Star Trek: Picard Season 3 Episode 5 Review: The Plot Thickens
If two people can take down all major crime bosses using swords, all within the span of maybe a few hours, perhaps crime isn’t as big a problem as “Picard” would have us believe. Or perhaps next time, the crime bosses can scatter, rather than all congregating in a single city. Perhaps that’s worth looking into, boss.
Meanwhile, there is another mystery afoot: why do evil shapeshifters want Jack Crusher? It was explained in previous episodes that these Changelings, ordinarily made of liquid, have learned how to approximate internal, biological organs, making them less medically detectible. Why the Changelings are attacking Starfleet at this particular juncture, and why they want Jack hasn’t yet been explained. Cmdr. Ro, however, does explain that Starfleet has been deeply infiltrated and that Changelings are more prevalent than anyone might suspect. This will be before a rather dramatic exit for the character.
The hints audiences are given as to Jack’s value have come in the form of frustratingly oblique visions that Jack has been experiencing for the last few episodes. The visions include creepy red tree roots, and the appearance of an old-fashioned red door. This may be the door used by the Guardian of Forever in a recent episode of “Star Trek: Discovery,” but likely not. When Jack has the visions, he “activates,” and becomes an ultra-violent killing machine. He takes out four Changelings on his own. This plot wrinkle is pretty dumb, and reeks of the “mystery box” storytelling that made the first two seasons so insufferable. Clarity is more important than mystery.
One can hope the mysteries are resolved with wit and grace. One can hope the nostalgia stays tolerable. As the plot thickens, though, it seems things can go either way.