‘Star Trek: Picard’ offers quality moments | Engadget

Spoiler warning: the following article discusses the Star Trek: Picard episodes “Seventeen Seconds” and “No Win Scenario”.

I was away last week which is why I didn’t write last week’s completely inessential episode of picardoalthough if you’re curious, Darren Mooney in the escapist the feelings reflect my own. The whole thing only makes sense if you assume that the whole team took a huge dose of idiot pills an hour before the episode started, and you wish you had taken them too. This week, there’s a lot more to say, especially since it’s the first episode this season that feels remotely funny. And while the setup for all of these conflicts was pretty flimsy, their resolutions are very nice to watch.

After the Shrike uses its Portal weapon to encourage the Titan to shoot itself in the back, the ship drifts toward a gravity well and certain doom. It’s here that we get one of the worst moments in the series where the bridge crew says it’s not shown, and then we reaffirm (and then reiterate) the situation the ship is in. Loss of energy, right? Sinking in a gravity well, right? We don’t have enough power to get out of the gravity well, do we? It’s because we don’t have much power, right? What about the gravity well? Sorry I’m not following you, can you explain it to me like I’m five years old please? It doesn’t help that while the decision to take the shields offline is portrayed as an important and dangerous decision, it’s never mentioned again.

It is here that Picard, opting to put his affairs in order, chooses to sit down for a touching moment with Jack. And they choose to do it on the holodeck, on the Ten Forward bar that has been popping up over and over again in this run. Picard says that the holodecks are connected to their own power source because it is better to die comfortably than to use that energy to survive. I think we can all say it’s a cover for a production or a budget issue that meant they had to reuse the set. (picardoThe first season of did the same, endlessly returning to the castle office on La Sirena’s holodeck). And again, the two-handed game between Patrick Stewart and Ed Speelers is great.

Plus, remember when a broken leg didn’t require much more than a quick puff of some medbay gizmo and you’d be good as new? Not in picardo, where Shaw breaks into Picard’s heart, seemingly full of painkillers, and reveals why he’s so mad at Seven and Picard. It turns out that he, like a large part of Starfleet, is a survivor of Wolf 359! And if this weren’t something else that was explored quite well by Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, could carry a bit more dramatic weight. It also feels like the beginning of a predetermined redemption arc for Todd Stashwick’s Captain Shaw as the powers that are used. picardo as a form of backdoor pilot to a Titan-A spin-off series. (You can imagine the tone: we’ve got the cast and the sets already built—it’s pretty much free content if you greenlight ten others!) And, to be fair, Todd Stashwick is such a charismatic actor you could feel him struggling to play someone. most unpleasant at the beginning of the series.

From here to the conclusion though, the tone begins to lighten, and Beverley’s realization that the nebula is a space life form gives everyone a sense of purpose. You see, the nebula is undergoing exactly the same contractions that a pregnant person would have when in labor. By the time Riker stops futilely objecting to the plan to remove the contractions from the gravity well, he suddenly feels like we’re watching Star Trek all over again. The gang works together, Seven and Shaw successfully lure out the shapeshifter infiltrator, and even have a good spot to get their revenge on the Shrike when Riker commands the titan to lock on to a massive asteroid, dragging it along long enough to crush the enemy. ship out of contention long enough for them to escape.

And that’s not even for the best, because there’s also the wonderful B-story of Picard dealing with his fans while in (the real) Ten Forward five years earlier. patrick stewart Picard is accosted by a group of fans cadets who ask him to regale them with stories from his time in star trek the company. Meanwhile, unseen, Jack remains in the background, listening to Picard as he builds his mythos and his legacy, downplaying any reference to his own family. When Picard closes the meeting by saying that Starfleet is his family, is at once an unintentionally hollow indictment of Picard’s own life (his coworkers are his only friends, oof) and an involuntary rejection of the son he might have gotten to know years before. This my friends is a great moment, full of depth and poignancy and I wish it hadn’t taken so long to get here

Speaking of which, Paramount recently cleared Star Trek: Discovery fifth season through 2024, adding that it would now be the last run of that show. With the news that the studio is looking to buckle down for some real profit from its streaming service, fans are feeling anxious. After all, Trek programs aren’t cheap to make, and it’s unclear how much crossover appeal these programs have. Despite David Stapf’s promise in 2018 that we’d have “some Star Trek all the time,” there are concerns that it might be closing time at the all-you-can-eat buffet. With Discovery and picardo in the outs, and no sign (yet) that lower decks and prodigy will get renewals, we could go from five shows to three, or one, in a very short time. But, based on the merits of some of the recent releases under the Trek brand, would that really be such a bad thing?

After all, these four episodes of picardo they form little more than an extended prologue for the rest of the race. Has taken the best part of four hours establish the general outline of the plot, as well as the main antagonists and what is at stake. Even then, we still haven’t found more than half of the Next Generation returnees who formed a key part of the marketing. A prologue that I would have enjoyed much more if it had been reduced to close to ninety minutes. Imagine if, instead of completing a company-required ten-week block per year, the format was designed to fit the story being told at each moment. On the merits of the last four weeks alone, fewer, higher-quality Trek episodes would be infinitely preferable.

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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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