Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by RJDiogenes » Sat Feb 15, 2020 1:13 am

I say with relief that this episode did not give us another drop in quality, and in fact held a few interesting plot developments and possibly even some thematic developments.

We are treated to another flashback to the time of the Romulan Diaspora (and presumably this will a component of every chapter), this time set in a warrior nunnery on a refugee world where Picard has bonded with both the nuns and an orphan boy. It will turn out that after he left Starfleet, Picard never returned to these people, hurting them all, especially the boy, with his abandonment. It becomes clear now, if it wasn't before, that his departure from Starfleet broke Picard to the core and he has spent the last fifteen years in a morbid depression, retreating from the world. He abandoned Starfleet, abandoned the Romulans, abandoned Raffi, abandoned the nuns and Sword Boy, and very likely others. But these things are just really worldly manifestations of the true betrayal-- he abandoned his principles. So here we have a show where Starfleet and the Federation, like our real society, have traded in their liberal values for base meanness and Picard has similarly lost his principles to hopelessness. With his comment about the perfect being the enemy of the good, he is referencing the intolerance and fundamentalism of the contemporary world-- and when he tells Raffi that he may never pass this way again, he tells us that the clock is ticking to make things right.

The character work in this episode is definitely a step up. Rios, with his multiple holographic avatars, is much more a Trek character now than the cigar-chomping, central-casting ruffian of his debut. Raffi is also more appealing without her trappings of Millennialism and self pity. Agnes was written as almost a completely different character, but I suppose this is the first time we've really seen her off the clock-- the only other time she was seen outside her lab was having just had a near-death experience. Unfortunately the new addition to the crew, with his devotional life and ninja sword, seems more suited to AD&D than Trek, but perhaps he will develop as well.

Picard is a man awakening from a coma and coming to terms with regrets, but who has not quite yet learned anything. He berates himself for his abandonment of Raffi and Sword Boy, but has done nothing to make amends or shown any hint that he intends to. Instead he is focused on a quest for the children of his dead comrade. And with his newfound purpose comes a self-righteousness that is almost a parody of the old Picard. His tearing down of the Romulans Only sign was a rookie error from a man once known for his diplomacy, and especially hypocritical from someone who showed no moral objection to a gender-exclusive warrior guild. Another metaphor for the Millennial Age?

And then we have the return of an old favorite character, and this time it's not a dream. Apparently a member of the Fenris Rangers (an odd name-- I wonder if the wolf reference is supposed to be a link to Romulus and Remus, but it comes from a completely different mythology), Seven of Nine saves Picard's ass at the last nanosecond, at the cost of her own off-the-grid ship, and then collapses to the deck after a sassy beam in. Best cliffhanger yet. :lol:
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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by scottydog » Mon Feb 17, 2020 1:18 am

^^ Very good synopsis and analysis. I could understand Picard's tearing down of the Romulans Only sign. He despises tribalism in all its forms and he wants to get everyone's attention, if only to explain what happened, and to apologize. What he doesn't do is describe his plan to make things right -- an odd omission.

I suspect Sword Boy will benefit from Picard's mentorship and will eventually transform into an interesting, complex heroic character.

Overall, I'm really impressed with this series. Patrick Stewart still has a powerful screen presence, and TPTB have surrounded him with many multi-textured supporting characters.

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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by RJDiogenes » Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:28 pm

I can understand his wanting to tear down the sign, but not his suicidal approach-- especially after being warned that he was in danger while on the surface. The young Picard would have attacked the reason for the sign's existence, and he would have done it with persuasive words.
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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by scottydog » Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:39 pm

RJDiogenes wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:28 pm
The young Picard would have attacked the reason for the sign's existence, and he would have done it with persuasive words.
Maybe Old Picard realizes he needs high ratings to survive and thus does the bold, dramatic thing rather than the dull, diplomatic thing.

His character has changed a bit. He's still wise and articulate. But he's clearly wounded, which could (along with his old age) explain why he doesn't think through his actions as much as he should.

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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by RJDiogenes » Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:56 pm

scottydog wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:39 pm
Maybe Old Picard realizes he needs high ratings to survive and thus does the bold, dramatic thing rather than the dull, diplomatic thing.
"When I was a young man, I was in syndication and I could do no wrong. Now I'm old and streaming and I don't know what's right anymore."
His character has changed a bit. He's still wise and articulate. But he's clearly wounded, which could (along with his old age) explain why he doesn't think through his actions as much as he should.
He's definitely damaged. I hope he gets his mojo back before all this is over.
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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by scottydog » Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:08 am

RJDiogenes wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:56 pm
He's definitely damaged. I hope he gets his mojo back before all this is over.
That would be a great way for the series to end. Picard deserves to die a happy, fulfilled man.

