The excitement of Patrick Stewart reprising his role as Jean-Luc Picard was palpable for Star Trek fans from the moment he announced the return in 2018. It took two years for the vehicle of said reprisal, Star Trek: Picard, to arrive, and when it did, it was underwhelming. Apparently, however, the show got enough streams that it lasted for another two seasons, the final of which appeared earlier this year.
While Seasons 1 and 2 had their moments, both lacked the magic of Star Trek: The Next Generation, in which Stewart’s Picard was a driving force. Nearly 80 years old when the first season of Picard premiered, Stewart seemed unable to recapture the confidence and fortitude he’d created in the original series. That didn’t change in the second and third seasons.
Heading into Season 3, viewers knew this would be the final season of Star Trek: Picard. In flashes of nostalgia, familiar characters from Next Generation show up, including William Riker (Jonathan Frakes), Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis), Worf (Michael Dorn), Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden), Data (Brent Spiner), and Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton)—not to mention Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) from Star Trek: Voyager.
The foundation for Season 3 of Picard traces back to an episode in Season 7 of The Next Generation in which Picard and Crusher have a relationship that produces a pregnancy that Crusher hid from Picard until now. The product of the TNG episode, Jack Crusher, is the focal point of Season 3 of Picard.
Confused? That’s okay, watch the show and it’ll make more sense—hopefully.
From early in the third season of Picard, it seemed evident the show was setting up a spinoff as it introduced the crew of the USS Titan, which includes Seven of Nine and Ensign Sidney La Forge (Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut), daughter of Geordi La Forge. Captain Liam Shaw (Todd Stashwick) is the gruff commanding officer on the Titan who, in my opinion, would make the perfect next installment in the line of Star Trek captains. The storyline had other plans for Shaw, but the possibility of a new spinoff is very much alive.
It was nice to see Dorn, McFadden, Spiner, Sirtis, Frakes, and Burton reprise their TNG roles in Picard, though none of them did so in convincing fashion, based on their original performances.
Of the three seasons of Picard, Season 3 was the best, though, like Seasons 1 and 2, it failed to recapture the specialness of TNG. In spite of that, the introduction of new characters and new situations for existing characters was enough to make the show’s final season a must-see for Star Trek diehards.
Despite its inability to recapture the TNG magic, Picard ended on a positive note with its final scene, which closed the distance Capt. Picard created between himself and his crew throughout TNG’s run from 1987 to 1994.
All episodes of Star Trek: Picard are currently streaming on Paramount+.