TL;DR – Here we get to see the drive of the season and some moments that really show who this current Federation is
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
After the excellence of the first episode, the next question is can you keep that momentum moving which is a whole new problem all in itself. But if the first episode Remembrance framed this new world, Maps and Legends gave it context as we deal with its fallout.
So to set the scene, we go back in time to the fateful day on Mars when the synthetics attacked. We had seen part of this in the Short Trek Children of Mars, but now we get to see what happened on the ground as the synthetic F8 (Alex Diehl) is hacked and turns on his crew and assists in the destruction of the planet. Meanwhile, Picard (Patrick Stewart) begins his search in earnest to find Dahj’s (Isa Briones) twin sister Soji (Isa Briones) who is currently serving on a derelict Borg cube called ‘The Artefact’. Here he tries to go through the right channels only to get that thrown back in his face. Now we will be looking at the episode as a whole so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.
If there is one place you would not want to be, that would be stuck on a Borg cube, but that is where the person we are hunting is, and where a bunch of people want to be. We get little hints of how this world has changed, instead of the Romulan Empire, it is now the Romulan Free State, instead of the Tal Shiar being the big bads underneath Romulan society it is the Zhat Vash, and also there is a reason behind the Romulans hatred of artificial life. Which then makes you wonder since we know the synths on Mars were hacked, and that Romulans have both the ability to attack Earth and have infiltrated Starfleet intelligence (see the conversation between Commodore Oh (Tamlyn Tomita) and Narissa Rizzo (Peyton List)), were they the ones behind the attack on Mars?
We also got to see a bit more of why the federation failed as it did. There was already huge opposition within the organisation for helping their long time enemy, and then the destruction of the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards caused many members to threaten to leave the Federation. So Starfleet decided to abandon the Romulans to their fate, and abandon their own principles in the process. Looking around the world today, well this feels all the more relevant than ever before.
There were so many moments in this episode that really hit home for me. There was the reveal that Picard has a degenerative disease (probably Irumodic Syndrome) and as someone who has watched a family member go down that path, it hit me harder than I thought it would. Then there was Laris’ (Orla Brady) cool Tal Shiar tech that reconstructed a murder scene through what was not there. We got to explore more of the Borg cube, and given there are researchers from the Federation there it looks like this is not a big secret which was interesting. Finally, with the introduction of Raffi Musiker (Michelle Hurd) we get to see Picard starting to build his crew again and I am here for it.
In the end, do we recommend Maps and Legends? Absolutely. This series is jumping from quality to quality and it is a delight to see. Though one small thing, as someone who loves maps, I could have really done with a close up of that map in the Admiral’s office.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Star Trek: Picard
Directed by – Hanelle M. Culpepper
Written by – Akiva Goldsman & Michael Chabon
Created by – Akiva Goldsman, Michael Chabon, Kirsten Beyer & Alex Kurtzman
Based on – Star Trek: The Next Generation created by Gene Roddenberry
Production/Distribution Companies – CBS Studios & Amazon Prime
Starring – Patrick Stewart, Alison Pill, Isa Briones, Michelle Hurd & Harry Treadaway with Orla Brady, Jamie McShane, David Paymer, Tamlyn Tomita, Wendy Davis, Chelsea Harris, Peyton List, Ann Magnuson, Marti Matulis, Alex Diehl, Anthony R. Jones & Dinero