Content note: Suicide mention.
Queen Agnes has an army and she’s coming for Picard! She remotely activates La Sirena’s transporter and beams them to the ship. Rios (Santiago Cabrera), Teresa (Sol Rodriguez), and Ricardo (Steve Gutierrez) run for it while the Queen (Alison Pill) takes her old body’s nanoprobes (and outfit).
Picard (Patrick Stewart), Tallinn (Orla Brady), Seven (Jeri Ryan), and Raffi (Michelle Hurd) beam onto the Chateau grounds just a little too late. Rios, Teresa, and Steve meet them with the bad news. Then the Borg drones come after them with lots of green lasers!
The Borg Queen (Annie Wersching) tries to assimilate the ship, but noncorporeal Agnes stands in the way. Agnes questions her motives for assimilating the universe and warns her that if she assimilates the ship it’ll lead to the same future where the Confederation wipes out the Borg, but the Queen is convinced she can change it. She resumes her attempt to assimilate the ship but Agnes has used the Borg signal to “slap a fractal lock on the ship’s systems” and purposely didn’t memorize the key code. And then Agnes summons the ship’s new Emergency Combat Hologram: Elnor (Evan Evagora), who contains the digital key. He disposes of the drones on the bridge and then goes for the rest.
The Borg on the ground deploy a flash grenade. It shocks Picard into a memory of his parents. His father (James Callis) notes that his mother (Madeline Wise) has been doing better lately, which seems to make her uncomfortable. Young Jean-Luc (Dylan Von Halle) wants to play a game, and his mother suggests hide and seek.
The La Sirena crew retreats to the inside of the chateau, and Rios takes a hit to the arm. Picard asks Tallinn to transport him, Teresa, and Ricardo to safety. Rios says he’ll take care of them and come right back, but Picard has Tallinn turn off the transporter so they’re stuck at Tallinn’s place.
At the chateau, the team splits up in a desperate attempt to reach the ship. Adam Soong (Brent Spiner) appears on the battlefield to make an offer: Picard stands down, and Soong lets them live. But Picard remembers the game of Hide and Seek, and it gives him an idea…
Raffi and Seven move through the chateau, evading the drones for as long as they can. These drones fight with martial arts and knives?
At first Picard can’t remember where the entrance to the tunnels is. Then he thinks back to playing hide and seek with his mother, when she suggested playing down in the tunnels against his father’s wishes, and is able to find the secret entryway behind a bookcase.
Tallinn recognizes the space from Picard’s mind. Picard explains that it was used by the French Resistance for munitions storage in WWII, until the Nazis invaded. He also tells her that it was where his mother was lost, and that the tunnels lead to a hatch on the other side of the vineyard, near the ship.
Raffi and Seven search for weapons in the kitchen, and Seven reveals that she applied to Starfleet after Voyager returned, but was rejected. Even Janeway threatening to resign didn’t make a difference, so Seven became a Fenris Ranger instead. Raffi thinks she would make a great captain if they survive, which Seven doesn’t think will happen.
The Borg Queen searches the ship for ECH Elnor, who arms himself with a sword. Rios tries to hack Tallinn’s transporter but Teresa makes him sit down so she can use a tricorder on his wound, and they have another MOMENT.
Soong figures out the bookcase trick and tells the drones to search for additional entrances. Picard has another memory of his mother, this time in a depressive state in the tunnels. She asks him to remember her in a better condition. They find the room where he had got stuck, and he remembers unlocking the room his mother was locked in just as Soong finds them and they have to run.
The Queen and her drones are still hunting ECH Elnor, who locks himself in sickbay…with Seven and Raffi, who thinks he’s real for a moment. Seven asks ECH Elnor to unlock the ship’s systems because she has a plan. Raffi tells ECH Elnor that she didn’t keep him with her because she was afraid of him being by himself, but because she was afraid of being alone. ECH Elnor tells her that Real Elnor didn’t blame her and that he loved her.
Picard and Tallinn are still trying to get to the fields, while Seven manages to beam the drones off the ship – and directly into the walls of the tunnels. Only the Queen is left, but she has a transporter inhibitor. And a sword! She and ECH Elnor face off and he and Seven and Raffi quickly have her unarmed and surrounded, but she lashes out with her tentacles and takes control of the situation, vanishing ECH Elnor and stabbing Seven through the torso in the process. She sets course for the Delta Quadrant, eager to get a 400-year head start on expanding the collective.
The Queen tries to finish Seven off with a knife but Agnes stops her. She starts to cry, a side effect of the dopamine and adrenaline which has allowed Agnes to regain some control. Images of mini Borg cubes appear around them, and Agnes explains they represent the inevitable end of the Borg, unless the Borg change their ways. She suggests they take La Sirena and build a new Borg Collective, built on cooperation and choice, of people who choose to join the Collective.
Soong corners Picard and Tallinn in the conservatory, sure he is headed for a glorious future.
Rios finishes hacking the transporter but Teresa doesn’t want him to go. He transports anyway, to the conservatory just in time to save Picard and Tallinn (and knock a key out of the door.) Soong escapes. Picard picks up the key and finishes the memory of unlocking the door. He opened it, and she escaped and hanged herself. He had blocked out the memory, and replaced it with ones of her, older, and offering him a cup of tea. Tallinn suggests that’s why he’s run from love his whole life, and we see young Jean-Luc throw a rock through the conservatory glass and let the sun in.
Raffi, who can’t see Agnes, begs the Queen not to kill Seven. Instead, she heals her, but at the cost of growing new Borg implants. Seven doesn’t seem thrilled. The Queen and Agnes seem to have merged.
Seven is mourning her brief time as a non-XB but Raffi assures her that she’s amazing the way she is. The Queen says it’s time to go, and that the future will have no need for a Borgslayer. And that in order for the mission to succeed, there must be two Renees: one who lives, and one who dies. She beams Seven and Raffi off the ship and leaves alone, having taken the ship in trade for Seven’s life.
The crew gathers and watches the ship depart, and Picard asks Seven if she’s all right. She says she’s herself.
They’ve got work to do: Soong is on the loose and determined to stop the Europa Mission. Seven passes along the message about Renee and the gang heads off to save the timeline!
Not a peep from Q this episode, should we be worried?