Re: The Replacement First Officer
Not sure if the "next in line" rule is hard and fast in Starfleet. I know its not in real life. As others have said, Picard could chose his own XO or Starfleet could assign him one. In my own professional career, I've promoted from with in, brought in people from other branches, and gone outside the company to fill positions.
The boring one, the one with Khan, the one where Spock returns, the one with whales, the dumb one, the last one, the one with Kirk, the one with the Borg, the stupid one, the bad one, the new one, the other one with Khan.