A Grain of Truth is an adaptation of one of the stories found in The Last Wish, a short story collection from The Witcher series. Inspired by the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, this story was first written by Andrzej Sapkowski and then adapted for this graphic novel by Jacek Rembis and translated by Travis Currit. I’ve looked at The Witcher graphic novels before and never picked it up because I was not a fan of the art, but because one of my favorite artists, Jonas Scharf, illustrated this novel, I was willing to give it a chance. He did not disappoint.
The story begins with Geralt and his trusty horse traveling through some unfamiliar countryside when they discover two dead bodies. The clues aren’t adding up but he soon finds himself at the country manor of a monster who looks like a tusked javelina, who previously was a corpulent young nobleman named Nivellen. He shares the story of how he was transformed by a sorcerous after he raped her, egged on by his local militia. True love, will of course conquer all- but in the meantime, greedy fathers have left their daughters at his castle for Nivellen to have as willing concubines, for he showers them with riches during their stays. But Sapkowski’s ending did not ring true, for a beautiful vampire Vareena releases Nivellen from his curse in an unlikely conclusion. While Geralt says “Love and blood, both have incredible power” this coupling was not believable and Nivellen’s transformation into a better-looking man than before, angered me, as his crime seemed to be forgotten.
The illustrations were beautiful, even if I didn’t care for the tone of the story. Geralt was hunky, and looks enough like the Netflix adaptation with Henry Cavill, yet wasn’t a replica (just as well since he will be recast for the next season). The castle and countryside were faithful to the Eastern Europe region, with the coloring matching the dark tone of the story. The front cover of blue roses was striking and played a significance in the narrative.
For fans of The Witcher, this is an adaptation that I think fans will enjoy as faithful to the original source, further enhanced with excellent artwork.
Heart: The fourth book in the Heart and Brain series is here!
Brain: Still as funny as ever.
Heart: Author Nick Seluk opens with a heartfelt introduction about how his personal life fell apart for a time, so the following comics are really a reflection of the turmoil he was going thru.
Brain: I believe one reason Nancy has connected with all four books, is that she started to read the books during her busy grad school years, and then other books have been released when she was undergoing other types of stress herself.
Heart: Perfect distractions!
Brain: We can’t forget to give a shout-out to Gut, Tongue and Stomach who make memorable cameos.
Heart: The four-panel illustrations are as colorful and cute as ever, with my lightheartedness a counterbalance to Brain’s boring ways.
Brain: I believe you mean steady and logical ways…
As a fan of the Arc of a Scythe trilogy, I was anxious to read this new collection of short stories set in the dystopian universe that Neal Shusterman created. He pens most of the stories, but a few of the stories are co-authored by six others. The stories will reintroduce us to some characters found in the preceding novels, but we meet new memorable characters too. The stories are not chronological, as the stories dip in and out of the timeline during different eras. This book could be viewed as a stand-alone but makes so much more sense if you read Scythe, Thunderhead and The Toll.
The First Swing by Joelle Shusterman
An evocative poem about being a Scythe.
We go back to the past when Scythe Marie Curie was young and wants to make a name for herself. The former American president and his cabinet are still trying to hang onto power, but Scythe Curie puts an end to the sham government to great acclaim.
Never Work with Animals co-authored with Micahel H. Payne
The bombastic Scythe Fields loves dogs, but his newest acquisition is more than he ever bargained for!
A Death of Many Colors
A bougie family throwing a Halloween party, who believes that Scythes are a myth, finds out that they do in fact exist when a very unusual Scythe gleans their teen son in an unexpected way.
For a book series that centers around death, many character relationships seem bloodless and cold, with no deep family or love connections. But in this story, a sister is so distraught after her older brother’s gleaning that she rebels and goes unsavory.
A Martian Minute
The best story by far! Carson is an ambitious Mars colonist, who will do anything to escape back to Earth. When Scythe Xenocrates visits the planet, Carson takes a suggestion of his and the event that he orchestrates is even bigger than he imagined. But he gets what he wanted, so any collateral damage is of no concern to him. The reveal at the end of who he later became was perfect.
The Mortal Canvas co-authored with David Yoon
Only thirty years after the AI Thunderhead takes over, there are still people who were born mortal, including an elderly art teacher. This art teacher is trying to inspire her last four students when Scythe gets involved and challenges the students to a contest. A poignant story about creativity and passion.
