Picard fails to engage

I was cautiously optimistic about Picard. Alas… So far, it’s making the same mistakes as previous seasons and the early seasons of Discovery, too – dragging things out, teasing, explaining instead of showing, forcing drama instead of letting it evolve.

Spoilers follow.

Make no mistake, I am here for the cast. It seems that we are going to get a steady drip of introductions, one at a time. Worf this week (in the last two minutes. And mostly out of focus). Probably Geordi next week, Lore after that, and I’m guessing we will get Deanna last. This is frustrating because what we are here for is to see how everyone has changed, and how those changes affect their interactions and relationships.

Instead, the show is filling the space around the sparse TNG cast introductions, with lots of recycling. We can call them Easter Eggs if we like, but unlike in Lower Decks, the whole show relies on the past rather than create its own story.

The very moments of Trek lore that truly were magical – Enterprise in Spacedock, Kirk meeting his son, the reveal of the scary enemy ship, the ostentatious bad guy twirling in the command chair, the meetings in seedy dives with persons of ill repute – these were done right the first time. I’m guessing episode 3 will evoke the Battle in the Mutara Nebula and instead of excited, I’m just resigned. But hey, at least the new guy is a bit of Star Wars rogue! (then again, all of Picard’s putative sons tend to be, don’t they?)

With all of the fluff, the B-plot with Raffi suffers to almost being unwatchable. There’s some promise there but it’s wasted, and relies on exposition rather than character as a shortcut since we need to cut back to the A-plot which is going nowhere. Everything that has happened in the A-plot would have happened in the first two acts in a regular TNG episode by now.

I’m not alone in being underwhelmed. Den of Geek is also asking, are we there yet? Escapist goes into more detail about the deja-vu.

And we still are criminally under-utilizing Seven of Nine.