Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Episode 5 Review – Fly Me to the Moon

Jean-Luc finally starts finding some answers as Q starts making moves in the best episode of Star Trek: Picard Season 2 to date.

Photo: Parmount+

The following contains Star Trek: Picard spoilers

Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Episode 5

Up until now, much of Star Trek: Picard Season 2 has felt a lot like an extended experiment in table setting, as the series has put various pieces into place for the larger story this season is telling. (A lot of which we already knew was coming, thanks to the initial Season 2 promotional trailers.) John de Lancie’s Q had to show up. The timeline as we know it had to be drastically altered to include space Nazis and casual genocide. Picard and friends had to find a way back to the past—with some help from one of their worst enemies—and then track down the mysterious being known as a Watcher, all to have any hope of both figuring out and fixing whatever it is Q did to cause such a significant change. And now it finally feels like all that groundwork is starting to pay off. 

“Fly Me to the Moon” is Season 2’s most entertaining hour to date, a propulsive, balanced installment that finally feels like the show is not only firing on all cylinders but that everything is actually working toward the same narrative goal. From the revelation that the change in the timeline involves something to do with Picard’s ancestor Renee—here an anxious, frequently depressed twentysomething about to head off on a mission that will change space exploration forever—to Q’s open attempts to degrade her mental health status and his sudden interest in the 21st-century version of Dr. Soong, everything suddenly feels a lot more immediate and impactful than it did before. 

Why is it so important for Q to stop Renee from going on the Europa mission? How could her specific actions—or lack thereof—somehow completely change the beliefs and very core of humanity going forward? It’s suggested that her discovery of a sentient microorganism on the moon Io and her decision to bring it back to Earth is somehow responsible for helping to create a more open, hopeful, and curious future. (And without it we end up in the nightmare hellscape of xenophobic tyranny that Picard and friends have just left behind.) And to be honest, this does seem possible. After all, we can’t exactly predict how we’ll react to the proven confirmation that we aren’t the only sentient life in the universe, but I know I’d like to believe that discovery will make us a kinder, better species than we were before. 

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The show offers little explanation for why the Supervisor assigned to watch over Renee’s future is essentially a human doppelganger for Laris, the Romulan housekeeper Picard will employ hundreds of years in the future, but perhaps its all a clever nod to some form of predestination, or the idea that some souls are simply tied to others across however many years and realities. (I am a romantic at heart, sue me. Even if I don’t necessarily buy this whole Picard is emotionally dead inside thing that Season 2 seems so eager to sell me.)  But, plus side: we do get official confirmation that this Watcher is connected to Gary Seven and the Star Trek: The Original Series episode “Assignment Earth”, so huzzah for an extremely nerdy deep cut, show. (Which, by the way, was also a story about protecting space exploration, for what that’s worth!

Back on the La Sirena, Agnes is forced to kill the Borg Queen after she lures a French police officer to the ship with grand plans of assimilating and taking over his body. It’s not entirely clear what the Queen means to do with this new human form, but I suppose out of everyone in our motley crew of time travelers she has the least to lose should the timeline become irrevocably broken in some new and different way than it was before. And, of course, this is Star Trek, so even though her body has been shot, she’s not really dead, and now appears to exist as a mental passenger in Agnes’s mind, courtesy of a remnant of her consciousness left behind during their mental connection back in “Assimilation”.

Part of me loves the idea of Jurati having to essentially carry around a snarking Borg in her head wherever she goes, and there’s something strangely poetic about the woman who has been left alone in every reality finally getting a permanent mental co-pilot in this way. But that also seems like a sure path to darkness and probable insanity, so maybe not. (And as I’m one of the few who genuinely loves Agnes, that certainly isn’t a future I want for her.) But, if the Borg Queen isn’t really most sincerely dead, it at least means that there’s still a way for the La Sirena to make it home when all this is over. 

Elsewhere, Raffi and Seven rescue Rios from the clutches of ICE with an ease that makes me wonder once more what exactly the point of that entire subplot was and why we needed to waste time on it, but at least everyone’s back together again in time to plan their Ocean’s Eleven style gala break-in to protect and watch over Renee. The whole concept gives me serious “Stardust City Rag” vibes and since that was my favorite Season 1 episode, I’m very eager to see how this all shakes out next week now that Agnes has managed to get herself snatched by security on purpose. (If we’re lucky, maybe Picard will have to do another ridiculous accent. Fingers crossed!) 

But “Fly Me to the Moon’s” most intriguing twist comes with the revelation that Q is not simply content to sabotage Renee Picard’s trip to space. He’s also busy manipulating another familiar face with a connection to stories we’ve already seen: Brent Spiner is back (!!) as Dr. Soong—just not one we’ve met before. An apparent ancestor of both Noonian and Altan Inigo Soong, this man is a geneticist named Adam, whose daughter, Kore, is the spitting image of Dahj and Soji Asha.

She has a very rare, deadly genetic disorder that renders the outside world so toxic to her that she is forced to essentially live her life in a single room. (And, we have to presume that she’s somehow the inspiration for the Asha sisters who come later.) ) Q promises to cure her—after cruelly giving Soong a taste of what it might be like for his daughter to finally be able to live something like a normal life—in exchange for…something. What, we don’t know—but it seems unlikely that it’s anything good.

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4.5 out of 5