fi­na­le, it has not hap­pen­ed yet.

    Did I miss something? Why was Vadic needing Jack Crusher when the Borg were able to set everything up without him? Why did the Borg need Picard's body in order to extract the thing that they originally put inside him?

    @startrekwatcher FULLY AGREED WHY WHY was the face made to look and suggest suggest was something new..so it looked like her arm because she was a Changeling..but why nk just have her talk on a viewscreen or something..and why do the Bkrg need an alliance at all if their cube is working..doesn't that seem like a plot hole too? And the Birg have been done to death..I ask the writers on Twitter and they block me which seems very rude to me when we have valid questions and criticisms and I didn't asked them rudely..

    @Huh It's because Picard has a borg receiver in his brain, whereas Jack has a borg transmitter in his brain. They needed Picard's brain to implant the receivers in people, and then have Jack's brain to transmit the commands. Why are both brains different? Reasons.

    "It's because Picard has a borg receiver in his brain, whereas Jack has a borg transmitter in his brain."

    How did whatever happened to Picard's brain back when he was Locutus survive the transfer into a golem body?

    Right, but it's all Borg technology, why do they need to get it from these two guys? Even if it needs to "grow" in a human brain, wouldn't it be easier to capture some random human and do to them what they did to Picard/Locutus?

    @Jax I hasn't, they get that from the original cadaver, remember?

    @Huh Indeed. The Dumb is very strong with this show.

    @Galadriel who what the heck is Redjac and AGIMUS..I thought ppl were combining Jack and the red vines and misspelling it but now you say it so don't know if itbrefers to some old TNG character??

    @

    @Brandon Adams I see it connects thematically but what about all the flaws and potential for something new and wondrous and more original like the squid jelly aliens we saw in episode 4..why nktbuse the Iconians or some new alien so it is less predictable and more memorable?

    As usual there is a massive amount of nit picking here.

    They have conceived an original plot in a familiar setting.

    It’s nostalgia Galore.

    They have credibly brought Data back, reunited the crew and we have seen two versions of the Enterprise leave space dock in one episode in what is a send off season for this crew.

    Sit back, relax and enjoy and resist the urge to be Jammer. Let Jammer be Jammer.

    LL&P

    Redjac is the "Jack the ripper" character from TOS Wolf In The Fold

    Why did the Queen need to hide behind some floating male Face to interact with Vadic? It was clear Vadic knew Jack was Borg and the Borg were involved. So why the need for the pretense on the Queen's part when dealing with Vadic? Seems like the Face was conjured up by the writers to fuel fan engagement and theorizing for several weeks without giving any real thought to it. It was just a gimmick and marketing ploy.

    @Leif

    They block you because they are insecure. I really have enjoyed S3, and hope Matalas gets the green-light for #STLegacy, but I can't fathom why he has to belittle and block a lot of fans just because their questions highlight plot holes. A lot of fans seem to get ridiculed for not being completely on-board with everything, but I think their reactions are often petulant and they confound me, because they can just ignore questions they don't want to field.

    And if Jack was critical to their plan why did the Changeling back in episode 3 set off a bomb that caused the Titan to fall into the gravity well of that nebula?

    Spending all this time tip-toing around the identity of the real big bad as if it were some great upending, only for it to be a villain we've all seen countless times, a villain that's anyone's logical choice for the big bad of Picard is just... weird and unhappy storytelling.

    It's like if you see a poster for an Italian restaurant that says "What could we be serving for dinner? It would ruin it if we told you- you'll have to come and see for yourself", and so you go there, and the waiter spends two hours bringing out individual ingredients of the dish, extolling their virtues and demonstrating their versatility, implying how groundbreaking and earth shattering this dish is going to be, and it just ends up being a plate of spaghetti with meat sauce.

    And the writers missed a LOL moment when Troi opened the red door finally and saw the Borg cube behind it. She should have walked over to Jack and told him "there's someone at the door for you" LOL.

    "Why did the Queen need to hide behind some floating male Face to interact with Vadic?"

    Same reason in S2 that the Borg Queen Jurati wore a cloak at the beginning. So the audience wouldn't know who it was until it was time to open the mystery box.

    If you search "Matalas blocked" on twitter you'll see a bunch of people saying, "Why am I blocked by Terry Matalas? I've never interacted with him." He obviously searches through the hashtags looking for comments. To be fair, if I were a producer I'd probably do the same.

    I dunno. I think I need to quit all or most of my online Star Trek fan communities, to be honest. Call me a gatekeeper, but I'm so dismayed by the blowback from a certain contingent of fans lately that it's starting to manifest in my life with actual grief symptoms. :(

    I've seen so much Star Trek in my life (every episode a half-dozen times or more, except for the new stuff, only because I haven't yet had time to watch them a half-dozen times or more...) that I speak fluent technobabble. Star Trek lore takes up something like 40% of my entire brain.

    I guess I can see flaws just as well as anyone, but my love of Star Trek must be unconditional, because I just don't care about disecting it too much. If something, like Star Trek, isn't bringing you joy anymore (this isn't directed at any particular person), then wouldn't it be a good idea to go out into this big, beautiful world and find something else that makes you happy? Life is too short to be so publicly angry and miserable about something you claim to love, or at least used to love.

    In the meantime, I guess I'll just stay offline more often and keep looking forward to the next opportunity to bask, relatively uncritically, in the next piece of Star Trek I'm given, just feeling happy and grateful that it's being made at all.

    Also, did anyone else notice that when the bridge lights came in, the first thing Riker checked was the door to the head? :)

    I'm not trying to ruin anyone's enjoyment. Nitpicking is just part of the fandom. I do it for fun and to see if anyone can piece together a rationale for things I might not have ever considered. I appreciate what the folks behind current Trek are trying to do even if I don't always agree with their approach.

    I ask for the writing to be good. If that happens, Trek can be anything it wants and people will buy in. The reason people haven't been buying in since First Contact is because the writing is bad.

    And, of course, Discovery has thoroughly tanked any sense of jeopardy I feel at the end of Vox, because we all know the Federation will survive now.

    Great review Jammer! I completely agree. Was this episode full of shameless and manipulative fan service? Yes it was. Do I care? No, I don't.

    I wonder if it's even possible for Star Trek Picard to work as anything other than a nostalgic throwback to TNG's glory days. You don't pull a 90 year old character out of retirement because you want something new and different.

    "These Are The Voyages" was also intended to be fan service.

    @Jammer
    After reading your review, I couldn’t help but think of the great line, “That’s a…. conceit. But it’s a healthy one.” The writing in Picard does not match Michael Piller’s, but “Picard” works on an emotional level. Putting emotion front and center can be deadly, a la Discovery. But here it works, and it works wonderfully, because Mr. Matalas looks up to Star Trek, faults and all, not down at it.

    What. The. Hell.

    After NINE episodes of buildup, of plot teasing, of mystery and intrigued. Who is the big baddie of the season? Who are these renegade Changlings working with?

    The Borg.

    ...the fucking Borg?

    Are you kidding me? THIS is what we got dragged along for so long to reveal? The Borg? Oh my God, I can't believe I fell for this Kurtzman crap AGAIN. Each season I was like, oh maybe this show will be good.

    Nope.

    A handful of fun character moments littered with REMEMBER THIS doesn't make a good show. This is an incredibly weak story. The character beats don't work with this.

    The fucking Borg?

    My God, fool me THREE TIMES now.
    I am so disappointed.

    I think Jammer speaks for me as well on "fan service" - if it's plumbing the depths of characters we care about, if the plot holds together, and if there are meaningful themes to invest us in the story, then they can do fan service all day and I'll eat it up. The showrunners and technerds creating this show have worked hard to do that, and despite an uneven and sometimes bizarre season, I think they've succeeded in showing us a new level of fan service.

    To all the naysayers, you heard it from Jammer himself, the plot doesn't matter!

    Just the FEELZ guys! If you get an emotional hit, great success!!

    Terry or the writers haven’t confirmed this, but another review mentioned Krige is 68. She probably didn’t want to do the makeup again. I think when Annie did it last season it was like 3-4 hours.

    "characters we care about"

    Yet those of us who are appalled by what is being done with/to them are being criticized for choosing to watching the show at all...

    Not bad! I strongly feel like there's a way you could have written this season that revealed the Jack Crusher mystery earlier on though. As it is, by waiting so long, they really had to cram a lot of exposition and plot twists into this one, and it made it harder for them to land with the oomph they deserved.

    That said: this was a lot of fun, and the crew's reunion with the Enterprise D was just lovely. Looking forward to the finale.

    I understand how people that enjoy things can get discouraged by reading a lot of criticism and negativity towards what they love (Believe me I know! Two of my favorite shows are Voyager and Supergirl!). But I find it odd when people on here say "resist the urge to be jammer" etc. This is a comment section on a particular episode of a show? What else are people supposed to do on it if not comment (whether positively or negatively) on the show?

    TNG isn't my favorite show but I enjoy it and enjoyed (to a degree) the movies. If it were a show I loved the fan service would probably be enough. But honestly, the plot/show itself hasn't been great. Like many "prestige" shows today it is simply drawn out way too long for the amount of plot involved. It has been carried by nostalgia. And, if you love something, sometimes that is enough (If they make a Voyager series like this believe me, I will forgive a LOT to get back the crew I love).

    So while I think it has been heavily flawed, I am happy that it is making a lot of people happy. And I hope the finale makes me happy!

    “I can’t believe I fell for it again.”

    Respectfully, that’s not the fault of the show. Sometimes a fillmaker or tv producer cannot win. No one alive in 1989 and 1990, when Godfather III was being made, seriously believed it would be the equal of the first two films. Many of the negative reviewers, though, professed Casablanca-gambling-level SHOCK, shock, that the movie was not as good as the first two. “I am all of a sudden pretending I did not have realistic expextations,l - I am admitting I am a hypocrite - solely so I can trash this movie,” the reviews might as well have read.

    There are legions of reasons to hate “Picard.”All the same, though, I would ask of the haters, as season 3 wraps up, “What were you honestly and legitimately expecting Season 3 to be,,” given your dissatisfaction with the show thus far?”

    If your answer is “nothing,” it can be inferred (not implied, just inferred) that you like complaining for the sake of it. That’s fine too, but not when you lie about that being the case and use profanity and attack the writers and their ignorance and their stupidity and so forth. If the writers keep luring you back, they must be some kind of genius morons, genius in playing you for a sucker while not having a clue how to write. I wouldn’t call someone a genius-moron or stupid genius unless I had very clear evidence.

    Btw, I’ve nothing against profanity, swearing can be fun, but calling something “fucking terrible” as opposed to “terrible” does not provide some extra layer of insight. (Apparently, just calling something bad relieves one of the burden of providing a rationale generally, but this is in the nature of criticism generally, a reflection of the human tendency to point out faults but rarely to compliment strengths of equal measure). Just think: anyone here who would dare to describe this show as “fucking great” (without insight or commentary) as opposed to “great” would not be taken seriously-nor should they be. I’d say that these kinds of “opinions” are like assholes, but that would be seriously undercutting the message. If there is a criticism I have of this season, it’s one I am paraphrasing from Pauline Karl’s review of Star Wars. She enjoyed the movie but felt it was “like opening a box of Cracker Jacks with all prizes” - superficially compelling but not enchanting or wondrous. “Picard” sometimes feels like what Ms. Kael said, but without there being a box-the prizes are just dangling.

    All the same, and to the point, it can be fun to play with prizes, even if they lack nutritional or even educational value. As Kael also said (paraphrasing), “I’m suspicious of people who were born with such perfect taste and perception for “art” or “deepness” that they never had to work their way through some honest-to-goodness plain old dumb fun first.” If we reject the notion that there is value in something that is entertaining without necessarily being anything more, it makes for a cold existence, in a world growing more disconnected and fragmented every day anyway.

    Listen, whatever else, we can all agree this is miles better than Nemesis, yes?

    (I don't expect anyone to really challenge me on that, but given this is the internet there will probably be that ONE GUY.)

    . . .

    I, at least, will be forever grateful to so-called "NuTrek" for giving us a better send off for the TNG crew than Nemesis after 20 painful years. So, personally? Thank you, Matalas. Thank you for making this happen and giving them their Undiscovered Country (a flawed yet respectable reprisal) rather than letting them end with their Final Frontier.

    (Also, I think some of you have missed the plot point that the Borg have been doing this with the transporters for YEARS. And using Changeling infiltration to deflect attention from it and deal with anyone who did or might have found out. How many years? I don't know, ten let's say? So it's not anyone under 25. It's anyone who was under 25 when they started until now. That's why it's so many crew members.)

    "Thank you for making this happen and giving them their Undiscovered Country"

    TNG had "All Good Things " already.. The last TOS episode was just an ordinary, and rather ridiculous one.

    Am I the only one desperate to know if it's canon that Worf was captain of the Enterprise-E after Picard left to assemble the Romulan relief armada? They seemed to hint at it with his "that was not my fault" joke, but also, that could have just been a joke. I don't think the show intends to tell us--there were so many opportunities for them to do it with just a single throwaway line--and honestly, I'm kind of mad they haven't.

    Am I the only one also desperate to know what DID happen to the Enterprise-E? The show is DEFINITELY not going to tell us. Damn. Maybe on Lower Decks or something someday.

    . . .

    The Enterprise-D is fully functional because it has been Commodore La Forge's pet project for the last 20 years. I doubt the other ships in the museum fleet (including Voyager, which surely had the future tech stripped out) are fully functional.

    Ugh, the Borg. AGAIN. Plus "Fun with DNA" in the same episode. Plus bringing back Shelby only to kill her off. Plus killing off Shaw, the season's only good original character.

    This episode's deterioration into beyond-parody fan service is the exact opposite of good storytelling, and its tone is the exact opposite of The Best Of Both Worlds. The entire Starfleet fleet has been taken over by the Borg, and our heroes treat the fact they now have to make their last stand in an untested museum ship like a fun day trip and are relaxedly sharing wisecracks and engaging in nostalgia. There is no gravitas or appropriateness, and if the characters don't seem to believe in the stakes then I certainly don't. How has Starfleet been instantly taken over? Because all officers under 25 have been "organically assimilated" because Changeling infiltrators put Borg DNA in the transporter systems. This is dire fan fiction "plotting" that I would never expect to see made into an actual television production. It's the plot of a bad theme park ride. I wouldn't even expect it in a Trek novel.

    @Jax

    "TNG had "All Good Things " already.. The last TOS episode was just an ordinary, and rather ridiculous one."

    Sure, and it would have been perfect as a finale. But they did make those movies, so it wasn't the finale. A new finale was therefore needed as a proper bookend.

    Jammer:

    "Resistance is futile. That's what I realized as Picard and the entire TNG crew stepped onto the bridge of the Enterprise-D in all its perfectly restored glory. The plot doesn't really matter. The blatant manipulation in triggering the memories of my youth doesn't really matter. Spreading the Vadic storyline out over eight episodes to get to this point doesn't really matter. What matters is giving this crew an adventure to enable its proper sendoff, and doing it in the most nostalgic way possible. It's all been building to this payoff, which you might call "Relics II." It works beautifully."




    This is me after watching Picard season 3 then coming to this board:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xi9kCU_BuZo&t

    Sweet Lord, Sweet Chariot swing low. Let me ride.

    There's a funny Deanna bit at the beginning when she opens Jack's door:

    "I promise, whatever we might find there, you will not be alone."

    Then a minute later runs out of the room in a panic. ;)

    Based on my hastily thrown-together spreadsheet, Jammer's per-episode average rating of Picard S3 is around 3.06. That's his highest season average for any Star Trek since DS9 S7. Even if they shit the bed next week, it'll rank higher than any season of TV he's reviewed since 2000 with the exception of Mandalorian S2, Battlestar and Caprica.

    And sorry folks, but I'm on Jammer's side. As someone who hated Picard S1/S2, I'm loving this season and can't wait for the finale.

    "But they did make those movies, so it wasn't the finale"

    So the four crap TNG movies ruined the AGT finale, so now we need a new TV finale?

    This is starting to look like that painting of Jesus that was "restored" and then "restored" again. What did it end up looking like?

    My logical brain really wants to pick this to death – why did Matalas et al wait so long to reveal the Borg element? How come the threat to Starfleet is so absurdly overblown? Again? And can I really suspend my disbelief that seven (roughly) septuagenarians in a thirty-year-old ship can stop it?

    To that last question, you betcha. This is dumb as hell but I'm on board for it. Roll on next week, I'm both excited and morbidly curious as to how this will all wrap up.

    "Sweet Lord, Sweet Chariot swing low. Let me ride. "

    The "this is dumb but I love it anyway" schtick is like sci-fi MAGA...

    @Jammer Question JAMMER Don you think the Borg were fine to DEATH and these characters could be better or equally well served with a more original alien and creative original alien threat or anomaly?? And what about all the unaddressed plot holes I mention?? Hope you can respond when you can JAMMER. Thanks for your reviews.

    WE. ARE. THE. MEMBERBERRIES. Lower your criticisms and surrender your self-respect. Your standards will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.

    Thing is - and perhaps why many are letting the nostalgia wave wash over them - it's a one-time stunt.

    @Jax
    Thu, Apr 13, 2023, 8:27pm (UTC -5)
    "The "this is dumb but I love it anyway" schtick is like sci-fi MAGA..."

    I detect no lies.

    @Jeffrey's Tube: "Am I the only one desperate to know if it's canon that Worf was captain of the Enterprise-E after Picard left to assemble the Romulan relief armada?"

    The tie-in novels for Star Trek: Picard are considered canon, and the first of those included Worf becoming Enterprise captain after brief discussion of the DS9 incident that was supposed to prevent him from rising that high.

    I agree with Jammer, just ENJOY IT!!! Yeah, some plot holes here and there, and it took 9 episodes to get to this point. But so what! The overall plot holds together as quite the conspiracy, and we now understand Jack's role in all this. Still hoping that the writers stick the landing next week with a super-sized finale that wraps up our heroes' storylines nicely. And wow, seeing all of them on the bridge of Enterprise-D brought tears to my eyes as well. Very emotional, took me back decades and I thank the writers for that... Totally agree with the rating from Jammer, 3.5 stars!

    Well, I must admit Jammer's enthusiasm is contagious. All we really wanted was the TNG crew back together on the Enterprise being the standard-bearers of the Federation and that's exactly what we got.

    Never mind that this is the third season of Picard that's used the Borg as a major plot device, it works here, and it's earned.

    Heck, even the use of main title theme of "Star Trek: First Contact" is entirely appropriate:

    https://youtu.be/IXrRFjcqUys?t=17

    What can I say? This is probably a 2.5-star story but the tremendous amount of care in its prestigious package bumps it up to 3.5.

    @Jeffrey's Tube
    I'll be that guy. Nemesis was far better than this. Not necessarily as a final wrap up adventure for the TNG cast, but at least as a film more generally.

    This was what I was hoping to see from PIC S3 -- finally these loose ends start getting tied up and they appear to make some sense + we get the Enterprise D and the whole TNG gang -- and that too is orchestrated to make sense in this plot. A very enjoyable watch.

    BoBW for me is TNG's best episode so making use of Locutus as another device for Picard is appropriate. PIC managed to bring back Dennehy as Shelby too! And I really never get tired of the Borg (even on VOY).

    It's interesting (and very a propos) that it's the younger generation that get infected by the Borg but the older (wiser) generation is left to clean up the mess. Wonder if this is a dig at all these millennials & Gen Z who are more susceptible to being assimilated into woke BS...

    I like this idea of how the Borg have evolved their assimilation routine now with an organic transceiver as was thoroughly explained -- and what Vadic's plan was. As for Picard's irumodic misdiagnosis -- I'd have to think more about that if that violates some kind of canon but the pieces of the puzzle seem to have come together to make sense of the various motivations (Vadic, Borg, Changelings). Still don't know what that extension of Vadic was that gave her commands...

    A couple of things I don't get are why Star Fleet would gather its entire fleet in 1 spot for Frontier Day -- shouldn't that be leaving parts of its space undefended, not to mention the risk to the fleet?? Also, how could Star Fleet allow all its (newer) ships to operate as one? Unless this is due to control from the Borg/Changelings -- but nobody seemed to bat an eyelid at these things...

    As for the Jack Crusher part -- nothing too special here. Felt that Speleers overacted his parts. But it was cool to see the Borg visuals like they were on VOY. Would have like to see the face of the Borg Queen but it was good to see the familiar Borg environment. But I've never been a fan of the Borg Queen "personality".

    3 stars for "Part Nine Vox" -- good pacing and plot and no disappointing moments that have plagued the last few episodes. This series had to get the TNG crew back on the Enterprise D and it's done well here -- all the right notes hit. This is fan service done right for me and even if there are a few holes, that's OK. It's not a perfect episode of course but it's what PIC should aim for.

    "'First Contact'? Crap? Don't be absurd."


    It's pretty bad, honestly. The Borg Queen character ruins the Borg concept, and the humor is extremely lame.

    I remember being at a friends house while they were watching Two and a Half Men. It was kind of embarrassing to hear them laughing at every predictable moronic joke. I felt the same way sitting in the theater watching the TNG movies.

    Where's Seven? Did she take the Voyager to pick up admiral Janeway, Tuvok and the rest of the old crew to kick some Borg a$$ again?

    @Watcher

    "The tie-in novels for Star Trek: Picard are considered canon, and the first of those included Worf becoming Enterprise captain after brief discussion of the DS9 incident that was supposed to prevent him from rising that high."

    Nothing is canon until it is mentioned on screen, "supposed to be" or not. Remember that comic for the first Kelvin movie where they resurrected Data? The one to explain how Spock got the alternate universe? That was supposed to be canon. Until PIC came along and someone wanted to tell a better story, of course. So yeah, if it ain't on screen, it ain't canon.


    @Roger Ailes

    "I'll be that guy. Nemesis was far better than this. Not necessarily as a final wrap up adventure for the TNG cast, but at least as a film more generally."

    Oh hi.

    WHAT? Tell me we will see the FULL BORG QUEEN next week ..otherwise whybhire Krige at all and not just a new actor to play The queen like they always do if Krige isn't willing or able to put full.makeup.on..that makes no sense..just get Susannah Thompson or some other actress

    @Jeffrey's Rube AHREED NEMESIS was NETTER UNTIL the end and it had NEW ALIENS aka the Remans..although a new anomaly or new world explored would've been nice ..and notngoing to destroy Earth at the end..The only good thing about this episode was THE ENDING seeing the Enterprise D again..the only bad thing about Nemesis was the ENDING with killing Data and trying to blow up Earth..the past 8 episodes of this season righted the wrongs of Nemesis but THIS LAST EOISODE undid that good will and marred First Contact and. OmVoyagers Borg history..we should've had a new alien threat and wonder to cap this off like a winner notnthis dead horse/hobby horse trotted out for no good reason or original idea AT ALL..At least Unimatrrix Zeronon Voyager was original and creative..that should've been the last Borg story unless they had followed up with it here or in Picard season 1

    Using the irumodic syndrome was rather clever and, as been noted, closes an arguable plot hole in First Contact. Certainly Picard's ability to "hear" the Borg in that movie was never explained.

    Does it violate canon? It seems to complicate All Good Things, but that was orchestrated by Q anyway.

    Other than never having been mentioned before, not really, and this actually manages to make the Borg frightening again since it means they are running much more complex and deeper attacks than it appears.

    The only wrinkle I really see is that it seems like Seven should have been aware of this. I can see easy explanations for that, though.

    RELIEF!

    That’s what I felt after watching this episode.

    I was relieved that it was the Borg behind the red door. Sure, Star Trek has done too many Borg stories. But after all the changeling stuff, I was worried we’d see the Pah Wraiths next. This is a TNG reunion. They should be using TNG villains, not ones from DS9. This was a clever misdirect.

    I was relieved that Shaw was killed off. I never liked the character, he was becoming less and less important to the story, and I was dreading a Titan spin-off with him as the lead. Seven would make a much better main character.

    I was relieved that the Enterprise-F was commanded by Shelby, a character fans liked and not someone divisive like Harry Kim. It’s a shame they killed Shelby off without even having her interact with the other actors.

    I was relieved that the Enterprise-D bridge was real. For weeks, there were rumors we’d see the crew back on the D’s bridge and I was sure it was going to be a holodeck simulation, like what we saw in Relics. I also think it’s funny that this show gave fans precisely what Patrick Stewart said he didn’t want to see when he agreed to come back to Star Trek, which was Picard back on the bridge of the Enterprise in a TNG reunion.

    I was relieved there was some acknowledgement of the Enterprise-E, even we aren’t explicitly told what happened to it. In previous seasons, fans kept asking where is the Enterprise? This kind of answered that.

    Sure, the master plan by the Borg doesn’t quite make sense if you think it through. How did they know Picard had a son when even he didn’t know? How did they know Jack would function as a transmitter? And given that Jack ultimately traveled to the Borg queen himself, was recruiting Vadic to find him even necessary. But these are the kinds of things you can overlook if the story is entertaining enough, which this one was.

    I look forward to the finale. Will we finally see Janeway, whose name has been mentioned more than once? Will we learn if Tuvok is still alive? And now that Starfleet has been assimilated, will the Borg decide they no longer need the changelings and turn on them?

    @Lodged Torpedo Thank you for saying that..I wasn't rude or mean or disrespectful to them in my comments just asked the question..fine I used all caps a little bit for some words nothing profane or excessive ..only because we Trek fans are passionate and excited about this..So I don't see why they wouod.block..not answer maybe but block..that does seem rude and excessive as a reaction..and by the way they DID RESPOND when I gave them praise and thanks On a previous episode..so seems kind of two-faced to not politely respond to a politely if whiny criticism/quesrion, does it not? I don't want to hurt anyones feleings..life sucks I et it.. I am depressed. This shownis my antidepressant..sort of..but to block someone just for asking/voicing a valid criticism seems way beyond the pale..Iget they worked hard and are tired and don't want to hear every nagging fan's last complaint but. just don't answer me even if I ask a few things fine but don't block..

    Aw man, what a guilty pleasure this is. I am in full agreement with Jammers points, except that I intend to own the amount in which I can emotionally manipulated even more and give this six stars.

    Few points :
    - "oooh, not the borg again"? On the contrary, my dear Watson. Let's face it, the borg are by far the best trek villain species. Nothing can be as appropriate as confrontation for this crew as the borg. In retrospect, it seems painfully clear it could never have been anything else. Pah wraiths? Get outta here. Borg it is. I love it. I'm surprised how much I love that it's "just the Borg"

    -which leads directly to the next point : the biggest problem with the Borg, for me, was always that they had been created as a too big threat and then after best of both worlds always were used in underwhelming ways. I was so disappointed in the few Borg followups back in TNG days. Some smart stuff, but oh so anti climatic.

    This now is appropriate in scale and everything. For once, I am *not* annoyed by nutreks love for too big threats. In this instance, it's finally handing the Borg the threat level they deserved and never got. It's bold and makes no prisoners. I like it.

    - the explanation. Oh, it's messy, it's complicated, nerdy, and takes a lot of technobabble mumbo jumbo to rationalize. You know what that reminded me of? TNG. In the midst of the borderline insane exposition parade on screen, I had to laugh out loud and said to myself, how funny is that, they're even mirroring the technobabble storytelling device to get the plot to where they want it to be. It's outrageous. It's shameless. It's cheeky. And I love it for all of that.

    - the whole Enterprise D is maybe the most shameless fan service orgy I have ever seen in my life. And what can I say? Good! Where to do that kind of thing, on that take no prisoners level, if not here. And boy did it work. It had a little something in my eye when they lit up the wonderfully recreated D bridge. And for a second I though "ah well, but they're gonna make it darker", and then they lit it up to almost Orville levels. As if it was a nudge nudge wink wink we *know* you hate the dark bridges stuff. It bordered on breaking the 4th wall. Again, cheeky, outrageous, shameless... ... And it love it for all of that.

    Overall, at this point I feel that this TNG reunion couldn't have been done much better than this. And instead of seeing some half hearted "oooh, we don't want it to be too fan service-by", I *much* prefer this approach that says, fuck it, let's just push *all* the buttons with a complete sorry not sorry attitude. Yeah!

    Taking an overall look over the course of this season, this is quite a complicated plot that despite it's limitations to largeky just play on the titan feels like it ran around the entire alpha quadrant several times. Its the first time ever since voyager ended that trek manages to feel big again. It feels like it plays in that gigantic trek universe. That's an archievement I've missed thoughout the entirety of Enterprise, DSC, SNW and even the expensive new trek movies.

    And people can lament about this as much as they want, call it cheap or whatever, I will strongly disagree there. Considering that for +20 years, a whole army of writers, set builders, producers and directors all the way up Hollywoods top of the line people (for better or worse) failed to make trek feel like it played in the trek universe, I will give credit where credit is due. For me, Mr. Matalas is absolutely entitled to pat himself on the back for that. Without any irony and caveats, to me that is an absolutely genuine archievement. Something I had thought at this point it couldn't be done.

    Did he somewhat cheat himself towards that archievement via all the fan service? Yes. Do I care? No. If that's what it took, I'm glad it was done.

    So yeah, hooray for the enterprise D. One more round please.

    At this point, I am very very sad that the season is about to be over. I could totally watch another 10 episodes of this. And that, again, is a feeling I haven't had in a long long long time when nearing the end of a trek season. Usually, the default emotion was "ew thank God, it's almost over". Not here.

    @Jax "The "this is dumb but I love it anyway" schtick is like sci-fi MAGA..."

