by Alan Yudman
Slow. Very slow. Like impulse versus warp power. So far STAR TREK: PICARD should be renamed STAR TREK: EXPOSITION. Three episodes in and we are still unfolding the back story. Please, let there be some action soon. I have hope that things will move quicker now that our group of renegades have left earth.
Here Picard finds the ship he will use to hunt down Dahj’s sister and Bruce Maddox. We also discover more about that sister’s work on The Artifact. Apparently the whole operation is being run by Hugh, the former Borg from THE NEXT GENERATION. Picard’s history with Raffi is also peeled back a bit. They worked on the mission to save Romulan refugees, but she is abandoned by Picard when he leaves Starfleet. She is a very imperfect character with anger and addiction issues. But she has the curiosity of most good Starfleet officers. She also hooks Picard up with Chris Rios, the pilot whose ship they will board for their hunt. He is apparently another former Starfleet officer who has a fractured history with the organization. That seems to be a theme that is developing. In other Star Trek franchises the goodness and general morality of Starfleet and the Federation is almost beyond doubt. But here some grey areas are introduced that makes Starfleet feel more like it is part of a real world, not some bizarre utopia. The action ramps up a bit too. Picard is getting too close to truth for Starfleet Intelligence and a Romulan kill squad shows up at his Chateau. Picard and his two Romulan caretakers fight them off and Jean-Luc is off on his search for answers.
The idea of repairing past wrongs really develops in this episode and as suggested in the title, the end of all that Picard, Raffi, Rios and Dr. Jurati believed in or worked toward is really the beginning of their new mission to find answers that Starfleet and The Federation don’t seem want answered. It’s still not entirely clear how The Artifact and the Romulan exploitation of the Borg plays into the larger mission. But it is sketching out some interesting ideas, but here’s hoping it gets there sooner rather than later.