Star Trek Picard: Mercy

Picard and Guinan have been picked up by an FBI officer who suspects they may be more than simple denizens of the year 2024 – and that they might be plotting to sabotage the Europa mission. Can they talk their way out of this situation? Meanwhile, Seven and Raffi continue the search for Jurati, and Kore presses Soong for the truth about her origins.

Last episode was annoying because very little happened, but this episode is somehow worse – because a lot happens, but all of it feels ridiculous and largely pointless. Sure, the plot is moving forwards again, but where is it going? If Picard season two is a car, is anyone driving it, or are we just coasting towards a cliff with no-one at the wheel?

Every episode this season has hooked us into the next with some kind of dramatic cliffhanger, and last episode was no exception. In the closing scene, Picard and Guinan were picked up by the FBI on suspicion of being sophisticated aliens, and now this episode has to give us the pay-off. Which turns out to be Picard and Guinan sitting in an interview room for a while, trying to make out that the accusations against them are utterly ridiculous, and that they are totally normal denizens of 2024.

This all culminates in the pair being whisked off to separate rooms. Guinan gets a belated visit from Q, where she deduces that the loss of his powers is because the unthinkable is happening – she’s dying. In the past, we’ve seen Q killed by other Q, and of course the suicide of Quinn after he argued for the right to mortality, but this is something different. Q’s mortality seems to have crept up on him unexpectedly, and it’s unclear exactly why or how this is happening. I’m not even sure we’ll be furnished with a good explanation by the time the season concludes.

Meanwhile, Picard takes a leaf out of Sybok’s book when he manages to get to the root of the FBI’s paranoia about extraterrestrials. As a child, he encountered a Vulcan, and ever since then he’s misremembered an attempted mind meld as the alien reaching into his skull. Fortunately, Picard’s smooth talking is all it takes to erase a lifetime of trauma, and within minutes everyone is the best of friends and Picard is allowed to go on his way. What was the point of this exercise, you ask? Sadly, I cannot answer that.

What’s everyone else doing?

  • Seven and Raffi are still wandering the streets of LA, in search for Borg Queen Jurati. They do eventually find her, but it seems to be just an excuse for Jurati to beat them up while looking hot in a red dress.
  • Rios: Sorry, I can’t tell you anything about myself, as it might disrupt the timeline.
    Also Rios: Come play in my spaceship!
  • Despite having largely lost his powers, Q is still able to visit Kore in virtual reality and give her the cure to her genetic condition. Which means she can walk on Adam Soong when he starts being a jerk to her.

Other notes

  • Despite barely having had the time or opportunity to develop as a couple, Seven and Raffi have their first big fight in this episode. Raffi puts a bit too much emphasis on Seven’s status as a former Borg drone, and in turn, Seven accuses her of being manipulative.
    Is Raffi manipulative? On the surface of things, she seems pretty straightforward and direct with her emotions. I guess you could argue that she was a bit emotionally manipulative with her son when trying to wheedle her way back into his life, and the example given here is that she persuaded Elnor (who’s that again?) to stay at Starfleet Academy instead of going back home.
    I actually think this scene could have been far more powerful, and I’ll attempt to write a skeleton of a better version below.
  • The Vulcans who encountered FBI officer Wells may well have been the ones from Carbon Creek.

Seven and Raffi, Azure Flame edition

The pair looked around the alleyway, trying to decide what to do next. Raffi idly kicked at the ground, scattering gravel and loose chips of paving.

“Well, looks like technology isn’t going to help us here,” she sighed. “Still, at least I’ve got you along to help, eh, Seven?”

Seven’s brow furrowed a little. “I may be a top Fenris Ranger, Raffi, but I usually have a tricorder to hand when I head out to the frontier.”

“That’s not what I meant, Seven. You were a Borg, so start thinking like one. Get into Jurati’s head – figure out where she went.”

Seven remained silent.

“Hey, Seven, did you hear what I said? Give me a little help here – time’s running out.”

This time, Seven did not bother to hide her reaction.

“That’s all I am to you, isn’t it, Raffi? A convenient ex-Borg friend to have around when you quick access to a handful of nanoprobes. Well, in case you hadn’t noticed, in this universe I’m free of all that.” Seven gestured at her face. “Look, no implants.”

Raffi took a step back in surprise. “Whoa, where did all that come from? I’m just trying to help Jurati here. You know I’ve never cared one way or another about all that Borg stuff. Seven of Nine, Annika Hansen, it doesn’t matter to me.”

“I know,” replied Seven, her voice soft and sad. “And maybe that’s the problem.”

 

Summary – Mercy: It would be a mercy to put this series out of its misery.

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