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“The Impossible Box”
Narek solves the riddle.
Star Trek: Picard episode six, “The Impossible Box” answered a few questions, brought up a few and left me wanting more! We lost Seven of Nine, which is a real shame. I would have loved to she her back on the Borg Cube. We learned that
Androids Synths dream, but we don’t know why. Was it only to reveal the home planet to Narek? Raffi’s fallen off the wagon after the rejection from her son, Jurati is a murderous manipulator, Elnor doesn’t seem to have a purpose and Picard is scared to death of returning to the Borg Cube.
Let’s get into it!
I feel Hollow
Dr. Jurati is a lying, murdering snake! She begins telling Picard how Maddox died, how his body couldn’t handle the trauma from the torture. She even starts to tear up a little. Faker! Can’t they check the computer and replay the events up to Maddox’s death and see that he was killed? What about the EMH that appeared while she was killing Maddox, doesn’t it have some memory to review? It’s the 24th century, install a keylogger on your ship! And what does she know that she wished Maddox could know? why not tell him as she was killing him, so we all know!
As Picard talks about going to The Artifact to find Soji he is understandably upset and apprehensive. But Jurati looks just as nervous. Throughout the episode as they get closer to the Borg Cube she looks scared, like she knows something, which she most likely does. And after they arrive she looks relived that Picard is the only one allowed on the ship and the rest of the crew need to wait on board the La Sirena. Elnor was able to sense Jurati was hiding something as well.
I didn’t buy her guilty, self pity moment with Capt. Rios either. There’s been a bit mutual attraction between them for a couple of episodes but I think she was manipulating him the whole time. I feel lonely and hollow and I can tell when I’m making a mistake…hold me. Now she has something to hold over him later, either as blackmail or as an emotional crutch. We’ll see how it plays out but I think Rios will be conflicted between Jurati and doing what is right in the coming episodes.
Raffi’s off the wagon
It’s obvious Raffi didn’t handle the rejection from her son very well. Not to mention she will never see her granddaughter. On the bridge of the La Sirena she is vaping and drinking a bottle of bourbon or whatever liquor Rios has on board. She is able to sober up long enough, or at least play the part, to get Picard diplomatic papers to visit The Artifact. She does a great job coercing her old friend into sending over the papers and you can tell she is hurt when asked to never call again. I’m guessing she is going to get deeper into that bottle of booze! Rios puts her to bed and she tells him of her son and her heartbreak.
After she wakes from her bender she seems to have a moment of clarity and figures out the Tal Shiar may need Soji alive. The Tal Shiar killed Dahj and they tried to capture and kill Maddox on Freecloud. But what do the Tal Shiar need from a Synth? Raffi keeps referring to them as the Tal Shiar, but wasn’t it established in the first or second episode that they are the Zhat Vash, the super secret group within Tal Shiar?
Please, my friends, choose to live
What is the purpose of Elnor? He could be a great character but is underutilized and after this episode may be dead. What was the point of his backstory, making a side trip to Vashti and asking him to join, to then relegate him do nothing. Picard doesn’t want him to kill anybody…uh…he’s an assassin, raised and trained for one thing only, to kill! He’s not allowed to leave the ship and when he is he isn’t given anything to do.
It would have been amazing to see him and Seven of Nine wreck the place during the last episode. Have him fight the big reptile dude with super smell power! Have him and Seven of Nine fight back to back, sword and blaster, killing the security force. They missed a great opportunity to showcase the character. Instead he gets one or two dopey lines and no action. I don’t understand why they introduce a bad ass assassin and then turn him into a lap dog.
I hope Elnor survives the fight with the Romulans. My wish is he is taken prisoner, tortured by Lt. Rizzo, then escapes and kills Rizzo and Nerak, who are Tal Shiar/Zhat Vash and his sworn enemy! As a bonus he could expose Jurati as a Zhat Vash agent too! Elnor can’t go out like this!
