Ageing is a funny thing. You have certain views in your 20's that you think will stick forever, then in your 30's you change them, adapt them just as you change as a person. It's life after all, you always evolve... even when you get to your 70's just as Picard. When we got to know him 30+ years ago he said it Will Riker that "I'm not comfortable around children..." Obviously that has changed a bit over the years with many experiences interacting with various kids from the Enterprise and beyond...
As we see in this episode Picard softened up a lot. Not sure what is it really, but something has changed in him towards kids and specially how he felt compassionate about Elnor, the newest member of this quest. It's certainly an interesting character development and just such a joy to watch him being, well... Picard and also redefining his nature towards kids. My first though seeing him with the young Elnor made me think about Rene, his nephew and how he mentioned in Generations that "there never will be another Picard" now. I think deep down he regrets not having a children and a marriage that lasts and that surely channels through interacting with this young Romulan.
The relationship somewhat changes when he returns to the colony after 14 years and encounters the now grown up kid, who almost questioned him an a son would do it for a father not keeping his promises. That was a beautiful tie in and having a kinda "rebellious son" again just a nice way of reminding us, this guy has been missing out a lot on parenting. I also understand the way how Elnor reacted as he was waiting, but got no life signs from Picard and now he suddenly ask him for his help. I mean, I would be pissed myself.
Moving on from the colony I must say Agnes had a bit of a twist in personality in this episode. Having her being bored during the space travel and coming up with this little "empty-talk" and looking seeming annoyed by ravelling in this small ship. It's incredible what does space travel do for people not used it in a regular basis. And I'm not sure, bu is it me or you noticed that there's a little "heat" going on between Rios and Jurati. Almost the kinda "good girl & bad boy" scenario that seemingly developing there. Regardless, her personality is more likely getting more exposed and shows that she is not simply just a "cute scientist" which I found very human and real.
Rios is an interesting character for sure and he sure does want more "alone time." Just thinking about the different holograms that he programmed and all of them has the same face, with a touch of personality on his own. Just like an allegory for the Kurlan naiskos from the TNG episode The Chase, having multiple voice for one person. Also him having a character with a different nationality seems amazing and kinda shows that layering in his personality. I';m still wondering if we gonna get any kind of "on screen" nod to this "why Rios is every hologram" situation sooner or later.
With Soji, Narek and respectively with the Borg cube not much happened in this episode. The investigation did not go any further, we got to see a bit more silliness and a bit more tension with the Romulan sibling, but something tells me that things will go downhill very soon there. Soji already started getting suspicions about or "hot" Romulan which is probably a trigger point in her own development and will active something pretty soon.
"You owe me a ship picard"
I'd like to stop here for a moment and talk about how much I was looking forward to see Seven on screen. Ever since the first trailer came out and he was in there I was screaming out of joy and thought that "Yes, this is the long awaited crossover between Trek series." I mean having anyone from a different trek show appearing together was just amazing. Seven was always a fan favourite during the run on Voyager and she still is in many ways. I loved her character very much and having a Voyager tie in the show this day and age after all those years is just fantastic. As a "reveal" point of view I was a tiny bit disappointed as they did not give her a proper secret introduction. I mean Jeri Ryan tweeted about when she will be back on the set, but putting her name into the intro credit was in my opinion a missed chance to surprise us even more. Never the less I was super excited to see her "jumping back in" to the world of Star Trek and also having the best one liner in the galaxy!
like hot knife through butter
Ok, so there's one thing I do have to mention and for some it might count as "nitpicking," but this is more like a technicality. So when the Romulan BOP appeared I was super excited to see that ship on the screen and seeing what the La Sirena can do in combat was cool too - not that is the most important aspect of the show, but well. So the La Sirena is getting engaged with this massive ship, but not really being able to combat her, then a small ship jumps in, a Ferris Ranger "shuttle" and literally cuts through the wings of that bird. For a small ship that is a lot of power. I know, lot of you might gonna say "But what about the Defiant" and that is a good point. Again, I'm not nitpicking, I'm more surprised about this. I think I was wishing that the Enterprise-E will jump in and save the day with Geordi captaining her. Dreams... :)
Overall I loved this episode, this "chapter" of Picard just as I loved the previous ones. This show does not disappoint and each week I sit down front of the telly with excitement and also anticipation what is going to happen. I know it's not an episodic adventure anymore, more like a bigger story told over many parts, but it's a character story. A story of person who we all love and care about, and that makes it perfect for many of us... for me it surely does. :) _\\//