Spoilers Is Picard season 2 a failure?


Is Picard Season 2 a failure? Or: How I am disappointed by Picard Season 2

So, first off, pardon the longish rant, but I wanted to discuss the season overall and see if other people feel the same way I do about Season 2. I read a couple of reviews recently that crystalized some of my opinions about the show that I was really trying to hide from acknowledging.

· Some good points about Picard being more like some subpar “edgy” sci-fi drama than anything Star Trek: https://www.thegamer.com/star-trek-picard-is-garbage/

· Picard’s pacing, among other things, are major issues: https://www.denofgeek.com/tv/star-trek-picard-season-2-episode-8-review-mercy/

I thought episode 1 was great and what Picard should have been all along. Episode 2 was pretty great, with great performances and a less silly “mirror universe”. So I was really digging this season at the start. Since then, for me, it has devolved into barely watchable, boring, and meandering Discovery-level Trek.

Positive points:

· Jeri Ryan acting more like Seven, and less like the too-human version of her in season 1

· John De Lancie playing up a great, darker version of Q, even though the actual part is small/less than impactful

· Ito Aghayere’s portrayal of young Guinan

· Stewart getting a couple of Picard speeches (even if the justification for them was very slight)

Negative points (just about everything else, where to start?):

· Pointless fetch quests for our crew in the 21st century (Rios, Seven, and Raffi) where they achieve nothing but wasting time (why was the music so dramatic when Seven was driving, when absolutely no one was chasing them?)

· Waffling back and forth about whether Renee is ok or not; once Picard gives her his little speech she is fine, but only really noted in offhand dialog an episode or two later, but then suddenly they worry about it again and desperately need Picard back up and functioning again to address absolutely no problem with Renee

· Meandering storylines in every episode that just go on and on: Jurati/Borg Queen, Rios and the doctor, Soong and his daughter

· Our heroic crew seems very uncaring regarding security of the Borg Queen, the likely greatest threat to the survival of the entire planet:

o just hook her immediately in to the ship; don’t worry about a security field; don’t worry about implementing any security on the computer systems; leave her alone in the ship while you traipse off to the Chateau (for no reason); leave her Borg tentacles and nanoprobes intact and functional; leave her in the care of the not-at-all-unreliable and already compromised Jurati; once she and Jurati combine, don’t pull out all the stops to find her, just send 2 of your crew to kind of look for her 8 hours later and hope they don’t get their butts kicked

· Non-stop plot holes/lack of justification in practically every episode

o Q’s plan for Adam at the party was to alert security, then Adam walks off assuming everything was fine; security does zip; and then Adam repeats his failure with the out-of-the-blue attempted car homicide thing; and why were all 5 of the crew there again? Only Jurati and Picard did anything at all.

o Everything with Picard’s injury; he’s fine until he is not, then the doc just walks out, then non-Laris has magic mind-meld tech, then it’s crucial that the doctor holds the stabilizer instrument over Picard’s head when neither of them knows what they are doing and it requires no medical skill at all; and apparently all along non-Laris is an ancestor of Laris’s (at least there is some explanation)?

o Q, Adam, the Borg Queen; they all seem to go about their plots (whatever they actually turn out to be) in needlessly circuitous ways (almost like they are trying to pad out the running time of a 10-episode serialized show). Why does Q become a fake psychiatrist? Why does he try to get her to quit? Why doesn’t he just report that she is psychologically unfit for service? Why doesn’t he just kill her? Why does he recruit Adam to do nothing at all (other than to get Spiner and Stewart in a scene together)? If he can impersonate a doctor as part of the Europa mission or a FBI agent, why does he need Adam for anything? If Adam has access to advanced cloning technology, and money, and mercenaries, what does he need permission from some stupid medical board for? If he’s willing to do illegal genetics experiments and clone people, run down heroic astronauts or random nonagenarians with his car, and hire mercs to do whatever, what does he care if some board gives the stamp of approval for his work?

World building issues

· No references to the apparently very impactful (given Soong’s storyline) eugenics war storyline (other than a reference, maybe, to some treaty or agreement). I get that the writers seem to not want to touch that rail, but then why have a genetics/eugenics storyline if you are afraid to address it?

