Published Apr 30, 2023
RECAP | Star Trek: Picard 310 – The Last Generation
Hope is never lost.
By Christine Dinh
SPOILER WARNING: This article contains story details and plot points for Star Trek: Picard.
Previously, while helping Jack Crusher find out what’s behind the red door plaguing him, Counselor Troi discovers their most destructive enemy on the other side — the Borg. Feeling more alone and abandoned than ever, Jack commandeers a Titan shuttle and follows the voice in his head directly to the Borg Queen, and tired of fighting, he succumbs to the Collective and becomes Võx, the Borg’s voice itself.
With Geordi and Data’s help combing through the Shrike’s database, the Titan discover the Changelings conspired with the Borg, united against a common enemy, to weaponize Picard’s altered DNA by implementing it into the transporter system architecture across all starships. With their insidious infiltration successful, the new DNA was introduced to anyone who stepped inside a transporter, assimilating the entire fleet this whole time without anyone ever knowing. Unable to warn senior officials in time, Starfleet has been compromised and assimilated under the Borg’s control.
As Starfleet cripples itself from within, the only way Picard and his crew has a fighting chance of stopping assimilation across the entire Sol System and beyond is to find an older and analog ship, not connected to the fleet’s autonomous synchronization. With that, Geordi surprises them with a project he’s been working on over the past two decades — the reconstruction of the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D, their old starship.
In Episode 10, the series finale of Star Trek: Picard, “The Last Generation,” in a desperate last stand, Jean-Luc Picard and generations of crews both old and new fight together to save the galaxy from the greatest threat they’ve ever faced as the saga of Star Trek: The Next Generation comes to a thrilling, epic conclusion.
The United Federation of Planets' President Anton Chekov, broadcasting a transmission across all emergency channels, warns all who is listening to avoid Earth at all costs. A signal of unknown origin has turned all their young officers against them, assimilated by the Borg. While their fleet is compromised, planetary defenses down, and nearly out of time, the president calls upon the legacy of his father, Pavel Chekov, reminding them, "Hope is never lost. There are always possibilities." Until then, he implores everyone to save themselves. One of his personnel's voice is heard urging the president to get into an escape pod just as the connection is lost.
The crew aboard the Enterprise-D, Jean-Luc Picard, Geordi La Forge, Worf, William Riker, Dr. Beverly Crusher, Deanna Troi, and Data, share concerned expressions following the emergency transmission. Worf notes that the fleet has initiated an attack formation against Earth, while Geordi calls out that orbital weapon platforms have been destroyed. Thankfully, the Spacedock's defenses appear to be repelling the assault. Data grimly points out all other Starfleet and civilian ships have gone silent; they are the cavalry. Deanna warns that if Spacedock falls, there will be nothing standing between an assimilate fleet and Earth, with Beverly continuing that if Earth falls, then everything falls — every planet, every system. Believing that the Borg Collective is controlling the fleet, Picard orders Data to scan the system where long-range sensors pick up a Borg vessel on Jupiter.
Aboard the starship, as Jack is embraced by his mother and father, Picard welcomes him to his parent's former home, the Enterprise-D.
As the Enterprise and Titan navigate the Frontier Day fleet wreckage in Earth's orbit, Riker records his captain's log noting Beverly, now welcomed back to Starfleet and promoted to admiral, is the new head of the Starfleet Medical Branch where she has initiated a fleet-wide transporter solution to purge young officers from the Borg infection as well as new technology capable of scanning for irregularities such as those possessed by the rogue Changeling faction.***
In the Titan's Observation Lounge, the real Captain Tuvok debriefs his former colleague and friend Seven on Starfleet's assessments, in regards to the commandeering of the U.S.S. Titan with her assistance, taking in their past and present service, the crew of the former U.S.S. Enterprise are receiving a full pardon. As the Vulcan notes she disobeyed Shaw's direct orders, Seven interrupts him believing her instincts and judgement does not fall in line with that of Starfleet; and as a result, she's resigning. Raising an eyebrow, Tuvok presents Seven with a holo-disc Starfleet Command received before her setting course for the Ryton System. Playing the holo, Seven sees it's her officer review assessment from Captain Shaw. He acknowledges he's a relic of an older time that followed the book, and states that for every poor trait Seven possesses, it doesn't compare to her bravery and loyalty. He believes that the book she writes will be great, even highlighting that the rules she breaks were broken to begin with. As such, he recommends she be promoted to captain upon their return to port. Shocked and touched, Seven's eyes fill with uncharacteristic tears. Tuvok tells Seven, "Resignation denied, Captain."
