We’re two episodes into the third and final season of Star Trek: Picard and the easter eggs are just about as plentiful as last time. We’ve just got to jump into our ‘Disengage’ Easter Egg analysis. The writers for this epic second episode, “Disengage”, were Christopher Monfette and Sean Tretta. The director was Doug Aarniokoski. There are plenty of references, easter eggs and even a few theories to dive into! So without further ado, (dis)engage!
Jack & The Eleos
The episode opens with a flashback with Jack Crusher (Ed Speleers). It’s nice to get some time alone with him after last week’s revelations, to get to know him in his element. Alongside his mother Beverly (Gates McFadden), Jack becomes a mix of freedom fighter and doctor. The use of the song ‘Starchild’ by Baby gives it a very Guardians of the Galaxy feel. It’d also be interesting to see more flashbacks throughout the series, perhaps even on the USS Enterprise-D.
We learn that the Eleos is a Mariposa medical vessel, a reference to the Mariposas, an organisation created by Rios (Santiago Cabrera) at the end of last season. In the same ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ vein, we see a Romulan ale bottle of the same style Bones (DeForest Kelley) gifted Kirk (William Shatner) in The Wrath of Khan. Jack also mentions the Klingons, the Fenris Rangers, and Starfleet, factions Trek fans are very familiar with. Perhaps this means we’ll see some proper Klingon action later in the season too?
Jack also uses the French phrase “mon ami” when talking with the Fenris Rangers. This foreshadows what we learn later, in that he is the son of the French Jean-Luc Picard (Sir Patrick Stewart). Interestingly, both actors are British and use their native accents in the show. While the show isn’t implying that British accents are biological, the connection is definitely there. Given Picard doesn’t know about his son. Perhaps there’ll be a better explanation for his accent later on.
Raffi Gone Rogue
Picking up where we left Raffi (Michelle Hurd) at the destruction of the Starfleet recruitment facility on M’Talas Prime. She has a conversation with her handler. When Raffi starts blaming herself, they say, “do not seek blame, do not seek anger”. These words are displayed in the end credits, but also are the words of someone who has grappled with similar loss in the past. It makes a lot of sense when this character is revealed to be Worf (Michael Dorn). Especially when considering his experiences in the Dominion War.
She picks up the trail of the Ferengi Sneed. On his Starfleet file, we can see some of his accomplices are fellow Ferengi Quark (Armin Shimerman) and Brunt (Jeffrey Combs) both from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (DS9), as well as Star Trek: The Next Generation’s (TNG) Thadiun Okona (Billy Campbell) from “The Outrageous Okona”. While nice references, given Quark’s return on Lower Decks, Okona’s return in Prodigy, and Jeffrey Combs’ guest spots in Lower Decks, their returns are not off the cards.
While Raffi is meeting with her ex-husband, they call back to Raffi meeting her son at the doctor in Picard season one. Small references like this to the other seasons of Picard are a lot of fun, as each season has largely existed in isolation. With all the references to the previous Trek shows, one that’s far too often overlooked is the newer shows. It’s genuinely cool that we’re calling back to those as well. This feels like such a love letter to Trek.
At the headquarters of the Ferengi Sneed (Aaron Stanford), we can briefly spot an encased baseball on his shelf. Due to his ties to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine characters, there’s a good chance this is related to Sisko’s (Avery Brooks) love of baseball on the show. There’s also a gambling table, the Ferengi book of acquisition, and even some Mugato horns! Just wall-to-wall easter eggs. I love this section’s affinity for DS9 in particular. Certainly, this gives ‘Disengage’ Easter Eggs to show off!
The namedropping of Section 31 by Sneed, the secret organisation originating in DS9, which recently reappeared in Discovery, is currently ambiguous. While Raffi and Worf’s statuses are classified in the Logs, we don’t know if they’re working with Section 31. I look forward to finding out! I’d love some more covert spy operations and action pieces.
