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Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Review

Episodes watched: 1-3

“I first saw you as a man who chose the stars, but after all this time I’ve come to wonder — have you been seeking, or running?” With season two of Picard heading to Paramount+ and Prime Video this week, producer and director Akiva Goldsman is boldly going where no one has gone before – delving into the legendary admiral’s internalised trauma and mysterious past. Briefly touched upon in The Next Generation (TNG) episode “Family”, Picard has overcome a number of monumental struggles, most notably his assimilation into the Borg collective. While the series features a gripping overarching alternate universe/time travel narrative, at its core is a touching look inward at a man who’s spent the majority of his life escaping amongst the stars.

Season 2 of Star Trek: Picard sees the now admiral Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) aboard The USS Stargazer, reunited alongside captain Cris Rios (Santiago Cabrera) and crew, including Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan), Raffi Musiker (Michelle Hurd), Cris Rios (Santiago Cabrera), Agnes Jurati (Alison Pill) and Elnor (Evan Evagora). Answering a distress message specifically addressed to Picard following the appearance of a concerning spacial anomaly – the crew quickly find themselves thrust on a brand new journey – the road not taken. Thanks to trickster Q’s (John de Lancie) machinations, Picard faces his final trial – a desperate race against time to save the galaxy’s future in a dangerous timeline.

Following an impressively action heavy, cold opening aboard the USS Stargazer, we are once again transported to the idyllic vineyards of Château Picard, as Picard and his Romulan housekeeper Laris (Orla Brady) mull on life, love and loneliness. Thematically, Goldsman has swapped the ethical debate and conflict over synthetic life for a much more introspective human story, cleverly interwoven throughout the heavily TNG inspired narrative device – a gripping ‘dark Starfleet’ timeline with a Q time travel twist. The central mystery – which sends the crew back to Earth, 2024 – is thoroughly captivating and full of intrigue, with plenty of clues and Trek references sprinkled throughout. For those who found the pacing of the first season on the slow side, the pacing in this series has been cranked up to warp speed. So much is jam-packed into the first two episodes, it can feel like a bit of a whirlwind – but in the best way possible.

With co-showrunner Goldsman teaming up with Picard season 1 showrunner Michael Chabon and season 2 showrunner Terry Matalas – a writer who’s previously worked on Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Enterprise and the 12 Monkeys series – this narrative certainly feels more Trek, particularly with the welcome inclusion of TNG faces. The mysteries surrounding Jean-Luc’s childhood appear to be intrinsically connected to Q and the Borg Queen (Annie Wersching), with a profound sense that Picard is facing the true final frontier – time. Whoopi Goldberg’s Guinan’s advice, “your answers are not in the stars, and they never have been” certainly feels pertinent to the mission ahead.

Goldsman, Chabon and Matalas impressively marries the old with the new, as the returning ensemble’s dynamic is strengthened, while further delving into Picard’s psyche. Patrick Stewart is once again outstanding in his legendary role, revelling in exploring the more emotional facets of Jean-Luc. Seeing him alongside both Whoopi Goldberg and John de Lancie really is a treat, particularly as they challenge his inability to confront his own emotions and personal history. Jeri Ryan is also a strong standout as Seven of Nine, particularly her entertaining bickering dynamic with Michelle Hurd’s Raffi. But it’s Alison Pill as the socially awkward but brilliantly witty Doctor Agnes Jurati who truly threatens to steal the show, particularly as she goes toe to toe with a significant threat.

Just like Star Trek Discovery, it’s evident that the creative teams have poured so much time and imagination into the production, costume and ship designs. The USS stargazer is a wonderfully designed vessel and features an exciting and kinetically filmed action sequence with the bridge crew, complete with the wonderfully classic sound effects. The new Starfleet uniforms once again hark back to Next Gen – with a new wrap around detailing, while the authoritarian and angular ‘dark Starfleet’ uniforms feature an intriguingly alternative and intimidatingly sharper rank-striped badge. Composer Jeff Russo brings an exhilarating and suspenseful score to proceedings, while proving as equally contemplative in key moments. There’s also plenty of easter eggs and references to keep hardcore Trek fans on their toes.


Featuring a much more engaging central mystery which connects deeper to The Next Generation, Picard season 2 is – so far – a fascinating journey through time and space. Beaming off with a strong start – make sure you sit back and buckle up with a cup of earl grey for this next chapter in the Star Trek universe. Make it so!