Star Trek: Picard: Monsters
April 14, 2022 6:17 AM - Season 2, Episode 7 - Subscribe

When Tallinn enters his unconscious mind, Jean-Luc shares his pain, and gains strength from the sharing.

There is no better teacher than Memory Alpha:

James Callis (Maurice Picard) is best known for playing Dr. Gaius Baltar in Ronald D. Moore's 2004 reimagining of Battlestar Galactica.

• Sunny Ozell, Patrick Stewart's wife, plays the singer in the bar [per this, the rare non-Memory-Alpha citation --ed.].

• After Dr. Ramirez asks if he is from space, Rios's reply ("No, I'm from Chile. I just work in outer space") references Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

• Tallinn reveals herself to be Romulan, with Picard suggesting she may be an ancestor of Laris.

• Ricardo is seen playing with a toy model of an OV-165 shuttle.

"What are you writing?"
"Only that you're hopelessly bleak."
- Jean-Luc and the "psychologist"

Poster's Log:
If the actor playing the cop at the end looks familiar, it's likely because [SPOILERS HERE, I'M BETTING] he had a noteworthy role in Voyager.

I know I'm not alone in saying I went into this one with some apprehension after the bonkers previous episode. I'm pleased that things are beginning to make a little more sense, that an end to these story arcs is more imaginable now. Especially w/r/t the above spoiler, it feels like stuff might just click into place after all.

Yvette being mentally ill and Maurice totally Yellow Wallpapering her is pretty out-there, but I don't think it DOESn't fit with what we know of Jean-Luc and Robert—which, um: wasn't this THE episode in which to at least mention Robert?

I also enjoyed Ricardo here; it's fitting that this season is bringing a kid along on some timey-wimey shenanigans, and for that matter we were getting to be overdue on having fun with time travel again.

If they had the balls to actually put the phrase "quantum leap" in Jean-Luc's mouth, then they could at least have had the boy version of him scream out "I want to flee my father NOW! NOW, NOW, NOW, NOW, NOW, NOW, NOW!"

Great to see James Callis again. He was fantastic in BSG and he's perfect for this tragic but highly suspicious role. And speaking of fantastic, I think it was somebody in the last thread who mentioned they'd watch an all-Rios show, and after this ep, I'm in.

Poster's Log, Supplemental:
Picard Season 3 Has To Solve Star Trek's Confusing Worf Problem (Screenrant); what this article fails to mention (because every journalist fails to factor in DS9, always) is that Sisko predicted Worf would never get his own command after the events of DS9: "Change of Heart," and I mean, we sort of have to take Sisko's predictions seriously, since he's literally a Prophet. Guess we'll see.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Has Finally Given Spock A Full Name (Slashfilm)
posted by CheesesOfBrazil (37 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I will admit that when I saw Baltar I thought the writers were just fucking with us now that Picard's pretty much a cylon himself but this was a really good episode. The timeline is seriously messed up now and I wonder how they're going to fix that. A Q snap of the fingers, letting it play out somehow with the Borg queen from the 1st episode, or something else?
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 7:17 AM on April 14, 2022 [1 favorite]

I'm not really a fan of the horror stuff, but this was a much better episode than last week's. It seems a hair late to be introducing new wrinkles into the plot if they're going to wrap this storyline up by the end of the season, but I'll roll with it.

I was never really bothered by a bad episode in TNG or DS9, but they bug the shit out of me now. I think that's because of the short seasons. Wasted episodes feel like much more of a waste since it's 10% of the entire season.
posted by wierdo at 1:26 PM on April 14, 2022 [2 favorites]

My guess at the end was that the errant bar patron was going to turn out to be another Q, come to try to deal with the more familiar one seeming to have gone rogue. If it is, as you seem to be hinting, the actual same character that the actor played earlier, then that would imply at least one other set of players involved in this little drama--although I find the coincidence of his showing up right after Guinan's little ritual very suspicious. Even if it's "just" the previously-played character, though, it still pleases me, both because of the particular episode that he's from and because of the Seven connection. (I'm also pleased by a bit of explanation about why Q was both so hostile and so cautious regarding Guinan back in "Q Who.")

The rest of the episode was also good; even if the timeline is being risked by showing the 21st century people the ship, it's something that has some precedent in the franchise, going all the way back to John Christopher, and the delight of the kid proclaiming that he was going to touch everything sells it. Also, the detail of Jurati's Borgification being stimulated by strong emotions reminds me of something similar from Mass Effect, which had its own version of assimilation.