· They seem to be going out of their way to make the 2024 setting to be exactly like current reality, so it feels weird that the only differences are elements specifically needed for the plot lines, with no outside impacts or changes.

o ICE is just like in our reality, re: immigration and poor treatment of prisoners/suspects; but no sci-fi trappings like different uniforms, technology, or organizational title

o There are background references to sanctuary districts and 1 reference to homelessness among wealth, but no other impacts

o There are advanced space missions (Europa) and advanced genetics (cloning?) but no impacts on any day-to-day life: no clothing differences, dialog differences, nothing

· It just all feels very small; maybe this is all impacts from covid restrictions, but every scene (minus the party scene which had more people) feels like the scenes were all designed to take place in closets where we don’t have to see any historical, social, or technological differences; where our characters have stilted dialog talking all around the actual topic at hand until they have ultra-direct pointed discussions resulting in insightful and life-changing revelations over the course of 10 minutes. Rios on a whim shows the doc and her kid all the future tech; Picard reveals the entire plot re: being from the future, to some random FBI guy.

o [Noted that Voyager’s visit to the “present” in “Future’s End” was similarly underwhelming with some of the same issues re: eugenics, and sci-fi differences, but it felt like it was trying harder. DS9’s visit to the 21st century in “Past Tense” actually felt like science fiction.]

[And yes, I realize that we can all bend over backward to come up with some tortured justifications to paper over the holes in logic and motivation, but that doesn’t mean the show isn’t bad.]

I guess I have to face it: Picard season 2 is no real improvement over season 1 in any of the ways that really matter. It still has bad pacing. The mystery box approach to the individual plotlines is still boring/unengaging. And in some ways it is worse: the plotting (logic, character intentions and decisions) is even less justified than in season 1, with episodes lurching from point to point with little support other than that is what the episodes call for at any given minute. Raffi is seriously underserved both in storyline and in giving the actress not much real to contribute. And none of our crew members feel like the heroic best-of-the-best Starfleet types that we were led to believe they were back in season 2 episode 1 (after they had supposedly gotten their mojo back as a result of their work/success in season 1).

So, I will still be looking forward to the reunion of the TNG cast in season 3, but I don’t have any real hope for this season to be good and will likely just complete it to see how the plot ends (like I did season 4 of Discovery). Such a let down from the promise the start of this season.

So rant over. Anyone else feeling similar?
I don't think so, especially since we don't know how it ends yet.

I do wish it wasn't as plot driven and didn't just have characters doing things instead of showing us how they come to their conclusions.

I mean, there's a lot of exposition. And the short episodes don't help either.

All in all, right now, I'd give the season a 3.5 out of 5. Slightly higher than the 3 I'd rate Season 1. Great acting all around though, and some of the direction, cinematography, etc has been spellbinding. As per usual, though, the story often gets in the way. Or lack thereof.
Is it a failure? Not at all. Overall I've been enjoying it, and it's probably my favourite season of "modern" Trek since season 2 of Discovery. I think it's an improvement over the first season.

Now, is it perfect? No. There are definitely some confusing plot points, pacing issues (particularly in the middle episodes), and its stringing along too many unresolved questions so late in the season. We'll see how the last two episode shape up before I give my final verdict. I also think, like the first season, it will probably be better when we can binge watch it. I think the weekly release schedule in a highly serialized season often makes the pace seem slower than it actually is when you can watch in as one segment in a few hours or days.
I kind of skipped over your rant as soon as you link to a ‘picard is garbage’ article….

I’ve loved this season, and I think it’s a lot more deeply layered than most are willing/able to see at this point….

I do think this season would have worked a lot better if we could binge watch it, instead of one episode a week… I think that when given a rewatch once this season is done, many will reevaluate it.

I’m still a firm believer that next week (the finale) will win many fans over again..!
I think I'll wait a couple of episodes before making a judgement myself, but right now I'm leaning towards it being 'fine'. I've been enjoying every episode, I like the characters, it seems to be pretty well produced. Though I think it's fallen way short of its potential and the promise of its early episodes, and its storytelling isn't matching up to what I've come to expect from watching similar series. Plus I guess I consider Star Trek to be about a team of competent people working through a problem, as watching a group of elite officers stumble around blindly and continually make the situation worse isn't really working for me here. I'm a big Legends of Tomorrow fan, I should be totally okay with time idiots screwing up history for the better, but I'm mostly just disappointed with them.

