OODLES AND OODLES AND OODLES OF SPOILERS!!!
Who remembers “The Naked Now”? Thirty-two and a half years ago (!!!), it was the second episode of the The Next Generation to air. While it wasn’t the worst episode ever (that would be “The Royale,” in my opinion), it definitely wasn’t the best. At a time when the main characters of TNG were just being introduced to audiences and still making first impressions, they were each reduced to comedic caricatures—Yar throwing herself at Data, Beverly and Picard throwing themselves at each other, Wesley taking over engineering…sheesh, even Data got goofy! Two episodes in, and they’re doing comedy???
That was the mental image I had before watching this past Thursday’s fifth episode of STAR TREK: PICARD, “Stardust City Rag.” The trailer showed what looked like a modern day version of TOS’s “A Piece of the Action” or DS9‘s “Badda Bing, Badda-Bang“—complete with characters dressing up for some kinda heist from dangerous-looking gangsters or something. Even the sneak-peek preview scene from the end of the previous week’s THE READY ROOM showed a comedic vignette of annoying holo-spam ads popping up all over the bridge, requiring the gallant crew to do something physical to get rid of each one.
I was NOT expecting to like this episode.
So imagine my ecstatic surprise when “Stardust City Rag” turned out to be the strongest and most enjoyable episode of Picard thus far…at least for me (and many other reviewers, as it turned out).
What happened to make this episode so good…?
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE
Writer KIRSTEN BEYER, the co-creator and one of the 47 executive producers of the show, knows her Star Trek. An author of several Voyager novels and some of the IDW Trek comic books, Beyer also wrote a couple of the strongest Discovery episodes along with the last of the Short Treks, “Children of Mars.”
I’ll get more into some of the specific things Kirsten did to make this episode work so well as I go through the blog, but in general, this simply “felt” like a Star Trek episode—granted, one that starts out with an overly-disgusting shot of a character having his eyeball slowly pulled out. That’s one of those scenes that makes even fans of The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones start to wretch and go, “Did you REALLY need to show us that???” And considering how much I kvetched about swear words last week, I shouldn’t really give a pass to such unnecessary gore. But I will say that it immediately helped to make the revulsion and disgust for these bad guys visceral for the audience…giving some justification to Seven-of-Nine’s ultimate decision at the end of the episode.
But leaving aside that one questionable scene, I have to admit that I didn’t find any other scene in the episode to be problematic…not even the aforementioned holo-spam ads that literally popped up. Even the little nods to Star Trek and David Bowie were appreciated by this aging child of the 1970s.
(Wait…Bowie? Yep, David Bowie—a.k.a. Ziggy STARDUST—the artist who recorded a little ditty titled Space Oddity about a junkie, er, astronaut named Major Tom. When first released in 1969, the B-side of the record featured a song titled Wild Eyed Boy from FREECLOUD. Pretty cool, huh? Oh, and the planet where Icheb died, VERGESSEN, is German for “forgotten.” And it’s in the HYPATHIA system. Hypathia was a female astronomer who was murdered in Alexandria in 415 A.D. when a mob ripped out her eyes and tore her body into pieces…just like Icheb. The egg hunt is on, my friends!)
As for the Star Trek easter eggs, while I tend to find them clunkily inserted in Discovery episodes, here I found them artfully and tastefully included—and rather fun. The first, of course, was Bruce Maddox being drugged with Tranya (the beverage Balok offers Kirk at the end of “The Corbomite Maneuver). We also got a reference to the Breen. Then there’s this establishing shot of Stardust (Universal) City…
Starting on the left, of course there’s a sign advertising Dabo Tables; this is the 24th century equivalent to Las Vegas, after all! (What happens on Freecloud stays on Freecloud, am I right?) Across the street, however, we see that Mr. Quark from Ferenginar—mentioned by name later in the episode—has left Deep Space Nine for what seems like the perfect spot. And read the sign just to the right of Quark’s bar: “What is yours is ours.” Indeed! Oh, and apparently Mr. Mott, the Bolian hairstylist from the Enterprise-D, has also wound up with a Hair Emporium on Freecloud. So everybody wins, yes?
