When Vadic (Amanda Plummer) and the Shrike follow the starship further into a hazardous nebula, the tension on board the U.S.S. Titan continues to rise. This is because the ship is unable to leap to warp at this point. Nevertheless, tension isn’t the only thing that’s building; feelings are as well. In the third episode of Star Trek: Picard Season 3, both Picard (Patrick Stewart) and Jack (Ed Speleers) are confronted with the reality of their newly discovered relationship. This comes on the heels of the big reveal that took place the previous week.
Picard is confident that Vadic will continue to follow them no matter where they go until they surrender, while Captain Shaw (Todd Stashwick) is not looking to yield his ship at any cost. Picard is convinced that Vadic will continue to pursue them no matter where they go until they surrender. Since there was no other course of action available to him, he gave the order to the crew to steer the ship further into the nebula in the vain hope that they would be able to dislodge the Shrike.
Despite the fact that the crew of the Titan is in obvious and present danger, they are eager to point their fingers at Jack and blame him for the attack. This is especially true given that they do not know why Picard has been so insistent that Shaw protect Jack. Jack (Gates McFadden) is cautioned by Beverly (Gates McFadden) that it is not worth getting angry over because the crew is going to need them because of their medical background. Beverly says that the staff is going to need them.
The episode begins with a flashback to a brief period of time immediately after the birth of Riker’s (Jonathan Frakes) son, during which Riker and Picard had reunited to celebrate Thad’s birth. This time period occurs before the opening titles roll. This scene prepares the audience for a pivotal moment that will occur toward the end of the episode. Riker will explain to Picard how dangerous the birth of Thad was, and he will also inform him that it takes approximately seventeen seconds for the turbo-lift to travel from the bridge to the sick bay on the Titan.
This scene will set the stage for the pivotal moment. There are several reasons why this is such a painful time in the story. First, since Riker’s kid does end up passing away, making all of Riker’s darkest nightmares come true, and second because it is abundantly evident that Riker hopes Picard could also have the opportunity to experience parenthood. Picard is further informed by Riker that once a person becomes a parent, they will “destroy the whole Earth to rescue their children.” This is a reference to the music that Picard and Beverly were both listening to at the beginning of the series.
In order to get some answers concerning their current situation, Picard and Riker pay a visit to Beverly and Jack while they are working in the sick bay. Beverly and Jack are taking care of patients. Riker makes an attempt to entice Jack away, but Jack is quick to object and insists that anything Picard might need to say to his mother can be addressed in front of him. Riker’s attempt to lure Jack away from the situation fails.
However, Beverly pushes him to go with Riker, and she does so for a good reason: there are clearly portions of their conversation that would have been difficult to address in front of him, and leaving with Riker would allow them to avoid such awkward situations. Even if the revelation in Episode 2’s quietly made for a meaningful and riveting narrative, Picard still has a lot of questions to which he demands answers, beginning with “why.”
Beverly reveals that when she departed the Enterprise, she was certain that they had both realized that they were finally at the end of their on-again, off-again romance. Nevertheless, their relationship had been on-again and off-again for quite some time. They made an effort to make the most of their shore vacation, but he was summoned back to the ship earlier than expected. This was the typical outcome.
Picard didn’t anticipate that the loss of their romance also meant the death of their friendship, nor did he realize that he would be left wondering what he did wrong because he never saw her again after they broke up for the fifth time. At that moment, they ended their relationship for the fifth time. Beverly insists that the reason she hid the fact that she was pregnant from Picard was that his life was too dangerous.
She says that there was always someone trying to kill him or that he was always dashing off into a dangerous scenario. Picard can’t wrap his head around why Beverly hid the fact that she was pregnant from him. She had her doubts that he would leave Starfleet, especially after learning that he never wanted to have a family because he was too terrified of becoming his own father. This led her to believe that he would not leave Starfleet.
Picard is understandably angered by this development since it gives the impression that Beverly is shoving his father in his face, and he has every reason to feel this way. Picard is able to tell Beverly that he now knows that he would never have become his father, but he points out that he could have learned that twenty years earlier by becoming a father. Because Season 2 focused so much on the trauma that Picard still carried from his father, he is able to tell Beverly that he now knows that he would never have become his father.
