Could’ve been worse

I was on the edge of my seat throughout Picard Season 3. Not because I found the story itself particularly thrilling, but because I was waiting for the writers and producers to shit the bed at any moment.

But it never happened.

And for that alone, the third and final season of Star Trek: Picard can be deemed a success. Yes, the bar has been set that low.

Actually, I’m going to something that I swore I’d never do: defend Alex Kurtzman. ACTUALLY…fuck that: I’m going to defend the decision to bring back the Borg, which is a decision I presume Alex Kurtzman fully supported.

To be honest, I’m a little disappointed that the Changelings weren’t made the main villain as I was quite excited to see them return. And I agree with most fans that between Voyager and the first couple of seasons of Picard that the Borg are mostly played out. BUT, being as they were the main villains during Berman-era Trek, I feel pretty content with how they were closed out in Picard: in one last standoff with the Enterprise D.

But, I guess they’re gone now (I don’t know for sure because I refuse to watch Picard season 2), so it’s time to push Star Trek forward. The franchise’s new savior is Terry Matalas, who is apparently pushing for Star Trek: Legacy, which if the last episode of Picard is any indication, will star Seven of Nine as captain of the Enterprise G, her former lover Raffi as her first officer, and Jack Crusher…Picard’s son…as a “counselor to the captain” or some shit.

Speaking of Jack Crusher, the writers could’ve done better and the actor kinda overplayed it. Yet somehow I don’t absolutely hate him 👍.

So I guess I’ll continue letting Paramount steal money from my wallet so that I can watch the adventures of Captain Seven (or is it Captain “of Nine”?)

Picard Season 3

It’s been an emotional week for me. And that could be a part of the problem: Star Trek: Picard season 3 caught me at the right time.

I don’t think I’ve ever properly explained the impact that TNG made on my childhood. Without it, everything might’ve been different. Perhaps I would have been able to able to live out my dream of being a Las Vegas lounge singer in Carson City. Who knows? But alas, I watched it and now nearly 30 years after the show ended, I’m about to initiate mutually assured destruction with my employer. C’est la vie.

Now after the shitshow that was Picard seasons 1 and 2, the question we should ask ourselves is: “what makes us think that season three would be any different?”. And I’m not entirely sure I have a satisfying response. We’re only two episodes in for fuck’s sake.

But I will say this: season three already feels a bit dialed back. This is a good thing. If I’ve said this once, I’ve said it a million times: Star Trek works best on limited budget, reliant on big emotions and intriguing science fiction dilemmas.

NuTrek, however, has basically abandoned the “intriguing science fiction dilemmas” part in favor of intergalactic politics. Which is fine. That could be interesting, but in NuTrek, the United Federation of Planets usually comes across as just another dirty player on the chess board. This unfortunately contradicts everything that made Star Trek appealing to sci-fi fans initially.

Fortunately in the Trek-verse there’s a film called Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan which is usually considered the franchise’s finest hour. While the plot does involve a science fiction macguffin, the story itself is about aging, friendship, family, loss, and revenge. In short, it’s a space opera.

So if you’re a NuTrek producer and you know that the quality of your product has been shit the past two seasons, what do you do? The answer is you steal from the best. While The Next Generation films are considered a disappointment, we’re finally given a real taste of what that universe would look like had Rick Berman and company handled the movies properly, albeit on Paramount+. And in my view, kudos to Alex Kurtzman and Terry Matalas for unapologetically ripping off Star Trek II.

In fact, they’re not only ripping off Star Trek II, but they’re ripping off the entirety of the TOS movies right down to lines of dialogue and sound effects. And I don’t have a problem with any of it.

This means that someone from the TNG crew…probably Picard…will get a glorious death scene and I am not prepared for it. In fact, I nearly cried when they started using the First Contact theme, which is one of my favorites, for the end credits.

Despite all of my bitching about NuTrek, if producers keep up the quality from the first two episodes, then guys…I’m telling you: I’m just not ready for it to end.