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Star Trek Picard: Farewell

“Picard, you are about to move into areas of the galaxy filled with wonders you cannot possibly imagine, and terrors to freeze your soul!"

The circle is now complete. Two major Star Trek stories have come to an end.

I fear this season is better than the sum of its parts. What I mean is that several of the episodes this season have been slow and seemingly inconsequential. Yet taken as a whole (much like season one of Picard) the story itself is quite beautiful. We got to explore the man and his two greatest rivals in an intimate story of closure and emotional satisfaction.

Let us start with the biggest piece, Q. We didn’t see him nearly as much as we would’ve liked, but the character has always been better in small doses. He is a trickster and a wild card who sets things in motion, and here it was all about Picard and one final goodbye gesture. Q was giving Picard (yet again I might add) a chance at happiness. For everything he has gone through, Picard has isolated himself and kept the people he loves at arm's length. Not just Laris (who really should’ve been Beverly, in retrospect), but everyone.

So this season spent almost the entire runtime exploring why, and perhaps it was stretched out a bit too long. But the actual meat of the trauma was really powerful. Picard has felt responsible for the death of his mother his entire life... and Q’s final act was to help Jean-Luc through that trauma once and for all. That is beyond anything I could’ve hoped for. Because in the end Q, in his own way, loves Picard. If this season was about nothing else, that would’ve been worth being told.

Except we also got the evolution of the Borg into something better: a cooperative collective, one based on respect of society and culture. A kinder, more inclusive Borg led by Queen Jurati, who was the one behind the mask in that first episode. Because why else would she wear a mask? But first we had to work through Picard and Seven’s fear of the Borg and their emotional baggage about being assimilated.

Speaking of Seven, I loved the character growth she has gone through. Sure, she hasn’t seemed much like herself these last episodes, but that was mostly because she did not have her implants. Here she was Seven, but altered by her experiences and able to finally connect with Raffi, giving us that kiss. Sure, she still needs to work through some stuff, but Picard giving her a field commission as Captain of the Stargazer is a good first step.

So I guess the big elephant in the room is the fact that most of the characters were written off. Rios is now in the past with Teresa (who didn’t see that coming?), Jurati is now a Borg Queen and is likely to be a guest star if she appears in season three at all. Elnor is now a Starfleet officer, because of course Q brought him back to life. Leaving Raffi and Seven to continue with Picard, which makes sense because to be honest, they would be the characters I would want to follow in a spin-off.

Bits:

Wesley coming back as a Traveler was perhaps a bit fan service, but the best kind. It also made the Kore stuff fit the overall picture a bit better since the Travelers are officially in charge of the Supervisors like Gary Seven and Tallinn.

Speaking of Travelers, in the season one episode of The Next Generation "Where No One Has Gone Before," Picard has a visit from an apparition of his mother. He seemed shocked and bewildered at seeing her, almost as if her appearance was wrong. He was angry with Riker for interrupting him, and now we know why. Understanding what happened to his mother gives new meaning and context to one of the more memorable moments from season one of TNG.

Adam Soong pulls out an old file with the name Khan on it, which basically fixes an old name coincidence between Noonian Singh and Noonian Soong. I would imagine this is supposed to imply that Adam was involved with the original experiments in Eugenics, perhaps where he based the technology that created Kore.

Tallinn’s death was somewhat telegraphed, but it was handled well having Picard stay with her until the end. It was also kind of lovely that Q explained that Tallinn always died, but this was the only time she ever got to meet Renée.

It was also a nice detail that Renée got to know Rios and Teresa, and Guinan was a part of their lives too. I wish we had gotten some of that on screen, but I guess with a limited budget and Covid they could only do so much. Goodbye, Rios. You were a great character.

Quotes:

Q: "Farewell, mon capitaine. It's time for me to go."
Picard: "But not alone. Isn't that the point of all this?"
Q: "See you out there."

Picard: "You just saved billions of lives."
Queen Jurati: "That was the idea, mister."

I'm not sure if I can give this a top rating because the season itself was so uneven, but emotionally speaking this was excellent.

3 1/2 out of 4 Goodbyes and Farewells

Samantha M. Quinn spends most of her time in front of a computer typing away at one thing or another; when she has free time, she enjoys pretty much anything science fiction or fantasy-related.

4 comments:

  1. While there were moments I really enjoyed this season, overall I didn't like it as much as season 1. One of the things I enjoy most about ST shows is having a core cast who share experiences and grow as they interact together. I don't know how much the pandemic influenced this season, but I didn't like how much people were working apart and that most of it took place on Earth. I also thought they strung out the Picard resolution too much, though I did like the resolution with Q. Brent Spiner did a great job, as always, and it was fun to see Wesley pop up. The Gary Seven episode has always been one of my favorite TOS episodes, so I loved things like the smoky transporter effects. It was easy to see where Rios was headed, but I love his character and can't imagine Picard without him. In fact, at the end I wondered if they had decided there wouldn't be a season 3 because of the evolution of all the characters. I'm not going to get into every character or this would get too long. There were some hits but more misses for me this time around. I would happily go back and rewatch season one, but I don't see myself rewatching this season.

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  2. I cried a lot. Mostly because I always knew that Q had come to love Picard, even if he never admitted it until now. I liked the Borg resolution a lot -- as villains, they've run their course. I also loved the bit with Wesley and Kore, too; it made me smile.

    But I was sad to lose Rios. Jurati, not so much. I just never warmed to her.

    Seven and Raffi better be in season three.

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  3. That... wasn't Wesley. That was Wil Wheaton.

    Rios staying was such a waste. Teresa and kid should have gone forward, and we could have had an excellent Stargazer series.

    Oh, well, at least we have Strange New Worlds now, which started spectacularly knowing how bad Trek pilots usually are.

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  4. Billie, I thought I was one of a few who never warmed to Jurati, so I'm glad to hear I wasn't alone in that. I like her better as a Borg. Anon, I was also hoping they'd send Teresa and the kid forward. I agree it's a waste. Maybe we'll still see a Rios hologram if there's a third season.

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