I was never really bothered by a bad episode in TNG or DS9, but they bug the shit out of me now. I think that's because of the short seasons. Wasted episodes feel like much more of a waste since it's 10% of the entire season.

I don't think that that's entirely it, though, since seasons in the before times that had only two or three stinkers in a 26-episode run were considered pretty good. I think that it's either that we want our entertainment to compensate for the bad things in The Current Situation, or conversely (in the case of the hatewatchers) nitpick as a way of making a less-than-perfect episode their whipping boy du jour.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:52 PM on April 14, 2022 [4 favorites]

The coy camera movements around revealing who the voice was coming from when Picard was in his ready room led me to expect some sort of major surprises with the reveal, which may or may not have led to both of us having incredible difficulty accepting that that wasn’t Alexander Siddig there. I Can’t Believe It’s Not Bashir

The “mom had a mental illness” angle was kind of interesting but it almost feels like it cheapens everything I’ve heard Stewart say about his own childhood with an abusive father. Maybe that’s related to the part that the Inception crew wasn’t able to get to at the end.

Laughed out loud at the implication that maybe the Borg Queen is just drawn to doing live stage performances like a moth to a flame. When she started banging on the window, Mrs. Fedora noted that she just wants attention. Class clown Borg Queen.
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:47 PM on April 14, 2022 [15 favorites]

did anyone else think it was weird how at the end of the episode a guy with Emo Philips’s voice explained that the theme of these five graybles was broken glass in the past, present, and future
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:48 PM on April 14, 2022 [4 favorites]

For those of us of a certain vintage and a certain easily distracted mindset, seeing Patrick Stewart and James Callis (known, respectively, as the latter-day captain of the Enterprise and the latter-day Baltar) playing a scene or two cannot help but bring to mind the TOS “Errand of Mercy”, where most of the scenery chewing is done by William Shatner and OG Baltar John Colicos.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:42 PM on April 14, 2022 [8 favorites]

Picard talks about bringinv it to The Q. It appears the Q are the ones in danger. The ritual doesn't bring them up.
posted by Oyéah at 7:52 PM on April 14, 2022 [4 favorites]

Star Trek: Voyager made the point that the Q Continuum, both its basic fabric and its individual denizens, weren't beyond harm; they could have civil wars, they could contemplate ending their own lives. It's not at all beyond possibility that they're all in trouble, and not just the most familiar Q.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:07 PM on April 14, 2022

I've enjoyed this season more than the last one, despite its many, many, many flaws. Somehow this feels more Star Trek to me. Season one was too much of a dark (visually), grim-dark (attitude) space opera where the characters didn't interact enough with each other for me to get a sense of who they were. This season, by contrast, makes me feel like I know them better and like them more.

All that aside, I just don't care about Jean-Luc's mommy and daddy issues, and I haven't since day one. I had absolutely zero desire to find out what his life was like as a little boy. None. Don't care in the least.

By now Picard has lived a very, very long and very full life. He has had the opportunity to grow as a person and learn from his past--in part because of Q's interference ("What if I hadn't been so brash and injured my heart fighting that Nausicaan?"is the prime example I can come up with to illustrate this fact). He has had experiences he could never have imagined when he was growing up on the vineyard.

Sure, his childhood, like all of our childhoods, built at least some of his his foundation as a person, but he has evolved since then. He isn't that same stuck little boy crying for his mother. And yet, it's the one thing that is driving him--and this season--and it is driving me mad.

As a viewer, it's not just that I don't care (even though I don't) and it's not just that we haven't seen even a trace of his brother (again, a character I don't really care about, but if they're going back into his childhood, a brother should definitely be part of that story), it's just that after a century (or nearly a century, or whatever the number actually is) of living, he should a better understanding of who he is and what drives him. And even if he is so unenlightened that he doesn't (which, I personally find hard to believe given that we have seen how his character has grown and changed), it's just so tiresome. To me, it's the equivalent of listening to Joe Biden give yet another speech about how is dad had to find work away from home, and how hard that was for the family, blah, blah, blah. Listening to that makes me want to start throwing things at the TV.

