With new Star Trek in the air and in development, I must say that there's a lot of excitement in every level. While that is all good and fresh there's certain things that I miss from this brand new era... episode titles. Somehow with Discovery we lost them and they seems to be missing from Picard as well. I mean it does not devalue the episode in any way, but it would be nice to see that episode title just like we got to know from TOS, TAS, TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT over the past 50+ years. I had to bring this up before we go any further as the second episode is titled Maps & Legends and the Legends are clearly missing from the show...
The episode was great in my opinion. We got to follow up of the previous episode with more details of what is happening while not revealing too much. The first episode had a blast revealing a lot of information and overwhelmingly left us overjoyed as well with all those things we had the fortune to see one more time. Revealing details about the characters and seeing how Picard deals with his retirement after Nemesis and the Hobus Supernova. So a lot to unpack there. In this episode the investigation begins and we get to know a few juicy details about the Romulans and their secret service the Tal... I mean Zhat Vash. Also finding out that we have a secret Vulcan/Romulan collaboration within the higher levels of the administration, also reveals itself even more devious as before. I mean we got to know a few thing about Starfleet in previous Treks and we know very well that it's not a "holy" organisation in any level. It has fault as any organisation and also the Federation is kinda troubled that somehow gives us a glimpse of what we can expect with Discovery in Season 3, but I'll talk about this a tiny bit later. The story picks up with the Soji/Narek story which is a thing now, personally I have nothing against it, but I know people bragging about it in social media. I mean... whatever. :) We kinda now how that will end up at the end already, but I have a feeling that it will not be the same as the Burnham/Ash relationship.
Personally I was really happy that we got to see a new face from Picards past way before the Enterprise years, the Doctor from the Stargazer... that was a kinda Scotty in "Relics" situation when he reunited his "old girl" for one more time. I admit I was hoping that Dr. Pulaski will make a cameo as well, but well... this was a very nice tie to the Stargazer years. We also got to see Raffi and I cannot wait to get to know more about her in the future episodes. Ohh, side note... Larik is indeed a great character so far with a very strong presence in Picard's current life. I mean, if I'd grow to be the same age as Picard I'd love to have her around to keep that "zest of life" in the air. :)
Oddities & Questions
There's a few thing that I'd like to dig into a bit more with this episode. First I did not understand why the hell Picard have to ask Starfleet for help when he is not enrolled any more. I mean he is a veteran, he is a retired admiral and he is asking for a ship and for a crew. In "All Good Things" he have had the same rank and he was retired... he did not get to be asking Starfleet to start investigating. I know there were different circumstances as he was getting help from Geordi, Data, Beverly and eventually from Riker, but he did not go to the head of Starfleet as he has barely any power. I imagine it's like you being a manager in a chain, but once you retired you cannot go back as for staff discount right? So him going through this whole process I find it a bit irrelevant, but it did give us a nice and rather "raw" look into the current state of Starfleet/Federation that I was not expecting at all. Progress in the Trek universe that is well welcoming and also current.
Speaking of the Federation... it is trouble and it is kinda political. I did see countless remarks on twitter that "Star Trek was not political before" or "Why are they suddenly racist now?" etc. Star Trek was always in a level a social commentary with a compelling blueprint of what our tomorrow could look like. The social commentary is indeed present and having this kinda "a lot of did not want the Romulans integrated to the Alpha Quadrant" kinda feels like Brexit to me. Let's face it, our society is troubled and humanity in a massive scale started to grow into a different way that is deeply troubling. Nations been together for a long time in a reason for prosperity and to help each other, but some wants more and does not want to contribute or simply being arrogant do find a solution that can be beneficial for all. The Federation kinda goes through with the same phase right now, however it does feel very different from the time we had this kinda "peaceful collaboration" with the Klingons before. I have a feeling that we will see the outcome very well in Season 3 of Discovery that is coming at some point this year.
The Androids are something that I do want to talk about a little bit here though and one thing I did not really understand. I hope that in later episodes the attack on Mars will become clear, because at some level I still have questions. The synthetics have been a valuable source on the surface and suddenly they became rouge, then F8 - whom we had a fair share of laugh about in twitter :) - kills himself after killing everyone in the room. Clearly it was a sabotage in their program, something that someone - we all suggest who - planted in their software. F8 committing suicide was clearly a sign that they did not want to overtake humans, just carve a wound in the Federation. I suspect that the Zhat Vash might be the one behind all this making revenge of the failure of the Hobus mission...
Despite all the oddities the episode itself was great in my opinion. It certainly slowed down a little bit and we got the more intimate pieces happening, but over all it did left me with wanting more. I was surprised and eager to find more about what is happening. But I'm curious to hear your opinion and take on the episode. Did you like it or did you just lost interest? Let me know, and until next time as always... live long and prosper. _\\//