We’re halfway through Star Trek: Picard Season 3! The fifth episode of the third season is titled “Imposters” and deals with the consequences of the Changelings infiltrating Starfleet. As such, paranoia and deception are growing among Admiral Picard and the crew. Also, we’ve got the return of someone who was rather close to Jean-Luc for a time!
The episode starts with Jack Crusher in a Starfleet uniform on the bridge, killing everyone and infecting people with red branches. This turns into a dream, but when he wakes up he has a phaser and his eyes turn red? Last week with Jack’s visions, the subtitles labelled the voices as “Borg Queen”. This week, the voices sounded the same but are labelled as “Beverely” so what this might mean we still don’t know.
He does later in the episode have to wear a uniform to hide in plain site. While doing this, he sees a hallucination while some crew members are beaming over to the intrepid. Considering the changeling was a transporter tech, he could have infected the transporter system to maybe make more changeling human hybrids perhaps?
Jack later in the episode even activates his “red door” hallucinations to take out a whole changeling squad. So it does seem handy in this situation.
Personally with the Borg Queen subtitle from last week, it might have something to do with Locutus. It was made up massively last week that Locutus was the most deadly Borg ever. Could this be Jack somewhat activating his latent Locutus nano-probes he gained from Picard, when he was conceived?
Changeling’s New Goo
Starfleet has imaging personnel before reporting for orders since the dominion war to account for Changelings. It is nice that the impacts of the Dominion War are still being felt. Since we first saw the Changeling goo effect, people have been wondering if it is just updated VFX or something new. It seems this episode confirms it is something new. We learn they can now bypass blood tests and other Starfleet anti-changeling security systems.
An amazing scene of this episode is Dr Ohk and Dr Crusher doing an Autopsy of the changeling body. For some reason it retained the body of La Forge upon death instead of reverting to liquid form.
I have to say, I could watch an entire episode of Beverly doing doctor stuff. She removes some of the Changelings organs, which look like organs but do revert to changeling biomass under intense dissection. She believes it is evolution, and now it is even harder to find who is a changeling or not. I wouldn’t be suprised if it is genetic manipulation. Considering the Vorta and Jem’Hader are genetically modified.
Worf and Raffi
After a reprieve last week, we return to Raffi and Worf, who are training on the La Sirena. We learn that even though Worf is a “Sub-Contractor” he also has a handler within Starfleet intelligence. We later learn this is Ro Laren. The duo get denied official access to investigate Daystrom, and are told to find their own unofficial way to Daystrom.
Following on from this training, we see them actually fight. Raffi eventually defeats Worf, but we know this isn’t the case. All the trailers show other scenes with Worf, so this impact doesn’t work as well, if you have watched the trailers. It does turn out to be a ruse, to get an upper hand on their enemies.
Vulcan Crime Boss?
Talking of their enemy, their next lead is Krinn, and he turns out to be a Vulcan crime boss. It is very fascinating to see a Vulcan crime boss, someone who still uses logic. Though his logic may be slightly flawed. We have seen different Vulcans before. Sybok is a prime example. In Star Trek: Strange New Worlds we see Vulcan’s who have turned away from Vulcan society. They are put into rehabilitation centers by the Ankeshtan K’til, which includes T’Pring. We’ve even seen Vulcan terrorists with the Logic Extremists.
The spy duo manages to capture Krinn. Krinn gives Worf and Raffi a device which allows them to sneak onto Daystrom, and is presumably their next destination. Finally we will leave M’talas Prime after so long on the planet.
We get a look at Daystrom station, which essentially is a kitbash in design. It is just Jupiter station with two MIDAS arrays attached to it end. We have seen this station in trailers with the USS Titan there, which is how the Worf and Raffi plot will connect with the Picard plot.
Daystrom is protected by an AI System. This is weird that they are using AI systems, knowing how Control turned out in Discovery. Hopefully they have more protections in place. It could even be an AI from the ones we see in Storage from Star Trek: Lower Decks. We even see the room which from the “end-of-act-one” trailer, which had B4 and Lores body in storage. However in this room we see their containers are empty, which is interesting. This is probably to hide Lore and B4 from the viewer Lore, but doesn’t work if you’ve already shown them in a trailer.
New USS Intrepid
A new starship designed by Bill Krause, appears in this episode. It is a Duderstadt class starship called the USS Intrepid. It is a very unique design with an underslung secondary hull. I can’t wait to see more of the design!
