Editor’s word: The next comprises spoilers for Star Trek: Picard.Season 2 of Star Trek: Picard is full and 4 of the principle solid is not going to be returning to the collection. Actors Santiago Cabrera (Cristóbal Rios), Alison Pill (Dr. Agnes Jurati), Evan Evagora (Elnor), and Isa Briones (Soji Asha) have introduced their departure from the present, which is able to conclude with a 3rd season. Whereas this information is disappointing, it isn’t shocking — Cabrera and Capsule’s character arcs have been each wrapped up in Season 2, and Evagora and Briones had minimal display screen time. Although the second season was a huge improvement on the primary, one of many much less profitable features was the characterization of the brand new solid of characters.
We in all probability ought to have guessed the brand new characters have been destined to be jettisoned out of the airlock when Soji appeared in just one scene in Season 2 and was by no means heard from once more — this was a positive signal that the character’s usefulness had run its course. Soji was little greater than a MacGuffin within the first season. Although Briones did her half and performed a number of android characters nicely in Season 1, Soji was actually only a conduit for Jean-Luc Picard (Sir Patrick Stewart) to deal with the lack of his good friend Information (Brent Spiner). Granted, Soji appears to be headed in the correct route together with her life as an envoy, with negotiating ways that she’s clearly picked up from her mentor Picard, however the character herself by no means developed past a plot level.
Briones nonetheless appeared in Season 2 because the predecessor of Soji and her form within the 2024 timeline, and she or he held her personal in scenes reverse veteran Spiner, however the promise of her character Kore Soong dwelling her life on her personal phrases, coping with the fact of her origins and her father’s betrayal have been by no means realized. Kore, like Soji earlier than her, was a plot level, not an individual, and that seems like a diegetic insult to those manufactured, android characters. Kore’s arc was, as an alternative, rapidly concluded together with her being inducted into the group generally known as the Travelers.
Elnor had immense potential within the collection, and it’s nonetheless astonishing how the character didn’t obtain his due in both season. Elnor was the only male member of the Qowat Milat, a Romulan sect that took him in after Picard rescued him. Elnor was an excellent addition to the solid, regardless of his bloodthirsty aspect (hey, he’s Romulan, in spite of everything). He was a candy and harmless character according to the likes of Information and Seven of 9 (Jeri Ryan). This was a personality who was not solely a stand-in for the viewers however one who might present a brand new perspective on humanity. Elnor additionally appeared to fill a void in Picard’s life — that of the surrogate son who Picard might nurture with out essentially elevating the boy himself. Just a little like Picard’s relationship with Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton) in Star Trek: The Subsequent Technology. Picard’s yearning for love and household has been a necessary a part of his journey, particularly within the second season of Star Trek: Picard, however his and Elnor’s relationship wasn’t developed. It wasn’t a whole loss, although, since Elnor was rewritten as another person’s surrogate son.
Raffi Musiker (Michelle Hurd), one other new character within the franchise, has gone by way of her personal ups and downs. She was a Starfleet officer serving beneath Picard earlier than she joined him of their collective disillusionment over the therapy of Romulans. Her personal conspiracy theories, and later alcoholism, made her a pariah. However, by the beginning of the second season, Raffi was again on her ft, as soon as once more in Starfleet, and had taken Elnor beneath her personal wing, serving to him turn into the primary full Romulan to hitch Starfleet. From the best way Raffi talked about and to Elnor, it was clear that she noticed him filling a filial function. Raffi herself is estranged from her personal son and her efforts to patch issues up with him in Season 1 had gone in useless. So, for Elnor to then be shot, callously, we would add, and die in her arms, was further trauma Raffi didn’t should endure, nevertheless it additionally didn’t serve any function in growing both character. Elnor was again alive on the finish of the second season, because of some Q (John de Lancie) magic, however with Evagora not returning, we gained’t see Elnor fulfill his new function in Starfleet nor will we see him work together with Raffi once more.
Agnes’ characterization has been a rollercoaster journey because the very starting. She’s presupposed to be the quirky nerd who will get issues completed, however she’s additionally presupposed to have an emotional core that resonates with viewers. In the long run, Agnes ended up being a personality who’s stuck in a loop who we’re advised is unhappy and lonely however doesn’t act prefer it. Not like Soji and Elnor, Agnes will get loads of screentime, and a whole arc, the difficulty is that her arc doesn’t do her justice. From the time Agnes was launched on Star Trek: Picard, it was apparent that she needed to do good and make a mark on the galaxy, however issues simply saved getting in the best way of her ambitions. By the conclusion of her journey, Agnes has self-actualized into the Borg Queen of a benevolent breakaway collective that salvages and saves dying civilizations, as an alternative of assimilating them by power just like the collective of previous.
However, given what each Picard and Seven have mentioned about life as a drone, a important character’s arc ending together with her being assimilated with out her consent and dwelling life as a Borg looks like a defeat moderately than a victory. Sure, Agnes has completed heinous issues in her previous (she murdered her personal boyfriend whereas brainwashed), however this punishment doesn’t match her crime. The Borg Queen’s (Annie Wersching) want for penance shouldn’t have dragged Agnes together with her. It’s particularly distressing that her pals didn’t even attempt to struggle to avoid wasting her, the best way Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) at all times fought to carry Seven again from the brink of returning to the Borg. Truthfully, it appeared like Rios, Jurati’s former associate, was extra upset about his ship being stolen by the Borg than he was about dropping Agnes eternally.
