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Star Trek Picard: The Last Generation

Picard: "It's been an honor serving with you all."

Emotionally satisfying and practically perfect. What a terrific way to say farewell to The Next Generation.

When Riker was about to leave the bridge for the Borg cube, he and Deanna exchanged a charged look and we could tell they were silently saying goodbye. I realized at that moment that no matter what this show needed to achieve dramatically, I couldn't handle losing any of these Next Gen characters. I wanted – I needed – a happily ever after for all of them. And I'm so glad that was what we got.

The big CGI battle was just that – a big CGI battle. It was well done. But the best thing about the battle were the personal moments, like that Riker/Deanna look that said it all. Data, with a huge grin on his face, taking the Enterprise directly into and through the Borg cube; it was very Star-Wars-y and something only Data could have done. Worf battling the Borg with a sword and giving us the best line in the episode. Riker refusing to leave Picard behind. Geordi in command, having to give the order that would have killed his friends. Beverly having the strength to fire phasers on her own son. Deanna grabbing the helm and piloting the ship down to where she could sense her husband, making up for crashing the Enterprise so many years ago. All of them ready to die to save everyone else in the galaxy.

The title of this series is Star Trek: Picard, though, and Picard got his series-defining moment. He was able to reach Jack by doing something that we know would horrify Picard down to his soul – plugging back into the Collective. Picard physically and emotionally embraced his son and would have died for him. No more keeping love at arm's length, no more lounging around the vineyard waiting to die. Picard let Jack in, and changed his life completely.

Seven of Nine and the crew of the USS Titan backed up the Enterprise using the cloaking device and Raffi's "portable beam me up," sending the assimilated young officers to the transporter room. I liked the bit with the cook who ended up the pilot. And Seven hugging the devastated Sidney La Forge when Sidney was released from the Collective.

How appropriate that Seven's former shipmate, the (thankfully) rescued Tuvok, gave Seven her promotion to Captain. And Seven, who never cries, fought tears as Tuvok showed her Captain Shaw's final evaluation that recommended her promotion. Another lovely moment in an episode full of them, and an emotional farewell to Todd Stashwick's memorable character.

I feel compelled to just be a fan here because this final season was just so wonderful, such a fitting end to Next Gen, one of my very favorite shows ever. But I do have a few little bitty teensy tiny critiques.

My biggest was that they tromped all over what happened in the first two seasons of Picard: Agnes and the end of the Borg, Picard's relationship with Laris, Data's twin daughters as well as his remarkable tear-jerking death scene to "Blue Skies," all pretty much erased. I was also mildly dissatisfied by the time spent with the big shooting battle and the Borg Queen.

Bringing back Q made me groan, too, although it made sense that Q would be as obsessed with Picard's son as he was with Picard. And I wish they hadn't killed off Shaw, but weighing that against, say, Riker or Worf or Picard, if someone had to go, I'm glad it was Shaw. Well, not glad, but you get my drift.

Flash ahead, a year later. Seven of Nine's new command, the USS Titan, is rechristened the Enterprise NCC-1701-G. Raffi is her number one, and Jack Crusher, who has taken accelerated courses and benefited from the nepotism involved in having not one, but two Starfleet admirals as parents, is a new ensign and ship's counselor. Sidney La Forge and some other familiar faces from the Titan are there, too. Next Generation's next generation is a go.

Are we getting a spinoff? It certainly looks like it. If not, we'll never know what Seven's first official command was.

Turning out the lights on the Enterprise-D was almost too much for me. Below is a six-minute video just posted of Wil Wheaton and graphic designer Mike Okuda touring the recreated bridge of the Enterprise-D. If you're a Next Gen fan, it's a must-see.

Closing on a poker game was perfect, since it was the way they ended the seven-year run of the series. I didn't cry quite as much as I did with last week's episode, but it was close. I'm satisfied with the ending of Star Trek: Picard, since it also wrapped up Star Trek: The Next Generation and its associated movies. I can always picture this crew in Guinan's bar enjoying their lifelong friendship, happily ever after.

Sir Patrick Stewart saw us out with a bit of Julius Caesar. And any one of the Next Gen cast could guest star in a spinoff. Can I put in my vote for the new Data? He's a joy.


— We heard the voice of the Federation President, Anton Chekov, the son of Pavel Chekov and the voice of Walter Koenig. The "Anton" was likely an homage to the late Anton Yelchin, who played Chekov in the J.J. Abrams' movies. The announcement was also similar to the Federation President's speech in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

— Ed Speleers rocked that Borg costume. He looked, dare I say it, quite sexy. In other words, he didn't look creepy; he looked like Jack.

