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S01.E03: The End Is the Beginning

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Completely unaware of her special nature, Soji continues her work and captures the attention of the Borg cube research project's executive director. After rehashing past events with a reluctant Raffi, Picard seeks others willing to join his search for Bruce Maddox, including pilot and former Starfleet officer Cristóbal Rios.

Original air date: 2/6/20

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Here's a major difference between Trek and SW. In Trek, the shady person with a ship is a supporting character. They're temporary, maybe even disposable. They're written out and never come back. Compare Han Solo, who may be the coolest person in the movie. He both got his own movie and came back after he died. Yeah, Kassidy Yates came back and had a kid with Sisko, but she was always a supporting character. Rios isn't terrible by any means, but he's trying a little too hard to be cool.

Did Picard know that Laris and Zhaban had disruptors stashed all over the place? Surely he wouldn't miss a thing like that. Maybe he even humoured them. "You're being paranoid, but if it makes you feel better..."

I was thinking the Romulans might join Picard aboard ship. Laris in particular seemed ready to go.

At first I thought Dahj and Soji's mother was Oh playing both sides for a sinister purpose, but Memory Alpha says Sumalee Montano. Right. I suppose Oh wouldn't want calls at awkward moments. Either way, the mother seems to have some kind of power over them. She knew who Dahj had been talking to. This time she lies to and then KOs Soji. And Soji may travel in time. And may be some kind of destroyer. That all sounds vague yet menacing.

Were the assimilated Romulans Zhat Vash, or do all Romulans dislike artificial life? I don't think Laris or Zhaban clarified their stance.

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This is the first episode so far that has made me go, "Buh?" The first two episodes were slow, but I liked them.

There was a lot here that I still liked - liked that Picard is actually on the move now. I REALLY like Laris and Zhaban, loved their action sequence, and I will be bummed out if they disappear from the series because they stay behind to take care of the vineyard. I liked seeing Hugh again, and interesting that he's an "Ex-B" but has a position of authority in this operation. I like Agnes, and I'm glad she's joining the crew. Jury is still out on Rios, though I think I like him. His relationship with his holographic doctor is...interesting? I guess they could have this relationship because he's a bit of a loner and leans on the doc, but at times it almost felt like they were dating (which was weird, since the hologram is also him).

On the other end of the spectrum, the scenes with Raffi just did not work for me. Both out at her desert trailer and the flashback. They were weirdly paced and there is something about Hurd's performance that feels really off to me. I can't put my finger on it. She seemed fine in her last scene on the ship, but nothing else worked. 

Also? Does the Federation have money again? I thought they did away with all that. I can understand paying someone like Rios - maybe he operates outside of Federation laws, and so he's more in line with groups like the Ferengi, who still have money and whatnot. So I was okay with Picard saying he was expensive and maybe they came up with some sort of payment arrangement. But what was up with Raffi going on about Picard's lovely, expensive home while she was living in a trailer? Again, what's going on there? They seem to be bending or ignoring rule established in the past, and I feel like they need to explain a bit more.

And weirdly, I cared about Dahj, but so far I don't really care about Soji. I don't know why. She strikes me as incredibly immature/naive for someone who is supposed to be as educated as she is. Why does she buy Narek saying he's falling in love with her when they've known each other for, like, ten minutes? I kind of hate the stuffed animal on her bed. I'm intrigued about the mystery about her and can't decide if Maddox or the Borg are responsible for her, but I don't care about the rest of it.

And the less said about Narek and his sister the better. Woof.

Edited by Kostgard
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3 hours ago, Kostgard said:

Why does she buy Narek saying he's falling in love with her when they've known each other for, like, ten minutes? I kind of hate the stuffed animal on her bed. I'm intrigued about the mystery about her and can't decide if Maddox or the Borg are responsible for her, but I don't care about the rest of it.

And the less said about Narek and his sister the better. Woof.

 

For that matter, the declaration of love felt like him distracting her from thinking about the strange things she'd just realised about herself. And like all distractions, it's only temporary. What happens when she starts thinking again?

I got serious Lannister vibes from Narek and Rizzo. Though I can't see Trek going there.

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I love Laris and Zhaban. Especially Laris. That fight scene might have been my favorite of the show thus far, though the ending with "Engage" and the TNG theme song obviously hit exactly the right note.

It's been a slow build, which I didn't mind, but excited to see where the show goes now that it actually feels like it's going!

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Is Rios a flaming narcissist or James McAvoy? Is the emergency engineering hologram Scottish? Is there an Italian / French chef hologram?

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6 hours ago, Kostgard said:

I guess they could have this relationship because he's a bit of a loner and leans on the doc, but at times it almost felt like they were dating (which was weird, since the hologram is also him).

