Star Trek: Picard — Episode 2, Penance Review

Not A Lesson It’s A Penance

The Borg Queen, Annie Wersching (“Bosch (TV)”, “Runaways (TV)”), attempts to takeover The Stargazer with her tentacles but Jean-Luc Picard, Patrick Stewart (“ Logan “, “Green Room”), sets the self destruct on the ship.

However, he never experiences the explosion, no-one does, instead he finds himself at home with an old friend, or should that be enemy, Q, John de Lancie (“Manipulated”, “When the Train Stops (Short)”).

Q is still talking about putting humanity, in particular Picard, on trial. This Earth that he seems to have brought Picard to has a type of force-field around it, just about keeping it alive, monitoring pollution etc.

Q takes Picard to a few rooms in his home; one is filled with servants who look worried when he enters, another is filled with weapons and skulls on plinths, these are the enemies this realities Picard has slain.

Q, as usual, offers Picard some options, he can either stay in this reality, one he knows Picard hates, or he has a chance at redemption, perhaps even forgiveness. But Picard is sick of Q’s games and will not play along, so Q vanishes, leaving Picard in this hateful reality.

He tries to learn who this Picard is and watches a video of himself. He is a General in the Confederation, a former Captain of the CSS World Razor, who talks about conquering worlds and slaying enemies.

His android butler tells him to get ready, he’s due at the President’s residence for Eradication Day. We switch to the President’s Palace to see the President, it’s Seven of Nine, Jeri Ryan (“ Devil’s Revenge “, “Bosch (TV)”). She too remembers being on The Stargazer and isn’t sure where, or who, she is now.

She doesn’t have any enhancements, but she does have a husband, Jon Jon Briones (“Ratched (TV)”, “American Horror Story (TV)”). She manages to reach Cristóbal Rios’, Santiago Cabrera (“Big Little Lies (TV)”, “The Flight Attendant (TV)”), who is in the middle of a battle with the Vulcan’s, she orders him home.

Dr. Agnes Jurati, Alison Pill (“Them (TV)”, “ Devs (TV) “), meanwhile is down in the basement of the Palace and has a prisoner on ice, the special guest of Eradication Day, the Borg Queen.

Elnor, Evan Evagora (“Fantasy Island”, “Home and Away (TV)”), meanwhile, him being a Romulan and all, is on the run, chased by the Confederation, but is saved by the Chief, which turns out to be Raffi Musiker, Michelle Hurd (“Blindspot (TV)”, “Hawaii Five-0 (TV)”).

They all meet-up in Jurati’s little basement where the Borg Queen informs them that time has been broken and they must find ‘the watcher’, someone who helped Q break time. Picard remembers that Kirk time travelled a few times in the Enterprise, but they’ll need the Borg Queen’s help to make it happen.

A great second episode of Picard though I imagine some will hate it too. It’s an obvious take on the current divisive politics we see in many countries, populating hate and intolerance, made even more obvious by renaming the Federation to the Confederation and all the history that goes with that name in the US.

It’s great to see Stewart switch between roles though, he does it so well and with such ease. From being the thoughtful Picard to the tough, harsh and mean Picard the switch is effortless and he can play both so well that he suits either.

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