The opening of episode two of Picard shows us part of the Mars disaster that occurred some 14 years previous, the same disaster that Picard got so worked up about last time round whilst on a Holocast.
Picard learns all about a group of very secret operatives from the Romulan Empire who may be to blame, not just for the Mars incident, but also for Dahj’s demise.
This group hate synthetics and everything about them and it is believed they are so far reaching that they even go into the Federation and Vulcan, a fact confirmed later.
We are also provided with more information about the Borg ship we glimpsed previously and know that the second synthetic, Soji, is on. It transpires that the Romulan’s are stripping it for resources as well as studying the Borg left on it who had been assimilated.
Picard meanwhile, goes to the Federation for help, wanting a ship, a small crew, he’ll even except demotion if it helps. He’s laughed out of the room as a deluded old man and slagging off the Federation on the Holocast didn’t help.
We are still learning, still in the early series setting mode with episode two and, because of that, as a stand-alone episode it suffers. It feels like you probably could have made a lot of those leaps without this episode, I guess we’ll never know, this is also the downside of releasing things week by week these days.
There are some nice touches, whilst aboard the Borg ship you can catch a sign that reads, “this facility has gone 5843 days without an assimilation”, which is fun.
More is known about Narek, Harry Treadaway (“Cockney’s Vs Zombie’s”, “The Lone Ranger”), who I was praying wasn’t going to be one of the main bad guys as he looks like a goth from a boyband. Sadly, he is, he’s in it up to his pointy, Romulan ears, along with his sister, who is undercover with the Federation.
We also get our first intro to Raffi, Michelle Hurd (“Daredevil (TV)”, “Blindspot (TV)”), who Picard turns to for help after being spurned by the Federation.
All in all, episode two is all a bit bland and you sense that a lot of it could have been wrapped up quicker, perhaps they could have made episode one a feature length episode, to kick things off.
Anyway, they didn’t, so this is a bit dull, but we live in hope that episode three will kick back into gear once more.