Spoilers Star Trek: Picard 2x01 - "The Star Gazer"

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Picard' started by Commander Richard, Mar 2, 2022.

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Rate the episode...

  1. 10 - Excellent!

    33.1%
  2. 9

    34.5%
  3. 8

    21.6%
  4. 7

    7.6%
  5. 6

    0.7%
  6. 5

    0.7%
  7. 4

    1.4%
  8. 3

    0.4%
  9. 2

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  10. 1 - Terrible.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Admiral Admiral

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    Soji said she was afraid she’d have to start reciting Deltan poems or something like that. Also they were all bald.
     
  2. indianatrekker26

    indianatrekker26 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This premiere looks like it could have been put up on the big screen for a full feature film, it looked that good to me. This just felt like classic Trek to me, and i'm glad that its not simply the Borg just wanting to invade and assimilate again. I feel they have some other agenda in mind, having to do with the timeline being disrupted. And the borg would know all about Picard's inner demons since he was assimilated by them. With the Queen's "look up" comment.
     
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  3. indianatrekker26

    indianatrekker26 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    in addition, Jurati i believe, said something about the Borg being crippled? I'm guessing that when Janeway blew up that Borg Hub in Endgame, it really did do a crippling blow to the Borg, unlike the litverse where they seemingly shrugged it off.
     
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  4. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Admiral Admiral

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    He could have also been flashing back again like he did in the sun room
     
  5. Bad Father Christmas

    Bad Father Christmas I Am Not A Merry Man! Moderator

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    OMG wow, what an episode! 10/10. I know the showrunners never intended the comparison, but that was a shot across the bow of Discovery. This show is just on a whole other level.

    Besides the in media res action scene (which is missing several of the action scenes in the exploding turbolift and corridor shown in the preview, BTW), the first half of the episode is fairly standard "where are they now" orientation, set about a year and a half after the events of the first season. Regrettably, one misstep (unless the actor was not available for reshoots) is that Picard's live-in housekeeper / former Tal Shiar operative Zhaban died offscreen to make room for the tease of a Picard / Laris relationship.

    They address Picard's synthetic nature and his death / mortality multiple times and don't shy away from it, with new more confident and wisecracking (and better written) Jarati even saying "You look absolutely positronic!" They address Jurati's murder of her boyfriend Bruce Maddox and that she was found not-guilty by reason of alien induced temporary insanity. They address what's going on with the Borg right now a couple decades after being decimated by Voyager. They address Guinan's and Q's aging: El Aurian's can adjust their speed of aging to blend in with the species they are living among, and Q appeared CGI de-aged at first and then once he saw Picard, he aged himself up to match. They address what the androids and their "ambassador" to the Federation Soji are up to and that the synth ban has been lifted. They even address the source of Picard's British accent and his hesitancy in finding lasting relationships and around children, which is due to his father being abusive to his mother, something Patrick Stewart experience himself, so it's particularly close to home for him (and me).

    You'd think that addressing all these things would bog the episode down in boring minutiae, but it's handled with a brevity that's refreshing and never takes away from the progression of the story, only complements it.

    As much as I am a Picard / Beverly shipper, I really hope Picard can overcome his reticence to form a lasting relationship again and get together with Laris. She looks thirty years his junior but given she's a Romulan she could be a century older than him for all we know and he's the youngin'. She's clearly devoted to him and his care and he to hers regardless, but she wants their to be something more and Picard is holding back because of his father's abuse of his mother and their separation, plus Picard's sense of duty and wanderlust. They make a good couple though so I hope he changes his mind. Since it's the 25th century now the marriage to Beverly and divorce from the Q "All Good Things..." reality could have already happened, as many other developments did.

    Helping Picard with his relationship woes is his trusted advisor Guinan, now offering real alcohol from a back-alley speakeasy in downtown Los Angeles, which I'm sure will come into play during the time travel to 2024 LA later on, although Guinan must have left it in someone else's hands for quite some time when she returned home to El Auria before it was destroyed by the Borg. It feels like old home seeing Picard and Guinan together again sharing a chat.

    I'm really digging fun-loving, confident, drunk off her ass Jerati. She's not entirely stable, and she pushes boundaries, but she gets the job done when the time comes and her character is much more interesting to watch. I'm not entirely clear on what her role is, at first she's hanging out with Soji at the Federation party for reintroducing synths into Federation society, getting flirted with by a Deltan while she's "half in the bag" (her words). Next she's on Rios' Stargazer as some kind of civilian consultant, but clearly new in the role as the crew don't know how to react around her, so maybe just for that mission.