As I said, I’ll go into more specifics about the episode shortly, but I would like to point out one important detail that you might have missed. In a properly composed script, you try not to bring in any plot contrivance out of thin air because that’s cheating. Whatever “tool” the writer is going to use later to advance the story should be shown to be in the tool box earlier in the script. What I’m referring to is the scene at the end with the EMH witnessing Agnes Jurati’s murder of Maddox. (I did tell you there’d be spoilers!) Now, I expect that in an upcoming episode, the EMH will spill the beans—revealing Agnes to be a femme fatale—or else she’ll try to reprogram him or erase this memory recording, and something will go wrong, allowing the crew to follow the clues to Agnes’ misdeed.
But in order to have the EMH witness the crime, he has to spontaneously activate. Well, thanks to proper writing, that contrivance was already established earlier in the episode. When a member of the crew gets severely agitated, throwing his or her vitals out of whack, the EMH spontaneously appears with a “What is the nature of your psychiatric emergency?” So the tool was shown to be in the tool box, and thus when Agnes got all nervous about murdering her significant other, the EMH appears and we viewers all think, “Oh, yeah…he does that.”
Okay, let’s move on…
GREAT ACTORS AND A GREAT DIRECTOR
I’m not sure everyone understands how really, really good all of these actors are. And because there were no scenes on the Romulan Borg Cube Artifact—and honestly, folks, I didn’t miss it—we were spared the weakest two characters on the show, Narek and his ever-lovin’ sister Narissa. What this left us with were the strongest members of the cast—in addition to Sir Patrick himself—all of whom have been developed just a little so far (except for Seven, who hadn’t been developed yet…although she had four years on Voyager for that), leaving ample opportunity for more development. And each of these actors provided wonderful scenes that really showed us both their characters’ strengths and vulnerabilities. I enjoyed seeing all of their stories unfold this time.
And of course, I can’t leave out our Number One director, JONATHAN FRAKES. This was the second episode (in a row) of Picard that he directed, and let’s face it, Frakes knows Star Trek—having played William Riker in 181 TNG episodes (plus an episode of DS9 and one of Enterprise) and four feature films…and directed 21 episodes of various Trek series (including Discovery) and two of the TNG movies. And while last episode didn’t feel like a typical TNG episode, “Stardust City Rag” had a definite Next Gen vibe.
Well, to start with, this was our first real “away team” mission. But there was a more important element in play. In season three of TNG, the late MICHAEL PILLER took over as executive producer and gave the writers a new prime directive: each story had to be about a character. Sure, things could still happen, but they had to happen to someone or because of someone—whether it be Picard, Data, Troi, Worf, whomever. And in season three, that’s when TNG turned the corner from being a decent show to a really great show.
Usually, TNG would only focus on one or two main characters per episode. Maybe Riker or Beverly would be the A-story and Geordi would get the B-story, but seldom would all the main characters get to develop or shine in the same episode. Fast forward to “Stardust City Rag,” and we have an episode that is all about the characters. Sure, things happen; there’s a mission and action and intrigue. And there’s a LOT of puzzle pieces included to continue the ongoing story arc. But co-existing with all of those plot elements and tantalizing clues to the larger mystery are some very human (and Romulan and former Borg) scenes. But unlike TNG, this episode did something a little more ambitious. Instead of simply spotlighting one or two or three characters, this episode gave “moments” to all of them—along with some really meaty development opportunities.
Let’s take a look, character by character, how it all worked out…
PICARD AS ZEE FRANCHMAN
Not since James T. Kirk told Scotty to “…locate the man on the other end of the blower and give him a ride to this flop,” or Kathryn Janeway seduced Dr. Chaotica, have we fans seen a starship captain so ham it up in order to save the day. And Picard’s performance as a British actor playing a French national who has a British accent trying to sound like an over-the-top French bounty hunter with a ridiculous accent (got all that?) could have gone so wrong…were it not SIR PATRICK STEWART! Somehow, Sir Patrick keeps the schtick from flying off the rails and instead makes it a rare treat.