I thought I was going to be the only one who got that vibe.

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So another in what is becoming an endless series of “why?” questions on this show: Why was Raffi fired because JL wanted to save Romulans and resigned? Even if she was on his side, she didn’t do anything. Unless later she insisted a high-ranking federation officer allowed the attack on Mars. Which, if so, and she was canned, why would she blame Picard?

Man, it is taking forever to get JL off planet.

Oh boy, another beardy McBeard, this one Han Solo. All bearded characters are by definition annoying. He and his various EMH’s were not interesting.

What... he isn’t taking Number One?

I think it’s sad it took JL 14 years to figure out he never felt truly at home at his family chateau. Though I hope JL never had any small kids over. Lots of guns to find under tables.

i guess this is a slow build to show an out of shape mentally and both physically Picard taking steps to return to what he once was. But I don’t like my Picard cowering.

Just waiting for the Borg to come on line.

Mau’dib the Destroyer! I wanted to throw something at the TV when creepy Romulan McBeardy said he was falling in love with Soji.

This blonde woman Agnes is remarkably like the redhead on Discovery. What’s her name? Tish? Tilly? 

Note: Use of "JL" here cynical and mocking. Ugh.

 

Edited by Ottis
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9 minutes ago, Ottis said:

All bearded characters are by definition annoying.

This blonde woman Agnes is remarkably like the redhead on Discovery. What’s her name? Tish? Tilly? 

Bro, Riker is coming.....

Yes. The Discovery character is Ensign Tilly....

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9 hours ago, Kostgard said:

Also? Does the Federation have money again? I thought they did away with all that. I can understand paying someone like Rios - maybe he operates outside of Federation laws, and so he's more in line with groups like the Ferengi, who still have money and whatnot. So I was okay with Picard saying he was expensive and maybe they came up with some sort of payment arrangement. But what was up with Raffi going on about Picard's lovely, expensive home while she was living in a trailer? Again, what's going on there? They seem to be bending or ignoring rule established in the past, and I feel like they need to explain a bit more.

I concur; my suspicion is no one wants for anything on Earth, but that doesn’t mean everyone has luxury homes.  Of course how one person gets a spacious home versus a standard apartment is a mystery.   I think Rafi’s general point was Picard lost his job at Starfleet, but still had a family home and winery to go back to, whereas she probably had nothing else and was basically left adrift.  

Edited by jcin617
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10 minutes into watching this episode, and I never want to hear him referred to as “JL” again. 

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Damn, Hugh a.k.a. Geordi's former Borg buddy is here!  That was a fun surprise, although I have just binged The Closer for the first time recently, so I'm now kind of use to Jonathan Del Arco as Dr. Morales instead.  But I hope we see more of him!

I generally like Michelle Hurd, but it does feel like she's still trying to feel out the character and her chemistry with Patrick Stewart isn't there (Raffi calling him "JL" really comes off awkward.)  I think my main issue is that this plot would feel more natural had the character been someone from The Next Generation, who we've seen Picard have history and bond with, and makes what went down more personal.  Even if it wasn't one of the main cast members, but someone like Ro might have been more effective.

Santiago Cabrera has arrived as Captain Rios: a hotshot, cocky pilot, who doesn't play by the rules!  Well, he apparently had some kind of dark past in Starfleet that I'm sure will be explained eventually.  Also, he's programed the holograms to look like him.  Alrighty, then!

They really are just going for a creepy, incesty thing with Narek and Rizzo, huh?  Seems to be the legacy Game of Thrones has left in the television world, of all things.  Flirting between siblings is cool, y'all!

Bummed that Zhaban and Laris aren't coming along, because they are awesome.  Number One as well, although in Picard's defense, maybe he read about the time Archer brought Porthos on a mission, and almost caused an intergalactic kerfuffle when Porthos decided to relieve himself on a sacred tree.  I still debate if that is worse or better than the time Wesley almost got executed for accidentally falling into plants.  Good times!

I do like Agnes though, and I'm glad she's part of the team for now!

"Engage!"  No one can do it like Patrick Stewart can!  

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Strong episode. I'm really enjoying the show and look forward to seeing where it goes from here. I like all the new characters, I'm interested in learning more about them and seeing them bond - found family is my favourite crew dynamic, so I really hope this crowd eventually get there.

22 hours ago, Anduin said:

At first I thought Dahj and Soji's mother was Oh playing both sides for a sinister purpose, but Memory Alpha says Sumalee Montano. Right. I suppose Oh wouldn't want calls at awkward moments. Either way, the mother seems to have some kind of power over them. She knew who Dahj had been talking to. This time she lies to and then KOs Soji.

