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REVIEW: Star Trek: Picard: “The Bounty”

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We are now over halfway through the third and final season of Star Trek Picard! But are the cracks finally starting to show? This week we will take a look at “The Bounty”! This was an intermission episode between two plot elements that moves the story forward. However, it gave us some excellent character moments.

This week’s episode had some incredible highs and some incredible lows. The main focus of this episode was children and legacy, and what parents pass on. Not simply the good things, but the flaws as well. Which somewhat perfectly sums up my feelings on this episode. It is not perfect, but it is good!

SPOILER WARNING, this is our full in-depth review of Star Trek: Picard Season 3 Episode 6! As such, you have been warned! Turn away now if you don’t want spoilers!

Jack & Picard

At the beginning of the episode, we find out Beverly (Gates McFadden) has done some tests on Jack (Ed Speleers). This is after he confessed to having hallucinations and nightmares. She finds out that he has Irumodic syndrome, and I guess she doesn’t dig any deeper after finding this out. Irumodic Syndrome definitely doesn’t make your eyes go red and make you capable of killing 4 changelings with ease. It is a little frustrating, but it makes sense and gives us some powerful character moments.

Picard (Sir Patrick Stewart) finds Jack in Ten Forward on the Holodeck. This is another use to reuse this set, where Jack is essentially wallowing in self Pity. You get the start of the Jack and Picard character moments here. Jack even says stuff like “My mother tried to protect me from you, but perhaps I was doomed from the beginning” which is extremely harsh.

However harsh this is, it gets resolution at least in this very episode. Jack comes to Picard later and talks about the good qualities he gets from his mother, and the good qualities he gets from his father. This inter-episode resolution works extremely well, and I am loving the interaction between this father-son duo.

Patrick Stewart as Picard and Ed Speleers as Jack Crusher in “The Bounty” Episode 306, Star Trek: Picard on Paramount+. Photo Credit: Trae Patton/Paramount+. ©2021 Viacom, International Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The LaForges

This becomes a common theme in the episode, something which even Picard talks to Geordi (Levar Burton) about. When raising kids, you try and impart the best of yourself in them, but you also pass along flaws as well. The Irumodic syndrome is just a tool in this episode to solidify that. But with Sidney (Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut) and Geordi, it is shown more so with their stubbornness.

Talking of Geordi and Sidney, their relationship in this episode was so well done. How they do love one another but have a strained relationship because of their choices. It was also nice to see them reconnect. Sidney explains that she crashed so many speeders just to get some time to work on them with her dad.

Le Var Burton as Geordi La Forge and Mica Burton as Ensign Alandra La Forge in “The Bounty” Episode 306, Star Trek: Picard on Paramount+. Photo Credit: Trae Patton/Paramount+. ©2021 Viacom, International Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Worf & Riker

Worf (Michael Dorn) and Raffi (Michelle Hurd) meet up with the Titan, though this leaves me to wonder a few things. Did they come here on the La Sirena or some other way? They beam aboard the Titan and then brief them on the Daystrom Heist, and then the Titan just heads to Daystrom… So did they just leave La Sirena orbiting a sun? A very interesting choice. They could have had the Titan head to M’talas Prime. Parked the La Sirena somewhere else. So I guess if it just maintains a stationary orbit, it should be fine?

A main conflict in this episode, which is in the background, is Worf and Riker’s (Jonathan Frakes) dynamic. Riker tries poking fun at Worf, but now that Worf is very Zen, these just don’t work. They seem to argue a little, so I wonder if that will be a point for just this episode, or will continue to be an element in later episodes.

Michelle Hurd as Raffi Musiker, Jonathan Frakes as Will Riker and Michael Dorn as Worf in “The Bounty” Episode 306, Star Trek: Picard on Paramount+. Photo Credit: Trae Patton/Paramount+. ©2021 Viacom, International Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Daystrom Station

Seeing Daystrom station is both amazing and also somewhat weird. The station consists of a Jupiter Station-style space station, with some Y Class Freighter Containers strapped to it, and two MIDAS arrays on the end. It is a very kitbash structure but kitbashed in a way that makes sense in this universe.

The fact that the Titan can warp into the system straight away, without really tripping alarms, and just hide behind a moon is somewhat only there because the plot deems it to be. The most secure starbase with all of Section 31’s secret doomsday weapons, and you can just hide behind a moon.

They do get spotted, but whether this is from being pursued or from warping into the system, or from the interconnected ship systems, I am not sure.

