Star Trek: Picard - S2 E4 - "Watcher"

  
Via:  Dig  •  5 months ago  •  23 comments

By:   Maggie Lovitt

Star Trek: Picard - S2 E4 - "Watcher"
 

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From Collider

March 24, 2022

‘Star Trek: Picard’ Season 2 Episode 4 Continues to Search for the Watcher | Review

'Star Trek: Picard' doesn't shy away from talking about real-world atrocities.


S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Star Trek has never shied away from making political statements or underscoring the fundamental and fatal flaws in humanity and Star Trek: Picard Season 2 is driving that point home in its fourth episode, “Watcher.” While Rios (Santiago Cabrera) is dealing with the cruel and inhumane treatment at an Immigration Detention Center, Picard (Patrick Stewart) is given a crash course about why Guinan (Ito Aghayere) is unwilling to give humanity circa 2024 another chance. The series doesn’t shy away from portraying Customs and Border Protection agents as malicious and vindictive or commenting about how the 21st century traded hoods for business suits. The last two episodes have highlighted homelessness, climate change, and political turmoil that paint both a bleak picture of our own present and the lead-up to what we know will happen in Picard’s future if they aren’t able to stop Q (John de Lancie).

“Watcher” is split into two major storylines; the first being Raffi (Michelle Hurd) and Seven’s (Jeri Ryan) search for Rios, and the second being Picard’s race against time to track down the Watcher before it’s too late. At the start of the episode, Raffi and Seven arrive at the free clinic where they are informed that ICE agents took Rios into custody. They attempt to track him down at the Los Angeles County Police Department, but they are met by complete disinterest by the Deputy at the front desk. Fortunately, someone in the waiting room (Karl T. Wright) is kind enough to inform them that the ICE detainees are taken to the Immigration Detention Center where they are “disappeared.”

With the added pressure that Rios might be taken somewhere that they can’t find him, Raffi decides that the best way to get information about Rios’ location is by breaking into a cop car and stealing a police computer. Seven has her reservations about breaking into a police vehicle, especially since Raffi has smuggled a phaser onto Earth, but in the end, Seven is the one driving the getaway police vehicle. This whole sequence from start to finish allows for a lot of fun quips between the two, including some playful banter from Agnes (Alison Pill) who thinks Raffi and Seven need to learn how to communicate better with each other.

At the Detention Center, Rios parts ways with the doctor (Sol Rodriguez) that he risked his life for and learns the hard way not to get cocky with the Customs and Border Protection agents. He tries to intervene when they’re being mean to another detainee and ends up getting tased. Since he won’t give them his name—and his admission that he is Captain Cristóbal Rios of the USS Stargazer goes over like a lead balloon—he ends up on a bus headed to unknown regions. Hopefully, Raffi and Seven are able to get to him in time in the next episode because they weren’t able to in “Watcher.”

After a brief trip to Château Picard, where Picard reminisces about his childhood and “memories of things that have yet to occur” he decides that he needs to go to the location of the coordinates that the Borg Queen (Annie Wersching) supplied them with, in hopes that he might track down the Watcher before it is too late. When he arrives on Earth he finds himself on a surprisingly familiar street—Forward Avenue, home of Guinan’s 10 Forward bar. However, this isn’t the Guinan that he knows yet. For those who may not be as intimately familiar with Star Trek: The Next Generation, Guinan is from a race of “listeners” known as El-Aurians, and also one of Picard’s oldest and most trusted confidants. But none of that occurs until the 2360s, and in 2024 Guinan wants very little to do with the old man who has walked into her bar.

After a shaky start, Picard finally gets Guinan to talk to him, and she reveals that she is planning to close down 10 Forward and leave Earth for good. With the rampant unrest and hatred, the bigotry, and the Earth’s rapidly declining climate issues, she no longer wants anything to do with humanity. She is giving away all of her worldly possessions to the homeless population, shuttering her bar, and even giving her pitbull Luna away to “Uncle Dale.” Last week Star Trek: Discovery had an unexpected Stacey Abrams cameo and this week Picard brought in Brian “Q” Quinn from Impractical Jokers in a walk-on role as Dale.