As I commented in some of my earliest Picard blogs, the first few episodes featured Jean-Luc in nearly every scene. That’s understandable on two levels. First, the show is named after the character…duh! And second, the first couple of episodes had only introduced a limited number of characters, most with a connection to Picard. But now the cast has grown considerably, and also, by necessity, some scenes needed to take place without Picard’s direct knowledge—such as Raffi’s encounter with her son, Seven’s revenge, and Agnes’ murder of Maddox. But other scenes were also sans Picard, giving the characters a chance to define themselves in other ways than simply their relationships to Jean-Luc.
One of those scenes was Raffi talking to Rios about Seven. The brief conversation provided comfortable exposition for any newbie viewer not familiar with Seven’s history…plus it added in the important fact that Picard himself was once a Borg—which hadn’t really been touched on up until now. Indeed, when Rios says, “And I managed to forget that Picard used to be Borg, too…must have happily blocked it out…” I had to admit: I’d managed to forget, too! I mean, I remembered, but I’d sorta filed it away in an unused part of my brain as I thought about all of the other fascinating things we know about this amazing character. So like Rios, I appreciated the reminder.
And speaking of Seven-of-Nine…
SEVEN, THE EX-BORG FENRIS RANGER FROM THE DELTA QUADRANT
We had been promised a JERI RYAN appearance as Seven-of-Nine in the first trailer for the show, but we mostly figured she’d be a quick cameo…like Brent Spiner as Data. Instead, we got her for a full episode (plus one short scene). And honestly, I don’t think this will be the last we see of her. In fact, I predict a return of Seven (thanks to her leaving Picard a calling card) likely in the last episode(s) of the season. And I will add to that prediction that something will happen to help Seven heal herself and mark the growth by returning to her human name of Annika. But we’ll see.
There’s a lot fo damaged people on this show—Picard himself (regrets, waiting to die), Rios (loss of faith), Raffi (addiction), Elnor (abandonment)…even the Federation is damaged (fear and paranoia) and the Romulans (betrayal and anger). But none seem to be so damaged as Seven-of-Nine. Her life, which had seemed so hopeful after the Voyager finale, has turned tragically dark…even if she is trying to help people.
And that provides perhaps the most fascinating and powerful scene of this not-so-comedic-after-all episode: Seven’s final conversation with Picard. They have both been Borg. Allegorically, they are both rape victims who survived but will never be the same. However, Picard has turned a corner that Seven hasn’t reached yet. Watch the scene closely—Picard isn’t fooled. His expression when he sees Seven take the two phasers is one of resignation. He knows what she is about to do, and he isn’t stopping her. He understands her need for revenge. Picard already faced that moment when he broke his little ships in First Contact. Seven hasn’t gotten there yet and still carries the pain. She’s still hunting her white whale. The hope is that she’ll somehow find a way to move beyond it.
WATCH OUT—‘CAUSE RAFFI IS ONE BAD MOTHER
This show is playing the long game, and even though Raffi had little screen time this episode (hers was the B-story), her scenes were not wasted…even though she herself has been wasted quite often. (Sorry, bad drug pun.) But she’s clean now—or is she? Did you notice in that “annoying” holo-spam scene that all of the ads seem to key in to something personal about the viewer? Rio the pilot has a need for speed, so the “Red Bolian” offers to upgrade his engine efficiency. Picard is invited for a cup of tea at the Freecloud Grand Hotel. Agnes, a robotics specialist, is told they’re hiring at the Freecloud Institute of Entertainment Robotics. And what is Raffi shown? It’s an ad for Feely’s Venom Garden…a place for junkies to get high, methinks! Addiction is a disease that cannot be cured, only controlled.
Anyway, the scene with her son helps develop Raffi’s character a little more, but it also opens up some mysteries to the audience. Raffi suspects that the Synth attack on Mars was actually engineered by the Conclave of Eight? Who the heck are they??? This is the mark of good writing, just when the audience thinks they’re starting to figure things out, to shake things up and introduce new mysteries along the way to keep things interesting…color me intrigued!
Oh, and let’s take a moment to appreciate MICHELLE HURD’S amazingly pained performance trying to reach out to her estranged son. That level of emotional depth and vulnerability is beyond the capabilities of many, many actors. What Michelle did there was extraordinary, and we viewers are being given the gift of this incredible actress each week.