Daystrom Station – Star Trek: Picard (Via Paramount+)

Echelon Class

I will say, I did not expect the Echelon Class starships, the two-nacelle version of the Sagan class, to be quite so intimidating. The Sagan class makes me think of an Engineering vessel, whilst the Echelon class, by just having 2 fewer nacelles now makes me think of an interceptor.

We do get a cool little bit of tech saying that they have traceable payloads, which when hit by an enemy ship, allow them to be tracked. However, it seems like there is some disconnect between the scripts and the VFX for this shot, as well as previous episodes, such as when Riker shouts “Fire everything we’ve got” and the titan only fires 3 photon torpedoes.

The Echelon is said to have these traceable payloads, and payload to me suggests torpedoes. But then they just fire phasers at the Titan. So unless the phaser rounds have traceable payloads? Who knows.

Editing in the Old

It is some nice character stuff that Riker is the one who recognizes the notes that are being played, and realizes the song stuck in the AIs head is “Pop goes the weasel”, the first song Riker and Data somewhat whistled together in the very first episode of TNG. That is cool, however how the episode told this to us, is not.

The episode actually edits in the scene from The Next Generation, inside this episode. In my opinion, this does not work and just feels extremely jarring, and a very weird decision to make. This season has had numerous references to previous Trek, and I feel there are better options to have this “Edit in the 30-year-old video” into a modern episode.

A prime example would probably be using Wolf 359 footage from DS9 in Shaw’s monologue, but doing it in this episode with “Pop goes the weasel” was just weird for me. However singing this satisfies the AI, which allows them access to the central complex.

Wolf 359 – Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (Via Paramount+)

A Brand new Soong

The AI hooked up to Daystrom station is basically all the deceased Soong androids in one. In a great bit of continuity, it connects back to Season 1 of Picard with Dr. Altan Inigo Soong.

After Picard took his golem body, after his own death, Soong tried making his own before he wanted to make something additive instead of just stationary, and instead of just transferring his own personality to the Flesh and Blood synthetic body, he added everybody’s memories and personalities to create a whole new being. It has the memories of Data stored on B4 from Nemesis, Personality of Nemesis, Data, Lore, Soong, and even Lal. Though I do have to wonder how they got Lal’s personality unless her body was just being stored somewhere as well.

Brent Spiner is just an amazing actor, in managing to switch characters in a second when the android is eventually activated. We see Data, we see Lore, we see Soong. How he moves his face gives it away, he doesn’t even need to say anything. I am sure this issue of the android switching personalities will be an issue going forward, maybe Lore just emerged and tried to mess with everyone, and then data came out and tried to fix Lore’s mistakes.

B4 and the Soong Golem – Star Trek: Picard (Via Paramount+)

Ships Galore

An element I was looking very much forward to after seeing in trailers and the end credits was the fleet museum at Antham Prime. We got some very cool ships, a TOS-style Constitution class, the HMS Bounty, Voyager, Defiant, Kronos One possibly, and many others. However, the main one we are very excited about here on Trek Central is the NX-01 Refit which you can just about see in one of the shots.

Star Trek Picard Season 2 essentially canonized this model of what the NX-01 Enterprise would have looked like if we got another season, with a secondary hull similar to the Constitution Class, with a young Picard playing with a model of one. Now we actually have it in the flesh, with it being stored at this fleet museum!

These were cool, but it felt extremely rushed and just there to be “Oh look at these ships” more than anything else. We literally get a scene of Jack and Seven just looking at ships and talking about them, which is cool but also just weird to me.

LeVar Burton as Geordi La Forge in”The Bounty” Episode 306, Star Trek: Picard on Paramount+. Photo Credit: Trae Patton/Paramount+. ©2021 Viacom, International Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Longing for a Voyage(r) Home

Though it is weird, it does have a place in the story, namely the introduction of the Bounty. Apart from that we also have a great Seven scene talking about Voyager, her former home, and something she is still longing for a home. Is it with Starfleet? Is it family with Raffi? These are questions that are probably going through Seven’s mind, so it is a nice moment.

Also, Jack waxing wise poetics at seven, to be responded with “you are such your father’s son” is a great moment, and helps Jack realize that there is some good that Picard passed on to him, and not just the bad Irumodic Syndrome and everything else.

Seven’s model of Voyager – Star Trek: Picard (Via Paramount+)

The Titular Bounty

In some actual great scenes, we have our legacy kids working together to help their parents out, by going behind their backs and doing something incredibly dangerous and illegal. Like parents, like children.

