3.03 Star Trek: Picard - Seventeen Seconds

ctg

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Picard grapples with a life-altering revelation as the crew of the Titan attempt to outmaneuver Vadic, while Raffi and Worf uncover a plot by a vengeful enemy.
IMDB score: 8.7 Runtime: 46 minutes
 

ctg

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So here we are the most action backed episode in the Picard history, lending the best of the Wrath of Khan's fight in the nebula. And the Picard having a son. Not talking about Worf being a ninja master. A lot to unpack.

Let's see how this goes, because I suspect that they are again backing quite a lot of things in this episode, instead of following singular storylines.

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The opening sequence of Titan running away from the Shrike felt extremely tensile, with Titan receiving fire and not returning to it. Not even blasting away phaser fire, even though it would be the best tool to chip on the enemy shields.

It kind of proves my point on that Cpt Shaw doesn't know, don't want to know how to fight, where as the Old Guard Picard and Riker has been so many stressful situations, like dealing with the Borg Cube. For the first time.

Like I said the only option they have is to flee, and Riker encapsulated the info by telling Cpt Shaw, "You cannot warp away as long as we are inside this thing." But Shaw wasn't listening, all he wanted was to flee. So Riker put it in plain english, "Nebula interference. Deeper we go, worse it gets for external sensors," without adding any science on why the Warp is seemingly impossible achieve inside the nebula.

Yet, it was stranger to see the pair standing in the background of the bridge, even though Picard had used his Admiral's Order and supposedly taken over the command. Did he lose his bollocks in between the episodes?

Cpt Shaw most certainly has not dropped his own, as he was kind of happy sitting in his chair, while they hid inside the Star Factory without understanding the science of this newborn solar systems. There's a lot of energy inside the gigantic gas cloud as the stars take shapes and form planets. Yet, it's not like they'd parked next to a rabidly spinning neutron star.

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It took 36 hours for the Admiral to make the trip to the sickbay, while it took 17 seconds for Riker in his "longest ride in the turbolift," to become a real father. There is no happiness in this picture. Neither one of them are smiling. In fact, it was lost as soon as they entered into this situation, and you can feel the icy tension even in this shot.

Beverly was first to open up as she told that Jack was seeded just two months before she left the enterprise, in one of the Paradise Planets, during a shore leave. "A perfect day on borrowed time. They called you back early. That's how it was always with us. There was always a clock. That day, maybe more than any other, because... we both knew we were at the end."

Oh, old man, I feel for you. You got dumped by the mother and she didn't even think you'd make a good father. After all it had been five times he'd rekindled the old flame, and then, like it is in the normal life, the one just left. No words. No calls. No postcards.

Beverly's defence, "I struggled over telling you. I wanted him to know you, but then refugees from Kalara V, angry about Romulan relocation, kidnapped you and held you for nine days."

"Oh, so my only window was for nine days?"

ROFL. We men and women are like cats and dogs. We never really get each other. And yet somehow we have managed to get on for eons, somehow. And while it's yes that some men makes good daddies, every man capable of producing an offspring or five, knows that when the time comes to own up, we'll do it to the best of our capabilities.

None of us are perfect. Not even Picard. It was Beverly who made the choice by not telling, for twenty odd years. It was always too late to tell the admiral, even though just one minute on the side would have done it.

Picard said, "You never thought if you had told me, it all might have been different?"

Beverly's defence, "Jean-Luc when galaxy comes calling you, you are not put-upon by it, you love it. Don't tell me you'd have walked away."

"Beverly, you made the choice for me," Picard stated, "You don't get to condemn people before the fact!"

So she brought in the fact that he, "never wanted to have a family. That you could never be a father because you were too afraid you'd be like your own."

I facepalmed on Admiral's behalf. She didn't get the point, and instead of accepting that she'd taken away the choice, she twisted it to be Picard's fault. In his shoes I'd have walked away, but instead Picard was a stronger man as he asked, "What could have been if I'd known? A father? A husband? I know now I would never have been my father!"

So another twist, "All I knew was that if you're the son of Jean-Luc Picard, there's a target on your back. I lost my parent, then a husband, then my son Wesley, all to the same stars that own you. As a mother, your whole being is about protecting your child. I-I thought I could protect mine... I didn't know if I could protect yours."

