If the slower pace of the most recent episodes have been a drag for you, then this week should definitely bring some redemption as we start to really move the plot forward, as the crew finally reaches the Reclamation Project.
Recap of Picard, S1.E6: “The Impossible Box”
The opening flashback is a dream that Soji has, where she is awakened by a storm and then when she sneaks into her father’s lab, she cannot quite make out what is happening, as her view is blocked by the famous hybrid orchids her dad has made. When she awakens, Narek quizzes her and pushes her, with it ultimately leading to a fight.
Back on the ship, we see Jurati deceive the crew about how Bruce Maddux died, with no one seeming to distrust her account. But that is likely because there are some things on their minds. Elnor seems ready for a fight. Rios is just Rios. But Picard, he has major issues, as he has some stress about returning to a Borg ship and all that entails. As he studies a picture of what he once was as a Borg.
Jurati and Rios though find a way to waste some time, as they connect in a conjugal way, even as she expresses her concern that this hook-up isn’t a good idea.
But on the Reclamation Project, Narek and his sister have a debate. The title prop for the episode is introduced, a cube that one has to open but it takes skill, cunning and patience, which he demonstrates when she shows a lack of it. The main idea is that his way of wooing her to answers is running out and soon they will have to take a different approach.
In order to not violate all the Federation’s rules and treatises in regards to space, the ship needs a legitimate reason to be there. They rouse a drunk Raffi who is able to reach out to an old connection and sweet talk their excuse: Jean-Luc is on a science mission to meet the director of the Reclamation Project, Hugh, who we have seen is Soji’s boss.
But Soji is falling apart. After Narek revealed that her calls to her mom are always exactly 70 seconds, she finds she cannot extend a call past that time, even when harming herself to keep herself awake. After that, she begins to date all of her items and over and over again she finds that nothing she has is older than 37 months old, even things supposedly from her childhood.
Picard beams aboard the Reclamation Project and has major issues until Hugh finds him and walks him through the way things work. Picard is ultimately stunned to see the progress that Hugh has made in helping get some of the former Borg to a state of a new life, albeit disturbingly so in some case, with skin covering what were eye sockets and worse.
Soji is then engaged in a Romulan prayer walk and meditation exercise by Narek. She works her way through the process and relives the dream she has been having. But at the climatic end, when Narek should be offering her help, she instead gets ambushed. He has some information about what she remembers as her “home” world, with the assumption being that the Romulans will be able to kill all of her kind. And he leaves the Impossible Cube as they lock her in a cell, and when it opens, it sends out some kind of radiation. But Soji activates and punches her way through the floor.
This is the point where Hugh and Picard connect with her. Having nowhere left to turn, she runs with them and Hugh reveals a way to transport them off the Cube and a very long distance away. Elnor shows up to defend them, even though he had pledged to stay on the crew’s ship. Ultimately, Picard tells Rios to meet him and Soji on Nepenthe, as Hugh and Elnor stay to cover their retreat.
Review of Picard, S1.E6: “The Impossible Box”
I have to admit, the show had been starting to drag to a crawl by the end of last episode, so the speed of this episode came at just the right time. It felt right to get the show moving forward, especially with only 5 episodes remaining in season 1 after this one.
Picard being so throughly impacted by the Borg caught me off guard. For him, it has been years, maybe even 20 years since he was assimilated, so I assumed that he would have worked his way through that trauma. It was a nice way to add the humanity to Picard that this show has shown. He is an old man with issues that he hasn’t worked through yet.
Hugh is a nice call back to older shows. He is like Seven of Nine but has leaned into saving others. Picard’s approval of what he is doing seems to deeply touch him and he is willing to do what he can.
Next episode feels like it could be an interesting one, as you have divided the group into Picard and Soji, and spoilers seem to indicate that they may encounter Picard’s Number One fan, Hugh and Elnor, fighting the Romulans on the Cube and the rest of the crew working out their issues. How will Rios, Jurati and Raffi deal with it being the three of them to make hard decisions and rendezvous with Picard?