Star Trek: Picard: Penance
March 10, 2022 7:01 AM - Season 2, Episode 2 - Subscribe

Are there any Borg in the audience tonight? Get 'em up against the wall!

Only the penitent fan wiki will pass:

Annie Wersching (Borg Queen) previously appeared in ENT: "Oasis" [FF previously --ed.].

Patton Oswalt performed the voice of Spot 73, Jurati's cat.

• Q going insane was a plot element in an early draft of the TNG series finale, "All Good Things" [FF previously --ed.].

Poster's Log:
Really nice retcon w/r/t why we don't see everybody in the galaxy slingshotting around the sun to go kill Hitler or retake the big exam or whatever.

We learned last week that the showrunners consider this season's theme to be relationships. That makes me wonder if the thing Picard needs to do "penance" for is killing the Borg Queen in First Contact—which did retcon some sort of relationship between her and Locutus. This show could easily be setting up for further retconning along those lines. And her approach in the previous episode makes me think the Borg might end up getting redeemed to some extent.

As for the other team members' relationship stuff, at least Raffi and Seven's tension was woven effectively into the story here. The Jurati and Rios conversation, on the other hand, was forced and formulaic. At least it was brief, though!: DISCO would've turned that into a three-minute scene and hit pause on the plot to accommodate it.

One of my concerns going into this season was that they'd forget Q is funny. Making him insane, and presumably giving him not a lot of screen time, is one way to get around the need for his brand of humor. My cynical side says they focus-grouped bringing Q back and determined that the thing that annoys people about Q is his sense of humor. Whether that's accurate, I won't guess; I've always mostly enjoyed Q.

The Dukat and Martok skulls, and the Sisko namedrop, were nice touches, but speaking as a die-hard member of Team DS9, it's getting to be pretty rankling how Stream Trek seems unable or unwilling to actually bring back a single character from that show. The closest we've come was the (admittedly quite funny) appearance of Holo-Odo on Prodigy.

Guesses on who the Watcher might be: Cpt. Braxton from Voyager? De-aged Guinan? I'm going with "some new Borg character."

Poster's Log, Supplemental:
Picard season 3 production wraps
posted by CheesesOfBrazil (51 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Good way to do a Mirror Universe episode without the Mirror Universe; although I've generally liked those (and the ongoing MU arc in Star Trek Online isn't bad), it's become kind of a shtick, and this hits a lot of the same beats without the usual gold-lamé sashes and daggers. I don't think that we ever saw MU Earth in canon, save for Hoshi showing up in orbit at the end of ENT's "Through a Mirror, Darkly" when Empress Sato shows up (that episode gets name-checked, along with TNG's "Yesterday's Enterprise", by Q, who is nearly Deadpoolesque in his fourth-wall-breaking and lampshading). The enthusiasm of the rabble for Eradication Day on this imperial Earth (the "Confederation" really does seem more of an empire, and is probably called a confederation for, well, a rather pointed comparison) is quite telling, as is C-Picard's ghastly trophy room, which wouldn't look out of place on a Yautja starship. You also have a home-grown resistance movement, as well as ongoing resistance in places such as Vulcan. It's kind of a shame that we apparently won't be spending much more time in this particular dystopia, unless the cliffhanger extends well into next ep.

Big ups to Jurati for her last-second save; "Annika Seven Shots" was pretty great. As for the DS9 thing, I'm hoping that the absence of any of their crew (was that Quark's skull in the trophy room? Or Nog's? The MA entry has a reference to the Grand Nagus' staff... I think that I'll be doing a lot of freeze-framing of this ep later) means that there are tentative plans for another early-25C show after PIC's next and last season, and that they may be leaning toward doing something like the idea for a DS9 reunion outlined by Ira Steven Behr and some of the other DS9 writers during the documentary What We Left Behind.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:55 AM on March 10


Also, WRT the slingshot-time-travel retcon: I have no idea where I originally heard/read this, but it's long been fanon that the only reason why the 1701's crew could slingshot was that Spock was literally the only one in the galaxy who could do the math.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:06 AM on March 10 [8 favorites]


With modern Trek getting more and more gritty and dark - not to mention *gestures to the world outside* - it's getting hard to be really shocked by Fascist Earth. I mean, f course this could have happened if 2024 went just a little bit wrong. The star ships in these new shows are all sleek black, so it's hard to make "the darkest timeline" any darker. That said, bonus points for casting the Disney Concert Hall as Palace Fascism.

