Star Trek Picard (S01E04) “Absolute Candor”

Greetings to all trekkies, old and new. It’s time for my review of the latest episode of Star Trek Picard entitled ‘Absolute Candor.’ Let’s get right into things.

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Picard talking with Zani. Photo from IMDB.
All about Vashti

The episode opens on Planet Vashti 14 years ago. There is a Romulan Re-Location Hub. Picard (Patrick Stewart) beams into the village. He reassures the people that things will be ok. Picard visits with a sisterhood of nuns and comes bearing gifts, including the book ‘The Three Musketeers’ for a young boy named Elnor (Ian Nunney). He voices his concern with Zani (Amirah Vann) about finding a place for Elnor.

Picard stays awhile to teach the young child how to fence and he reads him the book. Soon Picard gets the news about the synth attack on Mars, and he leaves the settlement.

Back in the present, the ship is making good time. Dr. Jurati (Alison Pill) is attempting small talk with Captain Rios (Santiago Cabrera). She starts rambling on about space and how it should be ‘vast quantities of stuff’. Soon Raffi (Michelle Hurd) comes up to the bridge. Raffi is not happy that they are making a stop at Planet Vashti.

way of absolute candor

Picard is in a holo-suite that has been replicated to be his study. Raffi and Rios come to confront him. They tell him it’s a bad idea to go to Vashti. Dr. Jurati comes in, and they have a meeting. Rios tells Picard that there is a power vacuum in the sector. Gangs running wild.

The sisterhood is called the Qowat Milat. Essentially they are Romulan combat nuns, and Picard is hoping they will help him. There is a phrase used in the sisterhood ‘The Way of Absolute Candor’. There is no filter between thoughts and words, which is counter to regular Romulan behaviour.

Raffi talks with Picard and tells him to remember ‘one impossible thing at a time’. Picard is insistent on seeing the sisterhood. On the Borg cube, Soji (Isa Briones) is watching a video where Ramdha (Rebecca Wisocky) is talking about the Day of Annihilation, and how the Destroyer is at the centre of it.

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Picard on Vashti. Photo from IMDB.

Picard cannot get onto the planet, because they do not have clearance, and the defense shield would destroy the ship.  The Central Station is not impressed with Picard, so they resort to a ‘cash gift’ to get him onto the planet. When he beams in, he finds a very closed off community who ignore his greetings. He goes to see Zani, and asks for her help one last time.

just walk away

Ramdha is not well. She is ‘disordered’. Soji visits with her. She has lunch with Narek (Harry Treadaway) and tells him that he ‘challenges her paradigm’. Soji asks him if he is Tal Shiar. He says no. She asks him if he knows anything about the Shaenor, and Narek says he knows someone who can access the classified records to help her get some answers.

Narek then tells her about a ‘ritual’. Curious, Soji follows him to the ventilation return. They take off their shoes and slide across the walkway. They are having fun, and end up kissing. Narek kills the mood when he tells her that there is no record of her being on the Ellison, the ship she was on when they arrived at the cube.

The Romulans are pretty upset, and back on the ship, Raffi informs Picard that The Kar Kantar are coming in their old Bird-of-Prey. Picard laments to Zani about how much poverty and degradation there is in the community. Zani tells him that they’re upset that he did not save anyone.

Elnor (Evan Evagora) is now a grown man. he is still with the sisters. Picard sits down with Elnor and inquires if there is a ritual to pledge his blade to him. Elnor asks for a story. Picard tells him about Data and his offspring Dahj and Soji. Picard wants Elnor’s help because of his skills and youth. Elnor refuses to help him, saying that Picard abandoned him, so now he is doing the same.

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Elnor shows up at the duel. Photo from IMDB.
rocking the boat

Picard goes to a ‘Romulan Only’ restaurant. Takes the sign down, and proceeds to ‘rock the boat’. A former Romulan senator tells him of the Nightingale, the huge transport ship that had carried thousands of Roumlans to Vashti. He says Picard gave up on them. He also accuses Picard of taking advantage of the Romulan’s suffering.

There is a duel. It is short-lived when Elnor shows up and beheads the former senator. Elnor pledges himself to Picard. The Qalankai. Picard offers a heartfelt apology to the crowds and expresses his sorrow at what happened.

Elnor and Picard are transported back onto the ship. Picards reprimands Elnor for killing the Romulan in cold blood. He tells Dr. Jurati that Elnor pledged himself to a ‘lost cause’.

Rizzo (Peyton List) visits Narek in his quarters. Narek has been closely studying and following Soji. He tells Rizzo that Soji was sent to the cube for a reason. Rizzo starts choking him, demanding him to tell her who she is. Narek eventually gives up the information that Soji is Seb-Cheneb. The Destroyer. Rizzo gives Narek one week to get the information before she comes back and employs more violent methods.

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Captain Rios piloting the ship. Photo from IMDB.
the pilot

Meanwhile, onboard the ship, Picard and the others are struggling to get away from the Bird-of-Prey. The ship is trying to force the ship near the planet’s defenses. Another ship shows up. It starts engaging with the Bird-of-Prey but is shot down. The pilot is able to hail them and is beamed aboard just before the ship is destroyed. It’s Seven of Nine. (Jerri Ryan) who says ‘You owe me a ship Picard’ before she falls unconscious.

**

Well, how about that ending huh? I was not expecting that at all. So the crew of four is now a crew of six. It should be interesting to see the character dynamics develop.

Overall, it was a brilliant episode, definitely getting into the swing of things now. I am super excited to see what happens next.

Catch another episode of Star Trek Picard on Thursday, February 20th on Crave.

Thanks for reading my review.