Jonathan Frakes’ return has delivered a standout episode of Star Trek: Picard that injects the narrative with a course-correcting dose of impulse power
With the disappointment of last week’s episode fading into subspace; it’s time for this week’s episode of Star Trek: Picard. Last week’s outing proved to be a divisive affair. We were introduced to a history-altering incarnation of Guinan; we were teased with the return of an Original Series favorite and reveled in more of Q’s meddling. But after retconning some of the best episodes from The Next Generation to disguise the inferior plot issues of the current storyline; can Picard get back on track and return to the path of Trek righteousness? Or are we doomed to repeat the sins of the past for another week?
Fear not Trek fans because this week’s installment titled ‘Fly Me To The Moon’ brings us back on course and steadies the ship. And as we near the halfway point of the season; we are finally getting to the crux of the story and peeling back the layers of intrigue. Especially in regards to Q and his genuine intentions. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s unpack the episode.
FLY ME TO THE MOON
Last week’s mixed episode culminated with Jean Luc coming face to face with the Watcher. And my instincts about the supervisor’s true identity were correct. The Watcher, known as Tallinn (Orla Brady) turns out to be a similar agent to Gary Seven from The Original Series episode “Assignment Earth”. The Watcher is tasked with ensuring the fate of a sole human and is resolute in her duties. But who is she tasked with watching? All is revealed as the episode unfolds. But in the interest of keeping things as spoiler-free as possible, let’s just say Jean Luc has a vested interest in ensuring her safety. And with her just days away from launching into space on a historic mission, Picard and his team will have to act fast to protect her from disaster.
While Jean Luc unravels the mystery in Los Angeles, The Borg Queen’s regeneration continues, and her reach is growing throughout La Sirena. And with her linkage to communications restored, she immediately reaches out to the authorities who despatch a police officer to investigate. With the Queen’s plot coming to fruition, we return to L. A with Raffi and Seven liberating Rios from his incarceration. But not all is as it seems. Raffi is hallucinating, and the visions are taking the form of Elnor. And his loss is weighing on her heavily.
Q’S MASTER PLAN
What follows is an adventure on multiple fronts. Jean Luc and Tallinn discover that Q is actively discouraging the target, a woman known as Renee from making her historic voyage into space and set about preventing his time-altering actions. The Borg Queen follows through with her treacherous escape attempt, and Q reaches out to a brilliant geneticist (Star Trek legend Brent Spiner) who desperately seeks a cure for his daughter’s (Isa Briones) rare and deadly condition. But who is this mysterious geneticist?
Trek fans will rejoice to see Spiner back in this series, and his return serves to add layers to the lineage of his longtime alter ego Commander Data. And his role in season two will have a major impact on what transpires during the latter stages. But Q’s tendrils reach far wider than any of us could imagine. And the impact of his actions, coupled with his sudden inability to control his powers poses a greater risk to the galaxy than we first feared.
With the episode under the directorial vision of Jonathan Frakes, ‘Fly Me To The Moon’ serves as a solid jumping-off point for the rest of the season. And just like the previous episodes, we are treated to another feast of easter eggs to dine on. From Picard citing Kirk’s Enterprise and the encounter with Gary Seven to the mention of First Contact; this episode has lots to digest. But the depth of Spiner’s role cannot be quantified. Assuming the identity of Adam Soong, a direct descendant of Data’s esteemed creator is a deal-breaker. And his role in proceedings will be a key factor in the battle for the fate of the galaxy. And with Jurati’s growing connection with the Borg Queen reaching a lethal chokepoint the fate of the galaxy hangs in the balance as the credits begin to roll.
Overall, this installment served as the perfect tonic to cleanse that palette of the preceding episodes. Gone is the divisive and often eye-rolling social commentary, replaced with a much-needed dose of good old-fashioned storytelling. And although we sacrificed space battles and explosions for it, the series feels enrichened as a result. Jonathan Frakes’ return has delivered a standout episode that injects the narrative with a course-correcting dose of impulse power. And it was long overdue.
With the crux of the story finally coming together, and all the pieces of the puzzle finally falling into place, the game is truly afoot. The rest of the season is set up to be one helluva rollercoaster ride. And I cannot wait to see how it unfolds.
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Phil Roberts is the Owner, Daily Content Manager, and Editor-In-Chief of The Future of the Force. He is passionate about Star Wars, Batman, DC, Marvel, Star Trek, Indiana Jones, Ghostbusters, King Kong, and the Ray Harryhausen movies. Follow him on Twitter where he uses the force and babbles frequently!