I'm also concerned that sick Q will be no fun. I want him to be more a more, um, Loki-esque character and I mean the character from mythology not the MCU.

Anyway, this episode had lots of Trek elements that I love, but it still feels like a show built on references than a real character deep-dive. (FWIW, I liked S1 a lot and thought the exploration of Picard in that season was excellent, without having to invent further backstory trauma and trying to suggest his whole century of living is worthless because he never married.)

I am also hoping that DS9 references are being kept oblique because there's a DS9 show coming.
posted by crossoverman at 2:17 PM on March 10


oh man I hope you’re right because I could totally go for a dark and gritty DS9 about the horrors of war !!
posted by DoctorFedora at 2:20 PM on March 10 [2 favorites]


A dark and gritty Deep Space Nine about the occupation and reconstruction of Cardassia could be kind of great … but maybe not for now.
posted by Mr. Excellent at 2:38 PM on March 10 [4 favorites]


So… so far I’m feeling a little more optimistic about this season than last season. We’ll see how long that lasts, especially depending on how much time we spend in Just Regular Los Angeles, but it’s somehow already a lot more fun than Discovery has been this season (a weird word to describe a dark alternative timeline like this, but, well). Still enjoying the way that characters speak in normal voices and conversations rather than hushed speeches.

Patton Oswalt’s voice caught us off-guard because we’d just watched Sorry to Bother You last weekend. Appropriately enough, we both mistook his voice for David Cross.

Count me in with the others who have complicated feelings about the sudden DS9 name-drops, but only so long as they don’t have to actually have any of the actors onscreen at all. It doesn’t feel great, having heard about Avery Brooks being essentially blackballed from Hollywood for decades.
posted by DoctorFedora at 2:44 PM on March 10


THIS WAS SO GOOD

Seriously I was just on the hook the whole way through. Seven’s reaction to her own speech was so poignant. And the Queen’s reaction to getting plugged in. And Spiner’s cameo! We’ve got a ship, a crew, a mission, 2024…

Wait does that mean it’s 2024 like when Kirk et al went to the actual Seventies? Or is it ST history 2024 like when Sisko et at went back?
posted by sixswitch at 5:24 PM on March 10 [4 favorites]


Not sure that the show has established that the present day is a different continuity than the corresponding year in Trek history. (Yeah, we didn't have the Eugenics Wars... but there are beta canon books that say that, yes, we did, but that they went under different names at the time and weren't known to be created and fought in part by übermenschen.) The Bell Riots of the DS9 episodes happened in September of 2024, in San Francisco, so we'll see if they or the precursor events to them get mentioned in '24 LA.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:45 PM on March 10


THIS WAS SO GOOD

I am not sure how good it was, but it was odd to be engaged by a Star Trek episode. I haven't felt that way in a while. And after a couple of years of Disco, weirdly refreshing to see a one-minute countdown that did not somehow have time for a seven-minute therapy session to work out some past trauma.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:07 PM on March 10 [9 favorites]


THIS WAS SO COMPETENT
posted by sixswitch at 7:31 PM on March 10 [12 favorites]


The MU without being MU was titillating.

I'm sort of surprised that Elnor became a hugger, but I'm tickled that Raffi acceded to her maternal instincts.

Patrick Stewart. Oh boy.

Is it correct that Q implied that Picard's body is still synthetic? Would that mess up the Borg queen's recognition of him as once being Locutus?

I understand why this Borg queen looked similar to the Alice Krige version, but I would have expected much more heterogeneous morphologies/ configurations for queens Borg.

Jeri Ryan remains stunning.

I never had a beef with the Jurati character, but I'm liking her a bit more.

That Ferengi ears are partially ossified is interesting. Talk about a boner.

Confederation comm badges double as thrown weapons/ neck knives. Ok. I can dig that. Except that a one-off throwing star/ shuriken is completely ineffective unless they were poisoned or something.

It's Q and he's semi-omni-potent (Q being unwell is intriguing) but that the main characters are essentially the main characters after a time divergence in 2024 is more than straining disbelief suspension.
posted by porpoise at 7:38 PM on March 10 [2 favorites]


And Spiner’s cameo!

