Star Trek Picard Episode 2 – Review

Star Trek Picard Episode 2 “Maps and Legends” has now been released. Following off of last week’s hype fest, the excitement for this is strong as the episode itself. As a warning, this review will contain SPOILERS for Star Trek: Picard.

SPOILERS ahead!

Diving right in, the episode gives us more of an insight into the Attack on Mars. This pivotal event has been spoken about so much, but we’ve barely had any detail of it. Here we can see that Bruce Maddox’s dream of androids working for Starfleet came true. The F8 synthetics seem like slaves, just doing work while being partially insulted at the same time.

No wonder they ultimately turned on their creators. How they did this still remains a mystery, though the episodes VFX imply a hack of some sort. This opening shot finally gives us some new Star Trek starships to gush about for a few hours.

Starfleet’s Synthetic Workforce (CBS All Access)

Jean-Luc Picard is hot on his mission of finding what really happened to Dahj, his tea-drinking android. Former Tal-Shiar agents, Laris and Zhaban, let him in on the myth of the Zhat Vash. It appears that the secret police of the Romulan Star Empire isn’t actually the real threat. Instead, this old order of “Zhat Vash” keeps the secrets like the dead and ensures things stay quiet and contained.

Through some detective work by Laris, who is apparently an Irish Romulan. “Those cheeky feckers“, seriously, Irish Romulans is what I live for now. It’s an odd choice to make the Romulans housekeepers, who live in France, suddenly Irish. Maybe it’s to help them blend in? I’m not sure, but with the way it’s cool.

It’s revealed that Jean-Luc Picard is medically fit, apart from a condition he has. His doctor, who is an old friend, implies that he might be suffering from some sort of syndrome. The type is not confirmed yet, but viewers of The Next Generation should make the link straight away.

The Romulan Reclamation Site (CBS All Access)

The Borg

It’s revealed that the Borg Cube, occupied by Romulans, is severed from the Borg Collective. Mosty likely this is a good sign, as you wouldn’t want a few extra cubes dropping in to reclaim there tech. Interestingly, Soji refers to the Cube as “The artifact”.

Harry Treadaway continues to do a fantastic job of building the character of Narek. This man is very mysterious, operating in the shadows yet knows everything about someone before they introduce themselves. Though when one is apart of a secret police order of badass Romulans, you probably learn these things. While Narek has been tasked with securing or assessing Soji, he is going about it in an odd way.

I can’t imagine why the Romulans are assisting the Borg here. With all we know about the species and civilization from Star Trek: The Next Generation, they’re not the type to drop by and lend a hand. Though, the reason for this is slightly revealed by Soji. It appears that the Romulan Free state is making a profit off of salvaging the Borg Cube technology.

While watching this Star Trek Picard Episode 2, I was honestly expecting Hugh to drop in. His upcoming return to Star Trek is something I am looking forward to, simply due to the evolution of his character. Next week I can imagine we might see him and i bet he is on this Borg Cube.

Ann Magnuson as Starfleet Commander-in-Chief, Admiral Kirsten Clancy (CBS All Access)

The Federation & Starfleet

Actress Ann Magnuson stars as Starfleet Admiral Clancy in Star Trek: Picard Episode 2. A character she described as “Margaret Thatcher in space”. Trailers for the season suggested that this Admiral might not be the friendliest character.

The conversation between the Admiral and Picard is a unique one. We’ve seen many Admirals be uptight in Star Trek’s history, but Admiral Clancy is another type. What surprises me here is the change in the Federations attitude towards not only Jean-Luc but Romulans as well.

Now it’s also revealed to us how the Federation has changed since we last saw the great organization. The new character of Commodore Oh, suggests that some sort of conspiracy or plot is taking place deep in Starfleet. Whatever this is, you can bet that Jean-Luc Picard will solve it eventually.

I was thinking, that with the Attack on Mars, it would make perfect sense to have an order like the Zhat Vash around. This is a group of people who hate synthetic life to a high degree. Therefore they would stop a future synth attack before it most likely happened. Still, it is unclear what exactly is going on within the Federation and Starfleet.

The Old Guard

Our first in-universe mentions of William Riker, La-Forge and Worf appear. Zhaban suggests to Picard that he recruit his former crew to help him on his mission. We know that Riker will at least appear in Star Trek: Picard Episodes at a later date, but from what we know, I doubt he’ll be putting on his uniform again.

When Picard meets Raffi at her shack in the middle of nowhere, it’s obvious the relationship has changed. Star Trek: Picard – Countdown led us to believe that Raffi and Jan-Luc’s relationship was very friendly, yet here it seems soured. As a viewer, I find myself wanting to know more about the past and future once again.

The dynamic of Picard being pushed out and forced to put together his own crew is showing. I think over the next few episodes we will see Jean-Luc gather his ship and the crew for it. Raffi is a central part of that and it looks like next week with introducing Chris Rios.

Jean-Luc Picard beams into Starfleet Headquarters, San Francisco (CBS All Access)

Conclusion

Overall Star Trek: Picard – Episode 2 does a fantastic job of world-building. It successfully adds more detail and much-needed information to what we were introduced to with Episode One. The Attack on Mars event is explored more, giving us the detail we needed and it’s clear now why Synthetics were banned by the Federation.

The connective tissue to the past is fantastic, especially with Picard and his doctor friend having served on the USS Stargazer together. Honestly, my favorite part of this episode would be Orla Brady as Laris. Irish Romulans, I just want more of them. Laris and Zhaban have easily become two of my favorite characters in the show so far.

I’m intrigued to see where Episode 3 of Picard will take us. Meeting the new cast will be fantastic, but I’m anxious to revisit the legends of the past. Based on materials released and our own reading, it looks as if Hugh will appear next week. Seven of Nine is yet to appear and I’m honestly excited to see her more than anything. Especially to see how much she has changed since her days aboard Voyager.


You can read our review of Star Trek: Picard, Episode One, right here. Brand new episodes of Picard stream weekly on CBS All Access, Crave and Amazon Prime Video.