    This made me laugh quite a lot. Still, we all enjoy dumb crap sometimes and that's fine: consuming it as entertainment (as a opposed to an expression of political action) hurts nobody. So when @Jammer says "Don't care. Shut up. This is fan service of the highest order, and that's the point" I guess that's fine if interpreted this way.

    What bothers me is the notion that this can be in any way compared to hours of TV like "The Drumhead," "The Inner Light" or even medium-good TNG episodes. You know, actual artistic creation that stands on its own merits. And make no mistake: this is the nasty implication of uncritically praising Picard Season 3. Did I enjoy a lot of it? Sure. I also really enjoyed the bag of Cheetos I just ate. But I'm aware that it's just well-crafted garbage.

    So yeah, maybe "that's the point." And if we rate his creation based on this point, Terry Matalas gets full marks. But hey, perhaps there are other points when evaluating a television show, beyond rating how tasty the garbage was?

    @JAMMER QUESTION Why don't you want them to acknowledge or.bring back the Jurati Borg? NO wouldn't that be a major PLOT HOLE..She was a major element and a Borg whonwpuld jave access to these Borg and could help..hope you can respond tonthis question when you can. Thanks for your review. I AGREE the Enterprise D looks great.

    @Descent

    [@Kyle A
    "Sheesh, I don't know what you are looking for man."
    Something vaguely original.]

    In a series with 879 aired episodes and counting?

    That's a tall order, yknow.

    Fuck - the D. All we needed to get a perfect season would be a DS9 (only) legacy character - I would love to see Kira or O’Brien again, but I think Odo would be the one that makes more sense (and he would be the easiest character to explain a recast).

    https://www.jammersreviews.com/st-picard/s3/vox.php#comment-105324

    Is it a one-time stunt? What about the origination of SNW from DSC?

    Amusingly enough I was about half-correct about my Fear Clown Hive Mind theory. Even though I was only just shitposting about the dumbest way I could think of to check all the boxes necessary to solve the mystery box. Only difference is that it turned out not to be a literal clown but a metaphorical one. I mean... I was on the verge of laughing out loud when they suddenly showed a literal Borg cube lurking behind the mysterious red door. Only reason I didn't actually laugh was because the ominous CGI was pretty damn compelling.

    Is it possible to make something so dumb that it becomes critic-proof? Evidently so if you grease their palms with a large enough payoff. But boy, what a pay off it was. I guess they really had been holding out on us in terms of their total budget because episode 9 and surely also 10 will contain the sort of quality ship-centric CGI that will please even the most reticent of fans. Other payoffs of note include watching the whole legacy gang actually DO things, the return of Alice Krige as the Borg Quee (kinda, I guess?), the nerdgasmic unveiling of the Enterprise-D, and watching Shelby have a few phaser blasts shot through her (though she doesn't seem to notice or care (...they were likely added in post without her knowledge or consent so I'll cut her some slack)).

    I feel no need to pick apart the plot logistics or emphasize the particulars of Teh Dumb since the problems should be patently obvious to anyone watching and it would require more space and time than the subject deserves. That doesn't mean I think all of that doesn't matter though. Just because most of the emotional-brains are very satisfied with this episode doesn't mean that the other side -- the nerdbrains -- need to just shut up and take it. And anyhow it's not all that healthy to repress half of your being like that.

    I actually think it's perfectly alright to relish the present moment for all the great nostalgia that it brings you. But just like a drug-induced high, the high of nostalgia is fleeting and cannot last. Do you really think that when you revisit this series in 5 years or more years from now, you'll be as thrilled with the fan service, that you'll rate it as highly as you do now? I'm guessing not. I'd wager that instead of trying to recapture the same high, which only felt fresh and new the first time you experienced it, you'll be much more likely to simply re-watch your favorite TNG episodes. Because that way you'll not only to see the Enterprise-D again, but you'll also get to experience some comparatively great writing: plot, character and acting will all come together in ways that we can only dream about when we watch ST:Picard, no matter how apt and timely those memberberries hit, nor how flashy and compelling the CGI is. So go ahead and award this episode 4 bajillion stars for all I care while you're in the midst of the ecstasy. Just don't pretend like your critically evaluative faculties haven't been hijacked by the ephemeral good feels. Don't talk like you're being anywhere near objective about it.

    Other spare thoughts:

    - The opening scene: the destruction of the Shrike from last week... the entirely defenceless, near-deserted Shrike. In case we forgot. I guess it was important to emphasize that point since it cost a lot of money, plus they wanted to prime us for still more gratuitous destruction that is about to unfold.

    - It's been so long since we've seen a Betazoid do their Empath thing that I have to wonder if the showrunners haven't confused them for mind-melding Vulcans?

    - "We haven't heard anything from the Borg in 10 years!" I take it this means they retcon'd the whole season 2 fiasco? I also assume this means that Jurati's plan to tame the Borg failed?

    - It's funny how quickly Jack went from the willingly sacrificial lamb for the Greater Good to stupidly and selfishly walking right into the Borg Queens' beckoning hands... I guess this is because this season wasted so much time with the wheel-spinning that there's no time left for Jack to carry on with the same good sense. He now needs to be puppeteer'd by the Authorial Hand to the Endgame Scenario.

    - Everyone's all smiles and rainbows about the Enterprise-D when they should be all serious business since they had just watched their sons and daughters get assimilated by the Borg moments earlier.

    - I really thought Picard would say that what he missed most about the Enterprise was not the carpet, but having actual lighting.

    Interesting detail:

    Just watched a few YouTube clips talking about this. And yeah, I had to rewatch that Enterprise D reveal bit once more, I confess.

    And here's the detail - *thousands* of comments below each of these clips after just a few hours. Scrolling through them for a bit, it feels like almost 100% celebration of the moment.

    Certainly one can file that under "emotional brains" versus "nerd brains" or whatever. But if one wanted to mirror that kind of, pardon me, narcissism, one might as well say, it takes a certain amount of adulthood to sometimes just take a step back and acknowledge an archievement like that while resisting the urge to nitpick.

    It clearly seems to be a triumph. Let them have it.

    If only this shit was Season 1 of this shitty show instead of Season 3, where weve already had two shitty seasons of Borg-ish plot threads.....

    17/5! and not just for the last 5 mins, which is the most joyful thing I have ever seen put to a screen.

    This is truly the big screen Star Trek adventure we've waited and waited and waited for.

    (Yes, there's one more episode but I feel at this point like we're on a sort of Daniel Craig getting in the 60's-era Aston Martin in 'Skyfall' trajectory)

    It's been pointed out to me elsewhere that Elnor is probably dead now: he was serving on the Excelsior, and that's the ship the rest of the fleet fired upon and blew up.

    HahahahahahahahahHAHAHAHAHAHahahahahaha.

    This was Proper Star Trek. My heart was literally (not figuratively) pounding.

    This series could have been perfect at eight episodes.

    It's going to be a long week, waiting for the finale.

    3.9/4

    Whatever your thoughts and feelings about this season or this show or NuTrek at large, surely no one can deny that the final five minutes of this episode are nothing short of spectacular. For too long, Trek has felt small and petty. But when these characters saw the Enterprise and resumed their stations followed by that final heroic shot of the Enterprise warping away is simply glorious. In that moment, Trek as it once was lived again. It was truly one of the greatest moments in the history of this legendary franchise. Matalas directed the absolute shit out of that.

    It also goes far beyond nitpicking when shows that often challenged it's audience devolve into the adult equivalent of a pacifier.

    Yes I loved seeing the TNG crew back together on the old D bridge with good lighting and no lens flares and the carpet (LOL). It totally makes sense that the Borg would hack the federation transporters with a computer virus that rewrites your DNA to organically assimilate you. Jack inheriting Borg DNA from Locutus to become Vox and be the unwilling villain is a great plot idea and sins of the father visited on the son would be a great story. But do the writers have the ability to join these concepts together to create a compelling well paced story? No. Did we need the Changelings? No. Did we need Vadic? No. Did we need the nebula space jelly fish? No. Did we need Riker yelling at Picard? No. Did we need the holo bar? No. Did we need 8 episodes to get here? No. Does the whole under 25 thing make sense? No. Crazy, poorly explained, incoherent and illogical narratives, bad writing and pacing continue to plague this series. The old D crew saving the day from a revived Borg threat and getting their proper send off should have been the theatrical movies they never got. First Contact could have been the start of that series of movies and the decent plot elements from this season could have made two or three more movies, similar to how the TOS characters got ST 2, 3, 4 and 6. That’s how it should have happened, keep the TNG characters off streaming TV and put them on the big screen. Movie theatres are retro, “analog”, like our heroes on the D.

    @ Dreubaric and Star Man: all your previous comments are well said about the good the bad and the ugly of season 3.

    Prodigy just got through doing a better job of the same plot: enemy hacks the main frame computer of star fleet with a virus and turns the fleet against the federation. But they came up with a new and original compelling villain. Butim glad to see the Borg have gotten their fangs back and they are scary again. And the Jurati Borg have been retconned out of existence is also a good thing.

    Made my first comment on The Mando board the other week and have been reading jammers reviews and your posts for years. Thoroughly enjoyable reading.

    S3 is here to work the nostalgia triggers and give the Tng cast one last hurrah. The story itself is very contrived. But I have to say. I have been enjoying it. Throwing my nit picking out of the window.

    The first two seasons of Pic were an absolute drag and I'll never watch them again. However, this season will be rewatched many times. Is it perfect? Far from it. Have I been entertained. Very much so.

    @Dreubarik

    "You know, actual artistic creation that stands on its own merits. And make no mistake: this is the nasty implication of uncritically praising Picard Season 3."

    Uncritically praising season 3?

    We've had so much criticism here we've had critics criticizing critics, and them being criticized back for doing that.

    @Kyle

    "Does the whole under 25 thing make sense?"

    Oddly this makes real world sense, it's true IRL the frontal cortex stops developing at about 25.

    As Jeffrey's Tube pointed out, the infection (whatever to call it) occurs when people are under 25.

    ** NOT 25 now **

    Not sure how long ago this could have started, but the Dominion War ended well over 20 years before this so maybe crew as old as 45 were assimilated.

    Actually I strongly disagree TNG was ever a good fit for the movie screen.

    I mean, sure it could theoretically be done. First Contact is very good and I even liked Generations.

    But TNG was much more an ensemble show than TOS ever was, and they tended to become all about the biggest 3 characters: Picard, Data and Worf. Beverly lost out almost entirely, but this also got weird when Nemesis did things like try to make it like Picard and Data were besties. (Kind of repeated in Picard S1)

    The “OMGZ, memberberries!” moment does not feel earned to me. I’m shocked Jammer is giving it a pass and the equation to Undiscovered Country is mildly offensive to me.

    Since they insist on doing this 10-hour movie nonsense (thank you Jammer for calling that out) is it fair to point out how terrible the pacing is? It takes Jack a single 5 minute conversation to go totally rouge and flee his parents into the unknown? The Mom he spent his whole life with? The friends he fought so hard to save in the last episode? The woman he seems to have feelings for? Almost as though he looked at the remaining runtime and knows we need to wrap this up soon. 🙄

    The Changelings being a misdirection from The Real Bad™ doesn’t surprise me one bit but sure feels cheap. Take one of Trek’s greatest villains from its longest running story arc and reduce them to one dimensional bad guys to hide The Twist™.

    Shaw had Just Enough Time™ to apologize to Seven before he died. Everyone else shot by the Borg immediately dropped dead. Set phasers to plot!

    We’ve lost all sense of travel time. They flee in a shuttle. Minutes later we’re at the fleet museum in some other star system. Now we anticipate getting the D back into the fight before Earth is assimilated. Phasers aren’t the only piece of tech that moves at the speed of plot it seems.

    Sorry, I try not to nitpick tech, only story/characters, but hard to overlook the preceding two items!

    Can only skim all the comments at this late hour but will respond to the repeated speculation of Janeway with ugh. 🤢

    I’m biased, I don’t like her character, but even if I did, this is the TNG send off. They conveniently got Seven and Raffi out of the way, for no good story reason, just to get the TNG cast alone to save the day. It would feel pretty silly to cram Janeway in at the eleventh hour for a cameo but I wouldn’t put it past ‘em.

    Also, this comment, from @Lovok

    “First things first: the CGI in this season has been consistently awful. I've felt it all season, but seeing the Ent-D look so fake here in "Vox" really brought it home. Why does everyone seem to give this crappy CGI a pass? I miss real models so much!”

    1000% this. The bridge looks amazing, not perfect if you pull up a random TNG episode from the 1080 remaster, but damned close. Hard to see what they could have done better. Boy I missed that lighting. And the carpet! Be nice to see the Ready Room or Observation Lounge, prolly won’t happen, but one can hope!

    The CGI though, D’s movements, all wrong. The models moved more gracefully. Example: https://youtu.be/WAGGEw4TcFY

    The motion there, where she turns around, CGI can’t duplicate it. It just feels “wrong”

    Not ripping on NuTrek here, I have the same complaints about DS9’s later seasons when they abandoned models. Decades later and the technology still can’t replicate the graceful movements of model photography.

    Why was Jack allowed to leave the ship and get on the shuttle? Why were the armed security guys stopping Beverly from reaching Jack rather than stopping Jack and then escorting him to the Vulcan institute? I've had to pause the episode half way through because my brain can't cope with these questions.... Are they answered later on???

    “- I love that this episode pretty much entirely undoes season 2, almost to the point that even the franchise is treating it as not part of canon.”


    Wishful thinking on your part. None of this undoes season 2.

    The big D was a sight to behold.

    As for all the other garbage, I really pity the writers if that's the best they could come up with.

    We don't really know how long the hacked transporters have been in use; it's probably not a hard age 25 cut-off. Maybe 30? 35? Depends on how long the infiltration has been going on.

    I'm still only on episode three, waiting to see if Jammer and you guys think this season nails the landing.

    Reading Jammer's review, and the comments here, I'm wondering if this season addresses the Borg stuff in season 2. Is Jurati's "Good Borg Collective" mentioned at all?

    @Silly "Uncritically praising season 3?

    We've had so much criticism here we've had critics criticizing critics, and them being criticized back for doing that."

    I think that when one's opinion is "none of this makes any sense but I love it, shut up," it is pretty fair to define it as self-admitted uncritical praise. If you have a better term, I'll take it.

    I also don't get the comparison with Star Trek VI here. Star Trek VI is remarkably devoid of memberberries/fan service. There is no commandeering of a TOS-style Constitution class vessel while paying a visit to the Guardian of Forever to go back in time and stop Khan with a tribble-derived biologic weapon. Characters don't constantly reminisce about past events for the sake of the audience.

    What we get is a thoughtful action-adventure thriller with grounded political allegories. Yes, characters reflect on ageing and prejudice derived from past events, but this is all restrained and rooted in the themes of the story. The sendoff works not because it parades Star Trek's "greatest hits" but because it's a good movie that effectively develops the theme of passing the torch to new sensibilities.

    Artymiss

    "Why was Jack allowed to leave the ship and get on the shuttle? Why were the armed security guys stopping Beverly from reaching Jack rather than stopping Jack and then escorting him to the Vulcan institute?" - Artymiss

    Jack was controlling the guards with his Borg psi-powers. That's how he got off the ship.

    This was one of those episodes where I found myself yelling at my screen: "Oh, come on. Really? That's what you're doing? The lowest of low hanging fruit?" ...while at the same time having a smile on my face.

    Actually, it reminded me of Data in ST: Generations.

    "I believe this [episode] produced an emotional response. ... Ugh! I hate this! It is revolting!"
    "More?"
    "Please."

    The worst of it was their apparent decision to kill off Shaw - as predictable as it was uncreative. Shaw has sort of become my spirit animal, with his inherent resistance to the charm of the "legends" aboard his ship.

    Come to think of it, I suppose that does add a bit of symbolism to his potential demise. We're 100% on the nostalgia train now.

    Well, Jammer, I can't agree with you here. This series is the purest of fan fic, with the biggest excitement being when the name "Admiral Shelby" is mentioned and the view of Enterprise D, and not all us can tolerate fan fic.

    But sure, if you are willing to let yourself go and embrace that genre, this show delivers. And then some.

    I figured Picard S3 would be a neat way to test my shiny new API access to GPT4, and give the forum a laugh or two. Here goes, everything after this is LLM gentext:

    "Title: "Picard Season 3: Nostalgia Can't Salvage Poor Writing"

    As a beloved character from the Star Trek universe, Jean-Luc Picard holds a special place in the hearts of many fans. With the first two seasons of Star Trek: Picard receiving mixed reviews, there was hope that Season 3 would correct its course and solidify the show's standing in the franchise. Unfortunately, the third installment of Picard suffers from lackluster writing, an overreliance on nostalgia, and poor scripting that detract from the overall experience.

    To begin with, the writing in Picard Season 3 leaves much to be desired. The narrative structure feels disjointed and rushed, with several plotlines being introduced and resolved too quickly. This approach sacrifices character development and prevents the audience from feeling invested in the story. It's as if the writers prioritized creating shocking moments over crafting a compelling narrative.

    Moreover, the dialogue in Season 3 often feels forced and unnatural. Characters are burdened with stilted lines that fail to convey the depth and complexity we've come to expect from the Star Trek franchise. This subpar scripting not only undermines the performances of the talented cast but also makes it difficult for the audience to become fully immersed in the show's universe.

    Another major issue with Picard Season 3 is its overreliance on nostalgia. While it's understandable that the show would want to capitalize on the rich history of the Star Trek franchise, this approach becomes a crutch rather than an asset. Instead of introducing fresh ideas and storylines, the show repeatedly falls back on familiar faces and callbacks to previous series. The result is a series that feels more like a patchwork of fan service than a cohesive and innovative addition to the Star Trek universe.

    The show's producers seem to have banked on the hope that nostalgia would be enough to overcome its weaknesses in writing and scripting. Sadly, the gamble doesn't pay off. The heartwarming moments of seeing beloved characters return are fleeting, and the end product is a hollow experience that struggles to maintain its identity as a standalone show.

    In conclusion, Picard Season 3 is a disappointing entry in the Star Trek universe, marred by weak writing, poor scripting, and an overreliance on nostalgia. The show had the potential to explore new narrative territory and deepen our understanding of Jean-Luc Picard as a character, but instead, it squandered its opportunities in favor of short-term fan service. It's time for the showrunners to boldly go where no Star Trek series has gone before and craft a more thoughtful and innovative fourth season."

    You can call this 60 year Trek fan dead at heart, and you may be right, but this was plodding and it had no pure TOS or TNG notes, despite the subdued score. Nonsensical Changeling Borg alliance.

    Sorry, I can't edit my earlier post so will add here. The whole changeling/borg takeover just has so many holes, and is papered over so thinly.... As a Trek fan, even after DSC, I am in anguish.

    "Yes, but this was nothing but fan service, and [blah, blah, etc.]." Don't care. Shut up."

    LOL!!!

    Just throw everything and the kitchen sink at the old tunnel vision fanbois and be happy.

    Neh, this was a way overstretched plot line and contrived situations and results to the bone.

    I for one found the CGI lacking. Way too much gloom for one. Sense of Scale is missing and the armada formations were just mwew.

    Btw one would think at least one of those other Galaxy class starships survived and would be part of the silly museum we never heard of before (and probably after).

    @Dreubarik

    "I also don't get the comparison with Star Trek VI here. Star Trek VI is remarkably devoid of memberberries/fan service. There is no commandeering of a TOS-style Constitution class vessel while paying a visit to the Guardian of Forever to go back in time and stop Khan with a tribble-derived biologic weapon. What we get is a thoughtful action-adventure thriller with grounded political allegories."

    Yep. It was fresh, but also true to the best of what Star Trek was--allegorical, character-centric, tasteful, with action/adventure that wasn't so over the top. All things considered, after watching modern Star Trek do it's thang, I appreciate what Meyer and Nimoy (and Harve Bennett, up until 6!) accomplished what they did in the 80s and 90s, creatively. I see them (based on their work output anyway) as real adult, professional creative people. Meyer essentially didn't even know what Star Trek was until he landed the assignment, and look at what his contributions to the franchise ended up looking like (not counting the fact that ST 2 is now the template for which revenge plots are mined from endlessly)! How hard is it to find someone like THAT these days?

    The modern writing teams take a very youthful, comic book (thanks Marvel), YOLO approach to storytelling, and unfortunately for me, it just doesn't land. Mostly at all, haha. :( But it's a great tactic if your objective is generating emotional, hyperbolic reactions on Twitter that help convince corporations to continue investing in the show!

    One more comment: shades of Battlestar Galactica here with all the linked ships and Adama’s old fashioned curmudgeonly technophobic : “There will be no linked computers on Galactica.” saving the day. And undetectable Changeling “skin jobs” infiltrating the fleet. Also In Season 1 with a few different models of attractive cyborgs committing genocide against organics after being ill treated for so long.

    @Narissa's Bath Water "It's time for the showrunners to boldly go where no Star Trek series has gone before and craft a more thoughtful and innovative fourth season."

    Beautifully written, GPT4.

    @Dreubarik

    Well said.

    If the writers were brave, they might have explored the Borg as possible good guys avenue from S2. Not sure how you’d build off that mess and the Borg make a bad choice for political allegories, but something interesting and fresh could have been written. Force Picard to come to terms with his greatest enemy like Kirk and the Klingons.

    Alternatively, we could have seen the Borg turn on the Changelings (“Halfway across the river, the Scorpion stung him”) and then had some exploration of THAT with our characters having to fight to save a hated enemy without immediately (or ever) jumping to the cliche of Earth In Jeopardy.

    That would be harder to do in a satisfying way, the Changelings/Dominion were never TNG’s Big Bad, but if you view Star Trek VI as the template and want political allegories, this would be how you get them. You could even make Starfleet the bad guys, like in VI, not because they’re incompetent and got pwned by Changelings, but because it’s filled with Dominion War veterans who have prejudices towards the Changelings. Admiral Clancy from S1 seems like a good candidate for “Let them die.” Imagine what kind of exploration of the human condition you could do with that set and setting!

    This is just a disjointed mess that exists only to see the crew on the Enterprise-D. It’s like Top Gun Maverick, except that movie was an enjoyable turn your brain off popcorn flick. It had one cheap trick — putting Maverick and Goose (errr, Rooster) into an old F-14 — instead of dozens. It was easy to overlook the incredulousness of that scene for the sheer nostalgia and “America, FUCK YEAH!” cheer that went up in the theatre. It falls apart under the slightest bit of critical thinking but nobody cares, least of all me, because the movie up until that point was better than this slop.

    If these show runners had written that movie it would take 10 hours. Half of the newly created characters would have died. We’d get cameos from characters in the original movie who would also die. Maverick would be revealed to have a son who goes off to fight with “The Enemy” after five minutes of exposition. “The Enemy” would have been revealed at the last second to be working with “The Bigger Enemy” and then promptly forgotten about (does anyone seriously believe we even hear the word “Changeling” again, much less get closure of that story?)

    Sigh.

    At least the bridge looks nice.

    @Tim
    Your comments here needs more reading. I applaud you. Yup. Star Drek indeed. To boldly go where no Star Trek has gone before.

    If we tell GPT-4 there isn't going to be a fourth season will it say "I know that" or will it double down on its opinion? I'm genuinely curious to see how far the hallucination goes.

    Love to see all the sock puppet accounts congratulating other sock puppet accounts on their comments being great

    Astroturfing is so 2010, just wow

    I'm starting to think that all this whining about how Star Trek is RUINED FOREVER is just one guy with 12 accounts all patting each other on the back, who has like a trust fund and literally nothing better to do

    @Narissa's Bath Water

    If that is what your AI calls writing, literary stylists have nothing to worry about.

    Seriously guys. So many of you are looking for reasons to complain. As someone who complained a lot about Discovery, and who wanted to be happy with S1 and S2 of Picard only to be let down, i can understand people not fawning for New Trek BUT this is not New Trek, this is our Trek, this is everything we've been clamouring for, and still, most of the people in the comments here seem to be going out of their way to moan. You're entitled to your opinions, but seriously, come on.

    Borgy McBorgface!

    It wasn't the Pagh Wraiths! It wasn't Armus! It was the Borg all along! Because of course it was. The streaming metrics wouldn't have it any other way. NuTrek: Borg the Next Generation, amirite?

    They really, really, *really* laid it on thick this episode, in every conceivable way. Tell don't show action (offing the Excelsior via a turbolift commentary, wow, that takes neck). Medical assimiliation genetic transporter techobabble that makes not a lick of sense. Jack of One suddenly turning up in the Borg Queen's lair (but we don't get to see the Borg Queen, because...). Borg zombies arise (haha, the psychological analysis of the young actually picking off the old, and yet the young being the real enemy within but it's not their fault really - I can't wait for the comment wildfire here on that one). 'Fleet formation' mode (?) is an even more ridiculous concept than assembling the entire fleet in one place for Frontier Day. Take that, Shelby, and take your NX-01 references with you! Oh no, Shaw, you forgot to die, so pew pew for you as well. Turns out the Borg were the end of you after all. Jesus wept, this is just snuff.

    Fan service? You can't handle the fan service! You want the D, nerds, you want it? How much do you want it? You don't want it enough! Be careful what you wish for though. Yeah, we recreated the bridge perfectly ('Relics', amirite, geddit?), but we're going to fill it full of cringeworthy dialogue to really spoil the moment for you. Be careful what you wish for, haha! Suck it up, you can never have nice things. Count yourselves lucky Geordi has monomania!

    I was alternating between fits of absolute belly laughter at the rampant absurdity of what I was watching and fighting back simultaneous, confused feelings of shocked disappointment and dopamine nostalgia.

    Haha, shut up robot, says Seven to Data! Or whatever she said. The writers are taking the piss.

    Okay, on to the Comment Stream.

    @ Tricolaco “All we needed to get a perfect season would be a DS9 (only) legacy character - I would love to see Kira or O’Brien again, but I think Odo would be the one that makes more sense (and he would be the easiest character to explain a recast).”

    Please no, I’d love to see Odo again too, if they had done something worthy with the Changeling story, but not at the expense of a recast. That character will always be René Auberjonois. I wouldn’t object to some archival voice material if it made story sense, like Majel’s voice as the computer, but not a recast or (Gawd help us) bad CGI like Disney did with Luke in Mando.

    Salome Jens may still be active, IMDB has some new movie she’s in listed in post-production?

    More I think about, the more I’m bummed they wasted the Changelings as redirection for The Big Bad™. The pieces were all there. Worf drops the line about “dishonor on both sides” or however he phrases it. Picard and Co. seem not to know about the Section 31 virus, which makes sense, of course it got hushed up after the war. The torture flashbacks with Vadic are in character for Section 31 and gave her ample motivation to do something stupid like get into bed with the Borg.

    Add Borg betrayal of Vadic and friends. Add disgust from Picard and Co. when they learn about the attempted genocide; good moment for a Picard Speech™. Send them on an adventure in good ole 1701-D to save the Great Link while elements of Starfleet (not just Section 31!) do everything they can to stop them along the way. Find a way to end Section 31 once and for all. That’s exactly what Picard would do if he found out about them and had the chance, and frankly, I’m kind of over it anyway. It was compelling once but NuTrek has run the well dry. Now it’s just a way for lazy writers to have Starfleet characters do unconscionable things, there’s no nuance left to it.

    Kira would make the most sense for a cameo in this story outline, if you take recasting Odo off the table (please). She’s the remaining character who would know him and his people the best. You could have her cross paths with the Female Changeling and conjure up a way for the two to reconcile over their shared love of Odo. Write in a tribute to René and you’ve got the perfect scene.

    The Borg, one of two ways you could use them. I’m inclined to say just use them as the catalyst for the above character drama centric story, we don’t need to deep dive them or Picard’s trauma YET AGAIN. That said, you got 10 hours, there’s doubtless a way to write a satisfying ending to their story, which would be a nice tie-in to the S1 scene where Picard comes to view them as victims instead of monsters. Find some technobabble way to end them that requires cooperating with the Changelings, they’re consistently portrayed as masters of genetic engineering, including here in Picard, so lots of potential. The Female Changeling gives herself up to the Borg Queen and destroys the collective from the inside out kind of thing. Like Voyager tried with Endgame, except, actually END THEM, show all drones being deassimiliated en masse after The Desperate Plan™ is executed. Remember, victims, not monsters. They did this in the Pocket Books novels, if anyone has read the Destiny series.

    @Tim

    "Decades later and the technology still can’t replicate the graceful movements of model photography."

    Agree 100%. I'm still really enjoying Big D, but at this point I'm grateful to see anything at all.

    It's also really occurred to me that this season Picard is more in the horror genre than SF. Personally I don't like when my science fiction is mixed with other things, even the religion on DS9 didn't work for me (glad I'm not the only one). In general, I don't see how grimdark is concordant with TNG. Completely different spirits.

    @Badger

    'i can understand people not fawning for New Trek BUT this is not New Trek, this is our Trek, this is everything we've been clamouring for, and still, most of the people in the comments here seem to be going out of their way to moan. You're entitled to your opinions, but seriously, come on.'

    'You're entitled to your opinions but don't have them or express them'.

    I wasn't 'clamouring' for this mess and it *isn't* my Trek. Might be your Trek, and I'm genuinely unironically pleased for you that you're so thrilled by it. I wish I could be but I'm not.

    It's the anhedonia.

    I'm curious how people would rate this season so far relative to other Trek series in terms of overall quality. For me, this season is better than S1/S2 of Picard, every season of Discovery, every season of ENT, and the early seasons of VOY. It doesn't come close to TNG / DS9, but nothing really does.

