IR TV Review: PICARD – EPISODE 5 (“Stardust City Rag”) [CBS All Access]

The ragtag crew mentality becomes more defined with the introduction of Seven Of Nine into the mix after she just happens to be above Freecloud helping defend Picard’s guerrilla ship. The progression of the character is an interesting one as seen in the opening minutes which include a very specific hark back to “Voyager” and the memories and heartache that lived there. While the reality of what happened to her since her return from the Delta Quadrant is unknown, it does throw an interesting diametric into the proceedings. It becomes how much clearer the darker path that the Trek Universe has gone down. It is almost disconcerting in a way since the notion of peace and harmony to a point that was key to Gene Roddenberry has been taken over by a darker version. It is a sign of the times but the question becomes, in all fairness, if it is inherently Star Trek if the Federation from these points has fallen this far in this timeline. Now granted this might just be this timeline which is an easy excuse in terms of storytelling of course.

Seven, like others on the crew, has secrets to bear including a crew member with a bigger one than most. The more bright spot in this episode is more some of the old jabbing between crew members, again more specifically here between Picard and Seven. Seven has evolved but Ryan plays it somewhere between. A seasoned viewer might be looking for those former tells which seem to be gone. The story of Seven’s ascent to humanity or descent if you will is an interesting one which is defined in the crucial moments of this episode. The psychology is sound but the reference as to the big essentials of “why” is missing. With this and other aspects the tone on this episode, although the most dynamic so far is a little off.

B-

By Tim Wassberg

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