So, what is in store for us all as we head into a new Star Trek adventure, centered on an old, beloved cast member? CBS has been somewhat tight lipped thus far, so let’s jump in and see what Patrick Stewart and crew have in store for as we recap and review episode one of Star Trek: Picard!
Recap of Picard, S1.E1: “Rememberance”
We open with Jean-Luc Picard, former Admiral of Star Fleet in a game with Data on a large ship, overlooking a window onto the galaxy. But after some discussion on Data’s synthetic robot-like nature, Mars explodes and Jean-Luc awakens in a home in France from a dream.
The scene shifts and we see a young woman named Dahj, who is celebrating with her boyfriend her admittance into school as a fellow in artificial intelligence and quantuam consciousness. However, the celebration is ended when a group enters into the room, kills her boyfriend and seizes Dahj, checking her and declaring that she has not been activated yet. But, once a hood goes around her head, something awakens within in and she quickly, with the moves of a seasoned warrior takes out her captors, fleeing the scene, but only after she sees one clear image: Jean-Luc Picard.
And Jean-Luc is on television, in an interview on the 10th anniversary of an attack. It seems that Jean-Luc left the Enterprise in order to help the Romulan refugees find a new home, but that effort was destroyed when a group of synthetics went rogue, lowering the shields on Mars, before it was then bombed, creating a gas fire on the planet that still runs. As the interview gets heated, Picard talks some about the decision to resign from Star Fleet. Most notably though, Dahj sees him on a television, recognizing the man from her vision.
So the two of them meet up for the first time at Picard’s chateau, where she talks about knowing who he is, a way much deeper and older than he can fathom. But after a rest, in which Picard sees Data painting a picture, Jean-Luc heads off to find a painting that Data had made. Its match is in his home but he discovers the painting has a name, “Daughter”.
Meanwhile, Dahj is wound up again after speaking remotely to her mom but then doubting what she is hearing or seeing. Instead, with the same kind of fervor as her learned battle skills, she sets about hacking systems and tracking down Picard. When they reunite, Picard asks her to examine herself deeply, to see if she may indeed be a synthetic, the daughter of Data. But as they set off to the facility in Okinawa that Picard thinks they can find answers, they are ambushed by Romulan assassins who succeed in killing Dahj with the equivalent of a suicide bomb.
Picard then pushes onwards though, visiting Dr. Jurati, one of the few doctors left studying synthetics after the rebellion. She seems quite certain that the science used to create Data, the captain’s beloved crewman, who gave his life to save Picard in the last Star Trek movie, has never been duplicated. But the necklace that Dahj had worn suggested that a rogue scientist potentially could have made some synthetics, presumably using a part of Data, but they must be made in pairs: twins!
And so we meet Soji, who is a scientist on a Romulan reclamation vessel, as she is being engaged in conversation by Narek. She knows about her twin and they discuss Narek’s loss of a brother in the last year. He laments that she doesn’t want to hear his story, but she leans in as the camera pans out and we discover that this reclamation vessel is on board a Borg cube!
Review of Picard, S1.E1: “Rememberance”
I have to say that I had high expectations as I went into this series and even moreso, I am excited after this first episode. Jean-Luc will forever be the Captain that I resonate the most with and his passion and ideals are what makes him so unique.
It is easy for me to see him as stepping back from Star Fleet in a morality play that he has created. Also, I want to stress that they have done a wonderful job of creating a show that is open to people that aren’t deep into the Star Trek lore.
Quick hits from “Rememberance”:
- One of the stalwarts of the original series that feature Picard was the holo-deck, where you would sometimes see crazy scenes play out. They seem to be using Picard’s dreams in a way to serve that same dynamic in this show. It is a little touch but I definitely felt it.
- They are doing wonderful work with the musical score of this show. When you think Star Trek, you tend to think in terms of the epic, sweeping compositions. What they are doing on this show with restrained and few instruments is really great and sets it apart while leaving it connected. Another early touch that stood out.
- We’ve know the cast list for some time but there are two standouts in this episode. Isa Briones as Nahj and Soji just does some great acting, as a person coming to realize that at least in part some of her story is a lie and in short bit we see her as a doctor. Allison Pill, who I loved from her stint on the HBO Drama The Newsroom, Her scientist discovering new boundaries is going to make for an excellent crew mate this season.