Trent, while I understand what you're saying, I thoroughly disagree with some of the values that underlie your evaluation of the trilogy. The Borg invasion didn't constitute failure, because failure implies that there was ever a real possibility of success on the primary characters' own merits. But the Borg have always been so powerful as to render our heroes powerless when faced with power of such magnitude.
It's not only that the characters failed to stop the borg; it's that they didn't even try - that was their failure.
they tried. They tried everything that they could that didn't violate their own set of ethics. But everything that they tried didn't work
, and at a certain point you either confront your own powerlessness and accept it or you don't and find yourself using methods that violate your own ethics.
(Yes, I agree that claiming the thalaron weapon is inherently immoral makes little sense, but that prohibition was introduced by the canon. Sometimes, one has to accept that another culture will have moral prohibitions that make little sense to one -- and that when the point of the story is to not
lose your ethical integrity in the face of imminent death, it's really besides the point why this or that is regarded as unethical.)
Now, I'll accept as a valid complaint that Picard didn't seem to be willing to try any of Capt. Dax's tactics against the Borg -- and I'd then point out that the point
of that is that he was not behaving like he should have been, because he is so erratic when it comes to the Borg. It is once Picard confronts and accepts his failures with regards to the Borg that he gets over that.
And as I noted above, the Federation is not without agency in the final resolution. It's Federation values that persuade the Caeliar to take responsibility for their errant Sedin, after all. They are not so much saved by the gods from on high as they are people who persuade the "gods" to stop being asshats and take responsibility for their obligations to help other people -- which is, I'd remind you, exactly what Sisko did to the Prophets in "The Sacrifice of Angels."
And anyone worried that Picard is rendered terminally passive need only read Losing the Peace
, wherein Nothing
passive about him there!