    I'd put this season on par with the later seasons of VOY. Admitedly low on substance but still very fun to watch.

    I wasn't a huge fan of the Enterprise D CGI when they first showed the ship in the hanger with its lights off, but it looked great flying out of the hanger with the lights on. I'm assuming the lights hide some of the flaws in the CGI, I'll have to re-watch it and look closer.

    @ Bucktown,

    "Did they explain why the Changelings needed Jack so badly before the Frontier Day plot? If so, I didn't catch it. I'm not sure what they still needed him for if all of the plan had been completed weeks earlier with all the transporter-DNA recodings?"

    Jack is the amplifier for the Borg signal required to activate the assimilation.

    "Did they explain how the Borg have been able to communicate with the Changelings? If so, I missed that too. Unless Vadic's hand was actually some kind of Borg?"

    They did not, that I can remember... I do want more here.

    @ Jax,

    "What does any of this have to do with the portal weapon and the original attack on the recruitment center made with it? In hindsight it seems that the Borg would want to recruit as many adolescents as possible."

    It was a diversion away from stealing Picard's dead body. But you're right, they killed many future drones.

    "Will anything have come of the Big Giant Head as relates to this wild plot turn?"

    I'm waiting for more explination here too.

    @AP

    "I was thinking about how they could possibly deprogram the LaForge girls and Titan crew. And I think all they will have to do is site-to-site beam them onto the Big D, with her old transporters, that do not have the Picard gene sequence in the buffer, et voila? Right?"

    Now that they know what the code is, and where it is, and all the ships are linked... I'm thinking Geordi or Data can write some code erasing it on all connected ships. Then it should just be a matter of running everyone through the transporters on each ship.

    @Norvo

    "And why would the Changelings need to chase Jack to collect him? He was bound to lose control and open the door to lead him to the Borg collective anyway. Jack isn't necessary for the whole Frontier Day take over, so why rush things along?"

    Jack was necessary... no projected Borg signal without him if I understand correctly. It appears the BQ is playing chicken after Janeway punched her in the mouth in Endgame.

    @Galadriel

    "How could the Borg recover so quickly after the events of VOY “Endgame”?

    I don't think what, 25 years is "so quickly".

    Break....

    While I thought it could be the Borg, I was not really looking forward to it being the Borg. 'Picard' has a history of screwing the pooch when it come to writing the Borg. It appears though, that Mr. Matalis has done his homework. I was pretty impressed with how this all works together.

    Great review Jammer and I agree with your "Don't care. Shut up. This is fan service of the highest order, and that's the point". Bingo.

    The best part is that this fan service works within the context of the story.

    Everyone seems to be knocking Jack's "escape". Just how the hell were they going to stop him? He can enter/control anyone, probably even Data and Picard. Jack's a smart kid...

    The main issue I have with this episode is that as soon as they knew it was the Borg, their first call should have been to 7. Good lord, she's the best Borg resource in the fleet... I think it's a shame she's been benched ... probably because she's not a TNG member. Shame...

    Even the 1701-D's reconstruction story fits and makes sense. It absolutely is something I could see Geordi doing.

    There was a part of me that wanted to see some of them get on the NX-01 refit though.

    "I hope we die quickly" ... chuckle ...

    I'm not upset Shaw died, I have never held him in reverence like many do. He's an asshole that hasn't put Wolf 359 in the rear view mirror... he shouldn't be on the bridge as CO IMO.

    I heard the bridge was constructed by hand to the exact specifications of the original set... what a fantastic job they did. Bravo... Sad it only gets 2 episodes.

    Couple nit-pics.... how did Picard know "it will fly"? ... how did Beverly know all systems are a go? ... both those lines should have been Geordi's IMO.

    I love that Geordi and Data filled the two front seats... just like in EaFP before Geordi was promoted.

    I teared up a couple times... 1st when Captain Shaw called his number 1, Seven of Nine... when they lit up the 1701-D bridge (yes, all bridges should be BRIGHT!!!) ... Riker gave his "we are the crew of the Enterprise" speel... and when the computer voice was Majel... I know, I'm a sap.

    I watched this twice last night and I'm going to watch it again tonight and probably before I was the final episode. Simply put it just made me feel good.

    See Kurtsman.... it CAN be done. Just give Matalis a series and stay the frak out of his way.

    We need 7 and Raffi in the last episode too... don't forget them. Janeway too please.

    3.5 stars from me.

    Here's hoping the finale scores 5 out of 4 stars!

    I do hope there's some dialouge between Jack and the Queen in the finale where we get some more detail on the back story of the Borg. I'm assuming it was the Queen who freed the changlings at Daystorm. Maybe the Queen herself was being held at Daystorm in a weird throwback to S2? Then she freed the changlings and the changlings freed her?

    It was nice to see the crew together again on the D.

    But with 8 episodes previous, the setup could've been much better. Or we could've spent more time on the Enterprise.

    So much doesn't make sense and that's not necessary considering how much time they had to set up events.

    So much about the Changlings and the plot is red herrings just so a mystery can be revealed at the end. It leaves no time to deal with the revelations which could've added so much depth to the series.

    @ Bryan

    “Do you really think that when you revisit this series in 5 years or more years from now, you'll be as thrilled with the fan service, that you'll rate it as highly as you do now? I'm guessing not. I'd wager that instead of trying to recapture the same high, which only felt fresh and new the first time you experienced it, you'll be much more likely to simply re-watch your favorite TNG episodes. Because that way you'll not only to see the Enterprise-D again, but you'll also get to experience some comparatively great writing: plot, character and acting will all come together in ways that we can only dream about when we watch ST:Picard, no matter how apt and timely those memberberries hit, nor how flashy and compelling the CGI is. So go ahead and award this episode 4 bajillion stars for all I care while you're in the midst of the ecstasy. Just don't pretend like your critically evaluative faculties haven't been hijacked by the ephemeral good feels. Don't talk like you're being anywhere near objective about it. “

    Could not agree more.

    Will ANY of Picard have re-watch value in 20-25 years? TNG and DS9 still do. My partner and I have spent every free moment these last few weeks binge watching DS9 episodes, as I try to catch her up on the Dominion/Changeling backstory. We’ve neglected never before seen episodes (The Mandalorian) of shows we love for the sake of this binge.

    Nobody is going to do that in 25 years with Picard.

    I barely re-watched the TNG movies. First Contact a few times. Insurrection once or twice (IMHO the closest the movies got to capturing the tone of the original show, despite all its flaws). I haven’t rewatched Generations or Nemesis once. When I get feeling nostalgic for TNG, I pull up a random episode. When something happens in the real world that was relatable to a TNG episode, I pull up that episode. This happens at least once a month I’d say, there were THAT many relatable teaching moments in TNG. I’ve never felt that itch for the movies and am extremely skeptical I ever will for Picard.

    Or Discovery for that matter. Discovery has lots of great Trek moments but I just can’t bring myself to sit through all the non-Trek ones to get there. The 10-hour movie format means it’s all or nothing. At least I can ignore “Sub Rosa”, or watch it to laugh at it (we actually did this a few months ago, lol), it’s not foundational to the entire season. I’ll watch the last season of Discovery but I got low expectations and am not going to re-endure S1 through S4 to get ready for S5.

    By contrast, whenever Strange New Worlds S2 drops, we will certainly binge S1 in preparation.

    When Orville S3 dropped, we binged all of S1 and S2.

    Did any of you binge Picard S1 and S2 to get ready for this season? I very much doubt it!

    Wow, a mere AI chatbot encapsulates the subject fairly effectively whereas its human detractors can say little but point out that it seems to be missing a piece of info that isn't essential to its argument, and offer that it will likely be out-competed in the arena of literary masterpieces. It's a good thing that none of us here are held to those rigorous standards in order for our statements on a television show to pass muster.

    "Did they explain how the Borg have been able to communicate with the Changelings? If so, I missed that too. Unless Vadic's hand was actually some kind of Borg?"


    Meathead was the Borg Queen.

    Tim scores the win for providing us the review that Jammer circa 2000 would have.

    @Tricolaco
    Thu, Apr 13, 2023, 11:33pm (UTC -5)
    "Fuck - the D."


    Did that come out the way you intended?!?



    "All we needed to get a perfect season would be a DS9 (only) legacy character"



    I feel you! I do! Except all I needed was a DS9 only character, a better plot, a lesser used villain, and far fewer memberberries! Other than that, I'm right there with you!



    "I would love to see Kira or O’Brien again,"



    O'Brien isn't a DS9 only character, but I wouldn't mind seeing him again. And definitely Kira should've been here. The weak argument that Janeway, but not Kira, can be included in Picard because she appears on another Star Trek franchise (Prodigy) falls flat on its face when you notice that Kira appears in Lower Decks, yet another Star Trek franchise:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqlAv_J12mw



    "but I think Odo would be the one that makes more sense (and he would be the easiest character to explain a recast)."



    I doubt they had enough in the budget to do a flawless Odo deapfake. Anything else would've been disrespectful. And almost nobody wants a recast.

    Hrmmm... Read about the scene here, I couldn't resist the curiosity it planted. So I watched it. And I am torn. Seeing them all there again, I can't deny that's special. I can see why that gets to people. It got to me a little bit. And yet... this scene didn't feel completely right to me until halfway through, and even then, it wasn't totally there.

    There are certain attempts to be "cinematic" that I just feel aren't necessary. The nostalgia porn closeup of the LCARS all coming online in sequence set to swelling music? The close up of thr plawue with the focus change to a reflection? Shitcan all of that. If they REALLY wanted to capture the nostalgic feeling of the old show, the characters would walk on the bridge, say "Computer, restore power to the bridge" (Because why would turning on the lights activate the computer systems? Thank god they didn't make a 4 lights joke) and, in a wide shot everything would come online at once, and maybe then the Alexander Courage score would play for a brief moment. As they all stand there looking around, no close ups on reactions, they just move to their positions. Maaaaybe a focus on Picard as he approaches the chair. Cut out some of the glib lines. (Worf complaining about the weapons can stay - I thought he was a pacifist this season though? As can that carpet line because I feel personal vindication about that) And again, drop the over-dramatic music. Rick Berman was wrong about a lot of shit, but his opinion of music, specifically when it comes to more personally dramatic moments, was bang on. The musical swells are overwhelming what should be quiet, intimate character beats, that I do agree with him about. Him not liking the work in "Q Who" and "Best of Both Worlds" though, yeah, get lost, those scores knew how to build tension and dread.

    Hearing Majel again? Good stuff. I'd change Riker's line to "We're *not just* the crew of the Enterprise, we're family." Also I'd hold off on exterior shots of the ship until after Picard's final orders are given, then cut to outside as the ship powers up and starts to move, THEN blast the theme again. Also, Geordie shoulda been setting course and Data shoulda been handling power routing, as befitting their positions on the bridge.

    And that's it really. It's all just minor extraneous stuff that undercuts this shit for me. In this scene the show is trying WAY TOO fuckin' hard to try and elicit an emotional response when it doesn't need to do all that song and dance for the audience to get there. That it does do all that does more to pull me OUT of the moment than live IN it emotionally. And that's a lot of new Star Trek in a nutshell, trying TOO hard, not trusting it's audience. Holding our hand so we can cross the emotional crosswalk. It's not needed.This scene could've been delivered in a MUCH simpler fashion and it would've been far more effective. And I know this because I still felt a twang of feeling at seeing it, but I know it could've been so much more than that if they had cut out the bullshit, delivered it straight and didn't try to emotionally manipulate me into feeling something. I woulda felt if they trusted me. Instead, I resent the utterly blatant attempt to play on my emotions. Sacchirine and melancholly music are the laughtracks of melodrama, I really fucking hate their use to signpost "Okay, you're supposed to cry here" Get lost show, if I feel something from you, I will, and you'll have earned it, don't TELL me what and when to feel.

    I think that's the thing that infuriates me the most about this new era of Star Trek, is how all these little fixes would have me so much more onboard with them. Tighten up the dialogue and the editing, don't go overboard on the score, stop trying to be so glib, and make the action scenes cohesive with the narrative being told, plotwise, character-wise and thematically. And for goodness sake, Don't just let the rule of cool take the reigns all the time.

    So yeah, I felt something watching this. Something wistful and minorly pleasant. But I don't think I Enjoyed it, persay. I smiled, but I rolled my eyes pretty hard. It's nice to see, but it could be so. Much. More.

    Obviously this is just my experience with the scene, and I know it's one that's in the minority. This is still New Era Star Trek. It's got a lot of modern TV trappings that I never cared for in non-Trek shows, and like even less inside of Trek. Maybe someday I'll feel enthralled by Star Trek like I used to when I first came across it, but until then, I got my DVDs.

    @ Nick "I wasn't a huge fan of the Enterprise D CGI when they first showed the ship in the hanger with its lights off, but it looked great flying out of the hanger with the lights on."

    My feeling is the opposite. There's nothing inherently wrong with the CGI ship when it's stationary. It looks a little too crisp but that's to be expected, 4K vs. 1080, CGI vs. physical model.

    My issue is with the movements. Compare entering warp to any of the shots of the same from TNG. The way she moves, it doesn't feel "real", like the physics of it. This is a 2,000+ foot long ship that tips the scales at five million tons, the model movements just felt more "real". I know the movie magic of how they do it, check out the YouTube clip I shared above, but it doesn't detract any from the gracefulness of movement.

    As I've said, I have the same feeling with a lot of DS9's CGI. DS9 was every bit as guilty of the cut and paste fleets as Picard was in S1 (and now S3). I've called it out before, the fleet engagements in the Dominion War were eye candy largely devoid of emotional punch. Compare to the off-screen Wolf 359 engagement in TNG that was a literal gut punch for the audience. Or the destruction of the USS Odyssey when they rolled out the Dominion. I've seen that episode more times than I can count and still tear up when the Odyssey explodes. For one, she was a thinly veiled stand in for Picard and the Enterprise (Keogh was very deliberately cast), and two, we actually (briefly) knew her Captain and had more than zero investment in her and her crew.

    Way of the Warrior was shot with physical models, amongst other things they used Playmates toys and Hallmark ornaments. Compare that battle scene against Call to Arms and tell me which one you think looks better. :)

    To be clear, this CGI stuff is a minor complaint in the grand scheme. I'd still mention it if the writing was spot on (as with DS9) but it doesn't detract from or add to the episode. It is what it is and Star Trek is hardly alone in relying too much on CGI these days.

    I do wonder if they thought about getting the old model and doing it old school? Analog even, lol. The six foot model still exists, I've seen it at MoPop in Seattle, presumably they could have gotten their hands on it if they had asked Paul Allen nicely?

    Orville did some stuff with model photography, so there's still SOME professional expertise in Hollywood. Maybe they'll surprise us with this in the finale, fingers crossed, it would be a wonderful thing to see.

    "Tim scores the win for providing us the review that Jammer circa 2000 would have."

    Nope. Load of crap. You don't know what the "Jammer of 2000" would've said, and I won't have words put in my mouth, even through some hypothetical time machine.

    In any case, it's irrelevant. The Jammer of 2000 no longer exists. The Jammer of 2023 has lived 23 years since then and is not beholden to whatever time-capsuled expectations you have of him. Ironic that this is the discussion around an episode specifically about a time capsule.

    "Love to see all the sock puppet accounts congratulating other sock puppet accounts on their comments being great ... I'm starting to think that all this whining about how Star Trek is RUINED FOREVER is just one guy with 12 accounts all patting each other on the back..."

    I suppose there are many worse things one could be than another Tim. A holder of double standards, for instance.

    @ Quincy and others, "O'Brien isn't a DS9 only character, but I wouldn't mind seeing him again."

    Colm Meaney is on record saying he's finished with the character.

    Of course, he's also on record saying he'd take part in Star Trek: Worf. (Is that still an idea somewhere on the drawing board? Michael Dorn still has it, I'd subscribe to this newsletter.....)

    I would love to see him, although, at this late hour, I fear it would simply be a too cute by half cameo that would not do the character justice. And he was one of my favorites in the entire franchise, possibly my absolute favorite.

    As a child, of course I envisioned myself in the Captain's chair, but as a somewhat more realistic and grounded adult I realize I'd have been Chief O'Brien. I own both the gold and red TNG uniforms, the red looks better on me, but the yellow is the one I'd find myself wearing if I woke up tomorrow on the Enterprise-D. :)

    "I'm starting to think that all this whining about how Star Trek is RUINED FOREVER is just one guy with 12 accounts all patting each other on the back..."

    For the record, this is not the case from what I can tell, unless those you are accusing of this are going out of their way to falsify their network details.

    I think part of the issue is people are always comparing all subsequent Trek series to TNG/DS9. I'm not saying that's unreasonable to do or that the critisism is invalid, but it's self defeating because nothing is going to come close to the magic of those series. It's just never going to happen, those two series will forever be in a class of their own.

    Just gonna leave this right here ...

    https://trekmovie.com/2023/04/14/picard-becomes-first-star-trek-series-to-break-into-streaming-top-10-ranking/

    Thanks for clearing that one up, Jammer. I was only a little bit worried that we might all turn out to be the same person.

    @ JC "Meathead was the Borg Queen."

    This seems probable to me, although, if confirmed, I wish we had gotten Vadic's backstory EARLIER and seen some OG Changelings for contrast to her revenge obsession.

    Having just finished the DS9 rewatch, I'm trying to reconcile Vadic's fear of meathead with "What you can control, can't hurt you." and "They're dead. You're dead. Your people were dead the moment they attacked us."

    @ Jammer, FWIW, while I disagree with you on your review, I do not appreciate my comments being equated to a fictional characterization of you anymore than you do. We are different human beings with different perspectives. I appreciate your perspective even when I disagree with your conclusion.

    I've engaged with this site since almost the beginning and will continue to do so long after Picard fades into the mist of history. Please keep up the good work, it's appreciated, and heck, I'm gonna leverage that coffee button for the first time ever after I click "Submit" here. :)

    "It's all just minor extraneous stuff that undercuts this shit for me. In this scene the show is trying WAY TOO fuckin' hard to try and elicit an emotional response when it doesn't need to do all that song and dance for the audience to get there. That it does do all that does more to pull me OUT of the moment than live IN it emotionally. And that's a lot of new Star Trek in a nutshell, trying TOO hard, not trusting it's audience."

    SPOT ON.
    Many great comments, thanks @Nolan

    Could you imagine a mid-series, dignified Captain Picard making carpet jokes? At least they did not turn Data into a clown, as they kinda did in some of the films.

    @ Midshipmannorris, "I'm starting to think that all this whining about how Star Trek is RUINED FOREVER is just one guy with 12 accounts all patting each other on the back, who has like a trust fund and literally nothing better to do"

    Okay, I know _I_ haven't said it's ruined forever. I can't recall anyone else saying that either. It's impossible to read every single comment on this site, so I'm sure you can dig up at least one along those lines, but it's not the prevailing sentiment. Not even close.

    My lament throughout has been disappointment. Not it's ruined forever or even that it's ruined right now. Picard has disappointed me repeatedly but I'm still delighted they made it happen. If they surprised us with a S4 I'd watch it. I plan on watching Discovery S5. I absolutely love SNW.

    Also, I work for a living, and have been somewhat neglecting that responsibility in recent days to engage with this community. There's no trust fund here. Jammer can attest to how many of my comments have come from work IP addresses, including this one, lol. :)

    @ Nick "I'm not saying that's unreasonable to do or that the critisism is invalid, but it's self defeating because nothing is going to come close to the magic of those series. It's just never going to happen, those two series will forever be in a class of their own."

    Orville came close to that magic. I would argue in many ways it exceeded it. My favorite example, Kelly's explanation of an abundance economy and how human ambition got re-channeled into reputation. It distilled in one scene everything Star Trek tried and failed to make relatable with "We work to better ourselves and the rest of humanity."

    Not knocking First Contact, it's a great line, true to the Trekkian vision, but it's not for nothing that DS9 poked fun at it later.

    "What does that mean exactly?"
    "It means. It means we don't need money."

    Tim: "I do not appreciate my comments being equated to a fictional characterization of you anymore than you do."

    I was referring to the use of capital letters and (™) to point out the clichés...something Jammer used to do regularly but seems much less critical of now.

    I wonder what the Queen would have done if Picard had no heirs?

    I also question the prudence of fleet formation as a defense. Surely wouldn't it prove more beneficial for ships to move independent of the rest of the fleet during a battle engagement? I think back to the many battles in DS9.

    I get the feeling that those wanting more Krige and the Queen might be disappointed. I get the feeling Jack the Vox is going to take over the mantel from her in the finale as the Borg mouthpiece and personfied threat the Borg represents.

    @Tim

    “This seems probable to me, although, if confirmed, I wish we had gotten Vadic's backstory EARLIER and seen some OG Changelings for contrast to her revenge obsession.

    Having just finished the DS9 rewatch, I'm trying to reconcile Vadic's fear of meathead with "What you can control, can't hurt you." and "They're dead. You're dead. Your people were dead the moment they attacked us."

    I think Vedic was so traumatised that in her haste to get revenge she did not consider the possible consequences the alliance. Whilst they shared the same goal she clearly came to regret the personal price she was paying, as the Meathead did seem to have some control over her, but presumably there was nothing Vedic could to reverse the link between them by then. I’m also thinking what lead to the alliance was Vedic initially discovering the Borg tech in Picard’s body at Daystrom.

    To those who dont like this:

    Honest now, what do you want?

    The new writers have largely abandoned the nonsense of nu trek-
    -no preaching (looking at you season 2 picard),
    -no extreme unearned emotional drama in the middle of a firefight (Burnum and discovery crew),
    -no illogical motivations or plot drivers (looking at you: a little boy crying blows up all the space ships, again, stupid discovery),
    -a thought out plan by both enemies and protagonists, with few fisty cuffs or pew pew battles, most of which were on the small scale (again, looking at you 100000 shuttles and fighter craft discover :|)
    - a focus on technological, political and galactic issues personalised through a few central characters' personal lives, rather than emotional and fantasy silliness centering the plot with splashes of science words (again, stupid discovery with the species that communicates through emotions.)
    -and a respect for the legacy of the franchise (looking at you spock had a secret human sister).


    These writers took the time to write a story for you, built entirely upon the lore you haters ever claim to respect. Yet it isnt good enough. I share you contempt for discovery and the first runs of picard (STW is good as is lower decks, im too old and thus not the target audience for prodigy so i wont opine on that), so when writers and studios come together and actively give you what you want, you still complain?

    Well you know what message that sends the executives, screw the fans, let's focus on the small but vocal group who love nu trek. Thats why we have star trek academy set in 'who cares 31st or whatever century led by 'how is she in starfleet tilly'. Because of you people who are utterly impossible to please thats why the section 31 show will go forward. Because of you.

    You cant admit that anything that is not you being 12 years old again watching the enterprise D with your dad/mum/brother/sister on an old crt screen feeling safe, amazed with imagination activated wont feel the same. Because you are older. That wow factor is replaced by critical analysis. Go back and watch old star trek episodes and be honest, the plots are silly!

    eg. best of both worlds. The borg let you beam onto their ships with your weapons. Then ignore you. They even beam worf data and shelby on the cube to rescue picard, whent he borg were actively being belligerent. They could have taken a photon torpedo with them. End of crisis. The cube could have destroyed the enterprise. End of crisis. But when youre 12 watching that cube, you arent thinking that. Just admit youve gotten older. Its easy to see the flaws of ANY plot.

    I dont mind the nit picking, but in this case youre nit picking something created for you based on the opinions of many like you. Yet youre unhappy. And not providing suggestions on how to improve. Thus, why should producers even try to cater for you?

    "I wonder what the Queen would have done if Picard had no heirs?"

    Also, how to reconcile Jack's role as key to the Borg transformation scheme with how long the Borg have been "infecting" transporters.

    Have they been doing/planning this since Jack was born? How did they know he'd be born with this power? Wouldn't they have tried to capture him as an infant to prevent him from dying/being killed from god-knows-what before The Plan could be executed. Why did Vadic only now hunt him down? Were the Borg somehow not ready to assimilate the Federation until Frontier Day? Is Frontier Day an annual event, or is this one special because, as Shelby said, it's the quarter-millennial anniversary of the NX-01 launch.

    "I wonder what the Queen would have done if Picard had no heirs?"

    This assumes the Queen expected Picard to free himself from the Borg. It’s more likely that the intention was “extraction” of Locutus’…DNA, and artificial insemenation, using some random captured female human to generate an offspring.

    @ Jax, Fair enough, I hope Jammer sees that, because I understand why it hit a nerve for him. :(

    @ startrekwatcher, re: fleet formation, none of it makes any sense. My partner (the USN veteran who worked signals intelligence and electronic warfare jobs) and I (the IT professional) have regularly screamed at the technological plot holes this season.

    I try very hard to limit my nitpicking of this kind of stuff. I'm here for the character stuff and as long as the technobabble is reasonably consistent I can roll with it.

    That said, the whole "networked ship" thing, seriously? It feels cribbed from Battlestar Galactica, which did it better, and we're supposed to believe there's no "off" switch? Ships just broadcast their location as a matter of course and you can't turn it off?

    Forget the Borg, the Allies from WW2 could beat Starfleet, see Ultra, Station Hypo, Commander Rochefort, etc., and the NSA with 2020s technology would have a field day with them. Was all this hard won knowledge lost in the post-atomic horror?

    The portal scene where Titan gets pwned by her own torpedoes, I leaped off the couch and screamed, "WHERE'S YOUR IFF STARFLEET?!?" IFF has existed since the 1940s, I guess it was also lost in the post-atomic horror?

    Trust me, lots of things about this have bothered me that I've not shared with the braintrust here, lol, because ultimately I can't expect the writers to know this kind of stuff. I can call them out for bad characterization though. :)

    @ JC, it's hard to attribute Vadic's poor decision making to haste, given how much plotting and premeditation went into her scheme. Haste is Khan chasing Kirk into the nebula against the advice of his comrade. :)

    Tim: "Trust me, lots of things about this have bothered me that I've not shared with the braintrust here, lol, because ultimately I can't expect the writers to know this kind of stuff. I can call them out for bad characterization though. :)"

    Canon also strongly matters.

    If you don't want to be constrained by it, start your own universe, like The Expanse did. That show runs circles around nuTrek in every way.

    @Dr. Andre

    I'm not a hater I just think there's room for improvement.

    Make every scene and episode count. Writers would give their right hands to have 10 episodes with a 10 million dollar budget yet it seems PIC spun its wheels with the Vadic storyline. Same goes for the time spent on M'Talas which was boring--a greedy Ferengi been there done that and a Vulcan gangster.

    Play fair with the audience-- don't employ red motif to throw us off when green is the Borg's color motif.

    If you aren't going to do anything intriguing with the FACE don't build it up and make a big mystery out of it. Take a more straightforward approach. Have the Queen communicate on a viewscreen. If she wants to hide her identity use a holo-filter to project a different facade.

    Adhere to logic. You don't have a big celebration with fireworks and fanfare following a devastating attack that kills hundreds at a recruitment center.

    Sometimes writers need to place restrictions on themselves. Just because they discovered a way to resurrect Data doesn't mean you should do it even if it is the coolest idea ever conceived. S1 made a big point about his demise and his final wishes. The matter had been put to bed. Let it be. But instead they gut that poignancy and message by reviving him. It takes a way a lot of that power. Same goes for the use of the Borg. They were decimated. Between the Unimatrix Zero rebellion, the Jurati Collective, Janeway's neurolytic pathogen. S1 focused on the aftermath of this downfall beautifully with the XBs. But yet again the Borg are brought in 3 seasons back-to-back without at least giving the audience some space. Even TOS which frequently used the Klingons as a recurring adversary took occasional breaks trying out something new to give the audience a break.

    A lot of the dialogue also tries to seem poetic and deep but scratching the surface really is just meaninngless new age babble.

    @ Tim it's hard to attribute Vadic's poor decision making to haste, given how much plotting and premeditation went into her scheme. Haste is Khan chasing Kirk into the nebula against the advice of his comrade. :)

    I’d say the ill-judged haste was more as a result of the trauma suffered at the hands of her captors, and that severely clouded her judgment. Also worth considering, how much of the plotting and premeditation was down to her, and how much of it was perhaps down to the Queen.

    @ Dr. Andre

    "no extreme unearned emotional drama in the middle of a firefight (Burnum and discovery crew),"

    Did you skip over the ending of Episode 3 in your watch?

    "a focus on technological, political and galactic issues personalised through a few central characters' personal lives, rather than emotional and fantasy silliness centering the plot with splashes of science words"

    They haven't focused on any of that though. Political issues? What political issues? It's a revenge plot, plain and simple, which could have worked (Wrath of Khan) with different characters (Daimon Bok?) and writing, but that's not what we got. The revenge plot doesn't have anything to do with our characters, which is ironic, since Beverly chewed out Picard with, "That's a warship with Jean-Luc Picard sized enemies on it."

    The technological stuff doesn't withstand close scrutiny. I'm fine with that, as I've said a few times, the technobabble ain't why I'm watching. Just don't hold it out as an example of something done right!

    "(again, stupid discovery with the species that communicates through emotions.)"

    Now you're calling out one of the things I liked about Discovery as an example of something NuTrek did wrong? I can agree to disagree, won't try to convince you that you're wrong, but suffice it to say, IMHO that plot was one of the best "Trek" things to ever make it to the small screen, a highlight of Discovery and a credit to the Star Trek canon.

