RED ALERTThis roundtable discussion contains spoilers for the entirety of Star Trek: Picard, including the series finale, “The Last Generation,” available for streaming on Paramount+ now.

Patrick Stewart BTS "The Last Generation" Episode 310, Star Trek: Picard on Paramount+.
Photos Credit: Trae Patton/Paramount+. ©2021 Viacom, International Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Following The Beat’s midseason roundtable and the conclusive episode of Picard, “The Last Generation,” we got the crew back together for a final conversation on the season and the series. Warp me!

What did you think of the Picard series finale?

Dean Simons: It was fine. Corny as hell in places but had some great moments. Also some frustrating aspects. Overall I came out hoping to see things continue.

That said, the actual ending itself had all kinds of nonsense – one of which has me asking: What on earth is a counselor to the ship’s captain?

Kelas Lloyd: It had some great moments, particularly Data’s personhood being recognized as everyone chose to trust him; that bit with him and Geordi was really great. I also appreciated how calm the ‘away team’ was about it potentially being their time to go.

On the other hand, Riker and Troi making fun of Data, the way the whole leaving-the-collective was so easy, how there was no tie-in to Jurati’s borg when it would have made sense, and how we got tender and/or silly moments with all the het couples but not the single gay couple bothered me, on top of a few other things.

Rebecca Oliver Kaplan: Dean, don’t you feel like he’s in a similar role as Troi in TNG, but with his extra-legal expertise instead of Betazoid abilities (although we don’t know if there are lingering effects from his Võx-ification). He is on Seven’s left-hand side just as Troi was on his dad’s left.

Kelas, that’s a great point about Data. I’ve enjoyed the exploration of personhood in Star Trek. I love episodes like Star Trek: Voyager’s “Author, Author” that explore the legal concept of personhood, but also episodes that highlight the social aspect of it as well. I also wanted to see more Seven and Raffi. I appreciate Matalas listening to fans and rethinking his decision not to include more of their relationship this season.

George Carmona 3rd: I feel like they stuck the landing and left room for the New Next Generation. It was visually stunning, especially being one of the lucky few to see it on an Imax screen. Was it perfect, no, but it did cross the finishing line better than the last two seasons. There were some great acting moments that really had me thinking this was going to be the end for a few of our favorites. Overall it was a satisfying and enjoyable close to a series that most of us thought we would never get to revisit outside of books after the poor performance of Nemesis.

What did you think of Picard season 3 as a whole?

Dean: A fun ride, uneven at times. Not certain it should have been called Picard season 3 though.

Also, the reveal that the big bad was the Borg grated. The Changeling angle made me think a more complex conspiracy was at work. When it was revealed that it was the Borg all along – while it made total sense and was well constructed, felt rather unimaginative.

Kelas: It’s a nostalgia trip filled with missed opportunities and questionable themes and ideas. Picard reacted to almost everything with fear and ego, and yet only Shaw questioned him. You could feel the absence of Raffi, Elnor, and Rios especially here. And yes, Raffi was in this season but didn’t really interact with Picard at all. Like Dean said, I don’t think it should have been called Picard season 3 when it discarded much of what the previous 2 seasons had and did. It’s a TNG mini-series with Voyager cameos and a single Picard cameo.

George: I agree, it was a fun nostalgia trip with some great callbacks to the franchise, but I did miss characters like Elnor and Laris, there could have been some great interactions between Worf and Elnor or Laris and Beverly. I did love Vadic and Shaw as part of the ensemble.

Patrick Stewart as Picard, Ed Speleers as Jack Crusher and Jane Seymour as The Borg Queen in "The Last Generation" Episode 310, Star Trek: Picard on Paramount+.
We’re a happy family…

Dean: Hell yes.

Kelas: Potentially. I’d want something deeper than Picard season 3, though.

Avery Kaplan: Yes, but I’d prefer the continuation to be a Star Trek show instead of a Star Trek movie. I think it made sense to make Picard season 3 more cinematic, but now I’d like to see the G on more episodic (and at least sometimes lower-stakes) missions. It can return to movie-level missions later!

