Picard has been an excellent season so far, and it’s reaching a turning point this week with episode five, “Imposters.” Picard (Patrick Stewart), Riker (Jonathan Frakes), Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden), and the son of Beverly and Picard, Jack (Ed Speleers), are on the USS Titan, having just escaped a near-death situation. They may be in danger, but the villain behind everything is still unknown, and Jack’s dealing with a rather annoying voice in his head and visions of red imagery. The story is turning to a dark place as we begin to learn why Jack is wanted by the enemy.
The words “come home” keep coming to Jack’s mind, and he isn’t sure who is talking or why. Sure, he could tell someone, especially since his mom is a doctor, but alas, we’re waiting for answers as the story progresses. It’s interesting to see this plot emerge since it’s leaning towards horror versus the usual Star Trek plots, even this season.
While that’s happening, Picard and Riker fully admit they broke some laws and are willing to face the music. Due to this change in heart, this episode feels like the start of a new story arc, even if there are lingering connections to what Raffi (Michelle Hurd) and Worf (Michael Dorn) are investigating. It’s nice that there’s at least an admission of repercussions since most media has the cowboy-type heroes rushing to another adventure like nothing happened. Consistently, this show earns its moments, making it one of the best seasons of Star Trek yet.
It’s nice to get more of Raffi and Worf, as they were absent from the last episode. We catch up with them training together and going full tilt. Raffi’s anger and cocksureness are definitely a weakness, but she’s certainly never backing down. The two work well together, with Worf as a kind of mentor to Raffi. Their plot has supplied an interesting crime element to the series dealing with gangsters and seedy cities mixing things up well against the A Plot.
Worf’s in an interesting place, as he’s sort of like a Jedi. He’s a great fighter, but he’s also willing to sit and meditate as needed. It’s no surprise Dorn has stated in interviews he was going for a master sensei vibe, literally referencing Pai Mei from Kill Bill.
Meanwhile, Captain Shaw (Todd Stashwick) is subtly stealing the show in most of his scenes. He talks casually and a little flippantly in every scene while everyone else seems to be by the book. He’s a good guy, but he’s also sick of Riker and Picard acting like superheroes when their actions are reckless. You can’t blame him, and he pokes holes in their past adventures in a key scene calling back past adventures that were highly risky.
TNG fans will get a kick out of Ro Laren (Michelle Forbes) appearing as the lead Federation figure determining Picard and Riker’s future. Tough as nails and leaving the show after nine episodes, it’s cool to see her come back and drudge up old feelings. It’s nice to see this show payoff story arcs from TNG, reminding us of the long road that got us here.
Outside of the sentimental scenes between Laren and Picard, there’s not a lot of plot progression. The main villain of shadow changelings has become more clear with the stakes raised with a major death, but you’ll hope for a bit more zip to the plot progression as there was in the first few episodes. It’s also yet to be revealed why the changelings want to take over the Federation or kill all of humanity. Likely it’ll be revealed later, but it’d help increase your interest if there was some reason. Likely it’s tied to some twist, and maybe it’s Lore since he has yet to pop up in the show and was revealed in an early trailer.
If you’re looking for some hand-to-hand combat, a scene with Jack will scratch that itch. He seems to be some kind of Jason Bourne with secret fighting skills kicking ass against four changelings. The scary thing is, though, he seems to want to kill Federation officers, good or bad, and that’s a growing problem.
“Imposters” lives up to the episode’s title as we learn Changelings are infiltrating at every turn. This episode will bring joy to TNG fans while ever so slightly progressing the plot hanging over the entire series.
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