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Star Trek Picard: Two of One

A party episode that should have been more James Bond/Mission Impossible fun than this one was.

Everyone looked so good, too. The formal wear on the guys. Seven in a blue Grecian dress, Raffi in gold lamé, and Raffi was digging Seven without the "baggage" of her Borg implants – they're still so cute together. Jurati's red super cleavage bomb dress and Pat Benatar tribute were amazing. And hey, the invisible Borg Queen acquired legs, too. Maybe she wanted to dance.

Honestly, I thought the Jurati and Borg Queen in tandem thing was a lot of fun, like Jurati had a particularly ugly devil on her shoulder making her a more successful secret operative. Right up until the Queen took over completely. I don't like what this could mean for Jurati.

The actual mission was to help Renée Picard go on her actual mission in order to keep history on track. I didn't have much sympathy for Renée, though, probably because we just don't know her well enough, and the Picard/Picard interaction lacked oomph because she didn't know him. If only there was a way for Renée to know who Picard was and what he did for a living? I mean, Jean-Luc Picard has probably actually been to Europa. How likely is it that a brief conversation with an interesting stranger will change Renée's depression and feelings of inadequacy?

The latest fly in the ointment showed up in the form of yet another Dr. Soong. How many are there? I'm not complaining about having Brent Spiner in the series – I love him – but it's starting to feel like there's a mad scientist creating synthetic daughters in every timeline. And now he's being blackmailed by Q, who is so desperate to sink the Europa mission that he pushed Soong into trying to kill Renée Picard.

The entire in media res episode was framed by an unconscious Picard flashing back to his mother. During their brief conversation, Picard told Renée that she reminded him of her, a major dangling plot point still to be resolved. Was Picard as a child abused by his mentally disturbed mother? And what does it have to do with the masked Borg on the Stargazer?

Tallinn and Picard got very flirty and I like them together. I hadn't really thought about the fact that Tallinn doesn't have Romulan ears; she looks pretty much the same as Laris. Apparently, faux Laris and her sonic screwdriver will be entering Picard's mind in the next episode, a grand exercise in possibly making them a couple. Except that she's not really Laris, and that makes it weird.

Bits:

— I got a "I only work in outer space" romantic vibe from Rios and the nice doctor. I bet he's going to get involved with her, or tell her the truth, or both.

— Kore has never Googled her own father before?

— Elnor showed up as a Raffi emotional projection, reminding us that he's still in the cast. I am assuming Elnor will show up again when everything is reset. Which of course it will be.

— Title musings: "Two of One" means Jurati and the Borg Queen, but it also applies to Picard and Picard, two generations of space explorers.

— This episode was directed by Number One, our beloved Jonathan Frakes. Arguably our best and most experienced Next Gen director.

Quotes:

Borg Queen: "I am proud of you, Agnes. Thank you for the flood of endorphins, by the way. Those nasty little stress hormones were getting in my way."

Picard: "Sometimes, those who shine the brightest feel the sting of fear and melancholy in ways that others can never understand.
Renée: "You're talking like you know me."

Renée: "Sometimes fear is a friendly reminder you're not ready for something."
Picard: "No. Fear is fear. It doesn't speak in riddles. Fear means you're smart. You understand the risks."

Theresa: "Does he have any conditions?"
Seven: "He's had some transplants."
Theresa: "Some? How many?"
Raffi: "All of them."

Raffi: "So. Jurati can sing."

Fun was had, but ultimately it was an uneven and somewhat unsatisfying episode. Two out of four excellent party dresses,

Billie
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Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

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