3.05 Star Trek: Picard - Imposters

ctg

weaver of the unseen
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Caught by Starfleet and facing court martial, paranoia grows as Picard struggles to uncover whether a prodigal crewman from his past has returned as an ally - or an enemy hellbent on destroying them all.
IMDB score: 9.1 Runtime: 46 minutes
 
The missing Bajoran earring and the shuttle transfer made me peg Ro as a changeling. I was happy to be wrong
I didn't buy Worf's death for a moment. I was happy to be right.
I also suspected that Captain Shaw is a changeling. I was again happy to be wrong -- so far. I'm starting to like the guy.
What manner of beast is Jack Crusher?
 
The trailers gave away the fact Worf suvived that encounter. I too feel that Shaw is growing on me, the I'll leave you three alone line made me smile. Pity Ro had only a brief reappearance.
 
If Worf can pull the old "I was only simulating death" trick, Ro Laren can certainly pull the "I used an old fashioned James Bond ejector seat just in the nick of time" trick.

Dei ex machinae seem almost standard in Trek these days, without a single sonic screwdriver to be seen.
Especially in the series Star Trek Android Picard.
 
So I didn't read other reviews, but I read one article that already biased me. So I come to this episode with a low score in mind. However, seeing that high score again in the IMDB I am wondering if it will hold true and I was simply wrong.

Let's see...
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The opening. Man I was certain that Jack had gone bonkers and started listening into voices as he walked into the bridge and blasted everyone. The computer didn't even recognize the firing or losing life sings, as if they're actively filtering all that data for some reason. Even though they trust the Ai so much that they've automated a lot of ship functions that previously were done by a human, er Federation crew member.

What popped my eyes were seeing the actual plasma burn holes in the bodies, as it's a detail that we haven't really seen before. But for the sharp eye viewers, I believe that phase pistol is one of the classical ST models that Titan doesn't carry in the inventory.

It was also freakishly difficult to get that shot, as it's not even a second in the frame.

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According to Riker's log, they'd pulled Titan "back into the Alpha sector for repairs and maintenance, including the warpcore." Yet, the ship shows no external damage or that hack with nasselles still being open. Everything is fine, and I'm just nitpicking the details.

Just like Picard were doing as he questioned on how a Changeling had got on board of a Federation starship. It's a big fleet wide security issue, especially as Riker reminded that they can mimic anything they see pretty much perfectly. Seven, however, said that since the Dominion War they have done internal scans on every crew member to completely eliminate invasions.

What worried Riker was having to answer StarFleet on what really happened and how the Dominion agents factor into all of it. "They're gonna want answers," he said. "From us."

Oh dear, lol. Jean-Luc's face told the whole story. "Time to go home. And face music."

The old man is so perfect. I bet he would be unhappy if he didn't end facing some committee or even military tribunal for what they'd done. While Riker returned command to Shaw, he really should also change his passcodes. Like Picard, he's been using the same one for at least three decades.

Beverly was concerned about the Elephant in the Room, and she actively voiced that she "wanted to know how the Changeling bypassed the internal sensors." And he asked Admiral for a permission to do an autopsy. It was granted without a blink of an eye. Jack however got an offer to join the fleet and become something more.

Jack refused. But he also didn't say a word about the growing paranoia inside him. Maybe he felt like so many other mental patients on, just wanting to get away to be on his own before he could go fully bonkers and announce himself as a mad man.

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Look at that grin. Raffi was so happy sparring the old ninja master. She even went down on floor still smiling, while Worf explained: "Your enemy's aggression will always reveal their weakness. You could've sacrificed a move to reveal mine!"

No sensei. It's not how it works. Getting to spar a legend just doesn't happen every day and doing it with steel and edged blades, an honour to many fighters, because you trust that the master isn't going to put you down, permanently.

Funny thing is that like all the other sensei, Worf couldn't understand Rafaella's enthusiasm, the fire that burns inside her, because all he could ask was patience, when his Handler called in and turned up in same Ai manner by denying access to the DayStrom facilities.

She didn't even consider what Worf had gone through already as she pushed the issue of wanting to get into the lab that it angered the master so much that Worf punched a hole in the La Siren's deck.

With no chance on getting pass the DayStrom Ai, for some reason, Worf identified a top player in Sneed's orbit called Krinn.

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The old galaxy class USS Intrepid vs Titan-A. Still no external scarring on her. Did it all buff out?

When they sent over a shuttle full of security officers, Picard asked Seven for another favour. The head of the op turned out to be a batorian commander called Ro Laren. She didn't waste time on charging the old couple with treason charges, while Seven hid the boy out of the investigator eyes. The way to do that was the same purple uniform that Jack had already seen in his precognitive dream.

