Assassins, Borg, and Space Awaits in Star Trek: Picard´s “The End is the Beginning”

Jean-Luc Picard visits his former first officer, Raffi Muskier for help after Starfleet turned their backs on him and his quest to find Soji, Data’s proverbial daughter. The problem is, Raffi hates Picard’s guts and blames him for the downward spiral of her life in the 14 years since he left starfleet and she was fired as a result.

Meanwhile, Soji and Hugh, now reclaimed from the collective, visit an enigmatic Romulan ex-drone, assassins visit Chateau Picard, and Picard finally gets some space under his feet.

All of those haters saying that nothing ever happens in this show? I hope they shut up now. Of course, they won’t… they’ll just switch to the “too much action” argument because that’s all a hater can do… be negative and miserable.

Enough with the haters, let’s talk about the episode.

I liken Star Trek: Picard to a slowly opening flower. Every episode seems to bring a new element to the post-Voyager world in a flowing and organic way… a way that is essential to the story and doesn’t come off as needless fan service. Hugh, for example… it makes sense that he’s on the show. He’s in a position of working with ex-Borg which would be something he would be good at, obviously, and he’s got a personal connection to Picard. He needs to be in the story. Nothing feels like it’s being shoehorned in, everything feels essential and necessary, an evolution of the post-Voyager world and not a grand tour of it.

It was interesting to see how a grand gesture that Picard made, threatening to resign in protest of the Federation backing out of helping the Romulans, ended up blowing up in his face and taking down someone he cared about. This is a side of Picard we haven’t seen that often — the prideful and somewhat selfish Picard, regretful but silent. This isn’t the same man that we watched in The Next Generation… this is a man coming back from a selfish retreat that hurt people and it’s no wonder that Muskier has such strong negative feelings towards him.

I have to admit, I rather enjoyed the assassin fight at the vineyard and, simultaneously, found myself experiencing severe agitation over the potential fates of Laris and Zhaban. This episode seemed a logical place for one of them to bite the big one, but I didn’t want that to happen because they’ve both been so entertaining and lovely that I couldn’t bear the thought of parting with them. I especially loved how they seemed to have emergency weapons stashed everywhere in Picard’s home and I wonder if this was done without his knowledge. It just struck me as funny in a Rick and Morty sort of way while, at the same time, filled me with dread and anxiety in a Rick and Morty sort of way.

I also have to posit the possibly spoilery theory that Dr. Jurati is working with Starfleet to follow Picard. Something about the timing when she showed up just seems suspect.

Great, something else to be anxious about.

I enjoyed the scenes on the Borg cube. They were intriguing without giving too much away. As I said, this series is less of a mystery box and more of an unfolding flower where each revelation brings on a newer and more fascinating enigma. My theorycrafting gland has really gone into overdrive.

Finally, we’re introduced to Rios, the captain of the ship that Picard charters to take him back to the final frontier. The scenes with Rios and his EMH and ENH holograms were amusing and gave us an insight into the evolution of the Emergency Mecidal Holographic Programs. I can’t wait for The Doctor from Voyager to eventually show up.

As for Rios, I can’t really say much because he wasn’t on screen a whole lot. I do like how the show is letting him keep his accent and not, as they say, “normalize” it. I’m interested to see if any more aspects of his culture shine through as Star Trek has often shown Earth culture to be homogenized and boring. I like a variety, personally, and I’m hopoing that, with the efforts of Discovery and Picard, we can see more of the amazing diversity that Earth has to offer.

I mean, come on… in just three episodes of Picard, the Romulan culture — a culture known for the same hairstyle since The Next Generation — has become more diversified than Earth.

In any case, it’s been a long road getting from there to here but the first three episodes of Picard, when taken as a whole, serves as a prologue to the adventure that awaits. Our beloved captain is now in space and on a voyage to destiny.

Personally, I’m overjoyed to come along.

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