They come to somewhat of an impasse, with Picard pointing out that Beverly deprived him of the chance to decide for himself, while Beverly is adamant that she chose the best option available to her under the given circumstances. Being the son of Jean-Luc Picard means always having a bullseye on your back, as she ominously points out.
Jack and Riker are having an equally heated talk somewhere on the Titan; however, theirs is a touch more fun, and it potentially provides a look into what life could have been like for Jack if Riker had been a figure similar to an uncle for him. Jack urges Riker to stop looking at him like a science experiment, but Riker pushes back that Jack is indeed a bit of a science experiment because he spent years with Picard and Beverly watching Jack get cooked up.
Jack tells Riker to stop looking at him like he is a science experiment. It is precisely the kind of thing that each and every child hopes to hear about their parents. Riker tries to talk some sense into Jack by pointing out that everyone is flawed, and that he can’t truly hold their predicament against Picard. Jack makes it obvious that he does not want anything to do with referring to Picard as his “dad.” Jack gives in a little and admits that his mother was always so delighted to tell him stories about her time aboard the Enterprise, despite the fact that her happiness would frequently give way to grief during those recollections.
Riker responds that he does have a family by saying that he is married and has a daughter as well as a son who has passed away. As Jack finally understands why Riker is so eager to create a connection between him and Picard, you can notice a change in his demeanor, even though it’s a rather quiet scene.
Picard and Beverly are in the sick bay, and he is asking her questions about the Shrike. The tension between them has subsided somewhat. Beverly responds that she is unaware of who Vadic is and adds that the Shrike is only the latest in a long line of individuals who are attempting to track them out. Throughout the past few weeks, no matter where they have gone or who they have talked to, the result has always been the same: someone has betrayed them and is attempting to steal Jack from her.
She is certain that it has nothing to do with Jack and everything to do with Picard, despite the fact that she is unaware of who is chasing them or the reason for it. After the disclosure of this information, Beverly tells Picard that Jack acquired his accent while he was attending school in London and that she did in fact give him the chance to meet his father. The topic of discussion then moves back to the couple’s son. She reveals that when Jack was old enough, she told him everything he needed to know about Picard and gave him the opportunity to locate him and meet him, but in the end, Jack chose that he didn’t want to find him and that he would rather not see him.
Following each of their talks, Riker and Picard come together, and Picard immediately adopts an exceedingly reserved posture. Riker makes an effort to probe and find out how the talk with Beverly went, but Picard labels it all as “immaterial,” despite the fact that it is very certainly not immaterial. Picard isn’t really interested in listening to reason, so Riker tries to persuade him to talk to Jack by citing his own personal tragedy as an illustration of why Picard should try to make the most of the time he has left with Jack. But, Picard isn’t very interested in talking to Jack.
Especially not at a time like now when the Titan is in danger. As soon as they get to the bridge, the Shrike emerges from the nebula and begins firing at the spacecraft, throwing everyone within into complete disarray. As a result of Captain Shaw’s serious injuries, Riker is forced to take leadership of the Titan. Shaw has faith that Riker will be able to guide the ship to safety despite his reluctance to do so. Riker assumes the role of Captain, and as Picard takes the seat next to him, the latter makes a witty comment to Will, saying, “I think it may be time for you to call me Number One.”
When Shaw is carried down to sickbay, Beverly and Jack are aiding the injured crew members in the space when Shaw is brought down in a fairly critical state. Since Beverly has recovered from her own injuries, she has been at odds with the doctor of the Titan, who seems very reluctant to use “old-fashioned” medical practices or to relinquish any control to another medical professional. Since Beverly has recovered from her own injuries, she has been at odds with the doctor of the Titan.
As Shaw is brought in, and Beverly discovers that the imaging done by the doctor did not pick up on the fact that Shaw had internal bleeding, they come to blows once more. When Shaw is having trouble catching his breath, he musters up just enough power to grab hold of Jack and confront him over how Vaidc continues to locate them. At first, it seems as though Jack does not know what is going on, at least not until he looks down at the floor and notices the trail of blood left by Shaw.