    "And not providing suggestions on how to improve"

    I've lost count of how many suggestions I've read (and contributed) in the discussions here. None of them ultimately "matter", insofar as the show was finalized before the first episode dropped and I highly doubt this site is on the radar of the showrunners, but we've all had plenty of suggestions!

    Vadic was hyped up as the big bad rivaling Khan or Chang but fell flat. The writers went out of way to build up the Shrike as this menacing well armed vessel--even supplying a monologue early on by Vadic--only to be taken by a spread of torpedoes No ship to ship battle. Nothing. It was too easy.

    Again about creative restraint. There was a poignancy to the theme with Picard having no legacy. Being the last of his family. That's not something you see often addressed. Usually it is about the next generation continuing on. It felt convenient and I don't believe Beverly, despite the rationale the writers gave her, that she would have behaved as she did by ruing off cutting ties with everyone. That reeks of 19th century sensibilities when pregnant girls were sent away to have a child.

    @startrekwatcher

    "If you aren't going to do anything intriguing with the FACE don't build it up and make a big mystery out of it. Take a more straightforward approach. Have the Queen communicate on a viewscreen. If she wants to hide her identity use a holo-filter to project a different facade."

    They don't trust the audience.

    Let's imagine they did. Why would The Queen hide her identity from her co-conspirators? The Changelings knew who they were working with. The Queen presumably knew who she was working with. It makes no sense, except for....

    They don't trust the audience.

    And they wanted that viral "OMG, IT'S THE BORG!!!!" moment on Twitter after The Big Reveal™.

    Contrast this with Wrath of Khan. We -- the audience -- knew what was about to happen as Reliant closed on Enterprise. It didn't subtract one bit from the tension in that scene. In fact, it added to it, because we knew what Kirk was oblivious to. We were screaming, "WAKE UP YOU FOOL!" at the screen.

    If that was written like this, that moment would have been Khan's Big Reveal. Reliant would open fire on Enterprise, cripple her, and the audience would have no clue why until Khan hailed the Enterprise to gloat.

    How about DS9? We watched Dukat and Winn plot to release the Pa-Wraiths for how many episodes? Sisko had no clue what was about to go down but we did. Does that story arc end better if you delete all of the build-up and skip directly to Sisko and Dukat's FInal Showdown™?

    This is what I mean when I complain about Modern TV's (not just Star Trek) proclivity for "twists"

    It's lazy and it only exists to shock the audience and generate buzz on social media.

    It's no use, guys. Whenever people say "what would make you critics happy?" it's not meant as genuine question to solicit constructive discussion, but a rhetorical statement that suggests that the critics are impossible to please no matter what. Even though most of us are more than happy to supply the answers (and have already done so on more than one occasion), which are usually a lot more straightforward and intuitive, or at least less "impossible" than insinuated. If they were only to breeze through the commentary on each episode they would discover the very answers that they pretend do not exist, because they were never really interested in listening in the first place. And why would they? They're perfectly happy with what's on offer.

    @Dr. Andre

    'To those who dont like this: Honest now, what do you want?'

    As I wrote on exactly this point when we discussed 'hater-hating' under the review of 'Dominion':

    What did I want from PIC?

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

    That's it.

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

    But that's really all.

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

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

    I'm a simple man, of simple pleasures. I don't hate anyone.

    @ Jax "Canon also strongly matters."

    I can forgive some retcons of canon (Discovery forgetting about Scotty's regeneration formula and making dilithium rare/valuable again) for the sake of a good story.

    Others (child with emotional connection to dilithium blows up galactic civilization) are impossible to forgive, because they totally change the fundamental premise of the universe, which in this case is one based on science (admittedly made up technobabble science) and not mysticism.

    @Dr. Andre 'To those who dont like this: Honest now, what do you want?'

    I've said it before: Star Trek: Federation News Service. An episodic series that checks in on worlds that classic Trek episodes have visited, but years later, like Cardassia post-Dominion War, the Teplan Blight planet, the Malcorians from "First Contact", etc.

    I wouldn't trust this crowd to write it though.

    @Jax
    'I've said it before: Star Trek: Federation News Service. An episodic series that checks in on worlds that classic Trek episodes have visited, but years later, like Cardassia post-Dominion War, the Teplan Blight planet, the Malcorians from "First Contact", etc.'

    This would make an interesting anthology, to be fair, with a good strong concept. As you say, depending entirely on who wrote it. Would you be envisaging recurring Starfleet characters visiting each of these worlds, or entirely new casts in each episode?

    "Would you be envisaging recurring Starfleet characters visiting each of these worlds, or entirely new casts in each episode? "

    The star role usually reserved for a captain could be a Cronkite-like news anchor.

    Cast members of TNG-DS9-VOY could guest star when appropriate. I'd love to see Alexander Siddig guest star in an episode that visited the Teplan Blight planet a quarter century later.

    Would Andrew Robinson reprise Garak for a three part episode visiting Cardassia over two decades after the Dominion War? I hope so1. Let's ask...

    Would Ethan Philips don the makeup one more time if we visited his fortified planetoid on the Beta/Delta quadrant border? Let's find out...

    I don’t know much about how the TV world works. How actors relate to writers and directors or producers. Do the actors who recite these scripts get to offer their input to the director and producers? Picard adamant that he will not curse. Geordi that he will not recite that cheese line because it’s out of character. Data that he won’t betray the data/lore brand that’s been built.

    I ask because I don’t know if the actors get to intervene, or just act out the schlock that is given to them in the scripts.

    Does Patrick Stewart sit at the coffee table and congratulate himself for a job well done over these 30 episodes? He’s an executive producer. HE HAS SWAY. But it appears we have Admiral Paycheck and his crew.

    @Jeffrey's Tube I meant to say AGREED I think Nemesis is better than this except for the ending of the film..conversely this episode is disappointing and unoriginal EXCEPT FOR THE ending..the last scene on the Enterprise D 2.0..I gotta admit grudgingly though all the convoluted technobabble plotting and concepts are very clever and well thought out even though I HATE that it involves the Borg againmmand PLEASE SHOW JANEWAY AND THE EMH NEXT WEEK!! and at least SOME DS9 PEEPESS LJKE KIRS OR SISKO!!

    @Janeways Labrat

    It ultimately boils down to the relationship between the cast, director, show runners, executives, and everyone else, so there’s no single answer to the question.

    Various members of the TNG cast are on record saying all their suggestions and opinions regarding Nemesis were ignored/overruled. One or two of them have gone so far as to say it was terrible and largely blame the Director for that.

    Conversely, here, you could argue they overcorrected and we’re now seeing more of Patrick Stewart than Jean-Luc Picard.

    Kind of hard to say no to Sir Patrick Stewart at this stage in his career, so it was probably unavoidable, those were the concessions he demanded to do the show. One wonders if someone like Jonathan Frakes might have the cred to talk him down when necessary, assuming he even shares some of our issues, which he probably doesn’t.

    Perhaps one day we’ll get a behind the scenes that isn’t nakedly self promoting like The Ready Room. If that ever happens it’ll be years from now though. If anyone involved does have concerns with the direction, creative choices, etc., they aren’t going to share it now while the show is competing for eyeballs and the entire team is counting on it for their livelihoods.

    The last bit there is the reason I’d never share my candid thoughts or feelings here were I ever to find myself at an airport bar with someone who worked on this. Doesn’t matter who, could be a Production Assistant or Sir Patrick himself, they all poured their hearts into this and all I’d have to say to them is “Thank you.”

    Looking ahead to the last episode... and the Enterprise D facing off against the Borg... I'm remembering that comment in 1st episode about the codec and the borg computer virus affecting the Enterprise D... that was a "new" thing and not a direct pull from Best of Both Worlds... I'm wondering if that was "added" for a reason... perhaps a way to defeat the Borg now...

    I took Geordi’s use of the word “analog” to describe the Ent-D colloquially, in the sense of “older tech that is not on their network “.

    @startrekwatcher
    Fri, Apr 14, 2023, 3:23pm (UTC -5)
    "Again about creative restraint. There was a poignancy to the theme with Picard having no legacy. Being the last of his family. That's not something you see often addressed. Usually it is about the next generation continuing on. It felt convenient and I don't believe Beverly, despite the rationale the writers gave her, that she would have behaved as she did by ruing off cutting ties with everyone. That reeks of 19th century sensibilities when pregnant girls were sent away to have a child."




    The level of precision and accuracy it takes to get this EXACTLY BACKWARDS is remarkable. Beverly wasn't sent anywhere. She fled like a fugitive from justice. You're correct in indicting her behavior because it is both barbaric and backwards. However, her actions don't reek of the 19th century. The stench mostly emanates from the 80s, 90s, 2000s, and beyond where women magically get to decide that fathers don't have rights to their children. That mothers should control all access to those children.

    STP repeating a storyline that was raggedy in the extreme the first time they tried it in Wrath of Khan is indicative of the writers' inability to produce anything other than references, call backs, and other memberberries. At least with Carol Marcus it meandered towards a cautionary tale where it's Carol's world, not Kirk's, that ultimately gets her son taken away from her. STP 3 doesn't even have that going for it.

    If you're only after nostalgia, have no aspirations and just want to be sprinkled, then this episode is just right. All others can only be ashamed of this nonsense.

    @Tim “My feeling is the opposite. There's nothing inherently wrong with the CGI ship when it's stationary. It looks a little too crisp but that's to be expected, 4K vs. 1080, CGI vs. physical model. My issue is with the movements.”

    That’s interesting and honestly something I would never notice. I never really thought the ship scenes in TNG were that good but Way of the Warrior is one of my favorite space battles that holds up well even today.

    @Tim “Orville came close to that magic. I would argue in many ways it exceeded it. My favorite example, Kelly's explanation of an abundance economy and how human ambition got re-channeled into reputation. It distilled in one scene everything Star Trek tried and failed to make relatable with "We work to better ourselves and the rest of humanity."

    Orville is an honest attempt at a show centered on the spirit of classic Trek. I like the show too, but I’ve never thought of it as any more than a cute knock-off. Orville might follow in the footsteps of TNG/DS9 but for me it still doesn’t come close to them in terms of overall quality.

    The Orville is like TNG in that it really found itself in its third season.

    The other seasons aren't bad but watching an S1 or S2 Orville episode after having seen S3, you notice the difference.

    Star Trek as originally conceived by Roddenberry uses SF as a means to explore contemporary concerns. And this is what the best Star Trek does. The Borg are so powerful as a symbolic race because encounters with them reflect so strongly on our current condition, in which we have to deal with the potentially dangerous effects of digitalisation and artificial intelligence. Thats why they keep coming back. Also they are crucial in Picard's life story so it's fitting that his ultimate battle should be with them.

    Star Trek is also a strongly character driven show. The characters in TOS, TNG and (especially) DS9 were extremely strong. We grew to love them. In the aesthetics of TV, 'loving' the characters is important, far more so than in films. The big problem with Discovery is that the characters are generally NOT loveable (especially Burnham!). Anson Mount's Captain PIke is loveable (very!) Spock is the most loveable character of all!! With a TV series viewers need to identify with and LOVE the characters. Thus the return of the TOS crew is a 'love fest' . There's nothing wrong with such 'fan service' if its done well.

    Did they ever explain why if Vadic's soldiers were Changelings like herself they wore bird masks and communicated with clicking noises instead of speaking English even among themselves when scenes were onboard the Shrike?

    And why when they were killed did they not remain in their solid forms? Wasn't there some plot point in the first episode where Riker onboard Beverly's ship made a point about the distinct pattern their phasered bodies left?

    Why did Worf become a pacifist? Did he undergo some traumatic eent? Was there something to do with loss of Jadzia? I can't recall.

    I thought those henchmen were supposed to be Breen. Maybe Terry tweeted the answer...

    The "haters" don't offer suggestions on how to make these programs stronger after they complain? Are you kidding, haha?

    This is def a winless internet argument, and a rebuttal the length of the Iliad could be written here, but I'll try for a briefer response. For me, these new Trek efforts (often, not always) miss the mark because they aren't truly, deeply, succinctly concerned with defining Piller's (via Roddenberry) "deeper meaning" story question:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymSORAIbeTc

    When I go back and watch the best of old Trek, say Star Trek 2, or 6, or Best of Both Worlds Pt 1, or the Drumheads, or the Darmoks or I Borgs, or Tapestrys or In the Pale Moonlights or Chimeras, those scripts and overall presentations feel like they had that "what's it about?" question in mind from start to finish. Most/every story decision and character moment is thematically connected. Characters learn/change/grow/get taught/do the teaching. There might even be some legit/logical sci fi allegory at play too. Make Trek as good as "the best of the old," (don't copy and paste it, mind you, do something original AND nostalgic!!!) and I think it would earn more widespread respect.

    What's the allegory in SZN 3? Torturing POWs is bad, haha? Getting assimilated isn't really your fault, but you'll still have to be accountable for any negative circumstances that result from it? We've got 1 episode left of SZN 3 so it's "too soon to say," but I'm not sure I can tightly, decisively define what Picard, in any of these 3 seasons, was really about. This was one big silly popcorn flick project. Yesss there was a lot of silliness in old Trek too, but...

    One additional related point-- The powers that be are only concerned with producing Marvel/Star Wars style action-adventure. No one seems interested, or intelligent enough, to truly dig deeper. That's fine for many, but eh, I need a little more meat on the bone, especially if they decide (which they did!) to bring back iconic characters in an already iconic franchise to make some grand event. Aim really high. Don't just aim to surpass the quality of Star Trek Nemesis, or Spock's Brain haha. Don't rip out character's eyeballs for no reason. No more cameo deaths. Inspire me to be a better human. Tell me a parable, a morality play. Having to defeat the supervillain Borg one more time isn't going to teach me jack shit about myself, lol.

    I'd just like to say- praise be to Jammer for cultivating such a thoughtful, diverse and proud group of posters over the decades. A lot of you have been at this for a looonnng time, and I think this is hands down the most intelligent corner of the fandom, particularly when it comes to what really matters in TV & Film art-- THE STORY!! Much love and respect to you all. You folks REALLY understand what you're watching, and care so deeply about it. That's a pretty cool thing, even if we end up disagreeing a ton. :)

    What a turn around this season is. Just great fun to see the old crew back together again and acting much more like themselves than prior seasons.

    Yeah it's all a bit contrived but it's still an entertaining story and the Enterprise D looks stunning. Still the best looking ship design.

    Engage.

    One aspect many overlook is that Star Trek Picard, maybe even more than Discovery, is not a show on it's own but the flagship of multishow franchise. It is supposed to draw in people who are not Star Trek fans and maintain as best as possible the old number of fans. That is why the Borg featured very prominently in all seasons and were the main villain in season 2 and 3. They are the most well known Federation villain. That is why the founders or subsection of founders or whatever Vadic really represented were driven by simple revenge for torture because non-Trekkies don't know the Founders. People don't have to watch through 50 DS9 episodes or half a dozen TNG episodes to understand all this. Even if someone has only come in contact with Star Trek through cultural osmosis they can watch season 3 and understand it. The stakes are clear, the motivations are obvious, the villains known and then there is something about family and tolerance. Baaam, probable mass appeal.
    And for the fans they put all TNG nostalgia in a blender and Baaam again, lots of people love it. The most often used sentence by people who do like/love this is a variation of "I don't care that I'm being manipulated."

    In a way, I respect that people can at least admit that this is what it boils down to.

    But what do the Changelings get out of this? How does the entire Federation becoming Borg benefit them? It seems that the Changelings would then have an even bigger and more unstoppable enemy. They may be immune to assimilation because they're not solid, but still, don't they want to rule the galaxy instead of the Borg?

    Shh.. don't question the logic. The Changelings exist solely to keep the Borg securely hidden within the Mystery Box for as long as possible so that when it finally pops open at the last possible minute, we would all be so surprised and say "OMG IT'S THE BORG, what a twiist that I never could have anticipated!" ...even though it's pretty much a foregone conclusion by now.

    Side note: I just rewatched TNG S1 “Conspiracy”, a wild episode about the infiltration of Starfleet by aliens. I have to admit the set-up reminded me of this season of PIC, right down to the “Don’t trust anyone!” line.

    And they did a pretty good job for a S1 episode. I’d forgotten how tense & creepy the beginning of this one was, especially the secret rendezvous with the other starship captains. Could’ve used some of that tension in this season of PICARD!

    "Don't care. Shut up."

    @Jammer You've turned into one of the defensive commenters on your site.

    How meta. Or something.

    This episode is quite blatantly exactly what it is. The last 10 minutes or so are The Motion Picture boiled down.

    I'm too drunk to name the Trope, but it's the band retaking the castle or whatever.

    In other terms, while I may not like an overdose of candy, and I might be a complete hypoglycemic, if Willy Wonka shows up offering me a personal tour of the whole darn factory.

    Yes, I'll freely be debased, and on way cheaper terms ;)

    "The Changelings exist solely to keep the Borg securely hidden within"

    The changelings inexplicably play a servile Vorta role to the Borg here, and I don't buy it for a picosecond.

    lol, I'm still stunned they did this

    delighted and every other positive word

    stunned

    The Borg have a hivemind.

    The Changelings have the Great Link.

    It isn't as far-fetched an alliance as you think. The Changelings only want to rule because they believe, with almost racial-instinct fervor, that it's the only way they will ever be safe from solids. It isn't so hard to imagine that the Borg could convince a damaged faction of them that if solids could "link" like Changelings can--say, in the Borg hivemind--they wouldn't be a threat to them anymore because they wouldn't be (again, from their perspective) so chaotic and unpredictable.

    Is it stupid of them to believe that? Yes. Obviously. WE know the Borg will want to assimilate the Changelings once they can figure out how. Just like every other species in existence. But Vadic and her faction isn't exactly sane. And lets remember the Changelings don't have a lot of experience with the Borg--the Borg aren't in the Gamma Quadrant yet. They're in the Delta Quadrant and focusing on expansion into the Alpha and Beta Quadrants. All Changelings know about the Borg is from Federation intelligence on them from infiltrating Starfleet, and why trust their enemy's assessment, especially when the Borg are being so convincing about how Starfleet misunderstands them? You know who else they feel Starfleet misunderstands? Changelings!

    People who are hurting, people who have that much hate, people who have been treated and abused and radicalized as badly as this faction of Changelings have by Starfleet (let's not forget the attempted genocide of their species on top of what they personally suffered)--these people will suspend reason and rational thought for revenge. They will make decisions that are blatantly the wrong ones for themselves in the long run. We've all seen it in real life.

    So yeah. I COMPLETELY buy it, honestly.

    The hardest part to buy is actually that there's a schism in the Great Link and a rogue faction at all! Changelings, as a species, don't really seem biologically predisposed to that in any great numbers other than a few outlier individuals. The drama and upheaval of that, what it means for them as a species, just how bad the trauma of losing the war and the attempted genocide must have been for them to cause it . . . the schism must be a racial trauma on a scale we as humans cannot truly conceive. THAT would be an interesting sci-fi concept to explore. I can accept that it could happen, and so this whole plot could therefore happen. It's just, the import of it having happened to service this plot, well, none of the characters really seem to understand or care about that. It isn't acknowledged. I know it's a serialized show and it isn't important to this particular story they're telling, and I know it's extra exposition and they don't want to dive too deep into DS9 lore on a TNG show and put off anyone watching who isn't a Star Trek megafan by making them think they're missing important things. But really, acknowledging this could have been accomplished with a single line spoken by Worf provided that line was written well enough.

    @Sid

    'I'd just like to say- praise be to Jammer for cultivating such a thoughtful, diverse and proud group of posters over the decades. A lot of you have been at this for a looonnng time, and I think this is hands down the most intelligent corner of the fandom, particularly when it comes to what really matters in TV & Film art-- THE STORY!! Much love and respect to you all. You folks REALLY understand what you're watching, and care so deeply about it. That's a pretty cool thing, even if we end up disagreeing a ton. :)

    Completely agree. It can't be said enough how lucky we are to have this forum.

    Let me also say that I appreciate *all* the comments here. Even the comments I disagree vehemently with or which seem to irritate can get me to think in new ways about Trek, and I definitely question my own views as a result, even if that may not appear to be the case if I'm being particularly lazily glib or flippant. (I don't always have the time to prepare all the considered responses I'd like.)

    Comments here are usually intelligent, reasonable, well-argued and witty. It's a fine testament to Trek - so thanks again, Jammer. (Send him a tip.)

    I think spreading the Borg through DNA is as stupid as a flesh and blood android.

    @Jeffrey's Tube
    Ok, I get what the Borg get out of this but if Vadic's faction hates the Federation so much, what do they need the Borg for? Why not just put a DNA thingy in the transporters that just kills anybody after 6 month or so. Considering that the Federation seems completely inept, there are a million more effective ways to get rid of the Federation than turning all the under 25s into "kind of Borg"-people who will then be an even bigger threat than the Federation? Especially considering that this all hinges on one Human to act a certain way. And why would Vadic hide the fact that she does work with Borg? Are the Borg just trusting her??
    Nothing makes sense.

    "these people will suspend reason and rational thought for revenge."
    That is always the most basic and lazy explanation for a bad guy and why their plans don't have to make sense.

    How would they even make contact with the Borg?!

    @Jeffrey's Tube

    'It isn't as far-fetched an alliance as you think.'

    I was thinking about this overnight and I partly agree and partly disagree.

    It's one of those ideas that definitely sounds fiendishly clever (the agree part) but makes no sense if you think more deeply about it, because the Borg would just simply assimilate the Changelings' 'distinctiveness' rather than outsource any conquest policy to them (the disagree part).

    You'll recall that VOY made or very clear that the reason why the Borg had to enter into a deal with Janeway was that the Borg were incapable of simply assimilating Species 8472 as usual.

    Other commenters have pointed out that the Borg in PIC seem to be on the ropes for some undisclosed reason, so it's not impossible that the Borg have elected to strike an alliance of convenience with the NuChangelings as they did with Janeway, but in general the Borg do not need to actively enter into alliances. They acquire innovation and both strategic and tactical advantages solely by assimilating species, groups or even individuals (e.g. Picard/Locutus) who already have qualities that the Collective has decided it needs.

    It's not an egregious error (or even an error per se), but I don't believe the premise stands up to much scrutiny based on what we've seen so far.

    @Booming
    'I think spreading the Borg through DNA is as stupid as a flesh and blood android.'

    Completely agree. The whole idea of infection via DNA transmitters and receivers embedded in transporter technology made no sense to the point of confusion and incoherence - it *wasn't* classic technobabble (as many have fondly compared it to), as classic technobabble was actually coherent and consistent. Like most of NuTrek's flirting with science, this was a magic spell using science-like vocabulary. I wouldn't have been surprised if the entire TNG cast broke the fourth wall in the exposition scene and said 'We like science'.

    The confusion around what the Picardbot 2000, Data 3.0 (?) and Soji/Lore actually are is simply absurd. They're androids. A 'synth' is an android. A robot is something completely different. A cyborg is completely different. Yet the writers throughout PIC consistently act and demand that the audience act as if the terms 'positronic'/'android'/'synth'/'cyborg'/'robot' are simply interchangeable.

    That's sloppy writing and moreover it is not Trek writing.

    I think what surprises me is the group that criticises disco and earlier seasons of picard is the same group criticizing this season.

    No piece of media will be universally loved or hated. No piece of art is flawless and is open to genuine critique. But you would expect that such a course correction from the writers would have inverted public opinion: those who like nu trek probably won't like this season- members of this group are younger, the nu treks are their first introduction to trek and it's written to better reflect the sensibilities of young millennials and gen z. This season is written for older trek fans, requiring knowledge about pre streaming st to trigger emotional resonance. So I expect the hate from that group.

    But to see it from those who also grew up with traditional trek is a little surprising if it is genuine. And let me be clear to distinguish critiquing from hating. Hating is what I do with discovery, nothing they put on screen makes sense because I will examine it through the most cynical critical lens because I don't agree with the fundamental premise of that series. I hate it. I hate on it. I give no quarter nor accept it does any thing right other than ending. I can't suspend disbelief. That's hating. If this is your view of all of Picard, even in this course corrected season, then I would argue you're hating on the show, not critiquing.

    The Borg using a retrovirus to deliver a genetic pathogen is well supported in the general TNG world, particularly VOY, but also TNG itself and DS9.

    Also, just like the "infected at under 25 years" reasoning, the basic retrovirus notion is actually fairly plausible IRL, and that it would go undetected for a long time by transporter or any other Starfleet tech is also believable.

    Anything incorporated into someone's genetic code would literally appear to be part of the person unless it were specifically being scanned for.

    Could this genetic code really do all the things that occur here? Almost certainly not, of course, but it certainly fits into TNG type "science".

    It's also literally possible IRL that humans have secret alien code in our genetics. Of course, I don't believe that and it would take a lot to convince me of such a thing.

    But throughout TOS and the TNG era (at least), this is surprisingly similar to real life technobabble.

    @Dr. Andre
    'If this is your view of all of Picard, even in this course corrected season, then I would argue you're hating on the show, not critiquing.'

    Lucky that's not the view of all of Picard among the group I presume you're referring to then, isn't it?

    People have given detailed, reasoned criticism of very specific elements of PIC S3. Virtually every 'critic' has also pointed to very specific elements they've liked about PIC S3.

    I hardly ever post links, but this from Major Grin is outstanding (no matter how you interpret it):
    https://youtu.be/_VPjTgWfRSo

    I cannot remember an episode were the Borg used a retro virus and the Borg didn't use a retro virus here, they just changed Picard's DNA somehow and then for some reason some dormant DNA remained which when put into other peoples DNA turns them into Borg but not Picard?!! How would a DNA thingy even turn people into subspace receiver??!

    Still, that's not the point I was making. I was questioning how somebody like Vadic would ever need the Borg. Again, why not just get a Cardassian geneticist who is a hobby mass murderer and make a genetic insert that kills anybody after 6 month or by pushing a button. That way she also wouldn't risk the Borg Collective wiping out the Dominion.

    "Anything incorporated into someone's genetic code would literally appear to be part of the person unless it were specifically being scanned for."
    In the future, I would assume anybodies DNA scan would be stored so that you can use gene therapy to cure cancer and whatnot.

    The worst thing is that apparently on god knows how many places the transporter was changing the DNA of people and nobody noticed. I guess nobody ever checked for years if the usual patterns that are implemented in anybody has been changed. And all that to save some data space. :D

    "Could this genetic code really do all the things that occur here? Almost certainly not, of course, but it certainly fits into TNG type "science"."
    I always thought Subspace receiver and Nanoprobes would need specific and rare materials but maybe a healthy breakfast includes all the ingredients. And of course the moment anybody gets the signal they are filled with nanoprobes.

    "It's also literally possible IRL that humans have secret alien code in our genetics."
    Sure... and maybe you are an omnipotent being who fantasizes about being Human after destroying the universe by accident. :)

    "I think what surprises me is the group that criticises disco and earlier seasons of picard is the same group criticizing this season."



    It's pretty simple really - they still know crappy writing when they see it. Even when it's sitting under a bushel of memberberries.

    "I don’t know much about how the TV world works. How actors relate to writers and directors or producers. Do the actors who recite these scripts get to offer their input to the director and producers?"


    Say what you will about them, but I have to give Robert Beltran and Jolene Blalock a lot of credit for speaking out about some of the poor wrting on their respective shows. Too bad more of the cast didn't care enough or have the guts to do the same.

    I don't imagine the TNG crew has any pull outside of PS. They're probably happy just to get a paycheck without having to schmooze with a bunch of dorks at a convention.

    FWIW, the way they shoehorn the Borg in here, via genetics, makes sense in the Trek sense and is plausible enough that I’m disinclined to nitpick it. This isn’t a child blowing up dilithium via emotion.

    My beef here is I very much doubt we’re going to get any compelling story here that explores the human condition or advances the Borg story in a meaningful way. It’s going to end with pew pew and space combat porn.

    They may prove me wrong, we shall see, but the remaining 60 minutes or so of runtime hardly seem sufficient to tell a good story AND have the obligatory pew pew moments.

    Episode 9 should have been Episode 5 or 6 if this is the direction they wanted to go.

    Jammer frequently gave Orville S3 grief for poor pacing and extraneous scenes. Every season of Picard and many (all?) of Discovery suffer from the same flaw, if you view them as the 10-hour movie they are meant to be. It feels like we just plod around until the last two episodes and then it’s a mad rush to close the loop on every story arc. Some get a satisfactory end but many are abandoned.

    @Booming
    'How would a DNA thingy even turn people into subspace receiver??!'

    Yes, precisely. I really didn't understand that at all. It doesn't make any sense to me in any established in-universe way, or in any other way either.

    @ Tim. “Episode 9 should have been Episode 5 or 6 if this is the direction they wanted to go.”

    Exactly. We didn’t need 8 episodes to tell the story of Borg DNA being passed onto Jack and sins of the father visited on the son while the Borg hack the federations computer system and do a cyber attack to assimilate everyone. Good ideas actually. But the execution is poor and makes no sense, thanks to bad writing and pacing. We certainly didn’t need Vadic or the Changeling conspiracy which was a big red herring.

    Looks like Bones and Pulaski were right all along, transporters are dangerous and can’t be trusted.

    @Tim, I agree with your points. One of my biggest gripes with NuTrek is we haven’t heard much on the state of the Alpha Quadrant post TNG/DS9. Jammer mentioned it in one of his earlier reviews, they always focus on the micro instead of the macro, and it’s a missed opportunity to advance the world building.