I don't think the mother is real. I think she's a computer simulation created to maintain the illusion of Soji and Dahj being real girls with a real family, and to exert a degree of control over them if necessary - like some kind of deeply coded instruction to fall asleep during the conversation we saw here, to prevent Soji from getting too worked up.

7 hours ago, paigow said:

Is Rios a flaming narcissist or James McAvoy? Is the emergency engineering hologram Scottish? Is there an Italian / French chef hologram?

I'm really interested in the way he seems to have externalized aspects of his personality into his on-board emergency holograms. Is it narcissism? Or projected self-loathing? I lean toward the latter. He comes across as incredibly weary and reclusive. If all the holograms look like him, he can abuse and dismiss them as much as he likes and it reflects only on how he feels about himself, which wouldn't be the case if they looked like somebody else. The holograms seem to be his only crew and Voyager's experience shows that if an EMH is used regularly as a crewmember, the rest of the crew come to see them as a person and treat them with respect accordingly - which I think Rios, who as Picard observed is still Starfleet at heart, would also feel compelled to do if they looked like somebody else. But he prefers to be alone, to not have to engage with anyone, so he makes the holograms look like him so he can project his self-loathing onto them. I wonder what the hell happened to his former ship - it was clearly a lot more than just the death of the captain, if the entire ship was expunged from all Starfleet records.

ETA I'm also intrigued by Agnes - we weren't shown her conversation with Oh, only got to hear Agnes's version of it. Raffi pointed out on-screen that Picard was bringing her on the secret mission without any background check. And her appearance at the chateau just in time to help fight off the attackers was very convenient. So is she genuine? A sleeper agent? Or brainwashed into spying on Picard? All three seem like strong possibilities to me!

Edited by Llywela
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There must be a secret database of all the ships deleted from the main archive....Discovery, Ibn Madjir...

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31 minutes ago, Llywela said:

I don't think the mother is real. I think she's a computer simulation created to maintain the illusion of Soji and Dahj being real girls with a real family, and to exert a degree of control over them if necessary - like some kind of deeply coded instruction to fall asleep during the conversation we saw here, to prevent Soji from getting too worked up.

I'm really interested in the way he seems to have externalized aspects of his personality into his on-board emergency holograms. Is it narcissism? Or projected self-loathing? I lean toward the latter. He comes across as incredibly weary and reclusive. If all the holograms look like him, he can abuse and dismiss them as much as he likes and it reflects only on how he feels about himself, which wouldn't be the case if they looked like somebody else.

I think you're right on both counts, and you might be onto something with Agnes too.

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16 hours ago, Kostgard said:

On the other end of the spectrum, the scenes with Raffi just did not work for me. Both out at her desert trailer and the flashback. They were weirdly paced and there is something about Hurd's performance that feels really off to me. I can't put my finger on it. She seemed fine in her last scene on the ship, but nothing else worked. 

For me, it was 'JL'.  It's bad enough when fictional characters call people by their names when they're talking to them - it sounds so artificial because it rarely happens in real life.  Add in the awful abbreviation, and...I'm not surprised she seemed to be struggling or that it didn't work.

Some of the dialog was really, really clunky this episode.

1 hour ago, thuganomics85 said:

They really are just going for a creepy, incesty thing with Narek and Rizzo, huh?  Seems to be the legacy Game of Thrones has left in the television world, of all things.  Flirting between siblings is cool, y'all!

Yeah that was weird and icky.

Also: Hugh!

1 hour ago, Llywela said:

I don't think the mother is real. I think she's a computer simulation created to maintain the illusion of Soji and Dahj being real girls with a real family, and to exert a degree of control over them if necessary - like some kind of deeply coded instruction to fall asleep during the conversation we saw here, to prevent Soji from getting too worked up.

 

Agreed.

The piece of shrapnel they dug out of Aramis Rios's shoulder is the same shape as the one in the title sequence (which I absolutely adore by the way, the cello is awesome).

 

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59 minutes ago, ottoDbusdriver said:

Based on how Rizzo was dressed when she met with Narek on the Borg cube makes me think she might be Reman.

Based on her dress sense, sure. But her actual face looks nothing like a Reman.

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1 hour ago, Anduin said:

Based on her dress sense, sure. But her actual face looks nothing like a Reman.

She would never survive at sunny Starfleet HQ as a Reman - unless her hyper sensitivity to light has been neutralized.... 

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Rizzo's real name is Narissa, apparently. She and Narek are siblings, so if one is Reman the other should be as well, but for my money, I think they are just good old-fashioned Romulans.

