Once Upon a Time…
Star Trek: Picard – Monsters is primarily an exploration of Picard’s subconscious. It opens with Jean-Luc sitting on a ship in a therapy session. He’s hostile to the therapist, not wanting to open up. We learn that Picard has claustrophobia, striking as he lives his life encased in a ship. In an attempt to get Picard talking, the therapist asks Jean-Luc to tell him a story. Jean-Luc begins his story, which draws us back to his childhood with his mother.
They are at Chateau Picard and playing together. She tells Jean-Luc that he is a Prince and will lift people up with his inspiring speech. Suddenly, their play is interrupted by a shadowy monster. The two of them flee into the Chateau’s tunnels, chased by the creature. Suddenly, Jean-Luc’s mother is grabbed by something and pulled into the darkness.
I Bet Five Drink Picard is a blast
Back in the infirmary, Seven, Raffi, and Rios strategize about how to find Juratti. They comment on her odd behavior, including her kissing Rios. Seven and Raffi head back to La Sirena to try to scan for Juratti. They quickly learn they are locked out of the system; a Borg encryption (that Seven recognizes) is prohibiting their access.
In the infirmary, Tallinn gains access to Picard’s mind. Picard is still in his therapy session, where the counselor tells him if he won’t participate, he will recommend he be relieved of duty. Jean-Luc continues his story but includes Tallinn. Tallinn finds young Jean-Luc. He tells her that he can’t leave because he is separated from his mother and he needs to “stay put.” He tells Tallinn that they need to find his mother and save her. She was taken by a monster and they are surrounded by his allies. The two of them are then chased by something unseen.
Back in the therapy session, the counselor tells Jean-Luc he can end his session. Picard realizes that he is trapped “here” (wherever “here” is), and is “stuck.” The counselor continues to ask him why he cannot make connections with other people and asks him why he must always “save” others? They are then interrupted by a banging. Picard suddenly turns around and tells the therapist that he doesn’t know “how it ends.”
I’m from Chile, I work in Outer Space
Back in Jean-Luc’s subconscious, Tallinn and young Picard are trying to evade the monster while attempting to rescue Jean Luc’s mother. Suddenly, two monsters appear and capture them both.
The Doctor returns with her son to the infirmary. She becomes irate with Rios when she learns she is locked out, demanding to know what’s going on. He lets her into the room with Picard where she sees Tallinn, white-eyed, next to Picard. Picard is unstable and the Doctor wants to take him to the hospital. Rios instead asks Raffi for a neural oscillator and gives it to the doctor to use. It stabilizes him.
Back in Picard’s subconscious, the monster tries to kill Tallinn, but she is able to free herself and Picard. She realizes that young Picard is the one keeping them both there and summoning the monsters. She assures him he is not alone and they will get out together. They follow the light to the door and escape.
A Thousand Ways to Die
On La Sirena, Seven breaks the lock-out and they quickly learn that the Borg code was implanted by Agnes.
Outside of Picard’s subconscious, Tallinn and young Picard greet Jean-Luc. They still hear the banging and Picard’s therapist comes in. It turns out that he’s Picard’s father. Picard tells him that he was cruel and broke his mother. But we quickly learn the truth.
It turns out that Picard’s mother suffered from some type of paranoid delusions, perhaps bipolar disorder, and suffered bouts of mania and depression. When he was a boy, his mother had taken him into the tunnels under the Chateau one day. He became trapped thereafter his mother ran off and left him; after hours, his father found and rescued him. With a storm approaching, he could have drowned from the flooding. His mother suffered for decades but refused help. During the most extreme bouts, Picard’s father locked her in a room so she wouldn’t harm herself or her children. Just before Picard wakes up, young Jean-Luc takes out a key and goes towards his mother’s locked door. Something else happens but the scene ends and Picard wakes up.
There is no Better Teacher Than One’s Enemy
Rios brings the Doctor and her son to La Sirena to prove that he and the crew are who they say they are while Raffi and Seven go on a search for Juratti. We flashback to the night before, when Juratti enters a bar and breaks open the window.
Back in the infirmary, Picard gets an update on Juratti and Renée. Seven determines that the Borg Queen is trying to bring herself into being in the 21st century using Juratti; a time in Earth’s history when humans cannot defend themselves. Picard then confides in Tallinn that she knows him better than most. Tallinn decides to share with Picard that she is actually a Romulan; her ears are hidden by a special technology (that once deactivated takes 24 hours to reset). She tries to talk to him about his memories as a means to find out Q’s objectives, but Picard refuses to revisit his memories. Instead, he refocuses on Q.
He and Tallinn visit Guinan and ask her to summon Q. Apparently, after the cold war between the Q Continuum and the El-Aurians, she (somehow) has the ability to summon him as a part of the truce. She attempts to summon him, but he does not show up. Instead, a stranger walks into the bar… a federal agent who (with his men) arrests Picard, Tallinn, and Guinan.
Star Trek: Picard – Monsters Episode Analysis
This has been one of my favorite episodes and one of the reasons I have enjoyed Picard so much. We learn more about Jean-Luc Picard than we ever did in Star Trek: The Next Generation. We had always believed that Jean-Luc’s father was a… hard man. Instead, it seems that his father was a man operating in a difficult world with a severely mentally ill (and sometimes dangerous) woman and sons who did not understand her condition. It also gives light to why Picard is so driven to save people; the suffering he experienced as a child and the mother he could not protect drives him to save others. We don’t know what exactly happened after his mother was locked in that room, but we do know that Jean-Luc likely let his mother out of that room and something else, something bad, happened.
As we approach the rift in time, we are starting to see possibilities for the change. Could it be that Juratti’s borg Queen succeeds in assimilating Earth? She is definitely on that path. Of course, is it possible that Agnes is misleading the Borg Queen yet again? Allowing her to believe that she has the upper hand? Is she the Borg Queen we meet at the end of episode 1?
My question is, what is Q’s objective with Picard? Tallinn seems to think that Q wanted Picard to experience these memories as part of the trial he alluded to in episode 2.
And let’s talk about Tallinn. We have finally learned that she is, in fact, Romulan. Is she simply an ancestor to Laris or perhaps they are one and the same? While Tallinn of the 21st century doesn’t interact with those she watches, perhaps she changes her approach after 400 years.
In this episode, we did not get an encounter with Kore or Soong. I’m eager to see how they play into all of this. Are they simply a tool for Q or is there a bigger part for them to play?
Let me know your theories in the comments below! Stay tuned to THS for more!