One of the most pleasant surprises at the end of the first season of Star Trek: Picard was when lead characters Seven (Jeri Ryan) and Raffi (Michelle Hurd) both held hands, indicating there was some romantic attraction between them. The recently released audio drama Star Trek: Picard – No Man’s Land established that the two did get together between seasons one and two but things aren’t all lovey dovey. In the audio drama they’re both physically affectionate to each other, sharing several kisses, but they also have emotional baggage, Seven especially.
In No Man’s Land, Raffi wants to be more emotionally vulnerable but it’s hard for Seven, her time with the Borg and the ensuing prejudice she’s faced back on Earth a huge stumbling block. Despite the problems the two are committed to each other, though they won’t be setting up a house with a white picket fence anytime soon.
Both Ryan and Hurd felt this edge to their character’s relationship was important when coming into season 2 of Picard.
“It’s not happy, happy, joy, joy,” says Ryan, “That’s not who they are. It’s not who they would be. This is such a realistic relationship.”
Ryan describes their relationship as one that’s “in the trenches.” It’s still new to them and they’re trying to figure it all out. The honeymoon phase is past, though we do learn about some of that in the No Man’s Land audio drama (which also casually confirms both characters have been attracted to men and women).
“You’re bickering and you’re on each other’s nerves sometimes,” explains Ryan, “but you love each other, you respect each other.”
The relationship between the two was easy to flesh out, according to Hurd, because the two actresses thought the same way and clicked immediately when they began working together in season one.
“The producers saw that and knew that there was something that they could build on,” remembers Hurd. “I trust her. I know that if I decide to do a line in a different way, (Ryan) is gonna pick it up and hit it back to me and we’re going to have a real moment.”
One of the many great things about the edge in the Seven/Raffi relationship is that while the show never forgets the two are a couple, it also allows them to carry on their own plotlines. As Ryan says, “These are two very independent, mature, driven, socially inept, stubborn, pigheaded, and strong willed women who have fully realized lives. They’re trying to figure out how you navigate a relationship while trying to save the entire galaxy.”
Star Trek: Picard season 2 is set to give us even more sides to this relationship and we can’t wait for it.
Star Trek: Picard season 2 is now streaming on Paramount+.