This season of Star Trek: Picard has taken a staggered method to serialization, these types of that it feels as if the to start with or final 10 or even twenty minutes of just about every episode could effortlessly belong to its closest neighbor. As such, this week’s episode “Two Of One” feels aptly named: it wraps up the ongoing spy mission about two thirds into its 38-minute runtime and then shifts correct into placing up what’s future. The tempo feels a little bit peculiar, but it is difficult to argue with the results, as just about every personal aspect of the episode delivers.
It begins with a chilly open of Jean-Luc Picard lying on the pavement, bleeding on to his tuxedo as Rios and Tallinn (Orla Brady) hurry to his side. As he struggles in and out of consciousness, we get extra transient recollections of his mother in distress prior to the tale jumps back to earlier in the night, when the Admiral is arriving at the black tie Europa gala. We get a number of teases like this through the episode, marked with relative timestamps, right until the primary timeline of the episode catches up about 30 minutes in. Displaying us Picard on the brink of death is not, by alone, a lot of a menace, considering that the viewers is not likely to believe that that Jean-Luc is going to die (once again) on the sequence that bears his title. Rather, it’s a promise that the system to infiltrate the pre-start gala for NASA’s Europa Mission will not be likely efficiently.
The recurring reminder of the disaster in advance is helpful for two factors: it provides “Two Of One” its possess skeleton so that we do not observe that it is missing a initial act. (We received it already, last 7 days.) And it adds the threat of threat to a stretch of story in which the ambiance is in fact pretty calm. This is the 1st chance that the gang has experienced to sluggish factors down and look at in on every other, or for us to see the actors just live in their characters’ pores and skin. The breather pays off in tiny times, like Raffi and Rios’ chat by the bar, the 1st acknowledgment of their lengthy friendship this period. Irrespective of his recent arrest, Rios is getting to be enamored with the 21st century, but Raffi can convey to that it is not just the “real” cigars and cuisine that’s got him energized. She cautions him against finding involved with the righteous Dr. Teresa Ramirez (Sol Rodriguez), as their romance is already developed on a lie. Rios, in switch, consoles the heartsick Raffi as she attempts to give 7 of Nine—who’s in a fully human overall body for the first time in her adult life—some area to get pleasure from herself. We get a reminder of Raffi’s struggles with alcohol addiction as she attempts to continue to keep her neat irrespective of ongoing hallucinations of her lost ward Elnor. It is a terrific use of some considerably required silent time halfway by means of the time.
Dr. Jurati’s obtained a companion of her possess in this episode: the Borg Queen, whose consciousness has taken up residence as a “houseguest” in her entire body. Jurati is trying to keep the Queen’s existence a top secret, seemingly by alternative. Even though the Queen continues to be a voice in her head, Jurati is however in management of herself. That she withholds the truth of the matter from her shipmates anyway betrays that the Queen is at minimum partly proper Jurati does get a thrill out of their partnership and might not be in a hurry to reduce it. The chemistry below involving Alison Pill and Annie Wersching is marvelous as the dynamic amongst them is performed additional and a lot more overtly romantic, as if the Queen may possibly even be a excellent affect on Jurati. But the Queen’s efforts to get Jurati to loosen up convert out to be entirely self-serving, as her strain hormones are impeding the Queen’s means to take full management of the great doctor’s overall body.
Which brings us to the not likely, totally implausible emphasize of this episode, when Jurati distracts the gala’s safety with an impromptu general performance of Pat Benatar’s “Shadows of the Evening.” It’s preposterous for a quantity of good reasons. Agnes takes place to be off-ebook on a jazzy reinterpretation of a centuries-outdated rock tune and the band just runs with it as if it was all rehearsed. How can any one hear her more than the horn segment? Who’s running that spotlight? The scene is explicable only by magic. It is also accurately the sort of silly minute I was hoping to see in a black tie dress-up episode. Certain, it’s goofy as hell, but this is a tale about a woman with a fifty percent-robot alien from an alternate long term living in her head, so I’m ready to suspend disbelief in the identify of enjoyable. Far more importantly, I like that this clear triumph for Jurati’s self-assurance is truly a acquire for the Borg Queen, turning the tables considerably in the way that Jurati did a few weeks back again as she claims complete regulate of her host physique. The tug of war has been fun, but it was about time for the Queen to pull off a thoroughly clean earn and become a authentic menace to the mission and the earth. Overlooked by the relaxation of the crew as standard, “Agnes” is now going for walks cost-free in Los Angeles with the very likely intent of rebuilding the Borg Collective in the 21st century.