Biden has 70 odd years of life under his belt. He has been on the U.S. national stage and the international stage his entire adult life. He has experiences that nobody else in the world can claim, but apparently none of that matters--or at least he thinks the public is so dumb/insipid/something that we can only relate to one tiny factoid that happened to him six decades ago. Or maybe that he has no sense of perspective about who he is or what he has done. I don't care what the reasoning is. All I can think to myself when I hear that familiar tune is "have you not had any other experience that has influenced your life in the past 70 years that you can talk about? Are you so stunted as a human being that you, the supposed most powerful man in the world, is stuck in the mindset of a pre-teen boy?"

Watching this season of Picard is making me have exactly those kinds of thoughts about Jean-Luc, and that is making me really lose my respect for the character--something I didn't suspect was going to happen given that this show is supposedly the character's last big hurrah.

Look, I get that the writers want to make Picard come to terms with being alone all his life. Personally, I think it's pretty shallow (not to mention shitty) to say that just because somebody hasn't spent their life with a loving partner that their life has been terrible and meaningless, but we all know that's exactly what society thinks of single people, no matter how accomplished they are.

If that's really the path they wanted to take, then it would have made more sense for Picard to be looking back at the loves that he had, trying to figure out why those relationships didn't work. (Personally, I was on Team Vash because she challenged him and didn't let him dictate her actions, but that's an discussion for another day.) That approach would have made sense, whereas reaching back to minutely examine the relationship he had with his mother, and saying that's the reason why he has been cold and alone and unlovable is just a bridge too far at this point in the man's life.

So not only is the plot retreading past "Q teaches Picard a lesson" episodes--a trope I had no desire to see rehashed--it's doing so badly. which is a shame, as there are a lot of good, little things happening this season, and there was the potential for more to have occurred.
posted by sardonyx at 8:35 PM on April 14, 2022 [10 favorites]

Class clown Borg Queen.

Believe what they tell you. She's all about eliciting the endorphins in others.
posted by porpoise at 10:12 PM on April 14, 2022 [2 favorites]

I haven't been posting as much on the Trek threads because, I don't have much good to say and too much bad. I'm disappointed with 'Discovery,' which is fine. But 'Picard' kind of breaks my heart.

There's for sure good stuff (and delicious but vulgar amuse bouche stuff), but I think the there must be some conflict at the management level and we're seeing mediocrity-from-committee.

Or writers/ showrunners who have their own pet thing and ego-ing/ credential-flashing it past everyone else, and everyone's doing it and there's conflict between having one's pet in the show vs making the show the best it could given constraints.
posted by porpoise at 10:19 PM on April 14, 2022 [5 favorites]

"Oh no."
"I just realized who the actress playing his mother reminds me of. Holly Palance."
"Let's just say that I hope 'Look Up, Jean-Luc' isn't this plotline's 'Look at me, Damien, I love you! It's All for You, Damien!'"
'oh god, they wouldn't'

Q: Jeez, Jean-Luc. I came here to teach you a lesson about romance. But I thought your Avoidant Behaviors about women were you just being, y'know, stuffy. Reserved.
(Vash told me she actually caught you doing the Picard Maneuver with a condom. C'mon man.)
I had no idea your mother made you a witness to her suicide!
Really messes up my plans for you and Laris loving it up and having the first Synth-Romulan hybrid baby; solving both my selfish Last of the Picards to Play With and making a point about growing by overcoming your deepest fears.
But no, you had to do your own thing. So now BorgRati is headed straight for the alternate dimension where AI is the dominant lifeform, from last season. The big portal full of robot tentacles? And I've seen enough hentai to know where that's going.
posted by bartleby at 10:48 PM on April 14, 2022 [2 favorites]

She's all about eliciting the endorphins in others.
These Borgs and their endorphin-fueled assimilation kink.
posted by bartleby at 10:58 PM on April 14, 2022 [1 favorite]

The “mom had a mental illness” angle was kind of interesting but it almost feels like it cheapens everything I’ve heard Stewart say about his own childhood with an abusive father.

Might they simply not be basing things 100% directly on Stewart's childhood?

Also: Stewart came around to a place of compassion towards his father after learning some things about him as an adult, after spending a lifetime of thinking he was a monster. This sounds similar to Jean-Luc, no?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:48 AM on April 15, 2022 [7 favorites]

I did not know that! In which case, that could definitely help fill in the thematic gaps, given how personal the story apparently is to Stewart. Interesting to hear that that’s the case!
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:06 AM on April 15, 2022 [1 favorite]

I mostly agree with sardonyx, but think that the Corn Pop cameo was over the top.
posted by Marticus at 6:52 AM on April 15, 2022

Somehow this feels more Star Trek to me...

