Warning: This review contains spoilers.
The plot most assuredly thickens in “The Bounty,” the sixth installment in Star Trek: Picard’s third season. This episode is filled with a multitude of good news/bad news moments. For example, the Star Trek: Next Generation cast has all finally appeared; the bad news is they are in more danger than ever due to the discovery of the source of the sophisticated AI security system that protects Daystrom station and the real bounty the Changelings stole during their incursion there.
Good news, Worf (Michael Dorn) and Raffi (Michelle Hurd) have made their way to the Titan to rejoin old friends. However, it’s not quite the reunion Raffi and Seven (Jeri Ryan) were expecting, and they have to work quickly to get to Daystrom to help find out what the Changelings’s plan is, since that plan will be enacted during the Federation’s Frontier Days celebration. More of the warrior comes out in Worf as he is anxious to not only thwart their efforts but also to honor Ro’s (Michelle Forbes) sacrifice.
The good news is that they have the key that will help them break into Daystrom; the bad news is that the Federation discovers the Titan in orbit, so they have to abandon the away team of Raffi, Worf, and Riker to go in search of help. A nice shout-out to the future Star Trek project Section 31, which will be headlined by recent Oscar winner Michelle Yeoh.
That help comes in the return of one Geordi LaForge (LeVar Burton) and his engineer daughter, Alandra (played by Burton’s real-life daughter, Mica Burton). The bad news is that even though father and daughters are reunited, there is still tension between Geordi and his younger daughter, Sidney (Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut, also Burton’s real-life daughter). LaForge now runs the Starfleet Museum, the final resting place for every starship in the Federation. In a nice scene, Seven gives Jack Crusher (Ed Speleers) a short history lesson on the star ships docked there, including the Voyager, Kirk’s original starship NCC-1701. However, Jack seems most interested in the Klingon Bird of Prey that was recovered from the waters off San Francisco, where it disappeared during the Star Trek IV: The Way Home film. It seems the ship had been discovered after the ship’s cloaking device malfunctioned.
However, Jack seems most interested in the Klingon Bird of Prey that was recovered from the waters off San Francisco, where it disappeared during the Star Trek IV: The Way Home film. It seems the ship had been discovered after the ship’s cloaking device malfunctioned. Jack is still reeling from the news that he has inherited his father’s fatal neurological disease. He bounces back somewhat, showing he’s truly his father’s son, when in an act of what could be considered good news by recruiting the LaForge sisters to help him steal the cloaking device and install it on the Titan. In a way, these children are trying to make their fathers proud of them with this blatant act of ship-saving defiance.
Back on Daystrom, the away team is navigating their way to the core of the AI system to access the station’s manifest to discover what the Changelings had really stolen. An encounter with an old adversary from Next Generation’s past, Professor Moriarty (Daniel Davis) leads Riker and the team to the source of the AI security system The show once again beautifully incorporates the show’s rich history into the complex story it is weaving, kudos to using clips from those original episodes and also convincing original actor, Daniel Davis into reprising his fan favorite Moriarty role.
Once at the core of the AI, Riker, Worf, and Riker are stunned to find that Starleet has been keeping a big secret. The good news is Data (Brent Spiner) is back; the bad news, they discover when they return to the Titan with Data in tow, is that this is a new, synthetic version of Data that contains the personalities of all the versions of the android. This is sure to create quite the conundrum when he is reactivated back on the Titan because they never know which version of Data they will be dealing with. Yes, Lal, B-4, Doctor Soong, and the original Data are all there, but so is the villainous Lore. Spiner will have a field day switching from the various personalities at the drop of the hat. Picard and the others will never know if they can truly trust him.
Another piece of good news is that Will and Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis) are reunited. The bad news is that they are both prisoners of Vadic (Amanda Plummer), who is not beyond torture to find Jean-Luc and Jack Crusher. With Sirtis’ on-screen arrival late in the episode, the return of the entire Star Trek: Next Generation core cast is complete.
The gang’s all here now is definitely good news; the bad news is they only have four episodes left in this season to discover why the Changelings stole the human body of Jean-Luc Picard that was stored at Daystrom and how that is part of the most dangerous threat to the Federation. They must thwart the Changelings’ plans while rescuing Riker and Troi and restoring Picard and his friend’s good names and reputations all before Founder’s Day. Then maybe by the end of this season, they can finally get around to setting up a much-deserved spin-off for Seven, Raffi, Shaw, and the Titan.
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