Star Trek Picard (S01E07) “Nepenthe”

Hello, fellow trekkies.  The episode of Picard this week was calmer than the last few episodes have been but it was an excellent episode. On with the review!

The tracker

The episode opens up to a flashback 3 weeks ago at The Daystrom Institute. Commodore Oh (Tamlyn Tomita) pays a visit to Agnes (Alison Pill). Oh informs her that she knows about Maddox and the work he’s been doing. Oh asks Agnes for help.

Using a mind meld, Oh shows her what would happen if androids were allowed to exist. It’s several images flashed together that basically look like the equivalent of Armageddon. Oh provides Agnes with a tracker and tells her to go with Picard (Patrick Stewart) on his mission, and that Agnes would have to make a great sacrifice.

Back to the present, and La Sirena is being detained by the Artifact’s tractor beam. Narissa (Peyton List) tries to get the whereabouts of Picard and Soji (Isa Briones) from Hugh (Jonathan Del Arco). He is very stoic and refuses to give up the information.

In turn, Narissa orders his people to be executed in front of him. Meanwhile, Narek (Harry Treadaway) is on a ship ready to follow La Sirena wherever it goes via the tracker in Agnes.

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Picard and Soji arriving at Nepenthe. Photo from IMDB.
a reunion

Narissa is disappointed that she can’t kill Hugh because he is part of the Federation. She lets the ship go. Elnor (Evan Evagora) tells Rios (Santiago Cabrera) that he wants to remain with Hugh. Rios reluctantly leaves him on the Artifact and starts flying to Nepenthe.

Picard and Soji arrive on Nepenthe and are greeted by a young girl wielding a bow and arrow that she points at them. Soji is worried, but Picard assures her everything is fine. He calls the young girl Kestra (Lulu Wilson) and asks her to take them to her parents.

On the way there, Kestra chats up Soji. Tells her that she is a pacifist and that she has a broken compass. Picard tells Soji everything that has been going on, and how Dhaj was killed. Soji doesn’t believe him.

They arrive at the house. Kestra’s mother is Deanna Troi (Maina Sirtis). She hugs Picard and says “You’re in trouble. How bad?” Picard tells her it’s pretty bad. Kestra calls her dad, who is in the kitchen. It’s Will Riker (Johnathan Frakes).

wisdom

Picard and Riker have a reunion of sorts. Riker asks Picard if he remembers what he told him when Picard went off to go save the Romulans. One of the things Riker said was, ‘No good deed goes unpunished.’

Picard admits that he is in way over his head and that he had a plan, but it turned out to only be half a plan. Riker says he needs a new plan. Both Deanna and Will offer their unconditional support and help to Picard.

Kestra and Soji bond. She peppers Soji with lots of questions about being an android and tells her about Data. Soji becomes very sad and Kestra does her best to comfort her.

Deanna and Picard go into Thad’s old room. Thad was Deanna and Will’s firstborn. He died. He would have been 18. Deanna remarks that she is not as brave as she used to be. Picard replies ‘Then you are getting wiser’.

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Picard reunites with Riker. Photo from IMDB.
real is better?

Back on La Sirena, Rios knows he is being tailed by one of the Romulans. He tries to shake him off, but the ship keeps coming back. Agnes really wants to go home and starts freaking out. Raffi takes her away from the bridge to try and calm her down.

As Will is making dinner, he introduces himself to Soji before she goes off again with Kestra to get tomatoes from the garden. Will ‘speculates’ about what is going on, and comes up with the Tal Shiar are hunting Soji because she is an android created with Data’s DNA.

He says this is a case of ‘classic Picard arrogance’ and that Picard doesn’t get to decide who is and isn’t involved with what is going on, because now everyone is involved. Will also says that he doesn’t think Picard can handle what is basically a teenage girl.

Soji and Deanna have a heart-to-heart in the garden. Deanna gives Soji a tomato. She tries it and says that it is real, and real is better.

Deanna talks to Soji about Thad, who had invented 12 different languages. Since he grew up on Starships, he dreamed of having a homeworld on his own. He invented one and called it Ardani, which means ‘home’.

Thad was diagnosed with a rare disease that was curable with the help of a synth’s positronic brain, but because of the ban, there were no more synths so Thad died as a result. ‘So sometimes real isn’t always better.’

a final battle

As they walk back to the house, Soji tells Deanna what happened with Narek, and how he betrayed her. She doesn’t trust anyone or anything anymore. Is any of this even real?

Picard sarcastically replies that ‘Yes, this all an elaborate plot’. Soji pushes past him and goes off on her own. Picard gets a stern lecture from Deanna. ‘You need to be Jean-Luc Picard. Compassionate. Patient’.

Back on The Artifact, Hugh tells Elnor he wants to go back to The QueenCell. Narissa and her guards arrive to stop them from going further. Elnor protects Hugh and proceeds to kill the guards.

After a brief battle with Narissa, it ends when she throws a knife at Hugh and disappears. Her knife impaled Hugh in the neck. Hugh tells Elnor how to get into the QueenCell before he dies.

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Raffi, Rios, and Agnes on La Sirena. Photo from IMDB.
keeping it simple

On the La Sirena, Agnes and Raffi talk over some cake and chocolate milk. Raffi tells Agnes that she is ‘A  wreckage of a good person.’ Shortly afterward, Agnes vomits up her cake.

At dinner, Soji tells Picard and the others about Zhal Makh, and how Narek had tricked her into revealing the location of where she lived. Picard tells Soji about Dhaj.

He wants Soji to trust him. Picard wants to help her get home. Before Dhaj showed up, Picard was just existing. He felt haunted by his past. Now he has a mission and feels alive again.

Kestra remarks that Soji has a homeworld. Her own ardani.  As Picard, Will, and Deanna are talking about how to figure out where Soji’s home is, Kestra says she found it. She got the information from Captain Crandall.

Rios takes Agnes aside and tells her his suspicions about Raffi, and how she might have a tracker, and that’s why they can’t get rid of the ship pursuing them. After he leaves, Agnes replicates a deadly neurotoxin and injects herself with it, and goes into a coma.

saying goodbye

Elnor is trying to hide from the Romulans on The Artifact. He initiates an SOS and finds a safe spot to wait.

Picard tells Will he has a rather ‘motley’ crew. Lots of drama. He tells Will he’s thankful that he’s not trying to stop him from going on this crazy mission. Will says he knows better.

Kestra and Soji continue to bond. She tells her that when something bad happened to her, she got through it with the help of her parents. Kestra suggests that Picard could be like a parent to her. ‘You could both have each other’. Soji says she would think about it.

La Sirena finally arrives to pick up Picard and Soji. They say their goodbyes and before they leave, Kestra gives Soji her compass.

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Will, Picard, and Deanna hugging. Phot from IMDB.

**

I loved this episode so much. Mostly because we got to see Deanna and Will. I also loved it for its calmness. This episode felt like the eye in the middle of a hurricane. I can only imagine how crazy things are about to get for Picard and company.

If anyone wants some context on Data and The Enterprise, you can watch Star Trek Nemesis, which was the last film in the StarTrek TNG series.

One thing I am annoyed about. Why do they keep killing off characters that played an important role in earlier versions of Star Trek? First Icheb (who has a part in Star Trek Voyager) and now Hugh? Ugh. Please just stop killing people!

It was interesting to see the guilt that plagued Agnes. It just got worse and worse until she felt like she had to basically sacrifice herself. I wonder how angry the others are going to be when they figure out it was her with the tracker all along?

I can’t wait for the next episode!

Catch another episode of Picard on Thursday, March 12 on Crave and CBS All Access

Thanks for reading my review!