TL;DR – We have a crew, repeat we have a crew, this is not a drill
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
For the first three episodes of the season Remembrance, Maps and Legends, and The End is the Beginning, it felt like we were setting the scene, getting our call to adventure, our call to the stars, we were building the world, and in one word bringing it all together. But now we are in space, and it is simply pure joy.
So to set the scene, we start back in time in a fateful time where Picard (Patrick Stewart) on Vashti when he was happy. He was starting to move people out of Romulus, making friends, establishing real progress, however, then the synthetics attacked Mars and everything went to hell. In the present, the crew of the La Sirena have come together on their task, only now that they are in the Beta Quadrant, Picard has another calling, to meet some friends from the past and write some past wrongs. Now we will be looking at the episode as a whole so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.
In the past couple of episodes, we have heard and understood the ramifications of the Federation halting the evacuation of Romulus but this week we get to face those actions head-on when Picard returns to a place where he promised much he could not deliver. We get to find out that while there is a Romulan Free State the post-Romulan Empire is not a safe place, with multiple different groups and warlords rummaging through the chaos. Picard has to confront his actions head-on, and it is good that the show does not absolve him of this.
One of the highlights for me in this episode was the focus on emotion, which is appropriate in an episode with Romulan assassin nuns that talk without a filter. There was moments of real joy, like when Picard was reading to a young Elnor (Ian Nunney) The Three Musketeers, or when Narek (Harry Treadaway) was sliding down a Borg corridor. However, we also get the flip side with some very real anger, both of the Romulans towards Picard, but more specifically from Elnor (Evan Evagora) who has the very real right to feel abandoned by Picard. Elnor is going to be a really interesting addition to the show, and it continues the trend of the show trying to discover if there is an upper limit to how many hot Romulans are viable, it has not found it yet but it is trying. Though maybe dial back a little bit on the slightly incestuous vibe that appears between Narek and Rizzo (Peyton List).
This is also an episode that really lets the production shine. The planet of Vashti was really beautiful in places, desolate in others, but always felt real. The set designers really had a big task this episode and it showed their strengths. Also, I don’t think I was the only one that gave a slight shout for joy when the old Romulan warbird design popped up on the screen. This is also an episode that really let Jeff Russo shine with his musical score. So far he has been using a combination of cellos and flutes that are majestic but that also link back to the past especially with the most famous musical work from The Next Generation called The Inner Light. This week we got organs soaring and harps ruminating and it was just joyous.
In the end, do we recommend Absolute Candor? You bet you we do. The show continues to soar, and I 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 – Jonathan Frakes
Written by – 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, Evan Evagora, Michelle Hurd, Santiago Cabrera & Harry Treadaway with Jeri Ryan, Peyton List, Amirah Vann, Rebecca Wisocky, Ian Nunney & Evan Parke