Riker is attempting to think of a strategy to escape being captured by the Shrike once more on the bridge of the Enterprise. He gives instructions to the crew to “keep them squirrely” while they move through the nebula in order to throw off the Shrike’s tracking abilities. Picard, on the other hand, is certain that they must engage in combat with the Shrike; however, Riker does not appear eager to investigate this possibility.
Riker comes to the conclusion that, given that they are unable to warp, their best option would be to depart the nebula as soon as possible; but, before they can do so, the Shrike retakes its position above them. The Shrike uses the portal weapon, the same weapon that was used to devastate the celebration in the first episode, in order to lure the Titan directly into their grasp. It places the starship in a precarious scenario from which they have very few alternatives for evading capture or destruction.
When Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) was sent to her quarters in the previous episode for disobeying orders, Alandra La Forge (Mica Burton) went to see her. Seven of Nine was confined to her quarters for disobedience in the prior episode. When Alandra arrived, Seven was listening to music that was really depressing as she was pouting about her circumstances. Alandra made an attempt to show Seven that she understood by drawing parallels between their respective predicaments.
It was stated by Alandra that she has always had a difficult time fitting in and establishing friends, particularly due to the fact that the majority of people only see her as Geordi La Forge’s daughter. Seven receives a visit from more than just Alandra during the course of the episode. After being prevented from communicating with Riker and Picard on the bridge about his hypothesis, Jack immediately reports to Seven in her quarters. He asked her about the “blood in the water” strategy because he was aware that she had previously served as a Fenris Ranger. Together, they came to the conclusion that the Titan must be leaving some kind of trail, which is enabling the Shrike to follow them.
Seven and Jack decide to investigate the source of the leak together, but before they can do so, they need to find a way to sneak past the cop who is watching Seven’s door. Before punching the cop out cold and continuing to act nonchalantly about the situation, Jack plays coy about it. As they make their way to engineering, Seven says to Jack, “You’re nuts,” while at the same time shoving the unconscious officer out of the way so that she and Jack may continue on their journey.
They are required to wear gas masks after discovering that there is some kind of gas leak in the engineering area, which they find when they go there. They are also able to uncover the proof that they require to establish that they have been sabotaged, and Seven reports to the bridge that there is a saboteur on board. There has been a particular ensign (Chad Lindberg) who has been behaving in a very suspicious manner during the course of the first three episodes, and it all comes to a head while Jack is attempting to investigate engineering.
Chad Lindberg is the one who has been acting extremely shady. In an effort to prevent Jack and Ensign Foster from repairing the damaged equipment, Ensign Foster launches an assault on Jack, during which he removes Jack’s gas mask and leaves him vulnerable to the poisonous gas.
When Jack’s body begins to shut down as a result of the toxic gas, he starts to have hallucinations of an eerie red chamber with a red door. Although it is highly improbable that this is a reference to Jane Eyre, which is well-known for its use of the literary allusion to “The Red Room,” the situation seems to be more complicated for Jack than just getting poisoned. Jack is rescued from the chamber filled with toxic gas just in the nick of time by Seven, who returns just in the nick of time.
As they arrived at sick bay, he was already showing signs of deterioration, and Beverly immediately understood how serious her son’s condition was. Picard, upon being made aware of the issue, immediately boards the turbo-lift and goes through the identical ordeal that Riker had previously described to him about the duration of the ride, which is seventeen seconds.
This segment of the show is extremely well-crafted, as it alternates between Picard’s excruciatingly lengthy trek and Beverly’s frantic attempts to bring Jack back to life. Both of these storylines are intercut throughout this segment. It is because of this circumstance that Picard is ultimately compelled to breach the barriers that he has erected around himself.
It is impossible for him to reject the fact that he is a parent at this point, even if it is just on paper. Even before Picard realized that he was, in fact, Jack’s biological father, he had painstakingly erected a barrier between the two of them. Now, as he stands by Jack’s bedside and watches as his vital signs go flat and Beverly struggles to bring him back to life, something finally shifts in Picard’s countenance. Jack’s vital signs have gone flat. Beverly is working to bring him back to life. In a manner similar to Riker’s account of Thad, Picard is having a life flash before his eyes; but, this life is not his own; rather, it is the life of his son.