    The changling arc is a perfect example, they could have used that to flesh out the aftermath of the Dominion War, give some commentary on the state of the Dominion/Federation, etc. I get they might not want to do that because of the new viewers, but they could have at least spent more time fleshing out Vadic and her rouge faction. I thought it was interesting, and we only got a 10 minute backstory that covered the bare minimum. Hell, they could have done an entire episode on a flashback of her time on Daystrom. Instead we got all that stuff on the criminal underworld and Vulcan gangsters that ended up being pointless.

    I think we will get some more on the Borg backstory via discussion between the Queen and Jack, hopefully they use that to fill in the blanks since Voyagers Endgame.

    Another thing I would have liked is some more on is the decision to link all the starships together. I’m assuming the Changlings were responsible, but how did they push this through, did they use fear or did they appeal to the arrogance of the Starfleet brass? And did people not speak up when they should have, or did people just not understand the full implications? Also, what are the specific benefits of it, it’s never said. It was a missed opportunity for storytelling that’s relevant today with all the things happening with AI.

    "I don't agree with the fundamental premise of that series. I hate it. I hate on it"

    That's how I feel about the entire universe in which Vulcan and/or Romulus no longer exist. I don't accept the premise.

    @Tim: "I've engaged with this site since almost the beginning and will continue to do so long after Picard fades into the mist of history. Please keep up the good work, it's appreciated, and heck, I'm gonna leverage that coffee button for the first time ever after I click "Submit" here. :)"

    Thank you! Much appreciated!

    "Jammer frequently gave Orville S3 grief for poor pacing and extraneous scenes. "

    He's also, to my knowledge, the one who -rightfully - coined the derisive phrase "Fun With DNA", an example of which has now become the key plot point of the season.

    @Sid: "I'd just like to say- praise be to Jammer for cultivating such a thoughtful, diverse and proud group of posters over the decades. A lot of you have been at this for a looonnng time, and I think this is hands down the most intelligent corner of the fandom, particularly when it comes to what really matters in TV & Film art-- THE STORY!! Much love and respect to you all. You folks REALLY understand what you're watching, and care so deeply about it. That's a pretty cool thing, even if we end up disagreeing a ton. :)"

    Thanks for the kind words. And thanks to everyone for making this forum what it is. We should try to enjoy it for the next couple weeks. When Picard goes away after next week, there may be a lot less to talk about and probably fewer people who chime in. This may even be the end of the peak of the Second Era of this site in terms of activity, with new Trek releases not likely to be as ubiquitous as the past couple years (for better and worse). Yes, we'll have SNW back in June, but it may not have the draw of this last season of Picard in terms of numbers.

    @JohnTY: ["Don't care. Shut up."] "@Jammer You've turned into one of the defensive commenters on your site."

    FYI, that was totally meant as a glib laugh line, not to be taken seriously.

    Yes, guys. Jammer is writing great reviews and providing this nice little corner. That must be worth a coffee or two!

    Surely some people will still come for Lower Decks. And, if we’re very lucky, Q might drop by to say hello from time to time. ;-)

    Bok R'Mor@ "Let me also say that I appreciate *all* the comments here. Even the comments I disagree vehemently with or which seem to irritate can get me to think in new ways about Trek, and I definitely question my own views as a result, even if that may not appear to be the case if I'm being particularly lazily glib or flippant. (I don't always have the time to prepare all the considered responses I'd like.) Comments here are usually intelligent, reasonable, well-argued and witty. It's a fine testament to Trek - so thanks again, Jammer. (Send him a tip.)"

    Love this sentiment. Amicable disagreement is what it's all about, and what keeps things interesting. Thanks!

    Bok R'Mor"

    "Let me also say that I appreciate *all* the comments here. Even the comments I disagree vehemently with or which seem to irritate can get me to think in new ways about Trek,"

    Reminds me of a poster that was here for quite a while named Elliot that got a lot of shit and who I disagreed with a lot, but I anticipated his reviews-within-a-review as much as Jammer's.

    “This season was so ambitious, and we only had two days to shoot on this thing,” - Terry Matalas talks about the number of days they got to shoot on the Enterprise-D . Good article in Variety talking about the creation of the set:

    https://variety.com/2023/artisans/news/star-trek-picard-enterprise-d-bridge-set-1235580496/

    Gates McFadden talks to Variety about Crusher & being on the recreated set:
    https://variety.com/2023/tv/news/star-trek-picard-gates-mcfadden-enterprise-bridge-1235583231/

    And another earlier interview with Brent Spiner & LeVar Burton:
    https://variety.com/2023/tv/news/star-trek-picard-brent-spiner-levar-burton-geordi-data-1235562874/

    I am definitely getting a Star Trek convention vibe at the end of this episode. I didn't want to see all of the displays go on, I went to see the excitement and pride in their eyes as my heroes jump to their posts in the most professional way, and rise to the occasion to defeat the foe. Some of the acting is great, but I really felt like Stewart was playing Stewart. Just felt like they were humoring the audience... I don't know who the corporate people were running the convention I went to in the '90s, but they asked the most out of touch questions to fans. So yeah, it feels more manipulative than normal, at least to me. Not that the show has much integrity to begin with.

    I heard a rumor that the last two episodes were going to be full movie length. Well, that was just rumor, but they sure could use that time to pull themselves out of this mess. I've heard Star Wars fans (I am not one) complain bitterly that there was no reunion of the original cast in the sequels. I feel like waiting until the last few minutes of the penultimate episode to find the Big D will have to live with the same criticism. What in the hell were they waiting for?

    The same goes for Data, what were they waiting for? Don't they know he's a fan favorite? Or are they making this for teenagers? I think the long-term plans of these production companies are specious.

    I would never watch The Ready Room, even if they paid me a lot to do it. It reminds me of the Game Of Thrones aftershow when those imbeciles D&D sat there and explained the story so you would understand it. That's the ultimate failure of an author or script writer, if they have to sit down and tell you what their writing was about. As a writer myself, I have always subscribed to the belief that everything I have to say can be found in my work.

    I was also trying to figure out why I didn't love this episode as much as Jammer.

    I think part of the problem comes down to the following--

    Assimilation doesn’t pack the punch it once did. Back when BoBW debuted it was a truly terrifying prospect. When Picard was revealed to have been
    transformed into a Borg in a brilliant directorial shot, it hit me like a ton of bricks and was a visceral punch to the gut because by this point in the series I had developed a real attachment to Picard. I truly believed the man I knew was gone forever. Even the VOY writers knew that was a tall order to recreate so what did they do? They realized they would have to assimilate not just Janeway but Tuvok and Torres.

    It also doesn't help that I don’t care for Jack or Sydney, the way I did Picard when he was assimilated. Also, assimilation isn’t the threat it once was.
    Back in BoBW it seemed that the assimilation process was irreversible and traumatic. Now everyone can be recovered. And let’s be honest this nu-assimilation isn’t as scary. No invasive surgical procedures. No nanoprobes. No amputations. No eye replacements. They're just Starfleet zombies when you boil it down.

    And further examination of the Queen's plan falls. For her plan to prove successful a lot of things would have to align. First, she would have had to count on the crew successfully recovering Locutus, which as depicted in BoBW was not a clear possibility. Then., like I mentioned earlier, she would have to bank on Picard having a child. Something the Queen should have known was not a given with Picard's attitudes towards parenthood.

    @Booming

    Why does Vadic need the Borg? Why not just put a virus that kills everyone in the transporter straight out?

    1) Vadic didn’t think of this plan. The Borg thought of this plan.

    2) What is going to be more effective at destroying your enemy? Killing everyone under 40? Or having everyone under 40 turn on and kill everyone over 40, then forcing them to use the seized starships to destroy all the planets, planetary defenses, institutions, etc?

    Admittedly the plan, and the Changeling-Borg alliance, take some extrapolations to explain. My point is those extrapolations are, however, there for you to do, and logical and plausible when you do them. A show like this does not have the time to show us all the connective tissue that got things to this point like a show like DS9 did with Cardassia joining the Dominion, which is a development we similarly would have found a stretch at the start of that series.

    However I am a bit surprised by this particular “howcome” because I don’t feel the show is even asking you to extrapolate to answer with the two points I listed above.


    Other points:

    The virus isn’t making people manifest nanoprobes to become assimilated. Look again. Whatever is happening, it is something biological. There’s no machines or tech. No one is sprouting implants popping out of their skin. This is why the “stun” setting of phasers work on the assimilated starfledt members: they have no tech in them stopping it. It’s some kind of Borg cells rather than nanoprobes. Forgive the show for making these turn them pale and have their veins go black. It’s allowed that visual shortcut so the audience understands what is going on.

    This plan is out of character for the Borg? Well what do the Borg do? They adapt.

    Going back in time to stop the Federation from forming would also be out of character for TNG Borg, who didn’t even care if enemy aliens were walking around inside their ships with phasers. That approach didn’t work out for them, did it? Everything else they have tried is failing. They adapt.

    "When Picard was revealed to have been
    transformed into a Borg in a brilliant directorial shot"

    Assimilation was massively invasive, terrifying surgery in BOBW.

    First Contact turned it into nothing more than an injection, and introduced the silly concept of a Borg Queen.

    @Jeffrey's Tube
    'My point is those extrapolations are, however, there for you to do, and logical and plausible when you do them. A show like this does not have the time to show us all the connective tissue that got things to this point [...]'

    Good television should not require the audience to do 'extrapolations' to grasp and believe in what is going on. And PIC S3 has been stuffed with filler so it is baseless to argue there is not enough time to do so.

    If anything, you're actually arguing that the writers and producers have had very poor all-season planning and pacing since they do not have enough content to fill the run time in one episode (the Vadic hostage scene) but then so little run time in the next episode so that the audience has to 'extrapolate' What is going on.

    You can't simultaneously treat the audience as geniuses and idiots.

    "Good television should not require the audience to do 'extrapolations' to grasp and believe in what is going on."

    Or supplemental tweets from Terry Matalas...

    People complain about the fans, but Trek fans are a writer's best friend. No matter how poorly written something is there is a huge chunk of the fanbase who will concoct elaborate theories to make it make sense.

    Trek fans are an optimistic bunch. I think that often times we confuse what's on the screen for what we wish was on the screen. While watching we think "Well, I don't like this part, but if they just fixed x,y, and z then it would be great." And, somehow, we just sort of stick with this imaginary idealized version of the shows instead of reality. I did this while watching Voyager; a show with an incredible amount of potential. Eventually you have to admit that having great potential doesn't mean anything if that potential is never realized.

    So was the last five minutes worth the previous 39 of utter garbage that came before? That, as they say, is the question. And I'm not sure I have the answer to it.

    @Jax
    'Or supplemental tweets from Terry Matalas...'

    No, absolutely not. The normalisation of that is also very troubling.

    I might argue that good television asks it of you more than bad television, at least as far as dramas are concerned.

    @Dirk
    'It reminds me of the Game Of Thrones aftershow when those imbeciles D&D sat there and explained the story so you would understand it. That's the ultimate failure of an author or script writer, if they have to sit down and tell you what their writing was about. As a writer myself, I have always subscribed to the belief that everything I have to say can be found in my work.'

    Exactly this. Dirk's view here was at one time the normal attitude, and the expected relationship between writer and audience. I truly miss it.

    Do I really need to watch 8 1/2 Episode in oder to get the feelgood feeling from the Enterprose Deck? Yes, I also liked it but as so many others, why thw strange road to come here?

    The series has not been to bad and I also quite liked this episode. It was well done and exciting. But to me inly a solid 3.

    @Dr. Andre
    "I think what surprises me is the group that criticises disco and earlier seasons of picard is the same group criticizing this season ...you would expect that such a course correction from the writers would have inverted public opinion..."

    Others have already spoke to this but one analogy that comes to mind is the most recent Star Wars film trilogy. A lot of fans loathed Rian Johnson's "subvert all expectations!" philosophy in Last Jedi so it makes sense that that the Powers That Be opted for JJ Abrams' more blatant fan service in Rise of Skywalker. Now, I believe that some fans actually did come around to turn their brains off and enjoy Rise of Skywalker and its fan service, especially with "Palpatine is back..SOMEHOW!", much like many Discovery-haters in this very forum did come around to enjoy ST:Picard, particularly S3 in spite of its many flaws. However, there were still a large contingent of fans who hated both Last Jedi and Rise of Skywalker, just like there is still some overlap between being highly critical of both Discovery and Picard:S3 for the simple reason that the plotting is insane, it's all very dumb, and the writing is subpar all across the board. The lesson here is that gratuitous fan service isn't sufficient for everyone.

    "Dirk's view here was at one time the normal attitude, and the expected relationship between writer and audience. I truly miss it. "

    We didn't need Dick Wolf to fill in L&O plot gaps with tweets, which is fortunate since there was no such thing as tweets.

    @Bryan Though slightly unfair to both The Last Jedi and Picard Season 3 (because IMO the former has powerful themes and the latter good characterizations) I definitely buy the comparison you are making here. Due to the way they are run, modern franchises echo how corporations think about resources more broadly: It is a dichotomy between "opening new markets by finding the lowest common denominator" in times of largesse and "slash everything! Let's retrench into our core operations!" in times of tight budgets.

    Steve McCullagh
    "So was the last five minutes worth the previous 39 of utter garbage that came before? That, as they say, is the question. And I'm not sure I have the answer to it."

    I said this in S1. If everything was just to get to a specific moment, in S1 the Picard/Data scene and here with the ENT-D scene, then just film those two scenes. Why waste film, money and time if everything preceding it was just there to pass time or was a mediocre warm-up act. Is Paramount+ really getting a bang for every buck they are spending. The older series had much smaller budgets, much longer seasons, much less development time and I would argue the studios got their money's worth out of each episode on average especially with TNG/DS9.

    @ Nick “I get they might not want to do that because of the new viewers, but they could have at least spent more time fleshing out Vadic and her rouge faction.”

    I really hate the “new viewers” rationalization.

    Not because I think you and the others who posit it are wrong — I suspect this may have significant influence on the creative choices here — but rather because it’s additional lazy writing.

    TNG brought back the Romulans and penned several compelling episodes about them without feeling a need to excessively recap their appearances in TOS. It was that one conversation around the conference room table in “The Neutral Zone” and from that reintroduction we got several of Season 3’s most compelling episodes (The Defector is a personal favorite), plus, of course, the then hidden introduction of The Borg.

    Discovery built much of S1 around the Klingons, who, admittedly are better known to non-Trekkies than the Romulans or Dominion, but still, they used ‘em and trusted the audience to fill in the blanks and/or do their own homework.

    Also, it occurs to me, if you want to build a streaming franchise, why wouldn’t you nudge new members of the audience to go back in time and watch what came before? All they needed was one line from Worf, “When I served on Deep Space Nine I learned about your people and The Great Link.”

    @ Jax

    “Assimilation was massively invasive, terrifying surgery in BOBW.

    First Contact turned it into nothing more than an injection, and introduced the silly concept of a Borg Queen”

    Respectfully disagree that the injection made it any less terrifying. Quite the opposite.

    I concur on the second bit though. I have long felt The Queen was a poor retcon. It took away part of what made the Borg so terrifying and unique, they were “one mind”, not a bunch of slaves subject to the will of a villain with her own agenda. And that agenda, pretty stupid actually, she has a personal grudge against Picard, Seven, and Janeway, when the hive mind should be beyond such things. The Mr. Plinkett review of First Contact and the foolish action movie vibe of the last scene in engineering, yeah, it was that cliched. She’s Hans Gruber and Picard is John McClane. Except Hans was a more dispassionate and calculating villain, lol.

    That said, I know WHY they did it. The Borg as originally written are effectively zombies and it would be difficult for non-Trek fans to relate to them. So yeah, give them an avatar to serve as the antagonist for the audience. TNG did it with Locutus.

    Locutus was ironically more “Borg” than the Queen, he never got emotional or had a personal vendetta.

    “You underestimate us, if you think this abduction is any concern”

    From that to: “We were very close, you and I. You can still hear our song.”

    "I have long felt The Queen was a poor retcon. It took away part of what made the Borg so terrifying and unique"

    Yep...the Borg as first introduced had a "force of nature" vibe, even though they were by design artificial. They had a singular mission free of any agenda. The Borg Queen was a 180 degree turn that made them all about agenda...hers.

    Picard S3 is not an about-turn in the writing department, or what those rallying against NuTrek have wanted all along - at least not this NuTrek detractor.

    When it was announced Star Trek would return to the small screen in the era of prestige television with Bryan Fuller at the helm, my mind was racing. The possibilities were mind-boggling. No longer would Trek be encumbered by the limits once imposed on it in the era of network television. What did I dare dream for? A level of character development that wasn't attainable in prior formats; a canvas to flesh out a world with more depth than DS9 was ever afforded. I imagined NEW Trek - updated for the 21st century - but taking the best of the past as inspiration. I thought there would be ambition, passion and trust that with a focus on quality, the audience (both established and casual) would follow.

    That dream was tenuous at best after Discovery debuted and died when Lorca went full moustache-twirling mode.

    Strip away Picard S3's nostalgia and the good vibes of seeing the OG crew and I see the same NuTrek formula under the hood. The structural differences in writing are minor at best. We still had the mystery box dragged out to the penultimate episode. I'd say the only big difference is they avoided the mid-season malaise and delayed it to episode 7-8. But that aside - another convoluted mystery box plot with holes the size of Discovery's turbo lift shafts? Check. Quippy "we're cool now" dialogue? Check. Little to no respect for audience's intelligence? Check. Character development steamrolled over for plot shenanigans? Check.

    The nostalgia tour we're presently on does appeal on an emotional level, but it’s nowhere near the complete package. The hit you get is real, no doubt about it. I get it - I've felt it as well in the moment. But it's a one-time trick - fleeting, like a sugar rush. I'd be curious to see how those lavishing these episodes with 5/5s or 10/10s feel several months from now. Go watch some classic Trek episodes first that are still clearly 5 stars 25+ years later and tell me Picard S3 stands the test of time.

    My frustration boils down to one simple truth: this could have been so much more - Picard, the revival of small screen Trek - the whole shebang. But I’m not a smart television executive so what do I know. In any event – congratulations: five concurrent Trek series and none of them appeal to this 40-something Trekkie of 25+ years. That’s quite an achievement.

    I was already out before Picard and happily so – I don’t watch a lot of television and there’s no shortage of damn good stuff out there I haven’t had a chance to start (Succession, Severance – looking at you). I only gave this a chance because of the rave reviews from former detractors. The extend of my NuTrek experience will be the occasional SNW episode if I hear good things, I imagine. All that said though, I have enjoyed the dopamine hits. Like many in the comments section here, I find myself in the peculiar position of cringing and going “OMG really?” while also having a stupid grin on my face as my inner Trekkie is radiating with the warm fuzzies.

    But it (all) could’ve something so much more.

    Three stars — always good to see a reunion tour and I think the TNG cast in this season finally feels like a real group of friends.

    That was always the old knock on the TNG series and films, that the cast lacked the chemistry of the TOS crew, with the interactions feeling more forced and the show more focused on cold technological patter than human feeling. With this episode, you really get a sense the actors have lived into these roles for 4 decades of Star Trek convention appearances and spin-offs. I don’t know if it’s the new writers of Picard or the actors themselves, but this feels poignant in an earned way for once, so kudos. I even loved seeing the Enterprise-D again, even though I disliked it in the original run and rejoiced with others to see it replaced in the films. Some happy memories of TNG at its best.

    The plot feels like a remix of comfortable Trek beats — a bit of Star Trek II and III with the death/rebirth of Data and hijacking of the cloak from Kirk’s Bird of Prey and now the Enterprise-D; a bit of The Ultimate Computer (TOS) with a fleet exercise of automated ships going awry; and a bit of The Best of Both Worlds, TNG’s finest episodes.

    With apologies to Jammer, who has always liked TNG way more than me, I have to say I’m confused by a few things here. First, if Dominion shapeshifters have replaced much of Starfleet, why would they let themselves be assimilated by the Borg? Or did all the shapeshifters only replace officers over 25 years old? Even so, where are the shapeshifters as all hell breaks loose? On Earth enabling and awaiting assimilation? On the ships? Or did they suddenly abandon their Starfleet posts ahead of the assimilation? If so, why has nobody noticed and what happened to the real Tuvok, etc.? Even a little dialogue might have explained this and made the Borg feel like less of a Deus ex machina, but this series has bizarre holes even as it wraps up.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love the nostalgia — I’d love to see the whole fleet museum mobilize in the finale with Janeway in the Voyager and Sisko in the Defiant along with surviving cast members from those shows, as I fear those casts (especially from the vastly superior DS9, sorry/not sorry TNG) will never otherwise get a classy reunion send off. But this episode is not a 4 star or even 3.5 to me, despite the great cast humor and the 1701-D, because the sudden switch of the main baddie feels manufactured without much logic.

    Also does anyone else find it funny that Shaw lectured Picard and Riker a few episodes ago on their cowboy diplomacy? It used to be the TNG era writers lecturing the TOS crew and contrasting them to the noble diplomacy of Picard, but there seems to have been a missed opportunity here for some self-reflective irony that the once-obnoxiously-perfect TNG folks are now the relics. Lower Decks would have nailed that landing better.

    The new Star Wars films not getting Luke, Leia and Han (and even better Lando) on the screen at the same time is absolutely a valid (and IMHO damning) criticism.

    It's not like Disney didn't have the resources. The Big 3 even appeared in the first film.

    It's lousy, uncaring, callous filmmaking.

    It really doesn't take that much. Personally, I thought the conference table scene last episode with TNG's Big 7 is the best we would get-- and I was delighted. That alone was incredible. That it went beyond that...

    JJ's SW couldn't even manage one small moment with only 3 characters.

    Of course I don't see these Big D fossils, uh, trekking around on the Big D on a new season of missions.

    It's awful hard to see JJ SW as anything less than cynically bringing main legacy characters back just to strategically kill them.

    But hey, JJ did give a great gift to legions of SW fans: some of us fossils joked about how The Phantom Menace would have been better if we never actually watched it ;). Well, based on the returns of The Rise of Palpatine, a great many fans haven't and will never watch that movie. Including me.

    Or the Borg had a time machine back in the 2360s. They jumped ahead and saw one possible future. Seeing this future, the Queen came up with a brilliant plan to conquer Humans and their allies with the aim of getting all that juicy technology that the Federation has. Being single-minded, the Queen didn't consider all the possible futures (she didn't have a Dr. Strange who could see millions of futures) and the next episode will be the one future where the Federation does prevail.

    https://www.jammersreviews.com/st-picard/s3/vox.php#comment-105324


    But will nostalgie be a one time stunt? Picard wrung 3 seasons out of it, a troubled DSC birthed SNW with the new/old Pike's Enterprise. Jerry Ryan could certainly helm a series. Hopefully a Sec31 series is dead. I worry that future showrunners will say 'hey these gullible fans will lap up anything, no matter how thin, nor how many plot or continuity or character holes, as long as we keep massaging their memories.' I agree with a poster above, AGT was a great sendoff, say goodbye and let them be.

    When it comes to adding something to a franchise that's been going on for longer than most of its fans have been alive, the only question that really matters is "did it leave the franchise better off than when it found it?"

    It sounds like for a lot of people, that answer's no unless it gives you something new to chew on that you haven't seen before - more of what you originally loved it for, and that's an absolutely valid way to look at it.

    But for others (myself included) it can be a yes if it gives us a chance to say hello to old friends and to see them off after one last adventure. It may not be anything new, the plotting may not be airtight, and it certainly isn't perfect, but seeing past those things doesn't mean we're stupid or blinded or anything like that. It just means Trek gave us something different than it gave you, and it's a testament to TNG that it meant so many different things to so many people.

    Fun fact, Elizabeth Dennehy played Shelby to a legendary degree because she knew literally nothing of the verse. She played it with the straight up insolence the script suggested because she had no inbred reverence for the series whatsoever.

    In effect, Dennehy managed to create a character almost as strong as William Windom's Decker.

    Windom played Decker way over the top because he thought the story was ridiculous.

    Whatever works ;)

    Ahead of the finale next week and in the spirit of rising to the ‘hater-hating haters’ challenge, I thought I’d take time a little time to list what I unironically *liked* about PIC S3, and what I thought PIC S3 did well. This will be an entirely positive list with no caveats whatsoever, so that those who crave unanimous positivity from every viewer in order to be able to fully enjoy PIC themselves can add this positivity to their own.

    So in no particular order, engage! Negativity is futile!

    • The writers and producers are clearly trying their best to produce a quality product that will meet the needs and demands of a mainstream (streaming) audience, old fans and NuTrek fans as well. There is no doubt whatsoever that PIC S3 is superior to PIC S2 and S1 because of this. There is something for everyone in this season: a mainstream audience gets a flashy popcorn show, old fans get their fan service, and NuTrek fans get whatever tweaks NuTrek fans’ freak. That’s an impressive achievement in such fractious times.

    • The production values are, of course, exquisite. We have moaned about a lack of budgetary planning at times but it’s now clear that the producers have elected to prioritise the budget in such a way that sufficient money is spent bringing the cast back together (including cameos), and reconstructing the D bridge set, good special effects, etc.

    • At times the special effects have been particularly excellent: when the Titan cut through the Shrike’s tractor beam; when the Titan was tumbling into the gravity well in particular; the first reveal of the Borg cube in Jack’s mind. The exterior reveal and departure of the D was outstanding. All top-notch stuff.

    • I loved the Changeling reveal. I thought it was a daring creative move, and I loved the link (no pun intended) to DS9. I particularly enjoyed that it was at no point leaked prior to transmission, despite there being advance access and Twitter. It’s been a long time since I felt generally surprised by any reveal, precisely because of leaks, social media etc. So the writers and producers deserve maximum kudos for coming up with this – and for successfully keeping it under wraps.

    • The concept of the Changeling-Borg alliance was also bold. I liked the general idea.

    • Cast-wise it has been simply fantastic to see the old actors and actresses separately and together again. Let’s take the former before the latter. I like watching Stewart in anything new. I like watching McFadden, Frakes, Spiner, Burton et al in anything - and their performances have been great in this. I’m delighted to be able to see them even one by one in this. Dorn has been the stand-out for me – his line delivery has been brilliant comic relief. And Ryan has been brilliant as well, as she always is – tough as nails yet fitting in perfectly with the older cast.

    • Stashwick brought real heart to Shaw, who was presented as a complicated, traumatised character – an arsehole, yes, but many people are, for reasons explained in the show. Like some others, I grew to like Shaw thanks to Stashwick’s credible performance. The holodeck scene in which Shaw confronted Jack and ‘JL’ was genuinely moving and impressive, and (for me) plausible. Others have claimed that people simply don’t hold such grudges for 30 years but speaking from personal experience I cannot agree – particularly when PTSD is involved.

    • There has been less Raffi, and she has played a useful foil for Worf. If the producers are going to insist on including new characters, this is the best way to do it.

    • Seeing a genuine Ferengi again.

    • The conference table scene. The revelation of the D bridge. The TNG cast taking their seats. ‘Engage!’ – we all felt it as intended. Extremely moving – who would have imagined we would have that moment again, ever? Geordi’s explanation of the salvaging and restoration of the D was also plausible and correct in an in-universe way. Fair play to the writers and producers for actually thinking hard about that and producing a credible justification.

    • Worf’s line ‘I preferred the weapons systems on the Enterprise-E,’ and being rebuked playfully by Troi. Sirtis was wonderful here as well. Geordi sitting in the helmsman's chair as he did in TNG S1 was a nice subtle touch.

    • ‘Hello chair’ (Spiner) and Stewart’s carpet remark. I’ve said before that I see the cast members as themselves (like when de Lancie hugged Stewart in PIC S2) and find it intensely emotional. Those two lines were that. I felt like I was hearing the actors’ own feelings and loved it.

    • The Voyager scene with Seven. One of the most moving moments of all for me.

    • Data and Lore, Data and the Yar hologram - and particularly Data and Spot. Incredibly moving stuff played pitch-perfect by Spiner.

    • I’m actually tearing up a little just recounting the last three points, which is testament to how effective the writing and performances have actually been at times in this season.

    • Most of all, PIC S3 has had us all talking about Trek in a meaningful way, comparing notes and theories, once again. It’s been a fun ride, and there have been a lot of very rewarding discussions about Trek that came out of all of it here. We’ve had a lot of excited and exciting what-ifs all season – I recall when we were all eagerly debating the pros and cons of the big bad being the ‘Conspiracy’ aliens (which we were all thrilled about), and we end up with the entire TNG cast flying into battle on the D bridge to combat a Borg-Changeling alliance. I don’t think any of us could have foreseen that. So well done, writers and producers.

    There are probably some other points as well, but I'll leave it there for the time being.

    Someone mentioned new viewers. Are there any new viewers on this board and what do they think? I recall Jammer saying his wife enjoyed the finale of DSC 3 with far less questioning that he had. While we all had hopes for DSC, it seems the fan base fractured pretty quickly, and the showrunners went their way.

    @bok r'mor

    Let me add the intelligent dialogue. In this epiaode, Picard and Jack's exchange was top-notch, and overall the season has been mostly like that.

    Writing has become one of the worst handicaps in modern fiction ("somehow palpatine returned"), as if nobody was trying anymore to write sentences as, you know, an actual person would say them, be that brutish or with finesse. It has become one of my hobbies to watch current crap and think to myself how I would have worded the very same scene. PIC seasons 1 and 2 suffered from this same modern disiase.

    But not here. And the last episode, particularly so.

