Warning: This article contains Star Trek: Picard season 2 finale spoilers.
Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Episode 10
Star Trek: Picard season 2 started with small, intimate moments, and in the end that’s where it ended. Along the way though Picard and the rest of the gang (are they even technically a crew?) went to an alternate universe, time traveled, prevented history from being altered, and even gave us some perfect moments where Raffi and Seven lived up to the motto, “be gay, do crimes.”
The final episode answered most of our questions but it’s fair if some of the big twists and reveals left you a bit confused. We sat down with Picard executive producer (and co-writer of the season finale) Akiva Goldsman to clear up some of these points. He even gave us some little hints of how it all will tie together with the show’s third and final season.
Does Q Love Picard?
Picard and Q have shared a strange relationship since the beginning of Star Trek: The Next Generation. For all the grief Q’s given Jean-Luc through the years he’s also helped him learn more about himself, such as the classic episode “Tapestry” where he let Picard see where another path in life would have taken him. This season of Picard started with the two at each other’s throats but ended with something that felt strangely tender, as Q tells Picard that even god’s have their favorites, as he warmly holds Picard’s face.
So is Q… in love with Picard?
Goldsman agrees that the final scene the two shared was supposed to be tender.
“I think he always has [loved him].”
Many of the ideas for the season sprung out of, as Goldsman explained to us when the show premiered, Picard’s lack of long term relationships. The writers realized that Picard and Q, as antagonistic as they’d been, had shared a long term relationship.
“Why is Q constantly chasing after Picard?” Goldsman asked himself. “I think it is because in his own god-like way, Q loved him.”
That love manifested in sending Picard on this mission through time in order to give him the “wisdom of insight.” The experiences as a whole helped Picard learn to love again and open himself up to others.
Is Q Really Dead?
Q confirms to Picard that he’s dying and his last act before that is to send Picard and the others back, along with reviving Elnor. Does this mean Q is gone for good? Goldsman believes that “for now, Q is gone.”
Of course in a long running franchise like Star Trek, death, especially for a god being, isn’t always permanent. However for the purposes of Star Trek: Picard, it seems Q is finally gone.
Picard and His Mom
That “wisdom of insight” Q gave Jean-Luc centered on learning more about his father and particularly his mother. For years Picard blamed his father for her death but it was revealed that she had actually committed suicide. All of this left deep scars on Picard, ones the writers were eager to explore as they hadn’t been previously touched on in the franchise.
“Trauma’s always a nice source of storytelling,” Goldsman explains. “It’s a strange thing to say but when you’re dealing with a character who’s 100, you can’t be facing something that happened last Thursday. You need to really be looking into something that’s going to impacting a life lived for that long.”
The time travel element of the story also helped reflect how people can get, “stuck in places in our life. By solving that trauma, we solve the story then we move forward.”
Some hardcore fans were left scratching their heads at this new backstory for Jean-Luc, particularly because in the first season TNG episode “Where No One Has Gone Before” we were shown a vision of Picard’s mother who was noticeably older. In Picard season 2, his mother died at a much younger age.
Goldsman reveals that they had planned to reference this discrepancy, with Picard imagining his mother as we’d seen her in the vision but it was “scrapped.” Goldsman and the other writers reasoned that the vision Picard had in that first season TNG episode, “was a fantasy” of what Picard had wished his mother had been like.
(Some fans may point out a photo of Picard’s mother that depicted her as older was in Picard’s family album in Star Trek: Generations but it is barely seen on screen if at all.)
The Return of Wesley Crusher
Like all Star Trek these days, Picard was filled to the brim with Easter eggs and references but one that took everyone off guard was a cameo by former Next Generation character Wesley Crusher. At the end of that series he went off with The Traveler to explore the universe and, barring a blink and you’ll miss it cameo in Star Trek: Nemesis, hasn’t been seen again.
Here he reappears to Kore Soong and offers her a chance to work with him. It seems in the years since we’ve seen Wesley he’s not just been traveling the galaxy but keeping an eye on the timeline as well.
The return of Wesley was an element the producers of Picard had been discussing for a long time but it wasn’t easy. Goldsman previously explained to us that all the showrunners of the various Trek shows get together and lay out their plans and during some of these meetings Goldsman and the Picard team had to fight to use Wesley.
“Never ever have I seen shows be fighting over a character the way they were Wesley,” he says. “Getting Wesley was such a big deal because he’s for us really important.”
But would all this fighting over the character happen for just a cameo? Does this explain why actor Wil Wheaton was noticeably absent from the returning TNG cast members for Picard Season 3? Was it all to disguise this cameo and Wesley will have a bigger role to play next season? Goldsman wouldn’t say but we have a suspicion this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Wesley.
The Travelers and Gary Seven
This season of Picard hasn’t just mined the well of TNG’s history but all of Star Trek. An intriguing pull was the idea that time traveler/secret agent Gary Seven, a famous one-off TOS character who was set to star in his own spin-off, was part of a much larger group that we got to see more of in Picard. Wesley’s appearance and the recruiting of Kore into the same group Gary Seven was a part of seemed to indicate that the beings overseeing it are The Travelers.
Goldsman confirms that this was the intent and that it’s part of trying to line up some of the different time traveling groups over the franchise.
“There are so many folks out there who seem to be screwing around with the timeline. Let’s at least line them up. That’s our full on retcon.”
The Transwarp Conduit
The biggest dangling story thread of the season involves a newly opened Transwarp Conduit thanks to the Federation and the Borg teaming up. A Transwarp Conduit that’s so big it’s something even Seven has never seen before. Goldsman is very tight-lipped about what this will mean for the future but hints that, “maybe there’s some setup there” for the future.
A giant transwarp conduit, the Borg joining the Federation, and Picard finding new love? Plus we’ve got the announced return of the TNG cast? Picard season 3 has a lot of ground to cover.