Jean-Luc Picard can’t catch a break in Star Trek: Picard, at least when it comes to Captain Liam Shaw
Captain Liam Shaw has won over a lot of fans due to his brash and yet fun delivery. The captain of the Titan isn’t the biggest fan of Jean-Luc Picard or William Riker either, and while that may be understandable for a lot of people who are long-time fans of the franchise, Shaw’s motives are pretty obvious.
Whenever someone has an issue with Picard, it usually centers around one key event in Star Trek history, the Battle at Wolf 359. The battle was famous for Picard’s involvement, having been abducted by the Borg, the techno-zombie race was able to use Picard’s secret codes and information to cripple the Federation in one of the most devastating losses Starfleet ever took.
This would lead to conflict between two of the Federation’s best, Picard and Benjamin Sisko. The first episode of Deep Space Nine was built around Sisko’s disdain and anger towards Picard. Even though Patrick Stewart was only in the episode briefly, Sisko’s issues with what happened at Wolf 359 continue to shape him throughout the pilot.
The same can be said for Shaw, but does Shaw, like Sisko, have a right to hate Picard?
Jean-Luc Picard was as much a victim as anyone else at Wolf 359
Picard isn’t a character that I have ever truly glommed onto. When people find issues with him, I generally just nod in agreement. Except, not when it comes to Wolf 359. Picard was abducted, tortured, augmented, and enslaved, all against his will.
I don’t blame Shaw for having issues with Picard about Wolf 359, nor Sisko, but both men fail to realize that Picard did nothing intentionally. He didn’t try to get one over on the Borg, nor did he do something wreckless like trying to make peace with them, at least at the time anyway.
It’s human nature to sometimes let grief blind one’s judgment and that’s what’s happening with Shaw and Sisko. Neither man is wrong for what they’re feeling, but it’s not like Picard did anything deliberately. He was just the face of the enemy, not a willing participant.
So while it makes sense that some people will have issues with Picard, neither Shaw nor Sisko are being accurate in their rage. It’s the Borg collective they should be pointing their anger at, not Picard.