Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Episode 4 Review: Watcher

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For all those critics who have implied that New Trek's narratives are "too dark," Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Episode 4 taps into some of the whimsical charm of the time-traveling TOS film, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

Yes, we get a look at the contemporary horror that is an I.C.E. detention center, but we also get an improbably crash-free car chase led by Seven with no previous driving experience and no idea what the rules of the road are.

Recently, the hotly debated question has been, "Who is The Watcher?" The discussion has even overtaken the theories on who the masked Borg queen was on Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Episode 1. *cough*Jurati*cough*

Ordering a Drink - Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Episode 4

And the answer is... (drumroll, please) ... LARIS. But not.

When the Borg queen's coordinates beam Picard directly to the steps of Guinan's bar in Los Angeles at 10, Forward Ave., did y'all HEAR the roar of, "I KNEW IT!" that rose from the fanbase?

Deafening. Trek-lovers LURVE to be right.

But then 2024 Guinan -- played in this iteration by the perfectly-cast Ito Aghayere -- insists she isn't the Watcher.

What the what? How could the fans be wrong?

Suspicious Guinan - Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Episode 4

After the rigamarole of following the various Watcher hosts, Picard comes face-to-face with the Watcher in the flesh only to see Laris. Only she's not. She's Tallinn, and she's got more tricks than listening up her sleeve.

Pause right there.

There are a couple of details I'd like to point out and a heap of questions to pose.

Guinan refers to Tallinn as a "Supervisor," which is the same position held by Gary Seven on Star Trek: The Original Series Season 2 Episode 26.

Which means Tallinn isn't El-Aurian. She's a genetically perfect human, raised on a faraway planet and sent to Earth on a mission.

Tallinn - Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Episode 4

How or why she looks exactly like Laris is something that'll need explaining. Eventually.

Also, what's her beef is with Guinan?

Guinan: This place is a pressure cooker. You know they're actually killing the planet? Truth is whatever you want it to be. Facts aren't even facts anymore. A few folks have enough resources to fix all the problems for the rest but they won't because their greatest fear is having less. They got one tiny ball in the entire galaxy, and all this species want to do is fight. I've given them long enough.
Picard: It's not too late. The problem isn't time, it's you.

Another issue is one that Trek-canon purists are going to flip their Spock ears over is that Guinan in 2024 should recognize Picard.

She met him in San Francisco in 1893, as documented by Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 5 Episode 26 and Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 6 Episode 1.

Oh. But, WAIT, Time. Is. Broken. We aren't quite at that point but, at the moment, it is a sure thing, making the Wake-Up World the future reality, and therefore, the "Time's Arrow" meeting never occurs. Chalk up yet another relationship that falls as a casualty to the time fissure.

2024 Guinan - Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Episode 4

Once Picard leaves Jurati on her own with the Borg queen, it's only a matter of time before the charm offensive hits.

It's like the most awkward sort of morning after. Jurati and the queen mentally "entwined" long enough on Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Episode 3 for Jurati to reboot the systems and steal the information she needs.

But now the queen's got some insights into Jurati, and it's not like the doctor can hide from her. The queen's strung up like Christmas lights over the ship's controls.

Poor Agnes Jurati, doomed to be the afterthought, left behind again. Not to me. You're more than you let on, that they can see. Smart, cunning, and remarkably more cruel than I could've predicted. Brava.

Borg queen

So when Seven and Raffi apply the pressure during their aforementioned amazing car chase, Jurati strikes the deal that'll probably lead us back to the Stargazer by season's end.

Borg Queen on High - Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Episode 3

But that's just my guess.

The bickering buddy car chase is nothing short of remarkable.

Seven: Just so I'm clear, are you suggesting we steal a vehicle from the same people whose job it is to prosecute theft?
Raffi: We need a way to find Rios and get back to fixing the timeline. See, my idea is to steal the computer inside. Better?
Seven: Not better. NOT BETTER! Raffi, what the hell happened to 'no phasers'?
Raffi: I have no idea how this got here.