Mummy Beverly committed herself to opening La Forge's imitation corpse, while she also noted that usually Changelings turn back to goo. I loved all of it. Including the look on doctors faces when the ensign committed identification by projectile vomited a confirmation.

The business was usually just like Picard was fuming about the treason charges in their gilded cage at a ready room and not in the brig. Jean-Luc was first one to face Ro's questioning, while completely believing that she was an imposter.

His first question were, "How does one a lieutenant who betrayed StarFleet and her commanding officer get reinstated?"

Ro didn't answer. Instead, she went on with her own question, "Did you or did you board the Titan under the guise of conducting an official inspection in order to steal a shuttle?"

Admiral's reply was furious, "And how does a traitor stand here posing as a commander in StarFleet?"

"Posing," she chuckled. "As if I'm an imposter?" She shrugged her shoulders and went on. "Yes, Captain Shaw said you had a Changeling issue on board," as she pulled a knife from her boot, and cut herself.

It was at that point Picard noticed Ro wasn't wearing any jewellery. "I thought it was a symbol of your faith. Or is this you, turning your back on another institution?"

Chilled Ro snided back, "Save your animosity, Admiral. This isn't entirely about you. Let's talk about your son," as she showed the blood.

Beverly delivered the info in the right time to trust no one. So Adm popped the question, "Why are you so interested on my son?"

"Perhaps because are avoiding my questions about him," Ro answered. "He's now central to this investigation."

"Central?" Picard cocked his brow. "It's strange, though, you haven't asked me about Vadic or the Shrike. Ro I remembered were much more thorough..."

Ro explained that after years in the rebel Maquie she turned herself in to the Starfleet. She went to prison, and in there StarFleet Intelligence requited her as an agent. Then she demanded to see the Changeling corpse. Happy to oblige, Adm lead the way but they didn't end there, instead Jean-Luc took her into Guinan's bar, where he armed himself and then proceed to commit to a version of Mexican stand-off.

Laying all the evidence on the table, even barking Bajorian, he finally let the steam out for harbouring the grudge for thirty years. She barked about duty rather than honouring Picard's beloved, and institutionalized StarFleet as if nothing else mattered.

Jean-Luc's said, "You broke my heart," which Ro replied, "And you broke mine." Then she put down her gun. And Picard his. Then she revealed that the whole fleet had been compromised on the highest level as if everything was fine and dandy, even though they hadn't even hugged or kissed.

Is this season, a season of Picard's old flames?

After a coctail or five Ro told the Admiral that there had been 12 incident involving Changelings that the Admiralty had hushed away. She could not even trust Janeway. And she had noticed increased chatter around the subject of Jack Crusher.

Her last act was to give admiral the earring, and a mission to run from the fleet, before she went back and sacrificed herself by taking out Interpid Starboard Nasselle with her shuttle.

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Now that is proper battle damage. While Shaw spooled Titan's engines, finally trusting the old ones, Jack took out a four man with Kingsman style kungfu battle, and even smiled at the end just as Shaw jumped Titan out.

Riker apologized to the admiral for his loss, and then proceeded to unravel Ro's last gift, by encoding her hidden spycraft in the earring, revealing herself being Worf's handler. At the sickbay Mum Beverly revealed the son that it wasn't the first time he'd been going through the nightmares.

Oh Beverly. you devious fox. Remember that we opened the season with Jack locked in the cabin. Then the boy said, "I think there's something very wrong with me," as if he couldn't see past mum bs.

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A proper gansta, bling and all. And acted by Kirk Acevedo. Man, what a treat. His words, "You killed Sneed. Right here in public. And what did we learn? Pride leads us into traps. But patience... patience leads to rewards."

Like a true ninja master, Worf faced the music, even telling them that they had the upper hand, as if they weren't trapped by they were in the trap with him.

Krinn took them to Sneed's parlour. Even though he claimed to a master of criminal logic, for being a Vulcan as well, he commited to arm the ninja master for a duel with the apprentice. All I can say is, "Smart people makes stupid mistakes."

Even though he fell in the duel I thought it was another ninja ruse, by feigning death as a classical move instead of taking out the gang enforcers with a single knife. Which he did when they were taking him away, and then he explained, "I've master Khalees technique of regulating my heart rate to nearly impercep..." he grunted. "Let's skip the interrogation. I am in desperate need of medical attention..."

We hear you big boy, take it easy. Knife on throat, the gang was super quick on delivering the information and the Ai bypass to the pair, even though it would have been illogical for Worf to kill him.
 
Firstly, I thought this was great Trek. The best Trek since the Dominion War Arc in DS9 (but I know many won't agree with me on that, so instead how about since) 'Best Of Both Worlds' TNG? Anyhow, I'd give it >9.5/10.

