Friends are reunited (and part ways) in Star Trek: Picard season 3’s sixth episode. “The Bounty” was written by Christopher Monfette and directed by Dan Liu.
A U.S.S. Titan-A probe sends a signal. Several Starfleet vessels warp in. Elsewhere, another probe is located by the Shrike. Captain Vadic (Amanda Plummer) is out of patience. She smokes and monologues, saying the Federation will be destroyed and they’ll have unity once again.
A lackey questions her judgment, saying they’re no closer to finding “the son of Picard.” Vaidic orders another lackey to disintegrate them. She demands the locations of any and all associates of Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart).
Part Six: The Bounty
Aboard the Titan, Picard discusses the medical results for Jack Crusher (Ed Speleers) with Doctor Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden). Beverly shares that Jack has been having visions and bursts of anger. A micro-neural scan was performed. Affected areas of the brain include those related to imagination and cognition. He has Irumodic Syndrome, inherited from Picard.
Beverly recalls nightmares that might have been early, unsuspected symptoms. He’s been administered a neuroinhibitor to temper the hallucinations.
In the Ten Forward holodeck simulation, Picard joins Jack for a drink. Jack says he’s celebrating: he’s “not crazy,” he’s “just broken.” He asks Picard how he survived it. Picard didn’t. His consciousness was transferred to a positronic body (in Picard season 1). Jack laments that Beverly spent so much time shielding him from becoming collateral damage in the life of Picard. “Irony is, maybe I was doomed before I was even born.”
Commander Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) contacts Picard and informs him, “They’re here.”
In the transporter bay, Raffi Musiker (Michelle Hurd) and Worf (Michael Dorn) beam in. They’re greeted by Picard, Beverly, and Captain William T. Riker (Jonathan Frakes). Worf refers to Chateau Picard as “sour mead,” citing its tartness. Raffi reveals Worf has been meditating. Then, she and Seven share a special greeting. Worf states that they must ensure Ro Laren’s death was not in vain.
In a briefing, Worf recounts the fraught history between the Federation and the Dominion. This includes the Starfleet-made virus. “There are scars and shame on both sides,” he notes. Picard notes that Starfleet did deliver the cure to the Changeling homeworld. However, Captain Liam Shaw (Todd Stashwick) notes that they “weaponized a few zealots” in the process.
Ro believed that the Changeling’s plan is tied to the upcoming Frontier Day, less than 48 hours away. Yet they currently have no further leads. Worf and Raffi state that they must go to the scene of the crime: Daystrom Station. That’s where Vadic’s people stole the portal tech, along with some other unknown object. The portal’s use was to distract from the theft of a second weapon.
In order to determine what was stolen, they’ll need to infiltrate the station’s primary vault. The vault is protected by a lethal A.I. While Worf and Raffi have a key they obtained in the previous episode, its efficacy remains to be seen. A team of volunteers will need to infiltrate the station.
The Titan arrives at Daystrom Station. In the transporter room, the romantic breakup of Seven and Raffi seems confirmed. Seven will remain on the ship. The away team will only have an hour until the security patrol returns. Riker joins Worf and Raffi on the transporter pads. The trio beams onto the station. Worf inserts the key as the automated security measures swiftly become more threatening. However, the key seems to calm the computer down.
Unfortunately, Starfleet has located the Titan. Several ships arrive at Daystrom Station. Shaw orders the away team to be beamed back. But Lt. Matthew Arliss Mura (Joseph Lee) reports that they can’t get a transporter lock. The ships have activated transport inhibitors.
Ensign Sidney La Forge (Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut) notes the ships have weapon tech that will allow them to trace the Titan (assuming one hit doesn’t blow it up). Picard says they should leave before they realize they have an away team on the station. Sidney notes that if they leave, they won’t be able to come back without being invisible.
Picard contacts the away team. He says that the Titan is leaving but will be back within the hour. Picard orders Sidney to set a course for “8th and Prime.” Sidney doesn’t think that’s a good idea. The Titan warps away as the antagonistic Starfleet vessels begin to fire.
Left behind, the away team travels deeper into the station. Raffi wonders what’s being stored at Daystrom. Worf observes that there seem to be many of Section 31’s table scraps. Riker looks at the “Genesis II Device.” Raffi finds the remains of Captain James T. Kirk. Worf is menaced by a genetically modified “attack tribble.” Riker finds it difficult to verbally spar with Worf.
Meanwhile, the A.I. scans the trio. It identifies Riker and generates a security response. The trio encounters a holographic crow. They ignore it. The A.I. generates further security responses. Some loud musical notes play on the station. “F sharp, I think,” says Riker. The lights go out.
“I think, therefore I am,” says Hologram Professor Moriarty (Daniel Davis). He greets them as old friends, then draws his pistol.
Elsewhere, the Titan has arrived at the Fleet Museum. It’s the final resting place for legendary starships. Shaw orders Sidney to dock among the relics to hide in plain sight.
