Retired Admiral Picard starts to put his new crew together.
I enjoyed “The End of the Beginning,” where we finally got to meet some of the members of Picard’s renegade crew. Sadly, his Romulan companions Laris and Zhaban will not be joining him, but leading Cybernetic Expert Dr. Agnes Jurati will be a kind of Science officer in his renegade starship. Picard’s ex-first officer and former Starfleet intelligence officer Raffi Musiker will be at least on the first leg of their journey, starting with finding Doctor Bruce Maddox. Captain Cristobal ” Chris” Rio, who is a former Starfleet commander, is flying the ship that Picard is using to save Soji. Rio’s emergency hologram fixes both him, and the ship appears to be along for the ride. I think it’s cool that in this post Nemesis world, there are holograms that deal with all sorts of emergencies, not just medical. I believe the same actor plays both Rio and the EM. Before I further discuss these characters, I want to point out all the Easter eggs I saw.
My favorite Easter egg was when Rio’s excited Irish EH rattles off a bunch of Picard’s accomplishments from TNG and the movies. ” Chief contact of the Q Continuum. Arbiter of the succession for the Klingon Empire. Savior of Earth from the Borg invasion. Captain of the Enterprise D and E. The man even worked beside the great Spock”. My second favorite reference was at the end when Picard says “Engage” like he did hundreds of times on the Enterprise D’s bridge. Another one of my top Easter eggs was the TNG music that played under a scene where the retired Admiral Picard says that Rio is Starfleet through and through. A minor Easter egg is that Musiker lives at Vasquez Rocks, a location where the Star Trek: The Original Series episode “Arena” was shot. ” Arena” featured Kirk fighting a Gorn. I am not sure if a person can be an Easter egg, but Hugh of Borg is featured heavily in the third episode.
Hugh was featured in several episodes of Star Trek: Next Generation, becoming the first Borg to become an individual again. In Star Trek: Picard, Hugh is in charge of the decommissioned Borg cube. The ex-Borg drone has come a long way. Hugh’s body still has remnants of the Borg (scars and some leftover implants), but he is a lot more human though I like how he always speaks in unique cadence.
The last reference to another piece of media that I want to talk about is something that is outside the realm of Star Trek. Some of the music in the last two episodes remind me of The Lord of the Rings movies. I see a lot of comparisons in the plot as well. Both Picard and Frodo don’t feel connected to their homes and long for adventures. And these two fiction characters are both going on quests. Picard’s quest is to save his dead friend’s daughter so he can feel connected to Data again.
I had a few issues with ” The End of the Beginning,” the biggest one being the discussion of money. Aliens outside of the Federation, like the Ferengi, still use currency, but the Federation does not. One of the reasons that Doctor Jurati gives to joining Picard on his mission is that she is wealthy, but as far as I know, the Federation does not pay salaries anymore. The Federation makes sure that everybody is taken care of regardless of what their occupation is, so unless after Nemesis everything shifted back to Capitalism, I am puzzled.
My other problem is toward the end of the episode suddenly Lt Narissa Rizzo is aboard the Borg cube, which seems to be a well-fortified starship. There have been zero indications that the other Romulans onboard know about Narek’s plans to extract information from Soji or that he is part of the Zhat Vash, so they should be suspicious of a Starfleet aboard their vessel. Also, how did Rizzo get official clearance to leave her post? Is Commodore Oh so mighty that she can order Lieutenants to go on secret missions without telling anybody?
I have a minor issue with Rio’s starship. I feel that the starship looks like a spaceship you could find in any science fiction television show. I know the ship is not a Starfleet vessel, but I miss the Enterprise D.
I’m going to take this time to talk about all the new members of Jean Luc Picard’s crew. I believe we will be adding to this list as we go in Star Trek: Picard so that I will have a description for every new member in future reviews.
Ex- Commander Raffi Musiker will be the first crew member that I will describe. Musiker was Admiral Picard’s first officer when he was planning his rescue of the Romulans from the Supernova. I think it is super cute that Raffi calls Picard “JL.” This shows a certain level of closeness between the pair though we don’t get to hear Picard call her Number One.
She was kicked out of Starfleet after Picard resigned as a form of protest for the organization, not helping the Romulans and outlawing Synths. Raffi Musiker lost her security clearance, so she was unable to work in intelligence anymore. In this episode, we learn that Raffi Musiker can spot answers in complex mysteries that no when else can see. In other words, she is good at investigations.
After leaving Starfleet, Musiker became an alcoholic and dependent on some alien version of marijuana that she smokes. She moved to Vasquez rocks and lives in a trailer full of these “marijuana” plants. Raffi Musiker hates Picard because he abandoned her. The retired Admiral did not visit her until he needed a ship to help Data’s daughter. But Jean Luc Picard entices her to help him by telling her all about Soji, Dahj, and Maddox, which first gets her to find him a starship and pilot. Then Picard knows that Musiker wants to figure out where Maddox is hiding, so he sends her all files about the doctor. Raffi figures out where Maddox has been hiding in and hitches a ride in Rio’s ship. Hopefully, Raffi Musiker will become a permanent member of the crew.
Captain “Chris” Rio used to be the first officer in Starfleet, but something happened to his whole crew. Starfleet erased any information about his starship, so he left. Rio has closed himself off from emotions and has become a thief. Rios agrees to be Picard’s pilot but refuses to become invested. Picard notices that Rio still lives with the true Starfleet spirit in his heart since he keeps his ship under its regulations. But he knows that Picard is a great heroic ” Captain” like the one he served under before he resigned. And Rio saw the Captain he served under as a first office die a horrible death, so he refuses to believe in another great man.
We had seen Dr. Agnes Jurati for several episodes, so we know that she and Dr. Maddox were working on creating androids like Dahj and Soji for many years before he fled. Jurati begs to go with Picard because she now works in a field where she cannot create anything since Synths were made illegal. Soji is the embodiment of everything that Agnes wants to see invented, so she needs to see the android with her own eyes. We also know that Agnes is brave because she shot a Romulan spy to protect Picard. He is a hero to her. I think Dr. Agnes Jurati will be a vital member of the crew even though I don’t think she ever officially served in Starfleet. Though form the pilot, we know that Jurati went to Starfleet Academy, so she has some training.
I cannot wait to see episode four, which will be a real mystery to me since I only saw up to episode three in the premiere.