Synopsis: In The Stargazer Starfleet must once again call on legendary Jean-Luc Picard after members of his former crew – Cristóbal Rios, Seven of Nine, Raffi Musiker, and Dr. Agnes Jurati – discover an anomaly in space that threatens the galaxy.
Picking the story up roughly a year and a half after events seen in season one. We see that life has changed massively for Jean Luc Picard and his new crewmates. Picard himself is once again a member of Starfleet and is an Admiral with a teaching position at Starfleet Academy. While Cristóbal Rios is Captain of the U.S.S. Stargazer and Raffi Musiker is the first officer on board the U.S.S. Excelsior. Indeed, much has changed and the broken people that we met in the show’s first season have picked their lives back up again. All accept Jean Luc Picard, who still has a couple of demons to battle. Especially when it comes to the road not taken when it comes to what his heart wants.
When a communication comes through an anomaly asking Picard to help. He is reunited with his crew and is suddenly confronted by the return of old adversaries.
Patrick Stewart once again hits the ground running as we see his character of Jean Luc Picard begin to question why he has always put adventure and exploration ahead of the needs of his heart. We see this theme first touched on during a rather intimate discussion between Picard and Laris (Orla Brady). Laris at some stage over the year and a half since we last saw her has lost her husband but continues to have a strong bond with Picard. In this scene, she seeks to try and explore that bond more she broaches the question of why Picard has always chosen duty over settling down.
This question sees Picard to begin questioning himself as to why and we get a few flashbacks to when he was a kid with his mother and what looked to be a quite traumatic experience. This prompts him to pay Guinan a visit, but the soul searching about the roads not taken gets cut short when he gets a communication from Starfleet.
This is all really strong. If not entirely original foreshadowing for Picard’s reunion with Q (John de Lancie) who makes a timely appearance at the close of the episode to remind Picard that the trial of humanity never ends.
The Stargazer gets off to a slow start as we are treated to seeing how the lives of Picard and his newer crew have changed since we last saw them. This allows for some truly good exploration of Picard as a character as we once again look at the choices he has made. All this foreshadowing works as a means to slowly introduce Q and it works really well. John De Lancie picks up pretty much from where he left off at the close of All Good Things, and that even gets referenced.
On top of all of that. I also enjoyed the various references to Stargazer. For example, as a child, Picard at the behest of his mother was told to look to the stars. He becomes a Stargazer and then his first command is The Stargazer. And now he once again finds himself on a ship called The Stargazer. Quite how all of them will play out as the series progresses remains to be seen. But I suspect we are going to see a fair bit of wrestling between the themes of duty for the benefit of others versus the duty that people have toward their own wellbeing.
- CGI & Stunts9.6
- Incidental Music9.5