Trekathon 784: The Impossible Box (PIC)

February 28th, 2020

The threads finally arrive in the same location.Spoilers.

A much more successful bringing together of things. The main plot is advanced, Soji and Picard are linked up, plus we have a few more answers. There’s still the big over-arching mystery, but there’s not a lot of new mystery added for the audience. That’s a good thing, as sometimes shows get caught up in just adding twist after twist. Even the Soji/Narek scenes are more effective.

The Raffi subplot illustrates something that I’ve complained about in this story and in other recent Star Trek. The story is one that would have worked quite well if it was the tenth episode she was in, and we’d gotten to know her more. But leaping straight in to a hidden trauma and a collapse when we’ve only seen her briefly in three episodes means we don’t have enough reason to really care. There’s a lot of good production and acting in the sequence, but it still feels a bit like dead space. It would work better in a 22 episode year I think.

What I’ve enjoyed most so far in this series is the reliance on continuity. Enterprise and Discovery have links, but they feel more like call backs. Here things like Seven and Hugh feel like the next logical step in a story. The result is it feels like this series is the first real continuation of the Star Trek story since DS9.

Quick hits:

  • The ‘previously on’ made me realise one of my problems with Narek – with the hair and the otherwise light-on makeup, it’s actually hard to see that he’s Romulan in a lot of the shots.

  • Wonderful acting from Stewart around Picard’s history with the Borg. The rules of the era of TNG on TV meant that it was never really explored then, so much better late than never. Even First Contact doesn’t quite get to it. And good use of a glass screen merging the archival picture of Locutus with today’s Picard.

  • Rios and Jurati going from zero to bang was a bit disconcerting.

  • Shades of TNG’s Phantasms in Soji’s dreaming.

  • Elnor is a wonderful iteration of the ‘naif who always says the truth’ trope (see also Spock, Data, etc).

  • Oof, that is some deus-ex-machina stuff to get Picard off the cube. Well at least it’s linked to a Voyager episode (Prime Factors) rather than being entirely de novo.

  • It’s nice to have very little concern about Elnor’s future at the end of the episode…

784 down.