Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Episode 7 Review: Being Jean-Luc Picard
The latest episode of Star Trek: Picard has an ominous title in Monsters, which isn't the vaguest or most imaginative title but it fits. The theme primarily deals with the term internally as we get a deeper look into the mind of Jean-Luc (Patrick Stewart) as the crew of La Sirena attempt to get at the root of his coma. Tallinn (Orla Brady) has a device to try to infiltrate his mind, but what will they find when they get there? This is your minor spoilers warning.
We find that Jean-Luc is a cerebral therapy session with a Starfleet psychiatrist, played by James Callis of Battlestar Galactica fame. Poking and prodding about his past, we find some buttons that the good doctor touches that Picard isn't comfortable with. As Tallinn enters his mind, she finds the younger Jean-Luc (Dyan Von Halle) trying to fend off the dark forces he and his mother Yvette (Madeline Wise) discuss. Their exchanges are of a high fantasy nature. The deep dive offers a change of pace of sorts from their usual fact-finding journey.
The second arc focuses on Rios (Santiago Cabrera) as he continues to impress the 21st century's Dr. Ramirez (Sol Rodriguez) and her son (Steve Gutierrez), disclosing the truth about his nature and showing off his ship the La Sirena (because who would believe them, right?). Plus, Star Trek seems to be lax enough about the temporal prime directive as it's an obvious allusion to The Voyage Home. The third storyline follows Raffi (Michelle Hurd) and Seven (Jeri Ryan) as they try to locate Jurati's (Alison Pill) whereabouts while getting to the truth of what's wrong. Oh, and guess what? They're also in a race against time, too (of course).
Directed by Joe Menendez and written by Jane Maggs, "Monsters" provided a kind of imaginative look into Jean-Luc's mind quite different from the earlier Star Trek canon. While it largely focuses on Picard's current shortcomings, we were mostly exposed to other members of the Picard family like his brother, sister-in-law, and nephew. Using his parents provided a layer of personal exploration into Jean-Luc and not just "Picard" that even Next Generation didn't explore as deeply as the franchise could have. Bonus credit goes to Stewart, Callis, Wise, Halle, and the showrunners for digging up the ominous TNG audio archive from the episode The Best of Both Worlds.
Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Episode 7 "Monsters"
Paramount+'s Star Trek: Picard S02E07 "Monsters" explores Jean-Luc's past in a way that past canon hadn't really explored before. Major credit goes to director Joe Menendez, writer Jane Maggs, and actors Patrick Stewart, James Callis, Madeline Wise, Orla Brady & Dyan Von Halle in particular for crafting this pseudo-Shakespearean chapter.
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