Star Trek: Picard - S2 E10 - "Farewell"
By: Maggie Lovitt
May 5, 2022
‘Star Trek: Picard’ Season 2 Finale Review: Even Gods Have Favorites
The season finale manages to send fan favorites off into new lives with happily ever afters amid tearful farewells.
The second season of Star Trek: Picard has come to an end with its aptly named finale, “Farewell.” While the penultimate episode offered closure on most of this season’s plots last week, the finale ties everything up in a neat little bow and finally sheds light on why Q (John de Lancie) set all of this into motion in the first place. The episode tugs at the heartstrings at every corner—ushering fan-favorite characters into new lives, killing off others, and bringing an air of finality to Q’s “final act.” Despite all of this, “Farewell” feels like a happily ever after, so long as they don’t pull an Into the Woods (undoing the happy endings established before the final act) when they return for the third and final season.
The episode opens with the crew trying to unravel the prophecy that Agnes (Alison Pill) provided them with last week: one Renée must live, one Renée must die. Picard (Patrick Stewart) realizes what the prophecy means at roughly the same moment that Tallinn (Orla Brady) realizes that in order to save the future, she is going to have to be the one to die. As Tallinn sets off to save Renée (Penelope Mitchell), Picard decides at the last minute to go with her, much to her chagrin. Picard wants to be the hero, he wants to save her from her impending death, but Tallinn is having none of that. She points out that saving Renée is her job, and it’s her decision, and her decision alone, if she chooses to die to fulfill that duty.
Seven (Jeri Ryan), Raffi (Michelle Hurd), and Rios (Santiago Cabrera) head to Dr. Soong’s lab, following a hunch that he has a larger plan to sabotage the Europa Mission. When they arrive he is nowhere to be found, but he has rigged the lab to make them think he’s inside. Instead, Picard spots him at the Europa launch, charming (strong-arming) his way through quarantine protocols.
In a race against time, Tallinn suits up in a flight suit and heads off to find Renée before it’s too late. Renée is startled by a stranger barging into her quarters, but then she realizes she’s seen Tallinn before. Not just at the gala a few nights ago, but throughout her life. Tallinn reveals what her purpose was, how she had been watching and guiding Renée throughout her life, and she warns her about what will happen if she doesn’t go up with the Europa Mission. Before the launch happens, Soong seemingly finds Renée alone, wandering the hallway and alarmed about a strange woman who was talking to her. Thinking that he has finally caught her, Dr. Soong uses a neurotoxin attached to his hand to poison “Renée.”
Back at Dr. Soong’s lab, the crew discovers that he has programmed a small fleet of drones to shoot down the space shuttle. Things seem dire once the drones take off, but with a little fast-thinking from Rios and Raffi, Rios is able to commandeer one of the drones and cause the rest to crash into each other, essentially saving the day.
Tallinn dies in Picard’s arms, but her death is not in vain. As she takes her final breaths, Picard urges her to look up—the sentiment that has been repeated throughout the series—and she watches as Renée and the flight launch off into orbit. With the future safely secured, Tallinn dies having accomplished her life’s mission. Her death becomes even more poignant when the crew returns to the chateau where Q is waiting for Picard in the solarium. Picard wants answers for why Q put him through all of this turmoil and, for once, Q is ready to pull up a chair and explain himself.
Q is dying, which is something that we learned two episodes ago, but now he clarifies that he’s not just dying, he’s dying alone. He doesn’t want Picard to face the same fate as him, which is why he’s meddled with time and space to teach him a lesson. Ironically, this is something that fans had qualms about when this series premiered. Picard had stepped out of public life, pulled out of his commitments with Starfleet, and was living a quiet life on his vineyard. This didn’t seem like the Picard we knew and loved from The Next Generation, and clearly, Q felt the same way. Picard pushes back, wanting to know why he matters so much to Q, and the answer is quite simple. Even gods have favorites and Picard happens to be Q’s favorite.
As Picard hashes things out with Q, Seven and Raffi finally have a moment alone to consider where their own relationship stands. But first, they talk about Rios, who is happier than either of them has ever seen him while he plays house with Teresa (Sol Rodriguez) and Ricardo (Steve Gutierrez). Seven and Raffi finally share a much-deserved kiss and make their amends. Their relationship still hasn’t been the most developed in the series, but at least they’re making headway on getting on the same page with each other.
