Last week on Star Trek: Picard’s, “Assimilation,” Elnor is shot as he and the others escape the nightmare timeline created by Q. They travel back in time with help from the Borg Queen who takes control of the ship. They crash outside of Picard’s chateau in 2024. Elnor dies and they disconnect the Queen from their damaged ship. 

They need to find the Watcher who, according to BQ (Borg Queen), will know how the timeline was broken. Seven, Rios and a grieving Raffi transport to Los Angeles with Jurati’s warning about the butterfly effect. Rios then immediately gets hurt, loses his comm badge, and gets arrested by ICE.

Jurati lets BQ try to assimilate her in order to get the Watcher’s coordinates from the BQ’s brain and almost doesn’t make it. The BQ enjoys Jurati’s brain and is now a danger to her. 

In this week’s episode, “Watcher,” we see a landscape that very closely mirrors our current world issues. Picard tries to find the Watcher as Seven and Raffi try to find Rios, and a battle of wits unfolds between Jurati and BQ. Ready to travel the road not taken? Let’s engage. 

RELATED: Read our recap of Star Trek: Picard’s, “Assimilation.”

Where Are You?

Raffi (Michelle Hurd) and Seven (Jeri Ryan) enter the clinic. It’s a mess. There’s butterfly art on the wall, a nod to the butterfly effect that has started. They find out Rios (Santiago Cabrera) was arrested by ICE.

Back on the crashed ship, Picard (Patrick Stewart) attempts to hail them. Jurati (Alison Pill) says it was a long shot for the comms to work. Picard notices she’s shivering because the ship is auto-repairing and takes her to the abandoned chateau to light a fire. They are able to cloak the ship since it’s from a timeline with different tech. 

At the chateau, Picard tells Jurati that it’s been empty for a century. The Nazis had used it for a base and his ancestors hid in the tunnels below before escaping to England. Foreshadowing! He says it will be centuries before Picards reside there again, meaning his family. 

a young Jean Luc Picard's mother tries to calm him in the solarium.

Pictured: Coverage of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: Trae Patton/Paramount+ ©2022 ViacomCBS. All Rights Reserved.

He has dark, violent flashbacks again. A young Jean-Luc with a rock in his hand which he uses to shatter the sunroom’s windows. Jean-Luc tries to protect his screaming mother (Madeline Wise) or hold her back. Then we see a touching moment in the solarium of his mother playing the Edith Piaf song we keep hearing this season, Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien. She’s calming his fear. Also remember, that title translates to “I regret nothing.”

Jurati asks a lost-in-memory Picard, “Where are you?” He comes back and wants them to find out what BQ (Annie Wersching) knows about the break in the timeline and whatever else Jurati took from her brain. Picard then notices Jurati’s actions. She moves 15 beads on an abacus. She picks up a 15th edition Brittanica and also a 1915 pinot noir. They surmise the break will happen on April 15th, three days from now. 

Connection

In LA, Seven and Raffi ride a bus while a guy rocks out to punk music. What? This is a brilliant piece of fan service is referencing Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. In asking the guy to turn his music down, Seven literally echoes Kirk’s same words before Spock used a Vulcan pinch to remedy the same situation. However, in 2024 the man is a kinder, gentler punk fan who turns his music down apologetically. 

Seven tries to comfort Raffi over the loss of Elnor (Evan Evagora). Raffi says they’re getting him back. They hold hands. 

Picard transports to LA because if BQ is correct, the Watcher is the only one who can help. Jurati stays to work on boosting communications and finding a way home. The BQ immediately plays on Jurati’s insecurities. “Poor Agnes Jurati. Doomed to be the afterthought.” She hones in even more, “You felt it too, didn’t you? That thing for what we Borg have so very many words. Assimilation. Cooperation. Connection.” 

Jean-Luc finds a bottle of Saurian Brandy in Guinan's bar in 2024 in the Star Trek: Picard episode, Watcher

Pictured: Sir Patrick Stewart as Picard of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: Trae Patton/Paramount+ ©2022 ViacomCBS. All Rights Reserved.

The coordinates bring Picard to… 10 Forward Ave! This is the location where Picard visited Guinan in the first episode. He is elated, she must be the Watcher! He goes into the bar and even sees a bottle of Saurian Brandy. However, he meets a very different, disillusioned Guinan (Ito Aghayere). Her bar is closing for good and she tells him to get out. She doesn’t care that he needs her help. Then he drops it. He knows listening is important to an El-Aurian. She points a rifle at him and asks who the hell he is. 

Why Does the Past Hurt So Much?

At a police station, Raffi makes a scene trying to find Rios and Seven drags her away. A good samaritan tells them they need Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). He also warns them that if they don’t find Rios soon, he’ll be gone without a trial, and without a trail. 

At the ICE detention facility, Rios watches an ICE officer try to bully a man to sign deportation papers. Rios yells at him and is tased. He says to himself, “Why does the past hurt so much?” Teresa (Sol Rodriguez), the clinic doctor, is in the adjacent chain-linked holding area. She comments it’s hard to tell if he’s brave or stupid. 

Rios sits in an chain link enclosure at an ICE detention center on Star Trek: Picard's, Watcher

Pictured: Santiago Cabrera as Rios of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: Trae Patton/Paramount+ ©2022 ViacomCBS. All Rights Reserved.

Back at Guinan’s, she knocks down a shot and presses again about where he’s from. Picard says France. She doesn’t buy it since he knows she’s El-Aurian. Picard says he has three days to stop something from happening. She doesn’t care. He does get her attention when he says he received these coordinates to find the Watcher.

She complains that humans are killing the planet and each other. “They’ve got one tiny ball in the entire galaxy and all this species wants to do is fight. I’ve given them long enough.” Ouch. The truth hurts.

