UK TV review: Star Trek: Picard Season 2 (spoilers)
Chris Bryant | On 12, May 2022
This review is based on all 10 episodes of Season 2. Not caught up? Read our spoiler-free review of the opening episodes here.
“Time offers many opportunities, but it rarely offers second chances.” Star Trek: Picard’s second season hit the ground running, or at Warp 9 in this case, but as it reaches its finale, it fails to maintain the focus and boldly goes… back to the mistakes of Season 1.
Battling the rewritten history of Picard’s oldest nemesis, Q (John de Lancie, as sarcastic and brilliant as ever) – while dealing with the dreaded Borg Queen (Annie Wersching) – the misfit crew are cast back to 2024 to try and stop Q’s future from ever occurring. Fans of Season 1 have been tremendously well catered to in this new season – lashings of adventure, threat, betrayals, and some romance ensures that, despite his age, Picard keeps the heart racing. Santiago Cabrera’s Rios is entwined with a local doctor who is intrigued by Rios’ past before they both have to deal with the ruthless Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, while Raffi (Michelle Hurd) and Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) handle the mystery-solving and ass-kicking to great effect.
But anyone hoping that Season 2 would hold a little more depth may well be disappointed. While the first few episodes provide plenty of fun adventures as the crew navigate the 2020s, later episodes are overly enamoured with superficial glimpses into Picard’s childhood and inability to connect with people, a strikingly simplistic choice of emotional development considering millions of fans have followed Jean-Luc through hundreds of episodes, feature films and video games. Elsewhere, Dr Agnes Jurati (Alison Pill) has an equally oversimplified struggle with the Borg Queen, whose help unsurprisingly comes at a cost.
While this may be disappointing, fans are again rewarded with a few undeniably heartwarming cameos and glimpses into the backstories of beloved characters. Modernising the existing Star Trek world can work well, as Discovery has proven, but also bringing the world back to the 2020s produces some issues and multiple inconsistencies with Star Trek lore. Most of all, it simply takes a group of friends who come from a world that is beyond war and famine and struggle, who exist in a place of exploration and compassion, and forces them into petty squabbles, base insecurities and forgets the Prime Directive to “never interfere with a civilisation” on a quarter-hourly basis.
As a sci-fi adventure, Star Trek: Picard is a fine piece of streaming content – fun, watchable, brimming with likeable characters – but as a continuation of a franchise that pioneered empathy and understanding over shootouts and good/evil divides, Season 2 falls tragically.