HomeSerious Star Trek PodcastSTP S3 E9: Nothing Else Matters

STP S3 E9: Nothing Else Matters

This week on Star Trek: Picard we learned… nothing in the previous eight episodes mattered!
The Changelings didn’t matter. Vlasic didn’t matter. Section 31 torturing Changelings didn’t matter. Vlasic’s weird henchmen didn’t matter.  The stuff on the cyberpunk planet didn’t matter. The strife between Riker and Troi didn’t matter. Killing T’Veen didn’t matter. Shaw didn’t matter. Killing Ro didn’t matter.  The entirety of Season 2 didn’t matter.  The vast majority of Season 1 didn’t matter.  First Contact didn’t matter.  Voyager didn’t matter.  The Enterprise-E didn’t even matter! 
Here we are, in the 9th episode of the last season of Star Trek: Picard and they introduce a brand new problem with a brand new villain (new to the story, not new to us, of course), for which we have one episode – repeat: one episode – to solve.  Pacing and editing has been a giant issue this season (also all three seasons), but I can’t think of a better way to demonstrate this issue than to just let this sink in.  One episode to introduce the obstacle.  One episode to surmount the obstacle.  Out of 10. 
Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of this episode that I enjoyed on its own.  Jack pronounced Raritan correctly (unlike ESPN).  Add the Picard-Borg DNA into the transporters was a really clever twist that explains a lot – credit where credit’s due.  The Enterprise-D looked correct (unlike Season 1), and the lighting gradually got brighter.  The joke about the carpet was funny because seriously put a damn carpet down, NuTrek. “Obviously we can’t use the Enterprise-E…” “That was not my fault!” was funny.  “This is what I miss most” was heartfelt.  Admiral Shelby was a good addition.  Although they killed her right away, which was bad.  Shaw dying was good.  The performative tears of the Shaw Cult has been fun to watch.  He’s a bad captain, folks.  He’s a bigot and a coward and just because the actor does a good job portraying him doesn’t mean the character’s a hero.  The only good command decision he made during this entire show was with his last breath he made Seven captain.  Remember when they said the Borg were Borgifying everyone under 25 and Shaw spent the next 3 minutes calling out all their names? LOL.  Seriously, he was a bad captain, and sadly, it makes perfect sense that so many people latched on to him in this day and age of celebrating mediocrity. 
But I digress…
What year is it?  The promo material all told us it was 2404.  The showrunner says it’s 2401.  The TITAN t-shirts say it’s 2402.  “No one has seen the Borg in a decade”?  So it’s now 2411?  That would make sense if Frontier Day is 250 year anniversary of Starfleet (2161).  But then they changed it to the 250 year celebration of the NX-01, making it 2401 again.  Anyway, this is all bad.
Who cares about Jack Crusher?  He wasn’t an interesting character when everyone thought he was a Changeling and he’s certainly not an interesting character now that he’s supposed to be the Borg Jesus.  In fact, if anything, if makes him even more uninteresting because his story isn’t even his story anymore, it’s just been a side-tangent of Jean-Luc’s story all along.  Speaking of Jean-Luc, his robot brain must have been malfunctioning when he brought two armed guards to subdue Jack Luke, who immediately just possessed them and make them part of his getaway.  What a stupid moron.  To be fair, Beverly just randomly comes up with the theory that Jack Luke has organic Borg tech in him and everyone goes along with it as if it’s true, so I get why he would want to run away.  I’m so glad there’s “protocol” on how to deal with Borg-Human hybrids. 
Let’s talk about how mind-numbingly idiotic the Fleet Formation thing is, and let’s do it without reminding everyone they literally just did the same storyline in Prodigy like a month ago.  Spoiler: it didn’t turn out great in that show, either.  I did appreciate Picard saying out loud it’s ironic that Shelby has turned the fleet into a Borg Collective, but still, did nobody watch “The Ultimate Computer” or nuBSG?  Or, hell, The Terminator?  In no way does it make sense for Starfleet to “network” their ships.  I appreciate Geordi being the voice of reason, but Starfleet deserves its demise if nobody else objected to this nonsense.  Luckily the Titan only had a skeleton crew, or else I don’t know if the Geriatric Generation cast would have survived! 
This season has been very frustrating.  On one hand there’s a lot to like!  The characters feel better, the situations—and more importantly, the resolutions!—are more Star Trek.  The brow-beating with the score is a bit much.  And the constant unending antagonism from Matalas and Blass on twitter has been unprofessional, at best. The ships are better—well, the background ships they took from Star Trek Online, anyway.  The pacing is terrible.  The story jerks around from one scene to the next, often leaving the audience with unresolved questions they have to hang on to for a whole week or more.  Jack Crusher is a terrible character, which is unfortunate since he’s the crux of the whole plot.  And I do appreciate that Patrick Stewart only came back to Star Trek with the condition that there would be no Borg and now the Borg are a central part of all three seasons – lol.  He also came back with the condition that he wouldn’t just be “Captain Picard” again, and here we are ending episode 9 with him on the bridge of the Enterprise-D saying “Engage!”  Nobody cares what you think, Patrick Stewart, just play the character, kthxby.
There’s still one episode left.  One episode to resolve the Borg for once and for all! Yay!! The Destiny series of books did a great job resolving the Borg storyline, but I’m not holding my breath for anything that good.  So sure, did we waste eight episodes on meaningless misdirection and literal red herrings?  Yes.  Can you just watch Episode 9 and mostly understand what’s going on?  Yes.  Is this terrible pacing and producing?  Yes.  But, hey, you never know.  Maybe by the end of Episode 10, we will all finally understand why there has been multiple suspiciously conspicuous public relations campaigns gaslighting us into believing this is the greatest Star Trek produced in 30 years and Terry Matalas is the next Gene Roddenberry.  
As my friend Spock is fond of saying: there are always possibilities… 
Except for Shaw, he’s dead lol



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