Star Trek: Picard, S3 E9: Vox Thoughts

Please be aware that the following contains massive amounts of spoilers, and if you have not yet watched this episode, I not only urge you, but I beg you to stop reading here and go watch the episode before proceeding. You really don’t want this episode spoiled for you. Consider yourselves warned.

First off, let me say here that this season of Star Trek: Picard has been absolutely exceptional, however this episode was EPIC.

After finding out that the Borg are behind the red door in Jack Crusher’s mind, we are told that the Borg left something behind in Picard that would be passed on genetically to any offspring and that it had been misdiagnosed as Irumodic Syndrome by Starfleet Medical. Well now, Jack has it while these truly sadistic Changelings have also modified all the transporters in the Federation to add Borg genetic code to the patterns of those who use them, however it seems that it only works on younger people. So as everyone is gathered at Earth Spacedock to celebrate Frontier Day, all the Borg genetic code comes alive in all the young people onboard all of the Federation ships. Their first order is the elimination of all non-Borg personnel, thus taking over all ships which are also apparently interlinked into Starfleet’s mainframe, which can also be assumed, has been seized by the Borg.

In order to survive this takeover, Picard & the rest of his bridge crew escape in a shuttle and retreat back to the Federation Fleet Museum, where it’s curator, Commodore Geordi La Forge, has been working on a personal project for the last 20 years in hangar bay 12. When they arrive at the Fleet Museum, the personal project is revealed to be the rebuilt Enterprise-D. When revealed, it’s truly an amazing sight! When the crew board the ship and start her up, hearing the familiar voice of the late Majel Barret as the computer was a truly emotional moment for me. It’s even evident in the way that they show Picard slide his hand over the panels of the computer consoles that there’s almost a romance between him and his former ship. It “gets ya in the feels” is the best way I can describe those scenes, because it triggers all those great feelings of nostalgia, looking back to a better time in Trek fandom, when everything was newer and not so “dark” as I’ve described a lot of the new Trek series on Paramount+. Especially the USS Titan-A from earlier in this same season, all the corridors, crew quarters and main bridge are all so dimly lit. How these actors dealt with seemingly acting in the dark is something else to me. I suppose the darkness is supposed to make things look more futuristic, but I just can’t see wanting to explore space in a dimly lit ship. It may also be my own problems when watching the show while on a well-lit train, even though I turn the brightness on my phone up all the way, oftentimes I find myself straining to see the picture because the scenes are all so dark. I’m sure it would be better if I were sitting in my living room at night watching it in the dark on a large television. Personal aesthetics preferences aside, it was nice to see an old friend again.

Also, while returning to the Enterprise D, the writers made sure to keep all the non-TNG actors busy so as to not muddy the waters when reintroducing the crew to their ship. Seven of Nine and Raffi were busy fighting off Borg while (as explained in a previous writing here) my favorite new character this season, Captain Liam Shaw was killed off by the Borg. Rest in peace, Captain Shaw…I really wanted so much more for your character! Fittingly, with his dying breaths, he handed off command of the USS Titan-A to “Commander Seven” as he finally addressed her as her Borg designation. As I stated previously, I loved his character & understood his point of view in all of this craziness that Picard & Riker brought to his ship. I’d have really enjoyed a spinoff series, starring him, Commander Seven, and their crew onboard the USS Titan-A. I think the dichotomy of the relationship between he and Seven would have made for an interesting series as the two grew to work together. In my idyllic series with these two, I have them start off as a bit of oil & water, but when needed to work together to overcome foes, operations-wise, they work together fantastically. Certainly a different approach for a Star Trek series!

It’ll be interesting to see how they tie a bow on this season next week since as they left it, we’re looking at the Enterprise D, a Galaxy class starship whose crew complement is typically in the range of about a thousand crew members – which may or may not include the crew’s family members – but we’re just operating here with a group of seven. Seven crew members in a ship that’s well over 20 years old and seemingly pretty far behind in terms of technology and armaments versus the Federation Armada of ships being manned by Borg crews. And this isn’t even addressing the possibility that Earth being overrun by Borg as well. I know I’ve criticized the writing on Discovery & more specifically Michael Burnham in the past for constantly overcoming seemingly unsurmountable odds season after season, but this seems to be more of the same. Of course, we’ve been told that this will be the final season of Picard, so who knows…maybe they all go rushing back to Earth in the Enterprise just to be overpowered by Borg, the whole crew dies & the Enterprise is destroyed? We shall see…one thing is for certain: I’ll be watching!

Trek on, fellow Trekkers! đź––

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