Jack comes up with the idea to steal the cloaking device from the HMS Bounty, the ship from the TOS Movies, and install it on the Titan. Geordi even eventually helps, and we get this amazing line of Geordi telling Jack to stay away from his daughter, after some flirting between Sidney and Jack.

It is also fascinating going back and rewatching this episode, as Sidney even says, the only way they can come back to Daystrom without alerting Starfleet is if they are invisible, which is what they do later in the episode.

So yeah, now the Titan has a cloaking device. Picard and Geordi do talk about violating treaties so I wonder if the Treaty of Algeron still applies with Starfleet not using cloaking devices, considering the Romulan Star Empire is no more, though the treaty could have now extended to the Romulan Free States, but who knows.

Ed Speleers as Jack Crusher in “The Bounty” Episode 306, Star Trek: Picard on Paramount+. Photo Credit: Trae Patton/Paramount+. ©2021 Viacom, International Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Locutus Juice Theory

By the end of the episode, we find that the item that was stolen from Daystrom Station was in fact Jean Luc Picard’s actual body, from when he died in Season 1 and replaced his body with a synthetic one. Now, this is interesting, and I think continues to develop our Locutus Juice theory!

The reason why the changelings want Jack is that he has some remnants of Locutus within him, being the son of Picard. Now could they want Picard’s Body to actually resurrect Locutus?

Earlier in the series, we had Shaw describing Locutus as the most deadly borg that ever lived, and so deadly he got a name. This could be a foreshadowing of what the final boss of this season might be. Picard comes face to face with the only enemy that he hasn’t really fought. The ghost which has followed him for years, finally coming within grasp.

We also get within the episode Geordi saying that Starfleet has started to integrate Starfleet ships together, connecting with one another in some sort of hive one might say. We have also seen some Starfleet ships vulnerable to Borg hacking, in season 2, with some ships like the USS Stargazer utilizing tech from the abandoned Borg cube of the Artifact.

This would actually be a great way to tie both season 1 and season 2 together, Picard’s corpse resurrected as Locutus and using connected Starfleet ships as an instrument to destroy the Federation.

The Ghost of Locutus – Star Trek: Picard (Via Paramount+)

Riker & Troi

At the beginning of the episode, we saw Vadic (Amanda Plummer) wanting to find anyone that might be connected to Picard, and who else than Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis). So not only has Vadic captured Troi, but also Riker. I wonder how Riker will somehow help Vadic, and betray Picard, or how they might escape her clutches. I just hope Kestra is alright.

We saw Troi and Riker in one of the trailers on Vadic’s ship, so we knew they were going to be captured. I believed that they were going to find Troi based on the communication Riker had with her in Episode 4. However, it does make more sense that Vadic would know where she is, having access to files like Shaw’s psychological profile.

I hope Kestra is okay. We see she is capable of fending for herself in Season 1. However personally, I would love it if she was protected by Captain Rupert Crandall, the friend she mentions on Nepenthe.

Troi-Riker Family – Star Trek: Picard (Via Paramount+)

Conclusion

This was episode 6 of season 3 of Star Trek Picard, titled “The Bounty”, written by Christopher Monfette and directed like the last episode by Dan Liu.

As we said at the beginning of the review, this episode had some incredible elements to it. Everything character-wise was amazing, from LeVar Burton out-acting everyone reprising his role as Geordi La Forge. Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut and Mica Burton just hit it off as siblings. Everything was really strong in that department.

However, the pacing of this episode was quite all over the place. This could be due to all our previous episodes being quite stationary in a sense. On M’talas Prime, in a nebula. Daystrom is a nice new place, but it’s done very fast and basically just a corridor for our crew to walk down. The editing of old clips into this scene was also just jarring and quite whiplash-inducing.

Their interactions in particular are great, helping each other find connections that they somewhat deprive themselves of. Jack’s interactions with Picard continue to be a joy to watch, even when Jack is being harsh to Picard, but it feels so satisfying when they get Jack and Picard bonding as Father and Son.

So with a cloaking device, knowing what the changelings took from Daystrom, and Geordi and Data reunited, what does the next episode hold for us? Especially with Riker and Deanna captured, will Picard and the gang go on the offensive and take back their friends? I guess we will have to keep watching to find out.

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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Dom Paris
Dom Parishttps://twitter.com/DomDParis
The resident "Loremaster" among the team, Dom is typically found fact-checking videos and articles for the Trek Central team, as well as reviewing the latest episodes and movies.

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