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STAR TREK: PICARD - S1, E4: "Absolute Candor"...


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#1 FarscapeOne

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 02:16 AM

No episode description yet.

#2 Christopher

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 12:43 PM

This is my favorite episode yet, with some really terrific dialogue and character work from Michael Chabon. Dr. Jurati's ramblings about space travel were a lot of fun, and I'm wondering just how many more holographic avatars Rios has. We're getting more insights into Romulan culture; this show has fleshed out the Romulans better in four episodes than TNG and DS9 did in a dozen years. And Picard is being written in a nicely complex way -- he's sympathetic and caring and devoted to his mission, but still limited by his intellectual, reserved nature. When Elnor was asking him why Picard needed him, you could tell that he was seeking a personal, emotional answer and was hurt by the pure calculation of Picard's stated rationale.

Peyton List has never been sexier (in part because I don't think I've heard her do an English accent before), but the fact that the guy her character is flirting with is her brother makes it creepy. I'm not crazy about that part.

It would also be nice if they hadn't spoiled the surprise appearance at the end by listing the actress's name in the opening titles. Also, it was rather antiquated writing to have all the characters defaulting to male pronouns for the unidentified pilot of the ship that came to their rescue. Scenes where all the characters expect someone to be male and then they surprisingly turn out to be female are a trope that should've died out by now. And these days, we've finally figured out that it's okay to use "they/them" for an unidentified person, because singular "they" has been part of English for centuries longer than the artificial, erroneous rule forbidding it.
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#3 FarscapeOne

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 06:44 PM

Another home run by "Two Takes Frakes"... which now puts him as the only person to direct FIVE different STAR TREK series.

Edited by FarscapeOne, 13 February 2020 - 06:45 PM.


#4 RJDiogenes

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 08:36 PM

I say with relief that this episode did not give us another drop in quality, and in fact held a few interesting plot developments and possibly even some thematic developments.

We are treated to another flashback to the time of the Romulan Diaspora (and presumably this will a component of every chapter), this time set in a warrior nunnery on a refugee world where Picard has bonded with both the nuns and an orphan boy. It will turn out that after he left Starfleet, Picard never returned to these people, hurting them all, especially the boy, with his abandonment. It becomes clear now, if it wasn't before, that his departure from Starfleet broke Picard to the core and he has spent the last fifteen years in a morbid depression, retreating from the world.  He abandoned Starfleet, abandoned the Romulans, abandoned Raffi, abandoned the nuns and Sword Boy, and very likely others. But these things are just really worldly manifestations of the true betrayal-- he abandoned his principles. So here we have a show where Starfleet and the Federation, like our real society, have traded in their liberal values for base meanness and Picard has similarly lost his principles to hopelessness. With his comment about the perfect being the enemy of the good, he is referencing the intolerance and fundamentalism of the contemporary world-- and when he tells Raffi that he may never pass this way again, he tells us that the clock is ticking to make things right.

The character work in this episode is definitely a step up.  Rios, with his multiple holographic avatars, is much more a Trek character now than the cigar-chomping, central-casting ruffian of his debut.  Raffi is also more appealing without her trappings of Millennialism and self pity.  Agnes was written as almost a completely different character, but I suppose this is the first time we've really seen her off the clock-- the only other time she was seen outside her lab was having just had a near-death experience. Unfortunately the new addition to the crew, with his devotional life and ninja sword, seems more suited to AD&D than Trek, but perhaps he will develop as well.

Picard is a man awakening from a coma and coming to terms with regrets, but who has not quite yet learned anything.  He berates himself for his abandonment of Raffi and Sword Boy, but has done nothing to make amends or shown any hint that he intends to. Instead he is focused on a quest for the children of his dead comrade.  And with his newfound purpose comes a self-righteousness that is almost a parody of the old Picard. His tearing down of the Romulans Only sign was a rookie error from a man once known for his diplomacy, and especially hypocritical from someone who showed no moral objection to a gender-exclusive warrior guild.  Another metaphor for the Millennial Age?

And then we have the return of an old favorite character, and this time it's not a dream. Apparently a member of the Fenris Rangers (an odd name-- I wonder if the wolf reference is supposed to be a link to Romulus and Remus, but it comes from a completely different mythology), Seven of Nine saves Picard's ass at the last nanosecond, at the cost of her own off-the-grid ship, and then collapses to the deck after a sassy beam in.  Best cliffhanger yet.  :lol:
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#5 FarscapeOne

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 09:42 PM

It makes sense they are called 'Fenris Rangers'.  Seven's family background appears to be Norse, and Fenrir, another name for Fenris, was a wolf in Norse mythology.

#6 Christopher

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 11:08 PM

View PostFarscapeOne, on 14 February 2020 - 09:42 PM, said:

It makes sense they are called 'Fenris Rangers'.  Seven's family background appears to be Norse, and Fenrir, another name for Fenris, was a wolf in Norse mythology.

You think she founded them? They're the Mighty Borgin' Fenris Rangers?
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#7 FarscapeOne

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 11:50 PM

Why not?

I can see this being a strong possibility, given her being mentored by Janeway, and Seven's vast knowledge of... well, everything.

Maybe they are a collective... pun intended... of former Borg she has found over the years and she has been a mentor to them, like Janeway was with her and how she was with Icheb and the kids.

Edited by FarscapeOne, 14 February 2020 - 11:50 PM.


