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Warning! The following contains spoilers for the Star Trek: Picard episode "Maps And Legends." Read at your own risk!
Star Trek: Picard's latest episode was a rough one for the iconic character, as Jean-Luc Picard learned he no longer had the support or love of Starfleet that he once had. Picard also got some troubling news from the doctor, learning that there is a potential issue with his mind. While the episode didn't say for certain what was wrong, the moment may be a callback to Star Trek: The Next Generation and an illness mentioned back in the series finale.
In "All Good Things," Q took Picard on a journey through time, though it was not immediately known that was the case. The jump between the past and present revealed that Picard potentially contracted Irumodic Syndrome, which was first seen as a possibility by Dr. Beverly Crusher in the episode's present timeline, when she spotted an anomaly in his brain's parietal lobe. Crusher said it was possible Picard could live his whole life without developing the defect, though future timelines in the episode alleged he had contracted it.
Irumodic Syndrome is a neurological disorder in the Star Trek universe that can take several years to prove fatal. Until that time, those diagnosed will suffer symptoms of confusion and delusions. It does eventually end in death, and the only known medication prescribed for it is Peridaxon. Unfortunately, the Peridaxon is only palliative, and there is no known cure for Irumodic Syndrome.
All Star Trek: Picard has revealed for now is that it remembered Picard's defect in the parietal lobe from The Next Generation. Also, the future timelines Picard visited in TNG were retconned, as confirmed by the characters towards the end of that series finale. This means there's no guarantee the former Admiral will contract the illnesss, though having this defect, in general, does increase his odds.
If Jean-Luc Picard is beginning to show signs of Irumodic Syndrome, it's going to cause some issues for this new adventure he's about to embark on. Picard is going to have a hard time completing this mission and manning a crew if he's seeing things that aren't there, or gets confused about the circumstances of situations that he's in. It may even give the viewer cause to pause, and question some of the things we've seen or will see going forward.
My thought is that it's just a way to make Star Trek: Picard finite, and put a timeline on the second journey of Jean-Luc Picard. Plus, Star Trek: The Next Generation mentioned the abnormality in its series finale, so it would've been a disservice for the continuation not to address it in some way. Whether it will actually have an impact on Picard remains to be seen, though one has to think this conversation will foreshadow some future event in Season 1.
Star Trek: Picard airs on CBS All Access, Thursdays at 3:01 a.m. ET. Stick with CinemaBlend for more on the world of Star Trek as it rapidly expands, and for the latest news happening in the world of television and movies.