Jean-Luc Picard almost had two criminal sons
While fans were excited to see the Jean- Luc Picard and Beverly Crusher relationship followed up in Star Trek: Picard, the realization that their son Jack (hidden by Crusher due to their breakup) is a criminal is not the first time this has happened. The Next Generation had him facing the same possibility with a son from one of his past relationships.
While Picard did bring back several plot lines from TNG, this one showing up twice is very unexpected. Seeing Ro Laren again, having Q return to continue his trial of humanity, having Troi and Riker build a family – all of these made perfect sense, yet a surprise criminal son was not what most fans expected when a follow series to TNG was announced.
Picard and Beverly being together was something fans had craved since TNG, but a criminal son was a curveball, especially when it was done before (at least on his end).
Jean-Luc Picard’s first criminal son – Jason Vigo
The revelation that Jack is a criminal echoes back to “Bloodlines”, an episode of TNG, where Ferengi Bok vows to kill Picard’s son Jason Vigo so that Picard will experience losing a child, as Bok did. Picard is stunned by this information, then realizes that the timeline for his relationship with Jason’s mother Miranda does make sense. DNA tests originally confirm Jason is his son but then Jason’s criminal record is revealed.
Picard is outraged by this – his son a criminal? A son of Miranda, a criminal? He tries to guide Jason, trying to show parental concern, even though Jason rebuffs all of these measures. Jason’s illness proves to be the key to Bok’s plot as it is a genetic condition that neither parent had so further tests are taken that prove Bok tampered with Jason’s DNA to make it appear Jason had a different father than he really did. “Bloodlines” ends with Jason returning home to try to rebuild his life, proving that he has had some influence on Jason, even if they are not related.
While there are some noticeable similarities between Jason and Jack, the former has a much lighter criminal record than the latter. Jason also has been an orphan for years prior to “Bloodlines” whereas Jack has been raised by Crusher and she is still an active part of his life. Yet Jack has multiple arrest records under multiple aliases, and it takes much more intervention for him to accept help from his father. After he was assimilated by the Borg, Picard reaches out to Jack and is able to save him, but is this because Jack has accepted him as his father or because both of them were assimilated by the Borg?
Jason and Jack somehow ended up as criminal sons of Picard. Even though it turns out Jason is not biologically his son, some fans must have remembered this plotline when Jack was revealed as his son. Would they have become criminals if Picard had been in their lives as their stepfather and father respectively?