LET ELNOR BE ELNOR
Speaking of those holo-ads, Elnor didn’t get one. Why not? Probably because he had no secret desire (or any desire) that could be read. Or maybe the system simply scanned their files…and Elnor had none. Either way, it was both amusing and intriguing when that moment happened.
Having only been introduced one episode before, Elnor still has a lot of room to develop. And while he said little this episode—and his few lines were mostly light and comedic (a refreshing change after the decapitation that introduced him)—we still got some better definition of his character, as well. Quite simply, Elnor doesn’t know how to lie or pretend. He wears he heart and brain both on his sleeve because he’s never known any other way than absolute candor. It’s fascinating! And while it’s probably a little bit of a reach for me to say this, I see a lot of Data in Elnor. I wonder if Picard does, as well. Do you?
HIS NAME IS RIOS AND HE DANCES IN HIS HAT
This blog is getting long, so I won’t spend too much time on Rios…although I could! What I noticed particularly toward the end is that “Captain” Rios is definitely beginning to let Picard give the commands on board. It’s an interesting dynamic. Granted, the customer is always right. And despite there being no money in the future (yeah, right), Picard’s winery must be raking in the latinum hand over double-fist because Rios just doubled his fee and Picard doesn’t blink. Also, one of the best comedic lines of this not-as-comedic-as-I-thought-it’d-be episode was Raffi’s admonition to Rios, “You can’t do your broody, existentialist spaceman routine.” Interestingly enough, that’s the way Picard’s character started on TNG over three decades ago. Think about it.
And did I notice a possible romantic sumthin’-sumthin’ developing between Rios and Agnes? If so, judging by the final fate of Bruce Maddox, Rios might want to think twice before swiping right on this particular Tinder match. That said, let’s move onto the “lovely” Dr. Jurati…
AGNES JURATI IS A REAL PILL
Actress ALISON PILL began playing Dr. Agnes Jurati as a quirky, somewhat hesitant, and insecure bookworm. She was your quintessential mild-mannered scientist character who isn’t expected to be the action hero and can double as the audience’s “point-of-view” character who can ask for explanations of stuff. And by explaining to her, the writers have a tool for explaining to us viewers.
But there’s something about Agnes. (Man, that should have been my sub-head! Oh, well…)
Fans have been theorizing for weeks about this character. After all, she gets a visit from Picard out of the blue, then she gets a visit from the creepy Commodore Oh (I still can’t type that without thinking of two dozen different puns!), and by the end of episode 3, she’s inviting herself on Picard’s quest. Spy much?
Also, what exactly does Agnes know, how does she know it, and why is it so troubling to her? Again, another fresh mystery…although I suspect it has to do with Soji being this Great Destroyer thingie. We’ll know in the next five weeks.
Then, of course, there’s the theory that Agnes herself is one of Dr. Maddox’s perfectly imperfect synths. After all, she can even fool an EMH with vital signs that get all out of whack when she panics. Either way—human or android (agnoid?)—this character just became a lot more fascinating. And thank you, writers, for not waiting too long to 1) reveal the “true” Agnes, and 2) surprise us by killing off Maddox just as we find him. Neither plot twist was expected.
AND WHAT ABOUT THOSE VILLAINS?
With this blog now more than 3,000 words, I can’t spare much time on the villains, Bjayzl and Mr. Vup. But again, they deserve more commentary. All I’ll say is that I did a double-take when I first saw Bjayzl, as Persian actress NECAR ZADEGAN looked like a taller MARINA SIRTIS from three decades ago! That said, I felt the character was a little too arrogantly sinister…much like the Romulan Narissa. This show is struggling to take its female villains compelling beyond coming off as sex-starved, sadistic, and/or simply cold and calculating. Some definite work needs to happen there.
On the other hand, Mr. Vup was fifty shades of awesome. And if you haven’t watched this week’s READY ROOM yet, skip to the 20:35 mark and check out the meticulous work that went into the make-up of the first-ever Beta Annari sapient reptiloid to appear in Star Trek. The character wowed me on so many levels and shows how hard the creators of this show are working to make it something really amazing.
