So, the dust having settled from the season now for awhile, I am really left feeling like basically everything Borg-related in the first season was a completely unnecessary for the core narrative of the show - and actually made the show worse by being there. I mean, let's break things down: When the show begins, we are introduced to a "Artifact subplot" which is where we check in periodically with Soji and Narek. In the initial setup this section of the show felt like it had some potential, but (other than the one foreshadowing scene with Ramdha) it didn't really go much of anywhere, with Soji more or less being held in place by the plot until Picard was ready to rescue her, and occasional creepy scenes with Narek and Narissa. It was used properly in one - and only one - episode - the fantastic Impossible Box. This was, perhaps not surprisingly, the pivot point of the entire series, given it's when Picard's story and Soji's story finally come together. Almost everything was done right here, from revisiting Picard's trauma to humanizing the XBs, to Narek finally having some sort of purpose on the show. After this episode however, instead of abandoning the subplot, they decide to keep POV characters on the Artifact, and everything descends into a sketchy mess of contrived schlock. Elnor makes the decision to stay behind - which seems to totally conflict with his character's decisions only five minutes before - in order to have a main cast member remain on the Artifact. Hugh dies for dramatic purposes. Seven arrives because they wanted an excuse to bring her back again for more episodes. The Federation scientists seen in the early episodes mysteriously vanish, and no one says a thing about it. Narissa spaces all of the still-assimilated Borg (who we know are still alive) and Seven doesn't bother rescuing them. Ramdha is never seen again. The Artifact crash lands as an excuse to get Seven and Elnor back to the rest of the cast (though they have basically nothing to do other than a three-minute cameo in the 9th episode - a bit more in the 10th) The XBs as a whole vanish entirely. Chabon said this - like Narek vanishing - is apparently a function of editing, but still, it's yet another way the season didn't do this arc justice. As I said in one of the general threads, it really feels like the writers had a lot of interesting ideas involving the Borg they wanted to explore this season, but they couldn't make them work right in a tightly serialized plot - or even within a given episode. Thus whenever we cut to "what's happening on the cube" an episode felt like it suddenly ground to a halt. Imagine a theoretical season which didn't involve The Artifact. Maybe there's no Soji, and Dahj survives the first attack. The early part of the season works pretty much the same, with Picard slowly recruiting his crew, and the search for Maddox. Except we're not cutting away constantly, which gives us more time to flesh out the interactions of the crew of La Sirena. The turning point of the season would have to be something else, maybe involving a more complicated hunt for Maddox. Then the rest of the season could pretty much roll out as it did. Something would be needed to make Dahj distrust organics as much as Soji - maybe there's a Narek-like character onboard La Sirena who betrays her? Seven could still be included if you like. Regardless, the plot becomes much more straightforward in the process, and they can get to the Borg stuff in the second season. To me it just seems patently clear that this would have made for a superior season - just because every time they did something with the Borg other than The Impossible Box, it was just so half backed/tacked on.