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REVIEW: Star Trek: Picard: “The Last Generation”

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The Third and Final Season of Star Trek: Picard has come to a close. Episode Ten, titled “The Last Generation”, closes out not only the Star Trek: Picard series but also the legacy of Star Trek: The Next Generation. This is the final adventure of the crew and their last big goodbye when you think about it. This story has been 35 years in the making. However, as we review the final episode, we ask has it hit the mark and actually done a good job? It is a tough one to call at the end of the day. 

Star Trek: Picard: Season 3 is “The Rise of Skywalker” of Star Trek show seasons. It is a bunch of cool enjoyable ideas strung together into a story, with villains returning from the past. Your name and bloodline define you. This is all to seemingly right a wrong in the series without saying anything at all. It is a return to the status quo, in more ways than one.

RED ALERT – SPOILER WARNING, this is our full in-depth review of Star Trek: Picard Season 3 Episode 10!

President Anton Chekov

Before we jump into the main part of this review, we’ve got to commend one great easter egg. It sort of counts as an easter egg. While the U.S.S Enterprise-D is en route to Earth, we can hear Earth’s distress call after leaving the Fleet Museum. 

The Federation President can be heard on the distress signal. His name is Anton Chekov, which makes him a descendant of Pavel Chekov (Walter Koenig), who originally served with Captain James T. Kirk. It’s a nice little detail and a rather touching moment. The name also references the much-missed Anton Yelchin, who played Chekov in the Kelvin Timeline films. 

Pavel Chekov, Ancestor to Federation President Anton Chekov

The Battle of Earth

The Borg’s addiction to attacking Earth is back again for what feels like the 100th time in Star Trek. They’ll never really win this, will they? However, the Star Trek VFX department has outdone itself. The visual effects of the ships targeting Spacedock are great. This is definitely where all the phasers went which we expected in previous episodes.

Spacedock being able to hold against that many ships is impressive, so I guess Earth is really safe from invasion. It also seems to be centrally tied to the planetary shield system of Earth, but if it takes that many ships firing on Spacedock to destroy it, I suppose Earth is mostly safe.

Earth Space Dock Concept Art by James Chung

Borg Cube

The Borg cube jutting out of Jupiter is a great visual, so I will give the visual effects teams and studios massive props once again. I am intrigued if it is a cube or not, though. In the last episode, it looked to have more structures alongside it, but at least in this, we can see all its transmitter towers around its hull.

I will say the Borg Cube sequence with the Enterprise flying inside it was really cool. It does somewhat equate the Borg Cube with a Death Star from Star Wars, flying inside to take out the big central system, which causes a chain reaction.

Borg Cube in Jacks Vision – Star Trek: Picard (Via Paramount+)

Queen-Emperor Borgatine

The concept of the Borg Queen actually cannibalizing the Borg drones aboard the cube to stay alive all these years after Janeway and the neurolytic pathogen impacted the collective is really intriguing.

The design for the Borg Queen is really cool, having half her face somewhat melted and melded with technology, and only being a torso among so many wires. However, it does also give massive comparisons to Emperor Palpatine in The Rise of Skywalker. A villain returned for a final new series, as a half-dead villain of the past.

Both were strapped to machines, clinging to life, and basically half-dead torsos continuing to haunt their respective galaxies.

Borg Queen – Star Trek: Picard (Via Paramount+)

Locutus and Vox

Jack is wearing the exact same Borg Armour as Locutus was, which is a little too on the nose. I would have hoped he would either not be in Borg Armour, or just have something new. Did the Borg Queen really have enough time to give Jack that outfit? All she needed was his brain for the signal to go out, so why craft him a Locutus suit?

Picard actually assimilating himself, something he has been running from for so long, is a strong move. He has a very impressive connection with Jack in the collective minds. The acting by Sir Patrick Stewart and Ed Speleers has always been exceptional in this season, but this scene is especially great. Picard talks about running away to Starfleet and trying to find a family. And has changed because of his connection with Jack.

That is powerful, and having Jack go through all the memories he and Picard have had throughout this season is great. The editing and acting here go hand in hand to really create a powerful scene.

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+

Baiting Death

There are numerous emotional farewells in this episode, which could have resulted in character deaths. Picard and Riker are the main culprits. Riker (Jonathan Frakes) saying farewell to Troi (Marina Sirtis) and saying he’ll be waiting for her with his dead son, is gut-wrenching.

