That’s a wrap, folks! Star Trek: Picard 3×10 “The Last Generation” is a title that gave me chills when I first read it. Does the title signify that we’re getting a grim end for our heroes? Obviously, if you’ve not watched episode 3×10 “The Last Generation” you WILL be spoiled in this review. This should go without saying, but just in case you’ve not had your “Tea! Earl Grey! Hot!” or “Coffee! Black!” yet today, consider this your one and only SPOILER WARNING. Brace for impact as we discuss the series finale of Star Trek: Picard, “The Last Generation.”
The Borg: The Last Generation
There’s a lot to like about this portion of the story in Star Trek: Picard 3×10 “The Last Generation.” It makes sense to me that the only way to stop the Borg is to take them out at the source. I knew this aspect of the story would be harrowing, which it was, albeit mostly in my emotions. The biggest part of the drama was emotion-oriented, not action-oriented. Sure there was the fight scene with Riker, Worf, and the Borg drones, but really, the “big fight” with the Borg was all Picard talking Jack down. More on that in a moment.
I will say that the space battle between the Titan and the rest of the fleet was exciting, but still, the whole ordeal was not quite as intense as I expected. The faceoff with the Shrike in episode 3×04 was more intense, in my opinion. As with all things, your mileage may vary. I’m glad everyone is de-borged. Also, I love transporting your enemy away rather than stunning or killing them. It’s like a nicer Taser. Can we get those for the real world, please? Also, lots of love in that nice big hug for Sidney at the end of the confrontation. I also love the shot with the La Forge ladies flanked by their “Aunties.” Great job, Seven and Raffi!
Not entirely unexpected, but watching Jean-Luc affirm to Jack that he loves him and cares is the depth of emotion I’ve wanted to see from Jean-Luc for ages. Sometimes just knowing that someone cares enough just to go with you through whatever you’re facing matters more than anything. When Picard says, “Then if you won’t leave, I’ll stay with you…until the end. You have changed my life forever,” I got weepy. That love, that first true embrace of a father and son is especially heartwarming.
And this is the first time that the power of love defeats the Borg in this episode. The second defeat comes when Deanna is able to sense where they are and beam them up. Goodbye, Borg Queen! Stay dead this time. Also, Alice Krige is still *chef’s kiss* as the Borg Queen. (Also, I failed to mention her appearance in Star Trek: Voyager in my review last week. My mistake)!
While I did enjoy the connection Picard shared with Jack, I think there is a real missed opportunity in regard to Picard’s interactions with Riker and Worf before he takes off to “Be a Father.” We could have put an example of positive, healthy emotional masculinity on display. These are men who have fought alongside each other, saved each other more times than they can count, and clearly love one another as brothers. Surely it’s not too tough for these guys to explicitly say, “I love you.”
Can we please stop with the rubbing of dirt in our emotions and just say what we mean? I suppose it could be argued that if Picard had told Riker and Worf that he loved them, it would have taken some of the emotional weight out of his conversation with Jack. I don’t think so. To me, it took away from some of the emotional weight of what could have been their final goodbye. I hope we do better emotional storytelling for our men in the Star Trek universe in the future, especially with Star Trek: Discovery coming to a close next year.
Great Character Moments
The best parts of Star Trek: Picard 3×10 “The Last Generation” are the character moments. First up, WALTER KOENIG PLAYING PRESIDENT ANTON CHEKOV! That was highly unexpected, and a welcome surprise. Anton Chekov is apparently Pavel Chekov’s son? If you’d like to do some timeline math, Pavel Chekov (from Star Trek: The Original Series) was born in 2245. The episode is set in April 2401. That makes Anton Chekov a pretty old dude and Pavel Chekov was an older dad. I’m eager to watch the folks at Memory Alpha work hard to fit that new bit of canon in.
Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the name “Anton” is an obvious homage to the gone-too-soon Anton Yelchin, who portrayed Pavel Chekov to endearing perfection in the Star Trek Kelvin timeline films. Love those movies or leave them, you can’t deny that the Star Trek universe and the universe at large are the worse for the loss of Anton. I’m glad to see him honored in this way here.