Having Kirk Acevedo and Michelle Forbes must be worth a point alone.
The missing Bajoran earring and the shuttle transfer made me peg Ro as a changeling. I was happy to be wrong
I didn't buy Worf's death for a moment. I was happy to be right.
I also suspected that Captain Shaw is a changeling. I was again happy to be wrong -- so far. I'm starting to like the guy.
What manner of beast is Jack Crusher?
Secondly, these were also my takes from this episode too.

It was great to see Ro Laren back, I couldn't decide if she was a Changeling either. The shuttle transfer, the missing earring and the blood test, all pointed to her being a Changeling. Great to keep us guessing. The Maquis had the moral high ground anyway. That business wasn't Starfleet's finest hour. It was just necessary to inject some tension in Voyager, something which they dropped completely after only one season anyway.

even though they hadn't even hugged or kissed... ...Is this season, a season of Picard's old flames?
It was never a romance. Ro more was more like a daughter he never had. He believed in her when no other Captain did or would. Then she up and left the Enterprise without even a word.

I knew Worf wasn't dead. I just didn't know how.

I like Shaw's attitude a lot. He does seem about five minutes behind events though. I'm worried that he is a bit slow on the uptake because they seem outnumbered by Changelings and will need everyone wotking on all cylinders. As someone else suggested earlier n ths season, and I agreed with, they are everywhere, have infiltrated every ship and every level of Starfleet. The "Puppet Master" parasitic aliens in 'Conspiracy' TNG couldn't achieve that.

Then there is Jack Crusher. I don't think he is a Changeling, but I don't think he is human either. Whatever he is, he is pretty useful to have on their side.
the boy said, "I think there's something very wrong with me," as if he couldn't see past mum bs.
Thanks for the reminder, I'd forgot about him being locked in the cabin. I wonder if there is a much more important reason that Bev never told Jean Luc about Jack until now? An alien encounter while pregnant perhaps? A Transporter accident involving young Jack and a Changeling?

Some kind of Captain Scarlet character, if you know what I mean by that?
 
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Top episode!

Loved the ominous way the Intrepid appeared - last time we saw a shot like that of two federation ships facing it other was in Star Trek: Intro Darkness, before Cumberbatch let rip on the Enterprise. :)

Thought it was very clever to bring Ro back in, even though everything initially said Ro could be a Changling, but glad to be proved wrong - she was just testing Picard to see if he was clean. The tension and dialogue between the two was superb and the actress has always been brilliant with emotions. Her line about Picard confusing morality for duty was spot on - in TNG Picard really did become quite over-bearing and "the Man" in those final episodes with Ro, and they were not his finest hour.

Worf's death - knew it couldn't be as simple as that but liked the way they resolved that. Ro's death was poignant and totally in character - always sacrificing herself for the great moral good.

Also, at the end, great moment when Worf contacted his handler, only to be faced with Picard and Riker. :)

And, thankfully, Jack is opening up about the weirdness he's experiencing instead of dragging it out. Looks like maybe he's not Picard's son after all, but half blood demon thingy? Beverly might even suspect something was always amiss.

Really enjoying Shaw's character, too - he really helps make Picard look more like a fallible human than an unerring hero, a great way to bring the character to earth. It occurs to me this is a clever way to write this, because if they'd had a captain in awe of Picard, it could easily have gotten sickly and annoying and made it harder for the audience to like the characters. Good to have a captain who knows his own mind.

According to Riker's log, they'd pulled Titan "back into the Alpha sector for repairs and maintenance, including the warpcore." Yet, the ship shows no external damage or that hack with nasselles still being open. Everything is fine, and I'm just nitpicking the details.

I saw a load of little lights over the Titan at the start suggesting repair drones and crew all over the ship, especially the nacelles, with the suggestion that they'd been at work for some time - especially as it would have taken a while for the Intrepid to reach them.
 
I wonder if there is a much more important reason that Bev never told Jean Luc about Jack until now? An alien encounter while pregnant perhaps? A Transporter accident involving young Jack and a Changeling?
On the note of a transporter, they beamed all of them out from Beverly's science vessel, before it was blown up. It is only now that he has developed an aversion to being teleported, because I suspect that the teleport matrix will remove the parasite from his body, and reassemble it against the register entry.

The developers have led us to believe that Jack is Picard's son, but since she's pulling manipulation tricks on the son, why not also on the old man? Maybe the better question is why mum would introduce a parasitic lifeform to her son?

It makes me to think Dr Crusher knows more about everything that is going on than she has revealed. Playing innocent and saying in her message, "trust no one," should also include her. If you play devil's advocate - if that is the case - then it is in her interest to figure out how Changelings got past the Dominion War internal body scans and other security protocols.

I got that on my own and then went back to see that Brian had already made the similar conclusion. It is now kind of obvious.
 

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