Stardust City Rag: Does Picard Slow Down?

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Episode 5, “Stardust City Rag” of Picard has us a little bit more satisfied this week and a bit sad. As a fan of Star Trek Voyager, I was extremely sad to see the opener of this week’s show. We are taken back thirteen years ago to Planet Vergessen, Hypatia System, the Seven Domes.

Picard Takes Some Different Steps From Previous Trek

Let me say that Picard is not holding back on the goriness and visuals in this series. We see a Star Fleet officer on a table but upon further inspection, we see it is Icheb. Not portrayed by the original actor; Manu Intayrami (Who I know personally). Icheb is being dissected and ripped apart. Seven of Nine comes into the room in an attempt to save Icheb. But it’s too late Seven kills Icheb to end his suffering and before she does she calls him her “child.”

We jump forward and we see two weeks ago Bruce Maddox (not played by the original TNG Maddox) was spotted and was being ordered for execution by Bajazel a mob boss on Freecloud. He says that the Tal Shiar was responsible for the attack on Mars and it looks like he gets poisoned. We find out that Seven of Nine is a Fenris Ranger and has taken up a different career path after she returned from the delta quadrant. Rios and Raffi marvel at Seven and they wonder if Picard knew her prior to this.

Something Isn’t Right About Picard

There is a twist with Jerrati, we see her watching old clips of her and Maddox and it’s apparent they were a couple at one point. This is where I’m starting to be suspicious of Jerratil. The crew is closing in on Free Cloud, and they get pop up ads for services and products on Free Cloud. I felt this was unnecessary and so not Trek. Although, it also shows the evolution of the times because well this isn’t your father’s Star Trek this is Trek in 2020. I could have done without that scene. 

The crew dresses in disguises to capture Maddox in this unruly area of space. Picard in a pirate suit needs to become a Funko Pop… Just saying. Raffi up and leaves the team as she said she would. We find out why she wanted to be on Freecloud. She meets up with her son in a facility. Raffi explains to him shes clean and healthy and apologizes for not being there for him. She finds out she’s a grandmother and her son blames the attack on mars for the abandonment of the family because her loyalty was stronger for Picard and her career. 

Fun Fact!

A fun fact Rios and Quark know each other it has us hoping we see him pop up again. Wondering if the fans have to cough up some gold-pressed latinum to see Armin Shimerman return?

Some Distressing Times For One Of Our Characters

As the team is trying to get Maddoxx we see Jerrati pacing up and down the ship. She’s in distress so much the EMH has to ask if she’s ok and what is causing her anxiety. The team comes face to face with Bajazel and she calls Seven Annika. We find out that Bajazel was hunting Icheb for some time. Icheb was a science officer aboard the U.S.S. Coleman.

After Seven disclosed to her friend Bjayzl the nature and whereabouts of Icheb, the woman posed as a Fenris Ranger to the former Borg drone before ambushing him and harvesting the cybernetic implants in his body left by the Borg. Seven wants to avenge Icheb’s death and Picard gives one of his infamous speeches. Seven backs off from Bjayzl they grab Maddox and beam up to the ship.

The rangers are coming for Seven and she requests two phasers and gives Picard a way to contact her if he needs her. Seven returns and kills Bjayzl to get the revenge she was seeking.  

Back on the ship, Maddox is not in good condition and Picard is trying to get as much information from him as he can. Maddox reveals to Picard that Soji is on the artifact to find out the truth on the ban and also reveals the Romulans and the Federation are working together and he was hell-bent on finding out why.  

Picard requests that Rio take him to the artifact. Rios doubles the fee for the journey since the artifact is in Romulan space. Raffi is back on the ship and locked up in quarters obviously distraught over what occurred with her son. 

Picard

Picard’s Suspicions Confirmed

I knew it… something wasn’t right with Jerrati. She killed Maddox. She says she wishes she hadn’t known what she knows and she wishes “they” hadn’t shown her.. .. The EMH pops up and asks why she’s in distress. Jerrati deactivates the EMH and Maddox dies on the biobed.

Takeaways From Episode Five

One, they didn’t need to kill Icheb for Seven of Nine to make her dramatic return. Her return could have been done in various ways. Icheb had a successful transition when he came to the Alpha Quadrant with the Voyager crew going to Starfleet and becoming an officer.  Now as I said at the beginning of this review, I know the original actor, Manu Intiraymi, who played Icheb on Voyager and I had texted him to see how he was feeling. Here’s what he had to say:

“I’m just sad I didn’t get a chance to play him again. Devastated really. I gave that role a piece of everything I had, and will always be proud of the work. I would have been thrilled to play him again.” 

Manu Intiraymi, original actor for Icheb

So, as I am devastated a favorite character gets killed off, we finally get some answers. We’re hot on Soji’s trail and it looks like she starting to figure out who she is. 

I suspect Jerrati is a secret agent. She’s working for someone. So, it’s not looking good for the crew. It all depends on who she’s aligned with. This is messed up considering she had an intimate relationship with Maddox. It could have been a ploy though. As he said Soong, Maddox and her achieved something great. Hard to say what might happen here but I knew something wasn’t right about her. 

You can watch Picard on CBS Access with new episodes streaming every Thursday. For more on Star Trek: Picard, or any other general pop culture, make sure to check back to That Hashtag Show.

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