Sci-Fi: ‘Star Trek: Picard’ Episode 2 and 3 Review

Screenshot of Sir Patrick Stewart as Picard and Jonathan Frakes as Riker in episode 2 of ‘Star Trek:Picard’ on Paramount+. Copyright goes to CBS Television Studios, Roddenberry Entertainment, and Secret Hideout.

Hey! Hallie here!

Now that I’m taking Fridays all to myself on this blog, I can promise a whole lot more episode reviews. Between ‘Picard’, ‘The Mandalorian‘, and the last few episodes of ‘The Last of Us’, I have plenty of shows to talk about in the next few weeks. For now I’m going to stick with the most recent episodes of ‘Picard’ because things have really started moving. I’m not sure this series has completely sold me yet, but in the very least yesterday’s episode grabbed my attention. At this point I’m beginning to let go of hoping for anything close to perfection and instead settling for perfectly satisfying, which I feel like this season could definitely achieve if it keeps the interesting use of ‘Next Generation’ characters coming. There are plenty of pros and cons to talk about within the last few episodes and all will be spoilery so this is your SPOILER WARNING. Let’s go!

What I Liked:

Riker: There’s something about Jonathan Frakes performance as Riker that makes me instantly like him. He has such a good sense of humor and also such a low tolerance for anyone acting stupid around him that you can’t help but admire him. His incredulousness over Picard continuing to deny that Jack’s his son was so relatable that it was actually hilarious. I especially liked him in episode three. Here is where we got into the really heavy hitting stuff surrounding the loss of his son. We heard he and Deanna lost their son back in season one, but the way it was expanded on here was brilliant. Against Picard dealing with the emotional rollercoaster of figuring out he has a son he didn’t know about, Riker is being constantly reminded of all the regrets he has for not being more present in his son’s life when he was alive. That comes out in two very interesting ways. One is the kind but firm pushing he does to try to get Jack and Picard to communicate. Literally no one in that family is actually attempting to get them to talk, so it leaves Riker to take up the much needed position as the voice of wisdom. Then there’s the way it effects Riker as a captain. I was so thrilled to see Riker take up the captain’s chair and I admittedly almost squealed when Picard suggested Riker call him Number One. But once Riker gets in the chair after reflecting on the death of his son so much, he becomes entirely unwilling to let anyone on the ship die. And, to be perfectly honest, I agree with him. I was completely on his side when he demanded Picard get off the bridge for planning a risky and not at all effective attack on the enemy. But we’ll have to see how this new protective Riker plays a part in the rift forming between himself and Picard.

Worf: I love Worf so much and I was thrilled to see his return in this series. His fight scene in episode two was epic. I loved seeing Worf kick ass after so many years of missing it. I wasn’t sure what was happening when I saw that Ferengi get beheaded, but the unmasking of Worf was the highlight of episode two. I was also very grateful to see him for the purpose of making Raffi’s plot worth watching. Her plot was the weakest part of the season before Worf showed up. The Section 31 reveal as well as the reveal that Worf has been Raffi’s handler was the exact boost the plot needed. I even began to enjoy the back and forth between Worf and Raffi, which is admittedly better when a robotic voice isn’t covering Worf’s deadpan sarcasm. Worf might be my favorite part of the show so far. Michael Dorn looks as amazing as ever in the role. Seriously, has he aged? And the way they’re bringing in plot points from ‘Deep Space Nine’ is really endearing me to the show as a whole. Although, I’m admittedly on board when anyone mentions ‘Deep Space Nine’ ever. Either way, Worf is reminding me why his intimidating presence and surprising humor made him a staple of ‘The Next Generation’. I almost can’t believe we got through two seasons without him.

Seven: I’ve always loved Seven of Nine, but I’m genuinely surprised by how much she’s completely stealing scenes from giant characters like Picard. From disobeying orders from her captain so she can help Picard, to running to repair the ship while being surrounded by dangerous gas, it feels like Seven has the most to lose of all the main characters. She definitely receives the most threats to her career after Captain Shaw takes her off duty and confines her to quarters. But since she has the most to lose, it makes sense that she comes across as the most badass. She sticks to her beliefs and is often the person to save the day even when she’s exasperated with both Shaw and Picard. She’s really making the most of her limited amount of screen time, and if anyone can, it’s Seven.