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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by RJDiogenes » Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:00 pm

That's what I'm hoping for: A happy ending for Picard, unlike what they did to Spock, and a nice epilogue for Star Trek.
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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by Lupine » Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:14 pm

RJDiogenes wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:56 pm
scottydog wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:39 pm
Maybe Old Picard realizes he needs high ratings to survive and thus does the bold, dramatic thing rather than the dull, diplomatic thing.
"When I was a young man, I was in syndication and I could do no wrong. Now I'm old and streaming and I don't know what's right anymore."
:lol:
RJDiogenes wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:56 pm
He's definitely damaged. I hope he gets his mojo back before all this is over.
He might be on that path. In the pilot he lamented that he had basically been waiting to die while living at the winery.

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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by RJDiogenes » Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:46 am

Here's what we learned this week: Picard is getting his sense of humor back, Rios is not a hologram, Seven has become a latter-day Maquis equivalent, Agnes loved Maddox but was willing to kill him for some mysterious greater good, Elfwich is the naive innocent comedy relief of the team when he's not beheading people, and Raffi is a hypocrite.

The episode itself was not bad. It was, in a way, a callback to all those classic Treks where the landing party dressed up like the locals to fit in and botched it. I loved Picard's scenery-chewing as an over-the-top, eye-patched Frenchman, and the pimped-out Rios was pretty funny, too. Agnes's first triggering of the EMH with her panic attack was pretty funny-- the second time was pretty disturbing.

And Seven of Nine is now the Lone Ranger or Zorro of the unincorporated spaceways. Not exactly the future I would have preferred for her-- and where is Janeway during all this?-- but not everybody becomes an Admiral. Icheb's fate strikes me as the gratuitous death of a known character for no purpose, since it wasn't really necessary for Seven to become a champion of ex drones-- just necessary for her to wreak merciless vengeance on the villainess, which also seemed kind of a throwaway plot. Her conversation with Picard about helping people who have no one else to help them would have been enough to establish her hero cred. But, since she gave Picard her calling card, it seems likely she will return by season's end.

I got a kick out of Rios and Raffi chatting about Seven and Picard. "The ex-Borg drone from the Delta Quadrant who is now a Fenris Ranger. Oh, and I forgot Picard was a Borg." :lol:

And Raffi. She complained about Picard not being more sociable, but she abandoned her family even longer ago-- abandoned them to help Picard with the Romulan evacuation. Because she believes there was some conspiracy behind the Synth attack on Mars. Unfortunately, her son is even less forgiving than she is. I wonder if Picard knows about the family.

Poor Maddox. The Picard Brigade didn't quite reach him in time-- just enough time for him to drop a few clues, and say something that made his girlfriend let him die. Ouch. What did Commodore Oh do to Agnes, anyway? Mind meld with her? Lie to her. Or tell her an awful truth that made her betray her love and her morality? I'm really tired of conspiracy stories. And how does she think that she's going to cover up this murder? Deactivating the EMH will not wipe its memory.

But all in all not a bad episode, if not outstanding. A nice adventure in the lawless frontier, where Pike dreamed of lavish harems and characters like Harry Mudd make a living smuggling contraband. Plenty of strong characterization and humor, if a bit much blood. There were lots of nice nods to continuity from Voyager and Deep Space Nine, which will hopefully continue (along with more from TNG). And our gang now knows how to reach the next level of the game: The Artifact.
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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by scottydog » Fri Feb 21, 2020 3:32 am

I'll watch this episode soon and then read your analysis.
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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by RJDiogenes » Fri Feb 21, 2020 11:49 pm

Hurry up! :lol:
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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by scottydog » Sat Feb 22, 2020 3:57 am

RJDiogenes wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 11:49 pm
Hurry up! :lol:
You can't rush a souffle :lol:
RJDiogenes wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:46 am
There were lots of nice nods to continuity from Voyager and Deep Space Nine, which will hopefully continue (along with more from TNG).
Speaking of continuity, at the 5-minute mark, our villainess offers Bruce Maddox some tranya to drink. You may recall that tranya is first introduced in The Original Series when the baby-ish alien Balok serves it to Captain Kirk and members of his crew in the episode The Corbomite Maneuver.

