After a slow start, Picard takes us into far more engaging territory than Season One. It’s derivative, but highly watchable.
Picard, Season Two
Cast and Crew
Directed by Doug Aarniokoski, Lea Thompson, Jonathan Frakes
Written by Akiva Goldsman, Terry Matalas. Christopher Monfette, Michael Chabon, Kiley Rossette, Juliana James, Jane Maggs, Cindy Appel.
Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard
Alison Pill as Dr. Agnes Jurati
Michelle Hurd as Raffi Musiker
Santiago Cabrera as Cristóbal Rios
Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine
Evan Evagora as Elnor
Annie Wersching as Borg Queen
Penelope Mitchell as Renée Picard
Sol Rodriguez as Dr. Teresa Ramirez
Whoopi Goldberg, Ito Aghayere as Guinan
John de Lancie as Q
Orla Brady as Laris / Tallinn
Brent Spiner as Dr. Adam Soong
Lea Thompson as Dr. Diane Werner
Isa Briones as Kore Soong / Soji
Madeline Wise as Yvette Picard
April Grace as Admiral Whitley
Kay Bess as Voice of La Sirena Computer
Dylan Von Halle as Young Picard
Chloe Wepper as Gabi
Peter Lindstedt as ICE Officer #1
Richard Jin as Moshe
Jon Briones as First Magistrate
Kirk R. Thatcher as Punk on bus who cannot catch a break from time-travelers
Picard and his associates (including the Borg Queen) find themselves in a dystopic future created by an inconsistently-powered Q’s meddling with the past. They return to 2024 to set things right, only to experience more Q meddling, at least two other extraterrestrials on earth, an ancestor of Picard’s, another Soong, and many Easter Eggs.
The pacing picks up in the third episode and mostly maintains it through to the sixth, with some genuinely interesting mysteries and a bit of fun action to accompany them. It’s a decent story, though it feels padded more often than it does developed.
The initial “social commentary” subplot that occurs with Rios’s injury develops naturally, and represents something Trek hasn’t addressed with past time-travel stories. Sure, McCoy was injured and had no proper I.D. in The City on the Edge of Forever, but that wasn’t especially suspicious in the 1930s. Rios in 2024 faces a bit more of a detour before rejoining the main plot.
The initial pacing presents some problems, but I cannot write much more about that, so here I’m going to take a chance:
If they can offer some information for Q’s modus operandi, which has him operating in remote and unlikely ways to accomplish things he could do more easily, I may have to change this Low Point. At this point, however, “I was just testing humanity again in some utterly bizarre way that makes no sense if you think about it for five seconds” won’t fly. John de Lancie is an excellent actor, but I have never shared the effusive fan-love for the character Q. His variable motives and potentially infinite power problematizes the plot and the actual stakes every single time he appears.
In the show’s defense, they hint that Q may be experiencing difficulties with his abilities.
Originality: 1/6 Every SF series revisits the basic premise of The Legion of Time. Here, Trek throws in a good deal of its own time-travel history. To some degree, what we have is an elaborated, labyrinthine revisiting of “Tomorrow is Yesterday” (in particular) and Star Trek IV: The One With the Whales, with more Q and Brent Spiner playing the same old Soong, but with a different name.
Story: 4/6 The story begins at too slow a rate– Star Trek does not always handle the story-arc structure effectively—but picks up considerably after they arrive in 2024.
The writers ask us to accept a few developments on faith. How on earth did our heroes whisk a badly-injured person out of a heavily-guarded secured site to a clinic across town without anyone following them?
Emotional Response: 4/6 I am rather enjoying the Easter Eggs, most of which have been incorporated with some subtlety.
Overall: 4/6: This season feels more like Star Trek than the first.
In total, Picard, Season Two, First Half, receives 30/42