    Rios, of course, has command of the Stargazer but seems to have a little trouble adjusting from the life of a pilot of fortune back to Starfleet formality, having a rapid fire set of exchanges with his crew and chomping on his signature cigar the whole time. I truly expected the cliche scene of the cigar hanging limply from his mouth as he stared mouth agape at the event of later in the episode, but they avoided it. But I'm very happy to see him back in Starfleet again and with Picard's legacy starship to command.

    Seven of Nine is caretaker of the La Sirena, though there's a bit of a Lando/Han "What did you do to my ship? Your ship?" exchange between Rios and Seven when he sees the battle damage from an attack by thieves trying to steal the medical supplies she was transporting. Seven and Rafi are together but it's a long distance relationship with Rafi being back on Earth and it sounds like it's on shaky grounds.

    Rafi, as mentioned, is an instructor at Starfleet Academy and has kicked her habit and taken cadet Elnor under her wing as a sort of adoptive son since the relationship with her own son is so strained. She's still somewhat shaky and questioning herself, but has definitely come a long way since the depths of her addiction and is even closer to Picard than before.

    Elnor, as the first full-blooded Romulan (most likely a callback to Saavik's half-Romulan blood from the deleted scenes of TWoK, or could be someone new) is having some of the usual difficulties of Vulcanoids dealing with the clash of cultures at the Academy, but is helped along by the tutelage of Picard and Rafi.

    So, the a-plot is the return of the Borg, but not like the Borg we knew before. This time they open a subspace rift and send a distress signal saying "Help us, Picard." A friendly and sane admiral (which is practically like seeing a unicorn in Trek} asked Picard to come out of semi-retirement (he's Commandant of the Academy but appears to be a civilian still going by the significance of the scene of her handing him an official Starfleet commbadge as opposed to the different one he was already wearing) and travel to the Stargazer to respond.

    As soon as he does respond to their distress call, the Collective starts speaking through many voices as one and it's a genuine "Oh shit!" moment for the crew and still pretty chilling even though I knew it was coming. They have somehow managed to pull off the combination of making the Borg (even more) terrifying again while seemingly having peaceful motives and being in need of Starfleet's help. The Borg Queen beams through the Stargazers shields in seconds and she's wearing some kind of Nine Inch Nails meets Daft Punk meets Nosferatu protective suit with tiny gears within gears in the helmet, possibly as a reference to the "wheels within wheels" of the Cherubim in Ezekiel 10:10 or possibly just because it looked mechanical and complex and cool. She starts tentacle porn'ing the consoles of the Stargazer bridge, gaining control of the systems of not only the lead ship but also the entire fleet, and siphoning energy to level up to God Mode. She starts taking out everyone shooting at her en masse, but crucially, only stuns them, to Seven's surprise (who had been understandably calling for Rios and Picard to open fire as soon as it was revealed to be Borg). But since she's taking over the fleet despite them firing salvo after salvo into her asymmetrical ship, Picard orders the auto-destruct, which is the familiar Kirkian "Zero Zero Zero Destruct Zero."

    The Queen's "Look Up" comment to Picard quoting his mother was surprising and chilling, though of course, she has all of his memories. But still, very effective.

    The Stargazer is destroyed, but Picard winds up in his old home on a planetary shielded dark altered Earth (being bombarded by increased solar radiation) confronted by a young CGIQ, who quickly ages himself up to De Lancie's actual appearance so as to better match Picard. Picard yells "Goddamn Q!" and Q tells Jean-Luc the test from their first and last encounter never ended. And that's how the episode ends. That last twenty minutes or so was edge of your seat stuff.

    I can't say enough about the writing, acting, visual effects, music, and worldbuilding in the episode. We get the typical future San Francisco of course, but we also get a future LA which isn't all that different apart from some new buildings and the shuttles flittering around everywhere. They heard the complaints of fans about the cut and paste all the same ship fleet from last season and included a wider variety of ships in the fleet facing the Borg, including Nebulas, Akiras, Steamrunners, Novas, Luna Class (first live action appearance) Inquiry Class, updated Excelsior, several Sovereign Classes finally making their long-awaited first TV appearance, one ship from Disco I believe, and several others. They've got the Eaglemoss CGI models and Star Trek Online to draw from, so it's good to see them using those resources instead of lazily making thirty copies of one ship.