... could you help me out? When was the cameo?

Nevermind. It was voicework and a statue.
posted by porpoise at 7:47 PM on March 10


Or is it ST history 2024 like when Sisko et at went back?

Is Sisko the Watcher they are looking for? Are they going to bump into him from DS9 or is he going to be Prophet!Sisko who can see across time? "You exist here"

I don't actually want any of that to happen, but I love speculation.

It doesn’t feel great, having heard about Avery Brooks being essentially blackballed from Hollywood for decades.

Interesting, I thought he'd taken himself out of Hollywood. When Shatner made a documentary called The Captains a few years ago, I think he even struggled to get Brooks to even appear on that. When they made a DS9 documentary a few years later, he didn't appear in that except for archival footage.

Anyway, I would love to see him back as Sisko one day but not on Picard's show, even though they have a fascinating history together.
posted by crossoverman at 8:12 PM on March 10 [1 favorite]


I enjoyed the hell out of that. Time travel! Mirror universe! Xenophobic fascist state! Seven as Annika as President! Uncomfortable unexpected marriage! Agnes' amazing cover blurt! Raffi's hair!

So fun, lots of handwaving, Q being Q. I'm on board.
posted by suelac at 9:03 PM on March 10 [3 favorites]


So, since this is the prime reality (Picard says as much) and not the Mirror Universe, does that mean the MU now is full of nice guys and do-gooders? What about Spock's beard?!?!? And why did we need a whole NEW evil universe when there was a perfectly good Mirror Universe? Besides which, this whole new Evil Universe looks like it's only going to be a quick one-off, since Our Noble Crew is on their way back to 2024 for the 40th Reunion of Star Trek IV.

I did not love this episode except for Jurati's quick-thinking double-talk. Also, could they have hammered home the Nazi imagery any harder with all the red-black-white color scheme? I suppose they could have had American flags everywhere instead, but I guess that would be just too on-the-nose.

I like Huggy Elnor and Raffi as a character team better than Seven and Raffi or Rios and Jurati. Picard and Seven both fell into their EEEeevil personas a little too easily, don't you think? And even though last week I said Soji should disappear, where is she in all this?
posted by briank at 6:15 AM on March 11


I really want a bottle show with just Q and Picard speechifying at each other for a whole hour.

why did we need a whole NEW evil universe when there was a perfectly good Mirror Universe

The Terran Empire fell a century ago during Spock's time, so if we need to play in the evil world for a while, we'd need a new [temporary] one in this time period.
posted by Servo5678 at 6:36 AM on March 11 [4 favorites]


The Terran Empire fell a century ago during Spock's time, so if we need to play in the evil world for a while, we'd need a new [temporary] one in this time period.

Okay, but now I want to see the Evil Universe go head-to-head with the Mirror Universe in a death match.
posted by briank at 8:00 AM on March 11


Does 7 feel different without her Borg implants? I always assumed they "upgraded" her intelligence/awareness/strength and am wondering if she feels lesser now. I've watched a couple of Voyager episodes but not that many so maybe they covered it at some point.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 10:10 AM on March 11


“Through a mirror, darkly” is a biblical reference (1 Corinthians, and word-for-word from the American Standard version), though it may well have been intended as an ENT reference. But it's a well-use phrase because it's extremely evocative. (It's always been familiar to me, though I would have guessed Shakespeare in origin off the top of my head.)

“THIS WAS SO GOOD”

I enjoyed every second of it and was just astonished at its writing (surprising) and acting (not surprising). The initial scenes between Picard and Q were riveting and very well-down.

“...but that the main characters are essentially the main characters after a time divergence in 2024 is more than straining disbelief suspension.”

That's only because of Q. The divergence in history is all "true", no doubt, and these characters up to that moment have been their alternate history selves; but for Q's scheme to work, Picard necessarily must be his actual self transported to the alternate history (not a parallel world, though this is a subtle distinction) in order to be learn and correct whatever it is Q intends as his lesson. Having the other characters be their actual selves is a bit of a narrative convenience but also, arguably, in-universe Q is providing Picard with the tools he needs to be even able to manage what Q intends.

“Not sure that the show has established that the present day is a different continuity than the corresponding year in Trek history.”