Another thing that's really hurting the season for me is that the trailers gave away too much and the series itself is giving away too little. Any time there's a big reveal I feel like it's old information, but 8 episodes in and we're still waiting for the other shoe of Q's plan to drop. Instead of each episode leaving me waiting to see what happens next, I'm waiting to see what the point of it all is. It's like a version of Star Trek 4 where they go back in time, the first hour is about them learning that they're supposed to be looking for whales, then they get them and the last hour is about them waiting to find out what to do with them and why.
Why does everyone need to produce an article with 'interesting points' (ie: points that confirm their bias) in lieu of an opinion these days?
It's just an incredibly silly thing to do when you think of something like food.

Let's say someone utterly hates gorgonzola cheese on his pizza. How ridiculous would it be if that someone would still eat a gorgonzola cheese pizza EVERY week, then goes on 'gorgonzola cheese pizza lovers' FB groups, message boards, etc., and rants about that 'gorgonzola cheese pizza' is really, really awful, and links to articles where other people give 'interesting points' that gorgonzola cheese on pizza' is indeed vile...

Not talking about genuine criticism here, I'm talking about the 'Picard is garbage' folks....
It's like the best of TNG & DS9 compared to S1 - for the first time since DSC S2 I'm actually tuning in the day it's on to watch it - P1, DSC 3 & DSC 4 - I was weeks behind at some points they were that bad.
Is Picard Season 2 a failure?
Anyone else feeling similar?
YES! I won't go into any negative views about this show its just not worth it for me. People tend to get personal and rude, about opposing views of a tv show. However I do enjoy watching the various reviews on YouTube, Red letter media, critical drinker, Ready Room, Oldest Nerd, Nitpicking Nerd..... etc..... Im not into Doomcock nor Nerdrotic ( Those guys are a bit too much).
Even though I enjoyed Star Trek (pre Disco). There are plenty of episodes/ plots that I dont care for. Unfortunatly due to the season long arcs in the new shows. I havent found any of the new plots worthy of such long story arcs. They are poorly paced, continuity lacking, and just to impossibly resolved in the last episodes of the season.
I'm so ready for Strange New Worlds. I hope its everything thats been promised.
I do think this season would have worked a lot better if we could binge watch it, instead of one episode a week… I think that when given a rewatch once this season is done, many will reevaluate it.

I came here to say pretty much this. When the format of the show is as heavily serialised as it is, it really should be watched back to back. I'm thinking of various Netflix shows like "You" where you don't even notice that a particular episode might be short or lacking in progressing the plot as the next one is around the corner anyway. But the week's break every time kills the momentum a bit.

Unfortunately (for me anyway), the temptation to read spoilers would be too great when trying to wait the whole 10 weeks to binge watch them all.
Season 2 is not a failure; the first two episodes, and any scene with Q are very good. The interplay between Jurati and the Borg Queen is interesting to see unfold.

That all said, the 2024 arc is the season’s weakpoint by far. The writing is not as tight as it should be and the examples are endless. The Rios and Teresa romance, and Rios not even considering once that Teresa is an ancestor of his. ICE and their handling of illegal immigration. The line from Young Guinan about hoods being replaced with suits and then having no character to represent that in the story in relation, meaning its meant trigger an emotional response only. Picard then responding to Young Guinan change is coming, and causally ignoring the nuclear conflict that happens in between and has to happen to preserve the timeline. Soong, Renee, and the Europa Mission. The La Sirena crew simply not looking up the Confederation historical database to find out what the divergence is and when it happened. The numerous times the La Sirena crew have nearly screwed up the timeline either out of ignorance or plain stupidity. Raffi struggling to talk about Elnor when she’s right beside Seven who lost Icheb. Teresa not mentioning the Europa mission despite the fact its plastered on gigantic billboards and supposed to be a big deal in this time period. Expecting the audience to treat Laris and Tallinn as separate people when S1 already established that Romulans have three names. The very obvious connection the Shenzhen Convention have to the Eugenics Wars being glossed over like its some random piece of legislation.

Its not a wonder why the season feels like a chore to watch the longer the 2024 arc continues.
I've surprised myself by being in little hurry to watch episodes as they drop.

To be honest, it's all a bit low wattage and meandering. The narrative thrust dissapated pretty quickly and it's just a bit lacklustre.

It's not actually bad, it's just...a bit flat.
Flat, convoluted, meandering; some glimpses of good (mainly via De Lancie's presence). However well they might stick the landing, there's always going to be that big whack of meh in the middle.