Discussion in 'Star Trek: Picard' started by Ometiklan, Apr 26, 2022.
Having finished the finale, I will state that this season was, in fact, a failure. IMO, of course.
For me, it is the same problem as with Discovery season 4. It is not a bad season, but the stories contained in the 10 episode could have been easily fit in 5 episodes or maybe 6 ... If you need to have 10 episodes per season please consider doing it two stories (come on, look at Enterprise season 4 how multiple stories a season can work in Star Trek). Don't fall in the trap that one season must have one story trap like many modern shows. The message is there, and it is a heartfelt one for our old favorite characters, and it would have been brilliant if you wouldn't have dragged out altogether for 10 episodes. So is it a failure? NO.. But could it have been better? Yes. Was it dragged out with some unnecessary story lines and moments so they hot the 10 episode mark? Sadly yes ... Episodes 4-9 could have been done in 2-3 episodes instead of 6
It was entertaining enough. But there are significant plot and pacing flaws (that have been discussed endlessly already).
Not a failure, but definitely a misfire. I enjoyed the finale, but I can't think of a single episode of this season that I'd watch again for fun. And knowing that we're losing almost half of the characters created for this series feels like it was a bit of a waste getting invested in the first two seasons.
I wonder how people who watched "Where No One Has Gone Before" felt as their first introduction to TOS and then went in to Corbomite maneuver?" Was there a diminishing of expectations because certain characters didn't return?
This is a thing for me that I don't fully grasp. I invest in characters whether it is one episode or one season so I never see them as wasted in the story told. Picard Season 1 ended naturally enough and Season 2 appears to have a wrap up. So it seems a proper place to kick off to the next adventure, yes?
Or am I misreading the reaction?
People become invested with recurring characters.
Well, I started with the Movies, not TOS.
But, when I watched TOS in syndication for the first time, they showed episodes in Production Order. So I saw "Where No Man Has Gone Before" and then "The Corbomite Maneuver". I didn't have diminishing expectations. To be honest, the characters they didn't bring forward didn't really deserve to be. At least of the ones who survived.
If he'd lived, I think Kelso would've made for a good regular character. So would Mitchell and Dehner.
Certainly they can, though Trek is full of recurring characters I have little connection to. But is that a waste is more my question simply that their story is done?
And I mean this sincerely. I love Elnor as a character: favorite from Season 1. But that his story is done is hardly a diminishing effect of Picard.
I don't think Elnor's story even got started really. He's like the teaser trailer for an interesting character.
They didn't originally air in that order. WNMHGB was third in the season; "Corbomite" was tenth.
Pretty much my experience too. The writing is just bad, and if that doesn't change, nothing can make the show good.
Having seen the whole thing from start-to-finish, I can now say no, I don't think it was a failure. I like TNG Does "Assignment: Earth" and TNG Does an Evil Universe. Throw in some TNG Does Star Trek IV too. I like all of that. These are all things we never saw in TNG itself. If my metric was TNG Does a Q Movie, then I'd say it doesn't quite make it. Luckily, there's enough to make up for that part of it.
I think it was a "failure" sort of in the same sense that the first season of Picard was - or most of the seasons of Discovery, for that matter.
What I mean is that in serialized Trek what we seem to get, ironically enough, is episodic seasons. The entire season plot is self-contained, with little to no ramifications beyond the season. Not only that, but the characters themselves have repeatedly abortive arcs, twisting in the wind to work with the new plot ideas between seasons.
There was some effort to explain what happened with the passage of time between Seasons 1 and 2. But in general, everything was abandoned. The idea that Elnor thought of Picard as a father figure was gone, with a close relationship suddenly appearing with Raffi. The idea that Soji was some sort of adoptive daughter for Picard (teased in Nepenthe) was gone. Rios and Jurati broke up off camera (though at least a bit of work was done on this). The flirtation between Seven and Raffi kinda sputtered along off camera, and then sputtered along throughout this whole season. Picard being in a synth body meant nothing other than two asides. Zhaban died off camera to allow Laris to be a love interest. Rios turns from a broken man to a pretty happy-go-lucky guy off camera. Jurati is suddenly this incredibly lonely woman who will never be with anyone (never mind she had a boyfriend before she murdered him). I could keep going on, of course, but you get the idea - Where the characters ended up in Season 1 didn't really matter for season 2.