Overall, another solid episode. I can't tell you how much more I'm enjoying ST: Picard compared to ST: Discovery. The latter is okay but not 1/10th as intelligently written and executed. ST: Picard actually takes the time to develop characters and doesn't worship at the altar of nonstop action.

I'm actually okay with the career & life arc of Seven of Nine. She's saving people. And I loved the end-of-episode exchange between Picard and Seven about reacquiring their humanity after being Borgified. Does Picard have any remaining Borg parts in him?

I gotta say that I saw Agnes's dark side coming. We'll find out why she had to kill Maddox, and you're right, the EMH was witness to what was happening -- yet he seemed indifferent to it. Are these advanced EMH's so limited and unidimensional? I can't imagine Voyager's EMH doctor (Robert Picardo) ignoring a murder in progress.

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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by RJDiogenes » Sat Feb 22, 2020 7:16 pm

scottydog wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 3:57 am
You can't rush a souffle :lol:
:lol:
Speaking of continuity, at the 5-minute mark, our villainess offers Bruce Maddox some tranya to drink. You may recall that tranya is first introduced in The Original Series when the baby-ish alien Balok serves it to Captain Kirk and members of his crew in the episode The Corbomite Maneuver.
Good catch. Apparently Quark's Bar has also been franchised to Freecloud, which I missed. I wonder if somebody on the Internet has compiled a list of Easter eggs in this episode.
I'm actually okay with the career & life arc of Seven of Nine. She's saving people. And I loved the end-of-episode exchange between Picard and Seven about reacquiring their humanity after being Borgified. Does Picard have any remaining Borg parts in him?
No parts that I know of, but we saw in First Contact that he still has a psychic connection to the Collective.
I gotta say that I saw Agnes's dark side coming. We'll find out why she had to kill Maddox, and you're right, the EMH was witness to what was happening -- yet he seemed indifferent to it. Are these advanced EMH's so limited and unidimensional? I can't imagine Voyager's EMH doctor (Robert Picardo) ignoring a murder in progress.
I don't think he was indifferent, since she deactivated him pretty quickly. As far as I'm concerned, until shown otherwise, all the holograms are sentient. Rios' multiple holographic selves are the thing that makes him my favorite of the new characters and the one uniquely Trekkian character.
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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by scottydog » Sun Feb 23, 2020 2:15 am

RJDiogenes wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 7:16 pm
Rios' multiple holographic selves are the thing that makes him my favorite of the new characters and the one uniquely Trekkian character.
I like him and his cadre of role-playing holographic helpers, too. I wish I had a dozen scottydogs to run errands, clean house, buy chocolate, and do work tasks that I dislike. Not to mention scottydogs who can write more books and articles on heroes, too.

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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by RJDiogenes » Sun Feb 23, 2020 10:49 pm

I think if you set up a thousand RJD holograms with a thousand typewriters, they would eventually recreate the works of Shakespeare.
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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by scottydog » Sun Feb 23, 2020 11:04 pm

RJDiogenes wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 10:49 pm
I think if you set up a thousand RJD holograms with a thousand typewriters, they would eventually recreate the works of Shakespeare.
I think those thousand RJs would create amazing original work, too. You'd be someday known as William Grapespeare.

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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by RJDiogenes » Mon Feb 24, 2020 10:51 pm

Grapespeare. I like that. :grape:
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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by RJDiogenes » Fri Feb 28, 2020 1:08 am

So it has now been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that Soji is an android, because she falls asleep within 70 seconds of talking to her mother. I guess I must finally face the truth: I am an android. :(

But that's okay, I can live with that. Another thing that I can live with is Picard finally running into someone who is happy to see him. Namely, Hugh. And I finally realized who Hugh has been reminding me of: Special Agent Dale Cooper in Twin Peaks. And here he is, dealing with twin androids. Coincidence? I think so.

What did we learn in this episode? Well, we learned that young scientists travel around the galaxy armed with more Polaroids than Earth-bound humans kept in their attics in the 1960s. Not to mention that they pin up their own childhood drawings in their quarters on a field expedition to an alien artifact. No glitches in her programming at all.

We also learned that Rios has an Emergency Soccer Hologram, who made it with Agnes. What is up with that? Is Agnes planning to kill Rios next? Or am I just being overly suspicious because she killed one boyfriend already? One does not constitute a pattern.

We also learned that the Borg have completely abandoned their plans to assimilate the universe, because they have a transporter that can teleport them 40,000 light years in one jump and they haven't used it even though it would make them unstoppable.

And we learned that Raffi may have exaggerated her progress in getting clean and sober.

