Star Trek: Picard's Hurd and Ryan on How Season 2 Holds Up a Mirror to Love, Life, and Loss

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One key element to Star Trek: Picard Season 1's appeal is its elegant entwining of familiarity and innovation. Classic characters in new adventures. It's the chef's kiss of fan service.

On its cast, they personify the marriage of nostalgia and novelty in the characters of Seven of Nine and Raffaela Musiker (aka Raffi), respectively, as the two form a bond near the end of Season 1.

Speaking with TV Fanatic and other press agencies on a Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Press Day, Jeri Ryan and Michelle Hurd spill on the magic of their relationship and the importance of holding up a mirror to contemporary issues.

Jeri Ryan & Michelle Hurd - Star Trek: Picard

As Star Trek: Picard Season 1 drew to a close, we glimpsed a quiet, intimate moment between Raffi and Seven onboard La Sirena.

In the period between Season 1 and 2, Hurd and Ryan worked together again as Raffi and Seven on an audio drama, Star Trek: No Man's Land, where the two characters have their own adventure while exploring a deeper relationship with each other.

Both actresses are extremely enthusiastic about collaborating on projects.

Hurd can't say enough about the positive energy their relationship generates. "I think Jeri and I are like two peas in a pod. We're like frick and frack.

Seven and Raffi - Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Episode 2

"We really work very well together, and I know, for myself, I immediately liked her. I just liked her.

"I mean, who doesn't like her, for goodness sakes? It was pretty easy for us to create a rapport and work on that relationship."

Ryan concurs, "Yeah, that's true. Definitely true. You said it, instant chemistry. We just work well together. We have a similar working style. We clicked. So, it's easy."

Star Trek: Picard Season 2 takes their characters out of familiar waters. Specifically, Ryan's Seven finds herself on Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Episode 2 without her Borg implants for the first time in Trek canon.

It was an intense moment for Ryan. "This is the first time that Seven has ever -- since she was seven years old -- experienced just being human.

President Seven - Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Episode 3

"That was a shock to the system to see this character in this world -- I mean a different version, a much darker version of this world of course but -- without the prosthetics, without the Borg implants.

"It was something she has struggled with her entire life, reconciling her Borg half and her human half.

"The first reaction of anyone that [she meets] is always either fear, anger, disgust, distrust, or all of the above because the first thing they see, no matter what the circumstances are, is this Borg implant, this metal on [her] head.

"To see herself as just human was a pretty cool moment for the character."

Jeri Ryan as Seven - Star Trek: Picard

The Raffi and Seven relationship has a richness in its fabric borne of the women's respective history and experiences.

On Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Episode 3, Raffi experiences a significant loss that parallels Seven's own loss and trauma from Star Trek: Picard Season 1 Episode 5.

While Seven may be the best person to support her through this time, has the relationship reached the point where Raffi can trust herself to lean on it?

Hurd speaks to how the relationship has -- and needs -- that room to grow.

Raffi Arms Crossed - Star Trek: Picard

"This season, we will find that all these challenges and these extreme places that these two people find themselves in will be a test to the respect and understanding and the truth about two women who are strong and independent and stubborn and could be pigheaded, very vulnerable and emotional and powerful.

"How do you navigate that as two grown women who have lives that they have developed for decades? And now they {find] themselves together. There's been chaos. What would happen in that situation?

"I think maybe they would find some support [for] each other."

Ryan jumps in to remind her of the mission priority, "Oh, and save the galaxy at the same time."

Hurd agrees, "Yes, and save the galaxy."

Seven Looking into the Distance - Star Trek: Picard

Seven and Raffi's relationship evolution is craftily woven into the adventure plotline of Season 2 without pulling focus.

Ryan is thoughtful about how the show has framed the relationship. "This is a unique situation the way that they're telling this storyline in Season 2 because they're dropping us into the middle of the relationship.

"This is a year and a half or whatever it is into a relationship [where] you're in the trenches every day slogging through, trying to figure out how you make it work. [Meanwhile,] all this other stuff is going on. And the entire galaxy is in jeopardy.

"We're not playing bits of a story that are interrupted by other stuff. That's the relationship with these characters. That's the way they interact. So that's just the subtext that's there no matter what else is going on. That's not something that I felt like we had to play.

"Whether there's dialogue about it or there's not dialogue about it, that's just the reality of these characters, and that's just being true to them and to the story that we're telling."

Raffi Direct Look - Star Trek: Picard

Hurd expands on that, "Yeah, I agree. You'll see the truths in maybe little moments where there's looks and stuff, but we're not in that part where people are trying to run off to the side and snuggle or whatever.

"This is not that period of time. That would be right after that first season ended, right?

"So, time has passed. We're on two different journeys. Seven is in working with the Fenris Rangers. I'm working with the Federation. We've gone on different paths.

"You'll see little glimpses, but I think it would be doing a disservice to these two women if -- during this time when such huge stakes are in front of us -- we would be like, 'Oh, I like how you're dressed today.' I think that would be weird."

