Star Trek: Picard - Season 1 |OT| Re-ENGAGE!

chrominance

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,975
Raffi and Seven is so fucking stupid. No onscreen time spent together.. no hint at Seven being bi ever.

But lets just make her and raffi interlock hands like a couple in love would do.
I don't know where the relationship between Raffi and Seven came from specifically, but FWIW the episode on Freecloud heavily implies that Seven and Bjaysel had a relationship. Chabon's confirmed this multiple times as canon, and while I have thoughts about Chabon explaining so much canon in Instagram stories instead of, y'know, putting it in the actual show, I think in this particular case it was pretty easy to read.
 

Kinthey

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
7,333
Well the Romulans have a successor state, the Romulan free state, it's not like they were completely wiped out with all of their empire. Also those ships were Tal Shiar and Zhat Vash, the Romulan deep state, they didn't mind burning Mars and sabotaging the Romulan rescue efforts just so they can ban Synths. So I'm guessing their military capabilities were still powerful since they didn't bother with rescue efforts during the Romulus supernova.
But then it doesn't feel quite right that all the blame is on the federation. That Romulan senator that was angry at picard should be even more upset about his own people abandoning them and focusing on stuff like a borg cube, yet the show never addresses this.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,797
The Ocean
I just realised that this episode nearly follows elements of the S7 opener

Soji plays the role of Data, Sutra plays the role of Lore, and the planet population plays the role of the ex Borg in the episode Descent.
 

Wigdogger

Member
Oct 27, 2017
140
I guess I'm in the camp of people who felt this show failed to say much of anything (or have a central thesis that was interesting about its world), and anything it did try to say had been handled by much better shows or science fiction in general. The new crew wasn't memorable, and only some brief moments of nostalgia woke the show from its somnambulance. I thought there was a brief moment there with Picard and Hugh -- for 15 minutes -- where the show had something. And then it was lost again.

Besides all of the obvious stuff that people have already pointed out about missteps the show took and hackneyed writing, I tried to think about what really was the main failing of the show, and I think it comes down to one key character: Soji. To be clear, I don't have a problem with the actress. I thought she did fine, doing what she could with the material, which wasn't strong. She is a relatively new actress, though, to be fair.

But an apt comparison here seems to be River Tam in Firefly. I was just thinking of that and Summer Glau in that show. It's really similar to Soji. And now that I think about it, I think that actually underscores the problem concisely.

Both are the McGuffins of the show -- mystery box female characters who are diminutive but capable of great power. But there's a key difference.

Both were new actors at the time of the show, and Firefly wisely has other characters mythologize River. There was a bond between brother and sister. She had fleeting humanity. People who would normally watch a show like that and tune out on her (or maybe misogynists who would buckle at a female lead) see her trauma over time, and they realize how truly awful her journey has been. We are slowly drawn into River's reality, and the other characters -- all well-drawn on Firefly, I might add -- aid with that goal. We see nine different views of space, and each of those characters is trying to grapple with what to do about this damaged person. This is ultimately the through-line of that show, and the larger concerns of the verse and the politics forms a backdrop for the human story.

But then River finds her voice. She's part of the ensemble. Even where River ended up at the end... she's accepted as part of the crew, like Soji, but you knew River by that point. It was sweet seeing her in the oversized space suit. Mal realized that he had a purpose with her.

It's kind of shocking to me how similar the two situations are and how differently they were handled. Soji is forced to exposit her feelings, out loud, so that we all know where she's been and what she's thinking. She instantly has an angelic protector in Picard. Firefly wisely avoids this pitfall by having a lot of different perspectives about what this person is capable of and what it means. For Soji, we get a little bit of growth with the scene where she "walks the path," but that too is fleeting.

With a lack of characters who can meaningfully interrogate her journey and the trauma of her situation, we're left with Isa Briones having to basically start as an overly confident professional and then just kind of brood about her situation. We never really get a foothold on how that must feel for her -- to not truly know herself. That must be terrifying, but it's never given weight or reality. None of this aids the final turn, where she has to seriously contemplate wiping out organic life. I'd assume on some level there would be some conflict for her there, people she'd spent time with and cared about, but the show has not lensed her well enough for us to understand that turn.

Other characters -- and writing to that end -- can help with that. That was the case with Firefly; it wasn't for Picard.

I don't want to focus just on that, but it felt like a super relevant comparison to me, and I think it's a key failing of the show. But clearly, there are others.
 

Quinton

We need to talk about Edelgard...
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
9,670
The Research Triangle
I just realised that this episode nearly follows elements of the S7 opener

Soji plays the role of Data, Sutra plays the role of Lore, and the planet population plays the role of the ex Borg in the episode Descent.
Thankfully, I’ve found these last two episodes — mainly the second one — to be substantially better. Not that they’re perfect or anything. But I have always considered “Descent” to be one of, if not the, weakest TNG two-parters.
 

Joeytj

Member
Oct 30, 2017
2,901
Indeed. What Star Trek needs is people who understand and respect the source material that also possess the ability to update it in sensible ways for modern audiences. Star Trek needs its own Kevin Feige, unfortunately people like that are super rare.
If every franchise is going to wait to do anything before finding its own Feige, then almost nothing is going to get made anymore. Feige is the exception that proves the rule, and it wasn't always a smooth ride over at Marvel either. They went bankrupt before making Iron Man. A lot of things had to happen in order for the MCU as we know it to be born. And a LOT of money.

One thing that Star Trek has to look forward to is the Viacom and CBS merger. The franchise at least will no longer be split between Paramount and CBS, and it looks like it's beginning to again come together around a single vision that's still evolving.