Next up, it’s nice to see Data get to use his full range of emotion, plus he’s going to counseling! Of course, he is! He’s suddenly not dead and he has all the emotions! Of course, he needs counseling! Speaking of counseling, DEANNA FINALLY GOT TO DO SOMETHING! USE THOSE BETAZOID POWERS, GIRL! I definitely yelled, “FINALLY!” at that moment. One of the canned tropes leftover from Star Trek: The Next Generation is Deanna’s Betazoid abilities not working well enough to provide any helpful information for an assortment of reasons. It was BEYOND refreshing to see her use her powers, and declare, “I KNOW WHERE THEY ARE!”
The other highlights of, “A lot’s happened in the last 20 years,” and “Swords are fun,” are just the right amount of levity for this episode. And Worf, yes, I totally agree. Swords are fun. There’s so much more I could say, but I’ll spare you all my geeking out.
Overall, “The Last Generation” is a better wrap-up than I expected. There are definitely some things that are pure, unadulterated “Terry-Matalas-wrote-this-in-a-fanfic-as-a-kid,” like Data getting hype about piloting the ship into the Borg Cube. However, the emotional beats for the character of Jean-Luc Picard work well with the character’s history and growth and I’m glad our crew gets a happily ever after. There’s fairly good closure for everyone in our Enterprise crew. Love the idea of Professor Zaddy Worf, and then the gang playing poker at 10 Forward.
However, I’m still salty about the characterization of Shaw. He was calling Seven by her preferred name in the video commendation for her promotion but refused to call her that until he was dying on the floor. That just makes him even more of a dick. Any sentiment I should have had about his death is now out the airlock. That inconsistency in the writing is the biggest misstep of this season and really this series.
Finally, Q’s alive? Really? Okay, fine, but that takes the emotional impact out of his death in season 2 for me. What was the point of killing him off and then saying, “Surprise! Not dead, because I’m Q!”? I am asking “What was the point?” more and more about seasons 1 and 2 in general, and I don’t like it. That’s probably my biggest grump with the episode, and yet, if we get this Star Trek: Legacy series that Terry wants and we get John de Lancie back as Q, then well, I’m not going to be too annoyed about that. But that is solely based on John’s charm and delightfulness as a human being, not because I’m okay with the total lack of narrative consistency. I’ll say it again. If this were a show about literally ANY other Captain, absolutely no one in the fandom would stand for this.
Star Trek: Legacy
Now, what’s this Star Trek: Legacy that I keep hearing rumbles about? First of all, at the time of publication, NOTHING is official or in the works, but it is something Terry Matalas wants to do. If it’s the adventures of CAPTAIN Seven, Raffi, and Jack on the newly re-christened Enterprise, then I am 100% here for it. But it needs to be fun. And someone needs to show Terry how to use Memory Alpha. There are so many canon conundrums and history handwaves in Picard that it’s just plain silly, especially for someone who worked on two other Star Trek series prior to this one. It’s inexcusable.
And for the love of all that is holy, please let these characters do something new. Don’t bring back the Borg unless it’s Queen Agnes Borgati. Have them seek out new life and new civilizations. Let’s boldly go instead of cowardly rehashing everything that’s been done before.
Speaking of boldly going, if you want to get prepped for the premiere of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 2, you can do that FOR FREE (with ads) starting TODAY on Pluto TV. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 1 is now featured on the service. Check Pluto’s website for times, add it to your streaming device, or watch online, and get caught up before season 2 hits on June 15, 2023. Stay tuned to Fangirlish where I’ll bring you all the Star Trek news you can use, fun Trek things to enjoy during the hiatus, and more until the premiere of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 2.
What did you think of Star Trek: Picard 3×10 “The Last Generation”? Leave me a comment and let’s talk Trek.
All episodes of Star Trek: Picard are streaming now on Paramount+.