The shortest story, yet one of the most powerful. Forty ships are sent by the Thunderhead to look for hospitable planets, and one shares the journey thus far. Not all of the sister ships will make it, as the ship’s inhabitants make each journey unique, and some of them will not make it for a multitude of reasons. You will be rooting for this new AI steward to help ferry her ship to safety.
We only met Anastasia’s brother Ben very briefly in the novels, but he is fleshed out in this short story when Skythe Constantine tries to turn him into Scythe when Anastasia is presumed dead. A surprisingly tender story with a happy-ish ending.
The Persistence of Memory co-authored with Jarrod Shusterman and Sofia Lapuente
Scythe Dali and his rival Scythe Gaudi play cat and mouse in Barcelona, along with a willful girl whose intentions are suspect.
Meet Cute and Die
A very British Scythe is a tyrant to her meek niece until a new relationship emboldens the niece to stand up to her aunt.
Perchance to Glean co-authored with Michelle Knowlden
I did not finish this story- it was about Scyths able to kill in dreams, but since I didn’t finish it, perhaps it changed course.
A Dark Curtain Rises
We revisit Scythe Curie years later, and she gets a new chance at life in an unlikely location after her ignoble death in the series. It was a hopeful way to end the collection.
As a whole, I was very pleased with this short story collection as Shusterman has created a unique and layered world. I’m sure all readers will think about who they would pick to be their patron historic if they were a Scythe. As it has been a few years since I read the series, I had forgotten some information about certain characters, so I got to go down a rabbit hole of looking up information on a Scythe Wiki page. I would definitely revisit this series if more novels are added!
These two books in the Arc of a Scythe trilogy bring it to a close in a very satisfying manner. Neal Shusterman is a master at world-building!
Volume two really requires that you read Scythe first to understand the dynamics between the two main characters, Citra now going by Scythe Anastasia and Rowan who is known as Scythe Lucifer. The two teens have survived their apprenticeship and now are bound by duty to kill or glean some of the human population. Although society is now ruled by the Thunderhead, an all-knowing computer entity, the scythes live beyond its control. Politics and extreme factions have developed within the Scythdom and intrigue abounds. This morality tale has Citra and Rowan, plus a new teen Greyson, battling the old corrupt scythes for control. While they are killers, they are also at risk themselves and don’t know who to trust. Who will prevail?
Neal Shusterman is a popular dystopian series writer, as he comes up with very intriguing ideas (such as the Unwind series) that appeal to young readers. He sets a feverish pace in his books, with non-stop action, plus showcases teens as wiser than their elders. This is a winning combination for the YA set but doesn’t translate as well for adult readers. I’m really torn if I will continue with the series as I thought highly of the first book, but this second book was just too busy for my taste. If this series is kept to three books, I will finish it as I’m curious as to Citra and Rowan’s fates but I will pass if it continues longer than that. (Aside- I read these books awhile back, so this is my review from back then)
The Toll is the last book in the trilogy Arc of a Scythe and was better than I expected, with my audio edition being voiced expertly. In the previous book, Citra and Rowan now called Scythe Anastasia and Scythe Lucifer, are saved from death in a sealed capsule when evil Scythe Goddard destroys Endura and unjustly blames Rowan for its destruction and the death of many of the Scythes. During the three years they are entombed Goddard rises to become the leader of most of the world’s scythedoms. Upon their discovery, they are revived but ripped from one another and the book has them on different journeys, along with Greyson who has now become the Thunderhead’s mouthpiece. There is a jumbled chronology, with other characters added such as Scythe Farraday, gender-fluid ship captain Jeri, and island Nimbus agent Loriana whose stories weave in and out of the narrative. Slowly, all the threads begin to come together for a showdown between Goddard and Citra, Rowan and Greyson.
The story was smart and didn’t dumb down any of the political or religious analogies. As Goddard rose to power, a reader could definitely make connections between the narrative and recent US politics. Greyson’s transformation as a religious figurehead and the Tonists who follow him will make some think about faith that sometimes can morph into fanaticism if unchecked. Some characters were irredeemable and even some good characters make selfish and shortsighted decisions. The relationship between Citra and Rowan was always lukewarm and I never saw why either of them was held up as saviors. The late romance between Greyson and Jeri rang more true than an entire trilogy about Citra and Rowen, but frankly, all the family and romantic relationships seemed bloodless. I enjoyed this series as a whole and while the narrative could have been trimmed a bit, I applaud Shusterman for writing such a thought-provoking story.