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18 hours ago, scottiB said:

10 minutes into watching this episode, and I never want to hear him referred to as “JL” again. 

Recall that in TNG Tapestry episode, his Academy girlfriend called him "Johnny"....so which is the lesser evil?

Edited by paigow
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19 minutes ago, paigow said:

Recall that in TNG Tapestry episode, his Academy girlfriend called him "Johnny"....so which is the lesser evil?

Johnny for me because Picard was in his 20s, but having a younger colleague (and subordinate officer) call him JL feels cringey. 

13 hours ago, starri said:

I thought I was going to be the only one who got that vibe.

I got it too because it's Santiago Cabrera. He's just naturally that sensual and charismatic. I like Rios but I am inclined to Cabrera. I hope he gets to stay on this show as he is needing a regular gig again. 

5 hours ago, thuganomics85 said:

I generally like Michelle Hurd, but it does feel like she's still trying to feel out the character and her chemistry with Patrick Stewart isn't there (Raffi calling him "JL" really comes off awkward.)  I think my main issue is that this plot would feel more natural had the character been someone from The Next Generation, who we've seen Picard have history and bond with, and makes what went down more personal.  Even if it wasn't one of the main cast members, but someone like Ro might have been more effective.

 

20 hours ago, Kostgard said:

On the other end of the spectrum, the scenes with Raffi just did not work for me. Both out at her desert trailer and the flashback. They were weirdly paced and there is something about Hurd's performance that feels really off to me. I can't put my finger on it. She seemed fine in her last scene on the ship, but nothing else worked. 

(...)

And weirdly, I cared about Dahj, but so far I don't really care about Soji. I don't know why. She strikes me as incredibly immature/naive for someone who is supposed to be as educated as she is. Why does she buy Narek saying he's falling in love with her when they've known each other for, like, ten minutes? I kind of hate the stuffed animal on her bed. I'm intrigued about the mystery about her and can't decide if Maddox or the Borg are responsible for her, but I don't care about the rest of it.

And the less said about Narek and his sister the better. Woof.

I also was not inclined to Hurd's acting choices and the character of Raffi. I understand they want to bring in new characters for Picard's crew, but establishing her prickliness with Picard and over familiarlty ("JL") off the bat feels unnatural. Rios, Zaris, and Zhaban had more natural interactions. Even Agnes who had a lot of clunky lines this episode is a better character. I have not minded Hurd before but the writing and the acting in those desert and flashback scenes felt really forced and overly dramatic. 

I agree that so far Soji is less interesting than Dahj. The Dahj character had to express a lot of intense emotions and she got the benefit of interacting with Picard. We also seem to know even less about Soji after two episodes. As a scientist and researcher, she is also more clinical than expressive. 

Peyton List's accent slightly bugs. It's not bad per se but she is overly clipping her words. I could blame it on her Romulan upbringing except Narek has a different and more natural voice. Basically Rizzo is a big tryhard. 

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12 minutes ago, Athena said:

Peyton List's accent slightly bugs. It's not bad per se but she is overly clipping her words. I could blame it on her Romulan upbringing except Narek has a different and more natural voice. Basically Rizzo is a big tryhard. 

Probably doesn't help that she has to fake her accent to match his, whereas Harry Treadaway - as the regular cast member - gets to use his normal voice.

Speaking of accents, Cabrera got to try out a fair few in this episode! Having spent formative years at school in London, his normal speaking voice for English is usually English-accented, like the EMH, but Rios has more of an American accent, while one of the emergency holograms has an Irish accent, which I haven't heard Cabrera play before. Having seen how much fun he had going 'undercover' as an elderly Argentinian scientist in Salvation, I bet he had a blast filming all those variations on the character here!

Edited by Llywela
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11 hours ago, jcin617 said:

I concur; my suspicion is no one wants for anything on Earth, but that doesn’t mean everyone has luxury homes.  Of course how one person gets a spacious home versus a standard apartment is a mystery.   I think Rafi’s general point was Picard lost his job at Starfleet, but still had a family home and winery to go back to, whereas she probably had nothing else and was basically left adrift.  

Also, some people like living in a trailer, or the early 25th Century version of one. Rafi is resentful Picard inherited the vineyard, rather than earn it. So Privledge is still very much a thing. The Chateau was probably rebuilt after the fire mention in Generations, but I do wonder who ran the Vineyard between the death of Robert and Jean-Luc's resignation from Starfleet. What happened to Marie, Jean-Luc's sister-in-law?

I did like it when the Brass called Jean-Luc's bluff of resignation. Like others here, I find Michelle Hurd off-putting. 

Hugh! How did he get to be in charge?

