Picard Recap s2e3: “Assimilation”

The last episode of Star Trek: Picard ended with our favorite Romulan getting shot before the gang could travel back to 2024. Seven (Jeri Ryan) really has the most annoying husband ever! While she tries to talk their way out of it, Agnes (Alison Pill) continues to connect the Borg Queen (Annie Wersching) to La Sirena in the back of the ship. The gang kills the fascists and ship escapes.

Elnor (Evan Evagora) is losing a lot of green blood and they are lacking in medical supplies. La Sirena is being pursued and Q (John de Lancie) briefly appears on the bridge, but only Picard (Patrick Stewart) seems to be able to perceive him. “Shall we see what else has been lost in the wake of your fear?”

The legless Borg Queen tips over. La Sirena destroys one of the three ships in pursuit. The Borg Queen crawls on her hands towards Agnes, smiles, and connects herself to the ship. She takes out the remaining two ships and heads for the sun. She babbles a bit more and then they’re off to the past. She makes it look so easy! Raffi (Michelle Hurd) holds Elnor down in the infirmary, there’s a timey-wimey montage, then the opening credits roll.

La Sirena heads back from the sun towards Earth, and the crew confirms that they have traveled back to the 21st century. The ship, however, is damaged and they get caught in Earth’s gravity. They have to crash somewhere and Picard chooses France.

The Borg Queen is draining the ship’s energy, which they need to keep Elnor alive. He tells Raffi, “I’m stronger than you think” but is coughing up blood. Agnes can’t stop the queen and Picard won’t let Rios (Santiago Cabrera) kill her. Elnor asks Raffi to get his Qowat Milat medallion out. She reads the Romulan inscribed on it and Elnor translates it to “Now is the only moment.” Raffi smiles, then turns to Elnor to find he has died.

Raffi seals Elnor’s body in a bag as the rest of the crew watches. Picard says, “If we fail here, we fail Elnor, and everyone in our home world.” He tries to rally the troops but Seven and Raffi are angry. Raffi blames Picard for “playing games” with Q. Picard tells everyone that they need to find the “Watcher” in Los Angeles, and Rios asks if that will fix the timeline. Raffi asks if it will bring Elnor back, but Agnes says she doesn’t know.

Raffi decides to believe it will, and to go to L.A., and Seven and Rios decide to go with her. Agnes tells them they can’t take advanced technology with them or go to hospitals or other public institutions where they may be scanned. Picard and Agnes stay behind to try to revive the Borg Queen.

Agnes scans the Borq Queen, and finds she is “trying to talk but can’t wake up to speak.” Picard recalls his time as Locutus, when the Borg would rarely speak but communicate telepathically. Agnes wants to connect herself directly to the Queen’s mind so she can restore power and wake the Queen, but Picard thinks Agnes will be assimilated.

Seven, Rios, and Raffi have enough power for a one-way trip to L.A., although Raffi is bitter that that power didn’t go to saving Elnor. Raffi has determined that the Markridge Industrial Tower is the highest point in L.A., and the best place to scan for alien signals. They dress in appropriate clothing for 2024. Raffi brings communicators that Agnes has modified. They will give a location for beaming back and can communicate locally, but without a subspace relay they can’t communicate with La Sirena. Raffi has also modified a tricorder to scan for anomalies.

Agnes approaches Picard again about her plan. Picard is still strongly against it but she assures him that he can monitor her and speak to her subconscious, and abort the procedure if things go wrong.

Agnes beams the away team to L.A. and Picard connects her to the Borg Queen. After a brief L.A. montage, Raffi beams into a parking lot and Seven beams into a park right in front of a little girl who thinks she’s a superhero. Rios, for some reason, beams in a few stories up in mid-air and crashes into a fire escape on the way down. He is taken to a clinic where he loses his badge and a child picks it up.

Raffi finds herself in a houseless camp, and disarms and robs a would-be-mugger just in time for Seven to show up. There’s a banner for what is most likely a new TV show called “The Europa Mission” with the tagline “To boldly go!” on a nearby building, and Raffi mentions “a backdrop of hope meets hopelessness. You’re killing it, 2024,” reminiscent of Bashir in Past Tense asking, “How could they have let things get so bad?” but with a Raffi spin.

Back on the ship, Agnes babbles in subconscious. The Borg Queen is exploring her mind and Picard warns her that the Queen will use her emotions to take control. The assimilation begins and the Queen greets Locutus using Agnes’s body. Things get out of control and Picard pulls the plug.

Raffi and Seven reach the tower and they sweet talk their way past a security guard. Seven is struck by how well the guard reacts: “Strangers don’t usually like me.” Life without her implants is definitely different.

A young doctor treats Rios and it seems like an Edith Keeler situation (hopefully minus the dying part) is being set up here. Teresa (Sol Rodriguez) tells him he’s at her clinic, which helps undocumented people. She asks him to tell her his happiest memory, and he tells her about the time he aced a flight simulator at Starfleet Academy when he was eight, and she sets his dislocated finger while he’s distracted.

Seven and Raffi pick up a signal near MacArthur Park, but it disappears immediately. Then they pick up Rios’s badge, but it’s blipping like Morse Code thanks to the kid who’s playing with it. Rios tries to get it back but the kid’s kind of awful. Before Rios can get the badge, Teresa takes it up front.

Agnes is out, but the Borg Queen wakes up and addresses Locutus and his “small companion”. She’s lucid now and when Picard asks her for info about the Watcher she demands the ship in exchange.  The Borg Queen repeats her demand and Picard refuses. Agnes wakes up and suggests they deactivate her. The Queen is confident that they won’t because they need her, but Agnes reveals that she stole the coordinates of the Watcher. The Queen admits she is impressed.

Rios is dressed and about to ask for his badge when the clinic is raided.  He gets the other patients out the back of the clinic as Immigration breaks into the front. Rios pretends to be a doctor to try to get Teresa out, but the ruse fails and they’re both arrested for obstruction just as Picard hails them via his comm badge, which is still on the counter.

This episode is seven minutes shorter than the previous two, but a lot happens! Elnor dies, Agnes is a badass, Raffi grieves, and Seven experiences a life without discrimination. Questions I hope they answer in the next episode: How do they get Rios out of jail? Who is the Watcher? Why was there a camp instead of a Sanctuary District?

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