Seventeen moments of AWESOMENESS in “SEVENTEEN SECONDS” of STAR: TREK PICARD (editorial review)


Before I begin the blog, here’s a joke: Why are the scenes in season three of STAR TREK: PICARD so dark?

Because there are four lights!


Okay, if you’re one of those fans who’s saying that season three of Picard is some of the best Star Trek presentations in decades—if not ever!—and that you can’t believe that anyone is still refusing to watch the show at this point, then to you, I can only say one thing…

You’re 100% right!!

The third episode of this staggeringly superb season was all but flawless. I have nothing to complain about (other than the dark lighting, which, I will admit, is beginning to bother me just a bit). But aside from that, this show is firing on all thrusters.

So I’ve decided to write about the AWESOME. The episode was titled “Seventeen Seconds,” a reference to the time it took Riker to ride the turbolift from the bridge down to sickbay when Deanna was giving birth to their son Thaddeus and there were nearly fatal complications. For this blog, I am going to call out seventeen “moments” from this episode that I thought were either awesome or at least significant and compelling. Note that these are moments, not full scenes…


If you’re a fan of the Star Trek feature films, then what an opening this was! Some fans (not many) have been complaining that the music isn’t original enough and sounds too much like what has come before. To me, though, this is a wonderful feature, not a bug. I grew up with the sounds of Star Trek, from TOS through TAS, the movies, TNG, DS9, etc. To me, hearing those melodies and sounds in new Trek just fills a void in this old fan’s heart like nothing else can.

And what do we hear? That opening low twang is the V’Ger riff from The Motion Picture! That totally hasn’t been a “thing” in Star Trek since 1979, but now it’s also the sound of the Shrike, and that’s an awesome parallel (considering how powerful and dangerous V-Ger was). And it’s followed by that oh-so-familiar red alert klaxon that dates all the way back to 1966. But notice that the rest of the music (what there is of it) is indeed original. And unlike STAR TREK: DISCOVERY, the music is used very sparingly.

Also notice that “A CBS STUDIOS Production” is written in the Eurostile typeface, which was used as the Starfleet font in all of the TOS feature films. Just after, the “Alert Condition Red” was that same graphic animation used in those same films. And finally, the two ships flying through the yellow nebula clouds were more-than-reminiscent of the space battle sequences from Star Trek: Insurrection. So many wonderful connections to so many Star Trek feature films!

My friends, we’ve come home.


In all my years watching Star Trek, no one has ever given this order! And now I’m beginning to wonder why. When Admiral Kirk was hiding the Enterprise in the Mutara Nebula, why weren’t cadets posted at windows fore, aft, port, and starboard looking for Reliant? So simple! So obvious!

And best of all, later in this episode, we actually see two officers looking out the back window and reporting to the bridge! Huzzah!


Granted, there’s an s-bomb, but it feels almost natural coming from Shaw in this situation. What can I say? I just really like the guy! But what really got me is that, just a few nights ago, my son Jayden and I were watching the first season Voyager episode “The Cloud.” In that slow-moving episode, the displaced starship entered what they initially thought was a nebula that turned out instead to be a living entity that they inadvertently wounded and had to help heal. That plot line filled an entire 44 minutes of screen time. Now, it’s just more weird $#@! thrown at poor Captain Shaw. I love it!


This quiet moment does two important things for two characters that haven’t gotten too much development (yet!) but very likely will in the coming episodes. First, it gives a little more background to Geordi LaForge’s daughter Sydney (along with establishing that her father was “one of the greatest Starfleet engineers that ever lived”—thanks for not saying “THE greatest,” as I know a certain Scotsman who might have something to say about that!). We now know that she’s not following in her father’s footsteps, and people aren’t necessarily accepting her because of it.

Second, the scene begins to establish a bond of friendship between Sydney and Seven. Apparently, it’s not easy for either of them to make friends (something in common to build on?), but when they finally do, it’s a thing to value. Sydney leaves calling her new friend “Commander Seven.” See, it IS possible to have a number for the name…even if you’re temporarily a prisoner in your quarters. (See what I did there?)


First of all, BRAVO to two incredibly gifted actors who made this entire scene one of the most emotionally poignant in Star Trek history. I’ve only clipped the final 49 seconds of a flawless four-minute scene that is worth another watch if you have the time and the means.

But here’s why this particular clip is a “moment”…

Up until Beverly’s final words, I was firmly on Team Jean-Luc. How DARE she!!! Making the decision to hide Jack’s existence from her child’s father is almost unforgivable, and I’m not sure I can ever forgive Beverly for what she did. But then she said something that left both Jean-Luc and me at a loss for words…because she’s right: “As a mother, your whole being is about protecting your child. I-I thought I could protect mine. I didn’t know if I could protect yours.”