I am glad these go nowhere, to be honest. Fans would be up in arms if Riker died. If Picard died again, this would be a repeat of season one. I will say I enjoyed Riker saying farewell to Troi, his imzadi, helped the emotion. We have Troi taking the helm and piloting the ship to save her family. Troi has always been a great pilot, but people think she is bad because she dropped the D’s Saucer in Generations. However she made sure no one died, therefore she is a great pilot, and seeing it on full display here is beautiful.

Jonathan Frakes as Will Riker and Marina Sirtis as Deanna Troi in “Surrender” Episode 308, Star Trek: Picard on Paramount+. Photo Credit: Trae Patton/Paramount+.

Seven’s Fight

Retaking the U.S.S Titan-A was a bit of a rush, if this had happened an episode previously, or we had more time in this final episode, it would have been nice seeing more conflict between Seven (Jeri Ryan) and her squad taking back the Titan. It makes this venture seem easy, rather than difficult, and Seven still winning.

I wish they had explained where she suddenly got the portable transport-away phaser rifle from, instead of just saying it got made randomly on the spot, but it is nice that instead of everyone using conventional stuns seven is using these newly made transporter rifles.

A good example of Seven being Captain was convincing the cook of the ship to be the pilot of the Titan, and for her new crew to fight against the entire fleet. She said near the beginning of the season that she wants to be able to inspire people like Picard, and this episode showed it!

Captain Seven of Nine | Jeri Ryan | Paramount+ | Photographer: Sarah Coulter

Admiral Beverly Crusher – Head of Starfleet Medical

When the dust has settled, Beverly (Gates McFadden) gets promoted to Admiral and head of Starfleet Medical pretty quickly. It is cool that she is getting this, but also quite rushed. She hasn’t been in Starfleet for 20 years, so to just come straight back and be promoted to Admiral, plus head of Starfleet Medical, doesn’t sit right with me.

Obviously, she was Head of Starfleet Medical during Season 2, and perhaps the previous head was a changeling in disguise who killed the original, leaving a vacancy. She does implement a new transporter system to not only remove the Borg DNA in everyone’s brains but also route out any remaining changelings. A previous episode already set up how to find the remaining Changelings. Thelomium-847 was present in the bodies of all the enhanced changelings and was traceable.

Also, the idea that transporters can so easily change our biologies is a horrifying thought. I have no doubt that many young people in Starfleet after this event will have a phobia of transporters.

Mother & son | Gates McFadden & Ed Speleers | Paramount+ | Photographer: Sarah Coulter

Raffi & Worf

A duo that I have really loved throughout this season is Raffi (Michelle Hurd) & Worf (Michael Dorn). We get a scene between the two of them in the final epilogue montage sequence and it is great. Raffi finally has some connection with her former family and her granddaughter.

This is all thanks to Worf leaking documents of her and somehow sharing them with the Musiker household. Though thinking on this, with Raffi being a spy I wonder why her son and former husband aren’t suspicious she did it herself.

The two share some kind words together, and I do hope if we get a spin-off show, we get some of them together again.

Michael Dorn as Worf and Michelle Hurd as Raffi Musiker in “Imposters” Episode 305, Star Trek: Picard on Paramount+. Photo Credit: Trae Patton/ Paramount+. ©2021 Viacom, International Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Tuvok

When we got our first cameo of Tuvok he turned out to be a Changeling. He did hint that Tuvok was still alive, and we get the actual Tuvok in this episode. It is great to see Tim Russ as Tuvok again, though Tim Russ playing a changeling double was also fun.

Tuvok talks to Seven and shows her the final officer review by Captain Liam Shaw (Todd Stashwick) before they left in episode one. Shaw actually was commending Seven and recommending her for captaincy. He talks about how he is a very by-the-book Captain. Whilst Seven writes her own book, but does so from a place of loyalty and honor. Tuvok being the one to promote Seven is great, because of their connection in Voyager. Though I wonder if they could have gotten Kate Mulgrew it might have been her promoting Seven as Admiral Janeway.

Captain Tuvok (Tim Russ) – Star Trek: Picard (Via Paramount+)

It’s Another Enterprise!

I’m going to be brutally honest here, and some of you may disagree with me, and that is fine. I do not like the idea of the U.S.S Enterprise-G. I’m a big fan of going forward in the Star Trek Universe. And while we can enjoy the past and, of course, respect it, such as we have done with parts of Star Trek: Picard’s third season, we should not stay in the past.  

We have the U.S.S. Enterprise-G being a Constitution III Class, which was an okay choice for the U.S.S. Titan-A, but somewhat replaces Riker’s legacy with Picard’s. Going from the Galaxy Class, the Sovereign Class, and the Odyssey class for choices of the flagship, sees a clear narrative design throughput, and then reverting to a nostalgic ship design is regressive in my opinion.