All that aside, I just don't care about Jean-Luc's mommy and daddy issues, and I haven't since day one. I had absolutely zero desire to find out what his life was like as a little boy. None. Don't care in the least.

For whatever reason, family estrangement is as Star Trek as it gets. Kirk is seemingly somewhat distant from his family (and knows his son only for, what, a few days?); Spock famously doesn’t speak to his father for eighteen years and has a quasi-canonical brother whom he never mentions (and subsequently an adopted sister whom he is legally enjoined not to). McCoy is divorced and his daughter’s one appearance got rewritten to be a different character altogether.

Picard was not close with his brother; Riker’s dad was pretty remote. Data’s extended family is a mess. Troi’s mother is domineering and mostly a comic relief foil. Worf’s families — both biological and adoptive — are not great.

I won’t go through all the series save to point out that O’Brien, despite having the worst luck of anyone when it comes to misfortune, is about the only regular we have ever seen with a happy marriage (although it seems latterly that Riker and Troi did okay).

Oh, and it seems in every century that one of the prerequisites to enter Starfleet is having a deceased sibling whose death you feel guilt over.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:29 AM on April 15, 2022 [8 favorites]

So, the FBI agent at the end looked incredibly familiar. Turns out the actor also played Lieutenant Ducane, First Officer on the 29th Century Federation timeship USS Relativity on Voyager.

I wonder if he’s really an FBI agent… and if he isn’t whether he’s from the good timeline or the bad timeline…
posted by SansPoint at 9:48 AM on April 15, 2022 [1 favorite]

Yes, family is part of Star Trek, but in most of instances mentioned above, ricochet biscuit, those family problems were meant to move a plot line forward, not backward, and most were quickly dropped. Kirk finding out he fathered a son was something new for the character (and the audience) to deal with after decades of Kirk's playboying around the universe. Spock having issues with Sarek gave our favourite half-Vulcan the challenge of having living foil (in a way McCoy couldn't) and an example of a "perfect" Vulcan to live up to--something he never really had. Watching empathetic Troi feel frustration with her joke of a mom, made her character more relatable. And yes, Lwaxana was mostly a joke until DS9, even though her interest in Jean-Luc also showed us how flustered and knocked off-balance he could get in a way that we had never seen before.

Some family-member characters were one and dones. Others were reoccurring, but used sparingly. In contrast, this has been a whole grinding season where the plot isn't being moved forward (and neither is Jean-Luc's character development, to any great extent) and we aren't even being given the bonus of a new character who will be interacting with the current cast and therefore bringing us new insights into them.
posted by sardonyx at 10:53 AM on April 15, 2022

• James Callis (Maurice Picard) is best known for playing Dr. Gaius Baltar

But also a recurring guest on The Musketeers, starring Santiago Cabrera.
posted by biffa at 12:38 PM on April 15, 2022

Some family-member characters were one and dones.

Sort of related to this, it seemed to me that the monster in the cellar had been cgi'd to look like Jeremy Kemp, who played Picard's brother in TNG.
posted by biffa at 12:59 PM on April 15, 2022

I really want to like this show. I'm glad there's more Trek in the world. It will require real restraint not to punch the writers if I ever meet them. No human being has ever said this dialog. Nobody ever will. You genuinely have to be alien to believe any of this is real. I can buy gravity plating and time travel. I can't buy Picard's ennui. Nothing rings true.

I wonder if we'd get more interesting plots if we did a crowd fundraiser to by therapy for the Trek writers, 'cause they seem like very broken people. Which is a okay thing to be, but really boring when you endlessly tell strangers about it at great length and assume we should care.
posted by eotvos at 4:50 PM on April 15, 2022 [4 favorites]

I think young Guinan is a good, new character, and the Borg Queen is also, because she is so weakened, and needy. I care about where the kink in time is, and I am curious how they will fix it. I like this episode, better than last week's. I don't think this show has anything to do with the Biden presidency.

I really like the characters in this series. I didn't hear FBI, just local cops.
posted by Oyéah at 6:10 PM on April 15, 2022

Personally, I was on Team Vash

Yeah I've always thought that Q saw, immediately, that Vash was The One for Picard which is why he went to such lengths to utterly derail that relationship (quite successfully).

