Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Star Trek: Picard - The End Is the Beginning

After being denied assistance by Starfleet Command, Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) turns his attention to an old friend with plenty of resentment towards Romulands and Picard (whose exit from Starfleet led to the swift end of her career as well). Three episodes in, the show is still dragging its feet and struggling to get Picard into space. It will be another episode before the crew is complete, and two more before the story presented in the first episode actually begins to come together. (So it's not really the end of the beginning just yet.) As a conspiracy nut who has seen better days, Raffi (Michelle Hurd) shows how far Picard has to go in order to find assistance outside of Starfleet. Hurd is fine here, although the show will continue to struggle with well Raffi holds it together and the level of her skill-set over nearly every episode in which she appears. Flashbacks between the pair help further explain Picard's exit from Starfleet in a rather uncharacteristically moment of naivete.

The rest of the crew is filled out by Alison Pill's Dr. Agnes Jurati (whose issues can already be guessed at) and the ship's captain Cristóbal Rios (Santiago Cabrera) as the cliched swashbuckler who is actually a true Starfleet officer haunted by his past. On the other side of the galaxy, the show begins to flesh-out the relationship between secret-android Soji (Isa Briones) and less-secret Romulan spy Narek (Harry Treadaway). The sequences on the Borg Cube also foreshadow the Zhat Vash's opinions of Soji and the situation that will arise in the episode's two-part finale. Much of the second and third episodes of the series could have been condensed to get Picard into space quicker. Soji's life aboard the Cube is more purposefully-vague teasing than anything else, as events there won't come to a head for several episodes. Other than lack of seats aboard the ship, or their need to pick grapes, there really is no reason for Picard's Romulan friends not to accompany him on a mission where they could obviously be of assistance (or for the captain to reach out to other old friends for help).

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