Star Trek: Picard wimped out by only killing off minor characters no one remembered

Star Trek: Picard took the easy way out by not killing off a major character.

Star Trek: Picard had one mantra coming into its final season, ushered in by showrunner Terry Matalas on social media; Safety not guaranteed. This was in response to fans who were afraid that the characters they’ve been following for decades would not survive the series’ final season of Picard.

It was something Matalas played up and hinted at happening time and time again, yet when the show ended, none of the core characters met their demise. That may make you happy or mad, but in the end, no one was killed off. In fact, one character, Data, was brought back from death.

Despite the first season of Picard suggesting that the end was nye for Picard, season three did everything to dissuade fans of that. Matalas did everything possible to not only give fans what they wanted; a happy ending for the crew of the Enterprise-D (which they got in the series finale), but also live up to the promises that safety wasn’t guaranteed.

Yet, the big surprise deaths didn’t actually do anything. They didn’t mean anything. The characters that died that fans knew were out of the rotation, so to speak, in the world of Star Trek. Their deaths didn’t impact anyone.

Much like killing off Hugh in season one, no one was really sad to see the likes of Ro Laren or Elizabeth Shelby, and both died so quickly after coming back, it was obvious they were only brought back to die. When you do that with a character, whatever emotional resonance they have goes out the window.

Certainly, the deaths of Lore or the Borg Queen didn’t twist anyone up either. The one that may have, Liam Shaw, was a bit emotional but as he spent most of the season as an unlikeable character, it didn’t hit like it would have had it been Jean-Luc Picard himself or Worf.

It very much feels like Matalas took the easy way out.

Star Trek: Picard wimped out with a massive, destructive ending

Don’t say things like “safety isn’t guaranteed” if you’re not planning on pulling the trigger on characters fans actually like. By no means am I saying I wanted the likes of Deanna Troi or William Riker to be killed off,  just don’t suggest they will be and not deliver.

It’s a cop-out. A cheap marketing ploy to get people to watch. I would’ve been fine had Matalas said “The core crew has plot armor”. I’m good with that. I expect that. What irritates me and others was the fact that Matalas seemingly implied one thing and then delivered something completely different.

The third season of Picard may have satisfied everyone’s taste for a reunion, but as far as quality goes, it won’t hold up over time. If felt too soft. Too easy. The show didn’t raise the bar, or even meet it.

It did the same thing to the fandom that Star Wars: The Force Awakens did. It it filled fans with dopamine from all the nostalgia it could fit, and just hoped that would be enough to carry a subpar plot forward. A plot that dragged so hard over just 10 episodes.

The show should widely be known for its very safe handling of the material and that’s fine. But don’t promise you’re going to be something more and then not deliver.