A lot of people here and other fans might not like it right now, but it seems that the franchise is is getting a much need boost from its corporate owners that hopefully will lead to more and more quality in its productions and diverse storytelling.
 
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Hella

Member
Oct 27, 2017
17,025
One interesting implication of Picard is Starfleet now having a standing military fleet. Normally, in wars they've just recalled all sorts of vessels to use in military campaigns, including things like Galaxy-class vessels which have never been military-minded. Now we see Starfleet having a literal fleet of warships, ready at a moment's notice--clearly, the conflicts with Klingons, then the Borg, and then the Dominion have radically changed their practices.
 

Eoin

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,388
But then it doesn't feel quite right that all the blame is on the federation. That Romulan senator that was angry at picard should be even more upset about his own people abandoning them and focusing on stuff like a borg cube, yet the show never addresses this.
The Romulan (former) senator was mostly angry at the resettlement efforts - at how the Federation brought Romulans to various planets with the promise of help to settle and then didn't follow through. The senator viewed this as a Federation effort to divide Romulan society.

Also, although that former senator clearly blamed the Federation and Picard, we don't know whether he also blamed the Romulans. It's possible that if the head of the Tal Shiar walked into that bar, the former senator might have reacted that way, but we don't get to see that since it's Picard that's there. It's also possible that if the situation had ended peacefully and the senator had calmed down and expressed himself further, he'd have had similar criticisms of the Romulan relief efforts, but we don't get to see that either since Elnor viewed the continued attachment between the senator's body and head as a problem, and solved it.
 

ClockworkOwl

Member
Feb 1, 2020
34
Yeah, I don't get why people are bothered by the swearing. Network television has always been far too sanitized when it comes to language; it's nice to see people in Star Trek swear. It's far more realistic and natural.
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,868
The Raffi + Seven pairing is completely out of left field. Usually a show manages to offer some interpersonal connection between characters before it pairs them so this just felt bizarre and seems thrown in carelessly.

Why is Agnes, a murderer, given carte blanche to do whatever she wants whenever she wants?

What happened to the other half of the Romulan incest couple? Seven killed what's-her-name but we never saw her brother again after they initiated their ruse at Synth Town.

Picard being transferred into the synthetic body could be seen coming from a mile away. Maybe we'll get some showrunners who can explore the thematic elements this introduces in an intelligent way.

Episode felt rushed and the pacing just feels really constrained by artificial factors. This show really needs more time devoted to is characters and their relationships with one another.

Picard and Data scene was excellent. Was great seeing Brent Spiner play him again and it was a fitting way to have the character have a definitive end to his story.
 

Mr. Pointy

Member
Oct 28, 2017
4,777

rjinaz

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
10,839
swear word like "fuck" has been in use for centuries by now and I doubt that's going to change in the future
Agreed. The issue I take with it is how forced it has come across. That admiral or whatever the hell she is should act professional and she most definitely shouldn't be addressing somebody whom amounts to a war hero that way. Not to mention he was captured by the enemy and tortured more than once. It's cringe.
 

Cheerilee

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,166
I decided to look at the IMDB user review ratings for Picard, and thought a couple of things looked interesting, and that I'd comment on some observations. Some of it isn't scientific, like I don't know the demographics of people who make IMDB reviews, but whatever. I don't care that much. I just saw some stuff and felt like commenting.

Spoilered to avoid vertical spam.


First of all, that's a smooth, expectable curve. It seems that the majority of the audience is age 30+ men. But the less-common women are slightly kinder to the show. And there are two teenage girls who gave it a 10/10.


But then for the second episode, there seems to be a split, where maybe half of the audience is scoring the show two points higher than the other half. I'm guessing this is Trekkies vs non-Trekkies (I can't imagine what other non-age, non-gender factor would show so clearly). All the other observations still hold, aside from a slow drop in the scores and a large drop in the number of reviews (which continues across the season, and is pretty normal for ratings, AFAIK).


More of the same.


That one teenage girl bumped her 9/10 back up to a 10/10. Girls like elves, I guess.


The slow fade of attention is interrupted, as a pretty big wave of negativity flows in. And those four teenage girls are NOT happy.


The teenage girls are gone now. Spoiler, none of them return for the rest of the season.


The highest-rated episode of the show (higher than even the first episode), and somehow the fanbase split is gone. But I thought this was supposed to be a fanservice episode? So if the fanbase split is between Trekkies and non-Trekkies, does that mean that it's the Trekkies who have been knocking two points off? The Trekkies aren't being more forgiving, they're being harsher?


The fanbase split returns, but not very strongly. And... what's left of the teenage boys are really starting to turn against the show (although they've slowly been turning away for some time now).


More of the same.


The numbers are more of the same, nothing great, nothing terrible... but the fanbase split went away again. Was the ending fanservicey?

The show ends up mostly where it started, with the 30+ men providing the vast majority of the reviews, while the few women are more generous with their scores, and the teenagers of both genders seem to have checked out.
 

Mr. Pointy

Member
Oct 28, 2017
4,777
Michael Chabon hinted in his IG that Picard S2 will touch on JL's new body and his Ship Of Theseus dilemma. They did it on Discovery with Hugh Culber and his fungus body, so it wouldn't surprise me. I kind of hope the first episode of S2 is basically like Family.
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,868
S2 could be Guinan espousing existentialism and that would be a vast improvement. Her and Q being part of the show would be wonderful. Even these writers couldn't ruin that... could they?

The overarching plot in S2 needs to be more intelligent and way less convoluted. Enough with the tropes, the deus ex machinas and discarded plots. And no more mechanical centipedes that are supposedly highly advanced but can't open their own subspace rift.