Star Trek Picard (PIC) Season 2 Guest Reviews

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The Star GazerPenanceFarewell


The Star Gazer


Stardate not given: Synopsis in main PIC listing


Where to begin? I guess at the beginning would be the logical choice. We jump ahead to a fight with the Borg Queen on the bridge of a starship with Rios in command. Already, I felt lost and wondering what the hell did I just miss? I find out later that this is just the end of the episode shown at the beginning to hook the viewer in. Guess it works since I managed to stick around for the rest.

The following scenes show what led up to this point and to be honest, I found myself bored. The new characters don't draw my interest at all. I only felt more drawn in during Seven of Nine's and Picard's moments and even those felt a little lackluster. Then there was the return of Guinan and while I would've been more excited about that, Whoopi's ignorant comments about the Holocaust recently killed whatever love I had for that character.

I did like the new Stargazer. Star Trek Online was big help in the design which was interesting. I can safely assume that this game is on it's way to be canonized now. However, the return of the Borg nearly a decade sooner in PIcard vs STO might lead to some retconning of the in game lore. It wouldn't be first time this had happened since Hugh was the leader of the Borg Cooperative. Thanks to Picard Season 1, Hugh was later removed from the game.

The new design of the massive Borg ship and the Queen herself was strange. I didn't like how the Queen had Dr. Octopus' robotic tentacles sprouting out from her back. Guess the Borg have gotten another upgrade since we lost seen them in Star Trek Voyager.

Then we're treated to the return of Q. This was (for me at least) the best part of the whole episode. Seeing these two old adversaries face to face again filled my heart with a lot of joy. The Trial of Humanity never ends. Once again Picard will be tested and his friends will be going along for the ride.

There's a lot of potential here and I hope it isn't wasted.


Rating: 5 (Richard Lewis)


The Star Gazer


Stardate not given: Synopsis in main PIC listing


After quite the wait, Picard returns with a storming opening episode. While it's predictable in many ways, due to the main plot points being heavily trailed and the decision to open with an action-packed teaser that takes place in the episode's climactic moments, it's all done with such verve and flair that it's hard not to be swept up in it all.

In the eighteen months or so between seasons, we've reached the 25th century and Starfleet has forgiven all sins. Picard, Raffi and Rios are all back, with promotions and new positions. The venerable admiral is Chancellor of the Academy, Raffi has her own posting on the Excelsior and Rios is now captain of a brand new Stargazer. Meanwhile, Seven has taken La Sirena off his hands to continue her work for the Fenris Rangers, while Soji and Dr. Jurati have both been let off their frankly murderous ways on some pretty flimsy rationalisations (one wonders if Picard has been pulling some strings and bending the truth).

While they're all doing rather well for themselves professionally (Jurati's position as drunken master remaining entertaining but questionable), none of them are managing terribly well in their personal lives. Picard is too uncertain and stuck-in-his ways to allow a romance with his housekeeper Laris (and when Orla Brady comes on to you, you do not make excuses). Raffi and Seven don't appear to be seeing each other anymore, or it they are, it's very long-distance. Jurati and Rios have a tenuous friendship at best. At least we can rely on Guinan to sit down and talk sense to Picard - hopefully she'll have a chance to tell everyone off before the season's out.

The episode is actually rather slow, but punctuated by exciting bursts of action. In between there are very long talky segments, but the occasional exposition dump aside, the dialogue is entertaining enough to keep things moving (in both senses of the word). It helps that we have an absolutely top-notch cast delivering it. Nonetheless, it can't all be awkward chat about feelings: this is Star Trek, so there's an anomaly to explore.

Big swirling subspace anomalies are ten-a-penny in Trek, and it would be no surprise who's behind it even if we hadn't seen them attack in the opening moments. Green is the signature colour of the Borg, after all. Nonetheless, the Borg we meet here aren't quite like anything we've seen before. They ask for Picard by name, send their Queen (visibly unrecognisable) as an emissary, and claim to be interested in peace. The closest we've seen to this before is their tenuous alliance with Voyager, when Seven herself was sent as an emissary, and even then we couldn't trust them. Yet the Queen, even as she assimilated a fleet of starships, continues to only use stun setting with her weapons. Something interesting is going on here, but it doesn't look like we'll get to the bottom of it anytime soon.