30 thoughts on “I expected the WORST, but STAR TREK: PICARD’S fifth episode was its BEST yet! (editorial review)”
Sorry, I have yet to read your review, but really, the best episode yet? I totally despise all that strange generic sci-fi stuff this episode provided (from the ridiculous holo-ads that seem so 90s 3D tech to that strange mob like casino planet to all that rangers and self-justic talk etc.). I’m even astonished that Jonathan Frakes could direkt utter crap like this (it did have its moments though, which I credit to Frakes, but overall?). And don’t get me started on that beginning. People complain about swearing on the show, but how am I supposed to get those ugly splatter images and sounds out of my head? Disgusting…
Ok, now that I got all of that out of my system (and am curious to what you see different and why), I’m off to read your review 😉
Ok, finished (I didn’t first because I though I wouldn’t have the time tonight to do so, but it turns out I did, after all ;-)).
Having read all of your review, I tend to see some things a little different and appreciate the good parts of the episode. However, that still leaves the gore, that strange Freecloud planet that feels as non-Star Trek (or TNG, to be more specific) as it can get (at least to me), and the strange political landscape of (that region of) the galaxy. And don’t get me started on “Vergessen” – that choice for a name of a planet is just bad, real bad (at least if you’re a German. And I would’ve preferred to have it be named “Forgotten” in the German translation, to sort of mirror the joke, but no, it’s still named “Vergessen” here, too, which is ridiculous).
And I tend to disagree about the opening scene. I found the visuals and the sounds so disgusting and distracting that I couldn’t even feel anything. And while I had heard the name Icheb before, that character does nothing for me (guess I’ll have to watch Voyager again, since I seem to have missed that episode or forgotten about it). So that scene didn’t work for me (though I have nothing against a good revenge on an evil baddie ;-))
Even now, I’m on the fence about that opening scene. I think it was put in there mostly for shock value, but it was also important to make the audience really hate the bad guys…especially after we found out it was iCheb. And you don’t remember Icheb??? Oh, Olaf…for shame! He was in nearly a dozen episodes of Voyager!
As for the planet name, perhaps it was colonized by Germans who felt forgotten. Who knows? But I think it was supposed to be an easter egg for fans to discover…some more easily than others, ja? 🙂
Well, let’s see what Olaf has to say after he reads the blog. 🙂
Though I’ve not watched ST:Disc, I rarely was ever disappointed with Frakes’ directing endeavors, aside from ST:Insurrection and that dang Joystick for manual control!
Spot on with the blog points yet again. I’ve yet to be disappointed with PICARD – not with pacing, plots or what have you – EXCEPT for the too quickly cut effects scenes of fights (or the too fast passing of the opening or ending credits) – c’mon now, us 60+ viewers eyes don’t quite keep up, and like to read most of that info! – I’ll have to wait for the DVD to come out for that as pausing on CBS:AA is a virtual pain. Other than that – the “40” some odd exec producers aren’t leaving me wanting for story – and I can put up with the odd shuttle or starship that looks more JJ era than Canon era. 😉
Can’t wait to see this week’s episode!
Have you tried taking screen caps of your computer screen while you watch?
I’ll have to search for that -was not aware. Thanks!
On my Mac, screen capture is command-shift-3. Go full screen, take a still, and see all the goodies you missed…easy-peasy.
“And Picard’s performance as a British actor playing a French national who has a British accent trying to sound like an over-the-top French bounty hunter with a ridiculous accent”
There was at least one reviewer that did not catch the subtlety of that over-the-top acting.
And as far as that gory opening goes, it underlines why someone would go all out for revenge. Someone who feels like a parent seeing his or her child tortured and not wanting revenge? I’m sure some don’t, but it’s certainly 100% understandable.
And for a final comment: I knew Maddox was going to be murdered by her when I saw the camera angle that included her. I don’t know if it was the camera angle or her subtle acting or both, but it was a true ‘tell’. And if nothing else, it shows how important it is to have someone at the helm who knows his business.
Amazing review. I loved this episode as well, but you brought some things up I missed in my first 2 viewings. Time to watch it again haha.
It’s so tough writing these things every week and keeping them interesting. I’m glad they’re appreciated. Thanks, Brian.
