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Star Trek Picard: The Bounty

"It’s been a weird week."

A wildly busy episode with waaaaayyyy too many Easter eggs. Not that I'm complaining. Because...

The entire Next Gen cast is back! It took six episodes to make it happen, but they were six terrific episodes and it felt earned, didn't it? (Okay, no Wil Wheaton, but he was in Picard's second season and he wasn't a cast member for the entire series. Plus he's the host of The Ready Room, so I'm not feeling his absence.)

It turned out to be a great caper episode, too. Like getting the gang back together wasn't enough, Riker, Raffi and the new, wonderfully zen Worf broke into Daystrom Station, the Area 51 of Starfleet, to find what Ro Laren gave her life for.

What a blast from the past. The Genesis device. A genetically modified attack tribble, laugh out loud. James T. Kirk's... was it his body? Professor Moriarty and his holographic crow as a defense program, which made total sense considering what, or whom, he was protecting – an amalgamation of Soong's creations in one body, giving Brent Spiner the opportunity to play multiple characters at once. Spiner is so good that I could tell who was speaking just from his facial expressions. He even got to play Altan Soong.

I felt at first that bringing back Data from the dead again would make his upsetting death in season one of Picard a cheat, but making it a combination of Data-related characters and the fact that it's not really Data made it okay. We'll see what they do with him. All I know is that it would be awful to have all of the Next Gen cast return except him.

Meanwhile, the rest of the gang on the Titan stopped by Athan Prime, the Starfleet ship museum, to pick up Commodore Geordi La Forge and his other daughter, Alandra, played by LeVar Burton's real life daughter, Mica Burton.

I was genuinely touched by Picard and Geordi talking about fatherhood. It made sense that Geordi wasn't willing to risk the lives of his daughters by gallivanting about the galaxy again. It also made sense that Sidney's strong, negative response to that would make Geordi snap back, and that he'd be the one to work on reviving the new and improved Data. It felt like old home week.

All those legendary starships in spacedock really got to me. Big gold stars for whoever thought of the idea of creating a museum just for them. But what moved me to tears was Seven's emotional response to seeing the USS Voyager, telling Jack Crusher "I was reborn there."

Which brings me to Jack. I gasped out loud when we learned what Jack's hallucinations were: irumodic syndrome, inherited from Picard. Despite how upset Jack was about this death sentence, we also saw how charming Jack could be, and how clever and resourceful. Jack stole the cloaking device from The Bounty, recovered from San Francisco Bay! What an enjoyable deep cut that was.

Is irumodic syndrome the reason why Vadic wants Jack? Was it why she stole Picard's human remains? I'm completely stumped as to what she could possibly want.

And oops, Riker is now Vadic's prisoner, and Vadic has Deanna. How could she possibly have kidnapped Deanna? How could Vadic have known she'd capture Riker and would need Deanna specifically? Is this Deanna a changeling? Bet she is.

Finally, I wanted to mention some tweets from this week. Someone created a lovely poster for a possible spinoff called Star Trek: Titan. (I immediately flashed on what the embarrassing abbreviation would inevitably turn out to be: ST:TIT.) Terry Matalas, Picard showrunner, posted that if he could choose the name of a Star Trek: Picard spinoff, it would be Star Trek: Legacy. (And I'm going, ST:LEG? Maybe a little better.)

Matalas also weighed in on the romantic sparks between Jack Crusher and Sidney La Forge in this episode by giving them their ship name: LaCrush. That made me laugh. It's perfect.

Bits and pieces:

— At Daystrom Station, there was a callback to the whistling scene in the Next Gen pilot where Riker and Data met for the first time.

— I liked that they gave the new Data a normal skin tone and a much older appearance, if only because it made it easier for Brent Spiner.

— Professor Moriarty (played again by Daniel Davis) was a sentient holodeck character in two Next Gen episodes, season two's "Elementary, Dear Data" and season six's "Ship in a Bottle."

— Seven told Jack not to sit in the captain's chair. There was a bit on Twitter about that, too.

— Changelings smoke? How? They don't have lungs.

— Captain Shaw didn't get a lot this week (understandably, considering the enormous reunion content) but got a grease monkey moment of hero worship for Geordi La Forge, super-engineer. Very nice.

— In The Ready Room episode that followed "The Bounty," LeVar Burton said that they'd done an incredible job with just the Easter egg objects on Geordi's desk. They even had a small statue of Zephram Cochrane. "You told him about the statue?"

— I'd give anything to visit the gift shop at the Fleet Museum after touring every single ship. Wouldn't you?