    I really liked the retooled opening sequence showing the events of the coming season (the spatial rift turning into an hourglass was neat), but the changes to the main theme weren't quite as good as Season One's version. Not bad, though.

    Picard is considering retooling the Kobayashi Maru test. USS Excelsior (Rafi's and Elnor's new ship), USS Grissom, and USS Hikaru Sulu are mentioned taking on cadets. The awesome looking new Stargazer incorporates Borg tech taken from studying the Artifact cube from last season. The asymmetrical Borg ship looks like an all-black and greebly Narada / Scimitar / Borg ship from Descent Pt 1 & 2./ Kal-El's Kryptonian lifepod mashup.

    The show deals with love, grief, lacking confidence and giving encouragement, recovering from trauma and loss just like Discovery does, but handles it in such a more believable, non-sappy and saccharin, non-overwrought and stretched out, effectively written way than Disco does. One of the many scenes of adult conversations would have been a twenty minute Burnham crying screed in Disco complete with hugs and a sharing circle.

    Always in the back of my head is how I excited I was at the start and through most of Season One, and then they kinda shit the bed in the finale. But this was even better than the Season One premiere episode, which I loved, so I'm hoping hoping hoping they can keep a consistent flow to the storyline without too much filler and stick the landing in the end.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2022
  6. Visitor1982

    Visitor1982 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'll be honest: the late 24th/early 25th century is MY Star Trek century. I want to see more of that!

    Don't really care much for the 32nd or even 23rd century to be really honest.

    I really liked this episode. Much more than the whole of season 4 for Discovery... A shame that show has gone downhill.

    The only thing I did not like was the Picard/Laris thing, but don't know why.

    I guess I want to see Picard end up with Pulaski!

    "You don't have to quote the rule book!"
     
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  7. JoaquinSlowly

    JoaquinSlowly Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    A great start to the season! There was a lot of speculation in the last week that Picard, Musiker, Rios and Elnor being in Starfleet was going to be one of several alternate realities, but it doesn’t seem to be the case, as it all follows directly from the events from last season.

    Loved seeing where the cast all ended up from where we last left off.

    And I’ll have to raise a drink to poor Zhaban. You died so that Picard’s love life may yet live.

    Seeing Picard go to Guinan was a treat, and made my heart happy.

    I’ll be continuing to look forward to the rest of the season greatly!

    True! It was “I thought I was going to have to break into a medley of Deltan folk songs.”
     
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  8. The Commander

    The Commander Cadet Newbie

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    Thy probably have modern air filters on the bridge ;-)
     
  9. Romulan_spy

    Romulan_spy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I wonder if the "help us Picard" was entirely deceptive. Was there some truth to it? Or was it just the Borg changing tactics and using deception instead of brute force as Seven said? Maybe the Borg do need Picard's help in some way and since the Stargazer refused to negotiate and raised its shields, the Borg just sent the Queen to expedite things since they are determined to achieve whatever their goal is? The fact that the Borg queen only stunned the crew instead of killing them, might suggest "peaceful" motives.

    Also, since these Borg came through a temporal anomaly, I think these Borg might be from an alternate timeline. It would explain the different ship design, different tactics, not using the classic "resistance is futile" line, and the Borg queen wearing that cloak. Perhaps, these Borg behave differently than "our" Borg because they come from an alternate timeline?

    My theory: we've seen hints from the trailer that in the changed timeline, the Federation has become some totalitarian regime. What if these are Borg from the totalitarian Federation timeline who escape to our timeline needing our help to defeat the totalitarian Federation? It might explain why they asked Picard for help. They might assume Picard would be sympathetic to helping Borg escaping destruction from a totalitarian Federation.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2022
  10. IMC Headquarters

    IMC Headquarters Screencaptioning Addict Premium Member

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    DId these Borg come from the timeline seen in the temporal wake from Star Trek: First Contact? Hmm...
     
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  11. SolarisOne

    SolarisOne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    They also call him "Picard" and not "Locutus", which I think has significance.
     
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  12. StarMan

    StarMan Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I felt the same way about season 1 and have the same concerns hovering at the back of my head. Tonight however, I am going to completely ignore those concerns and smash this episode a 10/10 cause fuck it - that's the best new Trek I've watched in what feels like forever.

    And to think I got giddy at the sight of an Akira class.

    "PI-CARD." - damn, that gave me goose bumps.