Yeah, we long ago reached a point where real-world history deviates from Trek history. As mentioned, the ubermensch genetics wars that gave rise to Khan. The early to mid-21st century was a really bad period in Trek history, IIRC. It was bad all the way through Cochran and the Vulcan visitation, I think. And wasn't that late 21st or early 22nd?

Trek's (the franchise) long history of sending characters to the actual present day became problematic for them as the actual world has caught up to and passed Trek canonical history. I've wondered how the franchise is going to deal with this, given the proclivity to do these time travel to the show/movie present trope.

They're going to be doing a lot of far-reaching canon work and reconciliation in this season, maybe. These new shows are doing a lot of this and it's really starting to look like they're boxing themselves in (unavoidably, I suppose). But if we can get a Spock half-sister who saved the galaxy multiple times, then... 🤷🏽‍♂️.

“Patton Oswalt performed the voice of Spot 73, Jurati's cat”

Maybe I should be careful what I wish for, but I was disappointed that apparently we're not getting more of Spot 73. Meow.

“One of my concerns going into this season was that they'd forget Q is funny. Making him insane, and presumably giving him not a lot of screen time, is one way to get around the need for his brand of humor.”

Q's apparent differences was pretty much the main topic of the conversation between de Lancie and Wheaton on this week's Ready Room. The show makes explicit that something really might be different about Q with Picard's “Q, you're not well” line. I really liked de Lancie's argument on Ready Room that he didn't want to try to play the exact same Q because he didn't know if he could manage it, or that he wanted to, or that it would be the best choice for the character. It strains credulity that thirty years would be a meaningful length of time for a Q in terms of l8fe-changes, but I'm okay if the writers give us a reason for it.

But, also, by the very nature of Q's close association with a person who lives in a relative blink of the eye for a Q, Q is sort of forcing himself into an extraordinary rate of change, just as real people do when they have many unusual and impactful experiences in a short period of time.

DISC has badly disappointed me to the point of me abandoning it; LOW is fun but a trifle; PRO is okay, I guess, but not compelling enough for me to have watched more than a few episodes. In was super-excited about — after fifty years of being a Trekkie — this plethora of Trek shows. The first season of PIC was uneven and sometimes really good but, in the end, I didn't have high hopes for S2. So, basically, I'm thrilled to have two episodes of PIC in a row that I loved. This one, in particular, had what I'd hoped all the new shows would have.

I didn't mind the darkness of DIS — I'm not one to dislike Trek getting the "prestige television" treatment — but DIS just became instantly overwrought and eventually just all over the place. These two episodes of PIC are both good and competent — which you'd think would be redundant, but if you're going for quality, you really need to be minimally competent at all the smaller things, particularly tightness and consistency. I guess I should say, rather, even if you have high ambitions, you still need to be competent at all the things you might think are beneath your notice.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:02 PM on March 11 [5 favorites]


Oh, also, I don't think Stewart's efficacy at portraying a magnetic and dark Picard is merely a function of his talent as an actor. I think it's the correct character choice. Especially given the theme of this season, but also in the sense that although he's a good and generous man, there has always been a kind of cold greatness about him which hints that there's a reason he's always had such an indomitable will. In a different way than the other captains have had. I think it's actually a good writerly character insight into Picard to explore the possibility that his goodness and greatness and stubbornness are all things he's used to fill up some part of himself that was empty, so to speak. And, more to the point, he could have chosen dark rather than light things to fill those spaces.

It's not that big a stretch for Picard to see himself as this man — in fact, that's why he was so initially frightened and angry with Q then very quickly and resignedly acclimated to this situation. He's not this person — in perhaps the most important sense he's not this person because he chose not to be this person. I think there are few, if any, things more admirable.

But it might be that, long ago, Picard might have lacked some imagination at the scope of the possibilities of the person he might choose to become and therefore shortchanged himself. For someone both so evidently good and great, he's not been that happy. He's clearly been lonely.

I don't think it's trite to postulate some childhood trauma to account for the mystery of how such a good man, a great man, a man beloved by many, could also be a lonely man. Sometimes great people are not good people. Sometimes great and good people are not kind or personable or warm people. But Picard is all these things. I said there's something cold about him, but he's mostly warm. Often remarkably warm. But in a very reserved manner. He does hold himself back, even though he's clearly filled with love. It's not the world that has made him lonely, it's himself. So why?