The Titan is hailed by Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton). Geordi tells Picard to power down all unnecessary systems on the ship immediately. Picard says he needs his help. Geordi and Ensign Alandra La Forge (Mica Burton) beam over to the Titan. Things are tense between Geordi and Sidney.
Picard informs Geordi that the Changelings are involved. Geordi is further shocked to learn that Worf and Riker are present. Picard reveals they’re trapped inside Daystrom Station. He wants Geordi to “clone” the Titan’s transponder signal so that they can trick Starfleet away from the station. Geordi is offended that Picard has asked him to participate. Furthermore, as explained by Alandra, the integrated nature of current Starfleet vessels means they “talk to each other.” The Titan is a beacon that will alert other ships, given sufficient proximity.
The 7% Solution
As Starfleet vessels circle Daystrom, the away team faces Moriarty. The hologram rejects Raffi’s characterization of him as a villain. Moriarty fires his pistol at the away team. Return phaser fire doesn’t affect the hologram. The music continues to play.
Riker observes that this isn’t the self-aware hologram they encountered on the Enterprise-D. He postulates that it could be a holograph or a projection. However, Raffi notes that he’s firing live rounds. Riker identifies several more musical notes. He asks Moriarty if he’s trying to play them a song. Moriarty says this is the case, a “maddening melody” he can’t get out of his mind.
Riker remembers his first contact with Data, in the Enterprise holodeck. He whistles the rest of the song from that occasion: “Pop Goes the Weasel.” Moriarty says it is “magnificent,” and vanishes. Riker has solved the mystery. Inside the vault, they find an “older version” of Data (Brent Spiner).
On the Titan at the Fleet Museum, Geordi tells Picard he wants to help them. However, he can’t accept the risk to himself or his family. Picard says it’s life or death. Geordi says that was fine back in the day when he chose to put his life on the line. He says that Picard has knowingly endangered his daughter. Picard counters that Sidney joined Starfleet of her own accord.
Outside, Alandra apologizes to Sidney for Geordi’s stubbornness. Sidney heads to the bridge. There, Jack and Seven take in the exhibits. These include the (second) Defiant, the New Jersey, and Jack’s favorite, the Enterprise-A. Next up is Voyager. “I was reborn there,” says Seven. “She was my home. Her crew were my family.” And now she’s just trying to find another, finishes Jack.
Jack continues: “We all long for connection. We’re all just a little bit alone, aren’t we? Stars in the same galaxy but lightyears between us.” Seven observes that he is definitely his father’s son. The next ship is the H.M.S. Bounty from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Seven notes that it took them extra time to find it because its cloaking device activated after it sunk into the San Francisco Bay. Jack has an idea.
The Android’s Dream
At Daystrom Station, Riker says the A.I. wasn’t trying to hurt them. It was Data trying to communicate with them. Raffi says she thought Data died. Twice. Worf notes that this cannot be “their” Data. Raffi identifies him as a hybrid: a synthetic android interface. Riker says Data copied everything onto B-4. This had been unrecoverable during the synth ban. However, that’s been lifted (see Picard season 1). Raffi notes Starfleet co-opted Soong’s unfinished work, like the sentient A.I.
Raffi finds a holographic message from Alton Soong (Spiner). He explains that he had intended to transfer his own consciousness to the techno-golem he instead gifted to Picard in order to live beyond his days. But he says that he now realizes that “wasn’t just poor humanity, it was poor science.” He says that evolution isn’t just an act of preservation, it’s addition.
On the Titan, Geordi tells Picard that Sidney was “the tough one.” He cites her stubbornness, which he admits probably originated with him. “You always want to impart the best aspects of yourself to them,” Geordi says. But Picard notes that he’s recently been reminded that one is not always in control of what one passes on. It isn’t just strengths and wisdom, it’s also flaws and weaknesses.
At Daystrom, Soong continues that “into this new golem will go a bit of Lal, B-4, Lore, and a great deal of Data. This time with the wisdom and true human aesthetic of age with the hope that in totality something – someone – will rise to be the best of us.” However, Soong died before completing the project. The integration had failed, and the personalities remain at odds with one another inside the golem.
Nowhere to Run
Geordi tells Picard that he fears more for the safety of his children than he ever did for himself. He says he wants to help Picard, but can’t do so while also protecting them. On the bridge, Picard announces that they’re leaving, However, Geordi wishes to speak with Sidney before they do so.
Sidney asks Geordi why he won’t help them. Geordi says Picard has agreed to allow Sidney to remain at the Museum. Picard will claim Sidney was an unwilling participant. Sidney says this isn’t true. Geordi says it’s necessary. Sidney says the galaxy is at stake. Geordi says Starfleet will handle it. Sidney asserts she is Starfleet.
She says she grew up listening to stories about Geordi and Picard standing up for what was right. Geordi says it was a different time. Sidney denies this and says it is she and Geordi who are different. She says that she’s a pilot, not an engineer, but she always thought that brought them closer together.
