Spoiler alert: Star Trek: Picard season three is off to a fantastic start, but the most recent episode, “Seventeen Seconds” showed some problematic areas.
Let me say right out of the gate that I love Star Trek: Picard, even seasons one and two. I enoyed seeing a different side of Admiral Jea-Luc Picard, watching him fall in love again, and meeting the new members of the cast. So any issues I have with the most recent episode aren’t my way of saying this show is going downhill. But there was a contradiction (or two) in the latest episode that was a bit confusing and will hopefully be clarified later on.
The first episode of this season started with Jack Crusher being chased by Vadic and her team of creepy villains. It segued to her wanting him to be turned over. As a bounty hunter, she was supposedly going to collect money (or whatever form of payment) from delivering Jack to the proper authorities because of his criminal activities.
Vadic’s entire attack on the Titan has been about getting them to turn over Dr. Crusher and Admiral Picard’s son. So why then did the Changeling leave him for dead in a room with noxious gas? Had Seven of Nine not found Jack, he would have died. He almost did, in fact. So is Vadic not in charge of whether or not Jack lives or dies? Is she not leading the Changelings? Or are the Changelings leading her like the Founders led the Jem H’dar on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine?
And then there’s another issue with Admiral Picard’s position on Star Trek: Picard.
When Picard discovered Jack was his son, he immediately overruled Captain Shaw’s orders and took command of the Titan, clearly stating “Admiral’s orders.” It’s understandable that a father would do that to protect his son. And his rank clearly still carries clout. So why didn’t Admiral Picard overrule Captain Riker when Riker wanted to attempt to escape the Shrite? He could have taken command again even when Riker ordered him off the bridge.
Picard wanted to fight the Shrite even though his son is aboard the Titan, the son he originally wanted to protect. He has known Jack for less time than it takes to down a sixteen-ounce soda, and he’s suddenly okay with putting him in harm’s way because there can’t possibly be a relationship between the two? That just doesn’t feel right.
It’s confusing enough that we don’t know if the villains want Jack dead or alive, but this episode was out of character for Picard who, in the past, would have attempted to come up with a unique solution like he did countless times with the Borg and other formidable enemies. Instead, he backs down from Riker even though it puts all of them at risk as much as Riker’s idea does? Before, when Picard knew the Enterprise was outgunned, he came up with other creative solutions, usually with help from Number One. So why the two officers aren’t working together now is a bit strange.
Hopefully, these are just some small blips, and I’m merely overthinking things. That Changeling could have been a rogue one who thought killing Jack was okay, and there’s something bigger building with Picard and Riker that will explain everything in the next couple of episodes. I’ll remain optimistic because, as I said, I really do love the series.