Worf approaches Raffi in her quarters as she plays a transmission from her ex-husband Jae. He and their son Gabriel are in awe of the things she's done to save everyone and asks when they can see her and introduce her to her granddaughter. She questions how all of their monitors lit up at once, each new-wave broadcasting her face and every classified valor recommendation she's received. Worf knowingly retorts that whoever leaked that information is an honorable maverick, with Raffi adding, "a dear friend." Worf wishes her happiness with her family, addressing her, "Raffaella, warrior of the House of Musiker." Surprising her, Worf offers her an uncharacteristic hug.
Meanwhile, Data now adapting to the unfamiliar terrain of human emotions, sits in a counseling session with Deanna. He did not anticipate being human would be as difficult as the desire to be human.
One year later, Jean-Luc, Will, and Geordi stand aboard the Enterprise-D, re-situated in its final resting place in Hangar Bay 12, taking in their former ship one last time and reflecting how it's a testament to why the past still matters. They switch off the proverbial and literal lights as the initiate shutdown sequence. Geordi promises to take good care of her as she had always taken good care of them.
Approaching Spacedock, Jack in a Starfleet officer's uniform paces back and forth behind his parents. Beverly playfully chides him for his nervous, which he adamantly refuses, as Picard recalls how nervous he was for his own first posting within Starfleet. She tells Jack it's an honor that Starfleet trusted him enough to put him on an accelerated track; however, Jack counters it could just be nepotism. Picard reassures him that "names mean almost nothing," and this was all his son's doing and he's very proud, bringing a smile to Jack's face. Picard realizes that he never told him which ship he's posted, to which Jack explains this is why he's nervous, not for himself. As they enter the port bay, Picard admires the Titan just as Beverly apologizes for the subterfuge. As their shuttle rises, he takes in the starship's new designation — U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-G — rechristened in honor of him and his crew. Picard is visibly touched by the gesture.
Aboard the Enterprise-G, Ensign Jack Crusher joins Captain Seven and First Officer Raffi at command on the Bridge as the ship's special counsel, with Raffi amused by Starfleet giving "a thief, a pirate, and a spy their own ship." For this first official mission together, along with Bridge crew members Esmar, Mura, and Sidney La Forge, Seven reminds them this is just a shakedown cruise only.
At 10 Forward, Picard, Riker, Troi, Beverly, Geordi, Worf, and Data have once again closed down the bar. Troi calls out Beverly for cleaning out the place of its Bloodwine, resulting in some side-eye from Guinan. The good doctor just wants to celebrate with her friends, then pleads with Worf to showcase his "adorable singing voice." The Klingon warrior suggests calling it a night as he's leading a Mugato meditation lecture in the morning at the Academy.****
The crew passes the final toast to Picard, who quotes Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, "There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves or lose our ventures." And to that end, Picard pulls out a deck of playing cards delighting his friends, keeping them out longer.
Back on the Enterprise, as Jack unpacks his belongings in his crew quarters, he's startled by a voice that appears behind him. He recognizes the being before him as Q, based on what his father has told him, believing him to be dead. He chides the next generation for thinking so linearly. Q promises, "Young mortal, you have much ahead of you." Jack notes that Jean-Luc had told him that humanity's trials were over, to which Q responds, "It is, for him. But I'm here today because of you. You see, yours, Jack, has just begun..."
** "Unimatrix Zero, Part I and II" - Picard's decision to assimilate himself into the Hive mind is reminiscent of this Star Trek: Voyager two-parter where Captain Janeway, Tuvok, and B'Elanna Torres allow themselves to be assimilated as part of a plan to infiltrate the Collective and help several drones recover their individuality.
*** "The Child" - Admiral Beverly Crusher's new post at Starfleet Medical calls back to her temporary post. In the second season of The Next Generation, and noted in its premiere episode, the Enterprise-D saw the arrival of Dr. Pulaski as Dr. Crusher left to become head of Starfleet Medical while the crew take on duties to care for her son Wesley after Picard allows him to remain on the ship.
**** "A Private Little War" and "Mugato, Gumato" - Worf wishes to call it an early night as he has a workshop on Mugato Meditation. The ape-like species is first introduced in The Original Series' "A Private Little War" where Captain Kirk had two less than ideal run-ins with a couple mugatos. In "Mugato, Gumato," the U.S.S. Cerritos is sent to Frylon IV to investigate a mugato attack where the crew discovered poaches were attacking the mugato population for their horns.
***** "Q Who" and "Farewell" - It was Q himself who first introduced the crew of the Enterprise-D to the Borg, in "Q Who," revealing how wholly the Federation was for a future encounter. Q was last seen in this episode which culminates his complex relationship with Jean-Luc Picard spanning 30+ years. Q was dying and he wanted to ensure that Picard would not suffer the same fate as him -- dying, alone.