Picard Season 3 Episode 8 Easter Eggs Bring Star Trek: TNG Full Circle

The Titan crew is at their lowest point yet, but Star Trek: Picard has some easter eggs to save the day.

Star Trek: Picard Season 3 Episode 6 Easter Eggs
Photo: Trae Patton/Paramount+

This Star Trek: Picard article contains spoilers.

The easter egg game is afoot! As was true with Picard’s easter egg bonanza from a few weeks ago, episode 8, “Surrender,” uses callbacks and references in such a way that you can’t actually figure out how the plot would work without this stuff. We know that the final two episodes of Picard season 3 will surely be packed beyond belief with references and Trekkie surprises, but for now, in “Surrender,” the references pack a punch because they make the plot happen.

Here are the best easter eggs and references in episode 8:

Vadic Smoking on the Bridge

Although it’s possible this isn’t an intentional reference, Vadic smoking one of her dusty shapeshifter cigarettes on the bridge of the Titan might be a shout-out to The Wrath of Khan. In that movie, at the very start, there are signs on the bridge of the Enterprise that say “no smoking.” The Titan bridge also uses a pretty heavy amount of TOS bridge sound effects, so there’s definitely a classic vibe to this unorthodox opening.

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Vadic Is Like Khan, But Not From The Wrath 

As Vadic threatens to crew with all the ways she can mess with the environmental controls with a “tap of my finger,” TOS fans should be reminded of Khan in “Space Seed.” In that episode, Khan took over all ship functions from engineering and sucked all the air out of the bridge.

Riker and Troi, Imzadi Reunited 

Troi mentions that she really wished she’d taught Riker another Betazoid word other than “Imzadi.” We learned this word meant “beloved” way back in “Encounter at Farpoint,” but throughout The Next Generation it really did seem like Riker used it way more than Troi — including the transporter duplicate Thomas Riker in “Second Chances.”

Troi and Riker also talk about the death of their son Thad, which was established in the Picard season 1 episode “Nepenthe,” as was Riker’s hobby of making pizza, hence Troi’s joke “good in bed, bad at pizza.”

Picard’s Secret Codex Is Very Familiar

As Jack tries to hack the body of a Titan crewmember, we see that Jean-Luc Picard still loves using “Picard Alpha-Tango” as the base of his go-to password. In First Contact, Jean-Luc used the password “Picard 47, Alpha Tango” twice in two different contexts: once to unlock a message from Starfleet and again to set the self-destruct for the Enterprise-E. Here, we learn his security override is “12-11-Picard Alpha Tango 75.”

Kestra Riker-Troi 

Riker and Troi talk a bit about their daughter, Kestra, and Will worries that if they die she will “have lost everyone.” One might wonder where Kestra is at this point. The answer it seems is that Kestra is already in an “early admissions program at Starfleet Academy.” Picard showrunner Terry Matalas confirmed this detail just before this episode aired. Really! Don’t worry about Kestra! She’s fine!


Troi mentions that she misses “Raktajino lattes.” Raktajino, is, of course, Klingon coffee, first mentioned in the Deep Space Nine episode “Dax.” Captain Benjamin Sisko absolutely loves drinking it.

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That Time Worf Dated Troi

When Worf comes to rescue Will and Deanna, we hear the Jerry Goldsmith “Klingon Theme” and then Worf launches into a very emotional speech to Deanna. This references the fact that Worf and Deanna briefly dated on TNG following the events of the episode “Parallels.” In fact, in the alternate future in “All Good Things…” Deanna’s death in that timeline had driven a huge wedge between Worf and Riker. In the current, “real” TNG/Picard timeline, Worf and Riker are now both slightly older than they were in that future, and, of course, Deanna is alive.

Cloaked Shuttle Emerson

Raffi and Worf have a cloaked shuttle zipping around outside of the Titan. To be clear, they’re using the same cloaking tech stolen from the Bounty back in episode 6. (Again, this has been confirmed with showrunner Terry Matalas.)

Geordi Hates Picard’s Wine, Too

Throughout the season, various characters have thrown shade on the wine made at Jean-Luc’s family vineyard, Chateau Picard. In this episode, a memory of Geordi saying the wine was “too dry” is the latest example of a character not liking the wine. (FWIW, in real life, the wine is quite good.)

Data and Sherlock Holmes

When Lore and Data face off against each other in a kind of positronic mindscape, we’re hit with several references to Data’s love of Sherlock Holmes right away. Not only do we hear dialogue from the TNG episode “Elementary, Dear Data,” but we also see Data’s Holmes hat, as well as his pipe. In addition to Moriarty in “The Bounty,” this is the second episode of Picard season 3 to reference Sherlock Holmes in a huge way.

Tasha Yar, Spot the Cat, and Data’s Other Memories 

Throughout the rest of the episode, we see Data seemingly “give up” his memories to Lore, which includes several references to TNG, including:

  • A TNG-era Tricorder.
  • A deck of playing cards, which Data says represents the “many games of poker” he played on the Enterprise, referencing various episodes, including “Cause and Effect,” “The Best of Both Worlds,” and “All Good Things…”
  • A hologram of Tasha Yar, from the episode “A Measure of Man,” which also references “Skin of Evil” and “The Naked Now” — the moment that Tasha discovered that Data was “fully functional.”
  • Spot! Data’s cat appeared in various TNG episodes beginning with “Data’s Day” and was last seen in Nemesis.

“Monologuing Protoplasms”

While not a direct reference, Data’s dig about “monologuing protoplasms,” feels like the kind of thing someone might say in Ghostbusters. Just me? Either way, it’s a hilarious moment, which sets up Vadic’s death when she says…

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Vadic’s Death and Her “Fucking Solids” Final Words

Throughout DS9, Changelings used the word “solids” pejoratively to describe anyone who wasn’t a shapeshifter. The fact that she is so exasperated in her moment of defeat that this is all Vadic says is both really dark and oddly funny at the same time. Best Star Trek villain death line ever?

Data Using Contractions 

In “Datalore,” it was established that Data’s programming did not allow him to use contractions, a fact which was brought up again in “Future Imperfect.” Now that Data has evolved, Geordi is stunned to hear him use a contraction in Picard.

The Entire TNG Bridge Crew in the Conference Room, Together

We haven’t seen the “big seven” lead actors from TNG all in the same room together in Star Trek since the film Nemesis in 2002. This means it’s been 21 years in real life and 22 years in the Trek canon.

Troi Senses Jack Crusher’s Red Door

The final moments of the episode promise to take us through the “red door” in Jack’s mind, with Troi at his side. Though not explicitly a Trek reference, the idea of the “red door,” and the mystery around it, is vaguely reminiscent of the “red forest” in the series 12 Monkeys. That SyFy series was produced by Matalas and featured several actors who we’ve seen this season, including Kirk Acevedo (Krinn), Aaron Stanford (Sneed), and of course, Todd Stashwick (Shaw).

In that series, the mystery of the “red forest” turned out to not be exactly what the audience expected, meaning in the coming weeks, as Picard comes to its conclusion, we should be ready for a similar twist with the red door. Plus, after Picard is over, science fiction fans may want to binge a sci-fi series that they haven’t seen, and if you slept on 12 Monkeys, it might be the next best thing.