Lately, it seems that there isn’t enough story to pad out a ten episode series, but fortunately, Star Trek: Picard has gotten a bit of pep back into its step with “Two of One” and that is largely in part to the unexpected and delightfully devilish teamup of Jurati and the Borg Queen.
I really enjoy Annie Wersching’s take on the Borg Queen. While she embodies the sinister sex appeal and underlying current of malevolence that Alice Kringe and Susanna Thompson brought to the role, Wersching brings a casualness to the role that makes the Queen more of a humorous character. She laughs, puts her arm around people, and quips like she’s an old friend. While this shouldn’t work, it completely does and it makes this old Star Trek staple new again.
This has really been Alison Pill’s season as well. Jurati didn’t quite hit last season, but now she’s firing on all cylinders, bringing a multilayered performance to a role that I didn’t particularly care for in all honesty. I’m glad she’s getting a chance to shine.
As for the episode itself, it was fairly enjoyable. It’s always fun to see Brent Spiner play a role that is completely the antithesis of what Data was and seeing the characters continue to adjust to 21st century Earth, some more successfully than others, is fun.
I really enjoyed seeing Picard himself once again elevated to a comforting father figure as he talked to his own ancestor, trying to build up her confidence on the eve of her mission. The relationship that was built between Picard and Renee was so believable and so genuine, that it tugged mightily on the heartstrings.
There were downsides, unfortunately. I hated… hated… hated the “25 minutes earlier” gimmick given that it revolved around the fate of a character we know is going to survive (and that the cliche is so overused, I’d be happy to never see it again). Despite the fact that it feels like Picard is finally moving again, it still doesn’t feel like it’s moving where it needs to go fast enough and, again, I can’t help but wonder if this season would have better if it had consisted of less episodes.
Still, even with the pacing issues, it’s a good season and, with only four episodes left, the pace has got to improve, right?