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It’s wej Duj all over again in the second episode of Star Trek: Picard’s final season. “Disengage” was written by Christopher Monfette & Sean Tretta, and directed by Doug Aarniokoski.
Two Weeks Ago…
The Mariposa medical vessel S.S. Eleos XII drops out of warp near Sonya Prime. Jack Crusher (Ed Speleers) opens a channel to confirm orbital entry but gets only static. A pair of Fenris Ranger ships appear.
One of the Rangers states that the Eleos has violated their airspace while en route to a quarantine zone. They demand they provide the Federation Access Codes or submit to a search. Jack insists the Eleos has moral authority, but that doesn’t come with paperwork. He underscores that there are thousands below who are sick with Galarian Fever (possibly an allusion to Star Trek: Lower Decks, “Second Contact”).
Jack underscores the medical nature of the vessel and its work. The Ranger points out that medical work is still subject to protocol. Then he opens a crate that contains Romulan Ale. Jack claims it’s for medical purposes, but offers to share. After asking if he’s being bribed, Jack offers the Ranger weapons instead of liquor.
Jack says the outbreak was engineered by warlords who want the zone cleared of refugees. He’s going to sell weapons to both sides, and he’s willing to cut the Rangers in for 35%. The warlords can fight each other and they’ll still cure the pandemic. The Ranger orders his men to take the proffered crate, implicitly accepting the deal.
Before leaving the Eleos, the Ranger sends a transmission: “Reach out to the marked woman. We’ve found him.”
In the Ryton System, the Shrike approaches the Eleos. Jack, Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and William T. Riker (Jonathan Frakes) take in the Shrike. Picard asks who is pursuing him. Jack pleads ignorance. After the Rangers, came Klingons, then “three guys in Starfleet Uniforms.” They’ve been running for months.
Riker recalls Doctor Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden) instructing them to trust no one. Picard suggests they negotiate. Jack requests the computer perform a threat assessment. The computer predicts a 100% chance of destruction. Jack suggests they call the larger vessel that accompanied the shuttlecraft (the Saavik, named for the captain of the first Titan).
On-board the Titan-A, Ensign La Forge (Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut) informs Captain Shaw (Todd Stashwick) that she’s picking up a faint, third signal inside the nebula. It’s definitely a ship, it has serious firepower, and it’s outside Federation Space.
First Officer Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) is prepared for a rescue mission. Shaw blocks the effort. He isn’t willing to risk the crew for Riker and Picard. He orders La Forge to hold the position and dismisses Seven.
The Shrike is circling the Eleos. Jack urges them to evacuate, which means getting the med-pod carrying Beverly to the shuttle. After Jack’s left, Riker turns to Picard. “Beverly’s son? Just something… familiar about him.”
The Shrike fires on the Saavik, destroying it. The quartet is stranded aboard the Eleos.
“Part Two: Disengage”
Aboard the La Sirena on M’Talas Prime, Raffi (Michelle Hurd) watches a news report about the destruction of the Starfleet Recruitment Center. According to the news, a Romulan dissident named Lurak T’Luco is behind the attack.
Raffi opens an encrypted comm channel to her Starfleet Intelligence handler. She expresses her anguish at the 117 people who died in the attack. Through text, her handler replies: “Do not seek blame. Do not seek anger.” Raffi states she wants to keep digging. However, Starfleet Command has terminated the investigation.
But Raffi doesn’t believe T’Luco is a credible suspect. And even if he is, he didn’t operate alone. The case is based on a redacted statement from a low-level crime lord named Sneed. However, Sneed is connected to heavy-hitters like Brunt and Quark of Ferenginar, the outrageous Thadiun Okana, and even Morn of Luria. Sneed claims he brokered the deal. An anonymous seller sold the weapon to T’Luco.
Her handler repeats that Starfleet Command has terminated the investigation. She is ordered to “Disengage.” But Raffi insists Sneed is lying. She repeats: 117 people are dead. Her handler replies that it will be 118 should she continue.
Raffi once again requests a face-to-face with her handler. It is denied. Raffi says someone needs to speak for the dead. She declares her intention to find Sneed.
Seven enters the Ready Room on the Titan-A. Shaw asks if it will be necessary to confine her to quarters. Seven expresses her concern that Picard and Riker may die. She cites weapon activity inside the nebula. Shaw asks if Seven assisted them in taking “his” shuttle. Seven asks if he wants to be remembered as “the hero who saved heroes,” or “the captain who let two legends die.” She leaves.
Inside the nebula, the Shrike continues to menace the Eleos. Jack, Riker, and Picard discuss their options. Jack floats the idea of offering their unknown pursuer the two older men. Meanwhile, Picard has been setting up transport inhibitors. Right on cue, this prevents Jack from being beamed away. They are trying to take Jack alive.
Several soldiers beam in outside the inhibitor zone. Riker dispatches them with a sci-fi grenade. With beaming nonviable, the Shrike activates a tractor beam.
A power relay favor leaves Beverly’s med-pod life support at 14%. There’s a hull breach on deck 2. Riker suggests he could improvise a beam repulsor. But Jack says they haven’t had that kind of capability. The Eleos has been limping for weeks. Total power failure is imminent: they have no hope of survival.
“I’ve got movement on the sensors,” declares Riker. “What the hell is that?”
It’s the Titan-A! It warps in and inserts itself between the Eleos and the Shrike. The tractor beam is broken. Vintage Titan!
Shaw calls for Red Alert. He instructs them to bring Riker and Picard back aboard. But there are four lifesigns. Shaw says to bring them all aboard. He comments, “we’re basically a hotel now.”
