Fellow Trek fans reading this review, please be advised that this is not a normal Star Trek review for me. Normally we hit the highlights, the big plot points, the emotional beats, etc. This is not going to be one of those reviews. On the whole, I’ve really enjoyed Star Trek: Picard this season, but these last couple of episodes have me concerned. This week’s show, episode 2×09, “Hide and Seek,” has some nice action, and resolves one big question mark in this season’s storyline, but for me, raises more questions than answers. It also raises some concerns for me about some of the writing choices. Enough preamble–let’s dig into episode 2×09, “Hide and Seek.”
Setting up the Chess Pieces…Again?
I’ve got to be honest, folks. While I enjoy the action aspects of this episode, I’m pretty disappointed with how they’re wrapping this season. I tend to be more of a character-driven episode person than action and I think the character-driven episodes have balanced both emotional stakes and moments of action well. The action episodes, ironically enough, have simply been slow in terms of their plot development. They are moving chess pieces around the board, but no one’s taking any pieces, except maybe Agnes? Or did we take the Borg Queen? That leads me to my next point.
Queen Agnes Borgati
I am NOT a fan of what they’re doing with Agnes and the Borg Queen. And I’m not saying this from the perspective of an Agnes Jurati fangirl either. It’s certainly not meant to be a negative criticism of Alison Pill or Annie Wersching’s performances either; they’ve been the MVPs all season and I will be beyond pissed if neither of them scores an Emmy nom for their performances.
However you slice it, I don’t care that Agnes is exerting some measure of control now; what the writers have done is effectively put a band-aid on an abusive relationship. That is NOT OKAY on any level, and frankly, I think it’s pretty dang disrespectful to anyone who has been in an abusive relationship of any kind. I find it incredibly disconcerting that writers of any Star Trek show would not recognize that this characterization could be interpreted in this way. It’s certainly not the Star Trek spirit.
Now, that being said, I do not have first-hand experience with the kind of narcissistic abuse that we see the Borg Queen exerting over Agnes, though I have witnessed it in the lives of people close to me. It’s evil, and it’s insidious. If anyone reading this has firsthand experience with such things and thinks I’m totally off base, please leave a comment. I’m not a counselor. I’m not a psychologist, and I am totally open to correction in this matter. My biggest takeaway from this is that regardless of my armchair diagnosis, I don’t trust the Borg Queen to submit to Agnes’ will because of her narcissistic tendencies. I’m afraid it will be the death of Agnes, and in some ways, I’m scared we may have already lost her.
Running Out of Time
We’ve only got one more episode of the season left. I have absolutely no idea how we’re going to wrap everything up in one hour-long episode. There’s still Q, Kore, and Soong to contend with. This isn’t even to mention that we have to somehow get one Renée on the Europa mission and the other Renée needs to die. But who is the other Renée?
What is the point of bringing in Agent Wells? Is he actually going to do anything by the season’s end? And how the hell are we supposed to get back to the future when we can’t do 88 mph in the La Sirena because Queen Agnes Borgati has the ship?! I’m not positive they can pull this off in one episode. Unless this is a longer episode, then we’re going to have some problems. Coming up next is my speculation for the finale. I’ve not gotten a screener yet, so no cheating from me. Here are my thoughts for the next episode.
First up, what are we doing with Q? We’ve hardly seen him this season, so I don’t think this season will be the last we’ve seen of him. I’ve got a feeling that the final field trip the OG Next Generation cast will apparently go on in season 3 will involve getting some closure for Q. That would be fitting, since The Next Generation opened with Q and Picard, effectively being its sequel, could close with Q.
What’s happening with the Soongs?
As for Kore and Soong, the only logical thing I can think of is that Queen Agnes Borgati is going to inject some nano-probes and partially or completely assimilate Kore, which will cure her of her genetic disease. If this is what happens, I think this is the pivot on which Soong will shift from genetics to robotics, and thus, we get Data in the future. If that’s the case, then that just adds an entirely new layer to his interaction with the Borg Queen in Star Trek: First Contact. That being said, I still do not like the way they’ve handled Agnes and the Borg Queen. It oversimplifies and glosses over an abusive relationship. But we’ll see if something changes with that after the next episode.
Assignment: Earth 2 – Europa Boogaloo?
Where “Hide and Seek” ends, our crew is on their way to make sure Renée Picard goes on the Europa mission. Queen Agnes Borgati says that there must be two Renées–one who lives, and another who dies. Since we’re throwing all caution to the wind when it comes to temporal mechanics, why couldn’t she have just been more specific? But I suppose that would eliminate some of the excitement, wouldn’t it?
Meanwhile, we’ve left Teresa and Ricardo at Tallinn’s apartment and Teresa’s implored Rios to stay. Rios says he can’t, but since apparently there are absolutely no repercussions for giving the middle finger to the Temporal Prime Directive in this timeline, then why couldn’t he? I don’t like the idea, even though I think he and Teresa would be good together. I am half expecting him to become a Watcher, like Tallinn, existing outside the timeline, but perhaps he would then have a less solitary existence with Teresa and Ricardo.
What’s Happening with Wells?
Finally, I don’t understand the function of Agent Wells. I expected him first to actually be Lt. Ducane from the Voyager episode, “Relativity,” and unless he actually serves a purpose as Wells, it would have been just as easy to omit that portion of the storyline in favor of expanding on the actual story happening here. Again, this isn’t a slight on Jay Karnes’ acting ability, but unless he can somehow sneak them through security in a bunch of government buildings a la “Assignment: Earth” in Star Trek: The Original Series, then what is the point?
If he’s in the finale, I’m wondering if he’s going to be offered a position as a Watcher too. His encounter with Vulcans as a child has clearly ruined him for just about anything else this world has to offer. I’ve got a feeling we’re going to have more “Assignment: Earth” callbacks in the finale.
Thanks for sticking with me for this unusual review, but I simply couldn’t bring myself to process the review in my usual way with all of these story problems. The problems I had with the story distracted me so much, that it didn’t feel right to gloss over them to focus on the things I did like.
The best parts of the episode for me are Elnor as the “Emergency Combat Hologram” and Tallinn’s speech about the nature of love, always being worth it, despite the hardship it can bring. That’s a truth that’s rung throughout this season of Star Trek: Picard, and even season 4 of Star Trek: Discovery. It’s an important message to take in, and I’m glad it’s there. I just wish I had better hopes about them being able to resolve everything neatly at the end of the season. The title of the episode “Hide and Seek” made me laugh by the end because I feel like the episode played “Hide and Seek” with me. I’m seeking; any clear resolution is hiding.
What did you think of “Hide and Seek”? Leave me a comment and let’s talk Trek.
The season two finale of Star Trek: Picard will air on May 5, 2022, on Paramount+.