This new series of Star Trek is certainly making sure it respects the past to build a future. This second episode is somewhat of a non-episode in some respects after the action of last week this weeks sees a more considered approach, putting meat on to the bones of the plot.
This was much needed, the slower pace allowed an awful lot of exposition to be delivered, we find out about Laris and Chabon, two characters which are rapidly growing into more than background actors. We now understand a little more about the attack on Mars and how the synthetics were involved. Then there is of course is Starfleet.
Starfleet is not necessarily the one we recognise from previous series although we have met our fair share of inadequate admirals, Satie, Pressmen, Doughrty and their ilk we now see a CinC how is openly hostile to Picard, and you can kind of understand her. They obviously weren’t friends and he comes to ask to be recommissioned, lead a mission and magnanimously accept a demotion to Captain. Clancey rightly questioned the wisdom of employing a retired officer who had just bad mouthed the whole organisation, she even went in in private to investigate a little herself. Now I m not saying shes a good CinC but seeing Picard stonewalled like that was an amazing scene, to see Picard treated in that way was shocking and helped show that what ever had happened in the past it was the now that was important.
The other key thread of this episode was a better understanding of the Borg Cube. The Romulan Free State have acquired the cube, called the artifact and along with specialist from across the galaxy are stripping it of technology and liberating the drones. Interestingly the ship may not be as dead as we are being led to believe.
This was a solid episode that padded out the story and setting up the next phase. We now know Picard must act alone and why, he is positioned to collect a crew and to protect his friends they must be unknowns.
What is so exciting about this series is the wider world we get to see. So far in two episodes we have seen more of Earth than in all the series, we see normal people going about their days and what life is like.
Character development is good, Laris is excellent although she obviously learned English in Ireland and it was nice to see a reference to the Stargazer. The series is doing much to cover new ground and tie in what has gone before.
The Romulans are doing something to the Borg they liberate and that is why Seven and Hugh become involved.
Narek seems unsure of his position and I suspect will turn on his masters.