Wow. What do you say to that? Of course, Jean-Luc could have said all sorts of things like how he would have left Starfleet and found somewhere safe to raise Jack. But the fact remains that Picard has far too many enemies for his son to ever be completely safe. Does that excuse what Beverly did? No, not at all. But it does explain it. And moral ambiguity like that is one of Star Trek‘s endearing and greatest strengths.


Yes, exactly! The mark of “sloppy” Star Trek is glossing over the obvious anarchoonisms rather than dealing with and/or explaining them. For example, Nero’s “mining” ship in Star Trek 2009 was armed heavily enough to defeat an entire Starfleet armada. I don’t care if his weapons were a century more advanced, that’s still a frickin’ armada! Against a mining ship??? And why is a mining ship so heavily armed in the first place? Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy!

Vadic and her Shrike vessel present the same conundrum. How do you make a lone bounty hunter spacecraft a true threat to a Federation starship? First of all, you make the starship a lightly-armed exploratory class vessel. But more importantly, you arm the bounty hunter’s ship to the hilt.

BUT! If you’re going to do that, you need to explain it. Granted, they haven’t explained it yet on the show, but at least someone is noticing it! That never happened when J.J. ABRAMS was in charge of Star Trek.


Thank you! Three cheers for not ignoring yet another elephant in the briefing room! Having Jack Crusher sound British was a casting decision; they could just as easily have chosen an American actor. But since they went with British, it became necessary to explain the accent, since a single mother without a British accent wouldn’t have raised a child with a British accent unless there was some other significant external influence because, no, accents are NOT in your DNA.

And it only took a quick 5 seconds to explain it away. Imagine all the trouble Abrams (him again!), Orci, Kurtzman, and Lindelof could have saved themselves in Star Trek Into Darkness had they given Khan a throwaway line like, “Your people even altered my appearance and vocal chords to ensure that I would not be recognized as a major historic figure!” Seriously, one line and we fans would have been fine with BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH in the role rather than furious.


Of all the awesome moments in the episode, this was the most awesomest in my opinion! Remember back in the TOS episode “Journey to Babel” when Spock wouldn’t turn over command to Scotty in a potential combat situation even to save his father Sarek’s life? Then Kirk relieves Spock, even though Kirk is almost bleeding out in the command chair. As soon as Spock leaves, Kirk calls Scotty to the bridge, then as the Orion ship turns to attack, Kirk belays his order and “toughs it out.” Since then, the idea of a captain staying on the bridge even tough he or she is injured has been a mark of strength on Star Trek.

Not so with Shaw, whom I am beginning to REALLY love! Shaw knows he’s been critically wounded. He needs to turn over command to someone capable and experienced. The obvious choice under most circumstances would be his first officer, Commander Hansen, who knows the ship and crew. But Hansen’s been relieved of duty for insubordination, and even if she weren’t, that whole Fenris Ranger crap would probably end up getting everyone killed.

Picard is, of course, a battle-tested Starfleet legend, but he’s also been retired for a long time, doesn’t know the latest systems and protocols, and is used to commanding ultra-powerful ships of the line, not “puny” little exploratory vessels. He’ll get us all killed, too, thinks Shaw…or so I’m guessing.

And in that flash of a moment, Shaw knows there is only one choice: Riker. Yeah, Shaw doesn’t like Riker any more than he likes Picard or Hansen. But Riker knows this ship (or a previous version of it), some of its crew, the latest Starfleet systems, and he’s battle-tested. Shaw’s “order” to Riker: get us out of this.

Also, notice the brief cuts to Vadic. She is no longer loony. She is now surgical and precise. This is not a one-note villain. She knows how to inflict damage without reveling in it like Khan would. I remain intrigued!


This was a moment for the ages! It’s obvious that Picard and Riker operate on the same mental wavelength. They’ve worked together for enough years to almost read each other’s thoughts. But it was always Picard giving the orders, even if he trusted Riker to execute those orders even if the words weren’t actually spoken. Watch seven seasons of TNG to see that Riker often gave the orders that Picard was probably thinking. The two men were that close.

But now, Riker is in charge, and Picard humbly acknowledges that reality with his wonderful line, “Will, I think it might be time you called me ‘Number One.'” Who didn’t smile at that bit of brilliance?


Ladies and gentlemen: Worf.

For a character who likely needs no introduction, Worf actually does need an introduction because 1) there might be some viewers who have never seen Star Trek before (no, seriously, I know a few), and 2) the rest of us haven’t seen Worf in two decades and don’t know how or if he’s changed.

