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Star Trek Picard: Disengage

“We are essentially cornered. In space. Which has no corners.”

Another solid entry in a season that feels like a return to something wonderful, but is it reusing elements of a beloved property too liberally?

Let's start with the potential negatives: the parallels to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan are starting to become overwhelming. There is a conflict in a nebula. An estranged lover who hasn’t been seen in twenty years. It was mentioned twice that Picard was best as a captain. There is strange experimental technology in play that may be a doomsday weapon. And of course Jack is Picard’s previously unknown grown son who is a doctor and a bit of a hot head. The fact that Jack is also clearly a good man willing to sacrifice himself for his mother is a good sign. Unless he’s lying and is in league with Vadic, because Ed Speleers (Jack Crusher) can play an absolutely vile villain (see Outlander for context).

However, even if this is a bit of a remake of The Wrath of Khan there are a lot of elements that separate it, namely the players. While Riker is Picard’s former second-in-command, he is not Spock. He might be closer to Bones if anything. Shaw is an interesting semi-antagonist, but doesn’t give me evil vibes. Seven of course is our loyal canon character who should be on the level. But Jack's comment about not knowing people is giving me betrayal vibes. Are we going to have one of The Next Generation characters break bad? God, I hope not. I expect one or more of them to die, but they better not do any character assassination.

Raffi continues to have an interesting plot line, solving the greater conspiracy while Picard is facing off against Vadic. I loved the reveal that her handler was Worf. He came to back her up at the perfect time, showing he is still a badass, now with really cool-looking white hair. The violence ratcheted up a notch with blood and an on screen decapitation. After the episode was over I kept trying to picture Worf’s voice instead of the computer voice when Raffi was talking to her handler. Using a feminine voice was such a simple gimmick but it really made the reveal work, although in retrospect it had to be someone we knew.

Now with Worf and Raffi together, I bet we get more action on La Sirena which seems to be the only real mainstay of the series besides Picard, Seven and Raffi (and I have to mention Jeri Ryan has second billing after Patrick Stewart). It makes sense to have an element outside of the conflict happening on the Titan, investigating the greater plot and potentially bringing in other familiar characters. It might make the situation feel bigger than just one conflict, and could add complexity to what could quickly become just a drawn-out space battle.

Speaking of tension, I thought the action was mostly great, although Picard and Riker both having a senior moment forgetting about the transport inhibitors they had just put up was a bit out of character. While it did work to build up the tension, it pulled me out of the drama. However, what did work really well was when the Titan showed up to break the tractor beam. So epic. I also loved when Shaw finally gave in and fired on the Shrike and disappeared into the nebula. Lets hope the upcoming naval battle scenes a la Wrath of Khan end up being cool, and that the combined minds on board are more than a match for Vadic, who does seem a bit unhinged.

Honestly, I don’t think the Wrath of Khan parallels will continue one for one throughout the season. Mostly because by the time we got to the nebula in the movie, we were in the last act. Here, we are barely through the set up for the situation, we don’t have all the players on the board and the mystery has only had a couple of layers revealed at this point. I think they just wanted to use a familiar framework as a set up to tell this story. Once that set up is in motion, I'm pretty sure things will go in a very different direction. Or maybe we’ll see Picard sacrificing his life at the end of the season, and Riker’s voice breaking giving his eulogy as a new world is being born.


Sneed was played by Aaron Stanford (12 Monkeys). I’ve liked him in everything I've seen him in and this was no exception. Also in a little bit of name inception, Aaron played a James Cole on 12 Monkeyss which was one the names Jack Crusher used as an alias. Todd Stashwick (Shaw) also appeared on 12 Monkeys so maybe there was some love being shown in easter eggs.

The computer voice for the Eleos and Titan is Amy Earhart who also appeared on Star Trek: Enterprise as an uncredited Vulcan.

Using a tractor beam to throw a ship was pretty intense, although I didn’t see much damage actually done to the Titan. However, I loved the way Sidney LaForge went all brilliant explaining how it was possible, showing that she truly is Geordi’s daughter.

Amanda Plummer has had quite a career, but she might be best remembered as Honey Bunny from Pulp Fiction.

Binar 3 is quite a deep dive in TNG lore. It is a reference to episode 11001001 which featured the first sentient hologram named Minuet for whom Riker developed feelings.