I am very meh on exploring the long-buried childhood traumas of Picard, but I will admit, the promise of exploring the root of Q's obsession with Picard does pique my interest. Unlike Picards technically-not-quite-retconned childhood, Q's obsession with Picard was present in TNG from the beginning but has never really been explored.

Spock famously doesn’t speak to his father for eighteen years

I don't want to derail this thread but in fairness to Spock, my brother and I have a long-standing shared observation that Sarek is Literally The Worst TV Dad Ever. And we've watched a lot of other shows with terrible, terrible parenting (Supernatural comes to mind, but it comes up a lot...this whole last season of the Expanse, every time the little girl ran off into the woods unsupervised one of us would go "Ugh her parents are the worst!" and the other would go, "Still not as bad as Sarek!") but Sarek beats them all.

I wonder if we'd get more interesting plots if we did a crowd fundraiser to by therapy for the Trek writers

I'm not sure whether the plots would benefit from more therapy for the writers, or more education in psychology for the writers. I feel like the most frustrating part is that we're supposed to be plumbing the depths of these characters but we just get like, Freud-101-level stuff. The field of psychology has advanced a lot since Freud! But you wouldn't necessarily know that from watching this show. I've enjoyed the improved characterization for the rest of the crew (at least those who weren't unceremoniously disposed of or role-shifted, e.g. Elnor, Soji) but I found the characterization of Picard we got last season - disillusioned with the Starfleet he'd devoted his whole life to, after the disaster on Romulus - to be more interesting, and frequently more believable, than the one we've gotten this season.

If it all ends up being something like "Picard inadvertently killed his own mom and blames himself, and Q inadvertently killed his own mom and blames himself, and wants to see in Picard a model for redemption/self-forgiveness but Picard never quite actually gets there much to Q's frustration, so Q decided to press the issue" I'm just gonna sigh and lament that even Q got the psych-101-level treatment and hope next season can dig deeper.

Fortunately I'm enjoying the Rios plotline which has been fun and well-handled. Queen Jurati, jury's still out depending on how that plays out; if it ends up being Borg Queen Jurati who showed up on the Stargazer back in episode 1 I'm going to be annoyed at the time-loop cliche, but I am enjoying Annie Wersching as the Borg Queen.

I dunno if Jay Karnes is playing Ducane again but the thought did cross my mind, when Picard demanded "What is this?" and the guy responded "Law enforcement!" my first reaction was "But, what law did he break?" Pretty sure there are no laws against teleportation in 2024. But time travel laws? Hoo boy yeah they have been mucking that one up fiercely.
posted by mstokes650 at 9:19 PM on April 15, 2022 [3 favorites]

I don't know, I suspect most excessively overachieving people, like US Presidents or historically influential Starfleet Admirals, are driven by unresolved childhood issues. It's extremely abnormal to be people like that.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:04 PM on April 15, 2022 [2 favorites]

If Fanfare had some kind of facility to divide itself into "liked"/"didn't like" I'd probably be posting in both of those zones. I really don't want to yuck anyone's yum, but I do want to Talk About It. I'm still on board here, but I have some notes, is what I'm saying.

As I said in the TNG rewatch thread, I liked where they left JLP and Q's relationship in "All Good Things...". Q had been instructed by the Continuum to put humanity on trial again, but threw Picard a rope because he respected him and sees humanity's potential.

Their scenes together had a kind of intimacy to them, with Q being insufferable but coming down firmly as benevolent with a wink. My headcanon was that Q would drop in on retired Jean-Luc at the vineyard every once in a while for some Earl Grey and needling. So I didn't much like Picard's expression of alarm when he heard Q's voice for the first time in ep 1.

I do like the idea that Q might be unwell. Maybe he came to Picard for help out of instinct, because who else in the universe could he trust? But he's too erratic and too omnipotent to ask for it clearly; a kind of Q senile dementia. But if that's the case then I want to see a lot more Q and Picard dialog that carries ominous weight. Like when Q leaned into frame (metaphorically) to say something to Picard in ep 3 before they time traveled, let's have more of that instead of two eps in a row where he's only in the previously.

The Q who is a character is much better than the Q who is just deus ex machina.

There are pacing problems and theme problems and someone should tell them that a Dutch angle is necessary but not sufficient to create a dream sequence. And the blocking. Where is everyone standing? I wouldn't know!

