“Farewell” ends a frustrating season of Star Trek: Picard

With the future in balance, Picard and his team must make sure that his distant ancestor, Renee Picard, takes off into space on the Europa mission as the villainous Adam Soong continues to plot behind the scenes to make sure that the future matches his vision rather than the one that the crew want to save.

And there’s also Q.

To say that this season has been a mess is a charitable understatement. Season two of Star Trek: Picard began with such determination and incredible promise that it was tragic to watch it self destruct in a myriad of poor pacing, bad plotting, and poor decisions. The season wasn’t terrible, but it was not good either.

Take the last episode of the season, “Farewell.” With the Borg mostly out of the way, we’re left with what is basically a tepid episode in which Picard and the others must fend off a guy who has never seemed like a threat before but suddenly is. Much of it plays like a cheap SyFy Channel movie of the week complete with pointless CGI drones and a contrived bait and switch revelation. Nary a moment of it was interesting or worked in any conceivable way. The entire Soong storyline could have been cut from the entire season and it would have affected next to nothing.

Rios suddenly decides that he is going to stay in the 21st century because, out of nowhere, he doesn’t fit in. Dude, you were captain of a starship in the 24th century… I think you were doing just fine.

Finally, the revelation of the identity of the Borg Queen which was a shock that everyone was expecting.

If anything, season two of Picard demonstrates a remarkable lack of foresight and planning. Things happen without cause because the story demands it while other developments struggle to find a point at all. There was so much that did nothing and went nowhere and, if you ask me, so many of these problems could have been easily solved by a few more minor rewrites.

There is almost a shocking lack of care in how poorly this season was executed.

On the other hand, the scene with Picard and Q was incredible well written, remarkably well acted, and very touching. Contradictorily, it’s also frustrating because Q’s demise and fate is left vague. Not mysteriously vague, but borderline incompetently vague. Never once are we told why or how Q is dying (and the crew never bother to ask which is very strange in of itself) and the involvement of Soong and Renee in the story never made any sense — why did Q interfere? How did messing with them contribute to his plan? Simple truth: It didn’t. So, why?

As I said, though, the season wasn’t bad. Middling is a word I would use. Moments of greatness surrounded by moments of mediocrity which is a shame because it was so close to being great.

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