This Star Trek: Picard article contains spoilers.
Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Episode 7
Continuing a kind of mash-up between 12 Monkeys and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Season 2 of Star Trek: Picard has entered into its final batch of episodes. At this point, the show has a lot going on: from a rogue Soong (Brent Spiner) to a new hybrid Borg Queen (Alison Pill AND Annie Wersching), and of course, the still unexplained mystery of Q’s vanishing powers. But, for the most part, in Episode 7, “Monsters,” the show slows down. Here, we’re in Jean-Luc’s mind for about half the episode, which could have triggered a clip-show episode a la TNG’s “Shades of Gray” but thankfully didn’t.
Instead, Picard brought a batch of deep cuts and easter eggs from the entire Star Trek franchise, and a few other sci-fi franchises along the way, too.
Picard Enterprise-E Ready Room?
While Picard speaks to the mysterious faux-Starfleet shrink, later revealed to be his father, Maurice Picard (James Callis), we’re actually sitting in his “ready room.” We know this for sure because later Picard mentions that his father was never really in “my ready room.” But which ready room is this? The easy answer is that it’s the USS Enterprise-E, sometime after the events of Nemesis.
It’s also possible that this is Jean-Luc’s ready room on the USS Veritas, a starship he commanded during the evacuation of the Romulan Empire, and on which he served with Raffi, as outlined in the events of the comic book miniseries, Star Trek Picard: Countdown, by Kirsten Beyer and Mike Johnson.
Locutus, “Tapestry,” and Various TNG Quotes
Although it’s very difficult to make out the exact quotes being spoken when Tallinn (Orla Brady) enters Picard’s mind, we hear various quotes from him, many of which seem to be from The Next Generation era, although some seem to be composites.
We clearly hear Jean-Luc say, “I am Locutus of Borg…” from TNG’s “The Best of Both Worlds,” But some of the other quotes are much harder to figure out because they appear to be overlapped with other quotes. For example, one quote is easy: “I’d rather die the man I was…” which is from the TNG episode “Tapestry” in which he tells Q, “I’d rather die the man I was than live the life I just saw.”
But again, it’s a jumble of Picard-isms in there, and it seems what we’re hearing is intentionally obscure.
Eternal Sunshine of Picard’s Mind…?
This is probably not an intentional easter egg, and perhaps not even a conscious reference. However, the entire notion of Tallinn entering a childhood memory, and revising that memory to help Jean-Luc feel less alone, is very similar to a classic moment in the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. In that film, Clementine (Kate Winslet) enters a bad childhood memory of Joel’s (Jim Carrey) and manages to protect him from trauma, too.
I Only Work in Outer Space…
The entire relationship between Theresa (Sol Rodriquez) and Rios (Santiago Cabrera) is very reminiscent of Kirk and Gillian in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. And in one scene in this episode, Rios outright borrows a joke from Kirk. When Theresa asks him, “Are you from outer space?” Rios replies, “No, I’m from Chile. I just…I work in outer space.”
This echoes a similar scene in The Voyage Home, in which Gillian says, “Don’t tell me, you’re from outer space,” and Kirk says, “No, I’m from Iowa, I only work in outer space.”
Patrick Stewart’s Wife, Sunny Ozell
When Jurati enters the bar, we see a band playing briefly. The singer is none other than Patrick Stewart’s IRL wife Sunny Ozell. On his Instagram, Stewart revealed that “she performs a song from her marvelous album ‘Overnight Lows.’” She’s joined on stage by musicians Mark Stepro, Philip Krohnengold, Mason Stoops, and Jonathan Flaugher. If you’re curious about which song this is, it’s the final track on Overnight Lows called “Take You Down.”
Guinan Does the Thing with Her Hands!
After Guinan (Ito Aghayere) attempts to summon Q, nothing happens. However, as she hears footsteps coming down the stairs into her bar, she briefly puts up her hands in a defensive posture, sort of like she’s getting ready for a wizard fight. We haven’t seen Guinan do this since the TNG episode “Q Who,” in which it was revealed that Q and Guinan knew each other. For the first time in Star Trek canon, it’s also explained that the Q and the El-Aurians were in a “long cold war” before settling into a truce.
FBI Agent…Jay Karnes! (And Don’t Forget James Callis!)
At the very end of the episode, Guinan and Picard are taken in by the FBI for questioning by an agent played by Jay Karnes. Though probably most famous for his role as Dutch in The Shield, Karnes is no stranger to time travel or Star Trek. In the 1999 Voyager episode “Relativity,” Karnes played a temporal agent from the 29th century named Ducane. He was one of the members of a future version of Starfleet who recruited Seven of Nine, briefly, as a time travel agent. So, if Seven runs into this new FBI agent in Picard, she might recognize his face! (Wikipedia lists his character name in Picard also as “Ducane,” but that’s likely a mistake.)
But, for 12 Monkeys fans, the fact that Jay Karnes is in an episode of Picard with James Callis is pretty huge. Obviously, James Callis is famous for playing Gaius Baltar on Battlestar Galactica, but he also played Athan Cole, the time-traveling son of Cassie and James, in the Syfy Channel 12 Monkeys reboot. And, in that same show, Jay Karnes played a recurring character named Robert Gale, who worked as an FBI Agent from the 1940s to the 1960s. In 12 Monkeys that specific FBI Agent was obsessed with tracking down any evidence of time travel. So, is the same true for Karnes’ newest agent in Picard? Is he a descendant of Gale from 12 Monkeys, or an ancestor of Ducane from Voyager? Of all the wibbly-wobbly, timey wimey mysteries of Picard Season 2, this might be one that never gets solved.