Star Trek: Picard Season 2 E03 Review: Adventures in Assimilating
"Assimilation", is the title of the latest episode of Paramount+'s Star Trek: Picard, and it's about as on-the-nose both figuratively and literally as it gets as far as contemporary themes. When we last left our heroes, the crew of the La Serena found themselves trying to flee Earth and travel back in time while being pursued by the tyrannical Confederation with the help of the Borg Queen (Annie Wersching). This is your minor spoilers warning.
The First Magistrate (Jon Jon Briones) leads a boarding party transported to Rio's (Santiago Cabrera) bridge trying to capture the traitors and the crew makes short work of them. With the Queen firmly in control of the ship, she also makes short work of the Confederation ships and makes the adjustments to slingshot the ship around the sun to time travel. While the ship makes the successful jump, the experience leaves the Queen drained. Unfortunately for the crew, she still has information that's key to locating a contact largely responsible for setting the events in motion for the Confederation to exist. Jean-Luc (Sir Patrick Stewart) and Agnes (Alison Pill) stay behind to try to extract the information from the Queen while Rios, Raffi (Michelle Hurd) and Seven (Jeri Ryan) make the best of their situation and explores the surrounding area in Los Angeles to see if they can find their contact on foot finding any non-21st century tech that's out of place from said contact.
The sequence between Pill, Wersching, and Stewart is one that's worth nothing and deserving of repeated viewings because it's far from conventional from any Borg encountered seen before. As meek as Pill's Agnes is initially, she's becoming one of the most charismatic presences on the series. Also coming on strong especially within her convictions is Hurd's Raffi more than holding her own in the slums of LA. Not like she needed extra motivation or anything, but she might give even less of a fuck than Seven. The three end up being separated as the ship transported them to different parts of LA with Rios ending up taking the worst of it physically as he materializes in mid-air.
Rios' sequence creates complications since staying largely incognito takes him to a clinic with the standing policy of "no questions asked" about identity given how much of their clientele are undocumented. Without getting into further spoilers, we do get the atypical narratives about immigration, and nothing is embellished. Directed by Lea Thompson and written by Kiley Rossetter and Christopher Monfette, "Assimilation" is a balanced episode with its many layers and strong follow up to "Penance". Pill, Wersching, and Hurd are more than coming to their own leading the way providing another enjoyable outing. Star Trek: Picard streams Thursdays on Paramount+.