As with Star Trek: Discovery, Picard has divided the fans. Let’s face it though, that is fairly easy these days with all the clickbait youtubers trying to generate income by posting horrid videos.
Anyway, forgetting all about those folk, back to the show. As a reminder we were warned well in advance that ‘Picard’ would be nothing like TNG.
At the start of the series we saw a 94 year-old Jean-Luc living out his remaining years at his families vineyard in LaBarre, France. He was deeply unhappy and seemed trouble by incidents in the past. Most notably the death of Data, the failure of Starfleet in rendering full assistance with the Romulan Supernova and then the Synth attack on Mars.
His health was in decline, shown in part by the chat with his doctor and the fact that he now drinks decaf.
He was a man waiting to die.
The arrival of Dhaj and her links to Data and the synth attack begin to reinvigorate him and he realises that he NEEDS to be out in space doing something, not stuck in his vineyard. He tries to get help from Starfleet but they decline.
So JL makes the only choice he could possibly make. He goes renegade, assembles his new crew and secures a ship.
Along the way his health causes concern as do the actions of members of his new crew who all come with their own deep-rooted psychological issues. Murder, espionage, intrigue and betrayal all follow. Right up to the series finale.
New friends are made and old faces turn up. Three returning characters are unfortunately lost along the way. Whilst others have changed over time.
Seeing Wil Riker and Deanna Troi happily married and living with their daughter Kestra was one of my favourite episodes. Both Jonathan and Marina slipped back into their respective roles and it was like they had never left. Their heartbreaking story about losing their son Thad to a disease was very moving. Lulu Wilson is a welcome addition to the Riker-Troi family as their daughter Kestra.
By the end of the series we learn that Starfleet has been infiltrated by Romulan secret agents and that they are responsible for the attack on Mars.
We also learn of a colony of Soong-Type androids who were created by Bruce Maddox and another Soong sibling (played once again by Brent Spiner) and that they have also been manipulated into trying to destroy biologic life forms.
We also get to see Captain William Riker commanding a fleet of Curiosity-Class Starships (and a few others if you look close enough) to deal with the Romulan fleet. I believe he was motivated by what happened to his son Thad.
As always Picard finds a solution to the problem with the help of his crew and finds what he had lost within himself but unfortunately his body gives up on him and he dies. He is transferred into an android body which is appropriately aged and has a limited life-span.
Each of his crew also begin to come to terms with their own issues as they boldly set off for season 2.
I really enjoyed the show from beginning to end. There were lots of nods to past Trek and the story was compelling enough to hold you for ten episodes. It also brought closure to Data’s story.
Hopes for Season 2-
- The infiltration of Starfleet and the Synth attack is investigated
- Jean-Luc and his crew are given some sort of special status by Starfleet- roving troubleshooters or something.
- We see more of Riker and his family as well as catching up with LaForge (who was working at Utopia Planitia shipyards in the prequel book), Worf (who is now Captain of the Enterprise- again from the prequel book).
- I’d also like to see what Dr Crusher has been up to as well as Wesley and possibly O’Brien.
- Jean-Luc is now an android- I’d like to see how it affects him mentally. After the novelty wears off does he find it too similar to being a borg? Is there any psychological impact on him?
My thoughts on the nitpicks
There were a number of nitpicks- some were about Picard himself and his attitude and ageing which I have already addressed above.
There are a few I want to focus on:-
7of9 and alcoholism- This is utterly ridiculous- throughout the series we saw her have a couple of drinks with JL on board the La Sirena and then at the very end she shared a bottle with Rios after Jean-Luc died. That doesn’t make someone an alcoholic! I’ve drunk way more than that in one evening after a sci-fi con! Get a grip!
Aggie being a murderer- This is a tough one. Being ex-Starfleet (and still possibly able to be recalled to active service) I would argue that not only was she conned by Commodore Oh, but it could be claimed that she was following orders and that will all come out in the backlash. Either way, her actions later on should help her out. She’s a great character!
Raffi and her substance abuse- Raffi has had a tough time. Lost her job at Starfleet due to her involvement with Picard and his Romulan rescue plan. Plus there were issues surrounding her husband and son. These would all lead to her possibly becoming reliant on booze or weed but I believe that by the end of the series she had begun to find her way out of the darkness with the help of her new family.
Raffi & 7of9- In the finale we saw Raffi and Seven holding hands- there were two types of reaction on social media. The first was “yay, we have LGBTQ” representation” with the second being “keep that crap off of our show we don’t need that”. Personally I agree with the first. If they want to make Raffi and Seven a couple then go for it.
My only thought is that its implying a lot from a simple holding of hands. It could simply be two damaged kindred souls helping each other heal.
Icheb’s death– Seven was out helping former Borg and trying to save them but it wasn’t personal enough. She needed an extra push and Icheb’s death, especially by her own hand, was what sent her over the top. It was powerful but was it needed? I think so… Seven was always quite a logical being so something had to change her.
Hugh- It was great seeing Hugh again. Initially, Seven didn’t want to join Picard’s quest but the SOS call from Hugh and his eventual demise served to push her in the right direction. She at least got her revenge by killing Narissa although she is paying for it psychologically afterwards.
The Fleet- Many people complained that the type of ships in Riker’s fleet were very limited. The Curiosity-Class is the most powerful ship Starfleet has and I think they have learned from past battles (Wolf-359, Dominion War etc.) that you need to send your biggest, most powerful vessels as sending your smaller craft just won’t cut it. The other complaint was about identifying the flagship when they all look the same. Well, that would be an advantage to Starfleet but from the fleet’s point of view I’m sure they have some kind of IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) to tell who is who!
On the whole it was a great series and I can’t wait for season 2. Congrats to all and a huge welcome to Isa Briones, Michelle Hurd, Evan Evagora, Santiago Cabrera and Alison Pill to the Trek family- an awesome cast!