My favorite characters after Jean-Luc are  Zhaban, Laris and Dr. Agnes. I love her enthusiasm for her work despite all her setbacks. She kind of reminds me of Elvie on The Expanse.

Edited by marinw

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12 hours ago, jcin617 said:

I concur; my suspicion is no one wants for anything on Earth, but that doesn’t mean everyone has luxury homes.  Of course how one person gets a spacious home versus a standard apartment is a mystery.   I think Rafi’s general point was Picard lost his job at Starfleet, but still had a family home and winery to go back to, whereas she probably had nothing else and was basically left adrift.  

Like a universal basic income. It would make sense. Plus, Hurd and Wheaton talked about Raffi's demons and self-destruction on The Ready Room. Her current living situation could also be related to that.

I also noticed Oh wearing the sunnies. Maybe she's a Reman with some light sensitivity.

I like Agnes and hope she's not a spy in Picard's crew.

Someone on Twitter pointed out that Soji's badge flashed briefly while talking to the Romulan mythology expert. And we know that's a bad thing! I missed it though, so I'll have to go back and rewatch.

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Picard saying "Engage!" with that slight grin was everything.

Ditto comments upthread, Michelle Hurd seemed to be trying too hard. Maybe she'll calm down in future episodes.

I wasn't much impressed with Cabrera's accents though, especially the Irish one. A couple of times I wondered whether he was trying to do an Amercan southern drawl. It came across as gimmicky to me unless the accents are going to become a significant plot factor.

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16 hours ago, TheOtherOne said:

I love Laris and Zhaban. Especially Laris. That fight scene might have been my favorite of the show thus far, though the ending with "Engage" and the TNG theme song obviously hit exactly the right note.

It's been a slow build, which I didn't mind, but excited to see where the show goes now that it actually feels like it's going!

 

The best thing for me about the fight scene was that Picard didn't fight like a ninja.  He's an older man.  They showed him as such.  Well done.

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14 hours ago, jcin617 said:

I concur; my suspicion is no one wants for anything on Earth, but that doesn’t mean everyone has luxury homes.  Of course how one person gets a spacious home versus a standard apartment is a mystery.   I think Rafi’s general point was Picard lost his job at Starfleet, but still had a family home and winery to go back to, whereas she probably had nothing else and was basically left adrift.  

I think this is probably true - as others have pointed out, probably a basic universal income for everyone, everyone has a home, healthcare, etc. But she still seemed to imply that Picard got to retire with some giant pension or something while she got nothing, and it was just weird. Like, if she knows him, she knows that vineyard/home has been in his family for generations, and the fact that he has that and she doesn't really isn't his fault. Was she going to get that level of luxury if she wasn't fired from Star Fleet? Hell if I know at this point, but doesn't seem likely. 

And...I don't think anyone was making her live in a trailer out in the middle of nowhere. That seems to stem from her own issues (she said something about being paranoid due to whatever she was vaping - did she say "snake weed" or something like that?). Was her firing from Star Fleet so bad that she's been unemployable ever since? I can understand her being bitter because he somehow got her fired and then basically ditched her, but the comments about how he has a nicer home just felt weird. 

And I agree that we need an explanation for why she was fired, because it makes zero sense to me that she automatically assumed she would be fired after she found out what Picard did, and was apparently correct. She didn't do anything. Picard went to Star Fleet, said, "We need to do this, I have a plan." They said "No", he said "Do this or I quit" and they responded with "Smell ya later." How does that result in his first officer getting fired? Unless this is all part of some big conspiracy, it really doesn't follow. And even if it is some sort of conspiracy, it would have been a lot smarter to not fire her and just reassign her to where she would be no where near anything like that project again. She's apparently an expert in research and seeing "things no one else sees" and claims to have found evidence of...something, seems you'd want to keep someone like that under watch and not out in the desert vaping and getting more and more bitter while she pokes around in your business and (possibly) uncovers your plan. 

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46 minutes ago, terrymct said:

The best thing for me about the fight scene was that Picard didn't fight like a ninja.  He's an older man.  They showed him as such.  Well done.

I don't think I care for this Picard. He:

- "Fights" like an older man, after cowering at first.

- It takes him 14 YEARS to decide he never was actually happy at the chateau.

- He can't control his own outburst on TV when asked why he left Starfleet, minutes after asking for and being assured that he wouldn't be ask about it (so why answer when he was?).

- THEN he blows up at the admiral while asking for a favor, no less, AND tells her what he plans to do; and finally,

- He allows someone to call him "JL."

I get that he is older and make allowances for that. But this Picard doesn't seem to be strategic, doesn't seem to be calculating, doesn't seem to have a command presence and doesn't have much left physically. He actually is just blundering ahead, telling everyone he meets, everything. 

