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STAR TREK: PICARD S1E03 - Hugh Returns and The Crew Comes Together

Read this review to find out if Star Trek: Picard episode "The End is the Beginning" is worth watching

About Star Trek: Picard

  • Season 1, Episode 3: "The End is the Beginning"
  • Directed by Hanelle Culpepper
  • Written by Michael Chabon & James Duff
  • Synopsis: Completely unaware of her special nature, Soji continues her work and captures the attention of the Borg cube research project's executive director. After rehashing past events with a reluctant Raffi, Picard seeks others willing to join his search for Bruce Maddox, including pilot and former Starfleet officer Cristóbal Rios (Santiago Cabrera).
  • Airdate: February 06, 2020
  • Starring: Patrick Stewart, Alison Pill, Isa Briones, Michelle Hurd, Santiago Cabrera, Harry Treadaway, Jonathan Del Arco, Peyton List, Jamie McShane, Tamlyn Tomita, Orla Brady, Rebecca Wisocky, Sumalee Montano, Graham Shiels, Son of Lee
If you want to avoid spoilers for this episode then skip to the overall section at the end.

Warning: Spoilers for Star Trek: Picard Season 1 Episode 3 The End is the Beginning"

Recap Star Trek: Picard: S1E03 - The End is the Beginning

The third episode of Star Trek: Picard opens with a flashback of Raffi Musiker (Michelle Hurd) and Jean-Luc Picard's (Patrick Stewart) last meeting fourteen years ago. Picard is furious. It's after the destruction of the fleet on Mars. Starfleet is unwilling to rebuild the fleet of ships to help save the Romulans from the coming supernova. She suggests using synthetics to build the crew but the ban on synthetic life makes that impossible. Musket doesn’t believe the synth attack was a programming error but the work of the Romulan cabal Tal Shiar. He doesn’t buy it but tells her he gave an ultimatum that either they help save the people or accept his resignation. Surprisingly they accept it. Rossi is aghast and then gets a message to come to CNC. She immediately recognizes she’s being punished for his efforts. She’s furious with him for giving up and stomps away without acknowledging his pleas.

The episode cuts back to the future when the two are talking in Raffi's home at Vasquez Park in California. She’s mad at him that she lost her security clearance and doesn’t say exactly what happened. We have to assume she was fired but maybe she was reassigned? Either way, he’s living in a French chateau while he’s living in a mobile home in the desert. What hurt her the most she says is that he never tried to contact her in fourteen years. She was left alone smoking snakeroot and wallowing in self-doubt. It’s a touching moment and makes her appearance all the moving. Hurd is wonderful in this scene but her performance feels a little off.

Meanwhile in the Borg Artifact Soji Asha (Isa Briones) meets with the director of the Borg Reclamation Project. It's Hugh (Jonathan Del Arco)! He's almost unrecognizable with his full head of hair and scars where the implants have been taken out of his face. It's an awesome moment but raises questions. Does he work for Romulans now? Anyway, he noticed that she had spoken to the "Nameless" and doesn't show the same hatred for the ex-Borg (xB) that everyone else has. He grants the anthropologist permission to talk to a former Borg named Ramdha (Rebecca Wisocky).

Back on Earth Raffi and Picard are arguing. Mostly with her doing the yelling. The only way he convinces her to continue talking is to tell her the Romulans are on Earth and Tal Shiar operatives are real. He says they have to be working with the Federation. She still refuses to help but offers to get him a pilot.

At another part on Earth, Dr. Agnes Jurati (Alison Pill) is enjoying a picnic outside at the Daystrom Institute when she's surprised by Commodore Oh (Tamlyn Tomita). The Vulcan knows she's been talking to Picard and wants to know what they talked about. Dr. Jurati immediately knows there's something strange going on because why would the director of Starfleet Security want to talk to her?

