I'm sure over in the general discussion thread, there will have been some posts addressing this point, but I feel it merits its own discussion now that the show is over. It's been a long time since we last completed a ST show and can now look back on it as a whole. I wonder how you all feel (although I have guesses what you might say): what will the legacy of Star Trek: Picard be as a series? I will say upfront that I enjoyed this show tremendously from day one and while criticism has been valid, I never understood why the early seasons attracted such vitriol. Season 1 (and later seasons as well to some extent), to my mind, suffered from two interrelated things: wanting to be a movie, i.e. buying into the apparent common sense these days that a watercooler-worthy show has to be fully serialized, which had never been the way ST was done. (That is despite DS9's serialization, which however always presented as links between episodes that could still be watched on their own and had their own identity.) the "mystery box" approach to serialized storytelling. There have been shows in which this worked splendidly, but as fans of shows like The X-Files or Lost know - there had better be a good resolution in place when you tease a mystery. Now IMO, the resolution of the story arc of Season 1 was satisfying, but while all of the aforementioned shows unraveled their mysteries over many seasons and always included more standalone episodes or respectively aspects to each episode that stood on their own, PIC tended towards its episodes as "chapters" in a larger story, moving from narrative obstacle to obstacle while always playing its cards somewhat too close to its chest. On first viewing, which happened with a week's break between episodes, it soon became very hard to follow. They threw so many balls into the air (the XBs, the Romulans including not only the Tal Shiar, but an apocalyptic cult offshoot to that organization, Data's legacy and Picard's grief over his death, Picard's illness, the question of what exactly Dahj and Soji were, the story of Picard's resignation from Starfleet, the mystery of the synth rebellion, not to mention the Qowat Milat etc etc). Lots of stuff, which as it turned out on a second (binge) viewing, do work together rather well. But there might probably have been a more economical way of telling such a story without making it so labyrinthine. That said, PIC Season 1 ultimately became one of my favorite seasons of ST ever, because where it succeeded, it probed deeply into the characters, old and new, and ended in such a moving way when Data finally achieves humanity by actually dying in consciousness as well, while Picard in turn is reborn as an android of sorts. Although Season 3 retconned that ending somewhat, it also didn't erase it and further underlined how Picard and Data, (who were played here as the central axis of TNG, which I suppose in truth they never were back then to that extent), are now ontologically one and the same. In a show that investigates, throughout its run, how man and machine and interlinked - and by now inextricably so - I see this as an instance of classic ST optimism. The imperfect bodies and identities of both Picard and Data, marred by having been infested by Borg assimiliation as well as disease and age, and respectively by being an android without emotion, have been 'cleansed' of these flaws and reborn into a more perfect version. Quite the (trans)humanist statement. It was because I saw such depths in Season 1, and in fact it informed my own Ph.D. research, which was all about transhuman identities in mythopoeic science fiction (Trek and Star Wars), that Season 2's approach paled by comparison. Clearly they had heard fan criticisms about the first season's somber tone. So where Season 1 is a less-triumphant TSFS narrative, what follows is obviously their version of TVH: a fun romp, more lighthearted. And I did think it was fun, but the depth of S1 got reduced while still playing much by the mystery box book of storytelling. And if it was possible, S2 was even more labyrinthine. To this day, I still don't know if I understood the mechanics of it all - or even what set off the plot. Was it Q trying to say goodbye, thus engineering the whole ordeal? Was it him saving humanity through his universe-shifting tactics that ended up producing the thing (Jurati Borg Queen) that would save the day in the 25th century? And why did it matter to the big picture that Picard confront his mother's death? Even on second viewing, I gave up trying to figure it all out. But episode to episode, I also had a great deal of fun with these characters, all of whom had grown on me. Which is why my one gripe with the third season, which is obviously the most fulfilling of the bunch, is the fact that all of the new characters except Raffi (and Laris, if you count her inconsequential cameo) were so unceremoniously dispensed with. They all got good endings, yes, but in terms of the identity of this show, it's odd in retrospect that you would replace basically the entire cast for the final season. It feels like the admission of some sort of defeat. Certainly, the majority of fans would prefer the TNG cast over the original PIC cast (and if given a one-or-the-other choice, I would make the same decision), but there might have been a way I'm sure to give Jurati and Soji at least a guest appearance to maintain the cohesion of the series as a whole. The final season of course was such a success because it fully articulated what the earlier seasons had done only for Picard (and Data, Riker, Troi in their short guest appearances): reunite us with these characters we so loved, and be bold in doing so by demonstrating how time changes people. Neither entirely for the better, nor for worse, just different. There's a sense of reality in this that the TNG crew hadn't gotten before. Where the TOS crew had a decade before we were reunited with them in the movies, TNG transitioned directly, which may have been part of the reason why their movies so often felt just like extended episodes. PIC Season 3 (and by extension the earlier seasons too) finally provided that sense of people who grow and change that GR wasn't much interested in during TNG (and which was of course not the way TV shows were made at the time) or their film series. Especially the final poker game, if compared to the "All Good Things" ending, drove this home. Where the final TNG scene was heartwarming, but still a somewhat formal/awkward affair because it was Picard's first time joining the game night and because he was still their boss, the final PIC scene showed us seven people who are all equals and joined together because they're friends and family and don't have anything to prove to one another. Beautiful. And I take that as the legacy of this show: who is the hero after his hero's journey is over? How do the glory days of the past still affect him, haunt him even? And can one reinvent oneself even in old age, make peace with the past, embrace it even, but still set out on a new journey of discovery? A resounding yes, according to the show. I love that. How about you all? Will you rewatch the show from the beginning, give the early seasons another chance, and do you expect that your judgment of them will change in light of how the series ended? Or is PIC sort of an inverse TOS to you: three seasons, two of them universally acclaimed, one seen as a letdown (in PIC's case two lambasted, one acclaimed)? Is PIC ultimately a transitional series that serves to wrap up the Berman era once and for all while setting the stage for a ST: Legacy (or whatever it may be called) which will FINALLY bring the right balance to a modern-day Trek show?