Trekathon 782: Absolute Candor (PIC)

February 14th, 2020

Picard detours on the way to the main plot.

A strong episode, with some really excellent writing, but continuing in the ‘build the crew’ sequence when I had been hoping to get a bit more main plot going.

Picard’s lack of sensitivity with Elnor is, on reflection, a nice piece of character continuity. I didn’t like it while watching the episode, but thinking about it more it makes more sense – Picard isn’t good with children, and doesn’t really understand either how important a broken promise is to a child, nor how to address it. Elnor himself is another interesting character to add to the mix of Picard’s crew.

What makes less sense is the idea that Picard would just give up – that he would accept the final decision of Star Fleet and go his own way. This is more a complaint about the lat episode, but doesn’t Picard fail in the final desperate gesture only to find another way? The episode raises the stakes and personal connections of that decision in a way that just deepens the question for me. Was there something else going on, or was Picard just that defeated? It’s hard to not imagine him, for instance, trying to at least assemble a private armada.

Meanwhile, back on the Borg cube, relatively little is happening. There’s a bit more of an advance in the Soji/Narek story, but my ability to care is undermined by the fact that neither side is showing their full hand. Is Narek really in love, or is he just pretending as he claims to the other Romulan? Is Soji just following the secret programming, and what autonomy does she have? With those questions lurking the individual scenes just don’t create much interest for me.

Quick hits:

  • ‘The Way of Absolute Candor’ is actually a fascinating belief structure/practice. ‘A promise is a prison’ is a beautiful saying.

  • How does walking down the steps while transporting work? What happens at the other end?

  • ‘Man can’t even take a guilt trip without using a starship’ – love the writing in this episode.

  • One too many ‘please explain the plot’ questions from Dr Jurarti in the holo-Cheateu scene.

  • There’s a tiny moment with Soji where she tilts her head just like Data when questioning some piece of information. It’s a lovely piece of subtle acting.

  • How many ‘Emergency Holograms’ does Rios have? Emergency Hospitality Hologram and Emergency Tactical Hologram this week, making four total.

  • Yay, Seven of Nine.

782 down.