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Star Trek: Picard - Review - Hide and Seek: Totally Time Warped

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Warning: This review may contain spoilers.

What started out as an intriguing premise for the second season of Star Trek: Picard has fallen apart in its execution, especially as depicted in episode 9, "Hide and Seek." Regardless of the outcome of the efforts of Picard (Patrick Stewart) and his team to stop Soong (Brent Spiner) and Q (John de Lancie) from causing the event that creates their dystopian future, they have already failed their mission.
Their actions in episode nine alone have already altered the future. They may not be going back to the dystopian future (let's not mention how they're getting back now). Even if they manage to stop Soong and Q, the future they'll return to will not be the one they hoped to restore. It is as if the writers did not clearly think through the consequences of their character's actions or deliberately chose to disregard the unwritten laws of television time travel. The odder choice is to have the characters themselves not all that concerned with how they may be affecting the timeline.
The future is irrevocably changed when Agnes (Alison Pill) sacrifices herself to the Borg Queen (Annie Wersching) to save a dying Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan). By joining fully with the Queen and creating a "kinder, gentler" Borg, so to speak, then flying off to the Delta quadrant in the La Sienna, she altered her own timeline. If Agnes ceases to be in the past, does this mean future Agnes doesn't exist or that she already existed, and Agnes is thus living out her new future in a roundabout way? And if that's the case, what happens to all the scientific accomplishments and discoveries future Agnes made? The ripple effect could be enormous. Kudos to Pill, who continues to be a standout this season, expertly navigating two characters' complex emotions and actions.
Even more significant, how does this new Borg affect the future? Does this mean no Locutus? No, Picard, the Borg conqueror? What about Hugh? All of this is "quite illogical to quote a noted franchise icon." And speaking of illogical, the storyline they have given to Rios (Santiago Cabrera) has to be one of the most puzzling of the season. On the level of exploring his desire for a family, it works, but to do it at the cost of sidelining one of the most vital members of Picard's team during a firefight to take back the La Sienna and protect the Chateau again made no sense. Honestly, if there had been a bet on a crew member staying in the past, my choice would have been Rios and not Agnes.
What is logical is that the women of Star Trek: Picard are giving the show its strength and depth this season. In addition to the Pill as mentioned above and her Borg Queen counterpart, Wersching, Ryan has been phenomenal as Seven, negotiating what it feels like to be human again, only to need the enhancements to survive. It was a stark reminder that she would always be Borg again, and Ryan played it beautifully. Michelle Hurd has excelled as Raffi, struggling with her guilt over Elnor (Evan Evagora)'s death and her relationship with Seven. Orla Brady's work as Tallin the Watcher guiding Picard through his complicated past has also been stellar.
I would be remiss to not mention Isa Briones' work as Kore this season, even though she does not appear in this episode. Although, what her role is in the finale events remains a major question mark. If she does not play a significant part in bringing this season together, then her story has been pointless in the grand scheme of the season.
Now that the LaSienna is headed to the Delta Quadrant with the new Jurati version of the Borg Queen, how will Picard and his team return to the future? The only solution that makes the most sense, Q sending them back as some part of redemption before he dies, again renders the whole season pointless. Another possibility to explore is that Q has to send them back to the future. In his own twisted style, he doesn't send them all the way back, just far enough to reunite Picard with the original Next Generation crew. This would be the perfect setup for a redemption storyline for the crew of the Enterprise as the show's final season quest. With just one episode remaining in the season, there are so many threads and questions remaining it is doubtful Star Trek: Picard can end season 2 with any clarity or payoff for the arcs it has given the characters.
What are your thoughts on Star Trek: Picard episode 9 "Hide and Seek"? Share them in the comments below.

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