"Star Trek: Picard" Season 1: "Nepenthe" Is Where the Heart Is [REVIEW]

This week's episode of Star Trek: Picard provided a much-needed break from the trauma and tension Jean-Luc (Patrick Stewart) and Soji (Isa Briones) are going through. After receiving help from Hugh (Jonathan Del Arco) at the conclusion of "The Impossible Box", both transport to the planet of Nepenthe.

Jonathan Frakes, Patrick Stewart and Marina Sirtis in Star Trek: Picard
"Nepenthe" — Episode #107 — Pictured (l-r): Jonathan Frakes as Riker; Sir Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard; Marina Sirtis as Deanna Troi of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: Aaron Epstein/CBS ©2019 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

There, they meet a "wild child" Kestra (Lulu Wilson) who guides them to a cabin in the woods. The parents-residents are William Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis), Jean-Luc's former shipmates from the U.S.S. Enterprise-D. Captain Riker was Picard's former first officer and Commander Troi was the ship's counselor. Both provide a safe haven from the pursuing Romulans of the Tal Shiar looking for Soji.

Michelle Hurd and Alison Pill in Star Trek: Picard
"Nepenthe" — Episode #107 — Pictured (l-r): Michelle Hurd as Raffi Musiker; Alison Pill as Agnes Jurati; of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: Trae Patton/CBS ©2019 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Emotional Depth

There are obvious warm fuzzies and possible tears from The Next Generation reunion. Viewers – even those who have never seen TNG – get a sense of their camaraderie from the organic chemistry they developed over the years. Riker and Troi's home is far more than just a physical sanctuary, and provides a much-needed break from the emotional tension.

"Star Trek: Picard" Season 1: "Nepenthe" Is Where the Heart Is [REVIEW]
"Nepenthe" — Episode #107 — Pictured (l-r): Sir Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard; Jonathan Frakes as Riker of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: Aaron Epstein/CBS ©2019 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The episode doesn't solely focus on Nepenthe, however: we do see harrowing moments on the Borg cube and moment of levity on La Sirena. The important thing to get from the episode is we get the much-needed emotional depth of Soji – a testament to Wilson, Sirtis, and Briones' performances. "Nepenthe" is arguably Picard's best episode, because it refocuses the journey and the resolve for its main characters. Not to mention seeing the senior officers together once again warms the cockles of any TNG fan's heart – even if it's not the full cast.

"Star Trek: Picard" Season 1: "Nepenthe" Is Where the Heart Is [REVIEW]
Photo Cr: Trae Patton/CBS ©2019 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangora. As a professional writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.

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