Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Episode 7 Review: MonstersDiana Keng at . Updated at .
Let's get this straight. Despite the many tips of the hat to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine this season, that. is. not. Bashir.
Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Episode 7 gets pretty in-depth and trippy as Tallinn forms a mechanically-assisted mind-meld with Picard in an effort to get him psychologically unstuck. It answers many questions but opens the door to some even trickier ones.
Meanwhile, on the outside, Rios makes a questionable decision around Dr. Teresa that culminate in flapping some ri-DONK-ulous butterfly wings when he takes her and her son on a field trip to La Sirena.
Yeah, so let's talk about that first.
Of the entire 24th century crew, Rios is the most enamored of 2024 Earth, with Seven living footloose and Borg implant-free as a close second.
He's in love with the food, the vibe, and the good doctor, Teresa Ramirez.
Rios: Who do you want me to be?
Teresa: A good guy.
Rios: I am, and if I wasn't, then I would become one right now.
So maybe 21st-century immigration policies and institutionalized racism take a little of the glamor off, but Rios is, for the most part, digging the old-school energy.
My theory is that his rough initial landing and shock-stick treatment by I.C.E. might've also scrambled his brains a bit.
Things escalate quickly at the clinic.
From borrowing some clothes out of the lost and found to providing her with future tech to stabilize Picard's neural network to transporting them all to La Sirena, it's an exponential increase in potential timeline implosion.
Dr. Ramirez: Are you from outer space?
Rios: No, I'm from Chile. I just work in outer space.
(Also, someone's going to have to explain to me how he managed a remote transport from Los Angeles to France with no com badge and no one at the controls.)
I'm also puzzled why Rios chose to take them away before knowing for certain if Picard and Tallinn survived their subconscious adventure.
And how did he know that he wasn't going to run into Seven and Raffi? This game of musical locations gets confusing at times.
Meanwhile, Seven and Raffi are looking for Jurati and finding the Borg queen instead.
I'm all for an endorphin rush, but I'm not sure breaking a window would've been my go-to in a seedy bar where music, alcohol, and unseemly company are easily accessible. But I've never been Borg, so what do I know?
I'll hand it to Alison Pill, though. She's getting to play with the full gamut of femme fatales this season. (And Jurati was a femme fatale in Star Trek: Picard Season 1. Just ask Bruce Maddox. Oh, wait, you can't.)
From the start, her portrayal of the brilliant but neurotic and awkward Jurati has been so consistent and convincing that her transformation into Jurati-controlled-by-the-Borg-queen is remarkable.
Not sure if it's make-up and lighting magic, but I could swear the expression with which she susses out the dive bar is pure Annie Wersching.
(Also, did everyone know that the singer with the band is Sunny Ozell, Patrick Stewart's real-life wife? I sometimes wonder if Stewart and company don't view this series as their version of Clooney et al.'s Ocean's franchise -- an excuse to hang out with friends and get paid.)
And that brings us back to Picard's super-meta psych eval inside his own subconscious.
There's a lot of sci-fi Easter Egg value to having James Callis portray Picard's psychologist initially.
The true sovereign of nature. Giving life. Allowing life. And yet we know will be the thing that one day swallows us all.Therapist
After all, when he played Gaius Baltar on Battlestar Galactica, he spent a lot of time talking to Caprica Six in his head.
Additionally, his relations with Six, a Cylon (which is essentially BSG's version of a synth), led to the near destruction of humanity, something Picard (now a synth himself) spent last season trying to prevent.
It's also established canon that Baltar had a troubled relationship with his father, so when Picard's psychologist turns out to be his father, it's all a bit on the nose.
You lived longer than I did, but I got to keep my hair. Not exactly a fair trade, is it? Son.Maurice Picard
But if we're going to get to the heart of the matter of Picard and his mother, it's only logical that his father must be the guide.
There's a lot to unpack in the scenes we witness in Picard's "story" of the red-haired queen and the boy prince.
The scenes in the conservatory are rich in fantastical detail. It's a style of imagery I can't recall ever seeing in Trek shows before.
The animation of the shadows and creatures in the paintings and the dread they instill reminds me of films like The NeverEnding Story and The Last Unicorn, where the implication of danger is enough to adrenalize a scene.
In a way, she did [know the future]. Like an animal, she could feel danger in her bones before anyone else in the room. Perhaps she was magic. Or that's what happens when you live in a world where monsters are real.Picard
Picard's description of the queen, his mother, borders on high fantasy as well. She is larger than life, more than human, drawn from a boy's love for his mother and a man's need to hear his mother's love expressed unequivocally, an emotional comfort blanket that can never grow old or fade.
I want you to understand how deeply I love you. No matter what your life brings, if I know you forever, or if I know you for moments, in every breath, who you are is why I am so proud of you for becoming.Yvette Picard/Red-Haired Queen
Tallinn's intrusion brings about the confrontation between Picard and his father, which is the catalyst for the truth.
By helping the boy prince Picard work past his "stuck"ness, she forces him to progress further, into territory that is even more traumatic than being trapped in a dungeon for hours by himself.
Her reassurance and support help him knock down doors he is afraid to open.
Like Picard's therapist/psychologist, Tallinn insists the younger self be honest about himself.
Therapist: Ironic, isn't it? We're all here for you, Picard. Only you can stop it. Say something real. One real thing. Why do you think we're here?
Picard: Because I'm stuck.
And while she realizes that there's more to Picard's trauma, he deflects and redirects to Q and how they can put Maman Picard's words to work.
In time, they would forget he was ever there, but they would never forget the lesson. There is no better teacher than one's enemy.Yvette Picard/Red-Haired Queen
Am I the only one surprised by the FBI raiding Guinan's bar? I hope not. It seems incredibly out of left field.
It's interesting to note that Guinan's summoning ritual works about as well as Q's snap. They must be connected.
Also, where's Tallinn? Why didn't Picard take her with him to see Guinan? If Renée is in quarantine, Tallinn's pretty much on vacation until launch.
As a Watcher, you'd think she'd be aware of a team of feds infiltrating the bar. Just saying, it might've been useful bringing her along.
With Picard and Guinan in custody (and his com badge left behind at the bar) and Rios out in France with Teresa and her son, Seven and Raffi are on their own to track down (and subdue?) Borg queen Jurati.
Tall order but nothing like stopping an interdimensional annihilation by an A.I. invasion squad, so no problem, right?
To be fair, they had a Starfleet armada backing them up that last time.
But Jurati's not even a fully-formed queen yet. How much trouble could she cause?
How do you see that showdown going off? Will there be butterfly collateral shrapnel blasting a hole through downtown LA?
As we careen towards the season's end, our team is geographically separated and targetting three different mission goals. How do you see this dove-tailing for the finale?
Can Jurati come back from assimilation? Will she stress hormone the queen into submission?
Will Raffi and Seven get to trip those young 'uns with their canes?
Raffi: Look, if that whole thing starts up again, I quit the gang. No, seriously, I don't think I have it in me.
Raffi: You and me? Now, see we're totally different. Our pain is beautiful and tragic and everyone loves hearing about it.
Does Rios get a happily-ever-after?
Hit our comments with your best thoughts and theories!
Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.