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Star Trek Picard: Võx

"I've never been so happy to see so many wrinkles."

Possibly not a perfect episode, but I spent the last ten minutes outright sobbing, overcome with emotion. I haven't been so deeply affected by an hour of television in years.

I want to begin with the end, but should probably start with Jack Crusher.

I was actually torn by finally finding out what was up with Jack. Of course, it had to be the Borg. It even made sense that they would have left a genetic timebomb inside of Picard all those years ago, and it fit Jack's strange mind-control symptoms. I get it. But at the same time, we've been to this particular well too often, to put it kindly. It was even the focus of Picard's previous season. I honestly thought we were DONE. I wish it had just been the changelings.

That said, I was so pleased to hear Alice Krige's voice as the Queen. For a moment, I felt a bit of dread that it would be Annie Wersching, who played the Borg Queen so well last season before unexpectedly passing away. That might have been a bit too much.

Speaking of which, though, what about Agnes? I get the concept that there's more than one Queen, just like with bees, rappers and rock bands. But are they going to ignore Agnes and what happened to her? Or will she be arriving in the series finale next week to help the Next Gen crew save the day?

I'm glad that Deanna got to do something important with her talents. Her empathic skills were too often discounted during the run of Next Gen. I was also glad that she followed Starfleet protocol instead of giving way to Picard and Beverly, as they expected her to do.

I was sad but unsurprised that the snarky, wonderful Captain Liam Shaw bit the dust while covering Picard and company's retreat in the shuttle. How else could Seven become captain of the Titan? And of course, he called Seven by her chosen name as he died and left her in command. I'm so sorry that we won't be seeing Liam Shaw again in any future spinoff show. He rocked.

(Todd Stashwick posted the tweet below after this episode aired. Now, that's class. Love the tee shirt. I want that tee shirt.)

The USS Titan may be under the control of those young Borg whippersnappers, but I certainly wouldn't discount Seven. Especially since her former honey Raffi stayed behind with her. Go, Saffi.

"Happy Frontier Day, everyone."

Whose unbelievably stupid idea was it to bring the entire fleet together in one place at a previously announced time? And how stupid was it to invent "Fleet Formation" in order to link all those ships together? Please tell me all this wasn't Admiral Shelby's idea. If so, she deserved to bite the dust, too. "The irony of her endorsing something so Borg-like." What a mess. What a Federation-ending blunder. It made it difficult for me to enjoy all of the Easter egg starship names. And the Enterprise-F.

The Fleet Museum at Athan Prime, introduced earlier this season in "The Bounty," was the perfect set-up for the return of the Enterprise-D. Of course Geordi spent twenty years restoring her. He was her chief engineer, after all. The reveal gave me chills and tears.

And every moment on the bridge was wonderful, from the late Majel Barrett's voice as the old computer panels lit up, to the acknowledgement of the terrible 1980s carpet, to Data touching his old chair. It made me realize that these were the emotions I should have had during the reveal of the original Enterprise during the Slow Motion Picture, but didn't.

The cast of Next Gen are all over 70 now. The Borg said that the members of Starfleet under 25 were the strongest and that's why they had assimilated them, but of course, that was a mistake. The value of age and experience was a huge part of this season's plotline, and that wonderful old ship is valuable because it hasn't been upgraded. Let that be a lesson to you, Windows 11.

I have to give showrunner Terry Matalas, who was also the director of this episode, a lot of credit for this final season. As much as I liked the non-Next-Gen characters introduced in Picard's first two seasons, this was what was needed. Each uber-emotional reveal has been beautifully timed so that it would have the deepest impact and bring the most joy. If the final episode is as satisfying, this season will be an incomparable gift to Star Trek fans. Like me.


— The transporters were used for evil. Like Dr. McCoy, I have a deep dislike of transporters as a concept. I think they kill you at one end and recreate you in the other. What happens to your soul?

— I loved that Seven of Nine, the ex-cyborg, called Data "the robot."

— We were wondering earlier why Jack was hearing Beverly's voice in his head. It was explained this time; he was hearing the Borg Queen's voice as his mother's.

Title musings: "Võx" is Latin for voice. Supposedly, Locutus was the one who speaks, but Jack is the voice itself. Does that mean, as Jack kept saying, that ultimately, he can resist? If Jack survives and manages to retain his power (and there is a spinoff), that would make him an interesting continuing character, wouldn't it?


Jack: "Oh, funny. I’ve always known the world was imperfect. Broken systems, wars, suffering, violence, poverty, bigotry. And I always thought if people could only see each other, hear each other, speak in one voice, act in one mind, together. Who knew a little cybernetic authoritarianism was the answer?"

Picard: "He inherited the best of you and the worst of me."
Beverly: "I gave Wesley space, and I lost him to it. So I watched Jack closer. So close I couldn't see what was right in front of me."

Data: "Would you like me to say something comforting?"
Picard: "You might find that impossible."
Data: "I know."
And then Data put his hand on Picard's shoulder. Lovely. Not something old Data would ever do.

Picard: "We need to get to the Sol System right now."
Shaw: "Um, smack dab in the middle of Frontier Day, where pretty much every Starfleet vessel is assembled, running exercises, with our faces pinned to their dartboard?"
Picard: "It's our only option, Captain."
Shaw: "Of course it is."
I'm so going to miss Shaw.