The interesting thing about Worf as a character is that he oscillates between deadpan seriousness (his discommendation, his loyalty to Kor, the death of Jadzia) and being a convenient comedy relief tool for the writers because he is so serious (need I say anything more than prune being a warrior’s drink or “Captain, I must protest; I am NOT a merry man!”). Worf is a man of both quiet and not-so-quiet extremes, making him a fan favorite.

Worf’s introduction—both in showing that he’s still “got it” when it comes to awesome fighting skills and in providing his resume/pedigree—reassures us that yes, the old Worf is back. And his deadpan delivery of “I have made some chamomile tea; do you take sugar?” lets us know that comedy relief is still very much on the menu. Strap in, folks, ’cause the Worf scenes are gonna be wild!

Also, this scene gave us a really fun meme that’s been making its way through social media. Just in case you haven’t seen it…


And this is where you’re gonna start liking Raffi. Up until now, actress MICHELLE HURD hasn’t had anyone to really play off of (except a few minor characters working in opposition to her). Now she has Worf, and things are about to get much more interesting…and here’s a perfect example. Notice that Worf says, matter-of-factly, “You have served me well.” Raffi assumes he is now going to cast her aside and move on with his mission without her. And perhaps he was indeed going to do that. Or perhaps he was simply going to add, “…so I have another task for you.” Or maybe, Worf was waiting to see her reaction to his ambiguous comment, trying to gauge if Raffaela did, in fact, still have the heart of a warrior. (And I guess she passed.)

Interactions like these that define both characters (and also leave us guessing) are intriguing and something that could not have happened with either character operating alone.


Two things about this scene triggered the awesomeness meter. The first is Beverly. One of the sub-texts of this episode—and of the Picard series as a whole—is the chasm between seasoned wisdom born of knowledge and experience versus uselessness that comes from advanced age combined with outmoded and archaic ways of thinking. The series deftly balances the two, and this scene swings the pendulum favorably in the direction of the “old geezers” as Beverly recognizes something that the young Trill chief medical officer of the Titan-A does not.

The other piece of awesomeness is yet another feather in Captain Shaw’s hat as he thinks of something that even the great Picard and Riker haven’t: how is she finding us? And this, of course, provides Jack Crusher with a clue to follow that reveals a really cool plot point that they have a saboteur on board!


Okay, we were all expecting to see Jack Crusher start talking and then belt the security gorilla into unconsciousness. We’ve seen that a thousand times in both Star Trek and elsewhere.

What I didn’t expect was Seven’s reaction: “You’re insane.” It wasn’t said accusingly or uncomfortably or with surprise. And Seven certainly wasn’t going to complain about Jack solving the “how do we get out?” problem so quickly and easily. And it wasn’t even that Seven was particularly impressed either. The delivery of the line was perfect. “You’re insane.” Fact stated. Let’s move on.

Loved it!


With only ten episodes, you can’t (or shouldn’t) really keep the identity of the bad guys a mystery for too long. (And you listening, Star Trek: Discovery???) Interestingly enough, the involvement of Changelings was hinted at in the first episode when Beverly shoots one of the invaders on her ship and it turns to black dust…something that happens when Changelings die (and a few fans caught that).

Here in episode three, however, it all comes together quickly. In the previous scene, Jack hits the engineering ensign, and his face goes all gooey for a second. But then this scene happens, and we’ve all probably been thinking this is a junkie having withdrawal symptoms like Raffi. But then, fans of DS9 remember how Odo used to have to return to his liquid shape every sixteen hours, and suddenly we knew exactly what is going on. And of course, Worf was on Deep Space Nine for four seasons, and so his question, “So tell me, how long have you been away from the Great Link?” (and the Changeling’s surprised reaction to it) was perfection!


This was a hugely important scene because it supplied a bridge (no pun intended) between the initial good-natured “Will, I think it might be time you called me ‘Number One…” and the final scene where Riker kicks Picard off the bridge in anger. The tension between these two old friends and comrades has been building—and in an unexpected way. Remember back when Riker was a bit of a hot-head and Picard was the voice of reason and restraint? We called that show Star Trek: The Next Generation. Riker would take chances, and usually Picard would be more measured.

But now the roles have reversed. Riker is the captain, and he’s trying to protect his ship and crew. Picard is ready and willing to throw caution to the wind and attack a vastly superior enemy. As fans, we want to believe that the old man is right in what he believes. The only question now is: WHICH old man? I can understand and respect both sides in this, which makes the schism developing between the two longtime friends even more painful…yet compelling to watch.


