As Picard enters the mid-point of its second season, we’re treated to another episode that feels like it’s moving chess pieces on the board a bit.
This week, we meet Renee Picard, a distant aunt of Picard who was part of the Europa missions that first explored the galaxy, and Brent Spiner’s latest descendent of Dr. Noonian Soogh, who is exploring the field of genetic engineering to keep his daughter alive. Of course, said daughter is played by the same actress that plays Data’s daughter in season one – because, of course, she is.
Behind the scenes, Q is manipulating both parties for reasons that haven’t quite been made clear yet. Given that Q doesn’t experience time in quite the same linear fashion as we do, I can’t help but wonder what his overall end game here is. Has his interest and fascination with Picard turned to hatred, to the point that he’d change history to get back at him? Or are there changes to the continuum that are so radical that Q wants to stop PIcard from ever making them, dating back to the trial on the way to Farpoint station?
I’m not sure what Q’s agenda is – perhaps beyond getting his powers back. But I can’t help but feel that as Picard tries to save Renee Picard that he’s overlooking something fundamentally important with Dr. Soongh’s manipulation. It would be like Q to distract Picard and his crew with one thing while fundamentally altering something else to make the real changes.
Part of my issue with the episode is that it’s hard to have a lot of investment in either Renee Picard or the early progenitor of Soongh. The series counts on us knowing – hey, there’s Brent Spiner and identifying with the character because it will eventually lead to Data and Picard’s family connection more than really giving us a fundamental reason to be concerned about or invested in these people as characters. I can’t help but hope they offer some depth to them in the coming installments or they become little more than placeholders to make an overall greater point or advance the plot.
Speaking of placeholders, I can’t help but feel that the whole Rios and company going on an away mission isn’t a bit of treading of water in order to make some social commentary. I do like that it feels like this is a successor to the history we saw on DS9, but I’m not quite sure where else the plot was supposed to go, other than to give some of our cast something to do.
Meanwhile, it appears we’ve lost the crew’s connection to the future thanks to Agnes killing the Borg Queen (apparently). I felt like it would have been more chilling to see the Borg Queen trying to recreate the collective with the random police officer rather than holding him captive and threatening to end his life. I could see Anges being a bit more concerned about that potential and the threat of the Borg getting loose in close to present-day society. Of course, at this point, I feel like everything we’re seeing is going to somehow lead Agnes back to being in a relationship with Rios.
At this point, I’m ready for the board to be set for the end game of this season and to see where the pieces fall. I have a feeling next week will be another one that moves things around (Agnes as the Queen and the possible messing with Picard’s plan could be interesting).
We shall see where this all goes, I guess.