Jack: "How did you survive it?"
Picard: "I didn't."
Jack: "Right, the positronics. A new, fully synth prototype body. I don't suppose you got another one in my size, have you?"

Worf: "Admiral, permission to come aboard."
Picard: "Granted, Mr. Worf. It’s been far too long."
Worf: "Eleven years, five months, four days. Minus your infrequent messages and the annual bottle of sour mead."
Picard: "Sour mead?"
Riker: "Chateau Picard."
Worf: "It is quite tart, sir."

Worf: "I have gone into battle with lovers countless times. It can be therapeutic..."
Seven: "I'm not going."
Worf: "That is a relief. I was practicing deceit. Breakups on my homeworld seldom end without bloodshed."
How did Worf, of all characters, become such wonderful comic relief?

Worf: "You should know that I now prefer pacifism to actual combat. Energize."
Riker: "We're all gonna die."

Worf: "Tread lightly. We will not be prey. We will be... friendly energy."
Riker: "I don’t understand the world anymore."

Jack: "Oh, she's a beauty. Which one's that?"
Seven: "The USS Voyager. She made her name farther out than any of those other relics had ever gone. I was reborn there. She was my home. Her crew were my family. And now..."
Jack: "You're just trying to find another."

Jack: "We all long for connection. All just a little bit alone, aren't we? Stars in the same galaxy but lightyears between us."
Seven: "Oh, you are definitely your father's son. He too has a knack for the poetic drive-by observation. Can be very annoying. But it can also make a person feel seen."

Geordi: "Captain, your hull is battered, bruised, and basically paper-thin. You’re spewing fumes through layers of twenty-first century duct tape."
Shaw: "Yeah, it's been a weird week."

Best episode ever. Four out of four exceptionally touching Easter eggs,

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


  1. I agree it was a fantastic episode. I keep telling myself to enjoy every minute, because surely someone’s gonna die. Ah well, such is television.

    I, too, loved the starship museum, Seven’s remembrance, Worf’s strange new self and Geordie & Data’s reappearance in the same episode. Fitting. That’s cool about Levar Burton’s daughter. I didn’t know that.

    I thought Riker was hilarious, saying to Picard, “Excellent use of the word burgle, Admiral,” while Shaw nods sagely. An lol moment.

    And I have been writing way too many Buffey comments because the attack Tribble made me think of Clem, and Worf’s, “Eleven years, five months and four days, minus your infrequent messages and the annual bottle of sour mead,” took me away to Spike’s “147 days yesterday, uh, 148 today. Except today doesn’t count, does it?”

    I’m already looking forward to next week’s episode and I still need to rewatch this one. Thanks for the great review.

  2. What an episode! It was funny, nostalgic and had action. I'm happy to see all the cast back. Maybe the evil changelings think there's something from the Borg still in Picard's body.

  3. So loved that “Data’s” first word was, “Geordi?”

  4. When this season started, I wished that it would do honor to TNG, the most important series in the franchise. And boy have I gotten my wish and much more! This is A-game stuff week after week.

    I think Michael Dorn's Worf always had great comic potential, but it was very deadpan and used sparingly. My favorite Worf line was in the TNG episode where Q forced Vash and the crew to play Robin Hood & His Merry Men. As everyone was grousing about being abused by Q again Worf exclaims "I am NOT a merry man!" with perfect delivery. Right up there with "Prune juice: a Warrior's drink."

    I still think Dr. Crusher is hiding something about Jack. I trust her but there's something about Jack that she is holding back. Why? He remains the biggest mystery of the season.

    Smart choice borrowing the Changelings from DS9. They and the Borg are the two greatest enemies in all of space opera. Last season, after the Borg were Alisonpillilated, the Borg became a quasi ally of the Federation. It would be fun to see them "deus ex machina" and battle the shapeshifters.

    Free Riker!

  5. I got caught up on the last two episodes tonight and this season is just…brilliant. It’s so wonderful to see all our characters reconnecting through these various reunions, with this reoccurring thread about family. While there’s the obvious moments with Jack, Riker’s son, and now Geordi’s daughters, the broader theme is that the TNG crew was, and still is family. I love seeing them all together again

    The other thing I love about this season is how much it feels like classic Trek. I only vaguely felt that way about season 1, and season 2 not at all (and I tried to like season 2).

    Now, a quick final request - the first six episodes have been beyond my wildest dreams, and only 4 left, so please stick the landing!

  6. Please stick the landing. You said it, DreadPirate.


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