We’ve finally arrived at the long-awaited conclusion of Star Trek: Picard season 2. We’ve spent a great amount of time in 2024, far more time than this reviewer has felt was necessary. While many plot threads wrapped up in the previous episode, the finale has a lot of ground to cover. Let’s jump in to Star Trek: Picard – ‘Farewell’.
Star Trek: Picard‘s ‘Farewell’ takes the baton from last week’s entry, and immediately picks up on the Borg Queen’s puzzling clue of the two Renees. It’s a haunting one, indicating a death looms on the horizon. While Rios ponders the answer, Tallin and Picard share a moment of realization. The second Renee will be Tallin, disguising herself as Renee using her “supervisor” abilities. with the Europa Mission launch occurring imminently, Tallin must act quickly. With Rios, Seven tasked with stopping Dr. Soong, Picard joins Tallin on her mission. He’s determined to not let her sacrifice herself.
Tallin has neither the time nor the patience for Picard’s plea. Tallin knows what needs to be done. She rightly calls Picard out on a few fronts. She doesn’t take orders from him. She has her own set of protocols. And in this moment, she leans into one of the season’s thematic elements: Picard isn’t responsible for all the bad things that occur, including the deaths in his life. And with that, Tallin and Renee meet face to face for the first time. Renee knows something is afoot. But Tallin is able to convince Renee that she is there for her safety, and has been for her entire life.
Unbeknownst to Seven, Raffi, and Rios, Soong isn’t on his compound. He has effectively thwarted their pursuit. He’s made his way onto the NASA compound and, as a donor, has requested a moment with the Europa Mission crew. He has his meeting with Renee, and shortly after she falls ill. Dying, Tallin finds Picard and reverts back to her normal appearance. They watch the launch together, knowing that Tallin has saved Renee.
Tallin’s sacrifice worked well. She is a character I’ve come to like this season, and it has given much more for Orla Brady to work with. Her death not only serves the story, but effectively reminds Picard of much of what he needed to learn this season: that he is not always responsible for the death’s that occur. In a fitting line, she states that Picard’s guilt must have saved planets.
Soong’s failure to stop the Europa Mission launch is just the tip of the iceberg. His daughter, Kore, has an additional surprise: she has deleted all the files of research and projects for his life’s worth (except a set of paper for “Project Khan”). His legacy has ended. Kore’s, however, is just beginning. And in a surprise that still has me reeling, Kore meets Wesley Crusher and is invited to be a Traveler.
I’ll admit, I had to stop the show and restart this sequence because I was so surprised at what I was seeing. Until now, the Picard creative staff has resisted the urge to use cameo appearances. The use of legacy characters has been seldom, and when done, it has served the interest of the story, more or less.
I can’t say that about the Wesley appearance. The entire scene felt out of place, and I’m not sure it landed for me because I’m not sure what purpose the Kore character has in the larger ethos of this story. Part of this might be rooted in the fact that Soji, a character we spent an entire season exploring and learning about, was given one scene in the entire season. I think a character of that magnitude deserved a proper sendoff, and didn’t get one. This whole sequence was odd, and sadly didn’t land for me.
With the Europa Mission saved, Picard and crew have completed their mission. All the missteps appear to have been minor, as the future has been saved. But with La Sirena gone, the crew has no way home. They prepare to live their lives in the 21st Century.
Picard takes the key to the door that has haunted him his entire life, and places it back where he will one day find it as a child. A “bravo” fills the chateau, and we finally have the meeting between Picard and Q. They sit, facing each other. Q reveals what Picard already knows, that he is dying. And he is dying alone. With Picard in the last stages of his life, Q does not want the same for his dear Jean-Luc.
Q’s actions in the season opener saved Picard from his death on the Stargazer. Q interfered and created the alternate reality as a means of saving Picard, and allowing him to explore the aspects of himself that have held him back. We’ve seen Q act this way before, particularly in “Tapestry”. But so often when Q shows up for Picard, it’s because Picard must do something.
Picard is right to ask Q if something is required of him. And in this case, the task is personal, and it is done. It’s now on Picard to live out his days free from the personal loneliness that he has been held captive to.
Q’s dying act is a gift for Picard’s crew. He plans to send them home. As I and many others have predicted for several weeks, Rios decides to stay with Teresa in Los Angeles. He will not be returning to the 25th Century. Before Q snaps them away, Picard has a gift for Q. The two share a hug, with Picard saying that Q will not die alone. And with tears in his eyes, Q snaps his finger and whiteness blanks the screen.
This is a fitting end for Q, and a lovely conclusion to an odd-couple style pairing that dates back to The Next Generation’s first episode. We don’t know why Q is dying. I’m not sure we need to. I’m a believer that not every question needs an answer. Q answered why he undertook the actions he did in this season. It was all about his care for Picard, and what he wanted Picard to learn before he dies. In the end, after all the shenanigans that Q has been a part of, he too shows his true nature.
Back to the Future
At long last, Star Trek: Picard is back in space. We are in space. We are in the 25th Century. The road back has concluded, and Picard, Seven, and Raffi are now back on board the Stargazer. Picard cancels the auto-destruct and reaches an agreement with the Borg Queen, who we now know is Jurati. The Borg have arrived and need the assistance of the fleet to stop an anomaly that has the capability to destroy much of the surrounding sector. Picard gives Seven a field commission to captain the Stargazer, and the fleet assists as requested. Oh, and Elnor is alive and well on the Excelsior.
Picard and his crew are deserving of a drink. Picard, Raffi, Seven, and Elnor arrive at Ten Forward to celebrate with Guinan. She tells the tale of Rios and Teresa, and all they accomplished. Rios apparently died with cigar in their mouth. The former La Sirena and Stargazer captain is nothing if not consistent.
Picard leaves his crew and heads home to his chateau. There, Laris is preparing to leave. Picard asks for a second chance, now that he has appropriately dealt with his past. The two share a moment, and the season concludes.
All in all, I thought the finale was successful, and I had fears going into it that it wouldn’t be. The season started strong and had a focused approach on where it was going. But the second half of the season seemed to meander, and often felt like it was being weighed down by the number of episodes it needed to stretch the story into.
In the end, though, the Star Trek: Picard – ‘Farewell’ leaned into the emotional aspects of this story rescued an uneven end to the season. I don’t think all of the time travel components worked well, and I ultimately think several of the characters were under-utilised in the long run of the season (Rios and Raffi, in particular). But I can’t help appreciating what the season did for Picard as a character.
I’m not sure that this story was necessary for exploring the parts of Picard that it did, but in the end, I’m grateful for the added elements to his character. He’s our hero, and even heroes have guarded aspects of their life that hold them back. I’m glad we went through this with Picard. I want my hero to be the best version of himself that he can be, and I think at the end of this journey, he’s that person.
I would be remiss to end this without calling attention to the multiple news reports of Isa Briones, Evan Evagora, Alison Pill, and Santiago Cabrera departing the show. The season made it clear several episodes ago that we were likely witnessing the end for Rios and Jurati. I had hoped that Elnor and Soji would still be around in some capacity, particularly since Soji received next to no story in this season. I’d like to applaud them on their work and contributions to the show, and their presence will be missed. They helped shape what this show is.
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