    @Jammer

    "FYI, that was totally meant as a glib laugh line, not to be taken seriously."

    Phew.

    BTW. How many send-offs does TNG require? This is the 3rd. I wouldn't rule out a 4th if Paramount, or whoever, deem it profitable.

    Kinda funny thinking back and remembering how ppl made fun of how old the OS cast were in STVI... I think Patrick Stewart will still be hopping galaxies at 100.

    What is the intended audience? For my money I would put it on a 40 plus age group. I'm not sure they know who their audience is, that is something I have been wondering about through a number of shows lately. I don't think at this point any of us are going to rush out and purchase merchandise, but if Terry was allowed to do a 25-hour director's cut on Blu-ray, I think it would be worth their time to sell it.

    With dozens of special features including all the tweets and Ready Room content one could ever need to understand and appreciate the show in the way that Terry Matalas had originally intended.

    @ Bok R'Mor, great list! I would add the music, which has been outstanding this season.

    @ Bok R’Mor

    Don’t disagree with most of what you wrote as unqualified positives. I may copy your idea here, though, I think that will wait for a rainy weekend after E10 drops where I can watch the “10-hour movie” sans interruption.

    @JohnTY

    “ I think Patrick Stewart will still be hopping galaxies at 100.”

    Is it just my imagination or does Patrick Stewart seem livelier/more energetic in real world appearances than Jean-Luc Picard in this fictional universe?

    If so, was it a creative choice from him and/or the writers?

    In the real world he’s 82, FWIW, here’s a 2023 picture from the interwebs: https://www.gettyimages.ae/detail/news-photo/patrick-stewart-of-paramount-s-star-trek-picard-poses-for-a-news-photo/1246153407

    @Bok R'Mor
    Sun, Apr 16, 2023, 4:52am (UTC -5)

    "• The concept of the Changeling-Borg alliance was also bold. I liked the general idea."




    This makes very little sense. The Borg are exactly the type of solids that the paranoid, egomaniacal Changelings obsessed about. 1) Why would such a species ever ally with the very thing they despise and 2) why would they enter into a subservient relationship with them since they consider all solids inferior?

    @Quincy

    My more detailed and nuanced view about the plausibility or wisdom of the Changeling-Borg alliance can be found in an earlier comment here:
    https://www.jammersreviews.com/comments/?id=105483

    I was simply providing a list of unbridled positives about PIC S3, as many of us characterised as 'haters' have repeatedly been challenged to do.

    I genuinely unironically liked the boldness of the general idea; I didn't say I liked the content or execution of the idea or that the idea actually worked. It falls apart under the slightest scrutiny, as you and I both point out.

    (I can see I my list is going to turn into a lot of explaining.)

    Quincy:

    "2) why would they enter into a subservient relationship with them since they consider all solids inferior? "

    Exactly...the changelings are basically the Borg's Vorta in S3. It makes zero sense.

    Bok R'Mor: "(I can see I my list is going to turn into a lot of explaining.) "

    Again, much like Terry Matalas' Twitter account.

    I see that Ira Behr is this week's guest on Connor and Dominic's show...I wonder if Picard S3's swiping of DS9's Big Bad will come up.

    "How did whatever happened to Picard's brain back when he was Locutus survive the transfer into a golem body?"

    He wasn't in a golem body when he did the deed with Beverly, and so passed on his Borg genes to Jack. Those genes would later cause the Irramadic-like illness that killed biological Picard.

    @Jax
    'Again, much like Terry Matalas' Twitter account.'

    Haha, indeed. Unlike Matalas, I'm already regretting it, though.

    @everyone asking about "the Jurati collective":

    I don't think Matalas is too keen on that collective. He did, after all, say (through the mouth of Shaw) "The real Borg, not the weird s**t from Stargazer"

    :>

    It's been said before, but so many of the criticisms here on plot holes/ logic also apply to many TNG (even DS9!) episodes. Nothing was every airtight is now seems through the haze of decades of nostalgia (or watching it when we were kids). Best of both worlds? Quite a few!

    What we can ultimately ask is that it is entertaining and meaningful. And to me, a lifelong Trek fan who has watched every episode of the pre-NuTrek iterations and read far too many book as well, Season 3 and this episode most certainly has been both entertaining and meaningful. It is so rare to have the opportunity to watch characters one grows up watching, that were and are meaningful to us, themselves grow and age in ways that (mostly!) make sense and are interesting.

    While it is true that TNG and DS9 were not without occasional inconsistencies and plot holes, it felt like the attitude there on the part of the writers then was, "oh crap, we missed that, we'll try to do better next time around." Whereas in Nu-Trek it's more like "Haha, logic? internal consistency?? Who cares about any of that crap, and how silly all you fanboys are for even bringing it up! It's all about the good feeels, man!"

    Classic trek at least had a palpable 'truthiness' to it due to the diligence and good faith intentions of the writers, or at the very least respecting the viewer's intelligence. It doesn't matter if it happens to hold up to the latest science and nobody is expecting them to be 100% infallible either. But the explanation we just got about the Borg-Changeling alliance and their master plan...? Dude... it just reeks of simply not caring.

    So if the Borg are working directly with the Changelings — why not just give them DNA that will do what Picard’s did without requiring Picard’s body…. The Borg have loads of assimilated humans, don’t they? Can’t they recreate it…

    Jammer, I just want to say thank you for doing these reviews. I have been reading them for more than 10 years, but only now have been moved to post something. I am glad to have this community and the passion everyone shares, whatever direction it's aimed in (positive or negative). I, for one, am so happy to see the TNG crew back together, and to have a story that holds up well enough to provide a reason for them to be together and to not detract from what I'm here for - one last ride with my favorite crew. I will be sad to see it end in a few days. Here's wishing everyone in the community functions within normal parameters.

    @Dirk

    [What is the intended audience? ]

    People over 25 whose prefrontal cortexes have stopped developing, and can't be assimilated by the Bio-Nanoprobes, obviously 😏

    (Gets tossed out an airlock)

    @Quincy - "This makes very little sense. The Borg are exactly the type of solids that the paranoid, egomaniacal Changelings obsessed about. 1) Why would such a species ever ally with the very thing they despise and 2) why would they enter into a subservient relationship with them since they consider all solids inferior?"

    I'm really hoping we get more backstory on this in the finale but I think these issues are solved if the Borg Queen was the one who freed the changlings from Daystrom, because then they had no choice.

    I like the idea of a Borg / Changling alliance and I think it can work if setup properly. But at this point, barring a flashback scene, we are only getting additional perspective from the Queen. It would have been nice to hear more from the changlings to better understand their motivations beyond "I just really hate Starfleet".

    DUKAT: You disappoint me.
    SISKO: Don't expect me to lose any sleep over it.

    And thats why modern TV and movies suck, nobody wants new and fresh they just want their same ride at the fair over and over and over and over again.

    @JohnTY:

    "BTW. How many send-offs does TNG require?"

    47.

    Duh.

    What is the problem with the Changelings partnering with the Borg in some way?

    Yes, they despise solids, but they did exactly this at least twice, with the Cardassians and Breen. Perhaps others, their relationship with the Son'a suggests this to a degree.

    -- PLOT HOLES OF BEST OF BOTH WORLDS --

    * Why doesn't the Big D detect the absolute devastation of the New Providence settlement from orbit? How do O'Brien's instruments not detect this? How can he claim this is "center of town"?

    * How is the disabled/repaired Big D able to catch up with the Borg? There was the Battle of Wolf 359 which slowed the Borg, but for no explained reason, the cube was not at that point on course for Earth.

    * With (or without) Picard's "assistance", why didn't the cube anticipate the saucer sep and infiltration attack?

    * Why doesn't Riker halt the Enterprise approach to the Borg once Data has clearly hacked into their system? He should have run considering this subspace attack could be conducted anywhere and was far more than the Big D could hope to achieve with a physical attack.

    * Why does the first episode spend half its runtime worrying about Riker's latest job offer?

    (I have fan wanks for most of these, the point is it was never a pristine jewel. Of course)

    @Silly

    'What is the problem with the Changelings partnering with the Borg in some way?'

    It would be suicide for Vadic & co. as the Borg wouldn't partner with the Changelings, they would simply assimilate them.

    This isn't really a 'why wouldn't the Changelings...' issue, it's a 'why would the Borg' issue.

    Janeway was uniquely able to evade assimilation (the first time, until she choose to be assimilated, that is, but that's a whole different matter...) and strike an alliance with the Borg because of the Borg's inability to assimilate (and thus analyse and ultimately assimilate) Species 8472. Janeway had tactical knowledge the Borg could not acquire.

    There is no Species 8472 here and the Borg would simply have assimilated the Changelings - even more so given that it would enable them to field shape-shifting drones with passable humanoid organs that retain shape after death.

    The whole idea of the Borg-Changeling alliance is for the wow factor but it isn't thought through.

    There may be some undisclosed reason why the Borg are weakened at present but even so this is doesn't adequately explain the alliance; mutilated drones have hitherto been shown reflexively trying to assimilate their opponents in their death throes, showing that the Borg have very much an 'assimilate and/or die' instinct.

    The conceptual weakness of the Borg-Changeling alliance is a prime example of how any list of positives of PIC S3 unavoidedly has to be accompanied by an even lengthier list of caveats and critique. PIC S3 is just one big 'but'.

    The inescapable reality is that if you strip away the creatively cynical, emotionally manipulative memberberries/fan service (that you would have to have a heart of stone not to be moved by), PIC just isn't written very well. At all.

    @Silly
    Ok, let me just pick one.
    "Why does the first episode spend half its runtime worrying about Riker's latest job offer?"
    That's why the episode is called that, when Picard is kidnapped Riker literally has the best of both worlds, meaning he is captain and can remain on the Enterprise.

    @ Silly

    “With (or without) Picard's "assistance", why didn't the cube anticipate the saucer sep and infiltration attack?”

    It did “anticipate” and it responded exactly as Riker wanted, focusing on the star drive section (representing most of the power and weapons potential) and ignoring the saucer, which launches the shuttle that recovers Locutus.

    The theme of the episode was Riker finding a way to step out of Picard’s shadow and “beat him.” In this case that meant manipulating Picard’s knowledge to our advantage by setting up a scenario where we know how Locutus will act.

    “I must remind you that Captain Picard was briefed on that plan, the Borg will be prepared for it.”
    “I’m aware of that Commander. In fact, I’m counting on it.”

    Right there in the dialogue.

    "Why does the first episode spend half its runtime worrying about Riker's latest job offer?"

    It’s ultimately a Riker story and this is stage setting for that, the character conflict with Shelby, and eventually Locutus.

    That’s why it works better than this probably will. It’s about more than pew pew with the Borg.

    @Bok R'Mor

    I didn't mean it was a good idea, I was just protesting against the notion that the Changelings would never partner with solids.

    @Booming

    I was just pointing out that one of Trek's Holy Grails has several flaws, some rather glaring.

    There are even better ones for TWOK, but the point is these age old tales weren't plotted perfection, so we (IMHO) should tend to judge the plotting of this season along those lines.

    Blah, I can see it both ways.

    @startrekwatcher The revolving door of queens amounts to simple recasting for the same character. I don't know why fans overcomplicated this over the years, as they're sadly wont to do.

    @Silly
    I get that but the fact spent quite a bit on Riker thinking about the future is very much on purpose, not a flaw and certainly not a plot hole in any sense of the word. Best of Both Worlds is about Riker finally being captain and how he deals with it.
    Even the other things are fairly minor, I haven't watched the episode but the Riker thing I knew from memory.

    While having a plot that to recap involves: The Borg transforming Picard to Locutus, this left Borg DNA behind that nobody noticed, even though somebody did notice at some point because Section 31 went to great length to steal Picard's body and keep it in a Federation black site; The DNA is transferred through Picard's sperm into his son through an off screen relationship with Beverly ; The DNA creates the symptoms of a deadly disease and eventually kills people who have the DNA; The DNA also gives Jack super powers; The Borg then create an alliance with a rogue founder faction who is lead by somebody who is completely crazy to put harmful DNA into anybody under 25 who use a transporter; Somehow they know that Picard's body has the DNA they need and instead of recreating it they find out that Picard's body is not only still around but stored in a black site from which they steal it; They also need Jack to trigger the Borg to take over; Jack suppresses the Borg thinking but when he finds out that he is somehow in contact with the Borg immediately switches sides and knows all plans and uses crew members as drones to leave the ship and fly to the Queen to be activate and destroy the Federation.

    That is on a completely different level than "How did they catch up with the Borg" and that is besides the most shameless nostalgia I have ever seen in any show in my life.

    And guys, it's not that I don't get it. Seeing Daddy P on the Big D surrounded by his trusted seamen is nice. Sitting down on that comfy brown leather. It just makes you feel good inside. :)

    @Booming

    This along with our perspectives on The Expanse storyline suggests we have a bit different story preferences. Which of course is fine;)

    You're all assuming that it is a Borg/Changeling alliance. Maybe it is not. My theory:

    Vadic was assimilated by the Borg, but her Section 31 PTSD and her non-solid physiology together made complete assimilation impossible. That is why she "talks to the hand", which is just her talking to the Borg collective. The Borg control her enough to get her to do their bidding, sort of.

    Maybe the other 9 experimental changelings were all assimilated as well, and that is why they are going around reprogramming transporters. It is not as difficult as it sounds, all they have to do is replace transporter repairpersons. Alternatively, the other 9 changelings have been convinced by Vadic that adding a certain code to transporters is going to be the way they get their revenge on Starfleet.

    = = = =

    TL;DR: There is no large scale Borg/Changeling alliance. The Borg is somehow controlling 10 changelings that have the ability to pass scans undetected. That's all.

    So, what the heck was all that plot of season two with the borg queen for? Where did she go? Weren't they supposed to be nice and be assimilating people with their consent?

    This series suffers because of the 10 episode constraint. I can't believe; actually, yes... I can... that they did a "BAM! Here's the Borg, the federation is super f*cked and all of this will be fixed in the next episode!" I mean, back in the day TNG would have done a good job at resolving that massive plot in 45 minutes, but we all know that now a days they will do it but in a very unsatisfactory way because they are rushing for time for stuff that is important for advancing the story. For example, they spent the first three episodes of this season inside a nebula and now they ran out of time to wrap things up in a nice way. Same thing happened in season two when they spent all of it on 21st century Earth.

    To the people who are asking "how can a bunch of 25 year olds take over Starfleet", some notable points:

    1. Among officers, a very few will be 25 or below, but assuming Starfleet is somewhat militaristic, a large part of the below-decks cadre will be quite young.

    2. These 25 year olds are spread everywhere, creating a sudden war on too many fronts.

    3. They are INSIDE the ships, not outside, with lots of access to lots of strategic systems.

    4. They have the element of surprise.

    5. MOST IMPORTANTLY, they are not 25 year old people, they are the Borg. They have the tremendous advantage of instant information, collective decision making, ability to help each other by exploiting unlikely failure pathways in Federation/Starfleet systems and tremendous compute power used for instantaneous, ever-changing strategy.

    BoBW has one giant plot hole from its very premise, you know.

    If the Borg already can speak, and aren't interested in any particular species (goal: assimilate all species), then why do they need Picard? "Locutus" as Borg Queen Voice says, means "The One Who Speaks," and they say "It has been decided (nice passive voice there, Borg) that a human voice will speak for us."

    Why tho? Why is that even necessary?

    It's a conceit of the plot, is why, to generate dramatic tension, and also provide an offramp for Patrick Stewart whose contract negotiations were taking place at that time. If he'd backed out, we'd have ended up with an asploded Locutus and Riker in command of the D.

    But it's not strictly necessary for the Borg, anymore than the "Borg Queen" was when First Contact was written.

    There's a "Fiction" part of Science Fiction that demands the story be interesting, entertaining, or at least satisfying in some way to the viewer/reader. Why does "Songs Of Distant Earth" have a romance scene? I'unno. Arthur C. Clarke wanted there to be one. It doesn't figure into the larger plot at all. It's just there. It's a nice way to wrap up a chapter and gives the characters a bit more reality, but it's there, it's gone, and poof. It doesn't turn into a major plot point.

    Stories have conceits. If you think you're an "educated viewer" for being able to pick them out, and better than all the "unwashed plebs" for it, you're giving in to a primitive human impulse to bolster your self esteem by crushing something, and you've already taken a step back from deepening your understanding of how stories get written. Sometimes a painter's gotta paint, y'know.

    @MidshipmanNorris
    And that was always the main point that bothered me about Best of both worlds. Still, people often go to great length to excuse bad writing because it makes them feel good.

    Speaking to those that think the 25 and younger folks on the Starships wouldn't be enough to execute a hostile takeover...

    I served on 3 US Aircraft Carriers. They advertise a crew of 3500-4000 when geared up for a deployment. Approximately 80% was 20 and below. That's 2800-3200 service members per carrier.

    I submit that we aren't talking just officers on these ships, we are talking about the enlisted crew as well.

    Since people are into the 25 yo taking the ships thing, I'll bring one thing that bothered me on that front.
    25 yo is the average pre frontal cortex development time for HUMANS brains. We clearly see other species being taken over by the Borg as well. So, this means that all the other aliens brains biology is exactly the same as humans? All of starfleet species even have pre frontal cortexes? Some species has 2 hearts, 4 kidneys and so forth, but all of them have the same type of brain?
    Did i miss something on the explanation of the way the borg are taking those people over?

    "If you think you're an "educated viewer" for being able to pick them out, and better than all the "unwashed plebs" for it, you're giving in to a primitive human impulse to bolster your self esteem by crushing something, and you've already taken a step back from deepening your understanding of how stories get written. Sometimes a painter's gotta paint, y'know."


    Translation: nothing is perfect so we can never have any standards of quality. In fact, you are giving into your primitive atavistic instincts even if you notice shitty writing.


    There's difference between "great, but not perfect" and "low-brow garbage designed to appeal to memberberry addicts and people with the attention spans of goldfish." If that makes me a gatekeeping Neanderthal for noticing that then so be it. Without criticism there is no incentive to do better. Without it we'd still be scrawling pictographs on cave walls with our own shit.

    Those that think the CGI looks fine... no it looks ugly. To see what a capable person can create, just check this
    https://youtu.be/RH95-uGY5Hw

    And the Titan
    https://youtu.be/2Nd4r_hJaAE

    The detail, lightning, movement. Its all sooo many steps above what we see in NuTrek.

    Well these writers had a 45 minute plot or at best a double parter. So to make it fit 10 episodes they just stretched the plot endlessly and added a lot of filler and a mystery that keeps being a mystery because current day writers think that adds suspense but instead is just plain boring and pointless. Heck, the main villain/species didn't even have a real purpose except to fill the runtime with silliness. And of-course they think (correctly it seems) that by throwing in the cast of old times with twisted new backgrounds and lots of member-berries and throwbacks they gain viewers. Originality can simply not be found in the last decade of Star Trek. Amazing how much a competent writer can fit in 40 minutes or even 20 when looking at the golden sitcoms.

    @Patrick

    Those clips are amazing, to be fair.

    (I generally can't stand the horrible kitbash looks to the ships this season though. Absolutely woefully ugly.)

    @Black Oatmeal

    'There's difference between "great, but not perfect" and "low-brow garbage designed to appeal to memberberry addicts and people with the attention spans of goldfish."'

    There's very much a 'last of the memberberry wine' tasting going on in this episode. I expect the next episode will be even worse. Memberberry vinegar.

    I find it fascinating how I wrote a long, detailed post about the final scene, breaking down how, despite getting a twinge of feeling from me, it undercut itself in a myriad of ways, describing specific editing, scoring and dialogue choices that I felt didn't work, and viewed as being blatantly emotionally manipulative (which NO ONE would accept one person doing to another) and didn't work for me, made me feel talked down to and disrespected as an audience member by the show and producers and which were also emblematic of this era of Trek as a whole. And yet even afterwards there were posters complaining about "haters hating for hates sake with no specific examples." And then the conversation has pivoted towards the plotting at large. Did I need to make an annotated list instead?

    I posit that every season plot of this era of Trek had potential and could've delivered, but it's just been the utterly slapdash way they've been presented, with all the kind of minute details as described in my prior post that is ultimately getting in the way for a lot of people, undercutting the plot, messaging and merits of these stories as, instead of immersing parts of the regular Trek audience into the world of Trek, this era actively shoots itself in the foot by chasing modern television conceits and techniques that I'd argue many Trek watchers aren't overly fond of by and large, brcause it feels like the show is treating them as stupid by consistently talking down to them in the way it presents itself, which is why the previous eras remain infinitely more rewatchable for us, because they DON'T have all the flaws we feel many modern shows have.

    The CW Superhero shows, for example, when Arrow started, it was my favofite new show. By the time it ended, I had only enjoyed about half its seasons, off and on and checked out from the rest because those shows felt sloppy and unfocused to me and like they had no respect for me as an audience member. Now a lot of the issues I already found off-putting in those shows then found their way into this era of Star Trek, much to my disappointment.

    If I feel like a show is being disrepectful to me as an audience member, constantly telling me that either I need to be talked down to to "get it" or that it needs to post blatant and egregious signposts of how I should feel and interpret it, I'm NOT going to find myself enjoying that show, because it may as well be calling me stupid and laughing behind my back every episode - a feeling most Trek nerds who grew up with the older eras are likely already familiar with and watched Trek to get away FROM. All the other stuff, the canon and lore breaking, the aesthetic issues, that's all just sprinkles on top of that sundae of the audience/producer relationship issues these shows have. A show is disrespecting me, my intelligence and ability to comprehend it, I in turn will naturally not respect it, its artistic merits or the efforts of its creators because it hasn't earned it from me because its presented itself in a way that tells me it doesn't actually care or respect its audience. So cry all you want about nitpicking haters, but know, the disrespect is considered mutual. It's not just toxic fans or fandoms, its a toxic audience/producer relationship.

    @ Maverick

    "Did i miss something on the explanation of the way the borg are taking those people over?"

    Yeah, Beverly says something like, "Which for humans is 25", so it's left unsaid what age it occurs for other species but the general takeaway is they're all young'ish.

    @ Patrick

    "So to make it fit 10 episodes they just stretched the plot endlessly and added a lot of filler and a mystery that keeps being a mystery because current day writers think that adds suspense but instead is just plain boring and pointless."

    Yep.

    I still don't understand why they're married to this format.

    What would stop them from doing what Mandalorian did in S1 and S2? There was a season long story arc, touched on in almost every episode, but the bulk of the runtime went to separate adventures and when they did return to the "big" arc it didn't feel rushed and/or given short shrift.

    Discovery S2 and S4 were the closest they came to making their formula work, IMHO, I don't recall feeling like there was a lot of fluff or unearned "twists" in those seasons. Picard hasn't made this formula work once and Discovery is batting .500 currently. We'll see what happens with S5 there, maybe they'll surprise us and abandon this formula (yeah right, lol) or pull it off successfully (fingers crossed)

    3.5 Stars? What is Measure of Man, The Inner Light, Tapestry, Best of Both Worlds?
    That rating is a farce.

    This episode is pretty much garbage fan service.

    It is not like Relics at all. Relics was fan disservice - rather it dealt with the issues of retirement, old age, and finding value in an old relic. It was not about putting Scotty in charge of engineering. It was the opposite.

    This is a bit like trouble with tribulations. But that was one comedic episode. Not 10 episodes of stupid action, soap opera character exposition, and baffling techno-babble that we're supposed to treat seriously.

    Regarding why the Borg needed a human voice...

    Of course it's mainly to facilitate storytelling needs, just as is the introduction of the Queen. The crew at least MENTIONS that the Borg's interest in Picard feels like a retcon. ;)



    There's at least one explicit reason to believe there's a missing part of the story, and that's the outposts destroyed along the neutral zone. (Yes it's a nice way to say "plot hole".)

    They know the Borg are responsible for that because when Q throws the Enterprise to J-25, they find a planet with IDENTICAL destruction.

    To me, the most likely explanation is that Q wasn't warning Picard of potential threats or general unreadiness, Q was alerting Picard of invasion already underway.

    Note that "Q-Who" was the only Q instigated adventure that resulted in fatalities. Q's "you guys need me!" was just an elaborate charade that he drops afterwards. The Q Continuum probably has some Prime Directive type rule that prohibits him simply telling Picard about the invasion, so Q hides his true intent behind one of his games.

    Basically, Q didn't introduce the Borg to the Federation, he told Picard that the Borg are coming RIGHT NOW.

    The Borg actually peaked in their debut appearance, "Q Who?" I think. As introduced there, by Q, and paraphrasing Q, we are nothing to them, other than something to consume. They are essentially technological locusts, and that is probably my favorite version of them.

    Their next appearance was in the much lauded (and mostly rightfully so) BOTW,, but even there the seeds of ruin were planted, mostly in the form of Locutus.

    Locutus was a "voice for the Borg to speak with", but why would they need it? Why would they bother, or care? It only begs the question as to whether every species that the Borg ever assimilated involved a Locutus. If not, why not? The whole Locutus concept struck me as akin to Kirk's "what does God need with a starship?"

    Ultimately I think the sole purpose the Locutus concept was introduced was to give the Enterprise some backdoor conduit to destroy the Borg cube at the end of BOBW...otherwise how do you do that after the force of nature that was presented in "Q-Who?"?

    While I’ve enjoyed this season so far, the plotting could have been better. In retrospect I think they should have cut out Raffi, M'talas Prime, and the portal weapon. Just start with the changlings escaping Daystrom and looking for Jack. Then each episode could have had a “B” plot showing the backstory of the rouge changlings, what happened to them at Daystrom, how they escaped, and how they took over Starfleet. This would have been far more interesting and utilized the all cameos more effectively.

    They could easily fill a 20 min sub-plot with the changlings pushing for linking all the starships together and Admiral Shelby leading the opposition. Maybe Starfleet got too complacent without a major adversary and didn’t realize the true nature of that threat?

    They still could have kept the overall structure of the season but reveal the Borg at the end of an episode. Then the entire next episode can be a flashback showing what happened to the Borg after VOYs endgame and the details of entering into an alliance with the changlings.

    My point is, I think the Borg / changling plot is more than enough to fill 10 episodes if done properly.

    Looking back the plotting and pacing haven’t been right. A lot of stuff that happened early on didn’t go anywhere. And there are too many unanswered questions with only 1 episode to go. I’m holding out hope we get answers in the finale but given how many things have been glossed over so far I’m not optimistic.

    @Black Oatmeal

    [There's difference between "great, but not perfect" and "low-brow garbage designed to appeal to memberberry addicts and people with the attention spans of goldfish." If that makes me a gatekeeping Neanderthal for noticing that then so be it. Without criticism there is no incentive to do better. Without it we'd still be scrawling pictographs on cave walls with our own shit.]

    Translation: I love to criticize things, and to get angry while I am criticizing them, because anger is so much fun for me.

    Hey if you're gonna put words in my mouth that I didn't say, I figured I'd return the favor.

    400 (very good) comments on this thread now. Is this a record? Both the number and the overall quality.

    "400 (very good) comments on this thread now. Is this a record? Both the number and the overall quality. "

    Check on classics like "The Visitor" and "In The Pale Moonlight" and controversies like "Tuvix" and "Dear Doctor"...

    @Nolan
    'I find it fascinating how I wrote a long, detailed post about the final scene [...] And yet even afterwards there were posters complaining about "haters hating for hates sake with no specific examples." And then the conversation has pivoted towards the plotting at large. Did I need to make an annotated list instead?'

    I actually find it hilarious how predictable that straw man pseudo-gotcha has become this season. No matter how many times we provide detailed explanations as to why we're criticising what we're criticising, no matter how many times we provide detailed examples of what we think has been done right... It simply doesn't matter. We're summarily dismissed as warped anhedonic haters whose opinions are actually ruining it all for everyone else. It's fine to have opinions, but just don't.

    It'll be the same in the finale.

    I genuinely cannot fathom how people feel that considered criticism of an episode can detract from their own enjoyment of it. For example: I'm a huge and shameless VOY fan. Many on here can't stand VOY. Does that ruin my enjoyment of VOY?
    No, of course not. How could it? Each to their own. I really don't understand the emotional authoritarianism of demanding or expecting that everyone feel exactly the same way about something as you do.

    Bok R'Mor:"emotional authoritarianism"

    The most hilarious subset of them are the ones that say that they too hated S1 and S2, but since they like S3, so must we.

    @Jax
    'Check on classics like "The Visitor" and "In The Pale Moonlight" and controversies like "Tuvix" and "Dear Doctor"...'

    PIC S1 'Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2' has 1130 (!) comments.

    And I'm probably the only Trek fan who couldn't stand the final scene in that. Which has now been retconned, haha!

    @ Jax

    Even Q-Who slipped from its premise and had a moment where the Borg throw a villain of the week threat at our heroes:

    "We have analysed your defensive capabilities as being unable to withstand us. If you defend yourselves, you will be punished."

    No real reason for them to say that and I thought it undermined an otherwise excellent episode. They'd arguably have been more sinister if they had never communicated at all.

    Locutus, well, there's a story reason for that:

    "To facilitate our introduction into your societies, it has been decided that a human voice will speak for us in all communications. You have been chosen to be that voice."

    Of course the REAL reason was out of universe, Patrick Stewart's contract status. Still, I don't regard what BoBW did as much of a conceit.

    I could have accepted the Queen too. Where she broke down in First Contact was the last scene in engineering which veered into cartoon villain of the week territory. Voyager took this and supercharged it with the Queen seemingly having a personal vendetta against Janeway. I get why First Contact did it, they were trying to appeal to a wider audience, still to this day not sure why Voyager did it other than writer fatigue. They were capable of great Borg episodes (Scorpion and Dark Frontier) when they rose to the occasion.