Deep sigh. I feel so sorry for all the men that loses their babies to the lionesses protecting their cubs. Like with the big cats, it is the women that mostly take care of the babies. But unlike the animals, human males accept the fact because there is no way they can deny it. It is who we are, and I get her point, but taking away the choice because of the feelings, it's something we can work to get rid of. Although I suspect it'll never happen.

The final nail in the proverbial coffin was the fact that Jack went to school in London, a few of hundred kilometres north from Chateau Picard. Never knowing nothing. Picard encapsulated the question very well, "Didn't he deserve a chance to get to know me?"

It was the boy who made the choice, as Beverly had told him who and where to find the Admiral. Jack's choice, and when the time came to prove he wasn't what Beverly feared him to be, Picard didn't said nothing to his son. Instead, it was business as usual.

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"It's right where you said it would be," the Shrike's helmsman said before they owned fire. All Cpt Shaw was able to do was to shout, "Battlestations," and not follow up with orders. It was the automation that raised those shields you see evaporating in the shot.

I felt so sorry for the Titan crew for their captain effing so hard. The only smart choice was to transfer the command to legendary Riker, who were up to the task from the get go. Admiral on the trigger, they were able to put up a fight. Two shots and they'd shaken loose the enemy.

They even got battle damage repairs on the way while they hid in the clouds, waiting for the next encounter to happen. And Riker was willing to listen Admiral's point-of-view instead of sending him below to talk to the son.

As they kept sensors scanning instead of trying to keep the stealth, the Vulcan science officer was able to determine that they weren't in just a star factory, but amongst the living beings, inside some kind of anomaly.

They tried to run away, so the Shrike revealed the experimental weapon being some sort of portal weapon, as Dave guessed in the first episode. Picard suggest to fight, Riker denied and went back into the nebula.

It was Seven who figured out the Vetrium leak, while the admiral came up with a game plan that Riker shot down, because it wasn't their crew. Only they missed the saboteur and then it was too late. The damage was done, and they weren't able to do anything in the head-on-fight. Instead, it was just a downward spiral into the gravity well.

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"I am Worf, son of Mogh, House of Martok, son of Sergey, House of Rozhenko, bane to the Duras Family, Slayer of Gowron. I have made some camomile tea. Do you take sugar?"

Raffi's face was the best. She was floored at the front of the legend, with him being everything she'd imagined and not.

Like a true Ninja Master he stated, "I have learned of late that one must access calm as much as fire. So I have been, as you humans say, working on myself." Almost as if there is nothing else that Ninja Masters do, because everytime we encounter them, they are working on themselves, or then it's full on business time. He even called himself as "a subcontractor," before he went on telling that he broke the shadows, because he feared Raffi was going to get killed.

Tinker, Tailor, Klingon Warrior. But he couldn't put a finger on his premonitions, other than acknowledging that the Federation hit was just a start of something bigger. Only problem was that he didn't knew, "Rafaella," as well as he should for trying to ditch her in the debrief. But unlike the admiral, he quickly accepted the fact that she was in the know, and deserved more, as he told that a human named Titus Rikka had paid for the Fed hit to take place.

Capturing the mark was legendary and Worf handled the situation as he was another legend, Sam Fisher. Back in the hideout he went back in the Ninja Master mode, while Raffi played with the addict's withdrawal feelings. Except they weren't as the baddies were revealed to be Changelings.
 

Ensign Shah

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Beverly’s close ups reminded me somewhat of the Star Trek film Insurrection. I am concerned that future birth control is not effective and that their scanners can’t detect internal bleeding! All that aside, I loved this episode. A chilled but deadly Worf is just what I needed, after a long week in the NHS. This episode had good old next generation vibes :love:
 

Brian G Turner

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An enjoyable enough episode - didn't hit me the way the previous ones did. Still interesting, though, especially the reveal that Changelings are behind everything.

A couple of big questions, though:

1. Why would the Changelings be so interested in Jack Crusher, and why didn't they just grab him when they had the chance aka in Beverly's description of constant harassment before the start of this series?

2. Why was there a Changeling already on board the Titan, when by all accounts it was supposed to be on a routine exploration mission?

3. And the obvious one Worf raises - what else was stolen from Daystrom, that could be worst than the portal weapon? We've had quite a few references already to DS9 stories, so could it relate to the virus the Federation either had or were developing to use against the Dominion? (Can't remember clearly how that progressed.)
 

ctg

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1. Why would the Changelings be so interested in Jack Crusher, and why didn't they just grab him when they had the chance aka in Beverly's description of constant harassment before the start of this series?
It might be a red herring. It might be something he did, unknowing what he did and to whom, but I suspect it's all connected to the sick planet that the ranger is guarding.

