This Star Trek: Picard article contains spoilers.
Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Episode 6
It’s hard to believe that Star Trek: Picard season 2 has passed its halfway point. The series is now set to start answering all of its biggest mysteries. In the process, “Two of One” is both a nail-biter and a break for the crew. Everyone’s undercover at a party in 2024, but they’re also all trying to keep anyone from messing with Jean-Luc’s ancestor Renée Picard (Penelope Mitchell).
Of all the contemporary Star Trek episodes post-2017, “Two of One,” may have the fewest verbal and visual Easter eggs and canonical references to the bigger franchise. And yet, there are a few huge moments that connect it to the bigger tapestry of Star Trek. Here are five of the biggest Easter eggs and deep cuts in Picard’s “Two of One.”
Raffi Narrowly Avoids Falling off the Wagon
This moment is very subtle, and if you miss it, it’s because it’s a reference to the events of Picard season 1 and Raffi’s backstory. From her introduction in “Maps and Legends,” Raffi was established as someone who struggles with substance abuse. Throughout that season, we see Raffi drinking booze a lot, and at one point, she even reprogrammed the replicator to prevent herself from ordering any alcohol. In “Two of One,” Raffi eyes a bottle of bourbon after a bartender asks her what she wants to drink. She replies, “club soda, please.”
This is interesting because, in season 1, Raffi was constantly falling off the wagon and indulging in booze even when she (and others) knew she had a problem. Picard even brought a bottle of wine for her to drink in “Maps and Legends.” Famously, most booze served aboard Federation starships is “synthehol” that can’t get you drunk, which could help explain why Raffi going back to Starfleet in season 2 has made her seem a lot happier. Interestingly, in this same scene, Rios talks about how the cigar he’s holding in this scene is “real,” implying that whatever he smoked in “The Star Gazer” (and all of last season?) were fake cigars, which, hopefully, are not bad for you.
When Jean-Luc gives Renée a pep talk about fear, he asks her to describe a model of a spaceship hanging above them. Renée tells him it’s the “OV-165 Shuttle…I call her Spike because she has these kickass aerospike engines that use less fuel.”
The OV-165 Shuttle appeared in every episode of the prequel series Star Trek: Enterprise as part of the opening credits montage. Back then, all we knew about that ship is that it came sometime after our contemporary knowledge of spaceflight and sometime before Zefram Cochrane’s flight of the Phoenix in First Contact. Because the shuttle has the designation “OV-165,” previous apocrypha has suggested that this ship was an outgrowth of NASA’s space shuttle program in which all of those ships were also given the prefix “OV” for “orbiter vehicle.”
It seems unlikely we’ll see Renée fly this exact ship in Picard season 2, but then again, we don’t actually know if the X-1 Shango has some kind of dropship or not.
Nomad Probe Behind Jean-Luc
In the same scene, while the two Picards chat, there’s another huge deep-cut, this time, to The Original Series. Sitting just behind Jean-Luc, we see a model from the original incarnation of the space probe Nomad. This is the second time this season of Picard has referenced this probe, the first time being in episode 4, “Watcher” when Q and Renée were sitting at the Jackson Roykirk Plaza. In the TOS episode “The Changeling,” we learned the Nomad probe was launched from Earth in the year 2002. After it merged with an alien intelligence called Tan Ru, Nomad became a kind of amoral Star Trek version of a Dalek. But, before that, it was just an innocent space probe.
The model behind Picard seems to match the design Spock found in the library computers of the Enterprise in “The Changeling.” Nomad also appears in the Enterprise episode “Dead Stop,” which reveals that Travis has a model in his quarters. Clearly, in the Trek timeline, this was a very popular space probe in the early 2000s.
Picard’s Accident References “City on the Edge of Forever”
In an homage to the most famous Trek time travel tale of them all — “City on the Edge of Forever ” — Jean-Luc throws himself in front of Adam Soong’s Tesla, which sends him into a comatose state. The visage of a time-traveling Star Trek person preventing someone in the past from getting hit by a car is pretty much exactly the setup for “City on the Edge of Forever,” in which we learn that Bones, in some version of the timeline, saved Edith Keeler from being hit by a truck. In “City,” the larger point of the episode is that in order for the regular Trek timeline to continue, Edith Keeler is supposed to die.
Visually, what Jean-Luc does in this scene is the opposite of what Kirk does in “City.” In that classic episode, Spock and Kirk prevent Bones from saving Edith, which then restores their timeline. Because the visual language is so similar, it seems possible that Picard is remixing this idea. Kirk and Spock had to go back in time because their future didn’t exist. In Harlan Ellison’s original teleplay, this timeline change went so far as to include an alternate starship in orbit of the planet, crewed by savage pirates. And, in the 2014 IDW comic book adaptation of Ellison, that alternate timeline was finally depicted.
Interestingly, in Picard season 2, episode 3, “Assimilation,” when Rios materializes in mid-air, he falls near a deli with the sign reading “Tipton Bros. Deli.” This references writers Scott Tipton and David Tipton, who wrote the comic book adaptation of “City on the Edge of Forever.”
Tallinn’s Servo References Gary Seven
At the end of the episode, when Tallinn is scanning Picard’s brain, she’s waving around a device vaguely reminiscent of a sonic screwdriver from Doctor Who. But, this isn’t a Who reference. Instead, it’s a callback to the TOS episode “Assignment: Earth” in which fellow “Class 1 Supervisor” Gary Seven uses a similar device.
This multi-function tool has very little background in actual Star Trek canon, but in the comics and novels, the technology comes from a species called the Aegis. These are the beings responsible for selecting and training humans to live on Earth and monitor any unusual activity. The name “Aegis” has not been established in actual on-screen canon, and technically speaking, at this point, we don’t actually know anything about the species and/or organization that built this, or any of Tallinn’s other tech. But, like the sonic in Doctor Who, one thing is clear, that little servo is probably the most powerful gizmo in all of Star Trek.