Edited by Ottis
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11 minutes ago, Ottis said:

- He can't control his own outburst on TV when asked why he left Starfleet, minutes after asking for and being assured that he wouldn't be ask about it (so why answer when he was?).

- THEN he blows up at the admiral while asking for a favor, no less, AND tells her what he plans to do; and finally,

I actually wondered if some of this was a elaborate set up/long con.  To what end, I don't know, but given some of the clues dropped I could see it.

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47 minutes ago, aquarian1 said:

I actually wondered if some of this was a elaborate set up/long con.  To what end, I don't know, but given some of the clues dropped I could see it.

It's possible. But at the pace this show moves, it would be years before we would see the con come to fruition! At first I thought the show was going to give us a weakened, out-of-practice Picard and then, through circumstances around him, show him "getting back into shape" and turning into the Picard we knew, though of course older. But he has behaved so badly at every turn that I'm not sure that's the plan. It might just be that he is an old geezer with little discretion.

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A definite improvement over last week’s episode.  Far from perfect but the episode was good, I like the characters for the most part and it’s interesting.

I enjoyed the shootout at Picard’s chateau and am glad he’s finally heading out into space.

Nice to see the return of Hugh.

Enjoyed the Rios character and love he gave the Emergency Medical Hologram his own image.  Also like Agnes…she’s a character that could get on your nerves but thankfully hasn’t.  I like Laris and Zhaban too and it’s a shame they aren’t going with Picard up into space.

Raffi though…STOP CALLING PICARD “JL”!  No one ever called him that ever (especially someone who was serving under him as we saw in the flashback), it’s forced and calling him JL over and over again just makes it worse.  Raffi’s character is the one that doesn’t work for me so far.  From her annoying nickname for Picard to her clichéd addiction to her forced conflict with Picard (seriously, I’m puzzled as to why she’s upset with him other than the show dictates that she has to be upset with him), her character is grating almost every time she’s onscreen.

I agree the flashback didn't work.  Stewart just seemed off in that scene and Picard already comes off as a tired, defeated old man.  I agree that a character like Ro Laren would have worked much better here although considering how they left off, it might take some explaining.

The problem with the Raffi character, along with the fact that the show’s plot is juggling too much and some of it doesn’t make sense, is indicative of what the true problem with this show is.  This show is DESPERATELY trying to be edgy, topical TV.  At times it seems like it’s just copying Ron Moore’s playbook for Battlestar Galactica.  Starfleet and the Federation have become evil and intolerant, check.  A character is a drug addict, check.  Another character has PTSD, check.  Throw in a mystery box in Dahj (which could be interesting but past history suggests it won’t be) and the show wants to loudly declare that they are “daring” television.  Just concentrate on being good television and the rest can fall into place.

Just to add, as much as I like Patrick Stewart, he doesn't feel like the Jean-Luc Picard we know from TNG.  I get that's the point but it feels more like Stewart is PLAYING Jean-Luc Picard (and not doing it well) instead of BEING Picard.  I hate saying that but I don't feel like I'm watching Jean-Luc Picard again.

Edited by benteen
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JL? Thank you, I hate it.

I hated most of this episode, the only good part was the storyline on the Borg cube. The interesting part there: Assimilating the Romulans ccollapsed the Cubes submatrix, or whatever. Do romulan brains mess up Bord systems and vice versa?

This is Star Treks earth. Nobody has to live in a hovel if they don't want to. There is no money, so being fired from your job means nothing.

The new captain is annoying as fuck. Maybe don't sass the doctor who is scanning if the hunk of metal in your shoulder punctured any mayor arteries to hurry up? Maybe don't just throww some whisky on the wound, when you have high tech medical gear around, maybe don't leave that wound open and undressed, it's an entry point for bacteria (and without the regenerator that wound would need stitches to heal even remotely properly). I mean how stupid can one man be? And then we got an exposition dump about his backstory 5 minutes later. These writers still haven't mastered "show don't tell".

Even Patrick Stewarts acting choices were very weird in places. Wondering if he's getting old or if he got crappy directions...

Why in the hell didn't they call security after the attack? At the moment nobody expects the head of Star Fleet security to be a secret Romulan and even if they did, she couldn't cover this up. All the cops would talk. It would be proof that romulans are operating illegally on earth.  WTF?

I probably forgot some things. There was so much crap in this episode. I reserve the right to rant more later.

19 hours ago, starri said:

I thought I was going to be the only one who got that vibe.

me too

19 hours ago, Ottis said:

Though I hope JL never had any small kids over.