Still, if this was Discovery, it would have been a month before we even saw the anomaly and another before we found out who was behind it. This episode introduces a spatial rift, pulls the Borg out of it, gives us both a mystery and a thrilling battle and then up-ends everything. While Q's appearance is, again, well-known to everyone coming in unless they've been very careful to avoid trailers, but it still packs a punch, largely down to John de Lancie's magnetic presence. Doubtless Q is in someway linked to the Borg event - who knows, perhaps this is what he was guiding everything towards when he flung the Enterprise-D into the path of that cube in "Q Who." Then again, given that they arrive through some kind of space/time rift, perhaps these Borg, in their bizarre ship, with their even more bizarre Queen, aren't from this timeline at all.

Whatever the answer, I can't wait for the next episode.


Rating: 9 (Daniel Tessier)




Stardate not given: Synopsis in main PIC listing


The plot thickens. I really enjoyed seeing Q back to his more malevolent self just like he was in earlier TNG shows. Picard seems to think Q isn't well but I disagree. This is Q showing his true nature in my view. It's also interesting how this "evil" reality is actually a change made to the prime timeline. For what purpose remains to be seen but I still think it's another test for humanity.

I can't imagine the Q Continuum allowing Q to be so brazen as to change history on a whim just to play with Picard. Also where's Guinan? Shouldn't she be aware of the change in the timeline just like she was during "Yesterday's Enterprise"? Pretty big oversights that should be addressed in future episodes I hope.

On a more positive note, I did like the new Borg Queen in this episode now that I got a better look at her. I have a gut feeling she'll betray Picard near the end of this story arc but I'll wager Seven of Nine will probably put the Queen down should the need arise.

While I dd like this episode overall, I have a gut feeling that there will be some political pandering later. Picard and Company need to travel back to 2024 to undo whatever damage Q had done to change the timeline. 2024 is the next presidental election in the United States. I'm hoping it's not all leading to our heros stopping Donald Trump (or his Star Trek equivalent) from being re-elected.

Rating: 6 (Richard Lewis)




Stardate not given: Please see main review.


I think I have finally worked out why the pacing, structure and characterisation of this series is all over the place. Seasons of ST Picard are each like a Trek novel, one of the cheap pulpy ones that is thrown together in a hurry, and plapped out any old how.

Season 2 of PIC has gone from amazing in episode 2.1, to a disaster by 2.8 and simplistic and really offensive in 2.9. If suicide is going to be used in a storyline, it needs to be front and centre, warts and all and the focal point of what happens. It was used to gloss a sub plot that has very little to do with the main events, and nothing to relate to Captain Picard as we knew him up to 2002 in "Nemesis".

"Farewell" is an appropriate title. Characters created for certain sub plots and meandering ideas that have slowed down and dragged the main story are done away with, either by being written out, like Rios, Renee, young Guinan (in a way) and Kore, or written off like Jurtti, Tallinn, the Borg Queen and in the end, Q. The latter makes very little sense, and it adds another human like quality to the character he didn't need.

I am going to do a little experiment, rewatch 2.1 and 2.10 again to see how much of the opposite ends of this disconnected and convoluted drivel hold together. Re-inventing Picard's childhood does not work. Speaking from having that kind of "childhood experience" - I was twelve and I can assure you that the way this is glossed over and gently poked at by Picard, Tallin and Q is simplistic and woefully inaccurate. The way Q addresses it is as an unfinished aspect to Picard is disappointingly black and white too.

Bottling up and burying a personal trauma of that significance for a whole lifetime? It is too much and too contemporary a tragedy for a character that has been assaulted and stabbed through the heart by Nausicaans, left with a dodgy heart that nearly caused him to die on the table twice, raped (physically and mentally) by the Borg, and used by them to kill thousands, later tortured by the Cardassian secret police, the tragic deaths of his brother and nephew, and played with by Q in his past? Not to mention all the life and death decisions the character has made on an episode by episode basis. Its almost as thought the writers wanted to ignore episodes like "Where No One Has Gone Before," "We'll Always Have Paris," "Samaritan Snare," "Captain's Holiday," "Family," "The Inner Light," "Tapestry," "Lessons," "Chain Of Command II," and "Bloodlines" as well as "Generations", or hoped we all would! Are we really supposed to think he would not even try to change history to prevent what happened, maybe saving his Mum and (not a side issue as implied in the story) also saving his Father, Brother, himself and maybe others, a lot of pain and misery? Who wouldn't? It's out of character utter nonsense.

