Trekathon 853: Farewell (PIC)

May 7th, 2022

Farewell to Season Two of Picard. Spoilers.

This is a little of a difficult episode to judge. From the point of view of a 43 minute episode of TV, the balance between the plot resolution and the ‘epilogue’ scenes feels off. But if you think about it in the context of a whole season of TV, it’s probably a more reasonable balance.

The structure creates a bit of a weird pacing problem. We have the intense opening sequence, which they have ramped up (too much) to be the big finale sequence. Then there’s a lot of wrap up, especially Picard/Q. Followed by jumping back into another big galactic peril action sequence, and then more wrap up. Personally I’d fix this by dealing down the resolution of the Renee Picard story a little (get rid of the drones), and maybe moving Picard/Q a little later somehow?

There’s a fair bit of emotional pay off intended, and some of it missed for me. Talinn and Renee’s relationship, for instance, makes a lot of sense on paper. But there really needed to be more foundation through the series to sell it. Likewise, Q and Picard’s farewell was nice, but a bit unearned. I can see why Q has a fondness for Picard, but Picard’s fondness for Q needed some more work. Again, it did make sense in the overall context of the story, but needed some exposition from Picard before this.

A lot of wrap up is satisfying but not very surprising. Rios chooses to stay, Raffi and Seven get back together, the Borg Queen turns out to be Jurati. Elnore lives. Picard reconciles with Laris.

Quick hits:

  • Gosh that’s a long ‘previously on’ – over two minutes.

  • Where the heck is that launch facility, Vandenberg? Makes little sense for an interplanetary mission, (See footnote).

  • The drone subplot is very dull and rote. Seemed to have no point beyond a second or two of false jeopardy.

  • Highly obvious ‘that’s actually Talinn’ with ‘Renee’ running to Soong. Mind you, they don’t even play it as ambiguous.

  • Tiny launch vehicle.

  • Odd that Renee is wearing a French flag patch. I thought she was from the UK?

  • Project Khan – interesting cross link, difficult given the established timing of the eugenics wars.

  • OMG, Wesley Crusher! And linking the Supervisors to the Travellers, that’s a lovely bit of retcon.

  • Rafffi/Seven is a great pairing. Feels like a real relationship to me.

  • I hope they remember to clean up all those Borg corpses, or someone is going to be very surprised in a few hundred years.

  • Always with the galactic peril…

  • Weird thing I noticed in the translation credits that kept running after the episode – several of the languages have different casting for Laris and Talinn. Very odd.

853 down, season review next and then the start of Star Trek live action series number eight.

Footnote: Why not Vandenberg? Sure, it’s convenient to Los Angeles (two and a half hours drive), but the location is wrong. Launches from Vandenberg go into a polar orbit, launching south. But for interplanetary flights you want to be in an equatorial orbit. That makes it ‘cheaper’ to launch into the plane of the ecliptic that the planets are on. Every interplanetary mission except InSight has launched from Kennedy Space Centre.