'Star Trek: Picard' Season 1 Episode 8: 'Broken Pieces' starts putting the puzzle pieces together
Spoiler Alert for 'Broken Pieces' - Episode 8 of Season 1 of 'Star Trek: Picard'
In every detective story, there is a parlor room scene. When the detective gathers all of the story's main players together in one room to discuss the facts of the case, lay out their findings, piece theories together and conclude with the mystery's now evident solution. While quite a few of the series' main players are scattered across the galaxy, this episode still functions as a parlor room episode. The mystery that the show has been working its way through past episodes is finally all made clear.
Dr. Agnes Jurati (Agnes Pill) provides Jean-Luc Picard's (Patrick Stewart) crew with the final piece of the puzzle they need - her motivations, and that of the Zhat Vash. The Zhat Vash are acting off on a past vision - one from an eons-dead civilization who were all wiped out by artificial intelligence. The Zhat Vash's belief in these visions is so strong that they have dedicated their lives to preventing the creating of artificial lifeforms by any means necessary. The scene of that knowledge of the first civilization's fall is certainly powerful. While it's easy to distrust the visions, not having the whole thing, it's easy to see why the Zhat Vash are so dedicated.
Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) has her own big moment this episode, though it is only loosely connected to the current plot. She reactivates the Borg cube, and lets herself both be assimilated and assimilate Romulans in order to drive away the Romulans from the cube. It's a huge character dilemma, and what will likely be a big turning point for the character, but one that feels like it might be lost in the larger plot involving artificial intelligence unless they, too, connect - though it's hard to see how.
Big revelations and satisfying conclusions to long-running plot threads unfold this episode, but the process of their unfolding leaves something to be desired. Raffi Musiker's (Michelle Hurd) jaunt from hologram to hologram to piece together Cristobal Rios' (Santiago Cabrera) backstory for a minor tie-in to the main story feels both silly and unnecessary. The scenes were funny enough, but Picard's crew has not really been the focus of the series. The humourous switch feels abrupt and unnecessary - which tends to be the case with the show.
Its focus has been all over the place. Now that the pieces are starting to fit together, it's becoming easier to see the point of seemingly inconsequential plot threads, but all the same, it does feel like there was a more effective route to get to where we are now. With two episodes left to go, all is becoming clear, and while the road continues to be bumpy, it looks like there's a satisfying conclusion ahead.
The next episode of 'Star Trek: Picard' airs March 19, on CBS All-Access.