Raffi’s (Michelle Hurd) inquiry into the deadly attack is still going on despite the fact that she is on the opposite side of the galaxy. Raffi groggily awakens on La Sirena after her bad experience with Sneed’s Splinter drug in the previous episode; nevertheless, she discovers that she isn’t alone when she does so. She becomes curious when she hears music coming from someplace on the ship, so she goes to check and finds that Worf (Michael Dorn) is practicing his moves.
She is well aware of who he is and refers to him as a legend. This is a label that is regularly applied to each of the cast members of The Next Generation in the series but with varying degrees of reverence and apathy. Worf discloses to the viewers what they already knew from the last episode, which is that he is her handler, and he also adds that he is now working for Starfleet as a type of contractor.
He says that he advised her to disengage from the mission because he was frightened that she would get herself murdered, a worry that she almost made a reality by going after Sneed. He told her to disengage from the mission because he was worried that she would get herself killed. After some back and forth, Worf reveals that he has tracked down a person by the name of Titus Rikka and believes that this person paid Sneed to lie about the weapon. As they learned this, they decided to go after him jointly and began their search.
They track Titus down in the filthy underbelly of M’talas Prime and bring him back to La Sirena for questioning when their mission brings them there. Because Raffi has had similar experiences in the past, she is able to spot the signs that he is high on drugs and utilizes this to her advantage when she is trying to get information out of him. Although Raffi and Worf try to play good cop and bad cop with Titus, they are only able to coax a limited amount of information out of him.
Yet, the information that they do coax out of him seems to hint at a far greater narrative that is about to emerge. Titus divulges the information that the men who were responsible for the attack are “enemies of the Federation,” and that the objective of the attack was never the portal weapon; rather, it was to maintain Starfleet’s attention elsewhere.
Raffi and Worf gradually put together that something significantly more important has been stolen from Daystrom, but the discovery that Titus is a Changeling throws a wrench into their plans and undermines all they have learned up to this point. This ties in with the events that are taking place on board the Titan, where Jack has come to and disclosed that he was attacked by a Changeling after regaining consciousness. Ensign Foster is seen planting a bomb on the Titan while Worf is providing Raffi with information on the tense relationship that exists between Changelings and Starfleet.
Picard and Riker get into an argument on the bridge of the Titan about Riker’s “fear of loss,” which is a terrible thing to throw in Riker’s face after Picard has just suffered a fraction of the pain that Riker felt when he lost his kid. Riker and Picard both serve on the bridge of the Titan. Picard unwillingly agrees with Riker’s command to sit down and keep his mouth quiet, despite the fact that Riker orders him to do so. Riker makes an effort to prepare the ship for a warp out of the nebula; but, before they can do so, the bomb detonates, and as a result, they lose an engine.
Picard had been pressuring Riker to fight the Shrike throughout the whole episode, and now that Riker is trapped and has no way out, he gives in to Picard’s demands and attacks the Shrike. They execute a U-turn with the ship and unleash all of their weaponry on the Shrike, which ultimately results in the ship collapsing in on itself. Despite the fact that Picard and Riker were aware that the Shrike is in possession of a portal weapon, neither of them imagined that Vadic would use the weapon in such a way as to induce the Titan to basically fight itself.
Picard’s foolhardy plan of attack caused the Titan to sustain fatal damage, and Riker tells Picard that “You’ve just killed us all.” This occurs in the closing moments of the episode “Seventeen Seconds,” when Riker orders Picard to leave the bridge because Picard’s plan caused the Titan to sustain fatal damage.
The Titan’s crew is put in a position where they cannot possibly succeed in the third episode of the Picard series, which dramatically raises the stakes. They are helpless in the sea, hemmed in by a perilous nebula, and have a formidable foe hot on their heels. When you consider the human stakes involved, the situation at hand makes the Kobayashi Maru appear like a game for children.