Synopsis: The La Sirena crew begin an unpredictable and lively expedition on Freecloud to search for Bruce Maddox. When they learn Maddox has found himself in a precarious situation, a familiar face offers her assistance.
Review: Star Trek heads into Oceans 11 territory with a brilliant episode that sees Picard and his new crew undertake their very first away mission.
Having learned that Bruce Maddox is being held hostage by a criminal gang on Freecloud. Picard with a little help from Seven of Nine set a plan into motion to rescue him, but it turns out that the best-laid plans do not always work out. Seven has her own personal reasons for helping Picard, which involves her getting close to the leader of the criminal gang in order to kill her. We learn that this gang is responsible for the murder of Icheb. So naturally, Seven would want payback for that.
There’s an element of comedy to this somewhat Dark episode in that Patrick Stewart gets to put on a very fake french accent, which somewhat stupidly plays against Picard as a character given that the Captain is French and has been using Royal Shakespearian received pronunciation for the 30 plus years that we have known him. It may have been better had they had Picard act Italian instead. Other than that. This is a really solid episode that has shades of Oceans 11 to it.
We get somewhat of a B Story where Raffi tries to reconnect with her son who believes that she abandoned him. But this winds up being more of a diversionary plot device. Given that Raffi winds up back on the ship and is most likely to play a role in helping Picard further with his mission.
Maddox is in bad shape by the time Picard actually gets to him, but we do get a brief moment where Picard is able to get the whereabouts of Soji out of Maddox, which will see Admiral Picard head into Romulan space in the next episode.
Jeri Ryan has some great scenes in this episode and knocks them out of the park. She brings us a more human take on Seven of Nine who has become less formal over the years and has developed a bit of an edge. Her scenes with Picard begin as rather confrontational, but do mellow out toward the end of the episode. I loved the moment she shares with Patrick Stewart’s Picard toward the end of the episode where she asks if he felt like he’d completely got his humanity back after he was separated from the Borg Collective. That scene alone was worth the price of admission.
Aside from the phony over the top French accent. This was a brilliant episode that peeled back further layers to the mythology behind the series. We get to see a darker side to Dr. Juratti, which the writers have been teasing for weeks, but we also learn that the plot to kill off Soji and any other Synths is not just a Romulan angle. Elements of Starfleet are definitely involved.
The look and feel of Freecloud were very much inspired by Blade Runner with the holographic Billboards and advertising that physically assaults you.
Overall. A wonderful episode.
- CGI & Stunts10
- Incidental Music9.5