Previously on Star Trek: Picard: The timeline is broken. After the crew is sent to a totalitarian nightmare timeline, they realize Q went back in time to change the present. That timeline’s Borg Queen (BQ) helps them travel to 2024 when the incursion happened.
Something is wrong with Q, but what? He recruits Dr. Adam Soong (yes, one of those Soongs) to help sabotage the Europa Mission but it fails. Meanwhile, Picard finally confronts his childhood trauma but BQ has taken over Jurati’s body with one mission: Assimilate Earth.
At the end of last week’s episode, Guinan tries to summon a Q. It doesn’t work, instead, she and Picard are arrested by the FBI who have footage of the Admiral beaming to Guinan’s bar. Ready to explore the end of the road not taken in Star Trek: Picard’s “Mercy?” Let’s engage!
I’m Only Human
In the past, a scared, young human boy runs through the woods at night. He falls, when he picks up his flashlight, there are two Vulcans.
In 2024, Picard (Patrick Stewart) and Guinan (Ito Aghayere) sit in an interrogation room. Agent Wells (Jay Karnes) enters and asked if they are extraterrestrials. They laugh but are caught off guard when he asks, “Tell me about your plans to sabotage the Europa Mission.”
Guinan calls him out. She notes they’re in a basement interrogation room and the security camera isn’t even plugged in. Wells tries to intimidate, “No one even knows you’re here in this FBI field office basement and things do tend to disappear down here. Hopes. Dreams. As of today, aliens.”
Meanwhile, Raffi (Michelle Hurd) and Seven (Jeri Ryan) watch a man clean up the window that Jurati broke at the bar. Raffi hails Rios (Santiago Cabrera) who is on the La Sirena with Theresa (Sol Rodriguez) and Ricardo (Steve Gutierrez). Rios says Jurati (Alison Pill) has to still be in her body fighting BQ. He needs to find out what BQ did to the ship.
Raffi wants Seven to think like BQ. This rubs Seven the wrong way. After all, she’s not Borg anymore. She charms the man cleaning up and finds the direction Jurati headed.
Back at the FBI field office, Wells shows Picard pictures of him and the La Sirena crew at the Europa Mission gala, “Why would aliens crash a gala for a space mission.” Guinan calls him out again. She says he’s unkempt, probably works too much and that “This is personal.” Wells sees Picard’s bruised hand. Picard tells him it’s from an IV, he was dehydrated, “After all, I’m only human.” Wells leaves.
Picard worries if the FBI thinks they’re trying to stop the Europa Mission then Q’s job is done because they will scrub the launch.
In Soong’s mansion, Kore investigates her father further. To get into his lab, she puts on a virtual reality headset and has a program bring up his lab. Q appears and says he is, “A friend. A firestarter. A simulacrum A living program planted here when I hacked into your father’s system. Waiting for you to arrive at this very moment.” Oh, Q. Always so wonderfully dramatic.
By some test tubes, Q notes Kore was the strongest of the bunch referring to the many clones that Soong created. He shows her data on a genome. She asks, “Am I an experiment?” Q confirms and says she was then locked in a prison, “I’m sending you a key. Are you brave enough to use it?” She takes off the headset and a package arrives. It’s a vial of blue liquid, a cure. And in Q fashion, a little flag on it that says, “Freedom.”
Seven and Raffi find a dead body that BQ killed. Seven says that Jurati may still be in there trying to fight. She relents and tries to think like BQ. “In her shoes, I’d want nothing except that connection. If you felt it, it’s hard to think of anything except getting it back.” Seven is referring to the hive mind. BQ tried to feel a connection one on one with the dead guy but the experiment didn’t work and she killed him.
Raffi is impressed but this makes Seven upset and self-conscious again. She accuses Raffi of being manipulative but gets distracted by a smashed phone. Raffi scans it and finds that phone batteries are made of lithium ions – a stabilizing metal. Seven almost passes out at this. She says when a being is assimilated, they are injected with stabilizing metals so the body can handle nanoprobes. Then she sadly adds, “I can still remember the smell. I was six. I can taste it now.”
The two hear something. They find Jurati/BQ breaking into car engines for the batteries. Jurati/BQ pounces on them. She almost kills Raffi but Jurati gets through and stops BQ. Jurati/BQ leaves.
Wells comes back and says to Guinan and Picard, “Obsession is only obsession until it pays off. Then it’s diligence.” Because Picard mentioned dehydration, Wells found the clinic, he also found that Rios was arrested by ICE there.
Remember that sarcastic statement a frustrated Rios made to ICE? This one: “…I’m stuck back in a particularly primitive past, no offense, trying to correct the timeline…with whom?… A ragtag group of misfits including one cybernetic queen that I’m fairly certain is in it just to wipe out all of humanity with her own cohort – A crusty old admiral who if I understand it correctly, is now a flesh and blood robot, I can’t be sure because nobody can explain it to me.” Well, the agent found that, too. Wait, there’s more! The feds went to the clinic and found Rios’ comm badge. Uh-oh. Wells splits Picard and Guinan up.