#8 Sci-Fi Girl

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 08:07 AM

Romulan ... Samurai ... Chattering nuns? :lol:

And Elnor has a slightly elf appearance.

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#9 Youkai

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 01:08 PM

I'm hoping that an Emergency Engineering Hologram makes an appearance sometime soon. And that it has a Scottish accent. Rios asks it for more power in an emergency, it answers that it's working as hard as it can but there's an issue with the dilithium crystals, etc. Would make my effing day (as they'd apparently say in the modern Star Trek vernacular)!

#10 Christopher

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 01:50 PM

The Emergency Navigational Hologram has an Irish accent; not sure a Scottish one would be different enough (at least to American ears).
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#11 Youkai

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 02:39 PM

While this isn't my theory (but I did feel that something might have been off on my first viewing), we should probably talk about how the Rios they're interacting with may be an AI/Hologram too and that the real Captain Rios might be the one who either had his brains splattered on a bulkhead or may have been so traumatized by seeing his previous captain in that state that he's keeping to himself somewhere:
  • "Captain Rios?" "I'm afraid you might too late." (this one never made sense to me at the time because you see Rios alive in the next shot, but totally makes sense if the one we see is actually an Emergency Oh-my-god-we-cant-let-them-know-rios-is-dead-or-insane-or-theyll-impound-us-or-something Hologram activated by the ship).
  • We never do get to see that dermal regenerator in action.
  • How did "Rios" get injured so recently on such a clean ship anyway?
  • When Picard is introducing Jurati to Raffi as the Earth's leading expert on synthetic life, the camera cuts away from a tight shot of the three to a wide shot of "Rios" walking into frame and sitting in the Captain's chair, and then cuts back to the tight shot when he's finished saying it.
  • There's probably a reason why he's reading a book about "the existential pain of living with the consciousness of death and how it defines us as human beings."
  • "The Captain...keeps his own company." (so maybe not dead, just traumatized)
Not sure if it's true or not, but it'd be pretty cool if it were.

Edited by Youkai, 15 February 2020 - 02:55 PM.


#12 RJDiogenes

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 02:53 PM

^^  That would actually be very cool. Much more SF than anything they've done so far.

View PostFarscapeOne, on 14 February 2020 - 11:50 PM, said:

I can see this being a strong possibility, given her being mentored by Janeway, and Seven's vast knowledge of... well, everything.  
You're right, it's very possible, and appropriate, that she would be the actual founder of the group. I should have thought of that. Kind of ironic, if true, that a Voyager character would have progressed into a leadership role while all of the TNG characters so far are either dead, retired, or MIA, given that this is a Picard series.

View PostSci-Fi Girl, on 15 February 2020 - 08:07 AM, said:

And Elnor has a slightly elf appearance.  
Definitely an elfin vibe.  Even the name is Tolkienish.
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#13 Youkai

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 02:58 PM

View PostChristopher, on 15 February 2020 - 01:50 PM, said:

The Emergency Navigational Hologram has an Irish accent; not sure a Scottish one would be different enough (at least to American ears).

Dammit Jim, I want the Scotty throwback!

#14 Christopher

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 03:31 PM

View PostRJDiogenes, on 15 February 2020 - 02:53 PM, said:

Kind of ironic, if true, that a Voyager character would have progressed into a leadership role while all of the TNG characters so far are either dead, retired, or MIA, given that this is a Picard series.

On the contrary, in episode 2, Zhaban encourages Picard to contact Riker, Worf, or La Forge for help, but Picard refuses to get his dearest friends involved in something so dangerous because he can't bear to see any other dear friend die for him like Data did. And we know from the trailers that Riker and Troi will both appear in the show. So every main character not named Crusher is accounted for.

Edited by Christopher, 15 February 2020 - 05:24 PM.

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#15 FarscapeOne

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 05:08 PM

Dr. Crusher may very well have been a part of the fleet to help the refugees, given her profession and how her character was.  She might be on one of those planets with refugees.  Maybe Picard doesn't have a way to contact her or know her whereabouts, given that she wasn't mentioned.

#16 Christopher

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Posted 15 February 2020 - 05:24 PM

View PostFarscapeOne, on 15 February 2020 - 05:08 PM, said:

Dr. Crusher may very well have been a part of the fleet to help the refugees, given her profession and how her character was.  She might be on one of those planets with refugees.  Maybe Picard doesn't have a way to contact her or know her whereabouts, given that she wasn't mentioned.

As I said, the show has clearly explained why Picard doesn't want to drag his Enterprise crewmates into this mission; that's the only explanation we need for their absence. It was Zhaban who brought up Riker, Worf, and La Forge as among the people Picard could potentially contact; there is no reason to think it was an exhaustive list, since he was just naming possibilities and Picard then cut him off. Troi hasn't been mentioned in the show yet either, but we know she's going to show up.

Edited by Christopher, 15 February 2020 - 05:25 PM.

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#17 Omega

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 04:08 PM

The writing on this show is hit-and-miss for me.  I like a lot of the character work, but I don't get the sense that there's any focus on consistent world-building happening in the background. And Picard's dressing-down of Sword Boy for killing Romulan Senator missed an obvious opportunity.  "That man did not deserve to die!"  The only possible response, the one that would have illuminated Picard's near-suicidal behavior, is: "Neither do you."

#18 RJDiogenes

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 07:56 PM

I'm not sure if Sword Boy feels that way, though.  :lol:
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