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Review of 'Star Trek: Picard' 3.1-3.2

Crusher's Son

By Paul LevinsonPublished 23 days ago 3 min read

Good to see Star Trek: Picard back with the beginning of its third (and final) season on Paramount Plus last week. All kinds of fun things in the first episode, including Riker back with some great repartee and all sorts of other good touches including Riker accidentally calling Picard (who's now an Admiral) "Captain" once again. But my favorite moment came at the very end, when--

[Lots of spoilers ahead ... ]

We learn that the character played by Ed Speleers is Beverly Crusher's son. This is very significant for one big reason: He's not being played by Wil Wheaton, who of course played Wesley Crusher in the original Star Trek: The Next Generation. We didn't hear the first name of the Speleers character in this episode, but IMDb says it's Jack Crusher.

Speelers, by the way, is an excellent actor. He played a really sinister villain, Stephen Bonnet, in Outlander (you can seen some of my reviews of Outlander here and elsewhere on Vocal). And Ed Speleers checked in with a fine performance as another villain at the end of the first part of You, Season 4 (here's my review). (One of his specialities seems to be coming in at the end of an episode.) But the question is: why didn't Picard bring back Wesley, played by Wheaton?

Well, Wesley did appear briefly at the end of Picard, Season 2, as a Traveler, and I guess if this time Traveler had been able to help Beverly out of her predicament in 3.1, he would have done so, making Picard's emergency visit, the motivation for this whole new season, unnecessary. But there's no reason Wesley can't appear later in this season, and I hope he does.

Meanwhile, it will be wonderful to see how and when the original cast will be reassembled. Good job so far by show-runner Terry Matalas


So, we found out at the end of Picard 3.1 that Beverly Crusher has a son in addition to Wesley. And we find out at the end of Picard 3.2 that Jack Crusher's father is Picard. That's a nice, game-changing development, and amply explains why we didn't know or seeing anything of Jack in previous Star Treks.

The other nice touch in 3.2 is seeing Worf. Unfortunately, we see little more than seeing him. But that's at least an intro to learning much more about where he's been and what he's been doing over these many years.

Otherwise, I have to say that this second episode was somewhat pro-forma and not exactly bursting with original scenes and stories. At this point, the most interesting new character is Captain Liam Shaw, well played by Todd Stashwick. It's fun seeing someone in command so unimpressed by Picard and Riker. And it's entirely understandable, given that he's not privy to a lot of what we saw in Star Trek: TNG.

But, more seriously, I said last year on this podcast that I was enjoying Strange New Worlds much more than Picard --

-- and this was surprising, given how much I loved Star Trek: TNG. And so far, though the first episode of this new season of Picard was really good to see, the second episode of Picard Season 3 already seems to be suffering from some kind of ennui. Seeing our favorite characters back in older action is wonderful, for sure. But I'm still waiting for a story as riveting as Strange New Worlds, and the original Next Generation. As I also say in the podcast, I've stopped watching the third new Star Trek on Paramount Plus, Discovery, and others in the podcast discussion say they stopped watching it even sooner than I did. Someday, someone will write a book on why these new Star Treks have been so uneven. In the meantime, I'll keep watching Picard, and hoping for the best.

time travel in the rain, here on Vocal

tv review

About the Creator

Paul Levinson

Novels include The Silk Code & The Plot To Save Socrates; LPs Twice Upon A Rhyme & Welcome Up; nonfiction includes The Soft Edge & Digital McLuhan, translated into 15 languages. Details here. My Twitter. Prof, Fordham Univ.

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