I think this might-have-been version of Picard is a clue. That Picard is also a lonely man. They're both great. One is good and one is evil. Both aren't very happy. So maybe it's not the choice between good and evil — or at least not that choice alone — which has a bearing on his happiness. Perhaps there's a part of himself that he's overlooked. And, maybe, in both futures, that has had implications for other people.

As far as Seven settling into the presidential role — I mean, yeah. It suits her. In the real history, this is someone she never had an opportunity to be. But all the necessary traits are there.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:38 PM on March 11 [10 favorites]


It was bad all the way through Cochran and the Vulcan visitation, I think. And wasn't that late 21st or early 22nd?

First Contact Day was April 5, 2063, so just a skosh over 41 years from now. Sometime between now and then, we'd have to have WWIII (jeez, bad timing talking about it now, eh?); Memory Alpha has it starting in... 2026.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:50 PM on March 11 [8 favorites]


Does 7 feel different without her Borg implants? I always assumed they "upgraded" her intelligence/awareness/strength and am wondering if she feels lesser now. I've watched a couple of Voyager episodes but not that many so maybe they covered it at some point.

Nothing very solid or permanent in canon. Here's a rundown of her remaining mods from Memory Alpha. More recently, you might remember her being "queen for a day" in the first season of this show; she was able to take over what was left of the "Artifact", the cube being salvaged by the Romulans, and form a mini-collective for a little while.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:02 PM on March 11


Gul Dukat's skull had the blue coloring in the forehead spoon that previously had only been seen on female Cardassians. Probably doesn't mean anything, but it caught my eye.
posted by obol at 11:59 PM on March 11 [1 favorite]


First Contact Day was April 5, 2063, so just a skosh over 41 years from now

Huh. We are closer to First Contact Day than we are to the release date of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Now there’s a thought.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:16 AM on March 12 [9 favorites]


Huh. We are closer to First Contact Day than we are to the release date of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Now there’s a thought.

Why would you do this to us, haven’t we been through enough
posted by rhymedirective at 11:11 AM on March 12 [11 favorites]


Gul Dukat's skull had the blue coloring in the forehead spoon ...

And it looked to me like Sarek's skull was faintly greenish.

These 2 eps have included so much great fanservice. Obviously a show needs more than that -- and fortunately, this one delivers in many other ways. But I do really appreciate how deeply they are reaching into Trek continuity.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 12:53 PM on March 12


Gul Dukat's skull had the blue coloring in the forehead spoon ...


I have to admit, I thought that was a hole.
posted by biffa at 4:31 PM on March 12 [2 favorites]


Upon closer inspection, biffa, I think you are correct.
posted by obol at 7:10 PM on March 12


I'm pretty sure that's the skull characteristic that leads to the surface "spoon" structure.

I was thrown off by the mention that it was "blue."

Had assumed that the skin colourationof the spoon (present in both sexes) was a mesenchymal/ epidermal sexual dimorphism - or a cultural makeup (decorative) thing.

Hadn't noticed Sarek's skull as tinted differently, but did catch the elongated "point" at the back of head. Do Vulcans have increased visual acuity?

Only mentioning because it's cannon that all/ most of the anthropomorphic species are related through "progenitor" meddling.

But, yeah, lol, it's Star Trek, I'm not expecting anything other than "artistry."

But this is interesting in terms regarding the relationship between C-10 and the Progenitors.
posted by porpoise at 7:25 PM on March 12


My prediction is that taking the Borg Queen back with them will prove useful for more than time travelling purposes. She is, in fact, the same Queen who took over the fleet at the end of Ep 1, and who, after a heartfelt conversion to the joys of individuality on their chronologically non-linear excursion, consequently saves them all from something mysterious, horrendous and dark as space itself.

Probably coffee.

