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Star Trek: Picard – 3 Possible Motives For Q Altering Time In Season 2

John de Lancie in Star Trek: Picard
(Image credit: Paramount+)

Warning! The following contains spoilers for the Star Trek: Picard Season 2 episode “Penance.” Read at your own risk!

Star Trek: Picard Season 2 didn’t take long at all to get to the point, as Episode 2 put Jean-Luc Picard right into an alternate reality that is, in short, a nightmare. Picard is head of “The Confederation,” and unlike the Prime Timeline’s Federation, they aren’t too keen on accepting other nations. In fact, Picard has the skulls of most major species’ leaders in his house, including that of Spock’s father, Sarek. Q certainly has a twisted sense of humor for changing reality to this, but what is his motive for doing so? 

Why would Q make the noble Picard a tyrant, Seven of Nine the President, Raffi, Rios, and Agnes cogs in the Confederation machine, and Elnor a freedom fighter? I think there are a few possible motives, and of course, they all involve Picard. Let’s run down the scenarios and some relevant things that we’ve seen so far that might be key to Q’s extreme time-altering moment

Picard and Q in Star Trek: Picard

(Image credit: Paramount+)

Q’s Punishing Picard For The Borg Decision

Q loves to toy with Picard and challenge him, but I can’t help but feel like there’s a reason for his interference. After all, the episode is titled “Penance,” which might imply there’s some misdeed that Picard must atone for. If we’re going off recent misdeeds, Picard’s unwillingness to help the Borg and allow their entry into The Federation at their request wasn’t very nice, even given their history. I think it’s certainly possible that Q’s trial is a result of that moment, especially considering that he interfered shortly after.

Q and Picard in Star Trek: Picard

(Image credit: Paramount+)

He’s Trying to Teach Picard A Lesson About Self Care

Star Trek: Picard’s Season 2 premiere seemed to drum a lot on Picard’s commitment to obligation over personal wants and needs, and how that negatively impacts him. Picard struck out on a romance with Laris, and that’s not the first time he overlooked his own needs and buried himself in his work. This latest episode featured Q referring to Picard as the “game board” in this whole affair, so at least we know this all involves him somehow. This is the only other real conflict for Picard in the premiere, and it wouldn’t be surprising for Q to go to extreme lengths to drive a lesson home about self-care. 

Picard's crew in Star Trek: Picard

(Image credit: Paramount+)

He Needs Picard’s Help To Stop Some Unknown Event

There’s one scene in this latest episode of Star Trek: Picard that’s really strange, and it came fairly early on. When Picard attempts to figure out Q’s angle for altering reality, he asks Q to “cut to the chase,” and Q says the following in response. 

The chase is cut, Picard. The chase is bleeding. The chase is dying in your arms. And I am but a suture in the wound.

Q’s wording here really stuck out to me, as referring to himself as a suture in a wound implies to me that he’s trying to fix a problem. The fact that he’s acting as a single suture means the problem might be so large that even he can’t hope to contain it. Perhaps I’m reaching here, but I think it’s actually possible that Q is manipulating Picard into fixing some big event by creating another problem to set him on the right path. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see and hope this alternate reality doesn’t get too out of control. 

Star Trek: Picard streams new episodes on Thursdays over at Paramount+ (opens in new tab). It’s the latest of many Star Trek shows airing in 2022 and certainly another reason to justify a subscription to Paramount+

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.