Sequencing is a problem too. Seven and Raffi are on the ship locked out by the Borg encryption, but they can beam medical devices ("for his brain") right into Rios's hand. Then they're on the street in San Francisco again without even exchanging a single word with Rios. That was confusing, they should have had clearer back and forth coverage during all that, as well as a shot of them beaming out. And Seven "hadn't touched her coffee," but Raffi had just set it down in front of her literally 10 seconds ago. They keep missing all the beats that happen when humans exist together in the same space and have to share information with each other like, "hey, btw, we found Jurati being weird in San Francisco, so we're going there now." It's simultaneously rushed and too slow at the same time. It feels jarring and unskillful because characters have to earn their next action by moving through the space, not just do the next logical thing according to the plot. This is what happens when the Watsonian and the Doylist are not clearly separate.

Speaking of transporting, I guess now they can beam themselves and some civilians back to the ship without anyone manning the controls? And how does everyone, including the 21st Century detective, have access to everyone else's camera feeds?

Ok, that's about enough of that.

Damn if Sir Patrick doesn't have killer gravitas. Even when he's repeating the same non sequitur line that Off-Brand Bashir just said he delivers it like he's speaking to Horatio. Also, Rios is fantastic, Santiago Cabrera is absolutely magnetic in the role. And I really liked that Raffi and Seven were bantering instead of glowering.

A lot of what Dr. Ramirez says is great. "Why are you walking towards me like a serial killer?" was was hilarious.

I'm here for the puzzle-box plot, but I wish they weren't so intent on holding all the pieces as long as possible. Let us have some more puzzle pieces.

I agree with others that Agnes of Borg is the queen on the Stargazer and that's a key element to fixing time somehow. But so help me, if the overall plot is that Queen Agnes assimilated Q in the past...

On Preview, reading mstokes650's comment: Oh! That Ducane? Ok, yeah, I guess he can have access to all the camera feeds he wants. Also +1 to the idea that what's wrong with Q is in parallel with Picard's issues. I'd assumed that what Q said on the ship before the time travel, "let's see what else has been lost in the wake of your fear," was only to critique Picard's initiating self destruct out of fear of the Borg Queen who was asking for help, that certainly fits thematically with the Q we saw in "Farpoint". But maybe he was speaking about himself as well, because he's fallen ill.

Let's follow that a bit. Maybe the whole plot is Q trying to do the exact same timey-wimey shenanigans that he did in "All Good Things..." He's trying to test humanity with another universe destroying time loop by hopping Picard et al. to a different timeline but since he's got whatever the god equivalent of mental illness is he can't see it through.

That adds an additional level of terror to Q's monologue about fear at the end of ep 4, when he's in the courtyard with Renee, right before he snaps his fingers and nothing happens.

"You can't do it. And you know it. Oh, sure, you played the game for a while. When nothing was at stake. When the only challenge was fooling everybody into thinking you had the nerve. But now it's real. The fear is choking you. Well, here's the truth. You can't do it. People are going to die. And now your fear, your doubt, is the loudest voice in your head." Snaps fingers. -nothing happens- Snaps fingers again. -nothing continues- "That's unexpected. And most unfortunate."

It's shot like he's talking about Renee, but if Q is talking about himself here it's chilling. He's started the test but he's coming apart, and now Picard and the rest are really on their own.
posted by Horkus at 12:25 AM on April 16, 2022 [9 favorites]

It's shot like he's talking about Renee, but if Q is talking about himself here it's chilling.
My read on first watch was that this was dialogue from the Dixon Hill novel Renee was reading, that he was reading/reciting 'over her shoulder' in the manner of the library scene from Wings of Desire.
posted by bartleby at 6:45 PM on April 16, 2022 [1 favorite]

Okay, this episode was much better than the last and perhaps one of the best of the season. BUT -

I don't like the idea that dealing with Picard's mother's mental illness lead Maurice to physically locking her in a room - it's 300 years in our future and treating mental illness has regressed to people being physically manhandled when they have an episode? There was a line about mental illness earlier in the season - in regard to Renee and what she's dealing with while she trains for her trip. It seemed equally reductive - as if it was just a hurdle for her to get over. Astronauts need to be physically and mentally fit, but I think if she has depression, it's not just about Picard and her Watcher making sure she stays in the Space Program. She needs help.