It does seem to be the most changeling infested ship compared to the Titan, possibly because it is the ship sent to deal with the Titan and retrieve Jack Crusher, with perhaps Vadic informing the other changelings. So of course they would load the Intrepid with as many changelings as they could.
The security officer of the Intrepid is Ro Laren! She seems to have finally returned to Starfleet after her Marquis stint in The Next Generation. Picard seems very angry for Ro having betrayed him and joined the Marquis, and the scenes between Ro and Picard are some of the best this episode has to offer.
A Large element of this is whether Ro is who she says she is, or whether she might be a Changeling. She cuts herself but as we know, the changelings do now have that ability to mimic blood. Picard brings up a good point that Ro isn’t wearing her earring, and whether this is her turning away from another institution, but later on we do find out she just uses her earring for other purposes.
They ask how she managed to escape prison after serving in the marquis, and it seems that that particular story is being told in the brand new comic series “Star Trek: Defiant” which had foreknowledge about Star Trek: Picard. So if you want to know more about Ro’s story from Marquis to Starfleet, read that comic.
Though if you don’t want to read that comic, she does give a good enough answer her, that she turned herself into Starfleet before the Marquis were wiped out by the Dominion, and she was recruited out of prison by starfleet intelligence for her knowledge of terrorist groups.
Back to Ten Forward
Another return to Ten Forward in this episode, and I do hope we don’t see Ten Forward again for a little while, it does get quite stale when we have basically seen in in every episode. From Flashbacks, the real thing and the Holodeck.
This time it is on the Holodeck again as Ro and Picard go in to hash it out and confirm each other’s identity. We get a standoff between Picard and Ro and they are not only in conflict in the present, but also in the past from The Next Generation, and Ro betraying Picard.
This is a smart move from Ro, using this emotional pretence to figure out that Picard is not a changeling. However it is also good that these two are reconciling for what divided them in the past.
Ro is used in this episode to tell us the audience how infected Starfleet is by this changeling infiltration. We learn of other ships that have had changeling issues but these have been silenced by Starfleet.
A Fighting Chance
Ro’s security team was compromised, and they put a transporter inhibitor on her shuttle and a bomb. Instead of evacuating the shuttle, she decides to sacrifice herself and fly her exploding shuttle into the Intrepid’s port nacelle. Giving the Titan a fighting chance to escape and run from the conspiracy that is now claiming her life.
It is very confident and strong of this episode to bring back a character like Ro Laren, a fan favorite, and kill her off in order to service this conspiracy. We’ll have to see how fan reaction is to this, but I think it works really well. I am sure some people will be upset about this, but it does raise the stakes by having a character we know die from this conspiracy.
She had given Picard her Bajoran earring, which Riker knows is where she was keeping her entire changeling investigation files. It includes all the ship incident reports, suspected changelings, the personnel files of Sneed and his accomplices, the attack on the recruitment centre. There is even a report from the Fenris Rangers, probably connecting the “Shrike” which seven said was reported by the Rangers.
Even everyone in the starfleet chain of command that has probably been infiltrated and replaced. Finally, we get a communication between Worf and Picard and Riker. I guess through Worf, they will both learn that they need to head to Daystrom, and that is where we will be heading next week.
The crux of this episode was the interactions between Ro and Picard. These are two characters who had this relationship in The Next Generation and it ended with betrayal. We see that from the get go with Picard being very angry towards Ro, and Patrick Stewart sells this very well. Michelle Forbes reprises her role as Ro, and as we get onto the holodeck and into the more emotionally charged elements of the episode, she really places herself in the shoes of Ro and brings out that emotion.
Shaw is a very interesting character this episode, being very chippy and happy that this whole ordeal is finally over, and then being roped back into having to be public enemy number one against the entirety of Starfleet. He just wanted to get back to his normal life, and has been dragged unwillingly into the wild adventures of Picard. He makes a lot of references to the events of the movies and All good Things.
All in all, this was the midpoint of the season, and it is very much heating up. It seems we are heading to Daystrom station, but what will both our crews find there, and who will Starfleet be sending after them next!
Star Trek: Picard Season 3 airs on Paramount+ in the United States and on CTV Sci-Fi Channel and Crave in Canada. However, the series will be available on Amazon’s Prime Video service for most international locations in the following days. For coverage of all things Star Trek: Picard Season 3, follow Trek Central!
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