Main spoilers for the third season of Star Trek: Picard are beneath.
Among the many many sins of the 2002 movie Star Trek Nemesis is the truth that its box-office bombing killed the still-nascent plans for a fifth and remaining The Subsequent Era outing, one that might have been designed as a finale in the identical manner that Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Nation was for the unique forged.
I’ve no cause to imagine that this movie is a few nice misplaced gem of Star Trek canon; it was being written by the identical individuals who wrote the terrible Nemesis, and it was set as much as be a form of Seek for Spock retread about reviving Information and restoring the established order. However its absence meant an absence of closure for the TNG crew—a narrative that wasn’t allowed to finish by itself phrases.
So when Patrick Stewart obtained on a stage in 2018 to announce that “Jean-Luc Picard is again,” it was thrilling! Closure ultimately. And, hopefully, a present that felt extra assured and tonally constant than Discovery had up to now.
The primary two seasons of Star Trek: Picard did not make good on that promise. They had been wildly uneven, and whereas their greatest moments virtually all the time concerned different TNG characters, the present actively resisted changing into a TNG reboot. However its third season, additionally preemptively introduced as its remaining season, would lastly reunite each member of the TNG crew for one final trip (and likewise Raffi can be there).
I nonetheless had misgivings for the primary half of the season, and criticism I stand by. Paramount despatched out screeners of the primary six episodes, and whereas these six episodes had been doing some issues I favored, Picard was nonetheless scuffling with a few of the issues it had all the time struggled with: not-quite-right characterization, an obsession with plot twists and bombast, and a give attention to Picard to the exclusion of most different characters.
However within the season’s final 4 episodes, one thing surprising occurred: the present lastly delivered on its unique promise.
It was Information and Geordi that tipped me over the sting, trying again. In each Nemesis and Picard‘s first season, we expertise Information’s loss virtually solely from Picard’s perspective. Picard was Information’s good friend, and Picard was a mentor to Information as he explored his humanity. However the season’s eighth episode lastly thought to ask how Information’s greatest good friend would have skilled his loss, relatively than specializing in how Information’s boss would have felt. LeVar Burton sells the hell out of the Geordi efficiency he lastly will get to present.
(It is also good to have Brent Spiner again in his Information mode; Spiner was in each of Picard‘s first two seasons as completely different disagreeable Soong members of the family, and the slimy register that Spiner makes use of to play these characters is simply not very enjoyable to look at.)
It is emblematic of one thing these previous few Picard episodes do properly that the flicks by no means actually discovered—each character has one thing to do. Gates McFadden is especially underutilized in each single TNG movie, however there are moments in all of them the place the non-Picard, non-Information characters are current merely to offer an additional physique in a scene or rattle off some Treknobabble. Picard continues to be first amongst equals—the present has his identify on it, in spite of everything—however as soon as all of the previous TNG characters are lastly again on the board, Stewart and Picard each really feel extra like gamers in an ensemble once more.