It might seem weird to review the first three episodes of a show and then the next seven episodes, but it is difficult to break up the storyline from episode four onward. Picard season three is actually constructed like a serial instead of a series. This is why I decided to review the final episodes as one. Minor spoilers follow in this review.
The first three episodes are merely an exposition or set up for the story, which takes off in episode four. Over the course of series, the old Enterprise crew reunites, including a reincarnation of Data (Brent Spiner). They uncover a major conspiracy within Starfleet, which has two major enemies of the federation working together to destroy everything the federation has worked for, and they almost succeed. There is more to Jack Crusher (Edward Speleers) than meets the eye, and Picard (Patrick Stewart) and Dr. Crusher (Gates McFadden) must risk it all to protect their son.
In a time when television is more about money than good storytelling, Picard season three stands out. It is difficult to review this show without gushing, because it is almost flawless.
The story is brilliantly constructed within the well established universe. What makes the story so extraordinary is that it fits the canon to the T without ever using clichés and being repetitive. The twists are unexpected, yet simultaneously incredibly logical, which makes those revelations mind-blowing. The story takes the same ingredients, but reorganizes them in a way to create something unique.
The actors effortlessly slip into their respective roles. In particular, Jonathan Frakes as Riker is brilliant. Revisiting characters after thirty years can easily lead to second-hand embarrassment, but that isn’t the case with Picard. The characters have aged gracefully and aren’t desperately trying to appear young. As one point, Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis) even claims: “I’ve never been so happy to see so many wrinkles.” This makes for a refreshing change from the usual obsession with youth in Hollywood. Picard eloquently proves that age is not a handicap, but offers youth a different skill set. Age is actually what saves the day.
The CGI is excellent, and the final battle can stand its ground to most movies. Even Data’s older appearance is explained plausibly through good writing.
Of course, there is a significant amount of nostalgia involved, in particular with the cameo of Walter Koenig as President Anton Chekov, which is a clear reference to his role as Pavel Chekov in the original series. This is also a clear reference to Anton Yelchin, who played Chekov in the 2009 Star Trek reboot and passed away in a tragic accident aged 27.
But despite all this, the nostalgia never gets in the way of the story. All cameos and bits have a reason to be there beyond nostalgia and serve the story.
Picard season three is an absolute gem! The season is near perfect when it comes to the story, acting and CGI. It is a throwback for long time Star Trek fans, but works also for new fans. It is refreshing to see aged lead actors instead of people in their twenties pretending to be neurosurgeons. The show’s final episode could also serve as a back door pilot for a new Star Trek series, which offers hope for the franchise’s future. The show also proofs that every good series begins with a story.
Have you seen Picard season three yet? If so, what are your thoughts? Don’t forget to check this place when we will be back with more Star Trek related articles. In the meantime, you can read our review for Season 3 Episode 1-3 of Picard here.
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Maria is our resident nerd and passionate about all things fantasy and science fiction. She is Spanish and grew up in Germany, which is why she is a native speaker of both languages. Becoming a fantasy writer was only logical to combine her skills and passions. In addition, she is working on her English degree and loves to play tennis and dance Salsa. She is currently writing her first novel and will mainly be covering Star Wars, Star Trek and Shadow & Bone.