Star Trek: Picard proved the Borg defeated Jean-Luc Picard in an unexpected way.
Star Trek: Picard has brought back many former characters and aliens, but none more impactful, arguably, than the Borg. There are few enemies of the now admiral Jean-Luc Picard like the Borg. Introduced in the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generations’ episode “Q Who”, the Borg has become Picard’s own personal white whale. While normally considered by fans of the show as even-tempered, even more of a politician than a captain, Picard has a unique hatred for the Borg.
Why shouldn’t he? They abducted him, augmented him, took away his humanity and singularity, and turned him into a weapon to use against the federation. There’s good reason to hate someone after doing that.
While he all but ended them in Star Trek: First Contact, he would later come to let go of his hate for them in season two of Picard. While he would defeat them at nearly every turn following his rescue from the Borg collective at the hands of William Riker and the U.S.S. Enterprise-D, it would appear that he never truly beat the Borg.
Be it in war or peace, the Borg did something no one else could do; truly defeat Picard.
The Borg won by ruining Jean-Luc Picard’s reputation for good
Picard, as a man, has often been shown to an audience in a bubble. We always see him in a favorable light due to his associations. His crew knows him and believes in him, but what about the rest of the federation?
Well, we know through his interactions with Captain Benjamin Sisko that not everyone has forgiven Picard for his role in the attack at Wolf 359. While it wasn’t Picard’s fault in actuality, many have a hard time forgetting the fact that Picard was a victim in that as well.
At least with Sisko, his rage is honest. It was only a handful of years after the Battle at Wolf 359 that Sisko and Picard had their tense final conversation. Yet, in Star Trek: Picard, we saw just how long-lasting that hate goes. Captain Liam Shaw not only hates Picard some three decades later, but he hates all Borg, including Seven of Nine, who he commands to go by her human name; Annika Hansen.
One has to believe that more than just Sisko and Shaw have a disdain for Picard after all these years.
If some of the most vaunted officers in Starfleet can hold such a grudge for over 30 years, it’s fair to say that the Borg permanently damaged Picard’s reputation in a way that will forever haunt him. I would consider the destruction of a good man’s reputation to be a victory for sure for the Borg.