In the meantime, Jean-Luc is ready to organize a private discussion with his Great (x10) Aunt Renée (Penelope Mitchell), who is about to stop the Europa Mission because of to her psychological well being struggles. Posing as a wise aged protection guard, Jean-Luc encourages Renée to confront her anxiety rather than succumb to it. Renée is a character who we, like Tallinn, have only seen from a length. We’ve been told of her brilliance, but we have witnessed only her struggles. When Jean-Luc talks to her, he shares his recollections of his mom, a character from whom we’re also steps taken off. He feels that he failed to aid his mother through her dark instances, but he can even now assist Renée, presenting fatherly suggestions and restoring her self-self-confidence adequate that she decides to go by with the mission. A single imagines that this will likely be Patrick Stewart and Penelope Mitchell’s only scene alongside one another, but the link they create in that shorter time feels authentic and familiar. It’s a powerful little bit of performing, aided by “actor’s director” and Star Trek legend Jonathan Frakes.
But, as we have been reminded at the start of each individual act, Jean-Luc is nevertheless in hazard. Dr. Adam Soong (Brent Spiner) is also at the gala and, having unsuccessful to dispose of the two Picards previously in the night, decides to operate them the two down with his Tesla. Jean-Luc pushes Renée very clear but is poorly damage himself, so the team (minus Queen Agnes) rushes the Admiral to Teresa Ramirez’s clinic to resuscitate his synthetic system. This marks Renée’s abrupt exit from the episode, but some hasty ADR confirms that the incident did not maintain Renée from coming into pre-flight quarantine. We definitely haven’t seen the final of her, nor of Teresa, who sees appropriate by way of Rios’ slim excuses for these strange events. His lack of ability to inform her the truth of the matter is detrimental their trust, just as Raffi predicted.
Teresa is not the only particular person who’s getting suspicious of a person near to her. Just after his botched assassination try, Dr. Soong returns dwelling distraught and begins rambling to his daughter, Kore, carelessly dropping cryptic hints that she’s the end result of some experiment. I can’t get a go through on Brent Spiner’s performance in this scene it’s unclear irrespective of whether he’s possessing a psychological breakdown or if he’s drunk. (A involved Kore asks if he was driving, which looks to suggest that at minimum she thinks he’s drunk. This may well be surprising coming from a lifelong TNG lover, but I uncover Spiner to be incredibly minimal as an actor. I am not impressed with him right here.) Isa Briones gets her point across, at least: Kore is terrified, fearful ample to sneak into her father’s lab and do some sleuthing. She finds online video logs confirming that she’s the past of a very long line of identical Soong daughters, all of whom died as small children, except for her. For the 3rd time on this series, Isa Briones plays a youthful lady who discovers that her previous is a lie.
We wrap up back again at the healthcare facility, where Picard lies comatose. His brain is however firing on all cylinders, implying that his present-day affliction is induced by a psychological challenge relatively than a bodily just one. Our level of watch appears to be to confirm this, as we carry on to see flashbacks of Jean-Luc’s mom. This time, on the other hand, we’re viewing some photos of gothic horror blended in with the relatives drama. Unless youthful Jean-Luc identified Nosferatu in the basement of the Chateau, this indicates that Picard’s childhood trauma is distorting into something even extra terrifying. Tallinn volunteers to use her know-how to dive into Picard’s mind and consider to carry him back out, presumably setting up the plot of the subsequent episode, in which the mental projection of Tallinn will have to assistance Picard experience down the personification of his very own destruction. They haven’t acknowledged each and every other long and Picard’s curiosity in Tallinn is far more or much less transferred from Laris, but this would offer a major shortcut to intimacy involving these two people. Wary as I am of the kicker of each individual Picard episode experience significantly less like a cliffhanger and much more like the opening minutes of the following chapter, it is working on me—I am when once more pre-sold on the tale to appear.