On the old Borg cube, Soji and Hugh visit a room with 12 Romulan xBs in it. They're clearly not well since they're all wandering around doing simple and repetitive tasks. Hugh takes her to a frizzy-haired woman sitting at a table and it's Ramdha laying some ornate cards on the table. She doesn't acknowledge them.

The show switches back to Musiker and the constant cuts in this episode show how hard the director is trying to keep us in the time and space. She said she's not interested but can't resist looking into Picard's claims. He contacts her and she reluctantly answers his call. Picard says he's sending a file over on Bruce Maddox and ignores her protests. It's kind of weird seeing him ignore her wishes but he must know her better than she knows herself.

We catch up with Picard as he's beaming onto the transporter room of Rios' spaceship La Sirena. There he meets a curious Emergency Medical Hologram (EMH) similar to the Doctor on Voyager. The EMH takes him to a man sitting shirtless with a piece of metal sticking out of his shoulder. It's Cristobal 'Chris' Rios (Santiago Cabrera) and he looks exactly like the EMH. It's a little jarring but he throws whiskey on his cut, smokes a cigar and snaps at the doctor to get the metal out. The EMH obviously is used to the abuse and tends the wound but gets deactivated before he can heal the cut by regenerating skin. Guess he likes the scars.

Picard and Rios talk about the mission and agree it's dangerous and possibly illegal. But Picard notices that Cristobal has a history with Starfleet and can "smell" it on him. That's about the creepiest thing I've ever heard Picard say. After Musiker traces Maddox to a place called Freecloud the team decides to head there but not before he stops at Chateau Picard.

A huge fight scene breaks out when Romulan Zhat Vash assassins attack the compound. Zhaban (Jamie McShane) and Laris (Orla Brady) fight them all using weapons hidden under every table. The fight is amazing and just makes me love the two even more. But just when it looks like their losing Dr. Jurati shows up and kills a Romulan attacker. They try to interrogate the last assassin but he dissolves himself with acid hidden in his mouth before talking. Pretty gross.

Meanwhile back on the Borg cube, Soji is trying to get Ramdha to tell her what happened to the cube. They talk about the cryptic nature of the cards which Soji thinks are for fortune-telling and then the xB goes nuts calling her a "Seb-Cheneb" the Destroyer and tries to kill herself. Clearly, Soji has a deep connection to the Romulans. She goes out and calls her mother (Sumalee Montano) who says her sister is doing fine. She's clearly lying since Dahj is dead. Then, suddenly Soji passes out. She wakes up in Narek's quarters and he's trying to figure out how she knew so much about Ramdha and her ship the Shaenor. She can't explain it so he distracts her by telling her he loves her. Goofy stuff and I'm just not buying their relationship.

Narek meets his sister Lieutenant Narissa Rizzo (Peyton List) and the two talk about their plans. This scene is incredibly creepy as the two whisper in each other's ear and moves like their making out. Disgusting and bizarre. Anyway, back at Chateau Picard Dr. Jurati decides she's going with them. Rizzo's not happy but it's not her call. So they beam onboard Rios' ship. There's a wonderful moment when he looks wistfully at the captain's chair before smiling and saying "engage". I didn't know I could be so happy to hear him say that but it's awesome. They take off and head for Freeland.

Overall Star Trek: Picard - S1E03 - "The End is the Beginning": Recommended

3.5 out of 5 stars

It's taken three episodes but we finally have the ship and team together at last. At least until one more crew member joins in the next episode. The show is coming together nicely. Michelle Hurd does a great job channeling the pain of Raffi Musiker's life after Starfleet and her bitterness at Picard's abandonment. Santiago Cabrera is a stand out in this episode as he effectively plays three different people with different accents and personalities. The rest of the cast is filling out and is really a ragtag team. It's like the exact opposite of the Enterprise and is perfect. The episode spends most of the time on world-building and characterization which is both good and bad. Not my favorite episode but it works. Hanelle Culpepper does a good job juggling all the scenes to give them a coherent feel and the screenplay by Michael Chabon and James Duff is sharp with great dialogue.

