Star Trek: Picard review, Episode 205: “Fly Me to the Moon”

Previously, on Star Trek: Picard, our crew managed to time travel back to our own era in order to avert a fascistic future engineered by Q. With the malevolent Borg Queen “safely” stowed at the back of the ship, Picard, Rios, Raffi and Seven set out to find the mysterious “Watcher.” Rios, of course, ends up in trouble and is arrested by ICE, while meanwhile, Picard discovers a much younger Guinan could lead him to the person he’s looking for.

“Fly Me to the Moon” is an episode of introductions, starting with Renée Picard, an ancestor of Jean-Luc. Rene, who, just like her ascendant, is clearly British despite claiming to be French, is seemingly very different from our own Picard. Nervous and concerned about the Europa Mission she’s embarking on, her failure in the test simulator messes with her mind. Renée suffers from depression and is talking to a therapist who, of course, turns out to be Q, manipulating events with the use of his hilarious Austrian accent. While Jean-Luc is seemingly couldn’t be more different than Renée, it’ll be interesting to see if the admiral sees a younger version of himself in her.

Also introduced at the start of the episode is Tallinn, who looks exactly like Laris, only human. Picard understandably thinks this is Q’s doing, and it’s hard to see another explanation. The role finally gives Orla Brady something more to do on the show. Her role as a Supervisor, a reference back to the Original Series episode “Assignment: Earth,” is an interesting addition and adds another question to the pile this episode built.

Brent Spiner, meanwhile, appears as another member of the Soong family, getting to truly flex his acting muscles in a role that may eventually be his most villainous to date. Viewers, just wait till next week, trust me!

Brent Spiner steals the new episode of Star Trek: Picard

It’s somewhat odd at first to see Spiner wearing a suit and seemingly carrying out relatively normal day-to-day activities. However, Dr. Soong’s activities are far from normal. His daughter, Kore, naturally played by Isa Briones, suffers from a rare genetic condition and Soong’s efforts to cure her attract the attention of Q. The scene at the restaurant between the pair is one of the highlights of the episode, with both actors on top form.

Indeed, Spiner is the shining star of the episode, perfectly toeing the line between anger that Q had beat him to creating a cure and relief that Kore could be healed. Whether he truly loves his daughter will undoubtedly be explored, but there’s no doubt about his joy and distress when Kore is exposed to sunlight.

Why Q picked Dr. Soong for his mysterious task is left unsaid, but it seems likely that the once-playful Q hasn’t lost his sense of mischief and irony. After all, it was Picard who finally pulled the plug on Data last season, and Soong is now seemingly tasked with taking care of a Picard.

As we’ve seen, the Borg Queen is devious and vicious. In this episode she calls the police and soon has a French officer held hostage, forcing Agnes to make an agonizing choice. It’s very easy for the Borg to become one-dimensional, and despite only the queen being present throughout the series, they’ve rarely been more horrific than they are here. Concentrating on the psychological aspects of loneliness, collectiveness, and manipulation, the season has truly reestablished the Borg as something hideous. Pushed to the breaking point, Agnes’ choice to kill the queen is understandable.

However, there are downsides to the episode. Earlier in the season, it was made abundantly clear that killing the Borg Queen was off the table. Yet here, nobody seems too perturbed that without the Borg Queen, they seemingly have no way home. There’s even time for humor when the cop’s body is dragged through the ship and Agnes reveals what she’s done with his spleen. Raffi, at least, should surely have had something to say.

Speaking of Raffi, the splitting of the crew pretty ends up having been little more than padding, with none of them having achieved very much during their jaunt around LA. That said, Rios and Pedro taking care of the ICE officers may have made it all worth it, and we gained a better understanding of how emotionally unstable Raffi is becoming. There’s bound to be a payoff before the conclusion of the series, and there could be dark times ahead if Elnor isn’t resurrected as she’s hoping. It’s also disappointing that Raffi and Seven’s relationship hasn’t been developed more deeply.

Episode Rating: 8.0

With five new characters introduced, there’s a lot to process in “Fly Me to the Moon,” but it never feels overloaded. The Renée Picard subplot is reminiscent of the one involving Zefram Cochran from First Contact. The entire season so far has had a very cinematic feel to it, echoing both that movie and A Voyage Home. With the audience not actually seeing the manner of the Borg Queen’s death, the cliffhanger is shocking but not entirely unexpected.

There is, however, much to love about this episode. Brent Spiner and John de Lancie both stand out from the now-crowded cast. This is another great episode of the second season, which is undoubtedly a step above the already excellent first.

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