This isn’t an awesome moment so much as an awesome realization: this is the first time TNG, DS9, and Voyager have all crossed over together in canonical Star Trek! Think about it. There were a few crossovers of TNG and DS9, including the DS9 pilot, episodes like “Birthright, Part I” and “Defiant,” and of course, seeing the U.S.S. Defiant in ST: First Contact and the mention of Ketracel White and the Dominion War in ST: Insurrection. Voyager crossed over with DS9 in the Voyager pilot and later when Dr. Lewis Zimmerman came to the station in “Doctor Bashir, I Presume.” And of course, Voyager crossed over with TNG when Beverly activated the EMH in First Contact, when Barclay and Troi began helping Voyager get home, and when Admiral Janeway appeared in ST: Nemesis.

But have these shows ever had a 3-way crossover before? I realize that Worf straddles TNG and DS9, so his appearances in First Contact and Nemesis KINDA represent a 3-way crossover. But they weren’t really significant ones, as the EMH and Janeway only had short cameos, and Worf is really TNG at heart.

But as of this episode, we now have the TNG crew, Seven-of-Nine from Voyager, and the Changelings from the Dominion War, which was a major element of DS9. And THAT, my friends, is a 3-way crossover!


And finally, this! Some fans have complained that Riker would never speak to Picard like that! But for me, that’s what made this moment so powerful. Granted, both of them should have seen that portal-redirecting-the-torpedoes move coming a parsec away (I know I did). And yeah, it was cool. But the real purpose of this scene was to hammer a final wedge between Picard and Riker. Will is in command, and Jean-Luc’s insistence on fighting has landed them smack dab in the middle of Vadic’s trap. Picard has killed them all.

Or has he?

The beauty and impact of this scene is that it has set up one of Star Trek‘s most awesome cliffhanger endings ever! Seriously, how are they going to get out of this mess? And why is Vadic letting the Titan sink into the anomaly rather than putting a tractor beam on it? Who is really behind all of this (other than the renegade Changelings)? What is true weapon stolen from Daystrom? (You thinking it’s Lore, too?)

For a third straight week, I’m on pins and needles waiting for the next episode!

22 thoughts on “Seventeen moments of AWESOMENESS in “SEVENTEEN SECONDS” of STAR: TREK PICARD (editorial review)”

  1. Speaking of music, @TerryMatalas tweeted this the other day. Spoiler!
    “My favorite track is from the next episode, titled “Shaw’s Funeral” featuring cello by Yo-Yo Ma and guest vocal by Peter Gabriel.”
    I also got a like from Todd Stashwick on a Twitter comment a few days ago. Really enjoyed his character in 12 Monkeys, a Matalas run show too, airing on Hulu now. I’m with you on pins & needles, waiting for each episode to be revealed. I’m so used to being able to binge watch everything, these days. Finally, Star Trek has someone who knows the franchise very well, and is a fan himself, to run a show. Hopefully, paramount gives him more to work on?

    1. I’m not sure if mentioning the title counts as a spoiler or not, since it will show up on everyone’s Paramount+ interface before the next episode even starts!

  2. I’m surprised you didn’t mention the exact time it took for Jean-Luc Picard to get to sickbay when Jack had been poisoned: 17 seconds… (I had a feeling they were going to do that, I counted. )

    1. I counted, too, and it wasn’t seventeen seconds but more like twenty-three seconds. The problem was that the scene cut back and forth between the turbolift and the action in sickbay, so you couldn’t be certain of the exact travel time…which is why I didn’t include it in the list.

      1. Ha, ha! OK, I have to say I just counted in my head so I might have been off by a few seconds, I trust you to have measured things much more acurately. 😉

  3. The whole Nebula scene reminded me of ST2 TWOK With the battle between Enterprise and Reliant. But it also reminded me of the battle between the Schimatar from Nemesis. With how out classes the Titan is.

    However Vadic is turning out to be quite the smooth tactician. However I am wondering if she knows that I she is working for the rogue founders.

    I am not going to lie, the 3 way cross over you brought up has been on my mind. Knowing that it is rogue founders, I am hoping that we see a DS9 cameo of sorts. Maybe a ODO cameo despite Rene’s death. They see rather cavalier with CGIing characters, I figure why not. Or even a DS9 Cameo, to see that station in moderns 4K glory would make my day. Perhaps even a visit from Janeway.

    But I can’t shake the feeling that some if not most of the TNG characters are not going to make it through the season alive. A big baddie like the Dominion with Vadic usually requires one or more main Characters to die.

    But I am trying to figure out how Lore and Moriarty fit in to all of this. Unless they are a secondary plot, but I don’t believe so.