The same seems likely for Season 3. Although the closing implies that Laris might give Picard another chance, we know already she's not in the third season, meaning the entire fucking emotional arc of this season - getting Picard to overcome his own demons to let someone in - is wasted. Probably Laris is being jettisoned to placate fans who want him to have a happy ending with Beverly. I suppose removing Rios, Elnor, and Jurati, and probably Soji from the cast as well counts as consequences, but I would guess there will only be a few small asides regarding their absence, if that. Q is gone too, though I doubt his absence will be noted because it's not important to the Season 3 story. And of course since about 88% of the actual happenings too place either in 2024 or an alternate timeline, none of the little choices will have ramifications for the remaining characters in Season 3. Just disappointing, because it's ultimately as disposable as any episode of Voyager.
In 2017, I thought DSC would be completely serialized. One season's ongoing story would continue in the next. Then, in 2020, I thought it was going to be that way with PIC. I would only call something a failure if it failed to accomplish what it set out to do. Since it's clear now that neither of these series intended to have one season bleed into another, I can't say it was a failure at it. Now, if that was DSC or PIC's goal, then I'd agree with you.
There was no drama in the final episode.
The bad guy missed his target, and the other bad guy finally admits that he's a good guy.
Meanwhile what the fuck happened to the timeline?
Khan is not 1996, it's something that happened after 2024?
Go fuck yourself.
A bug from Europa cleans the oceans, but doesn't save the whales? It would be amazing if the Europan bug did eat the whales. F%cking hilarious.
An ecological collapse is amended, in time for nuclear winter (THAT IS NOT MENTIONED) to irradiate everything? Do the Europan bugs eat radiation too?
No "further" word on the sanctuary districts.
Time travel rules don't work. We're supposed to believe that there was no 1893 visitation because Federation Picard doesn't exist in the Confederate future, which should mean that the 2024 visitation shouldn't exist in the federation timeline because the confederation timeline didn't exist in the federation timeline.
A building has been abandoned for a hundred years, and it has a loaded gun on the mantel piece in the main lounge? Are there no teenagers in France who want to get drunk, fuck and shoot shit up?
Weasley is Gary Seven's boss.
Friendly Borg. Fuck off. Allison got less sexy the less evil she became.
The Khan file was an old file from 1996. He pulled it out because he'd lost all his electronic files, so the old hardcopy file was an indication that he was going back to basics and starting again from scratch - i.e. a hint that he'd been involved with Khan's group back in the 1990s.
I don't think you can compare seeing characters for the first and only time in a single episode to seeing primary characters return throughout a series.
Not that I feel like I really got to know these characters (I blame the writing on that), but dropping them altogether for the sake of bringing back the well-established characters from TNG next season feels like an admission of failure.
I guess. Characters can mean a lot to me in one episode, so it's a distinction without a huge difference to me. I see your point though.
I must define failure much differently. This feels more like going towards market research and wrapping up one chapter to move on to the next one.
I thought it was an acting and special effects masterpiece. It was a writing failure. There were so many more interesting stories that could have been told. I would have loved to see Picard, Elnor and Raffi at the academy doing normal star trek academy things with Picard coming home to Laris and the budding romance. Would have loved seeing Captain Rios doing Star Trek things.
On political commentary:
Would have loved to hear the Borg Queen give commentary on 21st century human collectiveness as seen in social media and politics. Would have loved to see Rios and Teresa discuss immigration with Rios mentioning that, once humans saw aliens, most national identities became small and by his time, species from ~200 worlds can move to earth as they please (or something else mind-blowing to modern American political thought). They could have restated the conceit of trek, that the more they come together to create the technologies to explore, the more they find the answers to better themselves and the planet. This would have needed a better statement of Soong's plan (which I did see some confirmation as being to reengineer humanity (a la augments). Would even have been satisfied with a discussion of mental heath and how much easier it is to fight a virus from across the galaxy than to cure the ills of the mind.
On lacking internal consistency:
They were given a 3 day clock to launch. Nothing within the characters reflected a sense of a countdown clock. The fact that Soong was back from France to California before the crew w/ transporters was ridiculous. Mentioning butterflies but not acknowledging their failure with dead bodies, injured law enforcement on video amongst other issues was baffling. Rios's issue of feeling out of place didn't match either, as he wasn't characterized on the star gazer as feeling out of place. It would make more sense to connect it to a sense of romantic aloneness after losing the synth he was in love with and finally finding the only flesh and blood woman he has loved in thousands of lightyears and centuries of time.
