Star Trek: Picard nails the landing with a beautiful send-off for the Star Trek: TNG cast in the series finale episode, “The Last Generation.”
Spoilers will follow for Star Trek: Picard. There is a mid-credit scene.
I admit to being late to watching anything Star Trek. But regardless, I still recognize the big moments on the series. Take the end of last week’s episode. When one sees Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and company walking onto the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D), it comes with so much nostalgia. I would wager to guess that it is one of the most nostalgic moments of the entire season, let alone series. Did you ever think you would see this particular Enterprise again? My guess is no, not with the destruction in Star Trek: Generations. However, Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton) has been busy restoring the ship to its pride and glory in the years since we last saw him.
With that being said, I’m going to make a deep dive into the series finale.
Terry Matalas couldn’t have scripted a more beautiful ending for the finale. After the way season two ended, I did wonder why he chose to bring the Borg back as the villain all along but I guess he had a bigger story planned all along. Alice Krige reprises her role as the Borg Queen, who is set on destroying Starfleet once and for all. She does so by way of assimilating Jack Crusher (Ed Speelers) into the Borg. Thanks to the Changelings infiltrating Starfleet, all of the young Starfleet crew have become assimilated into the Borg and all ships are under Borg control because of the advanced technology.
Thanks to La Forge’s creativity, the Borg cannot control the Enterprise. Call it fan service or whatever but it’s so awesome to see the TNG crew together again on the Enterprise bridge. Of course, they aren’t without the emotional moments. Picard, Riker (Jonathan Frakes), and Worf (Michael Dorn) are transported onto the Borg ship, where they attempt to both find Jack as well as the transponder beacon. Matalas goes after our emotions because he has us thinking that they might not survive. Listen, this is a series finale–we not going to not get a happy ending. They have to play with our emotions but it is a satisfying series finale.
Once we jump in time to the following year later, Matalas goes for fan service once again. Jack Crusher is getting his first assignment in Starfleet as Special Counselor to the Captain. Nepotism, anyone? However, there’s been a major change to the U.S.S. Titan. It is now the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-G), much to Picard’s shock. Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) is now captain–thanks to a recommendation from the late Liam Shaw (Todd Stashwick). She’s joined by her number one, Raffi (Michelle Hurd). Before we have an opportunity to know what her trademark phrase will be as the new Enterprise departs Space Dock, the show cuts away to the TNG cast for their last farewell.
In closing out the show, I like how they also tie in Picard to The Original Series. Walter Koenig makes a cameo appearance–voice only–as United Federation of Planets president Anton Chekov broadcasts on an emergency channel. In naming Chekov’s son Anton, it also serves as a beautiful tribute to the late Anton Yelchin.
The only bummer about pressing play on the series finale is that I have zero new Picard episodes to watch. Monday afternoon was very emotional for this reason. Watching an episode that you cannot talk to friends about is particularly tough. It’s the toughest part of this job especially when it comes to a high-profile series. In any event, it is so much fun getting to take in all 62-63 minutes of the run time. I always watch until the bitter end because you never know. In this event, it pays off because there is a mid-credit scene featuring Jack Crusher and Q (John De Lancie).
With the way the series ends, it does open the door to a potential spinoff series, If not, there’s an opportunity to tell future stories in books if a spinoff series focusing on the younger generation does not happen. This season was more or less about reuniting the Star Trek: The Next Generation cast to give it the beautiful send-off that they didn’t get back in 2002. They finally get the send-off that they deserve. If not for Terry Matalas, we might never have gotten it at all!
The Star Trek: Picard series finale may be bittersweet but it’s full of classic Star Trek action and most importantly, it nails the landing in its TNG send-off.
CREATORS: Akiva Goldsman & Michael Chabon & Kirsten Beyer & Alex Kurtzman
SHOWRUNNER/DIRECTOR/WRITER: Terry Matalas
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Alex Kurtzman, Terry Matalas, Akiva Goldsman, Heather Kadin, Patrick Stewart, Aaron Baiers, Dylan K. Massin, Doug Aarniokoski, Rod Roddenberry, Trevor Roth
CAST: Patrick Stewart, Jeri Ryan, Michelle Hurd, Ed Speleers
SPECIAL GUEST STARS: LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Jonathan Frakes, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, Brent Spiner, Alice Krige, Walter Koenig, John De Lancie, Tim Russ
GUEST STARRING: Todd Stashwick, Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut
All episodes of Star Trek: Picard are now streaming on Paramount+. 310 Grade: 5/5
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