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How Star Trek: Picard's Latest Q Twist Might Be Explained By The Next Generation

Q looking on during Star Trek: Picard
(Image credit: Paramount+)

Warning! The following contains spoilers for the Star Trek: Picard episode "Watcher." Read at your own risk!

Star Trek: Picard really put all of its characters in a bind, and even Q is struggling after the show went back to the year 2024. The powerful (and occasionally dangerous) being was in the midst of concocting a scheme to derail some poor woman's career by planting bad thoughts in her mind, but when he snapped his fingers, nothing happened. Q realized his powers aren't working, and while we didn't learn why, the answer may come from the classic Trek series, The Next Generation

The Paramount+ series has used past storylines from Star Trek: The Next Generation to flesh out Picard adventures before, and I'm wondering if the same thing is happening with Q's recent power blockage. Those who watched "Deja Q" in TNG likely know where I'm going with this, as the episode revolved around the Q Continuum stripping Q of his powers and dooming him to live as a human. Given that it's another example of when Q lost his powers, now seems like as good a time as any to revisit that episode and what it could tell us about Picard Season 2. 

Why The Q Continuum Took Away Q's Powers In "Deja Q"

Q's power removal (which created another classic moment in his ongoing feud with Guinan) in Star Trek: The Next Generation happened when the Q Continuum punished Q for spreading chaos throughout the universe. After seeing how he recently transformed the Prime Universe (and maybe even impacted other Trek shows) and potentially irrevocably changed the timeline if Picard and friends can't stop the event he altered, I'd say he created sufficient chaos to earn punishment from the Q Continuum. 

We don't know if that's what happened on Star Trek: Picard just yet, but we know what it'll look like if that happened. For one, Q wasn't able to access any of his powers and was effectively human. So, if we see Q use his powers after this moment and they work, it's possible the Q Continuum isn't responsible. On the other hand, if Q has to start living like a human and trying to manifest chaos that way, it's possible they're responsible. It's also worth noting Q only regained his powers after a selfless act to protect Picard and crew, which doesn't seem like something he'll do on Picard anytime soon.

How This Distinction May Answer A Big Question About Star Trek: Picard

Many Star Trek fans are curious about the state of the Q Continuum. Star Trek: Discovery's Admiral Vance noted that it'd been "centuries" since anyone heard from the group (the series is set far beyond the events of Picard Season 2), and Picard told Q early on in Season 2 that he didn't look well. Suffice to say there's plenty of speculation that the Q Continuum is unwell or might even be dying. I certainly believe Q has a motive for all this trouble he's caused, though I'm unsure if it's related to Picard or it's self-serving. 

If the Q Continuum is disrupting Q's plans, then it stands to reason that the Continuum is alive and well for the time being. If the Continuum isn't involved and Q's powers still aren't working, that seems like more evidence that there's something up with Q's people, and they could play into Q's motives for trying to interfere in time. Knowing the answer to this one detail won't answer the Borg Queen's motives for helping Picard or whether or not Elnor will come back for the dead, but it will hopefully give us some more answers to what's going on with the Q Continuum and how involved they are in Star Trek: Picard Season 2. 

Star Trek: Picard streams on Paramount+ (opens in new tab) on Thursdays. Pick up a Paramount+ subscription to catch up on Season 2 and gear up for all the other Star Trek shows headed to television in 2022

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.