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In Star Trek: Picard season 3 episode 6, “The Bounty,” Daniel Davis reprises the role of Hologram Moriarty. However, this is a different version of Moriarty than we’ve met before. Ultimately, this might be framed as one of the biggest allusions to the Star Trek movie canon yet. Is Hologram Moriarty Picard‘s Seven-Per-Cent Solution?

This article includes spoilers for Star Trek: The Next Generation and the first six episodes of Picard season 3.

Picard’s Moriarty Explained

The original Hologram Moriarty appeared in two episodes of TNG: “Elementary, Dear Data” and “Ship in a Bottle.” Over the course of these episodes, Hologram Moriarty achieved sentience. Naturally, this led to a goal of escaping the confines of the holodeck. At the conclusion of “Ship in a Bottle,” the programs for both Moriarty and Countess Regina Bartholomew (Stephanie Beacham) are trapped in a computer cube. This cube is running the program Picard Delta One, a simulation of the entire universe. 

However, the Hologram Moriarty we meet in Star Trek: Picard’s “The Bounty” is a distinct character. “This isn’t the same self-aware Moriarty we encountered on the Enterprise,” notes William T. Riker (Jonathan Frakes). “More of a holograph, perhaps a projection.”

RELATED: Get all the details about TNG‘s Hologram Moriarty here.

Ultimately, this Moriarty is revealed to originate from Daystrom Android M-5-10 (Brent Spiner). This projection is borne from Data’s recognition of his friends. This Moriarty is connected to another one of Data’s memories. In Data’s very first meeting with Riker, the song “Pop Goes the Weasel” played a memorable role. Once Riker has solved this puzzle, Moriarty vanishes. Riker, Worf (Michael Dorn), and Raffi (Michelle Hurd) are then able to reach Daystrom Android M-5-10. 

Michelle Hurd as Raffi Musiker and Jonathan Frakes as Will Riker in "The Bounty" Episode 306, Star Trek: Picard on Paramount+. In the background is Daystrom Android (Brent Spiner).

Photos: Trae Patton/Paramount+. ©2021 Viacom, International Inc. All Rights Reserved.

However, this means that the “real” Hologram Moriarty could still be out there. It seems as though Moriarty’s role in the Picard season 3 trailers was a red herring.

The Seven-Per-Cent Solution

It makes sense that Hologram Moriarty was used as a red herring in the Picard season 3 trailer. We now know that the Changelings appear to be the major antagonists of Picard season 3. However, preoccupying the public consciousness with Hologram Moriarty means the attentive audience member expected Moriarty to be the major antagonist. This distracted Trekkies from the actual Changeling antagonists. 

The Seven-Per-Cent Solution.

The Seven-Per-Cent Solution.

This isn’t the first time in the Holmesian “beta canon” that Moriarty was revealed to be something of a red herring. Another example appears in 1974’s The Seven-Per-Cent Solution: Being a Reprint from the Reminiscences of John H. Watson, M.D., as Edited by Nicholas Meyer. In this novel, it is revealed that Moriarty is not the master criminal he is presented as in the Holmes stories. Instead, Sherlock Holmes has “created” a supervillain out of Moriarty. Moriarty is a math teacher who had an affair with Sherlock’s mother. Sherlock’s delusion that Moriarty is a criminal comes from the cocaine addiction Holmes uses to self-medicate his unresolved psychological issues regarding his mother’s affair.

RELATED: Star Trek: Picard – How Michael Chabon’s Maps & Legends influenced the series.

In Picard season 3, just as in The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, Moriarty is revealed to be a red herring. The allusion to the Trek movies? This is thanks to the fact that Meyer, who wrote the novel, also wrote and directed Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. co-wrote Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, and co-wrote and directed Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

Cogito, ergo sum

While the Hologram Moriarty who appeared in Picard season 3 may not be our original self-aware Moriarty, that Moriarty is still out there. Furthermore, thanks to the fact that he is a hologram, he could reappear at any point in the future. It is worth noting that another recent episode of Picard, “Imposters,” established that mobile hologram emitters have been invented by the 25th Century. This means that Hologram Moriarty could now achieve his goal of leaving the holodeck.

In an interview, Davis himself teased where he thinks Hologram Moriarty might fit best in the current Trek universe. Davis hinted at a possible appearance in Star Trek: Prodigy, and said, “I think that Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) and Moriarty is a marriage made in animated heaven.” Here at Geek Girl Authority, we heartily agree!

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