2. Why was there a Changeling already on board the Titan, when by all accounts it was supposed to be on a routine exploration mission?
If they have them serving in Orion planet, who says they don't have them aboard every vessel? After all, they are showing hate towards the Federation.
 

ctg

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The final season of Star Trek: Picard features the return of the Klingon Worf, reports Polygon, calling it "the chance to give one of sci-fi's most beloved supporting characters something that's usually reserved only for Captains and Admirals: a glorious third act."

Interestingly, back in 1987 Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry had "hoped to avoid relying on familiar alien antagonists" when creating the first Star Trek TV sequel in 1987. So after a last-minute addition, "the early development of the character was left almost entirely in the hands of Dorn, then best known for a supporting role on the lighthearted police drama CHiPs."

"They really didn't have a bible for Worf at all," says Dorn of those early episodes. "In fact, one of the first things I did was, I asked the producers, 'What do you want from this guy? You've just handed me a piece of paper that says Worf on it.'" With Roddenberry's blessing, Dorn set out making the character his own, giving Worf the kind of personal investment and attachment that only an actor can provide. "I decided to make the guy the opposite of everybody else on the show. You know, everyone else, their attitudes were great, and they're out there in space, relationships are forming. And after every mission they were like, Wasn't that fantastic? I didn't say anything to anybody, I just made him this gruff and surly character on the bridge. No smiles, no joking around."

It didn't take the show's producers long to realize that Dorn's gruff, joyless performance could effectively turn any bit of throwaway dialogue into a laugh line....

Alongside his role as the show's unlikely comic relief, however, Worf developed into one of Star Trek's most complicated protagonists. Roddenberry mandated that the show's human characters had evolved beyond the sorts of interpersonal conflicts that typically drive television dramas, but Worf, an alien, was permitted to be contrarian, hot-tempered, and even malicious.... He strictly adheres to a code of honor that does not totally overlap with that of his peers.... Yet, however many times "real" Klingon conduct clashes with his values, Worf never allows this to pollute his own sense of honor. He remains unfailingly truthful, loyal, and brave. And, over the years, other Klingons take notice of this and grow to admire and emulate him....

Dorn — along with the rest of the Next Gen ensemble — has once again been called upon to revitalize a Star Trek spinoff. The third season of Star Trek: Picard reintroduces us to Worf as a wise old master, so confident in his ability to defeat his foes in combat that he rarely needs to unsheathe this weapon. Dorn has imagined the past 20 years of his character's life in detail, taking inspiration from a source not entirely disconnected from Star Trek: the films of Quentin Tarantino. Appropriately, Dorn has patterned this version of Worf after a character from a film that opens with an old Klingon proverb: Kill Bill.

"One of the characters was Pai Mei, this martial arts killer," says Dorn. "He's gone so far in the martial arts, the next step is — he can defend himself and kill with a sword, but he can also do it with his bare hands. And with that comes calm, and the ability to know that sometimes you don't have to kill. That's how he's grown in the past 20 years. Now he can dodge ray guns...."

One way or another, the actor looks back at his untouchable tenure as Starfleet's greatest warrior with warmth and appreciation.
 

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They tried to run away, so the Shrike revealed the experimental weapon being some sort of portal weapon, as Dave guessed in the first episode.
I did, but the actual "portal weapon" is a bit rubbish really, as seen employed by the Shrike spaceship. I think Worf and Rafi are probably correct that it was merley as distraction for the real weapon(s) stolen.

1. Why would the Changelings be so interested in Jack Crusher, and why didn't they just grab him when they had the chance aka in Beverly's description of constant harassment before the start of this series?
It might be a red herring. It might be something he did, unknowing what he did and to whom, but I suspect it's all connected to the sick planet that the ranger is guarding.

If their need to capture Jack Crusher, like the portal weapon, is also a distraction or red herring, it all seems a lot of trouble to go too.

One thing though, the "portal weapon" did allow the Titan to shoot upon itself, and so the Shrike could quite correctly say that the Titan caused it's own destruction and they were totally blameless. But why the need for that?