Scythe is a solid first entry in the Arc of a Scythe series by the always dependable Neal Shusterman.
Set a few hundred years in the future, Earth is now a utopia, with the Thunderhead as an all-knowing technological entity. Death has been conquered, but to combat overpopulation, the use of sanctioned killer Scythes are utilized to “glean” humanity. Two teens, Citra and Rowan, are apprenticed to Scythe Faraday to learn the art of killing. As the scythes are essentially above the law of the Thunderhead, much infighting and political posturing occur at their quarterly meetings. The two teens are told only one will be approved to scythe and the winner needs to glean the other. Chosen for their moral strength, they are both devastated at this edict, for they have also developed romantic feelings for one another. New developments occur, and the teens are split up to work with other scythes until the meeting in which the final decision will be made as to whom wins.
This is an excellent series, although it did contain some predictable plot twists, there are a few evil scythes that are caricatures and the romance between Citra and Rowan was lukewarm. Despite my criticisms, I definitely will be continuing with the trilogy to see what becomes of the two new scythes and the future of humanity.
The supernatural Basilisk reunites the creative team ofBone Parish, which was a favorite horror series of mine. This time the action moves to Appalachia, as a group of five killers emerge from the secluded mountains.
This group of five works together with a hive mind, each part of a chimera, in essence, a monstrous hybrid creature. They all have a power related to the senses: Vanessa, the leader who has the power of touch, bombastic Jimmy who has the power of taste, quiet Manny who has exceptional hearing, flower-child Cara who has the gift of smell, and hooded Regan whose power of sight is deadly to those who she looks at. Regan’s power relates to the title of the series for if you are aware of old legends, a basilisk is a legendary reptile reputed to be a serpent king, who causes death to those who look into its eyes. While some of these powers (esp taste and smell) didn’t strike me as particularly deadly, I trust that author Cullen Bunn will build an interesting story.
Regan has escaped the group and the cult followers, but Hannah, a woman bent on revenge captures her. Hannah is a grieving mother, whose daughter and husband were killed in an early attack by the chimera group when they came down from the mountains into her small town. With nothing left to lose, Hannah wants to kill the group and Regan seems to acquiesce to her demands. Manny also seems to want to pull away, and whispers a prophecy to Regan before he is killed. But the other three plan to dig in, and have an easily manipulated brethren of followers who will obey them.
The art by Jonas Scharf is top-notch, as his work always is. He captures the natural beauty of Appalachia and portrays its inhabitants realistically. Alex Guimarães’s coloring is evocative with blue and dark colors predominating. There are some striking variants at the end, especially Rafael Albuquerque’s covers.
While this first of a planned trilogy didn’t grab me as much as the first volume of Bone Parish did, I am still intrigued enough to find out what happens to the killers and their followers and hope that Hannah gets the revenge she craves.
I bring Free Comic Book Day to my library every year, and thus I get a sneak peek at the titles and get to pick as many as I want. The selection for this FCBD was great, as this year I choose seven titles! We had a steady stream of library patrons picking up titles on Saturday, during the three-hour window that I offered them.
I was pleased to have DC back in the Free Comic Book Day lineup again, thus seeing the famous Trinity on the cover made me grab the title up. It was a bit of bait & switch as the story was about Damian, Batman’s devious son, but it was a solid introduction to the new Knight Terrors title, in which almost every DC hero will face dream terrors this summer. Great surreal art during the dream sequences.
Star Trek is my favorite franchise, so, of course, I picked up this title Day of Blood: Prelude. The first story begins with an unfamiliar character, Captain Meyerson, speaking to a cloaked Klingon. This Klingon treacherously kills the captain and is revealed to be Alexander, Worf’s estranged son. What is the Red Path he speaks of? The second story is set on the Lower Decks ship, with three of the ensigns visiting the holodeck. There is the usual bickering between Boimer and Mariner, with some funny digs towards the other shows.
