TL;DR – We have a crew, repeat we have a crew, this is not a drill
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Okay, if I am going to be honest, if there is one thing that will always sucker me into a show, it is a group desperate people coming together to form a crew. Well, today, we get to see Picard (Patrick Stewart) do it all again and I am here for it.
So to set the scene, in last week’s Maps and Legends we learned a couple of important things. First, there is either a Romulan mole in the midst of Starfleet in the guise of Head of Starfleet Intelligence Commodore Oh (Tamlyn Tomita) or the head of Starfleet Intelligence is like just kill with Romulan assassin squads romping around Earth … I’m not sure which is worse. Also secondly, we discovered that Picard or JL to his friends has burnt all the goodwill he had left in Starfleet. Well, what do you do when all your options are closed, well it’s time to wing it Picard style. Now we will be looking at the episode as a whole so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.
We start this episode with what might be the most brutal assessment of Starfleet, the Federation, and more specifically Picard himself. Raffi (Michelle Hurd), we discover has damned good reason not to want to help Picard. When Starfleet ran scared and decided not to help the Romulans evacuate Picard threatened to resign and they called his bluff. So what did he do, well he went home to his winery and closed himself off for 14 years. Being upset and retreating from the world I get, but not calling Raffi to see how she was going, damn Picard that’s cold.
However, before you can really process what an arse Picard was, he is being assaulted in his own home, luckily he has a couple of ex-Tal Shiar bodyguards in the form of Laris (Orla Brady) and Zhaban (Jamie McShane). Which is a good time to point out a couple of things. One, Laris is one of the best things to happen to Star Trek in a while, and if something happens to her I may riot. Two, the fight scene where Picard was basically useless (which would be the reality) was really well choreographed like a lot of the fights so far this season.
Next, we get to meet our penultimate main cast member in the form of Cristóbal Rios (Santiago Cabrera) and his many emergency holograms (Santiago Cabrera). It is here where it is confirmed that Star Trek Picard is here for your thirst pics and it wants to be a part of that, a #StarThirst if you will. There is one more major cast member that we will meet next week I think and then we will have a full crew.
The story of this episode, sort of concludes the small arc that we have had since Remembrance, which is to be expected given that these are kind of like one big three-part episode. It is here where we get the big hint of the central mystery that might be permeating the show at the Borg Cube. Why did it cut itself off from the collective, was it Janeway in Endgame, or something else. Also since Children of Mars, we have been told that it was the synths that attacked Mars, but is that the case? This week we get it confirmed what I expected that maybe it was the Romulans sacrificing themselves to ban all synths.
This was also an episode that went to the heart of Star Trek. Unlike properties like Star Wars and the like, Star Trek has always had a pretty strict policy around what is and what is not canon. Has it appeared on a screen, canon, is it in a book/comic/game etc, not canon, is it the animated series … well, that’s a bit more complicated. So this week we got some big things that had been talked about but never mentioned on-screen like Romulus was in the Beta Quadrant, or why Romulans have had different appearances. There are some really inside baseball references with the 40 Eridani A Starfleet Construction Yards and Beta Antares Ship Yards, and also a call out to the Vasquez Rocks who have been a filming location going back to The Original Series. What really takes the cake is the presence of Hugh (Jonathan Del Arco), who is dropped in there with no reference to just how important of a character he is, that is such a baller move.
In the end, do we recommend The End is the Beginning? Absolutely. This season keeps going from strength to strength and I for one am here for it.
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, Santiago Cabrera & Harry Treadaway with Orla Brady, Jamie McShane, Jonathan Del Arco, Tamlyn Tomita, Peyton List, Rebecca Wisocky, Sumalee Montano & Graham Shiels