Star Trek: Picard season 2 episode 4 Watcher review

Pictured: Sir Patrick Stewart as Picard of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: Trae Patton/Paramount+ ©2022 ViacomCBS. All Rights Reserved.
Pictured: Sir Patrick Stewart as Picard of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: Trae Patton/Paramount+ ©2022 ViacomCBS. All Rights Reserved. /

Welcome intrepid space explorers, and thank you for joining me on another exciting adventure through the endless expanse of sci-fi pop culture media. Our new entity for analysis: Star Trek: Picarda class M television show in its second season. The show follows Captain Jean-Luc Picard and a new crew through progress and peril after his famous days as Captain of the starship USS Enterprise. Let us begin with the fourth episode of season 2, “Watcher”.

First, a quick summary of the season so far. Picard has had yet another encounter with Q, his inter-dimensional demi-god rival. At the snap of a finger, Q has altered the course of time, changing the bright future of The Federation to a dystopian nightmare of the Confederacy (of Earth! Yay world peace.) Picard and his crew mates from last season must turn back the hands of time and correct the altered course of history before its too late.

What happens in Star Trek: Picard season 2 episode 4?

The crew has found themselves divided after landing in the year 2024. Picard and Agnes are stranded on the grounded space ship near his family’s chateau, Rios is arrested and detained, and Raffi and Seven search for clues on his whereabouts in LA. Oh, also the upper half of the Borg queen is there. She recently had a brief linking session with Agnes, through which coordinates to the important “watcher” are revealed, though not completely. However, after a brief convo in the Picard chateau, basking in the fireplace’s light that disappears every other shot, they figure out the whereabouts of the watcher. Picard beams out to investigate, while Agnes attempts to repair the starship and chitchats with the Borg queen.

The story is split up in quarters, and all together it’s…okay. For the most part, it’s just conversations in various locations. Picard meeting Guinan would be a point of interest for fans of The Next Generation, but I’m still working my way through season 1 so, no nostalgic points from me. The suspicion she meets Picard with for seeming to know her was interesting at first, but doesn’t lead to anything beyond a way to get to the next story beat. We kill more time as Guinan laments the state of the human race while Picard tries to convince her that humanity is worth another chance.

Star Trek: Picard
Pictured: John de Lancie as Q of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: Trae Patton/Paramount+ ©2022 ViacomCBS. All Rights Reserved. /

Okay, so on one hand, I like the political direction that the show is going in, in a general sense. From what I’ve seen, Star Trek: The Next Generation strived to be political in every episode it did, using science fiction technology to open the door to philosophical speculation on ethics and diplomacy. While speaking about tomorrow, it also spoke about today. As per Gene Roddenberry’s vision, the Star Trek franchise as a whole represents the ideal future for humanity; an ideal future which was easier to fantasize of in the 60’s and 90’s when American life was more stable. In today’s world, with political instability, obvious inequality, and widespread global crises, what Trekkie would be blamed for doubting that the ideal future, which Star Trek uses as a setting, will actually come to pass? This season of Picard is using that idea as the premise for its arching story, and I have to say, I think it’s a clever idea.

However, when you get into exactly what Star Trek :Picard has to say about the current state of affairs, it feels very surface level and lacking depth. Guinan’s conversation with Picard is a good example of it. There is a lot of discussion on the inequality and discrimination found in the modern day, all of which I agree with. However, what is the story doing with those issues? What is it proposing can be done? So far, not much. It is all just background details as Picard journeys towards the location of the Watcher. Don’t worry about all these real world issues audience members, for you see, once Picard solves this sci-fi problem, everything will be okay.

We get hit over the head more as we see Rios in the ICE detention center. Again, on one hand, I could give the show props for daring to explore this setting, exposing (probably) American audiences to some reality of the current policies in place today. On the other hand, it is veeeery surface level. Surprise surprise, the ICE officer who Rios talks with is a cruel as**ole. In making that character so hatable, the show easily makes the whole ICE department hatable. And fair enough, ICE is a horrible department and its methods of border security are worthy of harsh scrutiny. However, by having this cartoonishly evil guard, it gives the show an easy target for the audience to hate while speaking little or nothing on the larger problems at play. The show essentially treats it with the same political thought as if Rios had been captured by the slime monster and put in a slime prison.

Raffi and Seven’s story of trying to find Rios is a bit more interesting. Well, I mean, they steal a car and have a driving chase scene. That’ll get the blood pumping right? I suppose it should have, however what ruined it for me was that I knew well ahead of time how they would be getting out of the situation. Be honest with me, how many of you guessed that Agnes was going to restore beaming abilities to the ship just in time to get them out of there?

Star Trek: Picard season 2 episode 4 gets a C-

Well, that’s this week’s episode of Star Trek Picard, “Watcher”. Not too great, being frank. I’m hoping with Raffi and Seven rejoining Rios (I think that’s what will happen), that the next episode won’t divide itself up so thin. More room for complete episodic stories. Either way, I’ll catch you on the next one. For now, Picard out.

Grade: C-

Watch new episodes of Star Trek: Picard Thursdays on Paramount+.

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