    And De Lancie! See, no biggy ageing him up. Loved how Stewart played that scene; he knew it was him, but the disbelief that it really was Q before he turned to face him ...

    And as you say, they covered a lot; the status of The Borg, for starters. Anyway before I get too all over the place, I'll finish by saying this finally felt like the Trek I was hoping for when it was first resurrected on the small screen. It felt as if it was made with actual fans in mind and wanted to embrace us, rather than chide us for some focus group-derived demographic.

    Loved it.
     
  13. Charles Phipps

    Charles Phipps Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    My wife joked it was a sign that Patrick Stewart is producer. :)
     
  14. Romulan_spy

    Romulan_spy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It feels like the producers of Picard really took the criticism of S1 to heart and made the right changes. For example, they gave us a fleet of classic starfleet ships instead of the fleet of copy/past same generic ship from S1. We also have a season more focused on starfleet with the stargazer and starfleet academy instead of everyone being out of uniform on a non starfleet ship. The episode also addressed fan questions like Jurati's crime, why Guinan looks older, why Q looks older. I appreciate that the episode took a second to address these potential plot holes. I think it shows better writing. As others said, this feels like a good course correction from S1 to bring the show more in line with what fans want.
     
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  15. SeamusShameless

    SeamusShameless Captain Captain

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    That was fucking great! My one complaint is them killing off Zhaban just so Picard can get his dick wet, but I think they handled the explanation of why Laris has moved on so quickly well. Everything else, top notch. This is how you do Star Trek! I wonder if Jurati's, "Half in the bag," was a wink to Red Letter Media's Mike Stoklasa who has been famously critical of streaming-era Trek, Picard in particular. This one got a ten from me, and this week's Discovery looked like dogshit in comparison.
     
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  16. sttngfan1701d

    sttngfan1701d Commodore Commodore

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    I felt that way for the majority of the episode as well. It actually felt like real Star Trek, and not.... Whatever they've been doing since 2017. I didn't hate the entirety of last season of Picard, but I did think it devolved into an unfocused mess and I grew increasingly annoyed with the writers because I don't think they actually understood or cared about representing Jean Luc accurately. They were too interested in "tearing down the myth", deconstructing for deconstructing's sake. And I grew really really tired of their hackneyed story, Even if I did appreciate several moments here and there.

    This episode felt different. It felt like, or almost like, it was written by people who were trying to inhabit the same universe as TNG. They actually gave us ships We recognized. And although I'm still annoyed at this Picard's reluctance to make decisions, overall the episode was very very solid. And it was a great ending.

    HOWEVER, and it's a big however, I fear the bait and switch that's coming. They bait us with this great premiere episode and the rest of the season is going to be a mess. I hope I'm wrong. I really do. But.... I just don't trust them after last year.
     
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  17. Romulan_spy

    Romulan_spy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The de-aging looked really good too. It looks exactly like De Lancie in TNG. And I really appreciate that they did it. It only took a second but it addressed an issue that fans would have called out. I like that the writers were thinking about that.

    Yes, great acting too on the part of De Lancie and Stewart. Great scene!
     
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  18. Airmandan

    Airmandan Commander Red Shirt

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    Goddamn, those ships looked sexy.

    Saw someone else caught the subtitles calling the Borg “Legion” I don’t think this is the Borg we’re familiar with. If they were the Borg from the totalitarian universe, why would they request Picard? All indications are the Picard of that universe is kind of a bad dude, probably not the kind of guy you’d track down in a different universe. I’m betting these aren’t actually Borg. Or the collective to be exact.
     
  19. Romulan_spy

    Romulan_spy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah but Picard is older now than he was in TNG. People do change as they get older. So it is not completely unrealistic that he might be a little more indecisive in his old age. Also, it is just one episode and one moment in a new situation, faced with a "oh shit, the Borg are back". Let's see if Picard continues to be indecisive or if we see him step up and take charge. I hope we see him take charge when it counts!
     
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  20. Romulan_spy

    Romulan_spy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If these Borg have analyzed our timeline, they might know that "our" Picard is good and more likely to be simpathetic to their plight.

    Another clue that these Borg might be from the totalitarian federation timeline is that these Borg did several things that indicate that they are "good". They asked to negotiate instead of assimilating. They did not threaten assimilation, "resistance is futile". And the Borg Queen stunned the crew instead of killing or assimilating them. These Borg definitely seem less militaristic than "our" Borg. Perhaps, in the other timeline, things are flipped. So the Federation is evil and the Borg are good.