Monday, March 30, 2020

Star Trek: Picard -- Season 1 Episode 7 (Nepenthe)

One thing that bothered me about transporters in Star Trek was that the operator always knew who to beam up.  Riker would call to beam up three people out of a room full of people and they would always beam up the correct three people.  This was probably done for the sake of the narrative.  It would get tedious to have to name everyone that was leaving.

This is why I find it odd that when Picard and Soji visit Nepenthe, they’re put down in the back yard of the people they’re visiting.  They could easily have found themselves on the opposite side of the planet, given how far they were traveling.  It’s amazing that they weren’t transported to a spot a mile above the planet.  Still, I guess we need to consider the narrative.

Speaking of the narrative, who is it that Picard and Soji are visiting?  William Riker and Deanna Troi, of course, as promised in the series trailer.  I supposed Picard could have taken Soji anywhere, but it’s nice to see Riker and Troi again.  It’s especially nice to see that they’re still a happy couple, despite a tragedy.

Meanwhile, Hugh and Elnor fight the Romulans on the Borg cube.  Things don’t end well for Hugh, which is a shame.  Elnor is a great fighter and is an interesting character.  It has become increasingly obvious that he’s in over his head.  I’m assuming that he’s never been outside the sisterhood’s compound.  He would appear to be a fast learner, though.

On La Sirena, Jurati has to come to terms with the fact that she’s the mole.  In fact, we get to see the rest of her conversation with Commodore Oh.  It looks like there’s more than either character was letting on.  Her only option seems to be to inject herself with a compound.  It’s not clear if this is meant as suicide or not, but it does seem to disrupt the tracking capabilities of a homing device Jurati was made to swallow.  (At least it was chewable.)

Picard doesn’t seem to be the diplomat he once was.  Maybe it’s the irumodic syndrome talking.  I don’t know, but he answers Soji’s concerns with sarcasm and he’s rightfully rebuked.  Troi and Riker call him on it, but it’s not the first time he’s done something like this.

Soji is very suspicious of everyone now.  She’s been betrayed by the one person she trusted the most and wonders if all of this is another act.  It’s entirely reasonable of her.  (On a side note, Troi can’t sense Soji.  Troi could sense Data with his emotion chip, but Soji is different.  Exactly what those differences are remains to be seen.)

We get a few of the obligatory throwbacks, like a mention of Picard’s artificial heart.  There’s also a mention of a Tyken’s rift and Kestra, from Night Terrors and Dark Page, respectively.  I’m not sure if multiple references in each episode was intended, but it’s not unwelcome.  It doesn’t set this up as an eighth season of The Next Generation, but it does allow for some nice continuity.  I’m curious to see what the subsequent episodes bring.


1 comment :

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