For four days I’ve been waiting for someone to bring up the ‘Conclave of Eight’. If it’s real it has to be a group of Romulans and Humans working together to stop the synth and return of the Borg. I am one who believes the Commodore is full Vulcan and knows whatever secret is being hidden. Why? Because the Vulcans are part of it as well. After all, it was only 1,500 years ago the great civil war and ‘The Awakening’ occurred sending those Vulcans who fought under ‘the raptor’s wings’ to leave and found their new empire.
Seven/Annika is the best return of any character in the Star Trek universe. Agree with you on her endgame. Regain her full humanity as Annika Hansen, if not by the end of season 1 then by season 2. Cannot say much about Elnor yet except I like him and in the end can see Seven/Annika take him under her mothering wings and teach him about ranging and becoming a ranger.
I have spoken.
Yes indeed, Nick Nolte, you have spoken. 🙂
Very welcome. I could hear the excitement and enjoyment of the episode in the article. It was one of those episodes that me silent and in retrospect for a while. Keep writing!
I shall, Brian. I shall indeed!
As I mentioned in my Facebook post, I thought this episode was a total hoot. Very much Star Trek’s take on Mission: Impossible with just a dash of Ocean’s 11.
The more I think about it, the more I think the Riker/Troi scenes will come in the season finale.
Picard leaves Soji in their care because he trusts them to keep her safe.
Predictions! Get your predictions in! Step right up and tell us what you think is gonna happen. And if you’re right you win a…
…well, you really don’t win anything other than bragging rights. 🙂
Amazing how people can have different impressions about the same things. In my opinion, this is another episode that demonstrates constructive anemia, as the character Picard is deconstructed to the same extent. The script is again insipient, fragile and not very engaging. The writers insist on being unskilled in building characters with some psychological density. The scene that shows Raffi’s attempt to reconnect with his son (“I´m clean”) is embarrassing, pure cliché. Everything is solved in a simple and anesthetic way. Orange is the New Black is infinitely more dense and smarter, when it comes to issues of this nature. What I see in the CBS team is an incredible inability to understand not only what science fiction is, but a well-made narrative structure that brings us something that makes us want to see and see over again. On the contrary, I have been watching this series without any pleasure, to the point of thinking about giving it up, just as it happened in the Discovery series.
While I don’t agree with you, Mauricio, I do have to commend you for making your points in a compelling, respectful, and intelligent way. And they are certainly strong points (even if I personally believe otherwise). Most folks on Facebook have been limiting their comments to things like “Pure trash”–which doesn’t argue against the writing on the show so much as to simply point out the laziness and lack of intellectual depth of the Facebook poster. You, however, are neither, and I appreciate you taking the time to share your insights.
Fantastic insight. I thing you would of been a bit naive not to realise that
Agnes was a plant, all the traditional tropes where there and yes I thought that Bjayzl looked like MARINA SIRTIS. It was great that 7 was in the show but does this mean that old characters will be purposely peppered throughout to bring in the original fans.
A definitely ment think but auto correct wanted thing….
These thinks happen. 🙂
I think the only other old characters that we’ve heard about showing up are Riker and Troi. And we’re running out of episodes…only five more left. Not much more time for cameos, kids!
Really enjoyed the episode and your review, which was spot on, as usual. I’m glad things are finally starting to happen, but also a little miffed that they’ve spent so much time on setup. The first three episodes could have been better paced. Episode two ended and I was like WTF? Did I miss something happening?
Remember, it’s a fine wine before an elegant meal…not a Coke and a Quarter Pounder. 🙂
While this review gave me a greater appreciation for some of the more subtle elements of the episode, I still found Seven’s arc a bit too dark and disturbing for it to feel like Star Trek to me. I understand intellectually why Icheb’s death scene had to be so graphic and Seven’s response so dramatic, to justify Seven later murdering Bjayzl (and pretty much everyone else in Bjayzl’s organization as an accessory). I was just a bit saddened that they went that route at all. As long as they DID pursue that avenue, however, I’m also disappointed they didn’t bring Manu back to play Icheb, although I could understand him turning it down if it was offered to him (“Hey, how would you like to come back and spend hours in makeup just to have a gruesome one minute death scene that will turn most long time Star Trek viewers completely off?”).
