Star Trek: Picard’s latest episode is just like The One with the Whales, only without the whales

After the most pointless cliffhanger of all time, Picard and company venture back in time, ending up in 2024 with only a limited amount of time to find out what changed their future into a totalitarian nightmare, but with one crewmember already dead and another incapacitated, things grow so desperate that Jurati and Picard risk everything to save the Borg Queen of all people.

This season of Picard is straight fire so far and shows very little sign of slowing down and, let me tell you brother, I am fully invested in it. If last season was a slow burn, this is a sudden combustion that took all of the gripes and criticisms from last season one to heart and improved the show in every conceivable way.

“Assimilation” is no different as the stakes are raised, prices are paid, and the mystery of what Q did to the timeline deepens.

Spoilers ahead.

First of all, I have to address the Elnor in the room. I don’t, for a single moment, believe that the boy is dead. I mean, yeah… he’s dead, but I think he’s going to be only temporarily dead until the timeline is reset or more temporal hijinks ensue. I just cannot accept that the series would eject him in such a lackluster way when he was a character who, on top of falling all over himself to die for a hopeless cause, also held so much hope. He was the first Romulan in Starfleet, for goodness sake. You don’t just kill off the a character like that and leave him dead.

So, I’m not buying it.

I don’t think that the crew is buying it either given that they’re sad for, like, five minutes and then act like it never happened. Even Raffi, who had the most visceral reaction – which was a stellar moment of acting, by the way – was cracking wise with Seven of Nine only scenes later.

None of this is criticism, by the way… simply observation.

That being said, let me get back to critiquing.

When a series like this splits up its cast into dispirate groups, there is usually one storyline that I just don’t care for and, when it switches to is, I tune out. Star Trek: Picard, however, has managed to make all three of its dispirate adventures interesting.

Picard and Jurati with the Borg Queen, Seven of Nine and Raffi, and Rios were all handled so well that I was happy to catch up with them when they appeared.

I did like seeing Star Trek comment on ICE and the dehumanizing of so-called illegals. It fits so well into the themes of Deep Space Nine’s time travel episode, “Past Tense” which took on the dehumanizing of the homeless that I cannot help but wish and hope that the two series are going to cross paths, given that both are happening in 2024. Even if all we see is a news report on a television in the background, I’ll be fangirling so hard.

Overall, between Rios’ story in the hospital to Seven and Raffi navigating 2024, and Picard and Jurati dealing with the Borg Queen, played with stunning, scary perfection by Annie Wersching, this episode had it all — comedy, tragedy, horror, and adventure.

This season is definitely firing on all thrusters and I find myself craving the next installment like never before.

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