Dr. Soong returns home and discovers that Kore (Isa Briones) is slowly deleting every file on his computer, ensuring that he can’t play mad scientist with any more of her siblings. Soong may have failed to stop the Europa Mission and his daughter may have thwarted his project, but he still has one more trick up his sleeve—Project Khan. Time has a way of connecting everything together, soon, rather than later. Speak of time. After deleting all of Soong’s files, Kore is contacted by someone who she assumes is Q, playing another trick on her. Only it’s not. It’s the Traveler, formerly known as Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton) who wants to recruit her into becoming a Traveler, to help him protect the natural flow of time. With all those mentions of Watchers and time travel, we should have known Wesley would show up. If this isn’t a major plot point in the final season, Star Trek: Picard may have just set up a backdoor pilot for a Doctor Who-ish spin-off. There’s definitely an audience for it.
At Picard’s prompting, the crew leaves the chateau to meet up with Q on its grounds. Raffi is understandably not thrilled about coming face-to-face with the man responsible for Elnor’s (Evan Evagora) death and Q points out that he didn’t technically kill him. While Picard, Seven, and Raffi deal with Q, Rios, Teresa, and Ricardo huddle together in the background, and you know what’s coming. Q presents them with the opportunity to go home and Rios decides he’s not going with them. He’s found home with Teresa and Ricardo. Raffi, who has been his closest friend for years, is the most torn up about him staying behind, but she also understands that he’s always been looking for home. Picard tells him to “Make a good future.” and that’s that.
Before the trio is transported back to the future, Picard and Q share a heartfelt farewell that feels like a genuine goodbye. Not just to the character Q, but to this era that has been underscored by Q’s meddling. Q didn’t just torment Picard—he was a frequent nuisance on Star Trek: Voyager and an anchor point for this particular era of Star Trek. Saying goodbye to Q feels like saying goodbye to an old friend and Picard beautifully plays out those emotions. With one last “Mon Capitaine,” Q sends Picard, Seven, and Raffi back into the future they belong in.
Once more, they’re transported back into the moment they were yanked out of—a ship set to self-destruct and a Borg queen taking control. Only, the voyage to the past has given Picard new information. Everything they set into motion in 2024, already came to pass in the present they were living. The Borg queen is Agnes and everything comes full circle at that moment as Picard fits it all together.
The Borg are trying to save their quadrant of space from a “Galactic Event” that is primed to destroy everyone living and traveling through the region. In order to deflect and contain the power of its explosion, they required the use of the entire Starfleet fleet’s shields, and Agnes knew that she could count on Picard to help her. Once the crisis is averted, they realize that a new trans-warp conduit has been born, and the Borg!Agnes explains that they desire to become the Guardians of the Gate. In order to fulfill this new role, they request a provisional membership in the Federation. Only Agnes could have brought the Borg to a point in time when they could feasibly become members of the Federation. It’s actually quite remarkable that Star Trek: Picard was able to pull off this evolution so flawlessly. At every turn, they built up this plot and pulled it off with perfect execution.
In the midst of all of this chaos, Raffi learns that Elnor is alive—Q’s last little surprise for them. Picard also places Seven in charge, making her Captain, at long last. A well-deserved promotion for someone overlooked by Starfleet.
After the dust settles, the crew makes their way to 10 Forward for a round of much-needed drinks. Picard and Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg) catch up about everything that has now come to pass for Picard, and she shares a bit about Rios’ life in the 21st century. He and Teresa started a medical supply initiative to help people in need. Renée became part of their lives, with Guinan referring to her as Ricardo’s “Auntie Renée.” Teresa lived to a ripe old age and Rios died like he lived—fighting and smoking cigars.
If you have been reading my reviews each week, then you will know that Rios is my favorite character in Picard. Like, Q, I have a favorite too. It was clear when Teresa was introduced that something would happen with this duo—either she would go to the future or he would stay in the past, and the decisions made in this episode work so well with the roguish character we’ve come to know and love. Rios becoming the Captain of a Starfleet vessel at the onset of the season felt like a disingenuous journey for the character, yet it came full circle with his decision to stay with Teresa and Ricardo. It felt like a bad fit for him because it was. He had a life in the future, but he wasn’t fully alive until he arrived in 2024.
As excited as I am about more original cast members from The Next Generation arriving in Season 3, I had my reservations about how they would fit into the cast of characters that have been the lifeblood of Picard. Allowing Rios to gracefully bow out of the future by providing him with a life well lived and loved is more fitting than relegating his character into the background without giving him a happily ever after. That’s a fate worse than dying in a bar fight over medical supplies in Morocco. Besides, should they decide they want Santiago Cabrera to make an appearance, there are five holograms aboard La Sirena that happen to look like him.
Despite all the heartbreak in this episode, the second season of Star Trek: Picard featured brilliant storytelling from start to finish. It built on key aspects from the first season, fleshing out this new world while connecting to the much larger Star Trek canon. Characters were smartly utilized to propel the central part along while developing their own storylines and giving them as much closure as the overarching plot received.