Sidney says Geordi would believe in this if he believed in her. She turns to leave but Geordi stops her and asks if she knew how they felt when the Titan went missing. Sidney says she’s on the run with her crew. He says that they aren’t her family. But she says they are, and that he taught her that. She says she isn’t scared to help them, but he is.
With no other options, the crew of the Titan prepares for battle. Picard and Seven exit to strategize with Shaw. Meanwhile, Alandra asks Sidney if she’s staying or going. Sidney’s staying. Jack compliments Sidney (and flirts with her a little). However, Jack pivots to suggesting some “minor larceny.”
On Daystrom, Raffi questions the wisdom of using Soong’s A.I. as a security system. Riker says because it was more brilliant than anything they could concoct. However, Data glitched when he saw them and recognized them. They realize he sees everything that comes in and out. He isn’t protecting the manifest, he is the manifest. However, the station alarm activates. Riker tries to call Picard but the Titan has yet to arrive.
At the Fleet Museum, Shaw geeks out over meeting Geordi. Geordi compliments Shaw’s work and the Titan. Shaw orders the duo to be transported safely back to the museum. However, the bridge of the Titan suddenly becomes partially invisible. Seven reports a massive burst of EM radiation. Geordi asks what Picard has done, but Picard had nothing to do with this.
The Titan cloaks. Geordi accuses Picard of stealing the cloaking device from the Bounty. Picard would never. The pair have a moment of clarity. “Jack,” says Picard. “Sidney,” says Geordi.
Elsewhere on the Titan, Sidney reports that the device isn’t functioning properly. She suggests several possible solutions to Jack. Meanwhile, Geordi reports that removing the device triggered an automatic security alarm and that Starfleet security is on the way. Geordi asks if Picard realizes how many Federation treaties this violates. Picard says they’ll have to add it to his tab. He says, “We need you. She needs you.”
The Titan uncloaks. Meanwhile, Sidney says she doesn’t know how to stop the disastrous chain reaction. But Geordi arrives and says he does. He also tells Jack to stay away from his daughter. Geordi instructs Alandra to get to a long-range comm station and inform “mom” they’re not going to be home for dinner.
The Titan contacts the away team at Daystrom and reports that they’ll arrive in 90 seconds. Raffi notes that disconnecting Data will disable security and allow security to enter. But Worf says they can’t leave Data behind: he’s key to their case. Riker says to inform the Titan to lock onto an extra set of coordinates.
The Titan arrives at Daystrom and cloaks to avoid detection by the circling Starfleet ships. However, they’ll have to de-cloak to beam the quartet out. Raffi reports they have incoming and says they won’t make it. But Riker says they will. He arms a phaser and heads toward the approaching officers. He begins to exchange fire with them.
The Titan de-cloaks. Shaw orders the transporter room to lock onto the away team. Riker is hit by a transport inhibitor. The remaining three members of the away team are beamed over and the Titan jumps to warp. Worf and Geordi greet one another. While Riker has been lost, they have returned with another friend. “Data,” says Geordi.
Worf tells Picard that he will bring Riker home. After Worf leaves the observation lounge, Jack enters. He admits that he has flaws, but also says he has strong points. He credits all of these to his mother. But he says he can be brave, loyal, and “far wiser than I have any right to be.” He says that until a week ago, he didn’t know where these traits came from. Jack says Picard may have given him some good bits in addition to the “bullshit disease.”
Geordi tells Sidney he’s proud of her. He says he was disappointed in himself for not doing what his younger self would have done. Sidney says she crashed speeders as a kid so she could spend time with Geordi fixing them.
Later, Picard, Beverly, Worf and the La Forges gather around the “new Data.” Geordi observes that he isn’t Data, but “something else.” Beverly notes that he has a positronic, “almost human” body. Geordi says the different personalities haven’t integrated. But assuming he’s “sane enough to speak,” he should be able to give them the information they need.
Geordi can reboot but can’t fully separate Data’s personality. He doesn’t know what they’re going to get. They activate him.
At first, Data’s personality seems to awaken. He says is Data, then that he was Data. He notes that there are many of “myself” inside Daystrom Android M-5-10. Picard asks Data to confirm that multiple objects were stolen by the Changelings. Data confirms that another object was the main objective for the Changeling heist. Picard asks what this was, and Data repeatedly answers, “Jean-Luc Picard.”
Worf asks if there’s a reset switch. The “new Data” switches through several personalities. Lore, B-4, Soong, and concludes, “I am more.” Picard insists that Data tell them what was taken from the lab. Data’s eyes activate and a holographic projection appears. The Changelings stole human remains from Daystrom Station. Those of Jean-Luc Picard.
Meanwhile, on the station, a Starfleet officer beats Riker. He holds a phaser to his head. However, he turns and executes the two other guards. Then he reveals himself to be a Changeling: Vadic! Aboard the Shrike, Riker asks if Vadic really thinks he’ll betray his friends for her. She says no, not for her. Then she reveals that she has Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis) aboard her ship.
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