When Star Trek: Discovery dropped the first f-bomb in broadcast Star Trek history, I wasn’t a fan. The f-bomb dropping felt more like the production team saying, “Oh look, what we can say now that we’re a streaming series” instead of actually having an f-bomb come out because it fit the character or drama of the moment. This week, Star Trek: Picard gives us not one but two (at least) f-bombs in the course of this hour — and I’ve got to admit that they work a lot better and felt a lot less gratuitous.
Admiral Clancy’s use of the f-bomb after Picard returns to Starfleet headquarters to ask for reinstatement and a ship to pursue Dr. Bruce Mattow perfectly underscored just how many bridges Picard has burned behind him. Picard once commanded the flagship of the Federation and now he’s become a persona-non-grata in Starfleet because he had the audacity to stand up for what he believes are the principles upon which the Starfleet and the Federation are founded.
It was an interesting juxtaposition to see Picard walk into the Starfleet HQ and see the two holograms of iconic versions of the Enterprise and then the reception he receives from the cadet who is checking him in for his appointment. I get the feeling that a lot of people at Starfleet feel that Picard has outlived his usefulness and that he’s become too much of a rogue agent and a bit of a PR nightmare. Certainly, his actions and their reactions in the past two episodes underscore this.
While Picard is spinning his wheels trying to find a way to get back into space to find Soji, this week’s episode puts a few more plates into the air on that front. We find out that the Borg ship has been cut off from the collective and the Romulans are dissecting various specious in an attempt to de-Borg them. I’m not quite certain what the final end game of this is, but I’m going to assume we’ll get answered in the coming weeks.
We also see that the Romulans have some type of agenda that includes a group even more secret and nefarious than the Tal-Shiar. This group seems to have a lot of fingers in a lot of pies — not just at the Borg cube, but also on Earth. How far this influence reaches remains to be seen. But there is part of me that can’t help but wonder if the series might do a callback to TNG’s first season episode “Conspiracy” where the alien slugs were slowly infiltrating Starfleet. (I know that Peter David got back to this in his novels, but the novels aren’t canon).
Picard has clearly stumbled into some type of conspiracy and plot that is connected to his past. Can’t help but think that the group on the Borg cube would love a chance to talk to Locutus of Borg and pick his brain about that experience. And there’s also a connection to Data as well.
“Maps and Legends” may not have been quite as literally explosive as the first installment was, but it certainly added a lot of things into the mix for the coming weeks.