Animal Castle will be on my Best Reads of 2023 this year, so I was excited to see a preview of Volume Two. We get a look into President Silvo’s early life, and despite him being subjugated as a young ox and enduring the death of his mother, we know he still turns into an evil tyrant himself. Will the Mama Cat find the courage to lead a revolt?
Marvel Voices pulls together snippets of stories about Ironheart, Snowguard, Ms. Marvel, Loki and Hulking & Wiccan. Ironheart’s story was the longest and most intriguing, while I was confused about Snowgueard (did the baby die?), with the other stories much too short. I think younger audiences will enjoy these stories and this will encourage them to seek out the longer stories.
As a librarian, I just had to choose The Cursed Library due to the title. Archie Horror stories amuse me, as it is a weird juxtaposition of cutsie art and scary stories, that really aren’t scary in the least. The premise of the story is that Jinx introduces each story (all the while dodging her sister Danni who is ruining her vibe) like the classic Crypt Keeper. The stories about the Archie characters are silly but will keep a young audience entranced.
Uncanny Avengers has the Avenger and X-Men teams intermingled. In the first story, someone has infiltrated the mutant island stronghold and steals the uniform of Captain Krakoa. This storyline was confusing, as it is obviously picking up story threads I have not read in previous comics. Another story has Captain America and Rogue working together to save the day. There is a reference to Deadpool at the end, and a mutant hunter is after a young girl. And lastly, a short introduction to a Doctor Strange and Wyn story.
I always pick up the Spider-Man Venom title that has a story about each. In Spider-Man’s tale, he is fighting a large gorilla with tools that seem to come from Iron Man and includes his usual snappy dialogue. Kraven and Doc Ock have teamed up, and the gorilla was just a tease of what more they have in store for Spidey. The second story was set in the 1940s and had two scientist brothers who created a robot-looking flexible creature named Flexo. Somehow it will get combined with Venom in the future, but that was only teased at, not sure how the two stories will come together in the future.
All in all, I was very happy with my choices and might follow up with future storylines based on these introductions.
Happy May the Fourth Be With You! In honor of Star Wars Day, I am sharing a piece I wrote five years ago for my blogging friend’s site, The Imperial Talker and had never posted on my site. In it, I share my thoughts on Luke Skywalker after watching the movie The Last Jedi. Despite time passing since I initially wrote this piece, my feelings remain the same…Luke was not given the ending he and the audience deserved.
“This is not going to go the way you think.” No truer words were said, and Luke Skywalker’s words proved to be prophetic as The Last Jedi unfolded.
I grew up on the original trilogy of Star Wars movies, with Luke being my first crush. Even as a child I was a practical lass, and the bad-boy swagger of Han Solo held no appeal to me. Instead, it was humble and heroic Luke who held me enthralled. Years went by; with the trilogy being the only Star Wars I knew until the late 1990s when the prequels began. While the prequels have been derided for many deserved reasons, I still felt they were authentic to the Star Wars universe. George Lucas might not write good dialogue, but his vision held true, and there were many strong moments in the prequel trilogy.
When Disney bought out Lucas’s Star Wars movie rights and announced yet another trilogy with other stand-alone movies planned, I was apprehensive but hopeful. The Force Awakens combined both the legacy characters and added some intriguing and strong new ones and I was thrilled with the new direction. It honored the past but looked toward the future, as did Rogue One. My first Star Wars movie review post on my blog about Rogue One said “If this storytelling continues, Disney will have handled the buyout of Star Wars beautifully.” It turns out I spoke too soon.
I headed into the movie with incredibly high hopes, but twenty minutes into my first viewing, I was whispering angry thoughts about the movie to my husband. By the end of the movie, I was seething. I felt it dishonored Luke’s legacy, and I was distraught.
Soon afterwards I contacted Jeff at The Imperial Talker and Michael at My Comic Relief to vent. Both men are huge Star Wars fans and I wanted to see if I was alone in my thoughts. While I certainly cannot speak as to their reactions to the movie, my conversations with them were enlightening, and I watched the movie a second time on their recommendation. Once all the surprises were gone, I could concentrate more on the movie as a whole and get a more nuanced view the second time.
