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How to say 'bite me' in Romulan, plus more quotes from Star Trek: Picard Ep. 4 [Warp Factor #4]
"Turns out space is super boring. Go figure."
This is the realization that Dr. Agnes Jurati (Alison Pill) shares with Captain Rios (Santiago Cabrera) at the beginning of the fourth episode of Star Trek: Picard. She admits that space is actually not "space" at all, it's full of stuff, so why focus on the negative? She shifts her tactics and asks Rios (who is not paying much attention to her) about the book that he's reading, The Tragic Sense of Life by Miguel De Unamuno. Rios tells her what the book's subject matter:
Rios: Existential pain of living with the consciousness of death, and how it defines us as human beings.
Jurati: That’s not a conversation killer at all, I totally want to talk about the existential pain of living with the consciousness of death.
They don't get much farther than that, but this exchange about the nature of how finite human existence can be is something that Data (Brent Spiner) often pondered in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Rios seems preoccupied with it as well, but he's also a guy who creates multiple Emergency Holograms of himself to crew his ship, including an "Emergency Hospitality Hologram." When the EHH tells Picard (Patrick Stewart) that "the captain likes to keep his own company," he's being fairly literal.
Now that our motley crew is all together on Rios' ship, the new episode gave us a lot of opportunities for banter. Jurati enters the holodeck (which recreates Picard's La Barre study), and asks, "Is this a secret meeting? Am I a part of the crew now?" They're all meeting about Jean-Luc's decision to take a side trip to Vashti, the home of a sect of Romulan Warrior Nuns. Picard wants to hire one, but he also has some amends to make. Raffi (Michelle Hurd) says the following when she hears about this change of course:
"Man can't even take a guilt trip without using a starship."
This is before JL briefs them all on the ways of "absolute candor," something practiced by the sect he is visiting, as well as being the title of the episode:
"It’s their primary teaching. Total communication of emotion without any filter between thought and word... and it runs entire counter to everything the Romulans hold dear."
We can easily imagine that's the case, because Romulans tend to like their duplicitous behavior. Jurati has the best response:
“Anyone else think the way of absolute candor sounds potentially annoying?”
Things down on Vashti aren't very good, and nobody is happy to see Jean-Luc. Instead of doing what he could when his Romulan relief effort was shut down, he abandoned the cause entirely. This is not lost on him, and his reflection on this flaw, about this 'all or nothing' attitude, gives us our favorite line of the episode:
"I allowed the perfect to become the enemy of the good."
It was our favorite, but it wasn't the most badass. That honor goes to our newest addition, Elnor (Evan Evagora), aka Space Legolas. He comes to Picard's aid despite having rejected Picard's attempt to enlist him, and goes to battle with a former Romulan senator. The sequence goes as such:
Elnor: Please my friend, choose to live.
Former Sentator: (Attacks anyway, Elnor proceeds to slice off his head)
Elnor: I regret your choice.
It turns out that Elnor has decided that JL's quest was worthy after all, especially because it is a lost cause. All of that comes before the legendary Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) zooms in to save the day and get beamed aboard, going on to deliver her first line outside of the confines of Star Trek: Voyager:
"You owe me a ship, Picard."
She's not wrong! For more on everything involving Episode 4 of this series, check out the latest episode of SYFY WIRE's Warp Factor, which is embedded below. It will also contain the proper way to speak that ever famous Romulan phrase, "Bite me."