Star Trek: Picard Series Finale Recap: The Next Generation Crew Gets a Fitting Send-Off… But What's Next?

Star Trek: Picard signed off after three seasons by giving Jean-Luc and his Next Generation pals the final mission they’ve always deserved… but maybe this story’s not over just yet.

star trek picard series finale season 3 episode 10 watch paramount plusThursday’s series finale picks up where we left off, with Jean-Luc and company aboard a refurbished Enterprise-D and headed to Earth to stop the Borg’s impending attack. We learn from Federation President Anton Chekhov (that name sounds familiar…) that the Borg have assimilated all of Starfleet’s young cadets and taken over its fleet, and they’re about to destroy the only defense system protecting Earth. The Enterprise crew looks for where the Borg commands are originating from and traces the signal to a massive Borg cube hiding out in Jupiter’s eye. They decipher the signal… and it’s Jack’s voice. Jean-Luc declares they need to stop that signal, no matter what: “What began 35 years ago ends tonight.”

While Seven and Raffi manage to retake the Titan by transporting the Borg-infected crew off the bridge and locking them in the transporter room, Jean-Luc prepares to beam down to the Borg cube to stop the transmitter and find Jack: “Let me bring him home,” he implores Beverly. Riker and Worf volunteer to go with him, and on the Borg cube, it’s oddly quiet and littered with a bunch of Borg corpses, which explains why they need the reinforcements. Jean-Luc sends Riker and Worf to locate the transmitter while he searches for his son, finding Jack wired into the cube and fully Borgified, spouting Borg-approved rhetoric. Jean-Luc says he’s here to bring Jack home, but the Borg Queen interrupts to say Jack is already home… and so is Jean-Luc: “At last, Locutus has returned.”

Star Trek Picard Series Finale Riker WorfThe Titan crew figures out that if they cloak, they can drop out of the Borg’s fleet undetected, so they manage to get in a few good blasts on the enemy ships, but the Borg are still punishing Earth’s defenses. On the cube, Jean-Luc offers to take Jack’s place in the Borg collective, but the Borg Queen laughs him off. She doesn’t just want assimilation; she wants evolution, with “a new generation of Borg” that includes Jack. As she says that, a few dormant Borg wake up and attack Worf and Riker as they reach the cube’s central access node. Worf gamely takes them on with his sword, but he gets hit by phaser fire and retreats, showing Riker there’s a phaser hidden in his sword’s hilt, which Riker uses to dispatch the Borg. Why didn’t Worf just use the phaser, then, Riker asks? “Swords are fun,” Worf replies.

They send the transmitter coordinates to the Enterprise, and the ship would have to fly into the very center of the Borg cube to reach it, but Data is confident: “My gut tells me I can do this.” (Hey, Data has a gut now!) He pilots them right into the heart of the cube with breathtaking agility as the Borg-infected ships take out Earth’s defense system and start targeting the planet’s most populous cities for destruction. (Plus, the Titan is a sitting duck after the Borgified crew escape and knock out their cloaking device.) Data reaches the cube’s core and finds the transmitter, but to stop it, they’d have to destroy the cube… and everyone on it. A tearful Beverly nods her approval, and Geordi warns Riker and Worf that they’ll only have a minute or so to get off the cube after the Enterprise fires. Meanwhile, Jean-Luc realizes that the only way to reach Jack is to become a Borg himself.

Star Trek Picard Series Finale Jean-LucJean-Luc jacks a Borg cable into his own neck and zaps back into being Locutus, meeting Jack in a pristine virtual world. Jack marvels at how there’s no pain and no fear inside the Borg collective: “It’s perfect.” Jean-Luc warns him that it isn’t real, though, and remembers how he always looked to Starfleet to be the family he never had — until he met Jack. (“You are the part of me that I never knew was missing.”) Time is running out, and the Enterprise is forced to fire on the Borg transmitter and fly away to safety. Jean-Luc tells Jack if he’s not leaving, then neither is Jean-Luc, pulling him in for a tender hug, and as Jack flashes back to warm family moments with Jean-Luc and Beverly, it snaps him out of his trance, and he and Jean-Luc break free from their Borg cables. The Enterprise had lost track of their friends on the Borg cube, but when Riker talks to himself, telling Troi he loves her, she senses it, and that allows the Enterprise to zero in on their location, zipping in to beam up Jean-Luc, Jack, Riker and Worf and zoom away just as the Borg cube explodes. Yay!

The Borgified youth, including Geordi’s daughter Sidney, all come to their senses now that the Borg have been eliminated, and Jean-Luc proudly gives Jack a tour of the Enterprise bridge. Starfleet fixes all of its ships’ transporters to purge all Borg genetic code, thanks to Beverly’s efforts, and figures out a way to detect Changelings, too. Seven informs Tuvok that she intends to resign from Starfleet, but after seeing the glowing recommendation left for her by the late Shaw (aw!), he promotes her to captain instead. Worf helps Raffi reconnect with her son and granddaughter, and Data now has so many human emotions, he’s boring Troi to tears with them during their therapy sessions.

We flash-forward to a year later, as Jack nervously prepares for his first Starfleet posting. He’s been assigned to the Titan… which has been rechristened the Enterprise-G! Seven is the captain, with Raffi as her first officer, Jack as “special counselor to the captain” and Sidney onboard as well. (“A bunch of ne’er-do-wells and rule-breakers, really,” Jack notes with a sly smile.) The Next Generation gang gets drunk at a bar together, and Jean-Luc toasts with a quote from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. (“We must take the current where it serves, or lose our ventures.”) They clink glasses, and then Jean-Luc pulls out cards for a game of poker! The old friends laugh as they play a few hands, with Jean-Luc taking home a big pot: “I’ve come to believe that the stars have always been in my favor.” And as the cards are dealt, the camera pulls overhead, just as it did in the Next Generation series finale.

Star Trek Picard Series Finale QBut wait! There’s more! In a mid-credits scene, we see Jack settling into his quarters on the ship when he’s confronted by — Q! “I thought you were dead,” Jack quips, but Q tells him not to think so linearly. “Young mortal, you have much ahead of you,” he adds, noting that Jean-Luc’s trial may be over… but Jack’s has just begun.

Whoa… once you’re recovered from all of that, Trekkies, give the Picard series finale a grade in our poll and then beam down to the comments and tell us: Would you watch a Jack Crusher and Q series?

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