Happy Couple - Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Episode 3

With the time travel to 2024, basically our present-day, what will Season 2 look at in terms of contemporary issues?

Ryan's take is historical. "Star Trek has always -- since the original series -- set out to hold a mirror up to society. There's no clearer way to that. It's a little more direct, but it's literally traveling back to the present day and showing us how we're screwing it up and what we need to fix.

Hurd believes the message and the medium can be merged. "That's the hope, isn't it? Times are so volatile and so crazy right now that our writers and producers felt the need to actually try to address it a little more spot-on than usual.

"Hopefully, we fill it with a lot of exciting adventure, but I do hope that at the end, we all sort of look at ourselves and look at our surroundings and see if there's anything that each one of us as individuals can do to help this planet that we live on and the society that we are a part of."

Would-Be Mugging - Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Episode 3

The societal issues the Federation and Starfleet of the 24th century have solved are starkly apparent in Los Angeles of 2024.

Hurd points out the vast contrast between societies. "Raffi sees it immediately. As soon as she lands in 2024, she sees this homelessness, this dirt, the sky isn't blue anymore. The ash. It's not clean to breathe. She's almost mugged.

"Literally, she says, 'You're killing it, 2024. You're killing it.' We know who Raffi is. Raffi walks with her heart on her sleeve. She is an emotional person. She is a vulnerable person. She's driven, and she's passionate.

"When she gets fixated on something, she's going to go to the ends [of the earth] to try to make it work, to fix it.

"Obviously, in this moment, it's about Elnor. She's going to do this to bring Elnor back to life.

Raffi and Elnor - Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Episode 3

"I really love the fact that the writers gave us the opportunity to expose the egregiousness that has happened in our world at times.

"Also that moment when she sees Seven for the first time, and she goes, 'What is this? Why do you seem so relaxed?' How beautiful is it that they did that?

"They didn't do it like 'Let's really pound it in that life is better for a beautiful -- to be completely honest -- blonde-haired, blue-eyed woman as opposed to this woman of color.' I love that they put that in there.

"That we could say instinctively, Seven woke up feeling accepted. Before she even saw herself, before even seeing her interacting with the world, she woke up. Or even [when she] saw that little girl. She's beamed in, and there's all those flowers around there.

"You look at her face. She's already at peace and accepted in this community. I love that, and I hope that people really hear it and see it.

Seven in 2024 - Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Episode 3

"We should all just make a deal to try and change things. Star Trek has always tried to say this is all about inclusivity. This is all about diversity. This is not about other-ism.

"This is about telling all of our stories. We're here on this one planet. Let's respect it. Let's call each other brother and sister."

Seven of Nine has been a part of the Trek-verse for twenty-five years, and Ryan has had all that time to absorb the parallel experiences her character has lived to those of audience members.

"For Seven, her struggle has always been [that] she's always been the outsider.

Stoic Seven - Star Trek: Picard Season 1 Episode 5

"There's always been a struggle between her Borg half and her human half, and trying to figure out 'Where do I fit in? Who am I, really? What is my true self? Who am I?

"There are so many people in our society who are experiencing that same struggle, trying to figure out where they're accepted and where they fit in and who they really are and where they feel right and at home.

"I hear from so many of them -- whether it's people in the trans community or in the LGBTQ community -- who relate to Seven and have for years since her introduction on Voyager.

"I love hearing from all of them. They found a character that they could relate to, and they felt represented by. It's an honor."

Star Trek: No Man's Land - Star Trek: Picard

As mentioned above, Hurd and Ryan worked together between seasons on the Raffi and Seven adventure audio drama "Star Trek: No Man's Land" for Simon & Schuster Audio.

Is there a possibility of a Raffi and Seven television spin-off to Picard once the series ends after Season 3?

Both women are keen but unable to confirm anything. Hurd is encouraging in her comments. "I think that everybody should be thinking about that seriously, that there should be a Seven and Raffi spin-off. There you go. A hundred percent."

Ryan's more excited about any opportunity to continue working with Hurd. "I'm going to go on record right now and say I will do anything with that woman.

Welcome to 2024 - Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Episode 3

"I would work on anything with her ever, and I don't care what it is ... well, there's some limits, but she is the most delightful human being. I just love her. I love working with her."

Hurd reciprocates, "Same, same. So, YES to the spin-off."

What do you think, Fanatics? Would you beam up to another Star Trek series starring Seven and Raffi? Voice your thoughts in our comments below!

Star Trek: Picard streams on Paramount+ with new episodes dropping every Thursday. Be sure to check back here for our episodic reviews!

Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is a lifelong fan of smart sci-fi and fantasy media, an upstanding citizen of the United Federation of Planets, and a supporter of AFC Richmond 'til she dies. Her guilty pleasures include female-led procedurals, old-school sitcoms, and Bluey. She teaches, knits, and dreams big. Follow her on Twitter.

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Star Trek: Picard Quotes

Data: Why are you stalling, Captain?
Picard: I don't want the game to end.

Dahj: Have you ever... been a stranger to yourself?
Picard: Many, many times