Guinan seems largely unphased by Picard’s questions about the Watcher and even shrugs off the fact that she gets time sickness when he quotes back wise words she tells him in the future, but when he reveals that he is Jean Luc Picard everything changes. Guinan reveals that the Watcher is more of a “Supervisor” who oversees the destinies of select individuals—sort of like a guardian angel. But Picard certainly isn’t prepared for the reveal of who his guardian angel is and neither is the audience. Guinan takes Picard to meet the Watcher, and he is escorted by a number of unsuspecting hosts that the Watcher jumps into, before he finally arrives at the end of a tunnel where a woman is waiting for him with her back turned to him. It’s Laris (Orla Brady), the Romulan that Picard sort-of-kind-of had a thing with. The reveal is certainly a surprise, but there are a few lines from Season 1 that, upon further inspection, may have set the groundwork for this. Particularly the moment the two shared where she talked about worrying that Picard had forgotten who he is.

The episode closes out with Q trying to meddle with the mind of a blond woman (Penelope Mitchell) who has dreams of exploring space. Q seems quite disappointed that he can’t just snap his fingers and make things happen the way he wants to—which will undoubtedly lead to more mayhem as the rest of the season unfolds.



The Ready Room | Director Lea Thompson Talks Star Trek: Picard's L.A. Car Chase


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Dig
Professor Guide
1  seeder  Dig    5 months ago

Another great episode, with several callbacks to earlier Trek. 

A few thoughts...

I guess punk rockers on San Francisco city busses in 2024 are kinder and gentler than they were in the 1980s, LOL. I got a kick out of them updating the lyrics of the song to "I still hate you."

We got more backstory about Picard's family and the chateau, including an explanation for the British accent: The family evacuated to England in WW2, and apparently stayed there until Picard came along. In an earlier episode we saw a young Picard and his mother when they were first moving back. 

The Agnes and Borg queen thing is intriguing. Could Agnes possibly be the queen we saw in episode 1, hiding her identity with a mask?

I found it weird that Guinan's bar at 10 Forward Avenue existed long before 10 Forward on the Enterprise-D. I'd assumed it was the other way around, that she'd opened the bar much later on Forward Avenue because of the name "10 Forward" from the Enterprise. Guess not.

It turns out Guinan isn't the Watcher after all. I suppose El-Aurians are listeners, not watchers. Still, why didn't she recognize Picard? She met him in 1893 in the TNG episode "Time's Arrow." 

She knew the name, though, if not the face. After Picard identifies himself she tells him that the watcher is a Supervisor, one of several beings peppered throughout the Galaxy, assigned to protect the destiny of certain individuals. In other words, timeline maintenance stuff. This is a direct carry-over from the Original Series episode "Assignment: Earth," in which Supervisors were sent to Earth to protect the timeline. However, the Supervisor from that episode (Gary Seven) was a regular human who had been raised and trained on a secretive, unknown alien world. The one Picard meets seems to have very non-human powers, such as the ability to take people over as hosts, which she used to lead Picard to her. We don't yet know why she looks like a human version of Laris.

I actually re-watched the TOS episode "Assignment: Earth" this evening, and I'm positive of a direct connection because of the transporter effect used by the Supervisors in both episodes — the bluish, swirling cloud effect that the Laris supervisor and Picard transported away in is pretty much the same one shown when Gary Seven transported around in "Assignment: Earth."

And the final scene, in which Q seems to have lost his power or something, takes place in "Jackson Roykirk Plaza." Jackson Roykirk was the builder of the Nomad space probe, encountered by Kirk in the Original Series episode "The Changeling." Also, the book the woman is reading in that scene is a Dixon Hill mystery, The Pallid Son.

Cool stuff. This show is definitely getting interesting.

What did you guys think?

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
1.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dig @1    5 months ago
Could Agnes possibly be the queen we saw in episode 1, hiding her identity with a mask?

Intriguing.

I didn't make the connection to Assignment: Earth.  Good catch.

You caught a lot of Easter eggs that completely escaped my notice.

I liked this episode, except for one thing.  Seven and Raffi's car chase scene.  To me, it was overdone.  Too many near-misses.  Too much arguing when they needed to be driving, which is something Seven would have seen as inefficient.  They were going too hard for laughs, and it came across as a bit annoying.  To me, anyway.

