Star Trek Picard Season 3 Episode 2 Review: The Next Generation

Even though Star Trek: Picard appears to have finally understood that what viewers have always wanted from this series is a mature version of Star Trek: The Next Generation that grapples with maturity, legacy, and the ways even the closest relationships can change over the course of a lifetime, the show’s second episode still suffers from pacing problems “Disengage” is an hour that is full of tedious table setting that isn’t especially entertaining to watch, as well as taking an eternity to unveil a plot surprise that we all pretty much suspected last week.

It’s hard to believe that an episode that features the eagerly anticipated return of Michael Dorn from The Next Generation, a brief but incredibly moving reunion between Jean-Luc Picard and Beverly Crusher, and the revelation that the two had a secret love child that Picard was unaware of could possibly be boring, but…kind it’s of true.

Ed Speleers’ Jack Crusher isn’t a particularly interesting character yet, and the notion that he’s being pursued by a formidable foe simply because he’s a charming, roguish smuggler who adores his mother, isn’t either, which contributes to the problem. Although there must be more to his narrative than what we currently  know, it is clear that this show will take its sweet time to reveal whatever that is.

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On the plus side, this hour is jam-packed with action as the U.S.S. Titan makes a stunning comeback just in time to protect the Crushers’ ship from attack by Amanda Plummer’s unmistakably evil Vadic. The Titan’s Captain Shaw doesn’t despise the notion because it would spare his crew what is probably certain death and would satisfy her demand that Jack be turned up for several crimes he allegedly committed in her domain.

It’s not Jack’s problem if he’s been breaking the law outside Federation space. Jack wasn’t everyone’s concern until Picard ultimately realized that Jack was his son and raised him to the rank of admiral.

Fair enough, Picard makes an effort to portray Jack as a Han Solo-like freedom fighter who works hard with his mother to provide medical supplies to those in need. Yet, the episode’s insistence on taking its time is sort of boring because it seems quite evident that Vadic’s plans for Jack goes beyond punishing him for something as simple as smuggling.

Star Trek Picard Season 3 Episode 2 Review

Fortunately, Plummer’s outrageous performance is completely absurd in the cigar-smoking, scenery-chewing style that frequently characterizes the best kind of sci-fi villains.

Predictably, Raffi’s tale continues to be the least strong aspect of the episode—and of the entire season 3—to date. She spends the whole of the episode trying to determine why Starfleet closed the investigation into the terrible terrorist incident last week.

She’s upset when her hilariously dry handler tells her to stop the probe since her undercover work makes her think the low-level Romulan criminal Starfleet is trying to pin the tragedy on was probably not to blame. In a wholly expected turn of events, Raffi refuses to do that and instead says that she will learn the truth for herself.

On the surface, this seems like a truly admirable effort and is something we would anticipate from pretty much any Starfleet officer. Yet right now, this storyline seems completely disconnected from everything else we are witnessing, making it difficult to be interested in the resolution.

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