Afterward, I gave myself some time to mellow, but then I struggled with writing this post. I hate to be provocative and feared a backlash from other bloggers who would vehemently disagree with me. I’m typically a go-with-the-flow person, who rarely lets people know if I’m truly upset. This post was going to make me push my boundaries, and I did some overthinking before I started to write.
But here we are, so let’s get into WHY this movie affected me so negatively. There were several smaller issues such as Leia’s use of the Force, which was visually comical, Rose’s part, which ate up time that could have been given to already established characters, Chewbacca being treated as a pet/afterthought and the Rey/Kylo scenes (don’t even get me started on the connection through time and space!). On the other hand, there were many memorable moments, one of my favorites being when Poe is schooled on long-term strategy by General Organa and Admiral Holdo. I enjoyed the overriding idea that the rebellion is for everyone and that a small spark can ignite a winning rebellion.
But that’s not what upset me the most. It was Luke, all Luke.
As Star Wars has been around since 1977, there are now several generations of fans who have come into this franchise at different times. So you have fans like me who grew up on the original, fans such as my children who watched the prequels, and now a new generation who will grow up loving the most recent set of characters. You can even argue, as my oldest son observed, that I am a “purist,” for although I have occasionally read some of the Expanded Universe (now called Legends) books, the movies are really my only touchstone to the Star Wars universe.
As such, I have always viewed Luke as the true hero of the movies. Whereas Anakin, Ben Kenobi and certainly the Jedi Council from the Prequels let pride, power or shame affect their judgment, Luke was pure. He came from a humble background, not knowing of his true parentage yet, and with little training was able to defeat Darth Vader and bring balance back to the Force.
This new movie gave us a nihilistic Luke, who years later, was filled with so much remorse and regret that he refused to leave his island where he had banished himself to wallow in misery. When the actor Mark Hamill, who has embodied Luke and will be forever connected to the role, tells Rian Johnson,” I think I fundamentally disagree with everything you’ve decided for me“ that is telling as to how Luke’s hero arc was going to play out. Now I know there has been further clarification that Hamill has shared about this quote, and he supposedly stands behind RJ’s version…but, if his first thought was unhappiness, as was mine when I first watched it, then this viewpoint cannot be discredited.
Now this is where another quote can be used to explain the movie’s direction. “Let the past die. Kill it, if you have to,” says Kylo Ren to Rey. I understand if Star Wars is to be a viable movie franchise, it needs to grow and change. Han Solo left us in The Force Awakens, and Carrie Fisher’s death meant that Leia’s arc was going to end earlier than expected. That left Luke. He was to be the torch bearer to Rey and the new Rebels. So why did his destiny need to end so ignobly?
In this role, Luke could not cope with the crushing disappointment of Kylo’s turn towards the dark side and the guilt he felt towards letting Leia and Han down. Yes, I understand that he helped the rebellion when he sent an astral projection of himself to the planet Crait and was able to distract Kylo and send his sister and the other rebels to safety. I even understand that he used his hard-won wisdom to help and wasn’t the impetuous youth who left his training with Yoda early to help Leia and Han. On one level- I get it- but I didn’t like it.
Luke’s and Kylo’s flashbacks to the night that Kylo destroyed the new Jedi Academy are what truly turned me against this version of Luke and led me to feel that he was dishonored in director Johnson’s interpretation. My Luke never would have considered killing his nephew. He put his lightsaber down in front of Darth Vader, and never gave up hope that his father still had a remnant of love left in him (Jeff’s post-Luke Skywalker: A Farewell To Arms beautifully describes this moment). A wiser and older Luke would have tried anything to prevent Kylo from joining Supreme Leader Snoke. Killing him would not have been an option. I believe the quote. “You were the chosen one!” Obi-wan Kenobi shouts at Anakin in Revenge of the Sith, which is in fact a better one to have used to describe Luke. His entire character was crucified in this movie, and he deserved better.
In real life, there are times when things go to hell. Our lives do not turn out the way we envisioned. A great success can be eroded away with failures later in life, and becoming disillusioned can be a sad reality for some. Taking all that into consideration, Luke should have gone out as a battle-worn but still dignified warrior. I wanted him to have a loving goodbye to his twin and for him to have been a mentor to Rey. This lack of a proper conclusion to Luke’s story arc was not a fitting end to the Skywalker saga.
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.
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.
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!