IN REVIEW: STAR TREK: PICARD: SEASON ONE – Nepenthe

Picard and Soji transport to the planet Nepenthe, home to some old and trusted friends.

Synopsis: Picard and Soji transport to the planet Nepenthe, home to some old and trusted friends. As the rest of the La Sirena crew attempt to join them, Picard helps Soji make sense of her recently unlocked memories.

Review: This is another key episode that many fans of ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ have been waiting for, and it does not disappoint.

The Story

This episode opens up with a flashback, which shows us what happened during Jurati’s meeting with Commodore Oh of Starfleet Security.  In a nutshell, The Commodore engaged Jurati with a Vulcan Mindmeld to show her what a future with Synths holds. Which convinced Jurati to go along with Picard on his mission and Kill Bruce Maddox. Dr. Jurati is also made to chew and swallow a Blue Pill, which acts as a tracker.

On the Borg Cube. Hugh has been captured by a rather pissed off Narissa who is killing former borgs left, right, and center in an effort to get Hugh to give her the details of where Picard and Soji are. Hugh being the loyal refuses to sell out Picard and Narrissa pretty much lets him go for the time being, which allows Elnor to reconnect with Hugh and the former Borgs as his new lost cause.

Meanwhile, on the planet, Nepenthe Admiral Picard and Soji reconnect with William Riker, Deanna Troi, and their young daughter Kestra. Soji is still traumatized at finding out that she is a synthetic life form and needs help to come to terms with it. Troi tries to help but is initially unsuccessful, but while on the planet Soji forms a strong bond with Riker and Troi’s daughter Kestra who tells Soji about her older brother who tragically died. Eventually, after spending quality time with the Rikers and getting to know Picard better Soji eventually trusts Picard and they set about on their mission to find the planet where Madox built her.

Back on La Sirena Agnes Jurati has realized that the tracking device that Commodore Oh placed in her is what is allowing the Romulans to track the ship. To that end Jurati injects herself with poison in order to eradicate the device’s usefulness.

The Acting

First off. It was wonderful to see Marina Sirtis and Jonathan Frakes reprise their roles of Troi and Riker and it was great to see them reunited with Patrick Stewart as Picard and learn a little about the life that these characters have lived since we last saw them. Riker’s scenes with Picard were fun to watch in that they were a lot less formal and had the warmth and love of a true friendship, which had been built and cultivated. It was also great seeing Troi use her empathic abilities in as much as she could with Soji. The scene where Troi tells Soji about how they lost their son was a wonderful way to illustrate to her point about real lives versus synthetic lives.

Also really good was Lulu Wilson who was absolutely fantastic in the role of Troi and Riker’s daughter Kestra. I really enjoyed watching the friendship between Kestra and Soji grow as the two shared so much in the way of personal loss and the gradual journey of personal discovery. The scene where Kestra says she will miss Soji was really touching and very much earned.

Overall

This was a really nice episode, which was quite low on the action and high on the character drama. It was great seeing some old favorites reconnect. I loved the log cabin that Riker and Troi lived in. As well as the backstory concerning their dead son, which had a loose connection to the Synth storyline in that is Synths were not outlawed. One could have actually saved the life of their son.

What I wasn’t so keen on was the way in which Hugh was killed off. I mean fair dos. He dies protecting Picard and was about to take the Borg Cube away from the Romulans, but it seemed like such a waste given that I felt that there could have been so much more for his character to do. Overall though. This was a pretty decent episode, which gets us to the next stage of the story in that we will finally get to see how far the Federation and Romulan conspiracy reaches over the next few episodes. The race is on now to find Soji’s home planet.

9.6
STAR TREK: PICARD: SEASON ONE – Nepenthe
  • Story
    9.5
  • Acting
    9.8
  • CGI & Stunts
    9.5
  • Incidental Music
    9.6

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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