Star Trek: Picard S01E03: The pieces are all on the board, we’ve met all the primary players, and Picard finally gets to drop one of his key lines. Lots more mysteries for both the Borg and Romulans, plus some neat expansion of the Romulan culture. And the music at the end! 🖖

Spoilers follow…

  • While I’m really enjoying Michelle Hurd’s character, and she and Stewart play wonderfully well off of each other, I’m confused as to why Picard’s resignation also tanked Raffi’s career.

  • I was so glad that the fight at the chateau ended as it did. For a while, I was seriously concerned that they were going to off another supporting character, and am quite relieved that they didn’t feel they had to go that route.

  • Alison Pill is just as enjoyable here as she was in The Newsroom, and I think she’ll be a nice take on the “fish out of water” character.

  • Rios’s ship is interesting looking, and reminds me a lot of the long-range shuttle as seen in TMP (only, y’know, as a ship, rather than as a shuttle plus warp sled). He’s a bit macho for my tastes, but we’ll see where they’ll take that.

  • Both an EMH (Emergency Medical Hologram) and E_N_H (Emergency Navigational Hologram?), now. I do wonder where holograms like these, which do seem to have a fair amount of self-awareness and personality, fall in Starfleet’s ban on synthetics. What’s the spectrum of AI/holographic beings/synthetics, and what’s the cutoff point where they begin to be seen as dangerous?

  • Picard did seem visibly relaxed once he got on board Rios’s ship. He really does belong in space, not with his feet on the ground.

  • The Romulan mythology could be interesting and expand what we know of Romulan culture, assuming we get enough of it over the next seven episodes in the midst of the primary mysteries.

  • And, of course, even more signs that Soji has a lot more to her than she knows about (no big surprise at this point, of course). I’m still curious as to whether her mom is actually a person, or just a holographic creation piped to her communication devices when necessary. And that her “mom” is hiding Dhaj’s death from her is, of course, a big red flag. As was her apparently triggering some sort of post-hypnotic suggestion that zonked Soji right out.

  • For all that medical technology has improved by this time, I’m rather amazed at how apparently easy it is for people to pass as alien races. Sure, cosmetically, the differences between Romulans and Humans are fairly minor (eyebrows, ears, and sometimes brow ridges of varying types), but wouldn’t even a standard physical raise some questions? Do they never get a cut and suddenly show the wrong color blood? Wouldn’t bruises show differently for someone with green blood rather than red? Just how easy is it to disguise yourself as an alien race? (Admittedly, this is a long-standing question with Trek, all the way back to TOS.)

  • The reactions to Picard saying “Engage” were as much fun as his saying it (Juradi’s giggle, Raffi’s eyeball, and Rios’s shrug).

  • The music at the end of the episode! The TNG/TMP theme as they warped out! Not ashamed to admit, I had a big ol’ grin at that point.

  • That said, I do miss the more realistic take of earlier incarnations of Trek, when it was established that you couldn’t just warp in and out of gravity wells, but had to warp in and out towards the outskirts of a system and then use impulse to get too or from your final destination planet. On a realistic level, that makes so much more sense to me, for all sorts of reasons, not least of which is, at least when arriving, making sure you didn’t just suddenly warp directly into another ship, moon, asteroid, debris, etc. But I’ll also (somewhat grudgingly) accept that, for the interests of moving storytelling along, we’ve adopted the Star Wars-style “suddenly pop into wherever we need to be” form of FTL travel.

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