Star Trek: Picard episode 3×06 “The Bounty” is really pulling hard on those nostalgia heartstrings this week. As much of a nostalgia addict as I am, I’m not sure I’m totally picking up what the folks at Star Trek: Picard are putting down. Don’t get me wrong. There’s much that I really like about “The Bounty,” but there are some things that are giving me trepidation, not just about this episode, but how they’re going to close out the rest of the series. Pull up a seat at the bar, because we’ve got quite a bit to unpack here. Let’s dig into my full thoughts on Star Trek: Picard episode 3×06 “The Bounty.”
One of the big reveals we get in “The Bounty” is that Jack has Irumodic Syndrome, which he inherited from Jean-Luc. Beverly has given him medication to treat the symptoms, which is good for Jack. However, maybe I’m just a skeptic, but could all these visions that Jack is having really be only part of the Irumodic Syndrome? Sure, if you look at Memory Alpha, the symptoms of Irumodic Syndrome are, “confusion, delusions, and eventually death.” Well, Jack’s certainly having confusion and delusions. But none of those can explain how he could suddenly go full Terminator on those Changelings in a twinkle of an eye. That makes me think there’s something more going on here. I hope we get a better and more thorough explanation of this. I’m standing behind my intersect and Close Encounters of the Third Kind theories until then.
Back at Daystrom Institute
Okay, I’ve got questions about who thought it was a good idea to store the following at the Daystrom Institute.
- Genesis II Device
- The Body of Captain James T. Kirk
- GMO Tribble, and…
- The Body of Jean-Luc Picard?!
Is Starfleet in the habit of preserving the bodies of deceased captains? Are they in cryogenic stasis so they can be eventually thawed out and brought back to life?! Seems creepy to me, Starfleet. No thanks.
But that’s not my only question about the Daystrom Institute. Who the heck tailors their security system to the person who’s trying to break in? It’s like they wanted Riker to be able to solve the puzzle and get in. That’s suspect to me. If you want to hear where my brain went watching this scene though, it went a little something like this.
Me: What are they going to do, make him play “Night Bird”?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’ll see myself back to the brig for that bad joke, but he might’ve had a more challenging time getting in if they did make him play “Night Bird”! As I said, all of this “security” system feels suspect to me. I was also a little concerned that we were going to get a “Move Along Home” scenario from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Also, folks were making a big deal about Moriarty being in the show this season. I doubt seriously that we’ll see him again if he’s just this holoprojection that seems to be a tailor-made security system. That’s a bit of a letdown. But even as implausible to me as all this is, I think it’s cool to know that Riker’s got a pretty good musical ear. And fun fact: Riker plays trombone because Jonathan Frakes does, and I think that’s pretty dang cool.
Geordi and Data
The one thing that got me a little misty-eyed in Star Trek: Picard 3×06 “The Bounty” was when Geordi sees Data. That’s his bestie and Star Trek: Lower Decks showrunner Mike McMahan once told me that he thinks that Geordi and Data are the heart of Star Trek: The Next Generation. I think he’s onto something there. It’s heartwarming to see them reunited, but for how long? Lore and Lal and possibly Alton Inigo Soong are trapped in there too. Will one personality dominate over the others? Will they all form one new personality? I’ve got lots of questions about how that might work, but also several concerns about Lore taking over and thwarting our crew. Either way, it’s going to be an absolute blast watching Brent Spiner portray all these personalities. Also, GEORDI IS BACK! YAY! But he’s in full-on Dad Mode™ right now, which I totally get, but he’s missing the bigger picture. By the episode’s end, he seems to grasp the full scope of what we’re dealing with here, so here’s hoping we’ve got our favorite Starfleet engineer back in the saddle again.
So when I got the title for this episode, I could only assume the title, “The Bounty,” was in reference to the bounty on Jack. The bounty in this episode isn’t on Jack. It’s on Deanna. And you know what? This is positively ridiculous. I think it is absolutely absurd what they’ve done with Deanna Troi this season. She’s literally been behind glass the entire time. I’m glad we get Badass Beverly this season. Can we get Deadly Deanna too? The woman is certainly not helpless. And where’s Kestra? Did Vadic and her cronies kidnap her too? I’m really tired of them leaning into this damsel in distress trope with Deanna. Fix this for me, okay Terry? You’re better than that.
Final Thoughts and a Concern
There are lots of little things in Star Trek: Picard episode 3×06 “The Bounty” that I really enjoyed. Ed Speleers as Jack and Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut as Sidney are still the most charming parts of Star Trek: Picard. It’s also wonderful to finally be introduced to Alandra La Forge, portrayed by LeVar Burton’s real-life daughter, Mica Burton. Best of all, the literal Next Generation team up to thwart their parents. Love it. I’m glad Vadic is back, and just as delightfully unhinged as before.
Here’s the sticking point for me with “The Bounty.” There’s a lot of weird stuff going on here, and we’ve only got 4 episodes left. I REALLY hope they don’t do what they did last season and handwave everything into place in the last episode. That’s my biggest concern. At least now we know where all our TNG cast are, but how are we going to beat the Dominion again in 4 episodes? That took LITERAL seasons of television in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Nothing makes me more frustrated with a TV series than when a writer’s room doesn’t know how to stick the landing. *gestures wildly at Game of Thrones and Picard season 2* Also, don’t get me wrong. I’m a certifiable nostalgia junkie and retrophile. But all the nostalgia-driven contrivances in this episode are too much for me. I thought Star Trek was about exploring strange new worlds. Is the Star Trek fandom too nostalgia-obsessed to look at anything past Star Trek: The Next Generation? Your leading man is an octogenarian. And that’s no shade on Sir Patrick Stewart, but the fact of the matter is that Star Trek fans are damn lucky that an actor his age even wanted to come back and play this character again. The point is we can’t keep looking back forever. It’s not sustainable. Let the franchise grow.
Let’s give a good send-off to the Next Generation cast, but let’s tell the third generation of stories. There is so much potential to be had. Let’s not waste it.
What did you think of Star Trek: Picard episode 3×06 “The Bounty”? Leave me a comment and let’s talk Trek.
The next episode of Star Trek: Picard will air on March 30, 2023, on Paramount+.
The whole “Data as security system” thing aside, I thought the episode was pretty solid, and definitely hit a lot of nostalgia beats…
Not gonna lie, I’m really hoping they end up using the last 4 episodes to prime/setup a full Dominion War series, and bring me back some Benjamin Sisko…