Everybody knows Picard hates kids. So good continuity there.

16 hours ago, jcin617 said:

I concur; my suspicion is no one wants for anything on Earth, but that doesn’t mean everyone has luxury homes.  Of course how one person gets a spacious home versus a standard apartment is a mystery.

Uh, uh uh! I know how! It's called: bad writing.

With the technology in the Star Trek Universe, yes everybody should have a luxury apartment.

Edited by Prower
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20 minutes ago, Prower said:

This is Star Treks earth. Nobody has to live in a hovel if they don't want to. There is no money, so being fired from your job means nothing.

I found this kind of hilarious.  The Federation and specifically Earth is a socialist utopia, which the writers seem to forget when they want to forget it and remember when they want to remember it.  But it's the desperation of this show to be topical.  

Star Trek gave viewers a post-money world decades ago (as unrealistic as it was) so Picard becoming the "privileged class" while Raffi is "forced" to live in a hovel just doesn't work.

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On 2/7/2020 at 5:51 AM, Kostgard said:

 

On the other end of the spectrum, the scenes with Raffi just did not work for me. Both out at her desert trailer and the flashback. They were weirdly paced and there is something about Hurd's performance that feels really off to me. I can't put my finger on it. She seemed fine in her last scene on the ship, but nothing else worked. 

 

I have to agree. I have started rewatching and when it just got to "JL" (ugh) and Raffi discussing his meeting with CNC and how they accepted his resignation it seems she got angry because him doing that meant her being fired.

While the reasoning for that wasn't explained...big deal , Picard followed his principles. No one =would expect him to gpo againsty what he believed because his sidekick wasn't able to find another job (and thats a point as well - is Starfleet the only thing she could ever do?? ).

If thats the reason after 14 years she is still pissed and blames him for her living in a "hovel" it's incredibly childish. Man up you shoulda saved some of that sweet sweet Starfleet bling when you had a chance!

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10 minutes ago, benteen said:

Star Trek gave viewers a post-money world decades ago (as unrealistic as it was) so Picard becoming the "privileged class" while Raffi is "forced" to live in a hovel just doesn't work.

Exactly which shows the weakness of the writing.

If the only way to crowbar Raffi into the show was through this crude plot point I sure hope the writers get their shit together sooner rather than later

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12 hours ago, thuganomics85 said:

Damn, Hugh a.k.a. Geordi's former Borg buddy is here!  That was a fun surprise, although I have just binged The Closer for the first time recently, so I'm now kind of use to Jonathan Del Arco as Dr. Morales instead.  But I hope we see more of him!

Oh shit OF COURSE.

I kept thinking "why does Hugh ring a bell" and you nailed it for me. Love it LOL

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8 minutes ago, F8. said:

Man up you shoulda saved some of that sweet sweet Starfleet bling when you had a chance!

But there is no bling! I've read a lot about "basic income" in this thread, too. There literally is no money in the whole federation! What these writers are dishing out makes no sense!

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Raffi specifically mentioned that the snake-leaf she smokes makes her paranoid, which probably explains some of her attitude over Picard's vineyard versus her trailer. I imagine over the coming episodes we may learn a few more details about what happened in the past and why Picard's resignation from Starfleet hit her so hard.

That said, the supposedly cashless economy of post-scarcity Earth has never, ever made any real sense and even the TNG writers who introduced the concept struggled to reconcile it with what actually happened in some of the stories they wrote. I suspect that while everyone in this economy has free and easy access to the necessities of life - food and shelter, etc - there will always be some with more than others, because that's just human nature, because even in the greatest of economies there are only so many luxury waterfront properties to go around, and because Roddenberry's vision specifically says that since food shortage is a thing of the past, what people compete over now is status.

BTW it was never said that there was no money anywhere in the entire Federation, only that the people of Earth no longer needed to use currency among themselves since the invention of replicators meant there was no reason for anyone to go without. Plenty of TNG storylines revolved around trade agreements and the currencies of other worlds.

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21 minutes ago, Llywela said:

That said, the supposedly cashless economy of post-scarcity Earth has never, ever made any real sense and even the TNG writers who introduced the concept struggled to reconcile it with what actually happened in some of the stories they wrote. I suspect that while everyone in this economy has free and easy access to the necessities of life - food and shelter, etc - there will always be some with more than others, because that's just human nature, because even in the greatest of economies there are only so many luxury waterfront properties to go around, and because Roddenberry's vision specifically says that since food shortage is a thing of the past, what people compete over now is status.

It might not make much sense from our current perspective and maybe it never will, but it's one of the pillars of Star Trek. You can't just ignore it.

