Full spoilers follow for Star Trek:Picard Season 2
Be cautious what you long for. What other lesson can we remove from this 2nd (and likewise penultimate) season of Star Trek: Picard, which– let’s simply state it in advance here– may simply be the worst season of Star Trek ever produced. Next Gen Year 1, take the celebration exterior.
Look, when Patrick Stewart was revealed to be going back to his renowned function of Jean-Luc Picard a couple of years back, it was more than any Trekkie might’ve expected. Captain Picard would lastly get the ending he should have! But now we’re 2 seasons into that ending, and it sure does not seem like Jean-Luc, or any of us, have actually deserved this.
Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Images
Season 1 of Picard was a variety to be sure, as the series (and Stewart himself) looked for to put a parsec’s range in between the title character and his Next Generation days. No uniforms, no starships, no Enterprise team– these were basically the requireds that allowed Stewart to go back to area. Sure, there was some excellent things occasionally, however the outcome was frequently an ugly, dark, and simply type of baffled affair.
And so Season 2 appeared to be trying a course correction right out of eviction, with the opening scene of Episode 1 set on a starship in the middle of a fight. The very first season’s cast– the Picard Squad– were primarily reconfigured into more pleasant, familiarly Star Trek- ian variations of themselves, even while Jean-Luc himself appeared to have a brand-new lease on life. He ‘d accepted a function back at Starfleet Academy as Chancellor and was even circling around a possible love with Orla Brady’s Laris, a fan- preferred character from the previous season.
Oh, and TNG staples Q (John De Lancie) and Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg) were back in repeating functions. But once again, and Q would understand this much better than anybody, beware what you long for …
After that enjoyable Season 2 best, things started to deviate for the tropey, if still pleasurable. Q’s meddling sends out the Picard Squad to a dark, alternate universe?Check The team slingshots around the sun to take a trip back in time in an effort to repair the timeline? Got it. Fish out of water hijinks occur?Mmhmm The Borg Queen is back … once again? Yeah, that too. Uh, punk rocker with a boombox on the bus …? Checkkkkkk.
It’s as if the production, in reaction to Season 1’s distancing from the Treks that have come before, slingshotted too far around the storytelling sun to accommodate all the things we’ve loved about the franchise in the past. Unfortunately, as it unfolded, Picard Season 2 began to feel like nothing but a greatest hits album, and not just that, but one of those albums where it’s all covers of your favorite songs.
It seemed clear from the start that the writers wanted to undo a lot of what they were stuck with after the prior season. Core characters like Isa Briones’ Soji and Evan Evagora’s Elnor were effectively written out of the proceedings (though Briones would get yet another new character to play eventually, her fifth at this point). Brent Spiner’s fairly unremarkable Dr. Altan Soong was replaced with yet another Soong, this time the kind of screechy, hysterical, and sloppy Adam Soong (played by Spiner again). And even the budding relationship between Raffi (Michelle Hurd) and Seven (Jeri Ryan) that was hinted at in the Season 1 finale is in the post break-up stage when we rejoin them here.
That said, it was nice to see the gang again as the new season began, with characters like Santiago Cabrera’s Captain Rios and Alison Pill’s Agnes Jurati coming across as more likable versions of their Season 1 selves. But as the characters landed in the past, and it became clear that they were not heading back to the future, as it were, anytime soon (in an apparently budget-saving move), a sense of running in place overtook things. This included some characters heading out on multi-episode missions that, in the end, accomplished nothing. The heist-style infiltration of the big NASA ball comes to mind, where there’s a whole rigamarole about sneaking into this event. But ultimately the mission seemed to accomplish very little (and certainly didn’t require the whole Squad). But hey, at least everyone got to wear tuxes and fancy dresses.
As for Picard himself, I take no pleasure in saying that at times this season, Stewart seemed frail and perhaps over-taxed. Who knows what’s really going on behind the scenes, but the man is 81 years old. When we hit mid-season and got two episodes in a row where Picard was unconscious for most of one hour and then spent much of the next sitting in a chair, one had to wonder whether or not the legendary actor just needed a break.
Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Teaser
Picard’s arc this season certainly had promise, and it works to a degree as the show digs into his childhood and the mental health struggles of his mother. Are these difficult memories, locked away so tightly that even he doesn’t fully remember them, the reason why Picard grew into the guarded, emotionally distant man that he was often portrayed as? The show seeks to tie his budding romance with Laris, and apparent inability to commit to that relationship, to the mysterious past that is slowly revealed over the course of Season 2’s 10 episodes. But it hits a wall in part because Laris herself is given such a short shrift, introduced in the premiere as she is and then basically shoved aside until the final moments of the finale.
Instead, Brady spends most of her expanded role this season as Tallinn, a Romulan “supervisor” charged with securing Ren ée Picard, a member of the family of Jean-Luc’s from the 21st century. In a really TELEVISION- ish “identical twin from Texas” situation, Tallinn inexplicably looks precisely like Laris, and is likewise a callback to the Gary Seven character from the Original Series episode “Assignment: Earth” (which itself is generally recreated in the Picard Season 2 ending). It’s a lot, and as the season endured it progressively appeared like the diverse story threads simply could not be looped in any type of gratifying method completion.
(*2 *) circumstance.
So what was this all for? What did this extended journey to the year 2024 actually offer us in the Picard lexicon? Has it actually deserved it to restore Stewart for this? I really hope Season 3 is remarkable and we get one last Trek from Stewart and the TNG gang that makes this all a far-off memory. But as this season has actually shown, you can’t simply snap your fingers like Q and make great television …
Questions and Notes from the Q Continuum: