In Review: Star Trek: Picard: Season One – Absolute Candor

The crew's journey to Freecloud takes a detour when Picard orders a stop at the planet Vashti, where Picard and Raffi relocated Romulan refugees 14 years earlier.

Synopsis: The crew’s journey to Freecloud takes a detour when Picard orders a stop at the planet Vashti, where Picard and Raffi relocated Romulan refugees 14 years earlier.

Review: This episode fills in some more of the backstory and introduces us to Elnor, who joins Picard’s crew as a protector of lost causes.

The Story

Picard and his new crew are underway on their journey to Freespace, but they take a detour to the planet Vashti when Picard relocated a group of Romulans, which included the Sisters of the Qowat Milat. A group of Assassins whose beliefs are grounded in absolute candor. Hence the title of the episode. The Sister’s mandate is pretty much to serve as protectors for various causes, which others would consider to be lost. The group was apparently most helpful to Picard in relocated Romulan people to Vashti. Living among the Sisters is an orphaned boy called Elnor who Picard has taken a liking too. Even going so far as to bring the kid a copy of ‘The Three Musketeers’ and play sword fight with him. Unfortunately, news of the Synth attack on Mars forced Picard to leave Vashti 14 years ago, which is why he has returned. He wants to try and make amends and reconnect with Elnor, who is now a man and one hell of a warrior thanks to the Sisters having trained him as Qowat Milat. It’s fair to say that Picard turning up on Vashti is not greeted with the excitement that it was 14 years prior. The planet is now in a state of poverty and is being run by a petty warlord who flys in a Klingon Bird of Prey.

As he reconnects with the Sisters. Picard is encouraged by Zani to enlist Elnor for his Quest. Though  Elnor is still a bit miffed at Picard for leaving 14 years ago. When Picard is attacked at the local bar on Vashti by a former senator and his gang. Elnor swoops in and saves Picard by beheading his attacker. A move that Picard doesn’t totally approve of. Elnor decides to go with Picard. Saying that his quest to find the sole remaining Android daughter of Data fits the requirement of being a lost cause.

Back at the Reclamation Center. Narek continues to continues on his mission to try and extract information from Soji about the whereabouts of any other Synthetic life forms like her. Narek’s sister is not happy with her brother’s progress and gives him one week to get things sorted. This is further complicated by the fact that Soji is beginning to suspect Narek and is unhappy at the level of access he seems to have. As well as the knowledge that he seems to have about her and her family.

Back on Vashti Picard and Elnor beam over to the La Sirena just as the ship comes under attack from another vessel, lucky for them. They get some unexpected help from 7 of 9 who tells Picard in a rather short tone that he owes her a ship.

The Acting

As you’d expect. Patrick Stewart puts in a great performance and the scenes between him and Ian Nunney who plays the young Elnor are a lot of fun to watch and show a more tender and fatherly side to Picard, which we very rarely got to see in ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ due to his discomfort at that time with Children. I loved the sequence where they are sword fighting with each other as well as the bit where Picard reads to the boy. This all made the disappointment feel very real when Picard got called back to Starfleet and never returned for 14 years.

The scenes set in the present when Picard meets the older version of Elnor who is played by Casey King were well-acted, but I was a little surprised at how quickly Elnor decided to join Picard’s cause given how upset he was with Picard for having left 14 years prior. Maybe we’ll see that play out in future episodes as the two get to know each other again.

Overall

Another solid episode, which pretty much deals with the fact that this could well be Picard’s final mission. A fact that is reiterated when Picard rightly points out to Raffi that he may never have a chance to visit the planet Vashti again. I also like how the ship’s crew are slowly getting to know each other. We get a fun scene in which Jurati having gotten bored with space travel disturbs Rios while he is reading. We also see Raffi softening a little bit to working with Picard again.

Overall. A solid episode, which gave us a rare look at the Romulans as a people and not as the adversaries we have seen in the past. It was nice to see a more human and domestic side to them. I particularly liked the opening scenes where we got to see a thriving market place and the hustle and bustle of a town center with children playing and street vendors selling their wares.

The episode also does a nice job of setting up Seven of Nine’s entrance, which will keep us all on the edge of our seats until next week. To find out what she has been up to in the years since we last saw her.

 

9.6
Star Trek: Picard: Season One - Absolute Candor
  • Story
    9.7
  • Acting
    9.8
  • CGI & Stunts
    9.4
  • Incidental Music
    9.5

Ian Cullen is the founder of scifipulse.net and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: www.scifipulseradio.com When he is not writing for scifipulse.net Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of scifipulse.net You can contact ian at: ian@scifipulse.net
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