The Reveal of the Handler
Worf, here to make sure nobody takes his “most appearances in Trek” record, returns in this scene. The ensuing bloodbath is fun to watch and a bit reassuring after the line about “preferring pacifism” in the trailer. He also uses his new Kur’leth, designed by Dan Curry, who designed the Bat’leth, to fight Sneed’s men and save Raffi. With Raffi on drugs, it does a good job obscuring Worf until the very end of the scene, even if it is very obvious who it is. Of course, ‘Disengage’ Easter Eggs did hint towards him like the previous episode.
Carrying her away, he reveals himself as Raffi’s handler, referencing the “do not engage” line from earlier. The scene also uses a new version of the Klingon theme that we first heard in The Motion Picture, although something about it sounded slightly off compared to other musical callbacks. I’m looking forward to discovering why Worf didn’t want to meet with Raffi. Perhaps this operation is even bigger than we’re led to believe.
Escape to the Titan
While initially hesitant, citing the 500 crew members of the Titan risking themselves to save two people in a homage to “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”, Shaw (Todd Stashwick) eventually beams Picard and Riker aboard. While beaming back aboard the Titan, we can quickly spot that the Titan’s computers still read Picard as human despite his synthetic body, similar to the advanced synths Soji and Dahj (Isa Briones) in the first season of Picard.
We also see the debris of Picard and Riker’s shuttle, revealed to be named Saavik (Kirstie Alley & Robin Curtis). Beyond her appearances in the movies, Saavik was recently revealed to have captained a USS Titan before Riker. The shuttle’s font is also in the style of The Original Series. Picard also namedrops the planets of Federation founder Andoria and Binar III from “11001001” in his interrogation. There’ve been a lot of lovely callbacks to The Original Series and their movies these past few weeks.
Vadic also implies there’s more than meets the eye with Shaw’s psychological profile. This improves my theory that he was traumatised at the Battle of Wolf 359. The isolytic burst warhead was also a piece of tech banned during the Khitomer Accords, started in The Undiscovered Country and featured in Star Trek: Insurrection. As well as this, every fact she shares about the Shrike birds is true. This implies a much bigger motive for her. The sound the Shrike ship makes is also identical to that of V’Ger in The Motion Picture.
She gives the Titan an hour to hand over Jack Crusher, 59 minutes more than Khan (Ricardo Montalban) gave Kirk to hand over Genesis in The Wrath of Khan. Both times are similarly tense, however. It’s at this time that Picard accepts that Jack is his son. Beverly communication with Picard on the bridge is perfect, and it shows the strength of their relationship despite the passage of time. And we all recognise the final catchphrase “engage!” in an absolute air punch moment.
Although it was obvious that Jack was going to be Picard’s son, I do love that they focused not on the reveal’s impact but on Picard’s emotional turmoil in accepting him. Same sort of story as Worf’s reveal. It wasn’t about the surprise but rather the execution. I can’t wait until we hopefully get into some big surprise reveals later on. I noticed we’ve already seen many trailer shots, so we’re heading into uncharted territory sooner than I thought.
While it’s not a Star Trek series, both 12 Monkeys and season 3 of Picard were showrun by Terry Matalas. As a result, he enjoys putting small references to 12 Monkeys into this and hiring some of the same people. If you haven’t seen it yet, you definitely should! This week’s episode of Picard featured two 12 Monkeys alumni in guest-starring roles, Todd Stashwick as Shaw and Aaron Stanford as Sneed. The episode’s writers, Christopher Monfette and Sean Tretta, also wrote extensively for the series.
Jack Crusher’s pseudonyms included James Cole. James Cole is the lead character of 12 Monkeys. He’s played by Aaron Stanford, who also played Sneed in this episode. This name was also read out by Stashwick’s character Deacon, who addresses Cole by his full name. While it’s just a little wink at the audience who have seen the show, it was a lot of fun.
Sneed also references having developed the drug “Splinter”. ‘Splinter’-ing is the way that characters in 12 Monkeys travel through time. The reference to doing it repeatedly refers to the number of times Cole (and, by extension Stanford) did it over the course of the series. The repetition is reminiscent of when the team tortured Olivia (Alisen Down) by rapidly splintering her “over and over”. I can’t wait to see what references they sneak in episode 3!
Did you spot any ‘Disengage’ easter eggs that we missed? 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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