[8.0/10] Easily the best episode of the series so far. I really enjoyed the glimpse we get of Will and Deanna -- happy enough that it feels like a nice grace note to their story in TNG, but with enough loss involved to make it something other than a wish-fulfillment happy ending for them.
But what I like even better is that this stop is more than just fanservice with some familiar faces. The show uses Picard's connection to his old officers, and Soji's budding bond with their daughter, to make the Riker family a bridge between Picard and Soji. Reminding Picard that he needs to be patient and kind to earn someone's trust and that fighting the good fight is what keeps him feeling alive, while Troi and Kestra show Soji that she has value regardless of whether she's "real" and that he can be trusted, is a really great way to use these cameos.
The Jurati/Raffi/Rios stuff back on La Sirena is a lot less successful. If nothing else, I appreciate the plot mechanics of Narek being able to track them using the pill Jurati takes in the flashback. But I'm still super confused as to the shape of Jurati's motivation here. I get that she's afraid of a Synth uprising thanks to the mindmeld, but why and how does that lead her to kill Maddox and what's her objective? It also feels a little dumb that Raffi and Rios don't really catch on. Still, there's intrigue in the idea that she's willing to go into a coma to try to detach herself from her Zhat Vash handlers now that she's having second thoughts.
The weirdest part of the episode is the Elnor/Hugh/Narissa stuff. The fight was pretty cool (even if I'm still tired of Narissa's hammy Bond villain routine), and the show piqued my interest with the quick rapport between Hugh and Elnor. But then why the hell did the show (seemingly) kill off Hugh five minutes later? It's another disappointing and abrupt end for a legacy character. (Justice for Hugh and Icheb!)
Still, the Picard/Soji/Riker family stuff is so good that it makes up for the other parts of the episode. Picard's scenes with each members of the family are great. His and Riker's dynamic in particular is so warm and familiar in the best way. And holy hell, Marina Sirtis gives her best performance in all of Star Trek here! The layers to her conversations with Picard and Soji are so good!
Overall, this one has its problems away from Nepenthe, but when it's at the Riker homestead, things are really good and nicely manage to make a feel-good TNG cameo into something more meaningful and relevant to this show's characters and the story at hand.
I certainly enjoyed the coming together of Picard, Riker and Troi. Those were great scenes. At the same time it showed me again I care less about the new characters. And how is this for people who don't know TNG ?The revelation that Jurati was planted was no surprise as I suspected that from the beginning. A Vulcan forcing a mind meld was a surprise and I wonder where the information about that future comes from. Was it just a trick to lure Jurati in ? Or will there be some form of time travel involved ? I would have hoped Jurati would kill herself instead of just putting her into a coma. And if I could make a guess in general, I think Picard is going to die at the end of the show. Whenever that may be.
I really enjoyed this in a shamelessly sentimental way. I also found that I liked Kestra, wild girl of the woods. Probably more than the 3 that were on the space ship. I think I'm also starting to like Elnor, king of the elves.
I agree with @Mark Linton about them killing another of my favorite ex-Borg. If they kill Seven I might have to go all crazy man alone in the woods on them.
I find myself ready enjoying this show. It's well written and has good pacing. Lots of fan service this episode but I enjoyed all of it!
Who the hell is Captain Crandall?
That was the best episode of the series so far. Thanks to Jonathan Frakes reliving Will Riker at its best.
That mindmeld was super non-consensual.
I really don't get how they don't know about Jurati. The ships computer, the medical hologram, were unable to tip them off?
The Romulan super villain is super annoying.
I'm enjoying, but I could fly a Borg cube through some of the plot holes here.
Enjoyed the episode, but I wish they hadn't offed Hugh. That's two likable ex-Borgs that have been offed now.
As soon as I see Picard and Soji reaching a house on that alien planet and Picard mentioned some friends live there, I immediately thought to myself: "that better not be the house of Riker and Troy or I'm quitting this show!". Lo and behold... Damn it! This is not the kind of fanservice I want. If I have to see one TNG couple, I'd rather see Jean-Luc and Beverly than the other two. Don't get me wrong, I loved seeing Riker and Troy, I just never liked those two together. But it was great having that trio of TNG characters interacting on screen, once more. Pure nostalgia rush and still good chemistry between that classic cast! And, yes, I'll still continue watching this, because I'm weak. Much like this show.
Space samurai/ninja elf may be a cliché, but he's becoming a fun cliché. It feels like he's in some sort of bonus level, much like Sonic, when Sonic was teleported to that 3D spherical world and had to collect all the rings in a short amount of time. Here, Elnor must wander a gigantic 3D cube, collecting xBs on his way. Kinda similar. Then again, maybe not really. I'm just talking nonsense now, which kinda goes well with the show, at this point.
Beginning to put together a list of spin-off shows we need:
Star Trek: LarisStar Trek: Seven and the Fenris RangersStar Trek: Elnor the Space ElfStar Trek: Kestra
The calm before the storm, only 3 episodes remain
Everytime I watch episodes from this series, I don't want it to end. Star Trek never fails to amaze me. Love it.
I never realized Frakes was so HUGE, especially compared to Stewart. I suspect the producers/directors of TNG intentionally minimized that size difference to give Picard more an air of authority.
A nice, boring reunion. Elnor makes the episode more exciting action wise.
Thoroughly enjoyed the "cabin interlude". It even made Soji bearable. The rest of it, not so much. The crew still isn't very interesting. I'm also getting really tired of the "Hey, remember this side character from way back when? Cool, right? Well, now they're dead." scenario.
Best episode for me so far. I don't really like the plot with the two romulans, it's childish, stereotype stupid villains. But for this episode we almost didn't have them, and instead they focused on great dialogues and a beautiful decors. I loved the acting of this family, it felt true and not forced compared to most of the other episodes so far.I hope they'll continue like that for the next episodes.
That moment you're watching a show and hope 98% of the characters would die but what do they do instead? Kill off one of the characters you dont' want to see dead.
This episode purely survived on nostalgia and the idea of what could have been. Seeing Riker and Troy again was nice and thank god he wasn't cuckold unlike Picard, that frail, arrogant, little man! All in all this was the least annoying episode of them all... But purely because of Riker (and sure, his daughter).
Maybe in a not so distant future we can have a sequel to TNG with de-aged or AI actors that doesn't tread on the legacy.