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Star Trek Pic - Season 1 - Episode 04

Star Trek Pic - 1x04 - Absolute Candor

Originally Aired: 2020-2-12

The crew's journey to Freecloud takes a detour when Picard orders a stop at the planet Vashti, where Picard and Raffi relocated Romulan refugees 14 years earlier. Upon arrival, Picard reunites with Elnor, a young Romulan he befriended during the relocation. Meanwhile, Narek continues his attempts to learn more about Soji while Narissa's impatience with his lack of progress grows.

My Rating - 7

Fan Rating Average - 4.33

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- How did they know to beam Elnor aboard too along with Picard?

- This is the first episode of Star Trek to not show a character wearing a Starfleet uniform.

Remarkable Scenes
- Elnor: "Why don't you like children?" Zani: "Because they're demanding, distracting, and interfere with duty and pleasure alike."
- Elnor: "You told me stories about Data. He had an orange cat named Spot." Picard: "That's right." Elnor: "I've still never seen a cat."
- Elnor: "Why do you need me?" Picard: "Because I'm an old man and you're a young one. And you're strong."
- Picard trampling over the "Romulans only" sign.
- Elnor: "Please my friend, choose to live." Adrev ignores him and is decapitated shortly thereafter. Elnor: "I regret your choice."
- The space battle against the old style Romulan warbird.
- Seven of Nine's appearance. Seven: "You owe me a ship, Picard."

My Review
This episode starts off with a tone straight out of Firefly and closes with a green-blooded Romulan decapitation followed by a space battle featuring an old style Romulan Bird of Prey straight out of TOS: Balance of Terror; cliffhangering with Seven of Nine! Whew! Hopefully we get a good explanation for why she showed up at just the right time. Was she following Picard? In any event, the space battle was one of the best ones featured in Star Trek in quite some time. Yes of course Discovery and the Kelvin films have their fair share of action, but often their action is overkill and not well earned. Unlike those, this dogfight between the La Sirena and the old style Romulan Bird of Prey isn't overwrought in the slightest. It's just the right amount of action we needed to add a bit more fun to an already fairly strong story.

The exchange between Picard and Senator Adrev was also a highlight of the episode as a window into the Romulan feelings of betrayal by the Federation. It's understandable that the excessively secretive nature of Romulan culture would cause many of them to believe that the Federation totally failing to organize a competent relief effort in the face of both overwhelming logistical challenges and internal political turmoil might have been an intentional conspiracy to lull Romulans into a false sense of security so that they would end up in a significantly weakened position by placing undue trust in an ancient enemy, leaving Picard in the unenviable position of exclaiming something to the effect of, "It's not what it looks like!" And having Picard express outrage to Elnor about needlessly killing Adrev when presumably a non-lethal way of subduing him would've sufficed was also a nice and necessary touch. It makes sense that Elnor would do that and that Picard would react to it that way.

There are only a few wrinkles in this episode. Adding "Emmet" to the flock of Rios' holograms further compounds the annoying ambiguity about the status of sentient holograms relative to the ban on androids. Also while the ending of this episode is great fun, the pacing of the episode otherwise drags a bit at times. Even so, this is one of the stronger episodes so far.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Azalea Jane on 2021-08-05 at 5:24pm:
    D. Jurati, being candid: "Anyone else think the 'Way of Absolute Candor' sounds potentially annoying?"

    OMG. It took me a second, but then I burst out laughing. Personally, I think absolute candor sounds like a fantastic idea, in theory.

    I knew Seven of Nine was in this series, but I didn't know when or how she would show up. I haven't even watched the seasons of Voyager she's in, but her appearance was still an amazing and gratifying moment.
  • From JD on 2021-09-06 at 9:52am:
    I didn't notice it when I first watched it when it came out - Soji's little data-style head bobbing tick!

    It was so obvious now I was looking for it! When she's walking through the cube with Narek... and its really obviously reminiscent of data.

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