We last saw Picard (Patrick Stewart) unconscious on the clinic table. Now we see him in a tux, on a spaceship, with a fiery sun burning outside. He’s being psychoanalyzed by an exasperated counselor (James Callis), who asks him to tell him a story.
Picard obliges, and starts a story about a queen with fiery red hair. We see young Jean-Luc (Dylan Von Halle) and his mother (Madeline Wise), both in medieval costume and her in a red wig. Yvette is telling him a story involving a monster and painting it all on the glass of the chateau’s conservatory. She tells Jean-Luc he is like his father, but he says he wants to be like her. He clearly idolizes his mother.
The pictures on the glass start to move, and Jean-Luc and his mother back out of the room just as the windows implode. They run through the chateau and into a dungeon, but the monster is already there, hidden in a doorway. Yvette is dragged into the darkness, and the credits begin.
The crew is at the clinic, worrying about both Picard and the missing Agnes (Alison Pill). Rios (Santiago Cabrera) reveals that she kissed him, and Tallinn (Orla Brady) begins preparations for the “jury rigged mind meld.” Raffi (Michelle Hurd) and Seven (Jeri Ryan) beam back to the ship, still talking about the kiss and comparing Agnes and Rios to their own relationship. Seven tries to scan for Agnes’s comm badge but finds herself locked out of the computer by the Borg Queen (Annie Wersching).
Tallinn enters Picard’s mind, after admitting to Rios that she doesn’t really have a plan. She finds herself down in the dungeon, while Picard is still up in his space therapy session. The counselor tells him to dig deeper, and Picard says that the boy wasn’t alone in the dungeon.
Tallinn hears Picard’s voice as she moves through the maze-like dungeon, speaking familiar quotes from the past. In one cell she finds young Jean-Luc, who says he can’t leave without his mother. Tallinn realizes she needs to help him leave to save the real Picard, but Jean-Luc tells her they need to not only find his mother, but to save her. That the monster has taken her, and everything down there is on his side.
The counselor tells Picard that their hour is up, but Picard perceives that things are not what they seem. The counselor tells him to say one real thing, and Picard says that he is stuck. The counselor suggests that Picard is hiding something, but something starts banging on the door before he can respond.
Jean-Luc tells Tallinn that they need to get to the white door: it moves, but his mother is always behind it. Then smoke billows across the room, and monsters rise up out of it to attack the pair.
Teresa (Sol Rodriguez) arrives at the clinic, along with her son Ricardo (Steve Gutierrez) who is apparently a big fan of the Europa Mission. She, however, is not a big fan of whatever Tallinn is doing and Rios is finding it hard to explain without breaking time.
Tallinn fights off her attacker in Picard’s mind, but Picard is seizing back in the real world and Teresa insists he needs to go to a hospital. Instead, Rios calls Raffi and she beams a stabilizer in – right in front of Teresa, unfortunately.
Tallinn frees Jean-Luc from his shackle, and Teresa stabilizes Picard. In a throwback to The One With the Whales, Teresa asks Rios if he’s from outer space and he responds, “No, I’m from Chile. I just work in outer space.”
A doorway opens for Tallinn and Jean-Luc, who join hands.
Raffi brings coffee for Seven (aww), who has managed to break through the Queen’s lockout and find video of Agnes implanting Borg code in the computer.
The therapy session dissolves around Picard and he finds himself in the chateau with Tallinn and his younger self. He’s a bit incoherent and there’s more banging on the door, which the counselor is casually hanging out next to. Picard realizes the counselor has been guarding the white door the whole time, and that he’s HIS FATHER.
Next we see a memory in the conservatory, with Yvette telling Jean-Luc to hurry, and take what he loves. That they are leaving, and will play a game of hide-and-seek down below. They run down into the dungeons but Jean-Luc steps through a rotten board and gets stuck, and Yvette runs on without even noticing. His father finds them and locks Yvette behind a white door. Picard’s father tells him that his mother suffered from mental health issues, and that they would have died in the dungeons if he hadn’t found them.
Tallinn tells Jean-Luc that he will do so much with this pain. Jean-Luc takes a key from his pocket, but Picard and Tallinn wake up in the real world before the white door is unlocked.
Rios and Ricardo draw chalk spaceships on the clinic wall, and he talks to Teresa about Picard being a father figure in his life. They have a moment, and your TV screen may actually explode from the chemistry between these two.
At this point Rios abandons all pretense of protecting the timeline and beams the three of them onto La Sirena. Ricardo immediately runs off to touch everything, of course.
Fortunately, Raffi and Seven aren’t there to yell at him because they’ve beamed into LA to find Queen Agnes. They find video of her from the night before entering a nightclub where a jazz singer (Sunny Ozell, Patrick Stewart’s wife) was performing. Queen Agnes surveys the room, breaks a window, and goes all Borg-eyed.
Raffi calls in the Agnes report to Picard at the clinic, and Tallinn reports that Renee is safe. Then Tallinn reveals that her human ears are a glamour and she’s actually Romulan! Picard thinks she could be an ancestor of Laris. She thinks there’s more to his family’s story, but Picard doesn’t want to hear of it. He’s tired of Q making the rules and decides to turn the tables on him. And he knows exactly who can get Q on the phone. (I’m using this as a metaphor, but if you haven’t called Q yet please be sure to call him at 323-634-5667.)
It’s Guinan (Ito Aghayere), of course! She explains that the El-Aurians and the Q struck a truce after a long cold war. She uses the bottle the truce was created over to summon Q. The bar erupts in chaos and Guinan screams, but Q fails to appear.
Raffi and Seven find the bar where Queen Agnes broke the window the night before, and Seven figures out that the Queen is creating endorphins to speed up the assimilation process inside Agnes, and then start assimilating the rest of Earth.
Guinan explains to Picard that if an El-Aurian summons a Q, a Q should appear. They hear the door at the top of the stairs open and Guinan raises her hands to sense if it’s Q, but a random guy (Jay Karnes) walks in instead. Guinan tells him they’re closed but he says he’s celebrating and asks for just one drink.
Guinan tells Picard there’s no reason the ritual should have failed. Random guy gets annoyingly friendly, then shows them a video on his phone – of Picard beaming in! He then flashes his FBI badge and agents raid the bar, but not before Picard inconspicuously drops his comm badge. Aaaaand that’s all we get this week!
So to recap: Agnes is mostly assimilated, Seven and Raffi are on her trail, Guinan and Picard are under arrest for…something, Q is missing in action, Tallinn is Romulan after all, and Rios has given his last f*ck about the timeline. And Picard isn’t done working through his family issues. Only three episodes left in the season, anyone else smell a cliffhanger season finale?
I hope they explain more about Yvettte’s mental illness but right now it doesn’t seem plausible. Mental illness seems to have been eradicated in the Star Trek universe by the 24th century.