Just kidding, coffee, I still love you.
posted by Sparx at 7:28 PM on March 13


A key difference between the Confederation timeline and the Mirror Universe is that the Mirror Universe is campy and fun in it’s over-the-top violence, darkness, and sexuality. The Confederation timeline has no camp. It’s the Mirror Universe made legitimately frightening, and I was riveted the entire time. I want to see more, but I will also be very glad to see it go into the rearview mirror when Picard and co end up in 2024.
posted by SansPoint at 9:41 PM on March 13 [4 favorites]


I'm amused that they were going to do the OG Trek 'fly around the sun' method, using the Borg to do Spock maths, when there was a whole movie about the Borg travelling in time to 21st century Earth using nothing but a deflector dish. You think Picard would remember that... given that it was the last time he saw the Borg Queen.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:28 PM on March 13 [2 favorites]


A Borg queen.

But yea, I'm totally in the not another time travel Trek camp.
posted by porpoise at 11:15 PM on March 13


I enjoyed this episode! It was big and silly and fun. The goofy charisma of most of the crew with each other, particularly Raffi/Elnor, is a lot of fun to watch. And then Picard rolls in bringing gravitas and seriouness and Shakesperean Inflection to everything. It's kind of a mess but it also works well for me and is hugely entertaining.

Good thing because the actual story shape is the highlights of the worst of Trek. I have never liked Q, from the very first ST:TNG episode. And The Borg Queen ruined everything that was interesting about the Borg to me (the whole point is they are a hive mind, a collective intelligence! They don't have a queen! Also the Borg are genderless and asexual and her brand of sexy malice is.. wtf?) But somehow the whole thing was very entertaining despite the silliness.

Props to Annie Wersching for making "glowering from a jar" effective acting. I also really liked the writing for the Magistrate as well as Jon Jon Briones's performance.
posted by Nelson at 5:18 AM on March 14 [2 favorites]


Also! Also if they don't learn from VOY's last trip to modern times and bring Sarah Silverman along for the ride, it's a wasted opportunity.

Or did we revert that timeline at some point?
posted by Kyol at 11:13 AM on March 14 [1 favorite]


I ended up thoroughly unmoved by all of the characters in season one. Bar Picard, I guess, but spending so much time with Beaten Down and Depressed Picard wasn't really any fun. Absolutely none of it gelled for me.

And yet: these two episodes were good! They felt like Trek characters doing Trek things, whatever that means.

The implications of the time-travel divergence is that Our Heroes were destined for greatness (if given half a chance) but their morality is entirely contingent, a pure accident of history. Pretty dark. I don't hate it! Or Q is just messing with them, of course, but the Borg queen seems to think this reality was produced by a single point of divergence. I figure Q reverse-engineered the point of divergence specifically to produce Evil Picard, but if the point of divergence is something straightforward, this timeline could have easily happened naturally (as opposed to eg in First Contact).

I wonder what the rest of the TNG crew are up to in this timeline.
posted by BungaDunga at 5:45 PM on March 14 [2 favorites]


I'm amused that they were going to do the OG Trek 'fly around the sun' method, using the Borg to do Spock maths, when there was a whole movie about the Borg travelling in time to 21st century Earth using nothing but a deflector dish.

The movie didn't clarify how the Borg opened the time vortex from the 24th century to the 21st. (The Trek novel Watching the Clock, which I just finished reading, says that it was a one-time "consumable" tech that the Borg didn't so much assimilate as receive on loan from a technologically-superior culture—which explains why the Borg haven't mucked up the timeline further, if they can just Sphere up a new timeline. (Much of that novel seems to have been written for the purpose of "fixing" nonsensical things across the pre-Stream franchise, esp. w/r/t time travel.))

The deflector dish thing was how the Borg subsequently trapped in the 21st century were going to achieve very-long-range communications with the rest of the 21st-century collective.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 4:35 AM on March 15 [5 favorites]


I ended up thoroughly unmoved by all of the characters in season one.

Man, I don't know how anyone could have watched the final sequence between Picard and Data and been unmoved.

Second most powerful death scene in the entire Trek canon, IMO. Or maybe tied for first.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 1:30 PM on March 15 [7 favorites]


I really liked this one too.
don't think Stewart's efficacy at portraying a magnetic and dark Picard is merely a function of his talent as an actor. I think it's the correct character choice. Especially given the theme of this season, but also in the sense that although he's a good and generous man, there has always been a kind of cold greatness about him
Ok yeah 2 things about this -
I noticed how when he was looking at that portrait of himself, it was how he looked in the first season on TNG, when he was hitting that "I am extremely dignified" stuff very hard. So your comment made me connect these 2 things. Kind of like he was thinking about that part of himself, too. That's probably when he got that painting made actually haha.