Shelby: "Two hundred and fifty years ago today, the Enterprise NX-01, the first warp five-capable vessel to be constructed by human hands made its maiden voyage. With it, a crew of eighty-three souls embarked on a journey, one of bravery, perseverance, and sacrifice that would lead to the birth of what we know today as Starfleet."

Geordi: "Hopefully, we have enough juice to get us there."
Data: "What makes you think 'there' hasn't already been destroyed?"
Geordi: "Data, could you try being a little more positive?"
Data: (after a pause) "I hope we die quickly."

Geordi: "And obviously, we can't use the Enterprise-E."
Worf: "That was not my fault."

Riker: "Is the bridge smaller or am I just bigger?"

Picard: "You know, it wasn’t until this moment, reunited with all of you, I realized what I missed most. The carpet."

Picard: "Computer, initiate system reactivation procedures."
Computer: (archival voice of Majel Barrett) "Authorization acknowledged. USS Enterprise now under command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard."
Picard: "Well, I hereby accept the field demotion."

Picard: "We've been here before. And I'm reluctant to ask you all to face this threat again."
Riker: "We're the crew of the USS Enterprise. But more than that, we're your family."
Troi: "Jack, Alandra, Sidney. They're our family, too."
Riker: "Jean-Luc, wherever you go, we go."

As I said at the top, maybe not perfect. But my ten-minute sobfest is guiding my rating. Five out of four blasts from the past, and please – stick the landing, guys.

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


  1. Very good review as always Billie! Nothing much to add to the positives, except that - as we did go back to the Borg well one more time, I was happy that the method that was used made sense and tied back to the series and movies in a believable way. I appreciated that. And as Federation ending threats go, this one sure seems like it’s going to be tough to overcome.

    Of course, that leads to my frustration with the episode, and frankly, streaming tv in general these days. Why do we always have to wait until the penultimate episode for the magnitude of the threat, and those behind it to be revealed, only to rush to a solution in the final 60 minutes? I loved it back when those that produced these shows trusted their audience with more information, and gave our heroes time to work to a final resolution.

    Eh, maybe I’m just old and set in my ways. Or maybe I just don’t want this to end. TNG meant so much to me when I was younger, and they have done such a good job this season dipping into that nostalgia. I do hope they stick the landing. I really do.

    1. DreadPirate, TNG meant a lot to me when I was younger, too. I know a lot of people have other favorite Trek shows, but TNG was always mine. I don't want this to end, either.

    2. Buffy, TNG, and Lost were the “Big 3” for me - probably why I have lurked on this site for so many years ;)

      I’ve talked my 14 year old into a re-watch of Lost, so maybe I’ll start posting comments there next!

    3. DreadPirate, those are three of my all time favorites, too.

      I hope you and your 14-year-old enjoy the rewatch, and I would love some Lost comments! Some of those reviews are closed to comments, btw, because of a couple particularly troublesome trolls.

  2. Thanks for the review Billie.

    I have lots of complaints here. I wish they had spent a little less time this season in fan service and a lot more on the plot. There are so many holes and writer laziness here: The Borg, again. The Borg and the Changelings. Jack being the indispensable piece to the plan makes absolutely no sense. Jack leaving the ship, and the absolute stupidity of letting him go is the worst use of the trope I've ever seen. So, hey, let's go with two young guys to detain the guy who just showed that he can control people. And then look out the window and reminiced how hard life is while said guys runs through the ship and easily steals a shuttle, which by the way is another stupid Star Trek thing (do all those shuttles just allow anybody to drive them?). And, of course, Titan can't stop it, because PLOT.

    And then we have a combination of BSG's networking is BAD, Shelby doing the less Shelby thing inimaginable, and a lot of human centricness to boot. Did anyone even see a Vulcan, klingon or any other race vessel at all? StarFleet's idiotic celebration (EVERY SINGLE SHIP WILL BE THERE) is just another celebration of humanity? If Earth falls everything falls? I've liked this season despite the holes, the cameos and the fan service have been well thought out (others were missed too), but this constant lazyness just takes me out of the episode.

    BUT. The last 10 minutes made up for it. For this, and for all the potential squandered in every other season. This is what we should have been getting from the beginning, and I'm afraid it was Sir Pat that forbid it (until he decided to change his mind). Well, maybe a little less nostalgia and good feelings when half of StarFleet is being slaughtered, but you get my point.

    I don't necessarily trust them to close the season well and make sense, but those 10 minutes.. They were just amazing.

    PS.- Oh, killing Shaw was an incredibly wrong decision. Killing him like that? Terrible. And they should have come with a better reason for Raffi and Seven to stay, since obviously only the old gen could go to the D. If Legacy goes forward, they better quickly retcon it. The guy has earned his post. And a better death.

  3. Aargh. They killed Shaw.

    I knew it could happen because Billie & Mikey wished for it last week, but I was NOT expecting to feel quite this badly about it. Hey, maybe they’ll resurrect him as a borg. A smart, snarky borg might be funny. No, I guess it wouldn’t be. There’s a lot of good to be said about this episode, as well as some “meh,” but it’s all been jaded for me, for now. Hoping next week’s “curtains close with a kiss,” figuratively speaking.


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