‘Picard’ S2E10: ‘Farewell’ Is An Underwhelming Season Finale

Patrick Stewart Trae Patton/Paramount+

At the conclusion of Star Trek: Picard’s initially period, a briefly deceased Jean-Luc Picard finds himself within a computer system simulation that makes it possible for him a single final stop by with his dear good friend Facts, who died twenty many years prior. Picard’s grief over the reduction of Knowledge is a single of the driving forces behind the ten-episode arc, and whilst the path to their temporary reunion was rocky, the payoff was truly highly effective. I remember watching the projection of Data’s consciousness lay himself down to his closing rest, wiping tears from my eyes, and imagining: “I desire the relaxation of the show had been approximately this fantastic.” Now, as Season Two will come to a near in remarkably identical fashion—with Picard observing off his outdated frienemy Q to the fantastic beyond—I come across myself stating the identical detail, only with substantially extra aggravation in my voice. “Farewell” is a jagged, underwhelming closing chapter that, even in its ideal times, highlights all of Star Trek: Picard’s most damning flaws.

Let’s get started with what is effective: the scene in which Picard and Q lastly sit down to chat in the solarium of Chateau Picard is a touching coda to their decades-extended partnership. Q is a multifaceted character who has served a variety of purposes across his appearances in the Star Trek universe, but he is most fascinating when performing out of a personalized investment in Picard, almost like a parent. (Details likely places it finest in The Subsequent Generation finale “All Great Things…” when he likens Q’s attachment for Picard to “that of a grasp and his beloved pet.”) In “Farewell,” when Picard asks Q “Why me?” it’s as if he expects Q to clarify that he has saved check out over Picard because of some fantastic destiny that Q has desired to shield, and that he has organized for Picard to make peace with his mother’s loss of life in order to steer clear of some kind of huge place calamity in the future. Q dismisses this plan in favor of a a lot much more relocating reply: It is like, simple as that. When Q discovers that he’s going to die by itself, he decides to use the time he has left to be certain that the same does not come about to Picard. He cares what takes place to him and he desires to do a thing kind for him on his way out of this fact.

“Must it usually have galactic import?” asks Q. “Universal stakes? Celestial upheaval? Is not one particular existence enough? You talk to me why it matters: It matters to me. You matter to me.” It is a strong trade, nicely-published in a voice that only John de Lancie could instill with the right balance of warmth and gravitas. It ties into the classes that Picard has needed to master in the course of the overall season and greatly underlined through the first act of this episode, that these own associations are almost everything, that they are really worth getting challenges for, and that his will need to atone for the just one life he couldn’t save has retained him from developing a person of his have. Not every thing desires to be about conserving the galaxy.

But, as well as this scene lands, its psychological punch is nonetheless greatly dependent on a viewer’s existing expense in the connection at its coronary heart, born out of a long time of growth on a diverse television stoked by a long time of admirer nostalgia. Picard and Data’s farewell from the initial period could perfectly press your psychological buttons even if you are the unusual viewer for whom this series is your 1st Star Trek this one particular definitely will not. And, for the relaxation of the episode, it’s crystal distinct just how minimal expenditure or self-assurance the storytellers at the rear of Star Trek: Picard have in any character or concept not imported from the franchise’s heritage.

Let’s bounce back to the initial third of the episode and the underwhelming summary to the Europa Mission storyline. In get to protect against the darkish future that they witnessed earlier in the year, Picard and business need to make certain that his ancestor, astronaut Renée Picard, successfully launches into area aboard NASA’s mission. Their adversary is Dr. Adam Soong, who works by using his position as a tremendous-prosperous donor to get accessibility to the launch web page and strategies to assassinate Renée before she boards the rocket. In purchase to end him, Tallinn sneaks inside of, disguises herself as Renée, and gets killed in her place, but not in advance of at last revealing existence to the woman she’s protected from afar given that childhood. This switch of functions has thematic resonance, as Picard ought to equally accept that Tallinn, like his mom, is responsible for her have existence, and that appreciate is really worth all of the dangers that occur with it. Unfortunately, it’s just not terribly intriguing to observe. There is no true perception of hazard, the performances hardly ever increase earlier mentioned satisfactory, and the dialogue seems prepared as if terribly afraid that the audience may not get the level. Meanwhile, Raffi, Rios, and 7 are busy attempting to avert Soong’s drones from destroying Renée’s spacecraft, which turns out to make for even considerably less thrilling television.