Second thing was one of my favorite things about this episode was how he was actually playing Picard playing what Picard thinks these assholes are like, which I thought was interesting. Just about every little thing Patrick Stewart does makes everything so interesting to me.
I also appreciated the way he subtly indicated how he recognized Data's slightly effeminate son and felt bad about his situation. Or at least, I recognized Data's slightly effeminate son (speculation) and felt bad about his situation, and it seemed like Picard did too.

It just felt really carthatic and it felt very seen to be seeing a possible future state of our current timeline. And especially how they were all like "Damn, this sucks! We gotta fix this" Ugh yes fix it please. Come back to 2024 and fix it please.
posted by bleep at 5:51 PM on March 15 [1 favorite]


Not tied with II. But certainly better than the data death in Nemesis. Ahead of sisko in The Visitor? But is that powerful because of sisko or his son's story?
posted by biffa at 5:56 PM on March 15


Does Picard not know what coffee is? Or is the stuff the Confederacy serves not really coffee? Or just really bad coffee I guess.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 6:28 PM on March 15


Or he doesn't like espresso?
posted by bleep at 7:26 PM on March 15 [3 favorites]


Apparently this season is just going to be full of "Tea, Earl Grey, Hot" gags - 2 in ep 1, 1 in ep 2. After S1's "Tea, Earl Grey, Decaf", do we really need to retread this territory? Such lazy writing.
posted by crossoverman at 9:38 PM on March 15


Just to say I really like Evil Picard. Reminded me of him as Sejanus in "I, Claudius", or even King Claudius in the BBC Hamlet. He's always had a good line in hardass militaristic baddies.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 3:58 AM on March 16 [2 favorites]


I guess subtlety is dead, cause there weren't none here. It's weird how a "Mirror Universe" inflection always results in our characters becoming Empresses, Presidents, Admirals, etc. Except Rios, who's still in his little ship. I'm not sure how wise alternate Picard is having a staff of slaves that clearly despise him, while keeping dozens of weapons hanging on the wall. I am looking forward to the Los Angeles 2024 parts; I'm hoping there's some social commentary about how you can travel a couple of blocks there and go from luxury living to abject poverty.

I never got why zipping around the sun at warp would cause you to jump backward in time, so I made a technobabble explanation I was proud of: "The slingshot technique referred to piloting a warp-capable starship, already traveling near the warp limit, around a large gravity well. Just as too much mass causes an inversion of space, forming a black hole, too much velocity causes an inversion of time, creating a time warp."
posted by jabah at 10:02 AM on March 16 [2 favorites]


I mean you just have to be on board with Q dropping Picard & friends into an escape room & either enjoy that or don't.
posted by bleep at 10:45 AM on March 16 [7 favorites]


Relativistically, faster than light travel is time travel, so really the explanation needed is why all other warp travel than around the Sun doesn't send you back in time.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 10:50 AM on March 16 [2 favorites]


My headcanon for all that stuff is that the Trekverse doesn't have real-world relativity and Trek!Einstein is famous for discovering something else.
posted by polytope subirb enby-of-piano-dice at 11:49 AM on March 16


I also appreciated the way he subtly indicated how he recognized Data's slightly effeminate son and felt bad about his situation.

I don't think that's Data's "son" in any direct sense. I think Harvey was played by the same actor that played multiple androids in flashbacks in the first season -- when we saw the android rebellion on Mars.

I'm not sure how wise alternate Picard is having a staff of slaves that clearly despise him, while keeping dozens of weapons hanging on the wall.

My guess would be that the android is the superhuman overseer that keeps the enslaved Romulans in line. This being the (dystopian) 24th century, there is doubtless universal surveillance tech monitoring everyone too.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 12:55 PM on March 16 [2 favorites]


This being the (dystopian) 24th century, there is doubtless universal surveillance tech monitoring everyone too.

I think if there was Picard and co would have been found out much earlier, even if they are all high ranking. Or possibly its just surveillance on the plebes while high ranking people get privacy.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 2:07 PM on March 16 [1 favorite]


man the fascists have the sharp uniforms

I ♥ Q

moar john delancie
posted by lalochezia at 8:56 PM on March 31


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