Easter Eggs and Trivia for Star Trek: Picard: S1E03 - The End is the Beginning

  1. The name of the ship is La Sirena which means "The Siren" in Spanish. It can also mean mermaid which is the name given to a water creature with the head and upper torso of a woman and the tail of a fish. In opening images, Picard wears a pin that looks like a stylized mermaid.
  2. Picard says he was relying on ships from "Eridani A" and "Beta Antar". These are references to the 40 Eridani A Starfleet Construction Yards and Beta Antares Ship Yards. They were first shown on the dedication plaques of starships USS Brattain in the Enterprise episode "Night Terrors" and USS Prometheus in the Deep Space Nine episode "Second Sight".
  3. In Star Trek: The Next Generation all the Rolumans had distinct forehead ridges. Laris calls one of the Romulan assassins a "stubborn Northerner". This episode establishes that the Romulans with ridges are Northerners.
  4. On The Next Generation whenever Picard would tell a crew member to send the Enterprise into warp speed he would say "Engage". This is the first time he's used the catchphrase since Star Trek: Nemesis.
  1. Commander Oh wears sunglasses when approaching Dr. Jurati. This isn't because of the sun. In the Enterprise episode "The Forge" T'Pol says that Vulcans don't need eye protection because they have an inner eyelid.
  2. According to the script, the sunglasses worn by Commodore Oh is an homage to actress Anna Karina. Karina recently passed away and was well-known for working with French filmmaker Jean-Luc Goddard. Showrunner Michael Chabon said that it was "stereotypical undercover government operative trope" and was intended to intimidate her.
  3. Raffi says the supernova threatens "billions of people out there in the Beta Quadrant." It had previously been implied that the Romulan sector was in the Alpha Quadrant. But reference works like "Star Trek: Star Charts" said Romulan territory is in the Beta Quadrant.
  4. Hugh is the director of the Borg Reclamation Project. Hugh first appeared in the episode as a freed Borg in Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "I Borg". He and the other Borg with him had been disconnected from the hive mind when their scout ship crashed. They were found by the Enterprise and freed from the Collective. Later, Data's brother Lore found them and turned them into his private army.
  5. Hugh says the Roluman drones are the only ones in the Collective but we've seen one other Romulan Borg on Voyager. But it's clearly implied that Romulans aren't assimilated very often for some reason.
  6. Before Raffi, everyone called Picard by his title or first name Jean-Luc. Even his closest friends. She's the first person we know of to give him an informal nickname. Raffi first calls Picard "J.L." in the Star Trek: Picard: Countdown #1 comic. "You're never going to call me Admiral are you," he says. "Formality is the enemy of efficiency," she says. "Also, I know you enjoy it."
  7. The ENH aboard La Sirena calls Picard by several titles that reference past episodes of TNG: 
    • "Chief contact with the Q Continuum" is a reference to the number of times Picard has met with Q and other members of the ancient race. 
    • "Arbiter of Succession for the Klingon Empire" is the title given to Picard in "Reunion".
    • "Savior of Earth from Borg invasion" refers to his intervention to save Earth from the Borg in Star Trek: First Contact.
    • "Captain of the Enterprises -D and -E" refers to his command of USS Enterprise-D and USS Enterprise-E.
    • "The man even worked alongside the great Spock" refers to his working with Spock in "Unification II" and trying to evacuate the Romulan planet mentioned in Star Trek (2009).
Star Trek: Picard airs on CBS All Access in the United States,  in Canada on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and OTT service Crave, and on Amazon Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories.

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About the Author
Maurice Mitchell has been a passionate science-fiction fan of movies, television, books, and comics since age five. He and his twin brother Nigel created the site "The Geek Twins" to share that passion. Maurice has written and created infographics for sites like The Geek Twins and About.com. His work has been featured on sites like Business Insider, io9 Slashfilm and more.
Read more of his posts | Follow him on Twitter @Mauricem1972 

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