Warning! The following contains spoilers for the Star Trek: Picard episode “Monsters.” Read at your own risk!
Star Trek: Picard was a real mind trip in its latest episode, and I mean that in the most literal sense of the phrase. Tallinn dove into Jean-Luc’s consciousness in order to bring him out of his coma and, in the process, learned a lot of things about his history. Once again, the Paramount+ series dove into Picard’s past (a deliberate choice of Season 2) and uncovered a sad truth about Jean-Luc’s parents that ties back to The Next Generation.
The episode showed Picard slowly working through a deep-seated memory from his past of his mother Yvette running from his father. Star Trek: Picard Season 2 previously showed a flashback in which it seemed as though Picard feared for his mother’s safety, and there was an implication that his father mistreated her. Through the new memories, Picard learned that his mother had some unnamed mental illness, and the “mistreatment” was merely his father Maurice doing his best to keep his wife and his son safe.
Though we saw Maurice in the beginning, it wasn’t revealed until near the episode’s end that the therapist working with Picard alongside Tallinn was his father. Before he left his mind, Picard admitted to his father (or the figment of his mind he thought was his father) that he didn’t fully understand the situation in his youth and misjudged him for the majority of his life. The confession called back to what little we knew about Jean-Luc's parents prior to Star Trek: Picard, and it makes things very sad.
Star Trek: Picard Season 2 showed that he looked to stars to avoid the troubles between his parents at home. In The Next Generation’s second episode of Season 4, called “Family”, and Episode 22 of Season 7 (“Bloodlines”), we learn that Maurice Picard didn’t approve of Jean-Luc’s goals of joining Starfleet. The decision ultimately caused a rift between them, and Maurice died before the two could ever reconcile. (You can revisit the episodes streaming with a Paramount+ subscription.)
That news hits a lot harder when learning that Picard (who changed a lot since his TNG days) misunderstood his father’s intentions as a child, and his perception of his mother and father’s relationship played a part in his journey to Starfleet. Specifically, the day in which Yvette, in an attempt to escape imaginary enemies, tried to coax Jean-Luc to flee with her in the tunnels of Chateau Picard. Jean-Luc revealed that the tunnels went on in many directions, and it was easy to get hopelessly lost and even die in there. Yvette was ultimately grabbed at the last minute by Maurice, who forced his struggling wife into a room in order to prevent her from dashing into the labyrinth and harming herself.
The lesson, as hard as it was, gave Jean-Luc the key that may unlock the big mystery of Star Trek: Picard Season 2. He realized that Q’s latest trial might just be more about Q (as John de Lancie hinted) than it ever was about him or any of the other characters. As someone who knows Q better than many others, Picard believed if he could evaluate and understand Q better than he’s tried to in the past, then he might just figure out the motive. I’m hoping he’s right because I’d hate for him to be saddled with more emotional baggage about his past for no reason.
Star Trek: Picard streams new episodes on Paramount+ on Thursdays. As the season reaches the back half, be sure to get ready for all the other Star Trek shows headed to television in 2022 and beyond, and gear up for what should be an exciting rest of the year as a fan!
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.
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