Forget about seasons one and two, season three of Star Trek: Picard is where it’s at!

The Picard series finally embraced what fans wanted, a reunion of the entire cast of The Next Generation crew, and the first episode that established a mystery with Dr. Beverly Crusher immediately put the entire previous two seasons to shame. Finally, Crusher was given a meaty role as it was revealed she was captaining a small medical vessel in a Doctor Without Borders in space scenario and was requesting help from Picard as her ship was in danger. But wait…who was that rakish young man traveling with her? *Although I will assume anyone reading this post is a Star Trek fan and has watched the entire season, I will warn that there are spoilers ahead*

Picard enlists Riker’s help, and they hope to travel to save Beverly on the USS Titan, Riker’s former ship and where Seven of Nine is now second in command. But Captain Liam Shaw, the Titan’s irascible captain is having none of Picard and Riker’s shenanigans. Shaw turned out to be a surprise fan favorite (I love him almost as much as Pike now), as this self-described “dipshit from Chicago” ended up being an ally to the TNG crew in future episodes. During this time Raffi, who is one of the few holdovers from S1 & S2, searches for a stolen portal device that she fears will be used in a terrorist attack. Her unknown Starfleet handler, turns out to be Worf who is now a pacifist, as we start to see more of TNG crew start to assemble.

Early speculation proved to be correct, in that Jack Crusher was the child of Beverly and Picard. She had kept the pregnancy a secret from everyone and it explained why the crew had not heard from her in 20+ years. Knowing that the romance was doomed and that her son could be in danger if enemies of Picard found out he had a child, she hid Jack, as she was also hurting that she had lost her eldest son Wesley to being a Traveler (gah- don’t get me started on that). This plot contrivance was hard for me to swallow at first, as I had imagined the entire crew remaining friends after leaving the USS Enterprise-D (and it went against my remembrance of the strong friendship she had with Deanna Troi), but the scene in which the two had a heartfelt confrontation about their son was outstanding. Jack had a strong bond with his mother and has long known that Picard was his father, but the later developing relationship between father and son was real and nuanced.

The perfect Star Trek crew!

In the midst of these family revelations, chaos swirls around the galaxy. A formidable bounty hunter Vadic wants to capture Jack, as a bounty has been placed on his head by an unknown enemy. Titan’s crew, which includes Geordi LaForge’s youngest daughter Sidney, tries to elude Vadic, but is putting the entire ship in danger worth it for one individual? When Shaw is hurt he gives the ship’s command up to Riker, who quarrels with Picard about what to do. Of course, they save the ship and crew and contact Starfleet to warn them that the upcoming Frontier Day is in danger, but evil Changelings have infiltrated the highest ranks of Starfleet. We get a surprise cameo as former Enterprise crew member Ro Loren, who had defected to the rebel Marquis years ago, shows up to help Picard gather the intel he needs. Worf and Raffi beam to the Titan as their mission is now braiding into Picard’s. Picard needs additional help, who contacts LaForge now a Commondor who runs Starfleet Museum and he joins the Titan crew along with his eldest daughter Alandra (Levar Burton’s IRL daughter) reuniting them with Sidney.

Some of the crew infiltrate Daystrom Station, where lo and behold they find the android Data! It’s not the exact version, who was killed in the movie Star Trek: Nemesis, but his memories plus the evil android Lore are put in an older body (it was a ridiculous explanation to shoehorn an older Brent Spiner in- but just accept it). And after Data fights off Lore, he gains a human consciousness, so again, just go with it. Troi, Riker’s wife, finally appears as she is kidnapped by Vadic, but Worf to the rescue with some fun dialogue that pokes fun at the relationship the two had years ago. Although late to the game, Troi is pivotal when she works with Jack in figuring out his strange visions and why a bounty is on him.

Sidney and Jack are the newest Trek couple to ship for! #LaCrush

When Vadic is defeated, I wondered why the villain was being killed off relatively early, but that is because the big baddie was revealed late in the season, and of course, it is the Borg (again!). The Borg are so overused, and I thought S2 had finally put an end to them, but whatevs, let’s move on. Turns out that Jack, having some of Picard’s Borg DNA, is being used as a beacon by the Borg Queen (who we thought was dead, but no). Indeed the subterfuge by the Changelings and the Borg go deep, and all the Starfleet ships that had gathered for Founders Day were compromised and younger crew members across the universe were infected by the Borg. Only older crew members were unaffected and lucky for everyone, all the TNG crew is old! And bonus, Geordi has been restoring the USS Enterprise -D, so they all hop on their old ship to save the day. Captain Shaw is killed onboard the Titan, but frankly, I’m not worried about that being permanent. Picard outsmarts the Borg Queen, saves Jack, and the crew is able to break the connection the Borg had with the younger crew members.

Jump ahead a year, and Jack who was fast-tracked through Starfleet (which had happened to Seven too the previous year) is being assigned his first posting, His proud parents are along, as we find out Beverly was promoted to Admiral, and we soon learn that the USS Titan has been rechristened the USS Enterprise-G. The new captain is revealed as Seven of Nine, with her former lover Raffi as her Number One (so unrealistic, but ok), and Sidney is abroad too. So we now have the next generation of The Next Generation, further cemented by Q visiting Jack and promising him further adventures. This all sets us up fans for Star Trek: Legacy, a show that fans have been clamoring for, that hopefully would be run by producer Terry Matalas, who beautifully handled this season. There was reverence for the franchise and fun Easter eggs for fans, and my husband commented that Star Trek has been superior to Star Wars in that they have control over canon and legacy, with a logical progression (with a few missteps along the way). While not confirmed, I think there is a solid chance it could happen as Strange New Worlds came to be when Trekkies loved Captain Pike on Discovery and wanted a show based on him, Una and a young Spock. The way characters were woven in and out was realistic, with further cameos by Tuvok from Voyager and a voice cameo by Walter Koenig, from TOS crew who voiced Anton Chekov (a poignant shout out to Anton Yelchin who portrayed Chekov in the Kelvin-timeline movies who died IRL) the son of his original Pavel Chekov.

So I have a plea to the higher-ups- please, please, please green light a Legacy show that could incorporate crews from TNG, Voyager and Deep Space 9. In the meantime, Live Long and Prosper!

Fan service in the very best way- the episode ended the way it had in the last TNG episode!