Let me star with that one of the best part of Picard is that it explains itself. I know starting off a brief episode review on this note is a bit unusual, but hear me out. With Discovery we got a lot of moaning from a lot of people - myself included - about the aesthetics of the show and how everything looks compare to TOS in about 1 years in the future... and the show dare not to explain it why. I love that in Picard we have subtle references for changes and also explanations that I'm super happy about.
This episode did not disappoint either for me as it ad soo much happening, so many character moments and also reveals and reunions. Beautifully directed and amazingly carried out with many great callbacks for the previous episode and in relation to JL's past dealing with the Borg. seeing his reaction and how he was speaking about the Borg was just simply amazing to see and witness. Of course the episode called back heavily to the double parter Best of Both Worlds and I, Borg from TNG, also to First Contact to connect the dots with Picard and within his reaction to the visit to the Borg Artifact. Seeing all these images from the previous episodes and most importantly from his past was a really powerful thing to witness. Knowing his past and seeing the weight that he still carries after the incident with the Borg is not easy to forget and also feels like opening up a wound in his soul. I think the most incredible moment when he looked at himself as Locutus... I could not help, but felt the fear, the anger and also the disappointment that he still has towards Locutus and what he did. It's like looking back to a part of your life that you want to forget, but you can't. It's not easy you live with that...
...just as not easy to live with your present self and finding that ground that you can grasp again. That is an essential part of Raffi's story that we are slowly discovering here. She has a very powerful story and her side of the story is truly moving. Rare thing to get this for a character who we barely know, but the writers certainly put together an amazing story for her... I really hope that she will stay for Season 2.
Rios and Agnes was a tiny bit awkward in this episode. Ok, Rios was alright, but Agnes... relaxing herself and finally getting "close in waistline" with our captain here is somewhat expected, apart from her killing her ex that I was not expecting. Also I was looking to get that part of the episode where the EMH will start question Agnes about what she did, but I guess that will still about to happen.
Fabricated and Activated
Obviously the driving force of the story finally reached a climax with revealing everything about Soji's past and existence. The dreams about her childhood, seeing herself as pieces in a table and Narek revealing his real intentions was a lot to take in for her. I cannot imagine how that could feel to discover that you basically a creation of someone and that your whole life is an illusion. Her reveal towards her life and that everything she knew is a fake - insert Vreenak's picture, haha.
Using the Romulan method of finding out more about the dream and seeing where that lab is was interesting, something I was not expecting from Soji, but than she probably a much advanced Synth that Data ever was. I know wonder what they are going to find in that planet, what will be that big secret hat she was holding in herself according to the Romulans. So what they will possibly find in that planet is still yet a mystery and also why she is called the destroyed that will need to be addressed at some point.
REUNION and a bit of Laugh...
One of the biggest moment here for many of us, seeing Picard and Hugh meeting again after all those years. Seeing the two persons first interaction, that hug and also their interaction has been a big sense of melancholy for me, and it was very well received. He has been one of those characters that I was really welcome to see from TNG and I'm glad that they have brought him back in such a faithful way. Knowing Hugh's history and how he was one of the liberated Borg who started understanding what does it mean to be an "individual" was truly captivating in the series and of course seeing that he is feeling passionate about the Ex-B's here is truly remarkable and heartwarming to witness... even for Picard who was seemingly called here as Locutus sometimes. Over all a very well performed scene between the two that left me both wanting to see more of them.
Now a bit of laugh about Raffi's call with her friend from Starfleet... now that was an amusing scene that I cracked on a few times and could not have been happier to see this. it felt very much like a Star Trek conversation and I felt that I was transported back to the conversation between Riker and Quark. It was funny, it as quick witted and utterly charming. :)
Overall I really enjoyed this episode with all it's bits and pieces. Seeing Picard revisiting his Borg past; seeing his reunion with Hugh; finding out more about Soji's part and existence; seeing Elnor defending Hugh and the others; Raffi being amazing and broken and also seeing a very much expected "mingle" between Agnes and Rios. For me personally this episode is part of an over all great story that I'm looking forward to see unfolding until the very end... and it does seems like we are about to meet with a few familiar face in our next episode that I cannot wait to see. :) _\\//