‘Star Trek: Picard’ Recap: Season 3 Premiere, Next Generation Reunion
Jean-Luc Picard is itching for a new adventure as the final season of Star Trek: Picard opens — and he’s reconnecting with some old friends along the way.
Thursday’s Season 3 premiere kicks off with Jean-Luc’s former Next Generation flame Beverly Crusher floating through space in a tiny ship when she senses trouble: “They’ve found us.” She grabs a rifle as a pair of masked bad guys board her ship, and a firefight ensues. Crusher manages to take them out, but she is wounded — and who’s that guy trapped in an airlock and screaming? Beverly sends a message to Jean-Luc just as more enemy ships arrive. Back at his chateau, Jean-Luc is packing up to join Laris as she starts a new job, but “I want a new adventure,” he confesses. And he gets one when he receives an alert from his old communicator badge. It’s the message from Beverly, asking him for help but warning him, “No Starfleet… trust no one.”
Jean-Luc hasn’t spoken with Beverly in twenty years after she abruptly cut everyone off, he tells Laris. (“You even tried to be lovers, didn’t you?” she asks. His reply: “‘Tried’ is the operative word.”) She realizes he needs to go, and soon enough, Jean-Luc is meeting his old first officer Will Riker at a bar and briefing him on the Beverly situation. (Riker admits Troi and his daughter wouldn’t mind some time away from him.) They decode the coordinates Beverly sent and determine she’s in the Ryton system, at the edge of Federation space. They’ll need a ship, and Riker knows where to get one: “Aren’t we a little overdue for a good old-fashioned road trip?” But hey, did you spot that shifty guy eyeing them at the bar?
Riker takes Jean-Luc to visit his old ship the Titan — and Seven of Nine is the ship’s new first officer! She goes by her human name Annika Hansen here, though, and she seems a bit muted, doesn’t she? (Plus, did we see that shifty guy again in the crew lineup?) The ship’s pilot has a familiar name, too: Sidney La Forge, Geordi’s daughter, who earned the unfortunate nickname “Crash” at the academy. Jean-Luc and Riker meet the ship’s captain Shaw for dinner, but they don’t exactly get a warm greeting: Shaw turns up his nose at wine from Jean-Luc’s chateau and doesn’t share Riker’s taste for jazz. He’s a strict rules and structure guy, and when Jean-Luc and Riker try to get him to make a stop at the Ryton system, he turns them down flat: “No.” He’s not interested in going on any “wildly exciting and equally irresponsible adventures” and insults Seven before rudely walking out on them. Alrighty, then.
Jean-Luc and Riker are reduced to sleeping in bunk beds — ha! — but Seven wakes them up, demanding to know what they’re really after. They tell her about Beverly’s distress call, and she reveals she changed the ship’s course overnight to take them to the Ryton system. Jean-Luc and Riker fly off in a shuttle just before Shaw wakes up and locks the ship down, barking at Seven: “You just loyalty-ed your way to the end of a career.” Jean-Luc and Riker arrive at Beverly’s ship, which is badly damaged, though they read two lifeforms still onboard. The music playing on the ship is from an old mixtape Jean-Luc made for Beverly (!!), and they find her recuperating in some kind of medical tank.
Riker is taken hostage, though, by the other passenger: a young man who angrily says he and Beverly don’t need their help. They overpower him and ask him who he is. “Her son,” the young man replies. (Whoa… and he does have a distinctive British accent, we might add.) But before any more questions can be asked, their ship rumbles as the enemy approaches. Their warp is too damaged to get away, and Beverly’s son blames them for leading the enemy right to them as we see a terrifying warship with huge pincers looming over them. Uh-oh.
Elsewhere in “The Next Generation”: Raffi is now a Starfleet intelligence officer, working undercover with a mysterious handler and gathering intel about dangerous experimental weapons that were just stolen. She got a tip about “the Red Lady” and traced it to a statue being dedicated on Frontier Day — but she could only watch in horror as a Starfleet recruitment center was leveled to rubble, with a portal opening up and raining the rubble down on the city below. Who’s behind this horrific act? And who is Raffi’s mystery handler, hmmm?
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