Star Trek: Picard S01E04: Lots more exploration of Romulan culture, Picard continues to face the consequences of disappearing for so long, and we finally get some gorgeous shots of an original classic Bird of Prey! Oh, and the main baddies continue to be generically creepy.

  • Seeing Picard comfortably interacting with and enjoying a young child is a treat, and a great way to show how his character has evolved over the years since we first met him at the beginning of TNG.

  • I’m really enjoying the expansion of what we know about Romulan culture. The Klingons (then Vulcans and Andorians in Enterprise) were such a focus for so long that it’s really refreshing to spend some time with another classic race.

  • Come to think of it, have we seen any Klingons, even in the background? I know we’ve seen Andorians, Tellarites, and a number of unfamiliar species, but off the top of my head, I’m not recalling seeing any Klingons. Maybe they’re trying to avoid any (more) fanfights about their appearance? I mean, would they use the Discovery look, or something closer to the classic look, or try to find something in between? Avoiding the issue might seem easiest, but unless the Klingon/Federation alliance has cooled off, their absence is a little conspicuous.

  • I liked the line about “promises are a prison; don’t be someone’s jailor”.

  • On the one hand, Romulan warrior nuns? Awesome! On the other hand, we don’t actually get to see any of the nuns in action, and instead, get a young man who’s trained in their ways, but can’t actually be part of the sect, because he’s male, even though he appears to be acting in all ways as if he is, even “binding his blade to the cause”.

  • Elnor really does give off serious elf vibes.

  • The explanation of the nuns being devoted to absolute candor and expressing all emotions, something anathema to most Romulans, was interesting. Most people would equate a reluctance to express emotions with Vulcans, and we’ve certainly seen plently of emotional Romulans. But even when Romulans express emotions, they’re (sterotyped as, at least) notoriously guarded, sneaky, and duplicitous, so they’re certainly not being candid and open when expressing their emotions. I found it an interesting distinction to make.

  • Picard is, quite rightfully, feeling the consequences of having spent 14 years in apparent near isolation.

  • While I’m not opposed to swearing in Star Trek, and am fine both with how it’s been used so far and with Michael Chabon’s explanation behind that (basically, people have always used swear words, these are just the first non-network shows where it can be presented naturally), Rios’s f-bomb this week seemed more out of place than the others that have appeared so far. There’s a (fuzzy) line between “natural” and “because we can”, and that one felt to me like it was a bit more towards the lesser of the two.

  • Dr. Jurati continues to be a joy.

  • I’m still interested in Soji and whatever’s going on with the Borg artifact, but Narek and his sister are getting progressively less interesting. Too generic, too much incestuous innuendo, too much figurative mustache twirling. Hopefully this aspect of the show picks up as it goes along, but we’re nearly at the halfway point and those are the least interesting scenes so far.

  • That said, they keep talking about needing to find “the rest of them”–so they seem to be assuming that Soji and her sister aren’t the only high-functioning synthetics around. More mysteries to uncover.

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