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'Picard' S3E3 'Seventeen Seconds' pits Picard vs. Crusher in key scene
Paramount+

Television

‘Picard’ S3E3 ‘Seventeen Seconds’ pits Picard vs. Crusher in key scene

‘Picard’ brings forth great sci-fi storytelling, action, and humor in a great third episode.

Picard has been nothing short of a revelation, proving Patrick Stewart is still excellent in the role and Paramount can pull off good Star Trek in the latest timeline. The first two episodes have established the main plots with danger and mystery around every corner. In episode three, the USS Titan harbors Picard, Riker (Jonathan Frakes), Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden), and Jack Crusher (Ed Speleers) in a race to escape an enemy vastly more powerful than any Federation ship.

The last episode ended with the revelation Jack is Picard’s son, although eagle-eyed TV show watchers will note Beverly never said he was, just gave Picard a look. Could this be a classic misdirection? Given the direction this episode goes with flashbacks, we’ll soon find out!

This episode makes it more clear this season is about fathers and sons. We get an anecdote from Riker about the seventeen seconds he had to wait to see if his son and wife, Deanna Troi ( Marina Sirtis), were okay. As Picard showed in the last episode putting all of the crew at risk to save his son Jack, Riker points out he’d do anything to save his kids.

Todd Stashwick continues to play the part of Captain Shaw of the USS Titan well. You can understand his frustration as Picard and Riker put him in the position he’s in, yet he’s helping and trying to do his best as he understands Picard’s need to protect his child. This show is filled with characters who know exactly what to say or do, but Stashwick is a lot like how we’d be on the bridge, frustrated, annoyed, and acting like a casual person. He adds a bit of realism to things.

'Picard' S3E3 'Seventeen Seconds' review

Pairing Raffi (Michelle Hurd) with Worf (Michael Dorn) works really well.
Credit: Paramount

If you’re wondering why Beverly never told Picard he was the father of her youngest child, fear not, as she explains it. Frankly, her reasoning makes some sense, but it’s still a bit annoying since it’s a last-second addition to the characters. In this key scene, the writers clearly understand both characters, their motivations, and the complexity of their personalities. The episode reminds us Picard never wanting a family, for instance, is used in a natural-sounding and believable argument. Picard is rightfully angry, and Beverly’s desire to protect her kid from Picard’s constant dangerous lifestyle makes sense too.

On the flip side, Riker gets a key scene with Jack. The showrunners smartly let us live through Jack’s point of view of hearing the amazing stories the crew of the Enterprise D went through. Pair that with another scene where a character drops the word “legends” as far as the TNG crew, and you can see this show understands how to honor the past while plowing forward to the future. I’ve seen it argued the Enterprise D isn’t even that remarkable in Trek history — it only operated for nine or so years — but it’s nice to see them emblemize the crew and ship in this “last” adventure. Considering they saved the universe a few times, I think it’s warranted. 

I will argue that Picard seems to switch gears a little too quickly when he finds out Jack is deciding not to meet his dad. Picard, of all people, should know people are complex and not take offense, but alas, the narrative needs to spark a conflict to resolve later. There are earned elements, though, like Picard asking how Jack has a British accent or logically putting the ship’s command into Riker’s hands. The show’s writers are clearly doing their due diligence to avoid plot holes or annoying unexplained details which is great to see considering the last two seasons didn’t care to explain stuff like that.

The subplot with Raffi (Michelle Hurd) gets taken up a notch this week as Worf (Michael Dorn) enters the story. The superfans will appreciate the nods to his anger issues — he tells her he’s “working on myself” at one point — and his legendary status from Raffi’s point of view. It’s fitting that these two are paired since they’re both fighters, and it’ll be fun to see them interact as the series continues. Oh, and Worf is adding a ton of comedy to the show, which was sorely lacking in previous seasons.

“Seventeen Seconds” continues to show Picard is an excellent season of Star Trek. Paced well with sci-fi inventiveness, action, and even humor, it’s hard to resist. Picard is edge-of-your-seat entertainment.

'Picard' S3E3 'Seventeen Seconds' pits Picard vs. Crusher in key scene
‘Picard’ S3E3 ‘Seventeen Seconds’ pits Picard vs. Crusher in key scene
Picard S3E3 'Seventeen Seconds'
“Seventeen Seconds” continues to show Picard is an excellent season of Star Trek. Paced well with sci-fi inventiveness, action, and even humor, it’s hard to resist. Picard is edge-of-your-seat entertainment.
Reader Rating1 Votes
8.4
Continues to explain things rather than ignore plot holes, making even the craziest twists understandable and enjoyable
Nice heart to heart between Picard and Crusher
Worf made this show even better
Hard to believe Picard would be so angry with his "son" given his wisdom and age as it feels like a forced way to create conflict and a win when he'll likely turn things around
9.5
Great

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