Raffi's frustration with the bureaucracy of modern-day law enforcement and her fear of losing another team member to a corrupt and prejudiced system is palpable.

So her determination to do anything to get Rios back is understandable.

Seven's initial reticence is too, but once she's on board, they're a phenomenal force.

Riding the Bus - Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Episode 4

And it's not like they were going to rescue him via public transit.

There's a small plothole in the fact they tracked Rios's com badge to Dr. Teresa's clinic, but then they left without collecting it. #Butterflies

Raffi: Seven, just get around them. Get around them!
Seven: You think I'm not trying?
Raffi: The bus was faster.
Seven: Right, maybe you should get back on it.
Raffi: Uh, truck. Truck! TRUCK!

I'm also surprised the LAPD cruisers of 2024 don't have a kill switch that dispatch can flip. Or did I just imagine that that's a thing?

While Seven and Raffi are throwing down chaos on the streets of LA, and Picard's tracking down the Watcher and giving Guinan pep talks about humanity, why don't we throw a third plotline into the mix?

ICE Detention - Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Episode 4

Because I don't count Picard and Guinan as a new relationship, I'm looking at Rios and Dr. Teresa as something anomalous and bearing suspicion.

Are they setting us up for Dr. Teresa to meet a tragic end because of her involvement with the team?

Will the relationship result in some time-love shenanigans?

Rios: My name is Cristobal Rios. You can call me Chris, Rios, good either way.
ICE Officer: Occupation?
Rios: Captain. Of the USS Stargazer, you wouldn't know it. It's a starship from the year 2400. I'm on an ongoing mission to explore strange, new worlds, seek out new life and civilizations, but instead, I'm stuck back in a particularly primitive past -- no offence -- trying to correct the timeline so I can... y'know. With whom, you ask? A ragtag group of misfits, including one cybernetic queen that I'm fairly certain is in it just to wipe out all of humanity with her own cohort and cross the old Admiral who, if I understand it correctly, is a flesh and blood robot. I can't be sure because nobody can explain it to me.

Also, will that ICE officer write some pulpy sci-fi bestseller based on Rios's smart-alecky confession?

A Man, a Bottle, and a Gun - Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Episode 4

As fun as the car chase and crazy reveals are, TPTB once again tie-in a tantalizing bit of long-arc plot breadcrumbs in the final scene.

Who is the young woman so thoroughly engrossed in her Dixon Hill mystery novel that she doesn't hear a man chanting a litany of discouraging refutations in her direction?

You can't do it. And you know it. Oh sure, you played the game for a while when nothing was at stake and the only challenge was fooling everybody into thinking you had the nerve. But now it's real. The fear is choking you. Oh, here's the truth. You can't do it. People are gonna die. And now your fear, your doubt is the loudest voice in your head.


Why is Q wearing a Europa labcoat?

What's happened to his snap?

Q Undercover - Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Episode 4

Keep in mind that this is the first time we have seen Q in 2024. The last glimpse we had of him was just before La Sirena made its time jump from the Wake-Up World.

Is this the same Q who brought the crew to the broken timeline? Is this the same Q who charged Picard with the mission to fix time?

You'll have noticed that none of the plotlines had any closure here. Rios is on the bus. While safe from LAPD arrest, Seven and Raffi are in the middle of nowhere without a plan.

Picard has been disappeared by a Laris-lookalike Watcher.

Spotting Someone - Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Episode 4

And Jurati has just reneged on her agreement with the Borg queen. Can't imagine that was a good decision.

So many questions! So many possibilities!

What do you think, Fanatics? Launch your best thoughts and theories into our comments below!

Watcher Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 3.9 / 5.0 (261 Votes)

Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Episode 4 Quotes

Picard: I'm counting on you, Agnes. We all are.
Jurati: Peachy. Have you met in a pinch?

Jurati: You all right, mister?
Picard: Just having memories of things that have yet to occur.