Overall, an interesting episode, though, with some nice touches. The Romulan Rubik's Cube provided a nifty plot device to demonstrate the different approaches of the Romulan siblings: Impulsiveness versus patience. And it finally turned out to be a murder weapon intended for Soji. It was a great scene when the encroaching radioactive mist triggered her and she went right through the floor. Rommie-boy better make sure his affairs are in order now.

This episode focused a lot on Picard's history with the Borg, beginning with his conversation with Agnes and Elfwich (who has a habit of "in-butting" :lol: ). Then continued with his research on the holodeck, which seemed to be nothing more than picking at the scab. And then finally with the full-fledged flashbacks and panic attacks on the cube. But that nightmarish scenario was nicely mitigated by Hugh's VIP tour of the reclamation project, and Picard seeing that the Borg drones are as much victims as he was and that it's possible for them to be saved. Hugh wants him to be the spokesmodel for XB acceptance into society, and I hope that becomes a part of the series in the future.

In any case, the Rommie Twins managed to find a clue to the location of the android nest, before alienating Soji with a murder attempt. Personally I would have held out for more than "two red moons and a thunderstorm," like maybe a ZIP Code or something. But the sister seems to be satisfied and the seeds were planted for brother to turn the corner and become an android lover-- figuratively as well as literally.

Next week, we will be seeing Riker and Troi at last. I've been assuming that those scenes take place in Alaska, so perhaps Picard has transported himself back to Earth. Now what will become of Hugh and Elfwich? I really hope Hugh doesn't die. In fact, I hope nobody else dies but Agnes.
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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by scottydog » Fri Feb 28, 2020 1:45 am

I'll watch this latest episode soon, hopefully tomorrow. Then I'll respond to your thoughts.

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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by RJDiogenes » Fri Feb 28, 2020 2:06 am

Hurry up! :lol:
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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by scottydog » Sat Feb 29, 2020 4:12 am

^You can't rush a souffle! :lol:

Another very good episode. Seems like every episode has something to commend it.
RJDiogenes wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 1:08 am
she falls asleep within 70 seconds of talking to her mother. I guess I must finally face the truth: I am an android. :(
:lol: Try to avoid having affairs with a Romulan.
RJDiogenes wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 1:08 am
We also learned that the Borg have completely abandoned their plans to assimilate the universe, because they have a transporter that can teleport them 40,000 light years in one jump and they haven't used it even though it would make them unstoppable.
That massive transport was cool, but geez -- it means the entire galaxy can now be explored and traversed very easily, assuming the device can be replicated and distributed.
RJDiogenes wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 1:08 am
The Romulan Rubik's Cube provided a nifty plot device to demonstrate the different approaches of the Romulan siblings: Impulsiveness versus patience. And it finally turned out to be a murder weapon intended for Soji. It was a great scene when the encroaching radioactive mist triggered her and she went right through the floor. Rommie-boy better make sure his affairs are in order now.
Loved the mini-cube on board the big cube. I'm surprised that XBs have to remain disfigured in appearance. Surely advanced epidermal regenerators can help smooth out their skin and hide the seams.

I'm afraid Rommie-boy needs to die right alongside Agnes The Terrible. And I'm not thrilled about his sister -- she reminds me of the female arch-villain in Game of Thrones.
RJDiogenes wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 1:08 am
and Picard seeing that the Borg drones are as much victims as he was and that it's possible for them to be saved. Hugh wants him to be the spokesmodel for XB acceptance into society, and I hope that becomes a part of the series in the future.
I agree. And I really like Picard's young bodyguard, the killing machine. He's loyal and he knows when to disobey orders.
RJDiogenes wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 1:08 am
I hope nobody else dies but Agnes.
Like I said, Rommie-boy's gotta go, and his sister too. But they're pretty good bad guys to root against, so they'll probably stick around a bit longer. Rommie-boy obviously should have anticipated that Soji would be able to break out of that room. Why do bad guys make a habit out of underestimating the escape abilities of the good guys?

