Synopsis: Completely unaware of her special nature, Soji continues her work and captures the attention of the Borg cube research project’s executive director. After rehashing past events with a reluctant Raffi, Picard seeks others willing to join his search for Bruce Maddox, including pilot and former Starfleet officer Cristóbal Rios.
Review: This episode sees Picard begin to build his new crew.
This episode begins 14 years in the past just after the synths rendered Mars and the shipyards vulnerable to attack. Admiral Picard has just spoken to the high ups at Starfleet who have refused to continue rendering aid to the Romulans, which forced Picard into resigning his commission. We see a brief conversation between Picard and his first officer Raffi who suspects that the Romulan Tal Shiar were behind the Synth attack with a view to undermining Picard’s rescue mission.
Back in the present. Soji has been given access to former borg that did not cope well with being separated from the collective. Turns out that they are all Romulan. Soji is introduced to the former Romulan Borg by Hugh who is the head of the Borg Reclamation project.
Elsewhere, Picard is with Raffi and is trying to talk her into joining him because he needs her mind. Raffi who was unceremoniously drummed out of Starfleet is understandably bitter with Picard and feels that he gave up too easily. She turns him down but does Picard’s information onto Captain Cristobal Rios who is a former Starfleet Officer with a troubled past.
Back at the Chateau some Tal Shiar attack Picard but are on the losing side of the fight as Picard and his two Romulan friends just about manage to overwhelm them with a little added help from Dr. Jurati who has just come to Picard after an uncomfortable conversation with Starfleet head od intelligence Commadore Oh.
The episode closes out as Picard and his ragtag crew set out for Free Cloud to find Maddox with some reluctant help from Raffi who is just along for the ride.
The scenes between Picard and Raffi do a lot to set things up and give us a fair bit of backstory into their working relationship. You get the impression that Raffi was always much more cautious of who to trust and was never fully trusting of the Starfleet brass. Which is the perfect counterpoint to Picard who was always by the book when it came to his dealings with Starfleet. I loved the scene shortly after Picard meets Raffi where he contacts her over the comms and uploads all the information he had found on Maddox knowing that she’s likely already started to research him. Patrick Stewart and Michelle Hurd do a brilliant job of selling this scene and it looks like Picard’s relationship with Raffi is a complex one, to say the least.
I also enjoyed the scenes that introduced Cristobal ‘Chris’ Rios where we see Picard try to psychoanalyze him and basically attempt to get in his head. Rios who is played brilliantly by Santiago Cabrera looks like he could well be another intriguing character.
This episode pretty much acts as an introduction to some new characters, but also acts as an info dump and leaves us with more questions than answers. Questions such as why are the former Romulan Borg so frightened of Soji and how deep are the Tal Shiar supposedly rooted in at Starfleet HQ if at all?
Overall. Another enjoyable 45 minutes.
- CGI & Stunts9.4
- Incidental Music9.5