But if they really wanted Jack Crusher alive, why did the Changeling try to kill him, and now why did they try to destroy the whole ship he is aboard? What has changed during this episode to make a difference so that he is no longer relevant?

2. Why was there a Changeling already on board the Titan, when by all accounts it was supposed to be on a routine exploration mission?
If they have them serving in Orion planet, who says they don't have them aboard every vessel? After all, they are showing hate towards the Federation.
I agree with ctg. They could have Changeling 'sleepers' everywhere by now. The Wormhole to the Gamma Quadrant ought to have been permanently closed when they had the chance. I thought that was the biggest mistake Starfleet ever made at the time.

3. And the obvious one Worf raises - what else was stolen from Daystrom, that could be worst than the portal weapon? We've had quite a few references already to DS9 stories, so could it relate to the virus the Federation either had or were developing to use against the Dominion? (Can't remember clearly how that progressed.)
Possibly, but that doesn't explain the Jack Crusher or "portal weapon" distractions. And while the theft of a virus relating to the Dominon would immediately implicate Changlings rather than Romulans, it only took a few days longer to work it out anyway. Were those few days somehow important?

Jack Crusher could have come across the virus without knowing what it was and done something relevant. I'm right out of specualtions now.

I found this episode really rather dull.

Depends what you mean by "dull". I thought it was intense but maybe not as exciting as they wanted it to be. I don't think it was boring or tedious, but I did get distracted by something else, and just rewatched the last 10 minutes because I forgot what had happened. I didn't really care whether or not Jack Crusher died. I thought Riker was a little harsh on Picard, considering the torpedoes did exactly what the Titan had already done three times earlier. So, anyone of the officers on the Bridge could have said that maybe that wasn't a great idea, including Riker himself.
 
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ctg

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But if they really wanted Jack Crusher alive, why did the Changeling try to kill him, and now why did they try to destroy the whole ship he is aboard? What has changed during this episode to make a difference so that he is no longer relevant?
I think Jack knows more than he has revealed. He might not remember it or he's too ashamed to admit, now that they're in the situation, but he was a target for a reason.
 

Brian G Turner

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Another pointer about the end - I thought it was unnecessary to have Riker to accuse Picard of killing them all. By all means, throw him off the bridge for arguing with the ship's captain, but it's clear the Shrike had every opportunity to destroy the Titan and hasn't, and therefore it wanted to force it deeper into the nebula to keep it trapper there. Literally, it is like a shrike bird pinning its prey on a thorn to keep it immobile while it goes off to do something else.
 

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My impression was that Picard's constant insistence to attack, and his bullying of Riker that he was scared to attack, forced Riker into the decision to fire. When the torpedos came back at them, and he realised how stupid he had been, he blamed Picard in anger. My point is that anyone could have seen the consequences of firing when such a portal was available, and yet no one did. Picard is only just as culpable as any of them.

Your point is that Picard and Riker together made all the decisions that took them into the nebula, and up to that final position. Same but different. Riker is as culpable as Picard, but both points just make Riker look particualrly weak. So as angry as he might be, he should look at his own actions first.
 

Brian G Turner

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Another small Easter egg, I think - the very opening shot of this episode had a display showing "Condition Red" that was exactly like that used on the Enterprise in Wrath of Khan. Haven't noticed it since the original Trek films. :)
 

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"I am Worf, son of Mogh, House of Martok, son of Sergey, House of Rozhenko, bane to the Duras Family, Slayer of Gowron. I have made some camomile tea. Do you take sugar?"
:lol: Raffi and Worf are the best pair of the season, if not the series. I love the older and wiser Worf. Who would have expected a Klingon warrior to get in touch with his intellectual side?
the reveal that Changelings are behind everything
Unexpected. My DS9 recollections are probably the dimmest in my ST mental library. I vaguely remember being surprised that Odo wasn't the sole survivor of his species.
I thought it was unnecessary to have Riker to accuse Picard of killing them all. By all means, throw him off the bridge for arguing with the ship's captain,
Riker in command and Picard as Number 1? What made anyone think that this role reversal would work? :LOL:
 

ctg

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I think there might be a few others who are in a loss of what the Changelings are about, because it has been so long time from the days of Deep Space 9. So here are a few selected quotes from the Memory Alpha, starting from the Dominion war.

