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"Mars is burning. Tens of thousands are dead, and nobody is thinking, nobody is listening. They’re just reacting."
That's the bewildered "how did we get here" response from Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) in the flashback that opens Episode 3 of Star Trek: Picard. The Admiral's grand rescue armada plans have been scrapped in the wake of the attack on Mars by rogue synths, and Jean-Luc proceeded to play his final card — he threatened to resign.
He never thought they'd accept it, but Starfleet likely wanted this legend out of the way. They still do, but the "Hermit of La Barre" is no longer just waiting to die. Raffi Musiker (Michelle Hurd), Picard's go-to security expert on these matters, expected more from him back in the day. She still has a bat'leth to grind, too, and she hasn't just forgiven our hero. When he goes to her for help with his current situation (Maddox, Dahj, Soji, Romulans, Data, grapes, etc) she lays it all out:
"I mean the obvious way to go would be, you've got some goddamn nerve."
This is certainly true, but as Picard says in the earlier flashback, "I never dreamed that Starfleet would give in to intolerance and fear." This is a new world that he is still coming to grips with, so we're hoping that the sharp-tongued Raffi will cut him some slack at some point. She's not wrong, but still.
The new series came loaded as always with a shipload of incredible quotes such as these, with another highlight coming from the returning Hugh (Jonathan Del Arco) who is working with the XB's onboard the "Artifact," also known as the Romulan-filled Borg Cube.
"People wither see us a property to be exploited, or a hazard to be warehoused."
Being a former Borg seems to put you in a somewhat hopeless position, and Del Arco's delivery of that line showcases a very nuanced (and private) pain.
Making his grand entrance in this episode is Captain Cristobal Rios (Santiago Cabrera) who might be, for lack of a better descriptor, one of the coolest cats in Trek. He doesn't just have an Emergency Medical Hologram, he has an Emergency Navigational Hologram as well. They both look like him, yet talk in different accents. They also toss him sass, as the ENH does with the line, "Someone is experiencing an acute moodiness overload."
Do Picard and Rios hit it off immediately? Decide for yourself, based on this exchange:
Jean-Luc: I'm not in the habit of consulting lawyers before I do what needs to be done.
Rios: I'm not in the habit of consulting anyone about anything, especially a lawyer.
They're gonna get along just fine, especially since Picard calls him out at the end of this scene in expert fashion:
"Five minutes on this ship and I know precisely what I'm looking at. You are Starfleet! To the core. I can smell it on you."
All of our heroes are damaged or broken in some way. Life has had it's way with them, and the Star Trek universe is no longer about fun holodeck episodes or nice trips in a giant tan hotel. The pain (both subtle and not) of every actor's performances is what sells these lines. Yes, these people may be broken... but they are far from worthless. The galaxy ain't seen nothing yet.
Also, you just can't beat the way Michelle Hurd says the word "Chateau." It is a MasterClass in shade.
For more on Episode 3 of Star Trek: Picard, check out the third installment of Warp Factor which is embedded below — what went down, what got referenced, and what may be coming next? All is explored and more. Come see what's out there.