On the La Sirena, Theresa tells Rios about being a single working mother and how her upbringing was “boundaried.” They have a very sweet moment together and she goes in for a kiss.
Wells puts pressure on Picard. He says he knows he’s outbrained and that Picard’s more advanced but “everyone has pain receptors.” Picard should talk to him because the other agents will just want to alien autopsy him.
Over in Guinan’s room, an agent comes in. It’s Q. He can’t believe it was Guinan that summoned him. He says, “You are that multi-celled, sanctimonious, droning shrew known as Guinan.” He says their paths have yet to cross.
Guinan realizes Q is dying to which he replies that he hates El-Aurian’s empathy. He comments on his seemingly gone immortality, that when he looks “across the temporal horizon, it darkens. You think I’m dying. I prefer to think that I am on the threshold of the unknowable.” He looked forward to being enveloped in the “warm glow of meaning.” But that hasn’t come. He shows her that his snap no longer works.
Guinan asks if messing with Picard is how he’s trying to find meaning. He gets frustrated, “The trap is immaterial. It’s the escape that counts… Humans. We’re all trapped in the past.”
Meanwhile, Kore confronts Soong (Brent Spiner) about those that came before. He’s shocked and admits all. She can’t believe he made up stories about her having a mother. He turns angry. “Reality is a construct of simple-minded fools who can’t function in the absence of boundaries… you exist because I willed it.” Geez, God-complex much? Kore, knowing he’ll choose legacy over her, goes outside. She’s injected the blue vial and has cured herself. She walks away leaving him shocked.
Stuck in the Past
Raffi and Seven recover from Jurati/BQ’s beat down. They put together that BQ got her endorphins up and ate car batteries. She’s creating primitive nanoprobes so she can assimilate. Raffi then tells Seven she is guilty of manipulation. She manipulated Elnor into joining Starfleet when he wanted to go back to Vashti. She didn’t want to lose him but now he’s dead because of her. The two are able to get a location on Jurati/BQ and are shocked at what it is.
Jurati/BQ shows up at Soong’s with a flourish, “I assume a lecture on the futility of resistance is not going to be necessary.”
Back at the Feds, Wells threatens to call Mission Control. The lights go out and Guinan phases in and appears to Picard. She repeats what Q said, “All humans are stuck in the past. Stuck.” Picard has a revelation. He tells Wells that he knows a haunted man when he sees one. He asks Wells, “What am I to you? Perhaps an exchange of truth.”
Wells answers, “You. You’re the thing I waited my whole life to come face to face with…You’re the monster in the dark.” We now find out that Agent Wells was the young boy. He was looking for his dog in the woods and came across two aliens. One put his hand on his face and he felt like the alien was trying to pull his eyeballs out. Then they vanished (beamed away). Picard tells him that the alien wasn’t a monster. It was a Vulcan who tried to do a mind-meld so he would forget but it didn’t work. Wells is stunned.
Picard says it’s his turn to tell the truth. He’s from the 25th century. He’s here to save Earth and needs Well’s help. We hear the Star Trek score here as Wells, this world’s Mulder, sits stunned.
Meanwhile, Rios can’t get the transporters online. He hails Raffi and tells her they have big problems.
Guinan, now back in Picard’s room, updates him on Q. She talks about how humans break then live in the past until they reconcile it, even when painful. “You do the work because you want to evolve.” She almost forgot how unique that was.
Picard tries to figure out what Q meant by, “The trap is immaterial. It’s the escape that counts.” Wells comes in. He’s been fired. Guinan comforts him and Wells leaves with the door open so they can escape.
Jurati/BQ tries to access satellites and then plays on a frustrated Soong’s ego by telling him he’ll be famous in the future. They have to stop Renee Picard because she will make a discovery that will render his work obsolete. It works. He says he can get them into Mission Control. She knows Picard will stand in his way.
Raffi and Seven reunite with Picard and update him. The transporter is jammed because of Borg code.
Jurati/BQ tells Soong that she can put him with Picard and show Soong how to dispose of him.
Raffi and Seven tell Picard that Jurati/BQ is with Soong and that there’s only one reason she would go for the transporter.
Jurati/BQ says once she has the raw ingredients she requires, Soong will have his legacy.
Seven, Raffi, and Picard know the BQ is coming for the La Sirena. She wants a 400-year jump on the galaxy. They need to defend the ship. They are going to use Tallinn’s transporter to get back there.
Soong has gathered the soldiers he experimented on for Spearhead Operations. Oh no. You know what’s about to happen. Jurati/BQ approaches a soldier, “Don’t worry, It only stings for a moment.” She puts her hand to his face, it turns green. Soong looks shocked. What a sucker. Jurati/BQ says, “Who isn’t in the mood to add a little of their biological and technological distinctiveness to our own?”
Star Trek: Picard’s “Mercy” was written by Cindy Appel and Kirsten Beyer, and directed by Joe Menendez. The series steams on Paramount Plus.