Picard assembles his party of adventurers.

Meanwhile, it becomes clear that some Romulans consider Soji to be “the Destroyer,” a figure of some importance in their mythos.

“Engage!”

Titles: “The End is the Beginning” and “Absolute Candor”

Cast and Crew

Directed by Hanelle Culpepper and Jonathan Frakes
Written by Michael Chabon and James Duff

Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard
Isa Briones as Soji
Alison Pill as Dr. Agnes Jurati
Michelle Hurd as Raffi Musiker
Santiago Cabrera as Cristobal “Chris” Rios
Casey King as Elnor
Jonathan Del Arco as Hugh, formerly of Borg
Peyton List as Lieutenant Narissa Rizzo
Zani as Amirah Vann
Jamie McShane as Zhaban
Tamlyn Tomita as Commodore Oh
Harry Treadaway as Narek
Orla Brady as Laris
Erik Armando Alvarez as Bidran
Donny Boaz as Skantal
Ian Nunney as Young Elnor
Evan Parke as Tenqem Andrev
Rebecca Wisocky as Ramdha
Sumalee Montano as Soji’s Mother
Graham Shiels as Tal Shiar Operative
Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine

Premise

We learn more about Picard’s past with the Romulan evacuation

Picard has good intentions, but he looks entirely like an entitled mid-twentieth-century tourist visiting a Third World country, and the series wants– gingerly– to investigate Starfleet’s traditional morality, along with their current cultural and ethical malaise.

High Point

The series does a fair job of making the monolithic-seeming Romulan culture complex and diverse, and the critique of Starfleet, at this point, does not feel forced.

Low Point

The Borg Cube plot occupies time with too little happening, except, perhaps, its shots of shiny, beautiful people front and back-stabbing.

The Scores:

Originality: 2/6 I know, Quest Motif. Nevertheless, rarely have episodes of Star Trek felt so much like a traditional fantasy / gaming session. We have an ancient, mysterious legend underlying the story, a de facto elf, and the Vashti Settlement, which appears to have been established in a Dungeons and Dragons campaign. Add a dash of Star Wars rogue pilot to render the story even more derivative, and throw some Warrior Space Nuns into the melange.

Effects: 6/6 They do an excellent job of creating the locations for this series.

Acting: 5/6 The show features some strong acting, both from Patrick Steward and the Qowat Milat.

Story: 4/6 The story moves slowly along, but these episodes include some interesting developments.

The scene leading up to Picard and Elnor’s escape from Vashti feel contrived. With only seven minutes left, Picard throws himself into a dramatic, revelatory moment that he knows should take a lot longer than seven minutes and likely will get him killed. The ship, of course, beams up all necessary characters.

Production: 6/6

Emotional Response: 4/6

Overall: 5/6

In total, Episodes Three and Four of Picard receive 32/42

Additional Thoughts

Many older episodes of Trek would have benefited from a bit more time. I have defended Picard‘s slow pace, but, without question, it would benefit from having had a little less time to develop its story.

The next review will appear after Episode Seven, unless they do something really impressive.