    1. I suspect that Lore is the “weapon” that has been stolen.

      As for the other items on your wish list, I’m doubtful any of them will make it in. A cameo by a DS9 castmember would likely have made it to the rumor mill by now, as would a cameo by Kate Mulgrew. Obviously, Rene has gone to that Great Link in the sky, and I suspect Worf’s description of him as “an honorable man” was a tribute to Rene’s passing. As for the station itself, that’s hard to say. Visiting it would require a look inside (or else leave fans very frustrated), and those sets were VERY expensive to build. They were struck in mid-2000…a day after the final scenes were shot. I know because I was there, and it was SO sad! I walked around the Promenade, and it was only a frame with no set decorations lefts. Everything was in boxes except for one small glass in Quark’s that was on top of one of the boxes. And yes, that glass is now sitting on my bookshelf! 🙂 (I heard that Chase Masterson had come in later to collect all of the medical containers on Bashir’s wall in the Infirmary. Wish I’d done that, but a security guard had a sight-line to that part of the set while I was there.) Anyway, it’s probably not worth it for the production to spend that much of the budget on such an elaborate set that won’t really be seen for long.

      1. True. But CGI, OPS or the commanders office or Quarks wouldn’t be that expensive, maybe even a flyby with beam on wouldn’t be as expensive as the entire station. It would be nice or even seeing Voyager on the Presidio would be a great homage of sorts. I am surprised we didn’t see Voyager on the disco episode of People of Earth.

          1. I started watching TNG when I was 13 and we now have a impromptu season 8 of TNG. After seeing “What we left behind” I have been wanting to see a Season 8 of DS9, and this episode of Picard makes it seem quite possible. Yes it is probably outlandishly expensive to do, but one can hope and pray. I wouldn’t mind seeing that “Tacky Cardassian Fascist eyesore” again in 4k. Yes I would love a entire episode on it, but I am well aware that they are trying to save money, because if they weren’t Discovery would have a season 6

          2. A sequel to DS9 involves overcoming some VERY significant obstacles (in addition to cost and a general perception by the powers that be that DS9 was never one of the “powerhouses” of Star Trek…despite vehement disagreement by fans like you and me!). Among these challenges are the tragic deaths of two major castmembers: Rene and Aron. Also, Avery Brooks is now 74. While that’s certainly younger than Patrick Stewart’s 82, Avery is still getting up there in years. Any project featuring him would need at least 2-3 years of on-ramping, meaning Avery would be 76 or 77 by that point. Would he still be interested?

            I have no doubt that the other actors would be happy to come back for a reunion movie or something like that, but there’s just too many monetary challenges to justify recreating all of those sets for just two hours or even 10 episodes of a new series. So it needs to have some legs. And the question becomes: can you justify that many hours of a new series stuck on a space station? Granted, DS9 got seven seasons out of hat, but the “action” shifted to the rest of the galaxy by the second half of the series. So if you’re going to be doing a galactic series anyway, why not just do a sequel to Picard season three with younger actors and the occasional celebrity cameo rather than having to spend money reinventing a wheel that already spun for seven years?

  4. Speculating, could Moriarty be brought back to counter Lore? Since he was originally created to best, or defeat Data? Assuming Lore is out for revenge against the Federation? Assuming he might be the “weapon” stolen from the Daystrom institute?

    1. Data and Lore have different approaches to solving problems. Data takes a very careful and surgical approach. Lore would just unplug the holodeck or blow up the ship while escaping in a shuttle. 🙂

    1. Watch clip #11 on my list again, Jerry. 🙂

      As for the cast, the only one I don’t know about yet is Alandra La Forge. Also, I seem to have been spelling Sidney wrong…D’OH!

      1. True clip 11 does contain the word ‘cool’ but you had focused on but I focused slightly differently – on Raffi’s reaction. I noticed the hesitation, finger pointing at herself (you mean me… join you) etc.

        1. That was kinda covered in my brief analysis of the significance of now having two characters to play off of each other. With 17 “moments” and trying to keep the blog to 3K words (or thereabouts), I can’t afford to wax too poetic on any one entry.

  5. Not to mention I don’t see having Lore as the actual stolen weapon could be a advantage, if he had a entire Borg Fleet maybe but we know Agnus has that under control, now I can see Moriarty and Lore teaming up somehow, but I am scratching my head as to how that holodeck Module survived the destruction of 1701 D, unless of course Barkley found it and took it back. But that begs the question why would Barkey let that kind of criminal mind out of that module. So many questions.

    1. It’s also possible that, in order to fight Lore, Geordi recreates the same parameters that resulted in Moriarty being created. We’ll know in the next six weeks!

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