Changelings: Changelings were always terrifying villains in ‘Deep Space Nine’ because they could literally be anywhere and the main characters would never know. They had to come up with several blood tests to be able to out Changelings, and even then, the blood tests weren’t always full proof. I will never forget the episode where they revealed that Doctor Julian Bashir, one of my favorite characters in ‘Star Trek’ ever, had been replaced by a Changeling for a huge chunk of a season and was actually being held in a prison camp. I am ecstatic to see that the ‘Star Trek’ writers are acknowledging the truly terrifying parts of these characters by bringing them back. We even get to see them with new CGI effects! ‘Picard’ also gets points from me for indirectly name dropping Odo when Worf mentions who warned him about the rogue group of Changelings. I’m pretty sure it’s the closest we’re going to get to a ‘Deep Space Nine’ exclusive character playing a role in the series, but I appreciate it anyways.

What I Disliked:

Picard/Beverly/Jack Storyline: I don’t hate this storyline so far, but I can’t help but feel that it isn’t hitting the emotional beats it should. And that’s for several different reasons. One is the argument between Picard and Beverly. Picard is appalled that Beverly never told him he had a child, and is unsure how to feel about Jack because Jack clearly wants nothing to do with him. But Beverly argues that Picard has such a huge target on his back because of his reputation, that including Picard in his son’s life would have put Jack at risk. She also notes that later in life she told Jack where he could find Picard, but Jack refused to search for him. Which apparently washes her hands of responsibility for Jack’s apathy towards Picard. I get the feeling we’re supposed to see both sides in this argument and that that’s where a lot of the heartbreak is supposed to come from. But Beverly is clearly in the wrong. First off, Star Fleet comes with occupational hazards. Beverly knows that better than anyone given the fact that her husband died on a mission. That is not the fault of the Star Fleet officer, not even Picard whose only sin is apparently that he’s too well known of a Star Fleet officer. Beverly acting like it’s a major fault of Picard’s is really damn weird, and using it as an excuse to keep him from knowing about his child is even worse. Second, Jack’s apathy towards Picard comes mostly from Beverly painting Picard as an absentee father by refusing to let him into their lives. Jack is clearly bitter about having never had a father, and that’s Beverly’s fault. Moving past Beverly’s horrible decision making, Jack’s just not a character I care about at this point. I don’t know if we’re supposed to be delighted by his “roguish” behavior, but he comes across as more of a used car salesman. And the reason for why he has a British accent is just silly. This whole dynamic just isn’t working for me and I hope it gets fixed soon.

Shaw: I am very confused about how I’m supposed to feel about this character. When we were introduced to Shaw he treated Seven horribly, forced her to go by the name she no longer identifies with to make himself more comfortable, and took a long nap in the middle of major events happening on the ship. But in the last few episodes whenever he stood up against Riker and Picard, and even outright offended them, it was because they were putting his crew in danger. At this point he’s even relented in helping Picard and Riker, conducting himself with dignity and showing genuine care for his crew. Soooo, what’s going on here? Is he an ass or isn’t he? Because I feel like this show is giving a different impression of the captain by the episode and I can’t seem to figure out how it all connects.

Vadic: So far, I can’t see what’s interesting about this villain. It’s a typical ‘Star Trek’ villain. Vaguely threatening, a little insane, and occupying a ship that outguns our hero’s ship. There’s nothing about the appearance or performance of this character that’s drawn me in at all. We’ve gotten to the point where I’m already antsy to see Lore or Moriarty because I can at least count on them to liven up the show.

And those are my thoughts on the last two episodes of ‘Picard’! I’m slowly warming to this season, but as you can tell, it hasn’t completely won me over. I think it’s still having a lot of writing troubles and I’m waiting to see ‘The Next Generation’ cast be utilized to their full potential. But there are so many things about this season that I’m excited for as well. I think it has the potential to round off ‘Picard’ in exactly the way a legacy show like this deserves, but I think it needs to pick up the pace before we can get there. In the meantime, I’m at least thrilled that I get to watch more of Worf.

Don’t do anything fun until I get back!


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