I know I was down on last week’s episode of Star Trek: Picard. And as I write this review, I’m still processing my full feelings about the finale. I don’t want to spoil those thoughts here, so let’s get right into my full review of “Farewell,” episode 2×10 of Star Trek: Picard. And just in case it wasn’t clear if you’ve not seen the finale of Star Trek: Picard, be prepared to be spoiled in this review.
I think maybe I should have seen the resolution of this quandary coming. As Queen Agnes Borgati said, “There must be two Renées. One who lives, the other who dies.” Being the obsessive Trek geek that I am couldn’t stop thinking of Jean-Luc’s nephew René Picard who dies in a house fire along with Jean-Luc’s brother, Robert, in Star Trek Generations. Is that what she’s referring to? Righting this timeline makes certain that his nephew and brother will still die in that fire? Surely that’s it, right? NOPE.
Tallinn’s face-changing device is the proverbial Chekov’s gun in “Farewell.” It broke my heart to see her die like that, but I am always moved by those who are brave enough to give the ultimate sacrifice. I’m also grateful that she got to see the fulfillment of her mission, and that Picard was with her, so she did not have to be alone.
An Answer to Our Q
Last week, I speculated that our Q storyline would continue on into season 3. Again, I find myself to be wrong about that. While I think the way Q wrapped was okay, I don’t like how we got there. For all the hype there was around John de Lancie joining the cast this season, I feel like his total screen time is less than any episode appearance he had in The Next Generation. So the question remains, is Q still out there? Did he have enough energy to survive a little longer? And what exactly was killing him to start with? As with any show, I demand receipts! Until then, I’ll keep hoping Q is out there, and I’m glad we got to see a softer side of him in this iteration of Trek.
A Legacy to Remember
It looks like we’ve got a wrap on Santiago Cabrera for Star Trek: Picard. It’s too bad because Rios is a lot of fun, but in a series that is centered on legacy and family, I think this could be a good ending for him. Except for one, small, minor detail.
I cannot fathom why there are suddenly no repercussions for the flagrant disregard of the Temporal Prime Directive that we’ve already seen in previous Star Trek canon. I’ve already mentioned my disdain for this lack of continuity in previous reviews.
Do I like the idea that he and Teresa get their Happily Ever After and that he went out fighting the good fight? That he got to be the father that he didn’t have growing up? Do I love the idea of Rios and Teresa having a drink with Guinan and having that connection to someone from this bizarre shared experience? Do I also hope that this means that somewhere in the next couple of years I could run into Rios and we could enjoy a good cigar together? Yes to all, but I am so bothered by this hand-waving omission of canon that I can’t really enjoy it that much.
I don’t want to be that person, but sorry, I’m going to on this one. Especially when you put that tease of casting Jay Karnes who literally enforced the Temporal Prime Directive as Lt. Ducane in Star Trek: Voyager AND you’ve already got Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine who was the main character in that episode. That is such a missed opportunity. And unless Agent Wells shows up in the third season, then all that time at the FBI was for absolutely nothing. Okay, rant dispensed. We must move on.
Who Watches the Watchers?
We lose one Watcher in this episode and now we get another. I speculated last week that someone would join the Watchers, but I was wrong on both counts, again, because of the waste of Agent Wells, and the flagrant disregard of the Temporal Prime Directive. While I like the idea of Kore joining the Watchers, there was absolutely no emotional build-up to get there. Kore has no idea about the Watchers or anything to do with the future that Dr. Soong nearly stopped. Why would she just magically trust Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton)? It just seems like a convenient place to put a girl who has come to this world via a lab experiment and has no other resources available to her. Will we see her again next season? I suppose we’ll find out.
All that being said, I do really like the idea of Wesley being a Watcher. It seems fitting for his storyline, and I said in my rundown of Star Trek news a few weeks ago, I would hope that if season 3 involves all of The Next Generation cast, then let’s include Wesley too.
Speaking of Dr. Soong, we get a shot of him pulling out a top-secret folder about “The Khan Project” dated 1996, which lines up with the timeline on Khan Noonien-Singh, outlined in previous Trek canon. Will that play into season three or is that just there to make all of us Trek geeks go, “Oooooh….”? I suppose we’ll find out.
While I’m not totally dissatisfied with the ending we get for this season of Star Trek: Picard, “Farewell” doesn’t make enough emotional deposits for me to be truly satisfied with the finished product. “Farewell” is an exercise in handwaving. We get endings that are good without doing the storytelling work to get there. I feel like I can’t truly enjoy the (mostly) happy endings that our characters get because those endings are largely unearned.
For me, the biggest offender here is the handling of Queen Agnes Borgati. While it seems that the Borg Queen has truly changed under Agnes’ influence, there was nothing in the story up until that point to make me believe that she would. It runs counter to every instance of the Borg we’ve seen in Trek up until now. I still stand by what I said last week that this is putting a band-aid on an abusive relationship. And while I’m glad that this seems to be a newer, kinder, and even slightly playful iteration of the Borg, there is absolutely nothing in the story that really gets me to believe that it would happen that way. Like I said, handwaving.
What I do like is the idea of this Borg joining the Federation. I like that we might get to see a bit of the humor and warmth that makes Agnes, Agnes, in a species that is cold and emotionless. This is the type of Borg that will make their joining of the Federation fascinating, and will further challenge the Federation on its own prejudices. But for now, we say “Farewell” to Star Trek: Picard until season three.
Star Trek: Picard is streaming now on Paramount+.