    Regardless, Loctus was more chilling than any incarnation of the Queen precisely because he had no emotional motive or investment, except the tiny bit of Picard you could occasionally see/hear trying to break out. That was brilliant acting on Stewart's part combined with an excellent script and word selection on the part of the writers.

    I don't think the Queen ever came case in any of her episodes/movies, except perhaps Dark Frontier, though it has been a decade plus since I've watched that episode.

    Tim:

    "They'd arguably have been more sinister if they had never communicated at all."

    Indeed...locusts don't say "get ready...we're coming!"...they just come.

    Locutus was a deux ex machina to facilitate the Borg's destruction because they could come up with no other means to do it.

    The Bog Queen became a means to create a soap opera style villain.

    @ Nick

    "They could easily fill a 20 min sub-plot with the changlings pushing for linking all the starships together and Admiral Shelby leading the opposition. "

    I'm not even sure what the point of linking all the starships together was. They find a plausible (might even say "excellent") story way for the Borg to backdoor assimilate large numbers of Starfleet personnel.

    What was added by the "fleet formation" stuff? All it did was make Starfleet look like a bunch of brain dead morons ill equipped for 20th/21st Century cyber-threats, let alone 24th/25th Century ones. Really, how'd these guys beat the Dominion? Didn't any of them watch the pilot episode of BSG? ;)

    "PIC S1 'Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2' has 1130 (!) comments."

    The highest I see in a check of likely candidates just among classic Trek TV episodes is "The Visitor"at 433, but I only checked a dozen, so there could be a sleeper in there.

    @ Jax

    "Locutus was a deux ex machina to facilitate the Borg's destruction because they could come up with no other means to do it."

    This point you're 100% wrong on. The dude who wrote the two-parter (Michael Piller) is on record saying he had no idea how he was going to end the story when he wrote the first part. He had actually planned on leaving the show himself, a lot of Riker's angst about staying on the Enterprise is the writer's own angst, and he figured someone else would have to write the ending to the screenplay.

    They talked him into staying and he wound up writing the ending himself, so there's that, but it didn't happen for months after the cliffhanger aired.

    The ultimate point here is that Locutus was never planned from the beginning as a deux ex machina. :)

    @Kor
    " The revolving door of queens amounts to simple recasting for the same character. I don't know why fans overcomplicated this over the years, as they're sadly wont to do."

    That's not the case. Old Star Trek Magazine articles back that covered Dark Frontier and Unimatrix Zero back in the day explicitly said that Brannon Braga told Susanna Thompson her Queen was different than Krige's.

    "The ultimate point here is that Locutus was never planned from the beginning as a deux ex machina. :) "

    Regardless, it's what he became. Without that backdoor, what means of Borg defeat do you think he would have written?

    DUKAT: Tell me, Bok R'More, have you ever been diagnosed as anhedonic?
    BOK R'MOR: You think I'm incapable of experiencing joy just because I'm critical?

    @Descent wrote:

    "I couldn't get through the first season of Lower Decks because, in addition to not finding any of it funny, I couldn't take the endless stream of references. I don't understand the appeal at all. We've also got Strange New Worlds, which I largely liked, but which also inexplicably mires itself in existing concepts like the Gorn (which it mishandles horribly) and the reuse of characters written in 1960s. This is what stagnation looks like to me."

    In many ways, I could have written the above word for word.

    And yet, with PICARD (or this season, anyway), something is different. Season 3 is, allegedly, the swansong for a beloved 35-year old series, one that has firmly lodged itself in the cultural zeitgeist, and one whose main characters we last saw some 20 years ago. The TNG has earned some nostalgia.

    Matalas has not always got the balance right, particularly in "The Bounty," where he laid it on much too thick -- but at least here I see a point to it, in the way we did in TUC or "Relics." This is a series about grief, and family, and gaining a perspective on life; nostalgia catalyzed all of those themes. On LOWER DECKS, the nostalgia is reduced to a bingo game ("here's Nomad! Here's Khan"); on PICARD, it serves a purpose.

    To repeat my pre-season review: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

    @ Tim - "I'm not even sure what the point of linking all the starships together was. They find a plausible (might even say "excellent") story way for the Borg to backdoor assimilate large numbers of Starfleet personnel.

    What was added by the "fleet formation" stuff? All it did was make Starfleet look like a bunch of brain dead morons ill equipped for 20th/21st Century cyber-threats, let alone 24th/25th Century ones. Really, how'd these guys beat the Dominion? Didn't any of them watch the pilot episode of BSG? ;)"

    I completely agree. I think the show had some self awareness on your point as expressed through Picard and Riker's distain for the idea.

    As far as I can tell its only purpose as a plot device was to get the crew into the Ent D since it wasn't "linked to the Starfleet mainframe". But even that explanation wasn't needed, they could have just said it was the nearest available serviceable ship. Everything about it is glossed over so fast and it needlessly clutters the plot. To your point, the Borg already had their backdoor and I actually think that plot device was rather clever.

    That's not what Deus Ex Machina means. For it to be Deus Ex Machina it would've had to come out of nowhere and save the day. An example would be if your movie is a docudrama about the Killdozer incident and when the Killdozer got stuck in the basement of a hardware store and the police were banging on the steel plating, instead of Marvin Heemeyer killing himself, Jesus comes again and raptures him out of the Killdozer for being a good Christian. Claiming Locutus is such a Deus Ex Machina means any solution they came up with would also be Deus Ex Machina.

    Everything presented in BOBW logically follows from the events before it. If you have a network, every device plugged into that network with authorized access to that network presents a vulnerability to that network. It was obvious as soon as Picard was plugged into the Borg's hive mind then he became a vulnerability to the Borg. The full definition of deus ex machina, (Latin: “god from the machine”) says a person or thing that appears or is introduced into a situation SUDDENLY and UNEXPECTEDLY and provides an artificial or contrived solution to an apparently insoluble difficulty. By definition nothing in BOBW is Deus Ex Machina.

    @Quincy

    Exactly.

    Even when Q saved the Enterprise in "Q Who?", it wasn't deus ex machina, because he created the situation to begin with.

    If, however, Q pops out in the final act of the next episode to save the day, that will certainly be DEM.

    @Silly
    "If, however, Q pops out in the final act of the next episode to save the day, that will certainly be DEM."

    Exactly.

    Locutus was a herald figure created by the Borg using Picard as raw material. In BOBW the Borg utilized Picard's tactical knowledge to undermine Federation battle plans, thus easily winning at Wolf 359. When Locutus was captured the Borg were undermined in turn. That is not Deus ex machina.

    @ Jax

    "Without that backdoor, what means of Borg defeat do you think he would have written?"

    I don't really care how they defeated them as long as it made sense in the story. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Just like I don't care how plausible the paradox thing in "I, Borg" was. The point of that episode is whether genocide can be justified and if the Borg can be redeemed. The technobabble was just a means to an end. Who cares?

    These kinds of arguments are silly. There's a whole theme in online fandom about how Starfleet "learned its lesson" from Wolf 359 and that's why the First Contact cube had "heavy damage" vs. the zero damage done to the Wolf 359 cube. They rip apart the battle scenes we saw in Emissary and blame Starfleet battle tactics on the defeat. If only they had used a "swarm" tactic instead of a "line of battle" tactic Wolf 359 would have gone differently.

    Yawn.

    The real reason for different "battle tactics" was that First Contact had a different SFX crew, using different technology, with a superior budget to what BoBW and Emissary had to work with.

    The real reason Starfleet did "heavy damage" to the First Contact cube is the writers wanted their time travel story and there's no logical reason for the Borg to do that if they can wipe the floor with Starfleet and get to Earth without time travel.

    Yawn.

    Once came across someone who said the Enterprise could have won the engagement in Yesterday's Enterprise if only Picard had used more torpedoes. Because that was the point of the episode, not the theme of individual sacrifice for the greater good, nope, the point was Picard doesn't know how to fight his ship properly. I played Bridge Commander and was able to beat three Birds-of-Pray in a Galaxy Class, why couldn't Picard do it??? 🙄

    Sorry if this comes across as dismissive but I really think you're nitpicking the wrong thing here.

    Tim: "Sorry if this comes across as dismissive but I really think you're nitpicking the wrong thing here."

    "Sleep, Data" not only made the Borg cube shut down but also somehow explode.

    I always wondered if it inspired Independence Day.

    My assumption is that the Borg cube WAS damaged significantly at Wolf 359, and that's the reason it didn't continually directly to Earth, and that's why the D was able to catch up with it. It basically tried to avoid Starfleet ships while it regenerated.

    It's been reported that they would have shown the Battle of Wolf 359 in BOBW but it would have been way above the budget.

    If true, it's definitely a case of budget restrictions improving art. A good example of "nothing is scarier" than that not shown.

    The situation couldn't possibly seem more desperate to the crew of the crippled Enterprise (and the viewer).

    @Silly "A good example of "nothing is scarier" than that not shown."

    Agreed. Stronger when no battle is shown.

    The arrival of the Enterprise D at Wolf 359 can be compared to the arrival of Bradley the morning after the battle of Kasserine Pass in 1943 as represented in the film Patton. He sees vultures feeding on the carcasses of American troops, to his mind it was that which should never have happened.

    @ Jax “"Sleep, Data" not only made the Borg cube shut down but also somehow explode.”

    I think you should rewatch. It’s answered in dialogue from Shelby, “I'd say we're looking at a self-destruct sequence activated by the Borg's malfunction.”

    There’s an alternate ending posited in a comment here I think would have been neat: https://www.jammersreviews.com/st-tng/s4/best2.php#comment-19705

    Still, it all worked as written, imho. 🤷🏻‍♂️

    Random question for Jammer, how many two parters in classic trek got 4 stars for both installments? I was happy to see my other personal favorite (Improbable Cause/The Die Is Cast) made the cut!

    @ Silly and @Sigh2000

    Less was more here for sure.

    Imagine they had the SFX budget. What scene would have been cut from the episode for the sake of showing the battle? What would that do the pacing of the episode?

    Shelby, “I'd say we're looking at a self-destruct sequence activated by the Borg's malfunction.”

    Convenient!

    And again, does every species the Borg assimilate get a Locutus, or were we the first?

    I think history will look back on this episode as the greatest ever in all of NuTrek. Nothing in Discovery or Picard will ever top those last 4 minutes.

    This nitpicking and quibbling over why the cube exploded is hilarious. It's obvious why the Borg cube self-destructed. It was to avoid any narrative whereby the Enterprise crew deliberately commits genocide and blows up a defenseless ship (because that is EXACTLY what would be required in that situation) thus damaging the Roddenberry credo of a more enlightened humanity.

    Imagine the reaction of the vast majority of Star Trek fans if they actually had that in the episode. That is literally the kind of thing they've been crucifying NuTrek for. It doesn't matter that common sense and logic DICTATES that killing every last Borg on that slumbering cube was EXACTLY what they should be doing, assuming they wish to live, they would've been absolutely crucified by the fandom for putting that on the screen. Therefore they avoided that.

    "Random question for Jammer, how many two parters in classic trek got 4 stars for both installments? I was happy to see my other personal favorite (Improbable Cause/The Die Is Cast) made the cut!"

    Off the top of my head, I think it is just BOBW and Improbable/Die, but I would have to look back at the ratings to be sure. (There are some more 4/3.5 examples like Purgatory/Inferno, also.)

    @Silly

    (Gul Dukat reference) Haha, brilliant! Thank you for starting my day with excellent Trek-based humour.

    With regards BOBW, I'm also in the camp that sees very little wrong with it. The developments are explained in-episode in a satisfying way in a way that NuTrek certainly isn't. Looking back, the sudden explosion of the Borg cube was dramatic licence at worst and I cannot say I ever wondered particularly why it happened. That's good immersion.

    I also agree that seeing the aftermath of Wolf 359 was more powerful than seeing it - at that time. The Wolf 359 scene in 'Emissary' however, after we'd had a few years to digest the import of the battle, was excellently done. I think the two approaches work very well together - and let's not forget that the scene in 'Emissary' is intended primarily to ram home the human cost on one family. It's not for 'pew pew' as it would have been if it were portrayed in NuTrek.

    I think some people are just arguing for the sake of argument and have lost sight of the significance or the whole point of measuring of the magnitude of BOBW's flaws.

    Quincy:

    "killing every last Borg on that slumbering cube was EXACTLY what they should be doing, assuming they wish to live, they would've been absolutely crucified by the fandom for putting that on the screen"

    Yes...the Borg clearly needed destroying, but we can't have Picard and company be outright murderers, so if sleep also meant explode...what's a starship crew to do?

    Janeway would call it having your cake and eating it too.

    @startrekwatcher There are conflicting accounts about that, and even if there was an inclination at some point to differentiate Susanna's Queen from the one in First Contact, all of that went out the window the moment Alice Krige reprised the role in Endgame. And the suggestions from some fans meant to reconcile the recasts/reprisals are preposterous, just like most overwrought, far-fetched fan theories.

    The simplest explanation, which provides the best drama, is that there's a singular Borg Queen character. One Queen opens up superior opportunities for personal conflict, feelings of resentment, and adversarial relationships between the characters. This is exemplified by this very episode, which opens old wounds by reminding Picard of his hatred of the Queen for what SHE (singular, not plural) forced him to do. The Queen refers to Jack as her flesh and blood, and recalls naming Locutus, which wouldn't make any sense if there wasn't any continuity with the Borg Queen after each apparent death. First Contact likewise addresses this with the infamous "three-dimensional terms" dialogue in reference to the Queen's retconned presence aboard the cube in BOBW, which suggests the Borg Queen that was destroyed back then is the same being present aboard the Enterprise.

    @Quincy

    It's funny, you're almost surely right, the BOBW Cube "malfunction" that resulted in its explosion was a quick means to clean up the situation.

    Funny to me because I watched it back in the day... I wasn't expecting at all they would destroy the cube, I was expecting them to keep it around to study, no matter how dangerous it clearly was!

    The different actresses playing the Borg Queen have never bothered me at all. I just presumed the Borg Queen was a consciousness that was uploaded into a new clone each time her body was destroyed. There could be ten actresses playing her as far as I'm concerned.

    The repetition of two actresses would be due to there being different types of clone bodies available at any given time.

    It's a completely superficial point for me anyway. I think both Krige and Thompson are excellent in the role, and Wersching's performance was one of the few high points of PIC S2.

    Well I thoroughly enjoyed this episode.

    Seeing the Enterprise D light up made me misty-eyed I'm not gonna lie.

    Worst thing about this season is that if feels such a terrible waste of the first 2 seasons.

    I really hope they do a spin off with 7of9 and Geordi's daughter (the one with more lines). No Raffi though please - she continues to just plain suck.

    This is obviously memberberries/fan service or whatever but realistically what did you expect from a show called Star Trek: Picard.

    So far, Jammer has given this season a higher average score than TNG’s fourth season.

    Picard S3 - 3.05
    TNG S4 - 2.8

    The star rating don't really carry across from the various series' I believe.

    DSC rates higher than plenty of TNG and DS9 which is clearly objectively ridiculous.

    It's more of an old / new divide. Jammer is harder on the older shows.

    "the BOBW Cube "malfunction" that resulted in its explosion was a quick means to clean up the situation. "

    Can we call it a malfunction though? Picard was connected to the Borg when he gave Data the sleep command, so Picutus would supposedly know that unscheduled sleep would mean explode. Is it not fair to assume that Picard knew he was ordering his crew to destroy the Borg cube? An event that - thanks to the Enterprise kidnapping him from the Borg ship - Picard would now survive.

    Jammer has commentary on the rating scale somewhere on the site but I don't believe the ratings are meant to be compared across different series. So this episode's 3.5 star rating just means it's one of the better episodes in Star Trek Picard (which is true), not the entire franchise.

    Any fair and impartial critic is also compelled to give "good faith" points to the individual episodes of a serialized show that postpones most of the payoffs and throws a bunch of mysterious and possibly nonsensical bones at us that can't be properly understood or assessed until the very end. Like all Nu-Trek, Picard pushes our good will to the absolute limit so some point inflation is be expected unless one comes in more cynical and distrusting about the series from the very outset.

    "Jammer has commentary on the rating scale somewhere on the site."

    https://www.jammersreviews.com/info/ratings.php

    Crunching the numbers to compare averages is probably not a useful exercise between different series that aired 35 years apart.

    Yeah, Shelby using the word "malfunction" always seemed conspicuous since there was no reason to believe there was a malfunction until they went over there.

    It's almost like a piece of story is missing.

    Or, yes, it sure could be there just to make it look like Picard only accidentally destroyed the cube.

    Not sure why though. They were attempting non stop to destroy the cube. They didn't have a hang up about doing so in First Contact.

    I don’t wanna quibble about BoBW point by point, suffice it to say, that two-parter is held up to this day as one of TV’s greatest cliffhangers of all time. Not simply Star Trek, all of TV.

    Check back in a decade or two and see if Picard or Discovery gains that kind of recognition. I’m skeptical but stranger things have happened!

    BOBW is excellent television, no doubt about that.

    No Trek in the new era compares.

    The inherent inconsistency of the rating system doesn't making cross-series comparisons useless. It actually shows how expectations and standards change over time and between seasons.

    @Jax, @Tim

    Agree so much.

    The cliffhanger at the time was so exhiliarating and astounding. Hard to conceive of anything to even vaguely compare it to nowadays. Anyone who didn't experience it at time can't fully comprehend the shock and the agonising wait.

    Just to put my last comment in context: BOBW I & II were not just before the internet and social media, they were before VHS releases of episodes and before even Star Trek magazine as far as I can recall. It was even before satellite television broadcasts of TNG, which appeared soon after and were somewhat ahead of the terrestrial broadcasts, meaning you'd have a friend who'd have seen and/or taped the episodes and would be in the know on upcoming twists.

    So there were no online spoilers, nor even any rumour mill: just one's own imagination.

    Summer of 1990.

    Back when for most Americans Bill Clinton was Bill who?

    BOBW was a third of a century ago.

    When BOBW aired, "a third of a century ago" I Love Lucy was just ending its first run on TV.

    A lot of Lucy episodes still hold up. Pretty impressive for a show that old and one that has been imitated so many times.

    @Jax
    Best of Both Worlds aired in 1990.
    I Love Lucy had a 6 yr run which ended in 1957.

    Arguably off topic but... Section 31 movie announced with Space Hitler making her return.

    https://www.cnn.com/2023/04/18/entertainment/michelle-yeoh-star-trek-section-31/index.html

    Good lord. Good to see Michelle Yeoh doing well, but... Good lord. They're really doing this, huh.

    Yeah, that BOBW cliffhanger was a total shock.

    Cliffhangers like that were very rare. Who Shot Jr? was ten years earlier.

    Cliffhangers became so common (including in TNG itself) that they kind of got annoying.



    Sheesh what if THIS next episode is a season spanning cliffhanger;).

    Section 31 movie?

    I clicked on a thread about it at Trekbbs. First comment I see reads "Sure, why not? I'll give it a shot, like anything with the name Star Trek attached to it."


    And that, folks, is why Trek has sucked for the last two decades and will continue to suck for the foreseeable future.

    Hi Jammie,

    This is not a comment really but a curiosity. How many times do you watch an episode before you post a comment.

    Seems nobody cares about Section 31 as much as Alex Kurtzman but now it makes sense why all these Nu-Trek series have been constantly reminding us that they exist and are supposedly so important. At least there will only be 2 hours of Section 31 BS to sit through rather than 10, spaced out over 2+ months. And then maybe when that's over and done with everyone will be so burned out on Section 31 that we'll never heard from them again. Hopefully.

    I'll laugh if the always-inept and useless Ash Tyler returns and starts flashing his black comm badge around again. "You see this?! It means I'm important and deserve to be this movie!"

    Finally someone remembered how to do Star Trek. It's been a long time since I've seen a season of Star Trek. What with STD and the first two seasons of Picard, I stopped watching new Trek years ago. Then I started hearing a buzz about Picard season 3. I must say, it's everything it was rumored to be and more.
    This most likely being the swan song for the TNG crew, it has been a fun ride. Revisiting all the major adversaries from this and the Voyager series has been a blast. They even threw in a killer Tribble.
    Hopefully this is a start toward good Trek again. It's definitely time to stop pushing identity politics and other propaganda, and get back to focussing on stories that can entertain fans for the next few decades.

    I Luke how Jammer pointed out how the older folk have to save the younger generation. It's a!most like a metaphor of the state of current Trek. The younger generation has been spoon fed the preachy, agenda fueled garbage that they've been trying to pass off as Trek for the last decade. The older generation is showing what made Star Trek great.

    Ah well, there it is. An episode I largely enjoyed in a show I largely do not (although I desperately want to!) and a review I largely align with for many of the same reasons.

    Let’s be honest with ourselves. Fan service is fine, and it feels good. It’s a dopamine rush which is why I was glued to my screen at the reveal of the Enterprise-D and felt a high afterwards. It’s also no a substitute for good storytelling. Will I watch Picard again? Generally no. Will I watch this episode or a few from this season again? Maybe yes. Will they resonate in the same way? Definitely not. This is the problem with fan service as a replacement of thematic storytelling. 1) It can never again elicit the same emotional or hormonal effect seeing it the first time does and thus 2) it makes the content entirely disposable.

    I feel sadness for the state of Star Trek not because it has lens flares and plot holes. Star Trek has always had the latter and a lot of Star Trek was not very good. But it is hard to see anyone going back to the new shows in 20 years in the way people go back to the old ones. And they go back to the old ones because they tried to some degree to tell stories that resonated and could stand the test of time. TNG’s best episodes touch upon areas of morality and philosophy that resonate today as much as then and will tomorrow. That’s a true nostalgia draw as much as ship design and carpets.

    (And although I did get hit in the old man feels at the reveal of the ship, I stand mostly alone in preferring the Enterprise-E along with Worf and maybe 15 other people on the internet. Just preference and my Navy service preferring a battleship instead of a luxury cruiser doubling as a battle ship - although some of those amenities would have been nice too haha)

    @Jammer, this comment feels incendiary in a way that I can’t really remember from you…. “ "Yes, but this was nothing but fan service, and [blah, blah, etc.]." Don't care. Shut up. This is fan service of the highest order, and that's the point.”

    I mean, I understand it. The nitpicking and constant bickering on your site has got be extremely taxing on your patience, sanity and desire to create content for the site. I remember when you were pulling back from this site and I remember how much effort went into pouring more content into it and how many more hours it requires from you to maintain and feed. I has GOT to be frustrating when the comments feel distasteful, aggressive, unable to try to hear each other out… and I agree with you no one should ever put words in your mouth or speak for you.

    But this comment in your review seems to undercut why a lot of come to this site and find community in it. I know I have never come here to agree with you or everyone else. I come here to be challenged, to learn and to find new perspectives. No one wants to be told to shut up because they have a different point of view, regardless of what that view is. Some here love Picard, some loathe it. Some articulate themselves with reasonably objective points of view on either side while many others default to ‘i feel and thus I’m right’. That latter group is incredibly trying on anyone’s patience but that’s also human nature and they’ve always been around.

    The tone on the comments does feel different to many years ago, but that might be just my old age goggles on. Jammer of 2000 doesnt exist and more than Eamon of 2000….and yet, jammersreviews is a steadfast, first stop site for me and a part of my life. I’m sorry you’ve felt the need to have to say something like that to such a large portion of your audience but I empathize with the frustration that was likely driving it. Such is the state of internet debate these days and perhaps it always was.

    I love the Enterprise-D. I will die on the hill that she was the best looking out of the bunch and certainly the one that I would want to be posted on.

    This poster, framed, has hung in my office for over twenty years: https://www.amazon.com/Star-Trek-Enterprise-Ncc-1701-D-Cutaway/dp/B000CRR7FC

    I have the deck-by-deck blueprints. Also framed and hung in my office. Ditto the Playmates models.

    Half my colleagues think I'm a little crazy. The other half find excuses to loiter and gawk at my collection. :D

    This thing was a work of love sans profit motive and I hate Paramount/CBS for killing it: https://www.eurogamer.net/cease-and-desist-causes-fan-recreation-of-the-enterprise-from-star-trek-the-next-generation-to-self-destruct

    All that is to say that I absolutely love the ship and what she stood for.

    And I felt absolutely nothing when she was revealed.

    Because it wasn't earned. The reveal of the Enterprise-A at the end of Voyage Home, that was earned. This was contrived. And we saw it coming a mile away.

    To a certain extent, it had to be contrived, as Jammer says, it's unlikely a museum ship would have weapons (or, for that matter, fuel and other consumables) and that conceit of storytelling isn't my beef.

    My beef is the story makes zero sense. I could pen a novel on the reasons why but I've already shared them in my zillion other comments. :)

    Personally, I'd have written it either:

    1. Some other Galaxy Class Starship comes into the story, for story reasons, perhaps commanded by Geordi or some other Enterprise alum (Barclay or Ro?). The heroes have to abandon Titan for story reasons, the new ship becomes the centerpiece of the remaining season, and after a moving Picard Speech™ her captain puts forth the idea of renaming her "Enterprise" and turns over command to Picard.

    2. Keep the museum origin story but do it earlier in the season when Titan stops by. You could even tie it into the story with that networked ship nonsense. Here's a ship that isn't subject to that, let's transfer the flag and send Titan off somewhere on auto-pilot (or, perhaps, have Shaw at the controls and give him a death scene worth something) to draw the Shrike away.

    We're supposed to believe Geordi kept the existence of the Enterprise-D a secret from his closest friends when they stopped by earlier in the season? Because they were just so busy he forgot to mention it? Hey, friends I haven't seen in a decade, I've spent thousands of hours on this labor of love to honor all of us but I'm not gonna tell you about it because it's a surprise I'm saving for..... when exactly? Picard's birthday?

    And, in the real world, why go to the expense of building that set to only use it for one episode?

    Like I said in my very first comment on this episode, the memberberry moment was not earned. :'(

    @ Eamon

    "And although I did get hit in the old man feels at the reveal of the ship, I stand mostly alone in preferring the Enterprise-E along with Worf and maybe 15 other people on the internet. Just preference and my Navy service preferring a battleship instead of a luxury cruiser doubling as a battle ship - although some of those amenities would have been nice too haha"

    Thank you for your service.

    I don't think you stand as alone as you think. I feel like the odd man out defending the 'D' in various online discussions and anecdotally feel like the 'E' crowd vastly outnumbers us. :)

    My real issue with the 'E' is I felt the 'D' deserved a better ending than she got. She was a character in her own right -- the TNG series bible even said so -- and deserved a better ending than getting her ass kicked by the Duras sisters because Riker forgot how to rotate shield frequencies, Worf forgot to do a security sweep on a returned prisoner, and Data forgot how to monitor for unauthorized transmissions.

    (The real reason of course is the sets weren't built for widescreen production and Paramount rushed production of Generations so much that they literally wrapped "All Good Things" and immediately started shooting the movie. More time to refresh the sets would have been beneficial. Also the writers saw the saucer crash in the tech manual and thought it'd look cool. Sigh)

    I would point out that the 'E' is no less of a luxury liner by modern standards. We never got as much detail about her as we had on the 'D', but we know she's got holodecks and a gym. It would stand to reason a lot of the other 'luxuries' might still exist, like the arboretum, probably in a smaller footprint, but still there.

    I've commented on the luxuries ad nauseam, suffice it to say (again), if you're going to spend 5 years on a ship and not have crew morale in the toilet.... :)

    What was your longest at-sea deployment in the USN? My partner did nine months in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. By the end they had run out of virtually everything (except coffee, the Navy never runs out of that, lol) and morale was in the toilet. That was a carrier. I can't imagine it on a destroyer or an attack submarine. All the stress of being at sea without room to stretch and for the bubbleheads no sunlight and fresh air.....

    Now imagine FIVE YEARS on a sub, probably the closest analogue we have to a starship. :)

    @Mephyve “The younger generation has been spoon fed the preachy, agenda fueled garbage that they've been trying to pass off as Trek for the last decade. The older generation is showing what made Star Trek great.”

    Actually, Terry Matalas is two years younger than Alex Kurzman.

    I just re-watched the first four episodes, but I skipped all the Raffi / M'talas Prime scenes since they had no re-watch value and ultimately didn't advance the plot (it’s crazy how you can skip over all these scenes and not lose a step). Some notes:

    - There's a hint who the big bad is in the opening scene of E1 (the BOBW log entry that plays in the background).

    - I forgot about the scene in the bar of E1 that nobody wants the "fat" models of the Enterprise D. lol

    - There’s a lot of “we are old and useless” commentary in E1 that played into the main theme of the season more than I initially realized.

    - All the Picard / Riker scenes are great (except for the infamous "you killed us all" scene at the end of Seventeen Seconds). I could watch a series centered on these two roaming around and having adventures.

    - The foghorn noise whenever the Shrike appears gets more annoying each time I hear it.

    - I think the biggest misstep of this season was the failure to flesh out Vadic and her backstory. When I initially watched her scenes, I thought her character had some depth beneath the surface that we would see later. Instead, she's a simple mustache twirling villain with no real motivation beyond her hatred for Starfleet. Her scenes, upon rewatch, were not very good.

    - In contrast, Shaw’s scenes upon rewatch were significantly better, which annoys me more that they killed him off so suddenly.

    - I really like all the ship VFX scenes. This is by far the best VFX in NuTrek and a welcome departure from the spinning ships and other nonsense they frequently did on Discovery.