Picard then cleverly says to Guinan the very words she spoke to him only a few days before. “It’s not too late. The problem isn’t time. It’s you.” She vomits. He explains he said that knowing it would cause time sickness – a uniquely El-Aurian condition that happens when the timeline has been affected. She still doesn’t care, leaving will make her feel better. Picard speaks more wisdom, “Distance offers no protection from time.”

Breadcrumbs and Butterflies

As she and Seven leave the police station. Raffi says “We need to find out where they’re disappearing people like him, so we follow the trail of suffering like breadcrumbs.” Raffi takes out her phaser and breaks into a cruiser. Butterflies! Seven is not happy. At least Rios’ butterfly mistakes were unintentional, Raffi is throwing caution to the wind.

Raffi finds ICE. She puts in ‘Hispanic’ and so many entries come up but she does find the detention facility. They hail Jurati to transport them but the transporter goes into repair mode. They steal the police cruiser and are not inconspicuous. As Seven figures out how to drive, they bicker like an old, married couple. Jurati needs to figure this out quickly. BQ taunts her that she can help.

Ragtag Group of Misfits

Teresa is released at the detention center. She tells Rios if he needs anything, she’ll help. She leaves and the officer then wants to know who Rios really is. By now, Rios is in his feelings and tells him. Literally, brilliantly and hilariously.

He says he’s the “Captain of the USS Star Gazer… from the year 2400. I’m on an ongoing mission to explore strange new worlds, seek out new life and civilizations but instead, 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.”

We feel you, Rios.

Entwinement and Trust

Raffi and Seven are still acting like an old couple with Raffi navigating and Seven defending her driving. Meanwhile, ICE has put Rios on a bus for deportation.

Jurati asks BQ to help with the transporters because some systems “are still down after our…” BQ finishes her sentence with, “our entwinement.” BQ continues to poke at Jurati’s insecurities even saying that Jurati won’t make eye contact for fear of being seen. She tells Jurati not to demure herself and to convince BQ to help her.

Jurati asks if she can trust BQ to help. BQ responds, “Beware the species that has not yet purged that word.” BQ goes in for one more dig, “You are like the brightest peacock yet so afraid to shine. And that, dear Agnes, is why you’re so frequently alone.” Ouch, BQ. 

Jurati taunts back pointing out that BQ is the one disconnected from the hive and trying to chat with her. If her friends are captured, how nice does BQ think she’ll be then? BQ says she wants something in return. Jurati. Jurati agrees they both hate being alone. If BQ helps, they can trade “sad sack stories in between pressing catastrophes.”

Using the cruiser’s computer, Raffi finds that Rios is being moved to the border. Seven knows he’s being disappeared. Police chase them. It’s hard for Jurati to get a lock on them because they’re moving so Seven stops the car and the police draw their guns as they are transported out. Once again, making themselves known. They’re transported to a hillside where they can intersect the bus.

On the ship, BQ says you’re welcome but Jurati walks away. Agnes straight-up lied to BQ and abandons her. BQ screams for Jurati and it’s not just anger, it’s the fear of being alone. Nice, Agnes!

Picard is still begging Guinan to help as she packs her car. She screams that she is not the Watcher. He finally tells her his name and that they will be dear friends in 400 years. She decides to help although unhappily. 

Guinan tells Picard the Watcher is a supervisor of sorts and that they are peppered throughout the galaxy and assigned to protect the destiny of certain individuals. Guinan can get a meeting but it won’t be fun. 

a little girl with white eyes approaches a sitting Picard and Guinan

Pictured: Sir Patrick Stewart as Picard and Ito Aghayere as young Guinan of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: Trae Patton/Paramount+ ©2022 ViacomCBS. All Rights Reserved.

At McArthur Park, the two sit on a bench. A kid approaches with completely white eyes because she’s been taken over by the Watcher. She tells Guinan she better run. They obviously have history. Guinan obliges.

The kid makes Picard walk with her and also remove the energy cell from his comm badge. The Watcher jumps to a food cart man whose eyes whiten as he points Picard in a direction. The Watcher jumps to another host who escorts him through a tunnel. 

The Watcher appears. She turns around. It’s Laris (Orla Brady)! Laris, without her Romulan ears, that is. He smiles. She doesn’t. She puts her hand on him a cube of smoke appears around them and they disappear. 

Laris as the Watcher puts her hand on a stunned Picard's shoulder

Pictured: Sir Patrick Stewart as Picard and Orla Brady as Laris of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: Trae Patton/Paramount+ ©2022 ViacomCBS. All Rights Reserved.

The Countdown Begins

In an epilogue scene, we find Q (John de Lancie) at a cafe reading a paper. He wears a scientist coat with a Europa mission badge. The headline reads, “Will 2024 Revive Space Exploration?” It also says expectations are sky-high as the Europa countdown begins. In last week’s episode, Raffi and Seven saw a giant billboard for the Europa mission. Could this have something to do with the April 15th break in the timeline?

Q sees a woman (Penelope Mitchell) who has a Europa mission badge on her shirt. He tries to get in her head and leave seeds of self-doubt and fear but when he snaps his fingers, nothing happens. He’s shocked. He comments, “That’s unexpected and most unfortunate.”

Who has self-doubt and fear now, Q?

Q, in an Europa Mission coat, attempts to snap his fingers on Star Trek Picard's, Watcher

Pictured: John de Lancie as Q of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: Trae Patton/Paramount+ ©2022 ViacomCBS. All Rights Reserved.

 

RELATED: Keep up with Star Trek: Picard this season with our recaps!

Star Trek: Picard Season 2 streams on Paramount Plus

Audrey Kearns