Hello from Simi Valley,
Season 3 of Star Trek Picard has wrapped up and I’m back with a review of my favorite Science Fiction franchise. Those of you who know me shouldn’t be surprised. First, though, a couple things that I need to get out of the way.
SPOILER ALERT – Before I begin, I must insert my usual SPOILER warning. This review will be full of them (SPOILERS, that is) so if you have not seen ‘Star Trek Picard Season 3’ yet and you don’t want any part of the plot ruined for you, stop reading now. Otherwise, continue on. You’ve been warned.
Also, a required disclosure: As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
That being said, let’s get to it.
Overall, I was pleased with this Season of Star Trek Picard. When I heard that, not only will this be the final season of Picard, but it would also feature a reunited TNG cast, I was a little skeptical. It is not uncommon for reunion shows to be overly contrived and poorly paced for the simple sake of including old cast members that everyone knows and loves. Luckily, the writers got it right with season 3 of Picard. The inclusion of each of the TNG cast members was well-paced throughout the season. Each TNG cast member who graced the screen was given a legit reason for being included in the storyline and, thankfully, it did not seem contrived or rushed. And although I am a big fan of Trek and this season of Picard, not everything I’m about to write is ‘rainbows and butterflies’.
The main plotline was very well written. Episode 1 delivers two seemingly unrelated storylines (one with Picard, the other with Raffi), that by the end of episode 10 have been woven together beautifully to deliver a multi-layered story arc that keeps the viewer invested until they tie it all up with a really big pink bow (more on that big pink bow later). Episode 1 opens with Dr. Beverly Crusher being pursued by a new villain, a Changeling (yes, the Changelings from DS9) by the name of Vadic (played wonderfully by actress Amanda Plummer). Vadic’s pursuit of Dr. Crusher soon reveals that her true target is not Dr. Crusher at all, but her son, Jack Crusher (played by Ed Speleers). Wait, what? Crusher has a son other than Wesley? Yes. And when Crusher realizes that she may be out of options, she contacts the only person she believes can help her. Picard. Her cryptic cry for help includes the warning trust no one, not even Starfleet. This, of course, causes Picard to reach out to the one person whose trust and friendship has never been in question; his former Number One, Will Riker.
Picard and Riker realize that they don’t have a ship to conduct their secret mission to aid Dr. Crusher, so they concoct a plan that involves tricking the crew of the U.S.S Titan to take them to where they believe Crusher to be. The Titan, now under the command of Capt. Liam Shaw (played by Todd Stashwick), has a familiar face in the position of first officer; Seven of Nine. It is Seven’s presence that allows Picard and Riker end up at the nebula where Crusher is believed to be hiding. All things seem to be going as planned until Vadic shows up and everything hits the fan. By this time, we are at the end of episode 2 where we’re treated with, perhaps, the real reason Crusher contacted Picard. Her son, Jack Crusher, is his son, too. Apparently, Crusher was left with more than memories from her last days on the old Enterprise. Eventually, we learn that Jack has a haunting ability to project himself and assume control of others. At this point in the story, even Dr. Crusher isn’t aware of her son’s ability.
In the other storyline, Raffi is on a highly classified secret mission regarding the theft of a powerful weapon from Daystrom station. After witnesses the destruction of a Starfleet building which kills all of the Starfleet officers inside, Raffi’s mysterious ‘handler‘, who communicates with her anonymously, orders her to discontinue her investigation. Raffi disobeys the order and soon finds herself in a seedy nightclub, drugged and seconds away from being killed. Her handler shows up in the form of Worf and rescues her. Worf and Raffi work the investigation together and eventually uncover a larger plot at hand.
Each episode furthers both storylines, eventually bringing them together. As each TNG member is brought into the main storyline, we are treated with small peeks into their lives since we last saw them, as well as seeing them each deal with their current demons and struggles that play into the current storyline seamlessly. Though I promised spoilers, I will refrain from divulging them all here. If you like a good story with surprises, then it’s only right that I leave a few items on the plate for you to devour on your own. That being said, I will say that there are a few surprising cameos in this season, namely the reemergence of Michelle Forbes’ character, Ro Laren. This was especially surprising considering the traitorous circumstances under which Ro Laren left the show in season 7 of TNG. Needless to say, Ro’s reinstatement into Starfleet is explained quickly and doesn’t serve as a distraction from the story. Ro reveals that she has operatives investigating a Changeling infiltration of Starfleet and that the Federation has been compromised on all levels. Her operatives, revealed to be Worf and Raffi, soon join Picard and the crew of the Titan as they realize their problems are, indeed, one and the same. Side Note: Rumor has it that Michelle Forbes’ Ro Laren character was slated to star in the TNG spinoff Deep Space 9, however, Forbes declined the opportunity. This facilitated the creation of Nana Visitor’s DS9 character, Kira Nerys.
Back to the review. By the end of episode 9, the TNG crew has been reunited and the Vadic problem has been dealt with. Unfortunately, it has been revealed that Vadic was just the hired gun enlisted to track down and retrieve Jack. The real big baddie turns out to be none other than the original Borg Queen. What? The Borg Queen again? Yes, and this is where I begin to discuss my gripes with this season of Picard.
(I do not own this image)
It seems as though TNG Trek, quite often, overuses the same well of villains, namely The Borg, and Q (both of which show up in the this season, as well as season 2). I’d love to see an awesome new villain come to the forefront. I mean, after all of the escapades of the TNG crew, shouldn’t they have more species pissed off at them? Perhaps not. But it would be nice to see.
Once the TNG crew figures out how to stop the Borg Queen, I was amazed at how easily they pulled it off. I mean, I get that they’re a seasoned crew, but it was almost too easy. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised by this considering that the crew only figured out who they were up against in episode 9, leaving only one episode for a resolution. I suppose I expected there to be a few more road blocks on the TNG crew’s journey to save the entire universe yet again.
After the Queen is defeated, the storyline jumps one year. The U.S.S. Titan (which sustained quite a bit of damage in the final battle) is re-christened the U.S.S Enterprise -G. While I thought this was done for nostalgia’s sake, I wasn’t overly bothered by it. However, when they appointed Seven of Nine, who’s only been in Starfleet for two years at this point, as Captain of the Enterprise, I had to call ‘bull-shiggity‘ (no, that’s not a typo). In all of Starfleet, there isn’t an officer with more experience who is more deserving to command the flagship of the Federation? And then, to top it all off, Jack Crusher is assigned to the Enterprise, as well as Raffi who is appointed First Officer. Yeah, they tied this season up with a really big bow; a really big, really pink bow. The only saving grace to this ending is that it fueled talks of a spinoff that will feature this new Enterprise crew. Another show with the Enterprise, huh? Like I said, the same overused well.
Another (very) small gripe was the underuse of Laris. In the previous two seasons, Picard struggles with his inability to explore an intimate relationship with Laris. At the beginning of season 3, we see them discussing their possible life together. However, as soon as Picard leaves to help Crusher, Laris is neither seen nor mentioned again. Epic fail, here.
Overall, despite my gripes, I enjoyed this season of Picard. If you’re interested in the previous two seasons of Picard, you can get Season 1 here [affiliate link], and Season 2 here [affiliate link]. Also, if you love all things Trek, my past review of the film Star Trek Into Darkness can be viewed here.
Season 3 of the Mandalorian concluded this week, too. Expect a review next week. Until next time…