— Where was Guinan? I was hoping for a little Whoopi. But okay, they couldn't do everything. They nearly did everything as it was.

— Alice Krige continued as the voice of the Borg Queen, while her zombie-like physicality was played by Jane Edwina Seymour. That make-up was no joke.

— I was thinking that Starfleet wouldn't put former lovers on the same bridge. But then I remembered Riker and Troi. Let's hope it's an omen for "Saffi."

— Worf falling asleep and snoring on the bridge was hilarious.

— Data was hitting up Deanna for a ton of psychotherapy. In my opinion, all he really needs is another cat.

Title musings: "The Last Generation" was of the Borg. But of course, it also applied to Star Trek: The Next Generation. Good title.

— Thank you to everyone who reviewed this series with me: Samantha, Mikey, Joseph, CoramDeo, and Mark.


Riker: "Where the hell is the cavalry?"
Data: "Emergency hails from both Federation and civilian ships have now gone silent. Apparently, we are the cavalry."

Picard: "What began over thirty-five years ago ends tonight."

Data: (re: the Borg) "So much pain. So much misery inflicted on so many. I hate them."

Beverly: "You're going down there."
Picard: "I need you to lead me to him. You brought him this far. Let me bring him home."
Riker: "You're not going alone."
Worf: "And I will make it a threesome."
Riker: "Do you even hear yourself?"

Riker: "You had this in there the whole time? A phaser, and you didn't use it?"
Worf: "Swords are fun."

Geordi: "All right. We go with Data's gut."

Deanna: "Will, the moment we fire, you'll have a minute to get out at most."
Riker: "I owe him a lifetime. The least I can spare is a minute."

Riker: "I love you, Imzadi. We'll be waiting. Me and our boy."

Worf: "Whoever leaked this information is an honorable maverick."
Raffi: "And a dear friend."
Worf: "Be happy with your family, Raffaella, of the House of Musiker."
Raffi: "And you, Worf, House of Martok, continue to be a warrior for peace."
The Worf/Raffi relationship this season was so lovely. Worf giving Raffi contact with her son and granddaughter was the perfect capper.

Jack: "Helm, set course for the M'Talas System, maximum warp."
That's an homage to the showrunner Terry Matalas, isn't it?

Raffi: "I still can't believe Starfleet saw fit to give a thief, a pirate and a spy their own ship."
Jack: "Bunch of ne'er do wells and rule-breakers, really."
Seven: "What could possibly go wrong?"

It didn't go wrong – I dare say they stuck the landing. Four out of four thieves, pirates and spies,

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


  1. I absolutely loved it! Best Star Trek season of all the 36 Star Trek seasons I've seen.
    I'm sooo ready for a spin-off with Captain Seven. And I wish they would bring back some of the old ST villains we've seen. Through all the different series we've had, there has been some great ones. ST really has a great back catalogue to choose from. (Hmm...I'm thinking of you - Species 8472).
    The Borg really were an excellent enemy, but I think we can all decide upon that now they're done. Hopefully.

  2. What Billie said. Pretty much all of it. I did tear up at Shaw’s performance review of Seven. Also at the whole Chekov thing. And, at Riker’s, “I miss that voice,” meaning Majel Barrett/computer.

    Um, Billie, what was Worf’s best line? “And I will make it a threesome?” Or “swords are fun?”

  3. I was thinking of "Swords are fun," but it could be either, come to think of it.

  4. There has never been a series, there have never been characters I loved as much as TNG and it's core seven. It really would have been
    devastating to lose any of them, and I'm so happy that we now can imagine them get together to enjoy a poker game in Ten Forward every month or so. What a perfect ending. While this third season might have had some storytelling flaws the awesomeness of seeing the old gang together more than made up for that. I do wonder how someone who has never watched TNG liked this, but for me I cannot remember the last time a TV series season made me so profoundly happy. I'm thankful for that, and definitely want that Legacy spinoff. Seven is awesome of course but I'm really surprised how much I enjoyed the Jack Crusher character as well. The actor did a great job. Sidney is very likeable as well, and I'm even interested to find out more about the Titan background characters. And lots of legacy characters popping up would be so cool. Please make it so.

    1. The only series that are equal to this to me are DS9 (especially the insanely good last season) and The West Wing.

  5. It was a genuine pleasure to assist, Billie :)

  6. Did they stick the landing? I’d say so. This was Keri Strug in the 1996 Olympics, 2nd vault attempt, torn ligaments in her ankle, executing flawlessly and then getting carried to the podium to collect her medal, while the crowd chants “UFP! UFP!”, er “USA!” You get the point.