Fenris Ranger: "As a medical expert, I assume you are aware of the protocols. Which you are currently in violation of at least… oh, twenty-seven, give or take."
Jack: "Protocols which will have the desired effect of killing the disease by killing everybody who carries it."

Jack: "We need to go, Captain!"
Picard: "Admiral."
Jack: "You can educate me on the chain of command in the afterlife. But from what I’ve heard, history remembers you with one less pip."

Shaw: "Red alert! Helm, hold position. Beam those two back on board."
T’Veen: "Captain, I’m reading four life signs."
Shaw: "Bring them all on board. We’re basically a hotel now."

Not quite as good as the pilot, but we’re still in setup mode so this was better than I expected.

3 out of 4 Ships thrown like frisbees

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.


  1. Absolutely enjoyed the episode. Although I'm not a fan of the "secret baby" plot. And I cannot understand why Beverly wouldn't have told Picard. What reason could she possibly have had to conceal a child's existence -- and to name the kid after her dead ex-husband?

    The Worf reveal pleased the heck out of me. Woo and hoo!

  2. And why does he have a British accent?

  3. You know an episode is good when you go back and re-watch certain scenes just to re-live the moment. Throwing a ship with a tractor beam, the Eleos breaking out of warp to cut the beam, Worf appearing to save Raffi... loved it all. I particularly love the character of Shaw. He could be depicted as a pencil pusher who got the captain's chair because of the Peter Principle, but instead he's a smart, human and deep. Plus, in many instances, even though we're supposed to not like him, we kind of have to admit he's right. The only character I've consistently had a problem with on Picard is Raffi. Her character seems to say and do things that are required of her for the season. But it's... perhaps bigger than a nitpick... but not so terrible that I don't enjoy her. I like that there is a character whose past makes her struggle... and we see that struggle.

  4. I don't know if the last comment I wrote will appear... I am still figuring out the drop down menu of who to post as. I was "Anonymous" who posted about Jack's British accent. But ... this episode was so good. You know an episode is good when you go back and rewatch scenes because you want to relive the moment. The Eleos breaking out of warp and severing the beam, "throwing" a ship like a frisbee, Worf coming to Raffi's rescue. I particularly like the character of Shaw. They could have written him as the typical rule-following weak guy... but they didn't. You see that there's more to him... and sometimes, even if we don't want to admit it... he's right.

  5. Heather Parnell, I know it's been difficult to post comments. Sadly, I had to turn on moderation because we were getting trolled and spammed constantly. I so wish it wasn't the case.

  6. With so many of us Anonymice posting, I maybe should start signing mine. It does get confusing.

    I really liked this episode. Thanks for your great reviews Samantha. Your knowledge of Star Trek lore is quite impressive!

    Three of my favorite moments:
    1. Seven asking Shaw about whether he wants to be remembered as the man who saved two Living Legends... or the man who stood by and let them die.
    2. -Picard: He’s my son
    - Shaw: God dammit
    3. Worf!

    Signed - Måge

  7. Mage, nice to meet you!

    If you choose "Name/URL" from the drop-down commenting menu, you can have your name show as the author of your comment. I'm not sure there's a way to show the diacritic above the "a," but it's a step up from Anonymous.

  8. Thanks! Now it’s too bad I can’t go back and sign my posts. I’ve been commenting on Buffy episodes, Strange New Worlds and the reading thread. It’s nice to have a current one going (Picard) that I’m interested in. :).

  9. Mage, I had the feeling those comments were by the same person. I've been enjoying them. :) If you want, you could add those comments again with your name, and I'll delete the earlier ones. Or not. As you like.

  10. After two episodes, I am so hyped for the rest of this season. I felt like the first two seasons gave us excellent characters but struggled with plotting and action. This season has already given us both and I am here for it.

    That wordless sequence between Crusher and Picard said so much. I’m hoping for real payoff on why she hid the truth from him.

    There’s more to Shaw. His turn on a dime response once Picard acknowledged that Jack was his son makes me think there’s something more profound to who he is and what makes him tick. At least I hope so. And for that matter, doesn’t a Captain choose his 1st officer? Why would he choose Seven if he really is what he’s shown to be so far. Ok, my point is, I really like Shaw so far as someone who’s easy to not like and clearly so much more.

    Not all there with the Raffi sub-plot just yet but man was it nice to see Worf again!

  11. Billie, thanks for the offer, but it might be too much work for you and annoying to anyone who checks the recent posts thread. I’ve been a bit prolific.


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