If I had written the season with the goals of having the same end points, what would I have done :
I would have spent 3 episodes in 25th century prime.
Episode 1: Have Rios go on a star trek mission where he ends up meeting with Seven and they are aligned on goals and methods. He would comment on how they are finding themselves on the same side more often. Picard/Laris happens in episode 1.
Episode 2:I would have the excelsior be a training vessel (a la ST2) and Picard onboard and Raffi in command and elnor doing operations for a ceremonial inspection and observe. I would poke fun at ST2 with Raffi adhering to code, raising shields early when an SF ship gets close without communicating. I would then have that ship state there is an anomoly at a certain location but their systems were fried when they tried to scan. Technobabble, need the stargazer's upgraded systems and they are closer but excelsior and fleet are an hour behind and Stargazer needs to do technobabble to get technobabble modifications to allow the fleet to approach. Seven, while on a planet talking about old times, her senses go crazy and she is transported with Rios to sickbay spouting coordinates. Rios gets a hail in sickbay with the same coordinates and orders to investigate. Seven recovers mid-warp and says she senses the borg but something different without detail. Rios gives the audience color on the borg being mostly neutralized post-voyager but this new borg could be a threat to the whole federation.
Episode 3 sees Stargazer arrive, their scans get the translation for peace and their science officer figure of the technobabble to send to the fleet. Rios says to send to all of starfleet command at this point "as the last thing we need is for the borg to show up and all our ships just stop working" or something reminding a portion of the audience of BSG cylon strategy. Seven asks that she be allowed to connect to learn more. Rios gives some color to the dangers and a hard no from starfleet on it. Excelsior arrives and picard comes on board (mostly repeating irl episode 1). He assumes mission command, reiterates opposition to the borg connecting to seven as being the worst fears of starfleet. Everything else happens as in episode 1.
Episode 4 is spent in alternative 25th century. Q conversation is not at beginning. Conversations to add: Picard's terror at he queen and (relative feelings of mercy) making her aware that he's prime Picard. The queen data dumps that this humanity made its own perfection, not by merging with machine and across races but with biology, changing it's biology to match it's rotten core. She mentions thousands of worlds destroyed/enslaved as humanity as coopted the Borg in their search for perfection. She says that by 5 years ago, so many races sought out the Borg for voluntary assimilation as protection from the confederation's destruction and the Borg stopped forced assimilation but even the strength of 500 worlds wasn't enough to counter the confederation's brutality." Picard storms out and then flashes back to his mansion with Q to explain alternative Picard. He then flashes him back and the team work on the plan including stealing the Queen.
Episode 5 has the queen continue to add color on the 21st century change as bringing about the rise of the Soongs. "In your past, the people had hope for restoring the planet and the Soongs with his warrior Khan fought a war to try to force humanity down a dark path. In my past, humanity had no hope and willingly chose the path. Now, as the confederation runs out of worlds to enslave, his descendants made these computerized slaves.
--- my purpose in this is to crystalize the goals of the characters. I would cut young Guinan and Talin and have Renee Picard played by the actress who portrayed Picard's mother. I would cut down the Queen's adversary nature to have Picard have to face a borg queen that is more like him while seeing a JL that is more like the Queen he hated. Picard would notice something in Renee's mental health that reminds him of his mother and makes him stay away. Q would be the one who talks him through his childhood memories. Jurati/Queen still happens but with a long seduction, the law enforcement officer attacking the queen as a "monster" without her drawing him in and Jurati willingly giving herself to let these borg live on. There is a temptation to assilimate humanity with alot of time within the shared headspace of Jerati and the Queen over the future. The trade ends up being help to save the future, restoring seven from an injury from a Soong soldier in his compound, help destroying the 4 drones and the 2 Renees for the ship. It's an offer made between Seven and Jurati with Picard's approval.
All of episode 10 would be in the 25th century.
Picard would give seven permission to link to the borg AND a field commission as Stargazer captain. Q would say his last goodbye in the future, saying his goal was both Picard's wholeness and, just like he had to help federation to prepare for the borg, he needed to help make a borg that would save the federation from what is to come. He would also note that Picard may have fought the borg and done amazing things... but in the long run, overcoming the mind and making friends and lovers out of enemies is most important.
No, it hasn’t been a failure. Perfect? No. What is? Star Trek fans can be such divas
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