    I loved the portrayal of the Borg. Of course they would be broken and desiccated after their various encounters with humanity. The grotesque condition of the queen, her survival by consuming her collective, and the evolution of their thoughts to assimilation were utterly terrifying. It even made sense that they would be align with another race that had warred with the Federation.

    Seven of Nine is the captain of the ENTERPRISE! She’s part of a list now that includes Archer, Pike, Kirk, Garrett, and Picard. I literally yelled in joy at that reveal. I’m not a crier (the only entertainment in my adult life that left me in tears was the ending of the astonishingly wonderful Leave No Trace by Debra Granik - hint, watch it if you haven’t seen it), but that scene with Shaw’s holo review had me looking pretty much like Seven did at the time. And although I could proceed to tell you what I think her catchphrase will be, I’ll just say I dropped it in this paragraph and we’ll see if I am right when the spin off comes out.

    And it better come out dammit. If there’s one thing that should be incredibly obvious about this season is that Terry Matalas is very capable of paying homage to the legacy of this time in the Trek universe while building out new and thoroughly enjoyable characters for us to root for in the future (Shaw, Ensign LaForge, etc.). And while I did quibble with many of the things that Billie did, at least Matalas has been accommodating to those questions on the Blue Bird app and in interviews. Sounds like he just didn’t have the budget to do everything he wanted to do with this season. That said, I still feel so bad for Laris. She deserved better… I’m ok with Q returning. He is the God of Mischief in this space drama and frankly wouldn’t put it past him to fake his own death to amp up the impact on Picard last season.

    In conclusion…it was a wonderful ending. It’s really over now, and I can say I am satisfied by where it concluded.

  7. What did you think of the bit following the credits, Billie? Sorry if I missed it in your review…

  8. Yep, found it. Sorry about that.

  9. Dreadpirate, I'm taking up your challenge to guess Seven's catchphrase. I can't actually figure it out, but here are my guesses.

    - Stick the landing!
    - UFP! UFP!
    - Of course.
    - Utterly terrifying!
    - Leave no trace.
    - Watch it!
    - Not a crier!

    Which one is it?

  10. Only just caught up with this season of Picard. Yes the story is well told and the ending very good, but now after coming down from the emotion of the final episode I'm thinking ... season 3 is not actually that good.

    As an exercise in nostalgia, it's great. I'm between Jeri Ryan and Levar Burton in age, so have enjoyed watching, in all three seasons, a bunch of grizzled old timers having adventures and saving the day. This season, though, turned up the nostalgia to 11, didn't have enough new characters, and pushed the reset button on Picard seasons 1 and 2.

    Season 1 brought back Picard and Seven of Nine and Data, plus the occasional guest spot from others. But it also had important new characters in Rafi, Rios, Soji, Jurati, and various Romulans. Season 2 had fewer new characters, but the new faces were still around.

    In season 3 it's all about getting the old gang back together. The only new characters worthy of mention are Shaw and Cindy La Forge. Shaw is great, but dies. Cindy La Forge has a few moments, but gets taken over by the Borg. Oh, and Vadic is a great villain, but revealed to be just a subordinate to the returning Borg Queen.

    And the reset button does terrible damage to continuity, characters, and themes. The Borg are the ultimate villain, but Starfleet's own friendly Borg Queen Jurati is nowhere. The Federation spreads over many planets and species, but apparently if Earth falls, that's it: no chance that Vulcans or Klingons might be able to do anything on their own. (Star Trek 6 all those years ago at least had a non-human president for the Federation.)

    Season 2 / Q spent so much time convincing Picard that yes he should try a relationship with Laris. Which is completely forgotten about in season 3 after the first 15 minutes. Shouldn't Picard maybe have mentioned this to Beverley? Now I'm wondering about the sleeping arrangements if Picard invited the Crushers back to visit Chateau Picard...

    And worst of all, we're back to nobody important being allowed to die. OK, in season 1 I didn't really expected Picard to be killed off, but there was a lot of emphasis on Data dying and a genuinely moving scene where he said farewell to Picard. In season 2, it was Q facing mortality. But in season 3 Data is back (Brent Spiner must have a terrific agent), just more emotional as he was in the Generations movie. And when Q turned up in the credits, my reaction was not one of joy but "Oh FFS".

    Oh well. We still have Lower Decks.


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