The Dominion War was a major interstellar conflict, fought from 2373 to 2375, though related conflicts began earlier. The war involved all major powers of the Alpha and Gamma Quadrants, organized into two opposing military alliances: the Federation Alliance and the Breen-Dominion Alliance. Marked by massive military and civilian casualties, including the systematic destruction of the Cardassian population (in which more than eight hundred million Cardassians were killed), and the mobilization of starship fleets on a massive scale, it was one of the bloodiest and most destructive wars in modern galactic history.

Ending with Dominion Loss.
In 2375, the Federation learned of a development that would ultimately help determine the course of the war: a deadly morphogenic virus had infected the Great Link. Despite the Dominion's technological prowess, they were unable to find a cure, and it was determined it would only be a matter of time before the Founders would die. (DS9: "Treachery, Faith and the Great River") It was later discovered that the virus had been engineered by Section 31, a rogue branch of Starfleet Intelligence. Although Julian Bashir did find a cure, the Federation Council decided to withhold it from the Dominion for strategic concerns. Some protested this act as abetting genocide. (DS9: "Extreme Measures", "The Dogs of War")

Dominion
The Dominion was a major interstellar state in the Gamma Quadrant. Technologically advanced and millennia old, the Dominion was founded under the absolute rule of a group of Changelings known as the Founders, whose will was carried out by the Vorta and the Jem'Hadar. The Dominion was dedicated to imposing the Founders' vision of "order" upon the universe, i.e. bringing all other civilizations under its control.

The Great Link (or The Link) was the intermingling of many Changelings in their natural liquid form, and the foundation of their society, providing meaning for the Changelings' existence. (DS9: "The Search, Part II")

As the home of the Founders, the Link was effectively the "capital" of the Dominion. For millennia, the Link was located on a rogue planet within the Omarion Nebula, until it was discovered by Odo and the crew of the USS Defiant in 2371. This led the Tal Shiar and the Obsidian Order to launch a joint assault on the Founders' homeworld, intending to wipe out the Founders and destroy the Dominion.
Unknown to the Founders at the time, Odo's temporary joining with the Link had infected all of the Changelings with a morphogenic virus that began to inhibit their natural shapeshifting abilities, slowly killing them. A cure was later brought back by Odo, who single-handedly cured the entire Great Link, an event which was instrumental in ending the Dominion War. After curing his people, Odo decided to stay with the Link. (DS9: "What You Leave Behind")
and then a revelation
After the war, a faction of Changelings dissatisfied with the result broke away from the Great Link and infiltrated the Alpha Quadrant. Odo warned Worf of this, but Starfleet did not acknowledge it publicly for fear of restarting the war. One infiltrated the USS Titan as a saboteur to ensure that the Shrike could always locate the Titan. Another was involved in the theft of technology from the Daystrom Institute. After being interrogated by Worf and Raffaela Musiker, it attempted to escape but was vaporized by Worf. (PIC: "The Next Generation", "Seventeen Seconds")

So we have the motion and the perpetrator, a rogue Dominion faction that wants to reignite the flames of the one of the greatest wars Federation fought after encountering the Borgs.

Interesting thing is that it's not really a massive part of the general knowledge, as the DS9 weren't watched by all. That is after all my suspicion, but it's clear that the gravity well is either another wormhole, or a dominion controlled planetary system at the heart of a star factory.

I suspect that the breakaway faction learned to live in that chaotic place, and dominate it through technology and science. But it is also another sign that the Federation is one of the major factions in the galaxy, and it's kind of degenerating because it doesn't really want to expand any more. Instead, it's more like our UN, where people go to talk about things without ever being able to come up with the real results, because of the veto powers and all that massive bureaucracy, present in the Picard.

If Janeway is head of the Admiralty then why is it that she hasn't made contact with the other quadrants and sent exploration, diplomacy missions over there? It can't be because of the Borgs. They are done. I strongly suspect that it's that massive machine that has stagnated over time. And that's why Cpt Shaw should be thrilled to be in the unexplored border region of the Federation Space, because he has done only them, and not provoked conflict, in his time at the helm of the Titan-A.

Instead, he was against everything since Picard and Riker came on board.
 

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made contact with the other quadrants and sent exploration, diplomacy missions
That's a good point about Borg Transwarp Corridors*. Using those (which was how Voyager got home again) and given the time that has passed by (25 years??) I would have expected that the entire Galaxy was now mapped and little Space would be left unknown.

*And I think those cotridors are actually those created by the ancient Ionians.
 
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