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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by RJDiogenes » Sun Mar 01, 2020 10:19 pm

scottydog wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 4:12 am
:lol: Try to avoid having affairs with a Romulan.
Swipe left!
That massive transport was cool, but geez -- it means the entire galaxy can now be explored and traversed very easily, assuming the device can be replicated and distributed.
There must be some serious drawbacks to using it that prevent widespread implementation. Maybe Picard will discover some terrible side effect now that he's gone through-- like a craving for cherries, but he can only eat strawberries, or something.
Loved the mini-cube on board the big cube.
Nice. I never even made that connection.
I'm surprised that XBs have to remain disfigured in appearance. Surely advanced epidermal regenerators can help smooth out their skin and hide the seams.
Presumably the ones we saw just aren't done yet. Once they're fully healed, they're probably relocated somewhere to live their lives.
I'm afraid Rommie-boy needs to die right alongside Agnes The Terrible. And I'm not thrilled about his sister -- she reminds me of the female arch-villain in Game of Thrones.
Those two are very Game of Thrones-ish.
Like I said, Rommie-boy's gotta go, and his sister too.
I meant out of Picard's crew and other associates. The Rommie twins and probably Commodore Oh should die in the end.
Rommie-boy obviously should have anticipated that Soji would be able to break out of that room. Why do bad guys make a habit out of underestimating the escape abilities of the good guys?
He probably watched too many old Batman episodes on the Federation Internet.
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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by scottydog » Sun Mar 01, 2020 11:33 pm

I'd be curious what humans of the 24th century will be watching. Probably live plays, as that will never go out of style. In terms of TV and film, I wonder if 24th century people will just close their eyes and activate the Federation Movie Channel on their chip implants.

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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by RJDiogenes » Mon Mar 02, 2020 11:46 pm

Kirk once had a traveling Shakespeare troupe on his ship. :lol:

But I've often wondered about the Science Fiction of the future. What does SF entail when you're living in an SF world? William Gibson gave up writing SF because he felt the world had caught up to him.
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Re: Star Trek: Picard (aka ST:P)

Post by RJDiogenes » Fri Mar 06, 2020 12:46 am

All that time on Nepenthe and not once did anyone say "quaff." :(

Well, this episode certainly had its ups and downs. How wonderful it was to see Picard reunited with Riker and Toi, but this business of killing off a character just to impress the teenagers in the audience has got to be the most moronic trope of all time.

The circumstances of Will and Deanna's life twenty years later are not what I expected, and I'm still kind of mulling it all over. I wonder how the writers came to write them into this scenario. It's an unusual situation for this type of show, but certainly a situation that a lot of people experience, so it makes me wonder if it's a fictionalized version of somebody connected to the show. But it was sad and sweet and felt like more than a few real-life reunions that I've had. Kestra was certainly a likeable kid. The thing with the languages seemed a little too specific to be random, as did the references to Captain Crandall. It seems likely that both will be important later. Even moreso is the detail that their son died because there were no positronic matrices available after the AI ban-- this makes the Federation seem even more callous if they even outlawed medical applications.

The Riker homestead also left me with a few questions. Such as, if this planet has medicinal properties, why aren't there more people there? And if access is limited, why are the Rikers still allowed to live there after their son died, rather than make room for somebody else with a sick kid? Maybe they just got suckered by a persuasive real estate agent and there's nothing special about the planet at all.

Meanwhile, back on the cube, Hugh the XB, one of the most promising characters on the show was killed, just to convince us that anybody can die at any time. Because that's one of the hallmarks of a great story. And wasn't it lucky that Elfwich just happened to find a Fenris medic alert tag while hiding in a random corner of the Borg cube. Where did that come from?

And then, somewhere out in the final frontier, Agnes has realized that the smarmy Romulan is able to track their ship because of a Chocks chewable tracking device given to her by Commodore Oh back on Earth-- right after the Commodore took off her Ray-Bans long enough to implant apocalyptic images of a synth uprising into her brain. Where did those images come from? They didn't seem like anything that actually happened in real life, so I'm thinking Oh just kind of implanted her own psychotic paranoia into the woman. But, after coming to the realization that she was putting her comrades in danger, Agnes did what any rational person would do and attempted suicide. Because killing yourself disables the trackers in your body. Of course, this was after we got to watch her puke all over the floor a couple of times. It cracks me up that this show will use the word "fuck" freely, share graphic images of eyeballs being torn out in a gory mess, and give us all the vomit that can fit in an actor's mouth-- but then cop out on the nude scene back at the Riker Ranch. It also amused me to see Raffi almost lose her lunch while calling on the Emergency Hospitality Hologram. :lol:

In sum, we finally got the big reunion that we were waiting for, but it was slightly mitigated by a pointless death of a promising character. We got some backstory filled in for Agnes, which didn't really add up. We got some foreshadowing of further involvement by the Riker family and their friend Captain Crandall. Also a couple of nice moments from the crew of La Sirena as they try gamely to stack up (loved Rios' mad dash for the comatose Agnes and Raffi's comment about being the wreckage of a good person). And there it stands for now.
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