It demonstrates how badly Hollywood fails to understand the nature of mental heath issues in the real world too, in both those who are depressive and suicidal and those who are left to pick up the pieces in the aftermath... The idea that Picard could handle all those other traumas while this one is festering inside him is simply not credible. - Made worse by the fact it IS an all too real tragedy that happens far too often, even with modern medicine, therapy and improving awareness.

The characters don't feel like real characters, they are simply pieces of a drama puzzle, shuffled about and moved around as the meandering story sees fit. The most blatant of these is the latest "mad scientist" Dr Soong, which is sadly created to give poor Brent Spiner something familiar to do. It is also notable, that besides Picard, the only key characters at the end are Seven and Raffi - the only two given decent material in the overall story. Past and present. This is not a reflection on the actors - all the cast give everything they have to the pieces they are offered, but only Seven and Raffi as played by Ms Ryan and Ms Herd have any sense of payoff and growth at the end. Considering the tough time she had on VOY, its nice to see Jeri Ryan talk about how much fun and what a positive experience she has had working as Seven on PIC. It's a shame that except for their work, I can't say the same about watching it.

Even Picard himself, imbibed with sporadic energy and insight by Sir Pat, feels like he has been treading water from the beginning of the story to the very end. How and why Elnor is still there at the end is a complete mystery to me. He has had absolutely nothing to do as a character since his first appearance, his resurrection only serving as a token gesture from Q. Except he died after the point the characters returned to 2401. Another plot logic blunder.

Two cameos that do work. - I am always pleased to see Ms Goldberg as Guinan, her appearance shows that as in NEM, Guinan survived the End D's crash in GEN, here she was clearly not on the EE when its saucer was pancaked at the end of NEM. Ms Goldberg may have aged a bit, but her performance as Guinan is as timeless as always. Its nice to see her maintaining that standard. Though again it signposts that things passed, are left in the past.

Secondly, Wes Crusher. Wil Wheaton plays Wes as the man he was supposed to become as predicted by the Traveller back in "Where No One Has Gone Before." The cameo is a dead ringer for some of the writing in a few of the TNG novels where Wes observes what is going on from afar, and I can see why the scene is accused of being fan fawning. But, it actually works and gives Crusher a sense of closure missing in NEM. Damned shame we are unlikely to see Wes in Lower Decks, but at least Mr Wheaton might be heard voicing a new character perhaps? He would not be the first. This scene gives payoff to the Kore character too, which is fair reward as she has ended one Soong cycle and good riddance to it too.

If we see Isa Briones again I hope it is as this character, finding her way, discovering what life is all about, her eyes opening to grandeur and insight, rather than as Soji who still felt like a hangover from Season 1.

As to the Borg? Well its the Borg Co-operative from VOY's "Unity," but without the clever connections that would entail. The Borg have gone from the most dangerous and ruthless enemy the Federation has ever encountered, to a simple plot wedge - the gatekeepers of the transwarp conduit, which will likely be the maguffin of Season 3, or a forgotten red herring. Alison Pill has confirmed she is not in Season 3, so I suspect the latter. Mind you, if the TNG'rs are to play a part in the story, the decks have probably cleared except for Seven and Raffi alongside Picard.

Re the Starfleet ships seen in 2.1 and this episode. - It was wonderful to see that there is a new USS Excelsior in canon Trek again, but considering everything else I have said, the ships feel more like free advertising for Eaglemoss's inevitable avalanche of upcoming models, rather than having a true bearing on the story itself.

I just gave up on Discovery after Season 2. It was one disappointment after another. I am giving up on PIC now too for similar reasons.

The style of writing for Modern Trek on the telly is just not for me. If people enjoy it, fair play. However, it was tough going wading through the books written in this way and I certainly do not want to see the TNG characters take a last bow like this. Especially Worf, LaForge and Dr Crusher who all have been off screen since NEM. As bad as that film is, I'd rather remember the TNG crew from that film as their last adventure on the EE, than see them written like Soong, Elnor, Jurati, Tallinn, or Rios in this sad mess.

I am returning the 3rd quarter of the 24th Century, so it's a "Farewell indeed."


Rating: 4 (Andy Kinnear)


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