    - They introduced the Jack mystery box in the middle of the third episode which (as many commenters have said) was far too early. They should have waited until at least episode 5 or 6 to introduce it.

    Overall, the first four episodes (minus the Raffi / M'talas Prime scenes) held up well upon re-watch, mostly due to the strength of the acting. No Win Scenario was a great ending to this mini-arc.

    @Tim

    Oddly enough, I objectively think the D is a better ship design, and certainly a character in its own right as you say. My slight preference for the E isn’t entirely logical. I just like the design a bit more, and the internal logic that the ship was designed for a more significant role in warfare as a result of changing times and greater threats.

    The D was a sign of the times - the golden age utopia of the Federation where it had a period of relative peace (the romulan, cardassian and Klingon wars were over or wrapping up) and Starfleet had the luxury of pivoting away from austere combat vessels to huge, military-run civilian vessels that could fight but were designed with comfort at the forefront. The Borg, the Dominion, and a resurgent Klingon empire all meant Starfleet’s pivot to combat-oriented ships just kind of made sense to me. But you’re right the inglorious end of the enterprise-D did always feel wrong to me too.

    Thanks for asking. I served during the post 9/11 as well (1999-2005) and while I never had a 9 month deployment (yikes!) my longest was 7 months and we reached port enough that it didn’t feel too rough. However, I served on Cruisers which was wasn’t exactly spacious.

    @Nick

    Good thoughts. Agree with you entirely on Vadic, and it was a real waste of Plummer, who was clearly having a blast. I'll always remember the self-aware mockery in the way she said "Disengage Portal system!". You just know that was intentional.

    Can't agree on Shaw, though. The actor is a talented guy, but the character was more a blank slate to pin various tropes onto. He goes back and forth between despising/opposing Picard and nodding like a pet poodle whenever Picard speaks. It is almost as if they wanted TWO characters - an antagonist from Picard's Locutus past and a strict Starfleet officer above Seven - but created two sets of behaviors that would never exist in the same person without severe mental illness being present.

    The shifting behaviors of Shaw also create havoc with the command structure. I'm sure the military folks in here have already commented, but there were several points in the season where a person clearly not in authority was giving orders or permissions like they were.

    "but created two sets of behaviors that would never exist in the same person without severe mental illness being present. "

    Janeway jokes soon to follow...

    @ Eamon

    I've heard variations on what you say about "combat oriented" and suffice it to say I largely disagree with the premise.

    Not to quibble over which ship is stronger/more powerful, I find such arguments are usually boring, but I _would_ put forth the argument that the Galaxy was more than capable of combat. It certainly was respected by every enemy of the Federation, from the cartoon villains like the Duras sisters ("We are no match for them!") to the Borg ("You lead the strongest ship in the Federation fleet......")

    Could argue tech manuals and a bunch of behind the scenes stuff to prove the point but there's really no need. The Galaxy Class was the centerpiece of every fleet engagement episode in DS9, which is obviously canon, so there you go. :)

    I think they get a lot of grief from the fandom because civilians were onboard. That's fair if your mindset is military. Presumably the ships we saw in DS9 did not have civilians abroad. On a five year exploration mission though, how would you do it without having civilians present?

    For one, you'd need experts in various fields (e.g., Keiko as a botanist) and it's not realistic to think Starfleet can have subject matter experts for EVERYTHING. A Starfleet Science Officer (e.g., Dax) presumably knows more than I do about botany. Do they know more than Keiko? Unlikely. They're generalists.

    Then there's crew morale, which is the real kicker, unless you intend to staff the ship exclusively with bachelors. How many people with kids do you know that would volunteer to miss five years of their lives?

    In the real world, a USN carrier frequently has a handful of civilians abroad during deployments. They're typically subject matter experts from the defense industry and there to monitor and/or work on some ship's system. They come and go, I've never heard of one doing a full deployment, but over the course of a full deployment there's probably not many moments where there isn't at least a few of these types abroad ship. Not like we saw in TNG but a practical real world example of civilians on a purpose built warship. :)

    Also, @ Eamon, I clicked submit too soon.... my partner's nine month deployment, she tells me there was ONE port call (Australia) where they were allowed to go ashore. Not sure if it was the same for all the ships in her task force or the other divisions abroad her ship, but in her case, she was only able to set foot on solid ground once after they left CONUS.

    They basically sailed straight into Enduring Freedom after 9/11, moved up the deployment for it, just enough time in the States to load provisions and say the goodbyes.

    I do have to laugh because one of the things we bonded over early in our relationship was a shared love for black coffee. She tells me she used to find it disgusting, until stuck on that deployment after they ran out of creamer, and the choice was, "learn to like it" or "go without." Obviously the latter wasn't going to happen, lol. She's one of the few people that can make coffee too strong for my liking. :D

    This thread is reminding me of a story a programmer at my first job told me about. His dad was career Navy, I'm guessing this is the '50s or maybe early '60s, but his greatest lament was that at the time, they weren't allowed to change the grounds before brewing more coffee. So each successive pot was weaker and more disgusting.

    As for the discussion about which ship is more powerful etc, I think the ship with the best crew has the best chance, so my money is on Big D.

    Not a huge fan of the E (didn't dislike it either, mind), so it's the D all the way for me.

    Am I the only one who thought the F looked ridiculous, by the way? There have been designers and Trek fans who have, it is no exaggeration to say, spent most of their lives draughting imaginary iterations of the next Enterprise and yet the official F is one of the least inspiring starship designs I've ever seen.

    Not as bad as the ugly kitbashed Titan from PIC S3 but not far off.

    Starship design used to be a huge draw on Trek but in NuTrek it's just derivative afterthought.

    @ Dirk, My partner came out as a CPO and has all sorts of amusing anecdotes about Navy coffee.

    DS9 needed a scene where some n00b got conned into messing with Chief O'Brien's raktajino and wound up working in waste extraction for a few weeks. 🤣

    @ Bok R'Mor, IDK if the 'F' looked ridiculous, but she certainly looked uninspired. Just another "ctrl + v" starship in a fleet of "ctrl + v" starships.

    Classic Trek certainly kitbashed a lot of "non-hero" ships as the need arose but the hero ships usually got individualized treatment. Enterprise-C was in a single episode but got her own then-unique design.

    Some of the kitbashes (like the Nebula) turned out to be pretty cool in their own right.

    There was such insane attention to detail for the Enterprise-D. You could write almost any scene on that ship and the behind the scenes folks would tell you what deck/section of the ship it happened on.

    They usually (not always) took the time to get it right when shooting too. Look at the deck numbers on doors in various scenes. SOMEONE had the job to go and swap out all those signs between scenes, AFAIK there was only one corridor/hall set and it had to be redressed for each scene, and they couldn't cheat and do it in post as happens today.

    Production values are one of the few things I can't fault NuTrek for, they do get the look and feel right, sounds, all of it, but I wonder if anyone took the time to put together blueprints for Discovery or the Titan? If I wrote a scene in Discovery's cargo bay could someone on staff tell me what deck that'd be on or would they simply make it up in the moment? I haven't deep dove the behind the scenes stuff from either show, it seems unlikely they did this, but please, prove me wrong!

    @Tim,

    "Production values are one of the few things I can't fault NuTrek for, they do get the look and feel right, sounds, all of it, but I wonder if anyone took the time to put together blueprints for Discovery or the Titan?"

    I shall refer you to Discovery's Season 3 finale "That Hope Is You, Part 2" as proof that no, 100% absolutely no one has been tasked with putting together a cohesive spec, let alone blueprints. If they did, the interior of the Discovery would just be one giant empty void!

    @Bok R'Mor

    "Am I the only one who thought the F looked ridiculous, by the way?"

    No, you're not the only one. I think the F looks decent from above, but it looks ridiculous from the front, which is actually my biggest complain about the Titan as well. The secondary hulls and deflector dishes on these nuTrek ships seem to all look really odd/lame.

    On a related topic, am I the only one who finds this season's CGI (particularly the ships) to be mediocre at best? Why does everything have a blue tint to it? Why do the ships look so fake and low-resolution? I'm not a fan of much CGI generally, but the CGI in "Nemesis" from 20 years ago blows P-S3 away.

    @Jammer,

    "And thanks to everyone for making this forum what it is. We should try to enjoy it for the next couple weeks. When Picard goes away after next week, there may be a lot less to talk about and probably fewer people who chime in. This may even be the end of the peak of the Second Era of this site in terms of activity, with new Trek releases not likely to be as ubiquitous as the past couple years (for better and worse). Yes, we'll have SNW back in June, but it may not have the draw of this last season of Picard in terms of numbers."

    I'll echo other's comments and also offer a mighty thank you for hosting the site! The comments are far and away more insightful and thoughtful than anything on reddit, and I think that begins and ends with your reviews, which have grown truly professional over the last few years. Definitely worthy of a few cappuccinos!

    I'm also starting the whole kit and caboodle in order from the beginning with my wife, who's only ever seen a few of the TOS films. So you'll definitely still see me pop up on some of the older shows and movies as we make our way through them. She's loving TOS (just finishing up the 2nd season), so hopefully we see our way through the whole run!

    @Bucktown

    "The comments are far and away more insightful and thoughtful than anything on reddit, and I think that begins and ends with your reviews, which have grown truly professional over the last few years."

    Jammer's reviews certainly set the tone, however, don't overlook the fact that here we get comments in simple chronological order, without an algorithm deciding what we see. We don't have to deal with upvotes reinforcing group think while downvotes quash any remotely unpopular opinion.

    Reddit as a whole (not just the Trek subs) is pretty darned toxic and I attribute a lot of that to the up/downvote model. See here, lol, still my favorite episode all these years later: https://www.jammersreviews.com/orville/s1/majority-rule.php

    Personally, I hate user moderation like Reddit, precisely because creates and reinforces echo chambers. How many comments do you see downvoted despite not breaking a single rule of whatever sub they're in?

    Now I'll really date myself and call out Slashdot as an example of how to do user moderation properly. Comments only have a range of -1 to +5, so you can't karma farm with cheap politically popular comments or get shadow banned for a single unpopular one. It's trivial to change your view to see all comments if you want to get into the mud of the -1 stuff, most of which is obviously spam/trolling. There's no algorithm cherry picking what you see, you control the sort order of comments and the range of comment scores you wish to be displayed.

    You also don't get unlimited up/down votes. They give you 5 to 10 "mod points" at a time, only occasionally, so there is less opportunity to waste them on personal grudges or a knee-jerk downvote of someone you simply disagree with who hasn't crossed the line into trolling/other rules violations.

    Finally, there's 'meta-moderation', essentially moderate the moderators and vote on whether a particular up or down vote was appropriate. Someone who wastes their points on a bunch of inappropriate up/down votes will soon find that they no longer get any mod points.

    Slashdot figured this out in the 1990s when it was just a few guys writing code in their spare time. Here we are in 2023 and "platforms" with thousands of software engineers and billion dollar budgets can't figure out how to host respectful online discussions? 🤦🏻‍♂️

    I'll get off my soap box now. 🤣

    @Galadriel
    Terry Matalas was born in 75, making him old enough to remember what made TNG and Trek in general good. Here he has brought back Trek stars from the years when Trek was still in its heydey, and written an old fashioned TNG yarn that doesn't preach or push an agenda, other than trying to appeal to and entertain the fanbase.
    Contrast that with the drivel that is STD in which the advertising was Look! Spock's sister! Isn't SHE great! And she's black!!!!! The obligatory promo tour was all about how great the black female new Trek head was. And I guess all us black folk were supposed to gush and feel so proud.
    Then they premiered the show on CBS. It was an hour of pure boredom. Two women yakking. Where was the story?!!! I guess if you looked under the agenda you may have found some sort of plot hidden there. I wasn't motivated to look.
    It would be remiss if me to say that nostalgia wasn't a major agenda in Picard season three. Heck, we got Riker, Seven of Nine, Ensign Ro, Tuvok (sort of) and the whole TNG gang, minus Wesley. Admittedly the rumors of that are what drew me to watch but the story was good, edge of your seat Star Trek! It took all the old guys to give the young viewers a taste of what made Trek great in the first place.

    @ Mephyve

    If you want to take a dump on the Discovery pilot, I'd add that I thought Philippa Georgiou was brilliantly cast and acted, for the briefest of moments I thought they had found someone on par with Sir Patrick Stewart for playing a Starfleet captain .....

    ..... and then she's unceremoniously killed off as a MacGuffin for Michael's character arc.

    Okay, I guess getting Michelle Yeoh on cast was more than we could hope for.

    Except they did get her on cast to play the Empress. For multiple seasons. 🤦🏻‍♂️

    What a waste of an absolutely incredible actress, playing a character with so much potential. I really felt like Discovery, for all the flaws of the pilot, was "Trek" and I held onto that belief right up until the point Michael flips her phaser from 'stun' to 'kill' to shoot whoever (real memorable bad guy when I can't remember his name) in the back.

    Yeah, I didn't see the promos, or I'd probably have known better, lol

    "Here we are in 2023 and "platforms" with thousands of software engineers and billion dollar budgets can't figure out how to host respectful online discussions?"

    It's not that they can't. It's that they don't want to. Respectful discussion doesn't make them money.

    "the interior of the Discovery would just be one giant empty void! "

    In Star Trek 2009, the engineering section of the Enterprise looked like a water treatment plant.

    How did *that* room fit inside *that* vessel?

    @Tim Michelle Yeoh's Georgia just being the captain and ditching Michael would have improved things quite a bit. Personally I quite liked Lorca too.

    Waste of Jason and Michelle though with DSC's writers. Both great actors. I can only speak for seasons 1-3 though. Maybe s4 is a masterpiece suddenly.

    It's even more of a shame that the new Section 31 movie is going to use Yeoh as an the empress rather than Georgia because the mirror universe version is rather dull (I realise she's dead but whatever).

    @Mephyve

    "Contrast that with the drivel that is STD in which the advertising was Look! Spock's sister! Isn't SHE great! And she's black!!!!! The obligatory promo tour was all about how great the black female new Trek head was. And I guess all us black folk were supposed to gush and feel so proud."

    Say what you want about Discovery, but the first season had ambition. That ambition has diminished with each successive season of NuTrek.

    "Terry Matalas was born in 75, making him old enough to remember what made TNG and Trek in general good. Here he has brought back Trek stars from the years when Trek was still in its heydey, and written an old fashioned TNG yarn that doesn't preach or push an agenda, other than trying to appeal to and entertain the fanbase."

    TNG yarns used to have something to say. This memberberry extravaganza has nothing to say; it only serves to give long-time fans a dopamine hit.

    There is no re-watch value.

    I just re-watched the scene with the Enterprise F, it makes the comment in episode 1 about nobody wanting the "fat" Enterprise D models even more funny. The Enterprise F's deflector is massive, it makes the ship look pregnant! Looks very out of proportion to the thinner saucer section and nacelles.

    @ Jammer That's a large part of it for sure, most of it even (the remaining bit I think is pure incompetence), The Daily Show had a great take on this a few years ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbNkuETJTK8

    They've learned prioritizing inflammatory comments and subjects will keep people engaged with their platforms. That's why you see your Uncle's racist tirades while missing the fact your second cousin had a new baby. We all continue to pay the collective price for it.

    SwiftOnSecurity (Twitter feed aimed at the cyber-security crowd) had a great take on it a few years ago, "The seduction of social media is feeling like your voice itself has intrinsic power. It doesn't. This is not a public discourse. You are a tourist entering into an algorithmic game run by hustlers, on a street policied by the illiterate, under a regime paid by taxing attention."

    @ Jax It looked that way because IT LITERALLY WAS a water treatment plant, for a mega-scale brewery. They filmed it at 2 million square foot Anheuser-Busch brewery in SoCal.

    What's worse is it was a deliberate creative decision, not something forced on them by budgetary restrictions. JJ Abrams apparently thought it would look cool because it was "big." I take it as further evidence that dude had no business near an Internet fanfic Star Trek story, never mind an actual Star Trek film with $150,000,000 budget, but what do I know. It made money, so it was a win as far as the studio was concerned, hell, even Jammer liked it for what it was.

    And this my friends is why we can't have nice things, lol.

    @ Narissa's Bath Water

    Thanks, and good point on Shaw. I liked the "strict captain" persona better. I get they were trying to give him a character arc and some depth with the Wolf 359 trauma angle but I agree that side of him didn't work as well. Still, Todd Stashwick did a great job so it didn't bother me that much.

    @greycat, "Michelle Yeoh's Georgia just being the captain and ditching Michael would have improved things quite a bit. Personally I quite liked Lorca too."

    I don't hate on Michael like some folks, she's had quite a few great moments, I just don't think those moments were particularly earned given the "origin story" of the character and I question the writing decisions that got us to that point.

    I liked Lorca a lot too, come to think of it, and I thought they were doing something worthwhile exploring the PTSD of a war veteran and the conflict between the military (Lorca) and science/exploration (Stamets) sides of Starfleet.

    Writers: Haha, just kidding, he's actually a mirror universe plant! Bet you didn't see that twist coming, did you? Look at how shocked Twitter is! *pats ourselves on the back*

    @ StarMan "Say what you want about Discovery, but the first season had ambition. That ambition has diminished with each successive season of NuTrek. "

    I want to agree with you but whatever ambition existed in S1 drowned under a deluge of unnecessary cliffhangers and silly twists that only existed to inflate social media engagement. S4 I personally think had more ambition, they went for something cerebral and fairly "Trek" and I can't fathom that was an easy sell with the studio.

    There's a lot to admire about Discovery, I hope they stick the landing, however....

    Garek: I always hope for the best. Experience, unfortunately, has taught me to expect the worst.

    To add another thought that went through my mind, we're supposedly going to get some sort of role for Denise Crosby, which is only fitting if this is the sendoff for the TNG cast and characters....

    .... but with roughly 60 minutes of remaining runtime I'm sure however that happens it's unlikely to do the actress or her characters justice. We'll see, reference Garek quote above. :D

    One of the many missed chances from Season 1 (and Nemesis, for that matter). If you were going to feature the Romulans so heavily, boom, it almost writes itself if you watched the show, and you could take it in virtually any direction you wanted to for the character and story.

    @StarMan
    What you'5doing is called projecting. For you it may be just a dopamine hit. But for someone like me who has watched the entire TNG series three times, it's a fitting conclusion for when I watch the TNG series for the fourth time.
    Every year I watch the Toney Maguire Spiderman movies. Didn't bother with Garfield or Holland until No Way Home, which I've watched four times.
    Could I be projecting? I dunno, judging by the numbers No Way Home did at the box office, I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who has seen it multiple times. Judging by the buzz and the comments for Picard season 3, I'm sure I'm not the only one who actually thinks it's more than just a dopamine hit. And judging by the overall reaction to STD, which many people make the VD pun, I'm not the only one who thought it was garbage.

    Mephyve is comparing TNG/Classic Trek to Maguire's Spiderman and Picard to No Way Home, but I think the Holland Spiderman films are successful and popular enough for repeat viewings because they stand on their own merits without excessive reliance on nostalgia bait, which draws all of its power from the distant past. A lot nostalgia has been packed into No Way Home, but I see that as the icing on the cake. It's not the whole cake. In Picard, it's the whole cake.

    A better analogy would be the scene where Maguire, Holland and Garfield first meet up and have that lengthy chat that is totally extraneous to anything that happens in the movie but is just there for gratuitous fan service. That's kind of what most of the scenes with our Legacy characters feels like in Picard.

    Also what's noteworthy is that Holland and Maguire are on the verge of jerking each other off (figuratively speaking) and Garfield is understandably feeling left out so they need to disingenuously assure him, "Oh no, you're awesome too! You, uh, have the best hair of us all!" There, the analogy still holds where Maguire represents Classic Trek, Holland represents Nu-Trek, and Garfield represents the mostly forgettable Enterprise stuff inbetween that has all but been left out of the conversation.

    I beg to differ. If nostalgia was the whole cake for Picard season 3 then Picard seasons 1&2 should have been better received. After all, the draw of Star Trek Picard was supposed to be Picard. If that wasn't nostalgia bait then what is?
    Why weren't Picard seasons 1&2 more of a draw? The story wasn't interesting. If nostalgia was the whole cake for season 3, they might as well have had the whole crew sit around a gambling table and riff off each other. They'd have saved a ton on special effects.
    Or they could have pulled a Sean Connery when he remade Thunder ball and called it Never Say Never Again. Rehash one of their old stories. It worked for Avatar.

    I wish I had received this dopamine hit y’all keep talking about.

    I can equate it to the “runner’s high”, which is a real thing, but in my case never happens before mile 3 or 4. To stretch this analogy to its obvious conclusion, this season has had plenty of good moments, it can sprint, but it always trips over its own feet before finding enough of a groove to go the distance.

    Picard S3 will get at least one binge rewatch in our household, probably next winter, and I’ll be curious to see how we feel with a few months distance and the freedom to watch the “10 hour movie” without interruption.

    @jammer I apologize, I didn’t see your comment about that part of the review being glib. My fault! Please disregard my post (if you’ve even seen it) and apologies again.

    @Tim "All that is to say that I absolutely love the ship and what she stood for. And I felt absolutely nothing when she was revealed. Because it wasn't earned."

    I can't say that I've ever had a poster of the D hung up on my wall, but, like I said in one of my earlier comments, it was a very special place for me for many years that I still regularly come back to. However, much like yourself, I wasn't even remotely floored or taken in by the experience as many other fans were, and because of the importance TNG has had in my life, that made me feel weirdly bad. I'm glad I'm not the only one, and your insightful comments in general echo my sentiments about the show.

    I'm happy the crew (both the characters and the actors) got back together and did their thing, but even ahead of the finale I can say the overall tone and the story after episode five were, despite the huge potential, both chaotic and half-baked at best, which is why the big reveal didn't really cut it for me. I'll save my final judgments for the upcoming season finale, but I just wanted to briefly touch upon the D one last time because the many contradicting things I feel about it have been bothering me ever since I saw the episode last week.

    @Filip

    'I'm happy the crew (both the characters and the actors) got back together and did their thing'

    It was, as you and @Tim both point out, a very odd experience.

    I've stated before how the emotion that hits me hardest is not in-universe but in terms of seeing the cast as themselves. When they walked onto the recreated bridge of the D, it felt like Stewart, Frakes, Sirtis, Dorn, McFadden, Burton and Spiner, *not* Jean-Luc Picard, Riker et al. It felt like a documentary when they film cast members getting back together and re-visiting the old set. Even the dialogue matched that, as I've said before.

    It was not convincing in an in-universe way and that's the fundamental problem with this kind of fan service and this kind of memberberry-harvesting: it forcibly reminds you you're watching a self-aware television show and that's a very odd, unnatural feeling as a viewer who's used to immersion.

    It's nice to see the cast back together but they could have just as well as been sitting in front of an audience drinking coffee reminiscing, really.

    Jammer is partly right. Yes, for the companies the profit motive is always paramount+. :)
    But there is also the Human element. The promise of the virtual forum/agora for the general public will never work, at least not under current circumstances. 2% of all people are psychopath, 5% are narcissist. In both groups men are far more numerous (around 2 to 1). Both these groups can and likely will have a destructive influence on any debate if it becomes important enough. They also seek out positions of power and are far more likely to commit crimes. (I can provide studies, if anybody is interested)

    Then there is another problem more typical for men, rationalizing emotional reactions. Instead of admitting that they have an illogical emotional reaction, they find reasons why their behavior is logical which makes fruitful discussions almost impossible.

    To be clear, I don't want to dunk on men here. The vast majority is neither psychopathic nor narcissistic. Just that if an internet forum becomes big enough, then destructive elements will inevitably show up and if the crowd tilts more male than female this will happen sooner than later.

    For this place it means that it is on one hand a quiet little corner but it also tilts more male than female. Then there is no public rating scale whatsoever. In essence anybody is equal apart from our cruel overlord Jammer who every now and then comes down from his mountain to make a pronouncement to then disappears again for long stretches of time. The other comments Jammer makes are mostly there to calm the nerves of us over-emotional plebs. He really only stepped out of his role a few times. I imagine that it cannot be easy for him to stay on the outside most of the time but, to quote Odo, being an outsider gives one a unique perspective. :)

    @Bok R'Mor "I've stated before how the emotion that hits me hardest is not in-universe but in terms of seeing the cast as themselves. When they walked onto the recreated bridge of the D, it felt like Stewart, Frakes, Sirtis, Dorn, McFadden, Burton and Spiner, *not* Jean-Luc Picard, Riker et al. It felt like a documentary when they film cast members getting back together and re-visiting the old set. Even the dialogue matched that, as I've said before."

    Well put and I have to admit I've had the same feeling on multiple occasions throughout the season. To be fair, I don't think we can completely pin this on the writers because, as nature would have it, both the actors and the times we're living in have significantly changed. For me, the most obvious example is how Stewart's voice and intonation have changed and how they are visibly showing his age (I found the way he delivered the line "She'll fly" to be a great example). Dorn is skinnier and at times I felt like his voice is starting to betray him too (albeit, to a much lesser extent), and Data now resembles Spiner more than the original character (even though that was at least somewhat explained on screen).

    Just so that we're clear here, this in not a critique I am completely fine with the logic of it. It's just difficult to precisely ascertain to which extent are we to fault the writing, or simply the amount of time that's passed since TNG in regards to immersion. In any case, I also think this is a good time to say that out of the entire cast, Frakes is killing it the most and he genuinely comes off as Riker who just happens to have grown older.

    I've been also going thought the comments in preparation for the finale, and I came across a couple of comments reviewing it here already. Come on guys, you have a dedicated page for that. For new releases, it really shouldn't be said that spoilers regarding anything that was released after the episode whose thread you're commenting on shouldn't be there!

    I don't blame the writers. The onus to suspend belief is on the viewer. Of Course Picard's voice doesn't have the same authority. He's old. They are all old. The show does ignore that, it embraces it. The disconnect you all are describing didn't happen for me.
    Even in the last movie the OG crew made, Kirk and company were old. It still felt like Trek to me. You either allow yourself to get lost in the fantasy or you watch with a critical eye. Either way that's on you.

    " it felt like Stewart, Frakes, Sirtis, Dorn, McFadden, Burton and Spiner

    Agreed...the scenes on the Enterprise D felt more like actors on a convention set.

    @Eamon

    I too would have loved to have seen the Enterprise E. They could have had a retrofitted E with a new bridge that resembled the bridge of the old Enterprise D. Something about the E is just glorious and sleek. And then you’d have the Quantum torpedoes. That would have been more impactful in my opinion.

    @Filip

    Agreed about Frakes nailing Riker. I've loved Riker this season after not much liking him since season 4 or so. I never hated him or anything but he mostly seemed to become stale wet lettuce.

    Frakes' acting may have been way better than it seemed back in the day, considering Riker was written as wet lettuce after the first couple seasons. Shelby wasn't exactly wrong in her criticism of Riker.

    @Tim

    Regarding the loss of the D in Generations...

    I didn't like it either, partly because it fell so easily to the Duras sisters.

    Partly because all the complaints from production-- that the sets weren't up to movie standards and that the model was difficult to work with.

    That's obvious nonsense because it would be much simpler to rebuild the sets and models with the same design but with higher level of detail. The reality is almost certainly that the creative department just wanted to create something new.

    Also, some of the movies desperately needed the D. I think First Contact was ok with the E, though would have been better with the D. But I think Insurrection desperately needed the D. I probably mentioned in that thread, when watching the Enterprise E in battle, I legit kept thinking "where's the Enterprise?"

    ---

    Though I didn't want to see the D destroyed in Generations, the crash of the saucer was quite impressive. It crashed and crashed and crashed and crashed. Rather impressive nod to inertia, that.

    "Yes, but this was nothing but fan service, and [blah, blah, etc.]." Don't care. Shut up."

    No. You're a hack and emoting instead of reviewing.

    And they were lying, or at least misleading, fans about rebuilding the Ent-D bridge. They just bought the one from the traveling Experience exhibit thing and redressed it.

    This is rubbish.

    Zombie/borg youths of the Federation will now be hated, conflicted, pariahs like Jean-Luc was.

    Except they aren’t.
    It’s fine!

    This is just dumb.

    There's a really great character moment for a Riker here. He is REALLY butt hurt when talking about Shelby.

    The concern about Shelby is valid in this context, but it felt like back In in the day, TNG. Riker always had a very casual and friendly style to his subordinates, but if he ever felt challenged, he went ballistic.

    It's a huge character flaw. I like a Riker a great deal in this season and did not back in the day. But I appreciate that the story acknowledges his character flaws.



    And back to the elephant, the reveal of the restored D gets me every time. I was far too young to really appreciate the reveal of the refit Enterprise in TMP, even though it's my favorite Enterprise.

    But maybe this rebel is a bit what that was like.

    4 stars, for the last 6 minutes alone.

    Watched it 4 months ago. Have watched the last 6 minutes of this episode several times since then. Emotional, absolutely. So many great touches: hearing Ms. Barrett again as the computer voice, the whole "my friends, we've come home" vibe once the D was revealed, the reveal of the restored bridge, and the bit with Picard being reluctant to ask his friends for help again, which totally echoed the Stealing the Enterprise scene from The Search for Spock. Sure, maybe it plays like a greatest hits album, but those are some great hits. I think the emotion was well earned.

    For me, the last 6 minutes are like my own Nexus: being wrapped in pure joy.

    I enjoyed this entire season of Picard. Fantastic send-off for my favorite series and cast.

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