Reading between the lines a bit in interviews with Chabon, who's (tellingly?) no longer show-running on Picard, it sounds very much like the quieter show you're all describing/pining for here was, more or less, the original plan. The things-go-boom-boom emphasis was added later, which seems to be a recurring problem in streaming Trek - the wrenching of a season towards a string of action sequences that "solve the problems" but lack much more than that. (I can't really see myself watching "Will You Take My Hand?", "Such Sweet Sorrow," or "Et in Arcadia Ego" again.) I don't think Discovery's first or second seasons followed anything close to whatever original plans existed; you will never convince me that the first six episodes of Season 2 and the rest of them were part of the same creative vision. It felt very much like a midseason intervention that reoriented the show into an action-/conspiracy-based one - to its detriment, I think. With Picard, I remember so much of the original reaction around the first three episodes, especially by the time we finished the third one, boiling down to "God, finally they're getting started! What's taking so long????" So perhaps, in this case, the powers that be had a point in ramping up the action quotient so much at the end. (I'd argue that a show that always intended to be slower would've used those early episodes differently, but alas.) At this point, I'm liking Discovery's third season fine - sort of how I felt about Enterprise's first season. I think it's the best streaming Trek we've gotten so far. I'm oddly excited for the idea that we'll get regular away missions on Strange New Worlds, and if you'd told teenaged me, deep in the throes of DS9 fandom, that he'd grow up to crave episodic Trek over serialized Trek, he wouldn't have believed you. But I think DS9's approach to serialization was pretty different from what we're getting today, and - weirdly - think that's a better fit for a streaming show than what we're getting. Maybe Netflix's internal viewing metrics for the old shows bear that out. Sorry for the digression, but I, too, would've really loved a Picard that didn't send him back into space, and that used the very different storytelling possibilities a series like that would've presented to explore the Trekverse in fascinating ways.