"I just work in outer space" made me want to hurl things at the TV. The showrunner has been on Twitter complaining about people complaining about "fan service" and yet here he is just ripping off a great line from a great Star Trek movie.

I'm not sure the Raffi and Seven's meta commentary on 'shipping Jurati/Rios as opposed to them was anything more than cringe.

I think there are too many moving plot pieces for everything to tie up satisfyingly by the end of the season. But this episode, with the exploration of Picard's mind, felt a bit like an episode of TNG. I appreciated that.
posted by crossoverman at 11:25 PM on April 16, 2022 [1 favorite]

I don't like the idea that dealing with Picard's mother's mental illness lead Maurice to physically locking her in a room - it's 300 years in our future and treating mental illness has regressed to people being physically manhandled when they have an episode?

We know for a fact that it's not; the TOS episode "Whom Gods Destroy" (and to some extent "Dagger of the Mind") portray mental illness as being relatively rare in the Federation, as in the case of most diseases in general. That wouldn't prevent people who refused, or were prevented from obtaining, treatment from suffering.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:43 PM on April 18, 2022

My understanding wasn't that they were treating her mental illness by locking her away. Just that Picard had to realize that the scary things he was experiencing were caused by his mothers mental illness & not his fathers abuse.
posted by bleep at 2:39 PM on April 18, 2022 [1 favorite]

It seemed equally reductive - as if it was just a hurdle for her to get over. Astronauts need to be physically and mentally fit, but I think if she has depression, it's not just about Picard and her Watcher making sure she stays in the Space Program. She needs help.

Picard's point of view was that Q was posing as her therapist and talking her out of her own confidence. If it was a legitimate, time-appropriate therapist & she was saying the same things then that would be different.
posted by bleep at 2:42 PM on April 18, 2022

A definite improvement over the previous episode... which is a relief. I hope that was the low point of the season.

I spent much of this episode mistaking James Callis for Alexander Siddig.

The whole "I must go into this unconscious person's mind to help them fight their demons" plot is fairly tropey stuff, but they handled it reasonably competently.

Kinda weird how they just dropped the Adam Soong plotline entirely this week. It feels like they have at least one too many balls in the air. The series could have benefited from a little less plot, and a little more character development.

But at least it's back on track, for the moment.

Given that they seem to have shot seasons 2 and 3 back to back, I wonder if the finale of this season is going to set up or lead right into the premise for the next season?
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 5:05 PM on April 18, 2022 [1 favorite]

I spent much of this episode mistaking James Callis for Alexander Siddig.
If he ever does return to Star Trek for a cameo; in turnabout for Anglicising his name in the DS9 credits, I would like to see an 'Also Starring - Siddig El Tahir El Fadil El Siddig Abdurrahman Mohammed Ahmed Abdel Karim El Mahdi as Doctor Bashir'.
posted by bartleby at 5:36 PM on April 18, 2022 [7 favorites]

Rios was damn lucky he had a trained medical doctor on hand to push the power button on that brain fixing machine.
posted by fairmettle at 2:15 AM on April 21, 2022 [9 favorites]

I did not know that! In which case, that could definitely help fill in the thematic gaps, given how personal the story apparently is to Stewart. Interesting to hear that that’s the case!

It's actually quite moving - do a search on YouTube for clips of the Patrick Stewart episode of "Do You Know Who You Are". It's practically 100% focused on what his father's WWII experiences were - his father saw some serious shit go down, and when he was discharged there even was a newspaper clipping they showed him that said that his father had "recently come home from the front, but sadly is suffering from Shell Shock". And "Shell Shock", the genealogists told him, is another word for PTSD - and at the time the only treatment they had for PTSD was to tell the sufferer to "pull yourself together, dude".

You can practically HEAR the gears change in his head when he discovers this.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:18 AM on April 22, 2022 [2 favorites]

Off-Brand Bashir

Excellent description!
posted by fairmettle at 11:47 PM on May 9, 2022

Um. I'm watching this months late, but I have to say, I am unbelievably uncomfortable with the plot twist that Picard's dad wasn't really abusive, it was his mom who was crazy all along, and they had to keep her locked away in a chateau far away from civilization for her own good, one that she kept trying to escape from. I feel like Baltar is gaslighting me. This all just seems very bad and ill-advised, and I'd probably check out of the show altogether if it weren't so close to the end of the season.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:42 PM on July 13, 2022 [2 favorites]

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