With the danger to the timeline removed, there is a brief interlude wrapping up the storylines of Dr. Soong and his genetically-engineered daughter, Kore. And even though the defeated Dr. Soong digging into his desk drawer to find a file folder marked “Project: Khan” is definitely worthy of a roll of the eyes, his ties to the coming Eugenics Wars have been apparent for weeks, so it doesn’t occur out of nowhere. It’s simply clumsy and noticeable. On the other hand, Kore’s tale, which finishes with her receiving a surprise job supply from Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton). Absent from Trek considering that his ascension to a bigger airplane at the finish of The Up coming Era, Wesley now represents the Travelers, guardians of house and time and employers of Supervisors like the late Tallinn. This out-of-nowhere endeavor to score a low-priced pop from TNG followers is uncomfortable plenty of on paper, but the scene itself is a mess, in large part owing to Wil Wheaton’s performance. The dialogue prepared for Wesley suggests that he’s done some developing up, but it however includes hints of his youthful pluck, which Wheaton appears intent on burying. He replaces it with a softer, tamped-down model of the misty-eyed father electrical power that he embodies as the host of the formal weekly aftershow for the a variety of Star Trek permutations, The Completely ready Space, and the final result is inadvertently creepy. If a stranger walked up to you in a park and spoke to you in this tone of voice while maintaining this degree of extreme eye speak to, you would not observe him to his spaceship.

Jeri Ryan (l) and Michelle Hurd Nicole Wilder/Paramount+

After Picard and Q’s heart to heart, the dying room god presents to use the very last of his remaining strength to return Jean-Luc, Raffi, Seven, and Rios to the position in time from which they have been yanked back again in the year premiere. Rios, owning identified really like and a sense of belonging with Teresa and Ricardo, elects to stay at the rear of. Although this feels like a organic summary to this season’s romance, it also feels like the storytellers waving a white flag and admitting that they do not really care really considerably about this character. When Rios claims, “I under no circumstances healthy, you know? Nothing stuck,” it’s really hard not to study this as metatext. Among his departure and the information that Alison Tablet will not look in the 3rd and remaining time of Picard, it would seem as if the producers are slicing as numerous new figures as they can to make area in the payroll for the whole Following Era forged. Michelle Hurd and Jeri Ryan will certainly be returning, but with six of Picard’s old Organization crew coming aboard, they’re very likely to have even a lot less room to mature and build than they had this 12 months.

With Picard’s arms about him, Q sends the relaxation of the celebration home and himself to oblivion, a touching psychological instant to which the remainder of the episode does not measure. Awakening aboard the USS Stargazer beneath assault by the mysterious hooded Borg Queen, Picard, 7, and Raffi keep away from destruction by recognizing that their alien intruder is truly Dr. Agnes Jurati just after 400 decades of Borg evolution. Alternatively than wipe out each and every other, the Borg and Starfleet group up to construct a shield wall and safeguard their full quadrant of house from a unexpected cosmic eruption. This threat is launched and dismissed so swiftly that neither threat nor victory truly registers, and it arrives mere minutes immediately after Q mocks the strategy of this tale needing galactic-degree stakes. The origins of this calamity, a mysterious transwarp corridor, is evidently anything saved for exploration future season. 

The quick final scene in which Picard will come property to the chateau and asks Laris for a 2nd probability at courtship doesn’t have a great deal substance, but in fairness, it does not require substantially. This story hasn’t been about Laris, or her and Picard’s partnership in unique. The objective hasn’t been to see them get with each other, it’s been to see Picard develop at ease more than enough with the notion to make an honest work. Had the rest of the episode not been these a mess, this might have produced me really feel something, but by this place, I have to acknowledge a entire exhaustion of my goodwill.

Weekly serialized tv is a higher-chance, large-reward endeavor. When a storyteller invitations an audience to manage a long-term romantic relationship with a story, they are also inquiring for their persistence, for a bit of faith that the messy details of an several hours-lengthy tale will arrive together into a grand tapestry. Reward that faith with a significant, fulfilling ending, and the viewers may well be prepared to forgive the flaws they recognized together the way are unsuccessful to do so, and the flaws will be all they see. The 2nd year of Star Trek: Picard has asked for a good deal of my persistence and at situations I have been pleased to give it, but its final chapter is these an underwhelming mess that it’s really hard to consider of the period as a complete as everything but just that.

‘Picard’ S2E10: ‘Farewell’ Is An Underwhelming Season Finale

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