I somewhat feel like the Enterprise-F has been pushed out the door, just so the creatives can leave the third season with a new Enterprise as a doorway to start something new.

Even before this season, it was made clear that the Enterprise-F was being decommissioned. Here in this third and final season, we barely see that ship before it is shoved out the door. Sure, it’s not the focus of this season. However, this situation comes across as someone not wanting to play with someone else toys. It’s a shame, as it comes across as not respecting the legacy of other things in the Star Trek Universe

Not only is its design backward thinking, but the ship itself is too. Sure, we have a new captain and XO, and I love that for both of them. Seven deserves a command, definitely, after this season, showing she is a capable captain. But having another Enterprise have an Ensign Crusher and a La Forge (Ashlei Sharpe-Chestnut) at the helm feels like we have returned to a past 35 years ago rather than pushing forward the final frontier.

U.S.S. Enterprise-F – Star Trek: Picard (Via Paramount+)

The Trouble with Q

Q’s return also undermines the second-season storyline. They were not the best storylines in the world, but they still worked well in their respective areas. For example, the second season storyline of Q’s eventual “death” was incredibly touching and connected with many Star Trek fans. It’s a nice little cameo at the end to have John De Lancie back and taunt Jack Crusher, basically suggesting that he takes on his father’s legacy of being humanity’s representative to the Q. Still, I feel like it does dampen season two’s ending.

So now we also have a Picard on the new Enterprise that is going to be taunted by Q. I think this would have worked better if this was Q Jr, taking up the mantle of his father. It would still be very cyclical and repetitive of the previous Trek, but it wouldn’t be the exact same.

Pictured: John de Lancie as Q of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: Nicole Wilder/Paramount+ ©2022 ViacomCBS. All Rights Reserved.

Laris

The lack of a conclusion to Laris and Picard’s relationship has become one of this season’s biggest letdowns. It is another example of what appears to be the third season wanting to forget the past two seasons. For a season so hell-bent on speaking about legacy and the past, it amazes me that Star Trek: Picard cannot respect its own.

This would be somewhat fine if Picard or Laris had moved on after Season 2. However, Laris is in the first episode of this season. So to not have any conclusion or mention of their relationship is extremely weird. You could easily have Picard saying he is back off to Chaltok IV after seeing his Son off on his first posting.

Pictured: Sir Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard and Orla Brady as Laris of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: Trae Patton/Paramount+ ©2022 ViacomCBS. All Rights Reserved.

Score

The composer for this episode has done an amazing job, not only mixing the old but adding the new. Most of the emotional scenes are enhanced massively by the score crafted by the composer.

A lot of this season relied heavily on musical cues and scores of the past. That is not a bad thing and can serve to enhance a show and scenes. However, some episodes did this without deserving it. Some episodes relied on previous music rather than forging a new identity for themselves.

Conclusion

This was episode 10 of season 3, the final episode of Star Trek: Picard, titled “The Last Generation”, written & Directed by showrunner Terry Matalas, and if you thought “The Last Generation” was an apt name for this finale, you are right.

Overall, this has been an enjoyable season of Star Trek: Picard. We’ve finally had more starship action and a return to some classic details. Things like the sound effects, the visuals, the starship designs, and just some basic story points have all been done extremely well. You can certainly tell there has been a lot of love and passion put into this season.

I think what lets this season down is some of the writing. Parts of it do come across as fan fiction. Which can both be positive and negative for its storytelling. In this case, some of it is just bad.

That’s not to say this season is terrible, it’s certainly not that. It is however a lot of cool Trek set-pieces from the past strung together into a story. A battle in a nebula, stealing a ship, contending with Changelings and Borg. But what does the show have to say for itself? What pushes it forward into exploring the final frontier, the human condition, and everything in between?

Paramount+ | Photographer: Sarah Coulter

Legacy

Star Trek: Picard Season 3 and this finale honors the legacy of previous Trek, but so desperately wants to be that previous Trek that it wallows in the past, returns to the status quo, and has little interesting to say in its own right.

Hopefully, if we do have a spin-off with the U.S.S. Enterprise-G and Captain Seven, it focuses on the new, instead of continuing the old. If it is Star Trek: Legacy, I hope they begin to learn the difference between Legacy and Nepotism.

Our next series is Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 which airs on Paramount+ in June. For coverage of all things Star Trek, 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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