Manu was injured in a car accident about 18 months ago, and I don’t know whether or not he was still recovering at the time the episode was being filmed last summer…or when it was cast several months earlier. It’s possible Manu and/or his agent weren’t certain he’d be able to sit comfortably in a make-up chair long enough to have his prosthetics applied–although I certainly don’t know for certain.
Loved the blog post. So many goodies that I missed and so many items that I knew and smiled about. Their writing is WONDERFUL, to articulate humor and seriousness without being over bearing or slimy or fake. It worked wonderfully and thanks to Jonathan Frakes, it just looks good.
Lots of people are talking about either the swearing or the gore. This is not your parents Star Trek. But it also is not Discovery. Gore was important in the telling of the story. It is a reality of the Borg assimilation, itʻs the reality of those who buy and sell and harvest for their own purposes.
The swearing? Itʻs not over done. It makes the scene more real that those “colorful metaphors” would continue, even into space and time. Iʻm fine with it. It doesnʻt happen to often and is tastefully included.
Picard & DSC; The two are very different. The pacing. The Characters, the Tech. And it should be. Picard and crew are going thru the armpit of the galaxy. Love that seeing Picard play that “sinister” character. It was amazing, LOVING the accent and his portrayal of that criminal character, then seeing him break out of character as realization sets in that Seven was not fully forthcoming with intel and back story. SO we got to learn right along with JL.
Already started binge watching the episode, seen it 4 times since it aired. Good stuff, canʻt wait for more. LOVED every single iteration of Star Trek from TOS to PICARD; and still continue to.
Well after your reviews I am going to give it another go I stalled after episode 2 after the absurdities got to me I haven’t yet got to the bit where a Vulcan has to wear sunglasses. The other bits were wearing me down especially where a biological android someone who is biologically indistinguishable from a human is able to jump 20 feet. Certainly Other Star Trek has stubbed its toe occasionally though managed to get round it by techno babble I exclude STD which is nothing but absurdities and it is definitely not, that hell you even have actors in STP.
It is this tone of the federation has turned inward and isolationist is happy to make slaves of androids or ban them though Holograms seem to be OK. I am pretty sure that it is some political dig at Trump which since I am not american I do not understand. I mean the bloke has done a brilliant job for the USA. Sure he is a liar womaniser and uses Prostitutes but didnt the Kennedys and he has done an even better job of turning the economy around. Either way I do not want current day politics from a foreign country shoehorned into my Star Trek.
Picard seems to be this bumbling old man who just gets insulted by the mainly woman he meets. After his retirement did he join Tinder and do the Hump and Dump to inspire such vitriol?? They act as if he gave them a communicable disease. Maybe he did??
If it was just another Sci Fi show I would gloss over this and the way the writers just do not seem to care about some of the logical absurdities like beaming an assassination team in well if you can beam in a team you can beam in a bomb or beam nearby and use a rocket launcher Certainly this can all be explained away with a line of technobabble but they do not seem to care and maybe that is why I am struggling. In the TNG era I had 4 episodes a month sent to me on VHS tape and sat down and devoured them in one sitting now with STP I am finding it difficult to raise enthusiasm to watch the 4 episodes I have queued up.
I do feel as Star Trek fans we should hold the show to a higher standard maybe we have all been shell shocked by STD and are happy to accept anything that is not as rubbish after that.
However we should not Sir Patrick certainly knows what Star Trek is he certainly knows who Picard is yet for me this is not Star Trek or not yet Please tell me there is hope in fact Help me Jonathan lane you are my only hope. To paraphrase another show that used to be good.
Honestly, Glenn, I think it’s a really strong, well-crafted show…and a treat for me to watch week after week. Frankly, I enjoy it way more than Voyager and Enterprise, although not as much as TNG, TOS, or DS9 (my favorites in ascending order). And it’s infinitely better than Discovery. It’s just that you have to know HOW to watch Picard…and you don’t watch it the same way you used to watch the other series. This is a ten-part, 8-hour long movie. Go into it that way, and a lot more things that might be rubbing you the wrong way may no longer do so.
Come back after you’ve caught up and tell me if you’re still having as many problems with the series.
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