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TELEVISION REVIEW: FTN reviews Star Trek: Picard S01E02 Maps and Legends

February 1st, 2020 by Irwin Fletcher Comments

Star Trek: Picard
S01E02 Maps and Legends
Starring Patrick Stewart, Isa Briones and Alison Pill 
Directed by: Hanelle Culpepper

So, two episodes in and we have a lot of meat on the bones of this series already.

There are multiple plot threads going on, lots of history to take into account and the intrigue is there as to how this will all be woven in.

The last episode saw the untimely demise of Dahj at the hands of some nasty Romulan hit squad. Picard then learns that this miracle synthetic “daughter” of his deceased friend Data, has a synthetic twin called Soji, who we find out is working on a reclaimed Borg cube being researched by Romulans.

The appearance of a new colleague Narek, takes a personal interest in her and pretty soon they are more than just friends.

Picard, in the meantime, is turning P.I. with his close Romulan friends and housekeeper Laris and trying to find out why there seems to be a huge cover up over the finale of the last episode, with all existence of Dahj and the Roman assassins.

Laris thinks that this is the work of the Zhat Vash – the secret police of the Roman CIA-equivalent. An almost mythical and feared group with an agenda to wipe out any synthetic life forms.

Picard now knows that Soji (through lots of CSI-like investigations and techno-babble) is off-world, and to find her and save her from the Zhat Vash, he needs a ship and a crew. We then learn that through an old fellow crew member from his early career that he failed his Starfleet medical tests to be reinstated for space travel, a nice nod to a degenerative brain condition discovered in the final episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation – nice to see some continuity there.

This means that the clock is ticking for Picard to be able to complete one last mission. Picard pleas and gets his pass, only for Starfleet to reject his request for this last mission. It seems like those bridges are now firmly burnt, the guy only saved the galaxy a few dozen times and that’s the thanks he gets, huh?

So, Picard is now operating as a renegade and needs to turn to some unorthodox measures to get his ship and crew together.

He dons his old communications insignia badge and calls an old connection to his past, a very unhappy lady by the name of Raffi (Michelle Hurd), but Picard brings a nice vintage bottle of Chateaux Picard and it seems to make her want to listen and that is where we leave him for this episode.

However, we find out that certain people in Starfleet are behind the Zhat Vash and have plans of their own for Soji, headed up by Commodore Oh (a Vulcan), Lieutenant Rizzo (a Romulan that has undergone Team America-level plastic surgery to disguise herself as human) who is sister to Narek, who is keeping a very close eye on Soji.

Not only do we get all of this intricate plot development, we get a very raw opening flashback scene, 16 years ago to “First Contact Day” on Mars, and a skeleton engineering crew at Starfleet’s Utopia Planitia shipyards along with a vast labour crew of synthetic humanoids that are almost robot-like and low-tech in nature.

Mysteriously one synthetic seems to be ‘switched on’ or changed somehow and proceeds to murder the engineering crew and along with other synthetics and controlled ships in orbit, completely destroyis the shipyards and planet.

This shows us why synthetic technology was outlawed and why Starfleet were weakened in their initial efforts to rescue Romulans from the Supernova.

Phew! That is certainly a lot to cover in one episode! It is certainly intricate, but nonetheless engrossing and you wonder how all this will eventually tie together, including the Borg ship.

Once again we get a few lovely nods to the past, with holograms of Enterprise A and D at Starfleet HQ, and an iconic Star Trek filming location towards the end, but this is certainly all about the story now.

Stewart is once again great, and seems to be really hitting his stride, with Picard becoming more like the Captain Jean Luc of old, showing his determination to do good again, save Soji and have one last adventure before his health problems take over.

Oh, and one thing that stood out to me were two F-bombs. Now, I know this is a little more adult in nature and aimed at a more mature audience who were fans of the show, but I just don’t think Trek needs profanity – especially in the 24th century. It is jarring and simply takes me out of the episode. Star Trek Discovery did it in the first season and frankly it didn’t work, hence why I can’t remember many hard swear words in season two.

4 our of 5 Nerds

I'm an LA journalist who really lives for his profession. I have also published work as Jane Doe in various mags and newspapers across the globe. I normally write articles that can cause trouble but now I write for FTN because Nerds are never angry, so I feel safe.