There was a lot of emotion building up to Picards return to the Borg Cube. It is a big moment when he is searching through the Borg files and comes across his picture as Locutus. In the previous episode he indicated to Seven of Nine that he still has a bit of Borg in him. When Picard enters the ship you can see the terror on his face. He doesn’t want to return, he is afraid of being assimilated again and he’s still angry for the first time they made him part of the collective. After entering the ship one of the remaining Borg turns his head toward Picards direction giving us the indication that Picard still has some connection to the collective. And the horror Picard faced as he tried to cross the bridge while the xB’s (ex Borgs, as Hugh calls them) grab him so he didn’t fall.
The meeting with Picard and Hugh is nice. Two old friends, or acquaintances at least, who share the same tragedy, assimilation. Hugh is more than happy to help Picard with whatever he needs, perhaps the first person on Picard’s journey to be outright helpful. Hugh and Picard discover Soji knows the truth, or is getting close to knowing and must find her, which they do when she escapes the meditation chamber.
37 months and 70 seconds
I haven’t been a fan of the Soji/Nerak relationship so far. It’s felt forced, like Soji is dumbed down anytime she is around Nerak, throwing all logic and common sense out the window. Maybe that’s because she’s in love, but it doesn’t feel right. Thankfully it all comes to an end in this episode. Soji reveals to Nerak she is having strange dreams and he uses it to his advantage. Why would an andriod dream? Nerak is determined to decipher Soji’s dream and he manipulates her along the way to achieve that goal. He tells her about the 70 second ‘phone’ calls to her mother. And as she tries desperately to stay awake during the next call she cannot. As she discovered all her belongings were only 37 months old it would have been nice to see her slip into despair and paranoia a little longer. She discovers it, she tells Nerak and they are off to solve the mystery through a forbidden (to non-Romulans) meditation ceremony. The 37 month time frame, of course, falls in line with what Jurati discovered about Dahj when she looked into her background. Everything was created about three years prior.
As they enter the meditation chamber Nerak has some words with the guard who finally lets them pass. Now I’m not an expert on meditation but it seems like you would want to sit in one place and empty your mind for it to work. Not walk around a winding path while someone shouts at you to look passed the orchids! But it works, Soji sees what her father is working on…her, as a wooden doll laying on the table. And looking up she sees lightning and two moons. Good thing Maddox had a skylight in his workshop. Does this mean Soji was the first one created and Dahj came later? Why did Maddox program her to dream of that specific scene? Why not have her dream of something less revealing, or not dream at all. Or is the dreaming a bug in the system like Rizzo speculates?
Then Nerak makes the big mistake, he tries to kill her. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned! Not ready to die Soji pounds her way through the floor…she is activated! But why isn’t she activated like Dahj? Dahj turned into a stone cold killer, Soji, not so much. And why didn’t Soji know Picard when they met? Why did Maddox only program memories of Picard into Dahj? Why didn’t Soji ask Picard how he got Dahj’s necklace and where is my sister!? Why doesn’t Soji ever call Dahj? They talked at some point after the first episode, why not anymore? Doesn’t Soji want to know how Dahj’s new job is going? This episode might have left more question unanswered than it answered!
With the help of Hugh and the Borg Spacial Trajectory portal, Picard and Soji are able to escape the Borg Cube and head to a distant planet. Rios and crew are off to rendezvous with them while Elnor and Hugh stand and face the Romulan and presumably Tal Shiar guards. The ending reminded me a little of The Empire Strikes Back, the group is broken up, heading in different directions to ultimately fulfill quest.
Fan service of the week
After six episodes we finally get the Start Trek Theme! Right after Raffi gets the diplomatic papers for Picard, the familiar tune that has been Star Trek for 50 years! I may have gotten chills at that point…
In the previews for the next episode we see a familiar face. Picard enters a room and says “Hello Will” Yes! Yes! Yes! I hope that scene is early in the episode and not the last scene of the episode.