Kelas: Also longer seasons, please, for the love of everything, so there’s time for real character, relationship, and world development.

Rebecca Oliver: I miss the 22-episode seasons, to be honest. I think we spent a lot of the season getting everyone together, so there wasn’t really time to call Picard on his bullshit or explore the new characters enough. I do agree about the s1 & 2 cast being better at calling Picard out, but I think that Shaw made some effort at pointing out that most of Picard’s “saving the day” is after he’s endangered it. I do think all three seasons have been deconstructing what were thought to be his triumphs, and showing them as faults: his failure to connect with others, his mishandling of situations like Ro and Hugh, the fallout of Wolf 359, his inability to bring meaningful resolution to the Romulan conflicts, his failure as father figure, etc.

I just want my lesbian show on the Enterprise-G. I love the idea of rewriting the rules of Starfleet. In reality, the men have never followed the Prime Directive, and I’m ready to see a woman get to be a rule breaker too.

Kelas: Shaw definitely tried, but I felt like Picard couldn’t care less what Shaw thought, and the deconstruction fell apart at the end when he gets everything – the big damn hero moment, his son, a new Enterprise, etc. But yes please let us have more queer space things, especially with Discovery ending.

George: Always. This last season laid the ground for some interesting plot threads, like a new threat with the rouge Changelings to reconstructing the Fleet and the emotional recovery of an entire generation of Starfleet personnel, and we still don’t fully know the full political landscape of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants, where are the Klingons and Cardassians? Or with a reason to go to the Gamma Quadrant, new opportunities to get back to exploring.

Kelas: I would kill for Garak to be the shadowy second of the Cardassian leader, while married to Bashir.

Was there a character you thought was misused, underused, and/or should have been used more?

Dean: Nearly all of the new characters from Picard seasons one and two i felt were thrown to the curb. And I feel sore about Laris not even getting a last scene.

Kelas: Echoing Dean and adding Lore. Elnor was Picard’s surrogate son in a way, so not having him along when Jack’s around feels cheap. Laris, my beloved, got so freaking shortchanged between Zhaban being offed off-screen and then left behind on Earth. I’ll never be cool with how they abandoned Rios instead of bringing his new family to the future. Agnes could have fit into s3 in a very different way instead of the pretty run-of-the-mill blow-it-up solution. And then Lore, oh boy. I could write things about Lore, but in short Data and Lore even touched on it – he never was given affection, a home, a family, a chance. I did like that he was partially the agent of his own destruction, but I guess I kinda wanted more of Data and Co. seeing him for his wounds. Even Vadic got that recognition.

Avery: I want to see more of both the La Forge sisters. While we got to know Sidney a bit better than Alandra, I’d like more of both (together & apart). I’m curious if Alandra was transferred to the Enterprise to fill their need for a Head of Engineering. I was also bummed to see T’Veen die so soon, and am now hoping we’ll at least see her on Lower Decks or Prodigy (if she doesn’t outright take a trip to the Black Mountain).

George: I think we’re all in agreement with the sidelining of the bulk of the La Sirena crew, beyond the potential Jack and Elnor sibling rivalry, what would Picard or Raffi have done if Elnor have been assimilated? Laris would have been instrumental in helping to uncover the Changling conspiracy, and to just have her exit stage right with no explanation of their status after was just bad. And whatever happened to Number One? We saw this dog once and that was it, did the Romulans kill him when they attacked Picard at home?

Dean: Maybe the changelings killed them both off-screen. While season 3 had a decent enough plot over 2, I felt uncomfortable that they junked a lot of the good stuff from seasons one and two just to have all-out fan service for Next Gen nostalgists. I enjoyed the fan service but once the crew was all together it felt like things got silly pretty quickly.

Avery: You do see Number One briefly at the beginning of season 2, so he survived the Romulan attack, at least. And a doppelgänger dog in 2024 LA (in the episode “Watcher”) might suggest he’s more like Gary Seven’s cat Isis, or something.