Talking of Rios, the place will we even start with this character? He had probably the most characterization of all the brand new characters in Season 2 of Star Trek: Picard, and the writers did a implausible job of foreshadowing his journey, and but it doesn’t work. Rios, like the remainder of La Sirena’s crew, joined Picard’s mission when he was at his lowest. He took horrible (learn: completely zero) care of himself and his solely companions have been holographic variations of himself. Rios was misplaced at sea until he discovered his folks. Picard turned a father determine to him as a result of Rios didn’t know his personal father, and he spent his time in Starfleet and past in search of a substitute. This angle wasn’t performed out to fruition on display screen as a result of Rios’ arc in Season 2 was formed by his romantic entanglements.
Rios was written to be a romantic determine, and his prompt chemistry with twenty first century Dr. Teresa Ramirez (Sol Rodriguez) was obvious. Star Trek is keen on star-crossed lovers, and we’ve seen many such pairings seem throughout the franchise. However most finish with a chaste kiss and the wistful feeling of unrequited love, as a result of to romance somebody from an alternate universe or a distinct timeline is a direct violation of the Temporal Prime Directive. One would suppose that Picard and Rios, sticklers for Starfleet protocol, regardless of their disillusionment about its governance, would know higher. Apparently not!
Rios can also be caught in a distinct physique than his personal. When the crew landed within the modified timeline, that they had totally different lives and, for a few of them, totally different our bodies. Seven was utterly human, and Rios didn’t have the homages to La Sirena imprinted on his physique, corresponding to the massive mermaid tattoo on his arm, or the various scars he refused to let heal. Except Starfleet insisted he take away his tattoos and get his scars handled, the Rios who went again to 2024 will eternally be on this barely altered physique that he’s solely recognized for per week. Whether or not that’s a constructive factor, corresponding to Seven’s personal transient reduction at being human, we’ll now by no means know.
From what Rios tells Picard within the finale, he needs to stay within the twenty first century as a result of he by no means belonged in his personal time, and the meals is a lot better. A sensible sentiment, however Rios had simply gotten his life again on observe sooner or later—he was captain of the Stargazer and again in Starfleet’s good graces. Why would he abandon his exhausting work? And it’s a very unusual resolution contemplating Rios’ introduction to 2024 was being cared for in an underground, unlawful clinic, incarcerated by ICE, and sure demise till Seven and Raffi rescued him. It’s unattainable to suppose that somebody from a utopian future, the place race is hardly a difficulty, would welcome being racially profiled within the bigoted and dystopian twenty first century. It’s lovable that Rios falls in love with Teresa due to the nice work she’s doing and the chance that he’ll get to be a father to her son, Ricardo (Steve Gutierrez), permitting Rios to interrupt his cycle of daddy points. And, within the finale, Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg) tells Picard that Rios, Teresa, and Ricardo paved the best way for the benevolent future that Picard and the remainder get to take pleasure in. However Rios remaining in 2024 additionally romanticized the notion of a beatific previous, which was the precise reverse of the theme in Season 2. What was the purpose of Q letting go of his previous enmity with Picard and serving to Picard conquer the darkness that clouded his household historical past, just for Rios to fill the identical area?
Even Laris (Orla Brady), Picard’s housekeeper/bodyguard, who gave the impression to be set as much as be his love curiosity within the season, was unceremoniously ignored of the mission, solely to return within the finale with the chance that there’s a future for these two characters. The ability dynamics of the connection are problematic at greatest, and it’s additionally fascinating that Laris’ ancestor (supposedly), Tallinn (additionally performed by Brady), was a supervisor in command of defending Picard’s ancestor Renée Picard (Penelope Mitchell). Tallinn lived and died saving Renée, nevertheless it additionally appeared like she was emotionally hooked up to her cost—her dying phrases have been about Renée’s lovely eyes, so is that this line of Romulans genetically predisposed to fall in love with Picards? That will be a hilarious and maybe the one approach to make Laris and Picard’s potential romance work.
Of the brand new characters, Raffi is unquestionably returning for Season 3, however how a lot display screen time she’ll have since the remainder of the Star Trek: The Subsequent Technology solid will likely be showing, stays to be seen. Raffi’s characterization within the first season was a bit in all places, nevertheless it felt genuine since she herself was out of kinds. In Season 2, Raffi and Seven have been good foils for one another, giving viewers a lived-in really feel to their relationship. However the story additionally shoehorned in new features of Raffi’s persona, such that she has manipulative tendencies, which appeared to return out of nowhere. However no less than Raffi can have room to develop previous that facet in Season 3.
These new characters have been completely positioned to develop the horizons of the franchise, particularly since Cabrera, Evagora and Briones are all actors of colour working inside a style that also has work to do by way of illustration. As a substitute, the writers have closed the chapter on them — and although these characters’ futures, for so long as they get to reside them, are vibrant, viewers is not going to get to see them play out on display screen.
‘Star Trek: Picard’ Season 2 Finale Review: Even Gods Have Favorites
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