Star Trek: Picard Episode #2: Maps and Legends Recap

(Spoilers ahoy)

The second episode of Picard is here, and it’s a doozy. I guess.

Episode One of Star Trek: Picard set us up for the story ahead: The Romulans are possibly up to something and they are searching for Data’s daughter for some unknown purpose. Dahj is killed at the end of the episode but Picard quickly finds out that there is another somewhere in the galaxy. Cue daughter numero dos and we are met with a big Borg cube being excavated.

Picard uses Maps and Legends to answer some of the questions we had from the last episode. For starters, Picard’s Romulan housekeepers are members of the Tal Shiar, the Romulan intelligence agency. They are here for Picard’s own protection. The Tal Shiar is a thing from established Star Trek canon.

Maps and Legends introduces some hokey sci-fi mumbo jumbo in the form of a CSI device that can recreate crime scenes. Bad news, as the Romulans have overwritten the thing and they can’t quite recreate the scene where Dahj and her boyfriend were attacked to see who pulled it off. This is the work of the Zhat Vash, a whole new level of Romulan secret police. Imagine the Super Gestapo that even the Gestapo doesn’t know about. The Zhat Vash is new.

The Romulans have been the assholes of the galaxy since the Next Generation and it doesn’t look like Picard is going to plot them any differently. Generally the Romulan’s job is to be like the North Korea or Soviet Union of Gene Roddenberry’s world, constantly plotting behind the scenes to stab the federation in the back, using secret organizations and subterfuge while operating under a thin disguise of diplomacy.

So as a long time Next Generation fan, it didn’t surprise me when Picard gets the truth bomb dropped on him that fourteen members of the federation had threatened to pull out if the Federation did not drop the Romulans like a bad habit. And why wouldn’t they? The Romulans are bigger villains than the Original Series Klingon, they’re just quieter about their world conquering and enslavement of species.

Picard’s attempt to get a ship in this episode goes badly, as you would expect given he publicly dropped a squat on the Federation’s reputation during his TV interview. He’ll need to find a ship some other way. The show immediately tells us that the Federation was right in painting the Romulans as villains as we see that the orders to kill Dahj came from very high up in the Romulan government. Oh and now they’re thinking about killing Picard.

Meanwhile on Planet Borg Artifact, sister Soji is boning down with Narek who we absolutely knew from moment #1 that he was working with the bad guys. He’s working with the bad guys, only his MO involves injections that less of the truth serum variety. Soji is part of a team reclaiming Borg who had been left stranded by the collective.

Picard is diagnosed with an advanced form of the Irumodic Syndrome he had suffered in the finale All Good Things. His doctor clears him for space travel but tells him hopefully whatever this adventure he’s going on will kill him before the disease does.

Maps and Legends is much of a filler episode and rather slow compared to last week’s piece. It sets the story in motion for where we’ll be going this season and how we’re going to get there.

Rating: B+

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