Trekathon 780: Maps and Legends (PIC)

January 31st, 2020

Picard does things following on from the previous episode. Spoilers.

Not as strong as episode one, I think mainly because this felt more like a ‘middle part’, more about setting up some next moves. It was also quite slow compared to the previous episode – really not very much happens, instead there’s a lot of exposition and talking.

I think a big part of my reaction hinges on not liking what seemed to be the central scene, with Picard getting reamed out by Admiral Clancy. While what was happening was consistent with the ‘this is no longer Star Fleet’, the conflict was a little too black and white. It felt like the writers just weren’t willing to see the other point of view. Admiral Clancy is a little redeemed when she’s shown later not just completely ignoring Picard’s thoughts. But surely just one bad interview isn’t enough to burn all of Picard’s bridges – more interpersonal history would have helped here.

This then leads into the bit of the episode I liked the least, infiltration of Star Fleet by shadowy Romulan agents. I have two concerns here – first, it sets up too easily a ‘it was all the Romulans fault’ in terms of the corruption of Star Fleet. While it’d be interesting if this secretive Zhat Vash was so opposed to synthetic life that they effectively sabotaged their own people’s salvation, it also lets Star Fleet off the hook too easily. The second concern is it just requires too much ‘Star Fleet is terrible at security’ to be believed – where is Section 31?

(I will forgive most of this if they can link the continuity to the Romulan at the end of the Enterprise episode Kir’Shara).

There’s nothing here that I really hated, and in the modern approach it’s harder to judge episodes individually. I just hope that all of the time spent setting up things on the Borg Cube is worth it.

Quick hits:

  • I think this is the first Trek series to be ‘based on’ TNG, rather than TOS. Possibly a legal thing given the main character, but interesting nonetheless.

  • ‘You could put the word secret in front of any aspect of Romulan culture’ – best summary of Romulans ever.

  • You can just beam into someone else’s apartment? Seems sketchy.

  • I really enjoyed Picard’s offsider Laris in the start of episode sequence. It’s a nice technobabble-y investigation sequence. And one of the joys of Trek is seeing incredibly competent people do their thing.

  • Can the people who directed the ‘seeing the inside of the Borg Cube’ sequence please talk to the ‘elevators inside the Enterprise’ people, because they understand relative sizes far better…

  • ‘Asimov The Complete Robot’ book prop I liked, ‘I never got Science Fiction’ not so much.

  • The neurological disease was a nice link back to All Good Things.

  • Vasquez Rocks!!!!!!!!!! Probably the first appearance of the ‘real’ location.

  • I do wonder if we’ll ever see a Klingon in this series? Worf gets a name check, but do they want to revisit the makeup wars?

780 down.