The Shrike prepares to fire on the Eleos. The Titan can’t lock on to the quartet on the Eleos. Picard’s transport inhibitors! He uses his phaser to destroy them. Jack, Riker, and Picard are beamed aboard the Titan. Beverly goes straight to sick bay.
On M’Talas Prime, Raffi reunites with Jay, the father of her son. She asks how their son is, and Jay cites events from Picard season 1. Raffi tells Jay, who runs a bar, that she needs to arrange a meeting with Sneed the broker. Jay implies that Raffi is moving back towards addiction.
However, Raffi insists that she’s the only one who can do anything about the injustice that Starfleet has ignored. Jay says he will connect her with their son or with Sneed. Raffi chooses Sneed.
We Got Scanning
In the Ryton System, Shaw states he wants to know who they’ve engaged. Riker, Picard, and Jack arrive on the bridge.
They are greeted by a hail from Captain Vadic (Amanda Plummer). She greets Shaw by name and reveals she has access to his Starfleet psychological profile. Vadic demands Jack be turned over, claiming she seeks the bounty on his head.
Shaw says Starfleet doesn’t negotiate with bounty hunters. Vadic says they aren’t understanding the situation. She lowers her shields so they can scan her craft. The scans identify plenty of weapons, including an unknown technology. Meanwhile, Vadic lights and smokes a cigar. Vadic gives them one hour, and tells them to enjoy a display of her intentions in the meantime.
The Shrike activates its tractor beam and throws the Eleos at the Titan. It breaks through the shields and shrapnel tears the hull. Ensign La Forge uses lessons from her father to explain how this was possible.
The Titan can’t escape and can’t call for help. They’re “cornered in space.”
Seven says there have been rumors of the ship among the Fenris Rangers. Shaw asks what they have on Jack.
In the Ready Room, Picard and Riker demand to know who Jack might be. But Shaw and several Titan crew members enter. Shaw states that Jack is indeed an intergalactic criminal and orders him to be taken to the brig.
Seven attempts to intervene by saying the Eleos wasn’t a bounty hunter’s ship. Shaw dresses her down for choosing her loyalty to two over her loyalty to 500. He relieves her of duty for insubordination.
Picard says Seven was in an impossible situation. Shaw says everyone is getting what they deserve. He says he’s considering surrendering Jack to Vadic and then turning the other two over to a tribunal. Riker says he thought Starfleet didn’t give into hostile demands. But Shaw says protocol dictates that the safety of the crew and ship take priority outside Federation Space. Shaw gives Picard half an hour to talk it out with Jack.
Picard says they can’t surrender Beverly’s son. But Riker says that’s not what it’s about. He asks Picard if he really doesn’t see what he does.
In the brig, PIcard confronts Jack about his list of crimes. Jack claims he’s a freedom fighter at best, or at worst, a thief. Jack says, “Currency is currency and medicine isn’t free.” He claims his detractors are low-level gangsters or fathers of unhappy daughters. Picard says Beverly wouldn’t allow this. Jack claims Beverly taught him everything he knows.
Picard asks who Jack’s father is. Jack says he never had one. He says he’s willing to surrender to Vadic if it saves Beverly.
On M’Talas Prime, Raffi arrives at her ex’s bar. The bouncer tells her they aren’t open to strangers. However, Sneed’s name opens the door.
Raffi is bustled into Sneed’s den. He opens by saying he likes antique human things (because of their value, of course). Sneed explains he is a broker. He says he knows who Jay knows, but he doesn’t know her. He implies she may be Jay’s ex, who joined Starfleet. Raffi claims she left Starfleet because there was no profit in it. She tells Sneed she freelances now.
Sneed asks what she wants. Raffi says she wants to know about T’Luco, and claims she works for him. Sneed says she smells like “Starfleet, Federation… Section 31.” He suggests taking some of the eye-drugs will convince him she isn’t Starfleet. She does so.
“I named it Splinter because it feels like you’re being ripped apart and pulled back together, again and again and again,” says Sneed. He demands to know who Raffi works for. She claims T’Luco again, and he laughs. He reveals he has T’Luco’s head in his possession.
Raffi attacks Sneed. Before the guards can react, they are attacked by an unseen assailant. Raffi collapses. The assailant eventually decapitates Sneed. He picks up Raffi and is revealed to be Worf (Michael Dorn).
On the Titan, Picard and Riker approach Shaw on the bridge. Shaw restates that he won’t sell out the lives of his crew. Riker underscores Jack’s personhood, regardless of his status as a criminal. Shaw asks how they even know if he is Beverly’s child. He gives them fifteen minutes.
In the brig, Jack uses a device to disable the brig forcefield. He knocks out the guard and escapes. In medical, the doctor explains that Beverly is sedated but healing. Riker injects her with a hypospray over the doctor’s protestations.
On the bridge, Shaw and Picard continue to argue over the course of action. Picard urges Shaw to attempt to “bring [Vadic] down” just by standing up. That’s when Vadic opens a channel. She acknowledges that they have the remainder of the hour. Then she uses a description of the namesake of her vessel, the Shike, to intimidate the crew of the Titan.
Shaw is convinced to turn Jack over. But then they learn he’s escaped the brig. Seven locates him in the transporter bay. He’s attempting to surrender himself. Picard interprets this as protecting his mother. Shaw says they should let him do so. He unlocks the transporters.
Riker arrives on the bridge with Beverly. She exchanges a look with Picard. He uses his rank to lock down the transporters and protect Jack. Shaw asks why he’s willing to get them all killed. Picard acknowledges that Jack is his son.
“Ugh, god damn it,” says Shaw. Shaw acquiesces to Picard opening a channel. Vadic asks for their decision. Picard states, “Engage!” The Titan fires on the Shrike, then flees. Vadic cackles. She orders the Shrike to pursue.
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