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Guide
1.1.1  seeder  Dig  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.1    5 months ago

I didn't really care for the car chase, either. I feel a little bad about that because Lea said it was a lot of work and took three days to film, but some things just don't have a Star Trek vibe, IMO. I'm not even sure that Seven should've known how to operate the vehicle. I mean she just turned it on, threw it in gear, and took off. She was swerving and stuff, but still.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
1.1.2  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dig @1.1.1    5 months ago

It reminded me a lot of the silly fighting between Spock and Uhura in Into Darkness while en route to Qo'nos.  Just silly and annoying.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
1.1.3  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Dig @1.1.1    5 months ago

Dig you missed another homage to a previous Trek.

The guy with a boom box on the bus. It was right from "The Voyage Home" when Kirk and Spock asked the guy to turn down his boom box and he got nasty and Spock knocked him out with the death grip. This time, the guy was overly nice about it, despite looking much like the guy from the movie. 

Made me laugh out loud. 

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Guide
1.1.4  seeder  Dig  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @1.1.3    5 months ago

That made me laugh, too. I did mention it, though. That's what my comment about kinder and gentler punk rockers on San Francisco busses was referring to.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
1.1.5  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Dig @1.1.4    5 months ago

Oh sorry! I see that now. It just didn't click at first.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
1.1.6  sandy-2021492  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @1.1.3    5 months ago

I just read that the kinder, gentler punk rocker was played by the same actor as in the movie  The Voyage Home.

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Guide
1.1.7  seeder  Dig  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.1.6    5 months ago

Woah! The possibility of that didn't even occur to me. That's pretty cool.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
1.1.8  sandy-2021492  replied to  Dig @1.1.7    5 months ago

Me, neither, and it's been so long since I watched the movie that I wouldn't have recognized him, anyway.

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
Professor Guide
1.1.9  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @1.1.3    5 months ago

I read somewhere that he is Shatner's nephew.

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Guide
1.1.10  seeder  Dig  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @1.1.9    5 months ago

Is that right? I can't find anything about that. Cool if he is, though.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
2  sandy-2021492    5 months ago

Oh, and I caught part of The Ready Room.  I didn't know Lea Thompson was directing now, but she's doing a good job at it.  And has she found the Fountain of Youth, or what?

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Guide
2.1  seeder  Dig  replied to  sandy-2021492 @2    5 months ago

Yeah, she looks great. Time has certainly been kind to her.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
2.1.1  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Dig @2.1    5 months ago

And she seems like such a down to earth person.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
2.1.2  sandy-2021492  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @2.1.1    5 months ago

I remember reading an interview of her back in the 90s or early 2000s.  She trained first as a ballerina, planning to make a career in dancing.  Mikhail Baryshnikov told her she was too stocky, at 5'4" and 90 pounds.  So she switched to acting instead.  She told the story as a joke, which is probably about the best way anybody could have taken such a critique.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
3  Perrie Halpern R.A.    5 months ago

OK so here is something that hit me about the young Guinan. In Next Gen, when Piccard meets Guinan in the past (with Mark Twain), which is 150 years earlier then now, she looked like the old Guinan. Ummm... a bit a mistake I would say.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
3.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @3    5 months ago

I noticed that, too.  Star Trek always did have continuity errors.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
3.1.1  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  sandy-2021492 @3.1    5 months ago

I have found that they normally find a way to make them work, like with the Klingon's ever-changing forehead, but this would be a tough one to explain away.

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Guide
3.2  seeder  Dig  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @3    5 months ago

They even used Whoopi Goldberg a few episodes ago in the season premiere, but I guess they felt they needed a younger person to play Guinan in 2024. It is weird, though, considering Whoopi already played her in 1893.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
4  sandy-2021492    5 months ago

256

 
 
 
Dig
Professor Guide
4.1  seeder  Dig  replied to  sandy-2021492 @4    5 months ago

LOL

 
 
 
evilgenius
PhD Guide
5  evilgenius    5 months ago

I still haven't seen last week's episode. I need to catch up! Picard, Halo, Moon Knight starts tomorrow... 

 
 

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