Charlynn Schmiedt of the Star Trek podcasts To the Journey and and Punch It joins Bri and Ken to discuss the antepenultimate episode of Picard‘s first season. The origin of the Zhat Vash is revealed, Seven of Nine takes on a new role, and Raffi tries to put Rios back together again as all the plots start to weave together. We also review Char’s favorite Trek series, Voyager, with a bonus recommendation of the Kirsten Beyer novel Full Circle.
Picard, Soji, and Hugh finally cross paths in what Ken and Bri consider the best episode of the season so far. But the closer we get to the synth homeworld, the more questions and more theories we have! We sit down in person to connect the dots from TNG episodes “Descent”, “I, Borg”, and even “Encounter at Farpoint”, marveling that some Picard fans can enjoy the series without having the background of these characters and contexts.
Seven of Nine returns in an episode that should’ve opened with a content warning. Ken and Bri debate Seven’s motivations, what’s happened to her since Voyager returned to the Alpha Quadrant, and whether we’ve seen the last of this character. Meanwhile, two different characters bid adieu to their sons this episode, and Agnes is all too briefly reunited with her lover. We have a theory about why she does what she does — a Transporter Lock original!
Even those whom Jean-Luc Picard has wronged recognize a worthy, if lost, cause when they see it. Our beloved captain continues to assemble his party as Ken, Bri, and Amanda — appearing together for the first time! — admire Romulan warrior nuns, roll their eyes at ancient Borg rituals, and get hyped for a reunion of liberated Borg, old and new.
The second episode of Picard introduces new characters and intrigue, rapidly advancing the plot while still not putting Jean-Luc on a starship. Ken and guest co-host Amanda are okay with this as we pull apart the threads of the Romulan’s Tal Shiar and Zhat Vash, our empathy (or lack thereof) for synthetic lifeforms, the integration of non-canon characters, and colorful metaphors in Trek.
Patrick Stewart returns as Jean-Luc Picard in “Remembrance”, the pilot episode of Star Trek: Picard. Bri and Ken react to the return of this iconic character, how he’s changed over the last twenty years, and his ability to be the action star of this new series. We also puzzle over the connection between synthetics, Borg, and Romulan, and we spot the many tie-ins to the universe of The Next Generation as well as the 2009 movie.
The second season of Short Treks ends with "Children of Mars", giving Ken and Bri plenty to talk about! We examine the Starfleet educational system; the prevalence of shuttlecraft, bullying, and physical books; how labor laws and vacation time work; and how First Contact Day is observed.
More important, we piece together how this episode leads into next week’s debut of the Picard series. What involvement did Admiral Picard have in the attack of the rogue synths? What role do Section 31 and the Borg play, if any? There are many fine details hiding in "Children of Mars"; if you missed them, fear not, as we didn’t!
For the first time in 45 years, Star Trek ventures into the frontier of animation! "Ephraim and Dot" is a comedic documentary about a tardigrade’s reproductive cycle, and "The Girl Who Made the Stars" is a tale of conquering one’s fear of the unknown. Ken and Bri review these two animated Short Treks, their place in Star Trek canon, and the promise they hold for future Star Trek series.
Finally, we look back at the cast and crew we lost in 2019: D.C. Fontana, Robert Walker, Michael Lamper, Aron Eisenberg, and René Auberjonois. We encourage all listeners who are able to make a donation to Doctors Without Borders in René’s memory.