Sure there is limited beach front property, but will everybody want it when you can just beam to the beach? There are quite a few downsides to beachfront as well.

And no, humans don't strive for status, they strive for selfimprovement and they certainly don't strive for status through posessions. You must have seriously misunderstood every time it came up in TNG.

21 minutes ago, Llywela said:

BTW it was never said that there was no money anywhere in the entire Federation, only that the people of Earth no longer needed to use currency among themselves since the invention of replicators meant there was no reason for anyone to go without. Plenty of TNG storylines revolved around trade agreements and the currencies of other worlds.

Money was only ever used to make trades with species outside of the federation. That's why you see it a lot on DS9, but almost never on the other shows. When Voyager was flung into the delta quadrant, the crew established a barter system, but still  didn't use money.

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I would like to know what the Vulcans' opinion was on the proposed evacuation of Romulus, and also why the Romulans couldn't organise / negotiate their own evacuation.

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7 hours ago, mrspidey said:

Ok, i have a question. What does a Vulcan need sunglasses for?

Because these writers forgot that Vulcans have two sets of eyelids to deal with a blazing sun...or that Oh is neither Vulcan or Romulan but another species altered to look Vulcan....

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8 hours ago, mrspidey said:

Ok, i have a question. What does a Vulcan need sunglasses for?

Please don't tell me this is a Lorca situation again...

I hear what you are saying but I enjoyed the comedic moment - it gave me an MIB vibe and the ears pointing at 90 degrees were chucklicious lol

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3 hours ago, marinw said:

Who else here suspects that Dr. Agnes is a Synth?

Well, I do *now*. 🤣

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I liked this episode more than last week - it had a better balance between exposition and moving the plot along.

Thank you show, for introducing Cabrera's character shirtless and with the almost obligatory shoulder wound. I'm glad you got my priorities straight. Now do I have to add 'The Tragic Sense of Life' to my reading list or will Rios provide me with cliff notes? 

The fight was intense and we got an explanation for Laris and Zhaban's different accents. The montage between Laris and Zhaban interrogating the Romulan and Soji's attempt to get through to Ramdha was great. I also loved the creepy Romulan tarot cards. And for a mad moment I thought Soji was cuddling with Beebo. 

Not sure what to think of Raffi. I like Michelle Hurd but I agree something was off. And props to whoever pointed out that Agnes is this show's Tilly (that's not a bad thing).

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6 minutes ago, MissLucas said:

The fight was intense and we got an explanation for Laris and Zhaban's different accents.

And why Zhaban has the bumpy forehead and Laris doesn't.  I'm not sure that required an explanation, as Enterprise attempting to explain the Klingons took some fun out of it, but it was also adapted from Gene Roddenberry's explanation on the Klingons as well.

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On 2/6/2020 at 1:51 PM, Kostgard said:

On the other end of the spectrum, the scenes with Raffi just did not work for me. Both out at her desert trailer and the flashback. They were weirdly paced and there is something about Hurd's performance that feels really off to me. I can't put my finger on it. She seemed fine in her last scene on the ship, but nothing else worked. 

I think Hurd has such a confident personality that she doesn't play nerdy/awkward well and that's the take they wanted to go with her in the past (she was this straitlaced, awkward first officer who is now a hardened, cynical drug addict), so Hurd's attempt to be awkward was, well, awkward (but not the way they were likely thinking). 

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7 hours ago, catsitter said:

I would like to know what the Vulcans' opinion was on the proposed evacuation of Romulus, and also why the Romulans couldn't organise / negotiate their own evacuation.

I imagine the Romulans did organise as much of their own evacuation as they could, but the sheer numbers involved were more than their armada could handle. And negotiating where all those billions of refugees could go once evacuated would have been extremely delicate.

We know that there is now a Romulan Free State, as we've been told that is what owns and controls the Artefact - and that Federation doctors and scientists also work there implies a level of political cooperation that is very new.

8 hours ago, Prower said:

It might not make much sense from our current perspective and maybe it never will, but it's one of the pillars of Star Trek. You can't just ignore it.

And no, humans don't strive for status, they strive for selfimprovement and they certainly don't strive for status through posessions. You must have seriously misunderstood every time it came up in TNG.

I understood just fine, thanks. Picard's many speeches said that mankind no longer strived for acquisition of wealth. But that doesn't mean that everyone is equal - it has always been very clear that that isn't the case. And credit of some kind has also always been clear - that's how people buy imported products and/or services that cannot be replicated like eating at the Sisko restaurant.

Basically, the 'utopia' model has always been flawed, and has always been inconsistently portrayed. Resorting to personal insults of fellow forum members who disagree with your interpretation of it isn't the best argument you could be making.

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